A Mistake

“It’s not that I don’t want kids,” she says.

“Well what is it then, Elaine? Is it me?” he asked.

“No…actually yes. It is you. But not because I don’t love you. In terms of you, by yourself, you’re wonderful.”

“But put me in a room with kids and I grow horns and turn into some sort of ogre. Is that it?”

“No. Of course not. It’s just that I don’t think you have any idea what it’s like to raise kids. How much work it takes. How much sacrifice. And I don’t want to enter into parenthood with someone who has baby blue colored glasses on.”

“Fine, but how can I possibly prove to you that I know how much work it takes to be a parent? Should I quit my job and open up a day care center, for God’s sake?!”

“See? That’s exactly what I mean. Here we are just having a conversation and you are already raising your voice and sounding frustrated. What would you do with a three year old who refused to eat dinner?”

“I would tell him or her that if they didn’t want to eat dinner, there would be no vanilla ice cream and since any child of mine wouldn’t want to miss out on dessert, they would willingly comply.”

She shoves her bowl of chili across the table at him.“Vanilla ice cream now Daddy!”

He looks a bit surprised for a second but decides to go along with it. In a gentle voice, he says." Ice cream after dinner sweetie."

He pushes the bowl back toward her and his eyebrows shoot up when she turns the bowl upside down on the kitchen table and looks at him with her arms crossed. He thinks about it for a second. If he calls an end to this scenario, then he will have to concede her point and so he sees no real choice but to go along in a calm but assertive voice. “You are going to clean that up and then go straight to bed young lady.”

“No!” She crosses her arms and sticks out her lower lip wondering just how far he will go before slipping out of the scenario.

“Do you want a spanking young lady?”

She gets up from the table, walks over to the kitchen counter and opens up the cupboard. She takes out a package of Oreo cookies, and just as she is about to put one in her mouth, she feels his hand grab her wrist while the other delivers a sharp smack on her behind.

He clears his throat to keep from laughing at the startled look on her face that corresponds with the thwack of the palm of his hand against the fleshiest part of her bottom. Still holding her hand, he easily leads her over to the kitchen table, sits back down in his chair, and turns her to face him and asks, " Are you ready to clean the chili off the table and finish your dinner now?"

The sting in her bottom is giving way to a delicious warmth. She isn’t sure if the tears in her eyes are from the sudden pain or sudden emotion. “After Daddy kisses. I’ll clean up after Daddy gives kisses.”

The bratty undertone in that little girl voice has been replaced with a sweetness that makes the blood rush from his face and he stares at her for a second, surprised and a bit ashamed that what they have just done was more arousing than anything he has ever seen or done before.

“According to Supernanny you really are supposed to follow up with hugs and kisses after disciplining a child.”

The sudden switch back to her normal alto voice makes him take all the more pleasure in the little girl he had just seen and later that night after they have made love and are lying silently next to each other listening to the gentle window tapping of a sudden summer thunderstorm he says, " I think you have a point about me having an idealized notion of what it’s like to raise a kid. I’d be open to practicing some more. How about it?"

Glad he can’t see the spontaneous smile that has spread across her face in the dark, she says, “Sure I’d be open to that.”

ONE YEAR LATER…

Jane was surprised when the UPS truck pulled into her driveway. She hadn’t ordered anything, but her son Steven often sent her birthday presents early. She got up from the kitchen table and out the door before the delivery man had a chance to get out of the truck. He said “good morning” in a strong accent that she couldn’t quite place, slightly British. Maybe South Africa or even Australia? Whatever it was it was thick, and when he said her name, she blamed the accent for the fact that it didn’t sound quite right. The box was large and heavy so the driver helped her push the box into her garage before he waved goodbye and wished her a happy birthday.

Several minutes later, she stood staring at the contents in confusion. Why would her son have sent her an adult high chair? Was he feeling nostalgic for his infancy? His wife certainly wouldn’t like that idea. When she looked at the packing slip to see where he had bought it, she breathed a huge sigh of relief. This box was actually addressed to her new neighbors across the street. Taking this package over to them would be awkward, but a lot less awkward than the conversation she would have had to have with her son.

