Entry 12B “Nolan-”.
I jolted awake in my plane seat, knocking off my old grey digi-camo(UCP/ACU)
patrol cap onto the floor in front of me. I rubbed my eyes with the meat of my palm as I looked around.
Just a few minutes ago I was on death’s door, sucking up and blowing out blood, with most of my body so shot to hell I could barely breathe without feeling like one of my own ribs was prison shanking
And now, here I was. Isle side seat of the middle section of a large delta airliner, near the very back of the plane. Wearing now out of service ACUs, a light buzz, and…. An M16 in between my legs. Hold on….
I surveyed the plane around me, it was nearly empty, most of the personnel who’d been riding had taken their things and left. Flight Attendants were now cleaning up between the isles as the last few officers made their way out of the side exit at the far end of the plane...
Leaving just me, and the one and only. Sergeant Walker.
“Started tah’ think you were a corpse, heh….. Jeysus’
box really did a number on you didn’t it? Well? Get yer’ shit we’ve got to get off…” Walker heaved a large assault packed stuff with different equipment, snacks, and things he’d taken on with him, a spare barrel bag and M4 strapped to the side MOLLE.
He didn’t look older than when I last saw him, well over 10 years ago. His deep, gravely “geojan” accented still sounded in it’s prime too….
I quickly scrambled for my PC, slapping it on my head as I pulled my carry on from the top compartment and pulled it on, “Yeah gotcha, Roger Sergeant”
. Walker scoffed.
“What you actin’ all weird on me now? Heh, you wanna be all robot how about you shave your fuckin face!!” Walker crudely quipped as I slung my M16. I fired back, “Technically
we aren’t back in the states yet Sergeant-”.
“The Fuck, How so?!
this airliner counts as international airspace, so until we’re boots down outside of the plane….”.
I should smack your smart ass mouth, Heh. Come on, lets get the fuck outta this hotbox
…”. We squeezed past stragglers and flight staff as we made our way down the plane, and god, it was like 2011 was just yesterday. The plane was stuffy after transporting well over 200 disgruntled, frustrated, burnt out american warriors back across the atlantic, it smelled of sweat, pain, and nicotine that technically
wasn’t allowed on the flight…. What was
Whether I refused to think about it, or couldn’t…. I kept playing along. “God I am fuckin’
hungry” Walker cackled. “Tellin’ me? God I want a fuckin’
steak right now…. Medium Rare- nah yah know what? Rare,
so bloody it’s still fuckin’ live
”.I raised an eyebrow, “Trying to get food poisoning Sarn’t?
“Listen after all of the bullets whizzing, motar ducking, ten minutes of sleep, eating 5 year old skittles because the army couldn’t send us better supplies, digging ranger graves only to move 20 meters to the left anyways- fuckery
….. If a steak kills me Nolan, feel free to write ‘Fuckhead’
on my gravestone. Nah better yet, just dump me in a Koi pond
“-Don’t forget almost overturning a Maxxpro because we let a technically
legally blind person drive it?-”. Walker stopped dead in his tracks and jutted a finger at me.
“That was the fuckin’ PL’s
idea, not mine.
‘S What happens
when you give fuckin’ military command to a drop out with an associates
As much as he reamed and shit talked our valiant 1st Lieutenant, he still showed the sir nothing but respect, and both of them worked cohesively.... when they were't bickering like a married couple.
We dodged an attendant beginning to vacuum the floor as one of the pilots tipped his hat, shaking hands with us before we proceeded to the door.
“You gonna quit drinkin’ yet, Dwight?” I couldn’t smother the wheeze that came afterwards, “Sergeant I said I was sorry
for your truck…”. Turns out he didn’t
forget about our last platoon barbecue.“Sorry
doesn’t clean the inside of a door, Staff Sergeant
… Come on, let’s get this welcome home shit done and eat”.
I pulled my assault pack up a bit as we rounded the corner, the bright sunlight blinding me so much I had to shield my eyes. “So, no Battalion ball then?”.
“Fuck no, we’re takin’ the kids ta’ ‘steakhouse
Didn’t have a comeback because the light from the outside was brighter than I originally thought, way brighter. So much so I had to start blinking to adjust my eyes, and yet, my memory didn’t proceed how I remembered.
Instead of a crowd of families greeting their soldiers, husbands and wives, fathers, mothers, and their kids, or even the humming of the plane’s engines as they cooled down…. I heard birds
…. and the wind?
