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Wild Childs; A saga in 7 parts
Topic Started: May 20 2014, 03:55 PM (854 Views)
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the bass and the tweeters make the speakers go to war
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Day One
0:00:04 into broadcast


His alarm clock - red, angry digits - glared at him, spelling out 4:17, one little red light flickering beside the AM on the side of the clock. He rubbed his free hand over his four day’s growth of stubble, bringing thumb and forefinger to rub at tired, shadowed eyes as his other hand clutched a cell phone to his ear.


“Dude. Wake up, man.”

“Chuck?” he asked blearily, blindly searching for his bedside lamp. Fumbling, he managed to flick the switch on, sit up in bed, rub his hand over his face again.

“This had better be really-”

“Shut up, Bill. Have you checked the hub?”

A pause, as Bill eased the knot in his right shoulder, frowning at the ceiling. The words meant something to him, woke an anxiety, a fear, in him that had long remained dormant.

He stilled on the bed, his voice strained. “Not since the end of the last time.”

“Check the hub. It’s started again.”

Bill stared at the phone. His clock. His hand.


“Fuck if I know. But the betting’s opening in two hours, and the streams are-” key tapping sounded through the phone, a few clicks - “live for five minutes and thirty two seconds.”

Bill remained silent, his fingers tightening on the phone.

“Bill, seriously man. You need to get in on this. You need to make up for-”

“I don’t need to make up for shit, Chuck.”

Chuck paused, and Bill could almost see him stepping back, circling, looking for a new angle of approach. “Okay, fair enough. But you know people on the hub still blame you for Polanski, right?”


“Look, I know it wasn’t your fault that you bet on a losing horse, and it wasn’t yours that she got everyone else’s horse blown to shit. But you need to turn it around, now. Think of the cash to be made, man. Think of Ray’s smug fucking face when you beat him this time. You know he’s still gloating over picking the Russian out of a fucking hat?”

Bill scratched his ear, sighed. Threw the covers off of his legs.

“Does Ray know?”

“He’s having phone trouble - apparently some genius hacked his Android, made it so he doesn’t get Hub updates.”

“Would this genius also have happened to give me advance notice?”

“The very same genius, as a matter of fact.”

Bill made his way to his laptop, booted it up. “I’ll have my picks to you in an hour.”

“Six thirty, the betting opens. Chat opens up at seven. I’d take a look at stream B040 - kid’s fucking huge.”

“One hour, Chuck.”

Bill hung up his phone, opened up his browser, typed in an IP address, a username, a password.

The Hub suddenly flared to life on his monitor, the screen filling with live feeds. In the corner, a chat room blinked past, rapid fire discussion ranging from sympathy to anger to excitement to despair. Someone asked how they could live with themselves - how they could gamble on children’s lives.

Someone else allcaps’d that they were going to hell.

Bill minimized the chat.

Slipped on his glasses.

Cracked his knuckles.

Bill got to work.
A list of the dying, a list of the damned.

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0:01:02 into broadcast

His phone bleeped, breaking him out of his reverie of watching closely, memorizing movements, names. Observing past injuries, weighing mental health, dismissing or moving kids from definitely not to maybe columns. He worked with a pad and pen, an extra tucked behind his ear, dressed only in a T-shirt that hung off of his thin frame and sweatpants that were stained with cheese and coffee, sweatpants that seemed to live on him the past few weeks.

He checked his phone, found an AOL Message from XRay99:

Hey fuckwit watching streams?

Yeah. Some good candidates this time around.
You watching, or still having phone problems?

you always were a cunt

Bill snorted, crossed B076 off of his list. Unhinged and shot didn’t bode well for the future. He pursed his lips, moved B040 from ‘no’ to ‘maybe’ as he challenged a girl with a gun. Boy had stones.

Another bleep.

why even do you try
the closest you ever got was with the chinese kid
hub still hates u for polanski

He wasn’t chinese

whatever the fuck
something weird
your just gonna screw it up again

Don’t hate on me because chuck fucked your phone up, Ray.

nah didnt slow me down
i got my picks already

Bill tossed the phone aside again, moved B044 to the maybe pile when he snagged a hedge clipper. Considered, then added G003 to his maybes when she fired a crossbow at him.

Eliminated everyone who had anything to do with the complete clusterfuck of the girl hanging from the cliff.

trying to ignore me?
wont work though fag
got this in the bag already
picked Riz out of the gate, won
picked the russian out of the gate, won there too

You didn’t. You won the consolation prize.
Nanahuro picked Nguyen and won last time.

nanas a faggot
youre a faggot too
betting against a bunch of faggots

You’re not going to distract me, Ray.

picking another suicidal maniac?
trying to ruin the bets for us again?
whos gonna escape this time you cunt
better pick them and ruin the rest of our fun

Goodbye, Ray.

