The unknown is terrifying. Sometimes not knowing is better than knowing. I’m telling my story now because I received another email on Monday from Turkey molar. I figured that I should let others know, just in case somebody else receives a similar kind of email.
It all began in September. I’m a sophomore in college, and in September I was getting ready to study abroad in Glasgow, Scotland for a semester. I was really excited to get away from the States and carve out a new life experience for myself.
The night before I left, I was sending off one last email on my work account. I had been working as a research assistant on a farm run by Indiana State University, and I was emailing my supervisor some of my thoughts about an experimental kind of fertilizer being tested on lettuce, and I told him to have a good year and I would see him next summer. I sent the email and refreshed my inbox one last time, not really expecting anything, and I hovered the mouse over the sign out button.
But there was a new email. I expected it to be an automated message from my supervisor saying he was out of the office or something, but no. It was from somebody named “Turkey molar” with the address firstname.lastname@example.org, and the subject line read, “Turkey molar.” Excessive? That’s what I thought.
I was a little bit surprised and confused because this was an account run by ISU that I only used for my work on the farm. I opened the email. It was a very short but strange message. It said, “We are almost there. We need you:” followed by a link to an image on a website called Cherub Clipart. Yep, it’s an entire website devoted to pictures of cherubs. This particular image was of a cherub pulling an enclosed yellow wagon with a guy in green sitting on a seat in front directing him with reins, and there seemed to be a lot bags and letters on top of it, like mail or something.
What the hell? Someone was being stupid. I logged out and shut down my computer and went back to packing some last minute things. I really just thought it was a harmless email that was supposed to be a joke. But it was weird.
Well, I left for Scotland and pretty much forgot about Turkey molar. It’s fun being in a new country far away from home where the drinking age is 18. (I’m 19.) I live in an on-campus flat and my flatmates are all pretty cool. We go out and party a lot and do all sorts of crazy things. You know, typical college guy stuff involving girls and tiger costumes and body shots. Classes themselves are pretty boring. I’m mostly taking science courses, but I’m also in a Scottish history class that bores to me tears. I skip most of those lectures because the professor doesn’t take attendance. Last weekend, I decided to take a trip to the Isle of Skye. I thought it’d be kind of fun to travel by myself to a place and be all cool and independent, and I’d always wanted to visit the Isle of Skye. So after my marine biology lecture on Friday I left on a train to Mallaig, where I got on a ferry and arrived at the Isle of Skye.
Man. Talk about beautiful. I got in around four, just when the sun was starting to go down. Yes, it was actually sunny in Scotland for once. The sky was pink and orange and made the dark jutting mountains look like a painting. It was one of the most gorgeous sights I have ever beheld. Seriously. I wish I could go back and visit again…actually, not really.
I took a bus to the village of Broadford and checked into my hostel. It was nice, very clean and very tasteful. I was staying in a three bed mixed dorm, so I’d be sleeping with two strangers who could be male or female. Surprisingly, the beds in the dorm were really nice and comfortable and not the hard bunk beds that you usually find at a hostel. I lay down to take a short nap.
I was woken up an hour later when a girl came into the dorm. Her name was Marie P-something, she was from France, and she was one of my roommates for the weekend. I introduced myself and we made small talk. She was studying geography at the University of Edinburgh. She was also kind of cute.
We decided to go find something to eat, and just as we were leaving this huge guy came into the dorm. He wasn’t fat, just really tall and built. Marie and I said hello and introduced ourselves.
“Hello, I’m Turkey Molar,” the guy said.
I was like, What? Did I hear you right? I had completely forgotten about Turkey molar ever since the night I got the email, but now here I was thinking about it again. “I’m sorry? I didn’t get that,” I said.
“Dougie Miller. Short for Douglas. Nice to meet you.”
Ohhhh. Dougie Miller. He had a really thick Scottish accent. I had just misunderstood him. But still. The two names sound kind of alike…
Dougie was from Skye itself, in a northern town called Portree. I asked Dougie why he was a hostel here if he lived here on the island, and he said sometimes he just liked to get in his car and drive away from home to get away and meet other people.
