Friday, April 29, 2011

This is it.

Hello. My name is James. Yes, I am that James, the one everyone has been talking about. I am the one who is supposed to be dead.

Rye, however, always knew I was alive. That was primarily because I forced clues through to him.

I should explain things, but let me make a few things clear.

1. This is the last post that will ever be on this blog. This blog was technically my brother's, although its posts were almost entirely focused on events concerning me.

2. I am clearly not 8 years old anymore. Although I do not know my exact age, I am probably somewhere between 20 and 40. There may be a way for scientists to figure out my age, but I do not know. Something in there is different from how it is here. I suspect it has something to do with light speeds, although I did not have sufficient education in the sciences in Father's realm.

3. Rye is most likely dead. Father does not appreciate anybody who intrudes in his realm who is over the age of 12.

Now let me tell you what has happened over the course of these years. I do not remember much from when I was first taken, but I remember that I had been seeing Father for a short period before he took me. I called him Locust at that point when I talked to him because he suggested that name to me.

I also know I voluntarily went with him. Something about him was just attractive. Even if I had known how long I would be trapped with him, I do not think I would have resisted. He was just too powerful in his way.

Father took me up into the mountains and kept me there for a few years. Again, I do not know how many. I was too young to even think of keeping track. I was never there alone. There were always one or two other children there, along with Father from time to time. Father was never there long, and he just stood in the corner and watched us.

There were always toys there. When I think back, I believe that any toy I wanted or remembered from home was always there the next day.

After my time in the mountains, I was just moved down to the base of the mountains. Just out of the blue, I wasn't up high, looking out over the plain. I was on it. There were many people down there. There were camps set up.

I have a feeling that was the day I turned 12. As I said before, Father does not like humans over 12.

That was when I realized I needed to get out. The people on the plain were just like me, but older and hungrier. There was barely anything to eat on the plain save for some strange, hairy rodents.

I talked to almost nobody before I decided to back into the mountains. That's when I saw what Rye called the Howler. Except I just called him Brother in my mind. He was related to Father somehow, and that was the easiest way for me to remember.

The closer I was to the cave, the more I could exploit the imagination of anything I wanted. I imagined books, I got books. I imagined food, I got food--albeit a bit tasteless. The books was how I managed to learn over the years. I had a lot of time on my hands.

After watching Brother travel in and out of the cave, sometimes with papers, sometimes without, I managed to grab some from him as he passed me. He had seen me before, but had not assumed me to be a threat.

I saw there were just random letters on the page. On another page I saw the words "YOU WILL NEVER FIND HIM". Before Brother managed to grab them back--which was easy, considering how long his reach was--I tore a corner from both pages.

I tore a corner from every page I managed to grab over the years. And I waited a long time to gather enough. Luckily I was able to scrounge a pencil and pen as well, so I was able to pass messages on to Rye.

At that point I realized how much older than Rye I was. I knew he would come to save me, but I did not know of any way to tell him I was older now. I also did not know if he would even recognize me. And most importantly, I did not know how we would escape. That is why I waited to tell him to come for me until I figured out a way.

When I did figure out a way, Brother was already gone. I had to force the clues to Rye myself, sneaking into the cave and putting the notes through the rift every time Father left. That was the way I had figured we would get out. I could not go myself, because the rift had to be supported so a human body could pass through. Someone had to hold it open while the other passed through. However, the rift stayed open long enough for me to pass a note through.

I hoped the notes would get to Rye. I had no idea where Father was going, but fewer children had come through since Brother had disappeared. I thought he was more preoccupied with me and Rye, just from what I had picked up from him. So I hoped he was going to Rye, so the messages would at least be near my brother.

Then, finally, Rye came. I knew he was coming, because Father's world gets upset when someone intrudes. The sky turned a darker shade, and wind whipped across the mountains and down onto the plain. But it abated a few days later. Rye had failed.

A year later, he came again. This time he got all the way here. He was wearing a survival backpack, and he looked as if he was about to collapse. He looked almost the same, except he was so haggard and thin. He held a knife in front of him.

"Who are you?" he shouted. As I had thought, he had no idea who I was.

"Rye? It's me, Rye. It's James."

He dropped the knife, and just shook his head. He started crying when he finally recognized me.

"God, it took so much," he whispered.

Once we had sat there and talked--well, he told me more of what had happened, as his 5 months had been far more exciting than my years, although he still could not get his head around the fact I had aged far ahead of him--I told him what the plan was.

He thought it was too dangerous. I told him it was the only way out.

So we waited, watching the cave, waiting until Father--or Locust, as Rye called him, as I did in the drawings of mine he had found--came back, and then we waited until he left again.

We waited a few months, at least. Time was very strange at this point. Rye had upset something in the balance. Some days lasted forever, and some were very short.

But finally, Father was there. And he left shortly after he arrived. We ran to the rift he left behind, and I held it open until Rye got to me. He told me to go first.

I stepped through the rift and I was back home. I was literally in my front yard. I turned to hold it open for Rye, but then I saw what I had left behind.

Reilly was being dragged backwards by his feet. Father had an arm wrapped around Rye's legs, and was pulling him fast. As I watched, Rye reached back, into the backpack that was dragged behind him. He withdrew a gun as he was approaching Father. He aimed, and shot directly at Father.

Nothing happened. The bullet was just gone. Rye was still being dragged forward. I screamed and lunged back into the rift. That's when Father noticed me. He threw Rye against the wall, and lunged towards me.

I did not mean to do it. I jerked backwards, and my fingers slipped from the rift. It closed just as Father's arms reached through for me. They sheared where the rift closed, and lay twitching at my feet.

I had gone through all the possibilities in my head. I knew there was a great chance one of us would get hurt or killed. But seeing Rye get trapped in there like I had was so much worse than just thinking about it.

I just sat on the ground for a few moments before getting up and running to the house. I rang the doorbell and waited. Mom opened the door. Dad was in the kitchen.

I grinned, bittersweet, and said, "Mom? Dad? It's me. It's James."

A few days later, after my parents could actually accept the fact that it was actually me, and I was allowed my room again, a piece of paper appeared on my bed.

A fair trade. Wonderful game.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Entry #88

I think I posted it on my Twitter, but Danny's funeral was Friday, and James's was yesterday. I barely got through Danny's funeral. His parents weren't even crying, they were just frozen in their seats. I didn't even see them blink. Aidan, Katie, Danielle, Alex, and even Mike were all there. I tried to say something for Danny, but I couldn't. My throat just closed. I had to walk down the aisle in front of all the mourners. I feel like they knew it was my fault.

Then there was James's funeral. Tons of people came to pay their respects to the eight year old who isn't even dead. I couldn't stand it. I went out a back door as everyone was filing in. I walked home. It wasn't too far.

My head had been hurting all week, really badly. Even though it had been fairly nice outside (it is spring, after all), I just stayed in my room. Every time I got up to go downstairs or to the bathroom I got really dizzy. Like, borderline fainting dizzy.

But when I got home and sat down on the porch, I felt a sort of pop in my ears, like something had broken. And my headache was completely gone. I looked around, just testing to see if I was still dizzy. I wasn't. But I saw someone walking down the driveway. He was in a black suit.

I knew it was him. I knew I needed to meet him, head on, so I could get James back. And he knew I was there.

I ran after him, across the grass and down the driveway. But the second I lost sight of him behind a tree, he was gone. When I rounded the bend in the driveway, well--

Our driveway wasn't there any more. It stopped abruptly, and little wood chips began where the driveway ended. It was the goddamn playground, the sick twisted warped hellish playground I went through James's closet to find.

It was completely deserted, though. Locust wasn't anywhere I could see. I tried to go into the playground, but I hit something and fell back. I turned to get up, and I saw someone walking in the playground out of the corner of my eye. I sprang to my feet and turned around. I was ready to punch or kick whatever was keeping me back from getting to Locust, but then I saw it wasn't Locust.

Danny was standing on the other side of the window, the glass, whatever it was. He put his hand up against it and gave a sad sort of smile.

"It's not your fault, Reilly," he said. His voice was sort of muffled. "You can't help any of this."

I think I started crying. I don't even know. Somebody else walked into the frame behind him. It was Ken. He looked serious, but he nodded at me and said, "Danny is correct. These are forces you can't help."

I just nodded. I couldn't do anything else. My legs gave out and I sat on the ground, staring up at them. Danny turned, and faces away from me. He gestured to someone behind him, and then turned back. He looked so somber now.

The person he had been motioning walked up to the window now, and I saw who it was. Katie was standing behind the glass. She smiled and said, "Hey Rye. Don't worry about us. We might even get back. Just make sure everyone else is safe. Get your brother back. And trust our friends. We trust you."

Danny said, "Bye Rye. Maybe we'll see you soon."

The window disappeared, and I felt someone grab my arms. I didn't move, even as whoever it was tried to pull me up.

It was Mike. He slapped me in the face, hard. "Get up," he shouted, "and listen to me."

I got up and turned to face him. I couldn't say anything.

"You need to go back and get James. I saw what you were seeing just now. That means that Katie's dead now, too. Do you get that? Katie. Is. Dead. Do you want anyone else to die?"

I stammered, and shook my head no.

