Today, I hand off the reigns to you. Instead of having to rely on me, you can choose your own story adventure. I’d be curious to know which path you chose and what you thought of this type of storytelling. (Share in the comments!)
Ideally, you’d choose your story/ path and read the appropriate follow-up, omitting the other paths until you concluded your very own story. But, if you don’t feel adventurous and just want to see what I came up with, I guess you can just read it all from start to finish.
You drive past an abandoned car on the side of the road for a fifth straight day.
What do you do? (The continuation of each scenario can be found in a new section with a different colored background.)
Your options are:
- a) You continue home and give no further thought to the abandoned car.
- b) You pull off to the side next to it, park, and call the cops.
- c) You stop not too far away from the car and walk to inspect it closer.
- d) You do something else.
If you chose option a), you go home and forget about the abandoned car. Maybe it will be there the next day, or maybe not. Who cares? Surely not you, as you have bigger fish to fry. At home, you take off your hat, your shoes, your jacket, your clothes, and your skin. Another successful day – humans still have not figured out that you are not one of them, which means that you can rest before a new day of experiments begins. Victory!
However, just before you are about to fall asleep, the image of the abandoned car pops up in your head. The red sedan has been on the side of the road awfully long, and it didn’t look damaged. You begin to wonder if one of your enemies is trying to get your attention. Varnik said that for your kind going to work on Earth was like driving a Toyota Corolla for humans- very vanilla. (If you chose ‘option b)’ and are here as the continuation of your adventure, highlight the ’empty lines following the next sentence. The following lines will be visible if you are using your Reader to view this. Instead of wondering what make the car was, you try to recall the license plate and what it meant – was the driver really someone’s grampa, or was it just Varnik trying to give you a warning and confuse you.) But before you go down the rabbit hole of trying to remember any brand markings on the car that would help you figure out if the car was a Toyota or a Nissan, you pause and tell yourself that you will check on the car the following day. It turns out that you do care about the abandoned car after all.
But the car is no longer there when you drive by the next day. Unable to know for certain if it had been towed or if Varnik made it disappear, you end up looking over your shoulder the entire day and then the next – unable to do what you were hired to do. On the third day, you get fired and are banned from ever returning to Planet Grumps. You have to live among humans forever.
If you chose option b), you stop and call the cops. You tell the person that answers that you’ve seen this car abandoned on the side of the road for five days straight and you give a description of the car – a red Toyota sedan – but the operator isn’t satisfied and asks for the model and the license plate number. Since you’re in Mississippi, there is no front tag on the vehicle. Remembering the argument you had with your co-worker earlier today, you decide to try and make up for it by getting out of your car and walking to the back of the abandoned car. ‘It’s a Corolla. Golf-Romeo-Alpha-Mike-Papa-Sierra,’ you rattle off before ending the conversation.
Then, you either go back home (see ‘option a)’ above), or stay and investigate the car further ‘option c)‘ below for the continuation of your story.
If you chose option c), you walk by the car and step on something that makes a clinking noise. When you look down, there is nothing but gravel under your feet. As you take another step, the clinking returns, and you bend down to look closer to the ground. You pick up a twisted fork, which seems to disappear the moment you move it away from your eyes. With a peculiar treasure in hand, you get up, but not before spotting a kitten underneath the car. You beckon the little ball of red fur, and it comes out and straight into your outstretched arm. With the fork now placed in your back pants pocket, you put the cat in your oversized jacket pocket and decide that the car is no longer of interest to you. Who knows how long the cat’s been there – all hungry, alone, and terrified. You have to get him (or her) help.
But, as you walk away, the cat starts to meow at the top of its lungs. It stops when you stop and purrs when you walk back closer to the car. Even though you find it peculiar, you tell Charlie – the cat you just met – that you will take him home where there is food and water, and you proceed towards your car.
Charlie starts to hiss and bears his tiny teeth at you. He looks like he is about to jump out of your pocket and claw your face. Such a cute thing…
Left with no choice, you walk back to the Toyota and check the doors. All but one are locked – the front passenger side. When you crack it open, the kitten jumps inside and disappears between the seats. You’re not stupid; you know better than to enter an abandoned car and then get arrested for theft, or worse yet – get killed by someone hiding in the trunk.
Scanning the front seats, you reach your arm around and open the back passenger door. Then, you lean over and open the door on the other side, walk around the car, and open the driver’s door. In case something happens when you’re inside, at least you will have options to escape. For good measure, you call the cops and report the abandoned car.
With all the doors unlocked, with one foot on the ground outside the car, you take a closer look at the contents of the car, but you don’t find anything out of the ordinary. Just some Burger King wrappers, a pair of dress shoes – size 11, and a screwdriver. Nothing in the glove box. Nothing in the center console.
Next, you pull the latch release for the trunk and slowly walk around the car towards the back. When you lift the trunk, you see a single item – a hula hoop. You confirm that a spare tire is hidden under the trunk floor, but nothing else.
Curious but out of ideas, you get in the driver’s seat and place your hands on the wheel. Aha! You check the sun visor but find nothing there, either. Slumped, you start to wonder if you should just leave, but before you can get anywhere with that, you feel someone tap your shoulder. You turn your head a quarter inch at a time until you come face to face with a very hairy human with whiskers. “Charlie?”
“The fork,” he meows.
I understand cat speak now?
“The fork,” Charlie repeats with irritation.
Confused, you pull out the bent fork from your back pocket and try handing it to the cat-human on the back seat.
“It’s a key,” he adds, seeing that you don’t follow. He gestures towards the ignition.
The ignition has three fork holes where cars usually have a key slot. Well, at least the ones that don’t start with a push of a button. You stick a fork in, and the car begins to hum.
Red and blue lights appear in your rearview mirror.
“The cops,” you mutter, trying to figure out how you will explain the cat and the fork.
As the police officer gets out of his car, all the doors of the car you’re in lock.
“What the -?” you reach for the door bolt lock pin but withdraw your hand when Charlie hisses.
“You don’t want to do that. It’s not safe.” Charlie crosses over to the front passenger seat.
The police officer approaches and shines his flashlight into the car as you wait for him to ask you to step out. But he doesn’t. Instead, he checks all the doors, including the trunk, and then calls a tow truck company before leaving the scene.
“What?” You turn to your passenger, who seems to also have a tail.
“Drive. We need to get out of here before the army comes. They took Varnik.”
“Who took Varnik? WHO is Varnik?”
Charlie pushes your right thigh down, and the car gains speed. First, the front tires lift off, then the back ones, and soon enough, you are flying high above the buildings. Too high to jump out.
“This is not possible. I must be dreaming. This is kidnapping!” You extend your arms towards Charlie’s throat.
“Calm down.” Charlie lets out an audible sigh and licks your face.
“They took Varnik? What are we gonna do?”
“You’re the brains here. I just look cute.”
You go back to Grumps and design a plan to rescue Varnik from a US military base.
If you chose option d), the game is over, and you have to write your own story from scratch in the comment section.
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