The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

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The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby Ozhojabbe » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:02 pm

The Second Word Game
By Ozhojabbe

Chapter 1

Mischaqiel looked around as the smoke cleared and the room came into focus. What did he have to look forward to this time?

At his feet was a pair of exquisite bone dice set with bloodstone. Standing a few feet away was a girl who looked to be about 16 or 17. Her entire ensemble was black, including her lipstick and she had on a necklace depicting an upside-down cross. Beyond her was a couch facing a TV with two people on it. Sitting on the couch were a man and a woman, probably in their mid-to-late 30's.

Mischaqiel smiled as he realized that one of the faces staring at him didn't have an ounce of fear. The girl was smiling. Interesting. It wasn't often that a mortal deliberately sought out one of his games.

"Tara, get behind me," the man said to the girl. "I'll protect you from that... that thing."

The girl, apparently named Tara, took a step towards Mischaqiel. "No, father. I'm afraid you don't understand. This is Mischaqiel, a demon lord, and I've summoned him to force you two to do my bidding."

Mischaqiel raised an eyebrow. "You seem to be equal parts informed and misinformed little girl." He gave a sharptoothed grin. "I am indeed Mischaqiel, but I am not here to do anything for you. At least not for free."

Tara's face went through several emotions, before settling on frustration. "But, it took me so long to find those dice! I summoned you here! Don't you have to do what I say?"

Mischaqiel shook his head. "I'm afraid not. But I will offer a wish to whoever wins the game you just started."

The woman spoke for the first time. "What game?"

Mischaqiel picked up the dice, careful not to change their face. "Well, it looks like your daughter rolled 4 and 3. That means that today we're playing Alpha and Omega, and you will each take 3 turns per day."

The man stood up from his chair and raised his voice. "This is a god-fearing household. We're not going to play any game you want us to play, demon!"

Mischaqiel sighed. "I'm afraid I can't leave until you finish your game. I can explain the rules, or you can just stumble through them if you want."

The man pulled out his cell phone, never taking his eyes off of Mischaqiel. He tried to dial Rev. Drummond, but his phone didn't to be working. "What have you done to my phone, fiend?"

Mischaqiel rolled his eyes. "You're not very quick on the uptake, are you? Look at your TV."

All three looked where Mischaqiel's long, bony finger was pointing. The screen was frozen on a single image. It was as if time was frozen.

Mischaqiel continued. "Once you play your three turns for the day, time will start moving again and I'll be out of your hair for 24 hours. It's as easy as that. Now I can explain all the rules right now, or as you play - your choice. It's currently your daughter's turn and she has to say the first word - then the game begins."

The girl looked from her parents to the demon. "You said that if I win this game, I get a wish?"

Mischaqiel nodded.

"Alright, what sort of word do I have to say?" Tara asked.

"It just has to an adjective or noun that could apply to a person." Mischaqiel said.

"Okay, I'm going to go with *fat*." Tara said.

"There, that wasn't so hard, was it? Now its your mother's turn. 30 seconds on the clock"

However, Tara's mother, Elizabeth, wasn't paying attention to the demon's words. Her clothes were suddenly starting to feel very tight. She looked down at herself and let out a small yelp when she realized she seemed to be expanding. Before, her body had been thin and athletic - the product of years of a strict diet and workout regiment. Now, the fabric of her blouse was getting pulled more and more, and the buttons on her pants looked like they were going to soon give out. Then all at once there was a loud rrriippp, and she was left sitting there in the tattered remains of her jeans and blouse. The elastic of her bra and panties had not survived. And she was still growing.

"What the fuck is happening? What are you doing!?" Elizabeth shouted at Mischaqiel.

"Its part of the game. The words you say affect the next player. If the word already applies to you, you lose a trait. If a word doesn't apply to you, you gain a trait." Finally, Tara's mother had stopped growing. She looked like she was nearly 300 lbs. She started to sob.

"Oh, don't cry. It isn't so bad," Mischaqiel snapped his fingers, and the woman was now dressed in clothes that fit her. "See, all better! You better hurry up though, it's still your turn and you only have ten seconds left to say your word."

Elizabeth wanted to shout that having clothes that fit did not make things 'all better', but she knew that she couldn't let Tara win this game. "Wh-what sort of word do I need to s-s-*sob*-say?"

"It still needs to be an adjective or noun that could apply to a person, but all words from now on need to start with the last letter of the previous word."

Tara's mother knew she had less than 10 seconds, so she just came out with the first word that came to her head. "*Tall*!"

