"America, are you ready?"
The cue wasn’t far off now; Glenn could feel it. Or better yet, he’d known it. He’d watched the game show enough times to know exactly how it commenced – and how it ended, too. It was a thrilling feeling to be on the other end for a change. He could almost taste the adrenaline pulsing through him. He ran his fingers through his slicked-back, greasy hair, then peered down the starting line, surveying the other contenders, wondering who’d prove the most formidable, wondering who’d bite the dust first. He noticed how diverse a bunch they really were: Men and women, varying in age, shape, size and…style. Most wore confident smiles and winked playfully at the camera, or made boastful gestures as if proclaiming victory before the game had officially begun. But he wasn’t convinced; he knew more than often that people put up fronts, trying to conceal their weaknesses, knowing that it could bring about their downfall – himself included. But he’d already decided that he would sniff theirs out first, similar to how a contestant from the previous season had done. It was simple strategy, really, and Glenn had decided to adopt it… with a few improvements here and there, of course. For the time being, however, he had to focus on the task at hand, and that required getting to the blockhouse as fast as he could.
Glenn heard the cue, and the inevitable shuffle of feet. And he took off, whizzing down the street, like a stray bullet. He was in second place. No. Wait. He’d slipped into third, trailing behind a woman of unmatched speed, and a man of similar quickness. He wasn’t as fast as he’d thought. In fact, compared to the ones up ahead, he was darn slow. He guessed his years as a taxi driver must’ve hindered his speed, and his addiction to cigarettes didn’t exactly help, either. His best bet was to outrun the others, and arrive at the blockhouse in time to claim atleast one object of value.
Fourth place wasn’t bad, atleast not for a man who drove around for a living. He’d arrived, tripping over himself and panting, like a frail old man who’d just ran a marathon. The other contestants were quickly approaching; he could hear their scattered footfalls nearing the entrance of the blockhouse. He had no time to catch his breath. He had to act, now.
His eyes searched the room, and his mind worked like cogs and wheels, trying to process everything perceived. The ones who had entered before him were beginning to snatch up what they could, and he wondered what items had been seized in those first-few, crucial moments of his absence. He spun around, avoiding the mayhem that unfolded before him. There – sitting on a dusty shelf against the far wall, Glenn had spotted a good old iron hatchet: an essential item when venturing off into the woodlands– and could prove useful in close-ranged combat, too. It was a darn good thing no-one had noticed this gem, or rather, were very bad at calculating its advantages. He lunged forward, and then pulled the hatchet from its resting place; it was conveniently light. And now for pick number two, he thought, with the utmost amount of glee. Amidst the scuffle for supplies, a pair of binoculars had been so carelessly tossed to the floor. Great! That was just what he needed, anyway. He picked it up with his free hand, but did not inspect its condition, probably in the ignorance of the moment. But every second counted, so examining his choice of items had to come later.
He shoved passed some of the other contestants, who had now just entered the dingy little room, frantic and out of breath. A pocket-sized compass lay completely forgotten on a wooden, rickety, splitting table. He pocketed the gadget, hoping it would come in handy some time or other, but he didn't expect to rely too much on hope. He would win this thing with careful planning and strategy – and if not, go out with a bang. And speaking of bangs, his gaze locked onto an oversized hand-grenade. It sat at the far edge of the table, a few inches from where the compass had initially been. It called out to him, but he just stood there, hesitant for a moment. He considered the damage the thing was capable of, and if he was able to handle such a huge responsibility, but he pushed those thoughts aside. He known that In this game there was no room for mercy, or remorse, or second chances; he had to show the world that he was a force to be reckoned with, and the grenade could actually work in his favor. He shifted the binoculars to his right hand, alongside the hatchet, and closed his fingers around the destructive weapon. He found the exit, and brushed the stray hairs away from his face. His eyes glistened with intensity as he held out his latest catch before him, admiring it, like a proud fisherman. It would serve well as a last resort.