This was odd because I remember the Family Readiness Group
was playing some stock patriotic music on a loud speaker, so loud I could barely
hear Walker…. And why would there be birds in the middle of a busy airport?
My eyes finally obeyed me as I commanded them to open, yet, instead of a new york airport, surrounded by our fellow americans welcoming us home…. I was in a shack. At least, I thought it was a shack. The sunlight was coming from several broken and cracked windows to my right, the walls and ceiling were made of chipped planks that had hints of old blue and pink paint on them… hold up…
This wasn’t the shack, it was a house. The house.
My body was suddenly flushed with adrenaline as I shot up, albeit at the speed of a Parkinson's patient, and still sore. I was back in the small kids room of the very upstairs opening of the sunken house, everything is as I last seen it. Items knocked to the side as I rushed into the house, the bed I was laying on was aimed crooked because of so….
The pack of cigarettes I left on the window sill was still there, albeit frosted over from spending the night out there... was it even only a night?
I scanned the room, and saw a few things; The doorway I used to get into the deeper reaches of the house had now completely collapsed in on itself.
Guess the house’s structural integrity started to come apart with all the door kicking, floor breaking running and gunning from last night. Regardless, I wasn’t in the mood to go back down there. Not anymore…
Don’t know how long I was out for, still don’t. My phone read 11:37am, but I felt way too fresh and healed to have been just ten hours after. My face still bore some scars of the previous night, blood all across my face, with my shoulders aching from that fall in the library and shouldering my ‘15, but apart from that…. I was able to walk.
My rifle, kit, assault pack, hell even my fucking jacket and now broken
oakleys were laying neatly placed on the bed. Pulling myself to my feet, and slipping my gear on, I scanned the room again, failing to see her if she even was here. Before I left I kicked the bed back to how it was originally placed, and took one last, longing stare into the house before I made my way out….
The deep snow of the outside had begun to thaw and melt as I breathed in the cold, yet crisp and clean air of the forest. It still felt ominous
, even with the midday sun beating down, I still as if behind every tree, every rock, and every seemingly empty part of it laid an assailant ready to pounce on me.
Not like I could do anything though…. No more magazines, no more rounds…. Just an empty rifle and a broken ass body that should have stopped doing this shit years ago…
Surprisingly my azimuth watch still worked, though it took a bit of caveman slapping and swearing to get it to turn back on. I flipped through the one preset cords I had, pointing back south in the direction of the Cazamoth Estate.
And, after one last stare into the silent, ominous clearing….. I limped back home.
The walk was slow, agonizing, yet at the same time calming, and fulfilling. My mind went over the past few months. All the firefights, all the mock exorcisms…. Then, last night. What it had said.
Can’t beat the woods, only control
it. You can mag dump into the darkness as much as you want but you’ll never kill it. You can’t kill what can’t be touched, but it sure as shit can touch and kill you. Kidnap you, drag you away to an underground lair for the sake of the greater good and saving people…..
And Theodore knew it. All of it. Theodore called it crazy…. Guess we can agree on something there, but he knew something. He knew, he fucking knew, he avoided saying it in the house, he basically admitted it in the car…. but, it also said he didn't
know 'The truth'?
I must’ve looked like a crackhead walking through those woods. Spitting, muttering, shaking my head and talking to myself as I walked and looked around out of sheer paranoia....
I was so concerned with Theodore, I barely noticed my old pathfinder
friend as I rounded a tree corner…..
The same man who had given me needed guidance when the chips were down, now squared up to me, meeting my tired, beaten up gaze with his own. The Native.
It was around this time, I realized we were about the same size, albeit he looked much more in shape than I did. I didn’t take the time to ask him his exact height measurements though as we engaged in what was the most tense ten minutes of my life. He held something between a scowl and a grimace, the war paint reflecting the sun off his skin.
Had he come to finish me off? Was he expecting something
from me? I wouldn’t be able to defend myself, I was at maybe
5% and had an unloaded rifle…..
He simply looked me in my eyes, saying so much without ever moving his mouth.... and after what felt like hours, he nodded. Without ever having spoken to him, knowing jack shit about him, I knew what it meant.
I nodded back, a mutual “Thank you”
And like that, for the first time, he turned and walked off. Not vanishing into midair or melting into the wind, but, melting into the forest. The dark, cracked wood of the trees and old leaves hanging desperately onto their branches, covered by frost and snow, seemed to merge with his back as he faded into the horizon…..
