Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Notebook: Elaine

 "For the first eight years of my life, everything was perfect. My parents were well off but devoted, life was simple and pleasant. And then about a week after my eighth birthday I woke up in the middle of the park near my house with my best friend's twin brother dead in front of me."

 "My parents... this went on for two years. And they never believed it was me. I didn't believe it was me. I don't remember most of it, and up until... something like two weeks ago I'd always thought it was crazy."

 "Fifteen people, including my parents and my little brother, all courtesy of Slender Man."

 "Yeah. That best friend? Whose brother I killed? That was Cam. But he stuck by me the whole time, he came to visit me when I was in the asylum afterwards, and he tried to get his parents to adopt me when I got out. Imagine that, your son begging you to adopt the girl who killed his brother. I can't blame them for saying no."

  "It only got worse from there. Officially, I was never accused of the crimes and they suspected I had a stalker who was killing people 'for me.' So when I got out they changed my name and made me change my look, moved me halfway across the country and gave me to a family as a foster kid. It probably would've been fine, had the family not been told my circumstances. They were veteran foster parents, had an amazing reputation, were wonderful with kids, but could never forgive me for being a murderer. By that point I was fifteen and rebellious, so when the guy I was dating suggested we run away and find ourselves something better, I was all in favor of it."

 "It wasn't so bad at first. Sure, we were broke, stupid kids, but Dallas wasn't a bad place to go, as such things went. Mark got a job with this drug boss  type-the kind of guy who ran most of the big crime in the area. Worked for a Mexican drug cartel."

 "I wasn't going to get involved with that, I didn't like the way he looked at me. So I worked at a diner. It wasn't ideal, but by the end of the first year we had a place of our own, and we didn't figure we needed much when we had each other."

 "What a joke. He didn't want a partner, he wanted a housewife. And he never realy forgave me for the looks the people he worked with gave me, and he certainly didn't forgive me my opinions and my attitude."

 "It got abusive. I was at that point still too horrified by my past to fight back. He started accusing me of cheating, and eventually he comes in while I'm cooking dinner one day and starts threatening to kill me. Something just snapped. When he attacked me, I fought back, and considering I was far better armed and not much weaker, I won. He died. And suddenly I was a killer again. Vargas showed up and offered to protect me, provided I work for him. And..."

 "Also 'work for him' in the... less savory sense. I was seventeen. And he had me as a prostitute."

 "Not that that lasted long. I refused to put up with it, and luckily for me Vargas decided he liked my talent for killing people."

 "So I... did my job, for the next four years."

 "And then I got arrested for something stupid, cut a deal, and got off with a very minor charge and got off with two years of jail time in exchange for taking down one of the biggest drug bosses in Dallas."

 "That's where Cam came in. He'd followed me to Texas somehow, and he kept showing up now and again, offering to take me out. I was too proud, too stupid to take him up on it, until I was in jail and looking at a pretty drab future once I got out. People who turn over people that important usually don't survive long outside of protection."

David's gone

The Mad Ventriloquist probably should have noticed earlier. Things were too quiet. But he was drinking. And he liked the quiet a bit too much to realize what it meant.

The Mad Ventriloquist doesn't know where he went, when he went, or even if he's coming back. He wishes he did. The Mad Ventriloquist is afraid that something bad is going to happen.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Notebook: Kevin

There is a page in the notebook titled Kevin. The page is empty. The Mad Ventriloquist remembers why.

Minori had found another person to interview. Another person in an asylum. The Mad Ventriloquist was tired of running around listening to crazy people. Minori drew her gun again, and that's when he decided to stop all this.

"Are you really willing to kill someone?" he asked her. Minori didn't waver her gun, but there was a flicker of doubt on her face for a moment. "I'll aim for a shoulder. Or a leg. A simple wound." she answered. The Mad Ventriloquist stepped a little closer. "I've seen too many people die of simple wounds to think there's such thing. And I imagine you have too. Stop bluffing and put the gun away."

