I’ve brought myself back to where it happened, so I can relive the events that occurred five years ago, I shall try and recall them as accurately as possible.
I can feel the same summer breeze on my face; the shade from the tree hides me from the near blinding sunlight. I sit down on the ground and lean myself against the tree on my left, the marks are still there; the tree has seemingly exaggerated them. I run my fingers over the marks, as I do; an all too familiar chill strokes my spine, making me shudder. The floor is brisk with brown, dead leaves from the autumn just passed. I pull out a box of cigarettes from my pocket, place one between my lips and spark up. I stare at the little town of Ware buried in the valleys, just visible through the treeline.
The memory of that night came back clearer then day in that moment.
I stubbed my cigarette out on the root of the tree, careful as not to set any dry leaves alight. I stand up and walk through the overgrowth to the old camping spot. Nature has not been kind to the camping gear that was left behind. Only remnants of the tents were left, they were now merely scraps of fabric heaped on the floor. Smashed chairs spread across the camp. The police investigation barriers were still there, left to the forest. I’m facing some serious demons just being here. Let me provide some context with a little backstory.
Back in early April a few years ago, a group of friends and I had decided to go camping, there was no particular reason, we figured it would be a good chance to get together and have a few drinks (Maybe more than a few), cook some cheap meat products and just hang out, as you do in your youth. The first time we did this, we had an absolute blast. I recall many badly played songs on my old fender guitar, a ferocious flame for some delicious pork and leek sausage and times not to be forgotten.
After we woke up in very sweaty tents the next morning we packed up our belongings and headed to our homes. On the walk back to our houses, we decided that we should make this a regular thing. Low and behold, we found ourselves back in the woods the very next weekend.
For a few weeks, we kept up the camping trips. Routine drinking, singing and badly barbequed meat seemed to be the best thing in the world for all of us. Some of my fondest memories come from those camping trips. But things quickly changed. I once heard someone say “Life’s a Bitch and she just don’t care.”
Seems to sum up the next part of this story pretty nicely.
Declan. He was the most uplifting member of the group, always there for everyone, easily the most charismatic. His American accent made even me swoon. He was living at my friend Alice’s at the time. One day, out of nowhere she received a peculiar Facebook message from one of Declan’s ex-girlfriends. She claimed not to believe a word he said, that he was a manipulative liar, a sociopath and general asshole. Of course, at the time, we believed nothing of it. Curious though, we looked into it and I won’t go into specifics on how we found out (That’s another story in itself) but it turns out, she wasn’t lying. Upon confronting him we soon learnt had been faking his accent for 3 years, using people for homes and money; he stole personality traits from people to manipulate anyone into trusting him. For example, the 2nd time I met him, he divulged into me about his mother’s death, I took sympathy on him, as I was in the same situation. But it later came to light his mother was alive and well, and he used that trait against me to seek attention, gain my trust, to feed his sociopathic tendencies.
This event split the group in half. People didn’t know how to react. He was seeing Mary at the time and she didn’t know how to deal with such a thing, none of us did really, we were young and naïve. We came to the conclusion that Ethan, Regan and I would to escort Declan to London so he could stay at Regan’s for the night and we could send him back to what was left of his family. However on the train journey up there, Ethan was getting a little bit too friendly with him. At one point later that day, Ethan asked me and Regan to apologise to Declan for the things we said to him. We laughed in his face. That evening, myself and Ethan got into a HUGE argument.
We blew up at each other, like the impact of kinetic bombardment. We didn’t fight, but opinions were expressed, secrets came out, feelings exposed. All at high volume in close quarters. I imagine anyone who heard or saw us, would be akin to an innocent child hearing their mum and dad fight for the first time.
I was living with Ethan at the time and this wasn’t the first time he had royally pissed me off, so I left London as quick as I could. After we had dealt with Declan, I went back to where I was living with Ethan, packed as much of my stuff as I could cram into a car and left for my fiancé’s flat. I sunk into a pit of depression over this. I knew it was a rash decision, leaving behind my life like that. But I felt as if I couldn’t be near him.
Luckily I didn’t have a job at the time, so I just continued my hunt in Cambridge, where I now resided. As luck would have it, the first job agency I walked into, offered me what seemed like my dream job. Turns out, it was. I was a Photo editor, only graduation and school photos. But hell, I was being paid a generous wage, to listen to music and fine tune photos. Nothing could be easier. I found a place to live, local to the job and quite cheap. Things were going fantastic for a change.
