Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Curtain Call

Hey, guys! I'm just letting you know I don't think I'll be needing to use this blog anymore. Everything is fine now, so I don't need you guy to support me. It's enough to just have the love and companionship of everyone here in the Church! But, before I go, here's a parting gift that I made for you all the other day.

video

Please share it with your friends! I want everyone to know how happy I am and how happy they can be! In a world like this, all we can do is spread our love, right? And I've found love here, guys, so I won't be needing yours anymore! So long!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sing-Along

Apparently they enjoyed my musical stylings at the jam session because I've been reassigned. Instead of studying in the community college, I'm going to be a teacher's assistant at the playschool (kindergarten in Yankspeak), helping teach the kids through the medium of song. Naturally, I've been learning a lot of the songs that the Church like to sing, which has actually helped me solve the mystery of my whispering neighbours; they've been singing these songs late at night, which I find really odd. What's even weirder is that I never see them entering or leaving the apartments. Are they locked up in there for their own protection or something? I'm afraid to ask in case it's something I'm not supposed to be wondering about.

I'm still trying to figure out what they're doing. I still have to attend the daily theology classes but they haven't gotten anymore persuasive, just...I've grown indifferent to them, I guess? The ideas are interesting enough, but I'm not convinced by them. The implications are interesting to think about but I'm not going to turn into one of them just from thinking about their beliefs. I'm not thinking like them, as far as I know.

Anyway, things are slow here, so I don't really have much to say. I'm quite tired and it's getting close to the time when the whispering usually starts, so I think I'm gonna try and get to bed before that starts. Talk to you all later!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Neighbours

I think my neighbours in the complex must be crazy or something. They keep waking me up in the middle of the night with their incessant whispering. I dunno if they're talking to someone or to themselves or just muttering like crazy people or what but it's getting very irritating.

As much as I obviously dislike being kept prisoner in some cult's compound, I have to admit the classes are kind of interesting. I was always an okay cook but I'm learning some good stuff in the college here, though I keep having problems with carpentry because the designs they get me to carve into the furniture I make keep giving me headaches when I look at them. It's weird, because I obviously start the designs somewhere, but after a while, they don't seem to have a beginning or end. And the wood we use is kind of weird too.

But I digress. I let slip in class that I play music the other day and now I've been invited to come to a jam session. And attendance is mandatory. So I have to todder off. Sorry about the gaps between updates, it keeps slipping my mind. I'll try and update again soon.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Uncertainty

It's been almost two weeks and still it doesn't seem like they've been doing anything to brainwash me. I don't get it. I can't tell if they're just not doing a very good job or if they're doing such a good job that I haven't even been able to notice or if they're deliberately acting this way for some subtler purpose.

I don't want to get too paranoid about in case I'm playing into their hands, but I don't want to be too relaxed about it either, for the same reason. I'm half-expecting something underhanded, like drugs hidden somewhere, but I prepare my own food (thank you, cookery classes), take care of my own apartment, do my own laundry, etc.

They have to be trying something. But what?

Monday, May 21, 2012

New School

I've been out of the hospital for four days now. They've put me in an apartment of my own in a little communal housing area, one of many within the compound. Even though I'm on my own, I know I'm being watched. It didn't take long to find at least some of the cameras, if not all.

Because I was discharged in the middle of last week, they let me have a long weekend to settle in, but today I started my "re-education". I'm young enough that they've put me in what they call the day school, analogous to what Americans would call a community college, I guess. We're given a selection of subjects to pick from - I chose computer programming, carpentry and cookery. All the subjects are things which can be used to contribute to the Church in some way. I just picked what looked vaguely interesting.

In addition to these electives, we're given a daily class in the theology of the Church. This is the brainwashing class, obviously. I'm not going to pollute the Internet by spreading their filth but, after the first day, I can't see how they expect to successfully indoctrinate me. Either they're far more subtle than they seem at first, or my treatment is going to get progressively more severe.

Time will tell, I guess.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Still Alive 3: Still Alivin'

I'm apologising in advance for any spelling mistakes, I'm still having co-ordination problems since what Royal did to me.

Obviously, I'm alive. I think I've demonstrated that well enough. No need to dwell on that point any longer.

I'm in a hospital somewhere. It's a small, private one owned by these Church people. My arm picked up an infection in Royal's shack despite the antibiotics, so I've got tubes and shit running out of me, here, there and everywhere, fixing up the damage and whatnot.

They say I'll be ready to leave soon and then my education can begin. They're letting me post because they want you guys to see how happy I'll become once they've integrated me into their flock.

I'm scared.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Servant's Tale, Part 4

The fellow from the Church came yesterday and took Sufjan away. Poor chap wasn't really in a position to resist, what with being drugged halfway to hell and only have one hand. I gave his collector enough antibiotics and painkillers to keep him going for a few weeks but if he doesn't renew the prescription, Sufjan's going to have a rough time of it.

I've burned down the little shack where Sufjan and I spent this last week and a bit. No evidence, no proof. Just ashes, as it should be. Everywhere I go, I intend on leaving ashes, where I've set hopes, dreams, minds and bodies on fire.

It's been a pleasure speaking to you all. I don't know if this blog is ever going to be updated again. I don't really care. If it is, I can assure you that the only person writing here will be the twisted, broken husk of what was once Sufjan McBride. If what I'm saying is getting you hot-headed, then good. That's exactly what I want. If it's not, that's fine too. It will give me the motivation I need to work harder.

