johnny_truant: (emo kid)
The Player
Name/Nickname: Ellis
Age: 26
Pronouns: I am fine with either he/him or she/her, feel free to pick one or use them interchangeably
Contact: woodironbone on AIM, woodironbone [at] gmail
Experience: I've been writing (fanfiction, original prose) steadily for about thirteen years. My RP experience is limited to one-on-one, but I've been doing that for a long time as well.
Currently Played Characters: N/A


The Character
DW Account: [personal profile] johnny_truant
Name: Johnny Truant
Alias: Technically, Johnny Truant IS an alias, but his real name is never revealed.
Age/Birthdate: 28 / June 21, 1971
Species: Human
Canon: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Canon Point: After the end of the novel. This is complicated, more details offered in the History section.
Played By: Kazunari Ninomiya


Icon:




Abilities:
After coming through the rift, Johnny will find he's gained the power to manipulate very specific kinds of matter. To be exact, the matter that makes up human-constructed edifices. Houses, apartment complexes, crumbling warehouses, portable toilets, whatever - as long as it's technically a building. His manipulative ability includes creation of new entrances, the ability to open doors from anywhere inside the house (including multiple doors at once), and spatial alteration of the building's structure - i.e. he can reshape its interior, rearrange rooms, and make its interior bigger or smaller than its exterior... pretty much you name it. The only structure that is immune to him is the TARDIS, since she's, you know, sort of a living creature. He also cannot get physically close to her physical structure without suffering overwhelming dizziness and pain. Her psychic presence is much easier for him to be around, especially in the Dreaming, where he can spend time with her and even inside dreamed up versions of her rooms without pain.

His power is repugnant to him, and is also largely tied to obsession, madness and nightmares that plagued him throughout the book. He hates having to carry the reminder of it, and doesn't like to use it unless he really has to.


Appearance:

Content Warning: Scarring, physical abuse.

Johnny is skinny, all bones and angles, 5'6 and very slight. His hair is always mussed and shaggy; he tends to cut it himself. He's definitely attractive, but there's hints that he doesn't take great care of himself - pale like he forgets to eat sometimes, dead-eyed with depression and insomnia, marked up with a history of abuse and/or self-harm. Lots of scars all over his body - the most noticeable being burn scars all over both forearms, and a small scar through his left eyebrow. He also has a broken incisor. He has several tattoos, some of which are now different or entirely new since coming through the Rift. Full list of his tattoos and scars is here.

Johnny dresses in a pretty straight-forward style, lazily approaching punkish without committing. Jeans, really old chucks, dark T-shirts, hoodies... generally he's not out to impress.


Personality:

Content Warning: Depression, abuse, a whole bucket of emotional problems.

Johnny is a tremendously unhappy person with a history of abuse, paranoia, insomnia, depression, and possible psychosis. He is prone to periods of darkness, bouts of mopey despair, sometimes aggressive or violent behavior. He's been known to enter a fugue state and recall experiences that may or may not have happened. He has a lot of anger and regret bottled up and he's barely keeping it down. He's afraid of himself, of prolonged solitude, and of enclosed spaces. Hallways are not okay. Doors are not okay. Darkness is not okay. He hates feeling trapped, whether in an enclosure or in a repetitive cycle. He can't sit still for too long. He gets twitchy and panicky in crowds.

Lately Johnny has had a hard time socially because of his off-putting tail-spin, but it wasn't always this way. He used to be fun and outgoing, and as he gains distance from his experiences in the book, that will start to rise back up again. He generally likes to be with people, kept distracted from his own thoughts. He continually undercuts himself and refuses to believe that anyone actually cares about him. To be fair, no one has cared about him in a very long time.

Johnny is almost always in the mood to have sex. Evidence in the book suggests he tends toward submission, likes being controlled or told what to do. He's pretty adventurous in that he'll go along with just about anything. Sometimes to a fault. In the book he's aggressively heterosexual, but in the game he will be discovering latent bisexuality because I said so.

Johnny is a casual smoker and an avid drinker, but he no longer goes near any other kind of recreational drug and even uses painkillers or sleep aids sparingly.


History:

Content Warning: mentions of child abuse. Also some spoilers for House of Leaves.

