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File 134584122087.png - (181.61KB , 700x600 , 1.png )
447054 No. 447054 ID: 8dbc01
He won't be coming home again. He didn't like my pimento-cheese sandwiches, I don't think.
Expand all images
>>
No. 447055 ID: 8dbc01
Credit where credit is due - this quest, art style and all, is inspired by a series of three drawings by Katherine Poe. They can be found here: http://katherinepoe.tumblr.com/image/29392962462 , http://katherinepoe.tumblr.com/image/29599729557 , http://katherinepoe.tumblr.com/image/29600838081 .
>>
No. 447059 ID: 7a47d4
>>447054
Ask him if he's lactose intolerant.
>>
No. 447064 ID: 99090a
That can't be why.

Follow him, and find out.
>>
No. 447081 ID: bbee3d
Maybe you should bake him... something else? Where did he go?
>>
No. 447086 ID: d6c330
Well, how do you feel about that? Would you want him back, or are you glad to see some jerk who didn't appreciate your tastes go?
>>
No. 447095 ID: dc4a44
Never leave
>>
No. 447149 ID: 54c7e5
OH WELL he's gone forever. Might as well go back inside and try your hand at cooking something that doesn't make people run away.
>>
No. 447156 ID: fd1cb1
Who is he and when did he leave?
Are you sure he didn't like your sandwiches?
>>
No. 447212 ID: 8dbc01
File 134586509845.png - (118.75KB , 700x600 , 2.png )
447212
I woke up this morning to find him gone. I thought it was okay. Last night was tense. I thought he was out on the swamp, just walking, the way he does sometimes. Especially after I upset him.
>>
No. 447214 ID: 8dbc01
File 134586513015.png - (312.42KB , 700x600 , 3.png )
447214
I shouldn't have said anything last night. He was only joking. I should have just made him a new meal, if he really didn't like that one. But his words hurt, and I just wanted a quiet dinner.

It's always my fault.
>>
No. 447215 ID: 8dbc01
File 134586514340.png - (127.43KB , 700x600 , 4.png )
447215
One of the boats is gone. The swamp leads out to a river and the river leads anywhere and everywhere.

Maybe I don't want him back. Maybe I'm tired of being tired, of being afraid I'll upset him with the slightest protest. But he took my heart with me. I can't cook without a heart. I'll starve in this swamp if I don't get it back.
>>
No. 447217 ID: 54c7e5
Only logical solution is to take that boat, go after him, and tear that heart right back out of his chest.
Because it's not your fault.
well, ok, the pimentos were a terrible idea, but the escalation was all him
>>
No. 447218 ID: 54fb5c
You better go out there and find him. Stop being selfish and only thinking about yourself. What if he's in a trouble or drowned in a boating accident?

Leave a written note saying where you've gone, bring some cheese and biscuits and stuff as a snack and go searching.
>>
No. 447219 ID: bbee3d
No, I don't think you need him. But you do need your heart.

Where might he have taken it? Has he left like this before?
>>
No. 447236 ID: 4a328b
What if you found someone else to cook for you?
>>
No. 447244 ID: 6a1ec2
One of the boats? So there is more than one boat? Get in the boat, see where it takes you!
>>
No. 447247 ID: 8dbc01
File 134586923836.png - (155.08KB , 700x600 , 5.png )
447247
I was always afraid this would happen. He threatened it often. The fear of his abandonment has been my muzzle, even long before we were married.

I need to find him, or at least I need to find my heart. I'll decide whether I want him or not when I find them both.
>>
No. 447248 ID: 8dbc01
File 134586925501.png - (209.83KB , 700x600 , 6.png )
447248
But which way can I go? I've lived and cooked and loved in this swamp my entire life. Where in the wild cold world is my husband?
>>
No. 447254 ID: 6a1ec2
Oh there he is, to the left! Just went fishing to clear his head. Well that was easy.
>>
No. 447257 ID: 54c7e5
Naw, that dude isn't red. Some random person. Might as well ask if he's seen him, but my guess is he went into the forest. The rocks to the right would keep out a boat, and the reeds to the lefts, plus the bends, would slow a boat down. I don't think this guy is exactly the patient type.
>>
No. 447259 ID: fd1cb1
No, that guy have big ears and her husband doesn't.
I'd ask the fisherman if he's seen your husband, then choose a path.
>>
No. 447264 ID: 8dbc01
File 134587035038.png - (206.38KB , 700x600 , 7.png )
447264
That is not my husband. That is Horace. I steer my boat up next to him.

Horace does not like me very much, because a few years ago I ate his sister. He did not like his sister very much either, and it was an honest mistake on my part, but it is still a terrible sort of thing to do to a neighbor.

"Hello, Horace."

"HULLO KATHERINE"

"Have you seen my husband?"

"FRAID NOT BUT I ONLY JUST GOT OUT HERE A MOMENT AGO"
>>
No. 447272 ID: 54c7e5
rolled 1 = 1

"Alright then. See you later."

Down a path we go!
1-3, left to right
>>
No. 447273 ID: 4a328b
He's lying. Look at all the fish in that basket--he's been here a while.
>>
No. 447275 ID: 3c0cf8
His basket is already full of fish. He's been here for quite a while. Horace is lying.
Threaten to eat him if he doesn't tell the truth.
>>
No. 447283 ID: 8dbc01
File 134587164615.png - (239.97KB , 700x600 , 8.png )
447283
"I don't think you're telling me the truth, Horace."

"I AINT LYIN TO YOU"

I watch as he pulls a writhing red fish out of the murky waters. It struggles in his paws as he digs his short, blunt claws into the fish's scaled sides.

"Horace, I will devour you if you don't tell me the truth. I don't want to be rude, but I'm afraid this is quite important."

"YER A CUNT AND A WHORE KATHERINE" He tosses the fish into the basket on top of the others, sneering at me. "YEW CAN EAT ME IF YEW WISH I KNOW YOU WOULDA DONE IT ANYHOW AND IF YEW DIDNT DO IT YER GOOD FER NOTHIN HUSBAND WOULDA"

"Horace." I pull my lips back. Just a touch. Just enough to look like a predator.

He narrows his eyes at me for a few long moments. "YEH I SAW YER HUSBAND"

"Where did he go, Horace?"

"HE WENT IN THE FOREST" He leans back and smirks at me, his whiskers twitching. "AN THERE WAS A WHORE JUS LIKE YEW IN THE BOAT WITH HIM"
>>
No. 447290 ID: d6c330
...eat him?

Thank you, Horace. Then leave, follow husband and tramp.
>>
No. 447291 ID: fa9f7e
>>447290
Yep, this.
>>
No. 447292 ID: 4a328b
Do you mean another fox, or are you suggesting that he plays with his food now? I do hope it's not one of your sisters--think of how embarrassing it would be if he made one either his dinner or his mistress!
>>
No. 447294 ID: 54c7e5
Yep, time to go get that heart.
"Sorry again about your sister."
>>
No. 447297 ID: 8dbc01
File 134587296086.png - (236.36KB , 700x600 , 9.png )
447297
I am not hungry or angry, so I leave Horace be. "Thank you, Horace. I'm sorry that I ate your sister."

Maybe he is still lying. Maybe it is not like the other times. I do not want to find him with another woman again. Every time hurts my heart more. Letting him back in hurts even more than that.

But it is not good to be alone.

