"Douglas, Age 8" was a character invented by Jim Sheldrake for the letters page of Spitfire Comic. Sheldrake ended up bringing the character back repeatedly, giving Douglas Canning a detailed, grim backstory. Canning eventually became Story, with tattoos which acted as the medium for Sheldrake's writing. (PROSE: Mightier Than the Sword, PROSE: Born among Briars)
As an adult, Canning was in and out of prison for burglary (nonviolent). He got a tattoo — he was offered a fanged skull mask, but chose Tweetie Pie instead. He reasoned that since he was always called "Canary" anyway (a nickname he hated) he might as well give people a good reason.
In 2012, Canning was put into one prison, then unexpectedly transferred to Camp Gulliver in Norfolk. Camp Gulliver was supposedly meant to hold subversive writers, but seemingly was actually a Great Houses facility, which Canning was transferred to by Faction Paradox. There he made contact with Jim Sheldrake in a drugged/dream state. After he was released from Gulliver, he was able to trace his tattoo and spread the tattooed words of Sheldrake all over his body. (PROSE: Mightier Than the Sword)