Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book excerpt from SG - Suicide Game by Haidji

A human life
Is the time that happens
The Earth takes a break
For you to live
Inhaling and exhaling your soul
from the un-endless space
Named infinity.


Inside the Night Stadium it was almost dark, a kind of misty twilight atmosphere, no matter if day light or night-light.
It was the special effect that was the origin of the Stadium’s name, created to allow special visual effects in every period of time, regardless of the season or weather conditions.
Created by one of the most important architects, Steven Laurence, it was the reason for his winning each of the Pritzker, Lubetkin and Global-Architecture prizes.  Filtering and keeping part of the sunlight, inspired by micro resonator bottles, the Night Stadium was new, shining, intriguing and captivating, all at the same time.
Round and with capacity for 100,000 persons, the circular stadium had one main entrance, and of course, visible from inside of the first Stadium wall, all emergency doors were built. Once inside, there was a large Corridor all around the Stadium perimeter, with entrances to the Stadium’s different sections and seating places.  With small shops and spaces in the corridors for different purposes:  the usual washrooms, personnel rooms, the Control room and the Council’s Boardroom; the last two, with a view over the Stadium.
Special screens on the outside walls of the Stadium could make the Stadium turn into the colors around it, as would it be invisible sometimes; at other times, transparent, creating the impression for persons outside that it was possible to look inside through the Stadium’s walls, as would they be watching, sitting inside.
Steven Laurence, also called The Architect, used laser and plasma projection technology to show outside the Stadium what was happening inside the Stadium, in larger than life, three-dimensional images.
The same projection technology was also deployed in certain places inside the Stadium, in front of seats and in the corridors; images floating in the air so people could see from every angle, inside and outside the Stadium, what the Council wanted people to see.
The Suicide Game was the Stadium’s first official event.

Chapter 1

Step 1 – Day 1
A young girl was walking around inside the Stadium wearing a beautiful white dress, elegant in her Manolo shoes, carrying a baby in her arms, facing forward, and trying to cover its eyes with her hands while listening to a voice...
‘The new game
The new mania
8000 candidates and
Only one will survive
Only one can win!
Live from the Night Stadium
Nothing compares to what you'll see here
Nothing compares to what you'll watch
See, choose your candidate, bet
Participate! It is …

The new and unexpected... Suicide Game!

All that the girl, Alessandra, was thinking about was to get out of there, to walk quickly between the black shiny chairs into the dark corridors and disappear.  She had entered the Stadium to apply for a job as one of the models, and she withdrew her application as soon as they explained to her exactly the Game’s rules.
Alessandra was 20 years old; she was probably too old for the job, but she saw the announcement that they needed more models to work in the Game.  She wasn’t a model, but she looked like one, so she decided to try.  She was happy as they called her and happy that she passed the initial casting a week ago, so she was there just to sign the contract and to start work on the same day.
But the Game rules made her feel terrified.
This…wasn’t…a job… for her.  For sure not.
Alessandra wanted to leave the space, but was hesitating for a moment, thinking about how to pay her bills, because she used up all her savings in the last months.  Figuring out what to do now, with no money to pay her next rent; she was an optimist, she could feel, she felt she would find ‘something’, and she trusted her intuition.
She had thought this ‘something’ was the job in the Game, but it wasn’t. Or maybe, in a certain and unexpected way, it was.
What she found, instead of a new job, came in front of her while she walked a little bit in circles, without finding her way out of the Stadium.  It was a baby, crawling in front of her.  ‘Who brings a baby into a place like this?’ she thought, while she took the baby in her arms to see if she could find the parents or someone responsible for it.
The baby smiled and embraced her.
Nobody she asked was looking for a baby, and she saw only a man with a Red Cross uniform running in another direction.
With her high heels, Alessandra couldn’t run after him, and he did not look nice anyway; she decided to keep walking around with the baby in her arms, to see if she could find the baby’s parents.
Walking between the black seats in the already full Stadium, she could hear the Hostess of the Game and her words on her left side...on the right side, she could hear a religious group singing a Hare Krishna mantra in front of the Stadium.  The Hostess’s voice spilled over the boundaries of the Stadium and the Hare Krishna mantra seemed to be a bizarre kind of background music.
Alessandra noticed the Game was starting as she was still there, walking around the Stadium with a baby in her arms.
In the terror she felt, she surfaced the thought to protect the child she was carrying and to run away as soon as possible…out of there, and maybe try to find the baby’s parents outside.
But it was a direct transmission of the Suicide Game, the cameras and monitors were already connected and turned on everywhere, so even if she didn’t want it, she could hear the Hostess’s voice everywhere, and see the live video images from the monitors.
The Stadium gates were already closed—no one could enter and no one could go out of there because the Game…the Game—had already started. 
The gates had been closed to avoid the crowd in front of the Stadium invading it.  There were no more places available inside the Stadium. People who couldn’t buy a place to sit anymore were watching the Game on the big projections visible outside the Stadium. The automobile traffic had been rerouted.  Only the food trucks had permission to enter and park at their rented spots at designated times.  Deliveries to the Stadium and the minivans were also allowed, of course. People brought their chairs from home, sitting on the street as would they be in their living rooms, watching the Game on the projections outside and around the Stadium’s walls.
There was nothing Alessandra could do to stop the Game, and there was no way to prevent it.
The Council had met, their decision had already been taken, the Game would begin in a few minutes and nothing she could do would avoid it.  All she wanted, for now, was to bring the baby away from there, into a safe and quiet place.  But, where was a quiet and safe place?

