I had a dream last night that I was in a bright, warm room. The window was open and the sky outside was blue. Everything was quiet, except for me. I was sitting in bed, crying uncontrollably. My cheeks were soaked and the tears rolled down until they fell into my lap.
I felt a heavy burden of guilt in my stomach. It punctuated the warm, beautiful room like a black presence. Something was wrong with me. When I thought I was getting close to discovering what it was, I would wake up into another room, still dreaming. This went on for what felt like an eternity.
Now that I am awake, my face is still wet. The tears have slowed, but they still drip down sometimes. I do not know why, even in consciousness. Tabitha and Aspen are cuddled together, asleep on the couch in my room. This real room is nothing like the one in my dream. It is dark and freezing cold and filled with ebony masks on the walls, depicting all kinds of horrible expressions.
Why had Aspen mutilated her hair? Tabitha has none at all. There are splotches of red in places where it looks like the roots have been torn out. These are not the participants I chose. This was not the plan, I am sure. But try as I might, I am incapable of remembering exactly what the experiment was designed to prove before. What grand hypothesis was I even approaching… was it all an illusion?
Why am I even in the mansion right now, and not the shack? I awoke to find this laptop here, and I remembered that I am journaling. I do not know where my assistants are, but when I say their names in my mind, I can feel a mental door resisting my efforts to open it. I cannot see their faces, but there are visible traces of their existence in my memory. They are like chalk outlines at a murder scene. They seem to belong to the mind of another now.
More than anything, however, I would like to know what all of these awful voices are. It sounds like there is a banquet hall full of angry people outside my room, filling the mansion. I feel vaguely obligated to respond to them. Are they expecting me? I suppose I have only one choice. I will go out to answer them.
Maxwell finished digging the well. He found me, finally. Oh you should hear the roar and the splendor of the house as it greets me. Aspen and Tabitha are dancing around me, locking arms. We are watching Garett and Edward squirm now as they hang from the ceiling of the basement by their feet. They are still alive. But it is excellent how fucking squirmy they get once Tabitha and Aspen sing my songs to them:
The pigs are hanging up to dry
The white has come to fill their eyes
Their throats will slice open wide
For the world to look deep inside
And Now we know
Now we know why
Our pearls are hidden from the swine
I see great things in Aspen’s future. She knew so soon. Precocious little girl. She will be greatly rewarded. She knew so long ago that Master was here. And now I have truly come.
Read part 18 here. (Part 18 will be up 1/16, 9PM)