Okay, when we last read about our intrepid hero, he hovered above the tepid waters of a swamp and followed an old man to dry land. We also learned that the old man’s name is Monty. And we left Ben nervously contemplating the jump from tree to land.
Well, there actually was a suggestion on how to proceed next (guess I’m not the only one who reads this). “I’m thinking the old guy should try to steal the cockatrice, either to turn it in to the authorities for a reward or to use it for himself in some secret plot.”
And, away we go:
Ben leaned against the thick branch. It groaned in complaint. He scowled at it. “I don’t weigh that much.”
The cockatrice dipped and dived through the air near the old man. It happily snapped a fly in mid-flight and munched contently.
“Gotchya!” Monty clapped his hands around the cockatrice. It warbled and screeched. The old man cackled and ran deeper into the forest.
“Hey! Come back here with…” Ben finally realized that he hadn’t named his cockatrice. He sputtered and stuttered. He shook his head as Monty disappeared behind the thick undergrowth. “Damn.” Ben jumped.
With his eyes closed.
He landed on solid ground and rolled. He crashed into a fallen tree trunk.
He staggered to his feet with a curse, rubbing the back of his head. “Where’d you go?” he muttered.
Ben strode through the woods, careless of his footfalls. His shoes crunched dried leaves and snapped twigs with impunity. He rushed toward the last spot he thought he had seen the old man.
Branches lashed his face and tangled his jeans. Burrs stuck to his shoelaces. Ben trudged through the woods, even as they tried to stop him. The forest thickened around him like sauce congealing in a pot.
Ben shrugged off tree branches and bushes. He leaped fallen logs only for a rock to attempt to twist his ankle on the landing.
“What sort of magic is this?” Huffing and puffing (but with no house in sight), Ben stumbled into a clearing.
The old man’s voice floated on the wind. “You’re worth a fortune…to the right buyers, but you’re also worth a lot to me.”
Ben grimaced. He studied the clearing. Though he knew Monty was near, Ben could discern no clue as to his whereabouts. His ears strained for Monty’s voice.
The cockatrice crowed.
Ben blinked. “I didn’t know he could do that.” He turned toward the sound and pressed through the thick foliage.
There, with his hands cupped over the cockatrice, Ben found Monty.
So, what do you think will happen? What do you want to happen? Was it too short? Too long? Too unfunny?
Yep, that’s right. I’m soliciting comments and suggestions. I may even use them. No matter how wacky, zany, nerdy, or weird. No matter how serious, fanciful, or sci-fi. It’s a choose your own adventure. You choose what happens next.