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1068906 No. 1068906 ID: 11f77a

NSFW for nudity and possible casual lewds
Chapter 1: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/823974.html
Chapter 2: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1059064.html
Wiki: https://questden.org/wiki/Calliope
386 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 1085008 ID: 2eb1da
File 170933130328.png - (136.66KB , 550x500 , 135.png )

He lets out an amused snort. He at least reads the title page with a flair of playful sarcasm.

Nico: So it’s got your seal of approval, huh? Sounds pretty special if the one-and-only Marlene is impressed by it. What’s it about?

Marlene: It’s about a boy growing up, and by some odd happenstance he experiences parallel lives of himself. Very... psychological but a sci-fi coming-of-age more or less.

Nico: So what do you want me to do about it? Are you passing it on for a friend because you happen to know the producer?

Marlene: Of course not. Even if that was the reason, it’s still unfinished.

He chuckles but was caught off-guard.

Nico: Marley, you’re sure... full of twists and turns. I’m beginning to lose you here. What’s all this really about?

I take a slow breath.

Marlene: You said that you needed a staff you can count on; ‘a strong team through the worst times’ verbatim. For offering to me, I figure I hold at least some worth in your eyes for the consideration.

Marlene: I’m still conflicted whether that means going back to being a secretary--but a ‘strong secretary’ position isn’t an enticing opportunity. I’ll have a job again, sure, but there’s very little room for freedom there.

Marlene: I’ve always dreamed to work behind the scenes--just not the sorting-documents kind. Even when I left I’ve been having a creative rut for months.

Marlene: --up until I came across this story, and I’m struck with the inspiration to finish it. I can’t quite explain. Perhaps it can turn things around for me. It’s a spark but I think it’s enough to get the ball rolling.

Nico: What’s so special about this one?

Marlene: Because it’s different. It’s unlike any I’ve seen in a long while. It’s just missing a nugget of... something to exceed. I just have to explore it.
No. 1085012 ID: 2eb1da
File 170933214840.png - (165.68KB , 550x500 , 136.png )

>Your main selling point is that this script is one of the few that you truly believe could be forged into a blockbuster
Marlene: I know Silenus hasn’t been doing too hot and it needs something new to break the mold. This could be it.

Nico: Hmmgh.

Marlene: What movies has Silenus churned out lately? Superhero fatigue and hard sci-fi sequels that ran their course half a decade ago.

Nico: No studio is naïve, Marlene; believe it or not we can see the signs in the midst of post-production if a movie is going to flop. Like every film we publish--we will wring out as much revenue as we can. Or shelve it and make it a tax write-off.

Nico: Besides, as much as I’d love to take a gamble on any promising indie script--the shareholders know that people still go to the movies to see the same things over and over. And it’s always been that way.

Marlene: Maybe. But the budgets of those movies are horrendous; especially when you stack reshoots and the cost of advertising that nearly double the initial production.

Marlene: It may be an understatement but Kaleidoscope is a drama. No explosions. Minimal special effects. If we’re smart it could be feasible on a tight budget.

He sighs and rubs his temples.
No. 1085013 ID: 2eb1da
File 170933216145.png - (166.34KB , 550x500 , 137.png )

Nico: I feel we’re veering off a bit; let us rebound to that later. It sounds like you will only accept the job if we purchase the rights to the script.

Marlene: Well... putting it bluntly... yes. I suppose... that’s what this is. I guess it’s more like asking a favor. It’s what I want to do here, Mr. Booth. And I want to take part in finishing it.

Marlene: Something about this place keeps me on the fence. I still want my foot in the door... yet I feel reserved to stay independent.

Nico: Might I ask one question? Rhetorically maybe--but just a thought.

I nod.

Nico: What have you accomplished in the past half-year as a ‘freelancer’? Anything commissioned at all? Book? Script? Essay? A movie review perhaps?

I... dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

Nico: Hmm.

Nico: Marlene, in the time you worked here you were a pretty reliable gal. There’s still a certain... intuition I see in you.

