Poison Inn Option Aa1: Ask

Welcome back for the end of the adventure! It’s been a fun week with assassins and strange companions. Let’s see what happens. =)

Poison Inn Option Aa1: Ask

It does you no good to remain quiet, so you gather your nerve and force the words from your mouth.

“Who’s the woman upstairs?” you ask. “People aren’t hired to assassinate someone without a reason.”

Marl eyes you darkly for a moment but everyone’s looking to him for an answer and finally he grunts and answers, “she’s Count Lassetter’s daughter. If she’s killed, he’ll have no chance to marry her off and save his house.”

The chessmen nod at each other like this makes perfect sense. The knife woman huffs.

“Who stands to gain if the Count can’t marry her off?” you press on.

“Baron Emry. He’s been promised the land and title if something were to happen because of a distant kinship.” This was Wallin answering from the bottom of the stairs.

Everyone jumps at his voice as no one heard him come down the stairs despite his size.

Although he startles you, you have the good fortune to be watching the male assassin when Wallin speaks. At the mention of Baron Emry, he looks down, trying to hide the recognition on his face. But you clearly see he knows the baron.

“Won’t the female assassin return to the Baron for her pay?” you ask. The male refuses to look at you.

Wallin and Marl look at each other as though they’re conferring silently. Then Wallin says to you, “if you watch Miss Lassetter while we check the Baron’s estate, we’ll give you a share of the reward for the Bradley Assassins.”

This one’s a no brainer for you. As an Apothecary’s Assistant, you have plenty of experience sitting with ill people.

You agree and watch, a bit surprised, as the two chess players join Wallin and Marl in their venture. The knife woman offers to sit with you while you wait.

This catches you off guard more than anything else because the woman hasn’t seemed all that friendly but finally you agree and the two of you sip on drinks while the others catch the second assassin.

When you leave in the morning, you leave with the knife woman, who’s also headed to the capital, and have three and a half extra silver pieces weighing down your purse quite nicely.

The End

Yay! Being bold in this adventure has paid off. Hope you have a wonderful weekend =)

Blessings,

Jennifer

Poison Inn Option Aa: Apothecary’s Assistant

Welcome back for the second week of the Poison Inn Adventure. Reader’s voted to tell the whole truth to the Inn Keeper Marl. Let’s see how he reacts. =)

Poison Inn Option Aa: Apothecary’s Assistant

No matter how nervous it makes you, being honest has always helped you in the end.

You swallow hard and answer, “Apothecary’s assistant.”

“What!” Marl’s got ahold of your collar before you have a chance to react.

“It’s got to be that one!” The old woman screeches, pointing at you.

Marl lifts you so you’re eye to eye with him. Your feet swing free of the floor and the bar hits you in the back of the legs.

“Why poison the serving woman?” Shouts the goateed chess player. His axe is free and in his hands like he wants to take your head off.

“I—“

“Who hired you?” Marl growls, cutting you off.

Everyone’s shouting. You try to speak again but it’s cut off by someone else. This time, you can’t pinpoint the speaker.

You look around helplessly. With Marl still holding you eye level with him, you’ve a good view over the room. Movement catches your eye just as the old woman slips out the door. No body notices the gust of cold wind she lets in on her way out.

You look frantically for the old man, wondering where he’s gotten to.

You’re just in time to see him head for the kitchen. Thankfully, you’re not the only one who sees him. The woman with the knives steps in his way before he ducks through the swinging door of the kitchen. They face off.

Still unable to be heard over the other’s shouting, you struggle to get a hand in your pocket. You almost drop the ebony stone when Marl shakes you like a rag doll. Clutching at it desperately, you finally get the stone up where the bar keeper can see it.

He goes still, staring at the satiny stone. “Oh,” he says, dropping you back onto your stool none too gently.

Everyone goes silent, surprised at his sudden release of you.

“The old woman’s gone,” you point out in the quiet.

