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the thirteenth paw of the cat
15 March 2008 @ 10:03 pm
I woke up at around 8 this morning and couldnt get comfortable enough to go back to sleep. after a time i heard my dad yelling downstairs, which he feels compelled to do at least once a day. it went on for some minutes, and i never did get back to sleep. i was a bit perplexed, but i assumed he must have gotten in last night sometime when i was upstairs. later, after i'd gotten up i asked my mother if hed gone back up to the mountains, because i didnt see the vermin which is a sure sign that he isnt around.
it turns out that he was never here. but that doesnt change the fact that i heard the sound of him arguing loudly.
I did hear it, as clearly as i hear the television downstairs, but evem i accept that what i heard did not actually happen.
what is going on here? i... had just woken up. but i was awake and it wasnt a dream. i remember it annoyed me.
I can't swear that it was real. only that i was awake, fully conscious, and heard it clearly. I have bigger problems so i can't afford to worry about this. but it is very disconcerting and its hard to tell whether its a good thing or a bad thing. probably bad. in any case, its just as well i dont have anybody close at the moment. i think it will shortly become very unsafe. I do not know, however, if there is any connection between this and that. i have a suspicious mine, so i have my suspicions. but i do not know and moira's put me through alot recently. when you get down to it, my mind has been under constant stress for four to five weeks, better at times and much much worse at others. and things were pretty bad even before that. i can't DO anything to lessen it so perhaps its found an outlet and has been more or less quietly driving me mad. i dont FEEL mad. a bit angry, and justly so at the way ive been treated, but not MAD.
but then, if i was going insane, would i know? what criteria would i judge myself by? I dont know. I dont think theres anyone who can tell me. but i do know that it wasn't in my head. i can go downstairs and stand in the area it was coming from. I have, on rare occasions, heard spoken words in my head (no, they didnt tell me to do anything). this was not like that.
but i think about this, and i think about some of the things ive read in various places, and i cant help but think about all the books i've read (about a half dozen or so are currently in my possession) which claim that reading them (and in some cases, merely possessing them) can (will, some say) drive the person who does so mad. and once again this does not mean angry. of course, there is no reason to suspect that any of them are legitimate (that is, that the claims they make about themselves are anything but the work of an 'armchair occultist' at best and a greedy sensationalist at worst) Nevertheless, while i have read, or at least skimmed them all and found nothing within particularly maddening or even bad generally, they all bear some warning or other. even levi's dogma and ritual carries a warning of sorts, though i should hardly think it applies to such as myself.
In any case, I'm worried. and if I didnt have something far more important to already be worried about, id be worried about this.
 
 
the thirteenth paw of the cat
14 March 2008 @ 08:26 pm
im almost through the last series i bought. its yet another show i used to watch, years and years ago. kind of a cross between starship troopers and aliens, but without the horror element. nevertheless, it is compelling in a vague sort of way. it's the series from which i got the quote 'take a chance'. actually that was in the third or fourth episode. it was at least an hour after id seen it before i remembered about the quote. i think i wrote an entry about it once, a long time ago.
my journal now allows comments, though they're still screened. i dont expect there will be any.
i finished the items i needed to carve, which means i more or less have all the materials collected. im a bit mystified about what can be summoned with so few materials, lacking even a name or a seal, which is pretty much universal for ceremonial magic, but i suppose i shall see. or, perhaps, not see; which is probably a more positive result.
I discovered i had been crying earlier and this too was perplexing because i did not know until i moved my hea and found my pillow was wet. i didnt think that was something you could do without knowing it. if i miss something like that, though, what might i miss when, say, i'm driving?
in any case my body is still functional but unwell. i have a headache but thats just sinus. the wood stove downstairs sometimes does it, and this is one of those times. i still feel ill if i havent eaten and worse after i have, so i havent eaten much. i hasnt killed me yet. though if it were i wish it would get on with it and not take its time.
well anyway. i was planning on fixing hamburger helper, which i havent done since the last time moira was supposed to show up and didnt. i had wanted her to try it. and before that it had been a month, anyway. i dread it though. i dont want to fix anything and i certianly dont want to eat it afterwards. i dont know whether i will or not. i had one meal, if you want to call it that, today and that was too much as it is. i dont know. theres another series that was recommended to me that was traded in yesterday and i checked out. its supposed to be funny in a silly sort of way and i could very much use a laugh.
 
