Episode 4: Live Ocean Discus

Before sunrise, Tribe Depths and Tribe Kivi met at the communal beach waiting for the Luxury Event to Begin, followed by the Sacrifice of either Paige (zombie) or William (werewolf).

"Eye we sart so earry?" Paige asked.

Lina (rogue) yawned. "What’d she say?"

"’Why’d we start so early,’" Nessa (elf) filled in.

"Ooh undersand me?" Paige asked.

"It’s getting easier," Nessa said.

"Not for me," Lina replied.


"I was so happy when my team started understanding what I was saying. It’s not my fault I’m missing a lip. Or that I’m dead for that matter. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. No one wants to be close to someone like me, and it isn’t just because I’m infectious. I can’t help the way I look and smell. But it still hurts when people reject me.

"Christina is the only one not trying to avoid me. I wonder if there’s some camaraderie there because we’re both of the living dead variety. Maybe.

"I don’t blame the others for voting me onto the altar. They can’t help it I guess. I expect to be nominated a lot. If I win this game, it’ll be because of the awesome viewers who choose to keep me on the show."


Nessa limped over to a brooding William and sat near him. "You’ve got to put it out of your mind or you’ll be distracted in the competition."

"Easy for you to say," William said.

Nessa turned away.

"Wait." William reached out but withdrew his hand before touching her. "I’m sorry." They sat in silence a moment. "You shouldn’t sit with the condemned. It’s dangerous for you when you should be making new friends, especially with your sprained ankle."

"Don’t talk that way. You aren’t leaving."

William stared at Paige as she paced to the water and back. "Maybe."

"We need you," Nessa said. "I’ll be useless today. I’m even slower than Paige!"

"Will you look at that!" Kailen (fairy) faced the ocean rapidly filling with small motorboats. "What in the world could the competition be?"

Jewel (cyclops) frowned. "I hope it isn’t swimming."

"Me too," Amber (unicorn) said. "What are the chances that the first two challenges include swimming?"

"Our challenge on Wednesday didn’t," Ranzkin (gnome) said. "It was underground."

"I might have liked that challenge," Haimes (scree) said.

"I hope it is water based." Gorm (mage) smiled. "Why else would there be boats?"

"Maybe we’ll ride in them," Eadric (warrior) said.

Paige stood still ankle deep in the surf with her back to the others when a giant eagle circled overhead and dropped a rock.

Christina (vampire) pushed passed Eadric to pick up the rock. "You read it last time. It’s my turn." She untied the message. "Today’s Luxury Challenge is called Live Ocean Discus. The winning tribe will receive the survival gear chosen by the viewers.

"Pick your strongest team member to be the Thrower. Next, pick your lightest team member to be the Throwee. Each tribe may have only one Thrower and one Throwee. The Throwers will toss the Thowees as far as they can into the ocean. The tribe whose Throwee goes the farthest before falling into the ocean will be the winner."

"Yes!" shouted Kailen as he danced on the sand. "I can fly," he sang.

"Not scared of being fish bait this time?" Gorm asked. Kailen shrugged.

"Oh yeah," Lina said grinning. "And I think Eadric should throw you."

Gorm and Lorimer (sorcerer) nodded.


A group of fighters playing cards lean over a coin laden table. The hand unfolds and a large warrior pulls the middle pile of copper and silver toward him. Grinning he looks up at the camera.

"Hi. Lucky doesn’t just come from seers or skill. It comes from knowing trade secrets. When you join the Treasure Community, you’ll get an inside look into strategies designed to heave in the loot.

"How much would you pay for that? Wait! There’s more! I’m not talking about just any loot. I’m talking about gleaming rare items, expensive unique pieces and incredible artifacts.

"I know what you’re thinking. ‘Is this too good to be true?’ We in the Treasure Community know that it all is very good and very true. These days, with so many people refusing to buy games without demos, we’ve decided to offer one tiny fraction of our enormous knowledge to you right now.

"Underground is where it’s at. Treasure that is! Amazing silver and gold chests litter the dark depths. Sure, there’s a ton of nefarious monsters lurking in the dark, but they’re worth slaying for the chests alone. So next time you’re adventuring in the wilds, don’t pass by the crypts and caves without giving them a little peek. The deeper you go, the better chests you’ll find."


"So, I don’t have to get wet?" Amber (unicorn) asked looking less glum.

"Nope," Dedrick (centaur) said smiling at the unicorn-girl. "Though if you ever do again, try changing into your unicorn form. It might be easier that way."

Eadric (warrior) picked up Kailen (fairy), spun in a circle and tossed him far above the ocean. Kailen flipped in uncontrolled tumbles before straitening and flying far over the ocean."

"Yes!" Gorm (mage) cried while Team Kivi cheered.

Christina (vampire) shook her head.

"You’ve got something to say?" Lina (rogue) asked.

"You’re cheating won’t compare next to Jewel’s strength. When she throws Ranzkin-"

"Whoa, slow down there would ya?" Ranzkin (gnome) interrupted. "No one’s throwing me into the ocean."

"But Ranzkin," Dedrick pleaded, "you’re the smallest."

Ranzkin shook her head, backing away. "Don’t care. I’m not…" Her brow creased as she looked behind them at a moaning Paige (zombie). The cries turned to growls and Paige lunged forward hissing.

"Oh hell," Gorm said, "she’s gone mad." He fell back and Paige’s clawed hands missed him, instead ripping into Dedrick’s flank. Before her teeth sank into her prey, Jewel (cyclops) grabbed Paige by the leg and toss her far out into the sea.

