I was truly willing to do anything to get my lifelong dream.
I’ve already been interviewed for the big TV show. No one has noticed I’m not Piper yet. Luckily, Piper and I didn’t know a lot of people.
But I’m already famous and people are already betting on me... I hope I win. Turns out this whole game show is not what it appears.
You see, I was right. It is not filmed live. It’s not even filmed at all, it’s all fake. And the raffle is not random.
The reason Piper got picked and not me is because she does have a bad background
Because our society is so obsessed with “being good”, we can’t stand the bad people, like Piper.
She was chosen because she was bad. Everyone in this show apart from me and one other person is bad.
This is a game of life and death, and they are punishing the bad people for being bad.
I’ve already seen many deaths. Many gruesome deaths. Many emotional deaths. Just many deaths I wish I hadn’t seen. Of course, that’s a terrible thing to say after I heartlessly murdered my sister.
I do know one thing though: There is one other good person. His name is Ean. He is my new hunting and partner. My last one died. So is his. He killed him. See, we get paired up with partners but since only one of us can win, partners have to kill each other because they’re bad and they’re truly willing to do anything to get their lifelong dreams. The purpose of the games is to punish the bad people by killing them somehow, and one good person is hired to help with the killing and they are always the winner.
So now I’ve realized that not the bad person they think I am and Ean is the same way and he is going to have to kill me eventually and I am not going to win.
But then I’ve also got to thinking that I am a bad person because I’m a murderer.
Oh, and I think I might be going a little bit crazy.
“You okay?” Ean turned toward me.
I picked at the squirrel I was supposed to eat and shifted my gaze to the ground. “Yeah… just thinking.”
I shrugged. “The hunt. I wonder where we have to go next.”
He nodded. “Yeah, I don’t know.” I wanted so bad to tell him he was a liar. He knew. He knew very well, and he wasn’t fooling me.
“Well, I think I’m going to turn in.”
“You didn’t eat.”
“I’m not hungry. Maybe I’ll just starve to death. It’ll be better than being stabbed or hung or blown up.” I looked at him and saw he was avoiding my gaze, pulling on the grass.
“Yeah, I guess…” As soon as I looked away I could tell he looked towards me and my face turned red. I turned my back to him and laid down.
I shifted all night, wondering if I should do it. After all, only one person could win this. I knew I wasn’t going to fall asleep, not when he was just waiting to kill me.
I reached under my leg and pulled out my knife. When I turned over to make my split-second decision, I quickly sat up, staring at the empty spot beside me. “Ean?” No answer. I stood, baring my knife firmly at my side and walking around. “Ean!” No answer.
I didn’t know why I was worried. If he was gone, oh well. He’s not my problem. I’d just kill every replacement partner I got.
At the same time, not knowing where he was might be more dangerous. He could come from anywhere, kill me at any moment.
At the same time, we’d grown foolishly close, though neither one of us would admit it. I sort of wanted him on my team. Maybe we could find a way for both of us to win, like that really old book about the kids who are picked to kill each other for money.
So basically what we’re doing. But they know they are supposed to do it. We think we’re involved in a fun scavenger hunt on a stage.
Counting my steps away from our campsite, I listened and looked to and at everything I possibly could. One small crack and I whipped around. One glint of light and my knife was ready. I walked and walked nearly a hundred steps and decided to turn back when I suddenly saw the world blur and my entire body went cold and wet and a sharp pain hit my arm. I closed my eyes as water rushed into them and forced my arms up.
When my head was over the water, I took a deep breath and felt something grab my ankle. I screamed as my head went back under and I felt my feet being clawed and pulled and gashed. I opened my eyes and looked up at the surface being pulled further and further away. I yanked my leg from the grip and swam as aggressively as I could to the top when I was pulled again.
Still looking up from fear of what was below, I saw a figure darken the top of the hole and jump in the water. As soon as the person reached me and grabbed my wrist and started pulling me up, there was a loud, high-pitched scream near my ankle and the grip loosened. I grimaced but pushed my way to the top and let the figure pull me out.
I collapsed on the ground and landed on my arm. I winced and looked down, realizing I’d cut myself with my knife when I fell in the hole. My ankle was worse though, and quite frankly I was too scared to look at it just from the pain. I heard the person breathing beside me and realized they could kill me any second. I pushed myself up and ran my hands along the ground, my eyesight blurring and my head pounding. I felt a hand touch my back.
“Piper, stop, it’s me..” He breathed heavily and I stopped. “It’s Ean, what happened?”
I fell on my back and he touched my shoulder. “Are you alright?”
I put a hand to my forehead, making a face and grabbing at my ankle. I felt his hands slide under my knees and shoulders and he lifted me off the ground. I blinked slowly and everything went dark.
When I woke back up, the first thing I saw Ean. He glanced up at me and smiled. “Good morning.”
I shifted, touched my arm, and looked down to see it was wrapped in a blue cloth. “Where were you last night?”
“What a welcome…” He mumbled. “I was scouting the area. I thought I saw someone. I also got breakfast.” He pointed to the fire as he got up and walked towards me. I backed up a little as he crouched down in front of me. “How’s your ankle? And your arm?”
I looked down at my ankle and swallowed. It was also wrapped. “Fine. Where’d you get the cloth?”
“Why are you so nosy?” We smiled softly at each other. “My other shirt.” I sighed and he got up. “Are you hungry?”
“You’re not actually going to starve yourself, are you? I thought you were joking.”
I shook my head. “Just leave me here. I don't want anything and I don’t want to finish. There’s no way I’m going to win. Just go.” I don’t have anyone to go home to anyways… I added to myself.
He threw a stick and threw back his head. “Piper!” He stopped abruptly and looked at me.
“Piper… It doesn’t count if you’re already planning your defeat.”