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A Stranger
Narrator The Wizard
Volume Into the Forest
Starts May 17, 2014 (02:14:15)
Ends May 17, 2014 (05:43:31)
Previous chapter so it begins
Next chapter Due Diligence

"A Stranger" is the thirteenth chapter of Into the Forest. It is the first chapter to be narrated by Cas "The Wizard" Stern.

Chapter Quote Edit

"And it's something that everybody needs..." - The Mamas & the Papas

Summary Edit

The chapter opens up on May 17, 2014 at 02:14:15 in Dayton, Ohio. Cas and Bobby have been hiding out at Sorcerer's apartment for a few days now, though neither Bobby nor Sorcerer are there at the moment. Cas is still trying to understand more clearly how to use the Orb. When they first showed up, they found a note left by Sorcerer, who explained several possible ways for them to make a quick escape if they end up needing to.

Cas becomes increasingly paranoid as time goes on. She starts off in the living room but ends up taking the Orb into Sorcerer's bedroom. Still feeling unsafe, she moves again. This time she brings the Orb into the bathroom. She sits in the bathtub in hopes of being able to use it for cover in the event of a shooter or if someone were to use a bomb. She stuffs towels under the door to prevent an intruder from using nerve gas. Roughly every twenty minutes, she fills her mug with water to keep the towels wet.

Cas is unsure of why Bobby is still gone. He left earlier to get gas for the motorcycle and take care of a few other errands. The Airstream and truck seem to be in some need of repair as well. Cas starts using the Orb again, this time to see Recluse. She is unable to see much. She wishes Sorcerer were there to help, as she believes he would know exactly what to do.

Cas watches Clip #6 again. She can see Xanther. Xanther has rainbows on her fingertips. She then moves on to Clip #6.2, which reads "...tiny storms blacker than squid ink, than barrel oil poured into spring water, edacious, turbulent, set loose within that Athens home, until gyres of dark rob the doorway from the room, even as strange flashes of violet and garnet, but never gold, disturb its sleep, as this child of not even seven demands of her sky with every step thunder..." Around this point, Cas mentions that no rainbows remain, "as if the past were now corrupted."

Suddenly, Cas can hear the sound of the apartment's front door being opened. She then begins hearing footsteps. She knows it is not Bobby because Bobby would have called out for her by now. She slides down into the bathtub and waits. The footsteps continue around the living room and bedroom. Cas starts trying to think of ways to sneak past the intruder and get out of the apartment. She remembers the note left by Sorcerer but she is unsure if she will be able to sneak out. As a last resort, Cas is willing to detonate the Orb. The bathroom door slides open. Cas realizes that, in all her preparation, she had forgotten to lock the door. Cas runs to the Orb and begins attempting to detonate it, but she stops when she sees who opened the door. It is a young woman.

The young woman introduces herself as Marnie. She explains that she was sent by Sorcerer. When Cas calms down, Marnie makes tea for the both of them and they start talking in the living room. Marnie explains that she drove to Ohio from Florida because Sorcerer said the situation was crucial. Cas asks Marnie her age, and Marnie tells her that she is twenty-two but will be turning twenty-three later in the month. Marnie looks at the Orb and asks if it is one of Sorcerer's "crystals." Cas tells her that it is a computer, and he did build it. Cas asks Marnie if she was sent her to tell her anything, but Marnie explains that she was sent to look after Cas.

The chapter ends on May 17, 2014 at 05:43:31.