Corenthal Letters

The following materials were discovered by players of Everyman HYBRID by following coordinates or receiving mail. The correspondence from Dr. James Corenthal draws unsettling parallels with the events surrounding the EverymanHYBRID channel as they develop.

First Hidden Box

Second Hidden Box

Third Hidden Box

Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Area of Ohio
The Office of Doctor James Corenthal
Fairmount Children's Home
6774 Union Street NE, Alliance Ohio 44601
(330)890-3463 ext. 431

November 17th, 1971

Doctor Roberts and the FCH Evaluations and Discharge
Fairmount Children's Home Admissions Office
6774 Union Street NE, Alliance Ohio 44601

Dear Doctor Roberts and the FCH Evaluations and Discharge Dept.,

RE: The continued observation of patient ████████ EVAN

As our team has observed, over the course of the last year, the condition of one of our youngest patients, Evan, Has proven to be quite interesting, indeed. I pray that you recall the early stages of our unique treatment process involving the boy. The boy refused to respond to his given name and only reacted to the nickname his birth mother gave him: Habit. Though I've tried on many occasions, the actual source of his name is a story impossible to extract. The boy merely smiles and continues his activities whenever these queries arrise.

I commend your creativity regarding the suggestion for the boy to keep a picture diary, when it became known that a written journal was impossible (due to standing orders of keeping any and every pointed writing implement away from his possession). Evan graciously accepted the Polaroid camera and our staff and the patient's family were more than ecstatic to find a happy medium in the treatment spectrum. (How can anyone forget the first two weeks of his stay, when Nurse █████████████ brought his lunch into his room and proceeded to be ████████████████████████████████████ a good three dozen times until a security officer happened to walk past, noticing the young boy kneeling over the body of the new nurse, laughing and in a dazed state, covered in the gored bits of █████████. In all my years of practice, I have never seen a utensil buried so deep into a human body.)

As troubling as that was, the staff observed a stark improvement over the next four months, culminating in the suggestion of his release, with medical probation. This completion of treatment was suggested eight months ago and I urge you to reconsider your agreement. Aforementioned, Evan has truly shown improvement, but my dead colleague, he murdered an innocent caregiver. Obviously we shouldn't press criminal matters into his life (and simply continue psychiatric remediation) but releasing this child into and unforgiving and free environment would only lead to a terrible, terrible relapse of his homicidal tendencies. Surely you remember the warren of rabbits found in the Community-yard that Evan had apparently used to recreate the scene of Christ's crucifixion. I cannot forget.

On a personal note, Dr. Roberts, I have become slightly conscious of my own mental and medical necessities. Sleep is becoming quite the delicacy in my life and when I can find that unadulterated blink, all I hear is the same, damned, repeating verse: Rabit or Habit. Again, I pray you reconsider your confirmation of release.

J. CorenthalDr. James Corenthal, MD


Decoded from Freemason’s Cipher, the symbols read:

The good doctor is not so lucky as to be dead. Just dealing with some old habits.

The Bag


I hope this letter reaches you before you reach that group. Someone sent me this letter…this worries me. Please contact me before you talk to them. The letter's attached.


Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Area of Ohio
The Office of Dr. James Corenthal — Fairmount Children's Home
6774 Union Street NE, Alliance, OH 44601
(330) ███-████ ext. 4352

May 11th, 1971

Doctor Roberts and FCH Evaluations and Discharge
Fairmount Children's Home Admissions Office
6774 Union Street NE, Alliance, OH 44601

Dear Doctor Roberts and FCH Evaluations Dept.,

RE: Decline of Admission of Patient ██████████ VINCENT

Roberts, I am sure you are well aware of the current "controversy" that has come over our nursing staff. Of course, I am speaking of the conflicting accommodations regarding the two children, Vincent and Evan, from the mining town. Due to the departure of Dr. Stevens, I am urging you to reconsider the admission of the boy, Vincent. As you know, Stevens was a part of the Post-Traumatic/Sexual Deviation concentration and we are now lacking in such fields. I'll provide a brief reproduction of his admission transcript:

No, sir. The Reverend was a very nice man. -What's that? Oh, no. No, he never struck me or any of the others. He was very kind and would always share his stories and jokes with us - me in particular. He had this very small doggy, Badger, and he used to show us pictures after the Sunday services. Ah, Badger. I love puppies, you know, doctor? Well, Reverend Green knew this and can you believe that he wanted us to me - me and Badger! I was so happy. Reverend Green told my parents and of course they said it was okay. I first met Badger on a Sunday afternoon. He was really, really cute, but he had this terrible looking scar over one of his puppy eyes. Little cuts were all over his paws and I felt bad for him. When I told the Reverend, he said not to worry. He'll take Badger to the veterinarian. We watched the puppy scurry around the small patio and yard for a while when the Reverend told me that he had a great game we could play. You know I love games, doctor, so of course I was excited. He asked me if I had ever played Pirates. I was so happy, I began telling him stories about me and Captain Habit. He lit a small candle and told us that we were going to explore a hidden cove. I couldn't wait, doctor …
You know where it goes from there, Roberts. You can review the exact dates in his case-file, but this continued for about another year. One evening, Vincent's parents had arrived to pick up their son from the Reverend's house. After knocking for a few minutes, they walked in, finding the door unlocked, and found Vincent playing with a crude foam toy pirate ship. The Reverend was found eviscerated in the other room, in his underwear. Vincent was calm, happy, even. He sat there, horrifying his parents, playing with his toy. When they told him that they had to go, they had to call an ambulance, Vincent stopped smiling and stopped playing entirely. He said "Father, I would make sure it was okay with Man before we did that. He is very, very greedy. Apparently, the Reverend didn't know that Man doesn't share."

We are dealing with much more stress and trauma then we are currently outfitted for. Obviously, the investigation is continuing, but I do not believe that it is very wise at all to accept both patients from that town of ash. The symbolism is almost too fitting.

J. Corenthal Dr. James Corenthal

VII Letter


The last child from the "Mining-Town Four" has finally succumbed. I have absolutely failed these children as a doctor and as their protector. My old partner, Roberts, has been trying to reassure me of myself - of the nature of my job. He tries to reason that it is out of my control - I chose the cases that generally stood no chance to begin with and that I must not take it out on myself when failure inevitably arrived.

My other current patient, the girl from the horrible New York attacks, she's on emotional life support, as well, at present. We were a family. Evan, Vincent, Jeffrey, █████████ and now, Linnie's in danger, more so than ever. No child deserves this. Linnie… she's different from the others. Her personal demon is much more feral in comparison to the others. You cannot understand how terribly useless I feel.
I was their only hope. The other "professionals" insisted that they were criminals of their own thought. Homicidal children - not these angels. I was the only one who was willing to hear their pleas and I let them down. They were my own children, simply not biologically. I refuse to let my remaining daugher become another tally. I cannot explain the creatures behind my children's misery, but I have a few theories. Maybe I'll peruse little Evan's picture diary, but the Good Lord knows that I can barely bring myself to catch a glimpse of his camera, which never fit comfortably in his meek hands.

