This is a video pasta. If the embedded video is not loading for you, please click the link above to go directly to the video’s YouTube page and try watching it there.
Credit: Liam Vickers
This is a video pasta. If the embedded video is not loading for you, please click the link above to go directly to the video’s YouTube page and try watching it there.
Credit: Liam Vickers
Halloween is by far my favorite time of the year, the one wonderful day where walking around with a mask on is socially acceptable. Masks hold quite a unique place in society. A mask can transform anyone into something else, turn an actor into a character, hide the ‘secret identity’ of a superhero, or even allow monsters to walk among men. You never know what’s behind a mask until it’s taken off, but that’s the best part of Halloween; no one is going to take off anyone’s mask. There is no gang of teenagers with their talking dog there to strip away my disguise and reveal the truth underneath. No, this is reality, and on Halloween I’m perfectly able to hide in plain sight.
Of course, wearing a mask has its own special meaning for me; I am not an actor, super hero, or even a monster- not in the fictional terms at least- no, I simply use a mask as a means of entry. Any mask works really, so long as it covers my face; I manage to use a different one every year. All I need to do is walk the streets of my suburban neighborhood, weave my way through various decorations, and dodge packs of trick-or-treaters, until I hear the familiar blaring of loud music. Like a sailor to a siren at sea, I’m drawn to the music, to the party that it emanates from; yes, this is why Halloween is wonderful.
No one seems to ever ask questions at the door to a Halloween party, all I really need to do is knock and wave when the door opens- the mask makes people just assume I’m there for the party. Hell, sometimes people just leave their front doors wide open- allowing even easier access to their home. On Halloween no one gives a second glance towards a masked man making his way through their midst, which is what makes my hobby oh so fun.
They are completely oblivious as I approach their food. They continue to chatter and gossip as I add my own special ingredient to their bowl of punch. They continue to dance and play as I stab small, sharp, needles into their chocolates and sweets. It is not until their first friend drops to the floor, either choking on my poison or coughing up bloody needles, that people start to panic. It is the same every year; as soon as I leave the party and hear the chaos rising behind me, an unstoppable grin forms under my mask. Screams of terror are such a pleasant noise for such a pleasant holiday.
By Christina Durner
On October 1, 1957, Callie purchased the small cottage overlooking Cimmerian Bluff. She was quite alone in the world. Having just lost both her parents in a head-on collision three months ago she felt it was time to make a life for herself, to move to a new town where no one knew her, a town where she wouldn’t be accosted daily by the well-meaning people who offered their sincerest sympathies despite the fact that they had never bothered to acknowledge that she even existed before the accident. She had no other family. She had no friends. The only things that truly belonged to her were her dog, Hodge, her new job as a page at the town’s library, and the broken-down little cottage that she’d purchased on a whim.
Turning the cottage into her personal sanctuary would be a grand task. But the inheritance that she’d acquired would make that possible. From the looks of the exterior it appeared to be a shell-like ruin. But having gone inside she realized that with some initiative and a little elbow grease she could fix it up in no time.
“A diamond in the rough,” she kept telling herself. “Once I clean it up and have the water turned on Hodge and I can move right in.”
It had been uninhabited since the late 1920s, when a tragedy of heinous nature struck down the elderly woman who had lived there with her cat, and it had remained empty until Callie discovered it. According to the citizens of Cimmerian Bluff a traveling tramp had been blamed for the brutal slaying. The old woman’s throat had been viciously torn open in what the police believed to be an act of desperation when the hobo had broken in to the woman’s cottage and been caught stealing. They never did find the cat. The tramp swore ignorance, claiming to never have been near the cottage. But despite his protests he was found guilty and hung for his alleged savagery. The townspeople swore that the old cottage was unfit to live in, that it was haunted and did not want to be lived in.
But Callie detested superstition as much as she detested unwanted guests. So she bought the house despite its sordid past with the hopes that the legend of the tramp and the old woman would deter townspeople from making unwelcomed visits. Callie paid to have the water turned on and the roof and floors repaired and by the seventeenth she and Hodge had taken up residence. True, there was no electricity at this point. But Callie enjoyed the warm glow and snug atmosphere that candlelight and the stone fireplace provided.
She’d enjoyed her first two days at work. Shelving books required very little human interaction and allowed Callie to listen to her audio books which always made the time go faster. The only problem she’d experienced thus far was the spotting of a field mouse scurrying into the stacks on her way to the lunch room. Callie had always loved animals, more so than people. But rodents gave her a fright. As a child her mother had always been cruel to her, insisting that if her room was not spotless the mice would come into her room at night and bite her toes. Callie’s mother maintained that they would scamper into her room every night searching for a reason to get her. Since then the very thought of a mouse could cause her to freeze up and panic to wash over her in tidal waves.
Thinking of her mother saddened her. She’d spent most of her life trying desperately to win her approval and affections. While her father on the other hand had been the most loving person she had ever known. He was the only person that she enjoyed being around and now he was gone. She refused to upset herself any further and cuddled close to Hodge as she sipped warm cider in front of the fireplace.
“This could be a lovely little cottage,” she said out loud, talking to both herself and the dog. “We just need some new carpeting, perhaps some floral drapes, maybe I’ll put in some window boxes to really spruce it up around here.”
Hodge sneezed, bringing her back to the here and now then plopped his little head back onto her lap. She peered through the cottage windows to see the autumn leaves coming down from the trees that surrounded her new home.
“Every single one of those villagers must be the town idiot,” she chuckled to herself. “The house doesn’t want to be lived in,” she said in a mocking tone. No cottage could ever make her feel more comfortable and at home. No cottage could ever be more welcoming.
On October nineteenth the first incident occurred, though she’d taken it lightly and dismissed it at the time, it would be of great significance in relation to later events. Lying in bed that night, somewhere between the half-dreaming and half-waking world, Callie heard the familiar scratch of claws on the bedroom door. Since he’d been trained as a puppy, Hodge used this as his means of communicating that it was time for her to take him out. The electricity wouldn’t be fixed for another two weeks. So she found her way to him with help from the moonlight. Throwing the pudgy Jack Russel over her shoulder she felt her way down the hallway and made her way carefully to the tiny staircase. A loud snap jolted her upright as the dog leapt from her arms and down to the floor.
