Maybe I allowed myself to be disarmed by the fact that he came at three in the afternoon. He knocked very softly for a man of his stature, hulking as he was at six foot four with wide shoulders and big, hairy knuckles. When I asked how I could help him, he reached into his coat pocket, withdrew an envelope, and held it out to me. Who wears a coat in August?
I've been getting strange letters from the St. Louis prison.
Maybe I allowed myself to be disarmed by the fact that he came at three in the afternoon. He knocked very softly for a man of his stature, hulking as he was at six foot four with wide shoulders and big, hairy knuckles. When I asked how I could help him, he reached into his coat pocket, withdrew an envelope, and held it out to me. Who wears a coat in August? I took the envelope and looked it over. Its face was stamped over several times with information for the St. Louis Correctional Facility. A letter from prison. Great. I didn’t know anyone in prison. Then, I noticed a post-it note paperclipped to the back of the envelope. It read simply:
Please allow the courier to be present to witness the reading of this letter. I looked up at the man towering over me on the porch. Though he was large, he didn’t appear threatening. If anything, his calm smile made me think he might be rather friendly. I asked if he had any clue about the contents of the letter or why his presence was necessary for the reading, but the tall man shrugged and gestured towards the foyer. I nodded and invited him in.
In the kitchen, we both sat across from one another at the table. I offered him some coffee, but he silently declined. Glancing up at him one last time, I peeled the flap back and pulled out a ten-page letter, scrawn in hasty handwriting on lined yellow paper. The letter began:
You don’t know me. You will likely never meet me. I am on death row at the St. Louis Correctional Facility. I was locked up for the murder of my wife and two children. Lionel was 3. Macie was just 6 months old. I loved them dearly. But I did kill them. I will admit that first and foremost. I hate myself for it and I rot in my cell, tortured by the images of their blood dripping off my knuckles. Let me tell you my story.
I looked back up at the tall man with disgust obvious on my face. His calm, soft grin didn’t waver as he stared back at me. I got up to get a glass of water, then returned to the letter. The author of the letter, whose name I found out was Fitz Willard, had been incarcerated two weeks ago and had began work on his letter as soon as he had access to stationary. He never explained how he got my address or why he chose me to share his story with. But the story was brutal.
Fitz Willard claimed to have been cursed. My first thought was that he suffered from schizophrenia, but he explained that he had been tested for it with no results. He insisted that a demonic spirit was attached to him. The evil spirit taunted him, tortured his every waking moment. It whispered evil deeds in his ear as he lay in bed at night. It appeared in his reflection as he walked past the mirror. The demon was constantly suggesting cruelties and filling Fitz’s brain with insecurities and phobias and sinister ideas. Fitz’s day to day life became riddled by a running commentary on the weakness of humans, the frailty of flesh, and the freedom of bloodletting. Work meetings became haunted by the demon’s screeching. The spirit hissed terrible things about every face Fitz passed on the street.
The worst still, though, was the demon’s thoughts on Fitz’s family. He called Fitz’s wife a whore. Called the children ungrateful bastards. The demon told Fitz that his family didn’t appreciate him, that his wife was cheating on him, that his children couldn’t stand to be around him. That Fitz could never provide enough for them. That their house was a sty. That their clothes were rags. That everything Fitz had worked towards his whole life was a mediocre joke, at best.
For ten pages, Fitz Willard recounted the madness that crept into his psyche. The nightmares that woke him dozens of times a night. The demon made lightbulbs flicker as Fitz walked under them. He made the bath tub run red, like blood. Flies gathered on the mirrors. And the demon’s suggestions became more and more furious. They became demands. Threats, even. Until, one day, Fitz caved in. Caved in the skulls of his two infant children with his bare fists before strangling his wife of eight years so hard that he fractured the vertebrae in her neck before she finally asphyxiated.
That’s how he ended the first letter. The tall man stood and nodded to me in silence, then I led him out the front door. Needless to say, I was shaken. Why would someone decide to share such a terrible story with me?
