Forum game: "Mysterious Land"

365 texts fiction
Reflections and drafts

Goal of the day: 1425 words. Written: 1000.

There was a game on one Lithuanian forum. The host leads, the participants tell... and get into secret roles, similar to the game "Mafia". 

"How beautiful in the forest, in summer time"

I have always liked mornings, they have always been my busiest part of the day. But not this morning, not this one. I sit on the porch of a burnt house and hum summer songs. "If anyone saw it, they would think I'd lost my mind," the thought quips. I smile at the thought. And really - who wouldn't think that? A twenty-four-year-old, unshaven, healthy and fit man is sitting. In front of his own burnt house. The money is stolen by gypsies, and the wife runs away with a rich sleazy Jew. Almost like in that story "Rome and Juliet", and I sit as if kissed and hum songs. Absurd.

However, after several hours of sitting, I gather enough strength even to stand up, spit and wipe away that one tear. My still slightly sooty hands probably leave a mark on my face, but I have to spit. I heard some crazy people in the city pick up travelers (also crazy and even more morons) for their crazy trip. The promise: crazy money and crazy experiences. Two days ago, I would have thought that, my God, I'm not such a fool...

* * *

Each resident reacted differently to the election of the chief. Some watched others being picked until finally it was their turn. Others passed the screening quite easily. The third raised suspicions against the commander himself, not the other way around. Be that as it may, 23 Dornet residents were taken aboard the commander's ship. Everyone looked different. An interesting journey awaits…

The next day, at 6 o'clock in the morning, the commander talked with the captain about the trip - route, food, maintenance, cooperation. The other team members did not come. And someone was still dozing. It was not a team member who came to the entrance first, but a resident who was ready for the trip. It seemed a little strange to the commander that his team did not come first. But... what's the difference really? Would anything change if team members came first?..

As the seventh hour approached, more and more people gathered. And at 6:55 the commander called to board his beloved ship and prepare for the journey. Another one almost made it to the trip. Good thing the commander was patient. And five minutes later, exactly at 7 o'clock (according to the captain's watch), the ship moved and everyone (probably everyone) was surprised to see how the view from the moving transport looked in an unusual place - the river. The image after a while looked something like this: *ship*

"Welcome to my ship." - greeted the commander. - My name is Raladis. I will say right away that I believe that the name is unusual for you. I hope it won't be strange that I have a name for my ship too! I named it "Sitrimas". It sounds beautiful and is also associated with a powerful ship.

- What do I know, maybe a little... - someone answered from the crowd.

- Of course, not everyone is associated in the same way. Yes for me, no for others.

- Very nice topic, - started TheGrizzly, - but maybe it would be possible to know the names of your team members as well?

"Good idea," Garou agreed, "It would make communication a lot easier that way."

- Of course, no problem. Like I said before, but I'll say it again, my name is Raladis. I am the commander of the team and the ship. Over there stands Boner, the captain. Although the title should mean that he controls everything, but it just sounds nicer, he is only responsible for the route. Not only in the ocean, but also on the island itself.

"I see another person, sitting alone," Toxiz joined.

"But he's muscular... It's better not to approach such a weak one to tease him," remarked the Thrush.

- Well yes. He doesn't understand jokes. - Raladis agreed, - His name is Leder. Not talking at all. Say whatever you want, he won't answer if he doesn't understand what he's talking about, even if you don't.

During this group conversation, some of the residents simply dispersed, going to look around from the deck. Some went to the room. Everyone received a key from the commander, each of which is intended for only one specific room. There are not as many people left in the group as there were in the beginning. At first glance - what 14 + commander. By the way, the commander was not old, he was about 30 years old. As during the disembarkation, he wore a blue uniform during the swim as well. Not as a captain. Blue long sleeve shirt, blue long pants and even blue shoes. But they seem to have just been painted to make everything one color. The captain of the ship was much older: close to 50. Some find it hard to believe that he still manages the cruise ship well, moves well, although he looks like an ordinary old man (he wears an old white shirt, black dusty pants). Muscle Man, as someone nicknamed him, wore a short green shirt that hid part of his muscular arm, as well as black pants. He looked about the same age as the group leader. The conversation continued:

- I am very happy to see that you agreed to travel with me. Just for company, you can enjoy dishes made by Leder, wine or simple water on the trip.

