Your name is Henrietta.
You just died.
[[Wanna know how?]]You died the boring way, peacefully in your hospital bed after a short and unexciting illness, surrounded by family.
[[Roger]] was there.
[[Hannah]] was there.
[[Louise]] was there.
[[Shannon]] wasn't there.
[[It was almost perfect.]]
You've been married to Roger for many, many years. It wasn't a romantic match, but you hope you've made him happy in your own special way. You're going to miss him very much.Your eldest daughter. Hannah is so dependable. You can't think of a time when she's let you down. You just know she's going to take good care of everyone you're leaving behind.Ah Louise, your youngest daughter. She is very beautiful, even if she looks more like Roger than she looks like you.Shannon couldn't bring herself to visit you in hospital, hoping you'd get better. So you could really talk things through.
She feels robbed of her chance for closure and is worried that you were still angry with her when you died.Well done you.
On any other day, it would be time to move on.
But you lucked out.
[[Today is Halloween.]]Before passing on to whatever it is that comes next, the lucky few who die on Halloween get the chance to do something very special.
But you only get one, so you must choose wisely.
[[Make your choice.]]So what'll it be, Henrietta? Any unfinished business you'd like to take care of?
[[Haunt Hilda, your enemy from bridge club]]
[[Haunt Edgar, your first love]]
[[Haunt Shannon, your middle daughter]]Nice choice, Henrietta.
You never did like Hilda, a comparative youngster at the age of just 83. She was always annoying, but the day she showed up at bridge club with her [[shiny new mobility scooter]] was the day you became sworn enemies.
[[She deserves to be haunted.]]You never really got over your first love.
You were childhood sweethearts, but you had to break up when you were both 18. He was off to join the navy and see the world, while your parents couldn't wait to pack you off to secretarial college.
After the first few letters, you didn't hear from him again.
[[You think of him often.]]Shannon has taken your death really hard. You hadn't spoken for nearly a year, but you'd been due to meet up for a tentative lunch on the day when you were admitted to hospital.
Shannon needs to know the truth about your feelings for her.
[[You'd better find her.]]She doesn't even need it. You've seen her, walking out to get her mail in the morning, standing up to cheer everytime the bridge game goes her way, rushing out into her garden to chase away squirrels.
What a fraud.
Rumour has it that she got that scooter by cheating the benefits system. She'd be really screwed if she got caught.
[[She deserves to be haunted.]]You've lost count of the times she has 'accidentally' driven that thing over your toes, or bumped it into your chair, making you spill your coffee on your nice dress.
You suspect she's never forgiven you for winning the Christmas bridge tournament three years ago, when the prize was a huge hamper of sweet treats.
She has a weakness for candy.
[[That gives you an idea...]]On this special day, your spirit form is strong enough to move small objects.
You begin your haunt, starting with a quick trip around the mall. All the stores have little bowls on their counters, filled with colorful candy pieces.
After visiting every store in the mall and [[collecting one piece of candy from each]], you think you're ready to take your revenge on horrible Hilda.
[[You set the trap.]]No-one will notice if one piece goes missing. No-one seems to notice that the candy goes missing by itself either. The shop assistants seem so bored that you could have taken the cash register and they wouldn't have noticed.You're standing outside Hilda's front door. Or hovering. Whatever it is that your spirit form does.
You start taking pieces of candy from the pockets of your ghostly cardigan, laying a tasty trail from her door and out to the sidewalk.
You've got plenty of candy. Where do you want to lead Hilda?
[[Lead Hilda to the woods.]]
[[Lead Hilda to the freeway.]]It's slow going, but an hour later you've laid a trail of candy all the way from Hilda's place and deep into the woods.
Just in time, because Hilda will be leaving for bridge club any minute now.
[[You hover by the bushes and wait.]]Your trail of candy leads all the way down Hilda's street.
You turn to admire your handiwork, only to discover that most of the candy pieces have vanished.
Of course. Your trail led past the kindergarten and the tiny toddlers have gobbled it all up. Hmm, looks like the freeway isn't an option.
