WHISPERTOWN

A long day's trail from Berrydearth, is Whispertown. No roads lead to it, and no roads circle or exude signage that mention it by name. It's a sunken and folded spot on the map. A folk tale come to life, a myth that happens to be real, the hub of many horror tales kept tightly wound in furrowed family seals.

 

You might suddenly turn heel and run blind from the evening hiking along the Berrydearth path, filled with an unreasonable fear. Panicking like a hunted deep-sea diver.

 

You might then be led to Whispertown, it is so close to the moon. The sun only rises just over the hill, before settling down in the carnelian harrow and hum. An island in the evergreen, and an island in the sea of dreams.

 

Upon approach, a sign is read, detailing the nature of your visit:

 

"You welcome you to Whispertown, you are the news. Here you dream what's real rather than appearing real to what dreams. You must leave your shoes in your final steps, then tell yourself not to fear you following you. Yet yes, this is a place you are certain to never have seen. Then so, you welcome you to Whispertown, you are not here"

 

Whispertown is polished wood and painted, blood red. In darkness, and twilight, and in sunrise and sunset.

 

Henny Fairs, she lives in amongst the stairs to her room. High, and nested in beams with her twins and full broom. They are snug like flukes in the cosy gut. Whispertown is the place she's inviting us to, though I cannot for the life of me, find her here. The evidence was clear but now, I think that ghost has faded far too fast. She could never have really been here or her and ever or was never really real.

 

Who is Henny Fairs? Let's forget.

 

The door to Whispertown, in the copse or busy birthday street, no station but the train rattles by, no road yet I have stepped from family cars into the Whispertown bars. My friend.

 

I had looked for reference to the place, throughout a span of many years, but I could only find it mentioned in passing, although the name of an authority on the subject was disclosed, that of Charles Sparport. Later, I discovered, he was not yet five years old.

 

Upon questioning him with his likely mother at least bodily present, he said:

 

"Whispertown is a place I go sometimes When I'm asleep, or thinking or lost. When I'm afraid. Some of the things there are too old to die. Some are like red plants, and the eyes are inside. You can squeeze them out but I did and we both were screaming"

 

So I left. Have you been to Whispertown?

 

Some of the allusions to it are uncanny. In Charles Winterglass's novel, "Slimebright" it is listed as a literary reference. A note is included in very early editions here reprinted in full:

 

"My friend, old leader. Whispertown bred. We walked here one evening as children. Do you remember us? We cried for mother and father as we were so sure we were already dead. The otherworldly outback so lush with scarlet succulents. Bulbous and humming, a venomous vibration. They grew hair through everything. Somewhere within, an eye that could not be closed. Dreams that never cease. A sun always setting. A moon always hidden. Those of us that knew will be with you there forever, my friend. Little dead soldier. Those of us that knew will be there forever."

 

Overly-sentimental tripe we thought. Tossed that tome into the compost heap without a second glance. For I knew the brightnesses of slime, and of good wood fevers, and the back coves of Berrydearth, the funnel at Spiralstair, the Claver at Deadknight, the water bees of Fenton Gun, and above all and none, the moments I had endured years long and quickly overgrown, in Whispertown, child and man, inhuman and beast, in any concoction of the sexes. I had been counted.

 

Later, much later, a small mention in Browner's "Townships, small villages, Hamlets and niches of Great Britain and soberly-related"

 

"Whispertown: Small community of mostly suspected elderly residents numbering perhaps around 200. Heavily wooded and unkempt. Sea views mistakenly all around. Could access only one property. Disused radio station. Curiously, children must exist here, perhaps in seclusion, as toys are everywhere, in gardens, in closed houses, even in the paths. Final note: There are no roads here, it exists ten miles from the nearest passable mire. Best accessed on foot, and at low tide, as the trail can only be followed along a very rocky shore for a distance of approximately 7 miles"