When I was writing THE BLUE ROSE PROJECT, I knew alot of people might not catch the TWIN PEAKS connection to the story. Plus which, due to my "classifying" certain portions of the story, some of the plot-points might not be understood. So I went and wrote this up initially for my friends who'd enjoyed the story, and wanted to know more. So, here is it, starting with an overview of the TWIN PEAKS mythos that adds to the element of the story.

Also, when this was first written, it was initially posted in 10 seperate parts on a BLAIR WITCH PROJECT message board. When I put it on my site, I got meshed the story into one whole tale (part-less). But when I wrote this, it was based around the ten-part format, so that's how it's presented. Enjoy!


AN OVERVIEW OF THE TWIN PEAKS MYTHOLOGY

My largest inspiration for what became THE BLUE ROSE PROJECT was the TV series TWIN PEAKS. It ran for two years on ABC, and initially dealt with an investigation of the murder of the high school prom queen. From those beginnings, PEAKS spun off into tales of fantasy… including storylines about possession and possible alien visitations. After it was cancelled, a motion picture was produced, TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME , which was largely a “prequel”, taking place before the series began (but with fore-shadowing to future events, as well as explaining a few questions that viewers had wondered about). Here, for those unfamiliar with the series or film, is an overview of the facts that tie-in with THE BLUE ROSE PROJECT.

In 1989, a high school girl was found murdered in Twin Peaks, Washington. Her name was Laura Palmer. FBI regional chief Gordon Cole sent Special Agent Dale Cooper to investigate, believing this had similarities to another murder from a year ago of a woman named Teresa Banks. Cooper soon realized that it was no mere serial killer.

Cooper had a strange dream, where he was in a mysterious red room, with a dwarf (the Man From Another Place) and Laura Palmer. They gave him cryptic clues to her murder, and Laura herself told Cooper who killed her. Cooper discovered a strange one-armed man who told him the truth: that the one responsible was an “inhabiting spirit.” It was soon revealed that Laura’s father, Leland, had killed her… possessed by an evil entity known only as BOB. Leland/BOB had also killed Teresa Banks. When he was finally captured, Leland/BOB gleefully confessed to the crimes, saying that he could not be held. He also seemed to know things about Cooper’s past that baffled the agent. BOB departed Leland’s body, but not before killing Leland… and leaving him with the knowledge that he had killed his own daughter.

Meanwhile, more facts were gleamed. Cooper had been shot, and had a strange visitation by a giant, who gave Cooper more clues to Laura’s murder, including the enigmatic warning “the owls are not what they seem.” He also took Cooper’s ring, but later returned it when the Palmer murder had been solved. Major Briggs, an member of the Air Force stationed in Twin Peaks, later came to Cooper with something strange… mysterious radio transmis-sions that had been detected coming from the woods around Twin Peaks. Among the binary 1’s and 0’s was the cryptic message:

100/101/010/Cooper/000/the/owls/are/not/what/they/seem/001/010/001/

Cooper later learned that Briggs was stationed in Twin Peaks for a secret reason, and told Cooper one night about a local legend of a place called the White Lodge. Soon thereafter, Briggs disappeared. Cooper later learned more about the White Lodge, as well as its darker version, the Black Lodge. Below is a quotation from the series which explains it well:

"Once upon a time, there was a place of great goodness, called the White Lodge. Gentle fawns gamboled there amidst happy, laughing spirits. The sounds of innocence and joy filled the air. And when it rained, it rained sweet nectar that infused one's heart with a desire to live life in truth and beauty. Generally speaking, a ghastly place, reeking of virtue's sour smell. Engorged with the whispered prayers of kneeling mothers, mewling newborns, and fools, young and old, compelled to do good without reason.

