True Story©... The Treasure Hunt Pt. V - The Conclusion

[Pt. I can be reached here]
[Pt. II can be reached here]
[Pt. III can be reached here]
[Pt. IV can be reached here]

    Denim… The answer has been denim this whole time.

    While we wait on the victims marks to sort this out for themselves, I will explain to you, dear readers by peeling back the options I gave to them.

Fuel - too new, too far west in the city to truly have been on the ground floor of what built Greensboro. The Greensboro terminals are f’sho the conduit from the gulf states to areas north of here, but how long has America had this apparent lust for fossil fuels compared to…

Tobacco - we’re getting closer now… There are still some small farms in the east of the county that grow it, but I see more solar farms out there than I do tobacco nowadays. Furthermore, Lorillard is no longer a thing and ITG aren't making Newports over in East Greensboro which removed a worldwide-known boon from what could be bragged – if you should ever “brag” about such a foul carcinogen – being a Greensboro brand, which leaves…

Denim - Greensboro’s denim history is RICH, on both ends of the city…
On the north side, Cone Mill was one of the majorest players in the worldwide denim production and export.
Here on the south side, Blue Bell overall company – with what I would almost infer would be purchases from the cone brothers – operated a good operation as well. From that location, a visionary would bring us the Wrangler Jeans Company. Yes, THAT Wrangler Jeans Company, the same one you see in every major retailer including The Walmarks and department stores.

And that is where this chapter of the story begins…

    Wrangler sprang from the seeds of Blue Bell, but tell me… Had YOU ever heard of Blue Bell overalls before reading that sentence? I hadn’t until I saw an old Blue Bell sign in a burger restaurant with Wife Person™ three years ago which sent me down an internet rabbit hole. The ADDRESS on that sign was at the edge of what is now downtown. What I have since learned is that they had moved from the original-original location to that one at some point in their growth to be closer to the rails up in midtown.
Never mind that, though. THIS is the location I am keying on…

    Why do I care about that factory, in particular?
Proximity, proximity is the answer. When we moved into this house, I set upon the task of walking in and around the adjoining neighborhoods/areas. Walking past a street called “Blue Bell Ln.” made me curious as to whether or not it was related to the company that would eventually get aped by and become Wrangler. When my attention span finally rebooted and reminded me to actually drive down the street and see, I noticed the Wrangler sign on the side of the building and learned that it absolutely is.

    What that has to do with this story at large is the walkability of it. It is a little over a half-mile from the house. As I crafted this here plan to pull off the Treasure Hunt, I knew I would have to conclude SOMEWHERE close to the house due to 1) the need to be able to complete my setup in my spare time without a lot of travel, and 2) whether she knows it or not, Wife Person™ is the only one with access to my location due to personal accountability reasons and “I was out for a walk/run” could easily explain why I was at or near this location specifically.

    And WHY, pray tell, would I need to be at or near this location so much? I have to surveil to see how they handle it. I didn’t see any cameras or security. I noticed that they only come through and handle the GROUNDS every other week, but never have I seen them go inside. I noticed that only one part of the premises are fenced, which led me to infer that the rest was likely empty as the soul of a politician.
In the weeks ahead of the finale and just before distributing the final clue to the final three who had cheated their way down from six, I had supplies quietly left in the back of the facility and quickly snuck them inside on my lunch breaks and other free time. I used my Moe Phillips burner phone to hotspot a connection to a wifi camera that I monitored from my home computer and I watched and waited for alerts of activity.

    The lawn people came on schedule, tripped the motion detection but never were a problem.
After several weeks of waiting, they found it. “They,” you ask? It’s GO time! I get a message on BookFace from Chucky who is apparently now the spokesperson that they have found the spot and are ready to play. I respond that it is on them to find a way inside and to a control box to which they would test their keys and I will be there in approximately 16 minutes.

I walked around to the location, climbed to a catwalk where I could see them but they could not see me, and called out to them…

Me: “Welcome, gentlemen to the grand finale, where we will all see what you have won.”

Chucky: “Man, it’s dark in here… Where are you anyway?”

Me: “You’ll soon see, I promise.  I'm here for now.”

Chucky: “hmph…”

Me: “Patience… you guys all got your keys, I presume?”

Everyone holds up a hand with two keys each in them.
[Phlip note: they REALLY think they played me?]

Chucky: “We’re ready.”

Me: “Each of you will put your key in a lock and if it opens, you’re in.”

Chucky: “And if it doesn’t open?”

Me: “Well–…”

Chucky: “… ‘well’ nothing, my man, we got a plan.”

Me: “You have 51 seconds to open the three locks.”

