Voicemail from the The Sewol – Korean “Sinking Ferry”

Can anyone hear me? This is Keong Min, from 축구 그룹 6, soccer team.

I hope someone is listening. I am trapped inside now. I am in ninth grade and my moms name is Kyung Min, my dads name is Kim.

We were on top of the ferry when we saw it rising behind us, a big fish. Or at first, we thought it was a big fish, or a whale. After a minute of staring into the ocean, we realized just how big it was; almost the size of a mountain under the water. It was only when it surfaced next to us that we realized pure evil.

It didn’t look like any fish we have seen. The seawater was pouring off of its dark grey flanks and jet-black eyeballs at tremendous rate, as though rivers cascading from mountains.

(gasp for air)

We saw it coming closer to us and it was larger than the ferry. This is a big ferry, too, built by Seoul Commisandre and much larger than any fish. Or so we thought.

When it came near to us, moving through the water without swimming, just gliding, we could feel and see the water displacement against our ferry. Even from a few hundred feet away, the thing began to pressure the boat and cause it to sway. As it drew even closer, we could –

(gasp for air)

Smell it. It was the worst smell i have ever smelled. Worse than garbage left behind our house, or when fish goes bad in the kitchen. Also we could see that there were massive barnacles on the the sides of the thing, some of them looked to be small houses.

The eyeballs were –

(gasp for air)

were horrible. They saw us, took us all in. Even as I began to run below decks, towards safety and the lifeboat deck, when the monster got closer and the waves started to rock us, I could see in those eyeballs the devil. They were giant, they were pitch black dark holes of death. I have only seen that look once before, in my big sisters eyes right before she jumped. She had turned around and looked at me, hated me, hated my family, and then fell back off of our balcony. I had never felt anything more intensely than that look, until I saw the hatred in this monsters eyes.

I was already below the third deck and almost to the lifeboat section when it rammed us, hard. It was like an earthquake, I imagine. I slipped to the side and bumped my head on a steel ferry wall, only barely able to stand once the first round of shaking stopped. There were loud screams from everywhere, blood curdling screams of my friends and other people dying, or being swept into the ocean.

I turned around to see water rushing down the long center hallway at me – a river of blue ocean water, and it looked cold and deep. I ran on, into one of the forward rooms and shut the door, yanking on the seal so it shut tight.

(gasp for air)

I sat alone in the dark of the room for a moment, listening to the muffled shouts from outside the door. Through a thick glass peep-hole, I could see my teammate, Kyong Sul, flail towards the door and start pounding, but the dark blue water had already overtaken him, and the last thing I saw was his eye and cheek pressed up against the glass slit, before he was scraped away into the darkness beyond.

At this point, the ship began to turn on its side, and I had to navigate the storage containers here so as not to fall. Eventually, the ship turned all the way upside down. Now, I believe I am sitting on the ceiling of this storage room.

It has been too long, and I am scared. There is pressure in this room. I feel like if I open the door to that water, I will greet death.

I am not ready to die. I am only a ninth grader at Mokpo Standard.

There is only darkness in this room, and air pressure. I am having a hard time breathing, sitting here on the ceiling.

Is anyone out there?

(gasp for air)

Can someone come get me please?

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Voicemail from the The Sewol – Korean “Sinking Ferry”

Devil In The Details

When I first noticed the strange arrangement of lettering running up and down my back, I wanted to rip it all away. So, what prevented me from doing exactly that? Weakness, my friend; nothing but a supreme fear of what might happen to my life if I decided to toss my backbone on the floor and stomp on it.

Looking back, not acting immediately was the worst decision of my life.

Have you ever thought about ripping out your weaknesses all at once, but in a moment of protocol and preservation, held off? Allowed the thoughts of a day job and a sanctity around your little mortgage or Honda Civic lease to keep you entwined to the physical abusings of your overlords? I sure as fuck have.

But I didn’t. That’s why I’m letting you know, right now, that if you ever begin to see the writing on the spine, you do exactly as I didn’t and get to digging immediately. You really ought to be aware of the fact that your life here is impermanent.

The faster you come to grips with the fact that, since you popped out of your mothers womb you have been hurtling towards an old barn door that is covered in rusty nails and splintered wood, the better off you will be.

Now, back to the letters.

I’m not a schizoid. I’m not a paranoid. I’m just a regular guy who doubles as a tattoo artist. I’m not a big fan of football.

I know evil lettering when I see it.

I can sniff it out.

You probably can’t. It’s not a skill that many people develop over their natural course. You probably grew up in a comfortable house, with a comfortable bed lining and a comfortable shower that spat forth comfortable water of a comfortable temperature right before you went to comfortable sleep.

I grew up in a barn, sleeping in hay, riding the waves of emotion of hunger and pain and death on a farm.

I learned all about lettering when I was a kid, and you still haven’t even the foggiest of what real lettering is all about.

See, lettering – whether tattoo or scrawl or the kind of lettering you find on ancient walls in tombs long forgotten – can be used for good or evil. My first real experience with evil lettering came a few years ago when my buddy Ludo, the Latvian beast, lumbered into my life and began chattering about how my tattooing was far too literal, less meaningful, and that I could have a much greater impact on the underworld if I just let my real lettering show through. If I trained the dark arts of dark tattooing.

That’s when I began to study. I mean, really study.

Devil In The Details