DONNY aka THE MANGLER
"And then they put that poor boy in a cage. And as we all know, only one thing belongs in a cage--An animal And if Donny wasn't well on his way to becoming an animal when they put him in that cage, after whatever abuses were heaped upon him while in that cage, he'd more then arrived at his destination and become an animal by the time they took him out of that cage, to be sure"
--Dame Victoria Ellesworth Poole on Donny.
Tangled webs are made of ties that bind. And in "The Continentals: That Shape am I" the Mangler murders gripping the city of Mansfordshire in fear is no different. And the tie that knots the tangled web is escaped convict Donny aka "The Mangler".
There's an old saying, that if you show me the boy at 7, I'll show you the man at 40. Well, I changed that a bit and show you the slow slide into madness of a little boy at the hands of an abusive father that leads to a psychotic break at 14 that transforms that 14 year old into a murderous Mangler some 14 years later. And like 6 degrees of separation, I tell you a "ghost story" of sorts showing that, like all things, the Mangler murders and murderer, the victims, their acquaintances, and even those investigating the case--Are all in some way connected. And all without even a single mention of Kevin Bacon.
In creating Donny's look, I knew he had to be physically imposing to earn the name "The Mangler" from the state he left his victims in, but I wanted him to have a haunted quality to him too. As if a part of him were frozen at 14 (the age of his psychotic break), but still show how 14 years in the house of horrors known as TimbreDark Manor, asylum for the criminally insane, had take it's toll.
Appearance wise? Although physically imposing and powerful, Donny had to show the denigration of 14 long years of imprisonment: Sunken cheeks, prominent cheekbones, hollow eyes from severe malnutrition, carelessly shaved head as was the practice of the day in prisons/asylums to prevent lice, and maybe the scars and bruises from the tender loving "care" at the hands of the asylum staff.
What I didn't want was for Donny to be in any way sympathetic. There are 2 kinds of monsters: made monsters and born monsters. Though his back story shows that Donny is indeed a "made monster"--He's a monster nonetheless.
With all that considered, Donny is still not the most dangerous man roaming the streets of Mansfordshire after dark. That distinction belongs to Dr. Abbeline's hired man--Mr. Qwist.
NEXT WEEK--MR. QWIST