The Imagination of a Child – Season 4 Episode 15

A child sits on a bed, facing away. A dark fog appears on the right. A VHS-like distortion is impacting the picture. The title is displayed: The Imagination of a Child.


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
References to death, profanity, discussion of a tumor
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Jeremy reviews documents from Doctor Patel about Malcolm Foye’s childhood inside Project Hydra, after his sister disappeared. He finds information on a deity Malcolm was obsessed with that could allegedly bring people back from the dead. Jeremy discovers that the entity known as the Grinner was brought to life by Malcolm – as opposed to the actual entity he was trying to summon – but nonetheless it grew so powerful that it was no longer under his control. The actual entity may still be out there somewhere.
Jeremy learns his health is worsening, but isn’t concerned about it, because he is confident from his vision at the Pyramidion that’s not how he’ll die.



Despite witnessing someone entering Joseph Foye’s hotel room moments after Brianne left, I still felt a sense of trust in his motives, and it didn’t even concern me enough to mention it.  I considered it intuition, though I also admitted to myself that my contact with the Pyramidion may have helped me with a sense of discernment about these kinds of things.  

For example, I couldn’t necessarily read her mind, but I just know that Brianne has pure intentions in her efforts to help me with the papers.  Although, I suppose she never gave me a reason not to trust her.  I was sure about it.  This is just one of the many things I have been getting used to ever since then.  I have to wonder if these effects are going to be permanent, or if they’ll dissipate over time.  But then again, time seemed irrelevant while I was touching it.  I’m leaning towards thinking it’s not going to be a factor.  

My entire outlook on the papers has changed now.  Ever since the Pyramidion, I’ve felt a reluctance to dive back into the papers.  There’s danger there, yet they beckon me.  It’s like I already know that continuing to pursue the podcast, looking into Hydra, all the families and lives they’ve managed to damage… It’s a more polarized direction for my life than where I’d like it to go. So while I’m sharing my own story as it happens now on the regular podcast episodes, I’m keeping the one-off stories about reports of local paranormal events to Patreon as kind of a side project.

My wife has been talking about having more children, which I’m not opposed to, and this whole experience has made me appreciate the family I have, even if I never find out what happened to my parents.  At the same time though, I feel pulled toward the papers, unable to simply walk away and let Hydra continue to do… whatever it is they’re doing that once involved me.  I need to make sure they can’t do anything to my family.

I heeded Joseph’s advice about looking into Dr. Patel’s case logs for Malcolm.  There were actually several documents included, most of them containing the label of the pentagram. What’s interesting is most of the other Maker and Shepherd files aren’t nearly as thick as Malcolm’s.  This leads me to believe that he was either extremely gifted or somewhat of a troublemaker… or perhaps both.  Thankfully, she filed these in what seems to be chronological order, though there are no dates on these documents and they don’t specify his age at the time.  

Dr. Patel had some notes scattered throughout these documents, with an incredibly long note on the very top.  She expressed in this note that she only had access to a portion of Malcolm’s medical and psychological information.  The rest was above her clearance level.  She references conversations between Malcolm and one of the Hydra psychologists at the time.

He had a fascination with the occult in early childhood.  They went so far as to provide him literature to read.  Books about witchcraft, spells, and demonology.  They even gave him a King James version of the Bible.  Patel expressed frustration in her notes at the lack of diligence in their methods, that they never sought the source of his fascination with the supernatural.  She maintained a theory that it all led back to his sister, Tabitha.  Her own interactions with Malcolm concluded that until the accident with his dog around the same time he made Tabitha go away, he had actually been a very normal child.  Of course, normal in the psychological sense, not taking into account his abilities as a Maker. 

His behaviors changed dramatically after those events, and if the Hydra doctors gave two shits, they would have noticed and documented a change in his demeanor whenever Tabitha’s name had been mentioned.  And they did mention it several times.  Only they seemed to document Malcolm’s increasing abilities at the time, only having an interest in that, instead of how Malcolm was actually handling the situation.  In some ways, her notes made her sound appalled at Malcolm’s treatment, like she had a heart that wasn’t made of cast iron.

Patel’s notes also indicated Malcolm produced a name during those early sessions.  Malcolm had begun asking questions about a deity figure that he read about in some of his books named (BLEEP).  I’m editing the name out in case it happens to be similar to demonic entities, and going on the theory that stating its name may give it power.  Call me superstitious, I suppose.  

Malcolm’s journaling took a turn after he began speaking of this being.  According to him, it began appearing to him in the night while he was alone, or at least he thought so initially as he couldn’t be certain if he had been fully awake or if he’d been dreaming.  The way he described it was very similar to the way I had begun experiencing shadow figures in my home, peering at me around my bedroom door all that time ago when the Grinner stepped into my life.

I paused my research of Patel’s notes for a moment and took some time to look up this thing’s name online.  A lot of similarities existed between this so-called god that Malcolm refers to in his journals and in Patel’s documents, but there’s also some distinguishable differences.  

I recall previously reading about this being commanding 30 legions of demons in hell and being considered a higher-ranking priest among those given authority to roam the earth.  But as I looked further into it this time, I was focusing on differences between its description and what I personally knew of the Grinner.  This thing is said to have certain powers or abilities that aren’t traditional in demonic lore.  For instance, there are historical references to various cultures worshiping it.  There have been statues found across the world in Greece, South America, and Asia that bear its resemblance.  There are even hieroglyphs in Egypt that are similar.  Most show the appearance of a bipedal, extremely tall humanoid shape but with the head of a bird.  Some depictions have feathers all over and there are some differences between human hands and talon-like claws.  

I still haven’t run across anything saying this thing has anything resembling a large grin, but almost everything I could find about it on the internet says it’s rumored to have the ability to bring people back from the dead.  To anyone who claims to have witnessed it in person, it could be summoned in the hopes that good fortune and protection would be offered, but it also only seems to appear to people who have experienced extreme loss or trauma.  Some of the writings claim it has brought the dead back to life.  Is this what Malcolm was trying to accomplish?  Is he still trying to find a way to get Tabitha back?   

I looked through more of the documents that Dr. Patel had sent me, and I was able to find quite a bit more related to this deity.  One of the documents explained that Malcolm had fallen asleep while reading about this being when video footage captured it on the CCTV monitor after hours.  There was a disk included in the file that I imagined might have some evidence.  Unfortunately, when I tried to insert it into my DVD player, I wasn’t able to view it, so I ordered an external USB DVD player before I could get into the files to check it out.

It was exactly as I imagined at the beginning.  It was old footage, and Malcolm looked to be about 13 or 14 years old.  The quality was poor, and it was quite blurry, but I suppose they didn’t have high-resolution security cameras back then.  

The camera looked like it was fixed to a corner in the room and you could see Malcolm sitting up reading.  A few minutes go by and you can see his head start nodding before he eventually gives up and lies down, the book still open.  A couple of minutes later, you could see Malcolm’s mouth moving.  I don’t know what he’s saying because there’s no audio, but it appears to be repetitive.  And then he stops, and appears to be in a pretty deep sleep.  

A couple more minutes go by and you start to see what looks like smoke forming underneath the space under his doorway.  Then the door opens.  It’s moving slowly, but there’s nobody on the other side of the door pushing it.  It’s moving on its own.  The smoke begins to form a pillar just inside the doorway, stretching from floor to ceiling in a dark, thick cloud you can’t see through while Malcolm continues to sleep.  

You can see the lights in the hallway outside the door begin to flicker as tentacles of smoke stretch out from the main column. One goes toward Malcolm’s desk on the opposite side of the room as his bed.  Another goes toward a chest at the foot of his bed.  Yet another goes toward the book lying next to Malcolm, and several more begin to sprout and examine the things in the room.  Then they all rotate to the side of the smoke column nearest Malcolm and merge to form one large tentacle that makes its way toward him.  

The end of it reaches Malcolm’s face and spreads out, covering it entirely from the view of the camera.  And just as smoothly as it’s been moving the entire time, Malcolm’s head becomes elevated off his pillow, followed by his shoulders, and then his back.  This smoke column is somehow lifting Malcolm up into the air while he’s sleeping.

He’s like this for a really long time.  If I wasn’t so astounded at what I was watching, I would have thought to myself sooner, ‘If this is all on video surveillance, was anyone even watching?  And why hasn’t anyone gone in there to help him?

After what seemed like 5 whole minutes of watching this, the smoke column disappears and Malcolm falls back on his bed, but doesn’t wake up.  It’s the weirdest looking thing I’ve seen in a while… including that video of the Grinner from the hotel parking lot footage.  I decided to slow the video down and look frame by frame.  The smoke disappears first, and then Malcolm falls.  But even more importantly, it only took three frames for it to entirely disappear, and it didn’t just dissipate either. 

The first frame shows it moving away from the floor and ceiling just a bit, shrinking in height.  You can also see more of Malcolm’s face in this frame, but it’s partially obscured by some of the smoke.  Advancing to the second frame shows the smoke column reduced to an odd-shaped mass about the size of a basketball, but not symmetrical.  The single tentacle leading from it to Malcolm’s face is split into two tapered down smaller ones going into Malcolm’s nostrils while he’s still suspended in the air.  By the third frame, the mass is gone and just a billow of black smoke is seen, rather blurry, still going into his nose.  The next frame shows Malcolm’s body starting to drop down toward his bed.

This thing went inside Malcolm.  I don’t know if what I just witnessed is this supposed deity, the demon we’ve come to know as the Grinner, or something else entirely.  That was the first of over 40 video clips contained on that CD!  And yes, I took the time to meticulously watch them all.  After I did, I continued to read through a lot of Patel’s additional documentation from over the following couple of years.

All of the Hydra names are redacted from this paperwork, but it seems like they actually made efforts to learn more about this entity, which continued to manifest itself in Malcolm’s room at night.  Efforts were made to apprehend this being, or to at least get eyes on it in the first-person by some of the Hydra Occult Studies team.  Of course, the figure was not able to be apprehended, but the longer this surveillance went on, the more it started showing itself, and the more it began to take on different appearances.

After going through years of documentation included in that box, and after a several year gap in documentation, only a few were included of Malcolm’s from his mid-twenties.  Those few had Dr. Patel’s name on them, and I suspect they’re from her early interactions with him.  They recalled Malcolm’s continued interaction with the being, which Malcolm hadn’t initially been sure he had successfully summoned versus something he manifested entirely on his own.  Patel suspected the latter since there was no specific proof, at least of a scientific basis or even historical resemblance of the deity Malcolm had been reading about in his childhood and had attempted to bring forth.  Patel ultimately concluded that this being was a result of Malcolm’s Maker abilities, completely brought into existence by Malcolm’s imagination.

Over the years, Malcolm had developed a kind of relationship with it.  He taught it things, had an inner-dialogue with it, and nurtured it, until it began thinking its own thoughts and making its own decisions.  Malcolm had been somewhat of an authority figure over it for years until finally, one day, it decided it didn’t want to do what Malcolm wanted it to do.  It was a powerful being, and one that had superhuman abilities itself. It could read minds to an extent, it knew things that most people didn’t, and it wasn’t a demon or a deity of any kind.  It was the product of Malcolm’s imagination that had developed its own motives and intentions.  

It soon flourished outside Malcolm’s authority and began venturing further into the world, using Malcolm for its own purposes, influencing his thoughts and actions to further influence other people like the Order of the Divine Acolytes.  A cult. It told Malcolm what to do, almost like a possession, and its influence was strong.

Patel theorized it would leave Malcolm entirely to cause chaos, and she had been developing a plan with Hydra to contain it.  She included a report in her documents from the Department of Occult Studies within Hydra.  She read it, but wasn’t sure whether its conclusions were correct.  And then right around the time she began seeing evidence that it was growing more and more powerful… that its physical independence from Malcolm was likely going to happen soon, she received a phone call from Malcolm saying it had already occurred, and that he needed help.  

According to Patel’s notes, she met him in a park in the middle of the night, and found him lying down on a park bench, barely able to move, and bleeding from the chest.  He told her about this group of people who had lured him into a church to confront him.  Malcolm claimed to have blacked out shortly after arriving, and awoke when a man named Jeremy had been using an ornate dagger to carve the Star of Cepheus into his chest.

He reported to Patel that this being, who we’d referred to as The Grinner, was no longer with him.  Patel noted this event as further proof of her theory that Malcolm had brought The Grinner into existence with his Maker abilities, which meant he had initially failed in summoning the being he thought would be the answer to his problems.  

There was one last page in the folder containing Malcolm’s documents, and it just had a few scribbles on it.  It was hardly legible, but it had my name on it.  Below my name, it had the word, “Podcast,” and then next to that, it had in capital letters and underlined, “THE STORAGE PAPERS.”

The very last marking on that page was a gigantic question mark.  I had a feeling that Dr. Patel may have had the same question that’s been shuffling inside my mind this whole time reading this.  The question that had me wondering for so long: If the Grinner we met in that church was something that Malcolm just brought into existence based off of what he read about the real entity and a lot of his own imagination, then the real one is still out there, and Malcolm is likely still trying to summon it.  He’s still trying to find Tabitha, and the only way he knows how is to pin his hopes to this deity.  

I wonder if that’s why he’s kidnapping Makers and Shepherds.  Either way, I know Patel was likely in on something with Malcolm, and I only wish she would have left me some kind of clue as to what was going on in her notes.  I still have more of them to sift through, but at a glance, these are the main documents containing Malcolm’s name.  

(pause and music)

Before I end this episode, I need to follow through on a promise I made you all.  I told you that I’d be following up with you regarding my neurology consultation, and after receiving the results of my MRI.  It’s kind of complicated, but I’ll do the best I can.

My neurologist basically said I have a tumor that’s growing rapidly inside my brain.  The MRI confirmed there’s vasculature within the tumor, meaning it’s growing with its own blood supply, which makes it very risky, if not impossible to remove.  Basically, if they go in to surgically remove it, there could be an unrecoverable brain bleed.  But there’s the irregular shape of it as well, which makes it seem like it has fingers extending into other regions of the brain.

Right now, there’s no reason to believe it has metastasized to other areas of my body, however, that risk is also high since it can easily travel via the bloodstream.  I’m supposed to have a repeat brain scan in about a month or so. 

I don’t know exactly why I’m sharing all of this on the podcast except that I started this season with the intention of being more transparent with you all about some personal things.  But I also don’t feel too worried about this thing.  You see, I’ve seen my death.  Witnessed it first-hand.  The Pyramidion showed it to me.  And I know for a fact that I don’t die because of a brain tumor.  The only thing that really concerns me now is why Malcolm claimed to know I was going to die soon. 

Knowing – Season 4 Episode 14

An elderly man floats above a bed in near pitch darkness. The title is displayed: The Knowing.


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
References to death, profanity
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Jeremy, Brianne, and Joseph track down the next appearance of the Pyramidion. The Pyramidion appears, rendering Jeremy’s attempt at recording it useless, and finds that the roughly 10-12 hours spent with in its proximity somehow translated to nearly a week. While in its presence, Jeremy telepathically learns that the injection Doctor Patel gave her to help them stop the Dream Killer took away Brianne’s abilities…and that she wants them back. Jeremy sees two futures for himself: his own death, and growing old with his wife. On the way back, Joseph tells Jeremy and Brianne that they will begin to experience new abilities, and their growing power could make them a target for Malcolm.



It took me about thirty minutes to get to the hotel.  It had been three days since I spoke with Joseph Foye, and the entire drive had me contemplating this whole thing.  The podcast, when I started it, I thought was going to be something of a “monster of the week” type of thing.  Entertainment for people who enjoy tales of the unexplained.  I never could have imagined the shift it would take.  My drive to the hotel was reflective.

Look at me now.  I’m a character in what was supposed to be a story about other people and their strange experiences.  It never occurred to me before my drive that the peoples’ stories I was sharing and the often life-changing outcomes that happened as a result; Perhaps they weren’t my stories to tell.  It’s kind of fitting that I’m in their position now in a sense.  I mean, I have a choice regarding whether or not to tell my own developing story and keep the podcast going, but at this point, I think I’d be a hypocrite to stop, right?  I guess I’m trying to find the right balance between my own privacy and following through on something I’ve started.

Part of me really thinks these stories need to be told.  You don’t hear about them on the news, but they happen.  Law enforcement, and a majority of people in general tend to ridicule these types of things, and they need to be normalized.  Perhaps I should make more effort to randomize some personal information when I share them on the podcast.  I can’t help but feel like getting this out there is still doing some good though.  

Look at me… I’m rambling into a microphone like a crazy person. At least for now, I think it’s important to continue sharing everything I’m learning, at least for the people of San Diego and the bordering Southern California regions.  This stuff is going on without most peoples’ knowledge, and there needs to be accountability.

That said, as I neared my destination, I felt uneasy.  I couldn’t explain it until I turned into the parking lot.  I stopped after my car cleared the driveway before looking for a parking space.  The lot was fuller than I’d seen it before, but from my perspective inside the car, I couldn’t help but imagine my view in the spectrum of infrared, as I had seen it so many times before.  This was the hotel where Joseph Foye’s alternate self had been decapitated by a gunshot wound. It’s where I observed the Grinner on video for the very first time, and it’s where Ron’s presence was confirmed by a version of that video given to me by Doctor Patel.   