I steer the boat into the forest river. It is cool and still here, and the leaves whisper secrets to me in their vague little language. I ask them if they have seen my husband, but I can't tell if they are nodding or shaking their heads.

The space where my heart should be feels strange. It aches and I feel that the breeze of the wood blows right through the hole. I am cold but I do not shiver.

There is something in one of the trees. I cannot reach it.
>>
No. 447299 ID: 54c7e5
Use the oar. Smack that crow! It will be a delicious snack.

... wait, were you talking about that gold thing? Probably not important.
>>
No. 447300 ID: 4a328b
WHY is it not good to be alone.

Ask the bird if it has seen your husband.
>>
No. 447301 ID: 9a34be
>>447297
Position boat under shiny thing, knock loose with oar, examine.

If the opportunity presents itself, hug the crow.
>>
No. 447303 ID: 8dbc01
File 134587391053.png - (249.76KB , 700x600 , 10.png )
447303
It is not good to be alone because being alone is a sad thing. You have no one to share meals with or row boats with. The swamp is lonely and cold at night and it is pleasant to have another body in the bed with you. It is pleasant to touch paws and noses and to know each other's smallest parts.

I do not want to smack the crow. The crow hasn't done anything wrong. I also do not want to hug the crow. The crow's beak and talons look very sharp and unfriendly.

"Have you seen my husband, crow?"

"Yeees!"

"Thank you. Did he keep going this way? Was there anyone with him?"

"Iii wiiill ooonly teeell yooouuu thaaat III saaaw hiiim."

"Okay."

When I try to knock the ring loose with the oar, however, the crow screams loudly at me and swoops at my head. I stop trying, and he flies back to his perch.

"Dooo yooouuu waaant thaaat riiing?"

"Yes, please."

"Theeen yooouuu muuust aaansweeer aaa quuueeestiiiooon."

"Okay."

"Why diiid yooouuu maaarry yooouuur huuusbaaand?"
>>
No. 447304 ID: fa9f7e
>>447303
"I was afraid of being alone."
>>
No. 447306 ID: 9a34be
>>447303
"I was alone, and he was there. I married him because I was hopeful that love would grow. I'm afraid it did."
>>
No. 447307 ID: 4a328b
"I thought I could trust him with my heart."
>>
No. 447311 ID: 54c7e5
"I gave him my heart, and marrying him was the only way I could be sure he'd stay."
>>
No. 447313 ID: 8dbc01
File 134587608763.png - (259.77KB , 700x600 , 11.png )
447313
"I married him because I'd already given him my heart, and I didn't want to be alone."
>>
No. 447314 ID: 8dbc01
File 134587611168.png - (234.95KB , 700x600 , 12.png )
447314
The crow cocks his head at me, his tiny eyes glinting. "Yooouuu tooold theee truuuth." He kicks the ring down to me, and I catch it. "Yooouuu caaan haaaave thaaat."

"Thank you."
>>
No. 447315 ID: 8dbc01
File 134587612638.png - (146.92KB , 700x600 , 13.png )
447315
This is my husband's wedding ring. There is a little fragment of my heart wedged inside - it looks like he has broken it up into little pieces.
>>
No. 447316 ID: fa9f7e
>>447315
I was wondering how literally you had meant that.

By "heart", I suppose you mean "mass of muscle and grisly valves that pumps blood around my body"?
>>
No. 447321 ID: b33427
Why would he leave your wedding ring behind? Because he's leaving, and does not want any part of your heart anymore. Follow his trail, and collect the pieces of your heart, but do not catch him. There will be loneliness, but you'll find another to give your heart to. One who would not break it.

Pull the fragment of your heart from the ring, and place it back in yourself. Keep the ring for the next one you give your heart to.
>>
No. 447338 ID: 4a328b
Can you put that bit of heart back in? Keep the ring, but with no plans for it, at the moment. It may be useful, or you may want to throw it away once this is resolved. You just don't know, yet.
>>
No. 447349 ID: 8042f4
(Nothing to contribute for now, but just had to say I love foxes; thanks for making this quest)
>>
No. 447358 ID: 6a1ec2
Open your chest cavity and devour the heart fragment in its hungry maw.
>>
No. 447361 ID: fa9f7e
>>447358
Nonononono, crotch mandiblessssssss
>>
No. 447392 ID: 8dbc01
File 134589983952.png - (253.75KB , 700x600 , 14.png )
447392
What we call the 'heart' is not really the heart. There is no heart in a mass of muscle.

This fragment looks like glass lit from within. I pull my shirt aside and push the fragment back into my chest. It hurts, and I bleed a little. That's okay.

I feel a tiny bit more like myself. A little warmth returns to my core. I am not so tired. But it hurts much more than it did this morning, now. I feel my loneliness far more sharply.

I put the ring in my dress pocket. I am still not sure what I am going to do with it.
>>
No. 447393 ID: 8dbc01
File 134589985396.png - (205.90KB , 700x600 , 15.png )
447393
The river bends and sways. My boat goes slowly. The wood smells of elderflower and musky mating scents.

I am hungry so I eat some bread and cheese. It is not like a real meal, but I have nothing else. Perhaps I should have eaten Horace.

I would like a cigarette.
>>
No. 447395 ID: bf54a8
you wish for one because you can smell it, there in the tress.
>>
No. 447399 ID: 54fb5c
Oh snap. You didn't leave your pack at home did you? If you did maybe you need to stop by the shop. Either way you must have smelled the tobacco fumes coming from that guy smoking behind the tree on the side of the river. Maybe you can get a cigarette off him or her? Make sure your boat doesn't float away while you check it out.
>>
No. 447432 ID: 4a328b
Cigarettes are bad for you. You should find something that is comforting without being bad for you. Also, I believe I see something in the distance. Near the black trees. A fire?
>>
No. 447450 ID: bdb3f8
well I suppose you could go eat THAT guy and take HIS cigarette.
>>
No. 447464 ID: b6edd6
By the way, what are your thoughts on cannibalism?
>>
No. 447470 ID: 8dbc01
File 134591852922.png - (230.13KB , 700x600 , 16.png )
447470
There is a rabbit watching me from behind a tree, smoking a cigarette. I do not recognize her.

"Hello, miss."

"hey"

"May I please have a cigarette?"

"no"

"Okay. Have you seen my husband?"

"whats he look like then"

"He is tall and red with a fine big tail."

"yeah i sawed him pass by here with some broad she was red like you"

My heart sinks. I then notice her necklace ... or rather, my necklace. The one my husband gave me on our first anniversary. "Excuse me, that is mine."

"nah i found it washed up on the bank and i like it" She takes a long, languid drag on the cigarette and lets the smoke bleed from her lips. "think im gonna keep i think it suits me real nice"
>>
No. 447472 ID: bf54a8
growl. and say that it IS yours.
>>
No. 447473 ID: d6c330
Obviously, the necklace has a piece of your hear in it you need to recover. Even if you let the rabbit keep the necklace, you need the heart fragment.

