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/qst/ - Quests

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The sound of boots on old wooden floors is like the erratic pounding of a base drum, vibrating the walls. If there was anyone, or anything, in this house, it knew you were here now. Inside the cabin you're in a sort of . . . well, it looks like an indoor trash pit. Newspaper, old cardboard cartons, shattered wine bottles, a plastic jug of motor oil, empty, birds' nests, cobwebs, rotten books, car parts. The floor sags toward the middle, making the room bounce when you walk, and creating a 'bowl' effect.

Zack whistles, brushing a spider web aside. "What a shit show."

You nod, taking in the room again, rubbing your arms, it's pretty cold in here. So cold that your breath comes out in a frosty cloud and before it's gone.

Zack starts off for the next room. "Let's see what we can find, huh?"

>QM Twitter

I allow between ten and twenty minutes for voting depending on the importance of the issue and how divided the vote is. If the vote is tied up, I usually allow an extra five minutes for a tie breaker, and if no one votes, I roll for the tie breaker.

I always try to incorporate (and encourage!) write ins if they don't violate the spirit of voted decisions, though I may edit or tweak them to fit better.


>All for Blood

>Ellie's Road

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"Aren't you cold?" You ask.

{He isn't.}

"Nope," Zack says, looking back, "Are you? Do you want my jacket?"

"No, that's okay. I just wonder why I feel cold."

{It's a side effect of whatever's here, Alice. It's drawing on you like gravity draws down a stone.}

That imagery was hardly comforting.

"Probably a draft or something," Zack glances around, the only possible sources of air in this room are a window with some of the panes missing, a chimney, stopped up by some kind of rusted metal stove or grate, and the doorway he stands in. The air isn't moving.

You kick at some of the trash with the toe of your boot, careful not to scuff it. Your efforts uncover a bug-infested newspaper page. You wait for the silverfish to clear off of it before carefully squatting down to squint at the faded print.

Roselake Gazzette, June 5, 1947

"It's been a long time since anyone's lived here," you say, standing up to kick at the trash aimlessly, uncovering a crumpled cigarette pack and some kind of matted mess of hair, maybe part of a fur coat at some point, or maybe a part of an animal. It smells whatever it is. In fact, this whole place smells. Vaguely of rot and more specifically of decaying plant matter and rancid Tobacco.
You wrinkle your nose. You turn to see Zack already stepping out of the room.

{I'm starting to wonder if it's a good idea being here, Alice.}

Zack's far enough away not to hear your whispered reply.

"You already said this place wasn't safe," you said, "But you said you weren't afraid."

{It's not us that I'm worried about. It's Zack.}

"You coming?" Zack asks, "I think we should check out the rest of this place, it branches off back here. It's bigger than it looks."

>Actually, I'm feeling claustrophobic, I kind of want to leave
>We should stick together
>We should split up, you check around the outside and I'll check the inside
>Write in
Evening boss. How's the holidays treating you?

>Actually, I'm feeling claustrophobic. Mind if we take a break on this one?

>We should split up, you check around the outside and I'll check the inside
>If you run into any crazed serial killers or man-eating animals, just scream for me.
Oh yeah, we should grab that newspaper before we leave. It might have clues regarding what might have happened here.
>How's the holidays treating you?
Howdy! Can't complain. Been busy for sure though, how about you?

Gonna wait a bit more for a tie breaker. Phone posting so patience is appreciated
Gonna try to make do

Doing fine so far. Still need to get on top of a few things, but other then that, I'm pretty good.
I'm willing to switch my vote to >>2124385.
Hey QM!, If I'm too late for the tie breaker no worries, otherwise:
>Actually, I'm feeling claustrophobic, I kind of want to leave
Great to hear man, and no need to switch!

Tie broken!

"We should leave," you say, trying to sound casual.

"Oh yeah?" Zack asks, amused.

You brush off the newspaper and try to pick it up, scraps coming away in your hand, text flaking to dust, a silverfish scuttles across your hand and you jerk away.

You cast a nervous glance back at Zack, who saw the whole thing. At least you didn't scream.

"Yeah, I'm feeling a little claustrophobic, I kind of want some fresh air."

Zack snorts, "Scared?"

"Maybe," you say, keen to just get Zack out of the house, "A little."

He looks you over once, gauging your mood. He suddenly seems to recognize your genuine worry. "Alright, we can go if you want."

You exhale, feeling relief, but still, you have a nervous knot in your gut, one you can't shake. Brushing the remaining newspaper scraps off your hand you lead the way back out of the cabin, not bothering to close the door behind you.

As you step down onto the broad stone that serves as a step, you pull your phone from your pocket, keying a message to your Friend.

>hey wtf. Y r we running?

{I had a feeling something in there wanted you, Alice. Badly. I think we could have handled it, but Zack might have gotten caught up in it. Personally I think he'd be fine, but I didn't want you distracted.}

{I think so. More of a shadow of a person. You and I are hardly the strangest thing around Roselake, Alice.}

You remember an earlier conversation .

>web of occurrences?

Your Friend gives a single laughing flutter.

{Yes, I think so. That 'Web of Occurence' effects many things. It might be larger than is obvious.}

"We've still got some time," Zack says, interrupting your conversation. "Before dark. any ideas what you want to do?"

You see now that you've left the dead circle around the cabin and are once again in the woods. You look back at the cabin and- did something move in a window? You suppress a shiver.

>Why don't we just hike around? >We can go do some more sword stuff if you want
>Can we hang out at your place? My legs are tired
>Actually, I don't want my sister to worry, think you could take me home?
>Write in
Do we have any cash on hand? If we do, let's buy lunch as a sort of apology for cutting the exploration short.
You have some petty cash, but you guys are in the middle of nowhere, it would mean driving a ways to get something. Still can be done.
>>Actually, I don't want my sister to worry, think you could take me home?
>>Actually, I don't want my sister to worry, think you could take me home?


>let me get you food

"Actually, do you think you could take me home? It's getting late and I don't want my sister to worry."

Zack nods, "Oh, yeah, absolutely. We can head back now."

"Can we also stop for food?" You ask, "My treat."

"Sure, there's a Micky Ds on the way to Roselake. We should get walking though. Feeling better?"



The walk out is easier than the walk in, being mostly downhill, you take a different way back and don't pass the Boyscout building.

Zack tries to make small talk but you prove to be a poor conversationalist, choking out awkward replies or not having anything to say. Eventually you walk in silence. After reaching the house, Zack only stops to toss his sword and stuff back into his room.

Another 15 minutes and you're eating chicken nuggets in a McDonald's parking, trying to ignore the trio of rednecks in a nearby truck staring at you. Zack certainly doesn't notice them while he's chowing down on his Big Mac.

"Hey, sorry if it was kinda weird at my place."

You give him a look.

"You know, with the swords and the walking. I mean, I know you said girls don't like that stuff. I hope it wasn't shitty."

"No, I had fun," you say, taking a drink.

Zack crumpled his wrapper, shoves it in his bag, and throws the whole thing in the back seat. "Next time will be better right?"

"Probably," you say. "It really wasn't bad though."

{Aside from Zack almost dying, it was sort of dull, Alice.}

You ignore your friend.

"Cool, well let's get you home, set a good impression." He puts the car in gear and you have a sudden sense of vertigo, imagining that towering bridge.

"Can we take the long way?" You ask.

"Long way?" Zack is puzzled.

"Uhm. Around the bridge."

"You don't like the bridge?"

"I just want to take the long way," you say.

"Yeah, can do. No sweat."

The way back, around Foster Bridge takes longer than the way there. You spend it listening to Zack's droning music, thinking about the past, watching the woods go by. Zack doesn't talk.

When you get home, the sun is mostly dipped behind the horizon, casting orange streaks across the cloudy sky.

"I'm sorry you're going to drive home in the dark," you say after Zack stops the car in front of your house.

"Eh, I do it all the time. I did it the night we met, I can do it again. He picks at a crease on his jeans nervously. "Uh, well, I had a lot of fun."

"Me too."

He looks at you. Right at you. A little too long. He's getting closer, angling for a kiss, you know these signs, you've seen them before.

>Let him kiss you
>decline the kiss
>Write in
>Write in
"Let's do it again some time"
Alice awkwardly blurts out and hastily retreats inside her home.
(Neutral avoidance)
>decline the kiss
>"Listen... I'm the type of girl who like to take these things slow. I've been hurt before, and it's taken a long time for me to get over it. If you're still interested in trying, though... well, the Halloween Dance is coming."
>>decline the kiss
>decline the kiss


>Write ins
Your eyes widen in shock at the revelation.

"I'm a slow girl!" You blurt, turning your head away. "Ah- I mean I like it slow!" That wasn't much better, shit. "Th-thank you but I've got to go." You pull the door hand and step out brushing by the hand that had snuck around over your shoulders.

"Uh, are you okay?" Zack calls through the open door.

You turn back to close it, taking a deep breath, "I had fun but, this isn't the time. I need time."

"Oh, um . . ." Zack seems embarrassed to have made you react this way.

You sense calm settle over you, your words start to untangle, at first you suspect it's your Friend's influence but it doesn't feel like it. It feels like you.

"I had," you say, forcing yourself to slowdown, "a bad relationship before. I need some more time, I'm not ready for anything else."

"Oh," Zack says again, frowning slightly, "Okay, I mean. I didn't mean-" he can't finish the sentence.

"There's a dance," you say, "Halloween. M-maybe then." You take a few steps back, your body screaming at you to flee, heart hammering, feeling like you did in the Denny's when you'd tried to flirt with Chad. "Thanks for driving me."

"Yeah, any time. Bye!" Zack's composure is just as shot as yours, though that mostly seems because of you.

You turn away now, walking hard toward the house.

{That was . . . Well, it was memorable, Alice.}

"Shut up," you mutter, embarrassed, "Thanks for nothing. You said you'd help me with these things!"

{I think you did fine on your own, Alice. It was rocky, but you got through it. You're better because of it.}

You don't answer, you're too embarassed.

"Who's that kid?" Mark asks you the second you're in the door.

