Silicon County: An Interactive Story (Ongoing)

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  • I'm glad you like David and Alex! David's original portrayal was a lot more somber last time around, so it's interesting to be trying a more eccentric, freakishly nice portrayal. As for the genre of music, the submission says he was part of a hard rock band, but I don't think self-mutilation is specific or relevant to that genre, like, at all. Anyway, it's not something I play to google.

    Well, it's working. He seemed a lot more normal in the original story, but here, I liked this kinda weird vibe he's giving off, while still remaining fairly likable. He really was a lot more interesting this time. And a hard rock band... well, certainly not unthinkable if it's a Berlin-based hard-rock band. You basically have to be completely nuts to be a successful artist in that city :D

    These are our first hints about Luke, so maybe it's better if I play coy on the subject for now. There's one thing I would like to raise with you, though. If Luke is not one of the prince's divine dreamers, maybe the prince doesn't know about his absence or at the very least doesn't care about it since it's irrelevant to his goals. As for whether or not Amber and Edward just left Luke at home—it's entirely possible. ;)

    Aye, I agree, it's best not to go too deep on this one, considering that you're only in the beginning of establishing that situation. Though this is an interesting thought you bring up there. If Luke is missing as well and if he is not one of the dreamers, at least none of those that are important for the Prince's plans, then it seems likely that the Prince has no interest at all in changing anything about his absence. Although the thought of him not knowing about the potential absence of Luke is a bit concerning, because it implies that the Prince is not aware of some pretty important details. At the same time, this does bring up the possibility that it's not only Rachel and Alex, as I have previously thought, but many others. Who knows how many of the characters are actually removed from this timeline. If it happens to Rachel and Alex, it can realistically happen to anyone and while in the case of the Carsons, at least we know that they are missing and that something is not right, there wouldn't even be hints in some of these other cases, the characters would just be gone with no trace. Ugh, now I managed to creep myself out a little bit with that though D:

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    I'm glad you like David and Alex! David's original portrayal was a lot more somber last time around, so it's interesting to be try

  • Well... I don't have much to speculate this time, so I am going to focus on the writing, because it was phenomenal here! It's not often that you get to show a book in a story, but it was seriously amazing how you wrote that entire part, with the events in the Carson house and the book being read there. What I'm saying here is probably not making much sense, but I hope you get what I mean, somewhat :D This was a really calm part, no real revelations and stuff, no exciting twists, I'm not stunned by anything, yet it somehow strikes me as one of the best in terms of sheer writing. So... well done!

    Actually though, I do have a tiny bit of speculation going on. The footprints in Clive's novel immediately reminded me of Tyler's encounter with Clifford and the footprints that remained from it. I gotta wonder, maybe these are related? I know, that is a seriously far shot, maybe even more than my previous theory about the whereabouts of Luke, but right there in the main post, it says that every fate is intertwined. If something can influence the reality enough to basically remove Rachel and Alex from it, more or less rewriting the entire thing in the process, it would surely not be unthinkable that something is influencing Clive's writing to hint at other things going on. I also have to think where I have heard the name Gilligan before... was it a character mentioned in the story? It sounds so vaguely familiar.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive Carson, 02-14 - Thursday, Nov. 24th, 07:33 PM: Dinner had been marvelous. There was turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce

  • This part really shows off how good of an author Clive is. I was beginning to wonder what would happen in his story. I'm guessing that super late visitor, at the end, is Thomas.

    PS: I sent you a pm.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive Carson, 02-14 - Thursday, Nov. 24th, 07:33 PM: Dinner had been marvelous. There was turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce

  • Clive Carson, 02-15 - Thursday, Nov. 24th, 07:40 PM: The reading was put on hold. While the sober tried to coordinate the drunk into cleaning up David’s mess without making matters worse, Clive slipped out of the living room. Had Melissa or Ed noticed, they probably would have thought better of having a drunk man greet whoever had rung the doorbell.

    As it was, though, Clive opened the door, with a reluctance to feel the cold which was outweighed by a curiosity to see who was ringing. Standing on the porch was a man with a handsome face and a nervous smile peering from under the hood of his jacket.

    Clive stared. The man’s smile wavered with uncertainty. Intoxicated circuits then clicked, and aloud Clive said, “Shit.”

    The man blinked. “Pardon?”

    “I had totally forgotten you were coming. Come in, Thomas. What’ve you got there?”

    “Clothes, uh—”

    “I see,” Clive said, taking them from him. “Thank you for returning them. You can take your jacket off if you’d like. Just hang it there.”

    Thomas hung his jacket from a peg, and said, “So, uh, I needed to ask—”

    “Who do you have here?” Melissa said, entering the hall. Behind her, Ed stormed off to get more paper towels, came back with the whole roll, and disappeared back into the living room. Melissa extended her hand toward him. “Thomas Callahan?”

    “Yes, ma’am,” Thomas said, continuing to smile nervously, shaking her hand.

    “It’s nice to meet you,” she said.

    “You too. By the way, Missus Carson, is your husband drunk?”

    “Yeah,” she said.

    “I can hear you,” Clive said, slightly sullenly, standing right next to them in the hall.

    “Good,” she said. She glared at Clive, but the look was not the least bit contemptuous or spiteful; it was a playful, endeared sort of glare. “That means you can hear me when I tell you no more drinks. Just water or coffee from here on tonight.”

    “Alright. But shouldn’t we see if our new guest would like a drink?” Clive asked.

    “That’s up to him.”

    “I could use a drink, actually,” Thomas said. “Could Clive show me the way?”

    “Sure,” she said. “Just make sure he doesn’t snag one.”

    “You can count on me.”


    “Ahhh, she said you shouldn’t—”

    “Are you gonna try to stop me?” Clive said defiantly, popping the tap.

    “Well—”

    Clive raised the beer can to his lips.

    “Hey now—”

    Clive took a swig.

    “I guess not,” Thomas conceded, befuddled and a little uncomfortable.

    Clive drunk no more. He sat the can down on a shelf, held his hand in his hands, massaged his eyes, and sighed. When he looked up again, the defiant glint was gone from them. “I’m sorry. That’s was indecent of me.”

    “It’s okay,” Thomas said. He leaned on the wall next to Clive. They were in a back hallway where a second fridge was located, because Melissa didn’t allow drinks of any sort to crowd the kitchen fridge. They were alone. “Is something troubling you?”

    Clive thought for a bit. There were a lot of things to be feeling troubled about, but they were difficult to make sense of sober and harder to sort through while drunk. “No,” he said at last. “Nothing of importance. Why do you ask?”

    Thomas shrugged and turned his can of beer in his hand. He hadn’t opened it. It was becoming obvious to Clive that Thomas hadn’t come here to drink, that he might have pulled him off alone for a reason, whatever it was. With that in mind, Clive felt even more ashamed of his behavior.

    “I’m really sorry,” he said again mopily.

    “It’s okay. Really. You’re not clear-headed right now. I don’t hold that against you.” Thomas paused, sat his unopened beer next to Clive’s on the shelf. “I needed to ask you some questions. They’re pretty weird, so if they sound like gibberish to you, just forget I ever ask them. Is that alright?”

    Clive nodded, thoroughly confused.

    Thomas asked, “Have you been having… weird dreams?”

    “None that I can—”

    Everything about the hallway changed in the scope of Clive’s vision: the walls went from dark gray to lime green, the lighting acquired the more natural shades of daylight, and there was suddenly a great number of boxes stack in the alcove next to a refrigerator that was now coated with a number of children’s drawings and the occasional photograph held on by magnets.

    Clive whimpered, managing to keep from reeling as he was assailed by lightheadedness and nausea. It helped that he was already leaning against the wall.

    “Are you okay?” Thomas asked.

    Clive glanced vaguely in Thomas’s direction. The younger man was still standing there, looking worried by something or other, though Clive had the impression it was more so about the way he was acting than the sudden change in decor.

    He can’t see it, Clive realized.

    “Are you okay?” Thomas repeated, steadying Clive by putting a hand on his shoulder.

    “Yes?”

    “Are you sure?” Thomas pressed.

    “Yes,” Clive repeated, no less reassuringly. “I think I’ve hit my limit… Maybe… Let’s go back to the front of the house…”

    The little girl rounded the corner ahead of them and ran through Clive and Thomas. She looked just as she had in the picture frame: auburn hair, pale, freckled skin, no more than seven-years-old. Thomas took no notice her. Clive reeled around and watched her nimbly run down the hallway then open, fly out, and close the back door. The screen door fell shut with a muffled clap.

    Clive broke free of Thomas’s grasp, ignoring the young man’s surprised and confused shouts, and pounded down the hall after the girl. He threw himself at the door, opened it, and flew outside. He suddenly found himself in a rather odd place: a sustained bubble of what might of been a summer’s day. Enclosed within the house, Clive had not been able to see the bubble’s boundaries. Outside, those boundaries became fuzzier and fuzzier at its furthest extremities… fading into a larger world of autumn’s night.

    The little girl was there, in the yard, walking a bike—a small pink bike with tassels on the handlebars—to the gate. She opened it, passed through, and responsibly closed it shut behind her.

    Thomas hurriedly followed Clive outside and tried to lay a hand on his shoulder. In his agitated state, Clive shook him off and continued after the girl. He ran across the lawn in his lofters. It was freezing cold. That was another attribute he discovered—the bubble—his vision—did not change temperatures in the slightest—though he didn’t have time to reflect on this now.

    Clive passed through the gate—not bothering to shut it—and came around the side of the house. He came to a stumbling stop. There, fifteen feet away, upon the driveway on her bike, was the little girl. Clive ventured a step toward her. She put her little tennis shoes on the pedals, rolled down the driveway, and took off.

    Clive took off after her down street. He remained at the center of the bubble at all times—it followed him, passing over the streetlight lit yards and houses and road, abandoning what was behind him and the perimeter of the bubble to night. Despite his mad dash to reach her, the little girl was pulling ahead. Clive was being left behind in her wake, his vaporous breath steaming out around him. She was nearing the edge of the bubble and thus becoming fuzzy as she faded and mended with the night.

