Part 93: Iris
Give me the skinny on the tape.
The tape is none of your concern. Just give it back.
You want the tape? I want answers. Who are the voices on the tape?
I have no idea.
No idea? You really do think I'm an idiot, don't you?
Where does a princess like you get something like this?
I told you. Grace sent it to me.
I'm not making anymore jokes about that phrase.
Why bring it here?
Why'd you bring it here?
Because I was TOLD TO!
Grace gave you the tape. What was the plan?
She told me to wait for her to contact me again. If I didn't hear from her by Christmas, I was to bring the tape to this hotel.
You and Grace were close?
So you must know all about her, right? About her family. That why you were boozing it up with her husband, Kevin Woodward?
You didn't know?
Guess you didn't know.
Are you sure? That man is Grace's...husband?
Then that little girl... The girl in the restaurant is...
Yeah. That's her kid.
Oh... Now I understand why she had that doll with her.
When did you last see Grace?
Where is she now?
Talk, dammit! Where is Grace! Where has she gone?!
You stupid, insensitive FOOL! I don't know, all right? I DON'T KNOW! And YOU are the one who should be telling ME what's going on!
...Wait, I don't-
I'm the one who knows her, you idiot! I'm the one who's SEARCHING for her!
Music: On the Rocks
Let's talk about the plan.
I think I know why Grace asked you to do this. And why she wanted the tape brought here.
If Grace is here, either Iris, Kevin, or Melissa would've found her.
The tape is insurance.
The tape is insurance. She needs it to give someone the strong-arm.
I guessed right, huh?
I don't know what the tape is for. When Grace sent me the tape, she gave me a message. If I didn't hear from her by Christmas, I was to come to this pathetic hotel. And I had to bring the tape with me.
Who gets the tape?
Who gets the tape?
I don't know.
I asked her. Grace, I mean. I asked her who she meant. But... She just told me to give it to the man who painted the angel. I hoped that I'd understand when I got here, but I don't.
The angel, huh?
So here I am. A girl with no plan, trapped in the worst hotel in the world. I'm lost, Mr. Hyde. I have no idea who this man is or how to find him.
This hotel isn't the worst in the world. It could always be worse. Blame EagerSleeper for any nightmares regarding hotels you might get from that video.
Let's talk about the doll.
Melissa's doll caught your eye, huh? What's going on there?
All Iris did when she met Melissa was ask who made her doll. If Iris wanted to steal it, she would've done so when Melissa left the doll in the restaurant.
You recognized it.
You've seen that doll before tonight, right?
After all, Grace is the one who made it.
I didn't... I didn't know she made it.
You had that doll?
You have one of those dolls, too?
I've seen that doll before. Maybe not that exact one, but... It looks just like the dolls Grace and I used to have when we were kids.
Let's talk about Grace.
I figured it out. I think I know why you're looking for Grace.
She didn't even know about Kevin before tonight.
It's because she vanished.
You're trying to track her down.
Yes. I thought she was married and...happy. You know? I refuse to believe that she just vanished for no reason!
Woodward got hit with a big lawsuit back in '77. He was about to lose everything. Grace raised a whole bunch of dough and pulled his ass out of the fire.
Good question. If you find out, tell Kevin, will ya? Apparently, Grace refused to tell him where she got the cash. Guy couldn't take it. They fought about the cash and he stopped trusting her. Then she decided to skip town.
This isn't some tape Grace picked up at a yard sale. What's the story? What does it mean?
I don't know.
Kevin got sued for a king's ransom. Where'd Grace get the money to pay that off?
Where did Grace get the money?
How did Grace pull together that much scratch?
I have no idea.
I doubt you're the kind of man I can conceal much from, anyway...
This about the tape?
No. ...It's about Grace.
Well, about Grace and me, actually.
What's the story?
I'm her little sister.
...I didn't see that coming.
Our mother was a kind, beautiful woman, but she was weak. Terrified of being alone, easily manipulated, terribly sad. I'm sure you know the type. She fell in love so easily, and always with the wrong kind of man. They used her and hurt her and left her... And then she would just find another one. We lived on the run. Running away from the last bad man and toward the next.
And every time we moved, we got a new father. In truth, Grace and I are only half sisters. I don't even remember her father. But it didn't matter. Growing up, we were inseparable. When you're always the new kid, you hang on to what you have. We were best friends.
