In my life of trying to be an inspiring writer, I have met many great walls that I have yet to be able to climb over. My major story was 7 well years into development, and I have been delaying it due to other story ideas popping in my mind. It even to the point to where I would choose my stories over all the things in my social life other than work and studying for college.
...Even to the point to where I missed visiting with my sick mother in the hospital, I never knew the disease due to focusing completely on my work and writing. Even after she passed away, and my family would turn to me to help them as the grieved, I would continue to focus on my passion.
Though one memory sinks deep in me that I will never forget...and I can still feel the cold hand touch my shoulder to this day chanting the words that send a shiver down my spine. I can even feel it now as I write this story. All because it was my fault...
It was about 4 months after my mother passed away, I decided to try and touch up my major story, feeling that if things went my way, I would finally be able to accomplish the dream I held onto for so long. I felt passion in my finger tips as I typed away on my keyboard. And then...the dreaded curse that was lingering about in my very mind, the devious thing that keeps all writers from attaining their goals: Writers Block. As it hit, it hit harder than usual, to the point to where I swung at my keyboard in fury. After calming down, I shrugged it off and opened up my web browser, swallowing my pride in defeat.
I was going about the internet looking up all kinds of stuff to help me with my writers block, as I was in desperate need to get it done, I felt as if my future depended on it. After a bit of nothing in the end, I simply walked away from my computer to take a break from looking at a computer screen all day. It was then that I found my copy of Sonic Generations, remembering the classic good old times I would have playing the Sega at my Grandmas. Feeling a bit of Nostalgia, I popped it into my Xbox and started playing. I pretty much got S ranks on all of the missions and passed them with ease, something that always gave me a good feeling and often motivated me into getting things I needed to do, done with.
It was around this time that I decided to do the classic good old American thing when you want to play old games: I downloaded the Sega Emulator and a Sonic the Hedgeog 2 rom, because Piracy equals America!
The game loaded up like normal and I began to play through the first level without anything going abnormal...at least, I didn't notice it was abnormal until about the second act of Stage 1. When I paid close attention, I could notice that all of the enemies were staring directly at me, as if they were expecting me to do something else other than run forward and destroy them all. As I noticed the enemies doing it, I would notice that Sonic would seemingly glance at me every few seconds as if to check up on me. I just nodded it off as a problem with the ROM, and didn't let it bother me one bit.
After rushing through the stage with ease, I got to the boss which was Robotnik in his little dril car, and I beat him without any problems. As I freed the little animals, I did my usual thing and let Sonic sit there without touching the controller, the thought of an impatient Sonic sitting through the completion screen always made me chuck, except, he didn't look at me as if he was aggitated, he looked at me with a smile, and even gave me a thumbs up. It caused me to raise an eyebrow at it, it was then that I thought to myself that the ROM might have been slightly tinkered with, but the experience didn't cause me to quit playing, it somewhat...motivated me even more than usual to keep going.
I passed through the second and third stage, with Sonic doing his usual routinee of congratulating me. All was going well, until I got past the 4th stage. At the end, Sonic gave me a thumbs up with a confident smile, except this time, a text bubble saying: "Good job Derek!" popped up on the screen, which afterwards, the same thing popped around the critters that danced around the screen. ...A slight shiver went down my spine at that point. How did the ROM know my name? Did it somehow scan my computer to find my name? I began to freak out a bit, but hearing those words made me continue.
I got through the rest of the stages, only this time Sonic was cheering me on, chanting my name in praise as I would destroy enemy after enemy. At some point towards the end, I accepted that it was a neat thing in the ROM and continued to keep going, loving the praise as I continued onward. Finally, I reached the end of the game, and beat Robotnik in his final mech. The ending was about as normal as it was, only this time, all of the birds, including Sonic, who was in his Super Form, were supposedly cheering me on. I nodded at the cheers, thinking that this ROM, though creepy at some points, was a really good motivation.
As the game ended, I could feel a toll on me take its place. I shut off my computer and went to bed, feeling great about beating a classic game.
The following dream I had though, I still remember even to this day. The dream started off with what appeared to be, only Sonic the Hedgehog, waking me up. He kept telling me "Come on Derek! I need your help!" ...I felt a bit confused at first, wondering why I was inside of the game. I only shrugged it off as I followed Sonic along. I was surprised at how fast I was running, keeping up with Sonic as we ran through what appeared to be the first stage. Though, everything began to twist and tort into inverted colors. Sonic himself began to look different, his blue quills suddenly turning yellow. As he looked back at me, he only looked in disappointment. "Come on Derek! Your better than this! Your better than this Derek!" ...My childhood hero, was taunting me, even after asking me for my help and praising me before.
As everything began to twist and form into something else, my vision began to blur. I felt heavy, and I began to slow my pace. I eventually came to a screeching halt, trying my best to catch my breath. Though a loud cry from Sonic shouting: "Look what you did!" caused me to look up. Everything was metal...robots were everywhere. Everything was machines. Oil was pouring out of the waterfalls from afar. I could hear Robotniks laugh from far away. I looked in horror as I could hear the cries of animals trying to escape their innevitable fate of turning into robots were heard all around me. Then...slowly but surely, all of the voices came. They chanted: "It's all your fault Derek...you were too slow...you were disappointing. You didn't do anything Derek."
