scarysnakelady: (Little vipers sing the snake star song)
[personal profile] scarysnakelady
Things in this place haven't quite given up the semblance of summer, clinging on to that golden warmth quite tenaciously. The leaves of the trees are just starting to turn colors, but there are a good number of evergreens and lots of bamboo too, keeping it all very green. While there's no pavement, there are several well-beaten dirt paths from the clearing where you find yourself.



The first, short one leads to a building, two stories tall, but with a tree growing right through the center of it. Enter, and you'll find a room that looks half like Anko's bar, and half like a totally different room, with potted plants and books and a big, empty desk. The books contain random information, stored down neatly--factual things Anko's learned either here or from home: how to make alcohol, how to repair window and winterize a house, a good assortment of poison and food recipes, and so on. Drinking from the bottles on the bar side of the room will get you some of that same information in a more sensual form, but may also put you to 'sleep' and therefore out of the dreamscape. The door to the second floor is locked, but breakable/openable. This looks far more like a bedroom, with clothes (Anko's, others', even ones not from Adstring) scattered and a big, comfy bed in the middle. You might find some familiar faces up here (or unfamiliar ones), If they are from Adstring, you might be able to go to their dreamscape by talking to them (if they, or you, are not too embarrassed by this meeting, of course).

There's an outside door to a cellar leading under the building, but it's barred. Remove the bar, and a short flight of stairs brings you to a small room, lit only by candlelight, where a little girl (obviously a very young Anko) sits in a small chair and tells, orders and begs you not to go further, through the door behind her. There are monsters in the dark, she says, and you will be in danger. Pay no heed to her warnings and keep going, and you will indeed find monsters. Misshapen creatures that might have once been human, men made of snakeskin, a pair of pursuing eyes you can't seem to get away from. However, turn back to the lighted room, and you never seem to be far away. You can always get out again.

If you choose any of the other paths, they lead to a forest, with scattered buildings. Most of these structures are simple, one room, or two at most. Light comes from the sunlight or, in some places, strings of paper lanterns, strung between the trees, over the windows of structures. From the branches hang collections of things: windchimes made of knives and broken bottles or forks and china pieces; fluttering scraps of colored cloth; strips of folded paper. In one place is a whole, absurdly large snakeskin, in another, a string of empty gourds that clunk together in the warm breeze. If you reach up and touch them, you find they hold scraps of memory, mostly good, some bittersweet or painful mixed in. There are other wanderers here too, both animals (cats--normal and hell varieties--dogs, snakes, frogs, turtles and little slugs) and people (both from Adstring and not), inside and out of the buildings. There even seem to be people in the branches of the trees high above you, flitting between branches like birds, too fast to see. Anko, the real one, is probably out here too, somewhere.


The buildings are in varying states of disrepair, on par with what you'd see in Adstring, or a little better. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to their layout, stores and sheds and homes all scattered about. What's in the buildings varies, and can sometimes even change between closing a door and opening it again; rooms with full meals laid out, rooms of nothing but portraits, rooms as if from a temple with incense and idols, weaponries, storage rooms, all in disparate, discrete buildings whose outside appearance gives belie to its contents. Here and there are clear springs of water, cold and sweet. Drinking from them brings no memories, but is still nice.
Go too far past the buildings, and the ground turns swampy under your feet, and may swallow you up if you aren't careful or don't turn around now.
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Mitarashi Anko

October 2013

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