So long, friends. I've got a world to burn.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Servant's Tale, Part 3

Having had a few days to think about, I think I've arrived at a conclusion, as Gargoyle rightly guessed. It took some time to come around to a decision, but I believe I've found something as simple and elegant as it is poetic.

As its core, you might say that Sufjan's current predicament came about as a result of his simplistic worldview, the dogma in which he was raised. He used and abused his so-called beliefs to first make me a villain without consideration for the circumstances of my actions and then to justify his own attempt to off me as a divine duty handed on from high. Voice in a dream? Bullshit. He's been lying to you since he woke up in order to make himself look like a sympathetic victim.

More than anything, I think Sufjan's punishment should combine social recompense with rehabilitation. He needs to learn the error of his ways. He needs to be shown how dangerous the kind of blind moral system he adheres to really is.

Who here has heard of the Church of the Last? They're a rather interesting group, a religion worshipping an indifferent god, spreading the news of his existence by whatever means problem. Small town folk. They've had their hands in quite a few pies already, as I understand it. But they're always looking to expand and recruit and brainwash and torture, etc. etc. So, naturally, when I thought to make a lesson out of the perils of blind faith, they sprang to mind. A few phonecalls later and I was informed that they would be delighted to take young McBride off my hands for reeducation and all those other creepy mind-controlling communist dictator buzz words. They shall be arriving tomorrow and then Sufjan will be their problem and I can continue with my work.

What do you think? A good one, right? All that was Sufjan McBride will be obliterated and replaced with another wolf-worshipping sheep. So, y'know, even if Sufjan doesn't learn the lesson I'm trying to teach him, he'll learn something from somebody. Grazing, probably. And it's all your fault, readers. You could have made a better suggestion. You could have swayed me. But only two of you even tried to sway me towards a less horrifying path.

Kudos. You managed to be even more heartless than me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Servant's Tale, Part 2

So now I find myself in this shack in the woods, alone with a man who tried to kill me because he spent most of the terribly small quantity of energy in his minuscule brain jumping to conclusions, leaving him with none to stop and question his intended course of action. The dilemma hereafter becomes; what to do with the little fucker? I mean, beyond amputating his hand, obviously, but that wasn't so much a punishment as something for him to remember his failures by. Like a post-it, though I hope my memento will stick a bit longer.

I mean, it has to be a symbolic punishment, obviously. A lobotomy seems obvious, given that this whole story was caused by his stupid brain, but that procedure might be a bit too difficult. Castration is generally a good one and seems quite straightforward, but I think a bit overused? Or maybe I should blind him. Y'know, a pun on his shortsightedness?

But, hey, I'm magnanimous enough. You all obviously care about Sufjan a lot more than I do (I mean, seriously, he got a whole two comments on his last post, even if none of them were actually expressing concern for his circumstances), so I'll take your suggestions. Do any of you have any ideas on a suitable punishment for young McBride?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Servant's Tale, Part 1

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a man named Sufjan McBride, who interfered with things he didn't understand and meddled in matters that were none of his concern. He saw a big, scary-looking creature and assumed that it, and everyone associated with it, must be evil. He didn't stop to think that sometimes innocent people need to die to serve a greater good. He just saw a regrettably necessary murder and, in his simple, selfish little mind, decided that it was an act of sin.

However, Sufjan wasn't just any kind of idiot. He was a special kind called a hypocrite. So he fell under the illusion that he had a divine mandate to murder the murderer who, we must remind ourselves, he assumed was evil just because he murdered someone, with no outside circumstances taken into account. Thus brings us to the point in the story when Sufjan pushed me off a balcony.

Unwilling to accept the consequences of his actions, Sufjan fled to the great nowhere of America, where any smart man can disappear quickly, which, of course, raises the question of how a moron like Sufjan thought he could get away with it. The answer being, of course, that he is a moron. Little did Sufjan know that way back in Ireland, I had survived my fall, thanks to the intervention of the drug dealers he had prudently ran away from, though my indifference pain thanks to a brain injury I received when I was very young helped by allowing me to remain lucid and guide my rescuers in their aid.

After spending a couple of weeks recovering, it didn't take me long to find this blog and start keeping track of what Sufjan was up to. I figured out his location with the same method that Caden did; he left too many goddamn clues. Once again, the word "idiot" springs to mind. So, I decided that Sufjan needed to be taught a lesson. Mainly, that he is an idiot, that he is, more specifically, a weak idiot and, more specifically still, that he is a weak and pathetic idiot. So I showed him just how far he was from escaping what he did to me, how vulnerable he really was and then, when I felt the time was right, I got him. When Sufjan showed up at the Oriental Theatre, I simply crept up behind him, hit him over the head with a brick and dragged him to my rented car. Nothing overly dramatic, like he was expecting. Which was, naturally, exactly the point.

Sufjan woke some hours later, tied to a cross (there was one in the shack where I took him and it was an opportunity too hilarious to resist), with me sitting across from him in a chair. To make sure he was awake, I blew his left hand into kebab meat with his own pistol. After watching him squirm for a few seconds, I kindly shoved a syringe full of anaesthetic in his arm and amputated the offending limb. I told him how stupid he was as I worked to keep his mind off what I was doing. It was done in just a few minutes, with no pain whatsoever.

See? I'm not such a bad guy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Lamb Lies Down On Randolph Street

I'm in a Starbucks on Randolph Street, Chicago, getting ready to meet the man behind the messages. I'm not sure how I feel. Scared? Anxious? Relieved? Ending this seems like a promising conclusion, even if I'm not sure what "this" is...or who will be ending it.

