Excerpt from a lost soldier's journal:
saturday: our first descent toward madness (1 pm)
i can feel something scratching the inside of my skull. droning histrionics and screeching voices duel it out like my brain is a playground. i can't get rid of this low-frequency hum that acts like a monarch overseeing the activities. in the great battlefields of my psyche, i am but a pawn. my job is to lay down my body for the cause, and i oblige because any choice i have in the matter was taken from me long ago. these voices jump out of the dark, murky swamps of feedback, like a once white dove now covered in the blackest tar. there once was life here. once...
tuesday: birds of a feather (3 am)
horror movies are fiction. wes craven is an artist, not a prophet. at least, that's what hollywood would have you believe. i am stranded here in the depths of this haunted forest. it's like a nightmare. each night, strange sounds emanate from every direction. the noises start from the east, so i fire my rifle in their direction. for a few moments, it stops. then it comes back, louder than before, but from the south. they're all around me, and i don't know what they're waiting for. before i was blown off course as i parachuted in from 15,000 feet, i was the predator. now, i am the prey.
i am alone.
wednesday: groaning trees (9 am)
last night, i swear the trees were breathing. their breath smelled of sulfur, and their voices rose and fell with the wind blowing in from the northwest. as they moved and breathed in conjunction with one another, the effect was eerie. it was like this horrible, insane choir. it was organic; it sounded as though it was being pulled from the depths of earth and shot into the night air. there's something else out there, too. i see animals sometimes during the day, but they look like something from dr. moreau's island. i've seen three different deer, and none had four legs or two eyes. they would just watch me, though. my senses are heightened; i can hear them breathe from 100 yards away. when they get close, it sounds like a wheezing freight train.
wednesday: when the wind blows, the cradle will rock (10 pm)
i was trying to eat something and kept hearing a child's voice beckon from the south. i went outside and could see glowing green eyes staring at me. i called out to it, and it howled. i fired two shots in its direction and it screamed and started moving toward me. as it crept closer, it unleashed a wall of sound like nothing i'd ever heard. it brought me to my knees. my ears bled. i closed my eyes, preparing for the worst. thirty seconds passed and it stopped. i opened my eyes and the forest was covered in bright red blood. i must be dead. this must be hell.
friday: calling all locusts (11 am)
what are the seven signs of armageddon? i can't remember. maybe this is some kind of fucked up segue to the rapture. i don't know. things were quiet for most of the night, but i think it was the calm before the storm. tonight, my gut says it?s over. i could hear some foreign sounds early this morning, like metal being crushed by tremendous pressure. there was some kind of rotary saw being used, but i couldn't tell on what. it was like the entire industrial revolution packed into 15 long, loud minutes. fuck you, adam smith.
saturday: my only friend... (midnight)
yes. this is the last night i'll spend here. i'm making a beeline west until i'm out of this wretched place. if i don't make it, fine. i'd rather be killed than spend another night in this death-ridden spot. the stench of rotting flesh has overcome me today. it's as if the ground is made of decomposing corpses. i hear distant tribal drumming coming in from the north. it's inching closer. thousands of wailing voices rise toward the tree tops, but the canopy is so thick that no sound can escape. i could scream, but that would only give away my location. the trees are screaming as if they're on fire. the voices are growing louder and louder. i can't take this anymore. i've got to get out. i must escape. i am afraid. my madness is the real winner here. at my most lucid, i'm out of my fucking mind. goodbye darkness. we shan't meet again.
sunday: endings (3 pm)
sunlight. i surrender. break the glasses in celebration. i am yours. 8/10 -- Brad Rose (25 May, 2005)