Two Tales of Betrayal

  • 14 May - 20 May, 2022
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

He suddenly remembers about the reality show. Story goes back several weeks earlier.

In an unnamed city, Megan Smith a host of a dangerous reality show is sitting at her studio. Her show is about to begin in few minutes. However, she is talking to one of the contestants,

‘In my show, people come to die and return back to live. Many competitors have also died intended to commit suicide or not…Everyone like you guys knows that there are two players in this game: A and B. If B dies, then A dies getting hanged by the police.’

Moments later, she is standing with her team at the seaside. Her team has cameramen, few competitors, the sponsors of the show and two women standing in front of them. Of those two women is a dark coloured who was labelled A on her shirt. And a brunette, who was labelled B.

A contestant locks B contestant’s arms with handcuffs and ties her legs with chains. After Megan fires her pistol on air, the competition begins, A pushes B that she fells over water side with her tied arms and legs. The cameramen shoot the video of water where B might be drowning.

Isaac’s Loss

On the other side of that city, Isaac Silken is a make-up designer of film industry. But right now he is very much distressed and is planning to leave this job. One night, while he is walking by the river side, his job assistant comes to him and says,

‘Isaac where have you been? I’ve been looking all over for you.’

‘I’m leaving my job.’

‘Okay leave your job, but let’s go out of this place.’

‘I came here to commit suicide,’ Isaac replies looking at water.

‘Suicide? Look, I understand, you had a great loss. You lost enough money but this doesn’t mean that you’ll give up and leave this world.’

‘What will I do if I stay? I mean I had million dollars, which I’ve been collecting since five years, now it’s all gone.’

His assistant gets fed up trying to persuade him and leaves him alone walking away.

Isaac moves towards the water and talks to himself in thoughts,

‘Who would it be? Who must have stolen my money? I think I should find that out first, and then think about dying or living.’

As he was walking, he turns around backwards to try finding the thief first. But he falls down as he trips over sand and keeps on lying, as he was feeling sleepy.

He wakes up at sunset and stands up immediately realizing that he had actually slept whole night on sand. As he turns towards the water, he sees someone else of his age was also committing suicide like him. He stands up and runs towards him and says,

‘Hello Mr, what are you up to?’

‘Committing suicide! Any problem?’

‘No problem sir,’ Isaac says getting cautious seeing his temper, ‘I’m also here to commit suicide. That’s why I’m just interested in knowing why you are here.’

‘Oh, who are you by the way?’

‘My name is Isaac Silken…’

‘I’m Ronald Nash,’ he says shaking hands with Isaac.

‘So sir, now tell me please why are you committing suicide?’

‘Well…’ Ronald says sadly, ‘there’s a huge debt on me. And my wife’s saying that if I don’t pay it off, then we might get divorced.’

‘Is she threatening you?’

‘Not exactly, but right now I need money.’

‘My situation is similar to yours Mr Ronald. I’m also committing suicide because of money.’

‘Money? How?’

‘Someone stole my million dollars,’ Isaac replies sadly.

Both get silent realising how they both needed money.

A Free Invitation

An hour later, Isaac and Ronald were both in a club having a beer. They are seated on a table for two. Isaac says to him,

‘You know what I’m thinking Ronald? I think we should postpone this suicide. I just want to catch that person first who stole my money.’

‘Oh really, but I have a better plan. What if we both become robbers for one night and then steal whatever we can. It’s convenient in a way that we both will get some money we need, we’re dying because we don’t have any money. Our problems will be resolved and suicide plan would also be…’

‘…Just shut up,’ Isaac interrupts getting bored. ‘You know we won’t do that, then why waste time even thinking about it.’

‘So, what do you have in your mind? Any idea to overcome our problems?’

‘There’s only one solution and that is suicide.’

On a table next to them, J.L. the long haired guy was listening to them. He stands up and goes towards their table,

‘Good morning guys,’ he says to them.

‘You? I’ve seen you before,’ Isaac says trying to recognise him.

‘You know this guy?’ Ronald asks Isaac.

‘Oh yes I remember, he’s a member of that reality show.’

‘Yes that’s what I am, people call me J.L. I’m here to invite you both.’

‘Just hold on a second,’ Ronald says to him and then asks Isaac, ‘Isaac who is he and what reality show are you talking about?’

‘He’s a sort of assistant of the host, I don’t exactly remember her name but this show is quiet famous in our city.’

‘Come on, you don’t know the name of host, you don’t even know the show’s name and you’re saying it’s famous.’

‘Listen to me both of you,’ J.L. says interrupting their conversation, ‘I’ve been listening to both of you. You both want to commit suicide, right?’

‘Right, so?’ Ronald asks.

‘That’s what our show is about. Only those who want to commit suicide are allowed to join our show’

‘Interesting…’ Ronald says. ‘But what is the name of your show?’

‘It’s not mine, it’s Megan Smith’s show…’ he gets closer to both of them, ‘The Suicide Game.’

Isaac and Ronald agree to go to his show, as they were not being charged to participate. They leave the club with J.L. who was leading them on their way.

Your Desires before you Die

As Isaac and Ronald reach with J.L. to a club, they enter inside with him and are seated on separate chairs. Someone comes and gives both of them a small form to fill. The form was entitled ‘What do you want to do before you die?’ They were supposed to write at least five wishes.

Ronald starts writing with the pen provided,

1-Visit Louver.