I gave Peter and Natalie back their shotgun, it being somewhat difficult to conceal. The only weapon that I'm bringing with me to the theatre is my brain. Not sure if it will be sharp enough to best the blade that has been raised against me, but it's all I have. It's all I've ever had.

In case this goes badly for me, I want to thank everyone who's been supporting me through this. Especially Elaine, Caden and Gargoyle, but everyone else as well. It was a comfort to know you guys had my back. Thanks.

I guess I'm going now. Hopefully, I'll talk to you all later. So long for now.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Freedom, For Now

The second that Amy posted the solution to the last message, the box opened. Oh yeah, it turned out we were in a shipping crate in the docks of Chicago. Full of canisters of gas rigged to a timer. Apparently, whoever the mysterious messenger is, he has resources. And a flair for the dramatic. Somehow, I don't think I'm going to be surprised when I go to the theatre on Saturday.

For anyone for whom that is a shocking revelation, yes, I am actually slapping on a pair of testicles and going to confront this person. I'm also doing it alone. Peter and Natalie have been getting caught in my crossfire. They have places to do, people to be and all that jazz. I'm sending them on their way. I'm gonna scout out the place where I'm meeting the mystery man, rest up, get some food and then...deal with this. Whatever this is.

Thanks again to Amy for getting us out of that bind. I'll update again before I go to the theatre. Hopefully it won't be my last update.

The Last Puzzle

We're in a dark place. We're locked in the jeep, we can't open it, we can't start it, we can't see anything outside. The only light is coming from glowing letters spraypainted across the windshield.

"THERE IS A DIVINITY THAT SHAPES OUR ENDS, ROUGH-HEW THEM HOW WE WILL

(Your initial problem is solving this puzzle. Good luck with that.)

Uei Xelvnun Fnplptrz hnp Zvblnflp Moemevx
24 & 32 D Rmyhhspt Dxklef,
Nlbjasz,
Mesizzml
Hpdtp 14mo af 16:16"

I don't know how long we can last in here. We can't tell if there's air coming in from outside. We don't know anything.

Help us. Please.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another Answer, Another Riddle

So Caden figured out that last riddle. The answer was the word "Empty". We also got a new message earlier today. Our stalker delivered it in a suitably dramatic fashion; he nailed it to one of our tires with a knife.

"WHAT SEEST THOU ELSE, LIAR, IN THE DARK BACKWARD AND ABYSM OF TIME?

Zlam abte hm ksull ziizov xhx shesm?"

He wasn't subtle about the codeword though; the word "Death" was carved into the blade of the knife, even someone as utterly oblivious as me could have figured that out. The decoded message was this riddle;

"What type of house weighs the least?"

Again, even a dumbass like me didn't have to think too hard for that one; a lighthouse. Is it just me or have the riddles gotten easier as time goes by? What's the deal with that?

Anyway, the tire situation has delayed us a couple of days, but we'll be back on the road soon. Peace.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Still Breathing

An anonymous commenter figured out the cipher of the other guy's post, but it's just another riddle. You can read the translation > here <, any suggested answers to the riddle are welcome.

We had to stop for a couple of days because Peter was having an adverse reaction to at least one of his many medications. Past experience says that, whoever this messenger guy is, he doesn't need us to slow down like that to find us but I'm guessing it didn't hurt. Anyway, Peter's recovered so we're going to keep moving. Natalie says this is the final leg of the journey. It's going to be taking us pretty far, so I'm hopeful it'll be enough to shake off our stalker (my stalker?) but I'm not holding my breath either.

We haven't seen the monster in a few days and he's probably not been around, otherwise Peter and Natalie would have noticed, what with the whole spontaneous headaches thing. I get worried when it's away for too long, which sounds strange. I guess I just like knowing where it is? I dunno.

Sufjan out.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Prince

Hello there, readers. I'm afraid I couldn't think of a suitably dramatic way to send Sufjan this message, so I've decided to just hand it to you lot on his very own blog. Why, you ask?

Just to let him know that I can. So he's fully aware that I can reach out and snap his scrawny neck at any time and that the only reason he's not already in my grasp is because I like to toy with my quarry before I go in for the kill.

As that GaGa creature would say, here's your next puzzle, little monsters;

"THE PRINCE OF ETERNAL DARKNESS IS A GENTLEMAN

Nstag azfv n ohvu, rwiw eikfsek ms dk bnex, vvyciw mlv rwekm eep znkm flf W ne mlv eozw, mebq chl fc durqdx eep ggaep Z dszsbr. Ntog ohvu ma V?"

By the way, Sufjan, when you wake up, may I say; nice night terrors you've got there. Really top quality.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Riddles for a Fool

Okay, so I think, with the help of an anonymous tip, possibly from whoever's writing these messages, I've figured out the code being used in the messages. Uh, well, I actually think it's a cipher though I'm not sure on the difference.

It's called a Vigenère cipher. I don't know how it works and I'm not too concerned about learning, what's important is that each coded message needs a keyword to unlock. I've figured out the keywords for the four messages I've received so far and they all decode to make riddles;


"What has existed for a million years but is never more than a month old?"


"What goes up but never comes down?"


"It cannot be seen, it weighs nothing, but when put into a barrel, it makes it lighter. What is it?"


"Until I am measured, I am not known, yet how you miss me when I've flown."

Okay, I figured out the code, can I get a hand with the riddles? I've never been very good at them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Strange Noises

I was getting one of my rare chances to relax in the back of the jeep, so I put my iPod on shuffle and settled back for a snooze. Evidently, my music collection decided that it wasn't going to co-operate.