    Automatically, Clive yelled, “Rachel! Come back! Rachel!

    He fought to keep up. Suddenly his stamina failed him and he slowed, panting, lunges on fire. And she vanished like a ghost into the night beyond his vision of summer. He stumbled in a circle and before he could fall, Thomas caught and helped to a seat at the curb. Clive buried his face in his hands, shuddering. When he looked again the bubble of summer had evaporated to night. At the back of his throat, he could taste the faint tang of mercury.

    End of Chapter 2: Down the Line

    Where I Live by Woodkid


    Post-finale notes:

    There was a lot I failed to cover this chapter, such as the aftermath of Clive's dinner party and the outcome of Thomas tipping Alan Jones off about Daniel's murder of Michael, as well as a few things happening in the background of this chapter that you know nothing about at this time. My first thought was to do a quick little summary of events to try to exposit everything in a quick manner, but some of these scenes I really want to go over, and I feel a summary wouldn't do them any justice. Neither do I feel I can stretch this chapter any longer—chapter 2 is officially a tad longer than chapter 1, and that's something considering how bloated chapter 1 was with reiteration, which is something I feel I did a better job avoiding this time around.

    So these events will be explored in the next chapter. My original plans were to set chapter 3 a week after Thanksgiving (which would be the 1st of December in the story) and allow to unfold further from there. Now it seems I might have to alter these plans slightly to include these events. I'm thinking about having a series of parts going over these things before getting into the meat of chapter 3.

    Chapter 3 isn't far off, but first we have to go over the next and last part of Postlude to Fire, which I'm now subtitling as The Interloper since the others are getting subtitles, though I haven't yet revealed the one for Prelude and probably won't for spoiler reasons. Anyway, I made a rough draft of the last part a while back which I will be rewriting. Just from the unfinished draft I can tell you it's going to be a lot longer than the previous two parts of Postlude. I can also tell you it will be more enlightening than previous two, though probably not any less confusing. More of the nature of the Divine Dreamers, as the Prince of Wolves calls them, will be revealed as well as much more.

    Things I've read:

    Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski: I loved the final volume of the Witcher saga despite some things I found very off-putting which I won't mention due to their spoiling nature. The characters were colorful and entertaining, as usual, and I pretty much love the whole main cast. The action was brilliant and impactful. In particular, the chapter focusing on the Battle of Old Bottoms, as it was so briefly known, was a real treat.

    Looking back at the series, I have mixed feelings about Sapkowski's lewd sense of humor. When a joke hit, it hit, and I found myself really enjoying most of the humor and grinning a lot throughout the series. Too often, though, I kind of felt women were made the butt of the joke. There never seemed to be anything venomous about those jokes—they just sort of had an immaturity about them that I couldn't get behind.

    The last volume used recollections as a framing device and got a little muddy. This one did so again but to a slightly lesser extent. I found I was able to follow along much more easily, and one chapter toward the end used the device wonderfully. I still haven't quite made sense of the end itself, and I'm getting more and more curious how the games work off it. Anyway, this may be my favorite volume out of the lot, despite its faults. As a whole, I loved the series. While it's a shame the saga has ended, there's a bunch of other Witcher stuff I have to look forward, like the games and comics, and the recently written prequel novel called Season of Storms which is apparently getting an American release next summer. I suspect I'm going to go back to this series a bunch in the future!

    Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett: Equal Rites was a quick read. The writing was no less clever, the jokes no less witty, but I found I fewer jokes hit with me. That said, this Discworld novel was, in my eyes, a vast improvement over the first two in a narrative sense. I'm thinking this was because it was a lot more self-contained than The Light Fantastic. Next up is Mort, which I'm immensely looking forward to. Before that, though, I'm going to have the opportunity to read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, which I'm taking along with me on the trip. I suspect time and miles are going to breeze by reading that! :)

    Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams: I didn't enjoy the previous Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books that much (though they were wonderfully written and clever beyond measure), so I guess it's a little odd that I actually enjoyed the third book so much more when the popular consensus seems to favor the earlier books over the later ones. I'm curious what I'll think of the next two, the last in particular. Regardless, I'm looking forward to reading them at some point. I'll probably check some of Adams' other work. His non-fiction book Last Chance to See has me interested.

  • Rachel! Oh my god, this gave me the feels :bawling: I mean, I sort of expected Clive to see some sort of a glimpse of her, but it still hit me by surprise in some way. Although one thing I noticed here is that he does not see things as they should be, but he sees visions of the past as it should have been. I thought that his first vision somehow took place during the same time, just in the reality where Clive actually had children, but now it seems he is getting glimpses of the past there. However, it also seems that his memories are overlapping with the ones he has in this current reality, considering that he even knew Rachel's name. This is a good sign, I think. I mean, I still have no idea how he triggers these visions. It didn't took much of Thomas, so it's probably nothing he did. Neither did Clive anything unusual, save for remembering his vision. Perhaps a mixture of Thomas' presence and Clive remembering what he saw are the key to trigger future visions. At the same time, I am a bit concerned for his safety. We don't know if there are any negative effects from these visions. However, they seem to be the key to change things back to how they should be, so it is a risk worth taking.

    That said, I have some sort of a new theory now. We know Thomas had this accident and the damage he saw when he inspected the wreck made it pretty clear that the wounds he should have suffered should have been lethal. Perhaps that is the moment things changed somewhat. For all we know, it is the canonically first strange thing that happened in the story. Afterwards, Rachel and Alex get erased from existence and Tyler first encounters this creature in the woods, even though it has been implied that he has been in these woods quite a lot already. Maybe all of this can be traced back to the influence of one god-thing, which started by saving Thomas' life in a situation where he should have been at least seriously injured.

    And well, save to say that this was an amazing end to this chapter! The plot thickens so immensely and well, every part draws me deeper into this mystery you're presenting there. I simultaneously feel like an answer is so close, but at the same time so far away, that is quite an odd feeling, to say the least. But I love it! This chapter held some pretty serious revelations, about the Prince of Wolves, the true nature of Daniel Gavins (whom I doubt we have seen for the last time and whom I could actually see redeeming himself once he comes clean and starts to deal with what he did) and of course, the unsettling absence of Rachel and Alex. I have high expectations for Chapter 3, but at the same time not the slightest bit of a doubt that you will exceed them by far.

    I'm thinking about having a series of parts going over these things before getting into the meat of chapter 3.

    That sounds like an interesting idea! I'm very interested in pretty much all of these things you mentioned there. Seeing the Gavins family react to Daniel getting imprisoned (most likely at least) would be something I am curious about, because I'd love to see Tyler's reaction, but also Amanda's and especially Daniel's himself. And I bet Clive's actions at the end of this chapter will look very weird for Melissa and his guests, save for maybe Thomas, who at least has an idea of what happened. Perhaps he can even provide key information that could help Clive with undoing whatever went wrong in this reality. At the same time, I am not sure if he could do it without one of the god-things. Or maybe he can... hm, in any way, seeing these events would be very much appreciated. I agree though that this was a great and fitting ending for Chapter 2.

    Chapter 3 isn't far off, but first we have to go over the next and last part of Postlude to Fire, which I'm now subtitling as The Interloper since the others are getting subtitles, though I haven't yet revealed the one for Prelude and probably won't for spoiler reasons. Anyway, I made a rough draft of the last part a while back which I will be rewriting. Just from the unfinished draft I can tell you it's going to be a lot longer than the previous two parts of Postlude. I can also tell you it will be more enlightening than previous two, though probably not any less confusing. More of the nature of the Divine Dreamers, as the Prince of Wolves calls them, will be revealed as well as much more.

    Ah, this is going to be good =) A spoilery title for Prelude, you say? Hmmm, intriguing. I can't imagine any title that would seem like a spoiler, though surely I trust your judgement there. I also look forward for a more revealing Postlude part. That is another mystery I feel would make a lot more sense with some additional information, so maybe we get them there. Speaking of the Prince of Wolves, I noticed that Interlude is subtitled "The Wolf's Confession". This might mean that the Prince has something to hide. While that itself is not shocking, I could see him actually having something to do with the current state of things in Silicon County. A confession implies something bad, so maybe he did indeed something that the human population of the county would see as bad... ah, it's going to be some time until we will see this, but I surely cannot wait for it!

    Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett:

    Ah, Equal Rites! I am glad you enjoyed it, though it seems to have left more of an impression with you than it did with me. Though thinking about it, I agree that it is an improvement in a narrative way. It's the first novel of the series where Pratchett found the direction he wanted for his Discworld, so it has a far tighter storyline than the previous two. Although the previous two were what introduced me to the Discworld, by watching the movie they made about them a while ago, starring David Jason as Rincewind and Sean Astin as Twoflower. That gave me a far fonder memory of the first two novels than it did for Equal Rites. In any way, expect the narrative to become even better in future novels. Mort should be seriously enjoyable, you're right in looking forward for it :) Although I personally considered Good Omens to be even more enjoyable and I am pretty sure you're going to like it.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive Carson, 02-15 - Thursday, Nov. 24th, 07:40 PM: The reading was put on hold. While the sober tried to coordinate the drunk in

  • Very interesting and very confusing! I'm really interested in finding out what the hell is going on!

    Very excited for things to come. I can't wait for the next chapter!

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive Carson, 02-15 - Thursday, Nov. 24th, 07:40 PM: The reading was put on hold. While the sober tried to coordinate the drunk in

  • There's also Thomas suddenly feeling sick, I'm not sure what that's about.

    I wanted to quickly clarify to you what this was. The prince described there being an empathetic link between Thomas and Tyler, causing Thomas to more or less feel Tyler's emotions and nausea when they were at their highest. The reason for this has yet to be revealed.

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    Well that certainly surprised me! It seems Daniel is in deep shit now. Or maybe he'll somehow get out of it but that seems unlikel

  • Alrighty! Here are the questions. I've tried to keep them more simple and to the point because I felt they were too sprawling last time I asked them. Answer the ones you want, skip the ones to don't, be as detailed or brief as you want. :) And now's a good time to ask questions if you have any!

    Favorite POV characters?

    What POV characters shined the least?

