With the bedroom door firmly shut and the lights off, the young boy could only work by the light of the muted TV. Finding his headphones, he fumbled with the back of the unit for the jack. By the light of his smartphone he sifted through his school bag for the game case a friend had given him. Deft hands worked to boot his console up and slide the disc into place, carelessly discarding the old EA Sports game into the mass of cables on the carpet. With the controller gripped firmly in hand, he hit the start button.
His hands trembled slightly as he played through the dark tale of survival horror, battling with a massive disadvantage against gruesome monsters and inhuman wretches. He clenched his jaw to avoid screaming out at the scare moments when some digital demon would leap into his field of view. As much as he wanted to put the controller down and hide under his duvet, he was equally engrossed in the events playing out.
So engrossed, he did not notice the bedroom door opening.
So absorbed, the headphones blocked the approach of the tall and cloaked figure.
So immersed, the feel of a skeletal hand touching his shoulder made him cry out in fright, dropping the pad and scrambling out of his chair to face the visage of Death looming over him, skeletal face barely visible underneath the cowl.
Drawing himself up, Death spoke chilled words: “Your punishment shall be severe.” The spectre declared, reaching forth with those flesh-absent arms swaddled in dark cloth.
Death Jr. went without his games console until Christmas morning for playing past curfew, and for playing a game his parents had not checked out first.