Would You Rather? (8): Epilogue

Last chapter.
"On August 21st, three survivors had escaped the haunting real-life movie. This is known as, ‘Would You Rather?’ which has now been banned and made illegal all over the country, due to endless lawsuits. The police are still trying to capture David Underhill, the famous former photographer, who is the creator of the game and the movie. He had fifteen gamemakers who were helping him and they are on trial now. It does not look good for them. The three survivors: Ayesha Rehman, Matthew Tyrant, and Ashton Perry were immediately hospitalized for surgical treatment…"

"Oh, god," Ayesha murmurs, staring at the television screen with morbid eyes. Memories flash before her eyes.

She and Ashton had surgery to remove their chips and fix their ankle wounds. At one point, Ashton was showing symptoms of infection and the surgeons almost amputated off his leg. Thankfully, they received the best help from the country that tackled the issue in time, so Ashton could keep his leg. Matthew had almost no harm done to him. The only thing they fixed was his hearing on his left ear (that had been damaged severely due to explosives and loud noises).

Ayesha reaches for the remote and she switches the channel.

"David Underhill is still on the run. No one knows where he's disappeared. Local officials have predicted that he has left the country to head to West Chicago…"

Ayesha sighs and she switches the channel again.

"... Deciding the appropriate punishment for the gamemakers involved due to their heinous crimes. Multiple protesters are insisting for capital punishment…"

The woman switches off the television. She grabs her keys and she wraps her scarf around her head, covering half of her face. As she walks outside, she notices the two teenagers sitting down on the bench and gazing down at their phone. She peeks over their shoulders to see them watching that horrible movie.

Ayesha sighs again. Even though the movie has been banned due to various reasons (one of which involves using copyrighted music) it is still being downloaded illegally and shared all over the country. All the over the world. Once something is shared on the Internet, it is always there, no matter how many times it’s been removed. There will always be a copy out there - even hidden deep within the darkest side of the web.

Ayesha shakes her head and she gets into her car. She feels like she cannot escape her past, as she is constantly reminded about this traumatizing event. Even as she drives away, she can see billboards and newspapers and graffitis and posters addressing that horrible movie. Even when she switches on her car radio.

"... the gamemakers were questioned for their involvement. Their answers were similar. They were desperate people. Some were homeless, others were heading in that direction, and the rest were hired assassins. David Underhill offered them a vast amount of money and luxuries…"

Ayesha feels sick. She abruptly turns off the radio. She parks the car and gets out, feeling relieved for the fresh air. Her hazel-brown eyes land on the sign. Chester Park.

While she makes her way to the gate, an elderly man is sitting down in a nearby picnic table by himself. He's blasting the radio on full volume.

"The ABC movie theater in Victoria Street is shut down permanently for allowing their audience to see the horrendous real-life and live movie, ‘Would You Rather?’ which is now world famous. Many audience members are psychologically damaged. Ellie Moulton, a thirty-two year old mother in the audience, is here for a live interview to share us her movie-watching experience…"

Ayesha walks faster and she pushes open the rusty iron gate. She scans the area, which is barely empty, considering that is so early in the morning.

"Over here," a man’s voice calls out.

Ayesha looks at a nearby table. She can barely recognize Ashton and Matthew, as they are both wearing sunglasses and hats. At first, Ayesha didn't want to meet up with them, as she desired to avoid her past, but Matthew insisted that the meeting was absolutely necessary.

"Hey… How are you both?" Ayesha asks nervously. It is a tricky question that she finds difficult to answer herself.

"Fine," Matthew says calmly.

"Pissed off," Ashton answers bluntly. He takes off his sunglasses, revealing his face which is a picture of thunder. "I can't even leave my place anymore ‘cause there's stupid paparazzi everywhere! Those bastards snap pics of me without asking and they pester me with stupid questions like, ‘why did Rihanna’s Russian Roulette torture you?’ and ‘can we please interview you?’ Like fuck outta here! Those dips-hits don't care about what we’ve been through. They only care about headlines for their fucking news. I hate them all."

The teenage boy punches the table, causing a dent on its wooden surface. Ayesha nods sympathetically. This is exactly why she feels the need to permanently wear her headscarf.

"Well, cheer up. Good news is that those gamemakers - all fifteen - are sent to the electric chair. They're gonna be fried up like chicken and burnt to death," Matthew says, as he sips cool water from his bottle.

Ayesha bites her lip. She doesn't know how to feel about the news.

"What about that David guy? Did the police find him yet?" Ashton asks moodily.

Matthew shakes his head. "His real name isn't even David Underhill. The police have discovered that he changed his identity centuries ago. Apparently his real name is Brandon something. The guy was on the run from the police this whole time. Basically, he's always been a wanted criminal," the man explains.

"Wow. The police find this shit out now - just when this David or Brandon or whatever escapes yet again?" Ashton spits out while shaking his head in disgust. "The police in our area suck so bad. Their service is shitty, most of them are racist and I basically hate them as much as I hate those tabloid bastards."

"I'm just shocked… I lost all my respect for David Underhill," Ayesha whispers. She cannot believe that she used to adore the man and his photography work. He used to be her idol and that hurts her the most.

"The crazy fucker is still out there. Chances are he might come back for us. We can't risk it," Matthew says. He pulls out two envelopes from his jacket. "This is exactly why I've called you both here. We can't stay together or even be remotely close. It will be too easy for the bastard to get us. That's why I suggest we all move to different parts of the country - away from each other. Give him a good chase. It'll be for the best."

Ayesha nods eagerly. "I’m so glad you’ve said that. I was planning on moving away. This place just haunts me and it constantly reminds me of what we’ve endured. I want to start fresh. Maybe in a quiet, countryside somewhere."

"I'm definitely moving away. The stupid press are pissing me off," Ashton says, his words dripping with anger. Then he sighs. "It's just… the money. I dunno how to cover the cost."

Matthew smiles. "Well, here's a parting gift for you both," he says, handing them envelopes.

Ashton opens his envelope and his eyes widen when he sees a check. "Fifty thousand pounds!" He exclaims, whistling in appreciation. "Cheers, man. I really needed this."

Ayesha sees that she has received the same amount too. She feels hesitant to accept such a large amount of money. "I can't take this," she says, as she hands the envelope back to Matthew.

"Yes, you can," Matthew replies, pushing the envelope back to her.

"I’ll pay you back," Ayesha says wearily, slowly picking up the check.

"No. Don't sweat it. It's my gift to you," Matthew says, waving his hand in the air to dismiss further conversation.

The truth is, Ashton and Ayesha should both have two-hundred thousand pounds extra. This is because they equally won, just like Matthew, and so they deserve the equal share of money. However, due to Matthew’s selfish nature, the other two have received considerably less. Still, both Ashton and Ayesha are extremely grateful and they view Matthew as an angel.

"I have to go now," Ayesha says, getting up. "Thank you for the money, Matthew. I wish you both the best for the future. Goodbye now."

"I'm off too," Ashton says, rising to his feet. "Later guys."

"Take care, you two," Matthew says, waving goodbye.

They all go off in different directions, in their separate ways, in order to start a new life and they hope to never see each other again.


Author's Note

Thank you for reading.
Published: 10/6/2016
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