Entering the small town of Boros, Illinois, the first thing I noticed was the lack of human presence. I have been called into the newly turned ghost-town, to investigate the string of letters that have led to the disappearance of a young Bill Heron. At first glance, the police deemed the letters to be a burglary tactic. After the families started to move out, they decided to further the investigation. This is why I am here.
After viewing the letters addressed to Heron, I suspect the person has a wide knowledge of small town affairs. Since he/she seems to know so much, I suspect them to be a close member of the community. The only people who have not left the town are the stubborn families who have inhabited this town since the day it was founded.They have told me first hand that they are determined to stick it out even with the letters still circulating. With any luck, I wish to recreate Heron’s stakeout in a newly purchased house of my own. I have a good feeling the perpetrator is still residing within the neighborhood. I don’t have any pretenses about tricking the perpetrator into believing I belong in this neighborhood or establishing the same level of intimacy as existed between them and Heron. All I need is a letter of my own for further analysis.
The perpetrator seems to be using the letters to instill the fear of forgetting and being forgotten. In technical terms, this often ignored phobia is called Athazagoraphobia. Heron begins to panic when he realized his personal belongings are missing. Heron begins to understand, as his stuff is being taken or disappearing, that when everything is gone, he will no longer leave a mark on this world. A mark that says, “Hey! Bill Heron was here.” He came to question his own existence after all traces of him were wiped out, especially from the places – with his family and friends and in his memories – where his connections were deepest.
[The perpetrator’s use of Athazagoraphobia leads me to believe that he/she is of an older generation who has already been forgotten, and as a result, currently resides in the town – forgotten by time and the other townsfolk.]