Friday, September 9, 2011

Grace Alone

Hello there. Grace is asleep right now. Poor thing. She was so tired, she could barely keep her eyes open. To say it was a bad day would be understatement.

But let's start at the beginning.

Grace managed to buy a Smith & Wesson 22A .22 semiautomatic. Personally, I would have gone with a larger .44 caliber, but .22 was fine. She spent a day practicing at a gun range and then spent the rest of her time watching the cabin Derek was in.

Eventually, she received the warning hidden throughout this journal. "Be wary, Grace, for hope is sparse. This whole game is a mummer's farce." How right that was. But I'm getting ahead of myself. She was tired of waiting, so she took on the head-on approach.

She bought a sledgehammer. She brought it to the cabin. She swung it very hard until the lock on the door broke. And then she walked inside. (If this doesn't sound badass, I'm saying it wrong. It was quite impressive.)

She walked through the hallway and came to the living room. And there was Derek.

You know how sometimes in cliched horror movies, someone will go "That was easy. Too easy." Well, that's what Grace thought. This was too easy. Until she looked into Derek's eyes and she knew. The warning said that "hope is sparse," but it should have said that "hope is gone."

Because Derek? Derek was gone, too. His eyes were dull and lifeless. When he stood up, he moved like the Misfits, like a puppet on strings. And worst of all, she knew that he had probably been this way for a while. Since the beginning of the game, perhaps.

He attacked her, his body moving unnaturally swift, feet barely touching the floor. He held her down. He didn't say a word. What would he have said? He was just a doll, a puppet. He was the mummer's farce.

Grace cried out and struggled against him. Part of her wanted to give in, to give up, to let go and be a puppet with Derek. Another part (the part that pushed her to drive, that swung the sledgehammer, that made her so obstinate) made her struggle more, until she was able to reach inside her coat pocket and gripped the gun and pulled the trigger.

In the aftermath of the first gunshot (the sound deafening her), she pulled the trigger twice more. Derek was hit a total of three times, one in the stomach and twice in the chest. The first shot in the chest had killed him, but as his body was still moving (due to the Wooden Girl's strings), she shot him again. Then she slowly stood up, steadied herself against the wall, and shot him three more times.

Then she put the gun back in her coat pocket and walked away, away from the room, from the cabin, from Seven Devils. She got into her car and drove until she found another motel and she fell onto the bed and slept.

I want to thank all of you, the people who posted the answers. She could never have found Derek without you. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know. Things happen. Sometimes the outcome is beneficial, sometimes it's not. As the Stranger said, sometimes we eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats us. If you have any questions, you can comment and I'll try to answer as truthfully as possible.

I don't know how long she's going to sleep. Perhaps days, perhaps weeks, perhaps months. I'll take care of her while she does. That's my job.

Thank you,
Kevin B, the Lonesome Artist

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Found It

The cabin. I found the cabin.

I checked four different cabin rental places before I found it. I hard a difficult time convincing them to tell me of anyone rented a cabin under the name "Derek Smith" or "Derek Magro." On the fourth rental place, I saw a sign on the wall. It looked like one of those motivational posters, with kittens that say "Hang in there!" But this one had a cabin on it and beneath it read: Here everything looks lovely. Organized gardens, rooms, and completely easy.


I asked the person if anyone was renting the cabin the picture and they said yes, but the rental agreement was ending today. I asked if I could see the cabin in person before I rented it and they said yes and gave me the address.

I'm looking at it now. There are bars on the windows. The rental person was probably one of the Jester's servants or something. Nobody would rent this cabin. This is a trap.

Derek is here. I haven't seen him yet, but he's here. I know it.

What do I do though? Go in like an action movie, gun a-blazing? Is the game over? It isn't, is it? This is the last test. The last clue.

What do I do now?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm going to buy a gun.

Five days. I applied the first day I was here at the local sheriff's office. That's all it took. Five days, five dollars, and three forged affidavits and I have a pistol permit.

I'm going to buy a gun. And then I'm driving to Seven Devils.

And then I'm finding Derek.

Monday, September 5, 2011

help me

I think I'm going crazy.

I've been in Kill Devil Hills for three days. I don't remember most of it. I remember finding the messages and...sleeping. I was asleep. I was dreaming.

But then Derek posted this. Why don't I remember that? I have so many holes in my childhood, but I thought it was just time. Time washes away memories, right? Time wounds all heels.

I remember my dad. I remember him. Why didn't I remember his name when I read his obituary? Why didn't I remember Karen? Or Mr. Motley?

The Jester. The Jester did this. It has to be him. Not me. He did something to me. I can't. I can't have done things and not remembered them. Can I?

I flipped through Karen's diary again and recognized certain things. My handwriting as a child. The hiding space behind the bookshelf. Playing hide and seek with Derek. Reading Curious George. Why didn't I remember that back then?

