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Withdrawal
Narrator The Wizard
Volume Honeysuckle & Pain
Starts June 20, 2014 (01:05:10)
Ends June 26, 2014 (03:33:32)
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Next chapter Lives of Others

"Withdrawal" is the sixth chapter of Honeysuckle & Pain. It is the first chapter to be narrated by Cas "The Wizard" Stern.

Chapter Quote Edit

"Like a bird without a song..." - Jimmy Cliff

Summary Edit

The chapter begins on Friday, June 20, 2014 at 01:05:10 in Athens, Georgia. Mefisto has a series of videos on his laptop that he wants to show the others. Bobby watches them, but then regrets watching them. After hearing that the videos are gruesome, Marnie refuses to watch them. When Cas grabs the laptop, Mefisto tells her to warn him when she reaches the ninth video. Cas only makes it through the first three before having to stop. She runs out of the barn to get some air.

A flashback starts. Back when Mefisto had first met up with the others, he drove them out of the barn and out of Athens. He then immediately circled around back into Athens and took them to a different barn. When Mefisto is asked if this barn is also owned by Recluse like the apartment was, he says it is not. This put both Bobby and Marnie at ease, but Cas still felt paranoid. As time went on, the group did their best to just survive and stay hidden. They turned the second story of the barn into an "Undoing Room," in which "artists could gather to undo preconceptions so new creative impulses might emerge." The group would sleep on the third floor. On some nights, stray cats could be seen wandering around. One even made it upstairs and woke Cas up. Every morning, Bobby would bring Cas honeysuckles.

When Cas finally brought up the Orb she detonated, she admits that she has done harm. Later on, when Marnie and Mefisto left the barn so Marnie could finish the tattoo on her back, Cas and Bobby got into an argument. Bobby suggested that Cas has recently been showing signs of withdrawal. Cas became angry at this, but Bobby told her to run the list of symptoms. When Mefisto and Marnie returned, Bobby was asleep and Cas was sitting in the Undoing Room with the cat that wandered in before. Cas took Bobby's advise and thought about her recent behavior. She knew that Bobby was right - she desperately wanted to be able to scry again. Mefisto decided to talk to Cas about it one night. Cas apologized for detonating the Orb, but Mefisto was not upset.

The flashback ends. Cas wants to try watching through the videos on Mefisto's laptop again. The files reveal what happened to Merlin. The first two show angles from various angles from a CCTV system in a parking lot in New Orleans, Louisiana. Merlin was stumbling around, as if drugged. He was then run over repeatedly by a black Escalade. The third file shows a news report that plays Merlin's death again, only this time from the perspective of a witness's cell phone. The witness got a close-up of Merlin's face. The obituary for Merlin, real name Deakin Carraway, is now online. Cas asks what the other files contain. Mefisto explains that they are more angles from other bystanders. Cas asks about the ninth file. Mefisto explains that this one is not of Merlin. Marnie breaks out into tears, claiming that she can't handle this. When she runs upstairs, Cas tells Mefisto that Marnie doesn't belong in their group. She should go elsewhere and try to live a normal life before it's too late. Mefisto says that it is already too late and that Marnie would end up dead if she were on her own.

Mefisto insists Cas watch the ninth file now. He plays the video for her. It is a news clip, originally aired in Los Angeles. Three students were found dead in a house. Their names are Yuri Grossman, Eli Klein, and Jablom Lau Song. Cas is upset by the file and tries to go to sleep. Several days pass, but on Tuesday night, she overhears Mefisto and Bobby having a conversation. They are talking about "the old Orbs, about Future Windows, The Zero Window, and Orbless Revelation."

On Wednesday morning, Bobby prepares breakfast for the group. Cas points out that when Mefisto first met up with them, he mentioned that Recluse wanted to meet with them. They spend the rest of the day analyzing the request. They examine pages Mefisto printed out from a thread on Reddit called "Appomattox Redux," which was decoded with a key from 4chan under "weapons." They figure out that Recluse wants to meet at the Lincoln Memorial. He also only wants Cas to show up so the two can talk alone. They are unsure of what exactly Recluse wants to discuss. Cas is certain of one thing, though: they need a new Orb. Later that night, Mefisto brings Cas the new Orb. Mefisto admits that he and Bobby have been working on it for the past week. It is no longer traceable, but it is slower. They also boosted its detonation. If this one is detonated, it could injure or even kill anyone nearby. Cas initially does not want to take it due to it being Mefisto's own Orb, but he insists. He says he has never been interested in what it sees. He is only interested in how it sees and "what that implies."

Cas asks Mefisto about Clip #6. Mefisto hasn't watched it in some time and is unable to recall much of what it depicts. He does, however, tell Cas that he will be heading to California. He wants to visit his friend, and investigate why his friend's daughter appears in the Clip. Cas remembers the name of the child: Xanther.

The chapter ends on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 03:33:32.