|Catherine: The Mysterious Tale of Rapunzel|
|Release dates||July 22, 2011 (JP)|
Catherine: The Mysterious Tale of Rapunzel was released on July 22nd, 2011 and is the second of two official novels released exclusively in Japan, the other being Catherine: The Novel.
The novel is a prequel set before Catherine. Unlike the novelization, this is an original novel that features a new cast and plot, though some characters from the game do make appearances. Despite being a prequel, it is recommended NOT to read it before finishing the game as it spoils certain plot points of it.
A few months before Vincent and friends become embroiled in the series of deaths from weakness that send shockwaves through society, Freddie McGoohan, a game planner who hates being tied down by women, meets a new employee who calls herself Catherine, falling madly in love for the first time. At the same time, however, inexplicable incidents begin occurring around him, and he is tormented by nightmares each night in which he frantically climbs walls without end. When the past, betrayals and women converge, what answer awaits him at the end of the labyrinth of reality and dreams?
An English fan translation of the novel is available here.
The novel begins with Orlando, Toby and Jonny in the Stray Sheep bar. While Jonny is playing the Rapunzel game, he and Orlando recently took a liking too, Toby asks for Vincent's whereabouts to which Jonny answers he is likely with his girlfriend, Katherine. After switching places with Jonny and now playing the game himself, Orlando ponders the whereabouts of another person they previously met at the bar, a video game company employee, Freddie McGoohan. Jonny retorts that it was only natural for Freddie to lay low after “an incident like that”. The friends end the conversation assuming Freddie is doing fine wherever he is.
Freddie McGoohan suddenly found himself in a cold faintly lit place full of blocks to climb. Trying to piece together how he got to this place, Freddie recalls going to dinner with someone, drinking but was unable to piece any more of his memories together. Suddenly, Freddie encounters a talking sheep walking on two legs, telling him he needs to climb the blocks to safety. After being told by the sheep that he “reeks of woman”, Freddie is able to recall the name of the woman he met before he reached this place, Stella. After refusing to climb and being abandoned by the talking sheep, Freddie suddenly hears a shrieking voice asking for help, not to be abandoned and to be saved. A black tentacle appears from the abyss and grabs another sheep close to Freddie, dragging the sheep down below. Now realizing the actual stakes, Freddie began frantically climbing the wall of blocks ahead of him, eventually gaining enough distance so that the shrieking voice could no longer be heard. However as he and a small group of sheep neared the top of the wall, Freddie suddenly heard the voice once more calling for help. A nearby sheep falling behind the group extended a hand to Freddie. As Freddie began to reach out his own hand, he felt a large tremor through the wall, and the voice screaming “I won’t forgive you!” Unable to save the sheep that was no longer on solid ground, all Freddie could do was watch the sheep as he plummeted to his demise.
Waking up in his room, Freddie is able to vaguely recall having a horrible dream though unable to recall any major details. Seeing his girlfriend, Stella Simmons wake up beside him, Freddie notices that he is running late. As Freddie quickly leaves the bed, getting ready for work, Stella turns on the TV to a news report covering a recent accident. Asking Stella to turn the TV off before doing it himself, Freddie starts making sure he has everything he needs for work before stumbling across a picture in his apartment showing himself and Stella smiling at an amusement park when they had first started dating. Freddie scoffed at how happier they were back then compared to now. Before leaving, Stella quickly asks Freddie if he knows about the fairytale of Rapunzel, she is thinking about using as an influence in the next horror novel she’s writing. Stella talks about the princess being shut away from the world in a tower by an evil witch until a prince would encounter the princess and fall in love, swearing to do whatever it takes to climb the tower. Not paying much attention to Stella, Freddie brushes her off and leaves for work.
The video game company Freddie works for is known as Fowles Economics. After leaving a particularly bad planning meeting, Freddie talked to a member of his development team, Georg Valença regarding their boss, Daryl and how he is to blame for the executives shooting down their mobile game proposal about horoscopes. Being told that a game about horoscopes should be a guaranteed hit by Daryl and after a string of working overtime and extra shifts, Freddie was able to get the proposal done in time only for the proposal to be shot down by the executives on the horoscopes premise alone. Daryl simply sided with the executives and told Freddie that it was bad luck and to take another look at reworking the proposal. Masking his rage at the executives and Daryl for wasting his time, Freddie suddenly had an image of a sheep falling down a tower enter his mind and internally wished to himself that Daryl would ‘fall’. Georg having been only temporarily assigned to the reworking of the proposal which was currently lacking a complete team to work on it, started to leave for his home. Before Freddie was given a chance to leave as well Georg directed him to a notice from Daryl asking to see him needing a favor. Daryl surprises Freddie, telling him that has been assigned to work on a new proposal for a game, advising Freddie for it to be a virtual dating simulator, giving him a week to finish the proposal.