 
the thirteenth paw of the cat
14 March 2008 @ 08:26 pm
i just beat resistance. it isnt the game that gears of war was, but once beaten, it unlocks extra weapons if you play through it once. which is nice, but it makes me sick playing it. everything does nowadays, it seems, as i discovered when i started eating again. id feel much worse after i ate than before. if i was inclined to worry, id be worrying about headaches. theres a place above my left ear that often bothers me. there are two different patterns to it. sometimes, not often, it will just hurt in the manner that a sinus headache does. i've assosciated this with pressure, but my assosciation may be false. most often, there will be a moderately sharp pain which usually lasts for no more than six seconds. it comes quick and goes almost as quickly. generally when this happens it will happen two to six times within fifteen minutes and then it will be fine for hours to days. this isn't new, but it is more common now.

im still hoping that i can pull things together, but that involves a chain of 'it depends on. but even without that, this is not a time to be alone.
im sick, so im going to go. its late, and its been one day without a phone that r
 
 
the thirteenth paw of the cat
08 March 2008 @ 10:43 pm
i have nothing to report of my birthday other than that i wish it wasnt happening. ive forbidden the celebration of it, and i will be spending it alone. I'll still accept presents, but it isnt a happy time. and id wanted to at least see moira, but that might not happen at all for some time.

I have to report additions to my game collection
XBOX 360
Devil May Cry 4, collectors edition

PS3
Resistance Fall of Man

PS2
Tales of the Abyss
Ghost Hunter
Goblin Commander

Misc/acces.
Figure, halo, cqb steel
memory transfer device, ps2/3

four of those items were from my stash, so that is shrinking. which is good. i added a used jericho collectors edition for 360.
in theory, my stash should shrink nicely now. there isn't anything coming out for gamecube, ps2, or xbox which just leaves ds, psp, ps3, wii and 360. psp and ds and wii i'm very picky about. i have everyhing for xbox i want, except maybe some of the prince of persia games. oh, and whiplash. there isn't anything expensive for ps2 left that isn't already in my stash. there isnt much left i want for gamecube either, so it looks like itll just be new releases i really want and a few common games im waiting for prices to drop on. i'll need an extra set of wii controllsers and an extra ps3 controller but i all set otherwise.

and all this is nice, but i feel like crying. im sorry. none of it matters, but im trying to make it matter. video games. you know? theyre just games. theyre not like people, not important.

oh well.

anyway, im going to go and play sins of a solar empire. it's taking FOREVER because i designed the universe before i understood what all thsoe sliders and options did. so instead of planets you can transit between in seconds, it takes minutes, up to 20 to transfer fleets between systems. i can do a lot of damage when i finally get there, which is good for leveling up my capital ships, but other than that, everything moves at a glacial pace.
 
 
the thirteenth paw of the cat
13 December 2007 @ 08:10 am
I feel a lot better than I did yesterday morning. No dreams and no headaches lasting all day (well, not yet. I suppose one could develope later on). I got signed up for classes, and I've run out of english classes to take. I don't feel quite so bad as I did earlier on. Now if only I had enough money to pay for gas to get to school tomorrow for my exam.
lol.
well, i still dont feel like laughing. But i do need to get to work so i guess this is it fortoday. nothings really any better.
 
 
 
the thirteenth paw of the cat
06 December 2007 @ 03:53 am
this is almost the most fun I had all day. it's amazing. you can type what you want and the bot just says whatever its programmed to. it's fun. I hope a real person somehow reads it.

...
Wolfm106: Ive got myspace, but i'm not particularly very fond of it. my username there is catspaw13
DonAbbey: cool i dont have a myspace anymore because it got deleted i now just webcam
Wolfm106: ah. a bot
DonAbbey: hey cutie
Wolfm106: nevermind
DonAbbey: what's ur age?
Wolfm106: whats your hair color?
DonAbbey: so whats your name?
Wolfm106: yep. a bot then. bye, bot.
DonAbbey: nice to meet you cutey. what do you look like?
Wolfm106: I'm 10'45", chartreus hair, and one of my eyes is purple and the other is red. oh, and my skin is orange.
DonAbbey: those are my favorite color eyes
Wolfm106: and my name is xffderdeserx.
DonAbbey: where do you live?
Wolfm106: antarctica
DonAbbey: you ever seen a girl play with herself on webcam?
Wolfm106: yep. im watching three of them now.
DonAbbey: its right here
Wolfm106: youre ugly
DonAbbey: i need to load up my camera brb My Web Camera Live In MY room
Wolfm106: didnt i go to school with you?
DonAbbey: User is AFk: I'm on webcam, if u want to see let me know!
Wolfm106: an F'in what?

DonAbbey: User is AFk: I'm on webcam, if u want to see let me know!
Wolfm106: nope. dont want to see you. youre ugly
DonAbbey: User is AFk: I'm on webcam, if u want to see let me know!
 
