Octavia sits in the corner of a dimly lit room, marking his seventy-fifth day from his victory. He was told that soon there will be enough people to continue and once and for all, get this over with. He honestly just couldn’t wait to die. But the master wouldn’t let him. He had to die honorably in his little games that he has planned. Every day he sits and stares at the key at which in his victory game told him that it would be the key to life. He wonders who the new fellow is going to be. Out of the nine that are already part of the group, six are guys and three are girls. He especially admired Katie, the one who survived the last round of complete battle with little weapons. He knew that everyone that was there had won their own games and his was the most recent. The strong guy Jake, who only got a small injury on his leg from the games, won his last round by hanging long enough on a bar at which below there was a pool of sharks. Even if the sharks didn’t attack, the pool sealed up when the person fell in to drown them. There was also Nick who survived a pendulum by crushing both his hands. The master had them fixed. The master fixed all our wounds because we were going back to play again. Another surviving girl was Casey. She had bright blue eyes that almost glowed in the dark. She survived the most crucial games ever. She and this guy Jim entered the final room when they saw the two contraptions in front of them. They had to rip off more appendages than the other in two minutes. She cut off her fingers one by one, then toes then arms. Jim was an arm short. She is fixed also miraculously.
The door opens to Octavia’s room and a girl is dragged in, unconscious. He sees she has recently taken a blow to the head. That’s usually the punishment by Kelly if you’re doing something wrong. The unconscious girl was a red head and had a big head. She would be pretty if she didn’t have bruises everywhere and her hand wasn’t ripped off. She had blue eyes too but not as pretty as Casey’s. The master walks in. “Octavia meet your new roommate. Her name is Reggie and I want you to treat her nicely. You will deal with her for a week while you train for the games. Speaking of which, they will start in about one to two weeks.”
“You’re such a mother fu****! Why don’t you just kill us? You know that we expect to be free from all this don’t you? When we get into room ten we expect to be free but then you ruin it by making us do it again.”
“I thought you were taking this quite well. And yes I do know that but sometimes good news comes out of bad news. Look at it this way-you can finally die.” With that, the master walks out of the room and leaves Reggie there helpless. Then Octavia remembers the others victories. There’s Mike who cut off his opponents head with a mace. He has long, brown hair and brown eyes. I’m the only black guy Octavia thinks. But wait-oh yeah, there’s Zero named after that guy in the movie Holes. He doesn’t talk much just like the character. He’s the palest of all of us. There is also Drake who he never told anyone how he won his games. And finally the oldest player is Darcie. In her games, she beat her final competitor off by taking in more electrical current than he did. She took in 30,000 volts and survived but to this day she looks burned to a crisp.
Suddenly Reggie wakes up. “Where the hell am I? I won, I won, I won. I WANNA GO HOME!” She bangs her fists on the walls and cries so hard Octavia has seen cry.
“Get a grip. I know it was hard. I went through the same thing…and we’re about to do it again.” Octavia grunts and spits on the ground.
“What? No, you haven’t been through what I have. I had a HUSBAND in there. He died all because of that damn shitbag! Wait…what did you say? No, no you can’t be right. We’re not going through this again. He’s just gonna kidnap us until we decide to go with him.”
“Sorry lady, funs starting again. He’s putting us all back in. He also said to me earlier there would be a twist. I can’t wait. Can you?” Octavia shakes his head and thinks about how he’s going to die. Bitten by scorpions? Impaled by rocks? Killed by shocking electricity? Eaten by sharks? He thought of his worst fear. Suffocation? He sent chills down his spine.
“That bastard. I won. I deserve to be free! Oh, I remember now…All that time of him saying that. Now I know what he meant. He was warning us the whole time we were playing. He always said, ‘Get ready for a contest.’”