Then came that fucking Friday. I left work on top of the world. I had made some great friends (and drinking buddies) at work, my boss was impressed that I was hitting my quota, I had money to spare. I felt so good I went to get a haircut for a summer ball that was coming up. I left the hairdressers and headed home. As usual my landlady didn’t answer the buzzer, but the door was open so I went upstairs, where I proceeded to spend the next hour and a half pounding at the door only to have my landlady’s boyfriend open the door, looking anxious and dripping with sweat. I asked him to speak to my landlady and he yelled at me.
Suspicious of what was going on; I packed some clothes and planned to stay at my fiancé’s that night. On my way out I noticed the bathroom door had been kicked (based on the damage) from the hinges. Jumping to the worst conclusion as I always do, I panicked and called the police to report a domestic abuse. My allegations later turned out to be correct. I later returned to the property and was hastily threatened by the boyfriend. Who then in turn held me hostage and made me pack everything of value I owned to sell and pay him for the “goods” the police apparently took for evidence. Luckily, this guy was a moron. He went into the front room and fell asleep. This gave me the opportunity to run. I ran out of the building like it was falling down.
I lost nearly everything I owned that day. My home, my job, a lot of money and the majority of my possessions. I spent the next week wearing the same outfit, due to my lack of clothing. I found myself back in the pit of depression, and this time it seemed there was no way out. I sat around watching and re-watching the small movie collection my finance had, until I received a phone call from my parents. They turned up, seemingly out of the blue, with about 70% of my things. I don’t know they managed to get into that flat and get my stuff back, well what wasn’t sold off, and I’m not sure I want to know. Being the social recluse I currently was. I was happy to see my PC in the pile of things they had secured.
I went straight in with it and set it up. First thing I did was log onto Facebook. I had a fair few notifications, the usual tosh “so and so has liked your photo” messages asking me where I’d gone, but there was something that actually caught and held my attention. My good friend Catherine had put up a Facebook event hosting another camping trip. I jumped at the opportunity to get away from everything. It was perfect; I’d get to see all my friends, get stupidly drunk but most of all, escape from the real world for a weekend, clear my mind and think about nothing but having fun. I accepted the invitation and waited.
I arrived 2 days prior to the trip so had plenty of time to kill. I met my friend Howard on the train and we headed off to meet Alice, the most promiscuous member of the group, Jenna, our resident Goth, who had recently dreadlocked her hair. Ben, the meth head, boy do I have some stories about this guy. Then there was Matt, the small and bubbly, mouse-like one. This was just a small portion of the usual group, but most of them were busy.
Britain was suffering one of the worst heat waves I’d ever lived through so the skate park was off limits as was the park. Open, sun-lit areas were far too much for us to handle. We eventually came up with the idea to go swimming. Since the local pool was closed, and we had no costumes, we headed down to “Angel Lake” the angler’s club lake just on the outskirts of ware.
We took the long stroll down there and made no haste in stripping down to our underwear and diving straight in. Howard, Ben, Matt and I were all a little skeptical about who should go first, a quick game of rock, paper scissors tidied that up. Ben went first, in what was quite the majestic dive. I was second; I went with the slightly easier cannonball. Howard followed with a casual jump and Matt dove in last yelling some song lyric that now escapes my memory. The ladies, on the other hand, were far more sceptical, and changed their minds. I recall Jenna not wanting to ruin her new dreads. Alice was just far too self-conscious to join us however.
In our childish nature and an attempt to gloat manliness to the ladies, we decided to have a race out the small island in the middle of the lake. Angel Lake is pretty sizable; it would take a decent swimmer around 20 minutes to swim just one length, at a guess. It’s surrounded by a line of trees the whole way round, with several openings for fishermen.
The four of us set off, stroking as fast as we could. I’m pretty unfit, I weighed about 12 and a half stone at the time, which for my height, is classed as overweight. Not to mention that I smoke like a chimney. So as you can imagine, I struggled to swim very fast, but I made it over nevertheless. Howard, as usual, won. He had a habit of taking friendly competitions a little too seriously. Ben soon followed him, then Matt and of course me lagging behind in last place.
