Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day Seven-Twenty-Nine: His name is Drags

"Keep looking for an exit. We'll find you when we're done."

Famous last words.

After writing my diary entry last night, I'd expected to go straight to bed. Instead, I faced a rather heated confrontation with Logan and Celine. They kept arguing that they could bring the Nothing down with a distraction, and I counter-argued that they  would only get themselves killed. We needed them for scouting purposes. They went to bed fuming, I went to bed fuming, and Jeffrey and Grylock... well, I heard Grylock's rattling chuckles, so...

I didn't sleep well. We bedded down in the cellar of a small house, each taking their own room for once, and the argument left me uneasy. Thoughts of their brash, half-baked plans kept my brain a-ticking, and those brooding fears were soon joined by other issues: dwindling food and water, Grylock's illness, our physical and mental fatigue, the never-ending nature of Below, the ghost rats...

They keep looking at me, and they never look at anyone else... as though they're considering me...

Eventually, fears changed to dreams. An hour of restless mental pacing led to sleep. But, as usual, it was not a good sleep, and pretty soon I was being chased through the corridors of my subconscious by that vicious, overbearing fog. Only now the fog has parted, and the thing killing my friends every night is just the Nothing. Because that's all it ever was.

But something saved me from the Nothing in my head. Something allowed me to have a decent night's sleep, for once.

I was being chased through a dark alleyway by the nothing, an alleyway with no end. The Nothing of my dreams doesn't seem to give a shit about its size in comparison to the buildings 'round it, and it squeezed easily into the alleyway on my heels, chasing me as a titanic wall of oozing black. Its snaking tendrils nipped at my feet, razor-sharp and hungry for blood. On a normal night it would have chased me for an eternity.

This time, though, there was a light. A faint light, so weakly white that I could barely see it approaching me in the opposite direction, charging straight towards me. Trembling, I reached for it...

... but it slipped between my fingers, danced over my shoulder, and launched itself at the Nothing. The second it touched the wall of black the darkness dispersed, fluttering away as a billion motes of teardrop pitch. The alley went with it, fading and reforming into a grey, dull, almost lifeless field.

I collapsed on the grass, panting. The ball of light hovered in front of me, strong enough to warm my face.

"I'm sorry, Drags," the light confessed, shining a little brighter with each whispered word. "This is all I can do. I thought I was awesome, but I guess I need some practice."

Though the field was utterly cheerless, I smiled. "I... I know you, don't I? We've met... but I've never heard your voice before. Who...?"

The ball of light pulsed. "That doesn't matter. It only matters that you wake up, Drags. Wake up now or they'll be gone, and you might not get them back."

I looked around. As horrifyingly bland as the field seemed, I didn't want to leave. It was such a nice change from my usual dreams - and I knew I was in a dream. "D... do I have to? This place is... better..."

The ball of light whistled a tiny sigh. Then, apologizing in advance, it whipped forward and slammed into my face. It felt as though someone had closed a book hard on my nose. I yelped -

- and, reluctantly, woke up -

- and spotted a foot disappearing through the door to my small section of the cellar. I called out with a grunt; no one responded. 

This diary lay open on my chest. Picking it up and rubbing the faintest burbles of sleep out of my eyes, I read the open page. It bore one message: "Keep looking for an exit. We'll find you when we're done."

I got up and checked the rest of the cellar. Jeffrey, yes, Grylock, yes... Logan and Celine, no. They're gone. Suddenly awake and panicky I ran out of the house and into the street, yelling for them to come back. I was stupidly loud, I know, but I had to do it.

They didn't come back. Grylock, Jeffrey and I are on our own.

We've heard increased activity from the Nothing in the distance, and on several occasions it's moved away from us, not towards. A lot of buildings came down today. I can only assume that Logan and Celine are carrying out guerilla attacks on the thing, hoping to bring it down - or at least keep it distracted while we search for Iko.

Jeffrey is a babbling, near-incoherent idiot. I don't blame him a bit.

Come back safe, you damned fools,

Dragomir the Wanderer

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