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As I walked, I tried to keep my thoughts from making any compromise with the irrational and told myself that some explanation for our past danger in the plane would present itself, in time. I wore a heavy sweater, meant to have been worn in Chiloe, since the weather here was also cold.

Low heavy clouds formed overhead and a small drizzle of rain began to fall. I estimated it to be near evening. The dwelling was farther than it looked, however, so by the time I reached the wooden fence of the house I was soaking wet and the light through the clouds had dimmed a considerable degree. The fence surrounded the rural one-story house. Sparse trees dotted the small property irregularly throughout. To the east I could see the long forested area and to my north the small mountain chain and our plane like a speck of dust in the immense surrounding grassland.

I yelled from the fence to see if someone was home, but when no one answered I took it upon myself to enter the property, since I was by this time extremely chilled and wet. It was then that I noticed that the small wooden gate was open and the corral for horses was empty. I looked at the front door of the house and saw that it too was slightly open, creaking slowly in the wind.


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The property did not seem right. It now took on for me the impression of a house not lived in, abandoned, perhaps an old gaucho residence gone to rot, unnoticed in the quiet plains. A gaucho being an Argentine cowboy. The thought unnerved me that I and the pilot were perhaps the only two people in this out of the way place.

Uneasily I stepped through the door, since as I have said I was extremely cold and wet and needed to get help. I yelled again as I further entered — cautiously — into the dwelling. I could hear a lone shutter, now banging monotonously against a window. A sense of years upon years of emptiness hit me. The door I passed led into a kitchen. Decrepitude had done its work, and thick dust accumulated on the finger I ran atop a table.

I also noticed overturned chairs, lying sprawled as if knocked over in a hurry. I continued to explore the house, with its moldy smell of wet age. I noticed there was no TV, but only an old antenna radio. I found it strange that personal belongings and furniture should still remain in the house, more so in the three small bedrooms, where there were still bedsheets and clothes in the closets. It further confirmed my suspicions that the past residents were a family of gauchos.

The reasonably long age of the diary also unsettled me. Why had no one else been here since the time it had been written and then carried it off?

Eight Thesis on Phantasmagoria

With curiosity I took up the small book, wiping off the dust and cobwebs, and with slow mounting horror, in that house between mountains, sky and land, started to read it. Later on I went to my window and looked up at the stars. Father says the stars are eyes. The whales sing to the night, Uncle said, when he returned from the coast. He also saw ice-bergs on the water. Mom keeps telling me we should live our lives like nothing is happening. Uncle tried to remember if the old Fuegian or Patagonian Indians had any stories about these things. This morning I overheard Mom and Dad fighting.

Dad was saying how hard life is and then this happening. They stayed overnight and nothing happened. They laughed at my dad and uncle. I saw one good today standing nearby. Like Uncle describes them. I hate looking out my window at the mountains, where Grandma says they come from. Mom says from a pit in the ground, like devils from hell. There are more of them now. Every night they surround the house. Every night I hear the strange buzzing sound they make to the sky. I dreamt last night I saw them falling from the sky, millions of them like snowflakes.

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I hear everyone crying secretly. I want to go to school. I want to kill them all.

I would even run into the Antarctic. More friends came from close where the Beagle Channel is today. They showed themselves to them. Why do they only show themselves to some people? What do they want? He said he saw one eating Heber or at least he thinks it was eating him. It was impossible to see clearly. It was lying on the grass, a doughy, glistening, maggoty-thing Uncle says, and Heber was sticking out of the top of its head.

Uncle shot it again and again. I hear them buzzing and I hear more in the mountains and in the woods and on the prairie. I want to see Lorena to tell her about all this. I can see their shadows outside. I can hear their buzzing. Finishing the diary, I put the book down and became fully aware of how dark it had become. The plane and the mountains were completely obscured. Then I heard something enter the house where the kitchen was.

As it was, in the darkness, alone as I was, having just read that suggestive little tome, an overpowering sensation of menace and dread gripped me. I quickly tried to open the bedroom window, but it was jammed. Now trapped in that tiny bedroom, nothing helped to reassure my panic — especially when I heard the something move into the small living room, and then a rapid flapping sound like those of innumerable wings, followed in an instant by wrong-sounding footsteps, heading through the passageway in my direction.

I moved as quickly and as silently as I could towards the open doorway. I waited breathlessly by the side of the doorway. I planned to bolt as soon as whatever was coming passed through it or passed the bedroom altogether. As I looked from my corner I saw sideways from the door entrance, entering, a white malformed massy head, on a thick palpitating stalk of a neck, with what appeared like huge protruding teeth atop it and a slimy proboscis dangling down.

See a Problem?

I saw no more as now, in complete delirium, I instantly decided to run and jump out the window. The pilot said I appeared bloody, wet and banging on the outside of the plane. He hurriedly let me in. After this I began again to remember things, my last memory being a sensation of falling. We were both in an awful state. The things had manifested themselves to him also. He was surprised to see me alive. Looking out the window of the plane I saw that the cursed fog was not as thick here.

I could see the weird varied shapes of the creatures outside, hundreds of them writhing blasphemously atop the foothills, circling a huge jagged rock of protruding mountain. They seemed to sing, and I could hear answering echoes farther down and from above the receding mountains. The world was filled with their buzzing. A terrible vision overpowered my imagination. I envisioned those inhuman buzzing sounds in the night, atop those solitary peaks, spreading like signal fires atop the mountains; first here, then into the main of the Andes Mountains, and still vastly further up into Central America, all through Mexico and into the North American Sierra Madre and the Canadian Rockies, until finally those voices disappear into mist and snow in the Arctic, far on the other side of the world; all the while unheard by knowing human ears.

Long, unhallowed hours passed in that small plane, while that maddening noise continued. We saw lights moving through the mist and clouds and had wild impressions of monstrous goings-on and huge things moving just beyond and above our vision. I thought I heard the sounds of floating heavy machinery through the hard, pattering rain.

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