    Favorite side characters?

    What side characters shined the least?

    New POVs are coming in Act 2—are there any side characters you think should get a POV?

    What worked this chapter?

    What didn't work?

    Favorite scenes/moments?

    How do you feel this chapter shaped up to the previous one?

    The Prince of Wolves was introduced this chapter—what are your thoughts on it

    That's two chapters out of nine—what are your predictions?

  • enter image description here

    The Interloper, 03-01 — Postlude to Fire: The Interloper, 03: The knight crawled on its stomach through the blackened living rooms and kitchens and hallways of half-collapsed houses on its way southeast, having adopted a strategy of stealth once past the center of town that had been previously impossible before being thrown through the air.

    Chunks of ceiling fell on the knight’s back as the custodian—the abomination—flattened blocks of residence in its search for the knight some distance away. The earth rumbled and ash was shaken off of ruined appliances and metal surfaces.

    Rising to a crouching position with slow, calculated movements, the knight approached a gaping hole in the living room wall and cast all that was visible with an analytical look. The yard ended where the dead forest began again about forty feet ahead. Wiping away ash, the knight placed a glove on the floor, felt the vibrations, and waited until they receded ever so slightly.

    The knight crouch-walked out of the hole in the ruin’s side. Scorched grass crunched beneath its careful steps. A building was destroyed somewhere behind it, and another bellow of frustration echoed far away.

    Over its shoulder, the knight heard the abominable custodian yell: “THERE’S A PLEASANTNESS TO THEIR THOUGHTS AND DESIRES AND DREAMS WHICH YOU WILL NEVER TASTE. SHOW IT OR DON’T—YOUR JEALOUSY BURNS, FOR YOU WILL NEVER BE AS BEAUTIFUL A THING AS THEM OR ME.”

    The knight crossed the yard easily, broke apart a section of barbed wire fence with a deft swipe as if it was nothing more than spider’s web, and vanished into a confusion of tree husks stretching onward for miles.


    Off the beaten path of cracked asphalt was a lonesome cabin. Here, the knight was sure, the howl had emanated. The knight appraised the charred timber pikes of the caved in roof, the walls that still stood on two sides, and the flame-licked pickup truck, its paint job turned into curling black chips, sitting on mounds of partially melted rubber, all imbued with depressing blacks and grays.

    The knight reached into the pouch on its belt and retrieved one of the orbs at random. Holding the orb like a looking glass a foot from its slit of a vision, the orb showed a different picture through a window of miniscule proportions. Acting as a peephole, the orb revealed a world unburned. There were trees merely bare for the fall season, leaves littered all over the ground, and a subdued but comparatively brighter light. Seen through the orb was the undamaged cabin and the counterpart to the burned truck, a truck with blue paint that was only fading.

    The knight pocketed the orb again and looked at the cabin without the its filter, seeing only a ruin. The knight stepped onto the cement foundation and found a hole leading descending into a basement. The knight waded through the mass of debris and walked down steps piled high with ash.


    “I’m glad you came,” the skull-wearing prince said, its tendrils of strange hair flowing from the back of the mask and cloaking its form. It was standing just opposite the stairs over a pile of brick and soil which had been dug out from the wall. Bones protruded from the pile, dark gray in the nonexistent light. “I suspect there’s much to do before we may rest, rest and wait, for the correct time.”

    The knight made no reply. Nor motion.

    “Madam Knight,” the Prince of Wolves said slowly, “I, of course, called you here for another reason than what was discussed. For a request, specifically.” The prince extended a thin, scaly arm from beneath its cloak and unfurled its talons to reveal the orb—looking through it, the knight could see through a peephole into an undamaged basement, an undamaged brick wall. “This one is dead but not unuseful. I found him, if you can believe it, in the wall. That’s rare, as I understand it. I will give him to you. Now, may I have my sleepwalker?”

    The knight plucked the orb from the prince’s talon and dropped it into its belt pouch. The knight then reached into the bag, shifting through the other orbs meticulously. Even though it could not see them, the prince could scent the other orbs and their tidings—two weren’t in the correct place, and there was the one he had just handed over, which smelled unfortunately of death. The knight retrieved one of the orbs and handed it to the prince.

    The prince held it in one talon, tighten its grasp, tossed the little orb into the air and caught it, as if either testing its fortitude or playing with it. At last the prince merely let the orb sit in its scaly, dark green palm. A slight tint of shadow appeared beneath the orb.

    “You’re no longer a divine dreamer,” the prince whispered slowly, almost solemnly to the orb, the darkness spreading within the glass like ink spreading through water until it was pure black—now, it could no longer be seen through like the others. “You’re a sleepwalker now. I confess, my dear new friend... Thomas... that I’m sorry.”

    After a moment the prince handed the blackened orb back to the knight, who put it into the pouch with the others—the darkness, churning like ink, would not spread.

    The knight turned to leave.

    “Good luck, madam Knight,” the Prince of Wolves said unsarcastically. “I think you will need it. As will I, if I’m supposed to find those two that are missing. Send Crane my regards if you see her again.”

    The knight did not pause its ascension of the stairs as it replied to the prince, its voice cold and hollow, like a note sustained in some metallic chamber, but faintly feminine: “Neither of us will see her again. Good luck, O devourer-forevermore. You will need it more than I.”

    The prince’s silence as it watched the knight climb up the stairs and vanish at the top, sending more ash and debris cascading through the hole, was thoughtful and just a little sad.


    The knight’s stroll from the cabin was casual—the custodian, the knight knew, had given up its search and returned to its dream in its resting place beneath the lake. The knight didn’t search for its arm and broken sword and instead moved onto the next stage of its mistress’s plan: placing the orbs where it had been instructed to place them. The first destination was within the ruins, where the knight was now. It found a reasonable place under a solid if charred tree and left the orb buried there under a layer of ash where it wouldn't be discovered.

    The knight found the entryway to the crossroad, entered its crystal, hexagonal chamber, and traveled onto the next place. It was a battlefield which the knight passed through on its way to its next destination without depositing an orb. The knight deposited the other orbs in place throughout the Divine Dream—twice it passed by the Palace Gates without being interrupted—until it at last had only three orbs left was reaching the end of its journey and purpose.

    The knight found itself in a city by the coast of some great but lifeless sea to deposit the first of the three remaining orbs and saw, in the distance, this place’s custodian—a two-legged thing with an equine face. The custodian watched passively from about several miles away as the knight left the orb there without worry.

    Two remained—the one filled with inky clouds that the prince had touched and the one the prince had unexpectedly added to the roster. The knight found itself in another dead city where it left these two together, separated by only a moderate distance.

    With that task complete, the knight returned to the ruins of Silicon County and only now retrieved its arm and sword, sheathing the broken weapon. Beneath the tree, the knight set to work repairing and reattaching its severed arm in the company of the unawakened dreamer. Then that was completed. To finish its final task, the knight lay on its back in the ash and jettisoned its endoskeleton from the exoskeleton to the tune of unfolding plates of armor. As the armor plate slid back into place, the metallic endoskeleton fell back into ash several paces away, facing upward, and its dark lenses—bearing a reflection of the dark and clouded sky—dilated before finally closing.

    Chapter 3 to begin in proper soon...

  • Favorite POV's- Tyler and Thomas, Clive is slowly growing on me but it's those two that stand out to me.

    Favorite side characters- Samantha with Lana as a very close second. Those two are just really likeable.

    Favourite moment- I loved seeing Tyler's anger come out if just barely and in general the whole reveal of what happened to his brother.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Alrighty! Here are the questions. I've tried to keep them more simple and to the point because I felt they were too sprawling last

  • Whew, took me a little while to answer, but hey, here I am :)

    Favorite POV characters?

    Ah, this is an easy one. It's tied between Thomas, Tyler and Clive of course. Seriously though, I cannot name a clear favourite there, because I have such high opinions of them all and because their storylines were amazing. Originally, I thought Tyler would have a more calmer, uneventful chapter, but the reveal about Daniel's actions and the death of Michael completely surprised me and was one of the best twists in the story so far, probably even the best. Thomas met the Prince of Wolves and this was the most chilling, intense part of the chapter. And Clive, well, he obviously gave me the most personal emotion. So, I have roughly an equal amount of positive memories on each of the PoV characters.

    What POV characters shined the least?

    Yep, that's one of the questions I cannot answer quite all that well. I feel, in terms of sheer shining, Clive did the least in this chapter. I mean, he gave me serious emotions, but on paper, he threw a small party and had an intense vision. He lacked the super huge revelation of Tyler's parts and the interaction with creepy awesome god-thingies of Thomas' parts. That does not mean he's my least favourite, but I feel like he simply did less than the other two.

    Favorite side characters?

    In this chapter, I feel it was Lana's time to shine. She was already pretty great in the last chapter, but this time, she really took centre stage among the "side" characters. She's awesome, I love that awkward but cute romance with Thomas and just her in general. This was surely an amazing chapter for her and I look forward for more on her. That said, I cannot help but think that there is some darker plan for her and that maybe the Prince of Wolves or another god-thing put her into Thomas' path intentionally. Considering how much their manipulations changed the course of Tyler's and Clive's lives, by revealing Daniel's actions and causing Rachel and Alex to disappear, it would seem likely that they have done a similar thing to ensure Thomas' cooperation.

    What side characters shined the least?

    You know, it is good that you don't say least favourite character here, because she is far from my least favourite character. I simply feel that Samantha has done far less in this chapter than in the last, so she arguably shined the least for me. I still adore her and she is a good runner-up for one of my favourites in terms of sheer likability.

    New POVs are coming in Act 2—are there any side characters you think should get a POV?

    Hm, this is a hard question. I feel like the side characters so far are all really well-done and work in their current positions, but I'd love some new PoV's... I guess if I have to choose some out of the current set of PoV's, I feel like Lana could have a story of her own to tell and while I am not sure how much new he can bring to the table in terms of story, a Daniel PoV would be interesting as hell, getting to see how his mind works. He's surely not a one-dimensional bad guy and I am actually not even sure if he is a bad guy, so I would love to learn more about him.

    What worked this chapter?

