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  1. #1
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    Default World Without Wind

    [TW for violence, and probably a lot of other awful things; i'm in the mood to try my hand at horror media so i decided to make a horror/psycthriller themed MSPA-style forum adventure game]

    Your name is Linda Clement. You have just woken up in your parents’ condo on an unseasonably cold Friday in late August of 2013. You are living in the room that you once slept in as a little girl, but now that you are twenty-three the space feels more than a little snug. There’s a bigger room down the hall, which you slept in until your parents started renting it out a few months ago. You find the tenant who sleeps there to be an obnoxious and uncooperative housemate, all things considered, but you also feel powerless to complain to your parents due to your cripplingly conflict-averse personality. You are unemployed and would prefer not to risk treading on any toes, especially since your grievances could easily be dismissed as childish bitterness.

    Things could be a lot worse, after all. Your parents don’t insist that you pay rent, like they did with your older brother Derek. While the sky through your window is cloudy today and the street looks unusually dull and gray in the dim light, you normally have a nice view. And while the room is cramped, you do have space for a dresser and a small nightstand, the latter of which also serves as a makeshift desk and bookshelf.

    Among your few possessions are a single laptop, drawing tablet, and cell phone, all three of which lie closed and side-by-side on the “desk”. Your cell phone is buzzing out the digital rendition of Fever Ray’s “If I Had a Heart” that you set as your 7AM alarm tone last night; presumably, that is what awakened you.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akisame View Post
    Turn off alarm and check phone for messages/missed calls?
    Quote Originally Posted by Polo View Post
    > turn off alarm and check for messages on your phone

    edit: oh wow talk about getting ninja'd. akisame: SILENT ASSASSIN SUGGESTER

    my suggestion still stands though
    You reach for your phone and see that the song wasn't playing as an alarm after all, it was alerting you to a message from your friend Emma. The time isn't 7AM either--it's nearly 1PM. You must have slept through the actual alarm.

    EMMA: Sup, got some friends together who wanna go see a movie tonight, probably gonna be Pacific Rim again but there are some votes for that other thing, not-Streetcar-Named-Desire directed by Woody Allen with Cate Blanchett as not-Blanche-Dubois; you interested?

    Your stomach growls. Missing breakfast has left you feeling weak and slightly uncoordinated, and you almost lose your balance as you step out of bed. You feel the uncomfortable weight of a tangled mass of bed hair lolling around above you, and your skin feels unpleasantly oily. Through the open bedroom door, at the other end of the hall, you can make out the nondescript white linoleum tiling of the kitchen. On the opposite side of the kitchen is the equally nondescript white linoleum tiling of the shared bathroom. Physical and social obligations and needs fight for dominance in your head and you start to feel slightly overwhelmed even at this simple decision. You have a tendency to get anxious about relatively trivial things, and you are more than relatively embarrassed about it.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; September 11th, 2014 at 07:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wadling View Post
    > Waste no time, drag self screaming through the effort of daily routine and get to the bathroom.
    The shower drain is clogged with lumps of red hair and congealed soap; the tenant was in here this morning. Your stomach contorts and you are almost paralyzed with disgust. This isn't even nearly the first time this has happened. Who the hell does this lady think she is to come into your home and behave this way?

    You honestly don't know how you're going to keep dealing with this. Every fucking day is an uphill battle with this girl and it takes all of your willpower to even consider taking action about it. If only the thought of heated argument didn't make you nearly as sick as that slick red hairball squatting in the drain then maybe you would be able to do something about this situation, but all you can ever manage is an ineffectual "could you please..." or "it'd be nice if you didn't..." that trails off impotently as soon as she returns your gaze. You are such a goddamn coward, and you hate yourself for it, but not as much as you hate her.

    You're afraid the shower might overflow if you run it like this, but you can't bring yourself to touch that fat wad of scummy human detritus with your bare hands, so you look around to consider your other options. There are some disposable towelettes on the sink, rolls of toilet paper by the toilet, and probably some gauze or something in the mirror-covered medicine cabinet. Might be some better solutions, too, if you care to think of them.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Killing_Time View Post
    > Unroll a big enough wad of toilet paper to avoid all physical contact with the damp hairball and hold your breath as you quickly dispose of it
    You start unrolling and unroll for quite a while, layering the paper many times thicker than necessary so that there is no chance of the fluids in the clog absorbing all the way through and reaching your fingertips before its release. You quickly strip the roll down to a cardboard tube. You're still not sure it's enough, but you manage to convince yourself that you're ready to try.

    That's when you notice the water in the toilet through your peripheral vision, and you freeze. The water has been turned to a shade of washed-out pinkish-red. A long, tapering, and deathly pale fleshy-looking... thing... floats on the surface. You drop the wad of paper in shock and avert your gaze.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval View Post
    would I know if my parents are in or not?
    In your panic, your thoughts immediately turn to your parents. They are usually both in at this time of day, though you haven't seen them since you awoke. If they're in, they're being pretty quiet.

