Tuesday, June 17, 2008
This is part of a letter. I got a little wrapped up in a story, and even though it's not address to any of you, I thought I would share it because you were there.
All this talk of creepy scenes and hauntings is making me nostalgic for the south. All the lands here are soaked in just as much blood and hardships I suppose, but nothing can replace the feeling of swimming in a 20ft deep ravine dug by slaves long before. Especially when the back drop is an abandoned water works building in a failed river community. A trade industry that dried up years before I was born. "fall out of the window, with confetti in my hair"
At night, the river wasn't always an option. I remember that on some nights we would go to the store and buy their entire stock of whip cream cans and start driving down Silver Bluff Road, smoking ourselves silly. The road begins in one of the more developed areas of Aiken, SC, but if you follow south for some 5-10 milesit turns errie and devoid of light, except for a few distant radio towers with intermitant, red glowing bulbs. There are some dirt roads you could turn on to, but the plan is to take silver bluff all the way to the end.
The road ends in a Y-fork. To continue in either direction, you will be on dirt from now on. Veer to the right and you'll be on someone's mile-long drive way. Not the time of night to be making new friends in this neighborhood. Taking a slight left, and you can only hope that it means you'll be pretty much alone on another, even longer dirt road. To the left is mostly overgrown fields right after a single line of various trees. The right side is a three foot drop followed by dense forest. Concentration and traction are of upmost importance, so conversation ceases and the radio is cranked to eleven. (from 7 yrs later I'm guessing that the music is either Aphex Twin--ambient works or ICCYD or maybe some other electronic music ala digweed)
The windows are down, and despite the over-powering volume of the stereo, there is an audible buzz that's getting louder and louder. The source is obvious. Insects of all shapes and sizes, fighting, dying, fucking, hissing by the thousands, from all directions. They descend on the car in furry, just to get a taste of your highbeams. It's so dark out, that nothing exists outside the reach of your headlights. Insects are half the worlds weight.
The road ends and turns into less of a dirt road and more like beat down rotten foliage. This continues for another 50 ft before you stop, cutting the lights, the music, the engine, total silence. The insects, now viewed almost as comforting companions, have left. For lack of light? It actually seemed as if they disappeared before we even stopped. Leaving two of us, sometimes three in complete blackness and quiet. The type of blackness and quiet that can never be know within a possible 30 mile radius of san diego or los angeles. So quiet that it's loud. Roll the windows all the way down, and you can hear the air speaking.
After a few minutes, your eyes adjust and it's time to suck down some nitrous and gather the nerve to get out of your car. Stepping out, every leaf and twig under your feet is earsplitting. It is impossible to go unnoticed. In front of us there is a one story red building with an enormous gable-style roof that stands another story or two taller.
It stands above the ground a few feet atop many skeletal supports. There's a weathered cement staircase leading to the front door. Either the stairs have moved or the building has, because they don't quite meet up like they should. The front door is locked, and no one has the gall to try and force it.
It was obvious from the outside that this was at one time a small church, serving only a few families of deep country outsiders---presumably, members of which are the ones buried of to the side in overgrown rising graves with their crooked and decaying markers all covered in mossy growths...impossible to read. There's only four or five graves that we can see. We continue to follow around to the back of the church. Here there's some strange cage-like structures, use unknown, and a laundry line that's rusted and a possible danger had we not been so cautious.
The back door is found to be unlocked, and once opened we find our selves in the pulpit facing a congregation that's not been in attendance for quite some time. Or have they?
At this point the strain on our eyes has become to much.
Or maybe it was a combination of drugs, blackness, and corpses. Or maybe true paranormal contact. Regardless of their validity, people start to hear and see things. By the time we make a break for the car, it's hard not to fall over each other, or worse yet get decapitated by a rusty wire tween to trees.
Engine on, lights on, we're gone. Traction and concentration be damned! With the church behind us now we're not the only light in the mire, and until we are the bugs stay away. No one breathes until they do.
I just tried to google earth this chruch, but it looks like it's no more. All paved roads down silver bluff.