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/qst/ - Quests

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"You might be a smart girl, but you aren't a lucky one"

You play as Delilah, an unfortunate young girl going through tough times.

Right now, we are currently playing as Lawrence!
=Links and Information=


Thanks to an anon, here is the pastebin of just the text. With threads purposely being misarchived, this should be available and accessible instead:
Melancholic Quest Collection 1 (1-4): http://pastebin.com/hTK0fQmd
Melancholic Quest Collection 2: http://pastebin.com/cX4HC6Q9
Melancholic Quest Collection 3: http://pastebin.com/sTuR8xJv
Melancholic Quest Collection 4: http://pastebin.com/RPwa7nEt
Melancholic Quest Collection 5: http://pastebin.com/DJ71TtFc
Melancholic Quest Collection 6: http://pastebin.com/xxCdZfx6
Melancholic Quest Collection 7: http://pastebin.com/7skcyeX0

Quick Glance (SPOILERS) The quick Who is Who and what Delilah has. Mostly accurate.:


Twitter; @Cowboy_Sue
Discord; https://discord.gg/8CCdcQ3 <--updated to be working
Chat room with me and other players. I answer questions, post sketches, and act cheeky.
Delilah tries to hide the grim smile on her face when you raise your hand, offering yourself up. At least this way you'll know what she's getting in to, instead of blindly putting your trust in this guy.

"Whoa wait, you're actually going to-..." Crockett looks between the two of you, unsure of who to address. He's waiting for some clue that this is a joke, a big reveal that this was all just a dark prank. When neither of you offer up an alternative he faces forward, looking out the window and giving you full lead of this. "You really going to do it here?" he mutters, still not sounding sure that this is really happening.

"I don't care where." Delilah says, chest starting to heave noticeably. Shaking your head, Crockett looks around the block to orient himself better. Pointing to his life, he gives you short directions.

"There's a bunch of old apartments this way, they recently built a new parking garage but the old one should still be open. Should be rather empty too." Crockett says nothing more after this, joining in the silence. The small garage comes up soon enough and you pull in, only five other empty cars scattered inside. The Buick finds its place tucked away in a corner, away and private for what you can accomplish right now. Delilah steps out, needing a break from the overwhelming scent.

As you unbuckle Crockett decides to take the chance to question you in private, asking "So you're actually going to let her do it? You're going to let this girl just... chomp... on you?" Too tired to even an attempt to explain you just give a nod and apathetic shrug.

"Can't believe I'm letting this happen..." he says, stepping out from the vehicle. "Use the backseat as long as you promise not to make a mess. Try to make it quick too, I don't like being out in the open like this."


With Crockett taking yet another cigarette outside, you sit with Delilah in the Buick. "Thank you." she says, letting you take this in your own time. Unlike the investigator outside, you don't really have any good and fresh wounds for her to use. Borrowing her knife, you grit through the pain of the new two inch cut spanning across the back of your arm. Presenting it out Delilah wastes no time at attaching herself on, mouth covering the cut before any could drip off. Being just a shallow cut you try to rest back and let her go, a feeling of calmness running out from your chest. Her grip holds your arm in place but doesn't feel threatening, not yet.

Peering out the window you just catch sight of Crockett turning away. This is gross to an outsider, of course it is. You shouldn't feel so easy with this, yet here you are.

"Ummm..." Delilah draws out the words, pulling back enough for you to see red tinted teeth. Red tinted from you, something that should be a queasy thought. "I'm trying not to take forever but it's going so slooow... if I take too long will you tell me?" The words have an almost unnatural pep to them and her shaky breath warms your cut.

>Stop this for now, you don't want her too out of it

>Let her keep going, this way you won't have to worry about it for a while

>Let her keep going, this way you won't have to worry about it for a while
>>Let her keep going, this way you won't have to worry about it for a while
When will her vampire mind abilities show themselves? Can she jump or fly already? Or maybe she can hear a whisper from a city block away?
>Let her continue for a short while, enough that it'll keep her calm but not so much that she'll be... loopy.
>>Let her keep going, this way you won't have to worry about it for a while
Better that her behavior doesn't radically change so Crockett is just weirded out for now
With no protests given Delilah returns to the act of drawing blood from you again, almost humming to herself as she does. You don't watch her, instead looking up at the car roof and counting. It's the best you can do to try and keep track of how much time has passed, though the tingles crawling up the back of your neck might say that more than enough time has passed. Knowing that there's still too much left to do and that Delilah still needs some form of proper cognitive thought, you start to pull her back.

In a knee-jerk reaction she holds on tighter, the tips of her teeth digging in. It only takes a little more gentle coaxing for her to release you, indents of her teeth left around the now bruised looking skin. Her tongue travels over red teeth and lips, an attempt to hide what she had done or to get ever drop she can. "Thank you," Delilah says, head rolling along the backseat as she looks aimlessly out the front. "I don't hurt anymore."

And neither do you, at least not as bad. No random pains trying to wrack through your body, you even feel soothed considering the circumstances. Stepping out of the car you are greeted with a sudden rush, light headed and needing to hold the car for balance. You wait till your vision returns to you, the edges of the garage going dark as your body readjusts. Nothing else seems too out of the ordinary and you motion Crockett back over to the car. Peering in through the window, he takes a look at a much more pleased Delilah who occupies herself alone.

"She seems rather upbeat for someone who just uh, you know..." he says, giving a wave when she notices him. "So that was it? She really just did that?"
You don't know if he's forgotten who he's asking or if he's really expecting an answer but you busy yourself with cleaning and covering up the cut for now. Perhaps he's fine without a proper answer, leaning against the car as he waits for you to finish.

