Explore the Gap

                                   Mmm…Hiker Stew…

You decide to explore the gap between the running stream and the wall of branches. The stream proves cold and waist deep while the wall of thorns and branches are just as thick. Yet as you attempt to get through the hole a clammy hand with long fingers grabs you by the back of the neck. You are pulled backwards and now stare face to face with the beautiful lady that you saw in the stream earlier. She is still dressed in white, still with long flowing blonde hair, and gorgeous face, but her firm grip on your neck no longer makes her attractive.

     “You cannot escape me so easily, sugar-plumpkins!”

       As you hear her sweet voice the scent of rain envelopes and paralyzes you; you realize too late that the Lady and the Fettre are the same creature! Beauty and Ugly have joined to form Sinister. You are unable to avoid the lady as she kisses you on the lips and everything goes black; you are no more.

***In the last brief moments before everything is lost, you hear pleasent laughter like water turn into harsh cackling and feel your body being dragged out of the stream where it is hauled into a large pot of hot water. You conclude that the Forest Fettre did not die when you threw her against the tree. In fact, had you escaped the steam entirely this would not have happened………..  

              You have died; Hiker Stew is today’s special. Yet if you wish you can still continue on your Hike in the Park.

Something Wholesome

               Everybody Likes Granola!

    In spite of the fragrance of rain that is lulling you to sleep, you manage to take out a chewy granola bar, one with chocolate chips. The shiny wrapper takes the Forest Fettre’s attention off of you and the fragrance releases you.

“Granola!” she says and snatches the bar from you, scampers to a tree and eats the granola bar wrapper and all. Shortly afterwards she doubles over and coughs.

“Blast, you have tricked me!” she says, “It had chocolate!”

All Fettres love granola, but chocolate is one of few things that can defeat them. Therefore, a chocolate chip granola bar is a wise choice against a Forest Fettre.

      The Forest Fettre shreaks and vanishes in a plume of black smoke; she will not return to the forest for a thousand years.  After the Fettre’s banishment everything becomes strangely peaceful. Yet something is left where the Forest Fettre vanished: a perfectly round white pearl the size of a large marble. Engraved in it is a triangle. 

        You now look at the stream. It is shallow but runs swiftly and is too wide to walk across. You will have to jump. You then look at where the stream goes: above there is a wall of briars and dense tangled branches, but inbetween water and thorny wall is a two foot gap that leads to darkness below………

**This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen. *

    *Jump the stream and Continue the Path

    *Explore the Stream and Take a Detour

Fight and Run

                   Fast Food will Kill You

        You struggle with the Forest Fettre as she cackles and holds on tight. Her matted hair smells of rain and the scent slows your will to struggle.

   “Breathe it in, deary,” says the Fettre, “It will make my job all the easier. It isn’t easy capturing food these days.”  

     Despite the pacifying scent, the thought of what she will do if you give up strengthens you for one final blow.

    “Yes,” you reply, “But fast food will kill you.” 

           With great effort you throw her off your shoulders. The Fettre hits a pine tree and shatters like glass.  All that remains is a bit of rags and grey hair. Suddenly a cold wind from the north picks up and the hundreds of pieces begin to gather into a pile; this may not be the end of Her.

  Now that you have bought some time to escape, all you have to do now is cross the wide stream. You look at the mass of slowly churning water. It looks deep; perhaps you can jump across it?

          This stream was the same one that which you saw the lady in white. Whether she distracted you to fall victim to the Forest Fettre or if you were warned ahead is not clear, but it would be best to avoid her. Currently the stream shows no sign of the lady and it may be wise to cross now rather than wait, but what if you fall? You see further up the stream is a dense wall of briars and entangled branches. Yet there is a two foot gap between stream and wall that begs to be explored……..

   * *This is where trails are mixed and paths are weaved, Now is the place where a Choice is concieved. **

*Jump the Stream Now

*Go Explore the Gap

The Labyrinthine Woods Across the Field

                          With Arms Opened Wide   

The tall grass hisses softly as you pass by along the thin dirt trail cutting through the field that leads to the woods. It is mid-afternoon when you reach the threshold of the trees and the sun seems to stand still as it shines golden light on the fields and trees.

     Relief washes over you after leaving the scene of the bazaar kidnapping. Deep in your gut you know you should have gone looking for the kid, but your logic says you would have gotten in the way; you do not know that path like the rangers do. Eventually the thoughts of moments ago get eclipsed by the shadow of the Labyrinthine Woods.   

         A few meters before the Forest entrance you see a monument of a woman in an elegant dress. She has her hands outstretched and looks as if waiting for something. Perhaps you will go take a closer at the monument  later on after exploring the Labyrinthine Forest.

         It is said that the Labyrinthine Woods have many entrances, but the only one you know of now yawns before you with arms opened wide. Branches on either side mingle together to form an arch for the entrance to the forest. The sunlight shines brightly for about a half mile among the trees and then the shadiness of the forest takes over.