 
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
 
 
the thirteenth paw of the cat
22 November 2007 @ 03:25 pm
Every so often, I post my inventory of games, systems and accessories so anyone who reads can be awed by... well, probably the amount of money I've wasted on video games.
I'll do that later on, after the holidays if i dont end up finally snapping and killing myself that is. Today, I'm doing something a bit different. Here, you can see how much TIME I've wasted on video games. Yes, its the list of... GAMES I HAVE BEATEN

BEATEN GAMEs

GAMEBOY
Mega Man II
Super Mario Land
Mercenary Force
Kirby

DS
Nanostray
Advance Wars Dual Strike

PSP
Ratchet and Clank Size Matters

GBA
Metroid Fusion
Metroid Zero Mission
Pokemon Sapphire

GAMEGEAR
Jurassic Park

NES
Ghoul School
Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom
Overlord
Metroid
Mega Man VI
Mega Man V
Mega Man III
Dragon Warrior II
Kirby’s Adventure

SNES
Starfox
Super Star Wars
Super Empire Strikes Back
Super Return of the JedI
Super Mario World
Doomtroopers
Wing Commander
Final Fantasy III (V!)
Super Metroid
Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Mega Man X
Bram Stokers Dracula
Castlevania IV
Battleclash
Yoshi’s Safari
Cybernator

N64
Perfect Dark
Starfox 64
Pokemon Snap
Star Wars Battle for Naboo
Star Wars Rogue Squadron

GAMECUBE
Resident Evil 4
Star Wars Rogue Leader
Star Wars Rebel Strike
Bloodrayne
Resident Evil 0
Metroid Prime
007 Nightfire
Turok Evolution
Eternal Darkness
Skies of Arcadia Legends
P.N. 03
Starfox Assault

PS2
Xenosaga Episode III
Disgaea
Disgaea 2
Ratchet and Clank Going Commando
Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal
Ratchet Deadlocked
Front Mission 4
Naval Ops Warship Gunner
Warship Gunner 2
Zone of the Enders
Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance
R-Type Final
Resident Evil Dead Aim

XBOX
Halo
Halo 2
Doom 3
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Crimson Skies
Mechassault
Mechassault 2
Armed and Dangerous
Star Wars Starfighter
Star Wars JedI Starfighter
Star Wars Republic Commando
Star Wars Battlefront
Star Wars Battlefront 2
Star Wars Knights of the old Republic
Fable
The Bard’s Tale
Myst III Exile
Blood Wake

360
Perfect Dark Zero
Prey
Gears of War
Lost Planet
Quake 4
Far Cry Instincts Predator
Chromehounds
Star Trek Legacy
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 4
Bioshock
Halo 3
Battlestations Midway


All in all, it isn't as bad as you think. But it doesn't include games like electroplankton, where there isn't really a game in there to be beaten, or the hundreds and hundreds of hours i put into games, especially rpg's, and just stopped playing. but... hurrah!!! beaten games!!! YAY!!!
 
 
the thirteenth paw of the cat
29 October 2007 @ 07:06 pm
this is the first drafty thing of my newest story. unless i come up with something better, it's one of my two major english projects. it needs a bit of work and some expanding, and a more creative title but otherwise its good. it makes a decent story as it is now, though it seems to me to favor lovecraft a bit.
It has an odd flow because it's meant to be read like it was a story being told verbally, so there's an intentional lack of focus, and it skips around and sometimes tells the same part of the story several different times in different ways with different (but hopefully not contradictory) details.


THE LAKE IN THE MOUNTAINS

“…Fade to black, the stars come out,
But no tiny speck of light
Reflects from off the waters
After the fall of night
If you could see, you could not tell;
It would already be too late-
In a way, the lake is alive
And aware enough to feel hate….”

