Wellington Street http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet In which we take a stroll down a very strange lane. en-us Thu, 04 Jun 2020 19:01:57 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Building 11 "Going to Sleep" http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-going-to-sleep “Its eyes are bleeding as it tries to stay awake with me. It wants to get me sleep but I won't let it. There is still so much left for me to do, and so little time to do it. If I can just stay awake a little bit longer, I can finish my work and then and only then can I let myself sleep.

There is a hope in its mind that I will let it help me. There are so many friendly creatures around here. All you hear about are the bad ones, but that is mostly because the simple acts of nature go unnoticed. But it noticed me, and it noticed how hard I am working. And more than anything it wants me to be rested, to be ready for the next day.

The rest of them are already asleep. No help needed there. I took the liberty of taking care of that part, and I will take up the rest of it as well. An old motto; don't leave undone today what will be made worse tomorrow.

So I keep on digging and it keeps watching me.

It builds up a bed of moss and tries to build a small fire to add some warmth. It is a wonderful gesture, if unwanted. If it is just patient a little bit longer than maybe I will let it put me to sleep.

The ground is harder than I would like, and though I have tried to pace myself I am soon perspiring. The sweat begins to cool, and I start to get cold. This just causes me to push myself harder so my muscles won't tense up. All the while it looks at me with growing concern, its eyes never leaving me even as it gently coaxes a flame from the bed of twigs.

What I have done is a crime no matter where you are, but it doesn't care. Like I said, it only wants me to be rested. That is its nature, this small, wicked looking thing that lacks any measure of malice. Any judgments will be for the morning.

And by then it will already be gone.

The hole is starting to get to where I want it to be, but I know I still have a lot of work to do. Even if it is mostly done, my muscles are already spent. The next ten minutes are the hardest part of the digging, my breath coming out in heavy gasps.

It has begun boiling water, and I detect the scent of pine needles coming from the tea it is making. This is its nature, and as I dig I can see that it too is getting tired, its bloody eyes drooping. It does not understand why I won't stop to rest. So it keeps upping the anti, and tries to make the prospect of sleep as attractive as possible. It hasn't caught on yet, but I think it will.

At last, the hole is as big as I want it to be.

I go to step into it when I feel its small, wrinkled hand hold onto mine.

It looks down into it, and I can see that it finally understands.

Gently, it takes the moss that has been warmed by the fire and places it into the hole. It hands me a cup of the drink, and I take it gratefully as I sit down in the grave. Sipping it, I take a moment to breath. To exhale.

It carefully moves the fire closer to me, though I am sure the embers are hot in its hands. It smiles at the way my shoulders begin to settle, relieved of some of the weight I was holding onto.

The fight was not against it, or its desire to sleep. In truth, the real fight I lost a few days ago. I've been fighting for so long, ignoring their call. But I know now that I could never keep it up forever. There was no way I could, not in any meaningful way.

It won't give up on me, but I have.

I finish the cup and settle into the ground. The moss has already lost much of the heat, but it is still warmer than the dirt. I reach up and begin to drag the earth onto me, the cold, wet dirt chilling every bit of exposed skin it hits.

The thing helps, taking up the majority of the labor when I am no longer able to sit up.

I settle in, trying to take pleasure in the help. But I know what is coming is going to be the hard part. What is coming next is what this was all meant for, but that won't make it any easier. The panic starts in once my arms are covered. To its credit, it tries to give me as much time as possible to prepare before it covers my face.

Before it it moves the last bit of dirt, it leans down and kisses me on the forehead.

“Goodnight,” it says gently. It's voice is like leaf cover in spring.

I smile, then grimace as the dirt hits my face. I feel my heart thundering in my ears, and I am trying to calm my breathing as scoop after scoop falls onto me. At last there is no more air to breath, the weight of the earth fully settling upon me. In reflex I begin breath rapidly, only with every breath I have less and less air. Every exhale the dirt compressed and more earth enters my mouth and nose.

I am shaking. Shivering. Panicking.

This is what this is all for.

My vision is spotty.

Tunneling.

I want to scream.

I try to scream. But there is so much dirt.

So much...

I last longer than I thought I would.

My jaw cracks under the weight, as the last bit of consciousness drifts away.

I die then.

I finally sleep.

Then someone else awakes.

The earth is warmer for me than it was for her. Or maybe I just don't feel it.

Pushing through the earth and clawing my way up requires little effort at all. As I break the surface, I bask in the wonderful rays of the morning sun. The sun has so many new colors now, the light like music on my skin.

I breath in deeply, savoring my first breaths as a living thing. I look at my hands, blackened skin with talons settled at the tips of my fingers. Dirt grips the tips of my hands, and I let it sit like that. It is intriguing, the sensation of it, like my fingers are miniature graves.

Then I tip my hands and watch the dirt fall away as I pull myself out of the earth.

I pull off the last bit of skin left over from the girl and stand to my full height, my head brushing against the branches of the trees overhead. Though I had little to start with, there is no lacking to my form. My muscles tense as reach down and grab the smoldering ashes from the fire. I don't even feel it.

The thing from the night before put the girl to rest. As was its nature.

The girl finally welcomed sleep. The long sleep.

As was her nature.

But now I am alive, born as any new being must be, from the body of those who came before. I hear the jubilation in my sisters minds. I feel their welcoming hearts and I smile, feeling at last a sense of peace that had eluded that girl for long.

Sometimes, the only right thing to do is to give in.

I am going to see my sisters now. We have so many terrible things to do, things only the three of us can manage.

It was worth the wait.”

It has been ten years since I last had a dream I could remember. A consequence of my medicine is that my sleep is a black void, filled with little from the point I go to sleep to when I wake up.

It has been so long I almost couldn't really believe it when I woke up. My body was shaking, and it was nearly ten minutes until the sensation of being buried went away. I did not feel the power of the thing, the feeling of wellness it spoke about. Upon waking I felt like I was still in the grave, buried under the dirt.

The worst part is, while writing this I realize that I can recognize the smell in the dream, the smell of the dirt and the moss and the wetness that enveloped me. The smell of the grave that that horrible thing helped me put myself into.

It felt so real to me.

It smelled like the museum.

