The Backstage of Reality by Samuel Rai

ABOUT THE STORY

Title: The Backstage of Reality

Main Character: Fredrick Solace

Secondary Character: James Thatcher

Background/Setting: A place far beyond the concept of time.

Conflict: Fredrick, a minimum wage (ex–marine) worker somehow falls through the ground one day as he is leaving for work and gets stuck...Somewhere.

Solution: Warping through an object in a certain area of an unknown place.

About the story: An ordinary person going by the name of Fredrick Solace living in United States, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania Avenue with an average and bearable but boring life, one day suddenly falls through the floor while leaving for work and ends up on an unknown place which is supposedly a place that exists outside of reality itself with seemingly endless rooms and areas that you could get trapped in, a never-ending amount of eldritch like monster entities roaming each area and a long way to go before you can see the Sun and feel its warmth again. How will the man ever get out? Will he ever get out? Will he ever finish his unfinished serial with 5,674 episodes? Read the story and find out…..

Author: Samuel Rai

The Beginning

It was a peaceful, misty, and cold pre-winter morning in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania Avenue, the cold was just starting to settle in so it hadn’t reached its peak yet. A minimum wage worker is seen just waking up, Fredrick Solace, 24 years of age and ex-soldier of the marine corps serving a total of 4 years in the field, although currently working a 9 to 5’er at a local department store as a senior employee getting…. acceptable wages. Fredrick lived a very lonesome life having few friends and absolutely no relatives or family. Both of his parents died a couple of years back when he was just 17, so he had to look out for himself ever since which made him quite independent. He was living at an apartment called “Jono’s Stay” and it was 9:45 AM when the incident occurred.

“Mmm...What time is it? Well, I probably woke up early as my alarm hasn’t rung yet.” Said the man as he struggled to reach the clock.

“…Wait what? 8:56 AM? Hahaha! I must be seeing things; phew I sure am tired. Now all I need to do to get rid of this simple illusion is to lay back in bed, count to three, rub my eyes and look again.” And so, he did exactly that.

“Hmmm…It still hasn’t changed…. Is this thing broken? I never wake up late. Huh, I’ll fix it later, I’ll get changed for now.” Said Fredrick as he was completely oblivious to the fact that he was indeed late.

A couple of moments later after the whole charade, our Solace is seen eating honey toast alongside coffee as he listens to the news on his television.

It can be heard broadcasting: “Good morning, ladies and gents! Welcome to today's late-morning broadcast! It is currently 9:45 AM at Washington, D.C. Anyways moving on, today’s broadcast is a bit special! It’s about a young university student, studying in Binghamton University who went missing a couple of days back with a witness claiming he supposedly fell through the floo-“

The broadcast is cut abruptly with Fredrick just sitting there, jaw dropped in pure shock and disbelief.

“Did I hear that right? He said what? It – It – IT’S 9: 45 AM!? Oh, dear oh dear oh dear, I’m late! I was supposed to be there at 8:20! On my most crucial day too…wait “crucial”?....I FORGOT I HAD A MEETING WITH THE MANAGER REGARDING MY PROMOTION!” Said the panicked man as he charged for the door.

“How am I going to explain my situation? Should I lie? No…Honesty is the best policy after all. Ahhhh, but then my promotion might get canceled, what do I do…”

As he was rambling to himself and thinking of excuses to protect his promotion, he reached for the door and when grabbed and opened it. He fell through the floor.

Everything happened in the blink of an eye, his life soon would turn into a living hell. The fall didn’t affect him that much, physically that is but he would be scarred mentally for the rest of his life. It didn’t take him long to cross the fabric of reality and land somewhere deep beyond the mortal veil, a place that mankind or any sort of lifeform should never step into.

With a light thud, he landed safely but wasn’t going to be safe for long.

“Huh. It seems I fainted from panicking and now dreaming, and how do I know that? It’s because I saw myself falling before, I arrived…” here”.”

