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The End

This journal is the only way I can keep track of dates and times anymore. I remember that I left home sometime in mid-July. That must mean it’s August or September or something. Who cares? I’m not going home anyways. Not that I’d want to. Even without all of the dangers, I’d still much rather be away from my family than with them. Ever since I was little they’d look down upon me. They thought I was stupid, subhuman almost. They thought that I was silly and everything I did was “cute.” Well, who’s laughing now, you bastards? Who? It’s me! F*** you! You’re all dying and here I am, on top of the world! Who’s laughing now?!
I just realised how insane I would sound if someone finds this journal after I die. I swear, my ramblings in this would out-weird those of a madman. Maybe I am a madman. I’ll never know, I guess. Any concept of mental health diagnosis is quite literally ash and dust by now.
Oh, you probably don’t know what got me into this mess. Well, I’ll keep it short and sweet. President Kramer screwed up. Big time. Now, I thought the Trump administration was bad but Kramer? Good lord. I’ll give him credit, though. He was finally able to defuse tensions with North Korea. Pay no attention to the fact that both countries came to peace because they were annihilated by nuclear war. But take a guess as to who the only person in my family was who decided to make a doomsday shelter? It was me! See? I’m not crazy! I’m freaking brilliant! You all can get turned to radioactive vapor while I’d be there, nice and safe!.
But that plan went completely out the window. What did my idiot family do? They filled the bunker. They even got a cement truck! They used a goddamned cement truck to destroy all of my hard work. I’ll be honest, I’ll never forgive them for that, but it doesn’t matter now. I went to my backup plan and ran away deep into the woods.
I must be somewhere in Canada by now. It’s absolutely freezing. In that case it’s probably closer to September. Am I getting off track? I thought I was doing something. Oh, right, running away. Yeah the forest here was thick enough and far away enough to spare me from any significant radiation. But the forest is sneaky. I was a kid and I’d watch all those weird survival shows on TV. I got handbooks and training and stuff like that, but it never really prepared me for things like actually facing a bear, or suddenly having the tree branch you’re using as a hammock begin to crack. I’ll be honest, I’m amazed I’m not dead.
Actually, no I’m not. I’m amazing. All these people can’t touch me. I am unequivocally the most prepared person on Earth. I’d be surprised if I’m not the last person alive.
I feel like I had a point to writing this. I’ll probably get around to writing it at some point. This isn’t finished, God no, this is only a journal entry. This is just
* * *
To this day I’m still not sure what happened to this poor guy. I found his journal over a year ago, and it just stopped. Right there. One of these days I’ll figure it out. One of these days.
The book was so dilapidated I’m actually quite surprised I was able to read as much as I could. That was the only page I could really make out for anything, all the others were torn to shreds. I found the book all by itself in the middle of the woods. I was out on a hunting trip, when the dark blue leather and gold foil decoration stood out from the brown of dirt and fallen foliage. Ever since then it has lain upon my desk, derelict. Every once in awhile I’d take a glance at the thing, wondering what fate became of its former owner.
I stood up from my shoddy desk chair, and I made the few paces over to my kitchen. See, the nice thing about a cabin is that things don’t ever get too far away.
Too far away…
How did I never think of this before? I must have the lowest IQ in history, damn. God, this is embarrassing. How on earth did I not think to go back to where I found the book, and do a bit of sleuthing? I can’t imagine that any clues would have done too much moving. So little happens up here I’m fairly certain there’ll still be evidence. But I dunno. I guess I’ll find out.
I’m going to be preparing supplies so I can go on my little investigation. I guess I’ll take my own journal with me, to document it. Here’s hoping that when I step out the door, I’ll be stepping back in sometime soon.
* * *
Day 1
I can’t see my cabin anymore. I’m not sure if it’s over the horizon or just obscured by foliage, but I’ve been walking all day. I’ve got the book, but I really don’t have any use for it yet. Not to say I won’t, I just haven’t seen anything significant yet. But come to think of it, I can’t imagine that I would. I was on day three or something of my hunting trip when I found the book.
