CCC_037 t1_j7unnyx wrote

Darkness. Utter and complete.

Eternal. Untouchable.

I reach out to touch it anyhow. I feel... wood? Wood! There's wood! I can't see it in the dark, but it's not a void, it's just a dark box!

I shove on the wood above me, and it moves aside.

Light! Light... but no-one else around.

"Hello?" I call out as I look around. Stone walls. Flickering candles provide the only light. I look down - pillow. Blankets. A sleeping space.

A comfortable sleeping space in a coffin.

I look around. "Hello?" No response, but the softest of distant fluttering. Does this place have bats?

I'd specifically worn my best pyjamas for this. It's my bad luck that the bed was unoccupied just then, I guess. I get out of the coffin and turn around slowly. It looks like a room in the old Castle, but that place has been boarded up for years, ever since it was rumoured to be the home of...

...of a vampire.

The room is empty. I know the room is empty. Right up until I feel warm breath on the back of my neck and her voice says "Oh dear, you've seen more than you should have, haven't you, cutie pie?"


CCC_037 t1_j7fics4 wrote

> I paused to contemplate that, before looking at you/me, "I wonder if anyone's thought of God in that way before. In real life, I mean."

......yes, in a kinda speculative way.

Incidentally, and the fact that I am asking it here is spoiling the main twist of the narrative, but have you ever come across a visual novel by the name of >!Doki Doki Literature Club!<?


CCC_037 t1_j5t5yvz wrote

"The dark? Evil hides in the Dark. Light allows everyone to see who you are, what you do."

"The dark? The dark is where you go to be safe. To hide from the monsters with power. The can't see where you are... in the dark under your blankets."

"The Light? The light will burn infections from your wounds, scour out impurities. The light can heal."

"Heal? All that the Light does is burn. Sure, you can target the infections, and that's good... but if you really want to heal after that, then just relax, sleep in a safe, Dark place."

"The Light will burn the evil from the world."

"The Dark will give the good a quiet place to grow."


CCC_037 t1_j5j2qw5 wrote

"Jim? Sure, he was here Tuesday."

"....I can't accept your word for it, Sam. I'm afraid your bar's got a, um, a reputation."

"A good reputation?"

"Not exactly, no, It's a reputation for... for getting dates mixed up, shall we say. Can you prove that Jim was here Tuesday?"

"Sure," I nod. "We got a new security camera system, let's give it a try, shall we?" I turn on the computer and speak into the microphone. "Computer, print the picture of Jim enjoying a drink at the bar last Tuesday, please."

The computer hums, and extrudes a piece of paper. The detective grabs it before I can see it and studies it intensely.

".....I see that your bar had a few planets indoors Tuesday," he says.

"Look, if people wanna decorate for some party..."

"And I see that Jim has apparently regrown his pinkie. Oh, in fact, he has six fingers on that hand now?"

"You got your photo evidence. Was there anything else you wanted, Detective?"

"Photo evidence, no." The detective drops the printout. "This image was drawn by AI, wasn't it?"


CCC_037 t1_j103isw wrote

Well, a lot of these examples run into a problem - the Queen has a violent reputation, yes, but why? Is the violence that is reputed to belong to the Queen actually Calidan's?

Consider the scenario where the Queen's new maid messes up in some minor way. The poor girl is terrified. Everyone knows what will happen to her! The Queen tries to calm the girl, but she can't have her servants messing up. So she tells Calidan to make sure that the girl gets a proper retirement package; fearing the possibility that the girl might be the sole income earner for her family, she also tells Calidan to take care of said family.

Calidan, somewhat shocked at the extent of the Queen's brutality, kills the maid and her family.

Then you get a world where everyone knows her as a violent tyrant... where she might very well not be one at all.


CCC_037 t1_j0zitgy wrote

Oh, he is definitely desensitized. However... I got the impression that while he knows what he means by "water the daisies", I wasn't sure that she did. (Perhaps the euphemisms had been set up by her parents and no-one had ever explained them to her). So she starts telling this knight about a problem, and he just wants to go gardening. Of course she gets upset! But she angrily tells him to go water the daisies anyway, because someone needs to care for the garden.

When she mentions this village again later, he'll tell her that he already took care of it, and she'll accept that. She never hears of trouble from a place that he already took care of.

