6 - The Plan
"Listen up. By now, you should have all figured out that the game is only designed for torture. That is the only purpose for why we're here and our torture satisfies the sadistic creators behind this. Believe it or not, this game doesn't want us to just die."
Matthew's words are sinking into people's minds. Noses are scrunched up, eyes are knitted close together in thought, and some people are frowning and staring silently. Others are shouting in disbelief, not believing what they're hearing.
"Listen to me! Taniya was suicidal. Why did they give her that easy question? They weren't done torturing her. And once they knew she hit her breaking point, that was their ultimate satisfaction," Matthew continues. "Don't you see they're trying to turn us against other? Wake up, everyone! There is no winner. The only way out of this - and just hear me out - is if we don't play along. Because, face it or not, we're all going to die anyway. So, why should we die being tortured when we can die painlessly while still having our dignity?"
By now, majority of the crowd are staring intently at Matthew as if he held the answer to their troubles. Meanwhile, the mixed-race teenage boy shakes his head in disagreement.
"Nah, man! That's crazy! We're supposed to just die without fighting for our life?" Ashton screeches, his facial expressions revealing that he is not convinced at all.
"That's what they want you to think," Matthew persists coolly. "Here's a question for you - would you rather die painlessly or die fighting for nothing and be endlessly tortured along the way? Face it, death is imminent. I'm pretty sure everyone has come to terms that, one way or another,we're all gonna die. If we accept it now, it'll be easier for us. Who's with me?"
People are glancing at each other, as though they are trying to find an answer between them. Then they return their attention back to Matthew and they give a shallow nod of acceptance. The Muslim woman seems hesitant.
"My life is precious to me and I'm not ready to die that easily," Ayesha says, her voice wobbling with uncertainty.
"I agree with the stripper," Ashton says firmly. Kat glares at him, her blue eyes seeming more intense, while Ayesha rolls her hazel-brown eyes at his remark.
The name generator lands on the elderly woman.
'Rosa, would you rather masturbate in front of everyone or freestyle rap about why you hate your children?'
"What is freestyle rap?" Rosa asks, her forehead crinkling in confusion.
"Forget about it. Just don't do anything," Matthew states calmly.
"Shurrup!" Ashton snarls at the man. The teenage boy looks back at the elderly woman. "Freestyle rap is sorta like poetry. Just make one about why your kids piss you off! You can save your life and you won't be torturing anyone if you do this."
The elderly woman looks down at her lap, where her fingers are fidgeting. She sighs. "I won't say anything negative about my children. My god can see this and it's all just a test," she says in a croaky voice filled with determination. Both the Muslim and Christian women are nodding their heads in agreement.
"God will be with you. Don't give in to evil and temptation," Mary says softly.
"Says the one who literally back-stabbed the fatso," Ashton snaps, as he glares at the Christian woman. He averts his green eyes back to Rosa, who is slumping on the floor in a lifeless manner. "C'mon, rap for us! This is the easiest question they've asked! Don't let it go to waste. You don't have to mean the words you say!"
Rosa remains quiet. Each ticking of the timer is sending nervous energy shooting down to Ashton's toes. The boy can see that the elderly woman has given up. She is lying on the floor, curling herself into a ball. She strangely resembles a fetus at this point. Her vacant eyes hint that she is not really there with them and that she is in another world. Everyone else is heartbroken to see her in this vulnerable position.
"C'mon... there has to be something that annoys you about your kids. Maybe you don't like the way they chew with their mouths open? Do you hate that they don't listen to you? Do you hate that they don't visit you more often? Maybe you don't like the way think they're a know-it-all? Just say anything!" Ashton demands, as he looks at the screen desperately and he's panicking with each passing second.
Rosa still remains quiet. She would give anything to be with her children and their imperfections. She closes her eyes.
Another explosion. Hearts are heavy and heads are turned away. Ashton frowns, but he shrugs the situation off quickly. His thoughts, like everyone else's, ponders about who the next victim is.
The name generator lands on the mid-thirties Asian woman.
