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File 141058763102.png - (115.50KB , 700x600 , 101.png )
593899 No. 593899 ID: 6ff029

paris, stop
Expand all images
>>
No. 593900 ID: 6ff029
File 141058779436.png - (112.21KB , 700x600 , 102.png )
593900

paris! stop it!
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No. 593901 ID: 6ff029
File 141058784548.png - (166.39KB , 700x600 , 103.png )
593901

a loud whistle blowing. crunching face under your knuckles. warm wet hard BAM BAM BAM. where'd your gloves go?

oh. you took them off. why'd you do that
>>
No. 593902 ID: 6ff029
File 141058788842.png - (187.67KB , 700x600 , 104.png )
593902

someone's dragging you back. screams? is someone screaming? is it just steam in your ears, like a kettle boiling over, the shriek of being too angry too hot too contained for too long

someone's screaming "what the fuck." look down. wet. red. did you do that

jesus christ! jesus christ. someone keeps saying that and you wanna laugh. what's jesus gonna do about it
>>
No. 593904 ID: 6ff029
File 141058814103.png - (196.11KB , 700x600 , 105.png )
593904

paris! stop! paris! what the fuck is wrong with you! paris! what are you doing

paris, what are you doing
>>
No. 593905 ID: 6ff029
File 141058818205.png - (140.27KB , 700x600 , 106.png )
593905

paris.

wake up
>>
No. 593906 ID: 5a9834

Oh shit.

Paris, look around you, quickly.
>>
No. 593907 ID: 8a20c2

alright, well. take a minute to get your bearings since waking up from those kinds of nightmares is super disorienting. then check around you. where's loretta?
>>
No. 593908 ID: 2fd516

>>593905
Wake up and smell the ashes?

Welp, time to get up and decide where the taxi is taking you today. You need to get out of the city and with someone who's willing to set you up and maybe find you both a job. The swamp is the obvious choice since Loretta has family there, but the wolf will be nearby and that could cause issues. Maybe the issues could simply be dealt with. On the other hand if Paris has any family that could be an option...

Ah, you'll want to call someone. Loretta's family first, to see how difficult it would be to get settled in there. Any contacts Paris has can be called afterwards.
>>
No. 593909 ID: c821ac

Deep breaths, it was a dream or a memory, but either way its not real anymore. Try to think of where you are, who you're with.
>>
No. 593910 ID: 8b533b

Well, there's a bad flashback nightmare.

Is someone talking to you?
>>
No. 593911 ID: 8fc9d6

It's okay now. It was a dream. A bad dream, but you're awake now. Look around you, see if you can remember where you are and who's around.

does that kind of dream happen often, or is this a first?
>>
No. 593912 ID: 6ff029
File 141059136958.png - (166.85KB , 700x600 , 107.png )
593912

"paris. are you awake?"

a different voice than the nightmare. i sit up. my head is pounding. after an initial moment of confusion and grogginess it all falls back into place - motel, running, loretta. got it.

"i don't want to rush you, but we better go soon," she says, and i exhale in relief. she sounds a lot better than she did last night. looks it, too.

"yeah." i pull myself out of bed and cross the room - she's standing by the window of the motel room, occasionally pulling the curtain back a bit to shoot nervous glances outside. it looks like it's mid-morning.

she turns when i reach her and wraps her arms around me. i guess it's not unexpected, but with how she was acting last night, i can't help but receive it warily. it's chaste and friendly, though, and i relax. "are you okay? you didn't seem to be sleeping well."

"oh." i rub my hand roughly over the back of my neck, averting my gaze. "that - that was nothin'. i dream about stuff sometimes. high school was a trip, you know?" i laugh, loud and forced, but she's looking at me blankly. i realize with a jolt of embarrassment that she probably never went to high school.
>>
No. 593922 ID: 436cdc

>>593912
Alright, now that our daily dose of awkward moments and ptsd dreams are out of the way, let's get on to business.
Specifically, what are we doing from here?

As it is right now, our problems are as follows:
-we are homeless
-We got little to no cash
-we lack any way of getting cash
-we might have mob goons after us because of our stunt at the stripclub

Obviously, wolfman pedoguy is PROOOOBABLY a last resort. His offer solves a LOT of these VERY VERY PRESSING PROBLEMS but he is also a very VERY huge creep, and being around him would probably be very bad for our health in the long run.
Another option is to try and scrounge some cash up and skip town, try to start fresh somewhere else. That, obviously, has it's own set of issues.
Another idea is to fight back, try and regain control of our lives however we can on our own. This is also has issues.

Any other ideas? Brainstorm with loretta, even if she didn't attend school she's still pretty bright under that unassuming exterior.
>>
No. 593928 ID: 2fd516

"Okay that was a lie. I'm just not gonna talk about it."
>>
No. 593935 ID: e6f4c6

Well there's a big question looming... want do you want to do with your life? Coasting along at the skeevy strip club not being an option anymore, the both of you need to honestly examine your direction in life.

Something tells me the dreams of being a singer have been quashed from Loretta. Paris is jaded already, but being on the run closes even more doors.

There's a lot to talk about, and Loretta seems to have at least partially snapped out of her funk. Right now I'd say it's time the two of you had breakfast.
>>
No. 593938 ID: 987560

>>593935
Yeah, both of them should make sure to think about that. Right now though, getting a move on is important too.
>>
No. 593950 ID: bb78f2

Shit, I thought the gameplan would just be taking a taxi to the swamp to get to Horace's. Is it really harder than that?
>>
No. 593957 ID: e6f4c6

We made a plan to go find Horace? That's news to me. It's not that it's a terrible idea, I just don't see the why.

And I still think these two should get some breakfast somewhere. They aren't completely broke so enjoying the little things in life is something they should do while they can.
>>
No. 593961 ID: 8a20c2

yeah, breakfast sounds good. ulric gave us a ton of money, the cab took some and so did the motel room. most motels have some sort of food source, vending machines, whatever?

just eat first. since loretta's anxious maybe we can leave and go eat somewhere else. and figure out what to do from there.
>>
No. 593965 ID: 8b533b

Eat first, plan next move. We only have so much cash on hand, and we need some kind of gameplan.
>>
No. 593995 ID: 8fc9d6

If you still have a lot of money, consider splitting it up - between the two of you, maybe? Not because you're planning on splitting up yourselves (not sure you'll both be able to survive on your own), of course, so much as anything to make it seem like you two have less than you currently do might keep you from drawing too much attention. Considering the circumstances, the least amount of attention is probably the most ideal.
>>
No. 594354 ID: 2c322d
File 141089433406.png - (230.33KB , 700x600 , 108.png )
594354

i shake my head slightly, as if to jostle up my disorganized thoughts and let them fall back into place. "we gotta figure out a gameplan. food first, though."
loretta nods in agreement, and we get dressed. a pamphlet in one of the motel drawers shows that the closest place to eat is a diner a few blocks away, so we walk over rather than calling another cab - $500 might seem like a fortune to us, but i'm still really aware of the fact that it won't last forever, and i don't know where we could get any more for now.
it's pretty empty, and we get settled into a small booth. the waitress is pretty, despite the bags under her eyes, and skillful - there's a hot mug of coffee under my nose almost before i realize i've asked for one, and i fumble out a request for the largest meal they have. across from me, loretta surprises me by asking for the same thing - but i guess neither of us have eaten in almost 12 hours.
>>
No. 594355 ID: 2c322d
File 141089438953.png - (144.67KB , 700x600 , 108a.png )
594355

loretta is absently stirring one packet of sugar after another into her own mug, and i realize she's probably not gonna speak first. "so, hey. we gotta figure out what we're doing," i say.
"i don't care," she replies softly. the pile of empty sugar packets grows a little too tall and collapses, paper tumbling into a wider puddle.
"well, you have to," i protest irritably. "like, alright, we can't call your relatives - but what are the chances they're gonna be there if we show up? what are the chances they'll give us someplace to stay?"
"one hundred percent."
i gesture with both hands and slump back against the booth backrest. "well, there you go. then we can just lay low there for a while." she doesn't reply, and i cock my eyebrows at her. "what? is there a reason you don't wanna?"
her hand reaches for the sugar container to find it empty. i watch her small fingers curl inward, then her hand draw back slowly, slipping off the edge of the table and folding into her lap. "isn't there somewhere -"
"is there a reason you don't wanna?" i repeat, a little louder.
her mouth twitches, almost angrily, and she looks to the side. "don't yell at me."
"i'm not yelling."
we sit in tense silence, broken a moment later when the waitress reappears with our food. then the silence is there because we're too busy eating - i don't think i really realized how hungry i was until the food was in front of me, and the same must be true of loretta, because she's devouring her plate almost as quickly as i am.
>>
No. 594356 ID: 2c322d
File 141089440151.png - (168.27KB , 700x600 , 109.png )
594356

suddenly she spits and coughs - i look up to see her staring down at the bacon on her plate, one piece of it half-chewed and wet. "i-" she draws a trembling hand over her mouth. "i just - i didn't realize -"
"the waitress should've said something when you asked for it," i mutter.
"i just asked for the same thing because i was hungry, i ... i should've looked at the menu to see wh-"
"here." i take her plate and tip the meat onto my own, holding her eggs back with a fork, and place the plate back in front of her. "i'll eat it. don't worry about it."
"i have to go to the bathroom," she whispers.
"don't throw it up," i protest immediately. "it was just a bite, right? you'll be fine."
she's started to rise, but she sits back down again, staring miserably down at the plate.
>>
No. 594360 ID: 436cdc

>>594356
Honestly should have let her go, eating people is something she has a bit of baggage about.
Too late now, though.
Ask about her family, what they're like. break some ice.
>>
No. 594362 ID: 7ad3f7

Touch her hand gently and ask her how she's feeling (be prepared for a big heap of agnst)
>>
No. 594406 ID: e6f4c6

It's good that you stopped her. I know she occasionally eats meat, I think it's just the recent trauma that's set her off. Really, it's a good sign that she's reacting instead of just shutting down.

