Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Update

I literally haven’t touched that fuckin’ game since I last wrote about it.

I’ve proposed to Muffy, and we’re about to hit winter, which means 10 more game days until the wedding and chapter 2 and the baby that will grow and abandon me. However, according to what I’ve read (after all the damage has been done, of course, I couldn’t possibly have read it first and then not fucked everything up, that is not how things are done in this house) winter is going to be an absolute mess which is going to result in some not-so-wonderful farm fatalities.

All of my animals are going to die. Starvation. I haven’t made any effort whatsoever to collect grass for fodder, and I have nowhere near the funds to buy “good fodder” for an entire season for a barn full of animals.

The death of all of my animals should irreparably tank my farm. I could start over and actually do things right, but I just… don’t want to. At all. I’ve already started over once because I screwed something up on the first run, but I was just at the end of Spring when that shit went down, so it wasn’t too much of a loss.

I don’t know. I was enjoying it. I want to keep enjoying it. But having to start over from the beginning irritates the shit out of me.

Plus, I want to play “Save the Homeland” at some point.

Excerpts taken from the diary of Angela Pleasant.

Had the dream again.

*                 *                 *

I think I’m running out of air.

My room smells funny. I asked Mom about it, thinking maybe she’d installed some new air freshener or something without my knowledge, but she insists that not only would she never (although she has before, which is why I asked), but she doesn’t know what I’m talking about. She says my room smells “fine”.

But there’s an earthy smell in here, something damp and almost… sweet? Not in a good way.

I’ve searched everything, even the closet, but there was nothing to find. I finally gave up and tried to open my window, but the wind was doing that howling thing again, and I couldn’t stand it. I had to close it again.

*                 *                 *

Still smelling it. Can’t find a source.

I’m afraid it’s in my head somewhere.

Something rotting and meaty inside of me.

I can’t get it out.

*                 *                 *

I take the pills to help me sleep.

I can’t manage without them. Sometimes, I can’t manage with them. But when they work, I burrow so deeply in the darkness that not even the nightmares (and I know they’re looking) can find me.

A Slow, Excruciating Life

So far, a lie and a trap.

 

I’ve been playing a lot of this since it was released on the PS4. I did have it for the gamecube way back when (and still do) and did not like it at all, but with the addition of trophies (and all the other crap that the PS2 “Special Edition” port came with), I decided to give it another go.

It’s… going.

I’m about halfway through Fall of the first year (each “season” lasting 10 days, which, honestly, is still too fuckin’ long, what is this game’s problem) and I just. I have 2 cows (one of which is too young to impregnate, which means no milk from her goofy ass for the foreseeable future, since a cow has to breed, birth, and only gives mother’s milk for 10 days, before finally, finally producing a year’s worth of milk you can actually sell), 2 chickens (I fucking hate chickens in all forms and these feathered fucks are no exception), a sheep (apparently these flops only provide wool once a year??), and a horse (provides nothing of value, but it does help get around the village faster).

So obnoxious.

“I’m going to die alone!”

 

Anyway. Basically just trudging through the rest of the year now. I’ve already proposed to my girl, Muffy, because otherwise she’ll just go spend the rest of the game crying on the bridge. I remember playing it back on the GC and being disgusted at the fact that the game would basically force you to marry Muffy at the end of the first year, if you hadn’t already proposed to anyone else.

Back in my GC days, I was all about Nami, but I was also all about not actually playing this game because it sucked, so I never even made it past the first week or two, in-game. This time around, I did a little reading up beforehand and discovered that Nami can go fuck herself, and I actually really like Muffy? A lot? Like I-might-have-a-little-crush-irl a lot? She seems like such a sad, lonely character who just desperately wants to have a family with… basically anyone, I guess, but the only people in town are her father figure, married couples, kids, a weird hairy thing that’s mostly a head with arms and feet, Daryl, a yeti, and the elderly.

“I’m only marrying you because the inn won’t let me stay for free.”

 

So many great options. Not. I guess Marlin would be okay, although if I were the shipping type, I’d probably go with Muffy/Lumina (who I would have married if not for the fact that she spends the entire first year as a child, and you have to court and propose to her while she’s still a minor, and I just??? Why??? NO?? This shouldn’t have been an option? She has an adult form? Why the fuck? Miss me with this Harvest Moon: A Pedophile’s Life bullshit). But I think actual, consenting adult Lumina would be a good match for Muffy, more-so than any of the available male characters in Forget-Me-Not Valley.