Nico: But I won’t hire someone who is sometimes-with-us and sometimes-not purely on vibes.

Nico: Script aside, whether I even accept such a... favor, I still need a team that will go all-in. Which brings the most important question you must ask yourself at this very moment:

Nico: Do you want to work here or not?

He wears his famous hard stare. I’m trying to keep my cool but I’m tensing up inside on this decision.
No. 1085105 ID: 8f9bc4

He's feeling slighted because you rejected him earlier. Are you really up for this? The script is worth pursuing, but are you? What happens when you fail him, and you can't be the reliable worker he wants you to be? Are you going to say that you want something that you do not want? Maybe this was a bad idea.
No. 1085114 ID: dd3fe0

You love the work, ultimately. And structure helps. And the people are great And you can still be an asset and worth their time. The time you spent not working there helped give you perspective. So, yes, you are apprehensive, but that's not due to not wanting or needing or not being willing to go all-in, it's due to the magnitude of the change in front of you.
No. 1085120 ID: eb0a9c

"No, but I have to. Which means I will."
No. 1085168 ID: 15a025

Already pass the point of no return on this project. If you didn't want to see this through to the end, you wouldn't be in here. Jason's fate and Osman Niero's last chance to have his name out there is in your hands.

You want to work here, and you want to work on this movie.

The company has practically nothing to lose by picking up a simple smaller budget film.
No. 1085275 ID: debc82


From the sound of things, I'm not sure he WANTS us to work here, which is a pretty bad position to take.

Hardly inspiring, especially when he comes out with trite HR jargon like being "all-in."

But sure, fine, we took the initiative to walk in here, say this is the best damned script we've seen out of anything, and that we'll personally work to finish the damned thing for Silenus, but apparently that's not motivation enough.

We could always just take it somewhere that won't try to guilt us with emotional baggage.
No. 1085597 ID: 2eb1da
File 170976064830.png - (153.21KB , 550x500 , 138.png )

>”No, but I have to. Which means I will.”
>Are you really up for this? [...] Maybe this was a bad idea.
>If you didn’t want to see this through to the end, you wouldn’t be here.
>You are apprehensive, but that’s not due to [...] being unwilling to go all in, it’s due to the magnitude of change in front of you.
I reflect on Emmylou's words. I just need to pull on a tough face for a while. If only for a little while.

I take a single breath.

Marlene: Mr. Booth...

Marlene: I do want to work here, and I want the chance to work on this movie.

Marlene: Working alone has at least given me some perspective.

He gives a subtle nod.

Nico: Alright.

Nico: It’s good to hear you’re back in the game, Ms. Collins.

Nico: I’ll hold the script here. I’ll try to find time to read it over--and if it’s as captivating as you say then I may even pass it around my peers to have a few more views.

Nico: In the meantime, you should catch our current line-up of shows. You might even contribute to them in the future.

Nico: You can start after the weekend. I still have your information on file--that is--if you haven’t changed your address or means of contact.

Marlene: It’s still the same.

Nico: Then it’s all settled! That wasn’t so bad, was it? I’ll be sure that you can segue back into the rhythm of things here~

Nico: If there’s nothing else, I'll look forward to seeing you back in the office.
No. 1085599 ID: 2eb1da
File 170976092555.png - (130.06KB , 550x500 , 139.png )

I almost forget as I turn my back to leave; there’s still one thing left to make clear.

Marlene: If I could address one more thing--

Marlene: I want to say... what I did the other day was a bit of a mistake.

Nico: Hmm?

Marlene: The... dumb kiss I did. I’m a bit embarrassed of my reaction towards... your offer. You could probably figure I’ve been going through some things and my mind was not where it’s at.

Nico: Oh, that.

Marlene: I’m taken, Mr. Booth.

Marlene: I didn’t want to give you the wrong impression.

Marlene: I'm very embarrassed that I would do such a thing, but... I hope that doesn't make things awkward moving forward.

Nico: Hmmm.