Bill switched off the phone, checked the time. Over an hour until the betting opened, and he had to narrow down to four out of 37 picks.

He tapped his lip with the pen, watched the 37 streams, calculated.

Then, he crossed off some names.
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0:2:30 into broadcast

Bill’s phone rang as he was brushing his teeth.

“You must be fucking joking me, Billy,”

“‘Lo, Jahh,” Bill said, not bothering to spit the mouthful of Mint Explosion into the sink.

“You picked Cooper? Mara Eye Candy? Fucking Maynard Hurst?”

“Besht Pihs oo o’ tha lisht.”

“Jesus fucking christ, Billy. Jesus fucking H Christ. I thought you knew how to pick ‘em when you snagged up Raider or whatever last time, I really did. Even though Polanski never worked out, I got it - sort of a crazy survivalist, which I really could dig. But you’re picking eye candy and fucking wimps out of a pot of gold mines. Check this -”

Jack paused, affording Bill the time to spit the green shit into the sink, move to gargling as Jack yelled something at his wife.

“Sorry. Look at our roster, Billy. Football players, gun nuts, one survivalist chick. Christ, we have one hardcore bitch who got a Scythe, and she ain’t bad to look at, either. The deaf kid got a fucking automatic shotgun.”

Jack paused at the lack of reaction. “A fucking automatic shotgun. The very same one the Ruskie got last time. Do you know-”

“I’m not trading you my picks, Jack.”

Jack paused, before bellowing a cackle into the phone, forcing Bill to move it a good six inches away.

“I like you, Billy. Fuck, but you have spunk. If one - no, scratch that - if any of your scrawny cast of freaks makes it past the fifty mark, I’ll personally give you a hundred bucks.”

“Per kid?”

“Sure! Yeah, I’ll give you a hundred bucks a kid if they make it that far. Fuckin’ Hurst. Jesus christ. Boy will get eaten the fuck alive.”

“Just remember the hundred, Jack,” Bill said, and hung up the phone.

He looked at his list of four, scrawled on a piece of lined paper, hanging from his mirror.

Maynard Hurst
Amaranta Montalvo
Cooper Komorowski
Phoebe Cho

He placed a fingertip to it - for luck, for strength - and remembered another time, when only one name on there mattered.

Another time, when he knew she was going to kill herself, hurt others, in her quest to break free.

Another time, when he could only watch, stricken, when she failed.

“There isn’t a Liz here,” he said, softly, trailing his fingertip down the paper.

He left the bathroom.
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Day Two
1:12:30 into broadcast

By Joan S. Withers

Bill drank his coffee slowly, reading the paper thoroughly for any sort of clue as to the identity of the source, as the Hub’s chatroom raged and rampaged about B027 versus B076 and G054 versus B040. They voted on who they thought was hottest, what the odds were at for each stream, how long until there was fifty left, thirty, ten, five.

On the news in the corner of his hotel room, images were shown of the mass funeral for the Aurora High students a month ago, undercut with grainy images pulled from the livestream - images that were a quarter as clear as the actual streams themselves.

He wondered how newsmen slept at night when they took images of dying kids, added more film grain, and slapped it on the news.

He wondered if wondering that made him a hypocrite.

His phone bleeped twice - text message - and he finished his coffee, not in any hurry to answer it. Ray had just traded up in the world - got himself B01 for a trade with a casual gambler - and he wasn’t in the mood for more gloating, cunt-calling, and general dour attitudes.

Ever since the third time it happened - and the first version of the Hub had arrived - Bill and Ray had never seen eye to eye. Ray drew Riz, and Bill had thrown his lot in with Trish, putting the two pretty well at odds for the majority of the betting process.

Last time, Ray had bet on Nagazawa.

One eye on the scrolling chat, trawling for any data he’d missed when going to the bathroom, Bill lifted his phone, glanced at it.

hey babe. missed u. coming home soon?

Bill fingered the phone, rotating it between his hands, pondering a reply. He watched as someone stated how sickening this practice was to them, watched as someone else called them a nigger, another calling G01 ‘the dumb slut’. He closed his eyes, rubbed his temples, stared at his phone.


He paused. Typed some more.

I think we’re moving a little too fast. I’ll call you.

Bill set the phone down on the counter, slid it away from his laptop. Clasping his fingers in his lap, he watched intently as B079 travelled through the forest. His phone bleeped twice.

He ignored it.
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Hey, Jess. Got a proposition for ya.

hey, honey! shoot!

You have Gavin Hunter, right?

i sure do! he’s not looking like a good pick, though. looking to trade him, actually!

How about you try to make sure Ray doesn’t get him?

oh? thinking he’s a winner?