    Uh... everything? Seriously, this chapter was even better than the last one and I absolutely loved the last one. The plot got so much more intense, as we started to get answers, or at least hints to them, as well as two new questions for every one that got answered. I found this to be the best chapter of Silicon so far, even when taking the original story into account. It was brilliant, even if a lot of it still just felt like setting up even greater and more amazing things to come.

    What didn't work?

    Yeah... I think we have established how shitty I am at negative criticism. Let's just remain at how wonderful this chapter was, shall we?

    Favorite scenes/moments?

    There's actually one for each PoV that stuck with me. Thomas had the first memorable moment in this chapter with him meeting the Prince of Wolves. This was the most thrilling moment of the chapter for me. I mean, this is by far the best look we got at a clearly supernatural being and the entire scene was just so surreal, but well-written that it was a joy to read it. Second was Tyler's scene with the flashback to his childhood, as it was by far the biggest actual reveal in this chapter and one of the few that didn't open up more questions than it answered. It also nicely connected the thoughts I alread had about his situation. Third is, naturally, Clive's final scene, where we actually got to see Rachel as a child. Words cannot express how emotional the scene made me. That was the first time I actually got seriously hopeful for this Carson situation, as it seems that fixing the reality and getting them back is something Clive can indeed do.

    How do you feel this chapter shaped up to the previous one?

    I think I have said it above, this chapter was even better than the previous one. My favourite chapter so far and so damn well-written that I can't even begin to describe how much I wish to praise it. The plot developed not only nicely, but also naturally, with the reveals we got, the new questions that were opened an stuff. Seriously, speculating about the story is so much fun and this chapter gave me a lot to speculate about, so naturally I love it =)

    The Prince of Wolves was introduced this chapter—what are your thoughts on it

    Hmmm... it's complicated. To remain neutral on him, the Prince of Wolves is a very interesting character. His scenes in this chapter were a special treat and I consider him to be among my favourite characters for sure. However, I am very concerned about him. I don't know if he can be trusted in any way. Maybe his goals are malicious, or at least very selfish, or maybe they are so alien in nature that they cannot even be grasped by our moral standards. Perhaps he considers himself to be the good guy in his own society, but doesn't really care much for humans beyond the value they have for his plans. It's hard to say at this point, really. He could actually care for humans and be helpful in some sort of way, but that is impossible to say at this point. Surely, he did some good things, such as him helping Tyler or his determination to find Rachel and Alex, but I can't yet see if this is done out of altruistic motives, or if he plans to use them for something that could possibly be far from good. So, I believe not trusting him is a wise thing to do until we know a lot more about him.

    That's two chapters out of nine—what are your predictions?

    I find it really hard to make any specific predictions at this point, though I have some ideas and I will try to write them down. First of all, I believe we will learn more on the Kingdom of Divine Dreams in the near future. The Prince of Wolves might even be willing to reveal some information if Thomas proves to be useful and if he asks the right questions. This might include more of the "gods" or maybe more of Clifford. In fact, I think we will get a lot more of Clifford soon. Probably even a reveal of his true nature and origins. Then I believe the identities of the other dreamers will be shown soon. We have Thomas, Tyler, Rachel and Alex, with Lana being hinted at, but that leaves three additional dreamers and I have no idea whom they could be. Most likely new characters who are not introduced yet, but I don't want to exclude the possibility that one of the already introduced characters is a dreamer as well. My money would, strangely, be on Daniel, whom I could see as a useful servant for one of the god-things if they promise to help Tyler.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Alrighty! Here are the questions. I've tried to keep them more simple and to the point because I felt they were too sprawling last

  • Oh man, this did reveal so many interesting things and it hinted at even more. I don't even know where to begin, though I'll try. First of all, it seems the Kingdom of Divine Dreams mirrors the real world at least in some way. Maybe the dreams of the dreamers manage to shape the kingdom somehow and this is why the Prince of Wolves wishes to have them under his command. I remember Lana saying that she dreamt of the burned down ruins of Silicon once and sure enough, I now noticed that the ruins of Silicon indeed exist in the Kingdom.

    Now the knight... For a moment, I seriously gasped when the Prince called her Madam Knight and I almost thought that this is none other than Rachel. However, it seems unlikely now, because the Prince continued to speak of the two that are missing. This opens up the question, who is the knight? Maybe it could be Lana? This would explain why she dreamt of the burned down ruins of Silicon. However, what does it mean that she is a sleepwalker now and no longer a Divine Dreamer? Where is the difference? Or did the Prince mean the orb? What does the orb represent? He mentioned Thomas, so is this orb basically Thomas? I remember that the Prince called him Sleepwalker before. And could this mean that the orbs are people? Hmmm, I am not sure how and why Thomas' status changed from a Divine Dreamer to a Sleepwalker.

    But back to the knight... Maybe it is indeed Lana. It seems likely that this is a person that exists in the story and considering it is not Rachel, she would make sense, especially given the hints that she is a Divine Dreamer herself. It also seems that she works for a being known as Crane, which is almost certainly another of these beings, likely the thing the knight works for. Although I know nothing about this Crane of course, even though the knight seems to be confident that she will not meet up with either of them. Could that mean that Crane is already dead?

    Now onwards to the orbs. Specifically, I noticed several mentions of two orbs that were not in the right place and I wonder what this means. If the orbs represent people, could they have been somewhat messed with, causing them to exist in the Kingdom of Divine Dreams, but not in the "real world"? It is reassuring that the Prince wishes to find them again and to put them into their correct place, but it seems like something even he has to put a lot of work into. This either means that his powers are not as strong as expected, at least over the orbs and the people they stand for, or that someone even more powerful than him caused whatever happened to them. I also noticed another thing, the dead orb the Prince gave to the knight. He found it behind a wall, right? This immediately reminded me of a dead person behind a wall, a certain Michael Gavins, who was hidden behind a wall after his death. Could this mean that the knight is now having Michael's dead orb for some reason? And how can she use it? Another possibility would be that this is Melissa's orb, even if she is not associated with any walls. But unlike Michael, she exists in the real world even though she should have died. Or maybe her being alive is merely a direct result of the absence of Rachel and Alex. I am also curious about where and why the knight placed the orbs and what this means. Are these the locations of the dreamers in the real world? Thomas, the orb with the inky clouds has likely been placed in Silicon, as it seems, though why was the dead one located so close to him? Where is Tyler's orb? What is this city by the coast the knight has been before. Ah, so many questions, I love it =)

    Finally, the Prince... oh man, I don't know how to feel about him. He does give me the chills and I feel like something is seriously wrong with him. The title the knight gave to him, this "devourer-forevermore", sounds dark and ominous, but some of his actions seem to hint at a more affable side. You know, like trying to fix the mess about Rachel and Alex. In general, he gave me a bit of a freedom fighter/ revolutionary vibe here, like someone who uses guerilla operations, such as the mysterious abduction of the eight orbs and allying with the knight and this Crane person. Yet still, I am not sure what to think of him. I guess time will tell us more about his true colours.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    The Interloper, 03-01 — Postlude to Fire: The Interloper, 03: The knight crawled on its stomach through the blackened living rooms

  • edited April 2017

    More mystery. So the Knight is female, interesting. I do wonder if this means her identity is one of the characters as Liquids logic seems to follow, my guess would be Samantha right now just because she had the most minor female role in the story. I can already see her dragging a sword on her back and having an affinity for saying 'thou' a lot. Definitely her. As for the theory that Lana is somehow the knight I just have to say OF COURSE!!! The knight is her evil personality you theorized about! You see Liquid you were right all along!........But in all seriousness I doubt it. Lana is naturally a good, empathetic and loving. I'm pretty sure she would be shy to even wear a suit of armor, even in her dreams.

    Now the Prince is looking pretty malevolent with his 'sorry just really not sorry......because I'm still doing it' attitude with Thomas-orb. I wonder if Thomas heard him even...if not doesn't his logic self contradict itself. Maybe he has slight human emotions and wants to make himself feel better. Good for him.

    Orbs for me will basically be a standing for souls until and if we ever get a clearer notion of what they are.

    Overall looking forward to this chapter good luck man :) :) !!!!!!!

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    The Interloper, 03-01 — Postlude to Fire: The Interloper, 03: The knight crawled on its stomach through the blackened living rooms

  • I do wonder if this means her identity is one of the characters as Liquids logic seems to follow, my guess would be Samantha right now just because she had the most minor female role in the story. I can already see her dragging a sword on her back and having an affinity for saying 'thou' a lot. Definitely her.

    I... don't know. I'd say Sam is equally likely as Lana, maybe even less. I can't really see her as some badass stoic knight either, though frankly, it's already a stretch to think of this with Lana. But with her confirmed weird dreams, I could see it happen.

    As for the theory that Lana is somehow the knight I just have to say OF COURSE!!! The knight is her evil personality you theorized about! You see Liquid you were right all along!

    Aha, I knew it! Evil Lana is real! I tried to tell you all along! I warned you, but did you listen? Now it might be too late, but I am glad you finally saw my very good and reasonable reasons.

    But in all seriousness I doubt it. Lana is naturally a good, empathetic and loving. I'm pretty sure she would be shy to even wear a suit of armor, even in her dreams.

    Wait, but I just thought... we'd see things eye to eye at last! I... I thought we could stop Evil Lana together D: In all seriousness though, I could see her, if she is the knight, as being only this knight subconsciously, while she is dreaming, meaning she only remembers fragments of it when being awake, such as the burnt ruins of Silicon. In that case, the knight could be a manifestation of her subconsciousness, or maybe a manifestation of her desires, turning her into this stone-cold, badass, stoic knight while she is dreaming. I'd see her still as more likely than Sam.

    Maybe he has slight human emotions and wants to make himself feel better. Good for him.

    Or maybe he is just very good at mimicking emotions. Perhaps all of this is just show to win the trust of Thomas and the knight. I could see him as a being that doesn't have conventionally human emotions, but something so alien that we cannot call it an emotion from our standpoint.

