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Zur Originalfassung: »Die Sunchimes (2)«

July 7, 2008

Michael Meyn

Translated from the German by Michael Meyn

The Sunchimes (2)

Read what happened before in »The Sunchimes (1)«

"Sex and sandwich", the voice on the radio revealed. "That's all you need to make a man happy." Dr. Laura Schlessinger, America's number one expert when it comes to questions about marriage, had spoken and I stepped on the gas. My day at work had been long and exhausting and now I had to listen to this person telling me that men were simple creatures, easy to manipulate. I don't like to be analyzed by women, especially when they are right.

Sex and Sandwich. I had neither since my Little Rib had decided to move out. Preparing a good American sandwich is extremely complex and sex with myself turned out to be rather awkward because Wulfgäng liked to lay right next to me to cheer me on. Damn, I missed my Little Rib!

"Women are soooo much more complicated!" Dr. Laura continued preaching. "And moody, too! Many men are simply overwhelmed by that." I had enough. I turned off the radio and drove to the mall. My Little Rib should get her super computer to play her stupid game Everquest. In return I would demand my sandwich. And sex! At a computer store I went straight to the closest salesman. He was sweating intensely and I fanned cool air in his face with my credit card. »Make my day!«, I commanded him. He rushed through the store at an impressive speed to get me all the components that were necessary for online gaming. In addition he talked me into buying a pricey insurance, just in case the new computer should go up in smoke like the last one. Then he collapsed overheated behind the counter.

At home I installed the game of all games onto the new computer. Everquest. A virtual world, in which my Little Rib spend a lot of time as Beatrix Sunchime, killing monsters and neglecting her husband. Just the thought of it made me shake my head in disbelieve. I started the game to see if the expensive graphic card was working correctly. It was, at first. But when I tried to log in as Beatrix Sunchime, a message appeared on the screen, informing me that the character I chose was already logged in. Of course. How could I forget? My Little Rib was playing at Mike's place. That's why I wasn't able to log in. But I was advised to create a new character. I clicked through the various options and soon thereafter I had created a new character named Micham Sunchime. As his profession I chose Illusionist. Micham was borderline hideous. As an Erudite he was tall, bald with purple skin and long fingers. He was equipped with bread, water and a small dagger, as well as a spell that could cast some kind of fireball through the air. After a quick tutorial I had memorized the most important functions in the game and I was teleported to the city of Qeynos. I have to admit that I marveled at the beauty of the city.

»Hey, no show tonight?«, Wulfgäng asked, sounding a little disappointed that I was still at my PC and not in bed.

»Get lost, you perverted beast!«

A fat woman at a market place asked me to collect coffee beans for her. »You will find them in the blinking bushes of Antonica«, she explained. »As a reward I shall give you 20 copper coins.« I was thrilled. My first quest!

It saddened me to know that my Little Rib ignored the beautiful scenery and only focused on murder and mayhem. As Micham Sunchime I was determined to counter her questionable actions by never harming a single person in this game. I wandered through Antonica for more than two hours not really knowing where I was going, but time was flying. There was so much to discover. In a charming valley I found the first blinking bush by a little creek. When I arrived at the bush I heard something coming towards me. I turned around and saw a skinny woman with an angry face and a long sword, which she used to stab me multiple time. Her name was Holly Windstalker. I tried to ask her politely to stop her actions but then the screen went black. Loading. Please wait ...

After my death I was transported to the city limits of Qeynos. Now I had to run the whole way back. But I wanted to tell Holly off. It took 20 minutes to get back to the place of my death. The blinking bush was gone. Not far from there I saw Holly Windstalker. I was sure that she had stolen my coffee beans. This woman was almost as ruthless as my Little Rib!

»Why did you do that?«, I typed in the chat box. I was annoyed but also astounded. Who would attack a harmless person who wanted nothing but a few coffee beans? Holly Windstalker! She drew her sword and came at me with hysterical screams. In my panic I clicked on the wrong symbols and instead of a hasty retreat I bowed first, danced for a while and finished with an energetic click of my heals. Holly was not impressed. Loading. Please wait ...

