The Mad Cat Games

Standard

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

Advertisements

Addicted

Standard

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.

Executioner

Standard

I will not show fear. I will not show remorse. I will not show hate. I am not a leader, I am merely an usher. After this is done, I will take them to where they must go, to where I must go.

She doesn’t even run from me. She looks at my face, her eyes unreadable. How long has she been watching me, hunting for any sign of me, working constantly to deliver her message? Does she even have a purpose now? Does she leave behind any unresolved missions from them? Or, like me, is this the last thing she has to do before forsaking this world forever?

Two bolt toward her, and I watch her as her body is ripped apart, as if it were a piece of paper. Even after she is clearly dead, they ravage her, two monstrous beasts tearing into a piece of steak.

Cease, I tell them, in barely more than a whisper, and they obey. They return to their brothers and sisters, awaiting direction, awaiting orders.

They want revenge. They want blood. And

So

Do

I.

_______________________________________________________________________________

“I don’t want to go back there…”

“Fuck…another fever…”

“Don’t…no…”

“Wake up now, wake up.”

“…you…”

“Drink.”

“…my head hurts…”

“Here. I’ve opened the window. Better?”

“No…I can still see it….”

“It’s over….you’re safe….shhhhhh….”

Memory of the Dead

Standard

“Holy shit…”

“Don’t ask.”

“But-”

“Please Cat?”

“Argh…fine.” But I can’t take my eyes off his hair. It’ll take some getting used to. For as long as I had known him, his hair was always falling across his face, as he refused to put it in a ponytail except for classy occasions. It wasn’t too short though, and there was still that messy look to it, but it looked a whole lot…cleaner. “Can I touch it?” I asked.

“No.”

“But I wanna!”

“Are we really doing this now?”

“Well, what are we meant to be doing?”

“Well, I was going to show you around here,” Daniel told me. “But I suppose….”

“Bitchface,” I said cheerfully. “Where are we?”

I had just woken up here a couple of minutes ago, in the centre of a giant room. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was an endless landscape of colours and lights, and I was immediately dazzled by the beauty of it all.

Then I saw Daniel and his hair, and decided that that was the headliner.

Daniel took my hand and pulled me up. “Do you recognise this place?”

I do. It takes a while to register, but I do. “I thought this place was destroyed.”

“No. It very nearly was, but after they won, Christan sent guardians to drive them away.” There’s a hint of disgust in Daniel’s voice, and I don’t blame him.

After?” I enquired. Daniel nodded. I clenched my jaw. “Fashionably late, was he?”

Daniel groaned. “Thommand and Clarrent are his advisors,” he reminded me. “I wasn’t at their court when this happened, but I do know that saving these people wasn’t in their best interests.”

I was silent. “Will you be alright?” he asked.

“So what are we meant to do here?”

Daniel inhaled. “Thommand wants us to collect the memories of the people here. He’s looking for one person who died in this place to give us some information.”

“Slow down there, Daniel. I’m confused.”

He shook his head in exasperation, and it’s almost how it used to be- him getting annoyed at me, and me getting flustered and pissed. “Look,” he says. “You’ve got memories of this place, don’t you?”

I nodded. “From Kaya.”

“Well, all you need to do lure the people in this place out, and interact with them.”

Trying to take in all this, I decided on pretending that I knew what the hell was going on. “Then what?”

“Watch and learn.” Daniel took off his coat and handed it to me. “Now go ahead.”

“Wait. What. Huh?”

“I’m tired,” Daniel said as his way of explaining it. “You can handle this on your own.”

I just stared at him. “I am a fricking walking disaster,” I told him flatly.

“You could say the same for me.”

“I’m sorry, but there’s nothing in your record which says ‘accidentally demolished three houses’,” I retorted.

“This place is pretty fireproof,” he informed me. “Now go on. Explore to your heart’s content.” With that, he pulled out a little flask and took a gulp.

I stared at him. “Is that what I think it is?”

“Lucky potion,” Daniel replied. “Good for the nerves.”

I snatched it from him. “You’ve got a problem mister.”

“Oi! Get your own!” I walked away from him, and he hurried after me. “Cat, give me back my medicine.”

“One doesn’t drink medicine without measuring it first.”

“I did measure it! One flask full of medicine every time I have to go out on a job for Fat man.”

