End of the Month
rating: +44+x

Researcher Felix was playing a game. To his left sat D-2768, who liked to be called Sam. To his right, D-478, Harry. Across from him, Jeremy. The board was spread before them all, miniature figures locked in an eternal battle to the death. 

"Well Sam. It seems as though you're being attacked by a Mage. Best roll and avoid that."

Sam shuddered, stretched, and tapped a switch. Through one nearby window a slight flickering light was visible.

Click
Crack
Click

Felix glanced through the window, and then looked back at Sam.

"Congratulations Sam. A sixteen."

Sam shook himself, horrified, but at least he wasn't dead yet. He hated himself.

"Alright Harry, your turn again. Try not to cock it up too badly."

Harry slid his figure, a cleric, closer to Sam's warrior and directly next to a small goblin enemy.

"I wanna punch that one right there, if I can."

"Indeed you can Harry. Roll."

Harry tipped the switch without hesitation.

Click
Crack
Click

"Ooh, too bad Harry. A four. You missed him, and how you managed to is beyond me. Rotten luck. Jeremy?"

This was Jeremy's third game, and Felix was quite impressed with that. Normally people had given up by then.

"Backstab the bastard in front of me."

"Excellent choice. Roll."

Click
Crack
Click

"You killed the poor man! Oh dear. Excellent form though, I do appreciate that. Continuing! Sam?"

"I- I'd like to attack the same guy as last time."

"Fantastic. Roll."

Sam froze, his finger on the switch, shaking violently. 

"Come on Sam, we haven't got all day. Roll."

Sam made a fist, and bashed his hand against the table. He stood, his chair clattering to the floor behind him, and screamed red-faced at Felix.

"I can't do it! I can't do it anymore! This is awful, how can you do this to people it's outrageous and I won't participate in this for another-"

Sam barely even noticed the taser before he was out cold. 

He awoke in a small concrete room, his orange jumpsuit replaced with a black design bearing a large, white number on the back. 

"Oh no. Oh no no nononono…"

He could hear everything through the metal sliding door that made up the entrance to his cell.

Click
Crack
Click

And somewhere around the room, the sound of a door banging open, pausing, and slamming shut.

Click
Crack
Click

Sam pulled himself together. He would die with dignity. He wasn't here because he had lost, he was here because-

Click
Crack
Oh God.
Click

Not his door. Not this time.

Another step closer though. He could hear muffled sobbing.

Click
Crack
Click

Another door. The one next to his? The anticipation was-

Click
Crack
Click

The sobbing was gone. His door didn't open. But Sam knew he was next.

Click
Crack
Click

The door to his cell shot open and the tiny floor inside tilted up, dropping him out into the large circular room beyond. The door slammed shut behind him.

He looked around the room in a daze. Nineteen other men and women dressed like Sam stood pressed against the walls of the room, staring behind him in a mix of horror and apprehension. A slew of dead bodies in the same suits as theirs lined the walls, their heads twisted into unnatural positions, a look of pure fear locked on their faces, terror etched into their expressions. 

But where was it?

Sam followed the gazes of the other occupants of the room, towards the door that he presumed had opened before his.

A statue, holding the still-twitching corpse of a woman, frozen in place.

Sam wretched, grabbed at his stomach, began to stand-

And then the lights went out.

Click
Crack

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