Suddenly, Tara's father, John, began to shrink. He was a tall man, a little under seven feet. but now with each passing second he was losing inches. He finally stopped at around 5' 4", a little shorter than his wife. His clothes were incredibly baggy on him. He wasn't thrilled with this outcome, but he counted himself lucky compared to his wife.

"I assume it's my turn? If so, then my word is *ladylike*"

Tara found herself uncrossing her arms, and stood up as straight as she could. She tried to go back to slouching but found that she couldn't. She didn't like this change. She decided to try and say something nasty to her dad.

It did not come out at all like she intended. "Father, dearest. I would very much appreciate it if you didn't do things to me that ruin my goth aesthetic. You know how important it is to me."

Her father started laughing a bit. No! He had ruined her. Oh well, she could still mess with her mother. "*Educated*"

Elizabeth's head felt kind of fuzzy. Words, concepts and jargon began leaving her head at an alarming rate. She had to try and hold on to her knowledge! She had a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering - she couldn't forget all her years of education. But it was useless, all the memories of college slipped through her hands like sand, and she soon had the equivalent knowledge of a high school dropout.

Shit. Just what was her daughter thinking? How was she supposed to work now? She needed a word that started with D that wouldn't harm John, but her vocabulary was much reduced from where it was before. "*Dreamy*"

John started growing. He went from a fairly average, short man to a tall, dark and handsome man. He could live with this. "*Yuppie*"

Tara found herself getting older, and her clothes began to change. She was soon in her 20's and wearing a professional dress. Her black make-up was replaced with tastefully done red lipstick and light eyeliner and mascara. Memories of a well-paying job began to fill her head. No! She had basically become everything she hated. When she got her wish, they'd be sorry! "*Exhibitionist*"

Elizabeth's clothes became much skimpier. For some reason, the pace of the game had really begun to pick up. "*Talkative*"

John, normally quite reserved, found himself gaining a desire to share more about himself, his day, anything really. "*Extroverted*"

Tara suddenly loved being around people. She wanted to retaliate, but Mischaqiel interrupted her.

"Well, that's three turns - we're done for the day. I'm happy to see you three are really getting into the game. I'll be back this same time tomorrow! In the meantime enjoy your new lives."
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Re: The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby deadite103 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:11 am

Great start I cant wait for more. It will be fun to see Tara become what she hates
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Re: The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby Ozhojabbe » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:33 pm

Chapter 2

Tara

After the game finished, Tara went home to her appartment without saying a word to her mom and dad. The experience of going from a high schooler living with her parents to being a young professional living on her own was a surreal one. Even though she could remember having lived on her own for several years now, it all felt very wrong on an instinctual level.

She needed to take stock of her new life.

She pulled out her phone and was disappointed to find that none of her favorite music was there anymore. Chelsea Wolfe, Evergrey, Cradle of Filth - it was all gone. This wasn't too big of an issue. She rebought a few of her favorite albums, and tried to blast them through her appartment. She was frustrated when she realized she had only put up the volume loud enough for herself to hear it.

That was only polite after all - she had neighbors, and she didn't want to get a noise complaint. Arrghh! No, that wasn't right. She wanted to say 'screw the neighbors' and blast her music like she always had when living with her parents, but every time she tried to adjust the volume louder she felt a pang of guilt and decided against it.

Alright, she could deal with this. It wasn't her first choice, but if she couldn't blast her music through the appartment she could at least wear headphones and crank the volume up as loud as she wanted. She searched her appartment and managed to find some headphones. Finally, she was listening to her music loud like she preferred.

Of course that was just one issue. The next order of business was her wardrobe. She went to her closet and found a bunch of pant suits, skirts and blouses in grey, navy, tan, brown and olive. She had a few items in black, but far fewer than she would have liked - and they were all a bit too professional for her tastes. She really needed to go on a shopping trip for something more like she used to wear.

But even as she thought this, a counter-proposal entered her brain. It didn't make sense to buy something that didn't meet her work's dress code, or that would prompt odd questions from her friends and acquaintances. She had a reputation to uphold, and going through a goth phase in her mid-20's probably wasn't the best way to work her way up the corporate ladder.

No! No! No! She had always insisted to her parents that her being goth wasn't a phase, and yet her own mind was now betraying her. She wasn't going through a phase, she *was* goth. She needed to cement that in her brain no matter what other changes the game might make to her. She needed to find her high school friends. Hopefully they'd be at the usual spot.

* * *

John and Elizabeth

John didn't know what to say to Tara when the game ended, and she rushed out of the house. He wasn't thrilled to know that demons were real and apparently very powerful. He was even less thrilled to know that his daughter had apparently been trafficking with them.

He looked at Elizabeth. Why had he ever married a pig like this? A high school dropout. 300 pounds. And still she felt the need to inflict herself on the world with her skimpy clothing! He shuddered looking at the folds of fat clearly visible thanks to her ill-advised midriff-bearing shirt.

He had to remind himself that she wasn't always like this. What had she been like before? She was in some sort of STEM field, and she was thin. He was sure of that. The woman he had married was better than this.

"Well, Elizabeth. What do you think we should do?" John asked.

She narrowed her dull eyes as she considered the question. "Well, uh, why don't we take advantage of your hot body," she carressed his stomach, "and do it in the living room with the blinds open so the neighbors can watch?"

John shook his head. Tara had really done a number on Elizabeth. "No, *ahem* dear. I mean what do you think we should do about this demonic presence that our daughter has summoned?"

Elizabeth was disappointed at him rejecting her proposal. She shrugged. "I dunno. We can't let her win."

John nodded in agreement. "We need to come up with a plan. We've already made her into a succesful businesswoman, which is more than I ever expected out of her. Maybe we can research words, and put together a strategy to shape her into our perfect daughter and keep you from doing too much damage to me. Then we can just use the wish to return ourselves to normal. We'll kill two birds with one stone."

Elizabeth didn't love the idea of researching words - it sounded a lot like studying, which she didn't really excel at. But she knew that Tara winning would be a dangerous thing. "Okay, you're the smarty pants software engineer. Why don't you make a program to find the most useful words for us, and we'll drill the list today and tomorrow so we can ensure victory over Tara."

"Sounds like as good of a plan as any."

* * *

Tara

Tara was relieved to see smoke as she approached the derelict building that she and her friends used as a respite from their overbearring parents. She peaked in one of the broken windows and saw her three best friends in the world: Velvet, Damien and Blaze.

A thought came unbidden into her mind. What kind of parents let kids smoke and hang out in a place like this? Plus, they'd never get jobs with the piercings and tattoos the all seemed to have. It was bad parenting all around.

Tara closed her eyes and did her best to banish those thoughts. These people were her whole world a few hours ago - no amount of magic could change that, right?

She went to the door, and gave the group's secret knock. She couldn't see it, but the three teenagers on the other side looked at each other in confusion. As far as they could tell, all three of them were accounted for so they didn't know who could be on the other side of the door.

Velvet was the one to answer the door. Tara had always been a little bit jealous of her, since she had been an early bloomer and tended to get more attention from boys as a result. Now all Tara could think was how silly she was to have been jealous of her. She was just so... young.

"Who the fuck are you?" the goth girl demanded.

Tara was hurt, but she tried her best to talk like she used to with Velvet. "I'll tell you who the f-, uh, f-," Crap, she couldn't swear - it wasn't ladylike. "I'll tell you who the *sigh* eff I am. I'm Tara, and we're best friends. Or we were, until I summoned a demon and ended up like this."

Velvet looked at the 20-something in front of her. She was clearly a basket-case of some sort. Why else would a professionally-dressed woman stalk some teenagers, learn their secret kock and try to sell them on a crazy story like that?

"Look, lady. I don't know what your deal is, but we can't give you the help you clearly need. Now would you please buzz off."

Velvet began to close the door, but Tara used her foot to stop her.

"Look, I know it sounds crazy, but you have to believe me! Look, I'll prove it to you. I know you guys had your fake ID's confiscated last week, maybe I could," Tara was actually finding it surprisingly hard to get the next words out, but she powered through it. "You know, buy some alcohol for you guys."

Velvet looked skeptical still, but Damien spoke up. "I say we should hear her story. Even if she's lying, we'll get free booze out of the deal."

Tara had soon procured the alcohol and given it to her young friends. She had to keep suppressing the thought that this was a very bad thing for a woman in her position to do (what would people say if they found out?) and tried to tell her story. None of them seemed very convinced, but at the end they seemed alright with letting her stick around to hang out. She seemed to be intriguingly crazy enough to keep around as an oddity, at least for now.

She tried talk with them like old times, but she just made herself feel a bit awkward. Her inability to swear or assume "bad" posture, was proving more of an obstacle than she had anticipated in reconnecting with her old friends. She couldn't even drink with them anymore - when Blaze pointed out that she hadn't partaken of the alcohol, she found herself politely declining. It was a work night, and she needed to wake up early tomorrow after all.

The distance she felt between her former best friends saddened her. Now she was just a stranger with an unlikely story. Why would they ever be friends with someone like her? Far from cementing her goth identity, this meeting made Tara feel more confused and depressed than before she had come here.

