Monday, January 30, 2012


i'm so cold

You don't have to be cold, John. Just join us. Be like us.
He can make you numb to the cold, John. Numb to all the bad things in the world.
Join us, John. Sing with us.

help me

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The World Before Later On

I don't know where I am. I was sitting at the bus stop waiting for another Greyhound. Waiting to be taken to another city to stay in another motel.

And I fell asleep. I've been trying to stay awake. I've been drinking lots of coffee (which I hate) and taking caffeine pills, but I must have slipped. My eyes closed and I must have fallen asleep.

Because when I woke up, everything was covered in snow.

I'm still at the bus stop. But there's nobody else here. The city is silent. The street is covered in snow and ice. I can barely walk without slipping.

It isn't going away. The last time this happened, it snapped back, but now it's not. I waited ten minutes, twenty minutes, and it's not going away. I don't even know if I can update my stupid blog because I don't know if the internet works here. I hope so. I hope I can tell people what happened to me.

I saw somebody. Just now. They just ran into an alleyway. Should I try to find them or leave them alone?

I peeked inside the alleyway. It was empty. Nobody there. And then I heard a whisper and a giggle and I turned and there they were. The black-eyed children. The Children of the Cold, that's what Holly called them. I shivered. They looked at me and then turned and ran down the street, their feet sliding on the ice like blades.

"Hello, John," a voice said behind me. A voice I remembered. I turned and looked down the alleyway again. There she was. Claire. She still looked beautiful, even though I knew she was evil. "Bonjour," she said.

"Where am I?" I asked.

"You are in the world he made," she said. "A world in between." She smiled and then ran past me laughing.

I turned and watched as she skated down the street and turned to face me again. "Welcome, John!" she yelled. "Welcome to the Winter Court!"

I watched as she skated away.

She is gone now. She and the others have left me here, in the snow, in the cold, with no way to get back. I can feel the cold creeping up on me. The tips of my fingers are numb.

And worse: I can feel His presence sometimes. The boy. Sometimes, when I'm trying to breath warmness back into my hands, I'll see him out of the corner of my eye. Always waiting.

I'm going to die here. Or I am going to become like them. Because I don't think I can stand being cold. Not like this. Not here.

I don't want to be cold.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I don't know what happened. I fell asleep on the bus and when I woke up, I had written that post. I mean, half of it is that rhyme the boy was singing to me. Did that...did that do something to me? Has he been affecting me somehow?

It has to be that. It has to be him.

I just starting dozing off again and everything became dim and I was alone on the bus and the seats were covered in snow. Then I woke up and it was back to normal.

Do I have to stay awake? Is that what I have to do? In addition to running, I have to keep myself from falling asleep? Can I do that?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

the bells are ringing

the bells are ringing they hear the sound the bells are ringing they hear the sound


the bells are pealing and they're revealing the simple key to happiness


it isn't good it isn't evil it's only what the people miss


why am i hearing this why am i hearing these sounds

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Self Called Nowhere

Do you know what jamais vu is? I had to look it up. It's the opposite of deja vu. It's when you know you're doing something you've done before, but it feels unfamiliar.

I've been on the run for three days and I keep having bouts of jamais vu. I've taken a Greyhound bus before. I know I have. But suddenly, I was panic-stricken at being on one. Suddenly, the endless empty streets were entirely new to me.

Am I going crazy? Or is this something to do with the Cold Boy? Sometimes...sometimes, when I'm on the edge of sleep, I'll blink my eyes and the roads will look like they're covered in ice, like the landscape is covered in snow. Then I'll blink again and it'll be gone. And every time this happens, it seems like it's never happened before.

I'm just wondering if one day I'll look in the mirror and wonder who is looking back.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stand on Your Own Head

The address on the card turned out to be a retirement home: Oaksdale Assistant Living. It an old folk's home. A nice one, but not what I expected. I walked in and there was a bored looking receptionist. I asked to speak to Mr. Houdin. I lied and said I was his grandson. She didn't actually seem to care - she just spoke to someone over the phone and then told me 'Bob' was in the garden.

As I walked through the retirement home, I saw all the elderly. They were sleeping and playing chess and reading the newspaper and watching television. It seemed so mundane after what I had been through.

I was expecting to find Houdin in a fortress-like home, where he would have a dozen locks and a massive security system. Instead, I found him in a wheelchair next to a row of hedges reading a yellowed paperback. He looked old, at least in his seventies. "Hello," I said.

"Hey," he said. "Someone send you?"

"Yes," I said and used the code phrase the man had told me to say. "A lad insane."

Houdin smiled. "Sane, huh. I should have figured. Can you do me a favor? Can you look over there?" He pointed at some trees. I looked. "See anything?"

"No," I said.