I couldn’t help but wonder why this location was selected.  Was there something about it that remained pivotal?  I parked my car, and without hesitation, began walking toward the room that I was familiar with from the video.  There were a lot more cars in the parking lot than I expected.  I wondered how many people realized there was a grizzly crime scene here.  That thought had me contemplating how this hotel was different than any other, and how many deaths actually occur at hotels that we don’t even know about when we stay at them.  I can’t explain my morbid train of thought, but figured I’d share.

As I approached the door to the room, I pulled out my recorder and hit the record button.  As I raised up my closed fist to give a wrap on the door, it swung open before my knuckles could make contact.  Brianne stood and beckoned for me to come in.  The lights were off and the curtains were drawn. 

My eyes struggled to adjust to the darkness of the room, and before I could ask her any questions, she leaned in and whispered, “That won’t work in here”, placing her index finger on my voice recorder.

She was right.  I had left the recorder on during my entire visit to the hotel room, but static interference was all it picked up; A phenomenon that I haven’t ever observed with that digital recorder before.

She used the same index finger to raise it to her pursed lips, indicating she wanted me to be quiet.  My eyes weren’t quite adjusted just yet, but I made a shrugging motion, wondering why I needed to be quiet.

She placed both hands on my shoulders and turned me toward my right, then pointed towards one of the beds.  I couldn’t believe my eyes as the room revealed another person within the room.  Joseph Foye was above the bed, seemingly hovering in mid-air like some kind of magic levitation trick you’d expect to see at a county fair.  Only, he appeared to be asleep.  

Brianne leaned in and whispered, “He’s been like that for a couple of hours.  Apparently, he goes into some kind of trance state to locate the Pyramidion right before it’s about to appear.  Sometimes he turns in the air like a rotisserie chicken.  Fucking crazy, right?”

“Fucking crazy” was definitely accurate.  I stared for quite a while until I realized my mouth was agape.  Something about watching him hover in the air like that was mesmerizing.  I turned to look at Brianne, and was about to ask her why we had to whisper when she became startled while still looking in Joseph’s direction.

Being somewhat surprised by her expression, I turned to look at Joseph again, and I don’t know how the hell he did it, but he was standing upright about a foot away from me, fully awake, as if he’d been there with us the whole time.  I don’t know how he was able to go from hovering above the bed to handshake distance within what seemed like a nanosecond, but it made my hair stand on end.

“I’m glad you came,” he told me.  “I know where it’s going to be.”

He walked over to a little circular table in the room where he had a laptop and pulled up some information.  I couldn’t see exactly what it was, but after a couple of minutes, he picked up the hotel phone and made an outgoing call.  Brianne and I could hear through the receiver that someone picked up and said, “Hello?” before he immediately hung up the phone and told us, “We’re going to need to wait until sundown to head out.”

We all spent several hours in that hotel room.  We each let our guards down a little and got to know one another.  Joseph was… well, grandfatherly.  He had old war stories and loved a good joke.  He had a kindness and consideration for Brianne and me, and was generally pleasant to be around.  Still, there was sadness about him.  I sensed some element of regret.  He held back his emotions, even when I asked him about Malcolm, but you could tell they were lingering, hidden behind bottomless blue eyes that contrasted with his light gray hair.

Brianne, on the other hand, had seemed to relax.  She was smiling and laughing.  I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever seen her smile, and I couldn’t help but feel a bit of relief knowing that she was enjoying the company.  She’s a strong woman who’s been through a lot, and she’s handled herself quite well among the circumstances she’s been put in.  

We ordered pizza from this mom and pop place nearby and had it delivered.  It was probably the best pizza I’d had in California, and that’s saying something considering how long I’ve lived here.  I never knew this pizza place existed, and when I practically cried after taking my first bite, Joseph gave me one of those winks that grandfathers do and said, “Good, isn’t it?”

Once our bellies were full and the conversation began to die down, we all began checking the clock on the nightstand.  Sundown was around 6:00 p.m. that night, and we all got into Brianne’s car as soon as the light left the sky.  Joseph directed her to drive to Coronado Island.

After crossing the bridge, Joseph directed Brianne to a residential street uncomfortably close to the Naval Air Base on the island.  She stopped, turned off the engine, and asked Joseph, “Okay, what’s next?”

Joseph said, “Wait here for a minute,” and exited the vehicle.  We watched him walk across the road, past the house on the corner, and perhaps one or two houses down the street beyond that before stopping and pulling out a cell phone.  Brianne and I glanced at each other wondering what he was doing.  

He paced back and forth for a couple of minutes while he was on the phone, looking at a couple of the houses as if reporting information about them, and eventually hung up and started walking back to the car.  Once back, he said, “Now we just need to wait a few minutes.”  

Less than five minutes later, a fire truck came around the corner with sirens blaring.  Six firemen exited the truck and began to go door to door knocking and evacuating people from their homes.  While people gathered in confusion across the street from the fire truck, where the firemen were now inspecting the gas main, Joseph had a mischievous smirk on his face.

He said, “Gas leaks can take a little while to find.  Are you two ready?”  

Brianne and I both chuckled and nodded, then Joseph led us toward the corner house, on the adjacent side where the fire truck and all of the home occupants couldn’t see us.  I watched him scale a shoulder-high brick wall like I probably could have 15 or 20 years ago myself, amazed at his physical abilities.  The man just kept surprising me.  Brianne followed, and then I did, admittedly a bit more awkwardly.  

The backyard was mostly level, but toward the adjacent wall, there was a steep downhill portion that Joseph motioned to.  We were able to see one of the firemen in the window of the home, likely the kitchen, and remained out of sight until we saw him exit that room. Once it was clear, Joseph led the way and stopped in front of a large open wastewater drain pipe big enough to walk in hunched over.  Once inside, he pulled out a flashlight.  The smell was pretty bad, but thank goodness there was only an inch or so of water in the bottom of it.  I’m not sure I’d be able to handle it at a waist-deep level.

He led the way straight back for a while, and then made a right turn.  After 10 feet or so, the tunnel opened up to a larger room where several other drainways entered.  Joseph turned around and assisted us out of the pipe to the level ground within the room.  Then he picked up a piece of rebar he found on the floor of the chamber and drew a big “X” next to the tunnel we just came out of saying, “In case we get turned around in here.”  

I looked around the room and asked, “Where to next?”

Joseph said, “It will be here shortly.  Not sure if you’ll be able to get much use out of your recorder, but you might as well turn it on and try.”

And try, I did.  I pulled out my field recorder, turned it on and pressed “record.”  We stood there and waited for about 20 minutes, but then… I can’t even begin to explain what happened using words.  I want to play back what the audio recorder picked up at first before I give you some additional information.

SOUND: Distorted, unintelligible talking is heard, then it distorts completely to a warbled, almost science fiction-like noise.

In case you couldn’t understand that, I asked if it was possible that he might be misinformed about the location this thing is going to show up at.

It was dark and I couldn’t see him, but I could feel him glaring at me as if I asked a stupid question. He told me I was very perceptive.

We felt a great rumbling, like an earthquake. That’s when Joseph said, “No, it’s coming.”

I was concerned about our safety. Then my head began to hurt. Brianne was asking if I was okay and the audio just kind of warbled out until it was no longer recognizable. That sound proceeded to last approximately twenty seconds on my recorder, but there’s a couple of things I am struggling to explain about it.  

First off, I have a 32 GB micro SD card in that recorder that was formatted prior to pushing the record button.  It should be good for at least 12 hours at my current settings.  Including the 20 minutes of standing around prior to hearing those strange noises, there’s just a little over 22 minutes of audio recorded on my SD card… yet the SD card’s memory is completely full.  What I just played for you took up a majority of the memory storage, which seems impossible to me.

The other thing that’s troubling is what actually happened after my head started hurting.  We were 5 feet or less from the Pyramidion for what seemed to be at least 10-12 hours.  So not only was the digital recorder memory maxed out after 22 minutes, but after we left, and once I got home, I was greeted by my wife who was not happy with me.  According to her, I had been missing for nearly a week.  She had even called Detective Anderson, who knew what we were headed out to do, and he was able to reassure her a bit, but he wasn’t able to estimate how long I would be gone.  I’ve gotta say, my employer wasn’t happy with me at all either.  

I’m happy to describe what happened during my perceived 10-12 hours near the Pyramidion, but like these details I’ve just shared with you, I can’t say I understand it completely, or even try to explain it, so I’ll just summarize it from my own experience.

It all started with the rumbling sound that was similar to an earthquake, and then we heard this kind of pulsating, almost mechanical sound as the Pyramidion phased into the room.  It was like it wasn’t there, and then all of a sudden, it was.

Brianne didn’t hesitate at all.  She walked right up to it and placed her hand on it.  She seemed to be reacting with it, almost like she was having a conversation, but not using words.  She would nod her head, well up with tears, and make hand gestures.  After a few moments passed, I could hear – not with my ears, but internally within my head – her conversation with her brother, Ben.  It was like a doorway to the dead, but that’s not all that resided within it.

Joseph motioned for me to get closer to it.  I was hesitant at first, but after taking some slow steps toward it, my emotions became uncontrollable.  Tears flowed down my cheeks as I felt an overwhelming sense of joy.  I’d never felt this happy before, and I could hear Brianne, Ben, and Joseph’s voices inside my head in unison say, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it Jeremy?”

At that point, I closed my eyes.  I instantly saw into my past.  It was like my brain was reduced to downloaded information that I had long forgotten, and I just received some kind of upgrade that allowed me to instantaneously remember a lot of my memories.  I remembered my children being born, my wedding day, and things I was doing with my life before my wedding.  I remember bits and pieces of the Hydra experiments.  I remembered for the first time the process I had undergone to previously erase my memories.  The process that has been disguised as my accident.  I didn’t recognize the people strapping me into that chair just before losing consciousness, but I knew they were Hydra.  Deep down, I had hoped I could remember my parents, but that didn’t happen that night.

It’s a dangerous thing, mettling with ideas you’ve cut yourself off from for so long.  I had made peace with the fact that I might never remember my parents, but I guess some part of me still had hope – at least after Joseph suggested there was the possibility that my brain might be healed here.

The entire time all this was occurring, I could see different things.  They weren’t complete, but I could see some of Brianne’s memories.  She hadn’t said anything to me, but the injection that Dr. Patel had caused her harm in some way.  I concentrated to see if I could learn more.  It was removing her abilities over time.  Brianne was with us in hopes to gain them back, and to potentially even grow her abilities beyond what she previously had.  She had been keeping a majority of them secret from me.     

The Brianne who’s head I got into at the Pyramidion was not the Brianne I had come to know.  It’s hard to explain.  She had an insane amount of initiative and was out for purpose.  I think I’ve spent so much time observing her grieve, it was unexpected.  She was ready to take on challenges, to fight the uphill battle, to destroy Hydra. It’s hard to explain this shift in perception, but let’s just say I’m glad we’re on the same team.

I was also able to see some of Joseph’s memories.  He had regrets, mainly over Malcolm.  He hadn’t lost hope for him, but he was damn close.  At one point, I got the sensation that Joseph was aware that I was voyuerizing his memories.  For a brief moment, it almost felt as if Malcolm was there with us.  I could sense his presence, but at the same time, I figured it was likely just a memory or sensation of Joseph’s that I was tapping into.  Still, I easily recognized it after being near him a couple times now, and it reminded me of our conversation in the prison.

It’s hard to describe in its entirety what I was feeling at that moment, but I knew three things: One – that I felt a bit ashamed, like I had been witnessing something unintended, yet I continued to watch.  Two – Joseph became immediately aware of it and had the ability to shut it down, though he didn’t seem upset.  It was like the acceptance a parent experiences when they catch their child telling their first lie – it’s just a part of being a child.  And three – If he hadn’t done that, I would have seen more.  I don’t know how I knew it, but he had a lot of answers that I was seeking, but I just couldn’t tap into them.  I only knew it was there once it was gone… a void space, like a tooth that had been pulled that your tongue can’t help probing.  I also got the faintest notion of something else though.  It was almost as if Joseph had some kind of hidden motive for bringing me here, but that moment was fleeting.

At one point, it was almost as if he suggested I not focus on the petty information of the past, and guided me toward greater possibilities, focusing forward.  He seemed to already be aware of some events that he wanted me to see, and telepathically encouraged me to focus, so I did.  Once I knew how to look there, I knew what was going to happen in the coming weeks, and when I leaned toward the Pyramidion and concentrated, I could see further into the future.  I stepped closer to the Pyramidion and my ability to see these things exponentially increased. I can’t and won’t tell you about some of the things I witnessed in the pristine reflection, in and around me, for fear of those things coming to fruition.  But I will share one of those things I was initially afraid of.  I saw my own death.

I can only share this with you because I could feel my emotions at the moment of my death.  It wasn’t necessarily sad.  I am comforted.  I have closure.  I was also able to see beyond my death, but it was confusing.  I could see myself growing old with my wife, living by a lake in a log cabin, enjoying a quiet life with nature and stargazing next to a fire at night.  But it’s all happening after I die.  I’m so confused. I’m not sure which version is real.

I turn to look at Joseph, who has his eyes closed and his right hand is outstretched toward me.  What’s he doing?  I try to perceive his thoughts but can’t any longer, but I still feel somehow reassured that I can trust him.

When I touched the Pyramidion, my inner self awakened, and I could see into the abyss.  I now have knowledge of things that are there, of the beginning and of the end.  Alpha and Omega exist outside of our perception of time.  They just are.

The feeling of elation was basked in for hours after I made contact with it.  There was no fear, no stress, no being worried about anyone or anything.  In that time, we just were… and it felt amazing.

And then all of a sudden, the feelings subsided and silence befell us.  I opened my eyes to darkness, knowing I had permanently changed.  My body ached and I was exhausted. And eventually Joseph said we needed to return to the hotel.

The car ride back to the hotel was silent.  It was like we already knew what we’d say to one another, and speaking in that moment would just ruin it.  We savored it while it lasted.  I do recall that feeling subsiding as we re-entered the hotel room.  It was almost disappointing being away from the Pyramidion, like returning home after a long, relaxing vacation, with the knowledge that you inevitably need to return to the mundane routine on Monday morning.  Brianne and I were a bit disoriented when Joseph started speaking again.  

He told us that we’d each experience new abilities over the coming weeks, and that came with a few warnings.  He said that would attract the attention of entities that hadn’t known us yet, and that using those abilities was like turning on a lighthouse in the dark.  It would draw them near us as we grew brighter.  He encouraged us to use those abilities sparingly.  He said there were things that would flourish in our light, and there were also things that would seek to destroy it once they were aware of its presence.

He also warned us about Malcolm.  He said he may be able to somehow sense us now, or perhaps inherently know that our abilities are growing without having been with us.  He told us Malcolm had been exposed to the Pyramidion as well long ago, and that he desired to be near it again, and we should not underestimate the lengths he might go to in order to make that happen.

One final thing he suggested was to more thoroughly review the documents that Dr. Patel had sent me before her untimely death.  He believed I could gain more insight into Malcolm’s current motives by reviewing any information contained within those files.  He seemed sad again at this suggestion, and if I hadn’t perceived it previously, it would be apparent that he held some level of regret whenever he brought up his grandson.

As we began to leave the room, I felt exhausted and somewhat sore.  My legs were tired, which made me think of my physical condition as reported to me by my physicians.  As far as the “healing powers of the Pyramidion,” I can’t be sure.  I certainly don’t feel any different right now.  The headache I had when it first arrived went away as soon as I had touched it.  But I suppose I’ll need to wait until my next doctor’s appointment or brain MRI before I’ll know if any physical benefits occurred as a result of my exposure.

As Brianne and I got into the car, I sat for a moment and contemplated asking her about having her abilities removed by that injection Dr. Patel had given her.  I wanted to know more about her motives for getting them back.  I couldn’t muster the courage to ask though, and I didn’t want to seem too nosy for peering into her thoughts without her consent back there. As she pulled out of the hotel parking lot and began to drive away, I got a glance of the hotel from the street just for a moment.  The door to Joseph’s hotel room had been reopened, and I saw someone else walk in before it left my line of sight from the car.

Choose Your Fate – Season 4 Episode 13

A tombstone with Jeremy's name is reflected in a Pyramidion. The episode title is displayed "Choose Your Fate."


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
Profanity, references to suicide and suicidal ideation
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Jeremy learns he has a brain tumor and is ordered on bedrest while he’s scheduled for follow-up tests. While recovering, he describes his meeting with Joseph Foye at El Campo Cemetery. Joseph reveals he was blackmailed into working with Hydra in a similar way that Ron was. His daughter (Malcolm’s mother) is killed by Hydra and Joseph finds a way to get out. Malcolm is coerced into bringing an alternate Joseph Foye into our string of reality, who ultimately ends up helping Joseph create a resistance group to Hydra. We learn that alt. Joseph is the body from the hotel and that Gerald Hubert (helping Joseph) uses that to fake his own death.



Hi everyone.  Thanks for joining me again this week on The Storage Papers.  First things first, I suppose.  I’m still waiting to find out when I can see neurology.  COVID is a persistent bitch.  Every time I have a doctor’s appointment, or try to schedule one, they tend to be a few months out supposedly due to staffing levels and/or delays in available resources for the medical teams.  

I can’t begin to describe how frustrating it is… knowing there’s an uncontrolled growth inside my skull that could potentially threaten my life.  A lot of my time, as well as my wife’s, have been spent since the last episode trying to get literally any neurologist in our own county and any neighboring county to see me soon.  But so far I haven’t had any luck.  Perhaps that’s just not in the cards for me… might as well keep the podcast going in the meantime.

