The quietness of the tiny house was pierced by the sound of swords clashing and the whooshing sounds of spells being cast, along with the clicking and tapping of a computer keyboard. A girl with reddish brown hair, chubby cheeks, and a contagious smile took a sip of her coffee as she adjusted her glasses. Reaching for her headphones she made sure they were on the correct settings before placing them back in a comfortable position, speaking into the mic that was attached to them.
“We have adds on our left hand side attacking the healer.”
Her eyes darting back and forth as she frantically clicked the keys and shuffled the mouse back and forth.
“Did you want me to bring Cutta back?”
Another voice answering through her headphones, “ No, Coradwin. Hold it for a tank. You’re the only battle rez we have.”
For a moment she paused playing and selected another player as a target for her healing, but she didn't cast a spell instead moving to their location on the screen so that both of
their avatars were closer together. The characters name above his read: ‘Playswithspirit.’ for a quick moment before the boss in the game died and she whispered something to herself.
“Not creative Silvia, pffft.”
Text popping up on the screen in a separate window from where there was regular conversation scrolling by. Lots of ‘congrats’ and ‘good job’ were scrolling by as she selected the separate glowing window. The cheering in her headphones quite loud.
Playswithspirit: Great job healing tonight. Did you fix your talents yet?
Coradwin: Nope, I’m blonde. I forgot. I can now that we defeated Darkstar.
Playswithspirit: Did you want to come with me to the badlands?
-invite window pops up on her screen-
Coradwin: Let me grab coffee.
She pushed a button down and spoke into her mic, “Why am I typing? I am silly, BRB.”
Getting up Silvia hurried around grabbing snacks and coffee before sitting back down, placing her headphones back on.
“I am back.”
For some number of years this has been my routine. I go to work, come home, play my online role-play fantasy game and I just live alone mostly. I have a best friend whom I speak to everyday, but she lives in another state and we text as our main form of communication. Other then that the only real socialization I get in through the game I play called Orcs vs Elves. I have a crush on a guy online that I have never met in person, and I am pretty sure he doesn’t know I exist. Besides all of this I am a successful store manager at a grocery store, and my parents have been bothering me recently to get my life in order now that I am over thirty years old and I have a steady job.
My parents would much rather I had been one of those teen screw ups who had a baby at the age of sixteen. I instead graduated from college, got a steady job, and bought a house. My sister is the one who had the baby too young. I love Amanda dearly, but my best friend Natalie feels more like my sister then Amanda does.
The cell phone on the side of the computer going off with two different ringtones. Picking it up and quickly typing a paragraph before sending a text message with ‘replied.’ There was more text on her screen in the private chat window.
Plays: What are you doing?
Cora: Rping with Nats.
Plays: You message her a lot don’t you?
Cora: I do, She’s my best friend.
Plays: Oh that’s kewl. Are you coming?
As the evening came to a close Silvia, as Cora, bid Plays a goodbye. Logging out of the game and staring at the black screen before her rubbing her eyes that had become a little red as were her cheeks now. Picking up the dishes she had amassed and cleaning up before heading to bed.
The alarm blaring in loud long screeches beckoning the thirty-year-old to wake. “I'm up I'm up,” she told the clock as she hit the button and shuffled out of bed. She gained more vigor as she went about her morning routine with a smile on her face. Singing into her hairbrush as if it were a microphone. “Wake me up, before you go go!” Putting on her dress slacks and making sure the blouse was pressed before making her coffee to go and heading to the store she called home.
Silvia Richardson, the store manager of Greens, the local grocery store. It was one of those places where the cashiers knew all the customers and she was always happy to step inside it’s doors and feel like she was making a difference. The walls covered in photos from the latest community event the store had attended. As she walked in everyone seemed to approach her in a different aisle.
“Silvia this new produce vendor isn't cutting it. All this lettuce is rotten.” Her department head held up lettuce that had seen better days. One of the brown leaves falling to the ground.a
“I give you the authority to handle that Tyler.” She pointed at him with confidence. This caused Tyler to smile and rush off to fix it.
“Boss! Boss! The cooler is down!”
“Beatrice. Calm down, breath.”
Silvia began to deep breath with her employee before she continued to explain the problem.
A now calmer Beatrice started, “The cooler’s temperature says it's at 50 degrees.”
“There was a note from my repair guy. He was in this morning. He is probably in the back of house working on it. Just don't open the door until he is done. Let's make sure the fresh case is full first. That way all that cookable food we have out of the cooler already doesn't go to waste.”
“Good idea boss.” Beatrice heading off to complete that task.
“I hear that's why they chose me for the position.” Silvia joking about the reason for her being the store manager.
Reaching the back stock room and heading into her office she set her keys down and took a moment to close her eyes and take a deep breath. Checking her phone, but the blank screen before her only made her frown and find a drawer to stash it in.
The morning went more smoothly as she poured over her Profit and loss reports and made sure to create an action plan for the month of how they could improve sales. She stuck a post it on the side of her computer to remind her to post the latest sales in the main hallway. As good at her job as she was Silvia’s thought were always stuck inside the fantasy world she had become engrossed in from her college days. Orc vs. Elves had been a second life for her, some could argue it was her first. Her office painted the familiar red and blue from the two opposing faction in the game and she had posters hanging in her office from the game as well. Another day over before she knew it she was heading out of the door and back home.
