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The Half-Way Hotel



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Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:01 pm
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ThePatchworkPilgrims says...



Welcome to the Half-Way Hotel!

If you are reading this brochure, you have, we are sorry to inform you, died. Now, we know you probably had a million ideas of where you would go after life, but fear not! This brochure will explain it all to you.
Whether you believed in a higher/lower power, Valhalla, a giant marshmallow in the sky, reincarnation, or an eternal void of nothingness- all of those exist, in their own way. And you are now half way there (any and all references to the lyrics of a particular Bon Jovi song will be seen as a breach in hotel policy)
Seeing as recent centuries have been relatively... deadly to humanity, processing the files of your life may take anywhere between one or two centuries, but while you wait, feel free to interact with other Guests, and enjoy any of our endless amenities and activities for the (relatively) recently deceased, as listed in the brochure.

Spoiler! :
Here are some of our more enjoyed amenities and activities for our Guests:
-The Corpse Braid(ing class)
-Dead Man's Chess(t)
-The Game of Life (actual life not included)
-The Macabre Dance Masquerade (if you were already dead, this would be to die for)
-Joining or sitting-in at a reading by the Dead Poet Society (not to be confused with the other group of the same name)
-Swimming with the fishes (officially recommended by Al Capone and various other mod bosses)
-or attend a class to make our legendary Beetle Juice

And so much more!!

If you have any queries whatsoever, our tireless staff are ready to help. We have all the time in the world to help you.

The Half-Way Hotel! Here to make your death pleasant. Eternally. (This brochure was automatically translated into your native language. If this was not your native language, please take the brochure to the front desk immediately for incineration)


* * *


As you might have guessed from the title, and the introduction brochure, this SB shall be taking place in the Half-Way Hotel, because calling it Purgatory is sooo seven centuries ago (interesting fact- Dante's Inferno was actually written in 1320) We will be writing as either Guests or as Staff, and I shall briefly out line the initial plot arc, rules (they're more like guidelines anyway), and other stuff we deemed important.

Initial Plot Arc

Due to two world wars, several other major wars, famines, plagues and bad weather over the last two centuries, the Hotel has been struggling to process Guests fast enough to send them on to the afterlife they are deemed worthy of receiving. Or at least, that's what the Staff have been telling the Guests for two centuries.

The truth is much, much more concerning. For some reason, all afterlife applications were sent back denied, regardless of where they were sent. Soon (a few earth years) after, a black envelope arrived to the Hotel master, simply stating that all afterlife destinations will be suspended until further notice. Yet it has been two hundred years.

The Staff have managed to keep this secret hidden, constantly expanding and changing the layout of the Hotel so that people would think others have "moved on", and trying their best to make sure the Guests remain happy. However, recently, a mysterious Guest arrived (died), and were soon poking around in restricted areas, or asking questions to Staff and Guests that were... uncannily close to the truth. The Staff made him "disappear", but have since been wary that his questions have sprouted doubt in some Guests.

Roles

Initially there will be four Staff and four Guest roles available, but as the storybook grows (and given the nature of the Hotel), more Guest roles can be added if someone asks/the need arises (and maybe even some Staff roles)

Staff: Immortal (sort of), and not human (though they will appear as such), the Staff of the Hotel are essentially the celestial beings that "didn't belong". Whether they were wingless angels, or kind devils, or cowardly Valkyries, or reincarnation rejects, the Staff are a misfit bunch who somehow manage to make it work. They are united under their leader(s), a being that seems to be "of the Hotel" itself.

Guests: Basically, they're humans who died. Whether that was of a bullet in WWI, or from eating too much bad cheese in 1835 Milan, they all died. (does this mean that you might encounter Hitler in a boxing match with Queen Victoria? Sure. Or Gandhi having tea with Thomas Edison? Absolutely) One thing that is distinct about them: there are no children or extremely "old" people. They don't quite have memories of the last few days leading up to their death, but other than that, they are just deceased humans. (note- though they can be hurt in the Hotel, they can't be "rekilled". Also, the Staff ensure that dictators can't do anything serious in the Hotel. It's against Hotel policy)

Roles:

As always, you can reserve one in the DT for this Storybook,

Staff 1: Rector Waxen (@ThePatchworkPilgrims)
Staff 2: Mikalyn "Mika" Bow (@Lezuli)
Staff 3: Astrid Andersen (@Valkyria)
Staff 4: Open

Guest 1: Anake Walters (@RadDog13579)
Guest 2: Henry Day (@Lia5Giba)
Guest 3: Mark Desjones (@Stormblessed242)
Guest 4: reserved by @LordMomo
Guest 5: Open
Guest 6: Open

"Character sheet"
Code: Select all
[u]Role:[/u] (Staff/Guest... If Staff, specify your "job" in the Hotel)
[u]Name: [/u]
[u]Age when you died/joined the Staff of HWH:[/u] (this is basically for how you appear)
[u]Year when you died/joined the Staff of HWH:[/u] (can be anything between 1799-2021 for Guests, and anything about the Start of Time for Staffs)