Nico: I see.

Nico: Well it was unexpected for sure. I guess I misinterpreted your approach.

Nico: But I can easily forget it happened.

Marlene: Good. That’s all. Thank you for understanding.

Nico: Yes. I must wrap the day up now. Be seeing you.
No. 1085600 ID: 2eb1da
File 170976140288.png - (160.54KB , 550x500 , 140.png )

At this point there would be a cork popping from a champagne bottle. Instead I sufficed with the clack of a stout glass on mahogany veneer.

I’m at Hammered Horns with Maebe. The meeting with Nico happened so fast and full of adrenaline I don’t remember how I got here.

Maebe: Way to go, Mar-lene! Here’s to your last few days of freedom.

Maebe: This one’s on me. Do you like White Peak? It’s like drinking snow.

Marlene: You mean it’s water?

Maebe: Heh heh heh... naw I meant... the crisp. I dunno how to describe it.

Marlene: You seem unusually perky tonight~

Maebe: Aaaah I may have had two beers before you arrived. Alan just reopened the bar after a bad trivia night with bikers ended up trashing the place. It looked like an apocalypse rushed by. Anyway, that means all the beer is new!

Maebe: But whatcha gonna spend your hundred on, huh? And do you think your boss was bustin’ your balls back there?

Marlene: Maybe, I dunno. Sometimes he’s laid back but that may be to lure you in when he drops the hard questions; his demeanor completely changes.

Marlene: A bit unsettling but it’s all business I guess; I don’t think he has it out for me.

Maebe: “All-in Marley”

Maebe: Well here’s to hurdling over that jump. You got a script to write! Right?

Marlene: We’ll see after the weekend I suppose.

While the night is still young, I wonder how I’m going to spend it celebrating.
• gossip drunk
• 20 Bleater™ selfies drunk
• share secrets drunk
• bleat at sports drunk
• beer games drunk
• karaoke drunk
• trivia night drunk
• two girls jus’ kissing drunk

No. 1085603 ID: f3e128

the reasonable amount would be around bleat at sports or share secrets.

My brain went dead at two girls kissing so that one please
No. 1085605 ID: eb0a9c

Get the Two Girls Kissing to make you feel better about randomly kissing other men.
No. 1085607 ID: 4796dc

Truth or dare drunk!
Oh wait, thats not a choice

Beer games drunk then. We can get even more drunk! Have some fun, live a little lot!
No. 1085658 ID: 5ebd37

You haven't even finished dealing with the last kiss. Stick with secret swapping.
No. 1085671 ID: a09489

No. 1085675 ID: 273c18

Bleat at sports drunk.
No. 1085677 ID: a7a180

Share secrets drunk.
No. 1085712 ID: 8f9bc4

Oh man the selfies is tempting...
No. 1085923 ID: dd3fe0

share secrets drunk
No. 1085931 ID: 7c55ad

I'll change vote to sharing secrets drunk since playing games isn't getting a lot of votes. If we share secrets drunk, talk about our dream experiences, would be fun to hear her opinion while she's drunk. We told her before, but not the whole thing.

talk about the guy you see in your dreams, and also how you sleptwalk, even naked outside that one time
No. 1085941 ID: 7c151e

seconding this one.
No. 1085957 ID: 15a025

Share secrets!
No. 1086044 ID: 2eb1da
File 171010470615.png - (178.24KB , 550x500 , 141.png )

>Bleat at sports drunk
I’m not much of a sports enthusiast but the Hartwood Lumberjacks, my hometown varsity football team, are on. I’m one full pint into my drinking binge--and I don’t drink often, so I’ve yet to build a tolerance for alcohol in my veins.
Still, it lets me feel loose and open to express myself.

Marlene: Fuckin’ horseshit!

Marlene: Both teams got worse since I left high school.

Maebe: I actually gave one of those guys a tattoo on his back thigh--right under his ass. I think it was the name of his girlfriend.

Marlene: ‘They still together?

