Friday, September 20, 2013

Temporary Anne and Choosing Your Own Adventure

Briane Pagel has released the much ballyhooed Temporary Anne. And he's celebrating with a blog tour. Over the course of the past week or so he has been writing an entire tale based on the recommendations of commenters. So, please, contribute ideas so the story can continue. I'm such a fan of Choose Your Own Adventure styles stories that the latest book I ordered off Amazon was Space Vampires: Choose Your Own Adventure # 71. Because, how can you not love that? So let's see where that story takes us today.

And as a side note, I did read and review Temporary Anne, check that out here if you'd like to see my thoughts, which surprisingly enough, barely mentions the book I was rating. Still, great job, Briane, it's always a huge treat to read something of yours.

Please, take it away...

This is DAY FOUR of the release tour for my newest book, Temporary Anne.

Temporary Anne is a horror story about a woman so desperate to avoid Hell -- the fate for the evil she's done during her life -- that she makes things infinitely worse after her death. To celebrate the release, I'm doing a blog tour in which I'm writing a short story, LIVE, with your help!  At each stop, I'll do an installment of the story and you can suggest where it goes next!

Below is PART FOUR of the story. PART ONE appeared on Tina Downey's Life Is Good, PART TWO on Andrew Leon's Strange Pegs, and if you didn't catch either, click here to read PART ONE and HERE to read PART TWO.  Then Part Three was on Laws Of Gravity, and now

PART FOUR of "This Is How I..."

(Special Thanks to Crystal Collier for the intro to today's installment.  She wrote the first paragraph. (Check out her blog here!)

I froze, standing stick straight as uniformed men funneled around me, fixed on the Drum Major's steely eyes. A sucking sensation tugged at my gut, curling upward, like the smoke essence of my very soul leaking through our connected stares.

I didn't want to look down.






and the Drum Major held my gaze.

"Don't," she said, softly, so softly I could barely hear her.

"I..." I said.

The soldiers were rushing forward, shouts of don't move and arrest and the like ringing out. They were almost to the stage.

"... have to," I said.

And suddenly I was 















at one point when I turned over I saw above me the Drum Major standing on the edge of the abyss that had sucked me down the moment I'd turned my eyes on it -- the real things of this world becoming less real in my eyesight just as the imaginary things of the other worlds could be made real by my thinking about them -- her own beautiful eyes wide and her mouth saying something as a soldier grabbed her from behind and tried to wrestle her hat out of her hands.

I saw her struggle on the edge of the abyss, in flits and flickers as I tumbled overandoverandover the dim light of the auditorium spinning away from me and the circle that represented safety -- a smashed auditorium filled with soldiers ready to shoot everything, and containing a captive, angry, ENRAGED, Beast was now safety! -- getting smaller and smaller and smaller and then I 


I stopped falling but had no idea why, there in the darkness of the pit.  I could see nothing, hear nothing (even the gunfire and struggle above was a tiny speck of light and distant shouting), and I tried to lift up my head to look around, but couldn't move it.

Fighting, I pulled my arm up but couldn't move that, either.

I kicked with my legs but they wouldn't move, either.

"This... like some kind of..." I began

Don't say it don't say it don't even think it something in the back of my brain, the part of me that still thought I had some sort of control over this, screamed at me as loudly as it could.

"Spider web," the rest of my brain rather unhelpfully finished.


I heard.


I heard.

I closed my eyes as tightly as I could, hoping against hope that if I didn't look it wouldn't be real.

I heard a tiny faraway shout above me.

I opened my eyes, almost inadvertently.

For just a second I saw a speck drop or be thrown or dive or something into the opening far far far above me.

Then I saw eight eyes, the smallest the size of bowling balls, the largest terrifyingly bright and shiny and close, looming over me and just below them a set of fangs as large as my legs but far far sharper.

Clikkerclakk, the fangs went.



What happens next? Use the comments to help Rusty decide, and follow the story on the next tour dates:

The Tour Dates: 

1. Life Is Good: Friday 9/13
2. Strange Pegs: 9/1
3. . Laws Of Gravity 9/18
TODAY; 4. The Blutonian Death Egg 9/20

8.  Jess' Book Blog 10/3 10/10
The FIRST REVIEWS ARE IN:  "It's fascinating. If you like horror, this is definitely a book worth reading."-- Andrew Leon

"Another chilling tale from the author of The Scariest Thing You Can't Imagine. ...Pagel's style reminds me a lot of Vonnegut's work in that while the narration seems jaunty with its humorous asides and such, there's a lot of hidden depth to that narration."-- PT Dilloway.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Where's a blow torch when you need it? There you go - someone jump in with a blow torch.

