Choose Your Own Pt.1

Chapter 1

That ship, over there, broken apart and resting now in the sand, it’s your ship. You were sailing on it with a lover who is now nowhere to be found.

You sit up and look around at this island and at the tooth-marks indented on your arm. You think about how apt the verb ‘indent’ is for describing that kind of a bite, as it summons the latinate origin ‘denta’ for tooth and evokes such appropriate terms as ‘indite’ and ‘clandestine’. Well, there is maybe some hope that such sweet rituals in such thick darkness have the power to mark you still.

An avid reader of adventure stories, you naturally know what to do next. You need to survey your surroundings and make a plan. You rise and TURN TO PAGE 11

Ok, somebody take it from here. I am using the map that Sean posted a few days ago. I am hoping someone will use that map as an outline over which to draw a schematic of Ghost Island that will be printed on the inside cover of the book.

johuat’s note: Here is the map of the adventure, with written pages marked by red boxes.



63 Responses to “Choose Your Own Pt.1”

  1. 1 johuat
    March 10, 2009 at 3:55 am

    PAGE 11

    The narrow shoreline you are standing on is bordered by the sea and dunes of tall, sharp looking grass. With the aid of your elementary knowledge of astro-navigation, you estimate that the west leads into the sea while the beach runs into sharp rocks to the north-east and widens into a southerly bend that continues behind the dunes. You don’t see tracks in the sand, other than your own, but the tide is in and comes almost up to the dunes.
    The more logical choice is to clamber up onto the rocks and survey from a higher elevation (PAGE 24). The more romantic choice is to follow the pale blue beach south and around the bend, hoping to find your lover lying moist in the sand in the dark (PAGE 27).

  2. 2 scottsjackson
    March 10, 2009 at 5:47 am

    PAGE 27
    The tide is rapidly growing stronger and you decide if you act now you can safely swim toward the calmer souther bend where you hope to find your lover. You are reminded of your swimming lessons you had when you were younger before the traumatic incident where your dad was drunk and passed out on the Waikiki beach and couldn’t hear your screams for help as a giant wave swept you under. You decide that when it comes to love it’s sink or swim and so you choose the latter. As you battle these immensely perilous waves the sky turns dark purple with periodic flashes of bright light. You distract yourself by rehearsing what you will say about this courageous battle when reunited with your lover. But, then you hear faint voices amidst the crashing waves and are struck with the image of your lover finding your dead body at shore.

    You can choose to continue swimming in hopes of being reunited with your lover (PAGE 20) or you can decide that your sink or swim philosophy was deeply misguided and the safest option would be to try to catch a wave back to shore (PAGE 16).

  3. 3 Luckycloud
    March 10, 2009 at 11:04 am

    One thing we need is a map that has more fatal endings, I think. I’ll plug all this in to my hypertext note-taking software. Also, I’ll rock pg 24 so no one take it!

  4. March 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    PAGE 42

    You’re tired of choosing. You never chose the Northern Rim. Nor the yellow poppies lined like sentences leading you there. You know if you want to get out you have to swim across the strait. Last night it lit up as the school of Architeuthis swam it. The giant tintinfische whose smallest member tatooed your arm with its teeth and ink. Its dark, chitinous bird like beak, opening, clitorally, beneath the white mass of its squid-flesh. Its black ink mingling with your purple blood. In a flash beyond the memory of her vanishing. The Architeuthis clan, the albatross of your love-madness.

    Fearing poison, you sucked it out. You realized you could use it and clamored to gather it from the sand and wrote loveletters on the backs of shells. Sea-change. The shell of the pearly nautilus, a golden spiral, prime– “1 2, 3, 5, 7, 11 . . . 137,”you counted as you ordered waveforms aloud until it was too dark–evolved into the morphological multiplicity of octopodiformes, of uncertain phylogenesis.

    What trick of fate turned the Architeuthis his electric white in this hidden rime of the ancient marine?

    Do you dare swim the breach and face the Architeuthis to escape the Northern Rim (PAGE 51) or do you retrace your steps and risk an encounter with the vigilante horde of techno-shamans near the Oaken Throne (PAGE 60) at the foot of the Rim? Was it cobalt you smelled back there?

  5. 5 johuat
    March 11, 2009 at 1:04 am

    PAGE 31

    Your decision to open the stone door was a foolish one. What were you thinking? What a stupid idea, to pry open a glowing door with runes written in blood. As if the depictions of distorted faces and swirling galaxies meant “Hey come in here its warm and we have good beer.” You’re an idiot, and now you find yourself sucked into the stone ruins.

    First, you fall through a black, buzzing mist that feels like ice. And then, coming through the mist, you are awestruck by the sight of an untold number of barred spiral galaxies arranged in lines like a grid, with nothing but (undoubtedly) light years of empty void between them. You start to shiver as the air around you becomes colder and less dense, and you feel the blood in your veins boiling. You remain in this state, still living, for an indefinite amount of time.
    At some point, you can see a distortion in the grid of galaxies that grows larger until like a giant black ball it has enveloped your entire field of view. And then there is silence. And then you feel intense heat all over your body, and suddenly a brilliant flash. You feel like you are falling. You start to rotate. You feel intense pulling on your face. You try to reach out forward but your arm can’t move, and the pulling becomes unbearable. You are pulled apart, atom by atom. The universe has completely dissected all the information of your body and smashed it into an infinitely dense singularity. You are merged with all the other information that has fallen into this space over its lifetime, being folded and pulled through any number of dimensions, dimensions beyond the three you were ever used to and that are encompassed by them. Some of these dimensions are arranged very much like those you used to inhabit and, eventually, they coincide and the parts that were once you overlap and move parallel, eventually coupling to an indistinguishable state. TURN TO PAGE 1

  6. 6 butttub
    March 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    guys- stick to the map or this will never work.

  7. 7 butttub
    March 12, 2009 at 12:20 am

    PAGE 20

    You keep swimming and feel the water breaching your porous skin. It is like that night, the last night. You swim and remember or are overcome by memory, which you experience as if in the present:

    This is weird and fleshy. Over there the clothes encave each other and mimic the mingling this is.

    Outside is water that rushes through the dissipating body of your ship and, salty, stings the ruptures of your flesh. Well, you wanted this and those. Blood flows can be libidinal also. Water flows can be libidinal also. Water flows tear you two apart and send you reeling out into the open ocean beyond what’s left of your ship…water flows, bloody and bodily, waves and wounding…

    You are too far out and realize that a literal interpretation of the ‘sink or swim’ doctrine can only lead to drowning, and so begin to make make your way back to shore. The swim is predictably exhausting, but you make it. You struggle onto the wild beach and are gasping and wet. The beach stretches out on either side of you and your lover (or whatever remains) is likely somewhere along it. To walk to the left GO TO PAGE 5 . To walk right GO TO PAGE 6.

  8. 8 Luckycloud
    March 12, 2009 at 1:15 am

    First—I agree with Ben.

    Page 24
    After a great struggle, sustaining many cuts and bruises, and, regrettably, losing your compass, your GPS, and the copy of Lolita that your lover gave you while you were dating, you finally make it up on to the cliffs in order to make a survey. You are frustrated to find that the landscape has been obscured in all directions by thick, soupy fog, rendering all spatial, and somehow, your temporal reference points completely useless. The sound of an old popular record plays in, you think, the distance. Having no choice, and depending solely on proprioception, you stumble in the direction you deduce that the singing is crackling from.

