Heavy clicks of pairs of heels rippled through the dry cement, the cold breeze hugged their exposed skin, creeping to their insides despite the thick, yet stylish clothing they had worn for the night. Four ladies, dressed in tight-hugging skirts of white and gold, strutted their way towards…
Chills ran through Sunghee’s spine as they were led to their room by the Battle Royale staff telling them to relax, practice, or do anything. Aside from the members of her dance group, Madonna, everything else around her spelled d, a, n, g, e, r. The abandoned warehouse; the odd-looking performance room; the competition itself is danger. Nonetheless, she kept these feelings to herself knowing how badly her eonni’s wanted this competition - not just to participate in it but to win.
Being the group’s maknae, she went in the room last showing every bit of that tiny excitement in her so as not to be suspected of being discouraged. Don’t get her wrong, though. Winning Battle Royale is currently on top of her wish list but with the competition’s setup, uncertainty has crept through her body, to her mind, and finally to her face.
In a corner, right across the door where they came in sat four simple wooden chairs and a table. This was probably where the staff told them to “relax.” The room was well-equipped with cameras (6 of them were visible and maybe, a few, hidden), lights, speakers, and a dance floor. Remnants of being a store room was evident in the peeled wall paints, maps of rust-colored floor which obviously came from metal containers, and a bit of glass shards. The ceiling was about 10 feet above the floor. The room was almost a closed chamber only having a rectangular window located high above one of the walls, and two circular holes on the wall’s base, adjacent to the dance floor.
There were five groups competing for the coveted cash prize but they didn’t know the order of performance or if there was even something like a repertoire. While waiting for their turn, Sunghee sat silently in one of the chairs and tried to relax. She tried to move the chair around but it was glued to the floor. Wondering about why was it stuck was clouded by the idea of making mistakes in their performance.
She was getting dead worried. She argued with her mind, “You remember everything, right? You did your rehearsals. You prepared with your group members. You know by heart what to do! You also want this! You won’t make mistakes! 나 어떡하지!?”
Calming herself was one of the things she’s not used to do. Her lively, cheerful and happy-go-lucky side are what spell her name. Her mother brought her up so well that her life was kept clear of bad influences. Hate, rejection, too much loneliness, and weakness were felt in very little doses, if not, easily fended off by her positive attitude. Being with worried, gloomy, or frightened people didn’t bother her much because she easily helps them out to get back to their happy state. It’s a different story when negative emotions get to her. Call her “deprived of life experiences” but this was the first time she felt intense emotions growing out of her. People may think that the cheerful Sunghee in front of them had no problems but then, there will always be a downside to anything. And dealing with her own negative emotions was Sunghee’s weakness. The antidote has yet to come.
There was a song that reminded her of calmness. It’s the one used by her mother to help her sleep. Resisting the gloominess, she tried to remember its melody. Sunghee let her eyes close as she concentrates on her memories. Finally, she was able to grasp the correct notes and slowly hummed them to herself. Calmness came over. She heaved a sigh of relief as her heart rate slowed and went back to its normal pace.
Half an hour passed and while the rest of the three did their own things, Sunghee was still convincing herself that she will be performing perfectly on stage, later, whenever that may be.
She told herself, “Easy. Relax. Remember the dance . Focus on your expressions. This is not only for you but for the group. Get in the game. Everything’s going to be…”
Then, the MC’s voice came through the speakers.
“Good evening, everyone! Haru welcomes you to tonight’s event, THE Battle Royale…” The MC went on with some general instructions which were broadcasted to everyone attending the event. A long pause followed and another announcement, which Sunghee figured was specifically broadcasted only to their room, instructed them to get ready on the prepared stage for their performance. And after a short five minutes, the speakers blasted off the first notes of their music.source: honeymadonna, honeymadonna
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