She passed through rows of chairs in the Stadium, listening to the mantra on the right and seeing the Hostess’s images on her left.
The candidates in the Game, as a crowded mass of humanity, were being prepared; all with the same black clothes, bright black clothes, with a leather glove on their left hand, a glove attached to a line, a line of a new material. A new alloy material, very flexible and resistant. The glove was connected to the line that would bind them to life or death...the thin line.
The glove was also connected by an automatic docking system to a super-thin skin suit of Kevlar, invisible under their clothes.   The Kevlar skin suit cradled the pelvis and shoulder joints, so no joints could dislocate or bones break when they jumped.  Bones were important and precious, no matter if they were alive or dead; better to not break any more than necessary.
John, one of the makeup artists, walked among the candidates, accompanied by Cassandra, who helped him with the makeup of those who were not yet prepared for the game.

Groups of two hundred candidates would jump together, one group after the other, for four days, day and night, until the first step of the game would finish; all eight thousand candidates would have a chance to be seen by anyone wanting to see the Game live and in person.  Or maybe, everyone would see or hear about them anyway, given the media saturation.
And the first two hundred candidates were almost ready, waiting for the starting signal.
Ten groups each day, four in the morning, four after lunchtime and two in the evening, before the sunshine of the next day.
Cassandra was concentrating intensely and working hard to finish the makeup so they all could look great and gorgeous, because each one of them could be a winner...and she wanted to feel that she participated in their success.  To be a part of it.
And she followed the rules:  ‘white faces, no expressions, the orange Game Symbol between the eyebrows, white lips’.
John was worried about the clothes and gloves, and was preoccupied looking at the hooks that attached the wires to the gloves of the candidates who were there for today’s game.  He saw the t-shirts, belts and pants, socks and shoes, gloves and lines, all in black except for the makeup, white face with the orange Symbol and white lips, as would they have made a new image from the traditional street pantomime artist’s image.
The Stadium was round and so was the stage, which was a platform that came from the center that was like an open elevator that could elevate up to fifty-five meters over the ground floor. 
The candidate’s jumps would be from a height of fifty meters above the ground, the same height as the principal rows of chairs, the most expensive seats in the house.
The wire length was about twenty meters, and the Stadium crew was already prepared with their cameras and reporters.  Even the welcome cocktails for the survivors were ready, inside a corridor on the ground level, waiting with the models to be placed on the platform, to be seen by the crowd and then given to the survivors, all part of the spectacle.
Looking down to the ground of the Stadium and to the elevators that also brought the minivans and candidates to the ground, Cassandra felt dizzy.  She saw the platform on the ground of the Stadium, fifty meters below the principal row of chairs, as would there be a precipice in the middle of the Stadium.  She tried to concentrate on her job; it was probably good that the make up teams worked in rooms on the street level.  Cassandra tried hard to be focused in her work.  After finishing, she could go home and watch it all on the TV, and probably she would see more than what she could see there live, because she was working and could not really see or appreciate all that what was happening around her.