I dragged myself up the muddy ledge of the little island. Though only a small patch of land, the overgrowth was immense. I found it almost impossible to wade through 5 feet of it to get to the lonely tree that had grown, towering above the body of water. Ben on the other hand, had no trouble at all. He always jumped into situations head on, no matter how big or small, he just dive straight in. He had already climbed to a stable bit of the tree before I had a chance to climb up.
Looking around, taking in the surroundings I felt at home again, I felt at peace with the recent events that had unfolded in my life. I could really appreciate what I was looking at and the friends I was with. I took careful note of everything, so I could really try to remember this feeling in the future when life would get me down.
The scene was so beautiful; the vibrant shades of green among the trees and plants around the lake, the vast, open clear sky, with no clouds to be seen, the murky brown water we were swimming in, the sounds of the birds chirping away without a care the echoes of a nearby motorway and train horns in the distance. The people sat further up the lake having a barbeque. I’ll tell you something the smell of that barbeque was tantalising, like nothing I’d ever smelt before. Clearly they were talented cooks, I was half tempted to swim over and ask them for some. I remember the soil beneath my feet and wading through the patches of overgrown grass. Everything is still so clear in my head of that day.
This is where my story takes a darker turn. While Ben was sitting up in the tree, I took it upon myself to find a good climbing point. As I said I wasn’t the athletic type, so climbing was pretty difficult. I walked around the tree inspecting the branches, judging how strong they would be with my weight, pulling on them. That’s where I felt a soft patch of soil between my toes. It struck me as odd, due to the islands overgrowth of weeds, that there would be a soft patch of soil.
Investigation was imminent; I bent down to feel the patch. Then I started pulling the soil apart, digging at it, to see if something had been buried. Christ almighty fuck I wish I hadn’t. I can’t speak for anyone else in the world, but if you have ever come across a skull with some rotting flesh still stuck to it and an eyeball just hanging there. You’ll know what I’m on about when I say that you can’t even react to such a sight.
There’s no such adjective that can quite describe it. I mean you find a skull and you can assume it’s from years ago, but finding something as fresh as that, skin still attached in places, a single eye, dead, but ever staring. It’s not a feeling I can quite put into words. Not even the ecosystem had taken its course yet, as no maggots were tucking in like you’d expect. Wherever this came from, it was recent, very recent.
So many people go missing every day and often they never turn back up. Most just don’t want to be found, some are taken, some find themselves in unfortunate accidents, the rest however, are usually murdered. Taken in cold blood, I had the unfortunate circumstance of stumbling across that of a murder victim; at least, I could only assume so. No accident would cause what I had found. I thought about digging deeper, for only a brief moment, when my stomach had other ideas.
Most people would undoubtedly scream at this point, it wouldn’t be an unfair reaction in all honesty, but no, I just kind of stopped for a minute. I turned white as a ghost apparently. At this point Howard and Ben where shouting at me, I’d seemed to have tuned out of reality. When the guys saw why, there was this unspoken mutual understanding. Eventually someone spoke, I honestly don’t remember who, and they just mumbled something about getting back over to shore and calling the authorities.
We recomposed ourselves, took deep breaths and swum back to shore. We explained to the girls what we found and they had their scepticisms. Can’t blame them, not the kind of thing you believe without seeing, they were soon in the mind-set that we were dead serious when we phoned the police.
About 20 minutes after I placed the phone call they showed up, there were quite a few officers there. CSI style coppers were there too, as to be expected. They had to wait for someone to bring out a boat for the police. I was the only person, who stayed, though admittedly, not through my own choice, everyone else had to head home as it was getting late, and I told Howard that I’d catch up with him later.
The CSI crew rowed over to the island, I just sat watching, Anticipating the worst. An officer tried to comfort me, but I was zoned out focusing, on watching the CSI people digging up that small island. From what I could make out, there was indeed an entire body buried there. Being quite far away, I couldn’t tell if the body was in the same state as the skull but I can only assume it was.
The police took me back to the station as they wanted a statement from me, due to the fact I had witnesses and an alibi. There was no need to question me so the process was relatively quick. Around 40 minutes. They offered to give me a ride home, but Howard only lived a short distance from the police station, so I declined and walked back. I needed the fresh air, I was still feeling nauseous.
