The closer he got to the line of plant-laden pavement, the more Erasmus could see that it wasn’t just the streetlights glowing but other objects in the murkiness. Houses, complete with doors, windows, roofs, and lights were lined up and sitting behind the orange halo. They gave him a memory, the first he really had thus far, of a toy railroad track inside a store, with a small city nestled in and around its plastic veins. He could hear the whirl of the electric tracks pushing it up and down the display.
Then, as easily as it had appeared, the image was gone. His stomach reacted instantly, filling him with a sort of nauseous sadness he’d yet experienced in his short awakening. How could he feel something for a thing he didn’t even know existed?
Erasmus stopped just beyond the roadside ditch. It stunk of sour mud and acidic algae. The black water stole the glow from the street in a translucent, amber skin. Bugs of all shapes and sizes gilded around it, unbothered by the ghostly energy that seemed to flicker on without explanation just yards away.
“Does that look like home to you, you piece of garbage?” A voice snarled somewhere in the trees behind him. It was Ralph. He’d followed him into the woods.
Erasmus dropped to the ground, crawling into the long grass that bordered the forest and fluid. It was sharp and tendril-thick, brushing against his sweaty skin like it wanted to puncture him, but was too weak.
“I killed that one who jumped in front of you. Your savior or whatever. It won’t be helping you again. It collapsed and was sucked up by the plants in a shadowy mess.” Ralph’s voice said. It was closer now, just yards away from him. The luminescence across the road silently darkened in one black wave, leaving just the moon above as the only luminosity. Erasmus smiled about this reaction from the world. He didn’t know why.
“That one came so close to killing me and the kids. It was just feet away from finding them. Thank god I had a full clip. Now, stop running Erasmus. I saw your shadow. You’re one of them or something. You can’t live. You just can’t,” Ralph said.
Erasmus could hear boots breaking the reeds and stalks as Ralph approached him. Each step seemed to get bolder, like Ralph had known his location for some time.
“I just want to know before I kill you Erasmus, what in god’s name are you?” Ralph said. Erasmus could smell gunpowder again. He covered the back of his head with a pair of trembling hands.
Then, the whole world exploded.
More coming every week. You can learn more about The Greenland Diaries book series and also read some of the days from it. To catch up on previous entries of Erasmus, hit here. Thank you for supporting my work.