[[Lead Hilda to the woods.]]There she is. And yes! She's riding the hateful scooter, with a proud look on her face. Maybe she's too full of herself to even notice the candy.
But wait, she's spotted something.
She moves to pick up the first piece of candy, but then stops. Mustn't want [[her neighbours]] to see how mobile she is.
She pulls out her grabber from its handy holster on the scooter. After a few failed attempts, she picks up the candy and examines it.
[[Her favorite.]]She tears off the shiny wrapper and gobbles the candy. She's hooked.
Her greedy little eyes quickly find the next piece, and the next, and the next.
Within a few minutes, she's well on her way down the street.
[[She arrives at the edge of the woods.]]Ha. There's no way she'll be able to follow your trail of candy along the muddy path. If she wants it, she'll have to get off that ridiculous scooter and walk.
You know her neighbours walk their dogs in those woods. One of them is bound to see her.
[[She'll be exposed as the fraud she is.]]But what's this? You should have known!
Her scooter is so fancy that it must have four-wheel-drive. She glides along the muddy path with ease, grabbing candy as she goes.
[[She's nearly at the end of your trail.]]The families who live on either side of Hilda are sick and tired of her taking shortcuts with her scooter all over their lawns. It wouldn't take much to persuade them to shop Hilda to the authorities.Grab. She snatches the last piece of candy off the ground and devours it.
Your haunting has failed. All you've managed to do is make Hilda happy.
[[But you're forgetting just how greedy she is...]]Hilda is looking around her, edging her scooter further up the path in the hope of finding yet more candy. But that path leads to the top of a very steep hill.
She pushes on. She must be hopeful of more treats over the brow of the hill.
It's getting dangerous. What will you do?
[[Try to stop Hilda]]
[[Let her continue]]You run as fast as your spirit form allows you, throwing yourself in Hilda's path and yelling for her to stop.
She can't see you. It's misty out here. Your voice comes out like an eery whisper, which she can't hear over the sound of her revving scooter.
She drives straight through you.
[[And drives over the top of the hill.]]You want to see how this plays out. It's not your fault what happens to her now, after all. Your candy trail is over. This is on her.
Her scooter roaring with the effort, Hilda carries on, peering into the mist after more colorful wrappers.
[[And drives over the top of the hill.]]This hill is too steep, too muddy, even for Hilda's amazing scooter.
As soon as she points the thing downhill, the scooter starts to roll, picking up speed at an alarming rate.
[[It's out of control.]]You try to run after her, but your spirit form is too slow to keep up. Hilda vanishes out of sight at the bottom of the hill.
You hear a loud crash, and wince.
You remember. There's a stream down there. You bet that's what she crashed into.
[[You move closer to the stream.]]There's no sound now. No groaning. No noise from the scooter.
And then you spot her. Hilda is lying on the ground, not moving.
[[Have you killed her?]]This has gone too far. You only wanted to scare her.
And what if you have really killed her? Will her spirit form be joining you in the afterlife? You can't stand the thought of being stuck spending time with her for eternity.
[[Now you can hear something.]]The scooter's fancy alarm system clearly survived the impact. A whining siren fills the woods, attracting the attention of everyone nearby.
Within minutes, help is called. An ambulance arrives and Hilda is placed on a stretcher and carried inside. She seems to be talking to the paramedic.
Well, that didn't go exactly as you'd expected.
You've had your fun. [[It's time to move on.]]Before taking your first steps into whatever lies beyond, you have to spend a few days in limbo. Lots of admin you see, and there's always a backlog after Halloween and all those hauntings.
On the day you're called forward to start your new afterlife, you take one final look at the world you left behind.
You want to see your friends one more time. [[You see what's happening at bridge club.]]The usual faces are there, everyone smiling and enjoying each other's company.
Suddenly a few faces fall. There's a new arrival.
[[Hilda's late today.]]Hilda zooms in on what appears to be an even fancier, more expensive and gadget-packed mobility scooter.
She sticks out her leg in front of her. It's in plaster. She wields it proudly, like a trophy.
One of your friends politely asks Hilda how she is feeling.