First, just as I was starting to drift off, this Daft Punk song came on. I had just gotten really comfortable and was finally on my way to sleep when suddenly, "I AM THE BRAINWASHAAAAAAA" started blaring out of my earphones. Sufficed to say, I went from a completely horizontal position to whacking my head of the ceiling of the jeep. Peter and Natalie barely stifled their amusement when I explained what happened. It was about the only time since I met them that I've seen them both smile within ten feet of each other.

Then, a while later, I was trying to get zen again, when this song by Gotye came on. Only there was a connection problem with my headphones, so I thought I was hearing that insidious whisper of "please...don't leave me out here on my own..." in my goddamn head and nearly had a freaking heart attack. Luckily, there was no jump scare for Peter and Natalie to make fun of me for, but it wasn't a very pleasant experience.

After that, I made a playlist using only pop albums, since I figured I would avoid all the weird shit and actually get to sleep. Alas, it was not to be. I was, once again, just on the cusp of relaxation when, I shit you not, I started hearing a little girl greeting me. She just kept saying "Hi" over and over again, and, at first, I thought I couldn't possibly be mishearing things, because it kept getting inflected differently. Nope, as it turns out, "Dirty Dancer" by Enrique Iglesias has some weird sound effect that sounds exactly like a little girl saying "Hi". Marvellous stuff.

So, I thought of the only other reliably relaxing thing in my iPod; looking at pictures. Thus it was that I stumbled across, wait for it, another goddamn message. It was hidden among the pictures of Shannon in one of my folders. I guess whoever left it was presuming I would go looking through my pictures eventually. The filename was "Flesh.jpeg" and it was, unpleasantly, a picture of some rotting human flesh with the following text superimposed over it;

"THOU SHALT HAVE JUSTICE, THESPIAN, MORE THAN THOU DESIREST

Zyxas N lq elfdyjli, T ee ute ofvby, cwa mza qvz xmkz rp azls T'zw mqzaf."

This is getting seriously irritating. Does anyone have any suggestions I can go on? Please? This could be really important, only I'm missing out on whatever it is because I'm not as smart as whoever is sending the messages expects me to be.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Sign

Last night, we pulled into a little side road and slept in the jeep. We were all too exhausted to drive. Me especially, since even when I'm not driving, I have to stay up front and keep whoever is company. Peter and Natalie have barely spoken to each other since I met them and it makes me wonder what's going on between them. I'd assumed they were a couple but there's an obvious and uncomfortable distance between them, some unspoken argument that neither of them wants to happen but both of them know must.

I had difficulty getting to sleep but once I did, I had what I can only describe as a surreal dream. In my dream, I was looking at Shannon's grave and her body was sprawled out on top of it instead of buried. I tried to reach out to touch her face but something kept stopping me, like there was a limit to how close my arm could come to her corpse. Suddenly, I realised there was something fucked up and started looking around, trying to figure out what it was. Eventually, my sight ran the whole length of my body and I discovered that my feet were buried up to the ankle in the monster's body. It took a minute for it to hit, but then I realised it; I was the monster's arm. I looked up at its filmy face of autopsy flesh and I swear he smiled at me.

When we woke up, it was quite late in the morning and someone had come along with a giant sign and planted it right in front of the jeep without any of us noticing. It looked like it was painted over an old billboard for Life magazine. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was another note;

"A TALE TOLD BY A HYPOCRITE, FULL OF SOUND AND FURY, SIGNIFYING NOTHING

Tb heyvtx mm xipv, nx hmnksa ssepnrr, jzx hpjr acy mybt e miwvpt, nx xipid qy ptomxpz. Bllb nw tb?"

Someone help me out here. What the hell is with these messages?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cold Iron

We pulled over on the edge of a forest yesterday. Natalie decided she was going to teach me the basic of how to use a gun properly. Again, I protested, but she said that as long as my inexperience and unwillingness is compromising the safety of her and Peter, I have an obligation to learn. I couldn't really argue with that, so I followed her to the treeline and accepted the shotgun for the second time. It felt wrong in my hands but it's been a long time since anything in my life felt right.

Natalie took a knife from the car and carved a bunch of circles into a few of the trees. I had to hit inside the circles, which, unsurprisingly, I didn't succeed in doing once for a good three hours. I was starting to feel hungry but Natalie said I wasn't allowed to eat until I'd shot at least three circles. Eventually, her advice seemed to pay off (or maybe I just got a lucky shot) and I managed to get one. I missed the next few and then got another, missed some more and then got my third.

Natalie didn't look happy but acquiesced to my request for food. I get the feeling she was hoping I'd pick it up faster than I did but she can hardly expect me to become a gunslinging badass in one day, can she? It'll probably be months before I'm even comfortable having a gun in my hand, let alone capable of using one.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Soft Corinthian Leather

It's nice to be able to just sit back and relax in a chair for more than a few minutes, even if it's a car chair. Well, a jeep chair, but still. It's a great change after sleeping on cold concrete for so many weeks. Although, I'll probably be complaining about the leather chairs in a couple of weeks, since Peter and Natalie are taking a somewhat winding and circuitous route to our destination in order to throw off whoever may or may not be following me, them or us.

A couple of days ago, around midnight, we were driving down a backroad in the middle of nowhere. Natalie was at the wheel, I was in the passenger's seat and Peter was in the back, having a rest. Then, suddenly, something's wrong, I can feel it in the air and Peter and Natalie start clutching their heads and screaming. I just manage to grab the wheel and stop us dying horrible in a blazing fireball, though we still went skidding right off the road.

