<% inventoryOn = true; %> <h1>Outside--Where it's safe</h1> Out for a walk, are we? Excellent idea, [[Harrison->harrison]]. Keeps the blood flowing and all that, especially on such a blustery day. Why not *keep* walking? After all, there's nothing here on this rocky point except for (a) dangerous cliffs, (b) angry ocean, and (c) your school, good ol' Dunnsmouth Secondary. And as it's Saturday, there's absolutely nothing to see here. Besides, aren't you suspended? Best head back [[home]]. You're better off ignoring those [[disturbing noises->moans]]. <h1>The Front Doors</h1> Hold on now. Yes, these doors are impressive--two great wooden slabs, set deep into the stone archway of the school's entrance. You might even call them *intimidating*. And yes, it's odd that one of them is ajar. Though really, if they were sealed tight, you wouldn't be hearing those moans <%=swap("...", "(... which do seem to be growing louder.)")%> Still. Nothing to get all worked up about. Time to head [[home]]. Maybe there are some Pop-Tarts left! No reason to go [[inside->entrance]]. <% story.state.poptarts = true; %>There now. Don't you feel better, safe inside your lovely cottage? Well, maybe "lovely" is pushing it, and "home" doesn't fit either. Frankly, it's a aged rental property with ill-fitting windows that can't keep out the winter drafts, carpet that's seen better days, a stove that won't stay lit... <%=story.state.poptarts ? "and no Pop-Tarts. Sorry about that." : ""%> But being here is better than stumbling around in that drafty school. I'm just glad that you're not tempted to [[go back->backToSchool]]. <%=story.state.entered ? "I'm sure that nothing you saw today will haunt your [[dreams]]." : ""%> Ah, yes. Those noises, coming faintly from somewhere inside the school. A bit *moany*, aren't they? Probably nothing to worry about. Best to toddle on [[home]]. No need to get any closer to the [[front doors]]. <h1>The Atrium</h1> <% story.state.entered = true;%>I wish you hadn't done that. But as long as we're here, take a moment to admire the architectural glory of Dunnsmouth Secondary, and this splendid atrium! I don't know why outsiders call it *gloomy* <%=swap('...', 'or <i>dank</i>')%> <%=swap("..."," or <i>mausolesque</i>")%> <%=swap("..."," <i>(which is not even a word).</i>")%> In my opinion, the yellowish, muted lights and cold granite floors lend a *contemplative* mood. Though it's hard to contemplate anything with that all that moaning coming from that [[man->bleedingMan]] lying on the floor at the base of the staircase. (Perhaps I should have mentioned him earlier?) Sleep tight, Harrison Squared. Sleep tight. <i>Refresh your browser window to start over.</i> <h1>Upstairs Hallway</h1> The corridor is quite familiar to you, I'm sure, considering most of your classes are located here. Though someone is going to have to mop up those watery tracks<%=swap('...', "... which seem to lead in <i>both</i> directions down this hallway. Curious.")%> To the north is [[Dr. Herbert's lab->herbertDoor]] and [[poor Mr. Gint's room->mathRoom]]. South is [[Ms. Velloc's room->vellocDoor]] and the [[music room->musicRoomDoor]]. I'd advise against going into any of them. Yes, you could march down to the [[end of the hall->upstairsEndHall]]. But *I* would suggest heading [[downstairs->atrium]] -- because it's one step closer to the exit!<h1>Dr. Herbert's Science Lab</h1> You don't see anyone inside. What a relief! <%=swapEsteem("herbertRoom", "Give yourself a self-esteem point for checking the room.", 1)%> You never know what you might find here. Dr. Herbert, your cryptobiology teacher, is a man of, shall we say, *odd* interests. That looks like his [[latest project->herbertProject]] on his desk. All done snooping, you impolite boy? Best head back to the [[hallway->upstairsHallway]]. <h1>The Music Room</h1> Is there anything sadder than a room full of empty music stands? <%=swap("...", "Yes, I suppose a room full of starving kittens would trump that. Good point.")%> In any case, there's no one here. <%=swapEsteem("musicRoom", "Give yourself a self-esteem point for checking the room.", 1)%> You've never taken a music class at Dunnsmouth Secondary, and judging by the dust and cobwebs coating these instruments, neither has anyone else--at least not in years. Cracked trumpets, dismembered trombones, a gap-toothed xylophone, the noble <%=isInHistory("flukehorn") ? "[[flukehorn...