Lakeside Announces Newest GSL: Mystery Flesh Pit National Park (Gumption, Texas)

On July 4th, 2007, Permian Basin Superorganism, colloquially known as Mystery Flesh Pit National Park, threw up. As gastric ejecta rained from the sky, a massive limb rose from the ground, hundreds of people were killed, and thousands more were injured. Anodyne Inc., a titan – one might even say, a superorganism – of several industries collapsed overnight as visitors were crushed, melted, or mauled by the cosmic horror of the pit and its many “smaller” threats. The company in charge of maintaining visitor services to this massive geobiological wonder and industrial harvesting of its many resources – bone deposits, pit meat, and the now highly sought-after amniotic ballast – of the park, Anodyne, is now a piece of modern history. Those in the pit have never been recovered. 

It is also a well-known piece of Lakeside history, with a planned GSL to learn about the Mystery Flesh Pit and its underprivileged neighbors for the summer of 2007 canceled days before the trip was set to leave.

Fifteen years later, this past month, Ms. Devine announced the return of Lakeside’s shortest-lived summer program – GSL Texas: Mystery Flesh Pit National Park, specifically the now-barren city of Gumption and the surrounding area. As part of Lakeside’s mission of service, students will live in the area for four weeks to learn about the long-term effects of the park’s shutting down, the collapse of the local tourism and service industries, and the long-lasting effects of the 2007 disaster. Students will also help rebuild homes for local residents, investigate the erasure of local indigenous culture, and learn from the community of undocumented workers brought in as laborers throughout the decades.

Ms. Devine cites that although the basic location and idea of the GSL retains its identity, many of its plans have changed. “For one thing, we aren’t going in the pit itself,” she explains. “The original 2007 trip was slated to go into the pit. Mostly on the tourist paths, such as the Lower Visitor Center and some of the less-rigorous hiking paths in the Bronchial Forests. We did have an arrangement to help some of the workers with the Flesh Pit mines.” This was before, of course “we learned about the severe dangers posed to the workers,” – namely accidental amputations, evisceration by equipment, mauling by pit wildlife, overheating, and discriminatory practice against Hispanic immigrants – “but we were guaranteed safety of our students.” 

Ms. Devine cites that although the basic location and idea of the GSL retains its identity, many of its plans have changed. ‘For one thing, we aren’t going in the pit itself.’

“We also briefly considered a course on the extraction and use of amniotic ballast,” – liquid harvested from the organism known for its curing abilities and … physiological curiosities – “to go with our burgeoning biochemistry class. Needless to say, that idea was shut down quickly, though we did eventually add a short unit on the matter to the class given its relevance.”

The announcement has drawn criticism, largely from parents concerned about the ongoing dangers of the pit and the miles-deep and region-wide organism lying in the ground. However, Lakeside administrators and Ms. Devine have stated that all manners of safety that can possibly be considered are being upheld. “We consulted the local government of Gumption and United States government guidelines. We’re not even going anywhere near the pit, for maximum safety of our students.” 

A couple parents and students have brought up concerns over a phenomenon known as the “call of the pit,” officially an urban legend explaining why pit survivors crawled back into its maw. Lakeside Administration has yet to comment on these concerns.

The GSL, already fully-booked, plans to leave on July 2nd. For information on the pit, please visit its official website: