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1086689 No. 1086689 ID: 2eb1da

NSFW for nudity and possible lewdness
Chapter 1: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/823974.html
Chapter 2: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1059064.html
Chapter 3: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1068906.html
Wiki: https://questden.org/wiki/Calliope
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No. 1086690 ID: 2eb1da
File 171079786947.png - (157.00KB , 550x500 , 000b.png )

Marlene has returned to the dreamworld each night since the first experience. There is another who accompanies her: a boy her age named Carter. He, too, doesn’t understand what’s happening--and claims to be from Norris Creek, a town far far away from Springford where Marlene lives. Marlene is braver than Carter to seek answers; despite his anxious protests she opens her eyes to look around and sees Carter as a frightening figure.

She instantly wakes up in the real world (as far as anyone would presume) with her heart racing. The next night, they both return to the same dreamscape.

Together they discuss whether any of this is real at all or a fabrication--as well as discover the ‘rules’ of this dreamscape.

• Positive emotions are amplified, and negative thoughts are suppressed or otherwise exhausting to think about. The desire to open one’s eyes is absent and even frightening to commit.
• Despite closed eyes, their senses amplify to ‘see’ or otherwise sense their surroundings clearly, floating in a sunlit void.
• Opening one’s eyes sees a different world: a terrifying flash of despair and fear. One can describe their bodies as biomechanical or cyborg-like contraptions. A glimpse is enough to shock Marlene awake and instantly end the dream.
• The ghostly tethers protruding from the back of their heads stretches out for miles with no end. They don’t appear to show any signs of purpose.
• Both Carter and Marlene are somewhat omnipresent. They can be miles apart yet a whisper can be shared. To merely wish to be close or far is granted in a thought. Movement is difficult to decipher whether they drift or the world moves for them. A heightened sense of proprioception keeps both of them aware of their placement in the dream.
• When either subject wakes up, the other is kicked from the dream. The dream invites them back in as long as they’re both asleep.
• The effects of the dream may linger in the ‘Mundane World’ (real world). Outbursts of emotions have occurred. Marlene has sleepwalked before in high school, but the dream seems to trigger it again.
No. 1086691 ID: 2eb1da
File 171079791902.png - (196.72KB , 550x500 , 001.png )

Am I imagining it?

I can feel... grass.

Grass between my toes. Warm grass.

A whisper.

Carter: You feel it too?

Marlene: Huh?

Carter: It’s... familiar.

Marlene: Yeah. It kind of is.

He places a warm palm to my back. It’s like the sun raining down on my skin.

Carter: It’s nice.

Marlene: I wonder why it’s all here now. Is this really grass or are we imagining this?

Carter: If I had the answers, I would tell you~

I feel a breeze coursing past my twitching ears.

Carter: I was afraid I wouldn’t see you again.

Carter: I guess I’m always anxious to know if each dream we’re in together would be the last.

Carter: I hope that doesn’t sound strange. Maybe you've felt the same.
No. 1086696 ID: 273c18

Hmm, not exactly. At this point you expect it to happen every night. Something this significant won't just end arbitrarily.
Ask him why he hasn't called you. Ask for his number instead, some way for you to contact him rather than him contacting you.
No. 1086705 ID: debc82


Oh, weird. His horns look like they're broken.
No. 1086707 ID: dd3fe0


We already discussed this, they're there but don't look normal in this place
No. 1086721 ID: 5ebd37

Its not strange, dreams are unpredictable, although this seems more than just a dream.
Pick somewhere to meet up irl if the dreams stop.
No. 1086734 ID: 8f9bc4

It's probably evil robot cilia but really, does it matter? You're where you need to be, and nothing is wrong. Why do you keep coming here though? That's what you're wondering is why this dream you're in together isn't the last. There's something bringing you two here. Something you need to do... something important.
No. 1087010 ID: 15a025

Haven't worried about it being the last time, not yet anyway. Still feels like there's a mystery to solve in this place. We keep coming back to this place every night for some reason or another after all.

Share the news about your new job and how hard you partied it up with Maebe.
No. 1087812 ID: 2eb1da
File 171209277649.png - (208.69KB , 550x500 , 002.png )

>There’s something bringing you two here [...] something important.
>Still feels like there’s a mystery to solve in this place.
Marlene: Well, I hope it doesn’t upset you to say I wasn’t worried. This seems to be a common thing now. But it doesn’t sound strange at all--aside from all this happening in the first place.

Marlene: I have been looking forward to every night, though.

