Game Over

Submitted into Contest #74 in response to: Write a story that takes place across ten seconds.... view prompt

194 comments

Sad Fiction Contemporary

Trigger warning: Death


They took off my ventilator.


Ten seconds left.


Before I lose.


Ten.


I stayed at home. I washed my hands. I wore a mask the rare times I went outside. I adapted to the online classes, the Zoom birthday parties and the occasional awkward family group call. I texted till my thumbs were sore and watched television till my eyes were red.


Nine.


I did it all. I tried. But it wasn’t enough. Clearly. The people who did nothing to save themselves were saved. I did everything to save myself. But it caught up to me. I ran until my lungs were screaming for oxygen. I ran the extra mile. But it still caught up to me. It tapped me on the shoulder, and whispered in my ear, “I win. I always win.”


Eight.


Why me? My friends didn’t get it. Neither did my family members. I am suddenly overtaken by a pang of jealousy. I’m not a good person. I’m not selfless like my parents. I can’t help but wonder why I was taken, why I don’t have any company where I am going. I am going to be lonely. I hate being lonely.


Seven.


I should be the one to die. It is best. I was never easy. From the moment I came out of the womb, I was always the ‘difficult one’. Difficult to control, difficult to discipline, difficult to predict. I deserve it. I was never normal. I was never what my parents wanted, what they needed. I always messed up. I always got in the way.


Six.


I will be absent forever. I will not be able to celebrate the beginning of a new year, a birthday, or even have a conversation with anyone. I won’t go to college. I won’t get married or have children. I won’t ever fall in love. I won’t get to meet new people. When photographs are taken, will they leave me a spot? Will they say that I would like to sit there this time? Will they push each other to give me some space? Will people remember the person I was before? Or will they remember how I am now, lying on this hard bed, unable to move? Will they remember my laughter, or will they remember when I couldn’t breathe? How will they cope? How will they continue their lives, knowing that a minute organism caused my absence for the rest of time?


Five.


They will cope. They must. They have to. I hope so. Loss is a part of life. Death is inevitable. It creeps up, asking for permission to take your soul. But it is just a formality. Just like how your sibling may ask for an item of stationery and you might not give it, but it will leave your possession within time. You can fight with her, but Death is stubborn. Even more stubborn than you. She will ask you, and when you say no, she will take it anyway. If you say yes, she will take it painlessly. I’m trying to give it to her. But I find that it is hard to give up something that has been yours for so long. You grow attached to it. But attachment is futile. The fact is that when your time comes, so will Death.


Four.


Everyone will forget about me. They will forget that I existed. When I cease to exist, the memory of me will cease to exist. They will remember me, but only for a limited amount of time. They will cry, or maybe they will laugh. They will drink to me and pray for me. They will sit at dinners, talking about me, until it fades into an awkward, heavy silence. Like my heart monitor. That green line will go up and down, reminiscing me. Then slowly the highs will no longer be high enough and the lows no longer low enough. It will soon even out, like a plain after a mountain range. It will go flat, and there will be a loud beep. Then I will leave.


Three.


I think about school, how I used to hate it, hate waking up early in the morning. But now I will never wake up again. I will never get to breathe again. I will never get to walk again, run again. Laugh again, cry again. The world will do it for me. But I hate asking for help. I hate that I can’t do it myself. I always do it myself. It’s getting harder to breathe. Every breath I take makes a sound, almost like a vehicle’s engine trying its best to start up. But this engine won’t. This engine’s petrol is slowly leaking out, making a puddle on the road. The hole is getting bigger, and more fuel is flowing. Everyone knows that it’s unrepairable now. It’s time to let go of this vehicle, time to let go of me. My body begins to shake, without my consent, and my parents look away, unable to take in what will happen in the next two seconds.


Two.


