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File 171079782488.png - (270.86KB , 550x500 , 000.png )
1086689 No. 1086689 ID: 2eb1da

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

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

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

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

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

Am I imagining it?

I can feel... grass.

Grass between my toes. Warm grass.

A whisper.

Carter: You feel it too?

Marlene: Huh?

Carter: It’s... familiar.

Marlene: Yeah. It kind of is.

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

Carter: It’s nice.

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

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

I feel a breeze coursing past my twitching ears.

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

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

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

>>1086691
Hmm, not exactly. At this point you expect it to happen every night. Something this significant won't just end arbitrarily.
Ask him why he hasn't called you. Ask for his number instead, some way for you to contact him rather than him contacting you.
>>
No. 1086705 ID: debc82

>>1086691

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

>>1086705

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carter: You never gave me your number.

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

Carter: Nope~

Marlene: Alright, heh. Enough of this.

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

Marlene: I want to meet you, Carter.

Carter: You are!

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

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

I groan and exhale a heavy huff.

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

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

I’m relaxed again.

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

He sighs and looks out into the distance.

Carter: Marlene...

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

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

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

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

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

>>1087814
Okay, just give him your phone number then. Properly. Make sure he remembers it.
>>
No. 1087853 ID: debc82

>>1087814

Wait, what? Not a good time?

Why? It's been days of this.

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

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

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

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

>>1087853
He's probably got something going on in his personal life. Hell, maybe he's in the hospital at the moment.
>>
No. 1087892 ID: dd3fe0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carter: I may as well be.

...

Marlene: I’m sorry--

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

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

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

Marlene: Is it agoraphobia?

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

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

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

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

I kneel down to him.

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

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

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

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

Carter: Alright. I’ll try.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carter: Do you know where you’re going?

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

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

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

Marlene: For real? No way.

Indeed I see a house.

Carter: Do you think someone’s there?

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

Carter: What?

Marlene: I think I figured out where we are.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Approach with enthusiastic caution
>>
No. 1090010 ID: 2eb1da
File 171441598229.png - (244.22KB , 550x500 , 007.png )
1090010

>You can ‘see’ it with your eyes closed?
Marlene: This brings up more questions. I’ve always thought I could indirectly see you because I sense your presence--even going as far as to say you’re a part of me, like another limb.

Marlene: But my house... it’s not alive. It’s not a part of me at all and I didn’t notice it at first. How does an object end up here?

Carter: It’s only a different part of you.

Marlene: That makes no sense.

Carter: I mean--uhm, not by feel, right?

Carter: --but by memory.

Marlene: Well I’m obviously going towards it.

Nearing it, the building is somewhat incomplete; it’s not quite held together correctly. But it’s definitely my house. I suppose my fondest memories would be my childhood--so yeah. Despite its unfinished state in the dream, I still feel ‘at home’.

Carter: Marlene?

Marlene: Yeah?

Carter: Are you going to be okay?

Marlene: I think so. Come on, let’s go inside and see what the hell this is all about.
>>
No. 1090011 ID: 2eb1da
File 171441670786.png - (260.15KB , 550x500 , 008.png )
1090011

Marlene: Helloo? Anybody home?

Marlene: Mooom? Mads?

Marlene: Eleanor?

No response. I didn’t know what I expected. Such as the outside, the interior has its basic shapes down to recall each room--again some patches look unfinished.

It’s been too long since I’ve revisited home and I’m realizing that I’m forgetting some details. Minor things like the exact length of the hallways as if I was still seven. Or what was in the closets and pantries. Or all the hiding spots I've made with my siblings.

Marlene: Home sweet home, I guess. Feels like I have so much to catch up on.

Carter: It's a nice place. It isn't often that I’m invited to a friend’s house.

Marlene: Heh.

Well it’s a trip down memory lane. What sort of things should I reminisce about?
>my neighbors
>my bedroom
>the kitchen
>basement
>the town
>my family
>___
>>
No. 1090012 ID: eb0a9c

Remember the most traumatic repressed memory in your life. This is the safest place to unleash it.
>>
No. 1090018 ID: 8f9bc4

Remember everything here is a metaphor. Whatever is here is a metaphor for your house, but not your house. More worryingly, what this place is might be broken, or damaged. Check your bedroom first. It might be some sort of... interface with your sleeping self. Reminiscing on family to check your old hiding spots might also be helpful to understand what's going on.

