Friday, 30 December 2011

In which I lose my way

I am lost. I      nexplicably, inextricably l       ost. I don't recognize an      y of the buildings around m       e and even if I did, it woul                                        d not do any good, for they are      all locked. I tried to open       doors, but they would not op      en. The windows are dark an       d shuttered and I can't see inside anywhere, I can't tell where I am. Every side street branching off into darkness. I am lost. Lost in a mercurial city.
I ran from t                                        hat deformed person in the cathe      dral. I ran from them and didn't look back. Perhaps that was bad                               of me. Perhaps they did not wish me harm      at all. But I took one look at them at felt such revulsi on,                                        such vileness, I could not help but run. Why did I feel in th at way, like I did? I do not know. I just ran. I ran down corridors and hallways, rushing through doors, not looking where I was running, not looking at all.
And now I am      lost. I cannot find my room. Once, I would have been able to turn      the corner and see it; now, I can only see more empty buildings, m      ore flickering streetlights, more dark alleyways that seem to conv                                        ey danger. I don't know why, but this place, this city doesn't feel like it used to feel. It doesn't feel safe anymore. It doesn't feel right. It feels...
I cannot des      cribe how it is making me feel. This place, this city. Everyw      here I turn now, it seems like it is turning me away, pushing me a      way. I have seen no more department stores, no more Italian rest                                       aurants, no more movie theaters. No more life. Just dark buildings, their edges as sharp as blades, their windows opaque, their doors firmly shut and locked.
Is this my fault?                               Or did A do something? When they         killed their monster, did that         change the city some         how? Or does it simply respond         to my own emotions?         When I was hungry, it led me to         a restaurant. When I panicked,                                 it became a place of panic, a place of blind fear. If I calm my self down, will it turn back into a place that feels exciting? Will I find my room then? Or will I just wander this city forever, searching for something that no longer exists? What am I doing? What am I going to do? -- Sam Norton.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

"Polar"

Of wistfulness and weather.

After getting away from the sight that I saw, I soon found myself walking through yet another deserted street; the paving stones a grey colour, one which almost matched the fog that surrounded me. I could scarcely see that pavement beneath my feet, and the black road covered in tarmac? Hah, wouldn't that be lovely.

With my vision so obscured, I could only place one foot before the other and continue to advance. The fog danced at my senses and put my teeth on edge; I felt as though the peace that had filled my heart had been chased out by phantoms and naught else.

Ah, wistfulness. Isn't it just such a wonderful feeling?

That aside, I began to feel the cold set in around my bones as I continued to walk through the fog. As I continued to walk, I felt something hit my face; I could not see it for the life of me, given the fog. However, as I walked, I saw the pavement filling with powdery white.

I found an alcove to type this. My body feels cold, but my heart feels warm. I will wait until the fog clears a little before moving on, I think.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

In which A is A

I followed A from our meeting place, staying behind them just enough so that they couldn't see me (or perhaps they could and were just humoring me). Finally, they turned a corner and I glimpsed them talking to someone. A woman who looked like she was around middle age. I could barely hear the conversation, but the older woman knelt down and seemed to be staring up at A reverently. Perhaps A's tactics had worked on someone else.


After about ten minutes, A walked away from the older woman and through a doorway. I rushed past the woman (who was still kneeling) and pushed the doorway open again and went through.


I found myself inside a large cathedral. There were rows and rows of pews with ornate designs on the ends. I rushed past them and the large stained glass windows, not even bothering to look up at them. I could no longer see A, they had vanished. I rushed to the other end of the church where the large double doors were and pushed them open slightly.


Outside, I could see there was a wide street. I saw the back of a woman, but then I heard the loud crack of a gunshot and I looked beyond the woman to where A stood. At first I thought they had shot a mannequin, it looked so strange. But then the mannequin started to crumble, turning to ash, the ash falling on A like rain.


A raised their hands, as if making a grand speech. I could barely make out the words they were saying. "-dreams, come unto reality. Behold the slain beast..." There was a rustling behind me and I turned, but nothing was there. I looked back down at A. "Watch, as I wield the future," they were saying, "as a musician wields his instrument." The rustling returned and again I turned, but there was nothing. I looked back through the barely open door and heard the end of A's speech. "The new world is closer now then it ever has been. This is it. This is my victory." And then they descended into hysterical laughter.


There was a sound behind me, the sound of shuffling feet, so finally I turned, fully expecting it to be nothing at all. But there was someone. They crawled on the ground, their face and hands hideously deformed. They looked at me with shock and then malice and rasped, "Let me in."


I ran out of the double doors. A and the woman were gone. All that was left was a pile of ashes on the ground. I ran down the street, away from the church, as fast as I could.


Sam Norton

"Peerless"

I followed A into their new world, and found myself enclosed within the City once more; the church still behind me. However, the City had lost the feeling of euphoria it had given me - perhaps A's words shook me more deeply then I had realised.


But that is nothing, compared to what else I saw.


I found myself looking down an alleyway; at it's end, I could see down a street, of the modern sort; tarmac and pavement, stone and cement. Looking down it, I saw A from behind, with their hands raised before them; I think I could see something in their hand. Before them, I saw a being that looked as if it had been pulled from a dream.