    You begin to feel the pain of the rocks you fall onto as colors, colors that twist and shoot off in lines, changing in a contrapuntal relationship with the record…and the record plays on, echoing from an indistinct distance. It must be skipping because you hear the same melodic figure repeating, repeating, repeating, lulling you further into a haze. You feel like a line. You will yourself to follow the taste.

    S o
    much logicfor! You can’t even tell how f a r your
    feet hands
    are from your anymore.

    Y ou think y ou m ight have j ust kic ked your self in th e face, but you aren’t sure tha t it w as either your face being kicke
    d or yo
    ur f
    oot do
    g th
    e hitt

    What little sense you have left of t ii mmm eeee ssssss tttttt rrrrrrr eeeeeeee ttttttttt cccccccccc hhhhhhhhhhh eeeeeeeeeeee sssssssssssss oooooooooooooo uuuuuuuuuuuuuuu tttttttttttttttt.

    Suddenly you snap into full command of your senses.

    You are standing in a glorious shaft of light in the middle of a sublimely large marble library with staggeringly long shelfs of books and records that disappear into the distance, the floor, the ceiling, the walls, all looping back around, dipping, diving, twisting. You are bathed in a glowing music. You hear fragments and cuts of songs you remember, songs you could imagine your grandfather listening to, and songs that sound alien to you, like a warm and full buzzing. You have grown a giant beard which continues up into a hat, and you feel about 1000 years old.

    A voice booms from the static: “Welcome to the Ghost Island Stacks!” A voice booms. “We have everything ever recorded or transmitted locked, stored, and indexed in this room! Can I show you around?” Deciding to take his offer, because what choice do you have?, you slowly begin to follow him, stroking your beard, up an upside-down red staircase, through what you think is the ceiling into another section of the library.


  9. 9 Luckycloud
    March 12, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Also, I want that middle section, eventually, when we put this together for a book, to be more typographically fucked, but still somewhat readable.

  10. 10 johuat
    March 12, 2009 at 1:31 am

    PAGE 55

    The cobblestone path winds its way under a shallow canopy of trees and leads you to a circular clearing of vine covered man-sized stones. Poking your head around, you notice that despite their worn appearance some of the stones are covered in markings, and one group of stones is arranged in what seems to be a doorway. It is covered with glyphs and runes that look like faces and galaxies. A faint glow seems to emanate from between its cracks.
    But you also notice another exit from the clearing. A path paved with wooden slats leads out between two tall stone pillars topped with small marble statues. One statue depicts a nude woman with feathered wings holding a bridle in her left hand and a goblet in her right standing atop a small sphere. All that remains of the other statue is a single foot atop the pillar.
    If you want to try and pry open the stone door, FLIP TO PAGE 31. If you want to walk down the path between the pillars MOSEY ON OVER TO PAGE 32

  11. 11 butttub
    March 12, 2009 at 2:15 am

    PAGE 32

    Darkness surrounds you, sticks to your skin, tars you almost. It’s filling you up through your asshole and vagina, pressuring your internal walls, forming hands and cilia against your organs and pulling you out through your mouth.

    You hear a click and then there’s the buzz and glow of electric light. A little old man has pulled the beaded metal cord.

    The twin pillars behind you look like maternal legs.

    “You seem to be all inside out.” says the little old man. He pokes your exposed kidney and licks his finger. “Not too bad.”

    He takes your hand and you drip all over him. “Darling, let me make things right.”

    “Darling, let go of gravity will you?”

    So you do, you let it leave you for a moment and lose contact with the ground. The little man pulls quickly on the undersides of your scapulae. Your body re-forms through your asshole and you renew your gravitational contract.

    “Don’t let the light go out again my dear.” says the man. You and he shake hands and he walks out between the pillars. While directly between them he says one last thing: “The one you seek is not ahead or behind. The way to find is not in movement but in change.”

    You continue on to a beach you don’t believe you’ve seen. It seems to be located on the northernmost portion of the island. If you want to explore the beach GO TO PAGE 6. If you are enraged by utter impossibility of navigating this place GO TO PAGE 42.

  12. 12 Luckycloud
    March 12, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Hey guys, don’t write pg 16, I’m working on something for that.

  13. 13 Luckycloud
    March 12, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Also, I won’t post it today because I forgot my computer charger at school, so I can’t do anything!


  14. March 13, 2009 at 12:12 am

    I’ll try 54, it should be a bit tricky

  15. March 13, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Page 54

    Like the shamen told you, you took the remains of its webbed feet and gently rested them on the surface of your scars, mixing its decayed sinews and bones in your cracked and dried blood. The blue scales poked from your arms. You looked like a patriotic iguana, perched like the Buddha atop a stone under the palm trees. Only clouds broke free at the end of the path as it broke down, passing what seemed to be the summit of a hill. You wondered what was down there.

    As the sun went down, a first bitterness rose up in you. You found it hard to believe that the blue-feet of the female, land-locked Booby, at the moon’s apex, would attract the sea-bound male: the Red-Footed Booby. And bearing your separation in mind, you found it harder to believe that the birds would mate monogamously for life on the beach, after a night-blind chance fuck.

    How would any of this help you find her? You drank the potion. “Well?” you thought. A beetle flew into your ear. You hit it away and sulked down to the beach.

    Descending the hill the palm-trees thinned. You could make out faint flashes of red and blue circling each other in the light. The intensity and frequency increased. The sound of the ocean mingled with the swimming lights and your arms began pulsing rhythmically with the dance of the Booby Birds and the sound of the water. The scene began to break apart as you kept walking. Red and Blue color-fields alternated and flickered. You felt your cock harden. You felt as if the ocean were in between your ears. You came. You cried. You passed out. You saw her fall off your boat screaming only her voice was the sound of a thousand birds in ecstasy. Red-flicker. Blue-flicker. You felt the tide alongside again. There are men and women in skiffs made of oyster shells wearing seal-skin and feathers. And you see on the side of one a masthead of a nude-woman with feathered wings holding a bridle.

    In the morning, you find you’ve woken up on the beach you found that first morning, only you feel like Orpheus having gone through the mirror. TURN TO PAGE 6

  16. 16 johuat
    March 13, 2009 at 2:57 am

    PAGE 6

    This section of beach is most aptly described by its abrupt set of qualities. The sky is beginning to lighten and you can see the outlines of a few green clouds. The sand is granular and clear here and doesn’t hold the water very well. There are small chunks of mica distributed about that have a sort of peak reflectivity as the tide pulls back over them and they start to dry off. The water is particularly foamy here, and you might see some some snow in the grass along the dunes but the air isn’t cold – you are actually fairly comfortable.

    You walk further up the beach and find a dead horseshoe crab turned over with its bundles of legs and book gills dry and a little bleached. They really are primitive creatures, like roombas of the sea. You pick up the dead arthropod and see a part in the dunes, and a moment later you notice a small wooden hut further down the beach. If you want to put down the crab and walk between the dunes, TURN TO PAGE 62. If you think the crab is comforting and you want carry it and go to see what’s up with the hut, TURN TO PAGE 52

  17. 17 butttub
    March 13, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    PAGE 62

    The crab juice (or death fluid) stains your hand. An attempt to wipe it away only succeeds in staining your thigh. This is how bodily markings accumulate.

    You walk on into the dunes, away from the hut. That place has something evil about it, like its scale is subtly off. The dunes rise and fall and eventually taper off into a dusty grassland. A small child is sitting at the entrance to a cobblestone path. Her booth says ‘lemonade’ and she is also blond.

