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The_Game21x Blog

Story in a Blog - Chapter 5

It's ba-aaaaaaack! After a long, LONG hiatus, I'm finally continuing my Story in a Blog series, which I started back in 2008. I hated leaving it unfinished but I honestly couldn't think of anything to write.

Being that this is about three years old at this point (holy ****), many of you are probably going to be new to this whole thing and want to get caught up to speed, check out the first four chapters here. If anything, it's interesting (at least for me) to see how my writing sty-le has changed and evolved over the years.

Anyway, I digress. Enjoy!

* * *

Time seemed to stand still then. Cynthia and I stood, motionless in each other's arms, for what seemed like an eternity. I could feel her quietly sobbing into my chest, the whole time wishing that there was something, anything that I could do to ease her pain.

Holding her close in a way I hadn't for such a long time made me feel a rush of guilt for having left her so long ago. I thought I was doing what was best for her. I thought she would forget about me and move on.

I thought wrong. She hadn't moved on. She had loved me from the day she laid eyes on me to the day I broke her heart in the very place we were now standing and every day since. I wished I hadn't been so callous to her feelings. I wish I hadn't lied all those months ago and I wish I could go back and make things right. But, of course, I couldn't turn back the hands of time. I couldn't change what I had done but I could change how I handled the situation from there forward. I would change. I would do it for Cynthia. She deserved better than this…better than me.

Cynthia looked up at me. Her eyes were as expressive as ever. It was a heartbreaking sight for me. I couldn't stand to see her in such pain, especially knowing that I was the cause. I opened my mouth to speak but my words got caught in my throat.

I couldn't say anything to her. There was nothing to say.

The two of us stared, soundlessly, at one another for a short while before she closed her eyes and rested her head on my chest. I couldn't bring myself to say anything to her and she couldn't seem to find any words to say to me either. I wanted to apologize. I wanted to beg her forgiveness. I wanted to do so many things to prove to her that she could open up and trust me once again but, words didn't seem adequate enough to express just how sorry I was for hurting her.

I thought back to the lie I'd told Cynthia about the money I borrowed for the loan shark. Another lie I told, in an effort to attempt to distance her from me. I wasn't being hassled for money I didn't owe. I knew full well that I did owe the money and I knew that I had neither the means, nor the intention, of paying it back, and that was my problem. It's one thing to borrow money from a loan shark in desperation and simply not have the means to pay it back. It's another thing entirely to take money from a loan shark and give him the finger when it's time to pay up. In retrospect, I might not have made the best decision there but I know that I needed the money and the loan shark was my only option at the time.

And then, when I knew I was getting in over my head, I decided that it was best to break up with Cynthia, rather than tell her the truth. At the time, it sounded like a good idea. I didn't feel good about it, per se but she would understand…at least…I thought she would.

I was wrong. She didn't understand and she didn't forgive me. She thought that accepting a contract offer to kill me would bring her peace…but it didn't. It couldn't. She couldn't do it. Even when we were face to face in her own house and I was only a few feet away from her, rather than several dozen, she couldn't kill me.

I guess I should be thankful that she decided not to kill me after all but in all honesty, what difference would it make? I was a marked man now. If she didn't kill me, someone else surely would. I was as good as dead anyway. Once again, I'd rather leave her than put her in such danger. I took hold of her shoulders gently and took a step back from her, looking directly into her still misty eyes.

"I…I have to go." I said in a hushed voice.

I released her with a pained smile and went to grab my jacket which was lying in a heap on the floor, next to the binder she'd shown me earlier and its revelatory contents, which were strewn about the floor now. As I bent down to pick up my jacket, Cynthia turned to me.

"So, you're just going to leave me again? Even after all of this?"

I looked over my shoulder, only enough to see her in the periphery of my vision. "I…I have to." I slung my jacket over my shoulders, running my arms through its sleeves and tugged on the front, making sure it fit well.

"You haven't changed at all." Cynthia said scathingly.

"What do you expect me to do?" I said, whirling around on the spot and staring her down. "You think I want to leave you again? You think I wouldn't rather stay here with you? Well I'm sorry but I can't do that. The loan shark who sent you after me is going to know soon enough that you betrayed him. At least this way…" I looked away from her, frowning. "At least this way, if I give myself up, he might not care too much about what you did. At the very least, you should have some time to disappear."

