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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

I hope some of the people who said they wanted to play are currently online

April 29th, 2008 (11:00 am)

current mood: hopeful

I am at work. There is not much work to be done. I am bored. Thus it is inevitable, given this weekend's poll --

We are going to play Choose Your Own Adventure!

Here are the rules:

1. I start the story, as you may see below.
2. I leave an initial comment to this entry, which is just a placeholder. The reasons for this will become clear in a sec.
3. You read the story as far as it goes and, if you wish, decide to add an installment. Such an installment should begin with a clearly delineated choice (i.e., "walk down the road" or "poke through the ruins" or "start digging for hidden treasure" or any old random thing you want, as long as it's some kind of clear event that kicks off the installment you're writing) and should end with some kind of cliffhanger or choice for the reader.
4. You write the installment and post it in a *top-level* comment. That means you reply to the entry directly with this installment.
5. Then -- assuming the installment you have written follows directly on the beginning I have posted in this entry -- you reply *to my initial comment* and say "To do [x thing that starts your installment], click here." On the word "here", link to the comment in which you have posted your story installment.
6. Now anyone can click through that link if they wish to do x thing that starts your installment, and read what you've written.
7. If someone wants to add another installment to what you've written, they, too, leave a *top-level* comment on the entry with their new installment in it. They then post a reply *to your installment*, saying "To do [y whatever thing], click here." Again, they link to their installment-comment on the word "here".
8. It continues on this way. Anyone can call an end to any plot thread at any time by killing off the narrator or giving the narrator a million dollars and a pony or whatever. It doesn't matter how you end it, just so long as you mark any comment that ends a plotline with the words THE END, so no one tries to bring the narrator back from the dead or whatever.

General rules (I could only think of three four):
1. Don't write anything that could get me banned from LJ. Yes, we must abide by the heinous restrictions imposed by Strikethrough '07, guys. Sorry.
2. No nonconsensual sex or super-gory violence. I'm not saying those have no place in fiction, but this is meant to be fun and those things are not fun for me to read about. Yes, it's all about me.
3. Anyone can leave however many comments they want to, but don't write back-to-back installments on one plotline -- i.e., don't end your installment, then immediately link to your own installment with a new development in that plot.
4. If you have to leave a personal comment for someone in some thread -- like "that was a really awesome installment!" or "wait, what just happened?" or whatever -- you can either put it in brackets at the top of your "To do x, click here" comment, or, if you just want to comment without writing another installment, you can reply to them but put in the subject line NOT PART OF THE STORY, so that in the unlikely event that this goes over 50 comments, people will be able to follow the threads more easily. I'm probably thinking this through too much. Oh well.

We got it, guys? We ready?


You are in a strange land, a land of rolling green hills and a peculiar purple sky. The grass around you is dotted with cheerful, twee little flowers in improbably bright colors, and the winding road of golden sand at your left looks suspiciously like something you would see in an illustration in a book of fairy tales. Near your feet, a wombat scuttles into a hole in the hill. You are not sure, but you think the wombat may have been wearing a fedora. WELCOME TO KYLIELAND, reads a signpost on the side of the road.

"How did I get here?" you wonder. "What is wrong with this place? Are those gumdrops lining the side of the road? Am I in Candyland? I would like to get back to reality, please! I am discomfited by this purple sky and these creepy little flowers!" Yet you chose to enter this realm of your own free will, if by "chose to enter this realm" you mean "clicked on the 'Friend slammerkinbabe?' link without fully understanding that slammerkinbabe is both clinically insane and actually six years old". No amount of wishing will deliver you home now; if you want a new, saner reality, you must fight for it. If you want a more interesting brand of insanity, that, too, is something you must fight for. (You want a reality where the narrator doesn't end sentences in prepositions? Start fighting.)

You note that although on the surface all seems well in Kylieland, there are darker hints of potential conflict on the horizons. To your left there is a brooding forest of which you have heard dark tales; it is reputed to be full of drama and CAPSLOCK. From a distance, blocked from your view by the hill in front of you, you can hear the far-off susurration of the sea, which Lorca would tell us symbolizes DEATH and thus should be full of dramatic possibility, but maybe Lorca is not writing this story. Only time will tell! There is a falling-down ruin a ways off to your right, because there just has to be one somewhere, and down the road -- who knows? ANYTHING could be there, my friends. Anything at all.

