Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beware of the Day

We've been driving all day. The first city in the book was a place called Blossomville, Pennsylvania, but that's a long way off. So we took turns driving Frank's old beat up Toyota pickup. When both of us were too tired to drive, we stopped at a motel.

Frank's trying to sleep now. He doesn't want to be here, I know. The last wasn't good. But he's doing this anyway. Everything needs to be finished.

If we have readers out there, they are probably wondering why we are doing this. Why we search for survivors, why we look for the Boojums.

We aren't runners. I've met some runners before. Some were nice, some were mean. Just like people everywhere.

But Frank and I...we're not running. I mean, with what happened, you would probably expect us to run. But nothing's chasing after us. There are no proxies on our heels, no Slender Man waiting behind every door. We're just roaming, gathering stories.

We met at school. We weren't friends. We said hi to each other every once in a while, but we hung out with different people. A few years later, when I was going to night school at a community college, we met again and this time we did become friends. We knew each other in a class full of strangers.

This lasted up until the Incident. The Incident was where everything changed. Except it didn't. We pretended that it didn't happen. That nothing was different. But we felt it.

Then we met him. He said his name was Mister Boots. He would be our benefactor. We would work for him. Try to find other people, other Incidents.

All we had to do was say yes.

I can see him turning in his bed now. Frank. He's always had the most nightmares about the Incident. Me, I don't have nightmares about it. That's what memories are for.

I have nightmares about the day that Frank isn't there anymore. That day I wake up and he's gone. That day I do this job alone. The day that I meet Mister Boots with his wrinkled hands and cold eyes and he gives me a new list of cities. Because we said yes.

I hate doing this, Frank, but we have to. We have to.

-- Carol Baker

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