->flukehornAfter]]": "[[flukehorn...->flukehorn]]"%> <%=inventoryItem("instrument")%> [[Back to the hall.->upstairsHallway]]<h1>Mrs. Velloc's Room</h1> Mrs. Velloc's Practical Skills class is, I'm sure, the highlight of your school day. Rows and rows of students, blissfully tying together [[nets]]. It's the essence of community spirit, don't you think? Plus, who doesn't appreciate a good knot? <%=swapEsteem("velloc", "Speaking of appreciation, give yourself a self-esteem point for checking the room.", 1)%> [[Back to the hall->upstairsHallway]] <h1>Mr. Gint's Room</h1> The door is wide open, but the watery tracks do not lead inside. That's probably a good thing for poor Mr. Gint. I do believe his head was in sorry enough shape before he cracked it on the floor. Just look at those equations scrawled across the board<%=swap('...','... and walls')%><%=swap('...', '... and a bit of the ceiling.')%> You're right -- he does seem particularly obsessed with a [[certain sequence of numbers->sequence]]. Ah well. Don't you worry *your* pretty little head about it. I'm sure he'll be ready to teach your non-Euclidean geometry class by Monday <%=swapEsteem("mathRoom", "Don't forget to give yourself a self-esteem point for making sure the room is empty.", 1)%> [[Back to hall->upstairsHallway]] <h1>The Atrium</h1> Now where are you going? Follow the water up the [[grand staircase->firstLanding]]? Or make haste down the [[main hallway->firstFloorHall]], toward the cafeteria and what not? <% var outerLoop = isInHistory("outerLoop") ? "Or open up the secret door that leads back to the [[outer loop?->outerLoop]]" : ""; %> (And it's still not too late to go [[home]].)Why, it's Mr. Gint! <%=swap("...", "(Your non-Euclidean geometry teacher, a pale, balding man, who, if I may be frank, has demonstrated that he has as firm a grip on reality as he does on his hair follicles.)")%> As to why he's lying there on the floor, unconscious, in a large puddle of water, is anybody's guess. At least we know he's not dead. That moaning is a good sign, though the blood leaking from his hairless skull is definitely *not*. And where's all that [[water->waterOnStairs]] coming from? Hmm. I suppose you'll have to do *something* now. <%=swap("Call 9-1-1?", "Call 9-1-1? (That's a joke. Cell phones have never worked in Dunnsmouth.)") %> Or [[try to wake him up?->wakingGint]] Harrison! Shaking a man and calling his name is not going to-- Oh. It worked. Never mind. "What happened?" you ask. Mr. Gint blinks up at you. "I was knocked down... by something." "What kind of something?" "No! Some *thing!* A wildish, toothy thing!" Oh, poor Mr. Gint. He slipped in the water, conked his head, and now he's delusional. Best [[help him out the door->helpGintToDoor]]--and close it behind you. No reason to [[question him further->questionGint]].<%story.state.gintGone = true;%>Mr. Gint takes several unsteady steps, then suddenly he spins to face you. "I almost forgot! There are people inside!" "What?" "Matilda is in there! And the cafeteria ladies! And others? Maybe others!" He grips your shoulder with surprising strength. "You have to warn them to get out!" The math teacher looks like he's going to pass out any second. I know you're tempted to [[rush back inside->atrium]]. [[But what about Mr. Gint?->helpGintToDoor2]]"Was it some kind of animal?" you ask Mr. Gint. It would have to be pretty large to knock down a grown man. "A dog?" Mr. Gint shakes his head. "Oh no. This was no dog." His eyes go wide. "It had claws, and a snout like an alligator, and sharp teeth... and... and..." "It's okay, Mr. Gint," you say. (And I approve of your kindly tone.) [["Take your time."->questionGint2]]<h1>The Grand Staircase</h1> Ah. The grand staircase that leads upstairs is positively slick with water, as if from some huge plumbing accident. I wouldn't [[go up the stairs->firstLandingEarly]] to investigate. Just take care of [[that poor man on the floor->bleedingMan]].<h1>The First Landing</h1> <a href="https://darylgregory.