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You're Not Here (Intro)

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It's been a slow start here at the institute, since I'm surrounded by fucking idiots at every turn. These people couldn't tell you what the sharp end of a scalpel looks like, let alone how to perform brain surgery. How these children ever got through med school is beyond me. I have to teach them everything they should know all over again. I'm a doctor not a goddamn teacher.

All the people here seem to not be entirely at home. I think that maybe living in a hellhole in buttfuck nowhere might be the cause or they're all hopped up sniffing some drug they're not sharing. Might help me fucking put up with them if I couldn't tell the difference between the sternohyoid or sternocleidomastoid either. Fuck if I'm going to renew this contract. These interns could shit in each other's faces for all I care.

I'm not sure if I can last the year that I signed up for. It's all on a contract but I'm kicking myself in the ass for not manipulating in some sort of loophole to get the hell out of dodge.

It would all be fine if you were here. I promised myself I wouldn't guilt you on sentimental horseshit anymore but I guess in the end I couldn't fucking help it. Figures.

I miss you.



Jake folded the letter back up and laid it neatly on the floor next to the new letter - the older-looking letter. The hospital, like several other places, had swung between an old, dusty hole in the wall, to becoming what Jake could only call the prison cells of hell, oozing with blood and fire and rusty metal grates. He curled up in the corner of one of those rooms, having the fucking bejeesus scared out of him, and took solace behind a heavy metal door and a hospital bed. He had to read Dirk's letter to remember why he was there.

There was something out there, and it was after Jake. Something large, tall and muscular and wearing an apron splattered with blood and other disturbing things. Jake had never gotten a look at its head. He wasn't even sure it had one. There were other things too, emaciated nurses that moved like nothing he had ever seen and bearing sharp knives that they sure knew how to use, holy moly. Jake had already stopped to stitch up a nasty wound in his side when one of them had clipped him when he had a rifle and she came in too close. Sometimes he shivered and he wondered if it must have gotten infected. Of course he hadn't brought a first-aid kit into a fucking city. He hadn't expected something like this.

Jake peeked over the hospital bed and cast his flashlight back and forth across the room, clearing it, just in case. That door wouldn't be quiet to open but stranger things had already happened in that place. With a sigh of relief he lowered himself back to his butt on the floor, grabbing for his shotgun and moving it so it rested safely at his left, just in case. Then he put his flashlight into his front pocket and picked up the new letter, his hands trembling. He would recognize that penmanship anywhere, and the orange glittering gel pen left no doubt who it was by. It seemed to be brushed with rust, and with drops of blood. Please don't let it be his please don't let it be his.

To who the fuck ever,

I officially resign from my position in this hellhole piece of shit hospital. I don't care if it goes against the contract I signed. I don't care if you all sue me so badly that you have to confiscate my fucking dick and put it up for auction at a state sale. I'm an getting the fuck out of this motherfucking town.

The doctors are idiots, the nurses are worse, and I think the upper management must just sit in their giant offices just seeing what sorts of staplers and pencil sharpeners they can jam up their rectums, because they sure as hell don't show their ugly fucking faces down here. And I am not doing surgery getting that shit out.

Jake laughed, so full of love and appreciation that he couldn't help himself. He nervously looked at the door and waited for a few moments before turning back to the page. Dirk oh Dirk please be safe somewhere.

You're all brainwashed god-fucking heathens and I don't even give a shit about your religion or what you practice usually, but the people in this town are fucking insane. No surgery will fix you. No rehabilitation, no therapy, no drugs will fix this place. The only solution there is would be an atom bomb to put you all out of your misery.

Come keep me from leaving this place. I dare you.


Jake sniffed and ran a thumb across his nose. He flipped through the paper and read it again before folding it up and into Dirk's other note, placing both of them safely in his front left pocket. Jake couldn't imagine the town trying to put up a fight against Dirk Strider. What a joke. If they did it would probably look something like a bunch of crazy townsfolk all going up against Dirk just like in that movie, 300.

But if he made it out of here, where did he go? What happened to him?

Jake made sure his shoes were tied tight and his backpack was securely hitched over both shoulders before picking up his shotgun and placing it on the hospital bed with a mysterious lump in the middle. Pillows, Jake assured himself. He wiped his glasses on his shirt, but it made things worse. His shirt was filthy and he cursed quietly and put his glasses back on. He'd have to see if one of the bathrooms had water, but not in hell - only in the spooky village. The hell bathrooms seemed to love the scare the everloving shit out of him. Jake ran his hands through his hair. He checked the map he found in the lobby, and folded it up again.

The door into the hallway was far, far too loud and his radio crackled with static as soon as he got it open a crack. He peered into the darkness and saw nothing. Maybe on the other side of the hall, or down around the corner. It was a pretty small hospital, but big enough for things to be hiding in all sorts of shadows in the dark. He took the shotgun in both hands and pushed the door open with his shoulder.


Hey, Jake.

Roxy says you aren't going to be at this address for too long. Off into the woods or something, so I'm not sure if you'll ever get this but I guess I'm feeling a bit maudlin and wanted to get this shit off my chest. I know you say all the time that I don't talk enough about what I actually feel and Roxy says I just manipulate people instead and you're both right, so here goes.

I fucked up, I really did. I'm sorry I made you feel like you had to leave. I don't think you meant for this to be a long-distance thing from now on but I hope you did. I want it to be, because you were the only one I ever wanted. You know that. I tell it to you all the time. Well, I told it to you. Maybe not enough, or maybe it didn't really matter.

If you've got your mind made up then this letter won't mean anything anyway. If not, then it would be great if you could mail me back, or message me, or give me a call.

They offered me a job at this town. It's a promotion. I think I might go. It's on a lake and it seems to have some interesting history, but it's in the middle of nowhere. Still, some new place might make me feel a little less miserable with you gone. There are a lot of memories in this apartment.

I'll send you the address and my new number just in case. My door is always open for you.

I never said it enough, but I love you, Jake.