'Seiko, would you rather drink piss or eat poop?'
Seiko sighs in a resigned manner.
The robotic hands are out and they are holding the tray again. Instead of two spiders in glass lids, there is a plastic plate and cup. Two big swirls of brown dung are resting on the plate and the cup is filled with bubbly, warm, yellow liquid.
"Isn't drinking piss good for you?" Kat asks to no one in particular.
"You're into some weird shit, I can tell," Ashton says, winking and nudging her lightly.
"Shut up," the Polish girl hisses, her face burning in embarrassment.
"If you eat human feces, you will more likely become ill from bacterial or viral infection," Ayesha states in a matter-of-fact tone. "However, drinking urine is probably your best call," she says, her eyes scanning the plastic cup. Then she murmurs, "although it does look really unhealthy..."
Seiko runs her fingers through her hair shakily. She feels like the questions have gotten deliberately easier. Her body and mind is screaming at her for survival. Matthew can see her cloud-gray eyes that are darting everywhere in uncertainty.
"You may win the round, but you won't win the game. Is it really worth it?" The white man asks her.
"I could live my life a little longer," Seiko persists. "I don't mind drinking pee if it means saving myself."
"Would you rather live this painful life a bit longer for the sake of surviving just you can be tortured or die by your own terms?" Matthew interrogates, his words punching Seiko's heart, forcing her to accept the harsh reality of the situation.
"Why are you trying so hard to make them kill themselves? I'm pretty sure if you had this question, you'd do it in a heartbeat," Ashton says in an accusing tone. "Besides, we all do different things for survival. This might be your limit, but for her, it's clear that she's willing to do anything. So back the fuck off."
"Look, don't turn on me. That's what they want. We gotta stick together," Matthew responds nonchalantly.
"He's right. We've only got each other in here. We shouldn't fight," Ayesha says, backing him up. "However, I do believe that Seiko has the final decision on what she should do because, at the end of the day, it's her life."
Ashton stays quiet but there is an expression of incredulity across his face. He narrows his eyes suspiciously at Matthew, not trusting the man nor his public intentions.
Seiko is gone. Her blood splatters across Matthew's face, covering the smirk that is appearing on his features. His plan is working.
The name generator spins and it lands on the Polish teenage girl.
'Kat, would you rather cut your tongue in half with gardening pliers or poke out both of Liam's eyeballs?'
She looks nervously at the dead boy's broken head resting on the floor. His face is soaked in dark, red blood. His mouth is hanging open and his eyes are wide like saucers. There is an expression of terror permanently written across his still head.
"Cut your tongue, you stupid bitch!" Mackenzie screams at the teenager. "Don't even go near that boy, you selfish cunt."
"He's dead. He won't feel it. The only reason I didn't do it before is because I didn't want to put him in pain, just like everyone else. But now he won't feel anything. I won't be torturing anyone," Kat says in a pleading tone.
"You'll be torturing us if you do that," Mackenzie spits out.
"True. If you didn't do it for him then, especially when he was begging you for his survival, then you can't do it now for your own survival. Because then there's really no faith in humanity," Madison chips in, backing up her sister.
"Yeah, if you have any dignity, you would shut the fuck up and just die silently," Mackenzie adds bitterly, holding onto her bleeding wound, where Kat had stabbed her.
"Pipe down!" Ashton snaps to the sisters, wrapping his arm around Kat. "She can do whatever she wants. Have you guys forgotten we're a team?"
Kat finds moves closer into the teenage boy's arms, feeling a sense of warmth and protection from him. She doesn't want to provide the sisters with any satisfaction from her death. Their words encourage her to accept the gardening pliers, which Ashton hands over to her.
Matthew quickly speaks up. "Do you really want to torture yourself? All you are is a chess piece in this game that's eventually going to die," he says. Then he asserts confidently, "There is no winner."
"It's up to you, kitten," Ashton mumbles.
