Yuki: Good evening, everyone. I hope all has been well for you all, especially those of you based out of the U.S.

Assistant: We hope you had a good Turkey Day and made it home safe from the Black Friday sales massacres.

Yuki: May your stockings be hung with plenty of first-aid supplies. Maybe a nice bourbon to help wash down the pain and suppress the flashbacks another day.

Assistant: Jesus, Yuki…

Yuki: What? Too far?

Assistant: Yeah. More than a little.

Yuki: Well alright then. Have some nog instead. Sit down by the fire and enjoy the continuation of our little saga of Nicole Weathers and her kids. 



“How the hell did you get here!?” I said, crossing the cell and wrapped my arms around all four of them. “How did you know I was here?”

Riley answered. “Docs told us after we convinced them to let us out.”

“They think we’re going to Louisville,” Annabelle laughed.

“Lemme guess,” I said, “everyone out there thinks this place is on fire?”

They all nodded.

“Someone volunteered us their car, too.” Jaden dangled a pair of keys with a Honda emblem on it. Nice. We were as inconspicuous as we were in the Camry…actually, I think the Civic put us even further under the radar. Anyway, we were on the road again five minutes later.

And we have been ever since.

Next audio log:

It’s been hit and miss with trying to keep up with honing the girls’ talents. When I can, I let them take turns wiping us out of the memories of gas station attendants and wait staff and the like. Honestly, that should be every time we stop. But sometimes I get the feeling that we need to keep moving–or that someone is watching us from the distance.

Maybe I’m getting paranoid.

There haven’t been any more…incidents like at the trailer park. Great news, I guess. Still…I can’t help but get those panicky feelings.

We laid low outside of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in Tennessee for a few days–that’s where I was able to pick up this recorder and tapes. Nifty.

We drifted across Tennessee along the back roads. Dipped into Georgia and Alabama briefly and inched our way west-ish. It was in Laconia, I think, where we decided to go southwest for a bit and then skew sharply and head almost straight north before heading west again.

We’re in Kansas now–I think. Doesn’t matter too much; we’ll be out of here in the morning.

Honestly, long-term speaking, I dunno what we’re gonna do. Zig-zagging across the U.S. will only keep us safe for so long. We reach the west coast–great. Then what? We spend the rest of our lives Forrest Gumping coast-to-coast? That’s no life for four children and their mother, living out of whatever clunker we get a hold of? No thank you.

At least there’s time to think about it more.

Next log might be from Nebraska. See you there.

Next audio log:

(Tape recorder rustles around.)

Annabelle: I think it’s on!

Zelda: Shh!

Annabelle: Okay! Geez…(hushed excitement) Hellooo and welcome to The Annabelle and Zelda Radio Shooow! Anne and Zeld, Anne and Zeld, Anne and Zeld, Anne and Zelda.

Zelda: Quiet! They’ll hear us!

Annabelle: No they won’t, they sleep like a sack of bricks.

Zelda: That doesn’t even make sense…and Mom doesn’t.

Annabelle: Okay, fine. (leaves rustle) We’ll go farther away from camp.

Zelda: Oh my god…

Annabelle: Alright listeners, we’ve got a caller on the line.

Zelda: …

Annabelle: Zelda, that’s you!

Zelda: Oh! Uh, hi Annabelle, long-time listener, first-time caller.

Annabelle: Okay caller, we’re gonna play a game now. I’m gonna sing a song and you’ll have to sing the next lines.

Zelda: What do I win?

Annabelle: Respect.

Zelda: …and?

Annabelle: …umm… A NEW CAR!

Zelda: Wooo!

Annabelle: Alright, are you ready?

Zelda: Yup!

Annabelle: Today’s song is the one about the orange barrels–

Zelda: I’ve never heard that one.

Annabelle: Yah-huh! It was on the radio yesterday morning!

Zelda: No, it wasn’t–that was the one about the wiper blades…

Annabelle: Oooh…are you sure?

Zelda: I was awake the whole morning. It was about wiper blades.

Annabelle: Okay…lemme try to remember that one–

Riley: Hey, what are you guys doing?