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Sat, 23 May 2020 17:44:22 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-going-to-sleep
Building 11 "The Down Vest" http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-the-down-vest Today was dull and gray, though it wasn't that way earlier in the day. Earlier on it was sunny and bright, with a nice gentle breeze that had just enough character to it for it to be appreciable. I took out my old down vest, just so the chill of the wind would be comfortable. My dad gave it to me when I was a kid. I think it was meant for his son, whenever that was supposed to happen. On my eighth birthday I think he figured out he should stop waiting on a son and probably put that energy into his daughter lol.

It is a faded olive color with a plaid interior, and the cloth on the interior has pills from being washed and rewashed over the years. For a long time it used to smell like cigarettes, which my mum explained was due to it being my dad's smoking vest back in college. Eventually the smell of the cigarettes faded, but to this day I find that smell comforting, even if I never smoke.

I make a point to try to not wash it unless I have to, and generally do it by hand. I replaced the down in it once, which left it feeling lumpy for a while. Over time it settled, but for a while I thought I had ruined it.

I put on a surgical mask today and took a walk at a local forest preserve. There really wasn't anyone on the trails, and the ground was damp from some rain the night before. I have always liked the way the ground feels after the rain. When I was younger I would take off my shoes and socks and go barefoot, but once when I was a teen I ended up stepping on an old nail. I had to get a tetanus shot, and that essentially ended the practice outside of my own yard and visits to the beach.

There are supposed to be storms the next few days, and I am looking forward to sitting out on the porch with dad. I think he needs it since he has been sullen the last week. He normally gets that way after mum's birthday, but normally it only lasts few days. A little time together and he should be right as rain, and likely craving something greasy.

My dad is a living metaphor lol.

Thursday saw me working with Eric again, though I wasn't happy about it. He has been weird lately, or at least more nosy than usual. He was asking about the vest and wondering why I was an only child. Even after I explained it to him, he ended up asking me later in my shift if I was positive I didn't have any siblings. I told him I was sure, and he seemed shaken for the rest of the night.

I told him that mom started getting sick soon after I was born, and that the doctor said having another child was a bad idea. Mom and Dad tried to go the adoption route, but they were never able to meet the requirements. I tried to convince them that I didn't mind being an only child, but I think dad and mum wanted a child more for them than for me.

They eventually settled on a dog instead, and that was that.

Thirteen years was a good age for a dog, and when he passed I think my parents had gotten the kid bug mostly out of their system. It didn't keep them from falling in love with every boy I brought home, but that didn't bother me as much as you would think. Most kids I knew growing up were constantly fighting with their parents about dating, whether it was the act of dating or who they were dating. My parents, by and large, always let me get away with stuff like that.

“Go for the throat,” my dad would tell me whenever I would go out. It was his way of being protective. My mom would say a bit more than that, but only when my dad wasn't in the room.

I never really gave much thought about growing up without any siblings since I have always enjoyed my alone time. I am sure I would have enjoyed it, even if it would have likely lessened the attention from dad. I think about mom passing and how much more complicated it would have been if there had been another kid for him to worry about.

Dad and I have one another, and I think is enough, at least for me.

It is not that I have always been on my own though. I've always had small number of friends, like Betty and Danny.

When I was younger, I had a good friend named Tracy who was just as shy as I was. If I hadn't noticed she was reading the same series as me I doubt we would have started talking at all. We would hang out on the edges of the playground, our backs against the fence and our faces buried in some book or another.

The teachers tried to get us to play with the other kids, but they never really seemed interested in having us around, and would often ditch us once the teacher was out of sight. Eventually they stopped trying, and I imagine they came to the same conclusion that we did, namely that having one friend was better than having none at all.

We hung out all the time, and by the time I was a teenager there was a running joke in my house where my mom or dad would call out “daughter” and we would ask which one they were asking about. They would respond with “The better one.”

During high school we ended up drifting apart a little. We just seemed to start developing different interests in different people, and though we would be friendly and my parents would constantly ask about her, by the time I left for college her and I had mostly stopped talking altogether. We kept up a little bit, mostly through emails that would ask how the other was doing, qualify the exchange under the heading of “It has been too long,” ending with a promise to keep in touch more regularly.

We both kinda suck at keeping up, and it has actually been six months since I heard from her. With my schooling coming to an end and my application and job at the historical society, I guess I have just kinda forgotten about her, as sad as that sounds. I'll make sure to write her soon.

She is the old sweater of friends, but the good kind.

The other day I ran into that same damn cat from a few weeks ago. It followed me for a little bit while I was heading to get my meds. It soon lost interest though, running off to attack a squirrel that had just come down a tree. It is a big cat for a tabby, and though I didn't wait around I am pretty sure if it came down to it the squirrel would be fucked. I ended up passing that way again on my way home from the pharmacy, but by then it had moved on. There was blood and fur on the ground, like it had been torn to pieces.

There was a shortage on my medicine, but I had enough to spare to make sure that I okay, I am kinda pissed they cut it as close as they did.

The storm is starting up soon. I'm going to wrap this up and see if my dad has come home yet. I have to grab our rainwater glasses from the dishwasher and get them in the freezer. Out of everything, there is nothing dad hates more than a warm rainwater cocktail.

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Sat, 16 May 2020 18:13:47 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-the-down-vest
Unknown Location "The Non-Thing" http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/unknown-location-the-non-thing “I really tried this week. I really did. I got plenty of rest, ate all the meals I was supposed to have. I even went for a walk in a local forest preserve. But I can't seem to gather my thoughts. I get halfway through making a sandwich and have to check what I put on it. Just this morning I woke up and went to my window and looked outside at the street.

There were a few cars parked. The sun was only just rising. It was gray and cold looking. My vision clouded, and I zoned out. Staring at nothing. Focusing on nothing. By the time I came to, my left leg had fallen asleep and my right leg was aching. I woke up at seven, and didn't come back until nine.

I read somewhere that zoning out is a sign of stress. Our brain is trying to get us to stop so it can rest. I don't know what is bothering me. I don't feel much of anything. I feel hot and cold, like the heat coming off my computer. Or the cold of the kitchen floor. I don't feel happy or sad. I just feel numb.

Empty.

