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I'm a security guard hired to protect an estate, the Forest Has Eyes [Entries 1 to 8]

[ENTRY 1]


Hi. I'm Nolan

I’ve worked in this field for a long time- well I guess somewhat literally, but more so metaphorically. I’m a sort of, “Private Security Free Agent” by trade you see, or at least that’s the sort of title I’ve given myself. I’m a taller, more athletic Paul Blart with a chip on his shoulder, an actual gun in my holster, and instead of working for an official company I’m just some guy that gets paid by people to guard their shit, them, or general square mile footage.

I’m a city slicker. I like concrete, bright skyscrapers, and several hundreds of people within my general vicinity at all times. I’ve usually only accepted small jobs, short time security, but recently… I got an interesting offer. A small time tycoon, rich guy, looks like he’s been washing his hair in liquidated money, offered me a job: guard my plot of land, the house on said land, my son, me, all my possessions, and get paid enough money annually to have your 401K before your hair even starts to think about turning grey. Not a bad offer, but…. daid land was deep in southern woods.

Now- You’re gonna laugh. I’ve worked in the private security, glorified mercenary “take a gun and guard door” bullshit work for awhile. I’ve been online…. I’ve heard enough stories. The woods are a place you don’t fuck with. Miles of dense forest drowning any person in… a place where things have dwelled for awhile. Point is, if I were gonna spend a few tens of millions on a compound, dropping it dead in…. Missouri is it? I know it’s dead on state borders… aw well. Dropping it in “Skinwalker City” woods.

The air around here is so thick with pine trees, I swear, smells like someone trying to blot out their new car smell with a cheap air freshener. Except the smell is more genuine… you know when you feel the scent is so pungent, you can almost cut it with a knife? What it felt like stepping out of the man’s squeaky SUV, in front of his ‘Estate House’, as he called it.

You know that one place in Argentina? The one where the weird side of the internet says Hitler hid after he fled on a wild goose chase down the Atlantic? Looked similar to that, almost identical actually, just give it several hundred light fixtures, shiny new windows, and a bit of a trim up. Boom, the “Cazamoth Estate House”.

Not a lot stood out to me, all the light may be the sort of “fear of the dark? turn on all the lamps in the house” shit we did as a kid, but on a large scale because you’re surrounded by miles of woods. What did seem a bit strange to me though were a few things.

The place had a perimeter wall. Understandable, a number of threats such as bears, wolves, hell the occasional freakazoid in the woods or the bear could be a cause for alarm. What did seem strange to me was how jagged the pikes were, and the fact that they were wrapped in a whole line of razor wire, and barbed wire, with light fixtures pointing outside towards the woods. A lot of money just to buy the metal for, at worst, a bear or a drugged hippie. And A lot of power spent for, what? Floodlights to see anything coming at all angles?

I asked Theodore, the boy’s father and my employer, and he just says it’s for extra security. Fair enough, what was I gonna do? Tell him he’s being overly careful? I’m the kind of guy who sleeps with five knives in his room, the door locked, and one eye open. Still, wasn’t the security that had me on edge. It was all the claw marks on the outside, that to me, were too violent to be from bears…

So now that you know the details of my arrival here... Things’ve been weird. I know I said I’m a city slicker, near- what? Three decades in Chicago, put in the middle of the woods to guard some several hundred square feet in the middle of deep south woods. Surely, ANYONE would be unnerved. This place though, the town just a few, miles down the forest road, the walls of hundreds of thousands of pine trees seemingly drowning any and all life in the endless veil of woods.

I’m a man of this craft. Didn’t always work in private security, I like the more combative jobs, I like working in this sort of… boot and collar work, the warrior mentality. I’ve had to deal with a lot of people, hundreds of kinds. Druggies, dumbasses, “Do you know who I AMS”, creepy motherfuckers sitting out by the dumpster with a boombox wearing socks. Just socks.

Point is: I’ve experienced shit, a lot of shit. So when the sun started to go down, and the alarms in my head started to tick on, it’s not bullshit.

One of my jobs is to check the wall. Not too bad honestly, allows me to get out of the house, get some fresh air, scan the stone structure that’d make eastern berliners get flash backs, and see the lights at night. Nothing too shabby, a week in I actual had to do actual maintenance on the wall as well.

It was midday when I looked on the security cameras, and saw the eastern side had a spot, where some sort of matted fur was caught. Didn’t see it the night before, so I grabbed some tools and hopped on the ATV over there. When I pried it off, some alarms went off in my head.

  • One, this shit was a pain in the ass to pry off because, it made some body armor look like cardboard.

  • Two, if it was this tough, how the hell did it get punctured by the defensive wire?

  • Three… if this was animal skin like I thought, why was the inside as try and laminated as, say, the underside of a carpet, but still had an organic skin look to it.

Theodore said it’s nothing, probably just a bear passed by, and some shedded fur got caught on the wire. But it’s nearing winter time, when the fur would be growing instead of shedding, and shedded fur doesn’t have a layer of skin on the inside. Put it in a crate in the security room for later inspection.

......

Do you know what's truly creepy? Sure, a reptilian human bird guy with a godzilla shriek running at you, at 1,000,000mph, that can be scary. Do you know what’s creepy? It’s not the bullshit scary stories, it’s not really, well, the movie monsters. It’s the things that are out of place. I’m not an easily spooked man, but it’s not the hobgoblin in the woods that’d freak me out, it’s the little girl out in the middle of bumfuck nowhere.

I was out on a full property check. I used to do this around, once every week, mostly because I was unused to the whole, well like I said, bumfuck miles of suffocating trees. But as I got more used to it, I started patrolling the land ever 2 days.

I climb on the ATV, I ride out the gates, and patrol the long, winding dirt path, that the property manager agreed with whoever he bought it from to be his plot’s perimeter. Usually I go, shoo off any nicks getting drunk, clear the occasional fallen brush. However this path runs deep into the woods. I don’t know how much Theodore paid for this land, but it runs miles before it loops back around.

You ever take a walk into the woods, feel the calm silence, so tranquil, so…. Undisturbed. In my experience, it’s like you’re sitting in a canoe, on a calm ocean bed. While still, all it takes for you to capsize in the fairly untamed, unsafe woods, is one push. One push, and you’re drowning in panicking and paranoia.

So when I drove up the ATV path, and stopped at what I had calculated was the most northern part of Theodores plot, I took out my binoculars and gazed around. Calm tall grass growing and smothering the trunks of trees, and the trees, when you started passing the point of Theodore’s land, it started growing more sparser, but there were still hundred per square foot. Really, this was just an excuse for me to stop, calm my nerves of the forest, and relax…….

What tipped me over was when I heard someone say “woof”.

And I don’t mean, “It’s just a fucking dog Dwight, you dumbass”. I mean......A grown fucking man literally saying “Meow”, “Woof”, and “Bark”. In the middle of the fucking woods, and it was in the goddamn bright evening, and it still freaked me the fuck out.

I gazed around, the noise was coming from the direction northwards, away from the property line.

“Hello?”

“Woof”, shit went from me cringing, to just god damn confused.

“You’re on private property-”, He was off the property, technically, but like I was gonna tell the creepy motherfucker that,

“-Show yourself, Now!!”.

A long pause. “Meow”.

I let out a sigh, “Stop fucking around, show yourself, now”. What happened next, made me immediately reach for the rifle on the back of my ATV. Directly to the right of my ATV, pointing at the point I knew was directly north of the house…. Poked out a head. And I don’t mean, like a head, a hairy fucker or some pedophile or some shit, Who else fucks around in the woods like this?- Regardless… What poked out, was a completely blank head.

Ever have those toys as kids, you fill the mold of that guy and pop him out? Imagine that, but on a much better, more defined scale. A male head, stripped of hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, fucking lips. The second it stuck out, it looked at me with what were white eyes and dilated pupils, and without even mouthing his barely open mouth went “Coo- Coo, Coo”.

It caused me to nearly trip and fall on my ass from the shock, I scrambled to my feet and aimed the rifle over the ATV, using the small vehicle against cover from... whatever the fuck this was. “Come out, NOW!!!”.

“Neigh”.

In retrospect I now can guess he was making a horse’s “neigh”, but I thought he was saying “Nay” in defiance, so I stood up, and screamed:

“COME THE FUCK OUT- OR I WILL FIRE!!! ”.

Yes, I was that trigger happy security contractor that those thrill seeking teens ran into when they pushed the buttons of a rent a cop on duty. You can thank Afghanistan for that mentality. What I can not thank Afghanistan for, was preparing me for what the man did next.

The guy crab walked- I mean, more so shuffled outwards sideways. You know in 2d Cartoons, how they draw the crabs? He was like that; legs apart wide, hands up like fucking claws, and that god awful face staring at me. He was also… fucking naked.

All I could let out was a “what the fuck?...”. Not gonna lie, I was in disbelief.

“Oink…” he then turned 90 degrees north, and fucking shuffled at god damn 50mph away. After a few meters, he disappeared into the thick brush……

…. “What the fuck?...”. I’ve heard him, but never seen him since, and something told me Theodore brushing it off didn’t put my mind at ease either….


....

I started to get over seeing the random lights, the naked man, and the growing claw marks on the wall. Got used to it I guess.

Then, Well, I met “Tim” a few nights ago.

So one night, I was sitting in the security room. Essentially the outside facing wall is a, well, wall of monitors. There’s nothing much in the room. Table with a computer, mouse, and keyboard attached to the screens, the crate where I stuff the fur along with any other things the cryptid amazon users would buy up for 300 dollars minimum, and a chair.

Gets pretty boring actually. Log walls aren’t furnished with a layer of plywood and plaster like the rest of the place, which gives off that piney smell, and makes it strangely quiet. What broke the silence a few days ago, was when I took a break from scanning empty monitors to listen to browse on my phone.

“HHHHeeeeEEEEEEEEAAAAAEEEEEEEyyy”.

The voice echoed through the sound of the speakers. Caused a jump a bit too, dead of night and went right from dead silence- I quickly scanned the monitors, trying to find the source.

“HHHHHeeeEEEEEEEEEEEAAYYYY”. Nothing at the backside. Nothing in the main yard.

“HEY!!!!! HEEEEEEEYYYY!!!!” the voice sounded like it was halfway to cracking, then I decided to do what I should have done instead of my frantic screen searching. I checked the sound receivers and saw it was coming from the voice receiver at the front gate.

“HEEEY!!!!! HEY!!!!!”. My eyes darted to the camera overlooking the front gate, to see some kind of, white figure, with- A metal pole? Wasn’t too good of a look, so I switched it to the front gate cam. What I saw left me in surprise, not shocked, just…. Baffled.

A science room skeleton. Yes, a Science Room Skeleton. The metal pole was actually the wheeled rack it was hanging off of. I sat there, surprised. I expected to see…. A serial killer? Hell seeing the white figure from a distance made my mind go into emergency mode from reading off of too many native american horror stories, but this?

“HEY!!!!”. The voice called from the skeleton, or at least I thought it was, it was coming from the receiver, so it could very well have been just a decoy, and someone underneath it was yelling into it. I clicked on the speaker and called back,

“You’re on private property….”.

A long silence followed……

Broke up by “HEY!!!! HAY- HAY, HEY!!!!”, a dead unmoving stare from the skeleton as it happened.

What the fuck.

“What the fuck is this?”.

“HEY!!!!!”.

Someone was trying to draw attention to the front gate, I signed and grabbed my rifle, but considering it would also be a close distance. I grabbed the baretta from the locker under the table as well.

I passed John, Theodore’s son as I passed by him and went for the front door.

“John head upstairs, lock yourself in your room”.

He sighed, turning his attention from playing some sort of game on his Xbox, “Why?”.

“Some guy at the front gate, could be a perimeter breach attempt, no other signs of life except the front gate”.

John paused for a moment as I unlocked the door. His question caused me to pause, “Is it a skeleton?”. I stopped, locking eyes with the 16 year old.

A second of silence passed, as a “HEEEY!!!!!!” escaped through the slight crack of the door.“...Possibly”.

“That’s just Tim”. I blinked at the response, shaking my head slightly.

“Tim?”. “Yeah. Skeleton, appears and just yells at the gate, Dad just tells me to ignore him and turn up the volume”.

“That’s highly unsafe”, John simply looked confused, a silent ‘Why?’.

“There’s a man out there screaming at the gate, causing an obvious distraction, and your dad just lets it fly?”.

“It’s not a person. It’s a skeleton, and Dad says to ignore the things that come around during the night”. It’s at this point I realize, the parlor and all of the windows to ground level rooms that were too big for simple blinds, were above eye level. Easier to avoid seeing things at night.

“Well I’m going to go talk to… ‘Tim’-".

“Don't” This made me stop at the door, because, well the kid said the single word a lot sterner than I’d had any adult speak to me in the past- what? Eight years?’.

“Why?”. “It’s how we lost richie-” for reference, the told me. Richie was a rottweiler they had a few years back, went missing, father chummed it up to him running off after a bear. “-’guy was at our gate and Dad sicked him on him-”.

I feel I knew the obvious truth, but I wasn’t in the mood to hear the rest. Shaking my head as I headed out, I pressed the remote control for the gate I had clipped on my belt, and had it open, I took a firing position from the porch, and watched as the reinforced sheets of steel and mechanics slowly wheeled open.

Part of me thanks Theodore for all the lights. The woods out here are an impermeable wall of pitch black, suffocatingly so. So bright, it illuminated “Tim” even brighter then he was. But as soon as I saw him, one of those alarms went off in my head.

You see when the gates wheeled open, I remembered something. Tim was positioned just in front of the receiver, although a few meters from it. Point is, he was off to the right of the driveway. So when the gates opened up down the middle…. The pitch black walls of trees showing themselves…… there it was dead center in the middle of the gravel path….

“HEEEEEEEE-”. Tim cut off mid sentence, when it opened wide enough for both of us to get a good look at each other.

If it was a burglary distraction, would’ve been long enough, and an alarm would’ve been tripped if a sneak entry was tried. All I saw, was me, aiming at what was a fucking science class skeleton, in the middle of the god damn woods. Fuck me.

I cut the pie of the gates, meaning, I first vaulted over the porch edge, and checked slowly on the right side to see if someone was hiding. Nothing. I checked the left side, keeping far enough to where they’d have a few meters run at me. Nothing. I stopped, my rifle barrel lowered, but still shouldered.

Now here’s the thing, the floodlights are so bright, if someone tried to hide, you’d be able to see them. Problem was….. There was no one. Sitting there, staring off to the left side, when …..“Tim” started up again.

“HEY!!!!!”.

I sighed, “What in the ever loving fuck, is going on?”.

“HAAAAAY!!!!!!!”.

I walked towards the gate, peaked around the corner of the wall, and stared out at him, Tim. At this point I did scans to the left and right side. No one. Nothing. Fucking zip. Just me and a god damn skeleton. The quickly cooling night air allowed me to see my breath.

I quickly gazed around, trying to see where the moon was. Near midnight..

NARK!!!”.

I spun around and backed up a few paces. Did…. Did the skeleton just call me a “Nark?”. I lowered my barrel when I realized I was aiming at a fucking skeleton, but in retrospect, I shouldn’t be so careful.

I gazed at the thing for a few moments, gazing at it. I decided to say fuck it, and went up to him. It was indeed a skeleton, and a bare one at that. No wires, no cameras, no voice speakers…. Nothing. I thought it might be built into the stand…. But the pipe seemed to be hollow, and it didn’t sound like it was coming from a metal pipe.

I backed up from “Tim”, once again asking myself, confidently, “What the actual fuck?”.

Strangely, I expected this to be the point where something jumped out. Scared me and forced a hasty retreat into the compound- sorry, “Estate’s” walls. But… nothing. Not a shadow out in the dark wall. Not a pale, white, crab walking, backflipping deformed man. Not a goddamn…- Thing.

“HEY NARK!!!! NICE SCAAAARR!!!”.

I turned my head back to Tim, and then backed up a few steps more.

I was staring leftwards before he said that…. On the right side of my face, is a scar, a long gash although, not too noticeable if you’re close. You’d have to be close if you didn’t know it was already there….. and Tim was around the distance you’d need to be….

There were no cameras on it, how could anyone see. No speakers, so no way someone could be speaking through it..... And yet it just gave me a compliment about a facial mutilation.

“What the fuck did you just say?” I asked, sound unintentionally offended, It was really more out of…. “Stunned confusion?”. The Skeleton did not answer. Whatever was going on, whoever was doing this, it was fucking with me, so I parted ways with “Tim” with a nice crack to the skeleton’s jaw, courtesy of my rifle’s stock, and walked back in, hitting the button as the gates slowly closed.

Between the sound of the gates closing, and the engines forcing them to slide shut. I heard one parting message from Tim.

“ASSHOLE!!!!”.

Went back out the next day, Tim was gone. Still don’t believe a skeleton talked to me yesterday, seems so fucking stupid in retrospect, and yet... matched the atmosphere in a strange way.

...

Now…. It’s been a few weeks, that’s some of the shit I’ve encountered. There’s been a lot going on, and I’ve decided to do what everyone person encountering paranormal elements with too much excess time has. Document it online, or, well, blog it I guess. Post? Getting off track. Point is, I've got plenty of things to tell. So when I get back to this shitty laptop, you'll be the first to hear.


[ENTRY 2]

It’s Nolan, your security friend from the woods. A lot happened. It’s the reason I was so busy for what seemed to be the entire damned week, and even today we’re sorting out some things. So for that reason, gonna try and get through this, but it will be in two parts. (Would've been bloody handy if this didn't get removed for a title but what're gonna do). You might ask what happened, or why we’re busy…. But just trust me when I say by tomorrow, should be cleared up, and you’ll get the full picture of this, so- sit tight. Some notes though, again, thank you for the feedback! It’s been helpful and it’s given some insight to me over the past week, before I get to hashing out the events, let me take some time real quick to answer back.:

  • In regards to using fire, torches, incendiary/dragonsbreath rounds, After recent events (which you’ll find out) It’s definitely an option I’ll explore, Thank you u/Lincolnthorpe

  • Some were curious about the “Crab Walking Slender Animal Man”. While as I’ve said, I haven’t seen him since then, which has been a week or so ago, I decided to look up the account that was posted by a search and rescue officer. Stunning, really. There’s not a national park around here for… tens of miles, Probably more. They seem to me similar, albeit, the figure I saw had somewhat of a face, and said one did not when described. Will keep this noted, thank you u/Magenta64.

  • Due to the nature of the estate and the contract I signed, I cannot give out the location of the compound and the surrounding area (even if It’s been a “fun” time with him knowing more than he tells me). But for the sake of clarity, I don’t think some vague description of where this is at is all that bad. The heavy woodland area, the compound, and the town are based in the general southeast quarter of Missouri. That’s all I can tell. u/KKovaction.

Now that that’s clear, Let’s recall…. Unarguably the most eventful (near)week of my life.

....

