Outside, a storm is raging. Inside, the room is cozy and peaceful. Your chair is comfortable, you are relaxing, you are concentrating on your reading and your book is good. You are dispelling every other thought. The fire is warming both you and your sleeping dog.

Suddenly, you hear a loud crack outside. Worried, you leap up from your chair and go to the window, but in the dark storm you cannot see what has happened.

Investigating further, you open the door into the storm.

You decide not to worry, and return to your comfortable chair

This is the second node and first split in this short Choose Your Own Adventure story. It is part of a larger essay.

Or is it part of a larger story? We should decide that.

The story is told in thirty-two small nodes mostly arranged in a tree structure. At its widest the tree graph has eight branches. The shortest path through the story has four nodes, the longest has eighten.

There are places where several branches of the tree converge and reduce the number of endings.

The old Choose Your Own Adventure books also compromised the tree structure, and there's no reason to keep it pure. If you kept the tree pure you would end up with more and more branches and endings. The story would open out into an ocean of stories. That's a recognized form [24, 25] but it wouldn't work for our purposes here unless it had added meta-reflections, and those would themselves compromise the tree structure.