"Summer at Grandma's!"
Your Adventure in the Country
Chapter 1: SummerAtGrandmas
It was a warm summer morning at Grandma's farm. You had just awoken to the smell of breakfast. That was one of the reasons you loved staying with Grandma during the summer vacation-- the incredible cooking. The aroma of fresh biscuits and gravy filled the air.\n\nAs you pulled your bathrobe on over your jammies to go join Grandma in the kitchen, you noticed a flash of movement in the corner by the chest of drawers. You walked over and slapped the side of the chest of drawers twice, hoping the noise would startle whatever moved. Perhaps Grandma had a little mouse problem. The noise failed to raise a stir however, and you were wondering if perhaps you'd just imagined it, but you decided to pull the chest back from the wall just a bit, just to see. \n\nYou expected to find a few wads of dust, and maybe, just maybe, a little grey mouse. What you saw instead was a small man, about a foot and a half tall, pulling nervously at his long, white beard. He wore a dirty red jumpsuit and a pointy hat with red and yellow horizontal stripes. He was standing in the entryway of a tunnel which led... who knows where? \n\n"Ah, hello, sorry to bother you," he said. "I hope I didn't wake you, but you see, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I come from The Secret World Behind the Chest of Drawers. My people are in great danger of immediate extinction, and we have reason to believe you may be the only one who can save us. At least that's what the Great Prophesies say. I realize this is short notice, but could you please put on some clothes and come with me? It's really most urgent!" \n\nDo you: \nFollowTheLittleMan\nAskSomeQuestions \nIgnore him and GoHaveBreakfast
"I slept great!" you responded. "How about you?"\n\n"I slept the sleep of the damned," she replied. "As I always do. You ready for biscuits and gravy?"\n\n"I sure am!"\n\n"Well, then," she said, sliding a plate in front of you, "dig in." You dug in enthusiastically, savoring the rich country flavors-- somehow, things just tasted better at Grandma's. But you were certainly startled when there was a loud bang, and the back of Grandmas head exploded. She toppled to the floor, dead.\n\nYou turned to see the little man pointing a smoking Luger at your head. "Die, Chosen One, die!" he shouted as he pulled the trigger. \n\nThe End.
"The strangest thing just happened, Grams," you said, then you began telling her about the noise you heard and how you found a little man behind the chest of drawers.\n\n"Little man?!" she asked, alarmed. "Did he have a long white beard that reached to his waist?" \n\n"Yeah, Grams, he sure did!" \n\n"And a big nose?" \n\n"Yeah, it was kind of bulbous now that you mention it. You know this guy?" \n\n"You just enjoy your breakfast, sweetie," Grandma replied. "I'll be back in a minute." She walked out of the kitchen as you shrugged and dug your fork into a fresh homemade biscuit smothered in sausage gravy. From the hallway, you heard a wooden squeak. It sounded a lot like that squeak the doors of Grandma's antique gun cabinet made. Seconds later, as Grandma's slippered footsteps faded from hearing, you heard your bedroom door being opened. You knew it was impolite to eavesdrop, but you just couldn't help it. \n\n"Oh, Thelma Sue," came the startled voice of the little man, "I realize that this is--"\n\n"I thought I told you never to set foot near my house again," said Grandma. You'd never heard her voice so serious, so cold, so deep. But you certainly recognized the unmistakeable sound of her old bolt-action twelve-gauge chambering a round.That was the gun she'd taught you to shoot with. \n\n"Yes, yes, of course, Thelma Sue," the little man squeaked, "but this is a special circumstance. The fate of my people is at stake and only your grandson can--" but his voice was drowned out by the distinctive report the twelve-gauge made when fired. There was a second or two of silence, followed by the sound a foot and a half tall body makes when it slides slowly down a wall leaving a broad red streak behind it, then a thump, then a gurgle, then nothing. \n\nYou returned your attention hurriedly to your breakfast as Grandma's footsteps approached the kitchen. Footsteps which were followed closely by Grandma herself. She smiled at you. "How are those biscuits?" \n\n"Oh, great, Grandma, just great!" you replied. \n\n"Good. And I've got some fresh honeydew melon from my garden I can slice up if those don't fill your tummy." She bent down and fetched a pail, a sponge, some Pine Sol, and a Hefty bag from underneath the sink.\n\nDo you: \nPretendNothingHappened \nAsk, "SoWhatWasThatAllAbout?" \nRealize there's MoneyToBeMadeHere
You quickly grabbed a jacket from the bedroom closet and slipped it on. It was one of your Grandpa's old denim work jackets. It was too big for you, but you hadn't brought a jacket of your own, it being summer and all. The shoulders of the jacket were faded from the many years the sun had beaten down upon it as your Grandpa poured his heart, soul, and every ounce of his strength into the farm. The cuffs were frayed from countless hours of toil. It smelled of autumn harvests, wood smoke, hay, and simple, honest goodness. Somehow this old jacket seemed to encapsulate your grandfather's life. And in some ways, you knew that it was that very life that had taken your dear Grandpa from you far too early.\n\nDo you:\nBeginToWeep.\nPullYourselfTogether.\nSay "Screw this" and GoHaveBreakfast
"Well, maybe I'll try just one..." you said hesitantly, not wishing to offend the little man. Unfortunately, you had no idea you had a rare allergy to anchovies which would cause all your internal organs to liquify almost instantly.\n\nThe End.
