The game
Author: Peter Licari

Chapter 5
Reason, Greed, And Rules

“Allow me to explain the game,” said the masked man to the blinking light. “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?”

Parker started to thrash around in his chain but stopped cold when the masked man pulled out the remote. He pushed a button and to Parker’s relief, a series of fake cheers rang out all around the chamber.

“Splendid,” said the man over the sounds of the artificial applauds. “Let’s go and meet our guests. Ladies and gentlemen, meet our contestant, Mr. Robert Parker!”

He pressed another button on the remote and a series of boo’s rang out around the room as the camera light in front of Parker started to flash. He desperately wanted to scream to the masses but the threat of the masked man made him keep his tongue.

“For all of those who don’t know this man,” continued the man as the blinking light in front of Parker stopped and the one in front of him started blinking again. “His name is Robert Parker and the man over here-” he cut off and the camera in front of parker’s still sniffling business partner “is his newly acquired business associate, Mark Patterson. Both these men may seem, at first glance, like the victims of a mad man. I assure you, though, I am not as insane as you think. I’m just like you all, tired of the kind of life ruled by people who don’t even have tied shoes without owing someone a tip.”

Parker’s heartbeat was high enough for him to feel it in his temples. He wanted to scream now, but his fear clogged his throat and put him on mute.

“Enough of the small talk America,” the man continued. “My airtime is short due to the fact that the police, FBI, and secret service will all be looking for me now that I hacked all the communications satellites. Let’s continue on and I will go over the rules of the game.”

He took out the remote and pressed another button. Parker closed his eyes, half expecting the gun above his head to shoot and blow out his brains. Fortunately for him, it was simply another applause sound. Parker breathed a sigh of relief.

“This game will be like the majority of those shown on game shows in this country. The contestant, Mr. Parker, will be asked five questions that I guarantee the majority of America doesn’t know the answer to. These questions all pertain to the company he owns, Cemicorp, the third largest chemical company in the world. It is also now the parent company to his associate’s corporation, guaranteeing the layoff of 1,500 workers and the addition of millions of dollars to their bank accounts. Like baseball, its three strikes and well…”

The camera in front of Parker turned on and automatically zoomed in on him. He assumed that it was zooming in on the gun above his head.

“He and his partner are out. Each time a question is answered wrong the chain around Mr. Patterson’s neck will lift him a little higher into the air. After three wrong answers he will be completely lifted off the platform and his air will be cut off like the livelihood of thousands of people was because of him. The platform also doubles as a pressure sensor. The second all of his 197 pounds of greed is off into the air, a mechanism is triggered which fires the gun above Mr. Parker’s head, showing the world the inside of a true killers mind. If Mr. Parker manages to answer three of five correctly, then he and his partner are allowed to live.”

Parker’s blood grew cold and he started to thrash about in his chains. He was absolutely terrified, yet his voice still eluded him.

The man looked over to him, observed his struggling, and looked back into the camera.

“Well now folks” he announced. “It seems our contestant is eager to get started with his questions so without further delay, let’s begin.”


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