01 Jul Those Fine Young Gentlemen – Part One: Cottoneye.rtf
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"Those Fine Young Gentlemen - Part One: Cottoneye.rtf"Written by R.A. Brewster
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Estimated reading time — 9 minutes
This is part one of the Those Fine Young Gentleman series.
Before I get started here let me say that I have to post this. That I need to share what I’ve found. It’s the same feeling you get when you drive by a car crash and have to look in horror at the mangled bodies of metal and flesh. I have to show you, you have to see, you need to see. I’ve only begun to sort through all the files but I’ll put them up…I have to. I like to fix computers in my free time, kinda like adult Legos. I’ve built quite a few of them for myself and friends and whenever something goes wrong I am the first person they call. Now most of the time it’s just user error or a bad antivirus letting some worm or other nefarious program munch on root files. Nothing I couldn’t handle and nothing really strange. That is until Brad brought me this laptop he bought at a flea market. It was some old world Dell, the monolith sized ones and just looking at it made me feel like an archaeologist finding some ancient relic.
He told me that he hadn’t had a chance to play around with it yet but the old guy had sold it to him for 15 bucks so he wasn’t expecting a miracle. He just wanted me to clean it out, do what I could to speed it up and load up some programs his daughter could use for school. If it was a wash oh well but he had complete faith in me. Now I told him I was a computer god but some things are beyond my powers, I promised to do what I could. As soon as I turned it on I knew I was in for hell. Just the load time to boot was snail slow. Once there I made an odd discovery, the computer wasn’t running Windows. It was using some home-brewed Linux OS called AsmoDos, I figured that this would actually save me some time, just wipe the drive and do a fresh install from one of the Windows 7 jump drives I had laying around. But I was pretty curious.
Making your own flavor of Linux was something I had tried to play around with but I was garbage at coding and working with kernels and all those sudo edits made my head hurt. Here this guy made his own, seemingly, working OS and it was running on this artifact from another time. I was impressed and wanted to see how the whole thing ran.There wasn’t a password on the home screen just a black and red tinted background with an enter icon. That was pretty odd but I clicked it and was immediately disappointed.
There wasn’t anything fancy about the UI at all, looked like a carbon copy of Ubuntu from way back in the day. Browsing around I found the normal saved pages, obligatory funny photos, a few tax papers (I resisted the urge to swipe the SSN…those days are over). Found out the guy who owned this heap of junk before was named David Osa. David wasn’t a very adventures guy, even his porn was pretty generic stuff, and also I found it in a folder labeled P0rnz. I couldn’t help but laugh at that. Then I ran into some odd stuff.
The first thing that I found was a program called S.N.I.P.E.R. It turned out to be a file over-writer, like a super trash can. However where a computer would normally write over a deleted file once, this program wrote over it 47 times. That’s more than the CIA. That is what you run when you want something GONE. Why on earth would he have something as heavy duty as that? I went back over the image files again, won’t lie I figured he must have some CP on here to warrant such a program but there was nothing, zip, nada. I did find the next unsettling thing however and boy did it lead to some unnerving shit.
It was a password protected folder called FYG, hidden inside a folder for Celtic soundscapes. Now bear in mind this is the first password protected anything I had come across. P0rnz, tax papers, hell the system itself, wide open but not this one folder. What was he hiding? I tried to crack it the normal way, guessing. Last name didn’t work, password didn’t work, neither did password spelled backward, David was at least smarter than that. I looked through some of my own programs but none of them could help me crack something on a Linux OS, they just weren’t set up for it.
On a hunch I got in touch with a buddy of mine who had been an avid Linux fan since I first met him. It didn’t take long to convince him that I was thinking about making the switch and was in need of his help with a pesky password problem. He sent me something he said should help and stressed to me that I was making the right choice, that windows was doomed, open source was the best yadda yadda yadda. Whatever he sent me opened up the terminal and apparently had super cow powers. I still don’t understand but it worked and I was able to open the folder. It held dozens of text files, chat logs, AVIs but nothing seemed that out there. Until I started reading.
I can’t tell you how odd and disturbing these things are. It seems David was talking with a group of people he called “Those Fine Young Gentlemen”, he kept a sort of journal on his thoughts about them. From those and what I’ve read so far it seems there are four of them, a Gentleman Charles, Gentleman Terry, Gentleman Jeff and Gentleman Albert. The first bit I came across started in a chat dump between David and Gentleman Terry.
D.O: Come on, you really expect me to believe that just because of some local news link.
G.T: U did waNt proof diDn’T you?
D.O: I wouldn’t call that proof G.T: what would u call it? u mitE Really want to OPEN this then(cottoneye.rtf) EnJoY -.-
~Gentleman Jeff (G.J) has joined the group~
G.J: Come now ol’ boys don’t you think that’s a little much, he’s been fun so far. Think he is really ready to leave the kiddie table?
G.T: wonT matter, He’s going to opEn it can’t help himsElf.
D.O: What the hell is this anyway?
G.T: What you wAnted, that pesky truth Remember?
D.O: I don’t get why you guys keep saying that’s what I wanted, I just want to know about Sarah. I know she was talking to you damn it, WHERE IS SHE!?
G.T: Truth comes in guarded Halves. Keep reading.
G.J: Don’t be such a bad show David, we’ve only been trying to help.
~David Osa (D.O) has left the group~
I tracked down the cottoneye.rtf file. Draw what you will from it but this whole thing just keeps getting more and more unsettling. (There is one photo embedded in the document, it’s of a beautiful sunset, broken up by dark jagged pines.)