[u]Appearance:[/u]
[u]Personality:[/u]
[u]Preferred Activities:[/u]

[u]Short Biography[/u] (basically a summary of who you were when you were alive/ or for Staff of why you joined the Staff)

[u][b]Random Question:[/b][/u] [i]If you could do any activity with any historical figure, who and what would you do?[/i] (This is optional, but something I always add)


Rules and other tidbits:

-Just because people like Hitler, or Stalin, or John Wayne Gacy, etc are in the Hotel (basically, any "bad"/"evil"/"psychopathic" people) does NOT mean you have to be one.
-The same rule applies in the other direction. Just because you might encounter Mother Theresa or Gandhi or someone, does NOT mean you have to have been this paragon of virtue or a saint in your real life.
-No sexual or extremely violent scenes. Also, profanity must be kept to a minimum if necessary for your character

I'll add more as they come up
Last edited by ThePatchworkPilgrims on Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Former incarnations have been:
TheWanderingWizard
TheClockworkConjurer
TheIllusiveIntellect
TheSunderingSorceror
And, TheMaieuticMesmerist
  





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Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:38 pm
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ThePatchworkPilgrims says...



Rector U.N. Waxen

A Candle in the Wind

"Now where did I put that book?"

Rector Waxen paced up and down along the tall bookcases in his office, eyes darting across the hundreds of books on display. He'd been spending a better part of what his Guests would call afternoon doing this, and he still felt that he was no nearer to finding it.

"If you are intentionally hiding it from me because of that thing which happened last time," he continued, climbing up the ladder beside the bookshelf to get to the higher shelves, "then I am not amused. You're supposed to be the mature one. Ah, there it is!"

As he reached for the leatherbound book with the name Graham Adam Stones on the spine, the ladder seemed to give way under the Rector, causing him to lose balance and fall the short distance to the floor. Getting up, he almost heard the Hotel snickering at his fall.

"Very funny. I seriously doubt the people in charge of the other planes have to work with such a temperamental plane."

Trying his luck on the ladder again, the Rector felt certain the book had been moved several spaces to the right, putting it just out of reach of his arm, which currently was dressed in a Victorian coat, but burgundy in colour.

"Fine! You win." The Rector sighed, getting of the ladder and heading over to his desk, on which stood a large variety of candles in different shapes, colours and styles. Picking up a small, very eccentric looking candle, he held it up to the room.

"I really appreciate the gift you gave me, " The Rector said the lines that had become like clockwork every half century or so for him. "I shall ensure that this candle will be used in most of the common rooms of the Hotel. Are you satisfied, or must I go on with the theatrics. I have a Staff meeting to attend."

As an answer, the book the Rector had tried to get his hands on seemed to push itself out of the shelf where it was, landing with a soft thump on the carpeted floors. Taking the book under his arm, a tall top hat in the other, the Rector left his office into the foyer outside.

From when he first started constructing the Hotel and receiving Guests, Rector Waxen has always made it his duty to be as close to new arrivals (and any departures) as possible. His office thus always, no matter the reconfiguration of the Hotel every so often, was located in an alcove just off the main reception foyer. Flanking his office door in the two corners of the alcove stood a candelabrum to the right (candle always burning), and a pale statue seemingly made of a cream-coloured stone to the left. (These two features never changed, even when the style of the Hotel did)

Walking out into the reception hall, the Rector saw several of his new Guests arriving in their usual, steady stream, heading for the long reception desk where about half a dozen Staff were handing out keys and assigning rooms. The desk itself was flanked by two broad staircases, that met at a half landing about the reception, before continuing up to the second floor.

Three hallways led off from the foyer, heading to three of the wings of the Hotel, and it's down one of these the Rector walked after speaking to the Head Receptionist, a being from the (long defunct) Greek Underworld named Chiron Styx. As he walked, he was greeted, and greeted in return, most of the Guests and Staff he passed on his way to the Staff rooms. On the way he passed various side hallways, staircases and elevators leading to the rest of the Hotel, as well as one of the larger food halls.

He eventually turned down a hallway into an area that immediately had a different feel than the rest of the Hotel he had walked through thus far. This area had a much more "Mediterranean" aesthetic than the art Deco in the main parts of the Hotel. This was the Staff area. There were, of course, aspects of all the undying beings living and working here too. A pair of wall mounted gargoyles here, a row of Viking shields there; each decoration meant to make someone on the Staff feel more at home.

Heading up a short spiral staircase that stood in one of the many alcoves and turns of the Staff section, the Rector entered the large Staff meeting room. In the centre of the room was a large ring table, with a big opening in the middle (where a clear rock pool was placed, white marble lining the shallow circular pool) The table itself was seemingly made of an almost unnaturally black wood, around which there stood over two dozen chairs, each for one of the Heads of Staff. The ceiling of the room was also quite tall, with a large candle chandelier hanging from the roof directly over the pool (The wax almost never dripped into the water though)

When the Rector arrived, most of the Heads were either already sitting and conversing with other Staff members, or arriving from one of the other entrances to the meeting room (most were also staircases leading up or down or both, but there was two large doors on either side of the room, one leading to the Main Library, the other to the Kitchens) Rector went to stand by the nearest open chair, and rang a bell (which stood by every chair in case he sat at that one, or in case a Staff member which to use it), signalling the meeting was about to start.