Well, what do you know? The old gypsy woman at the carnival who'd said you would die in a tunnel with a soiled dwarf had been right all along. As the warm, almondy goodness of the cyanide filled your mouth, you had to admit that maybe there was something to this psychic business after all. She sure had you pegged.\n\n"Chosen One?" Heironymous asked. "Are you all right? You look a little... distant. Chosen One?" But you didn't pay him any attention. You felt warm and peaceful. The closing darkness brought a comfort you'd never felt before. "Chosen One?!" you heard echoing in the distance. "Chosen One, speak to me!"\n\nThere was no point in speaking. In the distance you saw a small glimmer of light. It seemed to beckon you so you made you way toward it. As the glimmer grew brighter and brighter, larger and larger, you could make out a figure waiting for you, arms outstretched. It was Grandpa! You rushed to him, and he gathered you up in a warm embrace.\n\n"Hey, sport, good to see you," he said. "Thanks for bringing my jacket."\n\nThe End.
"Jackets are for sissies," you retorted. "Besides, I don't have one. It's summer up here, you know. If you'd written me ahead of time I could have come prepared. Can't you get me a jacket when we get to the Secret World Behind the Chest of Drawers?"\n\n"Um, well, I'm not sure we have anything your size. As you may have noticed, I am noticably shorter than you. And I am about average height for my people."\n\n"Well then you'll have to make a big one for me, because I don't have a jacket."\n\n"But it would be better if you had one now. We have rather a long journey to make before we get to my village. I wouldn't wish you to catch a cold, for in the Secret World Behind the Chest of Drawers, we have no Cold & Flu medicine."\n\n"Oh, no problem, I'll go grab some out of the bathroom cabinet. Just in case." You peeked out the bedroom door to make sure Grandma wasn't looking. She wasn't, so you dashed into the bathroom and quickly stuffed cold medicine, aspirin, band-aids, and several other items into your overnight kit that contained your traveler's toothbrush and toothpaste. Then you tip-toed back to your room and closed the door. "Okay," you said. "I'm ready."\n\n"Then let us be off, Chosen One. Are you sure there isn't a jacket or sweater you could bring?"\n\nDo you:\nSay, "Oh, Jesus, whatever!" and GetAJacket so he'll shut up.\nSay, "I done told you twice, Thumbelina, IGotNoFreakingJacket!"\nSay, "You know, this is starting to sound like a real pain in the ass-- screw you and your people," and GoHaveBreakfast
Bindlesticks eyes grew steely. "And he shall deny having a jacket three times..." he said.\n\n"What are you talking about, shorty?" you demanded.\n\n"It is the sign of the Beast, the Anti- Chosen One! The prophesies warned of an evil force that will try to pass itself off as the Chosen One but is actually born to destroy us! 'And he shall deny having a jacket three times. This is how you will know him.' Thus spake Krumdinkle the Wise!"\n\n"Look, half-pint, I never claimed to be some Chosen One. But I do claim not to have a jacket, because I don't. And if you don't like it, then get your scrawny butt back behind the chest of drawers and don't come back."\n\n"I shall," Bindlesticks replied. "But first, I must eliminate the Anti- Chosen One." He slid a silver dagger from a hidden sheath in his boot. Its blade flashed in the morning sun which streamed through the blinds.\n\nDo you:\nRunAway\nStayAndFight\nScreamLikeABaby
Holy crap, this midget was nuts! You turned and bolted from the room, knowing his little legs couldn't possibly keep up with you. After all, you'd won the blue ribbon in the fifty-yard dash at your grade school Field Day for the last two years!\n\nBut what you didn't know was that Heironymous Bindlesticks was a five-time Gold Medalist in Dagger Throwing in the Secret World Behind the Chest of Drawers Olympics. As the razor-keen point of the dagger slid precisely through the narrow juncture between your top vertebra and the base of your skull, you felt a slight tingling as it severed most of your spinal cord. The blade continued through your lower brain before coming to a rest as its tip pierced through your left eye from the rear.\n\nAt this point, naturally, you fell over dead.\n\nThe End.
"You think I'm scared of that?" you replied casually, "Shit, I go to public school. Bring it on, bitch!"\n\nThe little man lunged at you. You stepped back on your right foot and his dagger passed through empty space. Grabbing his skull firmly in both hands, you gave his head a quick twist. His neck snapped with a satisfying crack and he fell dead on the floor.\n\nGrabbing him by his curly toed boots, you dragged his corpse over to the window and heaved him out. After breakfast, you'd have to lug him over to Grandma's compost pile by her garden and lay him next to the midget from yesterday and the one from the day before. These midgets were really starting to be a pain in the ass. No matter what you did, eventually they made you kill them. But now that you knew they were coming through a tunnel behind the chest of drawers, maybe you could get Grandma to plaster over it.\n\nBut first things first-- there was biscuits and gravy waiting!\n\nThe End.