You give him a cold stare, in no mood. "A friend."

"A boy friend?" Mark is standing right beside you, leaning on the door frame, waiting for you.

You try not to, but you can't help it, you roll your eyes and turn away.

"Hey, I'm talking!"

You don't reply, walking across the living room, heading for the stairs, Mark following behind.

"I know you think you're all grown up, but you're not, okay? You still have limits!"

"Mark!" Grace enters from the kitchen. "What is going on?"

"You know Alice is riding around with boys?"

Grace looks at you, surprised, "Franz?"

"No," you say, voice icy.

"Then who?" Mark asks, "and where? Cause I don't know of a universe where teenage girls get to ride around with boys all day alone. Did you forget those creeps hassling you? What would you do if they showed up?"
>You're not my dad, Mark
>That's my friend Zack, and nothing happened
>I'm not allowed to hang out with friends?
>Write in
>That's my friend Zack, and nothing happened
>I brought mace for that reason, Mark.
>>That's my friend Zack, and nothing happened
>>I brought mace for that reason, Mark

"His name is Zack," you say, reluctantly. "And we're just friends."

Mark is unimpressed, "A lot of guys say that."

You fish around in your backpack and pull out your can. "That's why I brought mace."

Grace gasps, "Is that my mace?" She takes it from you, "Did you go through my purse?"

"I borrowed it," you say, "For safety."

"Nah," Mark folds his arms, "Safety would have been telling us where you were going. Stealing from your sister-"

"She wasn't stealing, Mark," Grace allows, "I mean, I'm not happy-"

"Not stealing? Taking things from your purse? Things I got You? Why doesn't she just help herself to your money too?" He scoffs, "I guess it doesn't matter. This is a family without consequences."

"I don't like the implication that I can't raise my sister properly." Grace lays her hands on her hips and now you're off the hook, they're fighting each other. You turn away after a moment and storm up the stairs, ignoring their calls after you. You slam and bolt your door, not that they'd follow you up here.

You sit on your bed and throw your backpack to thr floor. Your Friend is keeping silent which you're not sure is a blessing or not.

You look at the dried rose you left on your desk, contemplating it's form. Your life was a lot more simple in many ways before your Friend arrived. You miss it from time to time. It's only been a few days but, you don't see going back as an option any time soon. You promised your Friend "forever".

You pick up the rose by the stem and sniff it, a faint whiff of fragrance still lingers. You pause, wondering suddenly at its origins. You lay the flower down. "I wonder if that nasty creep left it. Doesn't seem like his sort of move."

{He didn't leave the rose, Alice.}

"Oh? Do you know who did?"

Your Friend is silent. You take that as a form of a 'yes'.

>Was it You?
>Are you the reason I keep having weird dreams?
>What do you think about Zack?
>What do you think about Mark and Grace?
>Write in
>>Was it You?
>>Are you the reason I keep having weird dreams?
This >>2125064
>What do you think about Mark and Grace?
>This might be a weird question, but do you know anything about goat men?

That's the previous dream we had, right? Where the goat headed guy was?

You hesitate. "Was it you?"

You feel boiling revulsion from your friend, a new experience for you.

{No. Never. How improper, Alice! Unlike you and Zack, we really are just friends!}

"Okay, okay, jeez!" you flinch away from the wave of negativity. "Besides, Zack and I are just friends," you insist. "You were there, nothing happened."

{I'll just say you won't catch me dropping hints that I want you to take me to the Halloween Dance.}

"That wasn't a 'hint'." you stop, it kind of was. "I mean, I have to go with someone."

Your friend doesn't respond, still a little irritated. Well, clearly you Friend hadn't left that Rose or note for you, that reaction was too genuine.

"Well, what about the dreams I've been having, are you giving me those?"

Now you feel hesitation.

{Yes, though it's not intentional, Alice. I'm sure you find some of them . . Objectionable. I never intend for you to see things like that.}

You recount in your mind the strange dreams that have followed. Carving occult symbols into bleeding wall, watching Minutemen massacre British prisoners of war after a battle, dying trapped under a horse.

"Well, what are they?" you ask, "Are they your memories?"

You feel again that internal conflict.

{Some. Others are . . . Not.}

"Did you kill British soldiers?"

{In what year?}

"The Revolution, don't be cheeky!"

Your Friend is silent so long you feel they won’t answer. {I did.}


{That reasoning, Alice, is among the topics I cannot, will not discuss with you. Suffice to say that what I did had a purpose.}

"Is it part of a Web of Occurrence?" you ask, unamused.

{Does that idea bother you, Alice?}

"It's kind of weird, that there's like, some kind of weird chain of events going on, like the Illuminati or something."

{Hmm, well don't let it bother you. It's outside of your control, Alice, as many things are. Though someday, that may change.}

Again with the weird cryptic statements. You weren't sure if your Friend liked being cryptic and obtuse, or was really bound by some kind of mystery to keep silent on certain matters.

"Sorry about Mark and Grace. It's so embarrassing when they fight."

{There's nothing to be embarrassed about, Alice. Mark and Grace are only human. They are doing their best I think. Mark is perhaps overly protective. If he knew I was around, maybe he would feel safer.}

"Somehow I doubt that," you say.

Your friend rolls with laughter.

{I don't think telling him about me is the best idea, Alice. I only mean that his method of protecting you is insufficient, but he doesn't know it. Grace cares too much. She's afraid of losing you like you lost your parents. She's afraid of driving you away.}

You're not sure you like hearing your Friend discuss your parents death so matter-of-factly. You decide to press on a detail.

"Hey, what about that weird goat-head guy?" you ask.

Electric shock courses from your core. You feel a plucked, high tension string inside you.

"Do you know what that is? I had a dream about it."

{I know.}

You didn't know if your friend meant the they knew about the dream, or knew what is was.

"Can't talk about that, huh?"

{No, Alice. I can't. But I wouldn't worry about it.}

There is a strange pressure, constrained thoughts or ideas, your Friend has more to say, much more, but does not.

"There was a goat I think in my first dream too," you say. "Does it mean something? The goat-man?"

More silence.

{Are you afraid of it?}

>I'm not sure
>write in


No more phone posting. Woo!
>>I'm not sure

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"I'm not sure," you say, trying to recall the specifics of the dream. Something about flies? "Maybe. I think so."

{You shouldn't be afraid, Alice.}

"Why not?"


"That's reassuring," you say, glancing at the clock. It wasn't late but, you were tired. Standing from the bed, you undress, forgetting to banish your friend from your body, and get ready for bed.

{Tomorrow is school.}

"Don't remind me," you groan, pulling the sheets over yourself.

{You're going to ask Franz to take you to Lasker City. You're going to talk to Cliff, Alice.}

"I know."

{I'm excited.}

"Of course you are," you say, "You always are. You're some kind of weird hedonist."

{If it feels good-}

"-Don't stop." you finish.

{That's right.}

"I'll keep that in mind," you yawn.

{You've passed up quite a few opportunities to pleasure yourself, Alice.}


A ripple of amusement.

{Fair enough. I'll say that self-control is certainly not one of my strong suits. In a way, I admire that in you, Alice.}

"Uh huh," you were already drifting to sleep.

{Goodnight, Alice.}

You fall into unconsciousness, claimed by dreams, unnerving and alluring.


That's all the time I've got today guys! It's as good a stopping point as any and I don't want to start something I can't finish.

I appreciate you bearing with me during my terribly slow post cycle today, had a lot going on IRL I had to take care of. As always, thanks so much for playing, I had a blast.

I'll open the floor to the usual Q&A/Comment session with an added prompt:

I wrote three vignettes, if you read them, what did you think? I'm a vain creature that survives on feedback and criticism. Also, if you have any other suggestions/requests I can try to cover those too maybe.

Otherwise, just hit me with any normal questions you may have!
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Forgot to add:

Next session is Friday at 7 EST (11 UTC)
Cute Goth!
See you next session TK
Thanks for running, boss. Had a great time. Don't worry too much about how quick you are, as long as you do more then one post per day, I'll be fine.

For the vignettes, they were great. I especially liked Ellie's story, poor girl...

Unfortunately, I've got no real questions tonight. Have a good rest, boss!
The vignettes were enjoyable to read, gave nice insight into Alice's character
Dig the vignettes by the way! You have such powerful writing and you've really helped to give perspective on several characters, Alice most especially. There were a lot of bittersweet feels, but that makes it all the more enjoyable.

If I were to make some requests, Maybe something about Alice's crush on Chad or something about Holly?
>Cute Goth!

>See you next session TK
Till then!

>Thanks for running, boss. Had a great time
My pleasure!

I think more than 1 per day should be doable, so long as it's a "session" day.

Glad you enjoyed the Vignettes!

Glad you enjoyed them!

>Dig the vignettes by the way!
Thanks! I had a blast writing them.

Exactly what I was going for so I'm glad that it worked out.

>Alice's crush on Chad, something about Holly
I'll see if I get the time. There's not a whole lot of depth to Alice's crush, but we'l see!
Well, Friday it is.

Nah, I think that was communicated the intended way by Friend

>I'm a vain creature that survives on feedback and criticism
You are a human, what else is new

I liked the vignettes. I don't see anything that should be changed, I like the way you write. The story about Alice parents was the best in my opinion.

As for questions:
1. What does Alice wear to sleep? Before living with Mark I can picture her as a "panties and whatever old oversized shirt she had at hand" kind of girl. Can't imagine having Friend around made her any less self-conscious

2. "boiling revulsion"? Ouch. Maybe he is into MILFs only?

3. Something that wasn't so clear to me, how long has Friend been with Alice? A few days? A week or two?

4. Apart from the bridge. Any other fears and phobias Alice has that we should be aware of?
>I liked the vignettes. I don't see anything that should be changed, I like the way you write
Thanks, really appreciate it

> The story about Alice parents was the best in my opinion.
I’m inclined to agree with you.

1.Panties, old T-shirt is standard, especially for warm weather, sometimes just undies. Sleep pants are necessity in the colder months, especially in a poorly insulated attic like yours.