* * *

John and Elizabeth

John had grown frustrated with how slowly Elizabeth was learning the vocabulary list he had cooked up yesterday. He had already memorized his word list, and she was still struggling with her first 20 words. Luckily, she apparently only worked part time as a Walmart greeter in the current reality so she had most of the day to practice. He *almost* kissed her goodbye when he left for work, but he decided against it. Looking down at this rotund woman who barely moved from bed if she could help it, he felt nothing but revulsion.

His software job was the same as it always was. He didn't do much actual coding anymore, because he had managed to land himself a management role so he mainly made phone calls and made sure the other employees knew what they needed to do by scheduling more meetings than were strictly necessary. Throughout the day, he found himself glancing at his secretary more often than before. She was a pretty young thing, about 10 years his junior. She had come onto him once at work, and he had turned her down - explaining to her that he was a devout Christian and a married man.

Thinking about what he had to go home to now, he couldn't help but finding his mind wandering. Was it possible she still carried a torch for him? Sure, he was a Christian, but wasn't he also a man with needs...

* * *

Tara

Tara hated her job. Or rather, Tara hated that she loved her job. She was a Customer Relations Specialist, which was exactly the sort of job she had always told herself she'd never get, because it would feel like selling out. She hated that she enjoyed "Developing a strong and trusted relationship with customers through timely and accurate communications." She hated that she enjoyed "Managing a high volume of customer calls to ensure excellent customer service and satisfaction." And most of all she hated that she had apparently memorized her official job description and could quote it at will.

She got along great with everyone, and was quite the social butterfly. People she would have dismissed as fake or preppy in another life were her close friends. The whole thing was a nightmare. She wanted to scream at everyone that *they* were the leeches of society, *they* were the problem, but instead she found herself smiling pleasantly at these people, complimenting them on their work, and making vapid small talk with them.

Her dad was going to pay for this. She would make sure of that.

* * *

Game Time

Tara knocked on the door to her parents house about 10 minutes before the game was supposed to resume. A minute or two passed and she wondered if they were going to leave her waiting outside as some petty form of revenge for everything she had done. However, a few moments later her dad opened the door.

He had a cold look, but he beckoned her inside. They were all assembled, and Tara pulled out the bone dice and set them on the floor. Soon the room was filled with smoke and when the smoke cleared they were again face-to-face with Mischaqiel.

The demon smiled. "I've been watching you all enjoy your new lives. It seems there's been a few interesting developments that *I* wasn't responsible for. Isn't that right, John?"

Tara wondered what he meant. John found himself sweating. Was the demon talking about the word lists, or... the secretary? Either way, he didn't want the demon to say anything more.

Mischaqiel laughed. "Don't worry, John, all of your secrets are safe with me. My lips are sealed. However, there are going to be a few changes from yesterday's rules. The first, is that you three now only have 15 seconds to come up with your words."

John privately celebrated. Since he and Elizabeth had been drilling their word lists, this would give them a big advantage.

"The second, is we're going the opposite order as before."

John's heart skipped a beat. The lists he and Elizabeth had practiced were almost useless now. All the words he had memorized were intended to mould and improve their daughter, and all the words Elizabeth had memorized were inteded to make neutral to positive changes to himself. He might be able to remember a few words from Elizabeth's list, but he was sure that she had never even looked at his.

Mischaqiel smiled knowingly. "Well, Tara you're still starting us off. The last word was 'extroverted.' What's it going to be?"

Tara could hardly believe her luck, after all the crap her dad had made her put up with over the last day and a half she would get her sweet revenge. "*Dimwitted*"

John felt his thoughts slowing to a snail's pace. If he knew a few words from Elizabeth's list before, he definitely didn't now. (He could barely remember the words from his now useless list.) With only 15 seconds, and an intellect a fraction of what he had before, he didn't know what word to do. His word would affect his wife, maybe he could make her less fat or something? "*Dainty*"

Elizabeth found herself shrinking down to a size closer to what she used to have. When she was done, she was quite short with far more subtle curves. Well, it beat being fat. Still, she needed to come up with a Y word. She knew they had a plan to improve their daughter and win the wish, but she couldn't think of any good words... "*Young*"

Tara felt tired all of a sudden. A few decades worth of memories flooded her mind. She was no longer a yuppie, but a well-established businesswoman in her late 40's. She had never married - she was too career-oriented for something like that. Her parents had not only turned her into what she hated, but they had taken away her youth. Oh, they were going to get it now. "*Gay*"

It was like a switch flipped in John's head. He no longer felt attracted to Elizabeth. Why should he? She was his beard. She knew what the situation was, but she loved him even if he could never feel the same way. It made him sad to think how many years she had wasted on him. "*Young*"