"While we were heading this way, I kept looking back at her. Something about the way she was talking felt kinda familiar," he speaks slowly, looking back to where Delilah sits. "Then it sort of hit me while I was out here waiting. She reminded me of Denise, from back in the day. Back then she was asking for a drink though, something that would help her forget everything for a while. Should have heard the earful her sister gave me when I brought her back hungover one morning, back a bit before her and Don were together. She always insisted on having a drink though, that she always needed something to get through the night. I just hope Delilah doesn't turn out the same way." He says this last part with a tinge of regret, stepping into the passenger side shortly after. You look at where she sits once more, looking much more content compared to half an hour ago. She flashes you a white grin yet you can't find it in you to return it.


"Head back down the block and take the right, we should end up back on our road."

A long and nearly empty road stretched out in front of you, dim streetlamps barely able to cut through the thick snowy air. You resist the urge to speed, pushing that limit as the car travels all too slowly down the road. With nothing else to do Delilah looks ready to nod off in the back, her head and eyes dipping down only to spring back up. Even Crockett appears drained though he manages to keep himself awake much better. You'd like nothing more than to lay down yourself, to close your eyes and rest if even just for a few minutes.

A police car passes on the opposite side, lights and sirens off as it continues it's route. You keep an eye on your speed, making sure you're doing everything to avoid picking up on his radar. Approaching another stop you ease the brake in, only to have the gut wrenching feeling of tires not gripping the road. It only lasts a few seconds, the Buick sliding right past the sign and fishtailing into the next street, but you manage to pull the car back into your control and come to stop.

"What just happened?" Delilah asks, looking around confused.

"Looks like we just hit a patch of black ice. Doesn't look like anything too bad happened though," Crockett says, looking in the rear view mirror and letting out a distressed groan. "And it appears our friend in blue is going to come help us out. He probably just wants to make sure we're fine, I'll talk to him." Looking back, the car has already turned around to come inching its way down. Even with Crockett promising to take care of everything you can't help but to feel panicked, trying to do everything you can to appear normal. You watch as the car pulls up behind you, an officer well dressed for the winter popping out and making his way to the window.
"Hey there, just wanted to make sure you folks are doing okay. Saw that you guys lost control back there for a bit." The officer, a man just a few years younger than you, says from the rolled down window.

"Yes sir. Happened to hit a patch of ice back there, but we don't seem no worse for the wear." Crockett speaks from across the seat, forcing a grin on his face.

"Good to hear, but y'all really shouldn't be out driving tonight. Snow is starting to hit us hard, hell they're saying that they might have to close down some roads again till they can get them cleared off," as the office talks he looks to the backseat, over to Delilah. She keeps her head down, trying to hide the terrified look she has. "Wouldn't really want to have your daughter stuck in a car in the middle of a blizzard, yeah?"

"We're just heading home officer, we'll be out of this soon."

"Right right. Er, listen... it looks like you guys have your hitch covering up part of the numbers on your plate in the back. Probably just going to let you off with a warning, but I'm kinda a new guy and this way they'll think I'm doing my job. Gonna take down some of your information through real quick and you'll be free to go, okay?" He finally pulls his eyes off of Delilah, looking back to the front seats. Crockett must feel as confused as you are, eyebrow raised as he nods in permission. Returning to his car, the officer soon has his radio in hand.

"He's definitely a rookie cop... " Crockett mumbles, watching him through the mirror. "Usually they use that excuse to pull over randos, make sure they haven't been drinking and all that. It feels like he had just wanted to check on us though." Motioning for you to remain silent, his window unrolls down and he takes a listen. What you can pick up on you can't understand, nothing sounds out of place till you realize that he's talking on the radio. You want to ask if that's right, if he's supposed to be doing that while writing down the car's information. Crockett answers the question before you can even try to ask, the color draining from his face.

"Shit...! He's calling down for backup."

"Backup?" Delilah asks, dazed and confused. "Wh-Why do we need umm... backup? We're not in trouble right?" Crockett doesn't answer right away, once again listening to what he can.

"He won't say for what, just mentioned the car and..." Crockett stops, unsure if he heard correctly.

"And? And what?" Her patience has started to run thin and so has yours, her hands gripping to the seat as she waits an answer.

"...and a young girl matching a description sitting in the backseat." With that he rolls up his window, making you do the same. "Bastards must have called it in-"

"What do you mean? Who?"

"Our friends that dropped by earlier. Must have gotten mad and called in to one of the stations."

"They can just do that?"

"If it's anything like when I still had a badge, there's quite a few officers willing to do a few 'favors' for a price. Which, actually could work in our favor," Crockett continues to watch the car parked behind, "Might be able to flash a couple bucks at him to let us get home."

"B-But won't there still be a umm... a uh, warrant? Or whatever?"

"Yeah, but I can work on making that 'disappear' next. Little harder if we end up sitting in a jail cell," he grimaces, "Though I'm worried about this being a new guy and all. Hard to tell how they'll react to a bribe... got about a hundred or so on me I can use at least. But I don't know I feel about that, if it turns out that we can't buy our way out we might end up in a place we don't wanna be. Unless... well, unless you feel like running from a cop. We're dealing with just him right now, could try outrunning him. Or, hell... be a lot easier to get myself out of cuffs if it was just me. You two could scram and let me deal with this, bet I could be out by morning in that case but... you're at the wheel. It's up to you."

