Chatterbox: Inkwell

Choose your own path through the adventure! Pick wisely…this adventure is not for the faint of heart, and one decision could change the course of your life.


~ ~ ~

So, this is (as you can see) a choose your own adventure! I told myself that if I ever finished writing it, I'd post it on the CB for you all to enjoy.

At every 'crossroads', I'll take a vote of what you all would like to do, and then every few days I'll post the corresponding part. At the end, you're welcome to restart and do it over again--the entire thing is already completed, and there are tons of different storylines you can go down.


There are a total of five endings. Enjoy!



It was a dark and stormy night. The lights in the mansion flickered with every bolt of lightning that sparked down from the treacherous sky, causing thunder to echo over the mountain, shaking the mansion to its core. Expensive antique paintings rattled on the walls. The salads were mixing themselves in the kitchen, and the bottles of dressing were about to vibrate off the counter. It was violent weather indeed, the worst kind to befall a night like this.

Nothing out of the ordinary, of course,” Zerin was saying to his guests, you included. “We get this weather all the time, living up here on this mountain. I’m just sad it had to happen tonight while you’re all here.”

Indeed,” Ethan agreed as another rumble of thunder exploded through the house. He was one of the three guests that had come to visit Zerin in his mountaintop mansion for the night.

I’m glad we made it here before the weather began,” commented Theresa, the other guest, graciously. “And thank you so much for having us over.”

Yes,” you agree. “It’s been fun so far, and dinner smells delicious.”

Zerin smiles as his two cats come running in, frightened by the thunder. They jump in his lap and cower under his arms, watching the company with wide eyes. This sitting room is vast and elaborately decorated--not cozy at all. You’re a little unnerved by the atmosphere yourself, and you understand why the cats would feel more comfortable under their master’s protection. “Well, it’s no trouble,” Zerin says. “It gets lonely up here and Erin and I love having guests. Plus, you three are old friends, and ever since I moved I haven’t gotten to see much of you.”

Speaking of which,” Ethan says, “didn’t you say you were expecting some more guests?”

Zerin coughs. “Oh, yes. They’re due to arrive later in the night, but with this weather…” He looks at us, abashed. “They may not be able to make it until tomorrow. They’re just some other friends of mine who were going to stop by for dinner.”

I hope they manage to find something to eat if they can’t make it,” Theresa says.

Me too. But I have a feeling they’ll get here eventually,” Zerin says, stroking his cats thoughtfully.

Thunder rumbles again, sounding not farther off but louder and closer. Your mouth is watering from the smell of dinner, and you cast a longing glance in the direction of the kitchen.

So tell us,” Ethan says, “what made you decide to move up here to the middle of nowhere? I hadn’t even heard of this place until you invited us.”

Oh,” Zerin replies. “It’s a long story, actually. I inherited it--it’s a family lot, uh, and I couldn’t sell it…”

Huh. Funny you never mentioned it to us before.”

Frankly, I never thought I’d be living here,” Zerin says. “Which is why I never talked about it.”

Suddenly, Zerin’s wife Erin pokes her head into the room. “Dinner’s ready, finally. The dressing only fell of the counter three times.”

Oh good, I’m famished,” you say, rising. “Now where did I put my map?” you joke. “I’d hate to get lost on the way to dinner.”

Zerin laughs. “Don’t worry, I’ll--”

Suddenly, something that’s not thunder rings through the house. It’s the doorbell, loud and raucous, echoing through the halls and into the sitting room.

Is that them?” Ethan asks. “The other guests, I mean.”

Zerin looks quizzical. “If it is, they got here earlier than expected. Unfortunately, all our butlers are off duty, so we’ll have to run to the door.”

You have butlers?” Theresa queries.

No,” Zerin laughs. “We clean it all ourselves. Who wants to get the door with me?”

I will,” Ethan offers.

I might go to the dining room,” Theresa says. “What about you?”

Oh,” you reply. “I think I’ll…”

Do you go with Erin and Theresa to the dining room?

Or will you go with Ethan and Zerin to the door?

submitted by Micearenice
(December 27, 2018 - 5:35 pm)

I like this, Mice!

Oooooh, I'm conflicted... I guess I'd go to the door. 

submitted by Jwyn, age 13, The Realm Of Creativity
(December 27, 2018 - 10:17 pm)

This is really good! I would go with Ethan and Zerin to the door.


submitted by Leafpool
(December 28, 2018 - 1:11 pm)


submitted by Rogue Wildling
(December 28, 2018 - 1:40 pm)

Top! Okay, to the door it is!


