Note: The full Gamers and Magic novel was removed from tapas on March 1st 2020, so that it can be made a kindle unlimited novel. The following chapters are an (unedited) excerpt of the full novel.
If you like my work, but only want to read it on tapas, please check out Knights and Magic, the third novel in the Gamers and Magic series. It is a stand alone novel that can be enjoyed in its entirety without having to read the first two.
Thank you for understanding, and thank you for reading! <3
“I told you, Tomas, that if you didn't stay in sports, you wouldn't see a dime of my money. I don't care if you're a straight A student, I asked you for one thing. For ONE thing!” Tomas's grade A a-hole of a father screamed at him through the phone.
He held the ancient device far away from his ear and winced. It wasn't his fault he sucked at sports. He wasn't really horrible at track, but he wasn't good enough to stay on the team. The coach had been nice about it. He'd offered Tomas a spot as a manager and even said he would be eligible to train with the others, but Tomas knew that would only cause problems with the others on the team. They already liked to treat him like the scum under their shoe, and he just wasn't up to becoming their official whipping boy.
“Dad, I tried really hard, I-” Tomas tried to explain, but his dad just cut him off.
“I don't want to hear excuses. Good luck paying for that fancy college by yourself next semester.” He yelled, then hung up.
Tomas dropped his hand limply to his side, his knuckles white as they throttled the phone. It vibrated in his hand. He looked at it, took a calming breath, even though his bottom lip trembled, and hit the accept call button.
“Toamy,” his mother cried into the phone, using the nickname he despised. “You're father had some man pack up all your things and take them to the junk yard.” She sobbed as Tomas sank to the ground in disbelief.
“But, why?” He barely whispered into the phone.
“He said you weren't welcome back in the house. Oh my Toamy, what will we do?” her voice started keening, and he could imagine her sitting there pulling at her hair and pounding her fist over her heart in her overly dramatic way. He wanted to join her.
“This can't be happening.” His voice broke, but otherwise stayed even. He was proud of himself. He was going to be a man about this. He was twenty years old. Plenty old enough to make things work.
“It is Toamy, what will you do? How will I ever see you again? You're not even in the same state anymore!” Her voice started sounding mushed, as if she were laying on the carpet, her face pressed hard against it.
“You could always leave him and get a job, I could get one too then we could live together.” He didn't even know why he said that crap, he knew what her answer would be.
He heard her sniffles start to abate. “But Toamy, you know I have anxiety attacks in public. How could I work?” Tomas heard his father's voice give his mom rapid fire demands, and she hit the end button without even saying goodbye.
He sighed and dropped his phone onto his bed, before melting the rest of the way onto the floor. He knew this would happen. He'd dreaded it. Why did his dad have to be such a D-bag? He rubbed at his face, not because there were tears or anything. Tears weren't manly. He refused to cry. He just had something in his eye. Some stupid dust from the floor or something.
After Tomas let himself have a good long bout of... dust in his eyes, he pulled himself up and onto the bed. He'd been playing his favorite MMORPG when his father had called. He hoped Sunshine was still logged in.
He grabbed his laptop and he thanked all that's holy that his gaming partner was still there.
Zarn: Hey sorry about that afk, my dad called. Didn't mean to make you wait.
Sunshine: It's okay, I just did a little work while I waited. Is everything okay?
Zarn: No, I just got disowned because I left the track team. I'm not sure how I will afford life and college now. I'll probably have to quit and find some full time work or something. I might be gone from game for... IDK how long. :(
Sunshine: !!!!! NO! That can't happen. I need my healer, and you're the best I've found! Let me think for awhile. You have your programming class in thirty minutes, right?
Zarn: Yeah. I'm not sure I'm in the right mind frame to do ridiculously simple programming for a class that I shouldn't have needed to waste my time on.
In game, the cute little fairy girl with a giant sword, smacks the boy with cat ears and a tail. The fairy jumps up and down in an angry rant.
Sunshine: Do NOT mess up your grades because your father is a jerk! You're at James Brendon School of Science and Engineering, right?
Had he told his little fairy tank friend where he went to school?
Zarn: How did you know?
Sunshine: You told me at the beginning of the school year about the girl who got in the paper for that new way to make concrete double it's life expectancy. It was random, but it was in the local paper. I'm in the same city. :P That's why I know I can help you figure out a way to fix this! So ju-
Sunshine's text was cut off by the game limitations, and he let out a soft chuckle.
Sunshine: So just go to class! Leave things in my capable hands. I can't let my Neko healer down, now can I?
Zarn: Okay, I will. Thanks Sunny. You're the best.
Sunshine: I know. >:D
Tomas logged off his laptop and gathered his things. It would take him at least ten minutes to get to the other side of the campus. As he walked to class, he thought about Sunshine. She had become his best friend over the course of the last couple of semesters. His roommate dropped out of school after four weeks, leaving him the sole occupant of his dorm room.
It gets surprisingly lonely when you don't have friends or family around. Sunshine had found him in game the day after his roommate left. Tomas had been a terrible player, or at least he'd felt like one. His healer couldn't finish quests on his own, everything seemed able to kill him. He felt worthless.
That's when Sunshine showed up. She was so cute and little. Her sword was bigger than she was. She took him under her wing, and showed him how to really play the game. Turned out he wasn't a bad player, he was just “squishy” as Sunshine put it. That meant he didn't have loads of armor so his health would disappear quickly as if he were a squished bug.
He and Sunshine had been pretty inseparable since then, and now she was going to help him fix this mess he'd found himself in. Seriously, could he have found a better friend?