Preface: This is a story that I started like two years ago and just recently found and decided to finish.
One Spring day in Chattanooga, Tennessee, there lived three strangers who were about to have their lives turned upside down.
Atika "Raye" Lockheart was a seventeen-year-old girl attending the GPS wing of St. Nicholas High. Her mother had died when she was very young and her father had to work full time so she boarded at her school even though her dad lived not far from there. She had a little sister named Lorita who went to grade school at St. Nicholas and boarded in the dormitory next to Raye's.
Clarke Din was eighteen and atttended architectural school at the St. Nicholas college addition which was still being completed. He had a part time job at a small architectural firm downtown. He had an apartment on Cameron Hill where he was currently staying.
Ane Holder was 16 and was a freshman at St. Nich, where she had been going all her life. However, this year, she had left the familiar surrounding of the lower grades building, and moved across the lawn to the nigh school. It was a big change for her and it took a lot of getting used to. Since her parents lived in Venezuela, they had moved there after the death of her older brother in a plane accident two years before, she was used to boarding school and being away from home, but now she had to deal with an older girl as a roommate and all new people living around her. With all this and school, life was getting to her and she needed a place to relieve stress
By some odd twist of fate, these three people all turned to the small but well furnished arcade on the corner of Frasier Avenue to spend their well-deserved down time. It also just so happens that they all were there at 3:12 PM, Monday, February 24th, 2001. This has little to do with the story, but I thought it was an interesting coincidence.
Now, on this Spring day, the three people were all sitting around playing the Golden Axe 3 arcade game, which they all loved so much. In fact, it was that game that had caused them all to meet back in February. Soon, they figured out that they all attended the same school though different departments. It worked out nicely because the game called for three players. Clarke played the short thunder controlling green dwarf, Ane the smoldering Amazon who used fire magic, and Raye the water powered, buff hero because she thought he was so hot.
"Darn it," Ane and Clarke said in unison. Raye said the same only using a few more **choice** words. The three plopped down on a green sofa in defeat. They had made it to the sub-boss of the game, but Death-Adder still alluded them.
A tall muscular woman with her hair pulled back in a knob walked over and offered them soft drinks. The glasses were green and had a small gold inscription on them: ROC. Not being ones to turn down a potential sugar-high, the three took the drinks and then the girls forced Clarke to pay under the guise that "IT IS THE CHIVALROUS THING TO DO!"
The woman sat down and tolled the three that she had seen them around a lot lately. They all introduced themselves. Her name was Whitney Shamrock, and she wasn't Irish despite what her name might suggest.
The four of them grew closer and closer and the weeks progressed. As it turned out, Whitney was also a big fan of Golden-Axe. They got together every Saturday to play the game and chat.
One day they were all playing very hard and wasting tons of money trying to get to Death-Adder, which is the boss and if you haven't figured that out by now you're ignorant not really but I like saying that. Anyway, they were all four playing furiously hard and eventually made it to the boss…and won.
A cry of joy rose from the small building and somewhere faraway in Wisconsin, a cow MOOed because of the great vibes of excitement coursing over the planet. Joyous background music began to play, and the three embraced each other close to tears. Suddenly, something unexpected happened. A secret door opened in the bottom of the arcade game and a large sword popped out.
If only I had time to explain in detail all the things that ran through their heads at this point. They thought they were going to be swept away into the world of the game where they would battle Death Adder for the freedom of the village peasants. They thought the sword was enchanted and would grant its bearer the ability to fly or run really fast. They thought it might have the ability to cut through any Earthly material and some unearthly ones, but alas…the sword was plastic.
So the experience wasn't life changing, but the four were brought closer together, and later on they were there for each other when each graduated and they were in each other's weddings, and they kept up with each other by e-mail for the rest of their lives.
This story is dedicated to three of my best friends, Meghan, Chloe, and Whitney. Our lives may not be exciting, but they're ours and I hope we stick together forever. I love you guys!