Oh. I think I’ll help Zerin get the door,” you announce.


Zerin leads the way down hall after hall, through room after room, and soon, after much speed-walking, you reach the grand front doors. The cats follow you along until you reach your destination.

The entry hall is full of marble adornments, and through the windows on the front doors, you can see the vague shapes of people standing on the doorstep.

Zerin hurries to the door and tries to open it, but the handle sticks. “Ugh,” he says. “I keep meaning to oil this, but Erin and I always use the side door so I haven’t gotten around to it.”

He tugs again and the door begins to slowly swing open, with the loudest creak you’ve ever heard.

Ethan runs over to flip on the front doorstep light switch, so you can all better view your visitors. By the time the door is all the way open, you see three weather-beaten guests standing, bedraggled and dripping, before you.

They look up at Zerin. “Oh, good, someone answered. You must be the butler! We were on our way to vacation and our car broke down during this storm. You were the closest shelter we could find...Do you think the owner of this house would mind letting us stay until the storm is out?”

Um,” Zerin begins. “Firstly...hello. I am not the butler; I am the owner of this house.”

The three strangers glance at each other. “Ohh. Sorry.”

Secondly...THIS is the closest house?! Our driveway is a mile long. I’m surprised you even found us.”

It is obvious that these three are not Zerin’s expected guests.

The three strangers glance at one another. “Uh, yeah. We’re surprised to.”

Zerin breaths in and out, then opens his mouth. “Well, seeing as you’ve got nowhere else to go, I’d be glad to provide hospitality to you three.”

They glance at one another, wonder or fear in their eyes. “Thanks!” they exclaim, and hurry inside to get out of the pelting rain.

Then they spot the cats, which are curling around your legs like warm, soft furnaces. “Ohhh, look how cute!” One girl runs to pick one up, and the cats yowl in fear, skittering away down a hallway.

Oh. I’m sorry,” she says, standing and seeming to remember her manners. “My name is Sandra...I love cats.”

The male stranger introduces himself as Chad, and the other girl tells you all that her name is Daisy.

I am Zerin Gordan,” Zerin says. “Here, follow us.”

Zerin leads the strangers back along a different path through the house, and you all emerge in the dining hall.

It’s enormous! The ceiling is vast and arched, and the hall looks more like something from mideval times than anything. The table is extremely long, and the whole thing is decked with all kinds of foods. Your mouth begins to water.

Go to D1. 


D1 would make this post rather long, so I'll wait until the afternoon to post it.

submitted by Micearenice
(December 29, 2018 - 12:51 pm)
submitted by Top!
(December 29, 2018 - 12:51 pm)

Oooo!! This is so cool MIce! How about the door...

submitted by Tuxedo Kitten
(December 29, 2018 - 1:17 pm)
submitted by Top!
(December 29, 2018 - 5:54 pm)

Alllrighty, and now comes the action... 


Hey, Z--” Erin begins, but she cuts off when she spies the new guests. “Oh. Hello! Who, er, might you be?”

I’m Chad.”

I’m Daisy.”

I’m Sandra. Thanks for letting us shelter with you! You must be the maid.”

Erin frowns. “No, I’m Mr. Gordan’s wife.”

Oh. Sorry.”

You, Ethan, and Theresa gather together now that you are reunited. “Who are these crazy people?!” Theresa whispers. “Are these Zerin’s guests?!”

I don’t think so,” Ethan responds. “You’re right about the crazy, though.”

Ugh, what are we going to do about dinner now that they’re here?!” you ask just as thunder booms again.

The next thing you know, you’re sitting down to eat dinner with these three folks who really put the ‘strange’ in ‘stranger.’ As you all begin to dig into the food, they glance around suspiciously before taking a slow, drawn-out bite. Then they exclaim about how good it is and how nice it was for you all to share this dinner with them.

It’s almost like you were expecting us!” they exclaim, laughing.

There goes our dinnertime chat,” Zerin mutters to you, Ethan, Erin, and Theresa.

I’m sorry,” you reply.

During the first ten minutes of the meal, the storm seems to be growing more violent. The cats race in, faster than any cat should be able to run, and gather under Erin’s chair for safety. They meow loudly, clawing stiffly up onto her lap, and Erin puts them down gently.

Your cats are adorable,” Sandra gushes. “I love cats.”

Thank you,” Erin replies. “They’re quite a handful, though...”

Just then, the grandfather clock at the head of the room makes a ticking sound, and it gongs loudly eight times. The conversation, which is already awkward, comes to a quiet. You can hear the rain pouring down outside…

The atmosphere is unsettling, as if something is amiss. But this feeling is interrupted by the sound of a small white maltese dog entering the dining hall.

