I only have excuses for four.
Yesterday, something I thought would take like 15-30 minutes ended up taking 1.5 hours and I still didn't get it perfect (I gave up on making it right and just posted it as-is in spite of the errors within), when my plan was very specifically to go to bed early so that I could wake up early enough to take a desperately-needed shower. (Which I did, it just meant that I went straight to bed.)
Saturday, I went to bed before midnight because I need to get up early on Sundays for work. Really early. Like, need to go to bed at 9 pm (10 pm due to daylight savings time this week) to get up at like 5 am or so, which meant no blog then due to poor time management.
Friday, well, I watched the entirety of the League of Legends Worlds 2021 final live. (Well...except for the postgame. When Damwon lost, I just left immediately. Nothing against EDG, they earned their win; on the day, there is no question that they were the better team. But like, I really wanted DWG to win, so when they didn't, I just lost any interest in watching the aftermath.)
Thursday, I streamed Kingdom but while I ended my stream due to my parents getting up, I kept playing until 8 am. (Whoops.) "Just...one...more...night..." applied.
Of course, stuff has happened!
I got the answer I was looking for on the character from Phyrra and Cyrus. (The term I was looking for which applies is Gender Non-conforming.)
I came up with THREE horror stories on Sunday!
Two of them formed instinctively in my brain when I had the idle thought of, "what would an inverse-Freddy be for horror?", and my brain quickly, automatically, gave me the answer in the form of two fully fleshed out takes that both qualify as being inverting the mechanics of Freddy.
The first, a story I am conditionally calling, "The Darkest Sleep", I can best describe as "Inverse-Freddy meets Final Destination meets Alan Wake". Basically, in a small town, a darkness comes upon the citizens, a darkness that brings their nightmares to life, with the nightmares able to hurt everyone, but hunting down to target the source of the dreamer.
In other words, every time someone goes to sleep (making sleep dangerous), instead of the danger being in their dreams invisible to the real world but capable of hurting them, the danger is visible to everyone except the dreamer, and very much real. Being manifested from darkness, they are weak to light, but they are very much capable of killing multiple people and even in some cases outlasting the dreamer's nightmare. (For instance, a zombie apocalypse doesn't go away when the dreamer wakes up, at least not entirely. It's weakened, it's lessened, but not removed altogether. A tornado might start to dissipate when the dreamer wakes up, but doesn't suddenly vanish in an instant.)
The story would cover the outbreak, covering multiple characters and what happens to them and how they eventually manage to fight the darkness/dreams.
The second, a story I am conditionally calling, "Don't Wake Up", I actually lowkey think would be better as an actual horror game, but I still think it's definitely writeable as a novel.
The basic premise: a family in a car uses a 30-year-old map instead of their GPS, taking a turn onto an old disused road instead of the main path because according to the map, it was a more direct route to their destination.
Predictably, this does not go well.
Their car takes a beating, and ultimately, it just barely manages to limp its way into a town;
Farmville, a town with the slogan "Where Dreams Come True".
But immediately, things are a bit eerie. The town appears to be basically a ghost town. Everything is 25 years old, dated, beaten, worn, etc., and yet the town still stands in spite of the disrepair. If it were fully abandoned, things like foliage should've taken over, buildings should've collapsed, etc. But while the town is in a state of disrepair, with basically no technology working, the buildings are still intact. Beaten, but not broken.
Around the town, there are a bunch of "graffiti", red words spelling out things that mostly just look like nonsense, naysayers, paranoia, "end of the world" talk, propaganda, etc., to an uninformed individual's eye. Messages like "There Is No Escape", "Don't Trust The Farmer", and such are strewn about.
And the family of four comes across a Farmer. Wielding a shovel, wearing a straw farmer's hat on his head, in blue overalls with a plaid/red shirt, big brown boots and gloves, the full look. He smiles at them, acts friendly, and gives them the suggestion that they can get help by waking up one of the denizens inside a building he leads them to.
After they do what the helpful farmer asks them to (you can guess where this is going), the citizen woken up goes "Oh no...", and the farmer reveals his true colors.
The protagonist, the older child, manages to flee, while his(well, ambiguously-his, this story is written in first person, protagonist is named Ash, is masculine, but is not actually strictly speaking gendered as I want to leave it open but for the sake of the narrative I use 'he' for the protagonist here as the main reason for the ambiguity is the potential for gender-flex if made into a game because before I had the idea of it being a game he was just a young teenaged guy unambiguously) younger sister faints as the three present (their parents and the woken up person are slaughtered).
So how does this inverse-Freddy work?