We all went out to dinner and got to know each other a little bit more. We had a few drinks at the restaurant, but Dougie wanted to drink even more, so we went out to a little pub afterwards. It very local and filled with big burly Scottish men, but it was fun and we all had a nice time. We were all a little drunk on the way back to the hostel. Once we got back, we decided to go to bed early so we could get up early and use as much daylight as possible. Dougie had volunteered to bring us up north and give us a tour of the land and some of the geographical features. I made sure to plug in my camera so it was fully juiced up for the next day, along with my iPod Touch. We all fell asleep pretty much instantly, the day’s travels and alcohol taking a toll on us.
The next morning Dougie drove us up his town, Portree. He showed us around town for an hour or so, and I tried to take pictures, but my camera wasn’t working. I opened it up and saw that the memory card was still there but the battery was gone. I asked Marie and Dougie about it, but they both denied doing or knowing anything about the battery. It was very strange, because the green battery light came on when I charged the camera last night, and us three were the only ones with access to the dorm. I was pretty pissed, because this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and I wanted to remember it. Nobody else had a camera either because Marie had hers stolen in London and Dougie didn’t need one. I had my iPod Touch, though, so I was at least able to snap some grainy pictures. I’m still pissed about the battery.
After Portree, Dougie drove us even further north to this really cool place called the Storr. The Storr is this big rocky hill, and front of it is this area called the Sanctuary with all of these really twisted odd-shaped rock formations. It was a really neat place, and we lucked out with another sunny day that was cool but not terribly cold. Dougie showed us his favorite place in the Sanctuary, a hollow with a small pond in the center. It was very picturesque, with the cool rock formations surrounding it and the Storr looming in the background behind it against a blue sky with only a few wispy clouds. We went to the water’s edge and I was surprised how clear it was. You could see the rocky bottom, although I didn’t see any fish. I found a really cool stick that looked like a Harry Potter wand or something. It was really smooth and curved, a foot long or so.
I heard a splash and there was Dougie, on his back in the pond. We asked him if he was okay, and he said yeah, he must have slipped. He got out and was shivering, so I got my towel from my backpack and offered it to him, which he accepted. He dried off his head and then looped the towel around his neck and we went on our way up into the Storr.
It was a really steep path and kind of treacherous, with a lot of loose rocks and narrow squeezes. We stopped at a flat outcrop of rock and ate sandwiches we had bought in town. While we were eating, Dougie asked us if we wanted to see something really secret and really cool. Marie and I said sure. So after lunch he took us off the path and to the edge of hill, which was basically a cliff. He pointed at a small hole in the ground at the base of a big rock.
“Down there,” he said.
We asked him what it was.
“A secret cave that no one knows about. You have to swear not tell anyone.” I examined the hole, but all I could see was some faint light. I couldn’t make anything out. But I did hear something.
“It sounds like…music,” I said.
Dougie said it was probably the wind. I put my ear right up to the hole, and it definitely sounded like music. It sounded really far away and kind of muffled. I was mystified, but Dougie just shrugged and said he would lead us down to the entrance of the cave.
He brought us down a narrow ledge on the cliff face. It was actually kind of terrifying being this high off the ground with the window blowing around us on a ledge that couldn’t have been more than two feet wide. Below us were lots and lots of rocks. The view was pretty, though, and I was able to snap a few photos with my iPod. We came to a huge mass of what looked like ferns, big, grey, prehistoric-looking ferns.
“In here,” Dougie said. He pushed through the ferns and disappeared.
“Are you sure this is safe?” Marie asked.
Dougie came back out and assured us it was, and we cautiously followed him through the ferns and the entrance they hid.
We were in a pretty large cave. It was really long and narrow, like a tunnel, and the light from the hole up above and the light from the entrance faintly illuminated it. But there was something very strange in the cave. A yellow wagon right stood right near the entrance. Somehow, it looked familiar to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I also heard the same music I heard from above, except it was a little louder. “I hear the music,” Marie said. “It’s the Titanic song!”
Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on.
“My Heart Will Go On” was playing. And it seemed to be coming from inside the wagon. I took a step towards the wagon but then froze. On the cave floor in front of the wagon, with reins dangling right above them, were bones. It was actually a complete skeleton, and it looked like a small human, like a child or something. Marie came over and gasped. “What is this?” I asked Dougie. He just shrugged and said nothing. I kneeled down to look more closely at the skeleton, and I saw something even stranger. There were small, long bones protruding from both shoulders. Being a biology student, it was clear to me that they were wing bones. I had seen enough bird skeletons. But why were these here? What was this? The music, the wagon, the skeleton?