You're going to have to kill her, make some kind of trade for the necklace, or just ask if she would return the heart fragment inside, and then leave her with the necklace.
>>
No. 447474 ID: b6edd6
I think we should just ask for the heart piece and let her keep the necklace.
>>
No. 447476 ID: bdb3f8
Oh man, bitch broke the smokers' rule. You HAVE to let somebody bum a cigarette if you got one.
>>
No. 447485 ID: a25043
First, ask if she's related to any rabbits you know personally (like Horace)

If so, offer a trade or gamble for the necklace

If she's not related to anyone you know....
.... well, you ARE hungry.
>>
No. 447487 ID: 54c7e5
Just eat the rabbit. No regrets here, you're a predator, he's prey, and he has something of yours and refuses to return it.
Most justifiable snacking I've seen in a quite a while.
>>
No. 447489 ID: 6a1ec2
Don't eat the rabbit. Her pimp will totally kick your ass.
>>
No. 447491 ID: 4a328b
Ask if you may have the piece of heart that is inside it. Even if she keeps the necklace, that really /is/ yours.
>>
No. 447544 ID: 8dbc01
File 134593230556.png - (255.96KB , 700x600 , 17.png )
447544
"I suppose it's alright if you keep it, but could you please open it and see if something is inside? I think there is a piece of my heart inside and I need it back."

She clicks the locket open. "what you mean this pretty lil piece of colored glass"

"Yes, please. That's mine. You may have the locket if you like, but I need that."

She regards me thoughtfully. Her eyes are rimmed in smeared makeup and the shine of her irises nearly disappears when she squints at me. "why you need it so bad then doll"

"Everyone needs a heart."

"not me hon i got rid of mine a long time ago and let me tell you i have a better time of it" She gives a bitter, hollow laugh. Her cigarette is finished and she crushes it beneath her high-heeled shoe. "a heart is a hell of a thing to look after and im pretty well happy that i aint gotta worry bout one anymore"

"I'd still like to have it back, please."

"whats in it for me then"
>>
No. 447550 ID: 9a34be
>>447544
Give her the ring, if you've got your pieces of heart out of it. You won't be needing it any more.
>>
No. 447554 ID: b85f8c
>>447544
Why don't we just eat this heartless fool.
>>
No. 447555 ID: 886a4d
You get to keep your life. And I go hungry for a little while.
>>
No. 447564 ID: 54c7e5
"I don't eat you. All I've had for lunch so far is bread and cheese, no sandwich is complete without meat."
>>
No. 447672 ID: 6e44d2
>>447554
>>447555
>>447564
This.
>>
No. 447700 ID: 8dbc01
File 134595394055.png - (182.95KB , 700x600 , 18.png )
447700
Her rudeness has finally pushed me to my limit. I bare my teeth at her in a way that is most un-Katherine-like. "All that is in it for you is that you walk away. I'm hungry and you are upsetting me."

She plays a brave face, but he leans back against the tree trunk. "you aint got the guts lady"

"Please don't make me do this."

"i aint afraid of you"

I devour her. Her flesh is tough and sour but I don't need to worry about cutting my mouth on the shards of her heart - there isn't one there.
>>
No. 447701 ID: 8dbc01
File 134595396337.png - (225.25KB , 700x600 , 19.png )
447701
After I have blotted her blood off of my skirt and get all the clumps of fur out of my teeth, I pick the locket and the heart fragment out of the remains of her carcass. This one is sharper than the last and it cuts me when I slip while climbing back into the boat.

I push it into my chest. It widens the injury that is already there from returning the first shard, and I am glad my shirt is red. It hides the stains.
>>
No. 447713 ID: fa9f7e
Excellent. Nothing in the background, time to row, row, row our boat and go merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily on our way.
>>
No. 447741 ID: 54c7e5
Nothing to do now but keep a lookout for shiny things. Do you feel any better now?
>>
No. 447757 ID: d6c330
...it occurs to me you could have easily overpowered her and reclaimed your heart without killing her. Oops.
>>
No. 447759 ID: fa9f7e
>>447757
Yeah but then she would have been hungry and had to deal with some whiny food

And that's terrible.
>>
No. 447814 ID: a25043
I certainly hope she wasn't related to Horace.
>>
No. 447815 ID: a25043
Oh, and take her cigarettes before you go. You did say you wanted a smoke.
>>
No. 447866 ID: 6a1ec2
If you know anything about rabbits, every one of them is probably going to be related to Horace, somehow.
>>
No. 447871 ID: b85f8c
>>447701
She got any cigs?
>>
No. 447907 ID: 54fb5c
Continue down the river. What's the weather like?
>>
No. 447916 ID: 32e092
Might as well take the neclace back too at this point, since it seems to have significance.
>>
No. 448384 ID: 8dbc01
File 134609172733.png - (306.42KB , 700x600 , 20.png )
448384
Putting my heart back together hurts. I don't like it. It was easier when it was completely absent.

I light a cigarette and put on my necklace. It's getting dark, and the cherry is like an eye in the thickening air. I'm cold.
>>
No. 448386 ID: 8dbc01
File 134609174891.png - (222.32KB , 700x600 , 21.png )
448386
The river bends and whips me around a corner. The boat shudders. For a moment, the briefest of moments, I wish it would tip over.

When I find him, things will be better.
>>
No. 448387 ID: 8dbc01
File 134609176704.png - (171.23KB , 700x600 , 22.png )
448387
I see someone I recognize.
>>
No. 448389 ID: 54fb5c
"On a gloomy evening in this stagnant swamp, who would imagine running into you? Not I, for one."
>>
No. 448390 ID: d6c330
>Putting my heart back together hurts. I don't like it. It was easier when it was completely absent.
It hurts, but you're better off for it. Better it hurt than you become like the girl you just had to eat.

>I see someone I recognize.
Who's this?
>>
No. 448392 ID: 4a328b
I see a golden object. Does it have another piece of your heart inside? Ask if you may see that, for a moment.
>>
No. 448397 ID: 54c7e5
"Nice suit."
>>
No. 448409 ID: b85f8c
>>448387
Say hello.
>>
No. 448588 ID: 37aa84
Is that a picture frame he is holding why would someone be out in the middle of the forest looking at a picture frame? I believe inquiries are called for.
>>
No. 448591 ID: 6a1ec2
Putting your heart back together one fragment at a time will hurt less than collecting all the fragments and just jamming them in there at once. The heartless lady did not fight for her life; she died. So either collect your heart back or die, and if you do collect it insert it slowly that you may ease into the feeling of having one again. What's wrong with a little pain?
>>
No. 448790 ID: 8dbc01
File 134617840507.png - (182.46KB , 700x600 , 23.png )
448790
It's Ulric. I know him well. When we were cubs we would play together, he at the edge of the wood, I at the edge of the swamp. And when we were older and knowledge of love and bodies had blossomed in our minds, we kept each other's bodies warm at night.

But life, like the river, is full of twists and turns. I ended up with my husband, and Ulric ... I was never quite sure who he ended up with. Or what.

I clear my throat softly to catch his attention. "On a gloomy evening in this stagnant swamp, who would imagine running into you? Not I, for one."

"I wouldn't imagine running into you under any circumstances, Katherine," he replies. Despite his words, he doesn't seem surprised to see me. "We haven't spoken since your wedding."

"Ah ... well. Married life. Always hectic." I try to laugh, but the sound gets stuck in some hidden pocket in the back of my throat. "Pardon me, Ulric, but is that a picture frame you're holding? I think it may be mine."

"I think so, too. Especially considering that it holds a photograph of you." He turns it around in his paws, and I can see a portrait of myself and my husband on our wedding day. "I found it on the bank here."

"May I please have it? I think it has something important to me inside."

