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A Game

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Some things in life have purpose. Some things in life merely happen.

The room was cubical. A dirty stained brown carpet that would make even a homeless man cringe, was disguised in the darkness of the night. No light flooded the room, save for the beams of the soft gallant moon that broke into my room in long horizontal slits one after the other.

The slits of light warped around the fabric of my blanket as it hung off my bed. It stopped half way across the bed, leaving the rest of my room in darkness.

Nothing for furnishings decorated my room. Wooden paneled walls with small holes from nails and thumb tacks is all I have to my name along with my bed and some articles of clothing. I can smell the open plastic tub of peanut butter. The tub of peanut paste laid in my open suitcase next to a loaf of moldy wheat bread wrapped in plastic.

As I lay here silently staring at the stucco decoration on the ceiling, I think back to my younger days, and used to remember how fond I was of hide and seek.

Does anyone remembered ever playing hide and seek as a child? You would wait under a clothed table, in the darkest place you could find. Making blankets and piles of clothing ramshackled visual cover from the person seeking you.

Your heart would race with heavy thumps so loud that you thought the seeker could find you. You would watch from under the bed, from beneath a crack in the covers, or an opening between a shirt and some jeans. Watching their sneaker-clad feet pace as they searched and take a moment to ponder. 'Don't find me, don't find me.' Those words pound in your head.

The thoughts so full and audible while you're thinking that your breathing gets heavier, and the pile of clothing or your misshapen blanket starts to move, and in the dead silence came the faint sound of some breathing loudly through their nose or mouth. You feel your protective shell leave you and now no longer are you safe. Found, you help find the rest of your friends. It was over as that feeling of possibly winning left you in a sigh of disappointment, as you lifelessly stagger to find the others who were hiding.

I smiled as recalling how I would wittingly save my breath when I hear the seeker enter the room. My lungs would burn after thirty seconds and pure will forced me through my barrier of comfort. When he left, I exhaled as quietly as possible and inhaled taking sweet precious breaths.

I was quite found of tag in my younger days as well.

As a child have you ever played tag? You're running keeping your distance from the chaser, who's "it". Your body is in a hot sweat as you make sure to stay back. If you're smart enough you stay in a flock and disperse when he draws near. When suddenly you become the new target of interest. You turn, hitting the ground running. Trying to make distance and hopefully whoever is chasing you will lose interest. However, you're already exhausted and you feel your muscles shutting down. Your calves, knees, and thighs becoming numb and sore as you exert every last ounce of energy to the preservation of your ultimate goal, keeping away.

You felt you were in the home stretch, heading to base. You feel the sudden hand touch you, cupping your shoulder as if whoever was chasing you all along was right by you or just out of reach. He smiles, saying it is your turn to chase the others. Tired, you become the new "it" and assume your role of chasing the other people amidst your group.

I've been playing those two games for far longer than any adult should have.

I'm thirty two and I'm tired of these games.

I guess you could say I'm the only human being able to evade the most notoriously unknown entities that have chased the immortal soul of God's creation.

My opponent was resourceful and knew where to typically look. It knew that people could move from spot to spot. High and low, it persistently hunted me.

It's hearing was impeccable and could smell the faintest aroma of sweat and utter fear from over at least thirty feet away.

I've held my breath longer than any Olympic swimmer. I've ran faster than any track star to date.

I've bathed in human feces for the sake of living to see the next dawning day,

I've nearly drowned hiding in the coldest water in the middle of Alpine forests.

These are small things that I feel shreds of pride for, but in the long run mean nothing.

You can run and always run, and you can hide if only for a little while.

But as I lay here on top of the covers, a bouquet of roses on my chest, I feel my day of reckoning upon my soul. The card explaining everything to the Police who would find me in the morning, was on the night stand next to me. It's written in pencil, and you can't see the light cursive writing in this dim and dark room.

I'm tired of running. I'm tired of running. Death is just the inevitability with these games. I'll get caught eventually, and I will be found eventually.

The least I can do is lose on my terms.

A black tux graces my tired and fit body, diamond cuff links and white spats decorate me even further. The constant slivers of moon light were interrupted as a wave of darkness passed through them. For a moment I was scared, but I loudly swallowed my dry mouth and faced my fear.

It was merely accepting the fact that I have given up, and this would soon be over.

There came the faint sound of breathing. A sickening wheeze and the stench of something sulfurous entering the room. The stench is so strong as the light all fades away. I smile, having displeased whatever hid itself in the darkness. Obviously it didn't like the sportsmanship of my attitude. There were long minutes of unanswered silence before the stench drew closer.

"Leave the roses to let all the others know. You can do me this one favor. Not out of pity, but out of respect for our rivalry."

The sound of a howling wind erupted from the dead silence as I felt my body twisting in the depths of what was most likely the eternal resting place for my soul.

Four in the morning.

Plenty of blue and red sirens flashed through the windows of neighboring slums. People came out to view the ruckus as a detective walked carefully through the motel to the quarantined room, dodging tape and other officers as he readied his badge. The lights were on in the room and everything was neat. There wasn't a drop of blood, not even an imprint of the body on the sheets. Just the bouquet of roses, and the note, no corpse or evidence of a murder.

An officer right by the door looked in curiously, an inexperienced rookie who was new to the force. "What's it say Detective?" He asked curiously.

"It says you should mind your own business, Malinowski."

The young blood settled with the sarcastic rude remark and returned to guarding the crime scene for any reporter trying to get the local scoop.

He looked at the envelope. It made no sense to him at all. Was this a suicide? If so it was the most strange act of suicide he's seen. He thought maybe it was a joke as he asked to himself in thought, "Where's the body?"

The detective picked up the note and softly whispered out loud the contents of the cursive message.

"I give up."

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