Something has gone horribly wrong.

A powerful earthquake has caught you and your friends — the legendary masters of magic — by surprise, and as clouds of darkness billow on the horizon an owl bursts from the gloom, approaching your party with urgency.

My Master wizard, Valan, has gone crazy!” cries the Owl, stumbling over his words. “He suddenly became obsessed with power, and is at this very moment conducting a dark ritual that will plunge the land of Seradel into darkness.”

You and your party exchange alarmed glances, and can feel in your bones that you’ve stumbled upon your…

“I dreamt that we were dreaming a dream together you and I, and we were trapped in a house, big as memory…”

I find myself curled up in a twin bed, shoulder-to-shoulder with another audience member. A woman in a simple and elegant white gown sits by our bedside, holding a lantern that fills the room with a soft, warm glow. Her gentle demeanor and comforting smile put me at ease, and she explains that it’s time for a bedtime story. When she instructs me to close my eyes, I comply, allowing myself to sink into the sound of her voice. She proceeds to weave a curious narrative of a girl living in a house as big as memory, whose ability to…

… 1 want 2 call 1n2 r3al1ty th3 futur3 u will d3sign3 2 b.

I close my eyes, and pretend I’m falling asleep. I imagine that I’m dreaming, and let visions of the future dance across my imagination. I grasp at shadows of realized potential, trying to find the elusive space where my purpose in the world exists in perfect balance with my own desires and needs.

Lk ur f1nd1ng th3 plac3s 1n urs3lf that fe3lt lk h0les..and f1ll th3m up w this dr3am 0f th3 futur3..

As I open my eyes, the artificial intelligence on the other side of…

A thin sleeping bag is all that separates me from the creaky wooden floor I’m sitting on. I can feel the nylon twist beneath me as I readjust, turning in the direction of the banging noises coming from the hall. My friends chuckle nervously, reassuring one another that ghosts aren’t real. A crash of thunder interrupts their anxious chatter, and an abrupt downpour of rain reveals a leaky roof right above our heads. What did we expect? Abandoned houses aren’t exactly known for being well-maintained. Attempting to soothe our frazzled nerves proves to be an exercise in futility, and we…

I turn to face a metal door, overcome with morbid curiosity as to what lies behind it. An unnatural purple glow reflects off the ornate patterns adorning its surface. I only have a few seconds to inspect the door before it slowly swings open, its groans echoing down the hallway behind me. A brass candelabra holding three lit candlesticks floats into my field of vision, leading the way into the room. I reluctantly follow, and recoil in disgust as I take in my surroundings. Massive cobwebs hang from the branches of dead trees that loom against the circular room’s stone…

Siempre hay dos lados a una historia…”

I’m on the phone with a murderer, but I can’t bring myself to hang up. In the background, I can hear something in the other room inexplicably clatter to the ground, which throws the murderer, Cooper, into a nervous frenzy. The only other person in the house, Cooper’s former partner and the mother to his child, is currently floating facedown in an overflowing bathtub. It’s safe to say that she’s in no state to be knocking down objects in the other room. I listen as Cooper grabs his five-year-old daughter, Rachel, and forces her to crawl under the bed with…

I sway gently in a rocking chair, nestled underneath a fleece blanket. A mug of hot mint tea, still steaming, warms my hands as I direct my attention toward the Jubilee Public Access Radio morning broadcast. The host cordially welcomes his listeners, and begins by meandering through the brief and humble history of the town of Jubilee, Ohio. As he proceeds to the weather forecast, the host advises his listeners to tuck their pants into their boots to keep them dry amidst the deep snow. Unexpectedly, he addresses me directly, asking how I’m feeling. With a smile, I reply that…

“INCOMING CALL from your CASEWORKER…”

I sit cross-legged on the floor of a cramped closet. A candle flickers in the corner and a string of fairy lights glow softly above my head; together, they fill the closet with a faint, warm light. My phone is resting atop a clipboard in my lap when it buzzes, notifying me that I am receiving a call from an unknown number. I accept the call, and a woman on the other line confirms my name. Her voice is alive with enthusiasm as she greets me and asks how it was. I’m not sure what…

Five otherworldly, humanoid entities stand side by side in formation, moving in perfect harmony. They wear hooded, iridescent robes, and intricate masks obscure their faces. Each mask radiates out from the entity’s face in a steampunk-meets-Aztec halo of metallic fractals; where the eyes should be are three small, reflective lenses arranged in a pyramid. Behind the entities looms a towering wall alive with projected black-and-white patterns. The wall itself seems to breathe, washing ripples of light and shadow over the entities as the patterns expand and contract. Before each entity stands a hand-picked audience member, all of whom suddenly seem…

Emma Lee

Immersive Theater Reviewer • Creator at Firefly Tapestry Storytelling • Escape Room Enthusiast

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