Come with us. On a journey. A journey where even we don’t know what will happen. Why? Because you’re in charge.
At the end of each chapter you’ll be given a collection of choices. Our hero will then make whichever choice receives the most votes at the end of the day.
Choose wisely. All is not always as it appears.*
*assume that every choice that doesn’t win would have resulted in the characters dying.
Jeff found himself in the same place he did everyday: In the middle of a fight between his friends.
“That’s a foul!” Chris screamed.
“You think everything is a foul,” Jermaine responded.
“I’m Ashley Cole,” Ashley Cole said.
Jeff ran over from the makeshift goal they’d formed with a pair of old shoes. The soles had detached a few months ago. Jeff hadn’t stopped wearing them until last week. It felt wasteful to just throw them away. No one in the neighborhood could afford a pair that didn’t already have a few scuff marks from the previous owner, and anyone who threw their pair away too early ran the risk of being shoeless for an extended period of time if the local thrift store didn’t have the right size in stock.
He’d gotten lucky though. Last week Miss Barkley’s dog—the big one not the little one with the overbite—had gotten through the hole in the bottom of the fence. The dog ran right through the middle of their game and Miss Barkley came waddling after it. Jeff blasted the ball out of play to make sure nothing happened while he couldn’t defend the goal and took off after the dog.
He caught up after the dog turned a corner. Jeff came around to see the dog paused and sniffing what appeared to be a brand new pair of shoes. Jeff took the dog by the collar and checked the tongue of the sparkling white sneakers. They were his size.
Now those shoes were carrying him in-between Chris and Jermaine who were going through their almost daily ritual of determining what exactly was and wasn’t a foul.
“Jermaine, I’m going to be honest, I think punching Chris in the stomach definitely constitutes a foul,” Jeff said.
Jermaine seemed upset by the ruling but brushed it off. Chris thanked a deity and stuck out his tongue before pulling out his customary bag of Skittles and downing a handful of red and greens.
The four friends played together every day until their parents stepped out on the front porch to holler for their return. Some days their stomachs pulled them home, sometimes the calls were ignored so they could get a few more touches in before the disappearing sun or Chris’s mom pushed them off the threadbare patch of grass they called a pitch.
Jeff thought that this time he had mitigated the damage and began retreating back to his normal position defending his team’s goal.
“You know what’s really a foul though,” Jermaine said.
Jeff wheeled around as Jermaine loaded up to punt the ball with as much power as he could gather. Accuracy didn’t mean much in this case as long as it hit its target: Chris’s head.
Chris failed to notice. Some Skittles now rested in the grass and Chris couldn’t stand to see them go to waste. He bent down to pick them up as the ball whizzed over his head and out of sight as it rolled down the hill adjacent to the pitch.
They had never been down that hill. No one could kick the ball that far they thought, so why worry about it? Jermaine connected on the punt in a perfect concoction of anger and skill and the Mountain Dew Code Red he’d chugged earlier.
“Dang it, Jermaine!” Jeff said.
“Hoedgey Shid,” Chris cursed through a mouthful of Skittles and grass.
“I’m Ashley Cole,” Ashley Cole said in a statement that was wildly out of character.
The boys, all destined for varying degrees of greatness later in life and also Chris, headed toward the hill and felt small.
“You first,” Jeff told Jermaine.
“F—fine. I don’t care. I’m not scared.”
Jermaine inched down the incline. He looked for the ball but couldn’t make it out through a clutter of branches and vines. And just when he thought he saw it, he slipped. Jermaine slid all the way down the hill, straight through the vines and disappeared.
“Oh gosh, Jermaine? Jermaine???” Jeff called out.
“Ee gould jush leef em thir,” Chris said through a mouthful of grass.
Jeff looked at Chris and Ashley Cole. He nodded at them both. And he threw himself down the hill.
He came through the hole in the nature that Jermaine had cleared and out into a clearing. No sign of Jermaine.
Ashley Cole came in the same way and landed comfortably, followed by Chris, who chose to try and take his own path and clattered directly into a spruce tree. Skittles went flying.
They called out for Jermaine while Chris picked up his Skittles and several rocks. In return they received a faint reply of “over here.” The three did their best to pinpoint the direction the noise came from and started off towards the sound. Jeff in front followed by Ashley Cole and a slower than normal due to all the rocks Chris.
When they saw Jermaine he had positioned himself next to a small creek. When he turned to greet them, they saw it. Whatever it was. It glowed. A warm green color. Totally out of place in the brown of the leafless woods they found themselves in.
As Jeff approached, he realized what was glowing. The soccer ball Jermaine punted looked the same besides its brand new aura. There were too many possible reasons for the boys to wrap their heads around.
“Well, here’s the stupid ball,” Jermaine said. “Grab it and let’s get out of here.”
“You grab it. You kicked the dang thing,” Jeff said.
“Look, maybe we should just go home,” Jeff suggested.
“My teeth hurt,” Chris said.
What should the boys do?
This poll is closed
Grab the ball and keep playing. Respect the game and the ball.
Go home! It’s glowing! And green! Soccer balls don’t do that!