I'm going to take Linnie east. We cannot stay in Ohio any longer. We'll find others, others who know. She'll live a good life without me. She'll grow up, she'll forget me, the others. It's for the best.
I'd better get to those photographs. (Jeffrey also wrote me a series of short-stories. Vincent and dearest █████████ were more so visual young artists. I must retrieve my old trunk with their treasures in it soon.)

-Corenthal. 11.27 pm

Corenthal Christmas Letter


God bless my dear Maryann. Our families always had a good laugh about it—a doctor and an oil-mogul's daughter getting married—about how well-off we would be on my salary alone. Ha! it was not easy, not easy at all. Thank goodness for my beloved, for if I had gone through this adoption process alone…they would have commit me and condemn me for such a "frivolous" expenditure of one's money. Again, ha!

Obviously, the money means nothing to me. Maryann and I, we were… we were devastated when we learned that we could not healthily conceive. Devastated. But we found our love in these children, these "rejects" as the home referred to them.

They have not had an outburst or any signs of ailment since we've left. Life is comfortable. I will return to the practice as soon as possible, depending on how long our savings last us.

It was a beautiful Christmas this year. Our family feels whole. A father cannot feel more content than to watch his children laugh comfortably in front of a fireplace on Christmas morning. Watching Evan and █████████ jokingly shove eachother and prod Vinnie and Jeffrey into practical jokes and obvious conversational traps—this is the way things should be. Happy. Full of laughter. These children are my life—and I will stand in the way of anything that threatens them and my dear Maryann.

- Corenthal, 9. [handwritten 11? Just a mistake?] 6pm

Fourth Hidden Box


Every so often, as expected, the children, seem to suffer a “group-relapse” so to speak. Occasionally, a single one may seem to experience mood swings and other emotional inadequacies, but those are generally “normal” at such an age. It just pains Maryann and myself so when they all go through relapses.

It’s never an individual occurrence, these episodes. It’s never Evan, acting out alone. It’s never Jeffrey shouting nonsense, or Vinnie spouting Biblical verses. No. When it does occur, it’s always each and every one of them. After the episode is finished, each of the children become very reclusive, with Stephanie perhaps being the most affected.

They may refuse food and lock themselves in their rooms for hours on end, not making a single noise. They may simply sit on the kitchen floor, staring off into space. The post-incident emotions generally tend to be solitary events. Not very pleasant for our family.

The most recent of these incidents happened just yesterday. Two days ago, Maryann called me frantically from a store in town. The children had gone missing. She told me that they had been writing and acting out a play about pirates; she hadn’t seen or heard from them since. They had been missing since mid-morning. Maryann thought that they might have made a small trip into town. No one else had seen them. We were nearly hysterical.

Around ten pm last night, our phone rings. A few police officers had been around the house that day in order to help begin a small search for them, but they didn’t promise much and insisted that we stay optimistic. I answered the phone and wouldn’t you know it: Jeffrey was on the line.

I demanded to know where he was, where his siblings were. They were in Pennsylvania. He handed the phone to an adult and I almost exploded, calling him a rapist and the like, until he informed me that he was “Officer Matten” of a local police department, and so on and so forth. The children were safe, yet hours away.

We had to drive and pick them up. Officer Matten was incredibly reassuring, well, at least in hindsight he was. I don’t think I was very jovial about the whole incident. He said he would have driven them some distance himself, but he was not sure he could use the department’s vehicle for something like that. We were terribly relieved… but you know the children had a whole wave of explanations to look forward to. After talking to the children for a few moments, it became quite clear that they weren’t goofing off, that they didn’t simply “run away”—that this was another episode.

After hours of driving into the night, and waiting out a brief snowstorm just over the border into PA, we found this secluded restaurant that Matten told us to meet us in. He didn’t want the children waiting at the dirty old prison and he knew the proprietor of the restaurant, so he waited with them there. It was very early in the morning when we finally arrived; the sun wouldn’t be rising for a few more hours. However, the proprietor of the tavern was apparently a kind spirit and did not mind keeping the fireplace roaring and the front door unlocked for the night.

A few other locals sought refuge from the increasingly violent snowstorm outside. It seems that we had made it just in time. The roads were becoming icy and the Pocono roads were already treacherous enough as they were. Some were tourists, staying in the nearby cabins owned by the motel. Apparently, the children had ended up near this small resort town, aptly named “Memory Town.” The owner seemed to be in his element, as if this storm was just another occasion to entertain and take care of the people around him.

Meals were ordered and made, no fare was collected. The leather sleeves that were generally used to house bar-tabs and restaurant bills sat uncollected among the scattered groups of family in the comfortable tavern. The children sat near the rear windows, looking out into the freezing lake that the resort town was built around.

I was moved by Maryann’s interactions with the children. We agreed that pressing on them hysterically would only lead us into more frustration and anger. Gradually, bits of conversation came from our children: It’s not like we did anything wrong—we were just playing a game. - We used to do it all the time in the home doctor, I mean every weekend we played these games. - He got us there in an instant, I don’t know why it too us so long to get home. -We just wanted to find the hidden treasure.

What frightened me the most, was the honesty exhibited in their pleading explanations. If they weren’t lying, there was something terribly wrong. And if they were honest, which I believe they always are… then I don’t know how they easily traveled this far. Or, something is terribly wrong.

My children were taken from my house, transported over three hundred miles Eastward, all in search of a whimsical “treasure” and all under the guidance of this “figure”—yes; something is terribly wrong, indeed.

-Corenthal, 3.23am

Fifth Hidden Box

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Canton-Massillon Metropolitan Area of Ohio The Office of Dr. James Corenthal — Fairmount Children's Home
6774 Union Street NE, Alliance, OH 44601
(330) ███-████ ext. 4352

December 14, 1971

Doctor Roberts and FCH Evaluations and Discharge
Fairmount Children's Home Admissions Office
6774 Union Street NE, Alliance, OH 44601

Dear Doctor Roberts and FCH Evaluations Dept.,

RE: Patient JEFFREY █████ and the "Mining Town Four"

Roberts, you know I am the first to admit when I have done wrong and this is just such an occasion. I must apologize for my prior hesitation concerning the admissions from the Pennsylvania fires. Last month, I provided a brief report on another patient that you and I each know very well, Evan, and I must say that the progress shown has been consistent with the amount of contact he has held with the other children from his hometown. Although I expressed doubts concerning his overall health and still do not think it would be wise to fully discharge any of these children, their relationship and various friendships have been incredibly beneficial to their eventual rehabilitation.

