Contest Winner: Summer Reading Champion


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
References to selling drugs, child abduction, themes of child harm



Hello everyone. Due to the nature of how the last episode ended, I am unfortunately not yet able to give you episode ten, the mid-season finale. Instead, I’m recording this brief intro from a hospital bed and I’ll have to get back to you next time with episode ten. For now until I can get back to my normal recording self, I wanted to share with you one of the stories that was submitted through the writing competition we had last year. I hope you don’t mind this slight delay, and something tells me you’re going to enjoy this story. I’ll be back in two weeks with episode ten.

 The guidance counselor told me that it wasn’t too late for me to get on the right track. Which I thought was stupid, honestly— the idea that there was a “right track” and a “wrong track” for me. 

“You’re only a sophomore,” she told me, “There’s still time to make up for your mistakes.”

I guess there’s no use hiding it. I mean, it feels weird to admit to the police that you were selling pot out of the second floor girl’s bathroom every third period after Mr. Thompson’s class ended, but then again, you guys already busted me for that, so you know that part already. The thing is, I didn’t think of it so much as a mistake. High schoolers are stressed. They need something to help them chill. Thanks to my big brother, I had that something, and I didn’t really think there was anything wrong with that. 

I didn’t say this to the guidance counselor, though. I just told her that I didn’t think colleges would look fondly upon a fifteen-year-old who’d already racked up a criminal charge. She laughed, and I remember the way her beaded glasses chain waggled, she told me that I was not the first weed dealer she’d helped to get into college. 

“Colleges love to see that you’re engaging in your community,” she told me, “and since you’re still relatively young, if you get started now and stick with it, it’ll really look like you’re committed to whatever activity you pick.”
I tried not to laugh. First of all, I’m pretty sure selling drugs to students was already pretty great community engagement, but colleges wouldn’t see it that way. But I guess what really got me was that it all seemed so fake. Pretending that you really like something just so colleges will say, “oh, that kid’s got passion! Oh, that kid’s going places!” She shoved a bunch of brochures at me, telling me to “peruse these opportunities for promising youths” and get back to her. 

I chucked them as soon as I got home, but my dad found them in the trash. 

He told me, “If this is how Mrs. Vale thinks you’re getting into college, then goddamnit, you’re doing it.”

I looked through the brochures, and they all seemed pretty boring. Volunteering at a children’s museum. Working at a homeless shelter.  Doing paperwork for some environmental nonprofit. I managed to eliminate all of them except one: the city library. It’s not that I was exactly thrilled at the possibility of reshelving books, but I figured it sounded a lot better than spending my day with a bunch of screaming children trying to force them to learn about the life cycle of a bee, so that was the one I picked.

I went on Monday afternoon after school and was greeted like a returning war hero.

“You must be Bailey!” I remember the woman at front desk clasped her hands together, like my appearance was an answer to her prayers. She took me into a back office, where there was a spindly old man rubbing a wet paper towel on old children’s books. 

“Welcome, newest addition to the Children’s Section!” he said, much to my disappointment. The whole reason I took this job was to get away from a job with kids. Still, there was hope. Maybe they’d just have me preparing arts and crafts. Maybe I wouldn’t have to interact with kids at all. 

The lanky man introduced himself as Randy, and he rushed me away on a tour of the building. It’s funny what constitutes a big landmark in a tiny local library. He was particularly proud of the color copier, which is apparently a coveted thing in the library business. 

The big climax of the tour was the Reading Room. I didn’t want to be impressed by the library, but to be honest, the Reading Room was pretty cool. The carpet was blood red with little black dots that made me think of a ladybug, and one full wall of the room was covered in huge arched windows, with wooden spokes that reached down to connect at a central hub, like hands on a clock. There were no lights in the room. It was only lit by the sunlight streaming in from the windows. The floor was littered with multicolored pillows, now unoccupied. At the head of the room was a rocking chair with a stack of children’s books on the floor nearby it.

“This place is actually pretty nice,” I told Randy, and he looked so proud, like he’d built the library himself. 

“Why thank you,” he said, and took me back downstairs to give me more information about what I’d be doing for my job. A lot of it wasn’t so bad— laminating posters, folding brochures, making decorations for the “Book of the Month” display. But every weekend, I was expected to be there for Read Aloud Time. I didn’t want to let Randy know this, but I was dreading that part. I do not like hanging out with kids, and regardless of how pretty that Reading Room was, I didn’t enjoy the prospect of sitting on the muticolored pillows, doing stupid nursery rhymes with a bunch of drooling, sniffling, grimy toddlers. But Randy had this kind of pouty face, one you couldn’t say no to, so of course I told him I would be there bright and early Sunday morning.

I was really dragging my feet on my first Sunday, but once I saw all those cute little faces, so eager to hear about Peter Rabbit and Mother Goose or whatever talking animal they were going to learn about today, I felt my heart just melt a little. I remember thinking, “Oh, okay. I can make this work.” 

Basically my job was just to sit with them and listen to the story while Randy sat in the rocking chair reading.

Read Aloud always started with the Reading Time Song. It wasn’t so much a song really as a chant— I think it’s too much to ask of little kids to stay in tune. Before the story began, they would speak the words aloud with the accompanying hand gestures. It went like this: 

I open my heart 
I open my mind 
I open a book
And I read what’s inside
I keep my hands to myself
And I won’t be too loud 
So all of my friends
Can enjoy Read Aloud 

It was pretty sneaky, teaching the kids the rules like that. It was basically a nice way of saying “sit down and shut up.” It worked, though. The kids always paid attention during Read Aloud. And as much as I hate to admit it, I paid pretty close attention too. Some of those kids’ books are good, okay? 

Sunday mornings became my favorite day of the week. I started getting up early, even before my dad opened the store, to bring the front desk lady — her name is Laura — a bagel and a coffee. I kinda became a local library celebrity. I think it helped that I was the only person working there under the age of fifty. Oh, and I’m sure the fact that I was unpaid labor didn’t hurt either. I’m not gonna lie, I have a hard time getting myself motivated for school. I’m not really that interested in chemistry or history or trig or whatever. For a long time I didn’t know what I was interested in. Turns out I’m just interested in making kids laugh. 

Randy was particularly excited for me to be there for the Summer Reading Program. It’s the time of year that the children’s section is busiest because kids are coming in with their reading logs to get their hands stamped and to get a reward for how much they read. It encourages kids to read on their own, Randy told me. And to be quite honest, I was looking forward to it too. 

Okay, now I know you’re probably tired of hearing all that gushy stuff, but that’s where the touchy-feely part of the story ends, because a few months into my job was about when things started to go south. I knew something was wrong when I walked in one Sunday morning and Laura was not her usual chipper self. She still had her hands clasped together like she usually did, but this time she was a little shaky, like she was nervous about something. I gave her the usual bagel and coffee, and she just shook her head. I asked her what was wrong. She leaned over the desk and whispered that Randy was gone.

Before I could ask her what she meant, a man I didn’t recognize stepped out from what used to be Randy’s office. He was a lot younger than Randy, with full dark hair combed back and thick beard. He wore a suit and a crooked smile, two things you don’t usually see on someone who works in a public library. The new man introduced himself as Damion, and he said that he’d been transferred from another branch to be Randy’s replacement. I asked where Randy had gone, and he brushed the question aside, saying it wasn’t any of his business. Then he told me I was going to be late for Read Aloud and he hurried upstairs. 

Before I followed him, I turned to look at Laura. Her eyes were wide with panic. I asked her if Randy had told her anything about retiring and she said no, he’d never mentioned anything about leaving. She’d tried calling him and there was no answer. She’d also asked around to the other branches to see where Damion had come from, and none of them seemed to know who he was. 

Despite Laura’s franticness, I wasn’t actually that concerned. Mostly just confused. What kind of guy just shows up to take over Read Aloud? 

Just as I was about to ask Laura some more questions, I heard my name:


Without turning around, I knew it was him calling me. His voice felt cold, like ice water dripping down my back. I turned around to face him without thinking about it first. 

“You’re late for reading time. Come.” 

“Yes sir,” I said reflexively, and followed him upstairs.

That was the first Sunday that we did not do the Read Aloud Song. Damion said he had a new song to teach the kids. It went like this: 

We invite him to come in
We invite him to come feast
We invite him to our doorstep
We invite the hungry beast
We give him all he asks for
Anything he needs
We invite him to come in
So that he may feed

Damion didn’t teach the kids fun hand gestures like Randy did. He made them cover their faces with their hands as they spoke. 

Usually that’s when Randy would go on to read the story, but Damion didn’t do that. He started handing out sheets of paper. He called them “reading logs” and he said they were part of the Summer Reading Program. Only thing was, they didn’t look like the reading logs you usually give to kids— lined pages covered with clipart of books and caterpillars and things like that. These were blank. And instead of instructing them to write the books they read and bring the reading log in to get a stamp and a reward, he told them to write down what they believe in. The child who believes the most will be the Summer Reading Champion. 

After Read Aloud, I told him I thought it was a really weird nursery rhyme. He said it was just something he used to do as a little kid, that it was about feeding a stray dog. I told him I still thought it was really weird, and he just glared at me. Usually I have no problem with people looking at me funny, but this was the first glare I ever got that truly made me want to run away. And it was just over his stupid nursery rhyme. 

I was hoping maybe there was some mistake, that Damion was a temporary replacement and that Randy would return, but from that day forward, I only saw his crooked little smile when I looked into Randy’s office. I wanted to quit, but everytime I made my decision that I’d had enough, it was like he knew, and he appeared behind me, asking me to stay. And I didn’t want to stay, but somehow I still found myself saying yes.

Laura disappeared. Not in the same way Randy did, luckily. I showed up one day with a bagel and coffee for her and she was gone. I called her and she told me that she just couldn’t stand it anymore. Something wasn’t right and she didn’t want to be there. I was jealous of her, actually. I don’t know why I kept coming in, watching the kids do their chant and turn in their “reading logs” every Sunday morning. 

I’m not sure what would have happened if I hadn’t forgotten my jacket that day. Summer was coming to a close and it was going to be a chilly night, but I didn’t notice myself shivering until the sun started to go down and I was already most of the way home. I considered not turning back for it, but I figured that since I had the keys anyway, I might as well run back into the library, scoop it up, and be out of there.

As soon as I entered the building I knew something was wrong. I heard what sounded like a rhythmic hum, like there was some kind of generator running. But all the lights were off. I decided to ignore it and just look for my jacket, but the deeper I got into the library, the louder it got. At that point I was too curious to let it go, so I started to follow the noise. It led me to the stairs, and I realized it was coming from the second floor. From the Reading Room. In that moment I knew that whatever was happening, Damion was behind it. 

I crept up the marble stairs. As I walked down the second floor hall, I realized the hum was actually a chant. The same chant that Damion made the kids do. But this time, they weren’t saying it like a nursery rhyme. They were repeating it like…a plea. 

I gently pushed the door to the Reading Room open, knowing that Damion would not be pleased at my intrusion. I feared what he might do to me if he found I was there. All the kids were seated on their cushions, hands pressed over their eyes, repeating that horrible chant. The only light in the room was the moonlight streaming in through the huge windows, casting long shadows of the children across the floor. Damion sat in the rocking chair, his face almost glowing in the moonlight, grinning.

“Now,” he whispered, “it’s time to crown the Summer Reading Champion.”

With a flourish, he lifted one of the “reading logs ” and a little girl stood up. I recognized her from Read Aloud as Lucy, a shy three-year-old. I had spent a lot of my volunteer time sitting her in my lap and encouraging her to interact with the other kids. 

“Thank you for choosing me,” she said in a voice that was not hers, “I am honored.”

Slowly she glided through the other children and towards Damion, who stood with an outstretched hand at the front of the room. 

I’m not sure what I thought was going to happen. Even looking back, I still have no idea what might have happened if that girl had taken Damion’s hand. But I had this sense of dread deep in my stomach, this knowledge that if he touched that little girl, something irreversible would happen, and it would be terrible and it would be all my fault for doing nothing. 

Without thinking about it, I leapt forward, dashing through the children and scooping up Lucy in my arms. Damion cried out in surprise when I appeared. I guess he hadn’t seen me lurking in the shadows in the back of the room.

“The child now belongs to me,” he said in a voice I know did not come from him. 

“No,” I told him, “she doesn’t. And you are ruining the Summer Reading Program.”

I shifted Lucy to my left arm to free up my right, and I smacked him hard across the face. I didn’t actually hit that hard, but I think it was the surprise of it that made him give an inhuman shriek, reeling backwards. The moment he fell, it was as though a spell was broken. The children simply stood up and left. Even Lucy wriggled out of my arms and walked towards the door. When I looked down, Damion was gone, and I was alone in the Reading Room.

I know I sound crazy, especially since none of the kids remember this happening, but you can ask Laura. She’ll back me up. Damion was there, and he did…he did something to those poor kids, even if they don’t remember it. And then he just…disappeared.

You may think that after all this, I would never want to set foot in the library again, and that was true. For like a week. But I missed the kids, and I missed Read Aloud, so I picked up where Randy left off and started reading those kids books myself. I don’t think I want to go to college anymore since it seems like I’ve got a pretty sweet gig lined up right here, so it turns out all that “community engagement” was for nothing. Well, not for nothing. I’m pretty happy. Mostly.

I still often wonder what happened to Randy. And I never stay in the library after dark.

The Man at the Hotel – Season 4 Episode 9


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
Profanity, references to drugs and prostitution
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Jeremy reviews the full footage of the tape from Season 1 Episode 2 with Detective Anderson, which was sent to him by Doctor Patel. It reveals that after the Grinner left the hotel, Ron Hammond appeared, but never told anyone. Anderson tells Jeremy to record a meeting with Ron and they’ll confront him together.



After our last episode, I’ve been contemplating a lot of claims found in those medical documents. I don’t mean to push everything else aside that we learned, but the possibility of knowing who my parents are, the idea that Hydra had some kind of file on me, and the fact that they labeled me as a Maker… it’s all just a little too unbelievable if I’m being completely honest.

You’re all going to laugh at me for telling you this, but do you recall in my journal entries last season how I’d been experiencing things in my dreams, and then seeing them manifest in real life the next day?  Well, last weekend, I thought to myself, “If I’m really a Maker, I should be able to manifest things from nothing.”

So I tried.  I did everything from concentrating really hard in a quiet room to meditating, and I even tried convincing myself that “the Force” was a real thing.  I got nothing!  Well, I take it back; I got an extreme eye roll from my wife, who I’m confident is not listening to this podcast and wouldn’t believe in any of this stuff even if I told her.  I’m not sure if she took my little experiment as just being ridiculous in general or if it actually caused more concern.

So for the time being, I’m still looking through the documents Doctor Patel passed onto me.  I became intrigued when I came across a small plastic bag with some notepad scribblings and a flash drive within it. A good friend of mine who listens to the podcast basically called me crazy for opening a flash drive of unknown origin with unknown contents on my personal computer, citing many good reasons I should probably be avoiding that, so I decided I needed a plan in case I found the need to review anything risky.

I had Detective Anderson introduce me to a computer forensics expert he met through work and had a discussion about what precautionary steps could be taken if I ever needed to download some files or look at a flash drive again.  My goals were to prevent any malware or spyware from being downloaded onto my computer, and to eliminate the possibility of someone tracking my location.  So I bought a used laptop with a dead battery off Craigslist.  It’s four or five years old and only works when the power cable is connected.

Now, I don’t power that laptop on when I’m at home at all.  That’s a hard and fast rule.  When I do power it on, I make sure to go somewhere with free WiFi, and I am going to try not to visit the same place twice, so I asked for help making a list of all of the locations in the L.A., Orange, San Diego, and Riverside Counties where I could easily drop in and connect.  You know, it’s amazing how many places actually do have free WiFi available.

Anyways, I went to one of these locations, powered on the laptop, and plugged in the flash drive.  There were two folders on it.  One of the folders had a readme.txt file and the other had a video file.  

The readme file contained a typed message to me from Doctor Patel, who apparently may have been aware of her impending death.  It reads:


I have come to fear the worst and I’m afraid I will be unable to deliver this to you in person.  While I realize you have very little reason to trust me, you should know that everything I’ve done on behalf of SCIC for Hydra was to advance the field.  Sometimes we must be willing to accept some necessary evils in the pursuit of our goals to further our scientific understanding of the universe for the betterment of our species.  

It has been a pure pleasure to listen to your podcast while you attempt to solve your little puzzles along the way.  It seems you have gained a following, along with some inside help from people who are risking quite a lot, including myself now.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Ron Hammond, it’s that you should be cautious with how much trust you place in the man.  He can be a great asset, so long as your goals are aligned.  

I believe you’ve seen a portion of the video I placed on this flash drive.  The fact that you covered this video so early in your podcast is what initially put you on my radar, but it’s clear that you have only scratched the surface of the significance of that event.  If I’m able to later, I will try to send you more information, but for now, this is all the sharing I have time for.

You have everything you need.  All the best!

Adhira Patel

Hmmm… A lot to unpack in this note.  She’s right, you know.  I don’t trust her.  But she’s also managed to perfectly describe my feelings about my level of trust in Ron as well.  And is it possible that she really believes everything she’s doing is because she’s trying to help?  Some of what she’s saying is a bit cryptic.  It’s as if she knew she was nearing the end, but at the same time, she had hope that she would still be around to share more information with me.  I guess her luck ran out.  I better take a peek at that video.

I recognized the same starting point of the video with the stamp dated March 11, 2015 and the video starts around 8:02 p.m. and 40 seconds, as it did when I previously viewed it.  I checked my notes, and the previous video I viewed way back when I started the podcast was 4 minutes  and 2 seconds long.  As previously noted, the video was shot in IR mode and the first couple of minutes didn’t show anything.  

At 2 minutes and 56 seconds, a person who I now know to be the Grinner manifests near the right side of the pole and can be seen walking left to right toward one of the hotel windows and peeked in.  

Chills traveled up my spine and down toward my extremities as the hairs on my arms stood at attention in a state of heightened awareness.  I had forgotten how strangely he moved, and it reminded me of being chased in that church, only at a much faster pace then.  That unnatural movement of his, almost gliding with his arms dangling by his sides, and that peculiar appearance.    

I watched as he looked in the hotel room window, then he did the strange motions with his head.  Looking at it this time, it reminds me of how an owl moves.  The neck elevating and receding, going up and down in diagonal directions, different angles with each glance and changing every time. It was definitely not humanly possible.  Perhaps an owl was the closest thing I could relate to what he does next, something I knew was coming, yet intensified the chills I was still experiencing.  The head turns completely around to face the camera as if he knows he’s being watched.  The walking backwards, the staring at the camera, and that weird head-tilt he does… it’s just as creepy as the first time I watched it.  But even moreso, I think the reason it creeps me out so much is because it doesn’t seem like a recording.  It’s almost like he knows you’re watching this.

He stood there for a seriously long time, and I think the original video I saw ended in static with him still standing there, but according to the play head, this video was only about two thirds complete. The Grinner remained motionless for nearly an additional minute.  He was so still, I thought perhaps I paused the video by mistake, but the counter on the video player and the timestamp were both still rolling.  Then, while keeping his head still, his body turned around to face the same direction his head was.  And while still locking eyes with the camera, he casually walks below the frame.

The video was still playing though, and I scanned every corner of the field of view looking for something new.  I half-expected this to be one of those jump-scare videos with the grinner’s face appearing up close to the camera, accompanied by a speaker-distorting scream at maximum volume.  That would imply that Doctor Patel had a sense of humor though, and that’s definitely not something I’ve seen (or expected) from her.

What I saw next was even more confusing.  There were headlights on the ground in the parking lot screen-left, just a little further away from the camera from where the Grinner made his creepy appearance.  They were dim at first, and got brighter, then remained still as if a car, just outside of frame, had come to a quick stop.  The headlights remained on as a man appeared in the frame and began walking in the direction of the hotel room, too far away from the IR light source to see any real details except that he was wearing long pants and a long-sleeved jacket.

As the man approaches the hotel room that the Grinner just left, he gives the door a couple of knocks and waits for a few seconds before I see his right hand reach inside the left side of his jacket, where it remained as he knocked again with his left hand.  I’m assuming the man was armed.  The man starts to look around, as if to check to see if anyone is watching.  Next to the door, the light still isn’t good enough to identify him.  He then goes and looks inside the window for a moment, cautiously peeking around the edge of the glass.  Unfortunately, he’s now facing away from the camera.  Next, he takes his hand out of his pocket and cups both hands around his face and leans against the window to get a better view.

Another second or two goes by, and then the man drops both hands down by his side and takes a step backwards.  I’m guessing he’s seen some details from the crime scene because he raises both hands to his head and brushes his fingers through his hair.  He stands for a moment with his hands still on the top of his head, and then he pulls something out of his pocket and begins wiping down the window, as if he’s trying to get rid of his fingerprints.

The man steps away from the window again and pauses as if he’s taking all of the details in again.  Then he turns away quickly and begins walking quickly back toward his car, just far enough from the light in the window for me to really get a good look at his face.  But as he approaches his car, he is looking in both directions, seemingly checking to make sure there aren’t any witnesses.  When he gets to the edge of the video frame, he glances left over his shoulder, right in the direction of the camera, and the headlights he left on help to provide enough detail to see his face.  A face I know all too well.  The face of Ron Hammond.   

Fuck this guy!  You know, I really wish Ron would level with me.  From Day One his whole involvement in this thing has been a rollercoaster of emotions for me.  One day, he’s on your side and the next, he’s doing something shady.  And the withholding of information is driving me insane!  I feel like I’ve been chasing my tail while this guy just watches!  Fuck him!  I need to make a phone call.

SOUND: The phone is ringing.

ANDERSON: This is Anderson

JEREMY: Hey, it’s Jeremy. I just saw something that you need to see for yourself.

In my heightened emotional state, I hadn’t considered that perhaps Anderson was just as shady as Ron, only better at hiding it.  I paused for a moment to consider the thought, and dismissed it after realizing that Anderson typically shared the same feelings I did when we learned of new details like this.


JEREMY: Yeah, sorry. This needs to be something you see in person.  Can I drop by your office?

ANDERSON: Sure, but it will have to wait until after one P.M.  

JEREMY: No problem.  I’ll be there at 1.

Something inside me still questioned whether or not running right over to Anderson with this was wise.  Considering what I learned at El Campo Cemetery, I suppose it doesn’t really make much difference whether he learns about Ron being there or not.  Still, I’m starting to develop a lack of trust in people, but maybe I’m just being paranoid.  Oh and to the listeners, I’m sorry I haven’t filled you in on El Campo yet.  There’s just one more thing I need to check on before I do.  Thanks for being patient!

I arrived at Detective Anderson’s office at 12:45 p.m. and was informed he was still in a meeting, but also told I could wait in his office.  I was also asked if I wanted a cup of coffee or a water, which I declined.  They were being more friendly than usual to me.  Perhaps I was here often enough that they’ve gotten to know me.

I wouldn’t exactly call Anderson’s desk an “office.”  It’s basically a desk on one side of the room, in a row of 10 desks, mirrored by another 10 on the other side of the room.  There are no walls or doors, or even cubicle dividers.  In fact, the whole room didn’t offer much privacy at all.  I sat in a chair between adjacent desks, and I could see a name plaque on the desk behind me that said, “Collins.” Anderson’s partner.

More than half of the desks were empty, and I counted two other civilians in the room, both in handcuffs.  The man in handcuffs was about three desks down on the same side of the room.  He sat across from a detective with his head down and appeared to be crying.  

I surveyed the room a few times, wondering which direction Anderson was going to come from.  The woman in handcuffs was directly across the room from me.  She was handcuffed to a ring on the chair handle.  She was early 20’s, blonde, and thin.  My first thought was she was a prostitute, though I really don’t have a reason why that came to mind.  Perhaps because that’s what you always see on procedural cop shows on TV and that was about the extent of my experience with seeing people in handcuffs.  

I must have been staring as I sorted all of this out in my head because I hadn’t realized she was staring back at me with sunken eyes and mascara that had run down her cheeks.  I forced a weak smile, and before I could look away, she smiled back, revealing brown-stained teeth that contrasted with everything else about her appearance.  

Methamphetamine.  San Diego was long considered the “meth capital of the United States” and up until the late 1990’s, more than half of the meth in the country that was seized was captured coming up from Mexico. I’m not sure where the new “capital” is, but meth still has a presence here.  

I decided to turn my gaze toward Anderson’s chair across the desk from mine to avoid any more unintentional staring.  I found spinning the flash drive between my fingers as I recalled details about the video I was about to share.  I was started when I felt a firm pat on my shoulder from Anderson as he rounded the desk toward his chair.  

ANDERSON: So what brings you to my neck of the woods?

I looked over at the woman with the meth-mouth, who had perked up in her chair and had been watching and listening to our introduction.  

JEREMY: Is there somewhere we could go with access to a computer and a  little privacy?

ANDERSON: Follow me.

Anderson picked up a laptop from his desk and as I got up to follow him, the room began spinning.  I reached out and clumsily grabbed the back of the chair I had been sitting in to steady myself.  My vision had almost gone dark, but was coming back into view when I felt Anderson’s hand grab my upper arm.

ANDERSON: You okay there?

JEREMY:  Yeah, I just got dizzy for a second.

ANDERSON:  You probably got up too fast or skipped a meal.  You want some coffee?

Why does everyone keep offering me coffee here?

JEREMY:  No, I’m good now.  I think I’m just burning the candle at both ends lately, ya know?

ANDERSON: You’re sure?

JEREMY: Yep… after you!

I followed him to a room used for questioning.  We sat down across from one another as he opened up the laptop.  I pulled out the flash drive and told him to watch the video.  He fumbled around for a moment before double-clicking on the video file.  As it began to play, he asked if I wanted to go to his side of the table to watch the video with him.  I declined.  A few seconds in, he looked over his laptop screen at me.

ANDERSON: Okay, I’ve seen this before.

JEREMY: True, but you haven’t seen this much of the video.  Just keep watching.

Anderson’s eyes returned to the monitor.

ANDERSON: Damn, that guy gives me the creeps.

He continued watching until he saw the Grinner walk off screen.

ANDERSON: Okay, so it shows him leaving the camera view. I don’t recall seeing that the last time I watched this.

JEREMY: Keep watching.

SOUND: Fingernails tap on the table.

ANDERSON: Okay, these look like headlights on a car, and it’s possible they were in a hurry given how much the lights bounce. (pause) Tell me we’re going to see who this guy is who’s knocking on the door.

JEREMY: Keep watching.

ANDERSON: Okay, so he’s obviously armed and sees the crime scene here.  I just can’t make out his face.  And… he’s cleaned up his fingerprints from the window.

JEREMY: Almost there.

ANDERSON: Is that?  Is that Ron?!

I wanted to sit directly across from Anderson to get a better view of his face to gauge his response.  His reaction of surprise seemed genuine.  Anderson was a no-nonsense kind of guy, and I’m confident I would be able to tell if he was only acting surprised.

JEREMY: It looks like him to me.

ANDERSON: I don’t know what to say.  Where did you get this video?

JEREMY: I got it in the mail… from Dr. Patel, along with a bunch of other stuff I’m reviewing right now.

ANDERSON: …and now she’s dead.

JEREMY: And now she’s dead.

ANDERSON: We need to speak with Ron.

I could tell Anderson was uneasy about this new-found involvement in the homicide case from the hotel.  Ron had been aware of the case and all of its developments, and said nothing to Anderson about being at the crime scene, or even being aware of it.  

Anderson must have been pretty put off because he dialed Ron’s phone right away.  Apparently Ron didn’t pick up because Anderson’s voice message was straight and to-the-point.  

ANDERSON: Ron, it’s Mark.  Call me as soon as you get this.

Almost immediately after Anderson hung up his phone, my own rang.  

SOUND: A phone is ringing.

I got confused and Anderson looked at me as if we were sharing the same feeling, as if perhaps Ron was calling me instead of calling him back.  I glanced at my phone.

JEREMY: It’s Brianne.  I’m going to take this.

Anderson nodded as he looked back down at his laptop and began to replay the video.

JEREMY: Hey, Brianne.

BRIANNE: Hey, I just dropped by your house.  Where are you right now?

JEREMY: I’m actually sitting here with Detective Anderson.  Why?

Anderson peered over his laptop at me and shook his head, “no,” implying I should avoid giving Brianne any details about seeing Ron on the video.  I gave him a quick nod to say I understood, and his eyes returned to his laptop.

BRIANNE: Oh, did you find something new?

JEREMY: Well, just getting his opinion about a hunch I have.  Nothing new to share just yet.  What’s up?

BRIANNE: Well, I’ve been digging into the medical documents more and cross-referencing some of the names and information in there with the papers.  Guess what I found!

JEREMY: What is it?  Do you really want me to guess?

BRIANNE: No, but did you watch the news yesterday?  

JEREMY: Uh, no.  Why?

BRIANNE: Well, there was a local story about a 42 year-old man who was an English teacher at–

SOUND: Anderson’s phone rings.

Anderson looks at the caller ID, which must have been a number he didn’t recognize and answered while looking at me.  I admit I stopped paying attention to Brianne as I waited to find out if it was Ron on the other end of the line.  When Anderson said I was with him and he wanted to meet ASAP, I had to let Brianne go.

JEREMY: Um, Brianne?  Can I get back to you?  Something has come up and I kind of need to go right now.

BRIANNE: Seriously?  It must be important.

JEREMY: It is.  Sorry, I really want to learn what you found out.  You can wait at my place if you want.  You know where the key is.

BRIANNE: No, that’s okay.  Just call me when you can talk.

JEREMY: Will do!  Thanks!

ANDERSON: Everything okay?

JEREMY: Yeah, she was about to tell me something about yesterday’s news.  Literally, not metaphorically.  Are we on?

ANDERSON:  Sure are!  Ron’s going to meet us in 30 minutes at a diner in City Heights.  You don’t happen to have your recorder with you, do you?

JEREMY: Well, um.  I’ve been recording this whole time.  Sorry.

