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Step Right up, Would You Like to Play a Game? by Alcho

Step Right up, Would You Like to Play a Game?


As weeks passed, the mysterious cheetah, Vice, kept to his word, keeping the grounds around the abandoned hospital Crazy called home quiet and “visitor free”, allowing Crazy to enjoy his environment in peace and quiet. That is, until one day when the cheetah left his outside post and began creeping around the hallways of the establishment. As he crept around corner after dark corner, he murmured to himself, chuckling now and again. Turn after turn, he seemed to get more and more accustomed to the darkness, picking up his pace on his unknown mission. “Where is it…?”, he growled under his breath as he struggled to find his way around the large building.
“Where’s what…?”
Taken off guard, Vice whipped around, only to see the void of darkness. “Who’s there? You looking to party?” Another grave smile crept over his face as he scanned the hallways for the voice. “We can party, have a grand old time. I can introduce you to a great friend of mine. We’ll have a blast…”
Just then a hand, much larger than his head laid itself on his shoulder, tapping it’s fingers rhythmically. “Aren’t you supposed to be outside, keeping quiet?”, asked Crazy, looking down upon the lanky cheetah.
“Ah yes.. I was just looking for YOU actually! I have a great idea, friend!”
“I’m not your friend.”
“Sure bud. Whatever you say! I have a problem that I think you can help me with! You already did one thing for me, so if you don’t want to, don’t worry about it! It would help me keep everything quiet here though, so in the end of the day, it’s most certainly in your best interest! It will keep everything nice and peaceful like you like it!”
“Enough of your smooth talking. What do you want?”
“Clearly you have some experience in hunting prey… I however, am not exactly versed in this. If there is an increase of intruders, I don’t know that I’ll be able to stop them all. I know you’d be able to with your might and your rage, but I don’t think I’ll be able to the way I currently am. If you could show me how you hunt your prey, these intruders, I’d be grateful.”
“I only kill to preserve the secret of my existence. I don’t do it for sport. Don’t confuse me for a monster. I just want to be left alone in silence with my friends.”
“Are your friends not all victims of yours?”
Crazy’s stare quickly turned into a soul-piercing glare at the question, causing Vice to become uncomfortable with his new friend. “I did what I had to do. They came for me. I ended them. They played a game and lost. I did not hunt them. I protected myself.”
“So… if someone comes after you, would you end them again if I can’t?”
“If you can’t, you’re of no use to me.”
“But would you?”
“Good enough. Anyway, if you don’t want to show me that, I have another idea if you’re looking to have a little bit of fun.”
“I have no need for fun.”
“When was the last time you actually did anything except exist? How long has it been since you made a new “Quiet Friend”? Wouldn’t you like another? A new friend?”
Crazy began to walk away, grumbling to himself, “Who needs friends? I have friends. I just want to be left in peace.”
“If you don’t come with me and look at what I have to show you, there are going to be a lot of people coming to explore this area shortly. You will never have your peace at that rate, and you’ll have to move again.”
Crazy stopped in his tracks, “I never told you that I had moved. Who are you?”
“Oh come on. The guys in the old asylum? The guard that had his head removed, that was never recovered? Your “friends” are all a bunch of cleaned skulls? It’s not rocket science as to who you are and where you came from. I’d bet that trophy hunter is down there somewhere too, isn’t he?
With incredible speed, Crazy was upon Vice, holding his body against a wall, his feet hanging in the air as the cheetah grabbed at the long fingers holding his body hostage. “I am what I am. I was minding my own business, and those all came to me. You have no idea. If you’re going to bring others here, I’ll have to end you here… friend.”
“I’m not bringing anyone anywhere! Listen to me you crazy bastard! Let me show you what I found, and you’ll understand! Hell, you might even have a bit of fun. Put me down you bastard! This is no way to treat a friend!”
Crazy released the pressure on the cheetah’s chest and allowed his body to fall to the ground. “Show me then. Make it quick, morning will be coming soon, and I do not like the light.”
Vice looked at crazy with disdain, “Then let’s go.” The two made their way out of the hospital, and into the surrounding wooded area, forcing their way through twisted brambles and thick vines until the whole forest seemed to just dissipate. They made their way to an opening and looked around at the wide, cleared area. Crazy looked around in disbelief as he looked at the abandoned and decrepit amusement park before them. “Do you see now? People will find this, and if they do, they’ll stray. They’ll explore. They’ll find the hospital, and when they find the hospital, they will find you.”
“What’s your plan to stop this?”
“Well - I have a few ideas. Only one that I think will work though.”
“Let’s hear it.”
“I’ll get my vandal friend, have him bring a few of his friends here - where you and I will greet them as owners of this park. We’ll tell them that in time it will be a major partying hub, and that if anyone trespasses, we’ll never open to them, banning them for life. Wouldn’t that be the worst thing for any sort of party animal?”
“That seems much lighter hearted than you were talking about earlier. What else is there to this? Why do you need me for this?”
“I’m a small guy, Crazy. A few of them could overpower me. You on the other hand would require a small army or an incredibly strong individual unlike any I’ve ever seen. I’ve been to enough parties… I’ve seen all sorts of animals out there.”
Days later, the vandal comes with 3 friends, to be met by the two at the gates. Vice met them, explaining everything, while Crazy welcomes them into the gates. After walking themselves around to see the sights, the group comes back to the entrance, exclaiming how “sick the park is”. Vice walks around one of the dilapidated buildings, leaning his elbow on an old countertop that used to be a milk bottle baseball toss. One of the three friends exclaims, “Dude, you guys don’t need to do anything, this is perfect as is! I’ll spread the word, and have people coming in in no time! Whatcha say!? This weekend?!”
Vice’s facial expression darkened as Crazy looked to him with fury raging in his eyes. The sly cheetah looked to him and back to the friend and exclaimed, “My dear boy, how about this? You play a little game with me. You win, you can have your friends here before we open the establishment up. You lose though, and you’ll be banned for life for going against the owners’ wishes? Care to try your luck?”
The friend looks to the other friends, the vandal looking at Crazy and then to Vice and back, sensing something was wrong. “Well, aren’t you going to say anything?” The friend says to the vandal.
“N..No… I don’t have anything to say… I think we should stay clear and keep this place a secret.”
“Aw man, you’re scared of what now? Hey kitty, I’ll take your game! What do I gotta do?”
A sinister grin comes over Vice’s face as his eyes narrow. He produces three old baseballs from around the stand, and sets up a few milk bottles from within the stand. He then brings out a glowing orb, roughly the size of the tennis balls, and places it on the table next to the old game balls. “Tell ya what. Easy game kid. These three balls. Those bottles. Knock all of those bottles down and you can come in early. But. We’ll raise the stakes here a bit…”
Crazy raises an eyebrow, as this was not part of their plan. “What is he up to now?”, he thinks to himself.
“Yeah kitty? What’s the deal?”
“You knock the bottles over, and off of the countertop, you get unlimited access to this. You can bring as many people as you want, all the time.” He looks to Crazy, who is clearly upset by this wager. “But… if you miss but one bottle… if one remains on the countertop, you must hold my crystal ball here, and allow yourself to be taken by it.”
“You’re really a nutjob aren’t you old kitty?”, laughs the teen. “Let myself be taken by it… what, is it alive? Sure bud. Let’s do it.”
“Lovely. Here are your balls. There are your bottles. Have at it…killer.”
The boy grabs the first ball and wails it with such force that it knocks the top bottle clean off of the pyramid, sending it flying through a hole in the back of the stand. “Piece of cake!” He picks up the second ball, and throws it, knocking both remaining bottles down, but only one of them falling from the counter. Vice looks to Crazy, and his toothy grin seems to grow unnaturally longer. Crazy looks at him perplexed at what he’s seen, but then looks back at the boy.