- Leder was cooking??? R4m3nt4S was surprised.

- Hmm. I know, it's unusual to see someone like that. That's just his character, that's how he likes it.

"Yes, really unusual," Vellniux tilted his head.

"It's true, there is a limit to these sweets, no matter how unfortunate it is," said Raladis guiltily.

- How long will it take? - checked the button.

- I can not say. Maybe half the trip. Fortunately, there is also "open" food here, that is, available to everyone. Everyone will also find a little bit in their rooms. There will be a portion of chicken and about 100 ml of wine. It's my fault for not taking better care. I didn't make it. Or my perception of time is at fault. Sometimes I forget that I have one thing or another that seems so important that it would be difficult to live without it. I thought I would be able to buy from the city or somewhere else without sailing, but the only place I saw until the end of the trip was your town.

- Nothing, - reassured Macrelion, - I think it will be enough for all of us.

"Plus we still have ours," Mortis added.

- Oh! That's fine then. However, I advise you to start with "open" food, as I call it. For some reason, it is the tastiest for everyone.

"Thank you," said the fireman and several others, and everyone went their separate ways. Some asked Raladi and went to taste that most delicious food. Everything was placed on a huge wooden table. It smelled really delicious. Some, without waiting for anything, immediately sat down to eat to be full.

Others, happy and exploring their room, decided to check whether the bed was comfortable, what the view was like from the tiny window. He also checked the food, which he found on a shelf nailed to the wall. This food didn't look as fresh as it did out there. Some were not sure I would eat one. The chicken was still a little warm, but was it cooked enough? Questions plagued a couple of residents, but a solution had to be found quickly. Before they could find an answer, soon everyone who was in their room also found a small piece of paper. Smooth, white, but not empty. There was only one line written there: "What do you think of Raladi, our leader?" Write your opinion below. Thank you". And just below is a line drawn by hand. "What is this?" - some did not understand. Joke? Serious question? Everyone rethought what, when and how to do it while another group was enjoying a public meal at the same time.

Additional task: choices. Possible options:

1) Sit down to the food served outside (the tastiest) and don't go home.

2) Enjoy the food served in the room (a piece of chicken and/or wine) and ignore the note (you can write what you do).

3) Enjoy the food served in the room (a piece of chicken and/or wine) and answer the question on the leaflet.

4) Ignore both outdoor and in-room meals.

* * *

As the ship lurches away from the clutches of the river, the captain himself finally speaks. A handsome man with a really eccentric outfit. The speech was short, and the most interesting part of the speech was the name of the ship: "Sitrimas". I have a strange habit of scrambling names and looking for the original meaning. And upon hearing this, the somewhat unpleasant cipher "I am death" immediately comes to mind. Well, of course, the first word is not quite "I", the letters are slightly in the wrong direction like "death", but still. What kind of character is that Raladis?

I don't know if it's from the boat trip, from the thoughts of dark names, I just feel like I'm beaten after the speech. Metaphorically, of course. Somewhere deep inside there is a still undiminished anger and gloom. Or it's just guts devouring each other. Few can imagine the joy I feel when I hear that the ship is loaded with free food at every end. Since I have with me only what I carry on me (after the soot from my face and hands, by the way, I managed to clean myself at the port) plus one rusty knife, food probably becomes much more important to me. Together with a few other passengers, I go to have a shared meal. However, if I don't have anything, I should at least get to know others.

* * *

There were not many respondents. Whoever wrote that letter won't get many replies. The main focus, however, was not the letter. For many, the journey and the achievement of the goal were important. Rest is also important for some. Raladis talked with the captain of the ship, discussed the route, time, plan, how to go through the jungle and so on. They did not discuss for a long time, because already, in practice, everything was clear. They only confirmed that they understand each other properly. Later, Raladis went to the gathered group (it is true, not everyone was in one place) and asked if the dishes and "sweets" were tasty.

"Not bad," Dark0l said.

"Delicious," An0nym0us also announced his verdict.

- How great. - the commander was happy.,- I thought that you would not like the food prepared by our Leder.

- Why? He cooks quite well, R4m3nt4S didn't understand.

- It's just... Well, I'm used to eating like this, and you... you're from a completely different continent, very far from our home, so I have no doubt that the tastes of food are different. But maybe I'm wrong.