She glared at him for a moment, but put the gun down anyway.

There was conversation after that, although The Mad Ventriloquist can't really remember exactly what was said. It was about this tall man and insane people and how The Mad Ventriloquist thought it was a waste of time and how Minori thought they were on to something. There was a lot of talking and yelling until Minori said something about her sister. And how The Mad Ventriloquist wouldn't understand.

"I do." he said, "My brother was killed. More than ten years ago, but still." Minori stopped whatever she was going to say when she hear that, and just stared at him. After a few minutes of silence, she spoke again. "How?" she asked. "A cop killed him." The Mad Ventriloquist answered, and the effect on Minori was visible and instant. She backed up a couple steps, then found a bench to sit on. "Did he.." she started, but never managed to finish. "Did he do anything wrong? Is that what you mean. That is what you would focus on. He dealt drugs. So congratulations, he was a bad guy. Fine reason to be murdered don't you think?" The Mad Ventriloquist answered. It came out a little too harsh. He hadn't meant to sound angry. Minori seemed to process it for a minute longer, and her expression changed from shocked to thoughtful to something The Mad Ventriloquist wasn't quite sure about. "Just one more question." she said, and he waited.

"Do you think I'm a fucking idiot?"

She stood up, no longer shaken and glared at The Mad Ventriloquist. He glared right back at her. "This is why they really assigned you, isn't it? So you can try and get inside my head. Your sort always needs new dirty cops, right? Well, it won't work. Take your fake brother and your fucking mind games and shove them up your ass." She tried to walk past him, but he caught her arm. "You should have expected this when you come to the mob for help." he said, "And my brother isn't fake. His name was Declan. Declan Ward. You can look him up."

Minori didn't answer. She just left. The Mad Ventriloquist doesn't know if she saw Kevin, or what he said if she did. Maybe he was the key to this whole puzzle. Maybe if The Mad Ventriloquist had gone, things would have been different.

But he didn't.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Notebook: Tony

Annette seemed like a dead end to The Mad Ventriloquist. It didn't to Minori. She started thinking there was a connection between her own sister's death and the tall man that the woman had talked about in between mutterings. She was thinking cults or hypnotism or some weird thing like that. So she began looking into more people to question. Tony was the next one she found.

He was charged with assault after claiming that the guy on the street was after him. After his sentence, he was checked into an asylum for paranoid delusions. Once again a gun was involved. Minori was very fond of her gun. The Mad Ventriloquist remembers thinking that she seemed to solve problems more like we did than a cop should. Not saying she was dirty, because she wasn't. She made that very clear. But there was something fierce about her. She was an animal, like we were. This made things complicated because The Mad Ventriloquist really wanted to hate Minori.

Tony was much more talkative then Annette. Tony never shut, up actually. Minori only asked one question: if he knew anything about a tall man.

"There are a lot of tall men. Not that I would help much if you were more specific. I rarely get any visitors. The orderlies come in and slip drugs in my food sometimes. They think I don't know, but I do. I see everything. I see the cameras and the drugs and all the attempts to keep me quiet. Because I know something, and the government doesn't want the world to find out. I think he works for him. The suit fits. That's why I'm really here. Because  I know, and I'm ready to question. You don't even know how much this guy has done. I bet half the nation's cold cases were done by this guy. Is that the tall guy you mean? How do you know about him? And why are you asking me? You're one of them, aren't you. I knew it. I knew they would find me. You're not taking me. You took my wife, but you're not taking me. I won't let you."

He then started yelling 'I won't let you' over and over again until the guards made us leave.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

That didn't go as planned

The Mad Ventriloquist was wrong. He was wrong and he put people in danger.

Elaine and Schrodinger are here. Schrodinger is fine, but Elaine has a shoulder wound and The Mad Ventriloquist is also a little banged up. Frank the cat is also fine. Which is good, since The Mad Ventriloquist likes him. He had always wanted a cat, but thought that their hair might get in his beer. It turns out that it does, but he doesn't mind all that much.

