As some of you may be aware, after the conclusion of HLA I promised a thread in which I would post up some of my work still in development, which I simply need to write to get out of my system. Previews of stories I'm working on, short stories, just bare ideas for stories, whatever. It all goes up here, for the sake of giving me an outlet.
That said, I'd like to extend an invitation to any other writefags who need to get something out of their system; for that matter, to anyone who feels the urge to write. If you feel the need to put something out, feel free to put it up here - we don't have a dedicated thread for these things, to my knowledge, and I figure that it will save on some clutter if we have one.
Now with that out of the way, let's move on to the first little fragment I have to put up on here...
"It seems this old pocketwatch has finally run out of time."
Heart pounding, body aching. Doesn't matter.
Dark, no light under the new moon. Stars hidden by the trees. Doesn't matter.
Giggling voice, calling for you. Sound of snapping wood. No. No, no, no!
Ground, muddy, unsteady, shatters underneath a footfall. Fall, tumble head over heels, skid down sharp drop in the forest floor. Flail in the air, rocky face of small cliff cuts skin, stings. Tears in eyes, hard ground slams your back. Ground. You're on the ground.
In the open.
You roll back, scramble for cover! There, behind the bushes, in the hollow of the cliff face. Dark, small, covered. Climb in, quickly! Curl up, make yourself small, make yourself unseen.
"Little girl! Where are you? Don't you want to come over for dinner?"
A rush of wind as she lands just beyond the line of shrubs that you're using to hide yourself. That little predator. She doesn't look a day older than you. A little girl with silky blonde hair, a cute red ribbon tied in it. Pale, fair, unblemished skin, wrapped in a dress as black as night, contrasting with pure, snow white shirt. Sparkling, beautiful, ruby red eyes scan the clearing, pass over your hiding place without noticing.
A sick feeling builds in the pit of your stomach, winds itself into a little ball. It's not fair! That little girl is a monster! She wants to eat you! It's not enough that she's a monster, it's not enough that she's stronger and faster than you could ever be. She has to be prettier than you, too!
It's not fair.
"Come back, little girl! Give me a taste, please!"
Her pretty little voice rings out in the clearing, giddy and excited, lively and beautiful. She dances around daintily, looks from place to place. Another cute little giggle, and then she's barreling away through another stretch of forest.
She's going away.
She's going away!
You shudder quietly and the tears break free, streaming down your face. Quietly, quietly, but still you're weeping, gibbering little noises escaping your throat. It's over! No more little monster chasing you, no more running away, no more skinning your knees and scratching yourself on bushes. No more, no more, no mo--
You scramble back in the alcove, and you can see her. That little monster's face peeking through the bushes at you! No, she was going away! Why is she back? Why? Not fair! Not fair, not fair, not fair!
Scrambling through the bushes, pushing out into the clearing, running away. Run away, run away! Trip, fall, no! This isn't how it's supposed to be! Struggle, get away, go!
"I caught a cute little girl!"
Cute giggle, soft hands on your legs. No! Finger playing with your skin, tugging on your socks. No! Not fair! Kick, struggle! GET AWAY!
"How should Rumia eat you, do you think?"
Little girl pulls herself up, lies on top of you, pins you down. Little body forces you down, perfect little face smiles at you. She licks her lips. Hands crawling along you... not fair...
Slimy tongue on your cheek.
"Cute little girls don't cry. Are you going to cry?"
Let go! Let go! Let go!
Pain exploding in your head, shrill shriek from-- not from you. She's off! Clutching her nose, blood everywhere, tears in her eyes.
You made her hurt.
"Cute little girls don't cry."
Dry words, cracks in them - your mouth is too dry. Girl looks up, red eyes glare. Red, red, red. Glowing red. Angry. She's angry.
Pound the ground with your feet, leap the roots, skirt the brush. Don't look back, don't look back, don't let her scare you, trip you up, mess you up!
Forest swims by, so slow, so slow... you're too slow! Get creative! Jump, swing, pivot, dive, roll! Make it fancy, make it dancy, just make yourself slippery enough to escape, and fast.
You can hear her closing, and...
There's no more cover. Treeline ends with no warning! No! Nothing but grass and... lake! Lakeside! Lakeside... bridge! Big bridge, looks new, easy to run across, but... house! There's a big house.
There's a big house, way on the other side of the bridge. Gated, but... there's someone there! You can see! You're sure! If you can reach the house, then maybe, maybe you'll be okay!
Charge the bridge, fast as you can, run and dash, and hop, and skip, and jump! Get to the other side - ignore the sound of wind behind you, ignore the angry girl shouting, ignore the growing darkness. Just make it to the house.
It's getting close, but she's getting close, and... and...
"Help! Someone help! Please, help me!"
Words roll off your tongue, hot and baked, and burning your throat, and scorching the silence of the night. And they wake her. Up ahead, a tall woman, all greens and a curtain of red, blinking, and rubbing the sleep from her eyes. She heard, she heard! Only a little more, only a little farther!
There's a hand on your dress. Hot breath on your ear.
No! No! Nononononononononononono--
Wind. Lots of wind. Warm all around you. Oh no, oh no, oh no, not fair. She has you, and she's going to... going to...
"Are you alright?"
You open your eyes. The little blond witch doesn't have you, instead.
