Weeks ago, we sent one of our investigatory teams on a well-deserved vacation. They did not return. However, a parcel recently arrived at our offices, a vacation diary from the extremely affordable beach house we rented for them. Most of the diary entries were insipid. Teenagers loved the place, kids played in the ocean. Sometimes, the entries would recount minor inconveniences, mostly involving towels. The most recent entries, however, were of a different character.
May 30, 2015:
A beautiful spot! Lodgings were nice, and unbelievably affordable. They provided clean towels and there was only one very minor issue. Namely, the dimensions of the beach house were slightly larger on the inside than on the outside. At first, this was an issue of mere millimeters, however, each day, new rooms appeared! We were glad, since we had only paid for six rooms, and the TV could easily drown out the sounds audible through the walls. We decided to listen to these sounds. They were mechanical, but also sounded like breathing, or the beat of a heart, and these sounds told us things. We heard an ocean that was not our own. The water, when glimpsed through these windows - windows that did not look out onto our world, but another - was thick, like oil, and moved as molten metal might move under an intense wind. The steel things, all girdles and lights, were very informative. They told us of the scope of the universe, of the distances between ourselves and the past. One of the kids got upset at this, but the constructs assured him that they "were working on it."
As the wonderful vacation went on, we realized that weeks and months had passed in the span of mere hours. Thankfully, the staff did not charge us for the actual time we had spent basking in the majesty of the ever-multiplying constructs, but only for the infinitely small glimmer of time that we perceived.
Oh! Crossing the immense spaces that unfolded from the inside was excellent exercise. Plus, when we left, we saw some of the metal things out in the gulf, so that was nice.
August 22nd, 2015
We always love this beach, and were glad to be able to afford to come this year! The extra towels were a nice touch, and the patio is simply amazing. There was only one issue. We have become quite perturbed at our proximity to the ocean. The ocean tempts us toward her with pretty shells. She offers delicious seafood in her depths, urging us in. She licks at our toes with water that is never too cool nor too warm, but I know that she is tasting us! The ocean seeks to rise from the pit in which she is contained, and swallow us! She seeks to drown our cities and carry away our history! BEWARE! BEWARE!
5/5 - Would stay again.
August 29th, 2015
I never thought I'd be able to afford a place like this - we're RIGHT ON THE BEACH! I can hardly believe it! The neighbors are SUPER friendly and they know SO much about the ocean and about the oil and natural gas rigs that are offshore. One guy went on about it for HOURS! The only problem I have is that each night the surrounding renters have these CRAZY parties that begin at midnight and last until morning. Can you BELIEVE IT? They put bonfires up and down the beach, and there's dancing, and dogs, and I think I saw somebody naked, but I'm not going to complain, I mean, the kids were asleep and it was late. Oh, and there's always this horrible screaming at exactly 3 A.M, but it always ends just as soon as it starts. They have the BEST BBQ, too. I could always smell it around breakfast time, but it wasn't until yesterday that I got a chance to get up early enough to get any of it. It was DIVINE. I think it was pork, but when I asked them about they said it was an "island secret," which is cool because of course it is, but also weird because we're not on an island. This is a peninsula. I should have asked Ocean Man about it, but I think he's flirting with me or something, he's always got an eye on the house.
Anyway, we ran out of towels today. I should have just washed some, I guess, but I didn't. We'll use dirty ones tonight. I may have to keep an extra towel on hand, they're inviting me to their midnight beach party!
August 12th, 2015
Seven days, six rooms, six people, and - get this - only six towels! What the hell is wrong with these people? I suppose we could wash them, but this is supposed to be a vacation.
Maybe I'm just a little mad. I shouldn't be, because this place is so goddamn cheap (sorry for cussing, kids!) - but I guess if they're saving money by cutting corners on towel purchases, maybe I should have gone for the more expensive place!
I said six rooms, but I should have said seven. I'm sure it was there the day we moved in, but I didn't notice it, I guess. There's an old guy living in the little room upstairs, selling drugs. I don't normally buy drugs, but fortunately he gave me some for free when I told him I would call the cops. I think he's an Iraqi or something. Doesn't speak a lick of English, but when I said "COPS" and fake dialed at the phone, he got the idea, and gave me a bottle of the stuff, showed me how to drip it into my eye.
