My Grandpa was a trucker, so my Grandma spent a lot of her early married life alone at home with the kids. Well, one day while the kids were at school, she was out doing some shopping when she ran into a young man who looked as though he had repeatedly been to hell and back. They got to talking somehow--I'm not sure she remembers exactly how anymore--and, well, he must have been pretty fucking handsome and charming because he went home with her, with all the connotations you'd think that has. I didn't ask for too many details. Brain needs enough bleach as it is.
So, afterwards, enjoying a cigarette or whatever the hell they were doing, the handsome traveler told her his whole goddamn life story. He talked about how the Shadow of Death had taken his whole family, how it had gone into them and slowly worn them out, little by little, its eyes on him the whole time. He said he was running from it, that he had been running from it for years now, and always managed to stay just one step ahead.
She thought he was crazy, at first, but the desperate look in his eyes, the conviction with which he told his story...I think it touched her. So when he ran, she kept in touch, and comforted him whenever he was near. Supposedly, Grandpa never found out, but I think I remember hearing from Mom that he was suspicious that she was cheating on him. I guess Gran never knew about that.
So, anyway, apparently she eventually saw proof of whatever that was chasing him--she refuses to tell me what kind of proof, exactly--and that's why she's helping me so much. Because she knows the sorts of things are out there.
Oh, and there's apparently about a fifty-fifty chance that this Runner was my actual grandfather. So, there's that.
Anyway, we're trying to figure out what to do next. Smiley's...unfocused at the moment. Not striking multiple times in any specific area. Its MO is the same, though--bouquet, stalking, torture, mutilation, blinding, heart-removal, etc. More if we get an idea of what to fucking do next.