I decided to go in after Ghoul did not respond to my banging on his bedroom door. It was a risky decision that I made, as I knew full and well the consequences of interrupting Ghoul when his doors are shut.
“Put it away, we need to talk.”
Still, no response. My head was tilted downwards and my eyes hurt from squeezing shut. I dared to look, cracking my eyelids so I could catch a quick glimpse of his room. The image was bright and fuzzy. He may have been watching a video, so I repeated myself once more. Only the sounds of small clicking were heard. It reminded me of someone typing.
“I’m going to open my eyes now.”
On a desk in front of Ghoul sat an electronic workstation that I have never seen in my life – three monitors, keyboards, two computers, cameras, a microphone, green screen, and a professional lighting setup.
“What is all of this?” I asked.
“Thanks for knocking,” Ghoul took off his headset and spun around in an elaborate gaming chair. “Oh good, last month’s payment came in.”
I held two pieces in my hand. One was a letter that was from the electric company, stating that there was going to be an auditor coming to the house to ensure that the ridiculous amount on the bill was accurate to the documented power consumption. The other was a check in my name for seventeen thousand, four hundred and twelve dollars, eleven cents, from something called First Blood Gaming.
“What is this money from?”
“From destroying assholes on video games. I don’t sleep, so what do you think I do all day?”
Whatever wretched, other-worldly phenomena that resurrected him did have a certain set of rules.
“Okay Ghoul, please continue.”
“I have some next level shit going on with my technique. Here, check it out.”
I maneuvered around a well-maintained grouping of wires that ran across his bedroom floor. Once I was closer, I saw what looked to be a green screen angled off to the side. Ghoul even had a professional sound system linked to his camera. The more I saw of his hard work and attention to detail, the more impressed I became.
“I like the setup. I can understand the light bill now, but this money is unreal.”
“See, I play one here,” Ghoul points to a screen that has some animated digital card game, and then to another that was a first-person shooter. “And on this screen, I play another. Double dipping, man: two games, two teams, two top 10 rankings. And I am sponsored — twice. Total conflict of interest, but I have been getting away with it by using your name and account information. Thanks by the way.”
He plucks the mail from hand, tossing it onto a pile of uncashed checks. There must have been over a quarter of a million dollars there. I thought to myself that this still doesn’t make up for the fact that he was late on rent.
“But how do you concentrate on both games at once?”
Ghoul spun once more to grab a spoon from his desk, which he then brought to his face. His hands were deft as he shoveled his eyes out with the spoon, and even more so as he strategically placed them onto makeshift tripods. I saw it now. His eyes acted as tiny cameras in front of the monitors, connected to his brain by frayed extraocular muscles that dangled like data cables.
“It’s all in the eyes.”
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017