Unable to make any real progress on the dating simulator proposal and noticing that his boss Daryl was no longer around, Freddie clocked out in the evening and after briefly considering calling up Stella went back on the idea and settled on heading to a nearby bar, The Stray Sheep. After ordering a drink and brushing off the silver-haired owner’s probing questions, Freddie headed towards the bathroom bumping into a man just on the way out sharing a similar appearance to his own. Hearing other people in the bar call to the similar-looking man by the name of ‘Vincent’, Freddie entered the bathroom to wash his face only to hear a voice whisper “I wouldn’t be so sure” after doing so. Confused and questioning if he can be that drunk after just a single drink, Freddie felt himself stagger as he left the bathroom. Noticing Freddie and appearing concerned, Vincent invited Freddie to sit with himself and his friends to which Freddie reluctantly accepts. After trading introductions between himself and Vincent’s group, Freddie brings up his job and that he is working on a dating simulator game. Orlando soon asks Freddie on what sort of woman is his type to which Freddie replies that he doesn’t have a type. Unsatisfied, Orlando resorts to discussing Vincent’s type of woman, describing her as “young”, “blonde”, “fair-skinned” and “with a touch of devilishness”. Noticing Vincent’s irritation at Orlando’s description along with his lack of denial, Freddie figured it must have been a rather accurate description then proceeds to make a mental note of Vincent’s ‘type’.
Working late into the night, Freddie found himself still unable to make any progress with the dating simulator proposal. After replying to a message from Stella asking to see him, saying that he had overtime, Freddie tried to at least start thinking of characters to put into the game then thought back to Orlando’s description of Vincent’s type of woman and began to quickly sketch out the image that came to mind. Soon after finishing the drawing, Freddie suddenly heard a voice call out to him. Freddie was stunned to see a woman who perfectly matched the appearance to the character Freddie just sketched out. The woman introduced herself to Freddie as Catherine, claiming to be a temp hired to help Freddie on his project. Freddie found himself attracted to every small or minor action Catherine did around him. Feeling further dazed and confused by this, Freddie started finding it hard to breathe. Expressing concern, Catherine told Freddie to go home for the night and to call him a cab. Freddie’s memories began to blank out as to the following events. Freddie would have sex with Catherine later that night but would wake up the following morning alone and with no sign of Catherine.
Wondering about whether or not sleeping with Catherine last night actually happened or was simply a dream, Freddie began to get ready for work once more when his phone started ringing. Answering the phone and finding out that Catherine had called him, explaining that she will now be working at night regularly, requesting Freddie to be there when she arrives, Freddie agrees to the request before ending the call. Freddie suddenly felt perplexed as he didn’t ever recall giving Catherine his number. After receiving another message from Stella asking to see him and once again using work as a reason he was unable to, Freddie met with Georg at work. Freddie mentioned the new temp assigned to the proposal, Catherine who Georg had never heard previously heard about. Unconcerned, Freddie once again tried to make progress with the proposal though was ultimately unable to write down a single sentence. Arriving the same time she did the previous night, Catherine soon completely flustered Freddie once again leaving him unable to focus on the proposal. Thinking of an idea herself, Catherine began to write out a plan for a peeping Tom game involving stalkers and filming sex scenes. Suddenly Freddie felt a shiver run down his back and a repressed memory begin to emerge before Catherine interrupted his train of thought expressing concern to which Freddie responded by saying he did not feel too well. Catherine explains that she has no problem if Freddie wanted to leave, she could continue working on her idea herself. Warming to the idea of the game himself and still wanting to spend time with Catherine, Freddie offers to have a drink with Catherine when she’s done working as thanks for the proposal idea.
Freddie once again found himself in a dark world with a wall of blocks to climb. Hearing a sheep wearing a silver rosary encouraging him to climb, Freddie noticed he himself had a sheep horn on his head, figuring out that this meant all the sheep he saw here were also real people too. Beginning to climb up the wall, Freddie heard a voice from below calling out his name and asking to not be left behind. This distraction was enough for Freddie to slip off the wall and begin to plummet only to be saved by the sheep with the silver rosary who had recently encouraged him. After thanking the sheep for the help, Freddie started working together with the aforementioned sheep to progress in scaling the wall. Freddie noticed a different sheep a little below him on the wall, pushing other sheep out of the way and generally showing a lack of concern for anyone else. Catching up to Freddie, the selfish sheep proceeded to try and pull Freddie off his block after Freddie refused to get out of his way. After a brief fight, Freddie successfully managed to stay on the wall, inadvertently causing the selfish sheep to fall to the abyss. Further scaling the wall of blocks, Freddie and the helpful sheep eventually found themselves standing in front a gigantic castle. Needing to swing across some vines in order to reach the castle, Freddie only narrowly escaped the monster below with the aid of the helpful sheep who sacrificed his life for Freddie.
