Author's Note: Here we go. Minesweeper fanfiction. In the word of one of my friends (and yes, I do mean word, not words) - "WHAT?" If fandoms such as Final Fantasy and the Mana series can produce such a well-trodden tradition of fanfiction, then why should the beloved but underrated Minesweeper suffer? Errgh. I haven't written anything for months. is rusty
Spelling/Language: Australian ('-our', '-tre').
It is his final test.
Minesweeping is a rat's life, and he knows it, for they have been training these rodents to replace those such as him. It is a rat's life, but it is his life, and the element of danger means that he will gain more than a simple shopkeeper would.
He has a family to support.
Today is the last day that he will feel safe. Today he passes out of training, and tomorrow he starts work, marking the mines so that they may be detonated by the others who will come after him.
He deplores the sadistic natures of the men who have leaped, agile, over the mines they have placed, burning grids into the ground with smoking acid and scattering coloured flags as they go. He despises the society that has driven them to become desensitised, disillusioned. He detests the path his life has carved for him.
The future looked so bright...
He would have become a scientist, perhaps developing new technology, perhaps researching cures for the deadliest of diseases. Circumstances would not allow this. Had he the resources to bribe those who could have given him the learning he yearned for, perhaps, but there was no support for one such as him.
The final test is on a live field. This is how it has always been. This is how it will always be.
With quickness almost measured, he jumps from one square to the next, touching no gridline, for the corrosive powder once used to kill the grass remains, and its touch is poison. He brushes away the years of accumulated grime that hide the colours of the flags, analyses the patterns, moves on. He drops his own markers on those squares he avoids, a warning to all: do not step here, for it is your life.
They watch impartially, without emotion, without pity, without care. They know only the continuity of time, of hundreds of examinees passing through their lives, dancing before their eyes and away to their own crossroads.
He comes to the final intersection.
There are two squares remaining. One, he knows, hides a mine.
There is no way to tell which offers life.