This is a story from the long time of exactly 110 years ago. It is a story of a long place away, a place you have never been due to strict visa constrols, a magical place located deep within the Union of American States: a place called Wyoming.
This is the story of those folks out there on the Wyoming who made that place their location; of sinister bandits, crooks, stealers; of police commissioners and deputy police commissioners who fired guns to make some law. Most of all it is about you: the reader/hero who lived right in it also, doing things.
Having been described, the story starts: You are riding out on the steppe, with only tumbling weeds for wellwishers. It's been a while since anything and your horse is in the range of thirsty to dead. What?
[[If you put on a cow farmer hat, turn to page `20.`|20]]
[[If you attempt a water find, turn to page 4.|4]]
[[If you plow on towards any point on the map, turn to page 38.|38]]In 1987, an anonymous team of computer scientists from the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic wrote a series of children's books based on the popular //Choose Your Own Adventure// series. The books were hastily translated into English and a small number were exported to America, but the CIA, fearing a possible Soviet mind control scheme, confiscated them all before they could be sold.
Now declassified, the books have been lovingly converted to a digital hypertext format and put online for the English-speaking world to enjoy.
A cow farmer hat is good protection from the almighty sun goddess. You surround yourself with its shade and feel cooler in an instant. Find the provided character trait sheet at the inside back of this book and put a check mark inside the box marked "Low Temperature."
Suddenly your expert cow eye (used to rapidly count cows for your cow farming duties, and to locate truant cows, and to locate danger from natural cow predatures aproaching,) spots some movement behind a rock formations. Did someone out there see the glint of your hat go up?
[[If you attack it with your revolving pistol, turn to page 79.|79]]
[[If you call out to it like a best friend, turn to page 22.|22]]
[[If you prefer to observe for a while, turn to page 27.|27]]''4''
The first rule about living out on top of the west is that a human being cannot survive without drinking water. As the first rule, it occupies a priority over all and any subsequent rules.
Easy enough to desire water, easier still to require it, but about how do you plan to locate it?
[[If you use a forked dowsing stick, turn to page 63.|63]]
[[If you use your expert cow farming nose, turn to page 19.|19]]''38''
You straddle your horse for another long journey today. Water and hats will have to wait. There's nothing inside this country for a layabout.
As you proceed in a direction you think about your boyhood in the city of New York City: running down the street with a large wicker hoop, listening to poetry readings, eating corn and beef sandwiches. All the typical joys of an American Child. But something inside your body called away to the planes and so you left back your various relatives to go do this cow business. Now of course you have no cows and one horse (riden) and also you're in the desert.
A long last, you observe a speck of human civilization out distant, but it seems like your horse is about to run out of his steam.
[[If you encourage the horse with sharp kicks + frustration, turn to page 15.|15]]
[[If you encourage the horse with a gentle kiss and whisper, turn to page `70.`|70]]
[[If you ditch the horse, turn to page 23.|23]]
<span class="title2">[Cow Farming Activities on the Former West]<start|</span>
<span class="title3">Ковбои в Америке</span>
<span class="title1">//[You Will Select a Decision]<home|// — Book №2</span>
<span class="title4">An Impeccable Product of the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic</span>
<span class="copyright">© 2013 [Brendan Patrick Hennessy]<bhen|
Created with [Twine]<twine|
[bphennessy.com]<bhen| · [selectadecision.info]<home| · [twinery.org]<twine|</span>''63''
You cast about for a suitable forked stick to divine with and find one instantaneously.
You kiss the stick softly and wish for it to find true. Sure enough, Jesus Christ and His Disciples bless you and you find an underground spring through vibrating twig. Now you use the second stick function to jab at the ground until a fountain comes up. Ants rejoice in the new bonanza and quickly find themselves drowned, much like the idiot boy from the parable about the wax airplane.
You suck liquid until your gut is full to the brim. You give off a loud water-belch and excuse yourself.
You have now regained full strength use of your six senses. Your vision sense detects movement from a human being behind a local rock formation. They could be friend. It's also that they could be foe.
[[If you assume foe, fire your gun on page 79.|79]]
[[If you assume friend, issue a greeting on page 22.|22]]''19''
Any good cow farmer that is worth his enitre weight in salt must be required to smell things. Example: The poisonous weeds of this biome are often indistinguishable from harmless frontier grass except for smell.
You set up a nine-part mental grid system of the immediate vicinity and sniff about for water.
In location A1 you detect desert sand and no water. You also detect desert sand and no water in locations A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, and C3. You have successfully come to the conclusion that no water is here.
All of this spatial reasoning has taken up some time and made you thirstily. The 12:00 pm sun is now overhead, sizzling the moisture up out of you. You need shelter so really bad.
[[If you shelter in that mine over there, turn to page 84.|84]]
[[If you shelter under hot sand, turn to page 65.|65]]
[[If you shelter beneath a mirage, turn to page 107.|107]]''79''
You take your gun out of your gun holder and point it square at the distant person or object.
Take out one standard dice and roll it.
[[If it lands on 1, 3, or 7, turn to page 88.|88]]
[[If it lands on 2 or 4 or 6, turn to page 35.|35]]
[[If it lands on 5, turn to page 12.|12]]''22''
You see for the first time that the approacher is an Arapaho man, unless you have come by ths information before due to previous choice or non-linear play style. You greet him warmly, as you would a sister or sister-in-law or female cousin. If you had a bowl of stewed goat meat you would offer it in hospitality, but being entirely starved you do not.
After your greeting handshake, the man sees you are a folk in serious trouble.
"I am a man from a mine," says he, "and I am going to the mine to perform my mining job, which is my occupation. I have just come from a town, which is full of capitalists willing to exchange their services for amounts of money. I have the ability to put you in either location, through guidance."
[[If you ask to go to the town, turn to page 57.|57]]
[[If you ask to go to the mine, turn to page 103.|103]]''27''
After some time the figure emerges from the rock formation and approaches you. You stand dumbly, holding a gun but not pointing it, hand open but not yet raised in greeting, you are between and in between, like the well-known parable of the cat with two mice at opposite ends of the house.
You see after observation that this is not an undefined human with no characteristics, but instead a member of the Arapaho tribe with a full personality and back story.
You will have to make a decision.
[[If you act all friendly like and say "Hi there, friend, how are things," turn to page 22.|22]]
[[If you fire your gun in an act of random aggression, taking no time to aim properly, turn to page 35.|35]]''84''
Oh yes, there was indeed a mine in the nearby. How foolish of you to ignore this critical factor. This changes an estimation.
You close your eyes and shift your brain mode from (find water) to (enter mining camp). So calibrated, you swagger into this new area and see what awaits.
[[Turn to page 28.|28]]''65''
You dig a shallow ditch and lay down in it, covering yourself in hot sand. Oh, how tiresome this desert life is! You think how amusing it would be if some one was to come along and sculpt the hot sand into some image. Perhaps they could give you a fish's tail and a goat's torso and make you into the traditional image of a mermaid. What merriment! Your mind floats away to other sand possibilities and you scarcely sense that you are being cooked in the hot sun. You become a human roast, and the vultures find you a particular deliacy.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''107''
You duck under a nearby mirage but it vanishes in a puff! Curses, it was a mirage! You are evaporated and made into dust by the heat of the sun.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''88''
Your bullet perfectly hits the figure. You are pleased that you killed someone without knowing anything about them.
Your dominance over this area secure, you consider how to move your body relative to the corpse.
[[If you head corpseward, turn to page 67.|67]]
[[If you do not approach corpse, turn to page 101.|101]] ''35''
Your bullet files long and misses the target by practically ten thousand centimetres. You will have to refill with powder and bullets before proceeding with your scheme for murder.
[[If you take your time and get your gun ready for more killing, turn to page 105.|105]]
[[If you want to give up on fighting and even pretend like you didn't, turn to page 22.|22]]''12''
Unlucky numbers 12 and 5! The gun explodes, removing your gun and your gun-shooting hand. All the blood which was contained in your body leaves through the open hole which replaced your gun-shooting hand.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''57''
You ask the gentleman to take you to the location of "TOWN". He genuflects deeply before you and leads you on. This is the famed "American Politeness", whereby one stranger is indebted to another by virtue of having run across them in an area. This cause was behind the famous anecdote of the Americans who traded shoes back and forth as they crossed paths on their street. You contemplate the facets of your national character as you protrude. Before long you are arrived. You thank the man with a polite nod and a kiss on the hand and enter in town.
[[Turn to page 3.|3]]''103''
You request to go to the mine. The man sternly extends his hand. You reach out and grasp it. Holding each other's hands you skip down the road. Once arrived, you wordlessly release hands and part ways. This is the code of cow farmers and Arapahos.`*`
[[Turn to page 28.|28]]
//*This well known code inspired the recently invented game of "Cow Farmers and Arapahos", which children are known to play. Since you are a child I will provide you with all the required instruction to play this game.
-Eight (8) childs, without disability.
-A field or open lot.
-The children pair up. Shortest with second tallest, third shortest with third tallest, and so on.
-Each pair draws stones to determine which child is "Cow Farmer" and which is "Arapaho".
-The eldest "Arapaho" extends the hand and their partner "Cow Farmer" reciprocates. The next eldest "Arapaho" referees.
-First one to the end of the field wins.
-This game idolizes the lifestyles/history of our greatest ideological rival and is therefore illegal. Any children caught playing this game will be made to face justice.//''28''
You take an examine of this grim location. Woe abounds here. There are a bunch of adult Arapaho men sitting around, looking unpleased with the condition of things. They sigh and mumble.
At the age of eleven, you imagined for yourself the life of a photojournalist. You think now what would do in a second universe where this life was yours. You would surely use the adjective "bleak" and take photographs of dwellings during the most overcast weather. You would have people stand and look at empty areas. You would see to it that things become metaphors for other things. In conclusion, you would receive medals and garlands for your behaviour. Yes, fine living in every way.
You cough some air out of your lungs. Putrid stench from the mine hole! You will catch plague if you remain here forever.
[[If you sit on a barrel and listen to a tale of woe, turn to page 111.|111]]
[[If you venture at the mine hole, turn to page 29.|29]]''3''
The main street of a town is right under you. If you were to put down this book and draw your vision of a society of the Former American West, it would look identical as this town. There are wooden planks and ropes and open boxes for horse water, not to mention dust and heat.
On the street, or rather next to it, is a building. It is wearing a sign that reads "THIS IS THE OLD SALON" with an arrow that points to itself.
Next to this building is another (generally a store), and next to the another is another another (a garage for horses). You begin to see a pattern here.
Some further building is the one you see off towards the distance. This is distincted by its darkness and bats. Towns persons seem to look at this place and then spit on the ground and draw crucifixes with their feet (careful to avoid the contact of foot and expectoration).
[[If you burst into the bar tavern, turn to page 46.|46]]
[[If you saunter downwards the street towards the dark building, turn to page 117.|117]]''105''
You get out your various gun accessories and begin the tiresome process of reloading. First you take it all apart, cleaning each component with your trusty rag. Then, using a tiny screwdriver and other small tool, you reassemble the gun. Then you place one bullet into each of the six chambers. Then you take your power sack and dump a healthy amount of powder into the powder slot. Then you bring the rag back out and polish the entire apparatus. One last visual examination and the reloading is complete. This process takes you 20 seconds due to expertise.
You fire your gun again and miss again. You make a mental note spend more time on aiming. During the next 20 second period, the approaching man finishes approaching you.
"Are you trying to shoot me with your gun?" he asks.
"That is for sure," you say.
"Would you please not kill me?" he asks.
"No thanks," you reply.
You finish reloading and fire your gun at point blank range. Once again you clearly miss.
"//Chyort voz'mi//," you say, "the guns from this time period are very inefficient."
"Listen," says the man, "I am going to have to attack you now. Self defence, you know."
"Don't mention it," you say.
He takes the gun from your hand and then hits you square on the head with a rock or boulder. You fall down death.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''15''
You attack your horse violently and it gets very fast, running all the way at its optimum speed. It's scary chaos!! Desert stuff goes by quick as everything. You are worried about falling, tumbling, maybe death, and landing badly. It could some kinds of danger if you remain so.
[[If you pull the rains, turn to page 34.|34]]
[[If you accept an inability to rotate horse, turn to page 112.|112]]''70''
You lean down and give the horse a tender kiss. It makes horse noises in appreciation.
Sudden from out from the the distant town, a dust cloud approaches. You soon see that it is not in fact a sentient cloud but a human being on top of a better horse than yours, riding towards you at such a speed as to uplift dust in his rear wake. You see when he gets to here that its the police commissioner, wearing on his lapel a silver badge which explains as much.
"Hey now! Hey now! What all is this I hear about a cow farmer kissing a horse?"
You and the horse share a guilty looks.
"It is forbidden to engage in deviant acts in my town," the police says, "and the city limits extend to this portion of desert so I can punish as I please. In fact we have just the place for one like you: American Jail."
[[If you go quietly, turn to page `10.`|10]]
[[If you go loudly, turn to page 11.|11]]''23''
You callously throw away your horse. No need for six legs total when two will do.
You stride towards the town, utterly thirsty but confident in vision. But, youre vision do not successfully view the deadly poison-filled desert rattling snake, which rattles to your exposed shin and injects venom in it. Oh sadness! This could already be the end of your adventure of choices. Your only choice now is between two equal outcomes: die instantly or die right away.
[[If you die instantly, turn to page 92.|92]]
[[If you die right away, turn to page `90.`|90]]''34''
Your horse brakes abruptly and you without a safety restraint are sent pitilessly forth. Your head gets a first row seat to its own collision with a sturdy cactus.
Take note of following changes to status. Injury (minor): you get prickled and thorned; Injury (major): your neck snaps in half; Death (total): You are dead.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''112''
You grasp on tight to the horse accoutrements and hope that you won't be made to hurt. The horse blasts off at warp speed, basically flying above the ground. Cactus zoom by, as do rocks, as do sand. Soon the horse crests you over a hill and you see a town.
This is human civilization! The horse, perhaps sensing that it has no role here as a non-human, turns sharply to the left. It is now heading even further towards the mountains in the way far distance and the eyes on the side of its head have a crazy look between them. What possible could this horse do?