“Get ready for a contest all right. In one to two weeks we’ll be put to his tests again. Probably the most painful ones he can imagine. Anyway, with the time we have left, I suggest you meet everyone and have something to eat.” They leave Octavia’s room and meet in a larger room to their right. There’s tons of food laid out for them. Reggie ate nothing and went back into Octavia’s room. She swayed back in forth until she finally fell over and lay unconscious.
Reggie didn’t want to train. She was still sinking in the fact that she was going back into hell. Yet she did do as she was told and tried some stations. The first she tried was the weapons station because she heard people defeated their last opponent with weapons once. She found out that the best thing she could shoot with was a gun, or fling a knife. She was terrible at bow and arrow and decided that if there were weapons she would find these straight away. Next she rotated to a station to her left. It was a puzzle station. Casey had told her that in her games, the final three needed to solve a puzzle to get to the final two. Reggie suddenly remembered when Claire didn’t figure out the puzzle, Kelly, and dropped to her death. Once she began to realize once again that only one person would make it out, Reggie decided to make alliances before the games began. When the training for the day was over Reggie had found she was good especially with knives, holding on to things, and making friends. She had an alliance with Octavia, Casey, and Zero.
Octavia wonders if he had made a good choice. He sits in his room thinking if this Reggie girl would take him to the end. She had to be strong to be a victor, but must be weak because of her recent husband’s death. He imagined watching his girlfriend, Stacey burn to death right in front of him. He shuddered at the thought and went back to his room for bed along with Reggie that followed. “Uh, so you know everyone now Reggie. That’s good.”
“I don’t understand how you can act so calm. How do you do it when you know your life is about to end? I mean, we both are probably going to die. We have a ten twenty percent chance of making it out. Well, with our little alliance, we have a forty percent chance. But with all the others it’s sixty to forty so we don’t have the odds.”
“What are you talking about? There are no numbers to calculate here! One of us is coming out alive, not our whole alliance. We don’t have a forty percent chance, dream on. We each only have a ten percent chance. There’s really no point of an alliance anyway since only one can make it out.”
“Sorry. I like to do math. It calms me down to actually be doing something and not thinking about some horrible way I’m to die. And there is a point of having alliances. What if there’s a challenge like you have to kill somebody with weapons. Well, obviously we will join up and kill off someone not from our alliance. Make sense?”
“Whatever. I just want to get this over with and die. I’ve been waiting seventy-five days. I’m tired of this shit.” He rolls his eyes and lies down on his bed. Reggie tries to comfort him and sits next to him.
“Even if you do die, you will at least be free from him.”
On the sixth day of training, Reggie had made note of what people were strong at. She was most scared about Katie because she was skilled at almost every station the master had thrown out for them. Reggie hoped she would be the first one to die. This is crazy, Reggie thinks. She was actually starting to think like him. She was beginning to realize no matter what, that this is a game. It’s all a game just like the master said it was.
Finally on the last day of training, Reggie was convinced that she was never coming back alive. She thought about how she could use her strengths as an advantage. What was she good at? Aim? And good at math? Surely this couldn’t help her in these new games and she felt desperate for an answer. She never found one because gas started coming out of the air vents and she knew what would happen next. She blacked out.
Drake awoke first and looked all around him. No, he thought. This couldn’t be happening. He checked his eyes numerous times but he was still convinced. Then he saw it, the note on the door. He read it in his head. It read: Welcome back all ten of you. I did tell you that these games would be a surprise. Well at least one of you already knows what the surprise is, don’t you Drake? All the rooms will have the same challenges as before in each of your games. The final challenge, to be exact. I think you might all want an explanation from Drake first…”Oh my God.” Drake was horrified. This was the same challenge he did when he won his games. The room was circular and it had a gross stench to it. All around the circular room are stands where each player must right down an answer to a trivia question. When you get ten questions right, you win the game. Except this was different, Drake thought. He was not here with just one other person. He was with nine others and nine would be going through, one will not. Drake flipped the card over and it had the number 3 on it. Then everybody woke up. It was time to play.
