ClickHole

Can You Survive The Great Journey Out West?

You’ve spent your whole life here in Missouri, but it’s time to try your luck out west. Today, you embark on the Oregon Trail. However, you won’t get far traveling on foot, so it’s best that you first acquire some means of conveyance to help you through the journey.

You’ve purchased a handsome young colt named The Duke. Be good to him and he’ll make sure you arrive safely out west.

Now, you’ve got a big decision to make: Should you bring your family with you on the dangerous journey, or should you set out on your lonesome?

“Son, I ain’t ever heard of no dune buggy. Why don’t you just buy a horse?”

“Now, wait one second there, young man.”

Old Man Roscoe, the biggest lunatic in town, wants to have a word with you. You have to be polite to him because he’s handicapped.

“Just where do you think you’re going?”

“You are, eh? Better be careful out there. Dangerous things await you—horrific things plucked from the very depths of Hell. I saw them in a vision.”

“When the purple sky descends, remember to whistle Dixie. You hear me, boy? It just might save your life.”

Finally! It’s just you and The Duke now, setting out into the wild unknown with eyes and hearts fixed on the great American promise. There’s no one around for miles and you’ve never felt so free. The world is yours—you can do whatever you want!

Nice! Now moon that bald eagle.

Good job. It’s only day one and you’re already an Oregon Trail pro.

Check it outa hitchhiker. Looks like he needs a ride.

“Howdy.”

“Yessir. Trying to get to Florida.”

“More or less.”


Turns out the hitchhiker wasn’t so honest, and the detour to Florida took much longer than he’d led you to believe—four months, to be exact. Now, you’ve got a tough choice to make: Either return to the Oregon Trail and keep heading west, or try your luck in Florida.

Good call. The Duke is the only companion you need.

That’s the spirit! Don’t let a little four-month diversion keep you from your destiny.

Welp, you got eaten by some alligators. This wouldn’t have happened if you’d continued out west. You really goofed up bad.

America sure is beautiful.

From sea to shining sea, God’s glories cover this great land.

Such majesty. So breathtaking.

Oh, no! A rattlesnake just bit you. There’s poison everywhere, and it hurts real bad.

Yet by some incredible stroke of luck, a wise old medicine man just so happens to be passing on the trail. Better flag him down—you’re starting to feel woozy.

“Sure do,” he says. “You just gotta do exactly what I say. If you don’t, it might very well prove fatal. I reckon you’ve only got three or four minutes, tops, until the poison takes its course and your organs begin shutting down. You really can’t delay.”

“Traditionally ’round these parts, folks tend to do things according to Indian remedies, which in this instance would require sucking the venom from the wound and applying white bark with pressure. However, I’d recommend a different course, as in my experience, this just occasions further sickness.”

“...once this is accomplished, count to 500 Mississippi while applying pressure to the...”

The old medicine man did not dispense his advice swiftly enough, and the poison takes over. You lose consciousness, and shortly thereafter, you perish.

Would you like to end your journey now, or continue on as The Duke?

Amazingly, the whiskey heals the snakebite, and you’re going to survive. However, you’ve lost a lot of time, and you really need to pick up the pace if you ever want to make it out west.

You’re making great time. Good job.

The Duke is looking pretty wiped. Not sure how much longer he can keep up this grueling pace.

“Listen,” you say. “You’re a horse, and chances are you only understand very rudimentary English. So, I’m just going to blow really loud on a harmonica and hope it means something to you.”

It worked! The Duke is once again feeling good and is ready to continue the journey.

That didn’t help at all. Looks like The Duke is dead. And you won’t make it 10 miles without a horse.

At this point, you’ve really only got two options.

Option one: You can sit around and watch as the wild iguanas emerge from the brush and pick The Duke’s bones clean, and maybe in the time it takes for that to happen you’ll come up with a better game plan.

Option two: You can start a new life right here and just lie and tell everyone back home that you made it out west.

What’s it gonna be?

Welp. The iguanas have had their way with The Duke and you still don’t have a game plan. Now that they’ve got a taste for blood, seems like they’re going to eat you, too. This is the end.

You did not survive the Oregon Trail.

Welcome to your new life! As far as anybody knows, you’ve made it out to Oregon and are having lots of success. Congratulations!

Yeehaw! With your trusty steed beneath you and your destiny before you, it feels like nothing can stop you from completing your journey out west.

Goddammit, now The Duke is eating some garbage he found, and it looks like he’s choking on a tin can.

“Jesus, you could’ve died,” you angrily shout at The Duke after extracting the tin can from his trachea. “Get it together.”

Why’d you let him choke like that? Now The Duke is dead and you’re completely screwed. You won’t make it 10 miles without a horse.

At this point, you’ve really only got two options.

Option one: You can sit around and watch as the wild iguanas emerge from the brush and pick The Duke’s bones clean, and maybe in the time it takes for that to happen you’ll come up with a better game plan.

Option two: You can start a new life right here and just lie and tell everyone back home that you made it out west.

What’s it gonna be?

Months into your journey now, supplies are beginning to dwindle. You’re getting hungry. Really hungry.

Your hunger is making you delusional. Every bush you see turns into a mouth-watering roasted turkey. You fall for it every time, because television has not yet been invented and you don’t recognize this trope.

Your body refuses to keep movin’ west. The hunger is too great to continue. If you don’t eat something now, you will likely die. What do you want to do?

Yes! How did you not think of this before? If food grows from dirt, then it stands to reason that dirt probably has everything in it that food has. You will never go hungry again!

Smart thinking. If you already have a hand, why would you need a second one? By eating the spare, you’ve lightened your load and filled your tummy, giving you the energy to finish the journey.

