This game discusses [[trauma]] in a way that may be uncomfortable or triggering for certain audiences. Please play at your own [[discretion]].
[[BEGIN->TITLE]]Thank you for making it through to this point.
Thank you for getting up in the morning.
Thank you for staying alive and being the bright star in my sky.
We admire you so much. And we can't wait to see where you go.
★ ★ ★
''[[THANK YOU FOR PLAYING ALRAUNE]]''There are so many kinds of trauma. Too many.
So many ways to get hurt. To be hurt.
What type we focus on is up to you. You choose.
And you can give yourself distance from it as you [[play]].Sometimes we can’t quite handle this.
That’s okay. It’s hard.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
If you don’t want to do this now, you can [[play]] another time.The sun is [[shining]].
You are a [[flower]].Warm light shines down from above, inspiring growth and good feelings. Feel its soft kiss.
Perfect for a blooming [[flower->BEGIN]].Or rather, you //were// a flower.
You used to be so vibrant. So untouched.
[[Well.]]Young and youthful and happy and eager and—
//Gods dammit, you wish you could go back to those days//
—ready to face the world without a care in the world.
A lovely [[flower]], thriving in the sun.Then came the [[hurt]].How long has it //been// since it happened?
It's so hard to say. [[Time]] has gotten so fuzzy. It's hard to remember what happened when, save for a few [[snapshots]].
But the wounds are still there. The scars. The poison it left in your body.
In your [[blood]].It's all blurred together, hasn't it? When it happens over a long period, you get so used to the cycle and the rhythym that you just—
//"Did that happen last week or last month?"
"That was yesterday, why can't you keep track of things?"//
—can't distinguish one day from another.
And when it happens so quickly, minutes stretch out into //days//.
All you remember is that it [[hurt]] so badly.Psychologists say eyewitness testimony isn't valid.
It's too easy to manipulate it. We change and rehearse and rewrite memories every time we look back to them.
But still. //Still//.
You know how you felt. You remember so much, so vividly. Sometimes. Sometimes only when it [[creeps up on you]].
Even if it isn't 100% accurate, it still [[hurt]] so much.It's a frigid, crawling thing.
Like a slug, leaving a sickly trail up your back, up your arms, across your face, whenever it comes.
You shiver. You shake. You shut your eyes and cry to keep it away, as far away as possible, //stay out I hate you//.
Sometimes the memories go off like a [[camera flash->snapshots]].//"There once was a girl named after an old root monster, who was born from an [[old wives' tale.]]
She was scarred and could not love, and she never had a [[choice]] in the matter.""////"How did it go?"
"I remember. They say the roots grew where the fluids of hanged men spilled on the ground."
"Right, right. Wasn't it their sperm?"
"I think it was their [[blood]]."////"[[We often don't get a choice in the matter.]]"//You were a flower.
Then you were [[crushed]].Snuffed out, under the heel of someone [[cruel]].You can speak your mind here.
No one's recording this.
Nothing you say leaves our space.
Say all you want.
>''[[Okay.]]''That's totally fine.
There's nothing wrong with that.
Take it one step at a time.
[[They shouldn't have hurt you, all the same.->Now you know.]]You were hurt.
[[Killed.]]Do you want to talk about what happened?
>''[[Yes. I do.]]''
>''[[I don't want to say.]]''Thank you for trusting us.
Then, we ask: [[Who crushed you under foot?]](set: $cruel to (prompt: "Who were they?", ""))
Ah. //We see//.
Thank you for sharing that. That took bravery. You had to make yourself vulnerable.
We appreciate that a lot.
>''[[There's another question, isn't there?]]''That girl died too, in the end.
She didn't deserve it either.
[[Neither of you are gone yet.]]Justice needs to be done.
Someone has to carry it out. It doesn't have to be you.
At the very least, you deserve [[another shot]].You were a flower.
Then you were killed.
Now you're a [[seed]].You had to flush out the poison.
It required you to retreat. Back into the earth.
It wasn't the plan, but at least now you can [[blossom]] again.Under the moonlight, you burst from the soft soil.
You are strong.
You are powerful.
You won't be hurt again.
What have you become?
|body>[[>''A flower of Justice.'']<Op1|
[>''A flower of Virtue.'']<Op2|
[>''A flower of Revenge.'']<Op3|
[>''A flower of Protection.'']<Op4|]
(click: ?Op1)[(set: $choice to 1)(replace: ?body)[[[Stalwart Rudbeckia.->bloom]]]]
(click: ?Op2)[(set: $choice to 1)(replace: ?body)[[[Noble Rose.->bloom]]]]
(click: ?Op3)[(set: $choice to 1)(replace: ?body)[[[Spiteful Trefoil.->bloom]]]]
(click: ?Op4)[(set: $choice to 1)(replace: ?body)[[[Unwavering Crepis.->bloom]]]]Your new body bursts from the massive bloom that is //you//, and soft petals dance around you.
