Saturday, April 9, 2011
Hey, guy. Your mom wanted me to come in here and talk to you before you fell asleep. She said that at school a boy named Porter told you some things that made you cry. It was about the Easter Bunny, wasn't it? No, don't be like that. I think we should talk about it.
There is no Easter Bunny. Porter's right. He was being mean about it, but unfortunately there isn't really a giant magical rabbit who sneaks into your house at night and leaves candy. Moms and dads do it. I go down to the Rite-Aid every year, and I buy huge bags of peeps and chocolate and that weird plastic grass, and then I hide it in the closet until the night before Easter.
Also -- let's just get all this out of the way -- there's no Tooth Fairy either. Yes. When you lose a tooth, it isn't a beautiful winged lady that comes into your room with a five dollar bill. It's usually me. And sometimes I forget, and your mom wakes me up in the middle of the night, and I have to get out of bed, and I am grumpy. You know that time you got a twenty? It wasn't because you were extra-special good. It's just that we forgot, and I had to run down to the ATM, and they don't give out anything less than $20, and I wasn't going to drive all the way to the 7-11 just to be consistent. Your mom and I got into a fight that night, and daddy almost slept on the couch. I was being a jerk, I admit it.
You probably already guessed where I'm going with Santa, right? That's good. Actually there are some people who say Santa did exist a long time ago in ancient Greece, and that he saved some young girls who were going to be forced to do terrible things, because they didn't have any money. So people made him a saint for little children. But he's been dead for hundreds of years. And he never had any elves. That always seemed kinda tacked on.
I think most of this stuff we tell you comes from religions that people used to believe a long time ago, before they changed their religion and started believing in Jesus. They just kept some of their old beliefs, because it made them feel better. That's why we pretended all those things with you: to make your childhood feel warm and cozy and special. Because we love you. And when you become an adult, you realize that life can be pretty awful and hard, so it's nice to have a good childhood to start you off.
You see, even the things we say we believe in when we go to church might not be true. There might not really be a God or a heaven that Uncle Ted went to after the accident. Or for Tuffy when she got hit by the car.
No, Tuffy got hit by a car and died. It was three months ago, when you were visiting Nana. We knew you'd be really upset, so we sent her body away to be burned up, and then went to a store where we got a dog who looked just like her. I didn't think we could do it, to tell you the truth. But remember when Tuffy bit you? That's why. The dog had never met you. But you can call her Tuffy, because the rest of us do.
Anyway, there's no evidence that any of the things we believe in are real. For all we know we might just have been born by accident, and there might be nobody up there watching us and making sure we are good. And that means that when you die, you don't go anywhere. You just stay in a box like the one they put Uncle Ted in. Yes, you stay there. It is very dark -- you're right. But you don't mind, because you're not thinking about that, or anything at all. It's like you're asleep for forever and ever, and you don't wake up, no matter what happens.
I know, honey. It is pretty bad. It's the worst. And the only thing that makes it better is that by the time you're my age so many bad things have happened to you, you just... you just don't mind so much. And by the time you're an old person, you might even look forward to going to sleep forever and ever.
I know. I know. Yes, you can still say prayers if you want. Some people do, and it makes them feel better. And maybe I'm wrong! But I don't think so. No.
But I know this will make you happy. Tomorrow at school you can tell Porter everything I just told you. That ought to teach the little bastard a lesson.
Friday, April 8, 2011
I could see why you'd want to make a documentary about this place for your class. I was curious too. Hell, I wanted to learn the truth behind the legend of the burning footsteps, and whether they were connected to the '86 cave-in. I was half-hoping we'd see one of those red caps you kept talking about. It even made sense you'd bring a top of the line audio set and two different cameras, although that grainy black and white footage you keep taking seems more like a dramatic film than a documentary.
But that's not the point. The point is that two people are now dead, and you keep shooting this stuff. Why the hell are you doing that? What's wrong with you? Why would any normal person want to record the deaths of his loved ones?
We know what we're up against, Todd. Or at least we have a good idea, from the sound of that weird screaming and the legends we read back at camp. If we're going to fight it together I'll need to trust you. But right now, it's like I don't even know you, man. Who would keep two cameras and an audio system rolling while their girlfriend of two years and their high school buddy were devoured by some kind of glowing thing that sprang from a crack in a wall? Seriously, how could a human being do that?
I'm ashamed to say I ducked behind a rock for cover when the bloodletting started, and that burning smell filled the air. I abandoned my friends. But you... the way you wept like a child... but still somehow had the presence of mind to adjust the filter so you could capture the slightly glowing eyes of the predator while it swallowed the rest of Janet... You don't seem to be afraid, the way people are when their lives are threatened, or when their friends are killed. It's strange to say, but you're not acting like a real person, Todd.
You say you want to leave behind a record of what happened here in case we die. But why? I've already written this note for the police and left it in my backpack. It contains the annotated map of the mine complex. There's no reason they'd need actual footage of all of us being eaten. No goddamn reason. What purpose would that serve? You think they'd show something like this to people? What kind of sick bastard would show a movie like this, and what kind of freaks would watch it?
Well, we're not going to settle this now. And it's sad to say, but if we actually get past those things and make it to the surface I don't think we can be friends anymore. Anyway, right now we need to do our best to just survive the next few minutes. So you MUST put that camera down.
Fine, Todd. Fine. Whatever. Just rest the camera on that rock, pointing in our direction. We'll just keep it running, while we try to make our escape. I'll turn on the audio too. Yes. Just, just... don't talk to me anymore.
Unbelievable. You're completely unbelievable.
(Photo by Simon Challands found here.)