It's the spring of 1971 at Southern Illinois University, an exhausted, haggard and haunted Peter Federson is walking through the basement of the Communications building having a frightening conversation with his haggard looking friend.
Marta was uncharacteristically quiet and somber as we passed a cluster of mechanical equipment, but when we emerged into a hallway she started talking in a non-stop, nervous patter.
“I was up all night drinking coffee and abstaining from weed and thumping the brain about what is happening to you. I think I understand what’s going on…in principle, at least. Take your mustache, for example—you say you can’t shave it off. It’s hard to explain, but I believe that some part of you doesn’t want to shave it off, and is keeping the other part of you from doing it.”
“I know, Marta, I have multiple personality disorder…”
“No you don’t, man. Don’t even talk about that scene! You’re not insane. In fact, you are probably the sanest person I have ever met. If anything, you’re too sane. Whatever it is that is inside of you, it’s, it’s like a…” She appeared to be gauging her words carefully. “…a child. All it wants
“Yes, for lack of a better word, a child, and all it wants is to be free and make the scene…”
Suddenly her eyes bulged, and she backed up against the wall. “Oh God…I…I hope—no, pray—that your life, wherever you go, is good. I just hope…oh God! Peter, that panel…” She was panting heavily as she raised her arm and pointed to something behind me....
Something incredible happened that spring day in 1971, in the basement of the Comm building. It was unsettling, and so mysterious that for years after it happened Marta would find herself wandering around in the basement of that building searching...searching for something she could never find.
Though Saluki Martooned is fiction, there might actually be a ghost endlessly wandering the catacombs beneath the SIU campus in the 21st Century....