Ryan clutched the hand of his son, Robby. Fascinated by the
tigers, he was attempting to climb onto the railing seperating
him from the animals. Since Ryan was only allowed to days with
his son - one in the summer, one during winter - he took Robby to
his favorite place in the world, the zoo.
Robby's birthday had been a few months ago. He had turned five in
May. Ryan wasn't even allowed to be there. When he did show up,
his ex-wife told him that technically, summer had been referred
to as when the school year ends. So here they were now, at the
zoo; Ryan had to make up for lost time.
Robby got bored of the tigers and dragged him along. He walked
towards the elephants. Robby was a little, excited dude with
short black hair and brown eyes. He would get bored of one thing
and move onto the next, only to get bored again. He got
acceptable grades and hardly ever got in trouble, or so he was
After a few more hours of wandering the zoo, Robby started
leading Ryan toward random places. They eventually ran into a
dead end; a brick wall leading to nothing.
"I think we've looked at everything here, Robby," Ryan said.
"Guess so, daddy. Where're we goin' now?" he asked.
Ryan stared at his son's big eyes. He had always found it hard to
lie to his son. "That's it Robby. We gotta go home now."
Robby defiantly held on to his dad's hand and followed him to the
car. Ryan strapped his son into the seat and shut the door.
"Pssst," called out a voice.
Ryan turned and looked around. He saw a man in the corner of the
front gate wall. Ryan signaled through the window to Robby,
telling him he'd be back.
The man met him halfway. He wore a black trenchcoat, black
sunglasses, and a black fedora, just like the typical shady guy
you met on the street.
"I happened to notice how sad you're son looked as he walked to
the car. Doesn't see you much, does he?"
Ryan stared at the man for a few seconds. "Yeah. My ex-wife got
custody of him."
"Son like the zoo?" he asked.
"Well, yeah. I didn't come hear for my health."
The man thrust out his hand. "I'm George. And I gotta deal for
Normally, Ryan wouldn't take deals fro ma complete stranger. But
he took his hand.
George grinned. "Alright. I gotta special zoo, just for you. It's
actually based here. Wanna go in?"
"Nah," Ryan said. "I just wanna, er, inspect it before I let my
kid in. Okay?"
George smile tightened. Ryan shook it off. "Sure man. Meet me
back here in an hour." He walked off.
AN HOUR LATER
Ryan walked into the zoo. He had dropped Robby off at the front
porch, rang the door bell, and went back into his car. He didn't
want to face his wife. He paid admission, (again) and walked in.
George hadn't said where they would meet, so he hoped to find him
"Over here," a voice called out. He turned and saw George waving
Ryan walked up to him. "So, where are we going?"
"Just follow me," said George.
They walked and eventually ran into a brick wall, the dead end
Robby had led him to earlier. George pulled back a few plants and
smacked something red in the dirt. The wall seperated vertically
and led into a tunnel with purple lighting. George led him
through it. The wall closed behind him.
They reached the end of the tunnel. George turned to face him.
"Wait here. I'm gonna turn on the power source."
He walked into a small shack. A few seconds later, the whole
place lit up with purple lights and George walked out of the
Ryan looked at a screen showing security camera footage to his
left. On it was a bird's view of a maze. Ryan looked ahead. It
was a hallway leading to more hallways leading to more hallways.
This was a maze.
Ryan turned to George. "What the hell is this?" he asked. "You
said this was a zoo."
George grinned. "I know what I said, I just lied to you." He
removed his sunglasses.
Where his eyes should have been, there was nothing. Just empty,
black sockets. A cage fell from the ceiling and trapped Ryan in
"You see," George began, removing his coat; all that was there
was bumpy, scaly red skin. "I am the attraction here. So are you,
now. And I haven't been fed in a while. I am starving."
His back sprouted curved, deadly tipped spikes. He took off his
hat and revealed a head of tangles, messy black hair. He grinned
and revealed his foaming, curved fangs. His feet were webbed and
"I like to catch my food," George - it - said. "Like a cat." You
get a minute to run Ryan. Good luck." He opened the cage.
Ryan had no choice. If he didn't run, he'd be devoured without a
chance to live. He got up. He took off. He ran away to the sounds
of the creature's cackle, knowing there was no way Ryan would
survive his game.
TO BE CONTINUED...