Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine's CYOA Chapter 13

From now until Valentine's Day, the Manuscript Mavens are running a Choose Your Own Adventure® story, in which YOU vote on what happens next! Every morning brings a new author, from the Mavens to the just-sold, to the best-selling. And every night brings a new twist!

Get your Choose Your Own Adventure® votes in by 7:00pm EST (4:00pm PST) and you'll be eligible for random prize drawings, where you can win books by our Guest Mavens! Vote every day, and you'll even be eligible for the Grand Prize. (More info: here.)

For yesterday's installment, click here. To read the previous chapters in order, click here.

Chapter Thirteen

I was frozen in a muddy mixture of lust, confusion and horror when…

Mrs. Peterson and her poodle burst into the room.

"Cara, he's coming!" Mrs. Peterson frantically yelled. "He's--" The old woman screamed the moment she saw the two of us in doggy style mode and immediately buried her face into the poodle she was holding. In turn, the poodle started barking at us in frenzied high pitched yaps, its beady little eyes reflecting about the same amount of horror I felt.

Obviously Mrs. Peterson wasn't yelling about Jayson coming. 'Cause we hadn't even freakin' started. Which meant someone else was coming.

If I had failed to mention it anytime before, people, my Valentine's Day sucked. Blowed. Yeah, that's right. You'd better notice the continual use of sexual innuendos. Because this is about as much as any of us were gonna get.

I snatched the sheet off the bed, in an effort to shield myself and scrambled off the mattress, knocking Jayson's naked butt off to the side. "Who's coming?" I demanded, wrapping the sheet tightly around me in a make-shift toga. "Who?"

Though Mrs. Peterson had stopped screaming, her poodle certainly hadn't. "My grandson!" she yelled over the yapping. "He's coming! And he says he's going to kill us all!"

Great. Now there was a grandson. Who was obviously pissed out of his mind. Like everyone else.

"Hello Mel. Hello Brant. Grandma. Let's finish this once and for all."

A cold knot formed in my stomach as I froze right beside the open door of my closet. Mr. Lexus himself stepped into the bedroom holding not one, but two guns in our direction. His hair stood up on all ends and his clothes and face appeared to be smeared with...something. Like he'd been rolling around in garbage. And the smell! Ugh! Jayson hadn't been kidding when he mentioned taking Mr. Lexus to the dump. Though clearly, Jayson hadn't dumped him far enough.

Everyone, including Jayson who had just finished yanking on his jeans, stilled and fell into complete silence. Everyone except for the poodle who kept right on yapping, only this time it focused all of its attention on Mr. Lexus as it pawed the air and leaned out of Mrs. Peterson's arms.

"Shut the dog up!" Mr. Lexus yelled, snapping one of the guns in the direction of the dog. "Shut him up before I blow the fur off his ass!"

"Harold, no!" Mrs. Peterson shielded her dog as best she could, and even tried to place a shaky hand over the dog's mouth. "Why are you doing this? You were supposed to help me and PETOP! Not cash all of our donations and take it for yourself!"

Harold? Pfff. I think I liked Mr. Lexus better. So anyway--

"Help?" Mr. Lexus snarled, flinging something mucky off to the side and leveling his gun back at her. "PETOP is nothing without me! Nothing! And I'm tired of not getting paid! I need the Goddamn money more than your stupid dogs!"

"It's finally catching up to you, Harold," Jayson finally said. "All of it. You might as well give it up." Jayson gestured toward me. "Mel, tell him."

The Mel bit I got. Been there, done that. But the whole telling him bit? Nope. Didn't get it. At all. Was I supposed to make something up? My brain wasn't exactly in high powered mode as of now.

Mr. Lexus snapped his gaze toward me and narrowed his gaze. "Couldn't do it, Mel, could you? Couldn't knock Brant off even after you told me over and over that you could. Told me that after we knocked him off and collected the money, we would quietly take off to Brazil and have a couple of bambinos. Were you lying to me? Is that it, Mel?"

I cringed and glanced over at Jayson, having absolutely no flippin' idea where I was supposed to take this. I hoped to God Mr. FBI man had something else up his sleeve. My brows came together. No, wait. He wasn't even wearing a shirt. Crapity, crap, crap, crap.

Jayson's dark eyes darted over to me. He slowly lowered his unshaven chin and there was now a dangerous look about him. "So you were planning to knock me off?" he hollered, angrily waving a hand toward me. "So was this before or after you claimed to love me? I thought we had something special."

Great. The guy was going to get us all shot. In the head. If only...

I paused, suddenly remembering something, and out of the corner of my eye glanced toward the open closet next to me. And sure enough, in full view was my black leather handled iron machete. Right next to my collection of thigh-high vinyl stilettos. Bingo.

Though come to think of it...I hadn't really done too well aiming a gun, had I? The likelihood that I was going to skewer everyone in the room, including myself, was probable. Very probable.

"She doesn't love you, Brant!" Mr. Lexus now pointed both guns at Jayson. His hands were visibly shaking, as if he'd pull both triggers at any moment. "She can't stand you! Tell me all the time about how you're always taking her assignments, making her look bad! She loves me, damn it! Me! Ain't that right, Mel baby? Tell him!"

Whoa-whoa-WHOA! To go from absolutely no dates in two years to two desperate proclamations of love in a single night was WAYYYYYYYYYY too much for this sleep deprived girl to handle. Which is why you could say I finally lost it. But then it's not like I had much to lose (well, except maybe my life, ehm). So I...

A.) dove for the machete.

