It was a Friday night, and there was nothing to do. I sat in my living room with my sister, Maggie, and my three cousins, Aaron, Brian, and Matt. Aaron was the oldest, and at sixteen, he was still getting over his chronic shyness. I was fourteen, and although I had a tendency towards bizarreness, I was fun. Brian was next. He was taller than me, (he thought) smarter than me, and (again, he thought) more popular than me. The only thing I could hold over his head without him arguing was that I was older than him. Which was true, if only by six months. Then Maggie, who, at 13 was a popular little prep who was often the target of Aaron's sarcasm. Matt was the youngest, and probably the most scorned. He was eternally vying for attention from the older ones.

Anyway, this Friday night was no different from many others that we spent in each other's company. We were bored. Very bored.

"So what are we going to do?" Maggie asked, twirling a strand of hair.

"I dunno. What do you wanna do?" Brian replied.

Maggie perked up. "We could play spoons!"

A chorus of resounding "No!"s echoed through the room, bounced around a bit, and landed on Maggie's good spirits, crushing them to death. She visibly deflated, and said defensivly, "Fine."

Apparently, my aunt had been listening to this whole exchange. "Why don't you guys play a game?" She asked excitedly. "It's better than sitting around here like bumps on a log. Which is all you ever do." Her voice got a bit darker. "You don't ever do anything constructive with your time." She glared at me menacingly.

"Fine," I mumbled, and dragged myself off of the leather chair I was sitting in. I moped into the bathroom where the game closet was. I flung open the doors and crouched down to peer into the messy darkness. Sorry, Risk, Parcheesi, Jenga, and Scrabble stared me down as I looked for a game that wasn't below us. "How about Trivial Pursuit?" I yelled into the other room.

"NO!" My sister's rang out.

A chorus of suggestions wiggled their way to me, and unable to discern a single one, I yelled for silence.

"Shut up!"

And then it happened. Matt, having turned off his hearing aids didn't hear my cry for quiet. If he hadn't said this, I wouldn't be writing this right now. But he did. And a lone "Let's play Monopoly!" found me.

Yes! Monopoly! I thought. We will play Monopoly! So I dug around in the closet until I found it. The battered box had been through a lot. Multiple stompings on, coffee spills, and three year olds had brought this once bright box to a sad excuse for a Parker Brothers Game. But nonetheless, I pulled it out of its niche, and started the events in motion. I stood up, box in hand, and walked into the living room carrying our destiny.

"Monopoly?" My oldest cousin scoffed. "We're going to play Monopoly?"

"Yup," I said, and began sorting the crumpled paper money.


Finally the setup was finished. Everyone had the same amount of money and a game piece. I was the car, Aaron was the shoe, Maggie was the wheelbarrow, Brian was the dog, and Matt was the horse. My aunt had opted not to play, but she was going to be the banker. We rolled the pair of dice to see who would go first, and I won. I rolled the dice again, and a six came up. I reached my hand out to move my piece and the entire world went black.

A swirling vortex of bright colors came in and out of focus. I felt myself spun around and around, and I had the strangest feeling of being compressed. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, I thunked down on something hard. I opened my eyes to a world of reds and oranges and purples just not found in nature or my living room.

"Where am I?" I gasped as my eyes grew wide and a headache began to grip me, most likely brought on by the bombardment of shinyness.

"WHY, YOU'RE IN A MONOPOLY GAME!" a big cheerful voice boomed. "AND YOU'RE PLAYING FOR YOUR LIFE!"