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Ode To Dead Men by Tucker G. Oakley
Ode To Dead Men Ellias Tanner, P.I. Journal
I saw a dead man today. Not a corpse lying in the alley, but instead a dead man was sitting in my drinking chair. With a smug grin and a steak knife logged in his chest cavity. Was he a ghost, I don’t know, I mean, I can clearly see him and not through him yet he can phase through objects like oil. As the sun began to sink lower, my heart began to drop like empty rounds. Spilled brandy flung around the room as I struggled to tip over the bottle. He still sat there, I don’t know what he was blabbering, something about the cosmic balance. I just realized it took my about 30 seconds to down half a glass, so here goes s*** two, and……. nope, ghost dude is still slumped in my chair. I would at least expect this man to have some class, I mean who the hell wears a green sports jacket and some greasy sneakers that you’d wear in the hospital. Sweet Jesus, I so badly want to touch the knife sticking out of his heart, maybe I can scare him out of my office, he can’t die twice…. right. Ok, why the heck is my bottle empty, jeez I’m an alcoholic, but those AA meetings can suck it. Alright, I guess it’s time to start I record what this fool was saying, but I’d rather not remember this night when I return to this page, f**k I need some chips...
Log 72- of the wired bulls**t that goes down my my crummy life.
Ode To Dead Men The Artist Philosophy
Art is a concept.
A concept that everything can be beautiful,
As long as it is molded the right way.
I see this world as a blank slate,
The empty canvas.
People say my methods are,
They are blind to what the true art is.
The art of man,
The art of the kill.
Every painful stroke
To every drop of blood,
Calculated to leave no evidence.
Call me a monster,
What have I done wrong
But simply make
OTDM Cassidy Jerome + Ellias Tanner Boardwalk Talk:
The rough breeze filled Cassidy’s nose with a quarters worth of salt. Her dreaded ponytail felt like sand in the 39 degrees gust under the grey sky. She never understood why when it came down to important s***, Ellias couldn’t just let her into his office or at least a hardware store. She checked her watch, and like clockwork the man was late by 15 minutes. She proceed to steps crawling down the boardwalk. The air suddenly smelled like whiskey. She made a turn and started to walk alongside the trenchcoated figure.
“So, I assume that you aren’t here to ask how my day was.” She began the conversation with a sprinkle of guilt. That always made him blush.
“Look, I’m not here to ask about how your co-workers night out was at the District Taco, I’ve got more important s*** to flush.”, Ellias had no sense of fun in his voice.
He had eyes fresh off of hangover and his snub-nose revolver was sticking from his pocket, rather than his holster. This was not a casual talk or a simple favor, this was something real. Cassidy knew what his “Real Face” looked like since when they met back as teenagers. The pace slowed down to his average drunken shimey.
“So, who went out of their way to ask you to solve their problems. Lonely widow, man’s vendetta, child trafficking?”
Cassidy knew that the longer she pried, he would eventually crack open like a crate, but this was different. He still had a glazed look that shot towards to grey nothingness ahead on the damp boards. She turned away, worried more than anything.
“No, it is something different, on many levels. If I told you I know I’d either be sent home with you laughing or to the looney tunes. Ok”. Ellias pulled out his flask for a swig of whiskey. Cassidy noticed something unseeable to most. This ba****d was just sucking down air, not a single drop of booze. This was Ellias Tanner she was looking at. The man who dragged a drug dealers corpse in a bag next to a gas station so he could buy himself a Heineken.
“Just lay it on me, I swear on my grandfather’s grave“
Ellias spoke through barely opened lips.
“A dead man wants me to find his killer.”
Sorry Jerry Jerome Sr., she was pulling the worst act of hiding a smile. Ellias could see her biting her lip hard enough to where it nearly started bleeding. Cassidy regained her composure.
“Ok, ok.... So, how did this “dead man” tell you about this case?”
She had this tone of heavy sarcasm, but Ellias needed to vent to someone.
“I went home, saw a ghost with a knife logged into his chest in my chair. He told me to find his killer so it can liberate him and give me some closure.” This however, was heavy and stern serious directed towards Cassidy.
“You mean about Ar---” She was cut off with Ellias raising his voice for once in this whole conversation.
“Mr. Tanner, you will refer to my dad as that and nothing else!”
It was quiet for a full minute.
“So, where is this ghost that your doing your gimmick job for.” Cassidy asked.
“He’s right there, but you wouldn’t be able to see him. Spiritual s**t, y’know.” Eliias pointed behind her. She turned her head to be meeted with nothing. Unsurprising. For Ellias however, he saw a 26 year-old guy wearing a puffy jacket with a serrated dagger going right through where his heart would be. He was slightly hovering next to her, flipping her off and making funny faces as if he assumed with enough offenses she may see him.
“I’ll just choose to follow along with this. Who do you think the killer is?” She turned back to Ellias. Just in time for him to suck down some imaginary whiskey.
“That is why I called you. He showed me this scar across his hand that looked something like this. I would guess you’d have some pictures similar to this down at the station.”
Ellias pulled out a slip of paper. On it with a big sharpie it was three long, slanted marks that crossed through a single, thinner line down the center. Cassidy froze for a second before picking up pace with him again.
“This isn’t just any mark. This is for “The Artist”, Ellias” Fear was met with confusion from Ellias.
“Artist? I’ve never had that name mentioned in my line of work before. Please explain.”
“The Artist has been on our watchlist for 6 years. The issue is that there is no trace of who they are of any database. All we know is that all of his victims are marked with that scar, and they erase all evidence of who they are. This sadistic f**k calls it art! We have pictures of people riddled with bullets that covered a canvas like water paint…” Cassidy needed to catch her breath. Neither realized how long they had been walking for and had forgotten how cold it was outside.
“I see. Last request, do you know the families of some of the victims. I might be able to get some more information off of them.”
Ellias gestured to her. He may have made it through this world roughly, but he still had his morals and etiquette.
Cassidy pulled her phone out. Call from work. Witness was nearly drowned and found on the shores this morning. He wouldn’t stop talking about…..
Ellias asked. “Who’s got complaints now?’
Cassidy turned to him quickly.
“Speak of the devil and he will come. It’s and Artist survivor, he is at the station covered in towels. I’ve got to go in for question him. I’ll tell you what I get out of him.
“Gracias Cassidy. Call me when you have the chance.” Ellias smiled for the first time in this conversation.
“No problem old buddy. By the way, next time you need information, can we do it somewhere much f**king warmer, please!” She responded, putting on her toboggan and calling a cab.
“We’ll see Cassidy. We’ll see.”
Ellias continued to walk down the dockside, like a man with no purpose. He then turned, realizing he’d been out of whiskey for the past 6 hours.