Just like the Staff, the Heads of Staff consisted of beings from nearly every afterlife (except those afterlifes that never had beings to begin with) Most of the positions were electoral, meaning that every few decades, Staff of that department, floor, et cetera would draw lots or elect one of their own to replace the former Head (seeing as they don't really die or go away from the Hotel, former Heads do get the opportunity to serve as Head again every few centuries or so, depending on the size of their sections) The only exceptions to this rule were the Head of Reception, Head of the Kitchens, and Head of the Archives, who were three of the five Heads not present, the Rector noted as he took attendance.

"Though not all our members are present," the Rector began, his voice reaching everyone clearly, "I believe we should start this meeting with an update I have received from Mister Styx.
"According to him, we will have two sizable waves of Guests arriving within the next fourty-eight to sixty hours. One is from a large earthquake just off the coast of Indonesia, with as many as three thousand dead already. Mistress Astrid and Mister Umjayi (Head of Minor Repairs), could I ask your departments to please work together to clean and fix up the second floor, section B and C of the northeastern wing? Those rooms have not been used for a few decades, and ought to be enough for the earthquake casualties, who I don't see the need to split up just yet."

Mister Umjayi, a large built, warrior-like being inclined his head. "We shall get to it as soon as we can," he said in a deep, growling voice.

Mistress Astrid, a valkyrie, nodded in Umjayi's direction. "Our departments work together quite often."

"Thank you." Rector spoke again. "The other group are from a rather large and fatal school shooting that has occurred. Due to the severity of the situation, as with all these cases, we must try our best to separate the Guests for a while, so they can't potentially figure out the details of their deaths, especially seeing as the shooter also passed away during the whole situation."

"I can take a few of the students who never interacted with one another. There are quite a few rooms open there after the last Guest-moving." A voice spoke to the Rector's left. Turning to see who it was, he noted that it was Mistress Mikalyn, manager of floor three, section E in the south-southeastern wing (there were sixteen wings)

"Thank you, Mikalyn. I shall inform Mister Styx and the Head Archivist to determine which students never or almost never crossed paths, and send them to your floor section."

The meeting went on for some time still, mostly discussing more serious complaints or requests from Guests or Staff members. Rector also instructed for the commonroom candles to be switched out with the Hotel's... interesting new design, to the amusement of several of the Heads (most of them had gotten accustomed to the Hotel's weird attempts at showing intelligence)

"And now, to our final, most serious matter." Rector eventually said, about two hours into the meeting. "I have received reports from some Staff members, as I am sure some of you have too, of a certain mister Graham Stones, who has been acting extremely suspiciously the last few weeks."

The Rector now placed the leatherbound book on the table in front of him, and immediately the water of the pool started glittering and moving. A single drop of wax fell from the chandelier above, shattering the surface of the water, and causing the reflection of the water to take the resemblance of the Guest in question.

At first looking like a generic human male, the Heads soon noticed that his eyes were an unnaturally pale green, its shade unlike any seen in the Guests at the Hotel, but like some of their own eyes. His hair was an auburn to brown shade, and in the reflection seemed to be shoulder length.

"As I'm sure you all can notice," the Rector said, gesturing at the pool, "mister Stones has eyes that almost seem non-mortal. Though he undoubtedly is a human and a mortal, his uncanny eyes make the reports regarding him being even more pressing. He has been seen reading other Guests' books, and subsequently asking them about details of their mortal life afterwards, almost as if he's trying to find a fault in our files and archives, a fault in one of the cornerstones of what keeps our predicament safe. We have thus limited his access to some of the Guests' books until this potentially dwindles down.
"I have read his book, as did our Head Archivist, who isn't present, but nothing in it gives us any reason to suspect ill intent. He is noted to have been extremely charismatic and intelligent, thus he might only be doing this due to his nature or to get to know some of his fellow Guests somewhat better.
"Though this is in itself still harmless, and does not warrant taking actions against him just yet, I would like all of you to inform your departments and sections to keep and eye on mister Stones, and make sure he doesn't cause any trouble with any of our other Guests, or is found sneaking around restricted sections like a certain other Guest did a few decades ago. Do we have any questions?"

After a moment of the only sound being the water's moving, the Rector rose and picked up the book, the reflection in the pool fading away.

"I then call this meeting adjourned." He said, tucking the book under his arm and donning his tophat. "If any of you wish to see me personally, I shall be attending a karaoke event where Elvis Presley, Prince Albert and Marie Curie will be among the musicians performing."

And with that, he started making his way to one of the exits of the meeting hall.
Former incarnations have been:
TheWanderingWizard
TheClockworkConjurer
TheIllusiveIntellect
TheSunderingSorceror
And, TheMaieuticMesmerist
  





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Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:42 am
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Lezuli says...