2-Do skydiving.

3-Meet president of U.S.A.

4-Keep my wife happy.

5-Sing in a concert.

As he stops writing, he checks what Isaac might have written. Isaac had written three and was thinking about more wishes. His three desires were:

1-Become multi-millionaire.

2-Become a superstar.

3-Have my face’ sketch’s portrait.

Isaac looks at someone who was standing next to both of them and says,

‘Sir, I have only three…’

‘No, you must write five,’ that man says to him.

Isaac then looks at Ronald’s form to get an idea and then he writes,

4-Do skydiving.

5-Travel Paris.

As he looks up after writing, he sees Megan Smith coming towards them. He thinks of saying something but she speaks before them,

‘Good morning, gentlemen! Welcome to my show, ‘The Suicide Game’. You both are lucky to become free members of my show.’

‘Hold on’, Ronald stops her, ‘are you saying that we’ll be in your show as celebrities?’

‘Yes, you’re right to some extent. If you play these dangerous games of my show and win, then you can become superstars.’

‘No, I don’t want to. I mean that I’m not interested.’

Isaac holds Ronald’s arm to stop him and whispers,

‘Let’s listen to her. Maybe she has a better option than suicide.’

‘Listen to me carefully now’ Megan says, ‘you guys have filled your forms and your last desires. According to our show, there are two players in this game, A and B. A is the one who challenges B to escape a particular death somehow. It can be anything, such as escaping death of water drowning, bomb blast, knife stabbing etc. And then if B manages to survive, he gets any one of his wishes stated’

‘Interesting’ Isaac smiles, ‘but what if B dies?’

‘Exactly, good question. If B dies, then A gets hanged to death’

‘Wait I’m still not getting one thing’ Ronald says getting confused, ‘how would B escape death?’

‘Let me give you an example, on Thursdays A challenges B. For example A would challenge him to escape death if he ties his arms and legs. And after that A would throw him over water…Any day before Saturday, B contestant tells me his trick about how he’ll escape and then he performs it afterwards only on Saturday, the day of our show.’

‘Today it’s Saturday’, Isaac replies ‘is there any game…’

‘…Yes, a game is about to start. My team will take you both. And remember one more thing; a challenge must be performed within one hour. Anyways, first both of you show me the desires you have mentioned.’

Ronald hands over his form to her. She reads and writes approved in front of all the desires except for the fourth one. She writes denied in front of it. She tells Ronald,

‘This wish cannot be fulfilled by us, we’re sorry, so try writing something else.’

Isaac hands over his form to her as Ronald was writing his alternative desire. As she sees Isaac’s form, she cancels out first two by writing denied and approves the remaining three. She says to him,

‘Many people have desired for this wish of becoming millionaires and billionaires but we can’t simply do this for you. That’s why you better write something else instead of these.’

After a while, she takes their forms and leaves. Isaac and Ronald prepare to leave with their team.

The Fire Escape

An hour later, their team arrives at an underground basement, where the show was being held. Isaac and Ronald go and get seated with the audience in the front row, where other members of audience were also contestants of the show, who wanted to commit suicide. The camera men were focusing on two men who were labeled A and B. But the show had still not begun until Megan arrived and introduced herself, the show and the competitors to the audience watching at home.

Later, she comes and declares in front of everyone:

‘Today’s game is that with this petrol,’ she takes out a bottle of petrol, ‘A is going to put petrol around B’s body and then put a burning lighter on him. What do you think B can escape this?’

The audience cheers up loudly, but Isaac and Ronald get worried and cautious. Ronald asks Isaac:

‘Who the hell can escape this sort of death according to you?’

‘Devils or demons only’ Isaac replies, ‘but I’m thinking that who gave her a license of running this kind of dangerous show.’

‘Let’s see what happens, I’m sure B will die and A will be hanged.’

Megan gives the bottle of petrol to the guy labeled A, and exclaims:

‘The game begins but before that we all know one special rule of our game…’

The audience and her team exclaims loudly,

‘Doing fraud tricks is legal and allowed in this game.’

This was new to Ronald, but Isaac seemed to be familiar with this.

As Megan fires the pistol herself, the guy labeled A starts pouring petrol over guy labeled B’s body and makes him complete wet from head to toe. A takes out his lighter, and says to B:

‘Did I just catch a flu or what? I can’t smell the petrol.’

‘Now you know the trick,’ B says winking his eye.

A turns on his lighter and throws it over his body, the audience gets curious realizing B was about to get burnt. But as it touches his shirt it turns off as if water would have turned it off. To make it entertaining, B picks it up and lightens it again. He touches the fire with his wet hand, and instead of fire spreading on his body, it turns off. B explains to everyone,

‘Do you get it guys, my trick was that earlier today I took away his petrol bottle and replaced it with a juice drink which had a color similar to petrol.’

The audience claps, but not with great applauds. Ronald smiles looking at Isaac,

‘I think it was impressing…’

‘Maybe, but I didn’t find it too attractive.’

‘Look we’re not here to attract audience, we just need our desires.’

The guy labeled B comes closer to Megan and says,

‘Now, tell them what I’ll get.’

Megan claims out loudly in front of everyone,

‘He’s going to own a photography studio, as promised by my team

and I…’

Isaac likes this now, as he sees that the reward for escaping death could be fun. So, he thinks about becoming a part of this show with Ronald.

to be continued...