Building a Community

November 17 2012

Hello, everyone!

I am the founder and owner of the startup 42Kmi. My company develops products to enhance the competitive gaming experience, and we have a website dedicated to nurturing the community and incubating talents and hobbies in the areas of games, music, art, and design. I would like share a short story with you.

The day was beautiful. The sky was clear with few clouds accenting the ever extending blue. The sun was warm like a loving embrace. A light breeze gaily danced around anything in its paths. And the mid-morning hour had an afternoon air about it. The day seemed like it could last forever.

On this day, a mother took her two young sons to the market. She planned on buying lots of food and other things for the house, and she needed the help. The twin brothers, Gaius, the older brother, and Marcus, the younger brother, both loved visiting the market. The hustle and bustle of the market was always more active and exciting than their neat and orderly home environment. The structures and rules of their home hindered the brothers’ imagination, and Mother doesn’t usually ask the boys to accompany her to the market.

“Gaius, Marcus, we need to buy some more fabrics as well!”

“Okay!” the boys chimed, with their eyes barely peeking over the layers of bread and cloths stacked in their arms. Marcus and Gaius began to talk among themselves of fun and exciting thing they would soon see.

“Livia! Livia!” a woman in the distance yelled. She was addressing the brothers’ mother. It was an old friend of Mother’s whom the boys had never met, but from seeing how their mother acts around her usual acquaintances, they knew how it would play out.

“Boys, you two wait here. Your mother is going to talk to a friend.” Mother said. She then placed her basket of rolls on the dirt ground for the boys to watch before scurrying over to her friend.

“Ahh! They’re gonna talk forever!” All day about this and that!” a frustrated Gaius exclaimed. Marcus dropped the linens he was carrying and took his seat on them.

“Yeah,” Marcus added, “Gossip, gossip, gossip.”

Some time passed as the brothers waited for their mother to return. Gaius stood with his head down, eyes closed, and his arms folded. Marcus scribbled in the dirt with a stick he found. The stick was about arms-length.

“Ahh! They’re still talking! And there’s more of them!” screamed Gaius after looking over to see his mother. There were more of them. The women had flocked together like hens pecking the same kernel of corn, squawking and quieting as each took her turn talking to then listening to another. As the brothers waited, Gaius’s impatience grew. There was so much he and Marcus wanted to see. Marcus was still playing in the dirt, preoccupied with the stick.

Then, a thought came to Gaius. “This could be fun.” he thought out loud.

“Huh?” Marcus looked up from his dirt and saliva creations only to be welcomed by what seemed like a zephyr of dirt.

“Gaius! What was that for?!” a flustered Marcus coughed, demanding an answer as he stood up. The once friendly dirt now violently burned in his eyes. Gaius ran to another area, giggling.

“Come at me!” Gaius taunted, struggling to keep a straight face, “Come at me and put on a vicious face!” Marcus was angered. He knew it was Gaius who kicked the dirt in his face. He couldn’t figure why, but he knew he wanted to get him back.

“Brother! You wear your most vicious face!” yelled Marcus, pointing his stick at his brother. Marcus could hear Gaius fighting laughter as he took flight. He ran, chasing Gaius around the market. Gaius enjoyed his run, catching only brief glimpses of some of the things he wanted to see. Marcus wanted Gaius. Nothing else. They rushed past a pottery stand, almost toppling its wares. The stand’s artisan railed at the boys, but his voice caught neither brothers’ ears. Gaius focused on outrunning Marcus. Marcus focused on catching Gaius. The brothers continued running, dodging other patrons, ducking behind stands, and diving under tables.

“I think I lost him.” Gaius thought. Marcus was nowhere to be found. In his view, Gaius saw the most beautiful linens. “He won’t find me there.” He thought the sheets whispering with the wind provided the perfect cover. Without hesitation, he darted for the sheets faster than he could. He felt dizzy, as if he just finished a race and could take refuge in first place. But he could not stop until he reached his linen sanctuary. As he came closer, the wind picked up, then billowed. The sheets slightly rose from the ground, and Gaius could see somebody’s feet, with toes clenching the ground. He could not stop himself.

“Oh no!” Gaius yelled, as if to warn the person of an unavoidable accident, but the legs didn’t move.

