Summary: Max is a famous full-time dubstep artist and girl gamer. Thousands have downloaded her music. But there's something a little more sinister going on behind Max's mask – something that could affect the whole world. On the first encounter, the world will see horror. On the second encounter, the world will see murder. On the fifth encounter, the world with see a bloodbath. And on the eleventh encounter, Max will see red.
A/N: Okay, I know this is totally more than one writer can handle. But this is going to be a slow story, so I don't have to focus on updating as regularly as I try to with the others. Don't hit me!
I think this story will have about 22 chapters before the twist. 11 encounters, and an extra chapter inbetween each. As for afterwards, I've planned a horrifying twist I'm sure all of you thrill-seeking night-readers will LOVE.
Disclaimer: I don't own MR, any references or games/music/shops that I may use throughout this entire story. (I might have to make some things up though; I don't know that many games. To let you know when I do, I'll put two bold stars next to it: **)
Song for the chapter: watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=7NdwYAtdfhE
(Click to discover, young grasshopper.)
The Eleventh Encounter
Chapter One – In the Flesh
I walk down the street, shades down, bag in hand. So far, nobody has recognised me. But they will eventually, because I'm the sort of person who straightens her hair to a crisp and walks around like a gangster, when all she's really doing is picking up a whole truckload of new video games. Everyone knows that.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Maximum Ride, just turned nineteen, famous DJ-skillax and hard core girl gamer. I take pride in never needing security guards at any of my events (well, that's what it says on the website. When you get in, it's really more of a borderline illegal teenage mosh pit rave), because when it comes down to it, I can beat them off one by one. People know that by now, which is the precise reason why no one has yet tried to get onto the stage at an, ahem, event.
As I saunter into the GAME store, I hunt down the cash register. Behind it is a teenage boy, maybe a couple years younger than I am, rather handsome-looking and in hand of a stack of video games. He glances up, but doesn't realise who I am, so he goes back to his case sifting. I touch him on the shoulder, lean over the counter, and tap my shades down my nose.
"Take me to your Peeta." I say in a deep voice. It's one of my more famous phrases from my YouTube gaming channel, which I assume he's heard of, because he works in GAME.
"Holy cra –" his eyes widen, and he backs up a little, disbelieving. "Crah… crh… h…"
"Got any horror games I would be interested in?" I hop up onto the counter and shuffle over.
"Oh, yeah, I'm um." He gathers himself a little, and then quickly starts to look through his video games. "I er, haven't seen you play Slender before? Walking Dead?" he offers the games to me, and I take a look at them. Walking Dead looks like it has an interesting storyline, but Slender looks a little… well, childish? I mean, sure a lot of teenage gamers would poop their pants playing it, but I wouldn't. I wouldn't even fart a little.
"Okay." I nod, sliding my credit card into the slot and checking in my PIN. "Thanks. See ya!"
As I shove my card and new games back into my bag and hurry outside, I turn back, and it kind of looks like he's about to faint. Whoops. I guess I just have that effect on game store workers, ha ha. Luckily, he stays upright just long enough for him to mutter "did I just meet Maximum Ride?" and stare forlornly with a slightly constipated look on his face at the cover of Call of Duty.
There's a mirror in the door as I walk into Cex (what, a girl can't look good and get de-alz at the same time?). There's a girl standing in there already. She has pin-straight dirty blonde hair, gangster shades and too many piercings. I touch the stud on my bottom lip at the exact same time as she does. Slung into the crook of her elbow is a denim bag, weighted down with video games. She stands on Converse heels, matched with black skinnies and a translucent white button-up which vaguely allows you to see a black lacy bra.
Her eyes dart to the ground when mine do, and she walks away at the same time as me. I may be that girl, but sometimes, I don't feel like I am.
As I browse over the game racks, an attendant comes over. He's male, but not all of them are in here. There are a couple girls too, but the most girls I see working in a game store are usually in HMV (does movies and music, too, but you catch my drift).
"Can I help you?" he asks. His voice is a little hoarse, I expect from asking that all day.
