Episode 54 – Lake Clarity

[A bright day in late spring, birds chirp nearby, wind rustles 

through the leaves.] 

                         NARRATOR

            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 

            deceiving. 

[Monica gets to her feet, floorboards creaking beneath her feet.]

                         NARRATOR (cont’d)

            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.] 

                         NARRATOR (cont’d)

            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.] 

                         NARRATOR (cont’d)

            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.]

                         NARRATOR (cont’d)

            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 

            the walls. 

            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 

            newspaper snippets. 

                         MONICA

            Maybe… Maybe this will help.

[Glass and leaves crunching under footsteps, wood groaning 

with each step.]

                         NARRATOR

            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 

            to know.

                         MONICA

            “Camp Clarity Camper Gone Missing.”

                         NARRATOR

            I read on.

                         MONICA

            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.

                         NARRATOR

            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]

                         OFFICER

            What’s your name?

                         NARRATOR

            [Slightly muffled:] Monica.

                         OFFICER

            Why are you here?

[Hesitation for a couple seconds]

                         NARRATOR

            [Slightly muffled:] I’m just a tourist!

                         OFFICER

            Yeah? You miss the fences and warning 

            signs all around the camp?

                         NARRATOR

            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.]

                         NARRATOR (cont’d)

            Handcuffs. Great.

                         OFFICER

            C’mon. To your feet, “Monica.”

                         NARRATOR

            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 

            the cabin.

                         MONICA

            I’m sorry if I was trespassing. I came 

            in the night and I didn’t even see the 

            signs . . .

                         OFFICER

            Uh-huh.

                         MONICA

            I woke up in one of the cabins-

                         OFFICER

            You slept here?

                         MONICA

            Yeah, just wanted to get under some 

            shelter-

                         OFFICER

            Huh. 

                         NARRATOR

            He’s not buying it. My ham-fisted 

            attempt at a lie is just backfiring.

                         OFFICER

            Where’s your stuff?

                         MONICA

            My stuff?

                         OFFICER

            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. 

                         MONICA

            Oh, uhm, I-

                         OFFICER

            See “Monica” I think you somehow sneaked 

            past all our security measures. And I 

            want to know how.

                         NARRATOR

            Lies obviously won’t work on this 

            man, so I resort to the truth. 

                         MONICA

            Would you believe I teleported here?

                         OFFICER

            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 

            you.

                         MONICA

            Who’s going to want to talk to me?

                         OFFICER

            If you’re lucky, Hicks. If you’re not, 

            The Bugs. 

                         NARRATOR

            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 

            silent. 

            Then, we reach the mine. Oh shit.

SC. 2

[Cave SFX, light water droplets, a slight echo.] 

                         NARRATOR

            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 

            cuffs.

                         OFFICER

            Stop here.

                         MONICA

            Are we… there?

                         OFFICER

            Shush. 

                         NARRATOR

            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. 

                         OFFICER

            Something’s not right.

                         NARRATOR

            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.

                         OFFICER

            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, 

            over.

                         RADIO

                    (Through static)

            Confirmed, we read you Vulture. Hawk 

            and Mole nearby. Please wait.

There’s a short pause.

                         RADIO (cont’d)

            Alright Vulture, units are en route, 

            ETA five. Over.

                         OFFICER

            Affirmative base. I’m going to-

[Small rocks fall nearby.]

                         NARRATOR

            Before my captor can finish, I hear 

            rocks shift, and then light footsteps.

                         OFFICER

            Fuck.

                    (Into radio)

            Base: hostiles approaching.

                         RADIO

            Affirmative Vulture, additional units 

            en route.

                         NARRATOR

            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.

                         OFFICER

            Are these your compatriots?

                         MONICA

            No. I swear: I came alone!

                         OFFICER

            I don’t believe- Agh!

                         NARRATOR

            Suddenly the gun is gone, along with 

            the man.

                         MONICA

            Hello?

                         OFFICER

                    (Injured, groaning)

            Get back! All of you!

[Officer fires twice, waits, then fires again]

                         SHADOWS

                    (Hiss)

                         NARRATOR

            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.  

                         MONICA

            What’s going on?!

                         OFFICER

            I think- I think they’re gone… 

            Fucking monsters.

                         MONICA

            What did they look like?

                         OFFICER

            Just shadows… 

[The sound of dirt skidding nearby]

                         OFFICER (cont’d)

            No you don’t!

[Another gunshot.]

                         OFFICER (cont’d)

                    (Grunts as he is 

                    sliced and stabbed)

                         NARRATOR

            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 

            me. 

            By the time the bag is off my 

            sweaty, matted hair, my rescuers are 

            gone. 

            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

            solid wall. 

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.