Before I can even start asking what happened, there's this huge roar, like a foghorn or a siren or something. I'd nearly have thought it was a truck but there were none around; we were completely alone. When the sound passes, Peter and Natalie are in right back into action. All of a sudden, I'm having a shotgun pressed into my hands. When Natalie put that cold steel in my hands, I shivered.

"I don't kill. I can't. I won't."

She looked at me with a look of what I can only call solemn exasperation.

"They don't know that."

We climbed out of the jeep. No sense in just waiting for the monster or one of its minions to attack. Peter and Natalie showed me where to stand and told me how to shoot the gun. I was shitting myself. Even Peter looked more relaxed than me, holding a revolver in his one hand, while Natalie branded some sort of high-power rifle. They were obviously more prepared to kill than I, but that didn't help Peter when someone grabbed him and started dragging him into the darkness. Whoever it was covered his mouth and a few minutes passed before Natalie and I even noticed he was gone. Turns out that pitch blackness isn't conducive to a good strategic position.

When we did notice, we followed the trail that Peter had left in the ground as he struggled. How didn't we hear him dragging his heels through the ground? Were we really so scared that we couldn't even hear something that obvious?

At the end of the trail, we found Peter bound tightly to a tree, but he didn't respond when we asked if he was okay. I used the faint light of my iPod to check and found that he was unconscious with, bizarrely, the word "Juliet" written on his forehead. It took Natalie and I a couple of minutes to cut through the ropes and even longer to get Peter back to the car. When we did, something was waiting for us, sprayed on the back window;

"ALACK, THERE'S MORE ARROGANCE IN THINE EYE THAN TWENTY OF THEIR SWORDS
Fblb khnm fx fnc hpdik lixmw wxqy?"

Friday, March 9, 2012

Still Alive 2: Caden

So, anyone who's familiar with the blog Adrift or who read the comments section of the last post will have heard rumours of my demise at the hands of that blog's author, Caden.

Basically, this Caden guy and I have been arguing in each other's comments because I have the audacity to point out that he killed his girlfriend of his own free will rather than while being manipulated by the monster, which he seems to interpret as me saying I'm morally superior to him, even though I never said that. What I actually said was that at least I have the balls to admit that I killed Royal of my own free will, whereas he constantly goes on about how he had no control over his actions, even though he himself said that he killed his girlfriend to impress the monster. So he's clearly talking out of his puckered, prelubed arsehole, but apparently pointing this out to him touched a nerve and he got pissed off enough to track me down and kick the shit out of me.

Oh yeah, man, way to prove your moral superiority right there.

It seems I grew complacent while describing some of the recent stuff that's been happening and Caden was able to figure out that I was staying in Richmond, Virginia. He went down there and scouted Starbucks until he finally tracked me down and then followed me down an alleyway and tackled me to the ground. Now, I've had the stuffing knocked out of me enough times to know how to get in a good defensive position and, at first, he wasn't doing much damage but then I grabbed his hands by the bandages he has wrapped around them to try and stop him and he freaked the fuck out and just started driving his foot into my ribs over and over again.

Then he stopped and ran off into the night again. I was barely conscious when I looked up to see why but I already had a fair idea what had happened; the monster had shown up. I don't know what happened next, because I passed right out but it didn't take me or hurt me more or anything so, I dunno, was it protecting me? Or was it just spectating and did Caden get scared and run off? It's hard to tell either way, but luckily I woke up from being knocked unconscious after a few hours and was able to call the bloggers I've arranged to meet up with. Originally, I was supposed to get a train up to New York on Thursday and meet them there but obviously that wasn't an option and they agreed to come pick me up.

Their names are Peter and Natalie and they used to be part of a blog called The Refugees but they haven't been updating for a while now, since they've been busy on the road. Recently, they stayed with Benjamin Vanderwaal, proprietor of the blog Little Lion Man, whose house in Vermont was my original destination but he's no longer taking in people on the run because of some shit that went down up there involving Natalie. However, that hasn't stopped him being a help to me; he gave Peter and Natalie a load of medical supplies before they left his house, so they were able to patch me up a bit when they came and collected me. Well, Natalie did, there was only so much Peter could do given that he had an arm amputated quite recently.

Anyway, that's the situation at the moment. After my run-in with Caden, I'm being extra secretive about my location, so I'm apologising in advance for any vagueness about things happening in the future.

Also, Caden, if you're reading this...I forgive you. I can see that you've rationalised everything to yourself in your own head and you honestly don't think you've done anything wrong. Hopefully, one day, you'll see the light and feel remorse for your actions. But I'm not going to hold this against you, even as I find myself barely able to breath with the pain in my ribs. Maybe that seems stupid, but I'm a Christian. It's in my nature to forgive.

Though I am starting to regret being a pacifist.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Anthony's Song

So, I'm more-or-less ready to leave, but I've gotten into contact with a couple of others who are in the same situation as me and we've decided to meet up and travel together, since my previous plans were scuppered due to unforeseen circumstances. I'm probably just going to spend the last couple of days seeking out somewhere to have a long-overdue shower and get a little bit of exercise done.

I'm not going to lie; I'll be glad to see the back of this city. The whole "Confederacy! Whoo!" vibe that I'm constantly getting off this place makes me uncomfortable and I'm not even from this country.

Not to mention the fact that there's somebody here who seems to know who I am, since I doubt that message was left by the monster itself.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I See A Darkness

Sitting in this alleyway, drinking from the bottle of cheap whiskey I took from the hobo's body, I feel the night everywhere. Outside, inside.

I can't tell how many tears are from the sting of the alcohol in my throat, how many are from the grease on my skin irritating my eyes and how many are being squeezed out of me by the tight grip of the absence of anything.