Chucky: “Bet…”

    Joseph and Kenneth took their spots next to the other two locks, then handed ALL six keys to Chucky.
The first key failed to open the lock, so he tossed it aside. The second was successful, so he quickly handed the remaining four to Joseph, who opened his lock on the first try. 20ish seconds left and three keys for Kenneth to attempt with, and luckily (?) for him, the second one did the thing…

Machines whirred to life all over and the lights came up.

Me: “Congratulations, gentlemen.  It's time”

    A large lighted square shone onto the warehouse floor and all three gentlemen walked into it and looked around for me. I threw a lever and a large glass box lowered from above to hold the gentlemen in, and a false floor realized from below.

    As you may recall from The Wrath of the Cicadas, I am adept at using auditory torture to exact the problems of my day on whomever I feel deserves to eat that punishment. Did you know that a fully grown cicada’s mating call is up to 105 decibels? Similar to a chainsaw at close range. I had purposely stalled this operation out to the spring months to bring out the necessary temperatures to bring the cicadas into the thought that it was mating season.  A non-air-conditioned factory from decades past helps keep the temps up.
More on that in a minute, they got something to say…

Chucky: “Dude, what the fuck?”

Me: “W-whatever do you mean?”

Chucky: “What is this shit?”

Kenneth: “Let me out of here!”

Chucky: “Seriously, dude what is this?”

Me: “You gentlemen are being punished for misdeeds of years past.”

Chucky: “Mis–… misdeeds? ‘Fuck we do do you?”

Me: “Don’t worry about that. You did what you did. You may not know it was me you did it to, but what has happened has happened.”

Chucky: “What…”

    I don’t have time for this shit. It’s time to pour it on… I showed myself, presented the gentlemen each with a large bottle of water and opened a small slot in the false floor, where I dragged a hose to and turned on a compressor to fill it with cicadas.

Chucky: “What are those?”

Me: “No worries, they’re just cicadas.”

Chucky: “But why?”

Me: “Because they’re loud and no one will question the noise of a bunch of cicadas in North Carolina in spring.”

Chucky: “But if we don’t know what we did to you, why do we–…”

Me: “SIR! You’re asking ‘logic’ questions to someone who quite obviously suspended logic on this situation six months ago, stop asking questions!”

Joseph: “Where do you even GET this many cicadas?”

Me: “I know a guy”

Kenneth: “Damn, it’s hot in here.”

Me: “Yep, makes em horny”

Chucky: “WHAT?!!?”

Me: “That loud shit you hear every summer is the mating call. They know to start up when the temp is right.”

Chucky: “You bastard!”

Me: “Heheh… Yep.”

It was right at this point that the noise started and I needed to get back to my desk to work.

Me: “Look, I’mma leave you fellas to it, I’ll be back in a minute.”

Chucky: “W-WAIT!!!”

Let’s talk about that box…
I had an idea about how it would look when I first conceptualized it, right? But then I watched You on Netflix and noticed that Joe Goldberg had the gold standard. Matterfact, here’s a picture.

    With a few thousand horny cicadas singing the song of their people under the floor, it should be enough to deafen and drive three men insane in no time.
… or, in three hours when I returned with donuts and more water.


Me: “Why are you YELLING!?”

Joseph: “HUH?!!?”

Oh shit, their hearing is damaged already…

Me: “If you can ‘huh’ you can hear.”

Kenneth: **sobs**

Me: “Tough crowd. I’ll see you cats in the morning, I got some shit I need to run and do for a minute… You take care of my cicadas, aight?”

Chucky: “Where is he going!?”

    Home… I was going home. My doggies and my Wife Person™ are there and they make me happy.
Periodically, I went back to feed them and make sure the cicadas were still going. Kenneth had cried until his eyes were bloodshot, Chucky had beaten on the walls until he broke his left hand and eventually quit trying, and I am PRETTY sure that Joseph shit himself. None would look at me directly anymore. I was like when Ramsey Bolton broke Theon and made “Reek” on Game of Thrones.

    Eventually, some family members had come looking for them and used their phones to track them to the warehouse and they were cut loose. By this time, I had deleted all the stolen social media accounts and scrubbed clean my network of forwarded burner phones to at least delay – if not outright prevent – detection for a while. I had long since removed my security cameras.

    I figure the fact that these men had no clue who I was or what they had done to me served as a good enough sign that we don’t normally operate in similar enough circles for me to worry about being found.
… I mean, that probably ALSO means they were blameless in the events that led to their overall torture as well, but I will leave them to have that discussion with their therapists over the years.

For me? It was just good to use the history of this great city to pull a long plan together.


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