[[Hilda looks very smug.]]She tells your friend that she had [[excellent insurance coverage]] on her old scooter, so she got a brand new replacement that is much nicer.
And what's more, she continues, when newspapers reported the brand of candy involved in what was clearly a Trick or Treat prank gone wrong, the candy manufacturer got in touch and [[sent her a year's supply]].Paid for by the profits of her benefit fraud, no doubt.THE END
Hmm, that haunting didn't go so well.
Do you feel like trying to haunt someone else? Go on, you've got nothing to lose...
[[CREDITS]]If he is still out there, you'd love to see how he is doing and maybe say goodbye.
[[You picture him clearly in your ghostly mind.]]With a flash of light, you're standing in what must be Edgar's backyard. You're facing an outbuilding, and the door stands open, inviting you inside.
[[Maybe he's in there.]]You creep inside and call his name.
Your voice sounds really weird since you died, and all that comes out is a very eery "Edgaaarrrrr".
[[Even you shiver at the sound of it.]]You move deeper into the building, certain you can hear sounds coming from near the back.
It seems to be some kind of workshop, with tools lining the walls, and beautiful carvings on display. Edgar always did love wood, and you can see that he's only become more talented as the years went by.
[[You admire his work.]]Your spirit form is just strong enough to move small objects around, and you'd like to examine these tools more closely.
[[Pick up the chisel]]
[[Pick up the hammer]]
[[Pick up the carving of a dolphin]](set: $heldItem to "chisel")
The handle is a little loose. Edgar must have had this a long time. You hold the chisel close to your face. You can almost feel the warmth of Edgar's hands emanating from it.
[[What's that sound?]](set: $heldItem to "hammer")
The weight of the hammer is satisfying in your semi-transparent hand. Edgar must have spent many hours in this room, tinkering away at his projects. You wish you could have seen him at work.
[[What's that sound?]](set: $heldItem to "dolphin")
The dolphin is beautifully detailed. He must have seen many of these gorgeous creatures back in his navy days. So many sights you didn't get to share.
[[What's that sound?]]You can hear someone humming.
You move towards the sound, absentmindedly bringing the $heldItem with you.
[[Your memory isn't what it was, you know.]]There's another door back here. As you drift towards it, you walk through a huge cobweb that settles on you like a dusty blanket. When did anyone last clean up around here?
[[You gently push the door open.]]The door creaks. It's surprisingly loud.
A man stands with his back to you. He seems to be whittling away at something.
Alarmed by the sound of the door, he spins around as fast as a guy in his mid-80s can spin around.
[[Edgar.]]He is so much older now. Of course he is. But you can still recognise him, even after all this time.
You raise your hands and glide towards him, happily calling out his name.
You're still holding the $heldItem aren't you?
Edgar's eyes fill with horror as he beholds you, this dusty spectre brandishing what looks like a deadly weapon.
[[He starts to back away.]]In his haste, he stumbles over the chair behind him and whacks his head on his workbench on the way down.
[[Edgar?]]You reach down and stroke his silvery hair.
He's dead and it's all your fault.
[[You scared him to death.]]As you stroke his hair, you see his spirit form rising from his body.
Edgar looks at you, his expression a picture of confusion. You take his hand, hoping to reassure him.
[[You smile at him.]]Maybe this isn't so bad. In fact, it might be great. Reunited after all these years.
Your parents set you up with your husband Roger when you were still numb from losing Edgar, and you never truly loved each other.
Now you have the chance to spend eternity with your first love.
[[Your only love.]]You're ready for forever now.
[[It's time to move on->It's time to move on 2]]Before taking your first steps into whatever lies beyond, you have to spend a few days in limbo. Lots of admin you see, and there's always a backlog after Halloween and all those hauntings.
On the day you're called forward to start your new afterlife, you're full of anticipation.
Hand-in-hand with Edgar, [[you step into the light]].Before your eyes can adjust to the brightness, Edgar lets go of your hand.
There, standing before you in a beautiful ivory gown, is an elegant woman with a warm smile.
Edgar rushes towards her and they embrace.
