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'....I presume she wont.Because I shall not allow you to draw any closer to the Martyr. It is the solemn duty of all familliars to protect her. As for the two of you,You shall be duly punished for daring to disobey. Be grateful it is I and not Apathy who has decided to pass judgement.She is not as Merciful.I am not certain if yoy were gaining humanity or if you simply inpersonated a Love and a Uselessness,but no matter.'he snarled,his maw openeing to reveal very not deer like teeth.Fate glanced up and sighed,returning to her notes ".....she's the one god thatll ever exist or ever will. She created life with her wonderlands and,once this universe had finished its needed time,she'll destroy it and move o to the next.

Edited by Slime Mother
Hey,dont worry my dude! Im just happy you guys have stuck along for the ride for so long!

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I am vastly appalled by the reindeer that enters my head betwixt two mad women and a madman.

"This is the end I fear my ankles have deceived me"

I take out my secret tanto and commit seppuku.

"Haaaagggghhhhhhhaaaaaauuughhhhhhuhgggghghuhhhhh.................................uh...................................................."

I am even more startled that my ritualistic suicide and disembowelment occurred only in my head.

When I open my eyes, my hands are empty, a hilt in neither, and my belly is safe and secure beneath the overly awkward garments and sash of my kimono-something. I am still in the same room with the same crazy girl, the same crazy woman and the same man who also might be crazy.

"I must be Love." I dare to guess, courage entering my veins while a burp threatens to escape my lips. I should not have eaten the tuna. I wonder if this little 'Fate' girl feeds on the fish that protect her in order to survive.

"Please do not punish us, O Mighty Ones, O Fearsome Defenders, O Great and Mighty Smiters of Foes, Oh!" I hold up a forefinger to ward off any advance. "We may yet render assistance! The Martyr is sick, right? Well, let us help get the Martyr better! We are outsiders, yes, if not outworlders, and maybe at least one of us is a notorious outlaw, but sometimes it takes an outside hand to heal that which plagues what lies within. Let us help you. If we fail to do that, then, well..." I stroke my chin in thought. "...You can eat us."

Edited by Die Shize

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On 11/7/2019 at 6:51 PM, Slime Mother said:

As for the two of you,You shall be duly punished for daring to disobey. Be grateful it is I and not Apathy who has decided to pass judgement.She is not as Merciful.I am not certain if yoy were gaining humanity or if you simply inpersonated a Love and a Uselessness,but no matter.'he snarled,his maw openeing to reveal very not deer like teeth.

Despite the revelation that Katana and I might be nothing more than thought forms who went a bit rogue, I'm not even given the chance to have a proper mental breakdown before Condescending Psychic Deer is opening his mouth to reveal a row of over-sharp teeth -- because of course there are carnivorous herbivores in this 'wonderland.'

 
I stare at the deer's gaping, dripping maw, bite the inside of my cheek to pinch off a scream, close my eyes, and fist the sharp hairpin in my pocket, already bracing for the inevitable before Katana begins speaking again:
 
On 11/17/2019 at 8:11 PM, Die Shize said:

Let us help you. If we fail to do that, then, well..." I stroke my chin in thought. "...You can eat us."

 

On 11/18/2019 at 8:49 AM, Slime Mother said:

".......i....i dunno.I wont...let you near her...you're crazy...m...maybe the other 2 but nOt you

Part of me wonders if Katana being singled out and sidelined would culminate in Katana being eaten, since he seems to have no other obvious usefulness to anyone in this place than harboring MacGyver-like resourcefulness for fishing drowning cats from rivers, being cryptically anachronistic and ahistorical, and menacing the local populace with his sword at unfortunate moments. And part of me -- a very, very small of part of me -- may be alarmed at the possibility. And admittedly, not just because I'm apparently wearing the only change of clothing I own, and trying to get bloodstains out of them would mean drawing on domestic knowledge that my brain hasn't had a chance to fabricate yet.

 
"I, er...I can't believe I'm saying this, but we're a package deal. We'll keep an eye on him, and if he puts a toe out of line, we'll shake him down and confiscate anything remotely lethal." I look at Jack for solidarity, but then remember that he's been labeled the only non-wonderland native among us, and my expression probably comes off looking more tentative than I want it to. I can't help but wonder how he's taking the news regarding his companions.
Edited by Beewolf
Sorry for the largeness of the text. I tried copying my response from my e-mail drafts, and it didn't take kindly to my attempts to set it right. :(

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The deer and Fate seems to murmer to each other before she gestures for yoy to leave this place,going tk one of the many book shelves and pulling out anchient tomes.All the Loves ofthe garden seem to be gone.its strangly....disturbing without thwm,despite their mocking ways and lack of facial features...Maybe it was best to investigate somewhere else in this hell 

Edited by Slime Mother
Hey,dont worry my dude!

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On 11/17/2019 at 7:11 PM, Die Shize said:

"...You can eat us."

I begin to form a sputtering protest. I didn’t want to be eaten!

