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Shorty Story Competition School Years 8 to 10 Category Winner

The Game of Life


by Sophia Cuevas


Every day the dice is thrown, another life is predetermined, and another day is decided. The game of life is cruel, unjust. Humans blame it all on fate, oblivious to the fact that a single dice that I roll decides their future, set into stone, unable to be changed. Once I get bored, I throw it all away and start over. Life after life, I roll the dice, deciding people's future. I am worshiped, every day, millions of people pray to me, to keep them safe, unaware that I don't control their future. Every day it all repeats. Fortune and misfortune, what will be decided. I watch over all humans, pitying them as their bound by the game I play. The game of life. 


I never wanted this, watching millions of people suffer every day. Not only are they bound by the game of life, but so am I. Taking a deep breath, I roll the die again. How unfair. It's always the best people who end up with the worst fates. How very unfair. A cold-blooded killer, what will be their fate? I sighed and anxiously rolled the die. A future of success and happiness. I gazed in disbelief. The guilt and despair that took over me every time something like this occurred haunted me. Billions of years later and I'm still not used to it. Yet there's nothing I can do. For I am too controlled to play this game, forced to play this game. The game of life. 


I can no longer do this, for the empty void is not only around me, but also deep inside me. I search for answers, so I can be freed, no longer trapped, from this game. What if I went to Earth, posed as a human and lived a normal life, what would happen? Would the game of life be abandoned or would someone else take over? Would destiny no longer exist and simply become a myth? Would people finally have free will and be able to choose their own actions? Would that be a good or bad thing? Questions flooded my mind as I questioned the world beneath me. For someone who was believed to know everything, was merely as clueless as the lowly human. Will I finally be able to be released? From this inhuman game. The game of life. 


I stand in the middle of the mess I had created. Abandoning the game of life was the largest mistake anyone could've possibly ever made. Who was I to know that the game of life was needed to keep the planet fair and balanced? I feel pain in my now human heart and feel my human hairs stand on end. For there is no going back from the mess I made. The ruined planet had now reached its limits and the public going berserk lead to worldwide destruction. A single tear rolled down my cheek as I watched the scene of a dystopian movie unravel from my very eyes. For this is all the fault of that immoral game. The game of life.


Judge Charles Durante’s comments:


“This story reads like an extended parable about the enigmatic nature of existence and the reversals of fortune which some people attribute to a blind force.  Life is unpredictable, unstable and baffling.  Is there a god who decides our fate and is this god benevolent or malevolent?  Maybe there is no guiding principle but all is down to the throw of a die? The power that speaks the words of this story seems to imitate Jesus by becoming human and sharing our fate.  But this does not solve the problem as someone has to control ‘the game of life’.  We end up with a scene from a dystopian movie, all mayhem and despair.  This story conjures up disturbing questions about the the purpose of life, the nature of providence, if there is such a thing, the ultimate meaning of the striving we all engage in.  The mythical and the theological are mixed in a very compelling narrative. Well done!”


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