The Childlike Angel and Too-Cute Devil

“How fun,” Mika chirped, standing up out of her chair and stretching her limbs languidly. “Here I was thinking that this staff meeting would be one huge bore, but then I find out I’ll be getting new little kids to play with!”

Mika had been getting bored, what with the vacant rooms in her section, but that news from Mister Rector had been all the medicine she needed to cure that little ailment. Mika had wasted no time at all in volunteering her section for the poor shot school kids. She was sure they would love it in her section. After all, she was there to make sure their time here would be super fun!

“‘Little kids’?” Echoed the person sitting next to her, the pale skinned and blonde haired bunny-devil, Loq. “I hate to break it to ya, Mika, but you look like a kid yourself.” His blue eyes sparked with laughter, obviously enjoying the teasing. The floppy bunny ears that had gotten him kicked out of Hell for being too cute to properly induce terror in Hell’s humans folded over on top of themselves adorably on the crown of his skull. Yes, Loq, with his youthful face and large blue eyes didn’t look like he could ever induce fear. Bunnies certainly were cute, Mika contemplated as she stared at him. Hmm...maybe Mika needed a bunny stuffed animal to add to her collection. God knew Mika could never get enough of the tiny plushie bundles of adorableness. Then, what Loq had said to her truly sank in.

Mika pouted at Loq like a little kid. She could have done more, but Loq was actually the south-southeastern third floor section D’s manager. Of course, that meant he was on equal standing to Mika and that he felt more comfortable talking to Mika than most people. Oh well, they had worked closely together for several centuries. Mika could deal with his friendliness.

“You’re no fun, Loq,” she told him simply, her childlike voice and appearance negating any harmful effect those words might have had. “I’ll have you know I am three hundred years old. I may have the effortless charm and good looks of a much younger girl, but inside I’m positively ancient!” The falsity of her affronted tone was evident enough that one of the passing Heads chuckled a little under their breath.

Loq huffed out a laugh at Mika’s theatrics. “Yeah, you’re not three hundred or ancient.” Loq had been around Mika long enough to know that she lied about her age whenever it suited her. Mika wanted it to be so convoluted that only some knew the true date she was employed at this hotel. The less people who knew the truth, the better. After all, it was more fun that way.

Everything was better when it was fun. That was Mika’s motto after all, and she would do whatever it took to make sure her forever life was as fun as possible.

Mika smiled at him broadly as the two exited the meeting room and walked down the hallways towards the south-southeastern wing of the hotel. “Yes, well, I suppose being immortal does come with its perks.” It definitely would have been less fun if Mika was born a mortal, she never would have been able to work here. That would be such a shame indeed.

“It definitely could be worse than spending your infinity working at a place like this,” Loq agreed, looking around at the well-furnished hallways with a happy smile. “I mean, it took getting kicked out of Hell to get here, but still.”

Mika hummed to herself as they walked. She was slightly annoyed at the fact that Loq, who was long limbed and very fast, wasn’t making much effort to slow down in her presence. She had to almost run to keep up with him, and though it made the ruffles and bows adorning her outfit flutter adorably, it was still irritating.

“Don’t make it sound so rare,” Mika chastised. “We’re all rejects and misfits here. Being exiled from Hell isn’t as rare as you make it sound.”

Loq grinned sheepishly. “Got me there. You were demoted out of Heaven, right?”

Mika’s mood plummeted farther than it could ever go trying to keep up with Loq. She may have put up with Loq casual way of talking with her, but they were not going there. She barely went there with Mister Rector and he was her boss. Her smile fell off her face and her violet eyes darkened significantly. “We’re not talking about that,” she hissed.

Loq’s eyes widened at the sudden change and he hastily gulped and changed the subject, “O-oh, right. Sorry. Uh-are you looking forward to your new arrivals?”

A stupid question, as they had already addressed this, but Mika was satisfied with his efforts in changing the subject. She would cut him some slack this time around. Though, if he tried to be so familiar with her again, she wouldn’t be so lenient. “Indeed I am!” She chirped, her grin returning in full force. “My floor needs some new arrivals to liven it up!”

The thought of welcoming her new playmates had her skipping with joy. Literally. She also realized this was an easier way of keeping up with Loq, so she didn’t stop even when he gave her a weird look. “That’s ironic considering you always seem to end up with the younger Guests.”

“Mister Rector seems to want it that way,” Mika admitted happily. She had absolutely no problem with that arrangement. The younger Guests were more fun than older ones anyway. “I look younger than most Guests and I think he worries that older Guests will have a hard time admitting my authority.”

Loq pursed his lips in contemplation. “Yeah, I can see how that wouldn’t end well for them.”

“Indeed.” Mika paused when she finally came to the realization of how far they had walked while talking.

