I think he’s gone, at least I hope so. Haven’t heard anything for a few minutes, and god knows his attention span isn’t long enough to justify a prolonged search. I was a fool to come here; didn’t do my research. Well Christ, how could I? Not like I can ask anyone about it. Maybe I should start from the beginning. I can only hope somewhere, sometime, someone is reading this. Listening. I don’t know.
I didn’t always live here, used to be I resided in the big city. You know the one; east coast, glassy-steel skyline, the nation’s cultural capital. It was horrible. Trash littered the sidewalk, hobos shambled to and fro, bodies would lie in the street for hours if you didn’t go around the block, at which point they just got dealt with somehow. I don’t know how long I lived there, I don’t remember growing up anywhere. At some point I just… was. The city was like a snapshot, never quite changing, never growing old, never crumbling. Initially I thought I must be insane; I mean, why else would I have felt so different to everyone? I would try and speak to people, and they’d just stand there for a moment and then blurt out one of a handful of repeated phrases, most of which sounded like they were trying to be funny or something. I didn’t have a home, but as far as I could tell no one did. Everyone just wandered about eternally, doors never opened, people never emerged from buildings. It really was a city that never slept. Well, except him.
I remember the first time I saw him kill someone. I was buying a hotdog, though I didn’t feel hungry. The money in my pocket never seemed to diminish, no matter how many sodas I bought. I had just taken my first bite when arterial spray from someone’s recently perforated neck spattered onto me, and I watched them slump to the ground. Everyone around me ran and screamed, and looking up I could see a man in a tracksuit and leather jacket lower a rifle from his shoulder. He seemed to regard me for a split-second before the sirens wailed, at which point he pulled a lady from a nearby SUV and floored it, tossing something out the window as he drove away. It made an odd metallic thump as it hit the ground, and I think I realised it was a grenade just before the cop car drove over it in pursuit. The flaming wreckage missed me by a few feet, and I think the spell broke there, allowing me to run for my life.
Over the next few days I would sometimes hear gunshot in the distance, or more worryingly down the street. I would see a car drive madly across an intersection, and without looking I knew it was him. I don’t know who he was, but he was very different from everyone else. Other people seemed to go about their routines mindlessly. Him… you could see him thinking. He’d watch something for a while, take a few steps this way and that, maybe dink around on his phone for a bit and then suddenly high-tail it in some direction, or more often pull a gun out of nowhere and start shooting. I saw him die one time and felt such relief, but then just a few hours later there he was, stood outside the subway station, emptying round after round of AK bullets into a fleeing mob. Somehow I instinctively knew I wouldn’t be back quite so quick if he shot me, so I always ran or hid when I saw him.
I saw in other guises. Sometimes he was a biker in a leather cut, other times some kind of Puerto Rican or Dominican or something, but just based on the way these three moved I could tell they were all one person. Was it some kind of demon? Some form of possession? I had and have no idea.
I moved a few years later, but I don’t remember doing so. All of a sudden I lived on the west coast, where the sun beat down on city and sand alike, but it was all pretty familiar. People didn’t seem conscious of their actions or routes, they just walked. The radio stations repeated the same handful of songs eternally and no one seemed to notice. I was on the beach one day, near the pier, when I saw him again. My heart froze. There, only a few feet away, a young black guy was looking a group of people. Something about his stance, his fidgeting, I had seen it before, and I had to stop myself from screaming a warning, knowing it would just turn his attention my way. As I knew would happen, he butchered them; he pulled a grenade launch from nowhere and fired it once. They flew back, lifeless and bloody, and he jogged to a bicycle nearby and peddled away from the sirens.
I knew he had come with me to this city. Or maybe I came with him? Maybe we ALL came, but only me and him can remember. I wish I couldn’t. I envy them so much, the others, oblivious to the terror we live under. I thought maybe I could hide in the desert, where there’s nothing to do, nothing to catch his attention. But then there he was again: now a balding, dirty Canadian with a quad-bike and an automatic shotgun. He saw me, saw me down here in this quarry where I thought I could hide and now he’s hunting me. I’m crouched behind a trailer and now I can hear he’s come back, his feet scuff the dirt and every now and then I hear the deafening blasts of that awful gun he’s painted orange. I don’t want to die, but dear god why would anyone want to LIVE in a world like this? It feels like all this was made as… as some kind of twisted PLAYGROUND for that monster, all of us just bullet receptacles or obstacles for his car to plough through and destroy. He’s learned how to fly planes now. Who would anyone make a world like this, and why would they put us here?