Blue Lacuna — 426 of 467

Aaron A. Reed

Release 4

Chapter - Atop Flashback

[This flashback was recorded by a tree that used to be in Stumps. Progue realizes the girls are gone. He tries to sculpt, but fails, realizes he can no longer wayfare. Smashes pipe in frustration. Chops down windsigh.

[proposal: move block of stone to Stumps. Add windsigh stump to Stumps.]

puzzles: any but mysterious door.

Progue finds lethe's dream-chotchkie.


Dream-Atop is a flashback-room in Dreamlands. The printed name is " Among The Stumps ". The description of Dream-Atop is "The [o]block[x] of rough-hewn stone before you is cast into sharp relief by the sun setting over the lagoon behind it, picking out the newly-formed edges and stone fragments scattered at its base in detailed relief. Your breathing is heavy, though you haven't lifted the heavy [o]pickaxe[x] in your hand for hours, since the now-setting sun was high in the sky.".

Dream-Atop-stuff is stuff in Dream-Atop. Understand "sun/lagoon/fragments" as Dream-Atop-stuff when location is Dream-Atop.

The da-windsigh is a described setpiece in Dream-Atop. Understand "tree9/windsigh" as da-windsigh when location is Dream-Atop. The printed name is "windsigh". Rule for writing a paragraph about da-windsigh: say "A [o]windsigh[x] watches over the grove of [o]stumps[x], the blue [o]pipe[x] running past its roots towards the base of the [d]ropeway[x], while behind you the [d]marsh[x] breathes throaty evening cries."; now da-bluepipe is mentioned. The description of da-windsigh is "The wind breathes through the gaps in its branches faintly, a ringing wail that ebbs and flows in pitch and volume, cyclical alien music.". Instead of climbing da-windsigh: say "You're too exhausted, mentally and physically, to even contemplate it.".

The da-bluepipe is a setpiece in Dream-Atop. Understand "blue/pipe" as da-bluepipe when location is Dream-Atop. The printed name is "blue pipe". The description is "You stare at it in disgust, a baleful reminder of every failing you've made since arriving here. How could you have allowed yourself to become so obsessed, so driven to repair the egg, install it on top of the mountain, when your own children needed you more? Then months of work, sculpting and tweaking and refining the shapes in the echo cave, to protect what you'd made, but you realize now it was only to protect yourself. Now your daughters are gone, and all you have left are their paintings, and a network of efficient, useless pipes and machinery.". Instead of attacking da-bluepipe: say "Rage fills you as you stare at the smooth sides of the pipe, so neat and orderly, and without a second thought you lift the crushing pickaxe up above your head and bring it down in a furious blow on the pipe. The bamboo cracks easily, a long split running down the side of the tube, and you suddenly tremble through your whole body as if from the shock of the blow.[paragraph break][pa-suicide].". To say pa-suicide: say "How easy it would be to destroy it all, everything you built, everything your daughters left behind, every shred of your existence here in this too-perfect tropical paradise. Then, when only you were left, to destroy yourself as well.[paragraph break]But you won't". Instead of attacking da-progue, say "[pa-suicide].".

Every turn when location is Dream-Atop and a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds, say "The [o]block[x] of stone stands resolutely in the setting sun's light, mocking you.".

A heavy pickaxe is held by DA-Progue. Understand "axe" or "pick axe" or "pickaxe/pickax" as pickaxe. The description is "A blunt tool: a solid heavy wood handle strapped tightly to a sharpened chunk of the dense stone from the east island. It served to shape this outcrop of rock into an empty medium. But it is more a tool for destruction than creation.". Instead of dropping heavy pickaxe: say "Your hands are locked on it in a death grip, and you cannot loosen them.".

The dream-block is a setpiece in Dream-Atop. Understand "block/stone" as dream-block. The printed name is "block of stone". The description is "You've hewn the outcrop of rock that once stood here into a tall rough cube, ready to be sculpted into something, anything, that would finally take you from this empty place. You started as soon as you recovered from your long depression, as soon as the shock of discovering the paintings your girls, your beautiful girls, left behind when they finally escaped you, abandoned you as they should have, after you abandoned them. You are ready to leave this place now, too. All you must do is [d]sculpt[x].".

Understand "sculpt" or "make sculpture" as attacking when location is Dream-Atop. Rule for supplying a missing noun when attacking and location is Dream-Atop: change noun to dream-block.

Instead of attacking dream-block: say "You lift the pickaxe again to make the first rough inroads into that cursed block, becoming more and more solid every hour, then slowly lower it.[paragraph break]It's no use. Nothing will come.[paragraph break]Ever since you first learned of your gift-- before-- never once did you not know what to sculpt. Your mind always brimmed with images, ideas, forms that you desperately needed to make real, until one day the universe took you literally. Even when you first came here with the girls, all those dark months ago, overwhelmed at the loss of your love, the tree came immediately into your thoughts, and you began sculpting it the moment your hand touched the chisel.[paragraph break]But now nothing will come at all. And a seething finality grows in you with every passing moment. Your gift is gone, taken from you as punishment, mayhaps, for your failings, as a husband, a father, a friend in need. Or mayhaps withered and died with the rest of your spirit in these dark months behind you.[paragraph break]Mayhaps you will never sculpt again. Mayhaps you will die on this island, alone. Alone.".

Some dream-stumps are a setpiece in Dream-Atop. Understand "stump/stumps" as dream-stumps. The printed name is "stumps". The description is "Here on this spot was one of the first marks you made on this island, in the days after you and the girls arrived, chopping down the grove of konokuk trees that once grew here to build the cabin on the beach, fulfill your desperate need for home, for shelter, even if you couldn't say from what. Now you've returned to make your last mark on this place. If you can.".

First Instead of going down when location is Dream-Atop: say "[one of]You hesitate. Somehow you sense that giving up now will forfeit your last chance at sculpting your way into a new a world, at ever leaving this island full of memories and whispering minds.[or][da-end-windsigh][stopping]". Instead of attacking da-windsigh: try going down. To say da-end-windsigh: say "You turn away at last from the block of stone. Tiny fractures shatter inside you, like the delicate line of snow and ice around a thing left out in the cold, splintering under the slightest force as a person comes to move it. And as you turn, you see the tree.[paragraph break]The windsigh stands at the edge of the rise, yellow leaves fluttering in the breeze[if guessed_trees is true]. And you know they're watching you. Every time you see the tree you'll know they're watching. Wondering. Judging[end if].[paragraph break]You heft the pickaxe in your hand, and step forward. It has to be done, you think to yourself. You have to have your own space. Alone. You need to be alone.[paragraph break]You're sorry.[paragraph break]Hefting the axe, you swing with all your might and {(*s-.&6P}{,e*-.*0**{}{)}[line break][end-flashback]".

Understand "marsh/ropeway" as down when location is Dream-Atop.

Some fragments of stone are a setpiece in Dream-Atop.

To setup Dream-Atop-hints: do nothing.

DA-Progue is a dream-progue in Dream-Atop.