How pathetic am I to be so afraid of the monster that I don't dare leave this city because of the vague threat of illness? The monster hasn't even done anything to me so far but follow me seemingly everywhere. Royal was the one who killed. Royal was the one who hurt. Royal was the one who died.

Yet even as I tell myself how irrational I'm being, I make no move to leave this dank little lane.

Beyond, the night envelops this world, roaring like a tumultuous ocean, spinning out of control, levelling cities, killing. Within me, without me.

It never stops, really.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Writing on the Wall

I found this message sprayed on a wall in the warehouse where I'm staying when I left the Internet café;

"THE MURDERER DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH, METHINKS
Obfc hnk ycrsgwx kxr n lbtdsnfx dnaek vzc if fyanr zglj chnf u rxngz iqm?"

There was a dead homeless man lying topless against the wall with my name written on his chest. Forget that bullshit I said about graveyards earlier, corpses are goddamn terrifying. I'm not ashamed to say I puked. After composing myself, I wrote the message down on my arm and ran to the nearest all-night Internet café to post it.
What does it mean?

Out of Egypt

I don't really know how I ended up there. I just walked and what was once an innocuous park became a graveyard. Seems cliché to say they melted together. Is there really a difference between a graveyard and any other patch of land?

At any rate, I wasn't too fussed when I found myself walking among tombstones. I never really understood why other people found them creepy, to be perfectly honest. They're just gardens full of dead people.

Traipsing through the place, I should have known something was going to happen. It was still early but the crowds of tourists were drifting away, like birds seeking seedier shit to pick at. By the time I realised I was lone, it was too late.

I was standing in the shadow of a huge pyramid. A strange construction, its shape obviously inspired by ancient Egyptian architecture, yet its stonework seemed to take its cues from ancient Ireland. Either way, it was a damned odd thing to use as a memorial to fallen Confederate soldiers, but I'm quickly learning to simply accept that Americans make no sense.

I turned to leave and there was only black. My knees wobbled and then the twin towers collapsed altogether and I was kneeling before it. I watched as an arm peeled itself away from the rest of the monster's ichorous body like flesh torn from a fingertip. I watched as the dark appendage started reaching towards me. There was only one thing I could do.

I bowed my head, clasped my hands together and started praying. At first, my eyes started wandering, searching for an end to its towering legs but I shut them tight and searched for the feeling of God in my heart. I had to dig deep but I found it. Well, I found something. Something that made me feel strong. Or not afraid, at least.

I thought I heard a chuckle.

When I opened my eyes, I was truly alone. There was no sign of the monster. No sign of anybody, anything, anyone. No sign at all.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Week and a Half

I've decided that, just to be sure, I'm staying in the city until next Friday. At that point, I'm going to continue on my way, albeit to a different destination. Circumstances outside my control and all that. I'm only staying because I don't want to be on the road and then find out that, actually, no, the illusion was that I was healthy and I'm actually dying of a chest infection right this very moment. Besides, I need time to change my plans.

I'm sorry for freaking out a little in my last post, I'm just...not adjusting to this life as quickly as I wish I was. Still, I have faith. I will survive.

Somehow.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Deceptive Deeds

I tried going to a hospital. Well, no, I went to a hospital. They wouldn't treat me though.

Because I'm not sick.

It was all in my fucking head this whole time. The monster probably put it there just to, I dunno, fuck with me or delay me or try and keep me here and I don't fucking know I'm just

I can't concentrate I'm so angry with myself for falling for it I

Update soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Back to the Street

Turns out that homeless shelter enforces their one week rule very strictly. They made me leave yesterday, even though my chest infection not only hasn't improved but has worsened. Those antibiotics did nothing for me and now I'm barely mobile with weakness and lethargy, can do little more than breath without my whole body being racked with coughs and wheezes and can't sleep due to feeling like someone is driving screws into my temples.

It's not really fair but there's little I can do about it. I no longer have the physical strength, let alone the money, to get out of this city. It's only because there are so many cafés that don't require me to purchase things to use their Internet that I'm even still posting on this.

I think I might die here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I Hung My Head

Today, as I was lumbering around the city, trying to find something to do, I started to feel doubts gnawing at my mind, the same doubts that have been gnawing at me since I pushed Royal off that balcony. Was the voice that told me to kill him the voice of God, the voice of the monster or...was it all me? Did I kill him because it was God's work or because I wanted revenge and then rationalised it to myself?

Just as I was about to break down, I looked up and saw I was outside a church. It was named after St. Edward the Confessor. Divine providence or contrived coincidence? It's hard to say but I went in anyway, found a confessional and told the priest everything. I told him about killing Royal, the monster and the voice I heard in my dreams. He seemed very perplexed about the whole thing and suggested that I seek medical help but eventually agreed to lead me in the Rite. It made me feel a bit better, but I don't know if it helped me reach any kind of clarity.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Yesterday, I tracked down one of those free clinics and I was given a load of bog-standard antibiotics that the doctor himself admitted might be out of date. Better than nothing I suppose. I've also found a homeless shelter that will take me in, no questions asked, for one week, so that's helpful. Hopefully that'll be enough time to get a bit better so I can forge on to my intended destination.

Today, I thought that getting out and about a bit might do me some good, so I went to this big botanical garden just north of the city named after some Confederate tobacco tycoon. Seems almost tragic for such a beautiful place, awash with roses, to bear the name of a man who hastened the deaths of thousands, but that's America, I guess.