Instead you're in the arms of the tall woman, held lightly, and protectively. You're okay.
"Hey now, don't cry. You're okay. Everything's going to be fine."
You don't want to cry, but it won't stop. This woman is here, with her voice like bells, and her strong arms around you, and her delicate touch, and her long legs, and her soft warmth, and her pretty blue eyes, and her long red hair, and she's going to make everything okay. She's going to make everything fine.
The tension leaves you all at once, and you go limp, all the strain melting away into wonderful numbness. You're safe. No more running.
"Rumia," the tall woman and her beautiful bell-chime voice call out in accusation, "what did you do to her?"
"Caught her," little girl seethes, "caught her! She's mine! Mine, mine, mine! You catch your own dinner, China, this one is mine!"
"What have I told you before, Rumia?" Your savior's voice rings clear and calm, washes your fear away. "If you want to eat, you can come here, or go see Miss Lorelei; leave the humans alone."
"Mine, mine, mine! Give it back!"
"No, Rumia. If you want to eat, then I can bring you food. Just leave this poor girl alone."
"GIVE HER BACK TO ME!"
Little monster lunges, and you flinch. She's going to get yo--
A flash of red light blinds you, and you shriek out loud.
The flare dies in your vision, and you can see again. That little monster is on her back, rolling in pain, covering her eyes and screaming. A large red shaft, shining like blood, is lodged in the bridge, stone cracking beneath it.
"She may only be my door guard, Rumia, but Meiling still represents my house. Do you think it wise to spurn an offer from my house? Do you think I will stand for that?"
Perched above the gate, sitting on air, is a little girl. Very pretty, with pale skin, and short lavender hair, and a fluffy pink dress, and a big pink hat, and little black shoes with shiny buckles, and dainty white socks. And sharp little fangs poking out her cute little smile. And scarlet eyes. And big, big bat wings.
"Mistress," your tall woman says.
What? Struggle, get away, she's going to--
"Calm down," a soft hand runs across your neck, and all the fight drains away, "you're still safe. The mistress won't hurt you, I promise."
The tall woman smiles down on you, hugs you a little, and that smile and her bell voice...
You believe her.
"Remi!" Little monster rises, shouts angrily. "Give her back! She's mine! I want her!"
Bat girl hops down, lands lightly between your savior and the monster.
"Did you not just hear me, Rumia? Are you really going to do this?"
"Hate you!" Little monster screeches, scrambling backward, turning around, running off. "I hate you, Remi! Not fair!" Tears stream out her eyes as she stumbles. "She was mine! Not fair..."
Ah, now this is perhaps the first real idea for a story I came up with after starting HLA. Knowing at the time that running two stories would be a bit difficult, and that SDM had been rather over-inundated with stories, I decided to hold off on working on it.
This particular fragment is just the intro scene, and I'm not sure it fairly portrays the story as a whole - I was going for a jumpy, panicked narrative while writing it, and I'm not sure how well I captured that. The scene immediately following this one would be quite a bit calmer, as well.
Well, this is still under work, and subject to change. This is one story I would like to hold off on for some time - I really think it deserves a bit more dedication if I get started on it, and I would like to buckle down and make sure it gets set up properly.
It occurs to me that some further information may be useful.
Shingetsu is a story set quite a ways into the future of Gensokyo. You play the role of a young girl who has run away from the human village. When Remilia realizes you have nowhere to go, she, makes you an offer: her head maid has recently passed away, and if you are willing to train to take her place, Remilia will allow you to live in the SDM. With nowhere else to turn, you accept the offer, and Remilia bestows you with a new name: Shingetsu, after the New Moon under which you met, a blank slate that represents your potential for development.
This is intended to be a very bittersweet story. While Shingetsu may discover a new home, and a host of friends, the story is still set at a turning point in the history of Gensokyo. One generation of humans is nearing its end, and while many youkai live on, this is still the end of an era. Though she may not know the significance, Shingetsu will encounter people coping with the loss of old friends; it should give a firsthand look at how the many inhabitants of Gensokyo deal with a changing world.
Sounds very dynamic. I really like the concept, and I think up until now no one has really given an in-depth look at how youkai adapt to the passage of time and human friends. I'm sure you could do it justice. But I would like to reserve judgment until you flesh out some other ideas.
>>84631 I was about to ask if the story was going to be told from the perspective of a young Sakuya growing up in the SDM or her replacement. The introduction certainly lent itself to the latter (true) interpretation, particularly with the dialogue about a pocket watch, but the notion of a young girl developing into the role of perfect maid with the aid of her new employer had struck me as equally plausible.
>>84721 >Sakuya (or a descendant) I love this idea. Each generation, the title of Head Maid is passed down to her daughter. No matter how long she lives, Remilia will always have an Izayoi at her side. The next best thing to immortality is lineage.
Well, if we can consider this to be a generic brainstorming thread, I'd like to push for one idea I've had for a while.
I have always wanted to see a story that involves the Seihou characters somehow, possibly after a post-Hakurei Border-collapse event that reintroduces Gensokyo's population to the modernizing world. Reimu, Marisa, and Yuuka have interacted with the Seihou cast within their games, even if it isn't exactly canon with the current state of Gensokyo. But it could easily be placed as something that happens in the somewhat near future, due to the presence of unmanned drone fleets and piloted mechas and such. World leaders would find the need to strengthen their defense initiatives against this large collection of potentially hostile beings from distant legend, and technology progresses and leads to conflict.
