End of World (in progress)

0:  Before

Doctor Leuwis’s log, March 3rd, 10471
Today a man came into my care here at the oslo asylum.  He was contorted and screaming until the orderlies subdued him.  The medication,while effective in its immediacy, seems to have no effect over a period of time.  The supprssants we’ve put him under should have rendered him catatonic but all it does is limit his seizing to mear constant shiveres. 
Instead being brought in from one of the local hospitakls, like so many of our residents, this man came via a military escort.  He was presented as a john doe from London, and teh commanding officer, a trim lady with drawn back hair, gave strit attention to the fact that the man should never be allowed to leave the facility under any circumstance, citing him as a danger to society. 
Word from London’s facility has been staggered and clipped at best of late.  I must remember to send off a greeting to the new doctor thats been installed.
The man was gaunt in the face and emanciatd in the body.  Despite this, he appears to have a developed muscular system, bt only in specific areas.  His legs and upper body are developed yet the curvature of his body and few notes provided from the drop pf team described his life as very sedentary and up until recently his physic was bordering on obese.  I find it hard to belioev, yet according to the timeline presented, he has lost somewhere over half his body weight in the last week.  Hopefully he will eat in our environment.  I’ve set up a suicide watch just in case.
Lidia keeps nagging me to take her out to the symphony.  She’s a lovely lady, but she doesn’t understand how consuming my work is.
 march 4th
The man, dubbed Chess by his attending staff, has shown change, though i hesitate to call it improvement.  Once the medication wore off (in exceedingly rapid time)  his screams retuned.  I can’t place the language.  Its coarse and guttural and yet lyrical.  None of the staff know it, though a few of my collegues clam to have heard something similar in several past patitients. 
Early in the afternoon Chess calmed down, still spasming, but his voice seems to have run out.  Observation has been ordered. 
                March 5th
Chess has stopped moving. When the orderlies checked him, his thrashning had stopped.  He seems frozen, unconscious, yet his eyes are open and moving wildly, as if dementia is dancing before his eyes.  His breathing barely noticeable and his heartbeat is ridiculously high, yet he lis like stone, arms let where they last flailed.  
I’ve decided to stop medication.  For one we’ve been running low due to the rate which his body metabolizes whatever chemical we administer.  It seems his body natural adapst and breaks down any thing we administer after a few doses, becomes increasingly useless, and eventually ineffective.  Hopefully his body will sort out his his moind and will naturally heal, without medication dampening his system.
I’ve order food supplements which will begin tomorrow.  H should have food, even if he can’t eat.  I find a strange fascination with this man.  I’m not sure what it is.
                March 12th
Chess regain some of his faculkties today.  When teh orderlies checked on himhe was standing straight as a rail by the window, starring out.  He hasn’t moved or said a word, but wears this terrifying and sutble smile.  Th orderlies have decided to forgo his food supplements today, which i constnted to.  Hhopefully  the next few days shall show improvement.  his stillness is jarring in this place though, especially when just a week ago he was a quivering mess.
                March 13th
Chess seems to be coming back into the world of cognition.  He hasn’t spoken yet, but now moves about his room, feeling the padding of teh walls, watching through teh woindopw.  It looks as if he’s continually learning.  Whenever the orderlies approach, he is polite, still and always with a smile, which is having an unnerving effect on the orderlies. 
                March 14th
Chess spoke today.  His voice is smooth and dissimilar to the voice that was screaming when he arrived.  He is well mannered and his thoughts are lucid.  He doesn’t over speak, asking direct questions.  Formalities and cultural expectancies are lost on him.  One of his attending nurses made a joke, and while his other attending laughed, his expression shwed surprise rather then teh expected automatic inclusion.  Perhaps whatever trauma brought him here has done psychological dameg in a way we can’t perceive.  My first appointment with him is tomorrow.  I look forward to learning whats inside.
                March 15th
I spoke with Chess and had the most remarkable conversation.  His personality that once was appears to be completely repressed, while his current persona, calling himself Azath-Dtkalbt, reigns.  He is polite and asked for a set of scrubs, his current clothes not being to his liking.  I arranged for teh orderlies to bring him a set in exchange for the clothes he had been wearing.  Azath, as he has requsted he be informally called, was very guarded.  When asked of what brought him to the state that he was in when he arrived, he merely smiled and replied that he was tangible.  I’m not sure of what to do.  I feel that he knows something of is past which he is very purposefully holding back.  At the end of our conversation he thanked me for my hospitality and said that he’d see himself out.  I said that we could arrange something at a later time but for now we like to keep him under observation, just to make sure his recovery was going accordingly.  He smiled, and i was left with a shiver going down my back.  We can’t release him.  The groiup that dropped him off probably wouldn’t even have liked us taking hm off medication, but i like to think of this place as opportunity for healng, not incarceration for the mad.
                March 16th
Azath is gone.  Last night there was an explosion on the west side of teh building.  Somehow azath blew open the back wall of his room, he window enlarging to the entire wall.  I was summond and had to deal with the police and teh press. Its being called a terrorist attack or an assassination, though neither strikes me as right.  I’m not an expert or indeed know much of anything of explosives, but the inside of his room had no ...bits.  there was noblood, nor eveidence that azath had been haremd, as if the explosion had come from teh inside.  Construction should start failry soon.I wonder what has become of azath. 
