EZ stood in front of the mansion with his two best friends, Betsy and Tooly. They had on outfits that didn’t match their more stressed and uneasy demeanor. “Oh god, I don’t know about this, EZ!” Betsy proclaimed. “What if it doesn’t go how you plan?” “Trust me it will.” EZ assured her. EZ had been practicing all throughout the month for this crazy and life-threatening competition! Tooly was breathing heavily, knowing that what ever happened tonight would shape the rest of his life or break it instead! “Hey hey! Relax, guys!” EZ said. His voice was as calm and smooth as a hibernating bear’s fur. “I know the suspense is killing us, but trust me it’ll pay off, I guarantee.”
Inside the mansion, up the stairs and straight down the hall was the room where lives were to be lost, Battel’s room. It was a large room made mostly out of white marble, from the floor to the bed’s support! Eight chairs aligned the wall to the right of the king sized bed and table setup in the center. Six of the seats were occupied by the participants of the deadly competition. They were rough looking men, all of them had to at least be in their mid 30s. The room also contained six burly guards in all black tuxedos. One at each corner of the room and two at the door. The seventh participant entered the room and was immediately patted down. The bed covers shook with excitement. “Sir. All participants are here except one.” One of the guards in black told the covers. “Oh” said the covers. A man came from underneath the covers. His appearance was that of a man-child, long blonde hair, glasses, large white hello kitty hoodie and grey shorts. “Jeez I can’t wait! Oh my goodness, I can’t believe all these people came!” The man grabs hold of one of the participant’s shoulders. “Hello, sir!” He yelled in his ear! “Please try to contain yourself, Master Battel!” The guard said. “Ah sorry! I just can’t wait for the games to begin! Who are we waiting on?” One of the other guards checked the list, “Looks like we’re waiting on someone named, Revanche” Battel became even more excited and irritable. “Oh! I can’t wait!” He said. The participants were silent, hoping that whoever they were waiting on would not arrive. They had all put their lives on the line for this competition and the anticipation of doom was beginning to slowly creep into their psyche. Only one of them was going to make it out alive!
After nearly an hour of waiting on Revanche, the feeling of dread and angst began to intensify inside the participants’ souls until finally one had the courage to speak. A former cartel member: bald head with tattoos covering it, a large beard with strands of white, burly with a beer belly protruding his singlet. He called out to Battel, “Hey, man! Are we gonna get this thing started or what!? I-I mean, I ain’t in no rush to die or whatever, but if we’re here, we’re here! Let’s get this on and over with, ya know?” The other participants nodded and scoffed in agreement. The guards were agitated by the outburst as if they had no right to speak at all. “Watch your tone when talking to Master Battel!” Light bickering had begun between the participants and guards. Battel laughed and egged them on all the while. “Oh this is amazing! Shoot him! just shoot him now! Haha!” Suddenly, the doors burst open and in came the final participant and his passé of two! They walked in the room and to the bed with an immense amount of boldness! “Good evening.” EZ said with a light smirk. Everyone paused. Instantly, all the bickering was replaced with amusement and disbelief! EZ, Betsy and Tooly stuck out like a sore thumb among the other participants considering they wore tight fitted clothes and were in their late teens at best. “Hey kids, this isn’t Disneyland! Get outta here!” one of the guards demanded. “Sorry, but I didn’t come here to take pictures with a mouse. I’m Revanche.” The other participants contained their shock. Battel was shocked from the very moment he laid eyes on who he’d thought before was Revanche. Battel gave him a look of intrigue, “Heheh! EZ Money! I should’ve known it was you!” “Sup, Spoon-fed?” EZ said with a smirk. The guards grabbed hold of EZ, “You’re outta here, phony!” “No! Leave him! Cute little codename or whatever, ‘Revanche’; Revenge. How many times have I cleaned you out now? Let’s see-.” “Doesn’t matter, I’ll win this time. Watch.” “Well! You know we’re playing for more than just money this time, right? If you lose.. It’s your life!” “Of course.” EZ said softly. The guards attempted to apprehend Betsy and Tooly. “No! No! You idiots, let them stay and watch their friend- make the dumbest decision of his life! Hehe!” The guards let go, and Betsy and Tooly recomposed themselves. “Dumbest decision, huh? Look who’s talking.” said EZ to Battel in a sly manner. Battel gave a look of even greater intrigue, “Whatever do you mean?” “69 million’s a lot to lose. Probably way more than the parents would be happy with losing. Are you really that bored and reckless?” “EZ! You’re worried about the wrong things! Trust me, the winner will get theirs!” Battel whistled the guards at the back corners of his bedroom. They went inside two separate doors and each came back with a cart filled with money, the sight of which gave each participant a feeling of euphoria! The participants now gained an inhumane amount of eagerness to risk their lives for the competition! Noticing their salivation, Battel yelled out, “Alright! Welcome lady and gentlemen to the Final Destination Rock, Paper, Scissor Tourney! Winner takes home $69 Million dollars cash! Losers-” Battel gestured a gun to his head and spoke in a cold tone, “Get their brains blowed out!” He paused in an attempt to let the dread sink in, but everyone in the room already knew the risks and remained silent. Battel spoke again in a more uplifting tone, “Heh! Same feeling you always get when you’re about to shoot in Rock-paper-scissors, right? Well alright, let’s get started!”
