Stop Poking Meee!

Aidan slowly reached for the cup and saucer that lay about a foot away from him on his left, well within the field of vision provided by his remaining eye. He wasn’t sure of the exact distance any more, not since the last month.

Just as his left hand was about to close around the teacup’s handle, or at least looked like it was,he felt it again. Not the cold, wet sensation of water dripping, nor the tap of somebody trying to get his attention in a most unwise manner, but…

On second thoughts, it did feel like somebody tapping him on the head. Somebody intangible yet insistent, and with a sharper nail than his mother had ever had. One of his wife’s especially odd, insomnia-fuelled comments from about three weeks ago abruptly popped into his mind, briefly causing him to nearly smile. Well, perhaps it was worth a shot. This was Connemara, after all.

“Would you mind not repeatedly clicking on me like that?” he sighed with what he felt was undeserved restraint.

To his surprise, it felt like the ‘hand’ withdrew, leaving him sitting in front of the desk with several reports of varying levels of literacy to decipher. He briefly wondered what the hell it was, before sighing again and deciding to concentrate on picking up the teacup. Carefully.


The woman propped her elbows on the table, resting her forehead in her left hand and stroking the blue spider-silk scarf draped around her neck with her right thumb. The bags under her brown eyes, and the far-off stare in those eyes, spoke to the lack of sleep she’d had over the last couple of days. Everyone had told her that the worst was over and that the best thing she could do for Aidan was to give him space to recover – whatever unspoken meaning they had going missing, as usual – but she still couldn’t focus on anything.

She still didn’t remember the full chain of events, but it had started with the bird suddenly appearing out of thin air near Aughrusbeg, just as confused as everyone else, and then everyone had lashed out at it. Rationally, she knew it could only have taken a minute for them to put the bird down, but it felt longer. And in that one minute, the bird’s beak had rendered Aidan’s right eye permanently useless.

Her musings were abruptly interrupted by a sharp tap on her head that caused her to flinch and grip her scarf. The tap happened again, and this time she swore she could hear a ‘click’ as it happened. After the fourth click, she sharply turned her head up to the ceiling to see what was doing it. It didn’t feel like a leaking ceiling.

For a moment, she thought she saw a white arrow hovering over her, outlined in dark grey. Before she could ask what the heck it was doing, the click happened again. Right next to her eye!

“Stop clicking me!” she hissed. Nothing happened for a few seconds, until she had the sensation of the ‘arrow’ withdrawing. Somehow, it felt like it was embarrassed at being called out.

“Bloody players, thinking they’re safe behind the fourth wall,” she muttered, lowering her head into her hands. What kind of stupid game allowed the player to annoy people like that? And what sort of imbecile had enciphered the natural philosophy engine that turned the Homelands into…

She didn’t know where that thought came from, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to.


Just a quick piece that I’ve had in mind for a while, in which Gráinne breaks the fourth wall. Why? Because it amused me.

For those not aware, the title comes from this voice line from Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Quite a lot of Blizzard games will include lines like that because it’s funny, but I’m more familiar with the lines used in Company of Heroes.

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