After everyone had a delicious meal, they decided to look around the ship itself. Some remained completely calm, so the short excursion did not cause anything. But others were a little suspicious that something might be up. Some secret, brutal, undisclosed group. However, no matter how carefully and surreptitiously he browsed, nothing could be found. Or maybe there was nothing before? Maybe he suspects the commander unnecessarily? After all, there is nothing. Spending time like this, evening soon came. Inconspicuously. That's how it is in the evening: 9:00 p.m., and it's already dark like in a dark room without windows. The captain of the ship gave everyone a kerosene lamp. There was enough for everyone, there were even a few left over.

- How late. - Raladis spoke quietly to Boner, - This time of day makes me nervous. You can't see where we're traveling, you can't see where we're moving on the ship... You can't see anything. How can I bear all this? Although it's a good thing it's autumn and not winter, because that would be completely ridiculous. It wouldn't even be seen with a lamp.

"Well, why do you say that?" - the captain did not understand. - You can see it normally on the ship if it lights up. I only agree about the exterior, I can hardly keep track of which direction we are sailing. But I can just swim straight and that's it. After all, there is no turning point here...

- True. You're in charge of the ship, and you know better than that. I am leaving you because I have nothing better to do. I'm going to take a nap. I don't sleep well, I need to go to bed a little earlier. Maybe I'll sleep better. And you hardly sleep anyway, I noticed.

"That's because it's so much fun to control the ship," said Bonner with a smile, "you don't want to sleep."

"It's fun for you, then," Raladis said a little sadly and left the room for his bedroom. Later, there was the sound of the door being locked, and then everything was silent.

Raladis went to bed second. The first was "muscular". He always went to bed at eight o'clock. And he used to get up almost the earliest. Usually between 5 and 5:30. Then he went to wash the floors, walls, windows, as he is used to. It was also his favorite activity because he had no other.

And the group went to bed at different times, but all later than Raladi. Some went at 10 p.m., others at 11 p.m. Some went willingly, tired, others - the other way around. But there had to be enough strength. And the only person who didn't sleep was the ship's captain, Boner, who was busy steering the ship.

* * *

No one else seemed to notice the strange ship name, other than that it sounded funny. Well, it's true, I didn't ask, but there had to be some brave person on such a trip, right? One way or another, I spent most of the feast eating as much as I could. I really hope that the food was not poisoned, because that would be a quick death. Well, at least that's true. Don't burn it in your house.

Remembering my now-disappeared possessions, I frown again, excuse myself from the table and go outside for some fresh air. Since excursions are not very interesting to me (and what are you going to watch on a damn boat in the middle of the sea? Waves in the sea, because there are few of them?), I spend my free time reading someone's book about building rafts in extreme conditions. "What, someone is going to sink the ship?", I think for a moment. I soon laugh at the thought - what idiot would want that and better yet, why? Having already returned the book to where I found it late at night, I go to my cabin, look around for a few moments to see what's good in it, and soon fall asleep. That night rests my head and body.

* * *

There was fear, pettiness, suspicions in the atmosphere... The majority voted, still looking at each other with suspicion. Even Raladis was on guard, trying not to be completely near anyone. Leder stood closest. The ship's captain had no time to watch the group's decisions as the island was only a couple of kilometers away. The leader of the group looked at all the papers, turned them over, checked whether he had read the names correctly and thought. Then called FoxconNHQ to go talk to him. FoxconNHQ was somewhat doubtful, suspected that nothing good could be expected. However, the commander did not try to kill him immediately. The two entered his cabin, closed the door, and began a dialogue. Sorry, but the dialogue could not be heard. Meanwhile, Bonner's cry was heard from the stern of the ship:

- We have arrived!

"Finally," said one of the members, "it's impossible to bear the terrible journey..."

- But there's no need to be sad, - another traveler saw the bright side, - after all, no one died, hello... almost everyone. He will recover soon and we will travel in peace.

- Maybe I hope

"Raumeningasis" packed his belongings, which he kept in his cabin, in the drawers and was the first to land on the ground. The island was not tiny. After everyone got out, he decided to look around. But the view was not impressive. Almost immediately, a few tens of meters away, the beginning of the jungle began. The only visible object beyond the trees was the volcano. It wasn't big and it didn't look like it was working. There was also a short road made of gravel and sand. The jungle itself was not dense.

