by Kevin J. Anderson
Copyright (c)1989 by Kevin J. Anderson
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Sunday night, like every Sunday night, they played the Game.
Melanie carried four glasses of soda to the table, hating the
real-world role of hostess. "We can make popcorn later, if you guys want." She
flipped a strand of brown hair behind her ear and stared at the master map on
the table. Gamearth, their beautiful fantasy world....
"Forget popcorn -- try my dip instead," Tyrone said. "Black bean and
shrimp this week. And I brought some sesame crackers, too."
David arrived, late as usual. He stuck the keys from his Mustang in the
pocket of his denim jacket. His dark hair looked soft, but his eyes were hard.
"We ready to play?" he asked, finding a seat at the table. He bent over to
frown at the map and did not say hello. Melanie made him get his own glass of
Her parents had found someplace else to go, as they always did when the
group met at Melanie's house. At first her mother and father had stood on the
sidelines to watch, curious and condescending. But the concept of a
role-playing game seemed beyond them -- where it was all pretend and no one
really won or lost. They (use another pronoun or names here?) played the parts
of characters through adventure after adventure in a world created from their
The colorful map beckoned from the table. Flat, with precise hexagonal
sections of forest, grasslands, mountains, ocean. She touched the smooth paint
and thought of the characters they had played, genera