For the last five years (!!) Meredith has run an interactive Halloween-themed choose-your-own-adventure storytelling event throughout the month of October. This year, she’s taking a well-deserved break! But: Aveline is taking the spooky queer reins and will do their best to Not Fuck It Up.
So! Starting October 1st, 2021, I’ll be posting a daily short section of a Halloween story and ask you, dear readers, to leave comments suggesting the next steps. What should our intrepid protagonist do? What bad decisions should they make? Who should they flirt with? It’s up to—well, it’s up to me, but you get to have significant input in shaping the story.
You don’t have to comment or follow along every day: it’s OK to hop back in and out (though please do comment as much as you’re able because that definitely helps with the interactive part of interactive fiction!) I’ll incorporate as many of the suggestions or ideas as it makes sense to: majority influences, but doesn’t necessarily rule.
You can get notified when there are new sections a couple ways:
- “Subscribe to Updates” via the form in the right side of our homepage (here)
- Follow me on Twitter (here)
You can also take a look through the archives to read Meredith’s excellent stories from previous years and to get a visual idea of how this works!
This Year’s Story
Some decades prior, rifts opened up across the world that enabled magic, mayhem, and monsters to seep into the mundane world: fey, vampires, werewolves, witches, dread horrors, you name it. Most of the strangeness is contained to the areas clustered around these rifts—literal uncanny valleys where communities have sprung up and run by their own rules.
Our lovely protagonist is nonbinary, pansexual, polyamorous, and the literary equivalent of a grumpy NPC who’s unwillingly found themself thrust into an adventure with a bunch of people that are just so unnecessarily fucking extra.
What can you expect? Well, my working taglines include:
- Vampire Fuck Mansion (and all I got was this lousy t-shirt)
- We Can’t Stop Here, This Is Bat Country Club
- Opening Up a Boy With The Cold Ones
- And some questionable songcalls
So, you know, it’s gonna be a perfectly safe time!
The Fine Print
I reserve all rights to this work. If I eventually get this published in any form that requires me to take this version down, I will send copies of this online version, with comments left intact, to everyone who contributed suggestions, if I am reasonably able to get in contact with them.
New sections will go up between 5-9PM PST. Cutoff time for suggestions is 4PM PST.
EXCITED AND EQUALLY NERVOUS! Let’s go! To get us kicked off, comment here with your favourite cryptid, monster, or spooky creature. For science.
Whew, it’s been a bit of a year, hasn’t it, friends? I think we can all relate with the lack of updates and things getting done. We ourselves have been safe, but have had a stressful run of it with one of our cats recently (why can they not simply be blessed, healthy, and immortal?) Somehow it being difficult to work on creative projects has gotten even more difficult…!
We’ve been slowly picking up writing & editing again, so there should hopefully be some new releases in the near future. In the meantime, we’ve been doing more reading, and think we have some cool recs to share. Feel free to follow us on Goodreads: Meredith & Aveline.
Lots of love going out to everyone!
[Author’s Notes / Story Q&A]
Thank you, everyone, for joining me in Final Call! Whether you hopped in or just read (or are reading this in the future), I’m so grateful for your time and presence with me. It was a lot of fun to write, and I hope you enjoyed reading it!.
The final length of this story was almost 40,000 words (around 90 pages in gdocs)! Which is a lot, but I also achieved my goal of not trying to hit NaNo wordcounts during this hell year, lol. If and when you want to reread it, you’ll be able to find this story linked from my Interactive Fiction page. Feel free to check out some older interactive stories there too!
If you enjoyed the story and are looking for ways to support me and my work, you can learn about and pick up my books over here. Read some already? Leaving a good rating or review on Goodreads or Amazon can make all the difference. I’ve also got a tip jar over at Ko-Fi if you’d like to buy me a drink! And please, feel free to follow me on social media to see what I’m up to: Personal Twitter and Book Twitter.
Now that that’s done—let’s do a story Q&A! Feel free to ask me anything you want about the story, whether it’s about what my writing process was, how I got the idea for certain events or characters, things people may have suspected but not had confirmed, other ‘routes’, etc. Wonder what would have happened if you’d done X instead of Y? Ask it here! (Lurkers are totally allowed to ask too, you don’t need to have participated to ask!).
I think, also, the story managed to hit the full list of tropes you turned in way back at the beginning, whether in the play within the story or within the story itself. We had a betrayal, a monster who-isn’t-that-monstrous, unrequited love AND secret longing, a costume that’s more than a costume, a duel, a sudden earthquake, a key that refuses to be used, two characters mistaken for each other because of their startling resemblance, crossdressing for flimsy plot purposes and, of course, an emotionally-fraught kiss.
Thank you once again… and happy Halloween!
[Ask Me Some Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies]
There is one thing that Lucien knows, though he knows nothing else here: he cannot let Shuni ascend.
Does Shuni even want to become a Lord? He never expressed interest in anything but getting his own heart back, and the fear of it ending up in someone else’s hands. Sacrificing it now seems—wrong. It’s Shuni’s choice if he wants to become a Lord, of course, but right now, it’s not one made with full consent. In a best case scenario, he’s making it because his powerful ex told him that if he did it, he’d take him back. In a worst case scenario… well, Shuni has already admitted to Lucien that he doesn’t feel anything deeply with his heart out of his chest. Is even capable of deeply wanting to become a Lord? Of deeply wanting anything?
More simply: Shuni’s affair with Lord Peacock didn’t end well the first time, and he deserves better than being manipulated by this asshole.
[Please read the Instructions before jumping in]
Time seems to slow.
Lucien feels as if he has a choice here. He could run to Shuni himself, trade the box for the knife, and keep it out of Shuni’s hands—he’s not sure why, but he feels as if it’s dangerous for Shuni to have it right now.
Or he could divert them, and deal with the known threat: Frederik. Frederik is chasing Shuni with openly murderous intent, and is gaining on him.