You saw last night that she can be strong but her little world is in shambles. She probably doesn't want to go back to the swamp because there's nothing there for her.
>>
No. 595172 ID: 2c322d
File 141135647023.png - (117.53KB , 700x600 , 110.png )
595172

i shove the bacon into my mouth just so she doesn't have to look at it anymore, and when i'm done chewing i try to change the subject. "so this, uh - your uncle, right? what's he like?"

"oh. uncle horace." she's still doing weird, stressed things with her hands under the table, but at least she's snapped out of that thousand yard stare she gets sometimes. "there's not much to say about him. he's really just a cranky old man." she laughs a little, and i almost sigh in relief at the sound. "all he does is fish."

"yeah?" i lean forward a bit, picking my teeth with my pinky claw. "didn't know rabbits fished!"

i realize too late that i probably shouldn't have said that - maybe it would've set her thinking about eating meat - but it doesn't seem to bother her. "usually not, but pretty much everyone in the swamp did. it was hard to farm. the ground's too wet." she lifts her fork, picks aimlessly at her eggs, sets it down again. "i stopped eating meat when i was little, though. there was a family of otters that went to town once a week and ran a kind of general store out of their house, you know, with stuff we couldn't get normally, like bread and canned food, and i just ended up eating that all the time. it made uncle horace kind of annoyed because it was expensive."

"but he didn't stop you, huh? you were kinda spoiled!" i tease her.
>>
No. 595173 ID: 2c322d
File 141135648094.png - (97.44KB , 700x600 , 111.png )
595173

"i guess." she smiles down at her hands. "i dunno, we - we didn't really talk or like, 'bond' or anything, but ... he took good care of me." her smile slips a notch. "i ... feel kinda bad. he must've been really worried about me. when i left, i mean."

after hesitating for a moment, i reach across the table and touch her hand. "well, that just means he'll be really happy to see you again, huh?"
>>
No. 595174 ID: 2c322d
File 141135649170.png - (123.50KB , 700x600 , 112.png )
595174

she opens her mouth to reply, but the waitress pauses at our table before she can. "hi, girls. everything taste alright?"
>>
No. 595203 ID: 8b533b

>everything taste alright?
Look at Loretta, "yeah, alright."

Don't make a big deal about the bacon, and hoe she doesn't either. They couldn't have known, she ordered it after all.
>>
No. 595206 ID: 9ddf68

>>595174
is it just me or does everyone we meet who doesn't know you two are on the run look like they'd rather kill themselves then be where they're at?

Anyways tell her it was fine and try not to make a big deal out of it. She probably just came over to see if you wanted anything else and to hand you your bill.
>>
No. 596300 ID: 219868
File 141194577996.png - (76.20KB , 700x600 , 113.png )
596300

"uh." my former annoyance is gone - it would be unfair to expect the waitress to question loretta's order. "yeah, it's alright. i think we're ready for our check, actually."

"uh-huh." she clears our plates with weary, practiced movements, stacking them neatly along her forearm. the door to the diner jingles and she looks up, calling out "hi there" without attempting to mask her exhaustion, and leaves us.

"i guess," loretta says, surprising me, "i do want to go to the swamp."

"yeah?"

"well, it's the only thing i can think of." she drags her fingertip through a droplet of water on the tabletop. "i guess it's just ... i dunno. i spent my whole life thinking the only way i'd be worth anything was getting away from there. going back feels like..."

i'm trying to pay attention but something is wrong. something smells wrong. my ears are twitching back and forth, trying to pick up more clues, and it's hard to stay focused on one thing at a time.

" ... -dmitting that i'll never do anything important, or that ..."

what is that SMELL? i don't want to look around - don't want to draw attention to us. the fur on my neck is electrified.

"... wasn't meant to ..."
>>
No. 596301 ID: 219868
File 141194579094.png - (64.83KB , 700x600 , 114.png )
596301

my pupils turn to papercuts as the smell clicks back into my memory. paula's perfume.
>>
No. 596302 ID: a5bd6c

Guess you are skipping out on the bill.

Look, you know damn well she didn't waltz into the same suburban diner that you did by chance. She came here looking for you, obviously.

This raises a number of questions, how did she find you being the biggest. Maybe from the cabbie? Maybe the woman at the clinic, though she didn't know really.

Regardless of the how, it raises the immediate concern. You have to leave now. Leave cash on the table so you don't have the waitress chasing you and making a scene. If you could go out the back, that'd help greatly.

Back into survival mode Paris.
>>
No. 596303 ID: 2fd516

Look around. Is she here? Is she sitting somewhere that you can stay out of her line of sight while leaving?
>>
No. 596304 ID: bb78f2

Just leave a generic amount on the table, doesn't have to be exact, just guess and fucking leave.
Or hide in the bathroom for an hour.
If she's already here, leaving through the front is NOT an option. Throw some extra bucks toward the chef if you have to instead of wasting time talking, just make sure you still have enough to get most of the way to the swamp.
>>
No. 596312 ID: a59b65

put some money on the table (u don't need to be in anymore trouble) and run into the kitchen. see if there's a back door you can slip out of
>>
No. 596335 ID: 7ad3f7

She is going to ask if your here when the waitress reaches her. Look at Loretta squeeze her hand and tell her you both need to leave right now. Walk quickly to the kitchen looking at no one and hand over 20 bucks tell them to escort you out the back door.
>>
No. 596354 ID: 191fe8

throw loretta over ur shoulder and run
>>
No. 596355 ID: 5869f6

Get out of there, NOW.
>>
No. 596359 ID: ab381e

Is the waitress close enough for you to discreetly call her back? Tell her you'll give her 50$ plus ur bill to sneak you out the back
>>
No. 596371 ID: 3b1c22

Is it even her?
>>
No. 596385 ID: 8b533b

Dumb question- but how common is her perfume? It's not necessarily her who just walked in.

Look in the reflection of the napkin holder, so you can check behind you without turning around and making it obvious.

>going back feels like admitting that i'll never do anything important
She's still got a hell of a lot of time to try and do something important.
>>
No. 596395 ID: bb78f2

You know if push comes to shove you could probably kill her and anyone she orders after you... quite easily.
You're trained. You have very deadly and sharp natural weapons... she has her teeth, I guess. And her big dumb lugs have nothing on you... and more than likely she's alone.

Holy fuck, Paris, don't not make this worse by falling into your base instincts to kill her. Just know you can take her and anything she throws at you, unless she has a tiny handgun in her purse. Hopefully not. But do not engage her, I don't think she'll be able to do anything if she sees you so disregard my previous fears of getting the fuck out.
She can't DO anything in public. Remain in public.
>>
No. 596459 ID: 219868
File 141203655249.png - (97.38KB , 700x600 , 115.png )
596459

the diner is seat-yourself - the waitress retreated to the kitchen and the people who just came in haven't talked to her yet. because of the way the booths are set up, there's no way for me to see who's sitting in the other booths, because to do so i'd need to stand up or at least raise myself up a bit, and anyone facing this way would immediately see me. i'm not going to risk it.

i pull a rough estimate of bills out of the rubber-banded roll and put it on the table, then press my hand firmly over loretta's, interrupting her. "we need to leave right now," i hiss. "don't ask any questions. we just have to go."

she opens her mouth, but closes it again quickly and nods. i pull her over to my side of the booth, check that the aisle is open, and make a break for the big kitchen doors. luckily we were in a booth closer to the back, so it was almost a straight shot, and i think we managed to run across without being seen.
>>
No. 596460 ID: 219868
File 141203656357.png - (56.47KB , 700x600 , 116.png )
596460

almost immediately as we push through the doors, we run into the waitress. she almost drops her tray, but manages to recover it, then glares at us. "hey! you can't be back here, please return to y-"

"shhhhhhhhh!! shh, hang on, hang on, please don't yell." i tug loretta through the rest of the way and she immediately clings to me, whimpering. "we have to leave out the back. right now. we already left money on the table for our meal, probably too much, you can just keep the rest as a tip. i'll give you more to bring us out the back."

i don't do begging, but i think i'm getting as close as i can with the way i'm looking at her. a few staff are looking curiously in our direction now, and she sighs heavily and sets the tray down on a nearby counter. "are you in some kinda trouble?"
>>
No. 596463 ID: ccd544

>>596460
"Please, we're just trying to get away from our old lives...Can't you understand that much?!"
>>
No. 596464 ID: bb78f2

We think our pimp is here and we're trying to get out of the business and she's trying to kill us. She might just be here for dinner and not tracking us down but we've been hiding from her all night.
Just be as fucking straight as you can.
>>
No. 596465 ID: bb78f2

PS cops don't give a fuck about strippers that occasionally get dirty. Nobody gives a shit about people like us when we get killed, so that's why we're running away instead of calling the police. We know that's the truth, we've been in the business just long enough to know that.
>>
No. 596466 ID: 2fd516

>>596460
Yes, but not with the police if that's what you mean.
>>
No. 596476 ID: d90668

I just noticed the smell of a old employer that I can not stand. Would rather not get in a shouting match with her right now.

So we can cause a scene back here or a bigger one up front once she notices us.
>>
No. 596478 ID: 8fc9d6

lie lie lie about specifics, tell them you're avoiding an (abusive?) ex, tell them you're avoiding a stalker, tell them you're avoiding your mother in law it literally doesn't matter just don't even bother telling the waitress the truth, it'll take too long and it doesn't probably matter to this person
>>
No. 596481 ID: 436cdc

Voting against lies, the truth will set you freeeee
>>
No. 596520 ID: 8b533b

>are you in some kinda trouble?
Not law trouble, but sorta, yeah. Someone came in we'd really rather not run into.
>>
No. 596549 ID: d20fb6

"yes"

nnnnno specifics
>>
No. 596855 ID: 2c322d
File 141229488264.png - (86.72KB , 700x600 , 117.png )
596855

"yeah, we are, but not with the police or anything like that." i pull loretta a little closer to me and shoot a quick glance over my shoulder. "someone we really, really need to stay away from just came into the restaurant. we gotta get out of here. just let us out the back door, it's that simple."

the waitress gives me a hard look, one that seems to last ages.