I remember that night very well. Every sound, every sight, every tiny detail burned into my mind so that I see the lake when I close my eyes. I see the full moon shining, so that you could see like it was day. I remember how the stars reflected on the black water’s surface, but the face of the moon would not; I remember the dead tree at the water’s edge; I remember the pale phosphorescence with which the bones that covered the shore glowed. They were far enough away that they looked like a greenish-white carpet, all the way around the lake, where the shore should have been.
I remember the sunset, when the red light from the swollen sun turned that lifeless, twisted trunk into a black silhouette, and how the single bird sang it’s strange, mournful song as it perched on a gnarled limb of that same dead tree. It flew away after a time, and there was silence as the light turned the carpet of bleached bones into a jumble of orange shapes and red shadows which seemed to bleed into the black water, for even in the daylight the lake was black as tar.
Of everything that I remember, the sounds are what I remember most, the sounds that were burned into my mind the deepest. There was the discordant, whistling, haunting melody of that mysterious fowl that perched upon the black branch as the sun set, and then later was the sucking sound the lake made as it flowed out of it’s basin, over the bones, around the base of that tree which the bird had surrendered with the sun. And then there were the screams, which did not continue for long.
It was two days before I would come down from the overlook I has spent the night on, two days before I would take that narrow, steep, thorny path down to the shore, which was the only way to descend from the height upon which I had hidden. It was another half a day before I could puzzle out enough of the jeep’s electrical system to start the engine. The keys had been with my friends, in the tent, and of neither was there any trace left at the campsite. The rest of the day was driving, as fast as the jeep would go through mud and rocks and on roads where there was scarce room to walk, and I have never been swimming since.
Here is how it happened. My friends and I, it’s strange that I remember their faces, their clothes, the sound of their voice, but cannot guess at their names for anything, we had taken a vacation in a remote part of the country. I won’t tell you where, so you can’t go looking for the place yourself, nor the name of the town for the same reason. But we had heard a local legend, a campfire story if you will told to frighten children, about a mountain lake where, instead of sand and rock, the shoreline was bones. And the shoreline was bone, too. There were all kinds; mostly animals, deer, wolf, even bear, and smaller rodents like squirrels and voles. There were skulls too, human skulls, but we figured they were put there by the locals in case any gullible tourists came a-checkin’ on their story. A good ghost story brings in the tourists, the scarier the better, and this town needed all the tourists it could get. They had done a good job, too, or so we thought at the time, and we had a good laugh about it.
But anyway, the locals swore blind that the lake was there, and in return for an especially large tip at the local house of food, lodging and possible prostitution we were rewarded with the location. “You leave when it starts getting dark” we were told, and we knew that’s how the story goes. Leave when it starts getting dark so your imagination has time to start working but you don’t stay long enough to see that nothing happens after all; no lake monster, no ghosts shuffling by with their chains, no headless lady appearing in the mirror. Leaving before dark was part of the story, and we planned to ignore it. We wanted our money’s worth.
The next morning we followed the directions we were given, and they were straightforward enough until we were away from what passed for civilization in those rural parts. Then the directions weren’t any good at all, but there was always only one way we could fit the jeep along, so we got on alright. It was bright and sunny and those cheery, annoying songbirds were singing and we were looking forward to seeing us a sight.
Well, it was takin’ us longer than we had expected but we were fine as far as distances went, so we didn’t worry. We had to get out and walk ahead, or push the jeep out of a particularly troublesome patch of mud because the way was often so narrow or rocky or twisting that we couldn’t go fast and had no idea what was coming up ahead or if we’d be able to turn around if there were to suddenly be an impassable obstruction, or the way simply closed up ahead of us.
We finally reached it shortly after noon, and it was just as it had been advertised to us. The water was thick and black and oily, and made a sticky plopping sound when the girl tossed one of the bones in. Oh, to be young again, but I haven’t been young since that night. And two more nights I spent over that lake, afraid to go near it or it might swallow me up too and leave my bones on its shore. But we were young then, all of us, or we wouldn’t have been there. And there was a girl with us, though I can’t remember her name. Sometimes it seems like there were three of us, sometimes four, sometimes just two. But when she threw that bone in it made that plopping sound and the bone floated on the surface for a few seconds before slowly sinking. It was like looking at a lake of dull oil, the worst oil spill you ever saw, way back in the middle of nowhere.
Well, we had it in mind to spend the night because we were young and the thought of uncertain anger excited us, and we secretly knew that we’d live forever. It was exciting, but we didn’t believe the story enough to take it seriously. It was true, though, and I only am escaped to tell thee.
We set up the tent in the open, between where the bones ended and the trees began. Nothing grew on or in the bones, and where they ended there was only tough, mongrel grass for yards more, and on this we set up the tent and built a fire so we’d have light to see nothing happen. I don’t remember the firelight, though. The fire wouldn‘t light before the lake got them, and after there was nothing left. The grass was gone too. Oh, it was still there, but it was dead and black and broken off just above the ground it grew out of.