"I didn't really think so." He laughed. "I don't know how you're going to get James back, but I brought you a survival kit.

"I've seen Mr. Slim before. I know what he's capable of. And I don't think knives or anything like that will hurt him. So I brought you Ken's gun. I took it from the house before my parents took his stuff."

He took off his backpack and unzipped it. He stuck his hand in and felt around for a second before finding what he was looking for. He took out a white pistol. There were carvings up the sides of the handle, little carvings of trees, branches, vines.

"I loaded it already. And take the backpack. There's real military rations inside, from my dad. Go tonight or tomorrow, before any more of us die. That's two of us, plus Ken. Do it for all of us, not just James."

He left the backpack on the ground and ran to the bottom of the driveway. His bike was there. He rode off and left me standing in the middle of the driveway. I must have stood there a while, because I saw my parents' car turning into the driveway. I was still holding the pistol in my hand, so I shoved it into the backpack and ran toward the house.

I went around to the back of the house, near the pond. I waited out there until late yesterday before I went in. Then I had to deal with my parents, asking where I had gone. They didn't even yell at me, just asked me. I could hear how exhausted they were. I didn't want to hurt them any more. I answered all their questions, then hugged both of them and told them I loved them.

I'm going back through the closet as soon as this post publishes. I'm not coming back until I find James, or until I starve. Here's to hoping we both end up alive, and my friends too. But I don't think that's likely.


Reilly :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Entry #87

They found Danny. He wasn't alive. He was

No. I won't even say it. You probably know what happened, anyway.

The funeral is Friday.

I dreamed I walked into a fire and just sat in it. I watched my hands burn away.

My head is hurting. Really hurting. My right eye has been going fuzzy because of it all day.

I've been hitting my head on the wall. That hasn't helped the headache. I'm sure my parents wondered what the banging is. A shower got rid of the blood.

I don't know what to do.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Entry #86

I haven't had the will to type anything up lately. All my energy has been sapped. I don't even feel like writing this, but I know people want to see what's happening. Good Lord, this isn't why I started a blog. I started this blog to write about my life, about music I love, about my sports. And now it's turned into some sort of exploitation of my brother's goddamn abduction. Now Danny's disappearance, too. Nobody ever deserves this. My family doesn't deserve this.

I don't have any energy. I helped with the search parties for Danny. I described him to the police, when I last saw him, if he was acting strange (he wasn't), so on. They weren't very optimistic. Danny was--is--seventeen. Usually seventeen-year-olds don't go missing. And of course I couldn't say anything about Locust.

I can just feel everything piling on my head, all the stress weighing me down. I have friends' lives in my hands. And I can't tell the police, because they'll think I did something to Danny. They already think my mental health was affected by our ordeal with James.

To top it all off, remember that I mentioned my parents were talking about the funeral? Well, the funeral is the weekend after this. They told me this morning. I told them I knew they were planning it already, and then I just went back to my room and didn't say anything else. My dad left for work without saying goodbye to me or my mom.

I haven't seen anything chaotic, anything that could let me find Locust or James. It's strange, now, how I automatically think of James and Locust together. I need to find something bad, no matter how much it hurts the people involved. I think even a car accident would be fine. Anything in this area would be fine, because not much happens. James's abduction and Danny's disappearance were, in fact, the largest happenings since a serial killer in the 80s.

Now the police are afraid the newspapers are going to run big articles about this. They're afraid the reporters will be able to piece together that both people were on the swim team. I hope the news people do find that out. It would be the best way to protect the others without me telling them.

I'm going to end this post here and try to find something constructive to do. Not likely, but I can always try.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Entry #85

There were six of us during the prank. Six. Me, Mike, Danielle, Katie, Aidan, and Danny.

Now Danny is missing, and Mike told me this was going to happen.

I was going to try to type up the post two days ago telling you what Mike said, but my computer shut down completely, for no apparent reason. Now I suspect it was Locust, just trying to keep me from thinking about my conversation with Mike.

I finally managed to make Mike talk to me two days ago. I had seen him at swim practice since Wednesday, but I was always too busy swimming or talking to someone else to actually go up to him and ask him about it. Even though I should have, I just didn't. So on Saturday, I saw him at the mall. Completely by chance, I was just getting some clothes with my mom. He was just sitting on a bench on the second floor, drinking something.

My mom went into the bookstore, and I went over to Mike. He looked dazed, and quite disheveled. He also looked very, very upset. I sat down on the bench next to him and said, "Hey, Mike."

He jumped and almost let go of his drink. He hadn't even seen me walk over. I almost laughed, but I stopped myself because I knew that would have been mean.

He relaxed onto the bench, but he was gripping the rail so tightly with one hand that the knuckles were turning white. He didn't even say hi, he just said, "What do you want?"

I just asked him. I didn't want to play around. "What do you know about Locust?"

He looked genuinely confused. "Locust? You mean the cockroach things?"

"No, the man in the suit who took my freakin' brother. You know something, what is it?"

Now he didn't look confused. He just looked nervous again. He leaned closer to me and said, "You mean Mr. Slim, don't you? Mr. Slim is Locust, isn't he? Tall guy in a suit, right?"

I nodded. Mike gulped. He looked as if he was about to throw up. He took a deep, shuddering breath and kept talking.

"Mr. Slim killed Ken. He told me so."

I tried to interrupt. Mike had been talking to Locust. I was on the right track. But I didn't interrupt, I just closed my mouth and listened.

"You and I were the only ones who saw anything in the parking lot at the hotel. Well, I didn't see anything, I more...felt something. It felt like something had gone through my stomach, and then I just felt so weak I fell down. I saw you coming out the door. I couldn't turn my head to see where the others were, but I just knew they weren't there. I tried crawling toward you, and then I saw him."

"You saw Loc--Mr. Slim? I went inside because I had seen him earlier. I shouldn't have. I should have warned you guys. Oh God, I'm so sorry."

Mike just gave me a haunted look and went on. "He was standing in the little alcove by the door. You came out the door, and I just felt the strongest urge to turn away and scream, but I asked you that question. And I know the answer now. You did bring him here."

He buried his head in his hands. "You fell down next to me after I asked you that. You were unconscious. And Mr. Slim was walking toward us. I don't know what happened to me, but I still wasn't able to get up. I tried to get up to run, to get away, but I couldn't.

"The weirdest thing was, it barely looked like he was walking. He was more gliding. He's not human."

I laughed. "No, no, he's not. I know."

"God. Well. He was pretty close when I blacked out too. But I woke up in bed. When I got out of bed, I noticed I had a little note folded up in my pocket. It said, in this cursive script, 'Six of you. One week. Then you begin to disappear.'"

He leaned even closer to me. "He means us, Reilly. The six of us who were out there. He's going to take us, like he took your little brother."

And Locust did. Danny is gone. The swim team is fundraising for his family and organizing search parties. They aren't going to find him either. But Mike said something else, something that mattered more to me. He said, as his last words before he got up from the bench and left, "Whatever Mr. Slim is, he likes small children and chaos. If you see either of those, I'd advise you to turn the other way. A playground, a house burning down...either way. I'd leave. And you, to me, are chaos. So I'm leaving. Goodbye."

If I see Locust, it's going to be near something bad. And I'm not going to run away, I'm going to run straight towards it.

I wonder who's going to disappear next?


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Entry #84

I'm so sorry for not telling you what's been happening. It's just...there's been so much going on. Everything happened at the last swim meet of the season. It was out in Long Island, 3 days in a row of races.

Saturday night, the second and last night at the hotel, we swimmers decided to pull a prank on our head coach. We wanted to trash his room, but he went to bed too early. So we decided to saran wrap his car. It was pretty late, but we ran to a nearby grocery store, got five rolls of saran wrap and found his car. Only six of us were in on the prank (including Mike. He was back to swimming a while ago, I just never asked him about Ken), and I got a whole video of it. Well, video of most of it, up to the point when I saw Locust.

We were being really cautious, checking to see if the coach was looking out his window, and hiding if we thought he was. I was looking up at the window, and pointing the camera at the window, when it made a squeaking noise. Sort of like nails on a chalkboard, painful and metallic. The screen glitched out, went to static, and shut off.

None of my friends noticed the noise, they were too involved with not tearing the saran wrap. I was trying to fix the camera when I saw him. Locust was just standing in the shadow by the corner of the hotel. I could tell he was watching us. All the blood rushed to my head and my vision got really fuzzy.

I was stupid. I shouldn't have left my friends out there with Locust standing there. I made an excuse that I had to see if the night clerk at the hotel's front desk was telling our parents about what we were doing, and I went inside. As soon as I got in the door I felt better.

I sat in the lobby for a few minutes, playing with the camera and trying to make it work again. It still doesn't work, even now. After a while, I went back out to see if they were done, because it was almost midnight, even though I didn't want to chance seeing Locust again.

I stepped out the door, and I saw Mike crawling toward me. There was a trail of red behind him. None of the other kids were in sight. I couldn't speak. I stammered, I don't even know what I was going to say. He grabbed my leg and whispered something I couldn't hear. I bent down. My legs were shaking so badly I practically fell on Mike.

He said to me, "You brought him here, didn't you?"

