Jerrymanders is a digital story that uses interactive media (ie. audio, video, images and written material) to tell a story. The website provides background information to assist in understanding the video.
The main character is Jerry Warren. Jerry Warren, The Jazzman, is a psychologically damaged returned service man. He lives in his fathers old car near the lot where his family’s home used to stand before he burnt it down. The Old Warren Place is one of Reachville’s urban legends used by local children to scare each other. Jerry witnessed a serial killer burying a victim and became fixated on Him, who he named Valiant Man. Jerry continues finding Valiant Man’s victims and thinks it’s a game they are playing. Jerry believes that in digging up His victims, he is saving them.
Jerry’s found holding one of Valiant Man’s victims by two local youths, Todd and Stew. Jerry calls them Toddlystew. Toddlystew are drug addicts who break into homes and steal valuables. After finding Jerry with a victim they think he is Little Finger and run off to report him to the police.
While waiting for the police at a local petrol station they encounter Craven Looney. She is a depressed journalist writing for the Reachville Community News Online. Looney is the one who named the serial killer Little Finger.
The local police investigation is led by Detective Sergeant Groves.
For a complete digital experience please take a wander around the jerrymanders website and follow the links for advice on how to use the it.
I saw you I did you were sitting under a fine old tree watching the skyline and birds flying along the winds streaking in waves to and fro, it must have been a magical moment for you. I was sitting down because my feet hurt and as I arched my back seeking to ease my pains my head fell backwards making me sigh and close my eyes hoping that the birds I could hear didn’t conclude my day by shitting in my ear. While I was just floating way up high in the blue of a summers sky catching the breeze as it flew by paying no attention to you two guys making assumptions about the others lives. I knew because I have a bird’s eye view!
For all those brand new mums out there fighting a teary battle because your hormones have taken control of your brain and are whispering naughty things to you.
They’re bad like that hormones are, and while they’re whispering away in your ear, your body is fighting those naughty hormones every step of the way and beating them back into submission… (this is the only time the words “beating into submission” should ever be used together and referred to in a good light) … and that war is taking place in a new mummy’s mind.
Sometimes the body whose doing most of the fighting needs the mummy to give it a little help every now and then, and asks that you too beat those naughty hormones back into submission. Otherwise those feckers will take control of the mummy vessel, and those bastards never chip in for fuel and don’t even have a license to drive a mummy vessel anyway.
They’re like the hoons of the mummy vessel who saw that she was parked up on the verge feeling a little tired, a little down and thought, ‘We’re takin this mother out for a ride Goddess damn it!’ and so they did, they took the wheel, and those feckers are doing zig zags and burnouts, and the mummy vessel is almost out of fuel.
Just as she runs out, those naughty hormones abandon the mummy vessel on the side of the road, a little to the left of where they first found her, making sure that the minor damage they caused while having their naughty fun, would hang around for a little while.
The mummy body is the cops you called to come and sort out those naughty hormones, to catch them and lock them away, where they deserve to, no where they should have been all along.
Then the Mummy vessel body police tell you everything will be alright, ‘We’ve locked up those naughty hormones and even though you’re feeling a little down after the damage they did, you will feel better in a little while.
When I woke this morning I didn’t realise that I would be spending the day dreamily lazing beneath the biggest Oak tree I ever did see nor did I expect that from that lovely piece of shade there would be an Internet connection I must say I was pleased.
We stopped and bought lunch at a little Deli over on Main street, you know the one that winds around the bend ever so slightly as its hedge and rose covered verge hides the dilapidated footpath that some council member should really see too I mean anyone could trip on and to hide it with such a beautiful bouquet, well it would likely be entrapment should I fall as I stroll lazily past not looking where I trod because the sky is so blue with it white fluffiness dancing on winds too high for me to feel but I do see it as it catches that one particular cloud and makes it move faster than the rotation of the earth itself, you know the one.
So I made it past the pavement trap and round the brushes and rose beds with my succulent loaf of sour dough bread with freshly shaved of the bone ham and cheese slices thinking that everything was just alright with the world I mean how could it not be when life was simply floating by on soft breezes from that cloud wind as it dipped down and touched the tips of several bushes as I made it back to the car load bearing with computers and inverters batteries and cords yes we were in for one hell of a picnic.