The sound of footsteps crunching towards me broke me from my trance, and I found myself looking into the barrel of a gun. Specifically, the Glock 17 I had loaned
Rosanne the night before.
Now staring back at me…. Does this fall under the Irony category or?.... “Don’t you fucking move…”
She muttered, standing on top of a small mound of dirt, she had the high ground and the superior firepower advantage. How the tables have turned, Dwight. I exhaled a puff of hot air as my left hand rubbed my temples with my hand, dropping it to my side.
“So….. you gonna shoot me for being a chronic asshole, or?-” Rosanne cut me off.
“You were down there, for twelve hours. Twelve
, Dwight…. So give me a sign that it’s you
before I use your way of dealing what could be another shapeshifter, or a fucking- demon, or a fucking possession of your corpse or- ANYTHING!!".
I’m not gonna lie, I was internally torn between wanting to slap the shit out
of Rosanne, and sighing because she had a
point. I mean, a fucking cockamania one since, if I was a creep from the woods I would have probably pounced her... but, a point.
“Do fleshgaits retain memories?”. Rosanne shook her head...
Alright, here it goes…..
“My name’s Dwight Anthony Nolan, I’m a former 11bravo Direct Fire Infantryman, formerly stationed at the ice cold field problem death pit that was Fort Drum, I’m a self diagnosed alcoholic, certified range supervisor, I’ve spent the last several months under contract with Cazamoth Industries, I’ve enlisted your help under what I’m gonna guesstimate was a week and a half ago
because time here is as convoluted as my last few remaining brain cells… Isaac is missing an eye, you’re a British commonwealth
immigrant judging by your dialect, you helped me exorcise, among other things, a fucking river, werewolves are real, the Giant of Kandahar was a Nephilim, and I also know that despite all those runic drawings in your journal you keep a way too detailed graphic image of a
.....” Rosanne backed off a few steps, holding up her hand as she lowered the pistol. Rosanne chuckled, “You sly son of a gun, I knew
you looked in my journal!! I Knew it!!”. I shrugged, “You take a lot
“Only cause I work hard, Dwight…. You look worse for wear, what happened?”. My stare was deadpan and involved one long blink. "Did you hit your fucking head?
", "I mean down there
I gazed back to where the native had walked, he was long gone, and then, back down the slope towards the sunken house, before pivoting back to my locally hired witch
. “Long story
, I’ll tell you back at the estate, just know…. It’s over
“Over?”, I nodded. Rosanne breathed a sigh of relief as she looked around, “Come on, home’s this way…”. I waited a few seconds before following.
“How the fuck do you know?
We were walking for about an hour before we had reached the perimeter path of the Cazamoth Estate, much to my hysterical
joy freaking out Rosanne. Following it back around the eastern side, we reached the front gate of the Cazamoth estate. I noticed along the way, while we were gone they really did a number on the place.
Trees were gutted and torn down, C-wire was ripped off the top of the concrete wall and strung around like, as Rosanne put it;“Iraq War Christmas Trees-”.
However, regardless of how the mice had played while the cats were away. In this case, the mice being demonic ghouls that could chuck grown men several feet, and the mice being a group of misfits armed with the finest in operator gear they could buy from a small town gun store.
Albeit, a very well armed gun store armed by two Belorussians- Armenians?- Germans
. Great, thanks Isaac now I've
got them fucking mixed up.
I'm fucking drunk, It'll become clear later.... regardless of the show of force, the gate still held, surprisingly
well. Rosanne scanned her eyes across the large metal gate as I approached keypad.
“Hello?! Anyone there?!” I pressed the button and shouted. Yes I shouted into the intercom, I know full well how fucky those headphones are because Theodore either bought the equipment especially high end or at fucking walmart.
And for a moment, nothing came through, causing Rosanne to shrug as me and her locked eyes. That was, until-
Frank Castle returns from the grave, Marco owes me 20 bucks…
I stared at the camera slightly stunned, “You placed bets on whether or not I was gonna make it out alive?”.
“Hey! HEY!!.... Mackerel
was the one who said you probably wouldn’t, and I challenged him”,
“You mean, Merkel
…. Good to see you’re alright Dwight, I knew you’d make it. You see Tim out there by chance? John and I saw him on the way back and from the looks of it he stole my trucker hat and was wearing it so I wanted to get it bac-”.
