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July 2014 Creepypasta Book Club: Cults, Conspiracies & Secret Societies – PLUS “The Secret World” Giveaway [Winner Chosen, Congrats to Kristela!]

July 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Welcome to possibly the longest-named post on the entire site! It fits, because this is going to be a long post – I’ve got a lot of ground to cover about the whole book club idea before we begin. Exposition, go!

Today we’re going to start the “creepypasta book club” that was discussed in previous announcement posts. If you’re not familiar, the idea is to read some books together that will help cultivate inspiration and nurture more original ideas in our writers. I don’t believe that I’m overestimating when I say that lately, a solid 75% of the incoming submissions are simply retreading the same few topics – I suppose that, for whatever reason, serial killers, haunted games, and fanfics of previously-created Creepypasta “characters” are extremely trendy right now.

The problem is, though, that after the 5000th rip-off of Jeff the Killer or the latest attempt to copy-and-replace Ben Drowned with the writer’s favorite game franchise, these stories get mind-numbingly boring. New ideas and inspiration are CLEARLY necessary now, because I for one am absolutely sick of reading about serial killers. I’m not sure if it’s just because they’ve been so in lately in pop culture (what a strange thing to say, but it seems to be true – Hannibal, Dexter, Jeff the Killer, so on and so forth), but we’ve gone way past the point of oversaturation.

You guys need to find something new to write about.

So that’s where this book club idea comes into play. Every month, I’ll select a general theme and give you guys one or two books to read. Now, to avoid confusion, this won’t be about reading already established “creepy” fiction like King or Chambers. Though we may do that another time, the book choices for the inspiration club will be, primarily, nonfiction (though some selections will definitely be “nonfiction” – we’re going to indulge in some pseudoscience and conspiracy books because, after all, we’re trying to get ideas for fiction anyhow). This will hopefully allow you guys to expand your comfort zone of creepy into realms like secret societies, cryptozoology, high-risk exploring like mountaineering, ancient cultures and pseudeoarchealogy, aliens, mysterious disappearances, and more.

The other added benefit of using nonfiction is that spoilers won’t be a concern. Since this post’s comments will act as the discussion forum for our book club, we need books that people can easily discuss at all sorts of different points of progress without ruining each other’s experience.

So, yes, to alleviate some of the confusion and concerns that initially came up when I presented this idea:

THIS POST is your book club. The comments here are where you should air out all your thoughts and ideas that spawn from reading the suggested books. There’s no requirement for how fast you progress through the book(s), whether you read both books or only one, or even if you finish the book(s) or not, so please feel free to jump in and discuss the books whenever you’d like.

If this takes off and you guys want it, perhaps in the future we can try and organize some sort of chat at the end of the month, but for now please don’t worry about that and just post here whenever you have things to talk about regarding this month’s books.

Okay, all that said – here are the two books I’ve selected for July 2014. As stated in the title, this month we’re going to explore the world of cults, conspiracies and the theorists who love them, and secret societies.

It should be said that these books were chosen with mature readers in mind. If you are under 18, please do check with your parent/legal guardian before reading these books. I’d really prefer to avoid a pitchfork-mob of angry parents who find this topic inappropriate for their kids. I’d also like to say that the opinions expressed in the books are, of course, the opinions of their authors and the people profiled only – I’m not advocating or co-signing any of the groups covered in these books. I’m not telling you to believe in the Illuminati or anything, I just think such topics are a cool and fun thing to learn about and will probably inspire some people to write better pastas.

The first book is by Jon Ronson, a British author/humourist that I personally really enjoy. Them: Adventures with Extremists is exactly what it says on the tin – Ronson meets and spends time with a lot of famous faces in the world of conspiracy theories and extremist beliefs. David Icke, Alex Jones, Omar Bakri Mohammed, and more – as Ronson says, the only criteria was that the people/organizations he features have been called ‘extremists’ at some point in their careers. Each episode gives you a look into the beliefs, day to day lives, personalities, and habits of the the various extremists that he profiles. If you’re interested in writing a character-driven story about conspiracies, cults, or societies, this book will be helpful. It also tends to be rather irreverently funny, which is a plus.

As a bonus, Jon Ronson was recently on WTF with Marc Maron, where he gave some behind-the-scenes details on this book (they also delve into The Psychopath Test, another book I’m considering for future months if this book club turns into a long-term thing) as well as more personal opinions and anecdotes. You can stream/download the episode here for now (it will eventually become a premium-only episode, so keep that in mind – based on the pattern, I’m guessing it will go premium-only sometime in August).

If you want to go more in depth, the second suggestion is Arthur Goldwag’s Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, the Illuminati, Skull & Bones, Black Helicopters, the New World Order, and Many, Many More.

Unlike THEM, this book isn’t really a narrative – rather, the author has researched many of the world’s more infamous and interesting cults, conspiracy theories, and secret societies, and he’s done nice write-ups on each. The entries are organized thematically and can easily be read out of order if you’re so inclined. Beyond the organizations in the title, he also covers the origins of the Assassins (it’s not just a random word), Area 51 and all it encompasses, the Yakuza, the Kennedy assasinations, etc etc and so on. This book is really useful and interesting if you’d like to get a sort of crash course in this month’s topic.

Lastly, to celebrate the first book club post, I’m giving away ONE online game code for Funcom’s online game The Secret World.

Since the raffle is over (congratulations to Kristela A. for winning!), I’m putting the rest of this entry under a cut. The main page has so many stickied posts at the moment that I think it’s necessary to de-clutter wherever I can.

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How to Write a Vidya Gaem Pasta

April 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM
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(A last hurrah to the Haunted Game ‘genre’, as it were.)

