[mc, mf, fd, hy]
((Brenda’s mesmerising shenanigans continue but the game is played a little different this time.))
Against all odds, Charles Devereaux was on a winning streak. Spending a Saturday night playing a rather strange variation of America’s favorite game show wasn’t exactly his idea of entertainment but his brother Jerome had been quite adamant about it. He was sure to have fun, he had said and, guess what, he was right!
Though not much of a gambling man, Charles wasn’t immune to the pleasures of winning. He smiled on his seat when another one of his guesses proved right, and sipped his lemonade while doing some basic math. He had a comfortable lead already so, even if he didn’t get the last round, he would probably come out on top. From the corner of his left eye, he saw Brenda, the host, batting her eyelashes at him.
“You’re doing quite well, Charlie,” she said, exhibiting a dulcet smile. “Your brother was right about you. You really are a natural at this.”
“Thank you. I’m a bit surprised though. It’s almost as if these puzzles were made with me in mind.”
“If you truly feel that way, you shouldn’t have any problem with the last one, then.”
The new board came into play and something in his mind clicked. Yes, he knew the answer, but he was the last to go this time around. Impatiently, he waited for everyone else to play, and was astonished when, at the last possible moment, two of the other contestants missed the point entirely, giving him the break he was looking for. The triumphant words that came out of his lips rose to meet her blue eyes. They matched the color of her cocktail dress and five-inch stilletos.
“We have a winner.” She rejoiced under the sound of applause from everyone else. “I hope you’re ready for the last puzzle.”
He simply nodded.
“Very well. We’re looking for a movie with an hypnotic theme this time around. Four words, separated like this:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
“You can choose four consonants and a vowel. After your picks, you’ll have one minute to come up with the correct answer. Any last words before we start?”
“Sure, bring it on!” Charles replied, confidence levels soaring.
“Choose your letters, then. Do it wisely.”
“Okay, let’s see: B, N, P, S, and… an E!”
Brenda’s cheerfulness faded a bit the moment he finished talking. She cast her gaze downwards and, instinctively, he did the same.
“Well,” she began. “You got some of it, but not as much as you could have. Please, look at the board, now.”
He did so and saw the dreaded results.
_ _ E _ _ _ _ N _ N B _ _ E
“Remember, one minute from now. The clock is ticking.”
There was no clock but rather the sound of a metronome coming from behind him. He looked at the board and then at her shoes. As he tried to gather his thoughts, he blinked and followed the curvy outlines of her dress. The board flashed and found himself staring into her eyes. When the metronome stopped ticking, sixty seconds or sixty minutes later, he was still focused on them instead of the riddle at hand.
She snapped her fingers.
“Oh, Charlie… not even a single guess? I could say I’m disappointed, but I would be lying. Do you want me to tell you the answer?”
He shook his head to clear some of the mist. His mouth tasted funny, a mix of sweat, other bodily fluids and carpet fibers.
“It was obviously The Woman In Blue.”
“Huh?” He tried to protest. “I don’t know any hypnotic movie with that…”
“Are you sure about that?” She said, caressing his chin. It was only then he realized he was naked and kneeling like all of the other players. “You won the big prize in the end. Today was truly your lucky day, pet.”
Next to him, Jerome agreed in silence, happy to have shared the beauty of the Hypno-Wheel as instructed. Charles moaned softly when one of her fingernails insinuated itself against his lips and the whole presentation replayed in the innermost recesses of his mind.
“God, I love this game!” Brenda exclaimed as he fell heavily on the carpet once again.
The next one would be even better.