He nodded. "That's good. Sit down, kid. Let's have a chat." I sat down on the bench next to him. He looked me over and nodded again. "Well, you haven't looked up in the sky since you got here, can't be the birds. You're not scratching or itching or washing your hands, so it's probably not the doc. And you looked at the trees and didn't see anything, so we can rule out our skinny friend. So I'm going to guess...the cold one."

"Yes," I said. "They said I should run."

"They always say that," he said. "And it is the best strategy sometimes. It makes it...more of a game, you might say. Cat and mouse. But you can't run forever. Eventually, you give up the ghost. I ran for years. I missed my entire midlife crisis to running. I crossed the entire world. I went to places I never thought I'd go, yet I never really took the time to appreciate them. Because I was always running."

"How'd you live for so long?" I said. "I're still alive. And you're not running anymore. I thought...I actually thought you would be living like a hermit in some sort of fortress."

He laughed at that. "Nah," he said. "That's what you want at first, but soon you realize it doesn't matter. All the locks you could buy won't keep out one of them. If they want you dead, you're dead. The trick is to make them not want you dead. I remember the Cold Boy." He closed his book and looked up. "I had cut everyone out of my life. I figured I had to go alone. And after a few months of that, I started to hear this singing. I thought I was going insane at first, but I kept hearing it. 'Row row row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.' Over and over."

"That's happening to me," I said. "Exactly like that. did you stop him?"

"Figured it was because I was isolated," he said. "So I started making friends again. I was a naturally friendly guy, so all I had to do was walk into a bar and buy a few rounds and soon I had a dozen new friends. They weren't real friends, but they were enough to keep the Cold Boy at bay until I could get back in touch with my family. He likes the lonely. If you aren't lonely, sometimes he won't go after you."

"Sometimes?" I said. "What does that mean?"

He shrugged. "That means that they got a strange set of rules. They behave in certain ways. They target certain people. You aren't one of those people, maybe they won't target you. Or maybe they will. Guess it just depends."

"On what?"

"If you're lucky." He scratched his chin. "Me? I've been lucky. Met a few of them and came out without dying. Can't use my legs anymore, but since I'm an old man, I figured I don't need 'em that much anyway."

"How long?" I asked. "How long did you run?"

"Started in '63. Stopped...oh, sometime in the '90s. Felt I couldn't run anymore. I said screw it and waited for one of them to come kill me. Funny thing is, none of them did. Oh, I still see them every now and then. Look at those trees again for me, will you?" I looked at the trees. There was a man standing next to them now. "What do you see?" Houdin asked.

"A man," I said.

"What's he look like?"

I looked closer at the man next to the trees, but my eyes become watery and started to hurt. "I can't...I can't see him that well," I said.

"'Course not. He's just dropping by, a visit from an old friend. I figure someday he'll appear right inside my bedroom and then I'll be gone. But I've lived long enough that I don't have many regrets. You, however, probably have a few."

"What can I do?" I asked.

He looked at me. His eyes were old and the skin around them was sharp with wrinkles. "Don't be so lonely, kid," he said. "Try to find someone you can run with. Even if you're afraid of exposing someone else, you can't stay alive and stay alone. Wish I could do more to help, kid, but that's as much as I have."

I got up. "Thanks," I said and started to walk away.

"Hey, kid," I heard him call out. "Get yourself a digital thermometer. It'll tell you when he's near. Won't stop him, but you can at least know."

"Thanks," I said again and left.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Are you sleeping?

I haven't been able to sleep. I've tried, god how I've tried. But I can't. I stay awake all night long. Every time I close my eyes, I see Holly's face. Her eyes. How can I get away from something that can do that? How can I do anything to stop it?

Are you sleeping?

Some people from the government met me a few days ago. Some alphabet agency, I can't remember the initials. Said that they were investigating the deaths of Holly Sachs and Henry Berkoff. I didn't even know his last name. They asked me if I had seen a little boy. If I had heard him singing. I said yes. I asked them how I could escape him. How I could survive.

"Run," they said. "Run far and run fast."

Brother John?

How can I run? I don't know the first thing. I've never even been hiking or camping. I've never even been out of the country - farthest away I've been in Las Vegas. How can I run? But I hear his voice sometimes. Singing to me. I can't go to him. It's the last option, the one I can't submit to.

The agents gave me a card. Someone who might be able to help me run, they said. It had an address. And one name: Houdin.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Henry is dead. He died sometime after being admitted to the hospital. They told me that the frostbite was too severe and even amputating his arm wasn't enough.

In the empty hospital room, where the doctor was gently explaining it to me, I heard a voice. A child's voice, but it sounded strange, as if it wasn't coming from anywhere, but everywhere:

"Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping? Brother John, Brother John? Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing. Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong."

The air grew cold and I could see my breath in front of my face. The doctor didn't seem to notice anything himself, though, because he kept saying that he was sorry for my loss.

I asked him to show me the way out. I didn't want to walk there alone.