When I flopped back onto the pillow, just before my eyes sagged shut, I glanced over at the clock.
11:57 PM, the red numbers read in the darkness.
Oh, wait! I had to send that email to Harken! Quickly, I grabbed at my bedside table for my phone. Fortunately, the message to pass on was short, and it only took a few keystrokes before it was ready. With a sigh of relief, I pushed my thumb down firmly on the text at the top of the screen marked “Send.”
With a little whoosh, the email darted off through my wireless into cyberspace, and I set the phone back down on the little night table. 11:59, read the clock – just in time! Day complete!
I was very proud of what I’d accomplished.
So proud, in fact, that when the words “100% ACHIEVED” swam into visibility on the blackness of the ceiling, the letters glowing bright green, it didn’t even seem odd-
I wasn’t, however, prepared for what came next.
Slowly, almost shimmering into existence, three more lines of text appeared, underneath this “100% ACHIEVED” banner. They read, in order:
“CONTINUE: FREE ROAM”
This was odd, I thought to myself, but I didn’t feel quite like I was in a panic. Lying there in the softness of my blankets and pillows on my bed, it was tough to be scared or surprised. Instead, I just gazed up, trying to get my fuzzy thoughts to line up.
Sure, I’d played a few video games in my time; I had some idea of what these options meant. But I wasn’t used to trying to apply them to my own life, and so some of the options weren’t quite making sense.
Clearly, I’d achieved some sort of success in life. I mean, I had my credit cards all paid off, a comfortable job, and had even finally managed to talk to that cute barista that kept on drawing little hearts on my morning coffee cups. Was that a hundred percent? It didn’t seem quite right.
So what to do next?
LOG OUT? I didn’t think so! I’d worked hard to reach this point, and I wasn’t starting over now!
CONTINUE: FREE ROAM? If I remembered, that would mean that I could wrap up current objectives. Not bad, not bad. On one hand, I wouldn’t advance any further, but I wouldn’t lose all my current progress.
NEW GAME+… now, that was the most intriguing. The opportunity to start a new life, possibly with something carrying over? Wow, that would be nice.
Briefly, I wondered whether that was how so many people became rich and powerful. Did they score 100% completion on a day, and then bring all of their accumulated money and knowledge into their next life, starting with a leg up?
The temptation to join them was very strong.
But on the other hand… I had only just scored that cute girl’s number, and I was really looking forward to our first date. How hard could it really be to get another 100% complete day, now that I knew what to work towards?
And so I blinked a few more times, until the text on the ceiling faded away, and drifted gently off to sleep.