Day two. The tall man stood on my porch again, at three in the afternoon, and when I answered he handed me the second letter. As off-put as I was by the first letter, I found that as I sat watching television that night, I couldn’t shake the story from my head. I took the second letter and led its deliverer to the kitchen table once again. I wanted more.
What word does justice to the nature of the second letter? Dark. Twisted. Desperate. The yellow paper was rife with drawings of forlorn figures huddled in corners and tiny bodies splayed out in pools of pencil gray. Smudges of graphite made all the little doodles appear in shadows. The second page of the letter was just one big drawing: a woman’s face twisted up in suffering, her mouth hanging open and her throat packed full of maggots. Spiders wrapped up in her hair. Tears whipping down from her eyes. Her hands grasped her own face, jagged nails dug into her cheeks.
That second letter gave a name to the demon–Grimmdeed. Grimmdeed the Tormentor. I glanced up often from the letter to the man sitting across the table from me. Did he know the terrible tale I was being told? Is that why it was so important that he was present when I read it? His gentle smile never faltered, never faded as he looked idly around my kitchen.
Fitz elaborated on his descent into madness. About the tearful call he made to 911 as he stood over the lifeless bodies of his family. He talked about the trial and how, even in the courtroom, Grimmdeed sat behind him at the defendant’s table and spoke curses about everyone present. Grimmdeed demanded that Fitz try for the bailiff’s gun at the conclusion of the trial, and Fitz did.
This lead to a brief beating. Grimmdeed said that Fitz should stand at the door of his cell, screaming profanity and threatening the guards. This lead to a longer beating. Grimmdeed told Fitz to spit at the judge the next day at trial and, as defeated as Fitz’s poor conscience was by the demon’s constant influence, he did. The letter ended with another drawing. This time of the whole courtroom strewn with slaughtered lawyers and the judge hung above his stand. All of it was in the smeared grey of pencil lead with grimy fingerprints pressed onto yellow paper.
On the third day, I was sitting on the bottom stair just inside the door, waiting for three o’clock. Right on time, the courier arrived and without a word between us I let him walk through the door. He set the third letter on the kitchen table and sat down. His smile was brighter today, wider than usual. I could tell by his demeanor that this must be the final letter.
I peeled the envelope open and sat with a steaming coffee at my elbow. In his third letter, Fitz talked about his days in prison. How even in his incarceration, Grimmdeed the Tormentor haunted him. He described how slow the death penalty process took, how he may die of old age in his prison cell long before an execution date was set. His penmanship became a barely legible scribble. His writing was frantic. He was a rat, trapped in a cage, being prodded constantly by the cruel musings of Grimmdeed the Tormentor. Fitz’s sanity had long past. He doodled himself smearing something on the walls of his cell with his hands. I assume feces. Fitz said he was thinking about ripping his ears off in hopes that he would deafen himself and escape Grimmdeed’s whispers. The yellow pages had stains on them from Fitz’s tears. He apologized for that.
Then, on the last page, a spark of hope. As if he had stopped and gathered himself, his handwriting once again became clean and clear. The last lines read:
Grimmdeed has grown bored with me. Being locked up like this, I can’t do much evil worthy of him. He told me how to end my curse. Well, no, the curse never ends exactly. This is why I’m writing to you. To pass the curse along to its next victim. But, since I still have a sliver of humanity left in me, I’ll at least let you know how it’s done. You make someone else pick up Grimmdeed’s curse the same way I did: by inviting him into your home three times.
My heart froze. I didn’t dare to breathe as I looked up from Fitz’s taunting signature at the end of the letter to find the tall man staring into my eyes. His eyes were an endless black. That cruel grin was wider than ever. “Light the letter on fire” Grimmdeed demanded.
I looked for the effects on sealing flames/headcanon on your tumblr and couldn't find it. Care to explain for me?
Oh, I kinda thought they were? I spent a while being frustrated with my tumblr search engine and thinking that I forgot to tag it.