So, you’re wanting to write a video game crappy – erm, creepypasta? Think you have what it takes? To be honest, you probably don’t. But fear not! With just the submission form (who needs proofreading? Or drafts? Hell, who needs edits? Not you, that’s for sure!) and this handy guide, you’ll be writing terrible pastas in no time!
Wait, did I say ‘terrible’? Like, out loud?
I meant ‘beautiful’.
First of all, you’re going to have to pick a topic! Maybe you should go for something well known? Maybe try your hand at more obscure games? It’s your choice! Let’s get creative!
(And by ‘get creative’, I mean ‘write the same shitty pasta that’s already been written a thousand times before’. But that doesn’t matter. Whatever.)
>Try a Pokemon pasta! They were the most popular video game pasta subject for a reason, you know. Don’t know anything about Pokemon? Doesn’t matter – just as people who have never played Pokemon can pick it up easily, you don’t need to know anything about it to write a pokepasta! Just throw in some peekachoos and charozords and you’re all set!
>Maybe a Minecraft pasta? Just like how you can do so much in Minecraft, you can write so much about it too! ..Or you can just write about Herobrine! ‘Who’s a hero brown,’ you ask? Why, only a slightly original monster that was mutated into a cliched horror monster by thousands of bad fan misinterpretation!
>Try your hand at a Legend of Zelda pasta! Hey, you remember that one ‘ben drowned’ pasta you read about a year ago? Well, let’s write that again, but with all grammar or decent writing absent! I’m sure it’ll get thousands of upvotes! (read: downvotes)
>Something a bit more obscure? Why not? You could be contributing to the large amount of stories that only make sense to a small, unknown group of people! A scary story… about lawyers? Farming? Why? Why the hell not?

Wow, that took a while! Time for deciding the name of the pasta! This is nice and simple!


Sounds relatively simple! Let’s try it out a bit!
Pokemon: Bloodied Diamond
Minecraft: Curse of Herobrine
Ace Attorney: The Demonic Testimony

Do you like those names? I like those names. Let’s move on!

Of course, your main character has to get their game in some way. What’s that? Introducing the character? No, no, no, no, no. You’re doing it all wrong.
>”I got it from a garage sale/market sale/yard sale” – The oldest and best one in the book. If 99% of people write it this way, then it can’t possibly be bad, can it?
>”Some shady guy/girl/being of unidentifiable gender gave it to me” – Sometimes, we just want to skip the boring introduction and get straight to the action, and there’s no better way to do it than this.
>”I downloaded it online” – Who goes to garage sales anymore? Keep up with the times with this new, hip trend!

Moving on to step number three – of course, because this is a creepypasta, the game has to be haunted, right? But what’s it going to do?
>Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary – because hey, if you put in no effort here, you can use that effort later, right? That’s how it works, isn’t it? Right? Right?!
>A couple of graphical glitches – because nothing makes your viewers tremble more than the screen flickering a little or some colours changed. This is a true fact.
>Noises. – More specifically, weird noises. Glitchy sounds. Muffled screaming. The usual.
Okay, those are some basic ones, but why not step it up? Add some blood! Lots of blood! Also, make sure to use some of these words at least three times in the story…
Alright, we’ve got some scary shit going on, but if the main character ran away now, the pasta would stop half-way, right? Let’s choose an excuse for them to stay around.
>”I thought it was just a glitch”
>”I thought it was just a glitch”
>”I thought it was just a glitch”
Just kidding. You get no choice on this one. Trust me, this is for the better.
Alright, now just fill in the rest of the story using more glitches (as always, consider adding more blood and hyper-realism to your story), until WHAM! Something really scary happens! This can be anything – hell, it doesn’t have to be scary. Just as long as your main character responds fittingly. Or, alternatively, not-so-fittingly.
How will your protagonist respond to the sheer creepiness? How will this story meet its conclusion?
>Throw their console out – Destroy their DS! Pulverise their Playstation! Erm, throw a TV out the window? Whatever. It works.
>AND THEN THE PROTAG DIED – Dead things are creepy. People dying are creepy. Why not kill off the protagonist? I’m sure that, with the large amount of characterization we gave them earlier, it will really shock the readers. Honest.
>YOU’RE NEXT – Did you know that all creepypasta readers have a constant fear that there’s a monster behind them? Use this to your advantage? Everyone’s terrified of walls!

Alright, now we have the main story and –
Did you think that was finished?
Oh no, this is the fun part. Now we add some… er… personality to your story. And by ‘personality’, I mean ‘bad writing skills’. I mean, let’s face it, nobody really misses punctuation. I sure don’t.
Choose one of the following typing quirks – I mean, writing styles.
>capital letters. get rid of all your capital letters. no-one likes them at all. too old fashioned.
>Make Every Capital Letter Refined And Pronounced. This Makes You Seem Posh And Smart.
And at least one of these. You can have more, if you want to be EXTREME.
>Motherfucker, let’s get some fucking swears up in here. Swears are bitchin’ as shit. It makes you sound fuckin’ hip and cool. Fuck yeah.
>No punctuation ever at all because seriously having things just constantly flow is so much easier and better in every way wow
>Waht if you where unabel to spel things right? Sonds fun!
Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely just finished writing your first video game pasta! Now just publish your beautiful (read: horrendous) story (read: crap heap), and watch it get thousands of upvotes (read: downvotes) like it deserves! Good luck!

Credit To – Yu “The Operator” Meigns

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Succession Of Nightmares

August 8, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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We all have them, one time or another.

Everything has a dark side, our dreams were meant to be a place of jubilation, and contain our most wonderful fantasies.

This is kinda like an award. Some of us work our asses off all day long, and then come home to a nice cozy bed. Sleep by itself is a nice gift for our turmoils, but dreams make sleeping hard for us to want to wake up sometimes.

But there is of course a darkside…there is always a darkside.

Nightmares have a certain way of creeping up on us when we don’t want them to…its almost like they know…

Some may say that nightmares are our own fault. Watching scary movies, or reading scary stories can fuel our nightmares.

But….what if there are things out there…that can control our dreams?

What if there are beings who can purposely give us nightmares.

What if these things are there to drive us insane…to the point where we want to sleep forever.

Now is when I tell you about my nightmares…

A couple weeks ago I started to get really into reading creepy stories. All humans have this certain want of excitement…but sometimes we take it way to far. You know what I’m talking about. Surfing videos on the internet late at night, reading creepy stories, or making our own stories.