Near your feet, the wombat pokes his nose out worriedly, as if wondering where you might choose to go, then retreats underground again in a flash. He seems to have lost his fedora. You wonder if he might be able to give you any good directions. Then you push the idea aside, at least for the moment. He is a wombat. Even in Kylieland, you are not sure that that makes any sense.

So there you are. In Kylieland. (You think you hear a faint voice drifting to you over the trees. "Mwahaha," it seems to say.) Now what?


Page 1 of 2[1][2]
Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)

Yeah, so now what? (This is the comment you reply to with your "To do x, click here" links. You do not reply to this comment with actual story installments. Just with the links to actual story installments. And only with links to the story installments that follow directly on the installment in the post itself. I hope I am explaining this right.)

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)

To follow the faint voice saying "Mwahaha" into the trees, click here.

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)

You follow the faint voice saying "Mwahaha" into the trees. The forest is dark, though, and once you're among them the sound is muffled; you quickly become turned around.

Refusing to allow this to discourage you, you press onwards. The forest grows darker around you; you're sure that the sun must be out, somewhere - it is still day, after all - but you can't see it.

Finally, you encounter a rickety old stone building. Vines are growing over it - someone really should clean this place up, you think. A sign by the door proclaims this to be "The University of DOOM."

As you pass, you glance in a ground-level window. There's someone inside, hunched over a desk. This being's hair is long and uncombed, and looks like it might have a bird or two nesting in it. You hear a steady stream of muttering, accompanied by the click-clack of a computer keyboard.

"Assign me a twenty-page paper, sure, only two days to write it, think I can't handle it, think I can't, trying to fail me, bloody professors, research papers, ha! Eat them for breakfast, me, twenty pages, nothing..."

You realize with a gasp of horror that this must be that strangest of creatures, a student. Also, pressing your face against the window, you notice that the student appears to be attached to the computer by a long, rusty chain around one wrist.

The student, intent on typing and muttering, hasn't noticed you yet.

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)

To keep going and explore the outside of the building further, click here.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)

You decide to wander off the path and onto the road of golden sand. Why not? It seems like it could be fun.

Oh, you realize as the sand grabs your ankles and starts sucking you down. Maybe this was a bad idea.

You thrash about and scream, but alas! The wombat has run off. Damn.

The sand covers your ankles, then your knees. You're starting to get worried--but then, surprisingly, it stops and hardens, leaving you encased in sand up to your thighs, which have begun to itch. You curse yourself for wearing short shorts. What were you thinking?

Time passes. "Hey!" you shout. "Can anyone help me out, here? Hello? Wombat? Can you call 911 or something?" No reply.

The wind picks up and starts blowing loose grains of sand around. You're starting to get thirsty. Is that some sort of vulture overhead? Where did that come from? You try desperately to free your legs, clawing at the sand and straining to move your feet, but you make no progress. The sand is as hard as concrete.

"Fairy tales my ass!" you shout to no one in particular.

The sun slowly sets, and hunger and thirst start gnawing on you. The air cools, which is kind of refreshing until it gets too cold, and you start wishing you were back home with your many, many cats. They, at least, are warm.

At some point you jerk awake, not realizing that you've fallen asleep standing up. Cripes, you think tiredly, and look up.

A man on horseback is standing there. He grins, and you notice his teeth are in fact all very pointy.

"So," he rumbles in a deep, threatening voice. "Do you want me to free you?"

Eep, you think.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)

To scream, click here.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)

You scream, as loudly as you can. The sound echoes off the distant hills.

The man laughs; the sound sends a shiver down your spine. "You have a lovely scream," he says. "I'll take it as a yes." He takes a flask from somewhere beneath his cloak, and pours its contents onto the sand around you. Before you can react to the fact that the sand's begun to soften (and you're sinking down into it again), he's reached for your arm and pulled you out - and before you can struggle, he's knocked you unconscious.

You come to draped across his saddle. You can't see much, and what you can see is mostly horse, with an occasional glimpse of the ground. There must be a way out of this, you think, wondering where he's taking you - and why.

