A Mad Man's Journey: Part 2

- Encomium Recording #2. h -

October 7

Day 9 of my journey

Before I go on today, I must record something that’s been haunting me for days now. The other day I could've sworn to've heard someone crying out across the way... Out somewhere. I don't know... maybe not. I’ve thought not for some time, now. I want to have not heard. If I did, it was too faint, anyways. It was bizarre... odd. I know there's no one there... can’t be. Hasn't been for some time now. This cursed journey just goes on... growing more bleak. If there was a cry, then I just left it there. If I pursued it, then what? This horrible journey has brought me here, to life’s mirror; I recognize who I am. Again, then what... Where could I have intervened?! It’s his plan... to haunt me with memories... To break my soul... strand me out here. Have me admit... I just wanted to first record that I did hear something...

I've never been out this far from Kemper. It is so desolate. So bare. It lacks any invitation of solace. There's no life. No familiarity. ...I’m not sure what in me I have left. My eyes are just as dry, now, as this land. This land... it bleeds my already weary soul to nothing.

It’s so desolate.

I can see in every direction for miles. I haven't even seen a damned shadow in three days, now. ...to think, my heart would find rest in simply just catching a glimpse of a shadow... just the shade of a thing. But, no. Our home’s threat has put me here, in the middle of his awful scheme. Not quite a dying wasteland... not quite the inhabitable plane. No... my placement is in some damnable void. This place is death. It is just an infinite barren stretch of maddening death.

I must get up... I'm lying here hurt. Have been for hours. Still, no rest. I must get up. But am sore. My heart has lost its speech... motivation. My soul has no embrace, nor my emotions anything but sorrow. The salt of my tears have been my tongue’s last taste now for a full day. Their trails, now, just dry cracks on my dusted, sunburned cheeks. The stupidity is... I knew it would be like this. Oh, my pride - I must get up!

Why did he intrude into our lives like that? WHY DID YOU?! I know he’s watching... with his devices... his mechanical-eyes hidden within the rocks. And why did the others leave me? I was fine. We were fine. Now - now, I'm all alone and it's getting dark again. It is always dark. I only hope to make it to my side of the Sanguine Woods soon. I hope to find refuge, hidden amongst the brush. To see the shadow again. To be enveloped by its clothing embrace. The acceptance. I hope to just get away from this detestable, open land. Even the moon glares at me with her judgmental eye. Watching... seeing. Not giving my lonely mind solace nor rest. Treating me the same as her brighter, more cruel brother. Only - it uses her surrounding darkness as a sign - reminding me of the impending...

I’m alone. I’ve left my life... and for what?! Some vain pursuit?! FOR YOUR ARROGANT LETTER?!?! How do you KNOW?! How did he know... how did he know that we would leave? My soul’s left bare to the gaze of these cursed stars, too. The blackness moves unceasingly to envelop me... like them. But... I lack the shine to pierce the darkness here in the barren.

If my journey leads me to such a damned void. Then so be it. Tear-drenched, I will keep clasping this envelope with what little certitude I have left. This - this moving on is just muscle memory, now.

I should tell you - if anyone’s still listening - I’m more familiar with this scientist than I first let on. That is my certitude. I’ve heard the stories long ago of the others. Passing through this very route because of their own letters. Stirred out from their safety. Their hope. Their future lives. I’ve heard of their pain and their changing. He doesn’t know this, but I’m more than aware of his experiments. He runs these... tests of some sorts. Opening them. Peering into their organs, their brains, their hearts. He seeks the soul. If he was the “scientist” he claims, he would’ve read that there is no soul. I’ve known his secret. Deceiving us... he desires to absorb and vanquish us. The changing. I’ve read about blood-letting and transfusions. I will not let some maniac slyly terrorize us with some faux-acceptance anymore... his barbaric cruelty and mind altering transfusions - the changing... toward something ruined. Something horrible. They’re beasts, now! All of them.

Most of Kemper - at least those who’ve heard of the tales - have only speculated of these things. ...I’ve witnessed the horror for myself. The scientist, he waits. Like some spider hidden deep in the nest of his webbing. Collecting us. Until he’s ready - releasing us back on our very towns... like some dead drone. But, it is here that I can only speculate. The one I saw was west of our town. Deep within the Angean Woods.

He never saw me. But the ghastliness... he just stood there. Looking deep into the trees. Unmoving. Acting as if he were home, yet... looking deep - for more. But, I ran. I ran when I heard a few leaves rustle under my shoe. I knew he was after me... so I ran. I ran straight back to Kemper. Upon reaching its border, I turned.. turning to see nothing, save the faint silhouette of someone way off on the evening's horizon. Too far to recognize anything distinguishable... but I know... I could feel him looking into me. Hungry for my supposed soul. It was too dark to really determine too much, but, I could swear...

I’m sorry. I can’t. I can still see his blank face... still. Unlike our own. His open... focused eyes. Looking through all. Looking for prey. It haunts me. Almost as much as the scientist’s secluded ways. I can’t be thinking of his drones right now... not here.

- I must go o...

...could it -

... I see the tree-line ahead!

The fool! Hahaha... the old fool!! He tried to lose me out here. To bury me out here, like some shameful secret. I will soon be there, letter in hand. Demanding his docket.

-----------------

Part 3

Part 1