“But, I am happy to point out that our story does not end in this wretched place of saccharine excess. For there's another place, its opposite: a place of almost unimaginable power, chock full of dark forces and vicious secrets. No prayers dare enter this frightful maw. Spirits there care not for good deeds or priestly invocations. They are as likely to rip the flesh from your bone as greet you with a happy "Good day!" And if harnessed, these spirits in this hidden land of unmuffled screams and broken hearts would offer up a power so vast that its bearer might reorder the earth itself to his liking! This place I speak of, is known as the Black Lodge…”

The man who’d spoken those words was Windom Earle, Cooper's mentor in the FBI. Driven insane, he’d escaped to torment Cooper in Twin Peaks. It was revealed that Earle had been part of the Air Force’s investigation into UFO’s known as Project Blue Book, that he’d known Briggs, and had been thrown off the project when he’d become less concerned with his assignment and obsessed with Twin Peaks and its legend of the Black Lodge. It was Earle’s plan to harness the power of the Black Lodge. He managed to learn about BOB’s presence, and believed that BOB was from the Black Lodge. A strange symbolic map was found in the local Owl Cave, which seemed to provide the location of the entrance to the Black Lodge: the woods of Glastonbury Grove, where there was a circle of twelve trees. He’d lured Cooper into a showdown there by kidnapping Cooper’s lover, Annie. Inside, BOB took Earle’s soul and Cooper tried to escape with Annie. In the final scene, it appeared as though he had… but later, when Cooper looked into the mirror, the grinning laughing face of BOB looked back!

The movie FIRE WALK WITH ME was primarily set in the past, during Laura’s final week alive, and revealed a few more details. It opened a year earlier, and showed the investigation into the murder of Teresa Banks. Special Agent Chester Desmond was sent by Cole… but soon disappeared mysteriously after reaching for a green ring with a symbol from Owl Cave on it. Dale Cooper was then assigned to complete the case. A strange man, revealed to be Special Agent Philip Jeffries (who’d been missing for two years) appeared in Cole’s office, claiming to have been at one of the Black Lodge’s meetings. He pointed at Cooper, asking “who do you think that is there?”, meaning he’d seen Cooper in the Lodge. He disappeared from Cole’s office at the same time Desmond was reported missing. The movie shifted then to Twin Peaks and detailed Laura’s final days, cumulating in her murder. New facts were revealed about the Lodge, such as time had no meaning in there, with future events as well known as those from the past. In fact, Laura had a dream where she saw Annie, who warned her that “the good Dale is in the Lodge and he can’t get out.” It was revealed that the Black Lodgers fed on “pain and sorrow,” which manifested itself in the Lodge as a creamed corn-like substance called garmonbozia. Also a fact that was established in the series returned here, that the Black Lodge could be visited briefly through dreams. Also mentioned for the first time were Cole’s mysterious Blue Rose cases, whose origins and purposes were unrevealed.

THE BLUE ROSE PROJECT


PART ONE EXPLANATIONS...

Actually PART ONE is reference-free. The person speaking I will refer to as The Narrator for the duration of these explanations. I never had any intention of naming him. His being a “handler” is something I come back to in PART TEN: a sort of closure that I thought of at the last minute. The whole thing about the file is just a set-up. There is no hidden backstory as to why it wasn't destroyed with other older files or was stashed in that room. It's just there. Period.

PART TWO EXPLANATIONS...

As far as the FBI’s file practices (i.e. computerizing files and pulping them after 1989), I haven't a clue. I made that up. As to why it's a Federal case, it's because of Gordon's Blue Rose investigations. The first agent sent in 1994 ended up ok... there isn't a story in the wings for him, or a horrible secret fate. Signing out for the file —- it sounded like something that an agent would have to do to take confidential files out. And for nitpicky trivia's sake, Crawford West is a name I’ve used in a few of my stories. I got it from two characters played by a favorite actor of mine, Jeffrey Combs. He played Crawford Tillingast in the movie FROM BEYOND and Herbert West from the movie REANIMATOR. In retrospect, it does seem strange that both FBI agents were sent out to investigate the situation around Halloween though. Hmmm…

PART THREE EXPLANATIONS...