He considers me quietly for a moment. "On one condition, Katherine. I want you to answer a question - one I've been meaning to ask you for years, but have always been prevented from asking thanks to your persistent avoidance of me."

I haven't been avoiding him. I really haven't. It's just ... difficult, with a husband, to justify running off to the woods to talk to a former lover. It's difficult when I have to cook and clean and keep my husband happy. It's difficult when seeing him makes the flickering fragments of my heart twitch and sear in my chest. "And what question is that?"

"Why didn't you marry me?"
>>
No. 448793 ID: 533c7a
"i don't know, perhaps... i felt that we were too wild together, that we could not have a stable home life. perhaps, i felt that despite being the first, you were ill suited to being the last"
>>
No. 448794 ID: 54c7e5
"Because together we burn to brightly. I was afraid we would burn away to nothing, and that I could never bear."
>>
No. 448798 ID: 4a328b
Because I was a stupidface who makes bad decisions. Now I've got to get the rest of my heart back before I even /know/ how I feel about you.
>>
No. 448802 ID: fa9f7e
>>448798
>>
No. 448814 ID: f1b3ee
"I don't know, not anymore. I will not make that mistake again."

Ask if he would like to help you put your heart back together.
>>
No. 448824 ID: d7d548
"I would have married you. But my heart was no longer mine to give."
>>
No. 448828 ID: b85f8c
>>448790
You were afraid it wouldn't work out, as you came from two different worlds.
>>
No. 448839 ID: 0f448b
Because I was young and my husband was charming and brought so much hope for my future. I know now that I was wrong.

He is out with another vixen again.
>>
No. 448845 ID: 0c2247
>>448790
"Because I was a fool. I knew you were destined for more than the swamp but doubted the same of myself; I thought to cut the tie so you could soar without my burden."
>>
No. 448864 ID: 54fb5c
Ask if he still likes pimento-cheese sandwiches.
>>
No. 448896 ID: 61e7f9
>>448798
yes
>>
No. 449025 ID: 927258
>>448824
This.
>>
No. 449027 ID: d6c330
>>448824
I'd tweak this to

"Perhaps I would have married you, if my heart was still mine to give."
>>
No. 449061 ID: 6a1ec2
It's because I'm racist.
>>
No. 449065 ID: 32e092
>>448790
>"Why didn't you marry me?"
"I no longer know."
>>
No. 452123 ID: 8dbc01
File 134690828475.png - (191.36KB , 700x600 , 24.png )
452123
It takes me a while to think of a response. There are so many thoughts running through my head - so many reasons that I left, and so many reasons that I shouldn't have.

"I'm not sure anymore, Ulric. There were ... a lot of things happening. All I know now is that it was a mistake."

He stares at me for a moment. I can't tell what he's thinking and for a moment it dawns on me that I am a fox, a small fox in a small boat, and he is a large wolf with whom I parted on poor terms. For a moment I am chilled.

"Ulric ..." My voice seems dry and brittle as it flakes from my lips. His ear twitches.

"Ulric, do you still like pimento cheese sandwiches?"

He seems taken aback. I wait.

"I miss them, Katherine."
>>
No. 452136 ID: 6cc859
>>452123
"Come with me."
>>
No. 452137 ID: bf54a8
>>452136
we can't ask him that, not yet. we need our heart first.
>>
No. 452140 ID: f2c20c
Tell him that you just need to get your heart back. Then we can try again.
>>
No. 452143 ID: 6cc859
>>452137
He can help.
>>
No. 452156 ID: 0c2247
>>452123
Ask him to help you find the pieces of your broken heart.
If he agrees and it strikes your fancy, offer him what you have so far.
>>
No. 452157 ID: d6c330
HUGS.

Hugs, now!
>>
No. 452167 ID: 4a328b
Combine GOOD CHEESE and FRESH BREAD to make PIMENTO CHEESE SAMMICHES
>>
No. 452235 ID: 54fb5c
Say you've missed him too.

If there's a piece of your heart in that picture frame then take it out, but give the heart piece to Ulric, because part of your heart will always belong to him... Your first love.

Have you made any new friends since getting married?
>>
No. 452238 ID: ceeb63
>>452167
But she has no pimentos or any way to melt the cheese.
>>
No. 452305 ID: 0c2247
>>452238
That's fine. It's PIMENTO CHEESE.
>>
No. 452329 ID: d6c330
>But she has no pimentos
No no, she always has pimentos on her person. It's not listed in inventory for the same reason her clothes aren't. Because it's unnecessary to do so.
>>
No. 453146 ID: 8dbc01
File 134724669393.png - (137.92KB , 700x600 , 25.png )
453146
He walks to the water's edge and hands me the photograph. I open the back, and tucked behind the picture is a thin sliver of my heart. I take it out and hold it tight.

I need to keep it. I'm not ready to give any of these away yet - not when I've just found them, and not when I don't even have all the parts yet.

"What is that?" he asks.

"It's a piece of my heart," I explain. "My husband broke it when he left, and I need to find all the pieces. I need to find them before I can know how I feel about anything. I need to find them before I can cook again. I really can't do much without it."

"I see."

He falls silent, and so do I. The wind is a little warmer now, I think.

"Ulric?"

"Yes, Katherine?"

"Will you help me?"

"Will your boat hold me?"

"I hope so."

He carefully gets into my boat. It sinks a bit lower in the water, but it holds us both. I didn't think there would be room. I always thought these boats only held one.
>>
No. 453149 ID: 8dbc01
File 134724671807.png - (127.47KB , 700x600 , 26.png )
453149
He helps me paddle, and we get a little farther. It is getting very dark now. After we've gone a little while, we see another rabbit on the bank.

"loretta loretta oh loretta"

Ulric looks at me, and I call out to him. "Hello, rabbit."

He stops and seems startled. "hullo fox"

"Have you seen another fox in a boat?"

"two foxes in a boat ma'am to be sure but may i ask have you seen a lovely white rabbit with black on her nose and paws and lovely black ears"
>>
No. 453151 ID: 4a328b
>>447700
oh noooo

this is the one

we eated her D:

we are a bad, bad fox.
>>
No. 453152 ID: 886a4d
What would anyone want from such a heartless and bitter rabbit?
>>
No. 453153 ID: e3f578
>>453149
You have. She was eaten in return from stealing from a predator and would not give the item back nor apologize.
>>
No. 453154 ID: 4a328b
wait confirm it really was her and not some other rabbit that looks similar to us.

"oh no...she didn't smoke, did she?"
>>
No. 453178 ID: 0af989
>>453149
Deliver the bad news and tell him the bunny with no heart met her end at the teeth of a shattered hearted fox.
>>
No. 453214 ID: 4affc7
Do not tell him anything.
We are looking to repair our broken heart, not break another. Let him find out on your own. Claim to have seen nothing.
>>
No. 453238 ID: 6a1ec2
While I saw a white rabbit with black on her nose, paws, and black ears, I'm afraid she couldn't have been the one you seek, as she was not lovely at all. Good day, sir.
>>
No. 453241 ID: 4a328b
>>453238
Oh, I like this.
>>
No. 453306 ID: 54fb5c
Is he Lorettas discarded lover? Father? Brother? Does Ulric look hungry? Hungry enough to eat a rabbit? He might be extra amicable if he had a meal. Maybe you can ask him on the sly by carefully referencing some event in the past, like a rabbit you once fed him...

