Greg is staying with me in case they come back.
I was, for lack of a better phrase, under attack throughout most of yesterday. I had just got off the phone with the project director of my current employment, when I felt a strange pulse in the air. It was like existence had just slightly compressed for a moment and had popped right back. I became very tired and sat in a chair in my study. After a few seconds, I realized I was not able to move. This has become a very bad sign for obvious reasons.
Trying not to panic, I did the only thing I could do: wait for whatever was going to happen to happen. It felt (and probably was) like about half an hour before I noticed something. It had grown very dark outside. In fact, it was pitch black. Minutes later, I heard knocking coming from the study windows. I looked again, and hundreds of disembodied hands were clawing at, rubbing, and knocking at my windows. The noise was absolutely terrifying. I heard a deep thump come from below me. Another thud echoed below me, but it was closer this time. This time, I could swear it was a loud beat of a heart - and it started beating regularly. Second after second, heartbeats would resonate throughout my home. The room seemed to be breathing.
My study door opened, and a large black stain spread across the carpet slowly. Entering along with this stain was a huge, dark, and invisible being. I couldn't see it, but I could feel it. It was staring right at me.
"The others will be returning."
It spoke gently. There was no reason to be loud - it had my complete attention.
"This is so unnecessary. I have only one question to ask you."
It knew I couldn't answer, but it had asked anyway.
I wanted to break down and sob. I wanted to tell it that I didn't know why. I wanted to tell it that I couldn't answer questions that I didn't know the answers to. I wanted to do something.
"You are already lost."
It sounded sad.
A familiar voice filled the air.
"Two broken ribs, a wrist with a ring fracture, a concussion, some bruising, and a few nasty lacerations."
"It's a miracle he survived," replied a woman whose voice I had never heard before.
"I wouldn't say that," the familiar voice solemnly replied.
I had a vision of bright lights overhead.
"Well, clean him up, and send him to Rosalez in prep."
The lady's voice was the last thing I heard before I remembered where I actually was.
All of a sudden, I realized I could move again. Naturally, I took off. The thing's eyes - whatever or wherever they were - slowly followed me. Glancing at my watch instinctively, as I exited the house, I realized I had been stuck in place for hours.
I ran to the woods. I needed to get somewhere, and my instincts were the only proper guide I felt I had. Clouds overhead took the shape of eyes and followed my running figure. That strange wailing noise echoed across the countryside. My legs began to wobble, and I found myself near the road. I had to find someone else. I couldn't be alone anymore. After waiting a few moments, a faded green Camaro slowed down and came to a stop near me. The driver waved me in.
The following is a conversation between me and the driver. For most of the ride, the song Sky Pilot was blaring, but I was able to hear him pretty well.
Driver: You alright, man?
Driver: Was there- was there an accident or something?
Me: I'm uh, lost.
Driver: That can happen out here.
He starts to drive off.
Driver: Well, where were you intending to go?
Driver: Whew, that's my way. No offense, but I wasn't looking forward to driving you all the way out to ****** or anything.
We're quiet for a few moments.
Driver: Yeah, I've had a couple of bad days this week myself, and, to top it all off, I was fired tonight.
Me: I'm sorry to hear that.
Driver: Yeah... Eh, what're you going to do?
Driver: I'm just heading out to visit friends for a while. I had to get out of that goddamn city.
Me: It's good to get away sometimes.
Driver: I've never liked cities. You don't feel like a person there. It's like - and tell me if you don't get this - it's like you're a cell in a human body. You're just a tiny, insignificant little part of some bigger animal. You're practically worthless. You could die one day, and everyone that needed you could just replace you. Friends in smaller places, though - they can't so easily lose you. I believe it's best to be around people who actually need you and not just as some position-filler, y'know?
Driver: We all have our place. Mine's just not in a city.
Me: It... it is important to find a purpose in life and fill it.
Driver: Right. Though, sometimes I don't think it really matters. I mean, we're just the characters, right?
Me: I'm not sure I follow you.
Driver: Oh, come on. You seem bright. Don't be so coy.
Driver: When you're only one of the things in his dream, you know very well you're not real.
I realize we have been driving around aimlessly. We're still surrounded by woods on both side of the roads. I have seen no other cars. He's staring at me while driving.
He fades away. The car follows him. I'm being carried through the air. I'm tired again. My eyes close. Soon, I feel wet. I'm drowning in something thick. I think I'm dying.
A little boy speaks to me from above, but I cannot see him.
"Where are you going?"
I bubble the first response that comes to mind.
I woke up in a cold bathtub this morning. The first thing I did was call Greg. He told me he had a similarly distressing night. He is busy examining the woods and the squatter shack right now. I will be back to answer comments after I receive the daily phone call from my wife.