Halloween 2020 IF,  Interactive Fiction

Halloween I.F – “Final Call” – Day 1

[Please read the Instructions before jumping in]

Lucien Iomorphe wakes with a start, alone in his narrow room. For a moment, he doesn’t know where he is. The air is heavy, the sky dark. Long shadows crawl across his room as the moon stares in through his curtainless window, creating shapes that seem too real, too solid.

Trying to calm his racing heart, Lucien scrubs sleep from his eyes. He cannot fully remember the dream he was having, but he knows it was a dry dream, a cracked dream, a dream where nothing could grow, and because nothing could grow nothing could live, and because nothing could live, nothing could die.

An unpleasant dream. 

He dismisses it from his mind. Tonight is going to be busy; the play opens tonight. It will run unfinished every night until the conditions are met and the final act can be performed. It’s going to be such a run, he thinks, trying to distract himself. It’s full of things the audience will adore. Mistaken identities, betrayal, love, monsters—always monsters, of course. What’s a play without a monster? And more besides, things he won’t know about until it’s time for them to happen.

He needs to get dressed. He needs to get ready—from what he’s heard, several of the Lords might even be in attendance, and he does not dare put on a poor show in front of them due to something as commonplace as dreams. He is an actor; the play must go on.

Still he hesitates on doing the things he’ll need to do—food, drink, even clothing all seem like something for someone else right now, not him. He walks naked to the window, throws it open so he can see out properly. The lack of curtains might let the moonlight in, but the thick distorted glass makes it impossible to see the outside world.

The lamps are being lit outside, the faint smell of gas fumes and ozone almost lost in the heavy, smog-tinted scent of drizzling rain. The moon hides its face, clouds traveling back across it and carrying a thicker drizzle with it; he leans out almost far enough to fall onto the slate shingles beneath him and lets the dirty rain trickle down his skin, bead in his hair. For a moment, he is only balancing on his hands, on the tension of his extended arms and tensed muscles, and if he leans any further he will tumble straight down into the streets, naked and, presumably, broken.

He eases himself back into his room and dresses in a suit of reasonable quality. He drinks some water, eats a cold meal, and then takes his time doing up his necktie, finding a hat. 

Lucien’s heart still hasn’t calmed. He stares at himself in the mirror, convincing himself it is time to go.

[Please leave a suggestion for Lucien in the comments. If nothing else, please
describe him:  one physical trait, and/or one emotional one.
For example, I might suggest: He has curly brown hair and is reckless.]

[Next Day]

5 Comments

  • Vikarmic

    Breathe. Center yourself. Focus on your craft — if you can’t be calm yourself, take on the role of someone who is, and treat your next tasks as stage directions. Take one step at a time until the steps come naturally. Dreams come and go however they will, but the show must always go on. It’s hard to remember sometimes, but you’re capable of dealing with this.

    Sometimes it helps to remind yourself that the redhead in the mirror is actually you — that your face has all its familiar angles, that it smiles and frowns at your command. Seeing and feeling these things will help ground you in the world, or so it’s to be hoped.

    • Chloe Roberts

      You’ll feel better after you put on your makeup and slick your hair back. Cleaning up nice always gives you confidence. And don’t forget your lucky charm. You still feel a little naked without it.

      • Shanti

        Those dark bags beneath your eyes, they seem well set in and heavy for someone your age. Don’t you ever relax? Perhaps you could have a nip of… *something* to calm your nerves, loosen you up. Not too much – you don’t want to be stumbling about on stage – but some find they can perform even better with a bit of a buzz.

      • Prince Charming

        To calm yourself, picture yourself in your favorite place (real or fictional).
        You have a trusting nature, haven’t you? So trust not only in other people, but that everything will be fine as well.

  • Noelle Rogers

    Get you some coffee. With a sugar boost, that’ll get you going. Smack yourself in the face a few times. You got this!

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