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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2213118
A game that must not be played. Screams!!! 2/16/2020.

"Did you get it?" Kevin looked at Harry.

Not wanting to give anything away, Harry kept his face blank. He reached beneath his jacket, pulled out a box. On it was written in large red letters: 'DO NOT TOUCH!' "Course I did," he grinned.

Both boys drew close. "Do you think we should?" Kevin asked. "I mean... what was it your Dad said?"

"Just that this box contains some kind of game that must NEVER be played. But," Harry continued, "I didn't go to the trouble of sneaking it out for nothing." He began to loosen the tape on the wrapping.

Kevin leaned forward, only to sit back in disappointment. "Is that it?"

Harry looked at the cup and the dice. He shook the package before putting it aside then inspected the contents more carefully.

The cup, similar to a lot of them included in games was not made of cheap plastic. This one was off-white in color, hard and cool to the touch. It made Harry think of ivory, or bone. Yes, the cup was fashioned from a piece of bone, and so were the dice.

There were three, slightly irregular in shape. The markings were a shade of rusty brown, reminding Harry of dried blood.

"So," Kevin's voice broke into his thoughts, "How do we play?"

"I guess it's just tossing the dice to see who can score the highest." He shook the cup, cringed inwardly as the bone dice rattled together. Tipping the cup, he tossed them out. A five, a three and a six. "Fourteen! Your go. "

Kevin took the cup, picked up the dice and shook them. Two sixes, and a one. "So you win. This is hardly what I was expecting. I mean, what's the point?"

"Gambling! If we'd have been betting money, I'd have won."

"That hardly needed the warnings. Does your Dad think you'll become addicted?"

"Maybe he didn't know what was in it. It had been in his family for years."

"So what are you going to do with it? Put it back?"

"Yeah, I guess," Harry said, trying not to let his disappointment show. "Let's have another few goes then I'll stick it back in the wrapping and no one will ever know but you and me."

They each took two turns. Kevin won both rounds. "One final go. Your turn first."

Two fives and a six. "It's gonna be hard to beat," Kevin grinned.

Harry took the cup, blew on it for luck. Three sixes! "I've w..."

He was silenced by a huge clap of thunder. The ground beneath them split in two. It was a deep rift, the smell of sulphur was heavy in the fumes. Of both boys there was no sign, but a figure climbed up out of the hole. He had cloven feet, horns on his head, but no tail. He laughed as he picked up the cup and dice, crushed them in his hands until all that remained of bones was dust.

(499 words)

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