"And there goes our turn," Christina muttered, her face freckled red as the sun rose higher over the trees.

"Damn," William (werewolf) said.

"No, wait." Nessa (elf) stood for a better look. "She’s still going."

"What?" Lina asked. Jewel nodded, smiling.

"How’s Dedrick?" Haimes (scree) asked Ranzkin.

"I’m fine," Dedrick said.

"It’s bad," Ranzkin said, pouring a tiny handful of salt water over the wound. Dedrick gasped.

A boat beached its self and someone lowered an exhausted looking Kailen to the sand. He fell to his knees and slumped over. "I flew as far as I could." He looked up. "What’s going on?"

"Paige hurt Dedrick and now he’s infected," Ranzkin said.

"I’ll try to heal him," Kailen said, slowly standing up and dragging his feet as he approached.

"Wait!" Haimes (scree) rushed forward but didn’t touch Kailen. "He’s on the other team. It will benefit us if he’s too sick to compete."

"For once I’m in complete agreement," Lorimer (sorcerer) said. Gorm and Lina nodded.

"You should help him, Amber said. "It isn’t right to leave a creature injured."

"Paige has been a zombie a long time and mostly can control her urges." Kailen frowned at his teammates. "If Dedrick turns, there’ll be no controlling him. How long until we’re all infected?"

"Since you put it that way…" Lina shrugged.

Kailen looked from one to the next making eye contact. He nodded once and turned back to Dedrick. "This will hurt."

"No it won’t," Ranzkin said as she fed a red herb to the centaur.

Kailen placed his hands into the wound and closed his eyes. After a few silent minutes, he pulled his hands away, shaking.

"Did it work?" Gorm asked.

"Don’t know." Kailen dropped prone, sighed and curled up into a ball. "I have to sleep now."


"Yeah, so I’m not really worried about being fish bait when I can turn into one. Being the first to get something on a reality show is always bad luck, but when you say that out loud then no one will volunteer to be first. I’m glad it was Lina who retrieved the bottle and not me. Anyway…

"Did I call Jewel a cheater when she ripped trees out of the ground to build their bonfire? No. And I don’t appreciate being called a cheater for flying as far as I could. It was the only way to win. Even though he’s pretty powerful, not even Eadric could throw as far as Jewel.

"When I dropped into the sea I was exhausted. I didn’t even have enough energy left to change into a fish. Paige picked a bad time to go savage. Since Dedrick has a hefty weight, I guess I should be glad he was the one infected, but seriously! Is he going to get hurt at every event?

"I’m pretty sure I didn’t cure him, just slowed down the spreading disease. I didn’t save him. There’s no cure for it either, so he’s pretty screwed no matter what. Unless Amber wishes him well or one of the mages can do something. I feel bad for the lad."


"How does it look, Ranzkin?" William asked.

The gnome touched the swollen red gash. "Better, but not completely."

"I’ll be okay," Dedrick said, his eyes closed and voice fading. "I’m probably immune. Centaurs are a hardy race. We never fall ill." He began to snore.

"Is he turning?" Haimes asked, stepping back several paces.

"No," Ranzkin said. "He sleeps from the medicine I gave him."

Something rose on a large wave and crashed onto the beach. It was Misty the Mermaid, another applicant who didn’t make the show. She towed something behind her on a string of duct tape. "Help me," she said panting as she struggled to pull herself farther onto the beach. A sea-green satchel decorated with tiny shells dangled from a strap over her shoulder. Jewel and Eadric each took an arm and pulled her away from the water.

"What are you towing," Eadric asked. Jewel took the duct tape and gave it a quick yank. Paige flew out of the water, bound in the sticky tape with a small shark still clinging to her torso."

"The abominable thing is like a magnet to those underwater predators."

"The shark belongs to Depths," Christina called prying the fish off of Paige by breaking its jaw. "Paige brought it in so it’s ours." She sank two long, narrow teeth into the thick skin and drank.

"Anyway," Misty said, "The winner of Live Ocean Discus is Tribe Depths. Paige actually went even farther than the boats!"

"Yes!" William exclaimed, high-fiving Nessa.

"You’ve won the survival gear chosen by the viewers, which is," she pulled a roll of gray duct tape out of the satchel. "This tape!" She frowned, looking at the roll. "Or what’s left of it anyway."

"Tape?" Nessa asked. Lina laughed as Paige squirmed in the sand.

"Now it is time for the Sacrificial Altar," Misty announced. "Paige, well um, continue lying there and William step forward." The werewolf emerged from the crowed, fists balled and face serious. "By a vote of five to four, Paige," she waited through the dramatic pause, "you are safe. William, you’ve been sacrificed to the gods and must now leave the island."

A second boat rode close to shore, one man holding it waist deep in the ocean. "Your water-carriage awaits, William," Misty said before she turned to the boatmen. "Can I catch a ride back too? I’m not sure the sharks are gone yet. One I can handle, but not a dozen."

Nessa stepped close to William but he pushed her back and stomped into the surf.

Misty pulled herself back into the water. When she was deep enough to use her tail, she grabbed William by the collar and drug him under. They rose near the boat and Misty tossed him on board. She waved goodbye to the contestants, but they only gawked in return, probably because of her bloody nose.

Nessa sat next to Dedrick and Ranzkin, arms resting on her knees. She lay her head over her arms hiding her face.

Viewers Choice – What will next week’s Luxury Challenge be named? Vote in the right sidebar.

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