Ten people are contacted from around the world with an incredible offer. Do they want to play a game?The rules are simple. Given no information other than their names they have to find and kill each other.
She refused to go to the graveyard, that would mean accepting she was gone and she couldn't do that, wouldn't do that. Instead Michelle sat in the park opposite the school and waited for John to be let out. It was the third anniversary of Sarah's disappearance. The third anniversary of the day she had been snatched without so much as a ransom note. She was just gone. She'd be ten now, old enough to go to school with John and so when the school bell rang and John came out alone, she struggled to hold back a sob.
"Why are you crying mommy?"
She wiped her eyes and looked down into the innocent face of her son staring up at her, concern dancing in his wide, blue eyes. "It's just because I'm happy to see you. I'm very silly aren't I?"
John nodded and giggled and ran around the park bench. "Can we go to the candy store?"
"We sure can, little man."
Even at the store, John's enthusiasm failed to lift her spirits but she kept up a brave face. For him.
It had been tough being a single mother, even harder after Sarah had been snatched. Who could trust a mother who let that happen to her child? John's play dates had slowly declined until they had stopped entirely. What mother would leave their children in the care of someone like her, someone who had managed to lose her own child?
And they were right, they were absolutely right. She had failed her and that was the hardest part. There wasn't any excuse, she should have known, should have been there. She was her mother. She should have known.
John seemed happy enough though. He barely remembered his sister, a blessing she supposed. He didn't mind that his friends didn't come over any more, she made sure he had everything he could want. As he wandered around the store she watched him like a hawk and allowed herself a slight smile before the memories of the day smothered it.
When they got home she watched John play for a while before fetching the mail and sorting it.
Bill. Bill. Junk mail. Bill. Junk mail.
And then at the bottom of the pile, a hand written, unstamped envelope.
For the attention of Ms Michelle Sanchez.
Curious, she opened the envelope and pulled out the contents. The letter was typed out, like it had been written on an old-fashioned typewriter.
Would you like to play a game?
- Godfrey De Vries
- Elias Heikkinen
- Tony Blake
- Kamali Ncube
- Ebisawa Hitomi
- Alexi Bogdanov
- Mei Yu
- Thiago Torres
- Vahide Younan
Kill these people and we can give you your daughter back, just as she left you. Proof is in the envelope.
Michelle was shaking so much she dropped the letter. She looked around, half suspecting she might be being watched but there was no-one around, just the sounds of John playing his computer games in the next room. Shakily, she reached inside the envelope and pulled out a photo.
It was her daughter, just as she had been on the day of her disappearance, holding a newspaper. It had yesterday's date on it.