People often say they got dealt a bad hand at life. No one embodies those words better than Brian Cardhold. At school, he his constantly bullied for no apparent reason, his parents hate him and they make sure he knows it. He had nightmares that haunt him at all times. All Brian has is his games. He loves all types of games, from simple cards to video games. They are the only thing that brings joy to his miserable existence.
One day, while at school, he was sitting in class and was playing a game of chess alone. The teacher gave the 11th grade class a free day so he decided to play. After 5 minutes, a girl walked up to him. She was new to the school and asked why he was playing alone.
“You shouldn’t talk to me,” Brian told her. She looked puzzled and asked why. “Everyone hates me, some with no reason to hate me. If they notice you talking to me, they’ll bully you too. I think it’s best if you just start hating me also,” Brian responded. She looked down in thought.
“Well, I don’t care what others think, I want to be your friend,” the girl told him. Brian looked up at her in shock. His eyes started to well with tears, but he wiped them away.
“You’re the first person to not make fun of me or even beat me up,” Brian whispered, just loud enough so she could hear.
“I can’t see why anyone hates you, you seem to be really sweet and nice, by the way, my name is Lauren,” the girl said with a smile. Brian looked down and cried with joy, making sure no one would notice. He asked Lauren if she wanted to go hang out after school, and she happily agreed. After school let out, they met up and went around town. They talked and talked for hours until it got really late.
“Would your parents get worried with you being out this late?” Brian asked.
“Not at all, they know I’ll be safe. What about you?” Lauren questioned. Brian stopped and looked down with a pained expression.
“They don’t care about me. They hate me, and they let me know it everyday,” Brian answered. Lauren’s eyes widened and she looked down. “Honestly, I was going to put an end to it. I was going to go to the old bridge at the edge of town and jump,” Brian let out quietly. Lauren looked over to Brian, who began to cry. She walked up to him and hugged him tightly.
“You have someone to live for now, please don’t do it,” Lauren told him. Brian was in disbelief. He had never had anyone who cared for him. He hugged her back and promised to never do it.
After a month, the 2 got even closer and soon, were boyfriend and girlfriend. But also, as the days went on, Brian’s mental health had degraded. The nightmares were worse and he began hearing voices in his head. Brian hid it from Lauren, wanting to not make her worry. His situation at home and school only got worse, and he soon started to break down. He stopped talked to Lauren for a while, even when they hung out. And he started to skip school. Lauren noticed this new pattern and became really worried. She would ask him what’s wrong when he’s at school but he would respond with “I’m ok” or “it’s nothing”.
Then one night, Brian’s whole life would change forever. It was late at night, and Brian was asleep. He had his usually nightmare but it was different. The voices in his head while he was awake made their way into his dreams. They were warning him, which was different from their usual banter and nonsense. “They will try to kill you, be ready,” said one of the voices. They all repeated the same line and even different variations of the line. But they never said who would try to kill him. When Brian woke up, he was sweating and breathing heavily. He decided to skip school again and slept in, despite the voices.
A few hours later, he woke up again. It was almost time for scheduling to let out, and Brian knew Lauren would come check in him. He got up and cleaned himself up and got dressed. He went down stairs and saw that his parents were home unusually early. They seemed to be waiting for him. They stared at Brian and soon stood up. His dad pulled out a knife and ran at Brian. All he could do was stand in shock as he was pinned to the wall.
His father’s eyes were filled with murderous intent. The large man brought the knife up and then down, in an attempt to stab Brian. But he soon came to and stopped his dad from stabbing him. Brian struggled and soon had the knife in his own hands. His dad was on the ground, filled with fear. Brian walked up to him in drove the knife through his father’s skull, killing him instantly. Brian’s mother stood there in horror as Brian ran towards her, knife in hand. He tackled her and started to stab her over and over in the chest and stomach. Blood spilled everywhere and Brian was covered in the red substance. Then a door opened and soon followed by a scream. It was Lauren. She saw the bodies and looked up at Brian. She tried to speak but she couldn’t. Brian looked at her, tears filling his eyes.
“I guess this is it, I know you’ll run and find help, I can’t stay Brian anymore. He had been broken. Only the voices remain. I still love you with everything, but I know you’ll get the police. You’ll hate me with everything you have,” Brian lectured. Lauren stood there, tears dripping down her face. She shooked her head and ran over and hugged him.
“Even now, I love you, I can’t blame you for what you did. I know you won’t kill me, but I don’t know if you’ll continue killing. We can’t stay together for now, but one day, I’ll come find you, and we can be together again. I’ll leave, you can finish up everything you need to do here, and you must run away from here. I’ll tell the police but I’ll make sure not to let them know where you went,” Lauren said whole crying. Brian looked down at her and smiled.
“I’ll always love you, come find me when you’re ready. Now please go,” Brian told her. Before she left, Brian and Lauren shared one last kiss. Lauren went for the door. “Wait, one more thing,” Brian called out to her. She turned and faced him. “The next time you see me, I may look different and I may act a lot different, but please keep your mind open.” Brian informed her. She nodded and ran out the door. Brian looked around at the mess. He looked at the knife and walked over to the bodies. He carved a spade into the chests and then walked into the bathroom.
“She seems nice,” a voice called out.
Brian sighed and responded, “You four better keep it down, I have a massive headache.”
“Screw you too buddy!” yelled another voice.
Brian thought for a second, and then said, “I should probably give you guys names.” Then Brian named the four voices. Diamond, the smart and sophisticated voice. Club, the angry and rude voice. Heart, the loving and caring voice. And finally, Spade, the murderous and kill hungry voice. Brian lifted the knife and started to carved a heart in his right cheek, and a club in the left. He took out his contacts and altered them so that his right eye is a spade and his left a diamond.
“I think we should have a new name,” Heart said. The other voices talked and agreed.
Brian thought about it and said, “Let’s be, The Game Master.” The voices agreed and Brian left the bathroom. He went back to the bodies and dipped his fingers into the large blood puddle and began to write on the wall. When he was done, he ran out the back door and into the forest.
A week went by and all people could talk about in the town was the murder of Brian’s parents. All Lauren could think about was if Brian was ok and a rumor she was told. People talked about a message that was left behind by Brian, the killer. Apparently the message said, “They tried but failed to defeat the boss battle- The Game Master.” Another week went by and Brian was far from his home. He wandered the woods until he was stopped by a ringing sounds. He felt a hand lay on his shoulder and he turned. He saw a large, blank faced figure which seemed to be wearing a suit. The ringing grew worse and he soon passed out. Only waking up to a voice telling him, “You will work for me now.”