2: I know you guys are all degenerates so this probably doesn't apply, but your Friend sees you ONLY as a friend. To them it’s like asking if you’re romantically interested in a close sibling. Physical attraction notwithstanding, Friend thinks you are a QT

3. Game started on October 4th, 2017, tomorrow is the morning of October 9th. Five days have passed. Alice adapts quickly.

4. Phobias? The bridge is a strong one, driving cars is another to a lesser degree. Alice has low-grade social anxiety which seems to come and go. It depends very strongly on the setting and who she’s interacting with. Generally, the more pressure, the worse it is.

She has no fear of the dark, or monsters or ghosts. The unknown is exciting! Doesn’t really like bugs, but wouldn’t classify that as a phobia, just keep creepy-crawlers off her.
Her aversion to dating/physical interaction might be chalked up as a ‘phobia’ of sorts, but that’s more by choice than totally involuntary.
>To them it’s like asking if you’re romantically interested in a close sibling.
Well, I didn't realize this is how he saw Alice. Close siblings don't exercise your body while you sleep or have no qualms about seeing you naked after all.
I found it funny that Friend thought Alice was asking as if, she thought, said flower was a gesture of courtship and not simply a charming gift from him. The overreaction was kind of cute. Unless he was nipping the proverbial bud. Or he thinks that the person he knows left the flower there has romantic intentions for her

>you guys are all degenerates
This is 4chan, we are in a thread where we get to play as a teenage goth girl and are given almost free reign over her mind and body. You tell me.

>aversion to dating/physical interaction
Once bitten, twice shy
It's not a perfect analogy. Suffice to say the relationship is inappropriate to them for reasons beside physical.

>4chan degeneracy
No need to do me dirty like that. I know we're all in this together, I was a player before I was QM you know. There is something almost voyeuristic about quests isn't there? I feel like i should be putting that in curly brackets . . .
I tend to like to play as teenage protagonists because teenage problems and mistakes make for interesting, if relatively big scare quotes on that harmless and low-stakes, situations. While adults have to deal with adult stuff.
What you have to ask yourself is, who'd benefit more from having superpowers? Which one could do away with their problems if they were Superman?
The answer is none, but teens are the closest. They can superstrength most of their problems away, adults not so much, at least not so straightforwardly.

There is also the advantage that the quest can have said teenager's sexuality as part of the story (Because teens ARE horny as hell) without having to worry about internet moral guardians coming here and calling us pedophiles. I mean, I am sure you can write some quality smut, but that is not why I came to the quest. I am just glad you are not shying away from that
Then again Stephen King got away with a child orgy, so I dunno.
>who'd benefit more from having superpowers
On that note, it's too bad that Alice has found so little application for her abilities.

Well, I appreciate the compliment. I try to leave everything on the table without railroading toward any specific style of quest. As for my quality of smut goes, so far no one has found out. Might remain that way forever for a long time.

>Child orgy
Step 1: Be Stephen King
Step 2: Write super duper interesting stories
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!
>On that note, it's too bad that Alice has found so little application for her abilities.
We've been playing it a bit close and safe for the time being. I imagine if we had gone into the cabin more deeply we might have found something worth using our powers for. I also imagine that we'll get ample opportunity once the weirdoes who are eyeing Alice show up in force.
I think TK meant that we haven't found that many pratical applications in Alice's day-to-day life.
Like using levitation to cheat in P.E. class, or our invisivility to try and sneak out of home
>We've been playing it a bit close and safe
This is true. Your caution is admirable!

>Cabin + Weirdos
For legal reasons, I can't comment on this

>Practical applications
That's a big part of it. I know what *I* would do if I could fly, disappear, and make binding blood pacts in high school. Maybe Alice is just too cautious for such things.
>in high school
Yeah, but the problem is both that Alice is a girl and that we are playing her according to her personality
If she were a more a more traditional male lead, we could spy in the girl's changing room, beat up and humiliate our bullies, become popular by doing impossible feats of athletism, cheerleader orgy, and deal with the consequences later.

Alice has less of an incentive to do these kinds of things, in part, because of her being a girl. Are women capable of doing the things I described before? Oh yes. Yes, they can.
Could she spy on Chad and his team? Yes she could
Can she beat up Mean Girls Reject in public? She could, but dealing with girl bullies like that leads to less than stellar results Unless she wants to be known as a tough girl.
Could she become a track star by running assisted by her flying? Very yes. she just doesn't seem to like sports enough to even give that idea a single thought
Football team orgy? Since the beginning, she has been kind of a prude And somewhat of a lesbo
The point is that Alice doesn't seem like a very proactive girl, at least when it comes to things that could be aided by her having these powers. We are working with what we have. And personally, I haven't seen many situations we've been in where Alice couldn't get herself out. Using her powers so far would've been kind of superfluous.

Funny enough, Friend is trying to make Alice into the kind of girl that would enjoy her powers more.
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>Alice is a girl and that we are playing her according to her personality
Have I said how proud of you guys I am about that? Role playing on Qst is rare.

>2nd spoiler
Pfft. Rude. Maybe Alice, (like qst) is in search of her sexuality still

>Friend is trying to make Alice into the kind of girl that would enjoy her powers more

Your Friend just wants what's best for you. Is that so wrong?
That's why I really enjoy this quest. It really feels true to character, and while I work too much to be active I've never worried about players making dumb decisions.
You stare across the darkened room, laying on your side, tired, but unable to sleep. Your skin is bare, cold, warm only from the body pressed against you from behind, an arm draped over you, held tight to your chest. You're sore, and your chest aches from crying although those tears had let up hours ago.

Behind you, Franz shifts, pulling you tighter. You're trying not to freak out, you know it's late and you know your sister is probably panicking over your absence but you don't want to leave. Couldn't leave. You're scared, less scared than you were only an hour ago with Franz poised over you, your arms around his neck, but scared all the same. It was the sort of fear you doubted would ever leave you. You hadn't imagined your first time being like this, but you somehow don't mind. You turn slightly, looking over your shoulder into Franz's open eyes.

They're soft, kind, troubled.

"Are you okay?" you ask.

Franz gives you a half smile, "That's what I'm supposed to ask you, I think."

You smile, "I'm okay now. I'm sorry for . . ." you can't say 'crying', not without risking tears ago.

He kisses you on the shoulder, "No, it's okay." He looks sad again.

"What's the matter?" You understood what was bothering you, but should Franz be on Cloud 9.

"I've just been thinking." Franz runs his hand up and down your side, fingernails trailing across your skin, "Sometimes, do you wonder if your parents' death wasn't really an accident?"


Your eyes flutter open and you're not in Franz's house anymore. You're at home in the attic, cold. It's October 9th, 2017 and Halloween is in 22 days.

{Good morning, Alice.}

"Morning," you mutter, not seeing what was so good about it. You were tired, warm in bed, and dreading school. Not to mention that dream left you . . . Uncomfortable. You didn't like thinking about Franz, even less about being with him like that, and now for him to ask that stuff about your parents.

Had he said that?

You search your memory of that night, skipping over the earlier parts. You remember him holding you and you remember that you cried, but you don't remember the topic of your parents coming up.

{Strange dreams?}

Your Friend asks the question almost apprehensively.

>Yes, about a night with Franz
>Yes, but I forget
>Write in
>>Yes, but I forget
>A dream, or a memory. It's hard to tell...

File: Alice's Room.jpg (144 KB, 1080x1080)
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144 KB JPG
"A dream," you agree, "Maybe a memory it's . . . I already forgot it."

{You seemed uneasy, Alice. I'm sorry if I'm prying.}

"No, it's fine." You kick off the covers, shivering, and run a hand through your hair which is still too oily for your liking. Ugh. Fortunately, you woke up much earlier than intended because of that weird dream so you decide to take a shower and wash your hair before school. You eject your Friend to Skeleypus and make your way down to the upstairs bathroom. After latching the door, you turn on the shower and run the hot water until it steams up the room. You strip off your sleep clothes and underwear and climb, letting heat wash across your body, ducking your head under the spray and closing your eyes.

In that warm, dark place, you wonder if you'll ever get more comfortable with sharing a body with your Friend. Certainly there were somethings you didn't want to do in front of watching . . . eyes? Whatever your Friend used to "see".

You couldn't imagine, for example, that night with Franz, or the ones that followed, with a hitchhiker in your mind, certainly not one whispering suggestions and asides to you.

You shudder at the thought. You know your Friend means well but . . . sometimes they push and prod you a little too much. Still, you liked their presence mostly, you certainly didn't feel so lonely anymore.

Shower over, you dry off and head back to your room, shivering in a towel, hurrying to get dressed.

You see Skeleypus waiting on your bed patiently, rocking slowly back and forth.

{Hello, Alice, I-}

"Turn around," you motion with your hand.

Your Friend doesn't argue and waddles around in a circle, letting you drop the towel, pausing for only a second to give yourself a glance in the mirror. So that new body was still really there, huh?

Unable to shake the cold any longer, you start to dress. Once you're mostly covered, you beckon your Friend back to you, feeling them enter and fill you with lightness.

As you clip on a plain black choker, you notice that you feel uneasy, like you do before a test you haven't studied for. You don't have a test today, so you figure you must be nervous about spending time with Franz and Sam, maybe more nervous about asking Franz for a ride to Lasker City. You hadn't spent time alone with Franz in . . . years.

While you enjoyed Sam's company, being together with both of them was hard, to say the least. It was almost impossible for you to not visualize their tryst in the back theatre room. Franz running a hand up Sam's leg.

You squeeze your eyes closed and shake your head before pulling on your jeans.

{Are you nervous, Alice?}

"Yes. But I shouldn't be."

{Nervousness is nothing to be ashamed of. Even a little fear is understandable, Alice. In the past, your interactions with Franz were not as equals. Negotiating from a position of weakness is a stressful experience.}

"Weakness?" you ask.

{Did you not feel used, Alice? Exploited?}

You don't answer, instead picking anxiously at your nails.

