I found it in the floorboards under the bed. Hidden away for reasons I can't understand. The space under the floorboards smells funny. The book itself is black. The inside lining is a coal colored gray. It contains the previous residents notes, all his research. Not on the supernatural things he claimed lived here. I knew about those. But the human elements. That stuff is new. All his research about the real monsters. People like The Surgeon. Hidden away, like it was something he couldn't look at but couldn't throw away. If I didn't know it to be impossible, I would think that he hid the book so that I could not find it.
It is warmer now. Things aren't as bad as they were. The snow is gone, and the air is starting to smell of something closer to natural. There is the scent of rot from the fall, mixed with sewage in places. But mostly the smell of melted snow.
More people are walking around. A woman passed by me today. All dressed up. She smelled of chlorine. People are walking their dogs. Will even let you pet them if you ask. And I even saw the sun today, peeking through the branches. But I feel heavy in a way I haven't felt in a long time, and I am finding it hard to look forward. I keep thinking about the pages upon pages of the book that I read. The parts about my wife's killer.
And what I found disturbed me and makes me have to work hard to hear the birds in the morning.
I have tried to convince the police, but they don't want to hear it. The previous author pissed off a lot of people around here, and the fact he discovered these things means I am dismissed right away. But if he is right...I just don't know.
I have tried to make peace with my life. I really have. But whenever I write I seem to get stuck on that psychopath. I really do try to forget him. Sometimes, I even forget he exists at all and can just have a normal day. A normal life.
Then I see something. It doesn't take much really.
The previous resident thinks that this has been going on much longer than the first victim that was found. That man found bound in stitches on the floor.
How do I let this go? How do people move on from something like this. It would be different if she had just been shot or something like that. But she was butchered. And I hear the way people talk. That what that freak does has never killed anyone. But I know that is bullshit. My wife died when he took his knife to her. Even if the damage to her skin could have been fixed, I saw her in the hospital.
She wasn't herself anymore. Just polished bone and an endless stare.
I feel like I am going in circles sometimes. That I am just stuck here and it is all my fault. I wasn't exactly healthy before my wife died. You just see things you aren't supposed to, and that is enough. Some people can handle things like that. Others like me, just can't. Maybe we aren't supposed to.
I got a call from my daughter today. She had heard that...he...was back. She was worried about me. I haven't seen my kids in weeks, and the first word I hear from is asking how I am doing. She got off the phone when her Aunt got home. She still doesn't like me talking to them. It was good to hear from my daughter all the same. She said that Nicholas was okay, and then hung up.
They are good kids. I told her I would be okay. I am sure I will be. I just need time. I have been through worse. I just need to calm down. This book. I put it back under the floorboards and drove some nails in to keep me from getting at it easily. I suppose...I can't get rid of it. But I can try to put it out of my mind. To keep myself from obsessing over it. So I don't end up like him.
I'm just tired. I feel unhelpful. And I keep getting those damn letters. People looking for me to help them or just listen to their stories. I didn't want stories. I just moved here to get a normal life. But maybe I don't get to have that. Maybe none of us get to have that and that is just how it is.
I find it hard to talk about. What happened I mean. I have mentioned some of it, but there is so much I have left out. I do it on purpose because I don't think people would understand if I told them. And I don't want to be some curiosity. I haven't forgotten why I started writing this. The doctor said it would help if I got things out. And it has. But I'm worried that people reading this do so because of the sick bits. The parts when I describe something awful.
The fact is I think I am having a hard time with this. People writing to me. People wanting to know things about what happened without understanding why that is bad idea. I just want it out and gone. And it isn't. But that is the way it is. It takes time.
I'm taking Margaret to a play this weekend. It has been the first time we have done something like that in a long time. I know she will like it. She loves stuff like that. And maybe what I need is to just be closer to her.
Just get my mind off of everything.