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The Cleaning: Shroudblaze Industrial Village

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I, Mistfire333, have created 24 tributes. TOTAL, that is. What I will be doing here is pitting them all together into a twisted world where the paranormal and the surreal holds a firm grasp on the Earth as we know it today, and my characters all find themselves at the center of the madness. An isolated, snowy village by the name of "Shroudblaze" located in the outskirts of Okazaki, Japan. The story will begin with the beloved Mist Scorchil walking by it like any other day, only to find blood leading to a house. A few jumpscares later, he finds the heavily wounded body of a young boy. Mist begins to approach, only to topple over a shelft, killing the boy. This is when he gets involved in the "cleaning" ceremony the village demons hold to keep the population stable. Kill someone involved when you aren't? Welcome.

I shall let you know, these are not hunger games. This is my own story that is inspired by the games but with my own twists and touches. The males outnumber the females, but that doesn't mean that the females will be the punching bags. Keep in mind that when I made my tributes, I try hard to make them a challenge to certain users and my own characters. I've secretly tied in all my tributes just for this. Without further ado, let us begin The First Annual Cleaning!

Chapter One: Welcome

"Yeah mom, I'll be home by 10:00. Of course I might be late mom, I have to walk from the outskirts into the center of the city. Fine, I'll be sure to get the food before I pass the market too. Yeah, love you too mom. Bye". I hang up and slide my phone back into my coat. I tremble slightly as the cold wind bites at my nose, I'm getting close to this creepy village called Shroudblaze. Despite the rest of the city being warm, this white speck you would find on a map is snowing 24/7. Poeple live here, which I can't understand completely since the houses can't even last a few minutes with a door open before everything is as cold as it is outside. Speaking of cold, lets check out the temperature today.

I walk past this mini-mart that's always open. The owner leaves a thermometer outside, even though a digital reading is right there on the sign. I guess it's his way of reminding customers how warm it is in there while everyone else freezes their asses off out here. I'm lucky I don't live here. "30 Degrees.." I mumble, shoving my hands into my coat pockets. I start walking again, down the snowy street. I look back, expecting to see the clerk's bald head behind the counter, but instead I see a terrible mess all over the shelves, some are even toppled over. I quickly pick up the pace, not wanting to get involved.

Then, I barely walk past the fifth block until I notice a trail of blood. I would have figured it was a bad nosebleed some old person had from the dry and cold air, but the way the snow looked like something was dragged across it, like someone was hurt. I stand there, my eyes a bit wider in curiosity but my eyebrows down in worry. I begin to think: What the heck happened.. who could have gotten hurt? Should I try following the trail? But what if the person was killed and the killer is still there.. I keep making contradictory thoughts to myself, it feels like I'm never gonna get to the end of my string of thoughts. But my body already made it's choice, and before I can realize what I'm doing I'm in the house. My shadow stretches across the orange/yellow light the home offers from it's rather antique lightbulbs. My switchblade is drawn and I gulp as I slowly follow the trail of blood.

I approach the end of the trail, it leads to a large, empty room, or so it was. I saw the furniture and the shelves piled all over the place, similar to the mini-mart scene. I gulp one more time as I hear a pained moan, like someone was letting out air they wouldn't need. Like someone who just wanted to die to stop suffering. I peek around the bookshelf next to the door, and there I see a kid. About 12, he has black hair, spiked a bit and he has brown eyes. A long gash is on his face leading down to his chest, skipping his neck. Blood is slowly spitting from it every few seconds, and describing it is half the pain of witnessing it. He doesn't notice me, but he's looking off into the corner with a blank look in his eyes. He's panting, slow, heavy pants.

I can't watch from here anymore, I need to call the cops or something. Most of all, I need to keep him alive. I dial the police's number as I begin to approach the kid, the beeps making the wait more and more distressful. I eventually make it into the center of the room, surrounded by this mess. I feel as if whoever attacked this kid stood right were I was, doing.. whatever they were doing. The police picks up, finally. "We're sorry, but the services are temporarily unavailable due to reigonal holidays." WHAT? "REIGONAL HOLIDAYS? IF I COULD GET A BLOODY EXPLANATION ON WHAT THAT FUCKING MEANS, IT'D HELP." I stand there, furious, cofused, but mainly furious. A stupud excuse to not serve their village, a reigonal holiday. Can't they tell me what it is at least?

Suddenly, the kid's gaze snaps over to me. I jump from surprise and fall back, toppling over more bookshelves. I look around the room as I watch them tip the other one over, a domino effect until suddenly I'm left speechless. The kid doesn't even see the knife rack inconveniently placed right above him. I stumble to get up, and I hop across the rubble. I'm racing time as the slamming bookshelves pick up the pace, I reach out to grab the kid and pull him towards me, seeing the last bookshelf topple over with the knives. He's safe, I just saved a life. I can't describe how I feel, the story, the investigation, and most of all, the culprit. I begin to stand up when I suddenly notice on more detail, the chandelier about to fall. I yell with a panicked and distressed voice, pushing him away from me as the chandelier falls. I run and the glass shatters, some barely grazing my face as I see the kid stumble backwards, then fall back as his head hits the edge of the bookshelf, a sick crack emerging from it. I see the body roll over, and the dust rises. I start coughing, waving my hand to make the air easier to breathe and to avoid cutting up my throat.

