I just need to get this off my chest.
My name is Davey. It was the summer of 2010, in Northwest Florida. I was eighteen. I haven’t slept right since.
I was a kid, and I was into movies. Particularly, making them. That included writing, directing, editing, and possibly acting, if I was the only one suitable enough. I had just graduated, free to do what I want, when I want, with what felt like could be an endless two months, if spent correctly.
I had plans. Not a job, no, something I already marked off my list. I had been saving up all year long doing simple tasks around the house and for neighbors- washing cars, mowing the lawn, cleaning out pools, etc. Add this together with Christmas, birthday, and ‘just cause’ cash, you end up with some hundreds to spend on whatever is deemed fit.
I had written a script. It was a Coming-of-Age thing about two cousins finding hope in hopeless situation, or something like that, fairly simple. I tried my best to avoid the average clichés and plot holes that seemed to burden most of the writers around my age, and for the most part I did. At the time I had felt it was one of the best things I had ever written, I was so proud of it and wanted to make it a reality with every fiber of my being. So, with a short screenplay, a decent camera and a few friends willing to make asses out of themselves on the apparent ‘Big screen’, I had a start.
I was willing to try and create something that would hopefully make me stand out from the crowd. We had locations, we had actors, we had props… hell, we even had an extra camera to help film a ‘Behind the scenes’ thing. I remember we had plans on putting it on YouTube, and if it was good enough, come Fall try and enter it for some local film festivals. I didn’t really care about the prize money, I just wanted to get noticed by someone – anyone. That being said, I had plans to return the share equally if we came across financial gain.
It was a crisp, clear afternoon without a cloud in the sky, bright and sunny. There were trees everywhere, encasing just about everything they came in contact with into a forest-like structure. I and a group of about seven others had taken two cars to one of the actors' Uncle’s thirty-acre property in somewhat rural Gainesville. Jason, one of the leads, had cleared it with him a few weeks earlier, actually driving up here and scouting out which areas would be best for shooting at the place. His Uncle also actually seemed sort of interested with our project too, so it was a definite plus. It was about a two hour drive with nothing but script, film and acting jargon to discuss, so it only fueled everyone more for the actual task ahead.
After we all pulled up the long dirt path that was supposed to serve as a driveway, everyone piled out of the cars, stiff, sore and anxious to get started. My friend and producer at the time, Craig, was helping another actor get all the equipment out of the trunks- microphones, boom stands, a tripod, a camera crane and dolly- that money went to good use. Everyone else was setting up, so I went over to Jason with a copy of the script to rehearse a monologue he had had trouble memorizing for a scene we were planning to shoot first that day in particular. It was one of the big emotional scenes when one cousin was yelling at the other over a situation they had just encountered that dealt with someone they knew had killed themselves, and how they both reacted to it. Jason’s back was to the part of the forest where we parked, and I was standing in front of him.
While we were rehearsing, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye while he was looking down at the script, trying to find the right part. Between some bushes and a small pine tree around a hundred feet away from us, I thought I saw a silhouette of a dark figure. It was just, standing there. Not moving at all, watching us, watching… me. It had small, beady eyes- dark… although shiny yellow in color. For some reason, it reminded me of a crescent moon. I stared at for a good few seconds, and it stared right back. Maybe it was seconds, maybe it was minutes, I think it was seconds… it was almost like I was in an odd, hypnotic state. I couldn’t see its eyes, make out a face, anything. I couldn’t even tell the gender. I… didn’t look away…
"Davey- Davey? What are you doing?”
Jason’s voice snapped me back to Earth, and the reality of what was going on around us. I was able to look over, made eye contact with him, and blinked several times. He had a confused look on his face. He looked behind his back in the direction I had been fixated upon, then back at me.
“Are you okay?”
I blanked. I looked back over his shoulder to the same spot where the figure was. It was gone.
Jason just looked at me, and then shrugged. He handed me the script back and started walking towards his car.
“I’m going to the house to let em’ know we’re here, you coming?”
