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Fiction Suspense Teens & Young Adult

A lonely groan escapes my mouth, echoing through my nearly empty room. Everything has been packed up into boxes except for the calendar on my wall. I slowly unfold a black pullover, stretching it over my unusually large amount of purple hair. Grabbing a black pair of jeans, I notice the smell of bacon floating through the air conditioning, into my room. It’s enticing but I know that my mother is most likely holding the pan up to the vents, luring me to come downstairs, also known as a trap of despair and false love.

I splash water over my face, trying to wake myself up. Small bags under my eyes reveal a sleepless night, full of lingering thoughts, nervousness, and anticipation. I step over the birthday gifts on my floor, unopened. They mean nothing to me, they’re just full of pity for what I’m about to go through. Every other sixteen year old my age has the same meaningless gifts lying on their floor, except for the ones who have loving parents. What morons.

Finally, when I build up enough courage to face my family, I grab my POD and walk downstairs. They’re gathered around the bottom of the staircase, offering skittish smiles. 

It’s not easy for them either.

My mother seems to be tearing up already and my father stands there with a wavering smile. He regrets it, I know he does. Either that, or I’ll make him.

~~~

We drive in silence, like always. Signs on the side of the road exclaim about today, they’re bright and colorful, unlike my clothes. They’re ready for initiation, unlike me. All of them say the same thing in big letters, catching my attention with their greed.

It’s game day.

I step out of the car, my feet landing on the cracked pavement. The windowless building looks down at me with intimidation. I ignore it, because I know I’m going to face more when I walk inside. I’ve looked at this building all of my life, wondering what it would be like. Is it more than just a cement torture-house that stares at useless children until their day comes, haunting them in their dreams? I used to be impatient for my sixteenth birthday, ready to compete, but now I’m not as naive.

My POD rings.

This is where we say goodbye. We love you, Col. Good luck.

My mom looks up from her POD with sorry eyes. I get no message from my dad. I type a half-hearted text to my mom, a message from my mind and not my heart.

Miss you already.

I refrain from saying the three big words. 

I walk into the only door on the outside of the building. The sound of people fills the room, silence. To say it was nothing like I imagined is saying nothing. Inside the building, neon signs cover the walls, most of them directing kids to where they need to be. Pictures of President Childres are hung up on the wall, saying “You’re helping the future of Skeld,” and “Surviving is winning, silence is obeying.” Really they mean “I have all authority over you, your freedom is gone, die for misbehaving.” I follow the sign that points towards the waiting room. Blue chairs fill the room where we’re supposed to wait for our fate. There are guards in red suits, scanning the rows of kids, most likely making sure no one escapes. Most of them are staring down at their PODs, occasionally glancing at the person they’re talking to. I sit down by myself as my hands start to sweat, rubbing them on my jeans that have suddenly become too tight around my small thighs. Hoping I blend in to the wall doesn’t work, because a boy dressed in the same monocolor clothes as everyone else sits in the seat beside me. He wears gold-rimmed glasses that cover his green eyes. His face is covered in freckles and I can’t help but be reminded of my dad. Red-stained cheeks, like my mothers. He looks down at his POD.

Cole: Hey. I’m Cole.

Colette: I’m Colette. But people usually call me Col. 

Cole: Name twins!

Col: Haha.

He doesn’t say anything back, so I lean my head against the wall and close my eyes.

~~~

My POD buzzes in my lap.

Cole: Time to go Col.

Col: oh, sorry.

I stand up and my name is flashing on the board above a red-colored door.

Game time.

Cole grabs my arm, hauling me over to the next room, The Ready Room. Eight other teenaagers are in the dimly lit room, waiting for death or destiny, depending on their attitude. I’m waiting for destiny and death, that’s possible right? I take a seat next to Cole and look at my POD as it lights up.

We don’t waste time here! So all of you listen up! There’s ten of you and one Deceptor among us. If you are a Crewmate, you have to finish your Dues before the game ends, or before the Deceptor kills everyone. If you are a Deceptor, you kill. But don’t get caught, or you’ll be voted out. The others will win the game, you’ll be kicked...Easy as can be. The goal is to make it as far as you can without dying, or becoming one of the destitute. You’ve been assigned a color, put on your suit and goggles that correspond with that color. The game will start in ten seconds. No cheating, no Due “Dates”, don’t spare anyone. Hopefully you haven’t made any good friends. Every man for himself.

My screen lights up with a lime green color. As I’m putting on the lime-colored suit, I see Cole putting on a pink suit. I memorize it, just in case. Soon enough, the room lights up with a red light and a screen on the ceiling begins counting down from ten. 