I placed the bag of goodies down on a slice of rear seat not covered in computers and computer equipment and not damp from the last water run then sat back in the driver’s seat readying to make our way to that wonderful Oak tree that comes with WiFi when questions began about things that I had no idea about because I wasn’t sure where the pickle was that I did not buy nor the butter that failed to leap into my basket as I travelled along a short aisle leading to cakes I’m not a mind reader as some might think and rarely do I myself use condiments and spreads to lace my bread.
Isn’t that what cheese slices are for I found myself asking the odd stare in my direction but to no avail the stare was not going to give up that easily as it began a wide eyed approach to a conversation about things I knew nothing about nor could I change liking it or lumping it only transformed the wide eyed approach to a two eyed squint as I started the car and the journey to the grand old Oak tree with the WiFi even though I could feel that steely gaze watching my every move when I found myself thinking at least that gaze was not watching the road and offering up wise advice on how to stay in my own lane and which rocks I could and couldn’t run over with those brand new tyres only a month old before enquiring with a deeper squint if I actually saw that pyramid shaped sharp rock sticking up so proudly from the ground and decided to drive over it with my new left front tyre or did I even see it all and if I say I saw it I admit that I am watching the road and deliberately ran that new tyre over it and saying that I did not see it ensures that my intended lazy rest under that wonderfully beautiful Oak tree would be filled with talk and not key strokes as I intend.
As the car rounded the last bend nearing the Tree I had so wantingly desired to lie beneath I could feel the gaze lift and began to hear the rattle of computer cords and water bottles from the back seat and as I pulled up as close to that marvellous Tree as I could silence fell until only a rustle of plastic and paper drowned out the ferocious tap tap tapping on several computers at once with only the occasional swipe and request for a mouth wipe.
Yes that huge old Oak tree was everything I thought it would be and maybe next time Zeus will rain in YES THAT WAS A DELIBERATE USE OF THE WORD RAIN INSTEAD OF REIN THERE the sudden flash storms so I will be able to get out of the car next time.
As the world watches on in horror at the devastation unfolding in the US and Mexico, the loss of life, home, family, there is one thing that is being found that many had begun to believe had been lost long ago, and that is community.
People from all over the country are loading up their boats and trucks with fresh water, non perishable food, and medical supplies. They have carved a path across America to bring much needed aid to those who have fallen foul to nature’s furies. Their actions have brought hope to those who had none, water to those in need, medical supplies to those injured, and food for victims and rescuers alike.
It is both heart-warming and devastating to watch, to experience. It brings to the surface a wave of emotions. Those people who have been moved by the plight of those caught up in the weathers destructive path, and the Earths grumblings have given hope to many more, for much more, than the people they have mobilised to assist.
It is this type of mobilising force, brought on by the people to help one another, that has provided hope for all of us.
Jerry killed his mother and father at age 16, and then burnt the house down.
The vacant block where Jerry finds the last pretty, is the Warren block, his old home.
Locals fear the vacant block but do not know that Jerry owns it.
Popular lore: The popular lore suggests that the Warren boy was abused by his father and his mother would watch. One night the boy stabbed his father to death, and then he slit his mother’s throat. To try and hide what he had done he set the house on fire burning everyone inside. To this day the Warren boy remains locked away in an asylum somewhere.
True story: Alfred Warren, Jerry’s father would beat him every night. It is true that Wilfred Warren, Jerry’s mother, did watch Alfred beat Jerry to within an inch of his life, but only after he had brutally beaten Wilfred. Dragging herself up to rest against a blood soaked kitchenette, she would watch in horror as her husband brutally beat her child. On that fateful night, Wilfred had received a particularly brutal beating and was unable to make her usual attempts to pull her husband off of her boy. As the blood from a gash to her head streamed down her face into her eyes joining with her tears, Wilfred endured another night, the last night, of watching that man torture her beautiful son.
Jerry’s thrashing was severe. Bloodied and bruised he had rolled up into a little ball while his father kicked and punched him, taunting him with every breath he took from him. Jerry could see his mother watching, but unable to move and knew that this had to stop. Enduring what seemed like hours, Jerry remembered the pocket knife in his pocket that his father smilingly gave to him only three hours earlier. Alfred continued to kick Jerry’s badly beaten body, while occasionally staggering over to give Wilfred another punch to the face and belly.
