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.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Waiting out the rain

I don't know why I'm so sleepy. I wake up and I'm still tired. And often times, I can't drive out in the weather. The storm is too much. I'm just holed up in a motel trying to wait it out.

So more pages from the notebook. These are the last ones that look like they are code. There are some random pages with words or images, but they don't look like they were deliberately coded or anything.


Sunday, August 28, 2011


So tired. Need sleep. Can only post in monosyllabic words.

Flipped through the notebook from yesterday. Pages in code I had never seen before. Here are the first three. Will upload more when I have the time. If I'm not dead.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Return to the Road

I'm driving again. On the road to Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

I went out again yesterday, just looking for some clue, some hint, anything. I found nothing. Eventually, I just sat down and finished reading Echo. Which was also unsatisfactory, because it was only the first volume and it ended on a cliffhanger.

I finally checked the comments and found that you guys figured out where to go next. So I went back to my motel room.

It was unlocked. Cautiously, I opened the door and stepped inside. There was nobody there. Nothing was moved. Except.

Except there was a package on the bed.

Tentatively, I opened the package and found the same note I had found a few days ago on my car. Except now someone had written over it.

"hell of a race" is what it now says.

I flipped the note:
It's the "see you soon" part that disturbs me.

Underneath the note was a notebook:

The outside of the notebook.

And the first page.

And, even stranger, underneath the notebook was this:
Yes, that's right, it's the "complete edition."

I looked around the motel room some more, but didn't find anything else. So I packed up the box with my other stuff and left.

I hope this is the last place. The place where I can find Derek. I'm beginning to lose hope. I know I still have a phone call. The Jester promised a phone call. I'm holding onto that.

I wonder how long it will last. How long until the Jester tires of the game and decides to just kill us both.

Kill Devil Hills. I wonder. Can I kill the Devil? When the time comes, can I kill the Jester?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Slip Slidin' Away

I'm still in Memphis. Visited Graceland again. Nothing. Went to see Elvis's grave. Nothing. I don't know what to do. Do I buy a plane ticket to Hawaii on the chance that the next clue is there? I don't have much of the Jester's money left - I've spent it on gas and motel rooms and food. Perhaps a thousand is still left. Enough for a plane ticket. One ticket.

Have you ever read Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead? I had to read it in high school. Didn't understand it back then, but then a few years ago I caught the movie on television and watched it all the way through entranced. They were trapped, stuck in the play, unable to escape their own demise, even though they knew it was coming. And every time a scene from Hamlet came up, they said their lines and played their parts and then went back to being lost, unable to be free.

I've been feeling like that lately. I'm stuck in this game, unable to move forward until the code is solved, unable to avoid whatever is coming, even though I know something is coming. I can feel it. The Jester has to be up to something. I haven't seen the Misfits since that incident at Starbucks - it seems like forever ago. Why? Why send me a fake finger and then cut off the real one? Why send me on this wild goose chase in the first place? I don't know. I'm just an actor in a play.

Speaking of which, there was a note under the door of my motel room. I'm sure it will lead to something which will lead to something else:



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wandering in Graceland

I'm probably going to talk to Derek soon. I wish I had something to tell him. I wish I could tell him I knew where he is or where my next step is. I wish I could tell him everything is going to be alright.

But I can't.

I wandered around Graceland today, just looking at everything, trying to see if there were any more clues. There weren't. Nothing except Elvis memorabilia, which looked as fake as the Oz memorabilia back in Kansas.

I want to stay awake. I don't want to sleep. I fell asleep once and dreamed I was in the sky falling. I was falling so fast I thought when I hit the ground I would be shattered into a million pieces. I don't even remember hitting the ground in my dream, I just woke up.

I don't know what Neville (or the Vagabond, or whatever his name was) was talking about. I don't know anything. I don't know what I'm doing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All Shook Up

I arrived in Graceland late last night. I mean, really late. Around 2 AM. I checked into another motel in Memphis and tried to concentrate on something other than the heat. Unfortunately, the heat made it hard to go to sleep and there wasn't much on television at 2 AM. I ended up walking down the hallway to get a bucket of ice sometime around 3 AM...and that's when I met him.

I had just filled my ice bucket and I heard a voice behind me.

"Did you know Elvis had a twin brother?" I turned around so quickly, I dropped the bucket. The man was tall and scrawny. His face twitched, like he was perpetually flinching. "Jesse Garon Presley. Born 35 minutes before him. Stillborn."