The first two participants were seated at the table in the middle of the bedroom. They stared intensely at each other while setting up their hands at the table. Each entrance guard stood behind them and pointed a .9mm pistol at the back of their skulls! “Let the Final Destination Rock, Paper, Scissor Tourney begin!!” Battel announced excitedly. The guards broke down the rules, “It is best 2 out of 3! You will shoot on ‘scissors’! One error is allowed each matchup, any more than that-!” The guards gestured a gun to their heads, “We blow your brains out! No hesitation! No arguments!” This news reverberated through the entire bedroom all internally received it and tried to encode as if stuffing a suitcase full of the same tie. “You’ll start when I say ‘Go’!” One of the guards shouted towards the two combatants. “Go!”
The two combatants immediately slapped their fists into their hands and chanted. Once, twice, three times, and the match was over! “Oh God! Wait! D-do over!!” The loser pleaded while attempting to reach behind his head for the gun. Too late. The .9mm bullet burst through his head like a straw through a pouch of Caprisun! Each participant reacted in a bit of agony except for EZ. He stared at the lifeless body then shifted his attention to the maniacal madman responsible for the bloodshed! “He tried to beg! Oh god!” Battel chuckled aloud. He couldn’t contain his laughter. He fell into his sheets and cackled uncontrollably while clutching his sides. Tolly and Betsy stood behind EZ and got the same feeling of disgust as he did deep down. Battel gazed at all the participants who for some reason weren’t finding the same joy as him. “Oh boy! I just realized I might get to see you die, EZ! Hahahaa! I wonder what you’ll say or do if you lose! If you cry I’d laugh so hard!” “Wow. After all we’ve been through, I figured you’d be rooting for me. I’m hurt.” EZ said in a soft, sarcastic tone. “Nope! Thanks for all your money though! Maybe I’ll pay for your funeral service with it!” Battel proclaimed aloud with a gaping smile. EZ’s eyes met his friends’ behind him. They had a look of understanding. Never before had EZ felt more confident in winning.
EZ and his passé maintained their cool for two more match ups and two more murders! They remained cool and exalted an aura of confidence and this tormented EZ’s coming opponent. “How the hell is this kid keeping his cool, huh?” he thought as he sat in the seat in front of EZ. EZ stared at the bald-headed former cartel member showing no fear, to the man’s disliking. “Naw, man! There’s no way I lose to a little kid!” He tried to mentally reassure himself while setting up his hands. The gun cock took ol’ Cartel by surprise. He inhaled deeply trying to contain his initial yelp. EZ couldn’t help but smirk at the old man, he was struggling and badly. “Ready? Go!” one of the guards called out! EZ and ol’ Cartel began the familiar ritual and chatted simultaneously, “Rock, Paper, Scissors!” Ol’ Cartel shot with paper immediately at the end of the chant. An error had occurred. “-Shoot!” said EZ as he shot with paper. “Uh-uh whoops!” EZ said nervously. Battel laughed out loud in the background. “That’s one error! Start whenever you’re ready!” one the guards proclaimed. Ol’ cartel stared at EZ in shock. Here he was breaking into a nervous sweat when his much younger opponent was the one nervous the entire time. At last, Ol’ Cartel felt completely in control. “Hey, Nino! Getting nervous over there, huh?” EZ’s demeanor actually did turn into that of a boy, a boy who has now gotten himself into some trouble. He hung his head and shut his eyes tight as if holding back tears. One more mess up and he’s dead in an instant. Ol’ Cartel was befuddled, didn’t the kid know what he was getting himself into? “Hey ready up, Niño! You gotta finish what you started!” Ol’ Cartel called out to his opponent. EZ continued to sulk. Ol’ Cartel examined Betsy and Tooly, both sat in two of the dead participants’ seats giving a look of worry. Battel sprung outta bed! He was now fully invested in the battle, “Hahahaaaa! EZ! No way are you done already!” EZ mustered up the strength to continue. “Rock, Paper, Scissors!” they chanted and shot simultaneously. Ol’ Cartel knew what he was going to shoot out of his nervousness, and was right. Scissors beats paper. EZ hung his head and shook it in disapproval. He was one round away from death. “Oh my god! You can’t be serious!” Battel yelled aloud with a smile. He laughed uncontrollably once more while Ol’ Cartel gave a look of resentment, how could his emotions be getting to him during a time like this. “This kid’s really going to die for nothing!” He thought about his own children when looking at EZ and his crew. They had died a few years ago due to gang violence. He also thought about him and his siblings growing, alone, starving and in search of money. His emotions were what got him out of gang life, and he couldn’t help but try to lecture what he felt was a dying child. “Listen, Niño! You got yourself into this. I mean- I can’t help you. I gotta do what I gotta do. Don’t hang your head in shame. You gotta thug it out! Sorry, but- if you’re gonna die, die like a real one, que si!?” Ol’ Cartel said with full sincerity. EZ obliged by raising his head and readying his hands. His face still said defeat which Ol’ Cartel made mental note of. Betsy and Tooly got out of their seats and stood near the table out of concern for their friend at death’s door. Battel was there with them. In an attempt at humor, he wrapped his arms over their shoulders. “Sorry for your loss!” He said with a smile. They immediately unwrapped his arms. “Rock! Paper! Scissors!” EZ and Ol’ Cartel said simultaneously!