Freddie soon learned of the death of his colleague Georg after receiving a call from work, learning that they just found him lying cold in his bed. Taking a moment to question how Georg could have died given his relatively good health, Freddie eventually left for work. Talking to Daryl regarding Georg’s death, Freddie learns that Georg apparently died of frailty from extreme physical exhaustion. Unsure how this could be possible, Freddie asks whether it could have been suicide wondering whether Georg had jumped to his death. Suddenly Freddie feels a sharp pain in his head and the word “sheep” being stuck inside his mind. Daryl tells Freddie that he doesn’t mind if he takes the day off if he’s finding the news hard before leaving Freddie alone. Freddie continues trying to work out how Georg could have possibly died only for the stabbing sensation in his head to return and for an old witch-like voice emerge to tell him to write the specification document. This is soon interrupted by Daryl returning to Freddie, telling him he is leaving and to sort out Georg’s desk. Daryl mentions that the planning meeting will go ahead as previously scheduled before leaving Freddie alone once more. Freddie now further agitated at Daryl whom he thought may have actually cared about his employees, started clearing through things on Georg’ desk. While wondering if he should go home, Freddie suddenly noticed a silver rosary in one of Georg’s drawers. Images flashed through Freddie’s mind, of bells, towers and falling sheep. Freddie clutched his chest as his body went weak, deciding to leave the rest of Georg’s things unsorted for the rest of the day.
Unable to stop thinking about the incident and still feeling poorly, Freddie informs Catherine of Georg’s death when they are alone at night. Once again concerned about Freddie’s wellbeing, Catherine tries to comfort Freddie, giving him a kiss and offering to finish the proposal herself. Confessing that she has taken a liking to Freddie, Catherine asks Freddie if she can stay at his apartment for the night. Feeling better by her company, Freddie accepts Catherine’s offer then immediately feels his phone buzzing. Freddie answered his phone to hear Stella asking him to come over to her house. Moving to the bathroom to avoid Catherine hearing the conversation, Freddie declined Stella’s request causing her voice to become more demanding as she claimed that she would “curse” Freddie if he did not see her. Still declining her request, Freddie offers to see her tomorrow. Entering the bathroom just as Freddie ends the call, Catherine asks who Freddie was talking to. Freddie claims it was a friend of Georg while Catherine tells Freddie she suspects it was a woman. Amused at Freddie’s surprised reaction, Catherine claims to not mind and leaves with Freddie to his apartment.
Stella continued to tell the story of Rapunzel to Freddie explaining that Rapunzel was trapped in the tower by the witch because her parents had stolen vegetables form the witch’s garden. Stella ended the story saying that the prince climbed up Rapunzel’s hair and then made love. Freddie asks what happened to the witch that Stella brushes off, eventually saying it’s a secret then claims that her novel inspired by the story will have a much better ending.
On his way to Georg’s funeral, Freddie can’t get Stella’s voice talking about Rapunzel out of his head. This distracts Freddie enough to crash his car into a tree. Relatively unharmed by the crash, Freddie decided to get his car towed and call a cab to the funeral. Arriving during the last part of the service, Freddie proceeded to talk among his work colleagues such as Daryl whom he still had clear contempt towards. After declining several offers to go out for a drink, Freddie noticed a familiar woman among the crowd. While her face was obscured by her veil, her long blonde hair and slim body resembled that of Stella’s. Wondering what she was there for, Freddie began to approach her but ultimately changed his mind then noticed a silver rosary identical to Georg’s tied around her wrist. Further confused, all Freddie could do was stare at Georg’s headstone for a little while.
That evening, Freddie returned to The Stray Sheep bar where he also saw and was approached by Vincent. Freddie soon asks Vincent if he has a girlfriend to which Vincent responds with an indecisive “I think”. Freddie warns Vincent to never get too serious with women, to sleep with them a few times then shut them down. Vincent confused by what Freddie says, argues that his girlfriend is not that type of woman. Freddie warns Vincent that if he is not careful he will be chained down. Freddie proceeded to tell Vincent a story which happened when Freddie was in junior high. Freddie, entering his room found his older sister, Helen and his friend George screaming and crying as Helen bit into his shoulder demanding him to move his hips more. Helen proceeded to then blackmail Freddie that if anyone else would find out, she would say George raped her. Soon after that, George vanished while Freddie’s sister, Helen continues to seduce rich guys and live carefree. Freddie concludes that all women are like that, willing to sacrifice men for their own needs. Vincent, stunned silent from hearing Freddie’s story eventually tells Freddie that there is a woman out there he can trust. Freddie’s thoughts turn to Catherine as he finishes his drink and thanks Vincent for listening to him and leaves the bar.
