October 23rd, 2016
(Audio recorder initiated)
ME: Ross, are you ready to begin?
ROSS: Yes sir.
ME: You don’t have to call me sir. It’s ok. Are you sure you’re up for this?
ROSS: Clare said I should do this.
ME: Well…what do you think? Do you think you should do this?
ROSS: I guess…
ME: Let’s start with something easy, ok? Hold old are you?
ROSS: I’m six.
ME: Do you remember a lot about what happened to you?
ROSS: Yeah…I ‘member…
(Author’s note: Ross refused to make eye contact with me. He sat slumped over in his chair and looked sick. I wondered if I should even continue, but pressed on)
ME: When did you first meet Cloo? That was his name, right?
ME: Do you remember the first time you saw him?
ROSS: It started before that.
ME: I’m sorry?
ROSS: I went to church first. With Mom and Dad and Clare.
ME: Ok…did something happen at church?
ROSS: Yeah…I was really sad.
ME: Why were you sad, Ross?
ROSS: Cause I had nobody to play with. All the other kids have friends…but not me. Clare says it’s because I’m weird.
ME: You’re not weird, Ross. I can be your friend if you want.
ROSS: You’re just saying that. Nobody wants to talk to me. ‘Cept that man at church.
ME: What man?
ROSS: The man in the back. The one with the dark eyes. I seen him a lot. Always sitting in the back like he doesn’t have friends to sit with either.
ME: Did you go talk to him?
ROSS: Yeah, after the preacher was done.
ME: What did he say to you?
ROSS: Told me I was a good boy. Asked to see my clay.
ME: You had your clay with you?
ROSS: Uh-huh…Mom let’s me take it to church so I don’t get bored. Don’t tell Dad that though…
ME: I promise I won’t. What did he do with your clay?
ROSS: He asked if I was lonely. Said he would make me a little friend.
ME: And did he?
ROSS: He made Cloo. Just a little one.
ME: And he gave the figure back to you?
ROSS: Yeah. He said to be careful not to ruin it.
ME: Ross, do you know what this man’s name was?
ROSS: Yeah, he told it to me. I seen him on tv a couple times too.
ME: Really? Who was he?
ROSS: His name was Paul Rost.
(Author’s note: I remember feeling a chill run through me. I couldn’t believe it. I proceeded with caution and tried to mask my shock)
ME: You’re…sure that was his name?
ROSS: Yeah. He told me not to forget, so I didn’t.
ME: Ross, do you know what that man has been doing recently? What he claims to be?
ROSS: No sir.
ME: He’s a self-proclaimed Anti-Christ, Ross. Do you know what that means?
ROSS: (quietly) That he’s bad…
ME: He’s been stirring up a lot of buzz recently and developed quite a following. He’s a dangerous man. If you ever see him again, you should tell your parents immediately.
ROSS: Ok…I’m sorry.
ME: No, no, Ross, it’s not your fault. None of this is your fault.
ROSS: (tearing up) But if I hadn’t talked to him, then Cloo wouldn’t have come into our home…he wouldn’t have done…this…
(Author’s Note: Ross looked down at himself, tears running down his cheeks, and sobbed quietly. I calmed him down and after a little bit, he spoke again.)
ROSS: I knew Cloo was bad. I always knew. I could feel how bad he was. But…but he talked to me. He talked to me a lot. He told me how sad it was here. How sad my family was.
ME: And you believed him?
ROSS: Yeah…I was kind of sad, you know? I wanted to go somewhere that I didn’t have to be sad.
ME: And so Cloo told you he would take you there.
ROSS: He did. After a couple weeks, I finally gathered up enough courage to put the clay over my dad’s eyes.
ME: Cloo told you to do that?
ROSS: He said that Dad needed to build something in the cornfield so that we could leave. So that we could go someplace that wasn’t so sad.
ME: Where did the clay come from? The clay you put over your father’s eyes? Was that yours?
ROSS: No…Cloo told me to scrape some off his body.
ME: And you did?
ROSS: Yeah. It was the first time I ever touched him. He was…he was so cold.
ME: When he talked to you, what did he sound like?
ROSS: (quietly) He sounded like my mom.
ME: Your mom?
ROSS: Yeah…or my grampa. He’s dead, but I remember what he sounded like.
ME: You loved your grampa?
ROSS: Yeah. He died last year. I really miss him.
ME: Where did you keep the little clay figure Paul Rost gave you?
ROSS: On my dresser. Cloo told me not to touch it. Otherwise he might go away.
ME: Did you want to touch it?