Thus concludes my strange and unnecessary presentation on why I’ve decided to marry one set of pixels over another, thanks for scrolling past without reading, you made the right choice.

But seriously, the crop system in this game is no fun at all, the animals have such strange and asinine requirements (the cows, wtfffff), everything sells for a fucking pittance so saving up money to actually buy anything is just impossible, the only things you can ship on a daily basis are animal products (milk, eggs), and crops (which I hate), so all flowers, ores, fish, etc, have to be sold directly to Van, who only comes twice a season. Also, he just stands around in his “shop” (a blanket on the fucking ground with a sign next to it? What kind of successful business…) sweating and all anyone does is talk about how fucking fat he is and how they worry about the structural integrity of their buildings when he’s inside (holy shit ruby) and I just. Okay. I don’t actually mind any of this, but the actual mechanics of selling him shit are sheer buffoonery. This game moves so s l o w. Everything takes forever, except for the horse, but then mounting and dismounting are a pain in the ass, so it’s still a bittersweet victory.

I don’t know, man. I’m gonna keep playing, and keep complaining, but so far, I’m not in love with it. I’m not even in like with it. I’m too used to newer Harvest Moons (Animal Parade being my true HM love, it’s just such a nice little game with so many good marriage candidates) and Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns (fewer marriage candidates, but I did have a hard time choosing between Komari and the twins; ultimately, I chose Komari because I liked her dad), which have really streamlined a lot of different processes and are just all-over better gaming experiences, as far as farming simulators go.

For what it’s worth, I don’t like Stardew Valley, either, so I might just have the worst possible taste in this area.

We Came Along This Road

x-posted @ my a03 account

Fandom: Rule of Rose
Pairing: Wendy/Jennifer
Summary: On December 20, 1930, tragedy struck the Rose Garden Orphanage, leaving only one known survivor, nine-year-old Jennifer Brown. Years after the hideous event, Jennifer seeks to reopen the orphanage. News travels fast, and quickly piques the interest of a long lost dead girl who never forgot the promise made to her by her old friend.
A/N: This story is part of a 14-part album fic challenge, in which each song from a single album will serve as inspiration for the story. The album I chose is “And No More Shall We Part” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

WENDY
It was late, and the weather was poor. I should have been at home, half-finished with my nightly rituals, preparing myself for bed. Really, I should have been in my favorite nightgown, perhaps even crawling beneath the heavy blanket, sinking into the warm embrace of my glorious bed. Under less unusual circumstances, I certainly would have been.

Alas. I’m tired, but well awake, and instead of surrendering myself to the luxury of my soft bed, I have instead submitted myself to the indignity of the stiff, torn fabric of a bench seat at the back of a dreary bus. Trundling along at this indecent hour, looking for a girl I haven’t seen since I’d lead the dogman on the death march to the orphanage door, in the tender years of my own girlhood.

Jennifer.

Even now, her name fills me with such terrible longing.

If only she hadn’t betrayed me… chosen that filthy creature over me. Humiliating me not once, but twice. Without even trying, I still plainly remember the feel of her palm across my face, the heat in my injured cheek. The poisonous swill coursing through me, spilling black and viscous from the cracks in my heart, as I laid pinned beneath her on the floor, like a butterfly.

The memories are automatic, and unstoppable. The anger in her voice and the furious tears in her eyes as she demanded that I “give her back her friend”, even though I had not been taken from her, at all.

No… if only she’d understood, as I had, as all of the others had, that nothing of value had been lost to her… that the only friend she truly needed – after the lengths I had gone to just to prove to her the immeasurable depths of my devotion – was there already… everything could have been so much different.

We could have been so happy. All of us.

Royalty.

A family.

Instead, she’d been selfish. Cruel. Unbearably cruel. And in the end, it was she who was taken away from me, a second time.

I won’t lose her a third time, however. This time, she will be mine, and no one else’s, ever again.

I have been so patient.

Through the dirty, discolored window, there wasn’t much to see. Trees, mostly. The tedious landscape stumbled past on an endless loop. Trees and bushes, bushes and trees. How putrid. I sighed and turned my head away from the glass; I’d never really been one for the supposed beauty of nature.

Finally, the bus shudders to a halt alongside a bench I recognize immediately.

Once upon a time, I’d found a Stray Dog sitting there, waiting for his son.

I do not pause to linger on those memories. They are worthless to me. I leave the bench behind me without a second glance, as I follow the worn, dirt path up to the Rose Garden Orphanage.

