Audio data from various sources, detailing the events which occurred at SITE2 on day 975.
• ENTITY0 knowledge & motivations
• SITE3-SITE1 connection?
Mayfield and Belov presents: Camp Here and There.
Episode Twenty Eight: The Meantime with Eggs
Hidey ho, campers. 8:65AM hugs us all, and the sky dawns with a sandy yellow hue, smooth and inoffensive. I hope you all slept well.
Some of you may have noticed that Matthew was mysteriously truant to his usual sunrise routine of standing in the kitchen window waggling his limbs in an apparent display of morning cheer. Before things kicked into gear this morning, Matthew and I had a discussion. He’s dead set on treating you kids to the taste of what he’s described as the rarest ingredient in Ohio — salt. So he’s taking the day off to hike the local mountains in search of just a pinch of that mythical mineral. As a result, your breakfast this morning might look… um… a bit weird . . . .
In Matthew’s stead, I’ve taken it upon myself to cook for you all. Please forgive me — I’m not a world-famous gourmet chef like Matthew is, but… for breakfast today you have ricotta hotcakes adorned with an apple smoked maple bacon glaze, scotch pancakes with sweet dukkah and a strawberry wine compote, rosemary olive oil sausage, and one boiled egg… to share, I guess. Sorry, I’m not sure how to do eggs, yknow? They’re, like, really hard 🙁
I’m sorry that it’s not what you’re used to. I know it’s lackluster. I assure you all, Matthew will be back with his beloved comfort-cooking tomorrow.
Moving on. Inspired by the traumatic brush with astral projection the Cabin Dungbeetle kids had the other day, Lucille is implementing astral projection training to help us stand up against any kind of wide-scale psychic attack. While this is a mandatory camp drill, I don’t think… Lucille is going to be… considering her track record, particularly strict in her enforcement of this regiment. So, if you’re frightened by or allergic to the ethereal canvas on which our reality is painted, feel free to opt out.
As all of you should know, the FINCH Law states that any magic which aims to manipulate a person’s psyche must first be perceived through one of the senses. The bonfire, for instance, uses the olfactory glands to infiltrate your mindscape. Some hear the sound of magic in between crackles of static, some touch the slime on the walls of the Sanitorium and feel their thoughts melt. All this is to say that we believe the Elephant Man’s abilities rely on sight, seeing as he seems to take his mask on and off in order to dampen or exacerbate the effects.
So, the plan is that if you kids can cut off access to your senses by removing yourselves from your bodies, you’ll be immune to psychic influence. Better empty husks than fervent slaves to the elephant man’s will! In the event of a serious grounds breach, your cooperation make it easier for Lucille (who has her own tricks for resisting parapsychological powers) to do battle with an invader — such as the Elephant Man.
I wish all of you the best luck with this enterprise. I feel morally obligated to mention that Lucille’s plan for this training exercise includes exacerbating the bonfire’s fumes with nightmare powder in order to stimulate the conditions of a psychic attack, so… if any kids or counselors are particularly sensitive to, um, terror… please just stay inside today. Er, and, if any of you would like to take anti-auguric medication in advance, come see me.
I would join you all in this drill, but I’ve unfortunately been unable to astral project for a few years. I could do it fine back in college. I was great at it, in fact! But somewhere along the line, it’s become so hard for me. It’s like my soul and my body refuse to separate…
Well, hopefully none of you have that problem!
Ghost recorder, my friend.
It’s 10:99AM. I know I usually wait till night to whine about whatever’s bothering me, and I’ve been sure to be really stringent about behaving on the announcements this time, but I, uhm, well I need to process some stuff, okay? So, I hope you won’t mind hearing me ramble a bit.
[HE GRUNTS AS HE SHIFTS POSITIONS]
I’m in a lot of pain right now. I mean, when am I not in pain, geeze. But it’s really something today. See, usually, I sleep in the room with Jedidiah. My bed in there is specialized to help my back. Since the fight, though, I… don’t wanna be in there… so I’ve been sleeping on one of the starchy cots in the nurse’s office. Well, trying to sleep. In and out… Hh. Crying until I’m too tired, and then crying a little more, wishing I could turn it all off and sleep.
Geeze, I sound like a real downer. This is why I can’t just sit around. All I’ve been doing is sitting around, Ghost. You gotta be tired of it, right? I’m tired of it.
Anyways, it’s shitty rest, but I got a good dream out of it last night.
