Games are fun. I like games. I’m good at them. I always have been.
However, certain games are terrible. Especially when the stakes are high.
Now, I just don’t like to play games. I don’t know anymore, I think I’ve gone insane from the stress, tension, and the bets.
I’m not writing this down. At least I don’t think I am. I don’t remember. You’re all just a part of my imagination, watching through my eyes, all that happens during this “game”.
It’s called Escape, and rightly so. Of course, you wouldn’t understand. Well, you’re a part of me, so I guess you would in a way.
I’m just thinking this all right now as the knife that he threw came flying at me.
It seemed to be that I was dictating a will, no matter how poorly made it was, it was a still a will.
I felt the knife plunge into me, stabbing my stomach. I felt a dull thunk. That thunk in my stomach became much more noticeable as it evolved into a screaming, roaring pain. Blood didn’t spew out. It never spews out when something impales you. You have to pull the object out first.
Hah… I can’t believe I’m informing you guys of this. I guess this last message wasn’t terrific… I think you came to be a part of my mind after I saw the knife coming toward me.
Well, then I’ll tell you what happened from the very beginning. From the beginning of this horrible game. From the beginning of when I contacted the company Brother in order to save my mother with the prize in the end.
In this age of 2098, corruption has spread through the government and companies have risen up to become superpowers, actually rivaling countries.
*Of course, everyone expected the first to become true at some point, according to Plato, Lord Ancton, and a few others.
The power that they had corrupted them. Presidents, executives, senators, CEO’s. They all had massive amounts of power, and that completely wrecked them, and they underwent a change for the worse, becoming something like a hydra. Evil, ferocious, and undying.
There seemed to be no way to beat this horrific system. Pollution has ravaged the planet, and many of us have been forced to live underground, using air purifying vents that allowed the polluted air to seep in, purified, from the strange, alien outside world.
My mother and I were one of those people. The weather in the outside world became very…. tumultuous. It changed swiftly from intensely hot, to freezing cold and at the oddest times.
The world was not in the best condition. And wars you ask? What wars. After the war that occurred in 2080, there were no other wars after that. There didn’t need to be. After all, at that point, the company Brother came into power.
The company was the one who provided all the weapons, funds, and nutrients for EVERY army. Countries were united… but not in a good way. They were unified under fear, spite, and anger. They had no chance but to listen to the domineering company that now seemed to control the world. The war was but a chess piece for the company.~
~A little act that they benefited from. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they were the ones who caused the war.
They had connections all over, representatives in various governments around the country. Those representatives whispered dark lies into the ears of the powerful. Of course, there was no immediate response. It did take nearly a year for those small seeds to sprout. But when it sprouted… oh, it sprouted.
Roaring in anger and frustration at the lies those representatives of Brother had told them of political scandals and betrayals that were committed by the opposing countries. It does not take much to manipulate the powerful into thinking everyone is against them. The war has not only ravaged the world, but also the economy. Many of us have become destitute. We could barely afford living fees.
Oh, I guess I forgot to inform you guys about me! Well, this is the most boring part I assume. I’m surprised you don’t already know, considering you’re part of my sub consciousness. Whatever.
My full name is Noah Grenlit. People just call me Noah. I’m 16 years old. I look mostly like my mom except for my brown hair and black eyes. I live alone with my mom, because my dad left me when I was four years old.
My mom told me that he was the one who passed down his love of games to me. I’m not anything special…. Or at least I like to think so. Everyone says my intelligence level is ridiculous. That’s not true.
I have a weird ability. I can see events before they happen. It’s not like precognition! It’s more like, getting to know someone’s thought process and what they’re about to do or say. So, I wouldn’t know if some complete stranger were about to shoot me or something like that. But, I guess that’s about the most special thing about me.
Using that odd….. ability (if it can even be called that) I’ve been winning money for my mom and me so we don’t fall into that black hole called poverty. Of course, that money was only enough to survive. I couldn’t really buy much else with it.
There exists only games for amusement. Now, those games act as sanctuaries, refuges, from this ravaged reality that stands before us. But then, there are prize tournaments, with money as the prize. There’s actually a stake, something most people will want to participate for.
The rich host these tournaments in order to gain amusement from them, watching the poor desperately use their brains in order to make up for what they lack: funds. The winner and the losers all cry. The winner cries in joy at the prospect of money for his or her family. The losers cry because of another week without sufficient food.
I usually participate in Chess tournaments, as it plays out the best for my abilities.
I’ve managed to pass by so that my mom and I have never actually had an insufficient, or surplus amount of food to eat. We get by better than most people. It’s mostly due to me, as Mom became sick two years back.