“Must’ve been one of those rat traps I set this morning,” she whispered to the dog, kneeling down to stroke his soft coat. “A place that’s been vacant this long is bound to have vermin. Glad I thought ahead.”
The thought of a rat in her beloved dwelling made her feel nauseous. What made matters worse is the thought that she would have to go look at the trap and possibly find the disgusting half-dead little pest squirming to get free. Then what would she do? Worry about that in the morning is what she would do. That vile little interloper would surely be dead by morning and she would be able to handle the matter more easily.
The following morning, she’d discovered an enormous rat dead inside the trap. Thank God she thought to herself. Hodge growled at the grotesque corpse until Callie mustered up the courage to pick up the trap and throw it in the outdoor garbage bin. It had been the size of a small trout and left her shaking as she ran back into the house to get as far away from it as she could. She set another trap that evening, hoping that they wouldn’t hear anymore loud snaps in the middle of the night. Living in a house that was supposedly haunted did not bother Callie in the least. But living in a house that was infested with rats was enough to make her skin crawl. Remembering her mother, she wore her shoes to bed that night.
Several nights passed and each morning Callie had discovered dead rats in the traps that had been placed. She phoned an exterminator while she was at the library but was disappointed to learn that he would be unable to make it to the cottage for another three days. No matter, Callie would not allow those disgusting varmints to scare her out of her own house. Not when it had become the biggest part of her new life.
Around midnight Callie had heard Hodge’s tell-tale signal scratching at her bedroom door. It was a moonless night and she had forgotten to bring a candle into the room with her. As she crawled out of bed, feeling her way through the darkness, she could just make out the shape sitting in front of the door. She lifted him onto her shoulder and started carefully toward the stares. His weight bore down on her heavier than normal.
“Whoa, buddy. You’re getting heavy! Guess we better cut back on the Milk Bones, huh?” Callie stroked his coat lovingly. Something was wrong. It felt harsh, coarse, grimy.
“Hodge?” she managed to utter through trembling lips.
She turned her head to look at him. What she saw glowering back at her sent ice through her veins. Frozen in place, Callie saw two beady red eyes and whiskers that unmistakably belonged to a rat. But this rat was larger than any she’d ever seen. It was slightly bigger than Hodge. Where was poor Hodge? As she felt its naked sinewy tail thumping against her chest and bare arm she could smell the scent of blood mingled with the rat’s own musty stench. Its whiskers brushed against her cheek, leaving streaks of blood in its wake as it inched its snarling snout closer to her neck.
What was it going to do to her? It had already eaten Hodge. Why was it perched on her shoulder so calmly, almost calculatedly? Her mother’s words popped into her mind. Scampering, she’d said. They scamper in looking for a reason to bite. But this rat had not scampered. It had waited calmly as if it were waiting for Callie to figure something out. Suddenly, the pieces of the puzzle started to come together. It had not occurred to her because her own mother had been so disconnected from her. She did not wish to protect Callie from anything. But her mother did not follow the laws of nature. This monstrous rodent that lay heavy upon her now, however, did.
It’s their mother! The voice inside her rang out. She’s the mother of the rats that I caught in the traps!
Callie didn’t know if it was the rat’s reaction to the fear the seemed to pulsate from her body or if it somehow realized that she had figured out why it was there. But before Callie could find the strength within herself to try to fight it, the mother rat sank its grizzly needlelike teeth into her throat. As she fell to the floor the last thing she saw were those piercing red eyes and the blood soaked muzzle dripping all over the beautiful new flooring of her beloved cottage.
The next morning the police found her lifeless body at the top of the small staircase. They concluded that a prowler must have attacked her and ran frightened out into the night. After all, whoever it had been didn’t bother to use the door to escape. The downstairs window had been smashed to pieces and none of the wild animals in that area were big enough to do that kind of damage. They’d tried to warn her before she’d purchased the cottage. This place was haunted. It did not want to be lived in. The old lady found that out and sadly Callie had found out too.
“Oh but that’s just a silly old legend,” the real estate agent said with a halfhearted giggle. “Something cooked up by the local busy bodies because they had nothing better to do back then.”
I eyed her suspiciously. My husband’s job had just transferred him to Cimmerian Bluff and we were in desperate search of a reasonably priced home where we could start a family. A small cottage set back in the woods away from the hustle and bustle of the town. When we’d heard the story of Callie and the old woman from his new boss we’d thought it was a sick joke. The realtor’s reaction to our account of the tale calmed my nerves as she invited us to walk into the cottage. It was lovely, cozy, just the type of place that we were looking for. Not to mention the price was right. We signed the paperwork and were more than ready to move in. But it’s funny. As we made our way back to the car, I am certain that I saw a rat scamper underneath the front door of the cottage.
Credit: Christina Durner
Hope didn’t like being home without her parents. All of her friends did, and they had all shared wild tales of what exactly they had done when their parents were gone. They all seemed to get a sense of satisfaction at disobeying their parents and defying their rules. Hope didn’t have a rebellious streak. It wasn’t that she was a goody two shoes; it was just that her parents had always been reasonable with her, and in turn, she complied with their wishes.
On this particular night, Hope’s parents had gone out for dinner and a movie, and probably wouldn’t be back until very late at night. Hope flopped down on the couch and picked up her book. It was a novel by Stephen King. Before long she was beginning to grow a little nervous. Her eyes flitted around the room, seeing she was still alone, she relaxed a little, before noticing the open door that lead into the kitchen.
The light in the room was out, and the darkness was unsettling, Hope couldn’t shake the feeling that something inside the kitchen was watching her, perhaps leering with a sinister grin.
Hope tried to continue reading her book, but kept getting distracted. At last, she finally got up and ran towards the kitchen door. She slammed it shut and drew back in one quick movement, as if expecting a hand to snake out of the blackness and grab her wrist.
