The Choose-Your-Way Adventure will be back in a fortnight, after I get back from my holiday in Brisbane.
Beyond the furthest reaches of imagination there lies a land, untouched by progress. It has felt neither the sweet hum of the laptop computer, nor the vile screeching of the Miley Cyrus. A land where a frolic around the village green is considered a riot and a hemline above the ankle is scandalous.
In this village a dashing young man who goes by the name of Tom the Parker sat at the local tavern with his good friend Henry the Ander's son. Of what Tom parks, or what an ander is, nobody knows.
“Ho friend Henry” called Tom, “hoar art thee this fine summer morn'?”
“I don't know what you're trying to prove by talking like that,” he replied, “you sound like an idiot.”
“You're no fun Henry, it is this thing a passing traveller taught me. It is called 'trolling'. I want to write books to fool our descendants that we spoke like that.”
“And why do you think talking to me like that is going to change what the generations after us is going to think?”
“It won't. I'm practising.”
Giving up in frustration, Henry signal the barmaid, Becky. She came to the table, bringing with her two huge jugs, as well as some ale for the friends. “Have you two heard the rumours going around the town?” she said to them as she handed them their drinks.
“I certainly have, you naughty minx, got caught out on the lookout with another man didn't you?” Tom laughed as he winked at her.
“No I didn't you damn wool brained lumox!” She shouted hitting Tom on the back of the head.
“Are you sure?” Interjected Henry, “because I'd swear I heard-”
“No!” Becky hit Henry as well for good measure. “At least, that isn't what I wanted to tell you about. No, I heard that there was a strange girl wondering around town wearing outlandish clothes and carrying a staff.”
“A staff? Why would a woman have one of those?” Henry asked.
“Yeah” Tom added, “I mean, if she was a wizard I could understand, but she's a woman so she could only be a witch and they have broomsticks.”
Henry and Becky pause a moment to give Tom a confused look.
“Because it helps them clean.” Tom says, exasperated.
“Either way, I should go see if I can find this strange girl, it shouldn't be hard given the description you gave us.” Henry tells them before quickly gulping down his drink.
Tom waits for Henry to leave before getting up to go himself.
“Why didn't you just leave with Henry?” Becky asks him.
“Because I want to find her first! There hasn't been any proper cleaning done in my house for weeks!”
“How is finding that girl going to get cleaning done in your room?”
“Well, she's obviously a witch, so she must have a broom. And if she has a broom it stands to good reason that she would have other cleaning tools as well. Bye!” Tom shouts behind him as he goes to leave the tavern.
“Wait Tom!” Becky shouts out after him, “You didn't touch your ale!”
“It's ok Becky, I don't drink!” Tom races out the tavern.
Becky looks at the table, and mutter to herself “Neither of them payed for their drink.”
Tom runs out of the Tavern, thinking about how nice it would be if his house was clean. He was so caught up in his thoughts when he turned a corner he didn't see Henry until he ran right into him.
“Ouch! Watch where you're going Henry!” Tom said as he picked himself off the ground.
Henry just looked at Tom confused, then shouted “I LIKE FLUFFY CUTE THINGS.”
“What was that?” Tom quizzed him.
“I LIKE NEW CLOTHES.”
“Is something wrong Henry?”
“I MUST WORK REALLY REALLY HARD.”
A thought struck Tom. “You found the witch didn't you? She did something to you! Tell me what it is!”
But Henry's face kept it's vacant look.
“Damnit Henry think! Break the spell!”
But it was no good. Henry just started singing and looking for flowers.
I need to find out what that witch did to you, Tom thought, but I can't just leave him like this. I'd better take him back to the tavern where he will be safe.
“Henry! I am going to take you back to the tavern, I want you to stay there.”
“NO. I AM COLLECTING PRETTY FLOWERS BECAUSE THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL AND I LOVE THEM.”
“Please, you'll be safe there, people can look after you.”
“I AM INDEPENDANT, A CAN LOOK AFTER MYSELF.” Henry suddenly looked defiant “I WON'T MOVE FROM THIS SPOT.”
A thought struck Tom, he started walking to the Tavern before calling back to Henry.
“Oh Henry! I hear that there are some cute kitties in that tavern.”
“OH EM GOSH!” Shouted Henry as he run towards the tavern before catching himself and turning to Tom with a suspicious look on his face. “ARE THESE... FLUFFY KITTIES?”
“Oh yes, like a toilet seat.” Tom reassured Henry.
“SKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!” screeched Henry as he raced to the tavern waving his hands above his head.
Meanwhile, back at the Tavern at the table across from where Henry and Tom were before sat a lovesick girl named Penguins and her friend Jack. Poor Jack had been trying to engage Penguins in conversation but her eyes had been fixed on where Tom was sitting before. Even after Tom has left on his quest to find the girl Penguins had not stopped looking at his chair. Jack eventually gave up trying to make light conversation and asked Penguins why she was looking so glum.
