Adytum Documentary Project
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[Synopsis: David makes a documentary about his hiking trip to a sacred Native American site with his twin brother, his professor, and two other students. One year after their disappearance, his footage was found.]
Disclaimer: There's sex, sodomy, and maybe a few other minor perversions in this. If you don't like that sort of thing, read something else. Everybody in the story is legal age. Parts of this story may be autobiographical, or it might be all fiction---who can say?
Copyright - 2001 by Wrestlr. Permission granted to archive if and only if no fee (including any form of "Adult Verification") is charged to read the file. If anyone pays a cent to anyone to read your site, you can't use this without the express permission of (and payment to) the author. This paragraph must be included as part of any archive.
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Adytum Documentary Project, Part 1
(The tape begins in a bedroom. The camera is pointed at a bed. The angle jumps as someone behind the camera adjusts the view.)
Jake: (Calling from off-screen.) "Have you seen my toothbrush?"
(The hips of another man, in jeans, fill the lens as he walks around behind the camera.)
Jane: (Also calling from off-screen.) "Your toothbrush ... is in the toothbrush holder. On the sink. Duh."
David: (Distracted, from behind the camera.) "Okay--I'm ready. Come out here, and let's get started."
(Through the bathroom door in the background and into the shot walks Jake, an attractive, dark-haired young man of about twenty, wearing only a pair of shorts.)
Jake: "Huh? C'mon, Davy, we gotta finish packing. We don't have time for this. We leave in six hours, and I wanna get some sleep, okay?"
Jane: (Off-screen.) "I don't see why I can't come too. What's so important about this stupid camping trip."
David: "It's not some 'stupid camping trip,' and you're just jealous 'cause you weren't invited."
Jane: (Sarcastically.) "Ha, ha. Veeeeery funny. So are you going to be making another one of your 'documentaries?' So have you ever finished one? I mean, like, in your whole life?"
David: "Jake, rein in your girlfriend, please?"
Jake: "Janie ..."
(The camera focuses on Jane as she jumps into the shot and sits on the bed, dead center of the screen.)
Jane: "No, seriously. I wanna be in David's documentary. I think it'll be ex-ciiiiii-ting."
Jake: "Janie, please, baby. You know I don't like it when you argue with my brother."
Jane: "And I don't like the way you always take his side."
Jake: "C'mon, baby, let it go. Just this once? For me?"
Jane: "I don't see why you have to go off and spend the whole break on some camping trip. Ever since the start of last semester, you been spending less and less time with me. I just wanted us to spend some time together so we can get back to the way we used to be."
Jake: "We been through this before. It's only for a few days, baby. This is really important to me, y'know? But you're important too. I'll call ya the minute I get back. Promise, baby."
Jane: "Promise? Okay. I'm gonna hold you to that, sexy."
David: "I'm gonna hurl."
Jane: (Sneering at the camera.) "Ha ha ha. You're so funny, David. I'll never understand how two twins can be so damn different. Okay, Jake, I'm outta here. Have fun, and call me the minute you get back."
Jake: "I will, baby."
(The camera catches their kiss. Then Jane backs out of the shot.)
Jake: "Later, babe."
(Off-screen, the sound of a door shutting.)
David: "What ... a ... bitch! I'll never understand what you see in her, Jake."
Jake: "Lay off, Dave, okay? Just ... lay off."
David: "Okay. Whatever. Anyway, have a seat there on the bed. I wanna get some footage done before bed."
Jake: "Huh? We have to finish packing--"
David: "This'll just take a couple of minutes. It's for the documentary. Kind of like an establishing shot--you know, to give the audience some, like, background on who you are and stuff. I'm going to ask you one question, then you answer it, and we're done for the night. Have a seat on the bed."
(In the center of the shot, Jake sits cross-legged on the bed. David's hips, very close, pass in front of the lens again. His butt fills half of the camera's view as he bends over and adjusts a light. Jake grimaces as the light hits his face before broadening and softening. He fidgets and plays with his toes uncomfortably.)
