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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Download/Upload (11/17/11)

TITLE: The Game
By Llewelyn Stevenson
11/21/11


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“No!” I wailed.

I had just put all I had into the stocks when the price fell dramatically. Now I was facing financial ruin. We’d be homeless, destitute. Why had I listened to him? Why hadn’t I listened to my conscience, my wife, and my friends?

Wasn’t he the expert, though? He had proven himself over so many transactions, was such a success himself. How had he gone so wrong? My whole life was ruined. I’ll contact him; he’ll know what to do…

“C’mon, c’mon, answer that phone,” I muttered grimly into the receiver, “I’ll try again later.”

I tried all week. I couldn’t tell my family, my wife wouldn’t understand. I’d have to go to his office.

Arriving at the high rise building I took the elevator to the sixth floor and proceeded to room sixty six. Ringing the bell I waited. Growing impatient I rang again.

“I’m afraid that gentleman closed his offices about a week ago, sir,” the janitor informed me.

Overcome with rage, tears filled my eyes.

Thundering into the house I snatched up the phone and dialled the Department of Fair Trading.

“I’m terribly sorry, sir,” said the pleasant young lady who listened so patiently to my tirade, “We’re investigating all claims but I’m afraid you and many others have been taken by a confidence man who has already left the country. I’m afraid we’re not holding out much hope.”

I slammed the receiver down.

***************************************

Earnestly I searched the computer for a solution. Thank goodness this was only a game. Failing all else I could just start over, but that was admitting the computer had bested me. No way. The display offered numerous routes. Not knowing what lay at the end of each I chose the one on the left.

The path was strewn with scraggy, sickly trees and boulders producing evil eyed blackbirds, wolves and other ravenous creatures. Fighting through to the gate of a cemetery whose title filled me with dread, “SUICIDE.”

No way! Fighting my way back I took the second path. This path led me through city streets. I was confused. Why was I fighting my family? I seemed to hurt everyone I loved. The computer screen blurred through teary eyes as I approached the door of a courthouse.

Shivering, I read, “DIVORCE.”

Never! Fearfully, I took the third, anticipating something far worse.

The third road was unique but strangely familiar. Actually it was merely a path trodden into the grass around it. To stay on the path you had to walk singly. You fought lions, wolves, demons, and merchants, finally facing yourself.

The battles were vicious and difficult. Many times I thought I was beaten. The Wind was offered to me as a battling companion. Initially ignoring this and continually having to restart the level, I final accepted and was able to continue my quest. Conquering self in a brutal battle I approached the door.

It was a church door labelled, SALVATION.

Now I knew why it appeared familiar. I had faced this door at other points of the game, deliberately refusing its offer each time.

Pounding the computer table and causing mouse and keyboard to jump, I yelled, “No way I’m becoming religious!”

Getting up my teenage son discreetly left the lounge. Embarrassed I turned and watched him leave.

Sighing I clicked on the door passing through. On the other side I was confronted by a roughly hewn, wooden cross. My chest appeared on the left and the inscription read, “Upload contents.”

I opened the chest and looked through it. Inside were sorrow, loneliness, despair, sickness; possessions I’d gladly be rid of. Many treasures I feared losing and cherished: my wife, my children and my home.

With tear-filled eyes I clicked, “UPLOAD.”

My empty chest moved right of the cross and the inscription read, “To download Salvation click on the phrase, ‘I believe Jesus is God’s Son’.”

Clicking the appropriate phrase opened the now glowing chest. Inexplicable, joyous relief overflowed me realising my loved ones were still there and gifts yet to be opened during the game’s progression. We were not penniless due to a disapproved transaction. Gifts of peace, joy, new ambition and more led me to the game’s conclusion as victor. I knew I wouldn’t have won without uploading my meagre possessions and downloading all God gave me.

Sitting, staring contentedly at the screen and realising real life was just the same I concluded, “I do believe Jesus is God’s Only Begotten Son.”

Do you?


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This article has been read 171 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/01/11
This is a wonderful, suspense filled story. You did an outstanding job of being creative.

The beginning was really good. It grabbed me immediately and I was eager to keep reading.

I usually don't read titles, so I missed yours. It does give away the suspense you so cleverly created. When you did mention the game I think some people might have missed that (especially if they don't read titles) You may have wanted to make just a but more demons. For example: I clicked the pause button; the game stressed me out.

I thought it was clever to hide 666 in the floor and room numbers.

You may have been the weakest on the topic. You mentioned it but the story would have been just as good without it.

I liked the ending and the message. The only thing I might change with the ending is the final sentence is a bit preachy. You delivered your message and made the reader think without asking that question. Overall you wrote a creative, inspiring story.

Hiram Claudio12/05/11
This was a wonderful story. It was so well woven together and really had me throughout. I thought the topic was done well. I tend to like it better when the topic is integrated in a more subtle and clever way - which you did.

The message is tremendous. Very nice work!
Fiona Stevenson12/09/11
CHUCKLE! You hit the nails square on. Preach it, brother (ooops!), preach it!
Kristine Baker12/11/11
A lot of suspense drew me in. I had to reread the line where you called the con man a confidence man.

Overall, good story.
CD Swanson 12/11/11
Great job and you kept it on topic. It was well written and I enjoyed it very much. You brought forth a beautiful message without "screaming" - nice job. God Bless~