Could be. Not sure yet.

no problemo, sweetie. i’ll do my best. :)

hey fucknugget guess what i got now


real funny you fucking cunt
had to go through that bitch like six times but i got him

Is that supposed to mean something to me, Ray?

yeah your internally screaming
fuckin snatched your secret winner
going right to the top this time faggot
fuck you and fuck nana

Hope that works out for you.

He ran his fingers along thighs, silky smooth against rough calluses, seeking and searching until he found nothing but her. She gasped, a little, soft sound into his ear, followed by a chuckle - a pained one, sounding like her throat was raw. He wanted to sooth the scars he found at her neck, ran his tongue along them, murmured into her ear as she twitched and sighed, a slow, sly smile creeping across her lips.

“Thank you for believing in me, Bill,” she croaked.

He woke up.

The sheets were sweaty.

He was still alone.
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Day Five

5:17:34 into broadcast

Chaos reigned. The chat on the side of the hub exploded in anger and anguish, emotions ranging from shocked acceptance to tired understanding. Nobody liked it when the terrorists blew collars - less room for gloating and posturing, more room for frustrated annoyance.

And B051 had single handedly taken another two people out of the race.

The television was on in the background, filling the hotel room with noise about some arrest of a privately funded therapist, a shooting down in a mall plaza of New Mexico, some sort of escalating situation between Iran and Palistan. Most of it was absorbed and discarded with ease as he kept his focus on the chat, on the blame games and grumblings, arguments getting heated and devolving into base insults and furious curses. He waited, watched, for the right moment.

challgall101: fucker isnt showing hsi face is he ?
morlen: can’t even believe it, man, what the fuck
challgall101: he fuckign sho t my girlsc ollar what
challgall101: but he ruin ed thegame for it
morlen: what a piece of shit. where is he
uuur: Who fucking knows, probably hiding in a hole XD
shallamon: what a punk, fucking punk, are they going to kil lall of them now

Almost on schedule, his AIM opened.

you fucking played me

Hello, Ray.

youve gone too far this time cunt
i know where you are now

Not sure what you’re talking about, Ray.
Sorry to hear about B051. That must’ve sucked! :(
I have some experience into what you’re going through, if you want?

dont you fucking dare patronize me
shouldve just ended you when polanski fucking happened
you piece of shit

You started believing it, didn’t you?
You started having hope in his plan the second you knew he wasn’t going to kill anyone. And part of you started rooting for him.
Then more and more time passed, and it wasn’t just rooting for him anymore.

you knew id get him from jess
because you told her not to give him to me

You realized that he’s a person, not an easy way to make money.
I don’t know what you’re talking about.

knew id find out about it so you set a fucking trap

I just gave a friend some advice, is all.

you dont know shit you fucking fuckbag

I wanted to show you what it was like, Ray.
It isn’t nice, is it? Believing in their cause?

i want you to hear what i’m about to say, bill
you crossed a fucking line
and youre gonna pay for it

How do you expect I’ll do that?
xray is offline. When this contact goes back online, they will recieve your offline messages.

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Day Eight

8:02:34 into broadcast

hi, sweetie!
jack is very bitter about you stealing all of his money! four picks in the top fifty - big news!

Haha, hey!
Tell him thanks for giving me his money. It certainly didn’t hurt.

do you think you’ll win it all?

I’m not so sure right now.
I’m going to say probably not?

that’s the hubub on the hub! that you’re gonna win it with the eye candy!

She’s done well for herself.
I just got lucky.

much luckier than last time, i’d say!

I guess.
None of these guys are anything close to Her, you know?

that is a good thing, william
i was really worried about you last time
you weren’t in a good place, you know?

I guess, in a way - you kinda feel like they’re your kids, you know?
Like, you’re rooting for them.

we talked about this, babe - they aren’t
they’re someone else’s kids
we just get a glance into their lives

Yeah but… you’re the one person that’s behind them for their entire time during it.
And you want them to succeed, inequivocally.
How can you help but love them a little from all of that?

that isn’t love, sweetie.
that’s encouragement, and hope, and the will to win
but love is different than that.

Can we change the subject?

of course!
so, you know how i do the cooking usually?


i was surprised as hell when i came home to see Jack in an apron

Is that a reason to be terrified?

usually, yes, but it’s just pasta
it’s our five year!

Cool! I’ll probably just order room service again

yeah! it’s going to be fun.
steak again?

Nah, easier on my wallet.
Oh, hey - they just knocked.

you ordered already?


without discussing options with me? gasp! i’m hurt!

bill, you there?


bill, ray’s in chat
he’s saying some really weird stuff…

if this is a joke, bill, it isn’t funny

please answer me


bill, call jack or chuck when you get back from wherever you are, okay?

bill, seriously, this is not funny to us

WildBill is offline.
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