Halloween 2020 IF,  Interactive Fiction

Halloween I.F – “Final Call” – Day 27

[Please read the Instructions before jumping in]

Lucien has a key, so the logical thing to do is to use it to unlock… something. What was it that the Moonlit Lord had said? That he needed to use it to open his… inner eye? He wishes he could remember the exact words she’d said to him, but he’d been so tired at the time, so foggy.

He knows it has something to do with altering the dream, though. He takes the key and presses it first to his forehead and then, when that does nothing, to his heart. Again, nothing happens, and he feels a moment of frustration. He can understand why Shuni would rip out his heart; Lucien would do the same, if he could unlock it directly.

But he cannot, and just pressing it to his flesh is doing nothing.

It’s as if the key refuses to be used.

He tries not to let it get to him, tries not to get angry—and realizes that, even if it hasn’t unlocked anything for him, the key is serving its standard purpose of calming him. It’s always done that. When his parents had died, when he had spent those three days shut in, too young to know how to use the key, not knowing how to leave, he had still held it in his hand. He kept it in his hand when he was found while the investigators crawled all over the scene of his only family’s dead bodies like scavengers over carrion. The weight of it in his hand, the imprint of it in his tightly-clenched fist, every part of it had become his connection to a world that had suddenly lost all of its meaning, and it calmed him.

It calms him now, too, a steady weight that keeps him from falling to the usual panic of the dream, and he keeps it clutched tightly in his fist as he gets up and wanders.

Perhaps he’ll find a Lord here again. Perhaps he’ll find the culprit. Perhaps there is at least something to find, even if he cannot yet control the dream.

So he wanders. He travels the cracked and broken landscape with its empty sky, with its unbreathable air, and it seems like he’s taking an eternity to travel until—

—There. Something different, in the distance.

He starts to run, his key clenched in his hand, and almost stumbles when the thing he spotted turns out to be nearer than expected; distance is difficult to understand in a dream, and more difficult to understand in an utterly empty world like this where space doesn’t even really exist. But it’s there at his feet and he falls to his knees, staring into it:

A pool, black and deep, with a bit of gold glittering on its surface. It looks like a lock, and he feels hope for a second, as if he willed this into being. He thrusts his hand into the pool, but he feels no water there, no lock there. Nothing to interact with, nothing really here.

At a loss, he sits back on his heels and tries to decide what to do.

[Please leave suggestions for Lucien in the comments.]

[Next Day]

[Previous Day]

2 Comments

  • Prince Charming

    Yes. Maybe try a performance and dedication. See if something happens. In any case, try the key in the lock. But be careful and hold it very tight so you don’t lose it.

    First, before you do anything, look in the pool. Can you see something? Can you see your reflection?

Leave a Reply to Prince Charming Cancel reply