Only a Game: Chapter One

I guess it’s only fair if I start at the very beginning. My name is Rose, and this is my story of how my life truly ended. Everyone that ever knew me thinks I simply slipped away in my sleep, but that’s not true. I ended my life, by beginning a new one. I know this won’t make sense to most of you, but I promise I’ll explain it all in time.

Now, for the most part I was just like any other 17 year old girl. I went to school, and went out with my friends, and occasionally on dates. See my girlfriend, Mona, was the best thing to ever happen to me. We met when I was 15 and dated until my ‘death’. She found me in an alley one night after I’d run away from home, and I was in a really bad shape when she found me. I won’t go into the details because just remembering that night makes my stomach twist up in knots. What I will say is that I wish I had a way to tell her what really happened. . .

So by know you must be wondering, ‘if you died, how are you writing this now and telling your story?’. Well you see it’s simple, I did die in my sleep, at least my physical form did, but my soul was taken into the game I was playing. I know this is going to sound insane, but please keep reading and I swear you’ll understand.

It was just after midnight on my 18th birthday. I’d had health issues all my life, and I knew I wouldn’t live much longer. I was already surviving on borrowed time, and I had accepted that. So I wrote several letters to my loved ones and locked myself in my room. I could feel it, the same tightening pain in my chest I always got before I’d go to the hospital, but this time I didn’t want to be saved. I was ready to let go of my life.

So I lay down in my bed and started playing my favorite online dragon game. As the pain got worse I eventually just lay there starring at the character on the screen. Standing with her white Dire Wolf and her deep purple dragon. That’s the last thing I can remember before I blacked out.

When I woke again, I had expected my parents must have found me and I’d be in the hospital like every other time my heart had failed, but that wasn’t the case this time. Instead as I woke, the first thing I noticed was that I had no pain. The second was that I was clutching something furry, my face buried in it, and it smelled of the woods.

That’s when I felt it, a warm rough tongue against my cheek, and purr like growl rumbled through whatever I had been laying on. Now I know any other rational person would have flipped out and probably try to get away from the unknown as quickly as possible. But something in the back of my mind told me I could trust whatever this thing was. For whatever reason I trusted that feeling and very slowly sat up and opened my eyes. To my shock I saw a large, pure white wolf starring at me.

Now I know I should’ve screamed, but I was practically paralyzed. Those large black eyes starring into mine. As I opened my mouth prepared to scream and try to get away, I heard this soft, comforting, purring voice in my mind.

“I see you’ve woken my master. I trust you had a peaceful rest?”

Uncertain what was going on I simply nodded. Much to my surprise the wolf gave a doggish grin and licked my cheek. Her tail wagging rapidly against the ground. I found myself reaching out to rub the side of her massive head, and paused at the sight of my own hand. I was much tanner than I’d ever been in my life. and I had a sleeve tattoo showing on the part of my uncovered wrist.

That’s when I finally looked past the wolf to my surroundings. I realized instantly. I was in my lair from my game. The cave I’d carved out with the help of my dragon Ophelia, and decorated with all of my treasures, and hunts from the entire game. Except now, it was barren save for my bed. The way the game always reset itself when your character died and you resurrected them. . .

Pulling myself up from the fur blankets I was laying on, I wandered to the small man built pond in the corner to wash my face, hoping the cold water would clear my head. I crouched down and leaned over the water and gasped, my hands falling to my side as I finally saw myself.

I truly was my game character. That’s when it all seemed to click. As I starred blankly into my own violet eyes I realized why I recognized everything including the wolf. It was all part of my game. Not only the cave, but all of it. I had taken on my character’s life. . .

Now, this isn’t the life I’d have chosen for myself. But considering my other life had ended by my choice, I can’t be upset about this. I don’t have the right to be complaining about this change. It was after all my fault.

Cupping some water in my hands I leaned down and splashed it up at my face. Shutting my eyes tight until I felt all the droplets falling from my skin. I could hear the soft whine from behind me, as well as hear the voice in my head once more.

“Is something wrong Kiara?”

I looked up to the wolf standing behind me and shook my head, “No. I’m fine Desti. Just. . .A bad dream.” I offered a forced smile, but she seemed to believe it. Pressing her nose against my neck for a moment, she nuzzled me until I nearly fell into the pond due to her sheer size and weight being so much larger than me.

I laughed and smiled at her before gently and playfully pushing her away. I froze when  another, slightly deeper but still female voice cut in.

“Are you two finally awake in there? We have a new task, and I’d rather not be late on our first day back.”

I smiled a bit and spoke up just as a large head poked into the cave.

“We’re coming Ophelia. Gimme a second.” I smiled a bit more when I heard the rumbling growl of her annoyance outside and watched as Desti ran out with her tongue hanging out of her mouth.

I followed after a few minutes and saw Ophelia already holding my riding bag in her talons. Desti was running circles around the large dragon with her harness in her jaws. I watched for a moment before Ophelia pushed the bag towards me and flicked her tail into Desti’s path to stop her from running.

“Stop goofing around. We need to get going.” I sighed and began to saddle her. Placing Desti’s harness around her carefully before tying her onto the saddle in front of me. She lay perfectly still as I mounted and hung onto one of the spines going down Ophelia’s back.

“Finally.” I’d hardly even heard the word before, within a few wing strokes, we were thrust several hundred feet into the sky.

I could see the vast forest spread around us as we lifted up higher and higher until I could practically touch the clouds. I could see birds rising from the trees.

Sighing softly I closed my eyes and raised my arms straight out from me. Keeping my legs tight against the saddle, a smile came to me as the wind whipped my hair around my face.

Suddenly Ophelia started to dive down to a lower height and I found myself clinging onto the spine in front of me. Hearing her voice float through my mind as a laugh she said,

“Why are you acting as if you’ve never flown? You always loved diving like this Kiara.”

I found myself blushing a bit and was about to speak when I felt her level off, and the light mist of water sprayed over me. I heard Desti whine as I looked down to see how close we were to the lake we’d flown over.

It didn’t take long before the village came into view beneath us. I could see a few other riders I the sky, some landing for their next tasks, while others were simply leaving the village. Presumably from just finishing a task.

by L.A