Welcome to Shady Side pt 3 - New Quest: Meeting The Prince
Posted on Mon May 11th, 2015 @ 11:32am by Unawakened Melissa Wilson
Location: Melissa's room
Melissa’s speakers cut through the silence of the night. They weren’t turned up very loud, but, turned as they were toward the bed, they could hardly fail to slide into Deo’s dreams like a knife of reality in an otherwise peaceful sleep.
Deo found sleep elusive after months of luxurious back rubs. The weight of Bobbie against his back, the warm press of their bodies as they lay together lulled Deo into a peaceful slumber unlike anything he had known before or since. Going without it proved a lot more stressful than Deo expected.
Ordinarily the slightest light or sound jolted him awake but here, now, they struck his fitful dreams like electric prods. At first the strange light of Melissa’s screensaver bothered Deo so he gingerly draped a shirt over the monitor. Now came incessant pinging and at what-the-fuck time in the night. The Greek boy sat up with a growl of frustration glaring at the offending machine.
He promised not to touch anything but maybe if he ‘accidentally’ bumped the power button it would shut the damned thing up. No, he knew he he felt when anyone tampered with his computer. He could not do that to his young cousin. He already put her out of her room.
*DING!*DING!* The sound came again. Deo had to do something if he was going to get any sleep at all. Mama and the cousins planned a full day for the family tomorrow and dark, sleepless circles under Deo’s eyes would only make the Greek hens cluck. The computer had to be silenced for the good of the family and Deo’s sanity.
He rubbed his chin as he pondered what to do. If he was going to break his promise he might as well make it worthwhile. He planned to get a screen capture of Melissa’s “Worlds of Myth” character, Neferu. He might as well do that while telling whoever was pinging her that she was away. Hell, likely she was asleep … like he should have been.
Deo took the shirt gently off the monitor. He winced against the bright light. The pinging woke Melissa’s screensaver. She left her game running and the chat was still active. No wonder she had visitors. They thought she was still online. Deo took a quick screen capture and e-mailed it to himself and noticed the scroll of chat running down the side of the screen. He knew he should not but he could not help but notice some of the words in the text and it gripped his attention.
What the hell…?
Damn him, but he read.
Deo scrolled back through the chat to discover that Melissa had been engaged in a deep conversation with whoever was behind the name ‘Ankhramesses’ until the time stamp when Deo and Mama arrived. Likely the family called her out before she had time to shutdown the computer. Deo pondered what to do.
The first inclination was to turn off the computer and go back to bed. Doing that however would wipe the chat and what Ankhramesses was talking about was pretty heavy. Turning down the volume and going back to bed left the guy hanging and Melissa likely would not be back in her room until Deo left. A week was a long time to leave her apparent boyfriend hanging. He had already broken his promise to Melissa by touching the computer. She would not care that the pinging drove him nuts. Girls were weird like that. Liv would have threatened Deo’s future offspring for less.
The nice thing to do in any event was to tell this Ankhramesses character that Melissa was away for up to a week and why. It meant using her account and her avatar, a cardinal sin amongst gamers. Another strike against him. He was racking up bad karma tonight.
Okay, he would tell Ankhramesses that Melissa was away and then turn off the computer. No actual violation of gamer etiquette and a forgivable breaking of game EULA. What the developers did not know and all. So, Deo turned his attention to Melissa’s character and dropped his jaw.
He took the screen grab without really paying attention. Now that he sat at the desk and truly studied Melissa’s in-game avatar he did a double-take.
The game had changed considerably since Deo last played several years ago. Graphics were better and effects cooler. The site location was Alexandria. An animated representation of the Mediterranean Sea glittered on a full moonlit night. He saw Neferu from behind, a shapely, athletic female form in silhouette, behind a translucent blue cape. Long, straight black hair cut in classic Egyptian style flowed down the shoulders. The character stood still, like a puppet without a handler, frozen in time. Deo turned the camera to get a better view from the front.
