Saturday, March 28, 2015


Everybody vanishes in the park. People still go into the park but these people know that they will never return. The people who still go into the park have lost all interest in life but they are still curious about what happens when you enter the park, so they go into the park. What becomes of them, no one knows. They are never heard from again.

The park can be seen beyond its perimeter railings and through the gate at its entrance. It is tended to, but by who? No one knows that either. Some believe the park is maintained by the people it retains. Their souls are trapped in the confines of the park and they are forever its slaves, mowing its grass and pruning its hedges. That's one of the legends anyway, but that's all it is, a story. No one knows the truth. All anyone knows is that if you go into the park you don't come out of the park. 'Gone to the park', is even a euphemistic term for death for those who live near the park, like me and you and everyone else.

The government sent the army out to see what was going on in the park. This was a few years ago. Tethered troops entered the park, communicating by radio with other troops who were stationed outside the park. They went in, walked up the lane, turned the corner and then the transmission crackled, hissed and went dead and the cable the troops were attached to slackened. Seven soldiers were sent in but they left it at that. Then they sent a robot in, a kind of little remote control thing on wheels with a camera attached. There are stories about the footage it sent back. Again, these are only stories. No one knows what it broadcast before it disappeared. Those who saw what the camera picked up were left without reason and babbling word salad. They then attempted to bomb the park from above but when they sent the planes up the pilots forgot what they were supposed to be doing and returned to base with their missiles still loaded.

The park is a quiet place. It has a strange draw to it. It seems so tranquil in there. Not remotely foreboding. You'd have to remind yourself not to go in if it wasn't cordoned off with police ribbon and signs that say 'keep out of the park'. When you see the signs that say 'keep out of the park', you say to yourself, 'oh yes, I really must keep out of the park' and you keep out of the park, but a part of you wonders what it would be like to go into the park.

Another odd thing about the park is that no one knows who put it there or when. No municipal records refer to it and there are no accounts of what was there before it. Some think that it has always been there. Others think that it only seems to be there but isn't there at all. I don't know what to think so I don't think about it that much. Most of us don't like to think about the park. We all know its there and sometimes, as I've said already, a lonely or desperate soul will discretely duck under the police cordon and wander off into it, but no one dwells on the park. No one discusses the park at any length and those that bring it up quickly find the subject changed. No one ever says, 'don't talk about the park,' they just start talking about things other than the park. The park is taboo.

No one speaks of the park. No one understands the park. No one knows what to do about the park. The park is rarely at the forefront of anyone's thoughts but we all know it's there, at the back of our minds. Just outside of our doors. The warm gentle wind of a permanent early autumn. The honey glow of an everlasting twilight, spreading through its branches. Beckoning.

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