Marlene: This dream we’re in will probably not be the last; something brings us both here. Something important, even. We must figure out what.

>Ask him why he hasn’t called you
>Pick somewhere to meet up irl if the dreams stop
Marlene: But it can’t be solved here, alone. We should discuss more about it outside the dream. Why haven’t you called me?

Carter: You never gave me your number.

Marlene: I-- Wait. Didn’t I? Come on! Seriously?

Carter: Nope~

Marlene: Alright, heh. Enough of this.

I get up; walk a short distance to think. I’m starting to become irked of this... avoidance? Is whatever may be controlling this place trying to keep us separated?

Marlene: I want to meet you, Carter.

Carter: You are!

Marlene: In person. Not this. This doesn’t count!

Carter: Of course it does. Why wouldn’t it? What constitutes a meeting of two souls? Only by the vessels they pilot?

I groan and exhale a heavy huff.

Marlene: It’s not the same and you know it’s not the same.
No. 1087814 ID: 2eb1da
File 171209280073.png - (197.92KB , 550x500 , 003.png )

I get chills every now and then. It really feels like I’m naked in the middle of a field on a sunny day; it feels like someone will see me. While it may be humiliating to be discovered, there’s a ticklish response within me. A risk of being found.

I’m relaxed again.


No! I can’t let that go just yet. I keep my tone light because it’s important to me--I wouldn’t want to put the pressure on him.

Marlene: Carter. I want to share a coffee with you. Meet your friends. Meet my friends. My band, even! Fuck it, share memes on our phones for all I care.

Marlene: I just want closure that you’re real and not some figment. You’re just a guy in Norris Creek and it’s all I have a lead on.

Marlene: Seems like every time I bring up a way to reach you we either trail off and forget about it or--

Marlene: --maybe you’re actively avoiding me.

Marlene: You can trust me, Carter. Is there something you’re not telling me? Or afraid of? I know this place gives us conflicting emotions--but if you can focus just for a short moment, I want to know the truth.

He sighs and looks out into the distance.

Carter: Marlene...

Carter: I... can’t meet you. Not yet. It’s not a good time. Can we just idle for a bit and enjoy what we have?
No. 1087818 ID: 0fda44

We already have. Give me a concrete reason to wait. What are you afraid of?
No. 1087826 ID: 53ede8

Tell him you are alright with that, but you want to know why considering he was worried about not seeing us again. Is everything alright? Hes not in a coma or hospitalized, is he?
No. 1087836 ID: 8f9bc4

I guess he wasn't real after all. Oh well. It's still a pleasant dream.
No. 1087840 ID: 5ebd37

>not yet
You don't need to rush him, but a contingency plan would be good. Something for if the dreams do end.
He doesn't even need to give a phone number or address. Just a landmark, somewhere you could leave a message if needed.
No. 1087846 ID: 273c18

Okay, just give him your phone number then. Properly. Make sure he remembers it.
No. 1087853 ID: debc82


Wait, what? Not a good time?

Why? It's been days of this.

Should we go where he is? Would that work better? Fuck, we got paid, so we've got the cash to get a few bus tickets if need be.
No. 1087854 ID: eb0a9c

"No excuses, Carter. I found something, in the physical world. Something powerful. If a mix it with this world... everything will fall into place. But I can't do it alone. You're the only other person who truly knows this experience - I need you.

Whatever is wrong, whatever you've lost, I'll do my best to bring it back. With this place and my project, I can."
No. 1087856 ID: e536d8

Well not much you can do about that, can you? If he's going through something, you can't really force a meeting. Besides, would you want the first time you meet to be under bad circumstances? You're about to go into your new job, is it the best time for you?
No. 1087866 ID: 273c18

He's probably got something going on in his personal life. Hell, maybe he's in the hospital at the moment.
No. 1087892 ID: dd3fe0

There's probably something personal, maybe meeting is bad, but we can at least talk and text or something! I need more to go off than this avoidance! Why don't we swap phone numbers and emails at the very least??
No. 1088120 ID: 15a025

Give him your phone number and maybe he can text you just once. You don't have to talk in the waking realm any more than that until he's ready to. Should be a reasonable compromise, right?
No. 1088153 ID: a8545d

Tell him altight, but if he turns out to be the spooky metal man that shows up when you open your eyes disguising as cute little goatboy cuz he's lonely you'll be very upset he didn't explain earlier.

