The Close, The Close

So, the traitorous fool is dead. He was right to remark that I was convinced I would get away with the crimes with which he was accusing me. He lived poorly for so long he forgot what money can mean in the right hands. I’m truly not sure to what end I decided to return here to visit him but it doesn’t matter anymore. All that’s left is the smouldering remains of a house that was.

Oh yes, all that lingers is the skeleton of the house. No bodies were found, I’m told. All that was left standing was a piece of library wall with a bookcase still attached to it with hinges, though no passage lay beyond it. The only hint they found that anyone had ever been there was the shape of a hand surrounded by the soot of the fire, a scrap of a girl’s dress caught on the shelf and the discarded cane of an innocent man who once lost everything.

This tale is finished. Carry on with your lives.

- Winston Ramsey

Waiting, Waiting

Sorry again for the gap, it’s just been hard to keep track of everything and make sure…I’ll be honest, I can’t remember how I meant to finish that sentence. I’ve been busy, is what I’m trying to say, and trying to keep my head together enough to take care of Emily and make sure that whenever Arkham does show up, we’re ready…I did it again. I’d delete and try and start again if I thought it would make a difference. I’m just not where I used to be. I know he’s coming soon, that bastard, but I didn’t want to post because I didn’t want him knowing how vulnerable I am. But I guess the truth was going to come out eventually.

I’m very unwell. I had to tell Emily a couple of days sago. There was no way I could keep covering it up. She keeps asking where she’s going to go when this gets too much and I keep wanting to tell her the answer…but I don’t know the answer. Who’s left to take her!? Elaine and Rachael are gone, Elliott is just a kid himself really and even if I thought they’d take her, I don’t trust Ronan and David. Actually I trust Ronan perfectly, it’s David I don’t. I know he wants to bring her over to the Tree Walker. Valerie is not in the right state to be hauling a child around, even if she wanted to, which I doubt somehow. Peter and Natalie, again, are just kids. God only knows where Jean is gone, not that she’d take her either…

I’m still here but I don’t know for how much longer. I’ll linger as long as I can but I don’t know that there’s anyone left that’s both trustworthy and willing to take her. Every day I wake up a little dimmer, a little slower, yet always taking another inexorably sudden step towards the end.

The Man Comes Around

Forgive the absence, we’ve been without power for just over a week. You can blame Arkham for that. A few days after my last post, he came in the night, blew the power somehow (the electrician explained it to me but I can’t really remember what he said) and got past the security system while it was down. I was still awake when it happened, so I was on guard immediately. The arrogant bastard decided to just waltz in the front door but I was waiting for him and lunged with my cane. Unfortunately, his night vision must be better than mine, because he dodged and stabbed me in the neck with a syringe full of sedative. I fought for a few minutes with the needle still sticking out of my neck but then the sedative hit and I had to stop and take it out in case I fell on it, which was a good decision on my part, because I hit the floor only a few seconds later.

After I fell, he took the opportunity to kick me a few times before taunting me about the things he was going to do with Emily while I watched. I won’t repeat them here because they’re obscene but, sufficed to say, if I’d been able to move, I would have made sure that Arkham never did so again. But I couldn’t, so I had to watch as he walked upstairs and started kicking open doors to find Emily’s bedroom. They were the most gut-wrenching five minutes of my life. Lying their in the dark, the only light coming from the crack in the library door where the flicker of the fireplace was shining through, waiting for something. Then I heard a gunshot and a scream.

Some seconds later, Arkham appeared again, clutching his wounded arm. Emily had used the revolver I left in her room, just as I told her. Normally, I wouldn’t have put a gun near a child but since my paranoia paid off, I don’t think I need to justify myself any further. He ran down the stairs and I saw a flash of blood in the firelight before he disappeared out the door. The sedative really started hitting me then and things went black just as Emily came down the stairs. I think she yelled at me but I couldn’t answer.

I woke up a few hours later in front of the fire. Emily had dragged me in there to keep an eye on me. When I came to, she handed my a drink and some food, which I took quickly. I think it might have been toast. At any rate, she started asking me how I was and I told her that it had only been a sedative and I was fine and that I was very proud of her and then she started crying and you can kind of imagine what happened after that, I don’t need to tell you. We’re both fine now but it’s been a bit unnerving living in this house with only the fireplace and candles for light at night. Unfortunately, I’ve still been getting messages from Arkham in my email, so apparently getting his ass handed to him by a six-year-old girl hasn’t scared him off just yet. I guess this is just the beginning.

