Discover more from a body of words
Digging In Circles
A Choose Your Own Dig Adventure
“The Great Substack Prompt Celebration” is hosted by the Fictionistas.
June’s Flashy Fiction Prompt
Your dog has dug a large hole in your backyard and is losing their mind about what’s inside. You look in the hole and know instantly that you will be on the news.
Enjoy the latest addition to my body of words as it leaps onto the page and then into the air.
Digging In Circles
(A Choose Your Own Dig Adventure)
Welcome to this simulation, Adventurer. It’s quite likely different from your other VR adventures. Ah, the dangers of choice! Consequences are yours alone, for your decisions determine what happens to you.
Warning: A wrong choice is disastrous!
Never fear. You may return and change your story path, your life path, your destiny.
Decide on what to do next at the end of every scene.
It’s early evening when you get home again from your conference with the elderly trillionaire, Sidewinder Tusk. Your mechanical dog has dug a large circular hole in your backyard. You were gone for three days.
You left clear instructions for Charlie:
“Keep Boyson on his leash at all times. He must remain plugged in.”
You blow your special whistle to deactivate the rogue cybernetic animal. Go to Scene 5.
You look for Boyson in the massive hole. Go to Scene 3.
Boyson is motionless. It is clear he has lost his mind. Smoke whistles out his ears. You smell burning plastic. A painfully loud whine rises in pitch. You remember too late about the self-destruct sequence.
The animal will explode in ten seconds.
You reach for your whistle to deactivate the bomb you planted in the dog to ensure your proprietary technology stays safe. You’re too late. The detonation levels your house. The blast area covers two blocks in a perfect circle of destruction.
After dying in Scene 5, you go back to Scene 1 to choose a different path.
You stand at the edge of the hole. Boyson is digging slowly. He’s clearly running out of power.
“Hey, Boyson! Whatcha digging, boy?”
The indestructible Boyson chooses that moment to shut down, saving the last of its power and its dignity.
You ride the antigrav wheelbarrow down into the hole to retrieve your rogue million-dollar invention. Go to Scene 7.
You’re nervous about adventuring into the hole again. You’re someone who solved pi before you hit puberty, but you still sleep with the light on at night.
You see what Boyson was excavating with all of his robotic might. You let go of the wheelbarrow. It floats at the ready nearby.
“Oh, Boyson, why did you have to go and dig here?”
You turn to the gel cocoon and sigh. “It’s too late to cover this grave up.”
You call Alpha. Go to Scene 2.
You fix this problem on your own. Go to Scene 4.
“Alpha, this is Echo. Boyson dug up Delta’s body.”
“I told you to keep that animal plugged in and locked up, you idiot!”
“I gave precise instructions to Charlie. Boyson must have malfunctioned. He’s in low power mode in the crater he dug to get to Delta.”
“Boyson’s right next to you?”
“Yes, I’m down in the hole with Boyson, Delta, and what’s left of Charlie—”
The phone emits a high pitched whistle. Smoke whistles out of Boyson’s ears. You can smell burning plastic. A painfully loud whine rises in pitch. Alpha initiated the self-destruct sequence.
Boyson will explode in ten seconds.
You quickly reach for your whistle to deactivate the bomb. You die with the whistle in your mouth. The detonation levels your house and causes severe earth tremors for a five block radius.
After dying in Scene 2, you go back to Scene 7 to choose a different path.
You load the mangled pieces of Charlie onto the antigrav wheelbarrow and place Boyson on top. The wheelbarrow returns empty after a few minutes in the house.
“Delta?” You call out to the body lying in its clear gel cocoon. You blow the activation whistle sequence. Delta’s eyes open. His head shakes in confusion.
You shrug and help your elderly twin clone out of the gel wrapping. He stands on shaky legs.
“Why?” croaks Delta. “I retired decades ago.”
“Boyson dug you up. We’re screwed if anybody sees us together. We shouldn’t exist.”
“I called Alpha. He blew us all up in a previous scene.”
You’re talking to yourself. Your retired version is getting updates now that he’s activated and online. His eyes glow red and then green in sync with yours.
You turn off Automatic Sync. Go to Scene 6.
You’re off the grid now. Your phone rings. Called ID says, “Unknown Number,” but you know it’s Alpha checking in with his whistle at the ready.
“Delta, stop syncing!”
“Alpha?” asks Delta.
You nod your head. If the media got news about the five cybernetic clones of the real Elton Presley, the world would fall into chaos. Human cloning was forbidden around the grossly overpopulated globe.
You help the weakened Delta into your house with the aid of the wheelbarrow. Boyson is plugged in and almost fully powered. You’re feeling a little flat, so you plug yourself in too. You sort through the various pieces of Charlie in the living room, and try to figure out what happened. Your phone keeps ringing.
“Why didn’t Charlie sync with us?” asks Delta.
“I need his missing head to figure that one out.”
“What about Beta?”
“He’s with Alpha, holed up somewhere far away, probably a random space station orbiting the earth. I don’t get all the updates. I’m just a budget copy.”
You hear footsteps on the stairs. You look up and see two of you walking down the stairs. An angry Alpha and a guilty Beta holding Charlie’s head.
You decide to blow your activation whistle three times. Go to Scene 8.
The explosions are powerful thermonuclear detonations. All five cybernetic clones perish in the flames. Nothing is left of any of them. The only survivor is Boyson. You knew he’d make it out okay. That dog has great survival instincts. You programmed him yourself.
You decide to remain dead for the time being.
You’ve enjoyed pretending to be a real person.
You move aside for the real world to welcome a new Adventurer. Go back to the Prologue.
Once upon reaching THE END, please:
HEART. It makes my own heart pulse with joy. 💟
COMMENT. Every word you add is fuel for my creative fire. 🔥
SUBSCRIBE to a body of words. If you want more. 📝
Thanks for reading.