00100011 01000001 01100011 01100101 01000100 01100001 01111001 (Originally Posted on Ace Day!)
Loading... Chapter Eighteen
"What do you mean, it glitched?"
Owen glanced around the room that was decked out in pastel purple. What was once Emily's living room was now baby shower central. Katherine, one of Em's friends, had brought cookies cut in the shape of bottles and baby strollers. The frosting colors ranging from soft green to rubber duck yellow.
Maybe the setting is what made talking about this so hard. These were what Owen dubbed Emily's 'I'm a real adult' friends. Most were married and/or had kids of their own, a rare few were simply co-workers. Which left Owen and Neal as the only friends left over from before she was married. They were tucked by the food table, where bachelors not comfortable with babies always ended up.
"Well?" Neal asked. "Are you going to finish your story, or just stare at the finger sandwiches?"
Owen sighed. "When Lance was missing, I went to ask for help from Amilia. The game showed a flashback, and the headgear fucked up the colors. Blue looked gray, then when we got closer, my camera ripped away from me."
"You stopped seeing color when Lance was in trouble?" Neal asked.
"Well..." Owen had explained this twice already. His eyes narrowed slightly wondering if he was the one missing something instead of Neal. "Only blue."
Neal smirked to himself.
"That sounds so romantic." Neal picked up a cupcake that was made to look like a rattle. He pulled out the stick that was tipped with a lifesaver. "You know, the colors leaving your life when someone you care about goes?"
Owen groaned loud enough that the whole room probably heard it. "That's too much. It's going to make me sick like the guess what smeared chocolate bar made the fake poopy diaper game. I'm never eating chocolate, or talking to you, again."
Neal laughed, but Owen broke off away from him instead of hearing any more. He was surrounded by other ladies, but ignored them to favor the arm of Em's recliner.
When the group discussions broke into side conversations, Emily looked up at Owen. "Was Neal picking on you?" Her smile lit up her otherwise tired expression.
"He's the worst," Owen said, without much feeling.
Emily patted his leg. "There, there."
Owen watched as Neal tried to flirt with a girl who had ventured over for a drink. It was a mockery, fit for a middle schooler. "I'm not sure why you even put up with him."
"Same reason I put up with you."
He looked back, gauging her comment before grinning. "Because, I'm so charming?"
"Oh!" Katherine yelled from the small group sitting in on the couch. "We should start bingo."
Owen rolled his eyes, but no one seemed to notice.
"Alright, sounds fun," Emily said, before she glanced back up at Owen. "You should have invited Andreah. It could have been your baby shower gift to me."
"Oh yeah, this is something I wanted to invite her to." He glanced around the room. Within three seconds, he spotted the word baby four times. "It's totally her scene and everything."
Emily pursed her lips and shot him a look before she tried to get up. The simple task was getting harder and harder, now that it looked like she swallowed a watermelon.
YOU ARE READING
Bone Diggers (Paperback out now!)Science Fiction
When everyone IRL lies, the only person you can trust is an NPC. Dirty little secrets can't be hidden behind player avatars, because Bone Diggers like Owen expose the lives behind the code. When his two worlds blur, he must decide which is more impo...