Me[mori] [[Look Around...]] A palette of dull white and dark brown fills every corner of your vision. From beneath a white snow, fat, thick tree trunks sprout; far overhead their branches meet, forming a canopy of thin, brown tendrils. They creak and ache, scratching and writhing as currents of wind provoke them. A grey sky peaks from in-between the gaps they leave, flakes of snow falling down to meet you. A thick jacket guards you from their chilling touch. Your eyes glance around, back and forth, here and there... but everywhere you look, the same palette of white and brown greets you. It is only then that you realize, you are completely alone. [[Gather Your Thoughts...]] [[Say Something...]] [[Walk About...]] Where are you? How did you get here? Why are you here? The more questions you ask, the less answers you seem to have. The harder you try to remember, the less clear things seem to become. A face here, a voice there... but you just can't seem to string things together. Staring absentmindedly into the snow, at the sky, and toward the trees, you begin to lose yourself for a moment... But a frigid breeze soon awakens you from your thoughts. You had almost forgotten just how cold it was... [[Say Something...]] [[Walk About...]] ... Your efforts are greeted only by the sound of branches creaking above you. [[Gather Your Thoughts...]] [[Walk About...]] Staying here, it seems, will not do much to help your current situation. The cold is only growing colder, and the silence only makes you feel more isolated. At the very least, walking might help to warm your chilled body. You wonder if you might even find someone else here, though becoming more lost also seems to be a distinct possibility. The grey, cloudy sky makes it impossible to tell what time of day it is. And as you look about, everything appears the same; a flat plain of snow, crowded with trunks, with no sign of the end in sight. One direction, you reason, is as good as any other; with a sense of resolution, you begin to walk, your feet leaving light prints in the powdery snow. [[...]]... One minute. Then two. Ten... twenty? You begin to wonder just how long you've been walking. The white plain and brown trees seem to stretch all around you, as far as your eyes can see, as far as your feet will carry you. Are you walking around in circles? Does this vastness ever end? You begin to consider turning around, when a glimpse of something makes you immediately stop. Something... something there, in the distance. A faint, yellow glow can be seen far ahead. But there are far too many trees blocking your path to see anything more from here; only a closer look may reveal it's source. Still, however... you don't know what might be ahead. You could avoid the light entirely, and trod in another direction... [[Walk Toward the Glow...]] [[Avoid the Glow...]] A piece of your mind seems to scream with caution... but your situation is far from ideal. Avoiding the glow now would probably do more to hurt you than help. After all, what's the worst that could happen?... Silently, you tell yourself that you wish you wouldn't have thought that. Treading and weaving through the maze of trees, the yellow, dainty glow begins to grow. Brighter, larger, soft, yet more intense, it's light more visable as the maze of trees begins to thin. Yet as the light grows, so, too, does a dark silhouette surrounding it. Far too thick to be a tree, something rises in the distance... Closer and closer, you come toward the light... and then, you see it. A house, several stories high, with a yellow light shining from it's topmost window. Despite the growing darkness, you can make out the dull, red exterior, flakes of paint tearing away from the aged, wooden siding. Comfortably it sits behind a low, iron fence, brooding beneath a dark winter sky. A large door faces you from the roofed, cement porch; you reason that this must be the front of the house. Although several windows line the face of the house, there appear to be no other lights emanating from behind them. Squinting slightly, you are, however, able to notice several vines extending over the windows... no, not vines; they appear to be string lights, but no light emits from their dark bulbs. Your first thought is that someone might be home... hopefully, someone who could help you. Your second thought is that that very someone might hurt you instead. But a quick shake of the head brings you back to the desperate, bitter reality of your situation. Are you really willing to risk a night in the cold over the shelter of a home?... The sobering chill of the wind's kiss seems to decide that answer for you. [[Walk Toward the Front Door...]] [[Take a Moment to Explore the Exterior...]] Another cold breeze washes over your cheek as you once again pull your jacket close, eyes squinting against it's bitter bite. As your lids open, the yellow glow catches your eyes anew... but your sense of caution is stronger than it's