“Oh it's nothing Jack, it's just that I think I'm in love with that man who was sitting over there.”
“You do? That's strange, I didn't know you knew him.”
“I don't, I only just saw him then, but something about the way he talked made me feel strange. It is like there are butterflies inside my stomach. But they aren't just normal butterflies, they are like, super love butterflies. Dancing with each other, like I want to dance with him.”
“Right…” said Jack with a doubtful look on his face, “Well, if that's the case you're in luck-”
“The butterflies are having children, and the children are puppies, sweet puppies playing with rolls of toilet paper. The toilet paper of love.”
“Well, like I said you're in luck-”
“BUT ALAS” Penguins talked over Jack “Our love is not meant to be. I do not know how to catch his eye, and how could a girl like me appeal to the epitome of masculinity that is man, who in no way looks bishonen.”
“WELL IN THAT CASE YOU'RE IN LUCK” shouted Jack, “BECAUSE I HAPPEN TO BE THE MASTER OF LOVE AND WINNING HEARTS.”
“Oh you are?” Cried Penguins with new found respect in her eyes, “Please teach me! So that I may be with the man I love. So I can love him, and care for him, and cook for him, and have his childre-”
“Are you ready to learn!” Shouted Jack, trying to block out Penguin's words.
“Oh yes!” Penguins nodded eagerly.
“Then let us begin. The first step is crucial, you must never, under and circumstances make any advances on him.”
“Never?” Asked Penguins.
“Never.” Repeated Jack, nodding his head. “This is the secret to my success.”
“How successful have you been Jack?”
“Quiet! I am the one asking the questions here!”
“No you're not-”
“I said quiet!”
It was just at that moment that Tom and Henry came back into the tavern.
“WHERE IS THE KITTYYYYYY!?” Shouted Henry, causing everyone to look at him and Tom. Becky storms over and tries to hush Henry but she only makes it worse. Henry sees Becky and exclaims “WOW! YOU HAVE REALLY REALLY BIG BOOBS!! HOW DID YOU GET THEM THAT LARGE?!” causing Becky to blush and run away to hide in a store room. Now everybody in the tavern had stopped what they were doing and was staring at Tom and Henry, trying to work out what was wrong with their old friend Henry. Penguins approaches Tom and attempts to strike up a conversation.
“Oh, my hi. Your friends seems to be a little er, wait. My name is Penguins, I mean, umm. So how is your strange friend, he seems a bit strange. Oops, I mean, not umm, I mean differently… to most people. Sometimes.”
Tom looks at Penguins in confusion, trying to make sense of all that. “Hello.. whatever your name is.”
When Jack saw Becky run over to the side-room he saw his chance. Like a bird of prey he swooped, entering the small side room.
“Aww, why are you crying like that Becky?” He said softly to her.
“Because EVERYONE was looking at my boobs!” She sobbed.
“Don't feel bad about it. Actually, everyone is ALWAYS looking at your boobs.”
“Really?” Said Becky, looking up at Jack.
“Yes, all the time. They're really hard to miss. They're like, titanic. Or rather, TITanic.”
This causes a new bout of wailing from Becky. Hmm, thought Jack, this won't be as easy as I had thought, my usual tricks aren't working, I'll have to turn it up.
“I don't think you understand Becky” said Jack, “I made a pun, you see, titanic, means really big, and tits are another word for boobs...”
Penguins and Tom were just starting to make progress.
“So.. your name is Penguins, and you think you can help with Henry?”
Penguins, not trusting her ability to make coherent sentences just nodded.
“Great!” Shouted Tom and hugged Penguins causing her to squeak and blush.
“Ok then, let’s see it.” Tom said excitedly.
Penguins, still blushing and dishevelled, turned to Henry but all she can get out is a squeak.
“Could you please turn around?” Penguins asks Tom in a whisper. Tom is confused by the request but he complies. Taking a deep breath Penguins turned back to Henry and shouted “OH MY GOLLY JOCKS!! I DO LOVE LITTLE ANIMALS! ”
Henry perks and replies in an equally loud voice “YOU DO?! THAT'S SOOOO WEIRD, I DO TOO! WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE?”
“MY FAVOURITE IS LITTLE KITTIES!”
“SO IS MINE! SQUEEEEE! HEY WHAT'S YOUR NAME?”
“HEY PENGUINS, LETS BE BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, MY NAME IS ROSANNA!”
The whole Tavern exclaims.
Tom spins back around to Penguins and the person who is apparently named “Rosanna”.
“Do you mean, you aren't actually Henry?” Tom demands.
Just at that moment, the tavern doors open and Henry walks in. “That is not me”, he says in a loud voice, “that is my identical twin Rosanna!”