Chapter 1: (v.2) 1-2

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 29

An hour passes and the train arrives at the train station of Life city, noticeable by the colorful fluorescent lights that hung on the station’s ceiling; men and women in suits and bizarre costumes walking around its very steps; and the massive sign of Life City on top of the exit. Ryder gets off the train with the rest of the passengers, the man included. He walks to the conductor with his satchel hanging over his shoulder, handing him his ticket.

 

 

“Have a good evening sir!” said the conductor as he grabs the ticket and opens the turnstile for Ryder to pass through.

 

 

Ryder nods at the conductor as he thanks him, passing through towards the exit of the station; he walks down the steps and stops at the sidewalk, waiting for a taxi, and there it was. The taxi is painted in white and black, its tires glowed with the words, “Life City Welcome,” as it makes the taxi move in front of Ryder. He opens the door and enters the taxi, surprised by the cool and fragrant air conditioning and clean seats, in likes he had never thought he would experience in his current life.

 

 

“Where to Sir?” asks the driver cheerfully as he faces Ryder from the driver seat window.

 

“U-um, y-yeah um, here.” He quickly rummages his jacket to take out the piece of paper containing the address, handing it over to the driver for him to see.

 

“Ok then, sit back and relax sir.” The driver punches the key in, turning the car on before driving out into the main street of the city as it heads towards 696, Macara St. Deville Residence.

 

Ryder spent his time gazing at the beautiful city, staring at large buildings and breathtaking scenery; looking at expensive cars as it races down the street, thinking that the cab they own back home couldn’t even compare to the roaring sounds of engines the cars made. He gazed at the vibrant people going about their lives, seemed like a party is always happening in every apartment and district with the people being drunk stupor and trust fund teenagers he thought.

 

“Businessman I take it?” said the driver suddenly. 

 

 

“U-um w-what, excuse me?” asks Ryder confused.

 

 

“Well, you are going to the Deville’s mansion; you must be a stellar businessman to do work with that family.”

 

Ryder fell silent as a second passes, but he quickly answered, “Um, no… I-I’m applying for a… Job that the Deville’s posted,” he lied as he averts his gaze off the driver and into the window.

 

“Hmmm, pretty strange for a job interview at the family’s house, not to mention the time.”

 

“I know… Say, who are the Deville’s exactly?” asks Ryder, attempting to learn more about the family.

 

“You don’t know about them?! They are one of the richest families in Life city, maybe even in the whole country!” said the man, bewildered by Ryder’s ignorance, “They made a company that is worth billions today! Their inventions have changed the world so much and you’re telling me you don’t know about them?!”

 

Ryder’s eyes flew wide open, and his heart skipped one beat due to the driver’s sudden change. He thought carefully of what to say next, trying not to stumble his word, “U-um, I-I’m not quite up to date as everyone else. I’m sorry if I offended you or something like that.”

 

The driver looks at the rearview mirror, glaring at Ryder for his cluelessness, “Let me give you a piece of advice: Learn your facts before you go out finding for them,” said the driver coldly as he continues to drive but now, in silence.”

 

Ryder noticed his cold glare rubbing on his face, making him feel a fire inside his heart; but he calms himself down, breathing deeply and quietly as he lays back on his seat. He goes back to looking out of the window. The rest of the trip was anything but loud, silence sipped into the car, with only the sound of wheels moving on the ground and the occasional bumps it encountered along the way. An hour passes and the taxi stops in front of a large gate, made by jet black steel with sharp spikes on the top like the walls it was connected to. The car’s windows open, letting Ryder stick out his head and look at the gate, giving his stomach an uneasy tingle.

 

 

“This… This is the place?” asks Ryder.

 

The driver replied in silence, with only his eyes directing Ryder to look at a plaque that hung on the wall beside the gate. Ryder turns around to see what the driver’s eyes were pointing at, seeing a sign that spelled out the address, “696, Deville Resident Mansion.”

 

“Good Luck… You need it,” said the driver before turning the car around, leaving Ryder and the vicinity.

 

 

After seeing the taxi leave, Ryder turns back around to face the gate, examining it and the walls it was embedded into. He turns his head to the side to see a standing post, which seemed like a mailbox but there was no red flag and an opening; only a small button and a large black circle on top of it. Seeing that there was nothing else he could do since the gate was locked shut, he moves towards the standing post, slowly moving his finger to push the button. There was no response, at least, not yet. As Ryder was about to turn around.