allure. Who knows what it's source might be? Who might you find there, if anyone at all? You're curious. But also cautious. A few, hesitant steps later, you find yourself walking in a slightly new direction, attempting to avoid the yellow glow. Lost in the midst of thick, brown trunks, the light vanishes as quickly as it appeared. The soft crunch of snow beneath your feet only serves to remind you of how cold you are becoming, but the heat of determination keeps your legs moving... ...Moving, that is, until you see it once again; a faint, yellow glow, peeking at you from the distance. Is this the same light? Or did you somehow walk in circles? Curious, confused, and cold, you begin to realize the desperation of your situation. You could avoid this yellow glow as well... but a glance to the sky makes you reconsider. The grey, pale sky overhead appears to have darkened; how much more light is left in the day? What if you become lost, without a light? What might lurk here after the sun has set?... [[Walk Toward the Glow...]]The age of the iron gate shows as you coerce it to open, it's weathered hinges bellowing deep. Stepping through, you make your way to the door, following the small, cement walkway. Upon the porch two pumpkins slouch over; the faces carved into their exterior blankly smile through rotted flesh, greeting you as you step up to the door. A black and orange placard hangs from a nail, thoughtfully wishing you a 'Happy Halloween!' [[Knock on the Door...]] [[Try the Doorknob...]] [[Go to the Front Gate...]]Following the black, iron gate around the house's exterior, you take a moment to explore the area. Your eyes scan along the house as you round the first corner, noticing several more windows, but no additional lights. Rounding the next corner, you find yourself at the back of the house; another porch, only wide enough for perhaps one or two people to stand on, extends from another door. Following the walk's path, you also notice a large structure, made from an opaque material sitting inside the rather spacious back yard. It's form seems to be that of a shed, though you find the material befitting of such. The walk runs beside it, through the yard, and in front of you, stopping at one of the fence's gates. As you follow the fence to the other side of the house, you can also see something protruding from the ground, next to the foundation of a house... cellar doors, perhaps? Taking note, you return to the front of the house. [[Walk Toward the Front Door...]] [[Go to the Back Gate...]] You make your way to the back of the house, following the iron fence. A large, opaque structure stands in the backyard. A door sits at the back of the house. [[Walk up to the Back Door...]] [[Walk to the Odd Shed...]]Upon the door hangs a festive Fall wreath, it's weathered, orange leaves and fake, plastic gourds contrasting starkly with the deep, brown wood. [[Try to Open the Back Door...]] [[Walk to the Odd Shed...]] [[Go to the Back Gate...]]Stepping closer to the strange outbuilding, you attempt to take a better look at it's features. A door faces you from the nearest side, but it is secured by a large, combination lock; without the combination, you won't be getting in anytime soon. [[Walk up to the Back Door...]] [[Go to the Back Gate...]]Lifting a hand, you curl your numbing fingers into a fist, rapping on the hard, oak door. No answer. You do so a second time, and wait for another moment... There is no answer, nor a sound of movement. [[Try the Doorknob...]] [[Go to the Front Gate...]]Grabbing the doorknob, you twist it, half-expecting it to be locked... The knob, however, turns all the way. A bit of pressure reveals that the door is not locked as it freely swings open. [[Go Inside...]] [["Hello?"...]] [[Go to the Front Gate...]]You find yourself outside of the fence, at the front of the house. [[Take a Moment to Explore the Exterior...]] [[Go to the Back Gate...]]Stepping inside the doorway, you pause suddenly at the sound of a soft crunch from below; looking down, you can see the slight gleam of broken glass upon the floor. Glancing about, then back down again, you wonder where this glass came from. A small table stands to your right... perhaps something fell from on top of it? For a moment, you question if you might have knocked it over... but you can't recall having heard a crashing sound. Surely, it must have already been broken. Carefully stepping around the mess, your eyes return to the interior, squinting in an attempt to see past the darkness. You look about for a lightswitch, finally locating one beside the door... but no amount of flips or frustrated clicks will bring light to the threshold. Before you, a staircase ascends in the middle of the room, halls extending past on either side. To your right, you can see a pair of french doors, leading into a darkened room. What lies beyond is not immediately clear. To your left is a similar sight, albeit the doors are closed, their panes pitch black... perhaps something is covering them? Stepping out of the light of the doorway, a few shades of shadow slink away from the walls. It appears that the hall extends beyond the stairwell. [[... But you just can't shake an uneasy feeling which begins to sprout in your mind...]]