Huntington’s Disease

I’ve been trying to act like its otherwise, but the disease is starting to take its toll on me. It’s getting obvious enough that Emily is starting to notice. I’m starting to slur my words when I talk. She asked me if I was drunk the other night when I was reading to her, the only time so far she’s said something more than “Yes” or “No” during our readings. She seemed angry about it; I don’t think she likes drunkenness for some reason. I told her I was just tired but she’s too smart for her own good. I can tell she didn’t believe me.

It’s been some time since I’ve slept properly. The chorea keep waking me up. I’m losing weight because trouble with swallowing has reduced the amount of food I’m eating and what I am eating is soft, if not liquid. I’m constantly wandering around the house with no idea what I got up to do. That’s why it took me so long to update this; my memory is deteriorating.

This confrontation with Arkham better happen soon. I need to get his over and done with before I’m gone. If I go down first, he’ll keep after Emily, even if I send her a way. And he needs to be gotten rid of anyway. He’s too dangerous to be left alive.

Aria pour Émilie

I didn’t particularly want to but I felt it necessary to tell Emily about Arkham last night, just after her late evening book reading. She’s too intelligent for me to just tell her not to answer the door to any strange men – if I hadn’t told her, she would have picked up that there was a specific strange man I was worried about. So I told her that he was coming for me and that he might try to get to me through her, so she had to be on guard. She’s only started responding a little so far, so all I got was a nod but that’s enough for now.

I’m not going to talk about any of the other preparations I’ve been making as I don’t want Arkham knowing in advance. Sufficed to say though, I’ll be ready for him when he comes. He will fall.

The Lamb and the Dragon

Valerie spent these past few days interacting with and observing Emily. I tried to stay out of her way as much as possible, which was kind of hard considering she cried in her room every night. She came to me today with her conclusions.

She reckons that Emily has a case of PTSD, almost like a shell-shocked solider but not quite as severe. She’s silent because she’s trying to comprehend everything that’s happening inside her head and has neither the energy nor interest to interact with the outside world beyond what she needs to keep living. However, Valerie says she was able to get a reaction from what she calls dialogic reading, where one reads while passing comment and asking comments from the other person involved in the dialogue. She didn’t get any words, just the occasional nod or shake of the head, but reckons that if I keep up the exercise at routine times throughout the day, I should start getting more reactions from her.

Valerie has already moved on but she’s definitely validated my faith in her and I wish her the best. Meanwhile, I got a phone call.

A: I hear you’re looking for me, Benji. Did I leave you heartbroken?

B: Sure, Arkham, let’s call it that. What do you want?

A: Wrong question, Benji. The real question is what do you want?

B: You gone.

A: Excellent. Now I know exactly what to deny you to get where I want to go.

B: Fuck you. You aren’t going anywhere. I’ve already dealt with one psycho, you’ve got a lot less going for you than Winston did

A: But you know you can’t deal with me, Benjamin. You act like it’s not true but, as your mind degrades, your certainty in reality is slipping. You’re starting to come around to my way of thinking. And in this world of his, if I die, I’ll just end up coming back again and again. I know the nature of this world. I’m too much of a threat to be allowed up there.

B: If you’re right about me, and you’re not, it doesn’t exactly provide a stunning endorsement. As the mind gets closer to falling apart, it gets closer to yours, is that it?

A: …I’m coming for you.

Silence.

White Soul

Today, I got my outside help. Well, the person giving the help arrived anyway, but she was injured and not in the right kind of state to be doing psych work with a child. I’m hoping she can give the help itself tomorrow. She being a prominent runner who is semi-qualified in psychology, Valerie Simmons of the blog I Am Stardust, better known as Hakurei Ryuu.

When I stopped to think of someone I trusted who could actually potentially be of help to Emily, she was the first person who jumped to mind, so I got into contact with her and she agreed to come by today. I was banking on her youth and gift for reading emotions being dealbreakers with Emily. Actually, I’m still banking on it but I won’t get to see if I’m right until tomorrow, as she turned up today having picked up a blood-soaked shoulder and some other extraneous injuries along the way. The shoulder wasn’t as bad as it looked but it needed some cleaning up and I forced Valerie to rest herself afterwards, just in case. No comments from Emily on this turn of events.

I hope she can make some progress tomorrow.