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/firstlandingmedium.jpg" target="_blank" border="0"><img src="https://darylgregory.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/firstlandingsmall.jpg" class="picture" /></a> My goodness. You have to go no further than the first landing to see what's the matter. The huge fish tank that *usually* holds Dunnsmouth's mascot, the noble thresher shark, has been cruelly smashed. Water and sea weed and quaint aquarium toys are everywhere. The mascot, however, is nowhere to be seen. Well, at least the liquid portion of the mystery is solved. Now if only [[Mr. Gint->bleedingMan]] would stop making such a racket. This is ridiculous. I don't see why you're hurrying back to the school, huffing and puffing. And see? The doors are closed now. Dunnsmouth Secondary is locked tight. Thank goodness you did the sensible thing by going home. Good night, Harrison Squared. <i>Refresh your browser window to start over.</i><h1>Main Hall</h1> It's not too late to head back the the [[atrium]]. A short distance away is the [[principal's office->principalOffice]]. You've been called there often enough, haven't you? Further down hall is the [[cafetorium]]. And further still is, well, [[further still->intersection]].<h1>First Landing</h1> <% var s = "<a href='https://darylgregory.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/firstlandingmedium.jpg' target='_blank' border='0'><img src='https://darylgregory.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/firstlandingsmall.jpg' class='picture' /></a>The grand staircase is positively slick with water, as if from some huge plumbing accident. And at the first landing, you see why.\n\nThe huge fish tank that *usually* holds Dunnsmouth's mascot, the noble thresher shark, has been cruelly smashed. Water and sea weed and quaint aquarium toys are everywhere. The mascot, however, is nowhere to be seen." if (isInHistory("waterOnStairs")) { s = "Please, walk carefully on these slick stairs! And don't forget to mind the broken glass from the fish tank.\n\n(Speaking of fish, where *did* that mascot go to? A thresher shark can't just walk away. Well, never mind.)" } %> <%=s%> But here's another odd thing: there's water on the steps leading *up.* So, either multiple people have tromped through the aquarium water and tracked it up the stairs, or<%=swap('...','... it was one person with very large feet.')%> Continue on to [[the upstairs hall->upstairsHallway]] or go back [[downstairs->atrium]]?You've never heard of the the flukehorn? Sigh. I forget that you're not from around here. Ahem. The multi-bladed double bass flukehorn is a metal and mahogany cousin to the bassoon, invented in 1876 by Dunnsmouth's first (and last) orchestra conductor, Ruddigore Thropp, a man who loved mathematics and music more than life itself<%=swap('...', '... And in retrospect, more than the lives of his family.')%> Sadly, the instrument never caught on. Only a handful of people learned the secret of its mathematically tuned key holes, and fewer still could complete a tune without slicing their fingers on the instrument's razor-sharp flukes. The last Dunnsmouth student to play the instrument was [[Enoch McKelvey->mckelveyMusic]]. Whatever you do, don't [[try to play it->playHorn]]. <%=inventoryItem("instrument")%> [[Back to the hall->upstairsHallway]] The current class project is a sturdy hemp net, twelve or fifteen feet in diameter. You're responsible for a few of those knots yourself. <%=inventoryItem("net")%> [[Go back to the hall->upstairsHallway]] Mr. Gint blinks in confusion. "It was wearing a shirt." "Pardon?" "One of those... domestic abuse T-shirts." <%=swap("...?", "<br\>Honestly, your guess is as good as mine, Harrison.")%> "You mean a wife-beater?" you ask. "That's it!" <%=swap("...", "<br\>Lucky guess.")%> His eyelids flutter. "And that's all I remember." He [[stumbles toward the door.->helpGintToDoor]] "But what about you?" you ask Mr. Gint. "Are you all right?" He leans on you as you help him toward the door. <%=swapEsteem("helpGintToDoor2", "Give yourself a self-esteem point for demonstrating such concern.", 1)%> Outside, he blinks in the sunlight, and takes several deep breaths. "I can get home by myself from here, my boy." <%=swap("...", "... (He's never been certain of your name in class, and seems even less certain of it now.)")