“No wonder you got caught last time,” I grumbled. When Daniel didn’t reply to that, I sighed. “I’m sorry.”

We slowed to a stop. “It wasn’t the first time we’ve gotten caught and tortured,” he reminded me.

“It was the worst though.”

Daniel smiled at me and gave me a quick hug. “Don’t blame yourself,” he told me. “I know how you feel about it, but you need to remember that you had no choice.”

“Didn’t I?”

“No.” He kept his arms around me, and then made a grab for my hand. When I held it out away from him, he growled and caught me around the waist.

“Oi! Let me go!” I yelled.

“Give it here before I tickle you.”

“Is that an actual- oh shit!” Torn between my dignity and my stubbornness, I flung the bottle in the air in an act of desperation.

Releasing me, Daniel calmly walked over to where the bottle was flying and caught it single-handed. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

I stuck out my tongue at him. “Now go on, then. Explore!” Daniel sat down and took another swig of his ‘medicine’.

I gave up. I left the grand room and decided to find where the entrance was, just in case we had to make a quick getaway. “Okay,” I told myself. “I’m going to keep track of the turns I make, so I can get back to Daniel easily. And hopefully he won’t be completely intoxicated.”

First, I turned left. Then I kept going straight ahead, and then there was a right, at a smashed statue. It was then that I heard yelling. Release me, now! a woman snarled, but the voice seemed to echo in my head.

I looked around quickly. “Where are you?” I called out, praying that hopefully the source of the voice didn’t have the same personality of the vengeful ghosts in Corpse Party.

There was silence. Then I heard the voice repeat down the hall. A more cautious person would’ve gone and found Daniel, or at least, a companion who probably wasn’t an alcoholic. But at that point, I had forgotten the directions I had taken, and it was more focused on finding the source of the voice.

I opened the door to a small, plainly furnished room. There was no bed, instead, there was a mattress on the floor, with a small woollen blanket which had been tossed to its side.

Let me go, the voice demanded, or I swear, I’ll rip that precious hair of yours from your skull.

That’s when I realised whose room this was.

Did Thommand want Kaya’s memories? Really?

I shook my head at that. If he wanted this so badly, he definitely wouldn’t have sent the two people who cared for her most. Especially not one who recently pulverised a brothel owner and shattered his whore.

And burned his own scarlet tunic. And that was completely intentional.

So where was the voice coming from? As I looked around the room, I tried my hardest to understand what was going on. I had never heard of ghosts in Delirium until today, and I wondered why I heard Kaya here, instead of her home in the sky.

I suddenly remember. I’ve heard her say that before. Right before she pulled out the knife…

I laughed at the memory. Many screamed, others fainted. Daniel just stood there confused as hell, while Nereida started giggling uncontrollably. But I believe it’s still here, the evidence of her attack.

I looked under the mattress, and there they were; long silver strands, almost as long as my whole arm. They were all matted together, I would have to use all my strength to tear them into separate fibres. No wonder Kaya cut them off.

With that mystery solved, I tried to remember what Daniel wanted me to do. I was to find ghosts…and then what? What did they even look like?

I returned to the hallway, and the realisation that I had completely forgotten the road I had taken. Dammit.

Then I heard a giggle behind me. Which all you nonexistent horror game enthusiasts know means one thing; I was about to be murdered by a psychotic ghost child. Lovely.

Actually, that’s not what happened. This isn’t Corpse Party, it’s just my fucked up imagination. But at the time, I thought that would be the case.

“Hello,” I said. Because that’s what you say to creepy ghost children that will murder you in a couple of seconds. And you also turn around to face them before they kill you, because it’s impolite for them to stab you or slit your throat from behind you.

He’s different from Daniel. His body is white, and I can just see through him. There’s a sort of glow about him, and he’s gazing at me intently. He looks about six…if that.

“Ano’er hooman,” he said in a high, clear voice. Then he sweeps me a bow. “May I help you?”

Umm….. “I’m…looking for my friend,” I tell him. “Can you help me?”

“What’s her name then?” There’s no malice or hate in his face, simply curiosity. But I’ve been hurt by friendlier people.

“Her name is Kaya,” I told him. “Do you know where she is?”

Why I decided to trust him, I’m not sure. I didn’t have anything to lose, I suppose. I could fight him off if necessary, or so I hoped. And I was so used to dying, it was almost routine. I’m guessing I followed him because I wanted some faith in the goodness of people left. I wanted to be proved right.

