• Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 26

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    “I don’t super want to go to Hell and, you know, prove all of my worst relatives right,” Viv said, joking weakly, “but I think that’s the best choice. Ideally, we want to stop it from getting to the fae realms so that—so that whatever it’s planning, it doesn’t get its way, right?” 

    Thys nodded. “It should be fine. The fae realm pays a regular tithe to the abyssal planes as a promise of neutrality. They don’t mess with us, and we don’t mess with them. Humans are, naturally, at greater risk, but I have claimed you and so it shouldn’t be an issue. I can’t imagine Varsha being in much trouble either; they’re much more concerned with humans than with fellow monsters.”

    Dandelion was smiling humorlessly through all this, but he just nodded at the end. “No time to waste, then. I know the way well—hurry.”

    A little nervous about Thys’s comment that it shouldn’t be an issue—lots of things that shouldn’t be problems were, after all—Viv just took their hand. Thys squeezed it tight immediately, casting a gentle look aside at her as they tugged her close in against their side, cuddling slightly. 

    Varsha gave them both a kind of fond eye-roll—clearly just the reaction of someone whose friend had recently hooked up—but stuck close as well, clearly nervous.

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 25

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    Viv didn’t want to tell them, didn’t want them to be embarrassed by her own weakness. She wanted to push through, just manage somehow, but—

    But she had to. They were all going to fight together, and she’d only endanger everyone if she didn’t admit the truth.

    “I’m sorry,” she gasped, struggling against the pounding headache, the nausea, the sense of the dim light being too bright, the noises of the crowd too loud, the scents of the food too overwhelming. “I’ve never… managed to acclimatize to the Otherworld…”

    Thys’s delicate hands caught Viv’s shoulders, pulling her down off Varsha’s back. Viv made an unhappy face in the general vicinity of the white blur that must be Thys’s face, embarrassed.

    And then Thys was kissing her. 

    This kiss wasn’t soft or tender or tentative. It was a possessive kiss, hard, almost biting, that strange, slender tongue curling in Viv’s mouth. Viv let out a muffled eep into Thys’s mouth, but she couldn’t help but kiss back, not while Thys was practically claiming her with it.

    “Are you mine? Will you be mine, Vivian Dormer?” Thys whispered against Vivian’s mouth.

    “Y-yes? Yes?” Vivian yelped, breath coming fast. 

    And something… changed.

  • 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.