“Now then, I can’t be sleeping for too long so I guess I’ll try to wake myself up. Good thing I practiced yoga in the past so I know a couple of dandy tricks to get myself out of sticky situations like these. Alright, so first I need to lay down, count to three, rub my eyes and I’ll be back to the real world.” He did exactly that, and to his expectations, he managed to go back. For a split second, he managed to go back to the real world and caught a glimpse of his room but he was brought right back to the mysterious place, it was as if some kind of force pulled him back.

“What? No no no, this can’t be. This isn’t possible. I should have woken up! I SHOULD HAVE WOKEN UP! Am I in a coma? Did I hit my head? Will I forever be dreaming? Will I forever be stuck in this place?”

“No! Calm down, breathe...breathe…. Alright, I’ve seemed to calm down. Remember what my instructor in the marines told me, “If you ever find yourself in 

an unknown place, you must first analyze your surroundings and get a good grasp on the environment there, then you must keep your calm and proceed to investigate the area while being alert.” I think he said some other things but that was way back, well it doesn’t matter he only told us to remember that one line.”

Fredrick then begins to look around and do a careful analysis of his surroundings.

“Around 24 Degrees Celsius, moisture is present in the air, the carpet below me seems to be wet, soaked with a mysterious substance (not to mention it reeks), it looks like a maze of sorts with patterned walls, LED Fluorescent lights ringing on maximum hum-buzz, no exit in sight. Sigh. Guess I’ll have to investigate and look for an exit.”

He then proceeded to look around and wander the infinite maize, unknown and oblivious to the fact that he was being watched.

1 hour of wandering later…

“Haaah, still no clues on how to get out. I’m getting tired mentally and these lights are not helping, but one thing I’ve noticed is that this maize seems to stretch out infinitely. Every time I think I see an end, another path just tends to open up, and not only that, but every once in a while, I enter an area that isn’t just walls, sometimes it’s a bunch of holes in the ground that seem to have no end, a bottomless pit of sorts, and others are…. let’s just say intriguing.”

And then all of a sudden, a loud bang is heard from right around the corner.

“!!”

“Who’s there? I’m very well trained in martial arts and ex-marine, I’m confident I could immobilize you whoever you are so show yourself!”

His provocations were only answered by inhumane gargling alongside the appearance of a disfigured and very slim humanoid covered in a black substance easily exceeding 7 feet, but the most noticeable feature? It had a very distorted head.

“Oh boy, I may be strong but I’m not strong enough for this! WHAT IS THAT!?”

Fateful Encounter

A scream can be heard throughout the unknown place followed by a speedy chase.

“I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS!!” Screamed Fredrick as he ran through the maze at full throttle.

“WITHOUT THE MARINE’S HARSH TRAINING I WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO OUTRUN THIS MONSTER, I’M SO GRATEFUL RIGHT NOW!”

“But putting that aside, what is with this thing’s endurance? A normal person would’ve passed out thrice by now! We’ve been running for around 1 hour straight and I’m afraid I’m reaching my limit!”

“This is bad…This is very bad, if I don’t find a way to get this thing off my tail, I’ll surely meet my end!”

At that very moment while he was frantically searching around for a possible escape, at the corner of his eye, a fraction of a glimpse, he saw a hole in the corner of a room with a dead end and decided to take a gamble. A gamble that put his own life at stake. As he only caught a glimpse of the hole, it might’ve been an illusion that his brain had come up with to cope with the exhaustion from running or the desperate situation. But he decided to take the gamble and made the quickest turn in all of history, straight into the room.

“AHA! I WAS RIGHT TO TAKE THE GAMBLE, THERE IS A HOLE! OH, THANK THE HEAVENS!” Said the man in relief as he charged straight toward the hole.

“…Actually, I’m having second thoughts about this, what if this hole leads to a place even worse than where I am right now? What if I die from this fall? What if I keep falling? Ahhhh! I already came this far I can’t turn back now! As my instructor once said sometimes all you can do is jump and just find out!”

He then proceeded to flip into the hole disregarding his life.

A couple of minutes pass, and our protagonist is still falling.

“I’m still falling…I think it's safe to assume I won’t be making it out of here in one piece, although it’s difficult to tell as it’s so dark in here...Yeah, maybe jumping was a pretty bad idea…I’m sorry mom. I’m sorry dad. I couldn’t live up to your expectations…” As Fredrick was starting to get emotional his “fall” was cut short when he felt something around him.

