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In ancient times, when battles were fought, they were fought to defend a loved one’s honor, to vanquish evil-doers, and for the greater good. The warriors that fought in these battles were courageous, brave, and just. They were revered as heroes.
In modern times, though, that kind of heart of gold isn’t going to get you anywhere. People will just keep taking and taking from you until there’s nothing left. Maybe that’s why no one’s a hero anymore - there’s no point in being honorable. Not in this economy.
But people still pretend to be good. They pretend that they still hold on to the morals of the past, but no one actually does. The truth is, the world is full of nothing but greed, deception, cowardice, and downright villainy.
It’s in times like these that you can see humanity’s true colors, in the ones you thought were your comrades.
Your name is Cassandra, but everyone you know calls you Cass. You’ve got a good bunch of friends - at least you thought you did. You used to sit and laugh with them, tell jokes. Now, even thinking about them leaves a rotten taste in your mouth. Well, thinking about the ones who survived, that is. And it all started six hours prior…….
You had been sitting in a room with your closest friends, bored out of your mind. You had already played 6 games of Cards Against Humanity, 2 games of Uno, and each Wii game available thrice. Robert and Sam had given up on anything entertaining, and had begun to lurk on their phones. You had been trying to sketch, but this was the type of boredom that stopped you from trying to stop the boredom. That’s how bored you all were. Leila seemed to have given up on everything entirely, seeing as she had even given up on the entertainment that the internet could provide, and instead opted for staring blankly at the off-white ceiling in Sam’s room.
You were amazed at how she corpse-like she looked. Then, her face changed from completely apathetic when a wide, s***-eating grin stretched its way across her face. Her voice broke the silence. “Hey, Sam?” she asked innocently. It always started innocently with any of the schemes this group cooked up. This one was by far the worst yet, though. Sam grunted in response, which Leila took as permission to continue. “Do you still have that one board game I brought over? The one we never played?”
Confusion struck across their face at first, but soon, it had been taken over by understanding. And horror. “No way,” Sam said forcefully, “that game is worse than the Ouija board and breaks apart friendships quicker than a small bag of McDonald's french fries.” Robert lifted his head from the bed at this. “I heard french fries, Ouija board, and broken friendships. I’m in.”
“Cool, I’ll go get it,” Leila replied. Now, it was your turn to interject. “Wait a sec, Leila, what are you talking about?” She just smiled smugly back at you. Then, after a few seconds of confusion on your part, and dramatic pause on hers, she said it: “Monopoly.”
And so it began.
Early Hour 1
In the beginning, it was fine. It was fun even. You all picked out your icons - you were the dog (you swore they modeled it after your own pet), Robert was the boat, Leila had taken the top hat (not before making a m’lady joke, though), and Sam had chosen the thimble. In the beginning, it was normal. There was, of course, teases and taunts from Robert and Leila, but their competitive nature aside, all was well. Things went south quickly.
Late Hour 1
It started with Robert. Robert was always the most straight forward and short-tempered out of all of you. He started his reign by picking on those he thought would be easy targets - mainly Sam, but you as well. Then once he had enough ammunition, he went after Leila.
He demolished her, but even so, her eyes never lost hope, never lost that fiery determination she had had since the beginning of the game. It was a look filled with confidence - she knew her time would come. Robert was too drunk on power to notice that. He also had more pressing problems to deal with.
Mid Hour 2
Sam couldn’t handle the pressure of being singled out. To be honest, you didn’t blame them. You were already starting to crack as well, and you weren’t the one who took the brunt of the attacks. Sam went insane - they started to buy crap land, and attack Robert in any way they could. It was pointless - they were the first to go bankrupt. Sam left the room under the excuse that they had to use the restroom, and feed the dogs.
You never saw Sam again.
Early Hour 3
By this point of the game, Robert believed his victory had already been decided. He couldn’t have been more mistaken. In many ways, you believe he was like the great Augustus Caesar himself. He would never know what hit him. While he had been counting his properties and valuables, someone else had been planning. Laying a trap. Waiting for their time. Someone with a certain fiery determination. Someone with confidence. Someone named Leila.
It takes a certain mind to be the banker of a Monopoly game. You have to be clever, quick on your feet, and shrewd. Leila fit the bill perfectly. While Robert had luck on his side, and used that to fight, Leila had something much better: strategy. And boy, did she use it well.
Mid Hour 4
Hotels and Houses. Tons of them, on every single piece of property that Leila had to her name. She was a spider weaving a web for an unsuspecting fly. And her web worked perfectly - it even entangled you more than a few times. Slowly, but surely, Robert’s fortune began to diminish, adding more and more to Leila’s. There was nothing he could do - he was trapped. Leila wasn’t a general on the field of war. She was the dictator that changed seemingly useless laws to make the world bow down to her. She left Robert with nothing to his name. When he stepped away from the board game, you could tell he was nothing but a shell of the man he used to be.
Mid Hour 5
She was no longer the friend you used to know. She was inhumane. A monster. And you knew of one thing for sure: it takes a monster to destroy a monster. You almost felt sorry for Leila, because of what you would have to do to her. But still, it had to be done. Otherwise, this Pandora’s Box in family-friendly clothing would never close. Your friends would stay this way forever.
Late Hour 6
Leila lied broken on the floor. What you did was too evil to even think about. You didn’t know if she would ever wake up from such a devastating betrayal. You stand up and look down at the battlefield that used to be your favorite place to hang out. Your fallen foes that used to be your best friends. A single tear rolls down your cheek in remembrance of a youth that’s been long lost, and you hear the door creak open.
Sam walks back in the room. You hear them sigh in defeat. “See,” they start, “this is why I don’t like playing Monopoly with you guys. You’re way too damn melodramatic.” They then promptly leave the room to make a bag of popcorn.
You whisper under your breath, “I’ll never forget the memories we shared,” and you follow after Sam. Leila smells popcorn and comes bounding toward it, and Robert follows her out of boredom.
Leila then grabs a handful of popcorn, and before stuffing the entire thing in her mouth, comments, “Let’s never play Monopoly again.”
The consenting grunt that followed was unanimous.