Sunday, February 2, 2014

~~For Love of Minecraftia: Chapter Six--Realizations Good and Bad~~

I woke up back in bed at the hospital. I wasn’t surprised at all. I looked around the room, and I saw no one around me. Needing to sit up, I pushed myself carefully up in the bed.

That was when I realized something….

The bed was wet.

I was freaking soaking wet.

I hadn’t screamed so loud since Click Clack Slide failed to die in my house….

In seconds, the doctors ran into my room, looking around in caution. When they saw how wet I was, they quickly picked me up and started getting me dried off. They moved me to a different bed, leaving me there to cry from fear. My mom came in soon, presumably because the doctors had called her. She asked them about what had happened, and when they told her I’d woken up screaming because the bed was incredibly wet when I woke up. She didn’t seem too fazed by it, just going to my bedside and pushing the damp hair back from my face. She hugged me awkwardly, one of her rare acts of affection. Naturally, it only made me cry harder than before.

My dad came in not much later. He didn’t even bother talking to the doctors—he just went right over and hugged me as tight as he could, rubbing my back soothingly and rocking back and forth. I slowly relaxed, so very used to being comforted by him in this way. As if reading my mind, my dad said softly in my ear, “Aw, kiddo….I remember the last time you got my shirt so wet. It’s been years since you cried like this, kiddo….I wished for a long time that you would never cry like that again.”

I could barely hear him over the sounds of my own sobs and choking screams. What had happened to me was real….I had really been there. Click Clack Slide had really come after me.

It wasn’t a dream….

And, if it wasn’t a dream, that meant I could die…..

And, if the things that showed up in Minecraft continued to be just as crazy as the things I had seen before, then I was going to have a very, very hard time not dying….

I didn’t want to die….

I was only fifteen…..

It took me almost ten minutes to stop crying in my dad’s arms. When I felt like my eyes could no longer hold any more tears, I just hugged my knees to my chest, shaking in the bed.

My dad quietly remained, no longer holding me and just rubbing my back, sitting beside me and saying soothing things in my ear as he waited for me to remember how to breathe and speak. When I felt better, he managed to make me laugh just by attempting to wring out his shirt from all the tears. And god he was right. I had not cried this hard since I’d been eight. He hugged me again, before sending my mom down to the cafeteria to bring me some much needed ice cream. Just as she was about to leave, I told her that I had already eaten, only a few minutes before they had come in.

You should’ve seen how freaked out she got when I told her that….But, for some reason, my dad didn’t seem at all freaked out. He just got a weird expression on his face, something like…recognition. Deciding I’d ask him later about that, I lay back on the bed, feeling a good deal more tired than I had been in recent memory. My dad gave me a soft grin, pulling the blanket up over me. I looked down, and grinned, seeing it was one of my large cozy black ones from home. I snuggled up underneath it, before asking groggily, “Can…can I have some coffee, or something to help me stay awake with? I don’t…I don’t feel like sleeping.”

My dad grinned, before reaching for a steaming hot cup of coffee on the bedside table beside him. “Here, drink this kiddo. Your mom left it, I think.”

Grinning thankfully, I took it from him, taking a very small sip. I regretted it instantly, almost yelping as it seared the top of my throat and my tongue. Swearing, I put the cup back down beside me, just in time to have my mom come in. She’s carrying a pair of ice creams, and some apple juice for me. I smile at her thankfully, taking the proffered container from her. Letting the cool juice cool me down, I curl up in the bed again, trying to get comfortable. Wishing they’d thought to bring one of my toys—my Sebastian Michaelis doll would have been perfect right about now—I couldn’t help but realize that my parents actually were trying to help me get better.

A few minutes later, the doctor came and asked if he could give me a check up on how my arm was progressing. I won’t bore you with the details, so I’ll use this time to talk to you about the layout of my home.

My home is definitely large. I’m working on the fifth floor, every floor getting progressively lower. It’s a lot like a maze. The door to the outside opens out onto my living room and dining room, which comes with the way down to my storage area as well as a little library. If you go up a few set of stairs across the room, and down a hallway, you’ll find yourself in my wool-floored bedroom, the white wool fitting in surprisingly well with the plain wood walls and window frames of cobblestone. My bed is along the right hand wall, and only a step away is a large chest for my things, and my many closets and other things. If you go back out of my room and head into a room to the right, and down a few stairs, you’ll find yourself in my kitchen. A second set of stairs from here leads directly to the dining room.

If you went down a second staircase in the living room and library, you’d find yourself in a hallway opening onto the pool area, the waterslide, the mine, and the bathroom. My bathroom comes complete with a shower, a “toilet,” and a large bath. There’s a sink on the way out. The floor of the bathroom is lava below glass, so you’re never cold and dry off in just seconds. Of course, you do need to get out of the room quickly, but oh well. At least you were dry.