Neferu wore a bejeweled Egyptian collar with fanning metal wings over her breasts adorned in lapis, rubies, and gold. Where classic Egyptians wore a linen kilt or tunic Neferu wore a skimpy metal bikini worthy of a teenage boy’s comic book wet dream. The only modesty the character enjoyed was a loincloth and what passed for a guild tabard. For a digital character she was stunningly pretty with large blue eyes, honey bronze skin, and red lips. Sickle daggers of bright, silvery metal glittered at her hips. A quick glance at her character sheet and Deo drooled with envy. He considered reactivating his account. He shook off the distraction though when he spied the chat screen in the lower left corner.
He bit his lip and sighed, “I am a complete moron.”
The response came quickly
“It’s simple, Deo,” Greek boy muttered under his breath. “Just type ‘Melissa is away for a week, sorry’ and close down the game. Go back to bed. Don’t die tomorrow.”
“Shit,” Deo spat.
There was a pause.
“Now I feel like shit,” Deo wanted to beat his head on the keyboard. “Can’t be as hard as what Melissa is going through. No wonder she is so quiet. And here this kid is pouring his heart out. Why isn’t he doing this in person, though?” He noted too long had passed without a response so he typed something simple, something Melissa might say.
“I’m going to die,” He hit ‘enter’.”
“That does it.” Deo breathed with absolute certainty. “If she doesn’t kill me, he will or he’ll die and I’ll die of guilt. Way to go, Spencer.”
“Fingers, what is wrong with my fucking fingers?” Deo glared at his hands. “Traitors!”
Deo drew back with a grimace, “Oh, dude, anymore corn and I’m going to need butter! Ugh!” He immediately felt bad, though as Ankhramesses clearly poured out his corny, melodramatic soul. How was he going to dig his way out of this? The boy wanted an answer.
“Shut down, shut down, now….” Deo stared at the screen before typing.
There was a brief pause.
Deo fell back covering his mouth against the urge to burst out laughing and wake up the house. At least Melissa’s guy didn’t drop offline but in many ways Deo wished he had. Now he had to explain.
Deo did not know this guy from Jack-the-Ripper and for all he knew he just promised to take Melissa to a stalker. Still, the chat about what she endured in school and apparently, from the way she acted Melissa kept it all bottled up inside--like how Deo did. He knew from personal experience how toxic and painful, how unbearably lonely it was before Bobbie. Was this Melissa’s “Bobbie”? Who was he to say? Who was he to judge by their online relationship when he and Bobbie slept in the same bed from the first night they met? No, he would not throw stones but he would be careful.
He began typing.
there was a pause.
Deo could not help but grin. This guy was growing on him, hopefully not like penicillin. He typed back.
Another long pause.
“Yeah, Deo, what do you mean?” The Greek boy combed his fingers back through his hair. He heard Liv in his head, “You realize you aren’t any better at this than I am, right?” After that, on another important day she waxed wisely again, “Our dear Deo always seemed too afraid to risk, to take chances.”
“I don’t know my head from a hole in the ground and I’m giving this guy advice?” He whispered to himself. “Think, Deo, what would Tina say?” At that his eyes lit and his fingers flew across the keys.
“Okay, Deo, you’re making a lot of assumptions about a girl you only met today. Better safe than sorry, though.” He paused for Ankhramesses to respond.
Deo could not see this guy. He could not hear him but he could feel earnest hope behind his words. Of course, the Greek boy could be imagining things too. That was the danger of online relationships and that inspired his reply.
“It can keep me awake, though,” Deo groused.
Deo barked laughter and covered his mouth quickly, hoping he did not wake anyone. “Well, at least he’s honest about it.”
Deo gritted his teeth angrily, imagining how his father beat him on the floor of the shower at school. His fingers flew across the keys.
“Oh, I am so not thinking what I’m thinking…” Deo groaned. “I am thinking what I’m thinking and Liv should be here to stop me. God damn it….”
Deo looked up and once more he imagined as Liv did the “icky” dance. “Penis, eugh! Penis, eugh! Penis bad! No penis!”
At that Deo logged out of the game and palmed his face. “What have I gotten myself into?”