Maebe: Fuck if I know; I don’t keep tabs on customers.

Maebe: You ever wanted a tattoo?

Marlene: Maybe. I wouldn’t know where to put it.

Maebe: Trust me. You’ll figure it out soooon enough.

She smirks and clinks her glass to mine.

Marlene: I aint getting a tattoo tonight.

Maebe: Fine, fine.

Marlene: And what the hell was that pass? He’s over there in No Man’s Land!

Maebe: Do you keep tabs on high school buds?

Marlene: Mmmmm—yeah. I only had two friends, to be honest. Their names are Emmylou and Lori--sisters. We were neighbors but I see them enough to know what’s been happenin’ in their lives.

Marlene: Oh wait. There’s an ex. We sorta talk. Last time I surfed Bleater™ he got married. I think he’s gonna have twins.

Maebe: Cool, cool. Good for him. Here, lemee flag Alan down for another beer.
No. 1086045 ID: 2eb1da
File 171010473686.png - (171.85KB , 550x500 , 142.png )

>Share secrets!
Maebe: No waaay... you sleepwalk?

Marlene: Used to. Leas ss t in high school. Bit in co llege. I think it was depre s sion.

Marlene: -snuck- But I’m doin’ it again.

Maebe: Like. What d o you dooo? Eat from the fridge? Pee yours elf? Heh heh.

Marlene: Jus t. End up somewhere--I end up some w here in the apar t ment. On the floor. Or clozet.

Marlene: Oh! Oh! Ooh man... I ack-shully end e d up naked o uts ide.

Maebe: Shit! Naw-uuuh.

Marlene: Oh y ea h. In the buf f. Happened thi i i iis mor n ing.

Maebe: Nuh-uuuuuuh. Really? Nauuuh.

Marlene: Ido n’t thin kany one saw me...

Marlene: Sebbs dared me to go o u t naked on ce when we moved in. To grab a le af from atree. That was a rush to my p r i vates~ Eh-heh heh heh~

Marlene: S a a t on his dick right aft er huehuehue
No. 1086046 ID: 2eb1da
File 171010479963.png - (167.71KB , 550x500 , 143.png )

Marlene: Oh! So the d ream s I’ve had. The o rang e dreams. I told you this, right? I als o see a man.

Maebe: Is he h o t?

Marlene: I... dunno! Haha! He’s cute I gues s.

Maebe: Not your boyfrien d? What does he do, chase you wit h a knife? Sta nd l ike a creepy sexper vert?

Marlene: Naw, jus t a guy I talk to in my dreams. I think we just f l o a t around. Talk about sstuff.

Marlene: Like... like...

Marlene: Is this even real? Is this mun dane world f a ke?

Maebe: That’s some deep shit.

Marlene: Right. Y eah.

Marlene: We’re both nekkid too. And float a ro und in oran ge. And we’re h o o ked up to...

Marlene: So m e thing--

Marlene: I’ll probably see him again to n ight. Lookin’ for wardt o it.

Marlene: I’ve ne v er felt so good.

Marlene: Man I s u u r e get naked. Like. A l o t.

Maebe: If-ff the creep y dream man was sudd en ly real like right inn fron t of you. Whaat w ould you even do?
No. 1086047 ID: a7a180

Give him my shirt so he wasn't naked!
No. 1086048 ID: eb0a9c

Repeatedly scream "CYBER" until you pass out.
No. 1086052 ID: dd3fe0

Talk to him. Try and get his phone number. Get him some drinks! Get him some clothes, hahaha!

We're friends, you know? Not with benefits! No sex! I'm taken! Can't have sex with anyone but the boyfriend.