The question took me by surprise, for some reason. I took a pause, then nodded in agreement. I started to walk towards the car with him, but not before walking over to Craig and telling him first:
“We’re are going up to the house, we’ll be back in like ten minutes. Have everything done by the time we get back.”
Craig waved his hand signifying he understood- he was busy setting up the tripod and mounting the camera. I sighed, and walked off back to the car. Jason was already in, one hand on the wheel and one hand on the transmission, fingers tapping impatiently.
As I set myself down in the passenger seat and closed the door, my mind couldn’t help but trail back to that figure. I was tired, that wasn’t a lie. I had gotten around four hours of sleep the previous night, mainly due to my excitement. It was my imagination, I thought. It’s safe; nothing was going to hinder me, or anyone else, out there today. Especially not today… any day but that day.
After a few minutes of nothing but a long dirt road with trees crowding either side, we finally pulled up to the small farm house that seemed to be the center of the property. As I opened the car door, the humid Floridian air hit my face with an unexpected and uprising force- I was just getting used to the AC that flowed from the car. You think after living here your whole life it’s something you get used to. It’s not. The house itself was a small, one story building no more than around sixty feet in length and width.
Chipped drywall was the highlight of the abode itself, that and its pale and dusty shingles. Grey in color, black in feel. For some reason, this place felt off compared to the rest of the property, and I can’t say why. Although, on the way to the door I noticed it seemed… darker, darker than anywhere else around this big place. Odd.
We we’re soon greeted by Jason’s Uncle, Uncle Dean. He was in his early 50’s, wearing an old and wrinkled plain white T along with some Khaki’s and some faded loafers, and around six feet tall. He had dark brown hair, broad shoulders and a cheerful disposition. He felt very out of place down here, but was nice, none the less. He had a wise look about him.
“Hey, we just popped by to let you know we’re here.”
“Great, great… good to hear. Thanks for letting me know.”
It was quick conversation, just to give him the heads up. We both turned around and started to walk back to the car, but right before we were able to get in, Dean spoke up:
“Hey, where we’re you guy’s uh, planning on being today?”
“Just around an acre or two from the entrance, nothing far.”
“Okay… just, can you guys stay away from the old barn near there? It has a really old foundation, plus who knows what kind of bugs, rats… I don’t know. Just be careful.”
Before either of us could respond, Dean went inside the house fairly quickly and shut the door behind him. Jason and I just looked at each other, confused. Without any other explanation, we just shrugged it off, got back in the car and turned around back in the direction we came to start the day.
“Why do you think he would mention that?”
“I don’t know, trying to keep us safe I guess.”
I stared off into space, pondering. There was something about here, this area, which didn’t sit right with me. Where are we? Why did we come out this far? What is this place exactly? What was that thing early? Am I losing my mind? These thoughts rushed through my head, one by one, as I tried to think of a logical explanation as to why everything felt so off. There was no avail. Eventually, I got so lost in my own thoughts I forgot what I was even thinking about. All I wanted to do was get this movie over with.
“Three, Two, One… Action!”
I yelled. It began, my current dream was actually being put into motion. Jason was standing in front of the camera, Craig was behind it, while I and several others were waiting and watching, hoping that everything would turn out for the best. I held my breath in anticipation.
“Look, Pat, I don’t know, okay? What do you expect, what should anyone expect from the bullshit you threw down on the table back there. Now it’s anyone’s game.”
Jason was a natural; it was almost too good to be true. Everyone else seemed impressed as well, everything was going as planned. Mike in place, tripod set, camera rolling, actors acting. I felt like I was actually accomplishing something. Saving the details, we did that scene, it lasted a few more minutes and Jason and Steven, the supporting actor, did great. After that, we did a few more scenes adjacent to the script since we were in the area and we had gotten what we felt was a good amount of usable footage. Then, we settled down, had lunch, and everyone was happy. Nothing out of the ordinary. That was, until Craig decided to do some exploring.
“Dude, you see the barn? That’d be perfect for scene four, we need a rural backdrop.”
