Halloween 2022 IF,  Interactive Fiction

Halloween I.F. – “Body of Work” – Day 1

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Professor Augustus Pennywright took a long, slow sip of his coffee and sighed in contentment, turning his head this way and that to a stunning array of cracking sounds and the pleasant relief of pressure. He had one rule for himself whenever he woke up on Restday: he’d enjoy a drink and have a nice read of the broadsheets before he would allow himself to think about work at all. There was a burning smell out the window—but it was someone else’s problem, and he could already hear the incantations that someone was shouting to contain it. He wasn’t going to get involved, not right after he’d woken up.

Augustus liked his pleasures, and he liked that secret time in the morning where his thoughts and feelings were just his own. He made his coffee bitter and strong to wring more experiences from it than just flavor; his dressing robe was quilted for warmth and brocaded for appearance. The broadsheets were just-for-pleasure reading as well; for a short time, he could put aside dense, jargonistic academic journals and see what was going on in the world, what scandals were being talked about, what crimes had occurred, what marriages had been sworn, what rituals had been poorly conducted out in the public and were causing trouble for the civilians, what was being done about it. 

But soon enough the coffee was done, the broadsheets were read, and it was already going on midday and long past time he should be changed into daywear. He might have gotten his chores done yesterday—on the appropriately named Choresday—but when one worked at a university, one rarely had a full Restday to actually rest in. Regrettably. 

His suit for the day was a nice dark green with gold brocade thread on it that matched his wedding band. He fastened his vest, though he left his jacket to the side; he wasn’t sure yet if he were going out or not, but it was easier to get into the mindset of work if he weren’t lazing around in his shirtsleeves. He brushed his hair—a graying black and a little too long, though he found he liked the effect of having to push it back and of feeling it brush his collar—and took a moment to admire himself. He was no longer as young as he used to be, and the effects of good living had filled his form out since his lanky youth, but he liked it; his thickness gave more dimension to his textured clothing, and he enjoyed the way his body looked lived-in.

But that was enough self-indulgence, alas. With a good-natured sigh at his own reluctance, Augustus pulled his notebook out and double-checked his schedule for the week that started tomorrow:

Firstday: Conjuration 101, 9-12, morn
Twosday: Office Hours, 1-3, aft
Thirdsday: Planar Studies 102, 2-5, aft
Fourthsday: Office hours, 10-12, morn
Fivesday: Planar Studies 202, 2-5, aft

(It would then be followed by another Choresday and Restday, of course, but those were not on the schedule).

Any time that wasn’t blocked out was technically free time, but in actuality, free time for a professor was a split between genuine leisure time and time spent on grading, independent research, class-planning, and paper-writing. Usually, leisure lost the competition. Right now, Augustus had three classes on his schedule with associated preparation and grading, personal research to conduct and research that he’d promised his husband he’d do, and a monograph that the department head Honey Terwillegar wouldn’t stop chasing him about (though he knew that was less on her and more the fault of the Dean, Reginald von Beekeeper, who was trying to justify a budget increase to the board).

Frowning at his schedule, he tried to decide which of his options was best for his free time today. 


[It begins with a light, introductory segment.
Comment below. Should Augustus:
> Go into the office and prep for class tomorrow
> Go into the office and see what his research assistant has dug up
> Research on his own (personal, or for the husband)
> Stay home and work on his monograph
> Call his husband (about what? Describe in comments.)
> He should do something else (describe in comments)]




  • Vikarmic

    > Research on his own (personal)

    It’s a Restday, after all, and even if he’s going to use it to take care of his responsibilities, he can still choose a responsibility that he finds more restful. Research for his husband is important too, of course, but it’s important not to let one’s own research fall too far behind, and it’s closer to leisure than the other options.

    • Seth

      Is his research assistant helping him with official research, personal, or both? Is it possible to drop them a quick line before going into the office and see if they’ve turned up anything juicy for him to look at?

  • t

    It’d be irresponsible, but it’s Restday, and you’re feeling oddly rest*less*… wouldn’t it be all right to indulge a little in that slightly less meritorious hobby project you haven’t had time to revisit much in recent years? It’s a shame that all this tenure has made life so predictable.

    What did your husband think about that project, anyway? Is it the same thing you’re working on for him, or have you not been working on it because it *isn’t* a shared passion? He’s not here right now either way…

  • AvelineReynard

    > Research on his own (personal, or for the husband)

    Yes, what ARE your areas of research? Do they overlap with the husband’s?

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