Review By Don Sloan
A Crypt Keeper, a kilted Scotsman, and three ominous doorways. All these intriguing fictional elements — and much, much more — come together in a wildly imaginative extended short story entitled, simply, The Game.
Author Angie West takes the reader through a modern-day looking glass and into a sinister world where board games come hideously to life and you must play your way back to reality — or die trying.
Lei and her best friend Iris get together at Lei’s house for their traditional game night. But something goes terribly wrong as the young ladies begin to play a board game called Mechant — which translates to “evil” in French. Dark clouds swoop in around Lei’s house as they begin and CRASH — a window blows inward, simultaneously throwing them into darkness.
When they regain their senses, they are in the graveyard depicted on the gameboard, and a smarmy character calling himself the Crypt Keeper beckons them toward the doors of an old mansion. His message is simple: “Play, or die” — or forfeit the game and spend eternity trapped inside the confines of the game with him.
The ensuing action is chillingly vivid as both girls go through Door Number One in search of three keys to be exchanged for freedom if the game’s three levels can be executed successfully. Before they can escape the perils of Level One, however, the Crypt Keeper shows up and demands to hold Iris hostage in exchange for Lei’s life. Reluctantly, Iris agrees to sacrifice her freedom, and the dark figure dissolves, with Iris in tow.
Does Lei fight her way to freedom and rescue her best friend from board game hell? Or does the story simply end on a macabre and ghastly note, with both women doomed to play the game endlessly while they both grow old?
This is a hugely entertaining read, and well worth the price of purchase. Five stars to The Game. Great job, Ms. West!