"Grandma!! Help!!!" you screamed "There's a crazy dwarf with a knife in my room!"\n\n"Great," said Bindlesticks, "Now I gotta kill the old lady too," then he lunged at you. Years of dodgeball had served you well, though, and you avoided his thrust. You flailed at him with your right arm and clipped him across the jaw, which was just enough to push the off-balance Bindlesticks toppling into your night stand. You grabbed the teetering bedside lamp to smash on his skull, but Bindlesticks' left leg swept out and caught your ankles, sending you crashing to the floor. Before you could recover, the manic dwarf towered over you (well, maybe not "towered" exactly...) the dagger raised for a death strike.\n\n"Die, Anti- Chosen One, die!" he shouted. But as he tried to deliver the strike, he found his arm frozen. The startled Bindlesticks looked up to see Grandma, holding him by the wrist. She lifted him into the air, his little legs flailing, and with her free hand grabbed him by the throat. As Bindlesticks gasped for air, his eyes bulging, Grandma forced his dagger down and into his belly to the hilt. With a quick jerk, she dragged it up through his innards until the blade wedged in his sternum. Bindlesticks kicked just a little as bubbles of bloody froth emerged from his lips, then he released his bowels and hung limply.\n\nGrandma dropped him and scooped you up into her arms. "Oh sweetie, are you okay?" she asked. "Did he hurt you?"\n\n"I'm okay, I think," you gasped, fighting back scared tears. "Is he dead?"\n\n"Yes, honey, he's dead," Grandma said, cradling you. "He can't hurt you any more."\n\nYou stopped holding back those tears and wept unashamed into the bosom of your loving grandmother. "It's okay," she murmured soothingly, stroking your hair, "let it all out. It's okay. Soon you will grow into your full power, and then we shall descend upon the Secret World Behind the Chest of Drawers and destroy them all."\n\nThe End.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," you said to the strange little man in the red jump suit. "Slow down just a minute. Before I go running off to the Secret World Behind the Chest of Drawers with a midget fashion victim, there's a few things I need to know."\n\n"I will answer all your questions to the best of my ability," the midget fashion victim replied, "but I am only a simple messenger. The Council of Learned Elders would be far more qualified to impart knowledge concerning the Great Prophesies of Krumdinkle the Wise."\n\n"Who the What?" you asked.\n\n"Krumdinkle the Wise, the greatest soothsayer in history." The little man got a faraway look in his eyes. You'd seen that look before. Mostly from actors in made-for-tv biblical epics. "It was he who foretold of the Great Toppling of Many Cheeses and saved a thousand lives. He, it was, who foresaw the Time of Significant Moistness and saved ten thousand lives. And truly was it he who warned of the Titanic Crumbling of the '69 Cubs, which brought untold wealth to my people through clever wagering."\n\n"What the heck kind of a name is Krumdinkle? Sounds like danish."\n\n"No, he was a German, I believe. But that isn't important. What is important is that before his death he predicted a great catastrophe for my people that might destroy our race. But he saw a possible future in which a mighty hero from the upper-world descended to save us all. We believe you to be that hero."\n\n"Me? How so?"\n\n"The Council of Learned Elders will explain all. Please, save my people, I beg you!"\n\nDo you:\nFollowTheLittleMan\nSay "Sorry, I'm on vacation" and GoHaveBreakfast\nAskWhatsInItForYou
"So what was all that about?" you asked innocently.\n\nGrandma stopped and sighed. She placed the sponge, disinfectant, and trash bag in the pail and sat down beside you at the kitchen table. She looked at you, her eyes suddenly tired, no longer sparkling. "Sweetie," she said, then paused. Her eyes drifted away from you and slowly made their way out the kitchen window and toward the horizon. Not her actual eyes, of course. That would have been even freakier than her shooting the midget in your bedroom point blank with a twelve-guage. But her gaze did that drifting thing. "Sometimes... well, sometimes grandmas make mistakes."\n\n"Uh-huh," you said in a voice that you hoped would encourage her to elaborate.\n\n"Sometimes grandmas have certain... needs... holes in their lives that grandpas just can't fill. Sometimes grandmas don't feel too good about themselves. And grandpas, God bless 'em, they just don't understand. And sometimes, after a while, grandmas look beyond grandpas for something to make them feel good about themselves. Maybe they find something, and at first it's great and grandma feels more alive than she has in years. But ultimately it threatens to destroy everything else in grandma's life, including her family, which is the most important thing in the world to her. So a grandma has to end it. But sometimes little men don't understand that it must end. They keep pestering grandma, calling grandma at all hours of the night, and even threatening grandma. They think they own grandma! But nobody owns grandma, do you hear me!? Nobody owns grandma except grandma."\n\nDo you:\nWishYouHadNotAsked\nNot get it and MakeHerExplainFurther\nOffer to HelpHideTheBody
Some things are better left unsaid, and this had most definitely been one of them. You could feel your little brain warping and fracturing as it absorbed this knowledge. Dammit! You'd just gotten out of therapy from that horrible incident with the wallaby at the zoo. All that money for the child therapist down the freaking tubes. Mom and Dad were going to be mighty pissed.\n\nDo you:\nCallYourTherapist For Help\nTry To DealWithItOnYourOwn
"Jesus Christ, this is totally fucked up. May I be excused from the table to make a phone call?" you asked.\n\n"Of course, sweetie," said Grandma. You ran to the phone and dialed your therapist's emergency number.\n\n"Hello, Dr. Freberg's office," said the woman that answered.\n\n"Yes, I'm a client of Dr. Freberg's, and I've just had a major setback and need to talk with him. Is he available?"\n\n"I'm afraid not," said the woman, "Dr. Freberg committed suicide last night. Left a note saying something about 'can't take it anymore' and jumped from his office window. The police are here. Would you like to speak with them?"\n\n"No, that's all right," you said, "thanks anyway," and hung up the phone.\n\nDrat. Looked like the next few decades were gonna be pretty darned difficult.\n\nThe End.
'Okay,' you thought to yourself, 'so my Grandma had an affair with some little guy who lives in the Secret World Behind the Chest of Drawers. And then she murdered him. It's not a big deal-- I can handle this.'\n\nBut years later, as the prison guards strapped you to the table to receive your lethal injection, you were forced to admit to yourself that maybe that summer was why you became the serial killer known as "The Midget and Old Lady Slayer." Maybe therapy would have been a good idea after all.\n\nThe End.