If Ulric seems up for it then try to lure him into the boat with the cigarettes. "No lovely rabbits have crossed my path today, but i found this pack of cigarettes. Could they belong to you or her?"

Reason - Wouldn't you just sleep better at night knowing there is one less heartbroken being in this world?
>>
No. 453748 ID: 8dbc01
File 134741637360.png - (118.34KB , 700x600 , 27.png )
453748
I think back to the girl I ate earlier. Perhaps it wouldn’t be best to tell him. “I saw a white rabbit with black on her nose, paws, and black ears ... but I'm afraid she couldn't have been the one you seek, as she was not lovely at all.”
“oh” His ears sink. “well ma’am meaning no disrespect dont you think thats just a touch of a personal judgement i mean i know myself many dont see her lovely even though i do”
He laughs softly, though it’s not a happy sound. “i suppose a lot of people would say shes downright nasty but i like her alright ma’am i dont think shes all that bad at all”
“What would you want from such a rabbit?”
“well ma’am i dont think i rightly know i guess i just think she could use a little company now and then i reckon she gets a little lonely even if she dont admit it”
“Well … I’m afraid I can’t help you.” I nod to Ulric, and we prepare to keep moving, but the rabbit suddenly runs to the edge of the bank.
“wait please ma’am wait” He holds out his paw, and I recognize the object he’s holding. My husband’s pocketwatch. I gave it to him for his birthday. “i feel a little terrible for saying this because this isnt truly mine i just found it but im right desperate and if youd be so obliged as to help me find her id give you this for your trouble”
>>
No. 453752 ID: bf54a8
"i saw her over yonder" and point down the river "just follow along the river"
>>
No. 453756 ID: 9c8e90
Tell him it was yours, and as proof tell him there is a little piece of red glass inside. Ask for the glass and tell him he may keep the Trinket as consolation. Once heart piece is obtained, tell him you are very sorry to have to tell him, but you believe you ate Loretta.
>>
No. 453759 ID: 1987d1
Nothing quite like running into the naive and kindly friends and family of your victim to make you regret an impulse killing.

> i guess i just think she could use a little company now
...I'm afraid you can't provide her company now unless you care to join her in my stomach.
>>
No. 453760 ID: e3f578
>>453756
She had one of the heart shards
and would not give it back
and you can't cook without a heart
and the only thing you could offer in return for the heart was a threat
She took the offer, said she did not fear you and would not give what was yours back
You are sorry, but if you couldn't get the heart back you would starve or have to eat more living creatures... than usual.
>>
No. 453776 ID: f2c20c
>>453748
At least tell the guy that she had no heart. His hopes were ill founded.

Don't tell him you ate her at least until after you get your pocketwatch+heartpiece.
>>
No. 453858 ID: 6a1ec2
Take the watch, and wait until you are away before saying "She never told me her name."

Alternatively, take the watch then stick a finger down your throat. He should be careful what he wishes for!

Alternatively, is Ulric hungry? These rabbits don't seem very cautious at all.
>>
No. 454129 ID: 42c1c6
For shame! We did something wrong in the heat of the moment and now that we see consequences you all want to become a monster. Tell the truth. The whole truth.
>>
No. 454131 ID: 4a328b
>>454129
Might as well give him the necklace she was wearing, too

But make sure to get that heart piece. We really do need it.
>>
No. 454143 ID: bf4def
>>454131
No, that is our necklace he may not have it.
He is just a lovestruck hare, mention that you did see a rabbit like that earlier but you did not stop long enough for chitchat. Get the watch and do not break his heart yourself.

I hope you hid her remains, so he simply thinks she left.
>>
No. 454195 ID: c460ad
Tell. The. Truth.

Getting your heart back doesn't make a damn bit of difference if you've made yourself into something monstrous in the meantime.
>>
No. 454403 ID: b33427
Tell him the truth, but preface it by saying you're going to tell him the truth, but he's not going to like it one bit. He's probably going to hate you for this, but you'll say it anyway.

Say you know Loretta was heartless. You know because you ate her, and there was no heart to be found in her. Point back up the river and tell him what's left of her is that way.
>>
No. 457657 ID: 8dbc01
File 134853444052.png - (135.91KB , 700x600 , 28.png )
457657
The rabbit's eyes are full of hurt. I feel awful.

"I believe that watch is actually mine ... there should be a shard of red glass in it," I say softly.

He checks, and immediately gives it to me. "to be sure it is ma'am quite sorry to have taken it"

"It's alright. But ... I do think I know about your Loretta."

His ears perk up, and I feel the knife of self-loathing wedge itself deeper into my chest. "do you really ma'am i would be most grateful to you if you would be so kind as to tell me any little thing you might know right and true"

I sigh deeply. Ulric looks at me quizzically. "I'm afraid ... she took something from me, and she refused to give it back. I was angry and I ate her. Her bones are further up the river, deeper in the forest on the bank."

The rabbit is quiet for a very long time. I wait for him to say something, but he only sits down and stares at the water.

"We should go," Ulric whispers.

"Wait. Ah ..." I clear my throat softly. "Rabbit, I will tell you that ... she had no heart. I couldn't find one. Perhaps it would have been better f-"

His voice is so soft that I can barely hear it. "i didnt really need her to love me back ma'am not really it wasnt never about getting anything from her it was just that i wanted to maybe make her not hurt so much all the time"

Ulric touches my shoulder and again murmurs that we should leave. This time I listen.
>>
No. 457660 ID: 8dbc01
File 134853446774.png - (176.71KB , 700x600 , 29.png )
457660
We are both very quiet, even as I push the new heart shard back in and cry a little from the pain. The chest of my dress is crusty with blood. Ulric speaks when fireflies start to glimmer in the bushes around us.

"Katherine, sometimes I would talk to people from the swamp. And sometimes they'd talk to me about you."

I don't say anything. He sounds sad and it makes me feel strange and uneasy.

"Katherine, sometimes when they talked about you it sounded like ... like they thought your husband didn't treat you well."

My silence becomes stony. He knows nothing of my life. None of them do.

"Is that true, Katherine? Did he mistreat you?"
>>
No. 457670 ID: e3f578
>>457660
Tell Ulric that, if you said yes, it might not seem actually true to you. And if you said no, well, we might have same problem. That isn't a yes or no kind of question.
He's going to have to define mistreatment to specifics, we ARE looking for a heart right now if that in any form answers his curiosity. You can give binary yes and no's to the specifics, you suppose. Facts.
He throws a fit at you occasionally.
He's left you alone.
He has someone else now, apparently.
He's left with your heart, shattering it and leaving it's pieces everywhere.
Is that the mistreatment he means? Or is it ignorance? Is it neglect? What does Ulric want to know? It's yours to know the past, only yours. The heart's all that matters now and whatever's ahead. There's not going to be much else, and your husband probably isn't going be what's up ahead. Dwelling on his sins, or yours, is just more pain.
>>
No. 457684 ID: f2c20c
>>457660
I see a glimmer in the water as well. Is that something else of yours?

Tell him that he never hit you, but you argued sometimes, and he kept cheating on you. Now he's doing it again. And he broke your heart.
>>
No. 457690 ID: 63b607
he wasn't the best husband he could be. certainly not one worth wasting good bread and cheese on if you ask me.
>>
No. 457694 ID: 4a328b
You'd rather not talk about him while he's not here--you are going to go confront him, after all.
>>
No. 457744 ID: 6a1ec2
I didn't leave him. He was the one who left. How could I have been mistreated, if he was the one who left? They talk about what he has done to me, but what about what I have done to him? It's my fault.
>>
No. 457751 ID: f25542
Tell him the truth.
>>
No. 457762 ID: 8070aa
>>457751
This, and you know better then us what the truth is.
>>
No. 457819 ID: 6cc859
>>457690
Or perhaps he was the best he could be.

