Saturday, June 20, 2009

Daily Story 66: The Perils of Poor Craftsmanship

The world is darkness, a dim colorless radiation casting shadows onto the deeper black. Something tells you that you can quit, be done with all this - or you can keep trying. You can go back to where it all went wrong, or even start this whole thing over again. You have the power. You chose, and white shapes race across the darkness towards you...

You're laying on the floor, and you can't remember your name, where you are, anything except how old and tired that whole 'amnesia' plot is. You appear to be in a one-room cabin, the log walls adorned with countless antlers. A tiny bed, a desk, and a chest of drawers are the only items of furniture. A knife is sitting on the desk, and an old lantern is on the floor. Grunting, you reach over and grab the lantern, then try to look out the window only to find that you can't locate one. This seems like an odd oversight for a cabin.

You attempt to open the door on the North wall of the cabin, only to find that you can't reach it from the floor. Had you forgotten to stand up somehow? The thought enters your head that quite possibly whatever has given you amnesia might have also done some damage in other ways. Gingerly, you stand up. Once standing, you take the knife just on principle and feel a slight pang of uncertainty, like there's something wrong about the knife that you can't put your finger on.

You examine it, but it seems like an ordinary knife. Hmm. Shrugging, you open the door... and something seems wrong there, too. You try to look outside, and are instantly overwhelmed by confusion. Look where? You try again, attempting to look at the world outside the cabin, but you can't even figure out what it is you're trying to do. Deciding to start small, you look around the room. The desk, the chest of drawers, the bed... everything seems normal. The antlers aren't important, so... wait. You look at the antlers again, and it's like your eyes just slide off of them. Something is terribly wrong with you.

Suddenly you realize what is wrong with the knife. You had been laying on the floor, flat on your back, and you could see the knife on top of the desk... an impossible angle. As an experiment, you face the door and then look at the bed without turning around. It seems like an ordinary bed. Impossible. A thought begins to form in your mind. A terrible, terrible thought. Only one way to be sure. You check your pockets, and find that you are carrying a lit torch, a glass eye, a hot dog, a bunch of bananas, a toothbrush, a wig - which you're wearing - a bejeweled skull, a lantern, a knife, and a grand piano.

Shit. Shit shit shit.

You decide it's best just to get on with it. "Go North," you mumble as you step through the doorway. You find yourself in a clearing in the woods, with a path leading East and another heading North. To the South, there is a small cabin. A robotic arm is on the ground here. There is also an enormous angry grizzly bear, which you think you maybe should have noticed first instead of taking in the scenery. You attempt to go back into the cabin, but you can't go that way for some reason. The bear slams you with a meaty paw, sending you stumbling across the clearing. You run down the path to the North, and end up back in the clearing. Something is very wrong.

You try the East path, and find that you can't go that way either - and even though the forest can't possibly be dense enough to prevent all passage you know it's not worth trying any other direction. The bear hits you again, and you know you can't stand up to another blow. There's only one thing left to try. "Zyz... xy... zizy..." you fumble, trying to form the tongue-twisting syllable... and the bear hits you again.

*** You have died. ***

(R)estart, (L)oad, or (Q)uit?