• Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Author’s Notes / Story Q&A

    [Author’s Notes / Story Q&A]

    Thank you so much, everyone, for coming along with me for A Little Night Magic, whether you joined in or just read. It was enormous fun to write, and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as well.

    The final length of this story was 53,200 words (around 125 pages in gdocs)! Once again, we managed to pull off NaNo in October! 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 more 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.

    Okay, business aside—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!).

    Here’s some starting information: I got the initial idea for this after moving into a new apartment. In the elevator room in the lowest basement, I kept finding dead moths, and at one point I had a conversation with the (perfectly lovely and not-possessed) janitor, who didn’t seem to notice she was mopping up dead bugs instead of leaves. After that, when a moth got into our apartment and got hunted by one of our cats, I kept thinking, what if.

    Thank you once again… and happy Halloween!

    [Ask Me Some Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies]

    [Completed parts: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 | Day 18 | Day 19 | Day 20 | Day 21 | Day 22 | Day 23 | Day 24 | Day 25 | Day 26 | Day 27 | Day 28 | Day 29 | Day 30 | Epilogue]

  • 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.