[[Oh great. His wife.]]Of course his wife is here. What were you thinking, Henrietta?
Edgar turns once more to look at you. "Thank you, Henrietta, for reuniting us".
He turns back to his wife. They link arms and walk away, vanishing into the glittering haze.
[[Darn]]At least you got to see him one more time.
[[You sigh, and turn away to start eternity.]]You're surprised to find her in your house, sat on the floor, surrounded by old photo albums. She looks lost in a wave of nostalgia as she gazes at pictures of family vacations and get-togethers.
[[There's something you want her to see.]]Your spirit form is just strong enough to move small objects around, so you might be able to nudge something down from the shelf above Shannon.
[[Nudge the 'I heart Maine' baseball cap]]
[[Nudge the framed photo of all three daughters]]
[[Nudge the red photo album]]The photo tips over, landing face down on the shelf. Shannon reaches up and puts the photo back where it should be. A look of bitterness passes over her face as she looks at the photograph. Shannon and her sisters at Hannah's 21st birthday party.
How could you forget? The morning after that party was the first time the two of you fought. She was so angry at you for something you said about her boyfriend. You were kidding, but she took days to forgive you.
Try again, Henrietta.
[[There's something else you'd like her to see.->There's something you want her to see.]]The cap drops down beside Shannon. She laughs as she picks it up, thinking of the fun she used to have with her sisters, playing on the beach.
Shannon puts on the cap and keeps looking through the photo album.
[[There's something else you'd like her to see.->There's something you want her to see.]]The red album drops down to the floor with a thump, opening its pages wide.
Shannon picks it up and starts looking through it. Every photo is of her. Surprised, she glances at the front cover.
A big paper heart has been taped to the front. On it is written 'Shannon'. She laughs. This is not what she was expecting.
[[She keeps looking through the album.]]Baby photos. Sunny days at the playground. Her first day at school. Her prom night with that lurid pink dress. A goofy graduation photo.
All of Shannon.
[[A blank page.]]Shannon frowns. Sighs. Moves to put the album back on the shelf.
No! There's more!
[[You have to stop her.]]You reach out to Shannon, your hand brushing against her hair. She jumps at the touch, sending the album falling to the floor again.
This time, it falls open near the back.
[[Shannon sees what you have been doing for the last year.]]Every photo of Shannon that she shared on Facebook has been carefully printed and cut out. Pasted with obvious affection into the last few pages of the album.
You've been looking out for her all this time. You never stopped being proud of her, even after your last big argument.
[[You never stopped loving her.]]You reach down to hold her hand, but all she can feel is a warm sensation. Like coming home.
Shannon smiles, chuckling to herself when she realises that you've even kept that terrible photo of her with that ill-advised haircut from last spring.
[[She'll always be beautiful to you.]]Shannon closes the album and places it carefully into her bag.
She whispers to the air around her "I love you, Mom".
[[It's time to move on->It's time to move on 3]]Before taking your first steps into whatever lies beyond, you have to spend a few days in limbo. Lots of admin you see, and there's always a backlog after Halloween and all those hauntings.
On the day you're called forward to start your new afterlife, you take one final look at the world you left behind.
[[You look down at your three daughters.]]They're together at your wake, showing each other cheesy photos from your teenage years. Where did they find those? They are laughing at a photo of you with your own hairstyle disaster. You look far worse than Shannon ever did.
They have each other. You know they are going to be ok.
With this final look at your family gathered together, you feel truly ready to move on.
[[You step into the light.]]Nice job, Henrietta! You really made a difference with your impressive haunting skills.
Now you have eternity to look forward to.
If you're curious about how your other hauntings would have worked out, you can [[try again->Start]].
[[CREDITS]]Created by Katie Benson
Thank you for playing - this game was made for ECTOCOMP 2017 in La Petite Mort category for games made in three hours or less.
If you have any feedback, or just want to tell me who you would haunt if you got the chance, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org!Hilda presses a button on the arm of her scooter. A little compartment pops open, and you can see that it's filled with the same, shiny candy you used for your trail.
[[You sigh, and turn away to start eternity.]]