Well, a month has passed and so much has happened that I don’t know where to begin. To be honest, I seriously thought of giving up this blog. I couldn’t deal with Victor’s story anymore, too dark and dangerous. What had started out as a lark turned into a thrillerish action drama, replete with car chases, at least two murders and a kidnapping. I’m just a painter, too old and set in my ways to subject myself to anything riskier than duplicating a person’s likeness on canvas.
The idea that Victor, who’d disappeared without a trace in June 2006, was possibly buried beneath my studio was pure whimsy – a conceit that had lodged itself in my brain like a virus that spread through my system until I could think of nothing else. The irony was that Victor truly did lead a perilous life, and that by investigating his story I put my own life in peril.
But, as I said, I’m a coward. One look at Victor’s brother Roy’s swollen white body in the front seat of the Volvo, and I was done. I drove home so shaky I had to pull over a couple of times and put my head down. I would never write about Victor or his family again, I knew that as surely as I knew my own name. But life has a way of tricking us. First off, I had a responsibility to my readers. A whole year of unraveling Victor’s story and then, just as things were heating up, scaredy-cat silence? I don’t think so. I had to at least talk about what happened at the end there. Not leave people hanging. To my credit, I started out with the best of intentions – I would put closure on Cecily Rose’s kidnapping – but almost right away things occurred that pulled me back into the story. Specifically, I overheard a conversation that got my mind going because it held clues to Victor’s situation. But I’m getting ahead of myself. All I need to do right now is fill in the blanks about Roy and Cecily Rose. A story so creepy it threatened to make me sick.