Page 1âYouâre fired!â The furious, still slightly aflame man screams as he shoves you bodily from the doorway. You stumble and land rather ungainly, face down on the pavement. Pulling yourself up from the asphalt with all the dignity you can muster (which isnât a lot in a burnt clown outfit, sans pants) you turn to respond to your attacker. âYeah? Well you can take this job and shove it up your ass and then re-staff it while itâs still lodged firmly up thereâ¦ 'cause you got dudes working on that ass all day anyway. Should be a quick hiring process. Youâreâ¦ I guess Iâm calling you gay, is the long and short of it. Unless you are gay, in which case I apologize for being offensive. Wait, where were we going with this again? Somewhere fun? Ooh, do I get to pick? Letâs go to Chuck E. Cheese! Play some skee-ball. Iâll show you how I can get that center score every time. Itâs easy: You just gotta stand right up on top of it and put the ball in there. I know the managers frown on that, but itâs that kind of outside the box thinking that makes me such an asset to the work force. This was a job interview, right?â âNo! You just got fired! And this
Page 2You are quickly ejected from the ministry, which you joined hoping to go âundercoverâ in order to get closer to God. You couldnât stop giggling at the word ârectoryâ which, ultimately, doesnât even mean what you thought. Plus you banged that chick right in the middle of service. It turned out to be a statue of the Virgin Mary. Itâs only been three hours since you found your nude genitals rudely scraped across the hot asphalt of a novelty restaurant's parking lot, but you promised yourself a decades long quest of some kind, god damn it. Clearly, some sort of time machine is needed to solve this problem.
Man, you are going to fuck up time.If you decide to pursue the invention of a fully functional time machine in order to skip ahead several decades, thereby escaping the promise you no longer remember making to somebody youâve already forgotten, which is likely also a decades long quest fraught with adventure and peril at every step, turn to page 3. If you decide to search for the drug dealer who sold you these âmeditative pillsâ for your first day in the ministry, turn to page 4.
Page 3That sounds hard. You know what doesnât sound hard? Turning to page 4. Turn to page 4.
Page 4You arrive at Benjamin Bearâs (trusty neighborhood narcotics facilitator and extremely prolific plushy) house full of piss and vinegar. But thatâs another story; youâre also pretty mad. You bang on his door with all the righteous indignation you can muster. Youâre not sure how to manifest righteous indignation in a knock. You opt for using your elbow, and to knock roughly to the beat of Queenâs âAnother One Bites the Dust.â Bum badum badum badadada dum de dum de dum- âHoly motherfuck, would you stop already?âA friendly teddy bear smiles at you from the open doorway.
A teddy bear! Time for hugs!His tone of voice sounds a little more agitated than you would expect from an ursine cartoon, and his ear-to-ear grin strangely doesnât move when he speaks. Also, youâre pretty sure amiable animated animals (alliteration is awesome!) donât say the word "motherfuck," nor speak with an East Puerto Rican accent. âYou interrupted my jam, bear!â âWhat the hell do you want?â The bear asks a good question. He looks huggable too - you better answer if you want any of those. If you demand your money back for the pills that were supposed to help you concentrate, but instead caused you jerry-rig flamethrowers onto the Pizza Time Theater Band, turn to page 5.
Page 5âI want my fucking money back, bear!â âDo I look like an assholing Wal-Mart, cabron?â âNo, you look like my imaginary friend Mr. Buggles, but that only gets you so far! You sold me drugs that were hilariously fun but rather inappropriate for the utilitarian purposes that I wanted to use them for!â âI donât sell utility drugs, Holmes. You came by last night asking for eight Mephedrone, four tabs of X, 17 reams of Buzzers, three Round-outs, a can of Raid with a drinking straw, and the venom sack from a North African Running Lizard. And thatâs what I gave you, because I am the best goddamn drug dealer in the entire country.â
Seriously, the guy can find anything: Century old brandy, fingerprint ink, a Walkman, a Frankenstein/vampire hybrid...âShit, you know I canât stay mad at you, Mr. Buggles. But you got me fired from two jobs and I can't be sure, but Iâm pretty positive that I need vengeance.â âListen, man, Iâm sorry to hear that. Youâre my best customer. In fact, these days youâre the only customer I have time for, and business has literally never been better. Youâre a fucking wreck and youâre gonna die in a week, but youâre single-handedly sending my kids through private school. So let me make this up to you, hey? I got something special this morning. â The bear motions you inside.