Interestingly enough, the news about my tumor on the last episode also got the attention of Brianne.  She baked some cookies and brought them over.  This seemed like an incredibly kind gesture, and given the fact that I’d seen all of the instant-meal options inside her pantry and refrigerator, and had also never seen her cook, let alone bake anything, it meant a great deal to me.  I can see how her career choice of becoming a nurse really suits her.  She’s kind, and right now, the world needs more of that.  Needless to say I think I got one of the cookies she made while my kids devoured the rest of them.  Kids will be kids I suppose.

Brianne wasn’t the only person who’s attention was grabbed by that last episode though.  I received a text from an unlisted number with an address, a date and a time.  The text was followed by the initials, “JF.”  Joseph Foye wanted to meet with me.  Thankfully, he was willing to let me record our discussion when we met:

Joseph: Thank you for being willing to meet with me on such short notice.

Jeremy: Honestly, I was surprised to see your text.  But also, you tend to shed a lot of light on things involving the papers… and it’s great material for the podcast.  Do I have your permission to record our conversation?

Joseph: Of course.

Jeremy: Great, thank you!  So what’s new?  Since El Campo, I mean.

Joseph: Well, first I just wanted to say I was sorry to hear the news about your brain tumor.

Jeremy: Well, I don’t know much yet, so I’m trying to stay in good spirits.  I just hate all the medical delays we’re experiencing right now.  It’s probably harder on my wife than it is on me at this point.

Joseph: I understand.  But there’s something you should know.  About your tumor, that is.

Jeremy: What’s that?

Joseph: Well, we’ve seen this before in the Hydra kids.  There was enough of them in the Pyramidion experiments to be considered… “statistically significant” to presume that your tumor may have been caused by one of two things:  Prolonged exposure to the Pyramidion or…

Jeremy: Or?

Joseph: Or what they did to you after you were discarded from the program.

Jeremy: So it’s true?

Joseph: Jeremy, I think you’ve known for a while that you were once a test subject of Hydra.

Jeremy: Suspected, yes.  Known?  I mean, I don’t have any memory of it.  I know I have medical files with the other Makers and Shepherds, but are you saying that you’ve known this whole time?

Joseph: Yes.

Jeremy: Why haven’t you said anything then?

Joseph: It’s not my story to tell.

Jeremy: You say that a lot.

Joseph: Only once before if we’re counting.

Jeremy: So why tell me now if it’s not your story to tell?

Joseph: I was asked to tell you, in light of your news.

Jeremy: Before it’s too late, you mean.  My prognosis is really that bad?

Joseph: No, I don’t mean to assume that what’s happening with you is the same thing that happened with the other Hydra kids.  And I’m not here to relay any sort of “doom and gloom” messages.  I’m here to offer you some information, and a little hope.

Jeremy: Lucky me.

Joseph: Look, I’m risking a lot every time I communicate with you.  If you’re not interested, I’ve got other things I can be doing.

Jeremy: No, sorry.  It’s just that I’m taking in a lot of information right now; some very personal, and I’m just not sure where my priorities should lie.  I’m kind of thinking, if I don’t have much time left, I really shouldn’t be wasting what little bit of it I may have on this podcast.  I should be with my family.

Joseph: Or, I have another potential solution for you.

Jeremy: One that can remove a tumor?

Joseph: Well, yes… and no.

Jeremy: Oh this is great.  I can’t wait to hear this!

Joseph: You’re upset.  I understand that.  But let me share some information with you first, and why it’s so important to consider what I have to offer.

Jeremy: I’m all ears.

Joseph Foye sat there with me for a couple of hours telling me some of the history of what Hydra was doing with children.  Aside from the experimentation on those kids with documented abilities, the manner in which they became part of those test groups was inhumane.

They had learned early-on how to identify some of these people with varying levels of abilities. They knew there was a higher concentration of people with abilities, or with the aptitude to develop them based on blood type.  They had access to physical medical records in the early days under privileges created and funded by federal medical research grants.

Eventually, with advancing technology in genetics, Hydra formed their own genetics research department and solicited help from several government-contracted companies including SCIC here in San Diego.  This was before Hydra’s main place of operation was here, but it’s also what helped bring it here. SCIC and Hydra are often synonymous with their growth rate in the region, but rest assured they are not the same. 

San Diego is unique for several reasons.  There’s the high cost of living compared to other regions in the country.  It’s a military town, which would offer quick aid to Hydra or its subsidiaries if and when needed.  It’s also a port town, filled with people widely varying in economic status, and it contains a relatively small number of people who are native to the area.  Ask any of the former San Diego Chargers’ fans – they can vouch for that.  

But the area also seems to have some other elements to it with reasons that have yet to be discovered.  There’s a high population of citizens with abilities here.  It’s been suspected that the high concentration of local appearances of the Pyramidion may have something to do with that, but it’s also never around long enough for Hydra to study it very much.  It just vanishes at seemingly random times after appearing.  And there’s really no way to know if it’s related or not, but it would follow suit that the high concentration of paranormal events reported in the area could be a result of the Pyramidion’s presence as well.  

Hydra has been studying these phenomena for years now.  Partially to try to determine if these paranormal experiences can be linked to Maker/Shepherd abilities, and if so, what percentage of them are.  Needless to say, they have been able to link a portion of them to paranormal occurrences, but certainly not all of them.  Still, the region has a higher rate of phenomena prior to the Pyramidion’s first-ever recorded appearance here.  That’s very significant to Hydra.  

Another such location in the country, with high concentrations of unexplainable events, is what people refer to as “Skinwalker Ranch,” a farm and homestead on the Uintah Basin in Utah.  The ranch itself is but a fraction of the size of the area Hydra has been studying in Southern California, but I think you get the idea.  One might be tempted to say these locations, without any current scientific explanation, perhaps contain a thinner veil than others.  They are somehow geographically aligned to be paranormal port towns in a sense.  Travelers to and from our plane of existence have high traffic through here.

Jeremy: So why tell me this now, when I’m most tempted to dump this podcast project and walk away?

Joseph: It’s an important piece of background information necessary for you to understand what I’m proposing next.

Jeremy: What is it you’re proposing?

Joseph: My grandson, Malcolm, has been looking for me.  He knows I have an understanding of when and where the Pyramidion is going to turn up next, and he believes that by finding it, he’ll be able to amplify his abilities enough to bring his sister, Tabitha back from… wherever it is that he sent her so many years ago.

Jeremy: Is that possible?  Why not help him?  He’s your grandon.  And why do you need me?

Joseph: True, he’s my grandson, but we’ve had somewhat of a falling out and quite frankly, he poses danger to me.  But you, however; I really wish you knew what you were capable of before your accident.  

Jeremy: Wait… did you know me before my accident?

Joseph: Of course.  I had hoped that, after meeting with me; After meeting with Gerald, that you would remember.  

Jeremy: I hate to disappoint, but I don’t remember you… or Gerald.  Who is he?

Joseph: The point is, you were extremely gifted in your abilities at one time.  Hydra found a way to remove abilities and I know you received treatment to have yours removed long ago, but the things you’re saying in your podcast, about experimenting with your abilities… you’re regaining them years later.  It was my hope that you would also regain your memories as well.

Jeremy: Do you really think that’s possible?

Joseph: I don’t know, but I think it’s worth trying.

Jeremy: How do I try?

Joseph: It’s just a theory of course, and I don’t want to prematurely get your hopes up, but I want to get you near the Pyramidion.  

Jeremy: Is it nearby now?

Joseph: No, but it will be soon.

Jeremy: How can you tell?

Joseph: It’s hard to explain.  I get these visions.  I’ll just be going about my day and all of a sudden I’m feeling like I’m in a daydreaming kind of state.  My peripheral vision goes dark, but I see it in front of me as if I’m standing right next to it.  I can always see a little bit of its surroundings.  Each time it appears, it’s like a countdown.

Jeremy: What do you mean?

Joseph: Well, the first vision I receive is usually 3-4 weeks out.  Then the second vision is usually a week or so later.  Then the visions happen more frequently as it gets closer to the time it appears.  Within a day of its appearance, I’m usually in full vision-mode and not really aware of my surroundings very much.  I’m like a walking zombie, leading the way to the Pyramidion.

Jeremy: How do you function like that?

Joseph: With help.  Gerald Hubert is one of my closest personal friends, and has been since my earlier days with Hydra.  Ever since he first witnessed me in this state, he’s been there to help me out, and he’s never divulged any of it to Hydra.  He’s a man of integrity, and one of the few I can count on a single hand that I completely trust.

Jeremy: So, when do you think it will appear?

Joseph: I believe it will be within the next week.  Perhaps before your podcast airs with the recording you’re making right now, but definitely before the episode after that.

Jeremy: And… what is it you think will happen by getting me near it?

Joseph: I hope that you’ll benefit from one, if not multiple, positive effects by being near it.  In a small percentage of the Maker and Shepherd test subjects, there were children with known illnesses that, after close-proximity exposure to the Pyramidion, were completely cured.  

Jeremy: Forgive me if I seem skeptical, but that’s something I’ll need to see to believe.  What else?

Joseph: Well, we’ve never put any test subjects who have had their memories wiped by Hydra near the Pyramidion again.  It’s possible that, with its restorative properties, you may regain your memory since your “accident”.

Jeremy: Do you remember my accident?

Joseph: I wasn’t there, but I was aware that they were staging it.  Jeremy, it’s important for you to understand, you posed a threat to their research.  It’s actually kind of funny that you still do with this podcast of yours.

Jeremy: Funny isn’t the word I’d use.

Joseph: Right.  Sorry.  But Jeremy, I’m also hopeful that your abilities might be restored.  

Jeremy: I’m actually not so sure I want that for myself.  The more involved I get in this, the more risk of danger I place myself and my family in.  What makes you think I want that to happen?  What makes you think that’s even possible?

Joseph: I can’t speak to what you want for yourself or your family, but think about it.  You’ve seen Brianne experience an increase in abilities as a result of being close to the Pyramidion.  She actually touched it in your podcast episode, “A House on the Corner”.  

Jeremy: You mean Brianne didn’t have abilities before that?

Joseph: She did, but Hydra had taken them away from her.  But since then, she has begun to develop abilities that I would suspect are greater than she had prior to Hydra’s intervention. 

Jeremy: So let me get this straight.  You’re saying that I was once experimented on by Hydra because of some abilities I had.

Joseph (interrupts): Maker abilities, yes.  You were classified as a Maker, as you’ve seen in the medical files that Brianne opened.

Jeremy: Okay, so I had Maker abilities that somehow threatened Hydra’s research, so they took those abilities away, wiped my memory, and let me live my life.

Joseph: Yes, after they were convinced your memory wipe had been successful.

Jeremy: And why didn’t they just kill me?  They don’t seem too bothered by ethics.

Joseph: They had incentive to keep you alive.  Again, not my story to tell.

Jeremy: Okay… and now you want to take me to the Pyramidion because you believe there will be a chance it can cure my brain tumor, restore my memory, and return my Maker abilities while possibly even enhancing them to a greater degree than ever before, which (at the time) was a threat to Hydra’s research?

Joseph: Erm, yeah.

Jeremy: And what’s in it for you?

Joseph: Believe it or not, I actually care about what happens to you.  And I have mutually-aligned interests in the potential outcome of all of this.

Jeremy: Mutually-aligned interests?  Forgive me for being a little bit apprehensive.  My kids would say, “This is totally sus”.  

Joseph: I only want what’s best for you.

Jeremy: I have to be honest with you.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s best for me lately.  And not just me… what’s best for my family.  Maybe it’s the news of the growing lump inside my skull, or perhaps it’s just the shitty train of events that continue to occur as a result of this podcast, but I’ve seriously considered just giving all of this up.  Ron can have his fucking papers back.  Why he collected all that and would just let his rental payment lapse is beyond me considering how “important” it all is, but that’s not the point.  The papers have brought me nothing but trouble.

Joseph: And that’s your choice, but consider the potential benefits you could experience.

Jeremy: I’ve learned to live without a memory of my childhood, and from the sound of it, my mental health is probably best served without revisiting that.  I also don’t give a shit about gaining any kind of psychic abilities.  The only reason I would consider going with you is if there’s a chance I could get rid of this growth on my brain, and I’m still not convinced it’s worth the trip given all that other stuff, which all sounds more like a curse than a blessing.

Joseph: I understand.  It’s your choice.  But consider this: How long will it take you to get your neurologist appointment?  How many tests will they need to run before determining whether it’s operable or not?  And how long before your surgery can be scheduled, if it’s even possible?  They might try chemotherapy, perhaps with a combination of radiation therapy, and you might have a chance at success.  But at the rate your tumor is growing, I’m concerned you’re about to begin a losing race.

Jeremy: Wow, you should write greeting cards.

Joseph: I’m just trying to be realistic.  As I said, it’s your choice.  You have a chance at a cure within the next week, which you’ll likely know whether or not it worked well before you can schedule your first neurologist appointment.  Or you can wait.  Put all your chips on the table, betting on a medical system that has been stressed to the breaking point with a pandemic, in hopes that it will respond before your clock runs out.  It costs you nothing to consider my proposal.

Jeremy: Well, when you put it that way.

Joseph: So, you’ll come?

Jeremy: I was kind of being sarcastic.  I’m just not sure.  I need some time to think about it.

Joseph: Okay.  Take some time.  Again, I’m not here to pressure you one way or another, but I hope you’ll consider it.  Talk to your wife.  Go sit at the beach by yourself and meditate.  Do whatever you need to do to make a choice, but don’t take too long.  I don’t have any way of knowing when the Pyramidion will appear next.  Sometimes it’s months, and sometimes it’s years between these visions I have.  There is one other potential benefit for you going, but there’s no use discussing it if you decide not to.  But please, make a decision.

Joseph handed me an envelope before leaving our meeting containing a plastic room key to a hotel nearby where he was staying, along with a brochure for the hotel with its address and the room number written in sharpie on the bottom of it.  He told me that I should be there no later than 3 days from now as a conservative estimate, just in case the Pyramidion appeared a bit earlier than he anticipated.  

I went home and took some time that evening to go over the options with my wife.  I admit that during the conversation with Joseph, I was kind of emotional.  Deep down, I agreed with everything he said about the lack of faith I can have in the medical system to work efficiently and effectively right now.  My wife and I also agreed that the benefits of going to the Pyramidion outweighed the little risk involved… that is, if Joseph was being honest and including all of the information needed to make an informed decision.

I think I would have come to the same conclusion if I hadn’t discussed it with my wife.  I mean, people generally want to live.  I decided to go.  Three days after our meeting, I drove to the hotel on the brochure and met Joseph Foye.

The Pentagram – Season 4 Episode 12

A slightly crinkled paper with a crudely drawn pentagram next to a stamped 7-fingered hand with an eye in the center. Handwritten text: THE PENTAGRAM.


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
Profanity, possession, supernatural horror, references to cancer
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Jeremy’s perception of time is off. He reads documents from early on in SCIC’s research for Hydra into religion and the paranormal indicating that there may be a difference between entities created by Makers or brought in by Shepherds, or actual malevolent entities of unknown origin. At the end, Jeremy finds out he has a tumor.



SOUND: A clock is ticking.

My meeting at El Campo had me wondering how much of the information Joseph Foye passed onto me could be verified through the papers, or perhaps through the stuff that Patel had sent over.  Of course, I’m supposed to be on bed rest or “taking it easy” still, even though I feel just fine at the moment.  Still, I asked Brianne to bring me some files that I recalled reading that may now bear pertinent information.  She was taking her sweet time though, and I’ve been here for days just waiting for her, staring at the wall and thinking things over.

Reading about all of these people, and meeting several now, who claim to have these “abilities” makes me wonder, since our names are in the medical files, whether or not Brianne and I have some level of abilities as well.  I can tell you for certain, I’m becoming more and more accepting of this possibility, and have even been doing my own little experiments while I lie here in bed.  It’s strange though; I don’t seem to be able to fully experience anything during waking hours.  But during times where I’m nearly asleep, or if I find myself daydreaming, that I… start to experience things differently.

For instance, there’s a small crack in the paint on my wall opposite my pillow in my bedroom.  I was nodding off a few days ago, just staring at that crack as I’ve done so many times before.  Do you know how you can stare at something long enough and your brain tricks you into thinking it’s moving?  This wasn’t like that at all.  

SOUND: Eerie music plays.

The crack, which was only a couple of inches long, started to travel further down the wall toward the floor.  It split open as the entire house shook, and a huge hole appeared in the wall, large enough to drive a small car through.  Within the crack that widened by the second, darkness.  

I reached over to my nightstand and picked up my cell phone.  No matter what button I pushed, it was inoperable.  It didn’t seem broken though.  It was obviously on, but as I went to toss it on the bed, it remained suspended in the air.  I grabbed it in the air and held it in front of my face, then let go.  It just hovered there, magically suspended in the air, seemingly frozen in time. When I looked over at my clock on the wall, the time was frozen at none oh three. The second hand wasn’t moving. My skin got prickly and I noticed I could see my breath.  The temperature was dropping.

Movement in the direction of the crack in the wall caught my attention, so I turned to look at it, but my phone, still suspended in the air, was partially obstructing my view, so I placed it down on the bed.  

SOUND: Whisper voices are heard.

