Saturday, December 31, 2011

Had a session with Doctor Beakman today

It's about 6:30 in the evening in case the time is still messing up.

This afternoon I had a session with Doctor Beakman and he explained to me that everything on this blog was my reaction to the guilt I felt when I had a psychotic break at school. He says this obsession with "rescuing" Janice is because it would make up for what I did to her and that I created these fantasies about "Pirate Percy" and "the Skin-Taker" to represent the parts of me that hurt her.

I don't know. Everything he says makes a lot of sense. More sense than a magical woman made out of wood that can control people and living puppets kidnapping little girls. But . . . I just can't see myself hurting a child. I don't know what to think but I have to trust the doctor or I won't get better.

I met someone at dinner today (Sloppy Joe's, yum!). I'm not going to put his name here because Doctor Beakman might get mad at him for what he said. He agreed with what I posted as "Robert Dillanger" that this place is messing with my mind. He says he's on a quest too and they're keeping him here against his will and trying to convince him he's insane just like me. He wants me to stop taking my medicine and break out of here with him. I don't believe him but I don't want to turn him in either.

The Doctor says today was just a small setback

I don't know if my computer is still messing up the time stamp on these but it's almost 9:30 at night here at Shadylawn.

Doctor Beakman said I had been acting so lucid today that he didn't think I'd be updating the blog. He did say though that he thinks it's a good sign  that I didn't reply in the comment box in my last post with any made up people like Elaine, Aura, and Paradoxical Machinations. But he saw today's post and he came to check on me. He didn't find me in my room so he sent the orderlies to find me. I was on the lawn with my laptop, a bag full of my things, and a broom I kept insisting was a sword. He's locked the broom back up in the closet. I have to go, the pill they gave me is making me sleepy. I might update this blog tomorrow, or maybe I'll remember that none of this is really happening and I wrote everything on here even the comments "you guys" made.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I need to investigate this

Looking at the time stamp on everyone's comments for my last post you guys probably think I downed the whole bottle and have been laying there drunk since you heard from me last. For me though it's only been a half hour since my last post. Twenty minutes ago I left the bottle laying in shards on the ground, the bourbon - all of the bourbon - soaking into the soil. After a few steps I looked back and the broken bottle was gone, not even a sign of dampness in the soil. This place is messing with me pretty bad, it doesn't feel like I'm being tormented for somethings sick amusement though, it feels like I'm being tested.

The path keeps rising, it keeps getting steeper and harder to climb, but I can't give up I need to press forward. I stopped to take a quick rest and noticed something just around one of the curves in the path that warrants some investigation before I move on, the first sign of a human presence since the farm house. I have not put my cutlass away because this still doesn't seem like anywhere that belongs in the "real" world (for one thing I don't think anyone would build on a slope that's a 45 degree angle) and I don't know what I'm going to find here.

What it appears to be is some sort of group home, the sign says "Shady Lawn: a resting place for the troubled mind". Unlike Janice the sign is real. I can touch it. The house is real too, I bounced a small pebble off the side. Not enough hopefully to alert anyone inside but it tells me  the building is really here. Now I just have to decide if I should snoop around or knock on the door.

I take that back. I've apparently been noticed. A couple people are coming out, they look a little worried not surprising considering my sword. Judging from their build and their white coats they're orderlies or something. Better hit publish and talk to them before they decide I'm dangerous - and so I can be ready if they're dangerous.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Ordeal

An hour and a half ago I followed the advice of Paradoxical Machinations and went down the path labeled Ordeal. They certainly named the path accurately. After I set out on the path it began to slope upwards, gradually at first but soon it became very steep and a hard climb. The path began twisting and turning so that clumps of trees hid the road ahead. I continued on with my hand on the hilt of my cutlass since the trees seemed ideal to hide an ambush. What I didn't expect to see on the path was Janice. I thought my quest had ended right there. I wish I could say I got her out and we were on our way back to Michigan but life just isn't going to be that kind.

When I rounded the curve and saw her standing there, in the pajamas she was wearing when she was taken, I expected her face to light up. I expect that she would be grateful that someone had come to bring her home. Instead she glared at me accusingly. Then she started to scream at me. "Why did you let him do it Mr. Carlson? Why would you let Percy take me away? You were watching the show just like us kids, you knew he was looking for me and you didn't do anything! You could have stopped him Mr. Carlson, you could have made him leave me alone. But you didn't! You let him take me away and I'm scared and I miss my mommy and my daddy. They could be hurting me right now and you didn't do anything to stop it!"

I tried to reach out to her. I tried to take her hand and tell her that it was okay, she was safe now and I would bring her home. That I hadn't meant for this to happen that there was no way for me to have known that the show was real or that she was the Janice Percy had been searching for. It was like trying to grasp smoke, she vanished at my touch. She had never been there, she was an illusion conjured by this place.

You know what is real though? The huge bottle of Jim Beam that appeared along side the road a few moments after she vanished. I can touch it. I'm cradling it in one arm like a child as I type. I've cracked the lid and smelled it. It's real alright. I haven't tasted it yet. If I do I'll probably drink the whole thing. It's so fucking tempting though.

I'm at a crossroads

Looking at the time stamp on my previous two posts it looks as if time here is behaving in the same way as distance and direction. Which is to say, unpredictably. I'm not sure how long it's been for you but for me it's been about fourteen hours since my last post, which makes it about 9 in the morning eastern standard time (which is what my blog is set to) from my perspective.

I was able to sleep in my car last night without incident. I had some time to think about this place before getting to sleep last night and I'm still confused. If I were in a city instead of the countryside I'd suspect I'd wandered into the Empty City, but the landscape although it distorts direction and distance doesn't seem to be in a state of constant change. Also I'm seeing animals here. If it were just birds I'd be worried because of the Convocation but I've also seen a few squirrels and rabbits. As far as I know there is no Fear of cute fuzzy creatures.

I've read of Loops and Labyrinths but this feels different somehow from the way they've been described. Among other things it lacks the feeling of wrongness and menace and again the geography isn't shifting around when I'm not looking.

It certainly isn't the path of black leaves or any other Realm I've heard of.

So this morning I set off, taking with me my duffel bag stuffed with food, water, a smaller first aid kit than the one in my trunk (bought on Proxiehunter's suggestion), binoculars, my multi-tool, a blanket, and some matches. And of course my laptop. I'm also carrying the pepper spray (for all the good it's done me in the past) in my coat pocket and I have the cutlass thrust through my belt in case I need to fight. If I see any evidence I'm back in what passes for the "normal" world I'll hide the sword in my duffel bag again but right now I want it easily accessible. I walked for about an hour, passing that tree with the gauze around it several more times but not my car. Just now I came to a crossroads. There's an old fashioned wooden street sign with arrows pointing all four directions. Back the way I came the arrow reads "Hardship", the way forward reads "Tribulations" to the left "Woe", the arrow pointing right "Ordeal".

I'm saying right now Woe is out. There doesn't seem to be much point going back the way I came either (even given the wacky geography). So I need to choose which way to go, Ordeal or Tribulations?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Out of gas

I've been driving for an hour since I made my last post and the car just shuddered and died. I'll be sleeping in the car tonight and try to walk somewhere in the morning, I know enough about the world these days to be worried about sleeping around all these trees but hopefully Slenderman is too busy stalking collage students and school kids to worry about an elementary school teacher.

Phone isn't working

No matter what number I dial, even 911, I get the recording that says my call can not be completed as dialed. Still getting wireless internet for some reason, and my computer is still fully charged despite running on battery power. Running low on gas.

It's getting worse.

Just tried an experiment. Fifteen minutes ago I tied some gauze from the first aid kit around a tree. Despite not making a single turn and the road running straight as an arrow I've passed that tree five time now. Still no clue how I'm getting a wireless signal out here.

I'm lost

My GPS says I'm in Finland, my compass is spinning in circles. I turned around to drive back to the last sign of civilization I saw, a small farm, and despite not having taken any turns or even a curve I'm five miles past where the farm should be and there's no sign of it. I don't know how I'm getting wireless, I wish I had any clue where I am, maybe I'd be able to get directions from Google.

