Dark Rooms and Butterflies

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Okay, time to get Life is Strange out of my system.

Namely, Episode 4. 

Daniel, what are your thoughts to the very last scene in the latest episode?

“…that sick fuck.”

Yeah…me too. 

Okay, from this point, we’re going to spoil everything, so if you haven’t seen the episode, take a deep breath, and back away. Mmkay?

Okay! Let’s go Daniel!

“…where?”

You know! Episode! Thoughts!

“You’re the English buff. You give your thoughts. I’ll just pop in every now and then as the obligatory fanservice guy.”

See? You’re better at this than you think. Ugh…fine.

Sooooooo, this episode’s major plot twists, along with my guesstimations.

  • The Dark Room Recap

This episode involves our favourite hipster and her BFF- whom she kills in another dimension by the way- friends once more after Chloe’s tantrum at the end of last episode, as they go on to investigate Rachel’s disappearance. Everything’s all butterflies and rainbows, including a crowning moment of awesome for Warren who punches Hipster Draco Malfoy in the face, when all of a sudden, BAM! Rape dungeon. 

More specifically, apocalypse bunker used as a rape dungeon. Either way, seedy shit is happening down there. Chloe finds out that Nathan/HDM receives his drug deliveries at an isolated barn on the outskirts of town, so she and Maxlock Holmes head out to investigate. After searching the barn, we it. Duct tape, creepy sex art, sedatives in the form of needle injection (squick), and the real kicker, photos. Of Rachel and Kate Marsh. That’s not all. In the midst of all these rape dungeon photos, there’s one photo taken at a garbage dump, with Rachel is lying on top of a freshly dug hole…

Yup. Rachel’s dead. At the very least, she’s dead in this universe. Which means Chloe is mad. So now it’s time to hunt down Nathan. After searching for him at the End Of The World party (worst attempt at ironic humour EVER), we get a text from him, telling us that he’s going to get rid of the evidence. Back to the dump site; oh good, Rachel’s still there. Still dead. Yay. Everything’s okay- BAM! MAX GETS SHOT WITH A SEDATIVE. BAM! CHLOE GETS SHOT WITH AN ACTUAL GUN. BAM! IT’S NOT NATHAN, IT’S *gasp* PROFESSOR SEXY! Or Mr Jefferson, if you prefer.

“…I find your tendency to want to jump the villain of every story hilarious.”

…I’m never gonna find love, am I Daniel?

“Hey, I never said you fell in love with them. I merely said that you wanted to get in their pants.”

Fair point.

Anyway, our last shot before the episode ends completely is back at the rape dungeon, where Mr Jefferson/Evil Hipster is filling an injection needle, while Max pleads in the background. Meanwhile, the world’s ending. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Now’s my favourite part. Predicting the future, ie. The finale episode. Let’s do this.

  • Jefferson’s Story

It’s obvious by this point that Jefferson has something to do with Nathan. He’s in his family’s bunker, using drugs that Nathan bought. Why? I refuse to believe that he’s a Malfoy, because that would be a lame way to justify how he has access to the bunker, so I’m thinking that Jefferson is blackmailing him in some way. Originally, I was thinking that Nathan was an accomplice, due to Chloe’s own drugging, but now I think that Jefferson may have found out about his mental health history and drug dealing, and blackmailed him into buying him drugs and letting him use his bunker. 

“Wait, I get the drug dealing but why the mental health thing? Doesn’t the school already know about that?”

I’m not entirely sure, Daniel. But I think that if it got out to the general public, who hate the Malfoys/Prescotts, then they would be in ruin. 

“Why? Because he suffers from mental ilness? The town’s not that shallow, is it?”

I actually saw it another way. There was a letter highlighting how his dad refused to support his son and help him receive therapy. I imagine that this would be more exploitable than just the mere knowledge that Nathan Prescott needs meds to function properly. Speaking of which, he’s not taking them. 

“Oh?”

There’s a full bottle of pills in his room. I’m betting you that he’s not taking them.

“Very well. I’ll bite. Explain.”

Okay. It seems that Nathan’s behaviour has been cooking for a while. I imagine that Jefferson was probably taunting him about him having to be on medication, so I’m going to take a gamble here and say that Nathan couldn’t handle it, and decided to try going off them. Or the illegal drugs he’s taking are clashing with the legal ones and are fucking with his brain. But I feel that if that were the case, then this sort of behaviour would’ve become apparent long before the events of the game, as neither the medication or the drug use have been taken up recently. Anyway, I think that Nathan’s deterioration allowed Jefferson to mould him into the perfect accomplice and scapegoat; his family owns the barn, Frank’s book proves that he purchased drugs and asked them to be delivered there, he’s obviously deranged- deranged enough that he’s being dragged along as an accomplice in all this-, he has photos of a drugged Chloe in his room, and he’s already a suspect in Rachel Amber’s murder. Remember? Rachel in the Dark Room, Rachel in the Dark Room.

“I like your theory.”

Thank you….but?

“…but you’re missing one thing. The photo of him standing over Rachel’s body. Your theory implies that he was dragged into this. So why’s he posing with her?”

That, I don’t really know. Maybe he didn’t know she was dead and was just being stupid. Or, maybe he was high on something and wasn’t lucid enough to realise that Rachel was actually dead, or that Jefferson was taking the photo. If that’s true, then it’s another piece of blackmail on Nathan’s back. But yeah…to be honest, I haven’t really accounted for it.

“Well I think that it holds up, though I reckon that the photo will end up being the primary item of blackmail, rather than the mental illness. But it would be an interesting explanation, and it would probably make Nathan more tragic.”

Okee, so that’s the relationship between HDM and Professor SexyEvil Hipster out of the way. Next on the agenda:

  • Escaping the rape dungeon

Like I said before, the world’s ending outside. Max is in the bunker with Jefferson, and if it weren’t for the fact that he’s a rapist who killed Chloe and Rachel, it’s probably the safest place for her right now. The main problem is disposing of the Evil Hipster. Unfortunately, she’s equipped with nothing but her time travelling abilities, which is going to make things difficult, especially since that injection appears to effect her abilities, though I don’t know if she’ll be completely incapacitated. Rewinding can give her more time to escape, but unless there’s a way for her to actually escape her restraints, it won’t be much use. Stopping time is the same, (although I can see that more useful in another scenario…) which leads me to believe that her latest ability is going to be equipped, if not a Rachel Amber ex-machina.