{There's no shame on your part. You did what you did because you believed in it in the moment. I believe that Franz did too, Alice. His betrayal of you is deserving of scorn, but this reflects poorly on him, not on you. Being unfaithful is perhaps one of the greatest sins one can commit.}

You pull on your boots, zipping them up one at a time, "You believe in sin?" you ask, "That doesn't seem like you."

A roll of laughter.

{I'm sorry, I didn't mean to lead you to believe that I'm a religious person of that sort, Alice. I don't believe in immutable sin. Perhaps it was poor word choice.}

"I don't think you're one to mince words." you stuff your books into your backpack.

{Sin, maybe, was a little dramatic, Alice. I personally find unfaithfulness detestable. There is no shame in trust.}

"I get the feeling you don't find shame in many things," you say.

Again your Friend laughs, the strange sensation tickling you from within.

{I like you, Alice. I'm glad we're friends.}

"Me too."

You've got a few spare minutes to kill before you

>Ask Friend something (Write in)
>Text someone (Write in)
>Keep getting ready
>Write in
>Ask Friend something (Write in)
>>Was unfaithfulness and trust ever an issues for your previous hosts?
>Keep getting ready
Bring some makeup with us in case Sam wants to hang out later tonight. She promised to help us with that. Hopefully, we'll be able to get our lips looking perfect for our costume...
>Ask Friend something (Write in)
So what about Sam, then? You seemed kind of irked when she admitted about what happened with her and Franz. I kind of think she deserves a chance to make amends.

"So, was unfaithfulness and trust ever an issues for your previous hosts?"

{Alice, please. I'm not some kind of parasite. They were not my 'hosts'. They were my friends.}

"Friends then, jeesh. Well, was it?"

{Not on my part, Alice. I've had few female friends in my time, you may be the only one of note. Well, men have a stronger set of interests. Let's say that infidelity wasn't uncommon, though I never approved. Although sexual and romantic disloyalty isn't the only type of disloyalty, Alice. I believe if you have a cause, even if that cause is yourself, you should never betray it.}

"Sounds honorable."

{I don't have much use for honor, Alice. But it's a code I try to follow. I hope you will to.}

You make a quick trip to your makeup case and start loading key elements, namely lipstick, to your bag.

"Well what about Sam?" you ask.

{What about her, Alice?}

"You seemed kind of irked when she admitted about what happened with her and Franz. I kind of think she deserves a chance to make amends. It's not like she was unfaithful."

You sense your Friend ruffle in discomfort.

{I don't dislike Sam.}

You pause to give yourself a skeptical look in the mirror.

{I think Sam has her uses, and I think you're taking advantage of some of them. Some, Alice, but not all.}

You roll your eyes.

{I don't blame Sam for what happened, but I blame her for her conduct afterward. It seems to me that she continued to be involved with Franz even after she became aware that she was the 'other woman'.}

"We don't know that," you retort.

{We don't, no. But I suspect, Alice. I suspect she found out and didn't care. You were simply the 'other woman' to her after all.}

You frown, "Doesn't seem like Sam."

{You've only know her a short while, Alice.}

"So what, you think it's okay to for me to make Zack . . . fuck me, but I don't know Sam enough to be a judge of her character?"

{There's less consequences for using Zack like that, than Sam. Friendships can hurt.}

You scoff, "Less consequences to having sex with a stranger than making a friend?"

Your friend doesn't answer.

"That sounds crazy. I don't get why you don't like Sam."

{Perhaps I don't like her because I see in her what I think you should change about yourself, Alice.}

"Like what?"

{You're entirely too forgiving. I think Sam and Franz deserve to be made to pay for what they did to you.}

"That's a bit harsh."

{You've been right before, Alice. Maybe you're right about this too. I do admire that about you. You're your own woman. It's an admirable quality. You haven't let power corrupt that.}

You smirk at the thought of revenge. "I suffered because of Franz, I don't see the reason to make anyone else suffer.

{Fair enough, Alice.}

You take mental stock of your day. You're cleaned, dressed, and packed. Your homework is done, even the Cook history assignment you'd put off. All that remained was the walk to school. You can't stop for breakfast with Grace because you promised Sam you'd eat with her and Franz. Part of you was aching for some pancakes, and you knew you had time to go to Denny's but . . . The thought of facing Chad and Holly, even new and improved, it was too much.

You still had plenty of time to kill, maybe half an hour.

You could always just show up early and read, it was your initial reaction, though you might also be able to squeeze in a little more fact checking about Cliff and Ellie since you were intending to meet the guy tonight. Although, you also had half a mind to try something new. You could try to do something cute with your makeup, Maybe set a good impression for Sam and Franz, and make yourself feel good. If you were going to do it right though it would likely take every second you have.

>Get there early
>Do something cute with your makeup
>Try to find out more details about Cliff and Ellie
>Write in


Side note: Feel free to write in questions/comments/dialog for Friend whenever you'd like and I can try to work it in. I just want to be clear that they're literally always available to talk to.
>Do something cute with your makeup
Ask if Friend knows anything about makeup from his previous friends.
>Try to find out more details about Cliff and Ellie
Look at Cliff's accident cases, and see if he focused on defense or prosecution. After that, check Ellie's family tree and see if she still has some branches that are still around, maybe see if there's anyone from our school who's related to her. She might make a nice friend for us!

Unless Holly's related to her.
>>Do something cute with your makeup
On second thought, backing this >>2131879
>Do something cute with your makeup

>Try to find out more details about Cliff and Ellie
>Try to find out more details about Cliff and Ellie
You finish loading makeup into your bag. "Hey, do you know anything about makeup? Like from your old friends?"

{It depends, does your makeup include powdered lead and belladonna, Alice?}

You rolls your eyes, "Okay, I get it, you're old. You don't have to be snarky."

Well, in that case, if you're going to use your free time, you might as well use it productively. It takes some digging, but your Google-fu is strong. You find some details about Cliff's court cases. Based on what you're seeing, he was actually pretty good. He focused largely on the prosecution, specializing in vehicular accidents. A fluff piece in the Lasker Times makes him out to be a local hero. A debate team master on a full ride with a football scholarship who had his girlfriend taken from him at the hands of a hit and run driver. Cliff took on a lot of cases, and won most of them, driven, he said, by a lust for justice that had been denied Ellie.

Then, you do a bit of digging you discover that Ellie had been an only child to Jonathan Andrews and Betty Fairchild. They never had any more kids and, as of 1964 or so it looks like they'd left Roselake behind. You're not able to ascertain if she had any other more distant relations, but almost certainly she did, if only because Roselake is such a small community. You yourself feel secure in the knowledge that you won't be dating your 3rd cousin only because your family immigrated here within living memory.

While studying, you glance at the time and realize you're going to be late.

Grabbing your bag you practically sail down the stairs, grateful that neither Mark no Grace were there to accost you about last night.
By the time you enter the cafeteria, you see it's already starting to fill up. A foul smell of BO and garbage suddenly hits your nose and you recoil, nose wrinkling.

"Hi, Alice."

You look back to see another high school kid standing by the doorway in. His eyes are too wide, his smile is too broad, he also isn't holding any books or anything, his arms are just hanging by his sides.

"Hi," you reply meekly, taking a step back involuntarily, having no idea who this guy was, or why he smelled so bad.

"Alice!" you look back and see Sam waving you over.

"I uh-" you turn back to the other kid who's backing away already.

"I'll see you around, Alice." he turns and walks off, people giving him a wide berth.

With no time to waste, you make your way through the line quickly, grabbing some food and head back to Franz and Sam.

"Running a little late, I see!" Sam says.

"I just got distracted," you reply, looking around behind you. "Did you guys see that guy talk to me?"

"What guy?" Franz asks, taking a scoop of cereal into his mouth.

"There was this guy . . . never mind." Why had he sort of looked familiar? You didn't recognize him, but something about him . . .

Sam is watching you expectantly, Franz trying to ignore you.

When you look at him, he looks up at you, your eyes meeting and the first thing you think of is his face buried in your neck, your nails on his back, murmuring his name. You look away quickly and sit down hard, trying not to look as uncomfortable as you are. You can't get that dream out of your head.

"So, Alice, how was your weekend?" Sam asks. "Do anything fun after we saw each other?"

>Nothing really
>Hung out with a guy named Zack
>Spent some time with a cute boy I met
>Almost encountered an evil force in the woods
>Write in
>Hung out with a guy and threw hatchets at an old boy scout meeting place
>FYI, not that guy talking to me
>Almost encountered an evil force in the woods
>Brought back a souvenir from it (show old newspaper)

No need to mention his name just yet.
>Hung out with a guy and threw hatchets
>Almost encountered an evil force in the woods

The newspaper was all shredded up when we tried to pick it up. We didn't bring it back with us.


>The newspaper was all shredded up when we tried to pick it up. We didn't bring it back with us.

This is correct
"I hung out with a guy and threw hatchets and stuff," you say.

"Hatchets? What?" Sam's eyes flash amusement. "Like, little axes?"

You nod, noticing that Franz has perked up and is listening subtly, carefully rehearsed boredom on his face.

"Where?" Sam asks.

"In the woods, we went hiking around. Almost encountered an evil force out there too."

Sam laughs, Franz rolls his eyes.

"Wow, sounds kind of um-" Sam pretends to struggle with word choice, "Intimate?" she giggles.

You glance at Franz and decide to leave it ambiguous, giving a shrug.

"God, I just got nagged at by my mom all weekend," Sam says, leaning back in her chair, "I got low key grounded for a week for screwing around instead of studying."

You feel a pang of guilt, "Oh, I'm sorry Sam. I didn't mean-"

"No, no, it's fine. She'll get over it. Besides it was fun!" She looks at Franz, "Alice and I watched some weird movies, this one gross zombie movie where this old lady ate a dog, and another one where this girl got naked and died. They fought zombies and stuff!"

"Return of the Living Dead?" Franz hazards.


He nods absently. You and he used to watch that movie a lot together, sometimes, later in your relationship, it had been an excuse to make out.

"Um, I also have some makeup with me," you say, "I was hoping if you had time later today maybe you could give me some pointers."

Sam looks surprised a moment, then pleased. "Sure! I'd love to. What's the occasion?"

