We played The Nameless Summer by Rudy Mangual this week on the StorySynth engine, in which we play a group of dissolute youths working on an island catering to summer tourists, working out the last week of the season. Our crew consists of Lolita, who works at the Market Fair 16 movie theater; Troy, who takes tourists out on his private glass-bottom, the SS Crystal Lens; Delmar, sho is a counselor at Camp Castaway summer camp; and Marcus, who works at the Penny Drop, a local boardwalk arcade.
That final week of summer begins with each of us at work. Delmar reads in the paper about a former fellow counselor who has gone missing. Marcus is prepping for a major eclipse this weekend that will be visible from the island. Lolita hears a group of tourists talking about the old legends about the “song of the sea” that once caused so many shipwrecks in this area. And Troy has a terrible day when his ex, Valerie, sees him covered in his most recent passengers’ vomit. Other things seem off all week: a strange fortune told, an envelope with an invitation to a mysterious event, and strange goings-on up at the old Carrington Estate.
Later in the week, we’re each haunted in some way by the past. Troy remembers getting lost in the sea caves as the water was coming in. Delmar is down by the sea caves and swears he hears the voice of a boy crying out for help. Marcus remembers the strangest thing that he swears is true: when watching Back to the Future in middle school, everything stopped and Doc Brown turned and spoke directly to him. Lolita has bad dreams about a sea creature she saw trailing the ferry when she was in third grade, which she otherwise hadn’t thought of in years. The next day, Valerie is seen in the grocery store, tenderizing the meat with a mallet while it’s still in the packaging.
The weekend has come at last and the eeriness intensifies. The eclipse is coming and the crowds are growing. Leslie, the younger sister of the missing counselor, implores Delmar to leave while he still can, so she must not know what Lolita discovers: that the harbor is closed and no one can leave the island. Marcus hears of some ritual to be performed at the sea caves at the point of totality, while Troy sees a boy on the pier whose eyes look pitch black. We go to the sea caves to see about this ritual, and discover that people are making a deal with some tentacled sea-creature we call the Traug. We try to stop them, but Marcus is pulled under by a tentacle and does not come back up. The rest of us end up in the Traug’s thrall like the rest of the town. Troy ends up sailing alone on his boat pointing things out through the glass to no one in an incoherent gibberish. Lolita continues to work at the theater, but now she has nonsense speech escaping her mouth and light emitted from her eyes. Delmar continues as a camp counselor, mindlessly doing his daily activities even though the camp is now deserted.