After we set up the tent and generally made things ready to stay up all night sleeping, we looked at the bones. I don’t know what we were expecting, they were obviously bones. Perhaps we thought if we looked close, ‘made in China’ would be stamped on them. They were all real, though, and we took a stick and with it made a hole as deep as we could. We hit the sand about six inches down, but we never were able to get deep enough to where there were no more bones. We picked out a few of the skulls for souvenirs, none of them were crushed or broken, every bone was whole and white and clean, and we set them on a small log at the edge of the trees and took pictures of them. Where that camera is now I don’t know, it was in the tent that night. I had my camera with me because I climbed up there to take pictures of the sunset. Had I not I would not be telling you this, I would have gone with my friends and my bones would decorate the shore of that isolated mountain lake. But I climbed up there with my camera, and once the sun set it was too dark to climb back down again without light, and in my rush to get pictures taken while the taking was good I had forgotten to bring a flashlight. I sat down on a rock to think about things, which I often did in odd moments stolen through the day when I was alone, and I stared at the stars, and then the star’s reflection on the surface of the lake, and that was when I saw the water move.
Well, we had dinner, or what dinner can be cooked around a fire by suburban kids who don’t go camping and didn’t have time to read a book on the subject before buying what they thought would be appropriate food, but this was well before it got dark and so there was time to try again. We finished with some nameless concoction that looked and smelled a bit like vomit consisting mostly of beans, but once we got around to actually trying it, well, it wasn’t half bad. Whether it was actually edible or not I’ll never know, but we near convinced ourselves it was a gourmet meal and we ate all of it. After we were done we hung the pan on a tree, one of the living ones, and it must still be there today, still dirty and caked inside with burned beans. We were going to take it back with us the next day and find somewhere with proper water to clean it out decently but the lake got them, all except me, and I was beyond caring what happened to a cheap pan.
After that we threw a frisbee, and I remember someone throwing some of the bones and trying to knock it out of the air, It landed in the lake though and we took I took a long stick and fished it out, and out it came covered with black and brown slime, so we left it on the wiry grass and didn’t throw it anymore.
We walked around the shore of much of our side of the lake, between us all, but it a large lake, far larger than we were used to, and we didn’t want to risk loosing our footing in the failing light when it started to get dark and we couldn’t see where we put our feet in the uneven carpet of bones which would sometimes give or shift alarmingly, causing us to lose our balance. Everywhere, the shoreline was the same, and there was a smell, too, once we got downwind. It wasn’t even an unpleasant smell, not death or decay or anything you’d expect in a place like that; It was a sweet smell, like honey but sweeter, and faint. We never found out for certain, but I have no doubt that it emanated from the lake itself, in fact was the smell of the lake itself.
At one point, instead of forest, there was a high rock wall, rock and dark black clay, and in the clay were fossils, bones in great quantity but far older There were turritellas, ammonites, trilobites, all manner of fossil marine life, and there were actual bones, too, scarcely harder than the clay itself: big, ancient bones, fragile but pale white, and there was the single skull of an enormous creature but we couldn’t see enough of it to guess at whether it was reptile or mammal or anything else. There was a small, round recess in the black clay, like a tunnel going back as far as we could see but far too small to crawl into. There were no ferns, but the whole wall dripped with clear water, which ran into the lake in a small stream. Nobody had thought to bring a flashlight. It was cold though, and quiet. The cold went through your clothing even though there was no wind and you couldn’t see your breath, and all of us shivered, and the quiet of the place was the quiet you get in a cathedral, silence that is too silent to be natural even though there isn’t anyone around to deliberately be silent. We took pictures, all of us. Our fingers didn’t want to work, as sometimes happens when it’s cold, but the cameras worked fine and we got all the pictures we could ever want. Of course, the lake has them now, all but mine. But we took them and left, bones grating and crunching underfoot.
When we got back to the jeep there was a fog gathering at the far end of the lake and the sun was starting to set in dramatic fashion, so that for a moment we could bring ourselves to believe the stories. The last memory I have of the girl, the girl whose name I can’t remember, is of her holding one of the many skulls we’d found and reciting Shakespeare in archaic Englishe, the white shape resting in her hand like a crystal ball, her long blonde hair blowing in the light wind that had sprung up as evening deepened, the sky behind her painted like a manic artist’s canvas.
It was then I climbed to my perch above the lake to photograph the sunset, and there I still was when the lake took my friends.
The strange bird called out its mournful song and the stars came out, and the moon was bright, so that I could see the lake and the tent, and even pick out some of the larger bones.
There was a whispering, rustling sound and the waters stirred. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me at first as I watched the water level rise, and then from the water’s edge, pseudo pods flowed out from the body of the lake and around the tent and my friends, completely encircling them. If I had said something sooner it may have been different, but I was too shocked at what I was seeing. I watched in a kind of horrible and fascinated disbelief, and when I yelled, when I screamed myself hoarse, it was already too late, and they were screaming too. When the black water flowed around them they fell or were pulled down, and the blackness flowed up and over them, and they did not scream anymore. It, the water, made a kind of plopping sound as it flowed, and once the water covered something I couldn’t see it anymore, just a mass of black ripples and turbulence, which smoothed over almost immediately. When it came to the tent it flowed over that, too, all the way over, and it just flattened out. I don’t know what became of the poles or the stakes anymore than my friends, but afterwards I saw there was nothing there, just short, blacked grass In a circle around where the campsite had been.
I heard that whispering and plopping sound around the base of the rock height that I was perched on, and had I not been so high I don’t know what would have become of me. There had been only one way up, and the sides were almost vertical, far too steep to climb even in the daylight. I could not have survived a jump.
So I waited, as the sounds grew louder. I can’t remember ever being so calm or numb. I recited the poem for us all, because I had nowhere to go and I believe that I must very soon follow my friends. Eventually, the poem goes, eventually,…

