Jack stretched his arms out behind his head and yawned. He took his helmet off and carefully placed it next to the others. Collapsing in one of the recliners, he yawned some more.
“Playing NeurImmerison sure takes a lot out of you,” he commented.
“That, and the fact that we spent a lot more time in there than fifteen minutes,” Anya pointed out. “We were playing for close to an hour.”
Max let out a low whistle. “I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun.”
“Well,” Jack said, thinking for a second. “We should really get back to school soon, or at least home, so our parents don’t think anything is wrong.”
“If I don’t get home on time, my parents will kill me!” A worried look crept onto Anya’s face and she checked her watch. The look faded, but not completely. “We’ve still got about half an hour until school ends.”
Jack took out his portal gun and held it up. “So… We going back now?”
“I’ve had my fun,” Max replied. “Let’s go back.”
Jack started the portal gun up and opened it to the hallway that they left from. Max and Anya were quick to jump through it, and he followed right behind them closing the portal as soon as he was through.
Their return to school wasn’t as smooth as their exit, as a couple of teachers were in a semi circle at the end of the hallway, talking amongst themselves.
“Crap,” Max whispered. “Now how can we leave without them seeing us?”
Jack looked down the other end of the hallway, which was shrouded in darkness and gave off a sense of foreboding. Just looking at it threaded fear through him, just enough to make him not go down there.
“Why don’t we just go down the other way?” Anya asked quietly. “There should be other hallways leading off from it.”
“It’s better than getting caught by the teachers,” Max shrugged.
Jack gulped. “Okay,” He added nervously. “Let’s go.”
They started off into the darkness of the hallway, trying their best to be quiet. The beads of sweat that had been froming on his forehead started to disappear the further down the hallway they went. The shadows seemed to be less black now that he was surrounded by them, and Jack started to relax.
A side hallway emerged ahead of them and Anya turned to them.
“See?” She told them smugly. “I told you there would be another hallway.”
Their pace quickened as they turned onto the hallway, and they stopped trying to be so quiet. Light shown at the end of it, turning their dark grey world a shade lighter.
“Guys,” Max hissed worriedly. “We can’t continue.”
Jack turned to look at him. “Why not?” He asked curiously.
“Because,” Max let out a strangled noise. “You’re never supposed to go to the light at the end of the tunnel!” He burst out laughing at the end of it, his laugh echoing in the empty hallways.
“You should be a comedian,” Jack told him between laughs.
“I don’t get it,” Anya stated, confused. “This is not a tunnel, and the light is not at the end of it. Your joke does not fit this context.”
Max’s laughter died away. “In movies, when people are dying, others tell them not to go to the light. And we were heading towards a light, so…” He trailed off, hoping she’d get it now.
“So… what?” Anya tilted her head curiously.
“Never mind,” Max shook his head in disappointment. “If I have to explain it, then you’ll never get it.”
” Aaaaanyway,” Jack clapped his hands together. “Let’s get going.”
“Going… where?” A gravely voice asked from the shadows. “Going back to class would only bring on your punishment quicker.”
Anya stepped forward bravely. “You’re not in class, so you also must be ditching.”
“Ditching?” The voice laughed softly. “It’s impossible for me to ditch.”
“Then who are you?” Max asked, his voice wavering. “You’re not the school monster, are you?”
“No, I’m the security guard.” A dark figure stepped out of the shadows and Jack could see a hint of a grin on its face. “And you’ll be coming with me.”