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Power Member - Level 9
And now for my second contribution to the “Gamify Me”
series! This entry isn’t as crazy-long as my last one, but then again, it isn’t
necessarily 100% finished. I figured I could give you guys the first part and
update it later. And Benderstrike, I’ve already been Gamified, so don’t choose
me as the winner. For those of you who don’t know what “Gamify Me” is, the link
to the Week #16 Recap is below. I highly recommend you write an entry. Enjoy
the story, amigos!
years, there has been talk of a place called Animal Crossing. It’s a strange,
backwards countryside in which adorable little animals wear clothes, own
houses, and go about doing people things. If that isn’t frightening enough, the
folktales about this place say that if a child runs away from home, these
animals will accept him or her as a neighbor. The child can simply live in this
place, owning their own house and paying mortgage without any adult to help
unclear where exactly Animal Crossing is, because you’ll be told something
different depending on whom you ask. Some will tell you that Animal Crossing is
in Japan. Others say it can be found in America, in one of those square-shaped
states in the middle of the country that people tend to forget exist. There are
even folks who claim that Animal Crossing has no real geographical location.
They would tell you that it lies deep within the recesses of a child’s
imagination. It is the place that a child will escape to if they are unsatisfied
with their life as it is- or if they’re just bored.
This is how
Ben Dirstryke - a city boy who had been born and raised in south Detroit –
found himself looking out the window as the countryside roared by. He sat in
the seat of a midnight train operated by monkeys. This young boy had nothing
but 1,000 bells, a one-way ticket to Animal Crossing, and a heavy heart full of
anxiety and unfulfilled dreams.
stared out the window, mulling over his troubled home life, a cat wearing a red
sweater vest walked over to him and said, “Excuse me, but can I sit with you?
All the other booths are full”.
around the room. It had no shortage of empty booths. In fact, the only other
passenger on the train was a little brown boar snoozing on the other side of
Ben turned his head back to the cat, it had already sat down across from him.
It stared at Ben with its big, red eyes and gave him a smile that seemed far
too friendly considering they were complete strangers.
by Ben’s apparent discomfort, the cat proceeded to introduce itself and
bombarded Ben with personal questions; “It’s so great to meet you. I’m Rover.
What are you doing on this train? Actually, don’t answer that. I can tell from
your apparent anxiety that you’re moving. So why are you moving? Well, I can
tell from the lost expression on your face that you’re running away from home.
Do you have a troubled home life? I can tell from the heartsick look in your
eyes that your family and peers constantly harass and berate you, driving you
into moving away as a desperate means to escape. But you need somewhere to
escape to. What’s the name of the town you’re moving to?”
unnerving insight into Ben’s thoughts frightened him. But Ben felt a need to
mask his fear. In an attempt to put up a façade of utmost confidence, Ben
answered Rover’s last question with a sassy but uncreative response.
of the town is ‘Your Mom’?” Rover said, still smiling. “Hey! I know that place!
That’s one of my favorite vacation spots!”
at the cat, perplexed. Is he just screwing with me? Ben thought.
Mom is a great place to visit” Rover said. “But you’re taking a big risk by
moving there. I heard that paying a mortgage in Your Mom can be brutal.”
At that moment,
the overhead speakers came on, and the voice of a monkey filled the room, “We
will soon be arriving in Your Mom. Prepare to disembark. Eek eek!”
it looks like this is your stop” Rover said. “Enjoy your new life in Your Mom.
Be nice to your neighbors and treat the environment with respect. And above
all-” Rover’s tone became very serious, “Watch yourself when dealing with
raccoons. Take care!”
taken two steps from the train station when a chubby raccoon waddled up to him
and began introducing himself. “My name is Tom Nook. I run all the real estate
here in Your Mom. Everyone who owns property here pays mortgage to me. One
might say that I own this entire town!”
began chuckling heartily and prodding Ben with his shoulder. “I’m joking! I’m
joking!” he said finally. “I like to have fun with my job. You probably need a
place to live, right? Lucky for you, I have four houses that you can choose
from. Follow me!”
So Tom Nook
showed Ben four different “houses” (each one was roughly the size of a tool
shed). Ben chose a house with an orange roof by the beach, so he’d at least
have a nice view from his shoddy new home. He sealed the deal with Tom Nook and
handed the raccoon his 1,000 bells.
shifted the bag of money in his hand, judging the weight, then burst out
laughing. Ben shifted uncomfortably where he stood, waiting for Nook’s
chortling to subside. When it did, Tom Nook wiped a tear from his eye and said,
“Okay, that’s all good and fun. But seriously now, where’s the rest of the
the money I have in the world,” Ben said, meekly.
exploded into an uncontrollable torrent of laughter. He fell to the ground,
rolling in the grass as he struggled to breathe through his mighty chuckling.
All the while, Ben stood with his arms crossed, for he no longer felt as
downtrodden as he was offended.
stood, grinning and wiping the dirt off of his suit. “Oh boy. If that’s
all the cash you have, I can see why you’ve resorted to living among animals.
Don’t worry about it, though. I’ll just lend you the other 19,800 bells you
need to buy the house.”
“Lend it to
me?” Ben said, a bit suspicious.
I’ll let you take the house for now, and you just need to pay me back by this
time next week. That’s it. No strings attached. No other significant details to
consider. Do we have a deal?” Nook held out his hand.
about to shake his hand when Nook added, “Although I should stress that it is
very, very important that you pay me back in time. Because if you don’t-
well, you know- something unpleasant may hypothetically happen…”
his hand back. “Are you a loan shark?” Ben asked, his eyes narrowed.
no…” Nook said. “I’m obviously a raccoon. Look, you can either take this house
or live in a cardboard box tonight.”
over at the puny pile of plywood that Tom Nook called a “house”. He began
thinking of where in town he might find a cardboard box…
that Ben was on the verge of declining the offer, Tom Nook grabbed Ben’s hand
and shook it rigorously. “Great! It’s a deal then! I’ll expect full payment by
next week. Nope. There’s no backing out now that we’ve shaken hands.” Nook said
quickly, before Ben could object. He slammed a little metal key into Ben’s hand
and, in the same rushed tone, said, “Here’s the key to your new home. The house
doesn’t have a lock, so it’s really a symbolic thing. Enjoy your new life in
Your Mom, and be sure to come do some shopping at Nookington’s, it being the only
convenience store in town.”
sprinted away, leaving poor little Ben alone with a tool shed for a house and
19,800 bells of debt.