writing chapter 2.3
Posted by jeanne
“The game was completely real,” Josh insisted as more people came by to hear about their vision. “It was, like, Uber-sim, like Spore, only massively multiplayer. We made real people, and real cities, and they really ate and really had kids and really died.”
“They had rich, full lives,” Portia added. Except for the ones we killed off, the boy mused.
“We were in charge of them for, like, a million years,” Josh explained. “It was awesome. And we were famous and we were powerful…”
Portia thought about the burden the angel spoke of. “We were really gods. It was hard. There was a lot of responsibility.”
“But we were really gods,” Josh jumped in. “We could do anything. All the superpowers.”
“But this was just a videogame, right?” someone asked.
“No,” Josh insisted. “It was real. Really real.” He turned to the girl for help. Don’t we have any real proof?
Aren’t pictures and texts proof enough?
Josh looked embarrassed and shrugged. “I mean, what can I say? We were in kind of an altered state, like a dream.”
“Like a drug-induced hallucination,” someone suggested.
“Whatever,” he agreed. “Same point. You know when some guy’s buried under a car and this tiny kid can lift it up and get the guy out?” Several people nodded. “That kind of altered state. Something happens in your brain, and all of a sudden you’ve got all sorts of abilities you never knew you had.” More nods: it happened all the time in movies. “Well, for us, we could make things out of nothing, just by thinking about them. Real things. Like in Sorceror’s Apprentice.”
“And we got better at it, and it was really fun,” Portia said. “Satisfying. It never got old. But here,” she looked around tiredly, “I feel like something’s been amputated, being here. Like I’m less of a person. Less conscious…”
“Well, we’re all feeling hungover after last night,” Fairy said, getting up to go. She waved her phone. “Time for the next program.”
A bunch of people got up and went off to their next panel, and a bunch of new people stopped by and sat down. Josh left to go to the game room, but Portia felt like resting, so she sat there leafing thru the schedule, wishing for another cup of coffee but too comfortable to get up. Someone brought her one, instead. And a croissant. Cool. The boy was envious.
Somebody asked about the angel, and it was Portia’s turn to talk about him. “He’s cranky,” she observed.
Fairy took the escalator to the next level up and looked for the bathrooms. She’d noticed a funny buzzing electricity in the air around Josh and Portia, and was fascinated to feel how slowly it dropped off once she’d left the circle. She stopped and shut her eyes, and could swear she knew the exact spot where Portia was sitting, one floor down.