“Isaac open the fucking door”.
“Alright!! Jesus!!! ‘Gotta be so mean…”.
Rosanne and I had made our way back into the house, John was fast asleep on the couch, passed out with a blanket covering him, who Rosanne immediately checked on. Gareth and Merkel were busy cooking something in the kitchen, Isaac immediately came into the living room and said-
“So, what was down there?” his question bounced around my head like a fucking pinball, and I still don’t know
the answer. I pulled my kit off me, dropping it onto one of the lounge chairs where Isaac and the others had put theirs.
Once again it had become a “Giant pile of monster killing supplies”.
“I….. I’m not sure….”, Isaac raised an eyebrow, “It said several things…. That the woods can’t be stopped, that it tried to paint itself as a lesser evil compared to it…. That Theodore knew-”.
Isaac jumped back and pointed at me, “HAH!!! I FUCKIN KNEW IT!!! THAT GOD DAMN SNAK-
”. Rosanne quickly snapped at him, “Isaac!!!”.
He looked confused as she gave a “Shush” gesture to him. Rosanne said he’ll be fine, as long as he gets plenty of sleep, and we don’t let him get kidnapped again.
It would be easy since compared to the last few months, the proceeding week or so was a fucking pallet cleanser.
Gareth and Merkel took off the next day after we arrived. Both the europeans loaded up their mass amounts of weapons and ordnance into the back of their van. Gareth himself said something to the effect of, “These woods will still be dangerous
, but we did good work… you did good work. You and Isaac are friends, come anytime, oh and tell Isaac if he wants’ job besides being your cyclops….. He is welcome at Gareth’s arms…. Stay well, Sergeant Nolan”. I still remember the spartanesc grip he gave me even after him and Gareth drove off.
Next was Rosanne, I asked her if she wanted to go back into town, what with the woods attacking John’s Friend’s house that one night. But being Rosanne, she protested…
“Just because we solved one problem, doesn’t mean their ain’t a thousand bloody
more takin’ it’s place!! Everyone in town needs somethin’, and this world’s only gonna get stranger after the power vacuuming’ of whatever you riddled down there….”. I nodded, sitting back on the hodd of the old SUV driving my hands in my pockets.
“You sure you don’t want a ride back to town?…. Like you said, woods are still haunted-”. Rosanne looked out towards the open gate, then brushing her hair before stuffing it under her beanie. She shook her head, “Nah…… I’ll be okay…. Oh and….” She dug into her bag, pulling out the glock and hanging it to me- I waved it off, much to her confusion.
“I think we can both agree that the town witch
who just helped take out an eldritch demon is gonna have a target on her back. Take it, consider it a form of payment since I’m no longer funded by my boss…”.
Rosanne shoved it back into her bag as she slapped my shoulder, “Psh…. you think I get paid? Hah! Funny
….. No I do it as a service….. Someone’s gotta…..”. She rested her hand back on my shoulder, staring into my eyes.
“Remember….. That rich asshole’ gives you trouble, or you need my help….. Just call
Despite my warning to Isaac that Theodore was gonna be back in less than a week, he vowed to stay as long as he could.
“Not gonna just leave you high and dry, Cap’n!!! Let’s get this place locked down…”. I spun back around in the office chair of the security room, scanning all of the camera monitors as Isaac nervously scratched the back of his neck.
“So…… Can I drive the ATV?”
*I use this saying a lot- "*Had it been X months ago", I would have kindly declined a one eyed, always buzzed redneck the opportunity to drive the ATV.
However, considering the circumstances, and the fact that I was likely not gonna be employed next week….. I pulled open the key drawer and beckoned him.
Like I said, the estate was a mess after the war of the fucking wendigos
that took us near 15 klicks into the woods. Not much Isaac and I could do to remove the fallen trees, especially since both of us were less motivated to conduct high octane ATV landscaping
for a man who literally
chose to live in demon alley than we were our first few months here….
Rosanne was right however, the woods still are off. Though, the last few days I went on patrol on the ATV, scanning the perimeter path during both the day, and, finally, feeling safe enough to venture out at night.
occur. An broken stone archway that appeared on the path caused me to detour around it, after I tossed a branch through and it came out not diced, but minced on the other side. I made the executive decision to not
fuck with it after I tossed a rock
through with the same result….
