Thursday, December 30, 2010

RETURN TO SNAKELAND - Eighteenth Fragment

* This is a fictionalized account of some shit that actually happened. All the names, locations, etc. have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. – JG *

What was it in Kenton that made this all happen? Because we can go back and forth about this in the adult light of day but in the dark, at night, I simply can’t believe that 3 adults and 7 kids all from the same school district were killed in what amounts to an 11 month period and there wasn’t a cause, there wasn’t something that made it all happen. It wasn’t chance, and it wasn’t coincidence: Kenton is a village of less than 10,000 people. The statistical probability of all of these things happening in the stated time period with the geographical and population limits imposed is astronomical. I think there was a specific cause and I think it had something to do with Snakeland.

I like Snakeland because it makes sense to me. It represents a lot of things: our area’s proud industrial past turned into a big rusty hulk of shit, the brute force and ugly vulgarity of Metal, the Bad Place where the Bad Kids go to do Bad Things. It also represents the Haunted House, the Abandoned Castle, the eerie and empty Mansion on the Hill overshadowing the quaint little village.

I like things that make sense. I like Snakeland. I don’t like the murders of Katie Hoehner and the Janks Family. I don’t like the suicides of Rand, Tim, Carolyn, and Chris. None of it makes sense. Not so close to each other, not in Kenton, not without some hue and cry from the parents of Kenton, at least the parents of Kenton North students.

Why didn’t they say anything? It doesn’t make sense. Did it seem too crazy to them, as if it wasn’t, couldn’t be happening?

Why didn’t we say anything? Were we really that self-absorbed, that juvenile, that we could just forget? Or somehow not become terrified that we would be next?

Death lived in Kenton, NY for a while. I’m going to place it in Snakeland, and I’m going to find a good reason for it to be there.


tipota said...

"as if it wasn't, couldnt be happening" i was in this class once at bard. a creative writing thing. ho hum, lazy afternoon, yawning and all of a sudden this guy dressed in black leather and chains comes bursting into the classroom and the prof yells out "i told you i never wanted to see you again" and the kid says "make me leave then" and then there was this melee' where they grabbed eachother started wrestling and rolled out the door like a giant black leather and brown corduroy snowball grunting and shouting and out into the stairwell all these bumpy crashy sounds and we just sat there stunned "as if it wasnt couldnt be happening". we just sat there. nobody did anything. it might have been because we'd smoked a j before class i dunno. we kind of did that regularly. but then the prof brandstein i think his name was, comes back in with the black leather kid and they are all smiling arms around eachother and he says to us "so, what? did you think you were watching tv or something?" then he introduces black leather kid as one of his former students. the whole thing was a play just to see what would happen. it was one of those 'this is it' lessons i never forgot.

anyway i cant wait to see what develops next!

Maxine said...

Ok, I've been away for an insane amount of time. Am gonna go back through fictional mix & work out what I missed! Happy New Year to you & yours, Jason x

Jason Gusmann said...

@tipota - what an awesome story! don't think i knew a prof. brandstein, tho...

@maxine - good to see you again! a happy new year back to you and yr newly extended family!

Aaron said...

Hey Jason,

I've been reading through these blog/posts of yours. Man, this is a great/terrifying/sobering read. I went to Ken West as well. I started there in 88'-89' as a freshman. I just moved into this area and I heard about all the Satanic stuff and death that had happened in Snakeland. Here's the crazy part about it- I asked a senior to take me there and show me the Grain Elevators and the surrounding area. We went there and we were chased off by some of employees that work close by. After that I went there often to explore and see what I could see. Through the years I repeatedly explored the all of the elevators and the abandoned building next to it. It was exactly how you described it - it "represents the Haunted House, the Abandoned Castle, the eerie and empty Mansion on the Hill overshadowing the quaint little village." Perfection! I almost died there a few times, I was chased by the police often and chased by a man with a shotgun once. The place was a teenage boys fantasy. I am very interested in see what more you write about the subject.

Jason Gusmann said...

aaron, honestly, thank you so much. you just made my day.