Harvest Moon, pt 32

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

It’s clear that a bit of creative thinking will be needed if you want those keys.

You wait until you can hear Violet stripping the bed, then sidle into the guestroom closest to the cupboard. It’s fitted out in much the same way as the room you woke up in: The old furniture is arrayed to reflect the room’s shape and there are no real surprises. 

You steal a glance out of the windows as you pace and consider where best to place your masterpiece. The view over the gardens is much the same as the veranda below; the higher vantage point offers a clearer impression of quite how isolated this place is. There is no sign of any other homes or farms. The forest beyond the lawn is amorphous and dark; it seems to swallow any light the surreal moon has to offer.

Shivering despite the house’s warmth, you make your way to a couple of armchairs and turn your back to the outside.

A moment’s rummaging through your pockets, and the messily wrapped sausage rolls are in your hands. And now they’re on the floor, the napkin too. You step on them for good measure, twisting your heel into the very expensive looking rug underfoot. You take a few steps this way and that until there’s a good metre of flaked pastry and sorry looking sausage meat embedded in the thick weave.

You lean over to inspect your handiwork. Delicious. 

As you straighten up, your attention is caught by something reflective under the bed. You take a moment from your scheming to investigate and are surprised to find yourself looking at Nick’s mobile. You pick it up and coax it to life. Sadly, you can’t unlock it, but as the screen comes to life you can see there’s a missed-call symbol. Must be the calls you tried to put through earlier.

You slip it into a pocket. You can’t do much with it, but you’re sure Nick will be grateful to get it back.

With nothing else to do in this room, you step out and call for Violet.

She emerges from the far guestroom, her cheeks flushed with effort. 

“What now?”

You apologise – sincerely and truly – but while you were admiring the beautiful gardens and eating, some of your food fell to the floor. You were so enraptured by the landscape that you completely failed to notice that you were making a bit of a mess. You’d be happy to clean up after yourself if she could tell you where you could get a dustpan and – 

“No!” she almost shrieks. “Don’t do anything! Get out! Don’t touch anything!”

She blusters past you into the room and gives a squeal of annoyance. Seconds later, she’s back again. The look she gives you is as close to pure hate as you’ve ever seen on another person’s face.

She throws open the cupboard and hefts a bucket of cleaning supplies up and away, into the room.

The door closes and you can hear her frantically muttering to herself.

With the linen cupboard already open, you reach up and pluck the small set of keys from the door. You secret them on your person and quietly congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Mission accomplished.

So, what now?

  1. Go up to the attic
  2. Go into the main bedroom
  3. Go downstairs

Vote for what happens next on my Patron page before 11.30pm GMT tomorrow. The next update will be 8pm GMT on the 4th of December.

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