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)

To struggle and try to get free, click here.

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)

Gah, you think, and wander around to another side of the building. There's a door with a rather ancient-looking note attached.

"Golden Sword Room. You Must Have a Doctorate from an Accredited Evil Institution to Enter"

Golden sword? Now that's more like it! you think. After all, you only got into adventuring for the loot. You tug on the door, and are surprised that it opens easily. Typical academia you think dismissively. Full of rules no one pays any attention to.

The place is a mess. You step over large, moldy crates and around what appear to be the nasty remains of a turkey sandwich (ew), and make your way to the center of the room.

There, in a box labeled "Swords--Golden--Evil or Mildly Threatening (1956)" you find what you're looking for. You open the box, and find a short sword that has been clearly spraypainted gold.

Rubbish you think, but snatch it up. At least I can swing this around and whack it against some trees.

At that moment, there's a terrible howling coming from outside. You pick your way carefully out and emerge into the clearing next to the building. You sigh in exasperation as you realize that a large and scary dragon is sitting there.

"Great," you mutter. "I hope you're allergic to gold paint."

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)

The door to the building is slightly ajar. Cautiously, you peek in, then take a few steps towards the student. The student seems to be entirely focused on their muttering. Their voice is cracked and broken, and their sex is indistinguishable from where you stand; is the long hair a signifier of convential femininity, hip masculinity, or a simple disdain for haircuts?

Curious about this strange creature, you edge a little closer. Abruptly the student spins in their chair and fastens talonlike fingers around your wrists. You are trapped.

Choking back a scream, you try to stumble backwards, but the student holds you fast. Their eyes gleam wildly as they hiss "What is the difference between the Other and the other in Lacan?" You stare at them, wondering if they are insane, and then quickly revise the thought: they are quite obviously insane, but are they dangerous? They slide the chair a little closer. "What was the relationship between Freud and Lacan? Theoretical or personal? Did they KNOW each other, or -- or WHAT?" The progress of their chair is arrested by the chain at their wrist. The last question is a trailing howl: "WHAT IS DECONSTRUCTIONISM AND DOES IT EVEN MAAAATTEEEER?!"

"No," you offer, terrified. This does not seem to be the right answer.

"Help me," the student gasps. "You've got to help me."

"Um... what am I supposed to do?" you ask.

"Unlock me. The key is in that chest over there." You follow where their finger is pointing; it is across the room, out of their reach. "I can do it if you'll unlock me... I just..."

"What is it you need?" you ask. "Maybe I can get it for you?"

"NO NO NO NO" they shout. "I need to go to the LIBRARY, I need books on LACAN, oh my GOD do you think they need to be in the ORIGINAL FRENCH? I need... I need books and... Red Bull! There's Red Bull at the store and maybe just a tiny walk, oh, I know the fresh air would do me good! Please?" they finish, eyes pleading with you.

You consider. On the one hand, your heart goes out to this student. They are obviously having a terrible experience and it is very hard to let it continue. On the other hand, they are clearly deranged, and you have no way of knowing what they will do to YOU if you unlock them. You stare at the nest in their hair, pondering.

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)

To free the student, click here.

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)

You roll your eyes. "This," you say, "Is the logical end result of liberal arts institutions. Evil!"

"Helllllllp meeeee," the student wails.

"Fine," you say, flinging your hands up in the air. "But don't blame me if you don't finish on time."

You go the chest and dig out a worn metal key. You also find, among other things, five gold coins next to a label that reads "Endowment." Dollar signs light up in your eyes--you quietly pocket the coins.

"All right," you say. "Now, no biting?"

The student nods vigorously.

"Fine." You unlock him/her/it. At once, he/she leaps up and cries--

"I'm gonna go play ultimate FRISBEE!"

And runs away. That was useful you think, and wander outside.

There, standing in your path, is a monstrous dragon. The student, clearly terrified, is standing pressed against the wall of the building, stammering.

"Oh! Oh NOOOOOOO!" wails the student. "It's the PROFESSOR!"

You look up at the dragon, who gazes back down at you.

"Careful!" the student screeches. "He's got t-tenure!!"

"That," you said with a sigh, "Is really lame."