I would love to write my own story with this idea as a base of sorts, but I'm not sure my writing ability could be enough to do it justice. Not to mention my fairly basic working knowledge of the Seihou backstory itself, since the general fandom is rather small, and there aren't many translated sources to draw more information from. I don't have any proper direction in mind for a plot yet, and I'm hoping for some other writefag to consider something along these lines before I try to make my own effort. Well, I mean specifically involving some interaction with the Seihou characters, not the pre/post apocalyptic setting that some have already. I'd be going way over my head if I start any kind of story without a lot more planning.
I had thought of a CYOA where Yuka fights Yukari, loses, and has her powers taken away through some form of border hax. Yukari then forces Yuka to live as a human in the human village, doomed to a life of weakness, tedium, etc. Anon uses his metaknowledge to discover that the strange girl who had been living in the village for years, pretending to be an outsider to explain her sudden appearance, was Yuka. He decides to help her regain her powers. I could never think of a way for him to do so, however. Presumably it would involve the other touhou girls and some form of adventure, but honestly the only thing that would give her back her powers would be Yukari, and she certainly wouldn't do it.
Of course even if I was able to solve that problem and could plan the rest of it out, I still wouldn't write it myself, being a dreadful writer.
This thead is probably an opportunity to ask the question many anon have probably posed to themselves: even if I can't write, should I try anyway?
I've got an idea for what the general answer is. The responses to the occasional testing-the-waters posts are generally of the "do it faggot, we'll tell you if it's shit or not" variety with the occasional "this board is packed, go elsewhere."
Nice to know, but hardly informative. Now seriously: for the writers that have taken the plunge, and the anon that have made an effort to support new stories on their board(s) of choice, what advice/knowledge is important to someone on the brink of starting a new CYOA?
>>84743 >I have always wanted to see a story that involves the Seihou characters somehow, possibly after a post-Hakurei Border-collapse event that reintroduces Gensokyo's population to the modernizing world. Reimu, Marisa, and Yuuka have interacted with the Seihou cast within their games, even if it isn't exactly canon with the current state of Gensokyo.
I'm not really up on the Seihou timeline or cosmology, but I wanted to work the Martians and VIVIT if possible into the Lunar War in the Fallout CYOA. Seeing how in the canonical Ren & Mary dialogs feature lunar tourism, it's suggested the Touhou Earth is at least somewhat technologically more advanced than our own, but as to whether it could become developed as the Seihou Earth in window between now and the 23rd century, I haven't found enough translated information.
>>84752 >Now seriously: for the writers that have taken the plunge, and the anon that have made an effort to support new stories on their board(s) of choice, what advice/knowledge is important to someone on the brink of starting a new CYOA?
Don't plot out a solid diagram of routes and paths beforehand. This is not to say you should start writing without any ideas in your head, but the direction the story should take can be seen in the comments and voting patterns of your readers.
If you don't like the choices the voters are making, instead of railroading, step back and look at your work: What did you write (or not write) that caused the voters to go in this unwanted direction? Most issues can be fixed without retconning. (Which indeed can be necessary in some cases; e.g., the original /forest/ LA)
Use appropriate images. Pixiv is well worth the hassle of registration and looking up the requisite kanji/kana is easily done from the Touhou wikia.
>>84752 First, my advice: start your CYOA. You clearly have a firm grasp on spelling and grammar, so as long as your story makes the least effort to make sense, you'll have met the criteria for "not shit". Seriously, if I dislike what you write, I'll scroll right on past; crowding up the boards isn't really a concern.
Now, on the subject of "I can't write". Speaking as a writefag who had very little writing experience before starting a CYOA, here's a few suggestions that I followed. Naturally, all of these are disclaimed as my personal opinion. Go read my CYOA in /others/; if you think it's shit, don't follow these, otherwise, here you go. * Write out the first few branches exhaustively before you start; that is, write the results of all possible choice combinations, going 2 or 3 choices deep. This'll ensure your first few updates go quickly, and rereading them after you've written them, but before you post them, should give you a good idea of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. * Make sure you know where you want the story to go, but don't expect it to actually get there exactly as you envisioned it. Ideally, the main plotline of your story should be something interesting enough that readers don't want to ignore it and urgent enough that characters can't ignore it. If you have one such overarching plot and several smaller "side quest"-type plots, railroading should become something of a non-issue, since just about everything that happens will move one of the plots along. * Know your characters forwards and back; their motivations, their desires, their favorite foods, the whole shebang. As a rule, you need to know more about the story than you'll ever actually write, so spend a little time before you start thinking about this stuff. Besides, Anon will surprise you with write-ins, and this is the best preparation you can have. * Don't think too much about the quality of your writing. Doubtlessly, some of it will be bad, but there are only really two things you can do when you've written a scene badly: try to rewrite/edit it, or post it and hope you do better next time. As an inexperienced writer, the latter serves your interests much better than the former; the saying goes that the first million words you write are bound to be bad anyway, so there's little point in revising them. * Update. The bare minimum here, in my opinion, is once a week, and that's if you have a job such that the only time you can actually sit down and write is on weekends.
