Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Keltis stared out the window at the almost-dawn of the midwinter sky. The snow on the ground had a lavender tint that matched the pale indigo sky. It would be another few days until the sun would actually rise above the horizon.
            Or it would have been, had any of it been real.
            The sun was, in fact, high above the lush green foliage of the surrounding Appalachian countryside. Curtis, or ‘Keltis’ as he now preferred to be called, was unaware of the current outside environmental conditions. Thanks to the virtual reality simulation helmet interface, or ViRSHI for short, his sensory input was completely bypassed and over-ridden. He was not lying on his bed in his parent’s Virginia home, wearing a t-shirt and fleece pants. Instead, he was in the northern most regions of Kraxalia, searching for the ‘lost grave’ of the first great Nordikar king to unite all of the Nordikar tribes, Klurkin Frosteater.
            It was a world where Keltis felt he could truly forge his own destiny. A world without schools full of the snobbish children of senators and defense contractors, a world without pompous prom queens and muscle-headed jock bullies, a world without patronizing teachers and uncaring administrators, a world without the world as he knew it. He could live by the sword, he could die by the sword. Or by magic. Or arrows. Or psionic powers. Or any number of supernatural creatures or occurrences.
            The few hours he was forced to leave for food, bodily functions, and the far too occasional shower, seemed like punishments in the least, outright torture at the most. They had steadily become less frequent, but his parents refused to “completely abandon their son”, or so they said. He saw them in the same light a career criminal views their parole officer.
            Having been diagnosed with severe depression, amongst other neuroses, the doctors had told his parents to let Keltis do whatever brought happiness into his life. They had been told this before, but they only listened after security guards had searched his duffle bag and found several pipe and smoke bombs, a sawed-off twelve gauge, a 9mm, and dozens and dozens of rounds of ammunition. Shortly afterwards he was withdrawn from school. With only a few weeks until his sixteenth birthday, it seemed best for everyone if his public academic career came to a close.
            That had been almost a year and a half ago.
            While to his parents he had become a recluse and withdrawn, to Keltis he was alive more now than he ever was before. He had been through lush tropical jungles, explored vast seas of sand, and had even traversed the bowels of a semi-active volcano. The cold tundras of Nordikar was his latest pursuit. It may have been the effects of the extreme day/night cycles, modeled upon Earth’s own arctic regions, but his time here seemed to be longer than before. Not that he minded, he would stay forever if he was given the choice.
            Outside of the artificial world Keltis was experiencing, the sun was still high above the full green foliage of an Appalachian summer. His parents home was almost completely, eerily silent, except for the faint din of the computer’s fan and hard drive. His parents sat in absolute silence, tears slowly running down his mother’s face, his father's fists white-knuckled in front of him.
            Unknown to Curtis, the doctor had just left minutes earlier. The doctor had confirmed to his parents that their son had indeed slipped into a coma sometime last night. He had gone on to say that had their son not been hooked up to the ViRSHI, that perhaps brain activity may not even be occurring. He had setup and I.V. drip and made arrangements for a nurse to stop by later. Lastly, the doctor had warned them that due to the nature of the ViRSHI, unhooking their son could cause him to slip further into a coma.
            They sat in silence, mourning the loss of a son. A son who was only a few rooms away, yet gone from them completely.
            Keltis on the other hand was laughing and howling with glee. He had just finished slaying all of the revenants in the first room and was preparing to go on what he felt would be his grandest exploit ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Something on your mind? Feel free to share.