Journals of the Fall, pt. 9

Record #012-02-35

Journal of Randal T. Dawson

5th Day After the Fall

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Day 5

What am I doing out here?

Seriously, what the hell am I doing out here? The world has gone completely crazy, and I’m out here checking the mains?

I haven’t heard from my family in a week, and all the phone lines to the city are out. There are police out in force, even the military are out and around doing who knows what, and the stories!

I don’t believe even half of ‘em, but whatever it is has to be almost as bad to have things in the state they’re in. The Internet’s gone nuts too, at least where it’s working. Has to be some sort of terrorist plot.

Besides all the police and military and stuff, things are tense as hell but quiet around town. The bosses say something’s coming, but nobody will say what, or when. They just get real quiet.

Well, if they want the mains working, I can keep ‘em working.

Day 7

The town lost power. Water treatment’s running on backup, we should be good for a few more days. At least we’ll be good if things keep going as they are now.

Things are worse out there if the ‘net is any indication. Still have a bit of a charge left in my phone, so I can check. There’s not much left to check though. Most sites are down, and the few I can still reach have barely any use.

Most of what’s there are crackpots posting tips on how to survive attacks by some kind of monsters. The dead come back to life. That garbage can’t be real though. That’s just movie stuff. It’s not even Halloween! When this whole thing blows over, they ought to be arrested for trying to make a bad situation worse by scaring people.

It’s sure scaring me. There’s someone bad out there from outside the town. I don’t buy for one second that they’re the dead risen from the grave, but they’re putting enough people into graves. It’s a little too much truth for my taste.

Day 8

My job got bumped up to the highest priority. There are three other engineers helping with what used to be a solo job. They were pulled in from further out on the town radius.

The police and military types have pulled inward too, and they’re terrified. I heard they’re shooting people who try to escape outside the town; least, that’s what one guy said. He was never too reliable.

Whatever’s really going on out there, it has sure cut down on the amount of crap flowing through the pipes, but these systems weren’t meant to run on reserve for so long. We’re having to get creative to keep the whole thing running.

Day 9

Holy crap. Some of those stories? They’re actually true. I saw one today. I don’t know who it was, or where it came from, but there is no way in hell that thing was still alive, no matter how much it moved and walked and moaned.

Thank God for the military. It was 20 feet from me when they shot it down. Fell right into the reservoir. I don’t much care to think about that, honestly. They fished it out, but we can’t flush out the tank. We have nothing to refill it with until the next rain.

Day 10

People all through town are getting sick. They have us herded together in shelters; I go there when I’m not on duty, which right now is most of the time.

Early this morning people started coming down with whatever it is. Some of ‘em are getting pretty bad pretty fast.

- This journal was found in an abandoned shelter. Evidence suggests most of the town turned in a short period of time. Large numbers of partially eaten victims were found in the shelter, with tracks of many of the risen leaving and spreading out to the surrounding areas. J.T.

 

Journals of the Fall, pt. 8

Record #012-02-35

Diary of Rochelle de Meaux

Time Unknown

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He paces endlessly, tortured thoughts unknown to those around him. There’s a sense of depth, of hidden darkness that clings to him like a musty shroud. It’s a shroud that billows with impatience, each step casting waves of it out into the night.

Now and then he stops, asks me what I’m doing, why I’m writing, why I keep looking at him. Sometimes he yells, the impatient waves turned to the lashing, crashing of a hurricane.

“Writing,” I tell him. It’s the truth. How can I not write? How could he, anyone, expect that of me? Writing is all I know. All I’ve ever known, all I’ve ever done.

Well. Writing, and observing. Always observing.

For instance, I observe that every time I answer, he tightens a little more. Withdraws a little deeper into the tight-wrapped shell he’s forming around himself.

I would lie to him if I thought it would help. But it wouldn’t help. He’d only withdraw even faster.

My words aren’t the only thing driving him deeper within himself. They’re not even the main thing. More than anything else, it’s the waiting. We lost power several days ago. It’s like that huge crippling of the power grid that happened a few years ago all over again. Only this time nobody knows the extent of the problem.

Only trickles of news have gotten in or out of town, and he is waiting for news. For hope. His hopes are going gray.

Each day he’s a little grimmer, face a little more wooden. The cupboards he’s sharing with the rest of us empty a little more.

A shout reaches us from deeper into the house. “The water’s off.”

“What do you mean it’s off?” He sounds like he knows exactly what that means, but he’s angry about it and doesn’t know how else to react.

The pale custard-yellow of the walls looked warm and inviting, once. Next to someone so gray though, they’ve turned a bit sickly. It makes you want to huddle in on yourself, if only to avoid touching them.

“I don’t know, it’s just off! There’s no more coming out of the taps.”

I’m not sure if we should have seen that coming or not. Now that it has happened, it seems so obvious and natural. Without power, the water system has to shut down. I guess I thought maybe it hadn’t reached there, or that they had a backup supply or something.

Maybe they did have a backup, and that’s gone too. There’s something ringing and hollow in that thought.

He’s going to go out. I know that. I know I can’t stop him. I want to, but I can’t. If someone doesn’t go, we’ll have no water.

They said on the radio that nobody was to go out, but they didn’t say why. They didn’t say it so loudly that it scared everyone half to death. We’d heard the rumors already.

It’s funny how word gets around even faster than radio sometimes. Old Joe at the truck stop swears he saw Bob walking the highway shoulder, but he’s been dead for a week and a half.

Wendy swears up and down she saw her dad’s silhouette on the hill out back of her place, but he’s gone too.

They’re all stories everyone’s heard. The mind goes gray like his when you lose someone. Life loses all colour, all smell, all taste, all vibrancy, and your mind can’t cope with that forever, tries to bring the colors, the smells back again. Sometimes it brings them back too well, you see things that aren’t really there.

That must be it. Right?

But there’s more of the stories, too many more. And soon they’re not being told by people who just lost someone. Tony sees a guy he’s never seen before. The guy’s all torn up, broken and bloody but not bleeding. Danny sees something too. Always at a distance. Still just whispers.

They tried to tell people what they were seeing, but we never believed them. I mean, can you blame us? I suppose now you can. But it was straight-jacket talk at the time, just asking to be thrown into a padded room. The dead, walking around? Attacking people? Turning us into them?

That’s the comfortable story we cling to anyway. It was too much to believe. It was true enough at first, but eventually we’d all seen to much. Eventually, we simply couldn’t bear to believe. To stay sane, we had to deny what we knew.

So now he’s going to go. Tony and Danny too. And the rest of us will stay, and we’ll hope. What else can we do?

- The diary was found next to remains too badly eaten to be identified. Other remains on the site and certain details of the surrounding environment corroborate the details of the account. J.T.