And then I came to the last page and turned it and there was something else written:

Hello Grace, 
It's nice to meet you after all this time. There's probably so much going through your head (I know, it's my head, too) and I hate to add to this, but the Jester has given me the final clue. The place where your brother is hidden away. "Near the valley of the cross, there are six more than where you are." 
I've always wanted to meet you, but I knew I had to keep hidden. If you knew about me, what was to stop you from going to some psychiatrist for help and then where would I be? 
I hope you aren't mad at me, though. I tried to help. You may not remember some of your childhood, but believe me, you are lucky you don't. You were a nice kid, Grace. I wanted to keep you that way. 
I hope you win the Jester's game. And sleep well. 
Kevin B, the Lonesome Artist

I don't. I don't know where to go. What I'm supposed to do.

I think I'm going crazy.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In Dreams

I had a dream. I was walking through the zoo trying to find my mom. I was a little girl again, but...not. You know dream logic. The zoo was full of people, but no animals. So many people there that I couldn't find my mom. I kept on catches glimpses of her around the corner, but I could never find her.

But I found Derek. He tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Tag, you're it, Karen."

"I'm not Karen," I said.

"Make up your mind then," he said. "I remember back when all you wanted was to be called Karen. Blah blah blah don't call me Grace."

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

"You don't remember?" He laughed and I shivered. "You loved that stupid horror movie. It scared you out of your wits, but you insisted on watching it every time it came on."

I looked around and noticed that there weren't any people around anymore. "Where's Mom?" I asked.

"Where she always is," Derek said. "In the ground, pushing up daisies."

"She was here, I saw her." I turned around and Derek was gone as well. "Derek?" I turned around again and there was my dad, standing inside one of the cages. "Dad? Do you know where Derek went?"

"He's in here, too," Dad said. "Somewhere. Don't worry, my little Judy. I always loved you more."

"I'm not Judy," I said. "I'm Grace."

"Judy, Grace, Karen," he said. "You had so many friends. You were never lonely growing up." He looked at me with wrinkled face and I suddenly remembered scattering his ashes in the ocean and how I wanted to cry but couldn't.

"Dad," I asked, "where's Mom?"

His smile faded. "She's not here," he said. "It's not her." I heard footsteps behind me and I turned again and there she was. My mom. Same faded dress she always wore, same hairstyle, but I couldn't see her face. She was wearing a wooden mask. "Don't go with her," my father whispered.

My mother went to lift the mask from her face and then I woke up.

I don't know why I'm telling this. I just felt the need to write it all down.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Kill Devil Hills

I arrived last night. This morning, I went over to the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

It was closed. I could see the Memorial, I just couldn't get there. If the clue is inside, I have to wait until they reopen it.

Back in my motel, I was walking up the stairs to my room when I saw a card on the floor. It read:
All alone among the empty zoo
Trying to figure out the next clue
Trying to separate false from true
And all things that are creeping. 
The next card was near the top step:
Next stop, a place to watch the stars
Ignore the pain, ignore the scars
Your brother trapped behind the bars
And all things that are weeping. 
And then another one on the floor:
Then bright lights in the city of sin
The man in the suit has a half grin
Get out now before you lose your skin
And all things that are seeping.
And another one:
Next where the water waxes and wanes
Why don't you use your head, use your brains,
In the lake you take hold of the reins
And all things that are leaping. 
And then two more after that:
And then the state that started out gray
Where you follow the road and don't stray
To find Derek soon, you hope and pray,
For all things that are keeping. 
The next point in this sadistic race
Is where a king died, a land of Grace,
Where memories are put in a case
And all things that are reaping. 
And one last one on the floor before my room:
The penultimate place is about flight
Look up to the stars, the heavens at night,
Soaring through the clouds from a great height
And all things that are sweeping. 

I don't know what to make of them. They aren't giving me any clues to where to go next. The last one says "penultimate" - does this mean the next place is the last place? Where Derek is?

One last one inside her room:
Now you're in for a penny, in for a pound,
The last shall come from the bonus round
It's your dreams you were chasing - profound?
All things seen while you were sleeping.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Phone Call

There was a cellphone on the doorstep to my motel room this morning. I've been staring at it all day.

I'm in a city called Greensboro right now. The weather has started to improve. I can start driving again.

I waited for the call. I checked - there were no numbers programmed into the phone. It's a burner (as I've learned from watching many cop shows) and therefore untraceable. So I waited.

Ten minutes ago, it rang. Appropriately enough, the ringtone was "Funeral March of a Marionette."

I let it ring twice before I answered.

I spoke to him. We talked. The connection wasn't good - I had trouble understanding half the words he said - but it was still good talking to him.

And then the phone died. The Jester had carefully drained the batteries enough so that the call lasted around four minutes and then stopped.

I pulled the battery out of the phone and a slip of paper fell out. On it was written: o monogenes.

I put the battery back in the phone, stuffed it in my bag, and left.