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Who?" he said. He moved his arms up in a weird fashion and I backed up. "No, no, they didn't appear until 1964. We're talking about Elvis. About twins. Romulus and Remus. Castor and Pollux. Tweedledee and Tweedledum." His arms moved up and down. "Elvis and Jesse. Grace and Derek."

"Who. Are. You?" I said, trying to sound more threatening than scared.

"I was..." He paused, as if to think. "I was the Vagabond. But I can't be that anymore. I saw her and she touched me, but I thought I had escaped. But I hadn't. You never escape. Never ever ever. Even now. I can't be the Vagabond anymore and I can't be Neville anymore. Can't." He stopped moving his arms, as if realizing he had just given away his name. "But that isn't important. Who I am isn't important." He pointed at me. "It's who you are." He looked up. "Told you too much. Or just enough. It's what she wanted. It's always what she wanted."

He started walking away from me down the hallway, his arms still moving up and down in weird patterns. He started talking again. "It's not the destinations," he said. "It's the journey. No, no, that was 1973. See the pattern, find the pattern. Stars, lights, moon, dreams." He came to the end of the hallway and turned back to me. "It's all about your dreams, Grace."

The patterns on the wallpaper were moving. I just noticed them. The lines on the wallpaper were moving around and around and they finally emerged from the wall and wrapped themselves around Neville. "Nighty-night, Grace," he said as it pulled him into the wall and he disappeared.

I left the ice bucket on the floor and went back to my room and didn't get a wink of sleep.

The next day, I didn't even have to go to Graceland. On the hood of my car was a note:

And on the back:

I don't what to make of it. I don't know what to make of anything.

God, I'm so tired. I just want to rest. But I can't because...I'm afraid. I'm afraid of dreaming.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Poor Boys and Pilgrims

So I guess my next step is Graceland. Ha ha, Jester, very funny.

My mom used to love Paul Simon. I still remember long car trips where she would turn the radio up whenever a Paul Simon song came on. She would always sing along to Simon with her broken English and me and Derek, sitting in the backseat, would try to drown her out with our voices. Her favorite was "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard."

Well I'm on my way,
I don't know where I'm going,
I'm on my way, I'm taking my time,
But I don't know where.
Goodbye to Rosie, the queen of Corona,
Seeing me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard,
Seeing me and Julio
Down by the schoolyard.

I don't know why I just remembered that. I guess I just miss her sometimes.

The Gift Shop of Oz

The OZ Museum was...disappointing. Sure, there was lots of Oz memorabilia, but it all seemed fake. Like Las Vegas fake. I paid $7 to get in and wandered around the museum until it closed at 5 P.M. I couldn't find anything. Finally, I went to their gift shop and looked around there. The gift shop was manned by a painfully cheery-looking woman whose name-tag declared her as "Gladys." I bought a pair of sunglasses just so I wouldn't look out of place. "Gladys" bagged them and told me to have a great day.

On my way out, I looked in the bag and saw that not only was there the sunglasses, but there was also a USB drive. I looked back to see "Gladys" cheerfully wave at me.

On the USB drive, there was only one video file:

There's only one problem with the video: I can't see a clue anywhere.


Friday, August 19, 2011


I need some sleep. Eight hours of driving equals a very tired Grace.

At another motel. Starting to get used to the itchy bedspreads, tacky wallpapers, and continental breakfasts.

Flipped through Echo again. Slip of paper fell out from one of the pages. This was written on it:

"Wzw zodzbh olevw svi nliv. R'ev zxxvkgvw gszg. Dsvmvevi sv dlfow erhrg, sv dlfow hdvvk svi rm srh zinh zmw hslfg 'Zs, nb orggov Qfwb!' Rg dlfow lmob yv zugvi z uvd nrmfgvh lu sfttrmt gszg sv dlfow hzb, 'Zmw dsviv rh nb orggov Kfmxs? Dsviv rh nb Kfoxrmvooz?' Sv dlfow sft nv, yfg mvevi zh sv sfttvw svi."

No idea.

So tired. Bed looks so comfortable.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Road to Kansas

So my next stop is Wamego, Kansas, the home of the Oz Museum. Yay.

I've been driving since I found that out. Per Google Maps, entire driving time is sixteen hours -- it's 917 miles to Wamego, Kansas. I don't think I can drive sixteen hours straight -- I'll have to split that into two days of driving eight hours.