"come on." desperation is creeping into my voice. "all we want is to escape. can't you understand that much?

her eyes narrow slightly, and my heart sinks. but then she calls out to the cook. "hey, i'm taking my lunch break, okay?"

he looks up incredulously. "it's 9:30 am."

"yeah, yeah, but i'm just gonna take my break now, okay?"

he grunts indifferently, and then her hand is around my wrist. if my other arm wasn't around loretta i would have instinctively clawed at her.

"come on. i'm gonna drive you away." she's not looking at me as she tugs me quickly to the back of the kitchen.

"wh-what? you don't have to do that," i sputter. "we just need to get ou-"

"someone's looking for you, right? so when they realize you aren't there, they're gonna leave, probably in a car. if you leave on foot they'll catch up to you." she pokes her head out the employee side door to check that no one is there, then pulls us through into the alley beside the diner. "i have a car and thirty minutes. i can get you far enough away that you don't have to worry about hiding."
>>
No. 596857 ID: 5f78f2

make sure to thank her
>>
No. 596860 ID: 879a42

Wow that's....really convenient. Ask why she would help us? Do thank her though.
>>
No. 596861 ID: 2fd516

She's a predator. She has no kindness in her eyes. She's bigger than you. She's on her LUNCH break. Connect the dots.
>>
No. 596862 ID: 436cdc

>>596861
We are ALSO a predator. Give her a chance, we are strong and if blows come to blows we have more than enough ability to fight back.
We need to make a note to thank her for this when all this is over, I'm thinking a giftbasket.
>>
No. 596863 ID: c78c1a

Try to act grateful, but remember you have no reason to trust her, but no reason in particular not to trust her. Get in her car for now, but make sure you sit in the front seat so you can see where you're going and at least try to grab the wheel if something happens. (Honestly, that probably wouldn't do much, but at least it's something.)

Be on the alert for anything sketchy. You should probably get that message across to Loretta as well, though she's probably on edge a it is, anyway.
>>
No. 596864 ID: 2ca47b

be wary of her, but do not act yet. she has shown no signs of being untrustworthy. thank her and follow her to the car. unless she specifically states otherwise, get in the front seat and have loretta sit in the back- make sure she is on the same side as you. that way if u need to make a run for it she will be able to follow. try to signal to her that she needs to be cautious, but dont tip the waitress off. after all, if she is just trying to help, we dont want to anger her.
>>
No. 596865 ID: 2fd516

>>596862
Paris is already wounded. Another fight might wound her even further. Secondly, it might be fatal for the waitress, and well... I'm not sure how Paris will handle killing another person.

I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give her a chance, but we'd better have a better indication she's legit before getting in her car.
>>
No. 596867 ID: 00c13e

I'm inclined to trust her. She's not doing much to make herself endearing. If she was planning something she'd probably be doing more to gain your trust. You probably remind her of her younger self or something.
>>
No. 596871 ID: bb78f2

...you know, if your boss is here, someone might've tipped her off.
Could this lady be a friend of hers?
Why did she feed a bunny meat? At your boss's request? Did she really not think it through?
Loretta eats meat, she gets sick and wants to go to the bathroom to deal with it... you're both alone.
Think about it Paris.
>>
No. 596899 ID: ab381e

i can understand being wary of accepting help seeing as how the last time someone offered they were literally a big bad wolf tracking you down at nighttime

But this is a stranger who seems to empathize with or at least understand the situation. If she was a friend of paula's she'd have turned you over to her in the restaurant. Be on alert but accept her offer
>>
No. 596964 ID: 8b533b

...take it. You can't be 100% sure you can trust her, but if you assume you can't trust anyone, you're never gonna make it out of this.

Thank you. You didn't have to do this, really.
>>
No. 597402 ID: 219868
File 141256161675.png - (52.24KB , 700x600 , 118.png )
597402

"thank you, but -" i tug my wrist back, not enough to break her grasp, but enough to slow her slightly. "why would you do this for us?"

she looks back at me sharply, almost angrily, but turns her face back forward and keeps walking before speaking. "because i know what it's like to be trying to escape someone who wants to hurt you." i see her ears twitch slightly at some unpleasant recollection. "and when i needed help, everyone pretended they couldn't see."
>>
No. 597403 ID: 219868
File 141256162562.png - (93.91KB , 700x600 , 119.png )
597403

we get to her car, a beat-up sedan, and she lets me go to fish out her keys. "besides, don't thank me yet. i can only drive you fifteen minutes away, remember?"

i think about what could possibly be helpful within that limit. i don't think i know the area well enough, and i seriously doubt loretta does - i ask her, just to confirm, and she shrugs nervously at me.
>>
No. 597404 ID: bb78f2

...
Ask her if she knows a poodle named Paula? (If that is her name and breed, it's been a while and we primarily know her as boss)
>>
No. 597406 ID: bb78f2

oh and as for a place, well, a train station might be good. Or I guess as close to the city limits as possible.

Ask Loretta how she first got INTO the city from the swamp.
>>
No. 597409 ID: d90668

Could aim for a bus station or car rental place.

But car rental places usually need a credit card and some id first. Might have better luck buying a crappy beater at a junkyard/car lot.

Maybe ask the waitress what she thinks. Telling her we are planning on going to the swamp might be risky but she might know a better way there.
>>
No. 597413 ID: 2fd516

Just go towards your eventual destination. The taxi drive will be faster after that point.
>>
No. 597566 ID: 00c13e

You won't be able to rent a car without a credit card, or ID. Bus station could be risky; people might be looking in the obvious places still. But maybe if you get on the next bus leaving, or go to a station a little out of the way, you could be safe.
>>
No. 597612 ID: 784110

Find somewhere with a payphone? Try and call a taxi- unless there's a bus or train that runs to the swamp? Might wanna get some better threads to travel incognito- oversized hoodies and leggings for you both should serve you well.
Take a deep breath. Someone saw you walking from between the motel and diner is all, this chick is good, she's trying to help you. Give her as much cash as you can bear to part with and ask Loretta how she got to the city from the swamp, what the best route was she knew. Either go there or to a store where you can get clothes to fit in better. Then, either call a taxi to take the whole way or just to the nearest train/bus station. And pray the weather starts sucking so that people don't look at you so closely.
Just relax and breathe. Tell her the truth, trust her. It'll be okay. As for the meat thing, she probably assumed Loretta was just gonna give it all to you.
Also, assure Loretta she isn't a failure for going back to the swamp, reassure her. Maybe apolagize for not listening (tho it's fair enough considering you just saved both yr asses).
Breathe, and talk to Loretta on where to go. You're gonna be okay.
>>
No. 597711 ID: 2c322d
File 141280153859.png - (88.72KB , 700x600 , 120.png )
597711

"loretta, how'd you get from the swamp to the city when you first came?" i rub her shoulder to bring her back to reality - she was starting to glaze over again.

"oh ... i took a bus," she mumbles. "there isn't a bus station very close to the swamp, but it's not an awful walk away once you get there." she tightens her hands on my arm. "i want to get different clothes before i go home..."

"okay. hang on. hey, uh -" i don't know the waitress' name, but when i speak up she turns to look at me. "this is kind of specific, but uh - do you know any thrift stores or clothes stores near a bus station? preferably a bus station that has a line running to the nearby swamp."

she laughs quietly. "looks like your luck is turning up, because there's a place pretty much exactly like that about ten minutes away. come on."
>>
No. 597712 ID: 2c322d
File 141280155324.png - (77.83KB , 700x600 , 121.png )
597712

the car ride is quiet. i sit in the front and loretta sits behind me. she reaches forward and holds my hand through the gap between my seat and the side of the car.

i thank the waitress after a few moments of silence. her hands tighten on the steering wheel, but she says nothing.
>>
No. 597713 ID: 61771b

>pretty much exactly like that about ten minutes away
Well that very...handy.
>her hands tighten on the steering wheel
uhh. I'm getting a very bad vibe from this.

You are pretty much stuck where she's taking us though. You should never jump out of a car going at speed and do not threaten the driver. right now we are going where she wants to take us; wherever that is. (unless we can convince her differently)
>>
No. 597721 ID: cef479

It looks like she's still having some of those nasty memories eating her up. Get ready for things to go bad, but try not to jump the gun just yet in case it's just her reacting to something she's not used to.
>>
No. 597722 ID: 40935b

>her hands tighten on the steering wheel, but she says nothing.
...Can you still smell the perfume?
>>
No. 597726 ID: a5bd6c

Maybe it'd be nice to tell her a tiny bit about the person chasing you. This is a little dangerous for her after all. It'd also maybe give you a chance to gauge who she is. She seems awfully... tense.
>>
No. 597729 ID: 2fd516

Pay attention to where she's driving, so if something happens you'll know your general location.
>>
No. 597749 ID: 00c13e

Woah no don't tell her about Paula. As far as we can tell, she's been through trauma on her own, and is remembering it right now. We shouldn't make it potentially worse. I think the silence is fine. Maybe ask her name and make small talk, but she doesn't give me a small talk kind of vibe.
>>
No. 597772 ID: 2c322d
File 141288112063.png - (116.87KB , 700x600 , 122.png )
597772

her reaction makes me uncomfortable, but i have no way of knowing why she's acting like this. it definitely looks like she has her own shit going on, and i don't want to aggravate it by bringing up paula or trying to make small talk with her. if things go south, though, i'm prepared to bail, or fight, or whatever i have to do. i squeeze loretta's hand and she squeezes back.

i do think i at least want to know her name, and i ask. she stops too sharply at the next red light.

"i'm not your friend," she says quietly. "i don't want to be your friend."

"i'm not asking for friendship. i'm asking for a name."

"i don't wanna know anything about you, and you don't need to know anything about me." her voice cracks on the last word. i drop it. she drags her hand quickly over her cheek, sniffs loudly, turns hard. we almost hit the curb as she pulls up to a parking lot beside a dingy-looking thrift store. "we're here."
>>
No. 597773 ID: 2c322d
File 141288113228.png - (68.44KB , 700x600 , 123.png )
597773

i give her another mumbled thank-you that goes unanswered as i help loretta out of the car. before i can slam the door closed, though, she leans across and catches it. her eyes bore into mine.