The darkness behind the crack in the wall grew even darker, and though I saw motion, I convinced myself that my eyes were deceiving me.  Truthfully, I couldn’t tell you what I was looking at, but it felt like there were hundreds; even, thousands of eyes upon me.  

I started hearing voices.  Mostly soft voices and rarely comprehensible until I heard one specific phrase:

SOUND: Louder whisper says, “I think he can see us,” followed by a few seconds of silence, then eerie music continues.

“I think he can see us.”  Those six little words inspired so much fear in that moment.  And as soon as I heard them, the whispers silenced, and the movement in the darkness stopped.  The room was so quiet now that my ears were ringing.  I reached for my phone again, and hadn’t really decided if I was going to call my wife, who would really worry about me if I told her what I witnessed, or if I should call Brianne, who would likely understand and believe me, but who I was frustrated with for taking so goddamn long with bringing those papers over.

As I checked for functionality of my phone again, it seemed to be working, but when I looked up at the crack, it had completely closed up, save for the couple of inches it started out being.  Only now, there was this smoky, tarnished appearance around the crack that wasn’t there before.  Perhaps a remnant trace of a doorway closed that otherwise would never have been noticed.

I heard my front door open and called out my wife’s name, thinking she was home from work already.  I thought this would be an ordinary conversation, so I apologize for not having recorded this part. Instead I heard Brianne say, “Nope, it’s just me. Do you want anything from your fridge?”

I said, “No thanks,” even though I was incredibly hungry.  I wanted to get my hands on those documents and actually have something to occupy my mind.  I said, “What took you so long?”

Brianne looked at me kind of annoyed and said, “Jesus. Pushy much?” as she brought in a coffee that I hadn’t asked for, but actually really appreciated.

I said, “Sorry, it’s just been a few days and I know you’re busy. I do appreciate you taking the time though.  What have you been up to?”

Brianne’s expression turned from annoyed to perplexed as she felt my forehead with the back of her hand.  She said, “How are you feeling today?”

I replied, “Just bored really,” and I apologized for my appearance considering I hadn’t gotten out of bed for a long time.

Brianne asked, “When did we speak to one another last?”

I told her it must have been four or five days ago, when I asked her to bring me the documents.  Right after my follow-up MRI.

She stood up straight and looked at me.  She said, “Your MRI was yesterday.  You called me two hours ago, and I dropped what I was doing and went to get your files, then stopped on the way here for the coffee.  It’s been two hours.”

Impossible.  I looked at my phone and the calendar date matched up with what she was saying.  I looked at my right arm and I could still see a fresh needle mark from the contrast injection from the MRI.  I thought for a moment, and I hadn’t seen my wife in what felt like several days either.  I also admittedly smelled pretty bad.  I said, “My MRI was on a Friday.  If that was yesterday, then today should be Saturday, so where are my wife and my kids?”  

Brianne said, “They went to the farmer’s market off Leucadia. You told me they went there.”

I was disoriented and said, “But that was days ago.”

Brianne took a few minutes asking me some questions, going into full nurse-mode.  I explained to her what had just happened with the crack in the wall and the voices.  We considered the possibility that some kind of temporal distortion had occurred, giving the appearance that several days had gone by, but I could tell she was more concerned than amazed by my story.  In that moment, I realized I had a problem: even though we’re working with some unexplained and downright scary things, people are always going to be questioning whatever I say because of that brain lesion they found on the CT scan.  I shouldn’t have said anything.

She hung around for a couple of hours until my family got back home, and I asked her not to say anything to my wife for the time being.  I would tell her, just not immediately.  No need to worry her about anything since everything seemed normal now.  Brianne made me promise to tell her before my next doctor’s visit, and before this episode aired, which I did, then she left.

Once I ate some breakfast, I started rifling through some of the documents Brianne brought over.  She had included some of Patel’s documents as well, including some general notes she seemed to write out in an outline style relating to SCIC.  To be honest, some of this stuff seems like I shouldn’t be sharing it on the podcast, but at the same time, it was given to me and I’ve never signed a non-disclosure agreement with SCIC myself, so I guess I’ll find out if anyone there actually listens to The Storage Papers.

First I’ll go through some of Patel’s notes, but I warn you: they appear a bit jumbled and hasty.  I’m not sure when she wrote these or if she’s writing in chronological order.  It almost seems as if she was making an outline of her own research, or perhaps a much larger conversation she was planning to have.  I’ll read a few now.

At some point, the shepherds and the makers got the attention of real entities – not things simply made up or manifested by them, but what, by ruling out all other options, appears to be actual demons, monsters, and there was even rumors of Extraterrestrial Biological Entities, though I’ve never seen evidence of that myself, so I’ll be focusing on spiritual beings.  Method of contact remains unknown, but assuming it involves either psychic communication or extra dimensional travel of some kind.   

Hydra was primarily military-driven until the late 1970’s. At that time, SCIC, a San Diego-based civilian contractor was hired as a 3rd party consultant to assist in quantification and verification of results through peer review. Even after the military mostly exited the higher ranks in the organization, it attracted retired military, who infiltrated the company and grew the organization to what it is today.  

Outside of the work hired to do by Hydra, we were primarily dealing in weapons research and aerospace, but the lesser-known branches of the organization deal with weaponization of just about anything. SCIC personnel were the first to classify the Makers and the Shepherds, and to come up with the symbol system for labeling files. 

These were on separate small notepad pages all torn out and freely floating within the documents.  This next item though, was more formalized and looked like some kind of report, except it lacks the element of a cited author and it’s not addressed to anyone (I should note that there is a crudely-sketched pentagram symbol here, in addition to the 7-fingered hand symbol.  It’s the only time I’ve seen it drawn on any documents instead of either stamped or part of letterhead).  It reads:

Potential Overlapping Studies of the Psychical Research and Occult Research Departments: 

Early research into psychic abilities, before the standardization of testing methods used today, produced some anomalies.  It is unclear whether these anomalies are random in nature, or if they could be linked to post-World War II research.  

I was able to find some historical documentation indicating the U.S. Army once had more of an interest in occult studies, spanning back to the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, however, these are only referenced in some of the documents I have access to, and thus far, my requests for a higher clearance level have been denied.  

Where they seem to correlate most is in some of the earlier Psychical Research projects, prior to SCIC contract negotiations where often crude and considerably less ethical testing methods were used.  Early documents I have access to are primarily indicative of test results we see now within the Maker and Shepherd classifications, but the research was sloppy to say the least, and evidence suggests there may have been variations in results compared to present-day research.  Testing was conducted in a more random way and repeatability wasn’t always considered before results were documented.  I can see why SCIC didn’t include much of this documentation in its own archives, but there may be some valid information worthy of further, more thorough research.

I’ve gathered 7 or 8 documents where the overlap of departments is significant, however, I do not have access to the names of the test subjects.  It appears that psychic testing had been underway systematically when the first anomaly was noted.  

A test subject described as “promising in their abilities” from the psychic research studies was temporarily utilized in an occult study. Prior to the occult research being performed, the individual had noted characteristics of being able to imagine something and manifest it.  At the time, they were instructing them to imagine abnormal objects and even living things that do not exist so they could conclude that the subject was creating something new, rather than bringing something here from another place.  It’s evident by the research comments that string theory wasn’t on their minds back then.

Occult studies occurred for five weeks, and then the subject was returned to the psychical research department to resume testing.  Only after returning, results varied widely compared to results prior to the occult studies.  The subject began manifesting darker things.  It was recorded that several beings of unknown origin began to manifest.  These beings were intelligent, communicated well, though independently, and had what they described as “intimate personal knowledge of the people conducting the research”.  

These differed from other manifested living things in that the Army was attempting to control the previous beings, and they were trainable, compliant, and performed as expected so well, that the Army noted field testing having occurred in combat scenarios.  But these new beings didn’t seem to be like that at all.  They decided to take a more conservative approach with them and try to learn more about them prior to making any decision to commence any other forms of testing.

I am going to attach one of the scientific observation reports to this document as an example, but behaviors varied widely and were considered unpredictable, thus insufficient for military usage.  Despite that being the case, these entities seemed to allow the Occult Research Department, identified by the pentagram symbol on the front of this report, to gain further funding and additional attention by Hydra.  

On a personal note, I have seen some collaborative work between my department and the Occult Studies Department, and it only seems like it happens when they have something significant to gain, and they rarely offer up any of their own resources or information after the work is complete.  This is the main cause for my research into their projects.  I need assurance that there is an element of safety being taken into account for myself and my staff during these collaborative efforts.

I’d like to share with you an audio recording that was with this collection of documents.  It sounds like it starts out as a transcript of a hypnosis session on one of the subjects, but turns into something much more.  It reads:

SOUND: Vinyl surface dust and distortion – magnetic tape noise playing.

DOCTOR (Redacted): I want you to close your eyes and focus on your breathing.  Take in slow, deep breaths and exhale slowly.  In through your nose and out through your mouth.  As you continue your breathing, you feel more relaxed.  Imagine your body is floating on top of the water in a still pond.  You release the tension in your muscles, starting with your neck, moving to your shoulders, extending down your arms to your fingertips.  Your back and your hips are relaxed.  Your knees, your ankles, and your feet feel weightless as you continue to float.  You’re enjoying the silence and you drift further and further into relaxation until you are nearly asleep.  
Now, the body of water you’re floating in begins to slowly develop a current.  The current is soft and barely noticeable.  As your body moves with the current, it relaxes you more, and you can hear the sounds of nature as you drift further and further into sleep and downstream.  
The current carries you peacefully into a cave where there is no light, and all of the world’s sounds fade away the deeper you travel into the cave.  The cave is a magical place.  Its boundaries seclude you from the world and you have unlimited power and freedom in this place.  It allows you to know things you’ve never known; that no one knows.  It lets you see things no human being has ever seen before.  It fills you up with a sense of wonder and you decide that you can do anything you want here.
You have all of the abilities of a god with no limitations.  You are your own deity and it is now time for you to put on a display of your power.  Now… What do you do next?

PATIENT: I’m alone, floating weightless in an infinite dark space.  I desire companionship, so I create someone to share this space with me.  A friend.  Yes, a friend is what I need.  He appears in front of me, and even looks like me just a little bit.  He’s smiling.  Everything is peaceful, and we don’t have to speak to communicate.  He knows what I’m thinking and I know what he is thinking.

DOCTOR: Remember, you can do anything, be anything, and create anything.  What do you do next?

PATIENT: I make more friends to share this space with.  I feel safe and secure at first, but then I begin feeling even lonelier.  


PATIENT: Because everyone I’ve created has no experiences.  They don’t think for themselves.  They just react to everything I’m thinking.  I long not only to share myself, but for my friends to share themselves with me.  It’s a one-way friendship, but it’s not what I hoped it would be.

DOCTOR:  So what do you do next?  Remember, you can do anything in this space.  

PATIENT:  All of the friends I’ve created aren’t interested in me anymore.  Their attention is focused on something behind me.  

DOCTOR: Something you’ve created?

PATIENT: (worried) No.  I’m not sure what it is.  They are experiencing fear for the first time.

DOCTOR: What are they afraid of?  Don’t forget, you can do anything you want there.

PATIENT: (fearful) Oh god!  There are thousands of them!

DOCTOR: Thousands of what?

PATIENT: They don’t think I should be here.  They don’t want me to be able to create.  They hate me.  There’s too many of them.  Too many thoughts to separate, but it’s clear they don’t think I belong here.

DOCTOR: Just remember, you’re in control there.

PATIENT: No, they were here long before me.  They are ancient, and they feel violated because I’m in their space.  I shouldn’t be here.  They don’t know how I’m able to be here, but now their attention is fully on me.  I want out.

DOCTOR:  Who are they?  Why shouldn’t you be there?

PATIENT: They want to communicate to you through me.  If I don’t let them, they say I’ll be trapped here forever.

DOCTOR: Don’t let them take contr-

PATIENT: (interrupts Doctor in an eldritch voice) You have no authority here, son of the flesh.  You dare to defile us with your presence!  

DOCTOR: Who addresses me?

PATIENT: (eldritch voice) I am the Ever-Present.  I am The Infinite.  And you are but a speck of dust in my presence.  As a punishment for your insolence, he will suffer.

DOCTOR: (speaking hurriedly) When I snap my fingers, you’ll regain consciousness and feel relaxed. (snaps fingers)

PATIENT: (still in eldritch voice) It leaves when I permit it to leave.

(patient screams and convulses)

DOCTOR:  Wake up!  Wake up!

The audio file stops there. It’s unclear who… or what was speaking through the patient in this audio, but I think it’s safe to say given the pentagram symbols that keep popping up, they have some religious significance, whether demons, Djinn, or something else.  

I’d like to share one last document with you, or at least a portion of it.  Most of the document is redacted save for a few paragraphs of text, but the title of the document states, “Proposal for New Department of Research.”  There is no date on it, but the paper is quite aged, and if I had to guess, this proposal marked the beginnings of their Occult Research department.  It reads:

With new evidence that these beings possess their own intelligence and have the ability to interact and influence people outside of their will, further efforts must be taken to study them to distinguish them from the manifestations brought into existence by our test subjects.  They have unknown motives and have successfully concealed their presence among us.  They have presented knowledge beyond our understanding, can seemingly know peoples’ thoughts without a person conveying them verbally, and have demonstrated extreme hostility with no apparent inciting events.

As reported recently in a recent session with Subject M-22, the manifestation of such a being took place, and our scientists could not determine if the Subject simply manifested a being similar to one of them, or if the Subject somehow brought the being to our plane from somewhere else.  In either case, knowledge of this being had to have occurred prior to this session, which means the Maker Project is now vulnerable to results that can no longer be verified.  In addition, extreme caution is recommended in future Maker testing due to evidence that testing is drawing the attention of these beings and interaction both inside and outside of testing environments have taken place, both for the test subjects and the staff conducting the tests.

Now that we have data suggesting (though not necessarily proving scientifically) the existence of extra-dimensional beings, I suggest a new research department be developed to form criteria for classification of these beings, and to further expand our classification system of those brought here by the Shepherd experiments and those manifested by the Maker experiments.  Furthermore, it is my recommendation that Shepherd and Maker experiments cease immediately until such criteria can be established.  Without a classification system in place, we have no method for identifying which of these entities existed in our reality before Shepherd or Maker efforts.  

Um… I’m not sure about you all listening to this, but I had to re-read, stop, and think about these three paragraphs I just read to you when I read it the first time for myself.  It implies that extra-corporeal entities exist and Hydra, along with SCIC had the data a long time ago to back that up.  I’m not sure if I’m more shocked by that, or if the fact that people exist that can bring others here from parallel dimensions or just think things into existence.

I was just starting to believe that perhaps all things paranormal that interested me so much of my life may have been explainable as physical products of someone’s imagination.  But this is saying that, whether you call them ghosts, spirits, demons, angels, Djinn, or some other kind of non-human presence; it’s saying they exist.

Shit. I know the Dream Killer that Brianne and I faced with Ron was a real person, a gifted person.  But now I’m wondering if the Grinner we faced in the church was an actual demon, or if it was one of Malcolm’s creations.  The latter would explain the Grinner’s ability to be on Holy ground. I mean, a real demon isn’t supposed to be able to walk inside a church according to Father Lucas Stone, which is why he believes the beast within him can also be there.  It would explain a lot. Our initial plan there failed because he could go wherever he wanted to.  

On the other hand, we researched the demon the Grinner claimed to be, and there were so many similarities.  I even avoided using its name for fear of calling attention to myself or giving it more power. But if it wasn’t the actual demon we thought it was, then perhaps it was created by Malcolm to resemble one.  I have some digging to do.

SOUND: The doorbell rings.

Be right back.

SOUND: footsteps receding, door opens, then closes, then footsteps returning.  Jeremy opens some mail.

This is interesting, I rarely have to sign for mail.


Well, I might as well tell you this since I’ll have had a chance to talk to my family before this episode airs.  I suppose I could always cut it out later if needed.  

Fucking doctors… Sorry everyone, the letter I just opened has some news that I’d prefer to hear in-person, or at least over the phone.  I won’t read the entire letter, but essentially, my MRI results came back.  Apparently I have a tumor the size of a quarter in my brain. The doctor mentions in his letter that it was strange to see because when I was sick back in 2019, an MRI of the brain was done because of severe headaches I had been having.  Since then, there has been significant enlargement of the prefrontal cortex and the development of a tumor that typically would take years to grow to that size. I’ve been referred to neurology for a consultation to see if it’s operable, but he’s definitely concerned about the rate of growth, so they want to do it soon.

Sorry to end this one on a downer note, but I’ll keep you posted once I get everything set up with neurology.

The Silver Key


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
Body horror
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Thomas chooses the silver key, and ends with a gift from Cain: the charity is now his to do with as he pleases. Depending on the decisions he makes, Cain may pay him a visit again in one year’s time.



Thomas looked back and forth from key to key, gold to silver and back again. To him, they seemed so small within Cain’s already smaller-than-human hands, yet felt to be the biggest choices of his life.

Either way, I’ll be a hero to someone, right?’ Thomas thought to himself. He raised his eyes and looked around at the dark, silent night surrounding them, contemplating the weight of the choice before him. How many out there were trying to spread holiday cheer but instead lining the pockets of some faceless CEO? How many had been promised that strides would be made for their health, poor kids would have food and shelter, or water would be made clean, and in the end, none of that happened because some people harbored more greed than care for their fellow humanity?

