The Death Test

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A bored office worker accepts an invitation to take the Death Test; a website survey that can predict when you will die.

Submitted: November 05, 2015

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Submitted: November 05, 2015

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The Death Test

 

The office stretched out some 30 metres or so. Lined from wall to wall with alarming similarity, large desks stretched out, divided by the usual hideous carpeted partitions that filled most offices. Upon each desk sat a computer, a desk stationary holder and trays with alarming amounts of paperwork piled up on them. Each desk had been lovingly decorated to give the user their own sense of home from home. Pictures of loved ones, flowers, comical desk ornaments and the odd coffee mug with varying survival messages drawn across them, adorned every desk. The neon lighting was painfully bleak, leaving the soul sucked of what little warmth it had gained from the previous nights sleep. The office space was relatively devoid of any human existence, partly due to the time of the year and partly due to the fact that the company simply couldn’t get the staff. Rumour had filtered through the canteen walls like wildfire that the company may not last another year. This had been the huge factor in the lack of interest being shown by any employees on this particularly dull Wednesday afternoon.

 

This is where we find Dave, sitting at his desk near the photocopier in the corner, away from prying eyes of other employees and his superiors (though his so called superiors were wont for being more attending of late, as the golf course called quite often these days. Lot of flu going about apparently. Seemed to be hitting management in particular).

 

Dave sat back in his worn office chair, lazily flicking through various websites on his computer. Browsing the internet had become his favourite pastime of late, and he was growing dangerously close to forgetting what he was actually supposed to do for a job.

 

A vaguely annoying warning tone bleeped from the speakers on Dave’s computer, informing him of a new email. Dave glanced at the small yellow envelope icon at the bottom right hand corner of his screen, and duly clicked on the email bar, bringing up this new message.

 

At the top of his email list for the day, a solitary line appears in the subject space;

 

 “Thought I’d better give you some warning…”

 

The email is blank, other than this subject title. Even more oddly, there is no email address from the sender.

 

Dave frowned and pondered how this could happen. Though he was no Bill Gates, he knew that no sender address appearing where there should be one was impossible. Dave clicked on the attachment file on the email, his interest peaked as to what this could be. The tiny atlas in the corner of the screen twirled, the computer considering the file that was to be opened.

 

Dave tapped his pencil on the desk in a faint rhythm that resembled a tune that had got stuck in his head earlier on in the day, and waited. Checking his watch, nearly a full minute had passed by. Dave leant forward and stared at the computer.

“Typical. I bet its blown up again.”

Dave leant forward and moved his mouse to the close symbol. That horrible feeling of having crashed his computer and left himself with nothing to do was becoming all to familiar.

Just as he was about click on the icon, the screen went black.

 

 

 

“Great! A virus…” Dave started, but was suddenly stopped mid sentence.

The screen had come alive with flashing colours and stripes running down the screen. Faster and faster across the monitor, the colours became almost dizzying.

Then, just as quickly as it had started, the pictures stopped.

At the top of the screen, fading into the black background in big white letters, came the words;

 

“Death Test”.

 

A second later, just underneath the title, a skull and cross bones emerge. Below this, a tiny picture of a little man walks onto the screen and gives a little wave. He has been designed to look like a scientist. In his left hand is a ruler, pointing at what can only be conceived as a speech bubble.

 

The speech reads; “Ever wonder how long you’ll live? If you’re the quiet boring type, you might just live to 100. On the other hand, if you’re like us, maybe you should be dead already. In the spirit of the original test, this one will tell you how numbered your days are. And don’t lie, because were watching you!”

 

Dave looks around. Nobody is in the vicinity, and the other members of staff who have taken to chatting at the far end of the office, haven’t even noticed him.

 

Dave looks back at his computer. Below the message is an icon with the legend born across it; “Take the Death Test”.

 

Dave shrugs

“What the hell?” and clicks on the symbol.

 

The screen goes black again.

 

Then turns to white. The title of “Death Test” forms at the top of the screen, this time in black letters with two flags bearing the skull and cross bones either side of it.

 

Suddenly, a whole list of questions appear down the page.

 

Dave studies the screen, a little unimpressed.

 

“What is your date of Birth? What is your gender? What is your height and weight? OK. Nothing unusual yet,” Dave mutters as he answers the questions.

 

Dave continues to flick through the pages, unsurprised at the questions that are forthcoming. Neither as foreboding as Dave had imagined, nor as interesting as he had hoped.

 

Do you have any of the following illnesses?

Cancer; Tuberculosis; Small Pox; Black Plague; Heart Disease; Leprosy; Diabetes or HIV/AIDS?

Has anyone in your family had problems with any of the following?

 

Dave completes the section, and clicks on the “Continue” symbol.

 

 

 

Once again, the screen goes black, then white. The title appears once more, and more questions roll down in front of Dave’s eyes.