She was part of the first makeup artists’ team.  It was an honor for her to prepare the first candidates of the Game.  There was not much time, she could spend only a few minutes with each person, and they all needed to look alike; there was lots of work to do and only a short time before the official start was to begin.
The first group was almost ready and after the second group, there would be a ten-minute break and then two more groups jumping before lunchtime.  But in this situation, lunchtime was no time for a real meal, and she was already starving.
Two hundred persons dressed the same way, and ten makeup artists, divided into five different teams, all with the same outfits, just in non-shiny clothes, as if they were all kids or clones coming out of the same laboratory, all sharing a deep desire...the desire to win at any cost.
The Hare Krishna mantra continued, even though no one had said they were hired to be there to perform, but they appeared, and maybe it seemed they had been hired for the event, because their voices and orange clothes seemed to naturally become part of the environment.
It did not seem odd that they did not have their usual money donation cups in their hands, or Hare Krishna books to sell along with incense; those things would seem to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time, because it seemed no one would want to buy them.
And finally, and almost unexpectedly, a few minutes before the start, the first group was ready.  Going down the elevators, they had a last check of their gloves inside a room on the ground floor.  Coming out of the corridors on the ground floor, they walked through the sand ground onto the round platform, in the middle of the Stadium, where each candidate tied the hook of his or her own wire into a metal ring on the edge of the platform, showing once again their own free will about their decision to be part of the Game, but with impassive faces, as if showing their ambition would have cut their souls, demolishing their own free will.
From above, for the audience they looked like black ants coming from different directions walking to the round platform.  But everywhere there were screens and projections, showing them up close and in detail, while the platform was rising from the ground to the height of fifty meters.  All of the persons in the principal row of seats, at the fifty meters’ height, were already seated.
Accompanied by the voice of the pretty Hostess, and while the security personnel, also wearing the same clothes as the rest of the staff, adjusted the ropes, gloves and candidates, the time counter started at 50, matching the jumping height in meters of the platform.
The counter started to show on the projections inside and outside the Stadium, showing the number 50 and going down second after second.  49…48…47…46…45…
With her Alexander McQueen Shoes and Elen Danielle ‘Femme Fatale’ red dress, green eyes and long brown hair, she was almost floating over the platform coming up from the Stadium’s ground.  Waking up deeply grooved fantasies in the male and female public’s minds, the Hostess walked in silence for a few seconds, as would she be coming out of their dreams. 
As the platform stopped, she announced the game:
‘Now, live from the Night Stadium, especially for you,
The new game
The new mania
8000 candidates and
Only one will survive
Only one can win!

Live from the Night Stadium
Nothing compares to what you'll see here
Nothing compares to what you'll watch
You have already chosen your candidate,
You have Made your bet
To be part of a
New and unexpected game
Now it’s time to let all be in the laps of the gods
And when the bell rings…it is time to jump for your life!
She spoke, as would she be the human part of the counter’s voice, as the counter displayed its numbers on all screens inside and outside the Stadium, inside people’s homes, and on their hands in mobile phones or other devices.