The dust settles, and I see a pool of blood. The boy's body rolled over, and his eye landed right onto an upright knife. He's.. dead...

"Well, isn't that a shocker?" I hear a ghostly voice, ehcoes followng and trailing behind it. It sounds sinister, young, and sarcastic. I turn around and see a figure that I don't think I'll ever forget. A black, humanoid body. Two, blank white eyes and a sharp, toothy white smile across it. Spikes coming from the back of it's head like a rejected Sonic The Hedgehog character and blob-like material dripping off it in different directions, only to disintegrate or fade in its own gravitational speed and pull. Some fast, some slow. "Where are my manners, dear lord I MUST take etiquette classes again" the figure said, clapping a bit as it's mouth only opened and closed, no lips moving to make sounds, just opening and closing. "My name is Grand Rebel, I am the being that inhabits Shroudblaze. I have very few followers, mainly because beleveing in me is like believing in Santa as a 40 year old. But back to the point, that kid who died? It's technically your fault."

Oh hell no, I'm not taking the blame for this. "Oh fuck your point of view you rejected... whatever you are!" I yell, sitting up a bit more as I glare at him angrily. "My my my, aren't we upset. My friend, this is a priviledge you're having. You see, every five months we have something called a "cleaning". We do it to eliminate excess brats who don't deserve to live, and the cleaning lasts one week every time. Have you ever played The World Ends With You? It's kinda like that. You get a task every day, and you must complete it before sundown or else you or a member of your alliance will be slain by yours truly. If you survive one week, you win. There could be one victor, there could be all 12 players. Now, let me get to where you're involved in this.." I would very much like that, ya freaky talking pile of black paint. "I have an ability to see different destinies based of three choices: Selfishness, Neutral, or Heroism. You chose a neutral heroism, pushing the kid away to escape any damage to you, but also any damage to him. However, you pushing him got him killed. Killing someone involved in the cleaning whilst the killer being an outsider earns them a spot to replace the said person. So, basically saying, you are now playing in the cleaning."

"WHAT!?" I yell again, looking at Grand Rebel, then the kid, and back to Grand Rebel. "You can complain and ask questions when I'm done, acting the way you are right now just shows to prove that you would participate in this sooner or later, brat." His blank circle eyes somehow seem to glare at me, and suddenly I see a hook connected to a string shoot out from behind him, like a tail. The hook is shaped like a G, and it flails like a cat stalking it's prey. "The killing between players comes from complete convenience. If you kill two players, you're immune for the day. But it is a much more dangerous task than doing the missions, which are hard enough. You can improvise weapons, or try to make it to the pawn shop just down the road from here. But, of course the players are not stupid and a small group always ends up taking over the said pawn shop. It takes great stealth to get in, and a great team if you don't have the stealth. But I think I've explained enough for today. You killing Ares here got you one kill. Now, you can try the mission which is now in your pocket, or you can try for one more kill to be immune for the day. Also, try to get help from the outside or try to leave the village and I repeat, yours truly will handle the situation."

And with that, he bowed and began to melt into a puddle, disappearing into the shadows of the room and going down a drain. I sit there, a human mixing pot of emotions as the wind outside sings in my ear. I stare back at Ares, the pool of blood stretching farther across the floor. I sigh and remember what the Rebel said, I can try the mission, or get another kill. I reach into my pocket and feel a paper, and whip it out and unfold it, and written across it in violent letters was:

If You KnOW WhAT The tHiRD BeLl MEanS, HeAD ToWARDs ThE SOuND And AWAKen the ToMB oF tHE RinGER

The tomb of the ringer.. the third bell? I know that a third bell means 3:00 AM or PM, but the tomb of the ringer.. I can't comprehend. I guess It's time to shed blood or risk losing. I quickly call my mom, and like magic she answers right away. "Mist? Baby what's going on you wouldn't call me this fast after talking a few minutes ago." I sigh and chuckle a bit, "I just ran into Duskus, she's inviting me over. Is it ok?". I hear her sigh, a bit worried but releived, "Sure, Mist, just update me on what happends alright? If you go anywhere, call me. I love you son, and don't let yourself get ordered around by ANYBODY, you hear?"

I shed a tear as her last sentence echoes in my mind. "Yeah mom... I'll be sure to stand my ground". She hangs up, and I drop to my knees, sobbing a bit more. Suddenly, I hear Rebel's voice over my shoulder. "Welcome".

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