Prompt for March 19, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

The game was nearly over. They had started out with fifteen contestants but she was the only one left. In the thirty years that the game had been played there had only been a dozen winners, each one held up in the highest regards, each one given riches beyond their dreams, each one the poster child for the next. Much as Kate Abbot had been for her.

Kate Abbot had been one of the youngest competitors having turned sixteen the day of the game. She could have waited, as she had three years to enter, but she chose to do so as quickly as possible. After the initial screening she was chosen as one of the fifteen contestants in the Spring session of Glory and Riches and she had won. The first in almost five years.

The rules were simple, there was a ten mile perimeter around a house in the woods. You made it to the perimeter and you won. Anything that you found in the house you could use. There was no time limit and not much else in the way of rules other than the fact that if you were caught and a slave collar put around your neck you lost and became the property of the man that caught you. The men bid for entry into the contest with the top fifteen bids going into a prize pot and the fifteen men becoming the pursuers who would give the women a ten minute head start. Everyone that crossed the perimeter, everyone who won, got a share of the pot. And if no one won? The pot rolled over to the following session. Two sessions per year.

Penelope Carston, like her idol Kate, was just sixteen when she had entered. Her parents had both been killed in a mining accident and she had been told that she was going to be a ward of the state and sent to work in the mines to replace her parents. This was her only chance to escape that life.

With less than one hundred yards to go she could almost taste victory. She looked all around, trying to see if her pursuer was nearby, but the woods were quiet. As she stood up to run she heard it, the soft voice that had been taunting her for the past six hours.

“Going somewhere, Penelope?”

Post a link to the story in the comments.


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