Why doesn't the case exist in the data system? Cause it's secret, silly! I thought it best to remind the readers of it —- sort of tap them on the shoulder to something so odd. Greg Dorman's name I got from two sources also, and there are funny stories behind them if only I could remember! Dorman won’t appear again until PART EIGHT, and in passing in PART TEN. The "Uncle Greg” comment means he’s a friend of the family, and it’s a term of endearment. Originally Dorman was just his sponsor, but I decided to make it more personal, since what Dorman was doing wasn't strictly ethical. As far as accessing West's reports through the dates in his file, that was very clever, and also seemed very easy. I'm sure Gordon would have thought of closing that avenue off! I didn't have The Narrator sign out for the transcripts, because I figured those wouldn't be as highly guarded as the file. And even though I haven't said so, he still has the Burkittsville file in his possession at this point (I will mention this in passing in PART TEN). And, in keeping with the whole TWIN PEAKS aspect of this story, I had West dictate on a recorder like Cooper did. A brief reference to the Blue Rose project, and the first mention of Gordon. And I make two mentions to the transcripts being edited; a point I wanted to drive home so there wouldn’t be any confusion later on. West's postponed vacation was something I wrote in the first draft, and decided to keep it in to make him seem more real; no dark secrets there waiting to be unearthed. Two pieces of trivia: 1) Amy is the name of a friend I work with, who asked me to put her name in my story. I thought it would be difficult, then realized how pathetically EASY it would be (*smile*). And 2) in real life, I do have a bonsai, which I tend to under water.

PART FOUR EXPLANATIONS...

The "nice quiet little towns"reference is, of course, referring to Twin Peaks. As far as Cravens not being there but his car is, he was hiding from West in his office as scared as a little girl in a thunderstorm. As far as [*LAUGH*] and stuff like that, it was my attempt to get across some emotion or action in the transcripts, something I don’t think worked very well. Cravens is almost the antithesis of Twin Peaks’ Sheriff Truman. As far as letting West take the journal, I don't know if that's strictly legal -— it was just discovered recently and should have been having tests run on it or something. The Burkittsville Inn was my original choice for the hotel, then I thought of calling it the Peach Tree, then switched back to Inn (I made the Tree the name of the diner in PART FIVE). All my info about the journal I got from the blairwitch.com site ... and it DID seem like Heather did expect something during her shoot. And here's my filling in the blanks for the classified bits:

“Given what we know about the Black Lodge, this could be a direct link. Gordon, overnight express me a copy of the Palmer file, as well as a copy of the Palmer diary, both versions.”

West certainly is aware of the Twin Peaks case, but wasn't there himself (perhaps he was sent by Gordon after the final episode to check on Cooper?). And comparing Heather's journal and Laura's diary was always planned; I thought it was a natural connection. There is no Rule #12 that I know of. In as far as the dreaming goes I was alluding to dreams being a way into the Black and White Lodges (as shown in TWIN PEAKS and FIRE WALK WITH ME). The fallen watch reference is foreshadowing to its discovery in PART EIGHT and West mentioning it in PART NINE. This was a last-minute addition to the scene as I was preparing to post and, in retrospect, makes me look far cleverer than I am.

PART FIVE EXPLANATIONS....

When I first wrote this THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT hadn't been released yet, so I had no way of knowing what the film or video footage or the DAT tapes would contain, so I knew that I had to tread carefully as not to contradict anything that could be revealed in the film. But I was able to make some educated guesses. I knew the film was black-and-white, for example. The whole thing about “the ring on Heather's finger” was my invention. It was based on the importance of rings in the TWIN PEAKS mythos; the Giant took Cooper's ring in the series and the Owl Cave ring in FIRE WALK WITH ME which seemed to signal the deaths of both Teresa Banks and Laura Palmer, as well as the disappearance of Special Agent Desmond. The addition of it was my way of alluding that perhaps Heather had a similar Owl Cave ring on, thus ensuring her demise. As far as the mother/daughter, I heard about that scene on the BLAIR WITCH message board I was writing the story for and thought it intriguing enough to include in my story. More about them will me revealed in PART SIX. The owls’ reference is, of course, to the famous TWIN PEAKS warning: "the owls are not what they seem." It’s never been properly explained, but has always seemed to be about the Black Lodge. And during the 11:41 p.m. entry, I completely forgot the [MESSAGE ENDS] tag at the end. West’s reaction to the video footage was all guesswork, based on my imagining what could happen. The Peach Tree scene was a sort of homage to Cooper's scenes at the Double-R Diner in Twin Peaks (be thankful I didn't add in a gratuitous coffee or cherry pie scene!). Declassifying more:

“Especially some markings and symbols which are very reminiscent of what was recorded in Owl Cave in Twin Peaks.”

