A short story by Erika Hayes
Continued from yesterday’s post…
A digital trumpeter signaled that his new quest had begun. His cubical dissipated. Time loses its hold in Second World and soon his fifty-minute quest was nearly over. The reward would be the accolades of Xenra a lovely curvaceous computer-generated warrior princess. She would promise a great reward when they entered the platinum member’s private Master’s Room. Her high-quality graphics gave her a realism that enticed him to complete the quest. Her program gave her all the right words and sounds. He knew she was produced to make him feel good, and for now, he was satisfied with her fawning. It was worth the $14.99 a month.
His fantasy world shattered when the smooth voice of Erin Wu cooed, “Hi Charles.” He slipped smoothly into this world when he looked up and saw her noteworthy jade eyes.
His eyes shifted to his computer screen. Xenra stood nearly bare outside the Master’s Room waiting for his command to enter. He quickly clicked the lower left edge of his computer desktop to hide the evidence of his conquest. “Oh!” His voice squeaked. “Hi, Erin.” He cleared his throat. “How was your weekend?”
“The usual.” Her long French manicured fingers rest on the ledge of his cubicle. “You know, nothing too great.”
“Sorry to hear that,” he pushed his hands over the top of his thighs to smooth out the wrinkles in his khakis. “So, what can I do for you?” He was trying to play it cool while his mind was absorbing every movement, sound, sight of her. Her floral perfume wound into his space, tentacles of femininity. It held him; he longed to wrap himself in it, in her.
Leaning around the corner of his space to afford more privacy Erin almost whispered, “I was wondering,” she paused, “do you play Second World?”
He thrust his chin back and cocked his head. “Uh—yeah.” he was genuinely taken back by her question. “Why?”
“Can you friend me? I don’t have anyone to quest with. I just got started and well,” she smiled, and his heart pounded against his chest, “it’s just—I need someone to show me around.” Her deep red lipstick broke into a perfect white smile then ending with her nibbling on the side of her mouth, “you know, right?”
Charles felt a bead of sweat on his forehead. His mind reeling, Erin Wu, plays Second World, he found himself stumbling for the right words, and blurted, “Right.”
He assumed that most the people that played Second World were more like him. While Charles preferred NPC (Non-Player Characters) because the computer-generated companions were always willing to go to the Master’s Room if Erin Wu wanted to quest he was happy to show her the ropes. He could skip the Master’s Room for real-time with Erin.
He realized she was staring at him, “Oh uh, sure. What’s your tag?” Her face contorted in confusion. “Your username” He clarified and smiled up at her while grabbing a sticky note and a pen.
“Vixen342634” her lips pouted, “it’s stupid, but it was all I could think of when I signed up.”
He looked up from his scribbled note. “Oh, it’s not stupid.” He placed the note with her username to his computer screen, “Do the numbers mean anything?”
Her cheeks flushed a bright red. “Yeah, I uh—it’s my measurements.”
He couldn’t stop himself. His eyes traveled up and down her body, “Oh, I should have realized that.” His eye widened when he reached her smile he looked down quickly. “I mean—uh well—never mind.” His face burned. The blood in his body was struggling to determine which route to take, northern or southern. He shifted in his chair. “Oh well, yeah—” His leg was jiggling up and down like a sewing machine. “I will find you and we can maybe quest today.”