Her sight shrouded in blood, with a continual stream dripping from the ends of her short blonde hair into her squinting eyes, Wilfred’s mind began to focus again. Clarity had begun to return and a little feeling in her legs. She too had decided that that night would be the last time that man ever touched her, or her boy. Alfred Warren turned to her, as he always did, while beating his son, and he once again looked to Wilfred’s beaten and bloody body leant up against the cupboards, and began his nightly spiel.
Uncaring of where his blows landed, he began to scream in a contorted voice full of rage, while still laying into Jerry, ‘Stop judging me with those eyes of yours… you’re always judging me with those big green eyes, what’ll the boy grow into when you’re judging him with those eyes all the time,’ he would say, as the sickening sound of another blow connected with Jerry’s head, ‘Always judging,’ he continued, ‘I’m gonna take those eyes right out of your head one day, just you wait and see if I don’t… always judging… always accusing… always watching… with those green eyes…’
Alfred Warren was a chronic alcoholic whose mother beat him daily. It has also been suggested that old Mother Warren had knocked off Frank Warren, Alfred’s father, just prior to giving birth to Alfred. The story has never been substantiated but widely believed as truth.
I mean who dies from home-made Mushroom soup?
An intended victim if you ask me!
Alfred Warren only ever gave Jerry one gift. That pocket knife for his 16th birthday, that day, the day the Warren family died.
Jerry felt around in his jeans pocket between blows until he found the knife. As Alfred came in for another blow, Jerry pulled it from his pocket and raised the open knife, connecting with his fathers fist, embedding itself deep between his white and bloodied knuckles. Taken aback from what had just happened, Alfred stepped closer to where is wife was sitting, his eyes wide with disbelief, then fury. Jerry fought through the pains of that night’s particularly bad beating, and reached above him, grabbing the rim of the kitchen sink to pull himself upright.
Keeping the knife directed at his father, he began his slow, short walk to where Alfred still stood trying to wrap his hand in a tea towel he’d grabbed from the table. The same tea towel used to pull Jerry’s roast Lamb, birthday dinner from the wood stove earlier that night. As Jerry neared his father he saw that his birthday cake had yet to be sliced up, and in that moment years of rage grew within him, at the thought of another dinner ruined by this alcoholic bastard standing in front of him crying about the wound to his hand.
Still believing he had control over Jerry and his wife, Alfred began taunting them once more, as he took a step towards Jerry, but Jerry lunged at him with the knife, just barely scraping against the plaid of his shirt. Alfred took another step back, a step too far it would seem. Wilfred saw that Jerry was finally standing up to the man who had hurt him so much and with her last ounce of energy, she threw herself forward, wrapping her bloody body around Alfred’s feet. Holding tight with a strength she thought had failed her, Wilfred caused him to topple over. As Alfred began to fall, he smashed his head on the Kitchenette cutting a slice of his scalp away.
Taking the gift he so eagerly accepted from his father only hours earlier, the one and only thing he had ever given him, Jerry began a ferocious attack. Alfred, dazed and confused from his fall, found that he couldn’t move, that there was a weight on his legs holding him down. As the first strike of many, plunged into Alfred’s chest, Jerry’s rage had taken over completely, as was evident from the forty seven stab wounds to his chest. Sitting astride his father’s corpse, his blood spattered all over his face, hands, clothes and the walls, Jerry looked to his mother, semi conscious and still holding tight to Alfred’s feet.
Jerry desperately wanted her blessing for what he had done, but as he looked to her all he could see were her piercing green eyes, and his father’s voice began to flow through his head once more… always in his head…
Staring into his mothers green eyes, he understood that to be truly free from this hell, he needed his father’s wife to no longer judge him with those eyes of hers.
Even though his rage had abated, Jerry did cut his mother’s throat, but Jerry loved his mother and because of that, the slice across her throat was not very deep. The beating she had taken from her husband is what really killed her. After Jerry cut his father’s wife’s throat, he finally saw his mother and not those eyes. He sat on the floor next to her dying body laying lax across the feet of his dead father, the warmth of her blood began to soak deep into his clothes.
