PREFACE: This is the Discord where these contests take place weekly: https://discord.gg/gdT896j
It had been a good seven minutes since the two men walked into the sauna, with nothing but a towel and a thermos to each. They had sat silent next to each other on the top stair in the sauna, the fat man leaning back against the wall.
'Have you thought about the deal?,' the fat man asked. The other one, a young business type, shrugged.
'I've thought about it, but it don't seem too kind to me. What do I get out of it? Nothing!'
'You get more than nothing, kid. You're getting paid more than you're worth.'
'I'm not talking about money, big guy. Any loser worth even half his salt can make it rich just doing a bit of down-and-dirty work. I want something more. I want to be more.'
'You're talking dangerously, kid. Boss don't take kindly to upstarts.' The fat man took a sip from his bottle then set it down again. The young man tapped his foot with a pang of irritation. He took a swig from his own bottle, then shifted his weight to face the fat man.
'Well if I ain't going to get up and start things, then who is? When the boss' time comes, there'll be fighting over his seat. What's so wrong with trying to use it to my advantage.' He laughed, running his hand through his coarse black hair. 'You wouldn't understand, big guy. You've been a grunt for your whole career. A muscle type. That doesn't come easily to me, all my strengths are up here.' He tapped his cranium, then laughed again, taking another swig.
'You'd be surprised at what can I know, kid. You don't just work 40 years in the family business and not learn a thing or two. For example, I'm aware you lost your sense of taste when you were young, correct?' The fat man smiled, but the young man stood suddenly and grabbed the fat man's neck. The fat man gagged, and flailed in the young man's strong grip. The youngster couldn't help but laugh again, and he let the man go, who fell to the ground coughing. The man cursed, and the young man spread himself across the seat. With a glare, the fat man exited the sauna.
Once he was gone, the young man took a sip from his thermos and released his bravado. How did that man know that information? He was just some common bouncer-type. The young man took another sip of water. Perhaps he just overheard it being talked about...but why would they talk about such an odd detail?
The young man scratched at his throat. It was starting to feel a bit coarse, as it did after enough time in the sauna. Odd, he'd never gotten this dry so quickly. The young man chugged the rest of his thermos of water and headed to the door to exit. He pushed the handle. Locked.
No. No, this wasn't right. Why would be locked? This was a public pool. He looked out the window. The pool, which had been full of life earlier, was now bare. The young man banged against the window. It was too tough, double-enforced glass, he presumed. He returned the door and pulled even harder, but to no avail. He breathed in but started coughing. His throat was closing up now, and each breath was more painful than the last. He fell to the ground, grasping at his neck. A shadow appeared at the window. The fat man. The window was fogged on the other side of the glass. The fat man traced his finger, writing in the fog four letters: N-A-C-L