Continue reading

The Sorrowful Wife

x-posted @ my a03 account

Fandom: Rule of Rose
Pairing: Hoffman/Clara
Summary: Days, and years, and entire lifetimes have passed since Hoffman abandoned his post as the headmaster at the Rose Garden Orphanage, but those little brats are still a constant thorn in his side. But not Clara, his sweet Clara. His refuge, his salvation… his terrible sin. His sorrowful wife.
A/N: This story is part of a 14-part album fic challenge, in which each song from a single album will serve as inspiration for the story. The album I chose is “And No More Shall We Part” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.


It has not been easy.

I have not slept well since it happened.

Since I left.

I see it in my dreams, that horrid building. It waits for me, crouched in the corners of my wandering mind, looming in the creases of my eyelids, so that when I lie down at night and close my eyes, it drops heavily into view. I see it plainly, every inch and every detail. The enormous, rusted lock on the gate. The rows of darkened windows punched into the grimy walls. That odd picture they’d drawn of the dog, candy spraying from its screaming mouth.

Stray Dog gives us sweets.

I took Diana by her shoulders and shook her until her head wobbled and her eyes filled with tears. “What is this “stray dog” nonsense?”

Stray Dog kidnaps kids.

“Answer me, damn you!” She cried out when I struck her, but only once. After that, there was only the sharp sound of my hand on her flesh, and the anger in my voice as I demanded an answer that she would not surrender.

The shame bubbles up in me, every memory is a slap to my own face. It is inescapable, what I have done.

Inescapable, yes. The irony of it. I left in the middle of the night like a coward and a monster, but I am still there. I can never go back, but I can never leave.

I am trapped there as surely as they were.

It has not been easy.

Continue reading

Pen Pal Project, rough AF draft.

Name: Jenna Pike

Select your age bracket:

Desired Age of Pen Pal: From birth to eternity.

Vocation:

What qualities would you like in a pen pal? I suppose I’ll need someone with an appetite for the weird and unsettling, as my current situation is a bit unusual. I’m not entirely sure I believe it myself at the moment.

Describe yourself in a few sentences or less: These are the facts as I currently know them:

I am a woman (I checked).

I believe I have family, but they are not here… wherever “here” is (Oasis Springs, they tell me. Like that’s supposed to mean something). I have tried to contact them, but keep getting mailer-daemoned. Phone numbers have been disconnected. I got through once, but the man on the other end – my brother, James – said he didn’t have a sister, and hung up. I hit redial, but the phone number had been disconnected.

I live with a young boy who says his name is Mr. Eli. He is six years old, likes dinosaurs and aliens (“But not alien dinosaurs,” he tells me angrily, toys frozen mid-air in his white-knuckled fists. “The law forbids it.”), has a monster under his bed he calls “Madame”, and he is my son.

When I went to bed in my other life, I did not have a son.

Hobbies & Interests:

Would you be interested in meeting your pen pal? I’m not sure where I am, or how to get out. People that I’ve talked to have lived here their entire lives and have zero desire to leave. They can’t seem to remember the last time or occasion that someone visited them from outside of town. I feel, at this point in time, that dragging someone else in would be unwise.

Perhaps even dangerous.

Well, I doubt that’s true, but why risk it.

How many pen pals would you like? I am looking for one or two people who would be interested in joining me as I attempt to figure out what exactly I’ve managed to entangle myself in this time.

If teardrops were pennies, and heartaches were gold, I’d have all the riches my pockets could hold…

So, my oven’s dead, right?

Sucks shit and I hate my oven-less life, but until I get a new one, I bought a toaster oven so I can make complicated toast and easy bake bagels like an adult.

I haven’t made toast or bagels, yet, but I did throw away my toaster in anticipation.

Lately, I’ve been jonesing for these pizza hot pockets I used to like. I figured, what the hell, I got a toaster oven. I’m gonna go buy some fuckin pizza hot pockets. I’m gonna make my dreams come true.

The problem is, I haven’t had these things in like, 15 years. And I can’t remember which one, specifically, I liked.

I go to Safeway, anyway.

I buy some pizza hot pockets, thinking “surely one of these will be the one I liked.

15 years ago.

Back when I liked these things.”

But no.

As it turns out, the brand was probably not even hot pocket, but something Safeway no longer carries, and is probably no longer in production.

I gave my toaster oven virginity to a hot crust of lies.