We got a call saying City has new patienst for us.  No rest for teh wicked i suppose.  I’ll try to put this whiole incident past me.

My kitchen i little cave of a thing, down one floor from my room in teh basement of teh house.  The fridge takes up the most of teh rroom and teh high counter fills the rest until it reaches the stacked washer and dryer.  I stood at the counte.r  i can’t remember what i was doing, whether i was fixings omething to eat or cleaning.  Maybe i was putting away groceries.  Reagardless, thats teh last memeory i have.  That life seems crystalyzed in a single frame, buried in this little hole of a kitchen.
It seems funny to think of now, but i use to think baout fantasy emergency contingency plans.  Things like, if my room was going up in flames and i had sixty seconds to grab things everything thing else would prish to the flame,s what would i grab?. 
I schemed it to a milkcrate (empty he socks with a toss) filled with laptop, external drive, notebooks, books, blanket off of bed, cigar box of everyday needs.  Now everything else i thought of escapes me.
I had contingencies that i remembered (use teh blanket as a sac for clothing,use swords at both these locations in the events of immediate duelling)  and those that i forgot just as soon as they came into being.  
One of teh ones i rememeber was that if i got pulled into another dimension, another place out of time, what would i bring?  I think i settled on knives rope and fire, perhaps a book, simply because all technology that i oove would fall quickly if there wasn’t any electricity to fuel it. 
It’s almost poetic justice that i fiond myself in this place, out of time and mind, and i have nothing but the pants i was standing in, the belt keeping it on my hips and teh silver ring on my hand.   I found myself lyiong when i was standing.  Have i stumbled into a different type of wonderland?  The thought seems equally likely that i just suffered some dramamtic medical condition and my body is crumpled on the floor of my kitchen.  Is this delusion or life, and if it is wonderland, why is teh wonder tempered with the metallic taste of lost chances and cruel realities?
Where am i now?  This place seems like it could have been the world i new of, some time long in the past.  Whatever natural rule reigns here, it has grown, thrived, eveolved, fell and grown up again.  Cycle of death and rebirth. Still, there have been to many times even in my short stay so far , wehre i have found myself uneasy with the feeling of familiarity.  The trees part in too linear a way, making me think that they grew from the sidewalks of long forgotten streets, creating the shadow of the roads.  It’s as if a tall building used to case a shadow over a park.  The building fell, but the shadow remains, stubborn and persistnent even in teh absnense of what casts it.
The wind is strange.  It bites at my topless chest  with heat and cold on different breaths, minutes apaprt.  The wind changes so quick that i can’t use it as a bearing, simply because it’s so disorienting.  The trees give me cover, and i’ve found myself following the memory of the street i happen to be on.
It led to a grove unlike any i’ve heard described or seen in picture.  The trees, i think they could be trees, line the outside, forming a protective shell it seems.  Teh ground is covered with whispsy hairs, half as large as my height.  The hairs are tight, reminding me of what fur could be, if it tried to imitate bulrushes.  It shimmers clear and milk red-green. The ground is spongy under foot, and yet, my abre fett never feel the hairs, as if they aren’t present below kneelevel. 
Occasionally a stalk of some unknown fruit shoots up from ground.  The stalk is covered with what looks like small tentacles, all swaying in the air.  I wonder if they keep teh stalk balanced, for growining out of the top are vragile fruit, long and curved, like a clowns ballon before its transformed to a charicature. 
Theres aclearing at the center of teh grove, with a stone cube.  There isn’t a mark on, yet when i finally bring myself to lay my hand on the cool, polished surface it cracks opne in front of me, crumbling aside to reveal the treasure within.
Stacked neatly on top of each other is a stack of books.  On top of them looks like a small plaque made out of what i can only decribed as teh flesh of an apple.  Written upon it seems to be the most incomprehensible characters .  i can’t understand any of it, not even make out repeating symbols, yet i keep hearing an odd voice bounce around my hea,dwhenever i look at them, carved into such a strange material.
“they could have written the edicts of this world.”

He stands above a new city, atop the highest of the city’s skyscrapers, looking down on the sprawl below him.  His thoughts swirl within his mind, limited by the passages that humans are limited to think through.
“My prision has been expansive and infinit.  A plane to my myself.  Infinit space to contort and stretch within.  Smaller then an atom and larger then galaxies.  That was the edict, that was my sentence.  I am still inprisonned.  I will be for time unthinkable.  I have found no prophecy nor thought concerning my release, indeed my memory is all but forgotten save from those who bound me.  I have never been introduced to this world. 
And yet, someone here opened a window into my jail cell.  I cannot escape through it, but i can extend myself through it into this world.  Through circumstance or providence, i came across one of the beings of this planet, one of youhumans.  He fought me, but he had no hope, only time.  What human could withstand one of our kind? 
So i have my window into this world.  My soul and will curls within this flesh, forced trhough the biology of this now empty shell.  My thoughts are channelled, everything iltered through this biology.  I can understand when my brothers have not done what i am doing, for the aspect is limiting even in concept.  My thoughts can only be expressed through the mind of this creature, in its simplicity. 