Oh! I'd ask him about the other reality. See, when we talk, there's THREE reality layers. You know how the Matrix had two, but the other movie like The Matrix that no one watched, the one with the same idea that came out around the same time, uh, The Thirteenth Floor? It had THREE layers. So we're in a THREE layer reality. One is Here, Two is the floaty orange place, and Three is where we're SUUUUPER ugly cyborgs in a wasteland. Like. Really ugly. It'd be scary, but then you realize we're all just ugly! The fucking machines that made us cyborgs have no sense of style, ya know?
No. 1086053 ID: 8f9bc4

She's not the dream man. She can't be because she's too busy being Maebe! The only one right in front of you is Maebe, is she trying to tell you something hmmm? Or maybe it's the bartender. Hey, are you the guy of my dreams?
No. 1086054 ID: 7c55ad

You'd give him all the clothes off youur back so he wasn't naked anymore.

but also introduce him to Maebe and the band, you did talk to him about the band, and thought up lyrics with him critiquing it.
No. 1086055 ID: debc82


Ask him why he didn't ... call? Go to that one place?

Uhhhh ... there was something. We'd asked him to do a thing. And he didn't. Yet.

No. 1086100 ID: 0c0930

"'unno. See if the knows something weird that helps us wake up for good? Oh, also puunch him from chickening out on trying to open our eyes at the same time that one time!"
No. 1086115 ID: dd3fe0


Wait a second! I was assuming he was naked. But he'd be real here to, and HERE he'd have his normal clothes and stuff. So I don't need to give him my clothes. Cause he'd have some here! Cause you have a YOU in all the layers of reality, yea?
No. 1086401 ID: 2eb1da
File 171045714760.png - (124.95KB , 550x500 , 144.png )

Marlene: I uhh h h. He’d be all naked. Heh heh. And I’d give him my shi irt or paaants.

Marlene: Get his num ber. Not like--he’s not my boyfren I have one.

Marlene: Cute but. Iunno.

Marlene: I dun-no why he hasz’t called me. Or meet me somewher..

Marlene: I think he be avoiding me.

Marlene: In fakt, h e e ee... helps me write the son g.

Marlene: Your songe.

Maebe: He aint real Mar. It’s all a drreeam.

Marlene: You’re not re eal.

Maebe: I am real!

Marlene: Nunuhvis is real ly real. There’s three layer s of real-ty like the... Matrix.

Marlene: This one right now... uh...

Marlene: Then orange... world.

Marlene: And the night mare. The h a t e machines. It’s s so un bleeb—believe ably scary you wake up. We’re all ugly cyborgs. Hooked tooo machines.

Marlene: Only whence we open our eeyes. Do we see. He wouldn’t open ‘em. Chickening out--. Open our eyes.

Maebe reaches her hand out to me.

And flicks my snout.

Marlene: dOw!

Maebe: That real enough for ya?

Maebe: Make dat nonsense a sstory; I think we’be had enuff. I’m calling en Uber.
No. 1086402 ID: 2eb1da
File 171045717169.png - (173.92KB , 550x500 , 145.png )

My head feels heavy. What time is it? Oh right, I have a phone. I could look there. Where izzit. I’m sure Maebe knows where to drop me off. I feel everything spinning like an unending somersault.

Maebe: Uuugh I’m g o nn a barf.

Maebe: No wait. No I’m not.

Gotta give my eyes a rest.

Fuuuuck. I’m so tired.

Marlene: Where a r e we?

Maebe: We haven’t lef t yet. We’ll be there, don’t wo r ry.
No. 1086403 ID: 2eb1da
File 171045720049.png - (248.33KB , 550x500 , 146.png )

Carter: Marlene..?
No. 1086404 ID: 2eb1da
File 171045727116.png - (167.56KB , 550x500 , 147.png )

Maebe: Yo, wake up! You’re home!

Maebe: Come now, girl. Final s t retch to bed.

I hear a familiar voice.

Seb: Marley? That you? Are you girls alright?

Maebe: She’s just--we’re fine! We were celebr ating. She’s good! I’ve been watching her, don’t worry! Heh heh.

I’m trying to reorient myself.

Maebe: Co m e on, Mar; your guardian angel awaits.

Marlene: Carter?

Maebe: Car ter! Would you help her to the door?

Seb: Who? Who's Carter?

