[A bright day in late spring, birds chirp nearby, wind rustles
through the leaves.]
I awoke with sun spilling on my
face. Above me was the collapsed roof
of a small cabin. Moss, and small
plants had already begun reclaiming
this area; sprouts of grass poked up from
between floor boards. Vines wrapped themselves
around the rusted metal frames of bunk
beds long forgotten. I blinked the
dreariness out of my eyes. The warm
sun a welcoming sign; a kinder
awaking than I’d had in the past, but
I knew first impressions were often
[Monica gets to her feet, floorboards creaking beneath her feet.]
Despite the collapsed roof, the rest
of the cabin seemed to be fully intact
That’s when my mind started
catching up everything.
Why was the roof collapsed?
How long had this cabin
been left to rot? What was on the
other side of the cabin’s door?
[The door creaks open, heavy rusted hinges groan for the first
time in a long time.]
A summer camp. An old one, lost to
time. In the center of a dirt lot
stood a tall totem pole with various
caricatures of animals. Next to it, a
dusty tattered American flag hung limply.
Across the lot were three other
cabins, in much better shape than
this one, and to my right, a large
building with rusted “gold” lettering
that read “mess hall.”
[Monica steps down the cabin steps.]
Judging by trees, and distant outlines
of mountains, and the familiar flag, I
figure I must be somewhere in the
Rockies. Maybe as far up as
Washington, or as low as New Mexico.
Then there’s the fair weather, and light
breeze. I assume I’m somewhere near
Colorado or Utah. Any further north,
and the warm sun would be outdone by
the cold wind.
[Monica walks around the gravel patch between cabins.]
Behind the cabin I awoke in is a
crystal clear lake, extending at least
a few hundred feet before meeting more
trees. In the distance, I can’t
quite make it out, but it looks like
something yellow. A small triangle. A
few of them in fact.
Disregarding them, I turn and spott a cabin I
hadn’t seen before. Right next to the
dining hall. It’s large, looking
much more lavish than the six small
cabins circles around the totem pole.
As I head towards it I see something
that gives me pause: The front door is
splintered at the handle, as if forced
open. The windows shattered, and large
muddy footprints walk around the
exterior of the cabin. I feel a lump
forming in my stomach. Fucking great.
As I enter the cabin, my suspicions
are confirmed. Everything points to
signs of a struggle. Overturned
cabinets, remnants of broken
glass, and a few bloody marks across
As my eyes scan the room, they come
to rest on a desk sitting between
two broken windows. On it is a
collection of yellowed pages, likely
worn by the elements, and a bulletin
board with similarly yellowed
Maybe… Maybe this will help.
[Glass and leaves crunching under footsteps, wood groaning
with each step.]
The bulletin board has seen much
better days: dirt has started to
obscure the print, and wear away at
the photos, but one decaying slip of
paper, hanging in the center of
everything else tells me all I need
“Camp Clarity Camper Gone Missing.”
I read on.
Tuesday, July 25, 1972, Joseph, age
nine, went missing the night before
Camp Clarity’s program was set to end.
The rest of the children have been
brought back into town and the U.S.
Forest Rangers have already begun
searching the nearby woods.
I start looking at the other
clippings, trying to discover
everything I can as quickly as I
can, and then I hear the crunch of
glass behind me. Before I turn
around, a bag is pulled down over my face,
and I’m pushed to the ground. I
can feel a knee pressing into the
center of my back. Glass and twigs
dig into my chest, feeling like
small sharp teeth.
[GEORGIA: Maybe you could record some groans and moans as Monica is being subdued to create more of a feel]
What’s your name?
[Slightly muffled:] Monica.
Why are you here?
[Hesitation for a couple seconds]
[Slightly muffled:] I’m just a tourist!
Yeah? You miss the fences and warning
signs all around the camp?
The yellow triangles, of fucking course! I
should’ve known. But even if I was
trespassing would that be reason
enough to put a fucking bag over my head and . . .
[Handcuffs clink behind Monica’s back.]
C’mon. To your feet, “Monica.”
The man with a gruff voice pulls me
up by my restraints, and keeping one
firm hand on the cuffs, puts the other
on my shoulder, guiding me out of
I’m sorry if I was trespassing. I came
in the night and I didn’t even see the
signs . . .
I woke up in one of the cabins-
You slept here?
Yeah, just wanted to get under some
He’s not buying it. My ham-fisted
attempt at a lie is just backfiring.
Where’s your stuff?
Yeah, if you’re a camper, where’s your
gear? Backpack, food, sleeping bag?
We’re miles away from a highway, even
further from a city.
Oh, uhm, I-
See “Monica” I think you somehow sneaked
past all our security measures. And I
want to know how.
