Chapter 10
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Riley throws his sword at Hawthorn, which he narrowly avoids by leaning away from the sword in just the nick of time. Hawthorn leans forward again and gets in a better fighting position.

“What now?” Hawthorn says to Riley with a chuckle, seeing as Riley was out of a weapon.

“This!” Riley replied as he lifted his left wrist to reveal a thin sliver bracelet, and held out his hand. The sword flew back in his hand, and with that Riley smirked at Hawthorn. “See how handy upgrades are? I barely had to lift a finger.”


Hawthorn rolls his eye’s and grabs Riley arms suddenly, he then proceeds to twist his left arm and pull Riley closer with his other arm, he than whispers something to Riley the mics didn’t catch and knees him in the stomach. Riley crumbles to the ground in pain, Hawthorn grabs his dragger off the ground, gives Riley a look and walks away from him to fight someone else.

“Why is he just leaving him?” the guy next to me asked to no one in particular, I turned my head to look at him but only the arena had light.

“I know right? Hawthorn should just erase him.” The guy in front of me replied.

“Erase?! That’s a bit-” another voice said sounding surprised someone would even suggest whatever erasing is,

“You’re just crispy because Riley beat you for your star last year.” the guy next to the guy in front of me said with a small laugh.

“Oh yeah, I totally forgot you got your ass beat Collin. That’s what happens when you get cocky.” A different voice chimed in.

“Can we all just shut up and watch this,” Collin says, with a pitch of angry in his voice.

I glanced away from him and looked towards the screen once more to see Cosmo throwing a random guy out a window. I flinched a little when the guy hit the ground however Cosmo didn’t even blink before pouting his lips a little and saying


Cosmo turned away from the window, and the camera shifted to Matt who was in the corner with two knives in his shoulders pinning him to the wall. He was blinking a lot and trying not to lose consciousness it seemed, his face was sporting a couple of bruises and a black eye that looked fresh.

“Shit..” someone spoke.

I felt my heart drop in my chest, I didn’t like how real all of this looked anymore, I especially didn’t like seeing my friend in that kind of condition. My eyes were getting teary just from the sight of him.

This isn’t real.

This isn’t real.

This isn’t real.

I had to keep reminding myself that this was just a game and my friend would be okay, to stop the tears.

“Why didn’t he just erase or faze him?” A voice asked, confusion in the tone.

“Where’s the fun in that?” Collin spoke his voice sounding empty. I looked in front of me.

“Fun?” I spoke in a quiet voice but loud enough for him to hear me. I sounded like I was on the verge of tears, I hated that it’s taking so long for me to convince myself that this was all just pretend, a game even.

I was waiting on his response when I heard a loud eruption sound coming from the arena. I quickly looked back at the screen to see that smoke mostly covered everything.

I tried moving my eyes all over the screen but I couldn’t see anything or anyone. I worried about my friends, and time seemed to go on forever as the smoke finally cleared.

A few of the buildings seemed to either be in bad shape or had the walls completely blown off, the screen showed the words ‘Ey it’s ya boy Spencer, make sure you follow me @Spens-the-man on buzzers’ the audience responded to the message with groans of annoyance.

“Why do people keep buying ‘shout out bombs’ and then only advertise their lame buzz page.” A voice coming from behind me said.

“I know, they’ve could of at least made a joke or something.” Another voice from behind me said.

Shout out bombs? I took my phone out of my pocket the screen was still on the Della app however I didn’t notice before but there’s another tab that was open in the corner of the screen mini weird reminder message from Spencer about his buzz page. I closed out of that and took on the site. Shout out bombs were selling for thirty dollars, bear traps fifteen and quicksand for ten but only on rainy days. Those were only to name a few, I proceed to scroll through the list of sabotages, the list contains over one thousand choices to pick from.

I quickly closed out the tab and was about to glimpse more into the app, when I heard coughing. I tucked my phone back into my pocket, and look towards the screen.

“Who’s alive sound off?” A guy with dirty blonde hair said he appeared to be in a tunnel of some sort, he dusted off his clothes and cracked his neck a little while also rolling his shoulders.

“I can’t believe we survived that,” a voice said in disbelief and the camera turned toward the voice and revealed Cody, his black hair was covered in dirt as well, along with his clothes.

“Well believe it, I told you losers the tunnels were the best way to get around everyone,” said an African-American guy by the name of Jefferson Bentley one of the smartest student’s in this school, I had only really seen him twice since I’ve been here. He’s part of the student council and part of something called the particular seventeen. I planned on asking one of the guys what that meant but as soon as I heard it, I had immediately forgotten the name.