 

Dangerous Activities;

How often do you….

Talk to Strangers?

Drive a Car?

Walk Alone at Night?

Play Drinking Games?

Browse the internet?

 

Dave stops.

“Browse the internet?”

Dave sits back in his chair, a puzzled look on his face. Looking up, Dave peers over his desk to see if anyone has overheard him.

One of the girls from the group, Simone, looks round. She catches his eye, gives a little wave and makes a smoking signal with two fingers.

Dave nods and smiles slightly embarrassed.

Sitting back, Dave stares at the monitor.

All the questions have three categories marked next to them;

 

Never.

Sometimes.

Often.

 

Dave looks perplexed.

He warily takes the mouse and clicks his answers into the various boxes on the screen.

The mouse icon slowly slides onto the proceed bar at the bottom of the page.

Dave hesitates for a moment, and then clicks on the bar.

 

Another page of questions appear, many of them similar in simplicity, if a little eccentric;

 

How often do you consume bubblegum?

How much marijuana do you smoke?

Are you on medication?

How often do you drink water?

 

Dave clicks on the relevant answers, a little unimpressed at the state of the test up to this point. He finishes, clicks on proceed, and waits.

 

Yet more questions appear, this time asking questions about his health.

“Well, at least this is closer to what I was expecting” Dave mutters as he looks down the questions.

“How often do I have team sex?!!” Dave exclaims far too loudly to be concealed.

 

Some of the people at the far end of the office look round at Dave’s cubicle.

Dave peers over the edge of his partition, and seeing people look round, slowly lowers himself back to look at the screen.

Dave clicks on “Never”.  

 

The screen goes blank. Nothing happens. Just a white screen.

 

 

Dave stares at the screen.

Nothing.

Dave clicks on his mouse impatiently.

Still nothing.

“Rubbish website” Dave mutters again.

Suddenly, the screen goes black.

 

What appears before him, unnerves Dave a little.

 

The screen is the same as before, only this time there is just one question.

 

“How many sheep did I count last night?”

 

Dave sits back in his chair, confused.

“How many…?” Dave mumbles to himself, perplexed.

 

Just below the question, an empty box for the answer stares out at Dave. The cursor is flashing, waiting for an answer.

Dave ponders for a minute, then shrugs and types in a random number.

Dave hits the enter key.

 

The screen goes black.

 

In a matter of seconds, words begin to form on the screen.

 

Dave looks on in disbelief. The result has come in.

 

“You will die on Wednesday November 5th, 2009 at 10.43am”

 

Dave looks at the screen in surprise.

“But…but that’s today?”

Dave checks his watch. 10.38am.

The quality control group have got up to go down stairs for a tea break. As they pass by, Simone comes over to Dave.

“You wanna come for a cigarette?” she asks, flirting just a little and beaming a huge smile.

“Er…yeah, in a minute,” replies Dave nervously, turning to Simone for just the briefest moment, turning his monitor away from her.

Simone looks at the monitor and frowns. She looks at Dave, shakes her head, and then follows the others.

 

Dave sits in his chair, flummoxed.

“Five Minutes? I’ve got five minutes left to live? Enough internet, I think.”

 

Dave bends down, and takes his cigarettes out of his bag. He takes one out of the packet, and puts the rest back in his bag. Taking one last look at the screen,

Dave shakes his head and heads out of the office for a smoke.

 

Outside the entrance to the building, the quality control group are all standing in a group, smoking and chatting.

 

 

 

 

 

Dave steps outside, and tries to light his cigarette. There is a slight breeze, so he has to turn to shield the flame. He turns round, cigarette lit, a plume of smoke trailing out of his mouth and down the car park.

As Dave takes his second pull on his cigarette, he stops for a moment, and looks around.

There is a faint whistling sound in the air.

At first distant, it becomes clearer and clearer, until it has become quite distinct.

Dave takes a couple of steps forward, looking up at the sky.

 

A small black object, about the size of a squash ball, is hurtling towards Dave.

 

Suddenly, the tiny rock strikes Dave in the head, burning straight through his skull and embedding itself in a tiny inch wide crater in the car park cement.

Dave’s body remains standing for a moment, before falling backwards, slumping on the ground, lifeless.

 

The quality control group rush over to see what has happened.

A couple of the men and women look on, as three of the group kneel down by Dave to see what’s wrong.

One of the men, a tall man with a deep booming voice slowly rises and turns to the group. He is pale as a ghost.

“He’s dead.”

Several of the women begin to cry. One of the men runs inside to get help. The man looks up to the sky, a puzzled expression on his face.

 

Indoors, the monitor on Dave’s computer flickers. A sharp flash, and the computer dies, the monitor fading to black.

 

The End.


© Copyright 2017 Sabre Kazabian. All rights reserved.

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