The disease was caused by the destructive pollution, and doctors so far, have found a cure… but it’s incredibly expensive. There’s no way I could afford the cure just by playing in these silly game tournaments.
However, the disease wasn’t going to kill my mom…. At least, not yet. And if it starts to, I thought I would be able to earn enough for the cure, but I’m not certain. So, because of her disease, she had to stay in bed most of the time, and can’t move around. Now, I’ll begin the story of why I contacted Brother.
It was my eighty-fifth Chess tournament, and I remained undefeated.
After the game concluded, and my opponent broke down into hysterical tears, I left the room, feeling shame and guilt clawing at my back, desperately making me want to turn around and hand all the money to her. But, shame and guilt weren’t enough to allow me to forget my ailing mom.
I walked way, through the tunnels that led down to my home. Everyone lived in those underground tunnels, but game tournaments were held in the outside world, in special insulated buildings that did not allow the polluted air to flit in from the outside.
I walked through the dimly lit tunnels, going by habit to the door marked 202. For the lock, I pulled out a small vial of my own blood. I dripped a tiny bit into the cylinder lock and the door made the familiar soft whirring noise before it opened. Houses have now become even more anti-theft. Most of the doors required a bit of our blood in order to enter, but they required only a small amount.
I walked through the door and saw my mother lying down in bed, coughing raucously. I became instantly worried. Coughing=bad sign. Duh.
I rushed over to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water from within the fridge. I brought the bottle over to her and handed it to her.
My mom was once pretty, no doubt about it. I could see the familiar signs of it within her once long, black, sheen hair. Her skin had become wrinkled, when it was smooth before. Her hands had become gnarled. I hoped that when I earned enough for the cure, she would return to the beautiful state that she was in before the disease struck her.
Mom accepted the bottle of water graciously, shakily uncapping the bottle and sipping from it. She handed it back to me, and began to cough once more, this time, blood flying out, onto the bed sheets.
“Mom… did you see the doctor today?” I asked in a concerned tone.
“Yes, dear… and I have something to tell you,” she said in a ragged tone of voice.
That didn’t sound good. It sounded like she was about to say something morbid that would completely ruin the day. She couldn’t be saying what I thought she was going to say, was she?
“The doctor said that the disease has finally begun approaching my heart. It’s going to take around four months to completely decimate my internal system and kill me. Basically, in a much more concise way of putting it, I have four months to live.”
How cliché can you get? I mean, she was joking right? Right? RIGHT? Such clichés can’t possibly exist… but then, I guess that’s why they’re called clichés.
I laughed out loud without even realizing I did that. My mom looked at me with something like pity etched on her face. I should be the one pitying her. After all, she was the one dying from a terrible disease.
But, deep down, I knew, that I needed her much more than she needed me. She was my emotional lifeline, the one thing to keep me going in this horrific reality that was created before I was even born. I couldn’t let her leave me alone. I would save her… using the only way I knew how. Playing games.
She collapsed into bed, falling into a deep sleep. There was only one game that I could play in order to save her. Every year, Brother sponsors a game called Escape.
No one knows what the game contains, as most of the people who enter don’t actually come back. I have no idea why though, the game’s description did not imply violence or anything of the sort.
The game was completely optional and open to everyone. Out of all those who applied, Two hundred people were chosen. There were only eight winners however, in all of the two hundred people.
The prize was basically the ultimate prize. One wish, if it was possible to grant it. Brother would grant your wish if you won the game, if it was within reasonable range. If you wished for money, you got a set amount. They gave you one billion dollars. That was enough to support even my posterity! The cure costs around fifty million dollars, and the prize money from Escape would be more than enough. Of course, that’s considering if I won.
The game lasts for 2 months. Escape was merely a source of entertainment for the people of all countries. People bet on the outcomes, rich and poor.
Sometimes, betting on a winner who was very unpopular could easily turn your life around. So, it was probably the one thing that allowed Brother to reap revenues that would exceed that of the combined winners’ money if they so wished for it.
To enter, you would have to call them, make an appointment to apply for the show, and be judged for a “performance”. I would have never participated in this hell game before. This game that allows Brother to earn so much income. This game that seems so innocent at first.
Brother has manipulated us, even using this game. Under the guise of being “optional”, the company knows that the destitute have no choice; it was their only chance to grab at the lifestyle of the rich.
So, I picked up my phone with one trembling hand.
I dialed the number that all the poor knew by heart.
I did the unthinkable at that time.
I called Brother and made an appointment.
And I willingly signed up for a chance at a trip into the Hell that I would later come to regret.
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