“The site in the middle of the Karakum Desert was identified by Soviet geologists in 1971. They set up a drilling rig and started operations, but the ground collapsed into a wide crater and the rig disappeared. Some methane gases were released and that created a real danger for the people in nearby villages. So the scientists decided to burn these gases off. They thought it would take a few days. They were wrong. The gas has been burning since then without any pause. The nearest village, named Derweze, was abandoned on the orders of the Türkmenbaşy, Saparmurat Niyazow, because “it was an unpleasant sight for tourists.”“
Sometimes that research leads you to places you’d least expect.
And sometimes those places lead to still other places. Darker places. Hidden places. Places where you get lost and wander and begin to wonder what is real and what isn’t and no this can’t possibly be true because that would change everything you thought was real and these are only secondary sources and you think it’s likely all hearsay and folklore and you feel better for a little while.
But it nags at you. You need to know more. You want the truth.
So you spend days and weeks using all of your skills and pulling all of your strings and calling in all of your favors to seek out the primary sources and while individually they are mundane and nonsensical you start seeing patterns and once you dig deeper and put the pieces together you…
Well, you panic. You lose your tenuous grip on sanity and start wondering who else knows what you now know and your days are spent in thick clouds of paranoia and fear and hopelessness.
But in the end, you’ll find a way to rationalize. To pretend it’s not real. To make a story out of it like you wanted to do in the first place.
You’ll tell your story and pass it off as “fiction” and people will read it and enjoy it but from that point on the rest of your life will be a lie. You’ll smile during the day but every night you will toss and turn and stare at the moonlit ceiling of your bedroom and wonder when they will come for you.