Biscuits and Ghosts

a Mystery / Puzzle by MadHattersDaughter

Commended by mizal on 7/19/2020 9:35:26 PM

Player Rating?/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 8 ratings since 07/19/2020
played 59 times (finished 9)

Story Difficulty2/8

"walk in the park"

Play Length5/8

"Not going to lose any sleep"

Maturity Level5/8

"aren't you a little too old to be trick or treating"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 13. If this were a movie, it would probably be PG-13.

An estranged lover meets an estranged lover, and together they solve a mystery that has been plaguing Blackwood for some time.

biscuits

The stunning conclusion to the Blackwood Chronicles!

And while this story does stand alone, a clever ghost might read Edithe Zilonis and Soul Thief beforehand. . .

Player Comments

This storygame is like a watercolor or an Impressionist painting with blurred edges, colors and emotions shading into each other. There are a lot left to the reader's imagination--questions about death and loss and lack of control, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I guess it's no secret that I am a huge fan of MHD's writing, and this didn't disappoint.

What struck me most about this story was how the choices were usually relatively quiet verbs (flicker, touch) used to drive the narrative and the emotion because, well, more active verbs don't make any sense. We are watching the narrative, and propelling it, and then watching and waiting and hoping that they can do what we want them to do. In that context, rattling the shutters, for example is the only way we can express sorrow or the desire to communicate or a warning, or whatever.

All we've got here are some choices, and we want to say "I love you" and all we can do is make a book fall or something. The gigantic gap between our verbs, what we want to say, and the result of our choice is huge, and affecting, and I wish I had thought of it first, because it is brilliant. We spend so much time trying to make the reader feel like they are in the shoes and head of the main character of a storygame that one feels adrift and frustrated and sad when you have only these choices to affect things, and that's great.

I enjoyed that so much that when the exposition (Memories/Continue) happens in the middle, it felt like learning this information over someone's shoulder. And the verbs after that--at least on the paths I've played--start to become more powerful--opening, and unlocking, and speaking, and showing, and slapping... The game would have been spectacular without that movement, without that progression, but with it, the game feels like it has so much emotional momentum.

I think this is right up there with my very favorites on the site.
-- Gower on 7/28/2020 10:24:26 AM with a score of 0
Before arriving at Bicuits and Ghosts' front page, I wasn't aware that I was a clever ghost. Seems I am though. I always knew it to be true. Anyway, the way BG is tied to the other stories, immediately piques my interest level. Edithe Zilonis was one of the best stories I've read on this site, so I entered BG with high hopes. And you know what? I left with them just as high.

In terms of proper grammar, there are certainly more than a few "mistakes." I hesitate to call them such as MHD's style tends to break the rules a bit. It's not because she lacks the understanding, though. Each story within the Blackwood Chronicles is written in the same way. Fragmented sentences, commas where they shouldn't be, untraditional paragraph breaks: it creates a unique setting for the reader, one in which I find myself drawn into (get it?). In fact, the entire read feels less like a novel, and more like an experienced story, like I'm sitting around a fireplace and being told a story.

As far as criticism goes, there's not much to offer in my opinion. Perhaps the main one mentioned will be the story's linear nature. It's similar in that regard to the other stories in the Chronicles, however, I don't think it takes away from the story at all. True, most people on the site would rather see several branches, complete with a 12 epilogue arsenal. MHD's writing is about perspective, which is fitting for her artistic nature. It's about viewing a story from different views, admiring the beauty of it from different angles. My rating wasn't affected negatively by the "lack of branching."

Most often, you're presented with two choices, none of which are END GAME links, to continue the story. MHD isn't out here to play "gotcha!" with a sudden death link. I can appreciate this as the reader as there's a sense of trust created, knowing full-well that a nonsensical death link isn't in my future. Often that's the case or mistake made by the author; they sense the story's linear and throw a few "sudden deaths" in the mix, which tend to be stupid, no-brainer choices to make. Instead, I'm corralled into a wonderful story with the option to experience it differently depending on the choices presented.

It's, in fact, quite as the title page suggests: a stunning conclusion to the Blackwood Chronicles. The story flows nicely, the characters are presented almost play-like, and it's a unique experience for a storygame. From one clever ghost to another, I *implore* you to give Biscuits and Ghosts a read.
-- ninjapitka on 7/26/2020 8:39:29 PM with a score of 0
I discovered this site very recently and this is the very first story I've read. Despite the intro, I didn't figure out I was a ghost until I was three or four pages in, but that "surprise" was actually quite delightful! Good story with good character development. The choices were fun to make and see I could make happen. This choose your own adventure story form seems particularly well suited to poltergeist stories like this. I will probably read through it again to explore the different characters more. Thanks for sharing it with us!
-- Panaceapill on 7/31/2020 11:58:24 PM with a score of 0
Ah. Like dark chocolate. Like rasberry tarts. Like having tea and biscuits with a phantom whom you share the unique understanding that tea is best served sugarless, creamless and hot enough to melt you teeth. It's pleasent, if a bit dark. Because it's written by you.
The prologue is dramatic. The figure speaking seems to siiiigh and stretch himself out upon every surface, waxing on about long-gone things in slightly lusty way. We move onto Chapter 1 and I'm somehow reminded of the opening of Pathologic-- The writing comes off a bit strange, almost like the characters are reading from a screenplay. I admit it was difficult for my brain to process at times, but that's to blame for the immense cerebral trauma I sustained from storming Viet cong villages, so disregard that. It must be because the lyrical quality. Everything seems to float.
It is linear, but I've never been one to harp on that because if the writing is decent than who am I to care? I feel silly now. I've been singing your praises with little valuble critisicm at all. Maybe I'm your fan. God forbid I enjoy your work...
It's delightful and fun to read. It's darkly sweet. You don't need my praise, but keep going with all your wonderfulness.
-- puddlebunni on 7/27/2020 1:58:53 PM with a score of 0
The writing in this story, like many of your others, is truly exceptional. Very character and dialogue-based it reminded me of a Shakespeare play with a small cast and your ability to create a very vivid story with words is considerable. I'd definitely recommend this excellent story from this genuinely gifted writer :D
-- Will11 on 7/20/2020 11:11:55 PM with a score of 0
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