Leave the World Behind


I was so happy that we were finally in the crowded streets of the Bazaar. “What are we supposed to be doing?” Fridge asks.
“Looking for the missing piece of the map,” Martha said looking around.
“So we just start asking around for it?” Fridge wanted to know the game plan.
“No, I don’t think we should draw attention to ourselves. Maybe one of the vendor’s has it.” I look at all the booth. Most were selling food or clothing.
“I agree with Jenny. I think we look around, scope the place out, but most importantly be discreet.” He made sure to look at Fridge when he said the last part.
“Rations! Get your rations!” A man waves a loaf of bread around.
“Does anyone have any money? I'm literally starving.” Bethany whines. I hand her a ten dollar bill I took off the bikers.
“Thank.” She and Martha move through the crowd to the man.
“Guys, I think the game is trying to tell us to keep our health up.” Spencer told us. He smolder as he said, “We need to eat.”
“Okay, stop doing that.” Fridge said while I giggle.
“Someone upset that someone else is the chick magnet and not them.” I tease as I went to get some bread.
“Oh, my God, this is so good. I haven't had bread since I was, like, 9.” Bethany moans as she eats.
“Are you serious?” I raise any eyebrow at her.
“How do you think I got these abs?” She smirks. The vendor looks at Shelly’s pot stomach in confusion.
“Let me try some of that.” Fridge took a piece from her. He took a big bite and got a concerned look on his face. “Mm. Wait, what...? What is this?” He asks the vendor.
“That's my famous pound cake.” He gave him a smile.
“Cake?” I gasped as I back up not wanting him to explode by me.
“Bethany, you said this was bread.” Fridge said, keeping the cake in his mouth not daring to shallow it.
“It's been so long, I forgot what it tastes like.” She shrugs apologetically.
“How do you forget what...? What's hap… is something happening to me?” He turns to ask me.
“No.” I shook my head.
“Am I... Am I shaking?” He asks. I shook my head again. “Am I breaking out?” He felt his face.
“No, clear skin,” I told him.
“Am I still black?” He looks down at his hands.
“Yes.” I nod my head.
“Okay. Okay, right? We're fine. Everything's fine.” He smiles at us, although none of us were convinced. “It's okay. It probably just meant that I love cake, that I couldn't resist it. Yeah. Hey, it's all good...” He moves over to Spencer before exploding. I duck behind one of the pillars to protect myself from the blast.
The game chimes and rumbles, sending Fridge down from the sky. He went through the roof and land in someone booth, breaking a table and having a shelf land on him. “God! Oh! Ow! What the hell? Ugh!” Fridge yells.
“Like I said important to be discreet,” Spencer lifts the shelf off of him.
“Hey, you also said eat.” He snapped at him.
“Rations! Get your...” The vendor came around waving the bread.
“You better shut your ass up!” Fridge growl at him, making the man run away.
“Dr. Bravestone. Thank goodness you're here. Jumanji needs you.” A little boy wearing the local clothing ran up to Spencer.
“Uh thanks. Good to be here.” He nods, not knowing what else to say.
“Ask about the missing piece.” Martha pushes Bethany to the boy.
“Oh, right. Hi. I'm Bethany. I mean… Professor Shelly, something. I'm a map doctor, and I have this map that, like, has a missing piece.” She bent down to talk to the little boy.
The boy’s eyes stay on Spencer, like he didn’t even hear her. “Dr. Bravestone. Thank goodness you're here. Jumanji needs you.”
“Rude.” She scoffed.
“I think it’s got to be you, Spencer. You’re the leading man in this game.” I nudge him.
“We need to find the missing piece.” He told the boy.
The boy motions with his head of us to follow him. He led us to this tent that had a basket sitting in the middle of it. “What you need is in the basket. One false move, you're in a casket. Trust one another, and never blink. The missing piece is not what you think.” The boy gave us a riddle.
“Oy vey,” Spencer sighs.
“Why the fuck can’t people say what they mean here?” I snap. I hated riddles.
“Good luck, mighty hero. Jumanji needs you.” The boy smiles at Spencer.
“Jumanji needs him. We know. You said it several times.” Fridge spat out bitterly. The boy ran off smiling like he didn’t hear him.
