after Zork 1
I’m on the phone with Todd and he’s having a feigned cry. Anitra and Julie are at Todd’s. Listen from another phone in the house. He tells me he’s in love with me but that’s a lie. I smack keys on a mechanical keyboard. Hear the muffled snickering of girls over the line while I’m in the dungeon looking for a light source. The room begins to fill with water. Todd says he wants to meet me at the carnival tonight, but it’s my last night with my best fried Victor, who’s moving, who wants to tell me something but I’m telling him to get me out of this room, find me a flashlight. He says, you have to spray yourself with Grue repellent. I don’t know what the fuck that means. There’s a switch in the dark. I flip it. The water moves faster; is up to my knee. Todd asks me if I’m in love with Julie. I tell him I haven’t seen Julie since the fourth grade when she lied for me, protected me. I don’t tell him that part. Todd says he’s going to kill himself if I don’t meet him. So I agree. They all make fun of me because I never had funnel cake. Victor is mad at me about the fucking pending Carnivorous Grue or the rising water or that I’m being pranked or that I like Julie. Victor tells me I can’t traverse the dark carrying so much shit. I don’t know what that means. My elven sword begins to glow in the dark. There’s a troll where there might have been a Grue a minute ago. The water at my waist now. Get out of there, Victor screams. Get off the phone with those stupids, he says. Todd calls Victor a faggot. I go for the stairs but the troll knocks me unconscious in the rising water. Victor waits with me by the funnel cake alone. Consoles me about Julie. He leaves without telling me the thing he wants to say. I don’t press him. I don’t stop him. On Monday, Todd tells everyone I’m a faggot with spic cooties. Julie backs his play. Victor isn’t there to fight for me. The troll flees, the water rises, my elven sword no long glows. My bag so full of shit I can’t traverse the dark.