I wish I hadn't kicked him out! This is damn good stuff! I don't know what I'm gonna do without it. Each drop is a damn joy, that's for sure. Everything's a little blurry, at first, but then you see the most amazing things on the horizon, and feel so good about it.
SO GOOD! It's great, I'm using them now. Each time I use the drops, I see more lights on the horizon, it's wild. I gave some to my girlfriend, and she's saying the same thing. The crazy part is, we both see the same number of lights.
It's more lights every night! I can't wait for the next drop!
September 23rd, 2017
We haven't gotten here yet, but we were already here when we woke up, a morning that should have been a week ago. We can't leave the Island, even though it is a peninsula, there is a water surrounding it that we cannot cross. Every day, more towels arrive here, every day we move further into the future, not just by 24 hours, but by leaps and bounds. The people are maddened things, everything costs more than it should, and we do not know what will happen when we run out of money, trapped here. There is only one decrepit grocery store, and no one works there, the locals fear the door, the fish that come from the sea are strange things, they float, their size is never right. People see them and argue, in the sun, as it bleaches things to a metallic hue. We will never leave here. We send this book out. To the spires. To the metal things that nest in the sea. Two of the Islanders went out to them on a kayak, and never returned. The sea was calm. There was no way they didn't make it. We're trying again tonight with a raft made of the towels that appear each day in our closet. We would ask you to send help, but there is no way. We will always be ahead of you, with the things that have not yet been.
September 5th, 2015
WOW! This place is so great, especially for the price! I can't believe how many TOWELS we got! They already smell like the ocean breeze and the beach, too, so that's cool. There's a great grocery store right down the road, the staff is friendly and they sell anything you could ever want. Our tap water is sweet, and there was ice in the freezer when we got here.
That's another thing, the neighbors are great. One of them has the BEST BBQ, every morning, and the other has all these kayaks, they all look alike. He spends a lot of time inside, and every morning he hauls a kayak out from his house and takes it outside. I guess he sleeps with one in there, or something, but we never see him take one in. He let us borrow one, so that was cool!
There's only one little problem, and I hate to even think of it as a problem, since the kids love it so much. At the waterline, the beach bobs up and down and the ocean is dead still. The water is still wet, and you can swim in it, and the sand is still sand, you can walk on it if you're careful, but it makes these weird waves. Nobody else seems to think it's weird, and my kids look at me like I'm crazy when I make a deal about it, so maybe it's just normal here.
The kids do love that beach. They're spending so much time out there I think their little brains are getting scrambled by the sun. Just today, when I was telling Carl that the beach isn't normal, he started crying, and when I asked him why he was crying he said "Mommy, you're not from here! You'll never understand!"
September 12th, 2015:
What a weird journal! Must have come here after some real whackjobs, that's for sure. There's nothing strange about this place AT ALL. Though the last two seem lucky, with all their towels. I didn't get any! At least they're all honest about the price. It's so low!
I guess I found out why, though. I know this is America, and therefore, the whole thing is, technically, built on burial grounds, but there's a makeshift grave here, right on the beach. It washes away at night, but comes back every morning, so I guess someone tends to it. I told my wife I'd call the cops, but I get a feeling they know. Maybe it just looks like a grave, but it's not really a grave, you know? It's not like bodies come pouring out of it at low tide.
What does come pouring out of the thing is horseshoe crabs. It's gotta be some kind of horseshoe crab habitat. Hundreds go in and out of that thing all night long. At day, it's just a creepy pile of sand and rocks, but I made the mistake of going there early in the evening, and man - it looks like a church for those weird little things. According to Mr. Ocean-Loving Kayak Guy, if you were gonna crucify a horseshoe crab, you'd need a ten sided cross, but, I don't wanna get into anything sacrilegious in here like some of these other knuckleheads.
September 19th, 2015
Pretty good spot! Plenty of towels, cheap rent, nice big TV. The other guys watch a lot of TV. I get the feeling that they all face the TV in a vain hope that they can one day change what is going on, by changing what they see.
PS: The seagulls keep asking me to accept their Lord and Savior, CAAKAA, but I don't know.