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Breaking smoke and mirrors

They all were seated in a circle with excitement and also confusion. The round table missed a person. There was a space next to Grace, who looked fair with black braided hair. A tall figure with blond hair walked into the room hastily.

“Sorry, guys. The professor took a long time to complete,” said Sarah.

“That’s fine. So, what’s the new game we’re gonna try today,” asked Lia with anticipation. Her black eyes glowed, her bushy brown hair danced to her rhythm

Sarah took the space and breathed for a moment. Everyone looked eagerly at her. They all became friends at a party, and their time together was when they tried a few new games.

But they stopped trying new games frequently as Sarah’s father committed suicide a year ago. Sarah needed some time to cope with it.

“So, today we are gonna play Russian Roulette,” said Sarah.

“Ah, a casino. But where are the wheel and the ball?” asked Anne. Not too excited, she pulled a mirror from her bag and adjusted her silky black hair.

“It’s not a casino game. It is another game that is not legal. This involves a revolver with one bullet,” said Sarah.

Everyone looked shocked for a second, but that changed when they guessed it’s not true. Sarah placed the six-revolver gun on the table.

“I bought this on the black market. It is loaded with only one bullet,” said Sarah

There was a deadly silence.

“Okay, how do we play this?” asked Kate, the youngest of the girls. Though being the youngest in the group, she was as tall as Sarah. Also, her appearance was similar to Sarah’s, which made her look like Sarah’s younger sister.

“The usual game is people have to take turns and shoot on their heads. The luckiest person gets them a shot. But let’s try something different. We have to answer the question of the person seated to our right. If the answer is not satisfactory, then you get your chance of getting shot. If the answer is acceptable, then the person questioning her has the chance of getting shot.”

Everyone looked stunned for a second. But within a second, they all look excited. Playing a riskier game was not new to them. They all nodded their heads.

“So here is the bullet,” Sarah showed the only bullet and placed it in the revolver and rotated the cylinder of the gun, and placed it on the center of the table.

“Can we ask whatever question we want?” asked Rose. Her appearance was similar to an Indian girl. She had been there for her higher studies.

“Yes,” said Sarah.

They all made sounds of excitement.

“Let’s start with the youngest. Grace, ask her a question,” said Sarah pointing at Kate.

“Woo-hoo. Let me ask you the secret you have been holding for days. Your boyfriend Mike was found murdered in a nearby dump yard. Do you have any ideas?” asked Grace wickedly.

Kate shivered in fear and stood, “I can’t answer this, and I am leaving,” she said and started moving.

“Hold up there. Don’t move,” Rose pulled another gun from her bag. “You can’t go anywhere. The gun I am holding is loaded. Anyone who tries to escape from this game will be shot.”

Kate stood frozen. Anne, Lia, and Grace stood in their places and shouted.

“We are here for a purpose. This is the only way to know a few truths,” Sarah said and looked at Rose.

“All of you, take your places. You can answer and escape your chance to get shot. If you want to leave without completing the game, you will leave dead. It’s your wish,” said Sarah.

Everyone took their seats. Kate’s hands were shaking, “I killed Mike and dumped him in the dump yard because he was cheating on me.”

“That’s good. You have answered. You can now shoot Grace,” said Sarah.

Grace gazed with fear as if her eyeballs would fall off. Kate pulled her trigger, but nothing happened. Grace gasped with relief.

“Kate, ask Rose. Guys, why do I have to instruct every time? Continue the game on your own,” said Sarah.

Kate trembled with fear and said, “I am not interested in asking. I skip my turn.”

“Okay, a good choice,” said Sarah and pointed the revolver at Kate.

“No, I will ask.”

Kate thought for a second and asked, “Have you ever felt embarrassed for the mistake you have committed?”

Rose laughed out loud. “You are proving to be the youngest and dumbest in the group.”

Sarah joined her in the laughter.

“Okay, let me answer. I feel embarrassed for more than a year for befriending you guys,” she answered, annoyed.

Rose took the revolver and triggered at Kate.

“Boom.”

“Hahaha,” Rose laughed out loud. Kate froze in fear, and she was still intact. She sighed.