One day, she's going to figure out that he doesn't exactly leave smiling, happy villages behind him.


CCC_037 t1_iy7mrbk wrote

As Pratchett puts it - they would smash the world if they thought it would make an interesting noise as it breaks.

(Okay, that was talking about Elves, not Fae, but Pratchett's Elves are very much like the Fae you describe)


CCC_037 t1_iy7jjau wrote

The Professor narrows his eyes as he sees the fireball. "That's a hologram," he says.

"Put your hand near it, Professor. You can feel the heat."

He frowns, but he brings his hand closer. "...hmph."

"It's a real fireball," I assure him.

The Professor reaches into his desk drawer and pulls out a cigarette.

I smile.

The Professor brings his cigarette closer and closer to the fireball, without taking his eyes off mine. As for myself, I am keeping my eyes on the cigarette end; at the moment when it pierces the fireball, it lights, and a wisp of smoke escapes.

The Professor looks at the burning cigarette end, then look over at me. "Congratulations," he says. "Now do you want to tell me how you faked it?"

"What makes you think it's fake?" I ask.

"Three reasons," says the Professor, taking a pull on his cigarette. "Firstly, today is April the first. Secondly, you have a well-deserved reputation for pranks; thirdly, I know for a fact that your thesis is on personal-wearable hologram generators, not fireballs."

...I sigh. "Yeah," I admit. "You got me."

"So how did you do it?" asks the Professor.

"The generator produces light," I point out. "No-one says it needs to be limited to visible range. This particular little fireball puts out infrared light as well, which makes it feel hot."

"And the cigarette lighting?"

"I have an infra-red laser remote lighter up mt sleeve. Honestly, the worst part was aiming it."

The Professor nods. "Well done," he says again. "A very convincing combo."

"Thank you, Professor."

And thank you for being willing to help put into widespread adoption the kind of technology which would mean that no-one will notice what my sister is doing if she starts throwing her own fireballs about...


CCC_037 t1_ixc11bs wrote

The victim, Thomas Jones, was found dead in his bed, without a drop of blood left in their body. Only breaks in the skin were a couple of holes in the neck; heavy bruising was found about the head; nose was broken and had bled somewhat, and there was evidence of crushing injuries to the neck.

Victim's roommate, Ronald Veire, vampire, called in to report the death. He states that he had been out all the previous day, trapped in a nearby shopping mall; as a vampire, he does not appear on camera, however, he has produced a number of witnesses who saw him at the mall that day (He claims he was there to see a film in the afternoon; witnesses did see him in the vicinity of the theatre shortly before the film was due to begin). The day was sunny, hence (he claims) he could not possibly have left to kill his roommate. He insists that he has been framed.


CCC_037 t1_iwuc0yp wrote

It was easy. It was simple. It was so, so straightforward.

They can't run. They can barely walk. So they can't flee me. And hide? Ha! Their hearts might as well be big, thumpy locator beacons.

So I went after the easy food. People so lazy, so obese that they had trouble moving. People who would barely get out of bed, living in only one room, hiring a maid to clean the house and buy the groceries.

Dead easy to catch. A bit harder to wipe their memories, because even seeing a stranger was an Event in their eyes; but when I was the maid, then who could they tell? Their online friends would think they were joking, and they never see anyone else...

...but then it began to catch up to me.

I go after the obese, the lazy, the indolent.

What am I becoming?

Well, let's just say that my weight is currently three times what it was when I first became a vampire, and I no longer care to exert my vampiric strength to go anywhere...


CCC_037 t1_itytrk4 wrote

"Luckbreaker," they called me. Luckbreaker. Of all the ridiculous, asinine -

Yes, I stepped on the thirteenth step. No, I didn't have any bad luck as a result. No, this doesn't mean that I broke the curse, there just wasn't a curse to break.

I mean, had anyone stepped on the thirteenth step and had bad luck? No. No-one at all. Because I was the only one to step on that step at all.

But now? My classmates will want to sit near me in the exams if they've recently seen a black cat or broken a mirror, in the hope that my presence will break their "bad luck". Contrariwise, the popular girls won't give me the time of day - they don't want to risk me breaking their good luck.

And absolutely nobody wants me to get anywhere near senior prom, for some reason.