Lies obviously won’t work on this
man, so I resort to the truth.
Would you believe I teleported here?
Actually, I would. And that’s why I’m
taking you to my boss. You see, there
exist two possibilities. 1. Someone
sent you here using technology similar
to what my employer has been working
on, or 2. You’re something from the
technology we’re working on. In either
case, they’re going to want to talk to
Who’s going to want to talk to me?
If you’re lucky, Hicks. If you’re not,
I’m left in a stunned silence,
trying to understand what kind of
place this door has taken me to. I
try to ask more questions, but it
seems my captor is in no mood to
talk, as he silently marches me up a
growingly steep hill. It isn’t until now
I realize how fucking hard it is to hike
without having your arms at your sides.
Multiple times along our route I lose
my balance, and either fall or am
held up by my captor. He seems to
show no remorse either way, despite
the growing number of bruises and
scrapes on me. He remains stoically
Then, we reach the mine. Oh shit.
[Cave SFX, light water droplets, a slight echo.]
I can feel the heavy, damp air
on my skin, and the darkness
swallows us up whole as we proceed
without hesitation into the mountain.
It feels like we have been walking for
well over an hour: my legs are
throbbing; the blood from my
scraped knees is sticking my pants
to me. And it hurts. I’ve been on many adventures
in risky situations, but this time it
Just feels worse. Escape seems
hopeless. Then I feel a tug on my
Are we… there?
I do as instructed. Around me I can
only hear dripping water somewhere
far into the cave, and a man’s steady,
disconcerting breathing behind me.
Something’s not right.
A chill runs down my spine. He sounds
scared. Something’s not right.
He takes his hand off me, and I
hear the click of his radio.
Base, this is Vulture 2-6. I’m in
possession of an intruder and
approaching the Mine entrance. I heard
movement somewhere near the collapse.
I’m requesting an additional unit,
Confirmed, we read you Vulture. Hawk
and Mole nearby. Please wait.
There’s a short pause.
Alright Vulture, units are en route,
ETA five. Over.
Affirmative base. I’m going to-
[Small rocks fall nearby.]
Before my captor can finish, I hear
rocks shift, and then light footsteps.
Base: hostiles approaching.
Affirmative Vulture, additional units
What the hell does that mean?
I hear the man draw his gun from
its holster, and then feel it press
against the nape of my neck.
Are these your compatriots?
No. I swear: I came alone!
I don’t believe- Agh!
Suddenly the gun is gone, along with
Get back! All of you!
[Officer fires twice, waits, then fires again]
At the sound of gunfire I throw myself
to the floor, which is a big mistake, as I
end up slamming my injured knees to
the ground and banging my head on the
rock wall I can’t. The pain comes to
me as more of a surprise than any
actual serious injury and after a
moment I’m able to get my bearings.
I can’t make out much with the bag
over my head, except for movement.
What’s going on?!
I think- I think they’re gone…
What did they look like?
[The sound of dirt skidding nearby]
No you don’t!
(Grunts as he is
sliced and stabbed)
I don’t need to see to know what
happening: the sound of meat being
sliced and blood flowing makes it
clear. Okay. My captor’s dead, and I’m
likely next. I can sense three, no,
five, maybe eight sets of slow
footsteps coming at me from every
angle. Having nowhere to run I push
myself against the stone wall, hoping
for the best.
Then I felt a sickly chill come over
my body as a freezing hand touches my
shoulder. It’s small, no bigger than
that of a child. It feels as if the
hand isn’t actually pressed against me, but
rather has sunk into me, like ice
cutting into my skin, and for a moment
I think maybe that is exactly what is
happening. It takes me a second to
realize the shadow is trying to move
me away from the wall. I do just
this, and a moment later I feel
the tension in my wrists release as
the handcuff chain is snapped. I
immediately reach up to pull the bag
off my head, and as I do hear the
faintest sound of wind blowing past
By the time the bag is off my
sweaty, matted hair, my rescuers are
I look over to my captor, trying to
avert my eyes from his wounds, but
searching for- Yes- On his belt, two
small silver keys hang from a loop. I
unlock each cuff, allowing blood to
flow back into my hands.
In the distance I hear footsteps
coming from where we first entered the cave.
I need to get the fuck out of here. But to where?
Looking into the darkness I find only
a wall of rocks, likely where the
“collapse” had been. I reach out to
grab one of the smaller rocks, and
my hand passes right through it.
Keeping a strong grip on the handcuff keys,
I take a step forward and feel the rest of
my body pass through the seemingly
This must be the door.
I walk forward, my eyes unable to adjust as
the light slowly seeps out of the
world, and plunges me into darkness.