The Starbucks at the End of Your Rope Redux

Horsehockey V - Episode 1

It was another Friday night at a Starbucks Coffee joint in a suburb somewhere in the St. James-Independence metroplex in southwestern Nebraska.

A few minutes ago, eight regulars walked in.

Sure, there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary with Josh Burbank, his fiancee Beth McCart, Scott Alan Childers (a.k.a. Scott Raymond Chen), his girlfriend Krissy Cobham, cousins Sara and Jasper Hewitt, and their significant others Anne Peters (Jasper's girlfriend) and Kim King (Sara's new boyfriend) to the other Starbucks regulars. They were known for their raucous laughter as they all gradually loaded up on coffee and baked goods, but otherwise, they were considered good folks.

Tonight, though, things were different. For starters, our heroes are the only ones here, aside from the two baristas. However, Josh, Scott and the rest of the gang don't really seem to be bothered by this, until thirty minutes in, when they all go uncomfortably silent mid-conversation and exchange looks of realization with one another.

"It's happening again, isn't it?" Sara asks to break the silence.
"I think so," Jasper answers, looking outside.
"Honey, what's going on?" Anne asks Jasper. "Why do I have this strange...feeling?"
"Say Kim, how are you feeling right now?" Scott asks.
"Kinda weird, homey," Kim replies, looking flustered. "It don't mean I don't like hangin' out with you guys, though."
"Beth? You all right?" Krissy asks.
"Yeah, kind of. We're never going to escape this, are we?"

Everyone turns to look towards Josh, who sits at the end of the table, and hasn't said anything since their collective epiphany. He doesn't look too happy.

"I have a modest proposal, gang," Josh finally speaks. "This Horsehockey thing can't really get to us if we don't let it. And we all know in the past, things didn't start going haywire for us until after we tried to escape the first time. So, I suggest that we don't leave this spot for as long as possible. I know it isn't the most practical thing to do, since we all have jobs and lives and families, but we don't have to let them push us around anymore!"

The vote is unanimous. They won't be leaving this table anytime soon.

  1. And the sit-down strike continues into the night.
  2. Or so they think!
  3. Something else.
  4. Somewhere else.
  5. Somebody else.
  6. Something other than else.
  7. Somewhere other than else.
  8. Somebody other than else.
  9. Suddenly...
  10. hey wyd? lol
  11. There is wrenching sensation as the wide variance of the Tower creates an alternate reality.
  12. There is an audible pop, a slight smell of orange citrus, and Josh Burbank disappears
  13. A loud humming noises rises to crescendo, the lights brown out for a moment, and Jasper and Sara are gone.
  14. Beautiful orchestral music is heard, the room explodes with colorful light, and Josh, Sara, Jasper, and Scott all disappear in puffs of smoke.
  15. Suddenly, something happens to YOU!
  16. "Do you hear something?" asks Scott, tilting his head. "I definitely hear something. It sounds... teal." He then gradually vanishes while screaming obscenities.
  17. The one you've been anxiously awaiting since summer of 1999...
  18. And now for something not-quite-so-completely different
  19. In a distant office, on a screen, a red warning blinks lazily.
  20. The small hamlet of Gilden might attract your interest

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Ben McClellan

6/3/2019 12:39:35 PM

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