Chapter 2: Sincerely, Dave

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Horror House

Reads: 15

I really, really don't like it when they turn up in the middle of city parks like this.
 
These, "occurrences" have been going on every other month for a while now, but normally they turn up on the fringes of town, or are discovered by hunters or anglers along the highways. Nine trees in a circle, always nine, of various species, and wrapped tightly from root to branch in human skin.
 
The distance of the trees, the diameter of the circle, the "tightness" of the skin wrappings are absolutely consistent. It's the strangest damn thing- well, no, I suppose not the strangest, but hell, it's weird. Hard to believe any one psycho can have the dedication or work ethic to ensure that every occurrence is as perfect as they are, which led us to the unspoken understanding that they were not being set up by any one person, or any person at all.
 
Todd on the night crew believes they grow out of the ground like it, at times when nobody is around. I hate to say it, but I sort of think he might be right. These ones that show up in the city are in places where I'm sure I hadn't noticed a ring of trees before. Todd might be on the right track.
 
Yeah, the city park is the worst, because people always stand by and stare and record with their phones. Kids hate it when they appear, and there's always some nut job who stumbles into the clean-up site blathering about the end of the world or some shit. I envy Todd on the night crew: at least they get to do their work in peace.
 
Anyways, I'm getting off track here. The reason I'm writing this email to you is because of something I saw at ourlast clean-up site. It kind of bothered me.
 
Alright, fuck: it scared the absolute shit out of me. I hate to email you on the weekend but you said I could reach out any time I felt in crisis and this seemed like an appropriate situation.
 
The skin that wraps around the trees is usually pretty mottled and dry, so it doesn't really identify as a particular ethnicity or sex. The patches are large (too large to really make sense unless they come from the backs of torsos) and we rarely ever see distinguishable features in them. This time was different, though. This time, and this has never happened before, the tree I was removing had an honest-to-god face on the trunk. A fully intact face. Obviously it was eyeless and hairless and stretched all out of proportion, but it looked familiar as all hell.
 
It's completely nonsensical to type it out now, but that face looked like Todd. I didn't tell anybody on the crew, I just did my usual tear down and clean-up duties, but it's been stuck in my head all damn day.
 
I've made up my mind to tell Todd about it. He might think I'm going nuts, but I doubt it. He'll likely be as intrigued about it as I am. Todd's a cool guy. He should be here soon.
 
I'll see you for the appointment next Thursday. It's really been helping.
 
Sincerely, Dave.


Submitted: June 23, 2022

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