No one really knew the name of this kid, or at least, not his real name. He hardly ever ventured outside and seldom talked when he did catch some sun. But, those who knew his name also knew what Mickie was all about. And if Mickie was in the house, he and video games were always engaged in intense coitus. Even his folks called him Sticky or Stix, and they backed his obsession over games with all of their Christian love. Their teen could rape, steal, and kill to his heart’s content, and his God-fearing parents merely smiled and praised him for the effort. They bred him to be a lascivious boy, a game-drunk idolater, and they saw nothing wrong with that.
Mickie put his life into his games, and he often traded them to get discounts on newer ones. There was only one game that Mickie never traded in. It had been the first game he ever played, and the only game he had yet to conquer. Each day Mickie would look the game over and sometimes he’d play it aggressively, gargling sodas and foaming over plates and plates of nachos and popcorn. These sessions would last weeks, and for weeks Mickie would try to overcome the sixth level of Humanity’s Hope. It seemed to be impossible.
The day the sky split, Mickie had just eaten four bowls of beans. Fattened and tired, he slugged himself over to the couch and sat. The television had been turned on, but the game hadn’t. Mickie watched the blank screen, ignoring his pathetic reflection. Just the prior day, Alison had asked for Mickie to come over to eat dinner with her family. She asked Mickie’s mother in the grocery store. When he was told, Mickie threw up his dinner and ran up to his room. He had only just come out to make beans, and now he looked much like a sour grub. He liked Alison, but he didn’t want her to like him. He knew it was hard to explain it, so he didn’t try to.
When his parents walked in, his Dad went straight upstairs, and his mother stayed behind. This was a Sunday, but the gray split in the sun’s domain made it look more like a Mournday. Mickie’s mother had a Mournday look on her face.
“Mickie, play your game, honey.” she said. Before her son said anything, she went over to his Cheer Max and switched it on. The television lit up with bright green words that slid off into ooze: Humanity’s Hope.
Mickie was handed the controller, and he jumped right into it, never saying a word. His mother watched for a while, her face drooping like only a Mournday face could. After some time, she retreated upstairs as well, leaving Mickie to try and finish what he had started at the beginning of his gaming career.
The sky had not split because it thought it would be a good look. Bread doesn’t slice open because it finds it fashionable. The sky had been cut, but not with a knife. The cutters didn’t have knives. They had pens, but that only succeeded in opening Ozone and causing worries about global warming. So, they had given the whole plan some serious thought. In the end, they decided on teeth.
It must have been a sort of disaster. The sky ripped like cotton, peeled back like sticky fruit flesh, and they all descended, all at once. The sky was blotted out completely as if devoured, but actually the sheer numbers masked it. The odd look of it, the bizarre and twisted shapes hurling downward and breathing, turned the sun away. A surge of darkness came, crippled birds littered the streets, and mass migration happened instantly. Stampedes of beasts scrambled for sanctuary while others stampeded for meat. The shrill screams painted portraits, but Mickie had been blinded. All of the disasters in the world couldn’t flush colors back into his eyes that weren’t 2D.
Knocks rattled the door, then the doorbell rung twice. Mickie didn’t flinch. He had just finished the fifth level.
His mother, crying now, cleaned up and opened the door. On the other side of it was a man dressed nicely. He shoved his way in.
“What’s your problem, sir?” said Mickie’s mother.
“Lady, the hope for humanity rests in that Cheer Max. There’s no time to explain. We need that system.”
The man stepped toward the game, and Mickie growled.
“I’m sorry, sir, but you cannot have that game. My son is playing it right now.” said Mickie’s mother.
A gun clicked and flashed. Mickie’s mother had popped into a corner, a huge hole spewing blood from her shoulder. Mickie coughed, and never looked away from the television.
The man reached for the system again.
“This system is the oldest model. The first one ever placed on the market. And it’s also the only one made with—” He flipped the system over, revealing a strip of what looked like silver. “Sonium.”
The man suddenly went to the ground, and Mickie’s father fell on him with blows. Mickie just continued to play.
The suited man and Mickie’s father rolled around on the floor, their grunts mixing in with the cries from outside the door and those from the game. Lasers blasted and brightened the television while real guns flashed and roared outside.
Something surged, a real surge. A cord dangled from the outlet, and then it fell. When the television went silent with darkness, Mickie’s father and the other guy froze.
Mickie stood, silently walked over to the system, and ripped off the Sonium strip. Then, he scurried upstairs.
“Get him,” the suited man yelled. “That’s our future.”
His screams and howls joined the brief belch of the toilet upstairs.
“Hallelujah.” said Mickie’s father.
© Joe Jones
Joe, a constant cloud-eater, used to enjoy planet ping-pong and the like. He now kills his time with a bloody pen and some loose-leaf to wipe up the stains. Whenever he feels the need to unwind, he enjoys a Mluinian Mu cake with a host of other Mluinians. His work appears in Eschatology, Yesteryear Fiction, Daily Love, and is set to appear in Bewildering Stories and Brave Blue Mice.