Needless to say, this did not happen.
She let out a sigh of relief and even laughed at herself a little before going back to the warm comfort of the couch. Instead of retrieving her book, Hope simply grabbed the remote and flicked on the television. She reached over and turned off the lamp on the nearby nightstand before adjusting herself on the couch, curling into a cozy position. The television was displaying a rerun of the newest Criminal Minds. Hope swiftly changed the channel to the Cartoon Network. She had had enough scary stories for one night. She glanced ruefully at her library book, which was now discarded on the floor.
Hope slowly turned her head back to the television screen and, in her snug posture, gradually fell asleep.
About an hour later, Hope was awoken by a sudden stream of light hitting her face. The light was shining in through her window. She winced and turned away, moaning softly, and cursing the light for interrupting her slumber.
Just as suddenly as the light had come, it was suddenly gone. Thinking that a car must have come up her street, Hope shut her eyes and tried to blot everything out, from the blaring of the TV to the gentle rain that was beginning to fall outside.
The light came again, cutting through the window and illuminating the living room before shutting off once more.
It seemed to be coming in short and long bursts. Hope blinked sleep from her eyes before sitting up.
Why are there lights coming from outside at this time of night? She wondered to herself, and why are they coming in quick bursts like that?
She eventually realized that one of her neighbors must have a faulty garage light. Thinking well of herself for having solved such a mystery, Hope turned to the television and, grabbing the remote, turned the volume up a few notches.
Then something very peculiar happened. The television shut off. The power had gone out. Power outages themselves were not uncommon where Hope lived, and it really did not surprise her. What did surprise her, was how the light outside kept flicking on and off.
Hope realized that the light that was flashing outside couldn’t be a garage light, now that the power was out. Fear welled up inside of her and her heart began to beat fast.
What if someone is trying to lure me outside? She thought.
I might be being stalked by a madman!
She realized that she was trembling all over and she grabbed a blanket from the far end of the couch. That’s when a more disturbing thought hit her.
What if he can see me right now?
Hope looked at the window, and a feeling of unease crept over her. She definitely had the distinct feeling that she was being watched.
Hope made up her mind, then and there, what she would do. In a quick movement, she vaulted herself over the couch and huddled in the darkness. The flashing lights continued, and seemed to grow more insistent, more impatient.
Hope crawled along the floor before reaching up and grabbing the doorknob to the kitchen, she slowly turned it and slipped inside. She shut the door behind her, blocking out the flashing of the lights, but she could still see them underneath the crack of the door. She moved through the darkness and grabbed a kitchen knife from the counter. She sat down in one of the chairs at the far end of the kitchen and watched as the lights became slower, as if discouraged, before eventually stopping altogether.
Relief flooded over her, and in spite of herself, she let out a smile.
An hour later, Hope’s parents came home. They opened the front door and were greeted with silence. They called out Hope’s name and got no response. When they went into the kitchen, a ghastly sight awaited them.
Hope sat in one of the chairs at the far end, a horrible expression of shock was evident on her face, and her throat had been torn into by a vicious blade. Hope’s own kitchen knife lay useless on the floor beside the chair.
The police came immediately after Hope’s parents called, and began searching the grounds around the house at once.
They were very surprised to find a young teenage girl close to a ditch across the street from their house. There were multiple stab wounds all over her body, and it was quite obvious she had been murdered in the same manner as Hope.
Clutched in the girl’s hand was a small flashlight.
She had been trying to signal for help, and trying to warn whoever was inside Hope’s house.
Chambliss, the wealthy only son of a prosperous sugarcane plantation owner in Louisiana is madly in love with Camellia, a slavewoman, though they keep their relationship secret from his father, and are separated until the father’s passing, upon which Camellia moves into the house with Chambliss. When a cholera outbreak sweeps across the plantation, however, Camellia is not spared.
The dark room, lit only by the lamp on the table, revealed Chambliss’s grimacing countenance staring back at him from the chipped mirror on the wall above the bed. He looked down into her ashen face, once so ebony and lively-eyed, now cadaverous in the clutches of cholera. He kissed her hand, her cheek, and she whispered in his ear, “Never… let us… part.” Her eyes fluttered closed, and the breath passed her full lips for the last time, in a deathly imitation of a sigh.
“I must have her back,” he cried. “She was my life, who now lies dead, and my heart lies dead, there in her breast.” As he said this, how truly he believed it was so, he could still hear her voice, calling his name, “Chambliss, Chambliss, Chambliss,” like the rustling of the leaves, like the hushing of the sea, like the moaning of the trees. He fled the room, leaving the elderly housekeeper, Jehosephine, to tend the body, as was proper. And the next day she was interred in the cemetery behind the church, not a mile from Chambliss’s plantation home.
Chambliss sat brooding on his porch, watching the sun as it sank slowly lower and lower into the deepening darkness of the Louisiana summer night. He looked to the horizon, towards the Gulf, and saw the mass of thunderclouds slowly rolling across the twilit sky, twisted forms of grey and black, tinged red at the edges. He heard the chanting of far off voices in the bayou, where the ancient witch Zenobia Laveau lived, the distant aunt of the beloved Camellia, practicing rituals of which no living mortal, save herself, knew the derivation of.
Gogo Zena, as the witch was called by her followers, knew of many secrets, beyond those of the traditional magic. Her very reputation was steeped in mysterious incantations and sacraments, and she knew, as one of her kind does, when they are needed.
Chambliss dropped into a slumber, no not a slumber, a trance, cognizant of an electricity in the air, like that of a lightning storm, before it strikes. He followed the current of it, stumbling over tree roots, sliding over trailing vines, into the bayou, as if pursued by the Hell Hounds. He stopped only when he reached a clearing, lit by a bonfire, next to which squatted a wizened old woman, Gogo Zena, her eyes closed and rolling, fluttering back and forth in their sockets, while she muttered in a primeval tongue, guttural and rhythmic, rocking back and forth on her heels. He sat by the flames, and she opened her eyes, apparently expecting this visitor, at the time when the moon had passed the third quarter of the night sky, hidden as it was by the unyielding clouds.
