Welcome to the super secret blog I've been working on. It's a Choose Your Own Adventure style series.
Before we gets started, let me explain how this will work. I’m going to write a “chapter” of a story. Each chapter will end on a cliffhanger. Then comes the fun part. I will include several possible options for how to proceed. You, the readers, will decide which way the story will continue. A link for the poll to cast your vote will be included in the section with the choices. Additionally, I’ll ask improv style for places, objects, etc that you want to be included in the next chapter. This will increase everyone’s involvement and also give me an extra challenge. There are no limits on what you suggest I include. Whatever you say, I’ll use. How I use them is up to me though.
Now, let’s begin.
Chapter One: Bad Daydreaming
“Intercourse, Pennsylvania. Who the fuck would name a town Intercourse?” thought James Darwin. Brushing his curly brown hair out of his face, he placed his wool cap back on top of his head. He adjusted his glasses, which were a dark brown, same as his eyes. As he stood there, staring in the reflective window of some building (a law office, just fyi) he checked his teeth. All clear, if a little crooked here and there. “Braces were a waste of money,” he thought. He pulled his phone out of the pocket of his khakis, checked it, and placed it back. It was lunch time.
James stopped messing with himself and tried to figure out where to get some food. As he walked down the street he passed by several restaurants, each one filled with lots of fine food and great service. The kind of restaurants James could not afford or even figure out what he’d be ordering. As he turned a corner, James spied a restaurant more his speed.
As he entered the Arby’s, James was lost in thought. Dumb, meaningless thought. He stood in line, behind a too large woman in a too small shirt. The employee behind the counter stared at the obese woman with a look that said, “Get the fuck out.” But the rotund woman kept ordering away regardless. James checked his phone. Almost noon. “Still plenty of time,” he thought. But as the swollen woman in front of him’s order kept going, he started to wonder if there was.
Finally, the overweight woman stopped talking. The employee that had been taking her order closed her eyes, clicked her teeth and said, “Ma’am, this is an Arby’s. We don’t serve pizza, Dorito’s Locos tacos, or…deer testicle soup? Hell, we don’t serve any of the things you just ordered!”
The heavy set woman, stepped back in disbelief. Then she turned beet red and exclaimed, “Well I never! How absolutely rude! What kind of customer service is this!”
The employee, without missing a beat replied, “The bad kind ma’am.” And then she rolled her green eyes in disgust. Her arms folded in frustration.
The rolly poly woman stuttered and fumed, but was unable to utter any kind of intelligible response. Finally she stomped her foot and proclaimed, “I don’t have to take this! You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!” And then she walked out the door. Or, well, tried anyway.
“Push, not pull,” the employee said through gritted teeth, her face planted firmly in her palm.
The round woman stopped. After a few seconds she pushed the door open. Before she left, she turned around and in a complete 180 turn of her personality shouted, “Oh well thank you dearie!”
As the chunky woman moved out of sight, the employee said, in a monotone, “Next, please.”
James walked forward. As he approached the counter he could finally see the employee’s name tag. Rose. “What a pretty name,” he thought suddenly, and then he finally got a good luck at Rose. She was cute, in a sort of angry, bitter way. Long dark hair, olive skin, bright green eyes. She reminded him of an angel. And also this pornstar he saw in a video once. She was partnered up with Reginald V. Tallywhacker, who was dressed in a gimp suit. The pornstar was in a leather bikini, and she had a whip. The premise was that Reginald was a trespasser that the pornstar was punishing because-
“ARE YOU OKAY?!”
“Huh, what?” James mumbled, being shocked out of his rambling thoughts. He looked up at Rose, who stood there glaring at him. She looked annoyed.
“You back, sir?” she inquired, unable to hide the biting sarcasm dripping off every word.
“Um, I guess so,” James replied, nothing better coming to mind.
“Awesome,” she said, trying to fake enthusiam. “Now then, may I take your order?”
James blinked at her confusedly. Then he remembered where he was. He blushed, embarrassed that he’d spaced out so hard again. Unable to think fast enough James just opened his mouth and made a sound like an old television that lost it’s signal.
Rose continued to glare at him, but soon her expression turned to one of concern. James was aware of this and tried to recover. His weird noise suddenly turned into, “One turkey sandwich meal.”
Rose stared at him, not sure what had just happened, but glad it was seemingly over. She replied, “All righty then, what size drink?”
James almost slipped back into his weird braindead, staticky TV mode, but caught himself and said, “Large,” even though he meant medium.
Rose clicked her fingers on her terminal and processed his order. She asked for the money and James pulled out his wallet. He had just enough cash for the meal, and maybe another one that night. He handed over the money and watched Rose count it. He couldn’t help but find himself attracted to her for reasons he couldn’t begin to understand. Other than her being attractive and him being a young man, that was single and lonely. Which, come to think of it, was probably the major driving factor here. Although, it didn’t have to be that shallow, it could be-
“Um…your change sir?” Rose said again, not sure if James could hear her.
