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There’s a junk drawer in my office. It was there when I signed up to be a game warden out in Silverthorn, Colorado, and it was there when the last person had it, and before that. Probably started filling up with files one the office opened up way back in the 40’s. Being a game warden is all I ever wanted to do, but there’s down time, just like any other job. One day I got bored and decided to go through some of the junk files, and found an audiotape, a transcript, and a report. I still don’t know what to make of it:

April 2nd 2013
Testing? Testing?

Voice recorder works!

Bear tracks 30 yards from camp
Found wild blueberries but didn’t know blueberry bushes had thorns. No gloves. Sucks.
Boyfriend caught 3 trout. Brought garlic salt

Trout was good. No stomach issues. Yet.
Plan for tomorrow: check out ridge where gas station dude says he found geodes.

April 3rd 2013
Boyfriend remembers gas station dudes directions different. Minor fight. He’s a jerk, what else is new. Decided to each follow directions we remember
Have cell service
Boyfriend will be so mad when I’m right
Starting to rain, so brought gear.

Trying really hard to stay calm right now. I keep checking the phone again and again like it’s magically going to fix itself. My ankle hurts so fucking much! And that fucking thing I can’t deal with this shit it needs to stop raining and I need Greg to fucking find me I can’t do this I can’t do this

I think I got my freakout out of the way. I’m just going to keep talking because it keeps my attention from wandering. I was hiking around the ridge and I slipped on a rock and fell in a weird way. I heard my ankle crack and I can’t move it even if I try to. The rain was really coming down and it was starting to get cold and dark and I knew I needed to find shelter because my poncho wasn’t going to do much good. I saw a little cave about five feet above the ground and managed to haul my ass into it oh my god it fucking hurt. I sat in the cave and lit my Coleman and saw the fucking thing. It’s not a thing but it looks like it. Some dude wearing a green flannel shirt and jeans and cowboy boots died in here. He, it, whatever, is still sitting in here but the fucking smell. I guess I couldn’t smell it outside the cave because of the rain. His head was facing down and the only skin that’s left is on the back of his head, where you can see brown hair. The rest, his face, is black and looks like it melted into his chest. His arms are at his sides and they’re this purple color, and ashy. His gut is swollen, and there’s this disgusting black slime where his crotch is. I can’t fucking look at it. I have to keep looking at the wall beside it. When I fell, I landed on my phone and it’s busted but Greg will find me, I know he will.

It’s dark out. The rain is turning into ice. I’ve decided to name the dead dude Robbert. I feel bad for calling him a thing earlier. Not his fault he’s dead. I just hope I don’t end up like him. Maybe someone in the future will hurt their ankle and seek shelter here and find TWO dead men. Sounds like something out of a pirate song. It’s dark now and really cold. I brought wet weather gear but it’s doing a pretty good job of keeping me warm. I’m going to try to get some sleep.

Kept hearing random sounds. Can’t sleep. Sounds like something skittering around, probably a mouse or a bug or something. I told Robbert he better watch out or they’ll try to eat him.

I’m not as scared of him anymore. I can actually look at him now. One of his arms is positioned so that his hand looks like it was about to be slid into a pocket. I don’t remember seeing that the first time I looked at him, I was so scared. I wonder what he was doing when the cold or whatever took him.

I looked at him again and his hand doesn’t seem like it’s going near his pocket at all. It’s got to be the light. It’s still creeping me out though. Going to try to sleep again.

*skittering sound in background*
Can’t sleep, that skittering sound again plus I swear I can hear breathing. I know it’s in my head, I KNOW it is but it sucks fuck greg please just come get me.

I’m looking at Robbert’s chest now. It is not rising and falling. He is dead and cannot breathe. The sounds I’m hearing are the wind movement in the cave. It is windy, and the wind is swishing around.

I just told Robert my life story. It’s actually got me to feel sleepy, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’m finally relaxing or because my life has been so boring. Either way, goodnight for now.

Had a horrible dream. I don’t remember what is about specifically, but I kept seeing images from that Fantasia skit ‘Night on Bald Mountain’, the one where the demons come out. Some of Robert’s face must have…shifted. I don’t know the whole process of rot but what little skin was left around the sides of his face changed. He looks almost like he’s smiling now. I know I didn’t see that before, so it must be the rot. either way, I’m getting this really creepy vibe. I can’t look at him anymore.

He’s breathing. I’m not turning on my light, I don’t want to see him. *pauses* did the voice recorder pick up any of that? The breathing? That skittering sound, it’s him. I know it is. I have to try to make it out of here. Broken ankle or not, I have to try. Greg, I love you. I know I’ll get to see you soon.
Attached was a copy of the formal investigation. Daniel Cross, age 22, was found dead on the ground below the mouth of the cave described. His ankle was broken, but there were no other signs of trauma. After a thorough investigation of the cave, is was also determined that there was not, nor had there ever been, a decomposing body inside.

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