David came. He tied up the grocery delivery man in the truck and came in when The Mad Ventriloquist wasn't looking very hard. He was having trouble getting up, actually. It had been a very long night. But Elaine eventually called him over, and that's when David took his knife out.

The Mad Ventriloquist was wrong. He thought David wouldn't try anything. He did. He kneeled next to Schrodinger and held the knife against her cheek. The Mad Ventriloquist pushed him away, but it's been too long. He's spent the last six years sitting on the couch watching soap operas. David's spent it working. There was a time when David and The Mad Ventriloquist were pretty evenly matched, but not anymore. The Mad Ventriloquist ended up being pinned against the wall. But Elaine challenged him to a fight, and that's one thing David could never resist. The Mad Ventriloquist pulled Schrodinger out of there, so he doesn't really know what happened. All he knows is that afterwards, David came out and whispered in The Mad Ventriloquist's ear. "You can't keep running from me. One of these days, you'll have to start listening."

Then he left.

The Mad Ventriloquist didn't think that would happen. He had thought he'd known David well enough to predict what he'd do now that visitors were there. But he didn't. Then again, The Mad Ventriloquist has changed so much in this time. Maybe David has too. The fact that he doesn't know the first thing about someone he used to be so close to is disturbing. He feels like he doesn't know anything any more, and people might be in danger because of it.

At least no one is too hurt. And the beer is mostly safe.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


David keeps on coming over.

He's broken pretty much every window of The Mad Ventriloquist's house, busted the lock on his door, and if everything isn't secure he'll just walk in and sit on the sofa. The Mad Ventriloquist isn't sure whether he's annoyed or flattered. Perhaps this is just because of being alone so much. Donovan was the only guest he had over for a while. Other guests are coming in a few days, but for years it was just The Mad Ventriloquist alone in his house. It's nice to have visitors, even if they are breaking and entering. Even if they talk about the slender man and how much could be gained if The Mad Ventriloquist just joined him.

The Mad Ventriloquist has missed David. Years of friendship are hard to erase, and he can't manage to do it. David is asking something of The Mad Ventriloquist that he can't do, though. So most of the time he just ignores him, and tries to fix his windows.

People are coming in a few days. The Mad Ventriloquist is happy about it, but slightly nervous. He can't seem to keep David out, and it's possible that he will come in while the guests are here. He'll probably be civil. David is very civil the first couple of times. But it is worrying The Mad Ventriloquist a little. Still, these people need a place to stay, and even how things are, this is a very safe place.

The Mad Ventriloquist should probably buy more groceries, or he'll end up feeding his visitors beer and toast.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A sort of introduction: Minori and The Mad Ventriloquist

Minori and The Mad Ventriloquist had a lot in common, although they didn't know it at first. Their childhood homes ended up being only a few blocks away from each other. Both were the oldest sibling, both had been homeless for a period of time. They knew what it was like to grow up one person in a huge city and have no one care. How they dealt with this was their only real difference, but that meant everything.

When they first met, Minori was wearing her police uniform. The Mad Ventriloquist thought that she was being very rude. Was she trying to start a fight? Did she just feel like she was better than us? Knowing what he does now, The Mad Ventriloquist realizes that wasn't quite it.

The Mad Ventriloquist didn't write the conversation down and he technically wasn't supposed to be listening so he doesn't really remember what was said. He remembers the murders though. They were nasty, brutal things. Organs ripped out, bodies hung from trees. Some people probably already know what he's talking about. We had been hit hard. Several members had died. The Mad Ventriloquist had lost a friend. Minori had lost a sister.

The police wouldn't let her investigate. Partially because she was a newer cop and partially because it was a personal matter. But Minori had to know, she had to find answers. So she went to the only other source of authority she knew.

And they assigned The Mad Ventriloquist to help her.

