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"What the fuck was that?" Sam says, laughing. "Is this a real movie?"

"Killer Klowns from Outer Space is not a joke," you reply with a half-smile.

"Are they shooting popcorn at them!??" Sam demands, gesturing at the TV. "Is that a balloon dog!?"

You smile without answering, "This is a masterpiece."

Sam chuckles, "I think I liked the zombie one more."

"Give it time, it may grow on you."

>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

"So," Sam says, turning to you during a low part in the movie. "You said you'd be more open."

"Yeah . . . " you say, apprehension growing in your stomach. "And?"

"So, that means you're not going to lie to yourself about what you want. Alice, you need to get out there!"

"I thought I was getting out there," you say.

"You're still so wrapped up in yourself." she blanches, "I don't men like selfish or self-absorbed or anything! You just . . . You're just . . . "

"Quiet?" you supply, thinking of Franz's word for you.

"Yeah. Kinda. You're quiet about yourself."

"What do you think I should do about it?" you ask.

"Be bold. Make a statement, make a definitive statement about yourself."

"Like what?"

Sam smiles, her prey cornered. "Zack or Michael?"

"W-what do you mean?" You ask.

"I mean which do you prefer? Which are you interested in?"

"They're both-" you stop yourself, "Interesting."

"Interesting," Sam mocks. "Come on. You know, I could play a different tactic here. Like, you should make a choice because if you're not interested in one of them . . . I might be." She plays with her shirt hem, a nervous tick.

"Really?" you ask, "Which one?"

"Nu-uh. I asked you first. I want to know which you're going after in case I want to try to go for the other."

>I'm not interested in either like that
>It's not fair to make me decide like that
>Write in
Let's go for Michael for now, just in case he actually is some sort of supernatural being. That way we won't get Sam recreating the ending from Drag Me to Hell.

Also, welcome back, boss. How'd your weekend treat you?

Weekend was good. I'm pretty good man. Yourself?

Hope you enjoy the quest today.
Doing well enough for this day and age. Found a Bluray of Demolition Man on the cheap, gonna watch it later tonight after the quest is over.
You didn't know really how you felt, emotionally speaking, about either. It was a tough, maybe unfair question. But, you also knew there was something strange about Michael. Something you'd rather keep to yourself, for your benefit or Sam's.

"Um. Michael is cute," You say.

"Aw, come on." Sam frowns, "But Zack saw you first!"

"Oh uh-"

Sam laughs, "I'm kidding, Alice. It's okay. Michael huh?"

"He's . . . Nice," you say.

"So are you going to talk to him or what?"

"Maybe," you say, "Probably."

"Okay, but when? Are you going to ask him out?"

"I don't think I could do that," you say quickly. "That's . . ."

"Weird?" Sam suggests. "I guess, a little. Well you should at least call the guy. Have you ever talked to him?"


"You're going to have to meet him if you want to date him right?" Sam asks.

"Well . . ."

"So why not just ask him for his number? I mean his real number, not this weird zeroes crap. I mean hell, maybe he sounds like Kermit the frog and you will be totally turned off."

>Fine, I'll ask him now
>Maybe later
>write in
>>Fine, I'll ask him now
>>Fine, I'll ask him now
>Fine, I'll ask him now

"Okay, fine," you say. "I'll ask him now."

Sam claps her hands in mock applause. "Progress!"

You bring up his texts on your phone and hit reply. Hey, what's your number?

Michael responds instantly. Why̶?

Because I want to call you and I can't dial the number you're texting from.

This time there's a pause.

That's because this isn't a phone. I'll get you̵ a num̷b̶er to call

True to his word, you get a phone number sent to you in moments along with the message. You can call me whenever you'd like.

Here, you hesitate, finger hovering over the 'dial' button. Heart beating fast.

"Do you want me to talk to him first?" Sam asks.

"No. I'll do it." You hit dial.

The phone rings once in your ear before it clicks on.

"Hello?" the voice is male, flat, placid, like a limitless lake. You can't help but think of a deep black expanse.


A pause. "Alice?"

You look to Sam who nods eagerly, miming a smile on her face with her fingers. Say 'hi', she mouths at you.

"Hi," you say, feeling stupid.