    What will you do?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval View Post
    on second thought it is of no matter; I throw whatever the fuck I can at the toilet in a mad panic, the heavier the better.
    You throw the remaining toilet rolls inside and then start throwing in the towelettes from the sink as well. Whatever the thing was, it is soon buried under a mountain of moist white wood pulp tissue. The washed-out pink color dwindles to an almost invisible tint as it becomes distributed throughout the mass. You feel yourself beginning to calm down.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval View Post
    run the fuck out of there and try to get the attention of my parents
    "Mom! Dad!" you cry out, running back into the hall.

    "Linda?" your mother's slightly raspy voice replies, coming from the family room. "Something wrong?"

    What will you do?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval View Post
    "th-there's a tapeworm in the toilet!"
    "Good Lord, child, you made me think you'd slipped and broken a bone. If there's somethin' bothering you in the toilet, just flush the damn thing."

    There's an awkward pause for a few seconds, and then: "Did you remember to take your meds last night?"

    You're not actually sure you did, now that you think of it.

    What will you do?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    > Immediately go flush the thing. Every moment you leave your back to it, it's that much more likely to start moving around and hiding.
    You cautiously re-enter the bathroom and attempt to flush the toilet, but the mountain of pulp you created has completely sealed the bowl. All you manage to do is raise the water level.

    What will you do?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval View Post
    grab the plunger and try to move the pulp to the closest sink or bathtub or bidet, mindful of any tapeworms that may or may not be hiding in it.
    You're pretty sure that's not how plungers work. Plungers use pressure and suction to disturb a clog in both directions until it becomes unjammed and can be flushed free. If you want to grab the clog and pull it up towards you, you're going to need a different tool.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval View Post
    like, use pressure to unclog the seal then fish it out with the plunger or the brush because the water is too high and bloody and full of tapeworm to risk another unsuccessful flush.
    You use the plunger to unclog the seal, then use the plunger and brush together to pinch the loosened clog and pull it free.

    A thin pinkish-white strand dangles from the underside of the clog as you pull it up.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval View Post
    drop it in the bath and hit it with the plunger till it stops moving before sinking into the fetal position mumbling about being such a fuckup
    You drop the mass upside-down in the bathtub and repeatedly strike the exposed underside that the damp strand was clinging to for several seconds before you realize that the thing isn't a tapeworm, it's the bloody string attached to the end of a used tampon. Self-pity is replaced by anger. That fucking tenant, you think. Shouldn't your parents be on the level with you about this? Haven't they had to use the toilet yet today? How the hell do they not notice this shit?

    "Linda? I asked you a question." Your mother's voice is close and heavy with disapproval. The distinctive sound that her gait produces as she shuffles down the hallway in slippers is as raspy and hollow as her speaking voice.

    What will you do?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wadling View Post
    > Deep breath, call out that everything's fine, accept the hardships of life and clean the bathtub before continuing daily routine. Try to maintain moral high ground for future tenant encounters.
    "Everything's fine, mom," you call.

    She comes in anyway, her bald head covered by a headscarf, sunken eyes in her gaunt and skeletal face giving you the once-over. She holds a lit cigarette delicately in the thin fingers of her right hand and sighs heavily. "You never answered my question, honey, and--wait, what are you doing in the bathtub with that plunger?"

    "Nothing," you say quickly, replacing the plunger in its stand.

    "Hon, are you okay? Did you or did you not take your meds last night?"

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:33 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    > In addition, get new idea for premise for horror story from this experience.
    You do so, and resolve to write it in your short story notes as soon as you get back to your laptop.

    What will you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    Also, I resent not having a general idea of Linda's interests/hobbies/taste so as to have them influence her actions.
    [You can find out about them at any time by examining the media on her nightstand/bookshelf/desk, her tablet, or her laptop. Or just by reflecting on her interests in-character.]
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:33 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wadling View Post
    > Affirm that meds have indeed been taken. Then proceed to ponder your condition, and why it requires meds, just in case any part of your subconscious has forgotten.
    "Yeah, I took my meds, mom," you lie, still not remembering whether you did or not.

    "Okay, good," she says, and takes a deep drag on her Camel. You wince. If you were any sort of good daughter, you would never have let her keep smoking unopposed in her condition.

    "You should probably have a little somethin' to eat and take your lunchtime dose, hon," she continues. "Why're you still sleeping so late, anyway?"

    "I guess I need some time to adjust to the melatonin supplements."

    She grimaces, and her raspy tone turns to a whine. "You sleep all day and work all night. The few hours we share, you always spend shut up in your room with your computer. We hardly ever see you. Don't you care about spending time with your family? Don't we mean anything to you?"