I'm heading out to scout

I should reach my destination at a quarter past four. I'll try to get back online as soon as I can to let you know what I turned up.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Think I've got a lead

I hope not posting yesterday didn't make anyone think I'd been killed by a Puppet or crawled back into the bottle (I dumped the last of the Beam down the sink right after I made my last post). Instead I've been distracting myself from the guilt over what happened at that office building by immersing myself in research trying to connect Geppeto Corporation to Tower TV. I think I've got an address for where they're broadcasting from. It's out in the boonies though. I need to take some time tomorrow gathering supplies to scout this place out so I don't walk into another trap. That Proxiehunter guy following my blog may be a lunatic but his blog had some good suggestions of things I didn't bring along when I left. I'll probably head out Wednesday for the scouting mission.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My head is killing me.

Sorry for the incoherency of the last post. I don't normally drink like that but I think you can understand why I did last night. Unlike Omega's dismemberment this one did make the news. They're trying to connect it to the Cartels though. News reports suggest they think it was multiple people with machetes who did it. I'm going to swap out my license plates again just in case my plate number was noted as being in the vicinity.

This place is so sleazy the check in guy didn't even look at me or check my ID when I checked in. He counted the money twice though. Someone kept knocking on my door last night. He was shouting at me to let him in. Drunk as I was I still remembered what I've read about the Dying Man so crackhead or eldrich abomination I just ignored him until he went away.

She was wrong. I'm not broken. I'm going to do some more research and see if I can connect this Gepetto corporation to Tower TV and I'm going to rescue Janice. That's the only thing that will make this nightmare worth it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

YUO guyas are probab;y wonderingw hat happened tp me

Well i'M sitting here at my comuter with a quarter of a botle of Jim Beam lef tand i still can't forget. So I;m going to tell you.

I got wehre the note said to go. The Gepetto corporation. I can tell you about it bcause its not there anymore . And thats my fault. I got there at about 10 AM. Traffic in Chicago sucks did you know that? I should have gotten there a lot early if the traffic didn't suck and people didnt drive like loons. What was I talking baout? Oh yeah Gepetto corporation. I got there and i parked outside for a while. I was scared to go in. I knwe it was a trap but I new I had to spring it if i was going to learn anything new. I sat ther for about fifteen minutes and then all of a sudden my radio turned on. It was staticy but i recognized the voice right away. If you've seen the show you probably would have recognized it to. “you have…to go…INSIDE.” She said. She always says that to Percy that fucking puppet who kidnapped Janice and now she somehow hijacked my radio to say it to me.

Fuck I need another dringk.

I got my duffel bag out of the trunk, thats where I hid the cutlass that killed Omega. The one i cut him up with when he dead body attacked me. When i walked in the security guard at the front desk he hit a button and I heard some sort of locking mechenizem click in the doors i just came in. he was moving weird, like the bell ringer, like Omega, like a Puppet. He came at me with his nightstick, im just glad he didn't have a gun. I tried to break the glass in the doors and get away but whoever built the place decided to use that bullet proof plexi stuff. I didn't have a choice. I tried the pepper spray first but it didnt work. I mean it looked like he was in pain but he kept coming anyway. He didn't even scream I don't think she LET hm scream. So I got the sword out. I killed him. I didnt have a choice so i killed him. I didnt have time to wonder why it was os easy there were more Puppets comming. Office workers. They had scissors they had big heavy staplers one of them had ripped the blade and handle off a paper cutter. I didnt stop I didn't think ab9out why they were coming one at a time when they could have overwhelmed me with numbers. I just cut and cut and cut and cut and cut and cut and cut aand cut . . .

I have to go throw up again.

It was a small office I think I only killed thirty people. Fifty tops. I don't know what made the doors open again but the did and i ran. I wasn't running from them they were all dead. Id made sure there was now ay She was getting them up to make anoth erattempt to kill me. I wasn't even running from the police they fought and died silently some of them crying some of them trying to laugh some of them trying to scream but they were all silent. I was running away from me from what I did in there. I ran all the way to this motel, not the one I was at when I posted yesterday. Then after I took a two hour shower to get the blood off I ran to a liquor store and then I tried to run away into this bottle of Beam because I realized why they fought so badly.

She wanted this. She wanted me to slaughter them. She thought it would break me.

She might be right.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh God Oh no

I went to pick up some take out for Omega and I. while I was waiting for our order the television behind the counter suddenly switched channels - even though it was the wrong time of day it was a Candle Cove episode. Most patrons were shouting at the manager to switch off the static although a couple of people were watching with interest and one paled and ran out the door. The channel wouldn't change though and the power button wouldn't work. Janice was on screen, wearing a crown of snow and ice and shivering a bit. She was building a snow man around a shivering Percy with the help of the Frozen Prince. I suppose he's better known as Cold Boy in the blogosphere. She looked directly at the camera instead of at the Prince and asked "Can you help me pack this snow Your Highness?" but she strongly emphasized the "help me" like she was trying to communicate with anyone watching. Then the scene changed. A close up on the Skin-Taker in his own ship. Like Janice he was looking directly at the camera when he delivered his line. "I'm going to hunt you down. And when I find you I'M GOING TO GRIND YOUR SKIN!" He started cackling and his jaws began to swivel side to side in their trademark way. At that point I decided the person who had ran without waiting for his order had the right idea so I sprinted to my car and sped back to the hotel.

I was too late. I found Omega laying on the floor, his cloths were in bloody strips and his skin had been flayed from his body. He was impaled by a cutlass and there was a blood stained note laying on the floor next to him. I didn't get a chance to read the note right away though, as soon as I picked it up Omega's corpse jerked to it's feet as if pulled by strings. It tried to reach out and strangle me but I rolled backwards and grabbed my baseball bat from next to the door.

Funny thing about base ball bats. When the thing you're fighting doesn't feel pain and it's bones and tendons aren't necessary for it's movement because it's being operated like a marionette a base ball bat doesn't make it stop coming. Neither does pepper spray. The sword you rip out of its sternum and dismember it at the joints with? That's a lot more useful in that situation. I wish that sword were more practical to carry day to day. After cutting apart what was left of Omega I threw up what was left of breakfast, grabbed my bat, my computer, the sword, and the note. I quickly scrubbed myself off with a hotel towel, scrubbed the blade so the blood wouldn't rust it, and got the hell OUT of there before I could be found with a dismembered skinned corpse in my room. I have no idea why the fight didn't bring people running before I could do all that but I'm grateful it didn't. Even if I were able to avoid conviction the delay would have been catastrophic. I drove for about half an hour (never exceeding the speed limit once. The body was probably found shortly after I left. The last thing I need to do is show my ID to a cop now.) I found a parking garage and quickly switched my license plate with that of a random vehicle. I drove for a while longer before I pulled over to read the note.

"It appears I missed you James. Just as well, I normally prefer kid skin but your friend provided me with enough to make a cape all one piece and a matching hat. If you really want to find me I'll be at <I've removed the address he provided. I don't want any one getting curious and being skinned alive like Omega. I'll just say it's somewhere in Chicago. JCarlson>. Get there soon, I have other things to do."

The note was signed "T.S. Taker". Cute. Well, I'm coming for the bastard. I have a sword to return to him. I know he's mostly bone but maybe if I shove it through his rib cage hard enough I'll sever his spine.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My interview with Jodie Lewis

Sorry this is going up so long after the interview, I recorded our little chat and it's taken me some time to write up the transcript. The static on the recording is terrible. Also the little coffee shop near her was an hours drive from my hotel. I parked my car a few blocks away from the coffee shop and set out for it with Omega following me after five minutes so it wouldn't be clear to anyone watching the shop that he was with me. Obviously I couldn't bring my baseball bat but having learned my lesson from that encounter with the Salvation Army bellringer the pepper spray was in the pocket of my coat. I ordered a cappuccino and took a seat waiting for Mrs. Lewis to arrive.  When Omega came in he ordered a black coffee and took a seat three tables down. A few minutes after he arrived Mrs. Lewis came in the door, despite being in her late 40s she's still recognizable for her role as "Janice" to anyone who watched in the 70s or the re-runs of those same episodes in the 80s. I waved to get her attention and she came over and sat across from me after ordering a large chai.