Freddie on his way back home runs into a drunken Catherine who soon claims was waiting for him, claiming that she simply had a feeling that he would be there. Her body coming close to Freddie, Catherine invited herself to Freddie’s apartment which Freddie eventually obliged to. After some teasing back and forth, Freddie admits to Catherine and himself that he likes her and that she is “special”. Catherine confesses her love to Freddie before kissing him once more. Arriving near his apartment, Freddie noticed the light was on in his room and a dark figure resembling Stella walk across its window. Hearing Stella call out to Freddie and concerned about her reaction to his affair, Freddie tries to get Catherine to leave before she opens the door but she resists. As Stella opens the door and Freddie tries to explain why Catherine is with him, Freddie is shocked to find Catherine having disappeared from sight.
Eventually entering his apartment with Stella, Freddie asks Stella why she is here to which she answers that there is something important they need to talk about as she started drinking a glass of milk and sat by a table. Stella calmly asks Freddie how he is feeling and if he has been having any bad dreams about falling lately. As Stella’s questioning continued, Freddie’s head begins to ache as his mind was flooded by images of red eyes and sheep horns. Freddie began to voice his suspicions regarding Stella and Georg but was further interrupted by Stella claiming not to know what he was talking about. Further angered, Freddie attempted to reach Stella on the other side of the table only to knock it and cause the glass of milk to fall resembling the shape of a sheep. Exasperated, Freddie simply tells Stella to leave which she obliges to, still calm as ever. As Stella left, Freddie turned to once again look at the mess he caused as black ants started swarming the spilt milk.
Freddie once again found himself in the nightmare and inside a cold, unfamiliar building. Recalling the previous nightmare’s events and looking at the room’s interior, Freddie figured this to be the inside of the black castle. Looking ahead to the end of the hall, Freddie saw what appeared to be an endless set of stairs to climb. Spotting a nearby glasses-wearing sheep, Freddie asks what is ahead of the stairs. The sheep simply replied that he didn’t know and that all they can do is climb. Shortly after this exchange, Freddie notices the tentacle monster from the previous nightmare return. The glasses-wearing sheep quickly begins to climb the stairs without Freddie. Noticing he’s the only one at the bottom of the stairs and feeling lonely, Freddie quickly begins to start making his way up the stairs. As Freddie and other sheep continued to climb, they heard a scream from another sheep, clutching his stomach as blood started to seep from his body and he started to spasm before going still.
Suddenly the statues appearing like Roman soldiers surrounding the stairs started to move and use their spears to skewer some unsuspecting sheep. Trying to stay relatively calm in comparison to the other sheep, Freddie simply stood and observed the ongoing events which took place before him. Eventually Freddie figured out that the other statues which weren’t of Roman soldiers but of Goddesses seemed to be relatively harmless. Staying close to the Goddess statues, Freddie was able to safely bypass the threat of the Roman soldier statues. Freddie noticed the glasses-wearing sheep from earlier employ a different tactic to safety, waiting for the Roman soldier statues to skewer enough sheep before finally withdrawing its spear then running past it. Further irritated by this sheep’s behavior, Freddie spat on the ground before continuing his ascent up the stairs.
As the number of sheep remaining the stairs began to dwindle, Freddie was surprised by his own actions as he started to encourage the fellow sheep remaining to not give up. Freddie thought back to the sheep that saved him in a recent nightmare as inspiration. All while this was happening, Freddie noticed the glasses sheep keeping his distance from everyone else and simply focused on himself. Freddie and the other sheep noticed some stairs with a distinct pattern were traps which when stepped on would slope down at angle sending them back down the stairs. Despite Freddie and some sheep noticing this, other less smart sheep continued to step on these traps and fall to their doom. Freddie then soon noticed the glasses wearing sheep was behind him, waiting for Freddie to act and to simply copy the safe route Freddie found for himself. Doing his best to ignore the glasses sheep to avoid further confrontation, Freddie continued to make his way up the stairs noticing a large silver moon through a window in the room and soon heard the chiming of a bell. Knowing this meant the end was near, Freddie was further motivated to climb then heard a familiar voice scream out his name. Quickly looking back to the source of the voice Freddie noticed a huge female torso, a head with short brown hair, hands with red-painted nails and the body wearing a black t-shirt and leather jacket. What shocked and paralysed Freddie most about this more than anything was that the woman had no face, the space between her forehead and chin seemingly scooped out with a giant spoon.
