My Son is missing, but I have a feeling I know where he is. That sounds ridiculous, so allow me to explain. I don’t know his location, or the address, but I know where he’ll be. I know who he’s with.
It’s those people. Those sick, sick people.
They’ve got my Andrew. I’ve told the police but they didn’t believe me. I called his university and they said there was nothing they could do. I’ve called his phone every day since he disappeared, and today, it stopped going through at all.
He’s at The Garden. My son is locked away with God knows who, and all I know is that he’s at The Garden of The Free Children. What is The Garden? Well, that’s quite simple. It’s a cult.
The worst part is that it didn’t seem like such a bad place at first. That’s how they do it. That’s how they steal away our children. Please listen to me. Yours could be next.
Andrew came home for the Christmas break and told me all about it. He seemed so excited about this “Garden” and all the friends he’d made. I was pleased, because he’s painfully shy and he had always had trouble making friends and connecting with others, so it was great to hear that he was thriving, even if it was through a church group.
He told me that they supported each other and did volunteering, and my mind was at rest, for a little while, anyway.
I wish I’d asked more questions. That’s what I keep coming back to. If I’d have found out more at the time, I’d have an easier time finding him now.
I started to get worried a few days later, when he started sleepwalking.
He had never done that before, he was always a deep, and relatively still sleeper, but I woke up to find him stood at the foot of my bed.
I called out to him, but he didn’t look up. His eyes were closed and he was whispering. As I stood to investigate, my husband pointed out that he had earphones in. Andrew was just standing there, his eyes closed, undeterred as my husband shook his shoulders, constantly chanting all this nonsense about darkness and a Goddess.
He stayed that way for about a minute, before he just collapsed to the floor. In that moment, it felt like my heart stopped. He began chanting again, over and over, just one word.
“Darkness. Darkness. Darkness.”
He began shaking, his whole body, shaking as his eyes opened wide, bloodshot and sore. There was a horrifying gargle from his throat and then he suddenly fell back, still.
We called his name, shaking his almost lifeless body, before he snapped back to life with a smile. He had no memory of any of it. He didn’t remember the chanting, the sleepwalking, the shaking. None of it.
He was cheerful as he stood up, kissing us both on the cheek and wandering off towards his bedroom. I went after him, but he just slammed the door shut, and if I’m honest, I was a little frightened of opening it and confronting him.
I wish the weirdness had stopped there. I wish I could free my Son from this sickness but he’s consumed by these people. They’re eating him alive.
I asked him about the sleepwalking the next day, but he just told me not to worry. It happened every night for the rest of his stay, but he never had any real explanation. He’d just tell me not to worry. Every night, he’d be at the foot of the bed, mindlessly chanting, and then whenever we tried to stop him, he’d fall to the floor.
After the third time, I just stopped sleeping at night. I’d rest during the day while my husband kept an eye on him, but he went on, as normal, as if nothing was happening.
We tried to get him to a doctor, and that was when I saw a major change. He’d never enjoyed going to the doctor, nobody does, but he was never so insistent on not going. He started screaming at the suggestion, ranting about how doctors were untrustworthy and just wanted to butcher people. I’d never seen anything like it. He began packing up his things, and when my husband tried to calm him down, Andrew attacked him.
My Son has never been violent. He’s the opposite of violent. He was always a shy, sensitive boy, but as his father tried to reason with him, Andrew punched him, right in the face.
My husband fell back, in complete shock, and for a moment, there was stillness. It lasted just a second before Andrew launched across the room and began beating and choking his father.
It was like he was feral. I had never seen him that way and it terrified me. He was screaming and yelling. Not words, just noise. Guttural, wild screaming. I tried to pull him away, but there was a strength I’d never felt from him before, he just pushed me aside and continue his assault.
It took several attempts but I managed to finally pull Andrew away. As I checked on my husband, examining his bruised and bloody face, Andrew stormed out of the house, and that was the last time I saw him.
He stopped calling home, and any time I’d call him, it would go to his voicemail. I left messages over and over, saying that I just needed to know he was safe, but he never responded. I wrote letters to him. I called the university. I started leaving daily messages on his Facebook wall, until he shut his profile down. I even set up an Xbox Live account so I could sent a message to his profile there, but he closed the account shortly after.
It was like he was trying to isolate himself more and more from everyone around him, and was determined that nobody was going to reach him.
I decided to travel up to the university to see him, but he wasn’t there. His housemates said that they hadn’t seen him in days, and that he hadn’t attended lectures or seminars in weeks. They’d tried to contact him but had faced the same setbacks that I had.
Apparently, he just took off in the middle of the night, after they confronted him about his strange behaviour. He’d left all his belongings and just disappeared.
I asked them if they knew about the Garden, and their faces fell. One by one, they all explained that it was notorious around the campus. Once people went in, they never came back out.
They told me that the group latches onto vulnerable kids and pulls them in, and after a while, those kids were never seen again. None of them knew where I could find the Garden, just that a couple of girls visit the campus to recruit for them, every couple of weeks.
I’m going to wait here as long as it takes. I’m going to find those girls, and I’m going to make them take me to my Son. It isn’t much of a plan, but it’s all that I’ve got.
I called his phone again, and now I don’t even get his voicemail, it doesn’t even ring. His number has been disconnected, and all I can hope is that I find him soon.