• Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 17

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    Anxiety was rising in Viv, shame churning in her gut, choking her as firmly as hands around her throat. She knew she had to calm down and breathe, she knew she had to get this back under control for both their sakes—if this continued as things were with Thys, they’d be furious with each other at the end, she knew they would be. 

    It was just like how things had been with Reese.

    She could imagine that disapproval growing, imagine the cold disgust with which Thys would treat her after this. That she, someone fundamentally useless, thought she had the right to set terms, make demands, ask for things like communication as if it was easy. She hardly had to imagine her own hysterical screaming in return, hardly had to make up how the fight would escalate. The memories of it were almost drowning her.

    But—  

    But she wasn’t ready to be married! She wasn’t ready! She didn’t know Thys, that was the whole point of having to ask them things at all, if she knew Thys already then this wouldn’t be a problem! 

    “I, I want,” she tried to get out, but her voice was too high, her teeth were chattering, tears were welling in her eyes.

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 16

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    Try not to worry about this thing between yourself and Thys, Viv reminded herself desperately. This was nice right now, inasmuch as having someone with her who was being hunted down was able to be ‘nice’. She shouldn’t sweat the small stuff like…whatever the strange implications were of Thys perhaps being a ‘fairy lover’ to her.

    She wasn’t able to convince herself. They needed to talk. 

    Soon.

    “I think,” Viv said slowly, “that step one is going to be figuring out what they want you for. Step two is finding someone with scent-based powers, and step three is finding a place that we can flood with light. Right? So we can either corner them to fight or negotiate.”

    “I suppose so,” Thys agreed. For once, they seemed nervous, and it occurred to Viv that maybe Thys should be more nervous than they’d seemed so far—after all, Thys was the one being hunted down here. But ever since they’d recovered, they’d sort of been treating this as a fun adventure.

    Then again, they were one of the fair folk. Maybe this just felt different to someone with such a long lifespan. And even Viv had to admit that there were things she, too, was enjoying in this. 

    Viv drew a deep breath and exhaled heavily. “So. We can get into step one in a moment but unless you already know why it’s doing this, trying to prep for a confrontation is something we can do regardless of motive, so we can kind of skip it for now.”

    “Does that truly make it step one?”

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 15

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    A strange picture was starting to form for Viv, one she almost didn’t dare look at too closely. Dandelion had mentioned ‘the spouse’, as if expecting that Viv had one. Lithway had just referred to Thys as her fairy lover. And Dandelion had previously explained that Thys’s kind of fae were often also known as leanan sidhe—something she recalled now were mythological ‘fairy sweethearts’, ones who would act as a muse to a human they decided to devote themselves to, nearly slave-like in their devotion, but who would lead to an early death for the human they chose to love.

    It had to be a coincidence. A misunderstanding. It was on the tip of her tongue to argue, to explain, to… to have Thys deny it too, just so she could be sure.

    But now wasn’t the time, she reminded herself, watching Lithway straighten and give them a beaming, friendly smile. Lithway wasn’t fae. Lithway also wasn’t a vampire, wasn’t a witch or a human or anything understood. Instead, Lithway was a mysterious monster of origin unknown, of a type feared by all others.

    All anyone really knew about Lithway was that they enjoyed helping others, and that they didn’t like waiting.

    So Viv wouldn’t let Lithway wait. Right now, she had to explain what was going on, quickly and with deference. Clearing up this misunderstanding could come later.

    Even so, she couldn’t quite bring herself to look at Thys as she said, “It’s about the lanternfish.”

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 14

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    “It may not hurt to try to see the play and find out if it’s relevant?” Thys suggested. “Perhaps talk to Lithway directly, if we can. It may not benefit us, but I hardly see how it could hurt to try.”

    Viv nodded. She’d been thinking the same thing. “Do you know them? Lithway, I mean?”

    “Not personally. I think Dandelion might,” Thys said. “They’re both local entertainers.”

    Surprised, Viv raised her brows. “Aren’t you also?”

    “I am,” Thys said, “but I’m not the same…sort? I am not a celebrity. I perform locally, though I’ve only started recently to do so publicly instead of simply posting my music online, and I have a small following, but I keep to myself. Dandelion appears at events, does interviews, that sort of thing. He is not at Lithway’s level, of course, since Lithway is an international star, but for a folk rock singer he does, you know… well.”

    “I get you,” Viv said, though any level of celebrity status had always seemed out of reach to her. “He’s rubbing shoulders with the big guns.”

    Thys stared at her for long enough that Viv was 100% certain they had no idea what she meant by that. “Yes,” they said finally. “Sure.”

  • Halloween 2019 IF,  Interactive Fiction

    Halloween I.F – “A Little Night Magic” – Day 13

    [Please read the instructions before jumping in!]

    Making deals with demons was inherently dangerous, Viv reminded herself. Despite their reputation, they weren’t all ‘evil’, no more than any other type of monster was evil. But, if the fae as a society were known for making tricky deals and catching humans in their webs of rules to get slaves or pets or toys or whatever… demons were far, far worse. Easy to make a deal you didn’t realize you were making that made you belong to a demon, or to get totally destroyed by one. And demons fed off humans, as many monsters did, but off not just their flesh—off their feelings, their energy, their soul.   

    The Otherworld was a huge place, and even if, as a witch, Viv was technically able to go there and survive fairly well, there were places humans just didn’t go unless they were forced to, and the hellish sub-reality that the demons came from was one of those.

    On the other hand, demons and witches went together like peanut butter and jelly— 

    “Ma’am? Can I get you something?”

    “Peanut butter and jelly,” she said aloud.

    “Like, the sandwich?” the demonic barista looked back over his shoulder at the board. “Yeah, sure, I can do that. And to drink?”

    “Just. A pumpkin spice latte please,” Viv said, her face red.