"you take care of that girl." her voice is burning, shaking, like a candle flame. she raises it when i don't answer fast enough. "do you hear me?"

"y- ... yeah. yeah, i will." i tighten my hand on loretta's arm a little.

she lets go of the door, and i close it, but she rolls down the window before backing out. "don't ever mention this. not to anyone. and don't ever come back to my restaurant again."

"i know."
>>
No. 597774 ID: 2c322d
File 141288114374.png - (71.69KB , 700x600 , 124.png )
597774

she's gone.
>>
No. 597775 ID: 231759

first make sure you haven't been followed. then check the bus schedule
>>
No. 597780 ID: 6b33b1

Thrifting time! Do they have any clearance or sale kinda deals going on today? You'll need all the money you can get in the future!
>>
No. 597783 ID: c78c1a

I guess it was good that you trusted her. First thing to do, look for any signs that give information about the bus. Don't ask anyone about it, unless you have to.

As for shopping, only one of you should go in the store and buy clothes, if possible. Whoever would attract less attention. (Is it normal for a rabbit like Loretta to live in this city?) Honestly, this is probably being overly careful, but whatever. If someone comes here asking about you two, hearing someone describe both of you coming in the shop together is going to be a lot more suspicious than seeing someone who looks like one of you by themselves.

Whoever isn't going inside should wait outside, but not right in front of the store. Hang out in a side alley or one or two stores down, if you think it's safe.
>>
No. 597787 ID: 5347ff

>>597783
no dont get separated you dont have cell phones to go back to contact
U KNO WHAT THIS CALLS FOR...!!!SHOPPING MONTAGE!!! BUY SOMETHING CUTE N CHEAP
>>
No. 597797 ID: 2ca47b

do not split up. dont let loretta out of your sight. make sure no one followed you then check the bus schedule and make sure you actually have enough time to shop. if the bus is coming soon loretta will have to suck it up. better to be stuck in scrubs than to be found. grab one outfit each, two if you think you'd need it. spend as little money as possible, you don't know how long you'll need to be gone. i'd suggest getting hoodies, they'll keep you warm and cover your face without looking suspicious. shop as quickly as you can and get back to the bus station. sometimes they come early and if u miss this one it'll probably be a wait for the next one.
>>
No. 597815 ID: 191fe8

check bus schedule. dont split up. careful what you grab - you might need to move fast depending on when the next bus is coming but you dont want the new clothes to be ill-fitting or uncomfortable. the clothes should be easy to run in if it comes to it.

Consider getting a weapon or something, a baseball bat, kitchen knife, even a belt, whatever the thrift store has - depending on the store they might just have clothes. might need a backpack to conceal whatever you get.

remember you need time to get the clothes on as well as choosing and buying it.

also lets hope it isnt a ridiculously overpriced hipster thrift store.
>>
No. 597897 ID: d39068

Ohhh yeah loretta, it would be great if you could get some clothing that could disguise you as a cat or other carnivore, or at least make your identity more ambiguous (maybe hiding your ears)?
>>
No. 597916 ID: d66e15

okay, this may seem frivolous, but it's important: get stuff that you feel comfortable and good in. 500 dollars wont last forever, yeah, BUT:
you've been under stress for months
you've been hunted
you've had your world shattered
you need something. you need something that will make you feel good, if for a moment. cute clothes (or whatever clothes youre into) are a way to forget for a bit, especially with your ex profession. there's nothing like looking in the mirror and seeing you dressed the way YOU want. not the way your boss wants. not the way the leering, grabbing men want. not the way you had to. but the way you chose to.
treat yourself. really, that's the best thing you can do for your health right now.
(also, try to get two outfits and possibly a thing to carry them in - who knows when is the next time you'll be able to get clothes? especially in the swamp, and especially when you're chased. and wearing the same thing for days is nasty. this is our equip items before a level boss stop.)
this is a new start.
this is a new life.
act accordingly.
>>
No. 598193 ID: 219868
File 141325255781.png - (134.59KB , 700x600 , 125.png )
598193

the bus stop, as promised, is a little ways down the sidewalk. the bus schedule inside, behind a scratched piece of plexiglass, promises a swamp-bound bus every thirty minutes. it's a bit past the hour now, so we have time to go get the clothes loretta wanted.

it's hard not to feel like this whole thing is ridiculous, but who knows when we'd have another opportunity - and besides, i understand why she wants new ones. after ages at the club, squeezing into those ridiculous outfits, and then being too tired and listless to care about what we wore offstage, the idea of actually wearing clothes that we'd like and feel good in is almost foreign. it would feel like a really definite disconnection from our former lives. and besides, the clothes we're wearing now are getting dirty and uncomfortable.

"come on, let's go in." i guide loretta inside with an arm around her shoulders. it's suprisingly large inside, and i'm almost a little excited about how much selection there is.
>>
No. 598194 ID: 219868
File 141325256843.png - (92.06KB , 700x600 , 126.png )
598194

we don't want to split up, so i walk around with loretta while she picks out her clothes first. she goes straight for the racks with long dresses, and something in my chest wrenches and stings as i watch her small, trembling hands pass slowly over the fabric. she picks two - one pink, one yellow, both floral - and a pair of white sandals off the rack on top. she holds them to her chest like flotsam after a shipwreck as i make my rounds, eventually picking out my own outfit. we pay and change in the bathrooms.
>>
No. 598195 ID: 219868
File 141325258391.png - (99.46KB , 700x600 , 127.png )
598195

it feels ... really good. it feels really, REALLY good. we look at each other and kind of laugh a little, tentatively, then louder. she does a little spin, showing off the dress, and i swear to god i've never seen a look like that on her face.
>>
No. 598196 ID: 219868
File 141325259858.png - (166.74KB , 700x600 , 128.png )
598196

she keeps fiddling with the fabric of her dress and knocking her feet together when we wait at the bus stop. any other day, in any other context, it would've pissed me off. but ... i don't know. this is different. i reach over and take one of her hands, just to stop her fidgeting a little, she looks up at me before leaning her head on my shoulder.

you take care of that girl.

i can do that. i squeeze her hand a little harder, and she wiggles her hand around until our fingers are laced. i can definitely do that.

the bus comes. loretta seems a little reluctant at first, but after another reassuring squeeze she follows me on. thankfully, the thrift store purchases gave us a reasonable amount of change for the fare.

she keeps leaning on me after we settle into seats, and then the bus is moving. it doesn't really feel real. i don't feel real. i don't even know what day it is. i don't think i need to.
>>
No. 598197 ID: 219868

a cutscene is coming after this - you can post questions (which i will answer later or if appropriate in the disthread) and reactions, and i would like if you did, but just fyi after this update the POV is switching so no direct commands will have any effect on paris and loretta for a while.
>>
No. 598218 ID: 219868
File 141325543987.png - (139.52KB , 700x600 , 129.png )
598218

a day ago, in the heart of a city, a lamb was bleeding.

"my god,
i am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
in choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
i have sinned against you
whom i should love above all things.
i firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to s-"
>>
No. 598219 ID: 219868
File 141325544711.png - (90.92KB , 700x600 , 130.png )
598219

"shut the fuck up." she bleeds more. "crazy bitch."
>>
No. 598220 ID: 219868
File 141325545853.png - (107.05KB , 700x600 , 131.png )
598220

"you will never find those women." the words drip from her mouth and hit her knees. "even if i knew enough for you to trace them, i would never tell you anything."

the bear laughs. "we'll see."

"angels are real."

he stops, peers down at her. "what the fuck are you on about now?"
>>
No. 598221 ID: 219868
File 141325547241.png - (137.53KB , 700x600 , 132.png )
598221

"angels are real. and they're coming for you, and you're going to go to hell."

the bear is unnerved, and this angers him. the lamb laughs and goes back to her prayer.

"and to avoid whatever leads me to sin,
our saviour jesus christ suffered and died for us.
in his name, my god, have mercy."
>>
No. 598222 ID: 219868
File 141325548040.png - (92.47KB , 700x600 , 133.png )
598222

"amen."
>>
No. 598223 ID: 219868
File 141325549281.png - (107.80KB , 700x600 , 134.png )
598223

miles away, you stand still.
>>
No. 598224 ID: 219868
File 141325550206.png - (141.18KB , 700x600 , 135.png )
598224

the fire outlines your side and you resist a flinch with every click of the razor against the glass.

you used to really like this job.
>>
No. 598225 ID: 2fd516

>>598224
When did your boss start doing drugs?
>>
No. 598228 ID: 8fc9d6

Why did you like this job? What changed?
>>
No. 598229 ID: 219868
File 141325741371.png - (80.22KB , 700x600 , 136.png )
598229

>>598225
he probably always has. you've been working for him since you were a small child. the realization of what was going on was a slow one - you can't pinpoint any one moment when it all became clear to you.

all that aside, though. you know it isn't your place to have an opinion about his habits anyway.
>>
No. 598230 ID: 219868
File 141325764033.png - (25.99KB , 700x600 , 137.png )
598230

he used to be very kind. he treated you almost more like a friend or even a son than like a servant, most of the time - and again, it isn't your place to comment on whether or not that was appropriate.

now, though ... he's darkened. his moods are erratic and frightening. his ... indulgences have grown more extreme and more frequent. he comes home late at night, and only to indulge in his own private vices. you have a feeling that all of his time outside the home is spent indulging in private vices as well.
>>
No. 598232 ID: 219868
File 141325781252.png - (33.44KB , 700x600 , 138.png )
598232

"wilbur. come here."

you don't want to.
>>
No. 598233 ID: 2fd516

>>598232
Move to just out of arm's reach.
>>
No. 598236 ID: bb78f2

A few steps forward and asking "yes" should work.
Come here is vague.
Probably just wants someone to listen to his complaining or yelling.
He still pays you right?

If he hurts you, when he comes down from his erratic moods, does he get super apologetic afterwards or does he never give a shit about what he does under the influence anymore?
>>
No. 598238 ID: 2fd516

Wait. Wilbur, does he do things to you?
>>
No. 598291 ID: 2c322d
File 141330761623.png - (64.83KB , 700x600 , 139.png )
598291

he does not hurt you. he does not hurt you. he has never hurt you. he would never hurt you.
>>
No. 598292 ID: 2c322d
File 141330763259.png - (98.38KB , 700x600 , 140.png )
598292

you walk forward, but not much. it seems to satisfy him.