Page 6Ha ha, who are you kidding? Youâre following the felonious pervert into his sex-cave to take controlled poisons. Donât front. Turn to page 7.
Page 7You follow Benjamin Bear through a bizarre labyrinth ofÂ violated stuffed animals, stained mascot suits, drug paraphernalia and some surprisingly tasteful Eastern European antiques. The end of the hallway terminates in a solid steel door lined with locks. After an elaborate sequence of keystrokes, lever adjustments and the manipulation of secret panels, Benjamin Bear swings the door open to reveal a small refrigerated unit. He plucks a vial of shimmering blue liquid from a row of beakers, and holds it up to the light. âThis here, Paco? This is the mother lode. You heard of Albert Hofmann, yeah? Guy that basically invented LSD? Story goes he wasnât happy with it. It was too dirty for him. Had a habit of turning on you. Everythingâs all 'communing with nature and spiritual enlightenment,' but the minute the stress kicks in, your atoms are made of spiders and youâre running from the wolf goddess. Homey spent his whole life manufacturing the perfect hallucinogen. But thatâs just story; this here is reality. They donât even have names for this shit yet, and Iâm giving it to you.â He hands over the vial with an almost religious reverence, and continues. âNow, this is kinda untested. Nobody has a goddamn idea what this might do. They say itâs foolproof - impossible to have a bad trip - but those are laboratory conditions. No way to tell how itâs gonna react to chemicals present in an uncontrolled subject. Preservatives from food, pollen in the air, other drugs â you gotta be straight when you take this, and only do it in a controlled environment where you feel comforta-" âRight. Itâs pretty tasty, too. Can I have seconds?â You hand back the empty vial, and smile eagerly. âOhâ¦ shit. No, man. Oh no, oh shit!â âWhatâs your deal, bear? Itâs not like I-" You start to protest, but you notice the door behind him is opening on its own accord. A clawed hand reaches out, scrabbling for purchase against the slick wood. The bear is gone now. Everything is gone: There is only the door, the claw and you.
If you turn and run from what is clearly a supernatural monster breaching the space between worlds, turn to page 8. If you decide this claw is full of shit and youâre gonna be the one to call him on it, turn to page 9.
Page 8You turn and flee into the inky blackness that the rest of the world has become. The only light comes from the slit in the door from which the claw emerged, and it quickly fades into the distance as you run. Soon there is only darkness, but it is not a cold darkness. On the contrary - the abyss feels nurturing, caring, almostâ¦ maternal? Too late, you remember your mother was kind of a bitch, and probably only worse now that she is an infinite void of miasmic shadow. âIâm sorry I never went to law school like your precious Jeffie,
Page 9You fling the door open, ready to confront the mysterious claw with a list of all its faults in bullet-point form. âPoint 1: Youâre inconsiderate! You canât just throw the world into shadow whenever you want. Point 2: Youâre one-note! I mean, can you do anything besides scrabble? Diversify! Point 3: Have you heard of knocking? Itâs fucking common courtesy!â Your list cuts short when you find yourself staring into the face of some sort of giant bird. The mirrored orbs of its eyes peer passively back through you. The two of you stand for a long moment, face to face, in stunned silence. You feel the fear well up in you as you gaze upon its immense razor beak, its sharpened talons and great, behemoth wings. But just as the terror is about to take you completely, you sense a glimmer of affection in the beast. On impulse, you reach out to touch it. The second your fingertips brush the first feather, an emotional connection arcs from the point of contact straight into your heart. In an instant, you know the bird is somehow an aspect of yourself, and that it can only harm you if you react to it with fear and negativity. Throwing caution to the wind, you mount the great raptor and wheel off into the sky. After an eternity of soaring through the infinite void, dim shapes begin to form beneath you. They are distant at first, but seem to solidify with time. Itâs less like you're growing closer to them, than it is your eyes adjusting focus to see them. When it finally comes clear, you see that you are hurtling above an immense magical kingdom, the vistas like something out of a fairytale. Enchanted forests the size of continents run off into the distance, twisting rivers of gold cut through deserts of silver, immense baroque castles tower in the distant skyline. Immediately beneath you, a gathering of figures assemble into a strange parliament. Your spirit raptor banks and drops, descending into their midst. As you come closer, you make out that though they are vaguely human, they are almost comically misshapen. They're hairy, hobbled and ugly - but they look kind.