However, one of the children in my care, Jeffrey █████, is having a particularly difficult time acclimating to the home's routine schedule and cannot break himself from this dream that we have discussed a few times since his admission. It is quite apparent that these night-terrors are stemming from a traumatic incident and, when he describes the dream, it is quite clear that it has to do with the very violent fate that the rest of his family met back in Pennsylvania.

TRANSCRIPT (December 12th, 1971):

"I'm sorry to bother you again, Doctor. I wouldn't want to worry you, but they said I had to talk to you because of my screaming. Yeah, when we were sleeping. Vinnie and Stephie tried to help me when I woke up, but the others weren't happy. They were yelling and cursing at us. Evan eventually woke up too. They called us all bad names, Doctor. … … Oh, the dream? yeah, it was about Mommie and Ellie again … … Okay, Doctor. Oh, yeah. daddy was there, too. I remember going to his funeral, Doctor; why was he in my dream? I have a little rose blossom from his funeral wreath. It's in my old room. … … [His family's house was lost in the town's fires, he obviously doesn't recall or blocks it out.] Never mind. Yes, the dream. You probably remember how it goes. It was last Christmas, again, and we were siting in the living room. Ellie's only… or was, only a few years old [sic] than me. I wanted to be just like her, Doctor. She was so smart. She was going to go to college one day. [I mentioned a few possible fields that she may have wanted to go into.] No, I don't think she wanted to be a nurse. I don't really remember. She was good at everything in school. She was writing something in a diary that Grandma had sent her for the holidays. No, Grandma wasn't there. She lived far away so she mailed us our gifts every year. She was awesome though, Doctor. She sent me a little red truck. I was picking up deliveries near the fireplace and the bed of the truck popped off. I was trying to click it back together when I heard the kitchen door open. Mom stood up, she was sitting with Ellie, looking at her writing. They were smiling and Ellie was describing something. Mommy wasn't smiling anymore. She goes away from us. In the kitchen, I hear this horribly loud BANG. Something fell on the floor. Daddy comes into the living room and looks at the Christmas tree, then at me and Ellie. He's smiling. he was just hunting, because he has this shotgun and is covered in chunks of some dead animal [The blood of his mother, Roberts.] He tells us "Merry Christmas, lovies," and puts the barrel of his gun to the back of Ellie's head. Before she can say anything he pulls the trigger. He walks over to me and kneels down to my face. He clicks the bed of the truck back together and hands it to me. "I love you, Jeffrey," he whispers and kisses my forehead. I take my truck and place it on the ledge of the fireplace. "Daddy… why did you do that to Ellie?" I pointed to the hole in Ellie's face. Daddy walked over to the Christmas tree and touched my favorite ornament, a little toy wooden soldier that he and I made over the summer. He taught me how to carve figures using his old knife and I was so excited that he let me use a small piece of firewood we had collected for the winter to make a soldier for this year's tree. He bought some paints at the store in town and we painted it together. … … … (I asked the boy, "Jeffrey, what happened next? You stopped telling me about the dream.") … … Oh, yeah. Yeah, Doctor. He stopped looking at the ornament and looked back at me. "Son… the Man made me do it." He put the shotgun's tip into his mouth and I hear the BANG again. I wake up and everyone's telling me to stop screaming. Vinnie and Stephie were holding my hand. They weren't telling me to stop. They were trying to help me."

These night terrors have fortunately cut down to about twice a week at this point, Roberts. This is much better news than when the boy first had arrived (and wasn't that a most splendid week?). Obviously, these relationships that he has developed within the hospital have been serving to help speed up his recovery. I have put in a request to move the children from their standard sleeping accommodations in the common hall to a new partitioned area. I want to try something, Roberts. They are each lacking a true parental figure at this point; I think that may be all they may need.



Dr. James Corenthal, MD


The Microfilm Collection

Notes from the Hamilton Township Public Library digitalized microfilm collection. Some grammar might be off, due to my hand feeling as if it were dying in the transcription process. We’ll see where this goes. – Jeff

Disgraced doctor spends an evening the ER
May 23th, 1984 – Associated Press

Sporadic practitioner of pediatric medicine, James Corenthal, spent several hours late Tuesday night in the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, receiving stitches in multiple locations on his body after an incident in a local restaurant. His assailant, whose name was not released at the time of this report, spent the night in the county prison and was released early the next morning. In brief response to questions concerning what invoked such an attack, Corenthal stated "I was only looking into the history of my children's former lives. The locals simply didn't want anything to do with me."

Corenthal is known for his work in the Fairmount Children's Home (Ohio) and the troubling incidents involving his adopted (and since deceased) children.

Traveling physician honored at banquet; generously donates
June 2nd, 1993 - Associated Press

Hamilton Township Mayor Jack Rafferty honored Dr. James Corenthal Wednesday night with a banquet held at iconic Angeloni's Cedar Gardens in Hamilton Square. Corenthal, nearly crying, thanked the Mayor and the community that supported Corenthal's ongoing, albeit unclear, research. Cedar Gardens sponsored and funded the event, bearing connections to the young patients the doctor was caring for at the time. Local families were treated to music, games, and the Mayor's appreciative speech, culminating in a surprise announcement, from the doctor, to donate a generous amount of money to the Hamilton Public Library. Corenthal's generally private and quiet wife was also flown in for the event, procuring a tearful reaction from the doctor.

Physician sought for questioning; flees authorities
October 11th, 2002 - Associated Press

Jack Willers, 43, of Monroe Township was found dead in his garage early this week. A preliminary investigation reveals many signs of a struggle between Willers and an unknown suspect. Investigators state that their findings show signs of a struggle lasting a few hours, at the minimum. Monroe Township police sought to contact James Corenthal, MD, after finding that he has a brief meeting with the family hours beforehand, to meet Jack's troubled son for the first time. Corenthal is not immediately a suspect; however, his flight is a concern worth noting.

Suspicious doctor ducks authorities, again; charges pressed
March 2nd, 2003 - Associated Press
Following the double-homicide of Drew and Maurene Henson of Bourbon County, police are issuing a warrant for the arrest of the deranged James Corenthal. The couple had been found brutally murdered, with signs of an intense struggle, in their newly purchased home early last month. Although no immediate evidence signals Corenthal's involvement, the fact that her had met with the family earlier in the day to discuss the condition of their suicidal daughter raised some flags.

