So you know when people say they have no control over their life? They feel as if everything in their life is just off and they have no idea of how to take that control back? Well to them I'd say come live a day in my life and let's see if you feel the same. I literally have no control of my life. At all. I mean yes, I have free will and the ability to do things like go to the bathroom and eat, shower..sometimes. However, it's not up to me. There is something or someone else controlling the people in my town, maybe even the entire world. We call them They. I live in the small town of Rotalumis. Rotalumis seems like your typical boring town but things are not what they appear. A lot goes on in this town. Once you enter Rotalumis, the only way out is death. I mean there has been instances where people just disappeared into thin air and mid sentence and then come back years later without aging. I have seen doors and walls appear and disappear randomly.

I wake every day not knowing what to expect. It is all exciting and terrifying at the same time. You could wake up one day and find that the doors have been removed or that you suddenly have 10 million dollars in your bank account. It is the feeling of the unknown that has everyone on edge but at the same time they go on living their lives like it's normal. I mean Grim, (The Grim Reaper as most of you know him) is my next door neighbor and is married to the world leader. She just came to town two weeks ago and a few days ago became the world leader even though she has no relocation of being any place besides Rotalumis and was a barista at our local café. We didn't even vote for her. One day it was on our local news that she was the new world leader. Skipped all of the other portions. I mean she doesn't even know how it happened. Do you understand what I am saying? My town, my people, have no control but someone does.

If that's not enough proof for you, let me tell you about Leslie Rotalumis. From my understanding, her family was the founding fathers or something but again nobody knows where they came from. My great great great grandparents or something supposedly was with them when the Rotalumis clan just appeared in town. Anyways, she was my neighbor as a child. We were best friends since as far back as I can remember. Our parents just knew we were going to get married. In high school my parents would always say "Edric, why don't you court Leslie? She is such a wonderful young lady. The type of girl you should be spending time with instead of that Geneva girl." They weren't lying. Geneva was a bit much but I think what made them dislike her and her family was the fact that her mother had been married 8 times and each of her husbands either disappeared or died under mysterious circumstances. I guess they were afraid that Geneva would become the next black widow and I would be one of her poor suspecting lovers. Geneva wasn't that type of girl though. So when They made me ask her to hang out, I had no issue with it. She had come home from college for break and I needed access to her yard.

Anyways, I am jumping topics, we will get to that in a minute, back to Leslie. Leslie was awesome. She was very popular. Not just because of her family's name but she was genuinely a sweet girl. Smooth coco skin, short curly hair. Her eyes were shaped like cat eyes. Kind of squinted but wide with a slight curve upwards on the corners. Her brown eyes were always so full of hope. She was optimistic. She felt that there was a way to break free and take control of our lives. Her parents kept telling her to leave things alone. She was meddling and asking too many questions. We are supposed to do whatever They tell us to do. I agreed with them. She was pushing too much and I just felt that she had this awesome life there was no need to question it. However, there was a side of Leslie that people rarely saw. She was constantly forced to study hard and make As. She would work all night even when she was extremely tired. I remember her passing out in school during debate class because she was so tired. She was tired of always being nice, tired of always being the "good student" because They assigned her these traits. She wanted to dye her hair blue and she wanted to where clothes other than her plain dresses. She wanted to wear pants! That was her biggest concern and reason for wanting to find out how to gain control of her life. She wanted to change the way she looked. She was tired of working hard and never having the chance to play.

One day she had this idea to skip school. I was reluctant but for some reason I was again forced to join her because They wanted me to. When I saw her I was shocked to see she was wearing shorts and a tank top. She looked the same but her clothes were different. I had so many questions. It may seem like it's not a big deal but trust me it was. I asked her how she was able to skip school and choose what she wanted to wear, what did she do to break free?

"I don't know. I felt them loosen their control of me this morning. I noticed that I woke up later than usual, I was able to eat before I showered today and when I decided to wear shorts today instead of a dress I was actually able to put the shorts on without being forced to change back to my dress." Normally if we tried to wear something other than what They wanted we would have to change back.