Every moment from my life comes back in a flash. I remember my parents’ disappointed looks when I accidentally ran over our dog with the car. It was an accident, but I didn’t feel guilty. The time that I asked a kid in my kindergarten class to a knife throwing contest makes me smile. My dad didn’t smile, though. That was the day him and my mother discussed my future. And here I am, my future. You proud dad?

A man in a red suit enters the room, his index finger held over his mouth, as if to tell us to be quiet. He then leaves the room and I can feel the stirring of something inside everyone. The yearn to be Deceptor, to make a name for themselves, to not die. The only reason I want to be Deceptor is to kill.

We walk through the door, blank faces scan the area. It’s a cafeteria, like the kind we’d eat in at school. We’re gathered around a table with a red button in the middle of it. Now that I can see everyone’s faces, I take a look around. I recognize a few of them from school but most of them I’ve never seen before. That’ll help me if I’m Deceptor. My name twin stands across the table and when we meet eyes, he offers a small smile from under his foggy goggles. The glasses and goggles combo looks silly on him, I can’t picture him as Deceptor. My POD lights up with multiple chats from the group.

Ghost: anyone wanna be allies?

chillie: he said every man for himself...

Ghost: oh.

Quinton: i’m gonna dominate

Finn: lol not unless i vote ya out

Quinton: whatever

Cole: Good luck, name twin.

Col: good luck to u too!

My screen suddenly goes black and it feels like someone has punched me in the stomach. All of the signs on the side of the road, all of the calendars marked with the same saying never seemed real to me until now. But now, I know it’s real, It’s Game Day.

DECEPTOR.

The red letters flash on my screen and immediately, I know it was meant to be. Weapons show up in my hand, invisible to the other players. My name above my head is red and I smile a sinister smile, nothing and no one can stop me now. All of the players start to run off in different directions. I head towards a room that controls oxygen, and pretend to be fixing the wires. That’s when someone in a yellow suit walks in. He ignores me and enters a pin on the side of the wall. I fumble with the wires in my hands, and turn to walk out of the room. The thing about Deceptor, is you deceive, make them think it’s not you.

My feet echo on the metal floor, my suit swishes around my ankles and my gun clicks in my hand. I’m facing someone in a pink suit, they’re turned around and working on calibrating the Reactor. Once they hear the click of my gun, they turn, but I don’t shoot. Cole is facing me with his gold-rimmed glasses, wide, green eyes stare back at me. There’s no chatting during the game so I wave my hands in front of me, trying to tell him that I’ll spare him if he doesn’t tell anyone. 

“...don’t spare anyone.” The words of the instructor send a pang through my body, and the gun rises in my hands. I line it up with the center of Coles head. I don’t know him, I don’t. He’s just a kid I met today, who was somewhat friendly. There’s a big chance that these positions could be reversed in the later rounds. For a minute, he just stares, not moving an inch, and I’m almost convinced that I’ve killed him with just the sight of a gun in my hand. But then he moves towards me, grabs my arm and points me out of the room. I turn to face him, trying to make it obvious that I’m confused. He brings his hands up to his eyes and covers them, shrugs, and then turns away to continue working on his task.

I’m tempted to stay with him, but I’ve taken too long, it’s time to kill. I head to electrical, the only room without a camera that the other players can watch you from. I look around the room as the whirring of machines fills my ears. Someone in a dark-green suit is working right next to the vent, so I walk over to them, near enough so that I can use my knife. I fumble with the wires while they occasionally glance at me from the side, suspicious. The suspicious are the worst to deal with, but luckily I can solve that problem. I pull out my knife as soon as they start walking towards the door. Keeping my eye on the vent, my escape route, I drive the knife into their back, twisting until they fall onto the ground. They make no noise as the blood starts pooling on the ground, our nonexistent rights to speak make this easier. I stare at their limp body for one second until I realize that I need to leave before someone sees me. I jump into the vent, and it’s only a few seconds before the body is reported. My POD instructs me to run back to the cafeteria table, so I do, meeting everyone else, their suits are dirtier now and sweat stains a few of their faces. I make sure there’s no blood on my suit, that would be a major giveaway. I look over at Cole to give him a gracious smile but he avoids eye contact with me. The chat lights up on my POD.

eggy: where

Cole: Where?

Finn: who

Ghost: where

chillie: electrical, but i didn’t see anyone

Col: me either

I: yellow is sus

Col: no i was in O2 with yellow and he didn’t kill me

fritter: yeah it’s not lime either

eggy: well we gotta vote, Quinton was my friend

Cole: Let's just skip, no one is suspicious. 