»I have powerful friends, Holly Windstalker!«, I yelled through the entire zone.»I'm married to a level 80 magician. She's on the verge of insanity and I will ask her to sick her pets on you if you don't leave me alone! Believe me, she will not hesitate to destroy you!«

A weird looking person with the head of a rat appeared next to me.

»Holly won't answer you. She's an NPC.«

»What's an NPC?«, I asked interested.

»A Non-Player-Character«, the rat spoke. His name was Gnawer. »Holly is not a player but a character in the game.

»And why is she attacking me? I'm just minding my own business.«

»She attacks everybody. She must have killed me at least 50 times.«

»What?!«

»Yup, you can't escape her. She's a ghost with paranormal skills. Faster than the fastest horse. Roams the area and kills anybody who dares to come too close to her.«

»Unbelievable!«

»No kidding. She has ruined many nights for me, I can tell you that much.«

»But there must be a way to defeat her.«

»Nope. You stand no chance. To kill her you need a group of five or six people.«

»But she's dead already! Also, I'm not interested in violence.«

Gnawer laughed out loud and grabbed his belly. »You picked the right game. I wish you good luck with that.«

»Maybe you can send her spirit to the other side. I bet it's another quest!«

»I doubt it. Holly must die! That bitch deserves it. My school psychiatrist agrees with me on that. He hates Holly Windstalker!«

He started to remind me of my Little Rib. She, too, always had a fitting reason to commit murder instead of resolving conflicts peacefully. When you speak of the devil, he will call you on the phone:

»How is it looking?«, my Little Rib asked.

»How is what looking?«

»When will you buy a new computer?«

»That's difficult to say, Schnuckie.«

For some unexplainable reason I decided to push back the surprise. Sex and sandwich could wait. Without another word she hung up. I glanced at the clock and jumped out of my chair. It was late. Very late.

The following week I spent searching for blinking bushes in Antonica. I had no intentions of giving up on those 20 copper coins. One time I was lucky and found a bush near a waterfall. Flying fish jumped playfully through the air. But I could not be fooled by this tranquil scene. I expected to be ambushed by Holly Windstalker any minute now. Carefully I crawled towards the bush and inspected it. All I found were some carrots. How strange, I thought. Don't carrots grow in the earth? While I was reflecting upon this weird occurrence, a fish flew in my face and bit off my nose. A second fish followed and about 200 more right after that. Loading. Please wait ...

Extremely pissed off I cast a spell outside Qeynos and set a gorgeous unicorn on fire. A tiny gnome hurried towards me and started shouting profanities. Apparently he had been hiding behind a rock for three days to capture the unicorn. »Now I have to wait another three days!«, he wrote in the chat box. »This sucks ass!« To make sure I understood the seriousness of my crime, he repeated in upper case: »ASS!!!« I scraped through the ashes of the very rare and fabled creature with my foot in embarrassment. To mend fences I offered my carrots to him. That wasn't enough for the gnome. He wanted my head. I didn't want to give it to him and so he went back behind his rock.

Coffee beans. Where in the heck were they? I turned and scanned all directions until I suddenly stared at the face of stunningly pretty lady.

»I know who you are, Micham«, she said. I dropped my carrots when I realized that I was standing in front of Beatrix Sunchime. She raised her arms to cast a spell. Sparks were flying around her and soon one of her infamous pets materialized.

Wulfgäng purred: »You're fucked!« She had been watching with great interest.

The pet was bigger than a two-storey house. It looked down on me threatingly, huffing and stomping its feet impatiently. The earth was shaking. I analyzed the situation in a hurry. It seemed a good idea to sprint for a bit. I started running. Behind me I could hear the pet. My heart was racing. So were my feet. Then the phone rang.

»Stand still, you idiot! I want to kill you!«, my Little Rib yelled into my ear.

»But, Schnuckie, all I wanted was to find some coffee beans ...«

The pet snatched me by the head and flung me over a mountain. I landed in front of a tombstone. »R.I.P. Holly Windstalker«, it said. »And I will rest right next to you«, was all I was able to say before I blacked out.

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Geboren wurde er irgendwo in Oberhausen, und zwar am 11.11.1968. Berichten seiner Mutter zufolge begann Michael im zarten Alter von drei Jahren, die Tapeten seines Kinderzimmers mit Fäkalien zu [..]

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