His parents were concerned.

As a young boy, Lars appeared to have school friends, he was eating well, would do his chores when asked, but instead of going out with the other kids, he would sit in front of his console all day.

He was hooked to the virtual interaction offered by the pixelated screen and grew up with an obsession for arcade computer games. 

His personality evolved by fight or flight. 

He lived these real-time adventures over and over; repeat play, repeat experience, repeat adventure.

He became many people, solved many puzzles, and lived many lives. 

He spent more time in front of the screen burning gaming imagery into his tired, wide eyes than he did simply growing up. 

It was this that his parents put down to a lack of engagement with the physical world.

Doctors were unsure of how to help.

Most of them recommended pills.

One insisted that Lars be given the opportunity to develop an emotional attachment to a pet. This just made his parents worry about why this emotional attachment couldn’t have been to them.

When Lars reached his tenth birthday, he was given a goldfish.

It was orange, plump, insignificant, and much like any other goldfish.

He called it Mr Chips.

Of course, the life expectancy of a common goldfish barely allowed him the time to form any kind of relationship before he found it floating dead, upside down in the cold tank. 

The young boy stared and sprinkled fish food, but it just bobbed, drifting rigid.

He left it for three weeks until the flakes turned brown, convinced that it was looking at him, waiting for him to do something.

Until, one evening, as the landing light broke through a crack in the door revealing Mr Chips floating at an angle, Lars positioned a chair so that he could reach inside the tank.

He took a net and prepared to scoop the fish into the bin. 

Just as the net hit the water, the goldfish flapped into life.

Lars blinked, as the goldfish swam around the tank, having been resurrected from the dead.

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