DarknessFalls

Storybook | Game

Arrivals

Howdy, you new in town? Course you are you just got off of the train. I watched you. Not that I was watching you or anything, I was watching the train. I got no manners, my name's Michael, I am very pleased to make your acquaintance and greet you to the city of Darkness Falls. And carry your bags to the taxi cabs. I assume you're getting a taxi cab? There ain't much in the way of busses and Darkness ain't much of a place for walking. Here, let me get that for ya.

Yah, it's a strange name, pappy says that it's a traditional one, like Deadman's Crossing, there's a bunch of them, and Lost City, that's in Wyoming I thing, and Secret City and that's in California. Pappy says that there's so many towns and all, that any name you can think of some place'll have it and we got Darkness Falls. Pappy says it started out as the name of some foreign guy, but then it got changed by Americans so it wasn't always Darkness, it was something else.

Where's abouts you staying? It'd be nice if you was staying on Frenchman's Hill, that's the old part of town, where all the big houses are. A lot of them are empty but we don't go up there, it's spooky. Pappy says that that's where the first settlers stopped? Excepting they weren't heading west, this was before folks headed West, they was making a New France all the way from the Gulf of Mexico right up to Canada. But they got lost I guess, because this ain't good land, not really. And got this far, and that river's wide and deep and tough to cross in a proper boat, all they had was wagons and rafts. I sure hope they didn't try to swim. But this is as far as they got with their food running low and winter closing in so this is where they stayed. And they lost a lot of people; we did it in school, went on a visit to the graveyard and everything. Pastor made a note of all their names and they dug deep graves for them in the cold earth and that's powerful hard work when the ground's hard. But he didn't say what killed them. And he blessed the hunting parties going out to try to kill something but he didn't say what they was hunting.

I guess that's it for the longest time, they stayed and built the old town. And cut down all the trees, except they grew back mighty fast. And made a little money as a river stop, and planted plantations, although they wasn't as fine as the plantations down south aways on account of the soil being different. And the saloons opened up here and the cat houses, pardon me, and people came here who didn't want to go noplace else. We got a lot of escaped slaves here, they all lived down by the river, and the white folks lived up on the hill. I guess the river folk made their own peace with whatever the hill folk were hiding from. And then they found the coal.

I remember when I was a little boy the coal barges still used to pull up at the docks. Man they were big. Them docks were nearly as big as the big docks you get in a proper city on the ocean and all we got's this here river, but we had the coal, and we still got the Mining Company, and we had men coming in from all over to be miners here. That's when we got River Street. That ain't what we used to call it, but we ain't allowed to call it that no more. And we got Latvians, and Italians, and we got Chinese, and we got.. we got everybody, coming in from all over the world. It was like the whole world was here, right here in Darkness Falls.

It wasn't all good, the Mining Company dug hard and fast, didn't care none if people got hurt, pappie says the mines here had the highest rate of "industrial fatalities" in the United States. That means a lot of people died, there was a lot of accidents. But people kept coming. They was still here when I was a boy; folks you'd never seen the like of before, men with tattoos on their faces, they all came here. And the Company had some strange stuff in the mines; late at night, as a little boy, I can remember lying in bed and hearing like a drumming noise, from deep, way underground. Must have been like pumps or digging machines I reckon, but it went on, and sometimes there was lights in the sky, and men went on dying, and people got tired I guess and just up and left without saying a word, there was always empty houses, and folks kept on coming in to replace them.

Hey did you know we had a film industry? Got ourselves our very own studio, out past the forest in the desert. The road's almost gone now. You can get maps, at least you could. No-one's used it in years, it's all derelict now. And the Eglise du Saint Michele is one of the finest French Baroque churches in the whole of the Americas. That's up on Frenchman's Hill. Did I mention the first settlers were French? Well they were. And when the coal got found they all owned a piece of it. One time Frenchman's Hill was a millionaire's playground, they had Howard Hughes, he flew his seaplane down onto the river on account of we didn't have no airstrip back then. And F Scott Fitzgerald, the writer? And Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford? They was big movie stars. They all came visiting Darkness Falls. And man they had parties. They did all sorts of stuff. They did drugs and they had parties where they did things that was not right, was not right at all. And young girls and boys from down the hill they would... Well pappy says some of the stuff they did would have got a poor man fried ten times over, but these was rich folks and they could do what they liked. But there were scandals in the end, and I guess it got harder to hush stuff up, and then some rich folk died, or ended up in sanatoriums. In the end folks moved away.

Pappy says there's something wrong about Darkness Falls. I don't know if that's true and all; I lived here all my life and I have never felt nothing. He says you have to have lived away, like he did during the war. He was called up but he never went overseas, he says cos the war ended too soon but I think he was just too dumb to be trusted with a rifle. That was a joke, the war ended. But he got to go away, and he came back, and he reckons that there's a wrongness. I don't see it. Maybe you see it. But heck, what am I saying, you only been here five minutes, you ain't had time to see nothing yet. And you still need that taxi cab, I need to be getting you to a taxi cab, not jawing at you.

Indians didn't like this place. We did that in school and all. Their name for this place meant "place of devils", except that they didn't mean devil the way we mean devil, on account of them being heathens and all. But they wouldn't come here, wouldn't hunt here. Maybe that's a reason the white folk stayed. Hey I never thought of that. That makes sense, the white folk stayed cos they was safe from Indians. That makes sense. Even though they was dying they was safer here than facing the Indians. I got to tell pappy that. That's smart thinking right there.

Well the coal stopped. Ended up... I was a young boy, couldn't have been more than ten. And they tried to find more to do, opened factories, built casinos, didn't do no good. Invited all those hippies for the festival of love and peace but those kids went missing, and then they found them and that just made things worse, goddammed hippy band stood on stage and told everyone to get the hell away from here and then ran off stage. Seemed like everyone heard 'em, everyone who wasn't crazy or strange. Don't know what that says about me eh? City started shrinking fast, been shrinking ever since. Now I swear two out of every three of everything is empty, only standing up cos there's no money to pull it down. And people still come, although there's no jobs calling them, no mines nor money, so you got to wonder what's calling them. What's calling you.

Here's your cab. You've been kind to me. I thank you for that sincerely, I really do. I like you. So I'm going to tell you something that may keep you out of trouble. Now you got to promise me you're going to keep this a secret. You promise me? Ok listen up. There is something wrong with Darkness Falls, there is. Folk still come here that ain't welcome noplace else, and there's things here that you can't find noplace else. And you don't tell pappy I told you this now, cos he says we have to keep it a secret and if he knew I'd told you he'd whup my ass good. But right now you're feeling dull, am I right? Kinda headachey, all flat and sad but you don't know why? That's cos I stole some of your life. Now don't go getting all upset, you ain't dead and you can get it back, just eat and sleep and watch some tv, something that makes you laugh. Or go someplace where there's people; I find bars good. Or train stations. But I stole some of your life from you. And others can do that too. And now I've done it to you, you can do it to others. Why would you want to? Because you can trade it for cool stuff. Or use it to do stuff you probably shouldn't do. That's up to you, that's your decision, but I got to think you've made a big part of that decision by coming to Darkness Falls in the first place. Ok I got to leave now, today's the day I clean pappy's grave, he gets as mad as hell if I don't do it. And you put your money away, you've already tipped me more than good. For what I have received I am truly grateful.

Storybook | Game