you weren't some sob story. you didn't come from a broken family, you lived your childhood in the lower-middle class. not terribly comfortably, but you didn't want for much. your parents were together, happy and in love. you fought with your brothers, but only as much as sisters and brothers always do. you didn't have some heartbreaking past that lead you down the path you chose. you may have been acting out - moving to america and leaving your entire life behind in sweden was pretty fucking annoying, thanks parents - but you were never unaware of what you were doing, or the consequences that came with getting caught. you weren't so naive.
growing up with brothers, you stumbled into skateboarding pretty naturally. and you were damn good at it too. you'd always been agile and very aware of your center of gravity. even as a kid, you'd climb anything that you could and swing from the monkey bars in the playground like you were a damn monkey. you'd always boarded to and from school, as long as you could remember, and your board even had its own custom art on the bottom (spray-painted by yours truly). hanging around skate parks was so familiar, it wasn't what had your parents worried.
it was the late nights, the empty cans of paint found scattered under your bed, the smug smile on your face every time one of your tags appeared on the news. mashtyx - your tag name - was becoming a household name in your town ever since you'd arrived, and the police were hot on your tail every night. but you had a natural gift that they weren't aware of. cat-like reflexes, lighter-than-air footsteps, and speed. you could move quickly while hiding in the shadows, and you'd jumped off of so many buildings that you'd perfected a landing strategy to keep your balance without hindering your momentum, allowing you effective escape almost every night.
if your parents had any sense, they shouldn't have been worried then. you weren't mixed up with the wrong crowd, you weren't being manipulated. you were just having some fun, and you knew damn well how to take care of yourself. the streets of hjo had been crueller to you than those of buffalo, ny. they had no need to worry when you said you were going out with some new friends that day. they'd been happy for you - it took you a while to even attempt to make friends. you weren't even worried when that dumbass dared you to tag the old, abandoned asylum on the edge of town. ghosts weren't real, everyone knew that.
well, you were dead wrong.
the heartbeats are pounding loudly in your ears as you curl yourself up into a dark corner behind a partition, trying desperately to stay out of the nurse's line of sight. thank fuck she'd blinked too far ahead of you and you were able to sneak away, but your silent grunt of agony as you clutched your side weren't quiet enough and you wish you could just shut yourself up like jake. you didn't have a med kit with you this time, just your damn toolbox, and you had no idea where anyone else was. hopefully on some fucking generators. you squeeze your eyes shut and clench your jaw, trying not to make too much noise. but she blinks over to the wall that you've pressed yourself against, and she sees you.
without hesitation you take off as fast as you can, leaving a trail of blood in your wake. the decrepit, rotting wooden lodge that always sits in the middle of the red forest is close enough to offer a decent chance at yet another close escape, so you beeline in its direction, weaving in and out of trees and banking around barriers. anything to keep her from being able to blink straight into you. through a window and up the stairs, you run straight to and off the second floor ledge. as you fall, your find your center of gravity and land with precision, knowing that seconds later she would be on the ground too. you don't stumble or lose your equilibrium. instead, you land with a perfect stability that allows you to slink backwards, vaulting quietly through the window behind you and ducking yet again, into another dark corner. you can hear her land, the grunting and groaning as she wobbles from the impact, and you smirk to yourself as the heartbeats fade into the distance.
now, you had to find a damn med kit. or claudette.
you're the only one left.
min had been killed first in the trial, and although you weren't positive, you're pretty sure she has the misfortune to spawn on one of the hills nearest to the hag. dwight tried to save her, as he always fucking did, and got caught in what seemed like an eternal chase. unfortunate, but also to your advantage -- you and meg had time to work together on a few generators before he'd eventually gotten himself caught. and because he'd pissed her off so much, she wouldn't leave his side for either of you to try and free him.
you knew it was hopeless, and you tried to keep her close to your side. if you'd stayed together, you could have popped the last couple of generators and at least tried for one of the exits. but meg was a better person than you. she'd kept insisting that she could sprint away before she was caught, that she'd be fine, and once that girl set her mind to something there was no stopping her. but you stayed close too, slunk quietly into the shadows near the hook. if she needed you to, you'd distract and take a hit. because as selfish as you could be, you'd rather see her escape than you.
but they accidentally tripped a trap, and the fucking hag wouldn't take your bait. within minutes dwight and meg were both on the ground next to each other, the huntress running in fucking annoying circles around their bodies and placing her phantasm traps all around them. you could hear their cries of pain, their groaning in agony and it destroyed you. no matter how many trials you played knowing that you'd all end up back at the campfire regardless, it never got easier to watch your friends, your comrades in arms against these psycho serial killers, essentially "die" right before your eyes knowing there was nothing you could do if you wanted to survive.
so you're left to your own devices, knowing that the huntress would be patrolling the last couple of generators. this is where your natural talent for evasion comes in handy. you cling to the walls, to dark shadows and tall grass, moving quickly along the perimeter of the map as you listen for any sign that the escape hatch might be nearby. when the perimeter proves useless, you venture further into the swamplands, trying your best to quickly duck out of view whenever you hear the hag's heartbeats and her discomforting noises.
the echo of the hatch finally within earshot, you slink your way in its direction. but as the echo grows louder, so do the heartbeats. she's fucking waiting for you, and you know there has to be traps everywhere. from behind a broken old canoe you watch her stand directly in front of it, every so often turning to look in another direction or switch sides. and when she does, that's when you move. closer and closer, inch by inch you ty to immerse yourself quickly and quietly into your surroundings, in the hope that you might be able to sneak to your escape when she isn't looking.
it's five feet from you now, and she's facing the other way. your own heartbeat pounds loudly in your ears and your veins pump full of adrenaline, but you can't just run. you can see the faint indent of one of her traps in the mud right beside it. if you run, you'll get caught. you'd been pulled out of a hatch before and you aren't about to take that chance. so instead you stay crouched, creeping forward as quickly as possible. no traps triggered.
and just as she begins to turn back around you're immersed into a thick black fog and the hatch slams shut behind you, sealing your survival.
nothing lasts long here. medkits run out of supplies, flashlights run out of battery and toolboxes can only repair so many generators. you're not used to that, and you don't like it.
you honestly have no idea what anyone did before you came around. so many supplies were just wasted, thrown away when they were no longer of use, and most didn't last an entire trial. your time spent in the streets of hjo and your modest upbringing made you extremely resourceful, able to make your clothes, food, money and every other necessity (as well as your paint cans) last as long as humanly possible. you know how to make what you've got, no matter how little, go as far as possible.
this med kit, for example, lasted a total of two generators and could still be useful for the next trial. so you keep it by your side, a tight grip on one of the best chances you have at surviving. claudette can do much more to heal herself without a med kit, using plants and foliage, but you weren't so lucky. actually, you should remember to teach you how the hell she does that. but for now, you'll stick to the tactics that you've relied on for years and help (or take over for) anyone else who needed to make their tools, medical supplies, flashlights or literally anything else last as long as possible. if it can make it through a whole trial and back to the campfire, the less you have to worry about not having it when you absolutely need it.