But tell the truth as you know it--better than we.
>>
No. 458189 ID: 8dbc01
File 134868651432.png - (188.10KB , 700x600 , 30.png )
458189
"He wasn't a bad husband, Ulric." It takes me a long time to say this, and an even longer time to say the next sentence. "He wasn't a very good husband, either."

He waits. I think he wants to let my thoughts be my own.

"Things were usually my fault, I think. But I wish he hadn't always been so eager to remind me of the blame. Sometimes I wondered if he didn't enjoy it when I was anxious."

I fidget with the crusted edges of the slit in my dress. "I wish he was a little kinder. I wish that sometimes it was about me instead of always about him."

The water seems thick. I laugh weakly. "That's selfish of me."

"I don't think so. I think that's fair."

"Thank you."

It grows colder and colder and colder. Ulric gives me his vest.

There is a deer with a lantern. He holds out a hoof and we stop the boat.

"Ho there. Lady and gentleman. Afraid I can't let you pass. Not here. Water level's gotten low. Rocks everywhere. Your boat will be destroyed."
>>
No. 458194 ID: 12b851
Ask the new fellow if he's seen your husband, we may have to continue tracking him by foot from here.
>>
No. 458196 ID: 62bab4
Did another boat pass you by, before the water fell so low?
>>
No. 458217 ID: 501c8d
>>458189
you should thank him for the warning
>>
No. 458221 ID: f2c20c
>>458189
Thank him for the warning. Ask him if he's seen a male fox pass this way, and if he happened to pick up those cufflinks recently? There should be a piece of your heart in them, if they were yours.
>>
No. 458252 ID: ee7d00
scan that fool for any jewellery.
>>
No. 459777 ID: 2e3746
Might have to walk from here on out. Be careful, the deer thing may simply be trying to scam you. Though he might be alright too.
>>
No. 460295 ID: 8dbc01
File 134938169453.png - (197.97KB , 700x600 , 31.png )
460295
Ulric and I moor the boat and step out onto the bank.

"Thank you for the warning," I tell the deer. "Have you seen a gentleman fox who is tall and red with a big fine tail?"

"Sure I did. Just a moment ago. Told him same as I told you. But he didn't want to walk. Gave me these cufflinks. Sort of a bribe. I let him pass. His own funeral I guess."
>>
No. 460296 ID: 4a328b
ask if he would mind very much checking to see if there is anything inside those cufflinks, please.
>>
No. 460299 ID: e3f578
Are the river rapids that bad that rocks can destroy the boat?
Well we better go save his sorry ass and whatever poor damsel he tricked into getting into the boat with him... but he didn't mention the other fox? He was alone? What happened to the other one?
Yeah and get the fragment from the cufflinks if any.
>>
No. 460328 ID: f2c20c
Ask him if he would check inside the cufflinks. You have reason to believe that a piece of your heart is in them. Maybe two pieces.
>>
No. 460349 ID: 58e163
Was he alone?

Also, check those cufflinks, plz.
>>
No. 460501 ID: 8dbc01
File 134945385408.png - (212.39KB , 700x600 , 32.png )
460501
"Did you see another fox in the boat with him, sir?"

"Sure did. Pretty thing. But. Too young for him. At least in my opinion. No offense intended."

I sigh. It hurts but it isn't surprising. He was rather older than I was when we met, too. I suppose that's just what he does. "And those cufflinks ... I'm sorry, he's my husband so I'm familiar with them. Did they have anything else with them?"

"Oh sure. Just here. Little bits of colored glass." He takes the cufflinks off and shows the glass to me. "Why do you ask. Do you need them."

"Yes, please."

"Here. You can take them. No way I'd need them. Nohow."

"Thank you."

I push the two fragments back in. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts.
>>
No. 460502 ID: 8dbc01
File 134945386960.png - (200.87KB , 700x600 , 33.png )
460502
Ulric and I continue on foot. The deer was right - the rapids are fierce and angry. I look for wood fragments, blood on the rocks, any indication that something terrible has happened. There's nothing.
>>
No. 460503 ID: 8dbc01
File 134945388222.png - (146.61KB , 700x600 , 34.png )
460503
When the river finally calms, we are at a lake. I have never been to this part of the forest before. It's restful.
>>
No. 460504 ID: 86c3a7
How complete is your heart now?

There's something red in the water there.
>>
No. 460505 ID: d5c260
make your man-slave get that red herring out of the water for you.
>>
No. 460511 ID: 4a328b
How deep is the lake? Maybe you can fish it out with a branch
>>
No. 460519 ID: c8be92
Gain Heart Piece from Cufflinks.

Place Heart Piece in Incomplete Heart.

Gain DEAD BODY from Pond.
>>
No. 460528 ID: 6a1ec2
Why does your heart hurt? Is it because he left you? Or is it because you know what happened to him?
>>
No. 460569 ID: dd0b5f
Go get that red thing from the pond, or use a stick to poke at it.
Ask Ulric if he can better tell what it is.
>>
No. 460632 ID: eb6589
Examine heart status. Examine pond.
>>
No. 461858 ID: 3bad4c
Oh, awesome. You have multiple personalities, and one of them murdered him? haha.
>>
No. 461880 ID: a5d914
Or you could you know, take your clothes off and swim out. Ain't nothing Ulric hasn't seen before.
>>
No. 469888 ID: 2c322d
File 135243922403.png - (165.03KB , 700x600 , salt35.png )
469888
I have five of my heart fragments. My heart is very heavy now, and the edges are sharp and rough and unfinished.

I try to fish out the red object, and so does Ulric. Neither of us can reach it, no matter what we do. It glitters tauntingly.
>>
No. 469890 ID: 2c322d
File 135243941066.png - (70.60KB , 700x600 , salt36.png )
469890
Ulric protests, but I know what I have to do.