"We have to get back to school. Something isn't right. Why now? Why are they giving you free will all of a sudden and for so long. It's never lasted this long before. We have to go back." I stated in a panic. I tried to walk back in the direction of the school but every time I took two steps forward I was sent ten more steps in the opposite direction.

"Edric just stop. You see! They want us to have fun for once! They want you to experience this with me! This is why They will not allow you to go back to school. Come on, for once just stop trying to play by the rules. Let's enjoy this gift!" She said to me with those brown eyes of hers shining so bright full of optimism.

"Fine. If this is what They want. I will stop fighting it. Not that I have much control over it anyway." I sighed reluctantly and began to follow Leslie. "Where are we going?"

"We are going swimming!" She squealed with excitement. "I never been swimming before and always wanted to go. So today They are allowing me to go swimming! It popped up in my wants last night. This is going to be so much fun! I have some new float toys in my inventory."

"Leslie.. something is off about this. You can't swim. You never been in a pool before. Why now?" I asked with confusion and fear in my voice.

"Oh my gosh Edric! Who cares? I don't! Lets just have fun." I could hear the irritation in her voice so I decided to let it go.

When we got to the pool it was empty. We stood there for a minute and saw the clerk appear in front of us. She opened the gate and let us in.

"The lifeguard disappeared and we don't have one. So don't drown ok? They won't allow me to leave this spot to save you." The clerk stated in such a nonchalant tone it freaked me out all over again.

"Um Leslie I think we should.."

"Edric I think you should just be quiet or leave."

"Come on you know I can't leave."

"Well then hush! For once I want to have fun. Who knows if I will get this chance again. Please don't ruin it for me." Leslie pleaded with me. I could tell this meant a lot to her. So against my instincts and control I began to talk about the weather as I walked towards the pool.

"Well at least it's a nice sunny day." I stated. Leslie just stared at me without replying as she walked down the pool ladder. I began to follow her but They made me step back and sit down on the lounge chair instead.

"Edric come on! This feels awesome!" I watched Leslie walk around and jump up and down in the pool.

"I can't. They want me to sit here."

Leslie began to laugh. "Probably because you have been such a downer they don't want you ruining my fun! You are like a 17 year old elderly man sometimes."

"Ha ha. Very funny. I know how to have fun too."

Leslie rolled her eyes at me while laughing at my expense. All of a sudden she stopped laughing and began to walk into the deep end.

"Hey Leslie. Maybe you shouldn't go in the deep end. Neither of us can swim and all of your floaty toys are on the this side of the pool."

"Edric." Leslie called my name in a shaky voice while still walking towards the deep end. "I can't control myself anymore."

"What?" I instantly felt chills up my spine realizing that my initial assumption of something being off was correct.

"Edric please help m.." In an instant everything froze. I couldn't move, I couldn't blink, I stopped breathing and Leslie stopped talking and moving. I looked up in the sky and saw the building menu. I knew it. They were watching the entire time. This was planned. I knew Leslie thought it was her idea, but what if it wasn't? What if it was their idea all along? As all of these thoughts rushed to my head, I noticed the pool ladder disappeared and walls began to appear surrounding the perimeter of the pool. For a brief moment I couldn't see Leslie. Then, these long ceiling to floor windows began to appear on the walls. I could see her. Standing there with fear etched all over her face. Then the menu disappeared and we were able to move and speak again.

Slowly and reluctantly Leslie made her way to the deep end of the pool. "Leslie. You have to fight it! You have to!"

"I can't they blocked me in! I can't stop moving! Edric promise me you will enjoy your life no matter what. This isn't on you."

"Leslie hang on! I'm going to get you out!"

I tried so hard to get to her until finally I was able to stand up. I ran to the now indoor pool and tried to find a door. I couldn't. I couldn't break the window or wall. I know had free will of my own and I couldn't do anything but stand there. Then it hit me. This wasn't about Leslie. It was about me. They wanted me to suffer and experience loss. They wanted me to watch her drown in font of me as part of their story.

Leslie finally made it to the deep end and just before she began to sink yelled out her last words.

"I love you Edric!"

