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It had taken Hazel’s eyes awhile to adjust to their surroundings.

For her first few minutes of consciousness, she assumed that whatever drug had been used to knock her out had strong aftereffects. But as her head began to clear and her eyesight remained just as blurred, she realised her contacts were missing. They’d accidentally popped out between her first bout of unconscious and now, or had been removed by the kidnapper who’d placed her there. The latter of those notions – the idea of one of them touching her – made her skin crawl and bile rise in her throat.

It was the burst of panic that arose from that realisation that propelled her to examine her provided duffle bag – an act she’d been hitherto reluctant to engage in. She’d almost sobbed in relief upon finding her glasses case propped atop its contents; a flash of bright red amongst the drab colours it contained.

With her vision now restored and her curiosity piqued, it didn’t take her long to find, nestled amongst the food bars and first-aid kit, the only thing that made her unique from the other hundred students on the island: her weapon.

“Fucking binoculars.


Little could’ve brought Hazel Jung an ounce of comfort in her current situation; as it was, she was a mess both physically and emotionally. But she knew deep down that having something to defend herself with would’ve made a world of difference.

The fashionably distressed fabric around the knees and thighs of her jeans had torn open sometime before she’d awoken, and lumps of mascara had been washed away by her tears, leaving dark streaks against her cheeks. She’d made a token effort to tidy herself up, having half-heartedly attempted to pull her hair into a messy bun, but she couldn’t bring herself to put much effort into improving her appearance when there were slightly more pressing matters at hand.

It was just her luck that literally every other girl in the Korean clique had fallen ill two days before the trip, leaving her the lone member of the Mafia to make it here. She could picture them all gathered together, jabbering emotionally at the news reporters about her. At least she didn’t have to worry about them. They were safe, unlike her dozens of other friends who hadn’t been so lucky; the same friends who were in exactly the same position as her right now. A rush of names and faces flooded through her brain, none of them managing to secure a position at the forefront of her mind through the chaos that reigned there.

She tried not to let her thoughts linger on them for too long. She knew she wouldn’t be in a fit enough state to help any of them if she didn’t take care of herself first, and meandering aimlessly around the slopes upon which she’d awoken wasn’t much of a start.

There was Jordan Green, fellow theatre kid, laying down in the grass. Still unconscious, or…

She tried not to think of the alternative, desperately attempted to focus her mind on something other than the idea that a dead boy, someone she'd performed alongside, could be mere metres away from her.

It didn’t work.

She bent over into a low crouch, and expelled the contents of her stomach onto the ground before her.
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The World Turned Upside Down · The Slopes