Suspect children's doctor flees yet another murder
August 16th, 2005 - The Trenton Times

The entirety of the River Road / Lambertville corridor was shut down early Monday morning. Police warned of a highly-dangerous suspect in the region, after finding a small eatery massacred in downtown Lambertville. The inside of the restaurant was likened to that of a riot, implicating a massive fight. At least a dozen bodies were found in the aftermath of the skirmish, with the total count unclear. A security feed shows the suspected James Corenthal fighting off the victims. Corenthal is first seen backing into the frame, leaving investigators to believe that he induced the riot. He was last seen fleeing the eatery and into his car. The vehicle was found discarded less than half a mile down the road, on Fiddler's Creek Road. Corenthal is suspected to be hiding out in the state park.

The Jester's Prize






>>Dr. Roberts informed me that an old colleague of his needed some assistance. Christ, I wouldn't have helped him had he not offered me a copious amount of extra credit in his 450 class. I don't know why he didn't just do it himself. He seemed so worked up over a damn imaging procedure. He loaded the chamber and left. I sat in the booth, four layers of concrete and lead away and thumbed on the panel. We had run this "enlightening" procedure on radiation-imaging every semester since freshman year. Why in the hell couldn't he get one of the newbies to do it? While the preliminary scans began, the animated read-out began acting all funky. I assumed it would have stopped once it achieved y, but the friggin' thing cycled back to a. The imager kept playing this loop, with the duration of each level varying. The normal animations were bugging out. The machine assigned a lowercase sigma (σ) to this unique energy and kept jamming out this animation.

It recognized a wave that could react in real time and not emulate typical radiation at all. What the hell was this that Dr. Roberts was having me examine? There was no way that Dr. Roberts had allowed some form of weaponry into the school’s lab. I’m pretty sure there are laws against that. I dialed his office, but he was foreseeably not answering. I turned off the animator and checked the live-view of the chamber. After a brief stint of static, I stopped short - a simple patch of black cloth sat on the mount. A man had entered the office. I had not noticed him due to the freakin’ scientific abomination before me. He startled me, but the look on his face told me that he must have been Dr. Roberts’ colleague: the owner of this material. I remember him asking, “Excuse me,” stammering. “But what the hell is it?”

After giving him a rundown on the basics of radiation and the wave-animator software we had (he seemed somewhat familiar in the field as it was) we both remained equally confused. The only thing we could determine is that there were trace amounts of carbon in the piece. Hell, just like everything else on this rock. “So we can’t tell what exactly it is?” he had asked me. I shrugged. I felt pity for the older guy. He thanked me and closed his eyes. Just as he turned to leave, he stopped short: “Well… we know we can—-determine exactly what it is… but could we build something that detects it?” <<END

Tribe Twelve Envelope


Although I'm far removed from the practice, I'm asked for my medical opinions and for various interviews involving my time in Ohio every so often. The Fellows Council held their annual meeting today; they wanted me to make an appearance. Why in Florida, the good Lord only knows. During the 'open action' bit of the conference, Roberts brought up the Case-Study report of the “Mining Town Four”. I hadn't realized that people were still actually researching the children. You would have thought that they had a celebrity in attendance. Well, an infamous-convict at least. Today, I was the medical Fellowship's Charles Manson.

For such educated men and women, you wouldn't believe the things, the nonsensical things, they shouted at me, accused me of. I was a murderer. A rapist, even. Maryann tried to reassure me, via a long distance phone call that night. Bless her, but it wasn't very helpful.

Roberts tried to stop me from storming out. I may have punched him. I had to leave that forsaken auditorium, which was adjacent to the facility's pediatrics ward. I noticed a young boy with sloppy brown hair receiving stitches in his arm. There was some family, the attending nurse, and a police officer present. This caught my curiosity.

I forgot about the rubbish concerning the Fellows meeting and stopped in to listen. Something about plunging from a park ranger's tower. Playing a game. Not his fault. Man made him do it. My veins ran cold at the nonchalant statement. I may have shoved the questioning policeman aside to talk to the boy. He greeted himself as Milo.

I can't help but to compare his stories with my children's. I'm going back to speak to him and his family tomorrow at their house. I've arranged plans to do so. What are the odds that this boy and I are visitors in a neighboring state on the same day, in the same facility?

-Corenthal, 11.34pm


Maybe I am just seeing patterns or possible leads in desperation. I do not care anymore, honestly. This young boy, Milo Asher, is incredibly unique compared to the other children I have spoken with since I have lost my own. He is not unusually talented or gifted or anything of that nature at all. Curiously enough, he is remarkably average as far as children are concerned. However, the way he speaks about his dreams… that is what sets Milo apart from the others.

Since the eighties I've spoken to many children who were disturbed due to a terrible father-figure, or an alcoholic mother, or an abusive sibling, etc. etc. Of course, they each deserve the utmost attention and care in order to cease this unnecessary scarring. But these incidents, they were not what I was looking for. As a doctor, of course I wanted to help them. However, if that was simply the case, I would still be home. If that were the case, I would have never have left Ohio. If that were the case, Milo would have been just another boy resisting stitches in the hallway of a busy hospital.

I arrived at the Asher household around eleven am. It was a comfortable house in a quiet neighborhood just outside of the heavily-developed portion of town. I may have driven through it on the way to the convention in Florida. It seemed that Mrs. Asher was relatively happy to see me. If nothing else, she wasn't spiteful of her son's necessity for help. She helped me to the kitchen and I found Milo coloring at the table. We were offered tea and he had accepted for each of us.

Mrs. Asher had apparently lost her husband, Robert, years earlier. Considering Milo must have been very young when this happened, I did not push on the topic. There was no need to dwell on such subjects.

On the way to the house, I had stopped in at a craft parlor and purchased a small key-and-lock journal for the boy. The way he spoke out at the hospital led me to believe that he enjoyed stringing words together, regardless of what he was actually saying. I was correct. He was extremely surprised and eager to mess around with it when I took it out of my bag. He rapidly came to the realization that a key-and-lock journal required an actual key to properly work with.

We would have to speak before he received the key.

He was relatively easy to work with. He didn't avoid the questioning, he didn't duck around corners or advert the situation on hand. Without me even mentioning it, he brought up dreams and the recurring nightmares that he had been having. His other doctor had simply dismissed them as night-terrors and of no medical concern. This was, of course, overlooking the fact that a seemingly sentient entity had told young Milo to leap from a ranger's tower in a park. (I would like to know the name of this foolish doctor.)

The discussion led to the key-player (subtle pun intended) in that beloved phrase that seemed to be popping up everywhere in my personal history: “Man” – The Man made me do it. (Man doesn’t like to share, etc.) I could not possibly overlook this detail – it screamed of parallels between Milo and my own children.

I had nearly spat out my tea. Or choked. Or both.

