Planasthai On Location: "The Big Eraser"
Installment #: PAR-17
Sponsor: Envelope Logistics
So… I got this letter the other day. I was just getting home when it arrived. It's was small, worn, and had a black seal on it.
I should probably start from the beginning. Okay, so , there used to be a small island town just east of here. It was one of those places that was really wonderful in the summer, lots of tourists, great ice cream, you know how it is. Anyway, I was staying there for the summer.
Recording of rustling noise plays
That rushing noise you're hearing? That's the noise that was coming from under my bed. I think it was a Wednesday when I noticed things were, well, not quite right. People became more stilted, and wouldn't look each other in the eyes. Some kids had started digging over at the beach like they were trying to unearth something. It wasn't long until the cops showed up, but they didn't have much to say.
Police Officer: "What are you guys doing?"
Teenager: "Oh, hey, listen, we're allowed to be here, man, w-"
Police Officer: "I never said you weren't, pal. I just wanted to know why you and your buddies here are, uh, trying to move the whole beach, I mean this hole's gotta be four feet deep and, what, two square yards across?"
Teenager: "Um, I'm not sure, we're using metrics, but, there's no one else here man, were not doing anything wrong."
Police Officer: "…You kids must be really bored…"
There was no way anyone could have known what was going on. I doubt those kids did either. I remember seeing the look of confusion and fear in their faces as they dug. The kind of face you'd see from a lost puppy. It took three days before they hit anything. Somehow, they convinced a construction worker to help them. By then, of course, the hole was full of water, well under sea level. But they managed to lift out these red panels, at least a dozen. They were made of some kind of glass or crystal.
Peter: "What do you think they're gonna do once they're done getting those things out?"
That's the voice of my friend Peter, who was up for the week doing some bird watching . Peter had always been a very prolific Wayfinder. He was one of the few people who seemed to be reacting appropriately to these strange happenings. Everyone one else was little more than complacent. That police officer from earlier? He didn't even say a word when that group of teenagers found the panels. That should have been our first red flag. Eventually, Peter decided to ask the kids some questions.
Peter: "Hey there."
Teenager: "Hey, man."
Peter: "Whatchya digging up here?"
Teenager: "Not much. Some pebbles. Rocks and stuff."
Peter: "Ahuh… What about those big red panels? Any idea where tho-"
Teenager: "Hey, man, we're kinda busy right now. I don't wanna be rude but you're kinda being really rude."
Peter: "I didn't mean to intrude."
Teenager: "No, you didn't. So can you like, give us some breathing room, man?"
Peter: "Um, sure. Sorry about that."
Peter leaves the teenagers and approaches me.
Me: "That's not normal is it?"
Peter: "No it's not. Nothing these past couple of days has been normal."
Me: "Well, whaddya wanna do about? Should we just leave? I can call us a water taxi."
Peter: "Nah, nah. I wanna stay a bit longer, see if I can ask around and find out what's going on. I'll phone up Martin."
Peter: "Yeah, Martin, he's got that bar up in Lewiston, with that library entrance in the back. He might be able to dig up something."
Martin sent Peter what he could find, and Peter passed it onto me. By this point, the kids had dug up all the red panels, and were filling the hole back in. Nobody seemed to even notice.
Information was scarce, and very old. What little Martin had uncovered all pointed to something called "The Big Eraser". As far as I could tell, it was some entity, or a collection of entities, that fed on large sums of stuff. Supposedly, it's virtually impossible to see this thing in action, though. Books on the subject only exists because it does a sloppy job of cleaning up after itself. And now this thing, whatever it was, was here in the temperate suburbia of a quaint island town. This was, troubling, to say the least.
It was later that afternoon at one of the local cafe's when Peter pointed out something. There seemed to be less people milling about the streets. There was a sense of distance and detachment that emanated from everything around us. You can probably see where I'm going with this. The whole town was slowly being sucked away from reality, like water circling the drain in a bathtub. And there we were, in the middle of it, watching it go and unable to do anything about it.