    Lord_EAA posted: »

    More mystery. So the Knight is female, interesting. I do wonder if this means her identity is one of the characters as Liquids log

  • enter image description here

    Tyler Gavins, 03-02 - Thursday, Nov. 24th: Thoughts swirled in Tyler’s mind much like the unseen clouds beyond his bedroom window. He was hugging his legs in a childlike manner and sitting in the dark of his room, not on his bed but beside it on the floor. Surrounding him were objects—old toys on shelves, posters, and some books, movies, and games in a bookcase—that seemed, in this moment, immaterial. A collection of paper and plastic. Some glass.

    Voices carried through his door from the living room. Even if he wanted to eavesdrop, Tyler could not have discerned what his father and sister were talking about. All he know was they weren’t discussing himself or Michael. Their smalltalk in the face of such horrible things and his father’s gruff, softly-spoken voice were enough to make Tyler want to get off the floor and find someplace less vulnerable, to hide.

    There was a place.

    He stood, floorboards creaking softly underfoot as he walked to the window and flipped its latch. He looked once over his shoulder at the sliver of light underneath the door, listening. Their voices were unchanged, and they seemed unaware.

    Heart pounding, Tyler slid the window up half an inch. The cold rushed in. He gritted his teeth to keep them from chattering as he opened the window all the way and climbed out, curtains following in his wake before being sent back inside by the wind. His feet touched the ground and the cold, rotting carpet of leaves dampened and clung to his sock. He guided himself through the darkness with one hand on the cabin until he rounded the corner of the building. He then broke off and stumbled a few steps, remembering again, seeing the faint glow of interior light escape through the replacement glass door that his father had installed the day following his brother’s murder.

    Tears welled in Tyler’s eyes as the image of Michael’s last moments returned to him: the croaking, the silent gasping as his own blood spilled down his throat and drowned, those surprised, pleading eyes. Tyler found himself stumbling in roughly the same direction he had that night long ago, out of the yard, deeper into the woods. He wept.

    The clouds parted long enough to allow a weak sliver of moon to illuminate the area to his left, revealing a tightly-packed copse of trees. The clouds shifted and once again obscured it, but Tyler had seen it through his tears. He had almost wandered past it, into the onward stretching expanse of woods. He corrected course and leaned on the trees as he circled the copse, much as he had done with the cabin, until he found a low-jutting ledge of earth supported by roots. Inside, it was darker than the dark of the woods. Damper.

    Tyler fell to his knees in front of the recess, no longer weeping, and probed the dark space with his numb fingers. He touched dirt, roots, leaves, and finally, his hand met cold, wet metal. He grabbed the far edge of the box, dragged it out—it was small, about the size of a shoebox, but heavy—and set in front of him. He repositioned himself, sat cross-legged, and felt his heart race as he unlatched the lid and sat it back with shaking hands.

    He reached in, unpackaged it from its ziplock bags, unwrapped the cloth around it, and hefted it. He felt its weight and the plastic, textured grip in his hand. The metal pieces burned his skin with their frigidness, but he wrapped his index finger around the trigger anyway. He couldn’t see the pistol in the darkness, but it was there in his grasp, then it was outstretched, aimed at the copse of trees. He stopped himself a moment before he dry fired it and slowly, cautiously placed it back in the box.

    He thought, grimly, about everything, and still he didn’t know what he intended to do with the pistol. He didn’t know if he wanted to do anything with it at all. Minutes ago, he figured he could put an end to his nausea one of two ways—killing his father, or himself—but the more he thought about it, the less either appealed, the greater the sickness in his stomach became.

    He sat in the silence of night, utterly still, not crying but wanting to, staring at the metal box and the dark recess just beyond it. It was cold, freezing. His flesh was becoming numb. Part of him, the childlike half, wanted nothing more than to be able to fit in there once again. But finally, he repackaged the pistol in its cloth wrapping and ziplock bags, put it back in the box, and closed and latched the lid all before pushing it back inside to the far back of the opening.

    He remained sitting, not feeling any better for his decision, when came the faint sound of gravel crunching under tires beyond the cabin. He found that strange, then worrying. Not wanting to be caught out if some checked up on him, he stood and started back to the cabin, heading, with reluctance, toward the same backdoor glow he had noted and recollected on minutes earlier. He crawled back through his window and sat himself down gently, noticing with panic the absence of talking in the living room. He pulled off his dirty socks, his pants that were dirty around the shins and knees, tossed them into the hamper, and silently slid under his sheets as the floor creaked in the hall outside his door.

    To be continued...

  • Thanks. I'll read it later, since I haven't read Tylers last part (Eventhough I know what happens). I'm sure you were great :).

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Tyler Gavins, 03-02 - Thursday, Nov. 24th: Thoughts swirled in Tyler’s mind much like the unseen clouds beyond his bedroom window.

  • Oh man... I feel so bad for Tyler! :'(

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Tyler Gavins, 03-02 - Thursday, Nov. 24th: Thoughts swirled in Tyler’s mind much like the unseen clouds beyond his bedroom window.

  • Not going to lie, I legitimately freaked out a little when Tyler held that gun D: Oh man, that was intense. I also more and more realize how much his situation has to suck, not even being able to sleep through this stuff and having to lie awake all night. However, it does not seem that the lack of sleep is affecting him, which is at least something. Whatever stopped him from sleeping seemed to have removed his need for sleep altogether. That... could actually be really useful.

    Anyways, I am more than a bit concerned about the silence between Daniel and Amanda. Maybe the police came to arrest him and the footsteps he heard kind of support that theory, but given his volatile temper, I could see something much worse having happened. Ah, maybe I am overthinking stuff, but I am quite nervous now. I also thought Clifford was going to appear anytime Tyler was out in the woods, but it seems he is keeping his distance for now. I have no doubt that he or his master are keeping an eye on Tyler though.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Tyler Gavins, 03-02 - Thursday, Nov. 24th: Thoughts swirled in Tyler’s mind much like the unseen clouds beyond his bedroom window.

  • This was a pretty interesting part. I can't wait to find out his reaction to his father's arrest. I'm also curious about how his sister's relationship with him will be affected by the arrest. Since, it will be an anonymous phone call that will ultimately lead to their father's arrest, and she would believe that only Tyler knew the details of their brother's death.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Tyler Gavins, 03-02 - Thursday, Nov. 24th: Thoughts swirled in Tyler’s mind much like the unseen clouds beyond his bedroom window.

  • I have the same fears about Amanda blaming Tyler. I love them both and really don't want to see them angry at each other.

    This was a pretty interesting part. I can't wait to find out his reaction to his father's arrest. I'm also curious about how his s

  • 03-03 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: When a cold draft of air passed through the living room Daniel looked up from the picture frame he had had his gaze fixed on—an old photo of himself and his late wife, who had later died during Tyler’s birth, posing for a timed shot with their two young children—and glanced at the sliver of dark space between his son’s bedroom door and its frame, the door’s subtle sway. Daniel’s thoughts hadn’t left his son as he sat across from his daughter, making idle chat, avoiding the topic that sat glaringly in both their minds. Now, a shudder passing down his spine, he wanted nothing more than to check in on Tyler.

    Amanda said something. He missed it.

    He turned back. “Could you repeat that?”

    “See something odd?” she asked again.

    “No,” he said, distracted, too many tangential thoughts in his mind to latch onto one stray thread. He didn’t forget the door’s sway, nor the cold draft, but neither did they strike him as suspicious—the cabin was old and very drafty in the colder months. He would soon check in on his son anyway. “You were saying?”

    Amanda had leaned forward to catch Daniel’s attention, and now she settled back in her chair. Though Daniel could see his daughter's heart wasn’t in their conversation—her features were strained, her eyes as far off as his probably appeared—she went on, describing in a flat tone her time at the mix martial arts dojo she had been attending for the last several weeks and to great success. Daniel listened, nodding when it was appropriate, but his thoughts wandered, looking at his little girl, looking for fear in her expression and posture and only finding it in her green eyes. Part of him didn’t understand her. She didn’t challenge him like Tyler did. But neither had she forgotten what he’d done.

    He lost the direction of the conversation for a moment and, instead of admitting to it, he banished his roaming thoughts, focused his attention on her, and waited until what she was telling him made sense again. He was listening to her and, for a time, he missed the gravel crunch underneath tires until the noise caused Amanda to break off and him to take notice.

    His daughter looked at him but said nothing. He shrugged, hiding his sudden anxiousness, climbed up from his chair, and parted the shutters with his fingers. Looking out at the drive, he saw a pair of headlights set to low-beam, bouncing on the rough ground, approaching the cabin. Then another pair folded out from a bend in the road, backlighting the profile of the first car, a vehicle Daniel recognized as a Sheriff’s cruiser.

    Daniel’s throat went dry.

    “Do you know who it is?” his daughter asked. She had stood up and peeked through the other window.

    He worked his tongue, smacked his lips, and swallowed to try to regain some moisture in his mouth so his reply wouldn’t come out as a croak. “Sheriffs,” he whispered. “Two of them.”

    Amanda was silent.

    Daniel gestured for her to return to her chair and she did so as he walked as softly as he could to Tyler’s door and yet the floor still creaked beneath him. Light from the hall bled in as he pushed open the door, and he stopped just as the foot of his son’s bed was illuminated to avoid letting the light shine on him and possibly wake him. He looked in. His son lay in bed, a blanket pulled tightly over him. His son’s back was toward him. He had the appearance of sleeping. Daniel was instantly doubtful. He noticed the draft had vanished and found his gaze draw to the window, which was closed.

    He withdrew and quietly shut the door. There was a soft click as he relinquished his tense grip on the doorknob. He returned to the living room. Someone at the front door knocked, and the noise echoed throughout the house.

    To be continued...