"Just out of curiosity, Grandma," you asked casually, "is there a dead midget in my room now?"\n\n"Of course not, sweetie," she replied. "Of all the nonsense. You just finish up that breakfast." She placed all the cleaning supplies into her plastic bucket and headed back toward your bedroom.\n\n"So Grandma..." you said.\n\nShe stopped and turned. "Yes, hon?"\n\n"You're saying that if I went back to my room right now, I would not find, on the floor, in a puddle of blood, a midget carcass shredded with buckshot?"\n\nShe set the bucket down and sat next to you. "He wasn't a midget, sweetie," she said patiently. "He was a Whiggledink."\n\n"He was a foot and a half tall. Sounds like a midget to me. What's the difference?"\n\n"There's a huge difference. Trust me."\n\n"So then there's a dead Whiggledink in my room?"\n\n"Yes, there is. And now I hope any more questions you might have can wait a little while. I have to go clean up before the blood starts to set. And getting those stains off these wooden floors, well, that's just murder." She chuckled merrily at her little joke and gathered up her cleaning supplies.\n\nDo you:\nDecide to PretendNothingHappened\nPushTheExtortionAngle\nOffer to HelpHideTheBody
"Do you need help hiding the body?" you asked.\n\n"No," she said, standing and tousling your hair. "You just finish your breakfast. You don't get to be my age without learning to hide a few bodies on your own."\n\nDo you:\nPretendNothingHappened\nPushTheExtortionAngle
It was now or never. "Just out of curiosity, Grandma," you asked, "in situations like these, what does one usually get in return for absolute silence?"\n\nGrandma stopped in her tracks and her eyes narrowed. "Oh, so you want to play hardball with the old lady, huh?"\n\n"It's just been a traumatic experience for me, Grandma. You know how kids are when they get really upset by something. They might start having nightmares or their grades start slipping... then they have to go see a therapist. And who knows what might come out at one of those sessions? I just thought, if I were to somehow be less upset, that might make everybody better off all around."\n\n"Uh-huh." she said. "And what exactly would make you less upset?"\n\n"A pony."\n\n"A pony?"\n\n"Did I stutter, Grandma? A pony."\n\n"And where exactly would you keep a pony in the city?"\n\n"I wouldn't keep it in the city, Grandma. It'd stay out here with you at the farm and I'd come visit. More often than I do now, certainly. Wouldn't that be nice?"\n\n"And what do you think your mom and dad would say if I just suddenly gave you a pony without consulting them?"\n\n"You just concentrate on the pony and let me worry about Mom and Dad. What do you say, Grandma? Do we have a deal"\n\nDoes Grandma:\nAcceptYourProposal?\nTry to TalkYouOutOfIt?\nTry a MoreRadicalApproach?
"Very well," Grandma replied. "A pony it is. Let us seal our agreement with cookies and milk."\n\n"Cookies? For breakfast?" you asked.\n\n"Why not?" Grandma smiled. "You're a big boy now. You don't have to play by the rules all the time." She lifted down the cookie jar she kept on the high shelf above the stove. "Why don't you pour us a couple of glasses of milk, sweetheart."\n\nYou walked to the cabinet and grabbed two glasses decorated with a charming cow motif. Soon you'd have a pony of your very own. You'd name him Old Paint. Or maybe Buck, or Midnight, depending on his coloration. This was shaping up to be the best summer vacation ever!\n\nGrandma had laid two plates of cookies on the table. You placed a glass next to each and sat in your chair while she pulled a pitcher of milk from the refrigerator. She smiled and poured you a tall one. You took a great big bite of chocolate chip cookie and raised your milk in a toast. "To a pony!"\n\n"Yes," she said, clinking your glass, "of course. To a pony." Then for some reason, just as you swallowed, she began to chuckle. Softly at first. You chuckled too, for no real reason except that she was, but as her chuckle grew louder and out of control, you began to suspect something might be wrong. That was when you felt your throat begin to close off and your heart beat grow erratic. Then the stomach cramps started. You looked at the half eaten cookie in your hand, then up at Grandma. She smiled and waved good-bye.\n\nThe End.
"Now honey, come on, let's be reasonable," Grandma replied. "I live on a fixed income. Where would I get the money to buy and maintain a pony? You don't want old Grandma prostituting herself on the street corner, do you?"\n\nYou thought about that-- your beloved Grandmother degrading herself to satisfy your selfish desires. It was rather disturbing... but a pony is a pony.\n\nDo you:\nLet Grandma KeepHerDignity\nChooseThePony
"I guess I didn't think about all the ramifications, Grandma," you said. "I don't want you whoring yourself out anymore than you already have-- not even for a pony."\n\n"I appreciate that," Grandma replied. "In fact, I appreciate it so much, I think I'll prostitute myself to get you that pony after all."\n\n"Really?!" you exclaimed incredulously, "You're not just joshing?"\n\n"Yep," Grandma replied, "in fact, I'll start this very afternoon. Now you finish off that breakfast, I'll pack you a lunch, and then you make yourself scarce until dinner time. Go fishing down at the creek or something. Grandma's got work to do."\n\n"All right!" You tore into your breakfast with wild, pony-fueled abandon. Grandma was the greatest!!!\n\nThe End.
