Full House

So much for my “no more visitors” rule. I’m being far too fucking reasonable. Ronan’s here, so I thought nothing of his son coming by. Then it turns out his son is staying with Elaine, so she comes by to drop him off and then Emily wanted to come, so how could I say no to that adorable little creature?

At any rate, that’s how we all came to be sitting in the dining room eating a tossed-together but no less delicious dinner. I don’t think anyone has eaten in that dining room in several decades and, of course, the first time someone did, something went wrong. I was just about to dig into a slice of pizza when the phone rang and Emily tottered out to answer it.

She came in a few seconds later in tears and ran straight to me for comfort. I stroked her hair to try and calm her and asked her what was wrong. After a couple of seconds, she sobbed it out.

“The man said he’s going to kill me.”

I gave her a kiss on the forehead and sent her over to Elaine while I went to get the phone. I hit the record button just before I lifted it up to talk to Arkham.

“You’re a sick little creep, Arkham.”

“Hahahahaha, I was just having a little fun with the child, Benjamin. And it’s not like I lied.”

“Tell me, you crazy little twerp, if you think life is some sort of gladiator arena with the Tree Walker in the emperor’s seat, why don’t you kill yourself and escape?”

“Why, Benjamin, I’m surprised! I would have thought that a man of your intellect could have figured that out on your own. The Huntington’s must be getting to you, old boy. Probably why that little idea I planted in your skull is distressing you so much.”

“Listen, you fucked up litt-”

“No, no, no, no,you listen, rich boy. You don’t ask a question and then interrupt the answer. I know you’re losing your mind, but there’s no need to be so rude. Now, are you ready to listen? Good. To answer your question, Benny, since I’m the only one who has managed to figure out this little ontological conundrum in which we find ourselves, it’s my solemn duty to liberate as many other people from their prison as I can before I myself fall. Who else is going to do it?”

“Right, like we have a shortage of psychotic killers.”

“Tsk, tsk, tsk, Benjamin. You really need to rein in that temper if you want to get anywhere in this world. I’ll be in touch again soon. Try and be a little calmer next time. Say hi to Emily for me.”

The tone was grating.

Colt 45

Peter has started coming around, so Natalie has planted herself in his room again to ensure she’s there when he fully awakens. He has responded well to the antibiotic treatment, so I’m hoping they won’t have to stay here too long. I’m no longer convinced of the mansion’s security, I don’t want people just dropping by anymore.

Today, when I wasn’t checking up on Peter or Natalie, I spent the day in the library talking with Ronan. We got our hands on some choice alcoholic beverages and just relaxed, had a chat. It was nice to just sit back and share a drink with a mind that can keep up with mine. We discussed some of the lovely antique weaponry on show in the library, such as the rather well-preserved Colt .45 hanging over the fireplace.

It’s something I wish I could do more.

And yet, and yet.

Harp

Fingers dance on the strings, dancing to the beat of the very music they create; an infinite loop.

“He makes things not as they should be.”

So many strings that they hum like an orchestra in their own little world; atoms stretched like prisoners on a rack.

“I am the only man who has managed to remain sane.”

The fingers are gathering speed, approaching some great climax.

“Think about it!”

They accelerate, faster, faster, faster!

“It’s simple logic.”

The Big Crunch.

“I’m not a villain, I’m a-“

The Big Bang.

The tired old man licks his bloodied finger, probing the wound where the snapping string sliced through his skin.

He ponders thoughts that no man should.

“Doesn’t it make so much sense?”

 

Corona

Today, my last visitor arrived. I wasn’t planning on taking anyone else in after what happened with Natalie and Arkham but I was persuaded to take just one last person in.

As the car pulled up and David emerged, I eye him suspiciously. He was only coming to drop off Ronan but I was nonetheless wary of his knowing where I live. Whatever you else  can say about David, he’s a killer from the other side and I had  no evidence to suggest he would or wouldn’t do anything but drop Ronan.

