Contact

rating: +18+x

Toggle FontToggle Font

Hello, dear reader. It’s a pleasure to see you again! Have you been doing well? Oh, you’re here for another story? Hmm… I know. You see, I had a rather unusual guest the other day… I had that written down somewhere… right, this book. Shall we begin? It all started when our peculiar visitor made a rather… spectacular entrance, so to speak. I was dusting off some shelves when I spotted this guest poking out of a floating shelf. I hadn’t noticed them entering, which in retrospect, is a little strange… They eventually fell off the shelf… good thing I was nearby.

“Are you alright, dear? You could have gotten hurt…”

They seemed rather confused, incredulous, even.

“What the fuck?”

“Please mind your language, dear.”

“Why? Is it going to kill me or something?”

They spoke in a nonchalant tone, with a little hint of annoyance.

“Well, no, but I’d much rather you be polite. Besides, good etiquette only takes a little effort.”

They got up, dusting themselves off. They stood at approximately eight feet tall and spoke as though they were having a casual conversation, a little improvement in tone, if I may add.

“Etiquette is a pointless concept. It’s too subjective and holds too many definitions and too little benefits in the long run.”

“It doesn’t cost much to be a little more formal, a little more respectful, don’t you agree?”

“I don’t understand how those would be beneficial to me in this situation. Anyways, where I am matters much more. What level is this? Who are you? Oh right, and what are your pronouns? Before I forget to ask you, I guess.”

“See? That’s a little better! Great job! To answer your questions, welcome to the Cygnus Archive. The M.E.G. refers to it as “Level 906”, but I much prefer its original designation. As for myself, you may call me Blanche, and in matters of pronouns, she/her would be my preferred.

They seemed a little confused… I can’t blame them, though. Proper etiquette can be daunting.

“What did I do better? Great job at what?”

“Your tone shifted, you seem to be taking our conversation a little more seriously, and most importantly, you’ve become a little more polite. You seem to be rather unfamiliar with the concepts of etiquette, but worry not. I don’t mind teaching you a little, if you’d like. Otherwise, simple respect is more than enough. But you seem to grow bored of this little chat on manners. Well, I have introduced myself, it is only fair you do the same, don’t you think, dear?

“I don’t know how the basic identification request counts as a part of “etiquette”, but okay? I don’t have a name, and I don’t see the need for pronouns, but I’ve learned the hard way that humans are quite insistent that everything around them conforms to their expectations in one way or another. So hello, call me…Zero, I suppose. Most people use they/them pronouns when referring to me, but as you could reasonably guess, I don’t care what you use.”

“Zero… I see. Very well, it is a pleasure to meet you! I don’t recall ever having a guest quite like you… Would you like to join me for a cup of tea?”

“I don’t need to drink or eat for sustenance. “

“Neither do I, dear, but I feel as though it can prove quite enjoyable nonetheless.”

Their tone shifted again, revealing a little frustration.

“You’re not human?”

“I did just prevent your fall without moving at all… So it should be obvious, no?”

“It would be more obvious if you didn’t look so human. And up until this point, I’d yet to meet a creature with telekinetic abilities. You should’ve said this before.”

“In hindsight, it was a bit inconsiderate of me. My apologies.”

“Okay.”

They stared blankly at nothing in particular for a few seconds.

“I’ll ask once again. Would you like to join me for a cup of tea? I already have a pot brewing. We could have some biscuits too, if you’d like. I feel as though they’re the perfect company for a lovely chat.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Ah. I often forget my guests are more acquainted with hostile environments, but I promise you I mean no harm.”

“Whether or not you “mean” harm does not matter to my thoughts, people don’t have “lovely chats” or eat biscuits during their “lovely chats” for no reason. You can put a person, creature, and/or living thing in danger without meaning harm.”

“Well, that wouldn’t be exactly polite, don’t you think? I believe I'm quite adept at practicing the manners I so frequently preach. Besides, I wouldn’t have collected so many of my guests’ stories if I had harmed them.”

“This is our realm, collecting “guests' stories” can mean what it means to a human, or it can eternally trap human consciousnesses inside what is nostalgic to them forever. You need to be more specific, do you do anything to your “guests” when they come here, can they leave this level? Do you let them go? Answer quickly, I have no time for what I quote from humans as “bullshit."

“Language. This is your second warning. That aside, however, your concerns are understandable. Look around you. Every single one of those shelves is filled with books on each and every one of my guests. I wrote them myself, with the information they elected to give to me. Each of them has a section written by the guest in question. Humans have such short lives, it feels as though they vanish in the blink of an eye. And while I cannot change that fact… I can do the next best thing. I can ensure their memory lives on. As for the exits, I simply guide my guests to the place of their choosing… provided it is safe. I’d hate for a visitor to get hurt…”

“So you operate on this level by imitating the M.E.G’s style of documenting levels and entities, which would consist of no bodily or psychological harm done to a human being.”