A man as tall as the tallest man you know; a man clothed in darkness in the imitation of business attire; arms branched as a tree would be. A deathly pale 'cross it's face; a face that looked unlike any other. If there had been eyes, mouth, a nose, ears... they were there no longer. Gone, as if blown into the wind, leaving a face as literally blank as my face was figuratively when I gazed upon it.


A stood between me and that being, but I felt my heart waver upon seeing it. Then I saw A raise their hands up, and saw what was held in between them.


Crack.


As if by magic, a hole appeared in the head of the being; it slumped, it's arms seeming to begin to burn with a purple flame. The being roared and stumbled, took two steps forward. The fire raced across it, reducing the being to ash as it stood. It suddenly charged at A, as if attacking - but no. The fire burned across the entirety of it, reducing the being to naught.


The roaring ceased, and stunned silence filled the air. And then, a giggle, quickly silenced as if suppressed. And then, A spoke, turning around, as if speaking to the city itself.


"Behold, my watchers. Behold my dreams, come unto reality. Behold the slain beast and the slayer themselves. If this is all a fable, then this would be it's end. It was the end of the monster, but not the end of the hero. This is a story in which the hero lives; the hero endures. You have born witness to the journey, and you shall now see the destination - watch, as I wield the future as a musician wields his instrument. Watch, as I shall take what I have done here, and take up the anvil. Watch, as I take command of the empty fate which I have been given. The new world is closer now then it ever has been. This is it. This is my victory."


Their face had remained straight for this, but as they said that last word, a smile ran across their face. And then, the giggling returned, followed by hysterical laughter.


I didn't want to stay. My body twitched at the thought of being close to that person again. So I turned back into the church, and I ran. I went through door after door, putting as many as I could between myself and what had occurred. I didn't understand it, and I don't want to understand it.

Diary Entry: Sinner

Yesterday, God's very Angel spoke with me. It was a beautiful creature who showed me another of my sinful kind. A great battle was to take place today. A demon would fall a fallalafall. I was not worty worthy my prayers were not to be enough. I was allowed to for pray to the angel I was not allowed to watch the demon fall. I watched. The windows let me watch.
February 9, 1923

Today I watched as God's Messenger hunted its quarry, and I watched as the Suited One sought out the Messenger. I saw huhdJHIUEFGEHWIQBKJ sddfjjojmmj iohwiudhuiweqduibhi SSENITPME FO MLAER EHT FO YOT EHT ERA UOY TUB TI ESU TI HTIW YOT TI ELUR TI LORTNOC OT HGUOHT UOY SIRBUH RUOY NI SOAHC FO YTIC SWODAHS TUOHTIW YTIC EFIL FO YTIC SSENITPME FO YTIC DSFIOUNHIOUHJKLNnmklnmflenjKNKLN (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hihihihihihihowdy SHARDSOFMYHUMANITY typetypetypetypetype

I pray for the Messenger's safety.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

"Passing"

My heart is racing, but the beast has past.


After my last post, I felt opened that door, and found another. I drove myself to walk through each door that came in my way; unlike every other time when I have wandered this maze of bricks and mortar, I felt as if there was something driving me. That I was approaching my goal, although I knew not where my goal was. Each door confronted me with a new land that I had not traversed.


The first door led me to a beautiful fountain; water soared high into the sky, before tumbling back into the pool, only to be subjected to the fountain's function. Even the grey backdrop to this did not remove it from my mind; I only saw it for a brief moment, before I remained on my course and went through the next door.


There, I saw a supermarket - that's what my head tells me it was. Empty rows of unstacked shelves, followed by yet more. This felt almost poignant. Did this impart some distant memory into my mind? I don't know, but I kept walking; a door with the words "Staff Only" written upon it was the one I pushed open, to find myself back onto the city streets once more. I kept walking; these were the environments I felt at home with. The concrete city-scape which had enclosed me when A was near, protected me and pulled me away from them.


Walking through another door brought me into a church, or what seemed like one; no, a temple. A majestically large place, with figures cut from stone stood on pedestals. They looked down at me, hoods over their faces; their hands stood out firm, as if giving a speech. There were no seats and no people to want to sit in them; I walked up to the altar, and ran a hand across it. Unfamiliar symbols were cut into it, as if worshipping some unknown god, forgotten in times long since past for me. I looked up; the roof looked so very far away. A colossal dome, stretching up to the sky. There were paintings, but I could not truly comprehend them, really; I can't really explain this.


Remembering the temple, I can almost feel as if I am forgetting things I thought that I'd never forget there. The stained glass windows were a true majesty of design, yet I cannot even remember the faces on them. It's a shame.


Nevertheless, I soon found myself pulled to exit through a side-door, but I found myself forced to stop, for I found A beyond it.


Not A in any way I had seen them before, though. But the face still struck terror into my heart; even when they looked sad, they had been able to hurt me before. I kept my distance, but noted the person before me.


Their hood was down, their face revealed. Their blackened attire, which I had not seen them without, remained as it always had; immaculate and preserved. Not one inch of skin exposed. I looked around the room; they were sat on the chair, facing a door that I had not been through. As if this place was merely an extension of the temple, windows of stained glass (although not as beautiful as those outside) remained fitted, A's face outlined against one of them.