"I'm not budging on this, Grandma. I want a pony."\n\n"Very well," Grandma replied. "A pony it is. Let us seal our agreement with cookies and milk."\n\n"Cookies? For breakfast?" you asked.\n"Why not?" Grandma smiled. "You're a big boy now. You don't have to play by the rules all the time."\n\nShe lifted down the cookie jar she kept on the high shelf above the stove. "Why don't you pour us a couple of glasses of milk, sweetheart." You walked to the cabinet and grabbed two glasses decorated with a charming cow motif. Soon you'd have a pony of your very own. You'd name him Old Paint. Or maybe Buck, or Midnight, depending on his coloration. This was shaping up to be the best summer vacation ever!\n\nGrandma had laid two plates of cookies on the table. You placed a glass next to each and sat in your chair while she pulled a pitcher of milk from the refrigerator. She smiled and poured you a tall one. You took a great big bite of chocolate chip cookie and raised your milk in a toast. "To a pony!" "Yes," she said, clinking your glass, "of course. To a pony." Then for some reason, just as you swallowed, she began to chuckle. Softly at first. You chuckled too, for no real reason except that she was, but as her chuckle grew louder and out of control, you began to suspect something might be wrong. That was when you felt your throat begin to close off and your heart beat grow erratic. Then the stomach cramps started. You looked at the half eaten cookie in your hand, then up at Grandma. She smiled and waved good-bye.\n\nThe End.
"Do we have a deal or not, old woman?" you demanded.\n\nShe turned, her head drooping, shoulders slumped. There could be little doubt her spirit was utterly crushed! You'd beaten her! "All right," she said. "I suppose I have no choice." Yes! A pony at last! "No choice, " she continued, "but to do this!" She whirled to face you. The gleaming blade of the steak knife she held flashed in the morning sun. Hey, uncool! That steak knife set had been a gift from you!\n\nLike a pissed off jungle cat, she sprang at you, fangs bared! Instinctively, you flung yourself backward and kicked out with your feet. As your chair toppled over, your left boot made solid contact with Grandma's jaw. Her head snapped back and she sprawled on the floor, but not before raking the steak knife across your left shin, the serrated edge tearing through your pant leg and cutting down to the bone. The knife skittered across the floor and disappeared under the refrigerator as the back of your head cracked against the floor.\n\nGroaning, you tried to roll over and get to your knees. You glanced over to your right to see if Grandma had regained her feet, but she wasn't there. You looked around frantically, but she was nowhere to be seen. You stood, gasping for air, your heart racing. Pain shot through your left leg as you put weight on it. You tried to ignore it as you searched desperately for a weapon, a knife, a stick, a vase, anything that was within arms reach. You were afraid to move. That crazy old bitch might leap out at you from anywhere.\n\nDo you:\nMake a BreakForTheDoor\nMake a BreakForTheGunCabinet
If you were going to stand a chance, you needed firepower-- you had to get to that gun cabinet! You raced into the den where Grandma kept the guns, but she was already there. Apparently, that kick to the jaw hadn't stunned her as much as you thought. She chambered a round in the twelve-gauge and leveled it at your chest.\n\n"Grandma, no... I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!"\n\nGrandma took a deep breath as she looked at your frightened little form facing death. She lowered the rifle as a tear formed in her eye. The non-glass one. "Oh, my boy, I'm so sorry too... I'm just a foolish old woman... sometimes in the heat of passion, you just do or say things you regret... and then you have no choice but to kill people." She raised the rifle to her shoulder and peered down the sight at your heart.\n\nThen she crumpled to the floor as the iron fireplace poker wielded by the little man crushed the back of her skull.\n\nThe little man fell to his knees, then toppled over. You rushed to his side. He was drenched in his own blood from the gunshot wound, which was obviously mortal. That he had even survived long enough to save your life was a miracle in itself. "Chosen One," he gasped, "you live still-- I had feared she'd slain you! Then it is not too late. You can still fulfill your grand destiny, the prophesy which was foretold so long ago... your glorious quest for the salvation of my people!"\n\n"No way, I've had enough excitement for one day," you said as he expired.\n\nThe End.
Gandma knew every inch of this house. It was her terrain. If you were gonna have a prayer, you'd have to get to neutral ground.\n\nWithout hesitation you burst out the kitchen door and ran full tilt to the safety of the woods. There was no way the old bag could keep up with you here. You were smaller, faster, more maneuverable. She wouldn't stand a chance against you in the woods. It was just a matter of biding your time until nightfall. That is when you would strike-- right after Matlock when she got drowsy.\n\nBut you hadn't counted on the pack of wolves scenting your bloody shin. And they didn't wait for nightfall.\n\nThe End.
You returned your attention to the delicious breakfast before you as Grandma took her cleaning supplies to your bedroom where the carcass of the little man lay. A fresh, morning breeze wafted gently through the kitchen window, urging you to hurry up with your breakfast and come outside to play.\n\nYou quickly shoveled down the remaining food on your plate so as not to keep the breeze waiting. There were trees to climb, fences to jump, ponds to skip stones across, and mud just waiting to be stepped in. It was a big, exciting world out there, and you couldn't wait to go hunting for an adventure!\n\nThe End.
"What do you mean, Grandma?" you asked. "Were you... in love with him?"\n\n"No, honey. I didn't love him. No woman can ever truly love a man who's shorter than she is. For me, it was all about the sex!"\n\nDo you:\nWishYouHadNotAsked\nPinchYourself to wake up from this horrible nightmare\nPretendNothingHappened
This had gone too far-- it simply couldn't be real! Grandma having sex?! God, please, anything but this! You pinched yourself hard on the arm, hoping desperately to stop this twisted, evil dream. You didn't wake up though, so you pinched harder. It wasn't working! You pinched and pinched until your pincher was sore. Then suddenly, you pinched your arm off. It dropped to the floor, landing with a dull thud. What the?!?! Now it had to be a dream, right?\n\nWrong. Excruciating pain crashed through your body. Blood spurted from the stump at your shoulder with such force that it swept the breakfast dishes off the table. Grandma screamed! You tried to scream but couldn't. All you could do was collapse to the floor as icy waves of pressure knocked you down and drowned out Grandma. It sounded like the ocean surf pounding the rocks. The cold darkness was sweeping you away. You relaxed and went with it.\n\nThe End.
