[x] *point to Snake*
Oh, that's good. If it's this fun to play with it without knowing what you're doing, it'll be even more fun to play an actual game with the box. You point to the picture of Snake. “That one.”
“Snake, huh?” She asks, leaning over your shoulder. Then, she touches the unlettered square at the bottom; and, when she moves her finger, the little arrow moves around the top box. You watch in awe. The arrow moves up, and over, and up until it's over the picture of the snake. Then, she taps twice. Once make it colored, and the second one causes the whole top to change.
Mystia shakes her head. “We would have never figured that out.”
You're... not sure about that. But you keep watching. There's lines moving around the top now, and little red dots appearing, and.... it's very confusing.
Mary laughs. “Anyway, you press this button when you want to start,” She says, pointing to one at the top. Then she puts her fingers down onto some other buttons near the bottom. Arrows. “These change which way you're moving. You want to move over the apples to get bigger, and try not to run into yourself.”
As you listen, you watch the lines move and the dots and all of that, but it doesn't make much sense. But maybe it will once you actually start. You put your right hand down on the arrows, and hit the top button with the left.
There's noise, suddenly. You let go.
“W-what is that?” Mystia asks, “Where's that song coming from?”
Mary laughs. “Speakers. It's coming from the computer.”
Well, she didn't say that you broke it, so you put your fingers back down. There's only one line now, and a red dot. The line's moving towards the bottom.
You push the button that goes up, but it doesn't do anything. Then, you try the right one.
The line is now a corner. But after a little bit it's just a line again, moving right. You push up. Again, a corner for a little bit.
Mary laughs. “Try to move over the apple. That red thing.”
You're not sure what any of this has to do with snakes, but it's really cool. You make two more corners, and go over the red thing. Something up at the top changes, and your corner line stops moving at the back for a little bit but the front keeps going. Then it's a line again.
“That's it,” Mary says, “Keep running over the apples and don't do... that.”
You try to make a box. But, when you do, the line... does something weird. And disappears. And then there's words on your screen. You look up at Mary.
“That's how you lose,” She says, “If you touch the snake with another part of the snake, you lose.”
“What about the line?” You ask, still not getting where snakes come into this.
“Oh, yeah,” She says, “That's the snake.”
You shake your head. “It's a line, though. Snakes are a lot bigger.”
Mary laughs. “I guess it doesn't look much like a snake, does it? But that's what it's supposed to be. It's just pretend, so it can be as big as it wants to be.”
Oh, this is pretend snake eating apples? That makes a little more sense.
“What's an apple?” You ask, “Is that pretend, too?”
“It's a fruit,” Mary answers, “Red, and... about this big?”
She makes a fist.
“They're really good,” Mystia says, smiling. “I had one once. But I guess they don't grow in Gensokyo.”
You're still confused.
“Hmm... I think we've got some, actually,” Mary states before heading off to the kitchen. “I like them a lot, too.”
While she's doing that, you try again. This time, you get a lot more apples. Or red dots. But it starts becoming really hard, because the line is really long. And there's more lines that you can't touch (you think), but you can't move those with your arrows.
Still, you keep going. You're not going to run into anything yet, even though you need to draw spirals with your line to keep from touching it. This is... it's a different kind of fun than playing in the forest. A little closer to danmaku, but it's weird because you're not even moving. Maybe like card games, then?
“Did you want one? How about you, Mystia?” Mary eventually asks, returning. Want one what? You turn to look. And then, you hear that noise. And, when you look to the top part again, the words have returned. Your snake is gone.
“Aaahh,” You say, “I lost.”
You hear a groan from further behind you. “Me, too. What's going on in here?”
Renko's back. What did she lose, you wonder?
“They wanted to play around on my computer,” Mary says, “And it looks like... Phobe, right?”
“It looks like Phobe's pretty good at Snake,” Mary says, laughing. “Better than I am, but I guess that's not saying much.”
“Yeah,” Renko adds, getting closer, “You're more of a sudoku kind of person. Anyway, I'm going to fix up some leftovers. Anyone hungry?”
You nod, pushing the button again to start. You're better than her? You wonder who else you're better than at this.
“I'm not very hungry,” Mystia says, focusing on you. “And if I eat that apple...”
Mary nods, and hands one in her direction. “That's what I was thinking. I'm not hungry, but I could eat an apple.”
“Is leftovers as good as an apple?” You ask, unsure of which one you want.
“Oh... that's a tough call,” Mary conceeds, “You're going to heat up that stuff from yesterday, right?”
Renko answers, but her voice is further away now. Kitchen? You don't want to look just yet. “Yeah. Why?”
“Because that was really good,” Mary answers back.
“Can I have both?” You ask. If it's good, you want to eat it. And it sounds like either one might go away if you don't.
Mystia laughs. “You're just like Rumia when it comes to food,” She says, “Well, almost.”
You nod. That sounds about right. Once, you two were playing, and there was a very big deer of some kind. You were kind of hungry, and so was she... but it was in the middle of the day. No cooking. So you both just ate it right there. It was good.
“So, is she having any or not?” Renko asks, after a new sound begins from the kitchen. It's kind of a humming noise, but you still can't look. “Because I'll totally eat that whole thing otherwise.”
You nod. “I want some.”
Ah... it's getting hard again. You're starting to make spirals, and there's more lines. Gotta focus.
“She says she does,” Mary answers, before taking a seat on another side of the table. There's a sort of clunk as she sets some things down. “Who's Rumia? Was she one of the others what was with you?”
Mystia sighs. “Yeah... she's the one that Wriggle's looking for. Normally it'd be OK if she got lost, but...”
“But not now. I understand.”
“They'll be ok,” Mystia says, “It's still kind of scary, though. I hope we can all get back together.”
There's a series of loud, juicy crunches after that. Apples? They even sound really good. But, you have to watch this...
“We'll get you all back to Gensokyo,” Mary says, a hint of conviction in her voice. “It's a promise.”
Mystia nods. “That's good. You seem like you're not lying.”
“I don't think she could if she wanted to,” Renko adds, in a different position from the last time you heard her. “She's that kind of person.”
“You say it like it's a bad thing,” Mary answers.
“No no, it's a complement,” Renko adds, laughing. “Really.”
Beep beep beep. There's noise coming from the kitchen. Then there's more noise coming from the kitchen. Clanging and stuff.
“Right,” You hear Renko say, after all the noise calms down. “It's a good thing we haven't gotten a call about the spare room yet, hey? This would suck a lot more otherwise.”
Mary laughs. “Actually, I did get one today. They said they tried your number, but you didn't pick up.”
“Oh, I must have been in class,” Renko adds, “I wonder why they didn't leave a voice mail?”
“It sounded like they were pretty interested,” Mary answers, “But they weren't able to come and look at it until next tuesday.”
“Hopefully you guys will be out of here by then,” Renko laughs, “I'd hate to try and explain that one.”
This is getting really hard now. Really, really hard. You've got to be very careful and think of how you spiral before you do it.
“She's getting pretty into it, isn't she?” Renko asks, “Hey, Phobe. The curry's done.”
You nod, but don't answer. Don't want to break your concentration. You can smell it, though, and it smells really good.
There's people on either side of you now. The new one must be Renko.
“Whoa. She is pretty good. You sure you haven't been practicing up in order to scare us?”
You nod. Busy.
...and then, you lose. Too many spirals, and no way out. The words return.
[ ] … just one more time.
[ ] Food. Maybe questions.