At any rate, I passed some hours there, just trying to relax. I almost managed to forget about the monster, even, but, of course, there were times when I looked up and he was standing among the roses like some diseased tree. Something is rotten in the state of the world.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chest of Wonders

I'm going to follow Elaine's advice and try and find one of these free clinics. Apart from the fact that I'm sick as a dog, I got mugged on the way back to the warehouse I was planning on staying in tonight. Sufficed to say, I had the shit kicked out of me and all my money was taken.

I'll update soon.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rattle and Wheeze

I think I've come down with a chest infection from sleeping in all those cold, dank warehouses, which means I'm basically fucked. I'm too weak to try and continue on to my destination and I'm too poor to afford any proper shelter. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I can barely talk without coughing so hard my temples start pounding and every time I inhale, my lungs make a sound like an out of tune harmonica.

Oh God, now I'm starting to cry. This isn't going to look weird to the people running the café at all. Fuck, I gotta go before I embarrass myself more.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Solomon Grundy

I was just walking around the city today and saw a shop that looked almost identical to a shop in Waterford. Suddenly it hit me how fast this all happened. How can a life be so fragile that it can fall apart in such a short time? Just two months ago, I was posting about how great life was since I'd escaped Ballybeg. Now, I'm on the run from a hideous monster that NEVER LEAVES ME ALONE and, quite possibly, the law.

I tried so hard to start building a life for myself and now I'm slumming it in this shithole, the Ballybeg of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. It makes me feel like this was inevitable, as if God gave us no free will. Is man so tightly bound? Can anyone ever escape his inheritance? Does any kind of independence exist in this world?

This is all my life has become. I walk the city for exercise but all my mind can think about are these great cosmic questions, the monster that follows in the shadows of my footsteps and, once in a while, Shannon.

I'm so sorry.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Badside, City X

I've decided to stop in a city for a couple of weeks, as I'm starting to exhaust myself. I need to take a break, rethink my plans and start giving my days a better structure or I'm going to die on the road.

It didn't take long to find my way to the rundown part of the city with abandoned buildings galore for me to sleep in. Not the safest place in the world, I know, but...is anywhere safe with that thing always there? It's so frustrating, because I'll be doing fine for a while, he hasn't even crossed my mind, then the second I think of him, he's there, walking towards me from a crowd, looking down on me from a window or just lurking menacingly nearby.

The café I'm in is closing, so I'd better get off this thing and head back to the warehouse I'm staying in tonight. Hopefully I'll be able to avoid all the prostitutes this time. Night, guys.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Simple Pleasures

I'm really glad I brought my iPod with me, even if I sometimes lose it for a few hours at a time before I get a chance to recharge it. I don't know what I'd do without my music. Johnny Cash's American IV is the ideal album for long hikes along roadsides and when I stop for a rest, I like to play Canabalt to occupy my mind. The two don't really mix though, as I discovered. Also, the other night I was having trouble sleeping, so I watched Charlie Wilson's War, which is a terrific watch and needs more appreciation from people my age.

For now, I'm just gonna keep heading where I'm heading. No, I'm not giving any more information than that. It's bad enough having the monster following me, I don't need anyone or anything else doing it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

In America

I decided to put some mileage on these shoes before I updated, though I doubt anyone will even think to look for me for at least a week or two, And even then they'd be more likely to be looking for my body than for me alive.

For now, my only plans are to keep moving. I'm not saying where I am or what direction I'm moving, for obvious reasons. I've got supplies that I can stretch for about a month and enough money to buy another month's on top of that, but unless I figure out a better long-term plan, things are going to get hairy.

I'm eager to get going, so I won't linger. I'll update soon, probably.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Left

I'm at Cork Airport. I look perfectly normal; a young college-age man dispensing with academics and getting ready to backpack across the world. After I finish this post, I'll be boarding my plane for my round the world trip. Or so I'll tell anyone who asks. Luckily, I'm a good actor.

Last night, I had a dream. I heard things but I can't remember who whispered them. Either way, I knew they were true. God moves in mysterious ways and he made a move last night. I am his judgement on Royal Richardson.

I waited near his home and followed him when he left to go to the theatre, no doubt intent on continuing his preparations for whatever sick plan he had for us all. Nothing I could find about the play indicated its purpose but he wasn't putting it on for shits and giggles.

When I arrived, I entered silently as I had last time and listened for the creak of floorboards. They were coming from above so, as silently as I could, I ascended and eventually found Royal looking over all from a balcony. He didn't even hear me coming. All I had to do was reach out with my left hand...

His fall was not graceful. He screamed and flailed and landed flat on his back with a tremendous crash as he smashed through the wood floor. I'd miscalculated though. I heard the sounds of people coming from outside. More drug dealers, probably. Luckily, I'm not a monster like Royal, so I opted to sneak out rather than add another body to the legacy of that rundown old theatre. I don't take pleasure from killing.

Now, I'm waiting. I'm heading for America. It seems like an easy place to get lost and I don't have to worry about learning the language. I'm almost excited, somewhere deep down. It will be a learning experience. I can see where she came from. I can, maybe, survive.

The monster is here. If I didn't know better, I'd almost say he looks pleased.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lull

The melancholia in the air wherever I go is stifling and not just for me. I'm like a wounded gazelle walking among the herd, earning sympathy and pity in equal measure. The only animal I'm concerned with, however, is the jackal in their midst.

Everything's calm, everything's quiet. Things are settling, returning to normal. The self-sustaining systems are realigning and the wheels turn again. Disaster has been averted and the defensive walls are falling.

