Harvest Moon, pt 25

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
  • 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

With newly working flashlight, a daring investigation behind the first locked door you encountered in this eerie site, and something akin to a profile forming of the house’s owner, you opt to celebrate with a drink. There’s been music, so why not have a party?

With that in mind, you grab a random glass and try to take in the small bar’s-worth of options available to you

You pick up a few of the decanters, open them, and give them an exploratory sniff. They smell like fruit and your mouth waters in response. Of the bottles, many of them have labels that speak to their age: they’re faded and hand-worn although you recognise enough of what remains to identify them as older versions of brands you’re familiar with. There are some forest-green bottles of port and sherry, and an ominous red bottle containing something that sounds Eastern European. You steer clear of them. No one really likes sherry. 

You eye up a fine whisky selection. Lots of single malts in there, with a few blends and scotches to boot. No ice, water, or whisky stones though. You don’t think you have a fine-enough appreciation to try any of them neat.

Scratching the non-bloodied side of your head you make your decision.

You pick up the fruit-smelling decanters and pour in a combination of three. The colours settle in a pleasing way leaving you with a strata of purple, green, and yellow syrupy liquids. It smells like a sweetshop. 

As an afterthought, you reach down to one of the drawers and drop in an umbrella. Excellent. 

You sip thoughtfully from your drink as you meander around the room. For all its weirdness, this isn’t a bad place to recuperate after a car accident. Admittedly you’d much rather be at home curled up safe in your own bed, but circumstances being what they are at least you’re not shivering inside a busted up Nissan by the side of a motorway. 

The drink is good. Very good. Each of the layers tastes eye-wateringly real. This isn’t the product of e-numbers or artificial flavourings: It tastes like delicious, ripe fruit. The yellow layer is lemon-sharp, the green bursts with the satisfaction of fresh apples, and the purple settles across your tongue like warm, spiced plum. You drink quickly and eagerly.

It also seems to go directly to your head. Little wonder given as you’re probably in the after effects of shock and you appear to have lost a lot of blood. As you prop yourself against the billiard table and put your now-empty glass down to one side, you start to think this might have been a mistake.

The red walls bleed and merge until the room’s dimensions lose all sense of angles. They simultaneously rush in on you and explode away. 

The ghoulish heads of the room’s display have become distinctly blurry. As they abruptly angle and slide weirdly across your vision, you have just a moment to realise that they’re not moving: You are.

There’s no choice to make here. Your body is acting of its own accord. That’s the last thing you remember as your shoulder makes contact with the floor and everything goes dark. 

The next update will be 8pm GMT on the 20th of November.

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