Something is wrong.
Something is very wrong.
I always knew there was something going on just behind stage left, and somewhere up above in this grand theatre of life, someone has started turning on lights, and I tell you what... this isn’t Romeo and Juliet, it isn’t Cats either, it’s a fucking freak show.
Campus has been sliding downhill since the explosion at STIG, and between last night and tonight, things have gotten much fucking worse. We can’t leave Hall E right now. There are too many undead outside on campus.
At about three am last night I woke up from an exceptionally fucking strange dream. In the dream I was sitting in a fairly small white room with two other people in it with me. We were arranged around a small, white round table, and in the center of that table there were three items. The first item was a gleaming silver sword. The second item was a small book. The third item was some kind of religious symbol. I think it was either a cross, or maybe a Star of David. But it could’ve been a statue of Buddha too. I don’t remember now. I just remember it was religious or something.
I remember looking at the two other people sitting at the table with me, but I can’t remember who they were. I remember now that they looked very familiar, but for the life of me I simply cannot place their names or faces. We couldn’t have been more than three feet from one another, but no matter how loud I shouted, they couldn’t hear me. It was like there was a whole world between us instead of just an arm’s reach.
At some point, and it felt like forever to be honest, the table slowly started spinning, and after a million slow revolutions, the table came to a stop with the three items arranged directly in front of us. The person to my left had the cross, or the crescent, or whatever it was in front of them, and the person to my right had the sword. In front of me was the book.
The items slid all on their own a few inches until they were almost touching us, and then I woke up. When I woke up, I was here in Hall E, but things were different. The room I was sleeping in was larger than normal, and I was in a double bed instead of a single. In the bed with me was Cassie. When I woke up, I sat up like a bolt, and she rested her hand on my thigh, and I just knew instantly I was safe. I sat back and rested my head on the pillow and she rolled over to face me.
I’m crying. Thinking about seeing her face just a breath away is breaking my fucking heart right now. I don’t know if I can handle this. I don’t think there’s enough man left in me anymore to deal with this shit. I’m just not strong enough.
She leaned in and kissed my forehead, and rested against me, pressing her body against mine. I can still feel her right now. My skin is still tingling with her warmth, and I have the scent of her hair fixated in my mind. I wasn’t quite aware I was still dreaming, and for a moment, I forgot about the way things really are. I know in my dream we sat there for what seemed like hours, but when she finally spoke again, it was all taken away from me in an instant.
“Adrian, it’s almost time to wake up.” Her voice was like a spring breeze in the morning. Right after the weather turns warm for the first time, and you know summer is really coming.
I said back, “no, there’s still plenty of time left to be together.”
She let out the longest sigh I’d ever heard, and said back to me, “our time is over baby. There’s someone else out there for you.”
I remember opening my eyes in the dream, and looking at her. I couldn’t stop wondering why she would say that to me. We loved each other? I looked long and hard at her, and there was no anger, no malice, and no sense of disappointment. She looked at me with love and affection and…..
jesus I can’t do this…
And she looked at me, and I knew she was dead. I know it more than I know how to breathe. I know it more than I feel the guilt in my heart over not having gone for her that day. It’s my burden to bear for the rest of my days, and I don’t need to see her body to know it. When I looked at her again in the dream I had tears rolling down my cheek into my pillow.
She nodded at me, like she knew what I was thinking. I broke down sobbing. She pushed herself against me firmly, and draped an arm around me. If I think about it now, I can still feel it on me. That welcome pressure that tells you someone is there, and everything will be okay. You’re safe, I have you…..
The last thing she said before I snapped awake was this; “you must prepare yourself. Trials and tribulations are the way of the world now, resting is not part of what judges our worth. Everything happens for a reason Adrian. Sometimes we don’t understand when things happen, and sometimes we never understand. Just understand I always loved you, will always love you, and that you are needed by more than just me now. Someone must be the memory.”
I woke up to Patty and Abby standing above me, trying to wake me. They tell me I was screaming bloody murder. They said I was screaming Cassie’s name over and over, and crying. I don’t recall much of that because the girls got me sleeping again, and I woke up with the dawn.
My pillow was still damp from the crying, and unless I’ve gone completely insane, my pillow smells like her. For a moment I sat there on the side of my bed, cradling my pillow in my arms inhaling deeply, trying to absorb her smell.
Maybe I have gone insane.
Patty and Abby couldn’t sleep that night after waking me. They were too shaken by the sight of me screaming to get back to sleep. When I made my way downstairs to eat something, they looked at me as if I’d been stabbed. I guess I looked horrible.
Patty gave me a glass of juice, and cooked me an egg. I vaguely remember eating it. I think I enjoyed it. I don’t remember to be honest. At some point this morning after I finished eating I realized that Patty and Abby were sitting at the table with me. I guess I was so out of it I didn’t notice they were there.