“…Huh? A wall? No…Wait, this feels like a…ventilation shaft? Wait…Does that mean I’ve been under the pretext of falling, while actually, the wind I’m feeling is coming from a propeller strong enough to keep me afloat!?”

“Either I’m stupid for having realized this just now or lucky for finding out about it this early!”

Fredrick then touched and felt around for a while before finding the duct and successfully escaping the shaft.

“Phew, that took a bit longer than I expected. Anyways, the setting of this place is way different than the previous one. This area’s like a warehouse or a parking lot. Seriously? What’s up with the areas? One was a yellow maize with a hotel-ish setup, now I’m in a parking lot?”

“Anyways, on with the investigation!”

A couple of minutes later….

“Not a clue or lead on how I could get out of here…No trace of lifeforms either, I made sure to check every nook and cranny and attentively listened to any sounds that might come off as “abnormal” to ensure that the “incident” from the other place would not repeat.” And at that moment, he thought how nice a companion would be in these tough times. When suddenly….

The sound of something thudding against the floor from right around the corner was heard.

“Oh no, not again I ought to run-“ He then realized the area he’d walked into was a dead end.

“Oh, Sugar Honey Iced Tea. This does not look good for me. Guess there’s no way out, I’ll have to fight!” 

As Fredrick gets prepared for the worse, he grabs a chunk of iron near by his side and gets into an offensive stance.

The footsteps start getting louder and louder, as the shadow of the figure starts getting closer and closer.

Closer…. Closer…Closer…

“HAA!” Fredrick charges towards the corner planning on ending the “beast”, only to be greeted back with another scream.

“Wait what!?” Exclaimed Fredrick as he stopped his attack right before it landed,

“Another person!? I’M NOT ALONE!” Thought Fredrick as he was overjoyed at this discovery.

“I- You- I can’t- I-“ Were the only words exchanged by the person as they lost consciousness and fainted.

“Woah there!” Said Fredrick as he grabbed the person and lightly laid them down on the floor.

“Huh, I guess I gave him a bit of a shock. I mean I wouldn’t blame him, who’d expect a 6’4 man to leap out of a corner with an iron rod in his hands ready for the kill. But they are a bit faint at heart for fainting.”

“On closer inspection…I can’t really tell the gender of this person; they look like a girl and have feminine features so I should call them a woman…but, something’s just telling me that its not what it seems.” 

“Guess I’ll wait here for the person to wake up, hm…Now that I think about it, I haven’t really eaten or drunk anything since I got here and now, the side effects are starting to show. Maybe I should go and look around for something to eat and drink.”

Fredrick then leaves the person to go look for food and any sort of consumables. He then returns to the place where he left the person.

“I’m honestly surprised I found anything at all! But then again, it is a warehouse after all I was bound to find something in the crates along the hallways. Alright, lets see what our rations are…. Almond milk, fresh water, canned beans, canned chicken soup, canned 

spaghetti and that’s about it. Can’t say I wasn’t expecting canned food...”

Fredrick then looks around the room for the person, and to his surprise the person is seen still laying down on the floor.

“Oh wow, they’re still down. Did I scare them that bad? I was half expecting them to be gone when I returned.”

“Well then, guess I’ll continue waiting.” Thought the man as he sat beside the person drinking and eating the found food.

A couple of hours pass by….

“…. This is weird, I didn’t scare them that bad. Are they dead? Let me check.” Fredrick then begins to feel the person’s pulse.

“Odd…they’re alive, but why haven’t they woken up yet?” as Fredrick continues examining the stranger, a chuckle is heard from them.

“???”

“Wait don’t tell me…. You’re just pretending to be unconscious?”

Sweat is seen dripping out of the person as they start trembling.

“M-Maybe?” The first actual words are exchanged between them as the person finally speaks.

“A-actually I woke up a couple of hours ago, r-right before you left. I-I was contemplating w-whether or not I s-should’ve escaped b-but by the time I-I made up my mind, y-you returned.”