But then my mother died, and Grace and I were separated... I thought I would die as well.
Your mom died young?
Yes, in a plane crash. Do you remember that Las Vegas plane crash in 1960? She was on it. She was just...gone. The man she was with at the time was a pathetic snake. The airline gave Grace and me a large sum of money, and he took it all. Once that was done, he stashed us in separate orphanages and vanished. Grace and I, we... We lost contact. I was eventually adopted, but I didn't care much for my new parents. At fifteen, I ran away and spent five years in a blur of hotels and highways...
It makes sense that the plane crash has never been brought up before since it happened 19 years ago (thus being old news) and since it wasn't relevant.
And one day, Grace walked back into my life. It's funny. I knew her right away, but she... She didn't know me at first. I guess those five years changed me more than I thought. Anyway, after a few moments, she recognized me and we were reunited. She was so beautiful, Mr. Hyde. Just...beautiful. She had gone to college and made something of herself. She was working as a curator at a place called Gallery May. And she was engaged to a doctor. We promised to meet up later, but instead I quit and fled Santa Monica. I heard Grace was looking for me, but I never tried to contact her.
Because I was ashamed, Mr. Hyde. She was radiant, and I was...pathetic. I didn't want her to see me like that, and so I ran away. ...Again.
I jumped from city to city, taking any role that was thrown my way. And in that fashion, time just...passed. But two years ago, Grace tracked me down.
Music: Rainy Night
I had just been featured in some small-time magazine photo shoot. Grace saw it and tracked me down through the agency.
It's implied that her career as an actress and model is how she showed up in a magazine cover as Cecily Lee.
Her eyes, Mr. Hyde. Her eyes were so sad... She waited until we were alone and then broke down. She told me she needed money. She begged me to help her.
And did you?
Mr. Hyde, I could have sold my entire life and not come close to what she needed. And she wouldn't even tell me what it was for! I told her no. I had no choice, I... I couldn't dream of getting that kind of money. She was sobbing, Mr. Hyde. Sobbing and apologizing and...
She told me she was sorry for asking the impossible. And that she didn't really care about the money. She just wanted to see me. She said it gave her the courage to do what must be done. ...For her family. It was like we were little girls all over again.
Music: Violet Sky
We were still so young...
We moved from place to place, and I spent all my time in the car, sobbing. Mom was too caught up with her men to do more than scold me. But Grace was my savior. She used to put my favorite doll between her arms. Then she would hold me and talk to me until I calmed down. I thought back to that after she left the agency.
After a few seconds, I decided to chase her down. But when I ran out the door, she... She was gone.
It contained a letter and that cassette tape. I don't have the letter, but I read it again and again and remember every word. "Iris, my family desperately needed money, and I did a terrible thing. If you don't hear from me by Christmas, I need you to do something for me. Take this tape to Hotel Dusk." The letter went on to tell me to give the tape to the man who painted the angel.
So! Here I am. What a fantastic Christmas this is turning out to be... Anyway, that's all I know, Mr. Hyde. The tape is a mystery. The letter is a mystery. I was scared when that tape went missing, but I guess it doesn't matter.
None of it tells me how to find this man who paints angels. I hoped that coming here would clear everything up, but it didn't. I'm clueless, Mr. Hyde. Clueless and frustrated and just plain tired of it all.
Kevin's been looking for Grace for a long time. And Melissa's getting pretty desperate, too. Guess we can add you to the mix.
I just want to see her again. I want to know that she's all right.
Don't worry. We still got hope. We know the guy who made the angel painting is here. And I'm going to look for him. If I find him, I bet I'll find Grace, too.
Maybe that'll make your Christmas a little better.
I'll be around. Grab me if you think of anything else.
And here's your tape back.
(Grace knew a man who paints angels. Hotel Dusk and the angel painting have to be connected. Maybe I can figure it out... And maybe that'll tell me why Bradley came here in the first place.)
Next update: end-of-chapter quiz!
...Or maybe not. We still have more of this chapter to go!
Big reader, hmm?
Did I say something worth writing down, Mr. Hyde?
The reactions for items didn't change with 1 exception:
Show cassette tape (again)
That looks like a standard cassette tape to me.