In one of the final episodes of TWIN PEAKS, Cooper and company went to Owl Cave, where a large petrogylph was on the wall. It was very old, and gave them details about the Black Lodge. It also contained representations of both the Giant and the Man From Another Place. I alluded to the fact that perhaps there may have been a pattern or symbol from Burkittsville on the map … perhaps a stickman? I mocked up a copy of the Owl cave petrogylph and inserted the stickman into it for effect.

Mary Brown seemed like a wonderful character (in the same mold as TWIN PEAKS' Log Lady) and I knew I wanted her in a scene but really didn't know how to do it. Finally decided on this, which I wasn't sure would really work. Looking back, I think it worked quite well. I only knew of a few of her lines, so I needed to imagine what she would be like as a character. My original idea was to have her talk about meeting the Witch; I had the Witch pointing at her and laughing (which in retrospect, I'm glad I didn't, since that isn't how the scene was told). She's seen the Witch again in dreams; perhaps Mary has been to the Black Lodge (she has seen the Man From Another Place, as well). And from my classified parts, the White Lodge also seems to have a presence in Black Hills Forest, and may have tried to contact Mary, as well. Here are the classified parts, unclassified:

“BROWN: [*VOICE INDICATES ANGER*] No! I ain’t saying I was dreaming, did I? This is real! I see her like I did at Tippy Creek. Her and the dwarf. They’re talking at me. They’re the only ones who will.

WEST: [*PAUSE*] This dwarf, can you describe him?

BROWN: [*THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED*]

WEST: What to they say to you?

BROWN: Stuff. Stuff I don’t understand. Stuff I do. They tell me a lot, cause I’m the only one who’ll listen to them.

WEST: And why is that, ma’am?

BROWN: They say cause I’m safe. Cause I don’t talk to the others in the forest.

WEST: Others?

BROWN: Yes sir. Like the giant and the ****.

[*THE REMAINDER OF THE CONVERSATION HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED*]”

The dwarf, of course, is the Man From Another Place. As far as describing him, I was never planning on including that (fans know, of course, what he looks like). The Giant is the same one who visited Cooper on TWIN PEAKS. I never really had a second person picked with the giant, and just added one for effect. Perhaps it might have been Laura Palmer… More declassified material:

“OCTOBER 23 1:18 p.m.: Back at the Inn, Gordon. I see my copy of the Palmer file and the diaries have arrived. [MESSAGE ENDS]”

This is self-explanatory. More declassified material:

“OCTOBER 23 8:00 p.m.: I’ve compared my notes from the evidence against that from the Palmer case. The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up, Gordon. I believe the Rose is beginning to bloom.”

West is beginning to suspect Black Lodge activity based on similarities in both cases. Another Blue Rose reference is made.

PART SIX EXPLANATIONS...