Other things still occur. Isaac said he saw things like the crabwalking man, who I’ve now ruled is more or less harmless, a fucking baby carriage, and a staircase
. The third one was no longer there when I
checked the area.
I also get slight glimpses of the static looking, green figure from the chop shop of the house… out of the corner of my eye, each time seemingly closer and closer, but never too close….. And never in direct eyesight.
It was a weird, nostalgic feeling? If you can call this fuckbin
of a gig nostalgic in any sense. Just the good old Cazamoth Security Duo doing routine checks, John getting better and better with the help of chicken noodle soup and Tylenol, and patrolling the estate.
I finally indulged in Isaac’s cultural past time a few days ago…. We were on the porch, the sun was setting providing a warm orange hue that bathed the two of us as we sat back in a couple of wicker chairs. Isaac had a glass of jack, I had corona, also known colloquially by me as hot urine.
We must’ve sat there for hours, sitting back, legs crossed, my rifle resting across my lap just in case the woods wanted to go one last round that would never come, and despite our banterish history, it was silent. A feeling of calm acceptance and finality to this, a friendship that was literally built on two chatter mouths meeting on a forest path.
That was- until Isaac started asking.
"You owe me 25 bucks" I turned to him, confused. "How fucking so?", Isaac swallowed a big swig of Jack D before continuing. "Remember, we placed bets?". I scoffed, then laughed, "Listen... I don't really know what was down there, I never got a good look".
"So?", "It's a draw
Isaac", "There's no fucking draws in bets!!". The both of us share a fake!tense stare, before falling back into buzzed chuckles. I took one last sip of my beer, emptying it before tossing it into a bucket across the porch.
"Gonna miss you brotha..." Isaac said, his one good eye was slightly glossed over, sitting back, his hands holding the bottle in his lap. I exhaled, sighing as I sat back. This really was, probably, our last time together. "Yeah...".
"So what're you gonna do after this?" I shrugged in response, "Go home...", "Home?", "Chicago... probably buy some booze, write an autobiography like every G-WOT vet, and live off the royalties...". I turned to Isaac, "You?".
"Stock market, I hear Dow Jones is doing good this time of year-", I shook my head in disbelief. "Bullfuckingshit
", Isaac cackled and nodded. "Yeah, you're right.... probably just gonna take the latvian's offer and go work for them".
The little camaraderie I had with my friend would soon come to an end, however. The very last day, the day before Theodore came back, Isaac finally left. He sported one of the assault packs I had given him, packing up his tent and strapping it to the top. Despite my offers to drive him back into town, Isaac argued-
“If I can walk 700 miles across two damn states, I can make it to town….. Besides, you and the kid need to prepare yourselves for....him
tomorrow….”. I nodded, kicking up a bit of the gravel as we both stared off into the evening sky, Isaac turned back “You sure you don’t want me here in the trenches with you when he comes?”.
“No…. I’ve got a feeling Theodore’s gonna pull something tomorrow…. And I don’t want anyone caught up in it that doesn’t need to be… Besides, you paid enough on this little adventure…”. I tapped the bottom of my eye, referencing Isaac’s wound. Albeit, with some help from Rosanne, it looked a lot cleaner, with a proper eyepatch over the new bandages.
“Hey…. I gave it back to the suckers…. Good Luck, Sergeant ....”.
And like that, the Cazamoth Extermination Squad, the finest members of the paranormal hunting group I had assembled, fought with, and worked with for the last few months….. Was back down to me. The evening drive was probably one of the most isolating damn trips I ever took. The sky was a bluish purple as I drove the ATV down the trail, soaring over potholes and past fallen trees.
I stopped at the northern bend, the halfway point- the spot where motion detector 6 was. I parked the ATV, leaving it running as I scanned the now low lit area. I saw the deep holes which the now destroyed ATV made trying to rev it’s wheels to get out, the tree I shot meters ahead attempting to shoot the creatures, gazing into the now clear path ahead…. My mind goes back to that night.
Surrounded by dozens of them, all of them laughing, stalking me, that creature with it’s white and yellow eyes staring back into me in the rain. Now…. gone. I looked out to the north, over the slope that lead downwards to the woods. The ocean of trees that laid beyond.
“Man…..” I sighed, “I need a vacation….”. “HEEEY!!!!!!”.
Even after nearly half a year of this fuckery, my skeleton, ironically enough, nearly jumped out of my skin from the sudden greeting.