Jake: "Shit, David, I don't see why we have to go through this bullshit. It's not like I have anything to say about the trip tomorrow. For chrissakes, it's not like I can say something you haven't heard a hundred times before."
David: "Maybe I have, but they haven't."
David: "The viewers."
(David's hip blocks the camera's view again as he walks back behind the camera.)
David: "Besides, you don't have to say anything profound. I'm going to ask everybody one question. They get one minute to answer it. It's like a way of introducing yourselves to the audience."
Jake: "What's the question?"
David: "Nobody can know until I tell them to start. That's kind of the point."
(The field of view jumps as David adjusts the camera angle. The image blurs then sharpens as he fiddles with the focus.)
Jake: "Oh, all right. Let's get this over with."
Jake: "Is that the question?"
David: "No, smart ass. The question is this: Jake Bailey, talk about yourself."
Jake: "Huh? Talk about myself? What do you mean? ... Oh, I get it--you don't talk? You don't talk at all? Uh, okay. Well, uhm, my name is Jake, and this is my room. I'm David's twin brother. That's David over there behind the camera. Hi, David. He's filming some kind of documentary about this trip we're going on tomorrow with our anthropology professor and a couple of other guys. I'm a junior at State, just like David. He's majoring in film studies, and I'm majoring in anthropology. Uhm ... what else? Well, I'm into video games and music--yeah, music is really important to me. I like a lot of groups like--hell, I don't know--by the time this documentary comes out, anyone I talk about will be so 'classic oldies.' Yuck! I also like boarding and doing stuff outdoors. That's one reason I'm glad we're going on this camping trip. I like staying active. I like working out, too. Can you tell? I'm starting to get kind of muscular. Well, I think so, at least. It! 's starting to pay off. I'm on the lacrosse team at State, and that helps too. Anyway, we're going on this camping trip tomorrow with Professor Thrull and a couple of other guys. I guess they're students too. We're gonna be gone for most of break, until the day before Fall term starts. We're taking some food with us but mostly we're going to be hiking up to these old places where Indians used to live. Dr. Thrull says it's out in the middle of this forest, with nobody around for, like, miles and miles. It's gonna take us two days just to hike there. He's gonna teach us some stuff about excavations in some old caves the Indians used and he's gonna show us how the Indians lived. There's a place he's going to show us that was, like, some kind of adytum--he says that's a kind of really sacred place, where they went for special ceremonies to honor the spirits. We're mostly going to live off the land, just like they did. I'm really psyched about it--it's gonna be a blast. ! It's like one last chance to have some fun before Fall ter! m begins, 'cause I'm gonna be taking a lot of hell classes--"
(Jake visibly relaxes. He falls over on his side, propped on one elbow, which carries his head past the view frame, cutting him off at the neck. After a second, the camera moves as David adjusts it to get Jake's head back in the frame.)
Jake: "Damn! Was that just one minute? It seemed like forever. That was pretty hard, getting put on the spot like that. I couldn't think of anything to say. What have the others been saying when you asked them?"
David: "I dunno. You're the first one."
(The screen cuts to static. Five seconds later, the tape resumes. Trees moving past. The camera is in a moving sport utility vehicle, pointed out the front passenger window at the passing trees and underbrush. The camera jerks around, crossing Professor Thrull's profile, then aiming into the backseat at Jake, sitting with a young blond man, Ted.)
David: "Okaaaay. So are you looking forward to this?"
Jake: (Enthusiastically.) "Oh, yeah, dude!"
David: We gotta pick up one more guy and pick up some stuff, and we are on our waaaaaaay."
(The camera turns back out the passenger window and zeroes in on the rearview mirror, filming the reflection of David aiming the camera at the rearview mirror.)
David: "That's me in the mirror. Hi! My name is David, and I'm getting this all on video. I'm going to use it for a project in this film class I'm taking this coming semester."
Thrull: "This is the place."
(The car pulls over to the curb and stops in front of a house. The camera aims at the front door, at two men coming out. One, a young light-skinned black man, carries a backpack in one hand, grins at the camera, and waves with his other hand. The other man stops just outside the front door and waves goodbye to the first.)
