Sitting in this old, tattered rocking chair and having my morning coffee while staring at this beautiful mountain range is breathtaking. It is simply why I have worked so hard to be successful in life.
I read the paper in my suit as I wait for my chopper pilot to take me to the city. Another long day at the office awaits me. It’s lonely in this mansion on the hill.
Expecting the helicopter coming over the valley at any moment when an incomprehensible event unfolds before my eyes. A large, solid drone is flying in over the terrain and it is carrying a parcel. Surely there is no such delivery service. What a mystery!
It glides over the surface of my long pool that has red and white rose bushes growing next to the outer edges. The propellers buzz as the drone arrives at my feet as if to greet me.
It releases the parcel onto my glass table. The drone flies a few feet away and lands on the ground in wait. But what was it waiting for? Suddenly, I realized I could be in danger!
As wonder turns to terror, I jump from my seat, turn and run with my phone in my hand. The drone lit up green and jumped as though it was alive, which startled me. The most peculiar thing happened; it spoke!
“Hello, Mr. Delarouge! Or should I call you Hunter?” Perched on the table beside the box, it spoke again. “It’s not a bomb, relax!” The automated voice laughed, then it nudged the box. “Or is it?”
I jumped back against the corner of the doorway as it toyed with me like a cat to a mouse. How does this small device have me in such disarray? I look over the horizon at the beautiful, empty landscape when it spoke again.
“He’s not coming.” It said flatly as I stare at the green luminescent screen which blinked when it spoke. “your driver. He’s dead.” A tear is shed for my comrade.
“You bastard!” I wail with anger. “Mike and I served in war together back in my military days. He was not just my driver, he was my best friend.”
“Now open the box, we are going to play a little game!” I am intrigued and impressed by whoever has orchestrated this rouse. My admiration for this monster disgusts me. However, it is about to come to a new level of curiosity.
As I stand on the lawn of my property next to the mouth of my pool, I feel the ground shake. It feels as though there are plates of the Earth shifting below my eight-thousand-dollar shoes. I watch in disbelief as enormous glass walls come out of the ground, ripping through my manicured grass. The drone and whoever is on the other end of its communication wait silently for a reaction. However, I stay frozen like a statue for several minutes.
Wide-eyed, I mutter, “But, how? When?”
My answer comes swiftly. “I have been planning this a very long time. While you ski in Aspen, I have done a few renovations in your absence. Open the box, Hunter.”
I refuse. “What if I don’t? I don’t want to play your game! What is the meaning of this?” I can see the terrified look on my aging face in the enormous glass walls that surround the west wing. My grey and black hair streamed along the side of my distinguished jawline.
Suddenly, the drone lifts off the table and blasts off, landing above my still body. A red dot appears on my chest as the man speaks again, “You don’t want to know, do you, Hunter?”
Jumping to my feet, I brush myself off before cautiously opening the box. I pull a steel chest from the cardboard and look around for some way to open it. After what seems like an eternity, I uncover a fingerprint scanner. As the chest opens, I wonder how this stranger has gotten a hold of my fingerprints. Perhaps not a stranger at all. I brainstorm in my mind, but the possibilities are endless, with my company being so vast.
The list of suspects pools as I think of all the women I have encountered. When I sold my ideas to the military, many female soldiers caught my eye. Could it be one of them? I am deep in thought as I close the lid and begin toying with my capture.
“Is this a business deal gone wrong or a scorned lover situation?” I say as I wait for a response. Surely the person will become upset and lash out if it was an ex-lover. The red dot appears on my chest, and I comply with their demands.
Gasping for air in pure and utter shock, I run from the box and vomit into my pool. Several angry fish swim to the surface of the water and attempt to bite my face and hands.
Many items reside in this chest of horrors, one of which is a human hand. That of a man I am quite familiar with. His military tattoo shows through the glass jar, identifying Mike as certainly dead.
I take the jar out and place it on the table, along with two other items. My Grandfather’s watch was in a plastic evidence bag and an envelope with a letter in it addressed to me. The drone provides further instruction. “We are not ready for the envelope yet. Keep digging. Place all the objects on the table and place the box beside the fireplace.” I obey as though an invisible man is forcing my hand.