ANDERSON: I should have known.  You really do need to get better about asking for peoples’ permission before recording them.  But in the interest of our discussion with Ron, maybe don’t let him know.

JEREMY:  No problem. (pause) So, uh… Do I have your permission to–

ANDERSON: Yes, yes, of course! Let’s go.

Maker 22 – Season 4 Episode 8

Maker 22 Episode Art


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
Murder, gore, blood, graphic description of death, child experimentation, general horror.
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Through experiments conducted on Malcolm when he was younger that involved prolonged exposure to the Pyramidon, we learn that a Maker possesses the ability to conjure objects from nothing, regardless of their conscious state – which is a key difference between a Maker and a Shepherd.



SOUND: Brianne is typing again.

BRIANNE:  Jeremy, you’re listed here as a Maker, too.

SOUND: A mouse is double-clicked.

BRIANNE: Your whole life is here, Jeremy.  Your childhood, your birth certificate…your parents’ names!

I can’t seem to take my mind off of this new information.  It’s kept me up at night lately.  I swear, making this podcast has done some serious damage to my sleep patterns… and my relationships.  Or at least it’s putting a strain on them.

When I told my wife that I may have actually learned who my parents are through the research I’m putting into the show, she didn’t seem very impressed.  I don’t remember the exact words she used, but it was one of those single word answers.  The ones like “fine” or “okay” without so much as a glance in my direction.  If you aren’t married or if you’ve never had a life partner for any amount of time, let me clue you in on a little secret.  When you hear these responses, things are definitely not “fine” and you should choose your next words with caution.

We had a long discussion that night after the kids were asleep.  I was so excited to share the news about my parents, the possibilities of actually finding them and getting to know them, imagining that our children might actually have grandparents they could  get to know.  She isn’t close to her parents, so the kids haven’t really known what it’s like to have grandparents, just like me.  Most extended family has always been kind of a disappointment, and I guess I hadn’t realized how alone the world felt until I learned my parents’ names.

What ultimately came out of the discussion was the realization that the whole time I’ve been making this podcast, I’ve really been kind of neglecting my family.  Sure, I’m working my day job and meeting my obligations to provide for them, but after dinner each night, my nose is right back in the papers.  She let me know that the kids had been having problems at school and they were likely seeking attention.  And though I’ve been in my home this whole time, I haven’t really been “present.” In addition, she had concerns about my overall health, saying I looked pale and was losing weight.  Normally that would be welcome, but she said it wasn’t “in a good way.”

Another helpful tip from many years of marriage and a few counseling sessions under my belt: when your partner opens up to you and shares their feelings, even if it makes you angry, take some time to reflect on what they’re saying instead of reacting in the moment.  That’s a problem I have been working on.  The anger came from the assumption that she really didn’t care about what I had learned, and the possibility that my parents are out there. That assumption is the key.  Instead, I took some time to consider my reported lack of presence, and I almost always come to the conclusion that she’s right; that I’m the asshole.  Or at least, I’m contributing to the problem and I can understand why she feels that way.  But more importantly, she’s telling me these things because she values our relationship and wants restoration.  Essentially, I’ve been severing my connection with her and the kids, and the knife is these papers.

Anyways, I’m sorry to take you down this road on the podcast, but someone recently told me I wasn’t injecting enough of my personality into the show.  So there it is… for better or for worse.  I will say, I do have a new therapist I’ve been seeing since the last one I had refused to see me.  Apparently they were all bent out of shape about the nonsense Patel pulled to surprise me at my scheduled session.  It’s just another love/hate aspect of the papers that keeps me conflicted in the pursuit of truth by digging into them.  I promised I would spend more time with the family, even if that meant less time with the papers, and we agreed to a certain level of moderation as long as I could still show up to be husband and father every day.

By the way, I did follow through with that meeting at El Campo Cemetery last Saturday, but I can’t say anything about that just yet.  I promise, I’ll fill you in as soon as I can.

Now, back to the papers:

After learning that both Malcolm and I were labeled as “Makers”, I wanted to learn everything I could about what that means.  My first instincts were to go to the documents that Dr. Patel left me, and a particular folder stood out to me labeled, “M-22.” I’m assuming that folders labeled “S” relate to Shepherds and now folders labeled “M” refer to Makers.

I opened the folder and learned I was right.  The very first document had a cover page with a very brief title saying, “Subject M-22, formerly known as (redacted), Malcolm Foye.”  Malcolm!  Wait, why is the name, Malcolm Foye listed but some other random identifier redacted?  Damn, now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve seen references to “M-22” in other documents in the papers… at least, the papers that I inherited from the auction, which used to be Ron’s.  Those have been Malcolm this whole time, and I’ve just been breezing by them because I didn’t think they were relevant.

As I flipped to the first document behind the cover page, I immediately noted it had the now-familiar seven fingered hand stamp on it, but with a superimposed capital “M.”  I hadn’t seen this before.  The document seemed to establish the reason for the switch in labels from “Shepherd” to “Maker,” and it reads:

Proposal for classification change of (redacted) to M-22

5 February, 1998

With the M-class being relatively new, the subject began exhibiting new abilities over the previous several weeks following a series of Pyramidion Proximity Experiments. Unfortunately, the experiments were limited due to the random nature of the Pyramidion’s appearance and disappearance, and the amount of travel time required to move the subjects to its location this time.

While other subjects experienced marked enhancement of Shepherd abilities as a result of the limited Proximity Experiments, (redacted) went into the experiments with superior Shepherd characteristics, even when compared to other subjects after the experiments.  

Preceding the exposures, he was essentially able to manifest fictitious entities from his dreams into reality (see Appendices A-F).  He was also very skilled in his remote viewing capabilities when subjected to field study analysis (see Appendices G-K).  

As a result of additional exposure, previously unseen abilities began to develop in the subject that are similar in nature to known Makers.  


Within twenty-four hours post-exposure, the subject had been in his living quarters reading his literature homework assignment, a chapter in the book, “Lord of the Flies.”  He self-reported to his professor the following morning that he was simply able to “produce” a conch shell by thinking about it while he was awake.  After the professor reported his claim, unscheduled testing ensued.

Within seventy-two hours post-exposure, he was manifesting inanimate objects at-will, during waking hours.  Under testing observation with multiple witnesses and video recording, objects were suggested to him for manifestation.  During a single sixty minute session, the subject was able to produce replicas of objects that were in the room with him that included a pencil, a chair, and a desk.  

Testing was concluded when the subject, himself, suggested he attempt something more challenging.  He then produced a pencil sharpener.  Upon its manifestation, the subject freely tested the pencil sharpener’s functionality by picking up the original pencil that was already in the room (not the one he manifested) and inserted it into the sharpener.  It was completely functional.  


Several relevant observations were made following several hours of video review of this session:

  1. Each object manifested was somewhat flawed upon manifestation:  It is unclear if the subject was aware of these flaws, but among the noted features were:
    • The conch shell seemed to be made of a porcelain-like material, rather than the calciferous structure of a real shell.
    • The pencil he made, after analysis, had small divots in the wood of an unexplained nature not present in the original pencil.
    • The chair had one leg slightly shorter than the others, which wasn’t initially noted, but was when someone sat in it.
    • The pencil sharpener did not have a power cord or known source of electricity.  This was highly irregular because we witnessed the subject operating it successfully, which was not able to be replicated by our team once the subject was dismissed.  It would appear that the subject may have intentionally or unintentionally aided in the operation when he attempted it.
  2. The subject’s mood and demeanor changed dramatically between sessions.  Upon presentation of the conch shell and undergoing a series of questions by our team, the subject appeared to be excited and eager to share results with the team.  After the seventy-two hour session, the subject seemed more hesitant to respond to questions honestly.  His mood shifted to defensive and somewhat cocky.  He began to question the necessity of continuously being kept within the grounds of our facility, and started asking questions about why he wasn’t being allowed to explore beyond. He was provided a sedative when he became agitated. 
  3. The video recording malfunctioned during moments of manifestation.  A visual artifact, most likely some kind of static, appeared on the VHS tape during playback making it difficult to visualize.  We can only hypothesize that the manifestation of these objects created some kind of temporary electromagnetic field or distortion as the recordings post-manifestation did not contain the artifact.  


Further research is going to be required to determine the extent of the subject’s capabilities and the direction our research may take us.  It’s too early to make any evidence-based conclusions outside the observation that additional abilities are present within the subject compared to the previously noted limitation of Shepherd abilities.  Comparison to other Maker test records should be made to determine similarities and to identify any differences.


Regular testing at forty-eight hour intervals:  At this time, abilities seem to be increasing over time since the Pyramidion exposure tests.  It is unclear if this increase is due to latent effects of proximity or potentially due to the subject’s progressive learning capability to use these new abilities over time.  

Two teams: while these new abilities exist and should be further tested and monitored from the standpoint of Maker classification, we have not yet tested Shepherd abilities to determine any potential change post-exposure.  Each set of abilities would be more efficiently and effectively documented and analyzed by each team focusing on their own specialty areas.  In the interest of time, and due to the rising mood and demeanor challenges of the subject, I recommend testing parameters be discussed prior to each session and testing coincide, instead of doubling the duration of testing sessions for each team.  To accomplish this goal, more collaboration is needed, which will require a significant degree of transparency between departments within Hydra and less compartmentalization.

Additional testing parameters:  This is just a hypothesis, but the likely presence of magnetic distortion that could be the cause for the artifacts on the VHS tape recordings indicates the need to measure it.  I propose a similar setup to the electromagnetic measurements taken during Pyramidion exposure sessions, and if the subject is willing, brainwave pattern analysis.  Both should occur in real-time and be compared to levels present when the Pyramidion is present.  

Precautionary measures:  As we know, several negative short-term and some long-term effects of Pyramidion exposure have been noted in some people.  I would advise increased safety precautions during Maker-testing be implemented to be modeled after Pyramidion testing precautions.  If the subject is producing high levels of electromagnetic radiation during the manifestation process (as the video artifacts might suggest), and (assumed to be) inconsistent with other previously-classified Makers, prolonged exposure must be limited.

In addition, I recommend post-testing therapy sessions for the subject in light of the changes in demeanor following the manifestation of objects.  More information is needed on which drugs and chemicals may suppress these abilities, if any, and in the meantime we would be wise to avoid situations that would result in conflict with the subject, or create any tendencies toward aggression.  We need to consider the fact that some differences exist between this subject and known makers, and extreme caution should be placed to avoid making any assumptions about similarities and differences before further testing can take place. 

Personnel with training and experience in conflict resolution should be present during all testing sessions, and we should remain conservative and take the subject’s willingness to endure testing sessions into consideration for the time being to prevent unnecessary negative outcomes and/or uncontrolled manifestation events.

Well, that was interesting.  To me, this appears like at this time, they had already identified a few people with Maker abilities and they aren’t quite sure yet if Malcolm was actually developing these abilities or if he was turning into something different following exposure to this Pyramidion.

The next document appears to have the same symbol… you guessed it!  The seven fingered hand, still with the capital “M” superimposed.  But it also has a symbol shared by many of the other papers, and one that I’ve shared content from previously.  There’s a pentagram symbol right next to the seven fingered hand.  The pentagram has some smaller symbols within it.  It contains what are likely other pagan symbols, and if I had to guess, it likely represents various occult symbols.  It’s interesting because I think I saw a similar symbol when I was looking into the Order of the Divine Acolytes quite a while ago.

This document looks like it was someone’s notes, strictly observation, from one of these testing sessions.  It reads:

Clinical Observation Notes for Malcolm Foye and Assessment

22 February 1998

I was brought in today as an inter-departmental consultant to observe and analyze testing for M-22.  I have only been briefed on the initial proposal for Maker status and intentionally excluded from two sets of testing results between the initial assessment and today’s session.  I’m not yet certain why they would be seeking consultation from an occult specialist, but I’m forced to assume my lack of access is typical as “need-to-know.”

I have been asked to observe and document from behind a two-way mirror approximately twenty-five meters from the subject as a safety precaution, but I am also monitoring three video feeds which are displaying various points of view including a close-up of the subjects face, a pulled-back view showing the subject’s entire body while sitting at a table with the clinical psychologist in full view, and a video feed from within the room I am in at the twenty-five meter distance.  I also have a fourth monitor displaying the subject’s brainwave patterns.

The first several minutes were seemingly uneventful, and I should note that I do not have an audio feed, so I am not certain what kind of conversation is being conducted.  The subject seems to be at ease, often smiling and seems to be willingly participating in the conversation.  One other thing of note is that he occasionally seems to be glancing toward his left.  On that side of the room, there is another mirror, and I can only assume he is aware he is being observed by another individual or team, which seems like a fair assumption if I were in his shoes.  

Approximately seven minutes into the session, it appears as if the subject is being guided through a meditation exercise.  His eyes are closed and he is sitting with upright, yet relaxed posture.  The psychologist is speaking and the subject is taking deeper breaths in succession.  My eyes were drawn to monitor four as the brainwave patterns began to reduce in amplitude and frequency.  Sharp peaks became short rolling waves as the subject proceeded with the exercise.  

A period of two or three minutes passed without change until I saw a very large spike in the brainwave pattern.  Sharp peaks grew higher in amplitude and frequency.  It was similar to what an earthquake looked like on a Richter scale.  When I turned my glance from the brainwave pattern to the up-close facial video feed, there was a slight static artifact which made me think perhaps the camera was farther away than in the initial proposal document, only zoomed in to minimize the artifact effect.  But that wasn’t what caught my attention.

The subject’s eyes were open, but rolled backwards into his head, revealing only their whites.  It could have been an effect caused by the distortion, but I also observed what appeared to be swirling colors and the emission of a faint glow emanating from his eye sockets and nostrils.  The effect grew slightly when his mouth parted.  

I could read the psychologist’s lips when he asked the subject, “Are you okay, Malcolm?”

At that point, the subject placed his palms flat on the table to steady himself as his body began to exhibit tremors.  This indicated to me that he was fully aware of his body’s disposition and this was not seizure-like behavior, but controlled.  Once glance back at the brainwave patterns, and I could see the peaks disappearing beyond the scale of the equipment.  

The table in front of the subject began to shake, as did the two-way mirror I was observing through.  A low rumble echoed in the room as a smile developed on the subject’s face.  The lights flickered for a moment before completely turning off and the monitors went dark.  Within a second or two, emergency flood lights came on, along with the video feeds.  The monitor with the brainwave pattern remained blank, but the video feeds were back up with diminished visibility due to the lower ambient light in the room, but a greater noticeable light emanating from the subject.  

As the light gradually faded from the subject as he slid down in his chair, he seemed to be experiencing an element of fatigue.  I could more clearly make out what was going on by observing directly instead of through the video monitors.  

At that time, some movement in the corner of the room behind the psychologist caught my eye.  In the dim light, it appeared as if a shadow was growing.  First, it started out just a few feet above the ground and was spherical in shape.  As it grew, it began to morph into something tall with a humanoid shape.  The psychologist somehow became aware of this presence and turned around to face it.  He appeared intrigued and amazed at first, and I wondered if he was able to see something different from his vantage point.

