I drew my sword from my scabbard as I dismounted my horse. My breath came in ragged gasps and I could see a puff of fog each time I breathed. An occasional snowflake drifted down out of the dark grey sky. I was looking for a giant, the leader of a gang of bandits that I had been chasting. My enemy, a warrior covered in leather armor with brass studs and a thick coat, screamed in an incomprehensible brogue. He thrusted up his spear and charged. I deflected his attack and vaulted up onto his shoulders. With a deft stroke, I beheaded him. I jumped nimbly off his shoulders as his headless corpse fell to the ground with a thud.
I glanced up towards the trees and I saw a slab of tan flesh connected to a big, bald head. This was the ogre. The ogre was about seven feet tall. It had a full leather-and-steel suit, and was casually leaning on a big, sharp, double-edged sword. It was very hairy, and its thick hair seemed like an extra layer of armor. Its head was not big and lumpy, as I expected, but very smooth. This was the monster I was looking for. I started running towards it, yelling a battle cry, but I stopped as I heard a distant voice calling.
“Wha..?” I said tiredly.
“Daddy, will you take me to school?”
“What time is it?” I shifted my attention to my son.
“Time for me to go to school.”
I looked at the clock and instantly became more alert. It was 8:30! Without showering I got dressed and hopped in the car to drive Tim to school. I realized that since I was so late in dropping Tim off at school I had to go straight to work. I looked in the rearview mirror and noticed that my hair was sticking out at odd angles. My shirt also had a large red spaghetti stain on it. I resolved to keep my coat on the whole day.
On the way to work, the cars seemed to inch forward. My phone vibrated in my pocket.
“Where are you?” My boss’s texts read.
“Still stuck in traffic.”
“Get over here!”
When I went to reply, I swerved out of my lane. Cars angrily honked. By the time I got to work, I was already tired. I plunked down in my cubicle. My workplace. The cubicle was about six feet long and wide and seven feet tall. There was an ancient computer sitting on an even more ancient table. One side of the cubicle was completely open, so my boss could see what I was doing. I sat in a black office swivel chair with the adjustable height broken. There was a black pencil jar in the far left corner, containing a green pen, a black pen, and a pencil. I sighed as I took out my phone. At least there is one good thing today, I thought as the game loaded.
I mounted my horse and galloped into a dark green forest. The evergreen trees were laden with snow. My character was moving so fast that I had little time to notice the tripwire out in front of me. I skidded my horse to a stop as I unsheathed my sword. Instantly, three bandits came out of the trees, armed with crossbows. I shrugged my shield off my shoulder and blocked the first crossbow shot that came at me. A bandit with heavy, steel armor and a steel helmet that only came down to his mouth circled me warily, his two-handed sword drawn and poised. He began to move forward, not noticing a patch of ice right next to his foot. He slipped and fell, then screamed as I thrust my sword into the gap between his helmet and his breast plate. One of the crossbowmen shot at me, his arrow moving at a blinding speed. I felt a flaring pain encompass my shoulder as the blue and black flighted arrow hit me. The third crossbowman who shot me fell for the trick I used to kill the first soldier. I stabbed him, and he let out a small gasp of surprise.
Upon hearing this, yet another crossbowman came out of the trees, clad in only chain mail with no helmet. I flung my shield at him. The impact made a sickening thud, and the crossbowman fell backwards, nursing his ribs. I reared up my horse to full height, causing the remaining two bandits to step back involuntarily. I then galloped away. The sound of hoofbeats thudding against the ground was very loud, but my boss’s angry voice was louder.
“Yes Chuck?” I said, startled. I looked up and saw my boss leaning over me. My boss was a tall man with a big, smooth, bald head. He was dressed in a blue button-down shirt and black dress shoes and pants. He always carried around a giant, pointy pencil, and was casually leaning on it now.
“You need to review these files today,” my boss said as he plopped four stacks of paperwork that were as thick as Moby Dick on my ancient desk. I sighed quietly as I looked at the Moby Dick sized stacks of paper. “These files were written by our newer staff, and since you are one of the older staff, you will review these for mistakes. This is the punishment for being late.”
“Okay,” I said morosely. I grabbed the first file, getting out my green pen from my pencil jar. I started flipping through them, my green pen ready. I corrected and wrote onto the plain, black and white text, and looked for mistakes. There was about ten mistakes per page. I leaned back in my chair and sighed. “This is gonna take a long time.”
After about an hour, I was done with the first file. I shook my hand to get rid of the pain of writing so much. I plunked the file on my desk and sat back in my chair. I reached into my pocket and took out my phone. Something like that deserves to be rewarded, I thought.
“Yes Chuck?” I said, startled. I had not realized my boss was there.
“Since you are slacking, you get another file.” My boss handed me a manilla folder with two times the pieces of paper in Arabian Nights filling it. I looked at the file, then at my boss. It was useless to argue since my boss was looking at me, challenging me to contradict him. I took the heavy folder as my boss abruptly stepped out of my cubicle. I plopped it down on my desk and picked up the second file. I skimmed through the contents of the file. I was surprised to see that the information was very much like the first file, and then I thought about how long the first file took me. With my boss threatening to reward me with more work, I took out my green pen and opened the second file. It was as painful as the first. Plain, black text and so many mistakes on each page. This file took an hour and a half, partly because I was lying back in my chair looking up at the ceiling some of the time. I finished the second file, and looked forlornly at the third file. I reached my tired hand for the third file. It was filled with exactly the same content as the first file.