All I could do was nod. I sat there for a moment before I turned to run into the hotel to get help. As I got up, I saw a black pant leg directly in front of me. Except they weren't pants. They were little masses of swarming black tentacles, forming the general shape of pants. His suit was made of tentacles, just like his hat.

The last thing I saw before I blacked out was his head, towering far above me.

I woke up in my hotel bed, next to my parents' bed. It was time to get up for breakfast. I didn't want to know what was happening, but I had to. I got up, got dressed, and went to breakfast before my parents could wake up.

Sitting at one of the tables were all the people involved in the prank, all of them laughing and eating. Including Mike.

I sat at a different table, far away from them.

I don't know what the hell happened there, but now I know Mike knows something. Even if it's secondhand knowledge from Ken, I need it. I need it to be "ready" for whatever James is saying I need to be ready for. I took these three days off from swimming, but I'm going back tomorrow. And I'm confronting Mike.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Entry #83

I jumped. I decided to just gather what courage--or stupidity, I don't actually know which--and simply walk into his room and jump.

I wasn't so stupid that I didn't gather stuff I thought I would need. After all, it was pitch dark, and windy, so I knew it was going to be deep. So I brought a flashlight, my Swiss Army knife, and a backpack I filled with little snacks. Granola bars, little cereals, stuff like that.

I decided not to tell anyone in my family about this...escapade. They would know I was crazy. Heh, I know I'm crazy. Especially now.

So four days ago, I put the backpack on, walked into his room, opened the closet, and jumped in. I was prepared to break my legs, or at least bump hard and bruise myself. I had closed my eyes, but after a few seconds of falling, I opened them. A sense of peacefulness had come over me, a feeling that I didn't control. In fact, I knew I should have been panicked, but I wasn't.

It was slightly less dark, and it grew brighter the longer I fell. I knew I was falling, I could hear the wind whooshing past my ears. I must have been falling for at least a minute.

Then I saw the ground. It was the same ground I had seen when I had killed the Howler. Except this time it was rushing up to meet me. I didn't even bother bracing myself for impact, I knew I was going too fast to survive. So I just closed my eyes again.

I must have blacked out for a second, because I woke up and I was lying on the ground. Something must have caught me, or something really strange must have happened. HA, "really strange", like none of this is really strange? Impossible, more like. Impossible.

I rolled over and saw the sign. A little wooden sign propped up on a stick, with the cursive engraved on it. "Let's play," it said. A little arrow pointed ahead, with an even smaller word saying "champain". I stood up and saw past the sign. A field of reddish grass stretched before me. There was a severe line, cutting the green grass I was standing on from the crunchy red grass ahead.

I stepped over the little line, and felt a shiver run through my body. I knew I couldn't turn back even if I wanted to. I looked at my watch. The date was 3-17-11.

It took me 3 weeks to walk across that plain. I ran out of food and water by the end of week 1, but every time I sat down, there was an exact clone of my water bottle and a few granola bars when I looked behind me. By the time I got to the playground, I was stumbling badly. My legs were giving out. The watch said 4-7-11.

The playground was a sick, warped vision of a normal playground. The slide stretched up for what must have been 10 stories, the swings covered with spikes. The steps were impossibly tall, and the jungle gym had nettles--red ones--growing and winding over it. The playground endlessly repeated, stretching to each side.

It was a nightmare. I collapsed on the sand in the playground and fell asleep. I hadn't been sleeping well on that plain, I had nightmares every night. But when I fell asleep on that playground, it was the best sleep I had ever had.

When I woke up, there was a black door in front of me. It was perched on the sand. There was a grotesque door handle that looked like it was carved out of part of a bone. Attached to the door was another cursive note.

"Face yourself. Look through the door."

I had to do it. I opened the door quickly. Before me was a pit. The pit was full of motionless bodies, bodies standing completely still, shoulder to shoulder.

All the people in there were me.

They each had some deformity, some part of them twisted, missing, decayed. And they all were staring at me, grinning. I couldn't stand it. I screamed, and slammed the door closed. I turned to grab my backpack, and there was suddenly another door in front of me. It was the same color, same texture as my bedroom door.

I barely read the note on it before I flung myself through the door. It said, "Go back. You aren't ready yet, Rye."

I flew through the door and blacked out again. When I woke up on my bed, the clock by my bed said it was 3-20-11. My watch still said it was 4-7-11.

I know I'm going back. I just don't know when.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Entry #82

I went into James's room yesterday. I sat around from 9 A.M. to around 2 P.M., just trying to gather the courage to go in. I had both his notes in my pocket.

I opened the door and shone the flashlight in. Due to the lack of use, my parents had turned off the circuit breaker for his room. The previous owner, who was also the builder of the house, had done a shoddy job with all the wiring, and he made it so each room had its own circuit breaker. I didn't want to turn it back on because I didn't want my parents to know what I was doing.

My parents basically ignore the room now. They act like it's not there.

So I shone the flashlight, and the first thing I saw was another ripped-off corner--another note. It was lying in front of his bed, stuck in the carpet. I crept in and flipped the note so I could see it.

All it had was another arrow, and the word "CLOSET" bisected by the arrow. James has a fairly large closet in his room. Not a walk-in, but large. Both of the sliding doors to it were closed.

I turned my flashlight to the doors. There was a larger corner pinned onto the door with a tack. All it said was "JUMP".

Yeah, I was nervous. I felt like I was about to vomit. But I swallowed the bile and whisked the door open.

Void. Black emptiness. The air whooshed past me from the room into the void, and the room suddenly turned cold. There was no closet left. The room terminated at the edge of the closet. My flashlight's beam didn't even penetrate the blackness.

I was too scared. I couldn't do it. I couldn't jump like he wanted me to. I slammed the closet door shut, ran out of the room, and shut that door. I don't know if I can go back in there.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Entry #81

There was absolutely nothing back at the 909. Nothing. No traces of--well, of anything. No footprints in the mud, no box like the last time. I was there all day, looking for something. There was no point.

And when I got back, there was this.
I'm going into his room now. It's been shut off, forgotten, since the last time I was in there. James wants me in there now. I have no idea how he's getting the notes to me, but it's going to help me help him.

I would have gone in there as soon as I saw the note, but to be completely honest, I haven't had the courage to go into the room again. I'm afraid everything's just going to become...real, I guess. I know it is, but I just want to wake up. I can't wake up. This is my life, and I don't know why this happened to my family, but I--we, actually, as a family--have to face it. I have to act.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Entry #80

So I looked up the two words I didn't know on that paper. "Champain" and "aery".

According to a gardening website, "champain" means "flat, open plain". Aery means "nest, haven". So I have to cross a plain, pass a playground, and find a haven...sounds easy enough, right? Nope. Heh.

Still have no idea what James's little puzzle in the corner is. Why is he playing games with me now? Doesn't he want to be safe? God.

I'm going to keep my eye out for any playgrounds in the area. I know Locust wants this to be fairly easy for me to find. He wants to play with me.

Tomorrow I'm going to the 909. It's finally dry enough. Wish me luck, again.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Entry #79

Thank God. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but thank God, there's another note. Cursive again. And the corner isn't ripped out. Well, I think it was meant to be, but it wasn't.

And that's James's writing in the corner. Hahaha, finally something! Can I show my parents this? Is it proof enough? Should I wait?

And really, what does it mean?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Entry #78

In regards to the funeral...

I think it's two weeks from now. I want to confront my parents so much, but they don't know I've been listening carefully to what they've been saying. I've picked up little bits of information every time I hear them talking. They don't want me to know (yet, at least, I hope they'll tell me at some point), so they change the topic if I come into the room while they're talking.

I've been having visions again. Last night I woke up, and felt compelled to look outside. It was the middle of the night, supposed to be pitch black.

The sky was red again. Everything was normal, but the sky was red. It wasn't bright out, everything was obscured in shadow, but the sky was red. I slammed the shade shut as fast as I could, but not before I thought I saw someone sitting in the swinging chair out front.

It's hard to go to sleep when you know there's things like that outside your house. I can feel the air changing when I go outside. I can feel a heaviness in the air, a heaviness that's not caused by humidity or weather. It's just an unnatural stillness. I can't stand it.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Entry #77

I heard my parents talking about a funeral for James today. They were discussing where to have it.

They were in their bedroom, with the door closed. I could hear them talking when I woke up, and when I got up to go to the bathroom, I heard my dad say "James" clearly. Then I heard my mom shush him, and they went silent. My mom heard me walk by.

I went to the bathroom, then I carefully opened the door so it wouldn't make noise and walked up to the bedroom door so I could listen. I heard them name three funeral homes nearby, and I heard my mom ask if there should be a wake.

I went back to my room before I heard any more. If I had heard anything else, I would have walked in and told them that James was still alive. They would really think I was crazy.

You have no idea of the feeling I had when I got back to my room. It was just a hopeless, desperate feeling in my gut, weighing me down, making me feel as if I couldn't do anything. And if I could do anything, it would be wrong. After all, if I told my parents what had happened to me, even if I showed them the papers, the journal, the shirts, the cloth, they would still think I was crazy. I know they think I'm still affected in some way. I am, in a way.