David: "That's Damien--he was in our class." (Yells out the window.) "Hey, Damien, ready to go?"
(The camera zooms in on Damien grinning and waving again to the camera again as he crosses in front of the vehicle, on his way to the back seat on the driver's side. The camera pans across Professor Thrull as it tracks Damien. Damien opens the door, shoves his backpack over the seat into the back, climbs in, and pulls the door shut.)
Damien: "Hey, guys."
Jake: "Who's that guy? Your roommate?"
Damien: (Grinning out the window and waving again.) "Kinda. That's my boyfriend. We're kind of in the process of breaking up."
Jake: (Shocked.) "Boyfriend ...? Uh ..."
Thrull: "Let's get started, shall we? We've got about four hours of driving ahead of us and then about a six-hour hike to get behind us before nightfall."
(The camera pans across scenery as the vehicle starts moving. The lens jerks around, crossing Professor Thrull's profile, then aiming into the backseat at Jake, sitting between Ted and Damien. Jake is still pretending to be engrossed in a magazine after Damien's revelation.)
David: "So what did you bring today?"
Jake: (Holding up items into the camera's view.) "Got some, uhm, potato chips ... and my favorite, beer ... and, hm-hm, you'd be surprised what I'm looking at."
(Jake grins and holds up a porn magazine into the camera's view, open to a spread of two naked women licking each other.)
David: "My Gaaaaaawd!"
Jake: "She's got really big tits."
David: "Whoa! Fuckin' cool! Look at this, Professor!"
Thrull: (Laughing.) "I'm trying to drive up here, guys."
David: "Hey, Damien, I wanna give you a question and I want you to answer it any way you want. You get one minute, uninterrupted, to answer it."
Damien: "Any way I want? What's the question?"
David: "You ready? Damien, talk about yourself."
Damien: "That's a question? Well, okay. Uhm ... Well, my name is Damien and I'm nineteen. My boyfriend's name is Travis--hi, Travis!--and he's pretty hot--"
Damien: "Hush. He said 'uninterrupted.' Anyway, I'm half-black on my father's side, and I'm part-Cuban and part-Cherokee on my mother's side. So when Professor Thrull invited me to come on this trip, I jumped at the chance, 'cause it's like this chance to get in touch with some of my roots, you know? See where they lived and stuff like that. My roots are important to me, y'know? I'm really in touch with the Cuban side of my heritage. I lived in Cuba with my mom until I was eighteen. Can you tell by my accent? I learned English, like, a couple years ago so I could come here to go to school. I used to wait tables in my uncle's restaurant when I was in Cuba. When I was sixteen this big, sexy blond tourist from New York came in. He was so handsome I brought him a drink on the house, but then I didn't know what else to say. So he offered to show me how I could learn to improve my English, back at his room. He said he was going to teach me the gay Alphabet. You know,! like, 'A is for Asshole,' and then he made this circle with his thumb and finger so I'd understand. Then he said, 'B is for Buttfuck,' and he poked his finger through the hole. And 'C is for Cock,' and he put my hand on his crotch so I could feel his big, hard boner straining through his jeans--"
Jake: "Excuse me--this is just fucking way too much information!"
Damien: "He said I could answer it any way I wanted. Anyway, that night after I got off, I met him at the beachfront house he was renting for the summer, and I got to know his cock up close and personal. By the time summer was over, I spoke English just as well as he did--"
Jake: (Protesting to David.) "That was more than one minute."
David: "Was it? I guess I lost track."
Jake: "You did that on purpose. Uh--no offense, Damien."
Damien: (Smugly.) "None taken."
Thrull: "Gentlemen, this is where we turn. This is where we park and start hiking."
(The tape jumps into static. Thirty seconds later, it resumes. Daylight. The camera pans across trees, grass, a sport utility vehicle's rear bumper, a couple of legs. Backpacks are being unloaded. Someone drops another one onto the ground at the periphery of the camera's view.)
David: "Okay, I'm gonna start getting this on film."
Dr. Thrull: (Warningly, from off-screen.) "David ..."