And such a face; I've not clearly seen it before. Prematurely aged, to be sure; I could see scars, both old and new, cut into it. Their nose, long and hooked, completed their face's outline. Although I could see it perfectly, I could still not be sure as to whether I was looking at a male or female face. Hah, a typical story. Clean but messy hair adorned their head, going down to their shoulders; I don't know what the style is, but I could see that it was not groomed; brown hair that had gone to grey in recent times, to be sure. At a table between them and I, I saw two things; a knife and a handgun. I'm an expert in neither field, but I'm sure that either would be sufficient to end my life.


I'm not sure what compelled me to memorise that; perhaps what they said next.


"The time that is coming," they said, in a tone that I did not recognise from that mouth. A tone that seemed... contemplative. "It is one time in which the time inside this place and the time outside it come together. On both inside and out, it shall be the winter solstice. I can imagine this time a year ago; a time of hope and of happiness. And of longing, at least for me. I was hoping then, like I had never hoped before.


"I wanted the nightmare to end. For it all to cease and to be done and forgotten. I wanted my past to leave me; to fade. I wanted a hero to rise up and defeat the monster... I saw the golden dream that others held and held it myself. In my silence, I prayed as hard as anyone else did.


"It was not enough. The dream was just that: in the morning, my nightmare haunted my waking hours, the dream extinguished. The world had lied to me; the world had led me astray; the world was wrong. I had followed hope, and hope brought me to crushing despair. I abandoned the companion that I had acquired; I severed the loose ends from my past; I moved on. I had to move on, lest I collapse into the ruins that surrounded me.


"I lost my way. I wandered in the darkness, hunting for a light. A guide, to show me the way. And for all my searching, I found nothing. I kept going so that I did not stop. Every step brought me no closer to my goal, but I knew that my goal was an impossibility. But stopping would have meant that everything I had done, every sin that I had committed, was worth naught. I told myself that the dream wasn't over yet, that if I didn't stop, the flame of hope would rekindle into a neverending blaze that would consume the past.


"In my head, there were words begging to be let go; I couldn't tell anyone. A thousand words, a thousand confessions. If I kept them close, I could control them; if I let go, I would be carried by them to a place that I might not want to go. I wanted to be myself again. I wanted to command my own fate; to go where I wanted.


"I met people who were trapped in the nightmare with me. We bonded and shared our feelings; each face, I couldn't forget. They were pulled into the darkness of the night, all of them. They all went, you could say. They were there, and then they were gone. Perhaps, in another life, I would have wept for them. I merely stared into the darkness and burned with anger. I was being forced to dance in another's palm, made to play the part of a puppet. But it's not the same now.


"I don't know what changed. Perhaps something else took me in; something else took my strings and is still playing my strings as expertly as any puppeteer. But something snapped. I shook myself from my fear and from my despair; I rose up, and climbed higher then I ever had.


"The dream wasn't done, not yet." A grim smile crossed A's face, as something appeared in their eyes. Tears? "I still felt that call to action, echoing across time. Anger may have worked then, but now I knew that I could not wait for a hero. Now, I was strong enough; waiting would solve nothing. The thousand words could wait, as could the thousand confessions. A hero would not come, so I would become the hero that everyone awaited. The mantle was thrust towards me, so I wore it with pride."


I stood in the room's corner, awkwardly. Were they trying to convey more half-truths? Or was this someone who had not talked from their heart for too long, who were now just looking for an excuse to dump them on the nearest passer-by? Nevertheless, they did not seem to want to stop.


"I had purpose and I had drive. Even if it meant forsaking my fellow man, I had a calling; the greatest calling of all, perhaps. And so, I did what I did. And finally, it has all come... to this."


A's hand grasped the gun on the table firmly; hand around the grip, finger on the trigger. They shifted their grip, examining it with a form of wistfulness that I'd not seen in those eyes before. "Before, I felt afraid of the future. Now... I still am, I think." A relaxed grin crossed the lips. "But this time, it's something that I have constructed. I have done all I can. I control myself now; my fate goes where I command it. I progress ever-further into the future. I cannot stop the beast I have let loose, but it's a beast I've wanted to ride."


A turned to me, placing the gun into a holster on their hip, and picking the knife up and hiding it on their person. The eyes pierced my soul; I felt some solidarity with this person, monstrous though they were. "It's almost time, you know," they said, pointing towards the unopened door. "Beyond that door is the new world. A world of harmony and order; of freedom and passion. It's a world that I've always wanted to see, and it's the world we'll soon be in. The whole world will become like that one, one day." They stood up, and walked towards it. They placed a hand on the ornate handle, and pushed it, just slightly.


"Come with me. Come to the new world. The door will always be open."


Pushing it open, they walked through, to a faraway world, perhaps.


Some of me wants to look at A in a new light. It's far drowned out by the rest of me, who realises that this person who has known fear just loves to inflict it on me. How could I feel anything but contempt for such a beast?


I'll follow them to this 'new world', and view it for the sham it is.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

In which I have a revelation

I was inside my room trying to sleep, when I realized what had happened. A had broken my connection to the world and what was I doing? I was hiding. I was hiding like they said I was.

So I stood up and opened the door and I walked outside. The roads were wavy and they all led to an intersection where there was this little garden and A was waiting for me.

"Come out to play?" they said. Their face was uncovered and it looked old and scarred. "Do you believe in me yet?"

