Robert thought that this was actually very cool. He liked the idea of picking all of his favorite characters from all of his favorite games and making up his own new game. That would be so cool. And then he could make all of the characters do exactly what he wanted them to do. Like the Viking Warrior standing in his room. He could take out his laser sabre and just blow her away. Just blast her. Watch her head just explode and her brains drip down the walls. Wouldn’t that be cool.
Even though the person in his room still looked like a Viking Warrior — although his friends and he called them something a lot less polite than that — he figured out that it was his mother. He staggered out of bed and gave her a hug. He really liked his mom. She was nice and smart and didn’t hassle him very much at all and she paid his bills and fed him every night. Now that he was mostly awake she didn’t look like one of the evil Viking Warrior Queens at all. She just looked like a mom who was annoyed that her son was about to miss his second class of the morning, having already slept through his first class.
Robert pulled on the pair of sweats that was on top of the pile behind the bathroom door and ran downstairs. He heard his mother — still sounding like his mom — telling him not to run on the stairs. He told himself that he wasn’t running. And he wasn’t: He was flying on his personal spacecraft. This was from — he wasn’t actually sure. He remembered it was from some game he used to play. Or maybe he had just watched someone else play it. He wasn’t really sure. It wasn’t like it mattered which game something came from. It was only important that it was cool. This spacecraft was kind of like a, damn, he couldn’t remember what it was called. Kind of like a water ski thing. But this one was bright green and it made these really cool sounds. Like a tiger. Or something like that. It roared.
Yeah, he knew that there weren’t really sounds in space because you need atmosphere to transmit sounds. See Dad — I did pay attention in physics. But he loved the sound that the craft made and he loved the way it rocked side to side as it slipped past meteors and laser bursts. Bam! And those excellent green sparks. It was like a dragon and a race car put together. It was the most excellent car.
Oh right — he was in his car. Not a cool spacecraft. Just a car. A Honda. It was fine. Exactly the kind of car that you would expect people like his parents to buy. Sensible. Reliable. Good for the environment. And about as boring as — as wet towels, as his grandma would say. What was the point of even starting the ignition of a car like this. Nothing interesting would ever happen in a car like this. Hell, you could barely even imagine something interesting happening in a car like this.
Damn. Did a cop see him run that stop sign? He hoped not. That was stupid. He could have hurt somebody. And it wasn’t as if he didn’t know that stop sign was there. He had grown up in this neighborhood. He could probably drive these streets with a blindfold on. Okay, not such a good idea, but still. He probably could. He knew that stop sign was there. So why had he just blown through it. Okay, he knew that answer to that. He was thinking of how to do that thing with that cool dagger. Well, it wasn’t a dagger because it was bent like a lightning bolt. Okay, maybe it was still a dagger. He didn’t know what else you would call it. But it was excellent. And he liked the fact that you could put it in your belt or down your boot. There was even a scabbard that you could wear down your neck.
But was the dagger for the vampire or just for the vampire hunter? Damn, he couldn’t remember. The thing was, you could play the game from different characters. Well, not that that was anything new. But only someone who was totally clueless would play the vampire hunters. They were — they were the kind of people who would actually like to drive a car like this Honda.
Wow — that was close. Seriously, that wasn’t his fault. Not like the stop sign. That woman just opened her car door right in front of him. He was paying attention to what was going on as he was driving. It wasn’t his fault — he could think about the dagger and drive at the same time. In fact, if he reflexes weren’t so good from playing games, then he never would have been able to swerve in time.
He slid into his seat in class just in time. Well, the professor was talking to the girls who always sat in the front row but he hadn’t really started class yet. Robert hated the girls in the front row. They reminded him of all the girls in high school who sat in the front row and ignored him. He had asked two of them out on dates — not these girls, the ones in high school. Not at the same time. One junior year and one senior year. And he wasn’t really bad looking. Not brilliantly handsome, of course, but really not bad. But both of the girls had looked pretty startled when he asked them out. Just like they thought they he didn’t even know how to speak. Like he spent most of his time under rocks.
These girls were just like that. And it wasn’t as if they weren’t that hot themselves. Not bad, but not like the vampire girls in the game. They were hot. Big, big — well, breasts. Nice to look at from the front and nice to look at from behind. Big eyes. Nice soft lips. He could just about imagine what it would be like to kiss lips like that. Well, it wasn’t as if he hadn’t ever kissed anybody. He’d kissed girls at dances. Right at the end of the evening when they had all been drinking a lot out of whatever people had in bottles in their pockets.
By the end of the night, anyone could get a kiss. And if you kept your eyes closed, it was almost as good as it might be as if you were actually kissing one of those girls in one of the games. When you think about it, though, the girls in the front row could never match up with the girls in the games. They weren’t as pretty — that was part of it. But the thing was that real girls didn’t do what you told them to. and, yeah, sure, that was the way it should be. A person got to say yes or no to anything. That’s what freedom is. You have the right to control your own body.
But what would it feel like to take one of the vampire girls in your arms and, well, he wasn’t exactly sure what came next. But it would be good.
Hey — everyone was already leaving class. Could they tell that he hadn’t been listening the whole time? He hadn’t fallen asleep, had he? He thought he remembered the professor saying something about how science wasn’t as flashy as video games but it was real. But the games were real too. I mean, of course they were real. You had to pay for them, that was for sure. So that made them real, right? And seriously, how could you possibly think that science could possibly be as much fun as mowing down the vampire hunters?
You know what he should do? Yeah, he really should do it. He should tell the professor about the vampire game. Should tell him how exciting it was and how class would be way better if the professor could just make it like a video game. I mean, all those sounds and the way everything jumped around, back and forth across the screen. You didn’t really have to do anything. Well, of course you did. You had to be quick, know your weapons and use them, keep on your toes. You had to think like your enemy too, know where they might be sneaking up on you.
But the thing was, you didn’t have to think up new things all the time. You didn’t have to raise your hand and think of something clever to say or make girls think that you were clever or make your parents think that you had your life under control. You just had to sort of…