The shadow being walked toward the psychologist, who remained staring at its face.  It towered over the man.  I’d estimate it to be eight to nine feet tall given the ceilings were ten feet.  Then with the speed similar to a scorpion’s sting, the psychologist was thrust from a sitting position in front of the shadow to being slammed head-first into the ceiling above where he sat.  There he remained, pinned to the ceiling for what seemed like an eternity, though it was likely less than ten seconds, as if gravity didn’t exist.  His neck was severely displaced from the impact as his head was flattened.  One of his eyes was dangling by the optic nerve, freed from its socket as blood streamed out of his mouth and nostrils and began pooling on the chair he had just been in, and eventually flowed onto the floor.

In an instant, the lights came back on and gravity got to work as the psychologist’s body fell from the ceiling, landing on the upright chair, and clearly causing more lower spine damage as a result of the fall.  Blood splashed in every direction.  Some landed on the face of the subject, who sat still like a statue throughout most of the encounter.  Then I watched as a gap in the blood on his face grew and revealed an unnatural, exceedingly wide grin.  In that moment, my eyes locked with his, and I can’t explain how, but I knew he was aware of my presence some twenty-five meters away behind a mirror.

I blinked and his grin had all but disappeared as a door into his room flew open and three orderlies ran over to him to place him in restraints while he sat in his chair.  A large syringe was injected into his neck before he went unconscious and was carried out of the room by the orderlies; One for each arm and one at his feet.

This concludes my observations of the event.  As I previously noted, I have been asked here as a consultant from the Occult Studies Department to observe and provide an assessment, or at least offer my opinion, based on my professional expertise.  I am assuming, without much direction given, that I am to comment on the shadow being I witnessed as I have had little exposure to the psychological testing of the Maker group.  I find this ironic because in my rare interactions with the Department of Psychical Research, my line of work had been mocked quite publicly as it was never given any consideration as a serious area of scientific research.  I could say the same about their department.

Either way, at first glance the manifestation of this entity appears to be demonic in nature, but to prove that, I would need to know the identity of the demon and confront it when it shows itself again.  I can think of a couple of demons with this known appearance, and one of them would be considered an eminent threat of positively ID’d.  However, its behavior is not necessarily consistent with any known demonic entities.  

If I were to conjure a guess, it appeared to be doing the will of the subject rather than manipulating the subject to do its own will.  The only known service that demonic entities perform is to the greater evil or to higher-level demons.  I suppose it’s possible, and that’s if this was a real demon, that the goals of the subject could have aligned with the demon’s, but I know of no example of such a partnership.  No, based on my observations, this entity was brought forth by the subject.

How could the subject have manifested this shadow being?  If the subject was strictly a Shepherd, this manifestation would have occurred in a dream state.  I would need to consult the brainwave patterns to make sure this wasn’t the case, but I’m nearly certain it wasn’t based on my physical observations of the subject.  This means the being was manifested while the subject was awake, which would imply the subject meets the Maker criteria despite having documented Shepherd abilities.

To possess both Shepherd and Maker abilities is anomalous.  It’s possible there are individuals who have been documented by the Psychical Research Department who have previously, but I, personally, have never seen it.

Because I fear this may be new territory to the likes of what Hydra has seen before, we must consider several possible scenarios, some outside of our current knowledge.  First, the subject could possess both Shepherd and Maker abilities. Second, there could be new abilities presented as a result of the close proximity of this mysterious Pyramidion and its unknown origin.  Perhaps this object somehow amplifies or distorts abilities already present.  

I fear others in the Occult Studies Department might incorrectly conclude this entity as demonic if shown the footage.  But I could not suggest what exactly this entity might be, if not demonic.  Was it brought here from some parallel dimension?  Is it possible that demons don’t behave the same way in other dimensions?  I would recommend an expert in string theory be questioned about this.  

Of course, it’s always possible that the subject simply imagined this being and manifested it from absolutely nothing.  If this is the case, the objects he would be capable of manifesting would only be limited to his imagination, which could place us all in extreme danger.  We must consider that the murder of the clinical psychologist I witnessed could have been performed by either the subject himself, using the shadow entity to disguise his own actions.  Or, and I’m not sure if this is better or worse, the shadow entity itself murdered the psychologist.  If that possibility is to be considered, what other abilities might this entity possess?  And does it exist and act now with its own free will?  If that is the case, what are its motives?  As you can see, the circle of questions leads down a very dangerous path.  Unfortunately, in order to answer these questions, one must form hypotheses that are deadly, not to mention, incredibly unethical to put to the test.  I fear we may no longer be able to control the outcomes of these experiments, and it is without reservation that I must recommend they cease immediately and the subject be terminated.

I do not make this recommendation lightly, but we must also find out if it was the subject’s imagination that inspired the creation of this being, or if his thoughts were influenced prior to this event.  I wonder, due to the similarity in characteristics of this being with demonic entities (especially known ones), was he provided with some literature or education in occult studies or demonology that preceded this event?  This must be learned, but not at the expense of allowing the subject to regain consciousness again.  

Holy shit!  In a lot of ways, I can’t believe this is the same Malcolm that I’ve met and spoken to… and carved a symbol into with a dull knife.  I was already cautious of him, but what the hell am I supposed to think after all this?

It occurred to me that this kind of makes sense to an extent.  At least the part that talks about this shadow being not necessarily being a demonic entity.  We faced the Grinner in a church, thinking that would somehow weaken him or prevent him from having any authority there.  He dismembered a werewolf-slash-priest and morphed into a creature I could have never imagined in my worst nightmares.  What if he wasn’t a demon at all?  That would mean that Malcolm created him and knows exactly what he’s capable of doing.  He knows what limitations and weaknesses the Grinner had.  And what’s to say he couldn’t just create him again?  Or maybe something worse?

Even still more perplexing to me is why my name is in the medical documents labeled as a Maker.  Am I capable of similar things?  What kinds of things happened in my childhood that I can’t remember?  I need to go through more of Patel’s documents.

The Pyramidion – Season 4 Episode 7

An old photo depicts a mirrored, pyramid-shaped object in a desert with mountains in the background. In the foreground, a sign labeled "UNITED STATES ARMY" is obscured by a red stamp that says "CLASSIFIED."


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
Possible suicide under suspicious circumstances, references to experiments conducted on children, general horror.
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Jeremy receives documents from Doctor Patel. They reference interactions from the nineteen twenties with an object called a “Pyramidion.” This object is the same item Brianne saw in the episode, A House on the Corner, that is shaped like a pyramid and appears to be completely mirrored. Those spending time in proximity to a Pyramidion tend to experience changes and interact with people from the past, even coming away with long-lost objects.
Brianne calls Jeremy and tries using something from Doctor Patel’s letter on the medical files. It unlocks the rest of the files. She discovers that she and her brother are in the files labeled as Shepherds, while Jeremy and Malcolm are in them listed as Makers.
Jeremy receives a text message that says “El Campo – Saturday, nine PM.”



SOUND: A phone is ringing.

JEREMY: Hello?

DETECTIVE ANDERSON: Oh thank God you’re okay!  I was about to come looking for you. Ron has been calling you, too.  Turn on Channel Eight News!

JEREMY: Okay, I’m watching. It’s about a woman jumping from a highrise. 

DETECTIVE ANDERSON: Jeremy, I’m at the scene now.  The woman…it’s Dr. Patel.

JEREMY: What?!

DETECTIVE ANDERSON: Just wanted to let you know since Ron is looking for her and I can’t seem to get in touch with him.  Would you make sure he knows the next time you speak with him? 

JEREMY: Sure, yeah, I can do that.

DETECTIVE ANDERSON: Everything okay?

JEREMY (VOICE OVER): No. Everything was not okay. 

JEREMY: Yeah…I’m just surprised, is all.

I was surprised alright–surprised that I may be the very last person she communicated with before she died.  Although I highly doubt she committed suicide.  Something’s not right.  I should tell Anderson about the email.  The package.  I’m not sure why I didn’t.  I’m hoping the email address she used wasn’t traceable.  I guess I’m going to need to say something sooner or later.  Just not today.  If I say I waited a couple of days to claim the package, that will give me a chance to review its contents before they connect the email to me.  Then I can say it wasn’t worth mentioning until I confirmed there was an actual package.  I just hope I can look at everything and tell them about it before they realize she emailed me.

God, listen to me!  I’m withholding information from Anderson, but I just don’t know who to trust right now.  My thoughts are always racing.  I just need to calm down and start looking through the box to see what she sent me.

The box looked like it was about the size that reams of copy paper come in, but instead of a lid on the top, it had flaps.  It was extremely heavy.  I pulled out my keys and cut into the tape holding the box flaps open.  It was full of documents filed vertically, taking up the entire width of the box, and there was a small, hand-written note on the top of the stack lying flat.  It reads:


I realize by now you have little to no reason to trust me, but I have been following your podcast and can’t help but to feel an element of remorse for some of the activities I’ve taken part in on behalf of Hydra, as well as my employer, SCIC.  Things have been so compartmentalized, and I’ve always had my suspicions about what we were doing, but I haven’t really had any confirmation until you started coming forward with some of the contents you’re reviewing that belonged to Ronald Hammond.  

I wish I had more time to explain here, but I fear I have drawn some unwanted attention to myself recently.  While I would be happy to find a way to have a long conversation with you, the risk is far too extreme at the moment, and I figure the contents of this box will supplement your collection and help you to trust me just a little.

Please know that I have been in contact with Malcolm Foye.  We have been working together to find his grandfather, Joseph, who knows where the object is…or at least where it will show up next, and when.

The handwriting gets sloppier here and it seems like she may have been rushed.

I wish I could write more…running out of time now.  The files are in order, so start at the beginning.  You and the others have been through so much!  Will talk soon!


LERNAIA (followed by a six-digit number)

“Me and the others?”  “Lernaia?” What the hell does that mean?  I’m using my better judgment and choosing not to read the six-digit number in case my suspicion might be correct about its usage.  She also said, “Will talk soon!”  Even if she was in a hurry, it doesn’t sound like she realized her life was in jeopardy.

I know she’s dead now, but the fact that she admitted she was working with Malcolm–and was likely aware of Brianne being abducted and held against her will by him… that doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of trust.  I sent a text to Brianne to see if Lernaia and those six digits mean anything to her, without providing any context yet. And in the meantime, I’ve got some new documents to dig through.

I think I might know what “object” they’re looking for…and I’m pretty sure Brianne has seen it.  I chose to follow Patel’s instructions and start at the beginning.  I pulled the first file out, which seemed really old and had a few documents contained within.  You’ll be pleased to hear there aren’t any redactions in any of the documents I’ve seen thus far.  The first document is from nineteen twenty-two and the paper is aged.  It appears to be a letter from local law enforcement regarding an object found in the L.A. Basin, though it doesn’t specify exactly where.  It reads:

War Department

Care of the United States Army


On November twenty-second, nineteen twenty-two, I was assigned to investigate an object of unknown origin or composition, which was found near a newly discovered oil field in the Los Angeles Basin.  A representative from the drilling team named Walter Doyle claims that the object mysteriously appeared, which was not present the previous day.  Mister Doyle stated he left the field at approximately eighteen-thirty hours on Tuesday, the twenty-first and upon his return around oh five-thirty hours on the twenty-second, the object was around fifty meters from his work site.  Mister Doyle stated the object’s appearance resembled some kind of bomb or projectile and he feared for his safety and for that of his work crew.  I provided specific instructions to maintain at least a one hundred meter distance from the object until it could be thoroughly investigated.

I arrived some time after thirteen hundred hours on the twenty-second to inspect the object and was unable to identify it or determine whether it poses a risk to the vicinity.  I took the liberty of taking some measurements and have maintained a secure perimeter around the object, posting a twenty-four hour watch with our officers rotating duty every eight hours.  

The object is metallic in nature and stands around three meters in height.  It is silver and clearly reflective, with a triangular shape.  I would estimate its base to be around one-half meter and it comes to a very sharp point at the apex, giving it an elongated pyramid-shape. There are no visible signs of construction such as seams or rivets, and it appears to be a single, solid piece of metal.  I could not gather precise measurements for reasons I will explain momentarily and I was not able to complete a close-up inspection of the object as I could only get about ten feet away from it.  

I did not believe it to be an explosive device, so my plan was to dig around its base in order to determine how deep it may have descended into the dirt, if indeed it fell from the sky.  I noticed after about thirty minutes within its presence, I began to feel disoriented and nauseated.  I removed myself from the immediate area and the effects seemed to go away, but when I returned, they only intensified and I began vomiting and experiencing a general weakness in my body.  Another officer on the scene claimed to have the same sensations, though he maintained much further distance from the object, but had been present significantly longer.

One other detail of note that could be subjective, but worthy of mentioning is the perception of things going on around the object seemed to be different for myself and other officers.  It is difficult to explain, but one of my officers noted as I approached the object, it appeared from his vantage point that my movements would slow down and continued to slow down the closer I went to it.  What felt like minutes to me, he claimed, elapsed several hours while he maintained his post at his one hundred meter distance.  He claimed to have been calling out to me, but I did not hear him, nor did I respond.  He had only mentioned it when he asked who would be relieving him for his shift and I was under the impression he had several hours remaining.  When I took my pocket watch out to check the time, he noted my watch was nearly three hours slow compared to his own.  The watch was still functioning and did not need to be wound, and I am certain it was on time at the beginning of my day.  It’s something I can’t quite explain, and am excluding from my initial report.

Because I believe this object to be potentially harmful and of foreign origin, and nothing I have ever seen the likes of, I am formally requesting a military evaluation of the object with all of the resources at the Army’s disposal to determine next steps.  Additional concerns include the proximity to one of the oil fields.  If there is any chance that the object is ordinance of some kind, we wish to avoid any fire damage that may be caused by the ignition of oil in the area. 

With that, we will maintain a patrol around the object at a safe distance around the clock and will await further instructions from you.


Earnest Thompson

Los Angeles Police Department

This thing sounds exactly like what Brianne had an encounter with in that basement last season.  Very interesting!  Wait a second… hold on just a moment.  

SOUND: Jeremy is typing on a keyboard.

Holy crap! Okay, so if you might recall, I asked for some help with our website seemingly glitching out at the end of last season.  Well, that led down a rabbit hole of puzzles to solve that a small group of our listeners worked on in The Storage Papers’ Discord server.  I’ll spare you the details, but with a little help from 4thTrumpet on Twitter, once all of the puzzles were solved, there were three files that we were given access to.  At least two of them, and likely the third, were Hydra documents.

The first was a field report signed by Doctor Patel, talking about RH (I’m assuming that’s Ron Hammond) finding some kind of locator after someone’s death, which somehow confirmed his loyalty.  There’s mention of the locator being the only instrument capable of finding the object, but the name of the object was redacted in that document.

The second document that was discovered, also a single page, looks like an abstract for a research paper where testing of an object was being conducted titled, “Physical Effects of Temporal Distortion by Proximity.”  It mentioned placing an object, with the name of the object redacted, different distances away from unsuspecting children and taking measurements of magnetism and visible light, as well as brain wave patterns of the kids. Fucking sickos! 