Marie also commented that the bones looked like wings. “Like an angel,” she said. “Or a baby angel. A cherub.”
A baby angel. A cherub…
A cherub. A yellow wagon.
I thought back to the email and strained my mind to remember what the message in the email was. It was there in my brain, but it was just out reach. The song ended, and it was quiet for like twenty seconds. And then the familiar flutes of “My Heart Will Go On” started up again.
“Isn’t this place very interesting?” Dougie said. “No one else knows about it.” I looked at him. He seemed so nonchalant. I went up to the wagon to examine it. There was a little window on the side, and it was completely dark inside. I reached into my pocket for my iPod so I could use it as a flashlight, but it wasn’t there. I searched my other pockets, but no iPod. I asked Marie and Dougie if they had seen it, and both of them said no.
“Well, I know I had it!” I said angrily, because I had had it less than five minutes ago outside, taking pictures.
I searched my pockets again, but it wasn’t anywhere to be found. “Come on,” I said. “Who took my iPod?”
They both acted oblivious and earnestly protested that no, they hadn’t taken my iPod. I sighed angrily and turned back to the wagon.
Love can touch us one time, and last for a lifetime, and never let go till we’re gone.
I hate this song. Overproduced, overplayed, and the lyrics are so generic. But I digress…
There was movement in the wagon. I’m not sure what it was, but I heard something move. It was a very light movement, almost like wind.
“Hello?” I asked.
Nothing. No movement. I took out my stick that I found by the pond.
“Alohomora,” I muttered. No light. I was disappointed. I stuck the stick through the window, though. Something brushed against it and moved it.
And then the stick was gone. Something roughly jerked it from my hand into the wagon. “What is that?” I asked Dougie.
He shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said. “Do you want to find out?”
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to find out. I walked slowly around the wagon, inspecting it. When I reached the back, I turned and squinted into the faint light, trying to make out the rest of the cave.
Once more you open the door, and you’re here in my heart…
There was another skeleton. It was probably twenty or thirty feet behind the wagon. I went over to it, and yep, it was another winged child. Or maybe cherub. The bones of the right wing, though, were kind of crushed. I looked out into the gloom, and there was another one, again, twenty feet or so behind this one. I went over and saw the skull was split on this one. Like it had been run over by the wagon. I looked up and there was another skeleton behind this one. It was like a giant trail of skeletons behind the wagon. Child skeletons. Child skeletons with wings. Cherubs. Seriously, what the hell?
I went back to Dougie and Marie.
“Do you want to find out what’s in there?” Dougie repeated.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“I want to see,” Marie said.
“I’ll show you,” Dougie said. He went up to the window, Marie following. He took a small flashlight from his pocket.
“Marie, are you sure?” I asked.
“Yes, I believe so,” she said, seeming a bit unsure. “Why?”
“I just…don’t think we should look. It’s kind of like a trap.”
Dougie turned on the flashlight and began moving it towards the window.
“But it is inside. It is okay,” Marie said. “We will only look at it.”
“Marie…some things you see, you can never erase from your mind.”
She looked me, clearly thinking carefully about what I just said. I could tell she was creeped out by this as much as I was, and didn’t really want to see what could be in a wagon in a cave full of skeletons of cherubs, or winged babies, or whatever the hell they were.
“Okay, I don’t want to see,” Marie said, coming back to me.
“Why not?” Dougie asked with what seemed like a growl.
“What is it?” I asked Dougie.
“I’m trying to let you find out,” he said, his voice sounding angry.
“No, tell us,” I said.
You are safe in my heart and my heart will go on and on.
“I’ll show you.”
“No. If you can show us you can tell us.”
Dougie glared at me.
“We are almost there,” he said, pointing at the door. “We need you.”
The email. That’s what it said. “We are almost there. We need you.” I thought about this whole situation and how creepy it was.
“Need us for what?” I asked. The song stopped playing.
Dougie just stared at us, saying nothing.
“Want to go, Marie?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“Come on Dougie, let’s go.”
He continued to stare at us for a few moments, and then he relented.