The interior of the hallway had undergone a sudden and quite impressive change as they moved. The previously Gothic style black walls had been replaced with pearl walls with pretty pink vertical stripes. A plush cream carpet under their feet made it feel like they were walking on a cloud. Silver candelabras wrapped with lush purple rose vines cast warm orange light down below and lit up everything brightly. The windows, which were present on every floor regardless of how far inward it was, showed off bright blue sky with fluffy cotton-candy clouds in various cute animal shapes. Lacy and plump curtains in a soft pale pink like rose petals were drawn back from the windows, tied at the sides with tiny white bows. A smell like cookies in the oven mixed with roses wafted through the air from everywhere and nowhere at once.

“Oh,” Mika said. She was shocked, actually. She had not thought they would get to her section so fast. Was this what it was like to have long legs? Wow, Mika was almost jealous. Then she realized she was a thousand times cuter than Loq would ever be and banished the jealousy immediately. “We’re here already. We certainly got here fast.”

Loq glanced around at the sudden change in decor with a strange expression on his face. If Mika were asked to describe it, she would call it ‘confused and curious, but hesitant’. “You know, Mika..” he started, but then trailed off.

Mika waited for him to finish, but when he showed no signs of actually picking up the ends of the sentence again, she tapped her foot on the floor and rolled her pale wrist in a universal ‘hurry it up’ gesture. “I may be powerful but I am not a mind reader, Loq,” she teased. “Might you perchance finish your sentence for me?”

Loq jerked like she had woken him from a dream. “Huh?” he said, then shook his head, sending his floppy ears everywhere. “Oh, yeah. Um...I was wondering why your wing is so much different from the rest of the hotel. It reflects your personality so much.”

Mika took a quick look around her. She did admit that the admittedly adorable decorations and style were things she would have chosen for herself. But still... “I do not know, perhaps the Hotel likes me more than you.”

Loq looked hurt at the very suggestion. “Maybe it doesn't like you very much. This place reminds me of a doll house in a horror movie.”

She arched a delicate eyebrow, crossing her ruffle-clad arms over her chest. She was more confused than angry at this point, though that could change. “Excuse me?”

“Haven't you ever watched any horror movies from Earth? Places like this are where murder dolls live!” Loq cast a purposeful point towards nowhere in particular on the ceiling.

Mika was unimpressed. “You think...that murder dolls live in my section?”

“Well, no. Not your section specifically, but places like this,” he glanced around as if expecting a porcelain doll with a carving knife to come sprinting down the carpeted hallway to send him wherever semi-immortal beings go when they were murdered by dolls. “It’s too cutesy for comfort.”

“I’ve never gotten any complaints about it,” Mika waved her hand in the air to punctuate her point. “And besides, I think it looks adorable.”

Loq looked like he wanted to argue. But Mika, who was in no mood to get into an argument with him right now, she was far too busy after all, cut him off. “All right, all right, you find my section creepy. Strange considering you come from Hell, but I try not to judge. Was there a particular reason you followed me to my section, Loq?”

Loq blinked again. Too much more of that and he would start to resemble a frightened lemur or whatever those mammals with large eyes were on Earth. “Right!” Loq snapped his fingers. “I wanted to ask you if you’re going to do something to that nosey Guest.”

“You mean Graham Stones?” Mika cocked her head to the side. “You heard what Mister Rector told us at the Staff Meeting. I’m going to keep an eye on him.”

Now it was Loq’s turn to be unimpressed. “I’m not talking about what Mister Rector told us at the Staff Meeting. I mean,” he lowered his voice to a whisper, though there was no one else around. “Are you going to do something to him like you do to the other unruly Guests?”

Mika’s smile was not unlike the Mona Lisa’s as it curved her lips. “Whatever do you mean, Loq? I do nothing outside of what Mister Rector tells me to do. You know that. Now go on back to section D, I have work I need to do.”

Loq looked like he wanted to ask more questions but Mika had already turned, showing him the back of her long silver hair and the two small lavender wings poking out from the strands. She let out a breath of air when Loq took the not-so-subtle hint and his footsteps were heard walking back to section D.

“I do nothing outside of what Mister Rector tells me to do,” she repeated softly to herself once she was sure Loq was out of earshot. Then, she shook herself abruptly, as if physically shaking off her bad mood. Once her cheery smile was back in place, Mika spun in a circle on her tip-toes, enjoying the feel of her skirt and hair moving around her. She came to a stop and surveyed her territory with a contended eye.

She was getting new Guests soon, and she had to prepare for them. That was her job, Mika was here to make sure their afterlife was happy and fun.

Forever.
  





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Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:31 pm
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Valkyria says...



Warriors and Monarchs

After the Rector left, the staff began to talk amongst themselves again, stretching and leaving the room. Astrid gathered her notes and waited by her seat for Umjayi, a former guard in Asgard. Umaji was banished for spending most of his time repairing broken items and not guarding the kingdom. Currently, he was wiping dust off a Viking shield.

"We have our work cut out for us," he said when he finally joined her. They passed Mika and Loq, the former exaggerating her age once again. Astrid chuckled under her breath. Umjayi opened a door disguised as a bookcase leading to stairs; he let her through first. They walked up the shortcut.