At the end of the hallway, there’s a twisting staircase that leads to the guest suite—complete with bathroom, study, bedroom, and kitchenette. If you continue down the twisting staircase, you’ll end up empty room after empty room, places that had been carved painstakingly from the unforgiving stone but left empty. To keep mobs from getting out, a source block of lava is placed at the top of the staircase so it pours down into the largely unlit depths below, killing anything that tries to escape.

And that’s a quick overview of the layout of my Minecraft home. I know I didn’t go into much detail, but you’ll find out more about it as the story continues.

The doctor, having finished the needed tests, told me the good news: I’d be out of the hospital sometime today, and my arm should be good as new in around a month. It had been a bad sprain, but lucky for me it wasn’t that badly broken at all. I almost hugged him at the news.

I went back to my room, and told my parents what he’d said. They hugged me really tightly, saying how happy they were for me. Finally, we headed back home. I spent that entire car ride in the backseat, trying very hard not to fall asleep as they talked about finances. For the entire twenty minute drive home.

That was a long car ride, believe you me. If there’s one thing that bores me most, it has got to be money. I have never cared about money. It has never been my thing. I just never cared. Naturally, I had been born to parents who talked about money a lot….A starving artist and a young heiress with too much time on her hands, and a keen eye for interesting stories to scoop out. She was a journalist, one of the best. Of course I was proud of my mother, but she just wasn’t my kind of person. Ever since I had been born, it was pretty clear that she hadn’t liked me very much.

I mean, she loved me and all, but she had always had this weird idea about how much a child should clean itself and also eat. I was not at all happy about the world that I had been born in to—but that definitely didn’t mean I hated them for bringing me into it.

Finally, we got home, and it was a race to see  who could get inside and see Cloud. The poor kitten had to be so lonely….

Even with my broken arm, I ran the fastest, almost flying up the steps, needing to see my cute little kitten. I hadn’t seen the poor thing in days—she had to be so alone, and maybe even scared…..I knew all too well my house could be scary at night. There tended to be a lot of random noises, especially late at night….Of course, I knew it had to be just the house settling, but then what would those sounds of giggling coming from below the floor be?

Kidding! There’s nothing below the floorboards maniacally laughing every night…And, if there was, it of course wouldn’t let me tell anyone about it….

Hehe, well that was suitably creepy, don’t you think? My story will probably get like that every now and then—weird moments of freakiness can and will occur at odd intervals throughout my little tale of Minecraftia, and a whole host of other spectacular characters. I think that’s enough internal monologue now, don’t you agree?

Anywho, I opened the front door and ran right up to my room, hoping she’d be there waiting for me. Sure enough, there she was, lying on the bed like a little ball of clouds. I leapt onto the bed, landing right beside her. Cloud bolted up right, probably terrified from the sudden motion. I laughed, feeling a bit guilty, making up for it with hugs and kisses all over her furry little face. She finally mewed, calming down again, looking up at me happily. I lay back down on the bed, trying to ignore the horrific pain in my left arm. Little Cloud nuzzled up against me, using my cast as a pillow. That is, until she sniffed it and proceeded to start hacking up a hairball…right on my stomach.

Okay, maybe cats are more trouble than they’re worth.

Swearing, but refusing to be mad at the little fuzzball, I got up as carefully as I could and went into my bedroom. Did I mention I have my own en suite washroom? Well, I do, and it’s awesome. It actually has a Jacuzzi in it….Something I admit to using a hell of a lot more than I should. It was a freaking Jacuzzi—how couldn’t I love it?

Ignoring my intense need for a bath, I set about cleaning my shirt. Have you ever tried getting a very gross pool of vomity hairball off of a shirt? No? Well, you’re lucky. It’s not something that I would recommend doing under any circumstances, unless it’s one of your favorite shirts.

As I was cleaning, I looked vaguely into the mirror, eyeing myself. My hair was ragged and short, even though it now had grown past my chin. I’d need to get it cut again—I’d always liked the cute boyish look of short hair. My mom hated it of course—especially when I gave all my Barbie dolls the very same haircut. Oddly enough, she still bought me them….Until I finally set them on fire, that is.

My eyes had dark circles under them, too. Very, very bad ones. I had never had dark circles this bad before….

Sighing, I decided that I had my Minecraft and my cat, so I was fine with my life and my looks. Who could want anything more than an incredible game and a very soft fluffy kitty to play with and cuddle? I definitely couldn’t think of anything else I wanted….

Granted, there was one thing—make that person—that seemed to be on my radar of want. Yeah….You guessed it. I wanted to meet Notch. The creator of Minecraft. The amazing man who had made the greatest thing to grace mankind since sliced bread. The best man who would ever live. The man who should one day win the Noble Prize for his contributions to mankind’s endless creativity and boundless appreciation of anything that helps them procrastinate.

Hell, I’d give him that prize if I could. But you probably knew that already, didn’t you, oh lovely readers of mine?

Eventually, I snapped out of my little daydream and stared at my shirt. It was definitely clean now, and sopping wet. Shivering, I slipped off my shirt, heading back into my room. Just as I was pulling a fresh shirt out of the closet, someone walked into my room, and gave a rather audible intake of breath.

