The Teaser Game

Yikes. I hadn’t had nearly enough to drink to be ready for this conversation again. I chewed on the inside of my cheek, preparing to chomp down if my emotions tried any funny business. Like crying.

Next: cry

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[name_u]Dylan[/name_u] opened his mouth to reply, but yet another cry from the crew suddenly cut through the still, salty air:

“Ahoy! Pirates! Two points abaft the beam, starboard side!”

Next word: open

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It was light and thin, followed by faint clicks, and the door opened without so much as a creak. [name_f]Ksenia[/name_f] tucked something into her pocket as she entered, holding a plate of food with the other hand.

“When did you learn how to pick a lock?” I asked.

She shrugged. “When I was, like, six.”

Next: lock


We staggered to the door, and I shifted to pull my phone out of my pocket. After a tap, the lock clicked open, and I pushed open the door. Our feet echoed on the tile. I pretended not to take note on how Ellory wasn’t here yet, how her car wasn’t in the driveway, the lights were off. Besides the sounds we were making, the house was dead silent.

next: silent

“Oh, no, no!” [name_u]Hali[/name_u] exclaimed. “I’m just dreading the thought of disturbing that silent church.”

“Well, they’re people of God.” [name_m]Xavier[/name_m] added optimistically, “Let’s hope they’re in a forgiving mood.”

Next word: mood

[name_u]Aubrey[/name_u] returned to the barracks after mission training to find it empty, much to his relief as he was drenched in sweat and not in the mood to fight anyone for a spot in the showers.

Next: empty

I turned my attention to the passing scenery, which was nothing but livestock and deserted fields. I looked to the sky, only to find it nearly empty of clouds.
I was bored.

next: nothing

“I’m lonely, gay, and depressed, Viv,” she said, squeezing her eyes shut. “Nothing has changed, what did you expect? I’m living that good life, leave me alone.”

next: expect

Something seems odd about the whole afternoon after I get out of school. I can’t put my finger on what it is until supper time, when I go into the kitchen to eat and I see [name_u]Julie[/name_u] sitting at the table. It’s then that I realize I haven’t seen her yet since coming home from school. That’s weird. I always see her right away when I come home from school. I was expecting her to tell me all about her day and about Makenna’s trip. But I haven’t seen her until now, and she hardly glances up when I come into the room.
Next word: realize

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I groaned in pain and rolled onto my other side.
“I warned you about the pie,” I coughed. “It really was poisoned.”
“We don’t know that.” [name_u]Robin[/name_u] countered.
“Well, what else did we eat that [name_u]Asher[/name_u] didn’t?”
[name_u]Robin[/name_u] was silent for a minute, then seemed to realize I had made a valid point.
“Well, who poisoned us?” he asked.
I had yet to figure that out.

next word: silent

It was as if every member of the room had been dipped in starch; everyone was stiff, silent, and itching. Itching to leave, itching to break the silence, itching to yell and scream and run.

Of course, nobody actually showed these things. We were all like robots: scoop food, bring to mouth, eat food, swallow. Maybe, with a few water sips thrown in here or there.

next: water

[name_m]Nicanor[/name_m] stumbled in the dark, falling hard onto the remains of an ornate fountain. The cracked stone scraped his cheek. He put a hand to his face–it was wet, with blood or tears or the scummy water from the crumbling fountain basin, he didn’t know.

next word: remains

The next month passed the same as the others. [name_f]April[/name_f] was unseasonably grey, and still the nights remained chilly. Astrid’s parents stopped by once at the end of [name_u]March[/name_u], but she had been living alone in the great big house since then, watching movies and eating nothing but carbs.

next: movie

I wanted to put on sweatpants and take a shower, then watch some cheesy movies, though not necessarily in that order.

next: shower

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“I just missed the brunt of the shower. I was held up in philosophy with Professor Smedley – what a drag. By the time he ended class, and I ventured outside, there was only the mildest drizzle.”

Next word: drag

He dragged a comb down the center of her head, then set the hair over each of her shoulders as he fixed the part. His fingers were soft and delicate, poised to handle the finest glass rather than her somewhat scraggly hair.

Next: soft

“Yes, indeed.” [name_m]Eric[/name_m] kissed her lips softly, “Let’s head down to breakfast, shall we?”

Next word: breakfast

[name_u]Kit[/name_u] rolled their eyes as [name_f]Rose[/name_f] continued to kick her heels against the wall. “Why are you concerned about me? Listen, I ate breakfast, are you happy?”
“What did you eat, then?”

Next: concerned

But now, he wasn’t pushing at my answer, he had nothing smart to snap back, nothing to add, and was at a loss for words. This made me wonder what was wrong with him. Not in a flippant, frustrated manner, but more so a tired, concerned approach. He had so many secrets, and I needed so many answers. And as hard as I tried, I kept thinking about him.

This, of course, was entirely frustrating.

next: frustrate

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[name_m]Xavier[/name_m] growled, completely frustrated with his wife at the present moment.

Next word: growl