Today is Choose Your Own Blogventure Day! A collaborative piece by many bloggers is spun from one starting fragment of a story. You choose which path to follow.
If you’ve arrived directly to my blog, start the story at NPW’s blog.
If you’re a CYOBer and you’ve arrived here from Aaron’s blog then you chose for Annelise to go downstairs. Here we go…
Annelise ran downstairs to the kitchen. She had never seen a real zombie before, and the idea of meeting one face to face made her absurdly giddy. As her foot hit the bottom step her mind processed the scene — a quorum of the undead, caked in blood, shuffling slowly in place around the marble-topped island — but her body could not stop quickly enough. Her size 6 Saucony running shoes skidded and screeched across the hardwood floors as she crashed into her neighbor, Mr. Angus V. Sumps, originally from Kansas City (the Kansas one, not that city slicker Missouri one), who had been living next door up until two weeks ago when his Diabetes finally licked him. Now he was hissing and moaning with arms outstretched around either side of her and his skin was less than politely peeling off his body.
Annelise let out a yelp and pushed herself off Mr. Sumps, running backwards as quickly as possible, almost knocking herself and her father, who had run after her, over onto the stairs. Dr. Ansel reached his arms delicately around his daughter and whispered into her ear, “don’t worry, they’re under my control.”
Annelise turned her head to look hesitantly optimistic into her father’s eyes then spun her body to hug him. “That’s… that’s… GREAT news, Dad! But, how?”
“The power of the talisman, my dear! Up for an adventure?”
Without skipping a beat, Annelise responded with a smile: “Always, Daddy!”
Dr. Ansel turned to the crowded kitchen, still shuffling in place, still moaning and hissing. “To the bus, my minions! “
Annelise giggled quietly as she watched the zombies passively push and shove each other out the front door to the ‘70s hippie bus her father kept for last minute field trips to curious destinations, and this time was no different. Next stop: Jenny’s Blue Plate Diner.
The ride to the diner had been pretty eventful. Dr. Ansel drove the bus, so Annelise had been forced to sit on the inside seat next to Mrs. Streeter, her elementary school cafeteria monitor in her living days, who kept slowly grabbing Annelise’s right arm and trying to chew on it. Also, in the back of the bus the “controlled” zombies were getting slightly out of control by not remaining in their seats. Each time the bus jerked to a stop the standing zombies fell over and piled on top of each other. Physics was no longer their friend, so the fallen undead would stay heaped in the pile, flailing around and groaning until the bus came to a full stop in two parking spots 10 feet from the diner’s front door.
Annelise hopped over Mrs. Streeter’s lap and ran off the bus into the diner. “Jenny, there’s 22 of us today. Think you can fit us all? Our lunch guests are probably gonna be a little messy. Sorry about that. Oh, and they’ll each want their own NY Strip Steak – raw and bloody.”
Jenny gave Annelise a wink as she wrote down the order. “No problem, kiddo. We get ‘messy and bloody’ all the time.”
Annelise ran back outside and helped her father escort their army of 20 to their seats. None of the other diners even blinked, they were too used to the Ansel family’s peculiar taste in mealtime companionship. Dr. Ansel stood outside his designated booth where Annelise, Mr. Sumps, Mrs. Streeter, and 18-year-old recently deceased football hero Tommy Jenkins were seated. He leaned over Annelise. “I need to use the men’s room, think you can handle them all while I’m gone?”
“Of course, Daddy.”
Dr. Ansel needed a minute to regroup, to make a plan for what he would do with all the zombies. He hadn’t thought he could actually raise his unfortunately circumstanced neighbors from their graves, or do anything to keep them civil once they were back to a semi-functional state, but the directions on the back of the talisman had been so crystal clear that it was like making Kraft mac & cheese – easy peasy! He went into the only stall of the bathroom and leaned over to give a courtesy flush of the last person’s business. Out of the corner of his eye he watched in horror as the talisman began to tumble out of his pocket and into the flushing water.
To see what happens when Dr. Ansel loses the talisman down the diner toilet go here.
To see what happens when Dr. Ansel catches the talisman go here.