"wilbur, wilbur." his voice is faster than usual, the way it always gets when he does this. you can see his chest moving rapidly as he breathes. "so solemn! smile for me."

you try.

"always be in love, wilbur." he gestures towards the cabinet, and you quickly fetch him the cut crystal scotch bottle. pour carefully, skillfully, and he takes a sip before speaking again. "love extends your life. love is the reason we exist. never stop being in love, no matter what you have to do."

"yes, sir."

"ulric, boy, call me ulric." the first word is a staccato shout and you flinch despite your best efforts to remain steady. he settles back into his chair. "are you in love right now, wilbur?"
>>
No. 598301 ID: 191fe8

tell the truth. i feel like hed know and be amused about it if you lied. and he really isnt the sort of person you want to be caught in a lie with. of course dont offer so much information that he gets more interested than he already is.
>>
No. 598302 ID: 8b533b

>are you in love right now, wilbur?
I wouldn't know how to tell, sir.
>>
No. 598310 ID: 77690c

>>598302
"I wouldn't know how to tell, Ulric."
>>
No. 598327 ID: bb78f2

Not many women in the swamp to fall in love with. An okcupid account really isn't you, but, well, probably better way to look for somebody.
>>
No. 598333 ID: c78c1a

Say as little as possible. If you're unsure or if you don't know, just say no. Don't work through your own self-discovery as some sort of performance for him.
>>
No. 598347 ID: 2f2fc2

>>598291
you love him like a father
>>
No. 598355 ID: 2c322d

wait. ARE you in love, wilbur?
>>
No. 598377 ID: aaeb1c

Well, sir, I mean Ulric, I enjoy a lot of things; but love is a heavy word...
>>
No. 598404 ID: 3745aa

"What is love, Ulric, sir?"
>>
No. 598420 ID: b29c49

>>598404
Ulric don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more
>>
No. 598620 ID: 00370b

Fractal, in that second picture that you drew of Wilbur, you forgot his glasses.
>>
No. 598973 ID: 64f780

>>598620
Maybe the frames are just so thin that they're invisible from the side.
>>
No. 603424 ID: 219868
File 141630136497.png - (43.28KB , 700x600 , 141.png )
603424

"i wouldn't know how to tell, s- ulric."

it's a safe answer, and not technically untrue. you think you might be in love, but what would you know? not much.

"then you aren't." he sets down the glass very forcefully. for a split second an alternate scene flashes through your mind, one where the glass shatters and shreds his big black hand and the blood slides over the table edge and onto the carpet like silk ribbons. "when it happens," he murmurs, jerking you out of the soundless mental slideshow, "you'll know. you'll be sure of it."

there is a silence that you are unwilling to break. his hand reaches for the mirror, and you tense, keeping your eyes forward, but he merely drags his claw over the glass before picking up his drink again.
>>
No. 603425 ID: 219868
File 141630138096.png - (60.73KB , 700x600 , 142.png )
603425

"and when it happens you're going to be very happy, wilbur." he doesn't sip from it, just holds it. you watch the glass tilt back and forth while the surface of the liquid stays level and you wish very very hard that you could keep yourself that steady. "it's going to be like a dream, and you're going to think you'll be happy forever, you're going to think that no matter what a shithole your life is, it'll be alright. it'll be alright because all you need to be happy is right there."

his voice keeps picking up speed and tension. you feel like the floor is that glass. left, right. left, right. you think of yourself as scotch, strong and acrid and unmoving. it works a little bit.

"but for some reason she isn't happy. it's not enough for her. she's everything you need but there's something she wants to drag out of you and she looks and she looks and she can't find it and one day she looks elsewhere instead."
>>
No. 603426 ID: 219868
File 141630138944.png - (30.58KB , 700x600 , 143.png )
603426

there is a buzzing in your ears.
>>
No. 603427 ID: 219868
File 141630140748.png - (58.31KB , 700x600 , 144.png )
603427

"you don't understand why this isn't enough for her, because you are so happy, she makes you so happy, and it doesn't seem right that you don't do the same for her." he stops moving his hand, and then the surface of the liquid finally displaces, roils as it tries to suddenly settle at the sudden change. "but even if you understood it wouldn't stop her from running. would it, boy?"
>>
No. 603431 ID: 6842e5

Gut feeling tells me we need to be extremely careful. Just agree with everything he says for right now. I think he just wants you to listen and go along with it, and we have no reason to do otherwise.
>>
No. 603444 ID: cb071d

>>603427
ask: if you can't understand her and you can't make her happy and she's running away from you, is that really love
>>
No. 603468 ID: bfe586

>>603444
DOOOON'T DO THAT.
>>
No. 603550 ID: 6842e5

I literally can't think of a WORSE idea than making a rabbit poke holes in the rant of a huge stalker wolf who has been snorting coke
>>
No. 603551 ID: 07a835

Ask him if he's talking about someone in particular.
>>
No. 603558 ID: cb071d

sry everyone i'd just really like to see him challenged on this as opposed to walking on eggshells trying to keep him happy. do it wilbur call him out
>>
No. 603561 ID: cef479

Do not piss off the large frustrated wolf sitting in front of you, especially if he`s trying to pour his heart out to you in some bizarre way. Wether you agree with him or not he`s probably not in the sanest moods.
>>
No. 603598 ID: a59b65

he's probably in denial about this love story of his, just play along and don't piss him off :'D
>>
No. 603684 ID: 219868
File 141638197709.png - (58.81KB , 700x600 , 145.png )
603684

"i suppose not, ulric."

something about this story isn't sitting right with you, but you know better than to challenge him when he's like this. nothing's ever happened, of course. it's not as if you've ever felt he would harm you.

but, as your mother always urged you, you have always been very careful to never give him a reason to harm you.

he's taken a long enough pause to finish off his scotch, and you take the glass when he motions it away. curiosity slows your movements towards the kitchen trolley.

"ulric?"

"mm."

"who are you talking about?" you mask the sound of your heavy swallow with the clink of setting the glass down on the tray, then turn to face him again. "everything you were just saying, it sounded ... very specific."

"all love is the same." his gaze is distant now, glassy. "but, you're correct. there's one i'll never let go of." his hand goes to his face, grips the fur, lets claws dig in in a way that makes you uncomfortable. "it's fine. it's fine, wilbur. she'll come back to me."

"i'm sure she will." you clear the dishes from the low table and place them on the kitchen trolley as well, eager to fill it for an excuse to get out of the room.

his hand falls away from his face, bounces against the armrest. his neck is softening, loosening. "what day is it?"

"it's very early on sunday morning."

"sunday. mm." he starts to prop himself up in the chair, then either loses interest or gives up. "good, then. go home to your mother."

your hands stop in their flurried, trivial movements against silver and china. "i haven't finished putting everything in order for tonight, sir."

he makes a dismissive noise. "leave it. go home."
>>
No. 603690 ID: 07a835

>>603684
Yes, sir. Take care of yourself, sir.
>>
No. 603710 ID: a7efea

>>603690
Sir Ulric. Don't mess that up.
>>
No. 603818 ID: e0fc53

anywhere else worth stopping at on the way home, wilbur?
>>
No. 603821 ID: 219868
File 141645493275.png - (184.43KB , 700x600 , 146.png )
603821

"... yes, ulric." you make sure that everything on the tray is neat; you'll at least wheel it to the kitchen on your way out. "thank you very much."

"mm." he's not looking at you anymore - maybe his gaze is sliding over the flames in the fireplace instead, but it's hard to tell. "your pay is on the table in the foyer."

"yes. thank you, ulric."

you don't bow because he wouldn't see it anyway. the cart rattles over the wood floors, through hallways til you push it over the threshold onto the brick floor of the kitchen, and after you're sure everything's locked up you quickly make your way to your servant's bunk off the kitchen to grab your things, then to the foyer.

the envelope is where it always is, every sunday. like your mother taught you, you count it twice before leaving, to ensure the entire $800 is there. the amount has never been wrong, but by now it isn't even about that. it's ritual, some tiny spark of witchcraft or binding to keep you safe. there's a part of you that insists that if you don't do it, something terrible will happen.
>>
No. 603823 ID: 219868
File 141645494632.png - (64.58KB , 700x600 , 147.png )
603823

the walk home doesn't scare you as much as it used to. he doesn't live deep in the woods, but when you were younger, it was enough to make you uneasy. the caution you always exercised was less about the fact that your work here was a secret, and more about your own childhood conviction that setting foot in the forest would always inevitably end in death.

you always did it anyway, though, no matter how scared you were. and you never complained. you did it because your family needed you.

the fear is gone and now it's simply replaced with weariness. when you started working officially as his butler, he used to let you go saturday nights, but with him coming home later and later the window of your only day off has been shrinking bit by bit. when you get home - early sunday mornings now, sometimes even around noon - all you want to do is sleep, and by the time you wake up there are only a few hours to spend with your family before you have to go back.

your hands tighten slightly on the envelope, feeling the wad of bills inside. you'll never complain. not to them.
>>
No. 603825 ID: 219868
File 141645496561.png - (97.23KB , 700x600 , 148.png )
603825

even though you've lived here your whole life, it still takes your tired hands two tries to grasp the lamp pull on your way in. you drop your bag next to the door and are working on your shoelaces when you hear rummaging from the other room, see the light switch on.

"wilbur?"

"hi, mama." you line your shoes up neatly, toes perfectly aligned against the baseboard. "what are you doing up? you weren't waiting on me, were you?"

"I couldn't sleep." you mother leans in the doorway from the living room to the hall, arms crossed, and waits for you to come to her. you hand her the envelope, and she counts it quickly before pulling out your share – a single $50 bill – and tucking the remainder under her arm.

