I could definitely use a whole chicken right now. But I keep it to myself. I don’t want to alarm anyone in the group. They’re all busy fighting demon dogs. These guys are literally killing themselves for what? Fifty points a dog is what. It breaks my heart. When I think of everything the group has been through together, the early days grinding it out in the coin farms, to where we are now, I get a little blue in the aura, I do.
I can still remember the morning I found Fjoork in that wooded area near the Portal of Start. He was just a teenager then, nothing on his back but a thin piece of leather armor, standing there like he’d been waiting since time immemorial. Like if I hadn’t come along, he might have been waiting there forever.
I’ll never forget what he said to me, there at the place where the road splits off into three paths.
One leading into the forest. A second path across the great river and into the valley. The third toward the north, up into the foothills and
over the mountain pass, on the other side of which, as told in legend, lies the Eternal Coast of Pause.
And then Fjoork, all of three foot six, turns to me like he’s known me all my life and says, without a hint of emotion
Select Your Path. I Shall Follow You.
The “shall” is what got me. I still love it when Fjoork goes all shall on me. To have someone believe in me like that. I was what, twenty-two? And here was this sweet little guy all noble with his I Shall Follow You, as if I were some- one, as if he knew I was destined for something good.
Excerpted from Charles Yu’s collection of short stories, “Sorry Please Thank You”