The Lure of Virtual Donuts

This was a hard one… then I went to Krispy Kreme for research. Six donuts later…

The Lure of Virtual Donuts

It was founded by The Troll and MacBraveheart – that much I know. The Brekkie Club existed long before I came into the picture, at the ripe old age of 13. I was just a kid then, attracted by the idea of all-day breakfast buffets laden with coffee and donuts. But how the Brekkie Club came to be, I’m not exactly sure. I simply wandered in one day and became a member. That was the way of it then.

We were a group of gamers and writers, who found a corner of the internet to call our own. Every morning, the post would go up:

Thread Title: Brekkie Time! Coffee and Donuts!

We came together to talk over a virtual breakfast spread – of games and stories, of fantasy and make-believe, and of the details that made up our “real” lives. As if who we were on our forum was any less real.

McB once said that we were all a little broken. That we had to be, to spend so much time in a world of our own creation. Maybe she was right. We were a mismatched group, like a pile of socks that had lost their partners in the wash. We were the ones left over.

A German-born woman, raised in India, Stefanie lived with her Scottish husband and designed tartan fabrics. Complications during the birth of her daughter left her with chronic pain.

Bob watched as his children moved away from him, one by one, leaving him alone with deteriorating health. Still, he got great joy every fall, when his daughter sent him tulip bulbs from the Netherlands.

Catherine battled cancer. Leonard anxiously awaited the birth of his second daughter by his soon-to-be-second ex-wife. Wanda was a pagan social worker. Michelle was afraid to leave her house.

Is it any wonder I ended up there? I was a thirteen-year-old homeschooler with obsessive-compulsive disorder and an overdeveloped geek gene.

If not broken, we were certainly different – straight off Rudolph’s Island of Misfit Toys. But that was reality; it wasn’t our world. In The Brekkie Club we transformed. Into Lady MacBraveheart and King Trollie; Lenrod, The Duke of Suave; BloodRunner, and Hortensis, and Trops, The Lady of Breakfast Charm. I was Lairdess Bobbi.

These were our true identities.

We gathered in MacApple Hall, where we had our adventures battling monsters and watching great romances unfold. On Shrove Tuesday, we brought our pet dragons to a virtual pancake party. We fought doughnut thieves and chose sides when MacBraveheart and King Trollie waged the war between the breakfasts. Haggis or donuts – the choice was ours. They were called The Donut Wars and they were epic.

So were we.

Eight years later, our lives have changed. Stefanie went back to college to study film. Catherine beat her cancer, and got a tattoo of a zipper over her surgery scar. Bob’s other daughter had a daughter, and now she is the joy of his life. Michelle left her house. I grew up. Through it all, we’ve remained friends, both online and off.

No one on the outside understood our games. To them, they were just words typed on a screen about dragons and donuts. The adventures we wove for ourselves seemed trivial, but they saved us, in a way. We connected to one another there. In the land of MacApple Hall, we found laughter and support in one another when we couldn’t find it in the “real world.” Loners, outcasts and oddballs, misfit toys, and partnerless socks – brought together by the internet – and the lure of virtual donuts.

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And just for your viewing pleasure – I did these back in 2004 and posted them to The Brekkie Club group. I decided our stories needed promotional artwork. When you’ve stopped laughing, remember that I was only 14 at the time.

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This week’s prompt was simple: write a piece, fiction or non-fiction, inspired by the delicious shot of the donut seen above. Word  limit is 600.

Concrit welcomed and appreciated!