Like they say, if a gun appears on stage, at some point during the play, it must go off. Likewise, that photo we took with Warren at the party is probably going to help us change the past. Not only will we be able to get one step ahead of Jefferson, but we can stop Chloe from dying (again). The only problem I can foresee is that Max will go back to a new altered present, and if she’s not back in the rape dungeon/bunker, then she’s going to be stuck in the middle of a hurricane, while everyone dies around her. 

“Why can’t she die?”

Shhhhh. Because she’s the protagonist.

“Doesn’t stop you.”

I’m not a protagonist, I’m more like Scrappy Doo. You’re the one this story’s about, I’m just a disaster waiting to happen. Unfortunately. Anyway! That’s the idea that I have for how Batmax is going to escape. 

  • The Final Resolution

From that point on, it seems like a pretty crappy situation. You’d be stuck in an apocalyptic wasteland with Chloe, everyone you invested in emotionally would be dead, and Rachel’s probably not going to get justice, and neither will Kate. 

…unless.

“Hmm?”

…do you remember that episode of Doctor Who where Rose saves her dad and creates a time paradox? And as a result, those monsters come out to try and remedy the situation via mass murder?

“…oh no….”

Yup…I’m not just talking about saving Chloe. I’m talking about every little decision that Max made which changed the course of history. Everything’s been building up and is now the size of a hurricane. 

“…I hated that episode for a reason.”

Me too…you see where I’m going with this, right?

“…excuse me. I need to go man up.”

Daniel’s right, this fucking sucks. But remember that blue butterfly picture we took, right before Nathan shot Chloe and we discovered we can turn back time? Guess what, we have another Checkov’s gun here! Almost literally when you think about it.

“…YOU WENT THERE.”

…sorry. In all seriousness though, every problem we’ve encountered so far can be resolved if Nathan shoots Chloe before they happen. Nathan gets arrested for murder, because not even the MalfoysPrescotts can worm their way out of that. When he’s behind bars, he’s gonna start singing like a canary, leading the police to Jefferson and the rape dungeon. Kate can get help for what happened to her before she tries to jump off a roof, Rachel can finally rest in peace, the Prescotts can get thrown out of Arcadia thanks to the court of public opinion and the universe doesn’t have to correct itself by wiping out Arcadia Bay via tornado after Max’s meddling.

Unfortunately, it means that Chloe has to die. And that fucking sucks.

“Objection!”

Yes Phoenix Wright?”

“Hey, I want to be Edgeworth.”

No. You brought up the series, you have to be the title character. That’s how it rolls. 

“What if I speak in a posh accent?”

*posh voice* Too late. Make your point, Wright.

“Fine…aren’t there some cases where things can be evened out if something else is sacrificed in its place?”

I’ve never heard of that theory. 

“Are you sure? What about that Charon game you watched the other day?”

That crappy visual novel dungeon crawler?

“The very same. Remember? Protagonist kills themself so that a girl won’t have to die.”

Oh right. They probably changed the rules for convenience though. It’s Charon.

“Yes, because it’s obvious that all rules concerning time travel are proven fact.”

Fineeeee. But I don’t know enough about the rules of time travel to know if it works or not. 

“Okay…how about a less dubious source?”

There’s more?

“Year Walk. You remember that game better, don’t you?”

Ah yes, my first horror game. Oh!

“NOW do you get it?”

Uh huh. In Year Walk, the guy violated the rules of time and space, and as a result, he ended up killing his girlfriend. That was the price he had to pay for trying to meddle. But then Theo sent him the knife via the box, so that he could take his own life, as the watchers demanded that he make a sacrifice for his crime. 

“Hah. Suck it Edgeworth.”

You can find a lot of fanfiction where I do just that, sweet cheeks. Wait…so when you say sacrifice…

“Yup. Is it really out of the realm of possibility for Max to shove Chloe out of the way and take a bullet for her?”

Holy shit you’re right. WAAAAAAAAAIT.

“…you’re meant to say Hold it.”

Hold it! Would the sacrifice theory apply to Rachel Amber too? Maybe the reason she’s dead is because she meddled with time and was faced with having to sacrifice her best friend or herself. Just a few things I remembered; Rachel was perfect– maybe she had the same power Max did, and rewrote everything so that everyone loved her. And another thing; Rachel saved Chloe’s life, according to her. Who’s to say this wasn’t literal?

“…if that’s true, then Chloe is a frigging magnet for rogue time travellers.”

That’s an understatement. But then we have another matter on our hands. Namely, why did Jefferson leave Max alive, but shoot Chloe in the head? Before, I had assumed that for some reason, he decided that Max more rapeable than Chloe (ewwwwwww!), but now that I consider the theory that Rachel may have meddled with time, and the fact that Rachel ended up dead at Jefferson’s hands, what’s to say that he knows something about time travelling himself? Those are the only reasons why I can see him preserving Max while killing Chloe. As for why Rachel died, maybe he tried to sedate her over a long period and ended up overdosing her on whatever’s in those needles. 

“And on that note, I think we’ve covered everything.”

You sure?

“If we try and think about it anymore, we’ll explode. Max will escape the rape dungeon via photographic teleportation, and ultimately decide between sacrificing Aracadia Bay and sacrificing Chloe. Or herself. And it will be revealed that Rachel was also a time traveller who ultimately died because of meddling, and that Jefferson may also be involved somehow. Also, Jefferson is blackmailing Nathan with his drug addled brain. Those are your predictions, correct?”

..yeah.

“Then I don’t think you need to go further than this. And I want to catch on Lisa.”

Okaaaaaay, we’ll go watch NicoB. Just one thing. How do you know the plots of crappy yandere games better than I do?

