The road twisted through bends of bristled trees and vacant rings of orange light for what seemed like a small eternity. Erasmus walked near the center of the road, occasionally passing twisted cars and tall mounds of broken pavement. Since he’d woken up in that pit he’d been terrified and worried about almost every new sight and sound. Strangely, all those emotions melted away beneath the streetlights and their phantom power. Erasmus didn’t even mind tripping on the cracks in the worn-away highway, which were plentiful, like a weak sheet of ice on a winter lake.
The walk stretched on through the most sunken moments of night. Eventually, Erasmus’s eyes would wandered backwards to see if he was being followed, or if he could identify where he’d started further back on the road. Each time it looked exactly the same; a dark tunnel of trees with a solitary streetlight painting its gloom.
“Hard not to stare, isn’t it,” a voice said from the gloom ahead of him. Erasmus stopped. He wanted to backpedal, but his body wouldn’t move. He’d only been awake a short while, but he was already tired of being frightened at every little thing happening in this desolate world.
“Don’t be afraid. The Unnamed are everywhere. If they wanted you dead you’d be dead. It’s as simple as that.” The voice said again. It was low, masculine, with a smokiness to it. It was strangely comforting to Erasmus. He didn’t know why.
Erasmus could hear footsteps approaching. A man was approaching him. He was dark-skinned, thin, with a goatee and sunken, gaunt face. He was dressed in shirt and jeans, which were baggy and dangling, like they were entirely too large for him. His mouth turned into a wide smile as Erasmus came into view more.
“Boy am I happy to see you. You’re the last one.” The man said.
“What, who are you?” Erasmus said, stepping backwards, and nearly tripping on a vine behind him.
The man walked even closer and put his hands on Erasmus’ trembling shoulders. His hands were soft, gentle, and void of any lurking menace. Up close Erasmus noticed green vines laced throughout the man’s skin. They pushed apart skin in verdant lines. How did the man live with such open wounds?
“My name is Virgil. Do you have a name yet?”
Erasmus nodded slowly. Something about the name was eerily familiar. He’d heard it before.
“E-Erasmus.” He whispered.
Virgil smiled and pulled his hands away from him and turned around. He pointed at the trees along the streetlights.
“I see. Nice to meet you, Erasmus. We need to hurry before a survivor guns us down. We have a Puppeteer looking over us, but they won’t stick around forever. We need to get off the road. You just need to follow me.” He said.
“What, what are you saying?” Erasmus said.
“Geez, the other ten were right, you do have to be patient for these initial reactions.” He said.
Some wind rustled the plants beneath their feet. A few gunshots echoed somewhere.
“The endgame is near Erasmus. The fate of the drum will soon be decided. Whether it survives or not, the Unnamed will be a part of this world. They know it. And they know whatever happens there will be survivors.” Virgil said. He started to walk towards the forest parallel to them.
“Would you like to meet your family? If so, follow me.” He said.
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.