Prisoners (Sample)

Sample of Prisoners in New Abyss (a work in progress short fiction)

Formatted as a script for interactive media

NARRATION

As you awake, your vision sluggishly comes into focus and your body starts to work again. You feel hazy. You know who you are, but the previous day and how you got here is a blur. The chill of the tiled floor causes you to become alert and you see someone across the way.

OPTION

Are you male or female? (This determines whether you play from the perspective of Andre [A] or Lucia [L], although the responses can simply be interchanged. Rephrasings can be added to reflect personality, although, in my opinion, if they do not actually affect the outcome it is not the best design. Creating an if/then tree of dialogue outcomes is awesome for the player/user, but is not the goal of this sample.)

A/L

Who are you? What is this?

A/L

I’d ask you the same thing. You first.

A

My name is Andre. I don’t know how I got here.

L

That makes two of us. I mean, my name is Lucia, not Andre, but I don’t know how I got here either.

A/L

How did we get here?

NARRATION

You close your eyes and try to remember how this came to be, but your mind is blank. It’s clear that you’ve been brought here by someone else, but that’s all you really know. It’s a cage and no accident

A/L

I don’t know. I can’t remember a thing, from yesterday at least. I left to go home and at a point I… just woke up here. It’s weird, I feel fine. Are you hurt?

A/L

Left where? No, I feel fine. Yeah I… I don’t remember either.

A/L

This is somebody’s prison. That much I can tell. I don’t like this.

A/L

Relax. Calm down. I hear footsteps.

OPTION

Wait and talk to the captor OR try to disable or kill them to escape. (Options like this can unfold into alternate options or reroute into the same outcome, the former is better design, the latter is easier to produce).

Poem 4

A voice like fleeing petals rushing to the ground

To rest, to forget everything

Piled neatly and deserted

A few words could change everything

But nothing’s been said, not yet

They all fly away, haphazard

Just from the wind. That’s all?

Leaving it all unfinished like some cruel imagination

(Throne Rush) Triumph Speech

 

Dear friends, family, acquaintances and enemies, it is with great excitement that I can inform you that my town Bigbootyton has reached 500 honor points and acquired its second builder.

 

Through many months of hardship, our first builder has achieved incredible things for Bigbootyton. We’ve survived countless advances from our enemies and brought misery upon our foes, all with the foundation of one measly builder and still no heroes.

 

With such a triumph now in recent past, what lies ahead for Bigbootyton? Surely many more struggles against warring foes and testing our mettle against their walls and fortresses, but now at literally twice the rate of industry. Can we dream of a day in which Bigbootyton can let down its guard, open it’s doors, and unman its towers? Perhaps not. But we will strive ever onward!

 

All praise Bigbootyton!

Building from a Premise (Short-short/serial)

Premise: Squid man. Wakes up in Ocean. Integrates into society. Has family. Squid people. Unknown.

 

Squid (Part 1)

Your mind wanders as if time itself slows down when you’re deep below the sea. The cool, unlit water is really all I’ve had to know. I feel so tired, so complacent and invisible with the life I’ve led. There’s nigh but the surface calling me on. I’ve spent years dreaming about what it is like up there, above the water, in the sky, on the land.

Like a bullet fired underwater, the squid burst towards the surface. The water looked brighter and clearer and the squid’s skin became more opaque, more visible, as it neared the surface. The behemoth of a cephalopod, maybe two hundred and twenty pounds, or seven feet long, not counting its stretched appendages, was the size of a large man.

The warmer water feels unnatural, almost poisonous, but it’s too late to turn back. My eyes are on fire from the light. I can’t take it anymore. There’s a shadow, I must press into it.

Crazed by the warmth, by the light, by the new senses and new life, the squid roared up and through the shadow, the hull of a small boat. The squid’s tail crashed right through the wooden boat, like a spear through flesh, throwing one person overboard, and the other off their feet. The woman shrieked and was trembling at the sight of the hulking creature. She could feel its coldness, its strangeness, its closeness, and her vulnerability.

I feel the pains of warmth, the dryness of death. This was a mistake. I’m a fool. Surely I will die. What is this fragile creature? Cowering before me, like a lost fish. Get away, go home!

The squid flailed its appendages, the woman screamed, the boat began to sink, and just before it went under the squid propelled them towards the shore as it lay off of the back of the little boat like a motor. They sped across the water and in just a bit of time, they gently slid into the shore.

It cannot be. I’m alive. It is not as painful as before. The burning, the suffocation, it is all going away.

The squid stood upside down, it’s appendages on the ground and tail in the air, and began to walk not unlike a spider towards the houses of the town just ahead. It crawled more and more gracefully until it practically seemed to float above its tentacles that flowed with such automation. The squid approached an occupied home with lit windows and laughter coming from inside. It peered inside from the back patio.

What is this? Life in a box, not unlike the one’s in a tub on the sea. I did not much mind her, the screaming woman, but clearly she minded me. My reflection in the glass, I’m not so different than them, am I? Perhaps I should live in a box too. Are we not all in a box, one way or another?

The squid began to swipe and fumble its dried appendages against the window, making a sound that disturbed the home’s inhabitants. A man approached the window, slightly startled by the sounds he had never heard before. As he approached from the side, the squid pushed through the window with three of its appendages and grabbed the man by the throat, muting his cry and dragging him outside quickly before he could struggle. The starving squid forced the man to the ground and began pecking at him, gnawing his flesh bit by bit, now with all of its appendages constricting, suffocating, and muting the man.

It would have eaten me if I did not eat him first, or at least have shouted and given me away. All I need are his clothes, and I’ll be fine, just like them. Safe from the heat, the cold air too, and the painful textures of the grounds and walls.

The squid dressed itself in the man’s clothes. Jeans and a simple, dull purple t-shirt.Content with its new outfit, its new layer of camouflage, the squid lifted itself through the window and gently massaged, flowing tentacle one after another, down the kitchen sink and stood right in the kitchen.

I’m as complete as I’ll ever be. A squid in a box, imagine that? This is my home now. I’ll go to work, I’ll have a family, I might even go and float on the sea like they do. 

Poem 3

Poem 3

It’s all so quiet if you let everything be

Comfortably lost, comfortably cold

 

Breathe out

Loss next to me

 

Like a rain cloud

Lost at sea

 

One’s eyes close, directionally

Looking for a shadow, frantically

 

For one ounce of privacy

Time’s always the one

Twisting the knife in me

 

A castle of unbreakable bones

Some emotional austerity

Blood boiling for all life could be

 

Surrender, unconditionally

To a warm simplicity

Remain adrift like the gaze

Of the dark unlit eyes

That you’ve come so far to see

 

 

Poem 312

You’d give anything, to have some other urge

 

Than to forget, to censor everything you

 

Are afraid. To see

 

Yourself in a gentler world, masks wearing

 

Masks to sell their skin, for the fun of

 

The game. We play

 

And you sing, we sigh and you float

 

Above the whispers everyone hears

 

But you don’t. Stand

 

The way we do without falling, the sounds

 

Of bells speak for you but not me, only

 

If you smile. In a play,

 

You won’t take pleasure, let me open the

 

Firefly’s jar because you’re tired, and

 

Somewhere else.

Poem 310

Standing still and falling, I wish I knew

 

Why, for the songs that are unraveling,

 

Coming undone, in the second, I felt

 

Cold, like sand dollars washed against

 

The shore, wracked and split in two,

 

As it skips against the breaking waves

 

Of a blind and nameless sea, unlike

 

The way things are supposed to be,

 

We can’t always, sometimes fall

 

Without making a sound or knowing,

 

The words underneath it all.