David: "It won't get in the way, Doc. Honest. Pretty soon you'll forget the camera is even here. If it starts annoying anybody, I'll turn it off."
Dr. Thrull: "Well, okay. For now, anyway. Damien, can you get that one? Jake, here's one for you."
David: "Here we are, starting off. We've driven about four hours to the middle of nowhere, and now--"
Dr. Thrull: "Here, David, you take this one."
(The camera swings around and points at Dr. Thrull, who hands a large red backpack out of the back of his vehicle. David's arm enters the frame from the side and takes the pack. The field of view tilts suddenly as the pack's weight yanks David's arm down. In the background, two men laugh as the camera stops a few inches short of the ground.)
David: "Holy fuck! What's in this thing?"
Dr. Thrull: (Laughing too.) "Oh, come on. It can't be all that heavy."
(The camera jumps wildly--panning across trees, dirt and rocks, trees again, Jake's face, David's shoulder--as David pulls on the backpack. It finally settles on Dr. Thrull, who is locking up the rear door of his vehicle.)
David: "That's Dr. Thrull, our teacher and official guide for the next several days. He's the one who has to make sure we learn how to live off the land and don't have to eat each other to survive."
Damien: (From off-screen.) "And don't get lost either--that's important too."
David: "Yeah, that's important too."
(The camera pans to Ted, a blond youth, about twenty-one years old, shifting under the weight of a heavy backpack.)
David: "That's Teddy."
(The camera pans again, passing Jake.)
David: "That's my brother Jake again."
(The camera pans again to a slim black man of nineteen, who smiles for the camera.)
David: "And that's Damien, the last of our little group of happy campers."
Dr. Thrull: (From off-screen.) "Okay, guys, let's get started. We've got a long hike ahead of us before nightfall."
(The camera watches Dr. Thrull head onto a trail heading up the hill. Jake and Damien follow him, hoisting heavy packs. The camera bobs as David follows Damien, close behind. The camera aims over Damien's shoulder, at trees, bits of sky, occasional glimpses of Dr. Thrull slightly ahead of them.)
David: "So this is it. Everybody ready? We're officially on our way. But to where exactly? What will we encounter and what will we learn about ourselves? These and other questions will be answered during our next two weeks together."
Jake: (From off-screen.) "Jeez, David--will you fucking listen to yourself? Turn that damn camera off!"
Damien: "Yeah, turn it off until there's something to film, dude. Unless you just like making a movie about my butt."
David: "Fuck you, Jake. You too, Damien."
(The camera angle drops, picking up Damien's legs, and David's hand swipes into the frame, fumbles at the controls.)
Damien: (Teasingly.) "It'll be the best piece of ass you ever had, white boy. I promise you that."
David: "Uh, frickin' whatev's, dude ..."
Thrull: (Over his shoulder.) "Everything okay back there?"
David: "You bet, Professor. What's our first stop?"
Thrull: "We've got to hike about four hours before we camp for the night. There are some caves that we'll pass about three hours in with some cave drawings--these probably predate the Native Americans--and I think that will start getting us in the right frame of mind."
Thrull: "One last thing. Anyone got a cell phone? Pager? Radio?"
Jake: "I've got a phone."
"Leave it in the glove compartment. I don't want any distractions on this trip."
Jake: "But what if--"
Thrull: "No 'buts.' I told you when we planned this trip: no cell phones. Leave it in the glove compartment, and you can claim it when we get back."
Jake: "Yes, sir."
Thrull: "Is that everything? No one else has any contraband? Okay, then--let's get underway."
(Thrull starts up the hill, following a trail. Jake falls in behind him, followed by Damien, and the camera.)
Jake: (Over his shoulder to the camera.) "Are we having fun yet? Uh-huh! Uh-huh!"
(The camera records trees, rocks, grass, undergrowth, occasional exchanges between the young men. Eventually, they emerge from the forest. The camera records their progress up the flat face of the mountainside, in the blazing sunlight. Professor Thrull, caught in the edge of the camera's view as David stumbles over a rock outcropping, is the first to take off his shirt in the heat. Periodically, the camera catches one of the others pause to take off his shirt too. David puts the camera down, and it patiently views his leg as he takes off his own shirt, then picks up the camera again. After a long stretch, Jake turns to the camera.)