Listen to this… I saw that man again.
The tall man with the boyish, well-kept hair, the striking red eyes, pointed canines, and the red paisley suit.
The man who looks kind of like Jedidiah… but only sometimes.
[Chuckle] He’s kind of handsome.
He sat across from me on the dusty wooden floor of my old college dorm. There were papers strewn around us, covered with illegible scribbles, squigly sigils, sacred geometry, and cat doodles. The light filtering in from the window above us cast a smattering of gold flecks hanging in the air, making it harder to focus on his face. It smelled like copper and burnt dust.
“You’re troubled,” he informed me, between bites of trail mix. I nodded.
He spread his hands out, far and wide, and he said, “Spill.“
“I won’t find the journals,” I said. I played with the corner of a paper nearby, creasing it, feeling the surface sharp against my skin.
I went on. “I’m going to be nothing again. Alone and confused.“
“Ah ah ah~” The man gave a sharp smile, the gold dust glittering in his eyes. “Silly creature. You have friends!“
I tried to object, but he cut me off. “Talented friends who invite you to dinner! Help from all walks of life. All you have to do is ask.”
I said, “All I do is ask.”
“What’s wrong with that? All I do is listen,” he rejoined, and as he spoke he pulled a knife out from behind his back. He smiled. His friendly eyes reflected on the blade’s cool surface.
I said, “I’m not sure. I should help myself, right?”
“There’s no such thing as ‘should’, darling,” he said, lifting the blade to his cheek. “There is only need… want… and will.”
“Help,” I said.
The blood pooled slowly.
“I could use my hand instead,” he said. “It’d be more auspicious, I’m aware. But I can’t abide by the thought of damaging my fingers. Touching is too good, y’know? Rather sully my pretty smile than my ease of sensation.“
The blood ran down, gushing now, a waterfall of bursting life. Papers were soaked and dissolved. The underside of my legs began to feel warm.
“Like smoke can let you see what’s hidden, so can blood help you touch it.” He leaned far back, dipping his hair into the rising lake of sticky fluid. My chest constricted. His face spilled. The warmth spread to my knees.
“Ahh… ” he licked his face, savoring the taste of his open cheek. “Wet and cold. Dark. Gritty. Pebbles strewn among trails of soft Elfin-green. Dangling from the underbelly of its own most valuable secret… plants growing out from under a hospital bed… oh… and there’s a short, stiff feather on the ground. Am I making sense, darling? Do you hear me?”
My clothes were soaked. The ooze was to my chin, but I felt no urge to move. The world swirled with life and color. Just before I was submerged, I asked him a question.
“What’s your name?”
His head snapped forward, his eyes lit up, and his smile tore his face in half. He lifted a happy hand.
“Up and Adam!”
I woke up.
…and there was blood on my cheek.
It’s 12:81, and astral projection training is bearing fruit of mixed flavor.
Gracie Liu, the camp’s residential astral projection expert, started with the drill by gathering the kids around the bonfire and sprinkling the flame with a pinch of nightmare powder extracted from the undermines in the city of Hell, New Hampshire. Thanks to this special powder, the fumes of the fire have been steadily dispersing dark, horrific visions, leaving the gathered campers with only one option for escape: astral projecting out of their senses. Unfortunately, astral projection requires immense focus, and focus can be hard to muster when you’re experiencing an onslaught of torturous visions. This exercise is… certainly not ideal.
Cabin Tarantula Hawk resident Arthur Funsover reported the disgusting sight and smell of his own body alchemically transformed into a homunculus made of American cheese and deli meat. Cabin Silkworm resident Veronica Funsjustbegun reported being forced to sit in as a celebrity guest on a late night talk show in which the host interrogated her in an accusatory tone about the pain her mother felt during her birth. Counselor Joshua reported that the nightmare powder enabled him to remember every detail of all his past lives. All. Which was not all that nightmarish to experience, but will forever leave him to carry the emotional weight of infinite lifetimes of regret, suffering, and — perhaps most torturous of all — bygone happiness. And poor Tammy Teeth reported a vision so grotesque it even curdled my bones: the sight of herself… in France. And nobody reported a successful instance of astral projection.
