Hint Request: Absence of Miriam Lane

I feel pretty dumb, because apparently nobody has ever requested hints for this game, and dozens of people have solved it without hints.

But I have no idea how to make progress.

I figured out the first part of the game, thinking thoughts at various objects in the house. Now “the light” is fully on, and I can see the absence in the bedroom.

I believe I’m now supposed to bring her stuff.

Thus far, I’ve successfully brought her:

  • Sparrow Feather: From giving birdseed to birds, leaving the room, and returning
  • Native flower Journal: Gathered the thought about the missing book from the office, applied the thought to the pile of books in the garden
  • Gray Goldenrod: sunlit, yellow, toothed, from the mention of “goldenrod” in the unfinished letter in the sewing room
  • New England Aster: sunlit, blue, dense, mentioned as a replacement for Chrysanthemum
  • Bird Sketch: From the corkboard in the office, behind the dress pattern.

… and the bar is about halfway full, and I’m completely stuck. I’m not allowed to “Tell Her Story” yet.

This isn’t a game where I have any unsolved puzzles, no outstanding questions. There’s simply nothing further to do.

Desperate, I gave her a bunch of wrong items, and she lost points, which, as far as I can tell, took an already unsolvable game and made it totally impossible, because I can only progress when I fill this bar twice as much as I have.

I even tried giving her all wrong items, losing the game on purpose, which “worked,” but provided me with no information.

Gallingly, the game includes a “Walkthrough” folder containing Hints:


If you’ve forgotten what you need to do next, consult your notes.

If you get stuck looking for something you can’t see, Think about the bedroom.

If you’re stuck figuring out what to give her, explore the garden.

If you’re still stuck, just give her things. That will get to AN ending.

Anthony Lane can tell you a lot if you show him things.

Names are important. Details are important.

When telling her story–there are multiple right answers. And multiple wrong answers.

But these hints are totally unhelpful. Of course I’ve explored the garden. Half of the stuff I’ve given her is from the garden. But there’s nothing else in the garden to give her. (Is there?!?)

What is going on in this game? Why did everyone else find this game trivially solvable, whereas I find myself completely stuck?


It took me a while to figure out too; I think I only got the perfect ending by looking through the code in twine.

Here’s a guide I might have written last year, but I don’t know how helpful it is:

Items to give Miriam


Positive items to give:

  • flower - New England Aster, Blue Vervain
  • native flower journal
  • bird sketch (Sewing room)
  • gardening book
  • sparrow feather (garden - first use the birdseed, and then go to the kitchen.)
  • musical CD
  • tattered poem
  • bird’s nest

Negative items:

  • fish measuring spoons
  • formal shirt
  • dress pattern
  • office photo
  • laxatives
  • refrigerator form
  • square of fabric
  • refrigerator calendar

Answers to the final questions

Final questions

Miriam has two children, Arthur and Stacy.

She’s a (supportive or loving) mother.

But they’ve left home.

Miriam is a fixture in her church.

She has many responsibilities, including event organization, childcare, baking, and emotional labor.

Miriam cares for her sister, Sarah, who has Alzheimer’s.

Miriam is dutiful about helping, but it wears on her.

Miriam’s husband is named Anthony.

He is an architect.

He thinks her interests are (quaint or small) and (cute or sweet or uninteresting).

He does remember her favorite flower, but he makes her small.

Miriam has joys, but many of them are stained.

She might have once liked sewing and baking, but now she only does it for other people.

She enjoys musicals and reading, but is embarrassed that her tastes are childish.

She wants to (draw birds or write poetry), but is embarrassed by her own lack of skill.

She has two pure joys.

The first is gardening.

The second is bird watching.


Thank you so much! I’ve converted these into Invisiclues.


I think the general realization I had for the things to give her in the second half (which I think isn’t said or emphasized enough in your Invisiclues) is that they’re things just for her. And IIRC showing things to Anthony can be super helpful because he’ll insult her tastes for most of the things that are “hers”.

So for instance on my first playthrough I gave her a dress? Or a dress pattern? (Or something? It’s been a while. Oh, maybe the square of fabric?) because I thought she liked sewing, but it was still a thing she was doing for someone else, not something she was doing for her own personal enjoyment. I think that ties together all of the items because that’s the central premise of the game, that she’s absent because she gave away too many pieces of herself or whatever.

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