You know how it works. You sit there, tired in front of your computer. The room is dark, the voices in your head are telling you to shut off the computer and finally get some fucking sleep. But then it happens. You find a video that has a creepy description. Perhaps a video about a ghost encounter, or a video of aliens.

This is how my nightmares started.

My friend Zack has a youtube account where he plays video games and gives them commentary. You know, a “Let’s Play.”

But one day he decided to do something different. He narrated a story off of a website called “”

I have heard of this somewhere, I know I have. Its hard to surf the interent for so many years and not hear about something so popular.

He told a story of a man called “Slender Man.” Now I had obviously heard of this character. I’ve seen the MarbleHornets videos, and I’ve seen the fan art, and the so called “pictures.”

The story was interesting, and it made me want to read more, so I did.

Within a few days, I had read all the populare stories that this website had to offer. “Squidward Suicide” “Ben Drowned” “Dead Bart” “Jeff: The Killer” “The Tails Doll” “Smile Dog” And all the Pokemon hacks.

These stories…they give you a feeling of terror. You start to notice all the small things around you, all the creaks and moans. You look over your shoulder and think you see a shadow of some sort. Nothing…huh…silly you.

You finally get the courage to go to sleep, and then you start to understand the position you just put yourself in.

I understood what I was doing to myself…but I didn’t stop.

I saw them all…I saw all the creatures from those stories in my dreams.

I saw the Smile Dog try to make me spread the word…I saw Jeff telling me to go to sleep…Squidward staring at me with his bloodshot eyes…

Jerking myself awake everytime I encountered one of these freaks got old real fast.

But then, the nightmares begin to get so much more real.

No longer was I imagining the characters from the stories…but now…my nightmares were taking their own shape. Contorting themselves to make me even more uncomfortable.

One night, I was laying soundly in my bed. It was almost like an out of body experience. You see, I had a bird’s-eye view of myself. It was as if I was laying on the ceiling. I was laying on top of the covers, and my eyes were closed. I must note that I was not breathing. No snoring, no indication of my stomach rising and lowering. In fact, I was utterly motionless.

My room was pitch black as it usually is when I fall asleep, but I could see myself perfectly. Its as if I had some type of night vision, but it wasn’t all green and shit like it usually is.

Then my eyes shot wide open. It startled me a bit. I just stared up at the ceiling. It seemed as if he was looking at me, like I really was on the ceiling.

A drop fell…a ruby colored drop of blood fell onto my face. Then another…and another…and another…
The drops began to fall slow, but then they picked up speed, similiar to when rain begins to fall.

The version of myself laying on my bed then begins to smile. The blood soaks his teeth, and started to drip into his eyes. But he did not blink or close his mouth. Just let the blood fall on him.

Suddenly, the view switched to me being on the ceiling. Now I was the one laying on the bed.

On the ceiling…was a bloody, mangled, wounded version of me. My eyes were missing, and my teeth were missing as well. But I had the same smile as the version of myself on the bed.

My hands and legs were pinned to the ceiling…almost…as if I was being crucified.

Then the view began to slowly zoom in on my face. Blood still fell, and my view was being distorted. I wanted to see what was going to happen, so I tried my best to see. The view then zoomed in on my face at an alarming rate, and then I spoke.

“I am your God now.”

I woke up. Breathing fast and hard. I felt paralyzed, like I was stuck.

I felt liquid around me. Did I really just piss the bed from this nightmare? Or….or was it blood? I quickly jumped up and found out that I had knocked over a cup of tea in my sleep, and I was laying in it.

Sometimes when I have dreams I feel as if the interactions of objects in the real world affect my dream. In one dream I was being stabbed repeatedly in the arm, and I could actually kinda feel it. I awoke to my friend obnoxiously poking me in the arm with a pen. I thought that him poking me in the arm made the stabbing from the nightmare be all the more real.

Since dreams and nightmares are derived from our brains, we can experience things in our dreams that seem real. When you eat something, you can taste it. This is because you remember how the object tasted.

This dream made me not want to sleep anymore that night, so I didn’t.

But that wasn’t the end.

I had this same nightmare over and over again for a few days. Happening the same way everytime. There wasn’t anything I could do. I couldn’t change the dream even if I wanted to.

This nightmare scared me everytime. You think I would have got use to it…but I didn’t.

I began to think about ways I could avoid this nightmare. This was my first thought.

I can’t remember ever having a nightmare while I was napping during the day. So my frist plan was to sleep during the day, and stay up during the night. Hopefully this would work.

First day, no nightmare. I was relieved. I thought that I had found the solution. I had no problem sleeping during the day, I didn’t sleep much as it was already.

Second day, my plan failed. The same nightmare happened again, but this time. There was no smiling from the body on the ceiling…actually…there were no emotions at all. My head was missing…more blood fell quickly this time making the dream end faster. My body laying on the bed looked down, and my decapitated head was laying in my lap. And it was smiling.

I’m pissed now. What, I just can’t fucking sleep anymore? Fine, I won’t. I’ll stay awake! Yes, that will work. I’ll stay awake until I pass out from exhaustion. I won’t encounter the nightmare unless I absolutely have to!

I wrote this…quite a while ago…back when the nightmares first started. It’s been about a week since I decided I wasn’t going to sleep.

I’m so tired…I don’t think I can stay awake anymore. My bed…sounds so heavenly right now. I guess my plan didn’t work how I thought it would…

I’m going to go to bed now…I think I could stay up for a few more hours but…I don’t want to.

I want to see my smile…I want to see my bloody body hang from the ceiling…It sounds so interesting to me now…Oh how that blood felt so refreshing cascading on my face.

I have a bottle of pills…extra strength…I’m going to take them all with some alcohol…

I don’t want to be awake anymore. I’ve been awake for a couple days…and I now realize how horrifying it is.

I’m seeing all those creepypasta characters in real life now…I’ve gone completely fucking insane.

I know they won’t be there in my dream…they were never there before.

I’ll sleep forever…so I can look and smile at my God for the rest of days.

I just swallowed the pills…I’m going to have a quick drink, then I’m going to bed.

Why not join me?

It will be your God soon enough.

