Wherein we all die, every week

I'm not feeling our last Choose Your Own Adventure outing, I don't know why. Maybe after the glory of a stuffed bunny zombie apocalypse and a cool super-hero outing, I just need a break. So that's what we're going to do!

I've long wanted to do something writing-related here, and now we will. I'll write up the start of an adventure. You write what happens next. I'll pick the one I like best, and next week we'll repeat -- I'll post my beginning, the next installment, and we'll go again.

We've done something sort of similar before, but it petered out. My theory is that it was partly because of a voting component, so now I'm going all Kim Jong-il and just running the show. Ha!

So here goes (taken from College Humor, but we'll end up in a place totally different, I'm sure):

It’s another boring day at your stupid office. You spent most of the morning catching up on all the Internet you missed while sleeping and now you’re behind. Your stomach is growling because the banana you bought had a weird brown lump on it. You know you should get back to work, but you also know that you’re hungry and don’t care about your job at all.
What do you do?

  • SEARCH FOR FOOD in the drawer that you haven’t used since you started here 2 years ago.
  • CHECK EMAIL to see if your boss sent any super-long emails you can read to pass the time.

Your job now is to write up the results of both of those actions in the comments below, one of which results in our death and the other which continues the adventure and presents us with two choices for going on. For instance, the College Humor folks have this as the result of "Search for food", which would be the "continue" installment:

You open the mysterious drawer and are greeted with a cornucopia of disappointment!
What do you eat?

  • A BUNCH OF THUMBTACKS that definitely aren’t food and shouldn’t be treated as such.
  • ADDERALL PILLS that you bought off a high school kid who said his name was “Wolfgod.”

And this might be the deadly result of the other choice:

You pop open Outlook and sure enough, Dear Leader has sent out a company-wide message. "FORWARD THIS OR RISK DEATH!" it's headlined, and recounts a storied history of people who sent it along to their friends and families to find prosperity, and those who didn't who are now dead. Hogwash! Wasting time is great, but chain letters are a tool of Satan. You sneeringly hit "Delete", upon which a short circuit in the keyboard fries your white-collared head to a cinder. Your office adventure is over."

Next week I'll go through all the comments and pick two -- one I like best that continues the adventure and one that results in our untimely death. You can go for humorous, serious, or nonsensical. You can introduce vampires or super heroes or aliens or your mom. Knock yourself out, but keep them clean (PG-13 at most).

To recap, your job now is to write up the results of both choices in the opening paragraph above, one of which ends in death and the other of which continues the adventure by offering up two more choices.

Have fun!

10 Responses to Wherein we all die, every week

  1. Worf says:

    Thought I’d try my hand at this…..Here goes:

    option 1 – You open the drawer, halfway hoping that it contains a gun so you can end your misery quickly but, alas, it seems empty. However, as you smash the side of the cabinet in frustration, you notice there’s a red button all the way at the back of the drawer. do you:
    a) press the button to see what happens? or….
    b) leave it alone and go see if you can find any nourishment in the break-room fridge?

    option 2 – As you begin reading through your endless list of mindless corporate drivel, you suddenly realize that you’re in some kind of hypnotic state. Your mind no longer controls your body. You watch in horrified detachment as your body suddenly gets up, runs to your boss’ office and starts what seems to you, like a great impression of a blood-cage death-match. Security shows up a minute later and tazers your body until you fall unconscious. Unfortunately for you, it required about 30 tazers so in effect you’re not unconscious, but dead.
    The End.

  2. BenK22 says:

    Option 1: There’s nothing better than finding a bag of M&M’s in your unused desk drawer. Except perhaps finding two bags of M&M’s. You greedily wolf down the candy, only to remember too late that you’re allergic to peanuts…or was it chocolate? Your mind begins to fog; you don’t have food allergies.
    You turn over the bags and read the expiration date: “October 13, 1945”. You’ve just eaten pieces of candy history. Unfortunately, while worth a relative fortune in the bags, they are deadly once eaten.
    As your eyes slowly close, a white rabbit hops on top of your desk. As your world fades to black, you sadly realize that you’ll never be able to chase the rabbit down the hole.

    The End.