The old man tries to bolt. The knife woman catches his jacket in one hand and his hair in the other. The hair comes free in her hand but the jacket pulls him up short.

“By golly,” the heavy shouldered chess player exclaims, “you can’t be older than twenty!”

It’s true, without the gray hair, the man’s blond locks stick out in disarray for all to see.

“Wait now,” the axe man steps closer to him, “I’ve seen you before. Hey Alex, hand me my bag.” He holds out his hand to his goateed partner. When the bag’s handed over, he rummages inside and pulls out a badly crumpled flier. “That’s it.” He holds the flier up for all to see.

Wantedwanted-poster-1207509-m

Bradley Couple Assassin Team

20 silvers reward for their capture

Below the words is drawn a likeness of two people, a man and a woman. The man matches the blond haired man so closely you’d think he sat for a portrait.

Hired assassins come to kill a serving woman? Somehow that doesn’t quite fit.

You look at Marl with his club and massive stance. Between him and Wallin, you’d think they were the world’s most capable Inn owners. Not only were they able to attend to a poisoned woman, they’d kept, mostly, everyone in the Inn from leaving when everything went south. It reeked of soldier material more than Inn keepers.

Perhaps the serving woman’s not as she seems.

You want to ask. Knowing who she is might lead you to the ‘old’ woman…and gain you a portion of 20 silvers.

Asking might just get your head bashed in though. Particularly if Wallin and Marl are the woman’s protectors, as you suspect.

Do you…

Aa1: Ask?

Aa2: Keep quiet?

Blessings,

Jennifer

Poison Inn Option A: Take the Knife

Welcome back! Readers voted to snatch the knife off the bar as you pass. Let’s see if you get caught =)

Poison Inn Option A: Take the Knife

Photo courtesy of Sebring's Snapshots.

Photo courtesy of Sebring’s Snapshots.

Without a weapon, your stomach knots with anxiety. You slide past the bar and palm the knife into your

hand and up your sleeve. No one cries out at your move but your back itches as you head up the stairs, just waiting for someone to point you out.

At the top of the stairs, you pause. You’ve no idea which of the two rooms Wallin took the woman to. Then you hear a muffled step from behind the right hand door.

You knock softly and hear a deep “come” from inside.

The room’s so small you almost stumble into the foot of the bed. The giant Wallin kneels on the left side close to the serving woman’s face.

He sniffs and then glances at you. “Come here,” he beckons toward the right side of the bed.

You hold the bag up so he can see why you’ve bothered him but he simply waves for you to set it down and gestures toward the side of the bed again.

“Smell her breath,” he says and tilts the woman’s head your way.

It’s only then you realize she’s still breathing. It’s shallow, not enough to raise her chest, but enough to be felt on the skin of your face when you lean close. The faint scent of almonds tickles your nose.

“Sweet or sour?” Wallin asks.

“Almond,” you answer.

He scowls. “I know that. Sweet or sour?”

You take another sniff. “Sour.”

Before he can respond, there’s a thumping on the floorboards from below. You jump and Wallin cracks a smile.

“Marl wants you back down there,” he says. Your hand’s on the doorknob when he speaks again. “Leave the knife with me.”

He must have noticed the bulge of the knife beneath your sleeve. Even still, you turn, trying to keep an innocent but confused look on your face but he just shakes his head.

“You’re not the poisoner,” he says. “I would’ve known if you were.” He gestures at the woman on the bed. “You could have tried to mislead me here.”

“I’ve no weapon,” you admit, “and, well—“

“The room’s full of them,” he finishes for you. “I get it, but if Marl finds you with his prize knife, he’ll slit your throat, poisoner or not. Take this,” he holds out a round stone. When you hold out your hand, he drops it onto your palm. It’s satiny smooth and ebony in color.

At your questioning look, he explains. “Marl will know I trust you because of that. Let his club do the rest.”

You nod and hand over the knife you took from the bar.

As you leave, the stone feels cold in your palm. Compared to the knife, it offers scant reassurance but you didn’t want to argue with Wallin.

