The legends Within Devil’s Cave have been passed down from one generation to the next. According to the original legend, on a moonless evening in the mid-1800′s, a band of Potawatomi Indians is purported to have captured and killed a glowing ghost in a cave on the banks of the Fox River. It became known as Devil’s Cave. Such is the grist from which folk lore is derived, to be passed on to the next generations. This tale has of course spawned many more gristly story’s concerning the macabre cave. For your reading pleasure herein, recounted in daily microblogs of 140 characters, is one of the more recent tales from Within Devil’s Cave. On a frosty Autumn afternoon, in a room lined with padded walls, at a nearby asylum,we meet an elderly gentleman who is getting ready to tell us a story about a Two Penny Guess What.
You want me to what? Sit in the chair? Not today. No I don’t want…. Damn it…let me alone you shitheads!
Who the hell would want to see me? A new psychiatric staffer. God damn it, not so tight, I‘m tellin’ ya, not so tight… And who the hell do you think you are? Ah…you’re the new one. Lawanda Reed, huh. Lawanda, hum…that’s an interesting name… Oh, Doctor Reed is it. Ya, I got it, Doctor Reed. My God Doctor you look young enough to be my granddaughter. If I had one. Ha.ha,ha…
They sent you to talk to me? Who? The idiots on the review board. Damn! Why can’t they just leave an old man be? Hell, you’re maybe the hundredth psychiatrist that I’ve seen since I’ve been in here. Ya, that’s right the hundredth. Um… can you get the fuckin’ orderlies to loosen the straps? They’re cutting my damn wrists. See. I can’t feel my hands. Okay Doctor, okay, I’m calm. No, no not a sedative. Uooooh! Shit, why the hell did you do that? What do you want?
Because I’m agitated.? That damn Penozine shit just makes my mouth dry out. It doesn’t make me relax any. Tell you about Devil’s Cave? From the beginning? Hell, I’m not sure that I can. Okay, Okay. I’ll try, I’ll try, I’ll try Shit, not that it really matters. Isn’t that the reason I’m locked in a God damn padded room every single night?
How long have I been here? Hell, Don’t you know? I’ve been here nearly seventy years now. Since eight grade. Isn’t that in your Link-pad’s notes? Didn’t you even look at the God damn files? Didn’t you read them first? What do ya mean change. You’re asking me if I’ve changed? Ha,ha, pretty damn simple I’m sixty-eight years older. Ha,ha,ha. Hell, everything’s changed over the past years except maybe the damn ugly stuff. That’s what I call them. Ya, damn ugly shit.
You know damn well what I’m talking about. The awful gorey things I hid. The fuckin’ crap that I didn’t get rid of. The awful stuff I had in my closet that Sheriff Bartalow came and took , way back then. When I was just a damn kid. Oh, you’ve seen them all. Of course, that’s why you’re the one they sent to give me another fuckin’ evaluation. That’s why you’re interested. Right? God damn, I knew it. What did you make of them? God damn ugly shit, right?
Don’t you tell me not to use no profanity. I’ll God damn, fuck, shit and hell all I want. Ya hear that? Ha…ha,ha,ha. Okay, okay, I’m calm, I’m calm. No need to call the orderlies. See, I’m not even shaking from the damn Penozine anymore. It’s just these fuckin’ straps, there too damn tight. You’ll have an orderly loosen them. Just a bit? Ya, I’ll be good, thanks.
Glen The Senior Orderly In Ward C
That’s better. Yah, Glens a good guy. Start again? About Devil’s Cave? Okay, okay. Well, hell, the damn thing collapsed
Devil’s Cave On The Fox River In The 1940′s
How? From the damn pounding it took from the sixteen wheelers rolling over it on old route twenty-five. It just caved in. Ha,ha, get it? Ha,ha,ha. It caved in. Alright, alright I’ll be serious. The damn highway buckled under a semi-truck. Took out a pretty good section of the damn road too. Uh, huh…that’s right. Hauling rolled steel. Sometime back in the sixties.
Sixteen-wheeler Buckles State Route 25 Over Devil’s Cave
Took almost three month for the state highway crew to rebuild that part of the road. Filled in the God damn cave. It’s gone. I read about it in the newspaper. Hell, I read the paper everyday they let me go to the day room. And, I watch the HoloV too.
The HoloV In The Asylum Day Room
Sure, they let me out of this fuckin’ room. Your right, they always have Glen watching over me when they let me out. Ha, ha, ha. After all these years? They still think that I might try to kill myself. Shit, that’s the last thing I’d do. Ha, ha, ha.