Eventually willing himself to climb up further and ignoring the woman screaming his name, Freddie found himself confronting the glasses sheep. The glasses sheep appeared to be calling back to the giant woman to “leave him alone, Dad”. Confused at how the glasses sheep could think that the monster following them could be a woman, Freddie noticed another feature of the monster, a red butterfly earring, Freddie recalls buying for someone. Freddie’s train of thought is soon interrupted by the glasses sheep grabbing his neck and dragging Freddie to the ground trying to force Freddie out of his way. Freddie eventually punched the glasses sheep in the face causing him to be consumed by the monster before escaping.
Freddie woke up trying to figure out the identity of the faceless woman but ultimately unable to remember some of the crucial details. Redirecting his thoughts to why Stella had an identical rosary to Georg and why Stella would have any interest in Georg, Freddie tried to picture the two of them together but for some reason pictured Georg to have the old head of a witch grabbing a crying Stella’s long hair and laughing. Further confused, Freddie’s thoughts turned to Catherine and his desire to see her again before finally getting ready to go to work.
Arriving at work around noon, Freddie was initially relieved to see Daryl’s desk was unoccupied before soon being informed by a colleague that Daryl was dead. Shocked, Freddie asks the colleague how it happened before being told that the colleague doesn’t know the details it just suddenly happened. Freddie soon began hearing the chiming of the bell and instinctively covered his ears. Concerned, the colleague asks Freddie if he wants to go home as he does not appear well. Freddie declines the offer, wanting to see Catherine again. Freddie meets up with the president who is claiming to be impressed by the initial proposal of the game so far and that it would be a shame to dissolve the project, offering Freddie to be the producer of the project, Freddie immediately accepts wanting to spend more time with Catherine.
Meeting up with Catherine later that night, Freddie was handed a rough sketch of the house design for the game’s characters. Feeling a weird sense of déjà vu, Freddie asks Catherine if it is her house which she denies. Thinking about the past events of Georg’s and Daryl’s death, Freddie couldn’t help but feel they are connected. Freddie then impulsively asks Catherine to come live with him, wanting her to be by his side not just work but at morning and night. Taken aback by this offer Catherine stays quiet and before being able to give an answer, Freddie’s phone starts to ring. Being told by Catherine to answer his phone, Freddie reluctantly obliges to find Stella asking him if he has been having dreams and if a sheep fell then to meet her at the Stray Sheep at 10 offering to tell Freddie all about the dreams. After the call ended, Freddie looked back to Catherine only to find himself as the only person around in the office.
Arriving at the Stray Sheep, Freddie began to converse with the old bartender and simultaneously wonder about the weird recent events such as Stella’s knowledge of the nightmares and Catherine’s disappearances. Giving Freddie a drink, the bartender tells Freddie about how the recent ongoing deaths seem to be all that the news are on about nowadays. Turning the conversation back on the bartender, Freddie tells the bartender that he seems to know a lot about these recent deaths. The bartender brushes it off that he just hears a lot of information from the people who visit the bar such as a victim recently having a divorce as a result of an affair apparently the ex-wife was jealous and thrust a knife into the husband but it’s just gossip and what really happened is unknown. Freddie notices the bartender appeared to be less polite and courteous than the typical bartender, figuring the old man must have something else he must be doing in his spare time. Laughing awkwardly the bartender denies having any other things to do. Freddie does not appear to believe the bartender’s denial but when offered a free drink by the now shaken bartender decides to stop his probing. Giving Freddie his free drink, the bartender inquires to Freddie’s employment. Finding out that Freddie is a games developer, the bartender asks if Freddie might be able to think of a game to go in the bar in return for free drinks for life. While tempted by the offer, Freddie ultimately declines wanting to focus on the game he’s working on together with Catherine.
Noticing that Stella was now half an hour late, Freddie tried to call and text Stella’s number only to reach voicemail and get no reply. Hearing someone enter the bar, Freddie instinctively turned around only to find Vincent and his friends. After exchanging some quick greetings, Freddie asks the group if any of them have seen Stella. After hearing that none of them have seen her and Freddie’s explanation of his situation, Vincent offers that he and his friends join Freddie in looking for Stella at her nearby house.
With the group arriving at Stella’s house, Freddie rings the doorbell several times only for no response. With Freddie lacking a key to the house to get in the locked door, Vincent offers trying to get in round the back of the house. Noticing the garage door was also locked, Vincent started upturning empty flowerpots near the garage before finally finding the key. After being asked how he knew to do that, Vincent simply said his girlfriend advised him to do something similar with a spare key in case he ever loses a key; coincidentally, Stella seemed to have the same thought.