The first two documents had the seven-fingered hand logo on it, but the last document was a map with Coronado Island right in the middle of it.  Two red “X’s” were on the map.  One of them was at the Naval Station on the island.  The other, when plotted in Google Earth, was a residential address.  I’m betting that’s the house that Brianne was in back in Season Three, in the episode, A House on the Corner.  The object she saw–that pyramid–sounds exactly like what’s being described here.  Her experiences with it were vivid, and I recall her saying it just appeared out of nowhere in that basement.  If you’re interested, I’ll post copies of those documents in the show notes on our website.

There’s more from Doctor Patel.  The very next document looks like a field report relating to the pyramid structure from December ninth, nineteen twenty-two.  It reads:

Initial Field Report from Los Angeles County

Army Corps of Engineers

Doctor Henry Barnham Reporting:

Due to the nature of conditions reported prior to the Army Corps of Engineers’ arrival, extreme caution was exercised in assessments taken.  I arrived with my team just two days ago on December 7th and first began physical observation, including photography to confirm the approximate size and shape of this Pyramidion reported by the LAPD was accurate. 

Several observational testing methods were employed to gather data.  We had initially noted several unique characteristics immediately when our instruments were powered on:

There were fluctuations in electromagnetic energy near the object that appeared erratic, and no pattern could be established during our brief observation.  Bursts of radio frequency, electromagnetic radiation, and x-radiation in low amounts were observed.  When our sensors were stationary, the signal was not consistent  in all of the observed electromagnetic spectrums, however, when our sensors were moved closer to the Pyramidion, some changes were seen.

In regards to magnetism, the closer we moved to the object, the higher the magnetic field being detected.  Several readings were taken at varying distances from the Pyramidion, which seemed to correlate with the Inverse Square Law of physics.  In essence, every time we halved our sensor distance to the Pyramidion, the magnetic field grew four times as strong.  Our sensors began to malfunction once we reached a ten meter distance, and could therefore no longer record data.  With the data we had gathered at further distances, we could estimate that the magnetic field seeming to originate from the Pyramidion would be at least one hundred times that of the earth’s gravitational pull, if not more.  Inconsistent with known laws of physics, however, was that the magnetism being detected by our sensors was not observed with ferrous metals being placed within the strongest regions of the field less than ten meters from the source. 

An experimental version of the Geiger Counter was used to detect x-radiation at various distances from the Pyramidion.  Most data collected indicated adherence to the Inverse Square Law as well, considering the Pyramidion as the potential source of radiation.  In contrast, there were noted spikes of energy ranging from sub-second intervals to five or six second intervals, which did not appear to be in a recognizable pattern.  Each spike was accompanied by a decrease in radiation intensity that was not found to be proportional with the preceding spikes.  

We also measured radio waves near the object, which maintained a consistent frequency throughout all of testing.  We were able to measure signal strength at ten meters from the Pyramidion, at one hundred meters, and at one thousand meters in a northerly direction.  As radio waves should also obey the Inverse Square Law of physics and be reduced at further distances, we saw no change in frequency strength at the distances measured.  A decision was made to gather readings of the same distance to the South, the East and the West with identical results.  The only proposed hypothesis, which we were unable to test further, was that the source of the radio waves was larger than the object itself.  Unfortunately, with the data collected and no distinguishable differences in signal strength, we were not able to determine whether the radio waves were originating from the Pyramidion, or if it may have been some kind of geological phenomenon specific to the region.  Data collected later indicated the presence of the Pyramidion may have influenced the radio waves, however it could not be confirmed as the origin, though no data was collected suggesting an alternate origin.

The team decided to make camp overnight with plans to conduct further testing in the morning.  We discussed the potential safety concerns and what precautions we would take the following morning before retiring for the night at approximately twenty-three hundred hours.  Upon waking the next morning at oh five hundred hours, I was notified by one of my team members that the Pyramidion was no longer there.  

I conducted an investigation by interrogating each member of the team individually and in isolation, and all accounts are similar in that the Pyramidion was present before going to sleep, and no one saw it prior to oh five hundred this morning.  We estimated the potential weight to be at least a half-ton based on its dimensions seen above ground, and depending on the metallic composition.  This would require heavy machinery to move and no horse or automobile tracks, or evidence of cranes or lifts were visible in the dirt surrounding the area.  None of the team experienced any noise or sleep disturbances throughout the night, and we cannot explain how it may have left the area.

We spent the morning taking additional readings to compare to data collected the previous day.  

There was no evidence of radiation, which would indicate the Pyramidion is not radioactive and suggest it was the source of the x-radiation.

The aforementioned radio waves were no longer present as well.  This does not lend any evidence that the Pyramidion was the source of the radio waves, however it doesn’t exclude it.  There is a possibility that it somehow amplified a radio signal from an external source, but without further testing in its presence, no further data collection is possible.

In regards to the high levels of magnetism observed yesterday, there remains substantial traces of magnetism in the Pyramidion’s absence.  I have instructed our team to collect core samples of the earth at varying depths for testing, but regardless of those results, I cannot explain how the ground would be able to retain this level of electromagnetism after removal of the source, if indeed that’s what caused it to begin with.  

We have no hypothesis regarding how the radiation was being generated as the Pyramidion does not appear to have moving parts or a power source of any kind.  It makes no noise, however, the physical effects described in the LAPD report were observed in some of my team who were close to it, even with protective gear.  We cannot make any conclusions based on the collected data except that it did not possess the qualities of anything occurring in nature, and the symmetry and observed properties imply it was intentionally constructed with a greater knowledge of physics than our top scientists in the United States.  Of course, those scientists will be contacted for peer review of data and consultation for next steps and if we encounter the Pyramidion again, to develop a protocol based on a potential limited timeframe for observation.

There was another note from Doctor Henry Barnham attached to this one dated three days later.  Unlike the previous one, this one is in handwriting–not typed–and it has some very peculiar implications.

To whom it may concern,

In the last three days since my interaction with the Pyramidion, I have experienced remarkable things.  Along with only one other member of my twelve-man team, we seem to have developed some symptoms not shared by the whole team.  At first, I considered them to be hallucinations, but I later found out that I was observing real events.

The same night the Pyramidion disappeared, I had dreamt of it.  I was standing in front of it, watching my reflection, which was as clear, if not clearer, than any mirror I’ve ever seen.  My hands were making motions and my mouth was moving in the reflection, but I was standing still.  The image then changed from my reflection to seeing lost loved ones, and they interacted with me.  My sister, who passed away when I was in the War, appeared.  Her hand reached toward me in the reflection, and then through the reflection to grasp my wrist.  Her other hand extended through the mirror and when she opened it, a ring was in her palm.  It was our mother’s wedding ring.  I hadn’t seen the ring since my mother passed, and I remember arguing with my sister about who would get the ring since I was courting at the time and she was not.  My sister kept it until she died, and when I returned from the War, I couldn’t find it.  I took the ring from her hand and she retreated back into the Pyramidion. The next morning, I was making my bed when I heard something drop onto the floor.  It was the ring!

The next night, I dreamt I was suspended from the ceiling in my office at the Army Corps of Engineers.  I watched in silence as my superior entered my office, knelt down on one knee, and searched through the file cabinet behind my desk that was low to the floor.  He retrieved a set of data collected from the site where the Pyramidion was located, and then hurried to close the drawer and stand up to leave the room.  When he stood and swung round toward the door, he lost his balance and his ribs caught the corner of my desk, putting a small tear in the linen of his shirt and knocking over a picture of my wife.

The following day, which was yesterday, I returned from lunch to pass him in the hallway outside of my office.  His face was beet-red and he had a file folder under his arm.  As he passed, I stopped him to greet him, and as he turned, I could see the tear in his shirt.  I chose not to pursue any questioning at that time, deciding to look for further confirmation of what I suspected: that my dream was a premonition of this day.  I quickly returned to my office and noticed the picture of my wife face-down on my desk.  It was not like that when I went to lunch.  When I searched my file cabinet, the file with the data was gone.  Thankfully, I had the wherewithal to ask my secretary to make copies of it all early that morning on a silly hunch.  I had no idea it would play out this way.

My experiences continue throughout today, but seem to be dissipating as time goes on.  The dreams are not as vivid and I am having a difficult time remembering details, so I can’t be as certain as the previous two nights that unexplained events are occurring.  For the purpose of research, I would suggest following up with my fellow team members to compare experiences.  For the purpose of security and in the interest of the Army Corps of Engineers, I suggest looking into my direct superior, Doctor James Lowell.

Doctor Henry Barnham

Twelfth December, nineteen twenty-two.

I did some quick searching online for references of a pyramid shape that appears and disappears throughout history.  While I couldn’t specifically find any pyramids, there were a lot of mentions in folklore referring to pyramids and obelisks appearing over centuries.  Sometimes they were noted to have appeared preceding significant historical events, often catastrophic in nature.  Occasionally, they would disappear right before those events unfolded.

I don’t know if they’re related or not, and they’re not pyramids, but do you recall those strange monoliths that were appearing over the last few years?  They were triangle in shape, but they weren’t pointed at the top; just flat.  Some of them had similar features such as no evidence of construction, but some had rivets and were passed off as art pieces.  The first time I heard about these was regarding one discovered in the desert in a canyon in Utah, but I also recall one appearing in Southern California as well, and even as far as Romania in recent years.  I might need to dig into this more, but I have to wonder if they’re related somehow.

SOUND: A phone is ringing.

JEREMY: Hello?

BRIANNE: Hey, it’s me.

JEREMY: I’m going to go ahead and hit the record button… is that enough fair warning?

BRIANNE: Sure, I guess… it’s still annoying though.

JEREMY: Sorry.

BRIANNE: What made you text me “L-Lernaia [bleep]”?

JEREMY: I got it from Patel.  She’s dead by the way… long story and I’ll explain later.

BRIANNE: What?!  I feel like I just saw her… or heard her at least.  I swear that woman was there, where Malcolm was holding me.  I don’t mean to speak ill about the dead, but don’t trust her!  She’s evil.

JEREMY: So, any thoughts on Lernaia?

SOUND: Brianne is typing.

BRIANNE: Um… You got this from Dr. Patel?

JEREMY: Yeah, why?

BRIANNE: I literally just played a hunch right now.  Jeremy, Lernaia [bleep] is the password to the medical files!  I have full access!

JEREMY: Holy shit!  What do you see?

SOUND: Brianne is clicking her mouse.

BRIANNE: There’s so many files!  And there’s a database too.  Hold on.

SOUND: Brianne clicks her mouse again.

BRIANNE: Jeremy, I found files on me and Ben.  We’re labeled as Shepherds.

JEREMY: What?!

SOUND: Brianne is typing.

BRIANNE: Malcolm is in here too…he’s been labeled as a Maker.  What’s a “Maker”?


JEREMY: Okay, I’m dumbfounded. Do you recognize any other names?

SOUND: Brianne is typing again.

BRIANNE:  Jeremy, you’re listed here as a Maker, too.

SOUND: A mouse is double-clicked.

BRIANNE: Your whole life is here, Jeremy.  Your childhood, your birth certificate…your parents’ names!

[another pause]

BRIANNE: Jeremy, are you there?

JEREMY: Yeah, I’m just… I guess I’m in a state of disbelief and I don’t really know what to say.

SOUND: A text message alert goes off.

JEREMY: Hang on a sec.


JEREMY: I just got a text from a private number.  It says, “El Campo – Saturday, nine PM.”

The Dependents – Season 4 Episode 6


The Storage Papers is a fiction horror podcast.

Discretion is advised.

See Content Warnings
General horror, language, death, suicide.
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Ron suggests that Jeremy organize the documents by symbol. He also reviews the documents under a black light and finds previously unrealized symbols. He reads a document about two men making a deal with two women arising from a lake for rain. They got more than they bargained for and one ended up in the morgue.
Jeremy gets a call from Malcolm, in which Malcolm implies the Grinner isn’t dead. He tells a story about some simple-minded creatures who serve evil and can control time and space. He tells Jeremy to tell his grandfather (Joseph Foye) that he’s looking for him.
Detective Anderson calls Jeremy and tells him to turn on the news. On the news: Doctor Patel jumped to her death.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This episode contains a story by the contest winner of Beyond the Papers: ‘Up at the Reservoir’ by Lou Sutcliffe.

Oh how far we’ve come.  By “we,” I mean you–the listeners–and me.  I’m finding myself conflicted lately about my involvement in this whole thing.  I mean, when I started this podcast, my wife and I had been talking about how I work too much; That I needed some kind of hobby outside my professional life. Something to take my mind off work, which was stressing me out and preventing me from really doing anything for myself… or my family. 

I haven’t always been the best husband or father, you know.  My life up until a couple years ago was spent mostly earning money.  I told myself I just wanted to get ahead or provide for my family.  I’d work multiple jobs in the name of being a provider, and at times that’s what was needed, but between those times, I persisted.  I persisted when I should have been prioritizing my family.  

As I’m sitting here reading another text from Ron, I can’t help but feel like the papers have just become another distraction, pulling me away from them.  This podcast was supposed to be a hobby.  It was just something I could do to unwind and get out of “work mode” for a subject I have always been interested in–that is, anything unexplained.  

Look at us now.  Secret societies, clandestine organizations, government contractors, psychics, demonic entities, law enforcement… the list goes on, and I’m at the center of it all.  Sorry if it seems like I’m ranting a little here, but the fact is The Storage Papers is taking a toll on me and my family.  Still, I don’t think there’s any way I can avoid seeing things through now.  I’m in way too deep and people are relying on me.

Speaking of which: Ron’s text.  He’s suggesting I begin to organize the documents based first on symbols, then on chronology, while he focuses on finding Doctor Adhira Patel.  I still find it strange that she left me a voice message saying we need to talk, yet leaves me no way to contact her.  I suppose I’ll just wait until she either shows up, or until Ron locates her and we can drop in.

Ron sent a second text as well. He wants me to check the papers with a black light.  Interesting… I hadn’t thought of that yet.  The notion seems very cloak and dagger.   I just happened to have a black light lying around from some of last year’s Halloween decorations I haven’t put away just yet.  Something my wife has asked me to do repeatedly, yet I continue to neglect it.  

I set the light on top of some of the highly-stacked boxes and thumbed through some of the documents in a few of the boxes I had opened up on the floor.  Wouldn’t you know, the pentagram symbol is printed on a ton of these documents!  I mean, I’m glad Ron decided to point me in this direction, but why the hell did he wait so long to fill me in on this detail?

I’d like to share one of those documents with you now.  It’s not a long one, nor does it have any mention of Doctor Patel, but I thought it was really interesting, and a welcome change of pace compared to some of the stuff that has been going on.  


Case Report

Date: 12th March 1916

Reporting Officer: Guillermo Gonzales (Sgt)

Reviewed: Keno Wilson (Chief)

Incident: Body found by La Mesa Reservoir.  

Witness: Mrs Josita Quilp, resident up by La Mesa.

Summary: Mrs Quilp reported to the station because she had heard from her cousin about the body and believed she had information pertinent to the case. She was shown the body and stated that she had seen the man before. A witness statement was then taken in the interview room.

Transcript of Witness Statement:

It was sometime between Christmas and New Year, I don’t remember for sure which day. I was walking back along the lake road home from my sister’s place. My husband is away from home a lot working in construction so most days I go to either my sister’s place or to check in on my grandparents up the valley for company. 

