For a few short moments Eva reeled from the shock and pain of being buried under a pile of brick and rubble. She could barely breathe with the weight coming down on her, not to mention all the dust in the air. Fortunately, she could still move her arms enough to start pushing the debris off. Coughing the entire time, she slowly managed to climb out of the pile and get back on her feet.
“Shall we continue, Miss Eva?” asked Anubis as she dusted off her pants.
The jackal sat patiently not more than five feet away from her. He hadn’t even shifted his position, and yet there was not so much as a speck of dust on him. He barely seemed to have batted an eye.
“Give me a minute, a wall just fucking fell on top of me! Oh – and I’m fine by the way,” she coughed bitterly. “Asshole.”
Anubis shrugged and looked off down the revealed path. It was dark and difficult to tell what was over there, and Eva could only make out that it had changed from an alley to a long hallway.
“What the hell just happened?” Eva asked.
“A simple hint into your inner issues,” Anubis explained. “It means we are making progress. If your heart stagnated and refused to change, you wouldn’t be able to leave. As long as we can keep moving we will be fine.”
“Are you serious?” Eva cried, “That nearly killed both of us!”
Anubis chuckled. “You nor I can die here, remember?”
“Right…” she said, remembering her arrival to this world. She sighed. “Let’s just get going.”
Eva made her way through the darkened hallway with Anubis just behind her. She had to move slowly for fear of the hazards that may lie ahead. For all she knew, there could be a bottomless pit just inches away from her.
“Any chance you know of a way to brighten this place up, Anubis?” she asked.
“I’m afraid not,” he replied. “You needn’t worry; this place will reveal itself to us shortly.”
“Of course,” Eva said, looking for any trace of light. There was nothing but pitch-black darkness as far as she could tell. There was not even any light emanating from the way they had come. She wondered if the path behind them had closed somehow.
Thinking it was useless to wander around in the dark and worried they could be trapped again, Eva was about to turn around when with a subtle hum, lights flickered on above their heads. The fluorescent bulbs began to let off a steady glow, and Eva immediately recognized the type of building that she and her companion had wandered into.
The long, wide hallway had many doors on either side. Art and posters that adorned the walls were of cartoonish characters encouraging their viewers to read and study. Little coats and backpacks were lined up along the walls on hooks. There were even some display cases that held simple projects, pictures, awards that very clearly belonged to children,
“You have got to be fucking kidding me!” Eva cried. “We’re in a school? Seriously? I thought Hell was supposed to be creative.”
“Whatever do you mean?” Anubis asked.
Eva let out a frustrated groan. “It’s too damn obvious! Anyone who has known me for half a second knows that I fucking hate them! Stick me in a school for all eternity, it’s guaranteed to make me miserable.”
“That certainly does not surprise me.” Anubis said with a sly grin. “Such a dim individual could never find a place like this enlightening.”
“I didn’t ask for your opinion,” Eva said, staring daggers at her companion as she began to walk down the hall. She scanned her surroundings to look for an exit. The place seemed no different from an ordinary elementary. What was so scary about little kids’ school and what could a place like this have anything to do with her?
“I guess I should just be glad it’s not my real high school,” Eva said. “That place is a nightmare.”
As if in answer, a nearby intercom clicked on. The voice that spoke softly in a deep monotone: “All the ignorant must now be accounted for reality training.”
The intercom fell silent but a new flurry of activity could be heard from behind school doors. What began as unpleasant mumbles and groans quickly grew into a deep growling accented by several angry yells. It unnerved Eva so much that it left her wondering what was really in this school with them.
“Don’t be so quick to make judgments,” Anubis warned as the classroom doors began to open. “In this place, things are often far worse than they appear.”