“I don’t know if I should be angry that you made me wait an entire 2 hours or relieved that you aren’t actually dead.” Said Fredrick.

“W-wait you aren’t going to k-kill me?”

“What? Of course, not? Why would you even think of something like that?”

“W-well I don’t know, maybe it’s because someone came leaping out of a corner with a weapon in his hands trying to KILL ME!” 

Bondage

“Aha, about that…. Well, moving on! We’ve got to keep looking to find an escape, right?”

The duo is seen walking down the empty hallways of the warehouse, exchanging words and getting to know each other better.

“Alright, let’s re-do our introduction as…. you know, our first try wasn’t so successful.” Said Fredrick,

“Sure, I’m not against it.” Said the stranger,

“Okay, I’m Fredrick, Fredrick Solace. I’m 24 years old, currently…or was, living in the U.S, Washington D.C, Pennsylvania Avenue working a 9 to 5’er. Used to be a marine but I retired fairly early, just didn’t think I was cut out for it. Now uh, your turn, Ma’am.”

“Ma’am? Oh geez, it’s the 25th time already! I’m a 21-year-old MALE adult!”

“H-Huh? You’re a man?! Oh I’m sorry, its just that you looked so feminine! So, I thought you were a woman. (Not to mention your height and voice too...)”

“It’s fine, I’m used to it. Ahem, anyways. I’m James Thatcher, as mentioned earlier I’m 21 years old. I’m…or was studying in Binghamton University before I wound up, “here”.”

“…Binghamton University? Wait…You’re the person on the news who disappeared a couple of days ago!”

“What? I appeared on the news?…Guess this isn’t a dream after all.”

“The news reporter said something about you falling through the floor. What’s that about?”

“I’m not sure…The last thing I remember before I came here was falling while I was leaving for university, I don’t know if there was some kind of hole in the ground or I simply, as you said “fell through the floor”.”

“Looks like our circumstances are similar, I too “fell through the floor” as I was leaving for work. Ah! I forgot I had to ask you something!”

“Hm? Go on?”

“When you arrived in this mysterious place, did you start off in this place or did you make it here through another area?”

“Huh? I started off in this area, why? Didn’t you?”

“No, not at all. I started off in a yellow maize with painfully loud LED lights, not to mention the reeking smell of old moist carpet.”

“Huh, sounds like the “backrooms”. An internet urban legend.”

“The “backrooms”?”

“According to the internet, it’s an area that exists outside of reality itself. They say it has infinite levels and only a few ways to exit it. But it doesn’t really matter, it’s just something that a bunch of internet geeks made up.”

“Hahaha, I guess….”

As they keep wandering, looking for an exit. They come across something unusual.

“Hey! Thatcher come check this out!” Yelled Fredrick as he claims to have found something,

“Hm? Yeah? What’d you find?”

“It seems to be some kind of map! This might be the exit!” Exclaimed Fredrick in joy.

“Oh hey, now that you mention it, the hallway on the map’s actually the one right outside this room!”

“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go!”

Mark and James then proceed towards the hallway, and come across a crossroad.

“Huh, two separate ways… Fredrick check the map.”

“Already on it. Well, according to this map, we would have to go…. Left!”

So, then they proceeded to walk, and walk, and walk…and walk.

The Excursion

“H-Hey? Fredrick, wait up!” said James as he desperately caught his breath.

“Huh? Your already tired? Oh yeah, your just an average person. I forgot, sorry.”

James then caught his breath, and proceeded to walk.

“We’ve been walking for 4 hours straight; my legs are giving out…. How are you still walking? Do you not feel tired?”

“Hm? No? Didn’t I mention that I was an ex-marine? I still keep up with my training even though I’ve retired.”

“Ah… Yes, I forgot.”

“Oh, I forgot to mention! There are around 4 more of these passages and crossroads given on the map. Not that I would mind walking through all of them but, I’m particularly worried about you.”

“Oh, your hilarious! Hahahahahah! Your joking… right?”

“Dead serious.”

“…Oh dear. Well then! LET’S GO BAC-”

A bunch of convincing and talking through later….