I am deep in thought, wondering who is behind all of this. My Grandfather’s watch was on my nightstand at the Aspen house. They know my security codes and seemingly some secrets of mine. I continue examining the objects as I place them on the table.
“There are many surprises in this game. Some will be pleasant and some not so much. Hunter, why do you think this is happening to you?” said the automated male voice. “I don’t even know what is happening to me.” I offer vaguely in a squeeze more information from my capture.
“Well, surely you gather you are being held against your will where no one will find you for weeks. There are some body parts and other items in a box. Just why, oh why, would this be happening to you, Mr. Delarouge?”
“You have a point there. Well–.” I am cut short by the kidnapper.
“You have royally pissed off a psycho with means and a grudge. Now let’s move on to game number one, shall we?”
I nod, and my whole body shakes as I am given instructions. “If you call the authorities, your five children will suffer, then die.”
I look in horror as my beautiful kin flashes across the screen. The quality of the picture is high and I notice a cut on young Sebastian’s forehead. He must have fought his attacker. They are all in similar rooms on separate sections of the screen.
The voice continued with its instructions for the first game. “Place the items on the table in this order. The hand, the watch, the jar of eyes, the court documents, the finger, and the money.” I obey.
Left with many questions, I ask only one. “What about the letter?” As instructed, I placed it above the other items.
“It is last, should you make it to the end,” they inform.
I hear a louder buzzing as four larger drones carried a large wooden crate from not far away. Placing it in my yard in this sizable fish bowl with a thud. I watch as three drones disappear below the drop of the cliff, one remaining behind. It too turned and left, but on its journey, it shot a warning which penetrated deep into the soil beneath the ground with force. Any human standing there would have been eliminated.
“This drone is similarly equipped. There is a crowbar on the top of the coffin, I mean, the crate. Go see what it holds.” They stated as the drone quickly found itself next to the crate as I run in panic. One of my children is in there, I just know it.
As I approach, Sebastian’s scared face is plastered on the drone’s screen. I can hear his screams as I yell his name. I free him within minutes and we are reunited. He is trembling in my arms. We join the drone at the table of items, and Sebastian faints as he asks about the human body parts.
“While he is asleep, I will give you a choice. I will free Roxanne if you let me kill Sebastian. You could play the round out and see if I free him.” Asks the voice.
“Sebastian,” I said without hesitation. “All my kids are strong and will prevail in any test.”
I place Sebastian in the chair as he regains consciousness. “Dad! Mike is o.k., I told him you were taking a spiritual day. The hand is a random man’s. I gave him Mike’s tattoo.” He says with regret shining through his face. He continues. “I thought you would choose her over me like you always do. I feel like the failure of the family, and I thought you resented me.”
Sebastian is in on this. I ask him, “You did this?” He nods and I continue questioning him. “Son, I am shocked. I am hard on you because –.”
I am silenced by the sound of the drone speaking. “I hate to break up this family affair, but we have a game to play.”
I realize my son is not the person I have been speaking to. I turn to him and say, “who is that?”
He replies, “Mandy Stevenson.”
She served in the military with Mike and me. One day, we spoke about a weapons design I had and she mentioned a few ideas. Then years later I produced it. Mandy sued me for half the shares, however, was given a smaller settlement because her input to the project was a very minor, cosmetic, futuristic look rather than its overall idea. She was furious, and she was also a scorned lover.
“I turned my ideas into these drones and I have been selling them like crazy to China. I saw how impressed you were with them, Hunter.” Her voice came through this time.
“Let the games begin!” She says excitedly, as though she was announcing a race car show. “The game is designed for only one of you to survive and inherit your father’s fortune. If you beat the odds, maybe more of you will prevail. Your Father must stay where he is sitting and watch. At any time he has the opportunity to sacrifice himself to save only one of you with his life. Good luck to each of you.”
About the Creator
I have written since a little girl. With love for story telling, I was eager to learn how to write, so I could piolet my own adventures! I finally am pursuing as a career but have no idea where to start! Consider subscribing! Enjoy!
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