Glen On Suicide Watch
What happened at Devil’s Cave? Ha,ha,ha. Hell, no one ever believes me. Don’t give me that I’ll believe you bullshit. Sure as hell, you’ll upload your fuckin’ Link-pad and I’ll be rotting here until another bright young intern comes along.
Doctor Reed Uploading Patient Information
All you want to do is impress your peers with a brilliant analysis of my, uh, psychotic condition. Am I right? Am I right? Okay. So you say you’ll believe me if I tell you about what happened to who? Clarence Dalaigh? You mean Mick? Okay, okay! Sometimes I have a hard time remembering Mick’s given name. Shit, maybe I don’t even want to remember. Mick disappeared forever. Period. No I didn’t kill him. Didn’t I just tell you that? Damn it don’t you even listen?
Fox Valley Newspaper Story
What? You think that I make all this fuckin’ stuff up? No other shittin’ thing about it. It’s just like the news story said. No, damn it. I didn’t kill him. Hey, can you get Glen back to loosen the fuckin’ straps more? They’re still too damn tight .
Wrist Strap On The Asylum Restraint Chair
God damn it Doctor, it all was real. Hell, maybe you’re not real. Maybe this is all one fuckin’ badass dream. Alright, I’ll relax. Breath in deep. Can I get a drink and an aspirin? Damn questions are giving me a hell of a headache. Hell, no I can’t wait.. You’ll call the day nurse? You mean Manny? Okay, I’ll Get back to what happened at Devil’s Cave.
The Section C Day Nurse, Manny
Well, the six of us decided to use Devils Cave for Mick’s initiation. Ah, thanks Manny. I needed that that damn aspirin.
Manny With Water And An aApirin.
Okay, Doctor, okay. Like the newspaper, said, it was my fuckin’ idea. Uh, huh, mine. The other guys just went along with it. No, no. It wasn’t going to be anything bad. We were just going to try and scare the living shit out of him. Ha,ha,ha.
Planning An Initiation For Mick.
Describe Clarence? You mean Mick? Okay, okay. He was kind of spindly. Rust colored hair, around eighty pounds or so. Ya, that’s an old Kodak of him alright. Where in the hell did you get that? From his sister, huh. Nope. Never see it before.
Kodak Of Clarence Dalaigh
That must be from before I knew him. Mick? He was a grade behind the rest of us guys in school. Always tagging along. Maybe. Oh shit, I don’t know, just because. Damn it, like I said. Mick just followed the rest of us around everywhere. Uh, huh. We all went to Saint Agnes. Sure, Mick went to the same damn school. Like I said he was a grade behind us.
St,Agnes Grade School
Remember the way Mick looked that day? Um..plaid shirt. Mended blue jeans over his swim trunks. Black tennis shoes. Regular stuff. Not too much different than what the rest of us were wearing. Maybe an undershirt and sox too. Ha,ha,ha.
Freckles? Ya,ha,ha,ha. Lots of damn freckles on his face, arms and legs. God awful scars on his legs too. Right leg mostly. The scars? I’m not sure. Something to do with a kerosene fire at his grandma’s house. I think a damn space heater blew-up.
Burn Scars On Mick’s Legs
Burned his legs bad. What? That must have kept him out of school? No shit. So that’s why he ended up a grade behind us. Hell, I never thought of that. Maybe you are smarter than the other fuckin’ doctors who talked to me in the past. Ha,ha,ha. Sure, all the guy’s let Mick tag along, just for fun. You know. To play ball and stuff. Didn’t make any damn difference to me.
Playing Ball With The Guys.
Not Clarence, Mick. Because he was Irish. No shit, we all had nicknames back then. Hell, we weren’t politically correct. The other guys? Sure, sure, they all had nicknames too. Ya, I remember them all. Um, there were the two Castlewhite twins.
The Castlewhite Twins, Donny And David
Donny and David. We called them Dewey and Louie. From the comics. After the nephews of Walt Disney’s Donald Duck. Oh shit, you probably never read a comic book in your life, did you? Do you even know what the hell I’m talking about?
Donald Duck Comic Book With Huey Dewey And Louie
Alright, alright, The other three? Johnny Banks, Jesus Balthazar and um, Richie Admaier. That was the six of us guys. Who Johnny Banks? Smoky. Because he always had a fuckin’ cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Ya, he was the oldest.
What? Oh, hell, no. No one stopped us from smoking back then. Sure, we all smoked. I kind’a liked Lucky Strike cigarettes.The ones with the red bulls eye on the package. Bet you don’t even know which damn brand I’m talking about. Am I right?