A pause. "It's good to hear from you. I'm-" he stops a moment. "I'm glad you called."

"Sam wanted-" you start, "I wanted to know what you sounded like."

"Something like this," he says.

"Thanks for the pictures, by the way," you say, cringing internally as soon as you've said it.

"That's not a problem. I'm glad you liked them," he sounds almost disappointed. "Thank you for yours. You're very beautiful." he says it, not as a compliment, but as a matter of fact.

You feel your skin flush with embarrassment and Sam starts choking back laughter at the absurdity of the situation.

"Uhhh," is all you can manage. You give Sam a pleading look.

She mouths more instructions at you, 'Ask him out'.
>Do you think we could go on a date soon?
>Would you like to meet in person?
>So what are you doing right now?
>Write in
>Would you like to meet in person?
>So what are you doing right now?
>(Put small talk about watching Killer Klowns with Sam and figuring out her costume here)
>Hey, uh, would you like to hang out together sometime? Maybe go out to watch a movie at the mall?
>>So what are you doing right now?

"What are you doing right now?" you ask.

"Doing?" Michael asks, considering the question a moment. "I'm talking to you."

You respond with a light laugh. "I mean before I called."

"I was looking at your picture then. Just . . . Nothing interesting. What about you?"

"Movies with Sam," you say.

"What movies?"

It's embarrassing saying it now, "Just this . . . Old 80s horror movie."

"Horror? What movie?"

"Killer Klowns from Outer Space," you say, watching Sam stifle more laughter.

"I haven't seen it," Michael says. "Do you like it?"

"It's . . . Good," you say. "I like it, yeah."

"We're also picking Halloween costumes," you say.

"And you're going to be Morticia, right? Morticia Addams?" Michael says as if there's another Morticia.

"Yep, and you're going as yourself right?" you ask, a light hint of sarcasm.

"That's right," Michael says, maybe a return hint of laughter, but his voice is so plain it's hard to tell, plus the connection isn't great, it's a little fuzzy.

"Sam's going to be a vampire," you say.

"That sounds exciting," but Michael doesn't sound excited. Not exactly bored either, just disinterested.

"A new wave vampire," you continue.

"Now that's a unique twist," Michael says, "Is that from a movie?"

"No, just an idea I had I guess," you say.

"I think it's a good one. I'd be excited to see your costumes."

Sam twirls her finger in the air. Hurry it up.

"Hey, uh," you adjust your position on your bed, tucking your legs under yourself. "Would you like to hang out together sometime? Maybe go out to watch a movie at the mall?"

"At the mall?" Michael asks. "I would like that. Very much. But . . . " there's a long pause. "I'm sorry, I know this will sound stupid. But it's a little unsafe to go meeting strangers like that."

"Um." you’re at a loss for words.

"But, I would really like to meet with you," Michael replies, his tone rising excitedly. "I just want to caution you, I want to make sure you'll take proper precautions. I don't want to image that you meet other people like this. It's dangerous."

You and Sam trade looks, she shrugs. "I don't normally go around meeting strangers, no," you say, "But that's for worrying. It's . . . Sweet." you say, though in reality it was also kind of strange.

"Hmm. Thank you," Michael says. "I probably just off set some of my credit with you by saying that, didn't I?"

"No," you reply, "You're right. It's just strange hearing a boy who wants to meet me telling me to be careful."

"Concern can be uncommon," Michael says. "But yes, we can meet. When?"

"Sunday?" you ask, knowing your day on Saturday is booked with Zack.

"Sunday is perfect."
>Write in
>Sam and I have to get back to our movie
>>Write in
Is there any particular movie that you're interested in? There's a couple of horror movies, a science fiction one, pretty sure there's one that involves Liam Neeson trying to find someone again...

>Wish him goodnight

"Is there any particular movie that you're interested in? There's a couple of horror movies, a science fiction one, pretty sure there's one that involves Liam Neeson trying to find someone again . . . "

"Would you think it's strange if I said that I didn't care?" Michael asks.

"A little," you say. "What kind of movies do you normally like?"

"I like science fiction," he says.

"Well . . . What about that new Alien movie?" you ask,

"That sounds good to me. Should we meet at the theater?"

"Um, I actually don't have a ride there," you say.

"Oh." a long pause. "I could come and pick you up if that's not a problem."