Kat looks at the gardening pliers. Flashbacks of her stabbing Mackenzie and her shoving the tarantula down Elsa's throat are haunting her mind. Matthew is right. This game is only torturing her. She is turning into something that she hates and she wants to end it all before she completely loses her mind.
She drops the pliers on the floor and bows her head down. "Okay... goodbye everybody," Kat whispers, knowing in her heart that she can't go on.
Ashton bends down to lightly peck her cheek with a feathery kiss. For a moment, the world around them disappears and the girl feels an electric charge, which causes her heart to beat insanely. Her face flushes in embarrassment and pleasure. Then Ashton moves back and watches her, his green eyes looking sadder than usual.
That moody and tough girl is gone.
A message appears on the screen: 'There will be a winner and the prize ensures you will be a millionaire with a mansion for you and your family. If you do not play our game, the punishment will not only affect you but also your loved ones.'
"Don't worry about it, guys. I'm sure it's just an empty threat," Matthew says, trying to reassure everyone else.
The screen types out a message in response: 'Matthew, you wouldn't want anything happening to your precious little Madison. So play along.'
Madison is confused. She looks over shyly at Matthew, wondering if he really cares about her.
Matthew instantly realizes that the game is referring to his little niece. He screams in pure white rage. "Don't you fucking dare lay your hands on her! I'll kill you with my own bare hands and that's a promise you can take to your grave!" He growls, as he loses his calm disguise that he's been wearing from the start. There is a crazy look flashing intensely in his fiery-blue eyes.
Ashton holds onto Matthew's tightened shoulder. "Calm the fuck down, bro. They won't do anything if you play along," the teenager states in an authoritative tone. The white man relaxes his tensed muscles.
The name generator lands on the Christian man.
'Joseph, would you rather kill yourself or kill Mary?'
"Mary, honey... I think you know what I have to do," Joseph says, holding onto his wife's trembling, sweaty hand and he kisses it softly. He can taste the sweet, metallic blood from her.
"No, Joe. Don't even think about it," she replies, holding onto him tightly. He is her lover, her best friend and her soulmate, and she cannot even think about losing him.
Suddenly, gentle music comes from the screen. The harmonious sounds of a flute playing with a touch of beautiful melancholy. A soft woman's voice fills the atmosphere - a complete contrast from the darker song they played earlier on.
Every night in my dream,
I see you, I feel you,
That is how I know you go on...
"This is taking the piss," Ashton snaps, angry that the game is ruining a beautiful sentimental moment by mocking the Christian couple. Matthew nods, agreeing that the game is too cold-hearted, even for him.
"Joe, I can't live without you. If you go, I'm going to kill myself too because, without you, my life is worthless," Mary pleads, completely ignoring the taunting music.
"No, darling. Let me die knowing that you're safe," her husband replies stubbornly. They share their final kiss, which is slow, loving and passionate. Everything fades to black, the music is blocked for them, and it's just those two in that moment. The coldness seeps through Mary's blood when Joseph pulls away. He whispers in her ear, "Do what it takes to survive."
Mary cries. She closes her eyes, not wanting to see her husband pick up the human-sized needle. It is still stained with Benjamin's blood. Without hesitating, Joseph pierces the needle straight into his heart. His scream causes a deep and painful ache in Mary's own heart. There is a dull thud as his lifeless body crashes to the floor.
The name generator lands on Mary as expected.
'Would you rather escape or celebrate your anniversary?'
There is a burst of noise among everyone.
"If you escape, maybe we all can!"
"Save yourself, Mary!"
"Do it for Joseph."
The robotic hands are out, their metal fingers holding a tray that has a huge, white cake resting on it. Fancily written across the cake in pink icing is: Congratulations on your tenth anniversary together!
"This game sure knows a lot about us," Madison mutters.
Mary stares at the cake, which is so beautiful and grand. It looks so perfect to the point where it looks artificial. Completely fake. It probably tastes horrible. Gentle tears dribble down her face, as she feels hatred forming within her. The cake is mocking her. She hates it. She hates everything about this game. With anger consuming her, she slams the cake down onto the pool of blood below her.