ROSS: Kind of…Cloo scared me…and I knew he was bad and that Mom and Clare couldn’t see him…but I wanted to go to the place where it wasn’t sad.
ME: Did Cloo ever say what this place was?
ROSS: Just once…he called it “Mortuus”.
ME: Ok…let’s shift over to the night in the cornfield. Can you tell me what happened?
ROSS: Cloo said it was ready.
ME: What was? The cornfield?
ROSS: Yeah…he said the symbols needed to be under the sun for a little while, but that they were ready.
ME: You’re talking about the markings your father made in the clearing?
ROSS: Uh-huh. And the statue.
ME: But once the time came, you decided you didn’t want to go?
ROSS: I was scared. But Cloo made me.
ME: What do you mean?
ROSS: He…pushed me out of the house. Like with invisible hands. They were so cold.
ME: Did Cloo follow you?
ROSS: At first. But I didn’t see him move. He never moved. He would just be in one place and then another.
ME: How far did he follow you?
ROSS: Until I passed the barn. Then he was gone. I started to scream. I was so scared.
ME: And that’s when your mother came.
ROSS: She didn’t find me until I was already in the clearing. I was walking toward the dirt statue Dad made.
ME: The one that looked just like Cloo?
ROSS: Yeah. Cept it was brown instead of blue.
ME: Did you still feel those invisible hands pushing you forward?
ROSS: They were like ice…shoving me closer and closer toward that mound of dirt that looked like Cloo.
ME: You had crossed over the circle and had entered the marked earth by then, right?
ROSS: Yeah…I was shaking all over I was so scared. Once I was right in front of the statue, the cold hands kept pushing me.
ME: Pushing you inside the dirt?
ROSS: My hand slipped right through it, like it was warm water. Just disappeared inside. And then my wrist…and then my elbow.
ME: And that’s when your mother found you.
ROSS: I already had my arm in up to my shoulder and part of my leg. They just passed right into that thing.
ME: But before you could go any further, your mom pulled you out.
ROSS: Uh-huh…but when I came out…I left behind the parts already inside…
(Author’s note: Ross began to cry again. He looked down at his body and I could see the horror in his eyes as they swept over the part of himself that wasn’t there anymore. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit some repulsion, as much as I am ashamed to admit it. The right side of his body was gone, as if it had never been there at all. But instead of empty space, I could make out the shadow of where his arm and leg had been. It was a darkness that seemed to move on its own accord. While it didn’t hold any physical weight in our world, I could tell that something had crossed over from a place completely alien and had attached itself to the child.)
ME: Ross do you want to stop?
ROSS: (crying) I want my mom…
ME: Ok, buddy, you did really good. We don’t have to go on anymore. I’ll get your mom and your wheelchair, ok? Can I just ask you one last thing?
ROSS: One more…
ME: Why was the little clay figurine in the hallway that night and not on your dresser?
ME: Your father said he found your little clay figurine of Cloo in the hallway. This was when you were in the cornfield. He destroyed it and when he did, Cloo vanished.
ROSS: Oh no…
ME: What’s wrong?
ROSS: (whispers) I destroyed that thing two days before I was taken into the field.
ME: What are you talking about?
ROSS: It didn’t matter anymore. Whatever power it held over Cloo…he had outgrown it.
ME: I don’t understand. If you destroyed it, then why did your father see it in the hallways that night?
ROSS: (whispers) Because Cloo was growing new bodies.
ROSS: He wanted more friends…he wanted to take us all to that place…that place inside the statue my dad made…
ROSS: Uh-huh…he wanted me to hand out the little clay figurines to all the kids at church. But they weren’t like the one that man made me. That was just a seed, I think. Like one you put in the ground…I think that was the first seed. I think I was the first seed. A test.
ME: You’re saying these figurines would eventually grown into entities like the one that haunted your family?
ROSS: I think they would have brought more things…more things like Cloo…
ME: Ross…how many of these clay moldings did Cloo make?
ROSS: (whispers) Hundreds…
ME: Where are they, Ross? Where did they all go?
ROSS: I don’t know…I’m sorry…
ME: I…I-I think we’re done here.
ROSS: Can I go see my Mom now?
ME: Yes, of course…of course.
(Audio recorder deactivated)
The events that I unearthed in these interviews have left me shaken to the core. I don’t dare dig any deeper for fear of what I might find. There are answers out there, holes that lead to revelations I don’t want to think about.
I don’t know where Cloo came from. I don’t know where he was trying to take all the children. I don’t know why he vanished that night. If he did at all…
But something tells me…something tells me that one day we’ll find out.
Because one of those clay figures is going to show up.
And then it will start all over.