So….you might remember… Tim. Well, so did I. Theodore gave me another of brushed off excuses, “Halloween decoration”, “Insomnia”... He knows more than he’s letting on. I mean, he totally fuckin’ does, right? Then why lie? You want me to protect your house, why not tell me what’s really out there? Well, not just out there. You see. The morning I woke up, it was around 6. Due to how my body’s wired, and my schedule, I sleep a healthy five hours, in the security room so I can be awoken incase of an alarm. Point is, I woke up, house is dead fucking silent, and I’m going to get myself an energy drink. No, I don’t drink coffee, never bothered to spent a week wasting batches to find the right blend- Rambling again, sorry. Point is, the house is dead quiet, not unreasonable, nor unexpected, what was unexpected was the fucking cold. You see the house has one of those old chimney heater systems, a water boiler, but most of the shit Theodore has installed is mostly state of the art electronic shit. Pretty power costly too, but it allows the place to keep at room temp 24/7. Which is why I woke up, and thought it was fucking odd that it was 51 god damn degrees. Outage? Shouldn’t be, all of the electronics are still working fine, even checked the security systems to see no dippage happened. Malfunction? Could be, but if the electric goes, apparently the old heater and boiler are set up to take over. Point is, when I headed down stairs, head still waking up even 20 minutes after, I was a little more than cautious when I brought my baretta with me. Some info about the basement real quick. The main portion is a rectangle room, with the staircase splitting it down the middle. To the left when you come down, storage, to the right, the heaters, boilers, and other machinery. I turned on the lights, came down, and noticed something. It was all off. Everything, boiler pilot light, furnace was long cold, and the electric generator connected to the heater was dead still. Not a breeze, not a drop of water. Creeped me the fuck out, but wasn’t like it was gonna fix itself. But the second I knelt down and started trying to spark the boiler back on, I felt…. Off. The entire basement went from feeling secure, to feeling like I was in enemy territory. I didn’t just feel watched, I felt hated, I felt fucking despised.So much so I even had to look up and back to see if there was some naked fucker crab walking down here? Nothing. Boiler sparked back on, and I pulled the handle as it started up. One down. And then I sighed, fuckin furnace’s wood was… That’s odd. I remember coming down here and checking last night, put in some fresh logs just incase. There weren’t gone, they were charred, and completely stamped out. Even if they needed to start on in the, 5 or so hours of a possible outage, They shouldn’t be this dead and cold. That’s when I saw something that made me draw my pistol and back against the concrete wall. It happened when my head gazed slightly to the right, in my peripheral, I saw a pair of legs. When I was back to the wall, ready to fight off whatever the fuck. Nothing. I know what you’re gonna say, “It’s a ghost dickhead, get the fuck out”. Keep in mind, I was fucking tired, and I remember it being as gray as the concrete and walls around. So, I have myself the benefit of the doubt… and tossed in some logs. Besides, I keep drawing my pistol like Rambo, only a matter of time I accidentally shoot Theodore or John. Finally, the goddamn electric generator. It’s not like one of the shitty gas operated ones you get at K - Mart (plus for anyone who still remembers those) for like twelve bucks fifty. It was at least 5 x 8, damn thing had a touchpad, a direct fucking cable underground to the grid, and, most importantly, a security lock, code only I and Theodore knew. So it couldn’t have been John, it couldn’t be some fucker who broke in, let alone without tripping any alarms to just turn off the damned heat and clean water. Felt like I was still being watched, I kept gazing around, no one was there. Not just paranoia, in the woods, despite some of… entertaining tenants inhabiting them. I knew when I was alone, and when I was being watched. Right now, felt like a bear wanted to tear out my ass. Regardless I needed to figure out what happened with the generator, luckily the security room has more than just camera angles. The generator being hooked up to the grid, and run on the network of the house, means sort of like your Iphone, every time the touchpad is accessed to have the code put in, it leaves a file. For example: App - Lock Screen, Info - Swipe, Time - down to the fucking second. I opened the access log for the generator… Time was listed as 3:17 am. Around an hour and forty after I got some shut eye. Someone accessed the pad, and typed in the correct code…. On the third try. Only Theodore and I knew the code. I knew it wasn’t me, I was fast asleep in a locked security room. Theodore I don’t think had time to turn off the water and heat utilities of his building for a quick laugh. So whatever accessed the pad, did so after multiple tries…. Theodore was in his office, looking as stupidly chipper for being awake in the early hours that god himself abandoned. “Theodore”. “Good mornin’ Dwight! Tim visit you in your dreams?” he gested. “God no, Thankfully. Theodore- The heating went off last night, and the boiler, and the furnace”. “All of it? Was it an outage?”. “No. Everything shows not a damn second went by where the main electric was shut down. Just the side generator downstairs controlling, well, clean water and heat”. He pondered for a moment. Should be noted, not a moment goes by where Theodore never looks, well, unpositive. Always got the same sort of smirk Steve Jobs had while ordering malaysian children to make his Iphones. “Maybe it was just a malfunction?”. “Couldn’t be. Someone, or Something, accessed the touchpad and deactivated it. Took it a few tries too”. “It wasn’t John, he’s a good kid, also he doesn’t know the passcode”. “And I’m sure he doesn’t want to be sleeping in the ice cold air of the forest”. “Well-” he paused, before snapping his fingers. “Try the camera on the generator”. I looked confused. “Your generator…. Has a camera?”. “It’s like an Iphone-” .Told you guys. “Every time someone accesses it, it snaps a HD photo”. Does this guy just lace everything with cameras? Am I flushing the toilet and having the handle take selfies of my ass every other hour? Still, thankfully convenient. Was gonna have a look at it later, but for now… I still had shit to do. First thing, check the perimeter. Wall seemed to be inact, thankfully confirming my suspicions we weren’t besieged by Tim and his skeletal army last night. The gate showed it was closed ever since I had it stay shut. And finally, the barbed wire, but, well, that’s where it got odd…. A portion of the barbed wire was noticeably missing. I knew it was, before even though there was the razor wire, several feet of barbed wire was gone. Missing. Moreover, when I went out, rifle in hand to check. Two of the floodlights were out as well. This is bad. An alarm should’ve been tripped when these two went off. And if something got that close and ripped off the fuckin’ wire- I rushed back to the security room with a reasonable amount of paranoia. Fucking skeleton, god dammit, I knew it was a fucking distraction, I knew it. Slipped right into my chair and checked the footage. Initially, I thought nothing wrong, like I said, no motion detectors, or alarms went off. Hell…. Guess I was wrong about… “Tim”, the left side cameras showed nothing wrong during my whole interrogation of the science room prop. But, then…. At 3:25 am… One of the floodlights flickered, and went off. Then the adjacent one to it’s left…. Then it’s right. A 5ft wide segment of the wall. Done, Gone. Just like that all the bullshit tech went out the window apparently, and I say that, because the motion detectors were still on… and they didn’t pick up what happened next. From the light still beaming from within the house. You could barely see through the gap in the light. Remember when I said the darkness was, well, drowning, suffocating? Wasn’t kidding. No city light, no suburban light… Went from a dimming spot as the light went off…. To a pitch black strip, could barely even see the top of the wall above the broken floodlights, and when I did?.... For context, when a body becomes bloated in water, it’s skin looks incredibly soaked, it’s flesh loaks mushy. That’s the kind of flesh I saw…. A sickly, grey or silver hand, fingernails not black, I recognized the wounds, vessels broken and underside of the nails, bloody. The thing reached over, and plucked the barbed wire off. Literally... Shit plucked off, and before I knew it, the other end of the, god knows how long segment of barbed wire simple snapped off. Not a goddamn thing after that, just blank footage showing the dark area slowly light up as the sun rose. What. The. Fuck. Not only did this shit… just, bypass all the alarms. It could’ve just waltzed in here. This happened when I was out cold, asleep…. This was bad, criminally fucking bad, absolutely, catastrophically fucked. “We need to get the fuck out of here”. “A malfunction happened. Sometimes due to all the power, some of the bulbs aren’t prepared and zap out. Just get some of the extra strength ones and replace the-”. “A fucking hand reached out, some ghoulish motherfucker just waltzed right up to your billion dollar compound and ripped off barbed wire used on military compounds like it was fucking nothing”. “You’re overreacting Dwight”. “You’re UNDER REACTING!!! ”, it wasn’t fear that drove me, I knew we were safe, for now, whatever it was liked to keep to nightfall. But we needed to get the fuck out of this place. “Dwight…” the middle age man took of his glasses, brushing back his black but slowly graying hair as he looked at me. “What do I pay you for”. Oh this fucker…. “Security” I gruffed. “Well obviously, this is a security situation…. I paid you a pretty handsome upfront sum to come out here and protect this place. You’ve done your job well so far, but it seems to me like this little 'malfunction'….. Is a security situation. Take care of it ”. I contemplated calling a cab and flying back to Chicago, right then and there. Right then. Right fucking there. However, whatever was out there was just prodding defenses, testing morale, trying to see just what the fuck we were made of- What I was made of. A wiser man would’ve went back to civilization, bought a room at the motel, and called settling out in the woods to be a fuckin mistake. While I might not be a wiser man… I’m sure a shit a bold one. Brighter bulbs were gonna be the trick? Fine. Spent the better part of a few hours unscrewing, replacing, and re screwing the floodlights. All 48 of them. Let’s just say I spent the day rewiring the walls and assessing the integrity of the motion trackers…. And when night came, I sat in the security room, eyes glued to the monitor, waiting, just fucking waiting for something to happen. 9 goddamn hours of darkness. 6 goddamn magazines loaded with hollow point rounds for my rifle. Not a single fucking move from the outside for 2 whole nights. Whatever it was, it did it’s job. Fucked with my head the first time. I made a mental note. The second time, it wouldn’t be so prudent. Regardless, I couldn’t sit in the compound forever. Still had a job to do. A storm was going to be rolling in the next few days, a small one, less regionally and more statewide, but it was still gonna be a downpour. That meant, ensuring no one was fucking about on the trail or property space. I’ve already seen this fuckin place in the day time was god damn weird…. Imagine being stuck in a monsoon with the fuckers? I was less being a dick to campers and more doing people a favor. Felt good to be back on the ATV though. Wind in my face, sun in the sky. Whether it was the courage of knowing I had a healthy bit of firepower on my back, or just knowing whatever this shit was, it wasn’t brave enough to fuck with anyone in the daytime…. Felt good to zip down the trail. To be fair, you patrol enough, you tend to learn some landmarks, even in the forest, helps to not get lost. Giant Oak. Short Cliff. Set of trees domino-ing onto each other. Large rock pointing upwards. Fox Den. Native American. Eagles- Wait. Slammed on my fucking brakes just as my ATV came over a small ramp. It flew for a second before slamming on the ground and braking, hard. I looked back and gazed at the spot where I passed him. Tan guy, sort of a bracelet of what I’m gonna guess were talons, war paint across the eyes, head shaved except for a mohawk, and eagles feathers. I remember him clear as fucking day, because my mind got a good sip of him before I realized: The natives around this part were moved to oklahoma a few hundred years ago. I looked back, nothing… Nothing except for a smoke pillar in the short distance, right behind where the guy should have been. Son of a- Took my rifle out, worked the bolt and readied a round. Not this time, fuck that. Crept through the grass, right around a large rock formation, was a small smoke pillar. It was to the right of the trail, and while it was not technically on property, it was, also, ordered by the local government down the road for all campers to get the fuck out of the woods before the rain hit. Walked around the bend, keeping in a crouched stance…. And saw a camp site. Who in the actual fuck is camping out here… what in the actual fuck would be camping out here. 'Approached the camp site, didn’t have much. A tent, cooking pot, bag hanging to keep away from bears… except there were no bears around these parts. Approached the tent, looked inside the flap. A sleeping bag…. With someone in it.“Hey….”, I gave in my best cop voice. The bag shifted, but no answer. “Excuse me?-”. Some muttering, probably from a male, and the person inside the bag adjusted. I sighed, grabbed the top part of the sleeping bag, and pulled it open. The person jolted, and I could see a man, young, tannish hunter looking guy with a full beard, possibly mid thirties. “W-What, Oh- HEY!!” He said, enthusiastically at the last part, he bolted upright, or, more as upright as you can be in a tent. I kept my gun shouldered, but kept the barrel low.“....You’re on private property sir”. Been saying that a lot now, no one seems to get the memo. “Private propert- Wait, you’re not... people live near here?!”. “Uhmm…. Yes?”. “Oh THANK GOD!!!” He quickly pulled up his pants, I then realized I was talking to a half naked guy, before he started to clean and pack his things at almost inhuman speeds. “Been out here for a while, you should see the place. Beautiful, scenic-”, He zipped up his bag and it’s then I realized he’d started to already get his tent packed up. “But also dangerous”. I gazed around, “Yeah I’ve uh… I’m aware”. It’s then the man shoved his tent into it’s bag, and started to tie it to the side of his main pack.“So stranger, live near here, there a town, civilization, got any food?”.“Yeah… just down the road a few miles”. “Thank god, been out here for what felt like months”. “Yeah camping will do- Wait, Months?!”. “Well, probably just weeks, time passes, say, you got the date?”. “Out HERE?!” I pointed to the ground. “Yeah’ ” a noticeably… strangely not southern, more… mix Bostonian with trucker. “.... How?” I asked, genuinely intrigued, “Like…. You know what’s out-”. “Oh yeah, pretty fucked to be honest, say you seen two naked guys leapfrogging over each other?”. My stunned silence was more than enough of an answer for him, “Yeah kind of weird, I know it’s summer and it’s warm but really isn’t the environment to be going full nudist”. “Look…. You really need to get the fuck out of these woods”. “Hah!!” he laughed, “you’re telling me, say can I head back to your house”. “No it’s private property”,“Come on man!!! Been stuck out here with shit that makes me wanna hug a bear at night for the last week or so…”. I rubbed my temples, “Look just, head left back up the trail, when you reach the gravel road, you’ll near the main road, and turn right to get to the town”. He let out an inexplicably long sigh, “Fiiiinnnee…..”. It’s then I realized, he had his entire camp already packed up as he headed out. Before he went I stopped him, “Wait…”. He turned, “How did you survive the night in a measly tent?”. He scratched his head and shrugged, “dunno…. Guys out here probably have a bigger target….” As he left down the trail, a pit formed in my gut. A bigger target. No time to think, can’t get freaked out, not now at least, not enough time, nor the place. Drove down the trail further, sadly animal man wasn’t there, but something did catch my eye. I hit the brakes on my ATV, coming to a stop on the straight away. I was going down the left side of the property line, the western side, from here there was a slight cliff line to where you could see over some of the trees. Sadly… couldn’t stop to see the sights. It wasn’t the plant life that caught my eye. Wasn’t the endless greenery…. It was the red and yellow cap dead center of the trail, that stopped me. Now, even this deep in woods, which are apparently taboo to the point of no real campers, you still find trash. Litter, hell I found a fucking mr pibb bottle and they stopped selling the original years ago. But…. I’ve never once in the, what? 4 or so weeks I’ve been here, seen clothing. Especially… Mint condition clothing. I mean, this was deep in the woods, surely, whoever dropped it wouldn’t gotten some dirty on them, but no… I stepped off the ATV, rifle now in it’s sling, couldn’t take any risks anymore. I picked it up. It was small, and I checked the size, and I felt some dread wash over me…. “Kids- Small”. The fuck was a kid doing out here?, looked for any sort of name tag next-“HEY!!!!” Nearly jumped out of my own fucking skin as I drew my pistol and aimed for what was behind me- Then I fucking sighed.


That fucking Skeleton. Of all the people to see out here, at this time...

Stupid bastard made me nearly jump out of my skin, but likewise…. If he wanted to get the jump on me, he could’ve very well have just grabbed a rock, I mean… he wasn’t there before, and here he was, no noise, out of the blue. “Hey Tim….” I said, going back to inspect the hat. “NAAARK!!!”. I still didn’t know who was initiating this puppet, still refused to believe it was a living fucking object. But… he obviously wasn’t hostile so I decided to play along. I held up the hat by it’s visor… “Know what this is Tim…”. Silence. What, Was this some ‘don’t look at me and we talk’ kind of bull’? Inspected the hat further, found something written on the back- “OMEN- NARK..”, I gazed up at my eggshell colored friend.“What?.... Omen?”, I looked back in the hat to see what I was looking at. On the inside of the back, written in permanent marker. “Danny”. Showed the back to Tim. “Know a ‘Danny’, by chance?”. Once again, I was met my stone silence. Brilliant. Found an ominous “Omen”, of a child’s hat with a name, and yet the only person I can ask right now is playing peekaboo twenty questions. Fucking perfect, no signs of life, hair… nothing. Almost like- “HIM”. My face shot up to meet Tim’s- “GRASS MAN”. “Grass man?” forgetting how he finally directly spoke to me, What was… Grass Man? No leaves on the hat as I looked… and, There was grass everywhere, literally. It’s a forest. But none on the hat, not a drop of filth at all. “Who’s grass man?”. Tim once again answered with silence. Oh great. Back to tiddlywinks. Fuck this. Placed the hat in the pocket of my coat and hopped on the ATV. “Thanks Tim….” I turned back to the skeleton, and despite me now thinking my sanity was slipping, I said… “Sorry for crackin’ you on the skull” I stopped, “-Hah that’s funny, cause you’re a Skele-”. I looked back again. Tim was gone…… Of course. The drive back was quiet. Thank God. Between something always poking it’s creepy fucking head around a tree, and sneaking up, having some peace and quiet was good. That was…. Until I reached the front gate. “Look man I can’t let you in. Wait til Dwight gets back and I’ll help you”. “Wait til, Who? Look there’s got’ damn’ GHOOLS out here man!!!! Let me in!!!”, The same guy before, talking to John through the intercom’s voice receiver. His Bostonian accent was more apparent when he yelled. “Just wait the- Oh here’s Dwight now ”.I parked the ATV center of the driveway infront of the gate, the man turned. “EEEY!!!!- Uh”. He snapped his fingers, trying to find my name although I never told him.“Dwight”. “DWIGHT!!! THAT’S IT” Sure it is. “Thought I told you to head down the road” "Come on maann!! It’s getting dark, and it’s fucking spooky out here!!! Can I stay for the night?" My next look read “Are you actually kidding me?”. The guy’s face didn’t read any real danger. When you work the job I’ve worked as long, you can read a person’s face. He was just short of me, probably… 5’10ish, looked like a Minnesota trucker decided to go play spetnaz… but seemed genuine. Finally I agreed with a sigh, “I’ll talk to my boss… You can stay for the night. But you’re to stay in sight of me, at all times”. The guy sighed with relief, and this is when I could read the genuineness in his relief. Just… eliminating any doubts about him. Finally got the time to sit down and talk with him. His name’s Isaac, was a truck driver (knew it), lived in the new england area (knew it), and had his truck break down in fucking Texas after a long haul. Decided to take up camping a few miles away while it was getting fixed…. Turns out he’d been bumping around 3 states worth of forest before he found me. “Texas?” I asked in disbelief, swiveling slightly on the security room’s computer chair. “Yeeehp’ ” He said, sitting in the corner, where he’d set up his god damn tent. Indoors. I won’t judge, gives us both privacy. I know what you’re bound to say, ask, or warn me. He's a shapshifting witchdoctor that you literally found in the woods and just said "Yeah sure come on in", and while the latter might be right- Dunno, whether it's his almost transparent demeanor, or the fact that he could've stabbed me the 17 times I've turned my back to him, two of which while I've been writing these.... buries my doubts, at least for now to discuss later. What isn’t for later, is what came the following day. Isaac had done some pirate radio type stuff, surprisingly showed me how to set the cameras on swivel mode, set up the radios on a covert frequency…As the head of security, and sole member of the Cazamoth Estate Security Force. I made the executive decision to let him pay off his stay with work. Things were going smoothely...until Me and Isaac were sitting in the living room. Storm was hitting hard outside, so we let the security do the work and decided to bug out for the night, turned on basic cable, and both of us were watching the end credits to the movie roll.... “.... God that movie sucked” Isaac said, sitting back to the point where he was laying on the entirety of the couch, when I said "make yourself at home", he took it literally. “Why we should stop watching C list movies on Netflix. Not a god damn director on there that knows how to make a-”. Just then, a large flurry of rain hit the windows above living room walls, in between the already hard rainfall. “Could pull out a camera now, we’d make the best found footage short’ on the damn app”. I laughed, funny because, well it was true. You might be asking "why're you telling us this", it's because things went from 0 to 60,000 as our laughter was cut off when John cam walking, more, running into the living room. “Dwight, someone’s calling for help”. I bolted upright as did Isaac, “What?”. “A kid on the radio”. For reference, what he’s talking about is one of the Motion trackers. While primarily they’re around the wall, we place them periodically throughout the trail. How it works is, when one of them senses someone/thing in the area, it records the footsteps in a sort of circle, and records the sound for reference…. Through the rainfall, we could hear the sounds of a child crying… screaming “Help” to, what we can father, no one in particular. It was at tracker #6…. The most northern tracker near the northern arch of the trail. “You’re not actually going up there” Isaac asked futily as I zipped up the waterproof overcoat. “If that kids out there-”, “Oh come the fuck on”. I zipped up the Coat, two back ‘trench coat’ like flaps helped to shield my pant legs and back pockets. He met me face to face, “You’ve seen what’s out there, but I’ve seen a whole lot more. The things out there, ‘specially in this part, will lure you. Imitate whatever. I’ve heard that kids voice out there six times a fuckin week, right outside my tent flap. You’re walking into a trap”.“I the damn kids hat today…”, looked him dead in the eye before chambering a round in the winchester, clipping on the belt I had with load magazines. “You may have heard something else… but my gut tells me there’s a good chance he’s out there-”. “What if it’s not the damn kid?!”. “What if it is?! You gonna be the one to tell his mothe-”. “What do you mean? What’s out there?” We both noticed John by the doorway. Kid was smart, good head on his shoulders… but god if I hadn’t seen that look on his face. Pure fucking confusion… same look I had while patrolling Night one.Isaac sighed, “Are you telling me this kid's lived in the haunted woods for god knows how long and he doesn't know what's outsi-’ ”. Isaac”. The trucker quieted down before clearing his throat. “....We’ll tell you later kid”. I looked John dead in the eye, “Your dad will tell you… Isaac, on the radio”. I grabbed the small radio clipped to my utility vest, “Testing. Testing!!”, a voice came through the headset, “Testing! Testing!”. The kids continued cries for help sent a shiver down my spine… Looking out onto the rainy, pitch black night, sitting on that ATV, rifle in sling, the only light being from the damn glorified moped I was on…. That made the pit in my stomach grow. But then it sank. Maybe it was knowing there was a kid out here, maybe it was, as I say, the .308 strapped to my back. Maybe it was knowing I was half a mile driving down a dirty path, the ATV half battling the dirty and mud for supremacy. My mind needed to be a shield right now, it needed to be forged out of solid iron. The giggling in the forest, and the flashing shadows didn’t help. “Dwight…. Dwight come in” Isaac’s voice bellowed from the radio.Dangerously, I pried my left hand from the handlebars, having been gripping it. “ ‘m here Isaac, nearing the bend now…”. “Dwight…. The kid…. G-G-O0ne Qu1e-****,....***”. I still don’t know, even after inspecting it, if it was water, mud, or something else that made the radio go dead. But before I knew it, my hand was right back on the handle bar, as the front tires came to a halt, nearly knocking me off the front. “The fuck?!” I asked, ATV was still on, i tried to reverse. The back tires tried, the front tires did, but stopped, they were snagged on something, I looked…. And dread fully overtook me.A line of barbed wire stretched across the muddle path, and both front tires were completely snagged, and after trying to reverse, now tangled in it. Oh Fuck…. Oh fuck. “Fuck…. FUCK!!!” I tried to reverse to no avail, I gazed at the barbed wire, trying to see how long it was, where was the end, the end led off the road…. And I saw it was tied against two opposing trees. “FUCK!!!!”. I was god damn set up. I should have listened to Isaac, I should have listened to the feeling in my gut, underneath all that sense of bravery and child rescue shit. I unstrapped the rifle, and sat half mount on the ATV…. and listened, and through the rain, god it still sends a shiver up my spine. The giggling… the voices, you know what they say, ‘Inhuman’. You don’t know, until you KNOW, until you’ve heard. A low pitch, too low to be human. Whispering, laughing…. I wipe rain out of my eyes, trying to get a good look… and I see yellow ahead… yellow and red. It’s… It’s the kid, is it? It looks like him, the back of a coach, the red pant leg, just BARELY out of the range of my ATV’s lights. “DANNYY!!!!” I yellied, top of my lungs, trying to get the kid’s attention….. And then meters above what the child’s height should be…. I see a pair of eyes, in a color I can’t even describe, looking back. The kid-, no, The Decoy disappeared, and I was left, with the voices growing, and the eyes gazing. “Mother-FUCKER!!!!” I yelled at it, and fired off a shot, between the eyes. The HP round went soaring through the air, as dark as oil, you could see the hot round go soaring, and finally hit it as it disappeared into the bitch black between its eyes…. It moved, like something that just got punted with a rock, but it didn’t move, more so shifted back after a light shove… It continued to look. I worked the bolt, the casing falling out and hissing in the cold rain, and fired again. The shot went flying, but again, whatever it was, maybe it’s flesh was too thick, maybe- I didn’t have time to think, because the storm finally decided to crack lightning near us…. God I wish it hadn’t…. Because I got a good look at what I was shooting at, something, no man, woman, child. Fucking anyone was meant to see… Turns out I was correct about my surveillance when I said the flesh looked bloated… the nails dark from broken vessels…. The black rings…. The milky white eyes with… dilated pupils… I don’t remember much else from the one I shot at…. I was too fixated on the dozens behind it. I’ve been deployed, I’ve wore high tech body armor and carried an M4, I know this set up. The kind meant to stop a convoy, It’s meant for a target, it’s a fucking ambush. I don’t care if you call me a wuss security guard, I don’t care if you think I’m a coward. I grabbed the ATV keys, and I fucking ran, I booked it. Unholstered my pistol and I made usain fucking bolt look out of shape. The sounds, fuck, the sounds. I could tell they were around. Thankfully I knew the path, I knew where I was going. But they were following me, toying, the snapping branches to my right, the low pitch, deep giggles that sounded like they were right next to my face. I had to run, I was in freefall, out in the open, exposed- FUCK, why didn’ I listen to- Then…. The figure dead in front of me, it jumped out, trying to surprise me, just 5 meters ahead…. No time for an accurate rifle shot…. No time to even unsling it…. Primal instinct took over, Flight couldn’t get through, so Fight did, and I laid what I counted now, 9 rounds, into the thing. It was smaller than the ones back there, much smaller- After it jolted from the majority of a 9mm cartridge, I threw my shoulder into it, and pushed past it.The way the skin looked made you underestimate the density, my shoulder ached, felt like I just tried to ram a fucking tree, but whether it was my shove, or all the rounds, it stumbled off the path. and I kept running, half wobbling as I hadn’t caught my footing, I tried to round the bend. but failed, I fucking failed, tripped and fell over a goddamn branch that’d fallen from the rain, I tried to brace, grab my rifle, but just fell on top of it, a round shot out and hit a tree to my left causing bark to explode off it’s surface. My brain was yelling at me, funny what adrenaline and the human flight mode can do when working together. I blinked, mud blinded me, my muscles and lungs started to ache as I stopped, I needed to get moving, but the shit in my vision stung…. I blinked, light was coming from somewhere, But I didn’t know where…. I tried to blink, my right eye free…. And I saw him…. The man from before, the Native American…. Looked just like before. Looking at me, blankly, between two trees. I grunted, I didn’t hear the … things as loudly as before, but I had to get going, rain aided me as I finally cleared my eyes somewhat, and looked at him again…. He was gone, but I saw through where he stood, and saw the compound walls, the gate in the distance. I made a deadbolt, a run for your fucking life. I clicked the remote on my belt, but it refused to work, the gate refused to open, I tried the vest radio and screamed “OPEN IT!!! ISAAC!!!! OPEN THE FUCKING GATE!!!!”, I don’t know if I knew it was more than likely broken, I didn’t fucking care. I was nearing it, 50 meters, 35 meters…. I could still hear something chasing me, surprised I even kept a hold to my guns as I ran. Then… the gate started to open, Isaac stood there and fired something I found out to be a flare gun. The gate stopped after it opened 3ft, and I dove in, face eating a dirt gravel mixture…. I once again picked myself up as I heard Isaac say something along the lines of “Holy SHIT!!! WHAT IS THA-”. Barely had time to listen, I pointed form the box mounted to the inside of the wall. “Hibb dhe Elecyrish” I tried to talk, half spitting out dirt. “WHAT? STOP SPEAKING PIG LATIN!!!”. “HIT THE FUCKING ELECTRIC!!!!!”, Isaac caught on, he pulled open the box and pulled the switch. Where the wall segments met, there were pikes and bars connecting the tops of them, allowing us to wrap the barbed wire around. They sprang to life as electricity surged and zapped out. We didn’t care to see if it amounted to anything…. Hauled my ass inside with the redneck, and collapsed against the side counter as my lungs felt like they were melting…. “Dwight?!…” John came down the stairs, “What happened?!?!”. All the running must’ve torn up my throat as I spat some blood into the kitchen sink, turning on the faucet and washing it down. I shook my head, brain was pounding, legs hurt, Isaac set the smoking flare gun on the counter as he went to the fridge, and cracked open an energy drink. “He just saw some ghouls Johnny….”. I tried to shake away the wear and tear my body had, “John….” wiping my face, walking out of the kitchen, and towards the stairs of the house leading up and around the living room. “Go to your room….”. For once, he listened and nodded. “Dad gonna tell me about what’s outside?”. “No…”, I shook my head, “he’s gonna tell all of us”. Isaac had to stop me from almost literally kicking open Theodore’s door… My arms were too tired and primal instinct again almost took over. I came into Theodore’s office, muddy, wet, and it showed as he was more concerned with me stepping onto the carpet in front of his desk. “Jesus Dwight… care about a man’s things for onc- AND WHO’S THAT?! ” He asked, pointing to Isaac. I realize I forgot to tell him about our new friend…. Isaac chimed up “Isaac sir, Isaac-”. “Who let you in- DWIGHT!!!”. “Well I mean, he was- We were, but you know…. Rain, storm, a lost child, you never come out of this office apparently…” Isaac scratched the back of his head as he tried to come to my defense. “Jesus Nolan I thought I paid you to-”. I slammed a hand down on the paperwork in front of him, leaning over the desk at him. “Listen here…”. “-Dwight those were for”. Shut up” I think I half spit the forest floor into his face, he got the messaged and quieted down.“I just literally ran my ass of through a forest trying to save a missing kid…. Turns out the kid wasn’t there at all…. Just some, whatever the fuck things you never told me about, and still REFUSE TO!!”. Isaac sniffed the air and looked at me, “Jesus, did you piss yourself?”. The look I gave back must’ve changed his mind, “Shit- yeah, sorry”. “I cannot protect you, your son, your land, or this motherfucking house….. When all I’m given to go off of is a deer stunning rifle, a pistol, and a whole lot of excuse BULLSHIT!!!!”. “Dwight I really don’t-”. “Oh yes you do… You didn’t spend millions building a house here and not know about what lurks right under your nose… come clean, or we’re gonna take a walk in the park with whatever's out there, and you can ask where the fuck Danny wennt….”. “....Danny?”. He didn’t seem surprised entirely, more so caught off guard. "Someone who seems to have gone missing in your woods". "A missing kid?". "Yeeeep-" Isaac shook his head, "Look Dwight I think this guy's probably hiding some sketchy shit in his closet, I bet you five bucks Danny's underneath the hous-". "ALRIGHT- Alright, just...". Theodore took his glasses off, rubbing his temples. Now sadly, I’ve got no more time. Writing all of this down, the entire shit show it was, took a lot of time. When I get back, I’ll fill you in on what us three talked about, but trust me…. It’s the reason after clean up from the storm… we got funded several thousand dollars to.. “Up Security”, and why we’re driving into town tomorrow…. We’re gonna get to the bottom of this, I will be back as soon as I can, hopefully sooner than last time, and tell you what we’ve found and learned.


