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Contemporary Fantasy Fiction

     As New Year’s Eve approached Wilson felt he had little to look forward to–another boring party with inane gossip, too-loud music and endless repetition of resolutions that everyone knew they wouldn’t keep but that they still invented year after year supposedly “to carry on the tradition,” but, more likely to cut through the annual boredom fest.

      A bright spot, however, had emerged three years ago and repeated itself two times since–the appearance of the stunningly beautiful and intelligent blonde lady who engaged several of the party guests in conversation that one actually could rate above the junior high school level in intelligence.     

      Wilson, however, must not have travelled in her social orbit, for, despite their annual game of locking eyes across the room, she never seemed interested in approaching him.  He, of course, could have approached her, but he found her appearance extremely intimidating.

     Additionally, shortly after the third year’s festivities, three mysterious men dressed in black apparel from head to toe followed Wilson to the area of his apartment. The men never closed to more than a block of him, but they still seemed very interested in his every movement. Also, for a good half hour after he entered his apartment they stood on the sidewalk in front of his building staring up at his living room window.

      He could not, of course, directly link the fact that the “men in black” seemed to pop up and suddenly follow him to the apparition of the blonde bombshell, but the timing seemed much more than just coincidental.

      Finally, Wilson could take the suspense no more. Although by nature extremely faint of heart, he decided to swallow his fears and confront the trio.

     However, when he got within a couple of feet of the men, one of them raised what looked like a .357 magnum and aimed it in his direction.  Luckily, Wilson took shelter behind a parked car and the “bullet” only grazed his head.

     “Wait, who are you and why are you shooting at me?” he shouted.

     “The annual party you have attended is open only to a very exclusive guest list,” the apparent leader of the group yelled back. “Those who approach our female colleague must either be a member of her team or  one of our enemies. We cannot tell you more until you come with us. 

        “Should you decide to turn down our kind invitation and appear at our annual meeting next year, at that appearance you will be finished. It will do you no good consulting any authorities because we have spies at every level. Their instructions are to eliminate anyone who interferes with our mission.”

     The statement peaked Wilson’s curiosity while at the same time putting his sense of self-preservation on high alert.

      He approached the men, thinking that they would stick to their word, fill in the details of their mysterious mission and, perhaps, reunite him with their stunningly beautiful and intelligent leader.

     The trio then grabbed him, tied him up, blindfolded him and threw him into the back of a windowless van, which then sped away down the street and onto what sounded to Wilson like a major multi-lane highway.

     After driving around for what Wilson estimated at about an hour, the van stopped in front of a rundown motel and dragged him up to the second floor before throwing him onto the bed and removing his blindfold and the ropes that bound him.

     Standing in front of him in a skin-tight leather outfit was the beautiful blonde from the annual New Year’s Eve parties.

     “I have done nothing wrong or illegal,” Wilson shouted. “Why did you and your henchmen bring me here? What do you hope to accomplish by kidnapping an ordinary software salesman and roughing him up like this?”

     “Enough of this insolence,” the blonde replied.  “I am Zelda, mistress of the silver global kingdom. Your so-called fulltime occupation is of no interest to us.  Your value to us lies in the second life you have lived for at least the last three years, if not longer.  You have information we need and we intend to extract it from you–either the easy way or the hard way.”

      “I have nothing that you possibly could want,” Wilson replied, “unless you need software to upgrade your computer system or want to learn new techniques for hacking into the systems of a rival gang. In either of those cases, I can probably make you a very reasonable offer.”

      “You have absolutely nothing with which to bargain,” the blonde shouted. “We have all the chips on our side, and, if you do not follow our rules it will result in the endgame for you.  Now, completely outline your strategy and tell us what we need to know to accomplish all our objectives.”

       “Okay, you win,” Wilson said. “Have your men take me back out to their van and I will lead them to the place that contains all the answers that you seek.”

      The three mysterious men then roughly loaded their captive back into the van.  They rode around for about three hours along many darkened local streets and back onto a major highway before entering the parking lot of one of the most gaudy looking buildings they had ever seen. The building looked to them like an oversized pinball machine.

       Wilson opened the door to the building by activating what looked like a giant pinball machine flipper with an app on his Smartphone.

      To the surprise of the three henchmen, however, from four sidedoors in the weird building emerged four robotic creatures wielding huge paintball guns. 

      “Don’t underestimate the firepower of their guns,” Wilson shouted. “They can wipe you all out with one squeeze of their triggers.”

       With that the robotic creatures led each of the henchmen into what looked like a convoluted section of a pinball machine.  Then Wilson pushed a button on his Smartphone and each of the three men was forced along a path until they stood before a huge sign reading “Game controller champ–one million points.”

       Then the entire “pinball machine” lit up and Wilson and his captors and supporters found themselves standing on a huge, glitzy stage.

       From another side door a larger robotic creature led the blonde bombshell, now blindfolded and tied up, to the center of the stage.

      A man who looked like a 1960s gameshow host then appeared in the center of the stage.  He presented Wilson with a gold trophy and announced, “You have won the New Year’s Eve Paintball-Pinball Competition and the prize of $1 million.”

     He ordered one of his men to free Zelda and declared, “for three years, Zelda and her team have put up a valiant fight. They have come in second and they have earned the second-placed prize of $500,000.”

      The curtain then closed on the presentation as “Auld Lang Syne” blared from speakers on the sides of the stage.

December 27, 2021 20:29

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1 comment

Alice Richardson
02:12 Jan 02, 2022

Nice twist to the end of the story.

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