Mumsy’s wishes

“Aww, too slow!” says the bald man as he slams the door shut on your outreached hand. Through the plywood you can hear him talking to the rest of the team. “So, gang, you’ve got a choice. You either spend a crystal and 5 valuable seconds in the dome to get him out or you leave him behind and hope you can do well enough without. What’s it going to be?”

They’ll get me out, you think, of course they will. They need me!

“Umm,” their pause worries you, “I think we’ll just move on. Sorry mate!” They shout for you through the grille in the door, but with that they turn on their heels are run off to the next challenge, or is the Aztec zone next? You’re too confused to think.

You wait, ready for the approach of the producer who will no doubt let you out get you to sit back in the green room, or maybe even watch the guys from the control centre that you were shown earlier. That would be cool, you think, I can laugh at Jim as he inevitably fucks up later.

You keep waiting, bouncing on the balls of your feet, getting slightly bored. You look up around the room and the puzzle you “failed”. You didn’t actually fail it, you think as you look down at the crystal still clutched in your hand, you were just a bit slow. It’s not really my fault though, you grumble internally, that pole just got stuck.

The producer still hasn’t arrived to let you out. All is silent outside in the corridor, no one is coming by to let you out any time soon.

You push on the door as that little flimsy bar is hardly going to stop you if you really put your shoulder into it. You try to force it and bounce off the steel. You try again, but your shoulder complains loudly. Hm, you ponder, this isn’t moving, at all. You slump against the door and decide to wait it out.

And then, nothing happened. Nothing happened for quite a while.

It kept on happening, as nothing is inclined to do.

You keep looking around the room, desperate for anything you might have missed as your stomach is starting to rumble. How long have you been in here? Your watch was taken away by the production staff before you entered the game. Is it only a few minutes? Hours maybe, judging by your sudden hunger.

You wrack your brain, trying to remember the episodes you’ve seen on TV before. The teams go into the dome, and if they win then the whole gang are presented to Richard and he gives you all your super prize. But your struggling to remember if the people locked in the rooms were there are the end too. They must have, mustn’t they?

“Psst, mate?” You shit yourself and spin around toward the voice, and see a dirty, small man gesturing at you through a gap in the wall. “Did they leave you behind?” You nod, mouth gaping, not able to form sentences. “Rude sods. They don’t know what they’ve done to you, do they?” You shake your head, dumbfounded. “Well, you’ve got a choice. Either stay there and starve to death, or come with me.”

Your head is spinning. What does he mean ‘starve to death’? This is just a game, if people really got trapped in here forever there’d be missing people reports, news stories, angry protests in the streets! People would be calling for o’Brian’s head, surely.

Your thinking is disrupted by the guy in the gap clicking his fingers at you. “Mate, oi, pay attention. Look you div, is this why you’re in ‘ere?” You still can’t process what he’s telling you, just staring at him blankly. “Fine, suit yourself. I’ll come back in a day or t-”

“No!” You shout, finally coming to your sense. “No, I need to come with you, I can’t stay here!”

“Good lad,” the says, reaching his hand out towards you. “We’ll get you out of ‘ere.”

He pulls you through the gap in the wall and you find yourself in a service corridor, dank and dusty, with the strange, grubby man pulling you along. It’s almost pitch black, but his feet dance around the mess of pipes and wires with the grace of a ballerina, whereas you are bumbling and tripping awkwardly behind him.

Then, there’s a piercing light growing brighter off at the end of the corridor, and you have to shield your eyes from it as you get closer. He keeps pulling you along, closer and closer to the blinding beam.

Just as suddenly it appears you are through into a bright, open warehouse, your eyes struggling to adapt to the new level of illumination and practically blinded. The man let’s go of your hand and your alone, stumbling around in the dark, your hands reaching out to find anything to hold.

A man’s voice break the silence and your skin goes cold. You recognise it and know what it means.

The dirty man is back, grabbing your hands and guiding you again as your sight slowly fades back. “I’m sorry, but it’s the only way we can get people. Good luck.” And with that, he’s gone.

The music blares, and you realise what’s about to happen. You go to run but your feet can’t move, they’re traitors to your brain.

“Welcome, to deal or no deal.”

You start to cry.


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