[ENTRY 3]

Hey, it’s me again. Nolan. Dwight Nolan. Your resident security guard stuck in the southeastern forest hell and someone who’s just too painfully stupid to not buy a connecting flight out of here. I really wish I would. Save me a lot of effort too…. So many of you might be wondering, just what Me, Theodore, and Isaac hashed out in that office on that rainy night, not so long ago. Does he know what’s going on? Does he have the answers? Will this be solved so we can leave? Well…. Yes and No. For the elephant in the room, well, let me just transcribe it for you: “I know something’s out there, but I don’t know exactly what. When I picked this plot of land for it’s seclusion and low price, I thought nothing about it, even with local rumors. It was a perfect place, to sit down…. Relax…”. He rubbed his temples before reaching into his drawer, and pulling out a small glass cleaner which he used to defog his lenses. “I should’ve known something was amiss… Seventeen Workers don’t just go missing from on site accidents”. Screwed up? Yes. Naïve? Yes. Yet another dead end with no hard conclusions? Fuckin’ yes. When I looked back at Isaac, part of me wanted to pack my shit and get the hell out of dodge, but… Whatever the fuck’s out there. Theodore obviously doesn’t know, and his take and experience was bad enough… to try and do what the locals did and simply sweep it under the rug. But not me, No. I wasn’t gonna just go running back to Chicago knowing this shit’s down here, people are getting kidnapped, killed, or… worse. I had to get to the bottom of this, so I asked Theodore for a bit of “Company Help”. That “help”, came in the form of 17,000 USD. It also came with Theodore getting an “Unexpected company call”, that forced him to have to fly out to Manhattan for the next week or so… And leave his son. Genuinely bad timed call, or a scumbag move. I’ll let you decide. Regardless of Theodore’s antics, we needed to “Upgrade our defense capabilities-” or that’s at least what Isaac and I came up with to put on the waiver. We were loading up in the SUV Theodore left behind, and driving into town, we brought John with us because like fuck we’re leaving some high schooler behind in that house alone…. then the gates opened. When Isaac and I cleared out all the shrub from the storm the day prior, it wasn’t that bad. Now? Nothing was on the trail, but all of the surrounding trees by the front gate were gutted, slashed, carved, torn…. If they wanted to get under our skin, guess it worked, cause I heard isaac lock the doors and windows as we pulled out. “So what’s your opinion on all of this?” Isaac asked as we drove through the forest towards the main road. I shrugged, “What’s there to fuckin’ say. Think we got all our grievances out”. “Well I guess but-” he leaned back in his seat, the endless forest walls lining the sides of the road were almost hypnotic. “Why haven’t the cops gone after what’s in those woods? Like, SERIOUSLY?”.“Police are civil servants, out here they’re paid in peanuts, given low stocks of equipment, and their uniform consists of a polo” I slowed the car as we started going down a slope, gazing at him. “Would you want to be the small town cop to go marching into the woods with nothing but a flashlight and hope?”. “Still man. You can’t say it isn’t weird”. “You can ask ‘em when we meet them-” Isaac gave me a harsh look after my comment, and I pulled ‘Danny’s’ Hat out of my pocket. The SUV slowed to a stop at the main road… Could’ve fooled me for thinking this wasn’t an “Interstate Line”. An almost perfect T intersection, with plenty of trees smothering all sides of the road as we stopped. It was quiet…. Dead quiet. I turned the car right, and we were driving westward to the town down the road. In fact it we were about 10 minutes into the drive before I wondered if we were going the right way. “Where the fuck is this place?” I asked to no one in particular in the car. “If we got lost in the woods. Shoot me” Isaac quipped. “It’s just up ahead.. Look” John said from the back, both of us turned, and well… it seemingly just appeared at the next turn we took. It was weird because before we were driving down a hill, didn’t see it before… Maybe it was just the trees, forest is damn weird. “Alright John” I said looking to the back seat, “Where’s this ‘Friend’s house of yours?”. Now you might be angered by the idea of Theodore just dropping his kid during the middle of some… ‘Land Dispute’ strife with the people in the woods.....So were we. So when we had to go to town, dropping Jon off somewhere… disconnected while we were busy on our little “Corporate Shopping Trip” seemed ideal. The drive there, well, the aura in this place doesn’t sit any better with me than the woods. The town looks like, if you took what you’d imagine a southern logging down, and place it just down at the peak of a mountain. Salt Mill, Logging Yard in the middle of the ‘Town Square’ area surrounded by a metal fence, a bar, A Gun Store-(Handy, we needed one of those), and, well… almost no people. I’m not joking. There was an atmosphere of some sort of disconnectedness as we made our way through what should be, a busy part of the town. But instead, nothing. Some pedestrians that seemed all too busy to get to where they’re going, a car every now and then… the ‘Suburb’ style area, basically, take that small neighborhood from every halloween movie… mid-medium class houses, brick and pine wood…. Absolutely abandoned. “Place is fuckin’ creepy….” Isaac said, head peering out the window at the houses. He turned back to Jon, “Kid you sure this is where your friend lives?”. Jon was too enthralled in whatever hand held device he had, honestly looked like an Ipad, and let out a simple “Mmhmm”. “You sure she’s not possessed, right?” Isaac asked again, Jon half chuckled. “Not...really…. Reassuring”. [“You have reached your destination”] The robotic voice on the GPS said as we pulled up to a house The pine wood planks painted blue, with a staircase leading up to the door on the right side of the house’s face, and large windows on the left side. We pulled off to the side. “This the place?” I asked. “Yep. Thanks guys, see you later” Jon said, grabbing his bag and hopping out of the car. I could see the look on Isaac’s face as he looked around. The street was dead, we were on the edge of town, but cars were everywhere. Why did no one come outside?... Why would anyone come out side is a better question. I watched Jon walk up the stairs and ring the doorbell-“Hey… Get a load of that guy…” Isaac said gazing over at a house across the street. On an old, weathered looking porch, stood a man, average height, build, but that’s not what stood out. He stood… awkwardly, like an unnatural posture, shoulders held too high, legs apart, like I said, awkwardly. He just… didn’t look right. Even more, he was holding a water canister, watering a plant. That’d be fine, if he wasn’t flooding the plant so much it was visibly overflowing.. He seemed to fixated on something…. Jon. One of the alarms in my head immediately set off. Out of my peripheral vision, I saw Jon’s Friend’s, what I guess was a father (honestly due to that beard he could’ve been bigfoot), opened the door. Seeing how he was like, 6’5”, and probably ate cows for breakfast, I once again felt the kid would be safe. I waved…. Isaac spit some.. Chewing tobacco? Actually, I don’t want to know, onto the floor, and gave a nod. He reasonably felt weirded out and headed back inside. I put the car in reverse, to back out… and I saw the man staring at us. Like, dead staring at us. Eyes looking dead, posture just as awkward, but he was staring at us… to distracted. He wasn’t even aware his canister was pouring and drenching his dad loafers in water. And then…. He awkwardly strode into the house, like the rotator cuffs on his hips were broken, and he half shuffled inside. A moment of silence passed, only broken by the hum of the engine. “Nice people here..” Isaac said.Yeah. Indeed. Now contrary to what might be popular opinion, we’re only slightly batshit for continuing to remain on post at the Cazamoth Estate…. Or Atleast I am, Isaac’s just crazy, not even hired. Actually I think he’s just been using it as an excuse to eat the house’s food. Anyways, We’re slightly batshit, but not stupid. Theodore gave us a considerable amount of funds to increase security, and we intended to do just that…. We pulled back up to the gun store we passed on our way in. It looked old, converted, like someone bought a dentist’s shop and renovated it to be a seller of handheld “Self Reassurance”. “GARETH’S ARMS” written above the door. When we stopped the car and stepped out…. The air felt weird. Sure, it’s slightly muggy from the rain storm, sky is grey.. But it felt, weird. Like something was concealed, the town was hiding something just underneath the layer of atmosphere… I guess this is what physical “Mystery” feels like. The gun shop didn’t look half as jury rigged on the inside, OH- No. Several firearms lined the walls, kevlar vests, glasses, crates in each corner of what I can guess was surplus munitions…. And a lone cashier, a guy, possible mid forties.. Wearing blue khakis, a utility vest, and a set of glasses with a small mohawk on his head. He gazed up at us, And his look of slight confusion was understandable. A man dressed in camo hunting gear and coors light memorabilia flanked by a poor man’s rentacop in a leather jacket and jeans. Isaac took the lead without hesitation, “Hallo Friend, how can Markel help you Today?” the thick german accept made him sound half understandable, and half a stereotypical movie villain. “How brotha- Uh, Marble?” Isaac stepped up to the counter..“Markel”. “Alright Marcus- We’re here on a corporate mishion’ to by some…. Exportable Democracy…. See we’ve got a pest problem we need taken care of?”. “Ah!” Markel slapped his hands and rubbed them together. “We’ve got PLENTY to defeat pests!!”. Markel reached over, and took a small revolver from the wall, placing it on the counter. “A 5 Shot 32. PERFEKT for ANY sort of, rat infestation!!”. “Eh…” Isaac scratched the back of his head, “Need something a little bigger..”. “Bigger?” Markel raised an eyebrow, “A… Maybe something with more finess, 22.?”. “Nah, Bigger”. “.... Zeh’ .38?”. “Bigger-”. “... .308?”. “Already tried that”. “'Zhat kind of ratz do you have?”. I sighed, “Isaac just tell him the truth…”. “Truth?” Markel raised an eyebrow, now confused. Isaac placed both hands on the counter, “Well you see we’ve actually cut a badger infestation”. Markel’s confusion grew, I shook my head, having enough of this. “We’ve got some…. Forest problems”.Markel looked at me, “Forest?... problems?”.“You know…” I crossed my arms, “things that go bump in the night. You live in this town”. “Zir I assure you, I hav’ no Idea what you mean”. I slid my hand down my face, “Monsters- fucking MONSTERS! The kind of mothers that ate .308 rounds and kept chasing me with wide eyes and devilish grins…”. A tense silence passed as Markel stared at me, “Sir are you feeling alright?”. “He hasn’t slept in awhile, you se-” Isaac tried to turn the conversation back around, this time, Markel had enough. “Look you two I’m not herr to play gaems, You need proper registration’, money, and authority to buy the types of arms you seek, who do you even work for?”. “Cazamoth Estate Security” As I said that, all the color from his face drained.. “....Cazamoth?”. “What?” Isaac looked around, confused. “That mean something in German, like, your mothers’ a Who-”. “Gareth!! Can you come here, It’s important!!” Markel called to the back room. “Vhat iz it’ Markel?!?” A eastern european voice called from the back. Two europeans, in a gunshop, in southern america. Honestly not the weirdest thing I’ve seen all month. “Two men from the Cazamoth estate-...” After a second of pin drop silence, a smaller, but no less dangerous looking man emerged from the back. Bald head, rough beard, body built like he wrestled trees since he was a kid. He walked up and looked us over. “Cazamoth?”. “The fuck does that mean? It’s just some privatized woods?” Isaac said, still confused, poor man. “Isaac are you actually braindead?” I asked bluntly. “WHAT? The woods are freaky? So what if there’s a cabin there?” Honestly this man must’ve been half buzzed. “Zeh Cazamoth Estate… is a bad omen” Gareth, the shorter man said in a thick, what I can guess was slavic accent. “ No one ever buys land outside of the town…. An unspoken rule… there are things in the woods you don’t touch, you don’t disturb…. Cazamoth must’ve not gotten the memo… because he bought a whole slew of it deep in the woods… and ever since dah work started there… bad things have occured..”. “This shit’s been ongoing? Jesus” Isaac said, shaking his head. “The construction of his house and zeh walls took 3 months to complete…. And the lives of 17 workers... “. “Construction accidents happen, there was a lot of electrical facets to be built…. Maybe it was just a coincidence”. I knew it wasn’t, but it wouldn’t hurt to prod. Gareth chuckled, and shook his head, “Electrical utilities… don’t tear a man’s intestines out and string them across trees like garlin…. Or impale them through the mouth on branches…. Or rip zem apart…”. “Yep….” Isaac said nodding his head, mildly intrigued. “That about adds up”. “If you boys work zhere, my advice, get on the next train ride out of town…. No one can stop what’s happening there…” Gareth said, a sympathetic look piercing his so far, cold demeanour. “Sadly I’ve got a job to do, ‘Gareth’.... One that includes an upgrade in firepower. Think you can help us out”. Gareth chuckled, waving us off, “Markel halp zehm with vhatever, thay’re dead anyways….”. “Yo bud” Isaac said, leaning back towards me, “Hit up the Sheriff’s office round here or something… report that missing kid, I’ll take care of this…”. Before I could protest, Markel stepped in, “Missing kid?”. I showed him the hat, if anymore color could escape his face, it did just then. “The local pub has a missing person’s board…. I’d head there to see if it matches with anyone”. “Don’t worrryyy…” he extended his hand, “Pa Pa Isaac’s skilled in this". “I’ve got this" I stared blankly at him. “I’ve known you for a collective week”. “Mmhmm?” he said, unsure of what that meant. “You want me to trust you with enough money to buy several T - 60 Tanks and leave you unattended-”. “LOOK!!” Isaac interrupted, he pointed his index finder at me. “I saved your life…. Opened that gate….”. Once again, I stared unimpressed. “If I was some witch, I could’ve killed you by now”. He had a point, about as strong as cardboard, but still a point. I continued to wonder if I could trust him as I walked out the door, the cold, still air of the town immediately drawing me from the thought. A short stroll down the road, and I was looking at the thick iron door of the bar, any windows too high on the walls and too small for anyone to look into. The inside wasn’t grimey, but it sure was gritty. The darkness of the cramped bar only permeated by the LED lights on the walls, and the few top down bright lights on the ceiling. Old vintage metal signs, circle tables on the main floor with booths lining the far right wall, and at the far back…. “BRING THEM HOME!!” Was plastered across the top a cork board in red letters, and on it, crammed together by the tens of tens… missing person fliers. Young, Old, Man, Woman, Child…. no discrimination…. I don’t even think a damn person noticed me as I walked over to it, looking around at the fliers. Danny….. Danny….. Danny…. I don’t know if the apparition, the decoy was accurate, but I barely saw the kid… then i saw him, bottom right corner of the board. MISSING: (A picture of a boy, round head, clean cut hair, blue eyes with a smile). Name: Daniel Hothfield Age: 9 Date of last sighting: 4/3/18 Notes: Last seen wearing red and yellow, Call: …. I took out my phone, the number listed the number as being his parental guardian, his mom… barely got past the area code before I heard a voice call from my back right. “Whatchyu lookin’ at stranger….”. I turned. A large man in a camo hat and coat sat at a booth along the wall, along with a woman and two men. The two other males looked up as the woman just continued to finish her drink. “I’m jus-”. “You know disturbing the dead’s looked down on ‘round here….” One of the other males perked up. A pit grew in my stomach as I just stared back, answering only “Missing doesn’t mean dead….”. The man in the camo hat simply scoffed and shook his head. “Boy down here we don’t like to make prank calls and fuck with missing kids. Go back to Chicago”. I was at first confused, the. Realize my jacket had a Chicago patch on it. “I’m not pranking. I saw him out in the woods, or at least, I’ve got a lead”. “A lead…”. The third guy shook his head, looking back at me. “Me and my boys went looking out there for a whole month…. you expect me to believe from gritty looking sonsof is the only one to turn up a lead? What? Saw a ghost?”. “Not quite….” I answered, taking the hat from my pocket and holding it up. All three men’s eyes widened slightly, camo hat nudged the woman to his right. “Marion…”, she gazed at him, he gestured towards me and something by her look told me she was Mrs. Hothfield. The talk was…. intimate, to say the least. I don’t want to tell everything that was said, but here’s what happened: Marion and her son, Danny, along with a few friends went camping. All went well, until he up and, vanished, not during the night, not from wandering off. Middle of the day, turned their heads, turned back, he went missing in the middle of eating his food. The guys at the booth, hunters who went with, think he was kidnapped. Kept saying Danny saw someone out in the trees, they couldn’t see whoever it was, but Danny kept saying something about…. “The man with no mouth”. Atleast it was one loose end, some of the other cases on the board get…. weird.