You have [[thorns]].
You have [[vines]].
You have [[power]].
You are [[beautiful]].
You are an ALRAUNE, and the world is yours to [[take]].Sharp. Unbreakable. Deadly.
At your command are a score of daggers, to strike down anyone, any//thing// that would dare try and hurt you.
[[But that's not all.->bloom]]Long and thick and entirely under your control.
With the flick of the wrist, you can punish evil with a thousand lashes from justice's whips.
[[But that's not all.->bloom]]Nothing can bind you.
Nothing can break you.
Nothing can hurt you.
[[You can do //anything//.->bloom]]You've never looked better.
Not by anyone else's standards. Not by society's, not by //theirs//, not by //anyone's// standards but //your own//.
This is your body, as you've designed it.
No one else had a say in it.
And you know what?
You smell //amazing//, too.
[[But that's not all.->bloom]]Not that you need to.
Not if you don't want to.
You have all the time in the world, and you just bloomed from your seed. Making your perfect world can wait a little while, honestly. It's not like anything can stop you.
But since you're here and thinking about it...
Why not [[assert yourself?]]You stretch languidly.
Every time you move, you feel the power in your muscles. The magic in your petals. The burning flame, deep in your heart.
You snap a finger and shatter a mountain with one of your vines. With every step you take, smaller flowers blossom and rise to vibrant life beneath your feet.
You think you'd like to try something.
[[But what?]]A few things come to mind, don't they?
>''[[I want to protect others.]]''
>''[[I want to embody virtue.]]''
>''[[I want to dispense justice.]]''
>''[[I want to get revenge.]]''
Is that right?
>''[[I'm satisfied.]]''You gather your loved ones in your vines, and with your power you create for them impenatrable armor.
It's very fashionable.
They will never be hurt again. And they'll always know how much you love them, even if you can't find the words or the actions to express it sometimes. All thanks to you.
[[You're basically the coolest person ever, everyone loves you, and no one will ever, //ever// beat you.->But what?]]You command everyone's attention, and you begin to speak.
You are eloquent. You are in control. The crowds are enthralled, enraptured, engaged. And they see all the good work and effort you've put into your life.
They recognize it. Celebrate you.
[[Everyone looks up to you as a role-model, and you don't feel an ounce of pressure. Because you can do anything.->But what?]]You look at your thorns, smile with gleaming, wicked-sharp teeth, and you set out to punish the wicked for their actions.
None of them can stop you.
None of them can hide from you.
The world is connected by nature, and you are nature personified: in-touch, elegant, unwavering, and immensely powerful.
There is no injustice you cannot correct. So you correct all of them. Because you can, and you want to, and there's nothing to stop the march of a [[spirit of justice.->But what?]]You have been done wrong.
You have been hurt.
You didn't deserve that.
But while you gained your new, powerful form through it, some people are still in seeds, waiting to bloom. Others are flowers only just being crushed underfoot.
some never recover from the damage.
You get revenge on all of their behalfs, a bloody scourge using nature to erase the problems from this world.
[[It feels so good to make them bleed.->But what?]]You yawn, tired but satisfied. We applaud you.
You are so loved.
You are so strong.
You are so wonderful.
[[There's just one last thing to consider, then.]]
>''[[I don't care, actually.]]''[[Will you hunt down the cruel one who hurt you?]]You don't have to.
No one's watching.
No one's judging.
You have all the power here. But if you want to do it, you absolutely can.
>''[[I'll do it.]]''
>''[[I'll pass.]]''If you're not feeling great after playing this, please don't be afraid to reach out.
You can find a directory of crisis hotlines organized by country (link: "''HERE.''")[(goto-url: "https://twhj.com/abuse-survivor-trauma-survivor-crisis-hotlines.html")]
''[[BACK->THANK YOU FOR PLAYING ALRAUNE]]''
Let's [[hunt]].That's absolutely fine.
They don't have any control over you.
They can't hurt you again.
And if they try, maybe you'll erase them from this world. Erase every trace of them, down to the very last cell that made up the smallest of parts. Because you can. If you want to.
But for now? Now you can [[rest]].As you close your eyes and begin to dream, we chime in with a reminder:
You've always had this potential in you.
And [[you don't lose it when you leave this space.]]No problem at all.
You've had a long night, being reborn and asserting yourself.
When you awaken, you can get to work on the smaller things, or maybe the bigger. You can take it at your own pace, because you've got all the time you need — and nothing can hurt you.
But that's for tomorrow.
Today, you [[rest]].Do you want another question?