  • Everything's about to fall apart... :D

    This family's got issues, but I made them that way and you could probably put most of the blame on Daniel.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-03 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: When a cold draft of air passed through the living room Daniel looked up from the picture frame

  • I liked this part a lot! One thing that surprised me is that it is technically not Tyler's PoV. It's the first glimpse we got of getting things from Daniel's PoV and I wonder if this means he will become a fully developed PoV in the future, or if he was simply a bit of an on/off PoV to show some things Tyler is not there to witness. Whatever it is, it was interesting to see his thoughts and everything. The relationship with Amanda was also nicely done. I understand her position on this matter a lot more now, even if her true feelings remain still mysterious. My thought is that she is afraid of her father for what happened, but at the same time too afraid to lose him to challenge or openly resent him. I wonder, has it ever been explained what happened to their mother, Daniel's wife? It seems very likely that she is dead, meaning that Daniel is the only parent Amanda has left. If their mother died early, Tyler probably only knows Daniel as a parent and is less afraid to lose him due to having less of a connection to him, but Amanda has spent more time with him before the Michael incident, so I guess she has always been closer to him. That is what I have taken from this so far, though I wouldn't be surprised if I am not completely right.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-03 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: When a cold draft of air passed through the living room Daniel looked up from the picture frame

  • Aaah, I want to say Fuck Daniel, but I also find him to be very interesting and complex :D I liked him in this part but the guy has issues, not only the killing of his son. He screwed up so much and he is paranoid. But I can understand why he has become this person. I hate him as a person but I like him as a character, is that okay?

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-03 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: When a cold draft of air passed through the living room Daniel looked up from the picture frame

  • edited April 2017

    I liked this part a lot! One thing that surprised me is that it is technically not Tyler's PoV. It's the first glimpse we got of getting things from Daniel's PoV and I wonder if this means he will become a fully developed PoV in the future, or if he was simply a bit of an on/off PoV to show some things Tyler is not there to witness.

    It's the latter and it won't be the last. In fact, the next few parts will provide similar new perspectives on the remaining events of Thanksgiving night before we get back to one of the main PoVs (Clive's, in this case) and there might one more side perspective after that before the main story of chapter 3 begins in full. I must say, I had a lot of fun with Daniel's and I'm looking forward to writing the other upcoming ones. I'll probably do this again in future chapters!

    Whatever it is, it was interesting to see his thoughts and everything. The relationship with Amanda was also nicely done. I understand her position on this matter a lot more now, even if her true feelings remain still mysterious. My thought is that she is afraid of her father for what happened, but at the same time too afraid to lose him to challenge or openly resent him.

    What Daniel's observation on his daughter tells us, is that she's conflicted. Obviously, since this is just a small peek into those two's family dynamic, it's impossible to draw perfect conclusions, and since Michael's murder isn't talked about openly and neither Tyler or even Amanda have had professional help, it's more than likely that neither of them has come to terms with their feelings or trauma. It's going to be an interesting task sorting through that, and I hope I'm up for it because I know virtually nothing about psychology.

    I wonder, has it ever been explained what happened to their mother, Daniel's wife? It seems very likely that she is dead, meaning that Daniel is the only parent Amanda has left. If their mother died early, Tyler probably only knows Daniel as a parent and is less afraid to lose him due to having less of a connection to him, but Amanda has spent more time with him before the Michael incident, so I guess she has always been closer to him. That is what I have taken from this so far, though I wouldn't be surprised if I am not completely right.

    I slipped a little exposition in there: "...Daniel looked up from the picture frame he had had his gaze fixed on—an old photo of himself and his late wife, who had later died during Tyler’s birth, posing for a timed shot with their two young children..." Her death during Tyler's birth implies the two children in the picture are Amanda and Michael. However, your speculation is pretty spot on. Amanda has known her father longer, and she knew him before her mother's death, which is an important detail. You can see from Tyler's behavior in the flashback in chapter 2 that he liked, if not loved his father before Michael's murder. Any fear Tyler might have at losing his father was instilled by his father.

    I liked this part a lot! One thing that surprised me is that it is technically not Tyler's PoV. It's the first glimpse we got of g

  • I mean, I'll say it for you: Fuck Daniel. He's a horrible person. He should be in jail, no question. But I'll be honest, I'm fascinated by him, too, and he's interesting to write about. I've tried to not water down what he's done, or push him as sympathetic (I've attempted a more morally gray route) and I think it's been working so far. He's probably the strongest "malaligned" submission I've had the pleasure of receiving and there's a lot of more to him that hasn't been explored yet. Anyway, he can definitely be both interesting and condemnable.

    janitor posted: »

    Aaah, I want to say Fuck Daniel, but I also find him to be very interesting and complex I liked him in this part but the guy has

  • Not gonna lie, I thought the start of your comment said "I want to Fuck Daniel" :D

    I mean I wrote the guy and part of me can't stand him XD
    But yes, it's fine to like him as a character. As NoHope said, there's more to him.

    janitor posted: »

    Aaah, I want to say Fuck Daniel, but I also find him to be very interesting and complex I liked him in this part but the guy has

  • 03-04 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: Henry Parker had been nursing a cold since his extended stay in the rain on the 18th and he was none too pleased about it or the open-ended case, which especially irked him. The test results (the blood found at Thomas’s crashed car as well as what had soaked Tyler Gavins’s jacket) couldn’t come fast enough. Early December seemed likely, or late November, if they were lucky, but he didn’t put much faith in their luck.

    Night had fallen when he parked at the head of Willis Drive alongside another, inactive Sheriff’s cruiser. He shut off his car, climbed out with the warrants, and handed the pieces of paper to the shadow which had detached itself from the other car, which now, in the darkness, if Henry squinted, took on the approximant features of Alan Jones.

    “Did the judge give you any trouble?” Alan asked.

    “No.”

    Alan flicked on a flashlight, unfolded the papers, and read it, then he nodded and turned off the flashlight and put it and the warrant away on his person. He looked up the driveway and took a deep breath. “Let’s try Mitch again.”

    They climbed into Henry’s cruiser—Alan on the passenger's side—and Henry got on the hand radio. “It’s Henry. Alan and I are waiting at the driveway. Will you make it tonight?”

    There was static, then a strained voice said, “They need me in Marla. Looks like the arsonist struck again.”

    “Where are you now?”

    “I ended up on a back road trying to turn myself point east.” Mitch grunted as he apparently waged war with the steering wheel. “Don’t wait on my account. I’ll probably see you at the office. Over.”

    “Got it,” Henry said. “Over and out.” He replaced the radio and looked at Alan in the interior light of the cruiser.

    Alan nodded. “I’ll take my car down. Follow me.”

    Henry watched Alan return to the other cruiser and pull up to the head of the path, then set off at a slow speed. Henry followed behind him at the same pace, their headlights at the lowest setting. The black-on-black movements of the trees and clouds made for an ominous atmosphere, and the grinding of the gravel beneath their tires, the sole noise audible within the cruiser’s cabin, had the effect of isolating them from the world of daylight hours: nightfall bred superstition and gave legends some air of truth.

    Henry thought about Tyler’s monster and how this new revelation might affect his reliability as a source. Henry had seen the cast—along with every civil servant and official within twenty miles, it seemed, the way Mitch was flaunting that thing. It could’ve been a cry for help. Still, the incident had some but not all the markings of a plea. Unless Tyler or someone was particularly skilled in arts and crafts, Henry saw few ways to fact the cast. Begrudgingly, he was inclined to believe the cast was as authentic as it looked ridiculous.

    Ahead, behind a weave of trees and brush, the glowing windows of the cabin became visible. Their headlights brought weathered logs into existence. Alan stopped in the driveway and Henry pulled around him, parking at a diagonal angle. Henry pocketed his keys and glanced up at the cabin. Seeing two silhouettes standing behind the glass, parting the blinds to peer out at them, Henry felt nervous. But focusing at the larger silhouettes, bulky and muscular, the angry he had felt upon getting Alan’s call returned and cancelled out any hesitation.

    The other outline was female. The sister, most likely. Amanda.

    Henry climbed out of his car, thinking, Where’s the kid?

    Daniel Gavins’s silhouette stepped away from the window and went deeper into the house. Henry exchanged a look with Alan. Both of them hurried their pace. Henry knocked forcefully while Alan got the arrest and search warrants out. It wasn’t long before Daniel returned to the living room and opened the door. Levelly, the sheriff’s officers explained the situation and Henry made the arrest, handcuffing the man and leading him to his cruiser. No arguing, no resistance. Daniel Gavins just let himself be guided into the backseat, his demeanor dejected. The resignation at display only made Henry angier, though it made his job easier.


    Tyler could hear their murmurings. His father’s voice was instantly recognizable. The voice of Samantha’s father was realized next. The last voice took the longest to place, but even it had a familiar ring. He remembered—a sheriff’s officer, Something Parker, who had visited the school one occasion for a lecture.

    Tyler’s pulse was audible behind his ears, making listening difficult, but he grasped the gist of their conversation: his father was being arrested. Soon Parker and his father’s voices fell off and stayed silent, and, once Mr. Jones and Amanda had begun to speak to each other, he guessed they had left.

    “He’s asleep,” his sister said.

    “I’m afraid I have to wake him,” Mr. Jones replied. Their voices were on the move, heading toward his door. They were at their loudest when Mr. Jones said, “Please, stay in the hall, Amanda.” She protested and Mr. Jones dismissed her. The doorknob turned, creaking, and the door slowly opened, groaning.

    Tyler was still facing away from the doorway, lying on his side in bed, his blanket pulled high. His eyes were clenched shut and he couldn’t keep his breathing under control. The door began to groan again as it shut. They know, Tyler thought. They've arrested him. For the briefest moment, he perceived this negatively, and when realized this, he felt a pang of nausea. How did they find out?

    The floor creaked. Mr. Jones sat on the bed with him. A soft hand was placed on his shoulder, which was tense and shaking, and to Tyler’s own surprise, his tension released.

    “Tyler,” the man said. “You’re gonna go for ride with me. It’s time to get up.”


    The boy began to weep. Alan helped him sit up, and then the boy clung to him. Alan held him. He saw Amanda standing in the doorway. He had some reservations about her, too many to leave Tyler in her company. You knew, Alan thought. Her silence in the matter of Michael’s death was to her living brother’s detriment. He tried to quail his resentment as he led Tyler past her and down the hall. You were young, he thought. And scared, too, I guess.


