Saturday, March 17, 2012

Destination Uncertain

The arches stood before me,
And I stood before just one.
Each held a gate and a destination,
And I soon too would be gone.

Was this my true place?
Something feels amiss.
I check and recheck my plans,
This feeling I can't dismiss.

Everyone around me is falling
To a plague I cannot see,
Coughing fits are the only sign,
Sharing the air that they breathe.

I don't know why I'm here,
'Cept to go to someplace else.
All I can see is where I am,
Everything external to myself.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Choose Your Own: D.I.O. Ch 2

First Chapter - Previous Chapter
--

I sat for a long while, thinking about everything. The choices I'd made to come here, not just here here, but this vacation, this point in my life.

I'd made a good hobby out of dream studies, good enough to suppliment my income, and I knew my personal weak points in those fabricated realities. I knew the which dream signs worked for me and which didn't. I gave them a run through, and then a second time. By the third time, I was checking out those that normally gave me false-positives (or false-negatives).

I didn't try a fourth time. There was no point. Besides which, a glow was starting to rise out of what I decided would be east, and I knew it was time to make a decision.

--
Choose:
a. Should I stay with the car longer, inventory my supplies, and maybe hope the fog rolls back in?
b. Should I leave the car, walk back up the mountainside, and hope for a portal back home?
c. Should I head downhill for some reconnaissance before making a decision?

Choose Your Own: D.I.O. Ch 1

Previous Chapter
--

The music was building slowly, and I bolted upright. I recognized the music. The fog had gone while I slept, and I saw a rolling hillside out my driver's-side window, below my mountainside.

I pressed the eject button on the player, and out the disc came with no funny business this time.

Shit.

It was a data disc alright, something my CD player should not have been able to read. But it wasn't just any data disc, it was a video game disc.

Nothing etheral had put it there, this was one of my own, a game I was well familiar with. Chance would have it that I had flipped to the wrong page in the case, and grabbed the wrong disc.

But if what I was seeing was real, and I knew I wasn't dreaming--at least in the normal sense of the word--then something etheral had happened to my car to let it play.

And not just play, but also unfold.

--
Next Chapter

Choose Your Own: D.I.O. Ch 0

This story is more than just fan-fiction, it's fan-fiction that takes more liberties than you're used to and makes you feel like the world it takes you to is more possible.
--

The gas tank on the dashboard was starting to flash empty, despite that I topped off at the last depot, too many miles back. My car was loaded with supplies for a long vacation for myself in the wilderness, and getting lost on the way was part of the plan, though certainly not /this/ lost.

A fog crept up around me as I rode the switchbacks higher into the mountains. I fumbled with the CD player, popping out a warm and tired disc and tossing it down into the box on the passenger-side floor along with the past listening history, before grabbing the next one randomly from my CD case. With my eyes still on the road, I pushed it into the built-in player, the world slowly turning gray.

It clicked, chirped, and spat the disc partly out, and I took my foot off the gas before glancing down at the problem. "DATA DISC," it read in digital letters, the almost archaic player only able to discern that much and no more. I reached up to take it out, barely glancing at the label on the disc, but the machine ate it back up again.

I sighed, my fingers missing and stubbing on the hard plastic, shifting my foot to the brake. I stepped on the pedal as I jabbed the eject button, but the player only started to spin the disc. I pressed and held the button, only belatedly realizing the brakes weren't responding.

The car slowed to a crawl, the unurged motor barely winning over the slope of the hill. A familiar tune began to play over the speakers as the fog completely enveloped me. The road disappeared, and I felt the slope crest and subside. We started downhill.

I slammed the emergency break down, and it engaged for a moment before popping back HARD. I pulled at the steering wheel, turning away from the slope, and the engine finally died, taking the power steering with it. I wrenched it harder, turning the car into the side of the road, and then the side of the hill, where it finally ground to a halt.

I winced at the damage and didn't look forward to examining it, hopefully repairable if I ever rescued it from this place. We'd been through a lot together, and hopefully had more to look forward to.

I levered the car into park, and pulled out the key, before climbing out. Despite how rediculous I felt, having heard too many horror stories, I pocketed the keys as I climbed out of the car, closing the door only enough that nothing might climb in, but the latch didn't engage. With my hand dragging along the side of the car, I shuffled carefully to the rear.

The fog was complete. Without my hand on the blue bumper, I surely would have lost sight of even the car too. I threw my weight against it, not so much hoping it would move as hoping it didn't.

And it didn't.

I walked back to my door, trailing my fingers reassuringly, almost lovingly, against the panels, and climbed back in.

Some of the fog had leaked into the car, and the windshield had a perimeter of dew on the inside. I shut the door behind me, locked it, and prepared to wait out the fog. I put the key back in the ignition, turned it to auxiliary, leaned back my seat, and drifted into sleep.

--
Next Chapter