by Izabella Perez and Sarah Perez
CONGRATULATIONS. YOU’VE REACHED THE TOP OF THE TOWER. CLAIM YOUR PRIZE.
Yvette breathed a sigh of relief as the game’s automated voice ringed in the air atop the boss tower, a gold chest materializing at the center of the final floor of the building. Straightening, she strapped her lance across her back, turning to see her little sister on her hands and knees gasping for breath. Monster guts stuck in her hair puffs and green blood stained her armor and skin.
“Help me up, will you?” Lillie gasped, raising a hand. Yvette laughed but reached forward to pull her to her feet. She snatched the silver sword that lay at Lillie’s feet and wiped it clean of blood with a ripped piece of cloth. She handed it back to Lillie who sheathed it expertly and squeezed her sisters hand before letting go.
Lillie walked towards the chest, glancing around at the open sky as she did so. They were on the roof of the tower after having killed its final boss, the Manticore.
“Finally, the chest. We deserve a good prize, don’t you think?” Lillie approached the box, flexing her dark fingers and giving her hands a good shake, kneeling before the chest.
“Careful, Lillie,” Yvette warned, warily taking a step towards the chest. “It might be a trick, you know how this world is.”
Lillie waved a dismissive hand. “Don’t be so paranoid. We just fought through a hundred levels of monsters. You think they’d trick us this late into the game?” She touched the lock as Yvette shifted on her feet, the chest opening with a warm glow. Lillie reached in and pulled out a shining circlet made of gold, jewels twinkling under the sun as she twisted it in her hands. A NEW OBJECT screen appeared, displaying statistics and a description of the piece.
A triumphant smile spread across her face as Lillie turned to face Yvette when an eerie cracking noise sounded from the tower. Lillie paused and looked around warily, one hand shifting to her sword. Yvette reached a hand back to clasp at the wood of her lance. Another sound came from the tower and they looked down to their feet, realizing at once that the ground was splintering underneath the chest, and underneath Lillie.
She looked to Yvette and prepared to run to her when the stone cracked once more before caving in, taking Lillie with it through 100 levels of stone.
Yvette didn’t have a chance to take her hand off her lance, a chance to scream, a chance to make her way towards her sister before she vanished into the floors below. Before she could follow her through the crater, a loud ding came from around her and the sky rippled. GAME OVER appeared ominously overhead the hole where Lillie had fallen. Yvette’s breath came in sharp pants as she read the scrawling letters above her.
YOU HAVE FAILED TO SAVE LILLIE AGAIN.
“What?” Yvette breathed. She tried to step forward but found herself unable to move, something locking her legs in place.
Yvette’s eyes widened as a perfectly timed photo of Lillie falling through the floor flickered in place underneath the words. The photo quickly changed to another shot of Lillie falling, and then another, and another until they all blurred together. All of them showed Yvette reaching forward to save her, but always too late.
A choked gasp left Yvette as the photos stopped finally. She recognized it immediately. It wasn’t taken in this fantasy world she was currently in, it was in the real world. Yvette stood at the edge of a modern building, braids suspended in mid air as she reached over the edge to a falling Lillie, their fingertips barely touching.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY AGAIN?
A glittering YES and NO shown in front of her, blinking in anticipation of her answer. Yvette reached a shaking hand out and pressed YES with determination, steeling herself for the restart process.
“I will save you Lillie, you won’t die again because of me.”
RESTARTING RESCUE MISSION. THANK YOU FOR PLAYING GRIEF QUEST: MOURNING SIMULATOR, WHERE YOU CAN RIGHT YOUR PAST.
GENERATING NEW WORLD … COMPLETE.