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In my town, there is an apartment building that has lain empty for some time. I never really thought much about it, though I've walked by it many times on my way to the corner store, and often felt like something was watching me as I passed. The following is the text of a note I found pinned to a tree overhanging the sidewalk by this building.


Did you ever see some place that unsettled you, and you had no idea why? Often, we walk by such places every day, and think nothing of it. No matter how often we see them, though, the effect they have on us always remains the same. Time seems to slow down, our spine tingles, and our eyes are drawn to them. Getting past them, though, they seem to vanish from our minds entirely. Observing them, they are the focus of our attention, but we hardly even remember them when they are out of sight. Interestingly, even the most adventurous individuals seem to put off their plans to investigate them indefinitely. Not that they are afraid of such places, but rather that there always seem to be more important things to do. Something about these locations just seems to discourage our attention, while simultaneously and inexorably drawing it. It seems impossible that this could be so, and yet it happens every day. Despite how well we know our own neighbourhoods, there remain these certain locations that are like dark spots on our awareness. Even though we know that they are there, we know nothing about them, and seem never to learn any more.

Nearly all efforts to gather information on these places fail, but not all. Every so often, there is someone who is able to push past the feelings of aversion and find the motivation to investigate. Very few seem to get far, though. Even though they have the drive, there's just little information to be found. Research turns up nothing but dead ends. Getting the motivation to investigate is only the first obstacle. Once the prospective investigator has begun, they find that there are few people who know anything about these locations, and even fewer records on them. It is as though, to the outside world, these places simply do not exist. No one who is asked seems to know much about these places. Some people claim to have met others who have been inside. If you ask, though, no one can ever remember who they were. Despite this, those who press on will eventually begin to turn up small details. Even this, however, tells very little about what these places truly are.

That information is very hard to come by. How they begin may vary from one investigator to the next. Each follows their own path to the truth. Yet, the end result is always the same. As curiosity turns to obsession, they will inevitably be drawn to one singular conclusion. Research by conventional methods will no longer suffice. Every clue will lead only to greater dissatisfaction with the inability to learn more. When they realize this, they will decide to go to the only place where their attention can focus on the truth. At first, they may have trouble justifying this course of action to themselves. Instinct tells them that this course of action is foolish, but the drive to know pushes them onward. This is the turning point. Into the unknown they plunge, entering the dark spot on their awareness in search of the truth that has haunted them for so long. Normally, this is where the story ends. Going into the darkness is much easier than returning to tell what you have seen.


I've re-read this note quite a few times since I found it. Something about it just really nags at the back of my mind, for some reason. Of course, the fact that it was sitting right outside a location that has been, to me, exactly the kind of place it describes makes it pretty unsettling, but finding something like that outside any abandoned building would be creepy. Still, even though it could just be a joke that got to me, I keep finding myself looking for some hint that will lead to the promised greater truth.

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