Fred Nadel's Confession: Edit
I'm sorry I didn't come to you earlier. I was being selfish, and didn't think that my information would be of any help... Actually, I think I convinced myself that the police would find her.
Anyway, about three months ago, during the height of the Beatrice media circus, and right during the grand jury inquiry, a crazed and older colored gentleman came to my door. He was paranoid and nervous and constantly babbling nonsense, and he wore a hand made hat made out of three pieces of wood. The old man was seriously unhinged. He claimed the hat prevented "them" from controlling him and his thoughts. He said he heard I was a great and rich white sorcerer, and he handed me his notes, and several odd little trinkets. He told me they were vastly important to saving Jojo, Betsy and Beatrice, and that I needed to protect them.
Anyway, I was going to come forward to the tribunal, Beatrice's reputation be damned. But then... well, then I read the notes. They were fascinating. Not particularly well written, but very interesting. Written by two men. One journal was from the older Negro. His name was Bufred Washington and he had been a part of Beatrice's motley crew for about a week or so. The other journal was a rambling account from a slightly arrogant Spanish artist named Ambrosio Martinez.
I read all of the notes in a day. Stayed up all night. A crazed story that chilled me to the bone. What in the devil was Beatrice, Betsy and Jojo up to before she disappeared? It was titillating, I admit it. Secret groups; ancient artifacts; magic! I've always loved the idea of real magic. And then I found it. A spell Ambrosio swore worked. And then another. See, the journal was mainly Ambrosio's notes on translating a Mayan or Aztec codex that he had. He also had some sort of Mayan or Aztec idol or mask - and Beatrice and her gang ended up with it! Anyway, after he put on the mask, he started having visions. Better, he suddenly could paint his visions - and he was a success! But then people around him started dying. He tried to study the codex - translate it; hoping he could stop his problems. And then he moved to New York, and according to his journal, the deaths followed him here.
Now, why would I follow anything that made those types of claims? Well, honestly, I don't know. I was out of my head, like a man possessed. But that stuff - magic - has always been a passion of mine. The study of supernatural magic is probably what introduced me to real magic, or I guess I should now call it stage magic. Anyway, this Ambrosio translated a bunch of stuff from what he said was a Mayan book of the dead. The papers were translations made by Ambrosio and they are not proper translations – not even close. Ambrosio used the mask to help him translate and the mask left out some of the protections needed to cast the spell. The spell sounded like it had some impressive physical effects, and was supposed to create an inky shadow that poured from were the caster. Another spell was supposed to allow, cast after the shadow spell, was supposed to allow the caster to walk through a wall. I studied those spells for five months. At least five hours a day, every day. Like I said, I was an man possessed. I didn't eat or sleep, and I rarely went out.
Eventually, and with the help of my stage family, I cast the spell, and much to my surprise, it worked. It's not like the magic I grew up with. It felt like I could touch the structure of reality behind what we see - it felt almost like a universal mathematics, not in the sense of anything we learned in school, but still somehow a type of mathematics. While casting the spell, my mind was forced to – I'm not sure how to explain the phenomenon, but it felt like I was doing four dimensional geometry. Don't get me wrong, I really don't understand all the new talk of four dimensions, but what I was doing was having an effect. I knew it immediately. When you perform the movements, which were not very specified, your arms start to follow a pattern in the air – a preexisting pattern. It's a very strange sensation. Even stranger, when you throw the ingredients around, they form arcane symbols, swoops, patterns... very definitely doing something. And it's quietly beautiful.
I was ecstatic. Here was my thrust into magical history books. Nothing like this had ever been seen before! Don't get me wrong, I occasionally thought about how much I miss Beatrice... This is everything she would have loved. This is something never recorded in any scientific journal or society – something that can and will change mankind. And I was going to get it to a scholar – a scientist – but after I used it.
But I was going to use it first. I was going to go down in the history books of magic, and history books in general! The spell worked. It worked fine. The “shadow making” worked almost every time, and it was beautiful. I tried the second spell, the one that was supposed to let me walk through a wall, and it felt as if it was working, but as I stepped into the wall it crashed down around me. I was untouched, but it destroyed part of my lab, hurt Patrick, one my stage family, and cost me hundreds of dollars and a week of repair. So we, or I, decided to skip the wall walk – it was too dangerous, and that the spell was just too damn out of my reach.
We practiced for an act – we used heavy lights so that the audience could actually see the shadows spewing forth, so they could see the darkness' impenetrability. I modified the spell's ingredients by adding colored flash powder, which didn't seem to effect the spell and added dazzling flash, especially when lighting up around the spell's arcane geometrical patterns.
But then things started... going wrong. I have a small team. There's only five of us, so when Marci didn't show up, we were worried. We're all very close. By that time, I had cast the spell six times, and attempted to walk through a wall once. So after the second day that Marci didn't show up, Tensy and I went to her place, and nothing. The landlady wouldn't let us in – she's a mean old bitch – but the next day we all went – and disaster. Marci's place was a shambles. But not an ordinary shambles. A clean, geometric shambles, and just her bedroom. Everything was pushed into the corners – all her furniture carefully stacked – as if a giant inflatable balloon had been expanded in her bedroom, pushing everything out of it's way. Everything was artfully disassembled and pushed into the four corners: remnants of her bed, her armoire, her dresser, her writing desk, all delicately balanced on top of each other. And carved – carved! – into the floor was around pattern similar to the ones that appear in my act. Marci was nowhere. Yet we believe that Marci's blood was in the grooves of the carved pattern. It was still wet and sticky and it looked like congealed blood. The police arrived, but the police said there was nothing to worry about, that she would return.
Well, we were all worried. We were worried that she wouldn't return in time to light the show, and we all suspected that she wouldn't arrive at all. The big show was a day away and Marci knew our lighting routine better than anyone. Still, we did the show to a packed house and it was a roaring success. I had invited every magician I knew – sent them free tickets – just to show them something that none of them would be able to figure out. Not even Houdini! The spell went off perfectly. The crowd roared! It was a smashing success! But then the mood changed. Somehow, something went wrong. A fight broke out and nearly turned into a riot. And I lost the crowd. I carried on, but the electricity was no longer there.
That night we all started having the dreams. First we all, ALL, dreamed of Marci. She needed us to “close the gate.” All of us got the same message. We were scared, but we were prepping for next week's show. Patrick thought of some more interesting stage blocking, and Clive was busy taking over Marci's position, while the rest of us were prepping the act and looking for a temporary replacement for Marci.
And then Clive didn't show up to work. One day before the show. We canceled the show. We went down to his house. All of us. Both he and his young wife were missing. No one had heard anything. And it was the same as what happened to Marci.
So I went to the police. I went to a friend, Lt. Wigley, and told him what I roughly knew. Lt. Wigley is an old friend and a skeptical man, but I think our old friendship and my conviction won him over. Even if he didn't believe me, he knew I believed what I was saying. I suppose that's how you found out about me. What worries me is that our dreams have broadened. I see all the people in the audience, and I think they're affected as well.
And now there are three. The next day, two days ago, Patrick disappeared as well. Three of my loved ones. Three of our surrogate family. We are all going to die and I don't know how to stop it. I have condemned everyone I love.
The three of us dream of all of them. We know they are lost. Once a week, one of us has disappeared. We are scared, gentlemen. I have called on my family money. I have hired bodyguards. All of us are staying at my place. There is two more days before one of us disappears. And after we are gone, I believe that everyone who saw my show - the entire audience - 400 people - will start to disappear as well.