Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day Two-Thirty-Three: Down the habit hole

Kinda snuck in the hole today, diary.


Totally did.

I was up all night yesterday, tossing and turning in a rain barrel, not sure what I should be doing about the hole situation. (I probably shoulda been doing my job, the thing for which I am paid, but nuts to that.) It was a long, tough, cramped night, and I took no joy from watching over steadily-growing legions of guinea pigs.

(Gotta say, though, diary, they're a LOT less creepy than rats. Hard to be creepy when you spend most of your time crapping and running into walls. Ain't nuthin' intelligent going on behind those beady black eyes, lemme tell you.)

Early this morning I reached an inevitable conclusion: I had to at least SEE the hole, had to see how deep it was. I haven't been inside the east wing of the castle since the debacle with the werewolves, and the hole was already pretty deep then. If I wanted an accurate gauge of my feelings on the subject, I needed to get inside that warehouse again.

So I did! Now that King Jeffrey's announced the hole, he's relaxed some of the security on the east wing of the keep. Made getting in a fair bit easier than before. I only had to sneak past two royal guards this time, and they both looked pretty dang bored, so coaxing Barrel to distract them did the trick. They abandoned their posts at once to catch the spritely little dragon.

(Poor Barrel. I've barely mentioned him lately. In case you were wondering, diary, he's fine. No lingering damage from getting smacked about by Eve beneath the castle. He looks a bit down at times, but a few minutes of play always sets him straight.)

I haven't visited the hole during a work period before. Hell, I've only been here twice, that I can recall. So when I say that the difference between empty and full is rather negligible to the experience, aside from it being creepier, you should pause to consider the situation for a moment.

There were dozens of workers in the hole when I came calling, either working deep inside the hole or pushing dirt up to the top via carts and ramps. To say they were THERE would be an exaggeration: it was pretty clear that not a single worker in attendance gave conscious thought to their state of being, what with their vacant eyes, drooping limbs and expressionless expressions. It was as if their souls had buggered off, leaving their bodies behind to operate without emotion or interest.

And I came close to joining 'em. I had to pinch myself every couple seconds to avoid the compulsion to dig. I'm sure it woulda been much worse if I'd actually gone INSIDE the hole, but I stuck to the edges. Just so I could get a peek inside and determine how deep it was.

It's deep, diary. Really fucking deep.

The first time I found the hole, I could see the bottom. That ain't true anymore. There are torches all the way down, this is true, but the light they give off isn't strong enough to stretch back to the top. After four or five spirals of walkway you completely lose sight of what's down there. I'm sure it's just rock at the bottom, but… I fear what might be lingering in the depths.

I didn't stick around long. The weird message in my brain urging me to dig was getting too strong. I vamoosed out of the warehouses and back to the entrance, and, fortunately, the royal guards were still off chasing Barrel. Bless that tiny dragon, he saved the day again.

Which is NOT to say that I got out without being noticed. That ain't the case. ONE PERSON spotted me on the way out, one dude who was walking in the opposite direction, towards the work area: a tanner. Name's Will. Nice guy, kinda boring.

"Hail, Dragomir!" he chirped, approaching the entrance to the east wing. "How goes your day?"

"Oh! Oh, um, um, hi!" I fumbled, trying to edge away from the entrance. "Hi. Will, right? Will. Just, just, y'know, patrollin'. And such."

"Oh, yes? Exciting job, that, exciting." He scratched his head. "Much more fun than tanning. Much."

"Ah. Yeah. Sure." I doubted it, but whatever kept me out of trouble. "Where, um, where you headed, Will?"

"What?" he replied cheerfully. "Didn't quite catch that, Dragomir."

"I said, 'Where you headed, Will?'"

"Oh, she's dandy." He smiled and rolled his eyes. "Still on about this, that, and the other. Well, I have to go, Dragomir, what? Yes! Off we go."

He pushed past me and shambled into the east wing. I tried to ask him what he was doing one last time, but I got another bizarre response: "My cat does love parsnips! I'll tell 'im that next Tuesday. Got to go, sex awaits."

And he was gone. Disappeared into the east wing. I didn't see him until much later, when I visited his stall, and he didn't remember seeing me at all. Or any trip to the east wing of the castle.

I experimented, after that. I lingered in the main hall of the keep, and whenever somebody came close to the east wing, I happily asked 'em where they were going. If they were headed somewhere else in the castle, they gave me a straight answer: if they were headed into the east wing itself, all I got was happy gibberish about some other topic.


I guess that explains how they're getting people to dig the hole, diary. None of 'em actually remember going down there. Hell, they're wandering into the hole of their own accord, during the day, when nobody's likely to notice 'em. I also noticed that they go when they're not expected to be workin' somewhere's else, so it's even less likely that anyone would catch on.

Weird situation, diary. I don't know how King Jeffrey's coercing everybody into digging his hole for him, and doing it WITHOUT their knowledge, but it's dangerous. Possibly magical. And very worrying.

But… who do I talk to about this? GRAH, why are all the authority figures in my life either questionable, under threat by a stupid dream, or GONE?


Dragomir the Lost

1 comment:

  1. ...I...nearly...peed...myself...laughing. That was possibly the funniest line I've read all day: "My cat does love parsnips! I'll tell 'im that next Tuesday. Got to go, sex awaits."