Cynthia was thoroughly unfazed by my brief rant. "I don't know if you've noticed, Alex, but I'm a big girl. I've been taking care of myself long before I met you and I don't need you to protect me or make decisions for my benefit. I can fight my own battles."

"So it's just that easy, huh? You think you can take down one of the biggest loan sharks in the criminal underworld, just like that?" I retorted. "Well, damn. I wish I'd known it was that easy before all of this s*** started. Hell, I'd have taken the bastard down myself."

"You don't understand." Cynthia said. "Alex, you're wrapped up in something bigger than you know. Now that you've come here, you can't just leave."

"Oh? And why is that?" I asked plainly.

"I can't say. Not here."

"Oh, how convenient."

Cynthia furrowed her brow and shook hair out of her eyes. She walked closer to me, her arms folded. She was fixing me with an intense stare that I couldn't resist. There was a fire in her eyes that I hadn't seen before. "Alex, listen to me. We need to leave. Now."

"Where are we going?"

"I can't tell you. You just have to trust me."

"Why can't you tell me?" I asked, impudently.

"Because I can't. I promise you, everything will be explained when we get there but until we do, you have to trust me. Please." Cynthia pleaded, a sincerity in her eyes that I knew all too well.

I decided to trust her. I owed her that much.

Re-Posted From The Mind of Game

Short Story Update

Writing

I've written a few short stories recently, which I have posted on the Creative Writing page, linked on The Mind of Game and here, for reference. Anyway, here are the stories I mentioned. As previously mentioned, these can all be found on the Creative Writing section of the site and that is where all my short stories or other works will be posted. With that bit of explanation out of the way, to the stories!

The Girl on my Left - NEW

"There she was again. As I looked to my left, she was sitting there cross-legged, playing with her phone. Her eyes fixed on the screen as she gently swipes her finger across it and the phone willingly bends to her will. Her light-brown skin was as radiant as ever but, then again, when wasn't she radiant?"

Mr. Perfect

"Hmm…your life does indeed flash before your eyes as you're about to die…

My car careened off of the freeway overpass and began its descent down into the icy waters below. I was to die of exposure or by drowning that night, whichever came first. It didn't matter. My desire was to meet my end and I had no preference about how I went about it. As I plummeted towards the water, I thought once again about my numerous reasons for taking this drastic course of action.

I don't regret my decision for even a second."

Sleep

"My eyelids were heavy as Sleep once again beckoned me into her outstretched arms, smiling seductively at me, making her invitation seem appealing. I stared at her motionlessly, entranced by her. She was dressed in a long, lavish black dress which wrapped elegantly around her perfectly sculptured body, embracing her curves as naturally as if it were a mere extension of her alabaster skin."

Backstabber - NEW

"There we were, my best friend and I, running out of the back of a bank we'd just knocked over into a cold, dank, rain-soaked alleyway. The alarms were sounding behind us but we had a foolproof plan. By the time anyone responded, it would be far too late to catch us.

Our getaway driver, a mutual friend whom I'd long had suppressed affections for was parked nearby in a stolen Mercedes, the perfect getaway car. Clad in garnet red paint and sitting on 21-inch rims, it was ostentatious in design but that was just another part of its inherent genius. The police would never expect us to escape in something like this. Plus, we'd be long gone before they ever got here."

Re-Posted From The Mind of Game

More Sigs

Well, I seem to have gone a bit "sig crazy" these past couple of days because I've come up with three new designs while playing around in Paint.NET. Check 'em out and let me know what you think!

Legion Sig

Legion Sig

Tali Sig

Tali Sig

And finally, breaking away from the Mass Effect 2 theme I've been wrapped up in...

Batman Arkham City Sig

Batman Arkham City Sig

New Sig Designs

It's been a while since I've had some new signature designs to post but, for some reason, I was inspired to create a couple new sigs (Mass Effect 2 themed, of course) and I've decided to share them. Keep in mind that I'm not well-versed on the crazy techniques that can be done in Photoshop (I actually created these in Paint.NET, not Photoshop) that you see more advanced users using in their designs but I like what I've done with the techniques I'm familiar with. Anyway, check 'em out and let me know what you think!