I keep a notepad next to my bed. For ideas. Every morning I check it to see if I scribbled something in it. Last few days I have drawn the same picture over and over again. I have a bottle of ink for crafts. I had grabbed it while cleaning out an old house. When I wake up, my fingers are stained black, like I had been working with my hands. And every morning there are more pictures.

Pictures of a head, framed in smeared blackness. It has a face like porcelain, and white, vacant eyes. It does not smile. I don't think it can. It is simply a face in the void.

I close my eyes, and I listen to the sounds of birds and of passing traffic. I feel the heat of sun on my face, and the texture of blood running down my cheek. My head is pure and devoid of unnecessary thoughts.

It looks at me. It looks at all of us. And when it does it takes something away.

I've gone through this so many times already. It is three now. I started writing at ten. Just can't seem to focus. I want to be awake. Make phone calls. I can't remember numbers. Can't remember how I know people listed in my phone. It is all so far from me. Everything is far from me. I am in a glass box. I watch Matt move.

My name is Matt.

It has white eyes. It wants to be drawn. With my fingers. With Matt's fingers. Fingers in ink. Fingers in dirt and blood. In coals. Coals for their eyes. I have to give it image. It can't just rest in my head. It takes up too much space. There isn't any more room. The longer it sits, the more I forget.

I get to keep one. A memory. When I zone out, I think of it. I am sitting on a rock, looking at the sky. The sun settles above the horizon. Larger than the horizon. It is the horizon. It burns with white fire. The world is made of black and white. Shadows stretch long, the sun coming down to earth. To the planet. It is falling.

The sun stops. All is black.

I am allowed to keep that memory.

It isn't my memory.

Why is it coming after me?

She says she is worried. The one texting me right now. I tell her I am alright. My screen timed out. I try again. The password isn't right. Wrote it down. Where is the paper? Found the paper. Told her I am alright. I already told her that. The sky is bleeding. The sun is setting.

I feel something. I feel petrified. I am waiting for the sun to end. To be swallowed whole. Then I will be like it. I will be an imprint. Non existence imprinted onto reality.

I don't feel tired. I am supposed to sleep now. I set an alarm. Sleep can wait.

I am looking at the night sky. There are stars, burning bright. White suns, waiting to fall into the worlds. Long time ago I knew the constellations by heart. I learned them to impress someone. I wanted to impress a girl. It worked. We dated. She cheated. We ended.

It ended.
They stars are wrong. Big dipper. Easy enough. It is missing stars. Constellations are missing. In ways. Virgo. The Hydra. Corvus and Crater. They are gone altogether. There are more now. More stars. But the wrong stars.

Writing hurts me. I want to see. I am in trouble. Focus. Focus dammit. Focus.

Focus.

There are so many stars. I must have blinked. There are less. There are more and less.

There is a face framed in black. No joy or sadness. No fear or pain. Nothing. Void. Empty. A non existence.

Pages upon pages. Pages upon Pages.

I really tried this week. I really did. I got plenty of rest, ate all the meals I was supposed to have. I even went for a walk in a local forest preserve. But I can't seen to gather my thoughts. I get halfway through making sandwich and have to check what I put on it. Just this morning I woke up and went to my window and looked outside at the street.

The face.

It is a scream.”

Been having to close up the museum on my own lately. The crew I normally work with haven't been coming in. I don't mind though. It gives me time to have the place all to myself. It is just me, and all those exhibits. When I am alone I close the windows. Eric says it gets stuffy in here, but I love it. That wonderful smell of damp and moss collects itself after I the cold breeze of the night has been cut off. It gets warm, like a sweater.

Sometimes when I am all by myself I light a candle and wander about the place. It is like a ghost town, a place abandoned. The light of a candle makes strange shadows on the walls. It makes me feel close to this place, as if by seeing it like this I somehow see it more intimately than other people do.

And sometimes I wander around with the lights off completely, using the light from the streets to make my way around. I can close my eyes, and I can hear the building creak and shift. It has always marveled me how a building of brick can make so much noise, but it does. And when it is dark and I am sitting on the floor, I feel as if I'm the only one in the world.

It is fun to feel that way, every once in a while.

I hope to hear from you again soon. Hopefully your neighbors will calm themselves long enough for you to get enough rest. Can't imagine the quarantine is helping with their fighting. Everyone is getting a little stir crazy, and maybe a little sick of each other.

I still haven't settled on what the first thing I want to do when things open up again. Probably get myself a malt, and probably eat something greasy. After that maybe I'll go to the beach. There is a nice one up in Kenosha. When you come stateside we should go.

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Sat, 09 May 2020 18:26:13 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/unknown-location-the-non-thing
Building 11 "Mom's Birthday" http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-moms-birthday It was my mom's birthday today. I can't say I really look forward to it anymore. We celebrate it anyway, dad and I. We try not to linger too much on it, but if we just neglect celebrating it at all then it feels like we have done something wrong. My mom still means a lot to both of us, and I don't think dad ever really got over it. I've spent so long trying to understand what happened, but I guess there is nothing to understand.

My mom is gone, and when it's her birthday it doesn't ever feel right.

Dad and I visited her at the mausoleum. With the falling of the graveyard into the sinkhole, people around here simply stopped burying the dead and made it a practice to cremate them. It's better for storage I suppose, and means that their ashes can be placed somewhere where the ground won't give way. I heard they are still working on building space for all those people who were killed a year ago.

I hear their bodies take longer to burn than normal.

There is a spot for flowers. The community decided that it was just wasteful for people to burn through flowers by cutting them, so there is a memorial garden now where people can plant their loved one's favorite flowers or plants. We sat there for a little while. My dad didn't say very much. My mom's flowers haven't begun to bloom yet, but we didn't want to wait a few weeks for that to happen.

Easier to explain to his work that it was his dead wife's birthday.

I know it's a little morbid, but I don't really see the point of celebrating it anymore. I know she meant a lot to us both, but it just feels like we are rubbing salt in the wound at this point. Mom wouldn't have wanted us to do that. She wasn't that sort of person. But my dad insists on it. Sometimes I wonder if he does it as an excuse so that he doesn't have to think about getting back out there. I've told him several times it wouldn't bother me. I even tried setting him up with one of my friends mom, but it didn't pan out.