What do I do? They're going to have a funeral for James.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Entry #76

Couldn't go out to the 909 again. Too much rain, too much cold, too much snow. I'm still sorta tired from waking up at 5:30 A.M. to get to the swim meet both days this weekend. We decided not to go to a hotel, even though we had a reservation. My mom just said she didn't want to stay in a hotel, so we just drove home both days.

My legs are very sore. Combined with the tennis I've had the past two days (Yes, I went straight to tennis after the swim meet yesterday. Dumb idea.), I'm pretty ready for my 'easy' day tomorrow. I only have swim practice, no tennis.

I'm not going to try for the 909 tomorrow, even if the rain stops. It'll be ridiculously muddy and cold, and I just want a day where I can chill on the computer or watch T.V. or something.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Entry #75

Hi all. Just saying I'm completely recovered. Well, I still have the sniffles, but who cares. I even managed to lose a few pounds from being sick, haha.

I have another big sleep-away swim meet this weekend. It's at the same place the last one was. I only swam one relay today, but tomorrow I have 3 events. I took a huge nap today, because I'm not used to waking up that early.

Nothing related to James so far this week. I'm considering going back to the 909--the biking area where I found the box, where I saw Locust the first time--as soon as the snow melts completely, which should be by Tuesday. In his notebook, there's a drawing of a road that has the name of the road leading to the 909, with an arrow pointing as if I'm supposed to go there. I don't know if I'm still supposed to go there, or if that's saying he did, or if that's talking about the box and the cloth. I don't know.

Speaking of the cloth, it's gone. The shirts I found are still here, though. I looked over them, inside and out--literally. Just a few scratches, which I think the Howler caused. So I think we're good for now.

Thanks, guys. Think I should go back to the 909? Maybe? I don't know.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entry #74

Wow. I can't believe I haven't updated in this long. This has become a lifeline to me, something I can pour my thoughts into. I can't believe it helps me so much.

I've been really sick the past few days. 104 F fever, no appetite. When I was just getting sick, I thought it was because Locust was near, but I think it was just a virus. It got so bad two days ago that I started having hallucinations. My mom was about to take me to the hospital, but my fever started going down.

I am, however, getting a blood test tomorrow. My mom is worried that it might be something recurring, because I got this sort of thing last year around the same time.

Other than the Tweet I posted from my phone 2 days ago, I haven't been able to write anything much because I haven't been able to get out of bed until a few hours ago. Still feel sort of feverish (because I am, 100 F now), but I think I'll be okay.

I'm just going to continue with my normal activities. I'll keep looking for whatever clues James told me about, but I know he's safe for now. I'll keep posting, just to show I'm fine, and I'll post anything I think is relevant. Thank you for all your support, guys. You have no idea how much this has helped me deal with this.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Entry #73

Guess I lied, I can update now. I’m a bit tired. I woke up at 7 A.M., swam at the meet from 8 to 11-ish, came back for finals from 4 P.M. to 6, and drove home, which took about an hour and a half.

I thought I would be safe while we were gone. I thought all the worries would be washed away once we left yesterday. And I was right, for a while. We woke up even earlier yesterday, around 5:30 A.M. so we could prepare food and drive to the meet from home. So I took a nap for an hour in the car.

It was almost completely dark when we left, and very foggy. I just stood outside in the dark, letting it wash around me. The moon and a few stars were out, but it was on the brink of dawn, so they were fading fast. It was so peaceful. I could just feel my body relaxing. As soon as I was in the car I slept like a baby. Just put my head down, and bam, I was asleep.

When I woke up, it was bright out. I looked out the window, and I could see we were in the City. So we were pretty near the pool where the meet was being held. I don’t think my parents heard me yawn and stretch, they were discussing something quietly in the front.

We slowed to a stop at a stoplight, and I just leaned my head against the window and stared out. Right away, he caught my eye. It was 7 A.M. in a not-so-nice place in the Bronx, and the sidewalk down the block was deserted. Except for him. Locust.

He was just standing next to the wall. Not leaning against it, nothing. Just standing on the sidewalk. A little trash bag blew by him and fluttered down the street. Again, I could just sense he was looking at me—only me, not anyone else in the car. Just me. And I was too far to see his head, so I couldn’t have known who he was looking at. Then again, I don’t think he has eyes.

I hunched down in the seat until we had gone past the stoplight. I tried to forget about him, but I just couldn’t. My times in the races were pretty bad yesterday. I think seeing Locust had something to do with it.

Today was fine. Didn’t think of him, didn’t see him. Swam well. But now I know he can follow me wherever he wants to. I knew that already, but now I’m sure. There’s no way to get away from him. I just have to go straight through him. :)


Friday, February 18, 2011

Entry #72

Nothing today. Decided to go through James's notebook again. Thought there would be some clues. I don't know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Entry #71

I woke up today and smelled something burning. I ran downstairs. Nothing burning downstairs. I yelled for my parents, so I could see what was going on. My mom started down the stairs, and was about to say something when I heard a shout from outside, and I saw my dad outside the window. He motioned for me to open the window so he could talk to me.

"What happened?" I asked. My dad looked very puzzled.

"Y'know the shed out back? The old one we let fall down?"

My stomach dropped. I knew what my dad was about to say.

"It's burned down. I don't get how. We didn't get any lightning or anything. It must have just been a freak spark or something. Oh well, nothing wasted." He chuckled nervously and walked around to the garage so he could get back in.

Then something out in back caught my eye. Something moved forward, out from the trees a little. It was Locust.

Except something was different about him. He wasn't a normal height anymore. His waist was above the fence of the pool, which is at least 5 feet high. He was still dressed in his business suit, but it was stretched so far that it looked like it was going to rip. His hat was gone, and his head was just...blank. Pure white. No facial features, no eyes even.

I froze. My fingers clamped down on the windowsill. I couldn't move. At that moment, I got the same feeling I had gotten the last time I saw him, the feeling of all the blood rushing to my head like I was about to faint. But I didn't. I resisted the sensation, I forced myself to stay upright. My eyelids started spasming, but I didn't faint.

Then I got a burst of...emotion in my head. A blast of pure, unadulterated hatred. A sneer. Locust didn't move this entire time. Nothing was moving.

Two little black branches wound up from behind Locust's back. They squirmed up above his head, flapping and waving back and forth, intertwining and meshing. More little branches--tentacles, more like, joined the two, madly weaving among themselves. Finally they settled down on his head. They formed a hat, a bowler hat.

Locust turned around and melted back into the trees. I couldn't move from the windowsill for another ten minutes.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Entry #70

I cleaned the knife and put it back where it was supposed to go. I tore up the shirt and threw it into the garbage. I put the flashlight back. I can't do anything more right now. My legs go weak when I think about what happened.

I can't believe it. I killed something--it wasn't a person, but it was something alive. I stabbed it, I killed it myself. The look on its face...I don't think anyone had ever even considered trying to harm it. And if Ken was right, these things have been around for centuries. Heh, well, now one of them is gone.

I lazed around all of today. My body wouldn't let me do anything else. I turned on the TV, flipped the channels around, but all I could find that was remotely interesting was a news channel. And even that was boring. After I heard, "And police are still looking for Zeke Strahm, a man who is believed to have killed three people in the--" I snapped it off. I didn't want to hear about more death. Tried playing some video games, but I just couldn't see the point of them.

I had a nightmare last night about those things that dragged me back. Every time I think about them, I think they resemble tentacles. Little octopus tentacles, without the suckers. Stained with dirt, with little branches. They make me want to throw up.

Good God, what am I supposed to do? This isn't what was supposed to happen. I wasn't supposed to do anything like this. I didn't think going to that place would lead to me killing something. And now Locust is the only one who knows where James is, and he is going to be angry. Very angry.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Entry #69

I went out at 1 A.M. last night. Parents were asleep. It was ridiculously cold out, must have been under 0 Fahrenheit.

I had my flashlight and a knife, and my sneakers. When I got to the shed, I changed into the sneakers before I opened the door. My feet were freezing but I really didn't care. I'm glad the flashlight was powerful, because it was really dark out. No moon, no stars, just cloud banks.

I pushed open the door, and shone the flashlight in. Same as last time, except I could see a larger area due to the flashlight. I almost threw up at the thought of picking my way through those bags, but I knew I had to. At this point I was just basing everything I knew about that place on the one dream--I don't know what it was I had on the tennis court, but I'll call it a dream. I figured there were walls, as I had seen.

So I picked my way inside. I thought the night outside my house was quiet, but this was far worse. There was literally no sound. Ever heard complete silence? I think I did. It weighed down on my head, and every step I took echoed very loudly, even though I was wearing sneakers. Echoes meant there had to be walls though, so I was right.

I walked up to the first bag, the one I had touched and opened before. There was still dried blood all over the floor. And handprints. At least a hundred handprints in the blood. They led away from the stain, leaving a trail through the pillars.

I shone my flashlight that way. Oh man, was my hand shaking. I saw the wall first. It was marble, like everything else. Just a different shade, a little darker and a little worn down. Then I saw the doors. The same doors as in the dream. Except one of them was propped open a tiny bit, and if I listened closely I could hear something. It sounded like waves on a beach. And I could see a faint sliver of light.

