Diswelcome part 11 – UNDIGESTED FRAGMENTS

….days flow into one another, some long, some short. It took me a while to get used to the different way time functions here, but I feel I’m now acclimatised. Never before did I properly realise what a harsh taskmaster time is when regimented into seconds, minutes, hours…it’s truly liberating to just flow with the vagaries of a day that meanders aimlessly, rather than forever chasing it through imposed systematic limitations…

§ § § § §

…of food there is much to write, it has become a daily obsession. I suggested searching the sea for anything resembling lobsters, but both Salamandra and Owen strictly forbade me to go anywhere near the water, stating clearly that it would be better that way if I was planning on retaining my limbs…

§ § § § §

…the music box and its remarkable effect have lent Salamandra much optimism, to judge by her cheerful mood. She has questioned me endlessly about the Wyrde Woods, in between which I have managed to pose her a few more readers’ questions. That said, I haven’t seen much of her today, for she has retired to study some old books, with the music box in her hands, determined to discover how best to put it to use…

§ § § § §

…another encounter with tug-weed, intentionally this time. Owen took me tug-weed hunting. It involved poking at one of the plants with a long stick, waiting for sufficient quantities of its serpentine fronds to wrap themselves firmly around the stick, then wading into the water and chopping at the base of the fronds keeping feet moving at all times. We returned to the lighthouse with our two long sticks, bundles of still twitching tug-weed attached to their ends. The taste is nothing to write home about…its consistency is that of overcooked chicory, at which I needed to chew endlessly to reduce it to something vaguely digestible…

§ § § § §

…where we met some town folk, though I daresay reception was frosty. They had seen, of course, the column of bright sunlight around the lighthouse for the hour that it lasted, and there was much muttering of witchcraft. The only one who was nice was a lad called Donald, and his delightful little undead dog Drury. I petted it, and Lamashtu smelled that when we got back to the lighthouse. She told me I was a traitor and despicable canine-lover, after which she sulked at me disapprovingly for the rest of the evening. Salamandra said the cat would get over it, but better to close and lock my bedroom door that night…

§ § § § §

…a momentary lapse of memory. I put it down, just for a few seconds, before I remembered and tried to snatch it back. It was gone already. Salamandra announced that I would be spoonless for the remainder of my stay. It appears to be a thing of some shame, in the Hopeless community…

§ § § § §

…I was unfortunate enough to stray amongst some tombstones…I would describe the undead, but the merest thought of them gives me violent shivers…the eyes…oh the eyes…

§ § § § §

…Rather relieved that the Browns haven’t shown up…it would be hard to explain and I expect they shan’t be pleased…

§ § § § §

…like a dream. It’s hard to explain. I already told you time flows differently here, sometimes even backwards…but there is more to it. Rather than experiencing my stay in a continuous fashion, I appear to be drifting in and out, missing bits in between, including actions I was apparently involved in. It’s a quicksand of context, and sometimes I struggle to keep up. Things happen, at random, for no reason, without logic. I think Salamandra’s strength, and up to an extent Owen’s too, is that while most of the rest just let it happen to us, and try to cope, they are far more lucid, in control a lot of the time, though it costs them a great deal of energy. In contemplating this, I am much minded of a poet, one of these new-fangled ones, a chap called Poe.


You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

It’s truly like that. I’m not sure if I am real anymore. Perhaps of more consequence to you, I’m not sure you are real anymore. Yes you, the one reading these words right now. Are you real? Do you know? For certain? I find it hard to tell. I may seem fictional to you, but how less fictional are you? Perhaps somebody is reading about you reading my words – a dream within a dream indeed…

§ § § § §

…Food, oh glorious food! I’m reduced to tears recalling Gammer’s home cooked meals…

§ § § § §

…time to say my goodbyes to Salamandra, Owen, and Lamashtu. It is with some sadness that I depart the lighthouse, but I’m looking forward to returning to Mewton…where I intend to devour all the bug chowdah on offer…

§ § § § §

…struck by sheer horror at the edge of the tidal plain. A thick fog obscured it. I could barely see more than a few feet in front of me. I heard the skipper of the skyskiff calling…

“Mistah Twynah! Mistah Twynah!”

“I’m here!” I shouted back. “I’M HERE, WAIT FOR ME!”

Despite suspecting just how dangerous it was to do so blindly, I floundered into the mud, trying to make my way towards the sound of the skipper’s voice.

In this I was defeated by Hopeless fauna a bird of sorts, its coat a hybrid of red and dirty orange, it’s many eyes seemingly blind, and its blue beak capable of producing human sounds…parroting human voices.

To judge by their imitations, there was a whole flock of them over the tidal plain. They seemed to be everywhere around me, their calls coming from left, right, front, and back.

“Mistah Twynah! Mistah Twynah!”

“I’m here,” I sobbed softly.

“I’M HERE! I’M HERE!” The call was picked up by the whole flock.

“I’M HERE! MISTAH TWYNAH! I’M HERE! MISTAH TWYNAH!”

Sussex folk are notorious for being stubborn, so I did not give up. I do not recollect how long I stumbled through the mud, blinded by the fog, driven near to madness by hearing the skipper’s voice, and my own, all around me. Suffice to say, that when the fog lifted at long last…there was no sign of the skyskiff.  

§ § § § §

…realisation that any notion of departing from the island was hopeless…it was hopeless…it was Hopeless.

§ § § § §

THE END

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