I remember that day vividly, even after all this time. I remember waking in my shelter at the crack of dawn, to the sound of a squirrel rummaging around in my things. I kept a knife in my boot for exactly this reason, and that poor squirrel never knew what hit him. Needless to say he became breakfast.
That squirrel was also the end of my second propane cannister. See, I can make a fire, but I can’t quite get the right cooking temperature for anything. I used the little propane can and the burner that snapped right on to cook all of my meals away from home. I watched the little thing peter out just as the squirrel finished cooking. Now, as far as I’m aware, I have no means by which to refill those little cans, so I just took the burner and left the can behind.
The sun had finally risen by the time I started the next leg of my route. See, I know you probably shouldn’t dry fire a bow, let alone a crossbow, but I had to make sure it was still in working order. I could have brought my pistol instead, but you can’t exactly reuse a bullet. They also scare off the game. The nice thing about the fletching (the feathery bits) on the bolts is their color. Two feathers are bright yellow, the third bright orange. Not only does this make orientation in the crossbow easier, but it also makes it easier to find lost bolts.
Because of this, and my natural affinity to hunting, I’d gotten a keen eye for anything out of the ordinary. That’s how I found the book. There was a raccoon wandering about the forest floor, just begging to be bagged, when it just so happened to walk past the book. The animal practically stepped over the thing, making it impossible for me to miss. I remember the moment I saw it, I couldn’t think of anything but it. Screw the raccoon, this was better.
And so after a bit of walking, it became mine. I don’t remember there being anything strange about its location, but then again I wasn’t really looking.
It started getting late, just like it is now. I wonder what I’ll find tomorrow.
* * *
Day 2
This is starting to get eerie.
See, since I’m not taking my time to hunt, I can cover much more ground in a given period of time. Because of this, I was able to get to the little clearing today in which I found the book originally. The first thing I noticed about the place was its emptiness. There wasn’t any plant matter on the ground, no rocks or sticks, just a completely bare, flat patch of dirt.
Creepier than that was the silence. Usually in this forest you can hear some kind of bird, or the rustling of something on the forest floor. Not here. You know that saying, “silence is deafening?” I’d never experienced that until I got there. The entire area was so indescribably empty, devoid of everything.
That’s when I heard it. I can’t describe it exactly, sort of a hollow thump, like something really light fell a really long ways. After more searching I found the source.
A little propane can. Just like the ones I used.
I rushed over and picked the small, olive green can up. I flipped it on its top, and I inspected the bottom of the can. There, almost illegible due to time, was a simple number 2.
I reached into my backpack and pulled out one of my remaining propane cans.
37.
This was mine. This rusted, old can was the same one I had used to cook a squirrel over a year ago.
And what’s more, it had some weight to it. Do you know what that means? It means it was containing something.
I carefully opened the valve a tiny amount, and a quiet hiss escaped the can. I put my nose to the valve, and the familiar smell of sulfur filled my nostrils.
Someone had filled the can.
With propane.
If I was curious before, I was desperate to know now. I needed to know why this place was so bare, why my propane can was here and slightly full, and above all what happened to the owner of the other journal.
I had to put all of that out of my mind for the rest of the day, though. Building a shelter was a higher priority. It’s nothing special, just a lean-to of leaves and sticks. But, it keeps the weather away and gives me a nice, somewhat clean place to sleep.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to write tomorrow. It depends on whether or not I remember to sharpen this pencil. I guess I’ll find out.
* * *
Day 3
It’s over.
I found what I came for.
I won’t lie, I’m kind of disappointed. I was hoping to find more than a little haphazard camp, and a grave nearby.
God, this is anticlimactic. But there isn’t exactly anything I can do about it. All I guess I can do is head home.
* * *
That was him, that was the guy who found my old journal. How did he find me? I’m a ninja, invisible, invincible! I’d like to know his motivations, though. I think I might follow him...




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