  • Woman vanished from her RV “in the middle of driving” down the road, her shoe was identified and found over 20 miles away in a nearby cave.

  • Mother dropped off her baby at her parents house, came home to find grandma and grandpa deceased, the child was never found, kicker was the cause of death was listed as “natural”, but never had any real reason.

  • And finally…. Missouri State Trooper Kyle Brunson. There was a call about a woman lost on the road, staggering as if she was drunk. Reinforcements arrived to see the SUV ransacked and abandoned, Kyle’s hat was found, sliced and soaked in water… in the middle of a dry day.

Sent outside for some fresh air and to head back to the SUV, stuff’ll mess with my mind if I let it sit for too long. When I arrived back to the vehicle, Isaac was there, eating a tub of..something… “What’s that?” I asked. “What’s what?” He answered, in the middle of eating. “Your food”. “Oh…” he looked at the half eaten tub of ice cream, “ ‘sm good stuff”. “How did you buy that?”. “With the money you gave me”. I stared blankly, “The money I trusted you to buy supplies”. He out his hands up defensively. “HEY!-”. He stared at me, holding up one index finger and pointing it at me slowly. “I saved you…”, “so you keep telling me”. I shook me head as I headed to the back, Isaac continued to lean on the vehicle pleased. “Plus it was like five bucks, you should SEE the weird shit they’ve got in stores here… you know the bookstore is selling a real necronomico-”. He was cut off as we heard the sound of a car driving up behind us, my hand froze and gripped the trunk as I saw it was a sheriff's car. Probably not the best time to flash 300+ pounds of ordnance. The cruiser stopped, the engine still running as a short, yet husky sheriff exited the vehicle, flanked by a skinnier one with a handlebar ‘stache. “Evening fellas…” the main sheriff said, hands grabbing his collar as his partner sat on the hood. Isaac and I could only stare at each other. “Uh…” Isaac spoke, oh god don’t piss them off- “you gonna shoot us?”. I’m now certain I will one day die because of Isaac. The main sheriff furrowed his brow, looking over at his partner, then back to us… and simply chuckled. “Nah… we just do that to all outsiders. Truth is, a call came in that someone saw your friend loading more rifles than we’ve got at the station ten times in that there trunk…. wanted to check and see if everything’s alright”. “Just shopping” Isaac said finishing off his tub and tossing it in the nearest dumpster, which missed and dinged off the side along with the spoon… wait where’d he get the metal spoon from. The cop on the hood raised his eyebrows, “Shoppin’ what yah preparin’ for the chinese to invade?”. “-Hunting” I corrected Isaac and backed away from the trunk, “Just hunting supplies”. The main cop sputtered as he walked over, glaring into the back window. “I assume you're chasin’ a real nasty bear…. With that .30 - 06 right there”. I looked shocked, and nonverbally asked Isaac “really?!”. He shrugged and gestured back “what?”. “Yah boys wanna be straight with me….. cause those Dragonsbreath rounds are technically illegal”. I dropped the discreteness as I looked at Isaac. “You actually bought incendiary shit?”. “Okay you know what-” Isaac said defiantly pointing at me, “you want em dead or not?”. I shook my head as I looked to the cop, “We’re just stocking up on security?”. He laughed this time, “A lotta home defense, where you live?”. “Up the road…”. His eyebrow rose as I continued, “.... Cazamoth Estate”. The man’s face grew serious as he backed away from the trunk. His partner got off the hood, straightening up. “Cazamoth estate, huh?” The hood cop brushed himself off, “Probably gonna need more than that”. The main cop looked right at me, “You security?”. “Mmhmm”. “...Your boss kicked a hornets nest by weaseling in there…”. He gazed from me, to Isaac, back to me. “We never saw you”, Then without another word, both officers climbed back in their patrol car, and drove away. Something told me despite his jokiness, the look in Isaac’s eye both unanimously agreed with me… this situation kept getting more fucked by the day. We picked jon up, neighbor no longer on the porch, but peering at us from the front window. We asked Jon, but he was confused, the guy slinked back from the windows before he could see. It’s been a few days, Isaac and I have looked around the house defenses and we're trying to get things "Sealed up". We've got a checklist, one of which includes scanning the trail over and recovering the lost ATV. Speaking of which, that's in an hour, been quiet so far, let's see if it remains that way.


[ENTRY 4]


Yes. I am alive. I guess to rest any fears. No, I did not get killed, possessed, kidnapped, or anything of the sort...... yet. My absence from logging... is logging the right term? Charting? My routine of keeping you guys informed with what's happening here started at first, because cleaning up the aftermath from the storm with just two people, took.... as long as you'd expect. At first. Things started getting... Well I'll just tell you. ..... Our minds a bit confused from our little shopping trip to the town, John in more than fine spirits, and a trunk full of guns. We were all at relatively high morale, until, well, we reached the gate. Now the gate and wall itself was intact, and even then, none of the scratches or claw marks on it really disturbed us. No it was knowing after the storm about a week ago, we had cleaned out the front of the compound…. So when we pulled up, and all of the trees in a ten foot radius around the gate were clawed, battered, and gutted… We knew something decided to show up while we were gone. “The heck’s all of this?” Isaac rolled down his window, and took a look at the near twenty mutilated trees around us. I’d been in war both across seas and on home turf. I knew this was could only mean one thing. “They’re sending a message”. We headed inside, and well, the yard, house, and everything inside of the walls was unharmed, even as the fog and mist from the hard rain still hung over the estate grounds. John headed up to the house as I circled back with Isaac, time to look at what he bought. And, well, Jesus…. Boxes of packaged fire arms, in both wooden crates, and plastic gun cases. Ammunition boxes looking like they belong in a US Military base rather than the trunk of a poor rent-a-cop and his hick cohort, and tons of tons of… from what my experience says, is a little more than across the lines of “Illegal Firearms”. I ran a hand over my forehead, the sound of the quiet forest around only permeated by the clicking of a large guncase as Isaac opened it, with eyes as giddy as a child on christmas. “Hah! Let’s see what they think of this!....” he said as he flipped the top of the case open, and showed me a grade A mankiller. The 30 - 06. Rifle round has been a seriously deadly armament for now just over a century, being used in everything from machine guns, to rifles that could knock out your truck’s engine. So when he pulled out that hunk of a battle rifle, and I gazed around, I wondered… If all of this failed…. Then what in the actual hell was going to stop the-“Dwight!! Isaac!!! ” I peered around the SUV while Isaac continued to inspect all the hardware he purchased. “John?” I called back. He just….. Gazed at the door knob, Shit. Though it was just a pee shooter, I grabbed the small pistol from the car’s glove compartment and hurried up. I wasn’t greeted with some monster, nor a ghost, goblin, or forest ghoul. Just, yet another message. A dog collar hanging on the door knob, a good twenty to thirty meters inside of the “Impermeable security wall”, with the name “RICHIE” carved into it’s dog tag. It’s not the obviously scary things that haunt you, it’s the out of place ones that get under your skin. And boy oh boy, I was preparing myself to see a lot of that shit for the next few days. The storm has completely shaken up the forest, branches, rocks, hell even entire fucking trees had collapsed onto that miles long perimeter path surrounding the estate. And due to public land over regulations, the deputy enforcing them like an absolute fuckin prick. He stated “The staff of the Cazamoth Estate grounds must clear and maintain their trail to meet county standards and-” you get the gist. And due to the fact that no one wants to stick their heads in the woods besides Isaac and I, that meant this was gonna be a lengthy process. Even more so that we were down one entire ATV. Three days after we arrived with our new equipment, Isaac and I hit the trail. Standard stuff at first. Move the boulder, clear the tree branch, scare off the leapfrogging naked men with a rifle shot into the air, hook a chain from the top side of a tree, to the rear of the ATV, and painstakingly move it over to the side of the trail. Pretty standard affair, until one day, few hours past noon, we came across a monsterous oak tree. And I mean. A giant fucking oak tree, don’t know how the hell the storm managed to uproof this thing, but it was laying straight across the trail, full head of branches and all. We tried hooking up the chain, and I have it my best shot trying to push from the otherside, but all we got was the ATV kicking up tons of trail dirt, and half an hour wasted. “No good” I said as Isaac turned off the ATV, and climbed over it, sitting on top. “Head back to the house, grab the chainsaw” we were gonna have to do this the hard way. Isaac looked around paranoid, “you sure?”. I knew what he was asking, you sure you want to sit here in the middle of these woods alone? A nod of my head, and although hesitantly, he rode off. If I knew anything about these woods from the past month, it was safer to sit on the tree when the sun was high in the sky, than for it to be pitch black. Or at least, that's what I tell myself, despite my gut instincts and the pit in my stomach saying otherwise.I checked out the roots of the tree, wanted to see just how deep they were, incase we were gonna have to cut it in half, or if we could possibly, just deroot what was left and drag it out. It was clear out of the dirt alright, but not by any sort of storm weather. The dirty was freshly dug, you could tell because plenty of other trees were covered in dry mud, and smelled of rain, moss, and sludge. This one, the dirt was dry, and the wood was…. Mutilated. Bite marks severed remaining roots heading into the ground, crude scratch marks covered the bottom of the trunk…. This wasn’t the work of mother nature.. The sound of breaking branches, gaining quickly on my from behind drew my attention, like the sound of a grown man sprinting dead at me, I turned and despite what I said earlier about my trigger finger, I fired off a set of rounds. Nothing. Not a goddamn soul in sight. Whatever rounds I fired off, at least one impacted a tree, because besides the clear forest view I had, the sound of the bullet ripping through the oak wood, and bark flying everywhere painted a pretty clear picture. This was all a distraction, trying to halt our progress. I stepped back onto the path, to hear the familiar round of an ATV heading down this way, Isaac stopped, a branch cutter, chain saw, and other equipment strapped to the back. “You alright?” he asked, I didn’t even look him in the eyes, too focused on gazing around at the forest. “Yeah…”, I exhaled harsh, steam visible in the only relatively cool forest hair, “Let’s get going”. We were making good progress, despite the tight schedule we had to run on, not wanting to get caught out there at night. So good, in fact, that by yesterday we managed to make it a clean mile and a half up the eastern side of the estate trail, passing right by Isaac’s former camping spot. I stopped the ATV, right around where I was last time. I knew because the heavy break marks were still, somehow, mildly embedded into the trail. Isaac gazed around confused, “What?”. I jutted my head over to the large short cliff face. “Wanna see if you left anything?”. He gazed over to where I was looking and sighed, “seriously?”. “Couldn’t hurt”. He muttered under his breath, shaking his head as he hopped off and walked through the trees at the ready. I simply just, turned off the ATV and quickly made my way through. As we rounded the cliff face, it was strange. He left nothing behind, that was for certain, but what I don’t remember was him cleaning up his extinguished fire or the ring of rocks around it, or the stumps he cut down.The entire area looked like it was completely untouched, and that was only a week ago. Isaac didn’t seem to notice this, what he did notice was something by the rock face that I didn’t. “Dwiiiight….” he said in a tone I could recognize as anxious, new for him. “What’s u-” I said turning around, and then my brain shut off for a split second as I saw it. A cellar door. Barring some minor scratches and weathered marks, it was a near perfect condition cellar door, A large wooden bar kept the handles closed, and the entire thing was connecting to the cliff wall…. Right where his tent was. “You…. didn’t raise your tent over that, did you?” I said, already knowing his answer. Isaac shook his head in response. It should be noticed, as much as I only check in periodically, Isaac’s demeanour, his slightly jovial, joky trucker sense of humor, is how he carries himself. So for me to look him in the eyes, and see a grown man with a shotgun in his hands….. Looking like a scared child…. Well…. “Well…. Let’s see what’s inside”. Isaac looked at me, silent, but his wide eyes spoke for himself. “What?” I asked, “Not like we can just leave this shit out here, what if this is where the bastards are sleeping during the daytime?”. I asked myself the other side of that question as I shouldered my rifle and pulled the wooden bar off. What were we gonna do if an army of angry ghouls waited on the other side of that door, waiting for a couple of schmucks to open it…. Guess we didn’t need to really worry about, because when I opened the door, Isaac aiming down the sights of his shotgun…. It opened to nothing. A smooth, solid, rock face. Hell it didn’t even look cemented over, or like rocks were dumped to bury it. It just looked like…. Someone built a cellar door and never dug down…. I laughed honestly, kind of funny, both of us pissin’ ourselves and then open the door to that. I shook my head, and was about to give Isaac some crap for getting even me a bit unnerved…. Until I saw his face. Now like I said, Isaac’s usually a pretty funny guy. In one part, his sense of humor, another part, even as he saw what laid outside the gate that night a week ago…. He still found some time to take the piss out of the danger of it all. So to see him standing there, gazing at a featureless rock surface, probably looking how I was when I saw the things during the lightning flash…..“Isaac?” I asked, only to see his breath was heavy, his now sweaty hands clutching his shotgun.“Isaac for the love of fu-” He aimed his shotgun at the rock face, “THERE’S NOTHING THERE!!”. Thinking quick, I scrambled, pulling the far door shut, and kicking closed the other door. Isaac followed up by nearly dropping his goddamn gun, and hastily putting the wooden bar back across the cellar doors….. And then stepped back, nearly vomiting as he tried to catch his breath…. “Isaac?!” I asked, the man buckled over as he shook his head. “Isaac what the fuck did you see?”.And he simply shook his head, “We’re getting out of here…”. He walked back up the path to the trail, I called out again, “Isaac!!”. He still won’t tell me what the fuck happened. …. So we finally reached it. Nearly a Week of trying, trail clearing, meeting the less dangerous, but still just as weird inhabitants of the forest. All culminated to us finally reaching the northern curve of the path, and surprisingly, it was barely touched. We expected some weird shit, hell I expected some sort of pentagram made of trees, rocks, and rabbit corpses- but no. Nothing…. We rounded the bend- and I braked. Part of me really wanted to try and salvage that ATV, not like shipping is quick out to a dead end area like this, and those state of the art, literal trail blazers aren’t cheap…. But sadly, my hopes were dashed.It wasn’t in the path anymore, barbed wire was still there and chunks of the tire were still attached, the ATV was…. Off to the side of the trail, in the tree…. I think the chassis was scattered across ground between the trees. The damned bastards spited us, ripped that vehicle apart and spread literally every last part of it across the damned forest around. I sighed, turning off the ATV as I buried my face in my hands and rubbed my eyes. “God. Dammit”, I slapped the handle bars as I climbed off, Isaac looking around. “Sure did a number on it” Ie said, kicking over one of the tire rims….“Yeah….” I headed over to what I could tell was the engine block, or… what was left, and had to pull it out from a small pit in the ground, but I freed it. God did it Stink. A slightly black coating all over the block- “Yah feel that?” Isaac blurted out, as he gazed out at nothing in particular. I gazed up, inspecting the block must have really distracted me because I didn’t notice at first. He gave me a look that just said “really?”. I looked around, and I felt it. The burning sensation, the paranoia that causes a man to freak out when this isolated….. The feeling of being watch, but that wasn’t was really unnerved me….. It’s the fact that not a bird, nor a zacada… Not a god damn sound could be heard around us. “Hey, Dwight….” I remember John’s voice piercing that sound, his voice almost bellowing through the radio. I stood up, tucking the engine block underneath my arm as I walked over to the ATV, my free arm grabbing the radio.“What’s up John?”. “You’ve got a friend at the gate”. The scraping sound of me forcing that damn black shit coated atv hunk onto the bed of our good ATV was halted. “Friend?....” I asked, a pit forming in my stomach. “Yeah, your friend, says he knows you from Jordan, name’s Clancy?....” “Dwight?”. John called out from the radio several times, but I was already on the damn ATV so fast I think Isaac had to nearly jump on from being left behind. John asked again; “Dwight what’s wron-”, “Lock the door to the room, and don’t talked to it, don’t look at it, don’t fuckin BREATH near that microphone!” I barked into the radio. “But what-”, “JUST DO AS I SAY!!”. Silence answered from the radio, but I could tell he got the message. Isaac was struggling to hang on as the vehicle bounced off the freshly cleared, but still just as rugged path. In Fact, it wasn’t until I braked hard on the gravel driveway, that I realized he’d been trying to talk the entire way back.“Jesus, Dwight!! The fuck’s wrong?!” Isaac said as he stumbled off with me, as I took my gun off it’s sling and put it’s stock to my shoulder. “Talk. To. Me. Soldier Boy. Who the fuck’s ‘Clancy’?!”. I aimed down my sights as I scanned the nearby area, making my way to the receiver on the gate. “Clancy was part of my platoon a few years back, when I was apart of the Infantry”. I could see out of my peripheral vision, he looked confused. Maybe he didn’t put two and two together. “AND?! What? A Shapeshifter? Maybe it overheard you two on the phone or somethin”, “Impossible”. “Why?”. I lowered my gun and looked him dead in the eyes. “Clancy and a few of his comrades died back in 2010, an IED…”. I could see the tension in his entire body die down as he lowered his arms. “Pulled him out of the truck myself”.... I remember shaking my head as I headed over to the receiver, gazing into the black lense of the camera. “I hadn’t spoke a word about him since the damn day….”. The kicker wasn’t just that. The receiver was clear, sure, I even checked with John. the damn 4K camera was still in check, the speaker…. It was the fact, that right where he said my old battle brother should be standing….. A circle of dead grass laid, a damn stark contrast to the green around it….. I’ve…. Needed some time, understandably, to swallow this fuckin pill down. Like I said. Sorry. Picked myself up, started charting this over the course of the past few days. That's odd. Lights are flickering. Gonna post this in case our power goes out. I promise I will be back sooner than last time, this is far from over.


[Entry 5]


You know the saying: Two steps forward, five steps back? Half a step forward, a kick to the gut sending us ten feet back. That’s our situation right now. At least, that’s the way I would acquaint it. Things finally happen, and the site's fuckin' post screen glitches out... dunno if it's coincidental or... Anyways...

