The Game of Daniel

1.4 The Invitation to Paradyce | January 14, 2012

Waking up from a dream is like being reborn. You wake up confused and a mess, drool crusting on the corner of your mouth. The sun shining through the blinds directly in the one place you wish it wouldn’t. A bright light pierces your retinas as you try to regain consciousness. Out of your basking dreams back into the cruel world where you were just another number, another ant in the hill. No more flying around the universe or making love to the most beautiful women your mind could conjure. As I get up to slide the pants I had been wearing for the past week I hear a beeping coming from my pocket. I reach in navigating through the packet of gum and receipts scattered in my pocket to reach the buzzing vibrating cell phone at the bottom. I had once had one of those fancy smartphones that seemed to be cool for a month until the next month a better one comes out. Yet,I had dropped it in the toilet during an epic game of Angry Birds. Five-Hundred dollars down the drain literally and a job as delivery boy would not pay for a new one. So I had retreated to an archaic flip phone circa 2004. I remember that I had got this phone when I was in middle school. My parent’s thought it would help them keep in touch with me. It succeeded at first until of course I realized I could ignore a call or in a ditch effort turn it off. The screen flashed an exclamation point which meant I had a new text. I flipped the phone in a rapid motion and located my messages. The text was from my best friend David ,but the name that was above the text read “Danger”. That was because I had nicknamed him that for a joke he used to say about his middle name being “Danger”. The text said this:

“Dude! Skip school with me and let’s go to the mall. Elijah Mann is doing a Q & A at the Game Factory for the new release of  his system. Then, John the Rapper is doing a show after! 

This news excited me not only because of the Q&A ,but school really bummed me out. I wasn’t some class A student nor did I give a shit about anything the school offered. To me it was a slaughterhouse of individuality  and a training program for the robots of our future great nation. Because of my apathy towards school I didn’t make that many friends. My only true friend was David ,but that was part due to us living in the same neighborhood. We spent most of our time playing video games in David’s basement. Not that my house didn’t have the same equipment but David’s basement became our fortress of solitude. They’re hanging around the walls where posters of our favorite movies. Notably Star Wars was one of our favorites and we had every original trilogy poster right next to each other and around the room you could locate our cutouts of Han Solo and Darth Vader on either side. As if somehow one side of room represented the rebellion and the other the empire. We were total geeks with a passion for preserving the classics and not perverting our minds with the modern crap that was force-fed to the masses these days. This was our sanctuary and when we entered we did it with respect as if entering some grand temple from Indian Jones. And whenever we found super rare geeky toys we would always exclaim “This deserves to be in a museum” referring to our collection of toys and replicas in David’s basement.

I put on my retro Power Rangers shirt and went downstairs to hop into my1988 Honda Accord Limited Edition. It was a classic to me and though it was no DeLorean it still had the feel that if I reached 88 mph in it I would travel time like Marty McFly. David’s house was in the neighborhood ,but we lived in a rather large neighborhood. It took me about 10 minutes to make my way through the streets that led me to his house. When we were kids the walk or bike ride seemed forever ,but by the time I turned 16 I was demanding a car. Luckily my father had bought my car from a little old lady for cheap who had kept it pristine for over 20 years. I am pretty sure she would faint if she saw how trashy I had let the inside get and appalled by my Bob Marley sticker and my Dancing Bears. Anyone would assume I was a hippie ,but in fact far from it. We were a class of geek so rare that in the end we knew that we would not find another like us at least no in our town. I pulled into the driveway and walked around back and down brick steps that led to the basement door. As I opened the door smoke began to billow out the door and I knew David had already begun our morning tradition. “Shut that door, numbnuts! I am hot boxing the basement bro!, he slurred as he wrapped his lips around the bong sitting in his lap. “So what’s the deal with this thing at the mall” ,I murmured a little irked that he had starting smoking without me. He handed the bong to me and I began to light the half burnt bowl and pull out the stem. I coughed as a large puff  of smoke exited my lungs.

Then I looked over at David who had heard what I said and was typing like a mad man on his laptop. “I got this email from a friend that works at Damascus Games. He sent me two passes to attend the Q&A at the mall. Everyone is allowed to attend it ,but these passes are special my amigo. After, the show is over we will get to play with his new system. We will be 2 out of 42 people who will be the first to get our little grubby hands on it.”, David looked up at a cork board above his desk to find an envelope marked “Two tickets to Paradise”. I laughed a little when I saw the title on the envelope because the system’s code name  for the past four years had been “Project Paradyce”.  We sat around a little more after this and played a quick game of the original Halo. We had recently allowed the Original Xbox to be accepted  in our classic gaming arcade which included an original Atari. The game ended with me being blown out of the sky with a rocket launcher. “Let’s get going” I said as I pulled the keys for my car out of my pocket. As I did that David told me to wait here for a second and soon returned with two Monster Energy drinks and a pop tart that wasn’t heated. We through our shit in the back seat and I started the engine and I placed my favorite cassette into the cars original cassette player. Then, the songs of The Beatles began to erupt from the speakers and we both lit a Marlboro Red and set sail. The only thing I kept thinking in my head was how lucky I was to be a beta player and how excited I was that my favorite rapper would be playing after the Q&A. David turned the volume knob down and began to speak over the whirling wind of the open windows as we cruised down the highway. “I forgot to tell you something else. The top 13 player scores of the beta test will win a chance to compete in a game designed exclusively by Elijah Mann. Only one person can win the game but whoever wins will get a job at Damascus Games in whatever job that fits your skills.  Davids voice faded into my mind as a new thought emerged. My dreams of becoming a game writer might come true. I felt as if Obi Wan has just told me I had a chance of being a Jedi. And now this day became the single most important day in my life. Something was going to happen today and the lure of a new  journey was calling me deeper and deeper. Into the void I go…..



  1. I like this site very much, Its a really nice situation to read and get info . 468467

    Comment by URL — January 14, 2012 @ 5:24 am

    • Thanks! I am working hard on trying to deliver a quality story to the readers. I am glad you found your way here.

      Comment by Daniel_Fellows — January 14, 2012 @ 5:46 am

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