I leap.
>>
No. 469905 ID: f2c20c
>>469890
Search the bottom. You could easily see it from the surface so it must be easy to find, right?
>>
No. 469922 ID: fe45b9
swim further down. fondle the lakebed.
>>
No. 470001 ID: 42c1c6
Your heavy heart should drag you down to the bottom.
>>
No. 470055 ID: a5d914
Keep going. You've got this.
Did you ever go diving for objects underwater with Ulric when you were younger?
>>
No. 470127 ID: 8dbc01
File 135249693739.png - (61.30KB , 700x600 , 37.png )
470127
I find it almost immediately. It is a bare shard of my heart, not hidden away in any trappings or ornamentation.
>>
No. 470128 ID: 8dbc01
File 135249696117.png - (47.82KB , 700x600 , 38.png )
470128
I pick it up and push it into my chest. My blood blossoms like cigarette smoke in the cold water and I begin to kick towards the surface, holding tightly to my beating wound.
>>
No. 470129 ID: 8dbc01
File 135249698643.png - (49.10KB , 700x600 , 39.png )
470129
It is so cold. So cold and the water is heavy and the surface seems far and intangible. I think it would be easier to sink.
>>
No. 470130 ID: 8dbc01
File 135249700883.png - (48.58KB , 700x600 , 40.png )
470130
Much easier. The water is like an embrace and my blood is warm and comforting.
>>
No. 470132 ID: 8dbc01
File 135249702370.png - (42.97KB , 700x600 , 41.png )
470132
Easier to sink.
>>
No. 470133 ID: 9fa258
I wanna talk you out of it, but shit, that's pretty much all I've done all month. I guess, uh, don't sink because that's... bad for you?
>>
No. 470135 ID: e3f578
>>470132
You know what's even easier though? Floating so you don't have to deal with the guilt of you dying and making Ulric a miserable wreck for thinking he let you die.
>>
No. 470136 ID: f1b3ee
Ulric: Jump in after her and take care of business.
>>
No. 470138 ID: 70c0f2
Come on girl! If you wanted to take the easy route out, you should have stayed home, and starved without your heart. But you chose to try and regain yourself. Don't give that up now. Don't make everything you've said and done today meaningless- don't make the people you hurt have suffered for nothing.
>>
No. 470139 ID: 6cc859
>>470132
There are still fragments left.
>>
No. 470144 ID: f2c20c
>>470132
If you wanted to take the easy way out you wouldn't have put that shard in your chest at all. SWIM.
>>
No. 471606 ID: 8dbc01
File 135287639441.png - (56.39KB , 700x600 , 42.png )
471606
Second thoughts touch my mind like insistent fingers. I've come too far for this. I've brought Ulric into it. I've killed a girl. To give up now would be pointless. Selfish.

I swim. It hurts and I feel like my fur is freezing over, but I swim.
>>
No. 471607 ID: 8dbc01
File 135287659059.png - (151.69KB , 700x600 , 43.png )
471607
When I collapse onto the bank, gasping and coughing, I find that Ulric had been preparing to dive in after me. I look up at him, wet and bloody and confused.

"Ulric, you can't swim."

"It seemed like you couldn't, either." He removes his vest and hands it to me so I can dry myself. The gesture provides more comfort than the fabric itself does. "Did you find a piece?"

I touch my bleeding chest. "Yes. One more, I think."
>>
No. 471616 ID: 14bafe
And unless I miss my guess, that would be the one your husband is holding.

Get ready for a sudden genre switch and a 600 image boss fight.
>>
No. 471639 ID: f2c20c
>>471607
Take some time to rest and wait for the bleeding to stop before we follow the river a bit further to see where your husband's boat went.
>>
No. 471641 ID: b2cbd6
keep following the trail.
>>
No. 471678 ID: 58e163
Gather your strength for the next part.

When you're ready, press ahead.
>>
No. 471729 ID: a5d914
Perhaps you can find a warm place to dry a little bit?
>>
No. 471755 ID: 68bbc5
Wait. Rest and dry off before you press on. You'll catch up with your husband eventually.
It's more important that you be in good condition before you face him.
>>
No. 479429 ID: 6808dd
File 135576590356.png - (161.48KB , 700x600 , 44.png )
479429
I wait, and I rest. Eventually my clothes dry and my blood dries and my tears dry. Ulric helps me up and we press on.
>>
No. 479431 ID: 6808dd
File 135576591841.png - (181.52KB , 700x600 , 45.png )
479431
The path is rocky and dark and uncertain. I feel lost, and I tell Ulric so.

"There's only one path," he says. "We can't be lost."
>>
No. 479432 ID: 6808dd
File 135576593308.png - (182.15KB , 700x600 , 46.png )
479432
Eventually I see a flash of red. When we draw closer, it becomes clear that it is a young fox, younger and prettier than i am.

"He left," she sobs. "He left, he left, and I should have known better. I should have known he'd leave me just like he left that old bitch. I was foolish to think he left just for me."
>>
No. 479435 ID: 7003a8
>>479432
"You trusted a betrayer and expected loyalty.
If you have a piece of my heart, then I will offer you sympathy in exchange."
>>
No. 479438 ID: 536f9a
she had it coming. don't comfort her. but she's already had her punishment dealt, and her lesson taught. ask if she's seen a piece of your heart.
>>
No. 479439 ID: ec6d4c
...don't give into anger. She's young, she's foolish, and she made the same mistake you did. Show compassion and forgiveness- if you're going to repair your broken heart, and live for yourself, you cannot despise or hate this broken echo of yourself.

I'm sorry. You're not the first one to make that mistake, to allow themselves to be hurt in this way. Please, did he leave you anything?
>>
No. 479456 ID: 54c7e5
When he said he gave you his heart, he gave you mine...
>>
No. 479492 ID: f2c20c
>>479432
Tell her that "old bitch" isn't finished with him yet.

Ask her where he went.
>>
No. 479688 ID: 6808dd
File 135587047295.png - (193.56KB , 700x600 , 47.png )
479688
I am torn between bitter scorn and a sort of twisted sympathy.

She's gotten what she deserves, my mind whispers sharply - but I pause, because i see something of myself in her. Have I gotten what I deserve as well?

I approach her. "You gave your heart to a stealer of hearts and expected that yours would be safe; that was foolish. But others before you have been just as short-sighted." She looks up at me, her tear-rimmed eyes flashing between resentment and sorrow, but says nothing. I continue. "If he gave you any pieces of a heart, claiming they were his, you were deceived - they were mine, taken from me before he took yours, and I need them back, please."

"He left me nothing," she spits. "All I have is this promise." She hurls it at the ground - it is a crumpled paper bag with nothing in it. "And he went off, in that rickety old boat, down a stream that will barely carry him."
>>
No. 479692 ID: eacc9b
let's make one thing clear here- she's not the same as you. you married a single man. she knew he was cheating and went along with it. that makes you a decent person and her a whore. she deserves no pity. the fuck did she expect, him not to do to her what he readily did before to you? stupid harlot.

make sure there really isn't anything in the bag and continue your pursuit.
>>
No. 479695 ID: bf54a8
>>479692
no dude, he told her she was pretty and so she wanted to believe him.

make sure the bag is empty and keep moving.
>>
No. 479696 ID: ec6d4c
I'm sorry.

And then move on. There's nothing more you can do for her, or to be done with her. You still have the last piece of your heart to find, and a husband to confront.
>>
No. 479697 ID: f2c20c
We will go find him, then.
>>
No. 479790 ID: d4ad1a
>>479692
Jesus, Elephant Guy, that's harsh.
>>
No. 479850 ID: 1166ed
>>479790

no it isn't. having your partner of many years end the relationship by cheating on you is a thing which breaks you for life. I know it from personal experience.
>>
No. 479862 ID: 6808dd
>>479790
>>479850
let's keep stuff quest related, guys. this is not the place to mourn your shitty past relationships
>>
No. 479913 ID: 8b9215
Take the bag and leave.
>>
No. 479914 ID: f2c20c
Hang on, what was the promise exactly?
>>
No. 479923 ID: 6808dd
File 135596984687.png - (150.37KB , 700x600 , 48.png )
479923
I tell her that I'm sorry because I am.

The bag is empty, as all his promises always were. It says "love" on it in marker. I don't want it.

Ulric touches my arm and we continue.

The girl was right - the stream is so shallow that I can't see how his boat could have navigated it. I could easily wade across it if I wished.

We walk, and we walk, and the stream trickles away into wet dunes with baby tufts of seagrass.

It is the ocean and I can see where my husband has dragged the boat.