To start off, remember the flickering lights, and the slight power dip from last time? Well, it’s started to be a routine nowadays. A Light Bulb here, a flickering of one of the monitors…. Then it started to get worse. The front room Tv would zap off, a bedroom clock, and only the bedroom clock would reset. Started getting to bad even Isaac got tired of it, “Stupid billion dollar piece of shit-” he goes on about every time he stomps down the stairs…. Only to see the generator is at top condition. He notes a few things, he feels like he’s being watched, the faces in the concrete keep looking at him funnily, and he swears he sees the walls in different materials every time he walks up and downstairs. Honestly, he needs to drop his drinking habit. Although maybe not everything was due to his liquor…. Early today I was checking on the engine block in the security room. Isaac was muttering to himself or… something, and the white noise of all the cameras and monitors graced my ears as I continued to work, trying to scrape that black gunk off the metal. I was doing well, even had a few samples. Then…. The power went out- You know that feeling of dread, the sudden “Oh Shit” moment. It started to form as I saw the monitors one by one, started to go a bit haywire…. Then all of the noise, and the light cut out. And I was left in a void of darkness, sitting at the desk, my inspection tools in hand. My eyes darted, trying to adjust, as I slightly panicked from a noise in the corner, that I then learned, was just Isaac hurrying out of his tent. “Fuckin- Shit, Fuck, God Dammit, I told you!!” He said stumbling out of the canvas and light fabric tepee. Honestly he just needs to move into one of the rooms, can’t blame him though, place has an aura. Regardless, I grabbed the rifle to the side of my desk, the automatic one. The one I said I would only use incase of a home invasion. As I tapped a damn flashlight onto it, I could hear Isaac shuffling through his bag, grabbing an old weathered 5 shot. “Alright- Let’s go get these ghosts!!”. There were a number of things wrong with that sentence, most I chummed up to the alcohol on his breath. Bud light, ech. “You can’t shoot ghosts..” I muttered to him as I carefully opened the door and checked the hallway, “And put on some fuckin pants, for christ sakes”. Isaac then put on a coat. This man is going to get me killed. We both moved out, quickly checking some of the ground floor rooms, I took the lead, Isaac kept my ass covered. Nothing, not a goddamn thing, hell the front door was still locked and everything in the living room was in one piece. I gazed up at the tall ceiling of the main room, “John!! You there?!”. John answered back by shining a flashlight off the bannister. “The power go out?”. It was then Isaac pulled one of the heavy curtains open, and a bright wave of light shined through “Not all of it apparently”. The exterior wall lights were still on, and the loud sound of the generator was chugging on strong. It was a bit of a, contingency, Theodore and I had. In case of a power surge, with all things considered, lined up pretty well with the situation. “What happened?” John asked from the floor above. “Dunno….. Blackout? some crazy truck driver run into a powerline or something” Isaac suggested as he peaked out, half leaning back and forth. I walked over to the window and peaked out, “Could be….. No”. I pointed to a far off light, shining just through the tops of the trees, “Town’s lights are still on….”.“Damn ghosts must’ve knocked out the power…” Isaac burped into his hand as he spun the cylinder of his revolver. “John…. Stay in yer room….. We’re gonna go busting”. “Gonna have to work fast” I noted, “Surge Generator will only keep the outside electricity on for a few hours…”.“Pssshhh…. Like the guys outside are afraid of electric anyways, haven’t seen one of em for weeks, remembe-”. Isaac’s attempt as group reassurance was met with the slight flickering of one of the floodlights, only slight…. And then…. Laughing. Giggling, chuckles, the inhuman voices that came far off in the dark forest that sounded like you took an old man’s laugh and turned the pitch down way too low. Whatever was out there knew our situation, somehow, and knew we were a thread away from loosing our safety net. And inside the house? Silence only filled the void between us before I stated, assertively.“John…. Go back in your room”. I believe a while ago I talked about what was truly scary and creepy, most notably in the woods. It isn’t the obvious, it’s the out of place…. For darkness, it’s not the actual black void you stare into that gets under your skin…. It’s what lies behind. What you think lies behind. So when Isaac and I stood at the top of that staircase, gazing down, my rifle’s flashlight only just barely illuminating the back wall…. You can imagine the atmosphere. “We’re gonna die…” Isaac said as I took the lead, stepping down a few steps, rifle shouldered. “We’re gonna die and it’s gonna possess us”. Maybe it was his liquid courage failing him, nevertheless Isaac closed the door behind us as I heard him pull the hammer back on his piece. “Well…. Has to do the latter in order to accomplish the former, right?” I asked, some sort of attempt to lighten the mood. The truth is… the flashlight did nothing. Like, actually nothing. Sure it gave some light, but a small beam on a stairwell this dark… trying to light up a room with a laser light…. All I saw, as we both carefully moved down… step by step…. Was the rough concrete wall at the bottom…. I kept pacing back in my mind, divider, just turn right and head to the generator. Turn right, and get to the generator. As Isaac and I reached the bottom of the stairs, my boots hitting the wooden planks at the bottom, I huffed out “Right, let’s get goi-”... right before my face slammed into a brick wall. I stumbled back into what I then saw was a bookcase. A Bookcase? I then remembered the basement didn’t have floors furnished with wood. Isaac looked around, I’m guessing his eyes adjusted to the short distance he could see and said “Okay… I’m buzzed but even I know something’s off”.Indeed it was. What was supposed to be a basement…. Was now a library. My nose aching, I lifted my rifle, and pointed the light around. Strangely, the flashlight now worked as you would expect, illuminating while giving of peripheral light…. But showed not the basement we knew, but the library. Lines of shelves filled a large rectangle area, and whether it was the dust in the air, sound almost seemed muffled. “The Hell’s going on?” Isaac broke the thick silence, gave me some relief knowing he hadn’t vanished or anything. Spotting a doorway at the other end of the library, there was only one thing we could do. Press on. Part of me wondered what would greet us on the other side of the library door. A Black Void, the same room a thousand times, horrific ghouls, all kinds of variables your mind throws together. Instead, we were greeted by a small, turn of the century kitchen. There was an old black stove, racks hanging from the ceiling, a wooden table with what seemed to be a butcher's knife sticking out…. It wasn’t a dream, it was real. As crazy as this shit was, we were livin' it. As we made our way around the table towards what I could see was a door across, Isaac hurriedly pressed into me, his left hand, his free hand, grabbing onto the collar of my shirt. I paused, “The fucks up?”. Isaac responded by looking around behind us, in the strange, disconnected head movements drunk people usually make. He kept his pistol pointed outwards behind us, as he leaned in to talk to me.“Somethin’s behind us…”. The hairs on my neck stood up as I gazed around behind us. Not a god damn thing in this medieval fuckin' kitchen besides us. “Well….” I thought for a moment, coming up with the words “We keep moving forward then”. With that, I walked towards through the strange kitchen, Isaac following, his hand still gripping the shirt on my shoulder. As we both neared the door, the pitch black void like doorway, I poked the barrel of my rifle in, flashlight attached…. Almost seemed like it went through a curtain, couldn’t see the light on the other side. Retracting my barrel… I took a leap of faith and poked my head in…. To see we were in a god, damn, tent, of all things.“What the fuck…” All I could mutter as I stepped through. And honestly…. It was... a tent. Isaac passed through with me, I could see through his haze even he was weirded out by the scene. It was a small rectangle tent of sorts, about 10 meters long, and 6 meters across at each end. 6 bunk beds lie across the longer sides, and they were accompanied by 6 metal chests. Inbetween the space of each punk, there laid a dirty and smeared plastic square window block…. And the kicker, no door at the other end of the tent. “Well shit…” I looked around, the tent unnaturally uniform and sealed to the floor. “Better double back”, “-Uh, chief…”. I turned, to see Isaac now staring at a flat tent wall, “That’s a no go”. I walked up to the tent wall and pressed a hand up to it…. Nothing, I even took my rifle stuck and bashed the wall, the tent fabric must’ve been made of starch, because it only moved so many feet…“I’ll just cut our way out” I said, defiant to all of this bullshit, I took out my knife. Traditionally made for skinning and outdoors activities…. But I think the creators could give me a pass on this one. As I shoved my knife through, Isaac started to gaze around the tent, a few seconds after he asked me “What’s up with that mask”. I turned my head… and I’ll admit, a chill went up my back. The third bunk (the middle one) on my left, had at the time I thought was a “Haunted snowman mask”. Must’ve been some sick joke. White skin, Eyes were black beads like coal, some sort of hole I guessed where the carrot should’ve gone, and jagged teeth, ala a creepy frosty.... or something. Hell the more I looked at it, the more I got a kick out of it, even laughed. “Well I guess Hallow’s eve IS around the corner…”, I turned back to cutting through the tent wall…. Only to see the gap I cut through was now sealed, and my knife laid on the floor. “You want to play it like that, huh? Fine”. Once again stabbing my sharpened metal through the fabric, I started to cut upward, hoping to carve out a small doorway in which we could exit from. But then… I noticed something creeping through the crack, water… cold melted water, a breeze of bitterly stale air…. And snowflakes.“The hell?” I muttered as I peaked through. When we descended those stairs into the basement, the air was still cool, and the leaves had yet to fall of the trees. What I saw outside? I don’t know where the hell this tent was, might as well have been out in canada, but the snow was near a meter high, and surrounded the tent like a flood. “What, in, the, f-” I was cut off as Isaac chimed in, apparently looking through one of the smeared windows. “That’s a lot of snow” Isaac more or less summed up my observations. I backed off from the crack, retracting my knife and I turned to him. “How the hell did this tent get all the way out here… How’d the set it up in all the snow?”. Isaac didn’t answer, instead he simply stared around, head bobbing in a half alcohol gaze. "Hey Dwight" he asked."Yes?" I answered. He gazed back at me, his eyes squinted as he asked “This tent look a lot more beat up that is did a minute ago?”. “What do yo-” I pried my eyes from him and looked around…. The light seemingly dropped 7 hours into the night, as all light from the tent nearly vanished. Moonlight shown through much cleaned, but also much more broken plastic tent walls, and various holes in the previously intact tent surface. I shown my rifle’s light around and took in the change.“Couldn’t possibly get more weird” I muttered, and I guess I must’ve jinxed us. “Uhm… Dwight…” I turned back to isaac, who simply pointed to my left. My eyes followed, slowly, moving like a choppy stop motion picture as I gazed over. A large beam of moonlight showing through the space inside of the third bunk, laid a hole in which the “snowman mask” I stated earlier seemingly hung. It wasn’t until my mind slowly pieced it together bit by bit, dread started to sink in. Then, through the broken moonlight of the plastic window just to my right, I could see a shadow cross zip right across. I quickly hurried to my feet, Isaac aiming his pistol dead in front of him. I shouldered my rifle and did the same, seeing we had no exit flap, and going outside probably wasn’t the smartest idea… Snow can oftentimes be a terrifying setting, especially at night. The snowflakes falling creating a wall that limits your vision, The cold biting at your skin and soul. The worst part of it for me, is the silence. One might think a quiet environment would allow you to hear an enemy or a threat nearby, but a little bit of science has shown me snowfall stops sound waves making it hard to hear around you.And right now, the near 3 feet of snow outside the tent and the constant rain of flakes outside made it hard for me and Isaac to hear each other across the small rectangular tent…. “Iiiiisaaaaac…..” So when a voice sounded from the far distance, elongated and sounding impersonated, it caught me as off guard as it did Isaac himself. Boy did he look startled, turning to the tent wall behind him, lowering his gun, guy went from my hardy “Partner in crime” to looking like a deer in the headlights. Barely any could be heard, besides Isaac’s heavy breathing as his eyes darted- “Mom?!”. “Isaac?” the voice sounded again, less strained and more… well, normal. Isaac quickly walked over to the tent window and pressed his eye up to it, “MOM?! IT’S ME, ISAAC!!”. “Isaac, back away from the window…” I said calmly, wanting to make less noise than he was now. But Isaac continued to look outside. “MOM!! THAT YOU?!” His eyes seemed to zero in on something outside. “Isaac get away from the WINDOW!!!” I shouted, but he couldn’t hear me, too caught up in his own world. Too caught up to avoid what happened next.“IsAaC?!” Cold hard fear shot up my spine as I heard the voice, distorted, and warped… sound out from the tent wall right behind me. My instincts kicked in as my body lurched forward, aiming my rifle at the wall, but before I could even fire a shot…. Isaac screamed…. He doesn't know what happened, mostly due to the nature of his injury… but Isaac fell back from the tent wall… clutching his eye as blood started to pour from it. Panic sent in as I quickly rushed over, yelling at him to let me see it, but Isaac kept his hands pressed up against it… probably a smart move, but we didn’t have time to think about that… “Isaac….” A voice that sounded far too deep to be a human’s voice, something straight out of the nightmare fever dreams we had as a kid, came from the other end of the tent. My eyes shot over, as I saw the hole i’d cut into the fabric start to…. Rip open. Appendages, that looked like… well, from the quick glance I got, a skeleton but not really, started to rip it open. I grabbed the knife i’d used before, and stabbed right into the fabric, cutting through, and started to tear right down through it, all the while I could hear whatever the fuck was on the other end continue to call out. “Isaac…”“ISAAC C-COME HOME!!!”. As My knife reached the cold hard dirt ground, I ripped Isaac off the ground, and damn near chucked him through the newly created hole, not caring if there was snow, rain, the void, or whatever the fuck else was on the other side… Then I grabbed my rifle, seeing the thing had gotten a horrifying arm through, as I threw myself into the exit way as well. I felt myself go into free fall, my eyes shut as I felt cold air hit me…. And I fell hard, face first into…. The concrete floor of the basement. I shook my head as I bolted to my feet, grabbing my rifle, standing to see Isaac had peashooter aimed, his blood all over it, his hand, and his face. And we were both staring at…. One of the old paintings. An old painting half covered by one of the burlap sacks, I gazed over at Isaac who gave me a look that said exactly what I was thinking. “What the fuck”, (seems to be the universal reaction to things around here). Walking over, I ripped the burlap off and tossed it to the side…. The painting was of a clearing, in the middle of a snowy pine forest… snow falling heavily from the sky, as well as blanketing the ground around, a small rectangular tent… with a campfire outside. Around this point…. I was just about done with whatever the fuck was going on, not even knowing how LONG we’d been down here. I eyes the area around us and saw the generator through the darkness, not twelve meters away. “Cover me” I ordered as Isaac held his piece, back to me, and I logged in. As I hastily flipped each switch before powering back on the touch pad, I logged in, and was ready to power the generator back on… then I remembered… the security camera. Every time a person logs in, the camera captures a still, for security purposes to ensure if anyone tampering with the generator. I quickly tapped on the ‘Stored files Icon’ and started scrolling through… And what I saw… should’ve been impossible. The only way to access the generator is by directly going up to the thing, logging in, and shutting it off. So when… all the log in images besides my mug showing up…. Showed an empty room….. I was.... well I shouldn't be surprised of anything at this point, but I was. “Jesus christ- you done yet? Tired of smelling my irony ass blood” Isaac chimed in, now wasn’t the best time to start wild speculation, so I simply headed over to the diagnostics, and waited as the generator hummed back to life. All that graced us was a calm noise at first, and then…. You could hear every damn device in the house power back on as the lights flickered back to life above us. And hell, after tonight, I damn near chuckled out of pure joy. “Heh…. thank fucking chris-” my celebration was cut off though, as Isaac fired off a few rounds from his piece, and sound waves be damned, guess the area was so small around us- sounded like a fuckin car exploding right next to us. As I stumbled forward into the wall, I plugged my ears and gazed back to see whatever Isaac was targeting- And all I saw was a grey concrete wall with three new smoldering craters in the side. I shook my head, hoping to alleviate the ringing in my ears as I marched right up to him. “Isaac what the actual FUCK?!”. His head shot to look at me, and through the buzzing in my ear canals all I could hear him say was… “WHAT?!”. “WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU SHOOTING AT?! “WHY ARE YOU YELLING?!” “BECAUSE YOU DEAFENED ME!!” Isaac stuck one of his fingers to his ear, trying to I guess, open it more, somehow, as he said “I SAW A WOMAN!!”. “A WHAT?!” I asked, less deaf and more surprised. “A WOMAN!!! BLACK HAIR, DEAD LOOKING SKIN!!” He shook his head, “She just…. Appeared right as the damn lights came on and, I dunno, disappeared when I fired?”. I gazed over his shoulder... then remembered the place he fired off those rounds, corresponded with that little.... incident I had down here over a month ago.Situation soaked in as we headed upstairs, the security room showed no breaches occurred but the backup generator was damn near empty…. We had been down there for around 3 and a half hours. I told Isaac and John to get their stuff… it’s occurred to me the situation here is out of my expertise, so I’m following up with one of the leads I had in town: A Herbalist named ‘Rosanne’, who’s apparently got a knack for the paranormal. If I, and my small band of cabin dwellers, are going to beat what's out there, we're going to need more than some guns and equipment. Better than nothing to be honest, god willin' this site doesn't give out, I'll update you on how it goes. If not, well, I blame reddit for my sudden death in the woods.


[Entry 6]


We aren’t retreating.

We’re advancing in another direction. That’s what I’m branding this little, expedition. It’s become clear to Isaac and I, that the anomalies descending upon the Cazamoth Estate are growing, more and more… untamable, by our current means. Sure, we could constantly dump thousands of rounds into the being that lurk outside of the walls…. But what about the ones that lurk within them. The entities that seems to be tampering with the machines we’re using….. The ones that showed me, they can easily rip apart the electrified wires I trust to protect the land… We need someone who can aid us, in this. Someone who’s skilled in identifying the paranormal, and who, hopefully, will have the means to stop it, and I knew only one from local sources. A Herbalist named ‘Rosanne’, ran a shop on the far side of the town. So we loaded up the SUV, Isaac brought along a duffle bag he called his…. ‘Necessities’ (I swear I saw something moving inside), John brought an overnight bag, I closed the trunk of the SUV, my eyes centered on 3 black cases in the back of the SUV… the sound of the door shutting snapped me back to reality… Time to go. I hopped into the driver’s seat, starting up the engine, which after a moment, finally roared and kicked into start. I looked at Isaac, he was ragged, mangy, the entirety of his eye was bandaged to hell. I had insisted we take him to the hospital, but Isaac protested, saying that his literally bleeding cornea wasn't "that big an issue. What a trooper. . Sitting there, glazed over eye and a beer in his hand. The gates started to open, and I checked the car's touch screen GPS, trying to see where in town this Rosanne’s shop was, Isaac chimed in- “The fuck is that?”. I felt dread overcome me as I gazed up from the small screen… and looked up. In the center of the driveway, laid a wheelchair, sitting up right, facing the gate, dead center of the driveway. “Should I…. run it over?” I asked Isaac, who just took a swig of his beer. John peaked over the seat around this time “What if it’s a trap?”. Indeed, what if it was. I unbuckled my seat belt, the sound of it sliding back as I opened the door, stepping outside, and I walked up to it. As I did, something else became clear to me… the chair was surrounded by various articles of clothing. Children's clothing. Bonnets, raincoats, shoes, a dirty jack o lantern bucket…. All of them, looking like they were dipped into a peat bog, surrounding this shiny, leather…. Clean. I walked around to the front of the car and approached it, the crunching of the gravel was a white noise as I approached it. Then the sound grew louder, and louder…. The gravel underneath my feet was almost deafening as I stepped outside…. Then it hit me as the thing was 3ft away… It’s 12pm, early october…. The fauna is still green and cool… and the only thing I could hear, was my footsteps, and the sound of the car humming behind me. Not a sound from the forest. Not a bird, a cricket, a squirrel… This was no longer the security guard, the warden of the land patrolling his grounds. I was a small man in unfriendly territory. I stared down at the chair, angry from all of this bullshit, I grabbed it and heaved it leftwards, it cracked off a tree before rolling into the grass lopsided. And then I stared down at the clothing… why? Actually fucking, why? Why this, Why these kids, Why any of this- SNAP. My warrior instincts kicked in as a tree branch pierced the dead silent air to my 8 o'clock, front right of the gate. I withdrew my pistol and aimed. Nothing. Still trees, grass, nothing. “This is Private Property!!” I yelled, my voice one of the only sounds audible, echoing off the surrounding trees. Then, from my left, I could hear an... exhale? I spun, pistol aimed, nothing. The chair was bait. But who set it? Back to the gate, nothing could get in. Surely i’d see it before- “HEY!!!!” My soul jumped out of my skin…. as I, a grown, US Army Veteran, proceeded to leap left like a scared antelope, as a voice shouted right next to my ear, and fired to the right of my gate... several times, almost emptying my weapon… Shots went flying through the air, one impacted a tree, the other scrapped off the wall…. And then one nearly missed the metal stand…. Of that mother- fucking…. Skeleton. “TIM!!!” I shouted at the inanimate object. I gazed at my pistol, turns out I was wrong, I did empty the magazine. “NARK!!!!” the grating voice radiated through my skull, as I ran my hand down my face, squeezing my temple as I stared up at him. Did he set all this up? I gazed back at the wheelchair before locking eyes with the empty sockets of this…. Thing. “Timothy…. What in the Fu-” Before I could finish my sentence, the passenger door of the SUV opened as Isaac emerged, peering over the gap. “Are you okay?” Isaac asked in a concerned tone. “A little fucking startled- why the FUCK didn’t you warn me?!” I said, more bitter at the sons of fucks sitting in the car that let that happen than the calcium construct itself. “....Warn you about what?!” Isaac said, face and voice drenched with confusion. I was taken aback, my head shaking in disbelief as I extended a hand outwards. “The fucking Skeleton?!”. “What Skeleton?!” My eyes shot across from me…. Nothing. Nothing there, but a small pile of bullet casings. I was… shocked? No, it was Tim after all, I looked through the windshield at John, who had his headphones in and was busy with his phone. “Are you alright? You drunk?” Isaac called, the forest around us still quiet. “Yeah….. Just…. Get in the damn car”. The drive to town was fairly, uneventful. I white knuckled the steering wheel, expecting some sort of beast to finally say “fuck it”, and charge the car, finally ready to end this charade. But, it never happened. We reached the end of the dirt road, Isaac had found a sharpie, and, quaintly, drawn a skull and cross bones on his damaged eye. There…”, he tossed the marker aggressively back into the glove compartment. “Now I’m a god damn pirate”. He does have the alcoholism to be one... sorry, really not the time. As I turned onto the main road, I peered back at John. “John we’re gonna drop you off at your friends house, just like last time. That cool?”. John nodded, eyes fixated on his tablet as we drove. It's then Isaac chimed in, spinning around in his chair to meet John with his good eye. "Hey kid.." the trucker rested his chin on the head rest, crossing his arms around the back of the seat. "How you holdin' up with all this....". I looked back to see John pause whatever he was playing, pulling out his earbuds. "I mean.... depends. How should I handle this?". John spun one of his buds in a circle by the cord. "Well.... ghouls living outside your house, ghosts living in them....". "-We still don't know if it was really a ghost" I slipped in. Though you and him could probably write me a college seminar on why I'm wrong. "Shut up skeptic- Anyways" Isaac then held one of his hands out towards Isaac. "Look I know it's gotta seem odd, with your dad leaving a minute ago. But Dwight and I'll keep you safe, you understand?". John then snickered, "Oh I know that, you guys did buy enough guns to take over the town". That was, not a good impression. I pried one of my hands from the steering wheel, scratching the back of my neck. "Yeah..." I said, feeling a bit guilty. We did flash a ton of hardware in front of the kid, whether he situation warranted or not. "They're in...good hands John...". Isaac jabbed my right shoulder with his fist, "Hell yeah!! Self defense only bud', and with Ghouls... It was always self defense". I dare not mention how Isaac almost mowed down a group of hikers, when we were clearing that trail of debris just a few weeks ago. We pulled up to the quiet little town, exactly as it had been since we last stopped in. A light mist from the mountains had traveled down, hanging over the town. A salt mill, smoke pouring out in the distance, the bar, neon lights flashing in the windows.... and yet, not a god damn person on the street. We came to stop at an intersection, the armored up Toyota slowing to a halt at the deserted crosswalk. I dropped one hand to the middle compartment to my right, leaving one hand on the steering wheel. Tapping my fingers, anticipating the moment it would turn green. It didn't arrive quick. Me and my part time trucker friend gazed around, John's fingers tapping on his tablet, along with the hum of the engine, created this ambient white noise. I waited. Expecting someone, anyone, to come around the corner. But it never happened. The mist from the rainy season created a distant wall, that the streets blended into. And yet, silence and desertion was all that occupied it. I looked up. The light shown red. I gazed around, looked to John, still typing. Looked to Isaac, eye bandaged, with some puss leaking out the bottom. Looked to the light, still red. "I'd say if this were night time... we'd get jumped.... But we both know the shit around here ain't afraid of hitting us in the day" Isaac said uncapping the top to his bottom, as he took yet another swig. Dunno if he's using it as a pain reliever, since it's use as a confidence booster ultimately failed last night during our... basement adventures. But regardless, he seemed to have an endless supply. My fingers tapped the leather lined steering wheel. Isaac finally finished off the small bottle- and then pulled out a flask from his back pocket. Why am I not surprised. My eyes darted to the deserted streets. The milky grey and white mist wall, obscuring what lied behind. I swear, dunno if it was eye floaters, but I saw movement just behind the mist, out of the corner of my eye. My eyes snapped to the light. Green. I'm pretty sure I nearly floored the peddle as I peeled out of that stop light. I pulled the SUV up in front of the house, same as last time. John gathered up his belongings up, shoving them into his pull cord backpack. He waved to us as he hurried up the sidewalk to the house. I cleared my throat, I was feeling dry, parched. The last time we came here, the town felt eerie, but had some semblance of, not sanctuary, but- controlled chaos. Now? Felt like I was dropping John off right in the middle of those god damn woods. Across the street. The fish eyed neighbor stood. Watching him as he trundled up the steps into the house, then, at us. He held a pair of hedge clippers, and chopped mindlessly at the poor bush in front of him. So much so, he finally stopped when he nearly gutted it by cutting the main stem in half. Then, he dragged the clippers on the side walk as he shuffled up the stairs, sliding into his house. "What a charming fellow" Isaac said. Charming, sure. We arrived on the western end of town, right before a big stone bridge that crossed an even bigger river. It was a more suburban area. Actually, with a town this rural, is anything even “suburban”? Rosanne’s herbalist shop was seemingly built into her own house, like those personal businesses some built in the middle of neighborhoods, the entrance was at the back. Isaac and I pulled into the driveway and walked towards the house. Isaac tossed his flask into the car, and then pulled out, another as he walked up the asphalt path. I swear he's going to kill his liver at this rate. A smell of violets, herbs, and I sense pierced the stale air of fall around us. Hanging from the side of the house was a stained glass sign, reading “ROSANNE’S SOLUTIONS”. Above the red glass letters, a dark purple skull icon , with a multitude of what I think were...feathers? floating around it. “Huh….” Isaac said as we both stared at it, “that’s comforting”. I shut the car off, stepping out into the cool air and approached the back entrance. Isaac joined me. "Sooo...." He said, stretching out his words. "Going to a witches hut on the edge of town. Tell me, you think she praises Cthulhu, or Satan?". Had this been weeks earlier, I would have decided against approaching, what Isaac said, a witches house. But this wasn't weeks ago, and we're now down options, several rounds, and one good eye. I knocked on the door three times, the paint on the door was chipped, showing a lack of maintenance. Her house was… grown in. Large hedges, trees, plants, vegetables, all seemingly defiant to the autumn air were around her land, and yet, all neatly groomed and maintained. This would be any Botanist's wet dream. Isaac balanced himself on the wooden railing of the back porch, scratching at the edge of his eye. Puss leaked out from the bottom, green and black in nature. Against my previous hopes. “Don’t do that” I cautioned. “Why…?” He said, shoulders slumping. “Probably fucked like that for good, anyways….”. He sounded far more defeated than usual, and I felt guilty. If I had just been quicker…. I mean, on the bright side, guess he will get use out of his eye patch? Right, sorry, again, not the time. My hand beat on the old wooden door of the building again, irritated this time. “Rosanne?” I called out. I looked at a “schedule”, taped to the door. [Rosanne’s solutions, whenever the stars align, I will be at your aid!]