Hoping that I had not fooled myself into believing that Milo was more similar to my own than he actually was, I had looked over my old diary entries when I returned from the Asher house – the quotes were all there, almost twenty-five years ago, and again, today, coming from a young boy who seemed to enjoy recklessness a bit too much.

So we discussed the “Man” – for quite a bit.

In an almost whimsical nature, Milo described this creature: Tall. Lanky in structure. Dozens upon dozens of branch-like appendages. A completely featureless face. I had asked Milo if he enjoyed horror movies. He didn't really care for them. I remembered my children's various pieces of artwork from over the years. Just before I sat down to this diary entry, I dusted off my old chest and re-examined the kids' old pieces. Evan's picture-book, Stephanie and Vincent's drawings, Jeffrey's short-stories – briefly sweeping over them, there were numerous hints towards this tall man. Good God.

Milo seemed frightened of this man, but also held a sense of… let's just say, concerned respect. Accepted inevitability. This worried me a great deal. He didn't seem eager to rid himself of this man, more so that he accepted this as how things would be and could not seek an accommodating change from its standing.

He went on to tell me that this man had a particular plan for him, for other children, too. They were all to go on a great journey together. The way Milo described it, it seemed like a vacation, disregarding the melancholy nature in which he told it.

I felt incredibly foolish asking him this (and I still do for recollecting it) but I asked him… I asked him if he knew any of my children, any children named Evan, Jeffrey, Vincent, or Stephanie. Almost expectedly, he didn't. A television that was on in the living room unexpectedly shot up to maximum volume and then promptly turned off. Mrs. Asher muttered something under her breath and I heard her rise from her seat to examine the piece. The silence between the peculiar incident concerning the TV and Mrs. Asher's comment was occupied by this dull buzzing noise that seemed to be emitting from the entire house, almost as if a microphone was just nearly too-close to its speaker.

Milo's attention suddenly perked up and he told me that he knew my children, contradicting his previous uncertainties. “They've already been there, Doctor.”

I was aghast.

I asked Milo what he meant. His attention snapped, yet again, and he stared at me curiously; he had no idea what I was talking about. I thanked the boy and his mother and was on my way. I promised to be back in touch with them soon. As soon as I had entered my car, I broke down sobbing for a few moments. What the hell did the boy mean – they’ve already been there, Doctor.

They've been dead since 1981. I cannot do anything to change that. Milo was confused. I can't go off of an impaired child's off-hand comment in order to chance the impossible. I won't risk dragging Linnie back into this; she has her own life now.

But what did that mean – they’ve already been there. Does this mean… that they have left this place? That they've escaped?

-Corenthal, 11.47pm

(On a rather curious side-note: as I left the house of Asher, I noticed something across the way. There was a torn piece of black cloth, gently pinched to a dying thorn bush that had caught my eye. I pulled the burlap-esque material from the plant and felt suddenly lightheaded. This cloth gave my skin the sensation of a soft vibration and made me feel slightly ill. I was going to take it to an old friend, to see if he could make any sense of it.)

Noah Release 1


I feel uncomfortable.

It’s been two weeks since I’ve dreamt at all; the silence has been incredibly nurturing. However, this afternoon, I fell asleep in my sunroom, just after reading some novel.

It wasn’t a night-terror, it wasn’t images of my family… it was just odd.

Visions, glimpses, flashes, of a man and a woman, complete strangers to me, having sex. These scenes were cut between a conversation that my Linnie was having with good old William, a conversation that seemed to predate whatever episode I had accounted for of Linnie’s a month ago. I can’t recall the whole conversation… but it was all very confusing: No, Linn, you weren’t blood related… Yes, you all seemed to get along very well… I know, I know… You’re right, the resemblance is uncanny… it just doesn’t feel right. If you’re going to go… just be careful. I’ll call you if I find anything that can give you a little bit of insight… I know how insane it must all sound.

Linnie left William and dear Rose to find someone. She was confused about her former siblings’ life and demise. Someone, someone who seemed to know about them, as well.

Maybe it’s time to rethink the scope of my investigation.

Sixth Hidden Box

The dreams have started again.
Well, the thoughts of my children never cease their torment of my sleeping hours. Seeing their beautiful faces, that's torture enough. But the night-terrors… they've returned.
Terrible, impossible things done to and by them. I know there's nothing I can do to help their memory, but every night, I wake up, preparing for a battle, readying myself to fight for their lives – only to remember that I've already failed them.

My dear Linnie was prominent in my most recent nightmare. I could see her, in the clearing of a wood, in the back of a bus, in a post office, on the phone. I could never see her face; my subconscious granted me no such gift. She was grown, an adult now, but I knew it was my Linnie.
I saw the rolling hills of rural Pennsylvania, the dense, beautiful mountain forests where Rosie and William found a comfortable community. Linnie was walking near a creek, holding a letter. As if sensing my non-existent presence, she looked up, as at the sound of a branch breaking, and quickly folded the letter, stuffing it into her gray hooded sweatshirt. She was traveling, away from the forest, away from her adopted home. She arrived at an inn, miles and hours away, and nervously approached the desk. I couldn't hear a discernible word. My world's communication was smothered under what felt and sounded like miles of water. In this dream-lobby, the darkness quickly set in and I felt that the scene was about to change. In a panic, I hurried out into the street and caught a glimpse of a sign on the side of the building: the Logan Inn. The site collapsed and I was suddenly standing at the top of a hill. A dilapidated brick building was before me. I was surrounded by a dead forest. Through the gray trees and brush, I could see a small town at the bottom of the mountain. I had just only asked "where in the hell am I?" when a very frightened, very determined Linnie pushed past the ghost of me and into the building.
It killed me to know that I was completely unable to help this vision, to change the evil that was inevitable.
She disappeared up a dark stairwell. Silence.
Then, I could hear her breathing. She was a floor or two above me, somewhere in this old building, which greatly resembled a school, and I couldn't move my legs.

The hair on the back of my neck rose. Linnie's audible breathing slowed. She was trying to hold her breath, to become quiet, hidden. I became aware of this sensation most peculiar, as if I were physically aware of a lone spider crawling across a partition of glass. Somewhere, amongst the ruins, a creature was stirring.
Linnie stifled a meek cry. She knew this, as well. I was merely an observer in this wretched scene, unable to properly watch. As if I had the stomach to, regardless.
A taunting, hushed, guttural sound began to leak from the walls. Linnie never spoke, but I could feel her defeated thoughts: I'm too late. The sound came and went, varying pitch and volume, teasing my ill-fated daughter. The "spider crawling over glass" sensation manifested itself in a rustling of leaves here and there, a tipping-over of old furniture in a far reach of the school, a shrill craping noise on the brick wall in this corner. Linnie was being stalked.
The terrible growling rapidly increased as it honed in on Linnie's position upstairs. My darling daughter… she didn't give a desperate yell, a dying scream, as her breathing broke, and the inhuman shrill exploded, the world slowed, and I could hear her delicate voice whisper, "I'm sorry."
The scene went blank. I laid in my bed for twenty minutes, my eyes shut tight, not realizing that I was awake, waiting further images, trying to piece together what I could, trying to help, in vain.
That morning, I looked up and tracked down this "Logan Inn" – a small historical hotel in Pennsylvania, apparently –and asked frantically about my daughter, a Linnie, a woman in a gray sweatshirt, anything at all about the woman who was my daughter and their stranger. Absolutely nothing. I spoke with every employee from the previous two weeks over the course of the day. None of them could recall this person. I thanked them for their time.