He gave me a giant, toothy smile. “Through here, m’lady,” he lisped. He held out his hand, and I took it. “Follow me.”

Walking Away

Standard

“The only thing determined”, my philosophy teacher told us, “is that we are all going to die.”

“Yeah…about that,” Daniel murmurs next to me. I just grimace, and try to ignore the memory of my head being smashed in.

Philosophy Club was spent discussing Liberalism and Determinism. The two basic beliefs relating to time travel. Liberalism believes in free will; our actions determine the future, reality is composed of what has happened and what is happening right now. In other words, it’s our own fault if the world blows up tomorrow. Determinism, on the other hand, messes with my head to the point that I slip into Delirium purely from the confusion. If everything is set out for us, then we don’t really have free will, meaning we don’t really think, we just follow a script which has already been written. And if that’s the case, what is the point of being a good person, if it’s in our destiny to have a happy ending? And how do we know these things? I’m now writing this in a place with red grass and trees with veins, so I’ll stop there before I slip permanently.

I didn’t have any questions during Philosophy Club. I saved them for after, when I was with Daniel.

“Are you from the future?” I asked him.

“No. Why do you ask?”

“You refuse to say anything about yourself, and everyone in Delirium has funny skin that glows in the dark.”

“I don’t have funny skin.”

“You’re…different. You don’t look like a shadow in Reality. They would though.” I thought for a moment. “Are you human?”

He laughed at that. “Seriously,” I said. “You are the only one in my head who looks normal. Ish. Why do you think I didn’t start smashing your head in when I met you?”

“I thought that was because your psychotic tendencies hadn’t surfaced yet?”

“Nah, I’ve always been this mad.” Daniel’s face is one of mock horror. “I didn’t smash anyone’s head in,” I amended. “But I thought about it. Believe me…” I crossed my arms. “We, my friend, are getting off topic.”

“Are we? Good. What’s for dinner?”

“Something gluten free and disgusting, you know that. Are you human?”

“I’m not sure…” he murmured. I frowned, waiting for him to go on. He looked up at me. “I liked the sausages,” he said. “You can’t tell them from the-”

WHACK!

“OW!”

“Give me something!”

“No!”

“Why can’t you tell me?” I yelled at him.

“Because I can’t!”

“I don’t-” I stop when I see him. His face was still, his mouth open slightly. “Daniel?”

Two hands grabbed my neck and jerked my head to the right. I heard the bones snap a second before the pain began.

My last thoughts? Not again…

I later returned to Delirium. When I woke up in Reality, I was taken to the sick bay to ‘recover’. No one was there, so I lay on the bed and dropped out. Daniel was sitting where I had died, his back to me. “Have you come up with a reason why?” I asked him.

He leapt up. “Yup. Still here.” I looked down at the ground. “Neck hurts a bit. Don’t die by breaking it. Actually, don’t die period.” I met his gaze. “You die, I die. And not just in Delirium. Not even Kaya would be able to stop me. Got it?”

Daniel just glares at me. “When was the last time you looked at me like that?” I pondered. I turned away from him and walked off.

Now, writing this, in the same space I ended up, I wonder if I meant that. Would I be able to live without Daniel?

I know if Delirium still existed, but Daniel was dead, the answer would be no. I wouldn’t be able to live on my own in a world full of monsters.

But if Delirium were to go away…

That’s something I’ve always thought about. If I had the opportunity to stop my hallucinations right then and there, would I? Would I be able to say goodbye to Daniel?

Saying goodbye, yes, I think. Maybe. I don’t know. If I were allowed one last moment with Daniel before my Delirium went away for ever…yeah. I’d be able to live with that.

What if it were more abrupt though? What if everything closed, and I never got to see Daniel again? What if this is the last time I’m in Delirium, and that’s the last I see of him, his face glaring at me as if he hated me? Maybe he does hate me. In that case, it would be okay.

I hear him coming, and I grab my books and hide. I’m high in the trees when Daniel comes into the clearing, looking for me. “Cat!” he yells. “Cat Madigan, come out here now!”

I don’t go, I just watch him. “Cat,” I flinch at his voice; he’s hurting. If I could go back in time, and change what happened; if I had killed him instead of trusting him, trusting him enough to be my closest friend, would it be easier than what I’m eventually going to have to do?