Thane Sig

Thane Sig

Miranda Sig

Miranda Sig

Liara Sig

Liara Sig

Sleep (Short Story)

Sleep

My eyelids were heavy as Sleep once again beckoned me into her outstretched arms, smiling seductively at me, making her invitation seem appealing. I stared at her motionlessly, entranced by her. She was dressed in a long, lavish black dress which wrapped elegantly around her perfectly sculptured body, embracing her curves as naturally as if it were a mere extension of her alabaster skin.

But it was her eyes that captivated me. The usually white sclera of her eyes was jet-black and the irises of her eyes were completely white. The longer I gazed into her eyes, the more I realized that she was slowly and subtly drawing me under her power and how little I could do to stop her.

I yawned. Sleep raised her hand and gestured toward me with her slender index finger. I wavered slightly but steadied myself, hoping she hadn't noticed. She chuckled softly to herself, clearly amused by my weak attempts to ward her off. Her arms fell to her sides and she stood patiently, waiting for me to crack.

I shook my head, trying to resist her unearthly beauty. Sleep wouldn't be deterred. She smiled even wider as I faltered, inclining her head ever so slightly.

I rubbed my eyes. I must resist, I thought. I must stay awake.

My head drooped downward toward my chest for a brief moment and snapped back upward the next. I took a single step toward her. I shook my head again, trying to stop myself from embracing the darkness and succumbing to Sleep's seductive charms. I wouldn't be enthralled by her. I couldn't. I would remain awake. It was very important that I remained alert…for reasons that I couldn't even remember anymore.

"You are powerless to resist." She said through lips as black as the night sky that hung above me.

Sleep was taunting me now. She wrapped a lock of her long, black hair around her finger, twirling it playfully, still not taking her eyes off of me. No matter, I thought. Her words would not faze me. I wouldn't let them.

I yawned again. I took another step towards her. I couldn't seem to stop her from drawing me in, closer to Sleep, closer to the darkness. My head drooped again and snapped back upward, slower this time.

Another step.

I blinked a few times, the weight on my eyelids almost too difficult to overcome and with each blink, I was brought one step closer to her.

I was now within arm's reach and was able to fully appreciate the power emanating from her. Her smile hadn't changed as we stood eye to eye. She chuckled softly and waited for me to take that final step, right into her waiting arms.

My head drooped again and my eyes sealed shut as I was now completely unable to fight against the weight that pressed down upon them. Sleep had overcome me and she knew it. Her arms stretched out to her sides again, inviting me into her comforting embrace. I stepped toward her once more and her arms closed warmly around me, caressing me gently but tightly.

I could not escape.

"I knew you would come to your senses eventually." Sleep said to me sweetly. "Now that you're here, I'd like to introduce you to someone very close to me."

Sleep released me from her embrace momentarily, wrapping her right arm around my shoulders and gesturing out to her side with the left. I looked in the direction she indicated and there appeared a dark, hooded figure, a man from the looks of things but I couldn't identify him because he was entirely cloaked in a dark robe.

He was holding something. A wooden tool I know I've seen before but…part of it was obscured by Sleep herself. I peered out from Sleep's grasp and saw the entirety of the weapon. I could swear I knew what it was but I couldn't put my finger on it. That…long, curved blade extending from the top of the long wooden pole…now I had an idea what it was. Or at least I thought I did. It was…

A scythe?

I looked back at Sleep, confused. Her smile hadn't changed from earlier.

"This is my cousin. He has been known by many names through the ages but he is most commonly known as…Death." And then it hit me…but it was far too late to do anything about it.

In that instant, my car burst through a metal barrier and drove over the steep cliff, plunging down into the valley below.

Re-Published From The Mind of Game

New Desk

Got a new desk recently to replace my massive, cumbersome older desk that I never really liked. This new desk, however, I like purely because it, while large, justifies its largeness with the sheer amount of space I have to work with.

Anyway, thought I'd share a couple of pictures of my new workspace.

Desk 1

Desk 2

PC

Still wrangling cables and what not and playing around with the overall design of the desk but so far, I'm pretty happy with what I've got. :D

It Is...Complete

And it is good...