I turned back to my left, to see none other than Tim. Turns out Isaac was indeed right
, even if he was half blind. Tim, among other things, bore Isaac’s Texarkana trucker hat.
I stared at Tim for a few minutes, had anyone seen me, not
knowing about my time here, they would’ve thought I was fucking insane. To be fair, I still
think I am. Lost in the insanity of this place, suffocated by trees, talking to fucking skeletons…. If this is insanity, I gotta say….. It’s at least entertaining.
I turned on my engine to leave, but I stopped. Laughing as I shook my head from the idea. I reached into the back of the ATV’s container, and pulled out my electronic headphones. Walking over and placing them on Tim’s head over the Trucker hat, I stepped back.
“A real fuckin’ operator….. Goodbye Tim”.
Even with the loud roar of my ATV’s engine, and the sounds of the fleeting winter winds, I still hear one solitary word; “NAAARK!!!!”.
The day had arrived, I woke up at 4am
, got cleaned up and my gear consolidated at 5
, and was at the monitor desk of the security room waiting with a fresh red bull in hand by 6
. Theodore had arrived, in a black SUV nearly identical to the one parked just outside, along with several vans and a fucking truck of, judging by the Cazamoth Industries logo, the corporate back up old Theo talked about.
So it was true, huh? I chuckled, sighing as I slid back out of the chair, clipping on my 5.7’s holster to my belt, I chugged my red bull as I headed outside. Even if it was his estate, his home, with his son in it…. I still felt like the old town sheriff walking out to meet the bandits that had just ridden into down, big iron literally on my hip.
I lightly kicked open the front door as I called back into the house.“John!!! Your dad’s home”. It still took John nearly 20 minutes to join us outside, whether it was from still being ill, or not wanting to see his flee the coup papa…. I still don’t know.
The empty can flattened out underneath my boot as I stepped off the porch, meeting a group of uninformed individuals, joined by none other than the long haired, sweater vest wearing millionaire- possibly billionaire….. Theodore Cazamoth.
A long staredown ensued as he was backed by several guards, all in black crye tops and bottoms, belts, caps, and most importantly, armed. Their eyes shot to Theodore, then to me. My eyes stayed on Theodore, and my hands were shoved in my pocket- mostly because I really wish I brought 2 redbulls, heart attacks be damned.
The silent staredown was broken up as Theodore’s son walked up alongside me, and the previously malice filled, stern look on his face was melted- more so forced back, as he walked over to hug his son.
“Dwiiiiight- it’s so good to see you!!!” Theodore crossed his legs at his desk, mind you, the one that still had all of the broken pieces and holes in it from my little raid. I stood infront, arms crossed, as several C-Industries staff members worked to force the heavy filing cabinets back upright.
Theodore maintained his grin however, and honestly, after all the other shit here, I wasn’t phased. “I see you’ve keep things under control….” I honestly had to work really fucking hard to not laugh at that. “Yeah, holdin’ the fort down without you here was an experience boss…. Was it productive?
“Very….” the tone and smile that came after, however, did make me shiver a bit. “My shareholders and I have big plans for not just the estate Dwight, but the company, these woods, the town….. And more….. Big changes are coming, all for the better, I assure you….”.
I gave a fake smirk and nodded, just as the employees were finished and walked out, Theodore’s smile disappeared along with mine. He slid his feet down, brushing against the broken section of the desk, which caused one of the upper corners to literally fall off. Theodore snapped to his feet, kicking it away, as brushed his forehead.
“Oh Dwight, what am
I gonna do with you?” he chuckled, the evil motherfucker from that talk in the car was back. “Zip tie me
, bag me
, drag me
, shoot me
and leave me in a shallow grave?
”. Theodore shook his head, “No, no…. Contrary to what you might think….. I can’t just do that….”.
Theodore held his hands behind him as he walked over to the large set of windows behind his desk, staring off into the woods, outside, dozens of workers began to install new security wire, along with lights, cameras, and set up new huts around the perimeter wall.
“Your little blog series really saved
you…. Had it not been for half of the fucking internet knowing about you, I really could have
just zipped, bagged, and shot you….”. I chuckled out loud, earning a scowl that was so fucking satisfying from him. My mind thought back to that thing in the metal lair, how I knew too much
, how I needed to be smothered…. I really wanted to ream him, to rip him apart, press his scrawny neck against the damn wall, and start interrogating him….. But then I did remember what that void also said.