“There comes a time in the course of things
When the stub of the candle flares and dies,
When the ember goes dark and the thin column ceases to be;
The end of candles and incense
And, cold and dead, the remnants lie
And think: Did the fire die, or was it set free?
Whether this power lies with greater- or lesser- beings

In the progression of time, when the last petal falls,
When scent fades with the frost and the vine withers,
And is forgotten altogether to return to the earth
Does it serve the great cycle, or does it provide an end?
Wiser men than I have been found running with scissors,
Fall, and arise bloody; or lay there and bleed to death
So I don’t know about foolish choices and eventual perils.

Everything has it’s time eventually, it’s own hour
The candle, the fire, the man, the flower,
Days and dreams, and works of hand and heart and nature,
And what’s left in the end? That is the important part;
Every fire goes out; Someday every plant will die or wither,
Memories watch as time ticks away the past from the future
And who is to say if even love lasts forever?-

-But long enough for us.
Long enough for us, before our last”

“Long enough for us, before our last”, I recited, adding the line on the end where none had been before, because it seem to fit, and I had always appreciated the drama of the moment.
The girl had recited Shakespeare, and I recited a poem. And then there was silence, except for the plopping noise from below. The air smelled sickeningly of that too-sweet honey smell. The sound of the water, if it really was water, had a peculiar hypnotic quality to it, something that went past the ears and straight into the skull and sloshed around in there. It did something to me, messed with my head, made me feel cold.
Somehow, when dawn came I was still there, and no black water had flown up and over the height on which I was perched. But still I waited, expecting every moment to see the first tendril of liquid flow up and over the edge, but it never happened. The noises of the lake had gone away some time ago, how long I cannot say, but I sat there anyway, still expecting any moment to be my last. It was chilly and misty that morning, and I lay on my back and stared at the sky, hardly blinking, hardly breathing, never moving. I lay there all day and all the next night, and I heard the black waters flowing around the base of the rock, all night though I do not know whether the noise was real that night or in my head. I was in and out of sleep and I could not tell what was real from one moment to the next. I was not injured, but I tell you that as I lay there I was dying, and I would have died.
But the next morning that little bird came, the bird with the mournful song that had perched on the dead tree and sang at sunset. It sang at sunrise, and it flew down and pecked me on my face until I moved. It was a strange bird with an oddly-shaped green bill and it was black with sky-blue patches, though sometimes it seems like it was red, and other times blue and red. When I moved, it flew off and I have never since seen or heard of such a bird. But I got to my knees and when I did I saw the lake, and the bones and where the tent was, where my friends had been. And I saw, too, that the jeep was still there. The water didn’t move as I climbed down, slowly, carefully, trying to make as little noise as possible.
The sun was shining and it was a perfect day, and by the time I was able to get the jeep started I had been ready to take what money had been left in it and run for civilization. I looked in the manual, I’m ashamed to say, but it didn’t help me much and the damage I did trying to start it caused the entire steering column to have to be replaces, but I felt much better turning my back to the place with four walls around me, and it was better because the whole thing was moving away from it.
I remember the trip back as if it were a dream, which is to say that I remember it differently every time. I kept thinking I heard that plopping sound, or the whispering behind me, but I’m sure it was all in my head. Somehow I ended up back in the town in a daze and I didn’t eat or talk for days, until I woke up in a hospital. Awful place, hospitals, but I had been somewhere worse. Do you know they tried to give me coffee? But I saw what color it was and I threw the cup across the room. They cleaned it up, but until they did it looked like the dark liquid was flowing towards me and I screamed and cried and tried to climb the walls. And the doctors, none of them would believe me. They’d ask me “Why do you think that?” or ask if I could repeat my story, but one doctor, he was an elderly fellow and had come from that town, he knew the story but shook his head with the rest of them. But when we were alone he told me how lucky I was, how every now and then someone gets it into their head to go up there, and the only ones anyone ever sees again are the ones who come back before dark. The local police didn’t even investigate disappearances in that area anymore.
He helped me avoid an asylum, of that I have no doubt. A quite word here, advice there, a favor asked or owed, I don’t know what he had to do, but they had wanted to lock me up and throw away the key. I couldn’t blame them, really. But I was released, and I made it back home in one piece.
I say that I’m an old man. How old do I look? Twenty? Thirty? It can’t be much older, but inside, where it matters, I’m as old as those fossils. I have been since that night. I look in a mirror, sometimes, and I don’t recognize the face, because the face belongs to a kid. And my memory isn’t want it used to be, and sometimes I hear things. You don’t’ believe me, I can see it in your face. But I have pictures, if only I can remember what I did with my camera. I have pictures. I never developed them.
I have this, too. I was too frantic to stop for souvenirs, but this is the skull that girl held in her hand as she recited Shakespeare. I recognize it because one of the eye sockets was slightly smaller and more oval than the other. She must have put it in the jeep while I climbed up to get my pictures. I’ve kept it because as much as I want to be rid of the loathsome thing, I need something to prove to me every day that I’m really not insane. She held it like this, and that was the last I saw of her. That was the last I saw of any of them.
Don’t go prying, because I’ve told you too much already. And don’t go looking for that lake. It’s not worth your life or your sanity to try and prove me wrong.