Mrs. Lewis: You're a very persuasive man Mr. Carlson . . .

Me: Please, call me James.

Mrs. Lewis: James then. You're a very persuasive man James. It takes a lot to get me to talk about that horrible show. Why are you so interested? Morbid curiosity like the last man who interviewed me?

Me: No ma'am. I don't know if you're aware, but the show . . . it's airing again. With a new girl playing Janice.

(here she pales and grips her cup tight. I'm glad that this place uses real mugs instead of paper cups inside the store, otherwise she would have crushed it and gotten soaked.)

Mrs. Lewis: I'd hoped after everything that happened on that set they'd never make another episode. It was horrific, my councilors say that some of what I remember has been distorted by time and the fear of a little girl. That it didn't really happen . . .

Me: No matter what you tell me about that show, I'm prepared to believe it.

(She gives me an appraising look)

Mrs. Lewis: For some reason I believe you are. So let me start at the beginning. I'd always wanted to be an actress so when my aunt told my mother about an audition for a local children's show I begged and pleaded until she let daddy bring me down to try out. The audition was fairly normal, but one wall of the room was taken up by a one way mirror and the director seemed to be deferring to someone one the other side of it for his casting decisions. Five other girls tried out for the part of Janice that day. Some days I wish one of them had gotten the part. Is that cruel of me?

Me: No. I understand completely. So how was it actually working on the show?

Mrs. Lewis: Terrifying. The director was a tyrant, he would blow up over the least little thing, like the time wardrobe gave me a dress the wrong shade of red he screamed at the lady responsible for twenty minutes and then told her to see Ms. Loutka for her last check, she was fired. But worse than the director were the puppets. I don't know if you know this but they were life sized. As a little girl it looked to me more like they were controlling the puppeteers than the other way around. One time they left me alone in a room with the Skin-Taker puppet and the Pirate Percy puppet . . . they tell me it was my imagination but I swear without their puppeteers even being in the room the Skin-Taker swiveled his head to look at me and his jaws . . . his jaws . . .

(here she has to take a moment to drink some of her chai and compose herself)

Me: I know this is difficult for you ma'am. Are you able to continue?

Mrs. Lewis: Y-yes. His jaws, they started to move back forth in that horrid way they did . . . and I swear I heard him hiss, too quietly for anyone outside the room to hear, that he was going to "Grind my skin." Then the Percy puppet, it . . . its arm moved on its own. It grabbed its sword and glared at the Skin-Taker puppet and they both stopped moving. I ran out of the room crying but no one would believe me. You know . . . Percy was as creepy a puppet as the rest of them, but I did always feel more comfortable around him and the Laughingstock than the rest. Almost like I thought they'ed protect me as much as they could. Other than that, well you've seen just how fucked up the episodes were I'm sure.

Me: Yes, yes I have. That actually brings up a question I've wondered about for a very long time . . .

Mrs. Lewis: The Screaming episode.

Me: Yes. If you don't want to talk about it I'll understand . . .

Mrs. Lewis: No, no. After all these years I should tell someone. Someone else should know. I'm not sure how the secret was kept for so long. That wasn't what was supposed to be filmed at all. They had planned what passed for a "normal" show for Candle Cove.

(Yes readers, she actually made air quotes here.)

Mrs. Lewis: But as we were getting ready to shoot we started hearing this odd drumming noise. Suddenly the puppeteer for Percy shrieked. He screamed out "Can you hear the drumming, drumming? She is coming, she is coming!" Soon all the puppeteers were screaming the same thing, over and over. That's when I started crying. The the puppets . . . the puppets . . . I swear they started moving on their own, just dancing around crazily and the puppeteers stopped their chant and they just screamed and screamed like they were never going to stop. Michael, the man who worked the Skin-Taker puppet, he screamed so much his throat started bleeding. Bloody foam came pouring down his chin as he screamed. I can't . . . I can't do this anymore. I have to go!

And my interview ended here because she left her mostly full chai on the table and ran from the shop. She is now refusing to take my calls. I'm still trying to contact Adrian Grimes and I'm trying to find an address for "Tower TV" where the show currently airs. What she told me during the interview has me more disturbed than ever. Although it does sound like Percy may not be as much of a villain as I thought.

You still reading this, Puppet? Seems like you were pretty protective of that Janice. You think you can keep her safe from the other freaks until I come for her?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just a quick update

To let you know that neither Omega nor I have been killed by Puppets or anything. After a lot of begging and pleading Mrs. Lewis has agreed to meet me for coffee Tuesday afternoon. Omega will be discreetly coming along as backup, just in case she or anyone else in the coffee shop go Puppet on me. Mr. Grimes on the other hand will not take my calls at all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


While Omega stayed back to guard the room (and probably run up the room service tab) I hit the local library to do some research. I discovered via their computer system that a library an hours drive away actually owns a copy of "The Nickerbocker's Tale" the short story that inspired Candle Cove. Needless to say I broke a few traffic laws and forty minutes latter I was holding it my hands. Unfortunately I couldn't bring it back to the hotel with me, they don't loan it out even to locals with a library card let alone to people from out of state. It was an interesting, if rather dark, read. The protagonist is Derry Caulkry, an eight year old boy who fell from his fathers fishing boat and was lost at sea. He was rescued from drowning by a pirate, I'm sure you can guess said pirates name. This pirates peg leg, crude prosthetic arm, and false nose (much like that of the real historical figure Tycho Brahe) may have been the inspiration for the modern Percy puppet's piecemeal appearance. He also displayed some of the modern Percy's cowardice, although he could be brave when it mattered like jumping into the ocean to save young Derry and relying on his crew to pull them both out again. His crew was running from another pirate vessel, captained by a man called Bones who, we are told, was in the habit of skinning captives alive, sewing their skins into clothing and eating their flesh. Percy swears to return Derry to his father once they outrun Bones and his men. Unfortunately both ships are wrecked in a storm and Percy, Derry, Bones, and an unnamed member of Bones' crew are the only survivors who wash up on an uncharted island where all four are enslaved by "the Witch of Wood". They make several escape attempts but are always thwarted by the witches powers and her minions. It ends with the four of them bound to her in the same manner as her minions and with her demanding that Percy leave on a new ship she is constructing to bring back a girl who can serve as her apprentice and heir. What happens to Derry in the end is unclear but she seemingly had no use for a boy and there is mention that she gifted Bones with a fine new hat and cape . . .

Not all of this fits with what I know of the Wooden Girl, but if someone had heard of her and her minions second hand this business of her being a witch in need of "an apprentice" makes sense as an interpretation of what Joseph  Steward witnessed happening to Charlotte here. If I'm right about that being the same "Charlotte" who played Janice in the 90s version of the show then I'm more conceived than ever that I have to save Janice as soon as possible.

I turned up a few other tidbits as well, what may be valid contact information for Jodie Lewis (formerly Jodie Silver, the first girl to play Janice and the only one other than the girl I'm trying to save who is known to still be alive), and for Adrian Grimes (nephew of Emerson Grimes, director of the 70s version of Candle Cove). Emerson Grimes is missing and presumed dead, but no one found the body and the stage hand who claimed to the author of "Tales of the Laughingstock" that he buried Emersons corpse after the director had a nervous breakdown and accidentally killed himself was found dead days after his interview. Bizarrely the coroner ruled it a suicide, which makes no sense. The man was in a wheel chair, so how did he manage to hang himself with marionette strings? I hope Jodie and Adrian are able to be of some help to me, I'm going to try to contact them tomorrow.

Posting from the Ashland Best Western

It's close to Ironton so I can easily investigate both areas and it has high speed internet access so I can update this blog. I've checked in for the next few days along with a companion I met on the road. No, it's not like that guys. He's a Runner, he helped me out and in return I'm giving him a ride and a warm safe place to stay for now. It's better to have someone watching my back, even if I'm worried he may be the infamous Unlucky Man.