Elizabeth found herself being filled with a restless energy. Her breasts might have shrunk a bit, but she didn't care. She was 18 years old and the world was her oyster. She had managed to marry a sugar daddy who didn't even want to have sex with her because he was gay - how much better could life get for a recent high school dropout? She looked at the businesswoman who she nonsensensically remembered was her daughter. Oh, right. She was playing a game, wasn't she? What words began with G? She couldn't help but think about how old Tara looked. "*Grandmother*"

This time, everyone's memories shifted. Tara suddenly remembered how disappointed she was in her granddaughter Elizabeth. Dropping out of school, and marrying a closeted gay man? She had hoped Elizabeth would turn out differently from her mother, but it seemed the apple didn't fall far from the tree. She looked at her grandson-in-law, John. Well, if her dropout of a granddaughter was going to live with such a spectacularly dumb man, she could at least make them comfortable. "*Rich*" After she said the word, she had a flash of memory. Wait - wasn't she trying to screw her parents over? She was lost in confusion as she tried to remember what her relationship to these two people were.

While Tara was mired in confusion, the house around them changed. No longer was it the product of one middle class income, but now represented John's new status as the heir to a multimillion dollar fortune. John was grateful that Tara had chosen to do that for him and his wife, especially given the odd nature of their situation. He wanted to do something nice for his young beard. "*Happy*"

This turned out to be a bit of a mistake. Elizabeth was a highschool dropout, and had managed to marry a millionaire. She was already happy. John's words instead had the effect of making her deeply unhappy with her situation. Sure, the perks of being married to a rich man were nice, but since he was gay she never got any sexual satisfaction. No matter - she would just have to seek it elsewhere. She would have to careful, since their prenup had a cheating clause but she was sure she could be discrete without issue. Elizabeth didn't see the need to be creative with her word. "*Young*"

Mischaqiel laughed as Tara found herself again 17 years old. Her confusion was only increased by this change. The confusion quickly changed to anger when she realized that her outfit had not changed back to a goth outfit.

Mischaqiel spoke. "That's all three turns for today. I'm not thrilled that you guys used 'young' three times tonight. I might have to institute a no repeats rule. In any case, I will see you three tomorrow." He turned to Tara. "I hope you enjoy your new sister," he said pointing at Elizabeth. "Ta-ta!"
Last edited by Ozhojabbe on Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby audipwr87 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:27 am

This has been a great story so far! I love the twists and turns you use in this story. I cant wait to read more!
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Re: The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby deadite103 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:10 am

I can't wait for more. Seeing tara fight being a yuppie was awsome
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Re: The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby KyraBenoit » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:32 am

Fun story. I'm enjoying it a lot. Clever idea. Not to throw water on it, but "Dumb" ends in "B", and "Dainty" begins with "D", so ...
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Re: The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby Pigs Brains » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:34 am

Very good story , and a game that should be repeated often.
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Re: The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby Matt L. » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:22 pm

Enjoying your story thus far, very nicely written.

Cheers, Matt
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Re: The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby Ozhojabbe » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:44 pm

KyraBenoit wrote:Not to throw water on it, but "Dumb" ends in "B", and "Dainty" begins with "D", so ...


Oops, thanks for pointing this out. I changed 'dumb' to 'dimwitted.'
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Re: The Second Word Game (WG, IQ, various changes)

Postby Ozhojabbe » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:46 pm

Chapter 3

Tara

In the immediate aftermath of the game, Tara didn't know how to feel. She had apparently been staying a while at John's house thanks to some intervention on her sister/granddaughter/mother's (which was it originally?) part. Their mom had been all in favor of it - she knew she couldn't provide the kind of life John could for her two daughters.

Wait a minute. If Elizabeth was originally her... mother? Who was taking the role of Tara's and Elizabeth's mom now? Had the game created a new person, or just rearranged people's memories?

She tried to call their mom, but just got a voicemail. She wanted to ask Elizabeth about it, but she had disappeared without telling anyone where she had gone. Oh well, she supposed that mystery would have to wait.

No, her first true order of business was to celebrate being a teenager again. She was *this* close to reclaiming her goth identity, she could feel it. She frowned in the mirror at her current get up. She was wearing a pink, collared shirt under a navy blue shrug and an eggshell skirt. Her purse was hot pink.

Okay, she definitely had some work to do. She asked John if she could borrow some money, and he was all too happy to oblige citing her excellent grades this last semester. Well, that was definitely a perk of the new arrangement.

She took one of John's many cars and went to the mall.

At the mall she was surprised when she ran into a girl from her class.

"Oh, Vanessa! It's so great to see you, how have you been?" Tara found herself saying, much to her dismay.

Her ideal mall trip had always involved as little human interaction as possible. She preferred to get in, buy what she needed, and get out. Talking to someone, especially a cheerleader-type like Vanessa was antithetical to this philosophy.

"Oh, Tara. Wow, didn't think I'd run into you here. Doesn't your sister's sugar daddy have people for this sort of thing?"

Tara laughed. Yuck. "He does, but I prefer to go shopping myself. Having someone else do it for you isn't the same, and I'd miss out on the possibility of bumping into old friends like you."

Friends? Tara and Vanessa were only acquaintances *at best* in this reality, and she had hated Vanessa's guts before the game. Tara hated that she was just instinctively acting out the role of a people pleaser. Was this somehow a remnant of yuppie, or was ladylike more all-encompassing than she had thought?

"Well, I was just going to meet up with Jenny. Did you want to join us Tara?"

Tara wanted to say no. She wanted to get out of her preppy outfit, and back into a goth one. She wanted to reconnect with Velvet, Damien and Blaze now that she was a teenager again. But she found herself unable to turn down an offer like this from someone like Vanessa.

"That sounds great to me! You know, John gave me way more money than I need - maybe I can buy you and Jenny some outfits while we're out?"

Tara wanted to scream. When did she become so fake?

* * *

Elizabeth

It was several hours after the game, and Elizabeth was on the prowl. She knew the best bars and clubs in town required you to be over 21, but when she began planning her night out one of her girlfriends told her about a club where the bouncers and bartenders were more than happy to take bribes.

She admired the lights and writhing mass of people when she got in. This was definitely her kind of place. It didn't take long before she found a partner - a total frat type - to dance with. If you could call it "dancing."

Elizabeth didn't know it, but she was reinventing many of the moves from the Jamaican dance style known as daggering. But for their clothes, her and her partner were practically having sex right there on the dance floor.

That wasn't enough to satisfy Elizabeth's exhibitionist streak though. She began leading her partner to the Western wall of the club. He hoped that she was leading them to a more private place where they could as intimate as she clearly wanted to be.

Elizabeth tried to remember the last time she had been sexually satisfied. She had been married to John for a year, and that felt like an eternity to her. Even though it was ill-advised given their prenup, she knew she needed this. (Besides, the prenup was only to protect John's illustrious family name - given his proclivities, he probably didn't care much one way or the other about it, right?)

"Fuck me against this wall," Elizabeth demanded lifting her skirt slightly, and adjusting her panties.

Her partner looked around in confusion. Rather than being taken to a private location, they were very publicly located right now. On a good day he might have worried about being kicked out of the club, but he had had enough to drink that the risk of being caught only improved the mood for him. He unzipped his pants, but tried to use one hand to keep them mostly up - it probably wouldn't fool anyone beyond a cursory inspection, but he was too drunk to really care.

He began fucking her right up against the wall. It didn't take long for the dancers near them to begin taking notice and press away in disgust. A few stopped dancing entirely, and just watched in shock at what was happening.

Elizabeth drank in the attention they were getting. Until now, something like this had only been a fantasy, or manifested in tamer acts like deliberately moaning loudly in the hopes that someone would hear her in the act. It was better than she had ever imagined - this was definitely the perfect way to end her long drought.

Their dancing had already worked them both up, and it wasn't long before Elizabeth found herself riding the peaks of her first orgasm of the night, but before her partner could finish she saw a bouncer weaving through the crowd towards them. This sent her into higher plateau's of arousal than she ever thought possible. She didn't even care what happened next.

* * *

John

John was with his lover, Frank, when he got the call. Elizabeth was at the police station on charges of public indecency, and she was asking him to bail her out. He sighed. He didn't mind her screwing around behind his back, she was just his beard and nothing more, but he didn't appreciate her taking the risk of providing the tabloids with ammunition against him. It was bad enough that he was already under greater public scrutiny for marrying someone nearly three decades his junior.

He made a few calls. He was going to keep this whole mess as private as possible. If word got out, Elizabeth would have outlived her usefulness and he would invoke their prenup without pity, but he hoped it wouldn't have to come to that.

Once he was done, he rejoined Frank in the bedroom.

"Is everything alright, honey?" Frank asked as he assumed the role of big spoon.

"Everything's fine, it was just something with Elizabeth." John said shaking his head.

"I don't understand why you keep her around. It's 2017, a rich guy like you shouldn't need a beard."

John knew he was right. Why did he keep up this farce, trading one controversy for another? Wait... no. He knew why. The game. He hadn't always been richer than god, and a closeted gay man. He used to love Elizabeth, and Tara had once been his disappointing... daughter? That all felt like another life, now. It scared him how easy it was to forget what he once was, and just accept this new reality - even when aspects of it didn't really add up.