I think it is hard when your mom was murdered. It kinda changes things for you. I try to see it the way other people do, but I just can't manage it. People get sick or bad things happen, but this...it just feels different for me. I suppose maybe it is just another excuse for me to keep myself feeling abnormal, but I just can't hold a conversation with people about it. People just don't understand what it feels like, and it just sinks most conversations when I bring it up.

In fact, I think you are the first person I have mentioned it to in over a year now. Not even my co-workers know. It isn't like people have their parents visit them at work or anything, and I do talk about my dad quite a bit. I suppose no one has put it together.

I think that I kinda felt I could tell you since you know what it feels like. I mean, your mom wasn't murdered or anything, but you know what it feels like to have it just be you and your dad.

It's cool you get to study abroad. I mean, I know right now really isn't the best of times, but it still sounds fun in principle lol. I really don't normally think about traveling really. I know for you Europeans it is kinda normal for you to travel, but I have really never felt the need to. This place just feels like my home, you know. Everything I need is right here, and now that I have my dream job I just don't see a reason to do so.
I am pretty sure I could study this place for the rest of my life and still not know everything. It doesn't hurt that most of the things here are a dead end, and that that dead end often leaves you heading in another direction entirely. It's like a coil of mystery, and it doesn't have an end.

It's been raining for days now. When it rains, our house seems almost like it is breathing. It creaks and moans, and the basement often floods when it gets bad enough. We keep everything in the basement on top of two sets of pallets a piece. Sometimes it isn't enough and we have to bring everything upstairs. A couple years ago we forgot to and ended up losing a lot of stuff. Thankfully my mom had some forethought and kept all the really valuable things in sealed containers.

So far the flooding hasn't been too bad, but it supposed to be weeks before they suspect the chance of rain to drop off.

I'm lucky that my window is facing west. Means I tend to get those nice rainy breezes, even if I sometimes need to towel off the window once the storm has passed.

My uncle called me today to wish us a happy birthday. He doesn't get our tradition of celebrating it either, but to his credit he still makes the call every year. He was funny this time. I told him about the new job and it got him talking. I think he wants to be included in the history of the place, but I don't think hunting stories from out of state are something they are looking for.

So, the story is weird, but what story from here isn't? It was fall, and he was out hunting with a friend of his. I guess they aren't friends now. Apparently they had a falling out. I am only mentioning it because he seemed to think it was super important lol.

So, him and his buddy are out hunting in Wisconsin. He wouldn't name where. Apparently he didn't have the necessary permits, and I guess he doesn't trust me not to tell on him. So they go out, but there is something wrong about it. Like, my uncle loves hunting, so if he says something was off I believe him. They were there all day, but they just couldn't find anything that seemed worth their time. All the animals seemed off to him, and a lot of them seemed sick.

Well, eventually they get tired of waiting for something good to come along, and they spot a doe come into their line of sight. They were up in a tree stand and were down wind, so they were set up for the perfect shot. His buddy was getting antsy, and so he let him take it. It was cold that day, and he could see the wisps of breathe coming out of it. But the breathing wasn't right. It was like it would start breathing, then forget to finish, then start again. He went to mention it when his buddy took the shot.

Thing fell as pretty as you please, and before he could say anything about it his friend had started heading down the tree towards the kill. My uncle took his time getting down, but by the time he reached the bottom he was hurrying because his buddy was swearing up a storm.

So my uncle shows up and his friend is complaining that the meat is no good, and that they fucked the entire day just to get a kill they couldn't use. My uncle didn't really get what he was saying. After all, like he said, they weren't exactly going by regulations. But my uncle looks down, and he gets what his buddy was on about.

The body of the doe looked like it had been here for weeks. There were maggots and decomposing tissue, and where its guts were it looked like something had had their way with them. My uncle couldn't figure it out, nor could he figure out why his buddy seemed to be more concerned about the fact they couldn't use it, instead of worrying about the strange and horrific condition of the carcass.

He knew what he saw, and he swears up and down that he isn't lying, though my uncle has been known to throw around some tall tales. He says that after that, things between him and his buddy just got weirder, and now they don't talk at all.

The thing is, I know my uncle lies, but he seemed so convinced by it.

He swears he saw the thing they took a shot at walking around on its own legs.

But that couldn't be possible. By all accounts the thing had died long before they got to it.

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Sat, 02 May 2020 18:11:00 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-moms-birthday
Unknown Location "The Show" http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/unknown-location-the-show “The sick feeling has come back. It happens every time I watch the show. By the time it is finished my stomach feels like it is trying to eat itself. I hate that feeling, but week after week I watch the show anyway. I delete recordings, but by the time the urge comes back the recordings have returned too. I have tried breaking my television. I am on my third one. I just can't seem to stop myself.

I have to know what happens to me.

The opening causes me to scream every time. It is those eyes in the wood. They seem to appear at random. Sometimes they appear at the start. Sometimes it isn't till the end. But somehow it always is when I least expect them.

The title card starts, along with the episode number and name. Sometimes it relates to the episode. Sometimes it doesn't. They aren't in order so it is hard for me to tell. The plots only seem to come together when I sleep.

I have to pretend like everything is alright. I talked about it to my therapist and they put me in a hospital. I don't want to go back there. They make me take things that make me drowsy. That only makes the dreams worse. By my final day there I was vomiting in my sleep. They never figured out why. But eventually my insurance stopped paying and I had to leave.

I feel like crying. I know what I am doing is madness, that I must be sick. There is nothing about the show that has a hold over me. I am just losing my mind.

Writing about it seems to help out. I don't know why. Maybe it just helps me process things. It is so very hard to understand what is happening. By now I can't seem to remember ever not watching the show. Even as a child I can remember it being my favorite. I think my memories are wrong. There is no way they are right.

I just want my stomach to stop hurting.

It doesn't know my name. At least I don't think it does. It has gotten to the point where I can't remember my name either. Sometimes I check my credit card or driver's license, but it seems to change. Today my name is Emily. Yesterday it was Amber. Things seem to get confused easily. I am worried that there is something really wrong, that this is just part of something bigger. Or maybe this is just how my madness is.

I leave my house after watching the show. Go for a walk. My stomach feels like it is rotting inside me. I walk until I am exhausted then head home. That seems to help too. If I am too tired I don't dream as much. The people at work are worried, but I convinced them a while ago I was better. I can't let them know that was a lie, at how much I've hidden.

