Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Reading Old Scraps

I've spent a portion of this evening reading scraps of my old writing. It's... interesting. A lot of different stories that I started and then abandoned for one reason or another. Some of them could be salvaged; others, well, I'm not sure I could find the voice I was using when I first attempted them.

Here's one of them. It was actually a community-chosen story -- sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure, but by committee -- so at the end of each section I'd put up a poll to see what people would choose next. I don't really have that capacity here on the Blog o' Doom, but if you want me to pursue something say so in the comments.

For a long time, there is nothing but darkness and silence. Then, slowly, the emptiness fills with light and sound, a bright and melodic beauty that fades almost before you become aware of it. You open your eyes to an arched ceiling high overhead, curving smoothly down to meet with the walls. A shiver runs down your back, and you realize that you're lying on cold stone -- some sort of table or altar.

Ceiling, walls, floor, and altar; all are white marble, shot through with veins of gold. There is light, more than enough for you to see, but it seems to come from everywhere. If there are any sort of blocks or joints in the stone, you can't see them. The whole room might have been carved from the heart of a single piece of stone.

You don't recognize the place. You're not sure if you just woke up; it doesn't feel like you've been asleep, and anyway the last thing you remember is that vague impression of light and... was it a song? And who would sleep naked in a place like this?

The stone is still cold, so you lower your feet to the floor. There, in front of the altar, is a crumpled figure. It is small and lean, lying face down and unmoving. Its white robe blends with the marble floor, and its arms are flung out in a way that looks awkward and uncomfortable.

At the far end of the room are three passageways. Squinting, you can make out the shapes at the far end of each: three low pillars, each with something on top of it. The passage on the left leads to the pillar that holds a book. The passage in the center leads to the pillar that holds a sword. The passage on the right leads to the pillar that holds a small statue in dark stone of some four-legged beast. At the foot of each pillar sits a pile of something that might be clothing, or armor, or both.

You are cold and shivering.

Do you...

...Follow the passage to the pillar with the book?
...Follow the passage to the pillar with the sword?
...Follow the passage to the pillar with the beast statue?
...Check on the figure on the floor?


  1. Being a medical person, I, of course, would check the figure on the floor.

    If you want to do something with this in the long term, there are forums that do this sort of thing. A story like this would be called a quest.

    1. Probably not long-term (I got... four entries? five? the first time I tried it), but it was fun. I'm not at all surprised that I wasn't the first person to think of it.


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