And the jump bell rang out loudly
And the candidates jumped, all at the same time, still hearing the echo of the bell’s sounding, as the Hare Krishna mantra started again.
In their homes, in front of the TV, holding their mobile devices, and even in the Stadium, people jumped, standing up, caught in the adrenaline rush of the moment, as the bell rang out.
Free falling bodies.  After a twenty meter free fall, some wires broke, and the bodies continued down, falling on the Stadium ground, where dumb screams where muffled by the sound of the Hare Krishna mantra.
Outside the Stadium and also inside, everyone saw the candidates jumping and falling, even though some persons sitting very high up the Stadium did not have a good view.  The 3D laser and plasma screen images were captivating, so people would concentrate on the candidates jumping; nobody saw or noticed the dead bodies on the Stadium ground, or really even thought about them.
Quickly came the ushers, all dressed in gray—the same color of the sand on the Stadium ground floor, with their minivans.  Some removed the bodies, counted them, and took note of the numbers written inside their gloves, and brought them into different minivans to bring them to the elevators, to reach the street level floor and the right department, already separated by age and gender.
Others were busy spreading new sand on the floor, sweeping it over the places of impact, and taking out the remains of fresh blood with a shovel.
Each candidate had signed a complete donation form at the time of their registration in the game, so their bodies and belongings would never be claimed by their loved ones.
Meanwhile...the survivors were swinging on their lines, thirty meters from the ground, catching the attention of all the other persons present or watching on the media.  They had been trained to never look down, and to smile and wink.  Most of them managed only a pale smile, having survived deep inside a mad frenzy. 
The cameras showed them smiling to the cameras, while the platform was now moving down to the ground, where young models dressed in blue, the color of the sky, were waiting on the ground to walk onto the platform with tables filled with transparent champagne glasses, to celebrate their victory.
125 glasses.
125...was the number, while the others who had jumped were already being forgotten.
As the platform touched the ground, the winners walked onto it again and the models rolled the tables onto it.
Then the platform moved up slowly again and stood at the height of the principal row of chairs, for the ten minutes of celebration, while the next group was being prepared to jump.  The cameras kept moving between the first survivors, and the next group of candidates, never showing the ground of the Stadium or the already dead candidates.
After the celebration, the platform moved down, the winners winking to the audience and getting ready to leave the platform to enter the same minivans used by the ushers some minutes before.  Elevators would take them to the street floor and they would leave the Stadium.
They would return to the condominium that was nearby, a big modern construction made with concrete and green glass, a kind of modern ghetto like modern fancy condominiums used to be, because human beings like transparency in their neighbors’ lives, while they figure out how to protect their own privacy. Inside the condominium all was virtually transparent, while the guards on the security gated entrance and some glass shards and electric wires over the walls could protect them from the dangerous outside world.
With the transparency and some cameras in the right places, the Council knew almost everything that happened inside the condominium. They knew where each of the candidates was staying.
After surviving the first step, the survivors would move into new rooms, the rooms for Step 2 of the Game, while the belongings of those who would never return were donated (or even better, sold) to certain kinds of ‘charities’, as the candidates had also signed in their registration waivers a clause that they would donate everything in their bodies, and left in their condominium rooms, to the administrators of the Game. 
Meanwhile, the second group of candidates entered the Game and took their places on the platform while persons dressed in yellow walked among the crowds of spectators to sell betting tickets, while other groups of persons dressed in red were walking, selling drinks and meat sandwiches.  Betting huts had been built, but in a hurry, so there weren’t enough to attend to all the spectators, or even the players, some of whom also placed bets before they were to make their jumps.
The voice of the beautiful Hostess rose again over the murmur of the crowd:
‘Wow, that was exciting!  The first jump of the Game has already happened, did you make your bet? Do you already have your candidate? Soon it is time for the second group to jump. Here they are!  Let’s welcome them all with a big round of applause!’
And there they were, the second group of candidates, standing on the edge of the platform, hearing the Hostess’ voice while the counter started…
The new game
The new mania
8000 candidates and
Only one will survive
Only one can win!
Live from the Night Stadium
Nothing compares to what you'll see here
Nothing compares to what you'll watch
You have already chosen your candidate,
You have Made your bet
To be part of a
New and unexpected game
Now it’s time to leave it all in the laps of the gods
And when the bell rings…it is time to jump…for your life!