Just a dream, James.
Perhaps it didn't happen. Maybe Linnie was still alive, just fine, dare I chance the word "happy," with my relatives, living out her life.
Maybe she survived the apparent curse my children held; maybe she outran her demon.
Although it may very well be my own nonsensical dream, I want to know why she was traveling that far east. Who was she looking for?

Ink Ribbon

10.28.1980 Where are you, my beloved? Where are you now in my darkest time of need, oh protector? After all the turmoil I went through to ensure my children, our family, a protected and loving life, you dare let such to hell with it. I'll continue writing in a few hours, Stephanie's now safe in bed. The whiskey's worn off. It's become quite apparent that we should look in to weaning her off the medicinal regimen; it's become far too complicated for a girl of her age to keep in order. I haven't written about the events since. The children were just having breakfast. Mary and I were in the living room, talking about replacing furniture, when Jeffrey came running down the stairs. My veins froze when he cried, tears streaming down his face, "Steph's dead! Steph's dead!"

Extra Innings

Rabbit #041 Ink Ribbon

I ran up the stairs into their bedroom and found my daughter cold blue, on the ground. Evan was sitting in the corner, watching her his eyes wide. I demanded to know what happened. I scooped her up in my arm, reacting, not thinking. Life started once more as I found that she still held a pulse, a spark of life.

Rabbit #046 Ink Ribbon

Hours, emergency nurses and physicians lists of questions later, we were home. Were she a teen she probably would have been placed under a suicide watch.

Rabbit #061 Ink Ribbon

However, and probably for the worse I withehld my children's detailed histories from the ER (that we had not the previously misfortune to visit). After piecing together the information from my children, it was determined that she had accidentally taken far too much of her daily doses.

Rabbit #082 Ink Ribbon

I'm not sure how this happened as we had instilled a tried and true method of counting for each of the children's routines. Regardless, she was recovering. But we cannot even try to pretend that she's the same. She's distanced herself from us, her family, since her accident. She barely even talks to Evan any more, easily her best friend.

Rabbit #089 Ink Ribbon

I tried to talk to her directly, and she just looks off, towards the blank wall, out a window, anywhere but the situation at hand. I tried talking to Evan about this, to see what he thought about her distance.

Rabbit #108 Ink Ribbon

He smirked. “Maybe it’s best that she just stays quiet. Maybe it’s for the better.” I asked him what the hell he meant. “Maybe it’s just better. So she won’t ‘overdose’ again.”

Rabit #228 Ink Ribbon

Always the mediator, always looking to deflect, young Vincent took his attention and they went outside to play in the yard. Jeffrey had been watching from the stairwell. "I just wish we could have helped her" he said, staring away. I don't know what to do, James. I just don't. I guess all we can do is wait and see. -Corenthal, 3. 6am

Lady of the Light.pdf

James or to whom it may concern:
I don't know where you've been, Dearest, but I wasted no time in acting upon your instructions. The morning you called me it was such a beautiful summer day. I was in the garden with your Mr. Roberts sister, Kimberly. After your call she told me I was "as white as a ghost" - I would have believed it, James.

I'll never be sure what happened, love. The call was saturated with white noise and you sounded terribly out of breath. There was shouting. And sirens, police and otherwise. I could hear the trouble in your voice.

I know you couldn't, and would never, hurt an innocent person. I think I may have understood what had happened once the police were finished their investigation. They returned the items found in your car from that day in Lambertville.

Among the photos of our poor, poor children, one old shot stuck out among the rest: a frame of you and our Evan at some silly, probably now dilapidated, water park, years and years ago. There was handwriting on the back - "It's time to go, love" - and I knew you weren't coming home. Whatever happened there, you were prepared for it.

I knew it was time to follow your emergency instructions, what we jokingly coined "The Corenthal Protocol" that night in Key West, over deep crystal handfuls of whiskey and lime.

I went into the attic and opened that chest you left me, in case of such an 'incident' - your disappearance. I won't lie and claim to understand all of these directions, but I love you, James, and I trust your judgement. I visited the scene of your last call, James, where the police claimed you escaped. I acted in a manner that was far too reminiscent of the old days at Fairmont, and broke into one of those untouched, crumbling, historical buildings we had always wanted to own, just outside of Lambertville. I know you're no longer of this world, love, but I know you'll never truly be gone.

Perhaps some real estate agent or park ranger will find this note and laugh at its odd nature… or maybe these words will meet you on another plane. Who knows?

It's my job to forget and leave. Doctors orders.




In a remarkable turn of events, local police, with the aid of local clairvoyant, Elizabeth [REDACTED UPON REQUEST], have uncovered the bodies of both Amanda Powell and her young child, Joseph JR. Amanda, a professional logger in the area, was last seen across the bridge in Lambertville picking up groceries with Joesph three weeks prior to Elizabeth’s vision. The bodies were discovered fifty yards apart semi-submerged under heavy rocks in the icy waters of the Delaware river. Much to the surprise of Police Chief Deter, Elizabeth had successfully led a search party to the unfortunate scene at the rapids south of West End Farm. Police are holding comment until autopsies are completed. Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming weeks.


MARCH 22ND, 1999:
Long time New Hope resident Elizabeth [REDACTED UPON REQUEST] has again made headlines after what she claims to be a psychic case. Mrs. [REDACTED UPON REQUEST] contacted the Lambertville Police Department on March 20th after what she describes as, ‘a vivid image of Carla Brighton and her surroundings.’ Having assisted the New Hope Police Department last fall in the recovery of two bodies Lambertville authorities immediately accepted her full cooperation. With Elizabeth at the helm police teams were able to locate Carla at the old mill off of Route 29. Carla Brighton, 20, a promising young track star home for the semester’s break was kidnapped off of Pleasent Valley Road on the night of the fifteenth. Her car was discovered abandoned by a passerby who noticed her disabled and abandoned vehicle at aproximently four thirty A.M. Responding officers noted signs of a struggle but no promising leads. Carla, having been reported in good physical health, is currently under police protection pending questioning. Updates will be published as they are received.