- Well, welcome to our destination. Raladis said as he passed the group, "This island has no name as far as I know, though I thought I might give it to make it more informative." I will call it Serdynes Island.

- What kind??

- Core. This is where a random name popped into my head. There is no point.

- What is the difference…

"Okay, I hope you're ready for the trip." We will travel on foot, no longer by boat.

- That is already clear.

"Well, yes, that's true." I just said anyway. I have more fun teaching facts. You will have to travel this way until it ends. I believe it leads to a volcano…

- We will have to go to the volcano?!

- Yes. Oh, I forgot to say. Sorry for that. But he doesn't bite. No need to be afraid.

The trip started on foot. The volcano was not far, so it didn't take long to travel. However, after reaching the foot of the volcano, the travelers stopped and were surprised: how far they could see some strange creatures... Not people. Not really. They were burning. Literally. Not only that, but the thunderous-looking creatures had chains and an oddly shaped dagger (Click to see their appearance). The travelers realized at that moment that they should go quietly. However, one of the group accidentally tripped over a tree root that was fixed above the ground and fell to the ground with all its weight:

- To be eaten by wolves!!

At that moment, the strange creatures, who had previously been standing quietly and staring at one point, suddenly turned towards the group. When they saw the "invaders", they, being 8, attacked the group, which consisted of 24 people.

"Well, the beginning of the journey on the island..." said the resident of Dornet to himself, preparing for battle.

* * *

As I thought, we do not have to wait long for the voting results. God, pure as Lord of the Flies, I think as I see FoxconNHQ Commander Raladi being led to his cabin. For a moment, I wonder why FoxconNHQ, when the majority voted for Markelion, as I had to see from the looks, but I can't express my doubts - Bonner exclaims that we have reached the ground.

Trying to comfort myself with the thought that the voted one will probably only be kept on the ship until we return with a few other destitutes, I wait for those with more than what they are wearing to gather their belongings. We don't have to wait long and soon we are walking towards the volcano. "I hope the next vote isn't about what to sacrifice to the fire gods," I joke, earning only a few chuckles. No, most people probably don't have a joke in mind. Maybe they were so scared by Toxiz's proposed new name Skerdynes - Skerdynes?

Soon you reach the foot of the volcano. The surprise is that they are none other than the mystical fire genies mentioned only in fairy tales. I'll admit, I stood there for a good four minutes, stunned, until I realized from other reactions that I wasn't the only one seeing such believable illusions. Leder soon urges us to go away and as quietly as possible, which we do. Well, until something falls over and makes a lot more noise than it should.

As soon as we see that the firemen (it's easier to call them that way) are approaching the group, we understand that it won't be easy without a fight. Not very diplomatic is their viciously spinning quills and tongues of fire, left where they go. I don't know if it will fly. One way or another, I push it out of my head and get to work. Since I don't have many things, I improvise. While R4m3nt4S tries to water the fireflies (who would have thought that was their weakness) I either distract them with Toxiz or run around collecting at least a little more water. Ah, much like putting out fires. Only here the fire is running after you and the guy is trying to screw up his head.

* * *

I have to admit, we've driven ourselves into a dead end. Again metaphorically, of course. Even though Raladis was not able to prove enough that he is not some kind of evil person who wants to speculate, but suspicions alone are not enough to do something. We are not wild after all. The problem is what to do? If Raladis wants to lead us into a trap… Then why? Could my jokes about sacrifices to fire gods be true? And what can he do? Maybe Raladis was the one who attacked those people on the ship?

Second, Boner and Raladi were still on the ship talking friendly.. Even if we threw Raladi out to live alone in the jungle.. Would we find him when we got back to the ship? And better yet, would we go back into it? Hardly any of us would swim a kilometer and a half from the shore to the ship just to grab it. All the more so - to seize for others. All I know is that I wouldn't be able to do it myself, swimming is not my field.

After much hesitation, I suggest to the passengers to leave him in the group as before (1). True, with one big exception - to watch him so that he does not come up with something to make money. Oh, and let him go ahead. Thanks, we really don't need another fiery people. And if it doesn't work, we can always just leave it on the way after asking for directions, no problem.

After expressing my thoughts, I continued to follow the discussion while eating and drinking. Even before bedtime is not healthy.

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