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The Branches Take is a blog written by ZacksQuest and is recognized as being one of the first Willowblogs. It is part of The Tales Quartet and it is still in production. It can be read here.

SynopsisEdit

Jacob Mills is a 29-year-old former victim of abuse who is now whittling away the rest of his life as a school janitor. He frequents the garden square at the center of the school but accidentally receives the attention and nurture of a mysterious woman in the forest and becomes embroiled in a war over ideas.

CharactersEdit

  • Jacob Mills- The central protagonist of The Branches Take. He is a 29-year-old divorced father of two and victim of abuse. His love of gardening and children lead to him being attributed to a local urban legend.
  • Jess Thatcher a.k.a. Blood- A Melancholy who Jacob learns about early on in the blog through a newspaper clipping but doesn't meet until the appearance of The Doll. Vitae seeps out of multiple cuts inflicted upon her from the Doll.
  • The Weeping Willow- The central Altered of the blog who wishes not only to see her Melancholy, Blood, returned to her, but she also wishes to turn Jacob Mills into a Melancholy as well.
  • The Doll- The second Altered introduced and arguable the primary antagonist of the blog. It wishes to take Blood and Jacob Mills both to spite the Willow and to revel in the torture she inflicts.
  • Peter Lorri- Former janitor for Warren G. Harding High School; was later admitted to a mental institution and was found lobotomized in his cell later.
  • Dr. Theodore Masque- Lead psychiatrist of the nearby mental institution and the first to discover Peter Lorri lobotomized.
  • Sheila Rutherford-Mills- The ex-wife of Jacob Mills, who was prone to drinking and lashing out. She abused her husband, Jacob, for years and then took custody of the children after Jacob filed for divorce. It is assumed that she also hurts the kids too.
  • Luke and Cain Thatcher- Two young boys and the younger brothers of Jess Thatcher, reported missing months ago.
  • Sweat and Tears- Two Melancholies who assist Jess in cornering Mills, only to be tortured and stolen by The Doll.

PlotEdit

The blog begins with Jacob Mills talking about his getting accepted into the Warren G. Harding High School faculty as a custodian, which marks a milestone in his new life. He goes to the school and is given guidelines and a list of duties- including tending to the garden in the center of the high school. On their way out of the school, Jacob and the principal hear sobs and footsteps down the hall to the left, and Jacob begins becoming suspicious immediately.

Approximately two weeks later, Jacob Mills has worked at the high school for roughly under a week. He has taken a liking to the garden and to sitting under the willow tree in the center of the garden and he begins hearing things about a local urban legend named The Weeping Woman, that is apparently so terrifying that the children behave creepily well in order to escape her wrath. The next day he cleans up the upstairs floor to find droplets of what he refers to as "Black Blood" on the staircase, while suddenly hearing the sobs of the Weeping Woman intensely close to him. Two days after, he goes to tend the garden and finds dozens of dead crows scattered around the area and also hears the Weeping Woman's crying again, only this time to record and post exactly what he hears.

He decides to get the Weeping Woman out of his mind and he begins talking about his abusive, child-beating ex-wife Sheila, who took custody of both his children- including one with Edward's Syndrome- whom she presumably beats to this day. The children of the school start suspecting Jacob Mills and begin creating legends around him, too, calling him "The Right Hand of the Weeper".

Three days later he goes through some old newspaper articles from the library, and discovers an article talking about the disappearances of Jess, Cain, and Luke Thatcher, as well as the admittance of Peter Lorri into a nearby mental institution. At the end of the latter article Jacob realises that as little as five months ago there was no tree in the garden, and hears the sobbing and the rustling of branches soon after.

Jacob goes to investigate by talking to Peter Lorri and is given permission to see him by Dr. Theodore Masque. However, Dr. Masque suddenly realizes to Jacob's horror that Lorri has been given a botched frontal lobotomy using what seems to be pieces of tree. A few days later during the weekend clean-up he is cornered by three Melancholies- Jess Thatcher (Blood), and two sixteen-year-old Melancholies named Sweat and Tears. The Doll enters and brutally tortures the older two before dragging them off to its domain. Blood remained and Jacob saved her before the Doll could get to her.

Afterwards he keeps himself in his house out of fear and begins learning more about Blood and they begin to bond in a sense, while Blood gives him information about the Weeping Willow. After a while, they hear sounds of violence and chaos in the street and later- upon opening up one of the curtains, they find that the whole town has been split into two- the clean, streile, inorganic world of the Doll, and the hyper-real, grotesquely overgrown forest of the Weeping Willow. Both Altereds show up and demand that Blood be handed over to one of them, and both also wish to turn Jacob Mills into their plaything. Blood tries leaving but Jacob Mills stops her, much to her scorn and his remorse.

(Plot to be continued)

TriviaEdit

  • It was the first blog in the Willow Mythos, and the third story featuring The Weeping Willow, behind Corvidaek and DarkShadows' fanfiction for the Corvi ARG. However, it wasn't publicly released on any of the forums until three months after the community began began.
  • It marked the first physical appearance of The Doll in a Willow Mythos story.
  • Jess, Luke, and Cain in the post Old Files and New Epiphanies, are derived from the names of the Biblical antagonists Jezebel, Lucifer, and Cain; Peter Lorri's name comes from a popular B-movie horror actor.

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