Age of Empires II

Written by Brianna Bullen.

One villager against an entire militia, change the scenario—

you’re playing life wrong. Be Joan of Arc

in historical spectacle

without the hallucinations. Change

the variables—make it winnable. Switch playing

red for blue. Suddenly, you’re an army against one

shedding so much red,

primary colour meltdown massacre.

Make it more of a challenge; an army clash. Woodstock

gives you extra wood, an ordered destruction of the forest

in a cheap typed in golden ticket.

You bond with your father.

Not knowing why he’s obsessed with control

in a fake war. He’s from another age

of accepted empires and nationalism. Yours is still

of extraction and accumulation. You click away, adding

trees to the terrain. Making a mining economy, stealing

relics from civilizations to speed up your gold growth, leading

to a countdown: two hundred years pass in equivalent to seconds

for a victory with less bloodshed

excluding the fucked-up horror

of dominating culture erasing culture. There’s no art in that;

objections to your strategy of waiting it out. You agree

you’re wasting time. Family always is

a destructive game. He gives you General orders

to take life by the jugular

but you have enough iron, gold and food


Brianna’s work appears in the Euphoria, Power, Colour, Order, Ethereal, Illusion, Contact, and Harmony editions of WORDLY Magazine.

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