... ... ... Nobody answers. [[Go Inside...]] [[Go to the Front Gate...]]... You had almost expected this place to be abandoned... then again, you had also expected the door to be locked. Yet a glance about seems to tell you that 'abandoned' might not be the right word. Despite the relative darkness, you can discern the warmth of the eggshell-colored walls, trimmed on the edges by white crown molding. Their surface is occasionally interrupted by soft, protruding shapes... picture frames, perhaps? Except for the glass upon the floor, everything seems relatively well-cared for... But the glass... why would there be glass on the floor? Could it be recent? Several scenarios seem likely to you, none of them immediately clear, however. Yet this question leads you to consider numerous others. Where is everyone? Is anyone still here? If not, when will they be back?... will they be back? More importantly, and perhaps concerning, is your lack of memory. [[Thinking, searching, you try to remember something... to no avail.]]... Although your lack of memory is disturbing, the familiar, bitter kiss of a cold breeze seems to freeze your thoughts (and worries) in their place. You had forgotten just how cold you are. Balling your hands into a pair of fists, then easing your fingers out again, their numbness becomes more apparent. It might be wise to try and warm up, and make yourself comfortable. Turning your head to look through the door, squeezing your fingers into fists once again... you know that staying out there would be suicide. An old adage comes to mind... [["better to apologize, than to ask permission."]] Taking a moment to think, you consider your options. You could search for a closet to find some gloves, a hat, or other warmer clothes. You could also search the house for bedrooms, which might have some warmer clothes as well. Alternatively, you could also try to fix the power; if the house has some kind of heating system, it would possibly kick in once the power was restored. The problem may be as simple as flipping a breaker, or perhaps even starting a generator. If there is a basement or closet, you might be able to find one of these sources there. If the electricity isn't working, the gas might also be shut off, provided the house uses natural gas. If so, however, you might be able to find a gas stove in a kitchen, or even a portable stove elsewhere. Heat isn't the only issue. The sky is growing progressively dark, and navigating the house may prove to be a feat, in itself. Restoring the electricity would solve both problems, but you can't be sure that that is even possible. However, if you look around, you might be able to find some sort of portable light source. [[You also begin to consider two other thoughts...]] ... The first thought causes your eyes to wander toward the stairs. You remember seeing a glow emitting from what appeared to be a second or third floor window. What could the source of the glow be? A light? If there's a light, does that also mean there's power? Or, perhaps... a person? Surely, though, you would have heard someone by now, if they did not hear you. Your second thought is seemingly more important than the first, however, and of decidedly more interest. Surely the house would have some sort of map to tell you where you are, which might just help to make sense of this whole ordeal. Alternatively, restoring the power could enable you to use a computer, smart phone, or other electronic device capable of connecting to the internet. Hell, though you doubt it's possible, you might even be able to call home on a land-line at the very least. The prospect brings the slightest of smiles to your face, and even manages to warm you a little. [[Maybe, just maybe, this was actually a good idea. Maybe things won't be so bad after all...]] ... But standing here won't get you anywhere. It seems you could pursue any one of many options: look for a breaker box or generator, search for a kitchen, try to find a light source, browse around for some clothing, or hunt for a map or other items that might help you to figure out where you are. In any case, you will have to begin to search around the house. (END: Part 1) [[Examine the door to your left.]] [[Examine the door to your right.]] [[Walk down the hallway to the left of the stairs.]] [[Walk down the hallway to the right of the stairs.]] [[Walk up the stairs to the second floor.]] Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.Double-click this passage to edit it.No matter how much you twist and turn the cold, metal knob, it just won't seem to budge. It must be locked, or broken. [[Walk to the Odd Shed...]] [[Go to the Back Gate...]]