Harvest Moon, pt 5

This is part of a text adventure series to celebrate the spookiest of months, October (and beyond!). Full information about what’s happening can be found here. It is free to read, but in order to vote on what happens next, you will need to be a Patron.  To become a Patron, you can find my Patreon page here.

Map of the known area [click here]

Your inventory:

  • A small flashlight with dead batteries
  • Nick’s car-related paperwork
  • A generic fast food straw
  • A napkin containing some mushed-up sausage rolls
  • A lighter
  • Half a packet of mints
  • A pen

You try calling Nick’s phone.

Using the rotary phone is a slow process. With each number you enter, you’re forced to wait out the prolonged clicks of the dial rotating stiffly back into place. It starts off as quaint and strange, becoming somewhat unsettling as you enter the last digit. Old tech is needlessly creepy.

Nick’s number finally connects. It rings once, then twice. You fidget with the cord waiting for him to pick up.

It rings a third time, then a fourth.

Then you hear it. Somewhere not close but definitely within the building you discern the low, quiet hum of a phone vibrating. You take the handset from your ear. The unmistakable tinny treble of Nick’s generic ringtone emanates from somewhere above you. Its bass is swallowed by thick stone walls making it difficult to pinpoint.

You put the handset back to your ear in time to catch a pre-recorded message.

“Hey, this is Nick. Can’t take your call. Don’t leave a message, you know I won’t listen to it. Send me a text and I’ll get back to you at some point.”

A beep, then you’re through to voicemail.

You push down the plungers to reset the dial tone and try again.

The same thing happens. This time you don’t bother listening to the call going through. You instead lift your head and try to pinpoint where the mobile must be. You think it may be towards the back of the house.

As you push down on the plungers and prepare to call a third time, your heart gives a start. Standing just to one side of you is a person. You didn’t hear them appear, and certainly didn’t see them. You’d been so distracted by the call that you hadn’t been paying attention to your surroundings. You drop the handset into the cradle in guilty surprise.

The person is a young woman. She’s short and slight – skinny, even – and wearing an old fashioned maid’s outfit. It’s demure and predominantly black with white frills and a neat apron at the waist. Lank brown hair frames a pale face from which large watery eyes stare back at you. Her irises are the lightest blue you’ve ever seen – they’re really quite distracting. She doesn’t seem to look at you so much as through you. 

At her right hip sits a large ring filled with keys. You note that the door at the back of the reception room is now ajar. There’s an enticing sliver of a corridor beyond but you can’t see specifics. 

“Hello,” she says in a quiet voice. 

“Hi,” you blurt out. “Who are you?”

“My name is Violet. I’m the housekeeper. May I help you?”

What will you say next?

  1. “Where is my friend?”
  2. “What is this place?”
  3. “Who else is in this house?”
  4. “Hey, nice keys. Can I borrow them?”
  5. “No, but thanks anyway.”

Vote for what happens next on my Patron page before 8pm GMT tomorrow. The next update will be 8pm GMT on the 9th of October.

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