“If you’re so eager, sure,” he said unkindly. Marie and I went out of the cave and he stormed out after us. As we were leaving, I heard the song start again. Dougie didn’t say anything on the hike back to his car. I was kind of scared of him, partly because he was a huge guy and could do anything to us, and partly because of what just happened. But we were in the middle of nowhere and needed the ride back to town, and it was getting dark. He drove dangerously fast on the way back to Portree, but I was too afraid to ask him to slow down. He dropped us off at a square in the middle of town. I remembered that I had given him my towel. I asked him if I could have it back.
“I don’t have it,” he said, and I didn’t see it anywhere in the car. I had no idea where it was. He must have left it back at the Storr. Dougie gave us one last dirty look, and then turned around and drove off in the direction from where we came. Marie and I looked at each other. That had been a really weird experience. We were able to get a bus back to Broadford and our hostel. Dougie had checked out that morning, and we had a new roommate for that night, this quiet guy named James who didn’t say anything to us besides his name. But that was fine with me.
The next morning, Sunday (last Sunday), I got up early and left, taking a bus across a bridge back to Glasgow. Marie was staying two more days, and we said our goodbyes. She said she was still kind of freaked out about the day before, but she would try to forget it. She said she wasn’t going to tell anyone because she didn’t think anybody else should be exposed to that. I agreed with her. She told me she would add me on Facebook, but so far I haven’t heard anything from her. Maybe I never will. Maybe it’s best to forget as much as I can about the experience.
So here I am. Back in my flat at the University of Glasgow. Mystified and trying to make sense of what happened in that cave, what was in that cave.
Oh, and there’s a coda to my story. On Monday, while I was thinking about what happened, I decided to check my work email to see if I had any new messages. I hadn’t checked it since the night before I left for Scotland, and I had two messages. One was from way back in September from my supervisor telling me to have a good year. The other one had been sent only two hours ago. From Turkey molar.
The subject once again read “Turkey molar.” I debated for like five minutes if I should open the email or not, but curiosity got the best of me. I opened it. “Retry soon.” And a link to a YouTube video. That was all the message contained. I clicked on the link. It was a YouTube video, so it couldn’t be a virus or anything too weird.
But it is weird. It’s only 30 seconds long, and it shows a guy---or something---in a black coat with a green towel over his (its) head. And yes, my lost towel is green. The guy---yeah, I’m just going to call it a human and hope it’s a human---stands there for like ten seconds just looking at the camera. And in his hands…well, in one hand he’s holding a stick. My stick. The one that whatever was in the wagon jerked from my hand. In the guy’s other hand is something that’s too small for me to make out. Maybe somebody has some kind of software or something that can zoom in and figure out what it is. I’m not really technologically advanced like that.
And he collapses. That’s the entire video. The guy enters, stands there with a towel covering his head holding my stick and a small unknown object in his hands, and then he collapses. Oh, and you can faintly hear “My Heart Will Go On” in the background. The guy in the video can’t be Dougie. This guy is way too small and slender. Dougie’s like six foot five or something and at least two hundred and thirty pounds or more. But I have no idea who it could be.
Also, I took several videos on my iPod Touch when I had it. (I’m still angry someone stole it and my camera battery.) The video is framed just like an iPod video, and the quality isn’t very good, like it was filmed on an iPod…
So yeah, I don’t know what any of this means, and I haven’t shared it with anyone, but now I am. I need to get this out there so if something happens, other people know.
I have a theory about what I saw in the cave. The YouTube user who uploaded the video is, of course, “turkeymolar.” And this is the only video he/she/it has uploaded. In the description is the link to the cherub picture. And here’s my theory about the cherubs: A cherub is basically a toddler with wings, and a toddler would only be able to drag a big wagon like the one in the cave about twenty feet, in my estimation, before collapsing of exhaustion. Or dying. The wagon was near the entrance of the cave. Twenty more feet and it would be outside. “We are almost there. We need you.”
What would happen once that wagon was outside? It could fall off the cliff and be dashed on the rocks below…and whatever was inside could get out. If we had seen what Dougie wanted to show us…would we have become cherubs? Would we have been forced to pull the wagon? I have no idea. It’s just a theory. I can’t even begin to hypothesize about what was in the wagon. I only know that whatever it is, it has to have been in there for a long time.
And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that “Dougie Miller” pronounced in a thick Scottish accent sounds like “Turkey molar.” I really hope that he fails in carrying out his master’s orders. I really hope he isn’t able to show somebody else what’s in the wagon. Because whatever’s in there, I don’t think it would be good for us. I really don’t think it would.