[[If you allow the horse to carry you where it will, turn to page 99.|99]]
[[If you dive off the insane horse, turn to page 115.|115]]''99''
The horse speeds now from trot to canter to gallop to double gallop. You are going so fast at the mountain that you cannot bare to look. Surely you will flatten into it, creating a yourself-shaped indentation. But when you peek your open eye, you have stopped. The horse is motionles at a local mining camp. It is mission complete.
[[Turn to page 28.|28]]''115''
You take a soaring jump out of your horse. The horse keeps going on, riding off into where the sunset will eventually be. You are now lying on the ground just outside of a town. Now you are getting up. Now you are standing up next to a town. Now you are entering.
[[Turn to page 3.|3]]''67''
You stand proudly over this corpse. Yes, that sure was a living person before. You take in all of the life that they isn't going to be living.
You sense another person ride up beside you, presumably to examine your hand work. You say "Check out this sweet murder I did, boss." but receive no reply.
You turn around to look at boss, who is in fact an unhappy cop who wants to arrest you for killing a person.
[[If you do not resist the copper, turn to page `10.`|10]]
[[If you resist the copper with your gun, turn to page 58.|58]]''101''
You walk away from the human that you just murdered down. What was over there? What way did that person come from? You try not to think even some bit about it as you do full nine score degrees in opposite direction.
In that direction you see a town. Is it potential that this person came from the place? There is only two ways to find out:
[[If you walk into town alone, turn to page 3.|3]]
[[If you drag the corpse with you into town, turn to page 128.|128]]''128''
You slowly drag a human body into the town square.
"Hey everyone," you announce. "Come and look at this living person that I murdered! Do you suppose they are from here?"
The townfolk are perturbed and come to a quick consensus that you are bad. According to the custom of vigilante justice, they grab you and stuff you into a sack and throw that sack in a pit.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''10''
You ceremonially extend your wrists in a show of subservience, offering no resistance/struggle. "Great," says the old police man as he takes you back to his house.
You are now in Jail and must tell the nearest adult that you are in Jail. If you do not know what to say to them, you can use the default sentence: "I am in Jail."
You look around to see what's this place. The room is bricks, with three major walls and one minor wall. The minor wall is regular iron bars in a pattern, arranged to prevent going.
[[If you rot, turn to page 54.|54]]
[[If, after some time feeling around, you find and push the secret brick 45.|45]]
As you are considering this choice, a man says: "Since you were quiet I will go to sleep now. I can trust that nothing bad will happen in sleep. Now to dangle my oversized key ring from my belt and lean back in my chair."
<span class="noright">He does the very thing. [[Perhaps if you try to reach and grab those keys, you can turn to page 8.|8]]</span>''58''
Causing death did well for you before, so doing it again should work like the gang busters. You pull out your gun but the police commissioner is too quick for that. He grabs your gun away and breaks it over his knee and tosses it into the ground.
"I don't like guns in my town," he says. Then he takes out his own gun and shoots you.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>
You have had enough play time with this book. Now it is time to feel shame over your senseless behaviour. Consider the virtues of not putting so many gun attacks into the world. Consider also the virtues of co-operating unquestoningly with the police no matter what they say or do.
In sum: 1) Be obedient; 2) Do no murder. Go to sleep now and tomorrow put these two principles in your day today life.''92''
You die instantly from all that poison. You collapse onto the sand and become a skeleton and 110 years later a modern scientist finds you and puts you inside a museum.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''90''
You decide if you're going to die it might as well be right away. You lie down on the sand ground and raise your shin above your torso and allow the venom to slosh more quickly into your heart. Once it's there it makes itself at home and causes an attack.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''11''
You scream your foolish head off as the police commissioner sticks you in a sack and carries you on his horse's shoulder over to the Jail. Lots of folks in the vicinity of the jail (you imagine) turn their heads as if to say "What's going on with all this. What is all the yelling and screaming."
The outside world is of no concern to you now though: You are in that very worst of all possible places, an American Jail. Any time now you expect to be on the bad end of justice.
You continue moaning and wailing (at lower volume due to tried) as your survey yourself. This is a standard jail unit, with three solid brick walls and one solid but still impregnable wall of bars and locks.
You've got some time for yourself in here and you can use it as follows:
[[If you rot, turn to page 54.|54]]
[[If, after some time feeling around, you find and push the secret brick 45.|45]]
[[If you maintain your dumb screaming thing, turn to page 33.|33]]''54''
You give up on all feelings of possibility and lean back in the jail room. You devote yourself to the growing of extra long hair, to the rhythmic banging of a small cup against metal bars, to the inscribing of tally marks on the cell wall, and to the general condition of scraggliness.
As Sayakbay Karalaev -- national hero and revered recounter of the traditional Kyrgyz epics -- was famously quoted to say: "The will to fight is equivalent to the will to live." No doubt some American personality relevant to this setting also made such a pronouncement. You have given up the dream of escape; as such, at the stroke of midnight, your frail heart turns to dust and your ghost floats away into the desert air.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''45''
Sure enough, the wall has a secret brick. You push it and a trap door in the floor opens up to show you an tunnel. It is exceptionally lucky for you that the jail was constructed in this way.
[[If you hop down in the tunnel, turn to page 47.|47]]
[[If you inform the guard about this escape route, turn to page 36.|36]]''47''
You jump down in tunnel. It's gross. The walls are slimy and worms are present. You smell damp earth and mushroom growth. You suspect that this is due to the presence of damp earth and mushroom growth but it is impossible to tell as there is no light here. You feel along tunnel all the way to an exit hole.
Up from the hole, you are in the edge of town, tens of meters away from human activity. This completes the escape from a jail.
[[If you enter the town (a free man as of now) turn to page 3.|3]]
[[If you've had enough of towns, turn to page 114.|114]]''33''
Your moaning intenses up. The jail man and his deputy (also of the police) look on astounded. The deputy looks up to the main man, imploring him to make a decide.
The main man strokes his mustache for a time, and then ceases -- decision being reached: "We're got to call the town's combined dentist & doctor & psychoanalysist."
The calling is done, background screaming goes on, and the three types of doctor enters and observes.
"Nothing can be done from the side of this freedom" he says "I must go to the patient fully."
Trusting the wisdom of medicine, the authorities comply.
[[If you take advantage of this to make an escape, turn to page `30.`|30]]
[[If you play at death, turn to page 49.|49]]''30''
With your cat-like cow farmer instincts you see the perfect moment: door unlocked, doctor approaching, both law men occupied by polishing their badges in an adjacent room [in accordance with cleanliness bylaws for this town]. All in all you pounce on it, cat-like.
First you push over the doctor, then the doctor falls, along with all his doctoring tools with him.
[[If you grab the first doctoring tool you can find, turn to page 53.|53]]
[[If you grab the second doctoring tool you can find, turn to page `80.`|80]]''49''
You immediately stop screaming and go into a hibernative state. This was part of your cow farmer training (to deceive rustlers etc.) and no doubt it will be in handy now.
The doctor takes a quick glance at your body and explains, "it's death for sure. best to creamate him immediately to avoid the spread of disease."
The three men of law and medicine take you at once to a local fireplace, where you are consumed. You have indeed escaped, but from the general condition of being alive. Whoopsy.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''114''
You turn your full body around and march right back into the desert, which you shortly die inside of due to excess starvation and thirst.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''8''
You reach your hand and arm at the ring of keys. They are just away from your grip. You reach and reach but no good: all seems last.
But in this dark moment you think back to inspiration. You think of the magnificent cow farming ecology that you reside in. You think of sunset over the prairie and sunrise over the opposite end of the prairie. You think of the face of your favourite cow, whom you will eventually slaughter. You think of all this and you are inspired to reach even harder.
You give one last most effortful reach. Your arm is dislocated from the rest of you and you scream in agony. This awakes the guard, who spies your attempt escape and hits you as punishment with a shovel to death.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''36''
You call the police commissioner over to your cell and point out the escape route. He is greatful that you show this problem in prison design.
You are given a shiny medal and a firm handshake for your service to the local government. All the locals come to know you as the laudable civic-minded prisoner. A news article on you (complete with photo op of you and mayor and police commissioner filling a tunnel with cement) is printed in the news flyer of the town.
For your reward your sentence is cut in half and you are given luxurious prison comforts (i.e. a cushion). No man -- innocent or guilty -- ever escapes from this jail again. Well done on a successful collaboration.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''53''
You grab the first doctoring tool you see: the doctor's clothes. You and he do a swap whereby he is dressed in the black and white stripey prison clothing and you are dressed in the professional doctor shirt.
You walk out into the adjacent room, attempting to not be chalant.
"What's the happening, doctor," says a jail man scarcely looking up from his badge polishing activity.
You say in your most convincing rich doctor accent: "The patient is fine. He is knocked out unconcious in the other room and surrounded by my tools. I should be going now. Official doctor business you see."
The officer nods and smiles and lets you go out. You stride into the town a victorious escapee.
[[Turn to page 3.|3]]''80''
You take some time and rustle through the doctor tools, making some noise or commotion. You successfully grab a forceps.
The deputy police commissioner returns to the room, hand on gun, prepared to fire, wondering what is causing the abnormal noises. You quickly point the forceps at the doctor's head and shout "Don't move! I'll do it, I swear to god."
The rookie deputy sweats. He has not been trained for this. Is it possible you have him in the palm tree of your hand?
[[If you edge your way towards the door, keeping your eyes on the deputy, turn to page 62.|62]]
[[If you demand all the money in the safe, turn to page 123.|123]]''62''
You lock eyes with your rival, the deputy. You slide step by step over to the side door. Suddenly -- Yeowch!!! A terrible pain as your foot is caught in a bear trap!
The deputy smiles. "That's a bear trap we put down below the door for just such an occasion."
Looks like the police are smart out here. Smarter than even your imagination. The deputy calls in his boss and friend, who collect you and put you in an even worse prison with no doctor access. It is this prison where you die, due to an infected bear trap wound.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''123''
"Give me all the money in the safe!" you say.
"There is no safe in the jail," says the deputy as he shoots you in the face.
"That's a good point," you say with your final breath.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>
One who is used to life in the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic will no doubt be confused about this ending. Well the law of the former west is that one should always keep a cool and never make a blunder. When the protagonist/reader made a tactical goof by demanding a non-existent safe, the deputy spotted this weakness and pounced. Therefore, he shot you. Therefore, you died. Therefore, the story was brought to an end.''111''
You sit next door to one of the Arapaho. Aware that you have come to hear him be sad, he begins:
"Me and my cohorts are being held here as wage slaves. We are forced to mine uranium and for our troubles we are paid only in beads, which we use to decorate our clothings but don't otherwise find useful."
[[If this spurs you to the mine for investigation, turn to page 29.|29]]
[[If you offer to save the world right here and now, turn to page 102.|102]] ''29''
You go inside to the mines. All inside the walls are coated with a uranium-coloured shine: the sure sign of precious uranium hiding deep within the earth. There are digging and hitting tools near by, both held and unheld by locals.
A long path leads down front, guarded. A different path goes differently.
[[If you go front, turn to page 109.|109]]
[[If you go other, turn to page 113.|113]] ''102''
"I couldn't possibly ask for your help, it would be far too dangerous. Why you would have to go out to the distant lands and retrieve five magical (color:red)[''ORBS''], and then restore them to our sacred temple altar. Yes, yes, too dangerous even for a hero of perfect bravery."
[[If you insist, turn to page 42.|42]]
[[If you say, "Oh well that's fine I wasn't so pleased with the idea anyway," turn to page 133.|133]] ''109''
The main path. The guardian adopts a broad stance and ends your progress with large speech, "HALT. NONE WILL GO PASS EXCEPT AUTHORIZED MINERS."
You attempt to walk forward but you are stymied by the breadth stance. You will need a some kind of solution to solve this puzzle.
[[If you grab a tool from the previous page, turn to page 87.|87]]
[[If you use your words, turn to page 91.|91]]
[[If you try to evade around the man, turn to page 6.|6]] ''113''
You have arrived in the break room. There is a variety of boxes for the container of victuals and cutlery. You get a bold feeling that this is a private location you should not intrude in.
[[If you search around the private objects, turn to page 56.|56]]
[[If you continue forward, turn to page 121.|121]]
[[If you go to main path instead, turn to page 109.|109]]''42''
You stock up on supplies and set off on your long journey.
After a venture of miles east, you arrive at the doors of (color:green)[''PLANT TEMPLE''], holding place of first (color:red)[''ORB'']. The once proud facade has been grown with leaves and obstructions. You use your trusty grappling hook to climb surfaces and hit switches. After defeating guardian spider creatures you retrieve the (color:red)[''ORB''] and put it in your satchel.
You go east, making your way into the Dakota. Soon you arrive at (color:grey)[''ROCK TEMPLE'']. The walls here are all rock, as are the floors, as are the ceilings. You see ancient inscriptions venerating rock gods and rock altars where gravel was once offered up as sacrifice. You find the second (color:red)[''ORB''] just kind of lying on the floor.
You travel north into the District of Keewatin and find (color:blue)[''ICE TEMPLE'']. Inside you find acolytes shivering in solemn prayer and slipping around on the floors. "This is a working temple," they explain, "please be respectful." You quietly walk into a storage area and retrieve the third (color:red)[''ORB''].
You pass east into Manitoba and arrive at (color:orange)[''BISON TEMPLE'']. This temple is built from the bones of the ancient Ur-Bison, a 400ft megabeast that roamed before on plains. You do battle with human priests in bison costume and summoned bison demons wearing human masks. Soon you find the captured bison princess, who can open bison doors for you. With the way forward open, you retrieve the fourth (color:red)[''ORB''] from the clutches of Bison King.
After getting lost for a bit, you end up in (color:magenta)[''CRYSTAL TEMPLE''], Montana. Despite the name there are relatively few crystals here, and they're in a glass case where you can't touch them. The temple administrator sells you the fifth (color:red)[''ORB''] for `$10`.
Quest done, you go south into the Wyoming once more. The familiar colour scheme of your home governorate fills you with joy. It is a relatively easy jourey back to the mine, where you place the five (color:red)[''ORBS''] on the sacred altar. Their serene humming summons an ancient god, who solves the poverty of the mine community by providing better education and new economic opportunities which aren't based on resource extraction.