This .... this can't be right.

I'm supposed to find him.

I'm supposed to confront him.

I'm supposed to get my heart back.
>>
No. 479924 ID: 8b9215
Investigate the end of the trail.
>>
No. 479928 ID: bf54a8
check the red shrubs
>>
No. 479930 ID: f2c20c
He's still there, on the horizon. How long would it take to retrieve your boat to go after him?

Could you swim that far? What lies in that direction, anyway?
>>
No. 479931 ID: ec6d4c
Follow the tracks to the edge of the beach. And then watch the sun set on this chapter of your life.

If he threw the last piece of your heart into the ocean, you will never see it again. You'll never see your husband again either- in all likelihood he's going to die trying to cross the ocean alone, with little supplies, in a dingy little boat, and tired from rowing and dragging all day already. He's gone.
>>
No. 479932 ID: 735f4f
You might never get the last shard of your heart back. Love is like that. But we can try.
>>
No. 479971 ID: c5cad7
continue towards the beach.
>>
No. 483930 ID: 6808dd
File 135779025631.png - (106.45KB , 700x600 , 49.png )
483930
I check everywhere as i stumble towards the water. I kick my feet through the sand, hoping to unearth some final clue. I kneel down and search through the coarse, bristly red dune grass, hoping to find something nestled among the dry, angry blades.

I reach the line where the water laps at the sand and is sucked dry by the thirsty beach. It is slowly erasing the tracks of the dragged boat. Ulric comes up behind me but says nothing.

I see nothing but briny water tossing back shards of red reflection. It is cold and the sand bites when the wind whips it against my legs.

I stand there for a long time until the sun is thinner than a bleeding cut and I am shivering.

Ulric touches my shoulder and I don't know what to do.
>>
No. 483931 ID: 47d311
The moral of this story is that you never really get back everything you once gave; you have to fill the last gap yourself, with something else.

Speaking of that, Ulric is right there. Give him a hug and cheer up.
>>
No. 483934 ID: 6808dd
File 135779176413.png - (339.22KB , 700x600 , 50.png )
483934
I turn to Ulric and embrace him. He's not any warmer than the air but it still helps.

He hugs me back and I can feel his blunt claws through my shirt. I am crying and his arms are tightening until I can barely breathe and somehow they are the only thing holding me together. It is cold.

It's cold and his voice is in my ear.

"Do you still feel lost?"
>>
No. 483935 ID: be7fd9
>"Do you still feel lost?"
...I don't know. I'm not sure I remember what it feels like to be found.
>>
No. 483936 ID: 47d311
No, but you'll manage. All it takes is time, and it's easier with an extra set of eyes.
>>
No. 484095 ID: fcd183
No, because now I'm with you. (I know it's corny, but c'mon guys, I want a good end)
>>
No. 484096 ID: 802a38
No. You know exactly where you are. Don't you, Katherine?
>>
No. 484097 ID: 027156
your past was a lie, your future is all but uncertain and your present is just plain fucking weird.

so yes. yes, you are.
>>
No. 484100 ID: 52019c
yes, but we can find our way together
>>
No. 484102 ID: f1b3ee
No; you were never lost in the first place, it just took a lot of time to realize this.
>>
No. 484114 ID: 6808dd
File 135785310925.png - (119.46KB , 700x600 , 51.png )
484114
"No ... I'm not lost anymore."

There is a buzzing in my ear. It is colder and colder but no longer unpleasant. I step away from him and look up at his face.

"I know where I am."
>>
No. 484115 ID: 6808dd
File 135785313738.png - (82.40KB , 700x600 , 51S.png )
484115
Because the shock of losing him forever, of knowing he's gone forever, has knocked loose a little seed of knowledge from the dark, moist corners of my mind and my soul is fertile ground
>>
No. 484116 ID: 6808dd
File 135785315344.png - (172.55KB , 700x600 , 51ST.png )
484116
and isn't it true that horace died in the flood last year
>>
No. 484117 ID: 6808dd
File 135785316450.png - (85.70KB , 700x600 , 51STY.png )
484117
>>
No. 484119 ID: 6808dd
File 135785318004.png - (196.91KB , 700x600 , 51STYX.png )
484119
and isn't it true he had a little niece who ran to the city with its lights and noises and filth, who was raped and killed and dumped in the woods
>>
No. 484120 ID: 6808dd
File 135785319129.png - (67.13KB , 700x600 , STYX.png )
484120
>>
No. 484121 ID: 6808dd
File 135785320316.png - (99.65KB , 700x600 , STYXSTYX.png )
484121
isn't it true that the forest gatekeeper's head is now hanging quietly above someone's fireplace
>>
No. 484122 ID: 6808dd
File 135785321663.png - (78.44KB , 700x600 , STYXSTYXSTYX.png )
484122
>>
No. 484123 ID: 6808dd
File 135785322983.png - (111.91KB , 700x600 , NO.png )
484123
i am reeling
it is cold
isn't it t rue that the r e is no river out of the sw amp

i sn't it true that if there were a r iv er i would have left a long t ime a.go

i push u lri c away b e cause i k.now that as so.on as he re ceived my w edding invitation he sat in his p arlor and put a little g un to his he ad
>>
No. 484124 ID: 6808dd
File 135785323902.png - (142.70KB , 700x600 , ITWASNTMYFAULT.png )
484124
>>
No. 484125 ID: 6808dd
File 135785325508.png - (165.37KB , 700x600 , thereisnoriver.png )
484125
there is no river out of the swamp
>>
No. 484127 ID: 6808dd
File 135785327102.png - (276.44KB , 700x600 , therewasneveranyriver.png )
484127
there is no river out of the swamp
>>
No. 484128 ID: 6808dd
File 135785328331.png - (146.32KB , 700x600 , iwillrotintheswampthatboremeintothisworldifichoose.png )
484128
there is no river out of the swamp
>>
No. 484131 ID: 0eef61
Wow
>>
No. 484135 ID: f2c20c
>>484128
Okay that is not what I expected to happen at all.
>>
No. 484136 ID: be7fd9
Well, the whole quest seemed to be about acceptance of loss and moving on. That... just wasn't the way we meant it.

Rest in peace, Kathrine.
>>
No. 484139 ID: 7003a8
>>484128
What? No. Get off the ceiling, fox. You're drunk.
>>
No. 484141 ID: 57a559
But who was the fox girl we met near the end with the paper?
And husband walks away like that? He ain't dead, is he? Or did the husband hang himself and all that shit was self-reflection trying to understand Kathrine's point of view?

Because this fox has no pants and Katherine has a plaid skirt.
We also have the other rabbit we saw, the third one with the roses?
>>
No. 484142 ID: 5a565f
Whew.
>>
No. 484143 ID: 57a559
>>484141
err not roses, necklace
>>
No. 484146 ID: 6808dd
all questions about the quest are gonna be fielded in the katherine quest disthread (http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/59239.html) and i'm also gonna be writing up some closing thoughts there!
thank you guys so much for doing this with me, this is my first finished quest and i am really, really pleased with it. <3
>>
No. 484148 ID: 78c6ea
File 135785498328.gif - (5.48KB , 365x300 , lakebound-cry.gif )
484148
>>
No. 484165 ID: 027156
I, uh, wow. you what. and when and how and why did all of this? I don't even! I just, wow.

many bricks have been shat today.
>>
No. 484168 ID: 80fdd2
Good end.
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