'What If' Game! #1 #whatifgame

Well, after having participated in two ‘What If’ games found on the lovely J.A. Belfield’s blog, I decided to follow suit and host one of my own.  So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to give you a brief scenario and RESIST the urge to finish it myself. 

You imagine that you are the character in the scene and write what you would do as the MC of the story.

You do NOT have to be a writer to participate! 

So come on and give it a shot :)  It’s simple and fun…and I’m dying to see what y’all come up with as an ending. 

Here’s your scenario:   


Your eyes fly open.  Darkness has fallen.  Twisted curls of branches loom above you against the blackness of the night.  What happened?  As you sit up, a throbbing ache in your skull forces you to wince.  Clutching the back of your head, you attempt to scour your brain for some recollection of how you wound up lying on the leafy forest bed.  A pleasant evening walk through the State park.  There was a chase.  Your eyes dart in all directions, looking for whatever had been after you.  But the only movement is the light shudder of leaves through the treetops. 

While studying your surroundings, your eyes finally settle on the large object before you; a rather peculiar-looking tree.  How odd.  It’s much larger than the others, with corkscrew boughs and dark black bark.  Snarled roots protrude from the earth at its base.  It doesn’t belong in this forest of maples, birch and oak trees.  In fact, it looks like something straight out of a Tim Burton movie. 

The snap of twigs echoes from behind.  Your head whips back; you grimace at the abrupt movement.  As you scramble to turn your body, a sharp stab of pain shoots through your ankle.  You’ve sprained it. 

A shadow moves on the edge of moonlight shining down into the forest.  Your breath hitches and your heart begins to pound a steady gallop toward frantic.  Swallowing a gulp, you back up against the tree, nestling into the crook of a thick exposed root.  Something tickles your palm and you gasp.  With recoil, you tuck your hand under the opposite arm and strain in the darkness to see what it is.  A piece of fabric is lodged half in and out of the bark, as though a permanent part of the tree.  How?  The strangeness of it manages to divert your attention from whatever lurks in the shadows. 

You tug on the fabric and it pulls easily from the trunk; a ragged scrap of burlap.  With a trembling hand, your fingertips graze the rough bark and move beyond it, disappearing into the ridges of the tree.  Amazing.  Like a…portal.  You allow your wrist, forearm and elbow to vanish into the trunk, then quickly withdraw and examine your limb; completely intact. 

Another crackle.  This one closer than the one before it.  A scan of the forest reveals nothing.

You look back at the mysterious tree.  Reaching inside the bark, you pat around.  Is there something on the other side?  Nothing but open air.  A low, guttural sound rumbles just beyond the clearing behind you.  Your eyes slowly trail back in the direction of the noise.  Silver glowing orbs move closer.  You cautiously scoot over the large root and lean back, allowing your shoulder and chest to merge with the bark. 

The erratic drumming of your heart makes it difficult to breathe evenly.  There is a numbness affecting half of your body; frightening.  But as you consider removing your arm from the tree, you catch sight of a gaping maw housing rows of sharp teeth.  The beast edges toward you.  Glistening strings of saliva dangle from its jaws.  Another growl, more ferocious than the first, has your pulse racing.  The creature lowers its upper body, raising its haunches, as if to pounce.  Your eyes widen.  You take a deep breath and…