“thank you, mama.”
>>
No. 603829 ID: bb78f2

Do you completely trust your mother? She's been responsible with your family's money? She doesn't have any vices either, right?
>>
No. 603838 ID: 8c5203

what kinda expenses does your family need that money for? is there anyone else other than yr mother around?
>>
No. 603840 ID: 3a571b

do you think that your mum puts the money to use taking care of you and the rest of your family or do you think shes misusing your funds?
>>
No. 603846 ID: 219868
File 141645761185.png - (74.99KB , 700x600 , 149.png )
603846

with five younger siblings and two older, money has always been tight. it was the reason you had to start working for ulric in the first place. there wasn't really any other way in the area to make the money your family needed.

it's been especially hard after your father's passing two years ago. your mother is a good woman, but her strictly traditionalist parents raised her to assume a man would always be there to take care of her, and when he died things quickly fell into disarray. you've been doing your best to hold things together, but it's hard when you have to spend most of the time out of the house.

she kisses you on the cheek, snapping you out of your train of thought, and sends you down the hall to your bedroom.
>>
No. 603847 ID: 219868
File 141645762532.png - (74.66KB , 700x600 , 150.png )
603847

the door across from your bedroom opens as you pass. “wilbur?”

it’s delilah. you turn and pick her up, letting her rest her head on your shoulder. “what’s going on, sweetheart? it’s really early. you should be asleep.”
“but then when i wake up, you’ll be asleep,” she mumbles. she pulls back to look at your face. “i’m really hungry.”

your mouth sets into a tight line. “did mama make you any supper today?”

“no, she wasn’t home.”

“lunch?”

“no…i’m really hungry, though,” she repeats.

you take a deep breath through your nose. “what about your siblings? has anybody been fed today?”

“i dunno. maybe jed and mary might’ve made themselves somethin’. none of the little kids though.”
>>
No. 603848 ID: 8c5203

How did yr father die?
Do any of yr other siblings work? Has yr mother indulged in things other than stuff for the family with the money in the past?
Please make yr poor siblings some sandwiches, or find whatever there is to feed them with-- maybe prepare some easy food for the next day when you aren't there
>>
No. 603910 ID: 61491a

perhaps it's time to stop letting your mother manage the finances and start saving up to get you and your siblings fed and taken care of. a single $50 aint shit. what's your mother spending the other $750 on?
>>
No. 603931 ID: eda819

Well, get the kids fed. Needs to be done.

Something's not right if your mother didn't, though.
>>
No. 604009 ID: 92662f

What are the two older siblings doing? Cause its clearly NOT helping around the house with the little kids.
>>
No. 609234 ID: ecb09c
File 141783313856.png - (127.01KB , 700x600 , 151.png )
609234

you roust the young ones from bed. a few of them weren't asleep despite the hour, probably too hungry to rest. it sets your teeth on edge. you hate to wake them, but it would be worse to let them go hungry, and soon you have a cluster of smaller rabbits hanging off your hands and leaning on your legs.

as move around the hallways, the few decorations in the house, all the trappings of family life, set you thinking about the siblings who aren't there. your two older siblings - your brother jacob and sister eleanor - have moved out of the swamp. jacob sends letters, but no money. eleanor sends a christmas card once a year, pictures of herself and her beaver husband, always just bearing a handwritten "merry christmas" and one crisp $100 bill. the card is always tinged with guilt, but not enough to make you forgive her.

jed and mary are the oldest still living in the house besides you. jed is fifteen, just two years younger than you, and has been acting out lately. you worry that he's using. he yells at you when you're home and at your mother when you aren't, refuses to care for the other children, and spends most of his time ... out. you don't know where. he simply leaves for hours at a time. you can't afford to go chasing after him. he isn't in the room he shares with mary when you check, and you find yourself struggling to care when there are four others to look after.

mary is thirteen, and tries to help as much as she can by fishing and selling her catches to other families around the swamp - but that doesn't make very good money when everyone else fishes, too. you suspect that the sales she does make are born out of pity.

the youngest siblings are sharon, delilah, and jacob, and they are ten, six, and four respectively. they are all too young to work, in your opinion. you worked when you were their age, but once your job with ulric began paying well enough, you made it very clear to your mother that you didn't want them working anymore.
>>
No. 609235 ID: ecb09c
File 141783315768.png - (119.54KB , 700x600 , 152.png )
609235

the cupboards are bare. whatever your mother has been spending the money on, it's not food. you knew you were running low on groceries last week, but she'd assured you she'd get more from the otters over the course of the week. clearly that didn't happen.

jacob is beginning to make the shapeless, wavering noises that precede tears, and you pick him up to quiet him. mary quietly mentions that there are some fish in the icebox that she had failed to sell today, so you find and unwrap them and set to cleaning them.

you are furious, but you can't show it in front of them. knowing that you're upset will only stress them further.
>>
No. 609252 ID: d90668

You can worry about whatever your mother is up to later. For now take care of your siblings and get some food on the table.

Afterwards look into where the money has been going. You might need to step up and take over family finances by force.
>>
No. 609258 ID: bb78f2

Why did your parents have so many kids? I understand in rural communities kids are useful for farmwork but this isn't a farm. Four years is the youngest, and I know you've been working to help your family longer than that.
>>
No. 609326 ID: 2ca47b

ask your siblings when the last time they saw your mom. dont give her any of the money, use it to buy food while you're there, or give it to mary to buy food, if you think she can handle it. if/when your mom comes back question her about the money, but do not accuse her of anything. do not do this in front of the other children.
>>
No. 609380 ID: 4c5cf2

Okay, no food on hand.

You have a little bit of cash though, can you order a pizza or something? Get the kids fed. Fix the immediate problem.

Then you are going to have to have a talk with your mother. This is untenable. Something has to change, which means a confrontation.
>>
No. 609387 ID: 8f01e8

Next time you get back from Ulric's, have a $50 bill already out of the envelope to hand over to mom. Tell her you need to spend the rest on taking care of her kids.
>>
No. 609610 ID: 9c3621

Feed the kids the fish, then tuck them in and tell them a story. Then confront your mother. Do not let her sleep.
>>
No. 609674 ID: 0dc9cf

Damn it, why is the thirteen year old the most responsible? Do we have to start entrusting her with groceries? Motherfuck.
>>
No. 609757 ID: e878df

>>609235
they have a right to know. or else they'll grow up thinking this is normal, that this is how people live. that parents aren't supposed to take care of them. talk with them calmly, tell them this is not right.
>>
No. 609796 ID: 0e7df9

>>609757
yeah. they have to know that this is no way to be treated and that they can and should seek help if it happens again. they have to know that going hungry for what is at LEAST a day is not okay.
tell them this. tell them this is not okay, and that you will talk with your mother about it. tell them that they should tell you if it happens again - and ask them if anything similar has happened, and when. did she hit them? did she starve them? does she drink?
>>
No. 609910 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141801615669.png - (65.00KB , 700x600 , 153.png )
609910

there was a typo in the last update - the youngest sibling is named reuben, not jacob. sorry for any confusion that may have caused!

the fish sizzles in the pan. the children are impatient and cluster closer to your legs as they wait, but do not complain. you've all been raised not to complain.

you're starting to think it's time for that to change.

when the fish is done cooking you portion it out evenly and serve it between the five of them. you see mary starting to tip her plate up, to put her portion on the youngest's plate, and you gently catch her hand.

"there'll be plenty of food soon. you have to eat."

she looks up at you evenly. her eyes are far too calm and clear. "when?"

you sigh and lean against the counter. she hasn't sat down yet, even though the rest of the siblings are all eating.

"i'm going to talk to mama tonight," you tell her. she looks away, reaching up to pick at a scab on her upper arm.

"you shouldn't wake her up, wilbur."

"i have to. how long has it been since you all last ate? does she do this a lot?"

mary doesn't answer.

"does she ... is she not treating you right? has she raised her hand to you?"

"mama never hits us," mary snaps, and the vitriol in her response almost makes you jump. you're so tired that your first instinct is to yell back, but you rein yourself back in.

"i'm glad she isn't. but that doesn't mean other things aren't wrong." you guide mary to her chair and push the plate in front of her. she stares at it. "mary, why aren't you and the others getting fed properly?"

she shrugs loosely, begins to push the fish from one side of the plate to the other. "i dunno. mama is sad a lot. she stays in her room. the little kids can make food okay by themselves if there is any, but i gotta be out doing the fishing. the only time we don't eat at all is if we run out of food, like now."

"it's not right." you're staring at the wall, shaking your head. "it's not right for her not to be looking after you."

"she's our mama, wilbur," mary argues. "it's not right for you to criticize her."
>>
No. 609911 ID: 8bd2b1

Whether she's mama or not makes no difference. I know what's right and what's wrong, and this isn't right.
>>
No. 609912 ID: 6eb2dc

and its not right for her to not take care of all of you
>>
No. 609913 ID: bb78f2

It absolutely is. She's hardly a Mom anymore. If ANYTHING, you're more of a parent more than either of your real parents. It parent's that can;t criticize their children until they exhibit extreme antisocial behavior, as they are the ones that are supposed to be raising the child. All criticism of the child is actually ON the parent, until real personal accountability is finally upon their child, which admittedly is a very grey area of debate of when they should be.

You said Ulfric does a lot of drugs and lives in solitude a lot right? Your Mom might be doing that in her room. She's sad because of withdrawal symptoms. I mean, if she HASN'T been purchasing groceries, that means she has quite the stockpile of cash. What IS she doing with it? Is it just sitting there collecting dust?
>>
No. 609914 ID: a19cd5

"Criticism is how people grow, you'd do well in life if you always keep that in mind."
>>
No. 609920 ID: 0dc9cf

You are too tired too argue with her right now, so that's not the direction we need to be steering this conversation. Just tell her you can't allow this to happen anymore because you love the little kids(her included) and its not good for them to be skipping so many meals.
Then go wake mom up and give her shit for being a shit mom (quietly so as not to disturb the kids. Maybe you should give them a goodnight kiss or a hug or a pat on the head or something.
>>
No. 609964 ID: 4c5cf2

>it's not right for you to criticize her
Maybe not. But it's not right for children not to be fed, either, and there's no one else to talk to her. Pa's not here.
>>
No. 609994 ID: b73460

>>609910
as a person, you have a right to be angry when you are mistreated. she has a responsibility towards you. that obligation is far stronger than any right she has for respect. when she fails in her responsibilities you are the ones that are hurt, and when that happens you have the right to be angry.
>>
No. 609995 ID: 5869f6

>>609910
it's not right for you to starve.

