242: Head and Tails

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Dear Patrons,

Here's one more update before the new Subscription cycle which should appear next month as I'll keep trying to work on a schedule of 3 times a month update. We're revisiting the theme of pairs with this Carte du Jour, particular, the lower half called the "Pantalon Cut" also known as the "Full Seat".

But most importantly, a return of force into narrative storytelling to add to the lore and universe to the goings on of the Mysterious Circle Elites, The Doe Patrol and the Tales of the Vanished.

Bone app├ętit!

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I. Conversation Notes between members of the Doe Patrol about the Pageant (3 full color artwork + 1 full color alternate version)

Okay, fill me in with what you've got.

I'm still having trouble with the Pageant lead. I've dug up some, but you can't imagine how hard is it to get information if you're not a local, or even know one. And the other research group...

What's up with that?

They're spooked. One of the guys said 'oh, it's stopped becoming fun anymore.' Fuck him. Their so-called whistleblower laid her neck on the line for them? Gave them the best birthday gift, trusted them, laid it all on a platter, but they chose not to see when the going gets rough. It got too scary for them. They want the fun stuff. Ghost adventures, time travel, UFOs, little green men. Not this, Illuminati, ritual abuse, Satanic cults, government conspiracies, missing people. Leave that to the police, yeah, right. But don't they know the police also in on it? 

Ghosts aren't scary. People are.

Right? Maybe the cops aren't actually participating, but they've been paid off somehow, or scared off from looking too deeply into certain cases. These guys, they're close, so so close, then they just backed off. Fucking cowards. But you know what? I get it. They've got a TV show to run. They still wanna keep their convention gig cash cow going. They're nervous and they've got a lot to lose. I've seen the whistleblower's emails. They're spooky and pretty much confirms a bunch of stuff we're looking into. But they're failing her and God, I wish she'd come to us first, and not them. And now it's too late. Their cover is blown. I tried going to her and now she's done with this... whatever this thing is... it scared her too. Trying to get info from her now is like milking a cat and if you ask me, she said all she knew and she has nothing more to give and now just wants to build her life back again. 

In a strange way, going public on this with that TV show crew might have saved her life. They're too public and unlike us, they're in no position to look into this quietly. We're still in the shadows. So, it's back to square one again. It's up to us now and we have to be more careful than ever. So, back to the Pageant - 

Okay, so like I said, I couldn't find much as I wanted. The townies were suspicious of me the moment I wandered in, it's no joke. 

Wait, so they did know you're looking into this thing?

Well, not exactly. I introduced myself as an independent historian looking into family genealogies of the area. But that didn't stop the local sheriff from doing the whole 'make sure you're out of town by sundown' spiel on me. Get this, as part of their Pre-Thanksgiving festival, they used to throw live turkeys off the airplane...

Seriously? 

Yeah. They call it the Turkey Throw. But the County Chamber of Commerce ended their sponsorship only just a few years ago citing budget and safety concerns which coincidentally lines up around the time when the other guys were shooting that TV show with that whistleblower. Who knows if they still do it on an unofficial capacity by some of the locals. And that makes you wonder what else they did at the time. And if we know enough about the Circle, they are master magicians, experts at misdirection. 'Look here so don't look there'. I feel that the festival at large was a smokescreen for something bigger. Something deeper.

The Pageant?

Bingo. At first, I found it strange that I've got more information about the Turkey Throw than the Princess Drumsticks Pageant itself. It's strange I can't even find any accounts of it through the Internet Archives Machine. Powerful people seem to not want this information to get out. So it got me thinking, if the heat from outside gets close to them through the narrative of animal-abuse, then they won't look into situation with the missing pageant contestants. And when the former gets too much heat, they'll know when to close shop at the other end. 

Right. That makes sense.

I don't know what kind of feathers I ruffled when I went to their local library and start looking into the town's almanacs. I bet the library lady tipped off the sheriff. She was friendly enough but seemed suspicious of me from the get go. But back to the point, I managed to find the history of the pageant which dates back to just after World War II, 1946 to be exact. I've managed to take cellphone photos of each year except for a few which I didn't have time to dig through in just a day at the library. There were nothing suspicious with the winners and the runners-ups. I managed to track a few of them on the way out of town, most of them moved out of the area but not far enough that I couldn't drive there. They were still alive. Families, had fond memories and all that. Nothing struck me as really suspicious. They did feel sorry about the turkeys but possibly that's them just being polite seeing that I introduced myself as an independent journalist. So dead end, right? Not exactly. More more than one occasion, when I was running through with them each and every contestant, they'd mention someone, one of the contestants who'd gone missing not long after the pageant through mysterious circumstances. It would either be that they suddenly eloped and left town without saying goodbye, going missing in the woods, some foul play with a jealous boyfriend, things like that. They'd just be gone. And they'd usually be one of the girls eliminated in one of the early rounds too and almost all of the ladies I interviewed said the same thing in passing, that they were sure the missing girl was the frontrunner, at least good enough to be one of the finalists and undeserving to be eliminated so soon.

God damn it. Of course. Hiding in plain sight. So you suspect a secret raffle between some in the audience, that while the contest was going on in public, a secret auction was being conducted?

You're jumping ahead of me here but yes, exactly! You're thinking what I'm thinking. There's a lot more in between, but I can fill you in later with the details. I mean, look at my board. Look at my fucking board! It's got strings fucking tacked on everywhere like a spider's web. The Ozarks. The Appalachians. Brown Mountain. Somerset, Altamont, Marion County, Windyville. And I'm not even going as far as Napa, Vegas, Vermont and the Vatican. This goes deep, man. It's not just one town, but a network of towns. It's basically a franchise, one branch in every state and country. Connected by something. Underground tunnels? I don't know. But something. Now that the Princess Drumsticks Pageant and the Turkey Throw has been abandoned, who knows in what other forms this takes, or if these cultists are operating these human sacrifices in some other way.

-- to be continued? --

II. SKETCHES (1 b/w works in progress + 1 alt version)

Here are a few more sketches which can be tagged on as an addendum to this update's story.

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