Lucky Strike Cigarettes
They were a sweet smoke. I sure would give a month of Sundays to have one right now. Just one fuckin’ drag. Ha,ha,ha. Hell no, I’m not wandering. The others? Uh, huh. Jesus Balthazar. Jesse. Mostly we just called him The Mexican. Ha,ha,ha.
No. Because he was a Mexican. Ha,ha,ha. Get it? Shit, you young doctors are as dense as blocks of fuckin’ kindling wood. Okay. Okay. The last one. Richie Admaier. Damn nice kid. Kind on the heavy side. Liked artsy stuff. We all called him Bonnie.
Why? Hell, I don’t know why. Guess maybe it was because his ma was Scottish. Ha,ha,ha. We just called him Bonnie. That’s all. Oh, me? The guys called me Albo. Ha,ha,ha. Ya, right. Funny damn nickname isn’t it? Well, that’s what they called me. Why? It was sort of a mixture of Alwood and brother. Came from my younger brother. He couldn’t pronounce Alwood. Ha,ha,ha. When he called me it came out Albo. No, not Elbo, Al. Like in the song. Don’t you know me? They call me Al, tum-tad-um.
When? No, I don’t remember the exact date, sometime in late July, I think. It was just one fuckin’ hot summer afternoon. Okay, okay. The year the war ended. When? Nineteen-forty-five. Damn, didn’t they teach you any history at med school?
The End Of The War 1945
We were playing tag with a some other guys in the east channel of the Fox River. Diving off the bridge near Hurd’s island. Seeing who of us could make the biggest splash. Just having fun. Swimming around in the damn muddy water all morning.
Jumping From The Compression Bridge Over The Fox River
Back then the island made two deep channels for swimming up above the dam, under the fuckin’ steel compression bridge. You’ve driven across it? No, I think that’s a new bridge. Goes right over the island now. Built in the late seventies.
Bridge Over The Fox River Above The Dam
Okay, okay, damn it. Like I said, Mick wanted to be one of the guys. And we had sort of decided on an initiation for him. Instead of heading for home after our swim I told Mick that we were all going to hike up-river to check out Devil’s Cave. About half mile up from the old bridge. I told him we were just going to look around in the cave. Hell no, nothing else. The third rail electric line? Sure it was nearby. Tracks cut out towards Chicago, past Devils Cave, upstream from the bridge.
CA&E Third Rail Electric Car
They wound around following the along the river. We were always pretty damn careful not to get near the fuckin’ third rail. No, there’s no tracks there now. The electric line went the way of the Dodo back in the fifties. Right after the war ended. Damn it, don’t you listen? I told you before, I read the newspaper. I watch the HoloV. I keep up. That’s how I know I know.
Newspapers On Day Room Table
Uh huh, Okay, okay. I’m calm. I’m Calm. Like I said, before it crumbled Devil’s Cave went under old state route twenty-five. Maybe some thirty feet deep. About eighteen feet high inside. I guess the fuckin’ river had cut it out of the limestone bedrock.
Outside The Devil’s Cave
Shit, I don’t know. It was always there. Folks said the cave was there since the Pottawatomie Indians inhabited the area. Every one of us had heard all of the tall tales about Devil’s Cave since we were little. We knew all about the ghost stories. Some said it was used as a purification site by a Indian shaman. Hell, some even believed it was haunted by his damn ghost.
Pottawatomie Indian Shaman
Uh huh, your probably right. Just stories to keep us kids out. Hell no, we weren’t afraid. To us, it was just a hole in the rock. That’s where Mick disappeared. God damn it, didn’t you hear what I said. I didn’t kill him. He just fuckin’ disappeared. Mick disappeared, damn it. He just disappeared! No, no, no, that’s not it. I disappeared him with the God damn Magic Papers.
The Two Penny Guess What Magic Papers
Didn’t you read the God damn files? Why do I have to repeat all this shit? I don’t like to remember. It hurts my head. And my damn throat’s dry. Can I have another glass of water now Doctor Reed? Can Manny get me another drink of water? After? After what? After you finish your damn upload? Okay, okay. I got the Magic Papers in a Two Penny Guess What. That’s what I said, a Two Penny Guess What. Damn, you doctors don’t know shit from shineola or much about anything, do you. A Two Penny Guess What is a colored paper roll, tucked in on both ends. Looks kind’a like an egg-roll or maybe a burrito.
A Two Penny Guess What
Ha,ha,ha. Because it cost two cents. Always has two pieces of taffy and some sort of a shitty small prize stuffed inside. Came in blue, green, yellow or a kind’a pinkish red paper. The prize? Maybe a puzzle, a toy or a nifty magic trick inside.