"Yup, I am not ready for all that work," said Astrid. She opened her notebook. "I mean, three thousand people coming in. They're going to fill up both sections. We may have to squeeze them in two to a room."

"Well, look on the bright side," said Umjayi. "They're coming in 60 hours. That should give us enough time to make the floor presentable."

"I suppose you're-" Crash!

They looked at each other and ran to the top, hearing muffled yelling. Astrid threw open the door. Guests were milling around, and some of them looked relieved to see her.

"What's going on?" asked Umjayi. A 21-year-old woman popped popcorn in her mouth.

"The king and queen are having a row," she said, munching.

"Which ones?" asked Astrid.

"HOW DARE YOU CHEAT ON ME WITH THAT BOLEYN GIRL?" roared a woman. "I HAVE BEEN NOTHING BUT GOOD TO YOU. LOYAL, AND OBEDIENT!"

Oh, that king and queen.

"OBEDIENT, HA! IF YOU WERE AS OBEDIENT AS YOU SAID, YOU WOULD HAVE GIVEN ME A SON!" shouted a man. Something crashed against the wall. Astrid heaved a big sigh.

"A SON?!" she shrieked. "PERHAPS YOU WEREN'T PAYING ATTENTION, BUT SCIENTISTS HAVE DETERMINED THAT IT'S THE Y CHROMOSOME THAT DETERMINES THE GENDER! THAT's THE FATHER!"

Astrid and Umjayi rounded the corner and dodged a thrown stool.

"Okay, okay, that's enough!" said Astrid. "Catherine, put down that chair."

The former queen scowled and set it down. Henry the 8th huffed. Astrid glanced around the B section and groaned.

"Oh, look at this," she said. "You two caused such a mess!"

"She started it," said Henry. Astrid glared at him, and the ends of her hair started frizzing.

"I don't care who started it," she said. "We have a large batch of guests arriving in two days, and you've nearly destroyed the floor. Take a breather; stay away from each other!"

Henry was about to speak, but Astrid's eyes flashed.

"Go!"

The monarchs stormed off, and Astrid sighed. Umjayi tapped her on the shoulder. She turned, and he handed her a broom.

"I've called a bunch of help," he said. Astrid took it and started sweeping.
Don't just exist; live

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RadDog13579 says...



Anake Walters

The Tunnel With Photos of Memorys.