“Not quite… in human terms, I simply write biographies. Of course, not all of my books are written by me, nor are they all biographies. I have all sorts of books, folders, documents, and scrolls on a myriad of topics.”

“Do these activities all pertain to a human understanding of them, in that in all situations described, no bodily harm, psychological harm, or manipulation by any means ever occurs?

“I can assure you that every bit of information present in the books I have written was collected with my guests’ consent, and that no underhanded methods were used to obtain such information.”

“I’d like to see proof of this for myself.”

“Very well. In that case, pick a book. Any you’d like, and open it on the sixth page. You’ll find a section written by the person interviewed, detailing the conditions of the interview, and how they explicitly approved of the writing of their biography.”

Zero walked silently to one of the books, shrinking their limbs down until they were about… seven feet, and began methodically and analytically flipping through the pages of the book. While it was hard to tell solely by their facial expressions, I knew that they were drinking in the details, scavenging for any and all evidence to counteract my claim.

“Do you believe my words now, dear?”

They put the book down, unsuccessful in their search, and returned to that charming nonchalant voice of theirs.

“Let’s have tea.”

“Wonderful! Tell me, do you have a preferred type of tea?”

“No. Why would I?”

“It is common courtesy to ask beforehand. Well, follow me. I’ll guide you to the Tea Room.”

“Sure.”

They kept looking around, baffled by the Cygnus Archive. I now know it is not as bizzare as other levels they’ve been to, but back then, it felt off, strange. They were waiting for something to go wrong, for a crack to form in the mask as they followed me.

“The Tea Room is still a ways away, dear. In the meantime, feel free to ask any questions you’d like. I’ll be more than glad to answer.”

“What are you exactly, what type of…creature are you? Why have I never heard about whatever creature you are before?”

“Ah. A very pertinent question, but it’s one I’m afraid I cannot answer in full. My kind is long forgotten, lost to time, and it is for good reason you have not heard about it before.”

“So you’re not the only one of your kind-”

“Pardon my interruption, but that is incorrect. There was a time, aeons ago, where that was true. But now… I am the sole survivor, as far as I'm aware.”

“So it would be correct to say that there are good reasons I have not heard of you before.”

They shot a cold glare at me. Not that I mind, I'm quite used to my guests' suspicions.

“Not necessarily. I took a different path to the rest of my kind. But that’s… a topic I’d rather avoid, if you don’t mind.”

“I don’t care if you hide it, I don’t care about your feelings. I just know you are hiding something.”

“You’re a clever one, aren’t you? You deduced that I am hiding something, but do you know why?”

“When a human is hiding something, it’s harder to deduce what is it that they are hiding. Humans can be either malevolent or benevolent, or a mix of the two, in intent depending on circumstance. You are the only one of your kind as it stands. There are allegedly good reasons humans have not heard of your extinct species. The chances of you having hidden intentions concerning what you do with humans and other creatures when they arrive here is high. At least the Partygoers accept that aspect of themselves.”

“My duty is to knowledge first and foremost. I have spent an unfathomably long amount of time archiving any and all information I could find, and as such, I know very well that knowledge can prove quite painful. Not everything is hidden to harm. Some things are best kept hidden, to protect.”

“Is the Tea Room really that far away from your library?”

“The Cygnus Archive is endless, dear. You could walk your entire life and never reach the edge.”

“Understandable, you have a factor in how long this hallway is.”

“Not quite. However, I did teleport the two of us much closer to the Tea Room while we chatted. You didn’t seem to notice it, though. Worry not, it was intended to be this way.”

“…”

“You seem concerned… I feel I have a good guess as to why. You aren’t convinced about my motive for hiding information from you, correct?”

They simply nodded.

“I need you to understand that I cannot tell you exactly what I am hiding. It is for your own sake. The reason my kind is nowhere to be found in human records is quite simple: Humans are not equipped to comprehend us at our fullest.”

“Have we arrived yet?”

“Rather impatient, aren’t you? It matters not. We have arrived.”

They examined the Tea Room for a few seconds before speaking again, this time with a cold, emotionless voice.

“It looks nice.”

“Thank you, I decorated it myself. Please, take a seat. I have lavender tea brewing and a batch of butter biscuits fresh out of the oven. I hope you enjoy them.”

They sat down awkwardly, the chair was a bit too small for my tall guest…

“Do you have almond water?”

“I do, but I find it most of my guests dislike the taste of it and only drink it due to its abundance in the Backrooms.”

“I know this already, it’s always important to have useful items.”

“The Almond Water that I have here is not for my consumption, rather, it is something guests like to take with them on their way out.”

“So you are hospitable.”

I poured them a cup of lavender tea, watching as a mouth-like structure came to form in their head.

“I try my best to be a welcoming host.”

They silently and hesitantly took their first sip of tea.

“Is something troubling you, dear?”

“I don’t have any troubles. I have deficiencies. Like in communication.”

“I see… I’m sure I can make a little accommodation to, for lack of a better word, compensate for it. May I?”