“Alright, fine. I’ll tag along, but that leads us to the pressing question. What are we going to do about food?”

“Oh, don’t worry about food. When you were ‘unconscious’, I scavenged around for food and I found plenty! Only problem was, holding capacity. So, I looked around and found a… Corpse. Now the thing about the corpse was that… They had a backpack with them soooo~, I took it without hesitation.”

“Well, that solves our food crisis, but you really are a scum for stealing from the dead.”

“I had no choice…”

“Moving on. The existence of a corpse leads to two things, which I assume you know.”

“Yeah. One being the fact that there are other people in this damned place other then you and me. Two being the fact that there could be a dangerous organization formed by desperate people or… something ‘else’ traversing these plains.”

“Something ‘else’ traversing these plains? Pfft, oh don’t be so anxious, Monsters don’t exist! Putting that aside, your right about the existence of other people here beside us and the organization part.”

“No… There is something traversing these plains.”

“Hey, why’d you get so serious all of a sudden? We both know things like that don’t exist.”

“Alright, let me explain then.”

“What’re you going to explain to me? A kids story boo-“

“So, when I first fell through the floor and ended up in this mysterious place, I told you earlier that I didn’t start off here. I started off in a yellow maze with loud LED lights. That place in comparison was a lot worse than this place in terms of long term stay. The noise and the monochrome colors were driving me insane, but I didn’t give up hope and kept searching around for an exit. Just then, I encountered ‘it’.”

“H-Hey, cut it out stop making jokes you’re creeping me out.”

“It was abnormally thin, its waist and arm breadth about 5 centimeters. It easily exceeded 7 feet, covered with some kind of black substance, but the most distinguishable feature, was its distorted head. It was incredibly fast and its endurance was inhumane. It chased me around the place for one whole hour without showing even a bit of fatigue, I thought it’d be the end of me as I knew I couldn’t fight that thing because I heard that in every step it took it tore a good chunk off the ground. And when all hope was lost, I found an opening into the ground and without a second thought I hopped right in, and well, it led me here.”

“Your just messing around with me, right?”

“I wish I was. But I’m serious right now. While I was running for my life, I managed 

to juke the monster and headed towards the opposite direction, then I tore out a piece from my shirt and used it to absorb the black substance it had secreted behind as a trail.”

“Do you still have that piece?”

“Yes, I still have that piece.” Fredrick then reaches into his bag.

“Here it is. The mysterious black substance that the thing secreted.”

 James then proceeds to inspect the substance and the effects it had on the cloth piece.

“This substance has highly acidic properties, close to that of hydrochloric acid. But…I don’t know… What your saying is really hard to believe, but I’ll keep this in mind. If this thing really has acidic properties, then… we’d probably need to fight with glass weapons as glass has the highest resistance to acid. Judging by its slim body, it’s probably not that strong, so if we can maintain our distance and use long ranged weapons…we should be fine. If, what your saying is true that is.”

“Sounds like a plan, I’m in. But we better not forget about the path Infront of us.”

“…Just when I completely forgot about that too. This just demotivates me, let’s just go ba- “

Fredrick then grabs James around the collar of his shirt.

“Too late, you’re coming with me.”

“Nooo!”

2 days later.

“Are we there yet?”

“Nope, still a long way to go.”

“I can’t feel my legs anymore though…”

“Bear with it. We’ll be there one day.”

“O-One day?”

Page: 12

1 day later…

“… Fredrick.” Said James in a raspy voice.

“Hm, yes?”

“Do you not feel tired?”

“We’ve been walking for what? 3 days? Truth be told, I am getting a bit, a tiny bit tired myself.”

“Oh good. I was about to stab you thinking you were the monster you met formerly because of your inhumane stamina and endurance.”

“…. Should I be flattered or threatened?”

James then lets out a massive gasp.

“Huh? What is it?”

“Look! Something massive is sticking out of the ground.”

“Wait, could that be!?” Fredrick then turns around swiftly.

“What do you think that is Fredrick?”

“…. Huh? There’s nothing there James.”

“Are you blind? Look! It’s right Infront of you! Wait… Could it be!?”

“???”