 

“State your business!” A shout came from the standing post, turns out it acted like a doorbell, only that someone is speaking through it. Startling Ryder, but he instantly recovered.

 

Ryder quickly moves his lips closer to the speaker, carefully considering his words before speaking, “Um… I’m here for Mr. Deville’s application to join a gam- “

 

 

The gate’s locked suddenly made a noise, It now slowly opens for Ryder. He turns his head to the gate and back to the speaker, the voice didn’t reply but Ryder thanked it anyway. He starts to walk through the opening gate, looking at the massive front yard filled with statues, fountains, hedges, and small buildings with scaffolding on the side in which Ryder thought were just unfinished storage buildings or bathrooms. He reaches the start of the mansion steps, looking up to see the mansion in its yellow and brown paints; it seemed like a typical summer mansion he sees in magazines. He walks up to the steps and towards its two massive doors with its small obscured glass windows. He raises his hand and clenches it, slowly moving it towards the door. It opens before he could even knock.

 

A man wearing what seemed to be a business suit with a badge that looked like a bird walked out of the doors and stopped in front of Ryder, making him stand still, “You must be one of the participants, right this way sir!”

 

 

At first, Ryder was stunned and confused, but when the man entered the mansion, Ryder had no choice but to follow. He walked behind the man as he followed him, looking at the pictures hanging on the walls and on the tables they passed: seeing people receiving awards and riding race cars and boats; It was the family, Ryder thought as he continued to follow. After a moment, they arrive at a large room, embedded with red wallpaper and faint yellow lights on the walls and ceiling; and stairs with maroon mats at the end of the room. Not only the pretty scenery and furniture but there were also people sitting on comfy cushion chairs that were in the middle of the room; their voices filled the room with gossip and chatter.

 

“This is the lobby sir, where Master Deville will announce the start of the event; I suggest you find a seat, thank you for coming Sir,” said the man as he goes to the front and stands in wait.

 

After Ryder sees the man leaving, he quickly walks towards the sets of chairs, looking above the heads of the ones already seated to find any empty seats. A minute passes and Ryder still had no luck finding any, thinking to himself that every chair was taken; he stands in thought, until he turns around, considering to just stand against the wall in wait. But then.

 

“Hey there! I didn’t know that you were coming here too!” someone shouted.

 

Ryder turns around again, only to see the man he was with back at the train carriage, the same blue polo shirt, green tie, and backpack, “You should’ve said that you were coming here too, we could’ve shared a taxi on the way here!”

 

Ryder however, was a bit slow in recognizing the man, but when he saw his backpack and heard his chattering tone, his memory jogged up, “Oh it’s you, I didn’t know you were coming here,” said Ryder in a weak tone.

 

“Well, I don’t really look like someone who participates in things like this, but that will change when I win the game!” said the man with a cheery smile.

 

“You sure are cheery, I’m guessing you already have a seat?”

 

 

“Not really, but I saw two empty seats on the middle; come, we can sit beside each other if you want.” The man signaled Ryder to follow him as he turns around and walks towards the chairs.

 

Seeing no other option, Ryder quickly follows the man as they pass the crowd of people.

 

“By the way, I didn’t catch your name. My name is Andrew Sween, but people call me Drew.”

 

 

“… Ryder — Ryder Zean.”

 

 

The two men arrived at the empty seats in the middle of the set, sitting comfortably on them as both of them takes out their bags and put them down on the floor. Ryder takes off his leather jacket while Drew takes off his tie that was tightly hanging on his neck, “For a rich family, it sure is hot in their lobby, or maybe that’s because of the people talking in here,” said Drew as he takes a handkerchief and wipes his forehead full of sweat.

 

Meanwhile, Ryder was examining the room, looking at the other participants: some were wearing clothes that other people would consider normal, but most of them wear wearing ragged clothes with tears and holes all over. The only one that wore somewhat expensive clothing, was a kid sitting in the front of the set of seats; Ryder was confused about why a child was here. Is he a participant?

Ryder patted Drew’s shoulder to get his attention, then points at the boy on the front, “Is he a contestant? I don’t know if children are even allowed in this type of event.”