“…I get bored when you’re working.”

Speckle Eye

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She was standing in the middle of the road, right outside my house. I froze the second I saw her. What was she doing here?

It was then that our eyes met. Even in daylight they seemed to glow. It was the first time that I’d seen the deep gash on the right side of her face instead of the left, I noted. Then she started walking directly towards me at approximately the pace of a charging cheetah and before I could run, she grabbed me. “Cat Madigan?” she demanded. I nodded my head rapidly. “Good.” She released me. She was only slightly taller than me, and even then she seemed to tower over me. “What do you know about me?” she continued, becoming more and more frightening by the minute. 

“Um…” I swallowed. “You’re…Kaya, right?”

“Indeed. Now, why have you been watching me?”

“Huh? Watching-ow!” She had grabbed me by the collar of my shirt. Oddly enough, this terrifying woman was less frightening to me than the shadows were. I had probably seen too much of her life to be afraid of her by this point.

“Answer me!” she snarled. 

At that point, I decided it would be a good idea to scream out for Daniel; if Kaya was here, then chances are, he was too. Before I could though, I heard a roaring sound, and I turned to Kaya. “Get off the road!” I yelled. I wrenched myself out of her grasp, grabbed her, and pulled us back onto the side path. The asshole in the sports car zoomed past seconds later, making no attempt to slow down not only for us, but for another car pulling out of the driveway. 

I looked back at Kaya and tried not to laugh. Her eyes were bugging out of her head, her jaw hung open. No, it was more than that, she was visibly shaking. “…you okay?” I asked tentatively.

“What the FUCK was that?” she screeched. That was it. I lost it. After failing to conceal the first snort of laughter, I just doubled over, giggling helplessly. 

She looked down at me, confused and irritated. “What are you doing?” she said suspiciously.

“Your face,” I crowed. “I’m sorry, I really am, but…” I just buckled over laughing. Kaya stared at me. “It’s okay,” I reassured her. “It was just a car, they come by all the time here. Don’t worry about it-”

Don’t worry about it?!” she shrieked. “That thing tried to maul us! Just because we were in its way! Didn’t you hear it growling at us? I knew you humans were murdering bastards, but…why are you still laughing?”

Tears were streaming down my face. I suddenly had a vision of a Hungry Hungry Hippo totting down the road like Pacman. Omnomnomnomnomnom… “Oh Christ, oh god…” My stomach was starting to hurt. 

Eventually, I managed to calm down. I looked up, and saw that the anger had faded from Kaya’s face. “Okay, I’m okay now,” I informed her. “Are you okay?”

She nodded. “You, on the other hand, are insane.” 

“Uh huh.” I grinned. “Well aware of that.” Kaya was quiet again. “Do you want to come inside?” I asked. She hesitated. “It’s okay,” I reassured her. “They…the humans can’t see you here.”

“That’s why-”

“No, I mean they literally can’t see you. You’re invisible.”

“…invisible?” I nodded. I held out my hand for her to take, but she just stared at it. “Okay…” I sighed, taking it away.

She stood there. “What…did that mean?” 

“What?”

“…you offered me your hand. What did you mean by that?”

“…it’s a gesture,” I said weakly.

“What kind of gesture?”

“…friends?” I didn’t know how that would go down with her. “Forget it, I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m sorry. Do you want to come inside?”

Silence. I took this moment to look at her face. There was no cruelty in her gaze, quite the opposite; she was scared. If you took away her scars, her mutant purple eyes, there was just a scared little girl.

Suddenly, she thrusted out her hand, holding it in front of me as I had done. She looked at me expectantly. 

Without question, I placed my hand over hers, and the claws closed around it.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Why are they screaming at eachother?” Kaya asked, as my mother and father screamed at eachother while we quietly walked past them.

I shrugged. We ducked inside my room. “You’re lucky,” I told her. “It’s one of the cleaner days.”

Inside was Daniel. “There you are,” he said, walking over to Kaya. “Everyone at Helevia is having a heart attack right now, are you aware?”

“I’m fine,” she said. “Can you let them know I’m alright?” Daniel looked confused. “I’ll return soon. Unless you’d prefer to stay here with us.” She seemed oblivious to Daniel’s lack of interest or notice of me. I flushed and turned my head.

Daniel sighed. “I’ll go back. Will you be taking care of her from now on?” For the first time, he acknowledged my existence in this room.

“What do you mean?”

“Shadows follow her. That’s why Nereida sent me here to begin with. More often than not, I have to rescue her from them. But if she’s more comfortable with you…”

He can’t wait to be away from me. “If she wishes,” Kaya said mildly. “I cannot always be here however, and you seem more adept at this than I am.”

Daniel nodded. “I’ll see you then,” he said to her. He started walking towards my door.

“Goodbye,” I said softly after him.

I hadn’t expected him to reply. “Good day, Miss Madigan,” he said absently. Then he was gone.

“You don’t like him?” Kaya questioned me.

“It’s not that,” I told her. “I’m just…well, he doesn’t really like me.”

Kaya thought for a moment. “He was glad to have saved you,” she said to me. “He just doesn’t enjoy being in this world.”

“Why?” 

“Because no one sees him.” Kaya sighed. “Everyone one in my world but Nereida sees him as an animal. And in your world, everyone treats him as though he doesn’t exist. You as well.”

Guilt swelled up in my stomach. “I don’t know what’s real anymore,” I said in a whisper. “I’m…I’m the only one who can see you; no one else can. I’m…” I looked pleadingly at Kaya. “Please tell him I’m sorry. If he wants to speak with me, I’ll come with him and talk privately. It’s just…”

“-you don’t want everyone looking at you strangely,” Kaya finished. I flushed. “No, I understand. It’s obvious how this would look to other humans. And you shouldn’t be discriminated for talking to us. I’ll advise him on this. And what you said.”

“…thanks.”

We sat there quietly. I looked up at her. “Why have I been seeing you?” I asked.

Kaya frowned. “I came to this world to ask you this as well. Nereida tells me nothing.”

