This is true and I need admit it to myself. If I cannot be absolutely honest on these pages, to myself, then there is no point to staining this book with my thoughts. There is no point. If I cannot frankly address the world, if I refuse to stare into my own depths and honestly chronicle all that I find, but instead attempt to deceive and mislead the true authority... there is no point to continuing this journal. I will not contrive a sottisier as my only remaining testimony.
So yes, I did exact my revenge upon several uninvolved monstrosities, and yes, it did make me feel better. Let us be absolutely clear about this. And with that, now I know it's time for me to leave. I must replace the callow savagery that burns within my breast with the thirst for adventure, to explore far-flung continents and islands for the wonders they likely contain.
|The hopper and furnace remain intact.|
|The roof and trapdoor are obliterated.|
Outraged, I flew up the ladder, threw open the trapdoor, and sprang upon the archer-skeleton with abandon. It took no work at all, but as I collected its remains (some bones, some arrows), I heard the all-too-familiar hiss-ss-ss...
The explosion deafened me, the flames blinded me, and the force threw me to the edge of the roof. Stunned, I held my breath and waited to see whether another such nightmare yet lurked about, but this was not the case. Ribs aching, I laboriously picked myself up and surveyed the damage.
The unnamed creeping horror must have been standing just behind me at my egress. A large hole was blown in my roof, and the fencing I placed for safety was torn asunder in two places. I know, I know I should practice gratitude, and there is plenty to be grateful for at a time like this: I am still healthy and healing, and none of my personal store was damaged or lost. As I said, there is no dearth of lumber at my disposal, so the repairs were swift and effectual. The structure is just as it was and, ultimately, no damage was done.
This is easier to state than to believe, and so despite my philosophic nonchalance, I am compelled to interpret this incident as a sign. Were I in a playful mood, I might suggest that the fell beasts were seeing me off with a class of farewell party, such that lies within their ability to host. But no, I am far from playful just now, and I am convinced they have somehow scented my motives and are welling up to do me in, once and for all.
|The author bids au revoir to the monstrous stultification.|
Seeds in my pockets, lumber and steel in my pack, I was off for whatever the world held for me. I sailed due north, as dictated by the Sol's track across the sky. When at last, after hours, my temper cooled and reasoning restored, I remembered the one thing I had forgotten to bring: the map.
O my reader, you may not be aware of this, as my journaling is erratic and imprecise, but there was an evening recently when I took my little boat out and sailed between the islands I knew. I sailed in a wide circle around Bartram Island, wider and wider, until I tracked about a dozen islands, cays, sandbars and strands. Truly, I had no idea there was so much terra firma erupting in the ocean around me.
|The moon in first quarter illuminated Thoreau's gazette,|
which would have been nice to have right now.
Except I did not have this map on me. I have spent an hour rummaging through my memory of the cache at Ellery Island, and I strongly suspect my maps were not there either. While there is the very small chance my maps were on my person during one of my "deaths", I feel it is likeliest that these precious documents are locked away in the original Yankee dwelling-house on Bartram Island.
Perhaps I should have sojourned thither and planted those miserable pumpkins and melons, after all.
As I close this entry, O my reader, it has begun to rain. There is no shelter on my little boat, but my woolen garments quickly absorb the chilling liquid and bleed heat from my limbs. I think I have struck upon an apt moniker for this ocean, if not the world itself: Sewall Sea, after Ellen Sewall of whom both I and my brother were so enamored, yet she rejected us due to our radical liberalism. So yes, this beautiful and inhospitable ocean, beneath whose placid surface roils alien horrors and merciless leviathans, and the surety of transverse travels hinges entirely upon the resources one has secured and brought (as opposed to any nurturing bounty or shelter to be found): this shall be Sewall Sea.
All opposed, say nay.