Maybe the last time I saw my family, I should have hugged them. I’m not much of a hugger really. I can’t tolerate any hugs, apart from my parents’. They already hugged me, nine seconds ago. It seems like a year. Maybe I should ask for another one. I look at my parents’ worn-out faces, tired from having barely any sleep for the past few months. My father rubs my mother’s hands and shoulders, trying to provide her with some comfort. He looks at me, and a single tear rolls down his cheek, landing on top of my mother’s head. I want to tell him to wipe it off because my mother hates it when water gets in her hair. I want to tell him that I’ll be okay, that I’ll manage. I want to tell him that I’m shaking too, that he should be rubbing my hands before rubbing my mother’s. But I hold it all in. Not because I can’t say it. But because I’m selfishly taking in all the oxygen I can before my body stops functioning.


One.


Game over.

December 24, 2020 15:55

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194 comments

Wow, you did such a spectacular job writing this! :)

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Writer Maniac
15:19 Dec 25, 2020

Thank you! I whipped this out in forty-five minutes after the prompts came out, so I wasn't sure whether it would turn out okay. I'm so glad you liked it!

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Really? I enjoyed it so much!

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Writer Maniac
15:26 Dec 25, 2020

Yeah, I was the 1st submission :D, it just kinda flowed out of me so I wasn't even paying attention to the finer details, I'm glad it turned out good!

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You were??? No wonder you're really unique and creative!

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Amara Tillington
17:18 Jan 14, 2021

FORTY FIVE MINUTES? Noooooo waaaay.

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Writer Maniac
17:28 Jan 14, 2021

Yes way, I know it's pretty crazy ;D

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Amara Tillington
18:11 Jan 16, 2021

Yeah. I guess I take a while because I'm obsessed with words and getting them perfect.

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Writer Maniac
01:55 Jan 17, 2021

Me too, this time the first draft just made sense

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Aaina Aleszezyk
14:03 Dec 26, 2020

The narration is incredible. I found this story even more riveting because I could relate. I have always been the 'difficult one', in my family. I too am not how my parents want me to be. You've once again left me amazed!!! Ohhh man I wish I could write like you. :)

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Writer Maniac
14:41 Dec 26, 2020

Thank you so much for your comment, it really made me happy that it resonated somewhere with you! I'm sure that we feel all this in our head, this kind of insecurity that we have that we aren't good enough or what the other person expects, and I'm sure that it will get better soon! Thank you for the compliment, it really made me feel good! I'm sure that with practice and time, you will get to where you want to be :)

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21:28 Mar 26, 2021

Great story! I loved the imagery you used and the counting down was unique and dramatic. Thanks for a great read!

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Writer Maniac
02:30 Mar 27, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

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Jana Diriyeh
14:47 Jan 11, 2021

so sad and deep. great job!

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Writer Maniac
14:48 Jan 11, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

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Jana Diriyeh
19:10 Jan 11, 2021

welcome! if you like, you could read my two stories. first submissions ever!

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Writer Maniac
02:29 Jan 12, 2021

I'll definitely check them out when I get the time!

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Laiba M
14:03 Jan 11, 2021

This brought tears to my eyes. I've always known that ventilators were taken from people who weren't expected to live or "didn't need it as much", but this really put me into their mindsets and thoughts as they witnessed the very thing keeping them alive going away from them. Wow~

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Writer Maniac
14:42 Jan 11, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! This is one of those stories which just flowed out in like forty-five minutes, and it is really close to my heart, so I'm so glad you liked it!

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Laiba M
16:23 Jan 11, 2021

Of course! It's great to care about and love your stories :) I definitely did!

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Writer Maniac
16:25 Jan 11, 2021

Appreciate it!

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Laiba M
16:25 Jan 11, 2021

:D

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Aria Belle
06:22 Jan 11, 2021

This story really crushed me, and I absolutely love how simple yet heartbreaking this is. I love your writing style and think you're a very talented writer! :)

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Writer Maniac
06:27 Jan 11, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate the compliment, I'm so glad you liked it!

