Forgotten is a drama fic written by Gumball2.
Darkness. Just plain black. I was certain that I was awake, but I wanted to be asleep. The emptiness I was a true nightmare; away from my friends and loved ones. Away from my home. The pain struck my mind, but my body was numb.
Suddenly, a noise was made and a white light burnt my eyes. I clenched them shut. I then heard a noise.
"Get up!" a deep voice screamed.
My eyes reopened, but just barely. I could definitely see, though, a silhouette of a large, bulky man. He appeared strong and threatening, so I attempted to follow his orders.
I made an effort to get up from chair that I had sat in for an unknown period of time. I predicted that I was there for a while because my legs resisted motion.
The man was impatient and grabbed my arm with his mighty grip.
As I tried to catch up with the man's movement, the passage that he entered started to be etched out in my mind. A long hallway with white walls and a red carpet. There were many doors on both sides. The man who was forcing me down it had dark skin, wore a yellow shirt and a white apron. He was also wearing a white chef's hat.
My legs collapsed and the man dragged me along the floor like I'm no more than a sled going up a hill.
I was then pulled along through a set of double doors that led to a large room. This room was black all around but was properly lit with florescent lights. In the room were about thirty others who looked as miserable as I did.
The bulky threw me onto my feet.
I obliged and made my way over to the end of the crowd I never met any of them and I'm sure none of them knew me.
"Welcome, my name is Chef. And you maggots have been selected from among thousands of applications to be interns in the upcoming season of Total Drama."
This confused me. I don't recall filling out an application and I only saw some episodes of said series.
"First thing's first. You!"
Chef pointed to a feeble man in the middle of the bunch. He then moved his mighty arm to his left and the wave included myself.
"All you to the left will come with me! Everyone else go into that room!"
The dark man then pointed to an adjacent room.
"You will wait there for Chris, who will give you further instructions."
I then remembered Chris McLean. One year earlier, his arrest was all over the news. They featured the island which lied in ruins. There were interviews by all the contestants of that season as well as environmental officials who talked of the damnation that the host has created. They also featured the mutated organisms that inhabited Wawanakwa. The fiasco went on for months including the trial. It was then decided that he would serve forty years for dumping. Total Drama was cancelled from what I heard. So to hear about it again left me in shock.
But there was no time for thought for Chef start to herd us like sheep into another set of double doors. This one led to a room with dark windows and benches. We were crammed into what minimal space we had and the doors shut.
"Hello?" I spoke hoarsely.
The man turned to me.
"Yeah?" he responded.
"Do you know where we're going?"
"I grew up watching Total Drama, so I think we're heading to the set."
Thinking about this experience made me wish I had seen this show more often so that I could understand what I was in for. But a lot of details right now were rather hazy.
"Did you...fill out the application?" I asked.
The man faced the window, never giving me a look.
"I don't think so."
I started to become nervous.
"Was I abducted? Did my parents give me away?"
A loud revving was heard and a bump resonated in the space. We were moving.
As I sat in the back of this mysterious vehicle, one question struck my mind.
I understand that Canada's population isn't terribly large, but what made me stand out from everyone else? I haven't seen very much of the actual show and I wasn't interested in going into film. So why didn't they pick some fans who would die for such a position.
I began to to recollect my past to see where I may have faltered.
Word of Total Drama Island airing spread through the nation. Commercials popped up all over Fresh TV, where the show would air. News and radio stations talked about it as well. And it was especially known in my hometown of Lundar; a small town in Manitoba.
Gwen Birch, a teenager who lived two streets down from me, had been selected as a cast member. Of course, it became the townsfolk's duty to exploit the girl as much as possible before she left for what we believed to be a five-star resort. For some reason, though, she didn't appear very enthusiastic about getting accepted and even less so about the local publicity.
But she wasn't the only local who would be leaving. Josh Triton, another teenager, would be an intern. He was always interested into going into film and this was the major intern opportunity for someone under eighteen. So it was obvious that he would sign up as it could lead to a scholarship and would guarantee valuable experience.
To my surprise, the vehicle stopped as I pondered this. We all sat in silence as we heard muffled footsteps get closer to us.
Then the doors flung open and Chef stood alone.
We obeyed his order as we filed out. The setting was completely different from the previous one. We found ourselves in the middle of a lush forest with towering trees. I wasn't sure where we were, but I scarcely remember hearing about Camp Wawanakwa.
The bunch of us started to follow the bulky man through the woods. This couldn't have been Wawanakwa; it was a nuclear wasteland. This form of life couldn't exist in such a place.