"I love you Leslie!" I managed to get out just before she sank to the bottom. I watched her crying hysterically as she flailed about trying to stay above the water, reaching for the edge until she stopped moving. No more splashing, no more gasping for air. All I could hear was my loud sobs.

Suddenly a fog appeared and I Leslie's body teleported from outside the pool and in front of me. Grim appeared and I pleaded with him to let her live. He told me to stand up before saying she was truly gone. This was what They wanted. I found out later They needed more space in her household and she was the least important member to them I guess because the same day some random person appeared. I picked up her urn and took it to her family's home. My first love was gone. I was pissed off. I know we are just a form of entertainment for whoever is controlling us, but that was cruel. Leslie did not deserve that. So I was determined to find a way to break free before they could murder me too.

However, I got side tracked. When I woke the next morning I was an adult and I had millions in my account. I was moving into a mansion and I was famous. I thought it was to make up for my heartbreak. Fast forward a couple of months and Leslie's ghost still roams around pissed off at the world. Knocking over garbage cans and haunting peoples homes just for laughs Her hair is blue, but of course nobody can tell because she is transparent. I promised that I would try to find a way to bring her back to life when They aren't logged on. There's a plant that only grows in Geneva's yard that can bring the dead to life. So when They made me ask Geneva out I figured that was my way of getting the plant.

Of course They had other plans. I mean I blinked and all of a sudden Geneva and I was married. We didn't even sign a prenup. They made her move into my house and II hadn't been able to get back to her house to grab the plant. However, there has been a lot of strange accidents and near death experiences occur since we've been married. I was electrocuted, I got food poison, my bed spontaneously caught on fire while Geneva stood their and watched. I mean she could have grabbed the extinguisher!

Now I know why my parents warned me to stay away. As I sit here in a room with no doors, no bed, no toilet, windows, food or shower I realize that Geneva's mother really was crazy. They made her crazy. They turned her into a black widow and now that she's an elder, Geneva would take her place. I am guessing when Geneva became an adult, They gave her the Black Widow trait. Like I said growing up she wasn't this type of girl. A bit eccentric but definitely not a magnet of death. So here I am. Her next victim. She lured me into this room, left and soon after the Build Menu appeared. I wasn't even afraid this time. I was tired, defeated. I was over it all. This was no way to live. What was the point? So I just gave in. Sat and watched the doors and windows disappear. When the game began again, I could hear Geneva manically laughing.

"Thanks for the riches love! I mean you are a nice guy and I really like you even though you broke my heart in high school. However, I like money better. I can spend without having to share with you. This is the path They want for me. Living my best life as a widow. Whelp, it was fun while it lasted. Once you die I will move your urn next to Leslie. I know you loved her even when we were together. I understand. You love who you love! Since you were the only one nice to me in school, I will make sure you two are together in the after life."

"Gee thanks Geneva." I replied sarcastically.

"Hey at least you guys will have free will! You know They rarely use us after we become ghosts."

She had a point and in that moment I was at peace. I was ok with everything. The millions I woke up with and the house, she could have. This is what I meant when I said you could wake one day with millions in your account and then within the same week facing Grim. It is all simulated. As I sat in deep thought, Grim appeared in front of me and the hunger pains became extremely strong right before I felt my body go numb.

"Geneva got you too man? I knew she was going to end up like her mother." Grim said as he puffed on his cigar.

"They set me up. All this time, I was thinking I would have a rags to riches, tragedy to triumph life but They never planned it that way." I shook my head and sighed loudly. "At least I'll have more free will as a ghost."

"That is true. You are lucky. I can't die, so I am destined to do this reaping thing until They get bored." Grim stated with his cigar hanging out of his mouth as we both stared into the distance at nothing. I soaked in what he said and realized I was actually lucky. I mean yes I was going to die but I wouldn't be tortured with the task of taking peoples souls. I did not have to deal with the day to day pleads of their loved ones wanting me to spare to them. Maybe this is a good thing. The price I have to pay for free will.

"Alright Grim. I am ready. Let's get this over with."

March 13, 2020 04:20

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