Apparently I had never posted them here, as a post. So when mentioned, they’re referring to what’s written in fic, specifically, ‘Xanxus’ Adventures in Parenthood Piracy’ which is just kinda adorable, rambles and has fluff and plot and Xanxus caring. It’s only on ff.net so far.
It’s also kind of something of a mess as there are a few things that could be trimmed out, explained better and so on. Also on hiatus until more of the New World/Yonko is/are explained because I could world-build in One Piece but another crossover fic of mine there showed how bad I was at that because I lost the plot which was whoops but something I learned from.
So hiatus until I’ve got a more solid grip on the OP-world and can clean it up some.
Anyway, XAiPP chapter 31 quote broken up by comments:
Xanxus turned the puzzle of how damaged Skies and the like worked together in a sensible fashion. Skies were generally too rare to risk major brainwashing and the like for the sake of science. Even a Sky wasn’t guaranteed to have a child that was also a Sky and it didn’t mean that an unexpected Sky wouldn’t pop up from the mistress’ sheets on occasion either. The Sawada-brat’s Storm Guardian probably had a Sky mother with inactive flames; his father and half-sister were pure Storm.
Skies had to have all the flames and be able to draw them all out equally at once. Generally most managed a rather equal mix, but that didn’t mean that they didn’t have one flame stronger than the rest which is why you had Sunny Skies, Stormy Skies and more. The little bomber was so close to being a Sky it was hilarious, especially if he ever managed to train up the one Flame he couldn’t materialize already. It could be done, but that didn’t mean it would be easy.
(By the last line I mean that Gokudera could learn to use his Cloud Flames on his too-weak-to-manifest Mist Flames so that there’s enough of them to manifest and use. Which means Gokudera could learn to use Sky Flames.
He’d just be like the most pathetic Sky to ever Sky.)
Xanxus did know what a lack flames did; those who had their flames sealed generally suffered a bit of psychological trauma, withdrawal symptoms, general uncoordinated movements and fatigue. It also had the effect of making Skies or Suns stupid, slow to react and sleepy; sealing off the Sun Flame alone was a very bad idea as it important for physical and mental activity. Skies had it worse as all the other flames would be sealed too; Lightning was ambition, Rain for emotional equilibrium, Storm for desire, Cloud for independence and Mist for creativity.
(Xanxus’ definition of ‘a bit of psychological trauma’ is not other people’s. He lives with the Varia so ‘a bit’ might as well be very traumatic.
Some of the last part is kinda sketchy but it is what Xanxus believes, mostly. Lightning is more intellectual desire than Storm’s physical desire which is such a fine difference but still staggering. Rains are generally the most stable people around and by that I mean they don’t change much in terms of personality, because look at Squalo, Colonello and even Yamamoto. Cloud independence is all tied up in pride, honor, duty and the like. Creativity can also be considered freedom of thought. So having none of that is a bad thing.)
Even if the Dying Will Flames weren’t active, they were needed for life and growth or else people wouldn’t have them. Sealing a grown man’s flames was a punishment of unspeakable cruelty as it reduced them to ruins within hours; it was a very effective torture technique especially if they had active flames and weren’t Suns as then they could understand what happened to them, for all the technique wasn’t well known. Doing so to a child was even worse, as the Sawada-brat proved.
A lot of the Sawada-brat’s issues could be laid at the fact that the Ninth sealed his flames so young and he had inadequate emotional and physical support afterwards, as Nono had then promoted Iemitsu as a ‘reward’ for providing the Famiglia with an additional heir. The blond idiot had then all but ceased to spend time with his wife and son, the results of which were horrendous and very obvious for everyone that cared to look.
Xanxus didn’t care about the excuse sputtered out about children not being ready to use Dying Will Flames responsibly; all that told Xanxus was that Nono purposely sealed the Sawada-brat’s flames instead of going through the effort of teaching him how to use them or assigning a tutor. At the time all of Nono’s sons were alive so the whole responsibility bullshit was just a ruse to keep the Sawada-brat from taking over the Vongola due to sharing Primo’s blood as unlike Iemitsu, the kid wasn’t in CEDEF. The Sawada-brat actually had a better claim on the Vongola than Nono’s sons as Ricardo was entrusted the Vongola, and while Ricardo might have been Secondo, he was technically the steward of the Vongola, as were all the Bosses after him. If Nono really believed that children weren’t responsible enough for Dying Will Flames Nono would have protested about the Bovino-brat. He did not.