Patty slid around the table to me and for a moment I had a flashback to my dream. Three people sitting at a round table, right? But something was off, this wasn’t what I was dreaming about. Mother Williams put her hand on top of mine, and we sat there for a minute in silence. Finally she asked me the million dollar question.
“Adrian, what did you dream about last night?” Her voice was quiet. Abby leaned in closer and rested her elbows on the table.
I told them everything. Just like I wrote it above Mr. Journal. While I was talking they sat listening, and when I started to cry, they joined me. It wasn’t pretty. Today was the first time I let everything out to someone about Cassie. The women were just wrecked. Cassie always used to say that the one thing she couldn’t handle was watching a man cry. I think the Williams ladies might be in the same boat.
I can only hope they don’t judge me as I judge myself. I am my worst critic. The hero revealed for his true nature. The coward. The sheep in wolf’s clothing.
Once we gathered ourselves, and I’d purged the glut of emotions running through me, Patty took my hand in both of hers, and got my attention. “Adrian, there’s something we need to tell you.”
I perked up and my head cleared. Usually when someone says something like that to me, there’s danger involved. What Patty said broke my heart. Shattered it like glass really.
“Before Charles died he and I were having very strange dreams about people.” She looked over at Abby, and then Abby spoke up.
“I’ve had some strange dreams as well. Not just, like, weird dreams, but like, WEIRD dreams.” Abby looked very small and scared when she said that.
Patty continued, “Charles and I talked about them, and eventually we figured out that we were only dreaming about people we knew that had died.”
I didn’t get it right at first, and I guess my expression told her I was lost.
“Adrian have you had a dream about me at all?”
“Have you dreamt about Abby?”
Abby chimed in then, “what about Gilbert? Have you dreamt about Gilbert?”
“I don’t think so.” It was starting to make some sense.
“Adrian I didn’t have a dream about Randy or Charles until after they were killed downtown.” Patty let go with one hand to wipe her eyes. She was crying again. I can remember how red her eyes were.
I started to nod, and before you know it, I was sobbing again. What a tough guy huh?
I don’t think I can say this any more bluntly, but the living are only dreaming of the dead. We sat at the table and cried, and discussed it, and cried some more. None of us have had a single dream about someone still alive in recent memory. It would seem as if though our dreams made this switch right about the end of June, when this all started.
Are we dreaming of ghosts?
I can handle zombies. I can handle murderous survivors. I think, given enough time, I can even handle my guilt. I don’t know if I can wrap what’s left of my sanity around the idea that ghosts are in my head at night. I just don’t think I can handle that. There’s no real choice in the matter though is there? I either find a way to cope, I go insane, or I die.
After our talk we decided that there was no more that could be achieved on the subject. Now that it was out in the open, we could at least have dialogue about it. I geared myself up for a campus patrol, and just as I was about to leave my bedroom, I caught sight of something moving outside.
I hunkered down, and went to the window slowly. Zombies in the middle of campus. Dozens. More than dozens. Maybe a hundred of them. Shambling, meandering, staggering, and looking directly at Hall E. I pulled my curtain aside to get a better look, and Abby burst into my doorway. She started to tell me what I already knew, but stopped when she saw me looking out the window.
I grabbed my radio and called for Gilbert. He didn’t realize it until he looked out a window, but his house was surrounded as well. I went down to the living room and looked out the windows over my barricades. I did a quick count and just in the street and yard areas I counted fifty. I could see more down the way towards the bridge.
The three of us all watched them out of the windows for what seemed like eternity. I don’t know what to do. We need to kill them, but I’m not sure how we do that without leading all of them to our front door. I know Hall E is strong, but is it strong enough to hold back a few hundred hungry, lost souls?
One way or the other, I think we will find out tomorrow. I’m very worried though. Mike is coming here to visit us for another trade meeting the day after next. I don’t want them to roll onto campus and straight into the fucking maw of doom. If they get killed now, after all we’ve just achieved, I’ll be very, very unhappy.
We’ve been devising plans all evening in the dark. There’s enough of a charge in the batteries from the solar panels to keep the furnace going tonight. We were worried letting the gas generator run would attract them to us, but I think that’s silly. They’re all standing still, looking straight at this building.
I just looked out the window again. They’re still there, and they’re still staring straight at us. I cannot even begin to tell you how creepy it is to look out the window into my formerly safe home, and see a mob of undead illuminated in milky moonlight. Surreal.
Tomorrow we’re going to start doing something about this. Wish us luck Mr. Journal. With any luck at all, I’ll live to write again. After I save this entry, I’m going to finish packing up everything I need if we have to relocate in a hurry. Campus might not be an option anymore.
Oh. I almost forgot.
They are all holding books. Every single one of them is hanging onto a book. Just one book, and from what we can see, there is no rhyme or reason to the books. They’re each simply clutching a book.
Something is very wrong with the world, and that’s saying something.