Roll the Dice

Five innocents, one killer. Figuring out who's who might just kill them all. [Possible entry for the Halloween comp??]

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3. Three, Two... One.

    Mark stared down at the blood on his hands, a look of horror on his face. “Did I… Did I just kill him?” 

    Neither of the other two answered. Too much had happened in the past few minutes for them to focus on such an obvious question. Mark’s hands were shaking as he backed up until he hit the wall. “Oh my god. I didn’t want this. I didn’t want us to become killers.”

    He looked around at the Sofia and Asa with wide, wild eyes. “This is why I wanted to do nothing!” he shouted, as if it was their fault and not his. “So we didn’t become killers - so that if by some miracle we make it out of here, we don’t have their lives on our conscience!” 

    “It’s too late now,” Sofia muttered. “What’s done is done. We just have to get it right next time, and two of us can still go free.” Her eyes shifted from Mark to Asa, then back. 

    Mark knelt down and picked up the bloody gun from where it had fallen to the floor. His hands were trembling as he turned the warm metal over in his fingers. “I can’t.”

    “You can’t what?” Asa asked, his voice wavering. 

    “I can’t live with this,” Mark whispered, eyes focused on the muzzle of the gun. 

    Asa’s eyes widened in realization a split second too late. He leapt towards Mark, shouting, “No!” At the same time, Mark raised the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. 

    This shot seemed louder in the small room than the others. Mark’s blood splattered across Asa’s shirt, across the side of his neck. He looked again like he wanted to vomit. 

    59:59. 59:58. 59:57. 

Asa glanced at the clock, then locked eyes with Sofia. In the same moment, they jumped for the gun, but Asa was closer. He wrapped his thin fingers around it and backed into a corner, as far from any of the bodies as he could get. “Stay back.”

    Sofia’s eyes we’re wide. “Don’t. I’m not the killer.”

    His chest shuddering with each shaky breath, Asa licked his lips. “The way I see it, if I’m not the serial killer, you must be. And I know I’m not.”

    “I’m not the killer!” she protested. “I don’t know how to make you believe me-“

    “You can’t,” Asa replied. “It’s either you or me. It’s not me.” 

    “Look at me,” Sofia pleaded, holding her hands out placatingly. “Do I look like a serial killer? I’m a doctor for God’s sake!” 

    Asa’s eyes narrowed, his hands growing a little steadier around the gun. “I don’t know what a serial killer looks like, but maybe all this psychologist talk has just been another manipulation. You’ve just been trying to sway us, pit us against each other. Is this fun for you? Is THIS,” he shouted, nodding his head towards the corpses in the room, “fun?” 

    Sofia had tears in her eyes. “I’m not the killer,” she repeated again. “I’m not, I’m not, I swear.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Don’t shoot me. You’re not a killer either.” 

    “You’re just saying that to get to me,” Asa replied, stubborn. “If you were really innocent, you would think I was the killer. And you’d know I’d pull the trigger.”

    Her eyes widened. “So you are?”

    “No! I’m not the serial killer,” Asa said. His jaw tightened. “I just have to kill you.”

    “No, you don’t,” Sofia replied. “We can figure something out, we can-“

    “I’m not dying because I gave a gun to a serial killer.” 

    Asa’s finger twitched on the trigger, making his decision for him. The recoil made him stumble back, his back pressed against the wall as Sofia slumped to the floor. He watched as the blood pooled around her, not really comprehending what he’d just done. With a strange sort of detachment, he looked to the door, waiting for it to open. The clock stopped. 

    54:32.

    Asa waited, the sound of his solitary heartbeat echoing throughout the room. The coppery smell of the blood didn’t make him nauseous anymore. He felt nothing but an overwhelming sort of claustrophobia. Dropping the gun, Asa ran to the door, banging on the smooth metal and trying to get it to budge. It didn’t. 

    “Let me out!” he screamed at no one in particular. “I won; let me out!”

    There was a beep, and Asa looked up as the clock started moving again. 

    59:59. 59:58. 59:57. 

    “No,” Asa breathed. “I’m innocent. I’m not the serial killer. One of them must have been, and they’re all dead, so why-“ he cut himself off as a shudder raked his body. Asa slumped down to the floor, his back against the cold metal door. 

    “No.”

    He was surrounded by blood and death. 

    “No.”

    58:36. 58:35. 58:34.

    “No,” Asa repeated, his words barely audible in the stale air. 

    He was surrounded by the corpses of innocent people. And in fifty eight minutes and twelve seconds, he would be one of them. 

    58:11. 58:10. 58:09. 

    There was no killer. There was only fear, paranoia, panic. And it had turned them all into killers. 

    Asa reached for the gun. 

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