Pause: Gabriel Knight Interlude (aka Pause No. 2: Real Life Has No Interludes) is an article and a short story within the article included in InteraAction magazine, and also included as an extra in the Gabriel Knight: 20th Anniversary Edition.
The original article was divided into three parts, the first was Pause: Gabriel Knight Interlude (part of a Meet the Maker section of the magazine). The second part was the short story Pause No. 2 Real Life Has No Interludes, and the last section was simply entitled Schattenjäger.
Later online versions on fan websites and 20th anniversary release call the short story simply "Pause: a Gabriel Knight interlude", or "Pause" (without the other article sections or sub-section titles).
Pause No. 2: Real Life Has No InterludesEdit
The stone floor of the library was awash in paper snowballs, testament to a deluge of plot ideas too pitiful to sustain life, of opening paragraphs that emerged DOA. Gabriel Knight wadded up his latest debacle and took aim. It missed the wastebasket, denying him satisfaction to the bitter end.
He sighed and rose from his chair, scratching and stretching and wracking his brain for absolutely anything else that needed to be done, anything that would get him out of the library and away from the smell of failure. This being Rittersberg, nothing came to mind.
Six months ago he had come to Germany, supposedly to pursue this Schattenjäger business and start a new book. Both had alluded him utterly. If Gracie were right and the pendulum of life swept from conservative to liberal, from sad times to joyous times, from periods of activity to periods of inactivity, then he was surely at full swing on the absolutely-nothing-going-on side. He could almost feel himself suspended weightless in that heavy, stomach-dropping pause at the apex of the arch — the pause that came just before dropping headlong into something new.
The standstill was all the worse for the memory of the days when the pendulum had paused heavily on the other side, the vibrant side. Last summer had pushed him forward through the streets of New Orleans, willing or not, until it was all he could do to hang on. Then at the end, flying to Africa and meeting Wolfgang… the circles and the wheels, the hounfour revealed, the fire and the sacrifices made — not just by his side but by hers as well.
Even after the mystery was solved, the fever remained. He shut himself in a room and wrote. For four weeks he'd pounded on the keys, only sleeping when his eyes refused to stay open. Grace brought him coffee and sandwiches, not saying anything because nothing needed to be said. He remembered the amazed glances stolen at the pile of money in the corner. Money, real money, for the first time in his life. Grace, the money, and the work — words flowing from his fingers as purely as the power beams magicians could throw in bad midnight movies… (Okay. So, the Voodoo Murders wasn't Shakespeare. But it had come, it had literally forced its way out. And, even more miraculously, it had sold.)
Nothing in his life had ever been that good, that pure. The problem with feeling like that, the problem with life crackling around you as if the planet were a light bulb and you'd rubbed it, was that it really sucked when it went away. The magic leaves a gaping hole when it ends.
He bounded down the stairs to the great hall, nodded to Gerde, and grabbed his coat. He felt her eyes on his back as he went out. The courtyard was slick with ice. He slid past the glazed lion's heads, nearly fell, and cursed the Bavarian climate. It seemed to him that the cold had frozen his life the way it had frozen the land. But winters have to end, he thought, even here.
He avoided the village, tired of feeling their eyes upon his as Gerde's always were. You're supposed to be a Ritter, a Schattenjäger? Who are you to be so honored, and why don't you do something? He walked instead along the side of the castle coming to an overlook where a sheer drop prefaced the Alps, their peaks marching away in the dark like snow-covered legions, the moonlight setting them aglow. He sat on a rock, wrapped his arms around himself, teeth chattering uncontrollably.
When the time is right, when you are needed, you'll know. He heard Grace's voice so clearly in his head, he nearly turned around and looked. If he could only believe that. If he knew that the magic would come back, that life would burn again with purpose, it wouldn't be so hard to wait.
He stared up at the moon. It was full and fat, suspended in the sky like a pendulum on an invisible chain.
"Fall," he whispered. From the distant peaks a voice rose, as if in answer. It was the eerie echo of a lone wolf's howl.
Meet the Maker: Pause, Interaction Magazine, Spring 1995, 41.
Republished as "Pause" as a bonus in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers - 20th Anniversary Edition.