I met him when I stopped at an all night grocery store to pick up an energy drink to keep me alert on the road. The store had one of those Salvation Army bell ringers outside the door, not a Santa (do they even do that anymore?) but a lady about my age with long brown hair and a puffy blue down filled coat. When I came out with my Redbull the parking lot was empty except for her, me, and some empty cars. When she saw me all her limbs jerked and she started moving towards me as if her arms and legs were being pulled by marionette strings. I just barely avoided being clocked by her heavy bell, the most disturbing thing is she was crying while she tried to attack me and she alternated between asking what was happening to her and apologizing for what she was doing. I didn't have my bat with me, I couldn't exactly carry it into the store, and had made the mistake of not putting the pepper spray I bought in my coat pocket yet. She was herding me away from my car and I was getting worried that she was going to succeed in beating me to death with that bell soon when he showed up out of the blue. A tall man in blue jeans and a black hoodie literally appeared behind her and whacked her over the head with a crowbar. I have no idea where he came from. "I hate Puppets, especially when I have to get rough with the ones who have no idea what's happening to them." was all the commentary he had on the situation. I thanked him and suggested we both get the hell out of there and call an ambulance for the poor lady while we were on the road. He agreed and as we headed back to my car I noticed the Operator symbol on the back of his hoodie, furthering my suspicions of who he was. He introduced himself just as "Omega" and was pretty tight lipped about his past or where he was going but listened to my story so far and empathized with my situation. Unfortunately he seems to know more about Slenderman than this Wooden Girl so he wasn't able to offer up much advice I hadn't already gleaned from reading the blogs.

A couple hours after that incident I booked us into a double bed room here. He suggested we sleep in shifts in case one of the night staff turns out to be a Puppet or Slenderman creeps in the room and tries to stick his tentacles in our brains or something. I'm taking the first watch. I'm also never forgetting my pepper spray again. The investigation starts tomorrow, I'll update the blog if anything happens.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Off to a late start

Posting from my local library. Meant to leave an hour ago but my car got a flat. You guys had some good suggestions and I've packed some sheets and blankets both for when I find Janice and in case I stay somewhere I don't trust the sheets they provided to be clean. I'll pick up a stuffed animal for her on the road. Now I'm going head out, pop the mix cd I made to psych myself up for this crazy mission, and go rescue the girl.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My plans

Sorry again for the lack of updates. I've mostly been planning out my investigation and what I'll need to bring with me. I'm going to start my investigation in Ashland and Ironton Ohio, where the first reports of the show came from. Maybe I'll get lucky and that's where the current studio is too, if not hopefully I'll have a few leads.

As for outfitting myself for my little quest, I've purchased an industrial 4 shelf first aid station that's taking up a lot of room in my trunk. I've armed myself with pepper spray rated for bears and a baseball bat, while those probably won't do much against Fears they should help me handle any human, or mostly human, attacker while not creating the same legal hassle as crossing states lines with a firearm. I've updated my will and my utilities are scheduled to be shut off the day I plan to leave (this Friday after work), if I survive this I'll get them turned back on when I return. As for funding this little expedition, I'm bringing along my debt card/ATM card. I don't have a whole lot, but I do have some savings and a small inheritance from an aunt that I was going to buy a house with eventually. I'm also bringing my copy of the book "How to Cheat at Everything". I hope I'm never desperate enough to resort to cheating at cards or employing any of the actual scams in the book, but it has a nice section on bar bets that explains how to accomplish some feats that sound much more difficult than they are that I might be able to use to pick up a bit of extra money here and there. I've got some power bars, jerky, bottled water, and other road food for situations where I can't stop and get something better to eat and I've packed several changes of cloths and a good warm coat as well as hat, gloves, and a scarf to prepare for the weather.

I know all you "Runners" out there probably think I sound a lot more prepared than you ever had a chance to get, but then I had the luxury of prep time and planning that was denied to a lot of you. On the other hand, you guys have the dubious luxury of hard experience. Am I forgetting anything you think I should be bringing along?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sorry I haven't been posting

Remember that incident with my television last post? Shortly after I had to take a hammer to it because it tried to turn on despite being unplugged. Ever since I've been reluctant to use my computer for fear that something similar would start happening.

I had to come back to my blog though because of something strange that happened at school today. You remember how Evan has been flying off the handle because of things he swears the other kids are saying behind his back? Today just before he got into another fight over what sounded to me like an innocuous statement there was a blur in the air between him and the other student. If I hadn't been watching him closely I would have missed it, if I hadn't been researching these "Fears" I wouldn't know what it means. The Choir. That explains what's been going on with him all year. Now if only there was some way to explain it to administration, or even to Evan without sounding insane. But on to what I promised last time: my Candle Cove research. According to a thread on the forum Net Nostalgia it first aired as a TV show in the early '70s, but only in the Ironton area. It's also here that the first mention of some people, mostly adults, only seeing static instead of the episode is made. I attempted to contact the people who posted to that thread - even contacting the forums moderator, one Kris Straub, but all my e-mails bounced. I myself watched the show in the 80's during what appears to have been a national airing of the episodes aired locally in the 70's. I also found information about new episodes that were aired in the 90's starring a new Janice, her actress was referred to in the credits only by her first name, Charlotte. I'd look into records of missing children from the time period but I don't know where Charlotte might have come from.

Interestingly I also found historical references to a short story from 1767 called "The Nickerbocker's Tale" which followed a similar plot line to Candle Cove, though instead of a young girl the main character was an Irish boy. I'm trying to find more information on the author, Collin Caulkry, but I haven't had much luck. I did however discover that events and characters from this story became mixed up with some Punch and Judy shows in the local area (interestingly enough historical Punch and Judy shows sometimes involved a "Doctor" with a very familiar appearance to those who know of the Fears, as well as a Blind Man). It was during these puppet shows that the young boy was first changed to a young girl and called "Janice". Much like the television show while the other characters were played by marionettes Janice was played by a real girl.

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do much more research from the relative comfort of my home. I'm going to wait for the schools Winter break and then I'm going to take my savings and my car and take my research on the road and find a way to rescue Janice.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Had to unplug my TV

It keeps changing the channel to Tower TV on its own. One minute I'm watching CNN the next Janice and that fucking Pirate puppet are standing in a landscape of pillows with a blanket sky surrounded by sleeping figures. Some of them were human, others twisted mockeries of human life. Percy was telling her it was nap time and she smiled that fake looking smile and agreed, but her eyes held a look of sheer terror. I flipped back to the news as quickly as I could. A few hours later I was watching a sitcom and it switched to Tower TV again. This time they were showing a Disney cartoon, Phineas and Ferb, but it was an episode that Disney would never have shown. You see, when my TV flipped over to that channel their invention of the day had gone berserk and was in the process of flaying Isabella alive. Her screams sounded far too realistic. Then at 11 I was watching my local news and the channel changed again, they were showing some sort of game show where the contestants were dressed up like puppets. Unlike Percy these looked like real people wearing makeup and costumes to look like puppets. A female voice from off screen (presumably the host) asked what seemed like an easy question, "What is the eighth letter of the alphabet?". A nervous looking contestant, a redheaded lady dressed like a ballerina puppet tutu and everything, buzzed in and gave the same answer I would have, H. "Sorry," said the voice off screen. "We were looking for the eighth letter of the Phoenician alphabet, Yodh." The contestant broke down in tears, screaming and begging to be given another chance, that they couldn't afford to get yet another question wrong. I don't know what those "contestants" were threatened with but I was thankfully able to shut the set off before I found out. A few minutes ago the set turned itself on I ran over while it was still warming up and yanked the plug out of the wall before I had to see what fresh new horror it had for me.

