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The Journal Of the Nameless
Now that all my adventures in Candyland are over, I have decided to put them all into a book; but first I must tell you where I came from, since the laws of the rest of the world are so different from Defimble, the land I grew up in.
one year, In Defimble the government grew bored, and when politicians get bored they come up with new ways to tax the public. During this particular period of boredom, a politician from the province of Dinfuldore named Litupon Woodly lit upon the idea of a name tax.
This name tax meant that every child that was born after the law was passed would have to get a name certificate for that particular name. Certificates cost money, which then padded the pockets of the politicians like Woodly. Also, the more common the name the less expensive it was. This fact became a problem when the names John Smith, Jane Jones, and Joe Blow became so common. Because of their low costs, they started adding numbers to names, like John Smith 1,000.5
I was born into the first generation of nameless. Because both my parents died in the
Name Wars, the wars fought over the name tax, and I was given into the care of the nuns of St. Dilly Willy, who were too poor to buy me a name at all. They called me Papido when no one was around, but to the rest of the world I was known as one of the nameless. I liked being called Papido and wondered why everyone else could not call me by that name. As I grew older, and in answer to my persistent queries, they began to tell me of the Name Wars and how by law they could not call me anything, but nameless.
It was a grand day, Friday the 25th of September, when Sister Jane Smith said that they had been saving up every penny for the last few years so that this Christmas they would buy me a name! Sadly, my tender hopes were dashed when, only two short weeks later, a great black car pulled up in front of St. Dilly Willy's and I was ordered on Christmas Eve to go to a new orphanage for nameless children. I barley had time to say goodbye to the sisters when I was carried off to " The Lost and The Nameless." There I was given a number, for numbers were free and were now commonly used instead of names for orphans and outcasts. From that time on I was called "66.35." I asked once why they had .35 in my names, and they said it was because some children did not count as a whole digit!
I lived at the "The Lost and The Nameless" until I turned eighteen when I was released into the world, and my adventures really began!
Today is my eighteenth birthday; the day I start my journey into the world that I have only seen in glimpses snatched over the grim stone wall, that encloses the sad orphanage, which I have called home these past years.
I packed my small gunnysack as the gray day dawned. The sun did try to make an appearance, but it was sad and feeble. I folded my blankets and put them in an orderly pile at the foot of my pallet, to prepare the the drab lump for the next weary inmate. The damp cold grew slightly less as the time dragged by, and after a time the door opened and .25 limped in on the old crutch, that Ms. Deaswood had given him in exchange for becoming her page.
“Hey 66.35, so today is the big day,” .25 said in a voice that was used to telling others good news but never getting any himself.
“Yep it is:did Ms. Deadwood send for me?”
“Yep she told me to come and get you, and get you I have,” at this .25 gave a feeble laugh that rang as hollowly through the small room.
“Here follow me, 66.35,” and I picked up my small gunnysack and walked down the painfully clean halls that were as dreary as the sky above. On either side were rows of doors marked with numbers, in faded white paint, and housed the rest of the inmates; who had gone down to the mess hall some time before. leaving the rooms with their long rows of beds empty and lifeless, and continued down the hall.
Before long we came to a flight of stairs, which led us past the mess hall: silent, but for the children silently eating the same mush he had eaten every breakfast of his life here at the orphanage. After going to the far end of the cold building we came to the most feared room in the whole of The Lost and the Nameless: Ms. Deadwoods office. It always had a faint odder of the cleaner that is applied to every inch of the room every morning. But the overly clean atmosphere is not what makes the nameless child squirm. It’s Ms. Deadwood herself. She was born into the number slums in the big city, and she clawed her way up the ladder of names until she grew rich enough to buy four names! She even bought a name for her dog! This climb had made her heart a lump of cold stone and no matter how many names she had, none made her happy. Because of this she was always in a foul temper.
“So, 66.35, I am final’y getting rid of you!” Ms. Deadwood said in a voice that might as well have been saying I think you are a worthless slug.
“Yes, Ms. Deadwood” I said in the sharp military tone that one learned to use around the head mistress of the Lost and the Nameless.
“Good. Here are your papers and twenty Dulwincks that will take you far if used carefully, now take them and go!
I needed no further command I respectfully took them the small bronze Dulwincks and walked out of the room, leaving behind me the orphanage of The Lost and The Nameless.