Theodore would “exploit” whatever was down there if he caught wind of what it really was, where it was, whatever Theodore already knew
, and-..... What I’m saying is, better to not say anything
, than allow the evil fucking corporate douchebag money man to catch whiff.
“Well you’ll be happy to know that you’ll know longer have to bear the title of: Security officer hired to protect the forest estate
, Dwight…” My arms dropped to my sides, as I pondered that that could mean. Theodore opened one of his drawers, pulling out a tablet with a very, very long form written on it.
Without going into too many of the confidential financial details
, Cazamoth Industries had decided that “Due to my dedicated service to the company and the estate, as well as the Cazamoth family, and after considering the consequences and benefits of my long term health….-” my contract was being bought out.
Basically, I was fired
, with the next what would have been five years worth of pay being wired to me, along with a bonus.
It was money, a lot of money, deep six figures “I can finally fucking retire”
kind of money.
The kind of money they give you to shut the fuck up and go back to Chicago. It was the kind of situation where, I should fight it because they’re trying to cut me out. But, they did, and what was
I gonna do?
I was no longer legally allowed on the property, I was no longer a member of the company. You don't say no to a contract buy out, you can only nod your head and accept, it's out of your hands. I was no longer “Security Guard Dwight Nolan”, I was just…. Dwight Nolan
What I’m getting at is. Despite all the internal arguments I had, all the reservations I had for just leaving thing the way they were and allowing Theodore to do whatever the fuck he wanted….begrudgingly, whether I wanted it or not, Cazamoth industries sent me 401k++++, emphasis on multiple
pluses, and I took my ball and went home.
Not much I could do now….. I said goodbye to John, the kid gave me a final hug, I, in return, gave him my still intact pair of oakleys and parted ways- not before being escorted out by several cazamoth security officers as Theodore watched from the porch. By 10am, I was shoved out of the opening in the perimeter wall, onto the gravel path I had seen so many times....
And then, with a slow crawl, and a finally heavy metal thud....
The gate closed.
And I was free. Unemployed, but free.
I beat my self right the fuck up about it, I still am. I was a fucking coward, whether or not I braved the things under the house, I allowed Theodore to get exactly what he wanted, I just let them kick me out of the land I was warden of, and I went home. But, I had no
choice.... did I? Yes- No.
Sorry, Like I said earlier, drunk....
I took another hard shot of vodka in the pub on the edge of town, the same one I visited several months ago. The alcohol hit straight away, and as my head buzzed, I turned my head to the cork board.
What was a board filled with 48
missing cases a few months ago, was now at 65
*.* What was just locals now included hikers, tourists, truckers, cops, and more. I gritted my teeth and bit down the guilt, turning over my glass and overpaying the bartender.
I was cut out, I couldn’t do anything, I repeated these words as I wandered out of the bar, and down the road. The town still seemed ominous, much like the woods, even after the ghouls were dealt with, there was still plenty of mysteries, and plenty of problems.
However, I wouldn’t be around to deal with them, I couldn’t. But I wasn’t gonna let Theodore and whoever else just run wild on this place while I was gone.
I opened the worn brass mail slot of Rosanne’s house, and slipped an overstuffed envelope through. It was late at night, the moon was up in force, and I wasn’t gonna wake her up to hand her what would be just as useful in the morning.
What was in the envelope you may ask? Oh, you know, printed transcripts of the entire series, detailed logs from the estate house, scavenged files from the security room, and- despite how Theodore may have tried, an intact hard drive from that computer tower….
I don’t have all the answers, fuck, I have very few
I don’t know what was in that darkness of the house, I don’t know who the girl exactly was, I don’t know what Theodore’s gonna do, and I don’t know what the fuck was in that cellar door…. And if I’m not gonna be around to find out, then those who will, will, hopefully
Rosanne’s young, motivated, she’s hellbent on helping this town, and if Isaac and the soviet bloc lads
are still around, and they will be, bet on it… they’ll be here to help her….
This is where I would
say my goodbye. I walked back to the parking lot of the pub, gazing at the night sky as I called a taxi cab company. I was way
too drunk to try and drive anything back to the nearest airport, and like hell I’m getting a hitchhike from a stranger….
“-It’ll be 37 minutes sir….”.
Great, leave my drunk ass here for that fucking long? Good thing I don’t have any of my weapons. I started to type everything on this entry- from the elevator, to now
, eating away at the minutes as I hoped each passing car was the cab to finally take me home, bobbing and weaving on my feet….