The Muslim woman shakes her head. "It's sad because they claim they're testing our humanity but what about theirs? Whoever is behind this is a monster. And they're worse than we can ever be," Ayesha says in a morbid tone.
The time continues to tick away. Mary laughs, even though she doesn't find anything about this situation remotely funny. Yet she laughs harder. She laughs because the game thinks it can defeat her morality. Did it really think she would just walk away? Her life is truly meaningless without her significant other. Without him, she feels like she cannot go on.
She closes her eyes and she waits for her neck to twist.
Instead, a loud buzzing noise overtakes the tensed atmosphere. It is the sound of electricity heating up at a rapid pace. Before Mary can move away, she is being held down by an invisible force as easily as a finger holding an ant down. Like a knife slowly slicing through butter, Mary's skin is being torn apart. Horrified eyes are watching her. Her insides are showing. Blood is spurting everywhere. Some people are feeling sick, others are looking away while the rest are staring in shock. They can see the woman's tinted-yellow, faded brown brain (which is surprisingly tiny) and her meaty, red flesh (similar to a lamb's meat) that is supposed to be her cheek. Her healthy, pink lungs are being ruthlessly sliced apart with blood oozing out of them like a strawberry jam fountain. Her intestines are dangling down from her body - the invisible slicer has loosened them apart like plaits. She is being split all the way in half, all the way down to her genitalia. As soon as the invisible slicer reaches her crotch, her body breaks apart in two, like she is an egg being cracked open, and her mashed-up organs and skin and bones are resting on the floor in a messy pile.
Through it all, she kept on screaming and screaming until she couldn't scream anymore.
Just when people think they can't be shocked anymore, the game throws more cruel surprises their way. Everyone else has to agree that Mary's death is the most torturous method yet. It's more painful than a simple explosion which can swiftly kill anyone. It's far more painful than twisting someone's neck, where the pain does last longer (compared to being exploded), but it is no match for this form of torture - which is surely the longest and slowest one yet. The worst part is that everyone else is forced to watch helplessly while it appears that she is being sliced in half by an invisible katana sword in slow motion.
The name generator lands on the nineteen-year-old, young woman.
'Madison, would you rather have Mackenzie suck your tampon or have sex with the drag queen's dead body?'
Madison questions how the game knows that she's on her period. Her eyes widen when she realizes that someone or something clearly searched her. She shudders in disgust, feeling absolutely violated.
"Poor guy. The game loves making people fuck him, even in death," Ashton mumbles, looking over at the drag queen who is lying on the floor. For some reason, the teenage boy wants to laugh. He feels like he's losing his mentality and he's becoming desensitized so quickly.
"What the fuck! The timer... it's literally been reduced by thirty seconds. You've only got fifteen seconds left! Hurry!" Mackenzie yells at her younger sister. The woman wants to cry because this game is getting more cruel and unfair.
"Please, look away everyone," Madison says shamefully. She knows that either option will scar her, but she figures that she will leave Mackenzie out of this. Hesitantly, Madison walks over to the drag queen's body.
Everyone averts their eyes away out of respect. All too soon, the timer goes off and the name generator spins and lands on the next player.
'Mackenzie, would you rather let Madison die and everyone else lives or everyone else, including you, dies but Madison lives.'
The timer begins. Twenty seconds. Mackenzie panics. She looks over at her younger sister, who is panting heavily. Madison has just performed the disturbing act of necrophilia for the sake of sparing Mackenzie from being tortured. Her younger sister clearly loved her so much that she was willing to torture herself.
Mackenzie's eyes tear up. Her heart is breaking.
Madison shakes her head. "It's basically me or you," she says, her voice wobbling. The other people seem offended, but Madison ignores their reactions. Instead, she laughs, echoing Mary's humorless spiteful laughter. "They're trying to get sisters against each other..."
Tears fall down Mackenzie's face and her bottom lip trembles.