John turned to Frank. "I don't really want to talk about it right now."

* * *

Tara

Tara hung out with Vanessa and Jenny until the mall closed. She didn't buy anything that she had come there to buy, but she did buy a lot of preppy outfits she would probably only wear once as well as a few well-placed gifts here or there for her new "friends."

She didn't even remember that she had wanted to reconnect with Velvet and the others until she was already home. Well, she supposed she would just have to try and talk to them at school the next day.

The next day rolled around, and Tara, Elizabeth and John all ate breakfast making rather icy small talk about nothing in particular. Tara didn't know the whole story, but apparently Elizabeth had managed to get arrested last night. John had succeeded in making the charges go away, and suppressed any images that might have found their way to the press, but he was not happy with her.

Tara found the way the three of them interacted *so* strange. Even though they knew about the game, Tara was surprised by how easily her mom and dad seemed to embrace their new reality. Sure, even she sometimes caught herself thinking of Elizabeth as her older sister or forgetting John was her dad, but her visceral rejection of who she had become seemed to act as a natural countermeasure to completely forgetting the way things used to be.

Were they also screaming on the inside at how out of character they were acting, or had they just found it easier to give up their old identities and accept their new realities? (Or perhaps the explanation was even simpler than that, Tara was the only one who hadn't had her head messed up by a word like 'educated' or 'dimwitted'...)

After she finished her breakfast musings, Tara went to school. She was excited to find that Damien and Blaze were in her first period Math class, but when she tried to join them in the back of the room, they rolled their eyes and switched seats to get away from her.

She got up, and sat next to them again. "Come one guys, can't we be friends?"

Blaze spoke up. "Why the hell would we want to be friends with someone like you?"

"Look guys, I may not dress like you, but I like the same kind of music - like I love..." Tara started to privately panic when she realized she couldn't remember any of the bands she used to listen to. She just needed to remember one, to get her foot in the door - she could always relearn to appreciate the music later, right? "Uh, Crib of Rot?"

"You mean Cradle of Filth?" Blaze said in disgust. "Yeah, sounds like you're a really big fan of them."

Blaze and Damien relocated a second time, and this time Tara didn't follow them.

Vanessa sat down next to her. "Tara, you're a saint for trying to reach out to those unfortunate souls, but you should know they're a lost cause. Plus, I'm sure being seen with them won't do you any favors socially."

Tara wanted to lay he head down on her desk and just cry, but instead she just managed to say sadly, "Yeah, I guess you're right."

Things didn't go any better at lunch when she tried to sit with her old friends. The worst thing was she couldn't manage to stay unhappy about it. She found herself dismissing the trio with thoughts like 'whatever, they're kind of creepy anyways' and doubling down on her relationship with Vanessa and Jenny.

When she finally got home for the game, she was ready to see heads roll.

* * *

Game Time

The three competitors had gathered in an a room where they wouldn't be bothered by servants and the like. They were sitting in silence, waiting for the dice in front of them to begin smoking.

Finally, John couldn't resist the urge to speak any more. "Tara, I think we need to talk about the game. I know we had some bad blood before all of this, but surely we've screwed each other up enough to sate our collective desire for revenge? Why don't we bury the hatchet, and come up with a strategy to make this game work out well for us, no matter who gets the wish?"

Tara was surprised by the man's words. It appeared that he was capable of remembering more than he tended to let on.

"Jo-, uh, dad. I'm sorry, but I..." she almost didn't want to say it. She wanted to forget the years of anger and angst. She wanted to forget how horrible being a yuppie, and a... proto-yuppie had been the last two days. But she couldn't. "I'm not going to go easy on you guys, or whatever it is you're trying to convince me to do. I was willing to sell my soul for this before, and I'm not about to back down now."

John was saddened that Tara felt that way. He really wondered where things had gone wrong. He and Elizabeth hadn't been that bad had they? He looked over at his young wife, who wasn't even paying attention to their conversation. She was chewing her gum, and going through her phone trying to find the best pictures to put up on Instagram.

Suddenly, the room filled with smoke, and Mischaqiel's shark-like smile was in front of the three competitors. "Good, good. I can't tell you how happy I am you turned down his little offer - that would have made things quite boring for me, and I don't like to be bored."

Elizabeth looked up from her frozen phone in disappointment, and Mischaqiel continued. "Case in point - yesterday's repeated use of the word 'young'. I've decided to make the following changes to the rules: First, you all only have 8 seconds to come up with your words - that was going to happen no matter what."

Nobody was too surprised by that. The time apparently got shorter every day.

"Second, from here on out if any of you say a word that was already said before, you lose. I'm also implementing a small penalty to Elizabeth and John for repeating words."