“One ball…. One bottle, boy. Let’s see what you got”, Vice calls.
“Watch and learn kitty.” The boy eyes up the last bottle, picks up the final ball, and sends it flying! The ball skims the side of the bottle, sending it into a frenzy of spins and jumps all down the counter, bouncing off of the backboard, and rolling towards the edge. Everyone was silent as the bottle twisted and turned, rolling down the seemingly endless counter. As it reached the edge, the bottle began to slow, and eventually stopped, hanging halfway off the ledge as it found it’s resting place.
“Oh dear… Looks like I win sonny. Time to pay the piper.”
“Big deal dude, this place is a dump anyway, I don’t’ care if I’m banned, I’ll party elsewhere.”
“Oh, how right you are! Here…”, Vice hands the boy the glowing ball, eager for the boy to hold his end of the bargain.
As he takes the ball from Vice he looks into it and seems to freeze. “What… what is this? It has no weight? Why can’t I move? What the hell man, what the hell is this!? What’s going on!?” The teen started yelling as he became more and more frantic and fearful of this small, seemingly harmless object.

“I told you… you knew the deal.”
The friends all looking on horrified were powerless to do anything as they watched the boy slowly have his life essence seemingly drained from him, falling onto his knees, and eventually to the ground, lifeless. The crystal ball rolling out of his palm, glowing brighter than before. “Man!? What was that shit!? What did you do to him?!”, called one of the vandal’s friends.
“I kept my side of the bargain. He did his. I have his soul now. Now… now that you know what will happen if you trespass here, or anywhere near here, let it be known to you, and your friends. Spread the word between your people, and tell them to not speak of this to anyone outside of your circle, or you’ll find the same fate as this deadweight.” Vice nudges the lifeless body of the boy while he picks up the glowing ball for himself, seeming quite pleased with his deal. “Now go. Go and don’t come back, or you will end up the same.” The boys run back into the woods terrified, fighting ferociously through the same obstacles they had faced on the way in. Once they were far out of sight, Vice turns to crazy and grins once more. “See friend? I have everything under control. You will have your silence… now maybe you’ll trust me?” He looks to the ball in his hand, then to Crazy, still standing there silently, as the glowing baseball shrinks down to a small marble sized orb in which Vice sticks into his mouth and clamps shut. He moves his tongue around in his closed maw for a while then sticks his tongue out at Crazy, showing the glowing orb being back on it’s piercing like what was shown that night they met. “Everything’s going just fine. Now… let’s head back home, shall we…?” Vice starts back toward the hospital with a bit of pep to his step and hums a sinister toon to himself.
Crazy watches the curious cheetah disappear into the weeds and thinks for a minute, then looks to his own giant hands and whispers to himself, “So this is how it’s going to be then…? So be it.” He looks back at the park, who’s power is flickering on and off sporadically and notices the posters in the old carousel have illuminated to show pictures of familiar faces. Quickly he looks away and begins fighting his own way through the thick brush, back to his darkened lair to escape the breaking dawn.

Collaboration Art by alcho and odonarta

Crazy belongs to alcho

Vice belongs to odonarta

Story by alcho

Prequel :
Part 1 :
Part 2 :
Part 3 :
Part 4 :
Part 5 :
Part 6 :
Part 7 :
Part 8 :
Part 9 :
Part 10 : YOU ARE HERE!!!

Submission Information

Visual / Digital