Harrison Gerard


2023The Sims 4 Kits*Illustration, Art Direction
2023Clockwork Revolution*3D, Branding
2023Bandle Tale*Illustration, Branding
2023FrancineGraphic Design,  3D
2022Ivy RoadBranding
2021Open RoadsGraphic Design, Branding
2020CrocodraculaGraphic Design, Branding
See also:

2023D&DIllustration, Writing
2022 —Little People3D, Illustration
2020 PathosGraphic Design, Illustration, Art Direction
2020 Fallen ObjectsGraphic Design, Illustration, Writing
2020A Quick SketchWriting, Game Design
2020ChapbookWriting,  Illustration
1997 —Assorted DrawingsIllustration
*With agency.


    →  A Quick Sketch



    I wrote the first draft of A Quick Sketch in 2020, when we were all sitting at home trying to learn how to speak Spanish or make fly-fishing lures or whatever. It’s basically exactly what it says on the tin — a quick sketch of a game about sketching quickly.

    If you’d like, you can play it in browser with the link below, or if you’re an expert text adventure player and want to download the .gblorb file to play on your own computer, you can knock yourself out at the same link.

    For those less inclined to play a game in a medium that fell out of vogue about ten years before I was born, I’ve also included a spoiler-heavy transcript below.






    Transcript:




    Misha looks down at you. Her face is stoic, but her eyes betray her concern. "Here," she says. "I brought you something." From her purse she pulls out a large book.

    You take it in your weathered hands. "Oh, I remember this," you say.

    The hospital lights glint off the initials embossed on the cover. "Tell me about it," Misha asks. You open the sketch book, and remember.
                                                                  

    A Quick Sketch

    An Interactive Memory by Harrison Gerard
    Release 3 / Serial number 231101 / Inform 7 v10.1.2 / D

    Temple Entrance

    You drop down from the rope shortly after Clint, your hands burning from the friction.The room is seeped in sepia light from an arc lamp humming in the corner. Tiny particles, centuries old, float through the beam. An enormous door stands to the north, with separate smaller arches to the east and west. Hot air from the desert filters from the way out, above.

    Clint stands in front of you, his back turned, as he wipes his sandy hands off on his pants.

    >x clint
    Your partner, in business, archeology, and otherwise.

    "I should be able to get this open," Clint says, gesturing towards the gate. "Why don't you start sketching?"

    >sketch clint
    You draw Clint from behind, surreptitiously, trying to capture the musculature of his back, the way his boots grind into the sand of the stone floor. 

    "You better not be drawing me," he says. 

    "You think I would ride a camel through the desert just to draw some guy I see every day?" 

    "I know you artist types," he says, waving a finger at you without ever looking up from whatever he's working on. "You're very cavalier like that."

    “That's not even what cavalier means," you say, finishing quickly.

    Sophie’s head momentarily blocks the sunlight streaming in from above. "Are you guys good down there?" she asks.

    "Yeah, we're fine." Clint calls back.

    "Alright, the generator is only gonna last us about an hour. I'll give you guy a heads-up when to come back."

    "Thanks Soph." Clint yells up. 

    "Yeah yeah. Remember how great I am when you get the cheque from the museum."

    You check your watch. Alright, 60 minutes left. Time to get sketching.

    >x me
    A little dirty (and sandy), but at least you're not covered in spiderwebs. Not yet, anyway.

    You're wearing your clothes.

    >inv
    You are carrying:

     your clothes (being worn)

     a watch

     a sketchbook

    "Oh, come on," Clint says, fiddling with the lock.

    >x lock
    Clint's busy fiddling with it, so you can't get a good look, but you're sure it's some ornate, impossibly complicated thing.

    With a series of satisfying clicks, some mechanism inside the gate unlatches. Clint pulls the immense door open with a grunt.

    >x gate
    An immense iron gate, easily thirty feet tall. It's engraved with various carvings.

    "Come on, let's go," says Clint, making his way through the gate.

    >north
    Great Hall

    Thin beams of sunlight pierce down from the ceiling, barely lighting the circular room. Rooms lead off in each cardinal direction.

    You can see Clint here.

