I Spy With...

Entry by: Tauren

24th March 2017


"Hey Gary, wake up.”

“Huuhh, wassis,” Gary propped himself up on one elbow, his free hand clutching the side of his head. Christ, he thought, was I drinking last night. His mouth was dry and his head was pounding painfully in time to his heartbeat.

“GARY, HEY GARY GET UP!” There was the sharp crack of someone clapping his hands together, “C`mon, times-a-wastin.”

Gary realised he was on the ground, had he fallen out of bed? Finally, tentatively he opened one eye and thought, shit where am I? He pushed himself into a sitting position, slowly looking around. The room was small, no more than eight by eight. And bare, except for a large flatscreen hanging on one wall, there were no windows, only a single door that looked like it was sheeted in steel.

“That`s it Gary you can do it,” the man said, snapping his fingers twice, “almost there, on your feet, come on, we`ve got a game to play,” The voice was coming from the T.V`s speakers.

“Who are you?” he struggled to his feet, something that made him grab both sides of his head when he was fully upright, “where am I?”

“You don’t remember me?” the man said, “that`s very hurtful; exactly how many people’s lives have you ruined? As for the where, that’s the wrong question.”

He waited for Gary to ask.

“What`s the right question?” Gary obliged.

“Why? of course, what you really need to know is why you`re here.”

“Okay,” Gary said, “I`ll bite; why am I here?”

“Why? but I already told you, because you ruined my life. You` re here because you like to play games, you like to gamble don’t you Gary? Especially with other people`s lives, so we`re going to play a game you and I, won`t that be fun?”

“Who are you? Look I`m rich, if this about money I can pay, name your price, what`ll it take?”

“Oh you can`t buy your way out this time Gary, this time you have to pay a real price.”

Gary began to sweat, and realised for the first time that he was in his pyjamas, whoever this lunatic was, he`d grabbed him from his own bed; a feeling of real vulnerability stole over him. “Look I still don’t know who you are or what you think I did to you, but whatever it was I`m sorry, okay. Just don’t hurt me, I`ve a family and they…”

“Oh I`ve no intention of laying a finger on you Gary, I told you I just want to play a game, maybe a wager or two, and when it`s all over I`ll open the door and you can walk away without a scratch, scouts honour.”

“And if I refuse to play?” something about the way the other man spoke made him believe what he said, which made him think he might be able to talk his way out of whatever the hell this was.

“Oh you will,” the other man chuckled, “are you ready?”

“Wait, what do I call you? I don’t know your name.”

“But you do Gary, I told you already, you ruined my life, we spent weeks together, don’t you remember?”

When Gary didn’t answer, he said, “Never mind, I`m sure it`ll come to you eventually. And now let`s meet our first contestant.” There was a pause, then, “Oh and Gary, just to add a little spice to the game it`s being streamed live online, I`m going to make you famous, the whole world is going to remember you; and now, on with the show.”

The screen lit up, in the upper right corner was a timer, currently stopped at 60:00, but Gary didn’t see this, his entire attention was fixed on the main picture of the woman in the knee length nightie lying on a slab of steel, “Mayci,” he gasped.

The metal sheet looked to be about six feet by six, Mayci`s arms were stretched wide, her ankles a few feet apart, she looked like a parody of the Vitruvian man.

There were five smaller images along the bottom of the main one, one for each ankle, wrist, the last focused on her neck. Each showed a steel cable pulling tightly on a joint, the ends of the cable disappearing into holes in the steel. And while the cables around her joints were a good ten millimetres thick, the one around her neck looked thin as cheese wire. The last thing he noticed was the I.V. line running from an infusion pump into her left arm.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY WIFE!” he shouted, he went to the T.V. and banged on it, “MAYCI, CAN YOU HEAR ME HONEY, MAYCI?”

“She can`t hear you,” the man said, “Are you ready to play?”


There was a moment’s silence, then, “Do you feel better now? Good. The rules are very simple, it`s I spy, you remember I spy don’t you, I spy with my little eye. You get three guesses and sixty seconds, if you guess right, I release one of your wife`s limbs, get all three wrong, or don’t guess in the sixty seconds, she loses an ankle, or a wrist, or a… well you get the picture. And speaking of pictures….”

All but the image of Mayci`s right ankle disappeared and the screen was taken up but a large white rabbit, “Okay Gary, round one. I spy with my little eye something beginning with R.” as soon as he said “R” the timer began to count backwards.

A puzzled Gray stared at the image for five wasteful seconds before guessing, “Rabbit?” there was the loud “eeehhh,” of a buzzer, the clock continued its countdown. “Jesus,” he said, the buzzer “eeehh`ed,” again. “That wasn’t a guess he protested,” his tormentor didn’t reply.

“R,r,r,r,r,r,r,” he muttered, looking back and forth from the rabbit to the timer, his hand going to his mouth. Think, he told himself, think;“RED,” he shouted, “His collar is red.” For a teasing second he thought he`d guessed right, then the buzzer sounded a third time.

