History 616

Excerpt from the journals of Robert Witherstone, archeologist.

July 12th, 1894

We made our first excavations into the structure today. Amazingly, it seems to be a library, stretching on as far as the eye can see. I don’t see how a library of this size could have been lost without any record of its existence, unless it perhaps it is the hidden hall of some ancient Indian tribe. If so, this discovery could be a breakthrough in anthropology, finally giving us a written record of the history of this continent before colonization! I have taken a few volumes back to study and attempt to decode them.

July 12th, 1894 (later)

I have made an amazing discovery — the books are in English! The first one I opened turned out to be a history of the American Revolution. Something’s not quite right about it though. The book claims the war ended at the Siege of Yorktown when George Washington ate General Cornwallis. Perhaps this is a mistranslation from an original, different work written in another language, because this can’t be what the author meant to say.

July 13th, 1894

Read more of the books in the library today. Most of the books on science seem fairly normal, but the fiction is perverse and terrible. Worst of all are the supposed “histories.” I found a volume detailing the colonization of Africa, but rather than referring to the cannibalism practiced by the savages there, it described the Europeans as cannibalizing the Africans they killed! All of this is most unsettling, and I am not sure what to think. I am normally the type of man to laugh at silly superstitions, but the fact that today is Friday the 13th does not help my unease. I will continue to examine the volumes contained here in an attempt to get to the bottom of this.

July 16, 1894

Lord have mercy. I do not know what sort of unholy place we have found, but it has to be destroyed. Today I found a Bible (if, indeed, you can call such profanity a Bible).

The familiar stories were replaced with grotesque and disturbing tales of sadistic violence, culminating in the most awful blasphemy of all. The author of this monstrosity wrote the story of the Lord’s Supper as literal rather than symbolic. Christ order his disciples to literally kill him, drink his blood, and eat him. We have set up a fire in the center of the structure and are burning all the books we can lay hands on. We have also set up explosives to collapse the cave in the morning so that nobody else can stumble on this blighted place.

July 17th, 1894

We collapsed the cave today. Jones was injured in the blast. He is conscious, but his leg is too hurt for him to walk. It is slow going having to carry him.

July 18th, 1894

Returned to the University today. No doubt it is my addled nerves still in shock from the horror I discovered, but something about the students makes me uneasy. I do not like the look in their eyes; it seems alien in some way. While they commonly use strange slang and colloquialisms with which I am not familiar, it recently seems to have gotten even stranger, so much so that I sometimes cannot even tell what they are talking about.

Doubtless I am still in shock from the events of the previous few days and this will pass.

July 19th, 1894

I spoke with Jones’ doctor today. He is a nervous man, continually licking his lips and grimacing. His manner is overbearing, his breath is terrible and his teeth are unpleasant. But I digress. In any case, he told me that Jones’ injuries are much worse than they had appeared at first. Apparently he had a great deal of internal injuries as well. They are not sure if he will pull through.

July 20th, 1894

Jones succumbed to his injuries today. The funeral arrangements are being made.

July 22nd, 1894

Jones’ funeral was today. The preacher was very strange. I’m not quite sure what he meant when he said Jones’ soul was “swallowed up” by the Lord. I did like his point that Jones would be “a part of us forever,” though.

Although there was one good thing. As strange or flippant as it might be to mention, the food at the reception afterwords was fantastic.

Still a Lot of Walking to Do

The afterlife’s not quite how you learned in church. There’s no final judgement, no splitting off into Heaven or Hell. Oh, there’s a Heaven of course, but not many people go there right away. There’s still too much work to be done. Only the most perfect can be allowed in, of course, or else it wouldn’t be Heaven. But there’s still hope. After you die, you pick right up on where you left off. Only all the distractions are cut out and the journey is all that’s left. No need to eat or sleep, just pure self-improvement, discovery and enlightenment.

The journey’s different for everyone, based on whatever someone’s strengths or weaknesses are. The greedy have to learn to share, the selfish have to learn to put others before them, the paranoid have to learn to trust. And of course the hardest of all — everyone has to learn to love themselves. Truly love themselves, not what passes for it in most peoples’ lives. After all, how can someone who doesn’t think they deserve Paradise possibly deserve Paradise?

Don’t think it’s easy though. There’s no map and there’s no guarantee you’re even going the right way. Most people are still wandering. If it’s taken you 70 years and you’re not ready yet, what makes you think you’ll get there in the next 70?