%> Then, holding his hand to the back of his head, he walks down the hill toward town. Mr. Gint's probably suffering from a concussion and is clearly confused. How many people can be in the school on a Saturday? And if there are, these adults can take care of themselves. There's not reason to go [[back inside->atrium]]. Why don't you follow your teacher's example and head [[home]] yourself?<h1>The Principal's Office</h1> Stenciled on the frosted glass window of the door are the words OFFICE OF THE PRINCIPAL<%=swap('...','.... not to be confused with the principle office.')%> The door is locked, however, and neither Principal Montooth nor his secretary, Miss Pearl, seem to be working today. It *is* Saturday, after all. <%=swapEsteem("principalOffice", "And yes, might as well give yourself a self-esteem point for checking the office.", 1)%> I suppose it's back to [[the hall->firstFloorHall]] for you, eh?<h1>Cafetorium</h1> Ah, the room where the students take their lunch<%=swap("...","... when they can take it all.")%> Empty seats and tables fill most of the room, but at one end is a small stage, which turns this cafe*teria* into a cafe*torium*. Ha ha! So clever. So much better than the nickname the students have given it<%=swap("...","... 'Vomitorium.' But of course you guessed that, you crude boy.")%> <%=swapEsteem("cafetorium", "And yes, might as well give yourself a self-esteem point for checking this room.", 1)%> Where to? Through the wide doorway behind the serving station leads to the [[kitchen]]? Or back to [[the hallway?->firstFloorHall]]<% var intro = (isInHistory("firstLanding")) ? "Alas, there are no watery tracks to lead us in any particular direction. There are, however," : "So many choices! There are"; var matilda = isInHistory("Matilda3") ? "[[a dark hall->darkHallDoor]]" : "[[a dark hall->matilda]]"; var outerLoop = isInHistory("outerLoop") ? "a section of wall this is actually a secret door to the [[outer loop->outerLoop]]...<br /><br />" : ""; %> <h1>The Confusing Bit</h1> I'm a little turned around here, honestly. <%=intro%> [[stairs leading up->upstairsEndHall]]... <%=outerLoop%> a [[hall leading back to the front door->firstFloorHall]] (I think)... and <%=matilda%> that leads deeper into the building.<h1>The Kitchen</h1> This area is *not* for students. Scamper back to the [[cafetorium]] this instant! Ignore that strange humming and scraping sound coming from [[deeper in the kitchen.->kitchen2]] <h1>The Waiting Room</h1> [[nurse's office->nurseOffice]] [[hallway door->outerLoop]]<h1>The Nurse's Office</h1> Hmmm. The [[medicine cabinet->medicineCabinet]] is unlocked. Back to the [[waiting room->waitingRoom]]<h1>The Outer Loop</h1> <% var link = "nothing"; var choice = Math.floor(Math.random() * (5 - 1)) + 1; switch(choice){ case 1: link = "[[the door->intersection]]"; break; case 2: link = "[[the door->atriumAfterOuterLoop]]"; break; case 3: link= "[[the door->mysteryRoom]]"; default: link= "[[the door->darkHallAfterOuterLoop]]"; break; } %> This corridor seems to go on for quite a distance. After several turns (not all of them legal), you arrive at <%=link%>. <%=inventoryItem("heavy meds")%> [[close the medicine cabinet->nurseOffice]]<h1>The end of the hall</h1> Congratulations, you've followed the watery footsteps all the way to the end of the second story hall, the home of (a) a wall, and (b) the narrower, grimier cousin to the grand staircase<%=swap('...',"... (cousins perhaps, but they've never liked each other)")%> Oh. And one other thing. There's a dead thresher shark here. <%=inventoryItem("shark")%> Why don't you [[head back to the classrooms->upstairsHallway]]? Or, if you insist, you could follow the rapidly evaporating footsteps down the stairs to the [[main hallway->intersection]].<% var s = isInHistory("Matilda3") ? "Matilda's probably still on the other side, mopping away." : ""; %> <h1>A rather dimly lit corridor</h1> You find yourself in the middle of a corridor. One one end of the hallway is a big locked door that (probably) leads to the atrium. <%=s%> On other end is a great, wide staircase [[leading down.