“Kon-men lé-z’affè? How are things, misyé? Gogo Zena knows. Konnen much things about any things, men, but what you want, not everything. Kon-men lé-z’affè, misyé? Camellia is not all gone, I know, wi. You are mouri inside, and she is mouri outside, two moso of a tout, pieces of a whole. How to fix it, are de ways, un you go to her, de she come back to you. Maybe work bon, or petèt pa, maybe no.” Gogo Zena rose to her feet, her dark wrinkled face shadowed heavily by the dying flames, her solid body throwing a stout shadow across the dirt and loam. She pressed a packet into his hands, a twisted paper, scented of spoilt flowers, telling him to burn it over her grave by the next dark moon, and lay the ashes in a trail to his house.
The next new moon, a night in which not a single light shone, a silky shroud of black broken only by swirling mist cloaked the land and the sky, as Chambliss carried out Gogo Zena’s instructions. As he walked through the darkness, scattering the ashes as he went, the thunderheads gathered in the southern sky, rumbling discontentedly to themselves.
The storm broke the next morning, soaking the land in a dampness that settled in the joints. From dawn until dusk the maelstrom raged on, the thunderclaps rumbled into the night, a ghastly thunderous night, and though the rain had ceased, the clouds still roiled in the heavens, a war fought by the souls of the dead as they pushed against the gates of this world. In the graveyard, a damp figure crept about, dark-faced and dripping, the vaporous air of the cemetery clinging to her clothes.
Chambliss sat by the fireplace, staring into the flickering flames, the fast flitting fingers that licked at the charred logs. The wind moaned and the thunder crashed, the trees groaned and the branches rattled. He pretended not to notice when he heard the sound of the front door open and close, half-asleep he dreamt of footsteps treading wearily down the hall. In dreams, his subconscious had brought to him visions of Camellia, and now he saw them once again, but this time they were different. Her jet hair in ordered rows upon her head trickled muddy droplets to the floor, dirt forming crescent moons beneath her fingernails and vagrant smudges on her cheeks, her scent of flowers wilted. He rose from the sofa and took her in his arms, kissing her frigid mouth, touching her icy skin. He met her eyes with the longing of a man who thirsts for water but is denied, and with the gratefulness of a man hungry for food who has been granted it. “Never…let us…part…” she whispered, as he stroked her cold forehead, spongy and pliant to the feel.
November 4, 2015 – 3:20 am –
Journal of Tyler E. Rivington
Today is the day that I venture to the other side of the World. That starting sentence seemed a bit bombastic, but it’s true. I will be travelling to a rather small town, possibly village, not entirely positive, to go and live on Mystogan Mountain. For some reason, this particular mountain hasn’t been placed onto any sort of map. Which is rather odd, but I’ve honestly never taken the thought to my heart, nor my mind. The reason for my going to this new and mysterious mountain is for my studies. I am a Paleontologist.
To many people, including friends and family of mine, not that I have many of those, choosing this as a career was a mistake. But I don’t believe that. Yes, I have to go to some bizarre and possibly dangerous places to dig up fossilized plants and bones. At least, that’s the short way to categorize us Paleontologists. I, personally, don’t mind it. I’ve been obsessed with things that are in the ground and finding, along with identifying, exactly what it is my whole life up to now. My obsession with this rooted from Miners, turning into Pirates, eventually rounding towards my obsession of Dinosaurs. Which became very much known by the time I was about six or so. Thanks to the discovery of the movies Jurassic World. (Allen Grant, my childhood hero.)
Now, how about I get further into what Paleontology is actually about, and the different sub disciplines of said career while I am driven to the airport with my boss and my other co-worker.
Paleontology is a rich field, a field filled with stories and mysteries. A long and interesting past with an intriguing and bright future. Hopefully anyways, it all depends on the future generation at this point. Many people believe that Paleontology is all about the study of fossils and Dino bones. Honestly though, Paleontology is much, much more than that. Which people would know if they actually tried to look up what it is that we do and what different sections of this choice in a life career there are. More than even I thought there were.
Paleontology is traditionally divided into various sub disciplines. Let’s start with the first one to pop into my mind, shall we?
1. Micropaleontology is about the study of generally microscopic fossils, regardless of the group to which they belong.
2. Paleobotany is the study of fossil plants; traditionally includes the study of fossil algae and fungi in addition to land plants.
3. Palynology is the study of pollen and spores, both living and fossil, produced by land plants and protists.
4. Invertebrate Paleontology is the study of invertebrate animal fossils, such as mollusks, echinoderms (A marine invertebrate, such as a starfish, sea urchin, or a sea cucumber.), and others.
5. Vertebrate Paleontology is the study of vertebrate fossils, from primitive fishes to mammals.
6. Human Paleontology (Paleoanthropology) is the study of prehistoric human and proto-human fossils.
7. Taphonomy is the study of the processes of decay, preservation, and the formation of fossils in general.
8. Ichnology is the study of fossil tracks, trails, and footprints.
9. Paleoecology is the study of the ecology and climate of the past, as revealed both by fossils and by other methods.
Just in case whoever reads this or finds it depending on what happens to me in the next few years, ecology means “the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and their physical surroundings.”. Or, on a more political advance, it means “the political movement that seeks to protect the environment, especially from pollution.”.
As you can tell, Paleontology has more to it than most think. Paleontology is the study of what fossils tell us about the ecologies of the past, about evolution, and about our place, as humans, in the world. It incorporates knowledge from biology, geology, ecology, anthropology, archeology, and even computer science to understand the processes that have led to the origination and eventual destruction of the different types of organisms since life arose.
