“I guess I’m not surprised you don’t recognize me. It has only been twelve years.” She said. The woman lowered her weapon and nodded at the old man who copied her gesture.
“It’s okay Ron, he’s a friend. An old friend, but a friend nonetheless,” she said.
“What? Is this the one you talked about? The one that vanished?” Ron said, in a throaty, deep voice. Erasmus noticed his body shook when he talked. In fact, he had tremors all over his body. It would wander to his arms, shoulders, and head.
“Yup. Never thought I’d see him again after that Unnamed gobbled him up and jumped into the ground. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me.”
“Well that’s easy enough Elena in this bizarre world of ours.” Ron replied.
Erasmus looked at the woman a bit closer. He remembered the name instantly. It felt like just seconds ago the Unnamed was wrapping its ribs around his body, showing him the shore with teal water, and the skyscraper-sized trees.
“I think he’s getting it,” Elena said. She trotted down the ditch, which curved downwards into the woods.
“I was, I was only gone a few moments it seemed like. How did this happen?” Erasmus said, staring at the woman. His voice was dry. The words barely squeaked out.
“It’s a good question. I’m afraid there aren’t many, if any answers though,” Elena said with a grimace, as she walked up to look at him. “Yup, other than your clothes looking a little worse for wear, you haven’t aged a day.”
“I don’t think I’ve seen a Reanimated as perfect as him,” Ron said, carefully walking down the muddy incline, using a few birch trees to balance. A dog followed him. It was a chocolate lab, with long brown hair and a red collar. It barked and dashed down to where Erasmus stood.
“Buffy. Buffy. You take it easy,” Ron said, sternly.
The dog pushed against Erasmus, nuzzling its nose and forehead under his right hand. It whined and cried like it had not received human contact in forever.
“Right Buffy, is life so hard? Dogs love the Reanimated,” Elena said. She unlatched a canteen from her vest and by reflex handed it to Erasmus, but then stopped. “Sorry, I forgot you don’t need stuff like this.”
Erasmus started to scratch the dog’s snout, which caused its bushy tail to thwack the back of his legs. He started to cry. More puzzles. More enigmas. Would his life ever have any clarity? Now he had been gone for what looked like years, through no choice of his own. With all his monstrous DNA coursing through his body, and the overall strangeness of his existence, he new time was precious.
Elena walked over to him and put hand on his trembling shoulder.
“I’m sorry. I knew things were shocking before, but this must just be awful. At least you didn’t miss much the last 11 years, other than the drum being destroyed,” she said.
“The drum is gone?” Erasmus said stunned.
“Oh yes, shortly after you disappeared a group of people snuck inside and destroyed it. Once it happened a huge forest formed in the center of the country. We’re actually about to head in that direction, but a few rogue Unnamed had been reported in the area.”
Erasmus stared at her astonished, and coughed nervously.
“A huge forest you say?”
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.