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One Mile

December 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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JayJay suspected herself of having a mild form of ADHD to balance out her high IQ. It was undiagnosed, if so; she had better things to spend her money on than psychoanalysis. Still, there were the occasional days like today, when her concentration was shot, and whatever was in her peripheral vision seemed more important than whatever was in front of her face.

As she stood, fiddling with her phone in the convenience store parking lot, she found herself struggling with the simplistic task of downloading and installing an app. She was distracted by the dry wind blowing dust and leaves into her hair. She was irritated by the wail of a crying child denied candy by her stoic mother. She was creeped out by the ragged homeless woman idly eyeing her from the bus stop.

The app was a relatively simple thing. It would allow her to determine the make and model of a shoe via a simple photograph, automatically locating a nearby store and a current price. It was a silly thing, but her college roommates loved it, and so she had decided to give it a try.

Somehow, it was a hassle. She was momentarily blinded by sunlight reflecting from a passing car. She was jostled by a rude store customer with a dour look on his face and burly shoulders. She was startled when someone called her name from nearby, only to soon find out it was a different Jennifer they were calling out to.

Annoyed, she jabbed her finger at the shoe icon as soon as it came up, likewise clicking through the EULA without reading it (had it actually contained the word “soul”?) and chose INSTALL, anxious to get through the minor task.

After a moment, the phone’s camera activated, and she was looking at a closeup of her own finger on the other side of the phone. She brought the phone up so she could sweep the view around and paused, momentarily puzzled. The name of the app, sharply written in black letters resembling an old typewriter style font on a greyish white background read “One Mile”. Next to and slightly below the title was a green counter, set to 5280. Had she downloaded a pedometer by mistake? If so, why the camera function?

As she swept the camera around, however, she noticed that a green rectangle was appearing around the feet of people in the camera’s field of view. She hesitated momentarily on the shiny Mary Janes of a tiny schoolgirl, then the dilapidated and untied sneakers of a guy whose gait and facial expression screamed ‘stoner’. She was irritated, however that a display with the pertinent information was not automatically appearing. Did she have to frame the shoes for longer? Did she have to actually take a photo?

She considered taking a photo of her own feet, but the rectangle framing them was red for some reason: maybe the angle was bad, or her feet too close to the camera? She raised her gaze, and there was the homeless woman at the bus stop, pouting and staring steadily. Creepy. Defiant of the rush of fear tingling at her spine, she focused on the camera and aimed at the woman’s shoes.

The (presumably) homeless woman’s shoes were of course, old, unfashionable, dirty and worn. She figured that if the app could identify these canvas-topped rubber soled ancient artifacts, it could likewise handle any shoe she would actually be interested in.

They came up green. Since the woman was just standing and staring, she herself stayed still, and sure enough, after a moment, a green button appeared with a camera icon on it. She poked the icon.

The image froze, then zoomed to show the woman’s shoes (and swollen, greasy ankles emerging from torn, soiled socks) in more detail. The words “Are You Sure?” appeared in black typeface at the top of the app, with accompanying yes and no buttons. JayJay snorted a bit in irritation; of course she was sure! The thought occurred to her that the app might try to charge her credit card or something if she said yes, but she did not recall the app requesting access to her data. So it was probably safe? Shrugging, she pressed yes.

The disorientation was instantaneous and absolute. She felt like throwing up, but instead of pitching forward, she reeled backward, very nearly into …traffic?

Somehow, she was standing at the bus stop where the homeless woman had been. An irritated driver honked and swerved a bit, while still accelerating. She wrenched herself forward, skinning her knees on the bus stop bench. Scanning, she realized that she was looking at the front of the 7-11, where she had been standing a moment ago. She was annoyed to see a gawky blonde wearing the twin of her own outfit staring back at her.

The world seemed to spin and weave. She felt drunk. She was in fact drunk; she smelled like a brewery and reeked of old sweat. Her hair felt matted and tangled, and her clothes …she was wearing tattered, dirty, threadbare layers of mismatched clothing. She was dressed like a homeless woman. An instant later, more facts fell upon her like monolithic dominoes: she was shorter, heavier. Her skin was wrinkled, older. Her fingernails were longer. She was the homeless woman!

On the brink of madness, a dozen horrendous possibilities rushed at her, drowned her. Maybe she really was a homeless woman who had been enjoying a delusion of being a young pretty girl? Maybe she was simply dreaming? Maybe the application had somehow caused them to switch places, even bodies?

It didn’t matter. Dream or no dream, she needed that phone. Right now. She fixed her gaze on the gawky girl. Was that how she looked? Too skinny, hair the color of straw, showing too much skin, wearing too much makeup? It didn’t matter; it was better than what she had now. The gawky girl met her gaze and blanched. She looked quickly from side to side. Was she going to run? Crap, she was going to run.

The girl turned, stumbling and falling headlong, spilling the contents of her purse everywhere. Sitting up quickly, she started to scoop up the scattered papers and mascara and other items as if by instinct before she remembered her situation. Tearing off the high heeled shoes with something like regret, she stumbled to her feet and made for a narrow alleyway near the store.

JayJay was in no better shape. The old shoes were much better for running, but the body above them was not. She was heavier all over, especially in the hips and bust, and everything tried to go in different directions, throwing off her center of balance and making her want to vomit even more. She was grimy everywhere. Her heart was slamming like a jackhammer. She could not breathe. Her head was pounding.

She knew she looked like a monster, with her arms outstretched, lumbering forward. Her voice was moaning and unfamiliar even to her own ears, “My phoooone! That’s my phoone! Give it here!” The girl –JayJay’s real body– squealed and backpedaled, wheeled and ran. JayJay knew she looked like an utter lunatic to everyone around. But hopefully, that wouldn’t matter if she could simply get her hands on that phone.

If the app had somehow switched them, she could use it to switch back. She hoped. The only other choices were that the change was somehow permanent …in which case she would cry, and likely fling herself into traffic… or that it was a dream or otherwise temporary, in which case it didn’t matter. She needed that phone.

