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The Copiapo Mining Incident

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Duende

The following story is an English translation of a Chilean adolescent's statement on 4chan's messageboard /x/. The teen claimed to be a relative of one of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped 2,300 feet below the surface of a collapsed mine for 69 days. This event shocked the populace and was broadcast live around the world until the safe return of every miner. The disaster seemed ordinary enough - every miner seemed to be unaffected from the two months of being underground. However, none of them ever mentioned what really happened down there. This translation was not tampered in any way, shape, or form.

(There was a picture of the teen's grandmother's home in aerial view here, it was the only house in the middle of what seems to be a desert)

This house is my grandma's house in Chile. It is also a late-night bar. Right here is where my family and I drank and share various memories of our lives. One of my cousins is one of the thirty-three miners involved in the Copiapo Mining Incident, and what he told me one day shocked me down to my core and juxtaposed my suspicions and beliefs into one plane. A month after the incident, I decided to visit my grandmother the same night my cousin did. We ended up buying a 12-pack of beer and reminisced about the good times we had when we were young, immature boys (he was 5 years older than me) trying to make enjoyment out of literally anything. The more beer we drank, the more serious our conversations became. After the both of us were done with our sixth beer, I felt a strong buzz settling in, but my cousin's face began getting more pale than usual. I had no idea what was up with him, so I assumed that he was getting flashbacks of the two excruciatingly difficult months spent with no sun. I then proceeded to cheer him up. I wish I had never said what I said.

"Hey man, glad you're back."

"To be honest with you, I wish I ended up dying in that hellhole."

My cousin never exhibited suicidal elements or thoughts before, so this was a big astonishment for me. I assumed it was just his drunk self talking nonsense. 

"C'mon relax, you got food and clothing dropped down to you and the other men, I bet it wasn't even that bad."

I tried to give him a smile. He didn't smile back. 

"Nah man, it not because of the conditions, it's because of what we saw while we were down there. We weren't alone."

A barrage of chills spread through my body. 

"W-what do you mean?"

"Duende."

Horror started filling up my chest. I cleared my throat and tried to make sense of what was just said to me. I've only heard of gnomes from local legends at the time. These creatures terrified the most imaginative part of my brain when I was a child that my mother would use them in bedtime stories with weird morals in order for me to behave properly. My stunned face and long pause was then interrupted by my cousin.

"You may think I'm crazy for telling you that, hell I even think I'm crazy. I wish it was just delusions from being in the dark too long, but no. Me and the others all confirmed it. We decided to never speak about what went down there those two months, but I needed to tell someone before I went insane."

"Well what happened down there?"

"Uh... where do I start... When the mine barely collapsed all of us were frightened for our lives and the chance to see our families again... Help immediately came but they needed time to get us out... The first night wasn't really anything.... I did hear one of the guys yell out that he saw something while taking a piss at a spot away from the others. I passed it off as nothing until the day I saw him five days later."

"Saw who?"

"Jopplixin."

I had no idea who or what that was, yet I kept listening. I knew he was referring to a gnome, but I was a bit too intoxicated to be taking him seriously.

"I went to look for any tools that were left in the mine before the collapse in order to speed the effort of setting us free, when I saw a small shadow squatted behind a boulder... I got closer and closer to make sure it wasn't my mind fucking with me. I was about 7 feet from it when the shadow left the protection of the boulder and hurriedly walked further down into the mine. It walked weirdly, like sideways but with a limp. It had a small cane, and was about two feet tall. Even though it was dark as night I could tell his skin was greenish, certainly not human. Goddamn his walk was horrifying. I never saw any creature move about that way as long as I live."

This seemed too surreal for me to believe.

"Are you fucking with me to try to scare me? Because it's working.... C'mon man we're in the middle of nowhere and you're telling me this..."

My cousin didn't reply, he just glared at me for interrupting his story.

"Every single one of the miners claimed that they've either seen or heard him. My friend Julio even claimed it would lurk near our sleeping area while we were in slumber, giggling the most unsettling chuckle ever heard by man. He said that he wouldn't do anything though, he just stared at us.... watched us. Most of the men shrugged it off as being an illusion or figment of their imagination due to the lack of various vitamins. Then one night, the youngest miner, Nahúm, woke up screaming and sweating like never before. Then out of nowhere, his whole body went stiff. Every part of his body was immobile except for his mouth, which said,

"Jopplixin is his name, he likes watching us while we're sleeping. He says he enjoys our company."

"He then went into a coma-like state for a couple of hours until he woke up. The fact that Jopplixin didn't do anything to us like local lore would state is beyond me. I wouldn't be surprised if he suddenly killed us one by one, but he didn't. I'm glad he didn't though. The sheer horror I felt by knowing a mythical creature would watch us as we slept was enough for me to not mention his name for the remainder of the time I was stuck under there. His minuscule, yet overwhelmingly demonic presence still waltzed around my thoughts as if the bitch was his property."

I just listened to him, curiously mortified. Adding a dumb comment or doing something inappropriate to the situation would probably deny me the rest of his experiences underground.

"Then a week before we were saved, one of the guys, Ricardo, walked off into the mine, almost like if something was calling him. He did not come back until the next day. After that Ricardo wasn't Ricardo anymore."

"W-What do you mean?" 

"When he returned, he didn't speak one word to us, no matter how much times we tried to talk to him. His face was pale and expressionless the whole time, and his eyes now possessed a glint that I've never seen before. I just assumed he saw Jopplixin for the first time. The rest of the miners just let him have his space. One day we were talking about what we were going to do once we got out, and Ricardo spoke for the first time in days."

"Jopplixin does not want us to leave. He likes us. He likes watching us." 

"That's when I knew I had to get the fuck out of there. We separated ourselves from that guy after that. Some of the miners were close to beating him since he did not reply after what he just said. But knowing we were the international attention and Ricardo's bruised body surfacing could've cause a scandal of some sort to unfold. The day we were finally rescued I could've sworn I heard a maniacal chuckle below me as the rescue rope pulled me to salvation, but when I looked down, I only saw Ricardo and that glint. Every one of us came out physically fine, but I can not say the same thing about our minds. Especially Ricardo. Apparently he's been missing ever since we were rescued. I'm so glad I got out of there, but what I experienced there would've turned anyone into a lunatic."

As my cousin finished up his story, a man walked into the bar. He was expressionless, his face was pale, and there was something odd about his eyes. 

My cousin turned around and looked at the man, who was also looking at him. 

The last thing I remember was my cousin turning back around to me to mutter one word.

"Run."



Written by Reary77
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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