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After Dr. Carlson’s failed hypnotherapy attempts and before I went into Dr. McGrath’s inpatient program was when I made the trip back home to visit Pine Bluff Forest. I drove by my parents’ old house where I had grown up. That was a rather melancholic experience. I didn’t stop there; I just slowed down and looked at it as I drove by. Too many emotions were tied up in that place to acknowledge. I had enough negative emotions to deal with by going to the forest.

Why did I do it, then? I really can’t say. It was like an instinctual drive. An urge that needed to be satiated. Like the Murklor, having been named and remembered, was exerting its call again. All of that was an unconscious beckoning.

I think on the conscious level I rationalized it all away. I would go there, attempt to find a cave that probably didn’t even exist, and realize that it was all a fabrication of my deep, dark psyche. A phantom story that played some dark part in my addictions. Just a made-up story that contained symbolism and no substance.

Oh, how wrong I was! I parked and entered the park upon the trail. My feet walked it as if they had just done so yesterday, taking me far into the woods to the point where I needed to leave the path and begin my climb up to the cave. There was no deviation, no hesitation, or no confusion of the route. I didn’t even question this until I began to pick my way through trees, scrub, brambles, and stones. As my progress slowed I asked myself what the hell was happening to me. Why did I know this route so well after so many years?

I must have blacked out. My consciousness hit a zone of bizarre time warping and blurriness. The next thing I can distinctly recall is when I found myself standing outside the cave mouth and hearing the Murklor chitter, moan, and then move. That’s when I ran like a tortured animal escaping its prey.

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