(Xanxus makes a very good point here about how age, responsibility and so on. Part of this could be influenced by Reborn, but Lambo knows how to use Flames from Future Arc on and there’s no comment about that.
Which makes the ‘to be kept safe’ line of thought even more bullshit. Especially with the effects of sealing Flames. Which is the only excuse available to Nono, really.
Other than say keeping the Vongola in his hands and the hands of his sons. How best to keep power other than make the one who might take it from you, that has the potential to do so powerless? It’s not as if the Vongola need him… with three viable heirs still around and a frozen false claimant in the basement.)
Sawada Nana might be an excellent cook and housekeeper but as a mother… Xanxus thought his mad mother might have been a better one in terms of emotional support and she had been out of her mind half the damn time. Nana’s psych report was nightmare fuel even for the Varia and the cause of a lot of praying on Father Greg’s part; the retired assassin was the one that had examined the housewife. For a retired Sun he was very good at getting people to talk to him and tell him everything. The long-retired assassin monopolized the Varia’s Chapel for the next three days after getting back. Most of the Father’s prayers were thanking God for Reborn’s existence and excellence in assisting the Neo-Primo in recovering from his tortured civilian existence; that Father Greg phrased it that way by itself was telling and damning.
(Nana is often oblivious and far too trusting; she also never asks or pushes the mafia/strangers around the house issue like Haru and Kyoko do in the Future Arc. We also know nothing about her background other than one day she and Iemitsu met, fell in love and she became a house-wife.
It’s all sorts of telling in what’s not shown in the manga despite it spanning a couple of years. She’s shown scolding Tsuna like once and calls him dame-Tsuna to Kyoko’s face. Kyoko in Dying Will Mode tells Nana to take that back but then Reborn knocks them both out with a Leon-hammer and makes them not remember it. That is Nana’s parenting ability and not a good sign at all. If she’s willing to say dame-Tsuna to her son’s visitor/friend aka Kyoko, then what must she say to her neighbors? Her friends? Does Nana even have friends? None that are shown.
Also Nana is just creepy to me, in a way that makes me want to run away from this hollow smiling woman who is all smiles and cheer and not look back.)
In short, the Ninth had probably done more damage directly and indirectly to the Sawada-brat’s life than anyone else; seriously, it might have been kinder had the damn Neo-Primo-brat been physically raped repeatedly than had his flames sealed. The sealing of such flames was trauma enough to count as mental rape anyway. If it had been physical rape, evidence of that could have been gathered, Iemitsu’s brat would have been removed from the home by any half-decent social worker and Tsuna would have had the support of a therapist and a foster family. Japan’s foster system was much nicer than a lot of others out there due to the homogeneity and family-oriented nature of the culture.
He still would have had problems due to being sealed but at least they would have been addressed properly with support, encouragement and therapy instead of having his own mother confirming that he was fucking no-good to his face. Hell, she had never spoke with his school about possible tutoring for his grades or the bullying issues like any other semi-responsible parent would have, which meant that the bullies knew that they had a target that they could do practically anything to without any consequences. The teachers even bullied the brat, which endorsed it. Physical, verbal and emotional bullying was enough but it could easily have escalated to sexual abuse once those middle school brats grew a set of balls. That was a recipe for disaster in the making that Reborn had thankfully headed off. Sexual abuse fucked people up for the rest of their lives; even watching it happen fucked people up as he knew personally.
(The Ninth really screwed over Tsuna. First with the sealing, second with effectively removing a parent full-time, causing Nana to have more issues beyond the usual dissociation with reality. Which she has, at minimum.