I’m walking back along by the lake, and it’s mostly bushes and some trees here and there as you know so you can see pretty far ahead. I see ahead of me there’s this little red light. I get close and I realise there’s somebody smoking by the lake ahead of me. It’s late so I think maybe it’s somebody up to no good, so I creep real quiet towards them to see what’s what.

Once I can see from behind some bushes, I see that it’s two guys and they’re just standing by the water waiting for something. One of them was skinny, like if a long-tail weasel could wear a striped suit. The other was more like a coyote, he was pretty sleek, real neatly combed. He looked like he would sell you anything with a smile. On the floor in front of them is a circle with patterns in it and writing around the edge. I remember there was a triangle in the middle, but it was too far to read the writing.

Sleek, he seems pretty calm, but Weaselly, he’s antsy like he’s late for dinner and his wife is going to be mad at him. They’re talking to each other. Sleek, he asks how much they’re going to get. Weaselly he says he got a thousand bucks from Los Angeles for eighteen inches, but that was easy, he could tell it was coming soon anyway and he just needed to help a little. He says San Diego offered him ten thousand to fill Morena Dam Reservoir. He says he’s not so sure it’ll work this time, and he needs some help making sure. Sleek’s eyes go wide then narrow and he says he wants fifty percent. They haggle for a little but then something shuts them right up for a while.

I want you to know sergeant, I had not been drinking, you can ask my sister about that. What I say next is the honest truth of what I saw. I saw two women come right out of the lake. Not on a boat or anything, they just walked out of the lake, like they’ve been swimming, only they’re dry. I did not like those women, not one bit. They had a bad feeling about them. The taller of the two, she’s got a real mean look about her, like she’d kill you without a second thought, and this big wide smile like a snake. She’s dressed like one of those Navy boys from down Point Loma, all neat blue uniform with a little white cap. The other one, she was different. Fine and delicate, with a little red mouth and painted big eyes like a deer. And she was all got up like one of the working girls from the Stingaree, I mean everything that was there was on display. If you know what I mean. There wasn’t anything left to the imagination.

Weaselly, he’s surprised. Sleek, I guess he’s been expecting these two ladies to show up out of the reservoir some time, because he greets them all politely and they introduce themselves. Taller lady, she says her name is Miss Vine. I don’t like her voice like I don’t like her look. She sounds like she is hissing when she talks. She introduces the other lady – she says her name is Miss Fur something. Maybe there was a “fur” in it twice. Miss Fur just smiles and bats her eyelashes at Weaselly and Sleek. She doesn’t talk much at all and when she does she keeps disagreeing with everything Miss Vine says.

All four of them talk. They’re making a deal for Miss Fur to do something for Weaselly. Sleek says he has called the Misses here to trade for their help. He asks what the price is and Miss Fur says it’s not much. Sleek points to the circle on the floor and asks her forgiveness but he says she should stand there and say that. Miss Fur looks mad about that. Miss Vine laughs and she says the price will be steep, but it won’t be them paying it, it will be the city as they’re the ones who want the reservoir filled. Sleek and Weaselly, they look at each other like they don’t know what to make of that, but they must decide it’s a good deal because they agree. I guess they maybe aren’t that smart, because everyone knows when a deal sounds like it’s too good, it probably is. Sleek throws his cigar on the ground and steps on it to put it out and he offers his hand to shake, and Miss Fur looks at him like he’s something she found on the heel of her pretty shoe, but Miss Vine takes that hand and she shakes it. Sleek yells and pulls his hand back like it’s been burned and holds it in his other hand, rubbing at it. Miss Vine says, it’s a deal, and they’ll get their rain, right Miss Fur? Miss Fur says no, they won’t. They all nod like she just agreed with Miss Vine. It seems like they all thought the deal was struck, so Miss Fur blows the men a little kiss and Miss Vine tips her hat and the two of them just turn on their heels and walk back where they came from. I saw the reservoir part around them, like the good clean water didn’t want to be touching them on their flesh. Once they’re gone, Sleek shrinks back into himself, and Weaselly lets out a big breath. Weaselly says, better get rid of that, Pain. Sleek scrubs over where the drawing in the earth is and covers it all over. Then they turn and leave and there’s just me sitting in the bush, wondering what all this was about.   

I didn’t go home. Instead I went to my Grandmother and Grandfather’s house and I told them what I saw, like I told you. Grandmother said she would take a night to sleep on it and then she put me to bed, like when I was little, because I was scared. Next morning, she sent Grandfather and Uncle Rafael out to tell everyone to head up to Cowles Mountain and camp there like we do in winter, because there was a storm coming. So that’s what we all did. You know what happened next. It rained all through January. Sweetwater Dam overflowed. Lower Otay Dam broke, twenty people died. The city got their reservoir filled all right, and then some.

Like I said, the man you have on your bench in the morgue, that’s the Sleek man, the one called Pain. I wouldn’t have come to tell you that because we don’t trust cops, but I wanted to know if it was one of those men I saw. I wanted to know at least one of them was dead. If the other one comes back and brings those women here again, we will be ready for him, and God help him. You better catch him and make sure he doesn’t do those things again, Sergeant.

Action and further information: Body was identified as Mr Thomas Payne, proprietor of Payne’s Miracle Cures, originally from Newark, New Jersey. Mr Payne was reported missing by his brother Mr Christopher Payne (see witness statement, March first). Mr Christopher Payne attended the station March thirteenth to identify the body which was then given into his keeping for burial. Descriptions of the man and the two women in Mrs Quilp’s statement were circulated around the county asking for anyone to come forward with any information. Coroner’s report is appended and lists the cause of death as drowning, nothing to indicate foul play other than a recent burn on the right hand.

After recording this document, I spent a couple more hours skimming through some more of the documents, not really taking in any context, but looking for mentions of Doctor Patel’s name.  Then my phone rang.  I picked it up and it read, “unlisted number.”  I had a feeling that someone had been trying to reach me about my vehicle’s extended warranty, so I ignored it.  A moment later, it rang again from an unlisted number.  I decided to pick it up.  As soon as I recognized the voice, I hit “record” using an app I use for podcasting.

MALCOLM: I hope Brianne sent my best like I told her to.

JEREMY: What the fuck do you want?  And how does everyone seem to have my phone number?

MALCOLM: Well, you’re kind of the one putting yourself out there, you know?

JEREMY: So what do you want?  Did you call to threaten me again?

MALCOLM: Oh, I never threatened you…I just filled you in on the inevitable outcome of what you’re doing.  I can threaten you if that would motivate you though.

JEREMY: Motivate me to do what?

MALCOLM: Well, the thing is, I need your help. I need something you have.

JEREMY: Oh yeah, what’s that?

MALCOLM: By now you should have seen a fair share of symbols on your precious papers.  I just need the ones with the seven-fingered hand with the eye in the palm.  

JEREMY: What on earth do you need those for?

MALCOLM: Let’s just say it’s for a little project I’ve been working on.

JEREMY: Yeah… I don’t think so.

MALCOLM: Oh, why are you being so difficult?  It’s the least you could do after what you did to me.  You owe me, Jeremy!

JEREMY:  The only thing I owe you is a trip back to prison where you belong.  What do you really need that stuff for, huh?

[long pause]

JEREMY: Hello?  

MALCOLM: Let me tell you a little story.  You’re fond of stories, right?  Of course you are, otherwise we wouldn’t even know each other.  Here goes:
Long ago, in the days of old, when evil first stood before good as its own entity, there was a large group of task-oriented souls that I like to refer to as the Dependents.  The Dependents were pawns; underlings of the ancient society forced to do the grunt work that higher beings deemed necessary, yet beneath them to conduct themselves.
The Dependents were steadfast and diligent in their tasks, rarely asking questions or stopping to examine the purpose of their duties or the principles behind them.  They were not necessarily smart, but they got the job done, as long as they received clear instructions and were properly set in motion.
For what we would refer to as millennia, though the concept of time did not yet exist then, they served in faithful servitude until the great division, when the presence of evil manifested itself in stark contrast to all which was previously known.  For a long period of time, the Dependents went idle and failed to perform any tasks they were given, for they did not understand the conflict between many of those they previously served.  
Eventually, after a long period of observation, they realised they no longer valued their existence without fulfilling a purpose.  And for reasons of self-preservation, they communed with both good and evil separately, in efforts to determine who to serve.  
When they communed with the good, the Dependents were told they should remain in service of the good.  After all, it’s what they had known for their entire existence.  They were told they should choose good, with the knowledge that they would be doing good as their reward.  But they were also given a warning.  They were told that only the flawless could exist amidst the good, and that choosing evil would be a final decision; that doing so would prevent them from ever existing among the good again, for they would be flawed henceforth.
When they communed with the evil, the Dependents were told they would never be given an ultimatum; that they could come and go as they pleased.  They made the argument that all who were among the evil can’t really be bad, as they all originated from the good.  They told the Dependents the universe wasn’t made of black and white, but many scales of gray, and that “right” and “wrong” were an illusion.  They offered to allow them to do anything they wanted to do, as opposed to existing to fulfill the will of others.  They promised they could do whatever they wished to do. 
They were deceptive, but the Dependents, being simple, did not know they were being manipulated.  Upon hearing their terms, the Dependents were at first hesitant to choose, and desired to reflect upon their options before making their choice.  But the evil ones insisted they choose immediately, and as a final point in the negotiation, offered the Dependents mastery over time if they chose now.  And they did.
The Dependents chose evil and became the guardians of the underworld, policing the supernatural in service of evil.  They still roam today; thousands of them, all believing they are restoring true order, which of course is deception.  Yet they serve out of fierce loyalty, still never questioning motive and never truly thinking for themselves.  They wield a power they don’t understand, and cannot think for themselves, going about eternity much like a single-celled organism.  They have but one purpose…to serve evil.
It’s said that whoever controls the Dependents ultimately controls time and space. I’ve seen them, Jeremy.  You’ve read about them, but it’s only a matter of time before you see them too.  Nobody knows if a single entity controls them, or if it’s more of a collective evil who is their master.  Whose side do you want to be on when they come?  If I were you, Jeremy, I’d run if I ever met one.  Because they won’t stop.  They’ll just keep coming and coming…until you’re dead.

JEREMY: Wow, great story.  What does any of that have to do with me or the papers?

MALCOLM: Not much… yet. Consider it a nickel’s worth of free advice.  It was just a fun tale to illustrate that our knowledge of the universe is still so limited. Whatever religion you might subscribe to can only possibly hold a piece of the puzzle, but none of them want you to know that you can claim some of this power for yourself.  

JEREMY: What, control time?  No thanks.  Sounds like way too much responsibility for me.

MALCOLM:  There are other things besides time that interest me.  You know… I can do it too.

JEREMY: (to self) What the hell does that mean?

JEREMY: Do what?  What are you going on about?

MALCOLM: You know…the same thing that you and Brianne can do.  

JEREMY: I’m surprised you let Brianne go, you know?  What about all those other people?

MALCOLM:  (playful) What other people? I don’t know what you could possibly mean.  You know Jeremy, you thought you cast out the demon, but there’s so much more work to be done.

JEREMY:  If you’re trying to intimidate me-

MALCOLM: If you talk to my grandfather, tell him I’m looking for him too, will you?

SOUND: The call ends.

Malcolm hung up.  Why is he denying he’s abducted other people?  Surely he knew Brianne was going to see them and tell people about him.  And then he lets her go?  For being some kind of evil genius, he’s making some really dumb decisions.  Or maybe he wants to be searched for.  And tell his grandfather he’s looking for him.  That means he somehow knows we’re looking for Joseph Foye.  Maybe he’s listening to the show, too.  

When I went to my computer to start uploading my phone call with Malcolm, I noticed I had received an email from Doctor Patel late last night.  It wasn’t long, but I can’t tell you exactly what the message said, assuming Malcolm is listening and in light of what I’ve learned before sitting down to record this last segment of this week’s episode. Basically, she sent me instructions for how to retrieve a large package full of documents.  I thought, “great, more papers.”

But at the same time, I was wondering why she’d do this.  I’m skeptical.  Is she trying to help me or misdirect me?  My curiosity, I admit, got the better of me I left to get the package.  When I came back to my house, I heard my phone ringing, realizing I had left it on my coffee table next to my laptop.  

SOUND: Phone ringing.

JEREMY: Hello?

ANDERSON: Oh thank God you’re okay!  I was about to come looking for you.

JEREMY:  Why?  I just stepped out really quick to-

JEREMY: Ron has been calling you to.  Turn on Channel 8 News!

I picked up my remote and turned on the TV.  There was a story playing about a shocking scene in Downtown San Diego where a woman was witnessed by multiple people jumping to her death from a highrise apartment.  As the witnesses were being interviewed, most of them in tears describing the impact from their perspectives, I spoke to Anderson.

JEREMY: Okay, I’m watching. It’s about a woman jumping from a highrise. 

ANDERSON: Jeremy, I’m at the scene now.  The woman… it’s Doctor Patel.

The Summoning – Season 4 Episode 5

See Content Warnings
General horror, language, abduction
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Anderson is tasked with looking into any connections with Gerald Hubert and Joseph Foye. Jeremy reviews some documents that could be related to Subject 14-3, but from an earlier time, involving a boy that claims to be able to summon demons and a social worker’s account from visiting the boy’s home. Brianne returns and reveals she was abducted by Malcolm, and that he was using her and other Makers and Shepherds to try to help Tabitha. She also found that Dr. Patel was encouraging Malcolm to find an object. At the end of the episode, Jeremy recieved a voicemail from Dr. Patel saying they need to talk.

Welcome back to The Storage Papers.  While the search for Brianne continues, I just want you to know that I’ve exhausted all methods of communication at my disposal, as has Ron and now Detective Anderson.  A missing persons report was filed shortly after the release of our last episode… and now, I guess we just wait.  In the meantime, I need to record this episode to keep you all in the loop with what’s happening.  I think Brianne would want me to press on… if she were here.

Speaking of Detective Andersion, I was also able to touch base with him and ask for his help regarding the recent connection I was able to make between Gerald Hubert, the initial identity of the body found in the hotel room back in the second episode of the show from Season 1, and Joseph Foye, who happens to be Malcolm’s grandfather who raised him. The same Joseph Foye whose fingerprints belonged to that same body from the hotel room even though the ID with the body said Gerald Hubert, and the very same Joseph Foye whose fingerprints also showed up in the SCIC building… long after his alleged death.  

Anderson was just as perplexed as I am.  I also told him about the tweet I received from 4thTrumpet encouraging me to look into Gerald Hubert.  I’m at a loss and couldn’t even give you an educated guess about how they’re all related to Joseph Foye, but I’m calling in all the help I can get on this.  I’ve also been spending extra time in the papers looking– well, when I’m not waiting in medical office lobbies… but I don’t want to bore you with that nonsense. 

I did find another couple of documents that could potentially be related to those I shared last time in reference to Subject 14-3.  These documents don’t have any identification for the child they’re related to, but given their context, I think it’s safe to say that it may just be the same person.  I’ll let you decide.