On 11/20/2019 at 10:55 AM, Beewolf said:

I, er...I can't believe I'm saying this, but we're a package deal. We'll keep an eye on him, and if he puts a toe out of line, we'll shake him down and confiscate anything remotely lethal."

I catch Sophie’s look and pause to meet her eyes. This new information about “Love” and “uselessness” and “Fate” and “Apathy” made no sense. Of course, nothing made sense, yet I kept looking for some sense of normality to cling to. I didn’t put too much thought into how Sophie got here. Maybe I should have, but if my choice of companions was between whatever Sophie and Katana were supposed to be or a talking, predatory deer, I would choose my current companions in heartbeat.

I shake my head slightly as Fate and the deer give their final answer. “Let’s go back to the courtyard world,” I say softly. “There’s got to be something we missed.” I leave the tree, anxious to put space between me and the deer’s sharp teeth.

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Qhen you return to the courtyard, not a thing has changed. The time on the clock tower is the same. The crayon scribble sun with red face hasint moved at all.not even the clouds seem to have moved at all.....

 

 

How lobg have you really been here? And how long was it in the real world...

 

Was the real world even real anymore?

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I wasn't sure what "package deal" entailed exactly except that the last time somebody told me about a 'package deal' I was short a speaker in the package that was supposed to come with two speakers and a stereo. Oh, right, I smashed the other speaker with that umbrella that Jones left outside his apartment. I scratch my head.

"Wait, what courtyard?"

Moments later and I forgot where I was in order to be here but hey no one was kind of really keeping track of time or anything. Fortunately there was a clock tower that did so for us. All in all I was still famished and the cut on my chin was beginning to feel like somebody slashed paper across it.

"You know what, I don't know who either of you are," I muse to either person before me. "Or why I'm wearing a kimono, but I feel like one of those Sundance kids felt like when their parents yanked them off the stage and sent them to boarding school for three years." I tug at one of my sleeves. It's baggy, but comfy. "Know what I mean?"

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I blink rapidly at Katana's shift in demeanor, my mind whirling. "Um...okay, idea." I turn to address Jack. "When I was in the cathedral, I had this moment of wakefulness when you came in,  and then when you left, it was really easy for the rest of the... congregation...to rope me back into their beliefs, lead me back unquestioningly to their perspective, you know? And when I went outside, and you were there, I started to come to again and see things as a...person. An individual. So I think there may be two things of influence here."

I list my points on my fingers. "One, I think you are introducing information to this place, even if it's just information gathered from your subconscious. Look around us." I gesture at the crayon sky. 

Everything here is very juvenile, childlike. The Japanese garden was prosaic in its cultural understanding, but really...imaginative. Like a child's idea of a foreign land. And the Gatsby party going on at the top of the clock tower...I wonder, if one of us took a swig of the alcohol up there...if it would even taste like alcohol? Or is it just more set dressing, since most children wouldn't know what alcohol even tastes like? Which makes me think it's also very likely, since Katana and I happen to have a higher level of intellectual sophistication than our surroundings would suggest, that we need to be siphoning such information from another source. You, specifically, as the real, resident adult here. You're the only foreign invader, bringing your pop culture references with you, it would seem, so that they get appropriated by us, even though we, as a child's make-believe puppets, would have no real-world reference for them ourselves...it just seems like your presence is having...unforseen consequences on the world's inhabitants. Making some of us glitch, in a way.

"But then the question becomes: who's creating these specific childlike pieces of our environment? Is it Big Sister? Because we don't know how old she was when she became...that thing in the cathedral. Or is it...Fate? Because we can't rule her out, either. I mean, I know it's a tenuous connection, but she does like to color." I point to the smiley, scribbled sun in the sky.

"And like I said, I think there is another factor at play, here: physical distance from our point of origin. I struggled with my individualism when I was in the cathedral, and Katana seems like a totally different person now that he's been dragged away from the garden. I mean, he just referenced Sundance. Come on. Our samurai is gone, at least for now. So I wonder, if we cross that threshold again...if we'll revert." I stare nervously at the cathedral.

"What I think I'm really getting at, is -- if we're going to get anywhere in this place, we need to start assembling a unified theory for why everything happens the way that it does  here, but also take into account the mindset in which this 'wonderland' was constructed -- primarily that of a child, it would seem. So think less literal, and more abstract. Less logical, more...dream-like and emotive.

"And look, I could be wrong here, but we really do need to start throwing out guesses for things if we're going to get anywhere, because this place doesn't seem keen to share its secrets with us. Like why you're here." I raise a contemplative eyebrow at Jack.

Finally, I turn to Katana. "And since it seems you've been set back to factory settings -- Hi, I'm Sophie. This is Jack. We've been calling you Katana, but I think it's fair for you to choose your own name now. I did." I give him a half-hearted smile.

Edited by Beewolf

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Indeed,this world did run upon childish thoughts and dreams,though with an underlying darkness,a madness enjoying the pain behind the smiles and flowers. But what was the truth? A childish realm poisioned by malevolence? Or a darker,sinister wolf in sheeps clothing?