"No, not at all," you reply. "That'd be nice." you don't tell him the alternative is having your foster parent or your ex drive you. Neither an enviable plan.

"Okay, I'll call you closer to the-" you almost say date. "Time."

"Perfect. I'll talk to you then, Alice. It's been really great talking to you." He pauses, leaving more unsaid. "I look forward to meeting you."

"Me too," you say, though in reality you're also horribly nervous. Not only is Michael an unknown as far as people goes, already not a good start for you, but you get this sensation like he's got more going on than is obvious.



You hang up.

"Wow! Good job Alice, a date!"

"I don’t know if it's a date . . . "

"Movie with a guy? It's a date." She glances at her phone. "Shit. I should head back, in case my mom starts getting suspicious."

"Oh," you say, mood sinking a bit, "Okay. No problem."

You help her gather her stuff and go downstairs with her. "I can walk with you most of the way if you want."

"Yeah!" Sam says. "Just so long as mom doesn't see you."

"I'll disappear," you say, drawing a giggle from Sam as you reach for the doorknob.

"And where are you two going this time of night?" Mark asks.

You both look to see him watching the front door from nearby. Another glance outside shows that it's already dark out.

"I was taking Sam home," you say.

"Really?" Mark isn't amused. "Two girls, wandering around in the middle of the night? You think that's a good idea?"

Sam shrinks slightly behind you.

"I was just-"

"No," Mark sighs, "I'd better drive you both. Or did you forget what happened last time you went there alone?" he looks at you pointedly.

>Okay, thanks Mark
>No. We'll be fine. Come on, Sam.
>Write in
>Okay, thanks Mark
>>Okay, thanks Mark
>Okay, thanks Mark
>Okay, thanks Mark

The ride back to Sam's house is done in uncomfortable silence, you and Sam wedged onto the bench seat of Mark's Bronco.

"Thanks for driving me back, Mr.- uh-" again Sam catches herself, realizing that Mark and you do not share a last name.

"Mark's fine," he says. "I've always just been Mark and I don't intend to stop." he cracks a smile that Sam nervously returns.

"Thanks, Mark," Sam says it awkwardly.

"Yeah, no problem."

"Uh, you can stop here," Sam says, about half a block from her house. "I think I'll walk the rest of the way."

Mark looks at her, eyebrow raised.

"I'll walk with her," you say, then adding, "you can see her house from here."

Mark shrugs, "Sure. Don't be long."

You motion for Sam to open the door and the two of you get out into the quiet night air.

"That was really fun, Alice," Sam says, nearing her house. "You have a lot of weird, fucked up movies."

You nod, "Yeah. We'll have to keep watching them soon."

"And you've got a date with Michael!" she jumps and laughs. "Excited?"

"I don't know," you say, "Kind of nervous."

"It'll be fine," she says. "You two will have a good time. He is right about it being kind of dangerous though. Do you want me and Franz to go with you guys? You know, a double date?"

The idea of having Franz with you is even less palatable than going alone. "No, that's okay. I'll figure something out."

Sam stops walking. "Okay, I'd better go the rest alone."

>Bye Sam! See you tomorrow!
>We should hang out again soon. Next week?
>Write in
>>We should hang out again soon. Next week?
Next week, you should pick the movie; we'll watch it after we finish Killer Klowns.
This is fine

"We should hang out again soon. Next week?"

"Yeah!" Sam says, "Totally."

"Next week, you should pick the movie; we'll watch it after we finish Killer Klowns," you add. "Only seems fair."

"I'm okay watching whatever you want, but I'll bring a movie too," Sam casts a nervous look back at her house. "Okay, gotta go. Bye, Alice!"


You watch her walk away for only another moment before returning to Mark's car, walking quickly.

{That was fun, Alice. You seemed to have a good time.}


{I like it when you enjoy yourself like that. It doesn't happen enough.}

You climb back into Mark's truck and close the door.

"She get inside?" he asks.

You nod, brushing ack your hair.

"I really don't like you roaming around by yourself," he says, putting the truck in gear.

"I'm fine," you say."

"Yeah, right now. You're not gonna be fine if something happens though. And stealing Grace's mace doesn't count as protecting yourself."

