Please forgive me, I am still shaking while I type this out at a small coffee shop several cities from where I live. My Husband and the kids went to his mother’s house where I hope they’ll be safe for now, but, I just have no idea at this point. If anyone has any relevant information to these events I am about to describe please, please, please tell me. I am scared for myself and my family at this point and I have no idea where to go. I suppose I don;t really expect any help out of posting this, but it makes me feel a little bit more sane to see it in text with my own eyes.
The events I am about to describe happened to me between the ages of 5 to 12 and again just recently. Although there is a long string of troubling events I will shorten it to a few of the most disturbing for the sake of time.
My parents moved to the coast outside Tatitlek Alaska a few months before I was born. The house was a small one bedroom cabin a few miles off the main county road and about as solitary as they get. I think my parents were running from something, debt, family, etc. but whatever the reason was, they never told me. Either way, as a kid with all that room to run around, I was in heaven. In the summer I would be a pretend explorer and scout out the crags and cliffs of the area with my dog, and in the winter I would watch the snow blow into drifts from my perch on the alcove of my bedroom window. It was a simple one-story building with a kitchen, dining room, bathroom, bedroom, and a spacious attic refitted to serve as my room. From my perch in the sill of the upper attic window, I could see through a narrow separation in the trees, down the slope of the valley and to the massive expanse of cold gray sea. As a kid, I would spend many hours reading and doing homework in my perch, and the sunsets over the arctic water were some of the most spectacular I have ever seen.
My father worked for a logging company further north and would live on site for months at a time only visiting for a few months in the winter. He was a quiet man, and even when I was little I could tell all his time away really hurt mom. Sometimes when I came home from school early, I would walk in on her crying over old pictures in the living room. I love him for all he did for us, but still, most of my childhood was just my mom and me in that house by the sea.
I remember when everything started, it was my first day of fourth grade and I was eager to show off my new backpack to all my classmates. The school was in town and every morning I would walk out to the bus stop and eagerly await my drive to school. Every day it picked me up right at 7:45, only this day it never came. It was cold and overcast that day and I can remember a slow freezing drizzle starting as I waited in my flower cotton dress and wool overcoat. The rain eventually worsened and after waiting for several minutes I went back inside wet and cold. My mother quickly changed me out of my clothes and checked the calendar to see if she was mistaken about the date. She was right though, and while grumbling about not having a phone line running out to the house she packed me into the old Subaru and we set off to town so she could have a few choice words with the principal.
As we got closer to the town things started to get a little stranger, There were no cars on the roads, and the docks which were usually busy with fishermen or merchants were silent. It wasn't raining here and the ocean looked like an unbroken sheet of grey glass without the boat propellers to agitate it. We pulled up to the small red school building, parked the car in front, and walked up the small cement staircase leading to the entrance.
It was locked.
We walked around the building and tried every door but they were all the same, even the windows had the storm shutters closed and tightly locked. I was too young to understand but I do remember an uneasy feeling in my gut, like something was about to happen, but I didn't know what.
The school was set prominently on the top of a rise that fell off to the sea. From the steps of the school building we could see the small expanse of tiny buildings extend outward toward the mountains in silent progression. There was no smoke from chimneys, no car engines, not even any wind coming down from the snow covered peaks.
We got back into the car and got on the main road to drive through town. The principal’s house was just up the road a bit and my mother still had a keen interest on finding out what was going on.
Miss Nelson, my teacher from the previous year lived in the first house to the left on your way from the school and I was lazily watching it grow closer as we drove on. The little blue cottage that sat just off the street was dark, the windows had boards over them and there were sandbags piled two feet high in front of the door. My mother and I became more and more uneasy as we continued on, every house looked exactly the same, it was like what you see on the news in the towns just before a huge storm hits where all the residents are hunkered down and ready for the worst.
My mother was becoming uneasy and decided to stop by the police station instead of driving all the way out to the principal’s house. She asked me to stay in the car as she pulled up the small gravel driveway and I offered no complaint. The station was a large brick building which sat inside a grove of pine trees and resembled a small warehouse. There were a couple of front facing windows two garage doors, and a red front door with the words “Tatitlek Police Department” emblazoned above it. There were no lights on and no one answered the door when she knocked. There was only a piece of paper taped to the door which my mother took down and read. She quickly folded it up, put it in her purse and began jogging back to the car. Turning over the ignition she pulled the car out of the station and started on the road that would take us home.
We tried listening to the radio to see if there were any storms or inclement weather moving in but all we got was static.
I watched the trees and homes move past the car window, hugging my backpack tightly as we made our way home. With the radio off the only sound in the car was the tires on the asphalt and the acceleration of the engine. Even outside there were no insects, no birds, no wind, just the sound of your own breathing.
It took us just a couple of minutes to get home and when we did my mother quickly unloaded me and cast a wary look to the darkening sky. She ushered me in and then went around locking all the doors and windows in the house. I wasn't sure why but I figured that if everyone else in town was preparing for something, she probably should too. I was about to make my way up to my alcove when I noticed a small folded up piece of paper lying next to my mother’s purse on the kitchen table. unfolding it and flattening it out i read,
TATITLEK POLICE DEPARTMENT Lock all doors and windows and remain inside. All emergency services have been suspended until further notice.