Fallout in Gensokyo gave me an idea, how about Bioshock in Gensokyo? Well, maybe just Big Daddy in Gensokyo it could be interesting seeing which "Little Sister" Anonymous latches on to. I even thought up the perfect excuse, have Anon be frozen in ice and eventually found and thawed out by Nitori. Obviously, this whole idea could use some fixing but it could work.
I've spent a few weeks thinking about making a CYOA where the protagonist is the personification the Hakurei Barrier or the Border of Fantasy and Reality. I even thought of how that would be possible and the consequences of him being alive: Yukari tried some new spell she made to make the alterations on her Border permanent and to make the Hakurei Barrierr independent from the Hakurei family.
Depending of what route Anon went for, mainly the Yakumo route or the Hakurei route, the would be different Border, causing different problems to solve in the story. Little things like how to not weaken/kill Reimu by simply breathing or messing up Gensokyo and the Outside world with his mood swings.
But then I lost interest because of new idea(can't stop on one long enough for it to grow) and MiG ended. After that MiG Q&A I lost any motivation to continue on this one.
I liked the segment of A Different Place 2 that was written from Flandre's point of view, and I'd like to see more CYOAs where the protagonist is a canon Touhou character instead of "generic VN player" or "original character do not steal".
>>84766 I had been wondering about something similar, actually, ever since I had briefly tossed about an idea in my head about what would have amounted to a short story about the day in the life of Suika. No drama, no DESPAIR, just a lighthearted romp where you would go around drinking, spying, possibly solving people's problems "Miko Miko Suika" style, and being generally awesome though varying levels of inebriation.
No clue if that idea will ever get off the ground, but it got me thinking about all the other official characters who could just as easily have stores based around them being the protagonist. They wouldn't have to be long with some grand, over-arching storyline either. Something taking place over a much shorter period of time, with some clear objective to complete from the very beginning could work. A sort of Limited "Limited Adventure", if you will.
For example, you could have one where you're Marisa, out for a day of mushroom gathering and robbery, with the final challenge of the day being the infiltration, "borrowing" of, and successful escape from Patchouli's library with as much loot as you can carry. Another idea would be something like a day of grocery shopping as Youmu, with the catch being that you need to get as much food as possible with very limited funds, forcing you to either wheel and deal with other characters to get what you need, or hunt down what you require. The more you successfully acquire, the more grand a feast you can prepare at the end of the day, and the better the ending.
While I understand the appeal of basing stories around entirely new characters whose personality and traits are shaped by the readers as they go along, I think there is a lot that can be done with putting official characters in the role of the protagonist.
Personally, I'd love to see someone do Remilia Scarlet: Armchair Detective.
Personally, I think that that writing with a touhou as a protagonist is just as much a novelty as writing with an OC as the protagonist. It's only good because of who's writing it, not because of what the subject matter is.
Anon falls into Gensokyo somehow and get's turned into a fairy along the way. Enter FairyAnon who's freaking out at his sudden change in species and gender he first meets up with a few of the other nameless fairies in the area.
Story idea is Anon trying to reclaim his original form in a vastly underpowered body through any means necessary. Along the way his mind starts subtly shifting to that of a fairy's. Tasks that used to very simple for a normal person to do become increasingly difficult due to the fairy part of his brain taking root and flushing out all the outside world knowledge.
>Another idea would be something like a day of grocery shopping as Youmu, with the catch being that you need to get as much food as possible with very limited funds, forcing you to either wheel and deal with other characters to get what you need, or hunt down what you require.
I am now imagining Youmu locked in an epic struggle with a huge wild boar because she lost her money.
Hmm, this thread has reminded me that I've wanted to write a couple of things for a while now. And I now probably will. Although be a short thing and lighthearted and fun. No need to be overly ambitious. As soon as I can flesh out things further and have more free time that is.
Also polite sage for not really contributing anything.
>I'd like to extend an invitation to any other writefags who need to get something out of their system; for that matter, to anyone who feels the urge to write.
"You can't control me any more!"
She's shouting, clawing at her head.
"No! I'm done with you! I've gotten what I needed!"
A voice echoes in her mind, a hollow, dark voice from within her own soul. A demon of shadow residing in her body.
You cannot rid me.
"Like hell I can't!"
She looks up from the ground, searching the area. She'd been preparing to perform an exorcism. A body lay nearby, a priest of sorts. Four deep gashes score his torso, large fatal wounds, eyes wide with shock as he lay in his own blood. He's been dead for... how long has it been? Her memories are fogged, spotted with periods of darkness. Her eyes take in the world and store the horrors for her recollection, the memories of the atrocities that had been commit by her hand while she bore the pain in her quest for revenge. This demon, this pact, this mistake.
This is what you wanted.
A part of her accepts this, the twisted, dark part. She was wronged, she had been... what had happened? She can't remember anymore, the pain in her head makes it hard to concentrate.
Submit to me again and you shall retain your power.
"Enough of your temptations you cursed beast," she growls, grabbing hold of the staff laying nearby. Screeches fill her mind as she does, the holy object burning the flesh of her hand. She grits her teeth, lifting the staff. A dark wave washes down her arm, and her hand seizes up, slowly opening under another's power. She can only resist enough to maintain her grip, it takes her other hand to get the movement going again, standing slowly as she struggles against the power within. She will complete the ritual, she must. She cannot stand to be a monster, she can no longer bear to commit sin. The circle is only a few feet away, she just needs to-
Her legs give out, and she topples forward. Her feet are gone to her now, taken by darkness again. She reaches forward with her only remaining hand, focused only on reaching the ritual circle. When she enters it, it'll be done. This darkness will be purged, and she will be free.