Madison's voice softens. "I don't know who you're going to choose, but just know that I love y-"
"Madison!" Mackenzie cries out her answer. Her sister's mouth drops in horror. A flash of hurt is written across her eyes.
There is that buzzing noise again. That invisible force is holding Madison down, preventing her from moving. Her skull is breaking in two, just like Mary's. Matthew watches the process carefully. The blue light from the giant computer screen reveals a silver glimmering thin line, which is coming straight down from the metallic ceiling, and it's just above the young woman's head. It looks like an invisible string that Matthew owns (being a magician is his hobby). While Madison is screaming bloody murder, Matthew runs and picks up the blood-stained ax from the ground.
"This'll do," he mutters, as he positions the metal surface of the ax above Madison's head, directly where the invisible line is shooting down. As soon as the invisible slicer hits the ax's blade, Matthew feels his arm dragging down by the heavy weight. Using both arms, the man grips a firm hold of the ax and he uses it to direct the bloodthirsty deadly line onto the computer screen.
Madison slumps onto the floor. Blood is seeping out of her cracked skull. Dead.
"Ashton, I need your help!" Matthew yells, as he feels like he's going to fly backwards from the powerful force of the slicer.
The teenage boy runs and he sturdily grabs onto Matthew's shoulders, holding the man down. With one hand, Ashton grips onto the ax and he steadily holds it, focusing it on the screen. The blue light from the computer screen reveals how the potent slicer looks like a right angle, as it is storming down from the ceiling and horizontally shooting towards the monitor. The buzzing noise is louder than ever. Ear-splitting noise like the wail of machinery. Electric sparks are flying rapidly everywhere. Hot, black smoke is dancing in the air. The blue light flickers from the screen. The sounds of machinery shutting down.
Then everything turns black.
(7) - The Truth
Darkness. Heavy breathings and curious mutterings. There's grunting from Ashton, who is pulling the destroyed computer screen down. A loud bang as the monitor crashes to the floor. The walls are crumbling away and machinery are clanking together. Dull white light is seeping through the giant hole on the wall, where the screen originally was.
"Our escape! Let's go!" Ashton shouts.
Instantly, Matthew is running towards him while Ayesha limps her way hastily. One by one, they're all climbing through the hole and entering the other side of the wall. Meanwhile, Mackenzie is badly injured due to her stabbed thigh and bleeding ankle. She's trying to run and catch up to them, but a sharp pain shoots up her leg and she crumples to the floor helplessly.
"Wait for me!" The woman screams.
"Run, run, run!" Matthew yells, ignoring her. He grabs Ashton's arm and pulls him along.
Ayesha hesitates and she slows down. Looking behind her, she peeks through the hole and she sees a swarm of figures around Mackenzie. These figures are dressed in complete white, head to toe. Their faces are covered in what appears to be surgical masks and they are wearing a strange headset (similarly to a beekeeper's protection hat) along with transparent gloves. Just looking at them makes Ayesha feel disoriented, as if she is observing alien-like doctors. She panics when she notices these strange figures running towards the hole, coming after her.
Everything becomes a white blur for Ayesha as she runs away. Footsteps are stomping and echoing against the squeaky, sparkly-clean floors. Blood drips down her wounded ankle, staining the floor, and she feels herself slowing down due to the throbbing intense pain. Behind her, she can hear people yelling instructions down their walkie talkies - "block the exit! They're escaping!"
Ayesha feels a sense of relief when she spots Matthew and Ashton at the far end. Blood is also dribbling down Ashton's knee, as his cloth is loosening. However, the teenage boy doesn't seem to notice as he's too busy examining the floor map on the board.
Matthew jabs his finger on the map and he exclaims, "Exit is top left! Let's go.. go.. go!"
"No, the exit is blocked! Trust me!" Ayesha cries out. She limps to the opposite direction. "Come with me," she instructs, forcing herself to limp faster. Ashton and Matthew exchange a quick glance and they follow her without hesitation.