James snapped out of his daze again and nervously took his change and receipt. He thanked her without making eye contact and walked away awkwardly.
James filled up his cup with soda, no ice. Ice was just there for chumps. It already came out cold, why would he -
“No, focus,” he thought. “Stop spacing out”
James had always had issues with daydreaming and spacing out. He often got lost in inconsequential thoughts and ramblings. And like just a few moments ago, it often left him feeling rather embarrassed. Which is why he had so few friends. He had a hard time getting to know people without making an ass of himself.
James sat down at a booth near the counter. He wanted to be close so that he could hear Rose call out his name for his order. He’d already made a bad first impression, but he hoped to make a better second one. If luck was on his side, he could avoid spacing out long enough to not look like a doofus again.
Unfortunately for James, luck was not on his side. Because when he looked at the table nearest to his table he saw O.J. Simpson. At least he thought so. It certainly looked like him. But maybe not. I mean, it’s not like James knew exactly what O.J. SImpson looked like. But this guy looked a lot like what he thought O.J. looked like. But was that racist? Or-
“James,” Rose said standing next to his table. In her hands his meal on a tray. She smiled at him, even though it was obvious she was trying not to. James felt more embarrassed than ever before. When she knew she had his attention she continued, “I thought you might have spaced out again, so I thought I’d just bring this to you.”
James didn’t know how to react. After 19 years on this Earth he’d never learned how to read people. Unable to properly gauge the situation he took the tray, thanked her, and then turned away suddenly, refusing to make eye contact. Rose stood there for a moment and then turned and walked back behind the counter. James ate his food quickly, while thinking, “I have to get out of here.”
After shoveling down his food, James through his trash away. Despite his embarrassment he remembered to refill his cup with soda before he bailed out. As he headed toward the door he tried to avoid Rose. Luckily, she wasn’t facing his way. Out the door he went, running away yet again from an uncomfortable environment.
Once outside James checked his phone. Almost One o’ clock. “Shit,” he thought. How’d he spend that much time in there. Desperate to make up for lost time he decided to cut through the alley behind the Arby’s. James made it about halfway through before an old woman wearing lots of bizarre ornaments on her body cut him off.
James stood and stared at the garish, ghoulish woman. She looked ancient. And creepy. And dirty. She wore a robe that looked to be made of old carpeting. Her hair was wild and unkempt, with twigs and acorns stuck in it. She had one milky eye and only a handful of teeth. Several strange looking necklaces adorned her neck. Some of them were obviously bottle caps and random trash. One was beaded, another looked like actual gold. And one was made of a material James could not identify. It was dried, like leather, but jagged and gnarled. He couldn’t place his finger on it. What could it be?
Without thinking he asked, “What is that necklace made of?”
The old woman said, “Beads,” while pointing to the beaded necklace.
“No, not…I meant…that one,” James stuttered while pointing directly at the mystery leathery necklace.
“Oh, haha,” the old crone cackled, “Of course. Silly me. Of course you meant that one. Duh. Oh my. Well, young man it’s made of the dried skin of an aborted fetus.”
James eyes widened as far as they could and he muttered, “Really?”
The old woman howled in laughter for a good half a minute. She wiped the tears from her eyes before replying, “No. Just messing with you. I don’t know what it is. I found it on the road.”
“Oh,” James replied. James now believed that this woman was insane and decided that getting away from her was the best idea he could possibly have. “Well, okay have a nice day!” he exclaimed, hoping she’d just let him go.
“Good bye young man!” she exclaimed back. “Good luck meeting your dad.”
James stopped dead in his tracks. Today was the day that James was finally going to meet his father, a man that had run out on him when he was only two years old. James hadn’t told anyone. Even if he had, how would this old woman know?
James turned around to look at the woman. She’d changed. She was still adorned in her odd attire, still old and decrepit. But the look on her face was different. Somehow wiser. More inviting. James walked back to her and asked, “How did you know that?”
She smiled at him and said, “Not important. What is important is this. This day has already been pretty rough, huh? It hasn’t been going in your favor. What if I could change that?”
James swallowed, his nerves building. Several thoughts crossed his mind. He wasn’t sure which was the right choice.
End of Chapter. Choose a scenario below to continue the story.
1 - James is curious. He decides to hear the old woman out. Today has been going rather roughly. And she offered to fix it. What if she’s telling the truth.
2 - James isn’t sold yet. He decides to question the old woman. Maybe she’s telling the truth. Or maybe she’s a stalker. James must know.
3 - Yeah, fuck this. James runs in a full burst away from this creepy woman. He’s watched way too many unsolved murder shows. He’s not dying today.
Also, congratulations to Dere and Vadicta whose suggestions were used in this chapter. If you want to play along as well for the next chapter I will need suggestions for: an item, an animal, a sport, and a celebrity. Again suggest whatever you want. I'll use anything. Also unlike the first time, I'm just going to choose one at random. I don't need anymore ties.