“Where are we?” Casey asked with a confused look on her face. “We’re already playing? NO! OCTAVIA SAID IN TWO WEEKS!”
“Well I guess he was screwing us then wasn’t he Casey?” Octavia ignored her bright blue eyes.
“Look everybody, this isn’t like any other games. All the challenges are from all our previous games, our final challenge in the games. This was mine. I had to answer enough trivia questions right to win the game. It looks like we have to get 3 to move on. The guy has brought our worst fears back into this living hell. We are going to have to go through what let us live again. Except this time, one person has an advantage if it’s their challenge.” Everyone was shocked in silence. Reggie thought of her last challenge. She was in the small tubes with Amanda. Her last wish from her husband was to make it out alive and beat that bitch. She did, too. She found her way out from the tubes faster than Amanda and because of that, lit her on fire. Reggie took her place on a podium last and the master’s voice was now telling them what to do.
“Hello Katie, Jake, Nick, Casey, Mike, Zero, Drake, Darcie, Octavia, and Reggie. As you probably know by now, this is no ordinary game. It requires mental skill, not strength. In each one of your games there has been one challenge with mental skill. For example, Reggie had to come up with the password ‘Kelly’, or she would die.” Reggie remembers the time clearly. She and Claire were the last ones on a platform. The last one remaining in not figuring out the password would rise their platform up, and fall to their death. She even remembers the blood seeping through a hole onto her head. “Also, this game is not ordinary because it has happened before. This was Drake’s last challenge before he died. Each challenge will be one of the contestants own. Now I will read trivia questions of which most of you will know. Write it down and show it to the camera to your left. If it is right, you will not experience a shock of pain. If any of you say a word in this challenge, the games will be over and all of you will die. First question is…Who is the newest competitor’s name? Reggie gave a sigh of relief and wrote down her name on a sheet of paper that is on the podium. She showed it to her left and didn’t receive a shock.
“Ouch!” Jake screamed. Reggie turned around immediately and saw that he had only received a small shock, nothing to worry about. Everyone else had gotten the question correct.
“True or false? There has been a challenge dealing with acid.” Reggie didn’t know what to put. She saw some of the other player’s games on the master’s tapes as required but she couldn’t remember. She put down false. She waited to get shocked…but nothing happened. She was right. She already had two out of three questions right. Yet she heard many cries of pain. She registered in her mind that all the people in her alliance had screamed. Maybe she didn’t pick the right people for this. I mean, they have been longer here than she has. She was thinking too much she missed the next question. She heard the word ‘Kelly’. He was so obsessed with her. It made Reggie sick. I don’t know is what she put down. She tensed and got ready for the shock. ZZZZZAP!!!
“Holy shit! AH! The pain was getting worse as the questions went on, she thought. She heard a DING noise, followed by three others. She turned around. Katie, Mike, Drake, and Darcie’s podium was lighting up. A handle on the ground in front of each of their podiums lit up too. They grabbed the handles, pulled it up, and went down under into room nine. There were only six of them left. Am I going to make it? Am I going to die on this first mere mental challenge? These questions popped into Reggie’s mind. No, I am going to make it all the way. She knew her husband would want it.
“Well, to the six of you…I would think a little harder. Question four is what always happens in challenge four?” Reggie tried to remember but she couldn’t. How could anybody? Nobody wanted to think about what the most tragic thing in their life is. She wrote down ‘explosion’ remembering how they had to wear these head contraptions that exploded when the last person was still in the room. ZZZAP!!!! Reggie howled in pain as two other podiums made a DING noise. She looked back as her pain went away. Zero and Casey left the electric torture to another kind down below. Four were left. Reggie, Octavia, Jake, and Nick. They waited for the next question. “How many questions have passed?” Reggie thought…Wasn’t this the fourth? No, she had gotten two wrong, two right. This was the fifth. She wrote down the number five. DING! Her podium lit up and so did Jake’s. Reggie pulled up the handle, and jumped down into the new room before her.