Lights Out in the Nursery

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Lights Out in the Nursery
Lights Out in the Nursery

The Spookyraven Manor nursery is kind of an unsettling place. The Spookyraven kids probably used it well into their teens, but the shelves are still filled with ranks of porcelain dolls and dead-eyed stuffed animals. How they slept with that lot staring down at them is unimaginable.

Then, there's a flash of lightning outside the window, and every light in the house goes out. The room is pitch-black, so you can't see the dolls looking at you anymore. Would it surprise you to know that this doesn't make you feel any more comfortable? And in fact, it's much much worse?

Somewhere in the house, an ancient grandfather clock bongs out the hour. Thirteen bongs.


Search for a lamp

You kind of remember seeing an old-fashioned oil lamp on one of the dressers when you came in. If you could find it, that would be handy for lighting up the place. And maybe burning the entire freaking house to the ground if any of the dolls talk at you.

It would have a squeaky little doll voice, probably, and would whisper something like "Everyone you ever knew and loved will one day die."

Oh god, where's that lamp?


Search over by the (ugggh) dolls

You shuffle over to where you think you remember the lamp, until your foot hits a dresser. Then you start carefully running your hands over the top of it, searching for the lamp.

Your hand touches something. Is this it? You pick it up. It's round, and smooth, and cold. Like a porcelain... baseball... with a face.

With a squeaky, whispery voice, it says "Ev-"

"SHUT UP! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!" you yell, throwing the object as hard as you can and smashing frantically into the wall until you find the door, rush into the hall, and fall down the stairs.

When you come to, the lights are back on.


Search over by the (gaaah) stuffed animals

You shuffle over to where you think you remember the lamp, until your foot hits a dresser. Then you start carefully running your hands over the top of it, searching for the lamp.

Your hand bumps it, and you quickly steady it to stop the glass chimney from falling off, then light it with a book of matches you found somewhere or other.

The flame casts flickering shadows all around the room, making the dolls and animals look even more alive and demonic than before.

Oh good god, why are you even in here?


Good Question. Let's go.

You march straight out of the room, down the stairs, down the other stairs, and out of this horrible house.

Maybe if you come back later, the lights will be back on. Or maybe the whole house will just burn down unexpectedly? That would be good too.


Examine the Dresser

The dresser has a row of ancient and well-loved (though you hesitate to use a nice word like 'love' in this place) stuffed animals, staring at you with glassy-eyed expressions. I mean, even moreso than you would expect.

There is also a wooden box (a little larger than a cigar box, and sturdier-looking), which has been painted white, with a sloppy red cross painted on the lid. It looks like something a little kid would make for playing "doctor" with.

In this house? That leads you on a train of thought that will take a large quantity of whiskey to get out of your head. Fortunately, the box is locked, so you can get started on that immediately.

As you leave the room, the lights throughout the house begin to flicker back on.

Or, if you read Lady Spookyraven's note on the dresser to the left in Lights Out in the Bedroom:

The dresser has a row of ancient and well-loved (though you hesitate to use a nice word like 'love' in this place) stuffed animals, staring at you with glassy-eyed expressions. I mean, even moreso than you would expect.

There is also a wooden box (a little larger than a cigar box, and sturdier-looking), which has been painted white, with a sloppy red cross painted on the lid. It looks like something a little kid would make for playing "doctor" with.

That must be Stephen's veterinarian kit, that you read about in Lady Spookyraven's note. Where did she say the key was? His teddy bear?

Amidst the row of stuffed animals, you find one that's so thoroughly-used, it's hardly even recognizable as a bear anymore. The fact that it's been embellished with actual teeth from some unidentifiable source does not help.

There's nothing tied around its neck, but there is a zipper in the back.


Ha ha, not in a million years

You very resolutely put the bear back down and stride out of the nursery.

Nope. Nope nope nope.


Open the bear and put your hand inside

You unzip the bear and put your hand inside the opening.

There's a game kids play at Halloween sometimes, where you have to fish a prize out of a bag of cold spaghetti, and pudding, and lumps of Jello. Did you ever play that?

Why not take a moment to close your eyes and imagine what that would be like.

...

Eventually, you find the key, kick a hole in the nursery window, and throw the bear outside as hard as you can. With that accomplished, you now have to decide whether to boil your hand, or just cut it off.

First though, you'd better see if it was worth it.


Unlock the box

Surprisingly, the contents of the box are pretty mundane: old dryrotted bandages, spools of black thread, little glass bottles with the contents long-since evaporated, rusted scalpels... okay, you probably wouldn't expect that last one in a kid's medical kit.

There's also a little leather-bound diary, filled with the handwritten scrawl of a young child.

It mostly describes, in clinical fashion, a long series of surgeries that were performed on a varied collection of animals, none of whom ultimately survived.

Patient: Wuggler (dog). Broken left hind leg. Stitches and splint. Infection? Died.
Patient: Mr. Crust (kitty). Stopped eating. Bad stomach? Found ulcer. Died.
Patient: Spite (bunny). Inflamed appendix. Burst during surgery. Died.

It goes on like that. Dozens and dozens of them. Cats, dogs, birds -- and even stranger things. A stag. A tapir.

At the end of it, there's a note:

Why doesn't it work? I try so hard but it never works! I read EVERY BOOK but it DOESN'T WORK! Medicine is DUMB and I HATE it!

This afternoon we're burying Crumbles. Failed surgery for heart arrhythmia. I don't want him to go, I'm tired of my friends going away and I never get to see them again.

Papa said he had an idea though.

The rest of the diary is blank. As you put it back in the medical kit, the lights in the house flicker and slowly come back on.

Unlocks additional option in Lights Out in the Conservatory.


Flee

You hear the slow creeeeak of a dozen porcelain dolls turning their heads to watch you as you fumble for the door and get the hell out of that room. You slam the door behind you and lean on it, wondering how difficult it would be to haul one of the pool tables up the stairs to barricade it with.

Fortunately, the lights flicker back to life, and you gradually stop freaking out.


Occurs in The Haunted Nursery