Ghost: ok

chillie: ok

Col: alright sounds good

No one was ejected. (skipped)

I smile under my goggles, I got away with it this time. I wonder how many more times I can get away with it?

~~~

Eight. That’s how many more times I got away with it. Leading me up to find Cole, watching the Cams as I snuck up behind him with poison. It would kill him slowly, giving me time to get away before I had to watch the life drain out of him in a matter of minutes. I pull the poison out, along with a ratty rag that smells like puke. The poison seeps into the rag like roots from a tree, infecting it with death. I thought it would be odorless but I can smell the sharp smell as it stings the hairs inside my nose. I drop the bottle purposefully and the glass shatters on the floor, catching the attention of Cole who seems to have a sincere mask of calm on. We make eye contact, his eyes become pleading and if we could talk, I know he would be begging me for his life. I ignore the guilt, I’ve become quite good at that, and situate the rag in my hand. Then, I pounce, covering his face with the rag. He gags for a second and I think I’ve won. I think I’ve become victorious. I can already see my name on the wall of fame. Colette Handel, Deceptor of 2080.

But the name disappears.

It falls off the wall, replaced with a similar but different name.

Cole Gordon, Deceptor of 2080. 

The gun fires, little black dots appear in my eyes and his face is the last thing I see. Actually, the last thing I heard was his voice. I’d never heard a person speak in my life, and this voice shattered me. It made me cave in on myself. I shake with fear, I want to have the last words. But I can’t get any out over his and the measly thoughts circling around in my mind. Rebel, he’s a rebel. I wonder if he knows that I would have joined him, that I would’ve helped him escape Skeld, to overthrow President Childres. This place is horrid, our rights are gone, one voice speaks for us at all times. I want the world to be different, I do. But it’s too late now, Cole throws off his glasses and puts both of his feet on either side of me. His face is calming, even when he was the one who killed me. There’s a tear dripping down the side of his face, the guilt will eventually destroy him if he’s already breaking. I close my eyes, waiting to hear him speak

“You coward. You really thought you could be brave by killing me?”

I did. I really did.


Inspired by: (Yes, you guessed it) Among Us. (but in a dystopian world).

December 03, 2020 14:55

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43 comments

Nainika Gupta
13:22 Dec 11, 2020

OH wow, such a cool story, I loved it!! So unique (even though Among Us :) but you made it into your own!! BUTBUTBUTBUT I saw on your bio that you love horses.......ME TOOO!!!! WHOOO we're automatically friends on here :D

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Anna Mosqueda
14:03 Dec 11, 2020

Thank you thank you thank you!!!! AHHHH! I'm so glad that I found someone that loves horses too!! Do you ride as a sport or anything? I'd like to but we don't have any room for one and boarding costs A LOT. And yayyyy I'm glad I made another friend:)

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Nainika Gupta
14:06 Dec 11, 2020

No problem :) And yay!! Friends are goooooooddddd :DD I do ride as a sport - I'm a hunter jumper, and I have my own horse. Um, out where I live, we just have to drive a little bit (like 20mins) to get to my barn - and yea boarding costs a LOT UGHHH - its such an expensive (BUT REWARDING) sport!!!!

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Anna Mosqueda
14:22 Dec 11, 2020

Oh that's awesome!!! You're so lucky:0 What's your horses name? When I go to Ohio, one of my friends (she's like 40 but she's awesome) lets me ride one of her horses, Little Joe. He is the sweetest horse everrrr. Anyways, if I were to ride as a sport I'd want to do barrel racing, haha. It seems so fun:) I actually applied for a job the other day at my neighborhoods equestrian center so at least I get to be around horses;))

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Nainika Gupta
14:29 Dec 11, 2020

Aww, my horse's name is Suella - shes a 6-year-old bay mare <3 Yeah, barrel racing is funnnn!!! Even though I'm an English rider, my barn also is a western barn so we do fun shows where the English and western riders switch!!!!

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Anna Mosqueda
16:41 Dec 11, 2020

Awe, she sounds adorableee! And that sounds awesome! My mom was an English rider when she was younger too! When did you start riding?

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Ana Govindasamy
14:15 Dec 11, 2020

I- How did I only realise what this was based on when I got to "yellow is sus." Anyways, great story and great adaptation!

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Anna Mosqueda
14:23 Dec 11, 2020

Haha, I knew that would be a good giveaway;)) Thanks so much:)

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Ana Govindasamy
15:12 Dec 11, 2020

No problemo! I'll try to check out your other stories.

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Anna Mosqueda
16:39 Dec 11, 2020

Awesome! I'll be sure to check yours out as well:)

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16:13 Dec 24, 2020

I don't play among us, but I know enough about it to figure out what was going on. Plus, your writing style is such that it doesn't matter what you're writing, it's going to be good, unique, and magically original. If this story is what 2080 is really gonna be like, I'm moving underground LOL.

