A/N: This story takes place right after the conclusion of the game Alan Wake. It is meant to be a bridge to Alan Wake: American Nightmare, but at the same time isn't canon (obviously). I have yet to play American Nightmare nor have I played the DLC levels, so I don't take them into consideration too much for this plot. If you haven't played Alan Wake I recommend playing it as you may not get some of the references at first. In the coming chapters I will do my best to explain what exactly happened in the game without deviating too far from the plot, so bear with me.
My name is Alan Wake. I'm a writer. At least, I used to be a writer. I don't think I am anymore. In order to save my wife, Alice, I had to exchange her life for my own with the Dark Presence. The last thing I remember is finishing my story, the one that started everything. It was called "Departure" and I wrote it under the influence of the Dark Presence as a way to save Alice. Now I'm stuck, falling through darkness, into an endless abyss. Where I am there is no light, no hope for escape, and no hope of seeing Alice ever again.
Then, out of nowhere, I see a burst of light, and I hear a familiar voice.
"Alan, Turn the light on," it says.
The voice is that of a man, and it's gentleness as well as it's strength sooths me. I recognize it as the voice of Thomas Zane, the writer who defeated the Dark Presence back in the seventies, before I came to Bright Falls. In order to beat the darkness Zane had to write himself out of existence, but he left things behind, things that allowed me to defeat the darkness myself and save my wife.
One of these things is the clicker, the light switch with magical properties that was the tool I needed to get to Alice at the bottom of Cauldron Lake.
The clicker! I remember that it is in my hand, and in an instant I flick it, causing it to shine with a powerful light. The darkness around me begins to fade instantly, and I am no longer falling, but am now lying on the floor of the study in the cabin on Cauldron Lake. I get up and look out the window and see that the cabin is still under the waves, the view clouded by darkness.
I turn and find that Zane is standing next to me, still in his diver's suit.
"Thomas?" I ask. My voice is weak.
"Please Alan, just call me Tom. The Dark Presence was controlling you. It's a miracle that my light was able to set you free," he says.
"And Alice?" I ask.
"She is free and currently in Bright Falls." He says matter of factually.
Suddenly my eyes glisten with tears. It's been so long since I've cried, but I cannot stop myself.
"Tom, I'm so sorry, all of this is my fault. The Dark Presence, the Taken, even you have been hurt by me and my writing." I say putting my face in my hands.
The Darkness had used me to give it power, with it's strength it possessed people in Bright Falls, creating the Taken. Once they were overpowered by darkness they were as good as dead, all that was left was a shell of their former self. The only way to beat a Taken was to first destroy it's dark protections with light, only then could it be killed with conventional weapons.
"Alan, none of this was your fault, you could never have seen this coming. The darkness used you the same way it used me," says Zane, trying to cheer me up.
I manage to compose myself, turning myself back to the desk where I see that that last page of "Departure" has disappeared.
Right now there is only one question that's burning inside.
"So what happens to us now?" I ask Tom. He gives something that sounds like a sigh before speaking.
"Right now, neither of us technically exists. I don't because that was the way I wrote it, and you, because you have been replaced by Mr. Scratch. However, I suspect there may be a way for us to return."
"How?" I ask, turning back to face him.
If there was any way for me to return to Alice I would at least give it a try. She was my whole world. However, no matter how eager I was to see my wife again, I was not going to risk setting the Dark Presence loose on Bright Falls again.
"You will simply have to write your sequel to 'Departure'." says Zane.
"What? Another book?" I ask.
"Yes. The darkness will still bring the story to life. In fact it needs the story. When you destroyed the skin of my Barbara, you weakened even more than I did when I wrote myself and all I had done out of existence. The only thing that kept it alive was the works that were hidden away in the shoe box. Right now Mr. Scratch, your evil double, is the one that embodies the darkness. He needs the story if he plans to regain the Dark Presence's lost power.
"All you have to do is write the story and bring us back. You figured out how to beat the darkness in the end of 'Departure' I have no doubt you can do it again. Once we're back in reality, we'll stop the Dark Presence for good."
I wasn't fond of the plan. If I failed to write the story, then we would most likely die, I'd never see Alice again, and worse Mr. Scratch will become more powerful. So much was riding on this one gamble, but Tom seemed confident that we'd be able to pull it off.
"It's so risky, but I'll do it," I said finally.
"Perfect. Your typewriter is there where you left it," he said, indicating the desk. I looked; the typewriter was indeed sitting there right were it was before. Then in a flash of light, a stack of paper appeared.
"I kept it handy, just in case," admitted Tom. "Don't worry about being possessed as you were when you wrote 'Departure', I will protect you with my light, you will be in full control of the story.
"But know this: You must stay true to the story for this to become the sequel that we need. It must be a horror story, there have to be sacrifices, but there is no other way."
I nodded my understanding and sat at the typewriter. I placed the page inside and began to think. I had to make this right, each step had to be perfectly planned if I was to succeed. After a moment, my fingers began to pluck at the keys, and I wrote the first few words.
"My name is Alan Wake. I'm a writer."