"Believe in what?" I asked. "You are you, as you said. I don't believe that you're a god. I believe...that you exist."

"Good enough," they said.

"Why is it so important," I asked, "that I believe in you?"

"I'm going to face a monster soon," they said. "A monster who exists because people believe it exists. I'm going to kill it because in this place, I exist like it does."

"A monster?" I said. "You brought me here just to help kill a monster?"

And then A said something that shook me. "I didn't bring you here." They looked around and then said, "I've gotta go. Got some people to meet before the big day." They turned and walked away. "See you soon."

And so I followed them. I'm following them right now. Either they don't know I'm behind them or the city is somehow keeping me hidden, I don't know. But I'm going to continue following them until I see who they meet and how they leave.

And then I won't be hiding any longer.

Sam Norton

"Peace"

The puzzle was simple enough, with some trial and error. The task was to form a check with the Queen by moving my Knight, in such a way that the Knight would check the King if it were to move. Clever, really.


Upon completing the piece, the side of the board popped out, revealing the key. No note, thankfully. I took the time to sleep, of course; once that was done, I unlocked the door, and placed the key into my pocket; I had four now. I walked back into the outside, and found myself on a rooftop, looking up at skyscrapers; they reached up to that dismal sky, as if trying to escape it. I looked up, and found myself returning to that... zone.


Perfect calm had returned to my heart once more. This place... I don't want to be anywhere else when I'm here. This place gives me a purpose of it's own.


But now that I am here... I feel something, like it is tugging at my mind. As if there was something that preyed on mind; I opened my eyes, and saw a door on that rooftop. A door that led nowhere.


This city is giving me drive. This city is giving me purpose. I will take that purpose, and I shall go. To the land beyond the door.

Diary Entry: Peeeeeoplepeoplepeoplepoepel

Alright. Wow. So, it's been a few days. I've taken my camera out, uploaded those pictures, lost those pictures, tried again... But...


Okay, skipping right to it.


I SAW PEOPLE.


That's right. People. PEOPLE. Wow, that word looks weird. P E O P L E peoplepeople


Word's lost all meaning. Regardless. I saw two of them. One was a woman for sure. She was dressed kinda funny. The other... Imagine an amalgam of some of the most important people peeeople people you know and then remove any individuality. I can't even tell you if it's a boy or a girl. It saw me. It's coming this way.


People p-e-o-p-

Thursday, 15 December 2011

"Phobia"

I was shaken from my blissful reverie (ah, how good it feels to remember those moments of bliss! As if my soul itself had come into harmony with my body; I felt myself expanding into the world around me, as free as a bird. My mind was no barrier to my happiness, merely a tool through which my soul could find happiness) by a now all-too familiar voice.


"Hey, you!" It called, cloaked in mirthful laughter. I opened my eyes, but remained sat on the floor, my legs crossed. The light shone into A's darkened hood to reveal two grey eyes, cloaked in an aged face. Their attire looked no worse for wear then it had before, but there seemed to be some dancing glee in their eyes now, as if some victory had been achieved. "What're you doing, just sitting 'round?"


"Go away," I said. I didn't need to talk to them any more; I'd found my happiness.


"No way," they laughed. "I just wanted a little chat with you."


"I don't want to talk to you. We both know it'll only end in bruises."


A simple shrug of the shoulders from my tormentor. "Now, now, my dear," they said, moving towards me. I jumped to my feet, my boots firmly smacking the ground beneath my feet. "I am not so cruel as to harm my dear sister." Their face became obscured from view, thanks to my changed position. Nevertheless, I think they could see the shock that briefly ran across my face. "What, you don't remember?"


"No..."


"Well, well, well," they said, giggling. "How's this for a family reunion? Why, I can only wonder as to why you didn't look like you recognised me!"


This had to be a lie. A trap. Something to trick me; this was a thing that could not be. But I really could not remember anything of my past. If I believed A, I could find the truth; whether they were truthful or false. But if it were true... what would that make me? A monster, like they were? But... no. It didn't matter.


"I don't have a family," I responded.


"Incorrect. You lost them, but now you have found them anew; you have found them in me. I am all the family you could ever aspire to; all the family that you deserve."


Something in me rang true. But something else felt revolted; I deserved better then... someone like that. Someone who took my trust and turned it into a weapon against me. They could not be my family. But...


I ran. I couldn't stop myself running. Just... away; down streets, just going away from that hooded figure who knew so much about me. I didn't turn, I could only listen to the laughter that escaped from them. The laughter that still rings in my ears now.


I went through door after door, and soon found myself in another locked room. I recall running through a corridor built into a skyscraper which flew high over the city (although I have no idea as to how I scaled such a height in so little time); a glass wall to my right, I looked over to see myself so very high above the city, the rooftops little more then paving stones at this height, with the occasional skyscraper soaring above the landscape. In the far distance, I could see only fog; above me, an empty sky. A truly empty sky - no sun, no clouds, only this dismal grey feeling. The concrete jungle of the city below was almost reassuring in comparison, compared to the overhanging feeling of melancholy. I would like to call the pathetic fallacy out, but I felt no such melancholy; panic rose within me, but only panic. No wistfulness, no longing for the past.


