Monday, November 13, 2023

The Adventures of Zyr - Episode 1: The Adventure Begins

The Adventures
of Zyr

The Adventures of Zyr
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The Adventures of Zyr

Have you ever played a Choose Your Own Adventure game? My kids love these on television and I've participated in some reading ones. Earlier this year, I started one for each of my newsletters. Well, in the interest of not neglecting my newest newsletter, I also am writing one for you.

Now, to be honest, this is actually an old story. In 2018, not long after my first NaNo, I decided to try to write a story in the second-person. For me, that meant some kind of choose your own path story. And, for some reason, I wanted to stretch my writing muscles and aim for some fantasy.

As a result, The Adventures of Zyr were born. Each week, I will post an episode and you will have about a week to choose which path you wish to take. I will spend the following week editing the story (my writing has improved much over the past 5 years) and will send you a new episode.

For this week only, I am sending this story to everyone. Next week, I will create a new list and only people who opt in will recieve the new story in their emails. But don't worry. I'll always include links in my regular emails.

The Adventures of Zyr is an interactive Choose Your Own Path fantasy adventure. Each episode, readers vote for the path they would like to take. Together, we will follow the path with the most votes.

The Adventures of Zyr

The ominous sky is gray and dreary, promising rain for the fourth day in a row. With a sigh, you back away from the window and flop into the nearest chair. As if visiting your grandparents wasn't bad enough, you have spent the entire week stuck inside. You’d much rather run around outside. Explore the woods. Have an adventure.

But no. Grandma won’t let you outside if there’s even a chance of rain. And there’s no television anywhere. Grandpa won’t let you use his computer. He’d rather entertain you with When I was your age stories.

So far, you’ve spent your week hiding in your room reading the books you’ve packed. But you can only read the same graphic novel so many times before losing your mind.

That’s why Grandma and Grandpa sent you in here, wasn’t it? You begged and pleaded at breakfast to go outside, but Grandma had refused. “You’ll catch a cold. Why don’t you explore the study? Maybe you’ll find something in there to read.”

Like they would have anything that interests you. An orange tabby cat nestles in your lap as you look around the room. You’ve never been in here before. Every time you’ve visited before, your grandparents have said you were too young. But now that you’re ten, they must have decided you are old enough to avoid braking anything.

Not that there is much to break. A lamp on the table between the two chairs. Some ceramic cats on the mantle above the fireplace. The rest of the room is full of bookshelves.

Examining the closest shelf, you read the titles. Your Health After Sixty. Retirement Rocks. The Adventures of Zyr. Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Social Security But Were Afraid To Ask.

Wait a sec. What was that one? Not the social security, the one before it. The Adventures of Zyr. That sounds kind of interesting.

You jump to your feet. The cat hisses at you before running out of the room, but you barely notice. Rushing to the shelf, you run your finger along the spine turning your head sideways as you re-read the title.

How did a book like this get smushed between all those books for old people? It’s probably about some guy named Zyr and how he avoided dying of boredom during his retirement. But curiosity has definitely gotten the better of you, so you remove the book from the shelf.

There is a strange creature on the front cover. You cannot see its face, but it looks nearly human. It has two arms and two legs and is facing a dragon. One blue hand is holding what looks to be a rolled up paper and the other is extended towards the dragon. The creature is wearing some sort of brown tunic and you can just make out the tips of pointed ears among the long black hair extending down its back.

You flip over the book, intending to read the blurb at the back. But there is none. There isn’t even a picture of the author or anything. The cover is black with large words written in yellow.

Caution. Do not read if you are afraid of dragons.

Curious, you take the book and climb into a chair. When you open it, something falls into your lap. You pick it up. It’s some kind of ring, but the gloomy weather has made the room just a little too dark to see. Switching on the lamp, you examine it more closely.

It is made of gold with no inscription or ornamentation. Just a simple gold ring. One that looks like it would fit your middle finger.

You slip it on. It’s a perfect fit. Smiling, you turn back to your book. But it’s not there!

Looking around, you realize you are no longer in your grandparents’ study! You are in a completely different room. The furniture is different. Instead of an ugly brown corduroy chair, you are sitting on some type of leather. The lamp beside you is gone. In its place is some type of lantern. Instead of gray skies outside a rectangular window, you look out a round one to see a cloudless blue sky.

You have no idea what just happened. You can feel the ring on your finger. Maybe that did it? Ridiculous. A ring can’t change an entire room. But still, you can’t help wondering what might happen if you take it off your finger.

But what if it was this ring? Shouldn’t you learn more about where you are before removing it?

What should you do?

(Please note: By voting on a path, you agree to receive future episodes in your email.)

Free Books

Would you like some free books in exchange for an honest review?

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