Why is it your old house, not Carter's?
>>
No. 1090020 ID: 2d2bca

Check bedroom.

Also, briefly talk to carter about the story youve been reading about on your way
>>
No. 1090022 ID: debc82

>>1090011

Bedroom, probably, since it's likely to be the most concrete place. That or the kitchen.

Unless it was a hangout spot, I suspect the basement will have some bad vibes.
>>
No. 1090030 ID: 5ebd37

the bedroom, the most familiar to you, should be the most complete in this memory construct. See if anything stands out, something connected to an important or, perhaps, repressed memory.
>>
No. 1090041 ID: 273c18

>>1090011
The kitchen! Let's see if you can eat in here.
>>
No. 1090043 ID: 7c151e

>>1090011
bedroom, maybe check for some old notebooks filled with poems or stories you've written growing up.
>>
No. 1090756 ID: 15a025

The basement!
>>
No. 1091062 ID: 2eb1da
File 171589271535.png - (192.42KB , 550x500 , 009.png )
1091062

>Why is it your old house, not Carter’s?
>Remember [...] Whatever is here is a metaphor for your house, but not your house [...] What this place is might be broken, or damaged.
Riiight. Nothing is as it seems here. Maybe it’s more than a memory of simpler times. There’s a reason why it was plucked from my mind and showcased. As I ponder my way up the stairs, I give Carter a quizzical look.

Marlene: So, tell me. How come the dream is centered on me? Where’s your house? Where’s your cryptic metaphor?

Carter: If I knew, I’d answer ya.

Marlene: Thought as much...

Carter: Well--it could pop up. It could manifest as... an adult section at a blockbuster or a McDonalds ball pit.

Marlene: I suppose I’ve had my fair share of traumatic moments in a ballpit.

>Bedroom, probably, since it's likely to be the most concrete place.
>Check bedroom [...] briefly talk to Carter about the story you’ve been reading on your way.
The stairs spiral up. I’m doing my best to remember anything shocking in my life. My household was as pleasant as any can be--so no traumatic spankings or belts. I keep the conversation going.

Marlene: I’ve been reading a story lately.

Marlene: It’s about a boy who experiences many parallels of his life. The things he could’ve accomplished and the lives he ruined for himself.

Marlene: And he’s sometimes in the middle with nothing ever happening in his mundane life. Like a limbo. And everyone moves on without him.

Marlene: He tries to deal with it; knowledge from one life can help another life.

Marlene: But sometimes he feels hopeless with too much on his mind.

Carter: Sounds daunting. What do you think of it? Any good?

Marlene: It’s good. There’s something about the main character I can relate to--somehow. Maybe I’ve thought about the choices I’ve made and whether there’s a Marlene better or worse off.

Marlene: Little bits of stuff like that. Perhaps you’ve thought of a better path--and the possible chance that it could be real, all happening simultaneously.

Food for thought.
>>
No. 1091063 ID: 2eb1da
File 171589274559.png - (287.65KB , 550x500 , 010.png )
1091063

We reach my bedroom--it looks just as it was over a decade ago. We must be in a memory before high school; mom had rearranged it by the time I entered 9th grade.

Marlene: And here it is. My own corner of the house. It feels a lot smaller than I remember.

>Check for some old notebooks filled with poems or stories.
Hey, yeah! There should be some journals I’ve hidden from mom. It’s the first thing I check for.
>>
No. 1091064 ID: 2eb1da
File 171589277030.png - (250.79KB , 550x500 , 011.png )
1091064

Ah dammit; as if I could really remember every single word I’ve written. I was excited for a moment there. Some details in my bedroom are crystal clear in my mind--like the posters and polaroids on the wall, and other details are blurred or incomprehensible: such things I overlooked.

