CW: Video game violence
Ian loved Mortal Kombat
until I ruined it for him,
Late nights waiting for Snick,
and passing up Clarissa because no one likes Clarissa.
Cold popcorn and fruit roll ups,
secret resentments and Gushers.
My eyes locked,
focused on the screen.
Boasting of my skills,
born only of sugar fueled determination
and only child stubbornness.
At home we played Legend of Kyrandia,
I cast spells and searched for amulets.
But at Ian’s house,
Posture matching the players before me,
My eyes softened and focused.
My personal weapon, sharper than Scorpion’s blade
revealed when Ian saw my fight.
My fingers creating meaningless, repetitive circles on the controller,
controlling nothing intentional
except his seething upper lip.
He tried so hard, clamoring for moves and combinations.
The circles turned to chaos as my focus turned to Ian,
and we watched
his life force
His whole head,
finally in my hands.
Lauren Theresa (she/her) is a writer, botanical sorceress, and depth psychotherapist living in NJ with her tiny family and myriad of plants. Her musings can be found via IG & Twitter @imlaurentheresa, and her words crawl the pages of laurentheresa.com.