>Try bribing the cop, use Crockett's money
>Try to bribe the cop, use Crockett's and your money to make a bigger bribe
>Leave Crockett in the car, leave with Delilah on foot
>Try to drive away
>Try letting Crockett handle it, he does this for a living so he's gotta have an 'in'
Worst-case scenario, we hit it.
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Drive away. You got this Law.
>Try bribing the cop, use Crockett's money
We can add a bit if needed

Seconding also
Maybe we can avoid having to bribe him at all if Crockett can baffle him with bullshit
>Petal to the metal
>On top of snow and possibly more ice
>Wheels spin
>Backend fishtails
>Everyone's in jail now
Fishtailing isn't that big of a deal. Just don't be a pussy bitch and don't let off the gas until the front wheels are pointed in a direction you want to go.
"All you."

"Huh?" Crockett asks but you throw your hands up, letting go of the reigns on this.

"You handle." He knows better than to try and argue this, having only a few short minutes to plan.

"Fine, fine. I got this, let me just see what we're working with..." Crockett looks up and down the streets, making sure that no one else has driven up. With only a few more seconds the man has came up with a plan, leaning in and speaking with a hushed town. "Now, if you don't want to spend tonight in a jail cell I recommend following everything I say, follow?" You nod and he motions for Delilah to lean in and listen too. Wide eyed she watches the conversation, trying to keep her attention from darting over to else where.

"Now, he's probably going to come back here and find a way to stall. Going to make sure we stay here till his buddies come up and he'll make sure we can't leave. Don't think we can really get those backup to go away, but if we can at least convince this guy to lose us, then maybe we got something we can work on. So Plan A is just to pay this guy to look the other way for five minutes, you just let me do the talking and we'll be clear, go it?"

Easy enough, even if you don't enjoy the idea of being the getaway driver.

"Umm... you said Plane A?" questions Delilah, asking the question for the two of you.

"Well, on chance that my first idea fails then we have to try something a biiit more risky," he senses your alarm at the chance of more danger, quickly moving on before you can raise any objections, "I just mean, I'll need your help in this case. So lets say our rookie here doesn't accept the bribe, we can at least get you two out of here before anyone else shows up. Delilah?"

"Hmm... um, sorry. I was counting the cigarette butts on the floor- erm I'll listen now."

"Make sure you pay attention now honey. I'll do most of the legwork but this is what I need you to do..."


"Sorry about this wait folks," the officer has returned, hanging at your window. "Now don't let this bother y'all or nothing but we have a report of a stolen Buick. Just need confirmation that your information is clean and that this is in fact your vehicle then you'll be free to go."

"Not a problem," Crockett puts on a grin again, the only one unbuckled from his seat and pulling a lighter. "You want a smoke?"

"Ah, no thank you. I don't smoke."

"Yeah? That's what I said when I joined." After lighting his cigarette Crockett plays with the lighter between his fingers, "Used to have to do this myself a couple years ago."

"Used to be part of the force?" the officer sounds mildly interested, enough for him to work with.

"Sure was. Pretty crummy when I was on but it put a roof over my head. Say, I heard they've seen some budget cuts over there recently, came out of your pay?"

"Course it did. Almost thinking about quitting at this point, just can't find it in me to do it though."

"Don't worry, you'll get there one day. Now, I was-"

"When are we going to get home?" Delilah whines from the back, cutting Crockett off. You were worried that she would freeze up but the pressure hasn't seem to taken the better of her yet.

"Soon, soon. Especially if our friend here is willing to accept a holiday bonus from us," from his pocket Crockett produces folded bills, a hundred and fifty dollars cobbled together from his and your money. "Maybe could convince you to look the other way for a moment and we can get home before we get snowed in?" The young man stares at the cash, ready to reach out and accept it.

"... I can't do it," he admits, taking a step back. "Sorry, it would go against the reason I joined in the first place."

"Wanting to do the right thing, I get it." The money returns to his pocket for now, a sign that the original plan has failed.

"Uh, excuse me sir?" the officer is talking to you now, tapping at your shoulder. "Didn't seem to grab your licence, mind if I take a quick peek at that?"
Slight panic, you were hoping he would forget about that. Your ID isn't here, if anything it's been chucked into some alley after Charlie's friends had their way with you. Still you reach into your pocket, feigning a search.

"Don't talk much, huh?" he asks, waiting about awkwardly. "Hope you don't mind me asking, but is it cause of uh, this?" A motion to the corner of his mouth, his eyes looking over your stitches. You just nod, switching your search to another pocket, peering over at Crockett with a plea for help. He takes a long and deep drag of his cigarette, smoke splaying out as he coughs and sputters midway through. Attempting to catch his breath he leaves the car, closing the door behind him and moving to the back. The cop follows both out of concern and to ask him to return inside.

Once both of them have cleared the way you hit the gas, the car pulling forward and away. Delilah watches the scene out of the back window, as Crockett keeps the officer there. This is his way of dealing with it, staying put and dealing with the consequences. Much easier to pay for his own way out of a jail cell, much better than trying to get two men out and keeping tabs on Delilah. According to what he told you earlier, Crockett should be selling some bullshit story to the cop on why you had to speed off like this.

The officer doesn't follow, and as street signs pass by so does another cop driving in the opposite direction. You turn down the street, moving out of the way of their target. They'll get there, assess the situation, and then no doubt come looking for the Buick. Crockett mentioned that there could be several alerts out, especially if they involve Delilah. All they have to do is claim that she's kidnapped and they'll use it as a reason to drag you in.