“Enjoy your,” an employee in the deli paused “What did you call it, oh yes, enjoy your raid boss.”
Waving she smiled and turned a little bit pink. As she made it to her car her phone rang and she fumbled it in her excitement to answer it
“Plays…” She was stopped as she heard the voice on the other end
“Silvia Lindsley, who is playing? You’re not on that kiddy game of yours are you?”
Rolling her eyes as she leaned against her car and slid down it a little, “No mother I know who you are I was just talking to someone else.”
“A man perhaps? Are you seeing anyone?”
“You always ask me this and I have the same answer everytime.”
“Yes, you see them all the time shopping.” Her mother’s voice dismissive as if she didn’t like that answer. “I would really love if you could have a full and happy life. I just want what is best for my baby girl.”
“I appreciate that mom. You’re always an amazing fountain of knowledge. “ Her words were kind, but the pained expression on her face disagreed with everything her mother was saying.
“Are you coming to Sunday dinner tonight? Amanda is bringing Richard this time and Tommy.”
“You mean her husband is actually going to come along? Mom I see Tommy everytime I see Mandabear. He is after all my nephew.”
“I forget how often you girls talk. You should really call me more.”
“Mom i think I heard someone knock on your door. Yes I will be there for dinner, I love you goodbye.” Silvia rushing off the phone as fast as she could. Her breathing now heightened and she had to stop to take deep breaths before standing back up and composing herself before getting into her car.
Arriving home in a blur and not quite knowing how she had gotten home, but getting to her deck and preparing her computer with snacks and items she needed for the night gaming session. He house filing with the familiar sounds of the computerized fantasy world of Orcs vs. Elves. Silvia’s bobbed her head as she played and pretty soon she was waking up with her face on her keyboard and her phone going off with her mother’s ringtone and several messages.
“Crap!” She jumped up and ran around getting things together to arrive at her mother’s. Answering the second time the phone rang.
“I am on my way.”
“Change of plans, Richard isn’t coming either so we are going out, we’re almost to your house to get you.”
In a frenzy to get home now she sped home. Parking and taking a moment to breath before she saw a car pull up behind her. Her mother getting out of the car and coming over to open her door
“It’s nice to finally see you coming to visit us in a timely manner. Did we catch you just as you were leaving for the house?”
“Of course,” Silvia lied
Her mother looked her outfit over, “You didn’t have to dress up for us. It’s just Sunday dinner.”
She said nothing as she got in the car and sat next to her infant nephew. Breathing easier now as she looked up to see her sister staring at her in the rear view mirror from her passenger side seat. She turned away and checked her phone. A text from Playswithspirit was on there. *When are you coming online* She stared at the message preview for quite some time. Her sister grabbing her phone and reading it out loud.
“What kind of name is that?”
“He’s a friend of mine.”
“Oh it’s a he?”
“He who?” their mother asked as she got in and started the car.
“Silvi has a boyfriend.”
“Oh?” Their mother raised an eyebrow
“He is just a friend of mine from Orcs versus Elves.”
Her mother scrunched up her face and shook her head swiftly as if trying to ward off being ill. Amanda laughing cruelly as she handed the phone back. Silvia sighing and slumping don in her seat as a child would.
Dinner was quieter than usual. The three finished eat their food and as Amanda turned her attention to her little one so he could finish his meal Silvia excused herself to the restroom. Closing the stall door and finally replying to the text. *at dinner after eight I’ll be ok* she received an immediate answer *kk* Holding the phone to her heart she smiled and went back to the table. Amanda giving her a knowing look
“You forgot to flush if you actually used the thing.”
Silvia rolling her eyes as she Excused herself and went outside. Taking a seat by a garden that overlooked a scenic mountain trail view. People were walking on it as dusk was arriving in the small community. Remaining there until Amanda was ready to take her back to her house. The rest of the night was silent between them save for the goodbye she mousley eked out.
Her small bohemian abode was filled with the chaos of battle, but only in her headphones as the rest of the apartment was silent in the darkness. All the lights off and the glow of her computer screen the only thing illuminating the house. A scene of fantasy violence playing out in front of her. Clicking away and leaning into her desk as she concentrated so hard on the screen it almost seemed as if she was wishing it jump out at her.
-A message popping up in her chat box-
Plays: What are you working on?
Cora: I’m in a dungeon. We’re doing a challenge level 12
Plays: Oh wow, you’re doing twelves now? You should come with me after that. I can get you into fifteens.
Going to type something else but instead looking at her phone at the time. She tried to type something and then erased it, trying again she erased it again.
Plays: Corbears? You still there?
Cora: Sorry, yes I can totally do a fifteen.
-invite window pops up-
Accepting the invite another window opened summoning her to the front of the dungeon. Smiling as she checked her items in her digital bag and made sure she had everything she need before setting a robot out and offering everyone a free repair. Someone in the group made a statement how it was to have a healer who could also repair our gear. Playswithspirit typing in something about how talented a mechanic she was. The dungeon was challenging but they finished it and as Silvia looked at her clock it showed two in the morning. She said her goodnights to her friend, but before she logged off Plays stopped her, using her real life name she shook to a more awake state.
“So Sivia could I call you tomorrow?” Plays asked
“Oh, umm, yes yes of course you can. Wait what do I put as your contact name I don’t think I know your real name yet.
“It’s Thomas Cameron. Everyone just calls me Cameron though.”
“Cameron it is. I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.”