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located in boxes and boxes, a part of storage unit 284, one of the many universes on RPG.

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xxxxx"patience is a virtue." ... "not right now it isn't."
One moment, everything was fine, and then next Ethan’s ears were ringing and his head was full of more pressure than he’d ever experienced driving through the mountains. And then he blacked out.

He woke up no worse for wear, though, mostly just confused. The first thing he noticed was that he was indeed laying down in the sand, and the entire thing hadn’t been some bizarre dream. The second thing he noticed was that Yousof was also there, greeting him in a strangely casual manner. “Hi,” He said, testing out the word almost like he’d never heard his own voice before, “You feeling okay?” It didn’t take long for Ethan to find his backpack and- thank god- his flashlight still had some batteries, “Might wanna conserve your battery, we can call for help once we get a ss-” He stopped after his s was drawn out for just a moment too long, “Once we can.”

He slowly worked himself to his feet, looking around the room, “Where are we?” He asked, mostly to himself.

“Well, a tomb,” Yousof nodded, “we are in a tomb...probably.”

Dreams, drugs, kidnappings...being whisked away to another world. Most of those were possibilities, but only three of them made sense and one of them required a rather large imagination. He stood up and walked towards the wall that the flashlight pointed at, feeling for abnormalities among the bricks. Ancient as the room seemed, every stone was still perfectly set. They were free of cracks, chips, and even mold. Aside from the vines and dust, one would think that the chamber was entirely new.

Yousof continued along the perimeter of the room, tapping for a secret button, a fake wall, or even a hollow brick. They entered (or at least whoever put them here did), so that had to mean there was an exit. From the outside he might have looked like a madman, knocking on random spots hoping that something would happen, but he had a system (or at least some semblance of one).

Three bricks right, then down, then three to the left, two on the row above to the right of center.

What came after?

“Hey Ethan, you ever watch Harry Potter?”

Ethan had never been so glad to have Yousof’s astute powers of observation as when it was confirmed that they were, indeed, in a tomb. “Wonderful...” He started looking around the room. It was utterly pristine, and it made Ethan wonder if this wasn’t some kind of tourist attraction meant to look like an ancient tomb. Had they wandered into some sort of trap or something?

But for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out what anyone would want from the two of them. They weren’t particularly special, not in a way that would draw attention.

Looking around, top to bottom, feeling along the walls, peeling back vines, kicking at the flooring. Maybe the sand and dirt had accumulated there, hidden some sort of panel, maybe the vines were covering some sort of… Switch? He wasn’t sure what he was looking for. He heard his name, “Hm?” He didn’t spare a glance in Yousof’s direction until the other man brought up Harry Potter.

Ethan turned and looked at Yousof, eyebrow raised, “Didn’t everyone watch Harry Potter?” He didn’t know what this had to do with anything, “Why?”

“Do you remember that scene when Hagrid tapped the bricks?” Yousof asked, resting his chin on his fist. He paused only for a second before snapping his finger. “Or-or what about whatever Harry said to get into the Chamber of Secrets.”

He began pacing around the room, glancing at Ethan for some type of confirmation or denial.

“I don’t know. What does that have to do with-"

The ancient Egyptians wouldn’t have used Parseltongue and none of the bastardized Egyptian-god media he’d consumed dared to tread that territory. He doubted they would have been able to install something so elaborate. Unless…

"Do you think we're on a prank show?"

A prank show? That was certainly possible, though this was a particularly elaborate prank if that was the case. “Could be, I guess.” It certainly made more sense than most of the alternative ideas.

Ethan walked a tight circle in the middle of the room, trying to grasp his thoughts and pull it all together. “If this is a prank,” He was speaking slowly, deliberately, “D’you suppose everyone else is watching and laughing at us?”

“I mean I would.” Yousof shrugged.

Ethan shined his flashlight around the room, trying to see if there were any cameras or microphones he could identify. He wasn’t sure how he felt about the ‘elaborate prank’ theory, but it was at least something to keep them from panicking while they tried to find a solution to this problem. He knelt down, brushing at the layer of sand on the floor, trying to see if there were any inscriptions or anything on the stone beneath to tell him how authentic this might be. Of course he was no expert, so that didn’t get him very far. He felt like they were about as trapped as they could be.

After pacing the room for a minute more, Ethan realized that it would probably be easier to think if he could deal with the headache creeping between his eyes. He started rifling through his backpack, he was pretty sure he still had a couple water bottles left in there. “Want some water?” He offered up one of two bottles he had left to Yousof, then sat down on the floor, back against the wall. “We need to try to make them last, in case we’re here a while, but dehydration won’t help us.”

Yousof nodded before grabbing the water from him. He took two long, grateful gulps before pausing at Ethans words. Yet again, the man was making points. He circled back around and sat across from Ethan, making indents in the bottle. Normally this would have been the point where the room started making noises or projecting shadows on the walls. Maybe some bugs would be released, but there was simply...nothing.

“This prank suuuuucks,” he groaned after five minutes of silence, “no jump scares, no secret passage, no ghosts…”

“Just what are they waiting for?” he asked, slamming his bottle down on the floor.

Normally, Ethan would have tried to think of something snappy to say, like they were waiting for the two of them to get desperate and start deciding which of them to eat first or something. But then Yousof slammed his water on the ground and Ethan could have sworn he heard a faint click from somewhere in the room.

“Did you hear th…that?” He asked, his voice hardly above a whisper, as if speaking too loud would cause the room to cave in on top of them.

It could have easily been paranoia, or just the idea of being on a hidden camera show getting to him. He looked around for a moment, but nothing seemed to happen. Probably just in his head, then. He sighed, “S-sorry, I guess I’m just worked up.” Ethan had just let his shoulders relax and rested his head back against the wall when another noise could be heard. Subtle, at first, but it quickly grew. It sounded a bit like when you pour a bunch of rocks into the bottom of a fish tank.

Wait. That wasn’t good.

Ethan scrambled to his feet when he saw the middle of the room slowly opening up. “Fuck,” He eloquently said, wondering if this was the sort of excitement Yousof was hoping for. He quickly started to scan the room to see if there was any way of getting out of this, but the floor was quickly collapsing from the center inward, and there was only a matter of time before there wasn’t a floor at all.

“Oh god, oh fuck. Oh god, oh fuck!” Yousof yelled as the bricks fell beneath him, “are you seeing this?”

Ethan’s mind went wandering to how far the drop might be, but he didn’t have much time to think on things like that.

“Hey,” He shouted, to make sure he could be heard over the growing noise, “Come here!” He offered Yousof his hand- traditional notions of masculinity be damned- they needed to stay together. They probably had a better chance of surviving that way. Well, or they’d die more quickly. Who knew.

Making a final jump, Yousof reached out, his fingers brushing against Ethan’s before slipping away.

It seemed like the two of them would find out.