Not wanting to fight with Mark, you say nothing.

"Have you seen that guy again? That weirdo in the car who was bothering you?"

You shake your head.

"The police couldn't find a trace of him afterward."

You can't help but give Mark a surprised look.

"Oh yes I did," Mark says, answering your unspoken question. "Guys driving around trying to talk to high school girls is a police-worthy matter. I've been looking for the guy myself but haven't seen him. Let me tell you, he better hope the cops find him before I do."

{Alice, that's not a good idea. He shouldn't do this.}

"Why?" you blurt.

"Cause I don't need my sister being hassled by- creeps," Mark says. You think he was about to say 'pervs'.

{Because it might be incredibly dangerous for him. If you care about Mark then tell him to stop, Alice.}

>Thanks Mark
>Don't bother looking for that guy
>Write in
>Write In
>Thanks, but I'm pretty sure we've seen the last of him. Besides, if he's really a psycho you could get hurt, and where would that leave my sister?
That's pretty good. Going with this.
"Thanks," you say, "But I'm pretty sure we've seen the last of him. Besides, if he's really a psycho you could get hurt, and where would that leave my sister?"

Mark looks at you and snorts. "Since when do you care so much about what Grace goes through?" You sense the unspoken phrase here is What you put her through.

"Of course I care," you blurt.

"Yeah," Mark says, sounding unconvinced. "You think some shlubby piece of shit is going to intimidate me?" Mark says. "Gotta say, Alice. That cuts me pretty deep."

"I'm serious, Mark," you say. "What if that guy is crazy and has a gun or something?"

"That's why I carry mine," Mark says, patting the center console, implying his own pistol is hidden there. "That's all the more reason to find him before he finds you or someone else."

You shake your head, "No. Mark, you have to take care of Grace and if you get killed over something like that-"

"Okay, Jesus Christ. I got it. Don't go being a hero. Fine." He glances at you. "I'll be careful, okay? Is that what you want to hear?"

"Yes," you say, settling into silence.

Mark snorts, shakes his head, and focuses on driving.

Back in your bedroom, you've already changed into your pajamas and washed away the makeup that Sam had so painstakingly put on earlier. You're kind of amazed Mark hadn't made fun of you or made some kind of snide remark. Who knows, maybe he thought it looked good too. Though it's doubtful. You have a hard time imagining he didn't say something out of the kindness of his heart, but stranger things have happened.

Although you're ready for bed, you can't sleep. You're looking into Cliff's death, trying to see if it made any ripples at all.

You do ultimately find the article in the Lasker City Times. Cliff is listed as passing away suddenly from a stroke.

{It's hard to test for soul-loss, Alice. The symptoms are obvious, but few people understand what they're looking at.}

"I think it's safe to say then that no one knows what happened?"

{Someone may. But no one who is going to tell.}

"Who would know?" you ask, heart beating hard.

{No one I know about. I just don't want you to assume too much. I think it's best we simply try to put it behind us.}

"Right," you say.

{Do you feel remorse, Alice?}

"For Cliff? No. He deserved to die for what he did."

{For what happened to Ellie.}

"She deserved better than I could give her," you say, fighting back the sad memories this question was dredging up. "Was . . . was that her?"

{You mean was that really Ellie and not 'just a ghost'?}


{I. . . am not sure, Alice. At first I said no. But toward the end, she was quite human. Perhaps it was, perhaps it was something else. Whatever she was, you showed her great kindness while still judging Cliff without remorse. How wonderful.}

"It's kind of creepy when you say I'm 'wonderful'.

{I'm sorry, Alice. That's not my intention.}

"I know," you say. You pull back the covers on your bed and climb in. "It's okay."

{Goodnight, Alice.}


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After closing your eyes, you open them up again and everything is silent and dark, your room lit from bright moonlight again.

"Oh no," you say and sit up. "Hey, are you still there?"

Your Friend doesn't answer so you must be dreaming.

You turn and shriek at the figure in the darkness.

The Goatman looms from the shadows of your bedroom. He's somehow lit from behind so you can't make out detailed features, but this light does nothing to dispel the shadow around him. You can only just make out his well-muscled frame and the subtle glint of piercing eyes.

"You," you say, standing quickly and backing against your wall, watching the Goatman's head track your movements silently.