"Don't umm... don't we have to ditch the car still?" Delilah sounds mostly there, but there's still a distance look to her eyes and voice. Wouldn't look too good if she were to try and talk to police right now, and you'd like to avoid that at all costs.

"Yeah. Hold on." He told you how to get to a gas station, a large 24/7 one. You just need to get there and leave the Buick where it is, easy enough. The hard part comes from trying to find a ride after that, but it can be dealt with when it happens.


Well lit and standing out in the growing storm, you manage to pull into the parking lot without any more hassle. There aren't many car here, just as expected. The ones that are here seemed prepared to hunker down for the night, parked close to the building. You don't bother, instead hiding out the best you can manage by parking where a lonely semi truck sits. Leaving just the heater on, you look out to the parking lot and wait.

"Just leave the keys locked inside, the car should be fine there." Crockett had said, hurrying to get the last of the plan in. "You got somewhere safe you can hide out for a day or two? Head over there, pay someone to take you... hell walk if you have to. Get there and hold out for a while, Delilah should have my number. Just give me a call and I'll come around and get you, got it?"

You do have one place that could serve as a temporary safe haven, though you never planned on taking her there. Not much you can do about that in an emergency though, all you need to focus on is getting a ride out of here.

Twenty or so minutes pass, your eyelids growing heavy with sleep. Delilah has busied herself with counting the snowflakes that land on the window, doing her best to stay awake. An el Camino pulls in and, instead of joining the rows of other cars, pulls in to fuel up instead. Seeing this as your chance, you hurry out of the Buick. Startled by all the sudden movement Delilah moves quickly to join you, bag hanging heavily off her shoulder. Not wanting to lose this chance you grab her hand, pulling her behind as you approach the man filling up. He's quick to notice you, standing by the pump as you approach.

"Well, hey there Lurch," the man calls out once you've come close enough, looking between you and Delilah. "What're you and Wednesday doin' out in this shit?" He chuckles at this, putting away the pump but not taking his eyes off you.

"Just fuckin' with ya man, but seriously, why y'all out here?" He looks dressed nice enough, a clean navy style pea coat serving as his means of fighting off the cold. Doesn't appear too scummy anyways, not that you can really afford to be choosy right now.

>Tell him you two are being chased and need a ride

>Tell him you are having car trouble and would like a lift

>Attempt to threaten him, ask for a ride

>Tell him you are having car trouble and would like a lift
Attempt to sound as amicable as possible, hopefully causing no more suspicion than already by randomly approaching the guy.
>Tell him you are having car trouble and would like a lift
>Tell him you are having car trouble and would like a lift
"Stuck here..." you say, pointing back to the Buick. "Car trouble."

"Well shit, ain't exactly the best time to be havin' that now is it?" He leans against the Camino, tugging his coat closer. "Don't suppose y'all would know what the problem is, would ya? I know my way around cars well enough and I got some tools in the back. Could be somethin' that takes five minutes, wouldn't have to leave your nice car here buried in the snow."

"Don't know..." Try not to panic, work around this. "Wouldn't want...bother-"

"Hey man, ain't nothin'. Can just take a peek under the hood, is it an engine problem? Cause shit, if you just have a flat or somethin' like that I could get ya outta here in ten minutes."

"N-No...not tire. Hold on..." You let go of Delilah's hand, pulling out your notebook and trying to come up with an excuse to scrawl down. She leans against you, trying to block her face from the wind and snow. The man has gone to the back of his vehicle, ready to pull out tools and a light to go check out the perfectly running Buick. You try to think of alternatives, what you can do instead, but you're failing to come up with a solution. At this point it might be best for you to back off, to go back to the Buick and wait somewhere else, all while praying that you don't run in to anyone wanting trouble.

"...shit, know what?" The trunk slams shut, tools and flashlight left behind. "It's too damn cold to be lookin' at an engine, ya know? 'sides it looks like your girly there is about to fall asleep on her feet there." He approaches you again, hand out. "Name's Hank. Hank Dalton." he says while you return the gesture, receiving a firm and warm handshake, "And who're my two passengers?"

"Umm... my name is Bunny, and he's Lawrence." Delilah answers for you, trying her best not to drag out and slur words together.

"Nice to meet ya. Now just a warnin', gonna be a bit cramped inside but I'm sure y'all manage," Hank begins to walk to the station, "Gonna grab me a lighter real quick, go ahead and jump inside."
You take the time to breathe a sigh of relief and feel Delilah grab your hand, leading you to the passenger side.

"C'mon," she says, "We're doing fiiine." Looking up at you, she doesn't look scared or worried about this, rather her concern rests on you.

"Right? We're doing okay?" Delilah asks, waiting with her other hand at the faded blue door.

"...yeah," you say, squeezing her hand. All things considered, "We're fine."


With only a long front seat and riding with a stranger you let Delilah sit on your lap, the bug stuffed to the side. Hank returns, turning the engine and heaters on.

"Alrighty, so where we headin' tonight?" He receives the note you wrote out earlier, looking over it quickly. "Shoot, goin' out that way? That's fine, ain't got nothin' else going on tonight." The Camino leaves the parking lot, leaving the Buick tucked away where you left it. The familiar word of Police passes by on the other side of the road but seeing as they have no reason to stop you they continue on, leaving Hank to drive towards the edge of town unhindered.

"Normally I'd drive over the bridge, but it might actually be quicker if we took the back road," Hank explains, "They might have already closed up some of the lanes there but they like to forget about this way. Not a lot of folks tend to drive it, but that just means more room on the road for us." With a chuckle he pulls out a palm sized metal box, and all while maneuvering the Camino as he pulls out and lights up a joint.

