Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanks, Obamacare (Race The Date #3 entry)

Jaime shuddered but did not blink, keeping his eyes on the cut-out tacked to the wall for as long as possible before the blindfold was secured. He memorized the cut-out’s contours, focusing on the critical zone. Some of the players had placed close. Very close. He had to be closer.

Hands gripped his shoulders, forcing him to spin. One...Two...Three times. The floor tipped and Jaime staggered sideways. He took three compensatory steps in the opposite direction. Hands gripped his shoulders again, but this time he was shoved forward, toward the wall, the cut-out, and salvation.

The memorized image was a perfect imprint in his mind; he approached the wall as if he weren't blindfolded at all. Jaime reached out an arm and, without hesitation, plunged the pin into the wall. There was a collective gasp from the other players.

Jaime removed his blindfold, his Cheshire Cat grin melting off his face as he saw that his piece—a pink construction paper heart—was pinned to the cardboard man in the dead center of his forehead, over a foot from its target. Elsewhere, on and around the cut-out, were a pair of lungs, half a dozen kidneys, and a liver.

“Bad luck,” a man said, gripping Jaime once more by the shoulders.

Jaime shot a look over to the other players. A woman, the one whose mother needed a new kidney, was weeping. She’d won.

“No,” Jaime said, “Chrissy needs a new heart.”

“Man, lotsa people need new hearts. Thanks to you, someone's gonna get one.”


“No buts,” the man said, producing a firearm. “You knew the rules when you signed up. You win, you get a donor. You lose, you are the donor.”

The man ushered Jaime and eight other healthy men and women toward a door marked SURGERY.


  1. A Risky Game was the prompt that inspired this story. I'm pleased to announce that it won this week's Race The Date flash fiction contest. Here is what the judge, Siobhan Muir, had to say.

    SM: The winner, hands down, is LadyHazMat with Thanks, ObamaCare. Whoa. Talk about the ultimate in Twilight Zone meets the apocalypse. Makes me want to move off the grid immediately. Creepy, well written, and the tension stays constant throughout. Nicely done.