IFComp 2015: Crossroads   1 comment

By Cat Manning. Finished three times on iPhone.

In Crossroads you are on your way to see a witch in a forest.

The reason can vary. Based on the choice of gift for the witch, the story seems to split into three different branches. While the branches themselves are relatively linear it is conceivable that three people (presuming they don’t replay) complete Crossroads and gather radically disparate impressions.

Of course, a single person can have the same experience via the magic of temporal fuguing, or perhaps less dramatically by hitting the restart button.

Temporal Me #1 experienced something I would call “touching, but vague”. My character needed absolution for something unnamed, the remedy involved something unsaid, and I left the story unenlightened.


Temporal Me #2 had reasons for seeing the witch even I was unclear about, participated in a minor philosophical conversation, collaberated in a magical ritual that involved music somehow, and left following a light.

I was still not compelled.

But Temporal Me #3!–

My third avatar was a monster. They wanted to stop being one.

The witch’s method of therapy was to send Me #3 back to memories of atrocities committed. Then when those atrocities occurred, she sent Me back again to try things differently; again and yet again.

It’s the least you can do. You pull a pair of gloves from your jacket pocket. You’re careful, in the ways you still can be. You’ve come to value these small rituals, ways of clinging to your humanity. Always cover the body. Never leave fingerprints. Every once in a while, report a missing person from a pay phone 40 miles out of town, waiting in the booth until your hands stop shaking.

I found this story delicious enough that I wish the author had simply focused on this one, with more expansion and depth, and omitted the other two. It was human and heartfelt and while the prose included some magic and a labyrinth where geometry is no help, there was felt purpose to all the noise.

Posted November 10, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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  1. Pingback: IFComp 2015 Summary | Renga in Blue

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