Avarice Clay
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Chapter 1.1 - One For Sorrow
One for sorrow...

One for sorrow... It's a very interesting and poetic phrase, but I'm not quite sure why I woke up seeing it in my head so clearly. Does it mean something to me? Is it something somebody told me I found some fascination with? More importantly, how is it of any help to me now? I woke up in a room I don't recognize, with two people I don't really know. I've searched them for any kind of identification already, and I know who they are -- or were, to be accurate.

They're clearly dead already, but they were married. Quincy and Lucy Clay were their names, and they both lived at the same house I'm still in yet, assuming the room I woke up in in is within the house at the street address on both of their driver's licenses. It became increasingly obvious they used to be a happy couple when I noted they were both wearing wedding bands. I'll be taking those with me, I suppose. Mr. and Mrs. Clay won't be needing them where they are now. At least the two of them got to die together. Pretty romantic, in a very dark and morbid way.

Speaking of their deaths, I immediately realized this must have been foul play. I wish I could attach photographs of the scene of the crime, but I couldn't find a single damned camera anywhere while I rooted through the house to learn more about its inhabitants. The best I can say is that it appears they were almost certainly exsanguinated, likely drained to the last drop. The carpets are a bit messy from the obvious bodily fluid, and it would appear something had bitten them. On the neck, no less. Both of them have what appear to be a full set of teeth marks, and both of those appear to have been made as recently as thirty minutes ago. This time frame is increasingly evident by the lack of rigor mortis in both victims, and some residual body heat they're giving off. Judging by the size and spacing of the marks, whatever bit them had be something humanoid. But who, or what would have bitten them to drain their blood? And why?

I decided to set those questions aside for a while to find out what I could about the inhabitants of the Clay residence. By my estimation, it took me at least a good three-quarters of an hour to search through the house entirely, and l really don't have a whole lot to show for it besides a few more unanswered questions. All I really know is this: There used to be multiple people living here, judging by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Strangely enough, though, only one of the bedrooms aside from the master, where I'm assuming Quincy and Lucy slept until recently, seems to have been occupied as of late.

I had to ascend the stairs to reach it, and I tried to make as little noise as possible in case whoever or whatever killed Mr. and Mrs. Clay heard me moving and came for me next, but the room seems to have belonged to -- me.

The name Avarice was on a sign posted to the door. Very interesting name choice, but never mind that. What's important to note is that there had to have been a struggle between myself and at least one intruder. The curtains fluttered on a breeze, which drew my attention to the broken window. Here is where I found the first hard evidence I have of a break in, the placement of the shattered glass. Looking outside, I noted some had fallen to the ground below, but by far most of if was lying inside, on the floor.

The second evidence there is for a break in is obvious signs of a struggle. I hadn't been expecting my visitor, or perhaps had some disagreement with them, probably something to do with the intrusive nature of their entrance. The bed sheets were disheveled and bloodstained -- which gave me a moments' pause as I realized a possible implication of that. I decided to set those thoughts aside for a moment to examine the rest of the room in more detail. A chair lie broken, possibly used as a weapon against the intruder, the chest of drawers had several of the drawers open and the contents thrown across the room... Whoever it was that came in, they were looking for something.

I noted that based on the general direction in which the mess appeared to be going, they moved on to the desk, with a completely trashed computer sitting by it, and opened up the drawers on that, too, throwing papers every which way. The bookshelf against the wall, adjacent to the desk, was, based on the path I'd worked out, the next piece of furniture they'd hit up in their search, and it was almost entirely empty. The books were all open and tossed to the ground -- except, most curiously, for an annotated book of nursery rhymes still sitting on the shelf, bookmarked to a specific page. Upon reading the page, I realized where the phrase I woke up with came from. It was the title, and part of the first line, of a short nursery rhyme, which is, apparently, about counting magpies and reading the future in the number of them, according to the footnote at the bottom of the page. I managed to find a pair of scissors in the desk, with which I cut out the entire rhyme, since it seemed to be a key feature of this series of mysteries. Here it is, I've clipped it to this page with a paper clip I found among more knocked to the floor:

One for sorrow, two for joy.
Three for a girl, four for a boy.
Five for silver, six for gold.
Seven for secrets never told.


I stood there for a minute or two after reading it before pressing on in my forensic investigation of the room; although I'll probably always wonder why it was so important to me that it took precedent over remembering the series of events leading up to the moment when I woke up, I had to keep the search up, to see if the intruder had found what it was they were searching for.

My search ended with the closet, where, it would seem, the intruder found what it is they'd been looking for... the same bloodstained diary I've been writing this all down in, found tossed to the floor. I know exactly where I'd hidden it after a bit of poking and prodding, and I have some idea why they were probably looking for it. There was a loose floorboard in the closet, and, by prying it back, I discovered there was a little nook where the diary would've been perfectly hidden. Bizarrely, the intruder left some other things in the diary's place, as an incentive to try to track them, but I'll go into detail about the new contents of my nook in a moment.

The reason why I very strongly suspect the diary is what they were looking for is because several passages had been torn out entirely. I also noted that the diary had to have been a recent purchase, being as the rest of the pages were completely blank, unused pages numbering around roughly three hundred. The passages that were removed from the first few pages likely point to the identity of the intruder, so clearly, the "edit" was a selective effort to mask who they are; all that was left is a sort of log cataloguing what should have been my final moments. So why am I up and walking around again?

By instinct, I reached up to my neck to check my pulse, figuring now was the time to answer at least one of those new questions -- namely, what I am and why there was a struggle. I detected no such sign of life, but I felt the tell-tale mark of a bite much the same as the ones on what I'm assuming were my parents.

I may be suffering from some kind of amnesia, but even I know what this must mean. I'm one of the undead. The thought occurred to me, once I made that cognitive realization, that, perhaps, the intruder wasn't the one who killed my parents, exactly. So, if I'm undead, and the intruders may not be the ones responsible for the two dead bodies downstairs...

If you're following along, you'll say the exact same thing I was telling myself, that I needed to leave the house ASAP. Which, naturally, brings me back to the care package I found lying in the space beneath the floorboard. It's a brown leather messenger bag, and inside it was: a map of the world, which I immediately noticed as such; a wrapped package that contained a new set of clothes and accessories; and a small burlap bag that contained what I'm going to guess is traveling around money. Great. A grand cat-and-mouse chase, just to learn who killed me and brought me back. Exactly what I was looking forward to when I woke up.

Stapled to the map was a sheet of notepad paper, with a clear and incredibly ominous message on it and an arrow that pointed to an encircled place on the map -- Isle de Gambino. I've clipped it to this page:

FIND US, AVA. WE'RE WAITING FOR YOU.


I need to go, NOW. I heard someone come in downstairs and shriek, not even five minutes ago while I was putting on my new shoes. It'll be one of the neighbors, and, needless to say, they found the dead bodies. I've completely changed clothes now, and, hopefully, I'll be able to update this diary with good news.

Here's hoping I can get away from here before the red-and-blues show up.

- Avarice Clay