    “Would you like a drink?”

    “Yes please, but I don’t have any money.”

    “Oh, no one here does. I sell my lemonade for secrets. Tell me a secret.”

    What you whisper to her is unimaginably vulgar. She smiles brightly and pours you a glass.

    “Where are we?” you ask her.

    “Ghost Island.”

    You try to ask her other things but she is coy and not forthcoming. All she’ll say is: “You’d better keep going.” There’s something about her you trust and fear, the promise of a knife or the shape of her teeth. “You’d better keep going.” she says.

    So you do. You continue along the cobblestones and GO TO PAGE 55

  18. 18 butttub
    March 15, 2009 at 4:34 am

    PAGE 51

    Ah, bold choice! The Northern Rim is an inhospitable place lined by strip clubs and dangerous sea creatures. The clubs’ neon lights nearly blind you, flash pink an yellow breasts into your retinas. The weird squidish Architeuthis have gelled and globbed against and into you. Several stick and suction to your skin, forming a kind of invertebrate chain-maille against the Northern Rim temptations.

    See, this is not what you think. This is not civilization. These are not divey bars with bars and strippers. The Northern Rim strip bars do not have human sex workers or even humans, just the glowing neon tits and that dance left to right with the flashing of their bulbs. Inside are floors of packed animal shit and endlessly repeating disco soundtracks. The girls are long gone and the patrons left shortly thereafter. Discarded nipple tassels lie among the swarming rat kings and feral pigs. The electric generators keep the bars glaring and blaring loud. The generators are hooked into the island’s endless reserves of geothermal energy, but you don’t know that, so the whole Rim seems a kind of Bladerunner apocalypse.

    These very same lights drew you here, to this Rim, but their promises are as empty now as they ever were. You head inland on a cobblestone path between a few of the bars and TURN TO PAGE 55.

  19. 19 johuat
    March 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    PAGE 13

    The ground here is unstable and bubbling like a hot spring, so you hop back down towards the beach, where you find the tide still in. The earth here is steaming and little spurts of water come up out of it all around you. There are intermittent white deposits (probably salts) among the black damp volcanic soil. You have got to move quickly out of this landscape or your feet will burn. You can cut diagonally across the grain of the patchy harsh grasses into unknown territory (PAGE 17) or charge straight forward and leap back into the turbulent water (PAGE 27.) Quite a zugzwang.

  20. 20 Luckycloud
    March 15, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    PAGE 16

    Taking the inflatable surfboard out from the hidden pocket in your swim trunks, you begin to huff and puff, attempting to blow it up before you sucked down to the fathomless ocean by the undertow. You barely manage to finish inflating it and get up out of the water before a shark swims by, jumping out at you. You keep kicking the shark in its nose, because you’ve heard that’s where all it’s nerves are. Finally managing to catch a decent wave, you gracefully surf back to shore, hanging ten all the way.

    You approach the lone opening in the cliffs fencing the beach. It is blocked by a Gryphon, who appears to be waiting for you, licking his claws and spreading his wings for dramatic effect, checking to see if you are scared or not. You are afraid, but as you bravely approach him, he signals you forward with his wing. He points to a small path and then begins to take a nap, evidently too tired out from eating some other castaway to bother with you.

    The path tapers down at the door of a small phone booth. Upon entering and removing a quarter from your other secret pocket, you realize you have no idea who to call. You debate ordering a pizza but realize you would have no place for them to deliver it.

    You panic and dial your lover’s number out of sheer forgetfulness. Just one digit short of completing it, the floor opens up and swallows you into the nightmarish bowels of the island. After sliding down a very long and surprisingly relaxing slide, you stand up to find yourself in front of two caves. One has a book over the entrance. The other is undecorated, but from the distance you can smell the sea and hear the sound of someone wailing pretty hard on a guitar.

    To lame out and follow the book cave, NERD ALERT ON TO PAGE 8. If you’d rather seek out the mysterious guitar-playing and find the beach, SHRED OVER TO PAGE 5.

  21. 21 Luckycloud
    March 15, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    PAGE 52

    You enter the hut. A man sits at a large, oaken desk, lit from behind by an unnatural light, visible only in silhouette. The room is black and seems perfectly square. Smoke lazily curls up from the cigarette in his right hand. You feel hopelessly out of place with your crab back pack. You shift the crab off your shoulder with great care, but something metal clatters to the floor. A gun.

    Empty clothes. He reaches for a weapon, though you manage to fire first. The bullet tears through empty clothes, the suit collapses as if filled only by breath. The window behind shatters, each shard flickering, sputtering, and then shooting sparks as it falls. They coalesce into a puddle, fragments of video flicker, jumping back and forth, forward and backward, mixing seemingly at random.

    Your approach to the desk is cautious, as you near the desk, you see that a fox sits on the chair. It speaks with a feminine voice: “Who knows the techno-shamans and the oaken throne? Here, it is breath.” She curls her tail around your ankle, grins, unfurls it and walks deliberately through the iridescent liquid, takes flight with an agile leap through the window, scurrying away into the twilight, leaving paw-prints in the shapes of small cyrillic letters.

    To trail the fox and her glowing paw-prints into the night in case the letters might spell a message, TURN TO PAGE 60. If the smell of cobalt worries you, if the threat of techno-shamans and the risk of losing your body forever to a cyber-nightmare hellscape is simply too much to bear, FIND PAGE 46 to stay with your crab and attempt to unravel the mysteries of the iridescent video fluid.

  22. 22 johuat
    March 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    PAGE 8

    The staircase leads up into a sunny atrium of glass and green copper. There are wooden chairs all over the large circular room, with leather bound books scattered all about. Looking out of the windows you are afforded a great view of the island, which stretches out primarily to the south east. There are also three fancy spotting scopes mounted on brass tripods that poke out of open windows. It’s a nice day, and the air in here is really pleasant.
    Looking through the first scope, which stands above a large tile engraved with a large 7, you don’t see anything – it must be broken. Looking through the second scope, poised above a 17, you see a section of boardwalk with white deck chairs and a parasol. The final scope is above a 27, and looking through it you see a blurry patch of sand that the tide is washing over.
    A man dressed in lots of corduroy enters the room and says, “Those scopes are all hand made, wrought brass and hand ground and polished lenses and mirrors. Very early catadioptrics.”
    “They are very pretty,” you reply with a smile.
    “So where are you heading anyway? I think there’s some information about your woman if you turn to page 17.”
    You are utterly confused.
    “But you have to go through page 27 if you want to make any progress.”
    He collects some books and walks up to you, looking like he’s waiting for you to do something. You have no idea what the fuck this old nutcase is talking about.

  23. 23 butttub
    March 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    PAGE 17

    You’ve chosen a page which is really an index of objects and desires, or a textual field like any other.


    – That shimmering (a thin mist of nano-diamonds that will stud & sparkle your skin)

    – Her earrings, her body wash, her scent

    – The full text of every funeral oration given at Arlington National Cemetery.

    – A trickle of blood, provenance unknown

    – Soft hands, fingernails brushing your scalp, her laugh jarred in a tin of salted meat.

    – A small book written in your lover’s hand and shut with a brass clasp.

    Naturally, you open the book and BEGIN TO READ ON PAGE 1

  24. 24 Luckycloud
    March 16, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Alright, I’ma take pg 60. I’m working on something, but it’s going to take a bit. No one else do it!

  25. 25 butttub
    March 16, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    sean- you have to do it pretty soon or else the whole thing gets backed up. 60 is the keystone.