Everything began to suddenly come full circle. I could see the hospital appear before me all of a sudden. I could see my family. I could see my mother lying in a hospital bed. She gave me a warm smile as I reached out for her, but then all of a sudden, everything began to turn metal around the room. Suddenly, everything closed in on me, chanting the words: "It's all your fault." Chanting them so much to where I reached my breaking point.
As I covered my ears trying to silence the voices, I looked in shock as Sonic stood in front of me. He looked at me with anger in his eyes. "Look what you did...all of my friends are now robots. You couldn't save them, you couldn't do anything. Useless like always, not able to do anything." His taunting and harsh words were the deepest cut, I could only feel my hands lowering as I sat there in disbelief. Sonic slowly wrapped his hands around...and they suddenly became cold....and hard. I began to glance around, as I noticed Sonic slowly turning into a robot, Silver Sonic. "You weren't there for them, and all this happened. Now, you will suffer the same fate you brought upon everyone, Derek." As he fully became metal, his grip on my face was tight, and very painful. The last thing I remember before everything blacked out, was the glowing robotic red eyes...and the evil grin I thought I would never see.
I woke up in a pool of sweat, looking around the room. After a minute of panicking, I began to chuckle very nervously, realizing that it was all a dream. After washing my face off and drinking some water, I sat down at my computer, feeling that I needed something to take my mind off of the horrible dream. I sat there for a good solid few minutes in silence, tapping my finger on the keyboard as I began to think to myself. The cheers from the woodland critters and even Sonic somehow forced me to load up the ROM again. The title screen was about normal and everything seemed like it was the same. I let out a sigh of relief as I pressed start, deciding to play with Tails by my side this time, feeling as if seeing the cute little fox following me would calm my nerves.
...What happened when everything loaded up, caused me to freeze in fear. ...Metal....Metal...Oil...it was everywhere, like in my dream. The robotic critters stood there, looking directly at the screen. In the middle of it was poor Tails. Tails was cowering in fear, confused as to what was going on. He looked towards the screen as well, and text bubbles popped up saying "Save me Derek...I believed in you too, please, save me like you did before! Help me!" ...I watched in horror as the robots began closing in on poor Tails. He constantly shouted Save me Derek! Save me Derek! ...All I could do was watch in horror as the robots completely covered him up, until nothing was left of Tails. After a minute, the robots began to shift away from Tails, revealing that he was turned into a robot too. I screamed in fear as all of the robots, including Tails, were chanting the same words from the dream. "It's all your fault Derek....It's all your fault Derek..." I cried and begged them to stop, in so much of a panic that I thought my shriveled cries and begging of mercy would make them silence. After a minute of the chanting, they stopped, and looked as if something was in front of them....it was Silver Sonic. His whole entire body filled up the middle of the screen.
"...Well now, another life you couldn't save, another soul you ignored to even reach out for, all because you were useless. You thought that cheering would get anything done? Like your pathetic story? How is that coming along?" ...That was it, I completely lost it. I cried like I never did before. Covering my face in my arms and knees, I began to cry, apologizing for something I felt I didn't do. "You can cry all you want, but it's still your fault Derek." Silver Sonic said once more. Finally, my room suddenly lit up. Covered all around my white walls in blue writing, were the words "It's your fault." and "You weren't there to save them."
I looked around, screaming in fear and agony as I looked at every single word written on the walls. As I could hear the sound of static from my computer, I looked up to see a metal hand popping out of the screen. The metal hand clawed onto my keyboard, dragging what appeared to be a silver body out from the screen. It was him...it was Silver Sonic. I told myself to get up, I told myself to run. I told myself to get out of there and never look back...but I froze, I sat in my chair as Silver Sonic closed in on me, looking into my eyes with his own. His grin formed and the same words he had been chanting echoed into my mind.
As everything blacked out, I woke up to my roommate shaking me. "The hell is wrong with you man? You've been screaming since 5 this morning!" After he shook me a bit, he pulled his hands away from me, feeling what felt like a pool of sweat all around me. "Dude, are you gonna be okay?" He asked me, a bit of worry in his voice. I only chuckled nervously, feeling a since of deja vu as I wiped the sweat from my forehead. "I'm...I'm sorry man, just a bad dream." I said as I looked up at him with a smile. "Look man, I just started playing Sonic on my Xbox, and everything just went downhill from there I guess." I answered him, feeling like I had to be honest with him if I was screaming.
...Something came out of his mouth then, words that made me froze. He told me "What are you talking about man? Your Xbox is in the shop getting repaired. You remember that website you were browsing the other day right?" ...I stared down at my blanket on confusion. What the hell?! I constantly screamed in my mind. I was there, playing my Xbox, it really happened! Sonic was there...everything was real, I began to shake my head in disbelief as I brushed off everything he said as a lie. I could heard him sigh as he began to walk out of my room. "It's your fault you know, for going to those websites." He said once more as he exited with those words. My eyes shot wide open, memories of the horrible nightmare began to flood my mind and the voices echoed in my mind.
Then, as I was frozen in fear, I could feel the cold, hard, metal-like hand grab my shoulder from behind. I didn't look back, I only looked forward, whimpering in fear. As I froze in place, the words I dreaded came to life...
"It's all your fault..."