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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Friday, January 2nd, 2015: Fitzgerald Residence

Penelope sat alone in her room, tapping away at the keyboard on her laptop, filling in lines of code for her latest game project.

Her room was a relatively small one on the second story of her house. The walls were white and the lighting modest, giving it a cozy and friendly feeling. In one corner sat her bed, her covers messily arranged and sitting in the same position since she had woken up. A singular sock draped itself over the headboard of her bed frame, and a small black cat rested on her pillow. Near the foot of her bed, in the corner closest to it, drawers containing most of her clothes rested, the topmost drawer slightly ajar. Figurines and stuffed animals sat unperturbed on top of her dresser, in front of a window overlooking her front yard.

Nearby her dresser, Penelope's desk sat, hosting a small lamp, a pack of stationary, a cup full of writing utensils, a printer & scanner, and a black and red gaming laptop that Penelope had gotten for her previous birthday. On the far side of the desk was a small TV sitting next to a wide variety of gaming consoles stacked on top of one another. A black backpack containing most of her school supplies rested underneath her desk. Promotional posters of various different bands and video games aligned themselves neatly on the wall overlooking her desk.

In the corner opposite her bed a small closet door stood unopened, the closet inside containing most of her formal attire and boxes of old toys from when she was a young girl. Near the closet door was a small bookshelf, containing various different fiction and non-fiction books. A well-worn paperback book titled The Art of Game Design sat on top of the bookshelf, along with an old, brown teddy bear wearing a bow tie. In the final corner of the room, the door to the hallway leading to the rest of her house stood, the door wide open, with a medium-sized beanbag chair sitting next to it.

Raina, Penelope's best friend in the whole world, was coming over today. They were nearing the end of winter break and had decided to get some time together before they would have to head back to school. She checked her phone, Raina's last text to her still being a simple "on my way over".

She minimized her GameMaker window and double clicked on the Paint.NET shortcut sitting quietly on her desktop. She probably had time to sprite out the base frames on one or two more objects–new enemy ideas that she had just come up with the day before.

As she clicked away, placing pixel after individual pixel, time seemingly stood still, the world moving around her but her own little world remaining static, unmoving. One single sprite frame turned into two, two sprite frames turned into three, three to four, four to five, continuing higher and higher until she suddenly felt a tapping on her shoulder, jarring out of her own little bubble of reality.

Her chair spun around, her headset coming off of her head and blaring her perhaps-too-loud music into the room around her. She blinked twice, a bewildered look plastered on her face as she realized that Raina had arrived without her even noticing.

She smiled and started giggling, laughing at how completely scatterbrained she was.

"Oh... oh god... Raina, you scared me there."
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At The End of Everything · Memories from the Past