This first document appears to be an intake report from a trip to the hospital, most likely an emergency room or urgent care visit.  If I can just vent for a second, I’m seriously tired of seeing all these redactions of names, dates, and locations.  It would really be so much easier to follow up on things with all the pertinent information available, but I suppose I’m preaching to the choir when it comes to this kind of thing.  I’m sure by now you’re all tired of hearing the word, “redacted” in your earbuds as you’re listening.  I’ll see what I can do going forward to cut the use of that word down.  

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system.  Let’s get to the intake form.  All of the standard normal information like vital signs, reflex response, and visual observations are included and deemed normal, so I’ll just start with the abnormal comments and spare you from non-pertinent information.  If this is the same child from the previous episode, my guess is this document pre-dates the info shared last time.  Important notes are as follows:

Patient presents with general malaise and muscle weakening.  Labs suggest early signs of malnutrition and vitamin deficiency that support the mother’s claim of extended sleep deprivation.  Child also complains of night terrors, but particularly vivid ones, and can recall minute details about dreams and potential hallucinations he is having.  Referred for psychiatric consult.  

Patient’s mother claims to be having similar experiences, though never in the presence of her child.  Both were interviewed separately and both described in similar detail what they describe to be an “inhuman entity” within their home that makes its presence known during sleeping hours.  

One other potential physical note to mention.  The mother states the child has a strange-looking mark on their right forearm that appears and disappears.  First thoughts were that it could be some kind of skin irritation or a rash, but the mother insists it’s dark enough to look like a tattoo.  Visual inspection and palpation of the area of interest were normal during my examination.

Post-visit notes: Arranging for a 60-day in-home follow up visit with a Social Worker and provided mother with a pamphlet for local pharmaceutical research company conducting clinical trials for a new drug to help with insomnia. Reference Rygen Pharmaceuticals. 

I have never heard of Rygen Pharmaceuticals, so I Googled them.  They’re still in operation today, and they are a subdivision of… you guessed it!  SCIC!  Now, if I only had a date this happened, I could research what clinical trials were going on around that time… unfortunately, I don’t have that information.  I do have the next best thing though.

This next document is what I believe may be the report from the follow-up Social Worker’s visit to the home.  Of course, there’s no date or identifying information included in this document, so there’s a definite possibility that I’m wrong and it’s not the same person.  Either way, it appears to have some common themes.  It reads:

Arrival at the home was met with some surprise.  When asked about whether the mother was made aware of a Social Worker visit, she remembered it being discussed, but claimed she was never provided a date.  She welcomed me into the home and was friendly and cooperative.  I spent a few minutes in the living room with the mother reiterating the purpose of my visit while sitting on the couch, outside of the presence of the child.

The mother seemed to have a hard time following complexities in our conversation.  I don’t believe there’s any indication of drug use or abuse, but she seemed to be extremely fatigued.  She appeared thin with sunken eyes and had trouble concentrating, often requiring extended amounts of time to recall events and answer questions.  

I took the opportunity to ask further probing questions prior to including the child in the discussion.  A routine assessment quickly turned into a longer, more methodical one when she began explaining night-time occurrences in the home.  She believed that her son had the ability to conjure evil spirits, or “demons,” as she referred to them, and that one of them is bound to their home.  She proceeded to encourage me to tour their home.

First, she walked me through their hallway leading to the bedrooms.  Immediately, you can see scratch marks on the walls and even on the ceiling.  Some appear to be more than one inch deep and there are several places where exposed wooden beams can be seen beneath the drywall.  

She proceeded to walk me past the child’s room, whispering that she didn’t want to disturb him in case he was managing to get some sleep.  We entered her bedroom, which is shared by the father.  Similar scratches were noted on the walls and ceiling and the bed frame was broken, leaving the mattress and box spring not level.  She explained that they had been sleeping on the pull-out couch at night because the bed would often violently shake when they went to sleep.  Pictures on the walls were hung upside-down and some were on the floor.  None of them had glass within the frames, and she said they were intentionally removed to prevent sharp objects from flying around the room.

We came outside of the room and back into the hallway to head back toward the living room when I noticed the child at the end of the hall.  He was just standing there staring at us.  I told the mother, “I didn’t even hear his bedroom door open,” and began walking toward him when she grasped my upper arm.  

When I turned to look at the mother, she whispered, “That’s not him!”  

The child I observed at the end of the hallway appeared to be the child from the pictures I remembered seeing in his file, so I asked, “What do you mean?”

The mother continued, “That’s not my son.  Sometimes the demons take different forms and they can make their appearance similar to people in this household.  You can always tell that something is just off when it mimics.”

I turned to face the child to see if I could notice anything unusual.  Aside from standing absolutely still and not speaking, nothing jumped out at me as being different at first.  I turned to look at the mother again, who seemed to be recoiling a bit, and not taking her eyes off of the child.

Then I turned to look at the child again, and I thought he was yawning for a moment, but his mouth just kept opening wider and wider until it appeared impossibly large.  His body began contorting into various shapes that shouldn’t be possible with normal human anatomy and then just a few seconds later, he rearranged himself back to normal.  As I was standing there in disbelief, I heard him laugh, as if he was trying to scare me, and thought it was humorous with the knowledge that he did.

Then, what I witnessed was truly terrifying.  The child began walking backwards, away from the hallway and further away from us at the other end of the hallway.  He reached a point where the living room wall was behind him and he paused for a moment.  His mouth opened wide again and he started flailing his arms.  While that was happening, he put his left foot on the wall behind him, and then his right.  His body turned parallel to the floor as he took backwards baby steps up the wall.  

Once he was about halfway up the wall, he looked straight at us, closed his mouth, stopped flailing his arms and pointed toward us.  Then he laughed again as if this was all just so amusing.  Then he ran sideways along the wall toward the front door to the home and out of our sight from our vantage point at the opposite end of the hallway.  

At this point, I insisted that the mother allow me to speak to her son.  We took a few steps toward her son’s bedroom door, still closed, and she quietly opened the door.  Looking over her shoulder, I could see what looked like the same child in the same exact clothes sleeping on his bed on top of the covers.  

I motioned to the mother and asked her to close the door.  I didn’t feel like disturbing the boy and I had seen enough.  I tried to remain calm and keep my composure, but I just couldn’t be in that house any longer.  I know it’s highly unprofessional for me to say this, but I don’t think I can return there or have any further contact with that family again. Furthermore, they don’t need a Social Worker.  They need a priest!

Even as a stand-alone story, and even if it’s not the same child from the previous documentation, that’s so intense!  I couldn’t imagine witnessing something like that.  It makes me wonder–

SOUND EFFECT: A phone notification goes off.

Oh, shit!  I’m incredibly sorry.  When I go to do a podcast recording, I’ll typically put my phone in airplane mode.  When I finished reading that document, I glanced at my phone and it looks like people have been trying to get a hold of me.  I’ve got three voicemails.  Hang on…

Okay that first voicemail is Brianne.  It was a short one.  She says she’s safe, but she’s been with Malcolm.  She’s fine now, and she’s on her way over… oh shit, I think she’s here now.  

Hi, everyone.  I took an extended break to talk to Brianne when she arrived and after we spoke, we needed to take some time to call the police and file a report.  Thankfully, Detective Anderson agreed to come here after we name dropped to see if we could avoid going down to the station.  This took several hours and she was not in the mood to be recorded afterwards, though she said it was okay to share some of the details we discussed regarding where she’s been over the last three weeks. Please understand, there are a lot of details I’m unable to share since her experience is now the subject of an open investigation.   

It was as we feared.  Brianne was physically abducted by Malcolm about three weeks ago.  That sick asshole has been busy since his escape.  She said that she had been among several people that were sharing a damp, dark basement. Some of the others… Brianne said she couldn’t be sure they were even still breathing.  

She couldn’t remember how she got there, but she woke up and wrists were bound behind her back with duct tape.  She also had duct tape covering her mouth.  For the first couple of days, she believed she was alone.  She said Malcolm would come speak to her periodically the first few hours, and then toward the end of the first day, he dragged her into the middle of the room and pulled up a chair, which he sat in while she was on the ground.  She watched as he went quiet and entered some kind of a trance-like state.  

After what she estimated to be about 90 minutes go by, a figure began materializing in the corner of the room.  There wasn’t much light in the room, but the more time went by, the more she could make out certain distinguishing features of the figure.  It was a woman, and all she ever did was stand there facing the corner.  She said she heard Malcolm call her Tabitha.  I reminded Brianne that Tabitha was the name of his late sister.

At one point, Brianne was given supervised access to speak with Tabitha.  Malcolm only gave Brianne two directives: “Don’t cause any problems” and “Fix her.”  

She didn’t really understand what he expected her to do, so she tried talking to Tabitha, but noted that she didn’t seem coherent.  She said if she were using her nursing skills, Tabitha would have been “alert and oriented times zero.”

Brianne said that when she couldn’t “fix” Tabitha, she suspected he began abducting other people.  The environment where she was being kept was so dark, she said that she could barely make out anyone else in the room with her until she heard labored breathing.  

Every few hours, Malcolm would open the door at the top of a nearby stairwell, which would let a small amount of light in the room.  For a few seconds each time this happened, Brianne could see duct tape with writing on it stuck to her co-occupants’ foreheads.  They were names.  While she couldn’t communicate with anyone there at the time, Brianne said she thought she recognized the names.  At first, she couldn’t remember why and it began to bother her.  

Occasionally after Malcolm had been going upstairs, he would unintentionally fail to close the door all the way and it would swing open, which allowed Brianne to overhear portions of a conversation he was having.  He seemed to be having conversations with someone else.  He was searching for some kind of relic or physical object, as he made references about not knowing where to begin looking for it.  

On one occasion, she recalled him saying, “I was convinced she was going to be strong enough.”  Then she heard a woman reply, “You must locate the object,” noting the woman’s accent sounding Indian-American.  

This has to be Patel.  

Brianne also got the impression that the woman was referring to some kind of remote viewing capability, implying Malcolm had the ability to do that, but was failing somehow.  She decided to keep that information to herself, but after her last session with Tabitha, she asked Malcolm why he had abducted her.  

His answer: “Ask Jeremy.  All of the answers are in those papers.”  As he went to replace the duct tape over her mouth, she noted his smile, which was widening just a little too much.

After that, he told her that she would be much more useful with access to the papers, so he told her he was going to let her go.  She was duct taped around her wrists behind her back and her ankles, a cloth sack placed over her head, and she was injected with something.  Afterward, she was thrown into a car trunk and driven around for over two hours.  Eventually, she was dropped off about a block from a local hospital, down an alleyway where there weren’t any onlookers.  

That’s where he pulled her out of the car and threw her over his shoulder and began walking for a couple of minutes.  When he stopped, he removed the cloth over her head, placed her on the asphalt, and gave her a plastic butter knife like the ones you get at fast food restaurants.  There she sat for a while as she watched him run to the end of the alley and turn a corner where his car must have been parked while she worked away at the duct tape.  We guessed he just wanted to be able to leave without her seeing his car or the direction he went once in it.

As she was laboriously sawing away at the tape to free herself, and after constantly thinking about those names on peoples’ foreheads, she was able to put it together.  All of them were names she’d seen from the medical files, and all of them had either an “M” or an “S” label on them, though she couldn’t remember which correlated to each name.

She told me that I needed to research the Shepherds more and find out what the “M” stood for in those documents.

I jokingly told her that she needs to catch up with the podcast and filled her in on the Makers and the Shepherds info.

After Brianne left, I remembered that hours ago, when I realized she had left me a voice message saying she was on her way over, I had two additional voicemails.  The first was from Ron.  He encouraged me to start looking into documents relating to Joseph Foye, and said we needed to find him.  I thought this was interesting because I thought Anderson was doing that… and he had just been at my house and failed to mention anything about speaking to Ron about the matter.  

The second voicemail was even more unexpected.  It was brief, yet concise, and was from Dr. Adhira Patel.  It simply said, “We need to talk as soon as possible.”

Data Loss – Season 4 Episode 1

See Content Warnings
General horror, violence, near drowning
Need to skip this episode? Click here to see the plot.
Jeremy is visited by a mysterious stranger while he believed he was asleep. This stranger pulls him from his room, transporting him into a data center buried under the ocean. With Jeremy’s help, the stranger destroys the data center and leaves Jeremy with the impression of some importance in the files but he can’t quite remember what it was. In the process, she was taken by a monstrous security team, and Jeremy returned to his room just after hearing her say “Goodbye.”

Welcome back. I’m sure many of you are as anxious to find out what Ron’s deal is as I am. I’ve been trying to get a hold of him ever since he disappeared from Brianne’s. The first couple times I called him it rang and rang before it hit voicemail. The next time it didn’t even ring and just went straight to voicemail. I tried one last attempt just yesterday to find that the phone number has been disconnected.

I’d reached out to Brianne to see if she’d heard from him the day after we got back from Hellhole Canyon, but she was still half asleep. Probably playing catch up from however long she’d been running on an hour or two at a time. Whatever the case, she didn’t seem to be in the mood to talk about Ron and I didn’t want to press her. I’ll let her reach out when she’s ready. After what she’s been through, she deserves that much. Truthfully, I wish I could get the kind of rest she’s experiencing now, but things haven’t improved much in that department for me. There’s just something about these papers… it just feels too important to me.

I intend to reach out to Detective Anderson next. I’ll keep all of you posted on any updates or new developments on that front. But enough of my rambling about every concern I have. I doubt most of you subscribed for that. I’ll go ahead and jump into another paper. Well, something paper-adjacent, at least.

As you may remember, I’ve been trying a number of things with my dreams lately. There have been the attempts at lucid dreaming, as well as trying to tap into the shared dreams that may be out there as discovered in [1:06]. For those who may not recall, it seems that there are dreams that we all may share, or maybe just some of us. Since typically the only dreams you remember are the ones just before you wake up, I’ve been setting my alarm to go off at various points throughout the night in hopes I’ll be able to not only experience it, but also remember it. I’ve also requested those of you who have been trying this with me to let me know what you’ve dreamt so far. I’ve received a handful of dreams which I appreciate, but so far I haven’t found one that we’ve shared.

As I alluded, today’s episode isn’t exactly a paper. I’m sharing it to relay an experience of my own. You see, while I haven’t had a shared dream yet (that I know of), I did have something that was… more than a dream. I’ve mentioned these before, but this was by far the most vivid to date.

It started much like a movie. One second I didn’t exist, and the next I did. I was lying in bed which led me to believe I had just woken up. I looked over at my alarm clock to see that I had a few minutes before it was set to go off. I reached out to adjust it when it suddenly exploded. There wasn’t any sort of apparent combustion – no flame or anything – but the white plastic casing and black screen suddenly ripped apart and flew into the air, the internal circuit board and wiring following just after. I instinctively closed my eyes and lifted my arms to shield myself from the plastic shrapnel, but it never hit me. In fact, it didn’t hit anything. When I opened my eyes, the broken pieces were frozen in midair.

I cautiously reached out and touched a piece. It moved when I touched it, but remained still once I stopped. I looked around and that’s when I noticed someone else was standing in my room. I tried to look at them, but they were completely out of focus no matter how much I strained my eyes. It looked like whoever this was wore dark outfit and a gas mask, but I couldn’t distinguish anything beyond that. They lowered an arm which had been pointing at my clock.

