Her Greatest Gift
The game playing on the 70-inch screen was the strangest thing Walter had seen, a collection of rotating colorful lines flashing in and out, a unique pattern each time.
“What is this thing?” He finally caved into the temptation of asking. His twin brother—Greg—hit the ‘pause’ button and replied:
“My new creation. Do you like it?”
“No. I don’t even understand what is going on.”
“See that dot in the lower-left corner? The goal is to keep it from being hit by any of the colors that appear on the screen. Think of it like an ever-evolving maze.”
“And that blinking bar up top?” He pointed straight ahead.
“The dot’s HP or Hit Points if you prefer. It’s continually decreasing. Only by navigating each colorful wave, can you refill it to keep going. There are also Special Stages for that specific purpose.”
“I’m almost afraid to ask what they look like...” Walter muttered. Despite being in the entertainment industry himself as a music producer, the late forties red haired man had never seen the appeal of games and no family extravaganzas could make him change his mind.
“You need not ask. I’ll show you.” Greg navigated a colorful menu. On the debug selection screen, he chose the first option, entitled “The Never-Ending Spiral”. After a brief loading screen, a complex rotating rainbow structure brightened up the entire room.
“I know,” Greg agreed.
“You didn’t design this, right?”
“Why do you say that?”
“It has the same patterns as Camille’s drawings. I recognize her signature anywhere.”
“You’re right. She created some new pieces for me, which I then scanned, and 3D modeled into the game.”
“Wow! I’m surprised she agreed to that. You guys didn’t exactly break up in the best of terms.”
“That was an eternity ago. We’re good friends now and, with our talents combined, I think this game will be a smashing hit.”
“Funny...” Walter sat on the sofa to observe the sparkling image better. “You said the same thing about the last three ventures of yours.”
“This is different!” The artist defended himself.
“Just watch, okay?”
Greg adjusted the controller in his hand and began traversing the new design as it rotated left, right, turned itself upside down, then exploded in a million pixels before coming back together in a slightly changed way. Furiously, he tapped the d-pad to make minor adjustments to his preferred route and screamed out of sheer frustration when the dot hit a colorful angle and stopped moving.
“Watch you fail? Pro play there, bro.”
“What matters comes after...” Greg retorted, eyes glued on the center of the screen. Dark eyes emerged from the conflagration of pixels, locking him in place.
“Camille’s greatest gift to me...” Greg drooled.
Walter facepalmed as his brother sank to his knees, enthralled by the digital hypnotic sequences. He had always acted like a little bitch around his ex, but allowing himself to be played into submission like this? Pathetic!
“God, you’re an idiot...” He reached for the TV remote and...
... his head bobbed to follow the latest chromatic configuration taking shape behind the breathtaking gaze. He blinked, and the colors changed. He blinked again and his focus grew.
“You should keep watching. You’ll make her happy.” Greg mumbled.
“Really?” The producer’s voice trailed off.
“Oh, yes! The more you do, the better your chances of becoming a part of her stable in the future...”
Walter blinked one more time and his mind sank into a fetish promise from which he would never break free.