The dragon advances.

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)

"I hope you suffer!" you yell at the student. "It's your own fault for taking French!"

Oblivious to the sobs and wails behind you, you run out into the gloom. Whew, you think. That was close. I could have been bored!

You catch a glimpse of a massive shape moving amongst the nearby trees. An elephant? Maybe a dragon? It's hard to tell.

You spy a path leading back into the forest. On the one hand, paths are for wandering aimlessly down. On the other, maybe there's something else to do in this dump. Hmm.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)

To wander aimlessly down the path, click here.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)

You reach for the key to unlock the student. The chest creaks as you open it, quite loudly - clearly, it hasn't been opened in quite some time. You pause, waiting to see if the sound's alerted anyone to your presence, but then feel silly - after all, the student's shouts would have already done that.

There's the sound of footsteps in the doorway, though, and you see the student dive under the desk, cowering. You turn to face this new terror.

It's a man, short, slightly rotund, with a receding hairline, wearing a suit that you wouldn't be caught dead in. There are chalk smudges on his pants. A nametag on his jacket reads "Dean," but you're not sure if that's his name or his title.

"Drop it," he snarls, pointing menacingly at the key in your hand. "Our students know better than to ask for freedom. Locking them up is for their own good, after all."

You stand there trembling, key in your hand. The student reaches out from under the desk and clutches at your ankle.

"And as for you," the Dean says to the student, "don't you have a paper you should be writing?"

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)

"Um...no, thanks?" you say, politely - no need to antagonize him, after all.

"Very well, then." He rides away, leaving you alone. And still stuck.

You sigh. That could have gone better. Maybe if you shout loud enough, someone will come help - someone less scary. Or maybe if you thrash around for a while, you'll get yourself free eventually. Might be worth a try, anyway.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: May 4th, 2008 06:22 am (UTC)

To thrash around, click here.

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)

Ow ow ow ow, you think. Riding on a horsie is a lot bumpier than it looked like in My Little Pony. Did they actually ride the ponies in that? A question for Wikipedia, if and when you ever get home.

Still, you're not liking where this is going. You twist and struggle--and somehow, you come free!

You realize in midair that falling off a horse is bad. You hit the ground with a sickening thud, but manage to get your feet under you. Your arm is suddenly very painful--that may be broken.

You run as fast as you can into the nearby forest. You run until you're exhausted, and can run no more. You check behind you--everything is quiet. Lost him, you think.

You sit on a fallen tree and ponder your situation. Your arm really, really hurts.

"Hey," says a small, high-pitched voice. "I can help with that."

You look down. A small man in orange is sitting there.

"Are you a leprechaun?" you ask.

"Sort of," says the small man. "I'm a Protestant leprechaun from Belfast. The others often try to blow me up."

"I see," you say.

"So!" he says. "Want help?"

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: May 1st, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)

To let the leprechaun help you, click here.

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)

You go limp and hope it's over soon. Maybe this guy is actually nice?

You arrive at a dark castle in the middle of the forest. He hoists you over his shoulder like a sack of garbage.

"Hey!" you cry, but he says nothing.

The place is pretty forbidding. There are knives and what look like skulls everywhere.

"Um," you venture.

"Quiet," he growls. He places you on a table. "Stay there."

"Sure," you say cautiously. "Hey, is that bubbling cauldron...?"

"That's for you."

"Oh," you say, panic starting to take hold. "Uh. I assume it isn't soup that I'm going to eat."

He grins an evil grin. "Nope!" He picks you up and tosses you in.

You make a very, very tasty meal.


Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)

Ha ha ha, this is EXACTLY how all my Chosen Adventures used to end when I was a kid. All your contributions have been hilarious, btw. (Sorry I haven't contributed more, I got a new project soon after I posted this.)

Posted by: Susan Jane Bigelow (shashalnikya)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: April 29th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)

You wander aimlessly down the path until you come to a clearing. Well, perhaps "clearing" isn't quite the right word, since that implies a certain degree of unplanned nature; this has carefully trimmed grass and footpaths laid out in a geometric pattern. A plaque by the edge reads "Academic Quadrangle of DOOM." A paper flier stuck to the pillar holding the plaque reads "Frolf tournament - this way."