Anake Walters was very surprised. There is an afterlife? It couldn't be. But it was, he's seen impossible things. A few hours ago he'd woken up in a dark tunnel. He didn't remember dying, only waking up and going to school.
He looks down at his pale and dry hands to see himself holding a brochure of sorts. What the heck? he thought to himself as he ferociously read the page, his eyes darting across each word like a falcon. He'd always liked falcons, the way they could dive in and catch their prey. They were noble animals, not like those who wait for the chance to attack. That wasn't right. You can't hide until you have the chance, that's what cowards do. The brochure talked about how he was dead. This was the afterlife. Nake wasn't extremely surprised at this as he was always the one to not rule out any possibilities. Despite this, he had found it extremely unprovable that the afterlife did exist so he had been an atheist for most of his life.
"I've got to enjoy this while I can," Nake mumbles softly under his breath. He pushes the locks of void black hair out of his face and looks around.
The tunnel was lit with something otherworldly. From an invisible source, the entire hallway sparkled with an eerie deep forest green. It was Nake's favorite color. What, how did it know? The second the thought of another color came to his mind, the hallway would instantly change to said color.
Nake tests this by thinking of the rainbow on repeat. To his amusement, the entire room lights up in a disco. He laughed out loud to himself. I think I'll enjoy this. Then a dark thought crosses his mind. He's gonna have to enjoy this.
The tunnel itself was actually quite modern. The walls were a snow-white only separated by the occasional grey splatter in the smooth marble floors. On the ground, a dark red arrow points forward down the hallway. The hallway was very echoey, with every step the sound echoed off the walls and back into his ears. It felt empty, almost like every sense in his body was boosted and dulled at the same time.
He continued to walk down the hallway for another five minutes before reaching an escalator. Two of the same maroon red arrows on opposite sides of the walls point down the moving staircase. Weird.
When Nake stepped onto the first stair, he feels a wave of numbness come over him. The feeling continues to grow as he slowly falls down the impossible tunnel. He steps off the escalator.
Nake looks around at the now different walls lined with photographs. They were all framed with modern white wood and hung seamlessly against the wall. Upon closer inspection, Nake determines that this wall is covered with his memories.
Each frame a different picture from all over different time periods. Some good, some bad, they were all here. Every significant memory of his life was lined against this wall. No way. Nake half chuckles as he spots a frame. Its a picture of him, admittedly a lot younger, standing beside another red-headed boy with freckles named Chris.
Chris had been Nakes best, and only, a friend since kindergarten. The memory was of the meeting for the first time. He remembered it like it was yesterday.
Nake reaches out his hand to touch the photo. As soon as his middle finger touches the smooth glass of the frame, it comes to life. A ripple originates at the beginning of his finger and expands outwards. He lurks his hand backward and watches the frame.
"Hey, you wanna play tag?" Chris says reaching out his hand towards the young Anake. He sits alone in the sandbox running the coarse rocks through his hands and letting them drip down onto his legs. Present Nake smirks. Preschool, where everyone is friends with everyone and it doesn't matter at all. The two boys in the photo continue.
"Sure," Young Nake says stepping out of the sandbox. The remaining sand on his legs run down the ripples in his baggy clothes before ending back up in the box. The photo begins to do the same ripple effect before fading back into the picture it once was. Nake smiles remembering the memory. Is this what people mean when they say your life flashes before you die? Have some people made it hear and back?
He continues down this hallway, seeing all sorts of events from his life. He even saw his own birth, but immediately took back watching it. In all of these memories, he was so happy. Nake's life wasn't always happiness and joy. Often times he would struggle with being different. Where are the bad memories.
In the near distance, a second escalator moves down this hallway. It's almost identical to the first one except that the arrows look like a darker shade of red. Nake hadn't noticed it but every arrow that he passed had been getting gradually darker. He steps onto the strong metal escalator once more and feels the same wave of nothingness pass over him. His body once again adjusts to it rather nicely but Nake feels a slight draft pulling him down.
Scattered along the hallway walls are more picture frames. I see. All of these photos are ones of sad memories. The time he had the flu, the time he spent at summer camp, and many others. A few tears are drawn to his eyes, something that happened very rarely for Nake, as he looks upon countless photos.
His hand drifts across one of the photos, sending it into life.
"Merry Christmas!" One of his dads says shaking him from his slumber. Nake rubs his eyes and looks around. His other dad holds a bright red box wrapped in yellow cloth with a bow on top.
"As I said, I don't want to celebrate Christmas," Nake groans "I'm an atheist, remember," Out of the picture, Nake flinches as the rest of the memory comes to him.
"Come on son, celebrate with us."
"I said I don't want to!" The Nake in the frame half yells.
"Fine, then you'll stay in your room today," His dad yells before storming out of the room. The photo fades back to being static. Nake had spent the rest of the day in his room crying. No one understood or accepted him. He'd only liked a few people in his life. Ms. Berry, his middle school science teacher who was also an atheist, and Chris was always someone he enjoyed being in the presence of.
His life was hard. Nake had known that he overexaggerated in some places (But doesn't every teenager) and he'd always be moody. His outlook on life just wasn't the same as most people and they needed to accept it.
He passes by memory after memory as he makes his way down the now pastel yellow hallway. Every arrow get passes to get darker and darker until he reaches the third escalator. The arrows on each side are now just black. He steps onto the escalator and feels the same feeling as before. However, the hallway at the bottom was fairly short. It was just a few feet to a wooden door. Its oak and golden handles look extremely out of place in the modernistic interior. Nake approaches the wooden door. The golden handle feels cold to the touch. Is this real gold? Nake turns the handle and pushes the door outwards.
Damn
“Basically, I have two speeds.... Hostile or smart-aleck. Your choice.”
James Patterson, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports
  





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Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:12 am
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Lia5Giba says...



A Hallway, a Hotel and an Angel

Henry woke up in a tunnel, lying on the floor with a splitting headache. Groaning, he pushed himself up to his feet. The headache began to subside immediately, and soon it was nothing but a dull, slightly rhythmic pulse.

Where am I?

His first thought was that he had been kidnapped or mugged, but something in his stomach told Henry that wasn't it. The tunnel was dark, but there was a faint gray light in the air that allowed him to see. Henry began to flex his hands, and then realized he was holding a brochure.

He squinted to read it. It only took him a few minutes to get all the way through.

When he was finished, he just stared aimlessly at the paper. He, Henry Day, was dead. He wasn't on Earth anymore. He wasn't alive anymore. Henry wasn't a religious guy, so he had always thought when you died, that was it. You just lost consciousness forever.

And yet, somehow, he could believe what the pamphlet said. He believed that he was here, thinking, being, yet still dead. His instinctual compass understood it. It wasn't ideal, but deep down he knew it was true.

The only thing Henry found strange was that he couldn't remember dying. He remembered it being a long night after his job, that he had wanted a drink. He had left for the bar two blocks down at 10 o'clock. But after that, he couldn't remember a thing. Had he died on the way there?

At the end of the hall, a red arrow pointed down the hallway. After a quick look over his shoulder (behind him, the hallway extended into darkness), he followed it obediently. He figured that if he was supposed to go somewhere, the people up here (God? Angels? Something else entirely?) would show him where to go.

He passed through the hallways with his memories in the picture frames. None of them showed Henry's death. So he continued on, his instincts urging him forward.

Finally, he reached the door at the end and grasped the handle. Slowly, with no little apprehension, he twisted it. Henry's instincts told him he was fine, but he still couldn't help but be nervous. This was the afterlife, where his soul would spend the rest of eternity. Henry couldn't help but shiver at the thought.

Who knew what lay beyond the door? For all Henry knew, this wasn't the so-called Half-Way Hotel and this was just Hell instead.