Eric Atkinson, 29 October 2007
 
 
the thirteenth paw of the cat
27 September 2007 @ 06:47 pm
I left work early today so as to get home in time to get my math stuff done for tomorrow. it was alright, becuase we somehow ended up thirty hours over. no one seems to know how. When I got home, I discovered that my remaining grandmother had died last night. They think it was a heart attack, and because she was recently in the hospital from a stroke, I think this likely too. I don't remember who it was who went to her house becuase she wasn't answering the phone and they let themselves in and found her on the kitchen floor. That's more or less all we (that is, me and my family) know. We don't have funeral details yet, but there will probably be a service saturday and a burial monday. I'll be there, of course, probably for both of them. my dad's coming home tomorrow night, or possibly a little earlier. I think he'd be home earlier, but he needs to stay up there to meet the person who's going to be drilling the well up there. who can say how he feels. As for me, well, I didn't know her very well. The last time I saw her was before summer, when she was in the hospital. And who can say how I feel, either. I'm somewhat numb, but this has been my generic reaction to death. It doesn't bother me too much on the surface. Nevertheless, I feel... odd, in an unpleasant sort of way. I can't find the exact word, though I had it a few minutes ago. I definitely wish, right now, that i was not alone.
Sex would be good too, right now. At a time like this. No chance of that, and there are those who would say that it's my fault, but i have enough to think about with dwelling thereupon. I just wish I had what I need, when I need it.
Fortunately, when I logged onto eduspace, I discovered i had a until monday to do the homework I thought I had to do for tomorrow, which is good becuase i wont be doing it tonight. I'll try to get some studying done, and some writing, but I think I'll mostly be sitting and thinking and turning things over in my mind to look at them from different angles. It's the sort of thing I do.

I guess that's it then, for now. I should probably call work and let them know I'll probably need to take at least some of saturday off. I had wanted to be able to say exactly when, but since it'll be a matter of coming in late instead of not coming in at all, i think i can go ahead and give ellis some advance notice. and id like to clear the phone lines too, for when that call does come in.
 
 
the thirteenth paw of the cat
19 September 2007 @ 03:09 pm
this was one of my english assignments, where we have to read a story and imititate it or something about it. in this case, the original story was about vietnam, but we had to use a different setting, plot, different characters, but keep the same title.


Eric Atkinson
Eng. 215
17 Sept. 2007
RR8

“The Things They Carried”

