• Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 24

    [Apologies for the missed day. I’m feeling a bit better now!
    Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    “It might be nice to get Yasmin if we could,” Viv said, “just because she seemed somewhat aware of the lanternfish? But I don’t think she’d be interested since I only talked to her once, so unless she’s really bored with food delivery, not going to happen. I don’t know if Varsha will want to or not, but it may be worth asking her just for her sensory abilities? Theoretically the lanternfish could be anyone. We can tell her to ditch us in case of a fight. Other than that? I… don’t know. I think Dandelion is both willing and able, but you’re the one who’s worried he’ll accompany us too far so I’ll leave that to you.”

    Thys nodded. “All right,” they said placidly. “I’ll make some calls, do what I can. You focus on studying.”

    “Thanks,” Viv said. She hesitated only a moment, then leaned over and kissed Thys on the cheek.

    Thys’s eyes went huge and they raised a hand to touch that cheek, smiling a little. “Oh. For luck?”

    “Just ’cause,” Viv mumbled. Blushing, she headed next door to her own apartment to dig up some books before she totally lost her nerve.

    Viv had to shuffle some boxes around before she could find the one for her spellbooks—it wasn’t kept where her divination books were, because those were practical, while her spellbooks had been so much dead weight for her for so many years. But she’d never had the guts to get rid of them, let alone the heart to—her family would never have forgiven her for giving up.

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 23

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    “I… I think you might be right,” Viv said. It was weird; she supposed she did feel somewhat different, in that she’d never felt powerful before, never felt this awareness of power in her body, but… 

    She felt like herself, just more powerful and less messed up. Not like some weird conglomeration of magics was all mixed up in her. Would she even be able to tell if that had happened?

    I”I sensed you dying,” Viv said, uncertainly. “I can’t do that, so I think that implies that you’re right, some of your powers came to me. It could have been our magical connection, I suppose, but it felt like it stopped working before that. There might be other things too, just… I’m just so overwhelmed.” She took a deep breath. “I should probably run some tests before we go rushing into a fight, right? Try to see what my magic is capable of. Try to figure out what’s changed. But…”

    Thys shuffled closer, taking up Viv’s hands and chafing them between their own. “But?”

    “Do we have time?” Viv found she was abruptly close to tears, overwhelmed, afraid. “I feel like I have to do that before we have a chance to win. Even just a little. If I speed through my practice, do you think we can beat it? I want to keep it from getting through the gate at all. We could call Dandelion to meet us halfway with his band, and I could try to study more magic on the go…”

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 22

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    Viv froze, torn.

    On the one hand, she felt that Dandelion deserved honesty. That he had the right to know and make his own decisions. Dandelion had been nothing but honest with her—to be fair, as far as she knew, that was a trait of the fae. But he had cancelled his gig, he had walked them home, he had warded their homes, and had worried about them. He’d even given up some kind of favor so they could get information from Lithway—without which they’d probably still be floundering in the dark. 

    But Thys also had the right to control this information, to decide who knew and who didn’t. And she didn’t want Dandelion to know this.

    “Vivian? Viv, are you in trouble? Hang on, I’ll come back to your place—”

    Either way, she couldn’t hang out on the phone saying nothing. “No! No, it’s fine, sorry. We’re fine. I just needed to tell you, uh…”

    Thys was no longer arguing, just looking at her. They looked calm, but that was just an illusion from their solid black eyes; Viv could tell that Thys was willing Viv not to say something, could feel it. She only wished she could tell if Thys was just genuinely worried that Dandelion would do something self-sacrificing, or they were using it as an excuse so they didn’t have to think about going back to something they hated in order to protect their people from whatever the lanternfish was planning.

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 21

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    For a second, staring down at that tiny, dying moth, all Viv could think was: Sugar water?

    She almost cursed herself out for the thought. She didn’t have time to go make sugar water, let alone make Thys drink without drowning them at this size! While probably unconscious!!

    And then she paused in her self-recrimination.

    Sugar water was a metaphor. Had already been a metaphor. Last time, Thys wanted Viv’s energy in lieu of sugar water, explicitly took it because Viv had already promised sugar water to them. So perhaps this was the same. 

    She needed to reestablish the connection despite the fact that Isaac wasn’t here.

    But—she’d seen Isaac cast it twice, in two different situations. And while she’d never been able to cast anything before, never had a spell that didn’t fail, perhaps now she’d be able to.

    She was afraid. She was terrified. If she was still as broken, as much of a fuck-up as she always thought she was, then Thys would die.

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 20

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    There was no way someone this cruel was Thys. The kettle weighed heavily in Viv’s hand, and for a moment she thought she should swing it—try to take this monster by surprise, stun it, hurt it, kill it if she had to. Not just let it win.

    But no. The candle flame she felt trembling nearby, that delicate, faltering life, that had to be Thys. It might be pretty bad to let the creature escape, since it presumably had exactly what it wanted now, and besides, last time… it had taken part of Thys with it. 

    But if there was still even the slightest of chances she could save the real Thys, she had to take that chance

    She lowered her head, as if accepting that Thys was leaving her, and told the lanternfish, “If you leave now, Thys, don’t come back! I never want to see you again!”

    “I don’t intend to return,” the lanternfish retorted, voice cool but somewhat pleased, and it pushed open those doors and strode through.

    Viv watched it vanish into the darkness outside, her breath coming hard, almost strangling her.

    And then she whirled, searching for that strange, new power inside her, trying to find where it led to. 

    This wasn’t her power, it wasn’t something she could even do—or, at least, it hadn’t been until now. It felt familiar, felt alien, all at once. It was like, she thought, with a dying wish. Thys had sent whatever power they had left as a bequest—