Excitement and joy filled every corner of the small airplane. Everyone was laughing, smiling, and high on life. Who wouldn't be happy? It's not every day you win a free, all-expenses paid trip to Maui from a cereal box! It was a ridiculous idea, really. More than a few raised an eyebrow upon seeing the contest advertised. Now that the pipe dream of actually winning was realized, nobody gave it a second thought!
Twenty-four strangers with no relation to each other, all picked randomly for a trip to paradise. Twenty-four men and women, young and old, black and white, gathered for the ultimate vacation. At least, that was the tag they put on it.
The raucous and jovial commotion from the passengers was silenced as a voice came over the loudspeaker. "Attention, ladies and gentlemen," a sweet, feminine voice said. A young and attractive flight attendant with fiery red hair stepped to the front of the cabin. Her smile was diminished only by the winners present. A name tag on her suit clearly read, "Erika." "First, let me congratulate you on winning Paradise Excursions' grand prize."
A short round of applause rang out among the passengers, along with a few hoots and hollers. "We will be arriving at Kahului Airport soon. Please fasten your seatbelts as we begin our descent. Several tour guides will be awaiting you at the airport. Once again, congratulations, and enjoy your vacation." Erika exited with another, longer, bout of applause sounding.
When she entered the cockpit, her warm smile twisted into a thick frown of annoyance. She grumbled to herself as she kicked off her extremely uncomfortable high heels. The things I do to get a job done, she mused.
"How'd it go?" the pilot asked her. He was a gruff and rotund man who had seen better days since his youth many years ago.
"Perfect. Not a hitch." Erika grinned at a job well done. "Poor bastards," she added sadistically.
The pilot scoffed. "Poor us. We're the ones who gotta clean and cover everything up."
"Come on, Ollie," Erika said encouragingly. "You have to admit you love it?"
The pilot, Ollie, laughed once. "I guess I have to."
Erika pulled out a box of cigarettes and lighter. She offered one to Ollie, who refused. "So where is this place, anyway?" she asked as she lit up her smoke.
"About a hundred miles off of the shore of Oahu. Not too far off our 'real' course, actually. Not even an Olympic swimmer could get off the island."
Erika picked up the flight manifest, which had a list of all 24 people and their occupations. "Doesn't look like that's gonna be a problem with this group."
"Perfect." Ollie looked through the cockpit window and saw a single, lush, green island beginning to differentiate itself from the dense fog surrounding the are. "We're here," he announced to no one in particular.
"Let the games begin." Erika exhaled, releasing a cloud of smoke that filled the small chamber.
The plane began its rough descent into the fog, jostling a few passengers. The fog clouded the windows, making it almost impossible to see the approaching island. Perfect. Even the dumbest people knew Hawaii had many islands, and most sizable at that. For any of them to see an island in the middle of nowhere, no more than two miles in diameter―well, the boss wouldn't be very pleased.
The plane's speed reduced greatly as its wheels deployed. Even in the extreme fog, the perpetual joy and happiness among the passengers was impenetrable. The plane began to taxi down the runway, eventually stopping, but nowhere near an airport of any kind.
"Attention passengers, this is your pilot speaking," Ollie's voice sounded over the intercom. "We have arrived at our destination. Please exit the plane in an orderly fashion at the designated exit. You're luggage will already be placed in your hotel rooms. Thank you for flying Paradise Excursions Air."
The door in the fuselage opened, extending a staircase down to the ground. The passengers filed out quickly, but not safely. A young girl, probably a teenager, tripped in the walkway. Her chocolate brown hair was strewn across her baby face. A young man in his mid-twenties knelt down to help her to her feet.
"Are you all right?" the man asked.
"Ugh, yeah, I'm fine," she snapped back. She smoothed out the wrinkles on her expensive clothes with daggers coming out of her menacing, yet beautiful, amber eyes. Upon seeing the man, she bit her tongue. Even though she was rude to him, his brilliantly white smile gleamed on. Dirty-blonde hair with sun-bleached streaks covered his head in a casual, yet perfect disarray. Warm and caring ocean gray continued to look at the girl.
"Sorry, but how old are you?" the man asked. "If you don't mind me asking, that is."
"F―Fifteen," she stuttered.
"Bit young to be traveling alone?" he added with a short chortle.
"Uh, yeah. Guess so." This man shouldn't make her feel this nervous. Come on! There was like a ten year age difference! But he was just so…
"Well, this looks like a pretty good group. You'll be fine." He winked. "Oh, I'm Terran by the way."
He extended his hand. She took it slowly. "Sk―Skye. My name's Skye."
"It's nice to meet you, Skye. Now, we better get going." The crowd had moved on past them, and now they were two of the last people to get off. In typical Hawaiian fashion, several native Hawaiian girls in grass skirts and not much else placed leis gingerly around each of the passengers' necks. In not so typical Hawaiian fashion, they were all wearing gas masks.
"Uh, thanks," Terran told the girl who had given him his lei. "If you don't mind me asking, what's with the…" He gestured around his mouth.
"Old Hawaiian tradition!" the girl replied like it was obvious. "We all wear masks so we don't steal anything from your visit―including the first breaths you breathe!" Terran nodded and continued onward. No one else seemed to question it, so neither did he.
Once everyone was out on the runway, the pilot and flight attendant emerged both wearing the same gas masks, hiding their wicked smirks. In the pilot's hands was a small remote control. "Ladies and gentlemen if I can have all your attention please!" The crowd turned to look at the portly man. "You might want to go someplace soft right about now."
He pushed a single button on the remote. Immediately, every lei that was given out shot a thin stream of gas from a microscopic hole on the necklaces. One by one, every contest winner was knocked unconscious.
"Again, not a hitch." Erika looked to Ollie.
"Yep. Boss will be happy with this one!"
Hi everyone! This is a story based on a dream I had and also inspired by several other pieces of fiction, namely "The Most Dangerous Game" and "Battle Royale." If you've heard of either of those, you'll have an idea of what's going to happen. I'll try not to borrow too much, because I really want to make this my own story. Read and Review, and I'll update soon! :D