This year I've decided to throw an idea I've had for a while out there. I had such fun writing the serial I posted up here last Halloween that I wanted to do another story, but make it a little more interactive.
When I was growing up I really loved the "choose your own adventure" books. I really enjoyed the idea of a story that would change every time I read it. It was like having 10 books in one, and I was all about that. So I thought I would bring that same idea to my Halloween story this year. So we will be trying out my first "choose your own haunting" Halloween tale together!
So here we go, the first installment of-
"What was that?"
Linda glanced around the car uneasily as the thunder died away. Samantha was reclined in the passenger seat snoring softly. The swish swish of the wiper blades on the windshield created a soothing rhythm and Linda began to relax a little bit. The headlights of her compact blue sedan bounced off of tree trunks and bushes as she navigated their way along the deserted road, keeping a sharp eye out for woodland creatures making kamikaze dashes across the road.
What had started as a light rain earlier in that day had become a down pour after the sun had set. Under regular circumstances she loved a nice rainy afternoon curled up with a book and a cup of tea on her comfortable couch at home. Driving down a deserted road, in the middle of nowhere, at night, with the only person for miles asleep next to her was not her idea of a fun evening.
The thunder boomed.
Oh yeah, and now there's thunder and lightning she thought. I am so not doing this alone. It was her idea anyway.
She reached out and shook Samantha's leg until the red head opened her eyes and sat up.
"We're there already?" She said as she stretched in the passenger seat.
How did I let myself get talked into this? Linda thought.
Three days earlier.....
"C'mon it will be fun, and you need to have some fun. Get out of this apartment." Samantha's blue eyes pleaded with Linda to give in to her oldest friend one more time. Ever since they were kids Samantha had been dreaming up adventures and somehow finding a way to get Linda to join in. Ever since Linda's husband had died the year before she had been trying to get Linda to go on a trip. Her newest installment of the let's get out of town argument was a trip to a country bed and breakfast that she had found an advertisement about. The pamphlet she had brought promised a weekend to remember.
Linda shook her head, making her light brown bob swing. She didn't want a weekend to remember, she just wanted to stay in her comfortable little apartment. It was safer there, and comfortable. Why couldn't Samantha get that?
" Uh-uh. It's too late in the year to make a trip out that way, and besides I have too much to do here." She fussed around the coffee table that Samantha was resting her feet on.
"Look you've locked yourself up here ever since Allen died. It's time to get out, see the sunshine, hear the birds, smell some freakin' roses already. We're not victorian ladies. There is no forced mourning period. It's not like he was really worth all this devotion anyway. And you know I'll just keep bugging you until you go with me."
Linda scowled at her. "That was a low blow. " She sighed. "Fine, if I agree to go on this ridiculous trip of yours will you quit hounding me?"
Samantha jumped up with a cheer and hugged her.....
And that's how she gets me every time. She just couldn't hold out against Samantha's sheer determination to help her 'get a life'.
What is wrong with my life as it is. I like it.
The subject of Linda's mental ire finished stretching and shook out her long hair.
"That didn't take long. I told you it would be an easy trip"
Thunder crashed louder than ever and the lightening threw the trees into stark relief.
"No we're not there, but I can barely see two feet in front of the car. And that thunder is creeping me right out. This was your brain storm so now you can keep me company while I try to find that 'quant and picturesque lane' that's supposed to lead to this fantastic hideaway you found. Why you needed to do this during storm season I have no idea. I should be comfy at home right now." Patience had flown away with that last thunderclap.
Samantha grabbed the map off of the dash and flicked on the overhead light.
"The map says that we should be coming up to Bluebird Drive on the left in about 2 miles. So just make the next left and then it's a short two miles to the front door of the Valley View Inn. Simple." She tossed the map in the back seat and started to fiddle with the radio, looking for a station that would play in the storm.
Linda made her turn at the next road she came to and began creeping down the narrow gravel road crowded by the trunks of trees, standing like dark sentinels in the storm. A flash of lightning illuminated the streetsign the girls had driven by without noticing. It read Mockingbird Lane.
"See? Nothing to get worked up about. We'll be there in two more easy miles." Samantha grinned and poked Linda in the arm. "Scared of a little rain, huh? Think about how great you'll feel in that comfortable room you booked. A long, steaming bath will make you feel like a million bucks."
Linda stewed a little bit in her annoyance as they bumped along. Her mood began to lift when she saw the glimmer of lights ahead as they rounded a bend. The gravel road abruptly turned into a smoother paved road as they left the trees.
"How big was that bed and breakfast supposed to be?" Linda asked, a sudden sense of unease beginning in her stomach and she shot furtive glances at the buildings and houses lining the lane. They passed several quaint, multi-storied farmhouses, a general store, and what looked like an old livery stable.
"Not this big. I think we may have taken a wrong turn."
The road was lined with dark houses. The girls looked around them and saw no house numbers or markers to show what road they were on. Linda pulled to a stop at the end of the road, in front of the only two houses that had any lights on at all. They sat on the crest of a slight hill, giving the impression that they floated above the other buildings.
"This just about caps the night. It's raining, and we're lost in a strange little town, in the middle of nowhere, and there doesn't appear to be anywhere still open to ask for directions. What are we going to do now?"
"Oh lighten up a little. These two houses have their lights on, so lets go knock on a door and ask someone for directions." Samantha unbuckled her safety belt and jumped out of the car into the rain.
"Hell." Linda unbuckled herself and followed Samantha. "Well ok miss adventure-which house is it going to be?"
Do Samantha and Linda go to the three story Victorian house with the wrap around porch and antique rose garden and porch light glowing on the left?
Do Samantha and Linda go to the two story colonial house with the trimmed hedge walkway and lit front window on the right?
Just leave a comment with which one you vote for!
(you can find the second part of the story here)