Candy And Prize Tucked Inside A Two Penny Guess What
Hell, if you had two cents back then, you could buy one of the damn things at any corner grocery store’s candy counter. You know what a grocery store is, don’t you, Doctor Reed? Ha,ha,ha. Shit, every damn neighborhood had one.
Neighborhood Corner Grocery Store
Uh huh. Okay,okay. I got two taffy candy’s along with the Magic Papers and a magic instruction book inside the Guess What. One paper was blue, almost black; the other one was orange, all folded up. About half the size of a book of safety matches. Don’t you fuckin’ people know anything? Safety matches. To light cigarettes We all carried a book of matches around. Ah, a flip open package with cardboard sulfur matches attached to the inside. And a striking board on the outside.
Book Of Safety Matches
Uh, the instruction? Damn simple. Unfold the papers, wrap an object in the orange paper, then wrap in the black paper. To make the object inside the papers disappear from sight, twist papers tightly at both ends and then shake three times.
Magic Papers Wrapped Up Ready To Shake
Hell no, I don’t know. Yes, yes, there was more. To return an object, place the black paper inside of the orange paper. Twist the ends tight and shake three times, object will reappear instantly. Ha,ha,ha. Sure, sure, I’m trying to stay calm.
Magic Papers Instruction Book
Oh for God’s sake, don’t you fuckin’ people understand. It worked, just like the instructions said it would , damn it. Ha,ha,ha. I tried it out on a penny. That’s how I know? It was the first damn thing that I tried to disappear and reappear.
Lincoln Head Penny
Okay, okay. The instructions said not to disappear an object a second time. God’s truth, that’s what the damn book said. No. I don’t know. It just said do not make a reappearing object disappear a second time. Hell no, it didn’t give a reason. You know. You damn well know. Sometimes the things I disappeared would come back looking awfully fuckin’ different. You’ve seen the stuff. You brought some of that God awful crap here didn’t you? Ya, that’s one. The bright shinny copper.
The Re-appeared Lincoln Penny
That came back after I disappeared the penny. Ha,ha,ha. It’s the first thing that I ever reappeared with the damn Magic Papers. Ha,ha,ha. Sure looks just like a inside out penny doesn’t it? Damn you’re smart. Interesting, fuckin’ thing isn’t it? That one. Ha,ha,ha. That’s what came back after I reappeared a baseball that I had disappeared. How the fuck do I know? It came back like that. A funny looking cork ball instead of the new Rawlings hand stitched baseball that I disappeared.
The Re-appeared Rawlings Baseball
Ha,ha,ha That’s what I said. Whatever I disappeared came back when I used the Magic Papers to reappear them. Always. Except sometimes when things came back they were awfully damn ugly. Really fuckin’ different than when I disappeared them. You think you know? What? You think you know that round piece of cork shit is what’s left of the Rawlings baseball?
The Rawlings Baseball
Ha.ha,ha. Can I have that water now? That damn Penozine dried my throat out. Damn it, can Manny get another drink for me? Ah, thanks Manny. Okay,Okay. You say you saw the big stuff? Ha,ha,ha. Some of the fuckin’ things are pretty good size, right? Sheriff Bartalow hauled off all off the ugly twisted shit I still had I my closet when the Judge decided to send me here.
First big thing I disappeared was my kid brother’s scooter. Hell, I was mad at him. That’s why I decided to disappear it. After I disappeared it I had second thoughts. About doing that just because he pissed me off. So I tried to reappear it. I don’t know what the ugly thing was that reappeared. Just a strange blob. Damn ugly piece of metal sorta the same size.
The Re-appeared Scooter
Ha,ha,ha. I hid it in my closet., before I started re-disappearing the fuckin’ ugly stuff that came back. Uh, to make room. I just folded the papers out. They were always big enough to wrap whatever I wanted to disappear. Hell, I don’t know. I could unfolded the Magic Papers to any size. Ha,ha,ha. Until they were big enough to wrap around any shitting thing.
Unfolding The Magic Papers
Hell, I don’t know. The papers always folded back down to the size they were when I got them in the Two Penny Guess What. Damn it, I don’t know how, they just could. Oh, you want to know what that had to do with Devils Cave? And Mick? Well, after I had screwed around with the Magic Papers for awhile the novelty wore off. My damn closet was filling up. Like I said, with a bunch of the damn ugly things that I had reappeared. I re-disappeared some shit just to make room. Ya, I tried that. Even though the instructions said not to try to make stuff reappear. I tried to reappear things again. Hell no. After I re-disappeared the shit that came back, it never reappeared again. No matter how many times I tried. Never. Nope, no. Never, ever. The damn things never came back again. Ha,ha,ha. Damn it didn’t you hear what I just said. Never!