I didn’t know you had a dog,” Ethan says. “Where’s this little guy been?”

Oh,” Zerin says. “Outside…”


Yeah, well, it doesn’t matter. His name is Whopper. Whopper, come here!”

Whopper ignores his master.

Aw, cute,” you say, bending over your chair to pet the disobedient dog.

Whopper!” Zerin calls, more insistent.

The little dog sits down by your chair, staring insoltently at its master.

Zerin sighs. He’s just about to address the guests when many strange things happen at once:

-The grandfather clock dings again, very suddenly.

-The loudest crack of thunder yet splits through the house, knocking paintings off the walls.

-The power goes out at the same moment--Whopper barks sharply, and everything is plunged into darkness.

The thunder lasts for quite a while--almost a whole two minutes--and when it fades away, the lights flicker back on.

You, Erin, Ethan, Theresa, Chad, Daisy, and Sandra sit in your chairs, blinking in astonishment at one another.

What a storm this is!” you exclaim, but then you jump in shock. Zerin isn’t sitting at the table anymore. Actually, he’s nowhere! He’s disappeared!

You jump out of your chair in surprise.

Where’s Zerin?!” you exclaim.

Then, you hear Sandra shriek. “The cats!”

Everyone turns around and sees, in the middle of the room, the cats, lying stiff and cold on their sides. All their fur is standing on end, and their eyes are open, but--they aren’t breathing!

They’re DEAD!” Sandra shouts.

Wh--no they--aren’t dead!” Erin stammers as all of you rise from your seats to crowd around the cats.

They sure look dead!” Chad exclaims.

Where’s Zerin?” Theresa asks.

Where did Whopper go?” Ethan wonders.

What happened to the poor cats?!” Daisy exclaims.

They were murdered! I knew there was something fishy about this house!” Sandra exclaims.

What?!” Erin exclaims, staring at them in confusion.

It’s a murder mystery! I bet--I bet it was the BUTLER!” Sandra goes on.

Um, no,” Erin replies. “We don’t even have a butler. And anyway, they weren’t murdered--”

--but they’re definitely dead,” Chad interrupts. “We have to figure out why!”

He pulls out a notebook, and Daisy and Sandra crowd over his shoulder. “We have to solve the mystery,” Daisy agrees.

Excuse me--” Erin begins, but Sandra interrupts her.

Don’t worry, Ms. Gordan. We’ll see what happened to your cats.”

Listen, they’re fine,” Erin says.

Yeah, shouldn’t we be more worried about where Zerin went?”

Erin glances at Ethan as he says this. “You know what, that’s okay. You can go look for clues about what happened to the cats. I’m going to go find my husband.” Then, she turns to you, Ethan, and Theresa. “Are you three going to stick with them or come with me? Either way is fine.”

You don’t know what to think about all this. Too much is happening at once! Erin says the cats aren’t dead, but here they are, lying stiff on the ground. What even happened to them? Should you side with the eccentric guests, or stick with Erin to find Zerin? Maybe she can explain what’s going on.

Will you try to crack the case with the guests? Go to E1.

Or will you follow Erin to find Zerin? Go to F1.

submitted by Micearenice
(December 29, 2018 - 5:58 pm)

Whoaaaa. This is awesome. I’m gonna follow Erin!

submitted by Leeli
(December 29, 2018 - 9:15 pm)


submitted by Rogue Wildling
(December 29, 2018 - 10:53 pm)

Arghhh ummm

Follow Erin?  I guess..

submitted by Tuxedo Kitten
(December 30, 2018 - 9:42 am)

This is really good! I love choose-your-own-path stories.

I'm gonna stay and crack the case- there's something fishy about those strangers... 

submitted by Soren Infinity, age 27 eons, BeaconTown
(December 30, 2018 - 10:19 am)

Oh, this is awesome! I'll stay and crack the case. 

Viri just basically said a swear word, if you sound it out. Imma go get some nontoxic soap and wash her mouth now. 

submitted by Agent Winter, age Classified
(December 30, 2018 - 3:02 pm)

Oooh! Creepy! Poor cats. I would try to crack the case with the guests.

Hazel says cgim. She's right, that lightning might've been CGI. XD 

submitted by Leafpool
(December 30, 2018 - 1:17 pm)

LET"S FIND ZERIN!!!!!!!!!!!

submitted by Moonlight
(December 30, 2018 - 11:46 am)