It's perfect.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lake

This is where we first made love. As you may have guessed, I'm not a strict Catholic. Honestly, at this stage I'm more or less an undenominated Christian. None of the sects do much for me, they always seem to attach bells and whistles to the message of Christ. We both agreed marriage was just a label. Why would God care whether we had rings on our fingers before we consummated our love as long as we loved each other?

I've known Shannon since I was eight. She came to visit her grandmother in Waterford every summer. She was the best part of every year and we just got closer with each one that passed until we kissed by the quays at the Tall Ships' Race last year. I'd loved her for years and she'd loved me too but that was the first time any thing more than a friendship had become realistic because she was finally coming to live here. At last, I wouldn't have to wait months at a time just to see her face.

She's gone now. He killed her.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lies

Royal continues to play the gallant knight. I have to give credit where credit is due; he's a good actor. I'd nearly believe that he actually felt some remorse for not saving Shannon in time if the story he concocted wasn't utter tripe and if I hadn't seen him kill her himself.

Unfortunately for Royal, I don't think he realises that I am as good an actor as him, if not better. So I'll keep playing the weak and recovering broken man. I'll watch and I'll wait and I'll seize my opportunity when it comes.

In the meantime, I need to learn how to survive. I've seen the monster a few times since leaving the hospital and what research I've done doesn't exactly inspire confidence. I know you're watching. Give me advice.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Loss

They tried to stop me going back to college. I'm not prepared, physically, mentally or emotionally, to return, they say. They're right too, but I hide it well enough that they couldn't force me.

I saw him today. Of course I did, he's in most of my classes. Smug bastard. Acting like a hero when he knows he's the villain. Don't know how he lives with himself. Don't care. He smiles too much for someone in his position.

He'll be reckoned one day. God moves in mysterious ways but I know he'll judge Royal Richardson. How could he not judge a servant of evil?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The True Story

After my last post in December, I followed Shannon out of our apartment. I followed her as best as I could but she was always much more athletic than I am and there were inevitable periods where I lost her. Only guesswork allowed me to reach the theatre mere minutes after she did.

When I arrived, I entered quietly as I could hear the clear and distinct voices of Shannon and Royal arguing. I followed the sound to the backstage area and found the two of them standing among racks of costumes. Shannon was shouting at Royal and brandishing the knife; she was ranting at him, asking him how stupid did he think we were, did he really expect none of us to look into the play and find out what it was really for, how did he think he was going to get away with it-

Royal grabbed her by the throat without warning and started choking her. It took me a second to react and when I did, I threw myself against Royal, knocking him sideways into a pillar. Shannon and I fell to the floor on opposite sides of Royal, her knife clattered across the ground until it was right next to my hand. Suddenly, I felt a rage inside. I grabbed the knife and swung it at Royal, who turned with practised speed and grabbed my wrist. He twisted it and wrenched the knife from my grasp, then proceeded to pound me brutally with his fists. With a particularly hard finishing punch to the stomach, he left me lying on the ground, unable to move and unable to block out the sight and sound as he went over to Shannon, who was still trying to recover from being strangled and started repeatedly stabbing her in the chest.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who heard her screams because seconds later, the drug dealer came in and asked Royal what the fuck was going on. Royal responded by getting up, walking over to him, grabbing him heavily by the throat, dragging him over to a costume rack, pulling a mask off a costume and shoving it on his head. He pulled him over to a pile of ropes and wrapped a number of them around his neck. Royal then disappeared. The drug dealer tried to struggle his way out of the ropes, but he only succeeded in making them tighter. Moments later, they pulled taut and he was dragged up into the air. At that point, unconsciousness was looming but I stayed awake long to see the last part of Royal's coup de grace. After returning from the rafters, he crouched down over me and displayed the bloody knife he had used to kill Shannon just minutes before. With a grin he muttered four words;

"Let the show begin."

Then, he walked over to where the pile of ropes had been and stabbed himself in the back, just below the ribcage, barely missing some important organs. With little more than a light grunt at the effort, he pulled the knife out, called 911 and then threw himself down on the ground, laughing as he did it. Finally, darkness started to cloud my vision, but not before I saw it. Royal's master, the White King. It appeared from the shadows, looming above us all. If it had a face it would have smiled. But it didn't and that's why the last thing I saw before blackness overtook was the pale, sickly white of the monster's face.

The Official Line

On the day of my last update, Shannon and I went to meet Royal at the old, rundown theatre where our drama group practices. We had arranged to get together and go over the first act and talk about lighting, sound and props. When we were there, a masked assailant entered by the back door. He sneaked up behind Royal and stabbed him just below the ribs, narrowly missing any important organs. He then tossed Royal against a pillar, causing Royal to hit his head against the wood, disorienting him.

Our attacker then turned his sights on Shannon and I. Before she even had a chance to defend herself, he grabbed her and started choking her. I tried to stop him by punching and kicking him but it was to no avail. Still holding Shannon by the neck with one hand, he proceeded to stab her repeatedly in the chest, killing her in a matter of seconds.

After dropping her limp body, he then proceeded to administer a brutal barefisted beatdown to me. Just as I was on the verge of collapsing, Royal regained his composure and jumped on his back, sending the attacker of balance and careening into a pile of ropes attached to a rusty old pully and some sandbags. Somehow, the way he fell amongst the ropes caused the pully's rusty old parts to loosen and our masked attacker was yanked into the air and died from hanging. Royal, now feeling the effects of blood loss, barely managed to call 911 before he collapsed. Shannon and our assailant, a drug dealer, were dead on arrival but Royal and I were alive and were taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Still Alive

I'm in hospital. I'll explain more when I can. They want me to go back to sleep now.