It's been over a week since my last update and I'm sure all of you were worried. I'm sorry, but a lot has happened since then. A major hurricane was bearing down on my home state and I felt I should reach out to friends and family to make sure they were safe. Of course, this was risky because the police are still looking for me here in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. So, I actually walked several miles out of town and found a city called Emporia.
The walk took over six hours and I was exhausted. But at least I was safe from the police around Cottonwood Falls and I was able to get cleaned up and make a few phone calls. My friends back home were worried about the storm but overall, prepared. I'm extremely glad I was out in Kansas this week and not back in Miami. Seems they got hit pretty hard.
But enough about the storm. You all want to hear what I've found in that journal and what's going on in Cottonwood Falls. Well, there's a lot to fill in. I've read the entire journal, cover to cover, twice. I can now confirm this is Sarah Waiter's journal. She uses her own name only once. I assume, to mark that this belongs to her in case something were to happen. Which obviously, something has.
With last weekend approaching, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I learned Sarah had been in contact with some no name guy who was offering her a large sum of money for a special project. You see, Sarah Waiter's was up to her ears in credit card debt, student loans, and every other bill imaginable. If she had filed for bankruptcy, she would have either lost her home or paid for the rest of her life. Naturally, when a stranger rolls into town and offers a way out, she takes it.
They met a couple times in the cemetery, which should have been her first clue that something was off. But, ever determined for a future, Sarah continued. In her journal, she complained of feeling watched in her own home, unmarked cars following her around town, and other eerie happenings. Not to mention, this DG character continued to contact her and told her to leave town while she still could.
Before one of her meetings, she hollowed out the portion of headstone she used to hide the journal. It was a great move because now we have a lead. A big one. The company she was meeting with at that cemetery was called Condon Industries. I did a little digging and it turns out they are nothing more than a shell company owned by another shell company. It would take months to track down the real source.
Sarah didn't know the exact meaning behind the visits with the rep from Condon Industries. They asked her strange questions which seemed all over the place. For example, they asked if she believed in ghosts, had she ever taken narcotics, who was your favorite president, and so on. None of those questions seemed related in any way.
Her final entry in the journal was a bit chilling. She exclaimed she had been chosen for whatever project this company was behind and they would be in contact with her shortly. They told her a car would be sent to her home to pick her up. But she expressed a great fear in this as the company never once asked for identification and she had never given her address. The rep had explained discretion was key to this project but it did nothing to ease her fears. She said goodbye to her friends and family in the journal as she started to believe it was all nonsense and she was marching to her death. But she had to continue for the chance it was real. She hid the notebook in the cemetery and waited for the car to arrive.
Truth Seekers, this is unnerving to say the least. The local authorities were clearly involved so it was likely not a normal scam or kidnapping. Someone powerful must be behind it. But I still can't see a motive here. With no way to look up the real face of Condon industries, there's no trail to follow. But as it turns out, I didn't need to follow those breadcrumbs because I came across something far better.
Monday of this week, I was still in Emporia. I needed to make another few calls to everyone back home to make sure they were fine. Once I was confident they were all OK, I took the long walk back to Cottonwood Falls. I stayed in a bed and breakfast on Monday night and cleaned up. There was a knock at the door and the office manager stood patiently in the hall for me.
"There's something in the front office for you," he told me. He seemed a little nervous. Reluctantly, I followed.
When I came around the corner, the two police officers who had the posters in their cruiser stood in waiting. "Shit," I said and started to run. But it was no use. They had me on the ground and in handcuffs. I thought this would be the end. They would take me to a field and put a bullet in the back of my head.
They drove me away from town and to the god damned cemetery. Dragged across the grass, I tried to kick free to no avail. There had to be a way to get free from these cops and get the hell out of this town. I won't lie, I was ready to drop it all there. I would stop investigating Sarah, I would turn my back on this town, I would be done. If only I could find a way to make it out alive.
Have you ever had the barrel of a gun pressed to the back of your head? In the movies, people look so calm. In reality, it is the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced. You can't see the shooters hand or trigger finger. You don't know if he's about to pull the trigger or not. Every single breath you take could be your last and it's all you can think about. You start to wonder if you'll feel any pain. You wonder what's on the other side. Is it merely darkness? Or is there something more? All the while, you know this small projectile inside the barrel could fly out at a high velocity and turn your brain into mere mush. I tell you, it's the most frightening thing you can imagine.
Lucky for me, that trigger was never pulled. But another was. From the darkness, two shots rang out. The cop with the gun to my head dropped to his knees dead. His finger tensed and the gun went off, sending the bullet, which was meant for my head, into the dirt. The second cop turned toward the shot and he, too, fell dead.
For the second time that night, there was a gun pointed in my face. I was still not used to it. Out of the darkness, a familiar face began to materialize. "What do you know?" The voice screamed. My head was still cloudy, I think shock was setting in. "Tell me what you know!" The voice screamed again.
Truth Seekers, I won't glorify myself here and paint myself in a better light. I fainted. Right there in the grassy field of the cemetery, I fainted. Judge me if you'd like, but if you ever find yourself in the same scenario, tell me how you did. I bet you fair no better. You watch action movies and think you could do it too. But real life is far from fiction. It's scarier. It's real. When the gun is shoved in your face and you see your life flash before your eyes, it becomes surreal.
When I awoke, I was in the back of some kind of van. But it was the van of my dreams. For a moment, I thought I had died and slipped into conspiracy blogger heaven. It looked like an old FBI surveillance van, complete with computer, monitors, and the works. A whole mobile command center. I noticed it before I noticed the driver. We were stopped, no idea where, but she was turned around in her seat staring at me.
"Finally," she said. "You're awake. Now what do you know."
I told her everything that I knew. Including her name. Sarah Waiter. She seemed a little taken aback. But when I told her I found her journal she understood.
"I have to get back to Cottonwood Falls, I need my gear." I said.
"Forget it, your gear is gone." She said. "Another officer already collected it all and destroyed it."
"That can't be-"
"Oh, but it is. You have to accept it and move on."
Eventually I did. Which leads me to now. I'm sitting in the back of the van, typing this post. Sarah has a lot she needs to fill me in on and in time I will fill you in too. But she says we need to get moving now. There's something big we have to do. I'm worried about what I've been caught up in but I will update you as soon as I can. And to think, today is my birthday.