I'm going to tell you a secret. But first, you have to promise me you won't laugh. This is still an uncomfortable subject for me, so I'd appreciate your understanding. Do we have a deal?
When I was five years old, I watched a movie no child should ever see. I don't remember much about the circumstances of my viewing other than that it was at the house where my family lived, late at night, in the dark with only the television providing light. The film was an animated feature, and depicted themes of animal cruelty, death, and dismemberment. The scenes were surreal and terrifying and left a deep impression on me.
For years afterward, the only scene I could remember clearly was when an evil woman was drowning a family of cats in a stream, which I would have nightmares about for years afterward. I remember seeing it early in the movie, followed by many more disturbing and surreal scenes. (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.