“I’m a genius. Never doubt me.” Jefferson said as he moved past Cody and the blonde guy, and started leading them more into the tunnel.

“Fuck, Jefferson, in this round of the Della? Everyone is so screwed.” A voice from the crowed spoken and numerous people agreed with them.

The camera switched to a different view of the arena, where Max’s friend Mr. Green eyes is currently crunching on the ground and a pop-up appeared on the screen for a second and showed his name, Saxton. He was holding a pair of scissors in one of his hands and kept his eyes moving for someone to show up, his eyes never strayed away from a lonely dagger in the middle of the road, with his head tilted it looked as if he was trying to hear something however the only thing I could hear was the wind, I watched as his eyes darted to the left and he gets up into a standing position and started running for the guy that had just made a run for the dagger. Saxton throws his arm around the guy’s neck and jerks him from, behind and with his free hand, he puts his scissors, directly in front of the eyes.

“Bradford, I know you and Cosmo like to team up, tell me what he’s planning and I won’t make you blind.” He threatened, moving the scissors, a bit closer so Bradford knew he wasn’t to be taken lightly. Brad opened his mouth, to speak and the camera quickly changed to a different view of sight.

Groans of annoyance came from the audience, and I admit I was one of them, I wanted to hear what he was going to say.

“I give up, I don’t want to do this anymore. I miss my parents and my stupid little sister. I hate this.” Jack said out of breath and running away from the town. I didn’t know he was one of the players. He looked exhausted. He looked back at the town while he was running and begin to run a bit faster. Suddenly a pop window appeared in front of him, stopping him in his tracks, there was a woman looking directly at him with a small smile, she looked about thirty-five, with short brown hair, her eyes were a light green color they almost looked clear for a second.

“Are you sure you want to quit?” She asked him, with a small smile that gave me the creeps. Jack blinked a bit, he was still breathing heavy. He swallowed hard and nodded at her.

“Please click yes or no, and then sign your name for confirmation.” She told him as a form popped up in front of her, and a pen showed up next to the window.

“Don’t do it!” A girl yelled fear in her voice, I looked towards her to see it was one of the girls who had entered early.

“Please don’t do this” she pleaded Jack, I look towards the screen and I didn’t think he could hear her. His eyes were a bit cloudy though and anyone could tell he was really weighing his options. He lifted his hand and clicked yes. I looked at the girl who looked panicked now. I saw her grab her phone and lift it into the air the Della app displayed, with the word ‘Switch’ in all caps, there was a four-leaf clover surrounding it.

“5,000 points to anyone who switches places with Jack right now?” She yelled to the crowd, the audience whispered, however, no one spoke out. I was thinking it was too late for her to do anything Jack had probably already signed the thing by now, however when I looked up, I saw the sentence.

Please wait a switch might take place.

Jack frowned at the sentence, he places his hands over his face and let out a laugh, he removed his hands and looked around before he spotted the camera. He was a little teary-eyed, he licked his dry lips before opening his mouth and saying,

“Lillian, don’t waste your points on me, trust me I’m not worth it. I’ve made a lot of bad mistakes and even worst decisions, I love you Lily take care of mom and dad, okay.” Jack grinned at the camera and clicked out of the switch pop up and signed his name.

I glanced at Lillian to see she had dropped her hand but was still gripping her phone tightly. She dropped back into her seat and pulled her knees into herself, and it wasn’t hard to tell she’s crying. I looked back at the screen to see Jack wasn’t facing the camera anymore, but the woman on the pop-up window.

She tilted her head slightly at him.

“Jack Row, you have a choice the red or the pits?” She says to him looking at him with the same blank expression she’s had the whole time. Jack blinks at her a few times before picking the pits.

“Very well Jack, Good luck!” She says and the window closes.

I glance at Lillian once more to see the girls she’s sitting next to talking to her, she wasn’t tucked into her knees anymore, it looked like she had an expression of relief, however, I couldn’t really see their expression, but maybe that’s a good sign.

“At least he has a fighting chance now,” Collin talked to the guy sitting next to him.

“Can you believe she really offered five thousand points? Like that. I almost switched for a second.” The guy responded back

“It wouldn’t have been a smart idea, did you see how far he was from the town? Trust me West that switch would have been a death wish.” Collin said to his seatmate West.

if I wasn’t so confused, I would have laughed at him having his first name be my last. I wanted to know why it seemed like Lillian was taking Jacks quitting so hard, I mean it was just a game after all.