The game
Author: Peter Licari

Chapter 4
Filmed In Front Of A National Audience

“Come on you stupid piece of dog crap” Jonathon Daniels swore under his breath while smacking his television. “Why won’t you work?”

The television responded to his abuse with more static.

“Screw this, man.” He said under his breath as he walked back over to his easy chair. He stared at the static on the screen while he pondered why it wasn’t working. He reasoned that it was probably a problem with the dish again.

He reached over to his phone. A quick call to the landlord would have this mess sorted out fairly quickly. None too soon, however; he was missing his show.

He dialed the number and waited until the third dial-tone when the landlord answered.

“Davis” the man said answering the phone.

“Hey Mr. Davis,” Daniels said. “It’s Jonathon Daniels in room 8c? Yeah I was calling about the satellite-”

“God, you too?” The landlord cut in. “Jesus Christ, I don’t know how many times I have to say it, the friggen FBI is not watching us after they busted Paulie with the dope!”

“No, no, Mr. Davis,” he said startled, “that’s not the satellite I called about. I’m talking about the TV satellite.”

“Oh” Davis said recovering. “Alright then, shoot. Whatchya need?”

“I was just wondering whether or not it was working alright?” Daniels asked. “My TV isn’t working and-”

“Yeah I just had a guy call me about that a minute ago. He asked the same thing. Probably is though, pirated TV is only so reliable, ya know?”

At that moment the static went away and the constant image was replaced by a man wearing a mask with a white question mark standing behind a podium.

“Hey Mr. Davis?” Daniels said. “I’m going to have to call you back.”

“Greetings America,” said the masked man with an oddly rugged yet smooth and hypnotic voice as Daniels hung up his phone.

“I know you were probably enjoying your cartoons, news reports, and trivial game shows with giant spinning wheels.” Said the man as Daniels’ blood iced over from the terrifying irony.

 “But it is time for a different type of entertainment.” The voice continued. “I assure you, it is unlike anything you or anyone you know has ever seen before. Ladies and gentlemen of the country, welcome to the game.”

Daniels sat down in his chair, completely terrified and awestruck. “What the h--- is this?” he murmured.

“Allow me to explain the game.” The man continued. “For the longest time, large corporations have been playing with the lives of the everyday as if they were lower then pawns on a chess board. These corporations are backed by greedy and vile CEO’s that will do, and have done, anything to prevent  the loss of a single penny of profit. ‘Anything’ including putting the lives of innocent people at risk. So now we are going to play a game, America. One where, for once, you, the public, control their lives. Shall we begin?”

He pulled out a remote and pressed a button and recorded cheering came out from over the speakers.

“Splendid.” He said over the applause. “Let’s go and meet our guests. Ladies and gentlemen, meet our contestant, Mr. Robert Parker!” He pressed a button and a series of boos rang out as the cameras stopped focusing on the masked man and onto a man wearing a filthied suit chained to a granite wall with a handgun positioned above his head.

 

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