Edited by Slime Mother
That is the smartest thought behind the wonderland yet my dude! I really like how youre going with it! Youre xloser to the truth then anyone before i reveal it yet!

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I listen quietly to Sophie’s theory, nodding occasionally when she mentions something we already know. When she finished, I speak up. “Alright, that’s a lot to unpack. I guess we’ll work on the assumption that the creepy deer was telling the truth. Of course, that doesn’t explain a lot. Your guess is the best explanation we have so far for the logic of this place.

If I’m the reason you both are...you know...” I gesture at Sophie and Katana, “people, then what happens if we separate? Sophie, we didn’t actually meet until a while after I entered the cathedral. If we put enough distance between us, would you still be you? We don’t have to test it now, but it’s something to consider for the future if we get split up.”

I turn to the new Katana. “Also,” I start, “It’s not just me bringing in influence. You might not technically be the exact same as me, but I’ve never been to Sundance. Either there’s some ongoing connection back to the real world, or you both aren’t just puppets.

I don’t why I’m here.” I make a face as I try to recall any events leading up to the start of this nightmare. Nothing. “Actually,” I say slowly, “I don’t know how I got here or anything before that... it’s still all fuzzy. I remember certain feelings and ideas, and flashes of when I bought groceries last week- or maybe it was last month- but the more I try to focus on anything recently, the harder it is to remember. But then you’ll say something and I’ll remember that I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars, or I’ll understand that Frankenstein is the scientist and not the monster.” I shake my head. “My point is that it’s nothing useful. The first thing I remember is standing over there.” I point to a spot halfway between the fountain and the stairs where I first woke up.

”So,” I clap my hands together to change the train of thought, “The creepy deer kept talking about the Martyr, so maybe we start there. Martyrs usually have some sort of belief, which makes me think we need to properly explore the cathedral. I can physically drag one of you out if you start to revert. Alternatively, maybe the Martyr has something to do with death? The congregation had a weird thing with the boat and the river and the ferryman... the butcher’s shop has lots of death in it... Now that I think about it,” I muse, “Can we even die? If we’re operating under dream logic, do we “wake up” if we die here?”

Edited by AngryCacti

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I tap my knuckles against my head as I try to keep up with what my friends are talking about. What the heck was a sundance, anyway? Last time I looked at a sun it made my eyes hurt. I also had the distinct disadvantage of having missed out on a significant portion of what they had experienced as far as butchers and children and butchered children went. Then came the query regarding whether we can die in this world-away-from-a-world or not. I was reminded of my own daydream and the hari-kari found within. Creepy deer, indeed.

"Hmmm..." I muse into the thenar of my hand. "There is a sure way of finding out."

With that, I unsheathe my sword and place the blade's tip against my ribcage, specifically the spot where my heart is hiding behind.

"I can do this myself, unless someone wants to do it for me. There is much honor in either course of action. This is not a problem."

I wait.

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3 hours ago, Die Shize said:

I

With that, I unsheathe my sword and place the blade's tip against my ribcage, specifically the spot where my heart is hiding behind.

"I can do this myself, unless someone wants to do it for me. There is much honor in either course of action. This is not a problem."

I wait.

 

Edited by Slime Mother
Hey,big warning.you can die here.i dont want your rping to have to end because of it,youre very good!

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I prop myself against one of the statues in thought, my eyes downcast as I absorb Jack's words.

I hadn't considered that the deer could have been lying -- mostly because I felt it vain to hope with so little contrary evidence to go on. The idea that I could actually be real, and maybe even just another amnesiac like Jack, is electrifying in its implications, but I stubbornly quash it down, not wanting to risk dissapointment. 

I look back at the cathedral in worry at its mention, knowing that a more thorough exploration of its contents was probably inevitable, but all the same, still feeling a tell-tale sense of foreboding when memories of a throne draped in thick chains and inky black feathers rustling in vaulted rafters replay in my mind. I trace the compass through the fabric of my hoodie, coming to a decision there and then. 

Before I can reply, Katana has his sword pressed against his chest after seemingly slipping back into character with little warning, too eager to resolve Jack's hypothetical with a practical demonstration of his own. Part of me is intrigued by him wavering between two alternate identities so easily, even as I share a look of deep exasperation with Jack.

On 12/28/2019 at 12:35 PM, Die Shize said:

"I can do this myself, unless someone wants to do it for me. There is much honor in either course of action. This is not a problem."

I hold my hand out to him, letting my face assume the most solemn expression that I can muster in the face of this feudal melodrama.

"I'll volunteer my services as executioner, then. I'm assuming this scenario would call for a beheading when a third-party is involved?" I ask, admittedly guessing at my role.

I try to make reassuring eye contact with Jack over Katana's head, which is bowed somewhat in concentration, to let him know that I haven't truly given in to any homicidal ideation where our favorite samurai is concerned -- even if the figure in question did occasionally play havoc with my blood pressure.

Edited by Beewolf

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