JUNE 11TH, 1999
Another day, another missing persons case solved with the assistance of Elizabeth [REDACTED UPON REQUEST]. A missing couple from the New Hope area have been found. Reported missing by family after not making a dinner date last week. Jessica Norris and Matthew Ellie were found with their vehicle which had struck a tree off of Fiddler’s Creek road in Lambertville, New Jersey. In an attempt to avoid a wildlife-related accient Matthew swerved his late model ford truck and ended up roughly 100 yards in the dense woods striking a tree. Both individuals were incapacitated by the impact and were unable to excape the vehicle. With Elizabeth once again leading local police teams Matthew and Jessica were retreived. The pair both suffering from severe dehydration and multipule broken bones were rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital where they are in stable condition.


Local criminal psychic consulant, Elizabeth[REDACTED UPON REQUEST], is scheduled to begin teaching classes at Bucks County Community College during the spring semester. Elizabeth will be offering two courses: Criminology 101 and Creative Writing. Bucks Couny Community College is is encouraged to contact the college direcly.


JUNE 11TH, 2005
Late last night the business of Elizabeth [REDACTED UPON REQUEST] was the scene of a three alarm fire. The building, located off of Bridge Street, was registered with the Historic Society as one of the oldest buildings in New Hope. Authorities believe arson to be the cause of the blaze which left nothing but foundation standing. Police are in the process of locating Dr. James Corenthal, the sole person of interest in the investigation. Dr. Corenthal is also currently wanted for questioning in relation to at least three dozen open cases spanning 25 states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Acting as Dr. Corenthal’s legal representative, William Davidson has asked local media outlets to issue a statement calling for Dr. Corenthal’s full cooperation as Davidson himself has not had contact with Corenthal in several months. Any residents with helpful information pertaining to James Corenthal’s whereabouts are urged to contact New Hope PD immediately.

William Davidson Package

Dear J,

I will try to keep this brief. I do not know where James Corenthal is and sometimes wish he would update me himself. He is one of my clients and if he has been in touch, I would appreciate you enlightening me. It's 2017 and he still has me more or less paging him.

I do not know the significance of those names. I work in the Greater New York area so please understand that I know many Vincents. I will not speculate further.

Please be kinder with your words. I had my nephew work on the website as he is attending community college for web design or computers or something. My firm conducts much of its business traditionally and is not in dire need of a flashy website or social media. Although I do enjoy when my nephew shows me Vine videos. I think that's a medium that's here to stay.

However, in unrelated matters, I do have instructions to follow upon receiving a letter such as yours. Per the understanding between myself and my client who as per their wishes, will remain unnamed I will send you a sealed personal package that has been in the care of my firm for some time now. I apologize if there was anything perishable enclosed. As I had mentioned before, the understanding between my client and myself has language for this situation and means of correspondence.

Thank you for your understanding. In the coming weeks, I intend on being away for a period of time and shall have my office relay any emergency matters, but do not believe we can be of futher assistance pertaining to this package.

W. Davidson


Please destroy this letter when you receive it. I will steal more stationary from the concierge when I can. I still cannot reach you by landline. I dare not visit you face to face, not yet. This is all such a mess. If my lawyer needs you, assist him. He is a good man. Patience, always patience. It is key. I will forever appreciate what you have done for me and my family, my dear friend.

In about a week, look in your office mail for a Sears catalog. I have managed to get a money order to cover the Airstream mishap last summer (I am so sorry, I know how much you loved that custom upholstery) and it will be taped on the inside cover. It is not nearly enough to repay you for your help, but it’s at least a substantial bit of financial reimbursement.

I feel like a caged rat, Adam. Everyone is suspicious of me. These scraps of text and the briefest of conversations with my Maryann are the only things keeping my head afloat in this sea of madness. We are only working to save these children, damn it. Why won’t they see that?

Regardless of what happens, Roberts, regardless of what you hear, know this: I only ever wanted to help. I must not allow it to continue.

Your friend,



My client, Dr. James Corenthal,

James, with all due respect, I specialize in family matters and estate planning. Hell, even sometimes small claims and auto matters, but not this. My assistant is informing me I should expecting potential criminal charges pending? This is absurd. I agreed to be your attorney and will uphold our agreement, but I cannot be learning of our situation through the local media. What’s this I hear about a Clairvoyant? What kind of circus are you dragging my firm into? What is your plan?

Please, as soon as you can, visit my office or at the very least, return my calls.


The Princeton Tapes

The Princeton Tapes
[transcribed by your voyeur]

Seventh Hidden Box

In the early hours of February 14, 2018, a United States Postal Service carrier burst into flames and crashed on Route 1 near the Quakerbridge Mall exits. No terrorist activity is assumed at this stage of the investigation. One fatality was confirmed by Lawrenceville Police, with the name of the mail carrier being withheld until the family can be notified. Surveillance footage from the parking lot of the popular Wawa convenience and food store nearby caught a grainy account of the incident. Day shift manager, Pete Welles offered limited comment, as he was hurried away to assist fire and police crews who have been surveying the area after the explosion with further details. Welles said, ‘It’s really, just bizarre. It looks like… like something just punched it’s way out of the mail truck, like an invisible torpedo. Then, seconds later, boom. The whole thing is up in flames.’

Wawa’s classic subs are $4.99 for a limited time.

(continued from pg. 7, THE LAND OF ASHEN WASTE)

But it stands to reason that although we are allowed to believe that these children, all orphans of tragedy, found some sort of safety, maybe even some sort of happiness, that we, the general public, will and can never know what truly became of them. May the protective services and professional help they were withdrawn into help remedy and heal through these horrific, death-laden events. May they know peace and receive the help they need and so deserve.

Vincent (right) seen here during happier times.

Perhaps future inquiries and study may reveal just that: a happier ending, a new beginning (to their young, troubled existences). We managed to catch brief glimpses into their lives, to observe seemingly normal people with happy children, and witness firsthand incredible bouts of unfortunate luck, deranged shortcomings halting a family’s growth, terrible ailments manifesting into violence and death, and the ever-lurking presence of a predator hiding in plain sight.

As time moves on from the environmental disaster in a small Pennsylvanian mining town, and we sift through the ashes of a destroyed community, finding tales of despair and true evil that had lingered just under the surface, almost waiting for that grand metaphorical (and sometimes, literal) spark to reveal such monsters, we should take solace in knowing that the love and strength of our human bonds and relationships lie within us. That while these stories captivate us with their extraordinary pain and scope, that they had swallowed up the lives of people just like us, and with this knowledge we must always stand strong against such terror. May we forever fight against such evil and hold a stark light against the great, reaching darkness.