The old man’s look of shock and reaction forced a light smirk on EZ’s face. He quickly hid it before Ol’ Cartel could see. “You were so sure, weren’t you?” EZ thought to himself. Ol’ Cartel bursted out of his seat. “Damn! What the fuck!? How did-!?” All six guards got in close and aimed their guns at him. Betsy and Tooly raised their hands and stepped away towards the bed and the money. “Oh dear!” Battel said with a smile. The old man had a loss of words. In his head he truly believed he had already won and that EZ had folded. He felt as if he was cheated somehow. Ol’ Cartel took a look at EZ. His face was back to a stare. EZ tried to hold it in, but the smirk came out again. “Ahh! You’re a smart kid! Trying to play with me, huh?” EZ gave a look of confusion. “Uh- I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but thanks for the words of encouragement, sir! At least I won one!” EZ said with an innocent smile. Ol’ Cartel went silent and was shoved back into his seat by the guards. EZ was now officially in full control of everything, and he knew it. “Sir. Before we ready up, I’d like to let you know I think you’re actually a good person.” Ol’ Cartel gave a look of shock. EZ’s demeanor switched from a boy to man too fast for him. “That’s why I’m not gonna let you die tonight.” EZ smiled and winked at Betsy and Tooly who stood on both sides of Battel. “What the heck are you talkin’ abou-!?” Battel scoffed before feeling the cold steel of Betsy’s revolver under his chin! The two guards closest attempted to shoot, but were met with .9mm bullets inserted into their shoulders! “Nice aim, Tooly!” EZ said as he swiftly reached behind his head, yanked the guards pistol and elbowed his junk! The guard fell to the floor in agony! EZ and Tooly aimed their guns at the remaining guards while Betsy pressed the revolver into Battel’s chin! “Drop ‘em!” they yelled out. The guards dropped their guns in defeat. All within a minute, three guards were down and EZ, Betsy and Tooly were in full control of the room! Battel yelled out with his hands raised, “You fools! You forgot to pat them dow-!” the revolver cocked. “I’m sorry!” Battel said fearfully. “Had to wait til you guys got impatient before we entered, and of course I distracted everyone with my appearance. Sorry about this, participants, but this fake contest is over. Spoon-fed here wasn’t going to pay you anyway.” EZ called out to the remaining participants sitting with their hands raised. Battel tried to keep the scene light-hearted, “EZ! What are you talking about? The money’s right there, silly!” “Tooly!” EZ called. Tooly walked to the stacks of cash and brushed off the top layer, “The top stack is real, the rest is counterfeit!” Tooly proclaimed. Battel was caught off guard, “HOW DID YOU-!?” “Thank the old hombre here for that.” EZ turned to Ol Cartel. “Not only did you give us enough time to check the money, you also got the guards behind us in the position we needed.” Betsy said. “Now, where is the real money?” “What’ll it be, Spoony? You’re life or your money?” EZ inquired with a smile. Battel just stared angrily at EZ. EZ continued to smile knowing this was torture on Battel’s psyche. Both of them hated to lose, and it had become incredibly clear that EZ was done losing to Battel. He shot him in the foot and Battel let out a loud screeching yelp. The sound made everyone other than guards chuckle a bit! “Master Battel!” a few of the guards yelled out. “Get me the money! All of it!” EZ said boldly. One of the guards scrambled to his feet, ran to the king sized bed and started scooping out stacks of cash from beneath the mattress! Tooly was right on it. “Really? Underneath your mattress?” Betsy taunted the distressed man-child. “Oh go fuck yourself with a spiked dildo, you bitch!” EZ pistol whipped Battel to the guards’ dismay. “Get bags!” EZ pointed the gun at one of the guards on the floor! The guard scrambled to his feet! “So you would choose death, huh? It’s a good thing you have people who chose for you!” EZ thought aloud. Battel hung his head in defeat.
The remaining participants were each given a large amount of money before they fled the scene. EZ, Betsy and Tooly made off with the money. EZ split it with his friends and went his separate way knowing that Battel would stop at nothing to get him and only him back. Battel would keep the three dead bodies stored and pin them on EZ. On top of that he’d claim robbery. EZ thought it best to disappear with his cut of the money and never be seen again. This is the risk he took in this contest, and somehow he had won and lost at the same time. EZ stood in front of his tombstone after the memorial service. Paid for by Betsy and Tooly. “Rest in Paradise, Ezekiel ‘EZ Money’ Shultz” the tombstone read. EZ whistled a tune and walked away. He had a train to catch.