  • Mon - Thur: 6am to 6pm

  • Friday - Sat: 24 hours

  • Sunday: midnight

“Kind of odd hours but….” Isaac said, he grabbed a rock, tossing it at the door, which bounced off with a large thud. “ROSANNE!!! OPEN THE HELL U-“. Suddenly, the door shot wide open, the sound of heavy wind emanating from within. The door missed my face by, nearly an inch, maybe. While I stumbled back, the suddenness caused poor Isaac to topple back into the hedge, head first . I walked over to the Bannister, “You Alright?!” I called out. Isaac's hand rose from inside the bush like a submarine's perascope, giving a thumbs up. He painstakingly clawed his way out as I gazed at the door. A dim entrance way, cluttered with chests and plants greeted us. And yet, no one else in sight to have opened the door. Yep. My assertion was correct, this definitely was a voodoo house. As we entered the building, the strange and exotic smells grew. Lavender, cherries, freshly cut soap. And remember when I said cluttered? Isaac and I, I'd like to say we aren't particularly husky, but this place, we had to squeeze between trees and large boxes in order to get through. We finally, reached a red velvet curtain. A piece of notebook paper pinned onto it. [THE INNER SANCTUM] Isaac looked to me, I looked to Isaac. I then leaned in towards the curtain. “Uh…. Rosanne?”. “Go away….” A female voice came from behind the curtain. “We’re closed”. 'We?', I thought, Isaac chirped up, “Hey, Listen’ lady, its Friday, you said you were open all day today', now open up!!”. There was silence for a few seconds, and then, the candles and weak lights around us flickered. “No”. Frustration welled inside of me, and I’d finally had enough, I threw open the curtain, and charged in, Isaac right behind me. As we entered, it was a make shift laboratory. What looked like the living room, was layered in plants, head to toe, ceiling to floor, and a large table with pipes, glasses, tubes, burners, and strange liquids and concoctions rested. Through the ambient light of the candles and burners, I saw her. She stood at the back, hospital scrubs and a lab coat, with a wool poncho over her shoulders, and a beanie, covering her tan skin, and long dark hair. And when she turned, she stared daggers into Isaac and I. “Does No mean yes where you come from? GET OUT!!!” She said, the candles around us flickered again. “You’re the only person in town, I’ve heard who can help us” I argued, though it did little to quell her rage. “And why should I help, you? Everyone in this town has problems, everyone comes to me, and just because two scruffy faced men burst in, that means I must help you!?” She said, slamming down her glass vial hard, and it, surprisingly in retrospect, didn’t shatter. “Lady our problems aren’t like the rest of the towns”. Remember that black gunk from the engine? Sealed in a zip lock bag, make that, two bags, I held it up. Her eyes squinted, then widened, as she held out her hand. I tossed it across the table, and she caught it and began inspecting. “Where…. did you…-“ she said, in disbelief, almost like she had prior knowledge whatever the fuck it was.. “Cazamoth Estate…”. “Oh….” she dropped the bag of black gunk on the table. “I’m sorry but…, whatever is happening there is far out of my…. range”. Why?" Isaac bellowed out. "Just some weirdos in the woods? Batshit phantoms? Paintings that cut my fucking eye out? You do that whole flickering lights shtick., and yet you're too afraid to help us? What makes it so weird from the rest of the town?". Took the words right out of my mouth, my redneck cyclops friend. Rosanne crossed her arms. “Before…. Cazamoth. Theodore, is that his name?”. I nodded. “Before he arrived. The woods were, strange, but, they were contained to the deepest reaches, the recesses we'd never journey to. However… I don’t know what happened, but him building his property there, riled up something… and now, even the town itself has been suffering…”. Her hand shot to her chin, as she looked into the bag. "Vaguely cryptic as that might be, Rosanne..." I shoved my hands into my pockets. "Our compound, a marvel of several millions of dollars in custom hardware, was breached. not from the woods, but from the inside. It nearly took down all our fancy defenses, and like Isaac said, it took his eye with it". Rosanne looked over to Isaac, his gauze and bandaged up eye, he smiled through his beard, giving her a thumbs up. She looked at me in the eyes, and I believe we understood each other, or at least, she believed what I was saying. “I… want to, I would.... but like I said. Everyone in this town needs help, and I'm just one person...". “We gotta custom battle wagon parked outside, baby can hit 80 miles per the hour, despite being armored up like a tank. We'll give you a lift!!" Isaac said, offering up my car. Well, technically Theodore's, but he left it to me, and I wasn't in the mood to argue ownership right now. She looked to me, “ You’d do that?”. “I mean….” I shrugged, “if it’ll get the ball rolling, let’s go get your errands’s done”. She laughed, “errands…. yes". She held a hand up, slapping the other as she crossed her arms. "alright.... let's do it". And that's how it happened. The engine's running now, Our professional witchdoctor, is inside collecting her things, and Isaac's... taking a leak right in front of her house. Jesus dude. Rosanne says she only has a handful of calls that have to be answered right this second. Then we'll head back to the estate. I don't know how cell service will be across the town, it's been spotty today. Strangely, it wasn't like that a few weeks ago before the mist. Might just be a waterlogged cell tower. Regardless, I will update as soon as possible. This is the head chief, and still sole member of the Cazamoth Estate Security Force, Dwight Nolan. Signing out.


[Entry 7]