He gestures toward the circular window beside your bed and you look. It doesn't look outside anymore. Now it shows your parents, mom and dad standing side by side and smiling. Waving.

You're dumbfounded and slowly circle around to stand in front of your bed, looking at this window turned image. Your dad makes a face at you and you smile a bit.

Then you see their car rolling off Foster bridge, slick with snow. Your mother is screaming as she falls. A single word. No! The car dives nose first into the frozen creek below with a crash. The windshield explodes and the hood crumples as frigid water pours inside.

You close your eyes and look away, feeling sick to your stomach when you suddenly remember something from your strange dream about the first time you and Franz had made love. The words he'd said. Sometimes, do you wonder if your parents' death wasn't really an accident?

You open your eyes. Not an accident? You look back at the Goatman.

"You? You did this!?" Your hands clench into fists of rage. You're not sure what you can do to an ethereal Goatman, but you’re not afraid to find out in that moment.

A single head shake. No

His eyes burn like sapphires in the dark, rectangular pupils flashing. It gestures to the window again.

You turn to look and see a new vision. This one of yourself, but much younger. You don't have to recognize specific details to know that you’re 14 in this. You're sitting in the corner of your bedroom, knees pulled to your chest, eyes squeezed closed, hands covering your head.
It's the day you came home from the hospital after your father had died. Grace was crying in her room, sobbing, wailing, Mark was with her, trying to comfort her, to tell her that it could have been worse somehow.

You didn't want to hear any of it, you didn't want to have to be alive anymore, not without your parents, not alone.

A shadow passes over you in the vision and then you see the Goatman through the window, leaning over you, offering you his hand.

Your younger self looks up, eyes red from crying, stunned. Then she reaches up and takes the Goatman's hand and is pulled to her feet, then into an embrace, a tight, enveloping hug.

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"That didn't happen," you say concretely, looking back to the goat.

He shakes his head again.

"So, what are you saying? That you want to protect me? To help me?"

A nod.


It spreads it's hands in a gesture of openness. Meaning unclear. It can't tell you or maybe it won't tell you?

"What are you protecting me from?" you try again.

The Goatman hesitates, it's looming form shifting side to side silently a moment before stalking forward to circle around behind you, coming between you and the bed.

You swiftly back away, careful not to touch him.

Once it's full between you and the window, it points over you, behind you.

You turn back to face your bedroom door, clearly visible in the dark from the hellish red light spilling around it. Suddenly, it explodes open, unleashing a boiling, buzzing cloud of flies and the stench of rot and decay. The cloud surges forward, grasping for you, swarming toward you before the door slams shut again, blocking it out, even that strange red light fading.

You stagger backward in panic, right into the Goat, feeling your back against his abdomen which is warm enough to almost be hot. The goat's hands go to your shoulders gently, steadying you.

You pull away and spin around, pointing back toward the door. "What is that? What was that?!"


The words are black in your mind, bold and powerful, washing away your thoughts for a moment, so stark as to almost be painful.

One your thoughts return like the tide coming in, you remember that your Friend said that once before. "Rot?" You ask, blinking.

The Goat jumps slightly, a twitch, almost as if it recoiled from you in that moment.

"What does that mean?"

In answer, it holds out its hand again which emerges from the shadows it's wrapped in, coming into the light. It has slender, human fingers attached to a very human palm, turned upward, inviting you to lay your hand in in its own.

"What, are you going to kiss me again?" You ask.

The Goat considers what you've said then cocks its head to the side. You understand it to be a question. 'May I?'

>Not until I know who you are
>As long as it's just my hand you kiss
>Write in

>Not until I know who you are
>Or what am i, for that matter
>Not until I know who you are
>I've got to admit, at least you're being a gentleman about it, now... er, gentlegoat?
>Let's just stick with gentleman for now to keep it simple.
>Not until I know who you are


>Write ins

"Not until I know who you are," you say, drawing back your hand. "Or who I am for that matter."

The Goatman straightens up and cocks its head again, almost as if it's trying to understand you.

"I have to admit," you continue on nervously, "At least you're being a gentleman about it, now . . . er, gentlegoat?"

The Goat's eyes twinkle in the dark and you feel a warm ripple. You're reminded of that strange tickle in the back of your mind when your Friend laughs.

