Blacke Forest Fever - A Short Story by @MadMikeMarsbergen

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There he was: contorted on the ground, paralyzed from the neck down after an elegant leap off a ninety-foot grain silo had turned tragic. He had ten fucking HP and there were helsings coming—a whole gang of them by the sounds of it. He could hear the screams of their soulcycles off in the distance, could almost smell the half-fart, half-corpse odour the bikes gave off.

"Duuuuuuude! Heal me!" screamed Graham Otep, son of Pharaoh Ebanedza, leader of the United Ennead Nation. Graham was an avid gamer, only twenty, still training in the ways of the Magi. His mother was the most powerful woman in the world—a single mom who had raised him all on her own, with only the country's vast riches to support her dreams.

Graham had been born into wealth, and he was well aware of it. The Otep Dynasty could all thank Uncle Otis and his great Sunra Revolution for that.

"Seriously, dude," Graham continued, composed. "Stop being a softcock and heal me for fuck's sake. Let's win this bullshit and move on."

He'd been dealing with this shit for twenty minutes now, him and the other two randos on his team. Shit like getting ditched by the party's solo healer at inopportune moments when it would be twenty bloodsucking stokers against one. Shit like the guy going AFK in boss fights. Shit like blowing non-stop into the mike.

One by one they'd been picked off. And when you start with a group of four, there's not much to spare. Now it was just Graham and the solo healer from the far reaches of the Duat.

Said solo healer, GitUrLulz, was obviously a troll. A mohawked maggot dressed in a puffy tan fishing vest and pink booty shorts—definitely not what you wanted to be wearing while trekking it out in the coldest parts of the Americas, eliminating all those afflicted by the Blacke Forest Fever. No, instead of doing that, GitUrLulz hopped in one spot, spinning around in circles.

"Go to hell and stay there, buddy," Graham told him.

Idiots. Tonight was not his night.

"Dude. What the fuck are you doing?"

Now the guy wasn't moving at all, simply staring up at the sky. Shooting his two revolvers at nothing but moonlit cloud. The clouds drifted off, about as uninjured as expected.

Graham growled to himself. This was why he usually played with Jerome. "Please, man. C'mon. You're ruining the fuckin' game."

GitUrLulz started breakdancing in the middle of the Blacke Forest while he, Graham, lay immobile beside. All he could do was stare as the helsings rolled up on their soulcycles, the bikes' screams now a rumbling choir of haunted moans. The hairy beasts threw themselves up over the handlebars, twenty feet into the air, their black fur blowing every which way. They all landed with the synchronization of an elite Korean boy band doubling as a world-class gymnastics squad, got down on one knee and howled up at the Bloodmoon. Then they descended on the troll and ripped him to shreds as he flopped about in some bad attempt at the worm.

Graham sighed and disconnected before the helsings could get in on him, sucking his colon out of his ass or whatever other weird shit they did. This VR shit was wack.

The Blacke Forest faded. Graham removed the headdress and felt the pressure ease on his smooth black skull. It always surprised him how numb his head got. The feeling faded quickly.

Back to life.

***

It was the usual speech to the crowd, and did Graham get any thanks when he reached his mother's side, on-time as usual? No.

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