I went over to Howards and we both just kinda sat in silence. Not the awkward silence like after an argument, more like just that mutual understanding that what we’d seen was pretty fucked up. We needed something to take our minds off of it. So I headed to the shop over the road and picked up a crate of cheap beer and we got drunk and watched Doctor Who. We both enjoyed drinking and Doctor Who a lot, and in all fairness it helped a lot, it was almost therapeutic.
The next day kind of blurred past me, I don’t recall much of it, just minor things. I woke up early the next morning, despite my hungover state; the memory of the day before came flooding back. I went over to my friend Alice’s for a few rounds of CoD; she brought up what had happened, just really asking how I felt. I had trouble responding, I don’t know how you’re supposed to feel about something like that. I felt null and void, unable to pull an emotion out of my head. That’s the easiest way to explain it, though it doesn’t make much sense.
We headed into town and met up with a few people, not anyone I particularly cared about, just people who were sometimes there when I hung out with my social group. We just wasted the day away trying to avoid the heat. I was just waiting for the next day to come, when I could camp with everyone again, thinking that would make me forget all about what had happened.
The day of the trip was upon us and it was yet another blistering heat wave kind of day, but that never bothered me, I just want to get going. Howard and I packed up our sleeping bags and camping gear and headed on down to the agreed meeting point, the back of Tesco’s in town. We were there a little early because Howard only lived a couple minutes’ walk away but people started showing up. After about 30 minutes, everyone was there. Including myself there were 13 of us. So we popped into the Tesco’s and picked up the alcohol, barbeque supplies, fire lighters etc. and started that long walk to the woods.
My dearest friends were with me, Howard who I’ve mentioned a bit, he was the rocker of the group. He had this awesome Mohawk, usually dressed in a denim jacket with ripped off sleeves with a band shirt and jean, he was a bass player as well he was an awesome dude. Catherine, who organised the event, was this stick insect esque girl, long blonde hair, she easily got upset by a lot of things, I was her ‘go-to guy’ when she was upset, I spent a lot of time comforting her. Even Ethan was coming along, my old alternative friend. He had since dyed his hair this teal colour. I had hand it to him, it looked really good. His style hadn’t changed much, he shared henrys denim jacket with ripped sleeves and band shirt, but favoured the skinny jean. He literally never wore anything else.
It took us around 45 minutes to walk there, partially due to the heat exhausting us immensely, we also hated walking long distances but nevertheless we made it to the bottom of Post Wood road, the quickest and easiest way into the woods. Since we’d all done it before a fair few times, we knew our way to where we always camped. It was the perfect spot; just far away enough from anywhere that could we were secluded but close enough to not get lost. It was a huge flat ground; with fallen trees in just the right way to act as seats, a hole we’d dug for our camp fire and enough space to spread the tents out perfectly.
After an hour of fumbling around with tents, just about getting them set up right. We cracked open the beers and headed out to collet kindling and fire logs for the camp fire. It being the woods, of course, there was plenty to be gathered. We split into groups and headed in different directions, whilst one group stayed behind. Being the lazy procrastinator that I am, I was one of the people who stayed behind along with Ethan and Jenna.
We sat and reminisced on memories of previous camping trips, the day we used to hang around ware, skating and going to the pub. All the stuff I missed the most. The kind of stuff I needed to take my mind off what I’d seen. Strange really, I felt pretty fucked up but despite just two days previous not being able to comprehend what emotion I was feeling. I was now able to just glance over the whole situation as if it were something in a video game or book I’d read. I really tried not to dwell on it, as I just wanted to enjoy the night ahead.
Despite my shaky history with Ethan, we were getting on swimmingly. I think an argument was what we needed, as well as the time apart. We joked about how we were like a couple, and to be quite honest we kinda were. Ethan was one of my best friends; we got along so well, most of the time. We had minor falling outs. But we were over them in a matter of minutes usually. He was a good guy at heart; he never had any bad intentions. I think we just built up a lot of tension and everything that went down with Declan cracked us to the core and we snapped. Like a pair of hounds, going at each other.
But we sat there talking and laughing, I noticed somebody moving around behind a cluster or overgrowth and trees. It was Barry, he had brought back enough firewood to last us a week. He always did go over the top with things like that. He cracked straight on with building the fire; I asked if he wanted help, but he wasn’t interested He loved camping, but more the traditional style camping, not the kids getting drunk in the woods kind. So he did all the hard work himself, suited us, we could drink more while he did the hard stuff.