Into the narrow alley they plunged, the girl still awkward, but moving with an assuredness that JayJay did not feel. The alley was familiar territory to whoever was in that girl’s hed. JayJay seemed to stumble over every bit of trash scattered on the cracked pavement, while the girl’s steps were swifter and more sure. She was pulling away.

JayJay, already gasping and dizzy, pushed herself harder. This was it, she was sure; she’d have a heart attack and die in this alley, while that homeless woman walked off with her body and enjoyed an extra 20 years of young, fit life with it. It wasn’t fair! She had done nothing to deserve this! She was a good person!

It was at that moment that the girl, that JayJay’s body, died. As she had exited the alley into the street on the opposite side, she had cast a last glance back at the monster stumbling behind her. A fast, expensive white car, it’s stereo loud and it’s owner texting, plowed into her without slowing down.

The girl’s face smashed into the windshield, her own body a fulcrum, like a small wet wrecking ball. It was instantly destroyed: bits of glass drove into her eyes, her nose flattened, her lips were torn away by her own teeth as they tore loose from her mouth, scattering into the afternoon along with autumn leaves. Within her now fractured skull, her brain flattened and ruptured.

No. JayJay halted, unable to even speak. She wanted to scream, wanted to beat up the careless driver, wanted to ironically kill and re-kill her own body for both dying and being ruined. Instead, she threw up. In fact, she almost passed out, but as her consciousness descended into a grey well of denial, she shook her head (earning a spike of pain in doing so) and made herself stand.

The phone. Where was the phone?

Had it been crushed beneath the tires of the car, along with the girl’s twisted tangle of limbs? She did not see it there, just a widening pool of blood and some thick black liquid. The driver was emerging from the car, pale and texting frantically.

Could it still be with her purse?

JayJay vanished back into the alleyway just as the driver piped up with a “Did you see what happened?” and she moved to the opposite end as fast as her grimy but unbroken legs would carry her. Emerging from the alley, she looked toward the front of the store, where an employee, dustpan in hand, was procrastinating before cleaning up the scattered purse.

“Mine!” she hissed, kneeling in the spill of her belongings. The employee looked dubious, but did not protest. He seemed distracted by a growing group of people wandering toward the far corner of the building.

It was there! JayJay picked up the phone, holding her breath in the eternity between hitting the power button and the screen brightening into life. She swiped her finger in a familiar pattern to unlock the phone (she inwardly sighed; a part of her had been worried she had been delusional. Now she was just horrified). The app was still there, and opening it showed a simple blank screen with a counter currently at 5008.

She was puzzled, but she had no time to ponder. Soon, people would think that a homeless woman was stealing the belongings of a tragically killed girl, and she did not want to be here when that happened. She quickly located her wallet, her keys, and with that and the phone, she left. Somehow, her cosmetics did not seem so important now.

As she strode quickly and purposefully away from the convenience store, her mind continued to swim with a dozen warring implications. How had the app done this, if it had? What was the counter for? How many people had this app? How would she explain that some older woman was now living in JayJay’s apartment? What about her friends and family?

Back at her apartment, JayJay collapsed into a chair. Her phone pulsed, then started up in her mother’s familiar ringtone. She almost answered instinctively, but then she caught herself and ignored it; her mother would not recognize the voice on the other end. She let it go to voicemail, as tears streamed from unfamiliar eyes. Her mother would be so heartbroken when she found out…

JayJay looked at the app again, desperate for answers. Obviously, this was not the app her friends had been using, although the icons were similar. The counter had changed again, to 1237. That felt …ominous. She waited, holding her breath, for nearly two minutes. The counter did not change. Puzzled, she went to her refrigerator, grabbed an iced coffee, returned to the chair.

The counter was at 1231.

“What the fuck!?” With effort, she resisted hurling the phone at the wall. Calming herself with deep ragged breaths (that smelled sickeningly of onions and beer), she began to take off her shoes, desperate for a shower, although she was petrified of what she would find beneath the dirty ragged cloth and grime.

Her phone sounded a short, sharp alarm. The app, clearly visible on the glowing screen, read “Are you sure you want to quit?” With big red yes and no buttons. She grabbed the phone, eager to escape the nightmare.

But she stopped. If she quit, what then? Would she go back to her old body? Her destroyed, wrecked, ruined body? Her eyes glued to the screen, she clicked NO. The bland typewriter font returned: “Error: replace shoe.” With deliberate, slow movements, she ran a finger between the shoe and her foot, pulling it snug against her heel once more. The app returned to the green counter, back at 1231.

One mile. She was going to walk one mile in this woman’s shoes, literally. And then…

Her mind skipped across several scenarios: quit her job, become a hermit, work from home via her computer to somehow never walk a full mile for the rest of her life? What about her friends and family that could drop by at any time? What about when she was reported dead or missing and some strange woman was found in her apartment? What effect would using a car or a wheelchair have? If she took it back to the error screen and left it there, could she live out her life? Could she live forever?

Her heart stopped as a knock sounded through her door. It returned several times as she crept slowly up to the peephole and peered. It was no one she knew; a slightly plump young woman wearing conservative clothes. In one hand was clutched some brightly colored paper.

JayJay, feeling a reptillian cold creep down her spine, opened the door, refusing to allow herself to think; only to act. She forced herself to smile; something that probably looked ghoulish in her new hard, lined face with likely horrible teeth. She opened the door.

The young visitor kept her expression open and cheerful, although she hesitated for a telling moment upon first sight of the disheveled woman inside the apartment. “Might I have a moment of your time?”

“Jehovah’s Witness,” JayJay guessed in an unfamiliar voice.

The woman nodded. Cheerful and resigned, but hopeful. In white stockings. With black, polished Mary Janes.

JayJay opened the door wide and swept her hand in a magnanimous gesture. “Come on in! I’ll get us some tea.”

The woman hesitated, no doubt reciting a silent prayer, then stepped across the threshold. JayJay ushered her to an empty seat, taking her phone from the armrest as she did so. “This is going to sound weird,” she said. “But your shoes are darling! Do you mind if I take a picture of them?”

