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;


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;


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;

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.