I then noticed that we started to head uphill. The trees were becoming higher, and the climb was becoming difficult. The steepness of this hill was almost too extreme for me to travel upon. My legs were burning like the sun. I wanted to think that Chef was going to stop, but he didn't. Given his strength, he could walk up such a slope forever and given his personality, he wouldn't stop for any of us.
The path did flatten out eventually, to my relief. I was ready to collapse at that point. But then I looked around and noticed that the surface that we were standing upon was no more than thirty feet wide. I wanted to investigate, but was interrupted by Chef's overpowering voice.
"I have brought you spineless pussies up here today to test out the first challenge. This time tomorrow, the contestants for the new season of Total Drama will be here to do this. First, I'm going to divide you into two teams. So get into two groups."
We all separated into our groups, however one was clearly bigger than the other.
"Make them even!"
Some of us, including myself, joined the smaller group. I wasn't sure if it were even, but it looked good enough for Chef.
"Now you will each take turns sending one person to jump off this cliff."
My heart jumped. I had heard about this challenge from the first season of Total Drama from my friends. This seemed most definitely like the infamous Camp Wawanakwa.
"On the lake floor, there will be many keys. One of which will be the key to the spa hotel. Now since I'm lazy, I'm only going to have a few of you jump. So..."
The dark man looked from one of us and decided to pick a random man from the other team. This man had short black hair and had a normal stature.
He proceeded timidly to the edge of the cliff and looked over. Chef used this opportunity to push the man off.
We then heard a loud scream that slowly became softer and softer. I pushed everyone aside to get to the front of the crowd. I had to see what I was in for.
As Chef had said, there was a lake over that cliff. The jump looked death defying.
I was able to briefly see the man before he crashed into the water. After a few seconds, I heard some barely audible screams and splashes and then the water started to be stained with red. Blood.
"Well, looks like we need another jumper. Maybe someone who can actually get a key!"
The pressure was just too much for me and I panicked.
I let out a large scream in terror before running back down the hill. My legs were still sore from the climb, but I didn't care.
But it didn't matter. I was thrown to the ground. I hit hard. Chef had a tight grip on me and he started to take me back to the top.
"Looks like we got ourselves a volunteer!" he yelled.
I squirmed in his arms to try to break his grip, but it wasn't affected by even my greatest efforts.
I got a shaky view of the lake before the man threw me off.
Everything was spinning. One moment I was facing the others, and the next I was facing my potential death.
I thought of my family and friends back in Lundar as I started to approach the water. I never thought that I would disappear off the face of the earth without giving them a farewell.
But the experience was too fast for me to wish them condolences. I crashed into the water hard. Sharp pains spiked through my chest and legs. I was surprised that I didn't lose consciousness.
As Chef had said, there were many keys scattered across the sandy floor.
It was hard for me to move with the water's powering friction and my stinging muscles.
But it was then that I saw something I never expected. A large organism was swimming in the fresh waters. It resembled a shark. I tried to set aside the fact that such beings couldn't exist in a lake, but then I made the connection between it and the red stain.
I struggled to move my arms appropriately to get to the bottom to grab a key. But it was during that time that the shark had noticed me and started to make its advances.
I panicked and grasped the first key that I could with the tip of my finger. But as I raised it, it freed itself from it and started to sink back down.
I positioned myself in a position to get back, but as I got a firm grip on it, the shark bit my left ankle.
I wanted to scream, but my mouth would only be filled with water. And given the period of time I've been done here, I wasn't willing to take that chance. Luckily, I felt no further injuries and used what little energy I had left to push myself to the surface.
Upon being reunited with the air-filled environment, I gasped and took in the vital resource.
Slowly, I inched my way back to the sandy shore with my sore arms. But it was when I crawled upon it that my left ankle stung harder than anything else. The sand didn't help.
I bit my teeth as I held in the pain. It seemed as if the others abandoned me and I was left here to die.
Eventually, though, a shadow lurked over me. I looked with tear-filled eyes to see Chef and the others.
I was hoping that the man would bring me to the infirmary, but instead stood there waiting.
A few minutes afterward, a medic showed up and took out a first aid kit.
As the man started to look through it, Chef intervened.
He then took out a white roll, stripped off a piece and wrapped it hastily around my leg.
"Walk it off, we have another challenge to test out tomorrow!"
As the others started to walk off the medic used the opportunity to remove the bandage.
He then appropriately applied rubbing alcohol.
I bit my tounge and let out a grunt.
The medic then took out a clean roll and wrapped it several times over to insure that the bandage was secure.
"Try to rest it. It should be able to heal." he said.
