Life: A Game by Steven Ross

Life: A Game
Steven Ross


Understanding death and its ramifications,
Deserved a life of dedication.
Studying and pursuing,
I followed every clue.
Religious, spiritual, and scientific avenues,
Led to varied, creative philosophies.

Theories on the demise of the human mind lacked the same piece,
An ethereal observer.
The secret of death laid with the deceased.
One day, I believed,
We would understand death and learn to control it.


The culmination of my morbid fascination ended,
At a calculated climax.
The streets of the city, at this time of night, carried a known risk.
Unscrupulous characters,
Searching for confrontation,
Crept in every shadow.
After many wrong turns,
I found the right one.

A person brandished a knife toward my chest.
I didn’t hear the words they muttered,
My mind raced,
I couldn’t turn back now.

I stood in resolute silence,
And perceived the weapon pierce my flesh,
Suffering an intense pressure in my chest.
Death gripped my being.
I closed my eyes,
To welcome the darkness of demise.
Everything became still,
I couldn’t breathe,
Or hear anymore.


A vibrant light,
Burned bright.
I struggled to open my eyes to view the peculiar place.
A single bulb of iridescent light levitated above my head,
In a room with a glassy visage.

In this tight,
Empty enclosure,
I laid on a slab of cold metal.
I rose from it, trying to find an exit.
The space started to shake. The light disappeared,
Plunging me into darkness.

The ceiling began to retract.
Crisp air, natural light, and noise flooded into the room.
Cool air whipped though my surroundings.
A few fleeting clouds traveled the great blue sky.

The noise started as a slow rumble,
Turning into a deafening roar.
The walls of the enclosure descended into the ground.
The source of the sound didn’t come from one point.
I witnessed thousands of people screaming,
Cheering at me.

These persons stood or sat around in the enormous arena.
On the grounds of this stadium,
There were more of the metallic boxes that had housed me.
They began to open,
I saw other figures in them.

The commotion of the crowd calmed down,
And a singular voice said,
“There you have it, folks!
The winner will be announced in approximately one hour.
A close one indeed.
Sit back.
We have presentations from our advertisers and a surprise musical guest.
Who will it be?
Wait and see!”


I asked,
“You’re joking,
The woman at the desk said in response,
“No. I’m not.”
I asked further, “Correct me,
If I’m misunderstanding.
My entire life was for a competitive game.
Nothing was real.”

The lady said,
“Yes and no. Your life is your life
Right now,
It’s real, but everything you previously experienced,
Was a simulation.
One that you succeeded at quite well.
Your real memory will return.
It might take a day or two,
You’ll remember.”

I asked,
“Why would I do this?”
She moved her hands around a tablet and said,
The main reason most play the game.
You placed a large bet on yourself,
The odds were high.”
I finally asked, “Did I win?”
She smiled and said,

You won the game of life.”

©2021 Steven Ross


About the Author


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