Still researching both Candle Cove and these "Fears", or  "Phobic Representational Entities" as one of the more informative blogs refers to them (PRE's for short). I'll try to post the fruits of that research this weekend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

can't sleep

Been doing a lot of research. Read the blog Jeanette recommended (creepy, and I might never watch the Puppet Show episode of Buffy again), and on Roberts suggestion I read Jeanette's own blog as well. Jesus Christ girl, all that shit actually happened?!?! If I hadn't seen one of my students get kidnapped by a puppet I wouldn't believe it. I also did some research on the "Puppet Empress" she mentioned (which appears to be better known as someone/something called the Wooden Girl) and believe that may be the "Puppet Queen" Percy mentioned on the show. After that poster with all the numbers mentioned it I looked into "Slenderman" as well. That . . . that was the Birch King Percy got the map from wasn't it? But how the hell did he know where to find Janice? Doesn't look like there's much to be done to kill these things, I've even heard of the Slenderman thing being attacked by someone with a baseball bat and being hit by a car to no effect. Even if I can't kill these things there has got to be some way for me to rescue Janice. No one fucks with my students, not even things straight out of a Lovecraft story. Next I'm going to research the history of Candle Cove, see if I can find anything that will let me track them down.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It gets stranger

I just got back from the police station. I didn't try to tell the cops what was on the card, implied that I hadn't even watched it yet. I just told them I'd had a suspicious note taped to my door. I had to bite my tongue when they played the video because even though I still saw exactly the same video I described to you all they saw was static. They say the note was probably some sick prank by a kid. There are child sized fingerprints on the note, but they're to smeared to tell if they're Janice's or not. So either the title of my last post was right, or something strange is going on with the video.

I have a week of combined sick leave and personal days. I'm going to take that time off and do some research on Candle Cove and decide what I'm going to do from there.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Got it uploaded

Here's the video that was on that SD card.

I think I'm going insane.

I came home from shopping tonight and found an envelope taped to my door. It was about at Janice's eye level. It had a note, and an SD card in it. I scanned the envelope and the note to show you all.

Normally I'd go to the police with this, since it looks like it's connected to Janice, but what was in the video . . . it can't be real! If it is, then what that person on my blog claiming to Percy said . . . it's true. She's sailing on the Laughingstock with a pirate puppet. I'm going to try to upload it to youtube so you guys can tell me if you see what I did when I watched.

When I played the video I saw what looked like a rough cut of a new Candle Cove episode, but the Laughingstock wasn't sailing on the high seas. She was sailing down a street, hovering about an inch above the blacktop. A street in Muskegon, I recognized Rykes Bakery when she sailed past. She sailed straight up to Janice's house, put down her gangplank and out came Percy, with his mismatched dolls arms and his porcelain face set in a permanent smile. He was walking up the sidewalk to Janice's house. I know why he and the other puppets look life sized now. They are. It's not a puppet costume, I can see his strings but they don't go anywhere they just float upwards into nothingness. There's no one holding them but all the same I see a string pull his leg up with each step he takes. I can see him shaking like he's fighting against whatever is pulling his strings and loosing. Whatever Percy really is he's alive but he's not in control right now. He stops at her door and for a moment I think he's about to knock, instead the door opens and there stands Janice wearing her Cinderella pajamas and carrying the case she keeps her colored pencils in. She's moving oddly and her face is blank but when she sees Percy she smiles. No, that's not really right. It doesn't look like she's smiling, it looks more like someone tugged a string at each corner of her mouth and made her smile. Unlike Percy though I don't see any strings. Her arm rises as if attached to a string and she takes Percy's hand. Together she and Percy walk - no someone else walks them - away from the house hand in hand, right up the Laughingstock's gangplank. The whole time Janice is smiling that fake looking smile. The camera zooms in on the door to her house, standing open just like her parents found it when they called the police.

This is completely insane. It could be done with special effects, but why would someone do that? I'm going to upload the video as soon as possible and see if you guys see the same thing I do, and I'm going to have to think very hard about if I should go to the police with this or not.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

oh no

I don't believe it. I just saw on the news, one of my students is missing. Janice Jasinski. You guys know her as Jennifer, I figure it's worth spilling her real name here in case one of you runs into her. She's eight years old, four foot five inches and has shoulder length brown hair, and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing Cinderella pajamas. If you see her call the police, her parents are very worried. No one knows what happened, everyone had gone to bed around 10 then her parents woke up to a banging sound, aparently the door was hanging open and blwoing in the wind. They went to check on her and she was gone. No ones suer if she ran away or was taken.  The only thing that was missing from the home other than her were her colored pencils, she doesn't even have her jacket. God I hope they find her safe and get he home soon!
Sorry for any typos. As you can probably guess I'm very worried about her.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick automatic update to tell everyone reading my blog Happy Turkey Day! Hope everyone's meal is wonderful and all your families are well! Having dinner over at my aunt's this year. I doubt you'll hear from me again until at least after school starts again Monday.

Monday, November 21, 2011

This has to be the creepiest episode yet . . .

I must have missed the episode where Percy met Mr. Smiles, this one opens with him studying a flower that Mr. Smiles gave him. It was the strangest rose I've ever seen, the stem and the leaves, even the thorns (longer and crueler than on any rose I've seen, I swear they were barbed) were pure black and it looked like someone had shredded the leaves so that they looked like tentacles or skeletal branches dangling from the stem. The flower was a tightly closed white bud, but it didn't seem attached very well. Every now and then as Percy examined it the bud would flop to one side as if it were a person cocking his head. He was asking the Laughingstock (I didn't know by the way that she could make a face inside the ship, I thought she only talked through the mouth on the bow!) if she was absolutely sure Mr. Smiles gave them the flower to tell them that they needed to see the Birch King. "M-maybe he just wanted to get rid of me!"Percy stammered. You could tell that this Birch King was the last person that Percy wanted to talk to.

"Now . . . Percy . . ." the Laughingstock told him "You know . . . Janice needs us . . . We have . . . to try."
Percy straitened up, tossed the flower aside, and said "You're right. Set a course f-for the Black Path."
"Percy, we're . . . already there." At that Percy started so hard his pirate hat fell off his head. I almost felt ashamed for laughing at that given how scared he looked, but it really was comical. He leaned over and picked his hat back up asking the Laughingstock if she could just "Sail around the entrance a few times . . ." She got a really stern (no pun intended) look on her face and told him "Percy . . . you have . . . to go . . . inside!" "Y-you're right." he said 'I just - I just have to man up and go face . . ." he cracked up here but there was an edge of hysteria to it. I didn't understand that until later in the show. "S-sorry. I'll have to go f-face Him." Percy buckled his sword on, climbed up on deck and looked at the newest port his ship had brought him to. His knees started knocking at the sight and I don't blame him. Before him was a dense forest with only one very narrow path leading into it. The odd thing about the forest though were the trees. Every tree, both it's bark and it's leaves, were jet black. The trunks were twisted and gnarled, some of them looked like they had faces on them. Faces contorted into a horrified scream or a grimace of pain. Here and there were branches, bare of leaves, that stretched to the sky like skeletal arms. This was a forest bound to give anyone nightmares and I'm not sure I would be brave enough to set foot in it. But Percy did what he had to do.

As usual the second he disembarked the shows Calliope music was replaced with a new theme, the sound of branches scraping together and the wind howling through the trees. Percy began walking down the path, trying very hard to avoid the trees. I nearly jumped out of my seat when one of the bare branches actually reached out and grabbed his arm! Percy, with more courage than I would have credited him for, quickly drew his sword and severed the branch. It started to leak a dark red sap that looked disturbingly like blood. The only signs of fear Percy showed were them switching to his paler head and the extra tight grip on his sword. He set down the path at a quicker pace, swatting aside any other branches that reached out for him with the flat of his blade. I thought he'd reach his goal with ease until suddenly there was a creepy laugh and out of nowhere dropped the Skin-Taker. The only differences between him and the puppet Patrick brought to school last week were that both his eyes stayed in their sockets and the fact that he had a sword. His jaw made that creepy side to side grinding motion as he spoke to Percy.

