Tequila bottles littered the floor. Glasses, half full of water from melted ice, sat ignored by their former owners. Partygoers had become party departers, leaving streamers scattered on the floor.
Even though Steve was out amidst this once lively background, his ear tuned in to hear some strange noise. The noise sounded like a static shower on one of those old fashioned salt and pepper TV stations. His brain jolted him awake.
“Huh!?” Steve exclaimed.
He sat upright so fast that all the plastic cups resting on top of him, and they were legion, toppled over onto the ground. At the same time, it felt as if someone had squeezed lime juice into his eyes. He rubbed them to try to bring himself some relief.
“Wh-What’s going on? What’s that noise?” Steve asked. One plastic cup remained curiously perched on top of the fly of his jeans. The static sound dissipated, fading into the ether. Steve now saw — with his eyes, not his mind — the TV displayed a video game that seemed to be playing itself!
He heard the tell-tale bleep and bloops. He saw Mario scurry across the screen in desperate pursuit of performance-enhancing mushrooms; you know, the typical games we grew up playing as kids.
“Who’s playing Mario?” Steve asked a cold and empty room.
“Steve, Steve we’ve totally got this covered, brozef. Just go back to sleep, dude,” replied an unknown voice.
Steve’s eyes grew wide as the moon. He looked around the whole room. A cold sweat ran down his face, even while his cheeks burned as hot as a furnace. “Who is in my house playing my games?” he wondered to himself. He scanned the ceiling, the fridge, the bathroom and even peeked under the carpet — all to no avail. No one was there.
“I don’t even know who you are; much less why you are playing my stuff. I mean, who do you think you are coming into my house and playing my games. A man works hard just so that he can put games on the table and play them in his underwear,” he said.
“Dude, it’s okay. Look, we even got you past the massive caterpillar boss who was giving you a hard time.”
“Well,” Steve said, “I was having trouble with that part; that’s true. Alright, maybe I will let you guys play my games. I wish more mysterious strangers were as thoughtful as you.”
The strange voice replied, “Yeah, yeah don’t worry about it, man. Get some rest. We got this!”
Steve collapsed on top of the plastic cups, flattening them on the floor in the process. Over, and over and over the games kept playing themselves.