The story for Singularity came together fast. It came together loose.
I was slapping black holes on eyeballs, and imagining some sort of infection or mind control--a dark presence bending the wills of the noble.
Everyone loves the Queen of Hearts, right? Let's make her special. She's not infected. Instead, she gets a creepy flower... Is she the perpetrator? Is she behind it all? Or is she innocent? Unknowing?
As soon as I laid eyes on the King of Hearts, I knew what I had to do. I recalled a deck in my collection where our supposedly suicidal friend had one solid, red eye--the designer clearly leaning into the bloody trope. This king would be fighting off the possession!
And the Jack of Diamonds? I had to do something special for my favorite card. So I built the narrative that he had been infected, but had overcome the dark force and claimed its power for himself. He would be responsible, ultimately, for freeing everyone else. And yet, out loud, I mused about him inhaling the universe. Who was he? Take note of the duality here, as well: the flip side of the card smirks, with one eyebrow raised.
I teased the whole narrative a bit, here and there. When I gave a closer look at the court cards in my first Kickstarter campaign, I dropped hints and what-ifs in an update. In the second campaign, I similarly teased out the thread with a single paragraph in, again, an update. And that was all I gave it, except for a few cryptic throwaways on Instagram. The one person I had told the story to directly was totally on board. "Share it!" they urged. Well.
I guess it got buried. Heck, if you tear apart a Singularity tuck case, you may find "my eye on you always" hidden, glued under a flap. SO META. 🤣
And it kept stewing, there in the dark...
My coyness around whether the Queen was actually involved lead me to a point, some time after I had both white and black versions of the deck designed, where I said, "Why not both?"
I decided, then, that I would formally write it up. Not some novella or something, but a framework. Not even whole sentences necessarily. Just coherent (enough) thoughts to give shape to the thing in my head while leaving a playful amount of room for interpretation. What's really going on? What do you want to be going on?
Light vs. dark
The Jack of Diamonds, along with the Queen, really helped me to cement the idea that there were two stories happening. Two eerily similar stories, moving beat-for-beat to discordant melodies.