There was little to nothing strange about the town. There was no exact reason why a man like I would decide to stay. The town was small, everyone knew well each other. There were little crimes, which would be merely small robberies, and sometimes some vandalism, mostly by teens trying to be cool, but nothing beyond the line. The town could be described as dull and ordinary, but yet I stayed; perhaps there was something strange about the residents. Perhaps there was more than the good old neighbor attitude and all the inhuman friendly smiles all the residents had or I was just overlooking at them.
All the residents were gentle and sympathetic upon my arrival. They found me a nice hotel and gave me a pamphlet of the dairy activities the town had; my stomach crumbled discomforted every single time I glanced at the pamphlet. The words were in perfectly in rows, all the periods were in a single vertical line at the end of each sentence, the pictures were exactly in the middle of each page, and the list showed every single activity… at a very specific time along with the “gentle” message of not being late (But, as I said, it could be just an overlook.). I had no interest in the activities, so I decided to stay and rest after a long trip; hours later my phone was drowning with hundreds of messages, missed calls, and voice mails which delivered from:
Where are you?
Mr. Ostrich, you are absent from the activities. Are you feeling alright?
Mr. Ostrich, you are being late! You need to be in downtown right now!
Mika A. Ostrich, you are officially late. This is the first warning, DO NOT BE LATE AGAIN! CONSEQUENCES WILL BE RECEIVED.
I was mortified and paranoid. I did not give them any information besides my name and the hotel I was residing in. First thing in the morning, as I made my mind, I would check out and leave the town as soon as possible. I packed up my belongings and leave the hotel. I searched for my car…but it was gone. I talked with the managers, the people who received me; but I was given every time the same answer by those devils along with a “friendly” smile.
“Sorry,” They said smiling “There was no car. Have a nice day and see you at the activities, neighbor.”
I had no other choice, I was forced, to stay. I bitterly returned to my room and unpack all my belongings. I tried to reach to the police, the only answers were laughs; I was unable to call for aid, it was clear that I was stranded. Afraid of being drowned by the messages, I came to the town activities as early as possible. I concluded, in an attempt to keep my sanity alive, about the town is a purgatory. That would be the main reason why I was stranded, the obnoxious attitude of the residents and their disturbing smiles. I was dead. I died! Yes. I probably died on the road and now my soul was trapped on earth until I rise to heaven; but, if this was purgatory…then how long those people had been here? Would I stay here forever?
I took a lunch break. I wanted to let my mind rest, and let my sanity recover. One of the residents casually sat next to me and handed me a folded paper before fleeing away when another resident saw him. I narrowed my eyes for a moment as I hesitated to open it. I was learning more every minute about the town. I couldn’t trust anyone. Sabotage was a high possibility to provoke one tiny mistake which would let me live eternal life in agony, but the curiosity was strong. Just like a wild beast, I couldn’t go against my nature. The curiosity was strong, and my hands were shaken. I carefully placed my thumbs inside the paper and fold it back against itself.
Robert h. King
Meet me behind the statue of the blind woman who always keeps balance behind the main offices by midnight if you want to live.
My heart pounded violently as I unconsciously repeated the last sentence in disbelief. Would I be killed? But…I was dead, wasn’t I? Could the devilish town be worse than a mortal imagine? Could be this hell and I’m reviving my death once again? My fright and wonder were destroying what I had of my sanity! Yes. I was surely becoming insane; paranoid to be exact. He requested my presence, expected me to be behind the statue behind the main offices; my senses told me he knew more than I ever suspected. There was the possibility of being dead, anyone in the town could kill me easily, and never find out the truth; there was the chance of meeting a stranger, a possible assassin, and take the risk of dying. Both situations were unpleasant, but a choice had to be made.
I was conflicted to leave the hotel at such late hours. All my belongings could be stolen, or worse! But I had made up my mind and straightened my sanity. I could bear no longer find the truth about the damned town. I slipped within the halls. Cautiously made my steps as I gently tiptoed towards the exit, and closed the door without making any sound. I stayed in the darkness, avoiding the sight of anyone passing by until I reach the destination where He was waiting. We did not exchange any words, my fear took my voice, or introduce each other; however, he handed me an old diary made of leather before fleeing once again. Something inside me told me to open at the hotel, so I did it.
September 11, 1998
My darling wife, Angela, and my precious 3 children: Victoria, Anne, and Richmond were the only company I had when we arrived at the town. We were on a way to our vacations for the summer until we needed a place to rest for the night. The town residents kindly set us to a hotel and gave us a pamphlet about the activities downtown. The following morning we found our car missing; we reported to the police and question the managers at the hotel, but they claimed we didn’t have a car to start.
Angela later found all our belongings, which were in our car, at our room in the hotel. We all agreed there was no way to escape and return to our destination. We reported to the community service (The “activities” were just like the ones a prisoner would do in community service.) where we later found out there were other unfortunate souls like ours. They claimed that it was too dangerous to talk because he was listening to everything we said. This was just the start for the worst.
A sign of relief and fright ran down my spine. I wasn’t the only one who was trapped in the town, but that meant this was a spider web waiting for the next pray. The next day I received a message around 3:35 in the morning; they request us to report earlier to the activities. I came as early as I could. A crowd of people was what I found. There were concerned mumbling and trembling. I carefully walked closer and stood next to Mr. King. My eyes were widened and my stomach crumbled. There was a dead body of a woman lying against the floor.