"I want to be ready for Halloween."

"Ah, that's a big one alright." Franz finally joins in the conversation, understated, but not sarcastic.

You do need to ask him to drive you to Lasker City to meet Cliff at some point.

>As him in private
>Ask him now
>On second thought, maybe I could get Zack to take me
>Write in
>>Ask him now
So, I'm sort of doing a research project on the story of Ellie May Fairchild, from that legend about the prom night ghost. Can I ask you a favor, Franz, and get you to drive me to Lasker City?
>>Ask him now
>Ask him now


>Write in

You look at Franz again.

"Um. Franz."

He looks at you.

"So um, I'm doing this sort of research thing about Ellie May Fairchild."

Franz furrows his brow. "Who?"

"You know, that prom night ghost legend? Her."


"Can I ask you a favor?" you press the tips of your pointer fingers together. "Can you drive me to Lasker City after school?"

"What, today?"

You nod.

Franz studies your face a moment before glancing at Sam who is watching both of you intently, an absent smile on her face.

"Yeah. Sure. Do you want to come?" he asks Sam.

"Grounded," Sam reminds him. "Or I would, I'd hate to miss it. I guess we'll even have to do the makeup thing later, sorry, Alice."

"It’s okay."

"Just meet me outside," Franz says.



The bell for classes doesn't ring soon enough, and you're glad to be away from both of them, for the time being.

{It's good Franz agreed, Alice. Are you planning on trying to reconcile with him too?}

"I don't know," you say. "But that's really more up to him than me." you adjust your backpack, making for Mr. Cook's class. "Hey, any idea who that gross kid was?"

There is a pause.

{I couldn't tell you.}

Was that deliberate word choice? You put it aside, you have class to think of. Now, aside from seeing Sam briefly in the hall between classes, you have nothing to look forward to until the end of school.

>Let's get this over with
>Maybe I could try to catch Chad's eye
>Maybe I'll one up Holly in Gym
>Write in
>Maybe I'll one up Holly in Gym
>>Maybe I'll one up Holly in Gym
>{I couldn't tell you.}
"Y'know, you're terrible at assuaging my suspicions."

>Maybe I'll one up Holly in Gym
>Maybe I'll one up Holly in gym


>Write in
"Y'know, you're terrible at assuaging my suspicions."

More hesitation.

{I'm not good at lying to friends, Alice. It's not a skill I ever hope to develop. Yes, I have a suspicion of who that is.}


{And I can't tell you.}

You make an exasperated sound, drawing a strange look from a passing student. More subtly you add, "Come on, are you serious?"

{It's not something you need to worry about, Alice. This is the sort of thing you have me around for.}

Not very reassuring.


Gym class, your worst class. Only, this time, you decided you weren't going to spend it hiding in a corner and watching Chad. You were going to give Holly something to consider.

While your gym clothes are hardly flattering, your shorts do show off toned legs now. Perhaps a little suspicious to those who remember your body before, but what were they gonna do? And, sure, it's not exactly to dress code, but you roll up your shirt again, might as well show off your stomach, something you'd never done before, so surely they wouldn't notice that you were now in much better shape than you'd been before. It was also time to see if your new figure was just for show.

It's too cold for outdoor activities, but you join a few other students running laps around the gym, hair pulled back into a pony tail and you're amazed that you seem to have so much more stamina than before, taking long, flying strides , hair streaming along behind you. You pass Holly and her friends idling around on the wall of the gym and bask in their baleful stares. Let them wonder when you got so fit, let them wonder when your tits got bigger. Ha!

Exercise, of course, held no interest for you, but you enjoyed putting on a show, and of course you noticed the other eyes on you. Eyes of desire.

Finally feeling winded, you jog to a stop at the end of the gym, stretching your neck and then the legs. You risk a glance up and see a trio of guys not far away suddenly looking at anything but you.

{Is this what you wanted, Alice?}

"Yes," you smile, "I think so. It's nice to be hot.

{That's not it, Alice. You've always been attractive, what you're noticing is a result of your new confidence. People respond to that.}"

You're again skeptical, "Guys need a hell of a lot more than confidence to respond. That's some 'public service announcement' kind of crap."

Your Friend laughs.

{Maybe, Alice. Maybe not. Either way, it's good to be wanted.}

You look to Holly who's ignoring you now, hanging off of Chad.

Let her ignore you. She's jealous. Now she's finally jealous of you.

You smile again leaning back against the wall and sighing. Good things come to those who wait, you suppose.
After classes, you trot down the front steps of the school headed for the parking lot. By the time you’re there, Franz's is the last student car in the lot. An old hatchback beater.

Franz is sitting on the hood, arms crossed, watching you approach.


"Hi," you say, making for the passenger seat. The door is locked. You give Franz a look.

"You're welcome, Alice," he says, jumping off the hood and sighing. "Let's go."

He unlocks the door and you both pile in, his car smelling vaguely familiar, like the past.

"Just toss your shit in the back." He starts the car after two attempts and hits play on some sort of weird electronic song. "So," he says, "is Mark gonna kill you, for running out?"

"Let him worry," you say.

"That bad?"

You don't answer.

>Do you think my parents dying was an accident?
>So are you and Sam seeing each other?
>What have you been up to?
>Just play with your phone.
>Write in
>What have you been up to?
>Drama's been treating you well?
>What have you been up to?
>Drama's been treating you well?

"So," you say, "What have you been up to? Drama treating you well?"

"Yeah," Franz says. "Ms. Pence has been helping me look at schools with drama programs. I'm thinking I can get a job with something in lighting-" he looks at you, "Have you applied to any schools?"

"No. I mean, some," you say. "Lasker Community."

"That's it?"

You shrug.

Franz sighs, "Sorry. I know that stuff stresses you out." He takes a turn off of the main road to Lasker, you know he's going around Foster Bridge. "I just- . . . I think it's important you not lose sight it. School's important."

You don't say anything, you don't need to. Franz can read you too well. You don't want to think about college. You know Grace will try to pay for you if you go, and she and Mark don't have that kind of money. You don't know what you'll do, so you're just trying not to think about it.

"You've been a lot different lately," Franz says. "You're not really the way you were when we were going out."

"A lot's changed," you say.

Franz laughs, "Like what?"

You don't answer, prompting another silence to fall over the car, broken only by a drum machine's rhythmic pounding and a muted bassline.

"So who's this guy you were hanging out with today?"

>No one you know
>His name is Zack, he goes to Lasker High
>write in
>His name is Zack, he goes to Lasker High
>I met him trying to summon the ghost of Cody Schrodinger
>>His name is Zack, he goes to Lasker High
Maybe let's not mention the fact that he was defacing a grave?
>His name is Zack, he goes to Lasker High

Agreeing with this.
>His name is Zack, he goes to Lasker High

"His name is Zack," you say, "He goes to Lasker High."

"Zack," Franz says the name as if it's a foreign word. "And he does hatchet throwing, huh?"

"And sword fighting."

Franz laughs, "So a LARPer?"

You're not sure what a LARPer is but you know it's not good. "He does Medieval stuff," you say, leaving out the part about selling leather mugs at the Ren Fair.

"Wow," Franz voice drips with sarcasm, "How cool."

You glare at him, "Are you going to criticize who I spend time with, this entire ride?"

The edge in your voice is obvious and Franz wipes the smirk off his lips. "Okay, jeez. Sorry. I was just having some fun."

You pull out your phone and fiddle with it.

"I'm sorry."

"It's fine."

More silence.

"So what exactly does Lasker City have to do with The Prom Night Ghost? Are we going to the library there or something?"

"Her boyfriend, Cliff lives there."



Your phone buzzes in your hand. It's a message from Zack.

>Hey, sorry if things were weird yesterday. Wasn't trying to make you uncomfortable

Not something you really have time to deal with right now.

{Tenacious, isn't he?}

You roll your eyes and type a response.

>It's fine. It wasn't weird. I'm sorry if I overreacted.

"And what we going to do when and if we find this Cliff guy?

>Tell him his girlfriend says she loves him
>That's my problem to worry about
>I'll just ask him some questions and stuff
>Write in
>>That's my problem to worry about
>>I'll just ask him some questions and stuff

If he's going to hear about how Ellie loved him, she should be the one to tell it to him. And maybe get a chance for one last dance with him, too.
>>That's my problem to worry about
>>I'll just ask him some questions and stuff
>That's my problem to worry about
>I'll just ask him some questions and stuff

File: AC19.jpg (74 KB, 540x476)
74 KB
"That's for me to worry about," you chide. "I don't need your help for anything but getting there."

Franz snorts, "Yes, ma'am."

"I'm going to just ask him some questions and stuff. It's a research project after all."

"If you say so."

You bring up the address you saved in your phone again. It'll be close to dark by the time you get there, and you still have to figure out what exactly you say if you knock on his door and he answers.

Hi, your dead girlfriend from 50 years ago wants to say goodbye.

Maybe your Friend could call her up to Cliff directly, but you doubt it, it doesn't seem to work quite that way, although he was able to call her to your house. This somehow seems different. Well, no matter what, you suspect you're close to giving Ellie the closure she needs.

You close your eyes and imagine them sharing a dance denied them by death, over fifty years later. Ah, how sweet. If only you can make it happen.

You glance at Franz, who's eyes are on the road. You're not sure what use he'll be, but you've got him along for this as well. Now, if everything just goes right . . .


And that's my time guys. Thanks for playing and keeping those write ins coming! Interesting to note, today is almost exactly two months since I hijacked this poor, dear abandoned quest. RIP Spooky QM.

As always I had a great time. I anticipate the next session will be Thursday the 14th, 7 EST (11 UTC). I'm hoping to see you guys there. It will probably be meeting Cliff and figuring out wtf to do to get him and Ellie together.

Floor is open for Q&A etc.
Great playing with you, boss. Glad you like the write ins.

>figuring out wtf to do to get him and Ellie together.

I KNOW! Let's dig up Ellie's grave and shove him in her casket! That way they'll be together forever...

...Then again, maybe not. That'll just get her funeral dress dirty.