…except for a few kids from the magnificently enthusiastic Cabin Dungbeetle! Natsume Shiota displayed such proficiency with the art of leaving his body behind it seemed like he’d been practicing all his life, and his cabinmate Dolly Navarro had a particularly vibrant awakening to her capacity for astral projection — in which she suddenly stood up, began blindly attacking the air as if beating back some nasty vision, and then passed right out. After Gracie called the training session done for the morning, the Dungbeetle kids even requested some extra nightmare powder so that they could continue the training on their own at a later time. What a truly inspiring show of passion!
I tried joining in at one point, as you kids should recall, unless you were too dosed up on bad omens to notice. I didn’t manage to do much besides lose myself in the visions. Nightmare Powder is always a delight — it’s so funny to watch the fumes struggle to conjure anything worse than what I’ve actually been through. Hua-ha! HA! [Cough]
That all being said… please, everyone, try to be gentle with counselor Rowan right now. It probably goes without saying, but he’s not in a state to handle much at the moment…
[Nervous laugh] Residents of Cabin Magpie Moth, as some of the older campers around here, we’re trusting you to conduct yourselves well, but if you need help with anything that Rowan is indisposed to provide, I’m here.
Uhm. I’ve once again made lunch. Today you’re having crispy bacon and brie grilled cheese with caramelized onion and fresh basil. A white pita pizza with spinach, asiago, parmesan, fresh mozzarella, and a [HE BUTCHERES THE PRONUNCIATION] creme fraiche sauce, a citrus and mint fruit salad with blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, and a ginger carrot soup with green onion and coriander. And uhm, a boiled egg again. I still can’t figure out what to do with those…
Sorry that it’s not on par with Matthew’s legendary lunches… aha. I’d say I’ll get the hang of it eventually, but let’s not kid ourselves, I’ll never be him.
Stay safe out there.
Based on the conga line of miserable campers that trudged past my window ten minutes ago, it appears today was… challenging for the lot of you. Understandably, as nightmare powder is never easy to weather, and… this whole exercise was one of my personal least favorite abuses of Lucille’s executive power. I just want you all to know that I love you, and I am here if you need anything — a hug, a pat on the back, a piece of candy… after this ritual excising of our personal demons, I offer you a room that demons are never allowed to enter. As long as I’m awake.
Also, though I hesitate to ascribe any kind of moral value to one’s willingness to undergo psychological torture, I must aside that I am once again blown away by the fortitude and dedication of the Cabin Dungbeetle kids. Each and every one of you kids have the art of astral projection down pat! You’d be our greatest assets in a psychic war! But I also want you all to understand that I am so proud of every single one of you. Whether you threw yourself into the darkness or stood your ground and denied it, you were brave today.
Uhmm. For dinner tonight, we have seared filet mignon with a Bordelaise sauce of red wine, butter, and minced shallots, garlic butter chicken cordon bleu, caramelized parmesan broccoli, roasted spring vegetables with a honey mustard sauce, creamy mashed potatoes with fresh herbs and ground pepper, and a honey-soaked baklava I started baking when I woke up this morning. Oh, and uh, a boiled egg… I’m sorry again for all the mediocre choices. I know I can’t be like Matthew, but I try my best, and what more can we hope for, right?
Oh, also, in other news. I’m actually going to be out of the office tomorrow, so don’t you all worry when you wake up and find I’m not around. There will be Jedidiah! I just have some errands to run, so thank you all for your patience.
Alright, my buzzy little hummingbirds. Goodnight to you and yours. If I were you, I’d probably want to stop by my office and make sure all the nightmare is flushed out of your system before you sleep tonight. But I’m me, so I’m ready for whatever my brain could conjure up! C’mon, sock it to me!
Hi, ghost recorder. It’s 21:10. I know this is a little… early, but I wanted to get this done while I had the energy. Tonight… we’re gonna go find those journals.
[SYDNEY BEGINS UNSCREWING THE SQUEAKY SCREWS OF THE VENT IN HIS OFFICE]
I’d be concerned about being seen, leaving the building at such an odd time, but… see, if… Up and Adam… is right, and Jedidiah hid the journal somewhere in the tunnels, then that’s actually perfect.
Because there’s a way…
[SYDNEY GRABS THE VENT COVER OFF THE WALL]
to get down there…
[THE VENT COVER CLATTERS TO THE GROUND]
right from my office.
It might be an uncomfortable squeeze, but… I’ve done it once before, right?
I’m gonna pause you for now. I don’t want my voice resonating all through the vents. [Deep breath] Whisper me luck.
[DRIPPING WATER WITH ECHOES]
[With a manic pep] I’m in!
