Peer Review by korra4life (United States)

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The Game

By: camlily


FREE WRITING

 Your sigh echoes in the cold, dark room.  It reverberates off the object that lays in the center- a vintage game board.  
"Roll," your sister says monotonously, and you can tell that her eyes are already beginning to blacken.  She's giving in to the game.  
 With all of your willpower, you pick the dice up and drop them on the floor. They roll for a few seconds, then land on double sixes. You curse, a massive headache beginning to overcome your brain.  If only there was some way to overcome this torture of a game- death seemed the only answer, as you were bound to play the game for the rest of your lives.  
 Your brother rolls after you.  The game has been kinder to him, as he has more green tokens than both you and your sister combined.  He's also won a pink card to accompany and assist him throughout the rest game.  He rolls a three and a two.  You can't help but groan- five is the luckiest roll in the game, as it gives you a free "skip a turn" card.  
  It's your mother's turn now.  As she's older, she has more responsibilities in the game, and she can only roll numbers higher than two.  The dice fall from her hands and land on a three and a four.  So far, she's escaped punishment.  
  You look at what used to be your father's chair.  He finished the game a long time ago, your mother had told you, about a year after you started to playing it. For whatever reason, the game disliked him and only allowed him to roll sixes (the worst number in the game, as the goal is to be the last to reach the end).  You'd always wondered what it would be like to finish the game- according to your mother, you would simply vanish into thin air.  But you still had a while to go.  
  Your sister picks up the dice without emotion.  She hasn't talked for a couple turns now, and you're beginning to worry about her.  She rolls a four and a six- ten.  
  Slowly, she moves her piece, where it lands on a brown square.  There are only two of these in the game, and they cause the player to give up all of their green tokens.  A tear slides down your sister's face as she quietly whispers "I'm done".  The darkness you'd already seen in her eyes expands and envelops her entire body, and all you can do is watch.  
  Then she disappears, "vanishes", as your mother had said.  You turn to the rest of your family, their faces etched in pain. Your brother pushes the dice in front of you, and you roll again.  
 

Heyyy!! I actually kind of like this!!  Basically, the game is an analogy of life (the green tokens are money, the pink card is a significant other, the sister had depression which caused her to take herself out of the game). This was inspired by EarlyPearl's contest, linked here: EARLY PEARL IS HOSTING ANOTHER CONTEST!, which I encourage you to enter!! (I am actually entering a real piece for this contest, but the word limit was 50 words and I knew that this would be much more).  So yeah!! Thanks for reading <3 <3 
~~Have a wonderful day filled with sunshine and rainbows~~
-camlily  

Peer Review

I have no idea. I feel like this entire story was surprising, left and right. If I had to choose, it would be "If only there was some way to overcome this torture of a game- death seemed the only answer, as you were bound to play the game for the rest of your lives." This surprised me because I didn't realize this was something that could kill the players. As I started reading, I assumed that this was a voluntary game that you could, probably, leave whenever you wanted to. Or you could leave if you win. But, this line reveals that there's no way to actually win the game; you just have to die.


Everything and anything. Okay, so, this is perfect as it is, except for one minor thing. I highlighted the line where you talk about the father and say that sixes are the worst numbers in the game 'as the goal is to be the last to reach the end.' I just don't what you mean. Maybe I'm just looking too deep into it and I'm missing something obvious, or maybe not. For the rest of this, I would absolutely love to know more, but it isn't necessary for me to understand your haunting story. I would love to know if the same thing that happened to the main character's sister happened to the dad (did he give in to the game?). Also, when the sister says, "I'm done," does that mean she gave up, or did she actually die or something? Another thing, is it possible, at all, to win this game? Those are just some examples where you could deepen the game's idea, but I understand the concept of the game pretty well, thanks to the amazing way you explained it through the story.


Reviewer Comments

This is an absolutely amazing story with twists and turns everywhere in the foreseeable future. It sounds exciting and I would love if you expanded on it.
I usually don't fall for thriller stories (my parents hid me from those for a long time) but I surprisingly loved the way you wrote this. I just think, this would kind of be cool, if you published a piece called 'The Game-Gameplay/Instruction Manual' or whatever. In that, you would write it like a normal game's instruction book, but it would explain a lot of the concepts that you mention (i.e. the mom's responsibilities, the goal to be the last to reach the end, etc.). It would be a different yet familiar way to explain it.
Anyway, I love this idea. I also submitted a piece for Early Pearl's contest (lol, I forgot what it's called), but I love the fact that you wrote a separate story because of her word limit. 50 words is just too short.
I loved reading your story and I hope you can recommend more to me!
P.S. Personally, I haven't watched the original Jumanji in a long time. So, this weekend, I'm going to have to watch it and compare the stories.