Making it inside the house, Freddie began to climb the old creaky stairs towards Stella’s bedroom before getting a horrible memory feeling that he experienced something familiar before feeling like his life is in his danger, he felt like the steps continued to go on for eternity and that this was all some sort of trap by Stella. Freddie’s thoughts are interrupted by Orlando tapping him on his back wondering why he was standing still for so long. Freddie quickly brushes off Vincent’s questions of concern for his wellbeing. Wondering if he was hallucinating, Freddie tries to shake the thought from his mind and resumes climbing up the stairs. Making it to the second floor, Freddie’s interest was caught by a portrait on the wall of a smiling young girl cradling a wreath which made Freddie feel uneasy. Eventually moving on and knocking on Stella’s bedroom door, Freddie called out to Stella only to once again get no response.
Entering Stella’s bedroom, Freddie found newspapers and magazines scattered across the floor. Vincent asks for the location of the bathroom which Freddie quickly gives him only to notice how it is peculiar for him to know the exact layout of the house. While Freddie had been to Stella’s place a few times, he does not recall knowing where every single room was which is when he realised that the sketch Catherine gave him was the sketch of this exact house causing Freddie further confusion. Looking at Stella’s desk, Toby called the other guys over to a written message, Freddie immediately identified the handwriting as Stella’s, the message said “I wish for death”. After failing to find the correct password to boot up Stella’s PC, Freddie began fishing around for anything around Stella’s drawers, where he found a picture of Stella and her arm wrapped around Georg’s at some sort of amusement park, both appearing happy. Figuring this meant that Stella had been sleeping with Georg, Freddie fought the urge to collapse to the floor. Hearing Jonny approach and not wanting anyone else to see the picture, Freddie quickly put the picture back in the drawer. Before Jonny could talk to Freddie though Toby pointed out a pregnancy test box which Jonny quickly told Toby to throw away. Now wondering if Stella was having Georg’s kid, Freddie couldn’t make sense of anything that was going on.
Meeting back up with Vincent and Orlando, Freddie is given a notebook by Vincent containing a bunch of newspaper clippings about Georg’s death before noticing a message in Stella’s handwriting in red ink at the bottom of page which read “The nightmare’s revenge”.
After looking everywhere in the house and still failing to find Stella, Freddie thanked and traded goodbyes with Vincent and his friends. Making his way back to his place, Freddie continued to try and piece together what’s going on with Stella and Catherine, wondering if maybe Catherine had something to do with Stella’s disappearance. Arriving back at his place, Freddie immediately noticed the room was different to how he left it: magazines were scattered across the floor, the closet was open, shirts had been taken off hangers and his work drawers had been open too. Freddie was relieved to find that his ATM card and passport were safe along with the spare key. This is when he realised that the doorknob to his place appeared to be undamaged and that the only person who has a spare key to his place is Stella. Freddie now realised that Stella deliberately planned for him to be away from his apartment so she could enter his apartment alone. Freddie noticed some broken glass surrounding a photo frame containing the photo of Stella and Freddie at the amusement park. Freddie wonders if Stella really did all that planning for this, he considers if perhaps Catherine had become aware of Freddie and Stella’s relationship and in a jealous rage caused the mess before dismissing that Catherine is not that type of girl. Unable to find a concrete answer, Freddie began to cry for the rest of the night unable to sleep.
Not sure how he was able to make it into work after the previous night’s events or why he hasn’t contacted the police regarding Stella’s disappearance, Freddie began to show his proposal of the game to a fellow work colleague only to be shocked that it’s a blank document. Double-checking that this is the correct file, Freddie asks if they can hold things up until Catherine arrives. The colleague is confused as to who Catherine is, explaining that Georg’s desk has been empty since his death. Going over to Georg’s desk, Freddie is surprised to see no signs of Catherine or anyone as the drawers were empty. The colleague directed Freddie to the time cards as further proof that there hasn’t been a Catherine working here, Freddie doing as he was told checked the timecards to again find no sign of Catherine. No longer being able to take any of this torment or confusion, Freddie quickly ran out of the office and checked his phone only to find that Catherine’s number and all the phone history involving her was gone too. Freddie frantically began asking a bunch of random employees if they knew about Catherine only to get a negative response or creep them out enough that they simply didn’t answer him. Further looking through Georg’s things, Freddie was unable to find anything except a silver rosary. The only solution Freddie could think of was to wait at night for Catherine to show up.
Heading towards the desk, Freddie noticed a small red butterfly earring which must have fallen to the floor while he was searching through Georg’s things. Freddie suddenly has flashbacks remembering the faceless woman from before and a woman whom he had previously dated, a vocalist in a band, named Sophie Mallow. Freddie remembered when he broke up with Sophie she took off her red butterfly earrings and thrown them at Freddie. Freddie then began to wonder if it had actually been Sophie who had been behind Stella’s disappearance and maybe Catherine’s disappearance too. Freddie rang the police reporting the disappearance of Stella and Catherine claiming Sophie had to be the person behind it. After not making much progress contacting the police, Freddie decided to call the number of a bar where Sophie’s band frequently played at. After claiming to be an old friend of Sophie’s, Freddie learns from the person at the bar that Sophie died after her car got hit by a truck. Freddie suddenly remembered the news report he heard after waking up from one of his first nightmares that he tried to ignore but perhaps subconsciously took note of was regarding Sophie. Freddie now wondered if it was Sophie’s death that brought upon the nightmares. Still not sure that he had all the right answers for everything and realising that he would surely have a nightmare tonight, Freddie hoped he would at least be able to see Catherine again, even if it was in a nightmare.