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Anna Mosqueda
20:07 Dec 29, 2020

Oh my goodness, thank you very much! And same here;)

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21:53 Dec 29, 2020

Yeah, no one except for crazy people or book characters would purposefully live in that world, and that's what makes it so great.

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Anna Mosqueda
12:42 Jan 04, 2021

Yep, haha;)

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13:46 Jan 04, 2021

LOL

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Dorsa S.
14:27 Dec 11, 2020

this story is truly amazing! i loved your sense of having detail with every paragraph, it truly made the story pop. the transitions were flawless! and that was great how you changed a video game into a story. keep on writing. :)

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Anna Mosqueda
17:12 Dec 11, 2020

Thanks so much! That means a lot:)

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Dorsa S.
23:21 Dec 11, 2020

of course! i really enjoyed it! and i published my short story for the new prompt (editing in the process) and i was wondering if you could give some criticism on it? i find your writing really detailed and nice and it really means a lot if you could help me with it. :)

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Anna Mosqueda
01:19 Dec 12, 2020

Definitely! I'll check it out in one sec:))

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23:08 Dec 09, 2020

When I realized this was among us, I laughed. It’s amazing how you turned such an un-eloquent game into something like this, while including the aspects of before. The ‘Wheres’ threw me for a second.

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Anna Mosqueda
12:44 Dec 10, 2020

Thank you! Glad you liked it:)

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Radhika Diksha
03:03 Dec 07, 2020

By the way, I read your bio. I think you should read 'Eleanor and Park' by Rainbow Rowell. It's an amazing book. And can you tell me how you find the URL link of your friends which you have put in your bio. Like Ugochis link. I want to know. So did you become the school newspaper editor?

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Anna Mosqueda
12:48 Dec 07, 2020

Awesome! I'll check it out, I've definitely heard of it before. And yeah, you just go to their page and copy the URL at the top of your screen, in the search box. That's what I did. And not yet, the Arts department is still setting it up and finding a place to be able to print it but we're working on it:) I have a few pieces ready for it though!

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Radhika Diksha
13:55 Dec 07, 2020

great!! do share your pieces when it get to print. Thanks for the Url info.

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Anna Mosqueda
16:55 Dec 07, 2020

Okay, glad you're interested:) No problem!

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Radhika Diksha
02:59 Dec 07, 2020

A very interesting story. It was unique, thrilling, and creative. Loved the plotline and the engaging factor of the story. Great job. Well if you have time will you give feedback on my story"A shade apart"? Would love it if you would do.

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Anna Mosqueda
12:46 Dec 07, 2020

Thank you!!! And yeah, I'll check out your story:)

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02:06 Dec 07, 2020

I knew It! I knew it had something to do with Among us, even though I don't play the game! But this was a very creative story!! I loved it, I was not expecting this kinda story from you, like every story you write you surprise me! In a good way. Honestly this was so interesting, I loved it!! Great job Anna!! Your stories need more recognition, honestly!

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Anna Mosqueda
12:45 Dec 07, 2020

Awe, thanks so much Ugochi!! Glad you loved it:) And oh my goodness that means sooo much, thank you!!!

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18:42 Dec 07, 2020

Of course!! 😊

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✨Abby ✨
19:13 Dec 11, 2020

Wow, I love this. Your talent level is incredible!! Aaannddd I saw in your bio that you like horses lol so do I. I have one and actually I'm looking at a horse today to possibly buy.. Anyway that was probably tmi lol.

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Anna Mosqueda
21:15 Dec 11, 2020

Haha not tmi!! That's actually really awesome:) I've bonded with so many people over horses on this website and it makes me soooo happy!! Hope you can get the horse your looking at today! What kind is it?

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✨Abby ✨
22:15 Dec 11, 2020

Thank you! Me too! It is an Arab QH cross

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Anna Mosqueda
22:38 Dec 11, 2020

Oh my goodness! Those are beautiful!! That's exciting:) Do you ride as a sport?

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✨Abby ✨
22:45 Dec 11, 2020

Aw thank you! Yes, I do dressage, jumping, and the occasional western ride. 😉

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Anna Mosqueda
01:18 Dec 12, 2020

OOOH awesome. Western is my personal fave. I've never ridden but I love watching the rodeo and when I get the chance to ride, I'd like to barrel race;)

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Radhika Diksha
18:08 Dec 09, 2020

Submitted a new story i would love your feedback on it.

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