Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm Losing It


I don't think I'm alone anymore.  The new house seems to be compromised already, but not by the same type of threat.  This is something new.  Something potentially even more dangerous.  Are the things that have found me even human?

Without giving my exact location away, I'll say the place I'm staying now is out in the woods itself.  I wasn't thrilled to find this out, but I also wasn't really in a position to turn anything down.  Now I think maybe I should have.

The noises started a few nights ago.  They were slight at first, almost timid.  In fact, I thought very little of them despite knowing there are no natural sounds in the forest at night.  Perhaps this was simply me trying to convince myself there was no danger where it actually existed.  Regardless, I know better now.

The almost imperceivable "rustling" sound came back the next night, but it was closer, and joined by another more disturbing noise.  It was a sort of wheeze, as if whatever was out there was smelling the air for something.  That rasp has stolen what little hope I had of the noise being anything easily explained as well as the majority of my sleep.  It's hard to rest with the knowledge you're surrounded by unknown threats.

The situation seems to be moving towards an inevitable end, as last night the sounds were right up against the walls of the house.  The rustling is now more of a scraping noise, which makes sense with what I found outside today-- the trees nearest the porch were scratched pretty severely.  Most confusingly, though, there was definitely something coherent about the marking, as if there was some sort of message in them.  If it is indeed a language I certainly don't recognize it, but the speculation makes me feel sick.  What are they communicating to one another out there in the dark?

I can't believe it, but I'm actually contemplating going out there tonight to see for myself what has been sniffing around the house.  I've almost convinced myself that the truth can't be any more horrifying than the anticipation.  Of course, that might not be true.  If the things rip me to pieces, I suppose I'll have my answer.

Until next time...  

Sunday, May 12, 2013



As promised, I've been looking into some of the more cryptic or unknown people here in Pale Forest.  The first on my list was the foreman at the mill, Stanley Fouts.

Fouts is a large, imposing man.  He is almost entirely bald-headed (and has been for years), but incredibly hairy everywhere else.  His dark, deep-set eyes are usually hidden in a perpetual scowl, and his frame is heavy-set but powerful.  I remember him being a harsh man, even back when my father worked at the mill.  The years have done little to soften him.

He was furious with me when I was caught at the mill, which now seems only natural given what I found out about him.  Of all the people in Pale Forest, Fouts is perhaps the most ardent "seperatist" around.  He cares little for those he doesn't know personally and shows open disdain for anyone not from town.  He apparently includes those who've migrated to Pale Forest (including me) in this general hatred.  He is also quite secretive in his affairs, which seems to go hand-and-hand with the Pale Forest "us against the world" mindset.

As a result, it's been difficult to find out much about him.  But I managed anyway.

Stanley Fouts traces his family back to basically the earliest days of Pale Forest.  They have always been involved in the mill, as well, with at least six foremen coming from their ranks (some of the records have been lost or simply left blank, so the exact number is impossible to find).  In fact, the Fouts line is sort of the de facto blue-collar group here in Pale Forest.  That's a badge of honor, by the way; very little is judged with higher esteem here than doing one's duty without fail.  Of course, that fact also lead to the family's blackest moment and darkest secret, too.  Some sixty years ago, Warren Fouts, a previously outstanding member of his clan, let the lineage down.

Though it took some real digging to figure it all out (most of the blight had been stricken from history) there was just enough to piece together most of the story.  Apparently Warren overstepped his rank-and-file stature by trying to become more.  It seems despite the fact his job should have been passed along in an almost genetic fashion, he wanted a greater degree of power than it could afford.  In fact, he even ran for mayor.  Now, in most cultures, this wouldn't seem like a big deal, but there is a sort of caste system here in Pale Forest.  And Warren had violated it.

Why he did, I can't say.  The was no print given to his side of the story.  The backlash, though, was swift.  Not only did Warren Fouts lose the election (to Jack Huntley's great-great-uncle, no less), but the transgression set his family back for years.  It wasn't until Stanley, in fact, that they were again trusted enough to be elevated to the top position at the mill.  Obviously, Warren's stain took a while to wash away.

I can only imagine how much Stanley would appreciate me sharing this on the Internet.  He has undoubtably done all he can to make the entire thing disappear so as to avoid any further embarrassment.  Of course, the type of person who'd go to such lengths to maintain secrets is exactly the type of person I'm most interested in exposing.

Until next time...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Insufferable Wait


While I would love to return to the woods and check out the path again (perhaps love is the wrong word, but I do plan on going back), the area has since been roped off as a "protected" zone.  Apparently, some rare bird's been spotted there and now no one is allowed encroach upon its habitat.  Of course, I've never seen any living things in there, let alone an endangered bird, so the whole thing is more than a little off.  Add to that the fact the Mayor's office is directly responsible for the move, and you get what looks more than a little like a cover-up of some sort.  The presence of guards seems a little heavy handed for protecting a bird as well.  Regardless, the path is currently off limits.

So, instead I've been trying to find out more about the players involved in all of this.  I've written about Mayor Huntley several times, and there's very little else to say about him, but there are others I'd like to investigate.  I'm going to spend some time researching the tattooed man and the mill's foreman, Stanley Fouts.  Perhaps there is more on them than I previously imagined.

At least that will give me something to do.

Until next time...  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ghosts of the Past


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...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Stench Under the Porch


The hard truth that I've been found seems unavoidable.  I guess I can't be surprised; it was seemingly inevitable.  Still, I would have liked to have remained hidden until I had a bit more evidence.  The past few days, however, have made it clear that's not possible.

It began Monday.  I was on my way out when an overpowering odor assaulted me.  At first it was just too extreme for me to even guess where it was coming from, but as my senses adjusted-- as much as they could, anyway-- it became clear the stench's origin was somethere beneath me.  As I was on the porch, the task of locating the foul smell was a bit daunting.  Nonetheless, I resigned myself to climbing down underneath the house.  I did put on a small, white, filter mask and my work gloves first, though.

As it turned out, the process of finding the source of the odor was a short one.  Immediately after flipping my flashlight on and sending bugs scurrying from the unwanted beam, the somewhat macabre scene turned my stomach.  There, improbably, was a dead deer!  It had been shot, apparently, but how it had managed to wedge itself under the porch was a mystery.  I spent the next hour dragging it out.  I've attached a picture, though I'm not sure why-- perhaps I just want you all to know what I'm dealing with.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the last of its kind.  Yesterday it was a large dog that turned up dead and moldering under the wooden boards in front of my house (I'll spare you the visual evidence this time), and today the stench is back again.  I haven't yet gone to investigate, but I am tired of this morbid ritual.  Even more than that, though, I'm fearful of what this portends.

Obviously, whoever is leaving these "gifts" intends them to scare me, and while I am not really worried about winding up beneath the porch, I am concerned that now I'm being spied on.  My detractors have done quite well in disrupting my plans with nothing but my blog to work with.  How will I accomplish anything if they have my location?

Plus, there's the matter of actually removing the carcasses every day.  It's not at all pleasant, and knowing that someone is coming here during the night to drop them off is disturbing.  I actually tried to stay awake last night, and managed to stave off sleep until after four in the morning, but I never heard anything.  How is that possible?  The process of placing the bodies must be far quieter than removing them.

I guess it's time to move on from this house as well.  At least the next location will likely smell better.

Until next time...