You remembered the horsey back rides, the bed time stories, the occasional magic trick-- all the wonderful moments you and Grandpa had shared that were now only memories. They were beautiful memories, but there would be no new ones to add. Though you struggled to hold them back, tears came streaming down your face.\n\nHeironymous Bidlesticks looked up from the onion he was peeling. "I'm sorry, is this bothering you?"\n\n"No," you sniffled, "it's fine."\n\n"You want a bite?" he offered.\n\n"No, thanks," you replied.\n\n"You sure? It's a good onion. Spanish. Yum yum."\n\n"No. Thank you," you said a bit more firmly.\n\nHe shrugged. "Suit yourself," and took a healthy bite from it. It crunched loudly as he chewed vigorously. You attempted to be alone with your thoughts for a moment, but it was exceedingly difficult with all that damn crunching and wafting onion stench.\n\nScrew it, you decided. "Let's go, Bindlesticks. I've got a race of people to save."\n\n"Excellent, Chosen One! Let me just finish off these anchovies first. Would you like one?" he asked, pulling a long, hairy, oily minnow from a tin and waggling it at you.\n\nDo you:\nSay, "Eat 'em on the way, Rumplestiltskin. LetsGoSaveYourPeople."\nEatTheAnchovy
You closed your bedroom door behind you as you went to the kitchen. "You selfish bastard!" raged the little man. His string of angry curses faded away in the distance as you progressed to the kitchen where a delicious breakfast awaited you. The last thing you could make out was, "You'll pay for this! You and your entire misbegotten race!"\n\n"Good morning, sweetie," Grandma said as you sat down at the kitchen table. "How did you sleep?" \n\nDo you:\nTellHerAboutTheLittleMan\nSay, "SwellGrandmaAndYou ?"
"What's in it for me?" you asked.\n\n"Er, well... helping in the survival of my people might give you a certain warm feeling.... um, you'll have great adventures, the like of which most children only dream about.... the satisfaction of a job well done?"\n\nBut you still weren't convinced. "Is it dangerous?" you asked.\n\n"Well, there's likely to be a certain amount of risk involved. But there's risk in everything. People walk down the sidewalk and get hit by flying hubcaps. Shit happens everyday."\n\n"But why go looking for it, that's what I'm saying Mister... say, what's your name anyway?"\n\nHe removed his striped hat and bowed his head. "Hieronymous Bindlesticks, at your service."\n\n"At my service? Really? Like a butler or something? Wow, I've never had a servant before!"\n\n"Er, well, that's not exactly--"\n\n"Get me some breakfast, servant! I'll have two eggs over easy with a slice of ham. And a bowl of Lucky Charms. Orange juice to drink. But run me a bath first. And don't skimp on the Mr. Bubble!"\n\n"Um, well, all right then. I don't suppose a few minute delay for breakfast and a bath will hurt anything. Get you off on the right foot and all. Yes, well, I'll go start your bath then, shall I?"\n\nDo you:\nSay, "Yes, at once YouDiminutiveImbecile!"\nSay, "No, I was kidding. LetsGoSaveYourPeople."
"You stupid midget! This is all your damn fault!"\n\n"Easy, Chosen One, easy... There are other pathways to the Upper World. We just have to make it to my village first. I would suggest we hurry!"\n\n"And I would suggest you //go screw yourself, Shrimpberry Shortcake!//"\n\n"Y'know," said Bindlesticks, "I really expected the so-called Chosen One to be less of a dick. I was really expecting someone more Christ-like."\n\n"You want Christ-like? I'll give you Christ-like," you retorted. "Here, I'm turning the other cheek!" And with that you dropped your trousers and mooned the little man.\n\nBindlesticks had reached his breaking point. With all his might, he kicked you square in the rump!\n\nYou'd heard the phrase "I'll break my foot off in your ass" before, but you never thought it actually happened. However, the blood spewing from the stump at Bindlesticks' ankle while he screamed uncontrollably and the large mass wedged painfully in your butt seemed to suggest that is //exactly// what had happened.\n\nDo You:\nTry to HelpBindlesticks\nKickBindlesticks while he's down.
You took a moment and steeled yourself for the task ahead, just like Grandpa would do if he weren't dead. The moment of truth had arrived.\n\nDo you:\nSay, "Okay, Bindlesticks, LetsGoSaveYourPeople."\nChicken out and GoHaveBreakfast
"Of course, Chosen One!" Bindlesticks said happily. "Right this way!" With that, he disappeared behind the chest of drawers. You took a deep breath and followed.\n\nThe small tunnel soon widened into a comfortable path as it descended into the earth. Conveniently, much of the rock was covered with a phosphorescent lichen that provided enough light to see by. "What do you call this glowy moss?" you asked, intrigued.\n\n"Bioluminescent ascomycetes fungus," Heironymous replied. "But perhaps we should change it to glowy moss. It would save time."\n\nSuddenly, the ground began to move as if with a mind of its own! "Dear Lord, the Time of Massive Rumblings has begun, just as Krumdinkle foretold!" cried Heironymous. He dove to the ground and covered his head. Dust and dirt fell from the tunnel ceiling as you struggled to keep your feet. But the earth shook uncontrollably like an elderly alcoholic with Parkinson's Disease who'd just peed on the third rail, and you tumbled to the tunnel floor. Your heart clenched at the terrifying prospect of being buried alive! The shrieking sound of rock being torn apart grew around you as you lay curled in a ball, your eyes shut as tightly as you could manage. If this was the end, you prayed it would be swift.\n\nBut gradually the shaking and rumbling diminished, then faded altogether. You lay there for a moment. The only sound was the terrified gasping of you and Heironymous. As you sat up shakily, a layer of dirt and pebbles slid off you. The danger, it seemed, had passed. For the moment, at least. "I have to go to the bathroom," you said.\n\n"I did already," Heironymous admitted softly, his eyes not meeting yours. Maybe this hadn't been such a good idea, you thought. Perhaps you should just turn around and-- but no. Your mouth opened helplessly when you saw that the tunnel behind you, the only path back to Grandma's, was now a impenetrable wall of enormous boulders. Your jaw quivered as the horrible reality of your situation became inescapably apparent. You were trapped in a tunnel with a soiled dwarf.\n\nDo you:\nAccept the fate you've been handed and BravelyGoOn.\nBite down on the CyanideCapsule you keep hidden in a hollow tooth.\nTakeItOutOnTheDwarf.