Still, my window is a distraction from my prision, as temporary as it is.  I will hold this form as long as i can.   Wiggle room within fully constricted bindings.  It isn’t much by any margin, but it is a crack into place where i can feel something other then the expanse of my jail. 
I am learning.  I am trying things so simple in their pleasures, that i feel as though my creation is renewed on a cosmically insignifigant level, yet its a distraction i will hold dearly. 
I have taken the prefix Azath to my name, for in this aspect, i am indeed escaped. “
Light shoots from his bare feet as he steps off the building’s edge.

“How do gods operate?  It seems a silly question, for we presume they do similarlity to us.  Ut o they have their own mannersisms and personalities, quirks and ticts, magnified to unimaginable ends and menas? How do they converse amongst themselves?”
- Jack
The sharp syllables drifted from shaking lips.  They wavered, as if they werent’ sure if they were doing teh right thing, like a dog whose had its leash pulled by someone who isn’t its usual owner.  The ari contorted around them and then crackeld.  Beneath them on the ground, a small heap of dry brittle objects sparked, then burst into flame.  The flame warped and grew large. 
From the center off the flicker, a shadow grew, splitting the light with a darkness different to the room.  The darkness opened, pushing the flame around it, until it was large as a man, then larger.  Soon the fire reache dteh ceiling.  From the darkness stepped out an elegant foot, followed by an elegant man, trim of face with sharp eyes. His smile shone from his sunken face, which retained teh curves of the ancestors he was often associated with, though never by truth.
“Why hullo,” he said, “it’s not often i’m called through such means.  Who might you be?”
The man leaned down over the figure kneeling before teh fire.  The man’s eyes were not eyes but voids, small pockets of infinite darkness compacted into what should have been eyes. The figure shivered and shook, their mouth hanging open, starring into the face of polite and elegant madness.
The figure ‘s back straightend to a rail as their mouth opened in a silent scream.  All that came ouit was ligjht.  Not akin to the light of teh fire though.
Just as theri are different kinds of darkness, there are separate types of light.
This light was shear, it was painful.  It would have a concusssive force if only matter let it take on weight.  This was a light from a different space where the suns  didn’t burn down like candle,s but exploded liek firecrackers, continually burning themselves out into oblivion. 
The light pour out of the figures mouth, then eyes, and tehn other orifices.  Thee was a snap close and loud enough to be a crack that whiplashed round a corner.  The elegant man blinked at the darknened room again.  The figure was gone, turned into a red mist diffusing in the air.
A chuckle sounded from behind teh room.  From teh other side of teh darkness in the fire, another man’s voice called out.
“it took some time to get you here,” he said.  His voice was smooth, rounded at the corners, though with a definite misplacing of pauses.  The words flowed out naturally, but stunted at times, akin to translating through several languages.
The owner of teh voice walkd into the light, around the fire to face the elegant man, who starred at him curiously, not afraid, but cautiously.
“and you would be?” said the elegant man.  His host’s chuckle broke into a full laugh.
“what’s that Little Eye?  You can’t see me?  “
“what did you call me?”
“oh ho, you must not have heard that name in a great time.  I wonder,  have you ever been addressed directly by it?  When was the last time you found yourself in your presence, hmmm?  doesIt call you by a different title?  One of the many names these humans have given you, your forms?
I must confess, i find myself giddy upon finally arriving at this moment.  I never expectd to have such an opportunity until the Pull was at its end and my cage began to crumble.  I half worried you might be dead again, but then i heard tell rumor through these, your humblest of minions. 
They are inventive, i’ll give you that, but their imagination is still in its infancy.  They have the cognency of ove servitors, at best, and none of their talents, lest you teach them.  But they are curious indeed.  I understand why you’ve spent time with their history.
You still seem ill at ease.  How fitting that the Little Eye is still blind.  All that sacrifice an you still fell short. 
And please don’t think to slip back through the passage,” he said, snapping leisurely, “the way is under my domain.”
The darkness pulled back in immediately, blinking  as an eye before closing copletly, teh fire dropping down to a low crackle, casting the stripped room in shadows once more. 
The elegant man muttered beneath his breath and teh rooms edges erupted with different fire, a simple regular fire, that lined the edges of the room, sealing both man shaped creatures within. The firelight  pushed back the shadows and illuminated them from all sides.
“binding me within the cage that i’ve bound you.  Seems redundant when i’ve been bound for so long within a cage of my own design.”
The elegant man stood at the ready, calm, his fitted suit posing around him.
“squint past the flesh Little Eye...”
The elegant man closed his eyes.  Then he opened them.  Then they went wide.  Then the room froze.  Teh flames froze in their places, thelight and arkness in the air, the men within the walls.
I know you....
You do.
How is it possible, is this your avatar, your will?  No...it is human, was human.
Not quite anymore.  Do you see me now, Little eye of the Blind?
The Fish...
You have recognized me or you have seen?
I can’t, but neither can-
I can do as i will within my jail.  It just so happens i found a crack to stretch out in.  And here i will stay, stretched and enjoying, my little distraction from my sentence. 
Azath Dtkalbt, Little Eye.  I will not fight you on this planet, nor through these people.
