Are you excited about this Friday’s writing prompt? I know I am! So let’s not waste any time and get straight to it!
Thank you to my lovely husband for picking yet another crazy prompt for me to spin! Sorry, this one is going to be long! Let me know what you think in the comments below!
I check my watch once again. It glares at me with the stupid hands on 8 and 6. “It’s 8:30! Where the hell are they?” My friends have never been an hour late before. They told me to meet them outside the Lilly’s. I checked inside after thirty minutes to see if maybe they were just too cold to wait for me but they weren’t. So I resigned in waiting outside in the cold and dark for them. The Jazz club is starting to fill up and if they don’t hurry we won’t be able to get in. “This is stupid! I didn’t want to come out tonight anyway!” I mumble to myself as I wrap my coat around tighter.
Just as I am about to pull my phone out and try calling them a man approaches me. “Are you Miss Sarah Connel?” He isn’t wearing a uniform or dressed like a detective, just looks like any other man.
“Who wants to know?” I ask harshly feigning I can take care of myself.
He grins wide. “Please come with me.” What? I’m not going anywhere with him!
“I’m sorry, I am waiting for-”
“Your friends. Yes, I know. I have them.” He says firmly his grin still firmly planted on his face. I gasp taking a step back. “You can come with me willingly or I can take you. Either way, you will come with me, your choice.”
“I’ll scream. There are a ton of people around, the bouncers not far away, someone will call-”
His grin widens a fraction before disappearing. The light from a nearby street lamp glows just enough for me to see his blue eyes darken. “Go ahead. I own this club. No one will come running. Now, come with me. John and Cass are waiting for you.”
I look back at the club surveying all the people in line ignoring us. The bouncers are busy at work with their clipboards letting people in and out. One looks up at me and shakes his head ever so slightly before looking back at the line. What am I supposed to do? Turning my attention back to the man in front of me he stands there waiting patiently to choose. What choice has he left me? If I run, I assume he or someone will catch me, and if I scream…
He smiles again wide before I have even said anything. “This way, Sarah.” He says softly outstretching his arm towards a nice black car.
We walk in silence. I can just feel his hand on my lower back through my coat. He’s very polite and it’s a bit unnerving. Another man steps out of the driver’s seat, immediately opening the door for us. “Don’t get any ideas. Once inside you can’t get out.” The man says just before I am ushered into the car. My pulse quickens, as I take my seat. After the man is seated next to me the other man returns to the driver’s seat. Without saying a word he pulls out into the slow evening traffic.
“Here.” The man next to me hands me a glass of champagne. What is his game? This is so strange. “Take it, Sarah.” I do, but I just place it in my lap turning my gaze away from him to the city. “Drink.” He’s not very sly. Clearly, this is going to knock me out. “You’re very stubborn.” He says with a grin. “Fine. Once again you can choose. Either drink or we can do it another way. Mark will drive around until you do.”
I roll my eyes and bring my attention back to him. “You are very aggravating. What do you want with me?”
“To play a game.”
What? “I know what this is going to do.” I snap holding up my glass and shaking it a little. “Why can’t I know where we are going?”
“Because I don’t want you to. Besides, it’s far from here and you should be well rested, and clear-headed.”
“Yes, naturally drugging me would leave me clear headed when I woke up,” I say snidely.He laughs, the driver joining in a second later. “The champagne isn’t drugged. It was meant to just relax you. I found that champagne has that effect on most people. However, that is your other choice.” Not drugged? How does he know it would relax me? I look down at the shaking glass in my hand. “John and Cass told me it relaxes you. I prefer not to drug my guests.”
I know this is stupid, but I take him at his word and down the glass quickly. “Good girl.” He takes the glass away then pours himself one from the same bottle. Okay… can’t be drugged then. Why would he drink it too? “When you get tired feel free to sleep. I give you my word nothing will happen to you.” I shrug and get comfortable. He hasn’t given me any reason to not trust him so far and I am tired. I was tired before even leaving this house this evening.
I wake up in a lovely sitting room with the man opposite me reading a book. “Nice to see you wake up.” He says without looking up from his book.
“I thought it wasn’t drugged?” I ask groggily.
He smiles. “It wasn’t. I finished the bottle. Seems you were just that tired.” Closing his book he places it on the table in front of him and stands. “Are you ready to see your friends? They have been waiting for you.”
I nod rubbing my eyes carefully. God, I hope they are safe. He leads me out of the room to another room down the hall. We stop in front of a big heavy wooden door. He pulls a key from his pocket and smiles.
“Ready for my game?” I shake my head, my heart pounding in my chest. He chuckles softly. “John and Cass, as well as Cal, are waiting for you inside.” Cal? Who is Cal? Not my crush Cal? “I am going, to be honest with you.”
“Well, that’s a relief…” I say sarcastically under my breath.
“Out of the three people you know one of them wants to kill you, the other two would do anything to save you.” My gaze snaps to his. “I have no intention of killing you. As a matter of fact, I can guarantee you will leave tonight alive.” I stare into his cold hard eyes desperately trying to find the joke behind this… but there is none.