“What did she tell Daniel?”

“That a special girl needed saving.” I snorted at being called ‘special’. “And if he saved her, then she’d help him find his home.”

“…what good is that going to do?”

“Why do you say that?” Kaya’s eyes narrowed.

I looked down, suddenly afraid. “No one can see you guys,” I reminded her. “Even if Nereida finds out who he is, he won’t be able to go back. Not if they can’t see him.”

“Worst case scenario, he finds out what happened to his loved ones, and gains closure,” Kaya returned.

“…what would he do then?” 

“That’s up to him.”

“…I cannot imagine a fate worse than being invisible and alone.” 

“He won’t be alone.” I looked up to find Kaya staring at me. “You and him have the same eyes, you know.”

“We do?”

“Yes.” She gazed intently, holding my chin with her hand, careful not to claw me. “Millions of little lines, multicoloured dots. Blue, green, grey, gold, brown, olive. Scattered like a cluster of stars. You both have galaxies for eyes.” She turn turned from me and stared at her reflection in the mirror. “We only have the one colour. We’re so…dead. You humans are so full of life, so dynamic. Me and my mind, we’re all monsters. Not just me. We’re not all aware of it, but we are.”

“…no. You’re really not.” I took her hand and pushed myself against her chest, wrapping my arms around her. She froze, then after a few seconds, returned the hug.

Cats Can’t Write Poetry

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Who

The hell am I 

Now that the serotonin has worn off?

What

Snapped and decided that

A noose is a form of self preservation

When 

Logic dictates that

It’s anything but. Welcome to Wonderland

Where

Anything is

Possible. Except for sanity, of course.

Why

Believe in a

Miracle in a place built on masochism?

And how

Can you believe

In something so idealistic for someone like me?

Alive

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I mechanically slipped the loop over my head, and pulled in the buckle to make it fit my neck. I walked over to the hinge on the door, and tossed the strap through the gap and over. I held the other end and gulped. Pull. 

I hoisted myself up, and clipped the end of the strap to my noose in one fell swoop. I closed my eyes. Sleep.

I was floating in space again, in the universe that I created. Dust and rock floated past me, the shadows swarmed around me. It was warm, not like Reality, which was steadily becoming colder and colder. 

Then someone shouted my name.

I woke up, struggling to breath. Of course, that was my intention. The banging coming from the other side of the door jolted me, causing my body to swing. Instinctly, I tried to regain my footing; but I was two, maybe three feet off the ground, dangling from my bag strap. 

I knew at once that I couldn’t do this to him. I couldn’t hurt him like this. I tried to unclip myself, but tugging on the strap only swung me around more, choked me more. I looked down. The lock. I attempted to reach it with my hand; bad idea. Desperately, I moved my foot to it, and pushed the lock down, and there was a click. 

Daniel barged in, slamming me and the door against the wall. I would’ve cried out at the pain if I had air to do so. When he saw me, his face twisted into a horrified expression. Immediately, he grabbed me and hoisted my body up. “How do I untie you?” he demanded. It was then that he noticed the clip. He held me up against the door, lifting me with his left arm, as he unclasped the makeshift noose with his free hand. 

He lowered me to the ground and loosened the bag strap, sliding it off. I just closed my eyes, ignoring his yells. I was too numb. Far too numb. 

Until I’d heard sobbing. I opened my eyes. Daniel was huddled over, tears streaming down his face. No… I crawled over to him, reached out to touch him.

He flinched. 

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered. “Please don’t cry. Daniel…”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I spent the rest of the day in the hospital. Eventually they took me home, blaming it on the medication. And I locked myself in my cupboard, forbidding myself from seeing light.

I am a monster. 

I sobbed and screamed without letting out a sound. My parents knocked on the door occasionally to make sure that I was still alive, and I created a handy bulge in my bed to create the illusion that I was under the covers in case they came in.

How could I do that? Why would I even think about hurting Daniel in such a way? Not just him either. Willis, Flash, Bad Dog, Evil, Snugglepot. Fucking hell. I didn’t even deserve to be human.

Worthless, Inconsiderate, Selfish, Whore, Bitch.

Finally, I slept. It was cold, but I had slept in worse conditions than a closet. I should be back there, freezing to death. No, that’s not good enough. I need worse. I should have my head sliced off again, or get stabbed millions upon millions of times. Or I should be sent back to that brothel to be tortured. Neck snapped. Drowning, again. Throat slit. Something. Maybe all of those.

Suddenly, I was warm.  

I knew who it was. “Don’t Daniel,” I croaked. 

He ignored me. “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” I hissed. “Just leave me there, okay?”

He kept walking, with me in his arms. He dropped me on the bed and pulled the covers over me before walking out of my bedroom.

Promptly, I got out and walked back into the closet, closing the door behind me. Instantly, it opened, and he grabbed my arm. “Bed,” he growled.

“I’m sleeping here.”

“That’s mature of you.”

“Just leave me alone, okay?” I cried, wrenching myself free and slamming the closet door. 

It opened again. “Don’t be stupid,” he insisted. “You can sleep here.”

“You know that I can.”

“And you know that this is foolish,” he retorts.

I closed the door again. When it opened, I kicked him in the stomach, sending him flying. I immediately shut it, hearing his grunt and curse from the other side. He didn’t open the door again though.

Good.

The pain flooded through me, and I collapsed onto the closet floor, tears coming back again. I needed this. This was only a teaspoon of what Daniel must’ve been feeling like when he found me. Jesus, how many times has he found me in similar predicaments? Getting choked by a shadow. Beaten to a pulp by my mother. Lying on the bathroom floor coughing out water. Cutting my thighs with a razor. I deserve all this.

Then I heard him speak, from behind the door. “I know what you’re doing.” 

I remained silent. He sighed. “You’re feeling guilty.”

No shit Sherlock.

“And you’re trying to make me go away so that you can suffer by yourself,” Daniel continued. “Because you believe that you deserve to. But that’s wrong.”

Liar.