You could hear the excitement in his voice. Before anyone could stop him, he grabbed the camera and started to walk in the direction of the barn. It was a few acres away, so it was a bit of a walk for him. I and Jason tried telling him that we weren’t allowed over there, but he didn’t seem to hear us, or didn’t want to. We all ended up getting there fairly quickly, trying to keep up pace with Craig, and too a hold of the sight before us. The barn was big, pretty damn big. It was a bit more than a quarter of a length of a football field. It was made of wood- chipping, rotting wood. Lovely. Craig started setting up everything, Jason spoke up-
“We can’t be here.”
“My Uncle said-”
“Look, we’ll be in and out, quick. Come on.”
I was skeptical, yes, but… I didn’t see any harm shooting outside of the barn for a few minutes, just to get what we needed. I decided after some hard thinking, we’d be fine. Looking it over, it seemed normal, it seemed like an average place. It felt strange, though, I had a weird attraction to it. It’s hard to explain, very hard, but… something about it made me feel… transparent, spaced out- sort of like no one was there, nothing was really going on… that everything just ceased to exist. I didn’t feel real.
We set up, and we shot what we needed, and we were done. Simple as that. Although, right as we were about to leave, we heard a loud, metallic bang. We all turned around, wondering where it had come from. After a few seconds of looking around aimlessly, everyone’s eyes met at the same place- the barn. We should have left; we should have just ignored it and moved on back to where we came. But we couldn’t, we didn’t want to. I realized I wasn’t the only one who felt the feeling I had earlier.
Everyone was too curious; everyone was too fascinated by what could lie behind those large, wooden doors. Even Jason and I couldn’t help but wonder what was inside. Something was pulling us, all of us. It wasn’t just a feeling, it was… a command. Me, Jason and Craig dropped what we we’re doing and ran over to the barn doors and pulled them open with all of our might. They groaned open and with a large thud, there was the gap that lead us to the answer we had been looking for. It lead to an answer that was better off unknown.
It was filled. To the brim, on the floor, from the ceiling, tacked to the fucking walls- bodies. Corpses- missing limbs, blood splattered floors, a hacksaw- why… why, I didn’t know. No, no… thirty seven. I, I counted thirty seven. Dear God, why…. they didn’t deserve this, no one deserved this--- please, I can’t think…. The voices, they won’t stop, they won’t fucking stop.
No, no I didn’t do anything. Please make it go away, plese mak it go awy I didt thk tht I wold evr no plz no ii didn’t do0000oooo................................................................................................................................................
RURAL GAINESVILLE, WAKE PROPERTY. 5:03 PM:Edit
Craig Patterson, Aged 18. Fatal blow to skull with strong, blunt object. Cerebral hemorrhage.
Jason Wake, Aged 19. Stabbed eight times in the abdomen, twice in the left eye with sharp metal instrument. Exsanguination. Autopsy shown rust traces.
Steven Burke, Aged 18. Struck several times in chest with strong, blunt object. Seven broken ribs, internal bleeding occurring. Cardiac arrest.
Neil Chapman, Aged 17. Head smashed in with strong, blunt object. Cerebral hemorrhage.
Tyler Sokham, Aged 18. Throat found slit with sharp, metal instrument. Exsanguination.
Jonathan Phillips, Aged 18. Stabbed three times in the chest, punctured lung. Exsanguination.
Dean Wake, Aged 52. Suffocation due to strangulation.
Davey Clark, Age 18.
Eighteen year old Davey Clark admitted for homicide of seven in the second degree on the Wake property dated July 13th, 2010 from what can be gathered as occurring from 1 – 2 PM. 911 call recordings later reveal Clark was the one to alert local law enforcement of homicidal tendencies-
Story as seen above transcribed, written on four plain sheets of notebook paper in pencil found by authorities shortly after arriving on the scene in the Wake household. On arrival, Clark was found cowering in corner, whispering to himself, shaking and crying. Individual deemed mentally unstable.
Motivation inherently unknown.