Drew turns his head and looks at the boy alongside Ryder, but unlike him, he was not stunned, “Well, there was no age limit mentioned in the ad. He must be a kid who got cut off of his family’s will or something.”

“Still… It's weird having a child here.”

 

While the two sat on their chairs, two large doors on each side of the room opens as people wearing business suits — similar to the one who greeted Ryder at the entrance — entered the room and made a long line at the end of the stairs. Ryder, Drew, and the rest of the participants made the room fall into silence, only to be broken. 

 

“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen — to our humble abode!” said a man that was coming down the stairs as he talked. He wore a maroon suit and a monocle on his eye; brown hair and eyes.

 

He came down the stairs slowly, touching the wooden handrail as he does so, “I thank you all for coming, it is really a joy to see so many people coming to participate in my family’s game!” He arrives at the end of the stairs, with the men wearing business suits on his sides.

 

“My name is Leopold Deville! The eldest child of my dear father and mother; and the humble owner of the game you are about to participate in! But first.” He snaps his fingers.

 

Two men from the line walk towards the seated people, with papers on hand. The two men each give the participants the papers, advising to examine them. When Ryder was given his, he looks at it to see a contract and a blank space for him to sign.

 

 

 It reads:

 

When signing the contract, you agree to participate in the game hosted by the Deville Family. Any other events, plans, or even work is hereby terminated until the game ends or you lose. Signing this will include your acknowledgment that the Deville family will not be responsible for any injuries, disease, or fatal occurrences that will happen to your person.

 

Will you choose to sign? Or will you choose to decline?

 

 

Ryder looks closely, thinking to himself as he reads the contract. For a moment, he pauses and tries to reconsider, but his mind suddenly drifts to memories of his family; so, he signed. He turns his head at his side, seeing Drew while he quickly signs the contract. The man who handed out the contracts came back again, extending his hand for the participants to give the signed contracts to him; pretty much, everyone signed.

“Hey fancy man!” one of the male participants that were wearing no shirt shouted at Leopold, “You said there would be money for the reward!”

“Yeah, I only signed because the ad said there was a reward!” said one of the female participants wearing a headband and a scratched hoodie.

 

Leopold corrects his monocle and clears his throat to speak, “You are indeed correct! The reward is indeed money, and a large sum at that.” 

 

“How large?” asks Drew from his seat.

 

“….150 billion dollars”

 

The participants suddenly gasped and cheered, hyped for the game as well as Ryder, smiling and punching the air in his excitement. The room continued to be loud like a concert, until Leopold raises his hand for them to quiet down, “The money will not be easily won however, the games will start as something easy for all of you to handle, then it will become more difficult with each game, but I have faith in all of you. I can assure, that the game will be… fun for all of us,” said Leopold somewhat… strangely.

 

“But before we begin, let us have a toast!” He snaps his finger again.

 

The men in business suits grabbed a tray of glass cups full of wine, giving each participant a drink. Ryder grabs his and looks at it, he never drank wine before because he could never afford it, but he hopes to change that when he wins the game. He looks at Drew sniffing the wine, admiring its smell, and imagining its taste, “Good luck in the games, Drew,” said Ryder finally with a wide smile.

 

“Thanks! You too Ryder”

 

After all the participants grabbed their glass cups, Leopold grabs his, raising it up as he speaks the toast, “May the best player win!” He signaled everyone to drink. 

 

Ryder chugs the glass of wine alongside the other participants, drinking until its last drop. He finished and wipes his mouth, but… something Is off. He looks at the empty glass and sees it moving. His vision is becoming blurry. He looks at Leopold and saw something strange. He didn’t drink his. His eyes became heavy… sleepy; He looks at Drew and sees him laying back on his seat, he seemed asleep while Ryder thought. He looks at the other participants, and many of them were laying down on the ground, also asleep. Ryder tried to stay awake, he stands up from his seat, only to fall down again. Spinning and spinning was his vision. Slowly going to… sleep. Before his eyes fell, he looks at Leopold’s blurry figure and as it starts to close, Leopold… spoke.

 

 

 

“…Let the games…”

 

 

 

“Begin

 
 


Submitted: August 06, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Dante Blake. All rights reserved.

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