Oh. boy. You know, I don’t know why I thought things were gonna somehow get more “normal”, after I recruited Rosanne. Maybe, I believed with her insight, we would gain some... Clarity, on the ongoing crisis plaguing this strange ass town, in these strange ass woods, that so happened to contain a strange ass estate that I for some reason, let my ass get contracted to protect. And yet, I somehow slipped from my mind that I had basically recruited, a witch. Though this didn’t pierce my mind at all. After I signed off last, I sat in the driver's seat of my warmed, heated, seventy thousand dollar up-armored SUV, I ran over the pressing matters in my head.Get Rosanne’s tasks done, link up with John, exorcise the house, exorcise the whole fucking forest, then, hopefully celebrate by getting drunk. That was if we didn’t meet some untimely demise, whether by falling down a hole, getting ripped up- or by ending up like Margaret Thompson. She was a town native who went on a morning stroll through the woods. They recovered her body two weeks later. She was found 40 miles from her house, her body still warm in an otherwise freezing forest, most of her vital organs missing, although no surgical marks were found, and a shoe was found in her left lung.Shit like that. I read every single missing person’s sheet on that board. Margaret was just one of many, who don’t get brutally murdered, just… disappear. Caught up in unexplained occurrences… Wonder if that will happen to me. Sure, I had recruited Rosanne, and I had Isaac at my back, although I did watch him take a leak on her lawn flamingo, and proceed to strike up a conversation with the garden gnome… -Even with people at my back. Am I gonna just become another statistic. Is John? Will the cazamoth estate disappear one day, leaving nothing but gravel and dust. No. not on my watch.Isaac zipped himself back up, waved to the fucking garden gnome, and then climbed back into the passenger seat. He laughed as he shut the door.“Funny guy- Hey, so, where are we headin’ first?” He asked, popping open the glove compartment and- another fucking bottle of booze pops out. Seriously? I shrugged, leaning against the window as I watched the driveway. “She says she needs to make two urgent stops, then we’re good. Hopefully, this will go by fast”.“Yah think she can stop whatevers happening back at the house?” Isaac’s question bounced around in my head. I even had to stop and ask myself that. “I don’t expect her to stop whatever it is. Our- superior american firepower,will take care of that”, It was at this point, Rose exited her house, walking towards the car with a large bag slung around her shoulder. “I expect her to figure out what the fucks going on…”.Rosanne opened the door and tossed her back to the opposite side, she then slid right in and sat in the middle of the back seat, eyeing both Isaac and I. “Well now- what a change! Finally got me some minions to do my bidding!” She said, sarcasm oozing. She buckled her seat belt. It’s at this point I finally picked out her accent. British, a hint of Westminster. I know a guy from back when in Kuwait, had the same tone. I put the car in reverse and slid out into the street. I opened up the touch pad GPS and let her plug the place in. It was on the north roadway out of the town. As she put it-“It’s this plantation house lookin’ place, strange for Missouri but it’s been here for a fat minute. It’s got a large stone bridge and if I’m correct it’ll be important….” Rosanne trailed off, she started reading a notebook she pulled from her bag. Isaac later told me that whatever was written in there looked straight out of the rosetta stone. Hieroglyphics, runes, something he said looked like a messed up fairy. But whatever she was reading, she understood enough to zone out. On the way there we got caught up at another intersection, right behind the salt mill. Even with the windows closed you could hear the sound of the machinery. Pouring salt onto the piles, smokestacks spewing smoke. On all sides, parking lots with construction equipment and vehicles, devoid of life surrounded us. “Hey Rosanne…” I asked, she pried her eyes to look at me through the rear view mirror. “What’s up?”. I looked around, sidewalks, roads, paved lots…. So much equipment, infrastructure, and yet…. No one. “Why’s this place always a god damn ghost town?”. Rosanne slid from the middle over to Isaac’s side, the right side. She gazed out and around the vehicle. “That’s…. Odd. Well, not really odd- I mean when I first came here, no one and their mother wanted to talk to me, but once I got settled after a few months, I started seein’ a few”.“So, what? They’re shy?” Isaac asked. “Well… It’s noon, don’t know why they’re not out. Gotta say Dwight… I don’t know” She said, sliding back to her book and continuing her read. Great. Even our resident occultess doesn’t know what’s going on around this place.Our drive was relatively uneventful. Isaac and Rosanne got to small talking. Mostly about where they’ve traveled. Rosanne apparently has been going across the Americas. Venezuela, Brazil, Chili, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, and so far has been around the southern half of the US. Isaac, as you all know, casually went camping in the woods for a few months and somehow found himself in missouri, two whole states away. As she put it, “You somehow traveled seven hundred miles, and didn’t stop to think that maybe you should go back?” She said astounded as she… took notes. “Nope” Isaac said proudly, taking a swig from his bottle. “Oh and, it’s seven hundred and twenty five, thank you”. This just fueled Rosanne’s curiosity. “Did you see any paranormal sights on your journey? The Louisiana swamps- , the missouri goat den?”.Isaac shrugged, he scratched his hairy chin and pondered, eyebrow raised above his eyepatch. “Not…. really, Did hear a lot of shit outside my tent. God damn, I’m pretty sure there were like ten whole silhouettes standing around me back in north texas. T'Was this weird place, a gas station. Couldn’t tell yah what state. Weird fellow that guy”. This went on for what I thought was god damn hours- and the drive was only twenty minutes. The road let through a small patch of trees, up to a large t intersection. Dead ahead, was the stone bridge. Probably a near hundred meter stretch across a river. To the left, was a road that followed the river, and to the right- Alright, how do I explain this. The river curves, forming a large swaft of land to the right of the bridge. On that piece of land, lies a cultivated mass of cherry trees, hedges, groomed grass, and a stone and metal fence, all leading to a large iron gate. We pulled up to the gate, Rosanne waved to a camera mounted on one of the sides, and they slowly opened. A small driveway lead to a circle drive- and a large, white painted… plantation house. Just as she explained. Stone Columns, old, but well maintained furnishings on every inch, from the ground, to the tiled roofs. As I pulled up infront of the house, Isaac let out a long whistle. “Someone is rolling’ in green out here. Look at those collumns”. He was right, hoever lived here, they were wealthy. And asI’ve learned from Cazamoth, sometimes the wealthy need help dealing with demons underneath their tiled roofs. “Welp… Let’s go lads” Rosanne quipped as she stepped out of the car. Isaac and I looked at each other, and we followed. He shoved the bottle of jameson into his cargo pants and straightened his cap. The beeping sound of me locking the car, was one of the only audible noises around us. Silence and the cold autumn wind, blanketed the property. Rosanne knocked on the door, Standing tall and professional as she waited. I leaned on one of the columns, arms crossed, trying to look like a background character while she worked. Although, not observant. Whatever went on, I wanted to keep a keen eye on. Might come in handy later. Isaac sat on the edge of a flower pot near the opposite column. Then, fell in, and then tipped the pot over, causing it to spill out onto the steps below. I was caught somewhere between laughing, and sighing, and Rosanne said something to the effect of “What did- Why did you?!-” before she heard the audible sound of footsteps heading her way. Isaac was quick on the mark as he swept the dirty behind the column, then tossing the cracked pot off the porch, into a hedge, as the door opened. The man was tall, and this is coming from me. Like I said before, I’m 6’2”, maybe 6’3” on a good day. This guy towered over all of us. He wore slacks and a dress shirt with the sleeves rolled, a vest on over it, navy blue and black. Nice taste.He pushed his circle framed glasses to the bridge of his nose, a receeding hairline caused a slight shimmer off his head. He gazed around at Me, at Isaac, then squinted at a large patch of dirty underneath Isaac’s feet, which he side stepped infront of. Then, to Rosanne. “You must be Doctor Rosanne….” The man asked, his voice, not too deep, however sound sophisticated, with a southern twang. Rosanne nodded, and he lead the way inside, Rosanne following close behind. Isaac and I followed suit.“ ‘Doctor’ Rosanne?” Isaac said, cackling, although to her ire. “What’s your PHD in? Possessed ass trees? ”. The man lead up to a very decorated living room. Dark oak wood furnished the entire inside, a fire place near the back corner, family pictures, autumn decorations, and a reoccurring dark red on all the fabrics created contrast. Not hard to look at, just strange. On a large lounge chair, sat an older woman. She was maybe in her mid fifties, (Is that bad? Should I not guess a woman’s age?), and wore mostly hand knitted items, such as a scarf, sweater, pants, shoes-(would those have been slippers then?)- and a skinless cat sat on her lap. The cat, also had a hand knitted sweater. “Misses Marx, this is the… professional you requested a few days ago. Doctor Rosanne..” The man said, the woman nodded, and he strolled off into another room. Rosanne took the lead, Isaac and I hung back near the other side of the room. “Misses Marx it is really an pleasu-” Rosanne was cut off as the woman stood up, waving her hand.“Rose darlin’... please…” She had a thick New Orleans accent…. For someone who lived in Missouri, “Call me Candace…”. Rosanne nodded, and continued. “I’m here for the, uh, problem…. You called me about”. The woman nodded, a small smile that had been at the corners of her mouth faded, as she stopped petting her cat. It then stretched, leaping from her lap, to Rosanne’s. “Yes…. Honey I’m not gonna sugar coat it. I called you because I got a problem not even the town priests can handle ….”- Did she actually call the local church? I still don’t know. But the way she said it with such confidence, hell even when I first talked to Theodore about the things up at the estate, there was a slight sense of denial. Candace spoke, like I now spoke. That meant she was sure of what she was dealing with. “-It started a few weeks ago…. When the trees started to turn orange and red…. My little grand daughtah’, Claire, loves to play down by the riverside… with her little boat and toys:. Candace laughed, it almost faded when she said, “That’s when she started bringing those…. Things, back to the house every evenin’ “.“... Things?” Rosanne asked. The man from before brought a dark wooden box, a small latch where lock would go. Rosanne took it, setting it on her lap, the cat, disgruntled, leapt off and walked over to Isaac. Isaac slightly horrified by the sweater wearing flesh feline. Then, she opened it. -She pulled out a golden locket, although, you wouldn’t know that unless you got as close as I did. Rust and decay set in, the previous clam shaped piece was now a dark brown. Inside, more items… all with deep personal connections. Bracelets with names, necklaces with inscriptions…. The list went on.“She said she was given them, gifts for ‘playing with the lady’. I didn’t know what that meant, I thought some creep was stalking her, so I sent Arnold out to keep a look out…” Cadace gestured to her tall friend. He cleared his throat, Rosanne still looking through the box. “Four hours, nothing happened. Claire continued to play, and then… a hand reached out of the water, giving her…. The knife”. Rosanne held up the knife. It wasn’t as rusted as the others, now that I look back, it wasn’t rusted at all. A silver finish to the entire outside made it look like a cake knife, until you saw it’s blade… sharpened, intentionally so, to the point the silver was scrapped off. On the left side of the blade read, in cursive, “To my dear, and darling, Candace…”. Rosanne looked shocked, Candace wiped tears from her eyes as Arnold continued. “We forbid her from ever going to the riverside again. Things calmed down for a week, then yesterday…. I went to her room to get her ready for school, and she was gone…. Her window open, and her entire room soaked in water”. Rosanne dropped the knife back in the box, closing it and pushing it back in Arnold’s arms. She stood up, “Tell me you’ve called the cops..” Rosanne asked. “They have filed a missing persons case and searched the river front…. Nothing so far….”. Rosanne nodded, and at this point, Isaac and I stepped out into the hall, giving her a chance to talk with them alone. Isaac now held the cat in his arms, the feline rubbed it’s hairless head against Isaac’s beard happily. I ran my hand down my face, sitting against a wallside table. “What… in the fuck…”. Isaac let the cat climb onto his shoulders, he reached into his pants and pulled the Jameson bottle from before out, uncapping it. “It’s gotta be a freshwater mermaid…” He said, so confident, taking a swig. “A…” I lost my train of thought, shaking my head, “A what?”. He shrugged, bottle in one hand, cat now clinging to the other.“Dunno but that’s the first thing that came to my mind. Though how it’d get on land, I dunno”, He took another swig, offering some to the cat, as it began to lick from the lips of the bottle. “Isaac I really doubt it’s a mermaid”. He smiled, taking another sip and offering some more to the cat. “Dunno….. That or a shark with arms…. What do you think Maurice” Isaac asked the last portion to the cat. I looked, and saw the Cat had the name “Maurice” imprinted on it’s tag. Seriously, southern house, new orleans accent, Maurice is the name they pick for their Siamese cat. Rosanne then stepped into the hall, pulling me by the collar, Isaac followed, Maurice and alcohol, still in his arms. We stepped outside, and Rosanne made a B line around the house through the hedges. Not saying a word. I followed, trying to step through the thick brush that she, seemingly, just cut right through. “Well?”. Rosanne didn’t respond. “Rosanne?”. She continued to remain silent, walking through the still bright green grass, past white patio furniture, a fire pit, and the entire backyard, towards the river. “Rosanne did you check the kid’s room-” Right when I asked that, she dead stopped, causing me to nearly crash into her as she stared at me with cold, dead eyes. “Yes” she simply said, continuing her power walk towards the river. “Well?”. “Nothing” she said, again, simply. “What do you mean nothing? What about the water?”. “I went in there with her overgrown butler and nothing was amiss. Everything was dry, nothing was tampered or broken. She vanished, and all traces in her room…. Are gone” She finished off sounding kinda exhausted, and stopped 20 meters from the river, near the bridge. “Well, what did you expect….” Isaac said, walking up to us, still feeding alcohol to Maurice who was, still, in his arms. “Mermaid’s not gonna leave a calling card after kidnapping a kid…”. “It’s not a-” I stopped, noticing something, “You hear that?” Rosanne asked. “Nope….” Isaac said, before taking his forty seventh swig of the hour. “Exactly”, she said, turning to us, “This river is one of the main water ways in the area…. And it’s standing still….”. She was right, I looked over the water. Nothing. Not a wave, or a ripple, or a cut in the liquid….. Nothing…. “Welp…. River’s haunted. Case closed- can we go deal with the fucking ghoul ghosts in our basement now?” Isaac asked, and Rosanne looked like she was about to turn and give him the be all end all of ass chewings, until I stopped her. “Alright…. This is your turf…. What do we do?….” The simple question stopped her, and she paused, placing her bag on the ground, and kneeling down for something inside. “We’re gonna have to go into the water…”.“Ha!!” Isaac said, letting Maurice polish off this bottle, “Okay, take a swim in the kidnapping river, gosh Dwight you really like to recruit the best of humanity!”. “If there is any sign of her…. Or remains, it’s gonna be in the water. We can look all we want, but we won’t get any answers, unless someone grows a pair, besides me, and goes in…”. She was right. Reached down and tucked my jeans into my boots. If I was going in, I wasn’t gonna get my ass bitten off by some weird ass eel. I approached the river, eyeing it, shore to shore. It stood, dead still. The kind of stillness a glass of water has when it’s left in a lifeless house. The kind of stillness a pond has, when no life exists within it. I took a step in, braving the waters, and creating a ripple. Something in my stomach told me, I might’ve just pissed something off- But my hand reaching into my jacket, and pulling out my glock, told me I was all but done with caring if a demon was pissed at me or not. “So…. what am I looking for, exactly?” I said, trudging through the water. The cold water felt like it was freezing my legs, gazed around. Dunno if it was the dirtiness of the water, or some pollution from the salt mill, but I could barely see through the 2 foot deep river. Wait, it’s two feet deep. How the fuck was anything gonna even fit in here, let alone avoid being spotted for weeks. “I….” Rosanne stopped, gazing through her book as she held her hand to her chin, contemplating. “The bridge….”. I turned back to her, Isaac, and I think even Maurice did, or maybe it was just mimicking Isaac. “That place has a whole lot of bad mojo surrounding it…. Runes, tales of sacrifices during it’s construction…. It has to be some kind of catalyst…”. And she just told me this now…. After, I stepped into the possessed ass lake. So I began trudging to the bridge….. Slowly…. Agonizingly slow. Each step, I expected to step on a skull, or a bone, or something. Every other step, I expected to get pulled under, and drowned. But it never happened. I reached the arch, closest to our side of the river, my trucker and witch compatriot following close from the river’s edge. Every step I took, was a feeler. Rosanne pulled out her phone and turned on the flashlight as she walked underneath, shining it around, and inspecting every aged, deteriorated inch of the bridge’s stone blocks. “You can feel it….” She said, turning back to Isaac and I. “In the air… the…. Aura of this place…”. She wasn’t wrong. The second I trudged through the water under the bridge, the feeling in the air shifted. Something wasn’t right. I’ve never been a religious person, although now I guess I’m a superstitious one… but this feeling struck a cord with me. From what I had seen down range in my army days, the raw, bitter feeling. This was evil. This place, felt evil. Rosanne flipped open her book, and began inspecting some insignias carved into the rock. I shined my glock’s tac light, a small LED mounted on the bottom, into the water. It was murky, whether due to the dirt I’d kicked up, or pollution from the mill. I could barely see my own feet. Then, I stepped on… something. It didn’t crack, slither, or attack. I felt a corner of something poke into the rubber bottom of my boot. I gave the heads up to Rosanne and Isaac, I slipped off my jacket and tossed it to him. I then, made a bold choice, of reaching down into the water… to retrieve the item. The smartest choice? No, but we needed to get a move on and figure out what we could do for Candace and her missing grandaughter. I felt around, the icey cool water numbing my hand as I dug through the muddy dirt. Searching for… something. Anything. Then, I felt it. The texture felt, grainy?-Is that a term, straight lines ran across it, with sharp, although worn corners, forming a strange square...no, a box. I pulled it from the depths of the river. Holding it up as water splashed around me, and shined my glock’s light on it. A well carved box, with edgings at the top, and bottom, with four little “legs”, and an little rusted brass latch. At first glance… it resembled a music box. “What…. Is that?” Rosanne asked, shining her much brighter light on it. It was then, I could see through the damp brown wood, there were faint lines of paint. Although when I say paint, I mean I was lucky to see them even with this right up to my face. Pink, sky blue, purple. I tossed the box ashore to Rosanne, who immediately opened her up. “It’s a music box” She said, pulling out a small ballerina figurine. Well, guess I was right. “What’s that sucker doin’ at the bottom of a river?” Isaac asked, by now, he had wrapped maurice up in my coat. That and the small sweater, the cat was the most well dressed person out here. I shined my light back to the river below, and stuck my hand back in. I then felt a smooth surface…. Like one of those brand new faucets just after it’s been polished…. And then another…. Like wet fabric…. And then…. A spikey one, and a rough one…. “Rosanne….” I said, cautiously grabbing a handful of… whatever the fuck, from the bottom of the river. She shined her light on my hand as I fished it up… Jesus, even now. They were a collection of toys, items that would belong to children. I tossed them onto the grass just outside of the bridge’s arch. The smooth surface was an old rusted race car, one of those older one passenger ones from the twenties, a ballet slipper, an old beat up baseball… “What in the fuck….” Isaac said, he and even maurice gazing down at the pile. Rosanne walked over, getting a close inspection of the items. I went back to digging… I felt more than just that down there, and despite my hopes, I was right…. More toys, Dinosaurs, blocks, swords, all age ranges, for boys, girls…. No discrimination… I pulled maybe twenty of the damn things down there before I stopped. Rosanne sat on the grass, arms around her legs, shaking her head. “It’s targeting kids….”. Isaac remained silent throughout all this, then, he glanced over at me. “Weren’t those clothes you found infront of the driveway this mornin’, didn’t they all belong to kids…”. Fuck this town. Then, a moment of panic struck. As the water calmed down, the waves slowly stopped their sloshing and splashing, returning to the silent, dead still state it had been in. Nothing had touched me, infact, through the numbing cold of the water, it was a pain in the ass for me to even feel if I was on solid ground. Then, as clear as day, I felt something grab hold of my left leg, and drag me towards the center of the river. Hell no, I was not gonna become another statistic.I aimed my glock to the water just a couple feet from where it was pulling me. I squeezed the trigger faster than a machine gun, the 9mm rounds fired off one after another into the murky depths, water splashing violently in my face as I backed up, fighting towards the shore. Through the ringing in my ears, I heard Rosanne and Isaac yelling, and whatever had grabbed me, slowly let go. I planted a firm foot on the ground ad charged out, now soaked from head to toe in the cold river water. I dropped my pistol’s magazine, slapping another and turning. My ears ringing, I barely heard Rosanne as she ran up, grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me. “Wha- did you…” Rosanne’s voice sounded distant, distorted…. Between this and Isaac deafening me in the basement, I was gonna need hearing aids. “WHAT DID YOU SEE?!” Rosanne screamed, finally breaking through my numbed ear drums. “Something…. Grabbed my god damn leg….” I said, sticking a finger in my ear, trying to…. Clear it out? Rosanne turned and looked back at the water. The river stood dead still, Isaac looked at us, holding Maurice. Nothing. I had fired off a full magazine, 17 god damn rounds went into the river, all before charging out like a bat out of hell, and now it was just…. Still. “Well…-” Isaac said, pivoting towards the river, then back to us, -I guess… riverside skinny dipping is out of the question?”. I pulled back the slide, checking to see if my new rounds chambered in the hand cannon. They did. I walked up to Doctor Paranormal MD, my muzzle suppressed as I scanned that cursed ass stream. “So…. we know it’s definitely possessed now….”, Rosanne simply stared, unaffected by my prodding.“It’s kidnapped so many….. And that was just what you pulled from under the bridge….” She said, her voice distant, and in thought. I scanned the water, waiting, and partially hoping for something to jump out just so I could get some payback for whatever grabbed me. “Well…. This is your turf now. What do we do?”. My question must’ve triggered something, because she sprung back to life. She ran over to that book of hers, opening the worn, outer cardboard cover, and flipped to a page near the middle back. “I don’t know the full nature… and it’s too dangerous to keep going back in, but I have a theory…”.Rosanne pulled some black chalk and a brown bag from her bigger handbag, and walked to the underside of the bridge. Isaac and I followed, keeping watch. By the time we got down there, Rosanne was already drawing something on the wall. And I tell you, I couldn’t even begin to describe it…. It had a large outer circle, that interlinked with lines, and shapes…. A triangle? A morphed hexagon? Some demonic ass cursive writing? It looked like what you’d see on the padded walls of some schitzo’s cell Then, she opened the bag, and grabbed out a handful of salt. She smeared one handful into the cracks of the old bridge, then poured some on the walkway beneath her, before taking a chunk, and tossing it into the water. This caused the water to literally bubble, only slightly, and I think it might’ve even hissed. “It’s a bit of a hypothesis…. But I think it might work…” She said as she walked back to her bag. Packing up her supplies. “So….” Isaac looked back to the symbol on the wall as he spoke, “What’s up with your possessed stencil artwork?”. “It’s a exorcization rune. Gaelic, well, at least my sources think it’s gaelic, it was found in an old tomb on an island in the north sea. Could also be scandinavian-”. From how the shit looked, it could’ve been Martian. “Is that it?” I asked, Rosanne slung her bag over her shoulder. She dipped her head, looking towards us. “Sometimes….. There’s, not a lot you can do…. We can only hope it does something. If not for Claire… for whoever might be in it’s sights next. Head back to your car, I’ll… speak to Candace” and with that, she walked up the grass slope towards the house. Isaac and I made the quiet journey back to the SUV, with a simply click of the key, the vic unlocked. I slid in and blasted the heater, hoping to dry off my soaked ass clothes. Isaac slid in… Maurice still wrapped in my jacke- Wait Isaac that’s not ours. “Isaac…” I said, drawing out his voice. He turned, confused as to what was the matter. “You’ve got to give the nice lady back her skinless demon”. Isaac then, literally scoffed, pulling Maurice close. “First, he is not a skinless demon. He’s a Siamese angel. Second…. Oh, come ON Dwight….” He said, trying to pull some puppy dog eyes- I mean, eye, on me. Maurice rubbed his skinless head on Isaac’s beard. “Isaac…. Stealing things from creepy southern people in the woods has never gone well. Like, ever. God knows if she has seventeen more wandering truckers just like you in her basement”. “But-”. “Isaac just take Maurice back to the damn house” and with a grown, and a long “FIIIIIIINE”. Isaac hopped out the car, and slowly shuffled back up to the the Manor. I reclined my seat, letting the heaters slowly dry off my damp long sleeve. I tried to blast some music on the radio while typing some of this up, but I noticed after five minutes, nothing appeared on the radio. Nothing. Not 93.9, 101.1, 34.7 (Yes that is apparently a possible channel). Nothing. There wasn’t even radio static, it was just… the sound of the cool breeze coming through the radio. This thing operated off of satellites, so it couldn’t be a broken antenna. This place was just…. Cut off from the normal world. I paused my haunted blogging session, because I noticed Isaac and Rosanne heading back to the car. Slipping my phone away, they slipped back into their seats, “I’m sure you’ll see him again Isaac, Maurice sure seemed to like yah…” Rosanne said, patting our resident cyclops on the shoulder. “Yeah….. Still sucks though” Isaac said defeated as he tossed me my leather jacket. I slipped it on, hoping it would help warm me up- and then realized my guns blazing response to the river, earlier, must have scared maurice… because it now smelled like cat piss. God dammit. I pulled out of the circle drive of the house, the gates slowly opened as we approached, and turned back onto the deserted roads of this godforsaken town. Rosanne reached over and plugged in another location. A small house near the eastern end of town, just off the main road. “Well….. That was entertaining” Rosanne said, surprisingly chipper for today’s current events. I raised an eyebrow as I looked over the seat, “You’re taking things surprisingly well….”. Rosanne laughed. “Well yeah, do this for a few years and you tend to learn to laugh at things, soldier boy” She shook her head, sitting back. “A few years- Wait, Soldier boy?”. Rosanne pointed at Isaac, who scratched his beard. “Might’ve let a few things slip when we were walkin’ back to the car. Sorry Dwight….”. Rosanne leaned forward, eyeing me up and down as I drove. “Like what?” I asked. Isaac chuckled, “Oh you know… ghosts in the basement-” again, still don’t know if its a ghost, “-that night in the storm, your army days…”. “You guys have seen Tim?! ” She said, enthusiastically. I took my eyes off the road, pulling up to a stop sign.“YOU have seen Tim?!” I asked, and in hindsight…. I’m not really surprised. Rosanne rested her chin on the seat as I pulled away, “So, tell me….. Are there really giants in Kandahar? ”. I sighed, “No”. Rosanne continued to press, “Is it true you guys hunted big foots back in the eighties?”. I shook my head in disbelief, “That was- I’m like thirty four, how old do you think I am?”. Rosanne shrugged, “Just saying… for a door kicker, you’ve adapted pretty well to combating the cryptids living in your backyard”. Guess I have. “Aight miss, here’s a counter question” Isaac asked, “What’s going on with these woods?”. Rosanne sat back, and just shrugged. “Where do we start? Disappearances ranging all the way back to the seventies… You’ve got people turning up dead in ways thought imaginable, stories of shapeshifters and attacks on campsites… Have you seen the stairs?”. I raised an eyebrow, ”Yep” Isaac said, nodding his head. I looked at him, then at her, “Stairs?”. Rosanne shivered, “Just…. Don’t go near them…. But back to what we were sayin’, The woods are bloody fucked. And the type of things you seem to have been encountering, well don’t call me captain obvious. But it’s organized. Your boss, really must’ve pissed off something ...”.If only Theodore answered any of his god damn calls, or any of the questions on his voice mails… The GPS dinged as we reached our next stop. This street was well maintained, modern houses made of red brick and concrete lining the streets. Pulling up in front of the house, I could see a TV and lights on inside.“So…. what’s the deal with this place?” I asked, checking my weapon before stepping out. “Guess we’ll see…” she said, cryptically.It's then, the car's screen buzzed, and a very long awaited name popped up on the screen. [Incoming Call - Theodore Cazamoth] "Well Ho-ly shit...." I heard Isaac slap the dashboard, " 'bout fuckin time!!". I gazed back at Rosanne, "You and Isaac take this one.... I've got some things I need to hash out with my boss". Rosanne and Isaac cleared out of the car and began walking up to the house. I pressed 'ACCEPT' on the screen. "Hello?" the pompous voice of my boss, Theodore J. Cazamoth, entrepreneur, shareholder in several companies, and officially the worst real estate investor this side of the free world..., came through the speaker. "Dwight? Are you there?". "Theodore.... About fucking time you call" He was a millionaire, my boss, but after the past few months, I could not contain whatever anger was boiling in my at that point. "OH Dwight, now watch that mouth young man, extremely uncalled for, I assure you!!". "Uncalled for?! Are you serious?!" This man is either delusional, in denial, or the most straight forward liar I had ever encounter, and I traded with words with Lieutenants alot. IN retrospect, he was probably all of the above. "Now Dwight, I did make the unorthodox request to lend lease you several thousand dollars out of my pocket. I would appreciate some gratitude, considering you, yourself, could not make do with the equipment I had given you..." Arrogance soaked his voice. "You slap a private estate down in the forest that's more haunted than the somme battlefield, and you expect me to drive off he demons with a .308 bolt action, and a positive attitude?!". "Well I mean, coming from the gun hoe former Sergeant, now monster hunter, dragging my son into town on your private escapades..." I raised an eyebrow, "How did you...". Theodore laughed through the phone, "You can't expect to post everything on the internet, and not see my companies private forums blown up with requests about your little blog series, now can you?". Shit. Well, expected. "Ontop of the bad reputation, and the constant pandering I need to make to my investors.... You my friend, are becoming a thorn in my side. I dislike thorns, Dwight...". "You really expected me to stay with what we had? Wait for the enemy to break on through the gates and kill us all... including, your fucking son you left here?". Theodore's line grew quiet. "I'm not gonna act like you don't know what's going on Theo- I know you do, but don't try to take some high ground when you neglected your only child...". And then. Theodore, laughed. Like, really laughed. Like, the kind of laugh that had the weight to send a shiver down my spine, kind of laugh. "Dwight you really should have just kept your mouth shut, and done your job. Sure, sometimes, it might get scary, sometimes, it might get... froggy, as you dumb grunts say. But that's just the way men like you are paid. Instead, you had to try and be a hero, do what you think is right, and meddled in business that's certainly not yours...". "It became my business the moment you dragged me out to this place", "Well I guess you won't have to worry about that for long. Dwight I'm coming back in the next few weeks, with some, company back up. So unless you want to be one of those people who goes missing, on that cork board in the pub down the road..... Get your ass back up to the manor, lock and load your tricked out AR - 15, and stay. put". If we had been face to face, Theodore and I would be burning holes into each other's heads. The tense silence was only permeated by the sound of him clearing his throat. Whatever devilish tone he had, dropped, left, and the only, naive sounding Theodore I remember, returned. "Make sure John isn't gone for too long Dwight!! I'd hate to have to send a search party out in the winter. God, the ones around here never get the job done! Bad joke, I'm sorry. Stay safe Dwight!!". Then, the call interface, vanished.... I sat back in the driver's seat. Thinking. Company back up. What? Did he think some armed goons are gonna be enough to stomp out whatever's happening here? He might kill me, dump me in a ditch somewhere in the pine groves... but whoever else he hires, will be too dumb, too ignorant, or too unprepared to avoid the shots they're now throwing at the estate. I opened my phone, once again, updating you all. I dunno what Isaac and Rosanne are doing, but they seem to be having fun. Isaac was yelling something, but it's too muffled by the car's heater and- Did a firework just go off? Well, Rosanne just texted me that they’re almost done… Isaac is apparently, trying to draw out the conversation with "Daisy", the owner of the house who, apparently, is also a raging alcoholic. Great.. Like we don’t have bigger priorities- Hold on, John’s calling. Alright, change of plans people. I’ve got to go, now. I just screamed at Rosanne and Isaac to get to the fucking car, now. John called and from all the loud fucking noises in the background, he pleaded, no, screamed for me to get to his friend’s house. Something’s attacking them, and he doesn’t know what. I’ve got to go, no time to put a wrap on things, I'll be back.


[Entry 8]