"Er, sorry." Hank apologizes, holding it out between his fingers, "Y'all don't mind, do ya? Just helps to pass the time." Seeing how you're already inconveniencing him you say that it's fine and he lights up, the cab slowly starting to fill up with the smell. It's offered over after Hank's hits and while it feels like you need it to get through the night you politely decline. Delilah shifts around in your lap, trying to find her place in the cramped front.

"Might end up makin' her fall asleep, though might not have been too much longer before that happened anyways" he laughs, most of the town trailing behind as he drives out. From here you can see the bridge glowing in the distance, soon to be behind you like the buildings. "Sucks y'all got stuck like that, hope you weren't waitin' too long. Don't really blame folks for not goin' out in this weather, but don't worry. You're in good hands here." Delilah pouts but struggles to keep her eyes open, not wanting to sleep yet.

The drive continues on mostly quiet, Hank shifting through and finding a casette to pop in. Music starts to mix with the engine's rumbling, and you recognize 'Shooting Star' from the Bad Company tape. It only adds to the nostalgic feelings, having had taken this road yourself many years before. Delilah just watches through the window, probably unable to take this new scenery in properly. As the smoke builds up Hank cracks open his window, allowing some fresh but freezing air back in.

"Hope it don't bother ya none but I was takin' a look at that thing you got goin' on. Looks like it's gonna end up healin' pretty gnarly huh?" Hank chuckles again, quickly adding "Shit sorry. Keep forgettin' that you ain't much of the talkin' type."

"Shouldn't you be going slower?" Delilah asks, squeezing your hand with both of hers as the Camino starts to take a large curve.

"Shoot, don't trust me?" Hank asks, one hand on the wheel. "I'm goin' the speed limit." He keeps control of the vehicle through all the twists but Delilah refuses to let go of your hand till the road has straightened out again, and even then she only loosens her grip.

"Are we going to be there soon?" she whispers and you nod, feeling a lump forming in your throat. As much as you'd like to see the end of the drive you don't look forward to the destination.


"Right, so this block?" Hank asks, slowly cruising down the all too familiar streets. You point for him to turn the corner and that it's only a little way down from there. Only a few minutes ago you'd passed the faded town sign, a hallmark that's been up longer than you've been around. Pass the one supermarket in town, the few small stores that dot the main street beyond it, and into one of few neighborhoods. Most of the houses you pass are dark, lights off as they should be early in the morning. The one Hank drives to is no different; windows dark and becoming frost covered. The sidewalk may have been shoveled earlier but by morning that effort will be impossible to tell. The Camino comes to a rest in front of the blue house, right after the driveway leading up to the closed up garage.

"Nice lookin' place." Hank comments while you open the door, shuffling Delilah out and grabbing her bag. He stops you before the door closes, handing over a scrap of paper. "If y'all need someone to look at that Buick you just let me know. End up takin' it to some garage and they'll up charge ya out the ass. But you just gotta get me a case of beer and I'll get it runnin' in no time." You pocket it, giving what thanks you can.

Delilah looks up at the house, waiting for you to go first. "So this is it?" she asks, "It looks niiice." She's trying not to sound off, doing the best she can. You can just hope that it's good enough, taking her hand and leading her up to the front porch. A white door faces you, standing there intimidating. It takes a few tries but you manage to knock, knowing that the sound will carry thick and heavy through the house. As you wait you can't help but wonder what you should do if no one comes up, figuring that you can at least return to Hank's car. Sure enough you can hear rustling from inside, a voice asking you to hold on a moment. Nerves shot you let go of Delilah's hand, hoping she can't hear the rampant beating in your chest. She looks up at you worried but doesn't say anything, instead moving to stand a bit behind you.

The door swings open and a face you could never forget greets you.

"Hello? Can I hel-" Wide eyed and slack jawed, the woman who stands before you in her nightgown stares as if looking as a ghost.

How would you like to greet your mother?
'Hi mom.'

We can tell her we fucked up soon enough, but the sooner we can get inside the better.

"Hi mom." The words feel dry in your throat, but you manage to get them out all the same as you look down to your mother.

"Is that... are you r-really...?" Her words are nearly drowned out by the squeal of tires against road, the Camino free to drive away now with the music blaring out the cracked window. She pays no attention to this, only rushing forth to hold you and making sure you don't leave again.

"My baby...!" Mom sobs, door open wide behind her. Looking in you can see that the inside looks pretty similar to how it was when you left; everything is neat and tidy, having its specific place. All on the woman clutching to you right now, she was always picky about that sort of thing.

"Honey? What's going on, who's at the door?" A booming voice coming from inside, you prepare to face the man of the house.

"Jacks!" she calls out, pulling away to study your face. Mom watched you grow, from being a boy who could barely reach her shoulders to a man who stood well above her. She no doubts notices all the new lines and creases in your face and you can do the same. Gray had already begun to streak her dark hair before she left, but now she has let them takes their place. Your cheek starts to burn, you know she's noticed what happened to your face.
"Jacks, get out here!"

"Hold on, I'm coming..." As he draws closer you feel Delilah take a step back, overwhelmed by all of this just as you are.

And sure enough, same robe and slippers as he's always had your father steps up to the door. His eyes adjust to the light as he looks up at you and starts speaking. "Now do you want to tell me what's going...on here..." Where you had expected anger your father instead shows disbelief, the thin lines around his mouth increasing.

