Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me

No hope, no harm. Just another false alarm.

Somewhere in the dark weeks, in the months my mind is missing, I must have met them. The Wailers, I called them. The Wailers are coming.

I was wrong. The Wailers were already here. When I rushed outside the bathroom -- which happened to be in a rest stop -- they were waiting for me. The Wailers were waiting.

(Ooh, you must be thinking, finally, some elite mooks. C'mon, give us all the juicy details and don't leave out any gruesomeness in appearance. I'm getting to that, so fuck off, will you?)

They didn't look gruesome. They looked almost normal. A man and two women. They didn't look like Grayskins -- they didn't have the ragged clothing covering up the fungus-covered flesh. Instead, they wore dark coats with symbols on them, something that looked sort of like a musical symbol.

They looked at me and smiled. Then they began to sing.

I hadn't put on my headphones, but I doubt they would have helped. All the other noises -- the buzzing of the lights, the hum of the air, even my own footsteps -- it all went away and only their song remained.

They were singing "Carry On My Wayward Son." How apropos.

Their song wasn't like the sound made by the Grayskins. It didn't hurt me, it didn't make me want to hurl. I didn't start bleeding from the eyes.

It made me feel at peace. It was like I was on the edge of a gentle slumber and all I needed to do to go over into a restful sleep would just be to let go. Let go and fall into the song.

So I let go. In point of fact, I let go of what I was holding, which was a small incendiary device I had packed into an empty can of pop. The pop went pop and exploded, which resulted in my getting a nasty cut on my leg, but also stopped the damn song from going any further.

Then I ran. With a bleeding leg, I ran from the Wailers and their Song. I tossed whatever I had on me -- smoke bombs, firecrackers, but not one molotov cocktail, which I shall have to rectify -- at them. I didn't think it would help me, but for some reason, they didn't follow.

I got away from them, but it was only luck that let me. I don't know if I will ever be so lucky. And still questions linger in my mind: what happened in those missing months?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How To Disappear Completely

Where have I been? Where have I gone? What have I done?

(What have I done? What have I done? What have I done?)

I am sitting in a bathroom stall. There is something written on the wall next to me in black permanent marker. It is my own handwriting.

Sing the Threnody.

The Wailers are coming.

What have I done? Where have I been?

I have to go.

The Wailers are coming.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Song of the Sibyl

I'm still running.

With that two thousand dollars, I was able to actually afford going to motels and eating meals and stuff. I was staying in one last night. It wasn't the best motel, but it was cheap and that meant I could save more and spend less. You never know when you might need money and not have any.

I haven't encountered any Grayskins after last time, but that didn't mean I stopped looking out for them. I keep my extra-special noise-cancelling headphones right next to my pillow. I can't hear a goddamn thing with them on.

That doesn't stop the dreams, though. They started last week.

I'm in a graveyard. I standing atop one large headstone. I am holding in my hands a violin made of bone, with strings made of sinew. I take the bow with one hand and start playing the violin. I know what song it is: it's the Danse Macabre, the Dance of the Dead. I play better than I have ever played before and as I do, I notice the hands emerging from the graves, skeletal hands, some with bits of cloth or flesh still attached.

I am playing the Danse Macabre and I am bring the dead back to life. They rise from their graves and start dancing around me, twirling around each other, spinning on one bony leg each, and then, finally, they all genuflect under the moonlight at me.

I stop playing the violin. I look down at the dead and I can feel a smile on my face. I raise the violin and the bow and I begin to play again. This time, I am the one who begins to dance. I dance among the dead and they dance with me.

And suddenly I realize: I am one of them. I am one of the dead.

Which is when I wake up.

I know what you're thinking. I heard tales back when I was staying at Lyron's house about a Nightmare Fear, but I don't think it's that. The dream doesn't hurt, I never feel like I won't wake up. I'm never scared during the dream, even though I probably should be. If anything, the dream feels...prophetic. Which is what worries me.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Moving in Stereo

I've left the hostel behind me now. They were nice, but, well, I was getting cooped up. There's a sort of freedom in moving, never stopping for long. My goal is to criss-cross the country, to dip my toes in the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Probably won't happen, but I can try.

