Report 1: A Late Arrival

Sir,

I have arrived in Pannawau after a slight delay, which I record here because it may be of interest to you. Having packed a tuna fish sandwich for the car ride, I decided to stop for lunch at the picnic area of the Colorado Mystery Spot (whose physics, I am pleased to report, remain as ineffable as ever). I hadn’t taken even one bite, however, when I found myself visited by a tiny bird-faced man.

His approach was completely silent. I looked down to unwrap my sandwich, and when I looked up, he was there, standing on the table, his head tilted curiously to one side.

He looked at me.

He looked at my sandwich.

Then back at me again.

I pinched off a corner of the sandwich and he took it eagerly, his tiny hands clutching the offering tight as his beak peck-peck-pecked at the morsel of bread and fish. He bowed slightly when he finished, and then his black avian gaze met mine. Slowly, I sank into that birdy void, and knew the world as he knew it, as the birds knew it, the glory of the air and the updraft, the view from atop the pines. And the owls. Oh dear god the owls…

Birdseye

I blinked, and the tiny man was gone. The sun was setting, and my sandwich had gone stiff and stale in my nerveless hands.

But on to business.

I’ve settled into my room on the Alo reservation, at an establishment that normally caters to skiers. It’s called The Opa Lodge, which for reasons beyond my current comprehension has filled me with a nameless dread. I’ve been made very comfortable, however, and my hosts have been nothing but accommodating. I arrived too late for dinner, but the kitchen whipped me up a sandwich the likes of which I have never tasted. If that’s what they do for an inconveniently late guest, I can only imagine the glories of tomorrow morning’s continental breakfast.

I’m sure the stories of Alo cannibalism are exaggerated.

I have made note of the dossier’s blue folder, and am following protocol accordingly. Though I am operating in Pannawau under my field name of Clint Matthews, I will henceforth sign these entries under my Agency code number only. Further, our only communications on this case will be made via this secured agency intra-web blog, through which I will present the case as I see it, for your perusal only. I look forward to reading your case notes and amusing fishing anecdotes in the comments section.

But now, sir, I believe it’s time for me to turn in for the night. My Mystery Spot experience was quite exhausting, and I’ll be making an early start of it tomorrow.

Agent X-23, signing off.

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About Mark Brett

Shaved Yeti. Alien. Writer of stuff. Read my fiction at https://reportsfromthefieldblog.wordpress.com/. Read my thoughts on comic books and other dork culture ephemera at http://dorkforty.wordpress.com/. View all posts by Mark Brett

One response to “Report 1: A Late Arrival

  • Mark Brett

    That Mystery Spot experience bears more scrutiny, Clint. The Green Book indicates that the bird-faced man could be a Wanageeska manifestation. Some kind of warning. I know I don’t need to tell you this, considering the amount of Blue File activity in the Pannawau area, but if you got a warning from the White Mirror World, there might be some bad juju coming your way. So be careful out there.

    It’s funny you should mention fishing stories, though. I was up to Waukeega this weekend, and I caught a whopper. Five pounds of bass that cooked up nice and tender on the campfire that night. But as usual, I was upstaged by my friend Leroy. You remember Leroy, don’t you? Big fella with a bigger beard? Voice deep as the ocean?

    Well, Leroy had a line on a real lunker, a legendary bass the locals call Deep Joe. Some old timer at a gas station up Waukeega way had told Leroy about an inlet in the back country, place with a bunch of twisted old trees growing right down into the lake. Said that was Joe’s house, and if Leroy wanted any chance of catching him, he’d have to get down there before dawn, armed with a pure heart and the heaviest gauge line he could get his hands on. Now, I was pretty sure the old fella was yanking Leroy’s chain, but you know me: I’m in it for the trip as much as the fishing. Some deep woods camping sounded just fine, so when Leroy invited me up, I went.

    We got up there about mid-day on Friday, and started right out into the woods. Leroy had written the directions he’d gotten on the back of an old Shoney’s placemat, and for a while it looked like our path to glory might be blocked by an errant ketchup stain. But eventually, Leroy got his bearings and sure enough, just before nightfall, we found that inlet the old man was talking about. We made camp up the hill and settled in, but Leroy was like a kid on Christmas Eve. I don’t know if he slept at all, but considering what happened later, I think not.

    For my part, I turned in early. Figured Leroy would have me up way before the sun, and he’d need me to be fresh and cheerful when he didn’t get his lunker. Even still, I didn’t sleep well. Bad dreams on hard ground. Not a good night. Kept waking up, too. I remember rolling over a couple of times and seeing Leroy sitting there by the campfire, kind of agitated, eyes shining eager in the dark. Sometimes he was fiddling with his rod and reel. Others, he was hunched over his tackle box, muttering to himself about “the perfect bait.” He shut up quick when he realized I was awake, though, and apologized for waking me up. Hell of a nice guy, but he’s a little high-strung.

    Finally, around two in the morning, I woke up and Leroy wasn’t there. Rod was gone, too. But his tackle box was still there, and that’s what got me worried. At first, I figured he got antsy and headed down to the water in the dark. But just as I was about to roll over and go back to sleep, something in that tackle box moved.

    Now, Leroy’s not a live bait man, Clint. Believe it or not, he takes those big sausage fingers of his and uses them to tie flies and hand-craft his own lures. Weird-looking stuff, like something out of the Ultra-Violet Book. Always thought he might have a touch of the Sight. Still, nothing Leroy makes should have been moving on its own, so I forgot my number one rule and let curiosity get the better of me. I got up to look in the box, and immediately wished I hadn’t.

    But I’m letting this fish story ramble on too long on Agency time, so I’ll continue it later. In the meantime, Clint, do me a favor and record any dreams you have here on the intra-blog. I’m a little worried about that Mystery Spot encounter, and we have to maintain your mental hygiene in the field.

    Chief Bill Roberts, signing off.

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