How can i belive you, of all?
Because i speak it. I will not face you, not intentionally.  All i a doing is tieing you down for some time, an infinitesimal period of time, so you will remember me as i was and as i am presently.  You will remember.
You have no power over me.  This is my world.
Ha!  Your chosen sanctuary, invaded and destroyed, broken and built up by those around you, by the Court and by the adversaries, the invaders and allies alike.  You claim kingship over the toppled fort.  This is of no concern to me.  When i release you, for i will, you shall go on your way, about your pursuits, online now you go with reknewned memory.  Your swagger will stagger, your ego shall stumble and now in the moment that neither of us thought possible.  You will be truly Blind once more.  Know that i, even in this form, can blind you and make all your sacrifice for not.  Blind Idiot indeed.

They didn’t have much in the way of build up to the moment.  She and her been introduced to him earlier in the day,  possibly as a distraction so that he didn’t get inthe way.  It worked, cause now he was worried about getting thme to safety instead of just himself.  Nobility can be a much more effective tool than self preservation, especially when the curious are involved. 
Her friend had passed out on the kids bed upstairs.  She had split from them some time earlier, making the excuse of exploring the quite shop. The way to the house above was just  a flight of stairs, and she had been a bit strung out to think of anything save a bed to fall over into. 
They were left alone in the closed shop.  They talked some, browsed some.  Eventually they sparked and soon came together.  He didn’t know it was her first kiss.  He was no longer what any would describe as innocent, but not nearly experienced enough to be called world travelled.  When their lips met, it was barely even a kiss. Contact, brushingcontinuously against each other.  In an instant he knew that she didn’t have much experience.  She talked alot but her actions spoke louder than her words could. 
They continued and he introduced her to the world of physical intimacy.  The kiss’ after the first were full of life.  They began small, grew in passion broke apart and rejoined.  The couplefell against a bookshelf, sinking to the carpeted floor to enjoy themselves.  Their mouths enxlorerd each others, their necks twisting in ways she had never expected to use. 
They were kissing when the end came.  They never even opened their eyes.  It was inconsequential in their situation.

I:  Waking

I went to meet up with my friend yesterday.  We used to meet up at the at the food court in the mall.  It seems so silly now, but that’s where we used to meet up, spend whatever money we had begged off of our parents or scraped together from work.  Tem (Temara) always had a job so she was always the one who had the cash.  She used to joke about the running tab we all had, that if she ever cashed them in at the same time shed be rich.  I hope she made it. 
I went to meet up with my friends and I got to the malls entrance, these huge arch things .. and these scream, just dropped me to my knees.  Like one of those air raid sirens they talk about in the history films when the wars let out? Just rose up and drowned everything out.  I remember hitting the pavement.
And then the world ended.
And I woke up in the same spot only it was like this bomb of decay and death and time had gone off and I wasn’t touched.  I wandered around but no one was in the food court.  All that was there was this book, this empty journal.  It looks like something out of the Old age, all leather bound and creamy paper.  On the inside cover was this blocky printing telling me to write my story.  The spine had this pen. 
So I’m writing what’s happening to whoever or whatever reads this.  I’m going to find out what’s happened to the world.  I’m going to get back if I can.  I’m going to figure out why I’m here and no one else is.
I’m going to find my friends.

I had stumbled upon the disused garden when I was younger but only came back to it when I found myself lost and happened to stumble back in.  it was a sliver of green in the sprawl of the city, the tunnels of architecture somehow allowing a crack of nature to survive in its enclosed space, apart of the world, yet a relic of times passed.
I had sat in that garden watching that tree for the last three years of my life.  It was peaceful.  It was beautiful in a way only natur can be.  It was my sanctuary, the place I went to when the world was too much. 
When I was tired of dealing with the noise of the world, the quiet of this haven brought me safety. 
Brought me sanity.
I spent a night here sleeping under the old branches when I got kicked out of my parents home.  They couldn’t believe the words coming out of their mouths the next day.  Same way I couldn’t believ that they would have disowned me. 
I spent another night under the branches when I broke up with my first boyfriend.  My love let this place fall into direpair, but with love’s end, it flourished under my attention once more.
I had been reading under its branches.
Then my eye had slid shut and my sanctuary, guarded as it was, was stolen from me.
I woke up into a nightmare.  I stumbled away from the old tree, for it was now forever  changed.  Each flower burned with a fire I can’t describe, each limb shivered as the flames licked at its bark, stripping away its rich colour, robbing it of the beauty and serentity I had once held so close.
My garden burnt before my eyes and I fainted.
I woke and the world was like nothing I’ve seen.  My garden was exposed.  The walls that had sealed away my piece of eden had been torn down, reduced to rubble.  The city around me was a smouldering shadow of what it had looked like moments before. 
my garden was ash. 
The tree that had provided me so much comfort and companionship ovr the last few years was a twisted black stump that desperately tried to reach for the sky, even after the fires had torched all its glory beyond reason.
Sitting on the ground in front of the tree was a circle devoid of ash or evidence of the carnage that had been wrecked on this place.  In this circle of simple dirt was the black book I write into now.  My tears have stained the pages of this account and while it grates on me to read my thoughts back to me and find myself mocking the tone even thought the thoughts are my own, I am comfortable with this account.