Do you hate me so much?
The voice mocks her now. The voice of her sister now, the first victim to the darkness. The blood price she paid for this curse. She fights to clear her mind, all too aware of the slow encroaching of the dark creature within her being. A few feet more, just a few feet more.
Do you need help young lady?
The old innkeeper. The first time she had fled in fear of her aftermath. She'd have died in the wilderness if he hadn't found her. He would have lived longer if he hadn't as well.
So many people, so many people. She resented it, but it was true. She had become a monster, and like all monsters, she had been attacked, chased away. People knew her face, she couldn't live safely. No matter how far she traveled, the darkness made her a monster once more.
"You're not going to break me again," she shouts, digging her fingertips into the cracks between the stonework in the floor. A dry laugh echoes in her head.
Do you really think you can still exist seperate from me?
"Even if I can't, if I die, I will drag you back to Hell with me." Another laugh. Her chest feels cold, her mind is numbing. A swirling tunnel of darkness fills her sight, the distant point of light at the end being just barely enough to see the ritual circle but a foot away.
You are mine, girl. You will obey.
She stops crawling, her hand withdrawing from it's advance. The coldness fills her entirely, the chill that accompanies the darkness. She can hear the clatter of the staff falling to the stone floor, but she can no longer feel her hand.
... no. No. No!
The shadow's hold weakens only for a second, but it's enough for her to squirm forward and press her fingers against the edge of the circle. Another cacophony of screams in her head.
Do you really think you can be saved? That there is salvation waiting for you at the end of your life?
Her arm is her own again. All sense but touch lost to the shadows that engulf her body, that swirl and swarm her body. With all her might, she drags herself with one arm, slowly inching towards the circle. The shadows words have drowned out all other sounds, whispered promises of power, of status. She refuses to live like that any more. She would rather serve in Heaven than rule in Hell. One pull, and her head touches the edge of the circle. Her senses flood back at once, and the rush overwhelms her for a moment. The silence is welcome to her, but the silence doesn't stay unbroken for long.
"How troublesome," the shadow speaks. She doesn't acknowledge it, she simply pulls harder. Her shoulders pass the edge of the circle and her other arm is freed. With newfound strength, she prepares to pull herself wholly into the circle when a sharp tug drags her back. She looks back only momentarily to see a large pair of shadowed claws emerging from her legs, anchored into the ground and pulling her in the opposite direction. She grimaces and pull with all her strength, but against the tireless might of the shadows, she makes no progress. If only the staff hadn't been dropped. It lays several feet back from the circle, well enough outside that if she were to try to reclaim it she would surely be overtaken again, and should that happen, she would never be herself again. No, first, she needs to reclaim her body. She closes her eyes, muttering a quiet apology to herself before calling upon the very dark gifts she's trying to escape. Her hands elongate and morph, becoming monstrous claws, and proceeds to claw into the floor. Every inch of her transformed arm burns from the power of the sanctification of the circle, but she can only focus on maintaining the hold. The laughter echoes through the room.
“I will be free of you!” she shouts through clenched teeth. She's gaining ground on the shadowed arms seeking to drag her back into darkness. She raises one hand and claws it into the floor farther ahead, and with another hard pull she's in up to her waist. Almost there.
“You can't even succeed in this task without my power,” the shadows taunt. She ignores it. This power is a tool, it's only as dark as the intent that wields it. Once she's purged this demon, she'll find a way to turn her curses to helping people. She has to, for the sake of the lives she's ruined, she must help even more. One more extended arm, and she pulls against the darkness. Without a warning, the opposing power simply vanishes, and she drags herself into the circle, where she lay in shock for a moment, breathing heavily against the floor. A simple chuckle quickly becomes a mad, relieved laughter.
“I'm free!” she whispers to herself. Her hands have reverted to normal, her fingers resting in the oversized holes plunged into the stonework. She pulls herself to her knees and sits up, looking around outside the circle. A cloaked young man stands in the distance, against a far wall outside of the edges of the light.
“You're trapped,” the man says, grinning through the shadows. The girl sneers at him. “You can stay there until you die of old age, though hunger and thirst will take you before that.”
“I'd welcome death happily,” she says, reclining onto her elbows. “So long as I'm freed from you.”
“What do you plan to do now then?” the man asks, his eyes resting on the girl. She looks towards the staff laying outside the circle, and an amused huff greets her. “You don't think you can reach that before I get you, do you?” The girl looks up at the man with a hateful stare, then turns her attention back to the staff. From within the circle, she extends a hand towards the edge and wills for her arm to reach. Rather than attaining the desired effect, she only elicits more laughter from the cloaked man. She tries to ignore the lingering sense of regret, knowing that feeling such things would only pull her back under his power. With a smile, she sits back once again.
“I guess I really am rid of you,” she says with a sigh. The man clicks his tongue.
“Is that so?” he retorts. “You're not entirely free. You will forever carry my taint. You will always see my faces in the darkness, hear my voices in the shadows of trees.”