“November 17”. Mr. King murmured. Surprisingly, I understood what he meant.
The police arrived later and removed the body. We were sent back to our daily activities. Every single resident, as I could tell, murmured their concerns. They talked among each other about the poor woman, claiming that she didn’t deserve the punishment just because her health didn’t allow her to work. I was afraid to ask about her, they seemed pretty sensitive about the subject. We had a lunch break; then we were called to the main offices. A criminal was found guilty of the murder.
“Thomas Jenkins?” A tall strong policeman asked standing outside the offices with a large paper. “Is Thomas Jenkins here? Thomas Jenkins!”
The crowd moved. A young teenage boy around 17 stepped forward.
“Thomas Jenkins,” The policeman said concerned. “You are found guilty for the murder of Greta Willow.”
Everyone gasped in disbelief. The teenage boy remained quiet.
“Tommy is innocent! He is innocent, innocent I tell you!” One man cried. “Thomas never left the house. He didn’t know Greta pretty well!”
“Silence…” The policeman said in a rather tender and hesitant tone. He looked around before lowering his voice. “He is hearing everything behind the offices.”
Poor devil, they said, he was a good boy after all. God spare the life of the young man, others said. That was the last time I saw Thomas Jenkins; nobody talked about the crime or the fate Thomas Jenkins had. His parents were later buried along with the grave of their dear son. That was the same story for the entire month; every week someone would have found to be murdered and a person would take all the blame. I spend my free time reading old Mr. King’s diary and learned certain things:
The first warnings usually led to a permanent cut in communication; that was why I wasn’t able to communicate outside the town.
The second warnings led to a restriction in movement.
The third and fourth warnings lead to a more unpleasant destiny; just like the one Thomas Jenkins and Greta Willow among others.
All were talked in one single date:
November 17 of 2003
3 entire years living and serving the town of the devil had taught me the hard way the consequences of rebellious or situational acts. My Victoria fell ill the past months, Anne volunteer to take care of her. Once a week we received the first warning. We were confused at first, but we didn’t pay attention; One day we found ourselves in a little trouble as we lost our path, we tried to call some of our neighbors and friends. That day we learned exactly what the first consequence meant.
At mid-year, my leg suffered severe leisure. I wasn’t able to report to work, Angela and the kids went as I rested. I received a second warning. I had no doubt or fear, I thought it would be just a simple restriction. I was right, but I was wrong to relax. The following day I was called to report at the office, they said they would fix my leg; I had surgery without anesthesia, a device was inside my legs restricting certain movement. We avoided staying for long periods at our dear home….until 2 weeks later.
Victoria and Anne were getting weaker as the last 3 months passed. Victoria received a level 3 warning, Anne a level 4. There was no live surgery or restriction. Nothing occurred. We were worried. The past week Anne was missing. We later found her body on the street. That was a level 4 warning. Victoria was arrested for the “murder” of her sister; she was hanged the following day. We lost two members of our family.
Today I found the lifeless bodies of my wife and only son. Angela fell into a deep depression and took hers and our son’s lives in our room. I cried all day long but yet worked as I tried to avoid the same fate my dear ones received. I swear I’ll kill with my own hands the person in charge of the entire town. The one that stranded us. I took the life of my daughters and made my wife and son end their suffering. His or her blood would be my drink of justice!
My admiration for the old Mr. King grew each day as I continued to read his diary. He was a persistent man and a true fighter. Having lost everything that he had, he wanted to set justice to his loved ones, although it meant he’ll have to get his hands dirty. Having no communication, I tried my best to meet up with Mr. King; the old man was a fox. He cautiously convinces a few others to join the cause but made sure no one knew who was in or out. He met personally with every single person on his side and provided information without an exchange of words.
I was given the theories of a single man controlling the entire town. Mr. King, the old goody fox, had previously written about the main offices being out of boundaries; He came up with the Mayor, who was rarely mentioned, being in charge. The mayor was thought to be protected in his offices, where a group of guards keeps an eye on intruders. Mr. King had failed many times to infiltrate due to his legs, but he figures the exact opportunity to enter. I made my mind to do trespass and gain as much information as I could. I planned the exact moment to strike. I met with Mr. King, it was the first time we ever get to talk.
“You’re a brave man, Mr. Ostrich”. Mr. King said in a bitter tone as he lighted a cigarette. “There is a high risk of dying.”
“As long I find out the truth about this hell,” I said in fury. “I do not care if I die, as long as no one else falls in our dreadful destiny.”
“Take no gun, and leave no blood.” He said as he gently patted my shoulder. “Leave all the evidence you can bury in the first place we met. One of us will take it out and continue along with the others. All of you will take our little rebellion as I’m too old to continue as death will soon come to me.”
I gently slipped through the dark streets a few months after. Mr. King had died of natural causes. I along with other people would maintain his legacy alive and put an end to the mystery of who was in charge. I hid behind the statue and patiently waited for the guards to leave. It took 3 hours, but it was worth it. I forced my entrance through a window and hid when there was suspicion. I crawled cautiously through the empty offices until I arrived at the mayor’s; there were silence and a strong rotting smell. I enter nevertheless.
There were only the rotting bodies of the King family.