Now that I’ve got the definitions and whatnot off of my chest, let me explain what field of Paleontology I chose. Which would be Paleoanthropology. AKA, Human Paleontology. Something just fascinates me anytime it comes to finding skeletons of humans, or maybe animals that closely resemble humans, that have been in the ground for who knows how many years. I believe that it’s the not knowing factor that really triggers my interest. Not to mention, I also like to help out in the Vertebrate Paleontology since finding fossils of primitive fish in mountains really get me interested. Because we don’t know how it got there. Maybe someone of something caught the fish and ate it there? Maybe there used to be a river and it died in the river, or where the river had dried up? Or, it could have been salt water, and the oceans of today could have been that big. And when high tide turned to low tide, that fish was stuck there, and died. But it really strikes your interest and imagination since there is an element of not knowing.
We’re halfway to the airport, it won’t be long before I have to put my Journal up, but I just wanted to state beforehand, if there was a chance of you becoming a Paleontologist, go for it! Not only does that mean that most trips are free, but you meet a lot of intelligent and amazing people along the way. Not to mention that the teachers are awesome. And this is coming from a twenty-four year old man. A single twenty-four year old man in college with a high-paying job, ladies, I’m looking at y’all.
But honestly, all jokes aside, the job is amazing. I am making a lot of money. I got out of High school with a full-ride scholarship and I had taken AP classes while still in High school as to not have to take the college courses for Geometry and English. Plus, no more PE. Which I am very happy with considering that I pretty much hate any type of physical exercise unless I know why I am doing it, and if it’s truly worth it. Not to mention, I am bilingual. Italian, Spanish, French, Swedish, and I am currently working on my Russian. Which is absolutely amazing since I’ve always wanted to learn all of these languages, though I will be trying out Japanese later on once I’ve buckled down both Russian and Finnish. Because anywhere with a lot of mountains or a vast landscape is where we might be. And these places have multiple mountains and vast landscapes. Plus, Italian was a language that I’ve always wanted to learn. Favorite quote in Italian? Maledetto bastardo! Which means, in Italian, damned bastard. One of my first sayings in Italian. I’m rather proud of that. Not to mention, doing amazing in my classes in school and saving up money and having about two jobs during the Summer and a part-time job during school really helped me buy the tickets to get to Canada. Considering how I am from Idaho, US.
But I am travelling way off topic.
My past and everything behind, if there were ever a chance for you to become a Paleontologist, please take it. So, let me think about everything that I’ve written down for my first Journal entry.
–Where I am going–Check
–How long will I be gone?–I will be absent from Canada for two to four months.–Check
–What is it I do for a living?–Check
–Explaining my job–Check
–Unexpected off-topic ramble–Check
–Tell people to become a Paleontologist–Check
So, since I am finished with everything and I only have about five more minutes to where I can actually write, it is time to say goodbye.
Bye-Bye, Entry 1!
Sincerely, Tyler E. Rivington.
P.S. I know that I might not seem like the hard-working type or a studious student because of how I write, but why not add my personality into the things that interest me and while talking about myself. Only business writing when it comes to my actual work/studies.
November 6, 2015 – 11:20 pm –
Journal of Tyler E. Rivington
So, we have arrived at the village, not town, that resides at the bottom of the mountain. Which, to be totally honest, standing at the bottom of the stairs that lead up to our cabin which resides on a cliff of the mountain, it’s rather terrifying. I’ve always been told, since I was a young boy, to follow my heart and trust my gut. And right now, my gut is telling me to turn tail and run like the Devil is on my heels. But my heart is telling me to follow after my co-worker and boss/professor and get the job done. Follow my heart or trust my gut? Not to mention, the residents were acting rather strange. The men seemed big and gruff, though skinny and lanky at the same time. Not to mention they treated us rather coldly, or as my co-worker put it, “like a bunch of jackasses that didn’t have any milk left, so they came out in a sour mood.” Which is probably one of the weirdest things I’ve ever hear come out of his mouth.
Speaking of which, my co-worker, is Ethan Jones. Well, Ethan Michael Jones. He’s a tall blond with rather piercing grey eyes. Though he’s not that bad. Sure, he’s more of a pessimistic guy who isn’t much of a morning person, but he’s a pretty cool dude once you get to know him. He’s tall, but not very lanky. More on the buff side. He has to wear glasses, near-sighted, but they compliment him, honestly. And Ethan’s blond hair stops about mid-neck length. He also has a tattoo of a snake impaled as well as wrapped around a dagger with a map behind the dagger with a rose crisscrossing with the dagger. Creating a cross of sorts. Just an FYI for any girls who are interested in tall and buff blonds, he’s Hawaiian.
Now, onto my boss/professor. He’s a cool guy as well. Shorter than Ethan and only an inch under my own height. Which, by the way, I am 6’2″. He has black hair peppered with white along the sides, but it looks good, honestly. His name is Terrence Frey. I don’t know his middle name, but that’s fine. I do know his favorite color, which is orange. Anyways, Prof. Frey is a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, has a smile on his brown face. He also has little crinkles around his light brown eyes each time he smiles or squints. Prof. Frey doesn’t really need glasses, but sometimes he’ll wear a pair to help him grade papers or check a list or document at work. He’s kinda short, not that I can be talking, but a relatively skinny guy. He just has a little bit of fat. Though he does have a big nose. Not overly large to where it looks funny and it’s the first thing you notice about him, but it is one of the things that you notice shortly after meeting him. Just a small fact, my boss/professor is mixed. Half black, half white.
I never wrote about my appearance, so, here we go. I am a 6’2 white male with slightly wavy, light brown hair. My skin is rather pale, though freckles align my face, shoulders, back, and a few scattered along my arms and legs. My eyes are a dark, almost deep sea blue. I am rather pessimistic, but I am happy and bubbly anyways. I strongly announce my opinions and I’m not afraid to call someone out on doing something wrong or when they are wrong during class. My ears are pierced, just regular piercings along with my second hole in both ears pierced, and I have a “smiley” piercing. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s where you get that rather thin piece of skin that connects ones upper lip to their upper jaw pierced. Well, at least the gums of your upper jaw anyways. Last but not least, my tattoo. A tribal tattoo that starts at the bottom of my neck, down to my bicep. It also grows towards my left peck, eventually fading once it starts to reach over to my right peck.