->basementStairs]] I see no reason to go down. Why not duck back into the [[outer loop?->outerLoop]] <h1>The Basement Stairs</h1> I can see by the look on your face that you don't like these stairs much. What is it about them<%=swap("...?", "...the dank smell that wafts up out of the basement? The odd stains on the steps? Or is it the steps themselves, which seem to have been hewn out of the ancient rock and laid out for limbs that not of human proportion?<br /><br />Or maybe it's just that this is the way you take to gym class.")%> In any case, you must know my position on the matter by now: <b><i>Get out!</i></b> Don't go into the [[basement.->basementAtrium]] Just [[flee.->darkHall]]<a id="falling0" onclick="startFalling()">You are falling</a> <div id="falling1" style="display:none;margin-top:20px;">falling...</div> <div id="falling2" style="display:none; margin-top:80px">falling...</div> <div id="falling3" style="display:none; margin-top:160px">falling...</div> <div id="falling4" style="display:none; margin-top:240px">[[*splash*->wellFirst]]</div>Double-click this passage to edit it.Ah, a beaker of acid, a gleaming scalpel, and a-- <div style="display:inline-block"><img src='https://darylgregory.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/herbertexperimentsmall.jpg' class="picture"> Well, I'm not exactly sure what this half-dissected animal is. Or rather, *was.* No doubt a [[hybrid]] of sorts. Let's hope that unlike *some* of the doctor's experiments, this one does not come back to life. </div> Shall we [[go back to the hallway->upstairsHallway]]? <%=inventoryItem("scalpel")%><h1>Behind the Scenes</h1> How did you get in here? [[Leave this instant!->outerLoop]] What do you mean, [[no?->mysteryRoom2]] You really are annoying, do you know that? This is the room I go to when I grow tired of narration. And yet here you are, demanding more from me! Well, fine. You want narration? Here's your narration: You find yourself in an absolutely uninteresting room, with nothing to do, forever. There is only a pen, a desk, a chair, and a piece of paper. Now [[get out!->outerLoop]] <%=inventoryItem("pen")%> <%=inventoryItem("paper")%> The door to Dr. Herbert's room is ajar, which is odd. But even more alarmingly, the water tracks lead [[inside->herbertRoom]]. Please [[go back!->upstairsHallway]]. The watery tracks go right past this closed door. So why would you [[go inside->musicRoom]]? I'd [[head back->upstairsHallway]].The moist tracks don't go in here, but since the door is unlocked, I supposed you could [[peek inside->velloc]].Surely you've heard Dr. Herbert bang on about hybrids and biological chimera and parallel ontogeny. He can barely shut up about it. He's quite obsessed with the idea of transitional states -- human and beast and everything in between. Thanks goodness we don't have to worry about any of that in the real world. Shall we head back to [[Dr. Herbert's room?->herbertProject]]There's really no point in this. Why not go [[back to the music room->musicRoom]]? <% var s = story.state.canPlayHorn ? "You already know how to play the horn. But if you insist..." : "But if you insist, keep in mind that the fluekhorn requires that six apertures be covered simultaneously before blowing. Which six? That's an excellent question. Thropp was a mathematician, much like Mr. Gint, so perhaps that will help you decide."%> <%=s%> <div> <div id="hornSides"> <div id="hornLeft"> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn1' class='horn' value='1' /><label for='horn1'>1</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn2' class='horn' value='2' /><label for='horn2'>2</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn3' class='horn' value='3' /><label for='horn3'>3</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn4' class='horn' value='4' /><label for='horn4'>4</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn5' class='horn' value='5' /><label for='horn5'>5</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn6' class='horn' value='6' /><label for='horn6'>6</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn7' class='horn' value='7' /><label for='horn7'>7</label></div> </div> <div