"You won't get past me Percy. You were never half the swordsman Milo was and you know how he ended up when he crossed me. I'll get to Janice first and GRIND HER SKIN!" Even though I know he's a puppet I winced at the cracking sound I heard when Percy tightened his grip on his sword even more. "I-I'll never let you do that Skin-Taker! Y-you'll hurt Janice over my dead body!" The Skin-Taker let out another wild laugh and replied "Dear Percy, that's the whole idea!" and he slashed at Percy with his blade. They launched into an amazing sword fight, I mean I've seen human actors who did a worse job than these two puppets. Oddly their fighting seemed to acknowledge that they were puppets as they would occasionally slash at each others strings. Surprisingly Percy seemed to be gaining the upper hand, the Skin-Taker was starting to look concerned (well, as concerned as a puppet of a skeleton can look, like Percy he's remarkably expressive but there's only so much you can do with a bare skull). He quickly made a signal with his left hand and Horace Horrible came out of the trees holding a huge black tree branch as a club. For those of you who've never seen the show, Horace's face is completely obscured by a huge bushy mustache except for his huge teeth and a single monocle. He creeps up behind Percy stealthily, but ruins it by giggling maniacally when he winds up to swing the club at Percy's head. Percy dodges to the left and the club connects with the Skin-Taker's head instead, which spins around three times and ends up facing backwards. Horace drops his club and begins to apologize and beg for forgiveness.  "Thanks for the help, Horace!" Percy shouts as he runs down the path. Before they're out of the shot the Skin-Taker re-adjusts his head and picks up the club. For a few minutes, until Percy is far enough down the path, all you can hear is a steady "Thwack . . . thwack . . . thwack . . ." and Horace pitifully sobbing "Master! Master!" God, it actually made me feel sorry for the bastard.

A few minutes later Percy bursts into a clearing, and immediately began to cough. Not sure what was up with that. At first I thought the center of the clearing held another tree, very tall with all it's branches bare and reaching for the sky. It seemed to have an odd white bit on the trunk and the moon rising over it. Then it moved. I realized it was a man, or something like a man, in a suit (the white on the "trunk" was the shirt underneath his suit jacket) with multiple branch like arms raised to the sky. What I had mistaken for the moon was it's head pale, round, and faceless. No wonder Percy found some humor in the thought of "facing" him. He looked down at Percy and cocked his head to once side. Despite the lack of face you could tell he was looking straight at Percy and concentrating on him. "Y-your M-m-majesty!" Percy managed to stammer out. "I-I've sailed f-far and wide asking all the Lords and Ladies of the Realm if they know where to find the girl I've b-been looking for. Mr. Smiles, he-he said you would know where Janice is. I know how much you like kids, so I thought maybe you . . ." The man cocked his head to the other side and Percy stopped speaking for a moment. One of the mans branches reached into the breast pocket of his suit and drew out a folded piece of paper that it passed over to Percy. Percy unfolded the paper (don't ask me how they rigged that with a puppet) and found a map. Oddly it looked like a modern city map, not a map a pirate would follow. The camera didn't get a good enough view to tell what city it was, but there was water on the west coast. For all I know it could be a map of Muskegon, although I don't know why they would use that. Like a pirate map X seemed to mark the spot, although the X had a circle drawn around it for some reason. Percy folded the map back up, somehow bowed deeply without tangling his strings, and stammered out thanks before taking off for the Laughingstock at a dead run with the map under his hat. He passed by the spot where his fight with the Skin-Taker had been, he and Horace were long gone but the club was sitting in the path. Once more I think someone exercised poor taste for a kids show in covering the club in red paint.

Percy quickly reached the Laughingstock and boarded grinning ear to ear (that has to be at least the third head I've seen them use for him! If they have a budget that big why are the rest of the puppets and effects so crappy?). "I've found her!" He crowed. "I've found Janice!" "That's . . . great . . . Percy!" She replied. "Soon she'll . . . be with . . . us. Safe . . . and sound!" Percy reached under his hat and retrieved the map. "Set sail for these co-ordinates!" He said, and then the credits rolled before he could let us know where they were going next. According the ads the next show scheduled was "The Jeanette Experience" starring Jeanette Cotton, Tara Tillinghast, Alice Mason, and Alison Mason. I've never heard of those actresses but I might give that show a watch some other time. I've got to prepare for the party at school tomorrow. It's our last day before Thanksgiving break.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Poor Jennifer

Remember how I mentioned how terrified she is of the Skin-Taker? Today Patrick smuggled a Skin-Taker puppet to school in his backpack and chased her around the playground with it until she was in hysterics. We really need to get more adults to supervise the playground before school begins. I confiscated the puppet and kept it in a cupboard out of Jennifer's sight until school was over and told Patrick that if he brings it back to school again I'll keep it until the end of the school year next time. He also had to stay in for recess. Not only did he smuggle the puppet in to scare Jennifer, guess what he took out of his backpack to make room for the puppet?

That's right. He left his school books home so he could scare his classmate. I only took the puppet out of the closet once, on my lunch break, so I could take this picture for those of you who haven't seen any Candle Cove episodes with him in (none of the episodes I've seen this season have for some reason!).

I apologized to Patrick for the fact that one of the eyes fell out but he said it just does that sometimes. He also apologized to Jennifer for scaring her with it. I was glad to send it home with him. All day I could swear I kept hearing noises from the closet that damn thing was in.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Good News.

Just got done talking with a friend who works at the hospital. Apparently there haven't been any new cases of that nasty strain of chicken pox reported in the past few days. I think it may have blown over. There were unfortunately a few more deaths. No kids luckily, but some kids lost a parent, a grandparent, or an adult sibling. None of the kids in my class lost anyone thankfully and no one else I worked with besides poor Elisabeth died. A few of my other colleagues were hospitalized, but they're recovering.

My only worry now is that some idiot might have sent infected lollypops all over the country thinking they were "helping".

Friday, November 11, 2011

Candle Cove is getting weirder.

I managed to get home in time to watch another Candle Cove episode today. They're still on the story arc where Pirate Percy is searching for Janice and he's getting more worried than ever. There's a scene early in the episode where he's so stressed out he's chewing his fingernails. Whoever had the idea to put red paint or ink or whatever that was on the end of the puppets fingers to make it look like he'd chewed his fingers bloody went too far though, I mean this is supposed to be for kids. Today he says he's going to go visit the Bird Man and ask if he knows where to find Janice. Wasn't the Bird Man who Kelly said she saw in the woods on our field trip? Maybe he was in an earlier episode I missed and he frightened her, I guess that explains why she might see him lurking in the shadows in an unfamiliar place.

Anyway the Laughingstock pulls into a port where the water is stagnant and brown, considering that the "water" looks like what came up in my basement when the sewer backed up I don't want to think about what that is floating in it. The Laughingstock's facial expression tells me more than I needed to know about how the water tastes and smells too. Dead alewives line the shore where they're picked at by vultures and rats. You know, I don't blame Percy for putting on a hospital mask before stepping off the boat, this place doesn't seem very sanitary. As soon as he steps off the boat Candle Cove's calliope music is replaced by the buzzing of flies. In the distance is a crumbling castle, it looks a bit like Count von Count's castle but with the dial turned from Sesame Street to Nightmare on Elm street.  As he heads towards the castle he starts to shake. At first I thought he was shaking with fear, as we all know Percy isn't exactly the bravest of souls, but when I saw that he looked like he was sweating (How do you make a puppet sweat? Did they spritz him with a spray bottle or something?) I realized he seemed to have a fever. By the time he was about half way to the castle he seemed to be getting delirious. He kept saying the strangest things, "But Mommy, I was playing pirate. I had to bury a treasure!" or "No, mistress, I'll be good. Don't send me to the Tower again!" but the one that creeped me out the most was "No Janice, you have to do what She says. You're one of us now. You can't be Charlotte anymore." What the hell was that all about? 

After that last statement he kind of shook himself (again, I'm impressed what his puppeteer can do without tangling up his strings), reached up and slapped himself, and marched determinedly to the castle. When he got to the gate he reached up and knocked and the man who answered the door . . . well he looked almost exactly like Kelly's drawing. I was right he must have been in an earlier episode. He was on the tall side, dressed in a black robe with an odd, almost medieval looking, hat and a white bird like mask with a long beak and carried a slim cane in one hand. I'm not sure how or why but I got the impression that he was smiling under that mask. Percy visibly steeled himself and asked "D-do you know where Janice went, Mr. Bird Man?" the Bird Man looked at Percy and slowly shook his head.  I thought maybe the Bird Man was mute but as Percy's shoulders slumped and he turned to walk away he spoke up in a firm, calm tone. "Percy. Tell your mistress that if she sends you or that pile of bones and the walking mustache here again without my permission I will personally give her Dutch Elm disease. And termites." Wow, that was an odd threat. Percy turned towards him again. "Th-the Skin-Taker was here? He was asking abou-about Janice too?"