But screw our appearances, let’s talk about what this place looks like. It looks fucking creepy, that’s what it looks like. The houses in the village were made either from brick or wood. The houses all looked broken down and dirty. Black sulfur or something like that covered the outer corner of the houses, crawling upwards and spreading outwards. Any railings, or anything metal for that matter, was rusted. The dead trains that took up a crossed off section of the railway had graffiti and rust all over them. Some of their wheels had been dislocated and there were even dead plant vines that had winded themselves around the trains. These stairs that I am, still, staring up at look rickety and old. As if the slightest pressure on them they’d break. Or like they were very, very creaky. The sky is filled with grey, gloomy clouds. It’s sad really. Not that I was expecting a bright blue sky with little to no clouds in sight, but I was expecting something different, that’s for sure. Plus, it was lightly snowing, still is.
Okay, there’s a woman here. Her name is Belarus or something close to that. I guess I kind of have to follow her. I mean, it’s either that or turn tail and use up most of my money to get back to lovely Canada. I took my first step onto the stairs, I am cringing so bad right now. The wood is all rotten looking and it is so loud, I have hardly even put any type of pressure onto this fucking step. It’s ridiculous. But I have to mush forward as my professor put it. I don’t like this at all.
But I need the money. For more than one reason. Plus, it might be fun while actually working.
Oh! The reason it took me two days to create this new entry was because of some problems at baggage claim. My backpack containing my Journal couldn’t be found, and when we did find it, I had to rush straight onto the train to take us to the village. So I fell asleep within ten minutes on the train. Plus, I was too lazy to grab my backpack and get my Journal out once again, but let’s not spill that to Prof. Frey.
Anyways, now that I am standing in front of the wooden lodge that my companions and I will be staying in, it doesn’t look half bad. Rather new. Almost as if it were made merely weeks ago just for us. Honestly, I am both freaked out and excited for the journey ahead of me. I mean, I get to hang out with my friend, I get more tips and skills when it comes to working out in the field, plus there’s no telling what we’ll find. Hopefully something ground-breaking.
Not that I want one of us to step on loose ground and we all fall to our deaths after uncovering an underground cave. Yeah, no thanks. That doesn’t sound fun.
Anyways, I’ve got to go. I’m tired and lazy and hungry.
Bye-Bye, Entry 2!
Sincerely, Tyler E. Rivington
November 7, 2015 – 7:32 am –
Journal of Tyler E. Rivington
I am back to writing after grabbing some grub for waking up at such an ungodly time.
So, it turns out that today will be a rather boring day. Maybe. Depends on how the professor and my co-worker take this unfortunate news. We are stuck in this wooden lodge for the day. Because of severe weather. Now, after getting used to the Canadian weather and trudging through things worse than the storm raging on outside, it still is very dangerous. Especially if you are on a mountain. I mean, there is a huge difference between a sidewalk on a hill and it’s snowing heavily compared to a small, rocky trail that leads upwards towards the tip of a mountain. Not to mention it’s gonna be slippery due to slush and ice that might stick to the rocks.
We haven’t even been here a full day and I’m dreading this journey. I mean, I know that I was super excited at the beginning, but now…
I wanna go home.
But whatever. I’ll just have to suck up my homesick feelings and deal with it for the time being. Plus, these next few months are gonna fly by. Hopefully.
Anyways, I’m getting off track, again. We will be stuck inside the lodge all day. What will we be doing? Cleaning equipment and counting/checking that we have everything. Plus eating food and lounging around. Might even play a card game or something. I might be able to watch television as well, though sadly, I cannot use my internet or text anyone. Because there is no such thing as signal while on a mountain across the World.
I also found out that my co-worker and I have our own personal work journals, so this one can’t be judged on what I write in here. Though of course I will write down what happens during work, just as a precaution to any possible mishaps of my work journal. See what a motivated and prepared kind of guy I am? I’m pretty sure that this all will interest a woman. Or man. I’m fine with either sexuality. Maybe even someone transsexual. I am a demisexual, so before I even think of getting into a relationship with someone, I have to form a deep and emotional bond. Though I won’t deny a good one-night stand. And I really don’t care about what you think of me from that sentence; because it’s true. My dick will sometimes think before I can and there is nothing wrong with that.
I only have one rather crucial detail to share. Last night I didn’t get much sleep, which isn’t strange for me considering I am an insomniac, but it wasn’t my mind keeping me up. It was an animal. Maybe. I mean, I’ve heard coyotes, wolves, regular dogs, and I have never heard a noise that frightening in my life. And it didn’t sound like it was outside. It sounded like it was in the room with me. Of course, it could have just been right outside of the lodge, near my room considering that my room is the only one with a window that I know of.
But it was a low, growl of sorts. It sounded both human and animalistic, it almost scared the piss out of me. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but I’m trying. Like a gravely chuckle mixed with a coyote howl and a wolves snarl. And it sounded like it came from the closet, or outside my window. Either way, it scared me, but that’s probably the only time that I’ll even hear it.
So, I’m gonna cut this Entry short considering how we won’t be working or anything. Nothing exciting.
Bye-Bye Entry 3!
Sincerely, Tyler E. Rivington
November 8, 2015 – 3:46 pm –
Journal of Tyler E. Rivington
We found a prehistoric trail today. Yes, you heard it hear folks, we actually left the lodge to work. But I felt super unnerved. Some of the village men left with us, they were holding weapons and they were looking around nervously. Not to mention that they told us to stick close to them and when it gets to about two in the afternoon, then we all needed to head back. Creepy shit right there. And it felt as though something or someone was staring at me all day. It was probably one of our personal bodyguards, but this stare was filled with malice and anger. Maybe even hunger?
Oh well, I’m probably just being paranoid. I mean honestly, I did catch the youngest of the three bodyguards kind of glaring at me before our eyes met and he whipped his head away from me. Acting as if he wasn’t caught in the act of, most likely, defiling me with his eyes.
Anyways, work crap in case something happens to my work Journal.
Location of trail: 54 N; 38 E”
The trail showed small rocks and what seemed to be eroded prints of sorts. If possible, might be an animal or person.