I figured since I hadn't referred to The Narrator since PART THREE, I should remind the readers of him, so I stuck in the part at the beginning. Had to remember to keep writing The Narrator’s scenes in the past tense; very annoying since I hate writing in first person! In the case of the "classified posts" between 23rd and the 24th, I wanted to create a sense of something-greater happening, something more important that deserved to be classified; I had NO plans or ideas of what to include for those days. Ok, as far as the mother/daughter/Chalfont/Tremond connection. This deserves a line of its own. In TWIN PEAKS there appeared an old woman named Tremond, and her mysterious grandson. They seemed to help Donna in her investigation of Laura Palmer’s murder, and they hated creamed corn (the fear that the Black Lodgers feed on —- called garmonbozia -— manifests itself in the Lodge as creamed corn; perhaps this meant that they didn’t feed on fear). And they disappeared from their residence suddenly. In the film FIRE WALK WITH ME (which chronologically took place a week before the series began) the same old woman appeared again, this time named Chalfont, with a very different grandson. And their purpose seemed darker: the Owl Cave ring that claimed Agent Desmond was under their trailer, and they gave Laura Palmer a painting that allowed her access into the Black Lodge. Also in FIRE WALK WITH ME, Chalfont and her grandson were with the Black Lodgers during the meeting scene, thus denoting her evil presence. It's my theory that the Tremonds were the White Lodge presence in Burkittsville in 1994. And that the Chalfonts (the evil Black Lodgers) were present during 1941 during the Parr murders… In the original story I first posted on the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT board, I made the Chalfonts in 1994 and the Tremonds in 1941 -— I changed it to what appeared in the final draft when I thought it would be cool to have the Black Lodge presence around during the Rustin Parr murders. In as far as the mother/daughter were concerned, I left their purpose vague… a sort of foreshadowing as to West's date. As far as the “groundskeeper” comment -— again I had no plans on doing a scene with him, and only added him as an afterthought. I wanted to tantalize the readers to wonder what happened in that "classified" scene. And unofficially, the groundskeeper’s name is Dan, so named after another friend who wanted who be in it. About the whole thing with the Sheriff and the Deputy … perhaps Cravens is aware of the Black Lodge's presence in the woods, and is protecting them in order to keep on their good side; that would explain his closing the case twice, and proclaiming the evidence “unreliable.” With the Deputy, I gave the opposing side; he also knows something’s going on, perhaps not to the extent of the sheriff, but hates it (I also gave an indication that George might, also, with his saying the woods “could be dangerous” -- I expand on this in the next part). He gives West as much information as he dares. Later on, when the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT DOSSIER book came out, I was pleasantly surprised to see that in an interview with the deputy, he seemed to be as suspicious as the one in my story; it kind of felt good to know I was on the same wavelength as another writer. George Johnson seemed a nice "small-townsy" name to me. West's comment about wanting to “pick up something mentally” was a small reference to him perhaps being psychic (in TWIN PEAKS, Cooper mentioned that he himself was a strong “sender”; perhaps only psychically-trained agents are sent on Blue Rose investigations?). I fidgeted around ALOT with how long West would be in the woods, sometimes one day, sometimes two... it got as far as five until I decided on what I printed. And the final post about George "honking" was my first flirtation with the cliffhanger. There would be one at the end of each part from hereafter.

PART EIGHT EXPLANATIONS...

The Narrator returns for the first time since PART SIX. This scene was posted pretty much the way I had always planned it. 34-33-244 has significance; it’s the numerical value of the letters in the TWIN PEAKS catchphrase “the owls are not as they seem.” Of course, it should have been “what they seem,” but I made a mistake. I’d always planned the evidence as involving West's I.D./Wallet, gun and micro cassette recorder. The scene with his gun having been fired had originally continued: A chill went through me—a Federal agent never fired his gun unless he was prepared to kill, but it just didn’t sound right, so I axed it. Originally, there was just ONE tape... I added the second one in the recorder during polishing to aid in the next cliffhanger. And the other piece of evidence was originally planned to be a stickman -— I’d written a scene where West was having stickmen fall from a tree onto him and he looked up to see nothing in the trees! But I didn't like that. By this point, I’d decided to put the watch in, and added the watch scene in the dream back in PART FOUR. I thought the fact that West lost it yet it somehow was found with the other evidence was very spooky. And the 6:12 reference on his watch has absolutely no meaning at all.

And the residue on the watch: this was the only occasion I checked a spoiler on the Message Board. I’d seen in passing a post asking what the ooze was on Josh’s bag and incorporated it into my story. In TWIN PEAKS mythology, it was stated that a strange scorched motor oil substance was a component to physically entering the Black Lodge, so I thought it would be cool if it had been put on Josh's bag as a way of preparing him for entry into the Lodge. So I alluded to the stuff on the watch being the same thing, and added it smelling like motor oil.

Hearing the Narrator refer to West's report being unedited was, I’m sure, a tease to readers, who were hoping to figure out exactly what was going on. Originally, I did refer to Twin Peaks and Laura Palmer in this part, but cut them when I thought that it was still too early to give it all away. The compass interference and referring to Coffin Rock was my way of trying to tie it all in together. The scene in the cabin with the interference was a cop out, plain and simple, since I didn't know what to expect inside. But all in all, it worked out very well. Maybe there ARE elements inhibiting electronic devices and the compass in the woods. I never planned on adding to his seeing Elly Kedward, either (or at least, never saying that it was Elly). I’d realized that West would only be around for another chapter, and that I was kind of going heavy on the TWIN PEAKS references and not as much on BLAIR WITCH so I opted to put in the Stickman scene. I don't feel like it worked very well, though. I do like the contrast between West at the beginning and now though. He was so confident when he first arrived, and now he’s desperate to get out of the forest. And the auto-record function mention near the end was a setup for what would happen next chapter.

