Friday, March 25, 2011

The Game #3

From what I understand, this is a similar scene as from the movie The Deer Hunter. I'm not sure how similar they are, since I've never seen it, but I wanted to at least acknowledge it.

I’d lost track of how many times I’d put the barrel of a revolver up to my head and pulled the trigger. Some people would say I’m lucky, but truth be told, I just want there to be a bullet in the chamber.

Surrounding us were our captors. They didn’t point any guns at us, they didn’t need to. We all knew what would happen if we tried to shoot at them or refused to play. Ten others would be mercilessly tortured and we would have to watch. Aside from the revolver, there was no way out.

Tonight, there were three of us left, and it was my turn again. My hands knew what to do; they had done it so many times before. I pulled back the hammer and squeezed the trigger. *click* I tilted my head back and groaned as some of the captors cheered.

I tossed the gun into the lap of the man sitting in front of me. No. He wasn’t a man. He was still a boy. The poor kid, this was his first game, and five empty chambers had already been fired.

I would have given anything to trade places.

He wanted nothing more than to live, I wanted nothing more than to die.

The spectators stood up and cheered, eager for the blood while I turned my head away. I didn’t need to see this again. I heard him pull the hammer back, then the loud explosion and thump his body made as it hit the floor. Another corpse on the ground to add to the growing stench of rotting flesh.

One of the captors came over to us and grabbed the gun. Out of one of the pockets in his shirt, he pulled out a single bullet. He popped open the cylinder, put in the bullet, spun the cylinder, and put it back in place. Before leaving, he threw it at the feet of the only other man left.

He had won one other game, but nobody had the kind of record I did, and he was still nervous. But still, compared to most others, he was a veteran. He put the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger *click*

We both smiled at each other as he handed me the gun. I automatically pulled back the hammer and fired. *click*

I sighed and tossed the gun back at the man then looked up into the crowd. A couple of the men were standing up, hoping to see if their ‘horse’ would win. I shook my head. When I looked back, the man had the gun up to his head; his hands shook as his eyes darted about the room. *click*

Again I felt a small flutter in my heart. Fourth time, that’s when it usually happens. I reached out to grab the gun. I put it in position and took a deep, cleansing breath. I could feel that this was it. It had to be. *click*

I swore, quietly. It was drowned out by the cheers and curses hurled down from the captors. I just wanted it to be over.

I handed the weapon to the man across from me. He just stared at me with those large eyes of his. I shook my head and turned away. Please no. Not again. The cheering got so loud that I couldn’t hear the man cock the gun or fire, but I knew from the hush that blanketed the crowd that my time had come.

I reached out and snatched the gun. I could see that the man was trying to hold back his smile for my sake, but that was fine with me. I wanted out.

I caressed the cold, steel revolver and kissed it. As I looked up into the crowd; money was already changing hands. It used to anger me, but I didn’t care right now. I was done. I put the barrel right up to my temple and squeezed the trigger *click*

I pulled the gun down from  my head and looked at the cylinder. The bullet didn’t fire. It was a dud. “No!” I shouted. “No! No! No!”

10 comments:

John Wiswell March 25, 2011 at 9:52 AM  

I guess I need to watch The Deer Hunter. Guys on the edge of suicide by a gun to the head are not necessarily novel - we've lost novelists to it. So maybe that movie has creepy similarities, but this story feels like your own fiction, Michael.

Laurita March 25, 2011 at 10:05 AM  

Spectacular suspense. One of those stories you read, then find that your nose is just an inch from the monitor when you finish.

Ebyss March 25, 2011 at 12:18 PM  

I remember The Deer Hunter from when I was little. That is the only scene I remember....vaguely. I don't know why, in the movie, they were playing Russian roulette or anything.

Anyway, my point being, what you wrote is pretty damn good. I liked it a lot.

I always say this. So what if there is another scene or maybe setting or maybe a character in some other movie or book that is similar (which does not mean exactly) to yours.

As a matter fact I'd like someone to name me a book where there isn't something similar to another book.

Harry Potters not the first school for wizards. And I love that book.

Twilight is not the first book about a mind reading vampire. I love that book too. Although, it might have it on sparkly.

I just named those because they are pretty popular with young and older, alike.

Anyway, that scene was very good and suspenseful. I was completely drawn in. And I think that is the true calling of an author...to draw the reader in and not let go.

Eric J. Krause March 25, 2011 at 1:39 PM  

Excellent story! I've never seen The Deerhunter, so this was new to me. Quite a tale. Wonder how long he'll last. I can't even imagine going through that, wanting to get it or not.

Matt Merritt March 25, 2011 at 3:58 PM  

You just built the suspense perfectly. Really well done.

Icy Sedgwick March 25, 2011 at 4:46 PM  

Wow, this was really quite powerful. I've never seen The Deer Hunter so the piece stands on its own merit - I could really feel his...disappointment is the wrong word, but his fury that he'd been denied again.

Danielle La Paglia March 25, 2011 at 9:04 PM  

I've never seen the movie, but I thought you did a fantastic job of building the suspense and showing the reader his emotions. Very well done.

Chuck Allen March 25, 2011 at 10:28 PM  

This story dragged me along. I wanted to look away, but kept going nonetheless. The part with the kid left me wincing. Great job with the tension and pace.

Adam B March 26, 2011 at 12:50 AM  

Great building of tension in this scene. You can feel the weight of emotions building throughout.
Adam B @revhappiness

Tommy Salami April 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM  

I've seen the Deer Hunter, but don't find this derivative enough to merit concern. Of the Game stories, this grabs me the most.

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