A few hours later, a young woman exited the apartment. She was dressed differently than when she had entered, except for her white stockings and black shoes. She was wearing a stuffed backpack and towing an equally overfilled wheeled luggage case, her large purse heavy on one arm. She had a phone in her hand, and a distracted yet determined expression on her face…

Credit: Kitsune9tails

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Scavenged, Part Two

November 23, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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Orion’s eyes snapped open again. He’d been squeezing them tightly shut against the onslaught of freakish words and images bounding through his wearied mind. When he cried out in shock, the sound now had a raspy, metallic edge: an artificial note that bastardized the cadence of his teenage voice. His vision cleared, coming into focus: the beings were clustered around him, staring down, bordering his view of the smooth, sterile ceiling above.

The Greys. What mind could fathom the unearthly secrets within those glabrous, orbicular heads? What bizarre perplexities had those passionless, inky eyes studied? Even now, his second time in their clutches, they seemed somehow less than truly alive. Aloof and disinterested, coolly gazing, they regarded him silently as he wondered at what they had done to him, wondered if he was now less than truly alive as well.

His final stertorous breath had been drawn some time ago. His torso no longer rose and fell with suspiration, and many of the organs within had been replaced with their alien contrivances. Of this he was certain. He felt dried blood matted near his left temple, but the hole in his skull was presumably restored somehow from where they’d drilled into it. He struggled to sit upright, feeling the tautness of the restraints loosen and then release.

The aliens retreated by one or two paces, giving him room to swing his aching legs over the edge of the table and hop down to the lustrous metal deck. He still had to lean against the operating slab, but was surprised at how vigorous he actually felt. After only a few moments, he was able to take a couple of unsteady paces. Again, the aliens moved to allow him a berth.

Silence reigned in the spacious cabin. Stillness echoed after his tentative steps. Regaining his surefootedness, he found his way to an open door, and passed into the corridor beyond unmolested.

The hallway was dim, and pulsed with low, ambient light. It curved gently to the left as he walked, suggesting the contour of the alien craft he was on board. There were viewing bays to the left and right as he walked, massive windows looking into operating rooms like the one he had just left. The first two were empty and dark. The third was a scene of horrendous revulsion.

A human man was restrained on the slab, fully conscious as the cosmic outsiders administered freakish violations to his writhing body. Gore-drenched utensils were nimbly employed with callous objectivity; the blood pooled and oozed into troughs along the sides of the table, and drained into canisters at the floor. Orion’s eyes flicked over the modifications to the tortured man’s form: twisted appendages sprouted at sickening angles from the victim’s chest and sides. Metal tentacles squirmed around him, flailing and grasping at nothing, indifferent to the panicked shrieks that reached Orion only as muffled crescendos, a grisly soundtrack to the twitching spider’s dance of the wretched experimental subject.

Orion turned away, shuddering, and cringed again sharply as a new, sickening tableau greeted him: the next viewing bay showcased a pair of Greys bending over a restrained female. Her head was shaved smooth and bald, lending her a faint air of similarity to the hairless alien captors. One of them had both hands firmly on the sides of her face, holding her still, while the other drew a spinning rotary saw in a straight line around the top of her cranium. Deft and careful movements removed the dripping dome, exposing the brain. The alien that was holding the subject’s head stared knowingly into Orion’s eyes, its mouth a thin straight line upon a blank, emotionless face.

Orion stumbled backwards, away from the viewing bay, and rested one hand on the sleek bulkhead. Meagerly throbbing luminescence revealed that he was not alone in the corridor: several Greys were shuffling toward him from the direction he had come. Repulsed, he continued along the hallway. Up ahead, there were more sticklike silhouettes, eerily backlit, shambling forward. A side door was open and he ducked into it, wondering how long he could aimlessly wander this peregrine craft, avoiding the inevitable schemes of his unflappable captors. This room was shadowed and bare; as he turned back, the door slid shut with a menacing hiss, trapping him inside.

Pale, teardrop-shaped faces with giant, glistening black eyes regarded him silently through the viewing bay. The panic began to well up in him again, manifesting as a jittery tingling that prickled the patches of skin between his cybernetic grafts. The whispering in his head returned from the edge of consciousness, from where it had left him in a fitful slumber on the operating table.

“You may not be familiar with the concept of Action Potentials,” the psionic man breathed, “so allow me to explain your latest gift.”

“Who are you?” the teenager spoke aloud.

“A humble servant of the Greys. I am what is called a Noble—a human with the ability to communicate directly with these higher beings. You see, although they comprehend the vulgar system of spoken words that we use, the human mind is not capable of receiving thoughts from their heightened faculties. Not without aid, anyway.”

This time Orion consciously projected the words. “The chip they implanted in my brain.”

“Excellent. You’re learning quickly.” The serene voice was pleased.

“So what is an Action Potential?”

“When a neuron ‘fires,’ sending a signal through a nerve, the membrane of the cell begins by rising sharply in voltage. It does this by opening gated channels in the cell wall to allow an influx of positive ions. As more channels open, the voltage spikes and transmits an electrical signal to the axon terminal, where it in turn signals other neurons. The channels close when the influx is completed, preventing the signal from travelling back the way it came. This is the process that results in the majority of neurological functions, such as moving the muscles of your arm, or interpreting your sense of touch. These short-lived electrical events are known as ‘Action Potentials.’

“You’re probably aware that all living things survive due to bioelectrical impulses. The electric current innate to your body makes your heart beat, for example, and allows your brain to send commands throughout the body. But suppose that your body’s circulatory and neural systems were modified by the use of nanoconductors, amplifying your bioelectrical impulses by tens of thousands of times what it was before.”

“The machines they put in place of my internal organs—they create and dispatch trillions of microscopic robots, conducting the electricity of each Action Potential as if it were an electric synapse, and making it faster and stronger.” Orion was in disbelief.

“There you are. Your mind is working faster already. And that’s just the beginning.”

A sharp, alarming hiss cut through the dark chamber. Orion’s adrenaline surged instantly—he wheeled around, facing the far wall, opposite the viewing bay, where a previously unseen doorway bled feeble illumination into the tenebrous shroud. The unmistakable silhouette of a bipedal reptilian beast staggered through, and the portal hissed shut again.

