Friday, October 24, 2008


[Another project I started in the last year was a romance novel about gamers. While I still think the project has merit, I hit the snag of how to describe game sessions to non-gamers in a way that would make interesting reading. Anyway, this is how that project started.]

When Julie asked where the gamers were, the ladies at the circulation desk had given her a peculiar look, like she had just asked for spoiled vegetables at the grocery store. With a judgmental look and a disdainful point of the finger, Julie was directed to the Sassafras Lake Public Library meeting rooms. Cautiously, as if approaching a wild animal, Julie made her way into the wing of the library reserved for functions and gatherings. She was lucky it was not a wild animal she was approaching, as she only had a small purse on her for protection which, due to an unpleasant encounter at a park last year, she knew to be barely sufficient in size to repel an irate goose attack. The foyer before the meeting rooms was empty and warehouse-like, with the doors to the meeting rooms all closed. Julie moved to each door and listened to them, hoping to detect occupants in this manner. At the second door, she did not have to listen hard at all, for a peal of laughter erupted from inside she could have heard from several feet away, followed by raised voices.

“Goin’ down!”

“Nice kill!”

“There are at least two lizard men left, you know.”

Julie put her hand on the door, took a deep breath, and knocked. The response was that the noise quieted down inside. Since no one answered her, she opened the door.

The room inside was dominated by two folding tables set up in a T-shape. There were four chairs around one table and only one chair at the other table, facing the others. The young man sitting alone and facing the others had the most books and papers stacked around him, with a colorful cardboard folding screen standing as a barrier between the other four people and his possessions. He was, Julie guessed, about 20 years old. A quick glance at the other four revealed that they were all the same age or slightly younger than the man behind the screen.

“I’m sorry,” the man behind the screen said to her politely. He looked to be tall, broad-shouldered, clean-cut, with sandy blonde hair swept to the side of his forehead. His short-sleeved polo shirt showed off that he worked out. He was the type of guy Julie used to give her phone number out to when she was dating. “Were we being too loud?”

Julie had to think about that for a moment before she realized what wrong conclusion he had reached. “Oh, no, I don’t work here. I came to see you.”

“Me?” the man behind the screen asked. The other four guys snickered.

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