Posted in 2018-2019, Fiction, Issue 02

What to Remember When Exploring Abandoned Places

by Aevin Mayman

  1. If you see figures in the distance, only wave if you see more than one darkening the horizon. They will take it as a slight against them if you do not. If you see a solitary figure, do not wave. Do not pay it any attention. It is lonely, and will think you want to spend time with it. You do not.
  2. Close every gate or door that you open. Even if you’re alone. Even if you think you’re alone. It’s the only way to know if something is following you. Or someone.
  3. And things will follow you. But you don’t have to worry about most of them.
  4. If you come across anyone else, give them a fake name. Never tell them who you really are. Never tell them. Remember, your name is all you have. Never give it out.
  5. Do not take anything. Even if the flowers are pretty, and even if you really like the quartz sparkle of that rock and even if just one wouldn’t hurt, would it? Don’t. This is not your land. It never was.
  6. If/when your pictures don’t come out the way they should, do not attempt to clean them up. Leave them blurry or delete them. You don’t want to see what’s been hidden.
  7. Don’t swim in any lakes you might find. Don’t let your friends swim in any lakes you might find. Of course, everyone will know that it’s not safe to go in unfamiliar water. It could be deep. You should beware of leeches or snakes. Nevertheless, you see people swimming. You should watch out for them, too.
  8. Bring everything you need to stay for an emergency. Water, rations, bedding, rope, iron, salt, a satellite phone. You never know how long you might be staying.
  9. If you enter a building, make sure you are always by a window, never mind out dusty or age-clouded it may be. Watch the sun and its shadows as you explore. Time isn’t always linear on the inside.
  10. Do not explore the forests, or the trees that have ways of sending you in circles. Survival guides say to break small branches in order to be certain of where you’ve been. I dare you to try it. See what comes to meet you.
  11. When your electronics stop working, when the sky is hazy, when your flashlight catches the oddly viscous eyes of something – you don’t know what, and you don’t want to know – when the sun is red and the ground is dry and you can make out the music that can’t possibly be coming from where you think it’s coming from but you’re sure, you’ve only just begun.

Author:

Post Script is a magazine written, edited, and produced by the Creative Writing Department of Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. Through our articles, stories, poems, and the occasional lifehack, we have shared some of the things most important to us. There is a remarkable diversity of talent to be found in our students and their work, and we are unified by a common respect for that diversity. The editors and writers that make Post Script possible don’t have an end goal in sight, but instead a vision of a magazine that allows us to explore, learn, and grow. We have ventured into a new medium for self-expression and self-reflection, and hope that our art and the effort that went into this project will encourage, engage, and enlighten readers of all backgrounds.

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