Then his thoughts turned to the mounting bills at home, and the sleepless nights as he listened to his family argue and worried about his own future. “I’m sorry,” he whispered as he turned back to Cain… and reached for the silver key.

Cain raised a brow, but otherwise remained expressionless as he simply said, “Interesting.”

Then, as if almost challenging Thomas, he added, “Are you sure this is the correct decision?”

Thomas said, “Absolutely. How many families have been put into the same position as my own by some corporate greed BS hiding behind a charity’s name?”

Cain nodded his agreement as he seemed to shrink back to the shadows, only a glimmer of light reflecting in his eyes confirming his presence was still in the air. “Oh, and Thomas?” he called out just as Thomas turned in the direction of the office building. He paused and looked back to the shadows.

“Much like boxes and toys wrapped beneath holiday trees, it would be unwise to open the package too early. Be sure to bring it back here—to me—first.”

Thomas nodded curtly and resumed walking into the direction of the only office buildings he knew that were nearby. As he gripped the silver key in his pocket, he noticed it seemed to be growing warmer. He found himself forced to stop and remove his hand from his pocket as it felt far too hot to touch. The moment he stopped, an automatic door opened to his right. He jumped, caught off guard by the sudden movement. He reached back into his pocket, tentatively touching the key, to find it had somehow returned to being as cold as the night air.

Thomas looked at the still-open door thoughtfully as he rubbed the key. Then, with a small twitch at the corner of his mouth, he realized the key must be guiding him here. He entered, calling out to see if anyone was there, the brief echo of his voice dying quickly with no response. Shadows hid within shadows, while the chair behind the chest-height front desk belonging to either a security guard or receptionist was vacant. Thomas paused, perhaps considering the value of the task in lieu of such a dark and lonely office building. Whatever the thought was, he pushed it aside and pressed onward past the desk and into a carpeted hallway to the right.

He held up the silver key, the red light of a nearby exit sign illuminating a small number etched into it by hand: three eighty-three. There were signs on each door; in large text was a name or title or description of purpose. However, in smaller text below that was a number. Thomas quickly realized he would need to go to the third floor to find a room starting with a three, and made his way to a stairwell to ascend.

He wandered a maze of hallways as numbers went by, never quite matching his key. Nearly giving up, he stopped at the end of a hallway and looked back, frustrated. Something registered in his instinct before it did in his brain. He looked more closely, then it hit him. He slowly walked to a set of three doors. There was a three twelve and a three thirteen, but between them, sandwiched in such a way that it only could have been a miniscule closet, was room three eighty-three.

There were no other markings than the number to indicate what the room itself was for, which was peculiar when compared with all the other doors. Thomas started to insert the key into the deadbolt, but before he could, the key grew warm, and the lock clicked. He looked down at the key in amazement to find that, to further his confusion, the numbers on the key had vanished.

“Almost like a dream,” he mumbled to himself.

He opened the door and found himself once again perplexed as a modestly sized office was revealed, a feat not possible given the location of doors on either side of the now-open one. There was little in the way of decorations around him, he found as he stepped foot inside. Drab but clean would be an accurate description. A lone fake plant sat in one corner, but there were no pictures, awards, or degrees adorning the walls. In the middle of the room was the only real presence to indicate that it was an office: a polished mahogany desk. Atop the desk, perfectly centered, sat an ornate, wooden box with a silver lock. Thomas leaned in closer, tracing his finger across the box’s decorative markings. Had he paid closer attention, perhaps he would have noticed the decorations disguised three words: pascere qui creatur.

Thomas inserted the key. Before he could twist it, he heard a slight click. He pulled back his arm to withdraw the key and open the box when he found that he couldn’t. His fingers wouldn’t release the key. He yanked his arm, but it wouldn’t budge. Panicked, he looked closer to see that his fingers were changing. Shiny pieces of metal were protruding, some parts rough and sharp, some parts smooth and reflective.

His heart raced and he stumbled back, dragging the box with him. It fell open, a small box wrapped in parchment paper clattering to the ground. Thomas didn’t notice that, though, as more pieces of silver metal broke through his skin from the inside until his entire hand was covered in keys. It didn’t stop, however, and began to spread up his arm. In desperation, he turned to run out of the office, only to find that there was no door. He was trapped, and his body was being taken over by metal keys, cracking his skin to break through. He held his hand to his face but saw not his own reflection in that moment, but a different reflection in each key. He focused on one and felt the reflection come to life.

Although Thomas found himself unable to tear his eyes from the key, he was aware that he was no longer surrounded by an office. The displaced reflection had grown: surrounding, enveloping… swallowing him whole. The sound of his own heartbeat gave way to a slow, muted crashing of waves and gentle but constant breeze. Relaxing on what appeared to be a well-deserved vacation was his family. His mother and father were sharing a bottle of wine, laughing together. Thomas couldn’t recall the last time he’d seen them laugh. The beach started shifting: the waves stayed stationary as the rest of the scene rolled and tumbled chaotically until he fell to the ground back in the office.

He looked up, only to find his eye caught in another reflection and he was instantly, irresistibly absorbed. An embarrassment of riches was stacked around him: cars, cash, fine wine, and decadent food. At the far end of a slowly swirling tunnel of wealth stood two figures, laughing and shaking their hands. One figure he instinctively knew was the CEO of one of the charities referenced on the news. The man was responsible for millions of dollars being misused for his personal gain. The other figure was Thomas.

Other Thomas turned to face his key-ridden self and slowly smiled. Although he didn’t speak, he could hear Other Thomas’ words in his ear: “Nobody misses the money, they all feel good for giving blindly. If they don’t do their research, it’s on them. I don’t have to give the box to Cain. I’m sure Steve here would be happy to ensure Cain never sees the box.”

The last words echoed around Thomas as the tunnel closed in, crushing him. He closed his eyes as he began to suffocate, only to find the pressure removed. He carefully opened his eyes to find himself back in the office, curled into the fetal position. His hands had returned to normal and the original box was nowhere to be found. He slowly stood to his feet. Looking around, his eyes fell to the small box wrapped in parchment paper. He quickly scooped it up from the ground and stumbled out the door.

On unsteady legs, he made his way out of the office. Following the dim red glow of the exit signs, he found his way to the front lobby, then outside where the cold night air sent a shiver down his spine. Every step felt heavy. He could still open the box. It felt itchy in his hands, and the only way to relieve it was to see what was inside. Was it worth giving up such a fortune? Or was the vision just a trick? Or, perhaps a better question: was the entire quest he’d been sent on a ruse devised for the delight of a devil? These questions weighed heavy on Thomas’ mind, steadily slowing him down.

On one hand: if he took the money, would he be any better than the people who had crippled his family’s opportunity to thrive at every turn? Would he not just be another cog in a system designed to make the rich richer and the poor poorer?

On the other hand: would he actually be making a difference? A corrupt charity closing down—or “negatively influenced,” as he recalled Cain’s exact words—seemed like such a small victory—and to what end? Would the vague and perpetually ungraspable notion of justice be enough to put food in his stomach and a roof over his head? Hardly. But could he live with himself if he didn’t take this opportunity to mete out justice?

That was the heart of what Thomas had to decide as he paused at the edge of the empty square, the holiday decorations silent and empty without the cheer of children around them.

His fingers gently felt the rough texture of the parchment paper. It would be so quick and simple to open it. Cain was nowhere to be found. He wouldn’t even know.

The visions of wealth came back to him, but he brushed them aside. How could he make an informed decision if he didn’t know what the choice was?

Thomas surveyed the area, the small shadow of a creature beside the large Christmas tree going unnoticed to his eyes. He bit his lower lip indecisively, then stepped into the square and made his way to the bench with a sigh. Cain soon emerged from the shadows, glittering eyes trained only on the package.

“Here it is,” Thomas said, holding the package out for him. Cain quickly snatched it away, examining it—carefully at first, then with unconstrained glee. Without uttering a word, Cain quickly tore away the parchment paper and opened the small box inside.

Thomas’ curiosity was overwhelmed. “What’s in it?” he asked as he stood to peer inside.

Cain quickly jerked the box away, putting his body between it and Thomas. “You mustn’t touch it!” he cried out.

Thomas stepped back. “Chill, man. I wasn’t going to touch your stupid box. I just… after all that I went through, I wanted to know what I brought over.”

Cain’s gaze dropped to the box and slowly revealed its contents to Thomas. Inside was a wooden block.

“I’m sorry… that? That’s what all this is for? How the hell does that have anything to do with a charity?” Thomas asked, incredulous.

Cain grinned, but didn’t take his eyes from the block. “It’s a very special wood, Thomas. Very special, indeed. It’s not quite ready yet, but it will be… soon. Would you like to know what it looks like when it becomes ready?”

Thomas couldn’t imagine how a simple block of wood could mean so much, but, desperate to know that he hadn’t wasted his evening, nodded. Cain turned and motioned for Thomas to follow him as he walked to the Christmas tree.

“This wood is what I use for my decorations!” Cain stated proudly.

Thomas peered at the wooden Christmas ornaments. Earlier, they had seemed odd to him, but now, knowing they were hand carved, he could acknowledge that their almost life-like appearance made some sort of sense. “You must put a lot of work into these,” Thomas said as he bent down to get a better view of one.

“A lifetime’s worth,” Cain agreed.

Thomas squinted a little as viewed the ornament before him. The carved face looked familiar, but he couldn’t place it.

“It’s cold out,” Cain said, interrupting his thoughts. “You’d better be getting home. We wouldn’t want your family to worry.”

Too distracted to disagree, Thomas stood and slowly nodded, but when he turned to face Cain, he only barely caught a glimpse of movement as he vanished into the shadows once more.

Suddenly feeling very cold, Thomas rubbed his arms and headed back home as he realized that, in the end, nothing had changed. He was heading back to financial woes and a world where corruption prospered. As he turned onto his street, he reached into his pocket and withdrew the key to his family’s apartment. The feeling of a key in his hand felt more uncomfortable than normal now, and he nearly dropped it, but managed to smile and shake his head, despite his own unsteady hands.

As he neared his door, he froze for a moment. On the doormat was the ornate, wooden box that had been in the office. Hands trembling, he carefully approached it and picked it up. It was nearly exactly the same, only this time, there was no lock. He sank to the ground, as he debated whether to open it, throw it away, or immediately destroy it.

With a deep breath, he opened it.

Inside he found several official-looking documents and an envelope sealed with wax. He looked through the documents, not entirely understanding all the legal terminology or why they were in a box on his doorstep. He carefully broke the wax seal and opened the handwritten letter, unfolding it and began to read:


You faced several choices tonight, but I have one more to offer. In the box are legal documents transferring ownership of the charity to you. You can continue to profit as your predecessor did while helping a few people here and there, or you can change things to benefit more families in situations such as your own. Depending on your choices, perhaps we will meet again this time next year. I could always use some help decorating my tree.


Thomas put the papers back in the box and closed it in disbelief. Slowly, warm tears rolled down his cold cheeks. Things were going to change—finally. He could hardly wait until morning to let his family know that he was going to make a difference, even if he didn’t know much of the details yet.

He stood, then looked down at the box in his hands, letting his thumb slowly caress the wood grain. The feeling of the wood jostled something in his memory and he thought back to the ornament on the tree, realizing why he recognized the face. Then his face twisted in confusion as he wondered, ‘But why would Cain have an ornament with the face of the old CEO on it?

Jeremy and Nathan from The Storage Papers would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season. We hope you are able to spend quality time with friends and family, and have the opportunity to make a difference in your community for those who can’t. You can volunteer your time with local organizations for a variety of causes, or use websites like to find a charity to donate to that you know uses money to support their stated mission, like the following with A ratings from Charity Watch:

And many more amazing causes to make a difference in the world. As always, the choice is yours.

The Gold Key


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
General horror, immobilization, missing offspring
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Thomas brings back the item from the storage unit for Cain, only to have Cain turn him into a decoration for his tree.



In his mind, Thomas wavered between causing problems for those charities that take most of the money they collect and pocket it versus ensuring his family prospered.  

On one hand, there are charities doing great things and they’re competing with these corrupt ones. Helping those charities by preventing the corrupt ones from swindling good people would have a great effect for the many people who need them. The positive impact could be exponential.

On the other hand, Thomas considered the financial trouble his family was in, and the only reason he was even working that holiday season was to help pay the bills so they’d have the necessities while his mother worked on recovery. 

What Thomas didn’t know was that Cain was aware of his thoughts. Thomas did think of his family at first, with hopes for his mother’s well-being. But then he began imagining what he would do with his nights off after he was able to leave his job. Cain knew Thomas was selfishly imagining stacks of money and making lavish purchases without intending to help anyone around him. 

Greed drove him to his choice as Thomas reached for the gold key.

Cain looked at the boy, who was ready to turn around and begin his trek to the storage unit.  He said, “Oh, Thomas… are you sure this is the correct decision?”

Thomas said, “Absolutely. I’ve thought long and hard and I think it would be best to make sure I do this for my family.”  

Cain lifted an eyebrow of inquiry, to which Thomas noted, but decided to move along anyways. As he walked away, Cain said, “Oh, Tomas?”

Thomas turned around to find Cain standing in the shadows again, but he could see a glint of light reflecting from his eyes. He said, “What is it?”

Cain replied, “Just make sure you don’t open the package within the box”, then smiled.  

Cain’s smile made him feel uneasy as the little thing backed completely into the shadows and out of Thomas’s sight.

So then, Thomas walked the distance to the storage unit, and when he arrived at the main gait, he noticed a number pad for an electronic code entry.  He hadn’t counted on this, so he began looking for a keyhole around the gate to use the golden key, but was unable to find one.  

He began thinking of a solution as he gripped the key in his jacket pocket.  That’s when he noticed it was warm to the touch.  As he pulled it out of his pocket, the key grew warmer, so he pinched it between his thumb and index finger and held it in front of him.  

He took a step toward the gate and the key cooled down a bit.  Then he turned to face the opposite direction away from the gate, and the key grew warmer.  He took several steps away from the gate and the key became hot.  And as Thomas approached the keypad once again, with the key just inches from it, it became almost too hot to hold.  Suddenly, the gate began rolling open, and he thought to himself, “This really is a magic key!”

Thomas used the same technique to locate the storage unit within the complex, and to open the outer lock to the storage bin.  Once he was inside the storage unit itself, there was a small lock-box on the floor in the back right corner of the unit.  

Thomas walked over to it and noticed the key was no longer hot, nor cold. He picked up the box and noticed an actual keyhole on the side.  When he inserted the key, the lid popped open with a click and the key disappeared before his very eyes.

Thomas reached inside and pulled out a small box wrapped in parchment paper.  He recalled Cain’s warning to avoid opening the package, though he was tempted.  

On his walk back toward the bench to meet up with Cain, Thomas couldn’t shake the feeling that he was being swindled somehow.  He thought about the circumstances that led to this moment.  The way in which Cain only appeared to him without any witnesses.  About how fast he had moved.  How he could hover in the air, and claimed he was able to perform magic.

Thomas then began to justify the existence of magic in his own mind.  He hadn’t believed in magic before tonight, and he was still skeptical, even considering what he saw Cain do, and what the key he was given did.  

This gave him hope.  Thomas tried to recall Cain’s exact words when he approached him with the proposition.  “You won’t need to worry about finances any longer” was the phrase that continued to play back in his mind, like dripping water from a leaky faucet.

Before Thomas returned to the bench, he was tempted to open the package.  It didn’t weigh very much… less than a pound he estimated.  He tried shaking it but there were no loose pieces making any noises when he did so.  He thought to himself, “How valuable could it be?”

And then Thomas’s mind wandered toward the silver key.  They key he did not choose.  What kind of package would he be carrying right now if he had made a different choice?  

All of this thinking of hope and possibility made Thomas’s walk back to the bench pass by quickly.  

When Thomas arrived, it was very dark.  He could see street lamps over the parking lot in the distance where a single car remained – his car.  He looked in every direction, but didn’t see Cain, so he sat on the bench for a moment.

Minutes went by and Thomas’s breath could be seen like he was exhaling after a cigarette drag as the night drew colder.  He finally grew impatient and yelled for Cain, who did not come.  He thought, “What else is there to do?” and considered opening the package.  He turned the package on-end and slid a finger underneath a flap that was taped closed, then paused, contemplating whether or not he should open it.  Cain’s warning rang in his mind.

Thomas ultimately decided against opening the package, and he laid it down next to him on the bench.  That’s when Cain suddenly appeared next to him and picked up the package.  His eyes glowed red, though there were no red lights near them for this to be a reflection.  

Cain appeared giddy with excitement as he turned the box over and examined all sides of it.  He let out some grunts and groans with an even bigger smile than he’d previously seen on Cain’s face.  

Then Cain suddenly stopped.  All expressions of excitement and glee left his face, and without moving his head, which was still down facing the package in his hands, Thomas noticed Cain’s eyes rolled up to meet his own, and there he sat on the armrest of the bench, staring at him like a statue.

Moments filled with dread passed in what seemed like hours before Thomas finally broke and said, “Um… so what’s in the package?”

Thomas couldn’t be certain, but he may have seen a smirk form in one corner of Cain’s mouth.  Finally, Cain spoke.  “Well Thomas, since you were the one to do all the hard work, why don’t you open it?”

Thomas paused for a moment and said, “Are you sure? I mean, you seemed so excited to get it, and I wouldn’t want to take away the surprise from you.”