In brief:

The most important thing to know about Johnny Truant, for those unfamiliar with the character, is that he is the apex predator of unreliable narrators. Everything he goes through in the source material is extremely ambiguous, its veracity questionable, his accounts inconsistent. When the story starts, he's an average guy who has stumbled on the unfinished manuscript of a deceased blind man, Zampanò. The manuscript is an academic analysis of a documentary film which may or may not have ever existed, detailing the horrifying experience of a family living in a mysterious (and also possibly non-existent) house. The manuscript is half-destroyed and littered with evidence that it drove its creator mad, but regardless Johnny takes it upon himself to organize the material and complete the work. This drives him down a path of increasing instability and paranoia. He unapologetically acknowledges that he alters parts of the story, and constantly interrupts scenes with unrelated personal anecdotes. His life goes down the drain. He becomes sleepless, disoriented, terrified. He has a lot of anonymous sex and rapidly loses his grip on reality. He clings to the manuscript in the hope that completing it will bring him peace. It doesn't.

Less brief:

Johnny had a very unpleasant childhood. His mother is a complicated figure in his life. When he was four, she was cooking with oil and accidentally dropped the pan; he reached out to catch the oil, which burned and scarred both his forearms severely. It is implied his mother always harbored guilt about this. When he was seven, she tried to strangle him, and he was barely rescued by his father. She was put in an institution after that, and she wrote him many letters, through which her gradual deterioration became increasingly clear. In one letter she told him her account of the strangulation incident and seemed to convince herself that he had wanted it and been grateful, because he had not struggled.

Johnny's father died not long after that, and he was shuffled around through foster homes for a while, mostly living in one in particular, under the care of an ex-marine named Raymond who hated Johnny, called him "Beast," and beat him several times, including once with a lead pipe, breaking his tooth.

In adulthood, Johnny lives in a crummy studio apartment in LA and works in a tattoo shop building needles and cleaning. His life falls apart after he discovers the book - he loses his job, his friends, his apartment, and his already meager romantic prospects (mostly he was interested in a stripper who he only knew as 'Thumper' due to her tattoo of the cartoon rabbit). He becomes convinced people or forces are after him and trying to destroy him. He ends up living in a hotel room, suffering from insomnia and crippling paranoia.

The ending is ambiguous. He implies several different possibilities for what could have happened. For my purposes I have decided that he is now in recovery. It's gradual and frustrating and he's not entirely sure he'll ever be okay again, but he's working on it. It would be around November 1999, one month after his final account in the book, that he gets dragged through the Rift. Welcome to the future, kiddo.



Writing Sample:

Goddammit. He's always hated New York.

Johnny doesn't fully understand what's just happened, but that's nothing new, is it? He's standing in the middle of Central Park - he knows it's Central Park because he's standing on top of that big weird rock formation, all those boulders heaped on top of each other for kids to climb on while their parents pretend not to be run ragged with panic, the certainty that kid will slip and fall and die. Or don't pretend. Or don't panic. The point is it's recognizable.

The point is also he wasn't here before. Like minutes before. Seconds. Blink of an eye. He was there, out there, Seattle, Portland, LA, somewhere. Somewhere in Virginia. Doesn't matter. He loses track very easily. Maybe he lost track all the way into Manhattan.

That's not right though, is it? Doesn't seem right. Doesn't feel right.

No. Something's happened. Something wrong.

Things are different. The air is different. Tastes different. It's not just New York, no. New York has a taste and a smell but this is not it. This is not right.

"No," Johnny says. "No, no, no."

He stumbles down from the misbegotten rock pile, skids, hurtles to the ground and almost hurts himself. DOES hurt himself but it's okay. Staggers. Straightens up.

He feels different. His hands are tingling. Maybe. Unless he's making that up, too.

No, it's real. He can feel things. Hear things. There's something there. Right there. Right there next to him. Oh no, no, no.

"Don't -!" He shuts himself up before he can finish his demand, snapping himself to the left, to look at the beast that he knows is there, the one he's seen so many times before, in the nighttime, in the corner of his eye, in the pages of the book. It's the thing that haunts him. One of the things. Teeth and void and claws like knives.

It's not there. It's never there. Never when he turns to see it.

And now everything else is gone too. And maybe that's good. It was all poison anyway, a toxic ruined mess. Turn your back on everything, Johnny Truant. Your everything is bad for you, and this, this transportation, whatever this is, it is a gift horse you don't need to inspect. You're not in Kansas anymore. You are new, in living color. Your demons came with you but maybe now, with your hands that don't feel right and your senses that are heightened, maybe now you can outrun them.

"Fine," he says to the park, to the city, to the situation. "Whatever you say."



The Game

How did you find out about Big Applesauce?
Carrie is an old friend of mine and we used to do silly chat-based RP sometimes, so after about a year of gentle badgering she finally roped me in!

What interests you about the game, and your character's place in it?
I'm really excited to see how Johnny functions in a totally different world surrounded by people who are just as messed up and odd as he is.


Anything else?



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Johnny Truant

May 2015

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