The Scarecrow

This is just a quick post to introduce an interactive fiction I’m working on at the moment. It’s called “The Scarecrow” and is a short horror story set in Suffolk a few years after the end of the Napoleonic wars. You play the part of a nameless traveller with a mysterious past who happens upon an isolated cottage. As the traveller explores the surreal landscape they realise that not everything is as it seems. The story itself will explore themes of isolation (both literal and perceived) and whether or not someone can truly enjoy calm in the wake of a storm.

The setting is inspired by this painting by John Constable;

John_Constable_A_Cottage_in_a_Cornfield

With additional inspiration being drawn from Frankenstein, HP Lovecraft and Slaughterhouse Five (I also realised that I have unintentionally poached quite a lot of ideas from “A harvesting Moon” by Michael White) . I am writing this mainly to explore and learn the Z-Code platform but also to attract the attention of some of my writer friends who I would like to collaborate with (hello if you’re listening!)

I don’t know when this will be done as creative writing is not something that comes particularly naturally to me (and there’s quite a lot of research involved because I know nothing about nineteenth century agriculture either – yet!) but the coding is well underway and I’m hoping to get it published within the next few months.

Here’s a sneak peek of the intro;

“In the winter of 1815, after countless millions had perished, the Napoleonic Wars came to an end. The little corporal Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France for the decade previous, was exiled to the volcanic island of St Helena where he would see out the last six years of his life.

The end of the Napoleonic wars saw the start of a great agricultural depression in the United Kingdom that would last for a quarter of a century. Many farms succumbed to abandonment and disrepair as both landlords and tenants fell into bankruptcy.

It is in the wake of this ruin, far from the bloody fields of Waterloo and Rocquencourt, that you find yourself standing on a long farm road in Suffolk, surrounded by fields of oat and barley. Save for the carrion crow circling above, a dull lifelessness hangs in the air like mist and you feel your heart mourning for the rural paradise now lost to time and neglect.

Five hundred miles away, in seemingly unrelated events, a young author called Mary Shelley has finished writing her first novel, ‘The Modern Prometheus’…”

I’ve felt dead creatively for so long now, and starting this has woken up that side of my brain. More updates soon!

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