“So thinking there's a, um… a snake in there or something?” He stares at the basket in the middle of the room.
“Yep, sounds like a Bravestone thing to me.” Fridge nods his head.
“Why would this be a Bravestone thing?” He whines.
“You're the hero. You heard what he said. Jumanji needs you. Now, get.” He jerks his head for him to get in the room.
As Spencer steps into the room, the drums started beating again. “I don't wanna do this!” He turns around to yell at us.
“You have to if we want to beat this game.” I yell at him. Spence nod his head taking a deep breath to hover his hands over the basket. We step in the room keeping our backs against the wall, trying to support Spencer while not getting too close.
He lifts up the cover to reveal a snake. “Black mamba!” Fridge scream, point at it. It hissed in response to the yelling, making Martha gasp.
“Fridge, what the fuck? If you freak out, the snake will freak that.” I scold him.
“That's a black mamba. A quarter milligram of its venom is enough to kill an adult. You'll feel a tingling in your mouth and extremities, followed by a fever, foaming at the mouth, and ataxia, which means loss of muscle control. How do I know that?” He freak out about the knowledge he never learn inside his head.
“What do we do?” Martha was close to tears, being that venom was her weakness and she only had two lives.
“See anything else in there?” Bethany asks.
“I didn't have time.” He told us. We groan, being at a loss of what to do. “"Trust one another and never blink. Never blink.” He repeated what the boy told us.
“You guys, I think it's a staring contest.” Bethany said with excitement.
“What are you talking about?” I stare at her like she was insane.
“Think about it. Never blink?” She emphasized the last two words.
“Guys, I think she's right. At camp, they used to tell us if you see a rattlesnake, don't move. I think someone has to make direct eye contact and not blink.” Spencer told us the game plan.
“And then Spencer will reach in and grab whatever else is in there.” Bethany volunteers him for that part.
“What? Why me again?” He whines.
“Because you're Bravestone,” Martha point at him.
“Okay, fine. Who's good at staring and not blinking?” He looks around for who would do the other part of the plan. Fridge began to blink repeatedly, making me slap his shoulder.
“I'm amazing at it.” Bethany admits painfully.
“Then this is your moment.” Martha nod to her.
“You got this Bethany, giving it your selfie stare.” I patted her on the back.
She kneels in front of the basket, so she would be eye level with snake. Spencer held the anger snake in as it was shaking the basket around. “Just say when.” He told her.
“Now,” She said. Spencer lifts the lid up. The black mamba came face to face with Bethany. It didn’t care at all that she kept its stare. The mamba hisses and launches itself at her face. She duck out of the way just in time.
Fridge grabs me as he went down to the floor to get us out of it swinging range. I watch from the ground as the snake flew at Martha’s face. Spencer grabs the mamba right after its head just in time. It was still hissing and thrashing around to get to her.
“What do we do?” He asks, now that he had a good grip on the snake.
“You got to defang it.” Fridge said as he stood up and helps me up.
“I got to what?” Spencer cried out.
“You got to pull his mouth back from the blind spot to disorient it. But be very careful of the venom gland and the exposed secondary venom duct. Then you got to snap its teeth......out of its head.” He went over there and did it was he explain it. He dropped it to the ground, now that it was no longer dangerous. It slides away. I stared at him with lust filled eyes at him taking control like that.
“I guess it wasn't a staring contest.” Bethany said, wondering what the riddle meant then.
“Trust each other and never blink.” Martha repeats it, thinking about it herself.
“You trusted me. You trusted me, and I defanged the snake. I did it. I did that.” Fridge points at himself as he puffs his chest out in pride.
“It was really hot.” I gasp, fanning myself off.
“Oh yeah,” He did a peacock strut over to me.
“Yeah,” I blush. He looks back to see Spencer and Martha staring at each other and Bethany was looking in the basket. He leaned forward and up to give me a peck on the lips.
“You guys? This does not look like a piece of a map.” Bethany said making the two couples turn towards her. She held up a little elephant figurine.
“The missing piece is an elephant?” Spencer narrows his eyes.
“Oh, wait, there's something written on the wrapping paper. When you see me, begin the climb.” She read the paper out loud.