“A small price to pay,” she scoffs, managing to stand, though still shaky. She looks back to the staff, then back at the man. He's grinning expectantly.
“All it takes is another selfish wish, another impure desire, to seed darkness,” the man says, moving from his spot, walking along the wall, sticking to the shadows. “Then you will feel the call again, seeking fulfillment, like you've done in the past.”
She throws her hand forward, casting a bolt of magical light towards the man. Without a moments hesitation, he catches the bolt with a single hand and it instantly vanishes into his darkness.
“I have no need of your power anymore. I'll make the most of my life with my own power,” she says, backing towards the center of the circle. “A life somewhere else.” Laughter again.
“Where can you go where you're not known? 'The Monster that lurks in Darkness'? 'Foul Grue'?”
Her names, how she's come to be known thanks to this being of shadow. Nowhere on this world can she safely live, so she's not going to even hope for a chance here. No, a fresh start somewhere else, an unknown world. She turns away from the man and concentrates, recalling what little of the magical knowledge she retains in her own memories. A plane shifting spell, without a specified target. Suitable enough. She holds her hands out in front of her, forming a circle with her fingers and thumbs while reciting the incantation. Her hands heat up as the spell begins to manifest, a shimmering hole in reality appearing in the circle formed by her hands. She releases the borders of the circle, and it begins to expand. She gingerly places a hand into the portal and retracts it, it worked after all. She half turns to say her final goodbye only to find the shadowed man standing at the edge of the circle. She smirks at him and begins to speak when she notices something that chills her.
His one foot is within the boundary of the ritual circle.
“No!” she shouts as he smiles broadly, lunging towards her. She steps backwards into the portal, but a tug on her arm pulls her partially back through. Despite being within the circle, she can see that he is not completely without suffering. Through his condescending grin, she can see pain in his face. Good. She brings her free hand to bear and conjuring one final missile, casts it forward into his face where it bursts with dazzling light. His grip is released with a scream as he stumbles back clutching his head, and the girl falls through the portal. A few brief seconds are spent in freefall, and then her world goes black as she hits the ground below.
“Hey, are you alive?”
The girl groans in pain. Her head still hurts. Her head and upper back, god, everything is in pain.
“Wha-” she starts, coughing slightly. The sun is so bright, she can't see anything clearly.
“I thought you were dead,” the voice says again. Female voice. The girl turns her head towards the voice. Blurred red and white, and black. She... feels like a priest.
“Who...” the girl croaks, still groggy from her impact.
“You must have fallen through a hole in the border,” the voice says with a sigh. The form moves closer and kneels down, bringing her face close enough that it comes into focus. A young woman, late teens, black hair, red eyes. Seems to be wearing something red and white. “You might have a concussion. Come on, can't have you laying around like that.” A pressure on her shoulder pulls the girl into a sitting position. The world feels like it's spinning.
“Wait, please,” the pained girl says, wavering slightly. The pulling stops, and the world slows down a little. There's an important question she needs to ask, but her mind is too clouded right now... think...
“Come on, I'll get you out of the grass at least,” the red-white girl says, pulling again.
“Did... another come through?” she asks, her memories starting to clear a little, and a sense of dread beginning to well up. Silence.
“No, you were alone.”
A sigh of relief.
“Thank you again Reimu,” the girl says, taking a sip of the tea she had been offered. Reimu still looks concerned, but also looks a little relieved.
“It's not a problem,” Reimu says, pushing a plate of some kind of cracker towards her. “Eat too if you're hungry.”
Reimu Hakurei is the girl that found her, a shrine maiden. Reimu has explained a bit of crucial information so far, that she had been found unconscious in the woods near her shrine, and that she had fallen through a hole in the barrier that encapsulates their world. That latter part was remembered on her own. Reimu had also made it quite clear that there had been no other evidence of another outsider.
For once in a long time, the girl felt truly free.
A young girl runs into the forest, tears streaming down her face. Her parents are arguing again, and they've gotten very loud. She'd tried to get them to stop yelling, but they only got mad at her and yelled at her. She leaves the village behind, passing by the trees and running until she trips on a protruding root. She falls with a squeal and lands on her stomach in the grass and leaves. She's not hurt, but she still feels pain. Pain from her heart, her confused and angry emotions. Why are her parents so upset all the time? Why are they always so angry with each other? Is it her fault? They tell her it's not but she doesn't believe it. She rolls onto her back and sits up, and dabs her eyes with the hem of her black dress. Even though she's alone, she doesn't want to cry. She's tired of crying. She wants the pain to stop, she just wants the hurting to go away. Stupid parents, why can't they just be nice?
But the young girl isn't alone today.
“Hello, young lady,” a voice says, causing the girl to jump and turn around, nearly tipping over as she does. A man sits in the shadow of a tree nearby. “Why are you crying?” The girl sniffs a bit, then looks away.
“I'm not crying,” she says, looking at the forest floor.
“Oh come now,” the man says. “Your pain is so clear in your eyes.” The girl looks back at the man. He doesn't seem like a bad person. He has a really warm and gentle smile. He hasn't attacked her yet either, so he can't be a bad person.
“My parents are yelling at each other,” the girl says, looking back at the ground. “I just wish they'd stop fighting.” The man gives a low chuckle, and the girl looks back to him.