Jake: "Dude, it's, like, so fucking hot. Can you believe how fucking hot it is? Who's got the water bottle?"
Ted: "Me. Here you go."
Damien: "Fuck, it's hot."
Jake: (Sneering.) "I think that's a well-established fact by now."
Thrull: "Hey, now--"
David: "Don't stop them, Professor. They're just being real. This is great stuff."
(The camera zooms in on Ted, wiping sweat off his forehead, who grins uncomfortably, and steps aside. The camera pans to Jake and zooms in for an extreme close-up.)
David: "Gratuitous close-up!"
Jake: (Grinning.) "Will you get that damn thing out of my face?"
David: (Singing.) "Camera One closes in. /
The soundtrack starts; the scene begins. /
You're playing you now. /
You're playing you nooooow."
Jake: "And will you stop singing that damn song, please?"
David: (Continues singing.) "You're playing you now. /
Take a bow. Take a boooow."
Jake: "Sheesh. I don't know what's worse--you sticking that damned camera in our faces, or your singing."
Damien: "Definitely the singing."
Ted: "No, the heat's worse than both of those. But the singing's a close second."
David: (Laughing.) "Oh, fuck you. So, guys, how hot do you think it is? A hundred degrees?"
Jake: "Oh, at least, dude! I think I'm getting a sunburn too. Anybody got some sun block?"
Damien: "Sure. Here."
Jake: "What're you doing with sun block?"
Jake: "I mean, you're black."
Damien: "Black people can sunburn too, dude."
Jake: "Oh. Um ... I guess I never thought about that."
Damien: "You want the sun block or not?"
Jake: "Uh, yeah. Thanks."
Ted: "Anybody know what time it is? I'm ready for some lunch."
Thrull: "Guy Davenport once wrote, 'The first thing to go when you walk into the wilderness is time. You eat when you are hungry, rest when you are tired. You fill a moment to its brim.'"
Damien: "Who is this guy Dabbinport?"
Thrull: "Guy Davenport. He's a famous author."
Damien: "Never heard of him."
Thrull: "He was writing about the way people's perception changes when they get away from civilization. Out here, people just naturally fall more in tune with nature. Something about the outdoors reminds people of their pre-civilized origins, before cell phones, before cars, before any of the things that separate them from the spiritual parts of the world."
Jake: (Looking around, then mugging a grin for the camera.) "What it reminds me of is that old Monty Python episode. You know--the one about how to recognize different kinds of trees from a long way off, the one where every tree is, 'Number one ... the Larch .... the Larch.'"
(The camera sweeps around at the distant tree line.)
David: "I don't get it."
Damien: "Me neither. What's a lurch got to do with anything?"
Jake: "Never mind." (Shoving his face close to the camera.) "I guess it's obvious which one of us twins is the smart one."
Thrull: "Gentlemen, don't let the heat get to you. The Native American shaman has a very easy trick for beating it."
Damien: "Yeah? And what was that? Better tell us quick--I'm so hot my nipples are sweating."
Jake: "Yuck, Damien. Just ... yuck."
Thrull: "It's a way to open up your consciousness. Try this with me. Everybody stop just a moment. That's it. Just stand as still as you can and listen to me. Close your eyes. There's a sound that's perfectly natural for you to make. It's like a mantra. Maybe it's like an, 'oooooo,' or maybe it's like an, 'mmmmmm.' Just take a moment and find that sound. Use it to push the heat away and feel cooler. Don't worry if it's not the same sound the others are making or the same pitch. Find your sound, and make your sound. Try to hold the sound steady for thirty seconds. Ready? One, two, three. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm ..."
(The camera, neglected while their eyes are closed, angles down at the ground and someone's foot.)
Thrull: "Okay. Open your eyes. How do you feel? Cooler?"
(The camera rights itself, closing in on Professor Thrull's head.)
