Money is the root of all evil. Such a laughable concept. During my extended stay on this earth there is one thing that I am absolutely sure of, a mans pride is the muck that evil pulls itself from. If money is the root of all evil, pride is the rich soil which nurtures the growing weed.

By giving a mans pride a gentle nudge, you can turn the most intelligent individual into an absolute fool. I learned this important life lesson by becoming a fool myself. After purging this world from one heroin addicted soul, I was eager to accept my due praise. I must have appeared as little more than a child waiting for his ego to be stroked after a job well done.

“You’re one sick son of a bitch, Aberdeen. Drinking a mans beer as you fill his body with poison. Yes, one sick son of a bitch”. The muffled words through the receiver brought forth a wave of euphoria. I was putty in my employers hands and it took nothing more than a little rough praise.

In one smooth motion, my pride swelled and the next task was laid at my feet. In a complete lack of judgment I accepted, without fully understanding the risks and complications involved, my next assignment. The latest of the deranged games included multiple pieces and would have to be set in motion like a fatal Rube Goldberg machine. A complicated series of actions to achieve a simple goal, to still the hearts of those deemed unworthy of life.

**********

“Help!” The scream was shrill and crackled through an old baby video monitor. The sheer panic jolted me from my near sleep state. I shifted in my chair and settled my eyes on the small screen to see my work unfold. After a few disoriented steps, my letter was discovered.

Dear Mrs. Burns
For a reason unknown to me, you have been chosen to participate in a fatal game. With this letter you have surely found your game accessory, a loaded Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum. It is loaded with a single cartridge, so please do not waste it.

You have been locked inside a metal cargo container in a place where we will not be disturbed. At the far end of this container you will find your brother. He has been drugged and lies unconscious as to not distract you.

The objective of this game is simple, you must either choose between your brothers life or that of your own. Like all decisions in life, there will be consequences. In the event that you choose to take your own life, I will then take the lives of your immediate family. If you choose your brothers life, I will take the lives of his immediate family.

You have fifteen minutes to make your decision. If no action is taken before time expires, I will leave you both here to die slowly while I seek out both families.

PS
I expect that this will be an extremely difficult decision for you to make. To help you along I have left you a coin. If it helps, you can always flip for it.

Best of luck
Your friendly neighborhood game enforcer

Kara stood looking at the letter for what seemed like an eternity. In reality it was no more than four minutes before she picked up the gun, followed by the coin. A low ping flowed through the speaker and I watched the dim light glint off its silver surface as it turned in the air. I could not see how it landed, but she fell to her knees and sobbed at the result. A moment later she pulled herself off the floor and strode away into the dark corner of the shipping container.

“I’m so sorry Jimmy, I hope you can forgive me”. Her words were followed by a muffled pop through the steel prison. I heard her sobbing as I walked off to set the rest of the game in motion.


This weeks piece of creative writing was inspired by the Fiction Friday Meme on Write Anything. The prompt was “In her right hand a woman holds a loaded gun, in her left, a coin that just came up ‘tails’“.

This piece has been included into the #FridayFlash Twitter Group. For more info on that group, and to view a collective of stories, check out JM Strother’s Mad Utopia.