Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Video Vignettes – “Night Trapped”

Video Vignettes are 500 to 1000 word short stories about one or more video games. "Night Trapped" features elements from "Night Trap” and “Luigi’s Mansion,” and borrows elements from TV’s “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.”


The foreboding mansion stood before him, eerily quiet in the still summer night. A breeze broke the silence, gently rattling the shutters and rustling though the naked trees below.

A subtle earthen scent rode the wind and made the man’s nose twitch. Without him realizing it, his teeth began to chatter. Any willpower he had mustered earlier drained out of him, literally gone with the wind. He imagined his face had become as green as his shirt.

But no matter how scared the man was, his brother had vanished – and all signs pointed to him being trapped in the odious dwelling that stood before the man in green.

Each step down the overgrown walkway filled him with dread. Why couldn’t this have been like the last time his brother was missing? All he had to do then was search a few well-known locations thorough the world. Heck, it would have been enjoyable had it not so mind-numbingly boring.

Finally, the man in green stood outside the front door. He tried to peek through the small, square window adorning it. Though the darkness, he could see a tiny, flickering light.

The knob slowly turned and the man poked his head into the mansion, the brim of his hat piercing the darkness first. He put his hand to his mouth and muttered weakly, “Mario? Maaaario!”

There was no response.

He slithered into the void, moonlight illuminating his path. Finally, he stood mere feet away from light, a single candle. As his white gloved hand reached out to grab it, the fire disappeared with a sharp puff of air.

All the lights in the house popped on simultaneously, blinding the man in green. “SURPRISE!” exclaimed a choir of unknown voices.

He let out a terrified yelp and crouched for protection, one hand over his head, and another, protecting his squishy rump.

Through the sound of laughter and loud music, he slowly opened his eyes. In front of him, a group of college age women were dancing together. One was playing a tennis racket like a guitar and lip syncing to the worst song the man had ever heard, something about catching boys in traps at night.

As he starred in bewilderment, one of the women broke from the crowd and put her hand on his shoulder.

“Hi, my name is Dana,” she said. “What’s yours?”

“It’s… it’sa me, Lu-”

“Well, Lou, welcome to the slumber party!” Dana exclaimed. “What brings you here? Food? Fun?” Her eyes narrowed accusingly. “Drinking our blood, perhaps?”

“I’ma just looking for my brother!” he replied, confused.

Dana’s eyes lit up. “Oh, you mean the guy in red? He’s right over here!”

The man in green leapt to his feet and excitedly followed Dana through the giant mansion and into the lounge. From the doorway, he could see the back of a red capped man, sitting on a couch and watching the flames flicker in the fireplace.

“Mario!” he exclaimed. “We gotta get out of here and…”

DING! DING! CLANK! The odd noises gave him pause.


The man in green cautiously headed over to the figure, reached out, and pulled off its hat. Sitting in front of him was someone he’d never seen before, much younger than his brother. The impostor hadn’t been watching a fireplace at all, but instead playing a pachinko machine. Emblazoned on the machine’s side was a word the man in green had never seen before: “Konami.”

“Who… who is this!?” exclaimed the man in green. “Where’s Mario?”

“Mario has been sent to the Peace Conference, remember?” Dana replied cheerfully. “This is your new brother, Rocky.”

“But that doesn’t make any sense!” yelled the man in green.

“What do you think of the party, Rocky?” Dana asked.

“This is TOO FUN!” Rocky replied, before karate chopping a nearby lamp.

“As you can see, Rocky just wants to have fun,” Dana explained.

For the first time, the man in green could feel his fear turning to anger. “You can’t just put someone else in my brother’s overalls and expect it to be the same! This man is not Mario!”

Dana’s smile disappeared. She turned and started screaming at a nearby bookcase.

“Now!” she yelled. “Control, Control! You’d better use the trap!”

“Who are you talking to!?” the man in green asked. “What’sa going on?!”

By the time he noticed the camera stashed in the bookcase, it was too late. The man in green felt the floor beneath him and Rocky begin to rumble. He knew whoever was on the other end of the video feed had had sealed his and his “brother’s” fates.

The trap floor gave way, plunging them into the darkness.

Dana stated into the abyss. “You got caught in the night,” she said. “The night trap!”

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