“HOLY SWEET MARY MOTHER OF JOSEPH! It’s a massive plate with all of my favorite food stacked on top of each other! There is a god!”

“…. Alright. I think its about time we stopped and took a break. He’s going insane.”

They then decided to set up a camp and rest there for the day.

“Phew, good thing I decided to bring the remaining wood pieces from the crates I took the canned food from. With these I can start a fire! Guess we won’t die from cold huh James?” 

There was absolutely no response and a stiff atmosphere in the air.

“James?” Said Fredrick as he turned around.

No one was there.

“James?! JAMES!” Yelled Fredrick as he cried out for James.

A gargling was heard near Fredrick’s legs.

“You again!” Exclaimed Fredrick as he charged up his leg for a finishing kick without properly looking down.

“MmMm… Sardines…” Those words echoed throughout the hall.

“…. James?” Said Fredrick as he looked down in confusion.

It was then seen that James was right under Fredrick the whole time… Sleeping.

Needless to say, Fredrick still threw that kick.

A couple of hours later.

“Alright, think it’s about time we head to bed.” Said Fredrick.

“Agreed, I’m getting tired as well. Good night, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Said James.

“Good night.”

“But before I go to bed, my head’s been aching for a couple of hours now. It really hurts… I wonder why?”

“Ahaha…. Who knows?”


Then they slept.

Hope

The two wanderers are seen waking up.

“Oh, good morning, James.” Said Fredrick as he intensively did handstand pushups.

“Mm, good morning, Fredrick. Say, how long ago did you get up?” Replied James.

“2 hours and 34 minutes. Why?”

“You’ve been going at it for two hours and 34 minutes?”

“Going at what?”

“You know~ this whole hellish training routine.”

“Yes? In fact, I haven’t even completed one tenths of my routine.”

“I’m sorry, it’ll take another hour or so until I’m done. I’ll speed up my routine of 3,500 pushups, 2,700 hand stand pushups, 1,980 triceps extensions, 4,000 squats, 3,670 Hindu squats, 30 minutes of shadow boxing and other martial arts practicing and a 356.614 km sprint that I’ll be doing with you!”

“…. Are you even human? But putting that aside, sure I can wait- wait what. Can you repeat that last sentence.”

“Uh, sure. I’ll be doing a 356.614 km sprint with you?”

“…. I want my mommy.”

One hour later…

“Alright! Phew, I’m done!”

“Hahaha…. Good for you…”

“Thanks! Now for the last portion of my routine!”

“Oh. God.”

“Since you won’t be able to handle it, I’ll carry you!”

“…Eh?”

“That’s right! I’m being lenient so I’ll carry you, plus it’ll be a good workout with additional weight. Now c’mon get on!”

“A-Actually I think I’d rather walk the whole distance by myself.”

“What nonsense are you spouting? Just get on.”

“…. Guess I have no other way around it. Fine…”

Fredrick then proceeds to carry James.

“Alright, ready?”

“I changed my mind, let me down.” 

Fredrick then tightened his grip.

“Oh god.”

“Set!”

“Wait- Wait- Wait!”

“GO!” 

With a dash that would break the world record easily, Fredrick proceeds to sprint with all his might.

“W-WHATS WITH THIS GUYS SPEED?! IT’S LIKE RIDING ON A MOTORCYCLE! I’LL FALL OFF LET ME DOWN!!” Yelled the poor man as he bolted throughout the hall, screaming.

A couple of minutes later.

“Wait… That’s!?” said Fredrick before abruptly stopping.

“Hey! James! There’s a structure Infront of us which was hinted in the map!”

There was no reply yet again.

“Hey! James! Quit it out, Its Important! Wake up!”

“H-Huh? I spaced out for a while, what is it?”

“There’s a structure Infront of us which is hinted on the map!”

“W-Wait really? Let me see!”

“Alright, but please get off of me.”

“Ah, right…”

They then proceed to look at the map.

“Woah! We’ve actually reached pretty far into the path! Just a couple more kilometers and we’ll be there!”

“That’s great! Well, no time to waste! James quick get on me again!”

“…. I- alright, fine.”