Maebe: Sorry, whatsst your name?

Seb: Heh. It’s Sebastian. You’re Mabel right?

Maebe: Sebbisseb? Naw, Maebeee. Sorry--I suck at names.

Marlene: Shit. Seb. Which way to the door again?
No. 1086416 ID: dd3fe0

Seb! Seb is great! You love Seb, can Seb tuck you into bed? Things are spinny! Soooooo drunk!
No. 1086423 ID: 8f9bc4

Don't forget to hydrate!

The door is uh... to your right.
No. 1086424 ID: dd3fe0

Right! Door to the right, thank Seb for being amazing, go inna house, drink LOTS of water, go pee, and THEN bed!
No. 1086428 ID: 7c55ad

literally crawl on top of Maebe to get out of the car, wish her good night

talk drunken silly nonsense to Seb, like tell him how adorable he is, Ask if he's interested in doing more risky naked dares with you in the future, and most importantly, give him a big ol' sloppy alcohol smelling kiss,

and oh yeah! tell him you're going to be working again! So you both HAVE to celebrate with him in some way.
No. 1086553 ID: 15a025

Try not to trip on your way out of the cab. Then fail and trip into Seb's arms.
No. 1086609 ID: debc82


Shhhhh nooooo, dreamtime is now. Maebe no, we gotta talk to Carter
No. 1086610 ID: a3b6f7

You should go to the kitchen. You have to *hic* you have to check there's enough food tomorrow.

Maybe... *hic* *snickers a little* maybe you should eat a can to see if it's good.
No. 1086685 ID: 2eb1da
File 171079749604.png - (179.71KB , 550x500 , 148.png )

Maebe’s fat ass aint movin’ to let me through. Moooove.

Okay. She moved now. I manage to walk a few feet into Seb’s arms. I try to kiss his lips but I think I missed. Yeah. I missed. And it was kind of a sucky kiss on the collar of his shirt. I end up nibbling on the fabric.

Maebe: You got h e r?

Seb: Yep! Yep she’s good. Thank you! Have a--have a nice night!

Marlene: Aaah, Seb~ You’re just so amaaazing. Heh heh.

Seb: You should... drink some water! Otherwise your head will implode tomorrow morning.

Marlene: I’m m plenty of water cuz I gotta rock a piss.

Seb: Well not out here! Hold it just a while longer.

Seb: Come on, let’s move our feet. There we go--
No. 1086686 ID: 2eb1da
File 171079753252.png - (182.69KB , 550x500 , 149.png )

Aaaaaah relief~

And then bed~

Seb: Lift your legs a bit. I’ll help get your pants off.

Marlene: Heeeh-heh-heh-heh. I’d feel w a y better naked right a bou t now.

The sound of ocean waves.

Seb: You’ve been out pretty late.

Marlene: I’m sorry, Seb.

Seb: I aint mad or anythin’. Did you have a good time?

Marlene: Uh-huh...

Marlene: Sorr y, though.

Seb: I know~

The sound of clouds soaring.

Pants come off. Woosh! Just my shirt and undies.

Seb: It’s one-in-the-morning. I was beginning to worry.

Marlene: Celebrate-ing. We celebrate...

Marlene: Awe ma a a an.

Marlene: F u u uc k me. Eh-heh-heh-heh...hehehehe.

Seb: Uuuuh-huh~ I don’t think either of us has the stamina tonight.

Marlene: Do me uh d a r e Seeeeb.

Seb: Just rest for now~

Marlene: Mm I dare you to—

Marlene: Open your e y e s.
No. 1086687 ID: 2eb1da
File 171079757180.png - (204.17KB , 550x500 , 150.png )

The sound of sun rays.

Marlene: Open ‘em

Seb: Just sleep hon~ Time to close them.

The sound of...
No. 1086688 ID: 2eb1da
File 171079776515.png - (195.19KB , 550x500 , 151.png )


No. 1086692 ID: 2eb1da

Chapter 4: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1086689.html
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