It was night by the time I ended up in a familiar part of town. I decided to stop at my Grandmother's to check on the dog, a decision that extended my terrible day into a terrible night.
Hearing the sound of smashing glass, I rushed from the sidewalk to her door, jamming my small copper key into the lock. I fumbled, scratching the outside of it before I finally got the door opened. An intimate beige apartment spread out before me - though, the floating and pixelated, rainbow-colored letters in front of me were a new addition:
LEVEL ONE: AMBUSH AT GRANDMA'S HOUSE
Round begins in 07 seconds.
Wait. is that a countdown?
Round begins in 06 seconds.
Yes. Yes, it is.
Round begins in 05 seconds.
A mild sense of terror crept over me.
Please equip a weapon from your inventory if you wish to survive.
Round begins in 03 seconds.
Suddenly, I noticed the strap of my backpack begin to glow.
Round begins in 02 seconds.
I dropped the bag down off my shoulder.
Round begins in 01 seconds.
I ripped the zip open. The inside of my bag was pitch black and apparently bottomless, far bigger than it should have been. In desperation, I thrust my arm inside, looking for anything I could use to stay alive.
Shit, I knew I should have just thrown this thing away, I thought as I pulled out the pop-sickle stick from the day before. My sense to not litter the Earth here to bite me in the ass once again. Fucking nice guys always finish last.
I reached deeper into my bag, but my hands merely groped around, never touching the inner edges. It wasn't the sense that my hands were unwittingly creeping into another dimension that spurred me into action though... it was the screams.
I burst through the door with a ferocious scream of my own, "Grandma! I am here to save you, don't worry!"
At least that was what I wish I said.
I have been waiting for some weird shit like this to happen to me for ages. In fact, I have trained for it. All those nights of chopping up watermelons and water bottles with my Katana didn't prepare me for my first real enemy though - Grandma's fucking humidifier.
Agility check failed - you have fallen.
"GrandmaAAAaaAA bdfjibejfbsdsf oawww," were the words that actually came out of my mouth.
I pulled my heavy body to my feet with a grunt, c'mon man, time to show all those people what you have been training for, I thought.
Another scream echoed through the house, causing my pale skin to flush with goosebumps. I ran up the stairs one by one. My arms flailed about, grasping for anything that would help me ascend faster. One of my hands knocked a picture of yours truly off the wall. I could tell from its position that it was the same picture I pleaded with my grandma for years to throw away. When the photo was taken, my face was covered in pimples and without a hint of facial hair. She thought it was cute though, and vehemently refused my pleas. It tumbled to the bottom of the stairs, along with my pop-sickle stick, and shattered into pieces.
Great, I thought genuinely, If the world is going to shit and I am to be its hero - I better get rid of any evidence of my embarrassing past. I wear fedoras now for Christ's sake.
An eternity later, my second enemy was defeated. I stood on top of the stairs triumphantly... before keeling over in exhaustion.
Endurance check failed - you are exhausted.
Grandma screamed again, this time only two doors down the hallway.
"I'm... coming..." I said between wheezes, "Grandma... Kick it... in the balls."
Bullies have always tried to tell me that kicking them in the balls was unethical, but I knew better. They would go on and on about how I should fight fair, but really, I was only using the advantage I had. They always thought they could pick on people like me, intellectuals, and then shame us when we fought back? Not on my watch. I knew their weakness... It was always a swift kick in the balls. It was all of their weaknesses, and I figured my Ambushers must be like bullies too. After all, only bullies would attack a defenseless woman at night.
I captured my breath and galloped down the hallway. Grandma's light was on, illuminating the room she was in. I turned the corner like a special forces member clearing a house and yelled to deter the Ambusher. My yell fell upon the deaf ears of an empty room.
I dropped trained attack hands and slowly crept into Grandma's room. I swear, her screams were coming from this room, I thought. I was never the most physically gifted, but what I lacked in strength I made up for with my superior senses. I could hear a police siren for more blocks away than anyone I ever knew, not that I had to put that skill to use ever.
I bent over to check under the bed. In one awkward motion, I pulled the bed-sheet and peeked under. The only problem was that my stomach got in the way and I couldn't lower my head down far enough to see. I ended up having to drop down onto all fours, but the result was the same - Grandma, nor the Ambusher, was hiding underneath.
That only leaves the closet, I thought in between mental grunts as I figured out the most efficient way to pull myself up. I settled for the tried and true, one-hand-on-your-knee-the-other-hand-grabbing-anything-that-will-support-you-method.
Like a ninja, I crept up to the closet. The floor barely creaked. I peered through the wooden slats of the door. What I saw threatened to make my pants wet.
"Is that you... Grandma?" I whispered at the eyes staring back at me through the closet door. The eyes didn't answer, so I stood tall and stared defiantly back. It was a defense method that got me through most of my childhood and worked 30% of the time, every time.
You have learned a new skill - Inspect!
To my credit, I didn't miss a beat. I knew exactly what to do with such a skill.
Grandma - Level 89 Human Scrounger - Increase your inspect skill to see more information.
A scrounger? What the hell is that? I thought as I pulled open the closet doors, "C'mon Grandma, I know it's yo-"
My words were interrupted by a tiny fist. I reeled back, covering my nose.
Grandma attacks you - Minus 5 hit points.
Confused and panicked, I struggled to gain my bearings. I looked up from the floor, and could dizzily make out my grandmother hopping all around the room like a meth addict on cocaine. I turned over. Grandma jumped on the floor, her Nighty spreading just enough as she squatted to cause me to look away reflexively. The movement caused me to avoid many years of therapy and even some damage.
Grandma attacks you - Minus 4 hit points - You dodged a critical strike!
"Stop kicking me please!" and, "Why are you so nimble!", and "What the fucker is going on here!" All spilled from my mouth in a jumbled mess that probably sounded something like, "Stop you nimble fucker!"
Grandma did not stop though. Instead, she hopped around the room, hung from the chandelier, and knocked over almost all of her various knick-knacks, which was an impressive feat all by itself, all while managing to find time to kick me in between.
"That's it!" I said, determined to wrangle in my Grandma and have a serious talk about putting her in a home.
I pulled myself to all fours.
She kicked me.
I pulled a leg up and placed a foot on the floor.
I activated my one-hand-on-your-knee-the-other-hand-grabbing-anything-that-will-support-you ability.
Grandma kicked me again and hopped back onto the bed, just as 'the-other-hand' portion of my ability kicked in and pulled the blanket from underneath her feet. Grandma fell back... and smacked her head on the corner of her nightstand.
Congratulations! You have defeated Scrounger!
Congratulations! You have reached level 2!
The rainbow-colored flashing letters didn't make me feel any better about it, nor did the light that enveloped me after I leveled up. I held my grandma's frail body in my hands and wept like a little girl. Yes, real men do cry. Hiding your feelings is the thing that is gay, not crying.
Suddenly, a black mist poured from my Grandma's mouth before dissipating into the muggy night air. She began to breathe again, but only for a moment.
"Honey, I am sorry for kicking you," her lifetime of perfect politeness forced her to say, "My body was taken over by something... something bad," My Grandma looked me deep in the eyes then, "I need you to find the rest of them... and... and..."
"What! What do I need to do! Just tell me, and I will do it!" I pleaded, "I will do it for you!"
"Find them and... and... do you sword thing on them..." Grandma said, seconds before she took her last breath.
Quest Received! Your Grandma came into contact with the deadly Scroungers and like many before her, didn't live to tell the tale. She did live long enough for one thing though - to task you with bringing justice to her name and defending her honor!
Quest Type - Chain
Current Objective - Find your Katana.