Recently the game Elder Sign came into my possession. This is a Gas Light detective game. Gas Light is essentially the brand of stories brought about by H.P. Lovecraft. They aren't quite Steampunk but they also aren't the Gothic Romance of Dracula.
In Elder Sign you play a detective that is exploring a museum. While you are exploring an old god is trying to come into the world through a gate. The objective is to find enough Elder Signs to close this gate and stop the end of the world. Simple enough and a fun game. But for writing, there is something more.
The board for this game is actually a set of cards. Each of these cards has a description, as if it were written by H.P. Lovecraft. There are also mini cards with monsters on them with similar descriptions. For writing, these short descriptions are a great jumping off point for stories.
Today's Bits and Pieces, came from one of the rooms in the game. So without wasting anymore time I give you "The Archive."
They had spent hours digging through old magazines and news articles. They came out with next to nothing pertinent for their troubles. Other than time spent in the archives the day had been fruitless.
That is until Dave found the article that had everything they were looking for. How to stuff an olive was the title. The article had nothing to do with olives or even stuffing anything for that matter. It was an old piece from the original town paper, dated June 4, 1785. It was hard to believe that it was still in a decent enough condition to be read.
He took the article to the photocopier and placed it on the glass. It was quick work to make a couple copies before he put the article back where he had found it. “Did you find anything else?”
Sarah blew the dust off an old magazine, read the title then put it on one of the piles next to her knee. “Not really. Seems most of the stuff in here is everything but what we’re looking for.”
“Let’s call it a day and get some dinner.” He checked the time on his watch. “We have been in here way too long today. Leave your piles; we’ll get back at it again tomorrow.”
She stood up careful not to disrupt the stacks of magazines around where she was sitting. She stepped over a stack to get onto the clear walkway.
He took her hand and with one last look he shut the lights off, and then stepped out the door. He locked the door from the outside and they followed the main hall to the parking garage.
The parking garage was darker than he had expected. The few lights that were working allowed for eerie shadows. Worse, one of the lights was flickering in its last stages of life. Theirs was the only car still in the garage. This gave them a nice open area where nothing could hide on the way to their car. That didn’t really help with the surreal quality of the lighting.
The soft scraping of their shoes echoed in the empty garage. She latched onto his arm with her free hand, her other hand, the one already in his, squeezed his tight. It wasn’t like they had never been the last ones to their car, but time in the archives did something to you. Maybe it was all the dust. Inhaling that much dust while doing research, was never a good thing.
They stopped at her side of the car first. He unlocked the door then held it for her, closing it after she was safely inside.
Sarah sat inside the car in silence waiting for him to come around and join her in the driver’s seat. She was ready to leave. She was safely buckled and settled. She looked out the driver side window as she reached over to unlock the door for him. He wasn’t there.
She looked out the back window. This game was getting old. He wasn’t there either. The parking garage lights flickered again. There was a knock at her window.