A couple of painfully slow hours later.

“Hey! We reached the second section of the crossroads!”

“FINALLY! Wait... Urgh- “

“Wait, what’s wrong James?!”

“I have…Motion…Sickness.”

“Ah-“

James then vomited for 1 minute straight.

“Okay, lets check up on the map and see how much we have left to go!” Said James in anticipation.

“Uh… Yeah, sure.” Replied Fredrick in a suspicious tone.

“So… What this map is telling me is that there are two more passages, one two times longer than the one we just travelled through and the other a bit shorter.”

“Yeah, pretty much what I said.”

“…Fredrick.” Said James with a tense voice.

“Yes? What is it?”

“I’m tired.”

“Huh? So am I, so we’re going to take a break and rest here for the day.”

“No, not that. I’m tired of all of this. I just want to go home. See my mom and dad again, feel the warmth of the sun again.” Said James with a teary voice.

“…We’ll get through this, together. Trust me.” 

“Thanks... I’ll go get some sleep now.”

“Alright.”

A couple of minutes pass.

“The poor boy’s been through a lot huh? Guess I can’t afford to slack off anymore. Starting tomorrow, we’ll be heading towards the end at full speed. But first, it’s about time I got some sleep.”

The day passes while the two get some rest.

“Oh, morning James! Your up early!” Said Fredrick in an energetic voice.

“Yeah… Morning.” Replied James in a depressed voice.

“…Alright! I’ve taken it upon myself to deliver both you and me to the end as quick as possible, from now on there will be no dawdling!”

“Thanks Fredrick, but I doubt even you would be able to reach it in a short amount of time.”

“Oho! Are you underestimating me? There will be consequences!”

“Mhm… I’ll bear anything to go back!”

“Hahah! That’s the spirit! Now quickly with haste get on me again!”

“Did I say I’d bear anything? Oh ahaha! What was I thinking! I was simply-“

“NO DWADLING! HURRY UP!”

“Alright…Jeez.”

“Now, before we continue, James. I need you to hold on to me tightly.”

“Wait w-why?”

“Up until now, I’ve only been using around 56% of my actual speed for your safety. But seeing you break down like that the other day. I can’t afford to slack off anymore. So, I request you to grab on tightly. We’ll be heading off at incredible speeds.”

“Hey now…. You’re telling me you can go faster?”

“Way, faster. Now buckle up we’re leaving.”

“Alright…”

“3, 2, 1, HERE WE GO!”

They then proceed to dash off at incredible speeds.

A couple of minutes pass.

“Odd…”

“What is it?”

“No, its just that ever since we left you haven’t even made a peep. I’m honestly shocked.”

“…Huh, I guess I just got used to it at some point. But where are we right now?”

“Hmm, around halfway through that two times longer tunnel I mentioned earlier.”

“Your definitely not human, but I’m glad to have such a tank accompany me, with you around I don’t have to worry about anything!”

“Aww, I’m flattered.”

“That wasn’t supposed to be a compliment…”

Hours pass by, as Fredrick started slowly getting tired by the second.

Seperation

Minutes turn into hours, hours into days.

“Huff…Puff…” Exhaled Fredrick.

“Look, Fredrick… You don’t have to push yourself that hard… I-I know! I can also run!” Said James trying to console and comfort Fredrick.

“N-No, I can keep going.”

“Look, I know your strong and all but at least take a break!”

“N-no, we’re almost there…”

“…If you insist.”

A little while later.

“Hngh-! I-I can keep going!” Said Fredrick showing excruciating pain

“FREDRICK! STOP!” Yelled James showing concern.

“A-A LITTLE BIT MORE!”

“A little bit more and you’ll be dead!”

“F-For your sake, it’s worth it.” Said Fredrick unconsciously.

“Fredrick, you…”

“A LITTLE BIT MORE!”

“Hey! I see the cross-section!” Exclaimed James in joy.

“Haah! That’s great!” Also exclaimed Fredrick in relief.

“A-Alright, I’ve got to push harder now that we’re almost there!”

“W-Wait no! We can walk there!”

“NO!”