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Xander Dmer
20:06 Jan 20, 2021

Nice Story! I like your stories :) Check Me Out - https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/xander-dmer/

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Writer Maniac
02:14 Jan 21, 2021

Thank you so much, I appreciate it! I would recommend reading 'Not Worth It' and 'Game Over' if you haven't read them yet. If you have, you can check out the stories I've listed in my bio :)

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Amara Tillington
17:18 Jan 14, 2021

This is so sad! The poor character dies after trying to hold on. It's beautiful, and although I can say that I have never experienced this (both the death and a loved one dying of COVID) it is gonna make me cry. You are amazing. It might be because I'm listening to Rise of Legends by Epic Music world, which makes me cry anyway. (The link to that is in the bottom of my bio, if you want to cry and read and listen to music at the same time. It goes really good with this. I don't own the music, just love it and am recomending it to a fellow writ...

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Writer Maniac
17:28 Jan 14, 2021

Thank you so much, I'm so glad that you liked it! I'll be sure to check out the song you mentioned! I don't usually write fantasy, I stick with contemporary.

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Amara Tillington
18:17 Jan 16, 2021

Yeah, Contemporary and Mystery are my two favorites next to fantasy. Yeah, it's. great collection of songs! There are a lot of weird, long ones, so you might want to skip around, but some, like Viking King, We Marched, and City of Sails are amazing. Way Out II and The Promise are also good, and Persian warlord and Blood Red Roses make me feel so awesome. They're all epic, but I love them all and listen to them while writing. :)

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Writer Maniac
01:55 Jan 17, 2021

I'll be sure to listen to the songs!

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Amara Tillington
18:45 Jan 17, 2021

Ok! Soul Of Wind is good to listen to if it's sad music. That's a whole channel, not a specific song if you were confused for a moment :) Wait, a three-page Song of the Sea-inspired tragic romantic song just appeared in my document. That happens when I listen to Soul of Wind. (Song of the Sea is an awesome movie, by the way. Totally emotional-- better than most disney movies. Way better than Frozen. Sorry, frozen fans, but this movie is soooo good.)

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Writer Maniac
11:17 Jan 18, 2021

Cool, I'll check it all out :)

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Dinesh Divaharan
14:54 Jan 08, 2021

Wow this was truly an emotional piece and I am completely taken away by it! Great job and i love the structure!

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Writer Maniac
14:58 Jan 08, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! Would love some feedback on the other story I mentioned too :)

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Writer Maniac
15:02 Jan 08, 2021

Would you mind leaving a like on the story? Thanks :)

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22:41 Jan 07, 2021

There are few things I like and some I don’t like about this story. Remember that this is just my opinion and is intended to build your skills, not to insult you in any way. What I love about this is, as usual, the strong sense of voice. Your short sentences are like “though punctuation” in a way. I love that you mix up long and short sentences. It makes it a dynamic dialogue that is fun to follow. As far as improvements, I got lost in a sense of “poor me.” It started right around “eight “. It was a self-deprecating sort of sob story that ...

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Writer Maniac
02:26 Jan 08, 2021

Thank you so much once again for the detailed comment, I really appreciate it! I did want to make it sound all 'poor me' because the fact of the matter is that she's going to die in ten seconds, so that is literally the only time she has left to pity herself on what was happening to her. I'll definitely work on it more to make it sound less self pitying, so thank you for pointing that out! I really appreciate your detailed feedback, thank you!

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Winter Blizzard
20:07 Jan 07, 2021

Ok firstly, job well done! This is awesome! Loved how you used this prompt!

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Writer Maniac
02:19 Jan 08, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

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Winter Blizzard
14:02 Jan 08, 2021

No problem! You’re a really great writer, and I can find no criticism! 😂

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Writer Maniac
14:03 Jan 08, 2021

Aww, that's so sweet of you to say! I would love to know your thoughts on a story of mine called 'Not Worth It', it's one I'm really proud of so I'd appreciate some feedback :)

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Winter Blizzard
20:11 Jan 08, 2021

Yes of course! Not sure if I will be much help, but I will try my best! Could you also look at some of my stories as well, you give very nice and helpful feedback :)

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Writer Maniac
01:45 Jan 09, 2021

No, don't say that, every little comment is always helpful :) Of course I'll check out your stories!