"Thanks again," says the Araphao man. "We really appreciate it."
"Don't mention it," you say.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''133''
Are you certain you will refuse to help the needy?
[[If you are certain, turn to page 7.|7]]
[[If you are not certain after all of it, turn to page 42.|42]]''7''
You decide there's no cause to be helping anyone with problem. You walk a few dozen decimetres away from the needy party and stand silently. In this state of disengagement you find peace.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''87''
You hastily pick up several implements and then once more try to pass through the guard's location. To demonstrate how casual you are being, you whistle your favourite song, //Anthem of the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic//, as if you do not own any worldly care. The man halts you once more.
"Comrade mine guardian," you say, "I am an authorized miner instead of a cow farmer. You can see this by my implements and demeanor."
"IF YOU ARE A MINOR," retorts, "THEN TELL ME WHICH OF YOUR IMPLEMENTS IS YOUR PICKING AXE."
[[If you indicate the tool with the two pointy extrusions at the top, turn to page 37.|37]]
[[If you indicate the tool with the shovel-shaped extrusion at the bottom, turn to page 98.|98]]''91''
"Of course I'm authorized miner," you say. "I have all the authorizations. Now stand to one side."
The man is unconvinced. You must now make a use of your cow farmer guile -- all cow farmers are guileful by nature in order to facilitate the purchase of cows at the cow market -- . What thing can you say to him?
[[If you say "The proof that I'm a miner is that I love digging holes." and then demonstrate this by digging some holes with your hands, turn to page 37.|37]]
[[If you say "I am lying about being a miner. Wait no I mean—", turn to page 98.|98]]''6''
Your attempt to walk around the man fails when you run into the wall which is directly beside him. What is the way now?
[[If the way is your words, turn to page 91.|91]]
[[If the way is a tool, turn to page 87.|87]]''37''
Seeing your most recent action, the guardian has confidence in your ability to be an authorized miner. He steps aside and deeply bows to you. With this invitation you proceed into the depths.
You go down deeper and deeper into the mine. You pass by wheeled carts and hats with lanterns on top and canaries in wire baskets. Soon the mining fades away and the walls of an ancient temple show through.
[[If you proceed, turn to page 144.|144]]
[[If you examine the architecture, turn to page 132.|132]]''98''
You fail the test, directly resulting in the guardian seeing through your deception. "YOU ARE NO MINER," he states. Then he eradicates you by punching you in the stomach so hard that your organs fail. You die and you will never known what is done with your cadaver, as you are dead.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>
You are dead.''144''
You walk forward and trigger an ancient trap with your footfall. Fortunately the mechanism which operates the trap is 3000 years old and long ago ceased to function. Unfortunately there's a sudden earthquake and the ceiling caves in on your head.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''132''
This architecture belongs to seem of the civilization called "Ancient." Ancient Architecture, as so called, is very old. There are many engravings and details all over.
[[If you go forward, turn to page 144.|144]]
[[If you stay looking at details, turn to page 195.|195]]''195''
You see lots of scenes: men in tall hats pointing at cities, piles of dead bodies under the outstretched wings of a crow, three bald people dancing beneath a crescent moon, a dog sitting on a chair, and lots of indecipherable writing.
<span class="noright">You run your hands over the engravings and accidentally push a hidden button. A NEW DOOR OPENS UP! Write "[[If you want to enter into the new door, turn to page 194.|194]]" in the space provided below.<span>
`_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _`''194''
You enter into the new door. This room is different from the other, and also all previous rooms you have seen. The walls are made of metal and the temperature is unnaturally cool. There are strange boxes with blinking lights that make beeping noises and produce long sheets of paper with numbers on them. In the background is a faint hum, like the humming of a man who hums quietly.
A bald person in a gray robe steps out from the shadows. "Greetings," They say, "Do not be afraid."
[[If ask who this person is, turn to page 196.|196]]
[[If you shoot this person, turn to page 197.|197]]''196''
"I am one of the ones you call 'Ancients'. You believe that we we are the forebearers of your race, but that is a falsehood we have implanted in your civilization. In fact we are visiters from beyond Pluto, your solar system's most distant planet."
You are struck by dumb. The figure continues.
"We came to this world many thousands of years ago and accelerated your evolution. We constructed all five wonders of the ancient world: The Pyramids, The Parthenon, Saint Basil's Cathedral, the Himalayas, and the Eiffel Tower. We have been monitoring your civilization, waiting for it to reach the level where people ride horses and farm cows and live in wooden dwellings and are just starting to use railways. We believe that time is now."
[[If you ask "why", turn to page `200.`|200]]
[[If you ask "prove it", turn to page 198.|198]]
[[If you fire your gun, turn to page 197.|197]] ''197''
You try to fire your trusty cow farmer gun, friend through thinness and thickness, at mystery person. The bullet wildly and harmlessly ricochets.
The figure chortles. "I see by this sudden outburst of anger that your species is not ready to receive our wisdom. I am a very good judge of character you know." Then it vanishes in a puff of steam.
You shrug, exit the ancient ruin, and try to push the encounter out of your mind. It probably wasn't that important anyway.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''200''
As a cow farmer you thirst to acquire new knowledge. The knowledge is usually cow-related, but this ancient stuff will do in a pinch. "Why?" you ask.
"You see," says the Ancient, "there is a dark threat upon the peoples of this galaxy. An ancient race, even more ancient then we, who are already much more ancient than you, is coming. Their mission: destroy everything a lot. Their motivation: unknown/unimportant. For some reason, humanity is the galaxy's only hope. For an even more specific reason, you are the only human who can do it."
"Why me?" you ask, "What could a humble cow farmer do to save this place from these things?"
The ancient replies, "You are no mere cow farmer. You are the chosen one."
"Who chose me?" you ask.
"I did just now," says the Ancient. "Now enough delay. It's time to get in the space boat and fire space guns at bad aliens."
[[If you are certain that now is the appropriate time to fire your gun at the Ancient, turn to page 197.|197]]
[[If you go along with the scheme, turn to page 199.|199]] ''198''
As a trained cow farmer, you are used to trusting only what you can see and smell with your eyes and nose. "Prove it," you go.
The Ancient snapes their fingers and you are suddenly in outer space. You are surrounded on all sides of your body by an infinite expanse of stars. Even in your deepest cow farming nights you have never seen so many stars shine so brightly. You almost feel you could reach out and touch them. Then you look around and see behind you a large blue orb. You recognize its features... this is the planet Earth! You are the first human in history to ever see the entire thing all at one time. This great accomplishment comes right before you freeze to death and asphyxiate.
"Oh right," says the Ancient, "I always forget that humans can't survive in outer space."
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''199''
You step in the device which you now know is called [Space boat]. A protective shield forms around the craft. "This shield will protect you," explains the Ancient.
You give the "index finger up" symbol, indicating that all is okay, and are launched up into space. The boat is controlled by your thoughts, allowing you to perform deft maneuvers at the flick of a brain. You fly circles around evil space boats, blowing them up with panache. You become celebrated as a space hero far across the wide stars. Then one day you idly think about careening into a sun and exploding, which your space boat misinterprets as an order.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''56''
You touch a single object that does not belong to you and a loud siren goes off. "Of course," you remember, "taking is wrong!"
The sound of the loud siren fills you with intense shame and drives you to turn yourself into the police authorities. They assign you the proper punishment for theft.`*`
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>
You walk through the other break room door and arrive at a brightly lit environment. Dozens of folk sit at desks, operating telegraph machines and doing tabulations.
The receptionist explains that this is not the mine but the mine office, where the support staff for the mine do the work that keeps the mine running.
"It would not be possible for the miners to ceaselessly toil without the dedicated work of the people in this room. It is only thanks to their efforts that such persistent and brutal conditions is maintained."
[[If you continue a line of conversaton, turn to page 129.|129]]
[[If you fly into a blind rage and destroy the office, turn to page 138.|138]] ''129''
You conversation for a while, e.g. about the task of mining and what everyone's name is. Soon the receptionist is a fan of you, saying, "Hey, we need someone to do tabulations in the mine office, and your tough cow farmer background could be just what we need. Also, I am the head of human resources here in the mine office. Would you care for employment?"
You gratefully except the offered job. You are seated at a desk and taught how to do tabulations. Soon you tabulate without the assitance of others. Days of fulfilling tabulation pass. Your birthday comes and is celebrated with the passing around of slices of pie. Men in suits firmly shake your hand.
Years later you retire with a hefty savings and a lifetime of tabulation experiences to look back on fondly.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''138''
Seeing this mine as the source of injustice, you get anger and throw things around. You unplug telegraph machines and kick over desks and shove folks! People are upset and call the security forces, so named for their ability to secure the area by forcing you to die.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''46''
Via the oscillating half-doors, you make your enter through the salon, at which you can scarcely believe your own pair of eyes.
This is a place of dinge. You estimate by the level of smoke in the atmosphere that 85% of the population are hopeless tobacco addicts. There they are, attached to the bar, seated, napping, eating, or just allowing themselves to be covered with dust.
Loitering on top of stairwells, lounging across bannisters, and generally loafing in any space which would allow upward motion are a dense pack of women prostitutes, dressed appropriately for this moment in mounds of frill with feathers attach. They wink and seduct and giggle to themselves and operate fans, all in the light of wall lamps—old timey and unelectric—that give on a varying glow.
In some corner a mysterious piano dimly moves its own keys, as if an invisible man is pressing notes for his best invisible friends. The played song is that of a good time being had in the nostalgic past, and you imagine for one third of a second that you are back in the days when you ate salad.
Yet the building continues on, past spitters and dormant inebriates, into an area with tables. If you squint you can see game-players playing each other with regulation cards, not to mention gentlemen.
The numerous choices threatens to bewilder even a narrator such as myself. Still, they are listed:
[[If you engage with stairs, turn to page 51.|51]]
[[If you mosey yourself up to the bar, turn to page 61.|61]]
[[If you admire the technical of the piano, turn to page 39.|39]]
[[If you go for the room of tables, turn to page 14.|14]] ''117''
You go the way down to the other town side, nearing closer to the building you saw from the former distance.
Now it's here above and in the front of you. It is an old thing at the very end of the streets, dark of wood and mood, surrounded with bats and webbed by innumerable spiders. The general vibe is terror, abandonment, + haunting. No doubt a troublesome spirit layed a curse.
It is not too late too turn towards your own back.
[[If you turn back, turn to page 114.|114]]
[[If instead you advance, turn to page 59.|59]]''59''
"I am not afraid of spooky house," you tell yourself; "there is no such thing as ghost." Are you true to your own self? There is no hope of knowing.
You enter into a main hall room. The whole place is dark and haunty. No lights at all except for the occasional flash of lighting from the thunderous storm which seemed to began at the exact instant when you put your foot down on the entry.
A great staircase heads up in front of you. Doors can also go to the left and the right, although NOTE THIS: the right door is painted with an orange "Н", the internationally recognized signal for "no entry."
[[If you go the stairs, turn to page 21.|21]]
[[If you go in the "no entry" door, turn to page 2.|2]]
[[If you go in the left unmarked door, turn to page 16.|16]]''51''
You tread upstaircase, carefully toeing around the female prostitutes strewn about. One lady, the largest and presumably greatest in power, approaches you with a wink and a proposition: If you give her the money she will sell you a bit of some sex and make you a paramour.
You calmly hold up hand, "No thank you friend. I am a heterosexual female or homosexual male. I do not interest in your advances."
She nods and says "is that so..." and then gives you a true appraisal. You appear to her as no less than a rugged cow farmer (hale and hearty), ready to engage local issues. "Perhaps you can help me and my fellow female prostitutes with our bits of problem."
Will you here her out?
[[If you discuss at a tavern in broad day light, turn to page 32.|32]]
[[If you discuss at an outside in broad night light, turn to page `60.`|60]]
[[If you don't hear, turn to page 66.|66]]''61''
You mosey on over to the presence of a wise elder. With your keen cow farming observation sense you see that he is standing behind the bar, rotating a cloth inside a glass.
"What thing will he she or it be?" he asks. You contemplate drink order.
[[If you say, "Make it a surprise," turn to page 96.|96]]
[[If you say, "Zero drinks for myself," turn to page `40.`|40]]
Are you still reading this page? Naturally, it is because you continue to contemplate the choice. While you are in contemplation you find yourself jostled by the body of a man, which bumps into you. This type of jostling could well be the start of a brawl.
[[If you are looking for trouble, turn to page `100.`|100]]''39''
You go to the piano and admire its strange activities. A tall man with a horrible beard spies you appreciating and involves himself with you: "Isn't it marvellous? The egg-faces at Wyoming University call it a « machine ». They say there's all sorts of applications for it. Why, I can imagine a future where the entire world will be with machines. Just think it: a man playing a piano on one side of the Atlantic Ocean and the notes are produced at once from a piano on the other side. Letters sent by piano, communities of piano players commenting on each others piano playing skills through the very medium of piano playing, an economic/government paradigm organized on the basis of piano music, a ruleset where every child is assigned one piano from the moment of birth, a black market trade of illicit pianos stolen forcefully from those very children. Yes, it's a brave new frontier, even braver and newer than the frontier we currently occupy."
Your mind swims with the confusing possibilities of all this future. Then it tires of keeping itself afloat and drowns. You need to put some open space between yourself and this man.
[[If you excuse yourself to go and have a serving of alcohol, turn to page 61.|61]]
[[If you end the conversation by punching it in the face, turn to page 43.|43]]''14''
This is the table room, architected by a man who futily instructed that it would be a place for diners. The doors with the little circular windows in them, as one would see next to a kitchen, seem to give that effect. But here now there is not a plate, no knifes and forks or spoons to be sighted. Instead there are clumps of men, each engaged in something without savour. The general theme is gambling of the illegal variety. There are those who play a game of stabbing the space in between a hand, those who play cards, and those who are content to be racing lizards.
Distant from the major clumps of men are the scattered individuals. Over there is a bearded one that you imagine can only be a historian, due to the sense of time's progress all over his face and also his style of jacket. At another table you see a spooked out man who has the look of terrified. Further still are the individuals you deem to be unimportant.
A new room provides new choices, and new choices require new decisions.