And with one final sprint Fredrick and James reached the destination, the second 

Page: 20

part of the cross section.

“A-Ah, James.” Said Fredrick in a worn-out voice.

“Shhh, you can rest now. Just close your eyes.” Ensured James.

“Y-Yeah, I might actually take you up on your offer. Good night.”

“Good night.”

Fredrick then sunk into deep sleep.

“Honestly… To think he ran through something in just a few days that would’ve taken months by walking without stopping. You really aren’t human huh.” Said James looking down on Fredrick sleeping.

“Now that you mention it, if I hadn’t met Fredrick where would I be right now?”

A couple of hours later Fredrick is seen waking up.

“Ughh- my body feels beaten up right now.”

“Oh, you’re up superman.”

“…What’s up with the nickname?”

“Oh~ Nothing.”

“Okaay, I probably wont be able to move for a while now, what’s our game plan for no-“

Fredrick is then abruptly cut off by a speaker which Is heard broadcasting In a metallic voice:

“Congratulations travelers on reaching the second portion of the crossroads! Assuming your confused about the whole ordeal, its only fair that you get an explanation! Please press the button Infront of you to continue with the explanation.”

A button pops out of the ground Infront of the two.

“I- alright, first of all bit rude for cutting me off there but James! YOU HEARING THIS!? WE’RE GETTING AN EXPLANATION!” Said Fredrick with a glint in his eyes.

“Y-Yeah, I heard that loud and clear. Well then let’s press the button.”

They then press the button.

“Alrighty! The place you entered is called the “Backrooms” a place that exists outside of reality itself with seemingly endless rooms and areas that you could get trapped in, a never-ending amount of eldritch like monster entities roaming each area and a long way to go before you can see the Sun and feel its warmth again! Now, your currently at the first level of this hellhole, there was a level before this called ‘Level 0’ a yellow maze with a single entity roaming around that place but that doesn’t matter now that you’re here! This is ‘Level 1’ a safe area where few entities reside, but they almost never show themselves so you should be fine! Now then… Moving on to the serious part. We are an organization of survivors; the name will be revealed later on. We’ve already explored many levels of the backrooms and are currently trying to rescue many wanderers like you who are currently lost! According to the map your supposed to take the left part of the crossroads and if your alone do so! But if you’re with two or more than two people…. One of you have to leave each other behind and take a shortcut leading directly to our headquarters through the hole in the top right corner of the room while the other has to take the long and a bit dangerous path of the left. The reason behind that is that is a highly dangerous entity inside the left path that awakens when it is in the presence of two or more people. Well, that’s about it! Oh and. Do. Not. Attempt to go into the hole at the same time or while your alone. It will lead you to a very, highly dangerous level. Signing out.”

“…Well, you heard him…” Said Fredrick in a shaken voice.

“…Yeah.” Said James in the same tone.

“Looks like we’re outside of reality.”

“In the backrooms that is….”

“Well, cheer up! We’ll be meeting other survivors soon! You’ll take the shortcut and get familiar with them while I rest up a bit and take the long path.”

“…But”

“No buts! You’ll take the short cut.”

“….”

“Look, if I took the shortcut do you seriously think you could walk all the way through that path all alone?”

“…I guess not.”

“I thought so too, now you go through that path and make yourself familiar with the survivors and tell them of my awesome tale!”

“…Heh, sure buddy. I’ll meet you on the flip side! Make sure to be there quick though!”

“No problem. See you later!”

James then proceeds to walk towards the hole in the ground.

“Gulp… That is one deep fall… Fredrick, actually lets switch place-“ James is then cut abruptly.

“Oh just shut up and go!”

Fredrick then pushes James.

“Wait- Wait- AHHHHh!” James then falls down the hole.

“…Honestly that guy. Putting that aside I’m still worn out, I’ll just rest up for now…”

“…Other people aside us huh.” Said Fredrick before drifting off.

He then wakes up a few hours later.

“Alright! All the pain in my muscles are gone! Let’s head full speed towards James and the people who supposedly know everything!”

“Three,”

“Two,”

“ONE!”

James then charges towards the left path at blinding speeds.

The end. To be continued…..

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