    While Alan took Tyler to his house, where the boy would stay with him at least this night, Daniel and Amanda were left in Henry’s charge back at the cabin. Henry couldn’t leave either the crime scene or Daniel unattended, so he had to wait until Kyle Finkton and a forensic scientist—both dragged out of bed, the crime scene investigator from two counties over—arrived to guard and investigate the cabin, and only then could he drive his passengers to the City office.

    Henry left once they arrived. Kyle and the CSI descended some steps into a crude cellar. They broke open the basement wall, the wall opposite one as one descended the stairs, as Alan’s tip had said, and exhumed the decomposed remains of a young boy who had been crudely wrapped in several sheets bound by cord, as one might bury a cat or dog, and dressed in what have once been Sunday clothes, but were now all decayed.

    To be continued...

    Post-part notes:

    Sorry for the recent delays. I'm trying back on top of it. There should be two more of these preliminary parts and then we should start delving into chapter 3 as I had originally planned. There will also be a lot of choices, which these parts are lacking.

    Recent reads:

    Swan Song, written by Robert McCammon, was the big book I had been planning to tackle this month. It’s an apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic horror epic, my mass-market paperback tapping out a little under 1000 pages. So, it’s long and filled with plotlines and characters. It’s also cheesy. Deliciously cheesy. I honestly loved it more because of that. While most of them were pretty two-dimensional, I really loved the protagonists. The antagonists, while caricatures, were grotesque but kind of fun. The central premise—good versus evil in the ruins of North America—is similar to The Stand’s, but in this case, instead of a viral outbreak, it’s nuclear war. Since I mentioned King’s novel, it’s worth saying that I feel Swan Song is by far the better of the two, mostly because stuff, well, actually happens in Swan Song, and it has a climax that doesn’t peter out at the end. The plotlines also converged pretty well, in my opinion. It’s become my new favorite post-apocalyptic book.

    I have some mixed feelings about The Troop by Nick Cutter. For one, I didn’t like how it fell back on a few very annoying cliches that worked toward its detriment. For two, it’s just plain gross and uncomfortable (the violence against animals was particularly hard to stomach). That said, I kind of love it? It’s body horror and it follows a troop of boy scouts. I got really invested in it, blowing through it in just two days. It’s one of the rare cases when I couldn’t put a book down. And admittedly, I even teared up toward the end, which was the last thing I was expecting. With one major exception and a few instances of stupidity/irrational behavior that were irksome, I loved how the characters were depicted, how they interacted and rationalized this horribly messed up situation. Another thing I liked was the newspaper clippings, courtroom proceedings, scientific articles, interviews, and various bits and pieces spread throughout the story that slowly fills the reader in on just what the hell’s going on in the main narrative. It’s a device borrowed from King’s Carrie, and I felt it was used to a much better effect here, as it’s necessary to understand the events of the novel, whereas in Carrie it felt more like padding. Anyway, it’s probably the grossest thing I’ve read yet, which makes a tough recommendation. But yeah, at the same time, I liked it a lot.

  • Alan be judging Amanda pretty harshly, which I can understand. Man I don't know how to feel about this. I feel like I should be relieved that Daniel's been caught but at the same time Tyler's life just flipped upside down. Great part though! I'm really enjoying these one shot POVs.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-04 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: Henry Parker had been nursing a cold since his extended stay in the rain on the 18th and he was

  • Ah, Henry and Alan, there to save the day. Agent is right, this is a pretty hard situation for Tyler, but I believe this change will be for the better in the end, even if it might take him some time to adjust to this. I was also a bit surprised by how harshly Alan thought of Amanda, but come to think of it, he has a point and it kind of changed my opinion towards Amanda, to the negative even. She is not a bad person, I wouldn't go that far, but she could have done something. She remained passive and given how Daniel is, she subjected Tyler to a lot of danger, probably out of the desire not to lose her father. Yeah, I can understand that, but that doesn't mean I approve of it in the slightest. But man, Daniel is a guy I almost feel sorry for, in an odd way, despite how disgusted I am at him. The way he just accepted his defeat here was a short, but really powerful moment. In general, this part shows just how messed up this entire situation was and how heavily it affected every member of the Gavins family. Daniel has to pay for killing his son, but things don't have to end there for him and in a weird way, maybe it'll be good for him to finally admit to his guilt. Maybe Amanda can redeem herself in her living brother's eyes and maybe Tyler can start anew from there on. I wonder where he is going to stay though. Maybe he can live with Samantha's family until he comes of age? I guess they are his closest friends for now.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-04 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: Henry Parker had been nursing a cold since his extended stay in the rain on the 18th and he was

  • I'm not familiar with how the whole process works but if someone doesn't step up to be his guardian he'd have to go into Foster Care wouldn't he? It's been a while so I'm not 100% certain but Tyler isn't actually 18 yet as far as I can remember. But like I said I don't know how the process works.

    Ah, Henry and Alan, there to save the day. Agent is right, this is a pretty hard situation for Tyler, but I believe this change wi

  • Hm, I'm no expert on that either, especially considering that we're talking about US laws here, which might differ from the ones I am at least slightly familiar with. I assume that relatives might be asked to take care of him until he is 18. If there are no close relatives, such as uncles, aunts or grandparents, as well as godparents, I think close friends of the family might be able to step up. That would give the Jones family an opportunity if they want to, but the government cannot force them to take Tyler in if they refuse. Technically, Amanda could become his legal guardian, but given Alan's opinion on her, she might not be suited to take care of her brother, which would disqualify her of course. Though this doesn't only have to be a result of her behaviour after Michael's death. More importantly, Tyler's future guardian also needs a stable financial situation and I am not sure if Amanda, being pretty young herself, is already earning enough money to support herself and a teenager. Actually, I am not sure what her occupation is at all, is she working already or is she going to college? The Jones' meanwhile clearly have a regular, stable income, could probably afford the care and as friends of the family, maybe they will even be outright asked to take him in. Alternatively, and that would probably suck the most for Tyler, he would be placed with a foster family he doesn't know, or even has to live at an orphanage until his 18th birthday.

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    I'm not familiar with how the whole process works but if someone doesn't step up to be his guardian he'd have to go into Foster Ca

  • I don't actually remember Amanda's occupation or if I even remembered to add it to her submission. You'd have to ask @NoHopeLeft.

    Hm, I'm no expert on that either, especially considering that we're talking about US laws here, which might differ from the ones I

  • You two raise important issues, @AgentZ46 and @LiquidChicagoTed. I admit I'm not the most familiar with custody rights or the legal process itself. Going forward, it's something I need to look further into. I hadn't considered Amanda's occupation (I'll think something up since it will likely become relevant in the coming chapter and since it wasn't mentioned in the submission, but let me know if you'd like to decide, Agent, and I'll gladly defer to your suggestion). That said, her apartment can't comfortably accommodate another person, which would mean moving and, likely, a stretched financial situation. Because of that and several other factors (chief among them being her silence, even if she is another victim), the likelihood of her gaining custody would be slim. Besides, the best outcome is whatever's best for Tyler, and being in Amanda's care, while not the worst possibility, is not the best either.

    Liquid pointed out a better solution in that of the Joneses, and there are several more people he could potentially to stay with besides them or his sister. Ultimately, Tyler's future will still be uncertain when he returns a little later than this chapter. We'll have to wait and see how things shake out.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-04 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: Henry Parker had been nursing a cold since his extended stay in the rain on the 18th and he was

  • edited May 2017

    03-05 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: One second he was driving on a secluded back road, pressed on either side by trees, on his way to the supposedly new case of arson. The next second, Mitch saw the thing in his path and slammed on the brakes before hitting it.

    The cruiser fishtailed as it impacted, spraying gravel and dirt and sending the thing on the road flying. The high beams swung across and penetrated deep into the wall of nude trees as the tires fought for traction. The car leaned once and fell back onto the road. All then was still except for Mitch’s heaving chest and the dust, drifting in front of the headlights.

    The thing, the creature, was still imprinted on Mitch’s eyes as he struggled out of his seatbelt. It had been roughly man-shaped, but sported some sort of black, cracked, rocky flesh. Mitch had seen the whites of its eyes before the crash—bloodshot things, bordering green irises, and dark pupils, constricted in the brightness.

    Mitch emerged from the cruiser and made a few steps off the road—into the deep dark woods, which, in this moment, even he had some misgivings about. He corrected course and fumbled his flashlight off his belt, shining the beam ahead of him.

    It lay only several yards away from the cruiser. Mitch had reacquired his bearings by this time. He no longer laboured under one misconnection—that this was some nightmarish creature. What lay on its back in the center of the road was a man. Mitch knelt beside the figure and, as he ran the light over it, saw the man was covered nearly head to toe in mud and what may have been blood, all dried and cracking, some dislodged from the collision. He was down to his boxers and socks.

    With the gentle press of his middle and forefinger, Mitch found the man’s pulse. Besides some fresh blood spilled, there weren’t any other signs of external injuries. Mitch hadn’t been going too fast, anyway, given the condition of the road and the darkness of night. Still, he didn’t have to imagine the state someone’s insides could be in after being hit like this, because he had seen plenty of such victims. Maybe this one would be lucky. The possibility he’d just condemned a man to death was still open.

    As if still in disbelief as to the man’s identity, he shined the light on the man’s face again. Mitch didn’t have to peel away the flaking muck to see this was Wade Pittman, in the flesh.

    To be continued...

    Post-part note:

    It seems I somehow miscounted. I previously said there would be two more parts before the meat of the chapter. There's actually three. Now, of course, after this part, we're back down to two again. Anyway, I'm happy with how this little part turned out, even if it's short. The next is about three times as long and will hopefully come out tonight. I'm going to try to get the one after that out tomorrow!

