Arcade After Dark
Chapter #2
by Tom Zjaba


Chapter Two
New Girl in Town

    It was almost closing time at the arcade when Mike opened the back door.  Two guys wheeled in an arcade machine and set it up against the wall.  He then paid them some money and they left.  After making sure he place was empty, he locked the doors and turned the signs.  Within minutes, he left for the night.  The machine just sat there in the darkness.  It had not been turned on or even plugged in. 

    A few minutes later, the four guys met in their usual spot.  As they sat down, Roadkill Bill said "There is a new machine in the arcade.  I saw Mike put it in.  And it is an arcade game this time, not a pinball machine."  This caught everyone's attention.  It has been awhile since a new arcade game was put in the arcade.  Roadkill Bill was the last one and that was months ago.  Captain Moon Man then said "Why don't we head over and see what the new game?"  They all agreed that it was a good idea.  So they all headed over to the new arcade game.  As they got closer, they looked at the name.  It was a familiar name but it was a bit different.  It had the same logo, but the name was slightly altered.  Instead of Toyboy, it said Toygirl.  There was a bow on the letter T instead of the familiar baseball cap.  But the rest of the machine looked similar.  There was a maze pattern on the side of the machine and it featured one joystick.  "Tarnations, a female video game.  What will they think of next" grumped Billy the Block.  He then added "When I was young, the only women in video games were ones that needed rescuing."  "When you were young, there were no video games" joked Toyboy.  They all laughed at the comment, except for Billy.  He stared right at Toyboy and an evil grin came over his face as he said "At least I wasn't replaced by a girl."  "Who said anything about being replaced?" Toyboy yelled back at Billy.  "Obviously they figured you weren't man enough for a sequel, so they had to bring a woman in."  Billy said as he laughed.  The others were laughing at Toyboy as well.  He decided that he had enough of this and walked off.  The rest of the guys went back to their usual hangout and have something to drink.

    As the other guys left, Toyboy walks over to the new arcade machine and just looks at it.  He thinks to himself "what if I am being replace?  Does an arcade really need two games that are the same?"  He walks around to the side of the machine and just looks at it.  A worried look comes over his face as he thinks about what happens to a video game after it is replace.  Will he end up in a different arcade?  Will he thrown out?  What will happen to Toyboy when he leaves the arcade.  As his find ponders such deep thoughts, they are suddenly interrupted by a strange voice.  "Whatcha thinking?"  He looks around to see where the voice came from, when he suddenly realizes it is a girl's voice.  He turns around and there is a girl smiling at him.  "You look like you never seen a girl before" she says with a coy look on her face.  She is about his height and is wearing a dress with a big red ribbon in her hair.  Her hair is black and long and her face is round and cute.  She smiles at him and says "I heard how the other guys were giving you a hard time."  He doesn't know what to say.  He just stares at her.  "It isn't polite to stare" she says as he suddenly realizes that he was staring.  "Sorry, I just didn't know what to say" he says as he tries to not seem so tongue tied.  He puts out his hand and says "I'm Toyboy, how you doing?"  She smiles and shakes his outreached hand.  Her hand is smaller and softer.  It is unlike anything he has ever felt.  "As you can guess, I am Toygirl.  Isn't that the stupidest name you ever heard?  I thought Toygal or Ms. Toyboy sounded so much better."  He does not let go of her hand and after a few awkward seconds, she pulls it free.  "That is quite a grip you have there Toyboy."  The two of them laugh as he tries to cover up his embarrassment. 