Tina said...

Cool continuation AND I got my abyss and my spider. Maybe the SEXY drum major is carrying the blow torch?
Tina @ Life is Good

Briane P said...

Thanks for posting this, Rusty!

Alex, Tina: to get out of the spider's web, I assume. Or fight it? Or something MORE CLEVER?

I feel like that last paragraph could have been the beginning of a Seuss-like poem that maybe I'll work on today.

Tina: Andrew also got his spiders. Liz was generous.

Briane P said...

Also: future commenters: There'll be free stuff again on Monday. I am just not good at getting things to work correctly.

But in the meantime, all my books are only $0.99, so if today you decide to only get a medium, rather than large, cup of coffee, you could also get Temporary Anne or one of my other books!

(Says the guy who is on his fourth cup of coffee at 7:27 a.m.)

Tina said...

Attack my lack of cleverness this early in the morning? I mean, it's SIX thirty here. You're an hour more awake than I am...
FINE. So yes, the blowtorch is for the spider of course, and then they rig it (in true The Engineer style) to become a jet pack and fly back out of the abyss, only they don't end up on the stage, they end up...someone else take it from there...
Tina @ Life is Good

Briane P said...

No attacks, Tina -- I just didn't know where you all were going to take this story.

I like that idea.

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm all for the blow torch idea. Or maybe a flame thrower. If that thing has eyes like bowling balls—even if it's just candlepin bowling—you're going to need some serious fire power.

But I love that jetpack idea.

Rusty Webb said...

Oh my... just chiming in here with possibilities.

1) The room has been pumped with an hallucinogen by the soldiers. Our hero(ine) is just trippin right now.

2) Stephen King's headless corpse, reanimated, is seeking revenge for it's wrongful death, but since it can't see (sans head) it's just killing everything... including the giant spider that is about to eat our protag. I suppose it just fell in to the inter-dimensional hole earlier and no one noticed.

3) Revelation: That nobel prize winning novel has become the most dangerous thing in the universe. All of creation... aliens (future time travelers), spiritual entities, normal people, are all after the author to pen the sequel, as it's promised to unlock even more profound secrets of the cosmos.

4) Our main character just realized they are a character in a video game that has gained sentience. Which is why peace can't come until the game is over... but does that mean the apocalypse?

5) The Nobel prize winning book also contains a blow torch taped to the inside flap (even the kindle version), which allows the reader to destroy giant spider webs... and create wormholes for escape.

Okay, just throwing those out there... nothing is set in stone.

Andrew Leon said...

Okay, I'm going to take my idea in a completely different direction. Who's surprised?

The drum major, realizing that although she could escape from the soldiers, she couldn't do it without killing all of them (and I'm going with the idea that she's a good guy), knows she has no way of helping the story teller... no way except one. She throws the hat into the abyss as the soldiers take her captive. As the hat falls, the beast escapes, and that is the speck, the huge form of the beast, the story teller sees, the beast falling.

The beast, being some part (possibly insane part) of the story tellers psyche will not attack him, which is why it hasn't done anything to him thus far, but we're about to witness an epic battle between the beast and the giant spider.

Rusty Webb said...

Andrew - that's actually pretty good. I know where my early vote is going.

Briane P said...


Just, wow.


Deborah Walker said...

ah, man. I used to love these chose your own adventures so much.

It would be so cool to have an adult version. (no, I don't mean sexy-dexy) I mean a adventure with adult themes, like errr, loss and death and stuff.

Andrew Leon said...

Is that how that works now? You just have to call dibs on ideas which prevents other writers from getting to use them? Can I call dibs on all of the ideas or do they have to be spoken, specific ideas before I can do that?

Briane P said...


Speaking as the Dibs-caller, I'd say you have to actually spell out the idea before someone else can dibs it. But perhaps an Internet Dibs Court could sort it out?

On the other hand, if you and Rusty and/or both use any of those ideas, I'd give up my dibs. I'd like to see what you guys come up with to further them.

But I will probably still use them. Remember, I have a long history of taking things Rusty says and turning them into stories. He's my Muse!

(Don't feel left out: after all, you are my High Priest of the Cult Of Grammar. Now I have to decide what role PT plays.)

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Very e.e. cummings-ish, but I like it! I'm too tired to come up with ideas tonight, so I'll just vote for Andrew's. :) This is such a fun blog tour.

Briane P said...

Lara, that's the best compliment YET.

Rusty: It's all on YOU now! Let me know the next part.