“Cat, I need to talk to you. Please, I…” His voice just trails off, and he keeps walking the other way. And I watch him go.

Silence of the Cat

Standard

Here’s the challenge link . And now, here’s another tale of a mad Cat.

———————————————–
It was hot and stuffy upon awakening. My skin was sticky, and I could smell something foul. When I try to move, my arms push against something scratchy and strong, which prevents me from extending my limbs. Encased in darkness and unable to move my arms or legs, I roll over onto my side. When I roll over once more though, I feel the earth slip out from beneath me, and I’m falling to the ground.

It hurts, and I can’t breathe for a moment. I’m lying on my stomach, and I realise there’s a small, cold object pressed against my mouth. I take it between my teeth and yank it down. Cool air rushes through the bag, and I take a huge gulp of it, before dragging the zipper lower. Eventually, my hand can wiggle up and grab it and pull it down all by myself. When I have enough space to do so, I lift my head out of the bag.

I’m not the only corpse here. An old man is decomposing in a dark corner, while in two bags next to me, the forms of two unknown people I’m assuming are human lie.

My last memories come back. I had died, again. It was fairly quick this time, and no one had slit my throat. There’s a bump on the head from where the metal bar struck.

I wonder if this is where they put the bodies. It’s hard to tell; in this prison, there’s rotting flesh in the living cells as well as the dead. Either way, they had no idea of what they locked up in here. Cat Madigan, undead warrior. In a way.

I look around in the dark, feeling around for objects and praying that my hand does not touch a bone or a rotting corpse. It’s some time before I return to my body bag, where I find the metal bar which put me there. It’s strange that they would put the weapon used to murder me in the same bag as my body, but then I hear footsteps, and I don’t bother questioning my good fortune.

I’ve hidden in a corner, and when the door opens, I’m concealed behind it. One of the monsters comes in, grunting as he pulls in a couple of human sized bags. To my amazement, he doesn’t see me, as I crouch behind the massive door. Clutching the weapon used to kill me, I decide to get my revenge.

He doesn’t live long enough to turn around. I strike him again and again, till I’m satisfied. Then I realise that the door would probably have been left open anyway. This is a room of corpses, and corpses don’t rise from the dead.

I slip out the door, leaving the monster with his victims, and I remember the words of Kaya. I keep in the darkness, the shadows are my friend as I navigate the gloomy prison. The only ones who see me are the prisoners. Their empty eyes stare out at me, but they won’t tell on me. I’m one of them, in a way.

Finally, I reach a place where I am certain Daniel will go. In this prison, there is a wall, which has been broken and melted, and has refused to be repaired. This is where the freak escaped, and where they realised their biggest mistake.

I’m not surprised when two guards come out of their shadows, one shoving his sword under my neck. I shiver at the sensation, and close my eyes, waiting for the sword to bite at my throat, piercing the skin.

But Daniel’s sword gets him first.

The other raises his sword at me and swings it down. I fling myself out of it’s way, and I snatch the little dagger Daniel throws to me. I cannot fight, I am useless at swords. But…

I dodge his blows one by one, and once I’m behind him, I rise the dagger.

I’m very good at cheating.

Even though I have little use for it, I pick up his sword before running out after Daniel, treading on his bloody body. I leap off the edge of the building, landing on a thick, leathery hide. It smells of sulphur and smoke, but it’s warm, and it makes me tired.

Then we fly.

Scarlet Cough

Standard

Last time, on TAOCM…

“RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWR!”

“…feeling better?”

“Much, thankyou.”

And now, the epic journey continues…

_________________________________________

“Daniel?”

I’ve just woken up in Delirium, once again. My last moments in Reality were spent on the run from another shadow, until he had thrown a bar at my head. The last thing I was thinking was that my friends were going to kill me. I had deserted them, again.

“Fuuuuuck,” I rolled over. Rock, cool uncomfortable rock. But there’s light, so I’m not a prisoner, thank god.

I hear footsteps, and I brace myself. When Daniel comes into view, I’m relieved. But then I see his face, and the man behind him.

I snarl. “What do you want?” I demand.

“I wasn’t aware she was part animal,” the fat man muses.

“I’m human,” I retort. “Isn’t that the same to you?”

