Choose Your Own Adventure
“So, Nicole,” he said, turning back to his cooking, “Why were you outside my door?”
With His Knife
“I was going to visit a friend.” He considered this.
“Your friend lives in this building?”
“Yeah, down the hall.”
“Will she be worried?”
“What?” Nicole asked.
“Your friend. Wasn’t she expecting you?”
“Oh, right. I should hurry on over.”
“I won’t keep you, then. Nice meeting you.”
“Nice meeting you,” she agreed, standing up, “Thanks for letting me use your bed.”
“Glad to help. Go see your friend.”
Someone was knocking on the door. Irritated, Anthony stood up, abandoning his lunch. Why did people always have to show up while he was in the middle of something?
“Yes?” he asked, pulling open the door, “What do you want?”
It was Nicole. Why was she here? She couldn’t have been gone for more than fifteen minutes.
“Nicole? I thought you went to see your friend.”
“I did,” said the girl, “But she wouldn’t answer the door, so then I tried calling her, and she didn’t answer that either! This has never happened to me before and now I don’t have anywhere to go and I don’t know what to do!” She was crying now.
“Do you want to come inside and tell me what happened?”
She sniffled. “Can I?”
Anthony stepped aside to let her pass. “Of course. Come in. Sit.”
The girl shuffled into the apartment and took a seat at the table. Anthony closed the door and sat across from her. “So, what’s wrong?”
Nicole fidgeted a bit. “Will you tell anyone?”
“You have to promise not to tell anyone.”
She hesitated for a moment. “I ran away from home.”
Anthony wasn’t sure what to say to this. He finally decided on, “Why?”
The girl looked at him helplessly. “It’s not safe there.”
He waited for a clarification but none came. “Why do you say that?”
- Her step-father raped her.
- Her mother is a serial killer.
- She’s afraid that the police might find her.
- The house is trying to kill her.
With His Knife
A moment’s consideration and the proper course of action revealed itself. He put down his knife and stood up. Self-consciously wiping the blood from his face, the man made his way to the door of the apartment. The peephole revealed nothing. Confused, he opened the door and looked out into the hall.
Crumpled in a heap at his doorstep was a girl.
Nicole opened her eyes. Her migraines had never been that bad before. Groaning, she put a hand to her face, sat up on the bed, and looked around.
She was in a small room. The smell of copper hung heavy in the air. The lights were off save for one small nightlight, and the two doors out were closed. Nicole stumbled over to the one that couldn’t be a closet and winced as she turned on the lights. The wallpaper had been designed by someone who clearly idolized Jackson Pollock but lacked his color palate. The light hurt, too. She quickly turned them back off and, hoping for a more modest source of illumination, opened the door. Her wish was not granted.
“Oh, you’re up,” said a figure, “I was starting to worry that I’d need to take you to the hospital. I hate hospitals,” it added.
Nicole blinked a few times as her eyes adjusted. It was a man talking to her, mildly handsome despite needing a shave. He was wearing an apron. In fact, this new room was a kitchen.
“Where am I?” she asked.
“You’re in my apartment. It seemed prudent to let you have my bed.” Sensing her wariness, the man continued, “You collapsed outside my front door. Don’t you remember?”
“Now that you mention it, yes. I had a migraine.” Her forehead pounded. “Have a migraine. Who are you?”
“Anthony Miller. I’m an actor. You?”
“I’m Nicole. I’m a rising senior.”
“Ah. High school.” Anthony’s expression darkened momentarily. An awkward pause followed. “So, Nicole,” he said, turning back to his cooking, “Why were you outside my door?”
- She lives in the same building.
- She ran away from home and a friend lives in the building.
- She was visiting a client in the building.
- She doesn’t remember how she got there.
I’d like to do an experiment in writing with a deadline. Normally I write fairly slowly, and I want to see if I can change that. Therefore, I’ll be writing a Choose Your Own Adventure! I’ll try to post at least once a week. This first one will be short, but I’ll try to make future sections longer.
With His Knife
“I told you, didn’t I?” he shouted. “I told you to leave well enough alone!”
It was rhetorical at this point. Her blood splattered the walls, and her eyes stared the unblinking, uncomprehending stare of the dead.
“Why didn’t you listen to me?” It dripped off his face as he stabbed again and again, a macabre liquid mask. “Why? Why won’t you answer? Answer me!”
As if in response, a loud thump came from the hallway. He froze, unsure how to react.
What did he do?
- Ignore the sound and clean up.
- Go see what it was.
- Panic and escape through the window.
- Not have time to react; the police burst in immediately afterward.