PART NINE EXPLANATIONS...

I liked The Narrator having doubts as to whether to continue or not. And I also liked him not recalling quite how he felt. Everything with the “ . . . . .” I thought worked great. I’d wanted something in there, but not just simple description. Elly’s trying to get him in “the circle” was also an homage to TWIN PEAKS: in Twin Peaks there was a circle of trees in Glastonbury Grove where the physical entrance to the Black Lodge was located. Also, it looked to me that the first group of piled rocks that Heather found were sort of in a circle. So it kind of fit well together. I thought it was good for West to be worried about not knowing what time it was, too; sort of a meaningless worry in the face of everything going on. And the watch theme comes full circle now. I start being bolder about the TWIN PEAKS connection now, giving Cooper's name with the others as well as mentioning the Black Lodge by name. By this time, I wanted to give the readers a small payoff -- for any that were familiar with TWIN PEAKS; it was kind of cool realizing the truth if they hadn't already. And West DID return right back to the cabin where he’d started. I tried a lot of different ways of words getting through the interference before I settled on the “{{{{{“ spacing, which I like. Here’s a final “declassifying” of the audio in that scene:

PART TEN EXPLANATIONS...

This whole chapter came to me up right around the time I was polishing Part 3. A post on the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT message board Writer’s Guild board made me wonder if I was really giving a sense of closure to the story. When I decided to add this, I had to squish a lot of text into other parts, because I wanted this scene to stand-alone. The character of Carmen is named after another friend of mine, who asked to have her name in the story but never expected me to do it! In this, I explain that it's from The Narrator’s perspective, telling the story to someone in 1999, something I’d always planned to reveal in one form or another. The history of what happened with the Burkittsville investigation with Cravens is from the blairwitch.com site. I thought West's listing of being “on assignment” was cool (considering Earle and Cooper’s fates, is this the listing for all Blue Rose agents who disappear?). I resolved the whole issue of who Gordon was finally, and put in a little about the Blue Rose investigations themselves. I never planned on revealing what Gordon whispered to The Narrator. I almost wrote the scene with Gordon actually stabbing one of the producers in the hand with the pencil, but decided not too. I added a reference to Dorman. The mention of the Narrator’s promotion came late in the scene… I liked the idea of his past as a handler coming full circle. I wanted to make sure I drove home the whole “they love on fear” point. Also, I couldn’t find a press release for BLAIR WITCH PROJECT anywhere, so I made one up. I added the picture of Heather staring into the camera at home; the original description before the picture was added was, “Beneath that heading was the oddly framed picture of a girl, staring into a camera, crying.” I can’t tell you the trouble I went through, though, in trying to track down such a simple thing as the date BLAIR WITCH PROJECT began its limited release! A few people have asked me if there’s another story waiting to be written. The answer is no. The Narrator’s story is over. Anything I wanted to put in the story I did, there’s nothing left I feel inspired to write as a sequel; as it is, this really isn’t a sequel to either BLAIR WITCH or TWIN PEAKS, it’s a crossover, pure and simple.

For me this was an experiment from the beginning. I originally thought of writing this, posting it serialized in ten parts, then thinking it might be seven. Then finally realizing it could be ten -— and stupidly seeing late in that I had went directly from labeling PART SIX to PART EIGHT in my notes and suddenly realizing that I had a WHOLE PART I needed to come up with! When I was asked to repost the story on the new board, I was greatly flattered… feeling almost like a performer on stage being asked for an encore. I did so happily, and was actually grateful for the opportunity to add new things that I’d missed the first time; small details, to be certain, but ones I looked back in hindsight as wishing I could change. When I first began writing this, I truly wondered if anyone would like it, and whether it would keep the readers’ interest for ten days straight. Apparently I succeeded. Which is the best praise any writer could ever hear.


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