In April 2020, I wrote and released Bear, a solo tabletop role-playing game (available here.) It is a game that allows the player to tell an ongoing story that they can revisit at any time (with the player imagined as a magically empowered patron of an adventurer in another world), and I’ve decided to write down the story I’ve been telling whilst playing it here.
Bear runs. Not thinking, not reflecting, not able to do anything other than run. Since her powers became known, she has become a target. Right now, a gang chases her as she almost tumbles down a banking and spiralling street.
A thought flashes. That she needs to honour her sister, and honour her training – she only left home when ready, after all. She spins, jumping and springing as others flood down, and flame emerges from her, dissolving the struts of nearby shopfronts that collapse in on and trap her pursuers.
Never having stopped moving, she runs, but against the resistance of something. Some mantra that she should always be able to walk away from a fight. Never forced to run. After all, that means the conflict isn’t over. Walking, however, is closure. Something she wants. Turning back, she brings more structures, walls and buildings down. And doesn’t need to run anymore.
She walks away down dwindling streets, not sure of how she feels. She almost doesn’t notice what happens until walking into it – the items in a shop drawn, by some invisible magnetic force, through the air, suspended lightly, draping themselves through the air across Bear’s path. She’s drawn to a necklace. One that leaks the colour black out into the world when Bear lies, knowing that she’s only pushing conflict back.
Bear drapes the necklace over her neck, sees that no one is around, no one is chasing. And as the items from the shop are drawn back, just as they were drawn out, she walks away.