Not at all.
>>
No. 610021 ID: e6e219

Just because she is our mother does not mean she is infallible.

Besides if she is not looking out for you like she should it might mean she is sick or distracted. I need to go help her if something bad is happening.
>>
No. 610273 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141815521138.png - (65.33KB , 800x800 , 154.png )
610273

"it may not be right for me to criticize her, but it's absolutely not right that she isn't taking care of you. and no matter what, i can't let this keep happening."

mary has nothing to say to that. it seems everyone but her has finished eating, so you tell her to take her time and usher the rest of the children back into bed. as soon as that's done, you turn back down the hallway and stop outside of your mother's bedroom door.

you're not sure how you want to do this.
>>
No. 610288 ID: 784110

put on yr game face and be prepared for a whole lotta denial tbh. you gotta be strong and stay focused- maybe just start out with 'i fed the kids'- that should clue her into where youre going with this.
remember, the fact that shes yr mother doesnt mean shit rn- you gotta be thinking about your siblings.
sorry you gotta be the one to do it
>>
No. 610290 ID: bb78f2

Just straight up ask about why the children haven't eaten all day.
>>
No. 610302 ID: e6e219

Do not go barging in yelling accusations. Will just cause her to go on the defensive and you will have a hard time finding out what is going on.

Your mother could be in the grips of depression or hooked on drugs or have some other bad thing going on in her life. She might need your help. Just try to avoid making any assumptions until you find out more.

So knock on the door and see how she is doing.
>>
No. 610305 ID: 2f2fc2

Smoothly ask her if she is ok, then ask if she needs any help, then after that it's time to get gritty and make sure she knows that children should have food and be taken care of.

also it's a scene of door with someone standing infront of it... there could be a surprise behind it...possibly a body.....I'm prepared
>>
No. 610309 ID: 88960e

Knock.

Mother, we need to talk.
>>
No. 610391 ID: 2ca47b

knock, but do not wait for an answer before going in. tell her that you fed the kids, that you're out of food, and ask her how she's doing. do not accuse her of anything, try to keep your tone light. do not let the situation escalate, your siblings do not need to hear any of this. do not let her talk you into giving her the money, your siblings need someone who can consistently take care of them, and she's already proven herself unworthy.

((also brace yourself before going in, something bad could be behind that door.))
>>
No. 610462 ID: 8f01e8

As the mother of someone too young to take care of themselves, her responsibility is to her children, above even her own life. Give her the chance to tell her own side of the story, but don't let her get away with distorting those priorities.
>>
No. 612999 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141894989415.png - (87.96KB , 800x800 , 155.png )
612999

you raise your hand and knock, slowly, three times.

"mama? we need to talk."

no answer. you knock again, harder this time.

"mama. i want to talk to you. now." you're trying to keep your voice from hardening, but you can't. your patience was thin to begin with, and now it's worn through.
>>
No. 613000 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141894990497.png - (42.03KB , 700x600 , 156.png )
613000

when another long silence stretches out between you and the door you reach for the handle, unwilling to wait until she's ready to respond - because that could be never. but when you twist the handle, it jars almost immediately into the rotation. the door is locked.

this door is never locked. it doesn't even have a lock - or it didn't, the last you knew. she must have installed it when you were away.

"mama?"
>>
No. 613001 ID: bb78f2

...
Credit card trick? With something card like.
Are you sure she hasn't barricaded it?
I'd almost suggest breaking it down but... I don 't know. That would be expensive.
>>
No. 613002 ID: 2f2fc2

>>613000

This'll only end in tears....give up and start taking care of the family. There's only one good reason she'd hide herself away like this
>>
No. 613027 ID: 6eb2dc

>>613002
yea, i'd agree. Steel yourself for what might be behind that door...

I do think you will need to go in tho. You will need money. Can you pick the door in anyway?
>>
No. 613041 ID: 8f01e8

Does the room she's in have a window, or some other exit?
>>
No. 613087 ID: 642ae0

First resort should be lock picking, second an outside window, last breaking the door in. We absolutely need to find out what's going on in there though, one way or another.
>>
No. 613105 ID: 980080

you definitely need to get in there. whether it's to tell your mom to start taking care of the kids or to convince her to get help for what's maybe depression?? you need to talk to her. so knock louder, or break down the fucking door.
>>
No. 613154 ID: 1071f4

>>613000
that is incredibly suspicious. she's hiding something! you must get through that door!
>>
No. 613170 ID: 185cb8

No breaking in.

We'll try talking again in the morning. If she won't listen, and she's locked herself away like this though, something will have to change. You'll have to arrange for the children to be taken care of, and stop trusting her with the money.
>>
No. 614624 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141938336852.png - (110.76KB , 700x600 , 157.png )
614624

loretta taught you to pick locks when you were a child, and you never thought you'd use it. you're surprised you even remember how to do it. but you manage to find a hairpin and a thin file and use them to work the door open.

your mother is sitting on the floor, on the far side of the bed. you can only see her head. she doesn't react when you enter - there's no way she could have been suprised, with how long it took you to get in the door.

"mama." you slowly start to walk around the bed to reach her. "we need to talk about this now."

"wilbur ..."

you stop short when you reach the edge of the bed. there is money everywhere. it must be thousands and thousands of dollars. she has many bills spread over her lap, not yet counted into neat stacks, her limp hands resting palm-up. "there is nothing to talk about."
>>
No. 614628 ID: a19cd5

"You're sitting there buried under thousands of dollars and there's no food in the house, there is plenty to talk about. What's going on here?"
Don't be mad yet, we still don't know what the full deets are.
This looks reaaaaally bad though.
>>
No. 614630 ID: 4c088a

What is this, Mama? Why haven't you spent any of this? There's no food in the kitchen.
>>
No. 614631 ID: 53abfc

what the fuck mom
>>
No. 614633 ID: bb78f2

"Mama, if I can't trust you with the finances, I'm afraid I'm going to have to take over. This is not healthy."
"What are you doing?"
>>
No. 614634 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141938645871.png - (158.60KB , 700x600 , 158.png )
614634

"mama..." you have to grip the dresser against the wall for support. there's no way you can count it just by looking, but it's clearly months and months of work. your work. months of never seeing your siblings. months of sleeping alone. "what is this? why haven't you spent any of this?"

she turns her face away. "i'm going to spend it."

another alternate reality plays in your mind, one where you dive and your hands close on her jaw, one where you twist her face to look at you and you scream. those things never happen in real life, though. in real life it takes you a long time to formulate a response.

"you need to be spending it now. on the children."

she's rubbing one of the bills between forefinger and thumb and for some reason the sound makes you feel like vomiting. you raise your voice. "there's no food in the house, mama."

her fingers don't stop moving. you raise your voice even more, trying desperately to keep the change only in volume and not in temper. "they went hungry today."
>>
No. 614636 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141938647125.png - (117.42KB , 700x600 , 159.png )
614636

she stops. her head does not move when she speaks. "you watch how you speak to me, boy."
>>
No. 614638 ID: e8bba9

She's saving up for something.
Or she thinks she does.
>>
No. 614643 ID: dbe554

You are the one making the money of the house Wilbur, she may be your mama, but she's letting the children starve, do not back down from her.

Ask her what is so important she will let her kids starve, and that you will speak to her as you will like considering you make the money so that your family WOULD not starve but instead find that she's sitting pretty in all the money YOU earned.
>>
No. 614645 ID: cc51c3

>you watch how you speak to me, boy.
I am, Mama, I am.

I wouldn't change a word of it. This is wrong.
>>
No. 614647 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141938867412.png - (157.99KB , 700x600 , 160.png )
614647

"you don't get to object to my tone when you're letting the children starve." the words feel clunky and uncomfortable on your tongue, and you barely manage to spit them out. you reach up to rub at the corners of your mouth before speaking again. "this is wrong, mama."

she stands slowly, bills fluttering to the ground, and steps on them as she turns to face you. "i am your mother," she whispers, "and i will do what i like, and you will do as you are told."

"not if it hurts them." dread is twisting in your stomach, cold and thick.

"i can hurt every one of you as much as i need." her voice is rising, she's walking towards you, you want to shrink back but it's too late, her hand is on your wrist and you don't know how she's so strong, how she overpowers you as easily as she did when you were a small child, and she's twisting your arm back and screaming.

"i am your mother! it is my god-given right! children exist to serve their parents!"
>>
No. 614648 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141938868345.png - (134.59KB , 700x600 , 161.png )
614648

this is not an unfamiliar string of words. your eyes are beginning to glass over, the way they always do when her voice is so loud and her grip is so tight.

"that's why i gave you to the wolf in the first place!" she's shrieking, but her voice sounds muffled and distant to you. "because it was my right!"
>>
No. 614652 ID: bb78f2

...
Fight her.
I don't care. She can't be their mother anymore. She can't believe this anymore.
YOU FIGHT HER. DON'T FEAR HER ANY MORE. SHE CAN'T HURT YOU ANYMORE.
>>
No. 614654 ID: 6bd88d

be careful, though. if she's screaming, the kids can hear, and if they walk in while the two of you are in a physical fight they could get hurt.

that being said, though, if you react how you always do, nothing will change. rip your arm away from her and shove her off as hard as you can.
>>
No. 614657 ID: 6e79d4

What the hell does she need that she neglects her children?
>>
No. 614658 ID: a2b630

Alright, she's gone on long enough. Strike.
>>
No. 614661 ID: 12c3e4

KICK 'ER RIGHT INNA FORK
>>
No. 614662 ID: 4f2104

this is a matter of life and death. you might not be able to beat her with your bare hands. look for a weapon
>>
No. 614665 ID: db83ac

You're no child, Wilbur. Every day, you spend over eight hours tending to the whims of a sociopath who's past his prime and too depressed with how fucked up his life is to make yours better. Every night, you schedule resources so that your family doesn't starve. You're no longer a child, and even if your mother's bull^&*( belief that children are the slaves of their parents is true, it sure as hell isn't applicable to you now.