id="hornRight"> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn8' class='horn' value='8' /><label for='horn8'>8</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn9' class='horn' value='9' /><label for='horn9'>9</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn10' class='horn' value='10' /><label for='horn10'>10</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn11' class='horn' value='11' /><label for='horn11'>11</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn12' class='horn' value='12' /><label for='horn12'>12</label></div> <div><input type='checkbox' id='horn13' class='horn' value='13' /><label for='horn13'>13</label></div> </div> </div> Select your six apertures and<div onclick='blow()' style="font-size: 2em; cursor: pointer; color: #AB4214">blow</div> <div style="margin-top:2em" id="hornResult"></div> </div> That sequence--8, 13, 21, 34, and so on--is known as the Fibonacci Sequence. To find the next number in the sequence, simply take the current number and add the previous number to it. So, 8 + 13 = 21. 13 + 21 = 34, etc. Lovely, isn't it? So after 34, the next number would be...<input id='fibTest' type='text' onchange='fibCheck(this)' width='10px' placeholder='type and hit enter' />? <div id='fibResult'></div> [[Back to hall->upstairsHallway]].Oh, I suppose you could [[try to play it->playHorn]]. <%=inventoryItem("instrument")%> [[Back to the hall->upstairsHallway]] Enoch McKelvey was an odd boy. Well, *all* the McKelvey brothers were odd, but Enoch especially. A genetic disorder left him with a terrible skin condition, abnormally large hands and feet, and a surly disposition. Fortunately, those huge hands were perfect for playing the flukehorn! It was really too bad that his medical condition forced him to leave school before graduating. He loved playing that instrument. But I digress. You were asking about the [[flukehorn]] itself.What are the cafeteria ladies doing here on a Saturday? These three, er, lovely women have worked here for decades. They look like sisters, with their rather equine faces, bat-like ears, and near-sighted squints<%=swap("...","... but why does only one of them wear glasses?")%> It's unlikely, however, that they *are* sisters, because they are of three wildly disparate generations: one middle-aged woman, one who looks well past retirement age, and another who, how shall I say this? Is of an *advanced age*<%=swap("...","... (She's ancient. One step from the grave. Decrepit. Shall I go on? Well I shan't.)")%> The three of them are chopping up some kind of meat, but they don't seem happy about it. [[Try to get their attention.->getLadiesAttention]] Alternatively, [[duck away before they notice you.->cafetorium]] "What's wrong, ladies?" you ask. I have to commend you on the polite tone<%=swap("...", "... Do you know what the word <i>unctoous</i> means?")%> "What's *always* wrong?" the oldest one says. "Lack of funding," the middle one says. "Lack of *supplies*," the youngest one says. "In short," the oldest one says. "We're short." [["Short on what?" you ask->ladiesWhyShark]] "There's some kind of wild animal loose in the building," you say. "It knocked down Mr. Gint." "What did he say?" the oldest one asks. "Mr. Gint let an animal loose in the building," the middle one says. "Ooh, what *kind* of animal?" the one with the glasses asks. <% var s = "\"Mr. Gint didn't say much. Just that it was a 'wild, toothy' thing.\""; s += "<br /><br />\"That doesn't sound very convincing,\" says the oldest one."; if (isInHistory("questionGint")) { s = "\"Mr. Gint said it had teeth, an alligator snout, and claws.\""; s += "<br /><br />\"Oh my,\" send the middle one."; } %> "I'm a little foggy on that," you say. <%=s%> [[Beg them to leave.->warnLadies2]] Or give up, and go back to the [[cafetorium]]. You clear your throat to speak, and the three women practically jump out of their skins. "Who's there?" the oldest of them says. "Give me the glasses!" the second (and second-oldest) one says. "It's a boy," the youngest one says. She peers at you over her glasses. "What do you want?" I suppose you could [[ask what's wrong.->askLadiesWhatIsWrong]] Alternatively, you could [[warn them to leave the building.