Matthew easily outruns them, while Ashton and Ayesha stumble along. In no time, Matthew has reached the end of the hallway. He looks behind him and he frowns when he sees the blood trailing on the floor. The guards can easily follow their tracks and it is all Ashton and Ayesha's fault. Matthew wonders if he should leave them and escape on his own, but he gets distracted when Ayesha trips forward and she lands in his arms.
"Oh... um, sorry," Ayesha mumbles, her cheeks burning in embarrassment. She finds it difficult to look at the man.
"Don't worry about it," Matthew says, smirking. Bringing her closer to him, he helps her up. He deliberately brushes his fingers against her bare legs. Ayesha's eyes widen in shock and she feels her heart hammering against her chest.
"Let's go in there," Ashton says, nodding towards a door. The door is slightly open, revealing that there is furniture and people inside. Ashton winces when he bends down to his knees. "Crawl our way there."
Ayesha let's go off Matthew and she drops to her knees (a sight that Matthew enjoyed). Matthew crouches down too, having a nice close-up view of the woman's cute, little butt. Just then, the man shakes his head and he slaps himself.
Snap outta it. Concentrate, Matthew thinks.
Ashton pushes the door open slowly. They crawl into the room. The carpet is soft and red, camouflaging their ankle blood. The room is decorated with fancy, red sofas that are stacked together to resemble the curve of a smile. The atmosphere is rather noisy with people chattering through walkie talkies, along with the sounds of coffee and slurpy machines running.
"We must be in the lounge room," Ashton murmurs. "God, it stinks of weed here."
They crawl further into the room, hidden behind the sofas. Up ahead, they can see four people that are guarding the big double corridors. Those three are also wearing those strange surgical masks and netted headsets.
"There must be something special in there for so many to guard that," Ayesha whispers.
Matthew nods, coming to the same conclusion. He spots a vent nearby. "Let's go in there. It's probably connected to whatever is in that room," he instructs quietly.
"First, we need a distraction," Ashton replies. It's too risky heading towards the vent, since they would be exposed to the guards, as the sofas cannot hide them.
Matthew sees an open tinned can of beans that is lying ruthlessly on the floor. He makes a face of disgust, but he picks it up. With his strongest arm, he chucks the can on the other side of the room.
"What was that?"
The guards immediately go off to investigate the source of the sound.
Quickly, Ashton leads the way. He tries to pull the vent, but it's firmly budged. Screwed on tightly. Matthew considers going through the double doors, but there's still two guards lurking nearby and it's far too risky. Fortunately, those two guards were distracted and preoccupied, giving Ayesha enough time to remove her hair pin. The woman expertly unscrews the vent.
One by one, they squeeze in through the tight space. Ayesha in front, followed by Matthew (who cannot take his eyes off her butt), with Ashton at the back. Ashton carefully closes the vent behind them, closing them into complete darkness.
As they crawl their way through darkness, Ayesha keeps sneezing as dust mites were tickling her nose. Matthew can feel a spider crawling down his neck, while Ashton feels like his lungs are squeezing up on him. The teenage boy cannot stand tight spaces, as he suffers with symptoms of claustrophobia.
"Can't take this no more," Ashton says in a strangled voice.
Eventually, they come across two paths. On the left side, there is a lot of noise as people are shouting at each other. On the right, the noise levels are quieter. Ayesha turns right, while the other two follow. They finally come across another vent.
Fortunately, this time the vent is loose. Ayesha shoves it open. One by one, they all stumble onto the smooth ground. Ashton inhales sharply, taking in a huge gulp of air to refresh his tightened lungs.
"Sweet air. Needed that so badly," the teenage boy says, feeling relieved.
All at once, they all look up from the ground. Ahead of them are rows and rows of seats. They can see the back of many heads. Hundreds of people are sitting down. The smell of buttery popcorn is lingering in the air. Children are crying, while adults are hushing them. For the most part, majority of the people are intently staring at the massive screen up ahead.
"Are we in a... movie theater?" Ashton asks, confused. How the hell did they get here?
"Oh my god," Ayesha gasps. Her eyes pop wide open when she sees Mackenzie on the movie screen.
