A guy talks friends into learning to play Dungeons & Dragons to get his mind off a girl.
|Written for The Anthro Activity Anteroom "The Anthro Activity Anteroom"
Prompt: A story of a group of players. Is this their first time playing, or are they veterans, or is there a mix of skill-levels?
By the end of the story, you'll be able to tell my level of D&D skills. I tried to get a hold of a friend who knows a lot more. I called twice for research, but he never answered and texted back too late. Thus, most of my characters are new to D&D.
"Matt, I don't know anything about playing Dungeons & Dragons."
"It's totally fine. I'll teach you. Come on. I just really need some company tonight. Shelly is coming over."
"Fine. But you're supplying some really good snacks."
"You got it, Tim! And bring Andy."
"Uh, I think my roommate has better things to do."
"You forget I know Andy. He absolutely has nothing better to do on a Saturday night. Bring him. I'll cover the snacks," Matt said.
"Sweet and salty...and drinks! Don't forget some good drinks!"
"Yeah, yeah. Just be here around nine--with Andy."
"Fine. Next time a girl ditches me, you'd better be there to bail me out, Matt."
"Absolutely. Though I'm not sure I'd say she actually ditched me."
"Goodbye, Tim. See you in a bit."
"Hey, Shelly. I didn't expect anyone to answer. Where is Matt? I don't see his car?"
"Hey, Tim. He's getting the snacks he said you demanded." She laughs. "Hey, Andy. Long time, no see."
"I didn't demand snacks, Shelly. I demanded good snacks," Tim corrects with a chuckle.
"So, do either of you know anything about D&D?" Andy makes himself comfortable at the dining room table and starts to fiddle with a multi-sided die.
"I know it's a role playing game. I hear it involves some dungeons and several dragons," Tim laughs.
Shelly takes a seat by Andy. "That's good to know. I feel smarter already."
"How long ago did Matt leave?"
"A good bit ago. He should be back soon. There's some juice in the fridge, if you want. And water in the sink," she says with a smile. "Anything more, and you'll have to be patient."
Tim sits across from the duo. "So, what's up with this girl, anyway?"
"I don't know," Shelly says. "He's had a crush on her for a couple of months and then he got up the nerve to ask her out and she agreed, or so he says. I'm wondering if there wasn't some miscommunication."
"Or wishful thinking," Tim says with a broad smile.
"Anyway, he thought they were going out tonight, but she wasn't home and wasn't taking his calls. Then he saw a neighbor that said she'd gone out dressed for the club."
"That sucks," Andy replies as he tosses the blue die on the table over and over.
"That's a crazy die. How many sides does it have?" Shelly peers over at the unusual game piece.
Andy picks it up for her to inspect. "Beats me. Like twenty, maybe?"
Matt comes banging into the door, loaded with bags, struggling to open, then close the front entrance.
"Looks like you came through! Well done, Matt!" Tim gets up to help his friend to the kitchen.
"I'll have no snacking complaints tonight!" Matt laughs.
"I'm pretty sure you're right, Matt. Got any fruit?" Shelly smiles, hoping to burst his ego.
"Three kinds, my pretty lady. You can't catch me with that again! You have grapes, apples, and kumquats. And I got baby carrots for good measure."
Shelly hops up, heading to the partially unpacked groceries on the counter. "Ooo...I love kumquats."
"So, how do we play this game?" Andy calls out.
"Let's get settled first. I'm starving." Shelly grabs the basket of kumquats, rinses them, pats them on a towel, then grabs a bag of chips on her way back.
"Hey!" Matt calls after her.
"Waste not, want not. I can have the chips because I'm having the kumquats. Plus, they're Andy's favorite. I'm sharing." Shelly put the treats on the table between her and Andy.
The two boys return from the kitchen with paper plates of snacks and drinks.
"Okay. I'm the dungeon master." Matt sits down to begin his explanation, but his phone interrupts. He whispers excitedly, "Guys! It's her!"
