Monday, July 4, 2016

Video Vignettes - "Return of the King"

Video Vignettes are 500 to 1000 word short stories about one or more video games. "Return of the King" features elements from Earthbound, Super Smash Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Silent Hill 2, as well as some inspiration from American pop culture. 


Mist cascaded over the small plot of land. A dank, earthen stink permeated the air.

The shovel sliced through the ground, again and again, before sounding a loud “clank.”

The man in the red hat stopped for a moment, contemplating. His striped yellow t-shirt clung to him like Saran wrap and exposed his jiggly belly. His shorts barely contained his bottom and ended seven or eight inches above his knees.

He knelt down near the hole, tossing the shovel carelessly behind him. His long, straggly hair hung so low it nearly brushed against the ground.

He reached into his decades old yellow backpack, once cute but now caked with grime, and removed an old, shattered baseball bat. Around it he placed several candles, creating the shape of a pentagram, and lit them.

“Michael, you look so peaceful,” he said. “Forgive me for waking you. But without you, I just can’t go on. No one has needed me since 1995. I’ve had to fight in illegal underground tournaments for the last 20 years just to make ends meet, and I’m tired of it. With you, I can bring back the past. People will remember what life used to be like. And I can go on another adventure.”

He stood. “The old Gods haven’t left this place,” he said, “and they still grant power to those who venerate them. Power to defy even death. The power of revival – for both of us.”

The candle flames leapt higher, tickling the brush around them and producing an eerie green glow. After some hesitation, the man tossed the final piece of the ritual in the center of the pentagram. For a brief second, the side of the rectangle object was illuminated as it fell, revealing the words, “Sonic the Hedgehog 3.”

The flames burst into the sky, and for a moment, the night seemed to give way to day.

“This is going to be a real thriller,” the man hissed.

A rhinestone-gloved hand burst from the hole, breaking through the coffin that had entombed it. Through the mist, the tattered body emerged. The moonlight reflected from its shiny, red jacket.

“This is it!” the man exclaimed, punctuated by mad laughter. “The King has returned!”

The body growled and lurched forward. For the first time, he could see the creature’s face, pale and decayed. The lips had long rotted away, revealing stark white teeth. The eyes were dead and yellow. Only the nose remained, in perfect condition, as if it were made entirely of plastic.

“This is bad! This is dangerous!” shouted the man, stepping backwards in disbelief. The creature followed, knocking over the several of the candles and kicking open the box labeled “Sonic the Hedgehog 3.” Out fell a small, disc-shaped object, on which was written “Sonic Boom: The Rise of Lyric.”

The man stared at it in terror. The sacred ceremony had been compromised! Also, he had been ripped off on eBay.

The creature grumbled a single sentence: “Beat…it…”

Scream after scream reverberated through the trees and into the night, trailing off miles from the nearest ear.

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