Harvest Moon, pt 20

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

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
  • Half a packet of mints
  • A pen
  • A fieldbook about common countryside plants

Your attention now shifts to the spiral staircase. You walk over and peer down. It’s a rather steep and somehow make-shift looking thing despite clearly being made of skillfully carved wood and set firmly into the floor. You suspect it wasn’t part of the house’s original design. Someone really wanted quick and private access to whatever the library holds. The room’s darkness yawns up at you.

You steel your nerve, half expecting the thing to give a loud ‘click!’ and the stairs to go flat like in some sort of Scooby Doo skit, but it holds firm. You reach the bottom after a series of slightly-nauseating twists. 

The secrets of the library are revealed to you. It holds books.

There isn’t much new to see here that you hadn’t already seen from your look through the windows when you first arrived:  The room is unlit. The bright moon casts enough silvery-orange light through the large windows for you to pick out some details. From floor to vaulted ceiling there are shelves containing books and indistinct ornaments and objet d’arts. There is a table in the room’s centre. 

Now within the room proper, you can make out a little more: There are gaps on some of the well-ordered shelves. You don’t have light enough to fully investigate, but you do note the absence of some books from what is clearly the ‘botanical’ section. There are further gaps high above you, but you cannot discern their category in the room’s dimness from your height. Accessing them would require moving a railed ladder that slides along the shelf-fronts. You’re not sure how much noise that would create.

The table in the centre of the room has a couple of tall chairs. One of them has been left askew. There is an unlit candelabra on the table. You fail to find any means of lighting it. You briefly debate going back up to the study and trying to navigate down the spiral staircase with the candelabra (it would be far too heavy for that), or freeing one of the candles (it would be extinguished with the movement). 

A door you hadn’t previously noticed catches your attention. You already know that the two doors you were previously aware of are locked: they lead to the reception room and corridor. This new door is partly concealed by a heavy drape. It is openable and seems to lead out onto some sort of railed veranda. 

What would you like to do next?

  1. Go back up the spiral staircase
  2. Go through the veranda door
  3. Investigate the shelves further/move the ladder

Vote for what happens next on my Patron page before 11.30pm GMT tomorrow. The next update will be 8pm GMT on the 10th of November.

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