New Years' Eve.
By all rights, Pubton should be bristling with festivities. Even if they were the meagre festivities I'd come to expect.
Instead, the shadow things have finally caught up to us. Pubton is under attack. Not by slaves, not by woodland animals, not by starvation or self-doubt, but by horribly aggressive things that want to kill us all. And it's only by the grace of something ornamental that we're still alive.
I haven't even had time to look back at last week's diary entries. I always do that. I'm so freaked out right now that looking back may just make me envious.
After having… a fight… with my dad, I went out for a walk. A simple walk, just something to clear my head while I puzzled over so many things. Food, hatred, land ownership, daughters… so many things. Eventually I wound up in front of the golden tree, where, eh, I kinda screamed out my frustrations. Didn't think anybody would answer.
Kierkegaard answered. Plain old penguin Kierkegaard, but Kierkegaard nonetheless. My soul froze the moment he stepped out from behind that tree… and frost formed on the ice when he pulled back the hoods of the men - things - carrying him on their shoulders. Arrayed in a lumpy row were the pained, grumpy, frightened faces of Captain Cedric, Driscol, and Bernard. In that order. All joined, as though they're one creature, their skin covered in crude stitches and horrifying purple veins. I can only imagine, don't want to imagine, what they look like under the cloak.
I was too shocked to register much of what they said, was too shocked even to really care about the green eyes emerging from the night behind them, too shocked to move as the cloaked horror, guided by the penguin, shambled towards me. The way it moved… those weird, awkward spasms… like there were dozens of legs underneath the cloak…
Driscol's eyes, gods, those strained, angry eyes, drilling into mine…
I think I should have died again, carried away on Kierkegaard's laughter. Instead I was blinded, everyone was blinded, when the gentle light of the golden tree exploded outward. I staggered back and fell on my butt, flailing for some purchase, anything, half expecting to wake up from a dream, because, hell, this kinda shit often happens in my dreams. I don't talk about such things anymore, but there you go.
Shielding my eyes, I crawled behind a snow bank and waited for the globs of light stuck to my pupils to fade. They did, gradually, and when I risked a glance over the edge of the snow bank I saw what I can only describe as a dome of pulsating white light, stretching and expanding out of the golden tree. It blossomed and blocked out the stars, and as it grew it pushed Kierkegaard, his unholy triumvirate of heads, and whatever other unseen nasties they'd brought along to the edge of Pubton.
And then it stopped. And there they stayed. And there they are now, surrounding the village, pounding heartily on the wall with massive black fists and slapping tendrils. Though I'm sure it's daytime outside Pubton, there are so many black creatures crawling along the walls and top of the dome that the sunlight can't get through.
I wonder what this all looks like on the outside. I hope Pagan doesn't come looking for something - he might have a heart attack. Cripes, he was right to not want us around.
Everyone's frightened half to death, and most people are refusing to leave their shelters. Our resident Weekendist keeps screaming that 'Saturday is surely coming for us all' as he staggers about the town. Didn't know he was so doom-and-gloom. The only exception to all this is Libby: she's been pacing along the edge of the light barrier, yelling at the shadows beyond and challenging Kierkegaard to a one-on-one fight whenever he pops into view.
She shouldn't do that, I know. If she'd seen him… like I did… she wouldn't challenge him. Nobody would. But I think it helps distract her from the fact that… Grayson… has gone missing… and this time she knows it…
We're stuck. Edmund and I dared to walk out to the edge of the barrier, once, and he touched it. It's solid. They can't get through, no matter how much they claw, and we can't get out. Even if that thing did save us, it may have just condemned us to starve. Depending on how long Kierkegaard sticks around. Judging by what he's said before, I think he'll stay here until we're all dead.
We're all going to die.
Happy New Years, diary.