Parker looked around at the remaining ten castmates sitting in tribal council with her. It’d been a dream come true to be on Survivor and she made it to the merge.
In her mind, she was sitting pretty with her hidden immunity idol that took a risk getting when she was voted to spend the night alone on another island. She knew she rubbed people the wrong way. She’d been doing that her whole life and she was fine with it. Until she wasn’t.
“Be tough,” her mother used to drill into their heads. Her brothers, Marcus and Jeremy, were just as competitive as her, but they weren’t ones to rough it like she was. She’d do anything for a dare if she could come out on top.
Succeeding and being the best was something she always wanted. Maybe it was that she was the third of the four kids. Marcus was the oldest. Jeremy next, so he was in the middle too. Then her and finally the baby, Erin.
Yeah, Erin was the only one not competitive in the family and it drove her mother insane. Her father, he was used to their mother running the show, so he often ended up spending more time with Erin and cheering her up.
“So we’ve made it to the merge,” Jeff Probst said. “Anyone feeling safe?”
Parker looked around. She was fine, she knew it. Call her cocky, she didn’t care, but there were a lot of players that wanted Keegan out. Heck, she was thrilled when his name came up, as he was the first one to rally everyone against her in their tribe.
If people thought she was competitive and bossy, they’d never met Keegan before. He named their tribe. He took the lead, he told everyone what to do and when. Because she was a woman and had an opinion a few times, he’d given her shit.
No one gave her shit.
But she was smart enough to stay calm and work any angle she could. She wasn’t a great salesperson for nothing. She knew how to play the game of life and was doing well for herself at it.
And she had her safety that no one knew of hidden away and she wasn’t telling a soul.
She’d been watching this show since she was a little kid and too many people made the mistake of blabbing. Not her.
“I think we all know what we are doing tonight,” Tyler said. He was eighteen and had an issue with his mouth running like the results of consumed gas station egg salad for lunch that had sat out for a week.
“So, is it safe to say that it might be fairly unanimous who is going home?” Jeff asked.
There were some head nods, but no one was talking that much. Then Sandra said, “I’m not sure it’s ever unanimous. Everyone feels nervous at some point.”
“That’s true,” Jeff said. “What about you, Parker? Feeling safe? Your tribe has the majority of members with the merge. You could easily start picking people off from the other side. How safe do you feel?”
She heard Keegan snort two over. “Just like Sandra said: no one really feels safe unless they’ve got immunity hanging around their neck like Jason. So yeah, he probably feels real safe unless he wants to hand it to me.”
There was some laughter in the group. She might be confident and cocky, but she had a good sense of humor. At least she thought she did.
No one wanted to be sitting here for weeks starving and stinking without being able to make some jokes about it. Going to the bathroom in the bushes…yep, she was a pro at it now. When her family got to see these episodes months from now when she would be back home, they were going to laugh their butts off. Along with her coworkers.
Her mother wouldn’t be laughing. Not unless Parker took the win home. But she’d long since given two flying monkeys what her mother thought of anything.
She hoped to be laughing to the bank with that million-dollar check though.
There was more talk going around and she was listening like she always did but just wanted to get this vote over with. It should be ten for Keegan, and one for whoever he voted for. Everyone told him Tyler was the guy they were targeting, so that should be the one vote.
Who knew with Keegan? He was a wild card on top of being a dick.
“Let’s go vote,” Jeff said. “Tyler, you’re up first.”
One by one they all moved over and picked up the large coal pencil and wrote down Keegan’s name. At least she was ninety-nine percent confident everyone was.
When the last person was sitting, Jeff walked over to tally the votes and then came back. “Does anyone have a hidden immunity idol they want to play?”
Nope, she was holding onto hers, thank you very much. She’d wanted to split the votes tonight, but everyone insisted Keegan didn’t have an idol. That if he did, he’d be bragging to those closest to him.
He was cocky enough to do that, so she was confident Keegan was finally going home.
But when Jeff was getting ready to start reading the votes, Keegan stood up and said, “I’m pretty sure this is going to save my ass tonight.”
Her jaw dropped as she looked around at everyone else who felt the same way. No way. He had to be bluffing. He handed over what looked to be some rock with scratches on it. Hers was like a mini totem pole.
“Yes, this is one of the five idols that were on the island.”
“Five?” Tyler said. “There were five there?”
The island the members were sent to was out of play with the merge now. It was only when they were separate tribes. No one had any idea there were five of them. Everyone thought there might be two tops. One on each side for each tribe to find. Since Keegan and she were in the same tribe, she’d figured she had the only one.
Holy shit, there could be three more out there counting hers. How was it no one figured out there were so many?
“There are five,” Jeff said, taking the one from Keegan. “Now there could be four in play. One more thing to think about. But all votes for Keegan will not count. Let’s start.”
One by one Jeff pulled out sheets of the worn rough weathered paper and opened them up. The first six had Keegan’s name on them. Enough to send him home. Darn it.
She was starting to sweat. She had a feeling her name was going to be on Keegan’s sheet. That he’d outplayed them all and it was going to be a dirty bitter pill for her to swallow on a dry throat if that was the case.
By the time they got to the eighth vote, Jeff read, “Parker, one. Keegan, seven. Three more to go.”
But the next three had Keegan’s name on them. Son of a bitch!
“Parker. The tribe has spoken.”
She stood up with her torch to have it snuffed out when Keegan said, “No, Keegan has spoken.”
She could be a bitch about it but wasn’t going to be. She could be the bigger person even if it was killing her inside. This was national TV and she wasn’t stupid enough to do anything that could come back and haunt her. “Well played, Keegan.”
“I expected you to throw a fit,” Keegan said.
She smiled and winked at him. “You don’t know me as well as you thought you did.”
Then she walked off the set, her smile dropping the minute her back was turned. She’d throw a fit, but she’d do it in the hotel room after she took an hour-long hot shower and got all the grime off of her. When she was clean enough, she’d go stuff her face with food. It might be the only thing she had to look forward to before she got on the plane to go home.