It was simply going to be too expensive for Wheeler and Buster to live in Ratcliff. $L600 a week for a store and an apartment (!). And they weren’t even going to use the store part of the equation.
But wait… the store property directly across the street is only $L200 per week. Hmmm.
They talk at the neighboring Corner Pocket after a tension releasing game of pool. Buster sank the 8 ball to win. Wheeler proclaims she is sleepy and lays her head on the bar table. Buster ponders options.
“This doesn’t feel right Wheeler. We have no business to promote here. I’m not sure a residential status by itself qualifies for town citizenship. And you always seem drained and unhappy.”
“Something about the place, yeah,” Wheeler admits, yawning. “Thank you again for not selling me out to that Tonshi person up in Lapara. I certainly don’t want to be anyone’s wife.”
“Nor will you have to,” reassures Buster. “But we do need a place to exist. Why not Collagesity?”
“I’m not ready to go back. There’s too much else in the world to explore. Time is short.”
“I agree. VHC City?” he then offers. “Let’s go see the PCH Woods anyway. An old haunt (for me).”
“Alright. Can I change costumes first?”
“We could stay in the witch house over there,” states Buster, laying in a familiar, old tree.
“No, I’m not doing that. No more dueling witches. Oz is dead.”
“Oz *is* dead,” agrees Buster. “The forest here is history. And… VHC City? Obviously I can’t go as I am now. I’d have to be in disguise.”
“It would just be too hard for you Buster.”
He sighs. “You’re right. It’s not like the old days when the Novas — Clare, Summerhill, Golden Bee-ing, even Orange — cooperated with each other. Clare was so good to hide me here in these woods when I got in trouble in Olde Lapara Towne. Then she used her sibling ring to get me set up in VHC City. But all that’s over. No… but we’re running out of options.”
They looked at each other. The obvious option remained: return to OLT.
Bendy’s door stood wide open. “Bendy?” they called. No answer. “Let’s try the hotel,” suggested Buster.
“Peter! You’re still here.”
“Not… for long,” he exclaims. “Bendy… left town. With Prissy!”