Half crouching in a combat stance, empty fingers splayed, Orion cursed, fighting despair. No weapons, no aid, no escape. He was locked in this room, unarmed, with a murderous Lacerta, while those manipulative freaks watched outside.

Hooked claws chattered with staccato clicks on the metal floor. The lizardlike tail whipped violently. Then it charged, crossing the chamber in three giant bounds. Teeth and claws flying at him like a storm of glittering daggers, Orion sprang aside, narrowly dodging the Lacerta just before it collided against the bulkhead. The impact didn’t faze it, though, and it whirled around, pushing off the wall to pounce again. This time he couldn’t get out of the way fast enough and the jaws locked onto his left forearm—the one that was mostly metal, housing the cybercomputer that was built into his flesh. Its teeth squealed against the alloy; he felt pressure, but no pain. With his right fist he hooked flurries of hard punches against the tough hide of its neck and head, doing minimal damage but succeeding in making the Lacerta flinch away, its mouth opening to release his metal arm.

Orion leapt backwards, instinctively avoiding a further melee, but knowing that there were no environmental advantages offered in this empty room. The reptilian beast seemed to be sizing him up as well, temporarily taken aback by this bizarre unchewable foe. Its maw was still hanging open as it panted, and he saw jagged, broken teeth. His frame tingled with the hormones released by battle and fear; he felt the fuzzy ionization of static electricity all around him.

The beast didn’t charge again, maintaining the distance of about ten feet that was between them. Instead, the open mouth began to gurgle hungrily. Orion had experienced this before, and braced himself for the impending lethargy and fatigue. Instead, though, he continued to feel the crackle of energy and adrenaline building to a crescendo, begging for release—his own feral monster within crying out for a victim.

Orion pounced on the monster, shrieking aloud. Sparks flew as his fingertips contacted scaly skin. The Lacerta was poised to strike, to eviscerate him before throwing him off, but its form seized and went rigid. The scavenger’s hands found purchase on its shoulders and chest, hot current buzzing from them into the reptilian body. Electric convulsions jerked and twitched through it, but his grip tightened with fury. The alien’s jaw locked down, its broken teeth grinding together, splintering into ruined shards. Its flesh scorched, cooking with an eye-watering stench. The yellow eyes rolled back in their sockets and then burst into thick pus that dribbled down the sides of the paralyzed visage. By the time the charred carcass fell away from his arcing fingertips, smoke curled through the air in a lazy dance.

“They’ve made you a superior combatant. The Lacertas may be capable of damping the bioelectric impulses of living organisms, but yours are now off the charts. You’ll find that you react more quickly and can survive harsher environments—in addition to the more dramatic potency that you’ve just displayed.”

Surveying the blackened corpse, Orion felt a vista of realization spawning in his heightened thoughts. “The Greys want me to kill Lacertas.”

“You’re certainly equipped to do so,” the Noble answered. “Use your aptitudes and your gifts.”

Short-lived electrical events…

“That’s what my life is to you, now: an Action Potential. Something that can be fired off, activated, to fulfill a command. Are you… giving me instructions?”

A glassy chuckle. “Of course not. While they can achieve some mild neurological manipulation—lowering heart rate, or spiking adrenaline, for example—‘mind control’ is far beyond the scope of actual science. You maintain your free will… although I’d say that ignoring the purpose for which you are so obviously well adapted would be a crime against nature.”

Orion regarded the computer interface grafted into his left forearm. “Nature? That’s a sick joke.”

Inscrutable faces still lined the window. “I assure you that no one here is joking,” the Noble replied.

“Let me get my hands around one of their scrawny necks.” The fuzzy, static feeling was returning again.

“You won’t get the chance,” came the reply. “They’re returning you to the surface, in the street where they found you. The people there will experience what’s known as ‘lost time,’ but only you will remember the Grey spaceship overhead.”

“What am I supposed to—“

There was a blinding flash, a moment of disorientation and vertigo, and Orion was in the causeway once more, transplanted into the middle of a scene that was already unfolding. As he’d feared, he was standing on the outer fringes of the AAF demonstrators that had been present before. It appeared that on the outside of the group, near the shade of a building, no one had actually witnessed his instantaneous return… but heads turned at the movement, focusing on the strange newcomer, giving him no chance to conceal himself.

Angry shouts and insults filled the air. Orion looked down at himself, knowing what they saw: a dirty, tattered jacket and tank top not fully covering the mechanical supplementations to his wiry teenage frame. The Anti-Augmented Foundation was often hungry for just such a scapegoat during one of their potentially violent demonstrations. Did he even have a chance to convince an angry mob that he wasn’t in fact some sort of agenda-laced spy, following orders from the Greys? Could he, in truth, even make such an argument to himself?

“Look at him! See his arm?”

“He’s modded, you can see it plain as day!”

Orion backpedaled, preparing to run, but coarse hands were already seizing him from the sides. Squirming, twisting, he was dragged farther into the street, his protests drowned out in a bedlam of accusations. He’d always been careful not to run afoul of these zealots, and the injustice of being made a sudden target for their unthinking hatred was maddening. He’d be denounced and shot in a matter of minutes, and the Protectorate would do what they did best—pretend it had all never happened. Orion had the insane thought that the aliens in the colossal disc floating above, with their gruesome vivisections and their sterile, callous designs, actually had more respect for life than the human race of which he was now only marginally a part.

Tanned, oval faces regarded him hatefully with leering eyes. An unwashed brute curled up a meaty fist and drove it into his stomach—then drew back, howling, cradling his broken hand. Someone behind him smashed a splintering piece of wood over his shoulders, staggering the youth and exploding a burst of white pain through his bones and muscles. Orion’s pulse intensified, growing sonorous and more rhythmic. Hormones flooded into his system, prickling the patches of skin between his cybernetic grafts. Oh, no. No… He tried to steady his nerves somehow, failing, unable to utilize the old standby of taking deep breaths because his mechanized body would no longer do such a thing.