In the town of Farmville, The Farmer is an immortal serial killer. He cannot be killed. And he is out to murder everyone. However, he has certain limitations. He cannot leave the boundaries of the town, permanently trapped in Farmville. And secondly, more importantly, he can only appear when someone is awake within the city bounds of Farmville. If nobody is awake, he disappears, he vanishes.
When someone does wake, he spawns in the town center, and from there, knowing someone is awake, he attempts to hunt them down.
Of course, things aren't as easy for him as they might seem, and not as easy for the denizens of Farmville, either. You can see some obvious loopholes he could try to exploit and some obvious loopholes they could try, but as it turns out, there's more rules to The Farmer's "Game".
The citizens of Farmville are themselves trapped inside the city bounds. They are just as trapped with The Farmer as The Farmer is. They can't just leave.
However, when the citizens of Farmville go to sleep, they are completely immune to any form of harm. They cannot be harmed by any method. And The Farmer is incapable of waking them up, by any method. He can't do anything to harm them or wake them up...if they are sleeping.
That, aside from the fact that if everyone is sleeping, he vanishes into nonexistence.
The rules partially apply to visitors, but visitors don't work identically. The Farmer still spawns if visitors are awake, and still despawns if those visitors go to sleep, but visitors do not get the perma-sleep that the natural citizens of Farmville do. They will wake up. They don't have total immunity while asleep, but do have partial immunity while asleep. The Farmer can't hurt a sleeping visitor. The Farmer can't force a visitor awake, either.
So, visitors sleeping get more safety, and if everyone is asleep even visitors, The Farmer despawns.
But, visitors, unlike the citizens, can and do wake up.
The citizens can only be woken up by force by the visitors (think kinda like Inception style with a "kick").
And with Ash's family entering Farmville, The Farmer began the latest round of his sick game. With Ash trying his best to survive/escape with his sister.
There's a little bit of extra.
Every individual killed by The Farmer doesn't leave a body--they dissolve, and then their dissolved form takes the shape of red letters...which record their last thoughts. "What's going on???" "I don't understand..." "They've doomed me!" are red letters that Ash sees when revisiting the building where The Farmer revealed his true nature to Ash's family--visitors leave red stains just the same as citizens do.
This has been going on for 25 years, but the government didn't ignore things altogether. They investigated Farmville, and were able to, eventually, verify the supernatural nature of the ongoings there, and discretely took action, removing Farmville from the map, creating detours around the city on all four sides, but also did their part to try and help the citizens, by dropping in a bunch of equipment for forcing sleep. (Taking the form of needles to inject, forcing immediate sleep.)
The fewer knowing about it, the less there'd be idiots going "Don't go there? Pfft, yeah right! I'm going there!!!". Including some idiots in the government because if it were widespread knowledge in the government then it need not be a citizen going there, it could be someone who has the information but doesn't believe it all and wants to see it for themselves.
So instead of a hard-quarantine where they blockade it off, they took the much subtler route of making the old road be, well...an old road, that basically nobody would go on, and made it as hard as possible to stumble upon Farmville. This has a very high success rate, albeit not foolproof, as proven by Ash's family.
The less it looks like the government was trying to hide something, the less it'd be investigated, basically. So with it not looking like the government was hiding anything, nobody investigated, so the government kept the world as safe from The Farmer as possible and the denizens of Farmville as safe from harm as they could. Knowledge of what happened there became strictly need-to-know, with basically nobody in the know.
The denizens of Farmville did their own part as well, trying to create hiding places, stashes/caches, etc., where The Farmer couldn't find individuals, couldn't destroy their equipment, etc.
So Ash has been given the tools, from the sleep serum to the hiding spots, to survive, but it's still...well. Not easy, because The Farmer has been hunting the area for 25 years and knows when something is amiss, knows when something has been disturbed, knows when something has changed, having stalked the entirety of the town over the 25 years and scoped it out.
He doesn't know every nook and cranny, but he's found some hiding spots, some things, just by time. He's got very good knowledge, but also a disadvantage of not instantly knowing where the waking person is. He has to guess. And even if he guesses right, there's travel time from the town center.
Which gives Ash the fighting chance needed.
The third horror story is a short story about a possessive tool coming back, not as well fleshed out but basically, person finds tool, tool is useful, keeps coming back...but then won't leave and can cause harm to others. (A bit more cliche admittedly.)
And in more recent news, today I basically made a friend! I don't want to share details because details are details that go beyond what should be shared publicly, but saying I have a friend now is still okay, so like. I have a new friend! That's legit something I've not made for YEARS. And it is AMAZING.