[[If you sit with the historical man, turn to page 81.|81]]
[[If you sit with the coward, turn to page 69.|69]]
[[If you sit alone, expecting beyond all reason to be provided with foodstuffs, turn to page 55.|55]]
[[If you join a friendly card game, turn to page 5.|5]]
[[If you join a friendly hand-stabbing game, turn to page 17.|17]]
[[If you watch a lizard match, turn to page 44.|44]]''96''
You ask the barman for a surprise. He gives you a bubbling green fluid and you consume it down right away.
"Surprise," he says, "it's poison!"
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''40''
You wisely take the path of temperance, rejecting the offer of liquid. But wait, weren't you dying of thirst just a few pages ago?
You realize your mistake and try to order a liquid but it is now too late. Your throat is now coated in dryness and when you try to speak your chords fail to vibrate. Finally, your body uses up the last of its water and you instantly fall down dead.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''100''
"I am not looking for trouble," says the man. "Are you not looking for trouble?"
"I am looking for trouble," you say.
"Please do not give me trouble."
[[If you use your fists, turn to page 43.|43]]
[[If you use your gun, turn to page 9.|9]]''43''
You wallop the fellow right into the head. He goes down like an ill goat. The sickly tobacco addicts applaud you for engaging in appropriate behaviour for an establishment such as this.
The bartender examines you. "Hoy. It's clear you're a serious tough cow farmer. Maybe you can help the town with its worst problem..."
[[If you say yes, turn to page 18.|18]]
[[I will not permit you to say no. Turn to page 18.|18]]''18''
"Thank you for freely choosing to help," said the tender of the bar. "Are you know the folklore of Sinderklarp?"
"Of course," you reply, "that is the mythical hybrid coyote/rabbit demon that comes down on the feast of the Epiphany and kidnaps misbehaved childs."
"In addition to being mythical it is also true. And it is coming down currently and stealing all children regardless of merit. This is why you have encountered zero children total during your reading this book."
"But the Feast of the Epiphany is not now?" you ask?
"The beast is real outside of the control. Your orders are to seek out its nest and do damage. I will mark location on your map and compass."
Now you have an official quest. How do you seek out the Sinderklarp?
[[If you follow the map, turn to page 148.|148]]
[[If you follow your instinct, turn to page 141.|141]] ''9''
The shot rings out like a bull and the barfolk go silent. Cigars and chewed objects drop in slow motion from gradually opened jaws. Eyes are rubbed in disbelief and the most cowardly of all go behind upturned furnitures.
When commotion meets anticommotion, the resultant vacuum must surely ingest the forces of law and order. So it is here, when that main police figure arrives the door. He spies your fist, and the gun held within, itself containing a quantity of escaping smoke. You have been caught with two red hands—with your forearm in the proverbial jar of horse meat. A moment is all that holds back his action.
[[If you fire your gun once more, turn to page 58.|58]]
[[If you leap through the window, turn to page 13.|13]]
[[If you hide behind the barrel full of water, turn to page 93.|93]] ''13''
In a crazy panic, you jump at a window. You jump at it with the full force of your body but still fail to break it. You do however break your own neck into two pieces.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''93''
You sail behind the convenient water barrel. The police commissioner fires his gun and makes some holes. Most of the holes go in the barrel and produce water. Unfortunately, one of the holes is in your body and all of your blood comes out of it.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''148''
You press your nose into the map and track down the quest location. You orienteer the whole time only by map and compass, never stopping to look at the actual terrain underneath. You find yourself in an orienteering trance: kilometres feel like centimetres, you are unaware of the passage of time, and mortal hungers and thirsts seem to vanish.
When you arise from this, your location is the Sinderklarp nest. You squint your eyes at the brightness of the real Earth. The nest is deep and full of unknown. There are probably eggs or larvae inside.
[[If you rush inside, turn to page `120.`|120]]
[[If you wait for the monster to emerge, turn to page 154.|154]] ''141''
You march out according to your instinct, which leads you into the tractless desert to die. You are now dead. I guess this is how you got lost the first time.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''120''
You tumble into the beast's ground house. It is pitch black in here.
[[If you stumble around, turn to page `140.`|140]]''154''
You camp out for a few days, living amid a bush and watching the hole with your trusty cow farmer binoculars (used for seeing distant cows and/otherwise enlarging the image of near cows). After putting your stakes out, the Sinderklarp monster emerge. It is a strange beast: The thorax of a coyote, the short paws and long erotic ears of a rabbit, the horns and scales of a demon, the tail of fish, and of course a bright red and green suit and hat with ermine trim. It carries an empty sack under the label "FOR PUTTING STOLEN CHILDREN IN."
The monster gives out its famous laugh: "Hor! Hor! Hor! Hor!"
[[If you try to stop the monster with words, turn to page 191.|191]]
[[If you try to stop the monster with guns, turn to page 192.|192]] ''140''
You stumble around.
[[If you stumble around some more, turn to page 137.|137]]''137''
You stumble around some more.
[[If you stumble around even more, turn to page `130.`|130]]''130''
You fail to continue stumbling because a carnivore eats you.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''191''
You jump from bush and scream "STOP, MONSTER!"
The beast turns and looks at you. "Hor! Hor! Hor! Hor!" it laughs as it puts you in its sack.
"I am not a child to be abducted," you protest. But the Sinderklarp creature is unfamiliar with the specifics of the human life cycle. You stay in the sack until it's time for you to become a meal.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''192''
You attack your gun at the monster feet. This is called in gun lingo, "a warning shot." The monster stops within its tracks.
"I have come for the childs, Sinderklarp! Do not come in my way."
"Hor! Hor! Hor! Hor!" It chortles! "I enjoy your feistyness! I will refrain from eating you if you can solve my difficult riddles."
[[If you accept riddle challenge, turn to page 219.|219]]
[[If you do not have time for riddles, turn to page 193.|193]] ''219''
"Hor! Hor! Hor! Hor!" says the Sinderklarp. "Very well! First riddle: What creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and four legs in the evening?"
[[If you say "human", turn to page 216.|216]]
[[If you say "dog", turn to page `220.`|220]] ''193''
"Stand aside, Sinderklarp," you warn, "I do not have riddle time."
The Sinderklarp jumps up on you with his powerful rabbit hind legs. You are crushed beneath his weight. Is this the end of your cow farming adventures?
[[If this is the end of your cow farming adventures, turn to page 218.|218]]
[[If this is not the end of your cow farming adventures, turn to page 222.|222]] ''216''
"The answer is a human," you say. "As a child it crawls on hands and kness, as an adult it walks upright, and then as an elderly it walks with two canes (for extra support)."
"Good done," says Sinderklarp. "You are complete one riddles. But this next one is not simple: What is five times three?"
[[If you say "15", turn to page 221.|221]]
[[If you say "53", turn to page 217.|217]] ''220''
"The answer is a dog," you say. "As a puppy it runs around normally, then you teach it how to stand on two legs like a person, then as an old dog it becomes to old and sickly to stand on two legs like a person. Hence the proverb: An old dog cannot perform the tricks it already knows."
The Sinderklarp nods. "Very well. That is one success riddle. But this next one will be more difficult. What is five times three?"
[[If you say "15", turn to page 221.|221]]
[[If you say "53", turn to page 217.|217]] ''221''
"Fifteen," you say.
"Very good," says the Sinderklarp, "I did not think you were capable of such feats of riddle solving. But this next one will test your every ability: What am I going to do next?"
[[If you say "eat me", turn to page 223.|223]]
[[If you say "get shot by my gun", turn to page 214.|214]] ''217''
You suddenly remember that part of the legend of Sinderklarp is that it cannot perform any maths. "53," you say.
"Correct!" it confidently says. "But now the final and most difficult riddle is here and you isn't solve it: What am I going to do next?"
[[If you say "eat me", turn to page 223.|223]]
[[If you say "get shot by my gun", turn to page 214.|214]] ''223''
"You are going to eat me," you reply.
"Correct!" says the Sinderklarp. He eats you completely in one gulp and a time later you are digested. You win, I guess?
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</end>''214''
"You are going to get shot by my gun," you reply.
"Wrong!" shouts the Sinderklarp. "...wait what?"
At the correct timed moment, you take out your gun and fire it at Sinderklarp's glowing weak point. He wails in agony. He wails in pain.
"Gooahhh!!!" he wails "You win this round! I swear as a monster that I will no longer abduct."
"Now return the stolen childs," you say.
"It's too late!" he wails some more "I have eaten the childs."
Curse. You return back to town and tell the old man the good/bad news. His deep sadness and tremendous elation cancel each other out, leaving only blank neutrality.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''218''
Your adventure comes to an end when you are crushed to death by a monster.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''222''
Incorrect. This is the end of your cow farming adventures.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''32''
You agree to witness the complaint. "Come to me in this alcove," the prostitute instructs. You and she walk up stairs and then into an area. The other prostitutes form a barrier of themselves at the entrance to this alcove and begin whistling. This will confound any eavesdroppers or secret police.
"We are being held in hock to Mr. Chevrolet Quincy Adams [Chevrolet Q. Adams for short]. He is the richest man in this entire governorate, and his goons take all of the money from any one who does a sex act in this town. Observe:"
You observe a nearby door, which opens. A sex worker (recently sexed) and a client (same) exit a door. The client gives money to the lady, who turns at once to give 100% to a goon.
"Brutal domination by the wealthy is to be expected in a capitalist society such as this," says she. (You nod at this obvious fact.) "But this is simply too much %. All 100! So will you make an attempt about it?"
[[If you make your attempt at the Adams estate, turn to page 31.|31]]
[[If you shakedown this here goon, turn to page 68.|68]]
[[If you quit this whole buisness, turn to page 66.|66]]''60''
The nights are the time, you decide. You and the conversation partner, talking low over your whispers, plan to meet in an alley. Soon night comes to the alley, and so do you, only to find the prostitute woman that used to be alive is now dead. A murder got happened, and you have to figure it how.
[[If you get a feel for the situation, turn to page 64.|64]]
[[If you examine the scene for clues, turn to page 52.|52]]''66''
"None for me, thanks," you say. "Doing this kind of thing isn't my sack."
You are ill and exhausted about all the trouble you have encountered in and around the town. You decide you have filled yourself up with enough of it for one life. Therefore, you go over to the local horse garage to ask for a job that doesn't involve any misadventures.
You spend many decades doing the job of making horses feel good. You develop a special bond and everyone admires your abilities and you live respectably in this town. Everything is fine until a late day in your life when the automobile arrives. Everyone is so taken with this marvel that they throw out their horses into a big trash pile. You are so saddened by this new world that you shoot a gun at yourself. Your suicide note says only "I never should have rejected a call to adventure."
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''31''
You arrive at the front porch of Chevrolet Quincy Adams. This is how you identify. It is the largest mansion and most spectacular. For one thing, the horseshoe which hangs from the door is pure silver. There is also a sign which says "Q. Adams, Chevrolet (estate of)" somewhere.
I thought you should know that behind a window is light.
[[If you look past the window, turn to page 85.|85]]
[[If you go through the door, turn to page 108.|108]]
[[If you steal the horseshoe off the door instead of doing your mission, turn to page 143.|143]] ''68''
You walk to the goon with your pointer finger pointed. "Buddy," you say, "I've got to pick up a bone with you." He grabs your finger and breaks it in halves. As you are paralyzed with pain he punches you so hard that your head explodes. So much for not having your head exploded by a goon.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''85''
You peek through the pane of the window. The light source behind this window (which I told you about earlier, do recall) is giving light to the figure of Chevrolet Quincy Adams. Who is laughing and throwing around money. The money flies around in slow motion to indicate just how much enjoyment. It appears that Mr. Adams is sitting in bath tub, which is filled with other money and then some.
But what's this! Behind Adams is a door. A back door! You never would have guessed in a million years that this mansion had one, but it is there. This gifts you opportunity.
[[If you circle to the rear, turn to page 124.|124]]
[[If you shoot at Mr. Quincy Adams through the window, turn to page 134.|134]]
[[If you go for the good old front door, turn to page 108.|108]]''108''
Imagine bursting through a front door to see two armed goons. Has this ever happened to you? Well it is happening to the main character of this book right now. The goons reach for guns to kill you with. You have only a split second for reaction.
[[If you grab for your gun, turn to page 26.|26]]
[[If you pull over a book shelf, turn to page 158.|158]]''143''
You decide that a windfall is better than the adoration of town members and give your quest upwards. You steal horseshoe off the door like an expert burglar and take it into the town silversmith.
"Silversmith," you say, "how much for this horseshoe -- stolen from the door of a wealthy man I might add -- will you give me money?"
The silversmith examines the horseshoe with his silver loupe and sighs. He instructs you to wait in the room while he exits it. Next he returns in between two angry goons. It appears that Chevrolet Quincy Adams has sensory organs outside of his own body and inside everywhere!!!!!!!!!!
You get killed with a gun!!!!!!
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''64''
You decide that it would do best to feel the entire situation with your hands. You carefully touch the various aspects of the scene, especially the corpse and anything that could be a murder weapon. All things feel as expected. Defeated in this line of examination, you go to sleep at the inn.
You are waked up one sleep cycle later by the local police commissioner, who is holding a small stone from the crime scene. It is covered in prints from a finger.
The police commissioner points to his badge and says "You are under examination for the crime of murder. I will inspect your hands." You comply. The police commissioner grabs your hand and passes it to a police artist, who begins sketching your fingertips with pencils. The commissioner takes the finished sketch and compares it to the print-covered rock. "A perfect match," he says. With and because of this evidence, you are hanged right side up by your neck in front of a crowd.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''52''
You take your trusty large magnifying glass out of your rucksack and begin examining for clues.
''Clue #1:'' There is a dead body with a hole in it the size of a stabbing. The body is not alive.
No further clues.
In proximity to the clue is a chessboard with a single piece of chess on top of it. The complete picture of this scene is a riddle, and you are endangered of going beyond your aptitude for solving.