B.) sucked it up and played the greatest role ever bestowed upon a non-Hollywoodonian. Placing my hands on my sheet wrapped hips, I casually turned toward Jayson and drawled, "Brant, honey, I'm sorry. I was just using you. Using you all along."

C.) screamed at the top of my lungs, "The first man to bring me a box of chocolates is who I'm going with, people! And I mean it! It's freakin' Valentine's Day and I want my chocolate!"

D.) stripped the sheet from my body and tossed it off to side, ready to use what my Mama gave me. And of course, save us all.

YOUR TURN: You decide what happens next! Leave your vote in the comments by 7pm EST (4pm Pacific) every day between now and Valentine's Day---Tomorrow's story continued by C.L. Wilson with the twist YOU choose!

Today's installment brought to you by Delilah Marvelle. Vote to win a signed cover flat of Delilah's debut release, Mistress of Pleasure, and a signed copy when the book comes out in September!

Don't forget to join the Manuscript Mavens' quarterly newsletter on the right for advance notice of other exciting upcoming events!

31 comments:

Erica Ridley said...

Machete!!!

B.E. Sanderson said...

I'd say go for the chocolates, but I don't think anyone will leave to get them at this point, so I'm going to have to go with the machete, too. A!

carrie-ryan said...

Haha, because I know it's dear to Erica's heart, I'm going to have to go with the machete as well -- Choice A!

Maggie Robinson said...

Intrigued by the items in the closet...who knew? But I'm going with D. Great chap.

Isabel said...

I knew from the moment I saw the choice...it's gotta be the machete. A.

My vote is for "A".

LeeAnn said...

I voye for A

Bill Clark said...

I think b.e. is right - no one is going to get her chocolates at this climactic (er, non-climactic?) moment. So yeah, I gotta go - or rather, Cara has to go - for the machete. A!

Forget Chekhov's gun - it's been superannuated by Erica's machete! Yay, Erica!!!

MsHellion said...

*LOL* C or D. I know I'm supposed to choose A, but C and D made me laugh the hardest.

Okay: D

Bill Clark said...

...Chekhov's gun has been superannuated by Erica's machete!

Literary history is being made at this very moment on the Manuscript Mavens' blog!

For those not familiar with Chekhov's gun, here's Wikipedia to the rescue:

Chekhov's Gun is the literary technique whereby an element is introduced early in the story, but whose significance does not become clear until later on. For example, a character may find a mysterious object that eventually becomes crucial to the plot, but at the time of finding the object does not seem to be important.

*Bill goes off to update the article formerly known as "Chekhov's Gun" by changing its title to "Erica's Machete".*

Erica Ridley said...

Macheteeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Vicki said...

LOL, this chapter was brilliant. Not that the others haven't been as well, but gotta say, I loved this one.

My choice: simple A, Machete!!!

Stephanie H. said...

What a great chapter! It's a touch choice, but I'm going to go with D.

tetewa said...

I have to find out what will happen with the machete D!

Patricia W. said...

A, Machete!

Lenora Bell said...

black...leather handled...iron...MACHETE!

Bill Clark said...

BTW, tomorrow's grand climax (one hopes!) final episode MUST include the line:

I shanked him with the machete

Just bein' helpful here!:-)

Darcy Burke said...

Sorry Bill, no title suggestions until tomorrow! Just keep it under your hat for thirteen more hours!

I want to mesh A and B. I want Cara to somehow sneak the machete and then bat her eyelashes. Gah, decisions, decisions. Delilah, this was awesome!

Okay, A. I'm a sucker for a machete. Especially a black leather handled one.

Bill Clark said...

Geez, Darcy, you shanked my post! OK, I'll try to be good.

Mary said...

A. It was introduced earlier and must be put to good use now. :-)

Erica Ridley said...

machetemachetemachete

Writer & Cat said...

B. But somehow I'm sure CL can work a machete into the grand finale. Machetes are VERY useful when attacked with PETOP zombies and their dogs.

Jody W.

Karen Lingefelt said...

I have to go with A. But C sounds so much like me. In fact, C is my mantra every February 14th.

Come to think of it, I scream for a man to bring me chocolates every darned day.

byrdloves2read said...

Once again I'm out of step, maybe I just don't really understand how this thing works. But I'm still voting for C. Let her scream for chocolate, then ANYTHING can happen.

C.L. Wilson said...

I'm with Karen L & Byrd ...hey, it's Valentine's people! Chocolate...by the truckload!

Cheryl

Karen Lingefelt said...

I love the idea of "Erica's machete"--it would avoid confusion in my household. I once tried explaining Chekhov's gun to my husband. He kept insisting Chekhov used a phaser.

C.L. Wilson said...

He kept insisting Chekhov used a phaser.

*snicker* He DID. *gg*

KimW said...

C. I think she should get those chocolates and more. lol

Jackie Barbosa said...

I know I'm late--got tied up at Target buying Valentines and candy for the kids to pass out tomorrow at school--but if I'd been in time, I think I would have gone with A. Or C. Or A and C.

So I would've been no help anyway!

Great work, Delilah. Thanks so much for playing!

lacey kaye said...

Delilah, you crack me up.

I'm late but I would've gone for the machete, too. Even if I'm pretty sure they somehow magically teleported into the next house to get to it :-)

Bill Clark said...

Karen, as a devoted Trekkie (I assume) your husband should know that Pavel Chekov spells his name differently than Anton Chekhov. Thus your best reply to him is, phaser schmaser. :-)

(I'm sure Anton would have used a machete in his example if he'd only thought of it!)

Bill Clark said...

P.S. to Darcy: I've been a good boy for MORE than 13 hours. When can I start suggesting titles? :-)

Manuscript Mavens










Manuscript Mavens