Alex Test #2: Blocks

Part of my grad school training includes writing, so I’ve asked my boyfriend to give me writing exercises to get myself back into the habit. He gives me a prompt, and I write the first scene I can come up with. These Alex Tests are the unedited result of my little writing sprints.

Either you or another character has been sucked into a video game.

Kyle’s eyes watered and glazed as he stared at the screen. He didn’t know how much time had passed, but the sun had set some time ago, and the only light piercing the darkness was the fuzzy chromatic glare of his computer screen. His phone buzzed somewhere in the shadows for the fifteenth time, only to be ignored again. Another message from his poor date, who had been left waiting at the movie theater since four. He should go meet her, or at least call with an explanation, but he was glued to his chair, with his eyes chained to the colored blocks moving across the screen.

There wasn’t anything particularly great about Tetris. Kyle wasn’t that good at it, and he had much more exciting games. But there was something mindless and cathartic about watching the blocks fall, first in chaos and disarray, then rearranging then until they fit back together. And even though he kept losing, he kept trying. For some reason, it made him feel somewhat less mediocre.

“What would I even say to her?” he said to the blocks. “It wouldn’t make a difference even if I had gone. She’d still hate me, anyway.” His stomach growled with the sudden realization that he had forgotten to eat.

Kyle opened the top drawer of his desk to scavenge through the collection of starches hidden within, but he couldn’t find the handle. He reached forward, but his entire desk was gone. Beneath him, his chair had also disappeared. So did the floor. His heart pounded as he glanced around, but the only things left floating in the darkness were him and his computer. He screamed and clawed at the air as his he began to spin and fall. He spiraled down into an unseen abyss and landed in a heap.

When Kyle came to, at first all he saw was a wall of blinding color. Rubbing his head, he forced his eyes to focus. He instantly regretted it.

He had landed on a wall of luminous colored squares grouped individually into shapes and stacked on top of each other. Above him was nothing but darkness, except for a line of four blue squares moving straight for him. Kyle screamed and scrambled out of the way as the I-block landed with a synthesized click. He barely had a moment to catch his breath before an O-block loomed overhead and narrowly missed crushing him. The wall beneath him shook and moved up. Though he couldn’t see much above him, Kyle knew what happened when you hit the top.

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