“why follow your dreams when you can follow me?”

Sully – 2022

“This Gaming Monitor is for my schoolwork!”

Billy, Nilly, and Willy were three brothers, aged 13, 14, and 15 respectively. They lived in Dromestead, Florida, and absolutely despised going outside. They sat inside on their three computers all day, wasting their time playing Fortnite, Minecraft, or watching useless TikTok shorts. In fact, they were so intent on gaming that they insisted on having online school so they didn’t have to waste time at school. While it was a good intention to do school online, gaming, however, was not.

The three brothers’ skin were pale and wrinkly from sitting in a dark room all day, the only light being the blue flashing of the monitor in a gunfight. Billy’s eyes were red and bloodshot from staring at an unmoving screen for 15 hours straight, and his arms were so thin from not eating that they looked like toothpicks.

It was a cloudy Tuesday morning when it happened. Billy was cranking 90s in Fortnite when, without warning, his internet connection dropped like a rock.

“Nooooo!” The boy howled with rage. He was about to get the victory royale! He smashed his thin arms against the desk in anger, but since the only time he moved his arm was when he was using a mouse, he could barely even make the desk tremble.

From in their bedroom sleeping, Nilly and Willy stirred.

Billy’s father, Addy, came into the room. “What’s all this screaming about?” He thundered.

Billy quickly alt-tabbed into his zoom meeting room, which he was supposed to be in, and pretended like he was taking notes.

“Daddy! The internet connection keeps on disconnecting” Billy rambled, thinking quick. “I think a new router should do the trick!”

Billy opened up amazon and searched for a new router while Addy watched. “Look! Only $499.95 for this Gaming Router for Fortnite – Gaming Router with 0 Ping – Low Latency! What a bargain! We should order it straight away.”

Addy sensed trickery.

“Fortnite? Isn’t Fortnite that little video game you children shouldn’t be playing? Why do you need Fortnite?”

Billy opened his mouth and desperately blurted,

“No! It’s for my schoolwork! This just happens to be the fastest router for the cheapest price!”

Addy rubbed his chin, pondering. “Hmm. I guess. Maybe.”

Billy cackled with glee. “Thank you! I shall place the order under you, and do same-day shipping!”

Three Days Later

Billy was in a creative boxfight with two sweaty other players. He was absolutely clapping both of them. Pickaxing one to death, he began to chase down the other one. Suddenly, his monitor glitched out for a tiny fraction of a second, but that was enough for the other sweat to full box his character and 200 pump him. Billy wailed like a dying moose, and sobbed into his veiny, nearly translucent hands.

This 200hz 4k monitor was not enough! He needed more!

Billy opened up Amazon again and found the most expensive gaming monitor there was.

“Hey Daddy!”

Addy came stomping into the room, shaking the floor with each step.

“This Gaming Monitor, 644 Hertz, 8k Fortnite Full Box Competitive gamer series x54 will help me open Zoom and my essay at the same time! I’ll be able to edit faster!”

Of course, Billy’s ‘editing’ had a totally different meaning to what he conveyed. Addy peered at the Amazon listing, and his scraggly beard almost fell off in surprise.

“9 thousand dollars? FOR A MONITOR?”

Billy rubbed his hands together.

“I’ll be able to write my assignment and watch the teacher in synchronization! Did I mention I could also edit faster?”

Addy calmed, and thunk.

“Hmm. You know what? You’ve been getting straight A’s on your class ever since I got you that Fortnite Battle Pass, and that subscription to NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX? Certainly, been paying off! Sure. Buy the monitor, son.”

Addy ruffled Billy’s scraggly hair, which hadn’t been combed in 3 years, and walked away, humming happily, oblivious to the scam that had just taken place. Addy was blind to the truth. Billy had hired an anonymous guy online to do his work for him so he could have more time to game. When would Billy ever realize that he was wasting his life away?

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