Chapter Seven


Nothing much happens after that.


A quick peek over the edge confirms the corpse for me, a black speck several storeries down surrounded by msany other little specks. Chances of him surviving were near zero, and he hadn’t seen my ace.


I was safe for now.


No I’m not, I realize as I lay back to catch my wind and rip this hood off. How long would it be before someone came up her to see he wasn’t pushed. I had to leave now. I could rest later.


Struggling back up, I see around me the wreckage of our hour long but really fifteen second fight. I hadn’t really been in a fight before. Vicky Granger also used to pull my hair and one day I started pulling back until we both finally had enough and got it cut on the same day, but I had never had a slugfest before. What did men see in this? My fights should always be ones of the mind. Ons where…


Monologuing huh? Great, next I’ll turn evil super villaness. I eed to get all this cleaned. Stepping back, I check for everything. Sniper Rifle. Knife. Now broken video camera. Briefcase that held sniper rifle and a duffel bag I didn’t see earlier. There’s also a bit of blood wihc I think may be from my cheek. I needed to get rid of that first. I had abandoned my own water bottle with James and Tim, but I quick check of the duffle bag revealed the hunter was keeping himself fresh with spring water. I poured it over the blood and everything else that I was leaving behind which may have shown a scuffle, drying it with the newly purchased top, until it looked clean as an ugly tower roof could be.


Without thinking I threw the top into the duffle bag along with the balaclava and knife, then I stripped off everything I had bought recently, leaving my with my lighter clothes underneath. What had I been thinking. These weren’t exactly camo in urban conditions. I’ll have to prepare for that for next time.


The camera goes in too. It’s useless now, but may get traced back to the shop, plus I kind of feel a little sympathetic to the consumer item that saved me.


Tn I get to the sniper rifle. Should I take it with me? Either thpough I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, I start trying to take it apart, not wanting to leave a weapon such as this on the scene, even if it doesn’t have mine or the hunter’s fingerprints on it. I try to deconstruct it as best I can, using the metallic silver briefcase and its cut out foam for reference. It takes me longer than it should, but once I realize what’s disconnects and what doesn’t mose falls apart. After a while I just screw it and, making sure there are no bullets in it, I shove the remaining pieces in the duffle bag.


Stepping back, I confirm the scene. It looks clean. Maybe a bit too much. It’s clear there’s water here. With hesitation I drop the water bottle to the ground, leaving it so it looks like it’s leaked al ovr the floor (which it has really). Without my markings it can just be that he’s dropeped it.. I turn, checking for anything else, wanting to make sure further but knowing I have to go. It’s not that hard to get to the roof here and I sprint over to where I jumped off, throwing the itmes across one by one, before throwing myself across. I nearly miss again on the second one, superheroes and New York making this look a lot easier than it really was. I should realy be grateful that all the buildings here are the same height.. Meting back up with my platforms, I slip them back on and retrieve my purse. My compact’s inside and I take a look at my face, for the first time realsing that I have a light cut that had been made by my glasses. I start heading down the stairs and it’s not long before I’m in the toilets to the shopping center. Part of me forms the urge to see if I can get away with returning the camera and knife but I decide against it. After cleaning myself up, I head home, avoiding the front side of the street altogether and keeping my head down when necessary and temporary..




Did I miss anything, I go back in my head, running through all the events on fast forwards. I’m cross legged now in my room now, my hands interlinked together. I learnt meditation a while back but never found anything all that spiritual about it. Regardless, it helps me compose my thoughts.


I got my shoes covered, having left them at the mall. My footprints would have been hampered by thick socks. It’s not much but if they don’t suspect murder instantly then they won’t look for the fibers I probably left behind.. all the obvious items are gone. The digital camera was the biggest worry, the circuit boards, plastic and len had all shattered, and I picked up as much of it as I could. Since I was next to a maintance shed. No that wouldn’t excuse it. I got all the biggest pieces anyway. I didn’t pay cash though.


Shit, would I be lucky enough to avoid having them trace the camera to the store, who would then trace the person who bought it and ask me just why my new purchased and even newer broken video camera was where a guy finally had enough of life and take the plunge?


Dammit, and it’s too late to fix it. I am going to have to rely on luck this time, the probability that they’ll quick dismiss it as a suicide. Maybe his friends and family noticed a change in his behaviour recently (which would make sense in itself, seeing as he was part of the game) that attribute to the story.


I guess I was taking it seriously now, the game. It was real. Not a hoax, not a reality television special (if it wasthere’d be an awful lot of production staff to arrest after this) or a scientist’s curiousity. A real game set up to murder people and have the murderers murdered in some kind of weird hunter becomes the hunted loop.


Well, I wasn’t going to take it, I had already decided that. Playing this game like they want me to is the same as just following my dad’s orders. Go to uni and get a degree. Get a job working good money. Next he’ll be telling me to get a husband, a house and spawn him some grandchildren. I’m not going to be a part of simplistic idiot making process.nor am I going to kill for money.


And I had decided.