The rabbit disappeared and the image of Mayci`s right foot filled the whole screen, “No, No,” he said, gaping in horror as the cable snapped tight. Too thick to cut through the bone, there was a crunching snapping sound. Her foot jerked away from the table until it was almost at right angles to it, then the cable relaxed, the foot flopping down again. Gary realised she hadn’t cried out, understanding what the I.V. was for.

“Ready for round two?” the voice asked.

“What, wait, no. what was the R for? There was nothing else there.”

“Why Robbie of course, Robbie the rabbit, it was on his collar, didn’t you see it?”

Before Gary could protest he said, “Round two.” A new image appeared, a video this time, a long hallway with shops and people.

“This one`s a little harder, so concentrate. I spy with my little eye something beginning with C.” the meter, which had reset to sixty, began its countdown once more.

Gary scoured the video, it had to be something that was always there, “Café,” he said, the buzzer sounded. “C,c,c,c,c… Cap,” he pointed to a shop selling hats, “eeehhh.” There as a travelator, what`s another word for travelator, conveyor belt, “CONVEYOR.” The buzzer “eeehhh`ed.”

“And the answer is..... Concourse.” The voice said, imitating a game-show host.
This time it was her left ankle that was shattered.

“Please, why are you doing this, Mayci never did anything to you, why are you punishing her for whatever I did?”

“Oh but she did,” Mayci was the main image again, this time a man walked into shot by her head. Gary saw her eyes look up at the stranger, eyes that struggled to focus; her mouthed worked, as if she was trying to say something. He reached down, stroked her forehead then looked back at the camera, “Remember me now Gary?”

He did look familiar, but he couldn’t quite place him, his confusion must have been obvious because the man said, “You don’t, do you?” He sounded as much shocked as surprised, “let me give you a hint, Mayci lied to the police, said she was the one who was driving, ring any bells yet?”

Oh shit, Gary thought, the accident. “It was an accident,” he said, “I didn’t mean to kill anyone, please, if you`re going to hurt anyone, pick me, leave Mayci out of it.”

“But it wasn’t an accident,” the man said, still stroking Mayci`s forehead, “you were doing coke behind the wheel, snorting it off the back of your hand, that`s not an accident, that’s murder. You took my wife, my unborn son, my little…” for the first time the man showed emotion, his voice cracked, he shuddered, hunched over, then straightened up again.

“They did me the courtesy of sewing my little girls head back on before they asked me to identify her body. Of course they had to find it first, it`d landed in a ditch eighty feet from what was left of my wife`s car, a filthy ditch. DID YOU KNOW THAT DID YOU? DID YOU EVEN CARE?”

He gripped Mayci`s hair in his fist, Gary could see his knuckles white against her auburn locks, “please,” he begged, “You`re hurting her.”

The man gave a little jerk as if suddenly realising where he was and released her. “And what did you get,” he snarled, “A slap on the wrist fine, and six months suspended, six months for three innocent lives. And why? Because you`re rich. What did the Psychiatrist say you were suffering from `affluenza.”
“Affluenza,” he laughed humourlessly, “You were too wealthy to know the difference between right and wrong.”

He stood there, head bowed, hands bunched into fists by his sides, breathing heavily for a full minute, muttering to himself between breaths, in a voice too low for Gary to hear. Suddenly his head jerked up, his eyes maniacally bright and clear, “Fuck the preliminaries,” he said, “It`s time for the main event, sudden death.”

“No,” Gary gasped. “Look I`m sorry about your family, really I am, but killing Mayci won’t bring them back. Please, I`ll do anything you ask, I`ll take Mayci`s place, just don’t hurt her, please.”

The man seemed to think about this for a second, then shook his head, “No, no, I gave you my word; I said I wouldn’t lay a finger on you. No we play this out to the end, one last game, all or nothing.”

“No,” Gary said, “You`ll only cheat again, it`ll be something impossible, something I can`t guess,” he began to weep, “Please..” he begged, “no more games.”

“Oh but Gary you do know the answer to this question, you couldn’t possibly have forgotten it; you ready? Okay, to save Mayci all you`ve got to do is tell me my daughter`s name, you do remember the name of one of your victims, don’t you?”

Gary`s face fell, he vaguely remembered the trial, photos of a smiling redheaded girl, maybe twelve, he thought.
He fell to his knees, “I don’t remember,” he cried, head bowed, hands clasped in supplication, “I was on medication, please don’t make her pay for my mistake, please, I`m sorry.”

After a while, certainly longer than sixty seconds he looked up, the timer was stopped at thirty-two and Mayci was still alive. He got to his feet, “Oh thank you, thank you…”

The man held up a hand, “I`ve left you a little something stuck to the back of the T.V.” he said, “Get it.”

Hesitantly, Gary slid his hand along the flatscreen`s back, felt something long and metallic, ripped it free and stared at the scalpel.

“I`m restarting the timer,” the man told him, “Only one of you is leaving here alive, which one is up to you.”
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