My hand was hovering just in front of their forehead.

“What are you doing, exactly?”

They took another sip of their tea, a bit more calmly, this time.

“I’m asking for your permission before delving a little deeper into your mind. It’ll allow you to simply think, rather than speak. I promise I will refrain from being intrusive, or delving into your memories.”

They thought for a few seconds before answering.

“ “…Okay.”

“Lovely. You may feel light-headed for a few seconds, it is normal.”

“I just don’t want this to hurt me.”

“I can assure you this process will be harmless.”

“Then do it already.”

“Very well. This will only take a few seconds… done!”

“…”

It is worth noting that the following dialogue took place only in thought.

"Feel free to try and communicate this way. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it quite quickly."

“This feels…wrong.”

It was at this point that my peculiar guest caught me by surprise. As soon as they finished their first sentence in thought, the library seemed to shake and distort, objects seemed to emanate a strange light, a barrage of colours, akin to a VHS tape. (Yes, I'm familiar with them. Human technology is quite intriguing, but I still prefer books.) They didn’t seem to be aware of this.

"Before we continue any further, are there any anomalous properties of your mind I should be aware of? Since I have entered your mind, I'll be subject to them too."

I couldn’t tell if they didn’t hear me or if their thoughts were too clouded… The aforementioned distortions only became more apparent, intense.

“Stop…FEELING THINGS…”

”Perhaps I have delved a little too deep… My apologies. Can you focus on my voice for a little?"

“I’msorryI’msorryI’msorryI’msorryI’msorryI’msorryI’msorry-”

The room was shaking, something I had never seen before. Zero held their head in their hands as it changed colour rapidly. Something was wrong.

"It's okay, dear… you've done nothing wrong. Breathe. You will be alright."

The shaking grew stronger, colours emanated brighter, even the library’s furniture toppled over, and the entire room seemed to tilt back and forth, side to side, at a rapid pace. The illusion was falling apart. In the midst of the chaos, I noticed a strange phenomenon in the corners of the room we were in. They turned dark, as what appeared to be multiple of Zero’s hands reached out towards me, as if they wanted to pull me out of such chaos. Zero’s head was quickly shifting between various forms and colors… a sign that I had to interfere.

"I'd much rather not have to clear your thoughts from within… but it seems as though it is necessary. This may sting a little… my apologies."

I once again extended my arm, placing a finger on Zero's increasingly unstable head.

“Pleasedontpleasedontpleasedontpleasedontpleasedontpleasedont-”

They screamed, and the room spiraled into chaos, things started shifting into places they shouldn’t, everything looked as though it was twisting and crumbling, as if the whole library was about to collapse in on itself. I had never seen a guest do such a thing. Admittedly, I was impressed, but I couldn’t allow this to continue for much longer.
Zero took a few deep, shaky breaths as the Cygnus Archive returned to the usual, pristine condition. the books and tables neatly organized and put back in their spots, as if nothing had happened. But that matters little, Zero’s hands were shaking…badly.

"Excellent. Keep breathing, dear, focus on stabilizing it. The worst is past. You will be okay."

Zero grabbed a hold of my hands, gripping them tightly, as if their life depended on it. They don’t speak a word, nothing as vocalized, except for their deep, shaky breaths coming in and out.

"Lovely. Your breathing is almost back to normal. This will pass, dear."

They didn't utter a single word. This carried on for a few minutes, their breathing slowly but surely growing more stable with every passing minute, my efforts gradually coming to fruition.

"How are you feeling, dear? Answer only if you're comfortable with it. I don't want to force you into anything, especially not after what you have just been through.

They slowly let go of my hands. I didn't mind it at the time, and that remains unchanged. The well-being of my guests is a priority of mine.

“…what question did you ask me? About… ”anomalous” …mind specification?”

"I meant to ask about any odd properties your mind may have. That, however, can wait. Your well-being is the priority here, dear."

“You just saw it, Blanche.”

"Well, I must admit, you are the first guest to do such a number in my library. Not that I mind, it can easily be undone in a blink of an eye, but what I just witnessed were the effects of a cause that is still unknown to me."

“The cause?”

They had a very tired expression on their face, not a single hint of bewilderment or amazement at what they had just done.

"It can wait, dear. Time is far from being an issue for me, and you seem as though you could use some rest. I'll keep you company, if you don't mind."

They remained silent, awkwardly reaching for my hands. I couldn't help it but let out a little chuckle at their hesitation.

"I don't mind lending you my hands again, dear."

“I don’t sleep. I need to be alone.”

"Very well. Would you prefer to be in one of the guest rooms? It should be a bit more comfortable. I noticed that chair was a bit too small for you."

“Okay.”

"Lovely. I won't waste any of your time, then. You will be moved to a room at once. I'll be sure to check up on you in a little bit, if you don't mind."

“Okay.”

And so, with a simple snap of my fingers, Zero found themselves comfortably laying in a bed in one of the guest rooms.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License