>''[[Sure. I'm ready.]]''
>''[[I'll pass.->I don't want to say.]]''Okay. We're here and ready to listen.
The question: [[what happened?]](set: $event to (prompt: "What happened?", ""))
Oh. Oh gods, we're... so sorry.
We know that we just read as text on a screen, but we are honestly, genuinely sorry you had to go through that. You didn't deserve that.
You are //so// strong. We really appreciate you — and we're so proud of you for making it this far.
>''[[Anything else?]]''Do you want to talk about how this makes you feel?
>''[[That'd be nice.]]''
>''[[I don't want to say.]]''(set: $feel to (prompt: "How are you doing?", ""))
We hope that helped a little.
>''[[Now you know.]]''Your trauma doesn't have to define you.
Your trauma doesn't control you.
You are a survivor: strong, virtuous, and just.
That persists. That never stops. You keep that power.
We admire you so much.
//We love you so much.//
And if you ever want to go through this process again, and flex those vines of yours?
[[All you have to do is come back.]]''CREDITS:''
>Words & Programming by (link: "Blake Flournoy")[(goto-url: "http://twitter.com/BlakeLocked")]
>Inspired by (link: "Cain's")[(goto-url: "http://iraprince.tumblr.com/")] "QUEER TRANS MENTALLY ILL POWER FANTASY"
>>Play (link: "QTMIPF")[(goto-url: "http://philome.la/baphomeme/queer-trans-mentally-ill-power-fantasy/play")]
>Powered by Twine 2
>Originally displayed at //Records: A Take Back The Night Art Gallery// in Towson, MD — April 2017
''[[START OVER->play]]''It doesn't take long to find them.
Not as you are.
Not as a force of nature — as nature itself.
[[They recognize you, after a moment.]]They try to run.
[[You're faster.]]They throw something heavy at you.
They try to scream and shout you down.
Cry you away.
[[But you're stronger.]]You grab them by the leg(s) with one of your mighty vines.
Suspend them in the air.
They wet themselves a little, in the face of your power.
[[They say "Sorry."]]Like that cuts it.
Like that makes up for everything.
Like that one word, when they're cornered, makes it all hunky-dory, water under the bridge.
You shake them in fury. Do you want to say something?
>''[[I've been waiting to say a lot.]]''
>''[[They aren't worth the breath.]]''(put: (prompt: "What do you want to tell them?") into $statement)
You say the words.
They shake at the weight of your will.
[[You toss them aside, and they squeal.]]You're right.
You have no obligation to forgive them.
Or to even speak to them.
[[You toss them aside, and they squeal.]]They try to scramble away, and you strike them with a thorn.
They hit the ground — hurt, but not dead.
[[What do you do?]]Quite frankly...
You're an ALRAUNE. You're invincible. Powerful. Unstoppable.
They couldn't hurt you again if they tried their hardest.
Makes you wonder... [[is it worth the effort?]]You could [[punish]] them. It would be so easy.
Pretty brutal, too.
But then again... it would be like squashing an ant.
It might be harsher to [[pardon]] them, and let them live with the knowledge that you could get them at any moment.You have thorns.
You have vines.
You have your bare hands and your teeth.
And a million plants at your beck and call.
You could [[tear them apart.]]
[[Or not.->is it worth the effort?]]You don't have to do it. Not if you don't want to.
Your forgiveness is yours to give.
And a pardon isn't the same as forgiving someone.
It's more like [[leaving them to rot.]]
[[Your choice.->is it worth the effort?]]Punishment, then?
>''[[Let's do it.]]''
>''[[Let me think.->punish]]''A pardoning, then?
>''[[Let's make them squirm.]]''
>''[[Let me think.->pardon]]''(set: $punish to (prompt: "What punishment do you deliver?", ""))
You do that.
You do that, and every other thing you've //dreamed// of doing.
Because you can. Nothing can stop you.
An ALRAUNE turns their pain into power.
And you have [[so much]].You look them dead in the eyes.
You shake your head at them. Turn around and leave them.
You hear them whimpering, confused, as you return home.
They got the [[silent message]].When you leave, you leave them as a mess on the floor.
A stain to be cleaned up. Maybe figuratively.
Either way, they're a testament to your strength. What once broke you down and killed you, couldn't even bruise one of your petals.
No one can hurt you, ever again.
The world is [[your oyster.]] //[[You can always come back to finish the job.]]//They know that. And it horrifies them.
You know that. And it makes every step lighter.
It's been a long day, but this was just the first.
You are so powerful. The world is [[your oyster.]]But you don't need to rush.
No need to try and do it all at once.
You're an ALRAUNE. You're eternal.
Which means you can [[rest]] easy.[[''ALRAUNE''->BEGIN]]