Planet in Theory: Funeral March to Gothic Rock (finale)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 1 hour, 17 minutes)

Under the Hood

The Drymouth Desert was deceptively small. A person on foot would claim it an endless sea of inhospitable madness, where sand dunes atop red clay occasionally lurched forward to eat tumbletrees, which were the only available prey. It would be the last claim that person would make before their voice was baked out of them and they were heat-blasted into a strip of anxious and peeved leather.

The issue was the lack of perspective, much like Silver and Roman needing to seek higher ground in the bear trap to get the lay of the land. The dunes were too high for a person on foot to see over, so natural odds-confounding forces got them turned around, had them walking in circles until their final quarter circle. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Funeral March to Gothic Rock (part four)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 1 hour, 7 minutes)

Bill at the Door

It was still Halloween morning and he was already bored of darts. Bill knew his people were letting him win. Even the ones who wouldn’t normally were coddling him that day. Halloween was when the Billity family got scared, always expecting someone possessed by a ghostly mask to come to the door and seek bloody revenge.

Some of his relatives had even been offended when no such specters came calling, thinking they must not have sent the message properly if those wronged had still managed to find rest. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Funeral March to Gothic Rock (part three)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 1 hour, 1 minute)

Popette at the Door

Ra-da-dang-dong. Ra-da-dang-dong. It was a surprisingly cheerful doorbell, not at all like the welcome she remembered. Of course, that was more than a lifetime ago. That said, the exterior of the Billity Catholicish School for Girls hadn’t changed all that much. The giant stable nearby, nearly three times the size of the house, was a new addition, but the school itself was still that drab green and white monolith under its four cardinal direction willows.

Now as I’ve said, Poppy and Suzette were in an odd state, with the latter being largely in control, but operating within the template of the mischievous child. They couldn’t converse with each other, talk over what was a good idea and what was bad. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Funeral March to Gothic Rock (part two)

(back to part one)

(reading time: 1 hour, 25 minutes)

Catalogues of Women

Thank you all for coming out this afternoon, I know it’s hotter than the devil’s bedpan out here. Leave it to a South Reap October to turn pumpkins into prunes; that’s what my father always used to say.” There was some light laughter, less than he expected, but he chalked it up to the fatiguing heat.

There was at least some shade thanks to the garden trees behind the town hall, where Mountainblood always held its press conferences. Journalists for local rags, both clean and oily, were clustered under the crab apples, fanning themselves with hats because their cards were busy recording the event. Continue reading

Planet in Theory: Funeral March to Gothic Rock (part one)

(This is the second in a trilogy.  If you wish to go back to the beginning, here you go.)

Past the facts lies a realm where your guess has to be good enough: probable space!  Its places and peoples have their own odds, from 2to1 on down, getting less substantial all the way.  All the planets there are the ones merely theorized here, from tiny Vulcan, to Counter-Earth, to Phaeton, and beyond.

Long Odd Silver and Roman Koch are prisoners, stolen from the newest world in probable space and brought to the Counter-Earth called Antichthon.  Buried deep in a desert prison, going mad, they must find a way to join forces with one of the locals: a crazy fellow by the name of Linus ‘Likely’ Hood.  Linus is eager to break his brother out of that very same prison, and ride off together on the backs of stolen mechanical bulls!

Halloween is fast approaching, and the ghosts are getting restless.  All will come to a head when the hollowing holiday arrives and the impossible becomes dreaded inevitability.

(reading time: 1 hour, 15 minutes) (reading time for entire novel: 6 hours, 5 minutes)

Planet in Theory

Funeral March to Gothic Rock

by

Blaine Arcade

Banjo Says Tariff

The song playing on the radio was quaint the first few times. After that it was the height of irritation, even in that gravity-free place where height was relative. The only instrument was the banjo, and it only had one thing to say: sit tight or loosen the purse strings. These weren’t lyrics, that would’ve added a human voice to the endless plink and plonk of the four strings, which to many of the crew sounded like a hand with a missing finger going about its life clumsily and blissfully unaware.

No, the tune was a reminder that they weren’t in charge, and that the people who were in charge weren’t budging, not even an inch in that place where inches couldn’t matter less, unless their demands were met. There was a tariff, and they had to pay up if they wanted to enter Antichthon’s atmosphere with their perishable cargo. Continue reading

Chat-your-own-Adventure #20: The Pellet Potion

Author’s Note: This story was written live on stream with the audience bidding tokens (earned while watching) to determine the path of the story.  The underlined phrases in the choice of three were the winning pathways.  Stop by twitch.tv/blainearcade if you’d ever like to participate in our interactive fiction.

Yule                                                    Hallow’s Eve                                           Equinox

The pumpkin patch, according to the grapevine, was the best place to find one of those odd animals that only come out during a few weeks of the year, when the wind first grows fangs. Orbitia stood in the midst of it, silently, waiting for any sign that one of them was around. Continue reading

Chat-your-own-Adventure #15: The Hog does Birthdays

Author’s Note: This story was written live on stream with the audience bidding tokens (earned while watching) to determine the path of the story.  The underlined phrases in the choice of three were the winning pathways.  Stop by twitch.tv/blainearcade if you’d ever like to participate in our interactive fiction.

Seedy POV                          Spoiled Rotten POV                               Sky Writer POV

It was the autumn. My sixteenth birthday approached rapidly on the horizon. As the daughter of one of the wealthiest families in all of the town of Tinstar, my party was to be quite the event. Not only would it certainly get written up in the local paper’s society and culture section, but my birthday, as it did every year, fell upon the night prior to Halloween. Continue reading

Chat-your-own-Adventure #2: Satan and some Cold Tea

Author’s Note: This story was written live on stream with the audience bidding tokens (earned while watching) to determine the path of the story.  The underlined phrases in the choice of three were the winning pathways.  Stop by twitch.tv/blainearcade if you’d ever like to participate in our interactive fiction.

Mr. Rind                                                   Needles                                            Hairy Pit

You were never supposed to go to the house with the teal roof, at least not on Halloween. Every other day of the year it was fine. The little old lady or the little old man would answer the door, or get their mail, or harass their cat into coming back inside, without bothering a soul. The teal roof wasn’t even that menacing, until it was lit in just the wrong way in late October. Continue reading