“You wish?” the man asks. “Tell me, young lady, what is your name?” The girl wipes her eyes again with the back of her hand. She hesitates for a moment, some feeling in the back of her head caused her to stop. Why? This man seems like a good man.
“Rumia,” she says. “My name is Rumia.” The man's warm smile grows.
“Is that so?” the man asks, leaning forward and lowering his voice to a whisper. “Well then Rumia, would you like the power to make your parents stop arguing?”
Tentatively titled 'Duality', one of the few things I've had floating around my head for a while. This is one of my more recent ideas, so there hasn't been a lot of planning to thinking done for it, so all I can really say it the general premise, which would be to (potentially) play two different characters (swapping at command) with opposing goals, and overarching effects on the balance of Light and Darkness in the citizens of Gensokyo. Want to turn Remilia into a kind-hearted and loving young lady who welcomes the downtrodden and homeless humans and youkai of Gensokyo into her home as guests? How about turning Alice into a hateful, human hunting youkai, her dark ambitions fueled by the scorn she's gotten since becoming a youkai?
Well now, this feels like necromancy, but I still have ideas to put out.
First of all, I'd like to say that I'm glad to see Shingetsu is being well received. That's quite encouraging. I still have other projects to take care of, but it's good to know that Shingetsu should have an audience once I really get it going.
Secondly, all of this talk of stories wherein the player character is a Touhou reminds me of a story idea I had some time ago that I never quite fleshed out, where Anonymous would be playing the role of Mokou. I believe I'll tentatively call it...
Homeward Bound: A story that revolves primarily around Mokou. Growing restless due to a combination of recent events - particularly ones involving Keine - and the small size of Gensokyo, Mokou realizes that she needs to get away from it all. Confronting Yukari about this, Mokou secures herself a way out of Gensokyo without informing anyone, returning to the Outside world for the first time in centuries in order to go on a journey of introspection.
The story proper picks up several years later. One night as Mokou hangs about in a bar, a familiar face strolls in - Reisen Udongein Inaba. Reisen has come on behalf of Kaguya, who has grown worried over the disappearance of Mokou, and sent Reisen out to search for her. Reisen implores Mokou to come back, and much to her surprise Mokou has finally had enough of walking the earth, agreeing to return to Gensokyo without a struggle.
Then everything goes to hell.
As Reisen and Mokou prepare to return to Gensokyo, it turns out that Mokou has finally been spotted by several governments, all of whom are quite interested in her apparent ability to not die when she's killed. What ensues is a mad-cap round-the-world chase as Mokou and Reisen find themselves on the run from the combined military might of most of the world; it's a race to Japan, to cross back to Gensokyo before they can be caught!
And continuing in the vein of unorthodox story concepts...
White Wedding: An interesting little idea I cooked up some time ago. Fooling around with gaps out of boredom, Yukari initiates a real debacle. Thanks to her careless prank Anonymous finds himself gapped from his perfectly routine Human Village life, and directly into a very compromising situation with a friend of his, the famed Hieda no Akyu - specifically, he ends up falling out of a gap and landing directly on top of her. In her bed. While she's quite naked.
This might not be such a problem if a maid didn't walk in at exactly this moment, as per the laws of dramatic efficiency. The maid throws a fit, waking the whole household, and drawing the family into the misunderstanding.
Strict and traditional, the Hieda family decides that they can't risk the shame of their chief daughter being defiled out of wedlock. Consequently, Anon and Akyu are forced into a shotgun wedding. Engaged against their wills, there is only one option available - they're going to have to do everything in their power to sabotage the wedding.
This is where the game departs from the usual - the main goal is to ensure that the wedding is prevented, and Anon and Akyu can escape from their engagement. A number of complications may arise in the course of this endeavor, from the involvement of other characters, to the emotional state of Akyu herself - or of Anon, for that matter. After all, the story is most certainly not Akyu route-locked...
Anyway, just a pair of ideas I wanted to throw out there. Any interest?
>>86599 >>Homeward Bound Sounds interesting, and the possibilities for Mokou and Reisen in a "buddy flick" scenario could be quite fun. Car chases are a must.
...I do gotta wonder how Reisen would go about disguising herself in the outside world, though. Her ears would make her stand out, and I can't imagine covering them up with a hat would be exactly comfortable, to say nothing of the effect it could have on her hearing while wearing it.
>>White Wedding Also sounds fun. I rather like the switch from Anon trying to involved with a Touhou to trying to get un-involved with a Touhou. Though, really, just how strict must Akyu's parents be for the old "Yukari did it" excuse to not fly when explaining just how you came to be laying atop their naked daughter in her bed? I mean, REALLY. Messing with people like that has got to be one of the few things she spends almost as much time doing as she spends sleeping.
While this thread is hovering around, one of my ideas. I don't have a proper title for it, so...
Youkai Maker - Assume the role of an unknown youkai belonging one of the species populating Gensokyo, define yourself through actions and interactions. Gain status, power and presence, and make a name for yourself among the great girls of Gensokyo.
Hmm... on the plus side I could write more Tewi, but... Tewi and Reisen are the only two I really like out of Eientei. Kaguya I'm somewhat indifferent over and Eirin I actually don't like that much. I'd also do pretty poorly at even faking medical knowledge.
I don't think I could successfully write something like that. I can hardly successfully write the two stories I already do.
