It was a game rumored to just be a hoax. An urban legend. And yet, there it stood before him. How could he not play it?
The place:Portland Oregon, in a small family owned arcade called "Sparks"
The owner:Adam Cast
The time:In the middle of the afternoon, during a hot summer day.
Four men in suits walk into the arcade, carrying a large box with what the owners assume is a new game. The men prop the box up against a wall, and the workers open it with awe as a new game slowly gets unwrapped. The name of that game: Polybius. The game hub is black, the only color being the single yellow button on the right hand side, and the blue letters stating the name of the game on the top of the hub. The small joystick is directly across from the yellow button, the screen a normal size for games back then.
The men hook the game up, plugging it in so the screen turned on to a light shade of black. The letters of the game showing up in their bright blue surrounded by white with the name of the company and the year in a dark blue, underneath that was the credits sign in red. A few curious teens stop playing the games they were on and wander over to the black hub. The owner glanced at it, but didn't say a word, just going about his business as always. He signed the contract for the new game.
The men left, and the first teen put a coin in the slot, and the anticipation from all of the kids interested in the new game grew as he put the second coin in. The screen grew bright with colors, and the kids watched as he started to play.
The next day there was a line of teens waiting to play. Each one surrounded the Polybius game, ignoring all other games in the arcade. The owner watched in amazement as the sleep deprived children played from the time the arcade opened to the time it closed. Five minutes before closing two of the four men in suits came in, going over to the hub where they shooed away the crowed of people and opened the case. They plugged a wire in the same way an amp cord would hook a guitar to an amp, printing off something. The men finished what they were doing, closing the case and walking out without another word.
This behavior went on for the next few weeks, the owner of the shop watching curiously as he saw his costumers slowly start to change. They all had bags under their eyes, the more they had played the game, the darker the bags were. The kids sometimes blacked out, having to be carried out on stretchers. Others had random seizures and were rushed to the hospital. The kids Adam had warmed to as if they were his own children seemed to forget who they were, or where they were. They told him that they kept having the worst nightmares of their lives. Some of the kids even told him they had been thinking about suicide. With each passing day more symptoms came up, getting worse and worse. The men would always come and record data before leaving without another word. And all Adam could do was stand and watch.
After a month, the men asked him to take the game somewhere and to lock it up for good, stating it was part of his contract to keep it a secret to his grave. If he was found with the game out for people to play, they would have him arrested. He nodded, and locked it in the basement where all of the old broken games belonged. The kids still went to the arcade, asking where the game went. When he told them he didn't know, they said that they would never touch another game again. One by one his loyal customers left, some even becoming anti-video game activists.
He didn't know what it was that the game did to the kids, or why he had to hide it, but he decided that it wasn't worth questioning.
Place:in an office of a psychiatric hospital
People in the room: Dr.Nelson and Michael Way
"How are you feeling today Michael?" The "Dr." asked. Mikey shifted in his seat uncomfortably, the couch rejecting his boney frame as he stared at the person who was talking. He stared at him for a minute, his brain trying to process what had been said. But there was a clock that just kept ticking. And ticking. And ticking. Mikey looked up at the clock that continued to give off a monotone ticking sound. He hated that clock. He knew that if he wasn't already mad, that it would do it for him. "Michael, how are you doing?" Dr.Nelson repeated the question and Mikey broke his stare from the clock to look back at the doctor. He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, thinking about the question that had to be repeated before answering in a simple way.
"Okay I guess." He bit his bottom lip, chewing on it carelessly. The doctor sighed and nodded a little.
"So how exactly did you get here?" The doctor asked, looking at the teen that sat on the deep green couch. Mikey stared at the carpeted floor, looking at the intricate swirls that covered it. He couldn't take it, everything reminded him of that damned game. He closed his eyes, and started telling his story.
"I guess, it all started with my uncle Adam's death. He was sick for a long time, long enough to make a well thought out will. When he died, my brother got his comics. My mother got his cutlery and music collection. And I got three of his old arcade games."
"You did mention that yesterday, the fact that your uncle owned an arcade back in the 80's." Mikey nodded. Yesterday was the day that he was admitted to the hospital, and they thought for a while that he had schizophrenia since he kept saying random nonsense, but in Mikey's damaged brain, it all was clear how it tied together.
"He was forced to close it down in 1982, we're not sure why." Mikey said as he looked over at the bookshelf, reading the books about different mental disorders and how to talk to abused children. I don't belong here, he said over and over and over in his mind. He wasn't like the other kids that he had met, wondering around with no real sense of self-awareness. Unable to process where they were and how they got there. He knew how and why, and he didn't understand why he had to stay. All he wanted to do was leave.
"So what happened after the funeral? You got a few old video games?" The doctor carried on wanting to knowing more about the teen who shifted once more on the couch.
"It wasn't just any games. I mean yeah, two of them were pretty much common things that everyone has in some way. But one of them was....different. It had history." Mikey said and the doctor looked slightly intrigued.
"Oh? What kind of history? Good? Bad?"
"I'm not sure what you would classify it as. It was called an urban legend...just an elaborate hoax." Mikey said quietly. Should he really be telling the person who was trying to help him that he purposely played a game that was said to make the players go insane? He stalled on saying more, and within a minute a lady walked in, wearing the uniform for the hospital nurses.
"It's time for Michael to take his pills." She said in a fake chipper voice. Mikey stood and followed her out of the room to get in line with the other patients, moving along in the line slowly as he took in every terrifying detail of what got him there.
This story is old. I found it amongst others that I wrote like, five years ago. So I'm going to go through, re-write it, and post it anew. I realize that this isn't a very good story, and it probably won't get very many reviews or ratings, but considering the fact that none of my other stories get that, it's not that big of a deal.
So I hope you can set ignore the bad plot and writing.