You have, one life, remaining-maining-ing,” an artificial voice says in the hollow darkness. 

I draw in an unsatisfactory breath but have no time for a deeper one. 

Ready . . .

I’m not.

Set . . .

Even if I was, it wouldn’t matter.



The darkness shifts and brightens. At the other side of the hazy whiteness, the words “The End” dance in the air.

My lip curls, my jaw tightens, but I charge straight for it. I duck as the first roar erupts from my right and the invisible creature crashes several feet to my left.

Forgetting where the other comes from, I hesitate, flattened on the ground for a moment too long. Something digs into my ankles and pulls.

Yelping, I flail as The End starts zooming away from me. But I can’t fight what I can’t see.

The white flashes red. “You have, one life, re-maining.” It flashes again. “You have, critical, damage.

“No, fucking, SHIT,” I roar as I tear my bloody leg free of the invisible jaws. “ARGH!” I kick the creature in what I assume is its face before I scramble to my feet. Breathless, I stagger towards The End.

The demons behind me covered in my blood now tear themselves apart. I look down at the crunch of glass, then back up to the shiny letters.

G-Game. O-Over,” the unnatural voice chirps.

The glass letters explode and I raise my arms in an attempt to shield myself.


I blink once, twice, but the darkness persists. A heartbeat later, the distorted voice echoes through the empty once again.

You have, one life, remaining-maining-ing.”