Five Gods Exiled — 75 of 191

Carolyn VanEseltine

Release 1

Chapter 5 - Grief Memories

To remember a grief memory:

now the current person is the associated NPC of the current memory;

now the secondary person is the victim;

if the current person is the instructor-person:

say "(Remembering an instructor-based grief memory.)";

otherwise if the relationship of the victim is sibling:

if the current person is the victim:

now the current person is the instructor-person;

say "When you're just growing up, you say the unforgiveable all the time. 'HEY! [given name of the victim]! You [one of]idiot[or]stupid[or]brainless[at random] [one of]fart[or]imbecile[or]moron[or]jerk[at random], [one of]get out of my room[or]stay out of my room[or]don't you ever read my diary again[or]don't you ever take things out of my room again[or]stop leaving your crap on the stairs[at random]!' The [if the victim is male]boy[otherwise]girl[end if] laughs, and you, the";

if the age of the player > the age of the victim:

let M be the age of the player - the age of the victim;

say "[M in words] older";

otherwise if the age of the player < the age of the victim:

let M be the age of the victim - the age of the player;

say "[M in words] younger sibling";

otherwise:

say " frustrated fraternal twin";

say ", yell at [zhim2], 'Don't ever do it again, or I'll kill you!'[paragraph break]Clinging to [one of]the bridge railing[or]your cigarette[or]the lamppost[or]the edge of the table[or]the corrugated trunk of the oak tree[at random], you listened to [given name of the current person] [surname of the current person] trying to explain to you that [given name of the victim] was dead, but [zher] voice had become far away, and [zher] face was only a thumbprint on the oil painting, and you were losing the thread of the music that [given name of the instructor-person] had worked so hard, so very hard to instill. Behind the memory of [given name of the victim]'s [one of]pouting[or]tearstained[or]indignant[or]laughing[at random] face ([physical impression of the victim] even then), behind the impression of those [one of]sparkling[or]secretive[or]gleaming[or]shining[at random] [eye color of the victim] eyes, the thoughts of the gods pressed silently in on you, and you lost the desire to hold on.[paragraph break]You missed the funeral. They had to bury the body before one of the dead-eyed horde smelled it out and tried to take it away. You weren't even there when they buried your [gr of the secondary person] - you were tied in the shadows beneath the [one of]abandoned[or]forgotten[or]back part of the[at random] [one of]gym[or]warehouse[or]restaurant[or]art studio[or]dance studio[at random] [one of]across the street from where you used to work[or]on the north side[or]on the west side[or]on the east side[or]on the south side[or]over the river[or]across from the church[or]near [nickname of the instructor-person]'s home[at random], screaming and rubbing your wrists raw against the ropes as [given name of the current person] sang [zher] [voice type of the current person] voice equally raw in an effort to bring you home.[paragraph break]It echoed in your head afterward - 'Don't ever do it again, or I'll kill you!' But[if the affection strength of the victim < 3], no matter how little you liked your [gr of the secondary person], [otherwise] you loved your [gr of the secondary person], even then, and [end if]you had never wanted to live in a world without [zhim2].";

otherwise:

let L be a random number between 1 and 2;

say "You'd never dug a grave before. It turned out to be hard work - pushing the shovel in, turning the earth, pulling it up again, with the [one of]warm[or]chill[or]freezing[at random]";

if L is 1:

say " rain falling over you in long, slow curtains";

otherwise:

say " wind running over your ";

if the hair texture of the player is bald:

say "bare scalp";

otherwise:

say "[hair length of the player] [hair texture of the player] hair";

say " and down your neck. You wanted to stop perhaps more than anything in your life, because it would mean that the box wasn't real and the contents weren't real and your [gr of the secondary person] wasn't dead.[paragraph break]...murdered. The word fell through your consciousness like grains of dirt falling off the blade of the shovel. [given name of the victim] [surname of the victim] was dead, and if it wasn't suicide (you all thought not) and if it wasn't a work of the gods (you all thought not) then it was one of you. And you couldn't quite forget that.[paragraph break]You dug, and you grieved, and you felt the eyes of your classmates on you. ";

if the victim is the instructor-person:

say "But [given name of the victim] [surname of the victim], your teacher and bully and organizer and leader, was dead";

otherwise:

say "[given name of the instructor-person] [surname of the instructor-person] stood at the front, watching you and your [if the relationship of the victim is the relationship of the current person] other [end if][gr of the current person], [given name of the current person] [surname of the current person], dig";

say ". ";

if L is 1:

say "And the rain poured down [given name of the current person][apostrophe]s [skin tone of the current person] cheeks just like yours, and [zhe] struggled over [zher] shovel just like you did";

otherwise:

say "And the wind pulled at [given name of the current person][apostrophe]s [hair reference]";

if the facial hair of the current person is "":

say " and toyed with the edge of [zher] [color preference of the current person] scarf";

otherwise:

say " and teased at [zher] [facial hair of the current person]";

say ", and your classmates watched with dull, traumatized eyes that looked almost like the eyes of the god-taken.[paragraph break][given name of the current person] began to hum, and in a moment, you recognized the first focusing melody that [given name of the instructor-person] taught you. You took up the song, and the others around you took it up as well, singing and watching or singing and digging until the hole was deep enough and your minds were all strong enough to hold what they needed to hold.".