Hard Reset

Dekinai stood above Yetunde’s body, not paying attention to the attendants rushing around to get her to another room.

“Sir,” someone said.

He nodded and got out of the way.

“Be safe with her.”

Dana opened her eyes.  It was nighttime and a fire started to pick up a few feet from her.  She started up at the sky, a skinny sliver of waxing moon smiling down at her.  She shifted, trying to get a bit more snug underneath a goat blanket.  She looked toward the flame, seeing a person with a large, painted mask on staring back at her.  Dana quickly sat up, pushing the blanket off of her, wisps of fire covering her hand.  The person laughed a laugh that would make the devil shiver.  They pushed up their mask, their dark skin glowing from the light the fire cast.

“I’m not here to hurt you, relax,” he said, standing up.  He walked over to her, smelling of jasmines and sunsets in the fall.  He placed a hand on her cheek, kissed her forehead and stared into her eyes.

“Wake up.”

She was back in that giant bed the first day she arrived.  She looked out the window, seeing the tip of the sun finish its shift for the day.  She laid underneath her heavy blanket, trying to figure out what was real or not.  She didn’t feel real.
Moira entered the room.

“Good morning!  I’m so glad to see that you are awake!  I was getting worried! It’s been almost 2 whole days since you’ve been asleep!”

Dana didn’t say anything, watching the oranges turn purple in the sky, listening to Moira move shit around and clacking on that fucking computer.

“Where is Yetunde?” Dana finally asked. Her mouth was dry.

“I’m sorry?”

“Where’s Yetunde?? And some water.”

Moira shuffled about and went to Dana’s side.

“Here,” she said, passing over the paper cup of water.  Dana took it and downed it as Moira pulled a chair close to the bed.

“Your friend is doing better than she was,” Moira said softly.  “What you said to her… You saved her.  Or else she was going to end up like–”

There was a knock on the door.  Moira got up and answered it, letting in Dekinai.  He smiled at Dana.

“I hope you are doing better,” he said, walking to the bed.  Dana nodded.

“Got a bit if a headache.  Kinda hungry.”

He chuckled. “We will bring you whatever you would like. Just let Moira know.  I just wanted to let you know that you can go see Yetunde whenever you are ready.  She is two floors down.”. He bowed and left the room. Dana started to get up but Moira shook her head.

“Let’s get something in that belly of yours!”

After two hours of eating real food and Moira making sure Dana was alright physically, Dana made her way to Yetunde’s room.  After she knocked on the door, the wait for it to open seemed like ages.  Yetunde’s assistant smiled at Dana and let her in.

“She’s still asleep,” the assistant said.  Dana nodded and walked over to Yetunde’s bed.  Compared to the game, she was so small in real life.  Her face and frame were thin, her head bald and not full of the kinks and curls Dana had gotten used to in the however many days had passed in that machine.  Dana gently touched her hand.  She jumped when the door opened.  It was Dekinai.  She shook her head and looked back at Yetunde.  Dekinai stood at the head of the bed, his face sorrowful.  He started speaking in his native tongue.  Yetunde’s fingers twitched, her face scrunching up.  Her assistant rushed over to her, taking notes on her computer and reading her vitals.

Yetunde responded back to Dekinai in the same language, her voice parched and annoyed.  Dekinai’s usual flat, expressionless face shown surprise and embarrassment.  He spoke again and left the room  Dana watched him leave.

“Never let him in here again,” Yetunde croaked, opening her eyes.  Her assistant blinked and stumbled on her words.

“He’s the father of the director.  He is no one important.  He just wants his son,” Yetunde said, her weak little body trying so hard to sit herself up.  She grunted and laid back down.  She looked at Dana and smiled.  Tears started to build up in Dana’s ass.

“I’ll be back later,” the assistant said, nodding and leaving the room.

“I’m so glad you’re okay!” Dana sobbed, squeezing Yetunde’s hand.  Yetunde blinked and gingerly squeezed back.  This stranger showed more compassion that Deiknai ever did.

“When you said I was missing… Who said I was?”  Dana wiped her eyes on her sleeve and sniffed.

“Uhm… There was never a proper source,” Dana said.

“Interesting,” Yetunde said.


“Well, because,” Yetunde chuckled.  “I work here.  I’m not missing at all.  My biological family doesn’t exist.”

Dana blinked and felt on her person for her phone.

“Shit,” she said, looking around.

“What’s up?”

“I want to see if I’ve gone missing.  I also… Need to check in with my friends.”

“Oh, well, there is a personal computer on that desk.  You just gotta pull open the drawer,” Yetunde said, nodding to a wooden desk.  Before Dana got up, she hit the button for the assistant.  She pushed her chair to the desk and sat in front of it.  She pulled out the drawer, which made a monitor lift up from the desk.  Dana looked at Yetunde.

“I know, right?!” Yetunde laughed.  The assistant had a tray of liquids and needless.  Yetunde’s smile turned to a frown.

Dana signed into her social media page, opening up the group chat.  The last message was from 2 days ago, asking if anyone has heard from Dana.

“uh hello?”





Dana started cackling and looked at Yetunde.

“Oh, man, I’m about to get fucking dragged,” she said, putting her hands behind her head.

“Why?”  Yetunde asked, sipping from a juice box.

“I haven’t checked in with my friends in a few days and they’re probably a bit worried.”

Yetunde smiled.

“Ask them if they want to help us with this ‘game’,” Yetunde said, flinching as the nurse gave her a shot.

“uh uh, naw, see you can’t just be going ‘uh hello’ like we haven’t been texting you”

“fr fr, tf wrong with you?”

“I misplaced my phone, I’m on this sweet looking computer. but hey, y’all wanna help me with this game tho?”

“…does it pay?”

“Yetunde, does this game pay?” Dana asked, turning around

Yetunde was quiet for a moment.

“It pays $2 million for each of them.  You as well.”

Dana blinked and quickly turned back around.

“it pays.”


“nigga… would i lie?”

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