• 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.

  • 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.