Marcus’s condition is the same. Fragile, but he’s not getting any better or worse.
I always thought Marcus was deluding himself about the Tree Walker not crossing the line of thistle and weeds. The crazy furniture rearrangement thing that happened seemed to add weight to my theory but, earlier today, I got confirmation, of a sort.
I went upstairs to check on Marcus and the Tree Walker was in the room. He was hunched over, being far too tall for the low ceiling in Marcus’s room. He was staring at Marcus, in so far as a sightless being can stare, but what worries me is that he didn’t do anything else. He just stood there, staring. He didn’t even notice I was there and, after a few minutes of watching them both, I retreated back to the kitchen to make a sandwich.
Just how intelligent is the Tree Walker? Is it intelligent enough to understand that there’s more pleasure to be taken from prolonging its victim’s pain? Is it so unintelligent that it can’t understand that Marcus’s belief in the sanctity of “his domain” doesn’t stop him from killing him? Is it so intelligent that we can’t even comprehend why it would choose to let Marcus live?