  26. 26 Luckycloud
    March 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    I know, I know. But since it’s the keystone, it’s taking me a bit longer. Plus, I just didn’t want to keep doing ones so closely connected to ones I’ve already done. That takes a lot of the fun out of it.

  27. 27 scottsjackson
    March 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    PAGE 5

    You are at a loss as to how to proceed. You are on the beach again. You kneel down and dig your hands into the sand. There is a low glimmering light on the horizon and you realize that you have no idea whether it is sunrise or sunset. Moments drag on with little distinction as you realize the light and beach seems frozen. The tide is so low that all it does is slowly oscillate on and off the shore.
    The stillness is ruptured by loud screeching noises resembling a bird call and seeming to come somewhere deep within the forest behind you. As you turn your head toward this forest the pitch of these noises suddenly deepens you are struck with fear, at which point you also realize you are very hungry. From the thin section of the forest closet to the shore you discern that they bear all the characteristics of Juniper, except also bearing some form of magenta colored fruit. You also notice that the soil leading up the deeper section of the forest is volcanic. Your energy is dwindling and you need food. Venture into the forest to try to get your hands on some mysterious magenta fruit GO TO PAGE 13.

  28. 28 johuat
    March 17, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    PAGE 46

    A breeze bursts in through the window and the crab breaks into little pieces of foam shaped like surfboards and computers and cups that you grab and stuff in your pockets as you distractedly shuffle out of the hut. The beach is really slippery and your arms twist in the air as your feet run into themselves. The water is dark green and soupy and you sink into it like you are porous.
    The undertow whips you firstly down and secondly back and lastly up to the surface of the water. You come to rest there, upright, and move steadily and perfectly horizontally out to the darker parts of the ocean. The surface of the water is sinusoidal here and roman galleys pass on either side on their way to spring break at Carthage. But who wants to party with Patton? TURN TO PAGE 16

  29. 29 butttub
    March 18, 2009 at 3:13 am

    PAGE 72

    This is the part where you pull your teeth out one at a time and lay them in the pattern of a heart. Symbols are the only things you value any longer. The blood overfills you, spills into & dyes the dental heart.

    You’re leaning over and just bleeding. This is too much, too much of everything. The fluid leaving you is thick; syrupy and warm. It fills that heart and the cavities of your teeth as they lie. The blood tide doesn’t stop though, it flows, exceeds the boundaries of your toothed heart. So you grab those teeth and screw them back into your jaw. You plug those tooth holes with molars and incisors and you suction the blood back inside of you with a clear blue straw of stiff plastic.

    The ground is now stained with an abstract and poorly formed heart. That’s all you have left. You weren’t strong enough to leave of yourself in that spot. You took back those teeth and now feel them (ill-fittingly) rattling about your gums, digging up the soft skin beneath them, etching her name in your jaw bone.

    That woman you’ve been sleeping with takes you by the lobe of your ear and leads you TO PAGE 64.

  30. 30 bunahabhain
    March 18, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Page 64

    You are led through a stone arch and wait for a moment for your eyes to adjust. Here, you’re surrounded by a dense forest that seems out of place in such a tropical climate — You feel German, or Alsatian at least. Tall pines rise above you like giant toothpicks; it seems that their lower branches have previously been pruned considerably, and now exist in a pathetic and limp state for the lack of light entering from the canopy above.

    That woman loosens her grip on your lobe. Your teeth rattle in your mouth like a warning-signal; you sense unseen creatures backing into the deep woods, rapidly blinking their oval eyes. Sudden power swells your forearms and you turn toward that woman, packing away all your memories in compartments and drawers in the unknown places of the skull, and you grip her wrist. Swiftly, and with mutual effort, her hand swings to her side. You grab her thin waist and hold it tightly toward your new bulk — your chest has risen and your hair has grown long and taken on a slight curl.

    Staring into her eyes, you think about kissing her. In this environment, doing so will certainly encourage the magnificent canopy to open up and shine light upon your two bodies and freeze them in a moment of utter glory — perhaps eternally. You think carefully, moving on to page 90 if you choose to touch her lips with your own. Or, if romance and epically lighted scenes are something of a bygone era, you pull your head away and move on to page 81.

  31. 31 Luckycloud
    March 18, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    PAGE 60

    Intrigued, confused, nauseated with fear, you head toward the oaken throne. You examine the letters left in the paw prints sloping up and around the rim, hoping to discern a secret message, a code, or some sort of direction. You cannot read Russian. The hut has now vanished. You have no way of returning. An unreadable code lies ahead and you curse yourself for taking French in high school because you had a crush on the teacher.

    You approach the rim of the active volcano, uncertain of how to cross. A bird lands beside your foot. Fire licks at the rim ahead.

    The lines of letters change as you claw your way up the slope, cutting your legs, arms and hands. Your legs are wet with your own blood. Now, you follow the lines of arrows pointing in all different directions. Now primary colors, blending, muddying. You decide to examine them again. Each paw print holds a map in miniature of the island. You fall as the island shakes, threatening to buckle under the force. The earth rumbles as if to rend the very ground from itself.

    Your hand feels wet, you must have broken your fall with it, put it into one of the puddle-sized paw prints. An idea. A large tree would do. You reach toward a tree in the map and look to your side as a hand cracks the sky and plucks a gargantuan tree from the ground, you turn your attention to the map and lay the tree carefully over the very small opening of the volcano.

    Standing, you pull the hand from the sky and make for your bridge. A neon beast stands before it, a patchwork of lights, whirring motors, and mutant flesh. Your heart skips–one of the shamans. The wretched form barely suggests any remaining humanity. Its voice is obscured by digital noise.

    To crush the mutant techno-shaman with your index finger, but risk unsettling your bridge or the volcano itself with the force of your digital attack, turn to PAGE 36 now and completely ignore what the shaman is about to shout at you.

    The shaman screams to take its foot, which it then hacks off, leaving itself looking no more grotesque than before. Take its foot, if you ever want to find your lover. Burn it in the lava of the oaken throne. Pass over its spitting mouth and wait until morning on the other slope. Mix the ashes with your own blood. It also hands you a bottle you sincerely hope is beer and tells you to drink it.

    Hypnotized, you have no choice but to turn to PAGE 54.

  32. 32 johuat
    March 19, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    PAGE 36

    You are about to crush the techno-shaman with your ring finger when you see a swarm of black dots on the map moving quickly towards the spot where the wretch stands. You look up and see men and women clad in bearskins and wielding clubs and spears charge out of the underbrush, overwhelming the techno-shaman, whose magic missiles are ineffective against such large numbers. The barbarians cheer and raise their rudimentary weapons in victory and the biggest and hairiest among them addresses you, “This is a day to rejoice! We have finally defeated Heliogabalus Caracallus! You, stranger, a man from very far away, have given us a chance at freedom and bring us honor. We ask that you continue to provide us with such favor.” And with that you are swept away in the victory parade to the depths of the island, to a valley with a very cold stream where the barbarians, who now call themselves the Moderno & Hiberi, have a small village of animal skin and wood. They are a primitive people, and in only a few short days you manage to introduce many marvels to their society – aqueducts, the concept of ore extraction, tea, and genetics, to name just a few. They ask you for your name and you say, “Diabolenus Ateius Antoninus,” which is the name, always in full, that your subjects will always use to address you. In your youth and adulthood you bring much prosperity. You bring culture and language and literature and philosophy and mathematics and science, and one of your people even becomes a historian and biographer, called Aemius Laurus, who had this to say about you:

