It's quest time bitches (http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Quest)
You're you. An obvious statement but one frequently neglected in introductions. Being you isn't terribly interesting or special; you live in an old frame house most would call a shack smack in the middle of a tree covered wilderness in a town that no longer exists. To say your social life doesn't exist would be the understatement of the decade unless you consider woodland creatures decent companionship. You isn't awful distinctive either except for being a 'hick' which really doesn't stick out in this, literally, neck of the woods. You can't afford to dress like Jackie O and you ain't got Twiggy's figure but hey you're still clinging to your health when stronger men are cold dead in the Snake Hill potter's field. Because that's one thing you do have; a list of 'mental disorders' that reads like a checklist out of the DSM that the government said made you unfit to live with 'normal' people.
That's pretty subjective right?
Normal people were boring anyway so when they took you to the hospital, that was something new to try. You left years ago, escaped to be specific, and fled as far as you could from that blank hell that was the northern end of the state. Things are quieter here. It allows you to concentrate better on the other thing that makes you different from every indigent backwoods hick in the Barrens; your raging lady boner for science. That's what brought you here to what was once the town of Ong's Hat, to the shack you never bothered to buy (in keeping with local custom), and the second floor bedroom you wallpapered with tar paper to protect your greatest invention.
It sits on a table in front of you, shaped from copper stripped from appliances you've found, car rims, vacuum tubes, an old radio cabinet, and a healthy amount of uninsulated cabling. You're not entirely sure what it does, but hey, isn't 'try shit out' the only step of the scientific method?
Press buttons and turn knobs at random to see what happens
Also, ensure that the machine has a well-filled supply of hot tea.
As tempting as that is, there's only one button and you ain't sure you want to press it yet. It is a mighty big button though.
You quietly edge your mug of coffee further away on the table, ignoring the urge to dump it on the electrified machine. Double checking to make sure the batteries are fully charge, you lean back out.
I fetch the bug spray from the closet and ensure the area is sealed off from unnecessary pests. Also, I fetch my trusty aluminum foil hat.
Check my pockets to see if I have anything useful
You've got a broom, you remind yourself, which you hastily retrieve to sweep up the bedroom. It's probably the cleanest in the house to insure a safe and bug free environment for the device itself even though it's up on a table. After chasing a few crickets out of the baseboard the familiar itch strikes the back of your neck. You narrow your eyes in annoyance as a car passes by on the road outside. Slowly, carefully, you lower the goggles resting on top of your neatly combed hair down over your eyes. To the unobservant, you have put on a pair of welding goggles in a dark room.... you're fully aware that the government lab's radon waves enter through your eyes unlike those quivering fools. It doesn't help with the signals that beat at your brain but you can't afford tinfoil to remedy the situation. That was the one good thing about being institutionalized; unlimited free tinfoil. You place the broom back in the small closet in the hallway.
You reflexively pat down your pockets to make sure nothing's gone missing in the last few minutes. There's the box of matches for lighting the lamps and candles in one, your keys in the other, and a few personal notes.
It's risky, but I pull up my goggles for a moment. I take out the matches and notes, light one of the candles examine the papers, looking for some useful information. As I feel the weight of the keys in my pocket, the thought suddenly hits me - maybe there's a keyhole someplace in this machine. I put the notes back in my pocket, and by the dim light of the flame I search for any such hole.
No reason to waste a match to check your familiar old notes. You step to one of the windows that remarkable still has glass in the panes and pull out the biggest, a full size sheet folded in quarters. It's the schematics for your machine; everything looks alright. No one's rewritten them while you weren't looking. One of the smaller is a grocery list from last week and the other is a note to yourself to write next week's grocery list with 'APPLES' scrawled underneath it. As for your keys, there's only three. Two are padlock keys and one is to the house's locks.
Check the room to see if there are any apples
I tenatively go to the door to do a visual sweep for the car. if them gov'ment docs is comin' ta take me back, them's gonna have a fight on their hands.
With that in mind, I check my secret compartment to make sure my super-secret weapon gadget is still hidden there.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Wills hasn't been by to take you to the store since you made that note and are still infuriatingly lacking in apples. You do decide to go downstairs though, for reasons of your own. Namely, hunger.
You check out the back door to see if the car is still in sight through the trees. It didn't sound like it stopped, but sound dies quickly in the woods. From what you can see it kept on going east towards the coast, and a cloud of dust lingers in the air towards Highway 70.
Entering the kitchen, you check the silverware drawer as you reach the counter just to make sure your SECRET WEAPON (http://www.coltautos.com/images/modelm_box_type1c.jpg) is still there. The scuffed black cloth box is still there. On the counter, the radio plays a staticy tune. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYgRS9GJcBQ)
Reassured that THE AGENTS (http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/6800000/The-Agents-Brown-Smith-and-Jones-the-matrix-6856160-640-262.jpg) at least haven't penetrated my security web this far, I tap the radio tuner twice before turning it to
static THE SECRET MEDITATION CHANNEL (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2EKWgTNEYU). Can't work with damn noise about the house.
