Six adult male nerds sat around a kitchen table. The room was dimly lit by a few flickering candles.
“Mage,” said the first nerd.
“Warlock,” said the second nerd.
“Knight,” said the third nerd.
“Elf King,” said the fourth nerd.
“Troll Lord,” said the fifth nerd.
The sixth nerd hesitated. He just sat there with his thick glasses, curly hair and bad acne, staring at his card.
“Your turn, Freddie,” the fifth nerd said.
“Ahem,” Freddie said as he slapped his card down on the table. “Dragon Rider!”
Kyle, aka the first nerd, became so irate upon seeing the card that he flipped over a bowl of cheese puffs, sending the crunchy snacks flying all over the room. “That’s bullshit!”
“Total bullshit,” added Dwayne, aka the second nerd.
“We all agreed upon a five dollar battle card limit,” said Steve, aka the third nerd. “Dragon rider is like a twenty-five dollar card.”
“Agreements?” Freddie said as he laughed. “There are no agreements in Magicians of Montazor! It’s every man for himself!”
“Where’d you get that kind of money?” asked Doug, aka the fourth nerd.
“Yeah,” Marty, aka the fifth nerd, said. “You been sucking up to your grandma again?”
“I’ll have you know my Gram-Gram is a lovely woman,” Freddie said. “I give her back rubs. She buys me battle cards. It’s a fair quid pro quo, don’t you know?”
“Ugh,” Kyle said as he stuck a finger into his mouth, pretending to gag himself.
“Dude,” Dwayne said. “You’re twenty-freaking-five. Move out of your grandmother’s house already.”
“Free rent, home cooked meals and good company?” Freddie asked. “Uh, methinks thou art just a wee bit jealous, my good sir.”
“Kyle,” Marty said. “Just kick him out of the game.”
“Yeah,” Steve said. “Kick him out. He broke our rule.”
“Pardon me, oh wise and glorious Game Watcher,” Freddie said. “But I believe that section 97F, paragraph 25, sentence 47b clearly states, ‘Once a battle card has been cast, it must be played, no exceptions.”
“Oh, come on Kyle!” Dwayne said.
“He’s right,” Kyle said. “As Game Watcher, I have no choice but to let him play.”
Kyle’s ruling was met with a symphony of moans and groans. The Game Watcher rolled a pair of dice.
“Seven,” Kyle said as he flipped through a bunch of scene cards. “Aha! The scene? The secret lair of the goblins. Everywhere you look, there are vile, bloodthirsty goblins waiting to rip you apart with their sharp, jagged teeth. What move will you cast?”
“Invisibility spell,” Dwayne said.
“Fire ball,” Marty said. “And I’ll supplement that spell with my scroll of the marksman.”
Freddie studied the map that was sprawled all over his grandmother’s kitchen table.
“Your move, Freddie,” Kyle said.
“Hmm,” Freddie said as he tapped a finger against his cheek. “I think I will cast…”
The grumbly voice of an old lady cut the young man off. “Freddie! Freddie, are you down there?”
“Yeah!” Freddie shouted.
A few seconds past. “Freddie!” the old lady shouted. “You gonna answer me or what?”
Freddie sighed as his buddies laughed. “I’m here, Grandma! I’m busy! What do you want?!”
“Are you and your little friends going to stay up all night?” the old lady asks.
“We’re grown men, Grandma!” Freddie shouted.
“I don’t like it one bit,” the old lady shouted. “You’ll be tired and cranky tomorrow!”
Freddie threw up his hands. “For Christ’s sake, Grandma! I’m a man! I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in sociology and the best fry cook Yummy Burger has ever seen! Can’t I just get a night to chill with my peeps without your shit?”
Kyle snickered. “Did you just say, ‘peeps?’”
The old lady was quiet for a few more seconds before piping up again. “Did you offer your little friends some refreshments?”
“We’re fine, Grandma!” Freddie shouted. “Take your pill and go back to bed!”
“I could make you boys some grilled cheese sandwiches!” the old lady shouted.
“No, Grandma!” Freddie screamed. “We’re fine!”
Steve raised his hand. “I could actually go for a grilled cheese sandwich.”
Before Freddie could yell at his grandmother again, a bright spotlight poured in through the kitchen window. The sound of whirring helicopter blades deafened everyone.
Crash! Members of an elite SWAT team bursted in through the kitchen windows. They were dressed all in black and their faces were covered with balaclavas. Each officer wielded an assault rifle.
“Which one of you dip shits is Freddie Milton?” asked an officer.
All of the nerds pointed to Freddie. Without hesitation, Freddie threw his hands into the air.
“Freddie!” the old lady shouted. “Somebody’s at the door! Go see who it is. Don’t be rude!”