    >west
    Hierophant Chamber

    Mosaics cover the walls, remarkably well preserved. In the center of the room is a throne, and on it, a skeleton.

    >x mosaics
    Made of very small triangles, unlike the squarish ones you've seen on Atlantean pieces. They depict a well ornamented man surrounded by smaller people, all crawling. Stars dot the sky above them.

    A pair of metal gloves hang off the wall, previously unnoticed as they blend rather well into the depiction of the mountain behind them.

    "What have you drawn so far?" Clint asks.

    "Clint," you say.

    "Clint?'" he asks.

    "Couldn't help myself."

    "Can't blame you," he says. "Keep going. The museum wants a good assortment."

    >x gloves
    A pair of thick iron gloves, engraved with a dragon-scale pattern.

    "Hmm," Clint says, from the other room.

    >take gloves
    You take the gloves off the wall, shaking off a few cobwebs in the process.

    >sketch skeleton
    You sketch the skeleton sitting on his throne, bedecked in his regalia. 

    "Do you think he died sitting upright like that? He didn't move around?" you ask. 

    "Probably enchanted himself to stay stationary," Clint says. "Or he died and they just propped him up in here. Equally likely." 

    >east
    Great Hall

    Thin beams of sunlight pierce down from the ceiling, barely lighting the circular room. Rooms lead off in each cardinal direction.

    You can see Clint here.

    >sketch light
    You stand off to the side, squinting your eyes to try and see the shapes the beams make on the wall. Your pencil scratches softly on the paper.

    "Why would they have lighting in here, and none in the first room?" you ask Clint.

    "Beats me," he says, rifling through his bag. "Religious significance, maybe."

    "'Religious significance', sure," you say, still sketching. "That's what all you type say when you don't know the answer."

    "And what type is that, exactly?"

    "Irritating archeologists."

    "Hah," he says. "Don't get me started on what your type is." 

    >east
    High Priestess Chamber

    Apparently once a mirror image of the Hierophant's Chamber, some disaster has left it full of dust and rubble. There's an empty throne in the center.

    >x throne
    A boxy chunk of stone, silver rivers carved into it with right-angled precision. There are moons engraved into the back.

    >x rubble
    It takes up most of the room, decimating whatever was here before it. By the state of it, it seems to have happened a long time ago.

    >x watch
    A little gold-and-porcelain thing Clint got you for your birthday a few years ago. The glass is cracked, something you've been meaning to fix for ages, but it works just as well regardless. 45 minutes left.

    >west
    Great Hall

    Thin beams of sunlight pierce down from the ceiling, barely lighting the circular room. Rooms lead off in each cardinal direction.

    You can see Clint here.

    >south
    Temple Entrance

    The room is seeped in sepia light from an arc lamp humming in the corner. Tiny particles, centuries old, float through the beam. An enormous door stands to the north, with separate smaller arches to the east and west. Hot air from the desert filters from the way out, above.

    >east
    Pillar Hall

    A perfect grid of thick stone pillars. Amidst them, in the center of the room, a great brazier burns softly.

    >x brazier
    An iron cauldron, flat-bottomed. On closer inspection you find that there isn't fire inside but rather a mass of gold beads, each glowing with a subtle light.

    >x beads
    About the size of an acorn, light pouring out from the tiny cracks on its gold surface.

    >take beads
    You've traveled with Clint long enough to know that the first rule of archeology is to never touch a glowing thing with your bare hands.

    >west
    Temple Entrance

    The room is seeped in sepia light from an arc lamp humming in the corner. Tiny particles, centuries old, float through the beam. An enormous door stands to the north, with separate smaller arches to the east and west. Hot air from the desert filters from the way out, above.

    >west
    The way to the west is caved in.

    >north
    Great Hall

    Thin beams of sunlight pierce down from the ceiling, barely lighting the circular room. Rooms lead off in each cardinal direction.

    You can see Clint here.

    >north
    You peer into the darkness of the room, unable to make anything out. "We've gotta find a way to get some light in there," says Clint.

    >north
    After what happened in Bel Zuharak, there's no way you're marching into a dark room in an ancient temple, regardless of the anti-magic generator.

