Monday, March 29, 2010

Classified: Not for Public Distribution

You find a box in the attic.

Decals and stamps conceal the crack between the lid and the rest of the box.  They warn that the contents are not to seen save by authorized personnel of the highest highest rank.  Breaking these seals reveals a slim book containing sure-fire instructions on how to raise children to be virtuous, intelligent, and well-adjusted.

Could be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands.

Friday, March 26, 2010

…or Half Empty

You find a box in the attic.

Within the box resides a bottle in the shape of a fifth of liquor.  Within the bottle resides a quantity of fluid, clear and pure.  Attached to the bottle is a label describing its contents.  The tasteless fluid gives anyone taking a sip several hours of bodily pleasure and emotional bliss, followed by painless death.  In several languages this warning graces the label.

The bottle is half full.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dial “1” for Krypton

Enter the Mansion’s Library.  Find the Comic Book section.  Wait for a catastrophe.  Close your eyes.  Open your eyes.  Look to your right.

Before you — lodged between the stacks — stands a telephone booth.  Enter the phone booth.  Take off your clothes.  A latex jumpsuit adheres to your now-toned body.  Exit the phone booth.  Make sure that your cape doesn’t get caught in the door as you close it.

Exit the Mansion.  Fly away.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Learn ‘Undo’ First

You find a box in the attic.

A magic wand rests in a case lined with red felt.  A classic wand — black shaft, white cap, forearm’s length.  Tapping something (or someone) with this wand while shouting “ka-ZAM!” will make that thing (or person) disappear.  There is no obvious way to bring back anything which has been thus dematerialized.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Hedge Maze

The Hedge Maze is east of the Mansion, past the Greenhouse.

Enter the Maze and turn around.  A wall of leaves takes the space where the entrance was.  Find the center of the Maze.  If an animal crosses your path (a doe, a frog, a lamb, a wumpus), stay still until it passes.  If a whirlwind crosses your path, walk past it or else it will carry you back to where you started.

Yet another gazebo stands at the center of the Maze.  Standing amidst the columns will make the hedges unfold into topiaries.  The topiaries will shift and arrange themselves, revealing an exit out of the Maze.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don’t Let the Ball Die

You find a box in the attic.

This box contains balls for various sports: baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, table tennis, and so forth.  They are normal in all respects except that — when dropped — they will roll around the floor… and never quite stop.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Reverse Fountain

Clouds of hissing mist speed over the bare gravel surrounding the fountain.  Blocks of ice form a bowl in the midst of the dirt.  Lava oozes from the center of the bowl and melts the ice.  New blocks lift from the ground and push the newly-congealed rocks aside.  The rocks crumble and join the rest of the gravel.  The ice fountain ascends atop the pile of warm earth.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sea of Grass

The fields of grass begin several miles west of the Mansion.  They cover the balance of space between the ravine before you and the horizon beyond it.  An ankle-high carpet of green beneath a cloudless roof of blue.

A low-roofed shack sits at the edge of the ravine.  A slanted sheet of corrugated metal tops four walls of cinder blocks.  A large window looks out to the ravine, to the grass, to the horizon beyond them.  A metal door permits entrance from the opposite wall.

You stand on the plywood floor, as does column of cinder blocks.  At waist-level, a plywood console stands on those blocks.  One dial of compass directions.  One slider of amplitude, set to zero.

Lifting the slider lifts the soil of the fields into hills that roll like ocean waves in the direction marked by the compass.  The grass slides smoothly above the swelling hills; no rumble or quaking disturbs your feet.  Lift the slider higher, and the hills rise upward, move faster, toss blades of grass as foam in the sky.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Smoke Screen

You find a box in the attic.

In this box, you find a fine-meshed metal screen, of similar weave as that found in screen doors.  A power cord extends from one corner of the frame.  If smoke touches the screen while it is plugged in, the smoke will adhere to the mesh and reform into bits of wood of the same kind as what it burned off from, leaving the air clean.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Holy Smoke

From the Lexicon.

Holy Smoke (noun):  Penumbra of those persons, places, and objects ritually detached from those things not emitting said penumbra.  The aforesaid are dedicated for the use of ceremonies, feints, and other rituals as delineated in an orthodox collection of Liturgical Ephemerides.

Also known as the Odor of Sanctity.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Box Blocks

You find a box in the attic.

In this box, you find a pile of wooden blocks, painted in different shades of brown.  If you arrange the blocks into the shape of a box, then the blocks will transform into a box of that shape.  Opening that box will reveal it to be empty.  You can place any item into the box so long as it will fit.  Closing the lid will transform the box back into a pile of blocks.

Reforming the blocks into the same arrangement will bring back the previous box with the item which you placed within it.  Arranging the blocks into a different order will form a different box which may or may not be empty.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Identity Theft

You find a box in the attic.

This box contains dozens of falsified identification papers of various sorts: passports, drivers licenses, security badges, even school ID’s.  The papers appear to have been issued by most major institutions in the industrialized world.  All of them bear a recent photograph of you.