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I find myself walking home alone again for the umpteenth time. The path is so familiar it sickens me sometimes, it’s the same every darn day. But something is different this time; the air seems to be…charged, a bit like the feeling you get before a thunderstorm begins. As I advance on the path I notice something, it looks like a wreck. I tread off the path and walk towards the heap of metal: some broken down Ford Ranger, it looks pretty decrepit. Its front half has been bashed in; it looks like it just got hit by a bulldozer. It lies a couple feet off the road, and I don’t see anyone around it. I edge closer to it and peek inside it’s smashed in front window: Nothing’s inside of the cab, not even seats. I walk around the front and try the door, which opens with little effort. I decide to search the car; I’ve never seen anything like this before.
After a few minutes I manage to find a few things stored in the glove compartment: a map of the state, Texas, a worn out note book, I don’t look inside it yet; it’s probably empty anyway, and a 22 caliber rifle shell. The bullet is surprising, but most people own guns in this area anyway. I take the notebook and the shell, leaving the map for the poor sap who managed to crash a truck in the middle of nowhere.
Later that night I’m at home, sitting on my bed, trying to compose a decent excuse for not doing my homework. I’m surrounded by the contents of my backpack, which isn’t much. I open my textbook…then close it, I never liked geometry anyway. I look to my bedside table, at that bullet shell and the notebook, which I still haven’t opened. I lean over from my sea of homework, picking up the shell and turning it in my fingers. It looks pretty old; it’s rusted over and caked in dirt. I’m thinking about who might’ve left it when a voice breaks the silence of my mind
“Are you working on your homework?”
It’s my mother. I haven’t told her about the wreck yet, she’d just snap at me for taking that stuff anyway.
“Yes Mother,” I call back, “I’m working on it now”
No response. She probably wasn’t even listening for a response. I put the bullet down, reaching out once again to my table. I grab the notebook this time, a small leather-bound sketchpad labeled “Field notes”. I flip through the pages, which seem to have yellowed from age long ago. Contrary to my first thought, the pages are packed full words, a meticulous handwritten cursive. The occasional drawing is included; the author seemed to have a thing for weapons. I turn to a page in the middle, it’s packed to the brim in writing a begin to read
September 22, (The year is illegible, I’m not sure whether it’s intentional or not)
We ran into another one of those things today, that’s 3 in the past week. I’m not sure what attracts them to us, but James says it’s probably the smoke. The damned animal took us by surprise, it jumped onto Mathew’s back, but we got it off him before it did too much damage. It managed to tear a gash in his back though, but that healer bloke said he’ll be ok. I’m surprised we killed it at all, the only reason we were able to was because Leo has been on edge all day, and was carrying his knife with him when it attacked. James calls them Devastators, which is proving to be a fitting name. I’ll write again if there’s another attack, but with any luck we’ll reach the capital without safely.
The entry ended there, and I don’t bother to read the rest. I immediately flip to the last page, checking for the end of Jonathan’s curious tale. To my relief there’s a brief message there, and I eagerly read it.
We’ve lost Cameron. Leo and I will depart to look for him but I’m starting to fear the worst.
I flip the final page, but nothing else is written there. This entry had a different author, it seems. But I don’t really care about the author; I have more important things to ponder now.
My name is Cameron H Mauve.