    >south
    Temple Entrance

    The room is seeped in sepia light from an arc lamp humming in the corner. Tiny particles, centuries old, float through the beam. An enormous door stands to the north, with separate smaller arches to the east and west. Hot air from the desert filters from the way out, above.

    >east
    Pillar Hall

    A perfect grid of thick stone pillars. Amidst them, in the center of the room, a great brazier burns softly.

    >wear gloves
    With a bit of apprehension, you slide the gloves on. They're not particularly comfortable, but they also don't seemed to be cursed. Or if they are, the generator is working correctly.

    >take bead
    You scoop up the bead, holding it safely away from you in your large gloves.

    You hold the bead of Orichalcum carefully in your gloves.

    >west
    Temple Entrance

    The room is seeped in sepia light from an arc lamp humming in the corner. Tiny particles, centuries old, float through the beam. An enormous door stands to the north, with separate smaller arches to the east and west. Hot air from the desert filters from the way out, above.

    >north
    Great Hall

    Thin beams of sunlight pierce down from the ceiling, barely lighting the circular room. Rooms lead off in each cardinal direction.

    You can see Clint here, flipping through his book pages.

    >north

    You enter into the burial chamber by the light of the Orichalcum. You place it in such a way as to maximize its output.

    Burial Chamber

    The orichalcum provides just enough light to see: there's an immense sarcophagus here, flanked by two statues. An arch provides an exit to the south.

    >drop gloves
    You slip the gloves back off, placing them gently on the floor.

    Clint enters the newly-lit room. "Good job," he says, motioning at the Orichalcum. "I was just about to do that." 

    "Oh, shut up," you say.

    >sketch sarcophagus
    You draw the sarcophagus, trying to capture how its proportions seem to fill up the small room. 

    "Are you ever gonna open this thing?" you ask. 

    "Yeah yeah," Clint says. "Gimme a second."

    >x statue
    Which do you mean, the hierophant statue or the high priestess statue?

    >hierophant
    Carved out of the same stone as the rest of the temple. A man, dressed in the gear you recognize from seeing his skeleton. A gold disk is at his feet.

    >x gold disk
    Currently, it shows a sea symbol, although you could turn it to something else.

    Clint stands in front of the sarcophagus, his crowbar in hand. "Let's crack this thing open," he says.

    With a massive shove, he pushes the lid off the sarcophagus, where it falls with an enormous thud on the floor.

    >x silver disk
    Currently, it shows a sea symbol, although you could turn it to something else.

    >x sarcophagus
    A very large stone box, the lid slightly bowed upwards (typical of Veshunikian stone work). A stone disk is embedded into the lid.

    "Empty." Clint says. "I can't believe it."

    "Twenty minutes!" Sophie yells.

    >south
    Great Hall

    Thin beams of sunlight pierce down from the ceiling, barely lighting the circular room. Rooms lead off in each cardinal direction.

    >west
    Hierophant Chamber

    Mosaics cover the walls, remarkably well preserved. In the center of the room is a throne, and on it, a skeleton.

    >x throne
    A large hunk of metal and stone, emblazoned with a sunburst motif, typical of the period.

    >east
    Great Hall

    Thin beams of sunlight pierce down from the ceiling, barely lighting the circular room. Rooms lead off in each cardinal direction.

    >east
    High Priestess Chamber

    Apparently once a mirror image of the Hierophant's Chamber, some disaster has left it full of dust and rubble. There's an empty throne in the center.

    >x throne
    A boxy chunk of stone, silver rivers carved into it with right-angled precision. There are moons engraved into the back.

    >west
    Great Hall

    Thin beams of sunlight pierce down from the ceiling, barely lighting the circular room. Rooms lead off in each cardinal direction.

    >north
    Burial Chamber

    The orichalcum provides just enough light to see: there's an immense sarcophagus here, flanked by two statues. An arch provides an exit to the south.

    You can see Clint and some Scaled Gloves here.

    >turn silver
    You spin the silver disk, revealing a moon symbol.

    >g
    You spin the silver disk, revealing a sun symbol.

    >g
    You spin the silver disk, revealing a star symbol.

    >g
    You spin the silver disk, revealing a sea symbol.