Freddie entered the nightmare world once more, this time apparently alone but also now prepared. Freddie saw a large cylindrical black tower with a stone spiral staircase surrounding it. Freddie looked up to see the blood red sky and large moon in the sky before he suddenly heard a mysterious voice welcoming him to the spiral corridor claiming to be a scorekeeper impressed by Freddie’s performance and wanting to give some encouragement near the end. The voice asked Freddie a question: “Do you believe that a relationship between a man and a woman can evolve in a convenient way?” Freddie offers to answer the question if the voice answers a question of his which the voice agrees to. Freddie answers the question saying that a relationship between a man and a woman can evolve in a convenient way then asks the voice where Catherine and Stella are. The voice answers that they’re both up the tower.
As the mysterious voice bids farewell to Freddie, the monster resembling Sophie appears trying to kill Freddie once more. As Freddie climbed up trying to avoid the monster Sophie once more, Freddie wondered if the monster really was Sophie as the monster began to blame Freddie for causing her to die. Eventually Freddie found himself no longer on the tower but on the arm of the monster about to be eaten. In desperation, Freddie bit into the monster’s arm escaping its grasp. As Freddie continued to climb up the tower, he noticed the lower half of the monster was not that of a normal human’s body but with intestines and tentacles. Freddie remembered the cause of her death getting hit by a truck being why she looked like this. Feeling pity for Sophie but still fighting for his life, Freddie made his way up to the top of the tower ignoring the monster’s pleas to stay with her accept her love.
Freddie reaches the top of the tower to find a golden door and is welcomed by an applauding Catherine. Freddie asks Catherine what is happening and what she’s doing here. Catherine explains that Freddie has reached the end of the nightmare; that she is a succubus and she only decided to help out on seducing and culling males who got in the way of the plan on a whim. She continues to say that the nightmare was a device Thomas Mutton made for that purpose. Freddie claims to be unaware of anyone by the name of Thomas Mutton. Catherine goes on to explain that the sheep who fell were in fact as Freddie suspected human but also that they were specifically males and that the Sophie monster was just a manifestation of Freddie’s fear that him breaking up with her caused her death, that she might still be alive if he stayed with her.
Feeling some with relief from hearing this news and that the monster isn’t actually Sophie, Freddie asks Catherine if the sheep with the silver rosary that died was Georg. Taking her silence as confirmation, Freddie then asked if Daryl also died in the nightmare as well which Catherine also confirmed. Getting further angered by this, Freddie asks why they’re being culled, Catherine claims not to be the one behind the nightmares but it has something to do with men getting in the way of the flourishing of the species, men who don’t marry healthy-minded women are to be punished by being sent in the nightmare. The deaths of Georg and Daryl begin to make more sense to Freddie, Freddie was aware that Daryl was in the middle of cheating on his wife and assumed it was Georg’s actions with Stella which caused him to enter the nightmare.
Returning his thoughts to the current ongoing events, Freddie asks Catherine where Stella is. Catherine answers that she doesn’t know, she’s only here because she was interested in him claiming that Freddie’s climbing gave her chills asking Freddie what she wants to do with her. Freddie takes her had saying he wants to be with her and wants to live with her. Catherine is taken aback by this offer claiming that they can’t do this because she’s a succubus. Freddie dismisses that as unimportant. Catherine retorts that it does matter because Freddie would no longer be human but a demon like her and would need to live with her in the spirit realm. As Freddie begins to think about the things he would have to leave behind in his world, Catherine teases Freddie saying that none of that should matter as long as they were together. Still unsure what to do, Freddie asks Catherine if he can drink beer in the spirit realm causing Catherine’s mood to deflate. Catherine says she now realised that Freddie prefers his world to her. Freddie denies this, trying to take his word back but Catherine ignores his pleas and started to move away claiming maybe it was just too much of a fun dream. She finally states that it was silly of her to think of how nice it would be to live with a human before waving goodbye and disappearing to a desperate Freddie begging her not to leave.
After seeing Catherine disappear, shouting for her name many times to no avail and looking for any signs of her, Freddie began to open the golden door to leave the nightmare only for it to disappear. Now with seemingly no way of getting out the nightmare, Freddie noticed a golden rope suddenly appear before him and with nowhere else to go began to climb up it.