If I do, they won't believe me when I tell them it has come back. In episode 393 I tell them all about it. The show and the sick feel coming back. I tell them, and the yellow eyes come. They kills them one by one. It piles them in a room and forces me to sleep there. It wants me to know there is a cost. That is why I can't tell them. I don't want them to die.

Maybe if I tell them, they won't die. Maybe the show is lying to me. But I don't know. Today I am Emily and that is all I know. Sometimes my parents are dead and sometimes they are divorced. Sometimes I am orphan and sometimes I am the youngest child.

The show always comes back into my life. The longest I went without it was three months. I remember what it felt like when I was watching TV with my 22nd sister. I cried harder than I ever have before. I had forgotten it, but it didn't want to be forgotten.

I don't want to be forgotten.

By the gods...I think this must sound insane. But I need to write about it. I just want the pain to stop even for a little bit. I have tried dying, but it never works. I know when I die. The show showed me. Episode 1,745. I think it is that day that I die because it is the largest number. But maybe I come back. Maybe it was a dream. Maybe that is all I am. Am I just dreaming? I wish I was just dreaming.

I want to wake up. I hope I am not dreaming.

Time is slower in dreams then in real life. All of this...could be one long nightmare.

I miss my eighth mom. She was really nice to me.

I wonder if she misses me too.

Maybe she is a dream. Or I am the dream. I feel sick. So sick. Writing normally works but it is getting worse. Gods why won't I just die? I am so tired of being ill. Just please let it stop. Just let tomorrow be the day I die. Please. Or wake up. Please. Something. I am so sick. I want my mom.

The show is on now.

I have to stop typing.

Need to watch the show.”

People have started sending me letters to my house. My house isn't part of public record, and my dad and I use a P.O. Box for all important mail.

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Sat, 25 Apr 2020 18:15:46 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/unknown-location-the-show
Museum "The New Arrival" http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/museum-the-new-arrival The work on the new exhibits is coming along nicely, and I think we will be open to the public soon. Erik said they contemplated shutting down until this sickness thing passes, but they came to the conclusion that the work we do here is too important. I am not sure how cataloging history is important enough that it couldn't wait a few months, but I suppose I am just thankful that I still have a job. I'm lucky the museum is not for profit because I would be the first to go lol.

I joked with Erik about that, but he insisted that wouldn't happen. He said I was too valuable to let go, which was nice.

Erik says I am doing a great job, and has been giving me regular quizzes in preparation of me starting to do tours. The anthropology classes I took in college have really been coming through for me here. Not all the information concerning the objects are kept in the displays. That creates incentive for people to pay for the tour instead of just wander on their own. Obviously for the time,tours have been put on hold but the work I do now will go a long way later.

I keep needing to remind myself I need to slow down, but it's hard when I actually enjoy the work. My doctor upped one of my meds, and I am supposed to take it easy while I get used to the effects.

It snowed a little last night. Lately it has been hard for me to keep up with all the changes in the weather. I try to plan what I am going to wear at the start of the week, but April is being her usual self and changing stuff on a moments notice. It's frustrating, but not too out of the ordinary. Got my dad to bundle up for once. I bought him a coat for Christmas and the weather was right at the point where he would have to wear it.

We received a new object today. I was the only one at the front when it arrived so I was able to be around when the supervisor opened the box. There was a small doll inside, about four inches tall and made out of sandstone. I guessed Mesopotamian, but Eric said it was actually made locally. It was done in a style similar to a fertility goddess, with overly developed breasts and sexual organs. One thing that made it stand out was that it seemed to be in the form of Echidna, the mother of monsters. It's legs were in the form of snakes and had hair that seemed to have come from a horse.

There was a note with it, and though it didn't provide any insight, it was interesting.

“I know what this looks like, and you aren't wrong to judge me for it. I have tried everything I can, but nothing seemed to work. Fertility treatments left me feeling frustrated, and there was nothing to show for it. So...I get it if this looks strange, and I need you to understand why I did what I did. But I can't hold onto this thing anymore, and I certainly can't destroy it.

Just take care of it. Hide it. Keep it out of the way. But please don't destroy it.

I didn't think it would work. It was simply my last shot before giving up.

My baby arrived on a Tuesday.

I haven't figured out its gender, if it even has a gender. It was midnight when I heard a knock at my door. I don't know how I heard it from all the way upstairs, but somehow I did. Like it was announcing its arrival. Sleep and walls wouldn't keep me from knowing. As I went down the stairs I could feel my heart thundering in my chest.

Somehow I knew that my efforts had been rewarded.

A mother always knows.

I turned on the porch light, and whatever was on the porch hissed.

Opening the door took some effort, like I was trying to convince myself it was the right thing to do. I heard a gurgling on the other side of the door, and a murmur in some language I couldn't understand. My curiosity got the best of me. I couldn't leave it out there alone.

It looked up at me with eyes the color of blood. Its skin is the color of shadows and it smells of roses and asphalt. It looked up at me, and I couldn't feel that bond I knew I needed to feel. That bond women get criticized for for not having. It is all just part of my nerves being frayed.

After two weeks, I had hoped I would have grown into loving my little thing. It still murmurs things in languages I don't know, but it has picked up some words I do. It never smiles, just purrs and chirps like a wild animal. But I know it loves me. I know it needs me.

It does not want me to ever let it go, and I know deep down I never could. It is my baby, the light of my world cast in the color of night. But I also know that temptation is a terrible thing.

So please, keep it safe, and most of all, keep it in tact.

I don't know what would happen if the statue would break, but I knew I had to get it away just to make sure I never found out. It has been six months, and I am proud to say that it is walking on its own and has started to speak in sentences, even if I don't understand all of it. I tried formula at first, but it didn't seem to care for it. It shed its skin the other day. Rats just make more sense. I feed them to it, and it eats them whole.

Its been six months, and that connection still isn't there. But I will be patient, and I will do the best I can to be the mother this little thing of darkness needs.

It is only a matter of time.

I will learn to love it.

Just like it loves me.”

We haven't quite decided what we are going to do with the object. The curator thinks it would make a fun display, but Eric thinks the object is a bit too private a matter to be put on display. I agree, so realistically you are likely the only one other than the people who I work with that will ever know about it. At least for now.