Without a word, David opened a back door to let free a man built like a bus. His proportions were tank-like and he reeked horribly of English beer. Between the two of us, David and I were able to carry him up to one of the spare rooms, officially bringing the number of patients in my little field hospital back up to three.

We left Ronan down to sleep and I made sure David knew I was only taking Ronan in for a few days at most.  He seemed accepting. I’ll update more when I can.

Twenty Minutes in a Serious House, Forty Years on a Serious Earth

The rain was falling like bullets against the window when I entered Natalie’s room. Arkham was holding her around the waist with one hand and the knife in the other was pressed hard against her neck. He smiled with his filthy yellow teeth and twisted the blade around the axis of Natalie’s flesh, just to make sure I knew that he was serious.

“Why?”

My question was aimed at Arkham but my eyes were fixed on Natalie. It was her scream that had called me to that place, the same screams that I’ve been answering since she arrived. He probably let her scream just to make sure he could get an audience.

“Why not?”

I’ve watched back the footage from the security camera. At this point, I tensed up and lifted my cane off the ground. Arkham didn’t notice the slight movement and it’s good that he didn’t, otherwise things would have gone horribly wrong.

Why, Arkham?”

He laughed at that. A deep, mirthful, good-natured laugh that was completely at odds with what he was doing.

“Oooh, emphasis, Benjamin? Is that supposed to make me talk? Bahahahaha, oh, you sly old dog, I’ll be fair. You did save my life after all…in a manner of speaking.”

According to the camera footage, at this stage, I took my first step forward. I don’t even remember it.

“You’ve experienced more than just about anyone the insidious nature of the monster. He drives people apart, creates conflict, destroys minds, kills. He makes things not as they should be.”

Another small step.

“Since he first started interfering in our mortal affairs, look at all the insanity that has occurred. People styling themselves as superheroes, whole towns being wiped out without anyone noticing, the dead coming back to life? These are crazy times we’re living in, Benjamin, and I am the only man who has managed to remain sane.”

The third step.

“Think about it! In all the stories we see, hear and read, when and where does the truly insane occur? We think we live in a world where the Slender Man is a god but surely if he was a god, we would have taken greater notice of him before. No, our world, the world of mortals, is one where the Slender Man does not reign supreme and unopposed, and if he seems to here, then we cannot possibly be in our own world. It’s simple logic. Don’t you see, Benjamin? We’re all in one big Labyrinth controlled by the Minotaur!”

No step.

“Hahahahaha, I see that look on your face, old boy. Doesn’t it make so much sense? You see, I’m not killing dear Natalie here, I’m freeing her. I’m not a villain, I’m a-”

I struck swiftly with my cane and struck him against the head. He fell away from her without cutting her but then I made my first mistake. I rushed to catch her as she fainted and Arkham recovered from the blow and escaped.

He’s gone.

Dulcinea Reborn

I’ve been keeping both Peter and Arkham stable, which is good. I finally managed to get Natalie out of Peter’s room too, though she’s decided to replace watching Peter 24/7 with walking sombrely around the house not doing anything in particular. I’ve told her she can use the library or the media room to distract herself but she doesn’t seem to have any interest. I’m wondering if it was such a good idea to get her to leave though. The Tree Walker never seemed to bother her when she was  in the room with Peter but since she left, I’ve had to run like a madman to her aid because she’s just bumped into him while walking around the house and started screaming in pain. Apparently, just the sight of the Tree Walker gives her a headache – accidentally ending up mere feet from him while walking around the house reduces her to a weeping mess on the ground.

I wish I could help her (it is my profession, after all), but it’s not something I’ve ever seen or dealt with before. I also wish I knew what the Tree Walker was doing. He seems to be showing up more and more frequently, as if he’s filling the house with his presence until he absorbs it like an amoeba consuming a bacteria, making it part of himself…

I suddenly feel very tired. Or just light-headed, maybe? Either way, I think I need to lie down for a while. I’ll update again soon.