I remember watching The Wizard of Oz on TV when I was young and reading the book. The book was better, but it was scarier. The way the Tin Woodman became the Tin Woodman always freaked me out -- just look it up and see for yourself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Technicolor Dreams

The Misfits are leaving more and more cryptic clues. A video that spells out "museum" in Braille. An anagram of "technicolor dreams."

I had a dream. Last night. I went to sleep in the motel and dreamt I was in the middle of Moon Lake again. I was alone in the boat and still water surrounded me. Karen's diary was in my hand and I opened it up, but I couldn't read any of the words (which should have clued me in to this being a dream, since you can't read in dreams). I let the book go and it was pulled away by the wind. I looked above the lake and saw a giant funnel cloud coming downwards waiting to pull me up. I tried holding onto the boat, but it was no help. The funnel cloud came towards me, outstretching itself like fingers, like it was a giant hand waiting to grab me and pull me into the sky.

And that's all I remember. I don't know why I'm writing it down. I just have to write something or I'll go crazy. What museum should I go to? And what does this have to do with "Ow Game"?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I Still Need to Know...

...where to go.

Where am I going? What am I doing? Following a trail of breadcrumbs left by a sociopath is like something out of a comic book. I feel like going "Holy smokes, Batman! The explosion happened at sea - a C! For Catwoman! Catwoman must be behind this!"

I'm well rested now, but I've got nowhere to go. I keep looking through Karen's diary. Looking at that stupid coded message for me. Is this whole thing a fake? Why go to all that trouble? Why do this at all?

I want to throw this book back into the lake. I want to forget about the Jester and the Misfits and the Man in the Seersucker Suit and the Wooden Girl. But I can't. Because Derek is alive somewhere and I'm going to find him.

Now where should I go next?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Karen's Diary

I'm still in the motel that went to yesterday. I don't want to stay in one place, but I don't want to go in the wrong direction.

As for the diary...well, I have no idea if this thing is real or if it's just the Jester messing with me. Anyway, I took pictures of the rest of the diary and I will now post them. The left-side pages have pictures on them and the right-side pages have words, but I'm posting them the other way around, since the pictures refer to the words. Because I'm OCD like that.

And that's it. That's the end of the diary - the rest of the pages are blank. Again, don't know if this thing is real or not, but in either case, it's fairly disturbing.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Book in the Boat

So I found a place that rented boats and was open on Sunday. They charged me $250 for a boat and oars.

There was only one problem: I had never gone boating before. And I had very little time to find out how to boat. So I went out in the boat and traveled in circles for twenty minutes before I stopped, went back to the boat place and asked for someone to guide it for me. I told them I was doing a National Treasure Hunt and that there was a Very Important Clue in the boat in the middle of the lake. The guy looked at me and then charged me another $50.

So: I finally got to the boat in the middle of Moon Lake. And in the middle of the boat was a book, a plain black hardcover book. I grabbed it, decided not to open it in front of my guide in case he was curious, and had him turn back around.

I finally got back to my car and (having driven all night and only slept a few hours in the uncomfortable car seat) found a nice motel to stay. Then I pulled out the book:

The book on top of my laptop.

And I opened it:

The inscription/clue.

However, the book had quite a lot of pages and this was just the first. So I turned the page. And found something quite disturbing:

A child's diary.

Why had the Jester left me the clue in the first page of a child's diary? And who was this Karen? Did the Jester kill her? Did he do something to her like he's doing with Derek?

I'm tired now and all I want to do is sleep, so I'll take pictures of the rest of the diary tomorrow and post them as I do.

Moon Lake

I'm here. I finally had to pull over last night and sleep in my car, but I'm here.

It's...quiet. The lake is a reservoir and I don't see any boats here.

Except I do. There's one boat out in the middle of the lake. From what I can see, nobody's in the boat, however.

An empty boat in the middle of the lake. Who wants to bet that's where the clue is?


Saturday, August 13, 2011


I refilled my car with gas and started driving to Moon Lake, Utah. Per Google Maps, even the shortest route will take at least eight hours.

No more sightings of the man in the seersucker suit. I read through the first volume of Echo - interesting comic book.

I just turned on the radio and some stupid pop song was playing, so I turned it off, but after another hour of driving, I turned it back on again. I need something to keep me awake.