Freddie soon noticed his goal he was climbing towards was in fact the moon itself before hearing a voice call out towards him. Soon figuring this out to be Stella, Freddie asks her if she’s in the nightmare too. Stella says she came here by choice to get revenge on Freddie. Stella asks Freddie if he remembers Georg. Freddie answers saying that he does but he isn’t mad at Stella now for her being with Georg, that he was looking for her because he was worried. Stella eventually interjects saying that Georg wasn’t her boyfriend but her younger brother or stepbrother to be exact. Stella explains that she always wanted a brother that when she actually got one, it felt like a dream come true, she even got him a matching rosary for his birthday. Stella goes on to talk about how Georg idolised her and Freddie and how Georg would talk to her about how he was happy to be helping Freddie even if it was in the nightmare but then Freddie killed him. Freddie claims that it wasn’t his fault, he didn’t mean for Georg to die but Stella doesn’t listen claiming that Freddie stole away her happiness.
Stella reveals to Freddie that she is pregnant with Freddie’s child before continuing her story of Rapunzel. Stella states that although Rapunzel was shut away alone in the tower by a witch, she was satisfied with the life she had with the witch. She talks about how one day Rapunzel met a prince who craved her pure untouched body and convinced Rapunzel to let down her long hair to let him into her room. After doing the deed, Rapunzel noticed that her belly was becoming larger and she had become pregnant. Rapunzel, worried about what to do wished to be able to speak to the witch to gain some wisdom but the witch had been pushed from the tower by the prince. Rapunzel shed tears of blood for being violated and for the prince killing the witch, her only support. Rapunzel hated the prince and cursed him hoping for revenge until finally her wish was granted.
Freddie begs for Stella’s forgiveness but Stella tells him it’s too late. The moon which Freddie is climbing towards begins to turn revealing Stella’s face and the rope Freddie was climbing to be her hair. Freddie felt the hair rope begin to loosen then he soon began to fall as Stella said goodbye to her prince claiming that the nightmare won’t end and that he will wander the world of the rift for eternity. Freddie continued to fall into the darkness for what felt like an eternity.
Waking up to a bunch of police sirens, Freddie found himself back in the normal world. Opening his curtains Freddie noticed a bunch of police cars parked by the neighbouring building. Freddie turns on the television to the news to find a report of the death of Stella in a nearby apartment room claiming a high possibility of suicide. Wondering if suicide was really the cause of death and why she was renting a cheap apartment next door, Freddie decided to go there to investigate. Before he could get there though, Freddie’s foot got on something in front of his own bookcase. Looking down, Freddie realised it was a small camera. Wondering how long that camera had been there, Freddie recalls that this is eerily similar to the Peeping Tom proposal he and Catherine had come up with before. Wondering just how many cameras there could be watching him in his room, Freddie suddenly felt alienated. Letting out a scream Freddie ran out of his room and apartment building outside towards a crowd of people discussing Stella’s death learning that Stella had apparently cut all her hair off with scissors before stabbing herself in the throat. Freddie suddenly heard Stella’s voice inside his head once more claiming that she’ll always be watching him from the depths of hell which he will soon be in too.
Freddie once more sat alone in the office pondering if he had been more faithful towards women if this whole situation could have been avoided. Freddie thinks towards the people at the bar hoping that they won’t turn out like him. Freddie began to quickly construct a game revolving around the moving of blocks along with a suitable background storyline. Freddie’s speed increased, hoping to create a game which would produce favorable relationships for men and women and to end the nightmare.
At the Stray Sheep, Vincent noticed a large pile of A4 papers atop a table before asking Erica whose it is. Jonny directed Erica to the folder claiming it to be ‘lost and found’ though Erica denies this claiming them to be the first customers here. Unable to figure out whom the folder belongs to, Erica just shrugs and says she’ll just give it to the owner of the bar. Soon forgetting about this, Orlando asks Vincent how things are going with Katherine which Vincent replies by saying “Nothing’s happening”. Jonny interjects asking Vincent if Katherine really has nothing to talk to him about. Toby asks Jonny what he means by that which Jonny evades by simply saying “Oh nothing”. Vincent orders a refill for his glass as Erica gives a resigned sigh and warns him to go easy with the drinks.
Thomas Mutton thoroughly looks over the proposal for the game with its programme code attached. Noticing it was so detailed and complete it could go into development right away. Deciding to set this game up in the bar post-haste, Mutton notes that he shall make some additions to the game himself figuring it to be a good tool to drag people into the nightmare even if that’s not the creator’s original intent with the game. Mutton simply states that is just how life goes before making a cocktail raising it in the air and making a toast to ‘your girlfriend’. The title of the game: Rapunzel.