The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice

A Story by Ray Cheshire

A man takes on The Sacrifice, a challenge people live in infamy for completing.


“Be careful what you wish for.”In the Arizona desert,in a small town,on a motel bed,this thought goes through Travis Tanners mind. He looked at his hand,The gun had fused with his skin 3 days ago. It contained 1 bullet then,now it carry's 3. Travis remembered what the gun said to him the day he found it. “kill them, leave me.” a cryptic message that was decoded to late. All he had to do was kill a man and the gun would let go. He refused,causing unforeseen consequences. The next day a bullet was added. In some sick way he knew what it meant,now two people must die. He knew what he had to do. Guided by the words of the gun,he came to Red Sand Flats. A kind of town that has a diner,a motel,a convenient store,and a police station. That's it. 8 people live in this town,cut off from the rest of the world. On the day he rode in to this place,Travis was drunk. He passed out in his motel room,and woke up with another bullet. He sobbed.

Travis was going to be a writer. He had tried for years to get a book published. Sadly his own perfectionism got in the way. He ripped up many rough drafts,threw them away. He needed to get the emotions perfect. Three months of working on a horror story. In anyone's eyes it would be considered a masterpiece. Travis deleted it because he couldn't get the emotion of killing someone 100% accurate. Countless hours watching interviews with soldiers, and reading serial killer autobiographies was to no avail. He gave up, decided to change genres,but it was to late. The package had been sent,there was no going back. Halfway through his new book he got a package at his apartment. A present complete with warping paper,and a bow. Inside it was the most beautiful revolver he had ever seen. Custom bone grip, and a barrel so polished he could see himself in it. It called to him,beckoned him to pick it up. He made the greatest mistake of his life that day.

She was gaining more power. Everyday that went by,every bullet added to the gun. Was more control over Travis. If he failed to sacrifice,she would have complete control over him. She had to wait only three more days,three more bullets,until she won this sick game. Until she finally broke free of her prison. This was not her first time going through this. She had created many psychopaths in her time. From school shootings to bank robbery's,someone always shook her off. Not this time, Travis wasn't going to kill anyone,she was sure of it.

The writer,with eyes bloodshot,and breath that could get you drunk,left his room. The sun nearly blinded him, though he didn't care. The gun controlled parts of him already, if he waited any longer it would never let him kill. Never get him his freedom back. On the way to the dinner he stopped to look at his reflection in a window. Black jeans,White tank top with beer stains,and messy hair. He looked like a man with nothing to loose. He didn't,with only a dog at home,no one would mind him going to jail. Or something similar.

He thought about the events leading up to this as he crossed the street. All the serial killers he studied, all the interviews with family members of the victims. Here he was about to create another 20/20 special. “ If I wait any longer it will be worse. Just go in there and do it.” he gives himself a pep talk.”You don't have to kill anyone.” the gun spoke directly to his brain. She was part of him now. She could read his mind,control some actions. That goes both ways though. He knows what she needs,knows what she will do if she get's it. Travis has to do this or worse things will happen. It was a sacrifice he had to make,just like the others before him.

It took all the strength he had to open the diner door. She used as much control over him as she had. Not fully powered, all she could do was slow him down. 5 people in the diner,some tourists stopped by earlier, but he couldn't tell them apart from the locals. he gets a table and orders a pink lemonade. He sips it as he thinks of what will happen. People will die,families will grieve,the town will be filled with a sadness for months,and he would go to jail. It was a sub-par situation to put it blankly. Having no way to choose who to kill,he did a simple thing. He played spin the bottle. He laughed to himself of how childish it was. She started talking to him.”Sleep,rest,relax” Each word was a command,and each was disobeyed. He tried hard to probe his brain for any memory of Hers that had passed to him. Visions of previous hosts moved like a sick slide show in his mind. Some loved it,embraced it,became psychopaths. Some killed the first day,some the 5th . No one had let her win,and he wasn't about to brake the streak. He took a deep breath,prayed,and opened fire.

Each bullet that left the gun was like taking an allergy pill. His vision got better as he killed the waitress. Killing a biker gave him back control of himself. Shooting a hiker made the gun fall to the floor. It detached with a pop, it was the most glorious feeling he had ever felt. The sensation of air where the gun was made him smile. It hit the tiled floor with a clank. His hand was red and itchy but he couldn't scratch it,there were people that wanted him to put his hands in the air. Being as happy as he was, he came peacefully.

Mark and Lucy sat at the dinner table. They did the usual small talk,but mostly they just ate. “Did you hear about that psycho down in Red Sand Flats?” mark asks through a mouthful of food. “You mean that writer that went crazy? Yeah Jamie told me about it at work. Poor town it was a nice place, sad there have to be people like him in the world” she took a sip of her wine. Mark talks while she drinks. “Yeah what a freak,they say he says he thought a gun was attached to his hand. The only way he could get it off was to kill people. Can you believe that? What a text-book freak.” they both agree and change the subject.

That Is Travis Tanners reward for saving humanity. Being talked about at dinner tables across America,hated by everyone. He gets to rot in a padded room, deemed crazy for telling the truth. So is the fate of those chosen to make the sacrifice.  

© 2013 Ray Cheshire

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Added on July 10, 2013
Last Updated on July 10, 2013