• Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Epilogue

    [Epilogue]

    “Be reasonable, auntie,” Viv said, with some impatience, into the phone. “I don’t see how telling you that I’d pay you back for the cost of breaking lease is ‘throwing your gift back in your face’.”

    Aunt Bethany let out an enraged, tea-kettle sound. “You need the place I rented for you! That’s why I rented it! Do you really think that moving in with a partner within two weeks is a good idea?!”

    Normally, Viv would say no. She’d say it both because it was common sense, and because she’d spent her entire life bowing to what her aunt insisted was the right thing to do. 

    But after the last week? She found herself hard-pressed to be intimidated by her overbearing aunt. “Sure, it’s fine,” she said. “We’re good with it. And my partner really loves the cats.”

    “You can’t do this to me,” Aunt Beth groaned.

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 30

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    Viv drew a deep breath. She couldn’t second guess this. From everything she’d heard, she was the only one who could change what these fae lords might do to her friends.

    “Hey! Excuse me, hello!” Her voice only trembled a little as she shouted, drawing everyone’s attention to where she was floating. “Can someone help pull me down there, I’m stuck, but I think I can help clear things up?”

    For a long moment, the group—fae and demon alike—just stared at her. Varsha let out a soft, mortified wheeze on the branch next to her and slithered a bit more under cover.

    “Very well, miss,” the fae lady said finally, and beckoned with one crooked finger. Viv felt something seize her. It wrapped around her carefully but firmly—there was no escaping this invisible grasp—and pulled her down to everyone else’s height. “Why were you floating?”

    “We all float down here? I don’t know, I was just, it sort of happened. Side effect,” Viv babbled. She drew a deep breath and tried to center herself. “So, hey, yes, I’m Thysania’s wife. Hi. That happened, and I have seen everything here, and you were saying that humans couldn’t lie to you?”

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 29

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    Viv closed her eyes briefly, screwing her courage to the sticking point. She didn’t want to kill someone, but a war would only cause more suffering and death. Even if she actually believed that it would only be between the fae and demons, lots of people would still die, and be tortured, and who knew what.

    And she didn’t believe war would just impact those two groups. Wars had a way of growing, and when it was between realms—and between people known to make deals and settle debts with all kinds of other creatures—it would only grow bigger, wider, worse.

    She opened her eyes and finished the incantation for her lightning spell. 

    Electricity rained down from her fingers, sparking through her almost painfully, and hit that darkest shadow square on. 

    The shadow woman screamed, the sound high and thin and surprised—she had been caught totally off guard in this moment, not expecting a counter-attack from above from someone who had been drowned in her darkness. The shadows that she was casting over them, that sticky, inky blackness that had blinded Viv—all were banished, and the area once more flooded entirely with light.

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 28

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    Dandelion and Thys immediately leaped into their role as distractions, trying to keep the fake Thys occupied. “We’re a bit busy here,” Dandelion sighed, draping his arm around Thys and drawing them in. “Can’t you take another way?”

    “The fastest way is in front of me, my lords,” the fake Thys said with exaggerated patience. “I hardly wish to push you aside, or through, but I will do so if I must.”

    “How rude!” the real Thys sniffed, in a much snottier voice than they were generally given to. “Who gave you the right to barge up to us like this?”

    It was a perfectly good pretense that they were just rich assholes, but Viv knew it would only work so long before the lanternfish would get suspicious at the delay. She made eye contact with Caoihme and held up three fingers, two fingers— 

    The lanternfish sighed and said, “My lords, I assure you, it’s fine. If you’d just move aside—” and the area flickered. The shadows in which their motley team were hidden grew deeper, and a light appeared in front of the lanternfish, pulsing, a soft, uncanny blue.

    Both Dandelion and Thys stiffened, staring at the light, and the illusion over Thys flickered and vanished as the hypnotism hit Dandelion, undoing his focus.

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 27

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    “C’mon, don’t be shy,” Ferthur said, coming closer with a twisted grin. A fetid stench rolled off him, reeking of rotting, exposed blood.

    “I’m not shy,” Viv said. Probably the best bet was to not lie, but not give too much detail on any part of it, name included. “My name’s Viv. Dandelion’s just guiding us to the border because we’re planning on intercepting someone there. None of us plan to enter the fae realms—” not untrue, since ideally they’d stop the lanternfish before it got there. “It’s a shapeshifter that’s killed before, and wanted to kill one of us. It’s much more dangerous than us and all we want is to stop it.”

    Dandelion seemed to twitch at that last comment, but didn’t argue. 

    Ferthur let out a disgruntled sound. “I can smell the truth on you; you’re not lying. But are you sure the Exile isn’t just misleading you to get what he surely wants?”

    Better to let Dandelion do the talking where possible, Viv decided, and looked at him. “Are you?”

    “Of course not,” Dandelion snapped. “I don’t even want to go back. I’ve made a good life for myself in the human world and I don’t intend to give it up.”

    “How could you lose your home and not want to return?” Ferthur asked, the smile wiped from his face.