Add in Nana and the lack of her doing anything other than keep house and smile… it’s not a good sign of her mental state. She might scold her son but mostly she just feeds and clothes him, instead of teaching him or supporting him. Surely with not having a job she has time to help her son with the basics of school work at home right? Except that doesn’t happen, nor are there mentions of previous tutors or talking to the school.
There’s no mention of her family at all, no mention of her friends, she occasionally does neighborhood things but her life is pretty much empty other than home and her child. Her husband is gone for years on end with only sparse communication and she’s fine with it?
There’s none of what I’d consider to be a normal human interaction with her. Not when her husband is home and has brought back heaps of dirty laundry. When he’s eaten all the food she’s made. When he gives Lambo, I-pin and Fuuta sake. When he disappears after a few days. When he gives terrible lies with a straight face.
Sure this stuff could happen off-screen but we never see any sign of it other than smiles, cheer and lovey-dovey behavior. The scene where Tsuna hears his mother crying late at night when he was younger is either in the anime or is just popular fanon because it doesn’t happen in the manga. The flame-sealing has a semi-basis in the manga as Tsuna remembers the Ninth after the Ninth touches him with a finger; the anime has the actual sealing happen.
In conclusion Nana is creepy because she doesn’t react like a person does; partially because reality what is that?)
Sawada Nana might have been a sweet, kind woman and trusting, loving wife but as a mother… Xanxus knew there were junkies that were better mothers. Abandoning the kid as a baby would have been a kindness. Unfortunately, the Sawada-brat wasn’t and truly believed he was no-good, even after all of Reborn’s subtle brainwashing to negate the worst of the damage. It was why the brat had such an ingrained martyr complex that Reborn had manipulated to make the shithead accept his birthright because this way he could make his life and death more than no-good. For twisting a Sky, you had to use what was already there.
Yeah, so that’s the headcanons of what happens to sealed people in a nutshell.
There’s all sorts of implications in there if you care to read for them because Xanxus and I share a nasty suspicious mind.
Creepypasta #807: I’ve Been Getting Strange Letters From The St. Louis Prison
Length: Super long
Maybe I allowed myself to be disarmed
by the fact that he came at three in the afternoon. He knocked very softly for
a man of his stature, hulking as he was at six foot four with wide shoulders
and big, hairy knuckles. When I asked how I could help him, he reached into his
coat pocket, withdrew an envelope, and held it out to me. Who wears a coat in
August? I took the envelope and looked it over. Its face was stamped over
several times with information for the St. Louis Correctional Facility. A
letter from prison. Great. I didn’t know anyone in prison. Then, I noticed a
post-it note paperclipped to the back of the envelope. It read simply:
allow the courier to be present to witness the reading of this letter.
I looked up at the man towering over me
on the porch. Though he was large, he didn’t appear threatening. If anything,
his calm smile made me think he might be rather friendly. I asked if he had any
clue about the contents of the letter or why his presence was necessary for the
reading, but the tall man shrugged and gestured towards the foyer. I nodded and
invited him in.
In the kitchen, we both sat across from
one another at the table. I offered him some coffee, but he silently declined.
Glancing up at him one last time, I peeled the flap back and pulled out a
ten-page letter, scrawn in hasty handwriting on lined yellow paper. The letter
don’t know me. You will likely never meet me. I am on death row at the St.
Louis Correctional Facility. I was locked up for the murder of my wife and two
children. Lionel was 3. Macie was just 6 months old. I loved them dearly. But I
did kill them. I will admit that first and foremost. I hate myself for it and I
rot in my cell, tortured by the images of their blood dripping off my knuckles.
Let me tell you my story.
I looked back up at the tall man with
disgust obvious on my face. His calm, soft grin didn’t waver as he stared back
at me. I got up to get a glass of water, then returned to the letter. The
author of the letter, whose name I found out was Fitz Willard, had been
incarcerated two weeks ago and had began work on his letter as soon as he had
access to stationary. He never explained how he got my address or why he chose
me to share his story with. But the story was brutal.
Three 1:1’s on a twelve bed unit.
Real fucking cute.
Because locking the three sickest people we have into the smallest space available seems to be a much better idea than separating them between our three available units..