Something else I noticed, was that barbeque smell again, the exact same one from the lake the other day. Given that this was a public park/forest I wasn’t surprised. But I couldn’t help but take in the delicious, luscious scent. I really craved whatever it was those people we having. It was unlike any food I’d ever smelt. I questioned myself what it must have been, there must be a new butchers in Ware maybe, or some new food craze. Either way, I wanted some.
I asked Ethan and Jenna about it, they could smell it, but they didn’t know what it was either. They said it smelt funny though, but they were vegetarians so I guess I can’t expect them to enjoy whatever it was. Everyone else eventually made their way back to our spot and we all sat around the fire. Cliché warning, we pulled out the guitar. We started singing stuff that nobody could really remember the words to. Except ‘Wonderwall’, yeah I know. But hey, we enjoyed it.
Nightfall came and being the connoisseur of spooky stories that I am, I thought that I’d try my hand at telling the group some stories that sent chills down my spine, I remember that I’d read this brilliant short tale with an amazing twist that spooked me a lot, so, paraphrasing a lot. I told the group the story. Most of the group was pretty much “Meh” about it. But two of the girls, Catherine and Mary, were terrified, I actually felt quite bad for scaring them, so I broke the story down into why it couldn’t logically happen. That seemed to help them a little bit but not an awful lot.
The moon seemed to be at its peaked when somebody said they could hear noises coming from around us. Everyone laughed and just joked about trying them trying to scare people and that it was a pathetic attempt. In truth, it was pretty piss poor. They were adamant enough to make myself and Ethan go and look though, so I’ll give them that.
We grabbed a torch each and headed out together. We reconnected properly whilst we were walking; we hadn’t spoken like this in ages, a moment of real talk. Just two friends understanding each other on a deep level. It was great to be back talking to him again. Needless to say, though we were distracted, we didn’t find anything more than a couple of foxes roaming the perimeter. We looked around a little longer just to make the guys think we did a wide search.
When we got back, we informed everyone that there was nothing to be afraid of, was obvious to most, all but the person who spoke up about it in the first place. We sat down with everyone else, and I noticed that someone was missing. I asked everyone and nobody had noticed that Mary was missing. We started to panic a little bit, worrying where she had got to and wondering why no one had noticed she had left. Until someone opened the tent and saw that she had passed out drunk in the tent.
We all laughed about it. We started to get hungry, so I whipped out a pack of sausages I brought along and grabbed some sticks to put the sausages on, to cook over the fire. A good old fashion flame cooked sausage, delicious. Though not as delicious as that meat smelt, my word I was having serious cravings for some of that. I asked the group about it and they all thought it was a little strange me asking after an unknown smell, but to be honest we were pretty drunk at this point so we all shrugged it off. I really did want some of that meat.
As the night went on we swapped stories, drank some more, ate some more and we all left to sleep one by one. It got to the point where it was just me and Ethan again. I was getting really tired and the drunken state was wearing off and I could feel a headache coming on, so I decided it was time for me to drop off. We both headed to our tents and said our good nights.
I climbed into my tent and got cozied up under my duvet, I didn’t bring a sleeping bag, cos they never heat me up, unlike my amazing duvet. I let my mind wander, as most do as they drift off into the land of dreams. I could just about make out the morning sun coming up through my thin tent walls. I was having trouble drifting off; I can never sleep when I can see daylight. As I was staring out at the ever so slowly light getting brighter, I could make out a silhouette. I followed its movements; it seemed to walk around the campsite. I figured it was Ethan looking for the toilet trench.
I was getting drowsy so I tried not to pay it anymore attention and get some sleep. Then I could hear murmurs, whispers in the wind. I was internally struggling with deciding to get up and help him find it, or stay in bed and try to sleep. When I saw another silhouette, I decided to get out and help him.
To my surprise, it was not Ethan. It was a peculiarly dressed fellow, he had one of those see through, splatter suits, like the one from American Psycho. Underneath he was dressed in a red suit, white shirt and red tie combo. Fucking freaked me out. But I managed to hold my wits and asked him if I could help. He just smiled and pulled out a knife.