I picked my way among all the pillars and the bags, trying not to touch any of them, and trying to be as careful as possible with my footsteps. Thank the Lord, I got to the door without touching a single one of those bags.

I peered in the door, but I couldn't see anything because my eyes hadn't adjusted to the light. I squinted, and waited for a few seconds. I couldn't see much still, so I slipped my way inside.

It wasn't real. It couldn't have been. Then again, the place I had just come from couldn't have either.

The sky wasn't blue, or gray, or dark. It was red. The sky was red. Nothing was the right color. The ground swayed back and forth. I could see where I heard the waves sound, it was a patch of grass--well, it looked a little like grass--swishing against a cliff face.

I let out a little cry of fear, or I must have, I don't know. Because I could hear something trampling through the bushes (bushes? I think they were) toward me. I knew the shape. I instinctively put my hands behind my back, dropped the flashlight, and stuck the knife in my waistband.

It was the Howler, crawling on God knows how many hands, and carrying James in two other hands. This time I really cried out, and rushed toward them. The swaying ground knocked me to my feet though. James was alive. He was unconscious, but I could see his chest rising and falling as he took breaths.

He had grown so much in the past months. His hair was over his ears now, and unkempt. He had sprouted up, and looked really lanky. But he looked fairly well-fed--he definitely wasn't starving.

The Howler, grinning, placed him against a tree, then turned back to me. It opened its mouth. "As you can see, we have him. Right here, right now."

He scrambled a little closer. The hands that weren't touching the ground were madly twitching, reaching to grab me. "We have one last task for you. All you have to do is bring us one little child. One little boy or girl. Then we will let you have James back. What do you say?" And it grinned, its sick little grin.

I couldn't stand it any more. I charged toward it, screaming. It was only a few feet away, and I pulled out the knife from my waistband as I charged. The grin on its face changed to a look of shock as I stabbed it.

I stabbed it right where its head met its shoulders--there was no neck, nothing between the two parts. I don't think it ever knew I would do anything like that. I didn't really think I would do anything like that either.

Black blood trickled out around the knife. Pure black. I pulled the knife out and stabbed the Howler again, this time in the chest. The Howler gurgled. A few arms flailed weakly, but I just kept stabbing. I don't know how long I stood over it, how many times I stabbed it, but it was limp on the ground by the time I was done. I had black blood spattered all over me. It was warm.

I was crying. I dropped the knife and ran over to James, stumbling over the body and the rolling ground. I shook him, and shouted his name. His eyes fluttered open, and he looked shocked. "R-rye?" he stammered.

"Yes, yes, oh God, you're safe," I hugged him. He hugged me back. But then I felt him go stiff. I pulled away and looked at him. He was looking over my shoulder in terror. "What? WHAT?" I shouted, starting to turn around. James grabbed me, and pulled me back.

"I'm sorry..." he whispered, "But you have to go now. I'll be safe. Find me. You'll see the clues."

With that, something wound around my ankles and dragged me backwards towards the door. It had the same slimy feel as in the dream. My headache--which had gotten almost unbearable as I was in there--exploded through my head. I passed out.

I woke up in my bed. I still had the bloodstains on me. The knife and the flashlight were neatly laid on my desk, and the boots and sneakers were at the foot of my bed.

I killed it. I killed the Howler.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Entry #68 (Even though my blog says it has 70 posts)

My headache is much better again. Yesterday I saw a flash of a suit, a glimpse of a hat by the same pine tree I saw the blood spatter by. After I saw that, I was so paranoid I peered out the window pretty much every 2 minutes to see if anything was out there. Fortunately it wasn't.

I'm getting the feeling that the closer these things are, the worse I feel. When I was feeling so awful, when I couldn't sleep and started with the micronaps, I think that was because they were so close. I could hear the Howler literally howling right outside the door. This time, I think I saw Locust standing out there. I think he's gone now, or at least moved far away. That's why I'm feeling better.

I'm going to go back to the shed tomorrow. I don't want to go. I think that place makes me sicker too. I'm going to bring a flashlight, a really powerful LED one, and a knife. New batteries for the flashlight tonight. I don't know when I'll post next, but hopefully it will be Sunday morning. I'm sneaking to the shed tomorrow night, I'm not letting my parents know. They'll want to come. I know that would be bad.

I have a feeling 'they' want me to go in there again. And I can't do anything about that. Kite, the guy/girl/it who commented on my last post is right. I've got to do anything to save my brother.

Don't worry, I've told 3 of my friends to call 911 if I don't text or call them by Sunday morning. If you want to know if I'm safe, I'll either post here Sunday morning, post something on Twitter tomorrow night, or you can contact me at my email to know a little sooner. I'll be on that email all through tonight and some of Saturday, and I'll check on it after to see if anyone has sent anything.

If anybody emails me, I'll take questions about the situation too, I guess. I'll probably compile a list of useful questions and answers, and post them up here as well to see if anybody can spot clues that I may have missed.

Thank you for helping me with my family's situation, everyone who has been following this. It has helped me immensely, not only emotionally but in my quest to get James back. If I don't come back tomorrow, I'm thanking you now.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Entry #67

Sorry I didn't get to update yesterday, to whoever is reading my stuff. I was too busy shoveling snow and doing schoolwork that needed to be done.

I went to the library on Monday, as I said I would. I went to the biggest one in the area, which has newspapers from this whole side of the Hudson River dating back to the late 1800s. It even has National Geographic magazines dating back to 1926. Yeah, I spent a while looking at those. Cool stuff.

Anyway, I didn't want to look through every newspaper, so I asked the librarian (this crotchety old lady, she totally thought I was going to break something, or not behave well) if there was a way I could view only the obituaries in each paper. She said there wasn't, but I could view them online, on their website.

Every single obituary had been painstakingly transcribed onto their website. I can't believe they went to so much trouble to do that.

Even though everything was neatly arranged on the site, I still didn't want to look through every obituary. There must have been thousands. So I scrolled through them, looking for anybody under the age of 18. Through the years, there were a fair number of horse accidents, car accidents, drownings, so on, but very few kidnappings.

In fact, the highest concentration of kidnappings where the body had been found was in the past three years. Why hadn't I heard about this on the news? Why weren't the police saying something about kidnappers on the loose? Reading through the obituaries of these kids, some of them my age, most of them younger, even I could spot the similarities in the way their bodies were found.

And the way their bodies were found was strikingly similar to the way I saw the policeman dying in the tree. They had all been found lying on the ground with their stomach slit open. And these kids were usually found a few months after they had been taken.

According to the reports, there was no other sign of bodily harm. Which means these weren't normal kidnappers or rapists. In one respect, I know James is still safe. But if I don't find him, he's going to end up like all these other kids--12 other kids. There have been 4 every year the past few years.

When I read through all of these I started crying. Really, I started crying in the middle of the library. The person--a woman, I think--sitting next to me looked over at me, looked a bit worried, but returned to what she was reading.

Nobody cares about anybody else. Everyone is just wrapped up in his or her own life, and doesn't see the tragedies that happen around them. Oh God, what do I do? Do I go back to the shed? I think I have to, at some point. Please let me--and James--be safe.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Entry #65.5/66

Sorry, I was too tired to describe anything else yesterday.

The head of the tennis club, Lou, was very kind and called 911. They had me lie on the court until the ambulance came. The thought I had heat exhaustion, even though it was the middle of winter.

Now, let me just say, Lou is a pretentious -self censored-, but he knows what he's talking about usually. He's a good coach, but he thinks way too much of himself. However, I trust his judgment most of the time. I went along with his statement that it was heat exhaustion, even though I knew better.

The ambulance driver and the nurses came into the club and helped me onto a stretcher, even though I really could have gotten up and walked. They explained that I could have had a brain injury, and moving the blood around by getting up could make it worse. So I just sat there while they wheeled me out.

I had never been to a hospital before yesterday. It had always been private doctors for physicals and stuff. The second I was wheeled in, I could just smell the sickness in the air.

And you know what it smelled like? It smelled like the Howler's breath. Exactly like his breath. I gagged as soon as I got in the door, but I held in the vomit. It tasted awful, but tasting it was better than smelling the Howler.

I practically held my breath the entire time I was in there. When I breathed, I made sure I breathed through my mouth. Fortunately I wasn't in there long, I passed all of the tests they gave me to make sure I didn't have a concussion or brain hemorrhage. I guess I was pretty lucky.

I got another 'day off', now, because my mom wants me to relax. Make sure I don't faint again. I've been reading through my back posts. How did I not see this man, Locust, was there from the beginning? Right from the first few posts I see him. I knew James was acting strange, and I didn't do anything.

Normality trumps strangeness, I guess. I ignored what I couldn't define, and brushed it off when it came near. I can't do that now, with James gone and the shed turned into a freaking cavern. And don't forget my head. It still hurts, but not as badly. Maybe my fainting spell and knocking it on the ground helped the headache. Ha.

I've been scrubbing at my arm where the dirt is. It doesn't want to go away. In fact, my scrubbing made it stain my arm even more. Now instead of sticking to my skin, it's ingrained in my skin. I've given up trying to rub it. I don't know what to do, but I'm not going to just sit around and wait for the next debilitating thing to happen. I'm going to do something about it.