Friday, August 5, 2011


The Mad Ventriloquist saw David again. This time it wasn't a dream. The Mad Ventriloquist was mostly sober. And David bothered to use the doorbell. The Mad Ventriloquist wasn't sure how to respond, so before he could David was inside and pushing a bunch of CDs into his arms. "That's what I've burned so far." he said and took a seat in a chair in the living room, "I can get you the rest later."

The Mad Ventriloquist placed the mess of CDs onto a nearby table and followed David into the living room. "Why are you here?" he asked, and David stared at him as if he had just said something really stupid. "Six years and that's what you have to say to me?" he answered. The Mad Ventriloquist wasn't sure what to say to that. It wasn't that he didn't want to see David. For years they had been best friends. Part of The Mad Ventriloquist wanted to smile and drink beer and welcome David in with open arms. But he still wasn't sure why he was here now.

"I would have been here earlier, but you're hard to find. Relax, this is just a social call." he told him. The Mad Ventriloquist actually did relax a little bit, but not too much. David noticed this. David notices almost everything. "Did I do something wrong?" he asked, "I mean, I know it's been a long time. But I was sort of expecting something a bit more. A hello maybe?"

The Mad Ventriloquist let out a mechanical hello and David laughed. The sound filled up what is normally a quiet house. He left the chair he was sitting on and walked over to The Mad Ventriloquist. "I have spent years not knowing whether you were alive or dead, just hoping that he would fufill his part of the bargain. So forgive me if I come over to see if you're ok." The Mad Ventriloquist couldn't help but smile at that, just a little bit. "I'm fine." he said.

David sighed and waved around the room. "No you're not. Look at this, look at you. You're throwing your life away Ronan. And for what? What use is all of this if it doesn't make you happy?" He stepped away from The Mad Ventriloquist and walked over to the piano in the corner of the room. He ran a hand across the top and looked at the dust. "You don't play anymore?" he asked. The Mad Ventriloquist shook his head.  It brought back too many memories. David flipped open the keyguard and dragged The Mad Ventriloquist to the seat. "Come on. Just one more time, for my sake?" he said, and The Mad Ventriloquist said nothing. It had been so long ago, everything had. Yet David came in and everything seemed like before. David just smiled, and started to sing. I can't decide. Scissor sisters. A song they both knew by heart.

The Mad Ventriloquist began to play.

Like he expected, the more he played the more he remembered. David's voice firm and smooth and comforting, audible proof that not everything back then was all that bad. The Mad Ventriloquist likes to tell everyone that there are reasons that people do bad things. That they deserve a second chance. This seems like a good time to tell everyone that he was once a bad guy. He never worked for the slender man, but there are a lot of types of evil in the world. Some of them aren't even supernatural. He has tried to move on, to help, to become something more than that. But to do so he had put a negative light on everything that had happened to him before he decided to seek redemption.

It's hard to do that with a song playing and a friend singing next to it. It's hard not to remember that there is more to this world than memories and beer. But the memories for once were not unwanted, because it led him to a conclusion.

The Mad Ventriloquist had been searching for redemption, but he wasn't really sure what that was. It's a very vague word, and could mean all sorts of things. He had sort of been grasping at every lead trying to figure out what it was. But David showed him. It's not a heroic act or an epic quest or a moment of sacrifice. It is the moment when all the positive things of that world come back, all the temptation and the reasons and the opportunity, and you realize that you just don't want it anymore. It's meeting a man that once filled you with awe, and only feeling disgust.

The Mad Ventriloquist stopped playing and pulled the piano shut. "Get out David." he said. David stopped singing, and looked over at The Mad Ventriloquist, a look of hurt in his eye. It was gone fairly quickly, and his usual smile came back. He leaned down and kissed The Mad Ventriloquist on the forehead. "Don't think I'm going to give up that easily." he said,  and then he left.

It's time for The Mad Ventriloquist to stop wallowing in his self pity and guilt. It's time to talk about Minori.