Oh, my God. There’s something so magical about this place. Not just the concept of a… seemingly natural, earthen tunnel system below a Summer Camp, which is cool enough on its own… but also, just the vibe. The romantic secrecy! The nerve-wracking adventure! The very air down here is kind of… [Snifffff] intoxicating.
Hoo… okay. Walk, walk. Pick a direction… ? Sniff the air… hahaha. [Sniff, sniff] Ooh… that way looks fun!
I feel like my senses here are so heightened! I’m drowning in… sensations. The rocks… slippery divets… haha.
Slippery divetssss… mm. Slimy fingers with curled-up pads — ohhhhh, and it’s so cold. Really makes you appreciate the warmth the sun leaves behind for us every night. This down here is true night! True cold! True quiet! True stillness…
Except for me. Hehe…!
[HE BEGINS TO HUM THE ICARLY THEME SONG. IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS TUNE, THE AUDIO FAST-FOWARDS WITH A FRENZIED TAPE SOUND EFFECT. IT THEN SLOWS TO A STOP]
You know, I think I’d expect Jedidiah to be guarding the journals somehow… I mean, I know he’s gotta stay up in his office, working on his… projectttt [Snicker], but… hah. What if he put a fuckin’ monster down there to guard it? Like a cerberus? [HE PRONOUNCES IT “KERBERUS”. THEN HE BLOWS A RASPBERRY]
I mean, he’s all, like, ohhhh, I wouldn’t want to hurt you, but… hahhhhh… then he doeeees! Mahaha. But it’s emotional pain, I guess. Maybe there’s an emotional monster down there. Maybe it’s an incubussssssss… haha…
Oh my God, what if Elijah’s down there already? Just waiting for me, and he’ll be like, [Bad Russian accent] ‘Ouhoho, you’ve passed the test, my sveet darr’link’… Hahahaha.
[HE BLOWS A RASPBERRY AGAIN.]
[THE TAPE SPEEDS UP AND SLOWS FOR A SERIES OF INTERJECTIONS: PENGUINS SQUAWKING AND SYDNEY LIGHTHEARTEDLY APOLOGIZING; SYDNEY MAKING AIRPLANE AND EXPLOSION NOISES; SYDNEY SINGING “99 VIALS OF FORMALDEHYDE ON THE WALL.”
[IT SLOWS TO A STOP]
[Woozy] How long have I even been in here… ? Like either a thousand real-life years or two fucking minutes… not both.
… ahahaha… maybe both.
But I —
[SYDNEY YELPS AS HE SUDDENLY GETS TANGLED UP IN SOMETHING]
What the fuck — ? Ahh… aoh my God. HA HA HA HA HA! Who put all these, HAHA, fuckin’ vines here?
Haha… I feel so fuckin’ weird. It sucks! My vision is all… spiky!… and my ears are so full… and now I’m walking through an underground forest of hanging vines. What the fuck… is… ?
[Whisper] Ghost recorder, the tunnel opened up into… the biggest cavern. And there’s vines everywhere, and there’s something… writhing up there… some kind of nasty… huge plant… looks kind of… kinda…
[Suddenly calm] Diseased.
[Peppy] Heyyyyy! You got somethin’ there? You got somethin’ in yer hands—vines? Hey, that’s for me! No, the book! Yeah! No, I need that! Drop it… drop it… !
[SOUND OF VINES WETLY SHIFTING AND RUSTLING]
Or just… lower it, all creepy and wet, that’s fine! Yeah, there we go… down here, down here… giiiive it over… haha. Yessss. Yesssssssss. Journal get! Sydney 100, Jedidiah negative 100. Elijah, probably a billion. Hahaa!
[Singing] SYDNEYYYYY’S GOT THE GOOOOOOODS —
What… what the fuck is happening to my brain? [HE BEGINS TO HYPERVENTILATE AND CRY.] Where the fuck am I? I — I — I need to get out — I NEED TO GET OUT — !!!
Today’s episode was written by Blue Mayfield and Nicholas Belov. The part of Sydney Sargent was played by Blue Mayfield.
Camp Here & There is the sole intellectual property of its production company, Mayfield & Belov. All music composed by Will Wood, and produced by Jonathon Maisto. Sound editing by Emily Safko and Blue Mayfield. Special thanks to our Patrons: Anna Jett, Jessica Beck, and Antonia Hein.
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Thank you for listening to Camp Here & There! And remember: Are you ready? Why did you lie?