LATER THAT DAY… After the next door neighbor brought the high chair , Elaine sat on the couch feeling somewhat shell shocked. She was still sitting there when Jeff came home from work. On the bright side, four hours sitting on the couch, praying for the best and preparing for the worst gave her an understanding of what he went through the day he asked her to marry him. That might explain why he had asked her at breakfast. Who would want to drag that kind of mental torture on until evening? The look on her face gave her away the minute he walked in the door and the general outline of events came out in a rush, the explanation of her improvised explication coming out so fast he couldn’t quite follow it.

“You did what?” he asked.

“I told her if was for my twin sister who became brain damaged after overdosing on alcohol and valium.”

“This sister is so brain damaged she needs to be fed in a high chair? Was she of normal intelligence before?”

“You’re the psych resident. You tell me.”

“It would have to have been quite an overdose.” “She was a perfectionist who overdosed when she couldn’t get a high enough LSAT score to get into an Ivy League law school, and it breaks my heart to see such a brilliant woman reduced to the intellectual capacity of a two year old that whenever you bring her here to give her a break from the long term care facility, I can’t bear to be out in public with her.”

“Thus explaining why the two of you are never seen together. Quite ingenious. How did what’s her name react?”

“Suzanne took it all in stride. Even offered to babysit 'Eliza” since she used to be a nurse."

“Really? We might have to find out the name of that UPS mane and send him a thank you gift.”

She stared at Jeff, feeling the blush crawl up her cheeks, trying to balance between excitement and mortification. They weren’t actually going to have this mythical twin sister come visit, were they?

Readers: Suzanne is now faced with the issue that she likes their play to be private and Jeff has a much more exhibitionist streak. In real life, what do you think a married couple is most likely to do in this situation:
(a) they will talk about this difference in their desires and compromise
(b) the issue will remain unspoken and become a contest of wills between them

Re: A Mistake

And I thought we had come a long way from those old DOS text based computer programs of the early 80’s. This actually seems to be a step backwards to me. At least then I could choose A) or B) and the adventure would go on. And, if I was too close to dying, I would be warned; “You are at deaths door knocking loudly.”

Not being able to go on with your adventure, definately has me at deaths door knocking loudly. Sorry without the ability to choose and go on, I just can’t get into these type of stories.

Just write your story the way you want the story to go, and stop trying to get readers opinions as to what should happen next. Write your story for yourself, not your readers.

Re: A Mistake

I was lost in this story. No details about the situations. I don’t know if you meant to do this or not but it is confusing.

Re: A Mistake

I’m gonna go with option C and ask that you try rewriting this whole start.

We have no setting or exposition, the sudden spastic and spontaneous jumps from scene to scene and even from subjects in a conversation to different subjects make it really hard to read and keep up with, half the time I have no idea who is talking or what’s even happening in a scene.

The whole thing is rigid and fairly rushed, and I’d like to comment on the plot of the story but I honestly don’t know what’s going on let alone know if there is a plot. Sorry but this is my best assessment, and the best I can say.

One other thing I will say is that asking for us to vote on what happens next is a bad idea, the whole idea of a stories sense of mystery and illusion is that we may not be able to predict what’ll happen next, let alone choose, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to take that aspect away.

Re: A Mistake

^You said it better than me^

Re: A Mistake

As has been said the vote bit at the end is like the old adventure games on the BBC PC or similar PC’s. Also the whole thing feels rushed, it moves from scene to scene suddenly, the subject matter in the conversations jump from one subject to other, we are not told about the characters or the scenes.

Re: A Mistake

It’s not terrible, but it’s awkwardly framed and it lacks context and textural detail. I’ve done a Choose Your Own Adventure AB/DL story before (Meg’s Transformation), so I know it isn’t easy. Nevertheless, it can work if you make a better effort to engage the audience with your writing rather than relying on the choice at the end.

Re: A Mistake

You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

Re: A Mistake

I would like to see you continue this story… but I’m not entirely sure this story has gone in such a way that the audience should be the one to decide how.
it does have a good deal of potential though. at least, I think so :stuck_out_tongue: