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The following audio recording is classified documentation for case (static) with The Enclosure, unauthorized access to this information will lead to immediate intervention. Progress further if proper clearance has been given.
I really need to get into the habit of doing this more often. Dr. Daman keeps asking how this is going but I rarely have anything to tell her that she seems to want to hear. She really wants me to do this regularly, but sitting at my desk with a sore back didn’t sound too appealing…especially if I didn’t have to.
Even though my back is feeling a bit better after the Snipe Hunt tournament incident, I’m actually recording this from a bed and breakfast. And I’m tired.
Not even a vacation, it’s more of a…work trip. Not terribly much has happened since my last update.
Darius’ birthday was recently. He had a little get-together with some friends and he even invited me along, which was…really nice. I made sure to get there a little early, especially since it was a day off of work for me. We met up at WayTooth, a restaurant that his dads and him frequent often. I got there and just sat outside for a bit, fiddling on my phone, then Darius showed up. He was so excited for the party, I could tell, he smiled the second we made eye contact.
He jogged over to me and we talked for a bit, the weather is still pretty nice, it’s finally starting to get chillier, which is actually nicer, I prefer the layers. So we sat outside and enjoyed the weather as we talked until his other friends showed up. They were all nice, but I kinda stuck by Darius most of the day since he was the only one that I really knew. After lunch, we all went to a drive-in theater that they’ve got set up here in town, which is mostly just a projector and a large painted brick wall, but it was still a nice time. His friends all sat in different cars as we watched the movie, but Darius and I sat in the bed of his truck and ate snacks that he had packed. Darius is a really good cook, he’s learning a lot of cool stuff from that class he’s taking.
I gave him a little gift, of course. Well, two things. I got him a new wrench set since he’d been saying that he needed a new one, his old one’s been a bit worn-down for a while, uh, gifts to give him in front of his friends, since he really plays up the whole inheriting the family farm shtick around them. But we, when we were in his truck, just the two of us, I gave him his second gift. He said he had really gotten into cross-stitching recently, and he’d seemed a little embarrassed about it. But I wanted him to know that I thought that was interesting, so I got him a little pack of stitching patterns and some thread organizers. I wasn’t sure what kinda patterns he’d like, so I just got him a couple of different kinds.
He was quiet for a few moments after he opened that gift, and I kind of panicked for a moment honestly. But he then gave me a really big smile and put his hand on my shoulder. He gave me a really soft thank you and I told him it was my pleasure…as long as he made me something. It was an obvious joke, at least I hoped it was obvious, but he asked what I’d want.
I told him I like birds. Birds have so much freedom to just fly around and always sing such pretty songs. Besides geese, I don’t like geese. He asked me if I had any favorites, I said I like blue jays. Major assholes, but beautiful. He laughed and he said he’d give it his best shot…but I told him that I’d hang up anything he made me.
And that was about it. We barely watched the movie, we spent most of the time quietly talking, actually.
What else have I done?
Well, Dr. Castillo and I went and investigated the energy signatures from the cornfields after Todd told us to do so and ya know what we found?
Corn. That’s it. Oh, and more corn. No energy spikes, no signs of tomfoolery of the natural or supernatural kind: nothing. It was almost strange how untouched by supernatural energies it seemed…We investigated durin’ the day and at night, no changes. So we’ve been keepin’ tabs on the fields, but nothing that’s been too notable has happened when we’re out there.
We’ve been passin’ a lot of our time in the labs reorganizing files, going over the energy spikes that have been recorded, and theorizing what we could possibly be dealing with there. But, until we can further examine it, there is not much we can do. Ever since they replaced my old lab partner, my workload has been much lighter. I actually prefer to be busy than bored, and I think Dr. Castillo isn’t used to having idle hands either…
They only ever give me small menial tasks and it’s becoming more annoying than anything else. But I-I did recently see my…old lab partner, Dr. Lomax, in the hall this morning. I’ve seen them in passing a few times, but we haven’t been able to catch up much since the sudden change. Dr. Lomax also has no idea why they got suddenly switched to a different lab. Seems that none of us know why the change was made, all Todd said was ‘just had to rearrange some staff, don’t worry about it!”
Speaking of, before I left work today, I got another email from Todd. Typically his emails are him asking us to do something and then him talking himself up for multiple paragraphs and making it seem like it should be a privilege to do what he’s asking you to do. But, this email was him actually giving me lodging information for the local inn, and explaining that I had to pack up a bag and go. They apparently planned to do renovations or something on my house due to a concern of faulty plumbing. I’d mentioned to Dr. Daman about the less-than-stellar heating system when I wanted to take a bath or do dishes, but I didn’t expect anyone to actually do anything about it.
But a night without weird tapping on my door sounded nice, and even though I replied to the email basically saying “oh no, you really don’t have to, I can live with it”, Todd insisted.
I could just see his smug smile on the other side of the screen. He’ll subtly hold it over my head for later, but the rule of “one denial for good ‘polite’ measure then acceptance of an offer” had been met and I was off home to pack a bag.
And here I am now.
The Chronicle Inn Bed and Breakfast is run by an older married couple, Ester and Laura. I’d met them a few times before my stay here, but I hadn’t spent much time with them. This place is mostly a restaurant and homemade goods store rather than an inn, considering we don’t get many outsiders who stay here any longer than to grab a bite to eat and get gas. But, for times like these, it’s nice to have an inn available. Even if it’s only a few rooms (laugh), it’s much better than staying at the facilities that The Enclosure has on-site.
Work would have likely put me into a temporary on-site lodging space if the inn wasn’t available. To be honest, I’m surprised they actually put me in the inn instead of just tossing me into some temp lodging room for a night. Maybe they remembered how much I hate that place.
It’s nearly impossible to sleep with the buzzing lights, and the beds really aren’t made for comfort, and the bathrooms are all so…claustrophobic. I swear, they make that place as uncomfortable as possible so people want to leave. That, or they just skimped on the prices for a comfortable setup to focus the money elsewhere at The Enclosure, I’d believe that…
Though, maybe they booked me at this place to have me investigate something while I’m here. Can’t even enjoy this nice little one-night getaway, huh? They expect me to work? Do they plan to pay me for looking into things overnight? Prob’ly not, not like they ever pay me for the full work I do anyways.
Ugh, the room I’m in is kinda known for weird happenings…the whole town knows, but there’s not a huge fuss over it. No one’s died from it, so why be too concerned?
Ester warned me about these ‘weird happenings’ while I was checking in. There’s word of a spirit that haunts the upper floor of the building, been here for as long as anyone can recall. She explained it all to me with a smile and a jovial tone, so she doesn’t seem concerned. After the literal run-in with the deer a few weeks ago, I really just wanted some rest.
Her wife Laura told me that they serve breakfast at 7 am but they’ll be at the desk to take my key as early as 6. Thankfully tomorrow my shift starts at 8 instead of the usual 6, so I might be able to actually get some real food in me before work.
Didn’t take me too long to get up here and settled in. I decided to just relax today instead of going out into town, so I did some reading in bed. Not that I could really focus much, the bed here is nice and cozy, but there’s definitely a vibe about it. The room, not the bed. The rest of the inn is very homey, lived in, but in a good way, but the second I got to the top of the stairs it was like the air got barely but still noticeably cooler.
When I came into the room, I saw a little baggie of homemade beef jerky that Ester made and gave me. She’s known ‘round town for her jerkies and her woodwork. She’s always so hands-on with everything she makes, whether it’s snacks or a new set of chairs. She may have actually made the chair I’m sitting in right now, actually.
I sat outside for a bit, there’s a nice balcony that looks over some gardens and in the far distance I can see the vast fields. The evening felt so nice and I could see the little lightning bugs flying around as it got darker, I’ve always liked watching their dances. I often watch kids running around catching them in jars and then lettin’ them all go just minutes later, but I prefer to watch them do their own thing out in nature.
I watched the stars and the flicking lights of the lightning bugs for a bit, sipped on some sweet tea that Laura had brewed and offered me, ate some of the jerky that Ester made, and relaxed. I let my mind wander to wherever it went off to which, as usual, was all over the place.
But no tapping on the doors, no weird deer staring at me, it was nice…
But I keep feeling like something, or someone, is watching me. I feel that pretty often, but this is different. It feels…closer? If that makes sense?
Like right now I’m sitting in a plush chair by the window in the room, looking out over a nice herb garden out back… the stars are still twinkling, the wind is just slightly blowing, and I’ve been able to crack the window open for some breeze- but I feel like something is watching me from the doorway.
Like right now I’m sitting in a plush chair by the window in the room, looking over the nice herb garden out back…the stars are still twinkling, the wind is just slightly blowing, and I’ve been able to crack the window open for some breeze, but…I feel like something is watching me from the doorway.
I swear to gods if I turn around and someone is standing there… (deep nervous breath in)
When Ester was telling me about what I could possibly expect, she said that a spirit had been wandering around in the room I’m staying in. Sometimes the spirit watches people, sometimes the spirit just walks around and ignores the tenants. Must depend on her mood. But apparently something about the blue lamp by the bedside table really draws her out. (sigh)
Considering my line of work, and that my boss sent me here, I’m obviously going to turn on the light. Even if she’s not rumored to be particularly dangerous, if they are just wanting to keep me busy then I could see Todd throwing me here to look into it a bit more.