->warnLadies]]"Won't you *please* leave?" you ask. "Can't," says the oldest one. "Won't," says the middle one. [["Why not?" you ask.->ladiesWhyShark]] "Ooh, that smells lovely!" says the oldest one, crouching to sniff the carcass. "Well done, my boy," says the middle one. <%=swapEsteem("giveShark", "She makes you feel so good, you want to give yourself some self-esteem.", 5)%> "We don't usually allow this," the youngest one says, "But feel free to cut through the nurse's office and the outer loop." "Outer loop?" you ask. [["Right through that door," she says.->waitingRoom]]. I wouldn't do that if I were you. Why not simply back slowly out of the kitchen and [[leave->cafetorium]]? "Need more meat," the youngest one says. "Especially of the aquatic kind." "Won't be ready for lunch on Monday," the oldest one says. <%=isInInventory("shark") ? "Why do you have that look on your face? Surely you're not going to [[give them your dead mascot->giveShark]] Better if you [[leave.->cafetorium]]" : "\"Okay,\" you say, barely hiding your exasperation. \"I'll try to find you some fresh fish.\" <br /><br />Can we please [[leave now?->cafetorium]]"%> <% inventoryOn = false; %> <div style="font-size: 2.5em;margine-left: -1em;"> Shall we [[begin?->credits]] </div> <h1>Harrison Squared, I presume</h1> Oh, I've heard of you. You've only recently moved to Dunnsmouth, Massachussetts, and already you've caused a bit of trouble. Yes, it's regrettable what happened to your mother. The heart bleeds. Shall we [[continue with this pointless exercise?->outside]] <% setTimeout(function(){ $("#titleDiv").fadeIn(1500, function() { $("#writtenBy").fadeIn(1000, function(){ $("#artBy").fadeIn(1000, function(){ $("#continueDiv").fadeIn(1000); }); }); }); }, 500); %> <div id="titleDiv" style="display: none;font-size: 2.5em; font-style:italic"> Harrison Squared Dies Early </div> <div id="writtenBy" style="display:none; font-size:1.5em;margin-top:30px">Written by Daryl Gregory</div> <div id="artBy" style="display:none;font-size:1.5em;margin-top:30px">Art by David Hinnergardt</div> <div id="continueDiv" style="display:none;margin-top:20px;"> <p>Learn more about the novel <i>Harrison Squared</i> at <a href="http://darylgregory.com/books/harrison-squared" target="_blank">darylgregory.com.</p> [[Continue...->outside]] </div><h1>The Dark Hall</h1> Oh my, it seems the lights have been turned out here, except for one, faintly glowing bulb high in the ceiling. There's nothing to see here, so why don't you-- Wait. Did you hear that<%=swap("...?", "... That metallic squeak?")%> Far in the distance, something moves. The silhouette is as tall as a human, but wields some long appendage that twitches back and forth, making a disturbing <i>swishing</i> noise. I'd go [[back the way you came->intersection]]. Definitely don't [[keep walking toward it.->Matilda2]]"Hello?" you call, foolishly alerting the creature to your presence. "Get back!" a high, cackling voice says. "You have no business here!" That huge appendage lifts up into the air. Against all good sense, you move even closer. [[And you see...->Matilda3]] Oh. It's Matilda, the Janitor. Or cleaning lady. Take your pick. Either way, she's angry<%=swap("...","... (Then again, she's always angry. You've run into her a few times around the school, and none of the interactions have been pleasant. Why? Because you're a sloppy, irresponsible student, that's why.)")%> "I just mopped there!" she says. And know that you're a bit closer to her, you can see that the weird shape that you<%=swap("...","... (okay, me)")%> took for a great swishing appendage is actually a great swishing mop. Yes, I suppose you could [[warn her->warnMatilda]] about the real monster. Or you could simply [[walk past her->movePastMatilda]] and try not to annoy her. You tell the old woman about Mr. Gint, and the wild animal that knocked him down, and even mention that said monster was wearing an undershirt. She seems unimpressed. <%=swapEsteem("warnMatilda", "Nevertheless, give yourself a pat on the back.", 1)%> "Wild animal," she says derisively. "I suppose it was a wild animal that left wet, sloppy marks all the way down to the basement." She nods behind her. "Joab McKelvey went running that way not five minutes ago." I know you want to [[ask who Joab McKelvey is.