“Huh.” I said. “This file was plagiarized. Or the other one was plagiarized.” I scratched my messy hair and put the file down. I then stealthily removed my phone from my pocket so no one would notice.
I trotted along in a large field filled with burnt brown grass that was partially covered by snow. I was chasing the people who had been burning destruction across the land. The trees were scarred with burn marks, and many of them had fallen down or were leaning at odd angles like many stacks of broken pencils. The gray, cloudless sky was vast and empty. In this open field, the wind blew cold and freely.
My horse stumbled on a small brown object shoved in the ground. I fell off, my elbow scraping against the rough, cold ground. When I knelt down to inspect the ground, I noticed that there were hundreds, if not thousands of small tacks shoved in the ground. I cursed as I realized that I would have to walk my horse across the field, in open sight of any archers that would be cowering in the trees. I decided that these archers would not want to waste any arrows, because that’s what I would do.
Apparently, these crossbowmen did not care about wasting arrows, and were not like me at all. I heard a SNAP as the crossbows shot. One projectile, blown by the wind or just off target slammed into the ground next to my horse’s front left hoof. The other arrow slammed into my horse, knocking it down to the burnt, snowy ground. I broke into a run, stumbled and kept on going, not looking behind me to see if my horse was still alive.
After a while, I cleared the burnt field and headed into the open.
I inspected m- “Hey!”
“What?” I said, confused because there was no one on my screen.
“You!” I heard my boss say. I slipped out of my video-game trance and looked up into my boss’s face.
“Yes?” I said, my voice quavering.
“Its time to go.”
I looked at the clock. Surprised, I did a double take and realized that it was indeed time to go home. I reached for my coat, which was usually on the coat hook and remembered I was still wearing it. I grimaced as I remembered the spaghetti stain on my shirt. I walked out of my cubicle, and down the office steps to the parking lot. As I exited the office building, I remembered my tousled hair.
When I got to my home, I showered and put my shirt in the washer. I ran to the bathroom, pulled the shower curtain aside and undressed. I instantly hopped into the shower with hopes of fixing my hair. I positioned myself directly in front of the shower head and turned the faucet on. “AHH!” I said as the icy water coursed over my body. I jumped out of the shower, dripping wet, then cautiously stuck my hand in front of the shower and turned it on. It was still freezing cold. I realized that it might take the water a long time to heat up. I pulled out my phone and looked at the game screen. “Coincidence.” I told myself.
I was at the edge of a big frozen lake. I could see the other side, but the walk across the lake looked like a long and cold one. I cautiously took a few steps towards it, being careful not to walk on any of the icy patches. A cold wind coursed through the air, causing me to shiver. I stepped on to the icy surface, barely catching my balance as I slipped. I took another step. I could feel and hear the ice creaking under my weight. I thought I would just walk around the lake, but it was too wide. I took another step, then jumped backwards and yelled “AHH!” as I saw a blue and black flighted arrow slam into the ice ahead of me.
“Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.” I was pulled from my game as I looked at the shower, which had stopped running. I walked up to the shower and turned the silver faucet on and off. Nothing happened. I did this several more times, but still nothing happened. “The water stopped running?” I said thinking aloud. I sighed, still dripping, and waited for the water to turn back on. I was pulling out my phone, and it began to vibrate in my hand. It was my son.
“Dad?” my son’s voice reverberated through my phone.
“Could you come pick me up from school? Everybody else is gone.” I could have smacked myself in the forehead. I had forgot all about Tim!
“Sure.” I said. I got in my car and put my foot on the gas. I drove quickly, exceeding the speed limit. I knew that our house was three miles from the school. When my car hit a speed bump, I flew up into the air, then came down, the car landing on its side. There was a hissing as one of my tires let loose its air. I climbed out of my wrecked car and assessed the damage. One tire was flat, and the rear bumper was ripped off and dented. The side of my car was dented into the passenger seat. My trunk was dented also, from hitting the side of the curb. I sat down on the sidewalk and took a look around. This was a remote street, on the edge of a snowy forest and a grey sky. My eyes instantly reverted to video game world, where I had a silver sword, and there was an enemy in front of me. Then they reverted back. “What just happened?” I asked myself. I shrugged and took out my phone. I knew there was a spare tire in the trunk, but I was too lazy to put it on. I sat down and took out my phone.
Another arrow slammed into the ice ahead of me. The ice started to crack and crumble, little blue sheets floating away. I ran forward, away from the arrows, away from the crossbowmen, and fell face first into the ice, with jagged peaks cutting into my face. I felt an arrow slam into my leg. My whole vision was turning red. I dropped my sword and laid on the ice, waiting for more arrows to hit the me. They never came. I lay there, weak with pain. I saw a big tan a shape looming over me, a huge double-edged sword in one hand. I decided that close to defeating this game was enough for me. I felt a warm hand on my shoulder.
I looked up and saw a big bald head. I saw a tall thing with a sharp sword or spear standing over me. I instantly sprang up and attacked the ogre. He cried out in pain and surprise, which encouraged me further. I made contact with my hands and mouth, biting, scratching, and snarling. The ogre was unconscious, lying on the ground. I realized I could finish him now. I reached for my sword, and felt my hand pass through thin air. I grabbed at it again, but to no avail. My rage turned into panic, wondering what would happen to me if the ogre woke up again. I blinked several times to clear my mind. In doing so, my eyes suddenly started to work again. I saw that the unconscious figure on the ground was not the ogre, but my boss, Chuck. My panic became unbearable as I saw the wrecked car. I felt an unbearable prickling sensation build up inside of my chest. I turned and sprinted full on into the dark, shadowy, snowy evergreen trees.