With all that I am, I ‘ll play my own game, where I find those involved in this game. Then I’ll see how they work. See if they are active hunters or passive. The passive hunters I’ll leave, keeping a close ey on them, make sure they aren’t tempted to kill given the heavy circumstances. The active hunters will suffer the same fate they wish upon other people.


How dare they take the lives of innocents? An individual is far more important than money will ever be.


This is my game, and itll end when I find the ones responsible for this.


In a way I had to be grateful, the egotistical actions of others had given me a chance to find meaning, and I would grasp t with these two hands.


I was then I went to search through the duffel bag that had belonged to the hunter. I waited until Tim returned with my stuff and I told him that I had to leave quickly on an emergency. When he had left me for the night, I opened it up and peered in curiously, wishing to know more about he who had hunted me and fell prey. After rummaging passed the knife, camera and sniper rifle I found a change of clothes that looked like they would fit a man of average height. It appeared he had also deigned t change for the event and I wondered if he had anything on him. A quick check revealed a bus pass and some coins, as well as a crumpled up tenner, but nothing like a driving license.


The clothes aside, my eyes sezed on the final item in the duffel bag. An envelope. With haste I grabbed it and pulled the contents out. Inside was another copy of the Rule of the Game . I stared at them eaglerly for a moment, scanning through them but seeing no changes compared to my own set. The mapbook was missing , though considering the size of the envelope it’s possible he had just taken it out. I hadn’t much of a use for mine either really.


His own bounty sheet was missing, but mine was there.


Turn period ends at:  …day…month…year.11:59pm


Name: Jennifer Sally Connolley




D.O.B: 12/05/1979


Height: 5ft 3


Weight: 8.6st


Natural hair colour: black


Natural eye colour: Green


Other distinguishing marks: minor scars on forearms




Shoe sizes: size nine


Prescribed accessories: Prescription glasses


Why hadn’t it included a copy of his? That was annoying, I’d have to check the newspapers to find out his name now, not that it mattered much but I should perhaps prepare some countermeasures if need be…not that I know what I need to do. Perhaps it didn’t include an individual copy after the second turn, since a player would already have one. Economical, but it wouldn’t explain why they got a second copy of the rules. Did tha mean they may update the rules. It’s the only thing I can think of


My second envelope was still in the bin but I had no intention of grabbing it. Instead I stared the paper down for the moment, taking in its recycled fiber. The turn ends tomorrow at midnight. Midnight was the same time as the last turn, so it looks like that’s always the case.


Jenn?’ Tim knocked. “You okay in there?” He sounded like an ailing mother.


“I’m fine,” I replied without thinking. “But I’m not dressed, so don’t come in.” And et yourself see the small weapons cache I came into possession today.


“How’s your face?” he asked through the wood and social barricade.


“It’s getting better.” I had had to tell them about that anyway and wquickly made up an inapporpiate story about how soe drunken fool pushed into me and I fell on ym glasses. Both of them wereretired from drinking, and they seemed to buy my story pretty easily. Though it did mean they were both in babysitting mode for the rest of the night.


“Well, shout me if you need anything…though your room is closer to the kitchen and bathroom. You know what, just get it yourself.” We both laughed a little and his footsteps disappeared down the corridor. I waited a little longer.


There was just the sniper rifle then.


In the briefcase, behind all the housing, there was a small manual for opearating the sniper rifle. How to take it apart, how to put it together loading and shooting, how to adjust the reicule, the obvious warnings about pointing it at people and resisting theose urges we’d. It was all very advance and I could only follow the diagrams when it came to take it apart, failing to understand half the turns.


Now came the condury of keeping this. If I was going to be placed in these situations in the near future, then keeping it should be obvious. However, at the same time, it might be traced back to my hunter and the bullets he fired in the town. Also, where was I going to hide an automatic high precision rifle. The briefcase made it obvious, and it could fit under my bed easily, but if it was found, people would question why I was hiding it in the first place. It wouldn’t be too long before it was tested, would it. Maybe I should just dispose of it, it still can’t be related back to me even now.


Maybe I could…Yeah.


I stand up, heading for my collection of assorted crap that I keep around in case I’m ever in a mood for making scanary for my games. Rummaging around, I fid two corks and pluck them out. Taking a trip outside, I borrow a screwdriver from the toolset Tim’s dad abandoned here a while back,. I bring it in and get to work, referring the the ifle’s manual carefully the whole time. It takes about two hours and I’m exhausted and needing to be ironing a shirt for the next day (no wait, I’m still using holiday pay) by the time I’m finished.


I look to my new replca sniper rifle. It wasn’t the best job, but I had jammed the two corks into either end of the barrel and had removed the firing pin. Keeping some parts hidden in my room and the pin itself between the two barrels, I had set it up so that the corks can be easily removed by searching for the cheese wire embedded in it. By yanking hard, it pulls the firing pinn to the cork and uses that to pull it the rest of the ay. I still need to buy a lot rod, in which I can pop the other cork out with, but by the looks of things, this is now an ordinary replica sniper rifle that was bought impulsively by some weird military fangirl over the internet.


That would make sense right? I like the fantasy tabletop games.