You glance up at the quad, where several students are running around, throwing Frisbees. No one's trying to catch them, though - they seem to be aiming them at targets (and missing more often than not). A-ha, you realize. Frisbee Golf. Frolf.

A Frisbee lands at your feet. You pick it up, ignoring the suspicious red streak along one edge, but drop it a second later as you realize the reason for it - the edge is razor-sharp. It lands right-side up this time, and you can read the writing on it: "Lethal Sports - putting the "ULTIMATE" back in Frisbee since 2008."

There's a cooler to your left; empty beer cans scattered around it suggest the contents. One of the students sees you, and shouts, "Hey, want to join us? Fred took a hit to the neck, so our team's short one."

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: May 1st, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)

You give the little leprechaun a good look, thinking it over. You have to admit that as weird fantasy creatures from another world go, this one looks friendlier than most. Certainly more trustworthy than the dude with the horse. He smiles ingenuously, and you check out his teeth. They're cute, blunt little nubs.

"Have you got any Lucky Charms?" you ask suddenly. If he's the Lucky Charms leprechaun, you'll *know* you can trust him. You remember the Lucky Charms leprechaun as wearing green, but maybe he converted.

His brow creases in puzzlement. You decide to take that as a no.

Still, you're sure that your arm is broken -- arms are definitely not supposed to go at that angle. And he is the only one here. (He smiles again, charmingly. You notice that the buttons on his fitted orange jacket have little images embossed on them that if you squint and look at them sidewise could definitely be hearts, stars, horseshoes, and clovers.) If he's got the magic to help you, you suppose you've got to take it.

"Okay," you sigh. It's not like you've got any better options.

He smiles broader now, and all of a sudden there's a hint of the predatory in that grin. He raises his hands and jabs his fingers at you, shouting something arcane and totally incomprehensible --

When you come to, the first thing you notice is that your arm doesn't hurt anymore. The second thing you notice is how *bright* everything is. The third thing you notice is that the brightness is multicolored and totally weird, the fourth thing you notice is that you really ought to get out of here like right now, and the fifth thing you notice is that you can't.

The sixth thing you notice is that this is because you are not a person anymore.

You try to shift to the left, get a better angle to look yourself over. You can't. You try shifting to the right. Same deal. You make an enormous effort, hitching and gasping (but you can't gasp) and throwing your weight around, and all your effort nets you a tiny jot of movement. You jingle.

Jingle. Why are you jingling?

"Now, now!" The leprechaun dances over to you, laying a light, strong hand on your rim. (Rim?) "You'll stay right here under the rainbow where you belong! I've no mind to go chasing ye all over the hills like the others!"

You stare at the leprechaun, eyelessly.

It's finally hit you.

You're the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

The leprechaun is dancing around you again, chattering happily. Frantic, you try to jingle your way out of the rainbow's end. You can make it, you'll hop all the way across these hills, all the way to --

-- well, to what?

You're a pot of gold, for Chrissakes. Even if you could find someone who could change you back into a human, how on earth would you tell them you wanted to be changed back? You cast your mind over the fairy tales you've read. A good fairy might do it, but your taste of the local population has not given you great hope that Glinda the Good Witch and her friends spend a lot of time hanging out in this world. The other characters who could change you back -- ordinary witches, pixies, sprites, whoever -- when given the choice between adding another clueless human to their world or keeping a pot of gold...

...well, let's be honest. If *you* were given the choice, you'd keep the pot of gold too.

Resigned, you settle in, trying to adjust to the brightness around you. You suppose it could be kind of cool to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Rainbows are nice, right? Experimentally, you jingle just one or two of your coins, catching the light at a different angle and throwing pretty little patterns of light up against the trees.

"That's the spirit!" the leprechaun shouts. "That's me pot of gold!"

So that's what you do for the rest of the day. The leprechaun laughs and shouts. You jingle.

You wonder what will happen if he ever decides to start spending you.


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: May 4th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)
This installment sucks hardcore but I was never a lit-RPGer like you Moi

To have a nice chat with Federico Garcia Lorca, click here.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: May 4th, 2008 06:30 am (UTC)

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 4th, 2008 06:57 am (UTC)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: May 4th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)

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