->matildaOnMcKelvey]] But does it really matter? And yes, you could [[head toward the basement->movePastMatilda]], but that's a bad idea, too. You've warned Matilda, let's [[go back->intersection]]."Now where are you going?" Matilda says angrily. "I've locked up that door!" And sure enough, the door that leads to the basement stairs is locked--and Matilda's in no mood to unlock it. "But you let Joab go that way," you say. "I should warn him about the animal." "Joab's a grown man who can take care of himself," she says. "He can go out the back door if he wants out." [["What's he doing here?" you ask.->movePastMatilda2]] "A city boy like you doesn't need to mess with Joab McKevley, or his brothers. Their country folk, and they've had trouble enough without outsiders nosing into their business." <% var s = '[["What kind of trouble?"->matildaOnMcKelvey2]] you say, ignoring all social cues.'; if (!isInHistory("mckelveyMusic")){ s = '[["Say, he isn\'t related to Enoch McKelvey, who played the flukehorn, is he?"->matildaOnMcKelvey3]]'; } %> <%=s%> "I'm not going to stand here and gossip," Matilda says. "Especially about Joab's brother Enoch. It wasn't his fault he caught the disease when he was just a boy and had to leave early. Joab's been taking care of him since." "What disease?" you ask. "Nothing <i>you'll</i> every catch, city boy. Now get gone! I'm done talking." I suppose you could [[walk toward the basement->movePastMatilda]]. But since you've warned Matilda, why not [[go back the way you came?->intersection]]"Oh, Enoch sure could play that horn! It was about the only thing that he loved, back before the trouble. But let's not talk about that." [["What kind of trouble?"->matildaOnMcKelvey2]] you say, ignoring all social cues."He didn't say," Matilda says. "And it's none of your business anyway. Now scat! And don't mess up my floors!" It's clear she's not going anywhere until she sees you walk [[back the way you came.->intersection]] <h1>The Dark Hall</h1> Matilda is (re)mopping the floor. "Are you still here? Skedaddle!" The door behind her is locked tight. The basement seems to be as inaccessible to you as Matilda's good graces. [[Back the way you came, boy!->intersection]]You step out of the corridor, the door shuts behind you, and that's when you realize that from this side, the door looks like a section of granite wall. A secret passage! Why, it's something straight out of a novel. And what room do you find yourself in? Why, it's the [[atrium]].You emerge from the outer loop by stepping out of a door that looks, from this side, like a stone wall. Very gothic to have a secret passage, don't you think? Before you is a [[dimly lit hallway.->darkHall]] <h1>The Basement</h1> There's nothing to see here. Literally. It's pitch black<%=swap("...", "... or is it? There seems to be a patch of not-quite-pitch black somewhere ahead of you.")%> The smart thing to do is go [[back up the stairs.->basementStairs]] Though I suppose you could [[feel your way forward->basementAtrium2]].Suddenly a bright light blinds you. "What are you doing down here?" a voice demands. zzz IMAGE HERE You'd better [[answer him->mcKelvey]] <% var s = !isInHistory("warnMatilda") ? "<br /><br />Or even ask him, [[\"Are you Joab McKelvey\"?->askIfJoab]]" : ""; %> The man lowers his flashlight a bit, allowing you to see a hat and an angry expression. Yes, you could [[warn him about the wild animal.->warnMcKelvey]] <%=s%> But if I were you, I'd [[apologize and leave.->basementStairs]] "There's some kind of wild animal loose," you tell him. "You really should be careful." "It's not a wild animal!" the man says. "He's just confused. Now you get yourself home before you get hurt." "Is it a pet?" you ask. <%story.state.knowJoab = true;%>"How do you know my name?" he asks. (So it *is* Joab McKelvey. Good guess, Harrison.<%=swapEsteem("askIfJoab", "Give yourself a pat on the back.", 1)%>) "Matilda the janitor told me you'd come down here," you say. "But she didn't say why." "That's because it's none of her business," Joab says. "Or yours." Yes, you could [[warn him about the wild animal.->warnMcKelvey]]