“Kicking me won’t make me think of you badly. Because that’s the only reason why you did it, so I’d hate you.”

I hit you in the beginning. When we first became friends.

“That’s the one thing about you. You’re so careful about everyone’s reactions that you calculate your every move. That’s why I know that you’re doing this to drive me away. Because you’re usually so deadly afraid of being violent towards someone you care about. And I know you do care. You let that slip today in the bathroom.”

I kept my mouth closed. I heard Daniel sigh. “I don’t hate you,” he told me. “I never would. I just want you to be safe…and I thought that was going to be possible without Delirium in your life. But…” His voice trailed off.

I curled into a ball on the ground, huddling under my clothes. Eventually, he spoke again. “Do you still need me?” he asked me. “Is there any reason for me to still be in your life?”

My heart lurched at the question. No was the right answer, the deadly logical side of me said. He’s part of Delirium, he doesn’t belong here. The longer you hold onto Daniel, the more you’ll be dragged away from the real world. And then you’ll never be normal. Say goodbye. NOW.

“I…” I found myself speaking for the first time since Daniel had began talking. I had to say it. Otherwise…. “I…” 

Send him away. Move on.

No.

So you’re going to be a freak that talks to herself for the rest of her life?

If he wants to leave, I’ll let him go. But he is the one person who has stood by me despite everything. And I’m not going to let pride get in the way, not this time.

“Of course I do,” I choked, sobbing again. “I…you’re….you’re the only person left that knows me for who I really am. And yet…you’re here.” I held onto the door handle and pulled myself up. “And I really don’t know why.”

The door opened and I was brought out into the light. Daniel stumbled backwards, as if he had been expecting me to be holding it back. His face was puffy and his eye was shining from tears. “But I love you,” I told him. “I know that. I know that I love you and I need you by my side, because…I want you to see me become a better person. I want you to see me be happy, and not post-breakdown-adrenaline-induced happy, but actually happy, and alive.” For the first time in what seemed like eternity, I smiled. It was an utterly broken smile, and the tears probably ruined it, but I didn’t care. “Is that…something you’d be interested in staying around for?”

Daniel stared at me before laughing weakly. “You and your moodswings,” he whispered. 

“Yours are worse.”

He laughed again. “And I’d love to. You being alive and happy sounds wonderful.”

Wonderful,” I mimicked him.

“Shush.”

I took his hand.

The Mad Cat Games

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Now for a less depressing list. I like dungeon crawler RPGs, visual novels and basically anything with a good story. So here’s a list of games I’ve played and would recommend to similarly fucked up people.

Yes, I really don’t have anything better to write about right now.

  • Dangan Ronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc & Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

My personal favourite series, I would recommend the games to anyone who enjoys mystery and dystopia stories. 

Plot overview: A class of fifteen students (sixteen in Dangan Ronpa 2) are held inside their academy/a deserted island by a teddy bear called Monokuma (upupupupu). The only way to escape their confinement is to get away with killing one of their classmates and avoid getting discovered at the class trial, where they go over the evidence. Think of the Ace Attorney games with pink blood and zero grownups.

Thoughts: Dangan Ronpa somehow manages to maintain this lighthearted, colourful atmosphere, even though each chapter is about finding out who murdered your classmate. I got really invested in the characters, they’re so dynamic and complex, and I loved figuring out all the puzzles and mini games. What I enjoyed most about the games though is that they kept me guessing, which I find is an impressive feat. The thing with me is that I very rarely get surprised when it comes to the conclusion of a mystery or a story in general, because I can usually gather what could happen based on the information given, and prepare myself for the potential outcome. But Dangan Ronpa’s mysteries, I’ve found, will hide that one piece of information that’ll narrow everything down to the culprit until the very end, and in Chapter 2 of the first game and Chapter 4 of the second game, the unveiling of the culprits made me yell out at the console, that’s how off I was. 

I’ll have to say this though; the typos in the second game really peeved me. I played the first game after watching a playthrough of the fan translation, and their spelling was pretty spot on, which made the second game so much more disappointing when it came to grammar and stuff. If it wasn’t Dangan Ronpa, I would’ve stopped playing, to be honest. I understand that the reason the spelling’s not that good is because they had to rush the translation, but seriously. This game is a visual novel, people. The story is the most important part. Pleaaaaase don’t do this again with Dangan Ronpa 3! I don’t care if it takes longer to translate as a result, just make sure everything is perfect! And that goes for voice acting too. I’m looking at you, Oogami’s voice actor from the English Dub! Seriously, your Japanese voice was heaps better. You did good with Gundam Tanaka though. *ovary explosion*

Squirmy parts: In my opinion, Dangan Ronpa 2 covers darker material than the first game, as it goes deeper into the dystopian universe that you barely brush on in Trigger Happy Havoc. The backstories of the students in particular become a lot darker in the sequel, and there’s a few creepy moments when you realise how much some of your classmates have gone off the deep end into psycho crazy. Also, YOUR FRIENDS ARE GETTING MURDERED. Squirm material RIGHT THERE.

  • Corpse Party & Corpse Party: Book of Shadows

Ah….Corpse Party. Gruesome slaughtering of adolescents? Check. Completely unnecessary fanservice during these moments? Check. Sexy sociopaths that have me question my taste in men? Check. The first game is another dungeon crawler RPG horror, whereas the second game follows the typical visual novel point-and-click layout. 

Plot Overview: The moral of this story should be DON’T DO CREEPY GHOST RITUALS, KIDS. This game’s about a group of students who get transported to the remains of Heavenly Host Academy, which is notorious for the murder of three primary school aged children (yes, it’s elementary in America. I’M CALLING IT PRIMARY. Thankyou,) by a teacher. After doing the Sachiko Forever After charm, the students find themselves separated from eachother, and desperately trying to survive and find a way out of there. The anime’s even worse- only two of the five characters who survived the game make it out alive. Kind of a ‘fuck you’ to those who played the game and said “haha, I know how this is gonna turn out,” when it came to watching the anime. Hahaha…NOPE.