I then attempted to get up. The medic was kind enough to help me out.
The two of us then started to walk back to camp. It was then that I got a closer look at the man. He had moderate brown hair that was covered by a red hat that read "Paramedic". He was also wearing a red shirt and cargo shorts.
"So why did you help me?" I asked.
The man looked at me odd, as if I had said something odd.
"You were injured, of course."
"Well...it's just that you seem very nice compared to Chef."
"Yeah, him and Chris are terrible people in my opinion. I can't believe this show got approved for another season."
"So are you working for this show because you pity the contestants?"
"Most definitely. I've been a medic for every season. A lot of the people I've met along the way are good and they deserve more than this nightmare. Of course they probably signed up not knowing what they were in for. My only question to you is why did you sign up now knowing how awful people like you are treated around here?"
"I didn't sign up."
The brunette looked at me again with that confused expression.
"Or at least, I don't remember doing so. I've barely even seen the show."
"Well that doesn't make any sense. Everyone I've known from the past seasons signed up."
It was then that we arrived at a bland white building. It was a single floor composed of weary wood planks ready to fall apart.
The man sighed.
"Well...this will be your living quarters. I hope you can make it."
But I wasn't ready to leave this man yet. I had just one unanswered question.
"By the way. What's your name?"
"Richard Sanders. What's your's?" he said.
"Malcolm Trenton." I responded.
I walked into the building where I saw a series of bunk beds that appeared to be falling apart. The sheets were clearly unwashed and the walls were stained with an unknown substance. Some of the fellow interns were talking among each other, while others were thinking about their lives.
I then noticed in the far corner the same brunette that I had talked to in the vehicle. He was alone.
Considering he was the only intern that I have gotten to know even slightly, I made my way over to him.
It was then that I saw his entire face. He was in no way showing any sort of mark on it. His brown eyes were filled with sadness.
"Do you need a friend?" I asked.
"Certainly." he almost whispered.
Finding myself comfortable, I found a seat upon the bed.
"I...don't know your name."
It was then that I remember him saying that he watched this show.
"I grew up watching Total Drama, so I think we're heading to the set."
"Can you tell me more about Total Drama?" I asked.
"You've never seen it?"
"I only saw part of the pilot. I heard a couple other things like that challenge we just did. And I know very well about the nuclear waste story from last year."
"I've seen every episode, thank God. At least now I know what to expect."
"Expecting what? More of that cliff diving stuff?"
"No. Much worse." he said bluntly.
The man looked at me dead in the eye.
"What do you mean?" I asked softly.
"Where do I start?" Sam gruffed.
"People had to slide down hills covered in land mines. People had to escape a flooding submarine before they drowned. People had to walk around deep mines with all sorts of damned creatures in it. I thought it was all scripted; that every monster was an animatronic and that every explosion was a special effect!" he said with a silent anger and intensity. His face was filled with resentment and pain.
"To think that every time someone got blown away...I laughed..." he started to lose his voice.
"I...talked with my friends the day after each episode aired. We would sit on a curb...and we would talk about it. Of course we talked about events in the game...but nothing hit the spot for us more than to talk about the challenges. We were vivid too. No fart, explosion, fall, or scream would go ignored. And even in looking back, we still couldn't hold ourselves in when those scenes came to mind..."
I felt awful. To think that I provoked his emotions in an unintentional, yet effective method. I can really be stupid like that.
As a form of compensation, I gave the man a pat on the back.
"I'm sorry..." I said.
Of course that wouldn't be adequate to override such emotions stemming from a self-hatred.
"What are you sorry for?" Sam asked.
"For bringing you to this."
"It wasn't you...it was life."
We received no outside word from Chef for the rest of the day. We didn't even get a meal.
Sam remained still for the rest of the day, agonizing over his destroyed innocence. I didn't bother him and sat on the other side of the bottom bunk.
I wondered what it felt like to undergo such a blow. I assumed it would be like finding out you were adopted or that your next door neighbor is a cold-blooded murderer. I could imagine being in pain, but the realities behind it could not simulated in any way. It would have to hit you head on. The brain is kind of funny that way. It knows how you're supposed to feel, but you can never prepare for the wave. And when it strikes, it's force is unyielding and you forget everything else around you. I would have thought that the radiation scandal last year would have left him like this, but no words can ever outweigh actions; ones that you see right before your eye.
Eventually, exhaustion started to overpower me. Our residential quarters lacked any windows and clocks, so it was hard to tell. The door at the entrance was sealed shut. Light couldn't possibly enter this space. Luckily, these people were kind enough to give us a set of lights that dangled along the ceiling. They flickered constantly and were cut off every so often.