"L-let's just stick with gentleman for now to keep it simple," you add.

The Goat slowly inclines its head, a nod of agreement.

"So . . .who are you? We've never been properly introduced."

The Goat gestures with a free hand toward your laptop which sprints to life, information flashing across the screen. It was your research from the library into horned gods. You see various incarnations of goat-headed gods flicker by. The Horned Diety and Baphomet.

"Baphomet?" you hazard, looking at the goat.

Another slow nod, almost like it was allowing you the point. 'Sure'.

"And what about me?" you ask, taking a step closer. "Who am I?"

The Goat puts its hands in front of itself, fingertips touch, thinking on this question, before it simply points at you.

"I mean, I know I'm me but why all this attention? What makes me important."

The Goat shakes its head.

"You can't tell me?" you ask, "Or you won't?"

It extends its hand, again requesting your own.

You don't sense that it wants to kiss you this time, so you place your hand in his, again surprised by how hot its skin feels.

The Goat turns your hand over, so its palm up and then lays something in it before releasing you.

"A key?" you study the iron skeleton key, marveling at the intricate ivy-work wrapped around the handle. "I'm . . . A key?"

You suddenly get the overwhelming sense that the Goat man is frustrated at his difficulty in communicating with you. For a moment, you're afraid it will try speaking again and try to mentally brace yourself. Instead it turns and points to your window.

The night landscape outside fades to blackness before brightening again, like a projector screen to reveal historical scenes. You see temples, cathedrals, churches and various ceremonies and processions. Rituals of religion. You see medieval crusaders kneeling to crude representations of Baphomet.

You see other scenes of warfare, pikeman and musketeers marching through the mud. You see misery and death, disease. A village is burning.

You're about to ask what the point is when you see the Goatman among them, following from the rear, moving like a strangely lanky, translucent shadow and striking enemies dead with a glance.

As two pike formations meet you see the other formation is enclosed in a swarming cloud of flies.

"A battle?" you ask. "You're battling that . . .fly thing?" You look to the Goat which is now almost uncomfortably close to you.

It looks at you, face a mask of darkness and nods.

"What does that have to do with me? Am I some kind of soldier or something for you? I'm not going to be your pawn."

A head shake.


You fight against the feeling. "More than a pawn?"

It nods.

"I'm not sure I understand," you say, frowning. "You guys are pulling the strings or religions or something?"

The Goat holds up a hand, fingers flat, palm down, and tilts it side to side in a surprisingly human gesture. 'sort of'.

"It's really hard to work this stuff out when everything you say basically gives me a brain aneurysm," you replied, frustrated.

The Goat holds up a single finger and then points it toward you, toward your throat, bringing it closer to, now inches away. It stops and holds here a moment, apparently waiting for you to object. You don't. It lays a fingertip on your throat gently before sliding it down your neck and across your sternum, bringing it to rest between your breasts. Despite this intimate placement, you don't sense any sexual intent on its part.

Before you can ask, you feel something stir within you. Not a physical stirring, something else.

You gasp as your mind makes sense of what you're feeling. Souls within you, those you've consumed in addition to your own. Three altogether. Suddenly you stop, you've only taken the one, maybe the other one is your Friend? But you don't feel him.

The Goat looks at you again, searching your face for understanding which it does not find. It takes its finger off you and turns away, walking away a pace.

"Souls? I can eat souls?" you try. "I'm more than a pawn and I can eat souls?"

(2/3) Counting is hard.
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It shakes its head slowly, almost with disappointment, though you can't tell if that's directed at you or itself. After a moment of standing with its head hung, it looks at you again.

{What do you want for Halloween?}

The words hit you like a tidal wave of ice water. "Want?" you blink back tears that were drawn by the sound of its voice. "What do I want?"

It nods.

You sense this is a profound question, something more than 'A snickers bar'.

"What am I asking for?"



>Power to decide my own destiny
>to live my life in peace
>to find happiness for myself
>Write in
>to find happiness for myself
>And to be able to share my happiness with others.
>to find happiness for myself
>to find happiness for myself


>Write in

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"I want," you say, thinking. "I want to be happy. I want to be happy and to share my happiness with others."

The Goat nods.