This trail seems to have been preserved for about 30 or so years. Depending on whether the trail is proof or not. Could be more, could be less. We’ll find out more.
The trail stopped rather abruptly at 62 N; 14 E”. We could no longer follow the trail.
When cement mixture was placed onto the first section of the trail (54 N; 38 E”), and then taken off, it showed an animal print. Possibly.
This trail could be a dead end.
I really hope that we didn’t spend the day looking at a stupid trail. One that won’t lead us anywhere. Plus, there’s no telling if I took the notes correctly for a trail. I didn’t choose to major in Ichnology. I chose to major in Paleoanthropology. I deal with human bones and fossils or at least animals that are primitive and have left behind their bodies…ish.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I have to inform whoever reads this that the noise was back. And this time, it was accompanied by a dream. Well, technically nightmare considering that when I woke up I was gasping for breath and there were dried tear streaks under my eyes and gliding along my cheeks. Plus, my nose was running. But yes, the sound was most definitely back. And this time, it sounded closer. Clearer. Not muffled by a door or a wall, but almost as if it were standing on the outside of the closet instead of the inside of the closet. It’s freaking me out.
But the nightmare, it was probably the worst thing that night, not the noise. Not that mutated growl. The nightmare was almost as if I were actually living through it. The nightmare started off brutal. Showing people, those villagers, slaughtering the woman, Belarus. They had gouged out her left eye, stabbing these knives of spears maybe into her shoulders and thighs, keeping her held upright on a wooden table. It was an old one, that’s for sure. It had dirty spots, more like splatters, covering it everywhere. They gutted her, placing some of her organs on a platter, the others into glass jars. Then they slit her throat and held up a silver gauntlet of sorts. The villagers were chanting in a tribal language, the wind was howling outside, and the setting was in some dingy old cave of sorts. But, you’re probably wondering, what was the strangest thing about this gruesome nightmare?
Belarus didn’t scream once. She didn’t flinch or whimper in pain. She’s was quiet, staring straight ahead. Which made it seem as though she was staring straight at me. Though that isn’t possible, but it still seemed that way. I could tell, while in the nightmare, that the humanoid yet animalistic growl was blended in with the chanting, though growing louder. And I swear, when I snapped my eyes open, I saw something dart out of my line of vision.
Scariest shit ever.
I had asked both Ethan and Prof. Frey if they had heard any strange noises. They both said no. Ethan said that he could only hear the wind and possibly an owl at night. Prof. Frey said that he couldn’t hear anything from the outside, but he could hear my panicked breathing. Though he was half-asleep when he heard me. I don’t understand what the fuck is going on, but I don’t like it.
I think that I’ll end it here. My hand is shaking just from remembering that dream. But, luckily, Belarus is fine. She’s an older woman with silver-grey hair up in a bun with some type of clip in her hair that is aligned with tribal beading. She looks youthful other than the slowly showing wrinkles and her hair. She said that she’s just about fifty-seven. Belarus is the cutest old woman I’ve ever came across.
Bye-Bye, Entry 4!
Sincerely, Tyler E. Rivington
November 9, 2015 – 8:13 pm –
Journal of Tyler E. Rivington
Belarus is dead.
Supposedly she was found dead earlier this morning in her bed, died of a heart attack. I don’t believe that. I have that dream of Belarus dying and suddenly, the next day, she’s dead? Not to mention, that young bodyguard was there today. He seemed to be sweating up a storm. Like he was hiding something. I’ve always been the type of person that believes in supernatural beings and Karma, things like that.
What can I say? I’m a superstitious bastard.
Nothing happened at work. Except for the fact that I found a human, female, skull half-buried in the ground. Fresh. Blood and flesh still clinging onto it. Along with some silver-grey hair. This has to Belarus’ skull. That skull had to be hers. It was too fresh. I didn’t mention it to anyone. I was afraid of saying something and then the bodyguards going after me. Screw writing down what happens at work. I need to release my concerns and thoughts here. I am afraid that I can’t trust anyone here. I could trust Prof. Frey and Ethan, but they’d probably think that I was crazy. You know what? I probably am crazy. But I still trust my gut. And my gut is telling me not to trust anyone else other than my Journal with this information. It’s also telling me that my heart was stupid and that I should have abandoned this job while I still could’ve.
I’m pretty sure that if I tried to run off now, the villagers would do something to me.
It has to be a conspiracy. It HAS to be a conspiracy. The villagers are all in it. They’ve created a plan. That’s why, in my dream, Belarus reacted with no emotion at all. Because she was anticipating the end. She knew everything from start to finish beforehand.
That’s the only way that it could have ended the way it did. I’m sorry, Belarus. I’m so, so sorry. But you knew. You probably knew about this since the beginning of your life. When did they tell you? When you were twelve? Did they sacrifice you to something? A God? An animal? An otherworldly being that you all worshipped? My most important question though, is if the rest of you family before you were killed like that to. Were they? I wish that I could have been there. Not to watch, but maybe I could have stopped it. Maybe I could have stopped your ultimate demise. Doubtful, but I feel so, so guilty.
On a different note, I had yet another nightmare. These have to be visions of the future or something. Because it was the death of the young bodyguard. The young boy, about eighteen, who watched over us yesterday and today. It was different. I saw some of the villagers in the nightmare. They were dressed in velvet purple cloaks, black pieces of cloth covering their eyes, simple white dots showing where their eyes would be. The leader was wearing a red cloak made of silk. It was a man, buff and bulky. I still couldn’t quite see exactly what he looked like as to decipher him from the rest of those villagers. But the leader held a book in his hand, a curved dagger being held in his other hand as he spoke out loud, his voice thick with Russian. The only words that I could really understand were; “We”, “have”, “it is time”, and “rejoice”. The victim, that poor boy, was naked with the only clothing on him being the same cloth that covered the villagers eyes around his head, covering his eyes as well. But instead of there being two white dots where his eyes were supposed to be, there were none. It was simply black.
