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Martin's Nightmare - A Freewrite by evlachsblog

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Martin's Nightmare - A Freewrite

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<i>This is a freewrite exercise using @shadowspub's fiction prompt: "Sitting at his computer, Martin noticed something odd about his favourite computer game." </i>

<i>If you want to get prompts from Shadows Pub, you may subscribe to 👉 [Prompt a Day]( 👈 so that you can get some writing ideas delivered to your email every day.</i>

<center><sup>[Top Photo Image Source from Pixabay](</sup></center>

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Sitting at his computer, Martin noticed something odd about his favourite computer game. There were two Pacmans, a yellow and a green Pacman, and four more ghosts that appeared at the centre of the maze, which was the starting location of the original four ghosts: Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde. "How could this happen? Everything is duplicated," he thought. On top of that, he could not control any of the Pacmans as though somebody was remotely playing the game with him. "Aaaaahhhh... what's going on here?"

He stared at the monitor, intently watching the Pacmans behave all around the maze. They seemed to be able to outsmart the ghosts quite easily until all of the dots were eaten. Then the game restarted by itself, and still, the game had duplicate Pacman and ghosts. Martin tapped the arrows on the keyboard. No, that didn't work. Esc. Enter. Space. Tab. Whatever he tapped, the game would not respond to his command. He started to get frustrated so he pressed the power button of the tower and held it for five seconds. The screen went black. He waited for five seconds before pressing the power button again.

Martin double-clicked the Pacman icon on his desktop. The program responded but as soon as he clicked START, it opened to a different kind of maze which he had never seen before. The Pacman and the ghosts still appeared in duplicate but this time, the two Pacmans were not as clever as the ones before. The ghosts were almost at the point of eating the Yellow Pacman and Green Pacman when a portal suddenly appeared at the centre of the monitor and the two Pacmans came out of that portal into Martin's bedroom.

<center>![wormhole-2296580_640.jpg](<center><sup><a href="">Image Source from Pixabay</a></sup></center></center>

Yellow Pacman immediately rushed to the door of the bedroom and continued running in the hallway. Martin followed it and noticed that the hallway and all around the house were full of dots. Yellow Pacman gobbled them up as it passed the hallway. He remembered the Green Pacman at once. "Oh no! It must be lurking somewhere," he said while sweating profusely. "This can't be happening."

Martin went back to this bedroom. Green Pacman was gone. "It's just somewhere, for sure," he thought. The portal on the computer screen expanded and was now floating in the air. Martin could see that the portal was opening and he knew what was going to happen next. If Yellow and Green Pacman were already wandering inside his house, chomping down all those dots, he was certain all those eight ghosts would also come out of the portal to chase their enemies. He wondered if he turned the computer off, would the portal disappear? So he quickly pressed the power button. The portal vanished in an instant.

Martin remembered the plastic disk that he used to download the game on his computer. He had to find it.  "Is it just a technical glitch? But even if it is, what are they doing in my house?" said Martin as he scrambled through the desk drawers looking for the disc.  "Why is my house full of dots?" He kept on babbling. "The game is supposed to be played on the computer. It is not a real-life game." His hands were shaking as he rummaged in the drawers and the cabinets in his room. "I've got to find that bootable disk to reinstall the game again. That should solve my problem."

Martin was getting desperate. He looked everywhere but the disk was not in his bedroom. "Adelan might have it in his room, somewhere. Aaargghh!!! If I find the disk in his room, he's gonna be in big trouble!!!" thought Martin to himself. He quickly ran to his brother's room which was all the way to the end of the hallway. He could see, in his periphery, the Green Pacman and the Yellow Pacman moving aimlessly in the labyrinth of his house but still managed to eat some of the dots left. "Great! As long as there are still some dots left, the game is not over yet!" Martin said as he opened his brother's bedroom door.

"Hey!!! Don't you know how to knock?!" Adelan yelled at Martin.

"I am looking for my Pacman disk. Have you got it?" asked Martin.

"Yeah, remember I borrowed it from you yesterday? I told you I want to beat your score. My highest score is 254,356," said Adelan haughtily. 

"Okay, then where is it? I don't care about your score!" Martin said, annoyingly. "What a smug!" But he did not blurt the words out.

"All right! Here it is!" Adelan then threw the disk at his older brother. 

<center>![fredy-jacob-t0SlmanfFcg-unsplash.jpg](<center><sup><a href="">Image Source from Unsplash (edited)</a></sup></center></center>

Martin caught the disk in the air. "If this gets broken, we won't be able to play the game. There are two Pacmans inside our house, and I have to get them back into the game... back to my computer." Adelan just laughed at him hysterically. "Are you for real? Yay! Pacman in the house!!!"

Martin said nothing. He ignored his brother and he hurriedly went back to his bedroom. He switched his computer on and inserted the disk into the floppy drive. He waited for five minutes before the computer was ready to use. He opened the disk folder and clicked "Pacmanboot.exe". Once it finished, a dialog box appeared which said: "Do you want to launch the game?" He clicked "Yes."

He then checked outside his bedroom to see if the Pacmans and the dots were gone. They were still there. Nothing had changed. He went back to his desk and once again, a portal appeared in the middle of the screen. It grew bigger and bigger, and right in front of him, he could see Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde approaching the portal. "Oh no!!! They're gonna come out!!! Adelan!!! Help!!!"  The ghosts were pulling his head and his arms and they were dragging him into the computer screen. "Help me!!! Adelan!!! Get away from me!!! Heeeeeellllpppppp!!!!" 

Martin could see half of his body, from his waist to feet, was still in his bedroom, while the other half was already inside the computer monitor. In front of him was just pitch black, except the images of those four ghosts still dragging him. His body shook in fear. He was absolutely terrified. He finally conceded and thought that no matter how loud his scream was, his brother would not hear his cry for help anymore.

All of a sudden, Martin felt his whole body shake. Someone was slapping his face. "Ouch!!!" He opened his eyes to see his brother standing on his side. Adelan asked, "Are you all right? You were screaming in your sleep." Although his body was soaking from sweat, Martin felt an instant relief realising that it was all just a bad dream. "Yeah, I'm all right. I'm just going to go get myself a cold drink."

Martin went to the kitchen downstairs, opened the fridge, and as he grabbed a jug of water, he shrieked so loud as he spotted the four ghosts, Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde, smiling impishly at him. 


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