Sudden fear and sadness filled his heart as he realised what he had done to his mother. He pulled Wilfred’s limp body up over his legs, and cradled her in his arms, crying as she lay dying wrapped in Jerry’s love for her.
‘Jerry,’ she whispered coughing up a light spattering of blood, ‘You’re a good boy Jerry, mummy loves her good boy. I’m so sorry, forgive me, I forgive you Jerry, Mummy forgives her little boy,’ the kind and caring Wilfred said in her dying whispers. Holding her head tight into his chest, jerry released a little to see his mothers face one last time. As he looked down at her, her eyes were closed and her tears were running down across her face into the dried streaks of blood from her earlier beating. He leant down and kissed her forehead and sobbed, ‘I’m sorry mummy, I’m so sorry. I just wanted him to stop mummy.’
As Jerry wept over his mothers face, Wilfred took her last breath. As she died her eyes fell open, and the last thing she saw was her little boy. As her head fell back in Jerry’s arms, her piercing green eyes looked directly into his own. Jerry knew what he had to do, just one more thing and it would all stop. He had to cut those green eyes out of her head, those judging eyes that made his father beat him so. Using his father’s gift one last time, Jerry cut each eye from their sockets.
No-one ever came to the house because no-one wanted to know what was happening. After the deed was done, Jerry sat cradling his mother for a long time, not wanting to let her go.
In the early hours of the morning, Jerry finally got up off the kitchen floor. He showered and changed his clothes, throwing his bloodied clothing on top of his father’s body. They had been living in an old wooden railway cottage for the past year, because Alfred worked on the railway lines. Jerry threw more wood on the kitchen wood fired stove, then moved his mother’s body away from Alfred’s. He didn’t want his father to touch his mother ever again.
They lay in a large shared pool of their own blood as Jerry left the house through the back door to grab the old jerry can from the wood shed. As he reached the fly-wire door, one of his mother’s eyes lay on the floor, and that green eye was looking straight at him through the wire.
Jerry entered the house tipping petrol on that eye first, and then poured it all over his parent’s bodies. As he walked into the living room to get to the front door, Jerry threw a match into the kitchen and the fuel ignited with a ‘whoosh.’ The bare floors were so old that the entire railway cottage was up in flames by the time he reached the post box.
Found lying on the front verge, bloodied and bruised, first responders believed that Jerry had escaped a murder suicide after the neighbours gave their account of the goings on at the Warren place. Neighbourhood whispers abounded with rumours and speculations about Jerry’s involvement in the death of his parents. Police covered every avenue of the investigation and Jerry was found to be the sole surviving victim of his father’s murderous rage, then suicide after setting the house on fire, the case was closed, and Jerry never spoke about that night. He was too old to be placed in foster care, so childcare workers put Jerry into an institution for 2 years, because his only living relative, his wealthy psychotic grandmother on his father’s side, refused to take him in.
Grandma gave Jerry his father’s old car, that was bequeathed to him in his father’s will, after he came knocking on the door once he was released from state care. Refusing to let him in, she threw the keys out of the door at him with a piece of very old paper threaded through them. On the old paper was a hand written address to a lockup where the car had been stored.
That night still gave Jerry nightmares, but for the most part, he was a happy healthy young man, even with the abuses suffered at the hands of carers at the institution. There was nothing they could do to him, that could even touch on the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. Jerry missed his mother greatly, but every time he thought about her, all he could see was her green eyes and that would shake him from his thoughts.
He bounced around for a few years before joining the forces. At 26 Jerry took part in an aid operation in Iraq, driving trucks (1990). After a 6 month tour, Jerry was given a medical discharge. He became traumatised by the death and devastation he witnessed. He was driving his truck full of doctors and other aid workers delivering fresh water and medical assistance where they could, along with other aid supplies through an area covered in land mines. They had just left a small community of refugees when they heard a mine go off.
Getting everyone back into the truck, Jerry drove to the site where the dust plume was still settling back on to the ground. When they arrived, Jerry saw a group of screaming, crying, bloody, dead and dying children who had walked straight into a mine field. He pulled the truck over to let the doctors out to assist who they could, but he mainly pulled over because the sight of all those children, covered in blood, victims of something they had no control over was too much for him, and he disappeared into his mind.