    "We can have lunch together and talk," you suggest. "I'm starving. I should shower first, though."

    "Yeah, well, I'm starving too," she says, turning to leave, "and since it's already an hour and a half past noon, I'm not inclined to wait for you to finish one of your showers."

    "Mom, no, I'm sorry," you start, "I can--"

    "No, no, it's fine," she calls back as she heads down the hall. "Do what makes you comfortable."

    A knot ties in your stomach, but you do your best to ignore it. As soon as your mother is out of sight you begin the ponderous process of picking apart the giant wad of soaked paper and bloody cotton, flushing it away in manageable chunks, and cleaning the bathtub.

    As you work, you ponder your many conditions. You have executive dysfunction, for which you take Ritalin, although you have heard that executive dysfunction is a controversial diagnosis and that many psychiatrists don't believe it is a real disorder. You have a sleep disorder which causes you to feel tired at progressively later hours of night every day, as if you are on a 25-hour day cycle; for this, you are taking melatonin pills prescribed by a sleep specialist. You have clinical depression and anxiety disorders for which you are currently taking Zoloft. Your psychiatrist believes you may still have some other undiagnosed conditions, too.

    All of these are extremely recent diagnoses except for the executive dysfunction, which was diagnosed when you were in middle school. You are not yet fully adjusted to any of the new medications, and your mother seems to be under the impression that this means you could start hallucinating vividly at any moment.

    The work is soon finished, and the bathtub is clean. The wad of tenant hair is still in the shower drain, though.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; September 11th, 2014 at 08:59 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanism View Post
    Repeat the process of using toilet paper to pick up the red hair lying in the shower drain and throw it in the trashcan.
    You consider this option, but then you remember that you wasted all of the current supply of toilet paper in a flipout over nothing.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:34 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killing_Time View Post
    > Look around in the cupboards or possibly shelves that might hold some extra toilet paper, proceed with removing the hair if you find any
    You approach the mirror that covers the medicine cabinet over the bathroom sink and stare disappointedly at your face. You find yourself plain, pasty, and pimple-ridden. You have a diastema, a gap between your maxillary central incisors, which makes you feel embarrassed to smile. Your long black hair looks ratty and unkempt. Your blue eyes look dull, vacuous, and sleep-deprived. Your face is wide and bland with cheekbones that might as well be invisible. The fact that you are so insecure about your physical appearance makes you feel shallow and superficial, but you can't help feeling this way, even when people who care about you tell you that you're exaggerating. No... especially when people who care about you tell you that you're exaggerating. They're just saying what they think you need to hear.

    You open the cabinet and see, among other things, your various meds laid out in a row. The top of the Ritalin bottle is slightly askew. You would take that as evidence that you remembered to take them last night after all, but you take Ritalin in the morning after breakfast, not at night. You recall that the methylphenidate in Ritalin acts as an abusable stimulant when crushed and snorted, and that street abuse of Ritalin is fairly common, and that makes you wonder... no, even the tenant wouldn't, that's stupid, you think, and hastily put the thought out of your mind. You're being paranoid and letting a grudge influence your thinking. Though, just to be safe, you decide you'll keep the Ritalin somewhere safer from now on.

    There is no toilet paper in the medicine cabinet but there are more disposable towelettes and there is some gauze. You figure you ought not to waste sterilized medical gauze on something like this so you take the wipes and finally remove the hair clog. There is a soft gargling sound as you pull the clog free, and a thin film of soapy water that had been sitting in the base of the shower begins to quickly drain away, allowing you at last to step inside without reservation and to take your long-awaited shower.

    It's less satisfying than you were hoping. Hot showers normally help to relax you and distract you from your problems, and you try to make them last as long as possible. But this morning, you feel like your hunger is inducing cramps and muscle spasms the longer you stand in place, and it's impossible to get into the usual state of shower nirvana. Still, you manage to untangle and wash your hair and your oily skin, and you feel slightly better when you emerge than you did when you went in.

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:36 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    > Good grief, young lady, you haven't eaten all day! Even if it's just a bowl of cereal, you're not going to get any healthier on an empty stomach!
    You dry off, dress in proper day clothes, neatly fold up your pajamas, and head to the kitchen. Your mother is at the counter, finishing half of a grapefruit with one hand and scrolling on her own laptop with the other. Her cigarette lies stubbed out in an ashtray, next to a coaster that supports a tall glass of orange juice.

    "Seamus Heaney died this morning," she mumbles morosely, reading from her laptop.

    You frown and give a sympathetic "Aw," but you don't really care. You like some Heaney poems, but you're not a fanatic like your mother and you don't really have the emotional energy to get worked up about the death of a celebrity right now.

    Your mother extends the other half of her grapefruit to you on a separate plate as you enter.

    "I was just going to fix myself some cereal," you say, heading to a cupboard to do just that.

