Every Wednesday we ask our Brain Game contestants one interesting, thought-provoking or just plain quirky question. Their answers will be published anonymously in Young Post. Then readers vote for their FAVOURITE answer. We will eliminate the contestant with the LEAST votes every week until we have a winner. The ultimate Brain Game winner will win a Mobile Pixel Duex duo monitor, which has been sponsored by searchingc.com, one of Asia’s leading online shopping platforms.
Votes close at midnight on Sunday.
I woke up and found myself in a small, unfurnished room. A sheet of paper lay near my head. On it was written, “I came all this way to power because of you. Thanks.”
I walked out of the room. A plump boy was staring at me.
“You’re awake! Don’t kill me!” he said
At the end of the corridor stood a matronly woman. She hurried towards me and began talking rapidly.
“Amelia, you’re awake! My horrible husband has been using you for 30 years to get to power and rule the entire world. He has been telling everyone that you have a weapon that could destroy every city on the planet, and that he kept you unconscious to keep the world at peace. All lies, I know. He has been feeding you Sleeping Draught potions. I’ve been wanting to run away from him for a long time, but I was worried about your safety. Now he’s fallen ill and put me in charge of giving you the potions. I have not. Now that you are awake, we must now overthrow him.”
The woman and I arrived at a room. Inside, her husband was sitting in front of dozens of cameras.
“You have been cheating everybody for years! Amelia Mills is no harm to anyone! You have been using an innocent girl for power!” boomed the woman.
“I got power because of you, don’t take it away!” he screeched.
The world believed the woman. In a fortnight, her husband was overthrown, and we lived happily ever after.
“I came all this way to see you, but you weren’t here. I give up.”
So said the note that had been slipped under the door. It was in her handwriting, a pretty, cursive script.
The clock read 11.59am. I had just woken up on the floor, dizzy and confused. Yesterday’s date was marked with a big red circle on the calendar; I had missed my big day – the day I confessed my love to her.
I quickly got dressed and ran out the door and onto the busy street. It was a cold winter morning, but the sun was shining brighter than I had ever seen it.
People were walking up and down the pavements. They were walking indecisively in and out of stores. Perhaps they were getting ready for the weekend. Perhaps, one day, she and I could be like those couples.
I reached her flat. It’s been etched into my memory ever since she first brought me up here. Her smile, the way she poured tea, the way she talked – it was beautiful. She was beautiful.
I knocked on the door, and the door opened. A man peeked through the gap. I was surprised.
“Where is she?” I asked.
“Oh, you mean Alice? Well, she’s six feet under. You’re 30 years too late, I’m afraid.” he replied.
“A lot can change in 30 years. You just don’t quite feel it sometimes.”
“I came all this way to see you but when I got here I was told you weren’t allowed visitors. Charlie, what did you do? I’m so afraid. I’ve left my phone number here, so if they ever allow you a phone call, please ring me. I love you. Evelyn 16.04.49.”
I read the note over and over again, growing more confused each time. I stare at the big hands holding the paper in front of me, calloused and hairy, far too worn and wrinkled for a 16-year-old boy. And the date: it’s inconceivable that the year is really 2049. Yet, as I rise and stare at the mirror, I see a familiar stranger. My blazing green eyes on a creased, leathery face, thinning grey hair draped around my ears, yellowed teeth hidden behind my lips. It’s as if someone has glued a mask onto my face; a delicate, convincing facade.
My fuller, heavier body is clad in a sickly orange jumpsuit, which matches the grime and filth on the walls of my room rather well, and though it was obvious even at the start, it suddenly hits me that I’m in a prison cell.
My pounding head cannot remember facts, nor recall memories, all it can do is invent. Soon my hands are covered in the ghost of dried blood, the phantom of a sharpened knife clattering to the floor as I release it in horror, the echo of Evelyn’s words ringing – “Charlie, what did you do?”. They horrify me, as another terrible realisation comes to me – I do not know.
“I came all this way with you to dodge the Blue Ribbons’ attack, my dear. I’m sorry that I must leave you now. In order to keep you alive in this cave, I have left my last magic cube, which should have stopped your biological functions from operating for 30 years.
“When you read this note, you may be experiencing the side effect of the cube – memory loss, for one thing. You are currently inside a cave near the coast in Xianggang, a place under the governance of the totalitarian leader, Winnie. By the time you read my words, our revolution army will have been defeated by the powerful water cannon, and we will have all been executed.
“Blue Ribbons is an undercover police force controlled by the Disney Party, hiding themselves in disguise as citizens, kidnapping anti-Disney revolutionaries in the night. Our identities have been revealed. Tigger, the head of Blue Ribbons, tried to trap us. That’s when you passed out. We escaped, and so here you are in this cave. If I don’t make it to safety, I will be brainwashed by the Blue Ribbons, and become one of them.
“Find a way to defeat Winnie and the Blue Ribbons, my dear. They may be strong, but my desire for freedom lives on in you. You must finish what we started!
“I gotta go. I love you, honey, stay alive.”
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