You stared at the fork in the tunnel. "Gee," you thought, "I wish I knew which was the right way... guess I'll go the //right// way." And you set off down the passage to the right. It was much easier going without lugging Heironymous Bindlesticks, but as you ambled along, the dawning realization that you were utterly alone in an alien world with no friends and no way home brought a rising panic. You began to sweat despite the coolness of the tunnel, your heart beat faster and faster, your breathing grew ragged, and you broke into a run.\n\nAs you sprinted full speed around a bend, you passed a yellow sign that said, Caution: Road Ends Five Feet. "Huh," you thought, "that explains why I'm plummeting into this gorge." The gorge was extremely deep, and it took several seconds for you to reach\n\nThe End.
You stared at the fork in the tunnel. "Well, like the old saying goes," you thought, "knife on the right, fork on the left," and decided to head down the left passageway. Realizing you hadn't had breakfast, you took Bindlesticks' foot with you, just in case you got hungry before you found his village. You'd never eaten human flesh before, but technically he wasn't human, so no big deal.\n\nAs you walked briskly through the tunnel, you thought you heard distant voices. You stopped and listened-- yes, definitely voices! The voices faded out, and you realized you must be behind them so you broke into a run. Soon they came into your hearing again, and before long long you could make out three men in the distance. Not little men like Bindlesticks, but actual full-grown people-type men! Though you couldn't make out their words through the echoing of the tunnel, they were laughing and joking with each other merrily.\n\nDo you:\nRunToThem\nStopAndFollowDiscretely\nTurnBack
Damn, they'd spotted you! You turned and bolted immediately. The slapping footsteps told you that, yep, they were chasing...\n\nHauling ass through the winding tunnel, you glanced over shoulder in the straightways and saw that the men were gaining on you-- they had longer legs. You hoped maybe they'd make a wrong turn at the junction where you dumped Bindlesticks' body, but they stayed right on your trail.\n\nAs you sprinted full speed around a bend, you noticed a yellow sign that said, Caution: Road Ends Five Feet. "Huh," you thought, "that explains why I'm plummeting into this gorge." The gorge was extremely deep, and it took several seconds for you to reach the bottom. When you did reach the bottom, you were dead immediately so you didn't feel it when your first pursuer landed on top of you. Nor did you feel the second. The third guy landed a bit to your right, if you're wondering.\n\nThe End.
"Hmmm..." you murmured, "he pointed back the way we came... maybe I missed something along the way... it's just crazy enough to work!" And with that, you set off back the way you came, carefully surveying the tunnel walls for hidden signs or some sort of secret passage. When you got back to the impenetrable wall of boulders blocking the path to Grandma's, you suspected you'd made a mistake trusting the near-death ramblings of a delirious dwarf.\n\nYou began heading back to the fork in the tunnel, still checking for the possibility of a secret path or hidden sign, when suddenly the earth began to violently tremble once again. You threw yourself to the ground and covered your head with your arms, but that didn't do much to slow down the twelve ton boulder that hit you like a sledgehammer hits a tomato.\n\nThe End.
You'd seen enough movies to know that this was a bit //too// convenient. Here you were, alone in a crazy situation, where you've been told there's some big evil you have to fight, but you're feeling alone and lost, and now, coincidentally, you see some other humans casually walking through the Secret World Behind the Chest of Drawers... no, this was obviously a set-up! These guys were probably evil, and you were about to walk right up to them and get captured, just like some stupid kid would do in a movie-- well, this was no movie, and you were certainly no Corey Feldman! Fuck that, you were going to get as far away from them as possible!\n\nYou stopped and began to back away. But just then one of the men glanced over his shoulder and saw you. "Hey, it's a kid!" he yelled.\n\nDo you:\nJustGiveUpAndWaitThere\nRunLikeHell
You were just a tired, hungry kid and they were full grown adults-- there's no way you could ever out-run them. So you decided to just let them capture you. Maybe they'd actually turn out to be nice, but even if they weren't, you'd seen enough Hollywood movies to know that being captured would give you a chance to learn about their evil plans before escaping. Later, you could lead a rag-tag band of misfits in a climactic battle that would somehow defeat the evil men. You raised your arms in surrender and gave your nicest smile. \n\nBut they just disemboweled you with a sword right then and there.\n\nThe End.