He opens the door revealing a few more people than just my friends and Cal. The middle of the room lifts into a dome where I can just see shackles hanging from the ceiling and lying on the ground. Everyone turns their attention toward us. Most look unphased, my friends and Cal, look confused. “What have I done to be put through this?”
He sighs pulling my attention. “You haven’t done anything.” Our eyes lock and for once I can see sadness lying within. “That’s why nothing drastic will happen to you tonight. This is how we weed out the poisonous people in today’s society.”
“Yes. But it’s what keeps the good people safe.” He says softly. “Go.” He ushers me inside and to the center of the room. I’m placed securely in the middle of the room, the shackles tightening, restraining me from leaving or even struggle too much.
John and Cass stand in front of me fear plainly written on their faces. “I have no intention of killing you. As a matter of fact, I can guarantee you will leave tonight alive.” The man’s words play over and over in my mind. Will he allow me to get hurt even a little? My body shakes, I can hear the chains softly vibrating. Who in my life is poisonous and why do I have to be the bait? Cal looks around the room but seems unphased by what is going on.
“What is going on Sarah?” John asks his voice shaking with fear.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming this evening. I would like to introduce Sarah to you. She is an innocent in this, purely bait for this little game. In front of her are her two best friends John and Cass. The other man happens to be Cal, someone Sarah has had a crush on for a year.” I feel my cheeks flush. With no way to hide my face, I turn my gaze away but not before locking with Cal’s surprised but amused look. I hear someone scoff some, following the sound I find that both John and Cass are glaring at Cal. Are they – jealous?
Knives, rope, and various other things fall to the floor. The other guests disperse to the walls giving us plenty of room. John and Cass immediately grab a few items off the floor. Cal, however, just stands there. “Out of the three people two of them would do anything to save her, one wants just the opposite. Today we will find out who is who. Now, Sarah is restrained. So this is the time to tell her everything you have ever wanted to. The items that you have to use on her on the ground or in your hand. No one will be leaving until you have completed this game. The catch is that you are on a time limit. If you don’t play along, then at the end of clock everyone will perish. Have fun.”
The lights dim around the edges of the room. I hear footsteps and just barely make out the other people disappearing into the walls. The sound of doors closing fills the room. We are alone in the center of this room. There is nothing protecting me from whatever is about to happen. Will the man keep his word and keep me safe?
“It’s you!” Cass points Cal.
He scoffs, “I really have no idea what you are talking about.”
“Bull! We are her best friends! We don’t know you! Of course, it’s you!” She spits back.
He grins wide and starts laughing. “Oh, this will be interesting.” Cass stares at him wide-eyed as if he had just figured out her darkest secret.
“What are we supposed to do? It’s not like any of us are really going to try and kill her. That’s horrible and inhumane.” John says throwing down the rope he collected earlier.
Tears sting my eyes before overflowing onto my cheeks. Has this always been the way our society worked? Are they really watching all of us? I should be happy, right? This is for the greater good.
I sniffle some catching their attention. I watch as John approaches me. He lifts his hand, making me jerk, to wipe away my tears. “Sarah, don’t cry. We’ll figure-” His eyes grow wide. Stepping back he looks down to find the point of a long knife sticking out of his belly. He looks up at me and smiles before coughing and falling to the ground. I look up to see who stabbed him, but both Cass and Cal are in the exact same place they were before John came over.
Cass breaks out into a full-on sprint towards Cal, who looks unimpressed. He knocks her out of the way with just a hand. Losing her balance she falls forward rolling off to the side. It takes her a few seconds to regain he balance but starts charging towards him again, this time she has a knife in hand. Cal’s grin widens but still makes no sign that he will be moving. The moment they collide I hear metal tear into flesh. Cal’s eyes widen a bit seconds later blood stains his shirt. He falls to his knees then over to the side.
Cass stands up, I can see she is breathing heavy. She turns her attention to me, a sinister grin creeping up her face. “I have always hated you and loved you.” What? “I tried to be your best friend, be there for you when you needed me. You however never gave me a second glance. I wanted you to love me. John loved you, Cal, too.”
“How do you-”
“He’s my brother.” I shake my head because that can’t be possible. She doesn’t have a brother, never spoken of one, and she just… No… she is lying!
Her stance changes, she flips the knife around in her hand a couple times before taking aim. I pinch my eyes closed. The room fills with the sound of bones breaking, the knife she threw just barely misses me. Opening my eyes I find her lying on the ground, her legs broken. Cal stands up, steps over her, and makes his way towards me. The chains relax and I fall forward just in time for Cal to catch me. I can’t believe she is the one that wanted to kill me. We have been friends for so many years.
Cal kneels next to me. “Are you alright?” I nod even though I am a bit traumatized. “Amazing what little details get overlooked.” He says softly his lips brushing my ear. “It’s never the right one in the end.” I feel him grin before everything goes black.