Alice leaned back as the triumphant announcement played on screen. Her eyes fell closed, and she let out a bored sigh.
(more) She pulled off the large gaming headphones, and some strands of her raven black hair followed. She could hear the faint sounds of messages alerts and friend requests, but she didn't really want to respond.
Number 1 on the ladder. Another success. And it was just as trite and formulaic as all the other conquests.
Education. Sports. Entrepreneurship. Art. At one point, each one of these things were her focus, and each one of them had been conquered. She even tried "picking up" women for a while, just for the challenge of conquering another gender's interests. That one had lingering annoyances - she still got desperate texts to come back to lovers, years after giving up her "experimenting."
She'd heard of this game, "Summoning Masters," on some online forum. It was called the one of the most challenging video games to have ever been made. It was said to be dominated by males. It was said to require years of effort. Alice had no experience in gaming whatsoever, so this could take YEARS to succeed at. It sounded perfect.
She was #1 in the world in less than 6 months.
Her phone vibrated. Her eyes rolled open, and she groaned. She hoped it wasn't that gaming team trying to recruit her again.
It wasn't. It was her daily "quote" app, giving her a small dose of wisdom for the day.
"'Happiness comes from the afterglow of giving our best.' - Theodore Issac Rubin"
Alice read the words over a few times. A wave of nausea overtook her. She let out a desperate shriek before sobbing violently into her palms.
Happiness was a challenge she might never conquer.(less)