>Hey Alice: If you weren't as afraid of driving as you are, what would be your preferred vehicle? BTW, hearses don't count.

Also, you've got a couple of good memories of your parents, but has there been any memories of you and your sister bonding?

G'night boss. See you Thursday.
>Great playing with you, boss. Glad you like the write ins.

Great to have you! Love em, they spice things up and point me in directions I would not have considered before.

>they'll be together forever
It's genius!

>Hey Alice: If you weren't as afraid of driving as you are, what would be your preferred vehicle? BTW, hearses don't count.

A hearse would be- oh . . . Well, I'm not really into cars all that much. Mark tried to show my how to change oil once but I forgot it all. Anyway, Velosters look pretty cool I think, they stand out. I also really like some Scions . . . Do they still make those?

My sister hasn't ever really been close to me, which makes all this 'foster' stuff even weirder. She was the jet-set cool-kid type growing up. Never at home, always at a friend's house, staying out late. She cast the shadow that I grew up n, you know? I mean, she wasn't mean about it, but she was always much more outgoing than me. She taught me how to braid hair, paint my nails, things like that, but the age gap made it tough to really bond.

Maybe my favorite memory of her was when I was when her and her friends in high school let me sit in on their movie night together. I didn't say much, but I listened to them talking about class and boys, and stuff and it made me feel like I was part of their group for a bit. I was probably just ten years old at the time, so it was a big deal.

>See you Thursday.

Till then!
>That's some 'public service announcement' kind of crap
She said what we were all thinking
Confidence is a multiplier of assets, rarely one in on itself

Well, time to shot up some questions

>How does Alice see Mark? Like, how hey got along with each other before him becoming her foster parent?

>Can we make ghosts visible to normies? I mean, Ellie's legend had to come from somewhere, you know.

>Can we get a more in-detail description of the characters we've met so far? It is okay if it's dropped on a Pastebin or something

>Can ghosts "move on"? Or will they always stay stuck in our world until consumed?

>Alice, any video game?

>What does Friend sound like to us? Male, female, that indeterminate "words without any actual sound that make our thoughts that we can assign a voice to but we normally don't because we don't bother and we never really notice"?

>Has Franz ever kissed another man during any of his plays? No reason
Building on that, has he ever kissed another girl during a play while he was with Alice? Because that'd be some foreshadowing

>How does Alice see Mark?

Before becoming yout foster he had "cool" relationship with you. With an age gap, little to nothing in common, and Mark's aversion to your 'weirdness' you've never been great friends. He used to get along better with you before though, bought you a $50 hot topic gift card for your 16th birthday which was cool, but he kinda avoided you otherwise.

>Can we make ghosts visible to normies?

If your Friend can make you fly and spruce up your body, you're pretty sure he can do a lot more. Ghosts being visible seems doable. For sure.

>Can we get a more in-detail description of the characters we've met so far?

I can do that, give me some time. Franz, Sam, Grace, Mark, Holly, Chad. Am I missing anyone/any other requests?

>Can ghosts "move on"?

They can move on. Ellie is only anchored by her unresolved urge to say goodbye to Cliff. Afterwards, she'll be free to move on.

>Alice, any video game?

Um, not really. I played some games. Silent Hill is pretty cool. Five Nights at Freddies a little, but I suck at shooters and most games in general. I'd rather read a book.

>What does Friend sound like to us?

When Friend is outside your body, they have a high, child-like voice that you hear only in your mind. When they're in you it sounds more mature, and sounds very similar to your voice. Despite having, technically, a feminine voice, you don't assign that gender to your Friend, they seem fairly genderless and you assume they only sound like you because they speak with your voice.


Nope, Franz works behind the scenes. He's a 'theatre ninja' and operates the lights, sound, smoke machines, etc. He couldn't act his way out of a wet paper bag, despite his penchant for the theatrical.

Franz's fling with Sam seems kind of out of character to you. He's never really been a womanizer sort. Needless to say you were quite shocked by his infidelity.
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Thanks for running!
Busy as all hell now. Got finals this week, and I'm going on a road trip to Carlsbad to hang out with a punk girl the week after.
I'm 1000% mad that Alice's purity was defiled by Franz.

Have you thought of setting up a Discord server for the quest?
>Busy as all hell now. Got finals this week, and I'm going on a road trip to Carlsbad
Yeah no sweat man, I'm happy to run and I'm glad you're enjoying!

>Knowing a girl
normie detected.But really, have fun!

Yeah well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. It could be worse you suppose.

A few points on that:

1: Not sure this quest has enough traffic for such a thing to be active more than not at all.

2: My understanding is Discord discussion takes away from Quest discussion and that's already pretty slow.

3: Honestly, I'd love to chat and chill with whoever wants to for whatever reason, but the above reasons concern me. If someone REALLY wants to make a Discord, I won't say 'no'. Otherwise, you'd have to convince me of it.
Discord doesn't really seem necessary, considering Spooky Girl Quest doesn't have a super large following. There isn't much discussion that could take place there that couldn't simply be done in the normal thread.
Trust me on this, save the hatchet throwing for the second date. You'll come as desperate otherwise

>third spoiler
Was he at least good?

Eeeeh, maybe later. You are pretty fast when it comes to answering questions, I see no need for a discord channel.
It reminds me of /tg/-era questing
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I quite concur

>Hatchet throwing
Fucking lol'd


I'll refer back to
his face buried in your neck, your nails on his back, murmuring his name

So basically

That's the PG-13 stuff. I mentioned the hair pulling didn't I?

>/tg/-era questing
I take this as a compliment of the highest order. Thank you!

I try to be responsive because (shockingly) I am just as much a fan of my game as anyone. I'm eager to see how you guys react to what develops. Hopefully I keep you guys guessing as much as you do to me.

Is it sad to admit I lurk my threads in the off chance there's discussion?
Nah, I tend to keep it open in one tab too, in case I forget about a session

You know, maybe a permanent discord would be too much. But a throwaway chat for after each game would be just fine
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I just want a place to chill with the QM and other players outside of the thread.
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Yeah, a throwaway chat might just do it
I'd make one right now, but i am spent for the day
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Fucking Skellypus! Sick!


Whoever wants to chill. I warn you, I am a shitty host, but feel free to fuck around
So are we expecting Cliff to be the one who was driving the car that killed Ellie to avoid having to take responsibility for the baby?
That invite isn’t working for me, did something go wrong?
It expired. Try this one:

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Cliff's neighborhood is nice. Not ritzy, but nice. Cute little houses with American flags and mowed lawns. Some kids dart through the road in a running Nerf gun battle, foam darts flying.

Franz swears under his breath as he brakes for them, flashing a mock smile to the kids who look his way, before continuing along the winding, suburban street.

"So, how long is this gonna take?" Franz asks.

"I don't know," you reply, "A little while? Maybe?"

Franz nods, drumming his hands on the wheel, but he doesn't ask if he can come back and pick up you up later as you were expecting.

"Ah! There it is," He pulls over, tires thumping the curb, and stops the car beside a non-descript, single-store house nestled in the shade of an oak tree. "This is the guy."

You don't move, instead you eye the house apprehensively, totally unsure of your plan. This would be easier if Ellie were here.

"Are you getting out?" Franz asks.

You nod, not looking at him, playing nervously with the spike bracelet on your wrist.

"Alice, what the hell is going on? This isn't a normal project."

"It's a project for me, okay? It's important."

"Okay," Franz replies, voice defensive. There's a long pause, "Are you nervous? Do you want me to come with you?"

>No, you wait here.
>Write in



Reminder: Discord is just for fucking around, please keep serious game discussion in-thread. Please don't make me regret this decision any more than necessary.

>Character Apperances
>No, you wait here.

Also, how's it going, TK?


I'm good man. Unwinding after a long week. How bout you?
I've been better, but at least I'm doing fine otherwise.

Anyway, I've honestly got no idea about where to go with this scenario, which, actually, is kind of fitting, considering Alice's lack of planning for this meeting and general social awkwardness. It might take me a little while to type up some good write ins, so don't panic if I take a while, K?
You shake your head. "No, you can wait here."

Franz shrugs, "aight."

With a slow inhale and exhale, you open the passenger door and get out. You slam the door behind you and brush out any wrinkles in your clothes.

{You're scared, Alice?}

"Yes," you say. "I didn't ask Ellie about this, I didn't ask you how this works."

{It's quite simple, Alice. Ellie is only anchored here by her strong love for Cliff. By her own wishes, she just wants a chance to say goodbye. She didn't even ask ot say goodbye in person. If I were you, I would simply tell this man what Ellie has asked and let him believe it or not.}

"That's sort of cold," you say, frowning.

{I never pretended to be an affectionate or sentimental person, Alice.}

"No." Very much the opposite in some ways, "But I think she should get a chance to see him. He should know the truth, that she's been waiting for him and looking for him all these years."

{Do you think Cliff would react well to seeing his long dead love suddenly appear before him? These may be painful memories, Alice. Humans don't react well to such . . . Otherworldly activity.}

Your slow steps carry you closer and closer to Cliff's door. "But imagine they had a chance to dance together," you say, "The dance they never had!"

Your phone buzzes and you stop, glancing at the screen, it's from Franz.

>Are you talking to yourself?

You send a dirty look back at the car and type out a hasty response.

>I'm nervous!

Then quicken your pace to the door.

{I'll tell you a secret, Alice, though it's against my better judgement. I can call Ellie here. To this place. Oh, it will be some work, and with you as the only energy source around, you're going to feel it, but she'll be here. Cliff will see her. That is, if you think it's a good idea.}

You reach the door. "We'll see," you whisper.

>Write in
I'm not worried. Write ins are nice, but not required. Besides, the preparedness is more useful for you than it is for me. We'll see how this all plays out.
Maybe we should try and bullshit him? We could make up a story about an actual school project that would justify our being at his house, then use this meeting to lay out some groundwork and come back when better prepared. That's just an idea though, I'm not opposed to trying to do things here and now and let come what may.
I was actually thinking about inviting him to the dance as a chaperone, then having them meet after it's over, and letting them have that dance.

