“The Ice Stage”

As Sky feared, the next stage was impossible. It was The Ice Stage.

Right away, an 8-bit mountain goat booted her off a ledge into an icy chasm…

Sky put down her controller. The screen read, “GAME OVER!”

She hit continue. The jumps were nearly impossible, had to be timed just right.

The goats, the falling rocks, the gusts of blizzard that blew you right off the edge. Dead. Dead again. Game over. Game over. Game over.

She shut the system off. Went and did her homework.

The next day after school, she got no further with the Ice Stage. Sky nodded gravely, knew what had to be done, she packed her suitcase with warm winter clothes. It was springtime in her town, it would be cold there.

She went to a small village in the Andes Mountains and found a Sherpa to guide her up the most dangerous mountain in the world. The Sherpa said, “I do not think it’s wise for an 9 year old girl to do this.”

Sky just chuckled.

So, up the mountain they went. It was horribly treacherous. Soon, Sky saw that the mountain pass resembled the Ice Stage. Perhaps it had been the inspiration for the game. What a nice thought.

Uh huh. There were the impossible jumps. The falling rocks. The Ice. A ton of ice, look at it all.  Across the chasm, a mountain goat was standing there peering diabolically, as if to say, “Come at me, bro.”

“I’ll go no further.” The Sherpa said. He turned, went back to his village

Sky studied. Below, a two thousand foot drop. She gulped, took a few steps back, then propelled herself across the deep impossible chasm. As she leapt into the air, rocks came down but missed narrowly.  She jumped on the mountain goat, used it like a spring board to send her up to the safety of a higher ledge.

There, that’s how you do that!

A few days later, back in her bedroom, Sky set her suitcase down on her bed, turned on the game system. Resumed the Ice Stage.

On her third try, she crossed the chasm, passed the rocks, dodged the blizzard gusts.

Whew!

The next stage loaded, Sky wasn’t surprised to see it was a Space Stage. Even harder than the Ice Stage. Damn. Floating. Falling stars. Aliens. UFOs. Black holes…

She looked at her suitcase on the bed.

“What kind of clothes should I pack for outer space?” She said aloud.

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