"Yes Percy, he was here yesterday. He said that he would have to try Mr. Smiles next and if he did not know, perhaps the Birch King would." Percy paled (seriously, do they just have different heads they swap in and out or something?) and took off for the Laughingstock at a dead run.

Wow, for Janice's sake I hope the Skin-Taker doesn't get to her first, but I'm starting to wonder if Percy finding her would be good either. I think the show's even creepier than it was when I was a kid.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Goddamn it.

You remember how I said chickenpox could be nasty in adults? One of my colleagues, Elisabeth Smith, died today from complications of fucking chickenpox. They say the antivirals weren't anywhere near as effective as they expected them to be. It eventually lead to Encephalitis. I don't know what her adopted children Luke and Sky are going to do without her. She's going to be missed by the staff and the kids. 

They're saying now that this strain is some weird mutation, more infectious, harder on the victims body. The kids are all fine, it's lasting longer than a normal case of the chickenpox but none of them need to be hospitalized. Some of my other colleagues and some of the kids parents though . . . God, I just hope this blows over soon before anyone else dies from it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Not poison ivy from the field trip. Chicken pox. Seems like half the school is out today, she must have exposed everyone. A few miserable days for the kids but I'm worried about some of the teachers that came down with it, chicken pox can be serious in adults!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The bird man

Today I asked the kids to draw something they saw on yesterdays field trip. A lot of them drew flowers, or trees, or the mess-hall where they ate lunch. One smart aleck drew the bus we took to get there. Kelly though drew this creepy robed figure wearing a bird mask. I asked her where she saw him and she said he was in the woods. Now I know I would have noticed a strange man out there, especially in a weird get up like that. Maybe she saw some sort of bird in the shadow of the trees and her imagination filled in the rest. That must have been what scared her though. I noticed she seemed to be itchy today, I hope she didn't get poison ivy on the field trip.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First feild trip!

The class had their field trip to Camp Pendelouan today. I think they learned a lot about nature on the little hike we had and they had a lot of fun. Except for Kelly, she saw something in the woods that scared her but she doesn't want to talk about it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Candle Cove: The Frozen Prince

Saw another Candle Cove Episode today. This one was . . . depressing and creepy and I'm still surprised parents let their kids watch this stuff.

Pirate Percy still hasn't found Janice so this episode he decides to go ask the Frozen Prince. If this guy is anywhere near as scary as the Triangle Man was I don't blame him for not wanting to talk to the man. Anyway, they sailed north for the Winter Court, eventually reaching a sea filled with chunks of ice. A normal boat might have had a hole punched in it's hull and sank in those icy waters but the Laughingstock's jaws crunched through the ice in its path. I wish they'd used a different sound effect though, every time her jaws crunched shut on an ice burg it sounded like more like bones breaking than crunching ice. The Laughingstock sailed to the coast and ran herself up onto shore because there was no dock and Percy, bundled up in what looked like at least three sweaters and four pairs of long johns disembarked. You could barely see his porcelain face under the three knit hats and pair of earmuffs.

I would have thought he looked silly if not for how cold the landscape looked. As far as the eye could see was nothing but white. A wind swept plain of snow and ice dotted with the occasional little hill. No snow was falling at the time, but gusts of wind would blow snow directly into his face and at the camera. Off in the distance were some large lumbering shapes spread out over the plain, but the blowing snow made them hard to see clearly. The sun (which looked so pale and far away) glinted off something in the distance and that was the way poor Percy headed. This is also only the second time I've ever heard the calliope music that constantly plays as the sound track stop. The second he stepped off the Laughingstock it was replaced with the sound of howling wind.

Again I have to compliment the puppeteer who works Percy. Not only did they manage to capture a sense of dogged determination in his trudging across the wind swept tundra they managed to make it look like he was shivering without tangling the strings. He trudged on for what must have been miles (in the usual TV montage way) occasionally having to climb over small oddly shaped hills. The lumbering shapes were oddly cute animals about the size of a small elephant. They looked kind of like a cross between Snuffleupagus and a yak. Every now and then Percy would walk past one and it would make a sad sound somewhere between a moan and a sigh and trudge on. Even with all their fur they looked so cold, and somehow lonely. They were kind of depressing. Then I found out what the little hills he'd been climbing over were. Percy walked past one of the creatures and it let out that little moan/sigh and fell to the ground. As Percy trudged on the wind blew snow over the poor critter and eventually it looked like all the other little hills. It was macabre how the camera lingered on the thing freezing to death and being covered in snow. I mean, I know my generation watched a Tauntaun freeze to death and get sliced open by Han to save Luke's life. And we watched Atreyu's horse sink into the swamp. I get that shows and movies for kids are often more macabre and depressing than we would expect sometimes, but this seemed worse somehow.

Eventually that gleam in the distance becomes a castle made of ice. At first it looks very magical and Disney, but as Percy gets closer and closer it looks more icy and foreboding than magical. There are shapes in the ice that look like they might be those creatures from the plains, and other smaller shapes. Ones that might be people. If a fairy queen lived here she'd be the kind who lays evil curses on babies at their christening. If a princess were in the castle she'd be in need of rescue. Eventually Percy makes it to the gate, he reaches out to knock and slips on a patch of ice and falls on his butt. From inside the castle someone giggles and then says "Three children sliding on the ice,   upon a summer's day. As it fell out, they all fell in, the rest they ran away. Oh, had these children been at school, or sliding on dry ground, ten thousand pounds to one penny They had not then been drowned."
Percy replied, stuttering with the cold as well as his usual fear I think, "Y-your high-highness. I-I need to ask you a qu-question please."

The gate opened and I was surprised to see a little boy, younger than my students I think, who looked like he was made entirely of ice. It was an excellent makeup job, you could tell he wasn't CGI or a puppet. "Percy!" he said "Did your Queen send you here to play with me?" "N-no your Highness. It's J-j-janice, we can't find her anywhere! Do you know where she is?" "No Percy, I haven't seen her. If you find her though you should bring her here to play! She can be my princess and we can make you a snowman!"

Now, I still don't know how they get Percy's porcelain face to make expressions (maybe they switch off the camera and change heads?) but from the terrified look on his face the kid wasn't talking about making a snowman for Percy. "Wh-when I f-find her I'll ask if she wants to come play." Percy told him and he turned around to trudge back to the Laughingstock. The ice boy closed the gate and began whistling "Pop goes the weasel" as Percy walked away.

Between the poor animals freezing to death and the ice boy (or as Percy called him at the beginning "the Frozen Prince" that was a very creepy episode. I really hope Janice doesn't have to go back and play with him after Percy finds her again. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

That's a relief, sort of.

Well, good news about Alex I guess. We don't think he's being abused anymore. Thursday he came to school with what looked like some pretty nasty gouges on his arm. Of course I brought him to the office and the principal called protective services. He kept insisting the monster in his closet was responsible but that's just silly. Obviously we were worried one of his parents had done it and he was covering for him. Well, after social services looked into it and had a doctor check him out the determination was that it was more likely that the gouges were self inflicted. Probably during a nightmare about the monster in his closet which is why he blames it. I'm still a little worried about him but his parents are getting him into therapy to deal with this closet monster issue.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Evan's in trouble again.

Where to start . . . Well first of all Jennifer politely asked him if she could borrow his pencil eraser and he told her to "Shut the fuck up". He got a time out for that, Jennifer was really broken up. I held him back from recess a few minutes to ask him why he would say that to her and he said that she'd been whispering about him behind his back all through class. All the kids had been, couldn't I hear them? I told him I'd try to listen more closely and see if I could catch anyone saying bad things about him but that it was still no excuse for that sort of language. I'm nearly certain though that he's either making it up as an excuse or simply mistaken.

Then I sent him out to play. Not five minutes later one of the teachers supervising the playground brought him back in along with Jeff, Jay, and Michal. Apparently he'd tried to take all three of them on. According to them they'd been minding their own business kicking a soccer ball around and he just came in and started swinging. According to Evan they had insulted him for being poor. They all fought back so due to the schools zero tolerance (more like zero intelligence sometimes) policies all four are suspended for the next three school days.

I'm calling Evan's parents in for a conference. That boy needs counseling or something. 

