Choose Your Own Nuthouse

Section 37


            You tackle the Skull-head man.  “What are you all about?!”  you shout.

            The Skull-head hearse driver shoves you away, stands, and brushes himself off with skeletal hands.  “The Benjamins,” he says, and you think he might be smirking but you can’t really tell because his head is a skull.  At any rate, his response sails well over your head.  This skeletal man seems to sense your confusion.  “Look,” he says, lighting up a smoke and offering you one from an ivory (you hope) cigarette case.  Against your better judgment, you accept.  The cigarette is the deepest black you’ve ever seen.  Skull-head extends a Zippo engraved with a dark sigil or heiroglyph of some sort, and sparks the flint.  There is a distant cry, as of an immortal soul in agony, and a dark purple-black flame leaps from the wick.  The flame, you notice with no small amount of amazement, is shaped like a skull.  You light the cigarette.  “You’ve probably got all sorts of questions, and I’d be happy to answer them.  I am, however, a bit lost.  Some guy just got himself creamed by a van over near the Ravine of Unspeakable Peril.  Hell, that’s the second time this evening someone’s been hit by a van.  Thing is, though, I think I took a wrong turn at the Pit of Insufferable Misery.  Now I’ve got no idea where I am.”

            “Well, if you follow the road that way, you’ll eventually reach Lake Doomhole.  This is a fucking excellent cigarette.  So, who was this guy who got hit by the van?  Stephen King out jogging again?”

            “Actually, Stephen King was the one driving.  Probably under the influence of a Brain Monkey.  Guy who got hit was some young dude.  Your age.  Got his name somewhere…” Skull-head fished in the pocket of his suit jacket, which seemed to be woven from the night itself.  “Ah, here it is…huh.  That’s odd.  Both guys who got hit had the exact same name.”

            “Oh?” you say.  Then, despite the fact that every rational instinct in your body is screaming otherwise, “What name would that be?”

            Of course, just as you had to have known, it’s your name.  You manage not to react.

            “Yeah.  That’s pretty weird.”  Equally as weird is the fact that your cigarette hasn’t gotten any shorter, despite the fact that you’ve been dragging on it pretty heavily. 

Skull-head notices you noticing this.  “Yeah, it’ll never smoke out.  Won’t kill you, either.  When you’re done, just stub it out.  It’s relightable.”  You are in heaven.  “Anyway, you need a lift?  Hop in, and I’ll drop you off somewhere.”

Once again, your instincts begin to scream at you.

            Do You:
            Accept the ride with this hearse-driving talking skeleton – 78

Decline, citing allergies to hearse upholstery – 79

Pickpocket that insanely cool Zippo, and bolt in very reasonable fear. – 80