The Next to Die

The Pacifist

She refused. Someone had to be the first to not participate in this sadistic game. When the starting siren activated, she sat down and closed her eyes. She let the feelings of anxiety and self-preservation flow through her. Yes, she feared death, but what was she, an individual, compared to the whole of the oppressed? A boy she befriended hid in the bushes nearby. He shouted at her to get up, to survive, to fight the monsters that had done this to them. She refused. The arrow through the skull came sudden and sharp. It was as painful as all her imagination had told her. To her credit, she did not scream, as her thoughts focused on forgiveness. She forgave the other contestants. All they wanted to do was to survive. She forgave the government, for all they knew was cruelty. She forgave the people, who believed that the only point of existence was bloodshed. She forgave her parents, who gave her up for a scrap of food. She died with a smile on her face.

The Hunter

He found a grim resolve. One down, nineteen to go. Unless they killed each other first. He doubted it, they were barely more than children. They did not have the killer instinct honed through decades of existence.

He frowned. The boy had not rushed to the girl’s body. He remembered that they flirted with each other in the pre-event period. Idiots. You were not supposed to fraternize with the enemy, especially when survival was at stake. He waited five more minutes and sighed.

His position was too dangerous. He loosened the string of his bow and stood up. The smell of pine needles wafted into his nose. He needed to move before another contestant found him. He peered at the sun setting in the East. Yes, head in that direction. Ambush anyone when the sun was in their eyes.

He approached the edge of the meadow. He needed to hurry before sunset came. His mind sketched a path before him, and he ran through the meadow. What he did not know was that the government had seeded the meadow with landmines. Only when the smell of gunpowder and dried blood reached his nostrils did he realize his mistake.

The Sadist

The explosion was music to her ears. Yes, people who took this too seriously were punished. What fool thought that this was a fair game? Her only regret was that she hadn’t killed the hapless victim herself. She pointed her rifle at the moon and fired. An irrational response, but one that made sense to her. Let her would-be hunters stalk her, then understand what suffering truly meant.

She grinned as screams echoed throughout the valley. What a wonderful idea this government had! Cater to the bloodlust of the people, and rebellion would be the furthest thing from their minds! Then came a fly in the ointment. She should be the one enjoying this, not some fat government bureaucrats sitting in a golden office. The jealousy came like lightning on a bright summer day.

The cries for help from two teenage girls intrigued her. She headed towards their direction.At the edge of a seaside cliff, she found one of them holding the other, preventing her from plunging into the sea below. Her laugh echoed like a clear crystal bell.

“Well, well, well. What have we here? Looks like one of you is in trouble,” she said.

The one on the cliffside preventing the other from falling glanced at her. “Please,” she begged. “We got to help Christie.”

The sadist laughed and pointed her rifle at the beggar. “Bitch, why do you think I care?” she asked.

She did not hear the answer as a cold knife plunged through her back. She gasped as her consciousness dissolved into oblivion.

The Survivor

He ran towards the girl and pulled her friend up. Blood from the sadist dripped from his hands onto her face. He pulled again and they both got the fallen girl onto the clifftop. A drone above flashed as it took a picture.

All three of them lay on the grass, breathing hard. He clutched his chest, feeling his adrenaline and the guilt that coursed over him. A body lay nearby, a sniper rifle prominently displayed next to her body. Tears streamed down his face. His breath came out in short gasps.

After half an hour, the girl he helped sat up. The one they rescued, Christie, cried and touched her leg.

“What do we do?” the girl who sat up cried.

He focused on the stars above. He thought about the pacifist who had refused to fight. “We don’t give the bastards what they want,” he replied.

Another entry I wrote for r/WritingPrompts. Thanks to all for the encouragement!

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