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The most fearful place imaginable: Down there
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How did it happen? I don’t know… how does it ever happen? All is remember is this: I went to sleep late Friday night. Then, about 6:30 on Saturday morning — with no warning — I was gone. Gone! Everyone says it happens so quickly, that you don’t feel a thing. Well, that’s a lie! I felt everything: my body rising from the bed, moving around in a zombie-like state, leaving my house, feeling a blast of icy cold air, feeling every movement and every jolt. I remember joining the others — others being carried along in a silent mass — all of us moving closer and closer to the same dreadful place. And now, here we are, surrounded by all these ghoulish beings, "down here."

Everywhere I look, people are crying and yelling and screaming… and fighting. They’re grabbing at each other, and tearing things from each other’s hands. So many of us are trying to get out, running anyway we can, looking for exits from this nightmare. It’s like we just figured out where we are. And we’re shocked that we’re here. How did we get down here? And it’s so stifling hot down here. "Down here…" I always thought that was just a cliché. Well…it’s not. It’s a real place, and it’s the picture of pure evil!

You must do everything in your power to avoid coming down here. No matter what you’ve heard about this place, you have to trust what I’m about to tell you. Don’t listen to those who would tempt you and lead you astray. Don’t let anyone persuade you to come down here. Don’t let your greedy relatives get you excited about cheap Indonesian scarves or silk bath robes or house slippers or any of those kinds of things. Let them go by themselves. Let them fight with the crowds, deal with the rude clerks, and smell the stench of unwashed skin. Let them experience this steaming marketplace and the kind of people it attracts. You have to be different. You have to be strong. Take it from me. No matter how tempting it all sounds, don’t let anyone drag you to an "End of Year Clearance Sale" at a discount clothing store. It’s horrible down here, and I just want to go home!

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at