A Sliver of LightJamie J. Buchanan / Thrillers & Crime
A Sliver of Light
Jamie J. Buchanan
Copyright 2013 Jamie J Buchanan
All characters in this ebook are entirely fictitious and any resemblance to any person (living or dead) is purely coincidental.
Spoils of War
Man Made Monster
Surprise! You’re Dead!
The Most Selfish Room in the World
On The Verge
Moment of Clarity
End of the Road
The Point of No Return
The Show Must Go On
One Last Time
A Matter of Time
A Sliver of Light
About the Author
The circle was finally complete and Stephen could feel the weight of the revolver pressed against the back of his head. He wondered why the guy behind him was pressing it so hard – it wouldn’t make the bullet go any faster. Instantly he knew why. The guy behind him was just as scared as he was.
They were down to twelve players, which appeared to be the number that this sadistic group had planned on anyway. At least, that was how it appeared to Stephen. Once the true nature of the game was revealed, it was inevitable that some participants would rebel – and rebel they did.
Stephen was not surprised to see the swift solution to any recalcitrant behaviour. He had an inkling early on that resistance was futile. Their destiny was pre-ordained from the moment they joined the game. In fact, the past was totally irrelevant. Whatever had happened in the past to get them where they were was of no consequence to where they would be in the future. Everything he had done until this point in his life was irrelevant, unnecessary and futile.
He thought of the words: “The past is prologue”. Where had he heard that before? Stephen couldn’t remember but it seemed relevant here.
Tonight, in one way or another, he would die.
There was a smell in the room that Stephen couldn’t fathom. Was it fear? Excitement? Or maybe a combination of both? He could certainly smell the sweat and the urine in the room. Stephen’s own body betrayed his relatively cool exterior. He perspired profusely; the underarms of his T-shirt were drenched in his own wetness.
The guy in front of him smelt the worst – he felt sure that the man had shit himself, the funk was that bad. Stephen had to use both hands to steady his own revolver, respectfully keeping it two inches from the back of the man’s head. He felt sure that if he pressed it against the guy’s skull (like the one pressed to his own), his potential victim would either faint or simply die from the shock.
“Ten seconds,” droned the monotonous icy voice from somewhere above the room – the MC of this depraved activity. Of all the sounds and voices (grunts/cries/moans...) in this hellhole, this was the only one devoid of any emotion.
The longest ten seconds of Stephen’s life played out in front of him. Tension in the room was palpable and clearly rising. His eyes were focussed on the end of the revolver in his hands. It wavered slightly but there was no danger of him missing the target – if that’s the way it played out. His breathing was shallow and fast; he only noticed it now that the moment had come. The moment of truth.
Life and death.
Life or death.
Good – make sure you don’t forget me pal
How could I forget, thought Stephen to himself hoping that the demon would not hear him. Stephen compartmentalised himself, his thoughts, as best he could to try and function – concentrate on the events going on around him. Like, for instance, someone poised to blow his head off.
But, even then, the Demon could intrude upon his thoughts.
Out of the corner of his right eye he could see most of the players in this intimate circle, each one poised in the same position and ready to pop. Each of them had a different approach, a different reason, and different reaction. Would they all have a different result?
Beyond the circle the orgy continued. There were people in various stages of sexual gratification and satiation; each of them indulging in the pleasures of fantasy. To Stephen, a fantasy attained is a fantasy lost – but to these people, their ritualistic hedonism was a regular goal that was achieved. Before this game of life and death began, most of the people in this room were indulging in some aspect of the orgy; but now all eyes were upon their group, this circle of players. The game had begun and there were only a few seconds left until round one was complete.
Stephen guessed that the number of rounds depended upon the results – he was right. This could go on all night or be over in one round.
The MC counted backwards: “Three...Two...One.”
A slight pause, then: “Fire!”
There was no hesitation from Stephen – he squeezed the trigger even as the last remnants of that single syllable word hung in the air. As he did this, he felt increased pressure on the back of his head and the gun behind him pressed harder, forcing his head down.
His gun clicked with a relieving resonance that the guy in front would never forget. Just as this happened, Stephen felt sure that a subsonic boom behind him would finish it all. But all he heard was another very similar click behind his ears – a sound that seemed to echo and reverberate inside his head over and over.
Similar clicks were heard almost simultaneously around the circle. Sobs of relief followed, a small squeaky cry was heard coming from one of them but Stephen couldn’t tell if it was male or female.
Cheers rang out, boos were also heard. An uproar broke out as the orgy reacted to the result of round one – it’s bloodlust not sated. Twelve started – twelve finished.
“Wait!” One voice was louder than the others – the one Stephen knew as Zoran. This nutcase held the room in awe – his physical presence was enough to invoke fear. At well over 6 feet tall and a very solid muscular build, he was someone you instantly obeyed – unless you had a death wish. Which, at this point in his life, Stephen did. However he wasn’t keen to explore the alternative methods of despatch that Zoran was capable of. Stephen wasn’t sure who was really in charge – Zoran or the MC of this game.
“Hold all bets!” Zoran shouted, gaining the room’s attention immediately.
Money had started changing hands as the results were clear to all. This wasn’t like the horse-racing track – there’s no protests, no photo finishes. However Zoran had spotted something awry.
“Contestant 6 hasn’t fired his weapon!”
Stephen turned to his right to see #6 still holding his gun to the head of contestant #7.
“You fucker!” Yelled #7.
#6 was crying, his pistol wavering wildly in his hands as he struggled to retain control. He sobbed/spluttered “I can’t, I can’t” over and over.
Zoran’s voice commanded, “Fire your weapon #6!”