When Erasmus shook Elena’s small hand, he noticed how raw, soft, and barely together her skin felt. It was almost like he was touching a toy. A collage of strange images jumped in front of his visible reality. They weren’t of Erasmus, but of her at different locations throughout the countryside. The many point-of-views were from the rooftops, behind trees, and in a dark house with people screaming.
Who was chasing her? Why could he see it suddenly?
“You can let go of my hand now,” she said with a tight grimace. Erasmus quickly pulled his arm back and backpedaled. He was immediately embarrassed, tucking his shoulders over his chest and holding his hands up.
“Sorry.” He said.
“It’s okay. You must be a Reanimated. Ralph said the first ones that appeared acted like they’d never talked to a real person before. That was until they turned and started to change. That was until they wanted to kill us too.” She said, blocking out the sun with a dirty sleeve.
“It’s getting hot, can we go in the shade?” She said, heading over to the line of trees billowing and rustling behind Erasmus. He followed gingerly, staring at the ground and looking for signs of the fin.
“Aren’t you worried about what just appeared?” He said.
“If that thing wanted me dead, I would be. The Unnamed never show mercy.” Elena mumbled without looking away from the tree line. They reached the tangled wall of branches. Elena mixed into them expertly, her thin, small frame parting them without causing a single tremble into the undergrowth. She led them a little deeper into the woods, where the air stunk of cold soil and bark. They stopped at a toppled birch tree and sat down atop its white, cloven trunk. Erasmus stared at the flakey, obsidian shapes dotted across its papery surface. They were black, eye-like, like someone had sketched a pupil into them with a living charcoal. Erasmus couldn’t stop staring at them.
“What is the Reanimated?” He said, sitting down next to her. She pulled out a green canteen and took a quick drink. Her throat thumped as she drank. He got jealous. He didn’t know why.
“How much do you want me to tell you?” She said, offering the bottle to Erasmus.
“I’m good. Not thirsty.” He said, waving it away.
“Seriously? It is so hot out here.” She said.
“I haven’t felt thirsty or hungry since I woke up,” he said.
“Must be nice,” Elena said, pulling her gun around onto her lap. She started to fidget with the chamber. The weapon looked bulky and somewhat obscene against her young presence. It was like the two images themselves were clashing. Erasmus could feel the irony as he looked at them, but it was hard for him to describe it. He just felt it was wrong.
“The Reanimated appeared after the Unnamed, which came with the drum,” she said, not looking up. She began to clean the chamber with an oily rag she’d just pulled from her pocket.
“Which one is which?” Erasmus said.
“The Unnamed are what appeared in the church when Ralph freaked out at you, and in the ground just now too. They’re like these shadowy, skeleton things that appear when the drum starts. Sometimes they’re out other times too. They have different forms, like that one in the ground between us just now. The Reanimated appear as people at first, but then they start going crazy and turning into these giant monsters.” Elena said.
“So what made the Reanimated?” He said. Erasmus was starting to feel nauseous and tired, like his body would rather sleep than hear these nightmarish realities.
“The Unnamed actually, after they kill us they harvest our parts and recreate people all sewn together. We’re sort of like dolls.”
“My god, and I’m one of those,” he said, astonished.
“A Reanimated? I think so, though I’ve never seen the Unnamed get along or protect one like what just happened.
“So what made the Unnamed?” He said.
Elena laughed and flipped her gun over. She played with a lever on it and something snapped. She wiped away a few tears from her eyes and blinked violently. Erasmus couldn’t tell if she was happy or sad.
“That is the million dollar question, isn’t it?”
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.