Winter

The sun rises at 7:30. 

It sets at 4:30. 

I get up somewhere in between. Take the elevator from the fifteenth floor to the basement garage, drive to work with the sky so low and heavy that it feels like a wool blanket - like a literal wool blanket. Thirty minutes to the underground, unheated parking lot at work, then the elevator to my windowless office. 

DA2

Dragon Age: Origins is a hero story.

Dragon Age Two is not.

For one thing, you win at the end of Origins.

MSN friends

I spent four years at a tiny women's college. I am open and unafraid, like a tasty animal that doesn't know to hide from the sailors who just landed on shore.

I am in a new place, and I have new friends. I trust them very quickly and very fiercely. It's not hard for them to make me love them.

Here is my playing field: the one I am closest with once told me that I made him feel like he was rotting inside. A few hours later, he showed up drunk at my door.

I let him in anyway.

Madison

Winter is a promise. Winter is a threat.

Every day. It is in the air months before it's on the ground. That ashy, chemical smell that the air gets in winter in cities? A little acrid, burns your nose? In Madison, we get that in October. We get it in September. It gets [darker every day][the darkness]. 

Gamlen

Kirkwall is not a nice place. The city of chains. 

You're stuck there. You had to indenture yourself to a smuggler to get enough money to enter the city. Your family home is there, if you can figure out a way to get enough money to buy it back. And the whole game takes place in its streets and alleys, its underground slums, the docks, the outskirts. 

Kirkwall

We'll skip the details, Elia. You, your mother, your brother, and your new warrior friend catch the last ship across the sea to Kirkwall. Mom tells you that you have an uncle there, and a family fortune. 

She was right about the [uncle][Gamlen]. 

the morning after

I wake up face down on the end of his bed, wearing his sweater, with my tights missing, with my underwear missing. 

Three-ish memories, out of sync. The room turning orange. The realization I should call someone to pick me up, but not being able to make my tongue work right. And the side of my face against his comforter, watching the strings on his guitar sway back and forth. 

fairy food

I read a lot of fairy tales when I was a kid. And I still do. A few consistent lessons, one of them being if you are in a house with strange beings, do not eat their food.  

Whatever he gave me, I did eat it. 

This is where it gets bad. This is where something is going to change irrevocably and permanently. I'll give you three choices.