Perhaps my past is now a closed door, much like the one that lies before me. I want to think at it more, but in the meantime, I am confronted with another of those puzzles. The sky-high corridor ended in another door; when I entered, I found myself in another of the puzzle rooms. Two doors, one locked, one leading the way I came. There is no safe... at least in the conventional sense. On the desk, however, was a chess set, along with a note, saying #004.


The desk was backed against a wall, with the white side facing my direction, with a bench for me to sit on. The board appears to be electronic, and also magnetic; I cannot lift the pieces from the board, only drag them. When I move a piece, there is a harsh buzzing noise, and the piece returns to it's original location.


I have no knowledge of chess notation, but I am familiar with the concept of a chess puzzle. In one move, I have to place the black king into check (or at least set up a favourable move on the next turn, if the puzzle is a two-move matter). Given that I cannot show it to you, I will persevere and solve it on my own.


At least this puzzle distracts me from what's in my head.
February 5, 1923

Today I was visited by an angel. It was a beautiful creature, a being of indeterminate sex and a melodious voice.

God's Messenger called itself A. It told me that it could forgive me of my sins and reunite me with Grace in Heaven. It then informed me that I was in a special world under its own power, a sort of purgatory. The Messenger told me that many sinners walk within this world, but as long as I have faith, I should survive my time here.

A declared that it was hunting a great evil, a faceless demon dressed in black. It invited me to witness its battle with the evil from my window.

I look forward to it. I will serve the Messenger and then perhaps I can be forgiven.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

In which I notice graffiti

I keep on seeing graffiti when I look outside. It must be A that is writing it, right? Who else can it be?


I saw them on the city's moving streets, like BurmaShave ads, changing one after another.


I'M GONNA FADE AWAY
I'M GONNA FACE AWAY
I'M GONNA FLY AWAY
I'M GONNA DIE TODAY


I'm afraid to leave my room now, afraid even to look outside.


Sam Norton

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

February 3, 1923

When I awoke today, my window showed me a long hallway, built of stone and lit by torches. It stretched on as far as I could see, and disappeared into darkness.

I sat before the window for hours and sought to puzzle out what I was supposed to learn from this vision. Around midday, something in the darkness moved.

A great black dog, larger than any I had ever seen before, walked out of the darkness. Its eyes glowed like burning embers and it seemed to me that its gaze was fixed solely on myself. It walked slowly, almost confidently.

In its mouth it held a photograph of a negro woman

The dog sat down on the other side of the window, and simply looked at me.

It has been there since.

It is still there.

And its gaze has not left me.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

"Paradise"

Okay, so it's been about half an hour from my last post. Sorry about the wait.


Sitting in the #010 room, I tried to remain calm; I breathed in deeply, and exhaled equally as much. I could not resist the fear beating up in my chest; I could not hide from what I felt. This is a blog, is it not? Why should I deny what I felt?


In any case, my ears perked up at an unfamiliar noise; the sound of a key clicking in the lock, from the door I'd entered through. I cautiously stood up; my legs shaking, I placed a hand on the door's handle. And then, I pushed. Every hair on my body stood on end at that moment.


But there was nothing there; no sign of the person who'd unlocked the door. I looked around for them, but saw nobody; I saw only the cool glass of the city's exterior once again. The urban jungle had returned; skyscrapers soared so far into the sky. Even here, I'd had no such awe as I did there. It was a triumph of architecture; I closed my eyes, and opened my ears. I could feel it. I could feel the city's pulse. I could feel home.


It is only now that I've been trapped here (for so very long) that I find nostalgia in what I had before. I think that I've been here for such a time that my memories of the time before are fading; I cannot remember the face of my father, or even that I had one. But I must have, because everyone does. But was he there?


The rhythm of the constructs offered no answers to me, but I could feel it. If you've not been in a city, you wouldn't know it; there's a great feeling of satisfaction for me. The people around you feel no love for you; they feel no hate for you. You are anonymous; you're nothing to them, just as they are nothing to you. You walk with the crowd. The crowd of unconnected people, all of which are united by their mere presence with one another.


I can't describe it; it just feels right to be here. I don't want to be here; I want to go home. Nothing's convinced me more of this then the last ten minutes.


I think the right word for this is "bliss". That's what this is. This is bliss.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Diary Entry: Update

     Hello once more. Things have gotten strange and I've begun to try to run a few more tests. There's not a lot I can do without any equipment, and despite all the other... gifts, I suppose, I haven't gotten an advanced chemistry set. Not that it really matters, I had to drop out my first semester because of the baby. Sorry, tangent. Anyway, I've been getting life necessities, like food and drink, in the usual spot. I've also started getting things like clothes and the like at my front door, all from the same thing as the war footage. I'm not sure what this is supposed to say. In the first one, there was also a chocolate bar. I didn't even know I was craving it until I saw it. I... I'm just glad I broke it in half before biting into it. I don't know how maggots could have gotten around the wrapper. Needless to say, I haven't tried on the clothes or anything else that comes to the door.
     I've been walking more, I found a train station that had some English around it. I'm going to go out and get a video of it, if I can find it again. I tried making a video of the alleys out front of the house, but all the footage showed was a spinning blur, then when I tried to upload that, it told me the file was corrupted.
    Thought I'd get used to the lack of people, but I still haven't. I don't even know how much time has passed, if any.




