01 Feb The 24 Hour Game 11:00 – 12:00
“This is insane,” Wayne muttered.
“And nothing we’ve done before this wasn’t?” I asked bitterly.
I shook my head, trying to figure out a loophole.
“We can’t do this, we can’t!” I argued.
“We don’t have a fucking choice Daniel! Hasn’t everything so far showed that to you?” Heather said as she paced the top of that ridge.
“I shouldn’t have ever let you come along,” she apologized to Celeste.
“It doesn’t matter. We’re going to do this together. Just like we planned. I can make the trade. It’s going to work.”
I want to ask what they are talking about but then Melissa chimes in.
“It should be me,” she said.
“Enough with your suicidal bull shit!” I snap off at her.
“I’m not talking about dying… I’m talking about leaving the Game,” she said back.
“Wait…. What?” Wayne asked.
“The wording said ‘eliminate’ Melissa said as she pulled up her own phone and Webster’s dictionary on Google.
“Second definite here says to remove someone or exclude someone from an activity. I think… I don’t know how to say this, but the game is giving me an out,” Melissa said.
Heather laughed and looked at the raging fire below.
“You’re an idiot if you think that’s how it goes,” she said.
“She’s right. If you quit… whatever the Game held over your head will be taken away… it’s too dangerous,” I told her.
“That’s just it isn’t it? I don’t have anything left to lose,” Melissa explained.
“Damn why are we arguing this? If she wants to go then let her go! You said it yourself Heather, you don’t want stragglers,” Wayne muttered.
“I meant that metaphorically. This is different,” our leader argued.
“We can’t just leave you out here, how will you even make it back to civilization?” Celeste asked.
“I don’t know… maybe I won’t… it’s not your problem any more. I’ve made up my mind,” Melissa said.
“We should take a vote or something,” I said.
“This is just wasting more time! That fire is going to be on top of is in a matter of minutes! I told you let her go!” Wayne insisted.
I stop and I stare at him, trying to figure out why he was so eager to keep going.
“Why not you then? What exactly does the Game have that you want so badly?” I countered.
Heather also seemed to take consideration over my words and said, “Daniel is right. All of us have made our motives pretty clear. Except for you. Why are you here?”
“This is so rich! You want to take the suicidal brat along and not me? I was a NAVY Seal for Christ’s sakes!” Wayne muttered.
I stop and I thought back to a conversation on the ferry.
“You said you couldn’t swim,” I said out loud.
“What?” Melissa asked as I see a few things registering in Wayne’s eyes.
“What are you talking about?” he stammered.
“When we were on the boat and Melissa tossed her phone overboard… you said… you told us point blank that you couldn’t swim,” I said.
“Okay? So I lied! I wasn’t going into that damn icy river!” he said.
Heather was the one that caught on to what I was implying and pointed at him in accusation.
“You let my partner go in there without even a drop of a hat! She could have died! We all could have lost everything because of your damn selfishness!” she shouted.
“Hey calm down! I want to live like the rest of you!” he said as he reached toward Heather and seemed like he was trying to give her a soft pat on her left shoulder.
Then in a split second he kicked her back and snatched her gun up.
I stepped back raising my hands up defensively as Wayne pointed the weapon toward all of us.
“Whoa… what’s going on here?” I asked.
“This is what I get for letting you continue with those damned logs, Daniel,” he muttered shaking his head as he moved toward Melissa.
“Just calm down, we can work this out,” I said.
“Oh we’re going to work it out all right. She’s staying and I’m going with you. End of discussion. We’ve got another forty one minutes or so before the next challenge. Plenty of time for her to get off this rock,” Wayne paused and then cocked the weapon and pointed it toward her head.
Melissa gasped as he muttered, “If someone has a problem with that arrangement we can just speed up the process.”
“Just put the weapon down. We can work this out,” Heather told him.
“Oh and it was okay earlier when you were the one waving the fire arm around? How does it feel now that you are the one being given the orders?” Wayne snapped.
“Fine. Just let her go Wayne. No one has to get hurt,” Celeste said.
“Please. Don’t hurt her,” Heather agreed. He laughed out loud and then pushed Melissa toward the ridge.
“Well go on then go! You heard them! The vote is unanimous!”
In that short three seconds while he was distracted. I rushed him. The gun flew from his hand and we fell to the ground. The soldier kicked and pushed against me as we tumbled near the edge of the cliff.
None of them said a word as we scuffled, hitting and fighting tooth and nail and Wayne was just about to pin me down when a gun shot went off.
I looked toward Melissa as she held the weapon and then toward Wayne as he fell over, screaming in pain. She had shot him straight in the foot.
She dropped the weapon and shook her head in confusion. “I’m sorry… I’m sorry I didn’t know what else to do!!” She stuttered.
The phone that was beckoning us to listen to its every word made another noise and Celeste checked it.
“There’s been an addendum,” she muttered as she showed the rest of us.
XII.2. ALL MUST FIND SHELTER.
Heather scowled, “Looks like he’ll be coming with us after all.”