        At the mile marker the path you are on branches out into two more paths, one going left, the other going right. The path you are already on continues on a relatively smooth trail, but then goes uphill and ends abruptly. Perhaps you may see a good view from up there.

       The path on your left goes straight down and appears riddled with stones and roots. It may be very treacherous. Yet it may be worth exploring for if nothing else than to know where it goes.

     The path on the right goes uphill. You have explored this path before to an extent: it goes gradually uphill for about a mile and then flattens out and descends to meet a noisy stream. There is a bridge that crosses it but you do not know where it goes once across the bridge.  

***This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen. **

      *Go Straight and See the View

      * Go Left and See Unexplored Terrain

       *Go Right and See Familiar Ground

Blockaded Path Explored

           I’m Not Scared. Are you?

You choose to explore the blockaded path under the bridge. You enter between the large gap in the wood barricade and under the bridge. Beyond the bridge it appears that the sun is rapidly sinking, or perhaps the trees are blocking your view.

     The path is wide and is mostly dirt surrounded by trees, undergrowth, and the occasional open patch of grass. The golden sunlight reveals a light set of human footprints and you wonder who made them. The footprints end abruptly about 100 meters up the trail; in the distance you see something black across the path.

      There is a wide running stream of black water, about three feet across, that cuts across the trail; the footprints end here. The stream runs silently between two shallow walls of rock embedded in the dirt path, leaving the trail itself strangely dry. The water runs off into a deep valley where it is eventually covered up by briars and shabby trees. Yet something about this stream pulls you toward it.

    Rather than see your own reflection, you see the most beautiful lady you have ever seen. She is dressed in a flowing white gown, with flowing gold hair, red lips, blue eyes, and white teeth. Her skin is pale as if cold from the water; she smiles motherly, stretches out her elegant hand to you, and points to your right. You look right but only see a bunch of trees and a pile of leaves. You begin to wonder if there is something in the leaves—–

      Suddenly you are bowled over to the ground by a black thing wrapped in a dozen black mosquito nets! A gnarled grey-black hand and forearm stretches out from the rags and attempts to strangle you, while the other hand pulls off the hood and reveals the grey-black face of a Forest Fettre, a hideous old woman similar to a hag, but more aggressive, older, and invulnerable to most modern weaponry. Her mind is too sharp for the sharpest of blades, and her limbs are too quick for the most cunning of firearms. Now she has her prize and she will not let go.

    Her eyes bulge out of her face and look down a sharp nose while her wrinkled, almost lipless mouth opens and closes, smacking her gums.

       “Ah, I got you now, sugar-plumkins!” screams the Fettre as she nibbles your right ear with her lips, “You will make a fine stew.”

             There must be a way to get out of this predicament. Lucky for you your pack is reachable and an assortment of edible trinkets might be used to spare your life, or create a diversion. In the thick of things, however, you might do just as well to push the Fettre off of you and then run like mad.

         **This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen.

        *Feed the Forest Fettre Something Wholesome

        *Throw Off the Fettre that Binds You and Run

A Hike in the Park

It’s a sunny, cool, mid-winter day and you have been waiting to hike in the State park all week. Now that it is the weekend [it’s Thursday, close enough], you rush to the park around late afternoon and get a good parking space.

     You check your backpack to make sure you have everything you need: waterbottle, granola, packets of ammonia, bug spray, pocket knife, flashlight, camera, and a cell phone. Your reflection in the car window reveals a hiker determined to explore the woods: a ball cap, thick long-sleeve shirt, jeans and durable leather boots.

     You look at the your surroundings. The parking lot is shaded by a grove of large white oaks; beyond the trees is a field of tall grass. Within the field is a dirt trail leading to the woods a half mile away: this particular trail is familiar yet has numerous paths you have not explored. 

      Closer by another trail goes around a corner. This one goes under a large stone bridge into another section of the forest, but the rangers have sealed it off to keep hikers out. At this time park rangers and fire engines are near the bridge.

          You start to head to the woods—-
an explosion is heard near the bridge. You see a plume of smoke go up. 
All this buzz is making you curious; what is going on over there?     

           *This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen.        

*Explore the Blockaded Trail Beyond the Bridge

*Explore the Trail Across the Field in the Woods

Intro: Welcome to the Park

          Welcome to the Park.

My name is Isaac Craft and this is my blog. I started it as a way to learn webdesign. This blog is a story, a choose-your-own-adventure [CYOA], about a hiker in a state park and all that is encountered while on that hike.

     When I first wrote this I stated I was about 26 pages into it and hope to make it grow more. Now I’m working on close to 90 pages, all interconnected with colored links like this one.

         Because it is a CYOA, “pathweaver” sounds appropriate; the story is a written maze, connected by links. In time it may have pictures of where the hiker [you] is in the story and even music.

      Currently I’m working on ideas and hope to continue to grow the story-blog here in the Park with new ideas and to expand and refine the old ones.  Thank you for reading.

       I’ve got a gallery of art on Deviantart.com. Much of it may or may not go right along with the story. Please visit.

                        Sincerely, Isaac Craft