Violence and Habits

She ground her sword deep into the opposing warrior’s sternum. The bone split with a satisfying crack as the man vomited blood. She kicked out, propelling the corpse to the ground. White teeth grinning through the dirt and viscera covering her face. She was tireless. A thing of rage and death rolled up in slender limbs and leather armor. She lost herself and countless others fell to the blood soaked dirt of the battlefield she claimed.

Dagger through the next throat, Paige whipped back to deliver the finishing headbutt. And then everything went black.

“Paige. Is everything okay?” David’s voice sounded and she blinked, torn from her own little slice of paradise. He removed his finger from the console’s power button.

She gaped. “What— I was in the middle of–” Her game, her quest, victory….

“A murder spree. We saw.” Crystal crossed her arms and squinted through the dim bedroom. “Bad day?”

“Yah. Why’d you quit my game?” Paige set the controller down. Her thumb hurt. So did her wrist for the matter. Acceptable casualties of war.

“You were grinning.” David said.

“Gleefully.” Crystal added. “As your roommates we were worried.”

“I’m fine.” Paige stood and stretched. She would turn the damn thing on herself.

“Worried for us.” Crystal corrected. “We think you might have a problem. No one should enjoy violence, even fictional violence, that much. You’re a grown women, not some hormone drunk teenage boy.” David sent Crystal an odd look which she ignored. “As the people who sleep helplessly in the adjoining rooms. It’s a little terrifying.”

Paige blinked at them. “Seriously?”

“A little.” David agreed.

Paige paused. “Okay. Just think of it this way. I get out all my homicidal rage on the poor pixels, leaving none for real people including my really annoying roommates. It’s therapy.” She gestured to the console. “It’s for the benefit of all. I promise. Now let me murder things.”

David stepped away from the console.

“Why can’t you be a functional alcoholic like the rest of us?” Crystal asked and Paige activated the power button. “My old roommates were stoners but at least I didn’t worry about being stabbed.”

Paige resumed her place on the couch, controller in hand. “Think of me as a functional psychopath. And I pay rent, unlike the druggies.”

“Point.” Crystal allowed. Paige didn’t hear her, she was busy stalking back to her battlefield.


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