"She can't hear you, Matt," Shelly says with a giggle. "Answer it," she urges.
Matt clears his throat, which didn't need clearing, then answers with confidence, "Hey, Megan!" Pause. "You are?" Pause. "You do?" Pause. "Sure. No problem." Then he ends the call.
"And?" Shelly looks anxiously at him, eager to hear the scoop.
Matt gets up, "Sorry guys. Megan's at the club and asked me to meet her there. Help yourself to all the snacks you want."
Tim scoots his chair back. "Seriously? You're just going to ditch us?"
"She sounds like she's been drinking," Matt says, by way of explanation.
"I didn't even want to come tonight." Tim sighs with irritation.
"I know. I'm sorry. I'll make it up to you guys. I promise! Next weekend! Or maybe even tomorrow. I'll teach you to play D&D tomorrow!" Matt heads to his bedroom to change shirts.
"I don't want to learn how to play D&D," Andy said flatly. "I'm just here for you, man."
"Yeah, and I really appreciate it!" He calls. "I promise I'll make it up to you!" He returns with a nicer shirt on.
"That was fast," Shelly laughs.
"He can't give her time to change her mind," Andy teases.
"Tomorrow--I promise! Have all the snacks you want! Make yourself at home!"
"Don't worry, Matt. That's the plan." Tim reaches for another chip, this time off Matt's plate.
"So sorry, guys! I'll fill you in later."
"Have fun, man and be sure to wrap it!" Andy calls out as Matt opens the front door.
"She's not that kind of girl."
"She called you drunk from the club...you, Matt. She's that kind of girl," Andy corrects.
"Just go, man. Have fun. Be safe," Tim says with a wave as Matt closes the door.
Andy starts tossing the die again. "Okay, then. What next?"
"I'll be the dungeon keeper. That sounds like the easiest job, plus, I probably don't need as many muscles as the dragons do. You guys can be the dragons. What dragons do you want to be?"
"I want to be the Eddie Murphy dragon from Mulan," says Tim.
"The only dragon I know is Puff the Magic Dragon."
"Sounds good, Puffy," Shelly teases.
"He's not very powerful, Andy," Tim comments.
"He doesn't have to be. He can just step on your dragon, he's so small." Andy smiles, pleased with himself.
"Good point." Tim sits back. "Where are the instructions?"
Shelly checks around, "Let me call him."
Andy gets up and heads to the kitchen. "Want anything?"
Shelly shakes her head as she speaks with Matt.
"Nah, thanks, though." Tim pours Matts plate onto his own, overflowing it, spilling several chips and crackers onto the table.
"He said the players handbook is on the bookcase over there, third shelf." Shelly points as she pockets her phone.
Andy looks the shelf over. "I don't see anything. I mean, there's all sorts of books here, but the only thing related to D&D is this huge book."
"Uh, Andy? It says, 'Player's Handbook,'" Tim comments.
Andy picks up the book, then replaces it. "Oh no! That's got to be over 300 pages!"
"Puff squishes Eddie. I win." Andy grabs one of the kumquats and pops it into his mouth.
"Sounds good to me. Hey, he's been talking up some show on Netflix. Want to check it out?" Tim picks up his plate and heads to the couch.
"On his account?" Shelly looks concerned.
"Hey, he said to make ourselves at home." Tim encouraged. "Plus, he's way farther into the series, so it's not like we'll end up watching it as far as he's gotten. I'm sure he knows where he is. It's fine."
Andy plops down beside Tim and grabs the remote.
"He does brag about that show all the time." Shelly grabs her snacks and makes herself at home in the easy chair beside the boys. "It works out. I wasn't doing anything tonight, anyway. I didn't want to play Dungeons and Dragons and I always want to snack. If I was at home, I'd just be sitting in front of the TV anyway."
"But you'd be more sad and lonely because we weren't there," Tim chimes in.
"No doubt," Shelly laughed as she kicked off her shoes and pushes the chair back into a reclining position. "No doubt."