The Iron Horse Trading Company Store was empty and silent, except for the wheezing of the elderly heating system, which had been installed nearly half a century before and had never quite seemed up to the task of keeping the enormous building warm. Samuel Fredrickson surveyed what, until today, had been his domain since before that heating system had been installed.
Once upon a time, there’d been a chain of stores, and they had carried almost anything that could reasonably be sold from inside a building. Samuel remembered how, twenty years before, they had briefly sold small cars. That had been before Roger’s store, down in Arcadia Springs had closed. There had been eight stores left then. Samuel had remembered driving the hundred or so miles to help with distributing what merchandise remained after the closing sales had all been held and the doors closed for the last time. They had carried everything under the sun, too, but the stores had been dying, even then. They’d been too old-fashioned, too slow to move with the times, but this had been a matter of pride, so when something was finally done it was too late.
Here were the skeletons of a group of checkout counters. Samuel tried to imagine how many items had passed over those counters and gave up when the numbers got too big too be handled in his head. Off in the distance were various articles of furniture that were too bulky to have been carted off to auction or had been built into the walls or floor of the building itself. In shadow, off to the left was the empty customer service desk where Queen Molly had held court. Samuel couldn’t remember what her last name had been, though she’d been head of customer service for about thirty years and in that time he must have heard it thousands of times. She’d picked up the nickname because she had also been responsible for checkout, and her Word had been Law. She’d even tried to tell him how to run his store from time to time, but she had meant well. Everyone had been at her funeral when she’d died of cancer just after Christmas, even Timothy, the high school dropout who Samuel had had to fire for Drinking on the Job, a rather serious but occasionally understandable offense, with the way things had been going towards the end.
It was easy to see where all the shelves and racks had been, even though the faded carpet had been pulled up and sold or thrown away, Samuel didn’t know which. The floor was wood, and had been wood long before the cheap carpet had put down. It had been worn and damaged by feet beyond number, and the shelves had mostly protected the space upon which they sat. Even without the patterns in the floor, he had long ago memorized what went where, and when an item had been discontinued or a new item had been picked up, Samuel had known by heart, every time, where it came from or where it went, and they had carried everything.
He walked to where his office had been, almost able to see the faint outlines of ghostly shelves, shelves that had been there all of his adult life, and longer than that. His footsteps echoed back to him in the emptiness as he walked.
It had seemed contradictory to him that a store that prided itself on being somewhat antiquated would have had one of those ridiculous ‘new age’ sections, but it had been established back in the days when there had still been a corporate headquarters, and he had been informed by the company’s senior management that that a store that carried everything must carry everything. And they had, too. He rarely visited it, but he knew about the racks of incense, the knickknackeries designed to attract people with more money and imagination than sense, and he knew about the books, and he knew about the other things, too: the things that came mostly in small containers or brown paper bags that weren’t even very expensive, usually, but which had to be asked for by name, because they were not just knickknacks. Samuel hadn’t wanted it, not in his store, but Queen Molly had insisted. Queen Molly always had her way. They had hardly ever sold, though, because they had to be asked for by name. Queen Molly had even found someone to work the section, and Samuel had made a point of never learning the fellow’s name. He’d worn black a lot and talked in a soft voice when he talked at all and seemed to have discouraged more sales than he made. Samuel wished they’d never carried that incense; the damn stuff made this part of the store smell like detergent. He could still smell it now…
There was a plaque on the wall. He’d heard about it, but he’d not had the chance to see it until now. After the groceries had been given to charity and the everything that could be returned had been returned to the proper vendor, there had been an auction to take care of the rest of it. Most of the furniture and even the door to his office had gone that day too. Eddie Langford, the auctioneer’s assistant had been the one who told him. “There’s a plaque over on that wall“, he had said, “over there where it smells like detergent. I’ve sent people to take it down and they forget why they went over. Else they cant bring themselves to do it. Spookiest thing. I even went over m’self, but I couldn’t quite git up the nerve to touch it. Anyways, its still there. With all that funny writin’ and pictures and stuff you probably couldn’t git too much for it so we didn’t worry over it”
Samuel could see now that it did indeed have strange writing on it and there was a strange figure on it with angles and curves that made him feel like he was looking at it over his own shoulder. It unsettled him and he suddenly found himself wishing that more than the closing lights were on, and he imagined that the chilly air got the tiniest bit chillier. No, he wouldn’t be taking that plaque down either. Leave it for the new owners, they could deal with it. He hurried the rest of the way to his office, followed by ghosts that peered over his shoulder and breathed down his neck.
The file cabinets, a necessity even in the modern, computerized world, were gone leaving behind dusty outlines against one wall. A few pieces of paper were scattered on the floor, but none of it was important. If it were, it wouldn’t be on the floor, or here for that matter. His comfortable chair and plant were gone; the former with the auction, the latter he had taken home last week. He was somewhat worried about it because the leaves had begun to turn brown in spite of his efforts to make it comfortable in a new home. Even the curtains had been taken. His desk was still there, though, until it could be unbolted from the floor and carted away, but by then it wouldn’t be his desk anymore. There was a black pen on the desk, and a form consisting of two pages stapled together. Samuel leaned over his old desk and put on his reading glasses. He read the form. Then he read it again. He read it over a third time, slowly. Samuel picked up the pen, which couldn’t have weighted more than a few ounces but felt like ten pounds.
He signed his name.
Slowly, carefully, as if it were a fragile thing, Samuel slipped the paperwork inside a manilla envelope and left the office that was no longer his. It occurred to him that the store had been a living thing if you looked at it in the right way. It was him, it was Queen Molly, it was Timothy, it was the groceries, the canoes, the shelves, the hardware, even the mysterious things in the brown paper bags. Now, the store was him, and once the envelope was mailed, it wouldn’t be even just that. He felt the weight of the envelope in his hands and it felt to him heavier than the cars they had once sold for a couple months. It was the heaviest thing they had ever carried. On the way to the door, he stopped where the wall smelled like detergent and took down the plaque, and it was only a plaque, and a poorly-made one at that.
And that was the end of the Iron Horse Trading Company Store. The ghosts no longer breathed down his neck, he could no longer almost see the thin, pale outlines of the shelves. The building was empty and dead, and Samuel Fredrickson’s footsteps echoed as he walked back the way he had come.