Jerry’s trauma was so deep that he retreated into himself. He began to live moment to moment, in those moments that play on a loop. So traumatic are the images playing out in his mind, that he sees them in sleep and in waking. They are relentless.
Jerry was catatonic for over a month and was sent home, where he spent more than a year in and out of hospitals. His Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) continues to this day. Never regular with his med’s, Jerry is only ever semi lucid and is occasionally picked up by police when a concerned member of the public calls them for assistance. Jerry is sent to the psychiatric hospital, where they put him on med’s for a few days.
After the incident in Iraq and Jerry’s subsequent trauma, he developed multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia. When he stops his medication he is eventually hospitalised, but when he becomes stable, he is released from hospital with enough med’s for a week, with directions to see his own doctor for a repeat prescription. Jerry makes all the right assurances to hospital staff that he will see his own doctor, and they know that he will not follow through, but there is nothing they can do about it.
After the first day, the med’s begin to wear off and Jerry quickly devolves into his psychosis, with his assurances dissolving into the imagery playing out in his mind.
Jerry’s trauma is life long, he relives the beatings he and his mother endured at the hands of his father, and the night he killed them both. He continues to experience the abuse he endured while caught up in the childcare system, and he eternally witnesses the death and destruction of the little children that hit at the heart of Jerry’s own personal traumas.
Jerry is now 53. He has his father’s beat up old car. His grandmother, certain that he had killed her son, has never shown Jerry any compassion, even before the death of his parents in a tragic house fire. Why would she? She never showed any to Jerry’s father… or his grandfather, so the story goes. She knew what her son did to his son because, ‘That is how boys should be treated.’
Although he travels from vacant block to vacant block, Jerry always returns to his vacant block, his home. He is incapable of escaping his life, all he has endured, everything he has done, and all he has witnessed. He both sees and hears those victims; their voices are incessant within his mind leaving him with no rest.
All utilities at Jerry’s block are taken care of by an executor. Jerry is quite wealthy on his own thanks to his mother. He received quite the inheritance after her death. He knows about it, but he doesn’t know about it also. His damaged mind won’t allow him to grasp hold of reality for very long.
When old Gran drops off the perch Jerry’s going to be a very, very wealthy man… unless Tibbles is going to become a very wealthy cat.
I hope this gives you an idea behind the character Jerry, aka The Jazzman.
Hi, my name’s Josephine Marlin. Yeah I know it’s the name of a fish but we all have our crosses to bear. Anyway, I am twenty four years old, and this is the story of how I came to be friends with some of the coolest and deadliest chicks this world will ever see.
This is what happened to me last week, when I found out that my friends were not who I thought they were.
So, I’m a beautiful sophisticate with long shapely legs and long, straight brunette hair that only accentuates the deep brown of my almond eyes and the luscious red of my full kissable lips. That’s right, I’m drop dead gorgeous. I live in a swanky apartment just ten blocks short of the Prime Minister’s house, and a few streets away from my best friends. So you can imagine that it was upscale living for me all the way. I’d arrived home, tired, though utterly beautiful and freshly pressed as a successful independent woman of the world would be, then it all kinda goes blank for a while. I started thinking about me mates, all seven of them, because they are my best friends in the whole world. We played together all through primary school. We dated together all through high school and now, we all work at daddy’s fortune 500 company together. So you can imagine my surprise, to find myself chained to Ann and Kaz, while we wallowed in Horse juices.
Sounds kinky doesn’t it?
It’s so much weirder than it sounds and it all started with Pony.
Let me enlighten you about the bonds of friendship and how it remains, even after death.
I woke up in a strange dark room. I could feel a cold wall up along my back. I ran my hands up along it and felt the smooth ceramic of tiles, with grouted sections about every four inches. While I was checking out the wall, the cold wet of the floor was soaking into my brand new Jeans I had bought just for Jeans for Gene’s day at work. I ran my hand down to try and touch the floor, but the smell of piss wafted up into my nasal passages and made me dry retch.
My hand stopped all by itself and as I was retching I heard a sobbing noise.
‘What was that?’ I whispered into the darkness.
‘Where am I?’ I asked, hoping for a response, from, well anyone at this point, ‘And why is it so dark in here? Better question, why the hell does my face feel like someone has dipped it in acid?’
