Wednesday, September 7, 2011
First thing's first. Spencer wanted me to tell you all that he admits to being the one who changed Jake's Loop to being a life with Cam. He feels guilty about it, but all he wanted to do was give him happiness after the Loop had already broken him. I don't blame him. He doesn't know who put him there or busted him out.
So, after that, I really... I'm not sure what to say. So much of my life has been hiding and fighting my past. It feels fucking weird to have it just... laid out like that. And honestly perhaps a little dangerous? Considering the amount of people that are after me. But with any luck they'll get distracted chasing each other down.
I guess if it had to happen, I'm glad it happened here. August and Spencer have been a huge help. And the House is good for distractions. I did more exploring. Still looking for the room the key opens.
And I found it. I must've passed that door a hundred times before, but it was kind of in a strange spot and I hadn't noticed it before. Blame the detox or something. But today I saw it and noticed the bronze of the lock matched my key, and gave it a go. It worked.
When I stepped into the room, the first thing I noticed was color, everywhere. The furniture, just a bed, a dresser, and a bookshelf full of art supplies, was all pushed together awkwardly into the middle of the room to leave every inch of wall space free. The walls were covered in art. Hundreds of pictures covering every possible inch of wall space. It was beautiful and somewhat horrifying.
I admit, I just kind of stared for a while. I stepped into the room , to the middle of the floor, next to the bed, and I turned, slowly, and tried to make sense of all of it. And slowly but surely, I did. It was a story.
It started on the far wall from the door, the first one a person would see from the doorway. The pictures were all muted, quiet pastels. It told the story of a kid as she grew up, broken and alone and probably abused, judging by the pictures. The wall is dominated by a large picture of two adults towering outrageously over a child literally something like a tenth of their size, who is crying and holding a doll. There's a dent in the wall over both of the older figure's heads-I'm guessing she liked to throw things at them when frustrated. Over the course of the wall the child grows up, and you can see her bruises and tears and failures, as well as her rare success-most notably a triptych of the girl learning to paint, the happiest picture on the wall. The last panel was an older woman lying in a hospital bed, either asleep or dead. Judging by the rest of the story, I have little doubt it's the latter
It continued to the right, on the next wall. It starts with the girl getting to college, taking classes in art-including a very intricate painting of an entire life drawing class with a model and a room full of students. For the first time people other than the girl-turned-woman are painted in a positive fashion, without the shadows or looming presence. A man figures prominently towards the end of the college days, and there are happy scenes of the two of them together. Dates periodically, then a wedding, and the most prominent picture of the wall, the two of them beaming and holding a baby. At first glance, it seemed perfectly happy, and then I started paying more attention. The picture of the three of them has worn and smudged bits on the face of the man-specifically the lips, and along the outline of the baby. As though someone had been stroking them. Perhaps even kissing them, considering the wear on the lips.
In addtion, after that picture subtle operator symbols show up all over the place. Shaded into shadows, starbursted into reflections, anywhere and everywhere it can be worked in, it is. This wall ends with a painting of an empty crib covered in blood.
The next wall, the wall with the door, told a story we all know too well. Mad, smudged charcoal sketches of Slendershit and operator symbols intermingle with scenes of horror and dread. The only two colors on this wall are the black of the charcoal and the red of some kind of paint. The pictures depict the woman and her husband running hard and fast, but a third of the way through, the most prominent picture is of slendershit luring the man to him. This picture also has dents, and seems to have been drawn with a hand that's far more shaky than most of the other drawings. He shows up again halfway down wearing a mask. It's clear he's hunting her down.
The wall ends in his bloody corpse on the ground, with her holding a knife, covered in blood and looking horrified.
The last wall has two equally prominent main pictures. The first and the last. The first is a picture of Spencer and Doc talking to the woman. There are various pictures of the House, other couriers-mostly ones I recognize, but a few I didn't. Most of the ones I didn't recognize had a graphic and detailed portrait of their death-though how accurate the portraits are, I can't say. The portraits play through the death and arrival of a lot of couriers-whoever this woman was, she seems to have been here for a while.
She uses more and more color over the course of painting the pictures on this wall, though she never paints herself with color again. Until the last painting on the wall. The other big one. It's her corpse, with slit wrists, sprawled on her bed.
Upon closer inspection, though there's no mattress on the bedframe anymore, there's blood splatter on the frame itself.
This woman painted her life and her death on the walls. I don't even know her name, but my heart aches for her. I wonder if Spence had any idea that the key went to this room...
I just had to get this out of my head. I need to go find Spencer and talk to him.