"He's came back..." Mom sniffles, wiping her eyes. "He really came back..."

Your mother looks like she has so much to say, trying to figure out what she should ask first. Your father, however, he couldn't find any words to say. Here you two men stand in silence, and had Delilah not been there holding on you might have had the courage to run. Several times you try to speak, to greet him like you did your mother, yet the sounds just can't come out. Delilah steps up close again, pressed up against your back as she holds on to it and finally catches the eye of your mother.

"Oh? Did you bring someone with you...?" she peers around you, trying to get a good look at Delilah. She's already hidden her face against your back, you can feel it.

"Mom. Need to..." you point inside, making sure to look past your father.

"Oh, yes! Yes, Lawrence baby come in. And... and bring your guest in too." Your mother moves to the side, waiting for you to walk in first. Moving forward your father steps aside to make room, finally speaking up as you walk in.

"Welcome back, son." The will power you would have had to say something back as soon as the door opened, you only divert your eyes to ground and walk past. You remember the layout of the living room well, tripping only when Delilah's steps too close. The front door closes and locks, a reminder that it's too late to turn back. You would have maybe gone ahead and collapsed on the couch had Delilah still not refused to come out from hiding. Nervousness had to been expected but outright afraid feels strange. Even when you manage to get some space her eyes remained stuck to the ground. Tapping her shoulder you manage to get to look up at you, trying to make sure she's okay. You can't pin point what's wrong but Delilah doesn't turn back to the ground, instead looking around the dim living room. The lamp by the stairs is the only light down here, but you're sure she can see the pictures scattered around all the same.

"Was that a friend of yours? I didn't recognize the car..." Mom mumbles as she comes over, adjusting her hair as she does. "Do you need anything right now? You look exhausted."

You manage to sit on the couch, feeling it bend in the same as they had before. Delilah moves slowly next to you, looking up as your mother approaches. "Drink." you manage to say, your mother ready to run off before she addresses Delilah.

"Oh and what about you, sweetie...?" she asks, your father sitting in his chair. "Do you need anything?"

"Umm... c-can I get a drink too?" Of course your mother says yes, going off to the kitchen to grab them. Delilah takes a look over at your father but her gaze juts down to the floor once more. Even if it feels like you can't breathe you can't figure out why she's like this. Your father isn't starring or glaring anyone down, he looks just as unsure what to do as you. The living room remains silent, broken only by the clock resting on the wall. It sounds off each of the tense seconds, leaving you to think if this is a bad idea more and more.

"Here we go!" Mom walks in from the kitchen, mugs in hand. She offers one to you and Delilah, taking one for herself and your father as she takes her own chair. "It's just coffee, sorry if you don't like that sweetie. I put some milk and sugar in it though, I hope you'll like it." Delilah nods in thanks and takes a sip, just glad to have something warm her up from the inside. Your mother looks ready to unload all of her questions, stopping herself with her own drink. "I'm glad you're home safe." she finally says, done crying but wiping away a stray tear. "Your knocking scared me so much, I couldn't figure out who would have been at our door at this time. Jacks wanted me to leave it."

"Usually not people out at this hour except for the ones looking for trouble." he replies, taking a sip of coffee and promptly setting it back down. It's not quite anger you feel off him but it's nerve wrecking all the same.

"Oh hush. Accidents happen, it could have just been someone wanting to use the phone, " Mom can't contain the smile that comes to her face now, "And look, what if I hadn't decided to go answer? Would you have wanted him to wait all night on the porch?" You want to apologize, to say sorry for so many things that happened at this house. You can't even get out the words to apologize for coming here at this house, popping up in the wee hours of the night.

"I'm sure you're ready to sleep," she continues, "and I wouldn't want to keep you awake. How about I help you settle in for the night and then we can talk tomorrow, okay?"

"Thank you." The strength to even write is gone, you just force yourself to speak up enough for now.

"I'll go get the air mattress," Dad rises up from his seat, heading up stairs. "That thing takes a while to set up." Even though you're thankful that he's out of the room you know you can't avoid the it forever.

"Pull out the extra blankets too!" Mom calls up to him, returning to you quickly enough. "But if I could ask, what's your name?" She's addressing Delilah, who manages to look back up.

"Bunny. My name is Bunny..." Delilah answers with little hesitation, knowing that it might always be better to use a fake name. "Um, can I use your bathroom?" Your mother points it out down the hall and Delilah gets up to leave, either trying to avoid more questions or unable to handle all of this right now. Around your mother you finally start to feel your heart slow down, feeling calmer and like maybe this was an okay thing to do. She waits till Delilah has closed the door, gripping her mug tightly as she leans in.

"I'm asking just so I know what I should expect," she starts to say slowly, keeping eye contact with you. "Who is she? Why is that girl with you, is she alone? Where are here parents, why do you have her?" Too many questions at once but you know she's expecting some sort of answer, hoping you'll be truthful with Delilah out of the room.

>Tell her part of the truth, that Delilah is in trouble and that you're helping her hide right now

>Lie, say that Delilah is just a runaway and that you have been helping her

>Tell her part of the truth, that Delilah is in trouble and that you're helping her hide right now
>Tell her part of the truth, that Delilah is in trouble and that you're helping her hide right now
No matter what, the time that's passed, she's our mom and would probably be able to catch us in a lie.
Knowing that it's going to be a long explanation, you begrudgingly pull out your notebook and focus your eyes enough to write. Your mother had always been patient with this, waiting however long it took for you to get out what needed to be said. As you write your eyes try to fall and stay closed, trying to keep yourself awake as you write a bare bone explanation.

