(set: $rp to 0)(set: $cut to 0)(set: $nightmare to 0)(set: $trust to 0)(set: $hurts to 0)(set: $struggled to 0)A wall of sheer rock lies before you.
How did you get here? It's uncertain. Everything is uncertain, and likely irrelevant. There is only a tall cliff, and trees around you, an a crack in the stone leading somewhere inside.
Something in your gut whispers to [[enter the cave|Cave Entry]]. But maybe you could [[explore the trees|Forest]] first.
It's dark in here. The exit remains pale and gleaming for a moment before your travels take you too far in to see it.
You must have gone around a corner. Or did you just lose track?
Your gut says to [[continue down|Deeper Cave]], but your mind says to [[go back|?]].The walls close in, like a warm and uncomfortable jacket. One made of rocks, and slightly slimy. This simile was probably a mistake. Nerves, just nerves.(set: $rp +=1)
You can't [[go back|????]] now. Just [[go forward|Even Deeper]].You try to return back up the passage. The slope is steeper than you remember, and the walls are unhelpfully moist.
Something disgusts you. It's hard to say what. Maybe you should [[turn back|??]].The trees surround you, half the height of the cliff and twice as unsettling. Something rustles. You could [[investigate|Investigate]], but maybe it's better to [[go back|Tall Cliff, again.]]. (set: $rp -=1)
(set: $rp -= 1)There. You saw something move. The leaves twitch. Your guts roil and rebel at some awful smell you can't identify. A body? A plant?
There's nothing there. Just grass. Maybe it was a rabbit. But what was the smell? Are you sure you don't want to [[go back|Tall Cliff, again.]]?
The [[investigation|Look Closer]] calls, but maybe your intuition is right.A wall of sheer rock lies before you, surrounded by murmuring trees. A crack in the stone leads somewhere inside.
You [[enter the cave|Cave Entry]].(set:$rp -= 2)There's only grass here. Nothing of interest.
Barely aware, you trudge up to the cave, and [[enter|Cave Entry]].That can't be right. The way you went is gone too.
[[Pick a direction, any at all.|???]][[It is so very dark.|Deeper Cave]]You can't be here. [[You're not allowed|Memory]].The cave widens out, but that doesn't help much.(set: $rp +=1)
You can hear the [[trickle of stream|Stream]] somewhere nearby. More water [[drips|Under the Ceiling]] from above you, and the passage [[continues onward|Deeper, Yet Deeper]]. The water is... tempting(if: $nightmare is 2)[, and would probably make you feel better after whatever nightmare you just had].You don't remember anything at all. (set: $nightmare to 1)Something inside you [[screams|It's Dark]].You can't even feel the walls. It must be a dream. It has to. You can't remember anything at all. Your throat is hoarse, and your insides burn.(if: $rp is -2)[ It's so angry. You've been so rude. It hurts.](if: $rp is -1)[ It's angry, but you hope for mercy. It hurts.](if: $rp is 0)[ Did you anger it? What did you do? It hurts.](set: $nightmare to 2)
If only you could [[wake up|Awake]].You're awake, and the cave is still very, very [[dark|Even Deeper]].The water rushed and babbles before you as you wander to the right of where you first entered. You can't see, but locate the banks by sound, and kneel by the edge, close enough to taste the smell that clean running water has.
You reach a hand out, and touch the surface, feeling the cool ripples against your skin(if:$cut is 1)[, soothing the edges of the cut on your palm. The smell of blood fills the water. It's beautiful]. (if:$hurt is 1)[At least it hurts less, now.]
You could go to the [[sound of falling droplets|Under the Ceiling]], your gut says to follow the [[passage|Deeper, Yet Deeper]].You step a little to the left from the entrance, and a few cold droplets hit your head, dampening your hair and splashing your face and shoulders. A sound of the [[stream|Stream]] continues, and the [[passage|Deeper, Yet Deeper]] beckons.(set: $rp -= 1)(set: $rp +=1)The darkness doesn't let up. The dripping water and burbling stream fade into the distance behind you, and the surface grows sharp and unkind beneath your bare feet. A jagged bit of wall cuts your hand open,(if: $rp > 2)[ but you barely feel it until the blood rolls down your arm and dribbles from your elbow.](else:)[ and you grit your teeth. It hurts, but in a dull sort of way. That's... concerning.](set: $cut to 1)(set:$hurts to 1)
Perhaps you should [[turn back|Between the Rain and the Stream]]? Your gut says to [[keep going|Depths]], thought.You can hear the [[trickle of the stream|Stream]] somewhere nearby. More water [[drips|Under the Ceiling]] from above you, but your gut whispers to return and [[follow the passage|Deeper, Yet Deeper]].(set:$rp-=1)It's so very dark. You should have brought something.
