Thanks, time-wasters, for your input! Before I continue, I would like to get your opinion on one other thing: did I wait too long between the last Affected Moronics post and this one? Did you lose interest, or become disheartened when it seemed that I would never continue the story? Was it like there was this big, empty chasm in your soul? Did the cold, mournful wind howling over the gaping maw of that chasm slowly drive you mad until at last you decided that filling it with something--anything!--would beat the feeling of abject loneliness and pointlessness, so you took up drugs and became a toddler-smacking mustard fiend?
Or was the interval just about right?
If you recall the first installment, I offered four plot branch choices, thoughtfully numbered with letters. Branch B got the most votes, followed by Branch C with adamant support from TSB. So I've decided to try to work in both of them. Using two Branch Choices may become standard practice, because it causes me to work harder, and will be a lot of fun if I offer choices that differ from eachother in extreme ways. For example, if choices A and C get chosen, and A involves someone dying, and choice C involves the same person becoming Lord of the Nitwits on a small island...well, you get the idea.
The Road to Doom
...The vendor's placating smile dissolved and fell from his face with a spangle, leaving his visage cloudy and forsooth.
"Lad, 'tis a fine choice you've made, but a dangerous one!" the man said, wringing his pantaloons in consternation.
Ernald swelled his chestplates and drew himself up to his fullest of heights. He drew in a deepish breath and expelled it in a hefty declaration:
"Sir! You know not to whometh you speaks! I am Ernald Spankholm, spawn of a wealthy and valiant man! Your rebuttal to cooperate promptly in this transmission has forced me to become rampagey!" Ernald then drew his dagger and waved it in the atmosphere in a deaf manner.
"Oh, now please, young master," pleaded the chicken vendor, his face a mask of perpetuality. "I was only attaching to warn you of the perils you would be investing upon yourself!"
The man's words never reached Ernald's earbones, as he was possessed of a particulate and ventriloquist rage. He stomped about greatly, and booted chickens left, right and Southward. He swore! He codpieced! He gnawed upon the cart's wheelspokes. At last, when he had evaporated his rage, he stood amidst the scattered feathers, chestplates heaving, and glavored at the vendor.
"Willst thou replant thy refusal to sell me yon purple cockerel now?" Ernald asked in a calmish manner, twirling his dagger extrapolatedly and re-putting it back into its scrabhold. The vendor looked back at him with a goatish expression and abjected his eyes.
"I never said that I wouldst not," he muttered through gripped teeth. He looked up at Ernald, an expression of latitude warping his visage. "It will cost you double, now that you've rampaged my livelihood all to cylinders, though."
Ernald started with a start, and glazed around at the tantamount his rampage had left. He agreed to the terms.
"I agree to your terms," he said, and opened his pouchel of moneycoins. "How many gumbies for the cockerel and assimilated damagings?"
"Fourteen gumbies and three halfpence," the vendor said, accepting the gold, "and you must be mightily careful with the animal, for it is of a magical decomposition!" Having spake his piece, he gained the summit of his mule, struck the beast a blow to the rump with his ampersand, honked a blast on his crumpet, and was away in a cloud of dust and indigenous floatings.
"I like corn," said a squeaky voice.
Ernald's face compacted with confusion as he viewed around.
"Down here. Your latest acquisition?" came the voice again.
Ernald's face positively disappeared with combustion as he narrowed his eyeballs and served the purple cockerel with a slippery look.
"You have the facilities of speech!" he said, amassed.
"'Tis true," admitted the cockerel. "I am called Bill the Purple, but you may call me Billward for short. You now have the power of a marginally retarded sorcerer. Congratulations!"
Ernald squinted down on his knees and looked Billward in the eyesocket. "Is this true?" he asked pendulously.
"Aye," said Billward. "Stretch out your arm and say, in a loud, clear voice, the word blastflamy!"
Ernald did as the cockerel instructed, and a small pile of leaves in front of him began to smolder.
"That's not very impressive," he muttered.
Billward frowned beakily. "You need training. You have a long way to go before you reach the exalted title of 'marginal.' We start tonight!"
Whee! I worked the branches in. Gold stars for me. Now for the next set:
a.) Ernald and Billward split up after Ernald, still driven by hunger, attempts to cook Billward with his new fire powers. Ernald vows to learn the secrets of sorcery by himself, and takes classes to that end.
b.) Billward mentions that there is an evil wizard who lives atop the highest peak of the Mighty Mountains, and he and Ernald vow to de-throne him and capture his stash of evil microwave popcorn.
c.) Ernald and Billward are captured by a roving band of chuckling pirates, and are taken aboard their ship, where they sail all over tarnation, plotting to escape. Ernald does not like the pirates' food.
d.) Ernald, displaying his marginal sorcerer powers, becomes Lord of the Nitwits on a small island.
Choose wisely, time-wasters, as the state of this story depends on your decisions!