The crowd jumped up again in their seats, and backwards, while the candidates were falling down through the air.
‘What a game! What a day!’ announced a commentator on the TV.  ‘You have never seen anything like that!’
The second group’s jump left ninety survivors, the third group’s eighty-five, the fourth one hundred and thirty, the fifth—to many people's surprise, 192.  There were 105 survivors in the sixth jump; the seventh, 108; 85 in the eighth; and in the ninth and tenth jumps, 106 and 96 respectively.   Interesting numbers, and there was also betting on these numbers, not just betting on the identities of the jumpers, but on the number of survivors, so there was a lot of work for the odds-makers.
And while a seemingly increasing number of people walked among the crowd, dressed in yellow to sell betting tickets for today, the crowd was already running to the betting stands to buy some tickets for the next day.
From the initial 2000 candidates who jumped in step one of the Game, only 1122 remained alive.
They were waiting to participate in the second step, taking part in seminars at the condominium, where they were fully moved in; as though they believed this was their new home and they would live there until the end of the Game, and emerge as the lone survivor. 
For now, at least, post-game interviews at the condominium were prohibited, but everyone, including the odds-makers, wanted to know why these people had moved in, like they were moving into a new home.  There was considerable gossip, and some serious discussion, about what this meant, if anything, about the odds and who would win the game.
And then the Hostess, wearing the Femme Fatale red dress, as would she be the one that decided over life and death in the Game, slid over the platform that was descending to the ground floor.  She was laughing and proclaiming the results after the 10 jumps on the first day, and the success of the first day.  She promised more excitement and adventure in the Game between life and death, now coming up for the second game day with 2000 fresh new candidates, while the Stadium lights were fading away…and the yellow dressed bet sellers and red dressed food sellers counted how many bitcoins profit they had made on their first day.
White, Yellow, Red, Blue, Green, Purple and Black entered the conference room in silence.  Alphabot from Alpha Smart Systems, the robot created by Vladimir Belyy, opened the door for them and then left the room to take care of his other obligations. It was Steven Laurence’s newest acquisition, his Personal Assistant to help here and there, wherever he needed a hand in the Stadium events.
Wearing colored togas according to their names, White, Yellow, Red, Blue, Green, Purple and Black took their fixed places around the round conference table, sitting down one after another, in a clockwise direction.  Each of their respective parts of the round table lit up, in their respective color, when they spoke; voice recognition software also ensured they were always in their own places.
In front of each member was a polished metal sphere, about 3cm in diameter, which could be opened in two equal parts.  The sphere was part of the voting system.  Inside the sphere was a button that changed the color inside into red or green, by pressing it; red was for disapproval and green for approval.  But the light would come on only after closing and then opening the sphere again, to maintain the privacy of the system.
A cup with coffee was already there for each one of them, in front of their places.
In the middle of the table rested a crystal ball, part of the voting system.
They were all of the Council Members, the ones who decided all that happens in the Game.
For about one hour they had their meeting about the first day and they voted on different issues for the next days.  From outside their room, sometimes workers walking in the corridor could hear the sound of metal rolling, and crystal. 
By request, Alphabot came back to open the door.
They stood up from their places, one after another, in a counterclockwise direction.  In the reverse order from which they entered, and more or less satisfied with the voting results and with the first day of this first step, Black, Purple, Green, Blue, Red, Yellow and White left the conference room.
Alphabot removed the coffee cups from the table.  One member did not drink his coffee.  Alphabot closed the conference room’s door.

SG- Suicide Game is a metaphor about the society where persons almost kill themselves to achieve their goals and forget their dreams, but, in the book you will find also real love, friendship, loyalty, hope and an unexpected finale showing the good essence of the human seed. 

Eight thousand candidates sign up for the Suicide Game. Only one can win. Their destination is the Night Stadium: a place of makeup and music, fear and adrenaline, blood and romance, celebration and death. Each candidate has his or her own reason for entering the Game. 

The Council runs the Game. The outcome of the Game is left to fate...in the laps of the gods. The candidates will jump to their deaths in order to win everything, before capacity crowds in the Stadium. The public follows every jump, live on TV and mobile device screens, choosing their favorite candidates and betting on their lives. Who will win the game? 

Candidate 0907 - Moma - the terrorist? 
Candidate 1518 - Fabio Giovanni Cristiani - the cyclist? 
Candidate 3507 - Anthony Henrik Gustav - the lawyer? 
Candidate 4914 - Jens Plaato - the politician? 
Candidate 4918 - Sarah Mondstein - the career woman? 
Candidate 5151 - Bianca White - just a girl ? 
Candidate 7195 - The Scientist? 
…Or is it a completely different Candidate? 

The Game’s community also includes geeks, mafia, makeup artists, master chefs, models, musicians, spies, terrorists, and many others. 
It boldly imagines a place where death and denial are interwoven with hope, choices and the innate desire for happiness. Impressive in the totality of its vision, it is an exploration of the best and worst things in our lives, our nightmares, and especially our dreams. 

About the Author
Artist, painter, writer, designer, photographer, performer...just...Haidji. As she was 12 she started to write her stories and poems in handwritten and hand painted books. Her stories create images in the reader's mind, as would a word be a brushstroke painting inside your imagination. There is a very spiritual feel to her work, almost an otherworldliness. A captiving blend of Brazilian flair, Teutonic precision and Dutch pragmatism makes Haidji's work unique, appealing and thought-provoking. www.haidji.blogspot.com

Twitter - https://twitter.com/Haidji

Facebook Book Page - https://www.facebook.com/sgsuicidegame

Facebook official page - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Haidji/272073931895

Blog - www.haidji.blogspot.com

Goodreads profile - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7202532.Haidji

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Instagram - haidjiofficialprofile

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