And yet, despite it being a clear parking lot, maybe it was my mild deafness, my buzz…..
The voice was cool, calm, smooth, calculated, with an accent I still can't really put my finger on.
And yet, like I said maybe it was my mildly drunk state
or my heightened sense of paranoia, but I hopped off the small concrete jersey barrier I was, turning to the man.
He was older, possibly late 40s, mid 50s. He wore a dark blue pinstripe suit, with black detailing over it. I eyed him up and down as I ran my hands over my knuckles. "Alright, listen, who the fuck are you?!"
“Easy now soldier... easy!
I only want to talk!” He said laughing, my hands twitched as I eyed him up and down, then scanned the parking lot for what I was sure was an ambush. “Yeahyeahyeah-yeah,
everyone wants to talk nowadays, who the fuck are you?”.
The man gave a small smile as he faked offense, giving a fake scoff as he put his hand over his heart. "No need for such hostility Dwight, I come not as an enemy, but a friend...".
My head cocked out of confusion, "Friend- what? How the fuck do you know my name? And also, yeah, I ask again, who the fuck are
Stay safe guys, and see you around holding out his hand, “My name’s Xavier,
Mr. Nolan…. Your actions in this town have not gone unnoticed..
I raised an eyebrow, “You’ve…. Been watching me?”. The man laughed, retracting his hand, "Many parties Mr. Dwight
, many... I simply represent one that wants to extend a helping and cooperative hand to someone with your resume...".
“So….. what do you want?
”. The man straightened out his suit, cracking his neck. He stood just short of my height, maybe 5’11, 6’0. “You’ve built up quite the rap sheet; Four combat deployments, 10 years in the military, and now, first hand encounter with the unnatural….. I’m interested in your skills….”.
This caused me to burst out laughing, oh I should have fucking known this was coming. “Yeah, look…. Xavier, I appreciate Blackwater having the courtesy to come knocking on my door but it’s 5 years too late, and I’ve finally got enough money to retire…”.
This confused him, “Blackwater? Oh, you mistake me Dwight, I’m not with any private military companies, not at all. I represent an group backed by many world agencies with the trust and goal of aimed not at monetary gain, but of humanity's safety..".
"So, what? Area 51 Kill Squad?" Xavier chuckled, resting one of his hands on a pocket inside of his jacket. "No, not exactly..... Like I said, we're not of any one goverment". I crossed my arms, "yeah well, look, Xavier?". The man nodded, "You know full well what's been going on, so I appreciate the offer, but I'm in no mood to just jump right back into chasing demons into dark forests...".
Xavier held his nodded, showing he understood. "Understandable, really, I agree. Take all the R&R you need Mr Dwight, but, know this.... Dark times are coming Mr. Nolan, there are things like this happening all over the world, and whether you like it or not, your tenure at the Cazamoth estate has dragged you into something you might not so easily get out of..... When you make up your mind.... give me a call".
That last part blanked my mind, and I felt my phone buzz in my back pocket. I pulled it out to see [New Contact Added: "Xavier" ].
This earn a look of shock from me, as I was at a loss for words. “How’d you….. Who the fuck are
-”. As I turned to ask him the question, he was gone. Mind the fact that I looked away for only a few seconds and would have heard him run off- and the fact that he was in the middle of an open parking lot….
I wanted to pursue him, I wanted to ask him what the he meant. What was coming? What was happening? But before I could…. The horn of the taxi cab honked loudly as it pulled up to my side of the street.
This probably isn’t the ending you wanted, and I’m sorry. I didn’t get all the answers, I got cut out of the mystery, and, honestly, even with Xavier’s offer, I still don’t know where I’m gonna go from here.
All I have to say is..... 250,000 a year go missing, some with cases going cold, others, without a trace, sometimes turning up in unexplained ways, conditions, and others, not at all. There are powers that be that would like to see them forgotten, brushed under the rug, and never thought of again. It's our duty to remember who they are, and never stop looking for them.
If you hadn't realized this already.... This is probably my last entry.
I don't know if I'll be back, I don't know if I'll ever press "CALL" on xavier's contact. What I do know is, you've been with me for the long haul, and for that, I thank you.
This has been Dwight Nolan,
Former US Army Staff Sergeant,
Formerly, the security hired to protect that damn forest estate
Stay safe guys, and see you around.