More of Ira and the SCP spinoff Chicago Spirit setting by Krakaheimr!

There’s a location in the setting called the Shepherd’s Crook, which is a little pocket dimension the gang was gifted and that one of their branches operates out of. Kraik said it’s an odd place to be in, so I wanted to play with a few thoughts about what that might be like.

You might think a pocket dimension undiscoverable by the cops would be the perfect place for a bunch of criminals to shack up. Better than coming and going, even, since the more in-and-out people do, the more likely they are to be discovered. But a few days in and Ira is beginning to realize why nobody else seems to live in the Crook.

He noticed the first day how things seemed to swim a little if he moved his head too fast, or took a corner too suddenly. As creepy pocket dimension side-effects go, that one was pretty harmless, even when he began to realize that when that happened, things looked a little…purple and twilit around the edges till they stabilized.

And then there was the thing where…well, the thing was, he kept getting lost. Couldn’t take a proper turn if it killed him, seemed like—and it almost did a few times, when he wandered into the middle of places he wasn’t supposed to be.

And that was weird, because while he didn’t have the best sense of direction, it was pretty average at least. Normally a guy got used to the feel of how a place twisted and turned after a few days. But it was maybe four or five days in when he left his room and headed left down the hall to that first intersection, and realized the reason he could never figure out which way to go was because the hallways kept changing direction. Not that you’d end up someplace different if you turned right. But that the hallway that went right kept changing angles.

He sat down on the floor at the corner there and watched it for a while.

Eventually Perch came and found him. Ira heard the step-tunk of his stride coming up the hall a bit before he came into view. And then he stopped and looked down at Ira. “The fuck you doing down there?”

The twisted-up confusion was such a normal expression on the face of a guy like him that Ira snorted a laugh. “Did you know the hallways move?”

Because sure enough, sit and watch long enough and you realized this turn in the hallway went right the way a river flowed south. That was, ultimately that was the direction the water moved in. But on any given turn you might be facing south or east or west—or even north for a bit on a real exciting loop—and furthermore sometimes the river jumped its bed and laid a new path.

Perch shot him a warier look at that. And then, he answered Ira’s question by shooting another over his shoulder, back the way he’d come. “Well come on. The Ol’ Man’s been wondering where the hell you got off to. Sent me to make sure you didn’t fall into a pit somewhere.”

“There are pits?”

Ira wouldn’t be surprised if there are pits. He hasn’t found any yet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much.

You don’t see the hallways move, is the thing. There’s no sun in here, or stars. The Crook is just rooms and hallways, with their tobacco-stained whitewashed walls and cheap, battered wood flooring with rugs here and there thrown down to hide disturbing stains, and every once in a while a movie poster or something plastered to the wall, either because somebody got bored of the plainness or maybe to help them remember where the fuck they were in this place.

It’s impossible to see the place shift because they’re inside it, and there’s nothing to reference for bearings except the hallway itself. But pay close attention and sit still for a while, and you can *feel* the way you’re slowly being turned to face a different direction.

So yeah, he wouldn’t be surprised if the pits just haven’t found him yet.

But then there’s the day he takes a wrong turn—UGH—trying to come back from the kitchen and catches a hallway waking up.

He rounds the corner, and…for a second he thinks there isn’t a hallway there. But then, with a jerk like a cat startled awake, it opens up. There’s a split second that registers in his eyes like an after-image, spots floating in his eyes in the shape of streaks of raw universe weaving themselves, and then the scuffed white walls and battered floor are snapping into place, with a painting of some guys playing poker in hell, and an unattributable air of sheepishness.

He turns around and goes back.

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