The Video Game, by Nan Hawthorne

“I wondered when you would get tired of making me wander around this
checkerboard and come in and let me play with you for a change.”

Advertisements

In the rec room on my floor in the dorm I idly looked through the video
games that were spread on the coffee table. Everyone else was out on a
date. I was here alone, debating whether to take myself out for pizza
or veg out on the couch. The fact was the couch smelled kinda like
pizza.  Old pizza, with a generous helping of old beer. Not allowed in
the dorm was beer. A lot of things were not allowed in the dorm that
happened anyway. I found a game and shoved it in the console. The
crappy music, mock-heroic started up.

This was a sword and sorcery game. The graphics left a lot to be
desired, but I couldn’t help but notice most of the artistic effort went
into creating the “hero”. He was big, broad-shouldered, narrow hipped
and had long blond hair, just the way they appear in my wet dreams. The
various monsters and magical beings were not so well defined. They made
ridiculous noises as Thor, or that’s what I was calling him, slew them
with his sword.

I played for a while, reaching a higher level, then a higher. Something
about the monotony of the levels was getting to me. I thought I started
to drift off, but then I realized I wasn’t drifting off.. just drifting.

I looked at the TV screen. What the hell?! Thor was standing in the
middle of this particular level. He was looking out of the screen. he
was looking at me! As I stared he made a gesture. He was beckoning
me! I realized i was standing, not exactly on the floor, and with a
swoosh I felt myself sucked into the world I had been manipulating.

“I wondered when you would get tired of making me wander around this
checkerboard and come in and let me play with you for a change.” It was
Thor, and he was talking to me.

I saw the glint of his gold earring. “You’re hot,” I said lamely.

Thor smiled. “You’re hot yourself, man.”

I swallowed. “Wanna go out for some pizza?”

He took my hand and tucked it into his elbow.  Leading me toward the trap door to the next level, he said, “Oh, I have a much better idea.”

I gaped.  “I just bet you do,” I murmured and let him take me wherever he wanted.