If the stories the old busybodies and gossips tell are true, and there really was once a "school for weird kids" called Reynardine, located just over the hills in a little village with an unpronounceable name that sits at the foot of Blackwoods Mountain -- well, if that were true, then Justine probably went to school there. And if that school really did burn to the ground under mysterious circumstances, as some of the older and nosier townsfolk claim, then it's possible Justine may know all about that, as well.
But few people in the any of the villages dotting the countryside know Justine very well. Although she appears now and then to give aid and assistance when needed, some folks grumble that she often leaves things worse than when she came. They say that if she is only going to complain and heave heavy sighs while supposedly lending a helping hand, why doesn't she just mind her own business and let folks sort out their own problems? Some wager that she only does an occasional good deed to impress her boss, the elusive man of mystery known as Obscurus. It's also been said that she is friends with the somewhat spooky waif named Peculia, although others claim they are the furtherest thing from friends and that Justine has been observed spying on the other girl and reporting her activities into her phone.
It must be said, that while it's true that Justine is often seen idly wandering the hillside, chatting on her phone or napping under a tree, she has proved extremely resourceful and even brave in her encounters with some of the odder denizens of the outer villages, such as the Kensington Valley werewolves or Professor Bell's army of zombies.
No one knows where he comes from or where he'll show up next, but apparently he's been around for a long time and is to blame for all manner of trouble and problems. Attempts to capture or kill him have been unsuccessful, so he remains on the loose and citizens are cautioned about approaching him or attempting to engage him in conversation.
It is considered an ill omen or "bad luck" to see him. If you catch a glimpse of him standing in your headlights on a lonely country road or if you turn the corner in an old abandoned building and can make out his figure standing at the end of the hall, smiling at you, it is advised that you, as a precaution, quickly turn around and go the other way.
Beware especially if he removes his gloves, revealing his bony hands. Anyone he touches will suddenly glow an unearthly shade of green, then burst into a ball of fire, leaving only scattered bones, ashes and shreds of clothing where a person used to be.
Bonnie Randell is a bright and enthusiastic student at Lone Mountain College, happy to have left her small town roots behind. She plans on getting a degree in education because she loves kids - although she thinks she might like to do something with animals, too.
One night she is invited by a group of fellow co-eds to attend a meeting for young ladies who wish to "get in touch with their inner pirate." Though it seems a bit of harmless fun at first, the meeting is actually a sinister trap set by a rather peculiar individual named Aunt Azalea - the cunning mastermind of a secret criminal organization operating out of the old Pirate Museum, located just off campus. Before she knows whats happening, Bonnie finds herself locked up and facing various forms of psychological manipulation, mind-control, brain-washing and hypnosis. Bonnie is indoctrinated into becoming the latest member of Aunt Azalea's pirate "crew," and like all members, she learns to follow Aunt Azalea's orders without question.
To her pirate crew, "Auntie", is a loving but stern mother figure who promises to care for them and love them if they do as they are told. Aunt Azalea names all the girls after "the flowers in my garden" - so Bonnie becomes Daffodil - and Bonnie Randell is no more.
Daffodil proves to be a model member of the crew, and soon, because of her natural enthusiasm and other singular skills, she is promoted to "Captain". However, although the crew has been conditioned to perceive Aunt Azalea as kind and benevolent, the truth is that the fiendish crook has very little patience for failure. And after Daffodil makes not one, but two errors on an assignment of extreme importance to Auntie, the unfortunate girl is lured into a dark room where, after "walking the plank," she has a deadly encounter with "The Occupant of the Well."
(See: MAD NIGHT)