Cain replied, “Oh Thomas, I already know what’s in the box… Part of my fun would be seeing you find out what’s inside it.  Go ahead.”

Cain extended an outstretched hand with the box in it.  Thomas was hesitant, but he took it and began slowly peeling away the parchment paper.  Once the paper wrapping was off, he found a cardboard box taped closed with packing tape.

He looked at Cain, who said, “Go on…” 

Thomas took his car keys out of his pocket and punctured the tape, then ran a key along the seam of the lid, splitting the tape as he went.  He opened all four flaps and found some packing material on top, which he removed.

At this point, he noticed Cain’s head over his right shoulder looking down at the box with him.  Inside the box was what appeared to be an ornate wooden Christmas tree ornament.  It was rather large, and beautifully carved.

Thomas looked at Cain, somewhat confused, and said, “A Christmas tree ornament?  That’s what you had me get for you?  But why?  What’s so special about this ornament that you couldn’t retrieve it yourself?”

He held the box up to Cain’s face, which caused him to recoil.  

Cain said, “Thomas, I must not touch this. It has been forbidden. I will need you to handle it for me.”

Thomas replied, “I just don’t get it… why do you want this so badly?”

Cain eagerly responded, “I don’t want it, I need it… for my tree, you see?  The big one over there!”

Thomas looked over at the large tree he had motioned to.  It was the one he first saw Cain standing next to.

Cain said, “I just need you to place it on the tree, and then you will have fulfilled your duty and earned your reward.”

Thomas said, “Um… okay I guess.”

Cain and Thomas walked toward the large Christmas tree, and as they did, the lights on the tree began to dimly glow.  The closer they got to the tree, the brighter the lights became.  

“Where do you want me to place it?” Thomas asked.

Cain pointed to a spot that looked bare near the base of the tree and Thomas approached it and reached for the ornament.  When his hand made contact with it, Thomas felt a surge of energy, as if the wooden object were somehow giving off some kind of magical effect.

Thomas lifted the ornament up toward the branch and used the small metal hook to suspend it where Cain had shown him.  He turned to Cain and said, “How’s that?” but Cain was no longer standing with him. He could hear retreating laughter in the distance that was drowned out by a cold breeze.

Thomas stood there silent for a moment, wondering what was going to happen next, if anything.  And then he looked down and noticed he was suspended in the air about a foot off of the ground.  He was levitating, and gliding slowly toward the ornament he had just hung.

He felt a sharp pain in his feet, which traveled up his shins and into his knees, then up his legs and into his hips.  The wave of pain continued and Thomas cried out until the pain reached all the way up to his throat, when he found his voice stopped making noise, though he was trying to scream.  

He found himself frozen in place, and unable to move as he continued to glide toward the ornament on the tree.  Then the pain stopped suddenly, and Thomas began to notice the other ornaments on the tree.  

Scattered between the lights and colorful bulbs were the ornaments with faces on them that he recalled noticing before.  But this time, he noticed all of the eyes within the ornaments moving to watch him as he got closer to the ornament he had just hung.  And as he floated even closer, he finally understood exactly what was happening to him.

Cain returned to the tree before sunrise, and with him, he brought a chisel, a hammer, and a small paintbrush with some red paint.  He went to work, chiseling away at first.  At one point, the branch Thomas was hanging from suddenly shot up in the air before he heard a large “thunk” sound hitting the ground below him.  He couldn’t move anything except his eyes, and when he turned them to look at what made the noise below, he saw his shoes, his jeans, and his coat, but they looked like they were made of wood.  There it laid, headless.

Cain did some additional chiseling before he was right up in Thomas’s face, then said, “Well, we can’t have an unhappy decoration now, can we?”  He had carved a smile on Thomas’s now-wooden face, then finished up by painting some rosy cheeks, then stepping back to admire his work.  Then he dragged Thomas’s body away, and that was the last time Cain spoke to him.

There Thomas hung as the sun rose and people started to appear to take in the decorations.  Hundreds of people each day walked by to appreciate the joy and cheer brought by the festive decor.  All the while, Thomas was of sound mind, but he could not make noise, he could not sleep, and he could not move, save his eyes, which moved too slowly for living people to appreciate.

About a week later, late in the evening after most people had left Santa’s Workshop, he saw his family. His father and two younger sisters were in the distance. It appeared as if they were hanging something on the walls of the adjacent buildings. He tried with all of his might to cry out, but nothing happened.

A few minutes later, he saw his mother.  She was out of the hospital and actually walking.  She appeared healthy.  She was only feet away, taking in the beautiful decorations on the tree and holding a stack of papers.  On the front, Thomas could make out some writing and an image. At the top, in bold letters, was the word, “Missing”, and below it was a picture of Thomas.

Soon his father and sisters joined his mother in viewing the tree.  And eventually, his mother gazed at Thomas directly.  She focused on him for a moment, then squinted and pointed at Thomas, and said, “Doesn’t that look like…” 

Thomas’s father looked at him as well, then said, “Dear, I think we’re both seeing things that we hope for, but aren’t there.”

His father then took one of the fliers from his mother and used an empty branch on the tree to perforate the flier in order for it to be displayed for all to see.  Right next to Thomas’s head. He then wrapped his arms around Thomas’s mother and said, “It’s getting cold. We’ll come back out tomorrow and post more fliers.”  

Thomas was overrun with emotion, and the realization that he was going to be hanging there for eternity. As his family walked away, a single tear ran down Thomas’s now-wooden face, down the side of his cheek, and below his head where his neck once was before dripping onto the cold grass below.

As the people went home, Thomas noticed someone in the distance sitting on the bench, appearing to be lost in thought. And not long after that, the man appeared startled and was squinting to see something to the side of the tree. Thomas couldn’t turn his head to look, but when the silhouette of a short pointed-eared person began making his way toward the man on the bench, he only wished he could warn him.

The Two Keys


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
All good this time, mate. 🙂
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.



Times were tough that Christmas. Thomas Wright worked a seasonal job to help his family pay the bills. He was 16 years old and his parents each worked two jobs to support him and his two younger sisters, but his mother had fallen to illness in recent months. His father tried to pick up extra work, but found that keeping a second job was very difficult to do with chronic back pain he experienced from years of manual labor. So this year, Thomas decided to start helping out. 

He eagerly went to work in hopes to make a contribution to help his family afford the necessities, but after three weeks, he found his contributions were meager at best. He planned to be the first in his family to attend college and he knew his dreams would be threatened if his family couldn’t afford to pay the ever-increasing rent prices in San Diego. 

He wondered if he was going to be able to make things work. His mind struggled to focus on other possible ways to make more money using less time and effort. 


After his shift one night, he found himself so immersed in thought about this, he didn’t notice that he sat down on a bench in front of an elaborate seasonal attraction until a small girl started crying near him after spilling her hot cocoa and parents promising her they’d go purchase another. That’s when Thomas began taking in his surroundings, now distracted by its grandiosity.

It was truly a sight to behold. There were bubbles on the ground simulating snow, candy cane fences and gingerbread houses with people dressed in elf costumes. In the center of it all was a small structure with a hand-painted sign that said, “Santa’s Workshop”. On either side of that structure stood two of the largest Christmas trees he’d ever seen, elaborately decorated with vibrant lights, reflective globes of various colors, and life-like ornaments that looked like actual peoples’ faces, which he thought was very peculiar, but brushed it off since they all had smiles and cheeks painted red similarly to the elves in costume.

Though it was late, Thomas decided to spend some time thinking about possibilities for earning more income, and that’s when he thought of it. He’d heard a local crime-stopper report about how some of these local charities had spent very little of the money they actually earned through donations toward the people they claim to serve. Something like less than five percent. All that money with pure intention was going to the very few at the top of those organizations. People who didn’t need it, who already lived lavish lifestyles, greedily feeding off the good will of hard-working people like parasites. Yes, that’s how he would make ends meet. After all, his family needed charity more than those people.

He needed to devise a plan for how he was going to intercept those donations, but his time was spent rationalizing the morality of his idea. He told himself he’d make sure a large portion of it actually goes to the people it was intended for, which just happened to include his family. He mentally justified it before he began thinking of a plan. He found himself sitting on that bench longer than he anticipated.


Still lost in thought, his concentration was broken when all of the lights from the attraction began shutting down, one by one, except for one of the Christmas trees. He looked at his watch and it was nearly midnight, and he realized how cold he was becoming.  

Thomas stood up with every intention of walking to his car and driving home. But movement caught his eye just beyond the Christmas tree with the lights on. Two separate lights, about 4 feet off the ground and slightly dimmer than the lights on the tree, yet separated from the rest of them by considerable distance, reflected green and red and gold. It wasn’t the colors that made them stand out though. It was the odd pattern of horizontal swaying back and forth that drew his attention. But they would frequently blink off and blink back on again, which ultimately led to the realization that they weren’t actually lights. They were reflections of the lights on the tree from a pair of eyes in the darkness, staring at him.

When Thomas realized this, he saw even more faint reflections below them, as if whoever was standing in the shadows had smiled and teeth reflected the nearby lights as well.  

Shivers sent up Thomas’s spine and he looked around to find no other person in sight. It’s as if he was entranced somehow, so deep in thought that he didn’t realize everyone around him had gone… except the person staring at him from the dark.

When Thomas turned his gaze back to that person, the eyes were gone, which made him more uncomfortable. Then the final remaining lights from the Christmas tree were shut off and Thomas found himself in darkness. 

He turned to walk toward the parking lot and to his astonishment, a small person was perched on the armrest of the bench he had been sitting on. He had pointed ears and a long, thin bleach-white beard that he was twirling in his fingers. A smile adorned his face as he sat staring at Thomas.  

Still overcome with surprise, Thomas asked the small person, “How the hell did you get here without making a noise?”

They replied, “Christmas magic, of course! Something tells me you’re troubled.”

Thomas took a step back, hesitant to interact with the thing. “Who are you?” He asked.

It stood up on the armrest of the bench as Thomas stepped away. “You can call me Cain” it replied.

Thomas took a moment to take in some details. It was wearing what looked like durable work clothes with a few holes in it, and its hands were calloused. The thing was covered in hair and never seemed to stop smiling. 

“So uh… Do you work here? I mean with the decorations and lights and all?” Thomas asked.

Cain replied, “You could say I contribute to it… but that’s not why I’m here.”

In a blur, the thing went from standing on the armrest of the bench to behind Thomas’s right shoulder, suspended in the air, to whisper, “I’m so glad you stayed for a while. I have a proposition for you.”

Thomas jumped and turned around to face Cain.

“How the hell are you moving so fast?” Thomas exclaimed.

Cain said, “I told you… Christmas magic. For all of the mockeries of elves, fictitious characters and magical beings everyone seems to enjoy every year around this time, why does it amaze people so much when the notion of real magic comes into question?”

Thomas said, “I guess I see your point. What’s this about a proposition?”

“Yes,” said Cain. “I noticed you seem a little glum… perhaps financial troubles have you down?”

“How did you know that?” Thomas replied. “Were you watching me this whole time?”

Cain said, “Not necessarily. I just happen to know many things… Things that normal people don’t know… I know your intentions and I agree with you. The rich often take advantage of the poor in so many ways… and they always seem to get away with it. My proposition has two options, but you’ll need to choose.”

Thomas said, “Choose? What do you mean?”

“Well, the universe doesn’t allow me to go everywhere I’d like to go, so I need your help to acquire something for me. You’ll be rewarded handsomely for your time and effort, of course.”

Thomas was apprehensive, but asked, “How much are we talking about… for the reward, I mean?”

Cane’s eyes became narrow and his smile widened. He said, “Oh, let’s just say you won’t need to worry about finances any longer if you do this for me.”

In his heart, Thomas knew this was too good to be true, but he also considered the timing of this offer and perhaps fate, or karma, or luck just happened to be on his side for once, and he did not have the strength nor the knowledge to resist such an offer.

“What do you need me to get?” Thomas asked.

Cain explained, “It’s simple, really. I need two things, but you need only to retrieve one for me. But don’t worry, they’re both nearby.”

Thomas said, “You mean right now?”

“Oh yes,” Cain replied. “It must be now while the opportunity still remains. Walk away and the opportunity will be gone forever.”

Thomas looked at his watch, which said twenty past midnight. “Okay,” he said. “I’ll do it.”

Cain held up his right fist, then opened it revealing a silver key in his palm and said, “There’s an office building about two miles from here. On the third floor, the southeast corner office has a locked cabinet adjacent the window overlooking the harbor. There’s a small box on the top shelf of that cabinet. This key will grant you entrance to the building, the office door, and the cabinet.”

“Okay, that sounds simple enough,” Thomas said as he reached for the silver key.

Cain retracted and closed his fist, saying “Or…”

Thomas lowered his hand and waited.

Cain lifted his left fist and opened it, revealing a gold key and said, “There’s a small storage unit just north of here that contains only one item… another small box. This key will grant you entrance into the main gate and the storage unit itself.”

Thomas thought carefully for a moment, then said, “What’s in these boxes? And why can’t you get them?”

Cain replied, “Nothing of value to you, of course, but each contains something of considerable value to me. And my reasons for wanting them are mine, and mine alone.”

Thomas hesitated.  “What’s the catch?” he said.

Cain replied, “No catch. My offer only requires you to retrieve one of them for me… But know this: Acquiring the box from the office building using the silver key will negatively influence one of the corrupt charitable organizations that you were previously thinking about.”

“And the gold key?” Thomas Asked.

“If you use the gold key to retrieve the box from the storage unit, your family will be rewarded.”

Cain then held both keys in his open palms in front of Thomas and said, “So, will you take the silver key and influence the corrupt charity? Or will you take the gold key and provide good fortune to your kin?”

“Simple as that?” Thomas said.

“Simple as that.” Cain replied. “I’ll meet you here on this bench when you return.”

Cain took a step closer to Thomas as he contemplated which key to take.

El Campo – Season 4 Episode 11

A man's back is towards us in the foreground. Before him is a grass-less cemetery with crudely made wooden crosses marking each tomb.


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
Profanity, references to suicide and suicidal ideation
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Jeremy learns he has a brain tumor and is ordered on bedrest while he’s scheduled for follow-up tests. While recovering, he describes his meeting with Joseph Foye at El Campo Cemetery. Joseph reveals he was blackmailed into working with Hydra in a similar way that Ron was. His daughter (Malcolm’s mother) is killed by Hydra and Joseph finds a way to get out. Malcolm is coerced into bringing an alternate Joseph Foye into our string of reality, who ultimately ends up helping Joseph create a resistance group to Hydra. We learn that alt. Joseph is the body from the hotel and that Gerald Hubert (helping Joseph) uses that to fake his own death.



Welcome back everyone.  I suppose I owe you an update given the way the last episode ended.  If you don’t recall, I ended up passing out and woke up in the emergency room.  They decided to admit me for a couple of days to run some tests after the ER Doctor ordered a CT scan of my brain, which came back with some abnormal results.  The radiologist’s report indicated there was some kind of small mass, or “lesion” as he called it, in my prefrontal cortex.  They said there’s no way of knowing if it was anything serious or not, but after all of my labs checked out okay and after 48 hours of observation with no further complications, they decided to let me go home, with an order for an MRI on Friday to further evaluate the mass.

For now, I’m off work and have been told to “take it easy.”  I find that phrase ambiguous.  “Take it easy.”  Does that mean mentally, physically, or both?  To me, it implies they have no idea what really caused my episode, or how to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  It’s what they tell you to make themselves feel better about sending you home; like there’s a box they have to check on the discharge checklist to give each patient advice on next steps.  It’s weak advice, but they can consider their job done because they’ve rendered it.  Fucking doctors.  They don’t exactly instill confidence, do they?

Anyways, because I’m “taking it easy” right now, and I’ve promised my wife I won’t be working or doing any research into the papers, I figured I’d update you all on my El Campo Cemetery meeting. If you recall, back in Episode 7 of this season, I reviewed some documents from Patel’s package about the Pyramidion (I’m not sure if that’s a singular object or plural at this point).  I had received a phone call from Brianne where she informed me that my name, as well as hers, her brother, Ben’s, and Malcolm’s were all in the medical documents.  Some of us were Shepherds and others, including myself and Malcolm, were labeled as Makers.  And then I got a text from a private number telling me to meet them at El Campo at 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday a few weeks back.  

If you’ve never been to Old Town San Diego, I would highly recommend a visit the next time you’re in town.  Old Town has some of the oldest buildings still standing in the county, and it’s been kept up and turned into this quaint little spot for locals and tourists to conglomerate.  There’s some great places to eat there, especially if you like Mexican Food, along with various shops, restored old buildings, and hotels.  It can get a lot of foot traffic on the weekends and especially during the summer.

Right in the middle of it all is the infamous Whaley House.  If you’ve ever watched a paranormal TV show, the house has probably been investigated on it.  I’ve even investigated there a few times myself with a couple of local groups.  And right around the corner from the Whaley House, just a few steps away, is El Campo Cemetery.  It’s a legitimate place where bodies are buried and headstones still stand, though very small compared to most cemeteries you might think of.  It seems entirely out of place, surrounded by so much life and entertainment.  It’s a wonder the dead can even rest in a location like that, with hundreds (if not, thousands) of passers-by every day, and few people stopping by to pay their respects.  