    “Diabolenus Ateius Antoninus was the first of the Antonine chieftains, afterward called prinkeps, who brought the traits of red hair and grey eyes to our people. His arrival heralded the defeat of the techno-shamans who held the power of the titans in the lands to the north, where the new leader established a new district and built a palace with the help of the great architect Geta. He married Faustina, the daughter of the wealthy Herodes, and soon after fathered a son, Severus Nerva.
    Unfortunately, his son was not of the same sort as his father, as is so often the case with the sons of emperors. Some say it was because his father, who carried many strange habits, raised him poorly. Nerva had many great tutors, but his father would keep him away from things he said were dangerous or bad for his mind. He would only let the boy eat meat that was cooked, he would not let him drink the favorite wine that is made from purple berries, and he would not let him practice with weapons until he was over 10 years of age. He told the boy to avoid violence, and to focus on his mathematics, and the boy came to be afraid and avoid many of the people of the land, all of whom still loved his father greatly and tried to show affection for them both.
    When Ateius was old, and he had built many wonders, he was ill and had the warriors cheer his son with the name of Caesar Severus Nerva Antoninus. After that, the boy tried to fulfill many of the duties that were created by his father, and he in fact succeeded in adding significantly to the already burgeoning grain supply. Bolstered with early success, he began to take an interest in magic and charms, invoking his father’s foreign nature, although his mother was born on the island. He had the village priests incant charms and kill animals in ritual for his protection. He began to claim that because of his nature he didn’t need food and would live for seventy years. But as the father tried to place more of the burden of ruling on his son, Nerva became more and more reclusive and involved in arcane and wicked work, until he died while trying to find the bottom a cave filled with poisonous vapors. After this, Ateius went to the giant copper statue he had build on the northernmost beach of the island.”


  33. 33 butttub
    March 23, 2009 at 5:09 am

    PAGE 58

    You wake up, groggy, surrounded by nightclub bouncers. One of them has drawn a dick on your face.

    “Hey dickface. What’d you take man? You was sayin some crazy shit.”

    You don’t know what you took, but think you must have eaten something hallucinogenic, which is what you tell him. The bouncer is bummed. He’s a big burly bouncer, but bumbling & badly behaved. But Big Boy Billy (his nom de guerre) is a pal, a good guy, buys you a drink and rubs that dick right off of your face.

    The bouncers are all lovely men and like you. They are kind and surprisingly gentle. They like sitting in circles and giving each other massages. Big Boy Billy takes you home and tells you that you can sleep on his couch. You are thankful for this. You really do need some good rest. Tomorrow BBB is going to show you around Ghost Island City (the island’s capital and your current location).

    In the morning, you wake up and head into town on page 48.

  34. March 25, 2009 at 1:45 am

    PAGE 48
    Almost every intersection in the town is the confluence of three roads. It is rare to be able to head straight forward but today it’s nothing but greenlights. There is right on red here, of course, but who wants to wait for the sign-painter to make up his mind.

    BBB had taken you under his wing but you’ve wrestled out from under it.

    One custom that seems to have traveled from the sea right up to land is the prevalence of salt.

    You are struck by one thing most of all: the absolute symmetry. How do you find a dog and cat that are such perfect opposites? If the one grows too near to the other they may both vanish.

    Here was what you didn’t care for or about:
    • the way it made you feel
    • the way it made me feel
    • how long it would take
    • the material it would be made out of
    • the newspaper trade

    You ought to buy something to write that down with and then on.

    You see a man outside a soup stop with a sign:

    You agree that’s not so steep a trade, step up to his stoop and make the traditional bowl-shape with your hands.

    He accepts the signal and you step into the restaurant.


  35. March 25, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    (fixed to include 6 option)

  36. 36 bunahabhain
    March 25, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Page 38
    The restaurant is lined wall to wall with windows, reminding you of a diner back home. You quickly quell that nostalgic thought, however, as you catch a faint trace of frankincense — the soup man has entered behind you and has sat himself down at a table near the back of the restaurant. Joining him, you notice the restaurant borders a cliff looking down to the ocean. The table is set professionally: two forks on the left, two knives on the right, with a plump napkin in the middle. Silently, you place your napkin in your lap.

    Immediately the waiter has arrived with soup — apparently, your companion has established a routine with the establishment. Generous spoons are laid to the right of the knives. In absolute silence, you and your companion finish your soup.

    Finally the bowls and place settings are cleared. Your companion clears his throat and asks the waiter for two mugs of beer. Only when they arrive does he begin.

    “Fairy tales, all of them. Every nook and cranny. I’ve walked every inch of this place and never seen the things you wrote in your journal. Nothing, not one. and never has anyone made such outrageous claims.” You are confused. “Oh, I’ve taken a look! OH HO HO! Yes, I have, and I’ve read it cover to cover. You’re a liar, a hallucinator, a psychonaut! I never did those things to you, never walked with you under those branches, that brook, nearby to the rock mound that no one seems to remember anymore! It’s there, but I was never there with you. And you never uncovered it with you hands — those dirty hands gritty and knotty with beautiful, dank black soil — you never uncovered rocks and swept back dusk and wound a moat around the box with cupped hands. I know you’re a liar. And a thief!”

    You attempt to speak — you are certainly not a thief, and resent being called such — but he cuts you off, yelling at the waiter, “Check please.”

    On principle, you refuse to pay the bill. You take a white glove out of your back pocket and use it to slap the venomous man on the right cheek. His eyes widen. He grits his teeth, bows his head, and tackles you into the window. The glass break behind you; your body tips out over the drop and you can feel the mist coming up from the crashing waves below. Your companion, who is now your enemy, has overpowered you. Defeated, with glass protruding from your back, you drop over the cliff.

    You are invigorated by your fall. Midflight, desperately searching the cliff wall in front of you, you see a large rope with a hook dangling off the end. It could be your only chance. A choice is fast approaching: To grab the rope and risk a deep cut on a possibly rusty hook, go to Page 70. To attempt a safe landing in the water, go to Page 16

  37. 37 johuat
    March 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    PAGE 70

    With your right hand you firmly grab the hook. The hook is so old and rusty that it is deeply pitted and the burnt iron razor edges of the pits lacerate your hand. With your left and legs, you brace yourself against the chalky cliff wall. After a moment of balancing and bleeding and a single rotation you gain a foothold and are able let go of the hook. You have bent it a few degrees straighter with your struggling weight.
    There’s a pale ledge below with black grass that is large enough for you to lie on, but getting to it requires a bit of taxing effort and doesn’t lead anywhere, but maybe you could TURN TO PAGE 72 and take a breather. Or, if you are in an Indy Jones mood, you could try another grab on the hook and attempt a swing-and-leap to a more promising section of cliff on PAGE 63

  38. 38 butttub
    March 28, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    PAGE 63

    Air beneath, courting death, evading falling- – – -grab hold. It’s jutting, kiddo, large marble node outwardly protruding. Quick, reach, stick that very wall-hold. Xena, young Zeus, several other gods and television stars surround you as you pull yourself up onto the promising ledge. They proffer high-fives, handshakes, warm congratulations.

    They offer you hand jobs, various orifices, plastic inflatable sex objects. These are sexy gods and Lucy Lawlesses. These are Kevin Sorbos of wet dreams. These are deities that tempt & touch. They have gazes that cut you up into your parts and assign every one a use value; which can either be spent or invested as pleasure principal, on which to earn the interest of prospective partners.