I walk out the main doors, passing the sad withered trees that looked like bones sticking up from the shadowy grounds of the orphanage. Small flakes of snow fell as I walked through the gates, and into the world beyond the lost and the nameless.
All those years before
I had imagined what the outside world would be like. But none of them were anything like the forested landscape around me, and the one paved path that led into the heart of it! I stopped and looked back at the familiar sight of the orphanage, and I thought for just a moment about how huge the world was before me, and how the odds were all against me. Maybe the orphanage was not so bad compared to this terrible unknown world. Then, just as I was going to turn back and ask Ms. Deadwood if I could stay on as a worker, something happened that would start me off on the adventure that lay before me just out of sight.
A man dressed in the fanciest clothes I had ever seen came hopping along whistling such a merry tune that one could hardly stop oneself from dancing about! Seeing me, he started toward me and said in a companionable way
“So you look a bit lost chum!”
“Well..um..Sir I am rather lost”
“ Well, have no fear. There is a nice path laid out for you”
“ Right in front of your face, Chum!” and with that he hopped away still whistling his song. So I sat there looking into space thinking about what he said. What did he mean by, " It’s right in front of your face?" I looked down and then it hit me like a train! The path was right in front of my face! So that is what he meant! Therefor I slung my gunnysack over my shoulder and started down the road of destiny, and into the wondering wood.?
The feeble sunlight was finally shut out, not even a thread of dimmed light could find its way through the maze of tree branches or the few leaves that hadn't given up on life, and fallen to be with their brethren who had gone before.
This was the place where I found myself: trapped by the faded trees and the dimness that now shrouded my way. However I kept on, thinking that there must be some lodge for a traveler to stay in out of the frigid night. But no matter how many bends in the road I passed, there seemed to be no place of rest for a traveler, and the dim glow that had been there ever since the sun left was fading away. As it faded the darkness truly came. This was not just any ordinary darkness, but a darkness that leaked into you, that you drank in, and could feel closing in all around you.
I stopped and stared about me but all I could see was the darkness that seemed to move and squirm, closing in and smothering you in its empty space. By this time the fear that haunts the dark places of the world, had sunk into my heart and began to whisper dreadful things that made my blood run cold. I began to run, branches grabbed at me trying to pull me back, but I kept on and on until I came into a clearing. It was covered in a thick layer of snow, and in the center of this clearing was a well that was lit up by the moon that you could just see through a small opening between the trees. I stopped and looked at the strange sight, and wondered why someone had put a well in the middle of the road. Then I realized something I was not on the road! I turned around and felt under the piles of dead leaves but there was nothing there! So I turned back to the well and thought I might as well spend the night here as any where else, and there is light if a bit dreary.
So I laid down, under a sheltering tree, and pulled my bag under my head and fell fast asleep. I was standing on the edge of the well? as the forest seemed to sway back and forth like it was dancing to some unknown rhythm. I looked about and saw my gunnysack were I was laying and my blanked too? But why was I on the well? Then I heard something, and turned my head and saw right in front of me Ms. Deadwood looking at me! I leaped from the well, and fled away from the horrible sight. It was no use wherever I looked she was there staring at me. I ran until I came back to the well, I stood there and from its depth came a voice that said “come to me” in a strange drawing voice. A warm breeze that carried a sweet oder of something blew past me from the well. So I jumped in and fell into a soft light.
I woke up with a start, thrashing my arms about me and hit something soft and my arm started being sucked into it It felt like a marshmallow? What could this be? I looked up and to my great surprised I was looking at a green and orange landscape of marshmallows and graham crackers! What happened? Did I freeze to death or was it something to do with that strange dream! I stood to my feet. I was standing on the foamy marshmallow. I started walking and fell half a dozen times, and lost a shoe once when his foot started sinking into the sticky interior of the marshmallow. After about twenty minutes of falling about like a drunk sailor, I final was able to crawl onto a light green graham cracker and see a little bit more of the world around me. I was in the middle of this, shall I say marshmallow marsh! Also, just a few yards away was a great tower made from graham crackers that had candy corn battlements and a fearful array of peppermint spikes surroundings its base! But worst of all was a giant gummy bear who sat in front of it and lifted its head to test the air! Where was he and why in the world was there a gummy bear guarding a tower?