chopped down

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Flimb Questy (made in 30 minutes)

steve’s middle name is spelled G-R-A-N-T but it’s pronounced ‘trouble’
stardew valley gothic

• the time passes so quickly yet so slowly. it’s been a week, it’s been months, it’s been years. you do not age. nobody ages. the children don’t grow up. you start forgetting everything about your life before. you live here. you’ve always lived here.
• when it rains, you hear strange faraway howls and screams that fill you with primal terror. you never stay outside for long on rainy days.
• your crops grow within days. you plant seeds in the ground. ten days later, the fields are overgrown with corn.
• you find things when you dig in the dirt. roots, clay, stone. books. skulls that don’t look like they belong to any animal you know.
• there are only two channels on tv. the weather and the fortune teller. it doesn’t matter when you turn it on, the weather program is only just starting. “it will be sunny tomorrow” the weatherman says with empty eyes and a too-wide smile. you flip to the fortune teller’s channel. “the spirits are in a bad mood today” she says, “be careful”. you shiver, and decide not to go to the mines today.
• have you always been so strong? you can chop down a tree in minutes and you can carry hundreds of stones in your backpack.
• you wake up at exactly 6 every morning. you can’t wake up earlier, or later.
• sometimes your scarecrows are not planted where they were yesterday.
• you hear whispers in the old community center. you can almost see something indiscernable out of the corner of your eye. you bring offerings, hoping to appease the spirits.
• today it’s winter. you swear two days ago it was summer.
• the berries you found in the woods have a strange metallic taste. their juices stain your mouth red. you keep eating them anyway.
• nobody ages. nobody ages. nobody ages. what year is it?
• you keep bringing offerings in the old community center. honey, milk, wine, peaches, dead animals. there are never enough offerings.
• the fruit bats that live in the small cave near your house leave fruit for you. they bring you out of season fruit, exotic fruit, fruit that comes from halfway across the world, fruit that you’ve never seen before.
• the wizard granted you the power to understand the spirits that live in the old community center. now you wish he hadn’t.
• every night when you get home, you lock the door and close the windows. every morning when you wake up, your cat is somehow inside the house.
• the train passes through stardew valley sometimes, but never stops. you can hear howls coming from it.
• you try talking to the people in the village, but they always seem to be repeating the same things. “do you have any blueberries?”, asks lewis for the 14th time this month.
• there are things in the mines. don’t go into the mines.
• “we’re insulated from the rest of the world here” says demetrius. now that you think of it, you have never received a letter or a phone call from the outside world. is there even an outside world?
• there is a bath house, north of the town. there is never anyone there, but the electricity works and the water runs. when you enter the locker room, there is a bathing suit just your size waiting for you. the water in the big bath is milky. you can’t see the bottom. you enter it anyway. when you exit, you feel happy and energised. you have nothing to worry about. come back soon!
• the bus to calico desert is out of service. the road to calico desert is out of service. do not go to calico desert. do not ask about calico desert. do no think about calico desert. there is no calico desert.
• you are out late at night, gathering berries. at exactly two am, something knocks you out. you wake up in your bed the following morning. don’t think about it. go to sleep.
• you try staying up past two am the following night, only to be knocked out again. go to sleep. go to sleep. go to sleep.
• you have been here for a couple of weeks, or maybe for decades. nothing changes. you can’t die. you can’t die. you can’t die.