Bree gripped onto the controller and grit her teeth. She wanted to end it all and throw the controller into the TV screen. Sure, it would be an instant kill for the flat screen she loved so much, and her tablet-shaped controller wouldn’t survive, but such things could be replaced, right? Bree squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. What kind of logic was that? Breaking something out of rage? Besides, she didn’t really want to deal with a pushy electronics salesperson who’d try to convince her to upgrade to the next big thing?
Breathe. Just breathe. It was just a game, and games could be beaten. Perhaps a prayer would come in handy. Her mother did teach her the ways of calling to a higher power when times were tough.
“In Arin Hanson I trust,” she whispered, because if anyone understood frustrating video game levels, it was the “Hey I’m Grump” half of the Game Grumps Let’s Play channel. Not that the Grump would hear her, but she could pretend, right? Besides, he’d been able to do this after fifty-eight tries and hadn’t lost his sanity until try number thirty-two. She was getting close to that point since this level didn’t believe in checkpoints. Seriously, what video game company thought it’d be a good idea to let fans make their own levels?
She was supposed to be breathing or something, right?
“All right. Let’s do this.”
Ticking clock. 500 seconds. Spiked enemies. Bottomless pits. And that damn cheerful background with clouds she now wanted to punch in the face. How dare they smile at a time like this. Didn’t they realize how soul-sucking this level was? Bree decided to work out the intricacies of cloud punching later. Just a few well-timed jumps and she’d be grabbing onto that flagpole and trotting into the castle. Run. Jump. Duck and-
Well, at least she’d almost gotten to try number thirty.
“WHO MAKES A CANON FIRE TURTLE SHELLS INSTEAD OF BULLETS?!”
In hindsight, despite her high pitched screech, she hadn’t completely lost her sanity. She hadn’t flat out smashed her controller the way Markiplier had done during that one Let’s Play video where he’d tried to become toast. So, in a way, she had won. Nothing was broken and she hadn’t resorted to saying things that would make a censor bar weep.
“Sorry about that,” she said as she set down her controller and readjusted her headset. “I just… I need a minute,” then she closed her eyes and slumped back in her chair. The game was still playing its bright, catchy tune as the timer counted down the seconds. Not that it mattered. The stage could be beaten in thirty seconds if done perfectly — according to the world record. “You don’t understand, this level isn’t even remotely fair! I’ve had an easier time taking on monsters twice my size. Real monsters!”
Finally, the anger was slipping away in favor of something she was an expert in.
Magical Girl Storytelling in front of a live studio audience.
A recording that would be presented to an internet audience once uploaded. Not only was this game irritating, but she was going to have to relive it multiple times while editing the video.
“You know, like that thing that showed up two nights ago… assuming you’re local,” she said. Bree opened her eyes and spread her arms out to emphasize how monstrous said creature was. Hm. She wondered if she could use her magical powers on the creator of this torturous level. Naw, she had a feeling that would be against some kind of Magical Girl Code of Conduct. “Actually, my arms don’t do it justice, and the camera doesn’t reach that far. Picture… Godzilla. Not the remakes, though, cuz he’s only onscreen for like ten minutes. Actually, I take it back, picture Akira, because this thing was hella gross,” she said with a shudder. All these years later and that mutation scene still made her feel nauseous. “If you live near the science museum you probably heard the commotion, especially when its flesh started to ooze over buildings and-”
Bree’s bedroom door swung open and there stood her good friend and roommate, Marianna Jacobs. She wore a purple polka-dotted apron that complimented her rich, brown skin. She was chubby and adorable even if she was frowning at her — though the stern look was ruined by the flour at the tip of her nose. A cute girl who loved to bake was almost the perfect living situation.