The next day, those kids had filled in the hole, and apparently buried something small in the sand during the early hours of the morning. The streets were eerily silent as I approached them for a brief interview. They nervously accepted.
Me: "Can you explain why you were digging at the beach for the past couple of days?
Teenager: "Um, sure, man. We're just trying to find a way to duck and weave through this, you know?"
Me: "I can't say that I do."
Teenager: "Oh come on, man, you know something's wrong in this town. You feel it pulling you. It's like the tide dragging everyone out to sea. We were trying to set down some anchors."
Me: "And the panels?"
Teenager: "… We think this has happened before. There's a lot of weird junk on this island, man. Stuff that looks out of place and doesn't belong. There's this man in an old house down by the fire department. He's been there longer than anyone can remember, never leaves the house, man, and according to city records, nobody officially lives there."
Things started to look different, in a way I couldn't quite place. Everything looked a bit too aged. I walked around the town for what seemed like hours, taking in the strangeness of it all. What few people there were still out and about walked mindlessly and without purpose like a bunch of zombies. Eventually, I decided I had enough, and went to call myself a water taxi back to the mainland, and invited Peter to join me. He happily agreed.
That could have been the end of the story right there, but you know better than to think that. A couple days later, and safely at home, I scoured some online news sources to see if anyone had investigated those strange happenings. Not only had they not, but it appeared that there was never a town on that island in the first place. All records of it had fallen off the face of the earth. The receipt for my water taxi ride back was blank, and the few little knick-knacks I had purchased from the local store there had vanished all together. I started looking deeper, and re-reading the information Martin had given Peter and I.
It was gone. The town was gone. It had been erased. It didn't exist, and everything seemed to indicate that it never existed. Thinking back on it now, I think I was only lucky enough to survive because I left before getting caught up in that temporal sinkhole. That didn't explain those giant red plates, but there was nothing I could do about it, so I did my best to let it go. For a few months, that actually worked.
That is, of course, until I got this letter here. This little worn letter with a black seal. It seems like this eraser entity knows it did a bad job at covering its tracks, and needs help finishing the job of what I assume is erasing that town. I'll read it to you now, and leave it at that, because there's nothing else I can say about it.
"On an island town is a beach covered in red glass panels shaped into semicircle patterns. These patterns form concentric circular figures in the sand. At the center of the innermost circle is a locked brown waterproof box buried 3 feet below the surface.
The combination to the lock is 19, 12, 32. Inside the box will be two scraps of paper. One will have writing on it. Find a pen, any pen, and duplicate the writing from the paper onto the other paper. Close your eyes for 15 seconds.
Proceed down the hallway, but do not make eye contact with anyone there. When you see something at the end of the hall, give it the piece of paper, and tell them you were sent to 'help with cleanup'.
Next, find the abandoned house with a tree growing out of the roof. It should have a house number of 153. Knock on the door. Someone should let you in. Tell them you’ve come for a song. They will play you a song of four notes that fit within a twelve tone chromatic scale. Write down those four notes.
Go to the hill near the docks. There is a patch of grass that grows taller than the rest. In that tall grass you will find a horn. Play the four note song on it.
Follow the path that reveals itself, and approach the molten center with caution. Use something metal to remove the object from the core. Give the object and the horn to the entity who showed you the song.
Finally, go to the tallest building of the city. Go to the top floor only if you are permitted. There you should find six stacks of black shiny metals, cut into octagonal spires. At the top of each of these spires is a locket. Take the locket with a red E on it. Return it to the front desk in the lobby of the building and say nothing. Light a candle and leave the island forever."
Planasthai On Location is written, recorded, and voiced by Victor Orion, with editing by Francis Erstwhile. This audio recording was produced by Planasthai Magazine. This installment of Planasthai On location is sponsored by Envelope Logistics. Start investing in the concept of your future.