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Current Affairs

A Magazine of Politics and Culture

Susannah Lohr

Choose Your Own Nightmare

Waking life is awful enough, but should you wish to escape into something worse, Current Affairs has just the solution.

Want to create the optimally horrifying nightmare? Now you can with our very own Current Affairs nightmare-generator. Just follow the prompts and assemble your ideal incubus!

1. Situation (first letter of your first name)

A. crowded train and everyone is Alex Jones
B. in Kiev and everyone is mad at you
C. discovered your body has a zipper
D. no one is wearing a mask (pandemic)
E. no one is wearing a mask (surgery)
F. you must retake chemistry NOW
G. your closet is infinite but none of the fits are right
H. you are so very, very late (school)
I. you are so very, very late (period)
K. naked in public and everyone has noticed
L. due to a misunderstanding, every member of Fleet Foxes is convinced you’re a jerk
M. infinite airport terminals between you and your connection
N. left your cat at the grocery store
O. you did the dance wrong and now the river is pee
P. back at the worst job you’ve ever had and this time there’s no quitting
Q. you can fly but everyone can see your asshole
S. you laughed out a spark and now California is burning
T. you’re still alive but no one will believe you
U. it’s WWI and you forgot the bullets
V. paper due tomorrow in a language that has never existed
W. teeth falling out of your head
X. teeth falling into your head
Y. everything is teeth
Z. it’s your ex! YOUR FUCKING EX

2. And then… (first letter of your last name)

A. you are being chased by—
B. your phone starts telling everyone about your fetish for—
C. playing basketball but the ball is—
D. your worst family member has cornered you to tell you about—
E. crawling out of the toilet, it’s—
F. at your favorite writer’s book signing and you spill—
G. you will be killed if you don’t successfully cook—
H. Rachel Maddow announces you’re in league with—
I. you drop the stolen masterpiece, which is—
J. you’re pulling a bucket up from the well and it’s full of—
K. at a barbecue and your neighbor is serving—
L. you’re having weird, uncomfortable sex with—
M. you’re doubled over and vomiting out—
N. you’re carrying an egg that’s hatching out—
O. you learn your liver is riddled with—
P. your neighborhood is invaded by—
Q. you’re in the passenger seat and the driver is—
R. you find yourself about to marry—
S. you have to give a speech but instead of notes you have—
T. the Magic Eye painting of your deepest fears resolves into—
U. all your socks are filled with—
V. you open the crashed spaceship only to discover—
W. your face is covered in blisters that pop to reveal—
X. it’s prom and your outfit is made of—
Y. the customers are angry and they all want—
Z. you cut your birthday cake, revealing—

3. The Worst Part (first letter of the name of your street)

A. snakes
B. spiders
C. sharks
E. darkness
F. a bloody showerhead that blames you for everyone it’s killed
G. your dead aunt who always saw through your bullshit
H. Bear, the great Destroyer of legend
I. Mitch McConnell
J. that ABYSS again
K. a stone golem in terrible pain
L. that part of the wall you know is haunted
M. Skyeleigh McEaighneigh, the new White House press secretary
N. 1000+ unread emails
O. the mysterious filthy object in the stockroom
P. bees
Q. murder hornets
R. blood! what a mess
S. brains!! just kidding, it’s actually spaghetti—psych it really is brains
T. an undead coyote covered in flies
U. a new song from Hamilton
V. a perfect spiral of sentient mold
W. a secret DM in which your friends make fun of you
X. a narrow hole that you fall into and can’t escape
Y. leaking buboes full of the Black Death
Z. the universal serpent slowly devouring the heart of the sun

illustrations by susannah lohr

Plus… (your zodiac sign)

  • AQUARIUS — Mardi Gras beads that can feel pain
  • PISCES — rats that are not afraid of you
  • ARIES — the haunting scent of a perfume that, waking, you will always desire but never find again
  • TAURUS — that paperwork you never filled out
  • GEMINI — the disappointed ghost of Mr. Rogers
  • CANCER — a city-sized pustule
  • LEO — the mafioso’s glass eye
  • VIRGO — the wind of Divine Justice
  • LIBRA — you, humiliating yourself, in front of everyone you know
  • SCORPIO — the ominous whistle of a bomb
  • SAGITTARIUS — John Waters! he thinks you’re boring

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