The first physical sensation Erasmus could understand happening around him was that of being pulled, like he had strings attached to his wrists, ankles, and shoulders. He felt himself carried cross the water, pavement, vines, and clusters of debris. Air rushed around him. In mere seconds he was yanked across the road and up into the tops of a tree. Behind him, Ralph let loose a salvo of bullets into the darkness Erasmus had just been hiding in, peppering the soil and ditch in pops of gunpowder.
The gunshots echoed like laughter.
Erasmus was gone before Ralph could really understand what was happening. From Ralph’s point-of-view, it was like Erasmus had almost flown away. Ralph spun around and searched the top of the trees across the road for Erasmus. It was full night now, and the moon had dropped behind a cloud, blocking its silver-blue rays from making even the slightest bit of visibility. The air stunk of sour mud, lily pads, and swamp grass. For Ralph, the drum thudded away from some unknown location, shaking the roots of his teeth. For Erasmus, there was the chorus of insects chirping in the deep, and the absent rolls of the wind hitting the eves.
Erasmus did not know how lucky he was to be ignorant of that apocalyptic thunder.
“You can’t run from me you monster. I’ll find you. I heard they’re assaulting the drum too. They’ve started to go inside of it. Pretty soon you’ll be obsolete. You’re just another Reanimated. Another lost puppet of theirs they can’t seem to control or understand. You’re more alone than anyone in this world, so enjoy that, Erasmus.” Ralph said. His voice echoed. Before Erasmus could reply he heard some footsteps then silence.
Erasmus had started weeping at some point. How did he know to be sad?
Without the distraction of Ralph’s homicidal intentions, Erasmus could finally take full stock of his surroundings. Gone were the feelings of tensions across his limbs. When he had originally been pulled into the eves, he felt a presence on his shoulders. It felt large, hovering, but not necessarily threatening. He carefully tried to turn his body in the branches of the tree to look behind him, but it was gone.
Again, he was alone.
Erasmus carefully descended, using his trembling feet like antennas to feel in the darkness for any sturdy limb to form a ladder. It went easier than he thought, like the tree was actually helping him. He reached the ground with relative ease, and slowly approached the silent road. As if programmed on some sort of supernatural cue, the streetlights suddenly illuminated down the street in one glowing row. They formed a friendly orange trail in the gloom, bending beneath a tunnel of overgrown trees.
Erasmus didn’t know why or how he knew, but right there and then, he knew he needed to follow them.
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.