This girl has been through some traumatic things these past few months
She had to runaway from home and was trying to live on the streets
There are people out there looking for her, they'll end up hurting her
This is all sudden but can she stay here for a few nights
She will be able to go to her grandmothers then

"Of course, I couldn't throw a child back out on the streets like that," Mom says at the end, wondering why you even had to ask a question like that. "We'll just set her up in my sewing room."

"Sewing room?" When you left there was no sewing room, you couldn't think of where she could possibly be talking about except for-

"Oh, right. Jacks's office. He cleared out of there about two years ago and let me have the room," Mom explains, "There's a good amount of space in there now, and we have that space heater in there. Perfectly fine place to sleep." Even though you nod it still feels weird that your father would give up his office like that. Either your mother did some serious bargaining or he's really dome some change.

"I'll stay down here to see if she needs anything. Why don't you go up and help your dad? His back has been hurting him lately, he might have some trouble setting the mattress up." You know there's one question that your mother is dying to ask, the thing she wants to know most right now, and you know that sooner or later the time for the answer will come.

Do you know where Michele is?


Walking up the stairs and trying to avoid looking at the pictures on the wall you find yourself standing in a nostalgic hall. Two doors shut on one open on the end, you have to trudge past yours and your sister's old rooms with their doors closed away. You wonder how it'll look, if it's exactly the same as you had left it or if just like the office, your room was something else now.

Not even the walls remained the same, the beige covered easily by the new light blue. A long table with a sewing machine now sits pushed to the table, a television set up across the room from it. Some works in progresses hang around the room, waiting to be picked back up again and finished. And knelt on the floor, hand holding his back is your father. The deflated mattress lays out in front of him, the pump to blow it up in your father's hand.

"Your mom send you up?" he asks, wincing in pain.

"Y-...yeah." The first thing you say to him.

"Eh, try not to tell her about this but I'm kind of stuck. Give me a hand?" Dad reaches out and you come to help him back to his face, hearing his bones creak as he stretches. "Have to do it by hand, the damn electric one broke. You want to give it a try?" He hands the pump over to you, quick to move back and lean against the wall. It feels like the father you left would have kept trying despite the pain, too stubborn to hand over his work.

You kneel down on one knee, steadily pumping air into the mattress and ignoring the soreness spreading through your chest and arms.

"Guess if you get tired we can take turns and switch," Dad says, but you work on getting done as soon as you can. The last time you saw this man he was sprawled on the ground, bleeding because you're a fuck up.

"Slow down, you're just going to tire yourself out."

"Hold on, the nozzle is slipping off."

"If you're tired hand it over and I'll do it."

The creeping feeling of annoyance rises as your father starts trying to instruct you over the shoulder, just as he would have before. It's strangely nostalgic, and you actually let yourself hand the pump back over to him.

"Look, this way we can get this done faster. That girl looked like she was about to pass out right there." he continues to work the pump in silence, either waiting for you to speak or cause he ran out of things to say. You only wish that the mattress could rise faster so this tension could end.

"So uh, where you coming in from?' he finally asks, not looking back at you. "Where you been staying at?"

>Tell him you've been homeless
>Keep it vague
>Tell him you've been homeless
No sense in avoiding the subject or trying to bullshit him.

>Tell him you've been homeless
It's just a simple question for small talk, your father working on making you feel welcomed here.

Just don't make a big deal out of it, you tell yourself, just say it like it's nothing. Don't let your old man know that you've been scraping rock bottom for a long time now.

"Been around." you continue to work on the bed, not daring to look up. So close, you've got this. "On the... st-..." Your voice cracks and you're drowning in shame, feeling the full weight of what that means. here you are, about to tell the man himself that somewhere along the line, he failed as a parent.

He remains silent and you manage to choke the word out.

"...the street." This is something that's bound to continue happening while you're here, you might as well get used to it. Your father is at a loss of words, you feel it. The time it takes to finish the mattress remains quiet, and you just wish he would walk away instead.

"I'm going to go get those blankets." he finally says, walking off to fetch them as you finish setting up the mattress. It feels like you can breathe again, if just barely. It's going to feel like a forever but you'll be out of here soon enough, you just to play it safe for a few more days. You move down stairs, to seek refuge with your mother so you have time to think about all this. She's gone off to her bedroom, looking for something as you hear water from the bathroom.

"Lawrence? Is that you out there? I'll be there in a second." Mom calls out and you take your spot back on the couch, looking up at the ceiling. There's a few times where you doze off, only to jolt back awake and remember where you are. Your mother stops by the bathroom, delivering some clothes to Delilah inside. She walks over to join you, brushing a hand over your forehead.

"Anything else you need before bed? Need anything to eat?" You shake your head and your mother lets out a quiet laugh, "Well, I suppose you'll raid the fridge when you do end up hungry. Try to find what you can, I need to go grocery shopping soon. You'll probably sleep in your room tonight, huh? Some of your old clothes should still be in the closet, just look around you'll find them." You're not sure if you should be surprised at this or not, but it manages to be a comforting thought. Your mother encourages you to head on up to bed if you're tired, that she'll handle Delilah. Going up the stairs you make sure not to cross paths with your father, darting to the bedroom door once it's clear.

You move and open your door without hesitation, like it was any of the other times you'd sneak around your father. Finding the switch easily, you bring light on the room.