[[If you give up in frustration, turn to page 135.|135]]
[[If you paw hopelssly at chess, turn to page 146.|146]]''135''
You kick over the chess board in frustration, and for good measure you kick over the dead body. Enough of puzzles! Enough of the town life which brings puzzles with it! Enough of puzzles! You storm away to play a more pleasant time passer -- namely -- kicking small rocks at each other in the dirt. As it turns out you are quite skilled at rock kicking and this skill is recognized by observers. You turn into local champion, then sectional, then semi-regional, then regional, then national, then international, then back down to semi-regional. Your record is good and your name is written down in a book.
Meanwhile, the murder is never solved but it was probably bandits.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''146''
You close examine the chess for a while. The single piece is a horse, as an echo of your best companion and friend (a horse). You think back to your training... in cow farming school there was some discussion of chess, on the theory that it was a successful metaphor for the act of cow farming. Most of that talk has fallen out of the sides of your head and ears, but one piece remains: the horse tour.
The theory is this. It is known that horses disdain from trodding on the same land too often, as they are quick to ennui and love adventures. For chess, the horse tour is an objective to place the horse with legal moves on each square of the chess field. It is to go place by place until it has visited every possible place, at which point it will die by suicidal despair. This is a top rank puzzle, one which you knew the solution to in school days but have since forgotten. Can you solve it again?
The answer is yes. You put the horse in the true series of places, and then knock the piece over triumphantly. You are finished the puzzle, and wait expectantly for the opening of a secret passage or trap door. Nothing happens. You wait ten more minutes and then the police commissioner shows up with his deputy. You are arrested as the nearest person to a murder and seated in the electronic chair.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''124''
You run to the side of the house, theorizing that the side will eventually lead to the back. Out of the night darkness comes a hound! It heads to you and make dog noises. The dog noises are loud and full. You were not trained for this in cow farmer college! You were trained for cows! What could you possibly do?
[[If you appease the dog with a cow treat, turn to page 116.|116]]
[[If you make dog noises back at the dog, turn to page 125.|125]]
[[If you run away, turn to page 136.|136]] ''134''
Impossible; there is a window in the way.
[[If you go to the front door, turn to page 108.|108]]
[[If you go to the back door, turn to page 124.|124]]''116''
In cow farming you often give your cows morsels of dog food as a tasty snack. You can only pray that the dog likes it as well.
You reach into your pocket and give the food out. The dog stops his dog noise and is pleased. It could be that you are in the clear. However, it is not. A goon who was alerted to a commotion by the previous barking sees you and says, "Hey! Who gave you authorization to feed that dog!" This means that you are caught. The game is upside down. It is all over because a large woman sang. And cetera.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''125''
You make your best dog imitation for the dog. The dog hears your attempted dog noise and makes a dog noise back. Then you hear its dog noise and reply. This conversation goes on for some time, you and the dog trading noises. You begin to feel like a somewhat fluent dog-speaker, a human who has lived in dog country for some time and thus picked up the local topolect. The conversation is strangely engrossing, more so than any you have had at a dinner party or cow farmer's convention.
A goon is sent from the main house to investigate the volume. He speaks into his walkie talkie: "Nothing to report here; just two dogs." Then he goes away.
Shortly, the dog has had its fill of dog talk. It gives a short sharp dog noise, all at once excusing itself and thanking you for the companionship. You nod.
You have successfully demonstrated your skill at solving the dog puzzle. This is a great accomplishment. Find the list of accomplishments on the rear of this book and check off the "Dog Puzzle" accomplishment. Add 200 points to your point total. Once this is done, enter the back door and find yourself in the room with Chevrolet Q. Adams.
[[Turn to page 142.|142]]''136''
You become a coward and run away. The dog, sensing a weak quarry, pounces on you and rips your back out. Without the critical back organs, you turn to dead.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''142''
You find yourself in the room with Chevrolet Q. Adams. You prepare your six bullet revolving gun, dramatically.
The old capitalist barely adjust his head. He consumes some tobacco and spits out the soot into the air. "So this has come to it," he says. "You have gotten all through my mansion, not to mention the saloon and the desert. You have bested me for sure."
You keep your weapon facing the man. He continues to say,
"It is like the old folktale of the toad and the weasel. You have captured me in the autumn and now you get to demand a thing. Well, what is it. I imagine you'll be deciding between three options."
[[If you demand he stop terrorizing the town, turn to page 147.|147]]
[[If you demand he give you all the silver, turn to page `160.`|160]]
[[If you demand he die, turn to page 159.|159]]''147''
"I will spare you life," you say, "provided you stop terrorizing the townsfolk."
"That is fine," he says.
"Truly?" you say.
"I am true," he says.
"Do you swear it?" you say.
"On a Young Pioneer's honour," he says.
Satisfied with this swear, you leave the scenario. It looks like your job here is done. You grab your horse and put him under your body, then ride on out of town and into the mists of legend. Upon your departure Mr. Adams immediately resumes terrorizing the townsfolk.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''160''
"All of my many silver, ha? I will do it."
He takes out a small rectangular pad of paper and writes "100% of SILVER" on it. Then he signs his name on it (creating a legal contact) and gives it you.
"This entitles you to the silver. I will go now to be a pauper in a stunning reversal. You have won against me."
<span class="end">`* * *`</span>
Two weeks have passed. First you were happy and it seemed like all was perfect, but now you are beginning the money is to corrupt you. You go buy the big mansion in town and furnish it with fancy chairs and desks. Then you hire an army of goons to protect your wealth. (This is easy because there are a bunch of goons made unemployed by the recent Chevrolet Q. Adams bankruptcy.) Then you send the goons out to terrorize innocent townsfolk, thus giving you even more money to hire even more goons.
Soon your back hunches over and you grow long teeth like the stereotypical miser. Being wealthy consumes your entire soul, leaving room for no other thing. You forget all about cow farming, all about love, and all about not being evil to innocents. You die in a rock climbing accident.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''159''
You point your gun at Mr. Q. Adams.
"So this is the demand, he says, very well I am ready."
You engage stage one of the firing procedure, pausing to deliver a statement: "This is for the prostitutes and/or the cowardly man, depending on my previous choices."
You engage stages two through four. The bullet attacks Chevrolet Quincy Adams's forehead. He slumps forward and ceases to live, right there in the midst of all his money. Yes, all the money in the world couldn't buy him a lack of being shot in the head.
You whistle for your horse. It clomps into the back room, looking as good as a new horse does. You say, "Well, Jyldyz, it is now just I and yourself." The horse bows down, allowing you to climb over.
You horse ride right out of the mansion, right through the town, right into and then back out of the bar, and then on out to the infinite desert. You continue your ride for approx. 18 hours, during which time the sun rises, spends some time in the sky, and begins to set. In the red light of all this you look around and take in the desert sights: the spiked plants, the dust, the varmints, and of course the endless fields of cow which you dutifully farm. You are in your home, which is to say, not your literal house.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''26''
In the race to grab for a gun you are the winner. Unfortunately you are not the winner in the race to fire a gun. You get hit by many bullets and take a fall.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''158''
You pull down a large nearby bookshelf on top of the goons, hoping desperately that they are weak to being crushed by a falling book shelf. The pull is successful. There is much groaning and agony from beneath.
[[If you run off to your right, turn to page 153.|153]]
[[If you run off to your left, turn to page 142.|142]] ''153''
You run down the right hallway and burst into a room full of fifteen goons. The goons stop polishing their various death implements and glare at you. Out of the corner of your eye you see the wording on the now open door: "BREAK ROOM - GOONS AND THUGS ONLY." Out of the other corner you see bullets.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''81''
You grab a seat. The sage historian puffs on his pipe and opines, "Did you know that the image of a wild west town as an anarchic hole of gun violence is largely mythical; that western towns such as this one had strict gun control laws and actually tended to be less violent than the rest of the country? Did you know that your identity is wholly anchored in this very myth? Did you know that you do not make sense as a human being when removed from that context? Did you know that you may not even exist?"
You decide to stop talking to the sage historian due to headaches.
[[If you run back to the gentle comfort of the piano, turn to page 39.|39]]
[[If you run back to the gentle comfort of the female prostitutes, turn to page 51.|51]]
[[If you run back to the gentle comfort of a lizard race, turn to page 44.|44]]''69''
You venture to the anxious man's table and get seated there. "What direction is up, comrade?" You ask him. "You seem trouble."
For a reason, the man trusts you instantly. It could be because you have the traditional cow-farmer look: wise, trusty, weathered by the occasional time starving in a desert. He opens his self by saying, "I am inside of a fruit preserve. I need the help of someone but my friends have forsaken me and returned east to become fishermen. Only a stranger could assist me now."
[[If you would be that strange assistant, turn to page 86.|86]]
[[If you decide suddenly that this is a dumb idea compared to watching an exciting lizard race, turn to page 44.|44]]''55''
You seat yourself down at the table, expecting service like the entitled American capitalist you are. You attach your personal bib and lick your lip with tongue and drool. But your presumption proves baseless, as no servant has been back this way for some time and no one expects to.
Hours pass... The local men observe you and are puzzled. Some sit down to figure you out but your attention is fixed on the desired future meal and you refuse to communicate. The men give up sooner and later, going home to wives/girlfriends/nothings. After sleep they return to see you remain, now coated with a layer of dust. This continues for some time and you become a local feature, written up in a tourist account and acknowledged with a plaque. But like all things this is impermanent: No food delivered and you starve.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''5''
You know that the best way to get into the spirit of any town is to be seated with game players during the play of a game. You sit down at the table, put down a modest wager, and are dealt a hand of five playing cards from a standard deck: The King of Clubs, The 10 of Clubs, the 9 of Stars, the Knight of Hearts, and a Jester. More wagers are put down on the table and then you lay your cards for all to see. "Yahtzee," you say. The card players politely applaud and shake your hands.
You have proved yourself a qualified gambler and are now "in" with the gambling crowd. They begin to tell stories. One man tells an amusing story of how he mistook his wife for a forest elk and vice versa. One man tells a fascinating story about how bees pollinate local staple crops. And the third man tells a terrifying story about a local haunted house.
"Once upon a time there was a house in this town. It was haunted by a ghost and everyone was afraid. The ghost still lives there to this day."
It is a brief story but terrifying nonetheless. And with it comes the last hand of the game. Cash prizes are dealt out and you find yourself up `$4`. Not a bad bag.
Time has passed but the day is still alive. How else can one occupy time?
[[If you investigate the haunting, turn to 117.|117]]
[[If you venture to a lizard race, turn to page 44.|44]]
[[If you go to hand stabbing table, turn to page 17.|17]] ''17''
You go over to the hand stabber table. The men and woman there are grim and bandaged. They stare down at their hands as they move a knife around quickly, jabbing it into where their fingers aren't.
One looks up from his routine and silently offers you a blade. You grab enthusiastically. The others look, preparing to judge.
You place your hand down in the designated zone and prepare to stab. It seems simple enough, just aim for the empty space. You get ready to go. One... two... three... and THWACK! Your knife misses the empty space entirely and lands directly in your heart. You scream in agony and fall over.
The experienced hand stabbers go back to their stabbing. They've seen all of it before. Just another thrill seeker who died of being stabbed in the heart.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''44''
You seat down at the lizard table. A cigar-eating gambler slaps you on the back of your shoulders. "Ho ho! Here to make a gambling, eh! Well step right up and decide which creature will win the race. It is so easy that even a typical American Child could do it."
[[If you bet on "Grandmother's Best", turn to page 89.|89]]
[[If you bet on "Lizard", turn to page 24.|24]]
[[If you bet on "Central Asian Golden Eagle", turn to page 83.|83]]''86''
The man rotates his yarn.
"There is a wealthy man out here. He is the wealthiest man out here on the whole Wyoming. He would very well be the richest even if there were two or three Wyomings strung together. His name is Chevrolet Quincy Adams, and he made a purchase of all the land around my farm and dammed off all the streams, irrigations, and canals."
"What about the creeks?" you ask.
"Those as well," he says. "It is only a matter of time before the lack of water causes my cow farm to return back to the yellow desert sand of the Earth Mother."
"Praise the Earth Mother," you say, touching your amulet.
"Praise the Earth Mother," the man agrees. "Anyway, I would very much prefer to have some water. Can you sort this?"
[[If you go on to the estate of Chevrolet Quincy Adams, turn to page 31.|31]]
[[If you refuse to go to any such estate, turn to 66.|66]]''89''
You believe that any lizard with "Best" in the name will be best, thanks to the naming principles of the English language.
The race begins w/ the shot of a race-beginning pistol and all the lizards go ahead. For a while the Best appears to be best, but then at the last moment it trips into a tiny-lizard sized pothole. Curses! It was indeed the best, but only on even terrain.
This loss has fueled your desire for more gambling. Which can it be?
[[If you gamble on "Rotten Eggs", turn to page 104.|104]]
[[If you gamble on "American Cow Farmer", turn to page 106.|106]]
[[If you gamble on "She's So Good", turn to page 95.|95]] ''24''
You wager an american dollar on the tried and true lizard bet. Once all dollars are collected, the starter slams his hand on the table and screams, "LIZARDS GO!" All lizards run forward in speed, with the exception of the one you wagered on. Boy, can you not pick them. The experienced lizard men laugh at your misfortune.
This laughter brings out a strong desire to win another bet. You are presented with three more lizards to select from.
[[If you select "She's So Good", turn to page 95.|95]]
[[If you select "Rotten Eggs", turn to page 104.|104]]
[[If you select "American Cow Farmer", turn to page 106.|106]]''83''
Like any one with one half of their own brain, you are well aware that the Central Asian Golden Eagle is the swiftest and most majestic of all birds. Any lizard named so would surely live on top of the heap of lizards.
The starting towel is thrown down and the lizard handlers release the lizards. Central Asian Golden Eagle flies forward like a Central Asian Golden Eagle, easily going beyond all the lizard in the pack. Yahtzee! You win the entire bowl of money!
You and your riches are taken over to the tall roller table, where you can bid more monies on even more impressive lizards.
[[If you bet on "Top Salt", turn to page 119.|119]]
[[If you bet on "Old Slowpoke", turn to page 126.|126]]
[[If you bet on "William Henry Harrison (the Lizard)", turn to page 127.|127]]''104''
You have a desperate desire to bet on "Rotten Eggs". You would bet any amount of copper or silver if you had such metals, but you are completely broken of money.