"Horror?" I ask, turning to him. A buzz goes off in his eyes; I assume he's recognised me but decided to play it cool. I get all sorts of reactions when people see me. You get used to it. But from the look of him, I'm not sure that buzz turns up often. He's all clad in black, with obsidian eyes and raven hair.
"Right this way, miss." He walks past me, deeper into the store. It would make sense that they keep the horror games at the back; got to make the front look inviting. Don't want to attract too many creeps.
They have the largest and most varied horror section I've seen today. I'm not a regular customer to anyone, and I usually switch towns when I go game shopping, to get a bigger range. I'm honestly impressed. The shelves go right up to the top. I'm 5"7 and in heels, but I can't reach it, so I'd probably have to ask for a ladder. But luckily for me, on first glance, they seem like the sort of soft horror that beginners play because they're not quite accustomed yet. Well, brother, I'm well past accustomed. I'd say more… residente permanente. Probably running for Mayor by now.
I look around with pursed lips. It's big, but I'm still waiting for someone to make an all-horror store chain.
"Anything you would recommend?" I ask him, not looking over.
"Amnesia?" he seems a little lost for a second, looking for it, then on tip-toes picks the game off one of the top shelves. When he hands it to me, I turn it over in my hands for a moment. I like to get a feel for a game, if you know what I mean. Sometimes I can just tell if I'm going to love it so much that I pee myself. Those are the games that are truly amazing.
"Amnesia…" I murmur, scanning over the back cover. "Nice. I'll take it. Got any good gunners, while I'm here?" I ask on a last whim, and he gives me a short nod, looking interested now. Taking me to the gunners rack, much smaller than the horror section, he asks me if I own any Halo games. I guess not a lot of people are interested in gunning as much these days.
"No, but I know the concept." He nods and holds out Halo: Reach in both hands.
"Well, for a beginner," he says pointedly, "I'd say this one."
"Mm." I slip it from his hands and read the info. Simple enough, and entertaining during the daytime. "Alright, this one too."
As I drive home in my rusty orange open-top, I think about that guy in Cex. He didn't seem too cheery, like they're supposed to act. And he supplied me with some quality games; they usually just suggest something crappy and prissy then leave you to it. I'm fine with that, honestly.
I'm too busy thinking about the boy with the raven hair to notice that my fingers are drumming absently on the dashboard whilst I careen slightly to the left. I swerve gently just in time; there are too many cars in the lane next to me and if I cut through I would get some serious personal hate mail.
Almost an hour later, I pull up into my driveway. I slam the door on the way out, yank the keys out of the ignition and sweep up to my door. But as I stand on the doorstep, I can already tell that something is wrong here. The door isn't locked, the way I definitely left it. Dylan, my boyfriend since last February and the only person in possession of another key to the house, is in Illinois for the weekend and he's the kind of person that always calls beforehand.
The second thing I notice is the porch plant pot is knocked over cracked in two and the soil has spilt over. The furry little tree is drooping over the edge. Suddenly my hands are searching in my bag for the pocket stake I always keep with me, and I'm frantically scanning my roof for the monster from Retch Undead**.
Wait – oh God, oh God, thank goodness. I live on a public street, where anyone could be watching me. That of course wouldn't seem like a very comforting thought to you, but if you thought that Retch was after you, it would be. It doesn't go after people in public places. All I need to make sure of is that I don't go upstairs for a while, because Retch is always above ground level (the reason for the sequel's name, Retch Above**, if you didn't know. And also, if you are seriously out of Retch trivia, its name is Retch because it will totally make you barf. I know I did *shudder*).
As I step further towards the door, still clutching my stake because I'm not ashamed to say that video games have made me completely paranoid, I notice the third thing. Whispering. Either my door is trying to tell me to freaking get in the house already, or somebody's in there. I step closer, and hear someone say 'hush' in a constricted voice. Okay, Retch is DEFINITELY in my house. Oh God. Oh my God.
Now, when I open the door, I must stab him in the mouth before he can scream. Okay, calm down, Max. Don't die before he can kill you. That's just not fair. At least he's had the decency to wait 'til you got home.
Raising the stake to mouth height.
Opening the door.
Stepping through the threshold.
Here it comes.
I'm so dead.