That’s the God’s honest truth. I disappeared Scarlett that way. And I never got her back no matter how damn hard I tried. Oh hell no, not a girl Ha,ha,ha. Scarlett was one of old Miss Zabor’s tabby cats. Our next-door neighbor lady. Ha,ha,ha.
Old Miss Zabor’s Kitten
Clarence Dalaigh? Okay, okay. I told the guys if we got Mick to Devils Cave I had something to scare him real damn good. Uh, huh. No, they didn’t know nothing about the Magic Papers. I never told anyone else. Yes, yes, God damn it, I said that. Do you want to hear the rest of this shit or not? Then let me tell it. Okay? Yes, yes, I’ll stay calm. I’ll relax Ha,ha,ha. See, I’m not shaking anymore. Can Manny get me another glass of water? Finish this first? Oh shit. Okay, okay. Damn it. The day before our swim, I got the fuckin’ Magic Papers from my room. Then I went out to Devil’s Cave all by myself.
Looking Out From Inside Of Devils Cave
That’s right. Ha,ha,ha. Hardly anyone went there. I was pretty damn sure that whatever I did inside the cave wouldn’t be messed with. Then I unfolded the Magic Papers. Opened the damn things up to about double the size it would take to wrap Mick up in them. Laid them out on the ground in the back of cave. Ha,ha,ha. Just like I always did. Orange paper on top of the black one.
Laying Out The Magic Papers
Even put a rock on each corner of the Magic Papers so that even if a wind came up it wouldn’t blow the damn paper around. Next day, everything went like I said. Ha,ha,ha. All the other guy’s had to do was get Mick from the bridge to Devils Cave.
The Old Bridge Over The Fox River
No, he was none the wiser. When we got to the cave Smoky told Mick that in order to be one of the gang he had to go inside. I told Mick to lay down on the stretched out papers and close his eyes. Ha,ha,ha. And he did. Just laid down and curled up.
Folded Out Magic Paper
Smokey and I wrapped Mick up in the Magic Papers while the guys waited outside of the cave. It was all so fuckin’easy. After I folded the papers over the top of Mick we twisted the ends closed. Then Smokey went outside to get the other guys.
Mick Rolled-up In The Magic Papers Inside The Cave
To help with the shaking. Bonnie, Jessie and I grabbed one end of the papers. The twins and Smokey took the other damn end. We shook the damn papers with Mick inside. Even though he must have been scared shitless he didn’t make a fuckin’ sound. One, two, three. We shook and he disappeared. Ha,ha,ha. Hell I don’t know. Because there was no more weight. Ha,ha,ha. The guys thought I had somehow pulled a fast one. They thought I hid Mick somewhere in the back of the God damn cave.
The Search For Mick Ends
I told them that we had to rearrange the Magic Papers to make Mick reappear. Those damn fuckers didn’t believe me. They all thought that I was giving them some sort of bullshit and left the cave, laughing about the dumb stunt I pulled.
The Rationale For Mick’s Disappearance
I undid the papers, reversed them on the ground, and then re-twisted the ends. I shook the damn papers by myself, three times. Mick was back. Because the papers were filled out, Doctor. That’s how I knew. Ha,ha,ha. I peeled back the Magic Papers.
Returned Within The Magic Papers
It wasn’t Mick. All I had was a quivering, slimy pile of fuckin’ goo. Ha,ha,ha. Just like I got when I reappeared Scarlett. Just a pulsating, throbbing mess of shit. Ha,ha,ha. I couldn’t stand to look at it. I didn’t know what the hell do with it. Damn it, don’t you understand? Ha,ha,ha. That’s what the Fuckin’ Magic Papers did. I couldn’t leave it that way. Ha,ha,ha.
The Pulsing Thing In The Magic Papers
It was Mick! Ha,ha,ha. Inside out. Ha,ha,ha. Like the fuckin’ penny, the ugly ball, all the God damn ugly things. Ha,ha,ha. I put the damn Mick goo on the orange paper. Ha,ha,ha. Wrapped it in the black, twisted the ends, and then shook the papers. No God damn it, I didn’t kill Mick. I couldn’t leave him that way. I disappeared him. Ha,ha,ha. With the damn Magic Papers. Sure, I tried to make Mick reappear but he was gone. Ha,ha,ha. Just like Scarlett. I couldn’t get him back, Not then. Not ever. That’s what I told the judge at my trial. Ha,ha,ha. That’s right. I’m not crazy. I disappeared Mick with the damn Magic Papers.
In The Courtroom
Ha,ha,ha. From the Two Penny Guess What. Ha,ha,ha. Oooh my head hurts. Can I have that fuckin’ drink of water now?