“Who are you? What do you want?” I asked it.

They didn’t say anything. Instead, they just looked up at the ceiling and pointed. The ceiling over my bed started to rumble, then crack as dust dropped. Paint and plaster fell away before slowing to a halt about two feet above me. Screws untwisted themselves to follow suit, then chunks of sheetrock split away, exposing joists, wiring, and ductwork that were in the process of splitting and spreading upwards as they groaned in resistance.

I peered through what was now a roughly five foot wide hole in the roof directly over my bed that was frozen mid-explosion to see that there were no moon or stars out. Above me where I would expect to see clouds was a dark, turbulent sea. I looked back at the figure before me to see that they were redirecting their gesture to me. I froze in fear as I suddenly felt myself being ripped apart. I closed my eyes in a moment of agony, then it stopped. I looked down to see my body beneath me, still lying in bed with my eyes closed. The figure flicked their blurred hand and suddenly I was flying upwards, past the shingles hovering above my home and into the sea.

I closed my eyes at the sting and panicked as I felt myself submerge in saltwater. My lungs began to burn but, if this were some form of astral projection, I really shouldn’t need to breathe. Oxygen escaped my mouth and I knew I was going to drown.

I blinked when air hit my face and I found a rapidly approaching metal floor below me. I braced myself when I noticed my hands looked different. I didn’t really have time to process it though, because I impacted the floor. It didn’t hurt as much as I expected. I could still feel it and it was mildly painful, but not anything like it should have been based on the speed at which I was falling.

I slowly stood and took in my surroundings. It reminded me of a supermarket: row after row of neatly arranged shelving. Only this wasn’t shelving, it was cabinets full of blinking black boxes. I was in a data center, and a massive one at that. What little light spread throughout the area was red. This place was clearly not meant for regular access. At least, not from humans.

My slow spin finally stopped as I found someone behind me. Her dark hair stopped before the shoulders of her wetsuit, and her oxygen mask was obscuring her face in the darkness. This had been the person in my room. She turned around, glanced back at me, and nodded her head, as if to say “come on.”

Not seeing any other options, I followed her lead. As we walked I raised a hand in front of me. The red light seemed to pass through it. When I looked down I saw my entire body was… translucent. It’s like I wasn’t fully there. I reached out and let my fingers brush against one of the cabinets. I could definitely feel it.

We came to a stop as she unzipped a pocket on her suit and pulled out a sealed back. She opened it and withdrew a small keyboard which she plugged into a terminal. The keyboard, like me, was almost see-through. The woman, however, was as solid as the rest of this place. Some text appeared on the screen in front of her and I won’t pretend that any of it made any sense to me. I found myself looking around again when she broke the silence, making me jump a little and snapping my attention back to her.

“We don’t have much time, Jeremy.”

I tried to respond but found no noise came out when I opened my mouth. She glanced over at me, then returned her focus on whatever she was typing.

“It’s no use. You can’t talk in this state. But you can hear, and you can see, and that’s what’s important. That’s why you’re here.”

She fell silent again and the inability to ask what she meant was maddening. The screen in front of her went blank. She unplugged her keyboard and started moving again, this time faster than before. I found myself half-jogging just to keep up.

“This place isn’t supposed to exist, and the security… it’s almost a miracle I was able to make it in. But I’m the one who did. And that means I was able to get you in, too.” She gave a half chuckle as she added, “I’m pretty much their worst nightmare.”

She took a hard left and plugged her keyboard into another terminal.

“They know that, of course. After all, they’re the ones who made me.”

Despite the fact that I couldn’t talk, I still tried to ask who she was talking about. Then an image appeared on the computer screen. It was made out of letters and special characters, but it was still recognizable. It was a gear with some lines in the middle of it; I’d seen it on a couple of the documents I’d been sorting through. She looked up and saw me staring at it.

“It’s Hydra’s icon they use for all their technology projects – they have others for different types of projects but I don’t know all of them. That’s where we are right now, by the way. I figured you knew that, but just in case. This is one of Hydra’s servers on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. You can get a lot of info if you know where to look on the dark web. Some stuff – the really damning stuff – you have to access on site, though. And, unless you go through the proper channels, getting on site isn’t exactly… easy. You probably noticed that, though.”

An alarm started blaring. She ignored it, remaining entirely focused on her work. I heard a rumble in the distance, followed by a crackling of electricity. There was a brief glow, but it disappeared before I could pinpoint the source.

“Like I said, not much time,” the mystery woman said as she unplugged her keyboard once more. I looked around nervously as I heard the crackling again, this time closer. She was already leaving the aisle when I turned my gaze back to her. I quickly chased after her. There was a steady hum vibrating throughout the floor now.

About a dozen rows down, she stopped and plugged in her keyboard one final time. Less than a minute later, she turned to me. “This next part is tricky and it’s gonna take some time; probably more time than we have right now. So here’s the plan.”

Footsteps echoed in the distance. She took a deep breath and glanced around before continuing more quietly, but still loud enough to be heard over the alarms.

“I have some code compiling that’ll mess with their hydro-cooling system and take this whole datacenter down. Over here I have a script running that is crawling their files. If we’re extremely lucky, I’ll be able to get a bunch of the files out of here, then destroy the place. What’s more likely to happen is that we’ll only have time to screw the cooling system up. But even that is gonna require some stalling.”

The footsteps were getting closer now, and it was more than one set. She glanced back, then motioned for me to follow her. We ran as softly as we could. We were both out of breath by the time we stopped, but the footsteps were further away now.

She continued. “They have really good security, and I don’t just mean cyber security. They’re coming for us. But we have to lead them on a wild goose chase to give my code time to compile and – ideally – time to get the files from them.”

We both jumped as a bright flash illuminated the aisle we were in. At first I thought it was a child that stepped out of the light. As the light blinked out and the dull red glow was once again our only illumination, I realized what was before us wasn’t human at all, though. It was covered from head to toe in eyeballs, all blinking independently. In near unison, each eye turned to focus on us.

The woman pulled me out of my shock and horror with one simple command: “Run!”

I turned and ran after her, turning from one row to the next, creating a complicated path until I had no idea where we had been and where we were going. Every so often we’d be stopped at the end of an aisle as another flash of electric light appeared or some creature would step into our view.

My lungs were burning and I managed to get her attention enough to let her know I needed a second. We paused and doubled over, once again breathing hard. She turned her head to me and whispered in my ear. “If the code compiles and I can’t do it, hit Enter for me.”

I nodded, although I’m not sure if she could see that with how blurry I was. I heard the now-familiar sound of crackling electricity which told us we needed to move. We continued running on legs that felt increasingly like rubber. We rounded another corner to realize too late something was standing on the end of the aisle. It was hard to see in the light available – it’s skin dark and reminding me more of lava rock than actual skin. It wasn’t until a flash of light behind us illuminated him that our situation sunk in. We were trapped.

The woman looked past me at whatever was behind us. I was too exhausted to even bother. Ignoring the encroaching monsters, she turned to the terminal next to her, plugged her keyboard in, and began typing.


The voice physically brought me to my knees. She remained standing, but only by clinging to the server cabinet. I looked to see the dark creature pointing at her with fingers too long for its body. Its face consisted of a circular mouth full of teeth which rippled as it spoke.

“You keep trying even now? It’s too late. Give up.”

She stood back up and kept typing. Faster than my eyes could register, the creature reached out and grabbed her hands, instantly breaking them. She cried out in pain. I wanted to help, but what could I do?

“You came all this way. For so many years. Just to fail.”

Something like a laugh came out its gaping mouth, but sounded more like a screeching animal than anything. It picked her up by her broken wrists until her feet no longer touched the ground, then turned and shoved her into a cabinet.

“You could have been so much more than this. There’s so much within you.”

She spat at it, then spoke through seething anger, “You’ve all done enough to me as it is. It’s about time you aren’t able to do this to anyone else.”

It slowly wiped the spittle off of its gravely skin, then said, “I don’t think you’re in a position to make those decisions now. Do you?”

Without warning, its other hand shot out and crunched into her jaw. Her eyes closed in anguish for a moment before opening them back up, spitting out teeth and blood, and looking up to meet my gaze. The corner of her mouth that wasn’t already swelling ticked up. If she weren’t in so much pain, I would have said she was smiling. Then she winked at me.

I stood there, confused. The creature looked towards me, then back at her. “What are you looking at?”

It shook her, slamming her back into the cabinet. “Tell me! What is it you are looking at?”

Behind me I heard something making a low, guttural noise. I turned to find a monster on all fours yet standing eight feet tall. It sniffed at the air. I think it was looking for me. I looked back at the black thing, then to the four-legged thing again. That’s when it dawned on me. They couldn’t see me.

I dove to the console, reaching for the blurred keyboard she had plugged in there. I glanced back at her to see a full, half-toothed smile of encouragement. Before I pressed Enter I looked at the screen. No matter how hard I try, I can’t remember everything that was on it. I do remember the gist of at least part of it, though.

The top portion of the screen had a list of filenames. There were a couple I remember like Malcom Foye dot TXT and Lucas Stone dot TXT, but the one that really caught my eye was my own name. I didn’t have time to figure out how to access it, though. The one selected was simply labeled SHE dot TXT.

This is where it really gets fuzzy in my memory. There were descriptions of things that had been done to this person for decades since birth; I remember them being terrible. Dead center in the middle of the screen was a gray box with the direction “Press the Enter key to execute.”

I glanced down at my hands to see one of them appeared as if it was trying to grab something while it moved, seemingly on its own. I looked back up at the woman, fear at the loss of control of my own body hitting my gut. She just looked at me while this creature roared at her and said, “Do it.”

I reached up with my other hand and hit the Enter key.

The alarms stopped and, just before the lights went out, I saw the creatures looking up and around in confusion. There was an eerie silence for a moment, then the groans of straining metal echoed through the darkness. The creatures spoke back and forth in a language I didn’t recognize when they were interrupted by the woman laughing.

“What did you do?” the creature demanded. “What have you done?!”

She just continued to laugh until it was cut short by the sound of bones breaking. She managed to wheeze out, “See you on the other side.”

As soon as she said it, there was a low rumble that quickly grew to a roar. It was the sound of water rushing inside. The creatures shrieked and I suddenly lost my footing as a sudden flood of water swept me away and pulled me under. I tried to swim up but in total darkness, couldn’t tell which direction was which. I once again felt a familiar burning in my lungs. I hadn’t been able to take a deep breath in time and was quickly running out of oxygen.

I involuntarily sucked in, finding only seawater to fill my lungs. I barely registered an arm wrapping around me and pulling me up. I choked and coughed as my head broke the surface. Between my struggle for air and the rushing water, I almost didn’t hear her when she simply said, “Goodbye, Jeremy.”

I felt her let go and slip past me into the water. The next thing I knew, I was in bed, soaking wet, and still coughing up salt water. My alarm clock was in one piece. My roof was fine. If it weren’t for waking up to find myself drowning in my own bed, I’d say it was all a terribly vivid nightmare. Well, that and one other thing. When I woke up, there was a pen in my hand and a piece of paper with my own handwriting on it. I had written, “The password is X973-BRAVO-34RI.”

I’ll put that in the show notes, too, in case anyone has any suggestions on what that might be for.

Thinking back on it I can’t help but wonder if my dream – or whatever it was – really had the consequences the mysterious woman had hoped. Had we really just dealt a blow to Hydra? The downside is that, if we did… well, she had just had both her hands shattered, plus whatever else that monster had done to her. I’m not even sure how she was able to pull me up. But I know there was no way she could have made it out of there.

The stakes in this are high, and it seems that the body count continues to grow. My hope here is that there’s some way I can help to put a stop to that. The frustrating thing here is that I feel like there was something incredibly important on that file that, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t recall. I have to wonder if this message I wrote down, this password, can somehow get me access to it again, though. The question now is, where do I find it?

Again, if anyone has any ideas, please reach out to me. Otherwise, barring an unexpected breakthrough with Ron of course, we’ll continue with another storage paper next time. I won’t hold my breath on that. Either way, until then, stay safe.

Over 1 Million Downloads!

As we prepare to wrap up Season 3, The Storage Papers has officially reached the one million downloads milestone!  For a podcast, that’s a huge deal, let alone an audiodrama. 

I’d like to thank all of the listeners who have inspired us to keep the podcast in motion, and who keep returning for more content.  There’s also some listeners who connect with us on social media and interact with us there. Every little bit of interaction there helps us gain a little more exposure.  The listeners who also took the time to rate and review our show also contribute to our success.

Nathan Lunsford and Cody Ditzenberger deserve a huge thanks here as well.  Without their addition to the team and hard work, there’s no way the show would have been continued on, or at least be where it is today at the end of Season 3! 

Everyone who has contributed in the show in some way such as writing, helping in some way with the The Storage Papers, Volume 1 (our book), or who has done a lot to just share our show.  Those include Hunter Delametter, Esme Snyder, Firestar, Brad Petrie, Kelsey Rapine, Anya Harris and Tara Diercks.

The team over at Rusty Quill has been hugely instrumental in this milestone.  Between Seasons 1 and 2, we had reached about 225k downloads, and the rest of them have all come during Season 3 as part of the Rusty Quill Network.  Callum Dougherty has been the driving force of our initial introduction to the network and our partnership with RQN, and continues to support us in ways we’re likely not even aware of.  There are quite a few other podcasts in the RQN that have collaborated in some way, whether that’s advertising or guest appearance opportunities like on Enthusigasm.  I know there’s a huge team at RQN contributing to our success that we likely haven’t had a conversation with, so I hope you realize how grateful we are on this end!

We absolutely need to throw a thank you out to our super-fans, the Curators!  These are our independent supporters who back our show financially on Patreon.  I’m incredibly humbled by the idea that people like our content so much that they’re willing to financially support our efforts, and your support goes a very long way!  I know we’ve experimented with our reward tiers a bit over the last year, but we’ve always wanted to show recognition to our Curators, so definitely check out our “Thanks” page to see those names.

And last but most definitely not least, we’d like to throw some thanks toward some other podcasters who have collaborated with us, who are consistent in their support of the show, and/or have just allowed us to exchange ideas along the way. Those include our PodPeeps group: Malevolent, The Cellar Letters, The Town Whispers, The Dead Letter Office of Somewhere, Ohio, Wake of Corrosion, Nowhere on Air, A Voice From Darkness, Woe.Begone, and The Night Post.  In addition, thanks to Pseudopod for involving us in The Witching Hour and Harlan Guthrie for involving us in Nine to Midnight.

I hope you can tune into the Season 3 finale on February 1 (don’t listen if you’re not caught up yet). We’re fast at work on Season 4 right now, but we’re also far from finished with Jeremy’s story. We look forward to everything the future has in store. Thank you so much for your support!

The Storage Papers has a home

The Storage Papers podcast is excited to officially have a home on the internet. It’s been scattered here and there across various podcasting and social media platforms, but now there is a central hub where you can keep up with the latest info and follow along as Jeremy investigates the mysterious papers found in an abandoned storage unit.