I asked Eric if this is the only one of these things he has ever seen.

He simply winked at me, as if somehow that would explain everything. I'm not too sure what that means, or if I really ever want to find out.

P.S.

Thank you for the wonderful treats you sent me. I haven't really gotten to travel much abroad, so it was a nice change of pace. I hope you will send some pictures from your next correspondence. I imagine you probably can't travel too much right now, but send me a picture, even if is only the view from your window lol.

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Sat, 18 Apr 2020 18:51:09 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/museum-the-new-arrival
Building 11 "A Love of Storms" http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-a-love-of-storms Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the rain. I remember sitting on the porch with my dad, listening to it come in as the cars would drive by, creating that unique sound of rainwater being parted as they passed. The smell on the wind and the feel of the air on my skin is always something I relish. It's muggy and misty, but some days it is a little cold and just a little bit biting. Those are the best days. To this day I can't help but run outside when it rains, no mater how bad it is. The feel of rainwater running down my face and the sounds of the storm are relaxing to me. It's that shifting rush, that sort of churning of sound I enjoy. It's like the rain is the encroaching surf at the beach, but much louder when it really gets going.

When I got older my dad and I made a special drink together, for the days when the storms came in and the sky darkens. It is one shot of gin, thirty seconds thereabouts of the rainwater, some green olives and a little bit of mint. It is briny and bites a little, but is a perfect combination when relaxing on a porch during a thunderstorm.

The only nights where my night terrors seemed to mostly subside were the nights when it stormed. I would leave the window open in my room, listening the storm as I fell asleep. To this day I use videos of storms and the like when I am having trouble falling asleep.

I would still see that thing lurking in my room, but the smell of the rain would seem to wash out the smell of the creature. On those nights its presence didn't bother me too much. It was almost like having company, like a sleepover. Maybe that's a little silly looking back on it, but you dream of the same thing long enough and the feelings get complicated.

It's been years since my last fit of night terrors, and even longer since I was able to recall my dreams. My doctor and I tend to keep up with my medicine, though I doubt it matters at this point. According to what I read and from what my doctor said, most people tend to outgrow those sort of things.

Even if I stopped my medicine cold turkey I doubt I would have those visions again.

Better safe than sorry I think.

One time I got really sick. I was in high school and I got something that just knocked me in my ass. The medicine I got put on had a complication with the medicine I take at night. The doctors tried to find alternatives, but we just settled on the idea that we would simply have me stop my medicine for a few weeks while I was recovering. It had been years since I had last had issues.

I didn't think it would be a problem.

It was a few days before my medicine fully worked its way out of my system. It had been a nice few days weather wise, but then the skies opened up. It was like the storm appeared out of nowhere. None of the meteorologists had mentioned it on the news. But night came, and it was one of the worst storms we ever had. The rain came down so thick I couldn't even see out my window, and the thunder caused the windows to rattle.

At around twelve I woke up. Or at least I dreamed I woke up. The rain was still going, but it had calmed a little, and I could hear the cars passing by outside. I went to get up, but I stopped when I noticed something large, lingering in the dark.

The smell, that terrible smell of sewage and ink seemed to be everywhere. At first I thought it was just from the thing in the corner. That thing that had haunted me so many nights. But...the smell and the sounds weren't coming from it.

I could hear a heavy, ragged breathing, and its form was rising and falling in time, but the sounds were coming from behind me.

My sheets were wet, and at first I thought it was from sweat, but then I realized that the mattress was depressed, lifting a little on my side of the bed. I turned around, and I saw another one of those things looking at me. It was dark, but even though its oily, stringy hair I could see its eyes. It was muttering something under its breath which smelled of rotting fish, and as it spoke it slowly inched closer and closer to me.

Its skin was damp and cold. Even though it wasn't touching me, I could feel the chill in the air. The rain pattered on the roof, and the I could hear the sound of the one in the corner walking across the room. The floor creaked and groaned, and I began to cry as the thing was now close enough for our noses to be touching. As it breathed its head shook, a deep wheezing reverberating through its body.

I tried to scream, but no sound came out. I screamed and screamed, my throat getting hoarse and my lungs burning. But no sound came out. And I realized the thing wasn't talking. It was giggling.

I launched myself off my bed and rushed for my door. The handle was cold and it took a few pulls but I managed to open it. The hall light was on, but the shadows seemed deeper than they should be. The light barely seemed to illuminate at all. I ran for the stairs. I had to get out of the house, and I managed to reach the top of the stairs.

But there was another one coming up the steps.

I turned, and the other two were in the hallway now. I tried to get to the bathroom, but the one from my bed grabbed hold of me. Their flesh felt like it would slough off, but I couldn't pull away. Then I tried to look away, looking down the stairs, but I couldn't look down the stairs. The thing was at the top of the stairs, and it towered over me, its hair reaching all the way down to where I was on the floor.

The one closed in, and it wrapped its arms around me. I couldn't breathe. It wouldn't let me breathe. I felt like I would die.

But then I woke up. I was in my bed, but my side felt like it was on fire.

My sheets were soaked through, and I was covered in grime. I found out later I had broken a rib and dislocated my shoulder while tussling about in my sleep. To this day my movement isn't too good, and sometimes my rib comes loose for weeks at a time.

I got back on my medicine, and I haven't been off it since. It was the last time I saw the thing in my room, but it was the worst one of all.

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Sat, 11 Apr 2020 18:30:11 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-a-love-of-storms
Museum "The Theater" http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/museum-the-theater “Who are we compared to it? I don't know. But if what it claims is true, then we really are alone.

I first encountered it in a dream. It seems to permeate everything, and manifests everywhere. I have found it spoken of in google images, and in pictures from over fifty years ago. It shows up in television broadcasts from the 60's and in images from Mars.

It seems that there is no place in time or any medium where it cannot produce itself into a tangible form. But despite this, it refuses to reveal its nature. It simply wishes to critique our own, to declare our inadequacy in comparison to it. Reality as we understand it is not real. Time is not real. We might as well be a static painting that it observes, a finished product that fails to impress.