Unlike Belarus, he was chained to a wooden post. It had ancient, most likely tribal, writing covering it. With different symbols and swirls filling in the gaps. The color of said symbols and swirls were either red, white, or black. With tiny, almost unnoticeable green dots that went in a straight line from top to bottom. His hands were chained up, his fingers missing with blood steadily pouring from the new nubs on his hand, falling onto the crisp and white snow beneath him. He was positioned onto his knees, his head bowed down in a respective way. His feet were missing. They had chopped his feet off.
What kind of sickos do that?
I had to watch as they tore his ears off with a wrench. Okay? A fucking wrench. Unlike Belarus, he flinched in pain, but nothing more. I also saw them put his ears on a string, accompanying many other ears. These villagers were still chanting the whole entire time in an unknown language.
The noise was back as well. I could hear it. It was way closer to me. Almost as if it were at the foot of my bed. Watching me. That same noise. It’s gonna forever haunt me, I just know it. I have to be insane. I must be insane. But the noise this time…was different. It was almost as if it were trying to say something. Crazy, yes. Wrong, no. I’m never wrong. I’ve never been wrong.
When I opened my eyes, I saw glowing red ones staring right back at me. But I blinked and it was gone.
Maybe I should stay up late tonight and try to follow the villagers. To stop this deadly conspiracy. To put an end to the needless murders.
I’ll be ending it here.
Bye-Bye, Entry 5.
Sincerely, Tyler E. Rivington
November 10, 2015 – 4:08 am –
Journal of Tyler E. Rivington
…I’m so sorry.
I couldn’t do anything. I felt so worthless. So useless. I watched as something mutated tore into that boy. I watched as the villagers stood by, chanting nonstop, sadistic and joyous grins covering their faces.
I can’t go out there. I can’t face any of them. I have to get away from here.
Mystogan Mountain was a terrible choice.
Why did we have to come here? Why couldn’t we have gone to a place to where this wouldn’t happen? Why did we travel to an uncharted mountain in the middle of fucking nowhere?
Maybe this is why it was never documented. Maybe this is why no one knows about Mystogan Mountain. Because they were murdered. Sacrificed to some mutated being that the villagers here worshipped.
I’m so sorry.
Bye-Bye, Entry 6.
Sincerely, Tyler E. Rivington
November 10, 2015 – 11:40 am –
Journal of Tyler E. Rivington
I fell asleep and saw Ethan get slaughtered by the villagers. And then sacrificed to that mutated thing. I just want to know why. Screw how, tell me why. Why am I seeing this? Why is that noise in my room? Why did it feel as if the animal that creates that noise was breathing onto my face? Why did it sound as though it called out my name?
I’m awake now, and I can hear the noise, that gravely tone calling out my name in a brutal whisper. It’s pounding within my mind. The only reason why I’m not out there with Ethan and Prof. Frey right now is because I pretended to be sick. Which right now, I don’t know why or how I’ve managed this long without having the feeling of bile rise within my throat. Why haven’t I thrown up yet? Why did it feel as though I enjoyed watching Ethan die in my dream? Why did it feel as though overwhelming excitement washed throughout my mind and body as I watched the villagers pluck his teeth out, one by one? Why did I enjoy hearing him howl out in pain? Why? Why?! Why is this happening?
I keep seeing shadows and those glowing red eyes. Any time I turn by back to a room or hallway, I have the overwhelming sense that something is there, waiting, watching. Playing with me. I want to leave. I want to go back to Canada.
Oh my gosh, I was so scared and paranoid that I growled at Prof. Frey and tried to hit him. I thought that he was one of the villagers.
I thought that he was that mutated humanoid animal that was feeding off of Ethan and the young villager. I lashed out at my professor and boss. He looked taken aback, that’s for sure. Scared kind of. But whenever he talked, I didn’t hear anything. I heard static. And the static almost clouded over that fucking noise. It almost drowned out that voice whispering my name.
Kill me. Someone kill me.
I need to do something. I need to get out of here.
Bye-Bye, Entry 7.
Sincerely, Tyler E. Rivington
November 11, 2015 – ??? –
Journal of Tyler E. Rivington
I killed Prof. Frey. I killed him. With a Bowie knife.
I don’t know what came over me, but I couldn’t take it anymore. It was almost as if I didn’t have control over my body. As if someone were in my body, as if someone had locked me up in my mind, and made me watch. But I felt happy. I felt powerful. I felt in control even when the situation was out of my control.
There’s something wrong with me.
I saw something today as well. I saw the villagers in their cloaks, circled around the lodge, continuously chanting. I had a dream last night, predicting Prof. Frey’s death. Ethan is dead. He died yesterday actually, he didn’t come up mysteriously missing today. He was murdered yesterday while Prof. Frey was checking up on me. And I went and killed him. I went and killed Prof. Frey. But it felt good. The blood splattering onto my face? Amazing. The smell and taste was so sweet. But at the same time, I hated it. I was, still am, disgusted with myself. That mutated humanoid animal thing that I was seeing in my dreams? It’s just sitting at my feet.
Wait, where am I? How…did I get here?
There are a few bodies surrounding the chair that I’m sitting in. My…pet is currently chewing on one of the villagers severed limbs. Did I do that? If memory serves me correct, I did. The static is back. It’s just filling up my head. Wait, is it static? Or is it the sound of a horde of bees? No, no, I’m not wrong. That’s static. The voice that had called out my name? Gone. It was my new companion eating an arm that had called out to me.
And to think, I was freaking out over nothing.
Mystogan Mountain is amazing.
Everyone should come here. Everyone should come here and join the villagers conspiracy.
Everyone needs to come to Mystogan Mountain.
My pet might run out of food if you all don’t come here.
Wait, what am I saying? STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM MYSTOGAN MOUNTAIN AS YOU CAN. DO NOT COME HERE. REJECT ANY OFFERS. LEAVE. IF YOU COME HERE, TRY TO FLEE. IF YOU CAN’T…
I can put you out of your misery.
I think that this is my last Entry for my Journal.
Bye-Bye, Entry 8!
Sincerely, Tyler E. Rivington.