“Begin the climb? When you see an elephant?” Martha said, not understanding what that meant.
“Another stupid fucking riddle,” I grumbled.
“I defanged a snake,” Fridge smiles to himself.
We walk out of the tent, back into the crowded street. “So keep your eyes peeled for an elephant, I guess? That's, like, the next level of the game?” Bethany searches the paper for any clues to where we could find the elephant.
“Fuck.” I said underneath my breath when I heard a familiar engine revving. We saw a group of thugs wear familiar clothes; make their way through the street. They were searching the area, pushing locals out of their way.
“Hey!” A man yells and points at us.
“Run!” Fridge screams. We didn’t need to be told twice. We ran down the street the best we could with how crowded it was.
“Watch out! GET OUT THE WAY!” I push and shove people since I was leading the pack except for Spencer who was running ahead of me. “Jump!” I yell over my shoulder to them as I jump onto baskets that were all lines up in a roll as I ran across them.
We ran to an open clearing where we saw Spencer fighting a couple thugs. “Duck! Block! Ka-blam! Evade! Punch! Wall toss!” He yells out every move he made.
“That is insane.” Bethany gasps, as we stare at the hole in the wall. We follow Spencer as he continues to fight guys.
He caught a knife before it impales itself in Fridges’ face. “Let's do this.” He gave the knife to him before going on to fight.
“Do what? Put it in my backpack.” He hands me the knife and I did as he said.
“Dodge! Head slam! Throw through ceiling!” He yelled out some more moves.
“Ah!” We yell out as the guy went high in the air. He throws another guy into a pillar breaking it when someone shot a gun in the air. People screamed and ran away.
“Hello, doctor. It’s been a long time. I believe you have something that belongs to me.” A man from the background story steps from out of the shadows. Van Pelt had more henchmen behind him.
“We just want to go home.” Spencer told him. His henchmen gun cocked their guns to point it at us.
Smoke bomb drops in front of us covered the whole area with gray smoke. “Come on! Come with me! Hurry!” A man told us. I was quick to follow him, thinking he couldn’t take me anywhere worse than here.
“Get him!” Van Pelt yelled. Shot started being fired.
The mystery man leads us to an empty hallway and lifts a manhole cover up. He orders us, “Come on. Down here. Come on. Quick!” We climb down as fast as we could. I look around after I drop down, I was surprise to see we were in an underground tunnel and no a sewer.
He put the manhole cover back before climbing down the ladder. He pulls down his scarf to reveal a handsome face. Bethany and I share a look of interest. “Shh!” He put his finger to his mouth before anyone could ask any questions. Van Pelt’s men were literally running over us.
“I need you to follow me and do exactly as I say. Let's move.” He lights up a torch. We follow him down a narrow walkway. We went in a single file line of the handsome mystery man, Martha, Bethany, me, Fridge, and Spencer.
“Oh my God, you guys, I am so stoked you are here. You have no idea. So stoked,” He throws a pantie dropping smile over his shoulder at us, making Bethany and I sigh dreamily.
“Calm yourself, woman. I bet he can’t even defang a snake.” Fridge whispers in my ear. I roll my eyes at his jealousy. Serve him right, after all those years of seeing him with his numerous girlfriends.
“You are?” Martha asks.
“I mean I saw you guys in the bazaar, and I thought to myself, no way. Then I was like, yeah, that's… Backs against the wall!” He screams the last part. We did that as spears come flying out at us.
“Oh, my goodness!” Fridge yells. We stare jaw dropped at the skeleton that was pinned against the wall get its skull crushed.
“Let's keep moving.” He led us further down the tunnel. “Watch your step in here.” He warned us.
“Yeah, I got that.” I mutter. I step careful making sure I didn’t trigger anything.
“Um, who are you?” Martha asks seeing that we could talk now.
“And who do you think we are?” Fridge asks his own question.
“Right. Sorry, okay, my bad. Um… let me backup a little bit here.” He said, as he tries to figure out where to start.
“Wait, are you the pilot? Seaplane somebody?” Spencer calls from the back of the line.
“Yeah, that's me.” He pointed to himself.