"What the...?" Matthew's voice trails off in shock. His eyes are also wide, especially when he sees that numerous guns are pointed towards Mackenzie.
On screen, they see the back of a man, who asks Mackenzie, "Would you rather die or let your entire family die?"
"You can go to hell, you son of a bitch," the woman hisses back.
"So, I guess it's your family then?" The mysterious man says.
"No! Just kill me..." Mackenzie cries out, closing her eyes.
One of the figures punch her. Another kicks her back, sending her to the ground. One grabs the ax and they cut off her hand. She's shrieking in the worst pain. They cut off her other hand and blood spurts out rapidly just like it did for Hassan. She continues to scream harder, her face turning a hideous purple. A knife gets shoved up her butt, echoing Benjamin's death. The torture doesn't end there. They rip open her chest and slice off her nipple, while one figure is pulling out her teeth. Grabbing a huge spider like the one Elsa had to eat, the figures shove that down the woman's throat. Her screams are getting hoarse and she's bleeding everywhere. She looks like she's on the verge of death. Yet there's no mercy, as one of the figures poke out her eyeball with a knife. Another throws a cup of yellow urine at her. Her hair is being pulled out and she's crying in the most horrible pain that anyone has ever heard or seen in their life. After all, these are all the worst tortures combined. The invisible slicer is back and it slowly cuts her away in half. By then, she has already died.
There's a lot of screaming coming from the audience, mainly from the females. Some people are crying or they feel sick. Some have gotten up to leave. Others are stunned.
One person yells, "This is going way too far!"
Another person is laughing. "Wow! The effects are so realistic! I love it!"
"Of course it's realistic. I love how they managed to make everything seem like it's in one take. I mean, there's no jump cuts or anything. Talk about mad editing skills!" Someone else says.
Another chips in, "They're such good actors!"
The screen turns black. Everyone and everything is thrown into silence. Then a white man walks on the stage. He's got cold, piercing blue eyes, a weather-beaten face, and red hair along with a red beard. His cold eyes are observing the stunned audience intently.
"Oh my god! That's David Underhill!" Ayesha gasps out.
"Who?" Ashton questions.
"He used to be a famous photographer, but he retired," Ayesha replies.
"Everyone please remain seated. I just wanted to thank you for watching," David says coolly.
"Is that the end? That's a horrible ending!" A voice yells from the crowd. The audience is roaring in agreement, clearly seeming outraged.
David chuckles. "I'm glad you've enjoyed this journey. I know I have. This is my passion - capturing core reactions. I wanted to make a movie that showed what humanity is really like. Judging from your reactions, I think I've shown that in the best way possible."
With that, the man walks away.
"This entire theater has been watching us and they think it's a movie? This is absolutely disgusting!" Ayesha spits out, utterly horrified.
"The dude is getting away! Get him!" Ashton yells.
Before anyone can stop him, the teenage boy runs and crashes onto the middle of the stage, falling flat onto his face and twisting his wounded ankle. There is a loud gasp from the audience, which echoes across the movie theater.
"Oh my god!"
"It's him! The guy in the movie!"
"Wow! You're my favorite character!"
The audience have all risen to their feet to give him a standing ovation. So many are clapping their hands loudly and hardly, making their hands turns red. Others are taking pictures of the teenage boy, while a few are yelling for his autograph.
Ayesha and Matthew run to join the boy on stage. That's when a couple of people realize the blood that is staining their clothes and the drops of blood that is trickling down from their ankles onto the stage.
"This isn't a movie! This is real!" Matthew roars angrily. Then he runs off the stage and out of everyone's sight.
"Someone call the police!" Ayesha pleads.
"We've escaped!" Ashton blurts out.
Confusion is plastered across many faces. The audience is struggling to process the reality of the situation. Ayesha clasps her hands together and she falls to her knees, while looking at around at everyone with desperate eyes.
