The maid woman is speaking towards me. I have the knife held out before me, as always, but she does not seem to mind. We are in the resistance's headquarters, and she is explaining some potentially meaningful piece of information about the men that are leading the operation.
I shuffle forwards and backwards, my feet clopping loudly on the floor. To get around more quietly, I crouch. Spinning in place, I dart my eyes all over the room and occasionally jump. After a bit of experimentation I climb on to a bunk bed and make a dramatic leap to the top of a bookshelf. It's awesome. It's also a little dizzying. I'm not so good with heights. The maid keeps talking.
There, in the corner. A can of food! I brush past the chatty woman, focusing on the container. It's some sort of processed whale. I inhale the whole thing at once. It flies off the floor, spinning in the air as it enters my face. The sound that I produce is a comic and surprisingly brief *MUNCH*. The sustenance would have healed me if I had any injuries. That's nice to know, I suppose. Mostly, though, I just like to see the food get tractor beamed into my mouth and hear the noise that I make when I eat it up.
As the maid keeps talking, I run around room at a breakneck speed, eating everything. Someone left a fruit on a bathtub. What kind of fruit was it? Don't know. Didn't get a chance to see what it was before I greedily consumed it.
There are coins. Coins of five. Coins of ten. Give me all of them. Fwip-fwip-fwip they go as I snap them up in rapid succession. There's a pouch with money in it. Hmm. Probably important to someone in this ramshackle dump. It's mine now.
I come across a device that plays back audio logs. When I mash the button, a new voice emerges and drones on, almost drowning the woman out. Almost. I am in a different room now, but she is still standing where she began, speaking as though I am there.
This new room has books. Lots of books. I grab them all, glancing at each just long enough to commit it to my Mental Journal Of Things I Read. Everything must be read. All food must be consumed. All money must be hoarded.
I wander into the first room to find that the maid is winding down. Crouching behind her, I steal a key from her belt. Why? It was shining and I knew that I could take it.
I pick up a bottle of wine, but it is empty. I can not even eat the glass. The maid has finally finished speaking. She doesn't seem to know what to do next. I turn and throw the bottle at her feet. It smashes into a hundred little pieces. I nod to myself for being so thoughtful. The woman now has purpose in her life.
Moments later I am downstairs in the bar, roughly bumping against the boss guy to initiate his conversation at me. As he begins to tell me about the importance of saving a little girl and the empire, I attempt to walk away and scrounge up some food. I can't. I'm held in place.
What foul magic is this? A frantic whine sticks in my throat as he continues his speech, babbling on and gesturing with his beer as if I was not being held captive. But wait! Though I can not walk about, I find that I'm able to turn in place. I use this to my advantage, surveying as much of the room as I can observe. The general guy lays out his detailed plans. I ignore him, making plans of my own. Gonna grab those coins. Gonna throw all of those glasses. Gonna eat that bunch of grapes.
Twenty cans of whale meat and a short boat ride later, I arrive at my drop-off point. I'm supposed to kill some guy, talk to someone, maybe save a few innocents? Something like that? All I can think about is how many pathways are before me. How many mouthfuls of food are waiting behind dumpsters, on fire escapes, and on plates in front of the bodies of people who died from that mysterious rat plague.
Eager to eat, I sprint into the open and make my first mistake. A guard has spotted me. He shouts, drawing a sword and pistol. The fool. I call upon my mystic power to stop time. All of my training. All of the power granted by a god who visited me in my dreams. It all comes down to this moment.
While the guard remains frozen in time, I dash from dumpster to dumpster, eating everything I find.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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