“Got you!!” a familiar voice sounded. Before Gaius could recall the voice, a stick shot out and gashed his left cheek. Gaius’s eyes watched as the tip of the stick entered his cheek, and his eyes watched as the stick flung blood out and onto the brilliant sheets as it exited the wound. It was Marcus.

With his thoughts collected, Gaius stopped. He examined the wound with his right hand. His blood felt cool, then hot, and the wound was deep. With his tongue, Gaius could feel the wound inside his mouth. The skin was thinner in that area. His tongue could feel his fingers. This angered him, and with the blood still fresh on his fingertips, Gaius charged and took his fist to his brother’s vicious face. He made contact. Now stained with Gaius’s blood, Marcus rose with the blood flicked linen. His grip on the stick loosened, and Gaius felt the impact as his knuckles popped and cracked against his brother’s flesh. He could feel his nails enter the palm of his tightly clenched fist.

Marcus landed and a cloud of dirt rose then fell. Dirt fell on the blood his brother left on his face. Marcus whimpered. Tears welled. His vicious expression was gone. Gaius, enveloped in rage, walked the distance his brother’s limp body traveled before settling. He squat down examining Marcus and nursing his own wound.

“Brother,” Gaius began, “Be willing to strike vigorously. Vigorously to overcome!” Gaius picked himself up and saw Marcus’s stick. The tip inked in his blood was now caked with dirt. Gaius picked up the stick, the weapon forged against him. He examined it, his cheek, and his brother. He turned from Marcus and walked away with the stick in hand. Marcus lied where he lay in the linen sanctuary, surrounded by the blood speckled sheets. “Brother, you win, yet you failed,” he snickered aloud to himself.

Walking away, Gaius falls to his knees. He soon begins to cry. He now realizes the depth of what has just transpired. He can’t help his tears. What he thought began as play quickly became real, and blood, his own blood, was drawn. This feeling was too much to bear. It choked him.

“Curses!” Gaius yelled to the sky, pounding his fists to the ground, “Curses to this day! Curses to what it brought!” His tears continue to flow before he picks himself up. He continues walking, but the day’s events keep replaying in his mind. His walk becomes staggered and stuttered. Gaius slows his pace, and stops walking. He closes his eyes and hurls the arms-length stick forward as hard as he could. The stick spirals, traveling for a moment before a crash is heard. The sound of shattered pottery. Gaius looks to the sky again, “Curses to this too!” He runs in the direction of the shattered sound.

Among the pottery shards, Gaius finds the stick. It’s still about arms length, but its tip is broken, and along with it Gaius discovered three strangely shaped, beautifully colored rocks; a cardioid shape, a star shape, and a stone oddly resembling a tomato.

“What are these three?” Gaius asked himself. He reached for the rocks, wanting the day to be over.

“They are mine, Gaius!” It was Marcus. He wanted what his brother held. He charged at his brother. Gaius could see the hate in his eyes.

“Marcus, forgi-,” before Gaius could finish, Marcus pounced on him. They rolled and rumbled in the dirt. Gaius could feel the dirt filling his wound. Marcus wanted to hurt Gaius. Gaius didn’t want to get hurt, and he didn’t want to hurt Marcus again. The brothers tumbled into many stands and bumped into many people. The struggle was great. People watched as two boys fight and fought. No one cared to stop them. Soon the brothers tumbled into a large group of women. A woman in the crowd quickly looked as these vicious boys brushed against her leg.

“Whose children are these?!” The boys froze in position. Gaius laid on the ground, holding the stick, fending off Marcus, who held the stones in his left and a raised fist in his right. The shrill voice of the nasal woman snapped the boys, dirtied from a day of brawling, back to their senses.

“Gaius! Marcus!” Mother emerged from the crowd. “Why are you boys fighting?” They couldn’t answer. They had no answer. The bothers managed to point at each other in an attempt to escape blame. Mother saw what each brother was holding and saw that her sons were dirty.

“Your playing has gotten out of hand. You two are brothers. You should behave and share like brothers.” Mother apologized to the other women and took her guilt stricken sons to collect the items they left behind and they went to finish their shopping.

This is a sample of what we do, and we're so much more. Our goal is to tap into this vast talent well or gamers and help them make their hobbies more than just that! Thank you for your time reading, and I hope you will join us!

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