I have never kept a journal.  I am not a writer nor someone who should be considered literary.  The book’s first page has the only text between covers.
“scribe your tale.”
So I write.  And I will take this book with me, and fill the pages with what I encounter across this place I once new, this hell on earth.
So this is like totally a stupid thing, I mean like, writing in some book?  This isn’t English class.  And my phones totally gone!  And so is everything else.  I don’t even know what happen.  I go to sleep like normal and everything’s like everyday normal happy making and then Bang, I wake up in this way lame room, like the bed is just shredded and ‘ nothing in this room except this book on the ground.  Im not even going to touch the walls cause they look like, totally burnt out and just so gross.  And I ‘m not even going near that bed I woke up on again, cause its all like shredded and springing and totally like ghetto or something west of the city tracks you know, but still east of the park. 
So the worst part about this place, and its like not even that I’m using this ancient stick thing, I mean cell phones were invented for a reason.  Why they keep these things around is so not cool.  But theres like no mirror or anything here.  There’s this thing propped against the window so I cant see out, but theres like just enough light coming in so I can see in here, but theres no mirror.  At least the clothes im in are passable, nothing I would ever go outside of this room in though.
This was totally my room! How could I not recognize it, only its like been totally destroyed.  Everything been torched like as if there was this huge fire that just took out everything.  All that’s left was the bed and my beds been carved up by some lunatic.  This is really creepy.  Theres like this quiet outside now like I just thought of it.  And the lights going away. 
This is so fear-making, I wish any of you guys were here and you’d totally get me out of this room, but its really scary outside and the door is just like this black hole in my wall so screw this and screw this book.  I’m gonna wait for you guys or someone to come get me.  There totally is supposed to be like firemen or something for this kinda deal right? 
It’s getting really dark now I

I woke up in wha use to be my favourite pub.  It looked like it had gone through a siege.  The uppuer story had ben ripped clean off, which is why it was odd to stand at the charcoaled remenants of the bar and feel the day shining down on me.  Not that i could call this a day that i’ve ever experienced.  The sky isn’t blue anymore, not always.   There seems to be many high clouds, but none lower, where you’d expect them to be.  The sky taht does peak through changes depending on where i travel, but when i woke up, the sky was tinged with red.  For a second i though t the preacher man that i had on my last rig was right.  Had i finally gone to hell?  But no.  I’m still alive.  At least as alive as i was yesterday.  I feel as i did, maybe even better.  My tattoos are gone though.  I don’t know how, but my body’s clean.  I haven’t found a mirror, and teh water’s edge pears over into the strangest water i’ve seen.  It casts a reflection, but not easily.  Even when it’s still, when i cup some in my hands, it continues tomove.  I wanderd around the destroyed town for a few hours, trying to find survivors.  This use to be a wonderful port.  Small, out of the way, good deals, and always a friendly smile.  They were always open to men like me.  It was a while until i realized my clothing were different too.  Still something i would’ve worn, but not something i ever rememerbering picking.  Is this hell?  I keep asking myself.  If it is, it’s beenfortnate to me.  Several hours after i woke, when the red sky was brightest, i came across a large book, an empty log.  My ship was in ruins in teh harbour, but i have a log, so i figured i better keep to my habits, and i started writing.  The quill is stange, needing no ink.  So here i’ve been, sitting on the steps down to the docks, writing about this strange day.  While the town is in ruins, i think i might be lucky enough to find materials to build myself a new ship.  It’s unsettling being here, with no one around, but I didn’t grow up to roll over, and i won’t now, hell or no.
I was born on a rainy day.  The trees outside my small cottage danned in the wind, as id they could step oyt of the way of th drops.  My parents were good, simple people.  They found their patch of land on the borders of the Deep Darkness swamplands, trading with the quaint hamlet that had sprung up around the time of my birth.
My mother always said it had been a year of life.
I grew up an adventurous child.  I helped on the farm and continually made for the swampland, which had been forbidden to me.  Its dark overhanging trees cast long fingers of shadow onto he slim edges of water.  My father told me stories that should’ve frightened me off, but they only drew me in mor.e  I started exploring it after he died, when I was twelve.
My mother insisted that I join her on her trips to the hamlet.  It was just the two of us, and she needed company that her daughter couldn’t provide.  I grew into body and fell in love with a young man who lived in the hamlet which was our oly tether to the outside world.  His family had been lost to raids on their return home from a trading engagement.  We found solice in each other and with in three summers we were married.  My family’s form saw life once more. 
My mother died soon after, leaving the famr and the small cottage to me and my husband.  He has a nephew who was prhpened soon after my mothered died.  In that year of pain and sadness, I gained a child that I treated as a son.  We were a happy family.  We led a simple life, as thopse in that place are often custiom to. 
Then tragedy struck.  raiders invavded the hamlet.  They systematically slaughtered everyone within or connected to the local hub.  My son and husband were killed before my eyes.  They had thought me dead.  I had thought myself dead.  But I woke up.  My body healed, but my home and life was in ruins.  The hamlet pillaged.  Our little town was wiped off the map and I was left alive. 