    Back at the hangout, the three guys are sitting around and talking.  Captain Moon Man says "I wonder which one of us will have a female version next?"  Roadkill Bill smiles and says "It sure won't be Billy the Block.  Can you imagine what a female version of him would look like.  Eww." They both laugh as Billy gives him an angry look "You're hilarious for a rodent."  Then Billy adds "Want to talk about ugly, how about Captain Moon Woman.  What would be uglier than some macho space woman?"  "Who says she has to be macho?  Maybe she can be sexy and kick alien butt" says Cap.  "Sexy?  She's a military woman. Whoever heard of a sexy soldier?" Billy laughs.  Cap is getting a bit upset with Billy.  He then shouts back "That is the kind of comment I would expect from someone who gets hit around all day."  Roadkill Bill suddenly jumps between them and says "Save your aggression for the video games."  The two of them give one last stare at each other and then go back and sit down.  Once things calm down enough, Roadkill Bill says "We all know that a female squirrel would be sexier than any army girl or female block."  "Especially when she is ran over by a car" laughs Billy.  Cap then adds "You'd have to pick up your date with a spatula."  He breaks out in laughter and is quickly joined by Billy.  Even Roadkill Bill laughs at that comment.

    As the other guys laugh about the thought of female versions of themselves, Toyboy and Toygirl deal with the very real issue.  "So are you here to replace me?" he says in a very sad voice.  He looks down towards his feet as he says it.  He is worried at what the answer will be, but he had to ask the question.  She laughs at him and comes over and puts a hand on his shoulder.  "I am not here to replace you.  You will always be Toyboy.  But the game companies feel they need to bring even more girls into the arcade and I am the best idea they can come up with."  He looks a bit relieved with the answer as he smiles at her.  "That is a relief.  Nobody wants to be replaced."  They both smiled and walked off.  He then turned to her and said "So what is different in your game from mine?"  She smiles at him and gets a little glint in her eye "Besides the obvious of a girl character instead of a boy, not much."  "Come on there has to be more than that.  It has been over two years since I came out.  The graphics gotta be better at least."  She then puts her arm around his back and says "If you must know, I have new mazes that change every few levels.  The bonus toys now move around the maze.  The bullies are now smarter and there is a female one."  He gives her a worried look and tries to hide it by saying "Oh, is that all?  I was expecting something really big."  She just laughs as he tries to keep a smile.  They walk off through the arcade in the darkness.

    Meanwhile, the other guys are still arguing about what their female counterparts would be like.  Roadkill Bill is still trying to get back at Billy the Block for his comments.  After some thought he finally says "What would a female Billy be?  A circle?"  He starts laughing hysterically, but by himself.  Cap and Billy just look at each other.  "Don't you get it?  The opposite of a block would be a circle."  he keeps laughing.  "Obviously he has been run over one time too many" says Billy as he finishes his drink.  Cap nods in agreement as he grabs a few more beverages.  "I don't think Billy and I have to worry about a female version of our games" says Cap as he opens another can.  He then adds "We have been around long enough that if they were going to do a sequel, they would have done it already."  Billy raises his can to that and says "I'll drink to that."  With that, they all raise their cans and toast to not being replaced.

    After walking around the arcade, Toygirl decides she needs to get some rest.  Toyboy walks her over to her machine and they stop.  "I'm glad you aren't upset with me.  When I heard I was going to an arcade with a Toyboy machine already there, I was a bit worried.  It is tough enough being a girl in a field full of men, but to replace a popular machine in an arcade would have been tough" she says as she stops and faces him.  He looks at her and says "If you did replace me, I would have understood.  Nothing lasts forever.  I would probably have ended up at a convenience store or a bowling alley."  They both laugh at that thought.  "It could be worse, you could end up at one of those new pizza places for kids.  I hear the machines get beat up bad there" she says in a reassuring voice.  Then she adds "Well, I need to get some sleep.  Tomorrow is my debut here and I'm sure I will get quite a workout."  He then extends his hand and says "If you ever want to join us after work, feel free to."  She laughs and says "Do you think the other guys are ready to have a girl crash their party?"  He thinks for a second and says "Maybe not right away but give them time."  She then shakes his hand and heads back into her machine.  He smiles and waves at her as she disappears into the machine.  He then heads back to the gang, where he knows he is going to get teased.



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Arcade After Dark Tom Zjaba

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