That being said, let's frolick through the dreamscape and will a lovely lake with our imagination!
No. 1088445 ID: 2eb1da
File 171277351038.png - (185.51KB , 550x500 , 004.png )

Marlene: Not a good time? Look. You can’t drop it like that. This is day four for chrissakes! Give me a concrete reason to wait.

Marlene: I can buy a bus ticket and be right at your doorstep. I mean, I can’t do that immediately since I recently got my job back. But I have the means to!

Marlene: Otherwise I suppose you’re not real after all. Or a ghost.

Carter: I may as well be.


Marlene: I’m sorry--

Carter: No, I shouldn’t have said that. You’re right. I guess it’s a mix of things. There is no absolute answer to why I’m... avoiding you. But it is my fault.

Carter: I’ve been alone my entire life; I’m somewhat of a shut-in. But everything is so easy here--the confidence comes naturally now. The intimacy of two close bodies. The desire to feel you--someone--in my arms.

Carter: Yet when I awake in the real world, I just find the thought so ridiculous to commit. I’m only kidding myself; we’re not two high school internet lovers. You have a boyfriend and ambitions, and I probably won’t fit anywhere in your life. Even as a friend in the real world.

Marlene: Is it agoraphobia?

Carter: tch--fuck if I know. I just don’t have a place ‘out there’.

Carter: Sometimes I believe I’ve imagined this place growing up. Maybe it’s a wish come true. I finally get my deserved reward after bearing all the loneliness and pain.

Carter: I wish I could stay here even when you’re gone.
No. 1088446 ID: 2eb1da
File 171277353386.png - (223.11KB , 550x500 , 005.png )

>A contingency plan would be good.
>Why don’t we swap phone numbers and emails at the very least?
I calm down a bit. I believe I understand what he’s going through. I can’t really force a meeting if he’s falling on difficult times. But I know with enough patience we will one day meet face-to-face.

I kneel down to him.

Marlene: Hey. I get it. I really do. I’ll try to back off a bit.

Marlene: We won’t know for sure if this may even be our last dream together. But if you can’t share an address or a number--why not a landmark in case we split?

Marlene: Or while I’m at it, I’m giving you my phone number now.

Marlene: And you better remember it. I’ll be quizzing you.

Carter: Alright. I’ll try.

The area code isn’t too important; if forgotten he can just look it up online. With the remaining 7 digits I try a mnemonic as best I can.

Marlene: And if you muster up the courage to leave home--you ought to stop by Brook’s Clove: just ask for someone named Emmylou, she’s my best friend. She’ll get in touch with me one way or another.

Marlene: If... for some reason we lose our phones, I guess.

Carter: Okay. Thank you. I’ll do my best.

Marlene: Come on, let’s walk a bit; this is a nice place. Maybe there’ll be a lake or something. Who knows?
No. 1088447 ID: 2eb1da
File 171277356922.png - (213.46KB , 550x500 , 006.png )

We travel; it’s hard to tell if it’s been days or minutes. But it’s pleasant. Our closeness makes it feel like I’m on a first date. I feel both the autumn breeze and summer sun. It’s an evening with a never-ending sunset with Carter by my side.

Marlene: All this wasn’t here before. I wonder why.

Carter: No animals. No insects. Yet I can hear or strangely feel distant cicadas. Or ambience of a faraway highway.

Carter: Do you know where you’re going?

Marlene: I don’t know. Yet--I feel like I’ve been here before. I can’t describe it.

Our walk continues for miles every step. Carter gently nudges my shoulder and stops walking.

Carter: Marlene, do you see what I see? Over there. There’s a building.

Marlene: For real? No way.

Indeed I see a house.

Carter: Do you think someone’s there?

Marlene: I see no tether busting through the roof. Besides. I know who lives there.

Carter: What?

Marlene: I think I figured out where we are.

Marlene: That’s the house I grew up in.
No. 1088450 ID: 7c55ad

well, what are you waiting for? Go on in!
No. 1088499 ID: 5ebd37

Hopefully this pleasant place wouldn't throw something sad at you. Check it out
No. 1088501 ID: 43bc19

You can “see” it with your eyes closed? I wonder what it’ll look like if you opened your eyes inside it.
No. 1088517 ID: 8f9bc4

Something evil probably. You don't need to open your eyes though. Just get a feel for the building and what might be there to find.
No. 1088713 ID: 15a025

Go inside and get lost in the warm nostalgic smell of your mom's home made sweets.
No. 1088720 ID: 83a18d

Approach with enthusiastic caution
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