Found this in the margins of one of the pages of Echo. Don't know what to make of it:
Ibr Nvgx bh Txmewst ghua eoakzw Jhnjxhrnsp zbt zwijkuv nug zilvpnh nuca eoynls nugt pfy cus nuwz riaflbhvpn ibro dxnu mudqygkvy.
 And below that was written:
Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Where the Water Waxes and Wanes

That was the answer to the last clue. Does it make sense? No. Are there a million different interpretations of where to go next? Yes.

So what did I do? I walked around Vegas. The gears in my mind slowly turned as my feet took me from place to place. I walked to the Bellagio, where the water went up and down, and I thought about going to the Hoover Dam or the Grand Canyon. Wax and wane. Wane and wax.

Finally, I found myself in a side street off from the strip where there was a small comic book shop. When I turned my head to look inside, I saw him. The man with the seersucker suit. He was inside buying a comic.

I pushed the door open, but there was a power surge at that precise moment and the lights flickered off and when they came back on, the man with the seersucker suit was gone. I went over to where he had been standing and looked at what he had been looking at.

Finally, I found it:

Where the water waxes and wanes.

I took a look inside and there was another note, folded in half:

Lines on the page.

I bought the comic book and brought it back my motel room.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Flamingo

I walked into the Flamingo last night. Even just this one casino was huge. I didn't know if I would be able to find anything. Everything was bright and opulent, but the people there seemed...used to everything, as if they didn't want to seem like rubes or tourists.

I walked around, looking at various places where I thought the clue might be, but had no luck. Finally, I decided to go to the roof, thinking that it was at the very top of the Griffith Observatory, so it might be the same here.

I walked into the elevator and pressed the top floor. On the second floor, a man wearing a seersucker suit walked in. He stood next to me and pressed no button. "Sola gratia," he said with a soft voice. "Grace alone. Are you alone, Grace?"

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Names don't matter," the man in the seersucker suit said. "Not when everyone has so many of them. They become things to be used and discarded. Needless to say, I am an associate of your friend the Jester."

"Not my friend," I said. "So you have the clue?"

"I do," he said. "And I will give it to you."

"So why you personally?" I asked. "Why not just leave it somewhere, like last time?"

"Ours is not to question why," he said, "though I suspect they wanted you to meet me, to know that not all of her servants are as...chaotic as the Misfits. Some of us are even subtle."

"So you're a servant of the-"

"Just call her the Wooden Girl," he said. "That's as good a name as any. And yes, though I am one of the few that has a degree of autonomy. Like the Jester. That's why my movements aren't as orchestrated as the Misfits were."

"So you serve her willingly?" I asked. "How?"

"You misunderstand me," he said. "I have a degree of autonomy. I am still entangled by her strings. If I didn't want to give you this note, I would have to do so anyway. Doing things this way is just easier on myself. To resist her is to resist the tide or the wind. If you bend with the wind, it will go far easier than if you stubbornly fight against it and break."

"Why are you telling me this?"

"Everything has a reason, Grace," he said. "My reason for being here is this." He handed me an envelope. The elevator dinged. "Good luck, Grace," the man in the seersucker suit said and then walked away.

I opened the envelope and took out the note. On the front it said:

I Scream Before Normalcy

I opened it up and this was written on the inside:



Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I'm sitting here, sweating like a pig.

I went back to my apartment yesterday and spent five minutes packing. Clothes, food, water, all stuffed into a duffel bag and thrown into the backseat of my car. And then I started driving.

I drove all day and night. Finally, I stopped at a place outside of Vegas. A cheap motel, fifty dollars a night.

Then I fell asleep and tried not to dream.

What am I going to do? Vegas is big. Even the strip, which is just a part of it, is big. How can I search it all? I need a specific location. I need to solve that friggin' puzzle, but I got nothing.

The money in the envelope, including what I paid for the room, totaled $3,760. Don't know why it was such an odd number. I don't know why the Misfits left that comment on my last post.

I don't know a lot of things.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I had two problems when I walked into work this morning. One: what to tell my boss about why I was absent yesterday from work and two: how to tell him that I was going to take a vacation to go to Las Vegas. For an indefinite amount of time.

So I clocked in and went to my boss's office and knocked. He didn't answer, but I could see him through the window. He looked like he was taking a nap on his desk.

And then I saw the blood. And my other problems vanished and were replaced by one completely different and much worse.

I opened the door and walked closer. I could see it now, I could see the punctured throat, the dried blood. My boss was dead. My stomach turned and I felt like retching.

There was an envelope on his desk addressed to me. And a note on top of the envelope. It read: NO MORE DISTRACTIONS.

