Hell has a prison, and I’ve been one of its inmates for years.
At least, it feels like it has been years. How long exactly is unknown at this point. When your entire life consists of transitioning between punishment and deprivation chambers, the amount of time that’s passed becomes obsolete. Believe me; I’ve tried clinging to those numbers to keep my sanity intact, amongst many, many other mental distractions. But in the end, only a rag doll body and void mind allows one to stay even slightly sane down here.
The stage should be set here, but it takes a lot of preparation. I was, obviously, alive at one time. I was a student at Dalhousie University, studying for an undergraduate degree in kinesiology. Everyone in my family had been pretty excited about my acceptance, even if it meant me moving away to the “big city”. But we managed, and I started off my freshman year with an excitement and energy I’d never felt before. I welcomed it gladly.
The first grades I received back took that rush away though, ruining the confidence in my academics I had been carrying over from high school. Despite having worked very hard, my marks not meeting my own personal standards bothered me greatly, even after reassurance from a few new friends I had made in said classes.
I carried on through the rest of the first semester, but there was this heavy feeling that clung to me throughout. My focus became shot, anxiety would spike at the mention of a quiz or paper that was due - and don’t even get me started on the actual day of the quiz. If there wasn’t a window to gaze out at the admittedly grey winter sky every five minutes to clear my mind and relax over, I felt claustrophobic and tense. Soon, my brain was more interested in guilting me over all the questions I had skipped or probably got wrong, instead of solving the one in front of me. (Read more...)
The town of Hallowroots is the sort of place that you enter, flee, and somehow end up returning to despite a lifelong promise to never go back. It has an unfortunate reputation amongst a lot of people as a death sentence, but if you’re going to someone’s house to audit them you need to be aware of threats no matter the nature. Everyone here who does audits will have had guns, knives, and much more, pointed at them. It’s no different with Hallowroots, except that the things pointed at you will be a lot stranger. But Hallowroots is also kind of heartening. Like I’ve said to many other employees here; plenty of people live long lives there and a shocking number of them just adapt to the weirdness. It’s nice to see what people can just get over with enough time.
Still, none of you young folk want to hear about that. You want to know all the gory details. I’ve worked for a long time at the IRS and I’ve had my fair share of crazy stories but people only really want to know about my experiences at this specific town. Maybe it was the way Annie Davies came back after trying to audit Intra Inc., or maybe it’s the fact that most of you have snuck a peak at how much the DoD is paying Intra Inc. for a ‘secrecy clause’. I’d like to remind you, by the way, that doing so is a federal crime. Still I’m not here to chide you—Hallowroots is a poorly kept secret—but when I finally retire I’d like you have an understanding of what Hallowroots truly is.