Here's something strange that happened to me though. I was packing up my stuff and I came across an envelope stuffed in my backpack. It contained about two thousand dollars and a note that read: THANKS FOR KEEPING AN EYE ON HIM. A FRIEND.

I'm assuming the "him" is Kenny since this seems pretty identical to what Raggedyman received after Kenny's visit. I'm not saying I'm not grateful -- because two thousand dollars can get me pretty far -- but it's just strange.

Time to go.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


The second night of the lockdown is when things went to hell in a handbasket.

We could watch through the cameras the owner of the hostel had set up - we could see all of the Grayskins outside. And, stranger, most of them were bleeding from the nose as well. I learned from some of the other guests that this was a sign of being "scarlet marked" and that a Fear called the Red Cap was probably controlling them. It didn't matter - the Choir was still there, we were still trapped.

And then we learned that one of the guests was still outside. Kenny told me her name was Sandy. I hadn't seen her before we got there, but I could see her now on the monitor. She was a sitting duck. She had the smarts enough to figure out something was wrong, but now she was trapped between the Grayskins. Hiding could only help somewhat.

And then Kenny did something stupid. He went outside. He was trying to save her. Someone he didn't even know and he was trying to save her.

So I said fuck it and went out after him. And behind me were some other people who had also apparently decided to it was better to go out swinging than slowly suffocate inside.

The first thing I noticed went I ran outside was the horse. I don't know how I missed it when I first arrived, but now I could see it. It was huge and black and very good at stomping Grayskins, I'm happy to say.

I couldn't find Kenny anywhere, but I did see a few Grayskins and that's when I brought out the molotov cocktails. I know I shouldn't have taken any pleasure in their deaths, but I did. I watched those fuckers burn and I enjoyed it.

And then I saw her. A young woman, twentyish, coy smile on her face, with a red scarf around her neck. She walked beside the flaming Grayskins without a care in the world and I knew. This was the Red Cap the others had talked about.

She approached me and I wanted to throw another molotov cocktail at her, but my arms were suddenly heavy and I dropped them. I could feel my heart beating even as the white noise became silent in my ears. Even as I heard her voice. "You can become one of mine," she whispered from so far away. "You can become scarlet."

And then someone tackled her. It was a fucking beautiful tackle, too. Another woman, older, graying brown hair, had jumped the Red Cap woman and they were fighting. I could see scratches cutting deep into her flesh and then blood seeping out...and then the blood didn't seep, it jumped and I could see it being drained from the Red Cap woman and pouring itself into the other one.

I think it was then that I passed out. I don't exactly know why, I just did. I woke up a few hours later back in the hostel with this lady hovering over me. "Good," she said, "you're okay." Then she left.

And that brings us to now. I've been resting - I don't know what that Red Cap woman did to me, but it seemed like all the energy just went out of me. Kenny is gone though and Lyron left after she made sure I was alive. So I'm back to being alone.

I should probably get going soon. I don't want to stay here long enough for the Choir to come back.

But someday, I think I will have to face the music.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Life During Wartime

We were here at the hostel less than a week before Lyron told us we had to leave. "It's too dangerous," she said.

"I thought we were safe here?" I asked.

"Not anymore," she said. "I've been reading the blog they maintain and the protection I thought they had is no longer in place. So any runners here still have whatever Fears are after them -- including us. So we need to go."

We got our bags and went to leave. We were at the front door when we heard it. It was a very low-pitched noise, right on the edge of hearing, and then I stepped outside and starting vomiting my guts up.

Kenny pulled me back inside. Lyron, apparently, had stepped outside too and suffered the same effects, so he went to pull her back.

The man behind the front desk saw what had happened to us and came over to help. He passed me a towel and as I wiped down my face, asked me what had happened. My throat was sore and I could barely speak, but I was able to utter one word: "Choir."

The man's eyes went wide, then he walked back to his desk and called someone. I heard him say the word "lockdown" and then he hung up and got out a ring of keys. He went around the room, shutting the windows and lowered steel shutters down to cover them, and then locking the front doors.

And I knew why he was doing it. They didn't have the protection they used to have, so they had to make due. They had to protect themselves. The Choir was outside and it wanted to get in, so the hostel was now in lockdown.

And we were stuck within.