I didn't care whether it was day or not, and I let myself fall into slumber.
"Total Drama Island! Coming this summer to Fresh TV!"
I stared at the television screen as I saw Chris McLean, one of the biggest stars in the world. It was practically to not have seen him somewhere. I knew him as a Canadian ice skater at the 2006 Winter Olympics. His work on the ice absolutely dazzled me. And of course, I have heard people at school who knew him from other things. You name it! Movies, comedies, and game shows. It seemed like this was all he needed left to be a universal icon.
Sadly, nobody in Lundar has heard anything from Gwen or Josh since they left about four months earlier. But that didn't mean I wasn't excited for the upcoming series.
My mother was in the other room, preparing dinner that night when the phone rang. Being the mother I knew her for, she picked it up and greeted the caller.
Obviously, I couldn't make out who it was or what they were saying, but just by looking through the short hallway, she showed great concern.
"What?" she said sadly.
She continued to listen to the other person. I certainly wasn't naive. I was eleven years old, so I had a general understanding of the real world.
My mother started to twirl her lush, blonde hair with her finger.
"I'll be right over!"
She then hung up and started to put on her jacket. I rose from the couch and approached her.
"What's going on?" I asked concerned.
"I need to go somewhere."
Her urgency was really eating me up.
"What about dinner?"
"You're gonna have to make yourself a sandwich, honey."
At this point, she was frantically rushing out the door, but I was able to stop her.
"Can I come with you?"
"No. This is something that I must do alone."
"When will you be back?"
My mother froze for a moment, unsure how to answer that question.
"I don't know."
And with those words, she left into the cold spring night.
"Everyone up!" a loud voice rang.
Those words awakened me and I looked over to see Chef at the doorway.
"Everyone to the mess hall!"
I, along with everyone else started to trudge their ways to the narrow door.
"Hurry! The contestants will be here in an hour!"
His intimidating voice was powerful enough to make us move faster. There was definitely a jam at the door, but we were all out there in under a minute.
Similar to our walk to the challenge the previous day, Chef took the lead, while we followed. Luckily, this trek wasn't nearly as excruciating as the previous. There was no extreme climbs and it appeared shorter.
What we were presented with wasn't surprising after being introduced to such crude and negligent conditions; a rundown building that had to be at least thirty years old and had never even heard of repairs or inspection. The entrance was a stairway and porch composed of rotting wood planks, poor carpentry, and abysmal maintenance. And the interior was far worse; with moldy, shattered windows and filthy tables. Not to mention, that the place was infested with rats.
Chef made his way towards the back, where he got behind a large window, with a metal rack along the other side.
"Grab a tray!"
We obliged and started to form a line. Sadly for me, I got cramped into the middle. In almost any other scenario, I would tolerate such placement. But having been malnourished for a day, plus God knows how much time I've been knocked out, I was desperate. My stomach felt terribly empty and I yearned for it to be filled.
The line did move quickly as Chef almost threw portions onto people's trays.
Once I got to the start of the rack, I grabbed a metal tray from the giant stack that had been set up. There was barely any time for how quickly Chef made us move along.
When I finally got to the dark man, he quickly placed up his large, wooden spoon and slammed upon the tray food. Said food was an pile of white mash. I assumed it was mashed potatoes based on the observation and made my way to one of the tables.
There were no utensils provided, so I had to resort to my bare hands. So in a wanting, but not brutish fashion, I grabbed a handful of the mash and stuffed it into my mouth. What I tasted wasn't mashed potatoes. Far from it, in fact. I had no idea what it even was. I looked down at the food to find some sort of filling, but it was the same as what the surface provided. I didn't know if it was even possible to produce something with such an awful taste, yet an innocent appearance. On any other occasion, I would jump to my feet to spit it out, followed by ingesting a liquid. Usually water. But there wasn't any beverage to be had. Besides, I didn't have the will to resist food; my brain would not allow it.
And thus I swallowed desperately and reached for another handful. I devoured it and moved on to the next. To my surprise, there were only three handfuls of the meal. It would not suffice under any circumstances.
I looked up to see if Chef was still serving, but the man was standing in front of it impatiently. He had a lot of tension on his face, just barely hanging on.
From his apron pocket, he produced a phone and glanced at it.
"Let's go!" he yelled before making his way to the door.
I saw him as he did this. He marched quickly and orderly to the door. And then he turned and looked at us, infuriated.
"Come on! We don't got all day!"
The anger in this man's voice got to me once again and I rose, as with the others to the door.
And thus, we were set to follow him once more.
To Be Continued