If you urge the giant bird into a death-dive, switching to a side-saddle position so you can use your incredible momentum to execute the worldâs most badass hurtling dropkick, turn to page 11. If you land your magical avian friend and greet the furry folk, turn to page 10.
Page 10âHail and greetings, gentle people! Check out this pimp-ass eagle. Bet your lady-monkeys wet their coats when I rode up on this shit.â Your spirit raptor begins to buck uneasily, casting nervous glances at the surrounding beasts. They are much larger than they looked from the sky, as things seen from the sky are wont to be. They look much less kind up close, as well. They begin to circle you, beating their immense hands on the ground in staccato bursts. They are whipping themselves into a frenzy for some reason. Panicking, you turn to your bird mount to flee, but find that it is long gone, little more than silhouette against the sun. âYouâre supposed to be like, the embodiment of my soul, you fucker! You canât just ditch me to be eaten by freak monkeys!â you scream after it, as the brutes close in on you. In response there is only a faint, mocking shriek.
What kind of world is this, when you can't even trust your vicious soul-bird?"Wait a minute," you think, "thereâs no way this is actually happening." Just about every goddamn day you overdose on something and a series of unbelievable events unfold that closely mirror some less fantastic, real scenario. This must be another drug-induced hallucination: The bird is probably here because youâre dry-humping one of Benjamin Bearâs pervert friends dressed in an eagle suit. The horrific violence-apes just mean thereâs an episode of Jersey Shore on in the background. Thatâs all. You smile, awaiting the inevitable final chapter where you sober up only to realize youâre in a police station and are simply under arrest for Criminal Sexual Wrongness and Possession of An Experimental Intoxicant. You know, just another Friday. Your confidence in your assessment of the situation begins to wane when the first ape rips your arm off. It is almost completely shot when he starts to violate you with it.
Page 11âCHO!â you bellow, as your thousand-mile-an-hour death-dive-dropkick all but disintegrates what you assumed to be the leader of the apes. Miraculously, his organs seem to absorb most of your momentum, and though you were fully prepared to break every bone in your body and tumble off into the forest to die as a result of this dropkick (and it would totally be worth it. I mean, the apes watching it would be all like âholy shit!â) you instead find yourself standing perfectly calm and upright in the center of the gathering, surrounded by an aura of pink mist. You scan the stunned faces of the simians surrounding you. Several minutes pass, and none react. You seem to have thrown an entire society into shock. This is normally the part where they realize youâve fulfilled some sort of long-foretold prophecy and crown you king of the ape people. The fact that they havenât already is just pissing you off to no end. âWell, come on. Bow, motherfuckers!â The first ape shrugs, and half-heartedly kneels. The rest soon follow, more out of confusion than worship. Just as you start to revel in your newfound status (proper reveling etiquette dictating that you stand atop the mostly gelatin remains of your adversary and crow to the heavens) a man in a blue and gold uniform dive-tackles you into the bushes.
Man, just like a Confederate soldier to ruin a good old fashioned Monkey Empire.You struggle to resist, but without the advantage of surprise and several hundred knots of spirit raptor enhanced momentum, youâre pretty unimpressive physically. You resort to your chief survival skill: Name Calling. âVile whoreson! Master of asses! Scrotum Magician! Release me!â âYouâre under arrest, punk!â âAw, shit,â you think to yourself, âit was just another stupid drug trip. I shouldâve known when that Yeti was sodomizing me one second, and the next I was executing super-sonic dropkicks.â
Page 12You awake, as usual, in an interrogation room. A profoundly moustachioed man, whom you recognize as having tackled you into the bushes in the ape city, sits across from you. âSo?â He asks. âSo what?â You respond, eagerly awaiting the reveal. Youâve grown so accustomed to enacting outlandish fantasy scenarios only to wake up in a police station that you have long ceased to fear the charges brought against you, and instead only relish the chance to find out what you were really doing. âCome on then,â you continue, âI gotta know: What was the bird, really? What was the magical land? Who were the inbred freak-beasts?â
It was like God built them just to mock the beauty of humanity.The profoundly moustachioed man removes his sunglasses and pinches the bridge of his nose. He is obviously exasperated. âWell?â You know itâs inappropriate for the situation, but you canât even bother to feign regret at this point. Your expression is one of earnest anticipation. âYou stole a Pontiac Firebird and drove it through a circus. Those were carnies,â the officer answers. âHa! Classic me!â You exclaim happily. âSIX PEOPLE ARE DEAD YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH!â
Most rich kids just want to be pop stars.
How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.