Adrenaline. It's the fuel that your blood and nervous system receives when your body realizes, "The chips are down, it's now or never". It's Funny what some chemicals being put into the right part of your brain can do. I've experienced this rush many times over my life, and truth be told, I thought my body has become immune to it. My veins and arteries becoming worn down from constant usage, I thought I they had become desensitized to the mule kick like punch it gives you... Guess I was wrong. When John has screamed over that phone, something in me switched on. A part of me that had laid dormant for many years, that didn't do things just for self preservation, or money... Like I said, I screamed over the phone at Isaac and Rosanne, truth be told by how they reacted, I think I scared the shit out of them, because they came out of the house in a dead sprint. Even then, they barely slid into the car as I slammed the gas peddle, making the SUV with near 5,000lbs of uparmoring hit the high eighties in less than a few seconds. I gave up on trying to stop for stop signs and lights, there was no need to be cautious about police or other cars, because there fucking were none in this god damn town. We came to a particularly high bump just before an intersection, and now that I think about it, I think it might've been a speedbump- cause when we landed down, hard, I remember finally hearing Rosanne's voice as she watched a stop sign zoom right past us. "You mind telling us what the hell's going on?! Hello?! Nolan?!" I gazed at the GPS, and I realized we'd probably gone a good mile before I even thought about briefing them. The wonders of fight or flight mode, I guess. "John called..." Is all I muttered out, as I snapped hard on a left turn, driving over the curb to take a right down another street. I saw Isaac grabbed the "OH SHIT" Handle above his seat. "WHat?! What's up with the kid?!" Part of me gained some respect for Isaac, as soon as I mentioned John, he leaned right in. Guy might be a bit off sometimes, but his heart is in a good place. "Kid was screaming, something's attacking his friend's house....". Isaac's eye widened as he sat back in his seat, I saw he pried his hand off the handle, and reached into the glove compartment for his 5 shot. Rosanne poked her head between the seats, "Wait, Kid?!". I looked at the GPS, and we were now soaring down the main avenue of the town. The same one Isaac and I had driven down when we initially arrived. We sailed past the bar, that gun shop owned by the two europeans, the Salt Mill, and yet, even as I drove this hunk of metal at 80 miles per the hour.... not a single police officer could be seen... "Cazamoth's kid-" I finally answered Rosanne, I then hit the brake, and drifted the SUV on a right turn. The offroad treaded tires screeched, as Isaac leaned, loading rounds into his revolver, shoving more into the pockets of his pants. "Wait.... where is this house at..." she said, and I remember the ending of that sentence trailed off as she just stared ahead at the GPS. "The Northwestern edge of town.." Rosanne grew quiet from my answer. "By the woods? ", I nodded in response. "Oh god....". Before I could even address that ominous remark, I slammed on my breaks. We were on the final left turn of the drive. As I sped up down the road, my right hand dug around inside my jacket, pulling out my glock and resting it on my thigh. Isaac slapped his cylinder into the weapon, spinning it. "What's the play, Sarge?". I ran through scenarios in my head. All the variables started to click into place like a calculus. Small house, 30 meters long, 15 across, entrance up the stairs on the right side, Occupants are two teenagers, one adult, and- Flashing Red and Blue lights caused me to break hard, the tires of the SUV screeched to a halt on the deserted road. 'Shit' I thought, we had finally got the cops on us. I started to prepare a brief for the cops on the situation, when I realized the lights weren't coming from my mirrors.... they were coming from my windshield, down the road in front of us. Isaac wiped condensation from his portion of the window, and squinted with his eye. I flicked on the wipers, and through the cold mist and fog, I could see... a patrol car, lights on and flashing, parked diagonally across the road, rear bumper facing us. My eyes shot to the GPS, [Destination: 55 meters ahead]. We were here. I gave Isaac a nod as I slid my glock's slide back, checking to see if a round chambered. I flicked the safety off as I slowly drove ahead. Rosanne stayed more or less in the front with us, the top half of her body between our seats. Good to know the witchdoctress showed no fear. As we pulled up to the house, I tried to call John again on the car's touch screen. The slow hum of the engine, along with the ringing, gave us the only noise around as we inched closer and closer to the site. The cop car's driver side door was wide open. one of the windows rolled down. From my spot in the car, I could see the small radio, the one they use for the speaker mounted on top, dangling out over the driver's seat. I cracked open my door, as Isaac did the same, my pistol's barrel leading the way as I peaked my head out. It was dark, hella dark. Through the fog I could see the house just twenty meters from us. The front door was wide opened.... ripped off the hinges, the Bannister of the porch and the railings of the stairs were broken, bent, one part thrown off and stabbed into the lawn... I slid back into the driver's seat and looked at the screen. [Call Failed - John Cazamoth (Johnny) ] I cursed under my breath, Isaac hiccuped as he aimed his revolver towards the house, taking cover behind the door while sitting inside the vehicle. Rosanne leaned over my seat, "Well.... Dwight. I guess now the table's have turned. This is your turf, what do we do". My eyes snapped to the cop car, and through my headlights I saw a discarded pistol magazine, with spent casings everywhere. 'My Turf' it bounced around in my head. A forced entry, plenty of innocents with god knows how many enemies lurking inside. The police vehicle and casings meant one thing, law enforcement arrived, and failed. What to do. Fuck, What to do. I grew frustrated with myself, the hour glass was ticking. I remember what Theodore said, about me meddling in things that weren't my business, trying to be a "hero". The way it damaged the house, took out to armed patrol men.... My nerves were battling themselves, and I guess my instincts won when I thought back to that frantic phone call John made, screaming "Help!!" at the top of his lungs. I punched the trunk's release button as I stepped out, "Isaac, to the back". He cackled under his breath as he beat me to the punch, flinging the heaving door upwards, and pulling out one of the two black crates. They were those heavy duty "tough boxes", reinforced equipment cases you would use to store a number of things, but for us.... we only had some specifics in mind. Isaac giddily flipped open the latches on one, and pulled out one hell of a shotgun. In the dark of the night, I only remember seeing "BENELLI M4" etched in the side, just under the ejection port. It was the mother of all boomsticks, and apparently, Merkel's favorite. I opened one of the cases, and pulled out two carrier kits. They were simple plate carriers, pouches for magazines, items, and two radio systems attached. True, whatever had attacked the house could have easily tore through these. But it was better than nothing. Rosanne snuck up to my left, using the car as cover as I slapped magazines, stuffed with rounds into my kit. "I took a peek at the house.... the entire entrance way looks fucked...". You don't say. Her words echoed in the distance as I grabbed my rifle, I slapped a full magazine in, the punched the bolt release as it made that oh so satisfying "CLINK". As I slung it over my shoulder, I eyed the house through the windows from the trunk. "Any sign of John?" I checked my 15's holographic sight, then the red dot on the side, before pulling it close. "I don't know, but-" The sound of a crash from deep inside the house caused us to snap to attention, Isaac aimed his big mankiller towards the house. "Something's definitely still in there". "Now's your chance Rose'. You can take off to your house, no one will judge you..." I rounded the SUV back to the door by the driver's seat, aiming my rifle at the house. Rosanne followed close behind, and I saw out of the mirror, she shook her head. "No... If there's a kid here, I'm staying. I've had to tell too many parents they may never see there's again. Not- again". Her words made a small chuckle break through my whatever I was going through right then. Fuck yeah. I pulled back from my door, handle gripping my vertical attached to the rifle as I moved towards the patrol car, sight glued to the house's front points of entry the entire time. I took a knee as took cover behind the trunk. Isaac moved up alongside the parked cars, he bounded up, taking cover behind a van parked alongside the cop car. Honestly, for a trucker who even said most of his tactical skills came from war movies- He did pretty alright. I released my front grip as I crouched down, and searched the front of the cop car. What a mess. Casings blanketed the entire front seats, the radio system was half ripped out of it's mount in the car, and the windshield. There were barely any spider webbing cracks, but two large gashes cut into the glass, the odd thing was, no micro-cracks formed along the sides of them. It was like a hot knife just, cut right into it. Rosanne stopped to take more notes than I did- Not literally, she didn't have her whole book out, anyways. I just moved along the left side of the engine block, and finally, got a good front view of the house. So from what I saw, the door was barely hanging on by a hinge, and this was a solid metal looking door from the grey interior side. Lights flickered from the inside, as I saw what looked like the end of a couch, upside down, leaning diagonally against the wall. And yet, even as I waited there for a few seconds. No more sounds came from within. Fuck it, night's not getting any younger. I pushed forward towards the house, saying screw it to the normal rules of cover and concealment. From the shit I saw out in the woods, whatever was here could probably see in the dark, detect my body heat, and was probably planning the best way to try and bite my right calf off. Speaking of right calf, I nearly tore it off tripping which is odd- odd because as I looked down, a freshly made gash in the earth was dug through the entire front lawn towards the house. Then it clicked. The woods were in the backyard, why would any assailant come through the front. I scanned the area around me. The cop car's front bumper was dented and bashed to hell. The dirt coming towards the house was dug up. My eyes followed a trail leading from across the road.... it wasn't just this block, it lead to- that fucking neighbor's god damn house.... My eye twitched. Through the moment of blinding rage, I was piecing it together. It wasn't the woods this time, it wasn't a demon from the god damn trees, it was that slimey, unnatural fuck. And we just let slide this entire time- I ripped my mind from the momentary rage and came up alongside Isaac. He had taken cover behind a large end table just to the front right of the steps. It was after the fact I had inspected, the table was thrown from the front windows, as one of them was completely smashed out. Whatever stormed in there, did so with a vengeance. "This is a mess Dwight...." He said, peeking just over the front sights of his shotgun , "It was the neighbor..." I muttered. "What?", "The trail of death leads from his house...". Isaac cursed under his breath, "That sumabitch.... We're gonna shoot him, right?'. I aimed my rifle to a good position to the right of the front door. "We're gonna do a whole lot more that that". I remember my mind thinking something like, a combination of Kerosene and salt. Isaac and I rushed to the front door, stacking up on the right side. Rosanne moved up and hid behind the table we just came from. My old muscle memory came back into play, I pulled Isaac to the front of the stack by his carrier's carry handle. If we were going in, and we were, the 12 gauge doomstick was gonna lead the way. Taking a break, I reached up with my free hand, and squeezed his shoulder. The carpet on the wooden plank floor was torn up, pieces tossed everywhere, a lounge chair was flipped on it's side, and a ceiling fan mounted above was missing a blade, swinging around, half ripped from the roof. I squeezed his shoulder, and we rushed in. Isaac charged in, almost stopping in the doorway, if it weren't for me charging in right behind him. He held his barrel at his chest's level, at this distance, it didn't need to be accurate. I cleared the corners of the room, almost tripping over a gutted TV as we stepped in. He was right, what a mess. The front room, or at least that's what it was, lead 6 meters deep into the house, some side rooms branching off , with a doorway leading to what I saw was the kitchen. How did I know it was a kitchen? Because the fridge was thrown down on it's side, half blocking the hallway. Silence was all that greeted us, through the small buzzing and zapping of the fan's now dying light. A small crunch of glass came from the door way behind us, I snapped back, but lowered my weapon. Rosanne slowly entered the room with us. "Jesus....". "See anything like this before?" I said, covering Isaac as he kicked in some of the side rooms and closets one by one, aiming his shotgun, mouthing 'WHACHAH!!'. "No..." Rosanne whispered, she knelt down, picking up a small picture frame from the floor, "I've never seen these things in person, right when it was happening". If, it was still happening. For John's sake, I made a small plea to whatever high power existed, that he was still here. As I marched forward, my foot catching onto a broken chair, which I just kicked off, smashing it off the backwall, I threw caution to the wind. "JOHN?!" I called out, Isaac came out of one of the side rooms, pointing his shotgun up in the air with one hand, shaking his head. "JOHN?! YOU HERE?!" I said, storming into the hallway. A halloween style wreath hung surprisingly intact on the wall, with pictures and kid's drawings thrown off in all directions. The crunching off glass beneath one of my boots caused me to step back. It was off the father of whatever friend john had, he knelt down next to his daughter, smiling as he held her in one arm. Motherfucker. Isaac stormed out of the room, searching the next. "Nothing!" I heard him yell. The pit in my stomach grew. The smashing of wooden boards, caused my weapon to shoot right up, aiming at the entryway into the kitchen. More crashing, and what sounded like a tin trash can being knocked over followed. Something was here, if not John, god have fucking mercy on whatever remained. We pushed into the kitchen, no one in sight, but Rosanne made an interesting observation, in retrospect. None of the cabinets and drawers that were damaged, were ripped open. They were all smashed or dented in, as in something was shoved against them. Whatever entered, she said, had a rough fight with whatever lurked inside the house. Behind me, Isaac kicked in a side room next to the kitchen, which turned out to be the pantry. He then retreated as boxes and cans nearly crushed him as they spilled onto the floor. "Damn...sad we ain't looters, caaause we'd make a killing". I turned to Isaac, "You see a second floor to this place?". He shook his head, "Nah.... No Basement either, weird too, It's cause where the fuck is everyone if they're not in here-" Another loud crash and metal clanging called out through the windows peering over the backyard. The backyard, bordering the cursed woods of this motherfucking town. Isaac lowered his barrel, "That's gotta be it....". I took the lead, Isaac followed behind me, covering our ass as we took a right down some stairs. Another heavy metal door, this time, ripped clean off it's hinges, told the story. The fight went to the backyard. The screen door laid on it's face, on the concrete outside. I knelt on the stairs, knowing whatever we were seeking, was just feet infront of us. "Let's shoot the suckers, Dwight". The sound of my jacket's sleeve sliding against the wall followed, as I button hooked around the corner, my red dot turned on as I scanned the area around is, Isaac charged out, taking the right side. We both aimed our weapons around, searching for something.... anything.... "Well?!" Isaac shouted. "We're right here, woods, come fucking get some!!". Nothing. I stood there, squaring up with my weapon, and nothing.... happened. We went balls to the walls, and charged into whatever belly of the beast that attacked us.... and nothing followed. And I remember, even the crickets chirped. It was.... gone. "No..." I shook my head in disbelief, dropping my barrel, but only to try and contain the rising anger inside. I looked around a large chunk of the boards of the back fence were missing. No John, no fucking boogeyman, not a god damn- "FUCK!!!" I yelled, taking my boot and soccer kicking a metal chair nearby so hard, it flew in the air, and landed in the grass. Rosanne crept out. Her flashlight illuminated the dark lawn around us as she came up alongside Isaac and I. "That can't be it man, Dwight, look..... there's gotta be something...". Isaac jogged over to the back fence, slinging his shotgun as he glanced around for something, anything. I remember Rosanne asking "What's wrong?", but I just ignored her. My hands shot to my face as I dug in on my own skin. We had one chance, one fucking chance. If I had been smarter, faster, if I just blitzed into the house instead of being methodical- if I hadn't been so stupid, as to drop the kid off at the house in the first pla- "Dwight!!" Rosanne shook my shoulder, as my eyes burned holes into her. "WHAT-" before I could unleash the Tirade I wanted to, I noticed she wasn't even looking at me, she pointed towards the left side fence. My eyes drifted over, to a large dent in the fence.... and the figure that was laying defeated, in whatever vegetable plant the homeowner had planted. Through my marching that would give even the angriest wife beaters a run for their money, I eyed it up. I say it, because it was exactly the person I was looking for. A torn flannel shirt lay pressed against it's body, blood soaked. Old Khaki shorts were now shreds, barely hanging on, with numerous, cuts, gashes, and marks lining it's limbs. I kicked it over with my right boot, receiving a gurgling, inhuman grown from the thing. Rosanne shined her light on it. The neighbor. Or, at least I could just barely make him out as... his lips were split and torn, a large gash was cut into it's neck, no hair, and his eyes.... one looked like the normal human eye, blue but it's pupil horrible dilated. The other.... well, no color remained at all, no iris, just a small, pin sized pupil. Like those eyes you drew as a kid on stick figures. "WHERE'S THE KID?!" I shouted, earning only silence and ignorance from it. I could see it was favoring it's left arm, which had been mangled to the point, it looked.... morphed.... I took my foot, and pressed down, no, stomped down, earning a rise from it as it groaned. I aimed my weapon at it, red dot resting between the two terrible eyes on it's face, as it burned a look a pure hatred into my face. "WHAT DID YOU DO?!" I screamed, and again, it refused to answer, simply slamming it's fist down weekly on my boot. Rosanne came up, shining her light fully on it. "No way...." she said, drawing attention to it's eyes and arm. "It's.... a-". "WITCH!!" the thing's voice was.... warped. A main voice that sounded far too deep, with others, of differing pitch, tone, and type, subtley repeating it's words. It reached out towards Rosanne with it's free arm, causing her to retreat behind me. I took the steel toe pressing it's arm down, and drove it up into it's jaw. A satisfying crack gained a yelp from it, as it's arms shot to it's face, holding it's jaw. Isaac now joined us as he trotted over. "Hey I found.... what the fuck-". I turned and could see Isaac holding something, but before I even got a chance to ask, the thing lunged at my legs, trying to get a hold of one. A bash of my rifle's stock defeated it quickly, "WHERE!! IS!! THE!! KID!!" A voice of now unbridled rage consumed me, as I kicked it again, and again, repeating the words. "WHERE!! IS!! JOHN!! WHERE!! IS!! JOHN!! WHERE!! IS!! JOHN!! WHERE!! IS!! JOHN!! WHERE!! IS!! J-". Something pulled me from my onslaught, and I looked back to see it was Rosanne. "Dwight please, just- let me try..." I looked her deep in her eyes, violet, dark purple. She pried hers from mine as she dug around in her bag. I gazed at the thing, the spot I had continuously kicked, it's breastbone, was now a dark purple and red. I could feel the steam radiating off my skin, I had broken a sweat from all that literal boot to neck action. They say outbursts of rage like that would leave you tried, drained, a headache from the energy spent being your only reward. I have to say, in hindsight.... there is none. It felt, great. Rosanne pulled out that notebook of hers again. A light green hardcover with runes drawn on the outside in black ink. She knelt down, though, taking cover behind my left leg as she did, and began to speak to the creature. She did so in small whispers, at first, to draw it's attention through it's current, physically traumatized state. As she did, it's malformed eyes locked onto hers... and it began to mutter back. Whatever pig latin type of language they were speaking, sounded like to rearranged the letters in normal words, and then read them backwards. Isaac and I watched the interaction, our hands ready on our superior american made firepower. The thing, spoke now, calm, collected... Rosanne sighed, shaking her head, catching my attention when "Dammit..." escaped her lips. Not taking my eyes off it, I asked the million dollar question. "What?". "It sa-" She stopped, sitting back, crossing her legs and sighing. "It wasn't the one who attacked the house...". Isaac shook his head wildly in surprise "Oh, sure, yeah, I sure believe that? Don't you Dwight?". I didn't answer, because I didn't. "It was eyeing up this place, it's inhabitants, as it's.... next visit. But was beaten to the punch. Something came from the woods, it said. attacked the house. He tried to take advantage of the storm, but failed...". I saw it was now looked up at me, with a bruised jaw and chest, staring daggers into my eyes. The Woods. Those fucking woods. "Ask what took the kids...." I told Rosanne, she looked at the thing, hesitant. I snapped my head back, "Rosanne!!". She recollected herself, shaking her head. In her weird backwards ass speech, I heard the thing laugh, deep and guttural, and say a short collection of words to her. She paused for a moment, not speaking.. "Well?". "The woods took them" I sighed, and this caused the thing to only laugh at my frustration. It was then, in Rosanne's light, I noticed the creature's legs. One of them, it's right thigh, had been burrowed into by branches, and deep vines that dug right into the freshly disturbed dirt, pinning it there. "That can't be it.... we can go into the woods, maybe It didn't run off to far-". Rosanne shook her head, grabbing the side of my plate carrier to hoist herself to her feet. "You go running off into those woods this late at night, you're finished...". They continued to bicker, Isaac channeling his frustration for John, while Rosanne cautioned him. I remained silent, gazing down at the thing at my feet. "What did it fight?" I asked, drawing Rosanne's attention from Isaac. "What?". I looked at her, "The kind of damage done in there, that was a brawl.... Ask him what exactly did he square up with". Rosanne was hesitant at first, but shook it off as she looked into her book, and asked it. The thing spat on the ground, muttering a few phrases in response. "He says.... the Lycan, or the terror?" The caused me to pause. Just, what?. "What?" I said, confused. Isaac leaned around me, "Terror?". "Terror...." Rosanne repeated, "From the green....". The thing spat again, this time, more violently, and I looked down. I saw in the light, it had spit up vegetation, a thorny rose stem. "Listen...." Rosanne placed her hand on the front of my plate carrier, pushing me back a ways from the thing. "I can try to ask it as many broken phrases as I can, but it is only giving me so much. John is....", she paused, I can tell she was being very careful of what she was gonna say next, especially to Isaac and I. "It's too soon after the kidnapping. This was an intentional attack on him, so I say we head up to your place, and we start digging there....". "WHAT?!" Isaac screamed, his voice bouncing off the house, fence, and trees around us, echoing. "THAT KID IS IN THERE!! IN THE FUCKING WOODS!!! AND YOU WANT US TO LEAVE HIM!!! No, we have to go in there, and get him!!". Rosanne balled up her hands and groaned. She and Isaac spat venom at each other, but to me, it was white noise. I was more fixated on the thing, still tied in the vines, as it now cut and wrangled them out of it's leg to get free. "You said it's not human...." I said to Rosanne, pulling her from her shouting match. She gave a face, she clearly didn't expect the question. "No.... wh-", "You said it was going after John too, correct?" I interrupted. Rosanne was quiet, she looked at me, wide eyes, "Dwight-". I answered with the sound of my molars grinding together, watching it wrangle it self free. "Dwiiiight-" She said, uncomfortably. "Rosanne, answer the question" I said, muttering from clenched teeth. She was hesitant, I could see her eyes snap down, probably looking at how I was white knuckling my weapons system. "Yes, but why-". It made it's choice, and at that moment, so did I. Rosanne stood to my front left, pushing forward, I shoved her to the side, left hand coming back and gripping my rifle, and I aimed at the thing. Twelve shots. One after another. I didn't switch it to auto, that would be too quick. I've been waiting for a crack at whatever was hunting us. Sure, it might've not be what kidnapped John, but it still targeted him. It saw him, us, Isaac and I.... Though all of this is more justification for you, the guys who have been following my blogging misadventures, Because as I pulled that trigger twelve separate times, I had made up my mind, and my moral compass had cleared itself. I stopped my assault, rifle still aimed, eye still looking at it through the holographic sight. It was strange, because on it's nearly porcelain white skin, I could see my grouping... why could I see my grouping?. It was because it's blood poured out, slowly, black and inky in nature. It stumbled back as it had just gotten free of the vines, sliding down, sitting back against the fence. It looked at me, eyes no longer of hatred, just.... acceptance. After staring at this thing for weeks, and now knowing it's true intentions. One phrase rung throughout my mind, as the ringing in my ears subsided. "Gotchyah". "DWIGhT!!" Rosanne shouted, angrily as she shoved my right shoulder. My rifle dropped as she then tried to slap me across the face, I simply leaned back. Her frustration welled as she jabbed my plate carrier with her fist. "WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!". "WHat do you think?" I said, cold, and calculated, just like the shots I took. The anger flooded from her face as she held her head, walking away from me towards the backside wall of the house. "You just.... YOU JUST KILLED A PERSON!!". "It wasn't a person-", She then spun around, and pointed at it. "DO YOU THINK ANYONE WILL BELIEVE YOU- IN COURT, THAT THAT THING WAS A FUCKING SHAPESHIFTER?!". Wait, Shapeshifter? "From what this shows, you just shot-". "A fucking burglar, who broke and entered a house, right before attempting to kidnap someone...." I said, she frowned, walking up to me. Even as she was almost a foot shorter, she still squared right up to me. "You can't just solve this by shooting your way out, that's not how you do things, that's not-". Isaac spit into the lawn, "I dunno.... problem looks pretty solved to me". She pushed past me, getting up in Isaac's face. "Oh, really?! Then where's john? Where's the kids?!". Rosanned looked at Isaac and I, "You wanted my help, because your way wasn't working. So unless I say so, no more gun ho shit like that, you will get us fucking killed!!". "John's in there... We need to go after him!!" Isaac shouted, more at her than me. I remember what Rose said, you go in there, You're finished. I remembered that night in the storm, being lured in by a trap, barbed wire, blurry vision- dozens of those things lying in wait. I switched my magazine out for a fresh one, a full one, and slapped it into the weapon's mag well. "well then... if your way says we should go investigate the estate....", I eyed the broken spot in the fence, to the back of the fence. "Then let's go save John....". Rosanne looked like she wanted to say something, but swallowed it. She had won, and nodded. We marched out of there, Rosanne gazed at the house as we went through a side gangway, leading to the street. Isaac looked back, towards the thing. I didn't. I didn't care if it was still there, if it vanished when our heads were turned. Despite my momentary rage, it was time to move on. John was now missing, and our time was running out. Our enemies are bearing teeth and coming closer, and now my boss is threatening to dump us all in a ditch and cover us up.... Also, because you'll probably ask. We checked the house once more. We didn't find the dad, nor John's friend, eerily enough, we also didn't find the police officers. I tried calling the local station, but no one was picking up. Isaac as you might imagine, debated with me the entire drive back. Guess I found a middle ground, cause Isaac's inside of the bar right now, "Picking up supplies" as I requested. In actuality, he's talking to the two germans, Merkel and Gareth. The end of the line is approaching, and despite what Rosanne says, I think we're gonna need more boom for whats coming next. Speaking of whom.... She didn't say anything to us on the way back. Just stared out the window.... until she passed out, beanie pulled over her eyes. God, I could really use some sleep. Can't though... John's out there, we've got to find him, we've got to stop all of this. We're nearing the end. This isn't probably the way you wanted this little entry to end, but between the dark, the fog, the dark void of my sleep exhaustion pulling me more and more into the abyss, we need to get a move on. This is Dwight Nolan, signing out, I guess. Stay safe guys.





1 Comment


Lori De Laurentis
Jul 21, 2023

This was the one that started it all. Nothing that you would expect. Can’t pick a genre or category for this unique bad ass character, story line and mind fu**ing crazy and thought provoking tale that you will want more

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