That does sound like a cool idea, though I'm not sure how the timeframe works for when the dance actually is. We'd just need to figure out an excuse as to why we specifically looked him up and are inviting him.

You rap on the door and take a step back, hands clasped behind your back, internally cringing at how clammy they feel. A million thoughts are in your head. Tell him the truth? Lie to him? Call up Ellie's ghost right here, right now?

After a few moments of nothing, you see a flicker of movement behind the peephole. Then with a double click, the door opens and your left looking at a stooped old man, his hair white as snow, deep lines etched into his face, but his eyes are sharp and alert, suspicious even.

"Hello," he says.

"H-hello." You swallow hard, trying not to think about how strange this must look. "I'm looking for Cliff Ellison."

The old man looks at you, then around you as if you're hiding an army, finally back at the car where Franz sits, the moody tones of his music barely audible.

"Yes?" Cliff asks. "Something I can do for you young lady?"

"Um." you trace the toe of your shoe in a nervous line across the ground in front of you.

{Don't be afraid, Alice.}
>I'm doing a school project about local history and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions
>I'm trying to recruit chaperones for the Roselake High Halloween dance
>I have a message from Ellie
>{Mr. Ellison, I have something very important to tell you.}
>Write in
>My name is Alice [Surname, sorry i don't remember] and sir, let me tell you i am very grateful for the work you've done in for our community. I happen to be doing a report on influential people and i would like if you could answer me some questions?... If you have can spare the time
We can drop the chaperone thing during the conversation if needed
That's good. Supporting.
Yeah, ignore all the syntax murder please
>Write in

"My name is Alice Cherna and sir-" you squeeze your hands together nervously, "I am very grateful for the work you've done in our community."

Cliff looks a little surprised, but says nothing.

"I'm uhm- doing a report on influential people. From our community."

Cliff nods, wincing a little, perhaps at your visible struggle not to flub your lines.

"I'm doing a report," you continue, charging on, "on influential people in the area, and I was hoping that maybe you could, um, answer some questions for me."

He stares at you a moment.

"If you have the time," you add hastily.

"Well, sure." Cliff looks back at Franz's car then steps outside, closing the door behind him. What do you need to know, Ms. Cherna?"

"Uhh." Fuck, you hadn't really planned this far ahead, and your improvisational skills left a lot to be desired. "How long were you a Lawyer Mr. Ellison?"

"Hmm, well I graduated law school in 1967, so I really started practicing law in 1968. I specialized in accident law and had my first big win in 1970." He gives you a strange look, but you nod along, listening attentively. "Um. I retired in . . . 2009. So . . .forty? Forty one years."

You nod again.

Cliff clears his throat, "Are you going to write any of this down?"

Shit. "Oh, uh." you fish out your phone, nervously swiping through screens until you get to a note app and type in a few brief notes, trying not to sweat. When you finish, there's another pause, you look up at Cliff waiting for the next question.

>What got you into accident law?
>Any interesting cases?
>Why did you retire?
>Maybe we could talk inside, it's a little chilly out here.
>Write in
>What would you say was your most influential case? The one that left the biggest impact?

>Who were some of the people that served as an inspiration for you?

>What got you into accident law?

In that order

After we are done, we can drop the chaperone bomb on him. If we act starstruck enough he will accept, either due to his own ego or only to get us to go away
>What got you into accident law?
>Any interesting cases, one's that stand out to you in your career?
>I've read that your family was rather influential back in the day, particularly regarding our state government. I'm kind of curious why you didn't try your hand at politics.
>Why did you retire?
In addition to >>2145085

>When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer?
>What would you consider your greatest success? Or your greatest failure, if you're comfortable sharing it.
>Do you think you've had a positive impact on the community?

>Write ins

"Um. What was your biggest case? Do you have like a most influential case?"

Cliff rubs his chin in thought, "That would probably be 1983, the Higgins case. A drunk driver hit and killed a family in a stopped car. Now, mind you, this was back when buzzed driving around here was pretty common. Drunk driving was a slap on the wrist if no one died," he says, "They tried to argue that the defendant wasn't at fault because the brakes on his car failed. Well, in case it's news to anyone, the poor state of maintenance on his car was his own fault too. Put that guy away for a few decades."

You key in notes frantically.

"Do you have any inspirations? People I mean."

Cliff thinks again, a thin smile coming across his face, "Thomas Jefferson. I always liked reading about him as a boy, and he tended to fight battles with words instead of fists."

You frown, not the answer you expected.

"What about failures," you say, "Is there anything you regret? I mean, if you feel comfortable-"

"Oh, that's no problem. I had uhm," Cliff pauses for a breath, "A close acquaintance of mine killed by a drunk driver when I was younger. They never caught the bastard, and that always left a mark on me."

"Oh," you say, forgetting to write this down.

Cliff glances at you.

You bury your face in your phone again and pretend to write something. "Is that what got you into accident law?"

"Yes, I'd say so."

"Uhm, what about your overall career? Would you say you left a positive impact? I mean on the community."

Cliff thinks hard. "People always slip through the fingers of the law," he says voice heavy, "Nothing anyone can do about that. We let the guilty go free so that no innocent are punished. That's my motto." He frowns, "Only sometimes the innocent are punished."

"I've read that your family was pretty influential back then, especially state government. I'm kind of curious why you didn't try your hand at politics."

Cliff looks puzzled, "Influential? I don't know if I would say that . . . Well, I figured there are enough free criminals in this state, there was no point in me becoming one of them." he cracks a smile at you that you meekly return. "No, really, law was enough for me. Maybe I was more ambitious when I was younger, but . . . When you grow up, you become more pragmatic I think. You'll see." he winks at you, a harmless old man wink. You hope.

"Um," you struggle to think of another question.

{Ask him about who died.}

You try to hold your own train of thought past your Friend's suggestion.

>Who was it you knew who died?
>I'm also trying to recruit chaperones for the Roselake High Halloween dance
>My parents were killed in a car accident, so I imagine it was hard on you
>Write in
Start with...
>My parents were killed in a car accident, so I imagine it was hard on you.

Lead into...
>Who was it you knew who died? From what it sounds like, you were very close to them.

End with...
>I'm also trying to recruit chaperones for the Roselake High Halloween dance
>I can relate to having lost someone close because of the negligence and irresponsibility of others...
>My parents were killed in the bridge collapse a few years ago.
>May I ask who it was you lost?

If i recall right, the bridge had an engineering fault that the construction company let slide, right? Might make our story more relatable if we spin it with that context in mind.

>engineering fault
Yes, you're correct. Your family won a small settlement from the government that helped cover a lot of expenses early on.
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"I can relate to having lost someone close because of the negligence and irresponsibility of others," you say, voice low. It takes tremendous willpower to discuss these things even now, but you can do it. Before, talking about it had been too hard. "My parents were killed in the Foster Bridge collapse a few years ago."

"Oh," Cliff looks momentarily startled, "I'm very sorry to hear that, Ms. Cherna. My sympathies."

"I mention it because I think I know how you feel. I imagine it was hard on you." You wait a heartbeat before adding, "Uhm, can I ask who it was that you lost? It sounds like you were close to them."

Cliff looks distant, "It was a girl I knew. We were . . . Very close. It was a senseless thing really. She had so much-" he stops and takes a breath, "She had so much to live for. I try to remember every day that I'm here for her. I made it my mission as a lawyer, to do what I could to balance that equation."

You tilt your head, "Equation?"

"Hmm, yes. The cost of losing her- of losing Ellie, it has to be made up somewhere else. I intended that her death mean something more."

"I'm sure you made a difference to many families who hurting," you say.

"I hope so." Cliff looks distant.

"Um. I also wanted to ask," you say, shifting on your feet nervously, "I'm trying to recruit chaperones for the Roselake High Halloween Dance. I was hoping that maybe you'd be interested."

"Chaperone a high school dance?" he looks puzzled before a coy grin spreads across his face, "Unless you're hoping a blind old man like me might miss some inappropriateness on the dance floor?"

You feel your face flush, "What? No! Nothing like that! I mean b-because you're an important local figure."

Cliff chuckles, "No, I'm sorry Miss Cherna, I'm simply too old for such things. Not to mention, you might have better luck recruiting in Roselake." he winks again. "Lots of fine people out there."

"You don't have to do any real work," you say, "You just have to show up and dance. It's kind of . . . " you struggle for the word, "Honorary."

"Thank you, no. Is there anything else?" He glances again at Franz's car.

>I think I know Ellie. She's buried in Roselake, right?
>What can I do to change your mind?
>{Mr. Ellison, I actually have something Ellie wanted to tell you}
>write in
He's being polite about it, but it seems he really doesnt want to go back to Roselake. Might not be the best idea to push that particular button, lest we lose any good will we've managed to build up with him. Not sure what to go with atm.
>Oh, don't mind him. He's just mad because he owed me a big one and taking me here is the favor I asked. [lean in and whisper] And when I say he owed me big time, I mean it

We know where the guy lives now, we have people that can take us here if we need. next time, we'll bring in the big pile of ectoplasm and give them some closure
Mission successful.
>Would you mind if I came back to ask some more questions sometime? I admit, I'm not exactly the most prepared today, so there's probably something I've forgotten.

Same here, I'm just hoping that this write in will let us talk to him again without borking the questline...
>I think I know Ellie. She's buried in Roselake, right?
Oh, yeah, see if you can get his phone number! That's another avenue we can go down.
Well, three votes for three separate things.

Fuck it. Im gonna try to do them all

>Write ins


>I think I know Ellie. She's buried in Roselake, right?
"Oh, don't mind him," you say, "He's made because he owed be big time. I asked him to drive me down here." You glance back at Franz and wave before turning back to Cliff, "And I mean big time."

Cliff looks at Franz's car again and smiles, "Oh? He's in the dog house, huh? Well, try to go easy on him. Just be glad you have one another."

You give a tight, polite smile, unwilling to correct Cliff.

{Aren't you going to tell him Ellie's message, Alice?}

"Would you mind maybe if I came back to ask some more questions sometime?" you ask, "I admit, I'm not exactly the most prepared today, so there's probably something I've forgotten."

