The Game

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - To Prepare

Submitted: July 19, 2016

Reads: 79

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 19, 2016

A A A

A A A

The months that followed the arrival of that letter are still kind of a blur. I remember everyone went through the five stages of grief. There was denial. No one, not even me, wanted to believe that this was happening. That on June 21st, we would all be unwilling participants in this crazy game. So many people moved on to anger very quickly, Natasha being one.

“I can’t believe what they are doing.” She yelled as she paced the floor in the art room, “They can’t force us to participate. I should have my daddy sue whoever came up with this stupid idea.”

“Remember it was your daddy who signed you up for The Game.” I said not looking up from the maps I was studying.

“No one asked for your opinion.” She says all stuck up and rude, “Why aren’t you upset about this?”

“I was but I got over it.”

“Well I’m not going to. I will fight this until the very end.” Then she left to go complain somewhere else giving me the peace I needed.

The truth was I hadn’t gotten over it. I was still in that stage between depression and acceptance. The depression was the reason Nathan hadn’t been in school for the past couple of days. Throughout junior high Nathan was bullied both mentally and physically. When the denial turned to anger a lot of people took that anger out on Nathan and he slipped back into depression. He’s doing better but still, it has been hard without him.

The strategies we have been working on have been complex and, unfortunately, involving Nathan, Natasha, and I. Natasha hasn’t done anything to help. All she does is complain but Nathan doesn’t hear it. Nathan has been studying the rules, even if there are very few to actually study. The rules are as follows:

Only persons ages 14 to 18 may enter

No re-entering after you are knocked out

You must stay inside your designated map limits; people found outside their limits will be out; no weapon discharge across zones

No attacking inside a safe zone; all safe zones for an area are marked on the mapAny open or abandoned buildings are fair game

Game issued vehicles and weapons only; violators will be out Credits will be given to pay for items; weapons, vehicles, and supplies are free first day (first come first serve)

Everything else is fair game...Good Luck Player

That was it. Those were the rules that would govern me and my friends for who knows how long. It was unsettling for both Nathan and myself how simple the rules were but also how much room they leave for interpretation. That’s why I have Nathan studying them. I want to make sure we know every way those simple rules can be twisted and how we can use them to our advantage. My job was a bit different. As I said I am studying the maps they gave us in the little packets. I quickly realized that not all abandoned buildings and houses will be on the map so adding our own would up our game. The map also incompasses just two cities, the one I live in, Auburn, and the one across the river, Lewiston. Looking at other people’s maps it seems that we are divided based on where we live, not by where we go to school. I nearly had a heart attack until I remembered that Nathan had moved to Lewiston over the summer.

Another task I have taken up is marking where the borders to the map end. I don’t want us to get lost but I also don’t want to have to check the map and gps every time we go into the woods.

“Hey, what are you doing?” A voice asks behind me. It’s my cousin Mason. He’s the same age as me, even though we were born about a month apart.

“Planning.” I answer not looking up from my maps.

“For The Game?”

“What else would I be planning for?” Leaning over and looking at my maps he whistles, “You sure are doing a lot of work.”

“I want to be prepared.” I say while covering up the maps, I don’t need anyone else seeing them, “Was there something you wanted?”

“I was just wondering if you were going to join the school team?”

“There’s a school team?”

“Yeah. The majority of the people in the school do come from this area so it was decided we would all work together.”

“I think it’s just going to be Nathan, Natasha, and myself for now.” I say looking back down at the maps.

“Well if you change your mind you’re welcomed to join up.” He says with a smile before leaving me alone once again. The idea of a large team does seem like a good idea but I know for at least the start having a smaller, more mobile team will be a great benefit.

It was April 10th, during the middle of our spring vacation, when the next package for The Game arrived. In it were passes, information packets, and one black credit card. The passes were to tell people you were a player in The Game so they would let you into the new shooting ranges and driving schools. These were designed to put everyone on a more even playing field. You could learn to shoot any weapon they were going to have available for play and test drive or learn to drive the numerous cars, trucks, and motorcycles available.

 The information packets they gave us weren’t very detailed. They just told us that there was going to be a big opening ceremonies starting at nine pm June 20 and would run until The Game officially started at midnight. At midnight was when the weapons and vehicle stores would open for the three hour free for all. That was what the little black credit card is for. Before The Game starts the places that are letting you test guns and learn to drive are also selling specially designed clothes that allow you to wear pants, a tee-shirt, and two jackets in ninety degree weather. They also sold things like backpacks, water bottles, sleeping bags, and other traveling accessories. They really thought about everything when they designed this thing and I have to admit I was impressed. Nathan and I were out getting clothing and supplies, because Natasha was still heavily in both the denial and anger phases, when we were approached by some kids from our school. It was some of the more popular kids in our grade and they did not look happy.

“Why won’t you guys join the school team?” Brett Hammons asks. He’s the school’s pretty boy and star of the hockey team.

“We have our own plans for The Game.” I answer.

“Well you should share your plans with us so we can all win the big prize at the end.” Katlin Cooper says.

“Yeah.” Says a chorus of voices behind them.

“Well we just want to try on our own if you don’t mind.” I say again my voice not betraying my feelings of anger.

“Fine but when your plans fall through don’t come crying to us.” Katlin says turning to leave and signaling her little group to follow.

“Don’t worry about them. Our plans are full proof.” Nathan says putting his hand on my shoulder.

“I know that. I just wish they didn’t have to be so high and mighty.” I sigh, “We should finish our shopping.”

By the end of our shopping we both had come up with some what of signature look that we both agreed on. Both of has had black outer raincoats with dark grey zip up sweatshirts underneath. I had chosen a royal blue t-shirt to go under it with a black faded peace sign on it while Nathan chose a red shirt with a fade skull and crossbones. We both picked simple dark brown cargo pants that were loose and easy to maneuver in while still be silent. Black combat boots, belt, backpack, and a pair of fingerless black leather gloves completed our outfits. I personally also got a new pair of transition lenses, cause I can’t see without my glasses, and this special hair product that was suppose to help me contain my curly, frizzy, mess of hair.

For the next month and a half we spent just about everyday at the gun range and driving center. We choose our weapons carefully, testing everything they had in stock to make sure we were the best trained. We drove every car, truck, and motorcycle they had in stock. We were going to know exactly what we wanted when we arrived at the store. That was another thing. The store opens at midnight after the end of the opening ceremonies. The only thing was, the ceremony wasn’t mandatory. So instead of rushing around trying to beat everyone to the stores, we planned to sit at the entrance, get in and get out before anyone had even left the plaza.

That last bit of time was when we did any final planning, marked any unmarked trails, and dealt with personal problems. Natasha had finally come around during this time as well so we had to scramble to get her caught up to our speed and even now I doubt that she will ever be on par with us. She choose the worst outfit to go out in. A short bright red crop top, with a black leather jacket and grey skinny jeans that did not flatter her at all. To tie it all together she got a black studded belt, high leg high heeled boots, and a red leather hand bag. She also chopped off all her hair and dyed what remained bleach blond with dark roots.

Finally it was time for The Game to begin. The shooting range and driving center closed two weeks before The Game started. With one week left we were all shuffled into makeshift clinics to have little trackers imbedded into our arms. As the sun began to set on June 20th teenagers all over the city made their way to the opening ceremonies. The Game was beginning.


© Copyright 2019 Alex Sanger. All rights reserved.

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