There's also a situation with Alex but it's delicate and I don't want to go into it here until I know more.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Candle Cove: the Triangle Man

I caught another episode of Candle Cove after school today. I'm not sure how the kids in my class watch this without nightmares, this episode scared me a little. Pirate Percy is still searching for Janice, one step ahead of Horace Horrible and the Skin-Taker, and he's decided to ask the Lords and Ladies of the Realm if they know where to find her. I don't remember any Lords and Ladies of the Realm when I watched in the 80's, they must be new characters added for this arc where they're looking for Janice. The first one he decided to ask was someone called the Triangle Man. I thought it was funny how frightened Percy was of someone I expected to fight with Particle Man. Then the Laughingstock docked at the Triangle Mans home and I wasn't laughing anymore. It was one of the scariest graveyards I've ever seen, cyclopian crumbling tombs as far as the eye could see shrouded in dense fog and dead silence. They even stopped playing the Calliope music that's always playing in the background, and they didn't even stop that for the infamous screaming episode! Percy was scared to go in the graveyard and I didn't blame him. Kids must watch this from behind the couch like they do scary episodes of Doctor Who.

The Laughingstock of course told Percy what she always does “you have…to go…INSIDE.” And like always Percy screwed up his courage and went in. I don't know how a marionette with a porcelain dolls head can look terrified but he managed it. Percy crept slowly through the graveyard, whoever was working the strings had to be really good to make him shiver and quake so realisticly as he walked. Man, they must have blown what was left of their budget after that spectacular set on the actors! The graveyard was full of famous dead people. Everyone of them looked exactly like the person they were playing too. I saw JFK, Marylin Monroe, Jimmy Hendrix, they even found look-a-likes for Kurt Cobain and Steve Jobs! Not sure why they used so many people children in the target audience wouldn't recognize though. And it really surprises me how they manage to make the puppets look as big as real people. I mean I'd understand if it were a suit like Big Bird, but Percy and the others a clearly marionettes. No one could work a marionette the size of a person, could they? Oh, I nearly forgot. It wasn't just people in the graveyard. The puppet they used for Milo in the old episodes was there too. Anyone out there who watched the older episodes might remember him as Percy's rival who took Horace's job for a while. In his last appearance it was implied that the Skin-Taker killed him.

Anyway, one of the ghosts would show up, glare at Percy in silent rage, and then fade back into the mist. Percy looked like he was about to give up several times but he said to himself “N-no. I have to do this . . . for Janice. She's . . . she's counting on me. I have to . . . be brave.” and he would go on. I felt so sorry for the poor guy and a little afraid for Janice, he sounded so worried about her. Eventually he reached a huge ancient looking tomb in the center of the graveyard. He looked ready to give up and run back to the Laughingstock but he screwed his courage up one more time and knocked. The door opened with a screech, not just your standard haunted house squeaky hinge from a cartoon it sounded like the gates of Hell itself needed their hinges oiled. Inside was the Triangle man. I thought for a minute they borrowed the costume from “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances”. If you watch Doctor Who you probably know what I mean, those scary zombie like things with the gas masks on. But this one didn't look like you could just send him to his room. Behind him on the wall, etched in gold were a pair of triangles interlocked so they almost looked like an hour glass. He glared at Percy and coldly asked “Why have you come to my Realm servant of the Puppet Queen? Her minions are not welcome here, this place is only for those who have embraced me. Here I am alone.”

Percy stammered “S-s-sir. I-I was hoping that . . . that you might know what happened to Janice. Where I can find her . . .”

Silence puppet!” the Triangle Man demanded. “I do not know where your Janice is but she would be better off embracing me than serving your Queen. All must embrace me in the end. Begone from my realm now or their will be war between your Queen and I.”

Percy burst into tears and ran out of the tomb and back to the Laughingstock. I don't know how they did it but I saw real tears on his porcelain face. When he got back to the boat she asked “did . . . you . . . find her?” Poor Percy told her that no they had to keep looking, he looked so depressed. It's amazing how emotive they can make a marionette. They set off to find the next Lord of the Realm to ask.

Wow, that was pretty detailed wasn't it? Well it was a damn creepy episode, even for Candle Cove and it's kind of etched in my mind.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Outside recess

Well, that creepy guy in a suit hasn't been seen around the school so the kids got to play outside again. I wish we'd been able to get a better description of him though, we don't even know what his face looked like. Other than that it was an uneventful day except for when I had to give Michel a time out for chasing Jennifer and shouting that he was going to "grind her skin". The poor girl was crying so hard, apparently the Skin-Taker terrifies her. Seems like every kid in school is watching Candle Cove, even ones who I would have sworn their parents couldn't afford cable.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Finally caught an episode

Finally found the channel that's airing Candle Cove. It's way up there on my cable box, I didn't even know I got that channel. The channel is called Tower TV. I think it's local public access or something, there was a lot of static. They aren't just re-running episodes from when I was a kid either, this one was new. Apparently Pirate Percy lost Janice and he had to take the Laughingstock and go look for her. He seemed worried that if Horace Horrible and the Skin-Taker found her first they would turn her over to the Puppet Queen. The voice acting was very good, he sounded genuinely terrified of what would happen to Janice if the Puppet Queen got her. I'm worried though that him saying the Queen would hang Janice from the tower to add to it's screams if she didn't give the Queen what she wanted might be too much for kids in the target audience to deal with.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Inside recess today

Somebody saw a strange man in a suit lurking around the school so we kept the kids inside today. I showed the kids the puppet and told them it's name was Percy. One of the kids, Jay, piped up “He doesn't look like Percy, Percy has a dolls head.” I didn't think that show was still on, honestly I figured they'd canceled it because it terrified too many children. I'll have to see if I can find out what channel it's on and catch an episode for the nostalgia value.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sleepy Head Alex

Wow, I haven't been keeping this up lately. Sorry my probably non-existent readers but not much has been happening lately. Although I did have to have a talk with Alex yesterday because he fell asleep in class for the third time in two weeks. He says he's having trouble sleeping at night because there's a monster in his closet that comes out and whispers to him while he sleeps. I'm a little worried about him, isn't eight a little bit old to be scared of the closet monster? Anyway, if it happens again I'll call his parents in. I don't want to get him trouble at home; I just want to alert them to the problem if they don't already know so he can get help if he needs it. It could be an anxiety issue causing nightmares or something physical like sleep paralysis.

Friday, September 23, 2011

What the hell parents?

What the hell is wrong with some parents? I mean seriously, do they really have to pass their racist bullshit down to their kids? Stephanie's going to miss a week of recess for calling poor little Maria a wetback but it's Stephanie's parents I really wish I could punish.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Evan's temper

Well, damn it, one of my kids got himself suspended today. I shouldn't be surprised I suppose. It was pretty clear Evan had issues controlling his temper but I never thought he'd take a swing at Jeff. They've been close friends ever since the first day. Evan insists that he did it because Jeff said something rude about his mother but I was standing right there and all Jeff said is that he hoped Evan would be able to stay over at his place this weekend.

Friday, September 16, 2011

School Picture Day

School pictures today. Good thing we took them before recess and their nice cloths and neatly combed hair got all messed up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day

Got to school bright and early to get everything set up for the kids. Stacked their books on top of their desks ready for when they got there and quickly took a picture of my classroom before they arrived.

Today went well for a first day I think.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Hello to everyone reading my blog. Not sure how you got here since I didn't tell anyone I was starting this blog but thanks for reading anyway. I'm sure you want to know a little about me so here goes. I'm 34, I live in west Michigan and I teach third grade at a local public school. No I'm not going to tell you which one. One of the reasons I didn't tell anyone about this blog is because I intend to use it to gripe about students, parents, and the administration. That's a good way to get fired hence the secrecy. If I refer to any of the kids in my class on here I won't be using their real name, although to make it easier on my memory the name I use for them will start with the same letter. Tomorrow is the first day of school, I'll be teaching a class of twenty eight year olds. Wish me luck.

Oh, I almost forgot. Check out something I bought for them to play with when we need to have recess indoors. 

I found him at a local flea market and bought him because he reminds me of a show I used to watch when I was a kid. Even though he doesn't look much like the puppet from the show I think I'm going to name him Percy.