I actually showed up 15 minutes early that Saturday, but sat in my car, waiting to see if I could spot anyone else observing the cemetery.  I was hoping to get a glimpse of what kind of car they drove or a plate number, but as the time ticked away and approached 9pm, I didn’t see anyone arrive or leave, so I got out of my car and walked in the gate.

I stood in the center of the cemetery and looked around in every direction.  I was in plain sight to pedestrians on either side of the small grounds, and it felt like everyone was staring at me.  I suppose from their point of view, it’s not everyday you see someone standing in the middle of a cemetery looking around like they’re lost.  Maybe they thought I was a ghost.

I figured I’d look a little less conspicuous and start reading some of the headstones like any tourist might do.  Most of the cemetery was lit by street lamps, including both entrances on either side of it.  There was one spot at the far end of the plot that had some canopy cover from some old trees, so I decided to walk in that direction.  As I did, I noticed the faint orange glow of a cigar being dragged on.  I figured that was my contact, so I headed that way.  

As I approached, I became engulfed in shadow from the trees overhead and it was surprisingly dark.  I could see why this was chosen as a private place to meet, even though it had public access.  I could faintly make out a man in his late 60’s smoking a cigar.  I stopped about 10 feet from him, and when he didn’t say anything right away, I thought perhaps I had the wrong person.  

When I took half a step back, he said in a gravelly voice, “Turn off the recorder.”  

Well, shit.  I obliged, knowing he was the right person, but completely disappointed that I couldn’t record the conversation.  Without a greeting or telling me who he was, he asked me to step closer and roll up my sleeves.  I looked around to make sure I knew which direction I could make an exit if I needed to, and then took a few slow steps forward while rolling up the sleeves to my hooded sweatshirt.  

“Palms up,” he said.

I displayed my empty hands and the insides of my forearms as he leaned forward and took a closer look.  He motioned at me with his right hand that he was satisfied, his cigar within his curled index finger, and then took a couple more steps back into the darkness.

He identified himself as Joseph Foye, Grandfather to Malcolm Foye.  The same Joseph Foye who’s fingerprint analysis ID’d him as the cadaver in the hotel room.  You remember, the headless one with C.O.M. written on his forearm?  I withheld this piece of information for the time being.

He also said a mutual acquaintance of ours made our introduction possible.  I’m assuming it was 4thTrumpet, but can’t be certain.  I told him that wasn’t the first time someone had asked to look at my forearms, and asked what that was about, and he said he’d get to that eventually “if things panned out.”  I’m not sure what that meant, but I went along with it.

Joseph had many questions for me.  He wanted to know how much of my childhood I remembered and if I had information about specific people whose names I promised not to reveal on the podcast.  The questions just kept coming and coming, and I was beginning to get frustrated with him, having offered little information useful to me.  Eventually, I said, “Are you going to fill me in on any details here, or are you just going to throw questions my way?”

He paused for a moment to consider my question, then said, “Well, are you going to ask me something, then?”  I couldn’t tell if he was offended, being rude, or if he was just answering in a matter-of-fact kind of way.  

I said, “Well, I already asked you one question, but I can ask different questions I suppose.”

He let out a sigh and said, “Why don’t I just fill you in on some things and feel free to ask some questions along the way because I don’t know what you know.”

That worked for me.  He went on to tell me that he used to work for Hydra, and is now part of a group that actively works against them.  He explained that there were several inside people working for their cause; moles that serve to feed information to their group and to provide misinformation and disinformation to the higher-ups at Hydra.  He said Ron was one of those people.  

So far, that seemed to make sense, but then he started getting into some pretty outlandish things that you kind of have to question.  Joseph Foye said he knew I was a maker, just like his grandson, Malcolm.  He said he had abilities as well, but wouldn’t identify himself as a Maker or a Shepherd.  He claimed he was “something else.”  He said that he and his group were going around killing “multiples.”

I asked him to clarify what he meant by “multiples.”  

At this question, he asked what I knew about theoretical physics, string theory, multiverses, and the like.  I admitted I didn’t know much.  Apparently, he and his group believed that there are infinite dimensions, delineated by free will.  He explained that every time someone makes a choice, whether it was a simple choice between two options or multiple ones, a new dimension of existence develops, and this has been going on as long as human beings have been around.  

He explained that some of the Shepherds, specifically those with advanced gifts, had been utilized by Hydra to bring other Shepherds and even other Makers into our own dimension of existence from some close parallel version of it.  The purpose: To create new research subjects for Hydra to study for scientific purposes.  He said his group is trying to prevent that from happening.

That’s when I asked why they were killing these “multiples.”  That’s when he explained the supposed dangers of bringing someone from another dimension into our own.  There were multiple reasons, but all of them were theoretical.  Ultimately he said there was a risk of paradoxical collapse of the universe.  He said Hydra had strict protocols surrounding this in order to prevent a person originating from our own dimension to encounter themselves from another.  But there was also evidence to say that perhaps these protocols weren’t necessarily Hydra’s, but someone’s who acted independently within their organization.

Joseph went on to say that Ron had been helping them hunt down and kill multiples, and that he couldn’t risk telling me in case some random piece of information I shared on the podcast might point to his involvement.  But now that Patel is dead, Ron hasn’t received any additional targets or further instruction from anyone in Hydra.  This led Ron and Joseph to assume one of two things is true:  Either Hydra is so compartmentalized that nobody is aware of her death… or perhaps Dr. Patel was conducting her own research into the subject outside of their supervision.  If the latter is true, they had to assume that her research, notes and information were being kept somewhere that Hydra did not have access to.  That’s what prompted this meeting.  Apparently Joseph was aware that Patel sent me some documents and items from her own so-called “private” collection.

I tried to get him to clarify more about the reason he and his group were killing multiples.  He admitted that until recently, he had no reason to doubt the paradox theory.  Other theories indicated that perhaps when a person encounters their own alternate version, that one (or even both) would simply cease to exist so the universe would go on without them as a sort of protective measure.  

But then he said he had evidence leading to other plausible possibilities that needed to be considered.  Joseph was aware of a few situations where the alternate versions of people found out that they had been moved into a different dimension, usually after going about their daily lives and noticing some differences.  There were recent cases where someone would run into their alternate – something nobody dared test in a laboratory.  When this happened, it was originally assumed our own dimension or the person themselves could implode, and therefore, would cease to exist.  In the 1980’s they started calling it the “Back to the Future” theory.  It was a stupid name, but it got the point across.

But he said he had first-hand knowledge that wouldn’t happen.  He said he was going along with Hydra’s research until he started noticing some ethical issues and he wanted out without specifying a reason.  When he did this, they threatened him.  He didn’t believe the threats were valid or sincere… until they killed his daughter.  Of course, he didn’t have the proof he needed, but healthy young women don’t just simply “drown in the bathtub”, and the manipulation that followed implied they were behind it.

He had taken Malcolm and Tabitha into his custody and learned that Malcolm had gifts, himself.  He tried to keep it a secret from Hydra, but they blackmailed him into putting him into a program for research. Joseph raised concerns about encouraging the development of those gifts in a child who had experienced recent and unresolved trauma.  Malcolm wasn’t awarded the time to grieve, or even really to be with family.  He was thrown to the wolves for experimentation.

Joseph’s story was similar to Ron’s, and I’m assuming that’s how they met and why they agreed to join forces.  He said it took him a few years to get a plan to do anything about it.  He said he had the ability to do a kind of reverse blackmail situation to get Malcolm and Tabitha back, but there were a couple of things he hadn’t counted on.  Malcolm’s abilities had strengthened enough to do something extremely disturbing to their family dog and to Tabitha.  But Hydra has also convinced Malcolm at a young age that his grandfather had abandoned him.  Their plan to socially and emotionally control Malcolm worked as far as creating division between him and his grandfather, but what Hydra hadn’t counted on was the psychological impact that had on him.  What they did created a monster.

Joseph also told me why he and Ron had checked my forearms prior to speaking with me.  He said that Hydra, upon bringing an alternate version of someone into our dimension, would have them bar-coded.  The only place they were aware of this happening was on the forearms of the dominant side of the person who was brought here.  Of course, these people were brought here in a controlled environment and would manifest inside the walls of SCIC, or potentially a Hydra facility.  If someone were here outside of that controlled environment, they obviously wouldn’t have the barcode. 

This had my mind racing.  There was a barcode on the forearm of the body of Joseph Foye from the hotel.  That means that the body of Joseph Foye found at the hotel was an alternate.  

When I brought this up, Joseph confirmed that Hydra used one of the Shepherd kids years ago to bring an alternate Joseph Foye into this dimension.  This was right after the Joseph Foye standing in front of me got out, and at great risk to Malcolm.  Apparently, Hydra was able to manipulate the alternate Joseph Foye into continuing to work for them… at least for a while.  They had used a relationship with Malcolm as a bargaining chip to get him to continue his work.  

Joseph told me that after Malcolm was expunged from the Hydra projects, mostly due to being highly unpredictable and socially and emotionally damaged, and the danger he posed, he began looking for his grandfather.  Hydra had attempted several techniques unbeknownst to Joseph in an effort to remove his abilities, and was only let go after they found some element of success.  He apparently lost all contact with the Joseph Foye alternate that he’d developed some kind of relationship with in Hydra.  He was bitter and feeling abandoned, and has been searching for him since.  

I asked Joseph why they didn’t just kill Malcolm since they had shown such disregard for others in his family.  To that question, Joseph didn’t have a direct answer; Only theories.  They could have feared Joseph may retaliate, but he was already planning that despite what they did with Malcolm.  He also thought perhaps they had some kind of way to restore abilities in their subjects, and that they would just keep tabs on Malcolm.  And then he considered that the alternate Joseph Foye, who was still working with Hydra may have negotiated something on Malcolm’s behalf.  He couldn’t be sure due to the complexity of the multiverse strings.

I asked him what he meant by that.

He explained there’s an incredible amount of unknown and largely unstudied risk anytime someone from an alternate timeline or parallel dimension is brought to ours.  We truly don’t have any idea what decisions that person has made in their own life.  With each decision… with each choice, the line splits into how ever many options there are.  If you have to choose between going right and going left, the universe will split the lines, and alternate versions of use carry out each option.  

That said, there was no way to know at what point the alternate Joseph Foye’s decisions started deviating from the one standing in front of me.  Just because someone looks the same, speaks the same, moves the same, and is basically a DNA duplicate, it doesn’t mean you can understand their motives or trust that they’ll be telling you the truth.  Something about them is different, and how far removed their experiences are compared to yours is anyone’s guess.  It’s not yet known if Shepherds can choose which version of someone they select to bring into our line of reality.  It’s something that the Hydra Physicists are currently studying.  

Joseph explained that through a series of interactions he had in private, not too dissimilar to the covert way he had been communicating with me, the alternate Joseph had earned his trust, and they began working together.  He proved to be an invaluable asset in gathering information and throwing Hydra off his trail, which allowed him to do the work necessary to start building a team of people to oppose Hydra.  

I just stood there for a moment, blown away at the implications of what Joseph was telling me, and then a sinking feeling hit me.  I asked him, “So how did he end up dead in that hotel room?”

Joseph appeared to get a bit emotional, but he continued explaining, saying that Hydra had become suspicious and had not only put a tail onto alternate Joseph, but he’d been assigned a monitor in his dreams.  He saw the monitor fairly early-on and did his best to make sure that he didn’t give away his awareness of the monitor’s presence.  Ultimately, the decision was made, by both Joseph Foyes to eliminate the alternate version.  

I don’t know why I could swallow all of the other stuff he was telling me, and why this was the point I became extremely skeptical, but I asked him why.

Ultimately, he said there were some things that went down with the team he was working with at Hydra and someone had decided to start killing off that team.  He suspected there was a mole hunt (and they didn’t know he was the mole), and that someone on the team likely panicked.  It was then that the alternate Joseph expressed feelings of hopelessness.  He said he had already lost everyone in his own timeline, and that he initially was happy to go along with everything just for a chance to see Malcolm again.  He would never reveal what happened to Malcolm in his own line, but it was obvious that it induced some element of trauma.  

I continued to push him a bit, asking, “So how did he end up dead at the hotel again?”

Joseph then claimed that the two of them agreed to end the alternate Joseph’s life.  Their goal was to make it look like a suicide.  

I said, “Hold on a second! He just agreed to die? I find that hard to believe.”

Joseph explained that even though circumstances were different upon his arrival into our timeline, he said some of the same events began occurring.  Perhaps not in an identical way, but the outcome had been the same. He considered it a sign of fate – that he couldn’t change anything, no matter what we said to him, and he became despondent.  Ultimately, he wasn’t sure if he could handle watching Malcolm go down this path yet again, and that he was making some of the same moral choices he watched him make in his own timeline leading to his own demise.  Plus, they had considered the whole “Back to the Future” theory in regards to working together and wanted to avoid even the slightest risk of running into Joseph in-person.  Apparently, alternate Joseph was a bit more conservative in his approach than this one.

To pull this off, they needed some help.  Joseph had another person he could count on; someone who knew everything and that he trusted with his life.  Gerald Hubert, a long-time collaborator of Joseph’s in the efforts against Hydra, served as an intermediary between the two of them.  The plan was devised for Gerald to meet up with alternate Joseph at the hotel room, where he would be sedated.  Once unconscious, they would place him at the foot of the bed, fake a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and set up the scene to make it look like the body was Gerald Hubert’s, a necessary step in the moment to not only fake Gerald’s death, but to also make Hydra believe the alternate Joseph had gone missing.

Gerald Hubert’s ID was placed with the body.  He was near the same age and even physical description as Joseph, so that was perhaps some luck finally landing on their side.  It was Gerald’s idea to write the letters, “C.O.M.” on the forearm.  It was a genius idea that served a dual purpose.  Joseph said it made the barcode on alternate Joseph’s forearm much more difficult to see, and it served as a very specific reference to something that would catch my attention.  My attention!

This didn’t make sense to me.  I told him that the video from the hotel was dated March, twenty-fifteen.  That’s four years before I started The Storage Papers.  I asked why they would want to get my attention before I started the podcast.

He gave me an incredibly cryptic answer at first, saying, “That’s not my story to tell you.”

I suspended my criticism over that point for a moment to express another.  I said, “I still don’t understand why this ‘alternate Joseph’ was just willing to lay his life down.  I mean, I get depression and suicidal ideation, but I’m just not buying this whole thing.”

Joseph mentioned another reason for his willingness to do this.  He explained that whatever abilities a person possesses, whether classified as a Maker, a Shepherd, or something else; When an alternate version of you enters your own string of reality, something happens to those abilities.  They are portioned out to each version of you.  Abilities that both Joseph Foye and the alternate version of him here in our string of existence were split.  Neither one of them were capable of doing what they could before alternate Joseph’s arrival here.  

He said they both realized their long-term goals couldn’t be accomplished with both of them here, and neither one of them working with their full range of abilities.  Alternate Joseph also theorized that there may be catastrophic results in our string if something happened to the one who originated here, while the other brought in from an alternate one took his place, and he didn’t want to risk being here for very long.  If Malcolm had any chance at a different outcome, he believed it would be the best chance with the actual grandfather he knew.  He emphasized that an equilibrium must be established and the universe would pull in unexpected ways to accomplish that eventually if choices weren’t made to make it happen by those individuals.

There were some additional elements to this meeting that I’m not quite ready to share just yet.  I want to take some time to vet some of the information shared with me before I bring it to you, but I’m not quite sure what to think about these claims.  The only thing I am confident about is that Joseph seemed to believe what he was telling me, and it was very emotional for him.

Character Recap – Season 4 Episode 10.5


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.



Before we continue pushing forward with Season 4, a few people I’ve connected with in the community have suggested a recap of events and characters may be in order, and I can understand why.  When I started this podcast in July of 2019, I seriously loved the idea of making a narrated documentary-style show highlighting a separate document within The Storage Papers each week.  It had all the paranormal vibes I enjoy talking about with a sort of anthology type of feel.  But things have changed… oh, how they’ve changed.  Have you ever had one of those moments where you didn’t realize you were involved in something important… something central to what was going to happen in your life going forward.  A “turning point” so to speak.  This podcast has been that for me assuredly.

I wasn’t sure how to approach this recap given that everything has become so intertwined, so I’ll do the best I can, but feel free to send me any questions you might have.

Let’s start way back in Episode 2, An Unusual Suspect.  That’s where I first laid eyes on the Grinner, and where I first heard Detective Mark Anderson’s name, as the letter I read was penned by him.  It was also addressed to Ron, who I later learned was Ron Hammond, a former colleague and mentor to Anderson, who had been consulting with on cases involving seemingly unexplained phenomena.  There was also an accompanying creepy video, which happened to be contained on a thumb drive previously owned by one Benjamin Scanlon (rest in peace).  In this video, the Grinner seemingly appeared out of thin air in a hotel parking lot, where the video portrays him lurking around a specific room, looking in the window, and moving in that oh-so-unnatural way that he did… or does… I honestly don’t know what tense to use because I don’t know if he’s still alive in this plane of existence.  