That done, I turn on the stove and fill up a pot of water. I need my daily dose of NOODLES (http://dallas.startupweekend.org/files/2010/04/noodles.jpg) and PINE NEEDLE TEA (http://pics.davesgarden.com/pics/2011/01/31/Sundownr/756f4c.jpg) post haste.
seeing the potential threat has passed, i wander back to the kitchen to get some water, while trying not to bump into anything (goggles and their damn obscurement of vision).
I empty out a can of soup into a pot and place it on the stove. As I wait for it to heat up, I fidget anxiously, checking the various cabinet drawers to make sure everything is in its place. Something catches my eye, and my gaze lingers for a few moments.
Sadly, you have no noodles and you have no idea why you'd boil pine needles. You settle for a can of that you put on to boil after smacking into the counter a few times.
It's a sketch you drew of the house!
I eye the sketch warily, wondering why I never labeled those other two rooms on the first floor. "How will I remember what's there?" I ask myself. "Only one way to find out..."
Picking up the map, I stroll out of the kitchen and down the hallway. I peer into each room and take note of the contents.
who drew this? this isn't my handwriting! DO THEY KNOW WHERE I AM???
feeling this and more questions race through my head, i dive for the floor, crawling to a cabinet as the glass falls behind me.
The one on the left is an empty parlor with a few rotting pieces of furniture. The right side is a slightly more furnished (there's a rug and broken clock) living room.
Of course it isn't your handwriting; you typed it. Unperturbed, you stop at the front door having once again examined your home.
noticing no threat, i wander to the living room to poke around the clock. if it's broken, maybe i can use some of the parts for the device. on the way i check to make sure i didn't cut myself on the glass. i'll clean that up later, i swear.
Also, I check the clock to see what time was last displayed before it broke; for what it's worth
I remember my soup and return to the kitchen. Hurriedly I gulp it down before considering my next course of action. I stare out the window - rather, through a small gap in the newspapers which I had plastered the window with in an attempt to keep out prying eyes. The forest looks inviting. I contemplate paying it a visit...
That's probably why the clock's broken to begin with... those little gears are apparently 'vital'.
The clock reads 11, no indication of AM or PM.
Soup! You gulp down the delicious sustenance before gazing contemplatively at the empty, barren pine woods. When you were younger such a sight would have unnerved you... now that you know what's out there it's positively terrifying. Not that either of those 'feelings' would concern you.
I poke around the clock some more, to make sure i didn't miss anything. As i do so, i wonder if there's a phone in the house. Calling Mrs. Willis seems tempting, as does procuring those goddamn apples.
Ignoring the small, creeping sense of terror in the back of my mind, I exit the kitchen and head out the front door. Although it's partially-cloudy and the tall trees provide a decent sun-block, I'm still not used to such daylight - I blink a few times and squint into the light before I recall the shaded goggles still resting atop my head. "I'm going to do it," I announce, in a semi-audible mumble, as I pull the goggles over my eyes, "I'm going into the woods."
I move only a few steps from the house before pausing. "Is there anything I should take with me?", I wonder aloud.
You find the beginnings of a bird's nest that get's swatted to the floor in short order. Must've gotten in through the door when they were open at some point. If Ma Bell wasn't a snoopy bitch, you'd consider tapping into the telephone lines that run along the state road.... as it is it's a longer walk to the service station on the turnpike to make a call then it is to the nearest neighbors. Not that you want to do either.
You're not sure what this urge that's seized you is as your limbs move unwillingly towards the shaded pine forest... at least you have some protection for your un-adjusted eyes from the blinding light. Honestly there's nothing you own that could prepare you for life outside the house, and that frightens you.
i make my way back up the stairs to check on the device. this thought in the back of my mind of potentially going outside has made me nervous, both for me and my things.
Something compels me to go deeper into the forest. The feeling, nebulous as it is, doesn't seem to originate from within myself - no, I'm much too anxious about my situation to want to go further, nevertheless my legs carry me forward at a steady, sedate pace. It feels as though the woods themselves are coaxing me on and my unease grows as I consider what machinations may be behind their sudden invitation.
You freeze up. Normally the different thought processes in your head line up in roughly the same direction, like the poles of a bucket of magnets you think, but now there's total deadlock. Rather then letting your brain fry you set down on the porch, pull your sweater over your head, and rock gently.
I sit on the stairs and take a breath, wondering where all these scary thoughts are coming from. My mind flickers back to checking on the device.
The rhythmic rocking motion calms my mind somewhat. I try to ignore the thoughts speeding through my head and focus on the physical sensations around me - the gentle breeze brushing against my skin and diffused sunlight flickering through the holes in the porch roof feel almost comforting, somehow.
For the first time since I left the house I start to relax, but I am careful not to let my guard down fully.
Just then some guys show up out of nowhere and start yelling at me.
What had I done? Why were they here?
I couldn't hear what they said.