And by doing something about it, I think I'm going to go to my local library and see what I can find about kidnappings in the area. Bye.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Entry #65

So I went to tennis today. Bad decision. I've been sicker since I went to the shed. My throat's been killing me.

So, of course, I just drank more water, and some tea, thinking it would help. Y'know, stay hydrated, you'll get better faster. Tried to eat, even though I haven't had an appetite lately.

But, I decided to go to tennis anyway. I was doing really well for not playing in a few weeks (due to snow, and family problems I don't want to tell you about right now). About half an hour in, I got really dizzy. So, in the middle of drills, I gestured to my playing partner and walked over to the bench.

Next thing I knew I was back in the shed. Except there was no door. And it wasn't pitch black anymore, there was a really soft light emanating from--well, it seemed like it was from everywhere. I couldn't see a light source. I just turned around in a circle, opening and closing my mouth like a dying fish. The same plastic bags and everything.

But now that there was light,  I could see that this place did have an end. In fact, I could see all four walls. One of the walls had a door in it--not a human sized door, more like a giant's door, but a door all the same. I walked toward it, and as I pushed open the door (also marble, so heavy I could practically feel muscles popping as I pushed it), I felt something push me back. Something wet, and cold. I looked at my hand, and there was a little black...I don't even know, but it looked like a squirming piece of wood. As I jerked away from it I feltt a falling sensation...

And I woke up on the tennis court. The two coaches and a few of my friends were crowded around me. I had a bruise on my forehead because I fell, when I went unconscious, apparently.

I found dirt on my arm, though. Wet dirt, that couldn't have been from the tennis court.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Entry #64

I don't have anything much to talk about recently. My headache has been a dull ache for the past few days. At this point I know it's from the Howler, or the other things I've been around. I feel helpless just sitting at home, but my driveway is frozen from the freezing rain, and the snow is at least 2 feet deep everywhere else. It's so cold out.

I reorganized my room, I basically made a maze to my bed. Anybody who tries to get into my room has to make a lot of noise if they want to get to me. I have a can of pepper spray next to my bed, too. I'll be very careful before I spray anyone with it, though.

Until something else awful happens,


Friday, February 4, 2011

Entry #63

When things can't get any worse...they do.

I went out to the old shed, the one behind my pool. It was pretty hard to get to, because of the drifts of snow coming up to hip level. I didn't bring the camera, because I was afraid to get it wet. In retrospect, of course I should have.

Anyway. I struggled through the snow. Some of it was pretty easy to get through because of the crust of ice and hard snow on top. I got to the shed after about 20 minutes. The shed was at one point a really nice little handbuilt shed my dad built with my older brother. Now, after about 15 years of neglect, it's fallen down partly.

The whole front half of the shed is fine. Doorway, front wall, and half of both side walls are fine. But the back has fallen down completely. The roof slopes down to the ground. Nothing ever made a hole into the shed through the fallen-down roof and the roof hadn't worn away yet, but I was pretty sure there were animals living inside.

Well, I was wrong. I don't know how I could have possibly been wrong, but I was. I opened the door and ducked in. The space in front of me shouldn't have been more than 8 feet.

It was more than 8 feet. Way more. So far, in fact, that I couldn't see the end. Everything was lost in darkness. Nothing in that shed was right. Nothing I saw could have fit in there.

Everything was marble. Pure white, until it got swallowed by the black. There were pillars spaced evenly, going every way from the door. Hanging on string halfway between the pillars were black, plastic bags. I had to see what was in them. I honestly didn't want to venture from the doorway--who would? I was gripping it so hard that I found splinters in my hands later, once I got back to the house.

But I did go to one of the bags. All I did was touch it, and it split open. Blood, dark red blood spattered all over my feet and the marble ground. I ran as fast as I could back toward the door.

Then I noticed the door was the only thing on the wall. In fact, there was no wall, just a door sitting in the middle of the marble and the black. This is when my headache returned, and when the laugh started echoing around me, and when I saw the parchment.

Yeah, a piece of parchment. It was the only thing that looked real. I picked it up and started to look at it before I got out the door, but then I heard the laugh. The same laugh the Howler gave me from my dad, the same laugh from when I met it the first time. Except this time it echoed around me, bouncing off the pillars and getting ear-splittingly loud. I ran all the way out of the door and slammed it shut.

I didn't get to see anything on the parchment, I was too panicked. Damn it. That would have helped me. I know there was something useful there, because I saw a few words. "Omnipresent", "playful", "torturing", and "fight" were the only four words I saw, because they were underlined and circled. I need to know how to fight this, whatever this is.

I've run into something way worse than what I ever expected. This can't be real. I can't have seen what was in there. It's impossible. Geometrically, spatially impossible. I don't even want to know what else is in there. Bags of blood and pieces of paper that crumble to dust the second they get exposed to sunlight.

So now the headache is back with a vengeance. I'm scared to sleep in my own house. I'm scared to be outside my house. I'm scared of what's in back of my house, in that shed. I've been caught up in something that's supernatural, I know that now. Either that or I'm going crazy.

I have to follow through with this or James will die. I know that. I'm not going back to that shed, though, no matter what. Whatever is in there, the actual 'landscape' included, wants me dead. Oh god, what if that's where they took James?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Entry #62

I stayed up all last night. Waited for my dad to do something.

He did. I was barely awake, my eyelids were definitely feeling a bit heavy. It was around 4 A.M. I heard a really quiet footstep, and the stair that always creaks creaked a tiny bit. I tried not to breathe, so I could hear when he got down the stairs.

I got out of bed very very carefully, and walked into the hall so I could see where he was going. We have a fairly large house--no walls in the way of the stairs, just a railway--so I could see him going down the stairs the entire time. It was definitely my dad, no doubt about it. He wasn't walking very fast, and he was placing his feet quite softly. It could have been because of the scrapes, or because he wanted to be quiet, or both.

He walked into the kitchen, which is around the corner from the foyer downstairs, so I couldn't see him. I went around to the stairs and followed my dad. The kitchen light turned on while I was going down the stairs, and I nearly tripped and made tons of noise because I tried to freeze mid-step. I heard a chair scuffle out from the table, and I heard him ease into it, so I continued down the stairs.

I got into the foyer, and made it to the corner to the kitchen pretty fast. It's tile in the foyer, so it's easier to be quiet. I turned the corner to peek in.

All I saw was my dad sitting completely still at the table. He was facing the bay window toward the backyard and the pool. Nothing happened for about 10 minutes, I just watched him sit at the table. His hands were placed in front of him, just resting on the table.

I decided to approach him, just get a little closer. Probably not the best idea, but I was a bit impatient. I got to the entrance to the kitchen when I stepped on a ping-pong ball. Yes, a ping-pong ball. It cracked, made a ton of noise, and rolled away.

I froze. What else could I do? I didn't know whether I should run or just stay. So I stayed. My dad turned his head toward me. He barely moved his shoulders, just his head. It was so unnatural, the way he moved. He turned his head to the maximum it could turn, so he could just see me out of the corner of one eye.

Except his eyes were closed. He was sleepwalking.

He had a little smirk on his face. It wasn't an adult's smirk. It was so childlike, as if he was a little kid having fun torturing a pet. That was the picture that popped into my head at that moment, and that's all I can describe it as now. He turned his head back toward the window, nodded, and pushed the chair back to get up.

I backed up. I was terrified. That's not how sleepwalking is supposed to look. He was being influenced by something out there. He got up from the table and turned his whole body toward me. I didn't even consider him my dad at this point. He was something else, he wasn't in control of his own body. He didn't even know his body was being used, for God's sakes.

He was holding a knife in his hand. The biggest knife in the house. It was practically a meat cleaver, that's how huge it was. I don't know how sharp it was, but a sleepwalker holding a huge knife and facing you is not the best thing to be seeing at 4 A.M.

I couldn't move, except for one trembling step I took backwards. I was literally frozen in fear. I didn't know that could happen, but it did. He lumbered toward me--this wasn't my dad walking, this was something not used to a body--and he raised the knife. He thrust it toward me, and plunged it into the wall next to my head.

He leaned his face toward mine--closed eyes and all--and opened his mouth. His breath was worse than anything I had ever smelled. It smelled like what I imagined rotting flesh would smell like, meaty and moldy at the same time.

"Finally, someone who takes initiative," he whispered. He grinned, a sick, malicious grin. "The ones who take initiative are always the most fun to play with. We still have James. We're getting hungry though. You might want to head way into your backyard soon...maybe try the old shed. The fallen down one. You'll find some delights in there. Oh, and don't worry. Your father is unharmed from this whole ordeal--for now."

"Oh, and that code we sent you? It wasn't real. Impossible to solve. We just wanted to see if you would break the rules."

With that he opened his mouth even wider and started laughing even more. After that I don't remember anything. I woke up in my bed. There wasn't any hole in the wall where the knife had landed in the kitchen, and the knife was right where it had been.

That couldn't have been a nightmare though. My dad has no idea what's been happening to him. There's nothing I can do about it other than hope the Howler (I think it was the Howler.) doesn't do it again.

I'll go to the shed out back tomorrow. I can't because of the freezing rain and the 2 feet of snow. I'm being pulled in one direction, and I can't deviate from the path because someone in my family will be hurt if I do. Maybe killed.