    Should you favor a short-sighted and immediate hedonism, TOUCH YOUR WAY TO PAGE 76. If you prefer prudence, prudishness, & the pristine purity of your true love, TEAR YOURSELF AWAY TO PAGE 78.

  39. 39 Luckycloud
    March 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Page 76

    These television shades are into some freaky shit, you quickly learn. What begins as an innocent though energetic and spirited slap-and-tickly time speedily devolves into a full-on Bacchanalia accompanied by a number of leather and plastic devices you’ve often seen accidentally while searching for more socially acceptable pornography. Tied to a bed, blindfolded, you remember that you forgot to choose a safe word. You begin to shout every quirky safe word you could possibly imagine at what is now a writhing mass containing the assorted, and possibly detached, body parts of the world’s most beloved television actresses and actors. Your grandfather was right to shake his cane at the glowing box: nothing good can come of trusting it!

    “Banana!” You shout. No response. “Chiropractic! Ummm… Stuttgart! Elephant! Farfala!” Still no response. The head of Ed Sullivan issues forth and growls at you from someplace inside the pulsing mass. “Limited time offer!” You are running out of ideas. After reciting your shopping list and relating some rather embarrassing childhood stories at a very high volume, hoping that, because they are charming and quirky and often involve misremembrances caused by the conflation of your own life with the plots of romantic comedies, they will contain the safe word, you admit to yourself that you are out of ideas. “Defenestrate!” You yell, in honor of your favorite philosopher.

    A television character monster emerges: the head of Jennifer Aniston, Ted Danson’s torso, the arms of Sorbo. The legs seem to belong to a French television personality with whom you are unfamiliar. The bricolage beast lopes over, unties you, and drags you to the window, singing the theme from “Friends” in Kelsey Grammar’s voice. “I’ll be there for you, when the rain starts to fall.” It heaves you and you feel suspended for a moment before you plummet toward certain doom.

    As you are falling, cursing your faith in both television and romantic comedies, you see a hook.

    You reach out for it, hoping, hoping, hoping, and panic all the way to 70

  40. 40 johuat
    March 31, 2009 at 2:16 am

    PAGE 78

    Rejecting the advances of the sodomites, you run flailingly through the dense thick-leaved jungle. It is so humid here that water condenses out of the air and splashes all around you in slow motion. You end up running as hard as you have in years.
    When you snap out of the marathon frenzy you are at a mostly dry but still damp creek bed, and you have to put your hands on your knees and bend over to catch your breath for a second. There are a lot of insects here – big ones. There are enormous gnats and thick mosquitoes, and you stumble across the remains of a water buffalo, now just about all bones but a little skin left and crawling with black beetles with orange lines on their faces.
    Across the creek bed is a field below a tall volcanic looking mountain with a bunch of paths running perpendicular to it. There’s a deer path, and a path that looks like it was cut with a machete, but the most playful one is the one lined with cobblestones. You follow that one. TURN TO PAGE 55

  41. 41 butttub
    March 31, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    PAGE 81

    This woman is named Sylvia. You say, “Sylvia, I have to go.” All she says is that you won’t be without her for long.

    You walk a few miles and come to a clearing full of strange buildings. This is evidently a kind of techno-religious center. You make your way to a monolithic structure of black glass and open a barely visible door. Inside, there are arrows and obvious signs to direct you to your destination room.

    In this room there are Sylvia, Gabby, Alfred, all naked, back-rubbing. There is a long and telescoping tentacle capped with a prosthetic silicon hand. This is the time of full-body electrolysis and well-trimmed nails. The nails on these people are short and perfectly rounded.

    The tentacle is steel. It comes in 6-inch segments of steel and comes out of the ceiling. It comes down from the ceiling and kneads its fingers into the muscular knots that these people make in themselves. This is a de-stressing room and what Sylvia thinks is that this is a distressing room. Sylvia tends to pronounce her soft ‘i’s as hard ‘e’s.

    You and Sylvia have made a kind of bond or alliance that is based on mutual distrust and carnal attraction. You are carving your mother’s name into the skin of her back because otherwise forgetting is too easy. You are craving your lover’s skin and maternal touch or otherwise producing dyslexic metonymy.

    By her hand you lead her to the exit. Gabby and Alfred are crouched on either side of the tentacular hand. You work your own hand into the cut on Sylvia’s back, stretching out your fingers under the second vowel of your mother’s name. You guide her forward with the tip of your index finger against a bone in her spine. What Sylvia says is that everyone these days has blood on their hands.


  42. 42 Scott Jackson
    April 2, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    working on 88

  43. 43 Luckycloud
    April 3, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Working on 94, dudes. Will try to have it up by tonight.

  44. 44 scottsjackson
    April 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    PAGE 88
    You’ve lost Sylvia. You are looking for a window to see if she’s just left, but your search proves futile. You feel ridiculed by the black glass that makes up the building. You race down the hallways of the 2nd and 3rd floors and make your way to the exit. You push open the doors to discover a veranda overlooking an ocean. You make a 12 foot jump down to the sand. Your striped suit is now damp and sandy and will have to be dry cleaned. You scream Sylvia’s name as you run down the beach. Through a thick fog you begin to see the nude figure of a woman, which looks awfully like Sylvia. She has not responded to your calls and has her back facing you. As you reach your arm toward her back you are suddenly hit with an insurmountable wave of nausea. You collapse into the sand and assume a fetal position. To muster all your strength and try to stand up go to PAGE 84, or if you are fearful and need more time to recover go to PAGE 58.

  45. 45 Luckycloud
    April 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Sorry this one (94) is taking so long, I’ve gotten pretty sick, so I will try to finish it today.

  46. 46 scottsjackson
    April 6, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    the 2nd go to is supposed to read 58 (one that was done already). it’s not letting me edit right now for some stupid reason

  47. 47 Luckycloud
    April 9, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Alright, not sick anymore, but I have an idea that I am working on and failing at. So, if someone else really wants 94, they can take it. Or if someone wants to do 88, do that too. I’ll work on this on the side and see if I can make it work.

  48. 48 johuat
    April 9, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    PAGE 84

    You get back on your feet and clasp your right hand on her shoulder and pull her around. When she turns to face you, you see that she is made of marble and is covered in a very reflective white glaze. She is wrapped in a thick drapery of toga, and has orderly wavy hair that is cut short. She raises her right arm, and wielding a rusty sword, takes a lurching chop at you. You jump back, taken aback, and see a shield at her feet.
    It looks like it’s made of old soft flaky glass. You take a leaping roll by her and pick up the shield. You put your left forearm through the iron clasps, and your resistance to heat and cold goes way up. Now you just need a magical weapon. Perhaps you’ll find one on PAGE 94?

  49. 49 butttub
    April 27, 2009 at 4:54 am

    PAGE 90

    This is what lips feel like. You’d almost forgotten.

    And true to form, the clouds are parting and the light is encasing your two bodies, warming your tongues into each other, humming at frequency that glitters. Here you are, past the fluid barrier, in perfect light. This is the experience of time as extra-temporal and light as a condition of being or total environment.

    What happens in and between you exceeds the symbolic order.

    The next thing to describe is the shuddering shut of leaves, the return of relative darkness. Her lips stick a bit to yours in the peeling apart, and you find yourself on PAGE 81.

  50. 50 Luckycloud
    May 7, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Page 94
    You find a sword at your feet. You try to defend yourself, but realize, with horror, that it is made out of papier mache. So is your shield. Your resistance to heat and cold may have gone up, but your resistance to rusty swords certainly has not.