‘Shush… She’ll hear you,’ said a voice from the void. It sounded familiar.
Not wanting to show fear, I called out, ‘What the hell is going on and who are you?’
I was trying to remember what happened. ‘I’d arrived home from work, oh that’s right it looked like someone had broken into my flat. Nah, it just looked that way,’ I laughed to myself.
‘What? It’s my private joke, with me, anyway back to how the hell I ended up here. Someone came to my door, who was it? Toni? Joanie? That’s right, it was Pony.’ Who would name their kid Pony deliberately? I mean, really? I call her Saddle Soar, old SS for short. It never goes down as well as it does in my head.
‘Anyway, ‘Old SS came round and what did she want? Goo? Roo? Loo…? You, oh me, she wanted me,’ I praised myself for remembering. I always praise myself, daddy said, “If you can’t praise yourself Josephine, no-one else is going to.”’
I don’t really remember anything after I let her inside.
The sounds and smells of my dark prison were marching up into my nose, across to my ears, while it still played with the tonsils I had removed as a child. I couldn’t take it any longer and yelled, ‘God! Is that piss I can smell? Where the fuck is the light switch? And who the hell is crying?’
‘Shush…’ came that same familiar voice from the darkness, and I just had to ask, ‘Who keeps shushing me?’
‘It’s me Jo, Ann, shut up before she comes back.’….
Stop over at thealticverse.com and to read more, a fresh draft has been made this morning. Leave a comment or stop by my facebook page and tell me what you think.. or not… be nice, I’m fragile 😉
A whisper echoes out of the darkness. It’s voice is rough and… and frightening. ‘Embellishments are not far fetched.’
I look around into the dense dark of night to try and see who, or what was talking to me, but its identity is shrouded by midnight.
‘Embellishments are not far fetched,’ it whispered again so close to my right ear that I spun on my heels so quickly, I almost fell over.
‘There… did you hear that?’ my mind warned me about this unseen danger in whispered tones also.
‘Yes mind, I heard that, where do you suppose it’s coming from?’
‘Embellishments are not far fetched.’
‘Over there,’ screamed my mind, ‘Just beneath the canopy.’
I look towards the canopy and before I knew what was happening, my wanderous feet had begun to drag my defiant body towards the voice.
‘What are you doing,’ my mind berated, ‘Why are you walking towards danger, we always walk the other way?’ Suddenly my mind gasps and asks the night, ‘What have you done with my humans body?’
As I neared the canopy, I heard the voice once again. It’s tone had degraded into an almost unintelligible string of words, devoid of humanity, ‘Embellishments are not far fetched,’ it whispered one last time as I reached the canopy and pulled it back…
I didn’t think about what I might find behind it. I wasn’t really sure that there would be anything at all, and I couldn’t for the life of me shut my mind up. I stepped into the lean-to that the canopy kept hidden, and there in one back corner, squatting on the ground with its head in its hands, weeping, was a heaving distorted form.
I walked over to it, knelt before it and lifted my hand to run over the top of its head in an effort to try and ease its pain.
As I ran my hand over, I cooed, ‘It will be alright, there, there, don’t be upset. tell me what the problem is and we’ll see if we can fix it together.’
As I spoke my mind was screaming at me, ‘You’re a fool Karen… don’t do that… just back away… you don’t know what the fuck it is… If I had legs, I ‘d RUN NOW!‘
The heaving form, squatting in the back corner of the old lean-to, once more spoke, and this time I heard the words in such a fearsome clarity that I almost listened to my mind.
‘Embellishments are not far fetched,’ It spoke and then it began to lift its head from its hands. As it raised up, I saw who it was.
It was me.
I stood face to face with myself for what seemed like hours, when the me that had been squatting in fear at the rear of the canopy, lifted its right hand and pointed to something just to the left of us, and as I looked, it spoke those words again, ‘Embellishments are not far fetched.’
As I looked to where the other I had pointed, I had a sudden urge to run as the me who had seen what I now saw moved into my body, and catching up with myself, I moved to the rear of the lean-to, lent my back against the old wooden pole, and slowly slid down along it until I sat squatting.
Just before I put my head in my hands to try and stem the flow of tears, the thing… that thing… the one thing that now haunts me, sat defiantly to my left, but my mind captured its image and does not allow me to forget it.