That is how it sees the universe, and it seems that no matter what form it takes, we are left with little knowledge of it. Of what it wants or needs, or if it even really needs anything at all. The ancients had a name for it, but that name is only a modern creation. In reality, it is far older, if age even is a thing for it.

I dreamed of my home town, in upstate New York. I was going to a movie with a girl I was familiar with back then. Her name was Melissa. She had a wonderful smell that reached me, even in the stink of the theater. She smelled of strawberries and cigarettes.

I didn't watch the movie. I was too caught up in her. She was close in a way that made you intimately aware of heat and sensation. I reached out for her hand, and I felt her fingers wrap around my own. My heart felt my heart leap in my chest as the softness of her hands, the heat of her fingers and the sweat of mine became my entire world. I looked up at her, looking towards her eyes, searching for a kiss.

Her face froze in a smile, and a waited for her to lean in. But she didn't move. Her eyes remained fixed on my own, but her body did not move. The dream...it wasn't a dream anymore. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched as the figure stood, three rows in front of me. Slowly, it made its way over towards me, its form like an overexposed photograph, and my eyes began to ache at the sight of it. A pain began to rise along the edges of my skull, as a dull ringing began to rise and fall in my ears.

I closed my eyes, but it did not help. Its image was imprinted upon my vision, like closing your eyes after looking into the sun. And yet I could discern no details of its body, and soon stopped trying as the effort caused my head to ache even worse.

“What pathetic dreams you have,” it stated flatly. “All the possibilities of the mind, and all you muster are the wishes of the past.”

It stood over me, heat like a furnace poring off it in waves. My stomach lurched as the smell of broken batteries and burning plastic overwhelmed me. I could feel its eyes on the side of my cheek, even as I tried to look away.

“What small minds. No wonder you have been abandoned..”

I felt my flesh blistering and splitting as its hand grabbed my face, forcing me to face it. I kept my eyes closed, but it didn't care. My refusal to look at it made no difference, because even behind closed eyelids the light coming off of it caused my eyes sting.

“I won't let you forget this. You must spread your pain.”

I felt its fingers push as my eyelids blistered and separated. I felt its fingers scorching and burning the sockets as I tried to grab its hands, to pull it away. But it only caused my hands to burn, its grip immovable.

I screamed for what felt like minutes, and then the burning stopped all at once. The cold of my room came to me as I woke up, my eyes scanning the room, looking for danger.

But there wasn't anything visible. Just a pain pounding in my skull.

You are going to dream of it. I know this to be true. It lingers in thoughts and ideas, and transfers from medium to medium. Every person it visits lessens my pain, and I know I am wrong to seek out more souls for it to torment. But I need everyone to see what I have seen. I need to tell people what it has told me.

We are alone in all of this. We have failed.

We are burning. These is our death throws.

The final shudders of life before it is all taken away.”

This letter, a set of photographs, and a strange sculpture are all part of one of the newest exhibits at the Wellington Street Historical. I asked my boss. He said it was okay to share. It's creepy stuff, but really interesting. Whoever put this together really had an eye for arrangement. It's another legend onto the pile, though I doubt I would react to it even if I could.

My medicine prevents my night terrors, but it also suppresses my dreams, or more specifically my memory of my dreams. Its been years since I remembered one, but that doesn't bother me too much. I had some friends in school who claim they use dreams as guidance and inspiration. They were fun, if a little strange. They wanted me to get off my medicine. But I can't do that.

People who don't have my conditions don't understand what it is like to wake up and feel like there is some terrible horror in your room. They don't understand just how much fear that creates in someone.

I'm glad to have finally received a letter from you. Germany must be beautiful this time of year. I never got to travel much when was in school. I hope you will send me some pictures while you are there. I hear the forests there are breathtaking.

So far I am really enjoying myself at my new job. I'm not used to being on my feet that long, but it is really amazing how much energy you have when you are doing something you enjoy.

I'll make sure to send you some more pictures of the neighborhood. With all that has been going on this week I have forgotten to keep up with it. Oh! So, a man came in with his service dog the other day. Turns out the place my dad and I have been living at the last few years used to be theirs. They were both missing an eye. Poor things. I suppose it works out that they were able to find each other.

Life is strange like that.

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Thu, 02 Apr 2020 00:14:03 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/museum-the-theater
Building 11 "The New Employee" http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-the-new-employee I am excited for my first day. I can't really say when I decided I wanted to do it. Probably always been something I was at least interested in. But now that it is staring me in the face, I am pleased to say that though I am nervous I don't feel any doubt about my choice.

The Wellington Street Historical Society. I don't know many places that get their own museum, let alone a stretch of road. But this place is special. I've known that ever since I was little. And now I get to be a part in preserving the history of it for future generations.

My boss is really nice. His name is Eric, and he really seems as excited about preservation as I am. Not that I get to handle anything big for now. That comes later. At least I hope so. For now I just am supposed to get familiar with the displays and get to know the layout for when visitors come.

It is...strange for someone my age to be so interested in stuff like this. But it is my calling.

I feel it in my bones. There is something in this place that has always drawn me here.

Like I belong.

Mom and dad used to take me here when I was little. I will never forget the first time I set eyes on the place. I was eight at the time, and it was a bright sunny day. The place smells of history, but not the sort like you would find in most museums. Objects like these smell like mold and damp earth. It is not something that most people find comforting, but I loved it immediately. Even now, all I need to do it step through the front door and I just...smile.

I guess most people get that way about book stores.

My dad took me out to lunch today. There is a new sub shop that just opened up. It isn't bad, and gave us a chance to talk. He hasn't been home much lately. Says that there is a lot of stuff he has been dealing with at work. Lots of planning, not much doing, and a lot of dealing with people that annoy him. He says he might stop by my work after I have had time to settle in. There are some new displays they are setting up, so he at least won't be doing it solely for my benefit.
It will be nice practice, and it will be nice to get to spend some time in this place again with him. But I am getting a little ahead of myself. Haven't even started yet. Who knows what it will likely be like?

Eric says that I seem to be perfect for this sort of work. After he gave me the job I asked him what sold him. He said that I was simply over qualified. Wasn't expecting that answer to be honest. He said most kids decide to do this as summer work. They learn what they need to know, do the tours and move on. Can't say he is wrong when he says I am different.