Rog[er] [obscured] the lead editor of the publication you have just [obscured] had the pleasure of perusing. While cryptozoology [obscured] [capt]ured the imagination and interest of our editor [obscured] his life, the personal experiences and stories [obscured] close friends has given him pause and a moment to reconsider the nature of this zine.

Tape 3

House Phone 2005

[James] Hi, you’ve reached James and Maryann Corenthal. We are not available to take your call because we are out having fun. So please leave a message and we’ll call you back. Thank you, and have a great day. Bye bye.
[Adam] James, it’s Adam. Wanted to thank you for yet another gift. It’s very appreciated. But, listen. You have to do a better job of keeping in touch. I spoke with Maryann. She laughed and told me that she finally broke you down and that you carry the cell phone we got you. Now just use the damn thing and we won’t have to be playing this ongoing game of phone tag. [laughs] Hey. Anyway, I hear we have a lunch date with Elizabeth in Lambertville next month. Think you’ll get the date?
[Woman’s voice, anxious and disjointed] Doctor, we [smelled the?] fires and we had to leave the area. The management [made it?] across the pedestrian bridge before the barricades went up. The police have River Road off - completely cut off and the firetrucks are blocking the bridge. We tried your cell after we realized something was wrong, but… Well… We know how successful that endeavor was. I was wondering if you could make contact with your wife. Anyway, Adam and I are safe, but we’re horrendously worried for you. Please, please be safe and contact us as soon as possible. Adam is on edge and telling me we need to get further away and is saying something about a protocol? Please call me if you get the chance.
[William] James, it’s William. I just got a call. What the fuck? Call me. Please.
[Elizabeth, playful; sirens play in the background for the duration of the call] Heyyyy, doc. Missed you at the diner. But you sure as hell bit it with me! [laughing, both male and female] Well done! I gotta say, you have been a lot of fun. And, I mean that. But, well, you know what they say. All good things must come to an end. I’ll see you at the park, champ. Oh, and Maryann? Be a doll and leave the lights on for me?
[James, panicked; sirens play in the background for the duration of the call] Maryann! It’s me. I just - I just saw our son. I saw Evan! I was meeting with Elizabeth in Lambertville. She’d been in contact with Robert. We were all gonna meet at the diner, get a handle on the situation. We could learn so much. W-with her work with missing children, Robert’s expertise, and our whole situation? Anyway, we thought that the diner would be the best place to go, we’d be in public, it would be safe. Wrong, wrong goddammit! I made the wrong decision.
Before we got there, I was sitting on a bench, and a young man, he approached me. He sat - I, I fuckin’ leapt out of my skin, babe. It was him. It was our son. He - He was all grown up. He told me that this would all be over soon enough. I was so fucking scared when I saw that. I didn’t - at first - I, I was angry, too. I - I’ve missed him so - I need to know what happened. I almost started screaming. I was demanding an explanation, but before I could even turn to fully look at him, he was gone, evaporated - like into thin air. [sighs]
When I got to the diner, I got a call from Elizabeth. Wait, wait - fuck, what is it? Wait - So, anyway. I got to the diner, and I get a call from Elizabeth, and I heard that telltale bullshit static that we’ve heard on the phone before, you know what I’m talking about? I could barely understood her. I think I was hearing her tell me that this was a set up. And the diner that they were at, they went to, that they were at a different diner, that apparently I’d been given the slip, or something, I don’t know what the fuck she was saying. Anyway, I - I was wrong, I was in the wrong place.
After I hung up, I looked around, and everyone in this goddamn diner was looking at me. It was spooky. I gotta tell you, their eyes, man, they weren’t even blank, they were just full of hate. Three men closest to me threw down their forks, and they just started coming at me. Alright, and then the whole diner erupted into this… fuck… just coming after me, so I started taking off.
I had my gun… And I’m sorry, Maryann, please forgive me, but… I was shooting people, I saw them - they’re dying, they’re dead - there’s a lot of them dead. But it didn’t even stop them. There’s more coming, I don’t even know where the hell they came out of, it’s like it was like out of the fucking woodwork, man. Anyway, I ran into the kitchen, and there was a bunch of cooks, that the cooks, that the - everyone in the kitchen was coming after me - the plate washer, the cook, everybody was coming after me. I saw one girl go - her arm went into the deepfryer; she didn’t even - she didn’t even react, she didn’t cry, she wasn’t in a shock of pain - she just starting laughing this horrible, freakish laugh. It scared - it chilled me to my bone, I gotta tell you.
I snaked through the building as fast as I could. But I - I couldn’t find a way to get out.
There was smoke, it was building. Bodies were piling up. They were hurting each other, and I was still shooting at them. I could tell that they - the noise and the commotion had spread to the street. Either more of these people were joining the mob, or there were just people walking by wondering what was going on. But everybody was getting hurt. It seemed to me that everybody was coming after me.
Anyway, I backed myself into a bathroom, and I thought about what that wicked - that wicked boy on the park bench had said. “This will all be over soon.” A small painting of a willow tree hung on the wall. It was crooked. And I remember that made me think back to when all this had started, when we were still in Ohio, when happiness was still a thought, a goal, you, me, our family, something that was within reach, it was tangible, we could touch it, it was happiness, it was joy. Babe. I’m so damn sorry. We never got that.
Anyway, I got my way out of the restroom and I took off, and I heard the emergency response sounding, but I knew that they wouldn’t be exactly sympathetic. I tried - I tried to stay low and I kept moving. I stumbled through the woods and across the river road. I can hear the sirens, they’re getting more distant. But I know that they’re gonna find me soon. So I’m at the bottom of a hill, with one long path ahead. I see a tree just like the one in the painting. This is it. He knew it would end up like this. I probably should have also, maybe a long time ago, had I been thinking clearly. I know now that I’m being watched by him, Maryann. At this point, I know that that goddamn spectre, that fucking monster that took our children, and that I’ve hunted for all these years, he’s watching me too. I can feel him. The air is so thick, I can cut it with a knife or shoot it with a gun. Everything, everything has been leading to this point right now. It’s do or die. You know what I have to do.
I’m going to the tree at the top of the hill. I hope you receive this message. Know that I love you, babe. I always have, and I always will. I hope you will forgive me for dragging you, dragging us, into this mess, into this lifestyle. [sighs] You know, I’ve only ever wanted to help. I would love to believe that I succeeded. Maybe, maybe history can avenge me, huh? Maybe it can tell our story. Maybe it will help erase the monster the authorities paint me as. No matter. You know what you have to do. Follow our protocol. Disappear. Then. Then you know what you need to do if it doesn’t work. I love you. Maybe I’ll see you again. I sure as hell hope I do. I love you, babe. Bye.

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