Note: This post is my portion of NPW's soon-to-be-famous Choose Your Own Blogventure game, which I mentioned last week. What follows won't make much sense unless you end up here from the segments that precede it. So don't read this just yet. Instead, head over to NPW's blog to see how it all begins. If you make the right choices, hopefully I'll see you back here again soon.
Click here to start the story.
(If you've ended up here, you likely came from here. The story proceeds as follows.)
Emma considered turning back. How badly did she really need those cupcakes, anyway? Besides that, even if she got past this zombie, who knew what awaited her inside? Maybe behind the front doors to that convenience store was a whole pack of zombies shuffling their way through the aisles, seeking brains but settling for beef jerky and pork rinds?
"NO," resolved Emma. "I am going in. I will have my disgusting orange cupcakes, and I will have them now."
As Emma walked towards the groaning man, she grasped her keys tightly, wondering if a sharp blow to the forehead with her long, pointy ignition key would be enough to do the creature in. After a few more steps, she raised the key in her hand, ready to strike with all the force her malnourished arms could muster.
"Woah!" the zombie cried. Except it wasn't a zombie. Emma could see at this range that what she thought was a member of the living dead was really just an unusually pale and slightly doughy kid whom she remembered from her freshman year psychology class. She took a closer look at the would-be blood stains smeared across his face and shirt.
"Is that... cherry pie filling?" Emma asked.
"Um... yeah," the not-zombie replied. "I know they're revolting, but I can't get enough Hostess Fruit Pies." He sheepishly reached his hands in his pockets and pulled out several crumpled red and white wax paper wrappers.
Emma smiled. "I understand. No one understands why I like orange Hostess cupcakes. Everyone says..."
"...that the chocolate ones are better," the not-zombie finished.
"Yes!" Emma replied. "You too?"
"Me too," he smiled.
Emma softened a bit. It wasn't every day she found a kindred spirit, even one who thus far shared only a penchant for late night snacking on convenience store foods. But there was still the matter of the strange groaning, the shuffling, the inability for a grown man to eat a neatly contained, hand-held snack without requiring a bib or drop cloth.
"Don't I know you from the U?" Emma asked. "Psych 101. Professor Taylor. I think you sat near me."
"Good memory," the man replied. "I'm Jake. Jake Ryan."
"Emma," Emma answered.
She looked the man in front of her up and down. "Jake Ryan??" she thought. "How did I sit two feet away from that guy for an entire semester and not know he shared a name with a man every girl in the 80s fantasized about?" Suddenly, in her mind, Emma was a 16-year-old Molly Ringwald, sitting face to face across from Jake in front of a picture window, a birthday cake with 16 burning candles placed between them.
"Do you bake, Jake?" Emma asked, a faint but wistful smile suddenly spreading across her face.
"What?" Jake looked confused, partly because of the abruptness of the question and partly because he hadn't realized they'd decided to start speaking only in rhyme.
Emma snapped out of the fantasy in her head and focused again on the cherry pie filling smeared across Jake's chest. Jake's suddenly very manly looking chest. She felt her face turn red.
"Look, I know it's late," Jake said, "But are you doing anything right now? I live just around the corner from here. I don't have any orange cupcakes, but I do have microwave popcorn and a bottle of wine. Care to keep a fellow insomniac company for a bit?"
If you think Emma should go with Jake, cupcakes and good sense be damned, click here.
If you think Emma should politely decline and proceed in to Store 24, click here.