I continually asked Levi," if he were sure that he wanted to do this?" This is huge risk. He would frankly be putting a huge bullseye on he and I. Once this story breaks neither of us would ever be safe on or near the west coast...... little did I know after that night know one would ever be safe again. As we arrive at our pick-up site, we are met by the same black vans that have been rumored to be abducting the local homeless. Suddenly my stomach began to turn once we made our way inside. The back was partially caged off from the front and you could see by the pile of broken fingernails and chunks of flesh that whatever had been shipped was trying to get at their captors. This was unusual considering that most of the homeless populace were docile, why would they lash out if they suspected no wrong doing at this point? We left the designated pick-up that night heading several miles outside the city to a long tree lined road. Once on this long winding road about a mile or so in we came to a large clearing that opened up to reveal several acres of land and a farm house and well weathered barn. The area surrounding the barn was filled with several cars and the nondescript black vans. This sent chills down my spine making the once unbelievable rumors, a frightening reality.
I turned to Levi and said,"We really don't have to do this." Levi shrugged and simply replied,"Yes, yes we do."
We both knew that if the black vans existed that the truth of what went on there did too. We double checked battery life, memory card space and our hearts to make sure they would not beat out of our chest. Cause at this moment if we couldn't pull ourselves together chances were, we would disappear as many of the homeless populous already had. Levi and I had been friends going on ten years. We had met through a mutual friend from my former life and had instantly bonded. You could hear the faint sound of cheering and loud music, like you would associate with a rock concert or rave, not a death match. As we made our way closer to the barn the music got louder and through the cheers we were beginning to make out another sound. It sounded very primal, a low guttural moan. It sent chills down my spine, maybe the rumors were false and they were fighting animals out here. I have never heard a human make such sounds, but once we rounded the corner I would have my answer. The barn was filled with smoke, lit with only a few construction grade lamps attached to the light post size corner of what look like an animal pin/fighting ring. The mixture of smoke and lighting bathed everything in a yellow hue, making it hard for your eyes to adjust. Maybe I just prayed that they wouldn't. I don't know that I could handle what was in front of me if not for the haze. It was an octagon which stood almost eight feet high, lined with barbed wire and a scaffold walkway with gun emplacements that went around the outside perimeter. Everything else was self explanatory, but this was odd. Why was so much defense needed to keep animals or even homeless people from escaping. The height of the fence, the barbed wire should have been enough to keep them retained. I was trailing off in these thoughts of "why?", when Levi nudged me and pointed out the homeless man laying on the dirt floor of the ring when I noticed the gate directly across from him. I had been too preoccupied to notice that this was where the moaning had been coming from the whole time. As the crowd stirred the homeless man awake, the moan became louder and louder. The man began to scurry toward the outer edge of the ring and every time he got close he was poked with a sharp stick through some small holes in the fencing. I was about to motion to Levi when the music stopped and the lights dropped and a voice came over the loud speakers that had been pumping music into the barn. The voice exclaimed," No need for introductions, obviously if you have found your way here, than you know what to expect." he paused. "If not hold onto your asses and your lunch." November 12, 2007