He wrenched free of his captors just as a massive torrent of voltage was unleashed. A crackling flash ignited the air in a shockwave that tossed members of the crowd in all directions, arms and legs akimbo. His metallic voice croaked; an awful sound that cut the pained, echoing cries of men colliding roughly with walls, with cobblestones, with each other. For several slow, amaranthine seconds he was at the epicenter of a deadly flower of destruction. Forks of current branched from him to nearby fallen bodies, vellicating them with a fervor that belied their helpless, lifeless postures. Flesh sizzled and scorched. He was the king of a world of pain, standing tall and supreme among his writhing, groveling victims.

Then it ended. His eyes were seared with visions of horrid white death. Gradually the color returned to his reality: things that he had broken and ruined lay scattered all about.


Short-lived electrical events.
Weirdly, he was thinking of how to somehow mitigate the damage he’d done. Could a human life, hopelessly mangled, be repaired? For the entire fifteen years he’d spent in the badlands, his skills had been so well attuned to taking something old, broken, and cast aside, and restoring it… perhaps even improving upon the original.

And then the Greys had come, to improve upon his own original form. To cast his prior existence aside and replace it with a new purpose.

He was a destroyer now—a walking catastrophe, strewing carnage in his wake. Could he regain control of what he was? An Action Potential could not return back the way it came…

After narrowly avoiding the Protectorate, Orion had traversed the deepest reaches of the unknown alleys in the metropolis. A rank, rotten honeycomb at the core of Glitter City, these twisting urban mazes were rife with criminals and thugs—but he was left alone, the hard, weathered faces turning down to scowl at filthy, beaten shoes and steaming sewer grates. Holostacks like those advertising businesses on the Thoroughfare were absent here, and he’d searched for asylum using the faded signs above rusty, ramshackle doors.

His luck had seemed to hold. An unassuming hostel booked him using the credits he’d stolen from the supernet terminal yesterday and only a feeble mimicry of registration. He’d discarded his tattered rags in favor of a black long-sleeved sweater and loose-fitting cargo pants. These garments were now slung over a scarred wooden chair nearby while he soaked in a four-legged brass bathtub in the tiny washroom down the hall from his rented room.

A single naked, fly-specked bulb swung from the ceiling like a noose. The water had been comfortable, but was now growing cool. In contrast to the technological marvels abundant in the more upscale regions of the city, here in the brick-and-mortar core of the metropolis, working amenities could be uncommon.

“Hot water?” It was a gentle female voice, spoken aloud, that seemed to read his thoughts—not the persuasive, clouded speech of the Noble that had so far remained silent in his mind. He twisted to look at the doorway, cracked open a few inches: a raven-haired teenage girl wearing a yellow flowered kimono held a dented metal bucket by a hand towel wrapped around the handle. Steam wafted from the liquid within, curling into light, misty curtains in the air.

He smiled, nodding but not wanting to speak, not wanting this lovely creature to hear his freakish voice. She nudged the door open further and smoothly cascaded the water into the tub with him, raising the temperature back to pleasant warmth. He expected her to demurely retreat with the empty pail, but instead she hovered nearby. The kimono had slipped down to reveal one slender white shoulder.

“I can help you relax,” she said.

Orion’s lips parted, but he couldn’t exhale, couldn’t think of anything to say. He felt that he had better not speak—but instead of interpreting his silence as refusal, the girl tossed the yellow kimono over the wooden chair and lithely hurdled into the tub with him. She cradled herself under his left arm, not flinching at his bionic grafts. Water sloshed. The perfumed steam was dizzying.

“You have money, right? It’s five thousand,” came the gentle purr.

Conflicted, he nodded, trying to stay completely still. Something stirred in his blood, a hesitant arousal, a contradictory excitement. She rested against his shoulder, tracing designs on his chest, trailing narrow fingers across the pale, raised disfigurements latticing his body. The palm of her hand found his thumping heart. He was sweating from the hot bath and from the wired, anxious sensation that was wrapping around him, ghostly and intangible, like a kimono.

“No,” he croaked discordantly.

She was taken aback by the sudden, raspy flexure of his voice, but regrouped. “Shhh, it’s okay. Don’t talk.”

“No. No,” his pulse was rising, as were the hairs on his arms. “No, don’t,” he murmured.

The girl’s body snapped rigid, her eyes locked, her teeth clinched. Shuddering hideously, grimacing, she was imprisoned in an immobile dance of death. Orion couldn’t extricate himself, couldn’t disengage their tangled limbs, couldn’t scrabble out of the slick, smoothly burnished brass tub. Steam wafted from the liquid within, curling into heavy, funereal shrouds in the air.

When it was over, he stood in splotchy puddles upon the aged linoleum, studying the blue forks in her sizzled skin. The black hair was delicately arrayed out in the water, floating in gauzy clouds. He draped the silken robe over the slender, lifeless body before recovering the baggy sweater and cargo pants, pulling them on hastily, and fleeing down the hallway to the gloomy, claustrophobic staircase.

Orion exited to the street once more, not knowing where he was headed, feeling the dying rays of the sunset yawning behind him. Trash was piled in the alleys and gutters, discarded remnants of people’s lives. Husks of things that were contrived, made to be useful for a time, and then consumed. He had to scavenge his own life back from the Greys, salvage some kind of existence out of what they had appointed for him.

Shuffling though the landfill of human lives, one face fired a sudden spark in his mind as it passed. He pushed against the throng, turning, breaking into a run. Catching up to the retreating figure, he reached with one outstretched hand, resting it on the shoulder, turning the individual to confront him.

The familiar face was that of a young woman, blinking at him in surprise and then in swift recognition. Circumnavigating her newly shaved head, in a full and perfect revolution, was a puffy pink scar.

Credit: pinchers81

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Mystogan Mountain

September 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM
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November 4, 2015 – 3:20 am –
Entry 1
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.
–Introduction (Kinda)–Check.
–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
–Do check-list–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 –
Entry 2
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 –
Entry 3
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 –
Entry 4
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 –
Entry 5
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 –
Entry 6
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 –
Entry 7
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’m scared.

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 – ??? –
Entry 8
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.

Crazy, right?

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.


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.

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