This post begins the third in the Choose Your Own Blogventure series. Much like the Choose Your Own Adventure series of my youth, these stories are meant to give you, the reader, a chance to direct the narrative. Rather than write all the story options myself, I wanted to get other bloggers in on the action and have them each write a piece.
The catch? Each writer has their own point of view and can take the story in any direction they want. The point is to have fun and enjoy the ride. In honor of Halloween, this series has a Spooktacular theme.
Just one note: all the posts will be up by 10 a.m.(EST) today, so don’t start reading until then unless you want to hit a dead end.
Annelise looked thoughtfully at the ancient iron key she held in her hand. She had found it in the bottom drawer of her father’s desk, buried behind some folders filled with newspaper clippings and a slim volume titled Haunted Happenings in New England. Annelise knew she shouldn’t have been snooping around the library- in fact, she had been expressly forbidden to enter the library after scaring herself silly on some of her father’s anthologies of ghost stories- but once she had heard him on the phone with Professor Kildare she knew she absolutely, positively needed to see what they had been discussing.
Annelise tucked the key determinedly in the pocket of her skirt and started for the stairs. She knew that her father thought she was too young to hear about his research in paranormal activity, and her frequent nightmares probably didn’t help her case, but the giant wooden trunk that had arrived two days earlier was just too big a temptation. Her father had mentioned to Professor Kildare that it had been discovered deep in the jungles of the Congo, and had been stolen from a chief in the dead of the night. Both her father and the Professor seemed very concerned; bad things had been happening to everyone that had handled the trunk on its long voyage to Massachusetts.
The pilot of the tiny plane out of the Congo had had engine trouble and crash landed right near the air strip. They managed to recover the trunk in time to pack it into a ship headed east. The crew of the tugboat that had brought the trunk the rest of the journey had developed raging fevers and thirty-three of them had died while still onboard. And now her father had been missing since the day he had signed for the trunk when it showed up on their doorstep. Now that she had finally found the key her father had mentioned hiding away she was sure that the secret of his disappearance would be made clear- all Annelise had to do was open that trunk and its contents would reveal where her father had gone. Follow the clues, just like Nancy Drew.
Standing in front of the giant black chest, Annelise hesitated. It seemed to be emitting its own pulse; either that, or it was the thudding of her own heart in her chest. She took one timid step towards it and the pulsing immediately grew stronger, like it was pushing her away. Annelise turned to flee the room and made it to the door before the thought of her father popped back in to her head. It was now or never.
Slowly Annelise edged toward the chest again. Every step she took the chest seemed to pound in her brain. “Turn back, turn back, TURN BACK.” Though it seemed to take eons she finally found herself standing directly in front of the ominous-looking lock. Her hand fumbled in her pocket for the key. She was starting to feel physically ill but she stretched her hand towards the lock anyway, trembling.
If Annelise should press on and open the trunk to see what it contains, click here.
If Annelise should listen to her gut and get out of the room, fast, click here.