———–Transcript of papers found in patient 0043’s room, after third escape attempt. ———–FWD to Doc. West along with suggestion to increase tridextropane by at least half, if not doubling the dose all together. ——————————————–
My name is Mark Chapman and I am not crazy. I know that’s not something a sane person would say but what sane person would believe me? I’ve told this, god, a thousand times and no one believes. My parents, their parents, my girlfriend, my own fucking brother! They won’t even come to visit me anymore. They don’t believe but I do. I believe in the man in the woods and the awful things he did to them.
Cops always wanted me to start at the beginning but they don’t have a god damn clue when that was. The camping trip? Nope! The flat tires before we even sat out? Try again! No this whole thing went back so much further. I had seen him before….we all had.
(There are pages and pages after this that just say “SPRINGVALE” in erratic, almost frantic lines.)
The trip was a bad idea, should have known since it was Jason who suggested it. Nothing went right; the car had problems from the get go and Alex, who had been in charge of the snacks and food and gear just fucking forgot to bring half that shit. In the end we sat out on some janky used tires and one tent to share for three days. The food was an easy fix it turned out and as we headed deeper into the woods toward the campground we were all in high spirits.
Just three old friends getting away for a while, like it used to be. God I miss them. After Jason had regaled us with another tale of how he had single handled helped this cop subdue a 450 pound meth addict, Alex started poking holes in his story. Jason hadn’t subdued anything more violent than a early bird buffet in his whole life but his stories were something else and watching him jump through hoops to keep up the act while Alex tossed question after question at him reminded me of how much things hadn’t changed. It was then, me lost in nostalgia with my head out the window, that I saw him.
It was just a flash, so quick i could almost believe that he was just another tree trunk but a glance into those eyes made me sure it wasn’t. They were so blue. Like a sailor’s dream of crisp Caribbean seas, twin holes of perfect summer Sunday sky set deep into an impossibly smooth face. That face was new born maggot white and looked like it was stretched thin, barely holding something back from busting out like puss from a boil.
Even though I didn’t see it then I knew he would be wearing a ratty old t-shirt that read “Mondays” with a sad cloud on it and no pants. Just long, pencil thin legs stabbing down from the end of the shirt as if it were some sort of dress. It took me a while to realize that the car had stopped and that I’d been screaming the whole time. Jason just looked at me while Alex kept shaking me and asking me if I was alright. Jason’s brown eyes asked one thing? “Mr. Monday?” my sobs must have answered him because he started to break down too. Alex stopped shaking me and curled up in the back seat, his eyes far away.
(At this point the review committee felt it necessary to include an excerpt from patient 0043’s previous therapy sessions with Dr. Amid)
Chapman continues to reference a “Mr. Monday” and while normally leery of discussing this topic, today he was very forthcoming. It would seem this whole construct began far back in his past, sometime in grade school. He talked about how he and the two victims, Alex and Jason, first encountered it one night. The three of them were exploring some abandoned apartment complex behind their school, Springvale if memory serves me right. Inside one of the upstairs rooms the three boys uncovered a dead man.
Chapman claims that the body had been long dead and I suspect that the whole traumatic event caused a lasting, shared delusion among the three. Instead of fleeing the building the three had taken up the idea that they would solve the man’s murder and began looking through the rooms for clues. It is at this point that Chapman varies his story many times. At one point he said they found a room full of candles and skinned cats, later he says that all the rooms were empty but covered in some bluish mold that would “breath”, being alone in the building turned into finding fleeting shadows ducking down halls. As he recounted running down seven flights of stairs only to open the door at the bottom and end up back at the floor they had left on, his mood became violently panicked. Chapman paced, ran his fingers through his hair, and openly sobs as he continued recounting the events in the abandoned apartments.
At some point the corpse started to follow them down the halls. Always just a little behind but getting closer with every turn they made. It wore a shirt that said I hate Mondays which I feel is where they derived the nickname. Finally Chapman, with some aura of triumph, told me how they had ended the nightmare by jumping from the third story window. He showed me the pins in his leg he had gotten after the fall. It was at this time that I managed to steer him to the events of that night in the woods.
His eyes grew far off but for the first time in our sessions he started where “Mr. Monday” found them in their car. Chapman told me how they had been forced to stay the night in their car because the engine wouldn’t turn over. The night didn’t feel as if it would be that cold and Jason had managed to improve their spirits by telling them a stories about his colorful life (I have had to listen to Chapman regale me of his friends exploits enough to know that these stories must have been something special in their friendship.) However as the moon continued to rise he claimed they all grew very aware of something outside the car. Something just outside their area of sight.
It was at 3am that the radio came on all by itself and blasted the music loud enough to wake them, he said the song was some dance mix of “Cotton eye Joe”. Startled Jason tried the engine again and flipped on the headlights. Only to find Mr. Monday there in front of the car. Chapman claimed that the creature just pushed through the window like it was made of water; that he only survived because he ran but when pressed as to why the others didn’t run, why only he saw this Mr. Monday, he became defensive as always. I pressed him with the evidence of his crime, hoping that maybe with his openness today we could have some breakthrough. It was, well less than desired. 0043 will remain in restraints until committee review.
(After this there are only what seem to be crime scene photos. They show a headless body slumped over the steering wheel of a car, another shows a torso without an arm or both legs and the last one shows a young man being pulled from the back seat of a car by police. His eyes are wild, his face covered in blood and he is wearing a shirt with a sad cloud that says “I hate Mondays”)
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