Suicide no. 55: Tell Me If You’re Game.


Taken from here:

Suicide no. 55: Tell Me If You’re Game

–by Frøhm

–as told by Derek Alan Wilkinson


Tell me if you’re game.

It was an obscure title for a book, consisting of only photographs and no words (aside from its title), recently discovered, according to the City of Cambridge officials, “During the unearthing of a forgotten church, and protected by layers of carefully-layered plastic” by an excavator while building a McDonald’s. The book is described by film director Mark Daniels: “The odd angles embedded in these pages suggest lack of photographic expertise, yet the result tells a story, page by page, that is remarkably profound.”

The book, (which takes on the appearance of having been pressed by a notable publisher) which few claim to have ever seen (if they actually even have—oddly, no other copies have surfaced to date) is merely the “juxtaposition of different, color and black-and-white images: A dead rabbit, a collection of Ray Bradbury books, and, coincidentally, a photo of an excavator of the type that actually unearthed the tome, to only name a few of the several hundred snapshots” according to one Cambridge University student.

The images are believed to be, in some philosophical sense, a storyline of the rise and fall of humanity—a question for the ages. Daniels states regarding the title: “Tell Me If You’re Game is a question: Can you stomach life?”

Anthony Alderson, professor of the Cambridge School of Film argues otherwise: “The number of animals, mostly dead, of unnatural causes, depicted on the glossy pages ask a different question than proposed by Daniels—that is, tell me if you’re game: as in, a small, hunted animal.”

What of the multiple stills of excavators and other construction equipment depicted? Susan Guiles, professor of Economics at Anglia Ruskin, suggests “Creative destruction. The photographer wants to show us that, by creating new things, we destroy the old.”

Byron Singer, award-winning writer and philosopher, suggests otherwise: “These depictions are tales of the old struggle of nature versus nurture: an argument for the return to the classic conservative ideal presented by the likes of Julius Evola in Men Among the Ruins.”

While the book contains no acknowledgements, credits, publisher, or wording of any kind outside of its title, it is believed to have been published by a Cambridge student. The book does contain a bar-coded ISBN on the back cover: CB21QE. This is a misnomer that doesn’t indicate any publishing house to date, as it doesn’t follow standard rules for ISBN sequence. A Google inquiry for “CB21QE” yielded a strange address: it is the postal code for mail delivered to Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, containing few buildings—many of which are dormitories. Much of the rest of Cambridge has an altogether different postal code: CB21QF.

Books are for burning,” remarked Daniels, in reference to the photo depicting Bradbury’s works, “Perhaps the author wanted us to find it here: to show us that it is not by government mandate that books will be forgotten, but simply due to the lack of interest foretold in Fahrenheit 451.”

Guiles stated that “Life gives way to new life” in reference to pages 20-23 (pages in the book were said to be unnumbered, but were given numerical references later), which depicts the stages of a decaying fox—killed in traffic, and tossed into the brush—with a plot of daisies having grown in its place.

Despite media attention, no one could claim to have authored the book. While a few likely false claims arose, no one could produce the negatives, nor any evidence that the book was their creation.

Daniels theorized: “The author has likely died. I’m wagering suicide. He did not enjoy life.”

“Not likely,” argues Guiles, “she believed that her work would fall into obscurity—as all works do. The author purposefully made herself absent to resound her message, loud and clear.”


Editors note: This article was found in a typewriter inside of the apartment of a Mr. Joseph Reed. There is no known connection of anybody with the name “Frøhm” to Reed. Joseph was found dead in his apartment of what was ruled to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Scrawled on the bottom of this text, in handwriting matched to Reed’s, was a statement:

All thought, and life, falls into obscurity.”

This is a work of fiction. Any references to real people, places, and organizations are intended only to give this work a sense of authenticity.


15 thoughts on “Suicide no. 55: Tell Me If You’re Game.

    1. Edith Wharton is coined to have said: “There are two ways to spread light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” My only curiosity regarding such is: how many mirrors does it take to diminish that light entirely? Surely the reflective surface of the glass absorbs just a little in its reflection. Eventually, in reflecting said light–if I’m right–we may all wind up in the dark.

  1. I like rambling yet serious tone of the commentary. It is pop culture at its best trying to be serious with little substance not able to preserve what is really said.

    1. Margot Adler quotes Philip K. Dick in her recent book on vampire stories, Out for Blood: “when the divine has been exiled from the table of serious art and intellectual discussion for well over a century, you have to look for it in what elite culture thinks of as trash.”

      Not sure I agree with Philip K. Dick’s comment by itself, but I do with the tone and circumstance in which Margot Adler quotes him in her book.

  2. Cool take on the prompts. I like the mystery surrounding the somewhat mysterious book of photos and the interpretations of ‘experts’ who weighed in on it.

    1. There is at least one so-called expert who weighed in something of significant value, regarding Julius Evola’s piece: Men Among the Ruins. An excerpt is found here: . This hyphenated version details some of the reference to this longer work in the story. I’d like to draw special attention to paragraph two, line two, of the link: in which the word and concept of “game” are mentioned.

  3. I am disposed to think that the author simply buried the book because she didn’t want to participate in the hoopla that would come from it’s discovery. I liked the journalistic approach you used with the prompts. Good job!

    1. Thank you 🙂

      In the spirit of the author’s approach, I tried to bury my laptop in my backyard. I don’t recommend this. Apparently, in the digital age, I find that such burials have no meaning….

  4. This is a stunning piece. Creative, intriguing and interesting in the way that an academic study can slowly draw you in, thought by thought. Your comments are almost as enjoyable.

    1. Thanks for reading it.

      I tried to make the comments follow the storyline as well. Speaking of which, has anybody actually Googled “CB21QE?” It oddly does pull up as the postal zip code for only one street in Cambridge.

      The story behind this is that I actually used to live on this street. I was an exchange student in Cambridge for six months, and found it odd that only this small, small area of town had a different zip code than everywhere else.

  5. Excellent and creative take on the prompts. I love the academic tone of the article and all the mystery surrounding the book and its author. I also really enjoyed reading your responses to the other comments – it’s like method acting for writers. 🙂

  6. This is really stunning. I like your tone and the technique of the academic story-within-a-story. I particularly liked the destruction in creation idea, it’s one that I am also drawn to. Your blog is extremely well-thought out, Derek. This piece is so different from last week’s, but it fits together perfectly.

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