Literati, let me Edgar Allen Poes the question: Can you create a dark mystery with just 350 words? Monica Brinkman proves it can be done, if you’re game.
The Game of Life
by Monica Brinkman
Jordan clinched his eyes, mouth agape; the pain so great he was unable to utter a single word or omit a mournful sound. The insistent clanging echoed within his head and bounced off each nerve, its agonizing tone of abundant volume escalating until it reached one long aching throb.
He opened one eye, arched its brow, yellow teeth peeked through curled lip as dribble ran down his chin, eventually landing on his brown hairy chest. He smirked, knowing what was to come, or was it? Some nights were ripe for invitation, others fought with trauma and on the rare occasion, the deep silence of eternal slumber. One never knew.
Once in a lifetime is surely enough to satisfy even the most depraved of spirit. To live it, breath it, and obey it was unbearable, yet what could one do against such power.
Ha. ha ha, oh yes he’d recalled how strong a man he was when first approached; how he’d fought, certain he would conquer. Foolish idiot! Ha ha ha, oh what a cocky egotistical individual he had been, to believe he was exceptional in character and fortitude. Simpleton!
As expected, the throbbing changed its rhythm and course, becoming less prevalent until it was bearable in tone. This time, he thought, let it be different. I beg of you.
“Let me sleep, please,” he beckoned. “Allow me finality.”
He felt his lungs fill with warm air. Jordan sputtered, coughed and drew in a breath as life entered his body. Blood pumped through his heart, bringing warmth and movement of limb.
Yes, it felt wonderful to be alive! His mind awakened the thoughts and sensations long forgotten. It was a magnificent, glorious moment in time. He was truly alive! Then he heard it, the cackling laughter as the footsteps drew closer.
A large hand cupped his mouth while fingers pinched his nostrils, stopping the breath of life, again.