{I will try to make you happy}

You grit your teeth against the pain of his voice waiting till that blackness subsides.

That sensation of cold sweeps over you again, seemingly without cause.

"Wait, I have a lot more questions," you say. "What makes me so special?"

The thing called Baphomet shakes its head again, a refusal of some kind.

"I'm a key? A key to what?" you press on undeterred. "What's that have to do with these souls?" You ask, more insistent. "Who am I?"

The Goat holds out its hand again, closed in a light fist before it unwraps its fingers from its prize, dropping it solidly into your own open palm. You look down at what you hold. A chess piece, but not a pawn. It's black, tall, with a series of finely carved ridges and a smooth, rounded top ringed with a ridged crown. A queen.

You look back up at the Goat and see its eyes again, glittering and blue, looking down at you.

You don't have a chance to say anything else as you feel the world slip away from you, sliding into blackness, the chess piece and key tugged gently from your grip.


You wake up feeling cold all over. Shivering, you put a hand to your nose and feel wetness. You draw back your hand and see dark blood on your fingers. Maybe that aneurysm thing was closer to the truth than you wanted.

A cold breeze rustles through the woods around you and you shiver again, wrapping your arms around yourself.

You look around and see that you are not, in fact, in your bed, or even in your bedroom. Instead you're standing alone in the woods in the dark, wearing only your pajamas. In your right hand, you hold a kitchen knife, the flat, sharp blade glints in the moonlight.

{Oh. Hello, Alice. Maybe you should just go back to sleep.}
And that's all the time I have. I'll start by thanking everyone who turned out to play or to read and I hope you had a good time!

Unfortunately, this is going to be the start of a Questing hiatus for me. Spooky Girl will be put on hold for the time being. Consider this the end of Part 1. I've got real life concerns popping up that are making it hard for me to quest and I've gotten to the point where I need to put some of those first.

This is not the conclusion to Spooky Girl. Once my Irl obligations have been dealt with (which may be a few months) Then I'll get back on this and my other quests.

Again, thank you guys so much for your time and dedication. I couldn't ask for a better group of players.

If you haven't followed me on Twitter already, please do so to stay abreast of my future plans.


I'm also very approachable on Discord if you just want to chat about whatever.

As a small token of my thanks, I have a Spooky Lewd of dubious canonicity. This one is just for funsies. If people like it, I may do more. Or maybe I'll stop embarrassing myself.

>More than Friends

Till next time, guys.
Fun stuff, and cute.
>Oh. Hello, Alice. Maybe you should just go back to sleep.

Night, boss. Thanks for running as always.

>Unfortunately, this is going to be the start of a Questing hiatus for me.
>I've got real life concerns popping up that are making it hard for me to quest and I've gotten to the point where I need to put some of those first.
Aww, shit. That really sucks. I'm hoping it's just normal type real life stuff, and not anything really difficult.

>Once my Irl obligations have been dealt with (which may be a few months) Then I'll get back on this and my other quests.
Here's hoping it'll be sooner rather than later.

Pretty good, boss. Thanks for putting it up there.

See you around, and thanks again for running!
Couldn't have said it better myself.

>Really sucks
It sure does. I've been putting it off for a while now and it's just caught up to me and no, it's nothing bad. I'm in the process of trying to move and I need to clean, pack, renovate. Repair, etc. It a a horrible ball of overwhelming stress. But thanks for the concern.

>Sooner rather than later
You and me both. I'll keep updates on Twitter.

Thanks for reading, guys. Clearly not my strong suit, but it's a requirement for a quest basically, am I rite?
> Start reading in the archive
> Really like it
> Catch up to real time
> Hiatus
Of course.
*Sad trombone*

It's coming back, Anon. Just . . . gonna be a bit.

At least you come in on the part with the lewds though, right?
> At least you come in on the part with the lewds though, right?
That makes it sting a little bit less. But only a little.
In all seriousness, at the latest (in a few months) I'll be back at this when the move is over. If you're remotely interested in the quest for long term, I suggest you follow the twitter and keep your eyes peeled.
Just caught up after missing the last two threads. Great work in the quest. Hope everything works out for you irl.
Thanks for reading and I'm glad you're enjoying it. Everything will be fine I think, I just need some time to focus on it.

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