I might be in Hell.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

In which there is a knock on the door

There was a short story published a while ago in Thrilling Wonder Stories. It was by Fredric Brown - I like his stories. It was only two sentences, but to me, it was quite chilling:


The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door...


I don't know how long I have been in this city, but I know in all my time here I have not seen another living soul. Not until today.


There was a knock on the door.


Two simple knocks. That was it. I thought that perhaps I would open the door and there would be another package from A. Perhaps another riddle or another Biblical quotation to mull over. I went and opened the door.


There was someone outside.


Slowly, I stepped outside, one hand clutching my camera. Was this the elusive A? They wore a completely black outfit, including a hood that covered their face. "Hello, Hider," they said. I couldn't even tell from their voice if they were male or female - it sounded strange, the pitch a little too high for a man's voice, too low for a woman's.


"Why do you call me that?" I asked. "That's not my name."


"But it's who you are," they said. "You hide. You hide behind your name, behind your words, behind your pictures. One mustn't hide, not from oneself."


"Are you A?" I asked.


"I am," they said. "I am A and A am I. To deny it would be to deny that I exist. I exist, thus A equals A. I am that I am."


"Now you're quoting the Bible again," I said. "You're not God."


"I'm not?" A said. They titled their head and looked at me. "Then how is it I can come and go and you cannot? You are trapped here and I am free." They stepped closer, their feet making crunching sounds on the ground. "I have given you food and water. I have given you technology. And what have you given me? Disbelief. I don't think that's very fair, do you?"


"If you're a god, you're an awfully capricious one," I said.


"Of course," they said, stepping closer. "What else would the God of Humanity be? Capricious and willful and indifferent and cruel. All the qualities that humanity posssesses in abundance. But the God of Humanity would also be powerful and strong and able to adapt quickly." They stepped closer still and I raised the hand that held the camera. I was going to snap a picture, but they grabbed the camera out of my hand. "Now, now. I have given and I shall take away. Besides, you were wasted on it, taking snapshots of stone lions and fountains. You could have shown people the enormity of the City, the brilliance of this place, but you didn't. You don't deserve a camera." They dropped the camera on the ground and before I could try and stop them, they stomped on it, crushing the camera under their boot.


"What," I said, unable to comprehend what they had just done. My camera, which I had taken everywhere, was now cracked and broken on the ground.


"I did say that I was cruel." A leaned in closer and I could make out the shape of their face underneath their hood - round and thin, a face like any other. "Do you believe now?" A asked. They turned and started to walk away. "You should. Or else the next thing I step on might be you."


They opened a door and step through. I stepped forward, but the door closed and then vanished itself.


I kneeled down and carefully picked up all the pieces of the broken camera. Looking at them, I knew I could never repair it - it was so complex, if I had been younger, I might have thought it was magic. I picked up each piece and cupped them in my hands.


Then I walked back to my room and sat down.


I sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.


I jumped, then placed the broken camera on the table and walked towards the door. I opened it carefully, but there was nobody on the other side. But there was a note stuck to the door, a piece of spiral notebook that looked like it had been ripped haphazardly. On it was written:
A STORM IS THREATENING
I AM GOING TO FADE AWAY.


I looked at the note, then closed the door again.


Sam Norton

Saturday, 26 November 2011

In which I receive a reward

There was a large metal box beside the lion today. On top was a square filled with letters, like the letters I type on this machine. I entered the letters B-A-S-E-B-A-L-L and the box unlocked itself. Inside was food -- packages of crackers, dried fruit, beef jerky, and bottle after bottle of water.

And near the bottom of the box was a piece of paper on which was written: MARK 5:36.

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.


Curious. Of all the Biblical passages A could have chosen, they chose this one. This is about the healing of a dead woman. Am I...dead? Is this some sort of purgatory?

No. No, that's a plot from a bad pulp story. Besides, there are plenty of other weird passages from Mark 5. I mean, that's the chapter where Jesus comes across a wild man who cannot be bound in chains or fetters and, when he asks him his name, the man replies, My name is Legion: for we are many.

Sam Norton

Friday, 25 November 2011

In which I walk from lion to lion

There was a lion in front of my door this morning. It was light outside, so I decided to take a walk and I opened my door and I saw a lion.

It was a stone lion, like those found outside of old buildings. It looked strange though. Like it was from a drawing made by a child. It was...deformed.


I closed the door and tried not to look at it as I walked past. Instead, I tried to think of the answer to A's riddle. "Joe wants to go home but he cannot. The Man in the Mask is waiting for him." It sounds like a trailer for a new detective film.

After a few minutes of walking along a stone path, I found myself in front of a tunnel.


I could see that beyond the tunnel were stairs, but...it seemed as if tunnel was leading going to lead me somewhere else. Somewhere I hadn't been in this city. So I walked through the darkened tunnel and when I came out the other end, the stairs had vanished. Instead, there was a dirt footpath that led to a pond.


It was one of the most beautiful ponds I'd seen, but it looked...too real. Too vivid. The colors were too colorful. The ducks...they were real ducks, but they didn't make any sounds. They moved and flapped their wings and I'm sure had I brought some bread, they would have eaten it, but they didn't make a sound.

The sky began to darken and the air felt like it was filled with static electricity. I closed my eyes and there was a thrumming sound and when I opened them, it was night and the pond wasn't there anymore.