Annabelle: Shit, Ri, you scared us! I almost dropped this thing. Did we wake you up? (light footsteps) Hey, Jay.

Riley: No, you woke her up. And she woke me to come out here.

Zelda: Me n’ Annabelle are doing a radio show. You wanna play too? I was gonna win a new car.

Annabelle: I think we have it in the budget to allow up to three cars being won…What’s wrong, Jay?

Jaden: I don’t think it was you guys that woke me up.

(Rustling in the distance.)


Annabelle: Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we’re gonna have to put a hold on today’s contest. Something’s out there in the woods and we’re gonna investigate…like…like…

Jaden: National Geographic?

Annabelle: Yes! Thanks, Jay! Dun-dun-dun-duuuhn-dun.

(Loud rustling.)

Zelda: Fuck!

Annabelle: Zel!

(Recorder shifts and crackles.)

Annabelle: What’re you doing!?

Jaden: C’mon, gimme this thing. You’re not even supposed to have it. Don’t fuckin’ pout! You can be my co-host now.

Zelda: We’re not gonna go too far out, are we?

Jaden: Moon’s plenty bright and the lantern’s pretty bright, too. We’ll be able to see it a little ways out.

Annabelle: What do you think we’ll find?

Jaden: Who knows? Nothing should surprise us.

Riley: I, myself, am strange and unusual.

Jaden: Ugh.


(Hushed gasps and a stifled scream.)

Jaden: Zelda, hush! You’ll wake Mom!

Zelda: (whispered, muffled) I don’t care!

Annabelle: It came from up in the trees.

Zelda: They’ve come for us again!

Jaden: (sighs) I don’t think they’re sending ninjas after us. C’mon, for real now.

(Footsteps continue.)

Riley: Seriously. It was probably an owl or so–



(All the girls screaming, running, and cursing.)

Next audio log:

Excuse my tired voice in this recording. The girls woke me up at a godawful hour saying they had seen a monster. They refused to settle down until we left and went somewhere else.

Fuck everything.

I didn’t say anything at the time, but I was convinced one of the girls played a mind trick on the other three. That went right out the window real quick because all of ‘em were practically pissing themselves (Riley had, in fact). We packed everything up and took a stop at a Quality Inn. We’re still here. The girls are out in the hall waiting for the pizza guy.


Next audio log:

Fuck. Didn’t realize I burned through so much tape. Side two now, I guess. Like I was saying, they thought the saw a monster–but didn’t really see it. If that makes any sense. They think it had a wingspan of like ten or twenty feet. Possibly human-shaped. I dunno. Sounds like they scared the shit out of themselves.

Though, this does raise a pretty fucking interesting question: can their unconscious minds utilize their talents? Like talking in your sleep or sleepwalking. Or would that have to be done through lucid dreaming only? Can their dreams be “brought to life” for everyone to see?

Either that or they were just scared of shadows in the night.

Personally, I’m inclined to believe the second one.

No way I’m gonna try to experiment with dreaming mind tricks…but I’ll have to keep this possibility open, just in case something like this happens again.


All this over what was 99% for sure a vulture.

Ooh! Pizza’s here!


Assistant: A weird turn of events for sure. But it’s good to see things are taking a turn for the better.

Yuki: Just in time for the holidays, no less.

Assistant: You’re really going all-in for Christmas now, aren’t you?

Yuki: That hasn’t been apparent from the decorations that went up the day after our Halloween party?

Assistant: Well there’s only one thing missing. The tree.

Yuki: That’s where you’re wrong. I’ve got one ready to go. We can start decorating once we end this transmission.

Assistant: Awesome! …Hey, Yuki?

Yuki: Yes?

Assistant: You really think they’ll be okay?

Yuki: Nicole and the kids? …I’m hopeful. There’s something about this viewing that seems…off to me. I’m not a hundred percent sure what it is. The readings on the computer fluctuated, but for the life of me, I can’t tell what the hell it is. We’ll have to keep an eye out for it.


copyright © Yuki Masaki 2021. ‘Tales from the Void’ logo designed by Intern Kate