Finally, I have a plot. Not sure how long this story can go, but it started as an adventure game plot I had. The idea being that you were a -- wait! That would be spoilers. Let it be said though that the scene is fairly similar to how I envisioned it in the game, with the hero waking up in an alley. Anyway, plot below. Above the fold is the official Table of Contents for this story. I feel like it never would make a good adventure game because too much of the plot was internal and a lot of back tracking to see things in a new light after you gain new information. It had potential, but it also was too dark. Look at how the story opens! It doesn't lend itself to the somewhat campy, humorous tenor of the adventure games of old.
1. "Each blink brought things into better view."
2. "It wasn't always like this."
3. "The truth was, no one could really tell..."
4. "They called him Bruno."
5. "Being late should be a sin."
6. "Bare feet were never meant for pavement."
Each blink brought things into better view. First, it was just the splattering rain hitting his sticky eyes; then it was the brick buildings snapping into focus. The empty fire escapes running up the side of the dead end alley. At first that was the only sensation he still had, that unblurring half vision. It was like recovering after some terrible bender, and his stomach lurched a little at the thought.
Which is when the next sensation washed over him. He was cold. His bare back and arms were resting on the concrete between the buildings. Little puddles had started to form as water seeped under and around him. His khakis were soaked through as well, and his feet were bare. He tried to sit up, but his head spun and kept him down.
He held up one hand at a time, marveling at them like a new born. “These are my hands,” He thought, trying to focus away the cold, dull ache that was racing from his head through his body. He balled his fist and cracked his knuckles, first right, then left. As he felt he was getting the hang of that, the smell of something dead and wet hit him.
He managed to turn his head and vomit off to the side, and roll away from it, pushing himself up on his knees and hands. He blinked a few times, feeling drips of rain hitting him, cooling him. “I’ve got a fever, or something,” was the conclusion he came to as the heat seemed to evaporate off him as the rain splattered around.
He stood, steadying himself on the brick wall. He coughed into his other hand, and instinctively tried wiped his hand across his pants. The smell of garbage and death was overwhelming him again, so he took a deep breath through his mouth and tried to look around as he measured his breath. Hanging from fire escape across from him was a small, black form. Ripped open at the middle, steaming intestines were strewn underneath.
“It’s a cat,” He said out loud, before his brain fully processed what he was seeing. He swallowed, looked away, but couldn’t control his stomach’s reaction. He retched into an open dumpster. Once he thought he was centered, that his world could stay focused, he turned back to the cat. Someone had made quick work of it; he couldn’t tell what had made the slit. It was clean though.
He carefully avoided stepping in the vomit or the blood as he approached the creature. He pulled a box from one of the dumpsters and found the discarded knife under the cat. He hesitated before he picked it up, “What about fingerprints?” A voice in his head asked. He shook his head, as if to chase it out. “No one dusts for fingerprints for a dead cat.”
He wasn’t sure why he was so certain of that, but another thought came in unbidden. “You would. No stone unturned, right boss?” “You’re not looking for a cat killer though.” “I’ve heard of cat burglars, but not cat killers.” “What about lady killers?” “Maybe someone who kills beautiful middle aged women is a cougar killer?”
“Shut up,” He said out loud to no one and everyone. “We’re not leaving it like this.”
He cut the cat down and gently placed it in the box, closed it, and gingerly placed the box into the dumpster. He leaned against the wall again, and looked at where the cat had been hanging. Now, that the cat was gone, he could see something written on the brick, hidden in the darkness and the rain. He took a large step over the mess of guts on the ground to get a better look. “Eyesight isn’t that good,” One of the voices said. “Get closer.”
They all were blending together, which was bad. “Need to get a handle on the situation. Can’t go crazy over a little charivari.” “A what?” “A faire le chat.” “It doesn’t seem fair for the cat at all to me.” “It’s French, you idiot.” “Who cares what the cat was? What’s that say?” “It wasn’t a French cat; it was a Manx.” “No, it was a cat. Pretty sure. I’m a man; that was a cat.” “No, I mean it didn’t have a tail.” “Sure someone didn’t just chop it off?” “Pretty sure. That cat wasn’t French.”
“Will you all stop about the cat,” He said out loud. “I’m trying to read.”
“Fine, what’s it say?” “He always gets like this if you wake him up to early.” “Or if he goes to bed too early.” “I don’t feel like he was sleeping.”
The voices felt a whoosh as the man shook his head. The dizziness hit again, and he thought about vomiting, just to get it over with. Finally, all the whatever sloshes around in the brain stopped (or, he supposed, started to move like it was supposed to move.) He put his hands against the wall to lean in closer to read.
He read it out loud, so that the voices could hear him, he supposed: “Last chance Jack; no doubling down, everything’s wild. And the House always wins.”