Ted: "Yeah, I do."
Jake: "Me too."
David: "How's that work, Professor?"
Thrull: "It's a little trick that we modern men call 'waking hypnosis.' We think of hypnosis as something modern but it's really not. The tribal shamans have been using techniques similar to it for centuries. The secret is in creating suggestibility and using it to help the person get something he wants. You men wanted to feel cooler, and the technique helped you get your mind off the heat. Let's take a five-minute break, and then we'd better get started if we're going to make it to the caves and the first camp site by nightfall."
Damien: "So all that ... that waking hypnosis shit--that was just a trick?"
Thrull: "No, it was very real. You felt the difference, didn't you?"
Damien: "Yeah ...?"
Thrull: "Let's try another experiment. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and later you know you enjoyed the conversation but you can't quite remember what you talked about?"
Damien: "Yeah, I guess so."
Thrull: "What we're going to do next might seem a little like that. Trust me, though--it'll take your mind off the heat in no time."
Damien: "I heard that!"
Thrull: "All I want you to do--all of you--is start counting backward from 300. No matter what I say, just keep counting. If you lose count, that's okay--just fall back in with the others. Try not to listen to me any more than you have to. You'll still be able to hear everything I say, but try not to listen. What's important is that you keep counting. Go ahead and start counting."
All: (In unison.) "Three hundred ... two ninety-nine ... two ninety-eight ..."
Thrull: "Just let everything happen, exactly as it wants to happen. Don't try to make anything happen, and don't try to stop anything from happening. Just allow everything to unfold and happen as it feels like it wants to, naturally and easily. Presently you'll find yourself counting a little slower. Now, I want you to bring your awareness to your arms. In a few moments, your arms will begin to feel heavy. So very, very heavy that when you try to lift them, they'll just drop back down. So heavy that you just can't be bothered to lift them at all. Like two lead weights. The more you try to lift those two very heavy, lead arms, the more you'll find that you simply can't. The more you try, the more you can't."
(The camera swings down, aiming at the dirt, as David's arm slumps.)
Thrull: "And next I'll ask you to bring your awareness into your eyes. I think you may find your eyes are becoming more ... and more tired. Very tired. They may even feel a little watery, or may even go out of focus. Already your eyelids are beginning to feel very heavy and very tired. Presently you may find that they begin to blink more heavily, becoming more and more tired. As soon as they begin to blink, more heavily, just let them blink, more heavily, more, as often as they like. You see. They're starting to blink very heavily and feel very tired right now. Your eyelids ... growing heavier and heavier. So heavy, in fact, that they feel like they want to close, entirely on their own. As soon as they feel like they want to close, let them go; just let them close. And they're already feeling like they want to close, aren't they? Now let them go. Closing down more and more heavily, more and more relaxed and calm. No need to count anymore. Let yourself go, comp! letely loose and completely limp. Breathe quietly, in, and out. Sleep now. Sleep very, very deeply indeed. Relax completely. Give yourself up to this very pleasant, relaxed, drowsy feeling. Just sleep now. Very, very deeply indeed. Now, I want you all to bring your awareness to the hand you write with. Concentrate as best you can in your tired, relaxed state of mind and body. In a moment, instead of feeling heavy, it will begin to feel lighter and lighter. Light as a feather. As if there's no weight in it at all. Lighter. Lighter. Wanting to float up into the air all by itself, just like a balloon. A bright balloon of your favorite color, as if your hand is tied to that balloon with a piece of string. Floating slowly up into the air, all by itself, as the balloon lifts it higher and higher."
(The camera starts to pan upward as David's hand rises, until it is pointing vaguely at distant treetops.)
Thrull: "That's fine. Just allow your hand to hover there, all by itself. See how little effort it takes--in fact, no effort at all--just to allow it to stay there. Floating there. Effortlessly. All by itself. While you just experience what a natural and wonderful feeling it gives you, just floating there in the air. Now, in just a moment, I'm going to ask to listen to a few suggestions, and you'll find it very easy to listen, even if you feel so tired and out of it--"
(The tape runs out.)
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