Instead, there was a fountain.


Bright jets of water colored in green lights fell into the rippling water. The air felt heavy. My fingertips tingled. And the answer came to me.

"Joe wants to go home but he cannot. The Man in the Mask is waiting for him." The Man in the Mask is the catcher. Joe is playing baseball.

For some reason, I can't help but think that the city gave me this answer. That being here, in front of this fountain, I was able to think of it and it led me here just for that purpose. But that's stupid. Just as stupid as a riddle about baseball.

I walked back along the path, through the tunnel, and back to my room. There was the lion again, but it had changed. It no longer looked like it was made by a child. It looked...refined.


I looked into its eyes, then closed my eyes and opened them again. The lion didn't change. It looked like it had been petrified. Like it had seen the eyes of a basilisk and been turned to stone.

I turned away from it and went back inside.

Sam Norton

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

March 1, 1923

The Messenger has been deceived, and the evil still permeates this world.

It falls onto me to be the hand of God now.

For my sins, for Grace, I shall not fail.

Let evil beware.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Diary Entry: Video Log - Testing My Toy Out My Window.

video

"Presentiment"

My thanks to the commenter who suggested "stop imagining"; inputting the word "stop" into the machine resulted in the familiar light beep and the sound of the door opening. A semantic puzzle indeed; it's almost funny, in hindsight. A very simple puzzle, once you look at it in the right manner. I'll keep an eye out for these sorts of things in future.


Upon the opening of the key-bearing cage, I found a sheet of paper; the key was wrapped inside it. Before I inserted it into the door, I looked at the paper; on it was written the following words, in this formatting. It was torn from a lined A4 sheet of paper, as if the writer had been in a great hurry.


"LET ME IN"


Scritch scritch. Heavy breathing; almost feral. The sound of the thing beyond the locked door returned; I hesitated. As if narrated by some cosmic being, a voice rung in my head, as if someone had set the bells ringing. The voice said: Let me in... 


I hesitated then, and did not stop. I don't know what to do; I have a key to a locked door, but beyond it lies something that wants to enter. The other door was locked the last time I tried. There's no other ways out.


Imagine a room with no escape...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

"Purgatory"

I woke up to find myself back in the room. This time, I walked around the room.


Much like the ones before it, there are two doors in this room; the one through which I entered (which was now closed) and the one with the key, through which I was to leave. The safe was the same as the others, of course; it would be the same, too. I stopped, and paused. I reached into my pocket, and removed the two keys I already had.


This wasn't some video game; the keys didn't break when I used them. I inserted the first into the lock, turn; no result. The second, the same. I sighed, and put them both back into my pocket. I then realised that there was no table in this room, which was a new change-up to the structure, I guess. I then stopped, and wondered about the door through which I entered. Surely, that one would still be open? I tried it, and found that it was locked. Looking through the slit on the side of the door nearest the handle, I saw nothing; no light. Perhaps it was dark outside?


Some mental note caused me to look around the room, to wonder where the light was; I saw a light-bulb in the ceiling, emitting a constant stream of light. I looked up at it, and wondered where the power was coming from. Then again, logically speaking, electricity would work, as this very device does...


And it was when I looked down from the light that I saw the puzzle-holding note, underneath my pillow. I walked over it, and my heart dived into my neck. Something was scratching at the locked door. Scritch, scritch, scritch. And then, a hesitant knock. Knock. Knock. And then it stopped. I remained frozen in place for several moments, before my goosebumps settled. I silently removed the paper from the bed, examining it.


Imagine that you are trapped in a room without doors, without windows, without any possibly ways to escape. How do you get out? -#010, T=3D


When I finished reading, I suddenly heard a voice from the other side of the locked door, as the scritching returned. "Let me in. Please, let me in." The voice was totally alien to me, and it was all I could do to swallow my racing heart and quell the goosebumps rising on my neck.

I've typed this as quietly as I can. I think it's gone now. Then again, I thought that before. I'm totally lost on this puzzle, by the way. Hm.

Friday, 18 November 2011

In which I find more reading material

I just looked out my window and saw a lake. It was in the middle of the city, but I could see no streets leading to it, no paths that ended at its shore.

I just got my camera, but now I'm looking again and the lake is gone. Replaced by a row of buildings, brick and mortar.

Earlier today, I received another message from A. At least, I think it was A. It was different from the others. Not a Biblical quotation this time. A riddle.

First, I found this slipped underneath my door:


It's a copy of one of my early stories. Someone took an image of it and then duplicated it another page. The sheet was fine - not rough like the pages of the digests I write for.

And then on the back was this:


Who is Joe? And who is the Man in the Mask? Or is this riddle simply hypothetical in nature?

And why is A suddenly leaving riddles? Strange.

My food supply is running low. Will they leave me more food somewhere or do I need to answer this riddle first? The more things A leaves me, the more I don't understand them or why they are doing this.

Sam Norton

Diary Entry: Run run run as fast as I can...

Phew...