Cliff's smile flickers a moment, "Oh, I'm not so sure about that. I'm retired now and I value my relaxation, Ms. Cherna. You understand."

"Oh," you frown. "Maybe if I had your phone number, I could call?"

Cliff looks more uncomfortable, still trying to maintain a polite smile, "I'm not sure what other questions you could really have for an old man like me. What sort of project is this anyway? When's it due?"

"Uhh." You search your brain for a plausible response, "It's a graduation project. Long term."

"I see. And it's all about me?"


"Well, why don't you leave me your email address and I'll email you a little summary of my life experiences, you can fill in the details from there. I'm sure my neighbors will start talking if they see me meeting with a teenage girl every day," he winks at you again and chuckles, "I'm sure you understand."

{Alice, the message?}

"I'm working on it."

Cliff blinks, "Excuse me?"

"The project, I'll be working on it." you smile nervously. "By the way, I think you said that girl, her name was Ellie?"

"Yes, that's right."

"I think I know her," you say. "Isn't she buried in Roselake?"

Cliff furrows his brow, "She is, yes."
>I'm sorry to pry, but wasn't she killed on prom night?
>This might seem sort of inappropriate, but have you heard about the legend surrounding her?
>Mr. Ellison please, a lot of my grade is riding on this, can we at least schedule a follow up interview?
>Okay, thank you for your time
>Write in
You're a cruel man, TK...

Guys, I'm wracking my head, but I got nothing.
TK, quick question. How many years has it been since Ellie's death?
>You're a cruel man, TK...

What, you thought this would be easy?

>How many years has it been since Ellie's death?
She dies 1959. It's 2017. So 58
>She dies 1959. It's 2017. So 58
Hmm, damn. I was wondering if it might be some significant 'anniversary' year of her death. That might have given us a good inroad to getting him to come to the dance.
Well, I am out of ideas. This is out of my zone of comfort. Way out.

Here goes nothing

>She was actually relative of mine. Not a direct one, but my grandma used to tell me about her. They couldn't hang out very often, but she told me they were close. Grandma saw her as the sister she never had but she wasn't sure if it was mutual. How they [Things that Ellie enjoyed doing that she told us but I forgot] together. She also told me she talked a lot about her boyfriend and how she took every chance to go and see him at his debate club. [pause] I am sure she'd have loved to see you one more time. And to tell you other things she never had the chance to...

I have NO idea what I am doing

Of course it easy, we just punch him in the face with our Friendstrength and bring him to the graveyard
>The only vote

Kinda like the lie, but there's no way we could dig ourselves out of that grave. The more complicated the lie, the easier it is to unravel.

Ah shit.
Shit, sorry for tripleposting

In case he is interested
>Well, she left a diary of sorts which I couldn't bring with me right now.
Yeah but "Close-ish relative that visited very infrequently so she never had the chance to meet with you" is something we can manage
Maybe, but he's a lawyer and knew Ellie really well. I feel like we're going to be setting off all sorts of bullshit detectors.
We also know Ellie really well... Sorta
We can spit back how they met, that should seal the deal
That's a fair point. Hopefully things work out.

I gotta clear out because of exams and shit. Thanks for running, TK.
"She was actually a relative of mine," you say, mouth working faster than your brain. "Not a direct one I mean, but my grandma used to tell me about her."

Cliff's smile vanishes, and he's now listening very intently.

"They couldn't hang out very often, my grandma and her I mean, but she told me they were close. Grandma saw her as the sister she never had but she wasn't sure if it was mutual." Now your struggling to recall any details Ellie might have given you, "They used to watch um. That old western together." Shit, what was it. "High Noon!" you blurt. Teenage girls watching westerns together was a stretch, but you know Ellie was a fan.

"She also told me she talked a lot about her boyfriend and how she took every chance to go and see him at his debate club."

Cliff says nothing and hardly reacts beyond watching you speak.

"I am sure she'd have loved to see you one more time. And to tell you other things she never had the chance to." You leave a pregnant pause.

Cliff nods very slowly, "Yes, I'm sure she would."

"This is even stranger, but I actually have a sort of diary she kept."

"A diary?" Cliff's voice borders between concern and confusion.

You nod, "Something she wrote in, my grandma had it, the night of the accident."

"Did you bring it?" Cliff asks. "I would love to have something like that."

"I didn't," you shake your head. "I'm sorry."

Cliff's attitude toward you is suddenly very different. You feel like the way defendants in his court cases must have felt. He eyes you carefully. "What do you want?"

You blink, "Um. What?"

He doesn't say anything. "For the diary. I assume you're trying to sell it to me."

"N-no, I wouldn't do that," you say.

"Did your boyfriend put you up to this?" Cliff asks, good humor gone. "Trying to make a little side cash? Or maybe, more likely, there is no diary right? You've just got some theories. Hmm?"

You gape at him, startled by the sudden change in attitude.
>No, the diary is real, what are you talking about?
>What sort of theories?
>{I suggest you relax and tell me what you're talking about, Cliff.}
>I lied about the diary, but I do know a lot about Ellie!
>I'm sorry for any trouble, I'll be leaving
>Write in
>>{I suggest you relax and tell me what you're talking about, Cliff.}



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>I gotta clear out because of exams and shit.
Good luck!

>Thanks for running, TK.
Thanks for playing!

Hey look, I did something

Let's go with the friend option

Don't worry, we can share the blame
>{I suggest you relax and tell me what you're talking about, Cliff.}

You're stunned to silence, quite frankly, a little scared.

"I suggest you relax," your mouth moves of its own accord, "and tell me what you're talking about, Cliff." While you speak, your eyes narrow, hands relax at your sides, your whole body takes on a different posture, when you're done though, it's like a switch is thrown and you return to control, your eyes widening, did you really just say that?

Cliff's own eyes widen in surprise that such a stern tone can come from such an unassuming girl. "I don’t think we have anything else to talk about." He straightens up and opens the door behind him. "I think we had a small misunderstanding, Miss Cherna, and I am sorry for that. Goodbye."

"Wait, Mr. Ellison-!"

Cliff slips into his house and closes the door. You hear it latch.
>Mr. Ellison! I have a message for you from Ellie!
>Walk through the door
>Go back to Franz's car
>Write in
>Go back to Franz's car
I say we leave this for now.
Considering who we are talking with now, he could pull some connections to get us, and to a lesser extent Franz, in trouble
We can come back in the middle of the night with Ellie in tow and settle this matter in our own terms
Agreed. We need to reassess the situation with Ellie.
>Go back to Franz's car

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You spend a minute studying the door that had been closed in your face.

{That went rather poorly, Alice.}

"No shit." You turn around and star walking back fro Franz's car, hands in your pockets. He starts it up when he sees you coming back.

"Everything okay?" Franz asks as you pull open the door.


"Did that old dude storm out on you? What happened?"

"I just asked him some questions. Can you take me home before it gets dark?"

"Um. Sure, yeah." Franz puts the car in reverse and backs out into the street. "That guy didn't yell at you or something, did he?"

"No." A half-truth.

{Alice, I don't mean to nag you, but I will say things would have been much easier, I think, if you had just relayed Ellie's message.}

You roll your eyes, not dignifying this with a response.

{What will you do now, Alice?}

You pull out your phone and type.

>Talk with Ellie. Maybe come back.

{You really don't quit do you, Alice?}

There's a sensation like a release of tension in your mind, you suspect your Friend sighing.

{If you insist. Alice, don't you think this business with ghosts is just a bit too much trouble? They're as muddled as humans but with the added baggage of death.}

>No. This is important.

"Who you talking to? That LARP guy?" Franz asks.

"Does it really matter to you?" you ask, voice heated.

"Okay, jeez. I guess not." Franz sets course for the long way back to Roselake, around Foster Bridge and drives in silence. It's getting late in the afternoon, it may even be early evening by the time you get home, and you do have some homework. Mark and Grace would be worrying about you if you're out too late, but you also want to speak with Ellie as soon as possible.

>Head home for now
>Straight to Roselake Cemetery to talk to Ellie
>Write in
>>Straight to Roselake Cemetery to talk to Ellie
>So, eeeh, thank you for taking me there. Sorry if it was weird, things didn't go as planned.
Some common courtesy is needed

Also, text big sis and tell her something reassuring. Something like "Missed a bus, so they invited me for dinner. I'll be there after we are finished. Love Alice"


That's good.

Anyway, I've got to head off to bed in order to be a responsible adult tomorrow. Gnight, bossman, fellow bad decision maker.
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"So, um. Thank you for driving me to Lasker." you look over at Franz, "Sorry if it was weird or anything. It didn't exactly go as planned."

"It's okay. I don't mind." There's a pause, "I mean, it was nice hanging with you again."

You don't say anything.

"I mean, I know things with us . . . aren't great. But, we should at least be friends, right?" Franz spares a few looks at you while driving.

You roll the idea around in your mind, hoping your Friend might throw a stray thought your way, but they do not.

"I'm not promising anything," you say. "But I don't see the reason to hate you forever for what you did."

Franz lets the words lie and continues to drive.

You take the opportunity to craft a message to your sister.

>Sorry, running late. Got invited to stay for dinner. I'll have Franz take me home when we're done!

The reply comes back in seconds.

>Ok. Don't be 2 late. Mark's worried about U

You reply.

>ok. Love you!

"Hey, can you take me to the cemetery?"

"What? The cemetery?"


Franz sighs, "Okay, fine. But I've gotta get back before dark."

"That makes two of us."


Calling the game here guys, thanks for playing everyone!

As always, I appreciate everyone who stopped by to play, and the people who show up to read afterward. Next week is an "off" week for me where I take a much needed little break. Next session will be the 26th . . . Maybe. Holidays will probably fuck everything up.

Follow Twitter for detailed updates.


As always, floor open for comments and Q&A. I imagine there's not much left to ask at this point? But who knows.

Thanks guys!
Thank you for running
I am sure i'll have some questions for you after i rest for a while

Good night, anon

>Thank you for running
My pleasure!
reading time.

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