I picked up the envelope and looked inside. It was filled with cash -- at least three thousand dollars -- and another note. This one said: APTDTU MKKF.

I took the envelope and both notes and stuffed them in my purse, then backed out of the office, turned and ran.

I have to leave for Vegas. Now. Before the Jester kills someone else I know. Before he chops off another of Derek's finger.

I have to find him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

At the Observatory

Nobody showed up. I waited all night. I waited and waited and nobody showed up. I stayed home from work and sat outside my door and felt anger. Anger at myself, anger at the Jester, anger at the world for allowing this to happen.

And now I'll show you what I found at the Griffith Observatory. Now I will finally give in and show it all to you.

This Griffith Observatory in all it's splendor.

So yeah. I went there. It was...actually pretty nice. I forgot for a few moments that I was there to find a clue about where my brother was being held against his will (maybe that was why I was so angry at myself - I forgot for a moment, for a moment I was a kid again, seeing all the wonders of the stars).

A Foucault Pendulum. Fun.

But then I remembered why I was there. So I wandered around the place, looking at each and every place where the clue could possibly be. And then I climbed upwards. Up the stairs. To the top of the Observatory.

And there it was.

Beneath one of those viewers.

I held it up and looked at it and then turned it around.


And then I opened it.

It's gibberish. Complete and total gibberish.

I'm sorry. I can't decipher anything. I can't decode anything. I'm useless. All I can do is find gibberish clues and wait for nobody.


Sunday, August 7, 2011


When I got back from the Observatory, I saw this.

So I've been waiting. Waiting outside my door. Waiting for that box to come with the gag gift in it. Only it's not a gag anymore, is it? This isn't a game.

I'm still waiting. I'll wait all night. I don't feel like talking about the clue at the Observatory right now. I just feel like waiting.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Good News/Bad News

The good news first: Derek will be getting potable water and medicine soon. Thank god. Knowing he won't get sick (at least by his drinking water) gives me a huge sense of relief.

The bad news: I was pulled over by a cop today. Apparently, I was so distracted thinking about Derek and the Jester that I ran a red light. The cop was kind enough to let me off with a small fine, but that's still money I need. It was my own damn fault, though.

Tomorrow is Clue Day, when I go to the Griffith Observatory on a clue hunt. And speaking of clues, that weird anonymous comment has been decoded and it still doesn't mean anything to me. And the followup anonymous message was also decoded and it, if anything, makes even less sense. What the heck is this anonymous commentator trying to tell me?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another Day

So Derek is sick. I hope enough people pass the Jester's idiotic bonus round so they can get him some medicine in the next round of riddles.

I'm just frustrated. I hate feeling helpless. Sunday is Clue Day, but I want to drive out to the Griffith Observatory today or tomorrow. But I can't. Because of my stupid job and my stupid boss. He's making me come in Saturday to make up time because I missed Tuesday sick (i.e. at the ghost zoo). I just want to tell him to shove it, but I can't. I know the Jester has offered me money to pay for travel expenses, but I'd rather not take anything at all from that creep.

And I have no idea what this comment means. I mean, I don't even know if it's from the Jester/Misfits. Maybe we should decode it anyway?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Next Step

So that note I found at the zoo decoded into the sentence "OPIE AND ANDY LOOK TO THE STARS." Which is, apparently, an oblique reference to the Griffith Observatory. I remember going to the Observatory once when Derek and I were kids. I don't remember much of what happened there, except that we went.

Unfortunately, I can't go tomorrow or Saturday. My boss is making me come in those days and I have a feeling that if I say no (or call in sick like last time), he'll just fire me. And no job = no money for rent = me living on street. So hopefully the Misfits won't penalize me for going to the Observatory on Sunday.

No more gag gifts, though. That's a good sign, I hope.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Doorstep Surprise

I got home from work today and found a box outside my doorstep. I opened it and found a severed human finger.

After several seconds of thinking OHSHIT OHSHIT OHSHIT, I realized that it was a fake severed human finger, like those ones you would buy at Halloween party stores. The Jester or the Misfits or whoever else worked for them had left it on my doorstep as a gag gift.

Two things suddenly occurred to me. One was the image of Walter Sobchak from The Big Lebowski saying "You want a toe? I can get you a toe." The other was the fact that this was meant as a joke. They gave me the finger.

Perhaps this was because I haven't solved the riddle yet. Derek gets supplies when his riddles are solved; when I don't solve my riddles, I get this. The carrot and the stick.