FIGHT BACK. Your boss gives more of a @#$% about you than he does your mother. Sending her to a mental hospital is probably a reasonable idea and your boss will likely agree, if only for the lulz.

At least your mother hasn't spent all of it on the drugs yet. But seriously, why does she need to hoard all that money? Something's wrong - if she was planning on blowing it on drugs or prostitutes, she would likely have taken better care of the cash. Maybe she's trying to perform some kind of ritual offering in hopes of bringing her husband back?

Take a moment to realize that you have options. You have a boss who is filthy rich and bored. Your mother isn't some kind of rage demon who can overpower you and all of her other children at once. There are mental hospitals for people who have lost their minds, and they've done enough experiments to get a rough idea of how the mind works. You're a smart man, Wilbur, so stop feeling helpless and start thinking.
>>
No. 614666 ID: 5d2f8c

Doing nothing will change nothing. I'm not sure fighting her is the best option, but it is better than letting things continue the way they have been.
>>
No. 614667 ID: 2f2fc2

He's obviously been beaten and battered before by her...as someone who knows what this is like. It crumples you and turns you into a weak beaten puddle of useless.

The only way he's going to fight back is
A: he snaps and she's toast as he unleashes everything he's ever held in

or

B: he finds someone to help him

otherwise he's going to curl into a ball and take the beating that's coming
>>
No. 614670 ID: bb78f2

>>614667
I hope it's A because nobody's coming to help him, and curling up into a ball is just going to continue the status quo.

Please Wilbur, for your brothers and sisters, fight back. There's probably a better option but right now but you're in a corner. Even if you kill her it would be better, but please hold yourself together if you do go that far. She's too dangerous to allow this anymore. She's gone too far for too long.

Take her down.
>>
No. 614673 ID: 6e79d4

What Would Wilbur Do?
>>
No. 614676 ID: 12c3e4

>>614661
I reiterate:
KICK
HER
INNA
FORK
>>
No. 614687 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141939277491.png - (161.61KB , 700x600 , 161.png )
614687

there's an alternate reality where you fight back.

you've seen it a lot of times. sometimes while it's happening. sometimes afterwards, when you're watching her walk away. sometimes in between, in times of false calm that are really just waiting periods, stretching from one beating to the next. you always fight her, but quickly and efficiently, like in a movie - she ends up on the floor, but not hurt. there's never any blood or bruising. you just ... win.

but that's a fantasy, and this is the real world, and in the real world this has been happening for too long, and you are too tired and too terrified and too trained. you try. you think of the children and you raise your arm, but the movement is uncertain and clumsy and she slaps it away and shoves you to the floor.

"i'm leaving," she's panting. "i'm taking the money and leaving. i'm going to go so far away that i'll never think of this place again."

you used to dream that there was a river out of the swamp. your body jerks as you hit the wall. a river, cool and clear all the way to the bottom, all smooth pebbles and gently waving waterplants, with tiny silver minnows and crawfish in the spring. a river you could lay in, and you'd float easily, and it would carry you away and out of the swamp.

but that's a dream, and this is the real world, and in the real world there is no river out of the swamp.

"i've had enough of you." you can hear sounds, but they aren't arranging themselves into meaningful words. "i never asked for this. i never asked for any of you."

you are aware of footsteps. your mother is not.
>>
No. 614693 ID: bb78f2

Get up
Get UP
Do not let her take that money.
Stop her. GET UP.
>>
No. 614700 ID: 12c3e4

"We never asked for you, You horrible selfish fuck. Leave, you won't ser another cent from me."
>>
No. 614702 ID: 2ec61a

irony attack. stab her in the eye with your glasses.
>>
No. 614705 ID: 5869f6

>>614687
Wilbur!
If you let her walk away now you'll forever regret it!
Goddamnit, Wilbur get up!
GET UP GET UP GET UP GET UP GET UP
>>
No. 614706 ID: 2f2fc2

>>614687
"you are aware of footsteps. your mother is not."

does this mean there's others in here? I doubt the kids would make loud footsteps.....
>>
No. 614707 ID: 337362

Tell Ulric about this next time you see him.
>>
No. 614708 ID: 6e79d4

Tell her not to talk about your siblings that way. If those footsteps are who I think they are, they'll appreciate you sticking up for them.
>>
No. 614709 ID: dbe554

So what would you even do. You depend entirely on me to do anything for money, I mean the only thing she was good for was spreading her legs and that's it, going to whore herself on the street once all that runs out, she aint pretty enough to try and find a man, not looking strung out as she is.
>>
No. 614710 ID: 6bd88d

i know im very much in the minority here, but . . . wilbur, stay down.

she's violent and potentially dangerous. if you let her take the money, this could just end here. you can tell ulric what happened and i'm sure he would give you an emergency advance on your pay.

money can be replaced. your safety is more important than winning against her right now.
>>
No. 614715 ID: 4f2104

how long have your siblings been without food? do you think mary was telling the whole truth? will they all still be alive in a week? this isn't your life on the line.
>>
No. 614817 ID: 2ca47b

stay down. let her gather up whatever money she wants, and let her go. you can make more money. you can take care of the children on your own, but this is not healthy. you're better off letting her leave.
>>
No. 614877 ID: cc08c7

She lost her right to be a parent a long time ago, and she has no idea how the real world works. Just let her run away and face that harsh reality, you need to take care of the kids.
>>
No. 614941 ID: 5f402f

>you are aware of footsteps. your mother is not.
Turn, who's there?

>i'm taking the money and leaving.
If you let her do that, all the sacrifice will be for naught. Your brothers and sisters will starve, and nothing you have done will have mattered.

Get up.
>>
No. 615400 ID: 8f01e8

She's not leaving. She doesn't know how.

Wilbur, ignore the angry ghost wearing your mother's face. It can make noise and it can walk around and follow the old routines but it can't do anything that matters. Your mother died a long time ago, all the important parts of her anyway. There may be no river out of the swamp but there is a door out of this one room. Go. Crawl, if you have to.

Go back to your little siblings and tell them you found a pile of money, a whole bunch, enough to buy some really nice food and even things like clothes and toys. First, though, it's time to play a game.

The game is called "Dragon's Hoard." Mom is going to play the dragon, and be as big and scary as she can, and all of us are going to be the brave adventurers. Whichever adventurer grabs the most money without being caught wins. There are no other rules to Dragon's Hoard; you can be as sneaky as you want. One good way is to all rush in at once so the dragon is distracted.
>>
No. 615426 ID: a19cd5

>>615400
That would be kinda patronizing to them, would endanger the kids, and all in all is a terrible idea.
These are some canny kids, maybe, but if this terrible excuse for a person can beat up grown-ass-man wilbur, a bunch of tiny kids aren't gonna fare any better.
>>
No. 615449 ID: db83ac

Fine. Whatever. If your mother leaves, you don't have to feel guilty - it's her choice to run out on her family, and she has enough money to get by on her own.

You are NOT destitute. You have fifty dollars to spend on food, that should be more than enough for one day. You still work for a rich guy. If you tell him what happened, he might laugh vigorously and pay you for the story. I don't think he'll object to letting your siblings stay over at his mansion now that there's no real reason to stay here. Not like he uses most of it anyway. He might order them to stay in the basement, but that's much better than starving to death.

Maybe you can't beat your mother, but remember this: she's a slave too. Your grandparents trained her to follow a set code of laws, and now she's stuck in a situation that those laws never gave her protocol for. She obeyed the concept of man of the house, and now her husband is dead and you're not beating or @#$%ing her, so she's at a loss of what to do. She's incapable of realizing that her Fundamental Christian "order" is imperfect, or doesn't apply to her situation the way she thinks it does, and now she's left blaming herself, demonizing herself, for being unable to follow her laws, even though it's nearly impossible and crazy to try to live up to this ridiculous standard. The end result is that she thinks she deserves to hurt others because in her mind, everyone has failed to uphold the law and must be punished.

Look, if she leaves, let her. But if she tries to kill her children, fight back in self-defense. If she goes for the kids, grab a weapon and throw its weight, lose control of the blunt object by throwing it into her neck. Let the weapon fight for you.
>>
No. 615452 ID: 5762bc

Money can be replaced. But lives and memories can not.

If she tries to hurt you or your siblings stop her. If not just let her go. Would be better for your siblings to remember there mother in a better light than what you are seeing now. Try to keep them out of this mess.

As long as you all are alive and well you can survive this and move on.

As for the footsteps are they the heavy footsteps of a adult? Or are they the lighter ones of a child. Either way be prepared to react to whoever is coming near.
>>
No. 615699 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141964758251.png - (172.04KB , 700x600 , 162.png )
615699

there are too many conflicting things jostling for position in your blurry mind. the footsteps - could it be the children? - you have to get up, what if they try to stop her from leaving - you're starting to push yourself up on your arms but they're shaking with fear and weariness and you can barely breathe.
>>
No. 615700 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141964759090.png - (90.31KB , 700x600 , 163.png )
615700

another noise, not loud, but sudden, and the floor shakes a bit. a thump? a crash? you manage to look up enough to see your mother, slumped over on the floor, and a shadow falling over her groaning form.
>>
No. 615701 ID: 6b7ea4
File 141964760009.png - (202.47KB , 700x600 , 164.png )
615701

"wilbur?"

+end of chapter 3+
>>
No. 615702 ID: a19cd5

wait what
>>
No. 615709 ID: db83ac

...Merry Christmas, Wilbur.

Merry Christmas.

Now please tie up your mother before she does something that your entire family is going to regret.

Also, where's Paris? Loretta, did something happen to Paris? Loretta?

Wilbur: "...Sis? Can I borrow that club for a minute?"
>>
No. 615714 ID: 337362

Make sure she's still breathing and try to stop the bleeding. She needs to go to the hospital. If you call them tell them she fell and whacked her head against the edge of the dresser.
>>
No. 615720 ID: 6b7ea4

intermission: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/615711.html
>>
No. 615734 ID: 1067cc

Oh, hey Loretta.
>>
No. 615966 ID: c14456

>>615714
nah, whack her again
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