With These Phantom Hands By Alex Guerrero

Instruments: 2d6

Game Description 

You have died but you cannot remember why or how and you are haunting three people in a last attempt to give a message before you pass. You cannot remember why this message is important or who should receive it but you must convey it before you can rest.

Game Content Warnings 

These are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.

Playthrough Content Warnings 

These are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.

Game Playthrough

Word Count: 1,018     Played: Nov 7, 2020

All You Can Remember:

Your Life

1. Who you were: 

2. Your Regrets : Letting and argument destroy our relationship, didn’t help rebuild relationship

3. Your Triumphs: Encouraged a painter, 

Your Death

Only fragmentary, meaningless images appear when you try to remember your death. 

1. A bright light 

2. A small feather

3. Shredded Paper

Your Connections

You are drawn to three living people, and find yourself appearing around them at various points throughout their lives. For now, you know nothing about them.

1.What they were to you: Sister, a painter_________________________

A vivid memory: ____________________________

What they deserve: ________________________________

2.What they were to you: Sister’s Lover___________________

A vivid memory: ____________________________

What they deserve: ________________________________

3.What they were to you: Older man Father_______________

A vivid memory: ____________________________

What they deserve: ________________________________

Your Message

One sentence. Five words. When you finally utter it, you will be free.

Know ________ ________ love ________  

Roll: 4, someone benefiting from something you did while you were alive

She sits alone in her studio, contemplating the empty canvas. The small tubes of paint are at her feet and the pallet is on the table. She sighs deeply before reaching for the new paint brush, crisp and clean, then stops. She still can’t paint with it. She hesitates but can’t force herself to use it and returns to the chipped and stained brush I gave her. 

Roll: 7, Appear mid-conversation as they are talking about you to someone else. You fixate on a word:

She’s crying again but this time she isn’t alone. Her lover is with her and she holds the painter close in her arms. She’s gentle but her eyes say this is from fear rather than kindness. 

I hear my name through the sobs and the comforts. Her love runs her hand over her tear-stained face and tells her that I always knew. She says she never told me but her lover shakes her head and says that not everything is told through words. 

What did I know

Roll: 5, You try to communicate your message by an animal, machine, or object

There’s a man with her this time. He’s old but strong. He’s rolling a cigarette as she speaks to him. He’s listening but she doesn’t feel it because his eyes are on his leathered hands. 

She looks away, still speaking at him, but her concentration is on the sole plant in her studio. It will be dead soon and she knows she cannot stop it. 

He is nodding along with her words and lights his cigarette. They’ve stopped talking and he looks over to her plant. He says nothing but grunts when she pours her cold coffee into the wet dirt. 

She’s turned back to him now as the pot slides off of the table and onto the floor. It’s shattered and finally dead. She does not know it is me but she weeps and calls to the plant as though it were. She can show love after.  

Roll 3: You break something important

I am before her painting: a floor to ceiling, a massive work made with forgotten partners, shuttered years, and neglected health--it’s beauty visible to only strangers. 

She found it ruined, torn and shredded, and her blame found me. There could be no one else, she reasoned. It was true, but I, at the time, was as innocent as her plant. 

And with these phantom hands, I am destroying the painting. I claw at the canvas and tear through the frame. It is ruined and my sister had rightfully blamed me. 

Roll: 8, Something grants you insight (Cross out a # or restore a number, cross out 1) 

Her lover is before the refuse now. Her face blank and her hands filled with the shreds of canvas. She does not know what she is doing but she cleans as a sign of love. 

She organizes the pieces patiently, by color and by shape. There is nothing more she can do but she is here and I was not. 

Roll: 11, you see them talking and realize it’s you when you were alive

The older man is talking, patient, measured and with folded arms. He is speaking to a new man, one much younger than him. 

He is making excuses for the painter that he does not believe. The younger man knows these are lies but does not dare to interrupt. 

The younger man sighs. She’s traded her family for paint now and it’s the only apology she’d understand. He--I tell my father I’ll buy her new brushes. 

Roll: 9 A symbol you recall from the moment of death appears on or around them

She is painting again the old brushes. Her eyes are red and her hands are shaking. There is no more to be done today. She cleans her set and wipes her eyes. For a moment she is at peace. 

The door to her balcony creaks and the wind blows through. She stands and steps out onto the terracotta surface. The small birds chirp and preen. The small feathers fly in the wind and she cries once more.  

(At this point i’m tired so i decide to go ahead and “”roll”” a 6)

Roll 6: You communicate your message as clearly as you understand it

She does nothing but paint. Her lover watches her. She is lonely but knows my sister cannot change. 

I put my hands on her shoulders. She cannot feel me but it does not matter to me. I tell her I know she loves me and that I love her.  

She has started to cry. She knows but does not understand why.

Your End

My sister puts down her brush and turns to her lover. She tells her that she loves her but she cannot stop. Her lover knows and does not judge.  

She holds the chipped and stained brush in her hands and mechanically snaps it. She places the broken brush onto her table. 

I feel myself at peace and fade when she dips the new brush into the paint. 

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