“Temper, temper,” he says in what I think he intends to be soothing. Or he’s deliberately trying to rile me up even more. If the latter is the case, I don’t give him the satisfaction, but I glare at him, making it clear that he isn’t allowed to step one foot from where he is towards me. “I only want some questions answered.”

“I’m sure you do.”

“And are you going to answer them?”

“Will you give me a reason why I should?”

He smiles, and says in a dangerously low voice, “Mutts and freaks aren’t meant to be running around, my girl.”

I glance at Daniel, who inclines his head towards the fat man. I just sigh. “Ask what you will.”

He begins. “How long have you been acquainted with your friend Kaya?”

“We are not friends,” I say. “But I’ve known her since the beginning of last year. Perhaps longer.”

He raises an eyebrow, and when I don’t elaborate, he moves on. “And what do you know about her death?”

“As much as you would,” I reply.

“Which is?”

“Very little.” He flinches when I look at him. “But I do not blame her for wanting to die.”

“Why ever not?”

I raise my hand, the one with the scars that read FREAK. “There is little sympathy for us in this world,” I say.

The fat man recovers, and clears his throat. “May I say you speak eloquently, my lady. It’s hard to come by these days.” He looks meaningly at Daniel.

I refuse to accept the compliment. “I am not a lady. Do not address me as if I am royalty.”

“Many would relish that title,” he points out.

I raise an eyebrow. “Kaya was a lady,” I told him.

He moves on. “Would you care to give your insight on the incident with Kaya’s murderer?”

It wasn’t murder, I nearly spit out. I wonder if he hears my thoughts. I wouldn’t know by his face. It shows nothing. “I wouldn’t know what to say.”

“Say what happened.”

“But I don’t know what happened. Not really.”

He looks at Daniel, and he returns to me with a smile on his face. “I have just one more question for you.” When I say nothing, he continues. “How many times have you experienced death?”

I shut my eyes and count. Fire, Drowning, Stabbing, those horrible treatments, and all those times on the Lake of Ghosts…. “A lot.”

“So why are you still here?”

I scoff. “Do you really think I have an answer?”

“I’m merely curious.”

I sigh. “As far as I’m concerned, this world is only in my head. When you die in a dream, you wake up in Reality, correct?”

“So why do you continue to return to the dream?” His tone is somewhat disproving, as if I was doing something wrong. Maybe I am. But it’s not as if I have control of it, do I?

“I’m not sure. Maybe I’m meant to do something in the dream. Maybe it’s not a dream. I keep asking myself that,” I muse.

“Do you believe we are merely a figment of your imagination?”

“I don’t know what to believe,” I confess. “But in all honesty…” Something you are far from capable of… “I think this world is too real to be a mere hallucination. I may think differently later, but that’s what I believe.”

He nods. “I’m interested in these…resurrections of yours. If you don’t mind, I’d like to do an experiment.”

The word experiment automatically unsettles me. “Don’t you dare…”

Daniel, who had been quiet this whole time, is suddenly in front of me, a blade raised in front of the fat man. “Don’t be so stupid Daniel,” he sighs. “I wouldn’t be as foolish to give her to them…”

Then I feel cool steel against my neck. “I can see it happen for myself, without their assistance Daniel. Don’t worry, if it is as you say, she’ll be back soon.”

Daniel flips around, horrified, and when the blade pierces my throat, he screams out.

I woke up in Reality. I wondered why I still had the taste of blood on my lips, even though Delirium was a world away. Then I coughed, and realised the taste of blood on my lips was actual blood.

I had been coughing up blood.

And then I saw him. He was a shadow, but somehow I knew it was him. “Get away,” I snarled.

He merely grinned, and slammed into me. “Ah!” God he’s fat… All of it overwhelms me; the events in Delirium, the sudden body slam from a man as large as a Snorlax (yes, that’s the only way I can describe it), and now, Kaya’s voice screaming in my head at the man, who is now climbing out of the bathroom, through the roof. Let me have control, she begged. I can take him, I can kill him, I can end him!

I nearly refuse, but I’m too weak, and I don’t want to feel the pain anymore. I let Kaya carry the taste of blood and my aching limbs.

She didn’t end up killing him. She was me, and I was weak. I wish to god I wasn’t. I wish that somehow I had some measure of strength in me.