Day 332- Was struck by an arrow again last night. The cursed skeletons come out of the sea after sunset every day now, more and more of them it seems. Where they come from I do not know, but I have found evidence that make my previous ideas seem like a child’s daydream.
While exploring a nearby island, I discovered a cavern at the shoreline. Upon descending, carefully, out of the daylight, I came upon a strange cage set into the beach sand. Within burned a fire without fuel and a small, spinning spider-totem. I loitered past sunset to confirm my suspicions and yes, spiders appeared fully-formed in the vicinity of the cage as though they had been transported from some other dimension.
Are spiders the only creatures summoned thus? Perhaps the zombies and skeletons are not, as I suspected, created from the corpses of my previous “deaths” and also the deaths of others who might have lived here previously. Perhaps they are summoned here by other cages, and perhaps, most horrible of all, there is a cage buried in the sand where I am continually reborn. Perhaps if I dig a certain distance, I will discover an unquenchable fire and a tiny, spinning figure of myself.
In a sudden, blind rage, I nearly smashed the spider’s cage, but fear stayed my hand.
What if destroying the cage caused spiders to flood in from that Other Place the way a reservoir floods through a breach in a dam? My lot in this nightmarish world is awful enough as it is.
Day 340- I write less often now because there is little to tell, and what is left to tell is too awful to think upon.
However, I have, in delving into the earth beneath my home, discovered a second cage. This one summoned zombies, so I am reasonable sure these living dead creatures are not fashioned from the bones of my own corpses.
If these monsters are truly the immune system of this world trying, as I have theorized, trying to cleanse itself of me, what place do they come from? And is there a way I might travel there, as a bridge to returning to my own home? To be reunited with my wife and child? I must think more on this.
Addendum: I have thought much upon the idea of a cage beneath the beach where I am “reborn” but have done nothing to confirm it. I realize now that I never will. If another cage with my likeness lies beneath the sand, I do not want to see it.
Also, I have collected a small number of blocks made from strange black glass. They… whisper to me, suggesting to me that they must be arranged in a specific manner. I know that sounds like the ravings of a madman, but what should one expect in a world of madness?
Day 348- Tonight, a spider crossed my fenceline.
I’d begun to feel secure within my compound, perhaps even comfortable. I still carry my weapons with me, yes, but my armor had been damaged in a fall and I’d never replaced it. Then I saw a giant spider leap atop my fence and scramble uphill at me.
I quickly drew my bow from the monstrous “sac” on my shoulder where I carried it, then destroyed the creature. But my confidence was shaken and I retreated to my fortified mine.
Nowhere is safe. Nowhere.
Day 349- I am still not ready to venture out into the darkness and this strange body will not sleep. I decided to create a piece of art to hang in my hovel. I wanted a portrait of my wife and child, to remind me why I endure my life in this terrible place and to fortify my resolve to return home by any means necessary.
But my hands seemed to operate without my control, creating a horrifying tableau of a gigantic spider leaping upon its prey. Is my subconscious sabotaging me, or am I not in full control of my current form?
Day 356- I have had enough. Am I a mole, to live in a burrow beneath the earth?
No. I am a man. I no longer have a human form, and I am far, far from my home and family, but I am a man and I must live as one.
I spent the day upon the hill with my ax, collecting wood. Tonight, as darkness falls, I will begin construction of my house.
Day 359- Work continues during the day and the night. The floors and windows are in place, and I have only been attacked by two spiders. I also fell while installing the roof, but the fall, which would have killed a human, hurt me only slightly. It matters not.
Day 365- It has been one year since I began tracking these lightning swift days, and what might have been an occasion for despair has instead been a moment of triumph. I have finished the outside of my house, and also a glassed in wheat farm. Additionally, I have built an glassed-in enclosure for the planting and harvesting of trees.
Only the inside of my home is left. I could easily create a bed, couch, and chair for the various rooms, but should I? Would I be comforted by the familiar trappings of home, even though this body can not lie prone or even bend to sit, or would it taunt me? I am unsure how to proceed.
My wife, my child, it has been too long. I miss you and will find some way to be reunited with you soon.
Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here or there.