Kate was irritated with Rose’s wicked laugh.

“Okay. It’s my turn now,” said Rose.

“I think you were aware of the mental sickness I faced three years back,” said Rose.

Lia looked shocked and didn’t dare to open her mouth.

“So, I would like to know about your contribution to it,” said Rose.

“Contribution…I stood by your side to console you,” said Lia.

“Really? Do you know the person who was the root cause for the problem?” asked Rose.

“No. No,” the trembling in her voice revealed that the statement was a tin of lies.

“I know you, Lia. You lie as you breathe,” said Rose fiercely. Rose took the revolver and pointed towards Lia.

“Wait. I will tell you. That was not my mistake. I recorded your private moments only to pull your legs. But I am not aware how it had circulated within our college group,” said Lia fearfully, looking at the revolver.

“Okay. But I am not convinced with your answer,” said Rose.

“I swear. That’s the truth. I am not aware of it. I recorded it only for fun,” Lia said, shedding tears.

Rose pushed the revolver forcefully to Lia to shoot as if she was convinced with the answer. Lia picked the revolver with shivering hands and pulled the trigger. Rose sat without worrying about anything. Even Rose was lucky.

Lia turned towards Anne to question her.

“I don’t have any concerns with you. Do you have anything to confess?” asked Lia in a frailing manner.

“No, I don’t,” said Anne.

Lia pushed the revolver to Anne. “You can shoot me now,” said Lia.

“I think this was the shortest question and answer in our game,” said Sarah, laughing.

Lia was also lucky that she escaped. Now, it was Anne’s turn to ask Sarah.

“Why do you have to bring everyone if you want to know a few truths from Lia?” asked Anne.

“It’s not only Lia. We have one more person to be questioned. Also, we always played games together, right? So, we are here to play,” said Sarah.

“What if anyone or I am shot?” asked Anne.

“Oh, this is your concern. So can we check if you are as fortunate as Lia and others?” said Sarah. Before Anne could react to Sarah’s response, she pulled the trigger.

“See, you are lucky too,” said Rose.

“Wow. Guys, it’s really great that we have reached the end of the game. It’s either Grace or me. Who is the luckiest person to own that bullet?” said Sarah excitedly.

Grace swallowed hard. Sarah turned towards Grace with a disgusting look as if she was walking on a rubbish pile.

“I think you remember the night my father committed suicide. You stayed at my home that night for a group study. So, what happened that night?” asked Sarah.

“I don’t know. I came to know that your father was dead only the next morning,” said Grace.

“Grace, stop cooking up. Rose and I knew what happened that night. But we need the confession from your mouth,” said Sarah.

“No, I am telling the truth,” said Grace, trying hard to cry.

Sarah and Rose pointed their revolvers towards Grace. Grace was scared to bones as two revolvers were pointing at her.

Grace started speaking, breaking her knuckles. “I used to steal a few bucks from your wallet. I required that for my expenses. You never noticed the disappearance of money. That night, you placed your wallet on the kitchen table. So, I went down to take some. But your father saw me stealing, and he intimidated me that he would expose my behavior to you. Afraid, I waited for the right moment. I knew that he is under medication, and he takes sleeping pills. I forced a few more pills in his deep sleep and reacted as if I was unaware of anything the following day.”

Sarah clutched the revolver tightly, and the tears rolled down her cheeks. Sarah was broken down. She couldn’t bear her father’s loss because of a stupid and selfish friend. But without her knowledge, Grace pulled the revolver forcefully and shot at Sarah to escape from getting shot.

But nothing happened. There was no harm to Sarah.

“I showed you guys the bullet but did not place it inside. I wanted to expose your crimes and the reward for those hidden truths. Soon you guys will be paying for it,” said Sarah, wiping her tears.

Everyone looked shocked except Rose. Rose pulled out a voice recorder from her bag and placed it on the table.

“We planned this game to nab two culprits,” said Rose looking at Grace and Lia. “But we had another murderer among us.”

Knowing the consequences, Lia and Kate started sobbing, but Grace sat glued to her place without reacting. She looked puzzled as if planning a way out.

Once the mirror is broken, it can’t be hidden from the law.

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

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