Next thing I knew, I was on the floor, face pouring with blood and a horrid sting and the realisation that this freak of nature just slashed my face open. I yelled out for everyone and they awoke startled. As everyone slowly climbed out of their tents, more of these people all dressed the same way as the freak that slashed me came running to where we were. They came from every direction, swiftly and silently.
Nobody, including myself knew how to react, we tried to fight them but there were so many of them, they just seemed to bleed out of the woods, from behind the trees. They all had similar weapons, all knives of some variety. They were dragging us out of our tents and tying us to the trees. At this point I was certain someone there had brought drugs with them and spiked my drink and I was on some really bad trip, sadly though, that just wasn’t the reality. The reality was we were all being tied to trees for god knows what. Murder I assumed.
This is where my life ends, I was sure of it. As I was being tied to a tree, opposite Ethan, I started crying, but not sobbing, the silent cry. Tears were rolling down my face as I was coming to terms with the situation. My friends and I were about to be murdered. The guy who slashed my face, the leader of the group I assumed, walked up to me. He didn’t talk nor make a sound. None of the Red suited people did. He got right up in my face and inhaled, started sniffing my neck, my arms, most of my body parts. I screamed in his face asking what the fuck he was doing, but his smile just grew, becoming more malicious. Everyone at this point was crying or screaming. But no one came. I knew it was early in the morning but NOBODY came. Not an early morning dog walker or other campers.
This part of my story is going to be the worst. I worked out pretty shortly after the freaks had finished sniffing everyone and took what looked like a blood sample from all of us. The ‘leader’ of whatever fucked up cult this was stood in the middle of everyone. Though still a little dazed from what was going on, I could hear clearly what he said. The words, though simple, send a horrific shiver down my spine.
“Commence the harvest”
The cult members walked off for a moment and came back with medical coolers, you know they kind they have on accident scene to save any working organs and keep them fresh.
Now was the point where I started to freak out. By harvest what he meant was tearing me and my friend to pieces for some kind of cannibalistic wet dream. I could do nothing but watch as Ethan, one of my best friends was sliced up and tortured in front of me, as one of the cult filleted his skin and muscle, pulling his organs out one by one, carefully as not to damage anything upon removal. I watched the life leave his eyes as his screams were cut off abruptly. I could hear the others going through the same pain, a wild mesh of screams and seemingly endless torture. I had to close my eyes, my time was coming soon. I couldn’t take the sights of blood and murder anymore, I wanted to pass out.
The process they went through was surprising quick, that’s about the only eligible thought I could make. After brutally butchering 9 of us they stopped. Their suits covered in blood, almost as if they were dyed with it. I suppose that’s why they wear red suits, to keep the blood hidden when preforming this…monstrous procedure. The members of this cult formed a circle and the leader walked into the middle of the circle and he simply asked
“Have we collected enough?”
In perfect unison.
Four of us left alive. Barry begged them to kill him, I don’t think he could live with what he just witness, and I can’t blame him. They simple ignored him, and myself and the other two they decided weren’t fit for their “Harvest” I don’t know to this day why I was released, nor why any of the four of us were freed. I literally cannot comprehend a logical analysis of what happened or why.
They injected us with some kind of sleeping drug and untied us, I collapsed as soon as I was untied, the last thing I remember seeing was Barry trying to chase after the people but collapse in a similar manner to the rest of us. It was effortless, they had slaughter a group of kids, and none of us were older than 20 and for what? A sick twisted harvest of human meat.
The four of us awoke seemingly simultaneously. An elderly couple walking their dog had found us just hours later. They asked us what had happened and why we were out here. Before I could speak, I looked around, there was no trace of any blood or any evidence that they were here. How the fuck does someone manage that, a brutal slaughter and no traces left behind. These people were skilled in their art of murder. I thought for just a moment that they were perhaps behind the skull that I’d found, but that would be to coincidental so I brushed that thought of and stood up to talk to the elderly couple.
Before I could say anything one of the other two said we were on a drunken, drug fuelled night and that they shouldn’t bother themselves with us. The look disgusted and muttered something about respecting public places and morals and the usual tosh people rant about when they think they’re better than you. At first I was confused at why he said that, but then it hit me that, to tell someone we were attacked by a crazy cult might seem like we were on a drug fuelled night, especially with the lack of evidence. So really he did us a favour. Barry and the other guy stayed quiet as the couple walked away.