    "You don't get enough fruits and vegetables," she says. "I worry about you. You're putting on weight."

    "Mom!"

    "It's too late for me, but you still have your youth." She digs her fork into her own grapefruit. "I'm just thinking about your future, hon. You don't eat regular meals, you just camp out with food in your room all day, then you come out and trash the kitchen making midnight snacks and in the morning I have to clean it all up and--"

    "The fuck? That's not me!" you blurt out before you can bite your tongue.

    "There's no need for that kind of language, Linda!"

    "You're thinking of Derek, Mom! I'm the one who can't stand leaving messes, remember? Jesus Christ, it's obviously the tenant!" I've lived with you for more than two decades, and you still don't know me?

    "She has a name, you know."

    "Whatever," you say, pouring the cereal and milk.

    Your mother pouts. "Look, I'm sorry I made an assumption, but you know I have fading health on the mind lately and--"

    The front door opens, and your father comes through bearing grocery bags and a warm smile. "Hey, girls."

    "Seamus Heaney died this morning," says your mother, intonation identical to what she used on you. His face falls instantly. "Oh, no," he says, hustling forward to put down the bags.

    "Yeah. 'A four foot box, a foot for every year,'" she muses.

    "Uh, Seamus Heaney would've been... seventy-four, Mom," you say, doing the math quickly in your head. Nobody cares, though.

    "Wait, how'd they print it that fast?" your dad asks. Then he sees the article on the laptop and his face falls even further. "Oh--you, uh, you read it online."

    Your father was a journalist several jobs ago. The rise of digital news media wasn't kind to his company and it's been a sore spot for him ever since. You take this as an opportunity to grab your bowl and leave the kitchen before things get any more awkward.

    What will you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    I hereby make a solemn pledge to be as grandma-like as I can when it is appropriate.
    [I approve of this action, but not of your use of camouflaged text. It makes me paranoid that I am missing hidden messages all over the place D8< ]
    Last edited by Varthonai; September 25th, 2014 at 08:04 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    > You might want to consider getting in touch with that friend of yours. It's already bordering on late!
    You take your bowl of cereal back to your room and check your cell phone again.

    EMMA: Linda? You there?

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; June 27th, 2014 at 10:38 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirrin Nacht View Post
    Talk to Linda.
    You briefly talk to yourself. It quickly devolves into self-loathing, and is not a pleasant conversation, so you break it off.

    EMMA: Linda, I need an answer soon, I gotta know whether we're gonna have to stop at your place or not

    What will you do?
    Last edited by Varthonai; May 29th, 2014 at 04:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    LINDA: Today's been kind of a weird day. What did I miss?
    EMMA: Oh phew, you're alive : )
    EMMA: Just planning mostly. Right now the plan's to pick everybody up for pizza by 6, then movie at 7
    LINDA: Who else is coming?
    EMMA: Not sure yet, folks haven't all RSVP'd yet
    EMMA: *nudge nudge*


    Another tab in the messaging app alerts you to a new message from Mrs. Semeraro in the condo on the fifth floor, and flashes briefly.

    What will you do?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanism View Post
    Leave the phone for a minute and start making plans to improve her image (e.g: Go to the dentist and see if she can fix her teeth position, make an appointment with a dermatologist regarding the pimples, buy a new shampoo for 'broken' hair, etc).
    You've thought about it before, but your parents pay the bills for the dentist and all specialist doctors, and you're not sure how you would go about asking them to pay more, especially if it's only for cosmetic reasons. Heck, you only have a psychiatrist and sleep doctor because your parents decided you needed them independently.

    What will you do?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanism View Post
    After that, you return to the phone to check the message of your neighbor.
    MRS. SEMERARO: Linda, tesoro, my son left town today and won't be back until Monday.
    MRS. SEMERARO: Could I trouble you to come up and help me feed the cats?


    What will you do?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    > It never hurts to get along with the nice elderly neighbors. You should help her out.
    LINDA: Sure thing
    LINDA: Do you need me right now?
    MRS. SEMERARO: Please, as soon as convenient


    Emma's tab flickers again.

    EMMA: Linda? Y/N?

    What will you do?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    > Are these things mutually exclusive? Could you help Mrs. Semeraro and then quickly zip on over to hang out with Emma?
    Yes, absolutely. It's still only 1:30ish PM in the afternoon and Emma told you there'd be pizza at 6 and movie at 7.

    You should probably let Emma know, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadling View Post
    > Mentally prepare for the very real possibility that Mrs. Semeraro and her cats are demons from another plane of existence.
    Mrs. Semeraro's alright, but there was never any doubt about the demonic proclivities of the cats. They aren't "her" cats anyway; they're her son's. She just watches them for him when he's away, which has been getting harder for her every year since she keeps getting progressively more infirm and he won't stop bringing them in from shelters every chance he gets.

    What will you do?

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