Second Chance

Submitted into Contest #54 in response to: Write a story about a TV show called "Second Chances."... view prompt

45 comments

Fantasy

Bright lights filled the studio.

Willow blinked but could still see nothing except for a blur as the game show host leapt in front of the cameras.

“And action!” a man holding a clapper board yelled.

She couldn’t see him or the audience but she knew they were there as they started cheering and clapping.

“Welcome, welcome everyone!’ the host was yelling over the noise until it slowly died down,’ nice to see you!”

The audience clapped and cheered again.

Willow squinted and looked around her.

The other contestants standing around looked as bewildered as she felt.

“And let’s meet our contestants!’ the host yelled, appearing in front of the lady standing the furthest away,’ tell us your name!”

The lady jumped. Her skin became paler than it had already been, almost as if she had no blood left.

“ Urm, Helen”, she murmured.

“And why are you here Helen?”

“Urm, I don’t actually know”.

The audience laughed as the host turned to them, winking,” Well that’s what they all say”.

The host continued down the row of contestants until he was standing in front of Willow.

She glanced at him nervously and he grinned back.

He was different to the normal game show hosts you saw on television with their flamboyant suits and slicked back hairstyles.

He was grinning but his eyes remained the same. Cold and calculating. Willow felt herself shiver.

“And what’s your name?” he asked, one hand gripping a microphone lightly and the other resting against his dark suit. His voice was oily, almost creepy.

“W-Willow”.

“And why are you here?”

“I have no idea. I was driving and it was dark”.

“Yes, I think I’ve heard this story before”.

The audience clapped and cheered again.

Willow squinted but still couldn’t see anything only the bright lights.

“So now it’s time to play our first game’ the host said, whirling away from her so he was standing center stage,’ called Why Do I Deserve a Second Chance?”

He turned to Helen who instinctively stepped backwards.

“So Helen’ he said,’ tell me, why do you deserve a second chance?”

“What? What second chance? What are you talking about?”

“This is always the best part of the show!’ the host said, turning towards a screen behind them which Willow hadn’t noticed before,’ have a look at this”.

The screen flickered on.

Images and silent film clips appeared, showing Helen from a baby crawling to the night she stabbed her husband and then herself.

The screen flickered off and he turned back to her.

“So tell me’ he said, his voice becoming cold and hard,’ why do you deserve a second chance?”

“Urm I don’t know, I didn’t mean to kill him, I had to!” Helen whispered.

“And what would you do if you had a second chance? What would you do differently?”

Helen blinked and then stared at the other contestants, willing them to rescue her.

“Tick, tock, tick, tock”, the host said, moving his head from side to side.

“Urm, I don’t know!”

The host looked at her, his grin turning into a snarl and his eyes glowing red.

“Then you lose”, he said quietly.

“No please, I’ll do better next time!” Helen said, her hands clasped in front of her.

“Too late”, the host said, waving a hand in the air.

The ground opened up below Helen’s feet and she fell down, screaming.

A puff of white smoke and the smell of brimstone wafted over to Willow as the ground sealed itself again.

The audience clapped and cheered, stamping their feet on the floor so the ground felt like it was moving.

“Now, let’s move to our next contestant!” the host said, turning to the next person, his voice oily and creepy again.

Slowly he moved along the row of contestants until he was standing in front of Willow.

She was the last one standing.

All the others had disappeared through the ground.

“So Willow’ he said, his mouth forced into a grin,’ why do you deserve a second chance?”

The audience became silent, waiting for her answer.

Willow swallowed the lump that had appeared in her throat.

“I don’t”, she whispered.

“Excuse me but you’ll have to speak up, what did you say?”

“I don’t’ she repeated,’ I don’t deserve to have a second chance”.

The host stared at her.

The audience remained silent.

“Why don’t we have a look at your life”, the host said quietly.

“If we must”.

Slowly Willow turned and watched the screen.

She saw herself wave goodbye to her love, climb into her car and start driving away from her house, saw herself become sleepy as the sky became darker and then crash into a tree.

“So you don’t think you deserve a second chance?” the host asked, his voice still quiet.

“No. I knew I was sleepy but I still got in that car”.

“But what about your love? The one on the screen, won’t they miss you?”

“Of course but I don’t deserve that chance anymore than the people before me”, Willow whispered, gesturing to where the other contestants had been standing, tears pouring down her cheeks.

The host looked at her silently for a few minutes before waving his hand. He was no longer grinning. His fun was over.

Willow gasped and squeezed her eyes shut, waiting for the ground to open up beneath her feet.

“Hey, what are you doing? Are you okay?”

Willow opened her eyes.

She was back in front of her house, next to her car with the keys clutched in her hand.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong sweetheart?”

She felt strong arms wrap around her.

“Oh, oh, I can’t believe I’m back!” she whispered, throwing her arms around him and squeezing tight.

He pulled away slightly and glanced down.

“What are you talking about?’ he asked,’ you just walked to the car!”.

Willow shook her head.

“Hey why are you crying?” he asked as he noticed the tears running down her cheeks.

“It doesn’t matter but you know I don’t think I’ll go out now”.

“Are you sure? I thought you really wanted that chocolate?”

“Not that much”.

Together they curled up in front of the television.

“You know what? I reckon we might have some snacks in the kitchen anyway. I’ll go find them”, he said, strolling into the kitchen.

“Okay, I’ll….’.

The television screen flickered.

The host appeared, his face lit up by the bright studio lights.

“Don’t stuff this chance up”, he whispered.

The screen flickered off.

August 09, 2020 01:10

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45 comments

Sia S
07:13 Aug 11, 2020

Woah!!! Nice read! It was nicely detailed and narrated. Good Job! -S

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Vicky S
07:49 Aug 11, 2020

Thank you sia

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Sia S
09:20 Aug 11, 2020

:)

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