PC

It's...so beautiful...

Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse

I took some photos of my PC as it came together, which I'll share below.

Processor Installed

Processor installed.

This was kind of touch and go for a while since the lever and load plate were rather resistant to locking in place and I was scared out of my mind that I was going to damage the processor or snap the locking lever as I was lowering it but, in the end everything worked out.

Cooler installed

Cooler installed.

Really easy and straightforward installation.

Memory installed

Memory installed

A breeze, really.

Bare Case

The bare case, just waiting to be filled.

Case Filled

The case, after I was done with it.

And yes, I know the cabling is very messy in that shot but I remedied that with some zip ties before closing it up.

All in all, I'm very pleased with myself. For my first PC build, I think I did pretty well. When I fired it up for the first time, it was a really satisfying feeling seeing everything I'd worked hard on just...work. Of course, the true test of its longevity has barely begun so we'll see how it holds up after a few months. Hopefully, it'll still be running like a dream.

Final specs

  • Intel Core i5-2500k
  • GIGABYTE P67A-UD3 Motherboard
  • ATi/AMD Radeon HD 5870
  • 4GB G.Skill DDR3 RAM
  • Corsair 600CX Power Supply
  • Hitachi Desktar 1TB HDD
  • ASUS VH222H-P 1080p Monitor

I'm very, very happy with this setup. :D

Oh and before I go, I have to share one obligatory picture of Crysis running on my PC.

Click the image for full size.

And the Rest Soon Followed...

The rest of my PC parts have arrived.

  • ATi/AMD Radeon HD 5870

HD 5870

  • Hitachi DeskStar 1TB HDD

HDD

  • G.Skill 4GB DDR3 RAM

G.Skill RAM

  • ASUS DVD Burner

ASUS DVD burner

  • ASUS VH222H-P 22" Monitor

ASUS Monitor

  • Logitech G500 Mouse

Rosewill Challenger

This weekend...it all comes together. :D

First PC Parts Have Arrived

PC Parts 1

I went ahead and ordered all the parts I need to build my PC late last week and the first delivery has been made. In the two packages I received were...

  • Intel Core i5-2500K Processor

Core i5

  • GIGABYTE P67A-UD3 Motherboard

GIGABYTE Motherboard

  • Corsair 600CX Power Supply

Corsair PSU

The rest of my parts are on their way and should be here either tomorrow or Thursday. Can't wait for them all to arrive so I can start putting this thing together!

Okay, For Real, I'm (Probably) Going to Build a Gaming PC

For serious this time, I'm about two steps away from building a new gaming (and whatever else I desire to do with it) PC. I've got it configured over at Newegg but I'll be getting the parts for it from a number of different places to get the best prices. Anyway, this is the build I've pretty much set on, after tweaking it quite often over the past week or so.

If you've got any suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them.

Processor

Intel Core i5-2500k (Sandy Bridge) $225 ($180 at Microcenter) Link

Motherboard

Gigabyte GA-P67-UD3 Link

Price: $130

Graphics Card

ATi Radeon HD 6850 Link

Price: $180

Memory

This one is a toss up. I can either get 4GB and upgrade later or get 8GB now and not have to worry about upgrading for a nice, long while. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

G.Skill 4GB DDR3 - $43 Link

G.Skill 8GB DDR3 - $90 ($80 with promo code) Link

Hard Drive

Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB - $55 Link

Optical Drive

Samsung DVD Burner - $18 Link

Power Supply

Cooler Master 750W GX series - $80 + Shipping at Amazon Link

Case

Rosewill Challenger - $55 Link

Monitor

ASUS VH232H 1080p 23" Monitor -$170 Link

I didn't factor in the cost for an OS because there are a couple (legal) ways I can go about getting it for cheap or possibly even free that I'm looking in to.

Total (not including taxes, shipping, rebates, etc.)

With 4GB RAM: $911

With 8GB RAM: $948

Hmm...looking at the price difference between the total price of the 8 and 4GB RAM builds, the 8GB build doesn't look so bad all of a sudden.

But, if I don't need it, I'm sure I can find a better use for the cash so I'm still up for suggestions. :P