Sometimes, games are more than just games.
| The dice rattled in his hand before it hit the board with a clank. Snake eyes. He let out a sigh and moved his little metal car two places, landing on Go to Jail. Bruce sighed again and moved the car into the red square with the drawing of the man behind bars. This wasn’t the first time he had to go to jail, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. This game of Monopoly between him and his friend Austin had been going on for almost two hours and it seemed like little progress was being made. Austin owned all four of the railroads; and the yellow properties, and the light blue ones, and the red ones; at least Bruce owned utilities. The thought of going broke and giving up seemed like a good option, but Bruce never gave up on anything. Sure, it would put him out of his misery and allow them to restart, but he knew the same thing would happen.
“All right, it’s my turn,” Austin said as he collected the dice and started to give them a good shake. They hit the board, and showed a four and five. Austin, who was at St. Charles Place, moved his hat the nine spaces and right onto Free Parking. He let out an amused chuckle as he collected the small stack of cash lying in the middle of the board. He counted it all aloud, counting $700 in total. Bruce’s face lit a light shade of red out of frustration, but it quickly subsided as he accepted that nothing could be done about his fate. Bruce threw in a fifty to get out of jail, then rolled the dice. Two sixes came up, and he made his way to Chance.
He picked up the top card and read it aloud. “Get out of jail free…” his voice trailed off as the irony set in. Meanwhile, Austin sat there and laughed his hearty and somewhat squeaky laugh. He laughed to the point of tears, and then some more. Bruce sat there and waited for his friend’s obnoxious laughter to die down so he could roll the dice and get the game over with. Austin rolled the dice and got a ten. Bruce knew immediately where Austin was landing, but he watched as Austin innocently tapped his hat along the board until hitting the all-too familiar Go to Jail space. Bruce snickered to himself as Austin moved his hat to where Bruce’s car sat only moments ago. Bruce waved his Get Out of Jail Free card in the air, and said, “Oh, wouldn’t you love to have this, wouldn’t you?”
Austin shook his head and threw a fifty in the middle, joining Bruce’s. “No, fifty bucks is pocket money to me. Why don’t you just declare-”
Suddenly, there was a crash downstairs as the front door was forced open. Bruce and Austin looked at each other in shock as they heard footsteps making their way up the stairs. Bruce could feel his heart pounding in his chest, and as much as wanted to hide, his body was frozen in fear. Austin, however, was already under the bed and out of sight before the squad of policeman stormed through the door, guns and flashlights moving all around. Next thing Bruce knew, there was a light in his eyes and an assault rifle pointed at his head. His eyes locked on the barrel of the gun, but once he saw movement beside him, he looked to see what was going on. Two police officers, both in full tactical gear, were dragging Austin out from under the bed. Tears were streaming down Austin’s face as he was pressed against the wall and handcuffed. The sergeant of the police force stepped into the room and declared that due to both of the players being sent to jail, they must face real jail-time until the bail of $50 can be paid. Austin and Bruce looked at each other one last time before Austin was hauled out of the door and out of sight. Two more officers appeared besides the one with the gun pointed at Bruce and one of them brought out a pair of handcuffs.
“No sudden movements. Get up slowly and face the wall. If you cooperate, we will not hurt you,” one of them barked. Bruce was about to get up, but then remembered the Get Out of Jail Free card sitting beside him. He slowly reached down, careful not to break eye contact with the officers, and picked up the card. He held the card out for them to read, and after exchanging some looks, the officer put his gun down and took a step back. Another officer came forward and took the card. The officer examined it carefully, like one does with money to check its legitimacy, and pocketed the card. The officer extended his hand to Bruce, and Bruce shook it slowly. Not long after that, the room was cleared of all police. Not a single trace was left behind of the sudden breaching. Bruce sat back on his bed, wiped his forehead of sweat, and started laughing. He laughed hard, just like Austin was doing when Bruce was sent to jail, but this time the tides had turned. Oh yes, they have.