Henry narrowed his eyes. Screw it. With one smooth motion, he thrust open the door and stepped inside. Ceiling lights and candles, so bright after the walk through the gloomy hallway, barraged Henry all at once, and it took a few blinks for him to see clearly.

When he could, his jaw went slack.

It was a huge hotel lobby. It was the cleanest, busiest hotel lobby he had ever seen. In front of him were what seemed to be a thousand people, all jostling and bumping against one another. Most were about middle-aged, though Henry saw a few that might have been about his age. Nearly all the people were surging towards a large reception desk at the far end of the room, forming at least four long lines. The desk was a big one, shiny brown wood and slightly elevated. Above it, two massive staircases rose to meet each other before splitting off in opposite directions. People hurried up and down them, some humans (who Henry knew must be deceased, like him), some humanoid, and some barely resembling people. Henry nearly jumped when he saw a gray-skinned, black-cloaked thing with two pairs of pink wings slide down the banister of one staircase.

Besides the reception desk, chairs and small seating arrangements were made around the floor, though they were mostly neglected by the masses the surrounded them. Henry spotted a person with yellow wings, though, sitting down on a sofa while yawning and knitting something, probably taking a break. At the reception desk, at least four noticeably-not-human people sat and diligently wrote down names and handed people cards--probably for their individual hotel rooms, Henry realized--staying focused despite the chatter and confused babbling that filled the room. Looking up, he found a large yet tasteful chandelier hanging from the ceiling, as well as... interesting candles flanking the walls. And there were other definitely-not-humans fluttering overhead, using a variety of methods to get from one location to the other in the air.

Henry stepped into the crowd and was immediately swallowed by people of all different cultures, ages, and sizes. There were a disproportionate amount of people from India, as far as Henry could tell, but there were also a fair amount of those from other ethnicities. There were also a good amount of children mixed into the fray. Henry thought he could see a child not older than 13 years old making her way through the crowd, her eyes glistening like stars. And then there was a boy with dark hair and bright green eyes who had just stepped through a pair of doors on Henry's left. More were mixed into the lines to the reception desk.

Henry blinked again, just to take it all in. It was so much all at one time. Normally Henry was okay with crowds--he had frequented more bars and clubs than he could count, especially back in college--but the sheer amount of people, especially those that weren't quite human, made his chest squeeze up. For several moments, he was frozen at the doors, just watching people flow by him, up the steps and into their rooms. So many people. And they were all dead. Dead, but still talking and walking. Dead, but still lively. Dead. Just like him.

"Hey!" a voice called over the din to Henry's right. Henry jolted and snapped his head in its direction. It was the person with the yellow wings knitting, waving a hand. "Hey, you!"

Henry pointed to himself. "Me?" he yelled back, his voice barely carrying despite the force.

The winged guy nodded. "Yeah! C'mere!" He gestured with one of his hands in a "come here" motion. His wings flapped a bit behind him.

Unfreezing himself, Henry carefully made his way through the crowd, nearly falling over as a woman plowed into his side, not stopping to apologize as she continued on her way. Henry gave her a side-eye. Asshole.

When he finally made it to the couch, the winged guy patted the couch space next to him. "Go ahead, sit down," he said, his voice deep and still rather loud. "You looked a little startled out there."

Carefully, Henry sat down, trying to avoid staring at the guy's yellow wings as much as possible. Inside, he was a little disgruntled. He hated being treated like he was a delicate flower. He could take care of himself; he'd been doing it for the past seven-ish years.

"I'm Baito," the guy said cheerfully, his hands going back to the knitting needles in his lap. Henry didn't look at him, instead observing the bustling atmosphere around him. "I'm one of the Staff members here. Right now I'm taking a bit of a break, though. I wanna finish this scarf as soon as possible."

Henry peered over at Baito from the corner of his eye. He seemed like a friendly enough person, someone who genuinely wanted to help, which was why Henry hadn't ditched him yet. But Baito wasn't the type of guy he liked to hang with. Plus... the guy was an angel. At least, he looked like an angel. The wings made Henry a little uncomfortable.

"If you're wondering what I am," Baito said, turning towards Henry, "I'm an angel that got kicked out of Heaven. Because I let too many people in, even if they were really bad people." Baito shrugged. "So I ended up here. The Half-Way Hotel." He gestured to the space around him, a smile on his face. "I know it's a lot at first, but you'll get used to it. Until you get to wherever you're going, you stay here."

"I know," Henry muttered. "It said in the brochure."

"Yep. Cool, huh?" Did Baito ever wipe that stupid smile off his face? "If you want, I can tell you about stuff that isn't on that pamphlet. Different rooms, the best dining halls, the swimming pool..."

"Nope, I'm good." Henry stood up abruptly. Despite everything, he felt a little bad for leaving Baito. He was just such a nice guy. Too nice. "Thanks, though."

With that, Henry made his way back into the crowd, finding a place in one of the reception desk lines.
Emit eht koot uoy taht etaicerppa I ,siht gnidaer er'uoy fi.


:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  








"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
— Dr. Seuss