John wanted to protest, "That's not fair! That wasn't even a rule-"

"SILENCE MORTAL! I don't care if its fair. You bored me, so you get a penalty. Your penalty is that for today's rounds both of you have to say two words instead of one with your allotted time."

This mollified John somewhat. The 8 second time limit would make it tight, but two words was also twice as many opportunities to mess with their opponents. Maybe they could manage a win after all.

"Now, Tara you'll start us off again. You're free to choose the direction of play. The last word was 'young.'"

Tara considered. Who was the bigger threat? She looked from her dad, to her bubblegum chewing sister, er, mom. It was pretty clear who she needed to eliminate first. "I'll have my dad follow me, and choose the word *Geezer*"

John watched as the skin on his arm grew loose and developed liver spots. He didn't have a mirror, but he could feel his face sagging. He found himself slouching forward until a cane appeared in his hand. He didn't have time to worry about this transformation - he needed to come up with two words for his wife. "*Ravishing*, and uh..." Crap, was he going to lose on the first round? "*Girl*!"

Elizabeth felt herself growing taller, and her breasts shrinking. In her pants she felt the most curious sensation. Soon, Elijah stood there looking at his husband and sister. The 18-year-old was still dumb as a rock, but what he lacked in book smarts he more than made up for in appearance. He would have given Adonis a run for his money. "Uh, my turn I guess." He didn't want to do anything *too* bad to his sister. "*Lesbian*... and... *Neat*" Those would be pretty harmless, right?

Tara suddenly found herself unhappy with the room they were in. Sure, it wasn't *that* bad, but she suddenly noticed all the ways in which John kept his room disorganized. The other change was more subtle. Tara's memories of boyfriends started to disappear one by one, replaced by memories of girlfriends. For her word, she had half a mind to pick 'tidy' to improve the surrounding conditions, but she knew that would be a waste of a turn - she wanted that wish and she needed to sabotage her opponents if she was going to do that. "*Tired*"

John suddenly felt exhausted. He could barely keep his eyes open. He had to think of a word... but, he was too tired. It would be so easy to just doze off and let Elijah handle everything...

Mischaqiel's discordant laughter filled the room. "It would appear John was eliminated. Elijah, you have 8 seconds. The last word was 'tired.'"

Elijah considered his options. He needed to keep his sister from winning, but he was still reluctant to do anything too bad to her. "*Drunk* and, er..." Crap. Elijah realized too late that K was proving to be a fairly difficult letter.

Tara suddenly felt like she had taken *way* too many shots. She was beyond wasted. She could barely sit up straight, and when she tried to put her arm down to steady herself, she fell off the chair she was sitting on and decided to just stay there after a few futile attempts to stand up. She could barely see straight, let alone think straight and she was sure that Elijah had won with this move.

So it was a surprise when her nose was filled with the smell of sulfur, and she heard a whisper in her ear. "Congratulations, Tara. You've won. What do you wish for?"

Tara tried to process the words but she was spectacularly sloshed. "I wizh..." She barely knew what she was saying. "I wizh I wazn shooo drunk."

Mischaqiel snapped his fingers, and Tara's haze lifted. She looked around in confusion - what exactly had just happened?

"Well, thank you three for a most... entertaining game." The demon cackled. "I'll be taking these with me," he picked up the dice, "but feel free to seek out another one of my games. I love rematches."

He disappeared in a puff of smoke, and the world started moving again, leaving the three of them to sit there in stunned silence.

* * *

Epilogue

John and Elijah were quite the May-December romance. An octogenarian millionaire, and his 18-year-old husband who never even graduated high school. Most people assumed that Elijah was just a gold digger, but the two of them actually cared quite deeply about each other, and just wanted to enjoy the brief time they had together. Every now and then, something small would remind them of their old lives, but this never caused too much strife - all things considered they had done pretty well for themselves. Sure, John had to occasionally use his considerable wealth to shield the two of them from the consequences of indulging Elijah's exhibitionism, but what relationship didn't have its ups and downs?

Tara on the other hand did not count herself so lucky. When Elijah explained the wish she had made when she was blackout drunk, she wanted to pull her hair out. She was still stuck acting like exactly the kind of person she hated, and she didn't let herself forget how she was *supposed* to be. She inexorably drifted from the people she wanted to be friends with, and found herself magnetically attracted to "friendships" with fake people who she loathed. Her one solace was her girlfriend Karen, who was almost as much of a neat freak as her, and who was the only person besides John and Elijah she ever told about the game. She didn't care how long it would take, she was going to find another one of Mischaqiel's games, and she was going to set things right. She and Karen were already putting together a game-plan for when that fateful day arrived.
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