Thoughts: Corpse Party isn’t my favourite game, but it’s still one that I’d consider a classic. Yes, yes, the panty-shots of possessed teenagers get old after a while, but it creates a story that stays with you long after you’ve finished the game. It touches on the adult fear that you could disappear and no one would know you’ve gone, that no one knows or cares that you’re spending the rest of eternity in pain. It also makes you wary of creepy ghost children for the rest of your life. I think that even if I have children, I will automatically be on guard if one of them wanders around at night. What’s that, tiny Satan? You need a glass of water? Too bad! The sequel, however, Book of Shadows, isn’t much more than a needless fanservice/additional gorn spinoff. The short stories following the original game’s bad end, while interesting, were too random in structure for me to get invested in, and the actual Book of Shadows portion of the game ends up as more of a bonus chapter than the focus, with a pesky to be continued after arguably the most nerve wracking part of the entire game. My personal opinions? Watch the game, don’t play it. There’s not that much playing to do. Watch NicoB’s let’s play of it.

Additionally, Corpse Party introduced me to one of the most annoying protagonists I ever had the misfortune to come across. I’m talking about Ayumi Shinozaki, who’s role in the plot is probably to make everyone else look better. I get why she’s in the story, of course. She, being a psychic, is more susceptible to the horrible atmosphere surrounding her, and therefore displays the immediate effects of being in Heavenly Host Academy. The problem is that she almost immediately falls to pieces, and pretty much stays that way for the rest of the game. And because the player doesn’t know about the darkening yet (and won’t till Chapter 5), this comes across as more of a character trait than something else manipulating her. It’s not just this though. Whenever Ayumi’s ‘back to normal’, after a possession or something, she just becomes even more of a bitch. She blows up at Yoshiki, who’s just trying to help her and has been saving her ass this whole time, and when they finally reunite with their friends, what does Ayumi do? Tell Naomi to avoid getting close to Mochida, her crush. Sigh…Ayumi, get your priorities straight. Alienating your classmate who’s best friend has killed herself to her knowledge and who just attempted suicide herself is a definite bitch move. Not to mention you should be focusing on getting out of this demon infested school first.

Squirmy parts: Child murder. Lots and lots of child murder. And they’re very very graphic about it. Attempted rape-turned-murder. Panty-shots, girl on girl, and lots and lots of psycho crazy ghosts. And the anime is worse.

  • Mad Father

I wrote a post on this a while back, discussing the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths. Just to warn you, there’s gonna be a lot about dungeon crawler Rpg horrors here. Come on! They’re so much fun!

Plot overview: So this is about a sweet little girl called Aya who lives with her father after her mother died mysteriously a year ago. One day, her house is overrun with zombies, so she goes and tries to find her father and rescue him. Mini chainsaw in hand, she makes her way through the absurdly large house and uncovers the truth behind her mother’s death. Oh, did I mention that Aya’s dad has been experimenting on people in his basement, and they’ve risen from the dead in order to get their revenge? Yeah….that’s happening.

My thoughts: Let me get this out of the way. The ending was made sense. Yeah, it caught me off guard too, but after the shock wore off, I realised that it had been in the cards from the start. Aya’s grown up with the screams of people in her basement, and shares the same DNA as her father. Then you stop to consider the more subtle hints at Aya’s future; where did Snowball get his wound from? Why is Aya so comfortable with a chainsaw? Not to mention she cuts open a dog to get a key in its stomach. There’s also a few other pieces that you wouldn’t get unless you went back and investigated Aya’s room; there’s a dead bird and cat in her drawer, like her father did in his journal. *gasp* Then again, if you’re one of those people who chooses to believe the alternate interpretation, that Aya became a doctor to actually help people, then that would make sense too. Just because Aya had a traumatic past doesn’t mean necessarily that she’s destined to be the abuser in the future. That doesn’t really explain why someone needs to be put under anaesthetic for an ordinary checkup though.

One of the things I like most about the Mad Father series are the little side quests where we get to help the ghosts find peace, and learn a little more about their backstories. One of my favourite moments was when the little girl ghost got reunited with her mother, and it was just moments like those that made me feel like Aya was trying to make things up to these angry spirits who were hurt by her father, and it showed what a different person she could become. Keep in mind that that was before Aya was revealed to be psycho crazy as well, subsequentially crushing the remains of my soul.

Squirmy parts: The psycho crazy is strong in this one. To add to the mix, we’ve got zombies, creepy dolls and a demon called Ogre. But he’s friendly. I think?

  • Mogeko Castle

Yes, yes, this game is practically infamous. That’s why I played it. Dungeon crawler RPG horror with a lot of WTF moments.

Plot Overview: Okaaaaay, here we go. You’re a highschool student named Yonaka who accidently ends up at the mysterious Mogeko Castle. What’s a Mogeko, you ask? They’re cute little cat/bunny like creatures who are obsessed with prosciutto and high school girls. Yup. They wanna get in your pants. No, it’s not just subtle hinting, they openly talk about wanting to have sex with you. And your job is to get out of the castle. Simple.

Thoughts: Like I said before, a lot of WTF moments. But the story’s actually not bad, once you get over the fact that these cutesy bunny things are trying to rape you, and the music’s pretty awesome. While I can stand the not-so-subtle sexual references, I do have a problem with how the ending turned out. The thing is, if you’re making a game with a lot of WTF moments, you want the end to make at least a LITTLE bit of sense. It just came out of nowhere! Yonaka escapes, and concludes that it wasn’t a dream, goes home, finds her brother who’s just killed their parents, and kills him. And that concludes the Mogeko’s story…where it’s revealed that he’s reading to a comatose Yonaka whom he’s been drugging into unconciousness for an indefinite amount of time. Bwaaaaaaaah? Wait, how did we get here? No! You’re not allowed to jump through time like that, Game! No! Bad Game! I want answers! What happened between Shinya dying and Yonaka’s drug induced coma? How did she end up back at Mogeko Castle and into the hands of King mogedick? (Not his real name, FYI, people who haven’t played, I just really don’t like the asshole.) How much of the game was happening in Yonaka’s head? The only reason I’m not going on a rampage because of this is because there’s (apparently) going to be a sequel to this game, following one of the subplots featuring the Russian Mogekos (do you really need to ask?), so hopefully, they’ll show at least a little snip bit of what was actually happening. Mogeko Castle, you get a reprieve. For now.