    Option 2: Skimming your e-mail, you sadly realize that your boss did not send you any messages to help you procrastinate. Disappointed, you decide to delete your spam contents one at at time. Just as you are about to navigate away from your inbox, you notice one message from your mom, titled “Hi :)”.
    Opening the e-mail from your mom, you quickly realize that she just spoiled the Olympic Women’s Gymnastic Individual All-Around Champion for you. She knows how much you were looking forward to watching that tonight! It was the only thing making this day worth living. It’s only your favorite event in the Summer Games.

    Do you…?

    Send your mom a harsh, biting retort condemning her for not including a spoiler alert in the subject.

    Read your spam messages and hope to find a reason to live.

  3. Kalontas says:

    You search for food in the drawer:

    At first, the drawer opens to show nothing inside, apart from dust. But then, suddenly, a big spider with a weird pattern on its back crawls out. You’re not an arachnophobic, you can survive that. But to your surprise, then another spider crawls out! And another! Before you can tell, an almost unending stream of spiders keeps crawling out of the drawer, and straight up your arms, resting their spindly, hairy legs on your body, and biting into your soft flesh, injecting the poison in larger and larger quantities.

    You die not knowing if it truly was a poison or merely a panic attack upon seeing hundreds of spiders crawl out of your drawer. And now you will never know who sent them and why did he want to kill you!

    You check your e-mail. Nothing from your boss, but there’s one weird e-mail sitting on top of your unread list. “Somebody’s out to get you”, it reads. You don’t know why it didn’t got filtered out as spam. Maybe it’s from one of your friends? No, the sender doesn’t appear to be your friend. Nevertheless, you can’t resist opening the e-mail and reading the message:
    “Don’t open your drawer, it’s full of deadly spiders. I can’t tell you everything right now, but I can help you if you leave the office right now and ignore anyone trying to stop you – they’re with them. See you soon, A.”

    What do you do?
    IT’S JUST SPAM – Who would want to kill you? Ignore the joker and get on with your day.
    GET OUT OF THE OFFICE – You don’t know who might be after you, but better safe than sorry.

  4. DiCicatriz says:

    I kind of just started writing and things began to escalate veeeery quickly…

    You open the drawer with low expectations. Inside there a is a small hinged silver box. Open it. The impulse seems to come from somewhere else, but you follow it all the same. Inside the box is lined with plush black felt and resting carefully in the center is single seed. It’s a pale green, but you swear the colors are shifting slightly as you gaze upon it. Swirling hues dance on its surface. Try it… again the out of body impulse. Go ahead. It’s ok. It looks delicious. You slowly and deliberately grasp the tiny seed between the pads of your thumb and forefinger. It feels soft and slippery… like a jelly bean. Jelly beans aren’t dangerous are they? No, the impulse seems to say. No, not at all. Go for it. You take the seed delicately to your mouth, rest it on the tip of your tongue… but before you can crunch it in your teeth, it suddenly slips down your throat… seemingly of its own volition. It tastes like… nothing. But suddenly it tastes like… everything. You no longer have five distinct bodily sense, but a single synaesthetic omni-sense with incalculable processing points.

    Ending 1)

    You see, what you thought was a simple seed, was in fact the imprisoned collected consciousness of a society of ancient extradimensional deities who long ago ravaged the universe. Of course I have no idea how such a thing found its way into your desk drawer; but the universe tends to work out that way doesn’t it? As your body begins to convert into high functioning energy to try and cope with the stresses of complete dimensional omniscience and your pitiful human consciousness gets absorbed into the hive mind, you can take solace in the fact that your living soul won’t be around while the Ancient Ones re-establish themselves within our plane of existence. Great job ending the existence of all life as we know it. Next time (not that there’s going to be a next time, mind you) try not to listen when disturbing voices in the back of your head tell you to swallow mysterious iridescent seeds. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to lock myself in the bathroom, before the darkness takes me, and cry myself into oblivion.

    2) Ending 2

    Congratulations! You can now sense everything. I mean pretty much. Don’t worry. Your brain is slowly altering itself to adjust to the sensory overload and should be finished in roughly fifteen minutes. You might feel a little pressure behind your eyes and some nausea, but don’t worry… that’s completely normal. Since your head hasn’t exploded (and if it was going to it would have by now) you can consider yourself to be in the lucky 0.003% of the human population that is capable of surviving the conversion process. How did an experimental biotech drug end up in your desk drawer? Hell if I know, but enough about that… take in the world with your new senses. Can you smell that? Gina from down the hall is wearing tiny traces of the aftershave you bought your boss for last year’s Secret Santa drawing. You remember, the cheapest bottle you were able to find at Rite-Aid at two in the morning the day before? The thing is, she’s wearing it in places that a respectable lady shouldn’t be wearing aftershave. But wait… how did traces of your boss’s aftershave end up there? Do you get it? Ok. So Mr. Dead-End Hate My Job, what do we do with this information?

    a) Confront the boss and blackmail him for a promotion.
    b) Ignore it and go out into the world with your new super senses.

