As I write, I find myself somewhat distracted by the thick, smoke-like breath I create with every exhale. This bit of interruption is possible for two very distinct reasons. One, I am still alive, as the breathing helps to remind me. Secondly, I have taken to writing outside on my laptop where it is oddly cold for this time of year.
While this decision might strike many of you as odd (and believe me when I say I arrived at this place through no lack of contemplation), I have decided I will no longer live in the crippling dread of the demons that come to me by night. Of course, though I call them "demons", I have no proof they're anything other than racoons or some other nocturnal animal-- as rare as that would be here in the woods. No, I have not seen them. Nor have the crude traps I've setup around the house caught anything or even been sprung. But what I have witnessed are the markings they leave on the trees-- wild scribblings that, despite their feral nature, do seem to be more than a simple marking of a territory. Many are repeated in almost identical fashion, as if there is a sort of language behind them. I have taken to trying to decipher it, but I wonder if the excercise is simply driving me mad.
Additionally, there is the feeling I experience when the noises begin each night. It's a sick drop in the pit of my stomach accompanied by the requisite goosebumps, and though this is probably little more than fear, it is followed by a nausea and dizziness that I can't simply explain away. It was uncomfortable at first, but has grown debilitating lately, which I have attributed to being in a closer proximity to whatever is out there. As a result, I have been incapable of actually going outside to confront my demons as I had originally planned.
Because of this, I have taken to staying outside as much as possible during the day. As even being near the etchings in the trees causes the beginnings of the sickness, my hope is to use this smaller "dosage" to build up an immunity. Maybe then I'll be able to actually endure being close to the source. Of course, being successful in this might prove to be my greatest mistake yet.
Life, after all, often proves even more temporary than wisps of breath in the icy air.
Until next time...