Anyways, this night at the hotel seems to be a central event where a lot is going on that is still not 100% known.  The hotel in the video was the very same hotel where an open homicide investigation had been ongoing involving a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  At some point between Season 1 and Season 4 of the podcast, a person identifying as @4thTrumpet on Twitter began feeding me anonymous tips and information… more on this individual later, but there was a Tweet from them mentioning Gerald Hubert.  I had no idea who that was until Season 4, episode 4 called Subject 14-3, where the police report from this hotel homicide identified the victim as Joseph Foye, but I previously learned that the media released the identity of the victim as Gerald Hubert.  This is something I’ve had to put on the backburner for a while now, but it’s high on my priority list to research

Of course, we learned from an extended version of the video from the hotel, given to me by Dr. Patel – I’ll also speak more about her later – that Ron Hammond was at the scene of this homicide and he never volunteered this information to Detective Anderson.  If I had to guess, this was perceived as a huge betrayal of trust by Anderson.  Frankly, I’m finding it difficult to trust anything Ron says or does, but that’s just been my experience with him.  Anderson’s known him far longer since his early days in law enforcement.

I hope I’m not too scattered and that you’re following so far… believe me, I’m sure there’s information I’ve already reviewed on the podcast that is connected and I just don’t know it yet.  It seems like I learn that almost every time I produce a new episode.  Maybe it would be clearer if I go by listing people involved.

There’s Ron Hammond, who we’ve identified as the previous owner of the so-called “Storage Papers”.  I know, super-clever name for a podcast, right?  I still don’t know how or why he would just stop paying his storage bills containing these documents… but at the same time, it allowed me to come into possession of them.  Something tells me that fate was involved… or perhaps even something more intentional.  Anyways, he’s a friend and former colleague who serves as a consultant on occasion to Detective Anderson.  He’s also had some tragedy in his life with the loss of his wife, and he was blackmailed by someone working in Project Hydra, which I’m still not entirely sure what that is except for the fact that they seem to have black projects, theoretical research branches, and potentially government funding.  I’ve only recently learned that he is the biological father to Benjamin and Brianne Scanlon.  He seems to be motivated heavily by personal reasons only known to him and he’s been willing and able to conceal the truth from those closest to him.  Something a double-agent would be great at doing, whether out of free will or necessity.

Ben Scanlon, unfortunately, we lost in a showdown with the Grinner at the end of Season 2.  That whole situation was kind of a blur, but someone close to me recently suggested I take a hard look at the events that unfolded on my podcast and ask a bunch of questions.  My greatest enemies are time and opportunity for this goal.  Either way, we know Ben was highly protective of his sister, Brianne, and gave his life to protect her.  He had met the Grinner prior to our showdown in the church and he seemed like a stand-up kind of guy from what I know, although somewhat tormented.

Brianne Scanlon is a nurse and quite frankly has been my greatest ally in this whole thing.  She has had trauma in her life… to what extent I’m not quite sure, but she manages to impress me with her kindness and ability to see the best in everyone.  She was dating a guy named Malcolm Foye at one point, who we later learned was either possessed or heavily influenced by The Grinner.  Brianne’s experience in the medical field has helped with some of our investigations into the medical documents both contained in The Storage Papers and given to me from Dr. Patel and some anonymous resources.  She has since been abducted by Malcolm, now acting on his own, and she’s befriended my wife and brings us cookies on occasion.  She’s definitely a chain-smoker and doesn’t sleep well, and I imagine she’s still having vivid nightmares similar to the ones that kept her up at night early in the podcast.  She’s also labeled as a Shepherd in the medical files, meaning she (supposedly) has the ability to translocate physical objects and living beings from parallel dimensions to our own.

I might as well talk about Malcolm Foye at this point.  Malcolm is somewhat of an enigma to me.  He, at least at some point in his life, has displayed superior abilities to those of makers and shepherds, and we know he was a Hydra kid used in experimentation from a very young age. We also know he was primarily raised by his grandfather, Joseph Foye and that he appears to be responsible for the disappearance and murder of his sister, Tabitha, for which he feels tremendous guilt and we know at least partially motivates him to do thing things he does.  His body was inhabited by the Grinner for at least as long as Brianne has known him and he makes frequently-poor decisions with malicious intent.  He most recently has escaped from prison and has threatened Jeremy with death, while feeling the need to remind Brianne of a debt she owes.  We’re assuming this refers to the blood-letting ritual explored in the episode that introduced us to the Order of the Divine Acolytes.

Since Malcolm is so closely tied to the Grinner, I feel the need to talk about the Grinner a little bit since it’s distinguishable as separate from Malcolm.  I don’t know much except that it has qualities of a demonic entity, yet doesn’t seem to have the expected boundaries of one, which scares me immensely.  I believe the Grinner is what was giving me nightmares early in the series and I know it was stalking me at one point.  It appears human most of the time and can transform its shape and appearance as it sees fit.  We’ve all assumed it’s dead after the Season 2 finale, but I can’t be 100% certain.  I can only hope.

Then there’s Detective Mark Anderson.  He’s been kind of a godsend lately as he’s been helping me out with some things related to the podcast.  He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy and calls bullshit when he sees it.  He’s methodical, yet empathetic, and he’s really good at his job.  I think this podcast is rubbing off on him as he’s found a new creative outlet by creating his own series of work called Unwanted Places that I’m helping him test out on our Patreon feed.  So far, he seems to be the moral foundation of the group and he’s loyal to his friends.

I need to mention Dr. Adhira Patel.  I don’t know many facts and some of what I’m sharing about her is conjecture, but she seemed like she was an up-and-coming authority within Projekt Hydra, or at the very least, SCIC.  I’ve always felt like she was playing all sides to get what she wants… what that is (or was), I just don’t know, but the feeling I walked away with after meeting her when she sabotaged my therapy session, was that she believes that whatever she’s doing is for the betterment of mankind… to make advancements in science.  I’m not sure she has a cohesive sense of morality thought as she seemingly bent a lot of rules and ethical principles.  She did, however, help me out by providing me some documents I’m sure I’m not supposed to have in my possession… right before she lost her life.  Her death was ruled a suicide but something tells me she didn’t choose to jump off of a high-rise building downtown right after she began confiding in me.  Still, I continue to find her signature and references to her seemingly every time I dig into new documents.

There are a couple of individuals I’m going to refrain from speaking of at the moment like Joseph Foye and Gerald Hubert.  You’ll hear more about them as Season 4 unfolds, and I’ll be introducing some new people I haven’t mentioned yet like Dr. Maldonado going forward.

I feel the need to mention Project Hydra as well.  I can’t prove it right now, but it seems like nearly every document contained within the papers pertains to this mysterious initiative.  While the papers themselves seem to document paranormal phenomena, there’s also evidence of other important information like medical files, extrasensory perception, fringe science, and the analysis of how to use all of it for gain.  Some of the information I’ve received from anonymous sources claiming to have inside knowledge of Hydra claim there are several departments within it, including but not limited to areas like Occult Studies, Psychical Research, Medical, Genetics, Physics, and Advanced Technology.  Please keep in mind this is highly speculative.  We MUST assume that powers within Hydra are aware of the information in my possession.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I stopped asking for listener feedback and information after season 1 of the show, largely because I got the feeling that I was receiving misinformation and potentially disinformation.  Project Hydra, I know, is alive and well, but due to the high level of compartmentalization involved, it’s very possible that it’s no longer under anyone’s direction.  My guess is the project is so classified that the government is no longer in control of it and likely hasn’t been for some time.  I assume this because of the shady ethics I’ve seen demonstrated within the papers, which means if someone has enough clout within the organization, it’s likely a power-grab scenario as different departments compete for control.  Again, purely speculation, but Ron likely knows way more than I do and is just choosing not to share.

This is where SCIC comes in.  SCIC, or “Southern California Independent Contractors” is a scientific research company that hires doctors and scientists like Adhira Patel, and sub-contracts their skills and expertise to government organizations.  It appears that Patel was the only remaining SCIC representative with in-depth knowledge of what they were contract by Hydra to do.  It’s possible that information is documented somewhere, but it’s also likely that it died with her.  I suspect this union is responsible in its entirety for the high occurrences of paranormal phenomena in the San Diego area.  Definitely more to learn on this front.

I guess that just leaves me.  What’s to say?  I’ve traditionally led a fairly private life and what little I’ve shared on the show is somewhat out of necessity for the listeners.  I’m married to my wife of 18 years and have two boys ages 16 and 12.  I don’t remember much of my childhood, but as I’ve recently uncovered within the papers and the documents Dr. Patel sent me, I was labeled as a Maker.  Makers, of course, have the ability to manifest physical objects and beings – literally anything you could imagine out of nothing.  It’s like in the original Ghostbusters movie when Gozer told them to “choose the form of the destructor” and they thought of a 100-foot Staypuft Marshmallow Man.  It just manifested based on someone’s thought.   

The medical files also contain information about my parents and my so-called accident that wiped my memory at a young age.  I don’t know if you believe in fate or not… and I’m not sure if I do to be perfectly honest.  The fact that Ben, Brianne, and Malcolm were all Hydra kids, and evidence seems to be leaning toward being one myself just doesn’t seem like chance. This is something that doesn’t feel right.  Something just doesn’t seem to fit in my mind… not only with these medical files, but with me and my surroundings.  I feel out of place, so to speak.  If you believe fate has anything to do with what’s going on, then maybe fate is trying to put me where I belong.

I spoke at the beginning of this recap of turning points: Moments in time where, whether you realize it or not at the time, will alter everything based on your choices going forward.  It’s like Jim Carrey in the movie Truman Show when he learns nearly goes insane before he learns he’s in a simulated reality.  It’s like Keanau Reeves in the Matrix when he has the epiphany that the bullets he was just shot with by Agent Smith weren’t real.  There’s that pause, then a sudden rush of mixed emotions including logical reason, confusion, and validation of your suspicions all spinning in your head like a class 5 tornado with the new realization that you know your very existence has been wrong somehow, or at the very least misinformed, and then you have an awakening with a new purpose in life.

I believe there’s an awakening on the horizon.  I can’t say for sure whether that awakening will involve me or someone close to me, but the feeling is palpable like static electricity in the air before a lightning strike.  I haven’t been able to shake that feeling since I read about the Pyramidion.  It just feels like it’s all going to come together soon.  At the same time, my physical health has also been met with some challenges and this awakening is starting to feel like a race against time.

Unfortunately, there are still some things I just can’t share with you right now… things that are pertinent to the podcast and everything I’ve been researching that are occurring as a direct result of me looking into the papers… I need to maintain some secrets, for now, out of necessity.  These secrets, I can assure you, are kept in everyone’s best interest and I can only hope that someday I can share those with you at a time where the consequences of doing so won’t be so detrimental.

If you’ve stuck with the show up until now, I just want to say thank you for continuing to listen.  The show started out as one thing, but took on the life of something entirely different.  Being in the hospital has allowed me somewhat of a needed break for reflection and to gain clarity on the bigger picture at play.  I’ll have more information to share going forward, and on December 13, I’ll fill you in on my meeting at El Campo Cemetery.

Contest Winner: Bad Day For a Jog


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
Mention of a serial killer



October 15, 2021

Dream Journal Entry 288/365

Do you ever have those dreams where you’re not sure that you’re in a dream until you wake up? I do all the time. Sometimes they feel so real that I can’t be sure if I am just thinking about dreaming or if I actually am. 

Lately I have been having the same reoccurring dream: I’m at the Park at River Walk and I am just gaining the nerve to actually start jogging down the path and start my timer. That’s one of the things that no one really tells you when you start getting into a healthier workout pattern. Often you will be left on your own to set your own goals and reach your own milestones. For me jogging down a path had always been something that I had wanted to do but I always hesitated because of the whole “beware of killers off the bike path” thinking I grew up with. So, I decided the best way to tackle that feeling was to face it head on. 

I take a deep breath and bend to stretch a little more before I actually start jogging. As I am looking down at the asphalt, I see fading leaves and feel the brisk cold of the early morning air grazing the back of my neck and my nose. It can’t be that hard, you just have to start somewhere. I feel a strange gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something doesn’t feel right. I shake the feeling off and shake it out of my body and decide to just go for it. I’m definitely going to regret the burning in my calves later. 

I start jogging down the right side of the lane, the left lane usually being reserved for bikers and people on scooters. I set a timer on my phone for 10 minutes. That should hopefully be enough time for at least ½ a mile for a beginner. The pace I am going doesn’t seem too bad and I feel like I’m making pretty good progress for this being my first day by myself. I see a man with chestnut brown hair and a grey running shirt and black shorts jogging in the opposite direction, he meets my eye, smiles, and continues to run. Somehow seeing someone else pass by makes me feel like I should be picking up my pace. As I turn to the ground to make sure I don’t trip over a branch (that would be just my luck) I see some writing in chalk on the ground, but it’s abnormally large, it looks to be about a foot tall and about 6 inches wide. It just says GO. Weird. I then remember that my mom used to tell me if I ever saw writing on the bike paths that I could either ignore them or take them as caution. I look around me and see that there is no one around but I can still hear the birds chirping and the trees rustling with the breeze. Surely it’s just a prank the teenagers in this area like to do. 

My timer goes off. How did 10 minutes go by this fast? I decide to just leave the thought behind and continue to slowly jog so as to not pull a tendon. I see something else coming up ahead on the asphalt, I slow to pass it. It’s another word. This time the writing is even bigger 1.5 feet tall and still 6 or so inches wide. It says: FURTHER. That’s strange. These pranks have definitely gotten convincing over the years, but I don’t think anything of it. I have worked hard to convince myself that it’s time that I need to get into shape and I’m the only one who can’t hold myself accountable. Why stop now? 

I decide to set another time for another 10 minutes. By this time, I’ve gone ¾ of a mile and I’m so close to just reaching the mile marker. I can’t leave this early without accomplishing something. Then I start to realize something else: It’s early, not yet nine a.m., but it’s usually pretty busy in the morning. Did I miss something? Was there a holiday no one told me about? It’s a Friday morning, I thought I would see more people out and about by now. But there is no one around. I start to get a slight shiver up my spine and through my hands through my gloves. Why is there no one here? I decide to shrug it off, I have to keep moving or I’m going to end up freezing out here. 

I try my best to shrug off all of my doubts and second guesses. Surely this kind of thinking can only put a damper on the mood. I continue to jog and look at my timer. 3 minutes left. I feel like I can make the last of the jog in that time. It looks like there is a nice big oak tree next to what looks like a metal bridge. That’s it! That will be my stopping point. I feel a burst of energy go through me and I sprint to the finish line! I’m doubled over and panting trying to catch my breath when I see it: another word. This time it is the biggest I have seen: 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide: it reads simply: DON’T. 

My timer goes off at this point and I feel the strangest feeling like I am being bent and twisted from all angles. I feel my eyelids closing despite me trying to keep them open. Just before my vision fades to black, I see the words start to bleed as if the words are made of blood instead of chalk. I awake with a start, and I feel myself breathing like I’ve just ran a marathon. 

“That was a weird dream, talk about anxiety manifesting into reality” I say to myself as I get out of bed. Today’s the day. I have to start getting into the habit of taking care of myself. “There should be no harm in going for a jog. It’s the easiest exercise” I think to myself. I decide to get ready and make sure I have my phone and gloves and jacket, it’s going to be cold today. Hopefully, the chill will wake me up

I get in my car and make the 10-minute drive to River Walk. Hopefully parking won’t be too bad I know it can be pretty busy in the mornings, what with all of the expert joggers and cyclists trying to run over anyone and everyone’s feet. I start to stretch a little off the path and get ready to start my run and set my timer for 10 minutes when I have a feeling I’m being watched. There’s a man in a grey shirt and black shorts stretching not far from me and he smiles at me. Why do I feel like I have seen him before? I decide to shrug away the doubt, there’s always people around the park doing whatever they want. 

I start jogging down the path making sure to avoid the cyclists in the right lane. I don’t know why they decided to go in the right lane. I thought they were always in the left lane. I pause to tie my shoelace and then I see it: A word written in what looks like red paint marker or chalk, it’s gigantic: about 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide, it just says: DON’T. All of a sudden, I look up and I see the man in the grey shirt in the distance with a devious smile on his face. 

I turn around and come face to face with myself: I see myself covered with dirt, my lilac jacket covered in mud and what looks like dried blood. There are leaves and twigs in my hair. I look at my face, I am covered in dust and dirt and where I should have been wearing my glasses. My face is covered with cuts and scratches and it looks like I have been crying. There is a huge gash in the side of my forehead, and I look down, there are bruises around my neck in the shape of fingers. I open my mouth and my mirror self replicates the same movement. My replica reaches up with her hand to point behind me, one hand holding her throat. I turn around and see the man is now less than 3 feet in front of me. I open my mouth to scream but my vision fades. 

My alarm goes off with an annoying shrill. I am so tired of having it go off, I wake up and stretch. It’s eight-thirty a.m. I reach for my phone and see it is October 15. Friday morning. I feel like I should be getting up. I promised myself that I would go jogging. At the thought of that a shudder crawls down my spine. Weird. I decide maybe today is not a good day and go into the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee and use the brand-new Keurig I’ve been waiting to use for a few weeks now.

 I turn on the TV to channel 23 and see a headline: “River Walk Killer At Large”. The reporter continues: “There have been reports of a man luring young women to a bridge overlooking a river and strangling them and then dumping their bodies over the bridge. The count is now up to 5 young women” I take a deep breath, my dreams now flooding back to me. The reporter continues: If anyone has any knowledge of seeing this man (a picture shows of the man with the grey shirt and black shorts) they are advised to call the local police department at xxx-xxx-xxxx as soon as possible. I turn the TV off and close my eyes. I am so glad I decided not to go jogging today.