  • I'll try to think of an occupation that suits Amanda. It would help if you could PM me her submission. It was so long ago that I submitted her so there's a lot I don't remember.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    You two raise important issues, @AgentZ46 and @LiquidChicagoTed. I admit I'm not the most familiar with custody rights or the lega

  • So, Wade Pittman has returned at last. As much as I wouldn't be sad for him, I still hope that he will live for at least a little bit, because I think he might have an interesting story to tell. For example just where the hell he has been and what happened to him. Last time we saw him, in Thomas' very first part, he clearly was not half undressed and covered in blood and mud. Whatever happened to him, I doubt it was pleasant and I am sure he deserved it. It's probably his luck that it was Mitch who hit him. Not going to lie, at first I thought he had hit Clifford, or some other creature, similar to him. While that has been quickly disproven, that actually made me think again about Clifford. What if he is not the only creature of his kind? Or if he is unique, what if there are other creatures where he came from? Just a couple of thoughts I had here. Anyways, I look forward to hear Wade's story, if he is willing and able to share it.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    03-05 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: One second he was driving on a secluded back road, pressed on either side by trees, on his way

  • Clive Carson, 03-06 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: The dinner party reached an early conclusion when Thomas walked Clive back to the house. Melissa and their guest, who had heard the commotion and came out onto the porch despite the cold, all looked on Clive’s sullen appearance quietly and with concern, nevermind their sobriety.

    Thomas left Clive in Melissa’s care, asking her to try to sober him up and promising to sit and hash things out very soon. First, he had to drive David and Alex Schneider home in their car, given that neither of them was able to get themselves back to their house safely. Ed, who, on the other hand, was fit to drive, brought himself and Amber home.

    Clive was sitting on the hearth with Melissa, wrapped in a wool blanket, one of his wife’s arms hanging around his shoulder, when Thomas returned. The man hung his jacket and came into the living shivering—he’d ran two blocks from the Schneiders’ house back to theirs. Thomas sat across from them on the sofa in what Clive realized, not without a little amusement, was a reversal of roles since that morning several days ago, which seemed so long ago now.

    Clive had already decided he would tell Thomas everything—the man deserved as much after his behavior this night. He held onto a slim hope that, maybe, Thomas wouldn’t feel alienated if he told him the truth. His fear of losing Thomas’s friendship surprised himself, given how little time they’d known each other. The observation did more to grow his worries than strengthen his resolve.

    There were several seconds of silence after Thomas had sat. Clive looked at the floor. He made the only noise one could when one’s tongue is tied into knots. “Uh...”

    “I can start,” Thomas said, giving him time to get his thoughts in order.

    Clive shared a glance with Melissa. Neither of them knew what to expect. “Go on,” she said.

    Thomas leaned back into the sofa and rubbed an arm, deciding where to begin. Clive noticed Thomas was absentmindedly massaging a faded bruise. Realizing it himself, Thomas stopped and smiled. “Alright,” he said. Then, with forced humor, “Just don’t have me committed.” He then told them everything, from his car crash to, more recently, the call he’d made to Alan Jones. Nothing was omitted.

    All was quiet after he’d finished until Melissa interrupted the silence, saying, “Damn.” Clive had a headache. He would have added his own exclamations if he could open his mouth.

    Looking between them, evidently unnerved by their quietness, as if now considering the real possibility one of them might actually him institutionalized, Thomas asked, “Do you believe me?”

    Melissa said nothing more, averting her gaze to gather her wits. Thomas uttered a nervous laugh that tapered off, its void filled, possibly, by the contemplation of making an appointment with a psychiatrist. Working up the nerve to speak, Clive said, “I believe you.”

    “You do?” Thomas said, a little surprised.

    “Bits of your story fit with mine,” he said, searching for Melissa’s hand with his and clasping it. She squeezed his back. He felt comforted and it was easier to speak. “Though pretty much all of it is news to me,” he said. “And admittedly, it’s a little out there.”

    “A little,” Thomas repeated.

    “A lot,” Clive conceded.

    “So, one of your missing ‘dreamers’ is Rachel,” Melissa said suddenly. They both looked at her. She shrugged. “Not to jump into believing this. Sorry, Thomas. You seem like a nice guy. It’s unfortunate the evening went so sour before I could become more acquainted with you... in some scenario other than this one. But it’s just hard to swallow.”

    Thomas nodded. “There’s no need to say you’re sorry. I understand. It’s a lot. It doesn’t make much more sense to me either.” He paused, frowning. “There’s so much I don’t know.”

    “So this thing, this Prince of Wolves that you mentioned,” Clive said, “it’s keeping you in the dark.”

    “That, I already had figured.”

    “Is there any way to contact it?” Melissa asked, clearly still dubious.

    Thomas blushed. “I’ve… tried speaking to it. Like, in my head. Out loud, also, though I didn’t really feel comfortable doing that, not even in private. If someone overheard, I might acquire a reputation.” He smiled and shook his head. “No, I don’t think it’ll appear to me unless it wants to.”

    There was a lull in the conversation. Clive retreated into himself, pondering what Thomas had told him. The parts about the dreams seemed to align with what he was experiencing at night. However, the stuff about these beings—the Prince of Wolves, the King of Lions—was harder for him to rationalize. The dream itself, this Divine Dream, being a dreamscape, some kind of reality separate from their own, was also difficult to grasp. Still, it offered some semblance of an explanation, albeit an incomplete one.

    “So who exactly is Rachel?” Thomas finally asked, snapping Clive out of his reverie.

    “Who, indeed,” he said. “Well, you went. I guess it’s my turn.” He told him about the dreams, the visions, and who they suspected this little girl was. He mentioned why they thought she wasn’t with them, even though it was embarrassing to allude to his sex life. He described his latest vision in detail, which was still vivid on his mind. He sighed when he’d finished. “I don’t know why I said her name. It just sort of bubbled to the surface in the moment.”

    Melissa said, “If this prince thinks you’re the key to finding her, it’s got to be your visions.”

    “It called you the key to finding Rachel,” Thomas said to Clive, ”and the second missing dreamer. Do you have any idea who the other one might be?”

    Clive shook his head grimly. “No.”

    “Well, it’s not too far-fetched to assume finding Rachel will lead to more answers. The question is, how do you find her?”

    “I’m starting to think I’m meant to follow her,” Clive said. “Or at least that’s what I want to do. But I couldn’t keep up with her on foot, and I’m in no state to drive during the actual vision. That said, some things were different the second time around. The first time, I felt like I was on the verge of unconsciousness, walking through a fever dream, then I really was unconscious for awhile. The effects were milder the second time. I didn’t even pass out.”

    “You think you’re used getting to them?” Thomas asked.

    “Maybe,” he said. “If the growing level of… acclimation... is the same for the next time as it was for the second vision, I might be able to operate a vehicle. I just couldn’t drive it around. I wouldn’t be able to see the true environment or others cars.” He smiled. “But I did see you. Maybe I would only see the drivers, hovering as they squat over nothing.”

    “I could drive you,” Melissa said. “But I can’t be with your 24/7. I have work. Unless Thomas found a way to trigger the visions, I think it’s unlikely we could time it right.”

    “Remind me,” Clive said to Thomas, “what did you say to me right before the vision came on?”

    “I—” He hesitated. “I asked you about your dreams.”

    “Say it now,” Clive asked. “Word for word.”

    “You sure?”

    “Yes. Go ahead.”

    “I think it was... ‘Have you been having any weird dreams?’” Thomas said it like he was pulling the pin off a hand grenade, but when nothing happened, he breathed a sigh. “I wasn’t sure it would work again, if it even did the first time. I mean, hasn’t that been what we’ve been talking about? Weird dreams?”

    “Could it have been a coincidence?” Clive asked. “The first one was random enough. I was just coming through the front door. I’ve gone through many doors since then and it hasn’t repeated.” He shrugged. “Maybe it’s periodic. Tuesday, Thursday…. If anything happens on Saturday, I guess we’ll know. Then again, it happened at different times in the evening.”

    “We’ll see,” Melissa said, hugging him with the arm around his shoulder.

    Clive heard the faith in her voice. Even if she was doubtful of a few of the things Thomas had mentioned, Clive knew she wasn’t going to let them do this alone. He let himself relax in Melissa half-embrace and he saw Thomas try to hide a smile by looking elsewhere. Clive didn’t smile outwardly, but he felt warmed by his wife’s presence, even Thomas’s. Still, the moment was altered by their discussion and all the uncertainties lying around them, outside their knowledge and, possibly, their comprehension.

    To be continued...

  • edited May 2017

    D-D-D-Double Post!

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive Carson, 03-06 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: The dinner party reached an early conclusion when Thomas walked Clive back to the

  • So, Clive has a plan at last. And the cards are on the table. Honestly, it doesn't surprise me that he is willing to believe in Thomas' story, as crazy as it sounds. And he even made the (most likely) correct assumption that Rachel is one of the missing dreamers. It really seems to me that there will be a breakthrough very soon. He seems to get close to the truth. I haven't thought about the possibility that this vision of Rachel is trying to show him something, so far I have thought that it was just some sort of a memory of her doing normal kid stuff as she should. But maybe this vision is indeed trying to lead him somewhere, maybe to a place where he can set things right. Once the vision returns, he might be finally able to follow it and then he might get his answers. Maybe he will even be able to undo this change in the timeline, even if I think that it won't be as easy as I hope.

    However, I have gotten a slightly unsettling theory in this part, one I surely hope is not true. It's about Melissa. So far, I have thought that whatever caused the disappearance of Rachel and Alex has changed the timeline in a way that saved Melissa's life. However, what if this is not quite the case? What if the Melissa we see here is not really Melissa? I know, it sounds crazy, but I had the theory that she is not quite real, maybe merely a creation from whatever took Rachel and Alx away. Or maybe she is real, but not the real Melissa, merely something that looks and acts like her, maybe even believing to be here. Frankly, that would be one of the better options. It is certainly in the realms of possible that Melissa is an agent of one of the "gods", namely the one that took Rachel and Alex away, to make sure that Clive won't interfere with its plans until whatever it needs his children for is finished. And well, I believe that something is indeed using them for something, as I doubt a simple accident caused their disappearance. Something did this on purpose and it made sure that Melissa, or something like her, is now by Clive's side to make him not realize that something is very, very wrong. I hope I am wrong, but if I am right, then things will get much more complicated than they already are.

    NoHopeLeft posted: »

    Clive Carson, 03-06 - Thursday Night, Nov. 24th: The dinner party reached an early conclusion when Thomas walked Clive back to the

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