I was just going to do another video from that weird lake thing, but I just can't catch my breath. I'm 47 years old, 30 years now out of high school track, I can't push myself like this anymore. So... Doors bad. Doors bad. Doorsss bad. Doors badd. Doorsbad. DDoors baaad. Doooors Doors Doors Doors Do

orsdoors DoorrRs

Doors

Doors
Ddooros

"Point"

Upon inputting "heap" into the machine, I was once again greeted by the loud beep and the opening of the box. Relieved by my rest, I almost-tearfully bid the bed goodbye (I hope I see one again shortly - they are such wonderful things!), I placed the key into the lock, and turned it. Upon stepping out of the room, I found myself in an alleyway, with another door a short distance away.


However, perched on a outcropping of rock, I bore witness to a being who's presence felt far too familiar for my liking. A single word from their mouth gave me reason to recall their identity.


"Hello, my dear Paragon," they said, with a smile that almost seemed sincere, and far too much like the jaws of a shark.


"A." No comma on that sentence, there's a full blown damn period on it. I knew who it was, and instantly felt as if I wanted to turn around and run.


"Aw, why so hostile?" The smile remained, although they thankfully closed their lips. "I only wanted to give you some friendly advice, and a charming comment from... well, let's call them observers."


"Shut up. I don't want your advice," although I had some mild curiosity. Mostly as to why A hadn't already thrown me against a wall and began punching me.


The seemingly sexless figure dropped from their outcropping, and walked next to me, before placing a casual arm around my neck, and leaning against me, with a leg raised off the ground. To use an uncharitable metaphor (and why should I use a charitable one?), it was much like a flamingo with arms. "Honestly, it's in your best interests."


"... fine." I couldn't run now; I should've made a break for it already. "Go on; tell me what you want to tell me."


"Listen to this, could you?" From some unseen pocket, they produced what looked like a mobile phone of some sort. Upon seeing my quizzical expression, they laughed (a fouler-smelling breath I've never smelled!) and shook it. "This, my dear, is a dictating machine. If you don't know what that is, tough. Now, this is a comment that I heard someone make regarding the little task I gave you to solve: you know, the first one? Tell me what you think when you hear it..."


After pressing a button on the so-called dictating machine, there was a few moments of silence, before a deep, masculine voice came out of it. "A caesar cipher and a riddle that answers easily as SOS, I'm honestly a little disappointed..."


There was a beat, and then A's voice spoke. "I'm afraid that the answer is useless unless the right person has it in their possession."


Another few moments of silence, before the deep voice came once more. "I'm more interested in seeing him figure it out on his own." And then the machine clicked, stopped and was returned to it's pocket.


My immediate reaction: "... who was that?" Who on Earth would be so callously malicious?


"A human being, my dear Paragon," A said; they detached themselves from me, and begin walking down the alleyway, their feet skidding over the cobblestones. The worn brickwork piled up far over their head, soaring into the sky, at least from where I was standing. "A human being, just like any other. A being who could help, but does not lift a finger out of some dark spite that lingers in their heart." They turned to me, a grim smile over their face. No longer smug, as if now confessing before preacher. "These are dark days indeed, when you do not need any mythical monsters, for it is so simple to create the most monstrous of beasts from the common human, isn't it?" A grim chuckle. "That's the way things are, though."


They turned back, and walked up to me, and placed a kind hand on my shoulder. "I would say that I'm sorry..." I had been looking down, turning their words over in my head. Why? I had another thing to turn in my head, as I felt a sudden pain in my gut, as A's kneecap promptly imprinted itself in there. I instantly felt winded, and stumbled backwards. "But I'm not. I'm just the bearer of bad news. You can't trust anyone, you know; why, you'd be so much better off alone..."


I didn't see them go. I was too busy fighting back the pain.


When I could stand again, I stumbled over to the second door, pushed it open. I suddenly felt as if my head had been given a large dose of clarity; parity reigned in my mind, purifying my pain and turning it into a sort of patient anticipation. Waiting for an occurrence. Beyond the door, I looked around; I was atop a building, looking around at a city around me. Skyscrapers soared over my head; roads run beyond the building, weaving between pillars of concrete and glass. I took a step; the support in my leg did not give way, and I walked forwards. If I was to observe the artwork that was the architectural planning that had gone into the city in which I found myself (which looked, somehow, newer then the streets and rooms I had been traversing thus far), I would have gone to the edge.


But another thing caught my interest; a statue, composed of myself and of A.


I'm not even kidding. It looked as if it could have been the scene of not even five minutes ago, with A's arm wrapped around my neck, as if we were the best of friends. The material was of darkened stone; I am, I admit, not a student of geology, and thus the type somewhat passed me by. It was a work of art, though; the creases of the clothings looked as if it had been a photograph of the reality.


I looked around; there was another statue some distance behind, which I had missed, due to the other statue having been in the way. I walked from the first to the other, only to be greeted by a most curious site. It was another statue of myself.


The stony-faced being was lying on the floor, as if they'd fallen into a deep sleep; the eyes stared forward into oblivion (or they would, if they were anything but stone); grasped loosely in one hand, a revolver. And in the side of the being's head, a head torn asunder and within it, a skull shattered..


Upon looking at it and realising it for what it was, the parity and clarity that had infected my mind dissipated as the night before the sun; the pain clenched my stomach as it had done before. My vision blurred and worsened, and I awkwardly stumbled back to the door from which I'd entered the rooftop plaza from; I angrily pushed against it, and found myself back in one of the "safe rooms". If there is a riddle to be found, I have not found it yet; I've no plans to find it at present, either.