Gamer Elijah Burrows is a self-professed loner. Disowned by his parents for being gay, he takes solace in his video games. Out of all his favorites, his newest one -- DungeonCrawl -- is swiftly rising to take the number one spot for him. When a lightning strike hits his house, knocking out the power, Elijah is anything but happy.
Lack of electricity is the last thing Elijah is worried about the second he steps foot out his front door.
What happens when a gamer finds himself stuck in the world of his fantasies? And how the hell does he survive without the aid of a mouse and keyboard?
Praise for Loading, Please Wait
"If you’re into gaming and would like to read a story set in what sounds like a great game, if you enjoy the male/male aspect of and adventure-romance not (yet) found in any of the games I am familiar with, and if you’re looking for a read that is a hot combination of love story and action, then you will probably enjoy this short story."
-- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
Loading, Please Wait (Dungeon Crawl)
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2014 Mychael Black
This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.
Thunder shook the windows and startled the ever-loving hell out of Elijah Burrows. He paused the game and went to look outside. The rain hadn't even started and lightning already flashed nearby, lighting up the night sky. He sighed. He loved storms, but this area was notorious for power grid issues during heavy lightning.
He wandered back over to his desk, saved his game and exited the program. At least he wouldn't lose his progress. The quest he'd been on was annoying, to say the least, but it was a necessary step along the main story line.
DungeonCrawl had only been out for a week, and Elijah couldn't tear himself away from it. The dynamic world reminded him of games like Skyrim and several massive multiplayer games he'd played over the years. He'd often wondered what life would be like in one of those games. It had to be better than his life right now, in this world.
He opened up a browser and checked his email. Most of it was junk, with the occasional digest from one gaming group or another mixed in. He scanned the messages, clicking the checkbox to delete each one as he went. He stopped and stared at one message from an address he never expected to see again. Almost dreading to read it, he opened it up anyway.
I received word that you were spotted in one of... those places. As per our arrangement, you were to never show your face in such a way. It reflects poorly on me and Delilah. If you expect to continue receiving financial assistance, then you will refrain from drawing attention to yourself. My reputation is of paramount importance, and Delilah will be ostracized from her social circle should anyone discover our connection to you. Cease and desist immediately.
-- Edmond Burrows, Esq.
Elijah couldn't hit delete fast enough.
He'd been so careful to avoid cameras and anyone who he thought might know the Burrows. He'd stopped calling them his parents two years ago when they'd announced his lifestyle did not suit theirs or their expectations. The pain of them paying him to become a recluse had worn off, but no amount of money helped the loneliness.
Being the only child of the city's most prominent politician had once held perks beyond imagining. Now Elijah wished he'd been adopted. How the fuck could he be related to such cretins?
He closed the browser and sighed. No point in thinking about it now. The "financial assistance" paid for everything: food, clothing, bills. He was still surprised they'd put him in a house they owned. What would the neighbors say if they knew he was a dirty, disgusting, sinning homosexual?
Oh, and celibate. Hell, at this rate, Elijah figured he'd reverted to being a virgin all over again.
Another boom of thunder shook the house, and lightning struck swiftly after. Elijah started shutting down the computer. The last thing he needed was to fry the damn thing. It was his only solace.
Just as soon as the screen went black, the rest of the house did, too.
Elijah grabbed his cell phone and turned on the flashlight app. He made his way carefully through the pitch black living room, praying the light from his phone found the furniture before his bare feet did.
When he reached the kitchen, he rummaged for matches and a candle in one of the junk drawers. He'd been raised to always be prepared -- probably the only good thing to come out of his childhood. He found a candle and nestled the short taper in one of the empty silver candlesticks on the dining room table. After lighting it, he turned off the phone app.
Rain pounded the windows. It looked like the Biblical Flood outside as water turned the normally pristine yard into a swamp. More thunder rumbled and lightning lit up the sky. Elijah went to the front door and opened it.
He nearly dropped the candle. "What... the... fuck?"
Elijah stared at the world beyond his front door. Last he checked, he lived in a cul-de-sac in a glitzy neighborhood.
This was not a neighborhood.
Trees surrounded the house and moonlight shone through the canopy, casting pockets of silvery light on the forest floor. Nocturnal animals moved around, unseen but heard, going about their usual night routines. Elijah wandered a few feet from the house, onto a well-worn footpath wet from rain. The trail led deeper into the woods. When he turned, the candle hit the ground, snuffed out by damp leaves.
The house he'd lived in for two years was gone.