    Your right arm is first, she makes a clean cut at the elbow. You can feel each of your bones break. She attacks, hacking until you are in small pieces. But each piece of you she hacks off becomes self-aware after the few moments it takes for your genes to mutate and your bones and tissue to mix with flakes of your useless sword and shield.

    She walks away, unconcerned.

    Thousands of you find yourself in a brutal fight. Five decide to flee and three make it clear of the chaos. You are the emergent hive-mind of a thousand of you, rebelling against yourself, blood on your face. Which face? Why? You are confused and scared.

    You choose to try to reinhabit one of the fleeing yous lest this schizophrenic mess ruin your mind for good. Which shall it be?

    To be the you running and jumping toward the ocean from the cliff, Page 70.

    If you would rather be the you running, following the woman, and take your chances by desperately calling out to her, Page 81.

    For a you returning to the bright, seductive glow of the city and the colored dust rising above the lights, Page 92

  51. 51 briandutremble
    May 7, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    PAGE 92

    The city’s bright lights are subdued by a thick fog and you find its ethereality irresistible. Your body, now half paper mache, does not respond as positively to the fog, and things only worsen as a light rain begins to fall. You look down and see that your fingers are beginning to droop, and as you pass by the ground floor windows of a tall glass building, you notice that your face is following suit, that it is falling victim to a level of absorption you had not envisioned. You quickly run inside glass structure, not able to withstand any more sogginess, fearful of what might happen if you are unable to somehow dry yourself.

    You successfully find the unisex restroom and activate the hand dryer, passing your water-logged body parts underneath it, restarting it as needed, until you feel as dry and rigid as you ought to. People enter and exit throughout the ordeal and you receive strange looks. As you turn to leave the restroom, you are confronted by a woman holding an umbrella. She hands it to you and you thank her. She says ‘You are one of us, now,’ and smiles. She adds, ‘Follow me.’

    You obey, not knowing what else to do. You follow her out of the restroom and onto the street.


  52. May 8, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Page 92

    Where are you? “Where am I?” you ask. “This is it/ and I am it/ and You are It/ and so is That.” Arnulf Rainier appears. He has bleeding eyes. He points at the DogStar.

    You look towards the That. It’s a cocoon of leaves. You enter. It’s silent. Perhaps it’s an anechoic chamber. You hear two distinct hummings. One of high and one of low pitch. You sit scarab style on the ground. Your stench attracts flies. Not a few. The leaves seem to have a bluish/orange hue and have SARDINE written on their spines. You wonder if you’re having another schizophrenic episode.

    You realize yourself as part of the Tibetan Mandala of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, in a journey toward the center of pure consciousness (Dharma-Dhatu Wisdom), a time-color energy creating a virtual shape in negative time and growth is inverse decay. A screen appears. A white screen with black holes. It’s the field of PURE FACIALITY. It says,

    “You are pulled into the world of color, your color senses are expanded, enriched. You become aware of changes, of tones around your own daily reality. Your vision is changed. You begin to see light on objects around you. You have gained a new insight. You have become a richer human being.”

    Your eyes open. It’s Sylvia and Big Boy Billie! They’re wearing rainbow onesies. The city opens around you as you focus on their bodies and the color spectrum.

    “Wanna meet Gawd? He’s the shit” one says.

    What choice do you have? You hope he’s nothing like the Pope and continue on to PAGE 85.

  53. 53 butttub
    May 8, 2009 at 12:32 am

    PAGE 85

    There were two page 92s! You are unsure of what really happened and what was only dreamed. All you know for certain is a feeling of disorientation and nausea.

    Luckily for you, you’ve entered a little play:

    Gawd- Hello my son.

    You- So, the paper me, that was only an illusion?

    Gawd- Oh how quaint! You still believe in Either/Or! Take a feel of your face.

    Big Boy and Sylvia- (snicker, begin to copulate)

    Paper Woman- Don’t worry. I’ll stay at your side.

    You- Touch your cheek, realize that that stiffness is paper and glue.

    Gawd- Come along, come along.

    You follow him down a sparkling crystal corridor. Strains of Perry Como play in the background. His flowing robes are indistinguishable from His beard. You are gripping the Paper Woman’s hand tightly, bleeding ink into each others’ palms.

    Gawd opens a door that leads to the brim of the Ghost Island Volcano, lowers himself in.

    Gawd- Come along my dears

    To follow Him into the volcano, turn to PAGE 98.

    If you wish to disobey and say instead, ‘What kind of a spelling is G-A-W-D anyways!’, turn to PAGE 80.

  54. 54 Luckycloud
    May 8, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Holy shit. We have two versions of page 92! I say we keep them both.

  55. 55 Luckycloud
    May 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Page 80

    G-A-W-D makes for crazies, both spelling and men, and you’re glad you chose not to obey!
    D-A-W-G makes more sense, but she’s holding your hands, saying “you’ve only turned things round t’other way.”
    D-A-N-G you thought, you’d hoped, to make some sense waiting, holding her paper hands in the hall.
    G-A-N-G up on gawd, perhaps, and struggle to the last, though now it doesn’t make sense at all.

    L-A-N-G is the name of a singer or a stitcher? A sewing machine, possibly…both?
    L-A-N-E goes away down the sparkling cave, led through by those red threads, you hope.
    L-A-T-E, you’re late, for a very important escape, down and back out from this corridor.
    F-I-T-E your way through, around and up, too, making the dangerous way toward the crystal door.

    F-I-G-H-T is the right way to spell it, but you’ve no time to sell it, as the paper girl starts with a cry!
    N-I-G-H-T falls and contains you as gawd’s henchmens bats brain you, they carry her off waving goodbye…

    B-R-I-G-H-T sounds cradle, warm, and attend you as doctors with blurry
    L-I-G-H-T-S stitch, fix and mend you.

    You find yourself awoken in a city bed,
    the paper-page girl is gone again.
    More word games will only make you far, far too late.
    Instead I advise that you, quickly, should Turn to Page 88.

  56. 56 briandutremble
    May 11, 2009 at 5:40 am

    PAGE 98

    It burns, it burns!

    Wait. No it doesn’t!

    After having climbed down the inside wall of the volcano, you are knee-deep in some sort of powder. The Paper Woman lands with a soft thud nearby. After a moment, you realize that you are slowly sinking deeper. You writhe, attempting to reach some part of the wall that would allow you to pull yourself out. This makes the situation worse. Gawd chuckles when he sees your alarm and says “Don’t worry, we won’t be in here for long.” You stop moving, having been comforted by His words.

    Just then, light begins to pour in from above; it is as though a lid has been removed from the volcano. Gawd grabs a hold of your hand and pulls you completely out of the powder. He does the same for The Paper Woman. Gawd and The Paper Woman then each take one of your hands and the three of you form a triangle. As you quickly switch your gaze between the two of them, you feel that something is happening. You begin to float slightly above the substance into which you’d just been sinking, and a bubble forms around the group. Just before the enclosure completely materializes, you are able to identify the odor being produced by the powder – it is baking soda.

    You look up just in time to see a large amount of some sort of red liquid about to crash down on top of you. You try to raise your arms in order to shield yourself, but your companions won’t let go of your hands. They smile at you as the liquid hits the top part of the bubble, just inches above your head, then continues falling downward, finally meeting up with its target, the baking soda. You feel an intense rumbling. It shakes you violently as the bubble is forced upward by the reaction below. Your vessel’s speed increases rapidly. Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory would currently be coming to mind if you weren’t so frightened by your ascent.