As any schoolchild knows, there's only one recourse in these times: a loan dolphin. You go over to a shady corner, where such a man is. He peels a mandarin orange with a knife and then eats the segment of removed peel.
Terms are reached: he will lend money, but if your head will be cut off if you fail to repay. Agreed. You wager 99% of the loan on "Rotten Eggs", who promptly loses. The loan dolphin does the gesture that signifies "I am going to cut off your head."
You have one dollar left. Where you wager now is critical importance.
[[If you wager on "There Goes Baby", turn to page 94.|94]]
[[If you wager on "Goat", turn to page 152.|152]]
[[If you wager on "Popular American Rock, Roll, and Blues Music", turn to page 151.|151]]
[[If you turn tail and run, turn to page 131.|131]] ''106''
You touch the "American Cow Farmer" on her scaly thorax and feel the gentle beating of her lizard heart. Then you measure your own pulse. Just as you thought: exactly the same rate. You and she are deeply in sync. You two cow farmers, cow farming under the same United States sky. Only her being a lizard sets her apart.
You know absolutely that this is the lizard for you. You wager most of your remaining money on her victory.
She fails to acheive victory.
You really need to rethink your lizard selection process.
[[If you select "Popular American Rock, Roll, and Blues Music", turn to page 151.|151]]
[[If you select "There Goes Baby", turn to page 94.|94]]
[[If you select "Goat", turn to page 152.|152]] ''95''
You place your last American dollar coin on "She's So Good", the eight-dozen to one shot. The lizard men shake their heads at your idiocy and prepare to see you lose. But against all aforementioned odds, She's So Good does a victory on the race. You transfer the 96 newly-won dollar coins into your default satchel.
Despite being in moderate money, you're still fail to convince the lizard racing establishment of your ability. The continued lack of respect inspires you to even more lizard gambling, this time for all the marble toys.
[[If you choose "Goat", turn to page 152.|152]]
[[If you choose "Popular American Rock, Roll, and Blues Music", turn to page 151.|151]]
[[If you choose "There Goes Baby", turn to page 94.|94]] ''152''
Goat is the most delicious and reliable meat — a stable of any diet. You only pray that the Goat lizard will be the most delicious and reliable lizard.
The starting weapon fires and the lizards are off. "Goat" starts off in back, far to a third on the left side. And coming up beside him is "No Lizards Here" and "Couldn't We Just", with "Shovels Are For Digging" filling out the rear. But WAIT, as he turns the corner he breaks away from the peloton. He comes up in a hard route, shunting alongside "Heavens to Betty" and "Unnamed Lizard #6." Finally, he takes a sharp clip to arrive on top of the ending. Yes, it's "Goat" by a lizard nose. The crowd goes wild and you are showered in unimaginable wealth.
That night after making drunk you are stopped in an alley by a footpad. He demands the money you have stuffed in your pocket. You reply, "As of tonight I am the richest and most defiant man in town. I cannot be robbed by the likes of you."
This proves wrong. You are robbed by the likes of him and murdered also.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''151''
Like a modern youth, you fall under the insidious sway of Popular American Rock, Roll, and Blues Music. The rhythms and beats of the lizard entice you and make you forget traditional morals and customs. You bet the farm (i.e. your cow farm) on the propsect of it winning, only to be devasated when it loses to more upstanding forms of lizard.
Penniless, and also without other denominations of money, you are unable to sustain your existence.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''94''
Looking into the eyes of the lizard named Here Comes Baby, you have a good feeling about its chances. Perhaps it's because you were a baby once also. Whatever the reason, the affinity is good reason for betting. You drop all the money you could ever have onto the lizard wager.
But your emotions have fooled you. If you had looked at its legs instead of its eyes, you would have seen that the lizard was critically lame. It barely makes its way across the start zone before the other lizards have completed the race.
The laughter of the experienced lizard men is deafening. You have proven yourself a neophyte and retreat in humiliation. That night you do a ritual suicide out of shame.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''131''
You feel you have no hope of winning a lizard game. The only chance is to flee and hope that your creditor cannot find you. Alas, unlike a real dolphin, a loan dolphin is able to travel effectively over land. As prophesied, he removes your head from your body.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''119''
You put your money on top of a bet for Top Salt. The other lizard gamblers chuckle at your inexperience. "Top Salt is bad on this kind of table," they chuckle. "Top Salt is off his game," they chuckle. The establishment's view is you have used up the beginner's luck and now are in for the intermediate's misfortune.
You are undeterred by these nay-speakers and glad for it, because Top Salt goes so fast in the race that he is the winner and everyone is shocked. You rake in another pile of cash, even bigger than the first. This makes you the tallest roller at the table.
You feel unbeatable, and hey maybe you are. You can make one more bet that will prove it for all.
[[If you bet on "Goat", turn to page 152.|152]]
[[If you bet on "There Goes Baby", turn to page 94.|94]]
[[If you bet on "Popular American Rock, Roll, and Blues Music", turn to page 151.|151]]
[[If you walk away, turn to page 157.|157]]''126''
You bet your winnings on Old Slowpoke, on the theory that the name is bit of clever irony. In fact Old Slowpoke is an old slow lizard who loses the race by a long distance. You can't believe the lack of irony in this situation.
You are fueled with a desire to win back your old winnings by winning a new winnings. It will all come down to this final bet. On which lizard will it be?
[[If it will be "There Goes Baby", turn to page 94.|94]]
[[If it will be "Popular American Rock, Roll, and Blues Music", turn to page 151.|151]]
[[If it will be "Goat", turn to page 152.|152]]''127''
You have a good feeling about William Henry Harrison (the Lizard), but as soon as the race begins he keels over. The trained lizard doctors come over and pronounce it a death by lizard pneumonia and drape a tiny sheet over the body. There's a brief round of mourning before another lizard is proclaimed the winner.
You sigh. You sigh because you had it all but then lost it. But after the sighs come the urges. It seems the addictive belt of gambling has been fastened around your waist and cannot be untightened. You are a thrall to the practice and must chase that elusive high again. What do you bet on?
[[If you bet on "Popular American Rock, Roll, and Blues Music", turn to page 151.|151]]
[[If you bet on "Goat", turn to page 152.|152]]
[[If you bet on "There Goes Baby", turn to page 94.|94]] ''157''
You push your body and chair out from the table. Two wins is satisfaction enough for you. The lizard gamblers watch in awe as you pass out of the lizard gambling area and into legend.
And what do you do with all the new money? Why, you fulfill your lifelong dream of going to a bank and opening a savings account. You happily accrue interest for the rest of your days, ocassionally withdrawing money to make major purchases.
<span class="end">'VICTORY END''</span>''21''
You go up. From your increased vertical you can get a good view of a magnanimous chandelier dangling above it all.
You observe that this must have been a fancy place in the different past. Make a note of the fact that you observed this.
[[If you proceed to the up of stairs, turn to page `110.`|110]]
[[If you leap bravely into the fancy lamp, turn to page 25.|25]]''2''
Disregarding the warnings of paint (or perhaps just illiterate due to history period), you set foot into the room of ill omens. The foot lands in a bear trap. You yelp and flail in surprise, causing your other foot to land in a second bear trap. Your eyes adjusted to the dark of the room and now you can clearly look at a large amount of bear traps, which you flail into. Soon you are rolling around, your whole body encased in bear traps.
The last thing you see before death is a sign glimpsed through half-closed bear trap: "BEAR TRAP STORAGE. USE CAUTION."
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''16''
You enter what used to be a dinner room. Chunks of wall have crumbled away, letting the famously harsh American Wind blow in and through. Chairs are toppled over, symbolizing the decay of society. There's moss.
You hear the noise of human activity from the next room over. Edging closer to the empty doorframe, you spy a fire. Not the good fire of a hearth or wood burning stove, but the bad fire of an open camp flame inside a structure. What devils could be around such a thing?
[[If you shoot your gun at the fire people, turn to page 145.|145]]
[[If you approach the fire friendly, turn to page `150.`|150]]''110''
You are on the upper corridor now. The atmosphere is distinctly haunted. Doors creak and lightning thunders and curtains etc. blow menacingly.
<span class="noright">Along the hall are a wall of portraits, which you can [[examine by turning to page `50.`|50]]</span>
[[Or you can enter a spooky room by turning to page 206.|206]] ''50''
The portraits seem to tell a story. There is a portrait of a beautiful young woman, titled "Anastasia Porter (1859)." Then there is a portrait of a beautiful young man, titled "Frederick Jones (1859)." Then there is a portrait of the same woman looking slightly older and crazier but still beautiful, titled "Anastasia Jones (1861)." Then there is an empty frame with the torn edges of a portrait in it. The frame says "Frederick Jones (1861). Then there is a plaque from the historic society which says: "In this house Anastasia Jones (née Porter) went crazy and murder-suicided her husband Frederick. Some in the town say she became a ghost, but the historical society doesn't really go in for that sort of mumbo-jumbo."
But what could it all mean?
All of sudden, out comes a translucent female from a room. She is screaming in noises and scaring you.
[[If you try to calm the figure, turn to page 205.|205]]
[[If you flee, turn to page 204.|204]] ''206''
You enter a room. Sitting on a rocking chair is a pale see-through person in a white dress (also see through). The rocking chair is not see through.
You edge closer. The figure does not notice you as she is weeping and staring at the Earth's moon. But then you step on a creaky floorboard and she attends you. She makes a horror scream and moves to attack you.
[[If you try to reason with the figure, turn to page 205.|205]]
[[If you try to destroy the figure with garlic and a religious icon, turn to page 201.|201]] ''205''
<span class="noright">Check your character statistics. If your skill in CHARM GHOST is 3 or higher [[turn to page 203.|203]] Otherwise [[turn to page 202.|202]]</span>''204''
You turn and run away, tripping on a bunched up rug at the top of the stairs. This seems to increase your ghost-escaping speed, but is in fact a mixed up blessing because it decreases your overall stability also. You fall all the way down the stairs and break vital parts of your body.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''203''
You soothe ghost using skill. The calm figure now talks:
"Sorry about trying to attack you with ghost powers," she says.
"That's okay," you say.
"No really, I feel embarassed about the whole thing," she says. "How can I make it up to you?"
"Well," you say, "the townsfolk and I would really appreciate it if you stopped haunting this building. If it's not too much trouble?"
"Oh no, no trouble at all. I'll just go to heaven," she says. Then she ascends into the sky and vanishes.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>
Epilogue: You become world famous for the miracle of this exorcism, and become a businessman in the ghost-elimination industry. You even have your own theme song:
//There is something strange,
In my village,
I am going to call the ghost destroyer.
I feel good when ghosts are destroyed.//
You make `$$$` and everything great.''202''
You fail to charm ghost. She is now enraged and fires her ghost beam at you. (The ghost beam is a beam which can turn you into a ghost, which it does by vaporizing your abdomen.)
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''201''
You take out an icon of Saint Sergius of Radonezh and shield your face with it as you throw cloves of garlic at the figure. They pass harmlessly through the ghosts see-through constitution
Wait, you realize, those are for vampires. What defeats a ghost again?
Oh well, too late now. The ghost swallowed you. (Ghosts can eat humans, you know.)
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''41''
You think of the last words your father and mother said to you before you left for the area of greatest cow farming activity. "One good leap deserves another," they simultaneously said. Could this be what they meant? You leap off as surely as you leaped on and find yourself soar through the air like a golden eagle in the Tian Shan mountains (which you have never seen or read about). The next thing you find yourself impaled on is a taxidermied elk head from the nearest wall. You and it tumble down to the ground, increasing the amount that you die.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>
<span class="noright">As you lay on the ground passing out of this world and into the next, your last dream is of the life of the elk whose outgrowths slaughtered your organs. Resigned to death, [[you embrace the vision on page 71.|71]]</span>''82''
Too proud to admit your errors, you perch with steadfast atop the lighting unit. It goes down and sends a magnficient crash into the wooden planks below. This unit has become a conveyance, moving you by automation from this upper floor to the basement level. What convenience! You make a mental note to become the inventor of the elevator and/or dumbwaiter after all of this is complete.
You have come to a solid rest in the basement level and the dust cloud which flew out upon your arrival has followed suit. Congratulations on surviving; you can now perform a thorough investigation of your surroundings.
<span class="noright">`1.` There is debris after fall. [[If you sift through it, turn to page 122.|122]]
`2.` There is a handwritten note pinned to the wall. [[If you read it, turn to page 48.|48]]
`3.` A rickety ladder goes direction "UP". [[If you go "UP", turn to page 149.|149]]</span>''48''
//Dear Sir or Madam,// the note says, //Welcome to the Basement Level of this Mansion. As you have no doubt Surmised, this is an Indian Burial Ground. More Precisely, it is the patch of Ground in which we buried the 200 Shoshone Indians that we Recently Massacred as a part of our Ongoing Settlement Activities. Please do not Disturb this Area any more than we have already Disturbed it (which, admittedly, is quite a Lot). Sincerely, Messrs. Smith and Johnson (Mansion Building Services), Wyoming, the American West.//
[[If you sift through the debris now, turn to page 122.|122]]
[[If you desecrate the mass grave, turn to page 156.|156]]''149''
<span class="noright">You enter the ladder climbing challenge area. Bits of old ceiling fall down as you deftly dodge left and right. You climb higher and higher, surmounting obstacles such as rickety ladder. But then the ladder starts to ricket more than standard. It is shaking and violently falling! You will have to think fast and grab a ledge. [[Turn to page 155 within the next two seconds!|155]]
If you failed to turn to turn to page 155 in the alotted time, [[turn to page 139.|139]]</span>''25''
For no reason, you greatly leap onto the chandelier. It creaks and groans, as if to say "I am a talking chandelier and it is time for me to fall."
Things snap and creak and jolt. You're going to go down now and all to do is select how.
[[If you bid to save yourself with a second leap, turn to page 41.|41]]
[[If you stick with the chandelier plan to the bitter end, turn to page 82.|82]]''155''
<span class="noright">`(Notation:` Did you fail to turn to this page within the alotted time limit? If so [[turn to page 139.|139]] Cheating is expressly forbidden by the terms and regulations of this book.)
You safely grab onto a ledge within the alotted time limit. You look down as the rickety ladder rickets all the way down to the basement floor, crumbling into bits.