As for my journal, I do remember some lines that stuck with me to adulthood. Then there are memoirs of embarrassing moments. There are even doodles, particularly of a local monster myth in the woods--aptly named the Hartwoods Monster. And then the middle school crushes.
There are cringy teen stories; one set around medieval fantasy lovers Tryce and Lye as they----actually I forget what their story was all about. That part is blank and muddled for it’s been an abandoned story long, long ago. All that remains are the faces of those characters.

Carter: Read some to me! I never kept a diary in case there was any chance my parents would find it.

Marlene: Alright, I’ll try. But you’re gonna regret it.

“Cindy says I make two faces a year. I told her out of all the faces she could make; it had to be ‘bitch’.”

Carter: Hahaa. Gottem.

Marlene: I never cared about her--but nowadays I wonder where everyone’s gone in their adult lives.

I rummage past some pages.

‘When I fall | When I go down deep | Wanting you here with me | My sweet waterfall.’

Lyrics of made-up songs. Yet they still pop in my head now and then. I flip ahead a few more pages.

‘The mouth is a powerful ingress.’

Marlene: That sounds very wrong in hindsight. I don’t remember the context behind that one.

Carter: Lol.

‘I gave Liam a note during class but he passed it on to Ashton ahead of him. It was meant for Liam, that stupid idiot. I’ll wonder if I should ask him to the Spring dance.’

Carter: Did you ask him out?

Marlene: I never got around to it. I wimped out. But that’s all in the past now.
>>
No. 1091065 ID: 2eb1da
File 171589279062.png - (275.85KB , 550x500 , 012.png )
1091065

Carter leans on the edge of the bed, scanning the room in its orange glory. The house holds together despite its unfinished patches seeping through the walls.

Carter: So. Have you accepted your traumatic past and moved on yet?

Marlene: Tch, not yet. But do you hear that?

Carter: Hear what, exactly?

Marlene: I think it’s coming from outside.

There’s a ringing of chimes. Distant laughter of children. Spokes and chains. I look out. I can’t quite make the details, but something is out on the street. I peek my head out.

Marlene: Hey! Hey who’s out there?!

The figures don’t respond but talk to each other; I can’t make out their words.

Carter: What’s going on?

Marlene: We need to get back outside, quick!
>>
No. 1091066 ID: 2eb1da
File 171589332123.png - (253.60KB , 550x500 , 013.png )
1091066

Carter: Wait, Marlene! What did you see? Who were you yelling at?

Marlene: That’s what I aim to find out. We can cut through the living room. Come on!

I usher Carter along with a tug of his wrist. Running around the house gives a vibe of muscle-memory as I imagine myself as a little girl. Even rushing down the stairs with my heels thumping against the creaky wood.

It was then we move upon an unexpected sight: A row of bunk beds stretch down the room. Now I definitely know that wasn’t here before. Everything looks old and dusty. I hear footsteps down the aisle--a combination of small and large hoofs.

But as the house constantly shifts and churns--I don’t know how long these blips will remain here.

>go outside to see the figures on the driveway
>explore further into the hall of bunk beds
>>
No. 1091067 ID: a7a180

The figures may already be gone - out of sight means out of mind in dreams. Explore this bunk bed broadway.
>>
No. 1091068 ID: c5529d

probably not a good time to think about it, but those lyrics you wrote could actually be used in the song you're making with the band somewhere.
>>
No. 1091069 ID: 17abec

If someone else is out there, they could be important. Go out to see what they're on about
>>
No. 1091070 ID: debc82

>>1091066

Check the figures. Something about them was enough to grab you; that's more important than funky dream-logic.
>>
No. 1091076 ID: 0da68b

Also do you remember this room of bunk beds? If not, ask mister Carter cause it might be his memory now.

But yeah, examine the bunk bed room. I think the people and driveway is no longer out there if this isnt your living room anymore.
>>
No. 1091111 ID: 7c151e

>>1091066
check the figures, ignore the weirdness of the backrooms and head outside, odds are it could be either a memory from you or Carter's
>>
No. 1091135 ID: 8f9bc4

Those figures weren't memories. They could be people, or some sort of mechanical process activating. Approach with caution. Their eyes may be open.
>>
No. 1091272 ID: 15a025

Maybe the house is starting to shift into Carter's past and memories now?
>>
No. 1091331 ID: 3104f9

Check out those mysterious figures!


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