“Wait a minute. You're the other character that was taken. So you're in the game too?” Fridge remembers the character he tried to choose.
“Fridge, you could have been hot instead of short.” I whisper to him.
“Excuse me?” He put his hand on his chest.
“Stay off the white bricks...” The pilot said.
“What?” Spencer said.
I look down and move my toes quickly off the white bricks. “And freeze.” He instructed. I let out a scream with everyone else as huge blades came up from the ground. After a few seconds they went back into the ground. “So gnarly,” He chuckled shaking his head before walking further in.
“This game sucks,” Fridge whispers behind me.
The pilot put his arm out to stop Martha from going forward. He drops his torch down a hole. I heard what sounded like something thrashing around in the water.
“What was that Martha?” I ask, seeing her staring down.
“Crocodiles,” She looks back at us with wide eyes.
“Next time Martha, the answer is none of your damn business.” I shallows the lump in my throat.
“Alright, get this plank.” He put down a plank that was leaning up against the wall and put it down over the gaping hole in the ground. “Follow me.” He walked over the plank. “Careful. It's a horrible way to die.” He warned Martha before she could step on it. She gingerly walks over the plank. “There you go. Alright,” He grabs her when she was in reaching distance to help her across.
Somehow Bethany was in the back of the pack and I was next. “Can you go next?” I turn to Fridge. He nods his head and I move to the back of the line.
“What wrong girl?” Bethany whispers.
“I went on vacation in Florida and a crocodile almost got me.” I told her. She nods her head in understanding.
Fridge froze midway, but made it across. Spencer walk across it like was nothing. Bethany was walking across when a crocodile jump up almost getting her foot. She ran across the rest of the way and end up stumbling into the pilot pushing him up against the wall.
“Hi there,” She whispered to him seductively. I’m sure if she was in her regular body she would have had him hooked but, she wasn’t.
“Hi.” He said uncomfortably.
I stood frozen as I stare down into the hole. I couldn’t see them but I could hear them thrashing around, snarling, and snapping their jaws. “Come on Jenny, this isn’t Florida you’ll be okay.” Spencer tried to encourage me.
“You’re right this isn’t Florida. Florida has normally crocodile. These are Jumanji’s crocodile. There probably bigger, faster, stronger, and more aggressive.” I sat down and curl up away from the edge. “Go on without me.” I rock myself.
“Jennifer stop talking stupid. We aren’t going on without you. Now get your ass up and walk across that damn plank.” Fridge demands.
I shut my eyes and bury my head in my knees. Someone playing with my ponytail made me jerks up. I saw the face of the handsome pilot. “I did this for the other Connie, so I know I can do this for you.” He told me.
“Do what?” I narrow my eyes at him.
“Do you trust me?” He whispers, looking deep into my eyes.
My first thought was hell no, I don’t know you. But, then I felt a tug deep within me that said yes. “I do. I shouldn’t because I don’t know you but I do. You think its cause Connie trust Seaplane?” I ask.
“Maybe,” He gave me that smile that made me melt. “Okay now, stay calm.” He put one arm under my knees and another behind my back and lifts me up.
I wrap my arms around his neck. “Are you sure about this?” I ask as he walks towards the plank.
“Like I said I did this before.” He shrugged and stepped onto the plank. I close my eyes and buried my face in his shoulder and neck.
“Give her to me.” Fridge helps me down when I got to the other side
I let out a breath of relief when my feet touch the ground. “Thank you,” I turn in Fridge’s arms to smile at Seaplane.
“It’s no problem. Now, come on” He led us through a latch door, bring us back to the forest. We ran through the door, happy to be out of the tunnel of hell. “Anyway, I'm Alex.” He introduces himself.
“I’m Spencer Gilpin. This is Martha, Jennifer, Fridge and Bethany.” Spencer introduces himself then the rest of us. I smile and wave when he said my name.
“Bethany? You're a girl?” He points to her in question.
“Woman,” She corrected him. He laughs, that moment in the tunnel making sense to him now.
“In real life, you'd probably wanna hit that.” Fridge points at her. She smacks him lightly on the shoulder, while I smack him hard upside the head.
He looked at her in confusion then me. “Don’t be disgusting.” I hiss at him.