In the room below, Marl’s got every one sitting at the bar now, lined up like school children. There’s one stool left.

The club’s off the wall and swinging in Marl’s hand, its round head whistling through the air as he twirls it.

You take the last stool and Marl points at you. “Occupation?” he demands.

Considering the situation, saying Apothecary’s assistant could be the worst thing you could do. You could shorten it to simply Master’s assistant but he might dig more and then it’d look like you were hiding something.

Do you say…

Aa. Apothecary’s assistant?

Or

Ab. Master’s assistant?

Blessings,

Jennifer

Poison Inn

Welcome back to a whole new adventure! The changes in my writing schedule so far have helped immensely in helping me focus and enjoying the writing process again. So I’m rather excited to start this week’s adventure.

Let’s get started=)

Poison Inn

You’re sitting in an inn well off the beaten path enjoying a hot beverage that wafts the scent of cinnamon under your nose and warms your hands through the wooden mug.

You were on your way to the capital to buy supplies when the storm hit. It started out as sleet but as the

Photo courtesy of Sebring's Snapshots.

Photo courtesy of Sebring’s Snapshots.

day grew later and the temperature dropped, the sleet shifted to snow. Beneath the growing layer of white, the sleet turned to ice and it was all you could do to keep your feet to get to the next town.

Once you reached the town, however, you found the main inns were already full from travelers like yourself. So you were forced to move deeper into the town to find this run down place that boasted only a few rooms above and a stable for four horses out back.

It wasn’t the safest part of town either.

Since you sat down, you’ve kept your eye on a pair of men next to the hearth. Their heads are bowed over a chess table but you’ve yet to see a piece move. One of them, a great bearded fellow whose shoulders remind you of a troll, fingers an axe that hangs by his side. The other strokes his ragged goatee with one hand while tapping his nails on the table with the other. From his belt also hangs an axe. It’s double bladed. Not a woodsman’s axe, but a war axe.

They’re not the only ones that give you pause. At the bar sits a woman with high-topped black, leather boots. This wouldn’t give you cause for alarm except, when the woman shifted on her stool last, you spotted the tops of at least three knives sticking out of the right boot cuff. One, maybe two, would make sense for safety, but three?

Lastly, at the far end of the bar sits what appears to be an older couple. You’d think them sweet with their holding hands but the woman’s shrill voice hasn’t stopped since you entered the place. Every once in a while the man’s gruff responses cut her off but it doesn’t stop the woman’s tirade for long. You’ve been questioning their age for about five minutes when the serving woman approaches your table. It takes you a minute to respond to her because you’re staring at the older woman. Her glasses slid to the end of her nose and when she moves to push them back up, you could swear her hand looked like that of a twenty five year old, not an eighty year old.

“We’re out of beef stew. Want mutton?” The serving woman asks again. Her voice is flat.

Mutton’s disgusting unless cooked right but you’re hungry, so you nod and say, “that’ll do.”

She thumps a small plate with bread, butter and a small square of cheese onto the table and moves away toward the chess players.

All you want is to get a decent night’s sleep and leave for the capital in the morning. Behind the bar stands the bar keep. He’s a giant of a man with flaming red hair. Over his shoulder, held on the wall by two iron hooks, is a club he must use to keep the bar peaceful. It’s only a little reassuring.

The serving woman’s half way across the room, headed back toward the kitchen, when it happens. She catches herself on a table’s edge but it’s a pedestal table and the weight on only one edge serves to flip it. She hits the floor and doesn’t move.

There’s a moment of shocked silence before the bar keep’s over the bar and kneeling beside her. He leans in and sniffs. The look on his face when he raises his head makes you shrink back in your seat.

“One of you low lifes poisoned her!”

Another man appears from the kitchen at the bar keep’s bellow. He’s an exact match to the bar keep with flaming red hair. You guess he’s the cook due to the apron he’s wearing. He scoops the woman off the floor and heads for the stairs, saying over his shoulder, “I’ll see what I can do.”