Entry #61

So I didn't ask my dad anything about it yesterday. I didn't want to upset him any more, or have something bad know.

But I did ask him today. Yesterday, actually, since it's after midnight right now. After he came home from work, I showed him the piece of paper. I recorded the audio so I could transcribe it to here.

Me: Hey, Dad.
Dad: Hey, Reil! (His nickname for me, he pronounces it Rye-ull) How's your day been?
M: Good. Um...I wanted to ask you about this. Did you write this?
D: (There was a pause, a long one, before he answered) I don't believe so. This isn't the type of thing I'd normally write. I write a lot of notes, but nothing like this. I don't have any interest in fiction. Somebody sure imitated my writing well, though. Did you do this?
M: No...I thought you did. Has anything else weird happened with the car and stuff since yesterday? I mean, the car freaked out and all. (I didn't tell my parents about Locust standing there. Why would I? Especially if my dad really did write that, I wouldn't tell him.)
D: The car seems fine, it started up fine this morning. I mean, I'm taking it to get checked up, but I think it's good.
M: That's good. Uhh...has anything else weird happened lately?
D: What do you mean?
M: Like, have you seen stuff out of the corner of your eye and stuff? Or is that just me? Actually it's stopped lately but I was--was wondering if you had that paranoia stuff too.
D: No...I don't pay attention to that much. I'm usually asleep or eating anyway. Oh! But I did get these little scratches from the darn cat in the middle of the night. I thought that was weird because Buddy (the cat, his name is Butterscotch) usually loves me, but he dug his claws in and left these long scratches on my arm. Then I found more scratches and scrapes on my feet the next night. My feet must have been sticking out from under the cover or something, he must like the taste of me or something. (He chuckled)
M: Are you sure it was Buddy?
D: (laughing) What else could it be?

Yeah, what else could it be. There's more in that conversation, but it was just little chit-chat. That was the only relevant part. Scratches on him from the cat? I doubt it. Scrapes on his feet? Sounds mighty suspicious.

I'm staying up tonight. I have a feeling my dad is doing something at night, and I'm going to see what. He's hiding something. I know he was because he sounded very forced throughout that whole conversation, and I've never heard him like that before. I just hope he didn't notice I was forcing myself through that conversation too. I didn't want to ask him anything else. I'm just scared. I'm scared again. I know I've stumbled on something even worse. This doesn't even have to do with just James anymore, does it?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Entry #60

He was standing by the pine tree as we drove up the driveway last night.

I was coming home from the swim meet. I could drive, but I don't want to yet. My dad was driving. I was quite tired from the long day, and I was very glad to be home. We got to the driveway and drove up. It's on a hill we have to drive up, and it's very long, so it takes a while.

Right by the third driveway light, Locust was there. It looked like he had a white sphere as a face--like what James drew, just in 3D. There was nothing, no facial features. No expressions. The light didn't even throw any shadows on his face. It was just pure white. He was wearing the same tuxedo and bowler hat as before, before James was taken. His bowler hat looked a little ragged, but he seemed impeccable in some weird way.

He was standing on top of the snow. I don't know how, but his feet weren't making any holes in the snow. His dress shoes were planted on the top of the snow. He was impossibly tall now, far taller than when I had seen him before. He must have been at least eight feet tall.

I swear, as we passed, I got the feeling of a smirk inside my brain. I heard laughter in my head. It wasn't me. And just before he got out of view, one of his arms shot out. We were at least 30 feet away at this point, but it reached the car all the same. It changed shape as it got closer, stretching out and turning pointy, until it almost looked like a jet-black tentacle. I have no idea what I saw, but as soon as it touched the car, the car went haywire.

The radio turned itself on and started madly changing channels. The car lights kept flashing on and off, and the blinkers too. The lights inside the car turned on and got really bright before they actually popped. The electric seat adjuster for my dad rammed itself backward and then forward. It knocked my dad into the steering wheel pretty hard.

Then I passed out. Nothing hit me, but I was pretty freaked out. I guess I didn't respond to anything, so my parents carried me up to my bed and tried to call 911. The phones were out. Even all 3 of our cell phones were dead.

I woke up this morning. My mom was sitting next to me in a chair, asleep. My dad was eating breakfast, I could hear the spoon clinking against the cereal bowl. I guess I groaned, because my mom snapped awake and cried and hugged me. My dad ran upstairs and basically did the same, without the crying.

They left so I could shower and wake up and stuff. I flipped the cover back to get out of bed and a piece of paper fell out.

Glad to see we can still have fun.


It was in my dad's writing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Entry #59, I Believe

Nobody ever tells you that waiting is the worst part of any family crisis. My mom always used to love watching murder mysteries on TV, and they would always go over all the important details. They never went over the months spent waiting for trials, the weeks between clues.

Even though I have swimming, and tennis, and all the other stuff I've gone back to (I have to go back, I can't waste my life), I have that nagging feeling in the back of my head that something even more horrible will happen. I mean, I don't think anything worse is possible, but I just have that feeling.

I'm at a swim meet all weekend. Just swam the mile before I came home and wrote this. Yes, I swim the longest events at the meet. The 500 (20 laps), the 1000 (40 laps), and the 1650 (66 laps/1 mile) are my main events. It really got my mind off of...stuff, because it's so tiring that you really can't think of anything other than the task at hand, swimming.

I haven't heard a peep from outside. It could just be the cold, and all the snow. But I think something's happened. I think something bad happened to whoever is doing this, and I think they're in trouble. Great. Let's hope they're dead, let's hope James got away. Not likely, but we can hope.

Even the shadows in the corner of my eye are gone. Now I know when the cat is running downstairs, or when my mom is passing by the room. Everything is much brighter.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Entry #58

So I slept for basically two days straight. I was quite hungry when I woke up yesterday. I forgot to post, I'm sorry. Doubt anyone would want to hear about my sleep anyway, you guys are so excited about my missing brother. Is this like, vicarious thrills or something to you? Even though I'm glad you readers are viewing this, I'm surprised and somewhat appalled that people are so interested.

But what can I expect? I keep writing. I could have just stopped, but I didn't. It helps me to rant, to put words down about what's happened.

Also, I feel like I'm getting almost jaded about everything that's happened. I woke up this morning to another piece of paper. This one was in cursive. All it said was "This shouldn't have happened."

Nothing there to decode. Either whoever wrote it was referring to this whole ordeal, my brother and all--which I highly doubt--or he/she/it was referring to the fact that the screaming stopped. I don't think it was supposed to stop.

Did the Howler rebel or something? I have no idea, but if the screaming starts up again I'll probably go literally crazy. There's no way I could stand that again.

There's nothing else I can do to find James right now other than to sit around and wait for more puzzles or clues. I'm not going outside the house, it's too dangerous. Plus, it's snowing again. And it's cold. I shouldn't be complaining, but I'm still sort of weak from sleeping for so long.

The headache has gone away completely though. I really do feel much different, I didn't realize how much that headache was narrowing my vision. Things are looking up.


Monday, January 24, 2011


It stopped yesterday. Out of nowhere, it stopped. It didn't fade, it just stopped. I think I went to sleep about two minutes after. I just woke up. I slept about 26 hours.

What I said in the last post is true. I can still hear the whispers, now that I'm awake. They're asking for help, but they're fading too. I distinctly remember seeing branches outside my window where there shouldn't have been, but no bones. That must have been a dream.

My headache is almost completely gone too. I've had it for almost two full months, and now it's fading. I feel...light. That's the only way to really describe it. I'm not happy. I'm light.

I'm going back to sleep now. I need it.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Entry #57

It hasn't stopped. I can't sleep.

I haven't been able to sleep at all for the past 72 hours. I'm starting to get micronaps, little bits of time where I fall asleep but don't know until after I wake up. It only lasts a few seconds but it's awful. I fell down the stairs two hours ago because of it. My left ankle is swollen horribly now.

I can't concentrate on anything. My head feelsx like it's about to rip open. If I look at a page or even the computer screen it blurs to the point of unreadability. I don't even know if my spelling is correct right now.

The micronaps are awful. It's like I'm awake, but there's something at the edge of my vision. It's always dark and shadowy, and it just stands there. It always rushes toward me

the second before i wake up.

I opened my window this morning to look outside. I was dreaming, but I saw a mass of fingers reaching for me. Some of the fingers were intertwined with twigs. Some were broken, had bones sticking out. little white bones. There were no arms, just fingers--twigs--scrabbling at the window. The screaming blasted in my ears and I fell backwards and woke up when I hit my head on the desk next to my bed.

The screaming is whispering too. There's all the voices screaming, but under it are high voices just whispering

help me, save us, trapped,

and other things i don't understand. I can't understand.

There's no way I can sleep. Even with music playing, I still hear them whispering Moving won't help, they just follwo me. i think one of them is james. I want them out of myhead, please. Oh God, please get them out, I'm going insane.


Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Getting Worse.

The howling outside hasn't stopped all day. When I open the window I can hear it more clearly. It's like ten voices all screaming in pain and horror at once. Going to the most soundproof room in the house doesn't help at all. In fact, the screaming might be worse there. It grates on my ears, to the point that it's making the headache even worse. I have earbuds in, playing music from the computer as I write this.