I wrenched the shirt on fast, whirling quickly. And who would I find there but James, the young man who seems to be popping up repeatedly, bursting my bubble of solitude and obsession? He’s blushing bright red, looking at the wall like it was the most amazing thing he had ever seen. After a few minutes of awkward silence, I get over my surprise enough to stammer: “So what are you doing here, James? I mean….I don’t even remember telling you where I live and all….”

He grins a little, looking back over at me. He shifts a bit from foot to foot nervously. “Y-yeah….About that….Your parents invited me when you were asleep, so I just figured I’d come over….I’m sorry, I thought they told you. Do you....” he swallows, “Do you want me to leave?”

I shake my head, giving him a smile. “No, no, not at all….Stay, it’d be nice to have some company. I’m still grounded from Minecraft, so….”

He smiled eagerly, and walked into my room, looking around. Glad that my room was actually clean for once—except for the massive amount of birthday gifts that still lay scattered around the room. Spotting a brand new pair of Phineas and Ferb underwear, I flushed red like a rose. He pretended not to notice, going to sit in my desk chair. He gave me a little grin, and said, “So, uh.…Mitchie, would you mind it if I took a look at those blueprints? I mean I’ve…gotten the occasional glance at them and all, but never a good enough look.”

I nod, and walk over to my bed, plucking the new folder with all the blueprints in it off the bed. I carried it back over to him, looking around for something so I could sit down beside him and look over it with him. Of course, there wasn’t anything available—a stack of books took up all of the other chair.

Seeing my dilemma, he asked with a little hopeful note to his voice, “We could sit on the bed, if its…if it’s more comfortable that way.”

That one sentence made me blush. I had no idea why it made me blush…..I smiled at him and nodded, going to plop myself on the bed, back to the wall and my legs stretched out in front of me, crossed at the ankles. He sits beside me, carrying my folder like it was made of glass. He puts it down on the bed, saying curiously, “Didn’t they used to be in a red folder before?”

I nodded. Wait….He knew that? Just how much attention was he actually paying to what I was doing? I blushed, saying quickly, “Yeah….My mom got me this, for my birthday.”

“Wait, your mom did? That’s odd—I could’ve sworn she hated you being obsessed enough with Minecraft to have that folder of yours….”

I shrugged, opening up the folder to the first sketch of my house. He stared, his eyes bugged out, at how precise it was—every line was ruler-drawn and perfectly lined up with the lines of the graph paper; changes of depth were shown using thicker lines and little numbers along the line; as well as a checklist that accompanied it so I could keep track of my progress in the room. He eyed the crazy amount of lines, shaking his head slowly. “This is…this is really impressive. I like your bedroom—looks all nice and open. Do you have any drawings of the walls of your bedroom?”

I nodded, flipping to the next page. On it were sketched in the windows that looked out to the world around it—all of them facing towards the lake, and pretty well hidden from sight so it wouldn’t really damage the natural look of the surrounding area. I also pointed out the other walls, and the patterns written into the sides that indicated which blocks to use—I had done the walls in stone, wood, wooden planks, cobblestone, and wool, so naturally they all ended up looking…very different from regular walls.

Thinking about what to show him next, I took the folder and flipped through it, finally finding my way to the ultimate creation: The Rainbow Maze, my project until the day I die. He just stared at it for a long time, swallowing in sheer amazement. “Mitche….You are awesome.”

I actually managed to levitate in surprise at his words. A compliment? From a boy? Had I finally grown boobs, and had my face started covering itself in makeup? Had my hair been replaced with Barbie hair, all soft and shiny and long?

But, no. I touched my face, I touched my hair, and I looked at my chest. Nothing had changed about me. Nothing had changed, and here a guy was telling me he thought I was awesome. A guy, telling me something nice when I remembered all too well the amount of guys who used to bully me for being anything but their perfect image of a beautiful girl?

I couldn’t believe it….

It just couldn’t be!

A guy could not be complimenting me.

While I was doing my inner monologue of ohmygodhewasnicetome,  James was wisely just sitting there grinning very softly, not moving in the least, or taking his eyes off me. I lowered them shyly, biting my lip. “Th-thank you….”

He grinned wider, “Not used to getting compliments, eh girl? I don’t see why—I don’t know you well at all, but yet I have the weirdest feeling I will get to know you if it’s the last thing I do….”

I laughed at that last part. “James, that sounded  just a bit stalkerish.”

He rolled his eyes, poking me in retaliation for laughing at him. I poked him back, and vice versa. Do I need even to say what this led to? Naturally, it led to an all-out poke war—and not the idiot ones people do on Facebook. It led to us getting bruised over and over again from how hard and fast we were poking each other—something I don’t think either of us minded at the time. We just wanted to keep poking each other.

I think that’s when I realized I liked him.

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I love you, random stranger. Thanks for dropping by, and for dropping a line. --Half Mad Writer