Waiting for Windy



Basically, Billy had about six hours to make perhaps the most important decision in his thirty-eight year-old life. To some, the answer would be simple. There would be no question for many as to what Billy should do. The storm was bearing down on his Gulf Coast sunshine state, and he was under mandatory evacuation.

After Katrina, no sane person would ever again doubt the powers of a category 5 hurricane. Billy, having lived more than fifteen years in Florida, had seen his share of lesser hurricanes, but had lived through at least two category 3 or above ones. And this one, already a strong cat-4, was predicated to make landfall right on top of his apartment.

To Billy, this presented a problem. Normally Billy would have been gone a day earlier. Having a sixth sense about tropical disturbances, Billy would have seen the track, and drove up to Tennessee to enjoy the cooler weather, mountain air, and Dollywood.

This time was different. This time, Billy was smack dab in the middle of the most important event of his life. As a kid, Billy had spent the time and dedication, taken the photos of his old tv screen as proof, and earned high-score patches for E.T, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Pitfall Activision games for Atari.

Thirty years later, in the year 2008, these games were obsolete. However there was still a following for video game high scores. There were still those who followed and worshipped. There were still games without a “master,” and Billy wanted badly to leave his mark on the video game society by claiming a Master spot.

He was not interested in besting known scores or titles. He did not choose Donkey Kong, PacMan, Frogger, Qix, Galaga, or Space Invaders. Instead, he chose what he felt would be a shoo-in. A game that many have heard of, but nobody had conquered.

Billy set his sights on Miner 2049’er, and he was on level 999.

“Fuck that storm,” Billy said aloud, as he moved Bounty Bob into position to clear the last and final level. “I can swim,” he thought, and smiled… “Oh my darling, oh my darling…” he sang…



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