• H. M. L. Swann

Day 32: Video Game


300 Days of Writing

Day 32 Video Game:

Slipping on the headset, Vance was transported to his favorite place.


A place where his avatar matched his true identity. A place where his body didn’t make him squirm with discomfort. A place where people didn’t remember his old name.


Vance progressed, crouched down and slinking towards the enemy team. He switched the viewfinder to watch down the barrel of his automatic weapon. They were in his sights. He was getting closer.


BLAST. Red game blood saturated his viewfinder as game over flashed in green pixelated letters. He pulled off the headset, both elated to have played and simultaneously furious at his friend for winning.


“Where were you?”


“Like I’d tell you. That’s the first round I’ve won in forever.”


“Liar. You win plenty.”


“Play again to see?”


“Winner buys pizza?”


“Deal!”


The boys rammed their helmets back on, hiding their faces. Vance and Todd played for hours, forgetting about the pizza until their stomachs audibly grumbled and they decided to take a break.


As they walked to the takeout, they were glued to their phones, Todd was watching YouTube videos to learn strategy from expert gamers. Vance was on the message boards, scrolling through conversations that flitted between game talk and teenage bullshit.


They each ordered a pizza and ate them in the park on the way back to Todd’s; they didn’t want them to get cold. Three slices in, and Vance felt like he would burst, while Todd was polishing off the last slice.


“You gonna eat that?” he asked, eyeing Vance’s pizza.


“Go for it.”


“Thanks,” Todd said, his mouth full of pepperoni. “When we get back, you wanna play again?”


“Definitely!”


“Aight.” He took another slice from Vance’s box, his eyes narrowed. “You’re really not gonna eat this?”


“Nah, too full.”


“Jesus, you eat like a girl.”


Vance’s stomach twisted into a tight knot, the nervous ball that was always there, that had been loosened by a night gaming and forgetting, was back as if it had never left. “I’m actually gonna go home.”


“What? But the game!”


“Tomorrow,” he said, crossing his arms tight over his chest and making his way home.




Сайхан Бичээрэй!


H



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