Unplugged Second Controller
Mark mashed the button harder; he knew it wouldn't actually make his jump longer, but old habits die hard. As he finally cleared the gap, his arm shot up in the air and he let out a resounding, "Yeeessss! God that jump was so frickin' annoying." His thumb pressed the joystick forward, not stopping to revel in his victory long. From a few feet away, a small voice piped up, "Yaayyy! Way to go, Mark!"
His eyes rolling, Mark sighed and said, "Yeah Gabe, thanks... Don't you have trucks to play with or something?" Gabe scooted closer to his older brother and smiled up at him, "But I want to play what you're playing! It looks so cool, I want to try it." Mark paused his game and looked down at his naïve brother, "Gabe, you know how long I got stuck there? Like, 5 minutes. 5. Whole. Minutes. On one jump. Point is, this game is hard. You'll just get frustrated and throw a fit." With that he unpaused the game and continued down the narrow path he'd found his character in.
Tears welled up in Gabe's eyes. His pitch rising, he shouted out, "No I won't! I don't throw fits anymore, you're just... just being mean!" Knowing where this would go, Mark quickly tried to shut his brother up. "Fine, I'll let you help." With that he grabbed a spare controller -- unplugged, of course -- and handed it to Gabe. "You control the background objects. See 'em moving? Try to use them to help me stay out of sight of the enemies while I run." Mark smiled to himself, content with his lie.
Gabe's hands wrapped around the controller, his eyes filled with determination. He was fully prepared to do whatever he could to help with this difficult game. He pressed down on the d-pad, but nothing in the game moved. Mark twitched, but shrugged it off and went back to playing. Again Gabe tapped on one of the directions, again Mark twitched, and again nothing seemed to happen in game. "Hey, you lied to me! I'm telling mom!" Gabe yelled. As he began to cry, his hand clamped down on the controller, causing one of the directions on the d-pad to stay pressed. "W-what the hell?!" Mark shouted as he began to walk toward the wall. "I can't stop!" Panic could be heard in his voice as his face pressed into the wall, his feet still trying to carry him forward.
"Hey, what're you doing, Mark?" As Gabe tried to figure out what was wrong, he let go of the controller. As soon as he did, Mark's feet stopped moving. He peeled himself off the wall and jumped backward, "That... that was weird..." Seeing Mark was fine, Gabe immediately went back to his brother's wrongdoing, "Mark you're not supposed to lie!" He lifted up the controller and began mashing the jump button, trying to show that it wasn't doing anything in game. As he did, Mark started bouncing up and down.
A shocked look appeared on Gabe's face as he began to understand. He carefully held the controller, and pressed the d-pad in the direction opposite the wall. Suddenly Mark began to walk; in the exact direction Gabe pointed him. The jump button was mashed down, and sure enough, Mark jumped. Every command sent through the controller resulted in the confused older brother acting. Gabe laughed, "You're like a real life video game, Mark!"
Mark shrieked, "Knock it off! I don't know how you're doing that, but it's not funny, Gabe!" He tried to resist, but nothing worked. He was a slave to the commands of the controller. Gabe was undeterred by the fear creeping into his brother's voice. He continued to guide Mark around, making him walk, run, jump, and even pick up objects. Finally, Gabe had an idea. A mischievous grin was followed by, "I'll make you sorry for lying to me."
Mark found himself walking toward the door. He smacked into it, groaning as his head collided with it repeatedly. "Whoops," Gabe said, backing his brother up and making him open the door. Mark marched out, stopping at the edge of the road. "You think it's funny to hurt my feelings? I can't get you back... But I can make you feel scared! Maybe then you'll stop being mean to me..." With that Gabe made Mark walk into the middle of the road.
"Stop. Gabe stop! Take me back, this isn't cool, Gabe!" Mark yelled. A car sped around the corner, blaring its horn as Mark barely jumped out of the way. Gabe laughed, "You should see the look on your face!" Tears formed in Mark's eyes as he began to panic, "Gabe please! I'll let you play as much as you want, just stop! I'm sorry!" Gabe's face lit up, "As much as I want?! Yaaayyy!!!" He threw his hands up in excitement, dropping the controller in the process. As it hit the ground, the joystick was pressed to the side, causing Mark to run into the corner -- straight into an oncoming car.
Thunk! Mark flew back as he was struck, his body falling limp to the ground. The driver rushed out of her car, "Oh my god! Kid, can you hear me?!" She ran to Mark and shook him, but he didn't respond. Gabe walked over slowly, grabbing the controller as he passed it. He looked down at his brother, "M-Mark?.." No response. "Mark, please wake up." Fingers reaching for buttons on the controller, Gabe began to press all of them. But nothing happened. "Mark, use your extra lives. That's how this was supposed to work, you come back with your extra lives. Why aren't you coming back?" Gabe mashed the start button, desperately trying to revive his brother. The driver gave the boy a hard look and placed her hand on his shoulder, "I'm sorry, sweetie. I'm afraid your brother isn't a video game character, we only get one life to use..."