• Halloween 2020 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “Final Call” – Day 7

    [Please read the Instructions before jumping in]

    No sleeping, Lucien decides, not yet. He’s in a fog, sure, but he’s also riled up, heart going wild in his chest. It’ll be better to clear his head before he sleeps again. If Lord Crow wants to know more about his dreams, better to do it in a way that won’t guarantee the dreams are all about… well, about Lord Crow.

    If he leaves now, he can probably catch Katarin or Shuni before they go to sleep. Either will listen; this sort of thing is known to happen to actors. He still remembers Nan’s sobbing laughter when she was returned from the trip that Lord the Endless had taken her on. For everyone else, Nan had been absent one night. For Nan… well. She retired after that, claiming the exhaustion of the aged.

  • Halloween 2020 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “Final Call” – Day 6

    [Please read the Instructions before jumping in]

    Caught on the oddness of the question, Lucien hesitates. “Dreams? I think they could have meaning, certainly. It’s hard to say where in the mind they come from. Dreams are often a mirror, I think—a distorted reflection of the things you’re living through. Stresses, or fears, or anxiety. Hopes. Even just a—a bit of undigested food not sitting right.”

    That earns him one of those rough, cawing laughs. “So just a reflection of your own life, you think?”

    “No. Maybe? Everything has meaning; why shouldn’t dreams? Sometimes they only have meaning to you. After all, we can only see the world through our own eyes—or humans can, at any rate,” Lucien hastens to add. “But perhaps a dream can reflect more than our perceptions. Perhaps it can reflect the world itself. I have no way to know.”

  • Halloween 2020 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “Final Call” – Day 5

    [Please read the Instructions before jumping in]

    Lucien freezes, unable to stop his instinctive reaction to that voice, that presence: a heady cocktail of fear, lust, and awe that keeps him unable to answer right away. His nerves strain in every direction under the weight of standing so close to one of the Lords, and it feels as though his heart is going to rip itself out of his chest and offer itself up.

    Lord Crow waits patiently, still largely in shadow, only those hard, human-looking hands in their gloves visible where they overlap on his cane. They seem relaxed, as if he’s gripping it loosely only. The head of the cane is silver, an orb clutched in a crow’s claw.

  • Halloween 2020 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “Final Call” – Day 4

    [Please read the Instructions before jumping in]

    When better to follow one’s heart than when a knife is in one’s hand? Lucien looks at the knife for a long moment, hearing the shuffling silence of the audience, and then flings it from him so it spins across the stage—the indicator that it’s his character Arcane who should get murdered. 

    “I cannot kill,” he cries, sinking to his knees and putting his face in his hands. “No jealousy could lead me to harm Revelle, nor my brother Logos. I will try to make amends with them both, and if I succeed, all will be well. But if I fail, and if it means that crows will peck my flesh—” He draws a deep breath. Here is the meaning to it, the ritual, the sacrifice. He tilts his head up, as if Arcane is looking to the heavens, and he sees a glint of light from Lord Crow’s booth that tells him they have made eye contact. His heart is pounding. “—then so must it be, and at least my body will do at least some good, though my heart could not.”

  • Halloween 2020 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “Final Call” – Day 3

    [Please read the Instructions before jumping in]

    Which of the Lords…? Normal folk try to avoid their attention, but normal folk don’t get on stage before them. Lucien bites his lower lip. He knows where his heart is drawn—to Lord Crow the Carrion Eater. Lord Crow has always been of interest to someone like Lucien: a night lord, a lord of lurking in places where one shouldn’t, of cleaning up others’ messes and laughing about it too loud for others’ comfort.

    Still, it wasn’t as if the other Lords weren’t fascinating in their own right. Lord Vine was a wild and driven force of nature, and he’d always been intrigued by Lord the End in ways that scared him to think about. He wanted to know more about that mysterious masked figure, whether or not he wanted their attention.