We didn’t even bother to grab our stuff we just got up and walked; we walked and walked and walked. We didn’t really go anywhere; we just all followed each other eventually making our way into town. I didn’t even realise my face was still sliced open until the fresh air hit my open wound. There must have been some kind of anaesthesia in the sleeping drug we were given.
I decided I was going to go to the hospital to get it checked and phoned an ambulance for myself.
I didn’t say goodbye to the others, I couldn’t bring myself to. I let them walk on, wandering aimlessly. The ambulance crew arrived and asked me what happened. I lied to them and simply told them that I took a heavy dosage of an unknown drug and woke up like this. They seemed to buy that.
They took me to the hospital and stitched me up, but not long before taking samples of my blood for testing. They kept me in overnight while they awaited the results. I woke up the next morning to a nurse bringing me some water. She explained to me that the blood results came back negative for common drugs and asked me if I was lying. I looked her dead in the eye and told her I wasn’t, I told her I had no real recollection of what happened for most of the weekend and she believed me, though I think she herself was lying and she asked if I was willing to give consent to be watched for the 72 hours under a psychiatric doctor. I was not willing.
One year prior to the events of Post Woods, I had receded into isolation. I got a job working as night staff in a supermarket. I left my fiancé. Lost contact with all family and friends. Moved into a single bedsit. I became that weird guy you see, you know the one. The one who everyone laughs at for being a Larry loner, I understood though. Why people became like that, became an outcast, it was choice. Not a personality trait. It helped though, disconnecting myself from reality, from people. I learned to stop caring. Caring hurt too much.
No one ever found out about what happened, not the truth at least. The police instigated an investigation into the disappearance of 9 teens in one night but I was never approached by them. I wasn’t in hiding or anything, they just never contacted me. After two years the investigation was shut down, I followed the case closely. You might be wondering why I didn’t step forward and the simple, selfish answer is that I didn’t want to. I was better off left in my pit. Besides, I’d become key suspect and get thrown in jail, I wanted isolation, but not that kind. Living with the knowledge and memories of what happened; having to have experience it first hand, was prison sentence enough.
I withered away at my PC day after day, going from intense research into tribes and cults, looking for an explanation into what happened, some kind of closure at the very least, to wasting nights away on YouTube and Reddit, to keeping track of the police investigations. I’d look at every article I could find, pick up any paper that made minute references to it.
That was until today. As I said I followed that case closely, but my efforts were in vein, as 3 and a half years of constant research produced little to no results. Whoever these people were they kept themselves hidden on a military level. I was ready to finally give up and let go. Until I got an e-mail.
I was looking into this people and they were looking into me. Which leads me to where I am now, I was not entirely truthful when I said I was here to recollect, that was to merely catch your attention I apologise for bringing you this far under false pretences. I am here to investigate whoever sent that email, cryptic though it may be, it’s fairly simple to work out they want to meet me here. It couldn’t mean anything else. My initial thought is that it was one of the other two that went off the radar. So as I’m writing, I still see no trace of anyone coming and its nightfall. I will wait all night if I have to.
Things didn’t go the way I expected. I had started to nod off when two people approached me. It may have been a few years, but they were a couple faces I would never forget. They were the two who were let go, alongside me and Barry.
They approached me with a bag and left. I tried to follow them, but I wasn’t too sure I wanted to; I was a little hazed and overwhelmed with thought. I just sat back down on the floor and stared at the bag. I picked up the bag; It was a neat looking thing, as if it had never been used. It was a dark maroon colour with brown seems and zips. It wasn’t very heavy; certainly nothing I would struggle to take home, which was my next action.
I arrived back to my dingy bedsit and I opened the bag. The bag contained an all too familiar red suit, white shirt and red tie, I searched the pockets a found and address. Also contained in the bag, was a slab of tightly vacuum packed meat. It wasn’t anything I’d seen before. I don’t know if it was the combination of events and a simple random thought, but it occurred to me to cook the meat contained in this bag.
Almost as soon as I slapped that meat on my grill, a sickly sweet memory of that beautiful meat came flying back, overwhelming me. I had to take a moment to contain myself. I recomposed myself and went to go look at that address. A quick google showed that it wasn’t far by. I couldn’t only take a guess at what this meant; I think it was an invitation to the cult. I guess… I guess I have nothing else in life, and that meat, that sweet, juicy meat.