Once he’s up the stairs and out of sight, everyone moves. They don’t get very far.

“No one leaves!” bellows the bar keep, “until I know who’s responsible.”

You sink back into your chair.

“You!” he points a finger your way, “Wallin will need his bag,” he points to a bulging sack just behind the bar by the kitchen door. “Take it to him.”

You nervously move across the room with all eyes on you, guessing he picked you because, one, you’re alone, and two, unlike the woman at the bar, you’re not heavily armed.

It’s this thought that makes you look twice at the knife sitting on the edge of the bar. Everyone watched you reach the bag but then looked away when the bar keep pointed at the goateed chess player and started asking questions.

As you pass the bar again to head up the stairs, you might be able to slip the knife into your hand and up your sleeve.

Do you…

A.Take the Knife?

or

B.Leave the Knife?

Blessings,

Jennifer

Going Forward

November marked two years for Adventure Awaits You. My brain’s still doing a ‘wait, what?!’ I’ve no idea where those two years went.

Anniversaries kind of require a hind’s sight 20/20 review. At least, that’s how it seems. Like an unwritten rule somewhere.

Looking back, I wonder who took over my brain. I was terrified to share my writing, so may as well leave the gate running, right? I got the idea of adventure stories and started writing out all the choices before they posted (that’s 15 possible posts at about 500 words each).

Then I had the brilliant idea that I needed a week in between adventures for writing them. Sounds perfect, right? Except, every blog-advice-thing I could find said the more I posted the better. So I decided to fill the in between weeks with short stories…that added another 1,000-3,000 words.

Yup, somebody took over my brain and then vacated just as suddenly at about the year mark. I woke up one day to realize I was running at breakneck speed without an end in sight toward no actual goal.

I was writing, producing stories, but the longer stories I desired to write fell by the wayside somewhere in the chaos. With them went my passion. The adventures that started out being so fun became the goblins chortling in my mind telling me I needed to write more.

Ugh.

All this rambling to say the past two years have been a wild adventure but it’s time to rework the system.

I can’t stop writing the adventure stories. Perhaps it’s stubbornness (or insanity), but I truly do enjoy testing my brain coming up with all the different endings. You’ll probably not notice the behind the scenes difference but I’m shifting from writing everything out to simply outlining until I know the direction each adventure takes.

As for the short stories. Yeah, those are taking a hike for a while so I can edit Dryad.

This is my goal. Over the next year I’d like to get Dryad ready for publishing. Traditional or self-publishing I haven’t decided but it’s time to make this blog only one part of my writing, not the only writing I do. Oh, and I might look at self-publishing the adventure stories. What do you think?

So for now, thank you to everyone who participates in the adventures! You totally make them worth the time. I’ll see you next week.

Blessings,

Jennifer

Man Down Option Ab2: Search for Help

Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers in the states! As a way to celebrate the day, leave a comment with one thing you’re thankful for, even if you’re not in the states.

And now, let’s find out how the adventure finishes! Thanks for stopping by=)

Man Down Option Ab2: Search for Help

You can’t sit still with the possibility that no one’s picked up the beacon. Night’s falling, so you decide to curl up and hide out in your shelter until the morning. Then you plan to head in the direction of the village you saw.

No storm haunts the night but you still find sleep impossible. Your tongue feels sticky and swollen and your eyes feel like they’ve had sand poured into them. Finally, a little before sunrise, you drift off.

Birds wake you with their incessant cawing. Your entire body aches and your tongue sticks to the top of your mouth. With a groan, you crawl from your shelter. Water’s a necessity. You decide to head toward the ravine and follow it in the direction of the village in hopes there’ll be a place to get down to the water.

Before you go, you fashion a basket out of vines to carry the beacon. It’s heavy and weighs you down but, with the chance that someone might be tracking it, you’re unwilling to leave it behind.