[[Follow your gut|Further]]. It know what's best. There is no [[turning back|Remember]].The world tilts. You can't even see how. You face slams against the stone. [[It doesn't hurt.|Stay]]You don't remember anything at all. You can't think. You can't breathe.
You gut shrieks like a wild animal. It's so dark(if: $nightmare>0)[, and [[it hurts|Dream, Again]]].
[[Something speaks.|Listen]]It's not dark anymore. The light is piercing, blinding, burning. Your innards burn.(set: $trust = -1)
[[You can't seem to--|Wake Up, Again]]Something gurgling and soft. Familiar. Soothing.
"[[Trust me|Trust]]," it whispers. "Just [[trust me|Trust]]. You're safe here. It will end soon."
The world is a spinning night sky, dark and full of flashing pulsing stars. (if: $rp < 3)[[You have to trust it. You don't want to.|Don't]]The cave. You're here. Again.(if: $trust is 1)[
What was that thing? Why couldn't you help but trust it? What did it want?](if: $trust is 0)[That was terrifying. You don't plan on trusting it. Ever.]
You must have fallen. The stone is cool and brittle against your cheek. Your whole body feels battered and bruised. The darkness [[waits|Wait]].(set: $trust = 1)You can't speak, but you [[trust it|Wake Up]].(set: $rp +=1)[[it hurts it hurts it hurts it hurts|Wake Up]](set: $rp -= 1)[[The world shifts in and out.|Wake Up, Again]]You stay there. You're fine. It's all fine.
(if:$rp > 2) [You've been good. You followed your gut. That thing likes you. It's strange how you forgot why you were here, though. It must be waiting for you.](else-if: $rp > 0)[You've been a bit rude, but it is merciful. The creature will forgive you.](else:)[You've disobeyed it time and time again. It must be furious. (if: $nightmare is 2)[The thought terrifies you.]]
You just have to [[wait|Wait]].You don't move, just stare into the darkness. How long have you been here? It's hard to say.
(if: $hurts is 1)[Your hand still aches, and your head throbs.](else:)[Your head throbs.] The stone is so nice and cool against your skin. You could sleep here [[forever|Forever]].What would it mean to sleep forever, anyway?
Everything is so hazy. Things move at the corner of your eyes. The world is wrong, rotating, shaking, dizzying. Your chest burns and burns until you're shrieking and clawing and shaking harder than the world.
You have a desparate need. You need to move. To reach. There is another stream, further along. Or you could try to [[struggle|Struggle]]. But it calls. Your gut says to [[follow|Go]].Your hands shake. (if: $cut is 1)[Your cut pulses. ]Everything blurs as your eyes tear up, and your gut blazes in pain.(set: $struggled to 1)(if: $rp > 2)[(set: $trust to 1)]
The water is so nice. You want to [[go|Go, Now]] so badly. (if: $rp < 3)[You have to [[stay|Don't Go]].] (if: $trust < 1)[(if: $trust is 0)[You can't trust it. Not that creature, and not this feeling.](else:)[You can't trust this feeling.]]
You follow your intuition. You follow the faint sound of the stream. This one is deeper and louder as you approach, a river or a brook. On shaking legs, you stumble forward, and reach for the river.
(if: $rp < 1 )[You [[struggle|Struggle]]. (if: $trust is 0)[You can't help it. You don't trust that thing. If it's in your head...]](else:)[You [[approach the river|River]].]You stand at the river. Your body trembles as your step onto the bank. You can't even think, only act.(if: $struggled is 0)[ Just one more step and it will be over.
You trust it. You step forward, and lean over the edge, and don't even feel the drop as you fall.
The stones are not merciful, but you can't even feel it. The thing is so kind to you. (if: $hurts is 1)[Your hand doesn't hurt anymore either.]
[[You trust it.|Bad End]]]
(if: $struggled is 1)[You can't. You will. It's all a blur. You slip into the water like a child into a soft blanket.
There is no light. The water fills your mouth and nose, your lungs and guts. The stone is unkind. Your screams are unheard.
[[It hurts.|You Tried]]]
In the water, it frees itself. The thing in your guts splashes out and colors the already reddening water, and your world is bliss.
It doesn't hurt.
ENDIt's so difficult to resist. You can't.
You [[give in|River]].You curl up by the water, clutching at your middle. The world slides around you and whirls like a top. Something bursts free and crawls out of your innards and you are most definitely going to die. It crawls over you like a thousand slimy ants, filling your mouth and nose and ears and eyes.
You have still won. You will die, but it will, too. It cannot reach the river. It cannot spawn. It cannot continue.
Your face, under all the swarming things, is something like a smile.
ENDThe thing in your guts bursts free, and fills the water with itself.
You sink like a stone. Your mind slurs and softens.
It will live on.