I walked mindlessly into the swamp. I think I wanted to lose myself in the labyrinth of paths.  There was something comforting about the darkness.  For half a year I wasted away within the mire of Deep Darkness.  I might still be there, if not for her.
She found me collapsed beside a pond of fresh water, one of the oasises that I sustained myself on.  She took me to her home, deep within the swamp.  The old tales which the hamlet adored called her a powerful witch.  She wasn’t.  she was something far more terryfing, her powers beyond my comprehension.  She described herself as an illusionist and a historian.  I stayed with her for many years as she taught me of the world outside of Deep Darkness.    She spoke of others like her, beings of great and varied  power.  She taught me of hers like myself.  She told me of what my life could hold form.  She told me of the long years ahead of me, of people I might encounter, of tehpowers that I possedd. 
It was maddening at dirst, but I eventually regained a sense of life.  At her suggestion  I made for Lost bridge, where I found sanctuary and a new beginning.  I made a new life in Anaché where I became a priestess.  Or many years I lived as a quiet woman.  I spoke to no one about the one who saved me from the madness of the swamp, nor of the past which came before it.  I learned Common.  My native tongue is spăk’te, that being the spoken tongue of the southern lands.  My winged host had taught me Old, as well as fragments from many forein languages.
Eventually I had to leave Anaché and my shrined life.    Too many of the population were becoming wary od the priestess who arely got sick and kept her youth, ignoring the ravages of age. 
I crossed the Bridge and made my way into Eagleland.  A new world of technology and life bombarded me as I travvelled along the East coast.  I was always larning new things.  I came to the northern lands, Winters.  I made another life in Victria, enlisteding in their military, and found that I was well suited afte a life of quit=et neditation, prayer, learning and farming.  I responded well to action and string an sturdy, despite my appearance.  I progressed high trhough their training and was awarded for my efforts.    But what  was sane back to follow me.  I left winters after the focus of an investigation.  I journeyed back to Eagland.  I was now part of a new age, still alive and seemingly youthful in a city with many secrets.  My skills as a soldierfound a different voice as I discovered the underworld of Eagleland.  Refining my skill set led me to a still different life in Forge, a life where my ageless nature could be an asset instead of a liability. 
I lived a fast lifestyle, full of worries that I couldonly dream of.  It is curious to the niw that I think on it, that e life has been marked by death’s surround thea sbsensce of my own.
And then the world ended.
I woke up one morning and like so many years past, my home and my life was once ore in ruin.  Only now there is no life around me, save a dyning, decaying orld.  So I wander once more.  In search of others that may have survived, as she ocne told me there could be.
To any that come across this, I am Diana.  I walk ccare with heavy weapons.  I am searching for you and mean you no harm.  I wish to know you and join you. For another life.  Perhaps you are like me,,  perhaps not.  I will camp under high moons and leave my mark where I have travelled.
Farewell until we shall meet.

ii:  Journey

I had scanned every floor of the mall, from top to bottom, but all I could find were empty stores and overturned benches.  It looked like there had been some kind of explosion because all the escalators were exposed; but that was the only visible sign of destruction.  This was simply a dead mall.  The word dead seemed to hang in the air.  Where was everyone?
            After the initial shock, I had gone to the bathroom to check myself for injuries.  As I walked down the long corridor to the basement washroom, I managed to laugh about the one time only lack of a line to go to the women’s room.  I was glad to find the door unlocked.  Inside I stripped down and examined myself in the mirror; there was not a scratch – not a single one.  The relief lasted about three seconds until I noticed that there really was not one scratch on me, not even the ones that had been there yesterday, or the ones that had been there for years.  Panicking, I put my clothes back on and leaned, scared, against the sink.  That is when I noticed the second thing out of place.  The bathroom was spotless.  That never happened, not in our mall.  I felt the wait of this journal in my pocket and thought about finding my friends.  Maybe I am the one who needs finding.
I my heart pounded against my chest as I stood in the bathroom.  What was going on, I wondered to myself.  How where did my scars go, my cuts and bruises?  How long had I been passed out in the mall’s entrance? I had none of these answers and knew even less where to find them. 
I remember splashing water on my face to calm myself down.  I read somewhere that dehydration during crisis was one of those things that stuck up on people.  I had stumbled head first into every definition of the word crisis so I figured I should try to stay as alert a possible.  Not easy considering how my arms and legs were shaking.  I had drunk from the tap feeling the cool water pour down my dry throat.
As I stood hunched over the sink for I don’t know how long, I began to look closely at my face.  I recognized parts that were me, my nose, my ears, but it was all somehow offset by stillness.  My eyes looked pale in the mirror’s reflection, somehow different from what I remembered they use to be.
The water had felt heavy inside me.  My stomach growled at me as a wave of hunger sweeped me over.  How long had it been since I had eaten something?  Why hadn’t I felt hungry when I was going over the mall? 
More questions still.
We all have tokens. 
That what was written in the journal that I found.  There was a broken, shattered skeleton, and the book remained.  Pages were burnt.  The spine was destroyed.  The only words I could make out were on the last page that somehow escaped destruction.  Who ever write his journal left behind a single message that survived.  I don’t know what the token means.  I don’t even know what they could look like.  But anyone who’s alive, and now I know that there are/were, we all have tokens.   Now I just have to figure out what that means.