  5. Herr D says:

    A. Opening your drawer, you hear an odd grinding noise and the WHOLE DRAWER falls on your feet. Your sharp pain reaction causes you to knock your head on your desk’s edge. Feet bleeding, dizzy, you stagger from your cubicle to be kayoed by your boss’s door. The first aid expert in your office assumes you fainted from your horribly bleeding feet and wastes time stopping the blood and bandaging them. You, having an O.B.E. over him, are unable to kick any sense into him while you watch yourself die of a subdural hematoma. Or a concussion. Your last thought is that you wouldn’t know the difference between them anyway.
    B. That first boring-looking e-mail turns out to be a diagram of a brown lump on a banana that looks amazingly like what you just ate. It proclaims that a MRSA-related genetic experiment was attempted on bananas recently, and that a disgruntled employee that looks a lot like the cashier you paid for the banana is wanted in your area.
    All anyone knows is that there are two treatments for ingesting the unstable lab-produced substance, and no one agrees which one will work or whether either of them will prevent unknown, but probably very dangerous results. The two treatments are: 1. Avoiding food or drink, go induce vomiting immediately. You have a trash can, and you may get to go home even if nothing is wrong by just claiming you’re sick spontaneously. But if this choice fails, the e-mail says your innards will liquify and you’ll die painfully. 2. Drink copious amounts of fluorinated and chlorinated water, as the chemical combination could neutralize the horrible mutagenic substance you’ve ingested. But the e-mail says, if your water isn’t right or you’re resistant to this treatment, your torso could basically explode in seconds.

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    These are great!

  7. Sauron says:

    Option 1 – desk drawer
    You pull it open seaching for food…but suddenly, about 20 or so tiny humanoids jump out onto your arm, hacking at it with what look like tiny little spears. You are stunned for only a second, but its long enough for the venom embedded in them to do its work. You fall to the ground, dead. You are found several hours later buy a secretary, who calls the police. In a cruel twist of fate, they pronounce you dead of a drug overdose, due to the “needle marks” on your arms. But death is not the end for you…Oh no…

    Option 2 – email
    You check your accout, hoping for something, ANYTHING, to attract your intrest. You look over the junk and spam without much hope…then, you hear the familiar “you’ve got mail” and a new message appears. It is titled simply 🙁 . You open it. The message is short, in fact only a sentance long. It reads… “You will die before the day is out. Mwahahahaa…” You casually delete it. It’s only a prank…right?

  8. The Imp says:

    1. Desk Drawer
    You open your desk drawer and, underneath a stack of sexual harassment zero-toleration handbooks and porn magazines, find a bag of beef jerky. The brand name is “Jack’s Links” …which doesn’t sound quite right, buy hey, beggars can’t be choosers and you need something to lay down on top of that scary-looking banana you ate earlier. You rip open the bag and dig in. Hey, this stuff isn’t half bad! Kind of an odd color for beef jerky, but it’s really quite delicious. You get through about two thirds of the bag when you pull out a piece that’s got a tattoo of a heart and anchor on it.
    Do you:
    A. Scream and run away in horror, or
    B. Shrug and continue eating.

    2. E-mail
    At the top of your email list is the following missive:
    “Due to repaving of the street bordering the company parking lot, all employees must make alternative parking arrangements this week. Park in the lot at your own risk – damages to vehicles may occur.” Holy crap! You just got your car detailed last weekend! You rush out to the parking lot and see a bunch of guys with jackhammers tearing up the street. Pebbles and rocks are flying all over the place, including into the parking lot. And your car will be right in the line of fire in seconds! You begin to run to your vehicle and are promptly run over and killed instantly by your boss, who’s moving her own car. Your office adventure is, sadly, over.

  9. barbario says:

    i loved choose-your-own-adventure books growing up

  10. Jeff Hebert says:

    These were really fun, guys, thank you! I’ll be putting them together in a moment.