In your desperation, you resort to eating the food with onions mixed in. You hate onions so much. You can handle them if they’re diced really small and cooked down into a stew, but eating them straight-up makes you gag. Oh, well. At least you’re not starving anymore.

As soon as you take a bite, you remember the old adage: “Try not to swallow anything covered in tiny swords.” You look down at your forearm and see the tattoo you got for situations just like this, the one that says, “Only eat smooth foods.” But it’s too late. You try to induce vomiting, but the cactus is already shredding your internal organs beyond repair. You die within minutes.

Will you end your journey now, or continue on as The Duke?

With your hunger vanquished, you feel that nothing can stop you now. You’re in the home stretch.

“Hang in there, pal,” you tell The Duke, scratching him behind his ear. “Get us to Oregon in one piece and I’ll buy you more carrots than you could ever dream of eating.”

This last part is a lie, but it’s okay to lie to horses.

Uh-oh. Looks like one hell of a storm rolling in. This could be disastrous.

This is a storm of apocalyptic proportions, and you’re heading right into its jaws. The odds of you making it out alive are slim.

As the wind starts screaming and the hail batters you head-on, you realize that the next action you take will determine whether you live or die.

It was a rough night, but you and The Duke were able to survive the treacherous storm by taking shelter behind a boulder. It won’t be long now until you’ve finally made it out west.

It was a rough night, but you and The Duke pulled through. It won’t be long now until you’ve finally made it out west.

You remember the words that Old Man Roscoe told you at the very beginning of your adventure: “When the purple sky descends, remember to whistle Dixie.”

You take his advice and begin whistling, but immediately you realize that this was a bad idea. Old Man Roscoe is a lunatic, and you shouldn’t trust lunatics with your life.

A flash flood rushes forth and slams you helplessly against the rocky ground. Not long after, you drown.

Incredibly, The Duke manages to survive. Do you want to end your journey now, or continue on as The Duke?

“We’re so close, buddy,” you tell The Duke. “We’re going to make it!”

Oh, no. This can’t be happening. You’ve traveled so many hundreds of miles over so many months, looking death in the face time and time again, and just when you think you’re in the clear, this happens: A log is blocking the trail.

You’ve come so far. What will you do now?

Better safe than sorry. Welcome back home, weary traveler.

Yes! Despite the odds, you and The Duke have made it over the log! Now, all you’ve got to do is limp across the finish line.

Your destination is right in front of you. How about finishing this thing in style?

Deviantart via GolpeArt

Congratulations! You and The Duke have safely arrived in Oregon. You have survived the great journey out west.

“Now, believe me, further sickness is the last thing someone in your condition needs. I would strongly insist on taking a restorative cure-all of my own concoction. Would that be agreeable to you?”

“Now, your first course of action should be to apply a simple restorative poultice to the opening of the wound,” he explains.

“To do that, prepare a large mortar and bruise together varying measures of pleurisy root, chamomile, horehound, elderflower, turpentine, cranesbill, verdigris, pennyroyal, molasses, mugwort, Indian turnip, wintergreen, whites of egg, linseed oil...”

“...mutton broth, cabbage leaf, angelica seeds, witch hazel, hemp root, rye meal, cotton lint, wild indigo, crawley root, fried oats, sweet flag, saffron, camphor, marigold, senna, chewing chestnut, ginger, chickweed...”

“...dung lettuce, prickly ash, composition powder, inner bark of black alder, cold sage, dandelion, bruised nettles, henbane, pumpkin seed oil, mushroom catsup, fishworm, lumbago, cayenne, and sassafras. This is step one of eight.”

“...For step two, you’re going to want to apply garlic and onion to the soles of your feet and then rest them in a bucket of hot milk while drinking heavily of vinegar…”

You sense your time is running short. Everything is a blur. Do you continue listening to the old medicine man, or do you splash some whiskey in the wound, hope for the best, and continue on your way?

The more the merrier! Joining you on your adventure will be your wife, Ruth, your brother, Elmer, and your two daughters, Birdie and Gorth.

“Now, wait one second there, young man.”

Old Man Roscoe, the biggest lunatic in town, wants to have a word with you. You have to be polite to him because he’s handicapped.

“Just where do you think you’re going?”

“You are, eh? Better be careful out there. Dangerous things await you—horrific things plucked from the very depths of Hell. I saw them in a vision.”

“When the purple sky descends, remember to whistle Dixie. You hear me, boy? It just might save your life.”

Finally! You and your family have embarked on your expedition across the sprawling American wilderness.

Uh-oh. Moments into your journey, your doofus family trips into some quicksand and dies.

What do you want to do now?

It’s just you and The Duke now, setting out into the wild unknown with eyes and hearts fixed on the great American promise. There’s no one around for miles, and you’ve never felt so free. The world is yours—you can do whatever you want!

Sorry that your family died. One day, you will be reunited with them in Heaven, with the exception of your children, who had not yet been baptized.

Even though you did not manage to complete your great journey out west, hopefully you at least learned some lessons from this debacle.

Fair enough.

Maybe next time you’ll have what it takes to survive the great journey out west.

You are now The Duke, and since you are a horse, you are unaware that you’re currently on a grand journey to pursue a bright future out west. So you’re just going to do some horse things for a while.

What do you want to do?

Standing around is great. Why would you ever do anything else?

You’ve decided that you’re just going to keep standing around for the rest of your life. Sweet.

This is pretty fun.

Oh, shit! Run!

That was the scariest thing ever. Better stand around for a while to calm your nerves.

Fair enough.

Maybe next time you’ll have what it takes to survive the great journey out west.

Fair enough.

Maybe next time you’ll have what it takes to survive the great journey out west.


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