Another problem I had was Yonaka’s character derailment. I don’t know about the rest of you who played it, but I liked Yonaka. She was the Straight Man, er, Girl. Or Woman if you chose that option with the sleeping Mogeko. She was this quiet, reserved girl who rarely shows emotion (except when reacting to the Mogeko’s shinanigins, making everything more hilarious), and throughout the game, she manages to keep her shit together despite this whole situation. She wasn’t the stereotypical kawaii student council president who would break down and need her companion to drag her everywhere (Yes, I’m looking at YOU, AYUMI. Whiny bitch.) and I liked her for it. THEN, out of almost nowhere, she turns into this Onii-chan fanatic, who attempts to resurrect her brother in the normal end, even though he tried to kill her. As for the interview in the bonus dungeon, don’t get me started -_- As I said before, I’m hoping there’s more clarity in the sequel. Otherwise, they just threw out Yonaka’s personality and turned her into Little Sis-cest. For nothing.

Squirmy Parts: Let’s see…Mogekos are trying to molest you. So there’s that. There’s the Corpse Party-esque bad ending where you get a vivid description of how the Mad Mogekos eat Yonaka alive. There’s implications that Shinya and Yonaka have an incestuous relationship. Interracial love, if you ship Yonaka and Defect Mogeko. Lots of creepysauce. There’s the psycho Mogeko girl who keeps you as a sex slave in another bad ending. Aaaaand, finally, if you don’t like pre-marital sex, there’s the section where you can agree to sleep with a Mogeko. But COME ON. Please don’t play this game if that sort of stuff disgusts you! It’ll be your own fault for getting offended, and I will flick you in the nose for doing something so stupid.

  • Dreaming Mary

A side scrolling adventure game that gets real dark real fast. 

Plot overview: A girl called Mary goes to a world deep inside her dream, where she meets some of her old friends, who play with her before inviting her to go deeper into the dream. I’m sorry, did you think this was a cute game with bunnies and sunshine? Yeahhhhhh, no.

Thoughts: I found the game difficult at times, but I overlooked it because the music and the art style were so good. I will admit though, most of the enjoyment I derived from this game came from after I had completed it and was trying to see through all the symbolism. What formed my interpretation of the story was the Grimm’s version of Sleeping Beauty, where the prince is not a king, who’s not so nice, and he rapes Sleeping Beauty while she’s sleeping, which results in her giving birth to a boy and a girl. My theory is that Mary was Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, and as a result of the curse, she suffers from the same fate that her mother does, and thus, can’t escape her dream without ‘the key’. It’s implied that her father takes advantage of this, and molests his own daughter while she’s in one of these states. One of the saddest endings for me is the one where Mary enters the tree with no flower petals left, and it was only after I completed the ending where I had managed to complete all three challenges successfully that I realised how sad it actually was. In the latter, Mary goes into the tree, where it shows two handprints on the door, as if someone is banging on the door, trying to get away (shiver). There’s none of that in the other ending; she merely walks in, and everything fades to black. In that ending, Mary’s lost all her innocence, and has given up on hope. When Boaris invites her deeper into the dream, she follows him, not because she trusts him, but because she gives up and accepts her fate. WHY ARE ALL THESE GAMES I PLAY DARK AS FUCK?!

I was intrigued by the roles of Bunnilda, Penn Guindell and Foxanne in Mary’s dream, as in the end, passing or failing their challenges doesn’t contribute to you getting the good ending. It’s my understanding that they’re Mary’s maid, uncle and tutor respectively, who Mary went to for help; however, this doesn’t remedy the situation, and it ends up making Mary more likely to go deeper into the dream/submit to Boaris, her father, after all. For me, I saw this as the potential consequences of telling the truth. Failing the challenges causes you to lose flower petals/hope due to their reactions, which are disturbing to say the least; sweet and cutesy Bunnilda suddenly becomes malicious and mocking, and calm and collected Foxanne starts being aggressive towards you. When Mary asks for help, she is condemned for doing so; even Penn, who unlike the other animals doesn’t make a nightmare face upon you losing, sadly turns Mary down. As for the meaning of the red seed, I think that it’s a reference to pomegranate seeds in the story of Persephone and Hades, and how because she ate them, she can never truly get away. I think that Mary confided in the wrong people; granted, she didn’t know anyone else, but the people she told were servants of her father the King, or in the case of Penn Guindell, his brother, and out of misguided loyalty, (or in the case of Foxanne and Bunnilda, fear for their position as a member of the royal household) confide in Mary’s father. In the end, the only way Mary can get this to stop is to break out of the dream herself.

Squirmy parts: It’s pretty much agreed upon by all who played that there’s strong implications of molestation. Bunnilda and Foxanne’s nightmare faces deserve a mention, along with the giant shadow monster that chases after you after you stand up to Boaris. As for Boaris himself, he’s creepy as fuck. Come on. We know what you mean by ‘seed’, you sick twisted asshole.

  • Alice Mare

This game is depressing as hell. And yet it’s one of my favourite stories. What the hell is wrong with me?

Plot overview: Okay, so there’s two demons known as the Cheshire Cat and the White Rabbit, who like to eat children’s souls. They accomplish this by effectively ruining their lives; the White Rabbit uses his power to make parents crueler to their children, thus make them more likely to be fucked up, and the Cheshire Cat takes away XXXX from the children. By doing this, the children are more likely to end up in their own individual nightmare world, which makes them easy prey for the demons. This happens to Allen, an amnesiac, and his five friends, and the only way they can escape is by gathering the keys to these worlds and choosing one of them to stay behind and essentially sacrifice themself. And no, I have no intention of telling you what XXXX is, by the way.

Thoughts: Is it just me, or does everything I love cause me pain? This game has it all; this universe is so interesting and complex, the characters are wonderfully constructed, and the music is gorgeous! Unfortunately, I fell into the habit of calling Teacher, and I quote, “suspicious looking Daniel” and the true end subsequently left me in tears. I found the whole concept very interesting in relation to issues as mental illness, and I ended up spending way too much time thinking about it. Maybe that was the first game that permanently fucked me up. Not that I’m complaining much.

What really got to me though was how they wrote each of the children’s backstories. As I said before, the White Rabbit changes the children’s fate, and there’s a real sense of tragedy in that each of the children blames themselves for events that were really out of their control, and struggle to make sense of their past; one of the most painful stories for me was Rick’s, because it made me think so much of Kaya, and I crumbled when at the end, he asked “is her pain the reason I exist?”. And yes, I figured out who Rick actually was from the start. 

Squirmy Parts: As opposed to the last few games, this one depends more on the atmosphere of the whole situation to scare you, rather than jumpscares or blood and guts. The game touches on plenty of adult themes, and explores how they can effect a child. Unlike Dreaming Mary, there’s no reference to sexual abuse, though physical and emotional abuse is shown, as is neglect. Death and suicide is one of the more prominant themes, as is mental illness, which is referred to in the game as ‘nightmare syndrome’.

Soooooo, those are all the games I’ve been playing. They’re not games like Bioshock or Heavy Rain, but I enjoy them, and they help me stay insane. What games do you nonexistent readers recommend?

Love Cat Madigan

Addicted

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Things I have been/am not currently addicted to:

1- Delirium. Can you really blame me? It was a place where I could be strong and courageous instead of weak and useless. It gave me the opportunity to be this unstoppable force, and there was no better feeling.

2- Junk food. Then I decided that I’d hate myself even more if I was fat as well.

3- Cutting. This was back when I first tried to kill myself. I still couldn’t feel after that, and it took Daniel to make me snap out of it, another more powerful addiction.

4- Cracking my knuckles. I was even younger when I had this habit. For some reason, I always did it while playing video games. I don’t anymore.
Things I’m afraid of getting addicted to. A much longer list.

1- Prescription Medicine. Hence why I don’t take it. Probably should, but I’m too scared of the potential side effects, not to mention my negative history with St Johns Wort.

2- Sex. It’s not that I’ve got a problem with it, I just worry about the situations I could potentially get myself in because of it. And I can only think of the problems that it would cause if, for some reason, I happened to be in a relationship.

3- Not-so-Prescription Medicine. Ie, drugs. Togami mentions occasionally that one day I’ll be interested in experimenting, but right now, I’m too scared of permanently fucking up my already fucked up mental state to try.

4- Alcohol. Not likely, considering how the taste of my first drink wasn’t that good. But if I find a nice tasting alcoholic beverage, then this is likely to change.

5- Self Harm. If I am in that place where I have to mutilate my body just to gain some twisted sense of fulfilment, I’m checking myself into hospital. The end.

6- Shopping. I really don’t have that much money that I can afford to splurge it on luxuries like shoes and tea and corsets. If I’m going to be able to move out of home, I need to moderate.

7- Violence. I know that I’ve got that streak inside me. Right now, it festers as passive-agressiveness. And that’s where I want it to stay.
What I’m currently addicted to:

1- Modelling. I like people thinking that I’m beautiful. I like thinking that I’m beautiful. But I’m only capable of being that in front of a camera, and god knows for how long.

2- Friends. Mainly because if I’m by myself for too long, I’ll remember all the various reasons why I hate myself, which can contribute to why I don’t have friends in the first place.

3- Daniel. Probably the one lifeline I actually have. But what sort of life am I going to have if I can’t live without my imaginary best friend?

4- Anxiety. I thrive on those panic attacks where I can feel everything, pain and pleasure. I love to feel my heart race, to gulp down freezing cold air, right before my breathing gives out and I collapse from the feel of everything.

5- Depression. When the anxiety attack I’m hoping for just won’t come, I’ll just go lower and lower until I hit rock bottom and it hurts. Because then I’ll finally remember what better feels like.

6- Love. The scariest drug of them all.

My whole existence is a series of addictions, one after the other.

The Shrink List(s)

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Why I need to see a psychologist

1- Without one, I end up using the few people who remain my friends as a surrogate, much to their dismay. Seriously, they have enough drama. And they don’t even get paid.

2- Even though I’ve identified my problem area -a chronically pessimistic mindset- I still don’t have the stategies to deal with it on my own.

3- I need a constant. Modelling opportunities decrease when school comes back, and friends disappear when it’s time for exams. Family doesn’t qualify as a constant; the mood of the household changes on a daily basis. 

4- I’m lonely as fuck. I need someone to talk to that isn’t a Shadow. Or a feline.

Why I can’t see a psychologist

1- I don’t have enough time to study, model, exercise, lie in bed and stare into space, cry, draw, write AND talk about my problems.

2- Finding a new place is difficult. Must be reasonably close to school/home, and if not, would have to provide taxi/bus vouchers for me to get home before dark. Only government practices would have those, and I imagine those practices only cater to those under eighteen. If I went to one of those, I’d have to go through the same process once again from the fourteenth of September.

3- Finding someone I can communicate with is worse. Cheerful people I can’t take seriously when I’m having a bad day. However, a sense of humour is necessary as well, considering how most of my communication consists of awkward jokes about my cynicism and self depreciation. Being open minded is compulsory, though why you’d choose a career in psychology if you weren’t is beyond me. Being able to discuss philosophy and ideas is an added bonus. And above all, they have to understand the situation with my parents, and what should and shouldn’t be said in front of them. Finding a human with all these qualities on the first go is difficult. And trial and error is very discouraging.

4- Three words: Duty. Of. Care. Granted, this only remains a problem till Monday September 14th 2015, but there’s the dilemma of surviving August, which seems to be a particular time where everything comes crashing down once again.

Just writing and writing and getting stuff out of my system. Have a nice day humans. 

Cat Madigan.

Haven’t signed off in a long time actually.