I won't be starting anything soon, really, don't worry about that. Most of my ideas are in waiting for whenever one of my current stories ends. Naturally, Flight is the closest to an end point, but I'm not thinking that Gensou Coil will be as long, so you never know.
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A slight inclination of the head, and a casual glance were all that Alice Margatroid gave to indicate that she had heard her name being spoken. A somewhat cold response, perhaps, but not an unexpected one; her caller was rarely received happily by youkai, and Alice had always seemed to be solitary by nature. When not mingling with her small circle of associates or the rare group of humans at parties and feasts such as this, Alice was usually to be found somewhere off to the side, alone and quiet. Tonight was no exception.
Nonetheless, once she had finished the last of her sake and set her cup aside on the table, Alice at last put forward a polite greeting.
Sikieiki smiled, both for the sake of propriety, and to keep her spirits up. Laying her hand upon the empty chair next to that of Alice, she made a questioning gesture.
"Would you mind if I joined you tonight, Miss Margatroid?"
"I would not stop you."
The judge maintained her smile, but sighed inwardly. There was no doubt that it had been a polite response, but the unspoken sentiment was painfully obvious. Even so, her concerns outweighed her discomfort, as they always did.
As Sikieiki took her seat, Alice closed her eyes and folded her hands in her lap.
"Do you have business with me, Judge Eiki?"
The judge stiffened momentarily, but soon relaxed with a quiet chuckle.
"No, no," she murmured quietly, removing the hat that was the badge of her office, and setting it down on her lap. Wondering if her gesture had done any good, she nervously ran her hand through her hair. She could hope at least. "Business isn't the right word for this. Rather, these are just personal concerns of mine."
There was a pause as Sikieiki collected her thoughts.
"May I ask you a question, Miss Margatroid?"
"If you would like," Alice nodded. Perhaps, Sikieiki thought, she was seeing things, but it seemed to her as though Alice were being cautious.
"Then, I have heard that you are working on an autonomous doll. Is this true?"
The query had merely been a formality, of course, and Sikieiki suspected that Alice knew as much. There were few people unaware of how far the eyes of the Judge of Paradise reached. Still, propriety had its merits.
"I see. I won't bore you with the details, but if you have been working on creating an autonomous doll, then I'm sure you have realized by now that the most efficient method for establishing independence in any construct is to use a soul infusion. That said, I have not noticed any souls going missing recently, nor have I heard of any transfers being made. In addition, I have heard that you have been doing some very extensive research into a variety of fields recently. Please forgive me for being so blunt, but," Sikieiki nervously wet her lips, "could it be, Miss Margatroid, that you are trying to create a soul?"
A deathly silence fell over the pair, the light and sound of the party seeming ever more distant in this moment. It was some minutes, it seemed to Sikieiki, before Alice gave her reply.
"You are very perceptive, Judge Eiki. I am, indeed, attempting to manufacture a soul."
Another cold quiet came, and this time it was Sikieiki's turn to be troubled by what to say.
"Miss Margatroid," she remarked at last, "you must know the implications. This is one subject I do not much care to discuss, but what you are doing is nothing short of playing the role of a god. I will not move to stop you, and neither will the court, but if you continue on this path, you will one day be judged for this."
Alice sighed, and retrieved the bottle on the table, pouring herself another cup of sake. Setting the bottle aside, she took up her cup and took another long sip of liquor. It may have been her imagination, but Sikieiki liked to think it had been a longer draw than usual.
"You are absolutely right," Alice professed at last, staring into her sake, and the reflection of her own clear blue eyes. "Now may I ask you a question, Judge?"
"If you would like," Sikieiki replied cautiously.
"What would you say is the foremost concern of a parent?"
"Their children." It was a reply that did not need any thought. Sikieiki had judged countless parents, and this was a truth that, while not universal, was nonetheless wide indeed.
"Precisely. A parent should be concerned chiefly with their children; what a parent should long for is to see their child exceed them. By the same token, should not the concern of a child be to fulfill those yearnings and exceed their parents?"
"Then let me say this: I am not an exception to that rule. I am playing god, and I will not dispute the fact; if the day comes that I am judged for it, I will not be ashamed. I am proud to know that to exceed the person whom I love, merely playing god will not be enough."
Setting her drink down once again, Alice stood, giving Sikieiki one last look.
"If you will excuse me, Judge Eiki."
As Alice turned away, there was something in her eyes that hadn't been there before. Before Sikieiki could contemplate it any further, however, a pair of arms embraced her from behind. Tilting her head up, she was greeted with the sight of a certain subordinate smiling down at her.
"Siki," her employee sang happily.
"Are you still worried about her?"
"No," Sikieiki replied with a smile. "Self sacrifice for the sake of obligation and love... that's good behavior."
She turned her head to watch Alice walk away, shoulders straight, and head held high.
I realize I just performed an act of profound necromancy, but I felt the desire to post this, and I'd rather not start a new thread for it when there's a perfectly good one still kicking around.
Anyway, this is just something that I wrote on the spur of the moment. It's not even a proper short story - feels more like a single scene, and I didn't bother with heavy editing. Regardless, I wanted to write something with Alice, as she's a character that I like quite a bit, and until now she's only had minor appearances in any of my stories.
On another note, writing this made me wish I had bothered to learn how to draw properly, because I think this could have been conveyed well as a comic.