The furniture remains in place, unchanged and mostly unmoved. Some knickknacks remain but the place is cleaned up, much better than you had left it. Otherwise you'd end up having to wade through clothes on the floor just to arrive to a messy bed. But the same blanket remains, washed and tucked in neatly around the edges. There isn't much stuff around from when you were a teenager, you got rid of most of that when you returned from prison.

Kicking off your shoes on your way to the bed, you take a careful seat on it. Your fingers travel over the blanket and you swing your legs over, finally laying down in your bed for the first time in over three years. Oddly enough, you can't help but feel safe right now.


Dozing off just from getting to lay down, you wake up with your door partially closed and your mother talking outside.

"If you need anything to drink or eat you just go ahead and help yourself, okay?" she says to Delilah, leading her to the sewing room. You stay listening from bed, eyelids feeling heavy. "And if you really need something our bedroom is downstairs, just come knock at the door." Delilah stays mostly quiet, only speaking up to say thanks. Your mother helps her settle in for the night, stopping by your door as she walks back to the stairs.

"Lawrence, honey?" she whispers and you give her a wave, letting her know you're listening. "I'm just glad you're back, come get me if you need anything, Sleep well, I love you." You wouldn't doubt the idea of her peeking in throughout the night, just making sure that you're still around. As much as you might wish that you could settle her fear you also understand why she's like this, afraid that you'll be gone again.

You will have to go, but now is not the time to think about that.

She might have told Delilah that she was going to bed, but you know your mother better than that. Cleaning house was the way she dealt with stress, something that happened often while trying to raise you and Michele. Sure enough a light glows from downstairs, most likely setting her sights on the kitchen. She'll end up going at this for about an hour before retiring to bed again, just as she's done before.

>Go down and talk to Mom, confide that things have not been good
>Go check on Delilah
>Go to sleep, deal with everything in the morning
>Go check on Delilah
Just real quick, make sure she's not just lying awake. Then,
>Go down and talk to Mom, confide that things have not been good
It's like. 1-2am or something. Check on Delilah and then go to sleep
>Go check on Delilah
Rolled 1 (1d2)

1-Go see mom afterwards
2-Go to bed

Sorry about the wait, damn landlord/apartment emergency
Ignoring your body's plead to stay in bed you somehow manage to rise up, stumbling through on the carpet and readjusting your blurry sight. From downstairs you can hear sounds from the kitchen, your mother already busy at work. The sewing room's door is open a crack, a soft glow from a nightlight coming from inside. You give a soft knock and nudge the door open, taking a look inside. Delilah has already settled down on the bed, the bag set aside looking so much more ratty and out of place compared to everything else. Curled up and facing away, she turns around upon hearing you, the new rabbit held against her chest.

"Hi," she says, voice soft and tired. "Are you going to bed too?"

"Soon." You come and kneel down next to her, noticing the oversize pajamas she has on. If it wasn't for the lines under her eyes it would have been easy to think that she was just another teenager, exhausted from anything else but running for her life. Running the back of your hand against her forehead you can feel a heat, a slight fever bringing a deeper red to her face.

"I'm fine," Delilah says, not pushing you away, "I'm just.... I'm just really tired right now."

"Yeah." You feel the same way, longing to return to bed soon. "Good here?" Delilah nods, eyes already trying to stay closed. You stay with, not waiting much longer till she falls asleep. You didn't doubt that your parents would let her stay, but it's an unsettling and surreal feeling to actually see her in the house. She's safe for the night though, and that's the best you can ask for.

Even though you'd planned on returning to bed, you can't help but follow the nagging feeling telling you to go to the kitchen. Heading down you can't help but notice that while everything mostly looks the same, little things here and there pop out. You were gone for years, of course things are going to change. That doesn't mean you're used to it, and it makes you wonder what other things may have changed.

Assuming your father went to bed, you head to the kitchen and find your mother standing at a sink of dirty dishes.

"Hi sweetie," she greets and turns to you, "Need something?" You tell her no and take a seat, letting her return to washing.

"You end up finding everything okay? The sheets should all be fresh, if those clothes smell old you can go ahead and wash them too. You know where the washer is." There's not a lot for your mother to wash, now that there's only two people in the house to feed. Your mother has only ever made you feel welcomed, yet sitting here in her presence makes you feel guilty. You should feel guilty, you have yet to act like a good son.

"I talked to your little girlfriend earlier." Your heart skips a beat before you realize she's only teasing you with that, a grin on your mother's face as she continues talking. "Not that she said much, poor girl could barely keep her eyes open. She's about what, fourteen? It looks like the two of you had a rough day."

"Yeah." You look towards the table, running a finger along one of the many scratches.

"If you don't feel like talking right now that's fine, okay?"


"Still, I'm just glad you're home." This time you can hear the tiniest crack in your mother's voice, hearing how she's trying to not get too emotional right now. Opening your mouth you can't find the words to speak, instead remaining silent as your mother composes herself again. "So uh, you just come down here to hang with your mom? Not that I mind, but if there's something you want to tell me than just go ahead." You know better than to try and hide things from your mother, one way or another she's going to find out.

"Been...been rough." You admit the obvious, but finding no other easy way to begin this.

"Has it?" She knows it, but plays along anyways. You're not sure if you appreciate that or not. "What's been going on? You can tell me."

>Talk about what happened to Delilah
>Talk about the bad things you've done since you left
>Too complicated
>Too complicated
We can mention someone's after Delilah and it's not because they're concerned about her well-being, but anything else should come from her.
Being on page ten and with the holidays coming around I will have a new thread up on December 29th, see you then

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