I apologize for the lack of updates, but finding a new home proved to be not altogether easy. Then there was the matter of getting the Internet connected even after I'd moved, since the place had been empty for some time. Add all that up, and very little has been accomplished of late outside of finding a safer base of operations (how's that for making myself sound important?).
Now I can get back at it, so hopefully the next few days will be filled with exciting news. I appreciate your patience, though, so I'll leave you with a story my father once told me.
He'd been working long hours at the mill when a very strange thing happened as he was leaving for home. His keys were not even in the driver's side door when a sound to his left startled him. It was dark-- even the lights around the mill were mostly off for some reason-- so he couldn't quite tell what he'd heard, but it reminded him of a large animal digging through a trash can. Then it sounded again, but closer.
My father said he began frantically looking for the right key (his duties at the mill meant he carried many) as the noise seemed to be creeping closer. As luck would have it, he then dropped the entire keychain in his haste, losing it instantly in the enguling darkness.
By now the sound was right on top of him, but he still couldn't see it's source as he searched desperately along the ground in front of him. Then, in his mind, he saw the image of the flashlight he carried on his belt. He'd forgotten all about it in his sudden state of panic (the fact that my father was so bothered is noteworthy in and of itself as he was generally quite emotionless).
Almost reluctantly, he reached down to the light before bringing it up and switching it on. Immediately he screamed as the beam illuminated a single pair of mishapen eyes about chest level! He said he didn't remember much of the night after that and it wasn't until he was found the next morning, having apparently passed out beside his car, that he finally came home.
This story was only related to me once, and even then the act seemed more an effort to rid himself of the memory than actually share anything. Eventually the entire thing was written off as a product of fatigue by the mill's appointed investigation. My father refused to speak about it afterwards.
As a child, the story haunted me, but I'd pretty much written it off as well over the years. Now, as things continue to reveal themselves, I am forced to revisit those opinions with a more open mind. Perhaps there was more than exhaustion at play that night.
Until next time...