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Chris Buono
16:43 Jan 07, 2021

Geez. This poor narrator and their thoughts. It’s a crushing blow to read out their final seconds and what flashes through the mind. I feel so bad for them! Great story!

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Writer Maniac
16:44 Jan 07, 2021

Thank you so much for the comment, I really appreciate it!

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Shontay Smith
15:20 Jan 07, 2021

Wow that's really good! You can feel every emotion and imagine yourself in the character's/ their family's place. It's beautifully heartbreaking

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Writer Maniac
15:43 Jan 07, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! I'm so glad you liked it, and that it resonated with you in some way :) P.S. I would love to get some feedback on another story of mine called 'Not Worth It', so please do check it out :D

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Writer Maniac
15:44 Jan 07, 2021

And also, could you like this story? Thanks :)

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Cookie Carla🍪
16:10 Jan 06, 2021

I'm not even gonna lie... I cried a little. These are the things that no one thinks about. Sometimes I wonder what my last 10 seconds will be like. You did an amazing job on this story and I have nothing bad to say about it because it was that good. You weren't lying when you said this was one of your best. This was O U T S T A N D I N G !

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Writer Maniac
16:33 Jan 06, 2021

Aww, I really appreciate that! I wanted to make it as hard-hitting as possible and really make a person think, so I'm glad I achieved that! Thank you once again for your comment, it really brought a smile to my face!

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Cookie Carla🍪
16:36 Jan 06, 2021

No problem👍🏽

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Vinci Lam
04:56 Jan 06, 2021

That last second really got me! "But because I’m selfishly taking in all the oxygen I can before my body stops functioning." - what a powerful line. Great work! Following for more :)

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Writer Maniac
05:11 Jan 06, 2021

Thank you so much, I'm glad it resonated with you! I would love to know your thoughts on my story 'Not Worth It', to read more stories check my bio :)

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Kara Ohara
13:01 Jan 03, 2021

You write the internal monologue well. Since the story relies so heavily on it, my critique would be to include more imagery in the narration. [I will not be able to celebrate the beginning of a new year, a birthday, or even have a conversation with anyone. I won’t go to college. I won’t get married or have children. I won’t ever fall in love. ] = There are objects related to these events. New Years-Fireworks, Birthday-cake, College-gown; you don't have to use these specific objects, but I hope my point is coming across. I think an object ...

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Writer Maniac
13:10 Jan 03, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate the genuine feedback and critique! Your suggestions make sense, and I'll be sure to implement them to improve the story and make it more vivid. Thank you so much once again for stopping by and giving such wonderful advice, it really made me happy!

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Kara Ohara
17:37 Jan 03, 2021

No problem. I'm glad to be of service. :D

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A P
07:21 Mar 27, 2021

I find this story quite gripping as I find it personally relatable.. Give my story Miroses a read as well.

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Writer Maniac
07:26 Mar 27, 2021

Thank you! I'll be sure to check out your story soon :)

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21:06 Mar 26, 2021

Woah... I loved this! The only thing i would say is to add a bit more personality to your character. Readers don’t really know what the character’s family, friends, or life in general is like. But, I think this sends a really strong message about regrets. You can’t be afraid to try new things and seize opportunities.

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Writer Maniac
02:32 Mar 27, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! I didn't make much of a personality because I wanted everyone to be able to relate to it, so I didn't make it specific to the narrator. Every reader should have connected with the narrator in some way. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for reading!

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03:47 Mar 27, 2021

That makes so much sense! It’s nice that you care about your readers so much!

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13:17 Mar 23, 2021

Oh. My. GOODNESS! this is really good! your work is the best please keep writing!

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Writer Maniac
14:26 Mar 23, 2021

Aww thank you, I really appreciate it! Tell me what you think about 'A Good Day' and 'Hold Me' when you can :) And also, would you please like the stories you read?

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R. B. Leyland
18:01 Mar 16, 2021

Amazing, yet again! The countdown was intense, loved how you made it from her point of view. Even though her body had shut down, she hadn't.

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Writer Maniac
02:41 Mar 17, 2021

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

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