White text on a black screen reads: ‘I casually asked if she would be the first tester of my first VR game…’
Twinkling piano music followed by a rising siren
A woman in a long black dress stands in front of two computer screens wearing virtual reality (VR) goggles and holding dark ring-shaped VR controllers in each hand. A red button appears on the screen against a background of a galaxy of stars in a pink and purple cartoon nebula. The woman reaches out her hand, her virtual hand on the screen touchs the red button. Stefan’s face appears against the starry background.
[Stefan] I don’t think you understand the nature and depth of my feeling for you. You could stab me in the face and I’d find a way to be okay with it.
A knife zings. The woman laughs, her voice filled with emotion.
The woman bends her knees and holds her hands to her heart. Onscreen a padded red spear with a heart shaped end appears. As the woman lifts her head, the spear moves towards Stefan’s virtual face. She lifts her hand and the spear stabs his face onscreen, spurting virtual blood.
Each stab of the spear is accompanied by a squelching thud. The woman laughs.
[Stefan] Ow what the fuck? You just stabbed me in the face. Ow.
[Stefan] If you gave me time to prep I'd research the most satisfying place to stab someone in the face and tattoo a helpful target to guide your strike.
A sharp electronic buzz of a tattoo gun
A hand-drawn red circular target appears onscreen around Stefan’s left eye. The woman stabs the heart shaped spear repeatedly at the target.
[Stefan] Ow! Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow. Too intense, too intense.
High notes on a piano plink and stop
The screen fills with a shiny pink outline of round leaf mandala that radiates out from the centre like looking up into an umbrella as you open it.
[Stefan] I'll never be able to properly explain how I feel about you. It'll always be a cheap knockoff of the sublime shit in my head. So when I tell you I fucking adore you, magnify the words until they fill up every corner of your brain.
The words ‘I Fucking Adore You’ appear in white over the pink background surrounded by tiny points of white light that dance around like fireflies.
Air whooshing. Piano music.
[Stefan] Then turn the volume up.
A virtual volume control knob appears onscreen below a speaker icon indicating volume. The woman reaches out her hand to turn the knob and the semi-circular bars on the volume icon indicating increased volume start to multiply.
The noise starts throbbing with distortion
[Stefan] …till it's so loud you cant hear it [Stefan's voice is ocluded by the throbing distortion]. And the neighbours’ ears bleed and explode for 20 city blocks.
The woman sways in front of the screens.
Stefan’s face appears onscreen, the heart shaped spear stuck in his eye. His face retreats as many ears appear in orbit. The ears explode.
Popping sounds end the throbbing distortion. The woman laughs.
[Stefan] Then colour it in with so much light the whole world wakes up blind.
The screen fades intro various colours, then flashes white, and crashes to black.
[Stefan] Then wrap yourself up in my infinite arms until all you can feel is my mad, impossible desire to be for you.
A crazy eyes emoji flys in overhead - a yellow ball with a grinning mouth, eyes made of green spirals.
After it comes an equation written in blue: x divided by 0.
A second emoji with red hearts for eyes.
Then white text: 2b4U
Then you'll have a whisper of a glimpse of the supernova you've set off in my soul.
Explosion sounds. Air whooshing.
The visuals explode, launching the equation symbols and the emojies tumbling overhead. The desire emoji pulses it's love heart eyes as it passes in slow motion. Then time returns to full speed and everything flys into a dark starry night.
[Stefan] Which for the record it is just an emergent property of our central nervous systems, but it's never felt so true and whole as it does when I ask you:
The screen pans across a bedroom. Stefan, wearing headphones, is playing piano and singing.
Piano music plinks then starts an accompanying tune.
[Stefan sings] Baby let's get together, bring an end to all this diarrhoea
If it pleases you lady,
Would you please
Marry the shit out of me
The woman stares intently at the screen. She raises her hand to her face as if holding back her emotions. The view cuts back to Stefan playing his piano vigorously.
The piano music increases in intensity.
[Stefan sings] If it pleases you lady
Would you please
Marry the shit out of me.
The screen fades to black. The image changes to a smiling Stefan kneeling in front of the two computer screens. He’s down on one knee, holding out a ring box.
Behind him on the two screens are the words: ‘MARRY HIM’
Two large white buttons appear: ‘no’ written in red on the left and ‘yes’ written in green on the right.
The woman reaches out a virtual hand to press the ‘no’ button but it flys away each time she trys to touch it.
The button makes a ‘whoop’ sound as it zips out of reach.
[Stefan] Um, by no do you mean yes?
The button makes a ‘whoop’ sound each time she tries to grab it. She laughs.
[Stefan] Si? Da? Yah? Shi?
She finally reaches for the ‘yes’ button. A pink rose explodes across the screen, fire blooming out from the centre and the words ‘YOU WIN’ pop out in blue.
A harp gliss, sounds of fireworks explosions.
[woman] I win!
"All is Full of Love" by Bjork
You'll be given love
You'll be taken care of
You'll be given love
You'll have to trust it
The song plays as fiery explosions pop around the screen.
The woman takes off her VR goggles to find Stefan kneeling before her in real life, holding out the ring box. He laughs as she steps towards him. He takes her in his arms and kisses her tenderly, holding her close.