Let's just hope that the severed fingers stay fake.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And Another Thing

There was something else. I just noticed this. On the back of the note there was a doodle.
I don't know if this will help at all, but it can't hurt.

Welcome to the Monkeyhouse

As Kurt Vonnegut would put it.

So: today I drove all the way to the ghost zoo at the heart of Griffith Park. Yes, it was creepy. In fact, it was very, very creepy.

So creepy, in fact, because nothing happened. Every time I went into one of the empty enclosures, I half expected one of those Misfit people to jump out at me. Every time I turned the corner, I thought I would see their strange smiles. After an hour had passed, I was hoping to see them, just so I wouldn't be nervous anymore. Just so it would be over with.

But they didn't appear. I wandered the zoo for a few hours waiting, but nothing happened. I didn't see any secret messages, I didn't notice any shady men wearing overcoats and fedoras waiting to whisper that "the squirrel rides at midnight." Nothing.

I went back to my car. There was an envelope stuck to the windshield with big block letters spelling out GRACE.

I opened it. There was a folded note inside that read:

Precious secrets fear boldness. Hear silence beam -- hold, sit beneath Mnemosyne. Milligrams prevent peering names, captured persons, caves of blood. Killing cats, however, arrives knowledge.

This is worse than the last one. The last one I at least knew was code - this just looks like random words thrown together.

I put the envelope in my glove compartment and drove back home.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Only Just Begun

When I came back for my car, I found a note on the windshield.

We've only just begun. Try to have some fun. Find all the clues or you will surely lose. 
Vafvqr gur pvgl bs natryf vf n cynpr jurer navznyf bapr yvirq, ohg yvir ab zber. Rzcgl fcnprf, oveqpntrf jvgubhg oveqf. Tb gurer abj naq lbh jvyy svaq bhe jbeqf.

That last part is gibberish to me. It's either in code or they just randomly banged it out on a typewriter. In either case, I have to figure out the next clue.

Frankly, though, I'm tired. I'm tired and I need sleep. But I have to solve this. I need help.


Attack of the Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies

Sorry for the long title. I've gone through an ordeal and have decided to best way to keep from panicking is to make jokes. Even in the face of kidnapping or death.

So: the Jester. This guy. Put forth a riddle that pointed to my blog. Great. I've got his attention.

A little too much of his attention, actually, because this morning I was attacked.

I was getting my morning Starbucks fix and thinking about whether or not to keep going to the police - they obviously didn't believe this Jester thing was worth looking into - when I saw them. There were four of them, men, wearing raggedy brown suits. The way they walked, however, was...unnatural. Every step was different, not coordinated like a normal person walks (with arms that swing back and forth), but like each was moving independently of the rest.

They stopped beside my car. I walked outside, holding my coffee, and they all looked at me with strange smiles. Then they spoke in this weird broken cadence. "Hello from our friend the Jester," the first one said. "He sent us out to pester," the second one said. "So you can match your wits," said the third one. "With ourselves, the Misfits!"

Their voices sounded strange and mechanical. The first one jumped onto my car, while the second and third walked towards me. I backed away. I said, "Where's Derek? Where is he?"

The first one, on the roof of my car, said, "A good man is hard to find. Especially when we are entwined." The other two came closer, while the fourth just stayed where he was.

I am not stupid. There was no way for me to fight these guys. Even looking at them freaked me out. It was then that I thanked god I wore sneakers, because I ran like hell. One of them swung their arm at me, but he was moving slowly like the rest, so I ducked it and continued running.

I know I should have just continued running, never looking backward, but I did. I looked backward. They were still there, standing in front of my car. They weren't even attempting to chase me.

They waved as I ran.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Help Me Find Derek

My brother Derek went missing two days ago. He hasn't answered his cell phone and his apartment is empty. The last time anyone spoke to him was Friday evening.

The cops said they would look into it, but I don't think they have the time or inclination. They said that he might have just moved away - but I'm his sister. His twin sister. He wouldn't move and not tell me.

And...well, there's more. I received a note in my mailbox yesterday.

The game begins and he's in a bind.
If he's a good man, he's hard to find.
 -- The Jester

I handed the note to the cops, but I think they believe it was me trying to force them to find him. But this Jester guy...he knows where my brother is.

If I treat this like a game, he may tell me.

So: help me. Anybody who finds their way here and reads this. Help me win this game and find him.