I love the history of this place. It such a strange microcosm of all the things that I think make living in the city interesting. There is of course access to the theater and stuff like that, but it is also the interesting tidbits that tend to be forgotten or go unrecorded in a more rural place. And this stretch of road is unlike anywhere else. Local legends don't happen as much in the city, but here they are everywhere.

I remember when I was a kid I went to the local market after it closed, and laid down in the empty isle. Legend says that it is kept empty on purpose, and if you lay there at night that you can hear the dead. I did it with Betty and Danny years ago, but didn't hear anything. It was fun though. Felt kinda like saying bloody Mary in the mirror or something like that. It was frightening, but mostly because we weren't supposed to be in there.

That's why I am so excited. It just feels like my life has led up to this. I know it might sound stupid or silly, but when I catch the scent of the museum I just feel calm in a way I can't quite explain.

Here I am again, getting ahead of myself. First job jitters I guess.

I wrote to my anthropology teacher, Mr. B, and he said he was really proud of me. Big words coming from the guy who literally kicked a student out of his class for listening to music during a lecture. His wife passed away recently, and I have tried keeping in touch with him. Not sure how professional that is, but I can remember when I younger there were those kids who would come into class to visit their old teachers.

I always wanted to have a teacher like that.

All through school it always seemed that teachers always had other favorites. Guess I just hoped I would find one before I graduated college. I don't think I am his favorite, but he is at least nice enough to write me back.

Speaking of Betty and Danny, I found out that they started dating. Only took them ten years lol.

Anyways, I should probably get some sleep. I have a big day tomorrow and I sure as hell don't want to be late on my first day. I hope you are doing well, and that you liked the little somethin somethin I sent with my last letter. I hope you are able to reach a computer soon. Writing a letter is nice in an old fashioned sort of way, but would enjoy getting to hear from you more quickly.

Take care.

Hope to hear from you soon.

P.S.

Yes, I do use sleep medicine and even did a sleep study when I was younger. I used to have night terrors when I was a kid, but I take medicine to help with that. I don't have to worry about seeing a monster hunched by my bed, but I also don't sleep very well. Oh well. That's what coffee is for lol.

It's strange, even after all these years I remember the smell of the things hair. It was like the ink you find in Manga from Japan. It was super pungent, and I wouldn't eat breakfast when I was a kid because my stomach was too upset. I still feel a heavy panic when I get near that smell, and use Vics VapoRub whenever I am reading them.

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Sat, 28 Mar 2020 23:39:47 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/building-11-the-new-employee
Consumer of Nightmares http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/consumer-of-nightmares "It crouches over me as I slumber, waiting for the dreams to start. It doesn't arrive until I sleep, but I know it is around all the same. Sometimes there a sound of breathing where there shouldn't be. Maybe a bit of drool that I didn't create. But more than anything, I can tell it has been here because of the nightmares.

It loves it when I have bad dreams.

Feeding off all the bad inside me would seem to be a good thing. Half the time I forget what was upsetting me or why. But that's the problem. I need to know why. When those bad feelings go away, there is a gaping hole where pain and resentment are supposed to go. Pain is not something we are supposed to have, but once it is there, once it has dug into us and settled under the skin, I think the worst thing you can do is to try and push it out.

Because this cold, evil thing feeds on nightmares, and it gets bored.

So it feeds me the bad stuff. The paranoia about my family and friends and those I love. I steals all the good and trust and happiness, just so it can feel full.

Some people call it a figment of my imagination. I really wish that were true. One time, I tried to prove that to myself. I pretended to be sleeping just to see if I could get a good look at it. But it followed me to the hospital, and I haven't tried to confront it since then. The scars in my chest still hurt no matter how much pain medicine I take.

I decided this thing needed a name. Naming things can be dangerous, but it can also help solidify our enemy.

Its called the Leer, a silly, childlike name. But I couldn't find a better word for it.

Because when I saw it with my own two eyes, I realized that though I had hoped to catch it off guard, that was never going to happen. Because it is always watching, waiting for me to be stupid enough to take another good look at it. But I learned my lesson.

I fight it how I can.

When I am not alone it tends to stay away. It tends to come back harder the following days, but the night of rest is enough.

Tonight though, things are different. No matter how hard I try I cannot fall asleep. I type away, always focused on the screen of the laptop. It peaks over the edges, and I have try hard not to look at it, its face illuminated in dull light. I know it is smiling. It is waiting for me to close the laptop so it can hurt me again.

And I know it will once I stop writing. The Leer doesn't like it when I talk about it. The bad memories of it are the only thing it won't take away, even if sometimes I would like it to. I just want to be free of the pain. If I am going to be free, if I am going to be distracted and distorted then why doesn't it just take all of it? Why leave behind the suffering it causes? It confuses me, because if it is fueled by nightmares like I think it is, then the pain it creates must be the worst of it.

That is the terrible truth of it.

I have good days and bad days. I have watched people fade and had my heart broken. I have had times where I thought I would simply die with all the anguish inside of me that was welling up. But even though I have suffered in ways no one should have to, it still finds ways to hurt me more. No matter how bad it gets, it always makes it worse.

And it is worse.

Its eyes flicker with light in the dark. It loves watching me tremble.

I can't stop shaking.

Gods...I just want a good nights sleep.

But the moment I stop writing it is going to hurt me again. I have no where to escape to, no place to run. Not tonight at least.

This may sound like madness and maybe it is. But please understand that even if I have become entrapped by something of my creation, know that I am trying so so hard to fight back. I am doing everything I can. But there are days when everything isn't enough to make things right. Some days, it wins no matter what you do.

Like tonight.

Tonight it gets its victory. It will claw and tear into me until I feel like I will die. And then it will hurt me more, just so I understand how little I understand pain.

Morning will come, and when it does I will have my life again.

But first I need to have the nightmares it so desperately craves.

It won't let me wake until it is full.

I don't want to sleep.

Because I am alone tonight, and it can't help but smile as I hurt.

It looks like a rotting thing, flesh hanging off of it, keeping it from blinking.

It thinks it is beautiful.

I suppose it is.

I've done everything I can, and it isn't enough.

Help me. Someone please help me.

Please..."

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Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:45:54 +0000 http://sett.com/wellingtonstreet/consumer-of-nightmares