You hoist yourself up a few more climbing ledges before finding yourself at the top area of the house. [[Turn to page `110.`|110]]</span>''139''
You fail to grab the ledge in the generous time alotted. How pathetic your resources are. You and the ladder tumble off to the ground, falling into a heap. You are death.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>
This is the end of reading experience. Please re-begin from start.''71''
''EPILOGUE: Dream of the Elk''
You are a majestic elk //(Cervus canadensis)//, a large even-toed ungulate native to North America and East Asia. You are in your habitat: the forest. As a male member of the species, you are referred to as a "bull elk." Your lovely wife is therefore a "cow elk." If you and your wife were socializing with other elk, you would collectively be called a "gang of elk."
But on this day you are not with other elk. You are all alone, standing around and chewing on things. Suddenly you hear the cracking of dry twigs in the distance. Your head shoots up and you freeze in place. Could this be man???
[[If you perform a combined running/jumping motion to escape, turn to page 72.|72]]
[[If you stand still so you can hear the words of the elk god, turn to page 73.|73]] ''72''
Your natural panic kicks in and whelms all over you. This is the "fight response or flight response" that is familiar to all wild beings. You elect to fly—or rather run, since you do not have wings—off into the woodland.
The potential human figure does not give you any chase and you think you can be safe. But with 100% of your energy allocated to the running away, you do not put any percent into avoiding the various woodland ledges. You fall down into a ravine and break your neck. The last thing you view is a human hunter peering down at you and preparing to pick up your cadaver.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''73''
You put on a calm head, remembering the ways of your elk people. In stillness all the senses of the forest—hearing, sight, taste, wind speed—they all fall to nothing. All you can hear now is the voice of the elk god.
//Hello young one,// it says. //Do not be afraid.//
Another crack, this one closer than the last.
[[If you flee in panic, turn to page 75.|75]]
[[If you are not afraid, turn to page 74.|74]]''75''
The threat of human being is too much for even a deep meditation to ignore. You run off through the woods in a blind panic and trip across a low log. You tumble into a ditch, helpless to get up.
It is not long before the human catches up with you. It looks over you and says "♥♫№#~ ↔⅓₪ ₯Ω" in its indecipherable human language. Then it points its weapon at your head.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''74''
You do not move even a fraction of a decimetre.
//Good,// says the elk god. //I watch over you now, as I watched over your grand-elks and their grand-elks before them. The law of the forest then was as it is now.//
In this state of mindfulness you can clearly look at a human figure among the bushes and plants. It is coated in human fabric and holding a human weapon.
The elk god pays it no heed. //Listen closely young bull elk: In this life we are all subject to things beyond our control. If we attach ourselves too strongly to the variances of our fortune then we doom ourselves to periodic bouts of unhappiness.//
The human edges closer. This is a poor situation.
[[If you run at last, turn to page 77.|77]]
[[If you stand your ground, turn to page 76.|76]] ''77''
You begin a departure -- but too late! The human has in a tiny portion of time completed its weapon discharge. You are struck by a bullet in your side and you fall on the dirt. Your blood pours out of you and soon it is end and over.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''76''
You stay standing where you are.
//In the end we are powerless to influence external events,// the elk god says. //All we can hope to control is how we respond. It is in our own actions and cognitions that we may find peace and/or satisfaction. Thus it was in the time of your grand-elks and thus it continues to be. So says the elk god.//
The human being now raises its human weapon. The intent to murder is clear.
//Stand strong, young bull elk. I am with you now and always.//
CRACK! The human gun machine makes a horrible noise. In your enlightened state you see the very bullet slide out towards yourself. You hold your ground.
[[Turn to page 78.|78]] ''78''
The bullet pierces your heart. The pain is incredible. You crumple.
//All this will pass,// says the elk god. //It is just another external event.//
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''122''
You sift through the debris and find your lost inventory items: your gun, your cow farmer hat, your trusty lantern, your map, your compass, your astrolabe, your measuring tape, and your coiled cow rope. You are now able to navigate the basement.
[[If you navigate the basement, turn to page 118.|118]]
[[If you first don your cow farmer hat, turn to page 97.|97]] ''118''
You navigate into another basement room, this one overwhelmed by spider web growth. It seems you have stumbled on a fabled spider kingdom! It stands to reason that the tallest and widest web is a spider parliament or house of assembly, while the longest and thinnest is some kind of spider highway. You marvel for a few minutes and then walk on through, treading lightly to avoid disrupting the social order.
You find two possile exits from here. One is a twisty staircase, which you recognize as the standard type that leads to a kitchen or dining area. The other is a long dark hallway that looks both scary and structurally unsound.
[[If you go up stair, turn to page 16.|16]]
[[If you go in dark, turn to page 224.|224]]''97''
[[Turn to page 118.|118]]''224''
You are deep deep in the deep dark hallway. It is completely blackness on each side. You are terrified of here. The single way forward is "into even more darkness", where you can only imagine what horrible fate awaits.
[[Turn to page 215.|215]]''215''
After what seems like minutes, you burst out of the dark tunnel area and into a brightly lit room. Inside you see all of your best friends and cow farming associates standind around a large cow-shaped cake. "SURPRISE!" they shout.
A surprise birthday party, for you? You can't believe everyone remembered!
One of your associates comes up and claps you on the shoulder. "For a while there we were worried you wouldn't fall through the basement," he says. You laugh and shake his hand.
You are filled with the joy of being appreciated by loved ones and party on into the night.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''156''
You commit the ultimate taboo: Taking off your boots and standing barefoot on a grave. You dig your open toes into the earth, violating the fundamental rules of civil society and offending the spirits of your deceased ancestors. A ghost comes up and swallows you hole.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''145''
Clearly your life is in danger here. You take out your trusty gun weapon and charge into the room, murdering all inside. When your rage clears, you see that they were in fact harmless innocents. No... it can't...
FW-SHASH. There's a brilliant flash of white light. Your eyes adjust to a sterile room full of metals and futuristic materials. A woman in a white coat grabs you and pulls you up. "It's okay, Subject Gamma, the silumation is over.
Your head is throbbing. What happened?
"You were inside an HISTORICAL PERSONAL ORIENTATION DEVICE, or HISTORPOD for short. The HISTORPOD dropped you into a simulation of the American West of 135 years ago. We wanted to prove that we could convince a normal human being to commit murder of innocents. All we had to do was drop them into a desert with no food, direct them towards a town, have them trepidatiously enter a haunted mansion, and then present them with the opportunity to murder some people. You took the bait, Subject Gamma, which means..."
You know well what it means. It means that YOU WERE THE MONSTER ALL ALONG. You clap your hands to your cheeks and go "AAAAUGH!!!"
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>
`(Note:` This ending is bad due to your inhumanity but you did not die so it is classified as victory.)''150''
You come to the light of fire and find in it an assortment of teens of various genders. They are chattering to themselves as teens do.
"What's all this?" You inquire. The teens turn and say "We are telling ghost stories by the fire."
You grin. "A ghost story," you say? Why I have just the thing that will scare your boots and stockings off."
The teens stop the idle chatter and turn their attention to you. They have been trained through many years of child rearing to listen to story-telling adults. You clear your throat and begin.
[[If you say "once upon a time there was a vampire", turn to page 163.|163]]
[[If you say "once upon a time there was teenagers", turn to page 162.|162]]
[[If you say "once upon a time there was a space marine", turn to page 161.|161]] ''163''
"Once upon a time there was a vampire, who lived in a spooky house much like this, except for it was even larger and located in the haunted region of Gorno-Badakhshan."
The teens nod, familiar they are with this famously superatural location. One teen, clad in the nametag "DALE", raises his hand.
"Yes Dale," you say.
"Was the vampire named Dale?"
[[If you say "no Dale, that's stupid. This vampire is a girl vampire and Dale is a stupid name for a girl" turn to page 167.|167]]
[[If you say "yes." turn to page 169.|169]]''162''
"Once upon a time there was teenagers, just like you. They were being around a campfire, just like you. They were of your same number and had your same body types and personality traits, just like you. They were even being told a ghost story, just like you."
"What ghost story was the telling?" asks a teen.
"They were hearing a ghost story about teens like them, just like you."
The teenagers are all attention. For some reason they identify with this story.
"All of a sudden..."
[[If "they heard a noise in the bush," turn to page 166.|166]]
[[If "the campfire went out," turn to pae 171.|171]] ''161''
"Once upon a time there was a space marine," you say.
"What's a space marine?" asks a teen.
"A space marine is a bald male cosmonaut who shoots foreign creatures in the face," you reply. "This particular space marine was one day (in the distant future) up on a space station orbiting his home planet: Earth, in the Sun system. Then all of a sudden..."
[[If "space creatures attacked", turn to page 164.|164]]
[[If "even more space creatures attacked", turn to page 165.|165]] ''167''
"No Dale that's stupid," you say. "This vampire is a girl vampire and Dale is a stupid name for a girl."
Dale lowers his head in shame and sadness.
"Anyway, this vampire was named Vladimir and she lived a simple vampire life in her simple vampire residence. Until one day..."
[[If "a strange carriage showed up", turn to page 175.|175]]
[[If "an angry mob showed up", turn to page 173.|173]]''169''
"Yes," you say.
Dale is glee.
"Anyway, Dale was a female vampire. She lived the standard vampire experience: living in a fortress, sleeping in a wooden box, and eating human flesh. Then one day, with her store of human flesh running low, ..."
[[If "a strange carriage showed up", turn to page 175.|175]]
[[If "she had the idea to terrorize a local village", turn to page 176.|176]] ''175''
"...a strange carriage showed up. Its owner, a handsome aristocrat, knocked on the door and said 'My horses broke down outside, can I sleep in this luxurious mansion for the evening?'"
"The vampire felt an emotion she had never felt before. (We humans call it love.) She knew she had to win this stranger in the heart. She tried to woo him by..."
[[If she tried "engaging in a lengthy conversation", turn to page 183.|183]]
[[If she tried "eating his flesh and drinking his blood," turn to page 184.|184]]''176''
"...she had the idea to terrorize a local village. In order to get food, you see."
"Was the village full of teens?" asks Dale.
"Yes," you say. "But it was a small village, so there were only around forty teens."
"Were all forty teens named Dale?" asks Dale.
"Sure," you say. "Dale the vampire went out and attacked teens one by one. First she killed Dale, who was walking home alone late at night. Next to fall was Dale, was hanging out in front of the hardware store. Then came Dale and Dale, two lovers who were kissing each other up on Dale Point. "
The teens are rapt with attention.
"After each teen was attacked, their flesh and vital fluids were harvested into special containers, for later consumption and crafting. Satisfied with a good day of flesh harvesting after killing 33% of teen population, she returned home, where..."
[[If "an angry mob showed up," turn to page 173.|173]]
[[If "she laid down on the couch," turn to page `180.`|180]]''173''
"...an angry mob showed up. KILL THE VAMPIRE, they shouted! DEATH TO VAMPIRES! They held up forks and held up open flames and shouted some more. The vampire was scared for her very life. She decided she had to..."
[[If she had to "try and reason with them", turn to page 178.|178]]
[[If she had to "turn into a bat and fly away", turn to page 182.|182]]''180''
"...she laid down on the couch. She one last a small snack of human, took a pill of medication, and felt drowsy. 'Tomorrow I will apply for a job,' she told herself. Then she passed out. Victory end."
"That story wasn't very horrifying," says a teen.
"I was going for realism," you explain.
The teens leave the campfire session bewildered and unable to relate to your narrative. However, you are artistically satisfied.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''183''
"...engaging in a lengthy conversation. She pursued every possible topic of conversation with him to its very depths, always choosing the most polite option whenever possible. After being nice to the man for this entire conversation, she was rewarded with a romantic relationship. The aristocrat allowed himself to be turned into a vampire and so they lived forever as husband and wife in a vampire house, occasionally leaving to harvest some human flesh. Victory end."
The teens burst into spontaneous applause.
"That was the most true and emotional experience I have ever had in a campfire story," opines one teen.
"The romance was so engaging and well written," opines another.
You blush. "It was only my natural talent."
But your natural talent is more accurate described as "supernatural." On the back of this time, you win acclaim as a teller of campfire stories: the best in the entire campfire story business. You are given awards and written positively by campfire enthusiast press. You parlay the fame into fortune and live rich/happy always.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''184''
"...eating his flesh and drinking his blood. She did this because this was the only way she knew how to act towards humans. Therefore this man died due to flesh and blood loss. Proper education could has prevented this but did not."
The teens mourn for possible education squandered.
"After the eating was done..."
[[If "an angry mob showed up", turn to page 173.|173]]
[[If "she laid down on the sofa, turn to page `180.`|180]] ''178''
"...try and reason with them. She went down to her front door and said to the assembled crowd: 'Fellows! Why are you angry with me? Am I not a person like you, with all the same rights?'
"A spokesperson for the crowd stepped forward and said: 'We are angry with you because you kill us and eat our flesh all the time. Also you are a not a person; you are a monster. Specifically, a vampire.'
"'Oh,' said the vampire as she was torn to pieces by the angry mob. Death end."
The teens politely applaud.
"I hope you have all learned an important lesson from this tale," you say. "Quiz: What is the moral of this story?"
"Don't be a vampire?" says a teen.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>
Congratulations. You have completed the main character's true goal: educate young teens on proper morals. Your completion grade is A+. However, you failed to find all the hidden endings. Therefore the main character is never truly satisfied with life and you are a failure.
<span class="end">''TRY AGAIN FOR BETTER RESULT''</span>''182''
"...turn into a bat and fly away. She did that very thing, flying off far away from Gorno-Badakhshan, far away even from Central Asia. She flew all the way across the ocean and landed here, in the Wyoming section of the American West, where some say she remains today.
The teens are silent.
"Are you scared?" you ask.
"Of a fictional bat?" says a teen, "Not really."
Suddenly! A bat flies in through the window and all the teens scream and cover their heads! You laugh!
"NOW do you think the story is scary?" you ask.
"No," says a different teen. "We were just startled by an unrelated bat. Your story is still not very good."