I looked around the ruined room for a while, but everything was covered with ash.  It was like a volcano exploded inside this guy’s room.  That’s not fair, it could have been a girl, but he, she, left nothing behind but the scraps of their journal and their charred remains.  When I meet the next person, I’ll have to ask if they know anything about these tokens.  Maybe he figured something out before he met his end.
I feel cold wandering through this hollow city.  I grew up here and have not traveled much outside of it.  When i was younger i remember wanting to see every part of it, every street corner and rooftop.  I don’t know why. 
I find myself almost nostalgic as i weave through these desolate streets.  It looks like a bomb when off, one of the dangerous ones that the news reels love to talk about.  Was my country at war with anothers?  Hard to say, but i can’t remember anything like that in the talk i overhear.   What would another country want with ours?  All we have is snow.
All we had is snow.  Now there doesn’t look to be any coming anytime soon.  The usually cloudy sky is not teh same sky i’m use to.  It constantly moves, but i have yet to spot a cloud.  The colour is off putting as well.  I wish for a clear blue, a sky blue, but everything i raise my head i am met with is dark, close to what a night sky would be if the moon gave off far more light. 
It is purple. A deep violet nearing black.  It feels haunting when i look hgh and see what could be a heavy pond of still purple water.  It changes colour sometimes too.  When i got to the far east end of the city it was more blue than purple.  I am going to walk to back through the city, to the north-west peak of the city.
Hopefully i’ll find someone, anyone who is still alive in this crumbling ash filled place. 
I find tears constantly tripping down my cheek.  I don’t feel overly sad, but crushed.  The weight of my surroundings are getting to me.  Too many memories reduced to cinders, too many iconic places laid to waste, stipped to their supports, their contents left tattered in the still wind.  There are not many rooftops to see anymore.  Most of the buildings that pierce the sky look more fitting, jagged, like shard of stone and concrete stabbing towards the alien sky. 
I wished that i was someplace else, that i was the victim of some elaborate trick or experiment, but i see far too many similarities.  Please let there be someone alive. 
I will do a few more passes through my small city, this time headed for the upper peak, ending in the marina. 
I am done with Forge.  The city is fallen.
Time passes differently now it seems, with little way to distinguish between the days passing. There is no day and night, just a constant shifting of colour in the sky overhead.  I rarely find myself hungry or thirsty and when I do it fades away soon after.  Whenever I overexert myself I need only lie down and rest for several minutes to an hour before I feel as refreshed as ever.  While my physiology has always been something that I’ve had to hide, it os almost refreshing to push myself to my limits without cause for concerning those around me.  Unfortunately, with no one around me I find that I haven’t yet found my limits.  I fell off a third story overhang and landed poorly.  After a short rest my body had fully repaired tself.  I’m healing at a rate I’ve never known.  More than that I have discovered that I have none of the markings and scars that were familiar before the End came. 
I’ve salvaged what little I can to form a camp, but it is not much.  In the center of what was once the business distrect, at the intersection of Anderson and Queen, I have made a clearing that should be noticeable if any pass overhead.  I cleared the intersection of debris and led a path to a cavern present in the rubble of one of the collapsed skyscrapers.  Within I’ve stockpiled what few items of interest I have found. 
Most organics are fairly ravaged when I’ve found them, though I have found several stashes of clothing, munitions and various stockpiled materials that somehow escaped the torment that has ripped this city apart.  They have all been brought to the chamber.  I have also set up a rest area with the few synthetics I have managed to recover.  The temperature is such that I’ve never needed a blanket, but I do not know how the seasons will be represented.
I leave for the nearest town after a short rest.  I have carved a short introduction into the floor of the cavern so that any who find it may recognize my symbols and may pursue me.  Hopefully when I next return to this place there will be signs that others have come across the clearing and the adjacent cavern. 
Sunnydale, just west of Forge, used to take a day travel to reach by train.  I will follow the path that the tracks lead, hopefully arriving at the town before I reach the country’s eastern coast. 
I stumbled upon something worth writing about.  I recently got to another town after giving up on my home town of Bethesda port.  I walked away from the lake, following the main road.  I’ve never left my town really, and it seems odd that when i finally did, it’s after theres no town left.  I followed the main road.  I salvaged little from my home town.  My cloths seem in good order, though i don’t remember ver buying these clothes.  The pantrs are a heavy fur lined deniem with many pocketslining the back front and sides.  It would be useful as i haven’t found a bag.  On the other hand i haven’t found much in teh way of things to put in my pockets either. In my right side pocket is the only thing that surprised me to find.  This diary fits almost perfectly in one of the back pockets.
Somewhere along the main strip, admist the basements of teh blown out buildinsg i was searching there was this glimmer, and low and behold the glimmer belonged to the blade of a knife.  The blade looked chalky and pale yellow, but it didn’t turn to ash, though the handle did, leaving this rigid rectangle of the blade.  Still, it’s a tool i didn’t previously have, and it’s comforting to feel it in my pocket as i walk to someplace strange and new.  The remenants of my town, characterized by a strange coloured blade withut a handle.