Okay, hold on, gimme a sec. Lemme see what happens-
Okay, hold on, give me a sec. Lemme see what happens-
(sound of lamp coming on, Jared sighs)
It’s a pretty little light, I don’t think I’ve seen a light this shade of blue outside of some of the lights put up around town in the winter. It’s… nice.
It’s a pretty light, I don’t think I’ve seen a light this shade of blue outside of some of the lights they put up around town in the winter. It’s nice.
I don’t know if she can hear me, but I do see someone standing by the door on the other side of the room… (sniffing) tobacco?
I don’t know if she can hear me, but I do see someone standing by the door, on the other side of the room…and um, (sniffing) tobacco?
I can hear you just fine.
Ah. Sorry about that.
… how are you?
Why do you ask?
Manners, I guess. Should I ask who are you?
I don’t think it really matters now. Besides, it’s better I ask who you are.
Oh, uh- Dr. Jared Hel. I’m a scientist with The Enclosure on the edge of town, I-
Who are you, not what are you. I know what you are.
…what I am is a person who would like to get some rest.
No, what you are is different. At least different from what I remember.
From what you remember? Have we met before?
Not exactly. Met isn’t the word I would use. But we’ve interacted.
… how so?
I’ve watched you from afar, I’ve seen what you do. I guess our paths have more indirectly crossed.
I’ve never studied you before. You’re not exactly the kind of thing The Enclosure typically sends me to study.
Then why are you here?
Well, work decided to fix the plumbing in my house, so they put me up here. To get some rest.
And yet you’re not here to study me?
… well, that’s actually unclear, I guess. I mean, if they’re going to book me the most haunted room in an inn, I guess they’re having me investigate- or Todd’s just messing with me. That seems like something he’d pull.
Messing with you? When did you start putting up with the antics of people like that?
(pause) Okay. I’m gonna be upfront: if we met more than two years ago, I have zero memory of any of that time. So this vague, cryptic talk is going to get you nowhere.
(brief pause) what are you doing with that thing?
This? (sound of the mic shuffling) It’s an audio journal. It takes less focus and energy than writing.
You just going to keep staring at me? Or…?
People don’t usually understand me this well for full conversations, so it has been quite a while. It isn’t as if Ester and Laura can clearly understand me- even if they have tried.
… how long have you been here?
Longer than I can remember. The rumors are that ever since the establishment of this town, whenever that may have been.
And when did we meet? … I mean, interact… indirectly?
For the first time? It was many, many years ago. But again, you’ve certainly changed.
But again, I don’t remember. You keep saying that and, ugh…oh god my head.
We won’t be getting very far right now…
No, wait wait wait- no hold on, hold on!…And…she’s gone. (slams hands on desk) Dammit! Why won’t anyone just tell me anything outright?
Ugh, my head…it’s always like this. They disappear for a while and then come back so suddenly. Ugh, I hate this flesh prison…
I’m done recording for now. I need to try and nurse this headache now and recover from whatever the he-…oh. It seems she left a little gift? Some…blue ribbon? It’s maybe…four or five inches long, a little frayed at the ends…it’s the same color as the lamp.
There’s something written on it. The handwriting’s a bit hard to read, but it looks like…
Jared, but with a distorted voice:
You need to remember.
Remember what?! How am I supposed to remember if no one ever tells me anything?! Everyone always pushes me to try and remember, but there’s nothing to remember if they’re making me grasp at thin air! They say they support me, that say they want to help, but what do they do to help, huh?
Remember what!? How am I supposed to remember if no one ever tells me anything!? Everyone always pushes me to try and remember, but there’s nothing to remember if they’re making me grasp at thin air! They say they support me, they say they want to help, but what do they do to help, huh?
All of this performative support is getting me nowhere…
(shouting towards the door where Blue Lady was) And how is this ribbon supposed to help?! You couldn’t have given me something a little less vague?
Ugh, why is everyone always so damn vague? Are they scared to just say something concrete? Why can’t anyone ever give me a straight answer!
Ugh, no, it’s fine. It’s fine. I’m just…I’m going to go to bed. Right. I’m going to get some sleep. No tapping, no knocking, just…sleep. I’m gonna go turn off the lamp and get some rest. Right. Ugh. Whatever. This is Dr. Jared Hel, signing off, I guess.
“Jar of Rebuke” is written and produced by Casper Oliver, who is also the voice of Dr. Jared Hell.
Voice of The Blue Lady provided by Misha Bakshi.
The intro is read by Vanessa Rosengrant, and credits are read by Ashlee Craft who has created the podcast’s official graphics.
Music was created by Luke Menniss (spelled M-E-N-N-I-S-S), who you can find and support on Bandcamp, Spotify, and Twitch.
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