This one isn’t technically a short story; it’s more of a slice of one. But there is no larger story surrounding the scene as it was a single idea that never blended with any others. That advice you hear sometimes about writers having to delete scenes they love because they don’t work with the project? This would fit into that category pretty well. I want to share this scene with you anyway because I know if I don’t it will merely sit in a save file forever untouched and alone.
I wrote this piece many years ago, back during a time I raided on an MMORPG. I don’t anymore because it was far too time-consuming, yet I have a lot of love for that time, and a lot of fond memories, both of people I’d met and the games we’d played. This story was an exercise within that mind frame. If you’re not a gamer yourself there are likely many references and slang you won’t recognize, but I wouldn’t let that stop you from enjoying the energy of the piece :)
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Austin cursed as another one died. Not into the microphone though. He button smashed, holding one finger posed over his interrupt as his others maneuvered his character around behind the boss.
Then two healers died at the same time. Bam. Bam. And that was all she wrote. He watched as the main tank went from full health to nothing in two seconds flat during the boss’s special attack. The off tank held him for a few moments, but it was a losing battle before it’d begun and the boss turned and systematically took out the rest of the raid. Austin didn’t even bother trying to run like a few of the other guys did. Just sighed and stood, the echoing sounds of the boss’s emotes ringing in his ears as he bent to open the fridge for a drink.
“Motherfucker,” said Ira. That was the off tank. Ira, short for Irabelle. The first e had a squiggle over it as if it somehow made the name cooler. “What the fuck, people?” Thirteen or fourteen, Austin guessed, and still overly enthralled with the fact he could cuss online.
Austin pulled a water from the fridge, then went and grabbed a hoho before going to sit back down at the computer. The dorm room was quiet around him. His roommate escaped on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights because he couldn’t stand Austin’s hobby, which was more than okay for Austin because he didn’t have to feel self-conscious or embarrassed if Paul brought anyone around.
“Soo…” said Mango. Raid leader and one of the main healers. “What exactly happened there?”
Austin rolled his eyes and stuffed the last of his hoho into his mouth. Mango should be the one to know what happened. Should be the one correcting people’s mistakes, leading them in the right direction, but damnit, he was pathetically incapable unless Des—rogue dps, short for Desbledsallot—told him what was going on.
There was a ping and Austin glanced down at the yellow private message as he took a swig from his water bottle.
I died! I died! Please someone explain to me HOW that could POSSIBLY happen when I’m standing in the fucking fire??? Continue reading