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“The Give and Take” by Anna Hopkins
When eleven year old Amy ﬁnds an old eighties video game magazine she dials the phone number displayed on the back, and in a strange cosmic glitch gets connected to Caesar Spinone, a video game call center employee in the year 1989.
It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon, yet eleven-year-old AMY DROUIN has found herself faced with the excruciating task of alphabetizing hundreds of old CD’s in a dark basement. This is her punishment for hiding a failed math exam from her mom, and one she begrudgingly accepts.
Upon discovering an old eighties Nintendo console among the mountains of cd’s, she abandons her duties and dives into a game, only to ﬁnd herself stuck on an unbeatable level. It’s then that she comes across an old video game magazine and notices an advertisement for the a video game helpline set up to assist gamers get over their humps. She dials the number, and in a strange cosmic glitch is connected to CAESAR SPINONE, a twenty-six-year old game counsellor, in the year 1989. Caesar is a part time gamer, and full time rock n’ roll musician. We meet him on the eve of a major gig, one his boss won’t let him ditch his shift for.
It’s when Amy and Caesar connect, albeit unaware through parallel universes, that they ﬁnd common ground. Their successful communication results from a few miscommunications, but nonetheless leads them to help each other out with their respective, and often times similar plights.
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