You hear the fair critique and vow to improve your story-telling. Some time later you come upon another campfire in another haunted house and your performance is much better received.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''166''
"...they heard a noise in the bush! 'What was that?' screamed one teen. 'We need to investigate," said another. 'We'll cover more ground if we split up,' said a third. The teens..."
[[If they "split up", turn to page 179.|179]]
[[If they "stayed together", turn to page 186.|186]]''171''
"...the campfire went out."
The teen all close eyes tight to have a more realistic experience of a campfire going out.
"Yes now the teens were in the dark of night and there was nothing to protect them. They decided they had to..."
[[If they had to "split up", turn to page 179.|179]]
[[If they had to "try and restart the fire", turn to page 168.|168]] ''168''
"...try and restart the fire. Unfortunately their level of fire-starting equipment was reduced to 0%. They panicked. Without the most basic element of human civilization they became savage, making grunting noises and eating each other and failing to wipe their feet on carpets. It was bedlam. But then the local police arrived just in the nick of time and fired guns at the bedlam, causing it to die. The teens died but society as a whole was saved, which was the greater good. Victory end."
The teens nod.
One particularly large, bearded, and deep-voiced teen says, "Would you say that the moral of this story is to participate unconditionally with police?"
"I would," you reply.
"Including secret police?" asks the large teen.
"Sure," you say.
The large teen writes something down on a notepad. "Very good," he says. "Just checking."
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''187''
"...a masked killer, who carried with him a powerful saw. 'I AM THE WYOMING SAW MASSACRER,' the killer announced with every kill. Each teen died in a grusesome and inventive way, too gruesome and too inventive to recount here! Soon there was no one left but one solitary teen, who was also killed. They say the killer still roams these areas, looking for more teens to kill."
The teens grasp each other in panic and sweat.
"And that masked killer..." you say with a dramatic flourish, "... WAS ME!"
The teens panic. There are lots of screams. One of them pushes you over. Another throws rocks at your head. Before you can tell them that it was all a fiction, they team up and hit you with bludgeons until you stop breathing. Then, satisfied that safety is restored, they go back to their homes and residences.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''209''
"...a ferocious grizzly bear. Soon a cluster of three teens found each other and decided to band up against the bear threat. They stalked her and tracked her down to her bear nest. Then they climbed up on each other's shoulders and picked up rocks and twigs to attack with. The bear was caught in a surprise attack and laid in a position of weakness.
"But just as they were about to deliver the killing blow, they spied behind the mother bear three young cubs gnawing on human meat. Yes, the bear mother had the bear equivalent of teens and without her they would starve. They couldn't bring their selves to kill her, could they? The answer was..."
[[If "they could", turn to page 208.|208]]
[[If "they couldn't", turn to page 207.|207]] ''186''
"...stayed together. No doom came down to them because the masked killer was too afraid to attack a large group. Victory end."
The teens are pleased with this story. But then suddenly you hear a noise from elsewhere in the house.
"What was that?" screams one teen.
"We need to investigate," says another.
"We'll cover more ground if we split up," says a third.
You and the teens all agree that this is the wisest choice of action. You walk in all directions away from the fire to investigate the noise and get picked off by an evil force one by one. The only person who survives is a young teen girl who isn't you, by methods that you are unable to appreciate as you are dead.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''179''
"...split up. Leaving the safety of the large group they went off to the woods in order to cover greater ground. Then one by one they were picked off by..."
[[If it was "a masked killer", turn to page 187.|187]]
[[If it was "a ferocious grizzly bear", turn to page 209.|209]] ''208''
"...they could. They struck the bear down and killed it and then returned home. From their experience, they learned the most valuable lesson of all: nature will always try to kill you, and the only way to be safe is to hide from it completely inside of your house."
The teens, spooked by this story, all run off to their homes and lock themselves in. They refuse to come out ever for the sake of anyone. This sudden fear is bemoaned by the adults. In their search for answers they trace you to source of this.
It is decided that you are bad and possibly even a witch. You are convicted of tainting youths with a corrupting/magical story and jailed forever. Some time before forever occurs, you die.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''207''
"...they couldn't. They released their weapons and deshouldered each other, allowing the bear to go free. Sensing the act of kindness, she never hunted humans again. Instead she mainly ate elk. Victory end."
The teens are impressed.
"That was a great story," says one, "but what was its moral?"
"The moral is that if you respect the Earth Mother, the Earth Mother will respect you as well and permit you to live. You have nothing to fear from the forces of nature."
The instant that you finish saying this, a freak earthquake strikes and the entire town is swallowed up into a fissure. No survivors.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''164''
"...space creatures attacked!" you say.
The teens are taken aback. They were not expecting space creatures to show up in this space story.
"Yes, space creatures. They took their ships and bodies and attached them to things. Everything shook and here were distant explosions. Space marine knew he had to act fast, so he took up his body and ran..."
[[If he ran "to his locker to get space guns", turn to page `170.`|170]]
[[If he ran "to the escape hatch", turn to page 172.|172]] ''165''
"...even more space creatures attacked!" you say.
"Even more than what?" asks another teen.
"Even more than expected," you explain. "In other words, there were a lot of them, more than you have ever seen. They fired their space guns at the space station and also at the home planet of Earth in the Sun system. Soon everything was in chaos! Red lights turned on and off. Everyone lost their balance a bit and there were fires. The space marine knew he had to run..."
[[If he had to run "to his locker to get space guns", turn to page `170.`|170]]
[[If he had to run "to the escape hatch", turn to page 172.|172]]''170''
"...to his locker to get space guns. As he ran down the hallway space creatures did their space attacks all around him. At one point he got into a fistfight with a creature, demonstrating his melee abilities. At last he was in the locker room (a place which used to function but now was covered with rubble which blocked key exits.) He grabbed his most trusted weapon..."
[[If he grabbed "an AZ-44 space pistol", turn to page 181.|181]]
[[If he grabbed "a CMP-8 space shotgun", turn to page 177.|177]]
[[If he grabbed "a (437) ZZZ-7000 machine space gun", turn to page 185.|185]] ''172''
"...to the escape hatch, so he might flee like a coward. He donned his space clothes and jumped out of the hatch. He floated helplessly in space for a while and then got eviscerated by a space creature beam. Death end."
The teens are confused. One raises her hand.
"That isn't a very good story. A man wakes up and runs away and dies? Why does the plot end so suddenly?"
"The man made the wrong choice so he died," you say. "It seems perfectly logical to me."
The teens murmur in disapproval.
"Okay, okay. This is now the story of the space marine's twin brother, who up until the escape hatch lived the exact same life as the space marine. Furthermore, the space marine's twin brother will henceforth be referred to as space marine."
The teens seem satisfied now.
"Anyway, once the space creatures attacked the space marine ran..."
[[If he ran "to his locker to get space guns", turn to page `170.`|170]]
[[If he ran "to the escape hatch", turn to page 174.|174]] ''174''
"...to the escape hatch again. He too donned his space clothes and he too jumped out of the hatch. And then he too floated helplessly in space for a while before he too got eviscerated by a space creature beam. Death end."
The teens groan.
"What? He did the same thing so the same fate befell him. It's logical."
"We're going home," announce he teens. They responsibly douse the camp fire and then file out of the house.
"Good!" you shout after then. "I was done telling stories anyway."
There is no response. You are alone in the dark. You sit by yourself for a while and mumble about how the youths of today just don't appreciate a good story. Then, once you have convinced yourself about how good you are you get up to go home. Unfortunately you trip in the complete dark and break open your head on a cabinet.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''181''
"...an AZ-44 space pistol, the unsalted butter and flatbread of a space marine's gun diet.
"Suddenly a horde of space creatures burst through a piece of rubble in a tight pack. The space marine fired his pistol one bullet at a time (be aware that the bullets in this future were actually electric beams) but the space creatures kept coming. His rate of fire was too low. He only had one choice now. Yes, only one possible path he could go down. And that was to go...
[[If it was to go "surrender to the space creatures", turn to page 189.|189]]
[[If it was to go "through an air vent," turn to page 188.|188]]''177''
"...a CMP-8 space shotgun, which hurt things a lot but with little accuracy. He also took a box of shotgun shells, which in this distant future came in the form of electronic cartidges filled with protons.
"Suddenly a horde of space creatures burst through a piece of rubble in a tight pack. The space marine used his space marine instincts to fire his space shotgun at the space creatures. They got hit with protons and exploded. Now the way was clear for him to go..."
[[If he went "through the rubble", turn to page `190.`|190]]
[[If he went "through an air vent," turn to page 188.|188]]''185''
"...a (437) ZZZ-7000 machine space gun, the big father of them all. He felt the real weight of the large gun, which reduced his walking speed by 20%.
"Suddenly a horde of space creatures burst through a piece of rubble in a tight pack. The machine space gun (when operated by a human) easily destroyed all the space creatures into evaporation.
With the monsters dispatched, he proceeded..."
[[If he went "through the rubble", turn to page `190.`|190]]
[[If he went "through an air vent," turn to page 188.|188]] ''190''
"...through the rubble and out into a hallway. Once there he met his best friend, who he assumed had not been taken over by space creature mind brainwashing.
"'Hello best friend.' The space marine.
"'Hello space marine.' The best friend replied.
"'We should both work together,' said the space marine, 'since neither of us have been infected by space creature mind control.'"
"Don't do it!" shouts a teen!
"He can't hear you," you say "the verb tense in this story is Past, meaning the character already performed all actions. Also fictional characters are not sentient."
The teens nod and whisper in approval. They are beginning to understand how to listen to your story.
"So," you continue, "the space marine was walking just behind the best friend when he saw a space creature worm sticking out of the best friend's neck. He had been infected! Impossible! He knew what he had to do and that was..."
[[If he had "to shoot the best friend for the good of the species", turn to page 211.|211]]
[[If he had "to allow the best friend to live, turn to page `210.`|210]] ''188''
"...through an air vent. He crawled along for some time until he reached the space creature headquarter on the space station. This was a big room that had been infected and covered with space creature material. In the centre was the space creature queen, who controlled everything.
"Heroically, the space marine dropped down and fired his gun. But future space bullets failed to hurt her! The queen just laughed. Then she grabbed him with her appendage and said, 'You were foolish to assault me and now you trapped! I will eat your body. Any last words!'
"As his last words, he said..."
[[If he said "I die for my planet", turn to page 212.|212]]
[[If he said "FUCK YOU", turn to page 213.|213]]''212''
"...'I die for my planet.'
"The queen did the space creature equivalent of a laugh, which was gross. 'Brave but foolish. Now it's time to eat you.' She did. Then the space marine was in her stomach. Just before he started dissolving in stomach acid, he activated his secret bomb. He and the bomb were an explosion. The explosion transferred to the queen that it was inside of. The space creatures were cut off from the queen and stopped functioning. There was celebration in a representative selection of Earth Cities: Moscow, Bishkek, Bucharest, The Pyramids, and Yakutsk. Victory was assured through heroic sacrifice. Victory end."
The teens are very roused by this story.
"I want to be a space marine too!" says one teen.
You chuckle. "That future won't come to pass until at least the year 1950 or later."
"Oh," says the teen. "Then I will pursue plan B: becoming governor of Wyoming!"
Surprise! The teen was [Fenimore Chatterton]<governor|, who would grow up to become the sixth governor of Wyoming. You have inspired a great political figure to greatness, which makes you also great.(click: ?governor)[(gotoURL:"http://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/fenimore-chatteron")]
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''213''
The teens gasp in horror. Several faint. Others are reduced to tears. Also others run screaming out of the house. Overall: pandemonium. In your attempt to give your story that certain "umph!" you have unleashed a deeply offensive curse.
Several teens run to tell their parents of your corrupting influence. They return to the campfire armed with standard mob equipment. You are rounded up and exiled from town for your crimes. You die of thirst in the desert some time later and are furthermore sentenced to a forever punishment in the underneath world.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''211''
"...to shoot the best friend for the good of the species. He fired his trusty space gun but the best friend would not die. Instead he laughed: 'aha, aha, aha! You will not kill me.' The best friend, now a hybrid of space creature and human swatted the space marine down like he was a common mayfly or forest bat.
"The marine edged away but the (former) best friend came closer. He was corned. But then he saw a salvation: a door to space. He pressed the open-door-to-space button. And then the pressed the confirm button when the 'Are you sure you want to open this door to space?' prompt came up. The door to space flew open, and space marine and space creature both flew out. Ironically, despite having the word space in their names they could not survive in outer space. So they died. Elsewhere, the invasion was defeated."
The teens take this all in.
"So you see," you explain, "the moral of this story is that murder is a useful tool and that you should even kill your best friend, when appropriate."
"Good idea!" shouts a teen. He stabs a knife into the person next to him. Suddenly all the teens follow his lead and start killing each other.
"When appropriate, I said!", you say. But its no use. The teens are too busy murdering to pay you any heed. Thanks to your story, and only your story, murder has become a teen fad. You try to stop individual murder attempts but the total amount of murders is too many, and pretty soon you get murdered yourself.
<span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''210''
"to allow the best friend to live, due to personal loyalty. The best friend went on to become a powerful space creature/human hybrid and was chosen to rule over the planet Earth as Minister-President.
"Despite being space creature controlled, he was still the space marine's best friend. Therefore when the new regime was established, space marine was allowed to become a high-ranking general. He was tasked with stamping out human rebellion, which he enjoyed. Victory End."
The teens stamp their feet and whistle.
"Now what is the moral of this story?" you ask.
"Always co-operate fully with the ruling regime," they say in unison.
"Correct," you say.
You have successfully completed an indoctrination.
<span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''189''
"...surrender to the space creatures. He put down his gun, knelt down, and touched his forehead to the floor in a universal show of submission. The creatures picked him up and carried him into a room on the ship. This room used to be a human room, but now there were green things and strange gelatins on the surfaces. It had been colonized by space creatures and was full of space creatures.
"'My queen,' said the capturers in a foreign space language that the space marine understood, 'we recovered a lone space marine from a room full of guns and boxes. Your orders are?'
"The space creature queen, who was big and fat, said: 'Bring the human to me.' The human was the space marine. The space marine was brought to the queen. The queen prepared to consume human. 'Any last words?' she asked. He replied..."
[[If he said "FUCK YOU", turn to page 213.|213]]
[[If he said "I die for my planet", turn to page 212.|212]]