Armed with your knife and empty water bottle, you hack your way back to the ravine. In your disheveled, achy state, the walls look shiny with mud and seem like they’ve become steeper.

You turn to head up river, scanning for any possible way down as you go. The sun climbs up over the canopy and sneaks through the trees. Sweat pours down your back. You feel the loss of water like you’re in a dehydrator.

You know you’re in trouble when the sun starts toward the western horizon and you still haven’t found a way to reach the water or found any sign of the village. With heavy steps you trudge on. You hack at vines and branches aimlessly now, expending energy but not caring.

At some point you fall down and spend several minutes trying to convince yourself to get back up. You loose track of time and become aware again when something rolls you over. A thrill of fear hits you and your mind races with all the different predators that might be about to eat you.

The predator starts jabbering at you in a language you don’t understand.

***

Several days later you wake up to find a thatched roof over your head. A bronzed skinned boy yells at you from the door and a moment later you realize there’s the chop of helicopter blades over his voice.

The searchers finally found you in the village. One of them comments on how lucky you are. If the boy hadn’t found you, you would  have died of dehydration. The crew transports you to the local hospital where your flight trainer locates you. Unfortunately you now owe him a plane but he’s kind enough to help you get home.

From there you determine that, once you’re fully recovered, you’d like to return to the village to thank the boy.

The End

Yay, you survived! Thanks for joining the adventure this week.

Blessings,

Jennifer

Man Down Option Ab: Look for Food

You’ve survived the night in this week’s adventure and decided to look for food. Let’s see if the jungle’s generous or stingy with its bounty!

Man Down Option Ab: Look for Food

With the sun warming you after the drenching from the night, the gnawing in your stomach demands attention.

You find a little water still in your water bottle. It tastes glorious and hits your stomach like a water balloon exploding. Before you know it, all the water’s gone. Your skin’s puckered with goose flesh still but you figure looking for food might help warm you up. The jungle’s thick and you hack your way toward the sound of the river. With the rain from the night, the dim roar the river made the day before sounds more like thunder now.

You hack away more vines and stumble backwards. Directly on the other side of the foliage, the ground drops away. With cautious steps, you move forward and peek down into the ravine. The river froths at least twenty feet below.

The vague idea of using the river to get water turns to dust. From where you stand, there’s no way down into the ravine. Neither would this be a good place to fish or find wild game.

You backtrack through your hacked trail to the shelter. With your efforts, the hunger returns in full force but you tell yourself it hasn’t even been a full day and a human can survive for a while without food.

The shelter’s a welcoming sight but there’s nothing around it to eat as far as you know with your small knowledge base of wild edibles, so you head out again. This time you follow the destruction the plane made when you landed.

Already the forest is overgrowing the damage but there’s still enough that you find another section of the plane. One part has dials and when you flip it over, there’s a red light flashing.

This brings back your hurried mayday while the plane spun you in circles. You crashed almost immediately afterward and hadn’t heard a response but this light means someone might have heard because it’s broadcasting the location.

You heave the chunk of plane into your arms and head back toward your shelter. You’re about half way back when you see it. Fruit. At least you think it’s fruit.

Lowering your burden to the ground, you approach the tree and give a cry of relief. A bunch of tiny bananas hang under the leaf of a tree. You hack the bunch free and turn back to retrieve the plane beacon.

Settled into your shelter a bit later, you contemplate the flashing light while your eat a banana, spitting out seeds as you chew. (You never realized wild bananas had so many seeds.) The dilemma now is, should you stay put or try to hike out of the jungle?

There’s a chance someone’s picked up the beacon and will find you in a day or two. However, the jungle’s thick and finding people can be difficult.

Or you can try to find help and not rely on the beacon although it’d be difficult to carry. You saw a village just a few minutes before the dials of the plane went haywire. If you can find it, maybe the people there can get you to a phone.

Do you…

Ab1: Stay Put?

Or

Ab2: Search for Help?

Blessings,

Jennifer