    >g
    You spin the silver disk, revealing a moon symbol.

    >turn gold
    (the gold disk)

    You spin the gold disk, revealing a moon symbol.

    >g
    (the gold disk)

    You spin the gold disk, revealing a sun symbol.

    >turn stone
    You spin the stone disk, revealing a moon symbol.

    >g
    You spin the stone disk, revealing a sun symbol.

    >g
    You spin the stone disk, revealing a star symbol.

    With a massive groan, a wall falls away, revealing a room to the north.

    >north
    You step into the newly presented room.

    Treasury

    A small room that seems even smaller due to the amount of gold squeezed into every square inch.

    >x gold
    Far more raw gold than you've ever seen in your life. There's helmets and swords, boxes and vases and urns, immense piles of gold coins (in a number of sizes and varieties), gold chests and gold safes and what looks to be a large gold wardrobe.

    >take gold
    Overwhelmed by the options, you stoop down and pick up a single golden coin, feeling its heft between your fingers.

    Clint follows you inside, muttering amazed expletives under his breath.

    "Okay you two, 10 more minutes," Sophie yells down. 

    "That's it?" Clint yells back "We're just getting started!". 

    "Hey, I wasn't the one who was too cheap to buy more than one jug of oil!" she yells.

    "If she knew how much we were paying for that oil, she wouldn’t have gotten another jug either," Clint says to you in a stage whisper.

    >draw gold
    There's so much of it, you resort to a sort of abstraction, just trying to capture the way the dim light reflects off of all of it. 

    "We can't tell anyone about this." Clint says. 

    "Why?" you ask, although you already know the answer. 

    "They'd destroy this place for it. It isn't safe," Clint picks up a coin and tosses it back into the pile. "Better to leave it here, where it belongs."

    ———

    “You really found that much treasure?” Misha asks you.

    You look up at her from the sketchbook page, your fingers passing over your drawing of Clint. “We’d go on to find more than that, later on.”

    “And you just left it all there?”

    “Well, most of it,” you say. You smile at her. The hospital lights give her a white aura around the top of her head.

    Misha takes the book from you.

    "It's incredible, really, the things you've seen," she says. "There's so much here: Clint, the thin beams of light, the skeleton, the Scaled Gloves, the rubble, the sarcophagus and the treasure." She flips it over to look at the initials embossed on the front. "I wish we had talked about all this more. Before now, I mean.".

    You run your hands over the bedsheets. You don't know what to say.

    "What happened to them? Clint and Sophie?"

    "Sophie left first. Married an ambassador, moved to Bangalore. Her daughter sent me a Christmas card last year."

    Misha smiles at you softly, grabs your hand. The warmth of her skin pours over into yours, and she squeezes it softly.

    "Clint died. A long time ago, now. We didn't even know he was sick, until he passed."

    "I'm so sorry."

    You wave off her apology with your free hand. She still holds your other. "It's okay. A long time ago, like I said. I'm sure wherever he is, he's happy there." You try to sound casual, but you feel the crackle of a lump in your throat at the last words.

    "You'll see him again someday." Misha gives your hand one last squeeze, then looks at her watch. "Oh, shoot," she says, jumping out of her chair. "I need to go pick up Ben." She smooths out her pants and smiles at you. "I'll be back tomorrow. And I'll bring him with. We want to hear about Jakarta." You nod, then turn towards the bedside table the hospital provided.

    You slide open the formica drawer and reach inside. "Oh, Misha, I want you to have this," you say.

    You place the coin in her hand. It still feels the same as when you first picked it up, all that time ago.

    "Oh, really, I couldn't -" she starts, but you interrupt her.

    "Please. It's served me well over the years. And now it belongs to you."

    She nods, wipes one eye with the back of her hand. “Thank you. Really.”

     And then she thanks you again, gives you a half hug over the hospital bed, promises to come back tomorrow, and you know that she will. And, in a rush, she's gone.

    After she leaves, you sit in the stillness for a moment. The last rays of sunlight stream through the window, and you reach for your sketchbook, still here with you after all these years. You open it up, and reminisce one last time.

     *** The End ***

    Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game, QUIT or UNDO the last command?





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