Back to what i found.  I walked along the main road out of town and expected changes. The sky did swap pallettes once or twice, but still is like no skyi’ve ever livd under before now.  I’ve kind of gotten used to the lack of day and night.  I keep busy.  I’ve slept a handful of times, never on a regular basis.  One of those times was when i had just left the city.  This wave of crushing sleep came over me and i just lay down at the side of the road.    Whenever i woke up i started walking again. 
I followed the road to a town smaller than mine.  I don’t remember what it’s name would’ve been, though it’s so tiny that it couldn’t be the capital of Winters, which is where i’ve decided to head to.
I wander through the town and in one of the residential houses is a trapdoor i almost missed.  I heave it open and i’m nearly blinded.  Hidden beneath this door is a white room.  There’s a crackling fire against on wall, the smoke going nowhere.  There wasn’t any trailing into the sky, and i’m pretty sure that there’s a collapsed roof on top of the majority of the room.
The walls floor and ceiling are pristine white, wall sconces illuminate the room further than the fire does, making the entire room eary to be in when teh trapdoor entrance is shut.  I’m going to stay here while i go over the town.  Hopefully it belongs to someone and i’ll meet them soon, but i don’t hold much hope for that.


The two figures stood on top of teh mountain, though to call it a mountain would be a misnomer.  The steps of land rose in onical fashion, more more of a stepped pyramid made of teh desecrated ground then as a properly formed mountain.  Long ago this place might have been a field.  Now it was a pillar of erth raised high into the air, capped with the stepped mountain.
The first figure stood bearfooted, with a long suede coat covering plain shirt and pants.  This clothing looked worn yet pristine, an odd combination, yet he was an odd figure.  He smiled as the figure behind him reshaped itself.
It had landed behind him as a withering mass, foleing the space around it as it shimmered.  Then, slowly, teh mass shrank, taking on the appearance of a man, sharp faced and grim visage. 
“what have you done?”
“well how bout that.  I didn’t think you’d still be here.”
“i felt something that shouldn’t have happened and looked into it. “
“you weren’t just swinging by then i take it?”
“this planet holds little purpose for me anymore.  Its previous owners are gone, all who are left aren’t as succeptible.  Madness in any of teh remaining creatures wouldn’t be worth the effort nessecary.”
“you’ve greener pastures, is that it, Little Eye?” a chuckle floated across the mountain top.
“something like that.”
“well if that’s teh case, what can i do for you here, on this lovely morning?”  a hand was swept up to the clouded red sky.  The clouds swilrded like magnified mist, froth and contoring, obscuring the colour. 
“ah.  So you’re here peacefully.  That’s fine.  I’m in fine mood by the way.  I’ve finally got around this body’s pesky limitations.  For teh longest time i couldn’t weild anything cose to my desires, due to physics of this place.  I can’t very well adres the planes of creation and destruction without proper ennuniation.  Everything till now has been a mumbled through closed lips.”
“so what have you discoverd?”
“a way to cut open the mouth.  I shan’t ever be able to properly address the full plane, but i think i can breath a little perspective into it.  The most i could do was wiggle this rock.”
“what were you hoping to achieve.”
“to dent the planet of course.  To mold it like clay.  To shape this world as i use to.”
“but you can’t”
“no.  I can’t.  I am still very much imprisoned. “
“i recall the Orders of the Court.  You are still bound and forgotten to all save them and us.  There and be no escape for you.  That this possession was even possible is allowed in so far that it is still limited and not a doorway.  and yet you seem as pleased as can be.”
“why shouldn’t i be.  doorway or not, it’s a bit more wiggle room inside teh crack in my cell.  I can hear distant thoughts, i have power over an infitessamally small junction, no more bigger then a nexus itself, yet perhaps i can learn something new.  I lived in such vast cosmic quantities that it may do me good to examine the details.”
“so you plan on stayng on this world?  I don’t have to shackle you here by force?”
“as if you knew how to shackle me.  But no, don’t worry.  I haven’t any intention of leaving.  There is something alive beyond what is commonly seen.  the balancers, humanity’s star spawn anda handful of etehral creatures still thrive.  And yet, i still feel something new, something that might be entertaining.”
“i will leave you too it.  I shall try to see you before your host’s end, Azath.”
“thank you for teh sentiment Little Eye,  no doubt you shall try to see all that you once could.”
Earlier today there was an earhqauek.  I ve never felt anything like it since ive woken up.  It was exhilarating and at teh same time petrifying.  He ground actually turned, slanted and then moved around.  It was like being on a ferris whell or playing with garavity in your mind as a kid.  I don’t know what caused it by ive been nervous in my travels today. 
Today has beena specically dya.  I think it was cause of teh earthquake, caus etehres a section of teh town broken off on one of teh main streets, like a cliff in the middle of a strip mall, as if teh ground just fractured and decided to rise into the air .  the thing was, there was a door, perfectly alighned ith teh ground almost as if it was planned like that, or like someone or something built a tunnel into the ground after the fact.  If wit was after then i hope to fiond those people, because past teh door (which looked like it had been undergournd) was a tunnel leding to a room.  Inside the room was this odd bed and these white clotehs that fit me, 
I haven’t believed in preordained stuff, but today seems to be hanging my mind with more and more proof.