This is a short mystery for Write Tribe. The prompt was:
Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.
Enjoy your million dollars. -Tye
a short story by Tye Owens
~Bzzt~ camera 7 now enabled.
The camera panned around the room of the ordinary household. Plain, with beige colored couches, and walls in the light shade of chai brown. An ordinary house in an ordinary neighborhood. Or so they thought.
He shifted his brooding gaze to the next camera’s monitor, observing Subject #3. The subject seemed normal for the most part, reclining on a sofa, whose claws hugged the ground, watching a cheesy comedy that someone probably spent about an hour producing. He wondered if #3’s normality would change… after the test.
Today was the first day of the test, which allowed him to find himself at #1’s unfinished yet gleaming wooden door.
“Be there in a sec!” # 1’s cloudy girlish voice crawled through the door.
Precisely forty-nine seconds later, # 1 answered the door.
“Robin Hennig.” He stated, his sharp, intense icy eyes boring into her like needles.
“Ye.. yes? Wait.. uh how…” Robin looked genuinely confused. She was about fifty-two years of age, with a frizzy mop of dull, boring red hair atop her dull, boring head.
He looked at her. Uhhhhh, not this again, they always ask WHY…
He flipped open his wallet to show his government’s association badge.
“I’m with the government and I know more about you than you do yourself.”
“Um… um, is something the matter?” She asked him.
“No, you are just a very highly lucky woman.” He forked over the million dollars to her. “This is a gift from the government, do not ask why, just accept it and do whatever you please.” He was amused at Robin May Hennig’s gaping and astonished face.
It was similar with #2 and #3. 2 was a short and gentle Asian man by the name of Takeo, who was extremely gracious and 3 was a slender and gigantic American who looked like he had been through hell and lived to tell the tale. Who would be the first to go? He wondered…
The purge started surprisingly with #1. At first she had bought what any middle-aged woman would have, some expensive yet hideous clothes, probably a Christmas sweater to wear in the time of summer.
Apparently, although she looked boring, she was actually quite unique. Her husband had been involved in the drug business and was murdered by some locals who weren’t satisfied a year before. It had been a shot to the head from a Luger, from approximately seven feet away. Her husband had got her addicted and she never stopped. She was murdered two days later, her body was found by the NYPD. Her head had been smashed in by a pipe by the same gang.
#2 came next, as expected. He let his kindness get the best of him. When you play the game, you can be kind, but you never let it get the best of you. A perfectly executed plan was laid out by a beggar genius. He had asked 2 to take him in until his “mommy” came and found him. In a week he was stabbed in the heart by a butter knife.
All who was left was 3. Yet 3, he knew how to roll the dice, how to play the game. His greed overtook him, infiltrated every point of his body. Yet he could get away with it. This man was Jay Gatsby come to life, with the muscle to support his crimes.
On the day that 3 was supposed to die, Ted Ross was reclining in a beige colored sofa, watching the cameras. He was relaxed yet his mind poised for 3 to die.
“Game over three.” Ted spoke to himself.
Suddenly the camera’s vision turned fuzzy, as did all of them.
The wooden door was shredded into splinters and thrown to the floor.
Three was here.
“What…. How?” Ted asked.
Three stared at his, his fang-like teeth bared, and his wolf-like yellow eyes boring into him. “I did some research Ted. Isn’t it annoying how they always ask why?”
Ted for once was scared. No horrified. “This isn’t in the data, the chances of it happening….”
Three grinned “ .9723 percent. Sorry Ted.
‘Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.’ “
The next day, police found the body of Ted Victor Ross. He had a butter knife in his heart, his head was smashed in, and the skin of his face was slivered off with expert precision. Carved into his chest was the word checkmate.
On January twenty-first, 2014, project million was aborted by the United States Government.