Bindlesticks was completely incapacitated with pain and rapidly going into shock. Served him right. You'd always wanted to kick someone while they were down, and now you finally had your chance!\n\nBut as your foot broke off in his ass, you realized you'd made a terrible mistake. "Arrghh!!! What were the odds of that happening twice!?!?" you screamed in agony as you fell backwards and landed on your butt which drove Bindlesticks foot even deeper. "Arrgh, my ass! Arrgh, my foot! Arrgh, my ass! Arrgh, my foot!"\n\nIt continued like that until you passed out from loss of blood and internal hemmoraging, which was soon. You never woke up.\n\nThe End.
You extracted Bindlesticks' foot from your butt and pulled your pants up. Your only hope of survival was to somehow keep the little man alive so that he could guide you to his village. You'd probably have to carry him the whole way. As Bindlesticks continued moaning and wailing, you slid your belt from its loops and used it as a tourniquet, cinching it tight above his ankle stump to stop the bleeding. You weren't sure what to do with the foot, so you stuffed into his jumpsuit in case he wanted it later. \n\nThe little man was delirious with pain and thrashing around violently, but a hard punch to his face solved that. You hoisted him over your shoulder and set off down the tunnel. If and when you reached a fork in the path, you'd deal with trying to wake him up to talk to him. Maybe he'd be feeling better by then.\n\nThe tunnel seemed to stretch forever and the little man quickly grew heavy. Without any sky or other visual cues, you had a hard time gauging just how far you'd walked. Not that it mattered-- there was only one direction and no map, so onward you trudged. You trudged and you trudged 'til your trudgers were sore. Bindlesticks drifted in and out of consciousness but never from delirium into coherence.\n\nAs you rounded a gentle curve, you came to a fork in the tunnel. You set Bindlesticks down and shook him gently. He didn't rouse so you shook him a little harder. "Bindlesticks... Bindlesticks, wake up!" The little man's head lolled and he mumbled incoherently. "Bindlesticks!" He didn't seem to be coming around, so you poked him in his bloody stump.\n\n"Gah!!" he screamed, eyes snapping open.\n\n"We've reached a fork in the tunnel," you told him. "Which way do we go?"\n\nBindlesticks peered around blearily. "That way," he said, pointing back the way you came. Then he abruptly died.\n\nDo You:\nTakeTheLeftFork\nTakeTheRightFork\nGoBackTheWayYouCame
But as excited as you were to see actual humans, you remembered Heironymous Bindlesticks' words about the threat to his people... perhaps these men were part of the threat! It certainly wouldn't do for the "Chosen One" to get walk right into the hands of the enemy. It was best to learn more before approaching them. \n\nYou followed slowly, walking quietly, peeking around bends in the tunnel to make sure they were past the next bend ahead before following. Perhaps they'd lead you the village Bindlesticks was taking you to, or perhaps they'd lead you back to the Upper World. Either was fine with you at this point. You just kept your distance and kept listening for their voices. Then you heard an ominous growl... but it came from behind you.\n\nYou looked over your shoulder to see an enormous Bengal Tiger just a few feet behind you. 'How the heck did a Bengal Tiger get down here?' you wondered as it sprang toward you. \n\nThe End.
The week last fall you'd spent tied to a chair in the musty boiler room of an abandoned warehouse hadn't taught you a damned thing about walking off with mysterious stangers, so you decided to follow the little man. You quickly slipped on some jeans, sneakers, and a favorite t-shirt (the one with the Superman logo) and said, "Lead the way, Mister... say, what is your name?"\n\nHe removed his hat and bowed as deeply as a foot and a half tall man can. "Hieronymous Bindlesticks, at your service," he said.\n\n"I'm--" you began, but he held up a hand.\n\n"No need to tell me your name, Chosen One, for my people have known it since before you were born. It was written long ago in the Great Prophesies of Krumdinkle the Wise."\n\n"Oh. All right. Well, let's get going then, I guess."\n\n"As you command, Chosen One. Though you might wish to bring a jacket."\n\n"A jacket?" you asked. "But it's summer."\n\n"Yes, here in the Upper World it is. But in my land, the Secret World Behind the Chest of Drawers, it can still get cold as a Math teacher's heart."\n\nDo You:\nGetAJacket\nBeADumbAss\nSay "Sounds like too much trouble" and GoHaveBreakfast
People! Actual people!! You broke into a run, shouting, "Hey! Hey!"\n\nThe men stopped and looked back. "Good heavens, it's a little boy!"\n\n"I'm alone and lost! Can you help me? Please? I just want to go home!"\n\n"Why of course, my poor lad! Our ship is moored in yon bay, right around the next bend where the cave opens up to the sea. Our captain has the finest maps in Christendom -- he's sure to get you safely home!" \n\n"Oh, thank you, thank you!" you exclaimed. The tallest of the men swept you up onto his shoulders and carried you out of the caves into daylight. In mere minutes, you were tucked inside their launch making your way to their vessel, a mighty ship known as The Flying Dutchman.\n\nThe End.
Heironymous Bindlesticks sighed. "As you command, Chosen One," he muttered and made his way to the bathroom to begin preparing your bath. \n\nYou rubbed your hands together gleefully. This was shaping up to be the best summer ever! But then as the sound of a bath being drawn filled the air, you heard a peircing shriek. You were startled into immobility, then shaken out of it by the sound of a shotgun blast. You ran to the bathroom to see Grandma holding a smoking twelve gauge. The corpse of Heironymous Bindlesticks lay in the tub, eyes open, blood swirling into the bath water.\n\n"Jeez, Grandma!" you exclaimed. "You just killed my butler!"\n\n"You //know// how I feel about strange fantasy characters," Grandma scolded. "They contradict the Bible. Now shut off that water and help me bury him out back with all the others."\n\nGrandma stalked out as you turned off the bath tub faucet. No butler for you. Old people ruin //every//thing.\n\nThe End.\n\n