The Game of Life

If you die in the game you die in real life, or at least lose work XP and your paycheck penalties make even company not-burgers too expensive. So you don't die. You grind your tasks, quest your projects, and don't dare pause to help the unlucky many who are slowed down by exhaustion and unaffordable illness. 

And if in the block hole sleep of the short hours you buy off your schedule the thought comes, unbidden, that the only move in a rigged game is to kick the board, and that this is a move no rule can forbid, this is noticed by the subtle insect minds of the cameras, and the game adjusts its personalized settings until between the idea and the reality falls the shadow wall of the relentless nudging of dread.