The purpose for my documentation is not due to inspiration, but rather, skepticism. A conversion of doubt, wonder and dread.
It all came together when local historical records confirmed these events took place. Also, the dates, when and where and whom, proved accurate. I realized how that night, when I heard this story, something had occurred; and, its meaning, I leave for the reader to decide.
My decision to record and document this may lead to consequences I have no desire to experience.*
Damn conscience, damn memory, damn story—it haunts with a relentless need to be passed on. Even now, the reluctance to continue writing flares up. A familiar paralysis of thought slows the movement of my hand.
In memory of the people whom history and folk tales have unjustly excluded, leaving them forgotten.
In memory of those who died knowing what we do not know and hopefully, never shall experience.
Neither do we have any concept, nor ability for comprehending, how their lives were ended, taken for no reason, except a Dark Fate. May we remember them now. And also, be wary of the cause, for the Stranger still walks among us, eager with pride.
*As the Author risks, the Reader also takes a chance. A subsequent vulnerability contingent with this story warrants a word of caution. Reference to these ‘possible’ consequences, if necessary, are well documented and may be found in the concluding Index. –SPH 2001