1. Edward
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    Edward Active Member

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    Ash: A Ghost Story.

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Edward, Jul 13, 2007.

    I've started writing a story set in a haunted ghost town (go read the chapter, it's in the Review board... please?) It centers around a young woman who just crashed her car into a river after swerving off the road to avoid a tree over the bridge (fog lessened the visibility (or did it?! <one eyebrow raised the other lowered, menacingly>) The woman, Wilhelmina Harker (a placeholder for now, I have a penchant for allusions. Ashleigh might be a good replacement), has amnesia, and the story is written in second person present tense in an effort to do what you always hear that books are for: to put you in the character's shoes. As she learns, you learn, and that also works both ways: what she doesn't know you don't know. There's no over the shoulder camera, only one on the bridge of the glasses.

    Most of the novel is actually backstory: She worked for the local branch of ParaSolCom under a man named Braham Helsing (again, I go overboard with references...). The project dealt with creating a... well, a psychic, an Esper. It wasn't exactly ethical, or even really legal, but She did it anyway because her dad left when she was little, her mother was a drunk, and Braham actually treated her like a daughter and all that warm fuzzy stuff. I mean, he was a manipulative ass though... One day the "experiment" Sariel (an Archangel name, Command of God, giving a little insight into the goals of the project) escapes with Ashleigh's help and for a while things are good for the little girl (Sariel is, of course, a little girl because if Sadako Yamamura has taught me anything, it's little girls are creepy) she is adopted by the chief of police (Micheal Kruger) and her biggest problem is that she's bullied by an older kid at school (Jason Myers). That is until she is abducted by the sadist Frederick Voorhees (again, all names are placeholders). Sariel and Ashleigh are raped in the Lector Arms hotel and Ashleigh is burned on the left side of her torso. Thankfully though, they live through it. Well, actually it might have been better if they hadn't.

    Ashleigh leaves her fiance, fellow ParaSol employee Victor Franklin, and runs away from the town. Michael knows his daughter has been raped and suspects the bully did it. Taking the law into his own hands he kills Jason. He then hangs himself. Four days later Voorhees is murdered in his hotel room by a serial killer, his body is crucified by chains stuck to the wall and his body was severely burned. His genitals were also removed.

    Over time the town actively grows to reflect the things that have happened to it (and Sariel, who unconsciously warps the town into her own nightmare with the town (one of those slightly sentient bad things to begin with) warping her in return). Jason wanders around the town reading the words that paint themselves over the ground when he's near, unable to stand up because of a rock chained to his back (Hell Pride). Michael also wanders around: an eight and a half foot giant with a face wrapped in bloody bandages and a police shield stuck straight into his shirtless chest. Around his waist is a skirt made of skin, belts, and chains and in his hand is [some large weapon, I haven't decided on anything original: a sword, a giant knife, a saw, even a spear or ax]. All he does all day is kill Jason, as Hell Wrath (I have an almost unhealthy fascination with the Se7en Sins.). Fred is of course Hell Lust. Still chained in the hotel, constantly on fire with a belt wrapped around his eyes (not being able to see is one of the themes I've got going. The belts and chains also represent being held back, as well as keeping people held back.). For letting it all happen Braham is in the operating room of the Hospital chained to a stationary wheel chair and wrapped in a straight jacket with gauze around his eyes (Hell Sloth). And Sariel is in the deepest part of the hospital: Half naked teenager, half Hawthorne tree (a fairly magical tree) and a suicidal psychic who can't really die. Enter Ashleigh, brought back to the town she ran away from by the daughter (in a philosophical way) she abandoned. (Which leads Wrath, Michael, to protect her) Of course, the town likes being the way it is and tries to stop Ashleigh from pulling the plug. So-to-speak (leading Wrath to try to kill her). The only major person unaffected is Victor. Though of course, having to live with the "Sinners" as he calls them, has of course changed him. That's not to say he isn't happy to see his lovely coulda-been-wife return. He is though, a bit nervous to actually meet her and speaks to her through a portable radio she found in a gas station and only sees her through the scope of the rifle he uses to get rid of the ghost/monsters (the Lesser Sins: six legged dogs (Lesser Sloth), bloody nurses wrapped in gauze (Lesser Lust, though they'd only be in the hospital), etcetera)

    I was wondering though, what could I do for the other Hell Sins? Greed and Gluttony (Envy is a guy she meets after being chased by dogs, he follows her around and protects her even. He's a guy named Jack looking for his girlfriend, Rose (Titanic if you didn't catch it) who went missing and he suspects may be in the town. Later, after they're separated Ashleigh finds him in the dock amusement park crucified on a chainlink fence. And then later he's okay, but they part again due to circumstances and he finally shows his true face and tries to kill Ash. His true face being Hell Envy, a vaguely humanoid mass of fungus that grows from the walls. Fungus because the punishment and/or penitence for envy is much less... interesting.) I was thinking that Hell Greed could be a priest who sold Sariel out and got her back to Braham: His punishment would be walking on his hands with his feet on fire (Simony), but again, that's not very threatening. A giant frog was also an idea. Hell Gluttony would have been a giant bug in the city hall (Victor is afraid of bugs, it would have been there to keep him from getting something from there, but I decided I shouldn't put in a McGuffin just to add another "boss". Perhaps fitting a Drug Addict into the backstory would be good. The last gluttony I did was a drug addict...

    Does anyone have any Ideas?
     

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