This Strange Land of Midnight

Sinead seemed to have become trapped inside her computer game. Why is she ther? Why is it so hot? Why is it that female characters have to wear tight costumes in these games?

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1. Arrival

I felt distinctly warm, in spite of the fact that I wasn't wearing many clothes. I surveyed my environment wondering where it was I'd landed. The sun was coming up in the East. I appeared to be stood in the middle of a clearing in a forest, the ground covered in a fine coating of snow. Wind blew the distinct smell of spruce and pine into my nostrils. I wasn't alone, there were others here too, in fact it seemed that a small army was gathered here. In the centre of the clearing I saw a tower rising majestically from the forest floor. Wandering towards it gazed up to the top. Strange glyphs adorned its side. I knew instinctively that it was the Tower of the Moon. Somehow, bizarrely I was in the Land of Midnight. Bizarrely because the Land of Midnight didn’t exist, it was in a computer game called Lords of Midnight. 

Let me explain in a little more detail. I’m Sinead. I’m just your average fourteen year old girl. Average apart from being really into computer games. Yes I know, girls aren’t supposed to like computer games, we’re supposed to be into make-up and boys. Well I like boys but would rather sit down for a gaming session rather than a date. Tom, my best friend and fellow gamer, had lent me Lords of Midnight the other week and I’d been enthralled in it. It was 30 years old, dating back to the 80’s but still was a fantastic gaming experience. It was something about the light that made me assume I was in Midnight. That and the unreal way the landscape was created. Not full on realistic graphic quality this one.  

Anyhow I digress. I should have been worried about why I was here, or how I came here, but the truth was I was enjoying the experience. The heat was baffling, how could it be so warm when the ground was covered in snow? I looked down at my body. Despite the cold conditions I was wearing a small leather outfit that could only be described as an extremely tiny bikini. It was hardly keeping my ample body in check, quite embarrassing really. I looked at the others. Yep as usual in these adventures, the woman were always scantily clad whilst the men are wearing heavy outfits much more befitting of the climate. I pulled my cape around my body. No-one appeared to be ogling me. I’d find a better outfit soon, but at least I felt warm. 

Looking around I tried to identify the characters around The Tower. I spotted a wizard. You could tell he was a wizard due to the giant purple wizard’s hat that topped his head. Again the early adventure games weren’t very subtle when it came to representing characters. I figured he must be Rorthron the Wise, a  good man to have on your side. There was Corleth, he was the leader of the Fey. Almost feminine in appearance he was quietly spoken and held the hope of reuniting the  whole country.  Two characters who were talking together were the interesting ones. The taller of these was the charismatic figure of Luxor the Moon Prince. He exuded leadership and confidence from every part of his body, he was also incredibly handsome. The smaller was his son Morkin. These four were joined by the rest of us, Luxor’s army.  

I wandered around the scene for a few minutes in awe. It was far superior from anything my own meagre imagination dreamed up when I was actually playing the game. The smoke curled up from the numerous campfires that were dotted around the clearing. All sorts of animals were being roasted on the fire. Some I recognised but others had a distinctly scaly appearance. Could it be dragon? TThe odd tinge of burning flesh cold be smelt but on the whole who can resist the smell of a barbie (that’s the BBQ grill not the doll, although I’m sure in my distance past I’ve set fire to the some of those). Colours weren’t very bright though. I guess in the old 8 bit computer days you were severely limited by the pallete you could employ. Most were blacks and browns, although the flags contained loads of bright red giving the atmosphere of a fair. 

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