My parents can't hear it. I asked my mom, and she looked at me as if I was crazy. I might be, in fact. I mean, I might actually be crazy. I don't even know at this point.

It didn't even stop when we went to swim team. I put my iPod on in the car so I couldn't hear it, but the second I got out of the car outside the pool I could hear it again. It sounded as if it was right around the corner. I was tempted to walk around and see where the Howler--because I know that's what's doing this, the goddamn Howler--was, but I didn't have anything to protect myself, and it was completely dark. No-one would have seen me if some bad had happened.

I'm afraid this is the first form of the punishment, incessant noise and constant tension. The stress and worry is killing me. I mean it literally, I felt my heart flip today. My family has a history of dying very young from weak hearts, even if they're completely healthy. I'm not completely healthy, I've had an awful cold for the past few months that won't go away.

Kleptosporia gave me two links to information. One looks like a crazy guy who kills people, but the other looks like it might have some information on how to protect myself. I'm going to read it, then see if the author has any advice for me. I hope he/she does. I would pick up the knife again, but I don't want to nearly stab my dad again. And the creatures, Locust and the Howler, would just know I had it.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gathering Information?

I woke up today to see another message.

It has come to our awareness that you have shared the code with others. We told you to not tell anybody.

There are dire consequences for not obeying us.

We would advise you to prepare. The more you know, the more fun it is when we punish you.


I didn't take a photograph because I wanted to post this as fast as possible. You guys and Ken have told me you know about this, these things. Please give me any information you have on Locust or the Howler, or any links to information, or people who know, anything.

I think they're going to try to take me or kill me. I'm going to fight. But how do I fight if I don't know what they're going to do? Should I just barricade myself in my room? Tell my parents? Get away from the house?

Please help me, here or on Twitter. Tell me what I can do.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Entry #54

I almost stabbed my dad last night. I saw a shadow on the wall in my room at about 4 A.M., and I waited until I saw whatever was stepping into my room. I had the knife next to me, under the sheet, and I had my eyes mostly closed so it would look like I was asleep.

The shadow--my dad, but I didn't know it--moved until it was by my bed, and that's when I jumped up. I got so lucky, because my dad shouted and dodged away before I could bring the knife forward. If he hadn't moved, I would have gotten him right in the stomach.

Of course, I saw it was my dad immediately afterward. I dropped the knife, and my knees started wobbling. I think my dad would have started yelling at me, but he was just too shocked. He got up and just stumbled out of the room. I stayed up for another hour, basically thinking of what could have happened, then went to sleep. I had the worst nightmare where I actually stabbed my dad--but I knew I was stabbing him, and I was doing it on purpose. I may have actually screamed out loud, because I woke up and my throat felt really raw.

I can't believe how lucky I was. If I had just brought the knife forward a little more, if Dad hadn't moved...

I just woke up an hour ago, about 1 P.M., and ate breakfast. My parents didn't come downstairs yet, they're still talking in their room. I want to apologize or something, but I don't want to barge into the room.

The Howler knew what I was planning, I think. I just have a feeling he knew. That's why he didn't show up today. Every other day I wake up and feel as if something has been in my room, but when I woke up there was nothing like that. It could just be because I woke up so late, but I don't think so. He knew.

I'm going to sit down with the code now. Since it's sleeting outside, I can't do anything else. I think it's a Playfair cipher, that's why the Howler wrote playfair as one word. But why did he write it backwards? And is there some keyword I'm missing?

Thank you, whoever is trying to help me with the code. All of you guys, I'm so thankful.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Entry #53

Pretty much all day today I sat on my bed and thought about James.

I thought about how much I pushed him away, how much I ignored him. Anything bad I did, I thought of. I remembered when he asked me to play Monopoly a few days before he disappeared, and how I said I was busy. Even though I had nothing else to do, I still said I was busy, because I didn't want to be around him.

And stuff like that. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and it's made me feel even worse. Like it's my fault somehow.

I'm not searching for anything outside anymore. Every time I do, something bad happens. I know what's happening. They're forcing me to stay in the house, trapping me inside so I just wait for them like a sitting duck. They're going to play with my head before taking me just like they took James.

I'm not letting that happen. I'm taking a knife to my room, the sharpest, longest one we have. I'm keeping it next to my bed, and I'm going to fake being asleep all night. If I see the Howler come into my room--I'm sure he will, I'm sure he has been every night--I'm going to stab him. Not fatally, but I'm going to get him to tell me where my brother is. Even if it takes some coercion.

Wish me luck.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Entry #52

I've been working on the riddle and code. I may or may not have gotten part of it, I don't know. Here's a picture of the paper it was written on.

It told me that this is a riddle. Most riddles are "What am I?" riddles, so I looked for anything that could be "I am". And I replaced any capital letters in the middle of sentences with I, because I figured that would work. Here's what I got.

I am os sltw cckataqg. I am ahscz, atc ehnk. I am olpv dufmb eoa ltln ccdah, xng fvmv bcrc aqt sxth teorc. Mhco I abm, std ris oqi ou kizi tba qwy fks avqy I gctv hcrqa. I am fou bmpotyu ln ykux cszof.

Sil edetb sxvk ottw oxyunaa sr rv vt mtxd sspt.

I don't even know if it's correct, but I think it might be. And riafyalp backwards is playfair, but I have no idea why it was backwards, nor why the two words were put together.

Here's the other letter I got, the one from the slaughter in the front yard. I don't think this is from the Howler.
There's nothing to figure out on this one, other than those damn arrows and the ripped corner that's been on every one.

I covered up the blood in the snow outside as much as I could. If my parents saw it, they wouldn't have allowed me to go to swim team, and I need the swim. Well, I don't need swimming, I need the people. I need the friends, I need everything to at least pretend it's normal.

Mike hasn't been to practice, and any time I try to ask him if I can visit, he doesn't answer his phone. I couldn't visit him yesterday because of this. I'm just going to wait until he comes to swim practice.

I don't believe this is paranormal. I don't believe in ghosts, I don't believe in werewolves, and I don't believe in vampires. But if there's anything else strange, I might start doubting a little. Up to this point, I've kept it in my head this is all a sick dream, or some psychos messing with us. I don't know now. With my headaches when I wake up, the howling before I go to sleep, and the gruesome stuff I don't think I could even dream up if I tried, I'm starting to think this is real. This isn't good.

How can I keep these things from taking me like they took James? I'm double James's age, but I know they can come in the house without anybody ever knowing. Should I just play along with them, whatever they are, to find James? Or should I just give up and hope they kill me? You guys have given me so much help already, I feel like I can trust you. 

I'm not really asking whether I should give up. I'm not going to give up. Please help me solve this code. Please.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Here goes.

This was on my bed this morning.

 We'll begin the game today. Do not tell anybody what you are doing.

A simple riddle to start.

F np os sltw cckataqg. E ck ahscz, atc ehnk. B olpv dufmb eoa ltln ccdah, xng fvmv bcrc aqt sxth teorc. Mhco C abm, std ris oqi ou kizi tba qwy fks avqy D gctv hcrqa. Q vr fou bmpotyu ln ykux cszof.

Sil edetb sxvk ottw oxyunaa sr rv vt mtxd sspt.
Let's riafyalp!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Entry #48

So, I went outside today. I wasn't expecting to find anything, especially not in the snow, but I did. Oh boy, did I.

I recorded it too, but when I watched it before I uploaded it, nothing was visible. Just shots of my feet, a little red, and blurring. Impossible to see anything. Great new camera, if it can't record in snow.

Here’s what happened. I woke up this morning pretty happy, given the circumstances, and got ready to go out. Boots, heavy jacket, gloves, the whole bit. The second I got outside I realized it was way too bright, especially with my headache.

So I spent most of an hour looking for my sunglasses. Yeah, dumb way to spend time. I galumphed around the house in the boots, looking for a pair of sunglasses.

I managed to find them in a pile of boxes, finally. Of course, at that point there were clouds over the sun, so I didn’t need them as much. Figures.

I took the camera and proceeded outside finally. First thing I saw was a huge swath cut through the snow. It wasn’t footsteps, it looked as if something had swept all the snow away and scoured the grass from the earth underneath.

Then I saw the pine tree by the swinging bench moving up and down heavily. The track ended under the pine tree too, and I could see something bright there.

I ran toward it. I managed to trip in the snow, and I almost got the camera wet. At the time, I didn’t think much about it, but my parents would have been very angry if that had happened. VERY angry.

I got under the pine tree, and everything there was red. Blood was splashed on the tree trunk, glistened black and red. It was all over the ground, and it looked like something had exploded over the snow around the area.

Now I know there was nothing there before I went out. The snow was pristine, no deer tracks, nothing. This was done in the space of the two minutes I was preparing in the garage. Whatever was killed there was completely gone. It was impossible.

There was another message hanging on a rusty coat hanger. It was written in cursive—beautiful cursive, the neatest I’ve ever seen, not the blocky script from before.

“Let us feed while we prepare. The fun begins soon.”

Whatever was killed, they ate it. God, what sick people. I just retch a little thinking of the blood. They must have torn it open while holding whatever it was in the air. 

And they’re going to play games with me until I find James, or until I die.