"I'm begging you, please don't let him get away. Everyone of you call the police now!" The woman begs. Tears of agony steam down her cheeks and she hides her face in her hands while sobbing out, "I had no idea that David would... I was such a big fan of him... I knew he was going to make a movie, but I didn't think... that h-he m-meant... Oh, god! What was he thinking!?"
Ayesha continues to cry harder, forcing the truth to sink into the stunned audience.
Meanwhile, Matthew is on the search for David Underhill. Without a shadow of a doubt, Matthew knows that he will kill the man who has inflicted so much unnecessary suffering. David had wanted people to cut off their arm, pull out their teeth and poke out eyeballs, rape each other, shove a murderous needle up someone's butt, turn everyone against a child, stab and kill one another - and for what?
"All for a fucking movie!" Matthew spits out, full of hatred and bitter anger. He stops running when he notices a wide, white door labeled 'gamemakers room'.
Matthew charges inside the room, expecting to confront David Underhill and his noisy helpers. However, the room is quiet and empty. It is a large, white room, resembling a sterilized hospital ward. There are various desks with seats positioned towards a large hologram screen. Multiple high-tech expensive computers and control pads.
The man walks towards the table labeled 'winner's rewards.' The prizes are a syringe full of bubbling green liquid and a huge bag of money. Matthew picks up the syringe, which is labeled 'chip-remover'. He turns it over to read the instructions: 'Inject the full mixture into the left arm. Only enough for one individual. Extremely fast and effective results.'
"So they predicted just one winner?" Matthew muses. He thinks about Ayesha and Ashton. Then he shrugs and laughs.
Without hesitation, Matthew injects his left arm. Immediately, a fiery sensation rushes through him. It feels like his muscles are clenching together, as if his body is locking up. Sweat droplets form in his forehead and his face turns red in pain. Like a rocket soaring high, Matthew feels a tiny object traveling from his leg to his stomach straight to his throat. Through it all, it is like invisible hands are strangling him. As if he is going to vomit, Matthew opens his mouth and spits out two electronic chips.
He's breathing rapidly, feeling thankful to taste the sweet air into his lungs. Just then, Matthew lifts up his head and he feels the butt of a gun behind him. He smirks. Quickly, he spins around and stabs the figure with the pointy end of the needle. He digs it dip into the figure's leg, twisting it around to cause more pain. The figure is screaming and crying in agony as he drops the gun.
Instantly, Matthew picks up the gun and he points it directly to the figure. "I'll give you something to truly cry over," Matthew hisses, as he shoots the man's penis.
Grabbing the bag of money, Matthew runs away. He's back at the movie theatre, where he sees that Ashton and Ayesha are still on the stage. They're sitting down with various people who are surrounding them and taking care of them. Matthew heaves a sigh of relief when he notices that half of the theater is empty.
Slowly and cautiously, Matthew escapes with the ridiculously huge bag. He leaves the building as a millionaire.
K: Killing them off, was Matthew's plan all along. I know it's cruel, but he is selfish and what else would you expect from him? Anyway, I hope enjoyed these two chapters!
Lin: I'm glad you've enjoyed the longer chapters! I get worried that my readers will be bored if I write too much, but it's comforting to know that you love it! So thank you! I hope you enjoyed these two chapters as well!
Griffindork: Thank you for your praise! I'm sorry for taking long to update, but I hope these two chapters made it up to you! Thank you for reading and reviewing. That's means a lot!
Butterfly: I always love reading what you have to say! You're right. Matthew is the winner. I wanted to make that obvious from the start. Selfishness is a good trait for survival (moderately of course). However, I wanted to defeat the purpose of just one winner, so I settled for three. And you're right again about Ashton. He had to witness a cruel game when he was little and, as a result, he was forced to watch his mother kill herself. Anyway, sorry for rambling. I hope these two chapters were a satisfying read for you!
.: Haha! Thanks to your comment, I decided to amp up the lovey-dovey mood for those two. I hope you enjoyed it, even though I killed Kat off. Thanks for reading!
Hopefully you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it! Leave a comment if you want the epilogue.