Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Black Box

Yasamin is probably gone. But it's been weeks since I was last able to properly communicate. It all went wrong on the night I went to find Penny. There was a creature standing amongst the trees, I swear it, though most here would deny it or call me mad to say such a thing. Still, it stood there, unnaturally blending its aberrant form into the treescape, its faceless eyes watching me blankly, ribbons of black violet drifting as a web in the wind. I was so distracted, and fell to the ground, injuring my knee. I was taken to the Doctor's, where he proscribed me medication that did me no end of bad. I was plagued by visions, ersatz dreams of all shapes and colours. It's so difficult to remember now, but I can still see a putrid forest as I close my eyes; writhing beasts bubbling through the darkness; an empty throne on a pedestal, high above a sea of fiery destruction; Penny, with her eyes put out; my darling wife, drowning in rising waters.

My dear wife...

And all the time the muted real world twittered on, and a high flute-like song pierced my head and stopped me from communicating properly. I refused the medication to clear my head, and managed to crawl out of my room for a glass of water. Penny, Lucy and Tom were in the front room, all three playing a brightly coloured game and laughing. It is no wonder we humans are so easily entangled in villainy; evil does so well at wearing bright masks and smiling. This would have been Monday. I tried to call Yasamin, but the phones weren't working. I went to the train station for a bit, still in my pajamas and quite a sight, but I didn't want Lucy looking after Pen, not after the warnings I had heard. I was pressganged back into my bed, to taking another round of medicine.

I awoke on the Tuesday with a ringing headache, and the newfound realization that Yasamin would be better off in London; that was the day I managed to attempt to get a message across to Yasamin. My first was "Don't come back" but the moment I attempted to post it, the internet went down. My next few messages were equally clear, and equally hidden from sight.

I dabbled in madness then, knowing that a shallow code and faking madness were my only chances of getting any message to Yasamin. I sent my first out on Monday, in an attempt to also get out some information about the local legends; both were important. Both still are. I'm still hazy in the head from those frantic days, but there are still moments that stick out in my mind. I cannot tell what was real and what were hallucinations, cannot separate the "stuff" from the "nonsense" one might say. I had another appointment with the town Doctor on Thursday, and left Penny in the care of Yasamin's parents. I should never have associated myself with them so; I should never have endangered them so. I pray for them.

I walked to pick up Lucy, and found the house with all the doors open and banging in the wind. The house itself was empty. Penny and Tom were playing out back, quite innocently, ignoring the path of black ichor that was burning into the grass. It stank of burning flesh and oil. I told the children to go inside and lock the doors until I returned. Then I walked along into the forest, following the blackened path. The trees had withered slightly at the touch of the ooze, and the grass beneath it was dead. The path led deep into the woods, towards the circles, and suddenly I was terrified at what I might find. I wasn't led directly to the circles; no, I was led to a grand oak, ancient and massive. The trees beauty was marred by death.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I ask the Lord my soul to keep, and if I should die before I wake, I ask the Lord my soul to take. Amen.

Pray for them, if you will; Yasamin's dear parents were torn to pieces in ways too ghastly for myself to describe. I have no words for what was done to them. The villagers had words, though; celebratory ones, as they danced around the tree, hanging bloody garlands around each others necks and laughing giddily. It was a damned village fete to them. I hobbled as best I could back to the house, and tried to call 999; I told them there had been a murder, and directed them to the tree. They laughed at me, and told me that it was normal. I took Tom and Penny back to the house, and Tom fretted and worried the entire time. Penny was nonplussed, almost cheerful. I fear that I have lost her.

Our doors have been locked. We've been hiding. But our time is up; the villagers have called the Police, and pinned the murders of Yasamin's parents and the disappearance of Yasamin on me. It was easy enough to frame me as a mad goat, I expect. They will be bringing a ram to the door soon. I am most likely going to be arrested; I don't know what will happen to Penny, or to Tom. I will... try and encourage them to escape this town, but Penny won't leave, she likes it here. Honestly, neither of them would survive that route either. After what I've seen here, though, I don't want them to stay in this village.

I'll pray.

I don't know what good it will do, but I still have some faith. Surely I do.

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