    Your spherical vehicle shoots out from the volcano into a room full of high school students and ribbons. A student has constructed an astonishingly accurate topographic model of Ghost Island, complete with paper mache volcano. You admire his work as you float away, hoping that the judges will appreciate it as much as you.

    Find somewhere to land on PAGE 105.

  57. 57 butttub
    May 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    PAGE 105

    You’ve settled down, safely, in the middle of the page. It’s 105 alright, you can see number center-justified in the bottom margin. But where are you anyways?

    “The hours that I used to spend lost in the soft cocooning darkness of capital sigmas and various indices had got taken up in my teaching duties and the long journeys across Paris that they involved.”

    You grab the narrator by his sleeve to ask what in the world is going on. He looks at you behind coke-bottle glasses and addresses you in a heavy Gallic accent. “You don’t belong here. I’m in the midst of my self-destructive and introspective wrapping up of this book and there is no room for paper explorers.”

    “Would you tell me where I am, so that I may get my bearings.”

    “Why, you’re in ‘Odile'”

    “An excellent book.”

    “Oh, I hope so.”

    You shake hands and say goodbyes. Then you make your way to the edge of the page and leap out towards your proper book. Look, below, it’s PAGE 100!

  58. 58 johuat
    May 20, 2009 at 1:38 am

    PAGE 100
    And the rivers flowed into the tides, and the somber birdsongs became the sigh of the cool autumn evening. On the beach, crabs scuttled among desiccated jellyfish, and the porpoises played in the surf. Stones and grass sprouted on the edge of your field of view.
    After getting up from your wicker dune chair, you calmly took in the truth of the spring air, and meandered into the forest. A perpetual, saturating forest. A forest that goes on beyond the depths of time and quarks and tachyons, a forest of scienceless glory. A forest of childhood.
    You come to a woman waiting at a bright red stop sign, and sit down behind her, resting on the soft rich soil. You wait there for 4 or 5 hours, annoyed at her inability to realize she has right of way. To force the issue, TURN TO PAGE 84, but if the time flows by you in neutrality, permitting you the true patience of accepting an indefinite wait, TURN TO PAGE 108

  59. June 26, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    PAGE 108

    And the cool evening flowed into the autumn rivers, and the somber tides became the sigh of birdsongs.

    You: How can I escape this never ending maze?

    Hollis Frampton: Whatever labrynths it involves itself in . . . it will eventually resolve itself in favor of the protagonist and that the protagonist is the spectator of the work. There’s going to be no momemnt when an identifiable person appears . . . [rather] it offers to the spectator the possibility of a posture that’s so active in relation to the work that it orders on the utopian or is utopian.

    You: This is heaven? Where’s Sylvia? How can I get out?

    Douglas Messerli impersonating F.T. Marinetti: The mysterious rulers of this desert island are the Paper People, cone-shaped beings “surmounted by circumflex book-hats,” who hiss their instructions into the ears of the Negro guards. In short, not only is this world ruled by people of the written word—not unlike bureaucratic paper pushers—but is metaphorically ruled by the author and readers—the ultimate Paper People who push and bully their raw entrapped characters into a bizarre series of events.

    You: Do they know where She is?

    HF: Now we are not perfectly free to make of language an agonist in the theater of desire which is itself defined by the limits of language. Every artistic dialogue that concluded in a decision to ostracize the word is disingenuous to the degree that it succeeds in concealing from itself its fear of the word . . . and the source of that fear: that language, in every culture, and before it may become an arena of discourse, is, above all, an expanding arena of power, claiming for itself and for its wielders, all that it can seize, and relinquishing nothing.

    You: I? I must do what?

    U as GI Joe: The Power lies within I?

    DM as FTM: And indeed it does! Form . . . a coalition with a few revolutionary Paper People, the Negro guards and the Untameables, led by Mirmofim, lead the River People into rebellion, determining to attack and smash open the Cardboard Dam—metaphorically, the pent-up creativity of the working class.

    Whether you want to or not, that Master Signifier is shaking in its boot heels. Get that Girl! and don’t get shark bit, turn to PAGE 102

  60. 60 butttub
    December 10, 2009 at 1:10 am

    PAGE 102

    To make it to the girl, you must first fight through the Order Words of PAGE 102 of the Webster’s New World Dictionary.

    The girl is named Sara, by the way. She wears the exact same clothing as your grandmother did but she wears it sexy.

    Most of the Order Words are easy to defeat but the Centurions prove quite a challenge and the Cerebellum is just like Krang on the Ninja Turtles.

    Cervantes is there too. He hoists you up on the tip of his jousting spear and hangs you to a windmill by your underpants.

    You begin to chafe, much to your chagrin, but finally tumble down and are safely past the last of the Order Words.

    Sara takes your upper teeth in her cupped hand and plucks them right out of your face. You’ll find it harder to talk now, she tells you. You’ll be language mangled. Your gums bleed a flow to the dirt below and Sara holds you with one arm about your waste while her free hand skips your teeth like stones across sea.

    TURN TO PAGE 111

  61. 61 johuat
    December 15, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    PAGE 111

    ACROSS THE SEA your teeth are sucked into a whirlpool and are fed into a deep-sea tunnel that connects to a great underground cavern that’s slowly filling with sea water. There are lots of plastic chunks and some loggerheads have established a colony on one of the synthetic islands, where they now lay their eggs. It’s very dim in here, but you catch the shine from what looks like an ancient oil lamp half buried in a beach of white styrofoam.


  62. 62 Luckycloud
    December 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    PAGE 91

    You swim for ages, the wind scrapes the cavern, a beard grows on your chin and falls off.

    You arrive at the island. The lamp is lodged in the beach of eggs. The eggs surround a small hut the loggerheads have built–no doubt painstakingly and with years of concerted, delicate effort, considering they have no opposable thumbs. A pleasant odor wafts from the crude windows of the hut…something is making omelettes. A comfortable looking wooden chair sits by the doorway.

    Moving toward the smell. Where you step the eggs scurry away, leaving only large paw prints. Your steps become heavier, slower…the ringing of bells. The ground seems a hollow shell.

    The entire beach rises up from the sea. You have awoken something and something else behind that. The beach buckles and folds; the eggs pop and jump, boiling.

    A tiny ghost leaks from each egg–air into a weird vacuum. You scurry to the edge, hoping to escape the growing ghosts, and find yourself on the back of a very large loggerhead, on the back of a larger loggerhead, each crusted with a boiling sea of ghost eggs. Loggerheads and ghosts go all the way down.

    Your legs have become whisps of smoke, your feet cloven hooves, and your steps like the ringing of louder, more terrible bells. The longer you stand on the beach the more ghostly you become. Panicking, you look for the chair. It has risen as the eggs boiled, the lamp has fallen into a pit and the whole horrible thing keeps rising…growing… The pit catches fire.

    HURRY! Time’s wasting! You can escape the ghost eggs and your own ghostification by

    Turning to page 60 to make a break for the chair
    Turning to page 58 to jump from the loggerhead turtle tower further into the bowels of the island.

    OR. Like a thoughtful ghost, you can write as the whole thing goes to hell and hope that some intrepid explorer will discover your journal, earn you a book deal, and you will make enough ghost dollars that you’ll be the envy of all the other cloven-hooved man-ghosts on the island AND a regular ghoulish Richard Gere to the ladies.

    To risk life and limb for your dreams Turn to page 114

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