Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Beginning of a Plan

I have sighed many times over this article which now I write. My spine has cramped with my scribe's position, sitting on the oaken floorboards in the cabin which once Selidon and Voessi inhabited. I did not sleep last night but paced the floor, attempting to sort in my head the various thoughts and dreams and half-baked notions which ramble about in there like a pack of feral children. There is no tea to be had, nor pipe to be smoked, none of the usual distractions or vices, even if I should break with convention and take one up. Because why not, in this world where nothing makes sense?

The author entertains himself by
mocking the skeleton for 15 minutes.
When I press my cheek against the coarse glass of the cabin's windows, it is cold. The sky is dark, though I see the pink hues beginning to form on the horizon. An archer-skeleton ambles past the window, bow at the ready, sounding for all the world like someone has kicked a xylophone down a staircase; soon he will burst into flames, if he does not find a sheltering tree. I watch the back of his bleached skull round the corner of the cabin as he stalks off, and I have no emotional attachment to his presence. Not fear, not revulsion, even my academic curiosity wanes.

Oh. He has fallen into the well, in a misguided attempt at self-preservation. Surely, there is enough shade in there to guard him from the sun, and should he catch fire, he is perpetually bathed in cool water. But now he can't climb out nor operate his bow to pluck out the eyes of casual observers.

I could draw an analogy between us, but honestly, it would take too much out of me.

Those dreams haunt me yet. I haven't slept for two days since waking from them abruptly. I thought they would melt away in the morning sun like so much hoarfrost on the lawn, but in retelling them in this journal I cemented them in my imagination and now they return to mind during the dull moments. Which is why I have endeavored to keep active.

Three baby trees, to start with.
Minutes later, three mighty oaks.
I have started a grove of trees. Far off in the distance is something like a savanna—I've never been to one, of course, but I have read much and spoken with a rare traveler, and this land matches their description—but I did not trouble myself to hike out there (or fetch my saddled pig, whom I call Magnesium for no particular reason) to fell its strange trees. Rather, I located a solitary oak at the east bank of the lagoon, hewed it down, and planted its seeds in a small grove much closer to the cabin. As much as I would like to leave this patch of land and explore, I am for the moment taking measures to settle down here and restock my resources.

Having cached an abundance of skeleton bones, I ground several of these into meal and matured the grove rapidly. Once again I chopped a few trees down for a good supply of wood, as well as to double the grove's territory. This accomplished, I returned to the cabin and converted the raw wood to planks, and these to staves, with the ultimate goal of preparing several dozen meters' worth of ladders.

With reasonable caution, the author drills into the earth.
I paced the floor of the cabin, located a convenient section for my purposes, then hacked into the floorboards, dug into the dirt, then commenced the familiar task of mining into the hillock. I daresay the familiarity of this routine, however mindless, was still pleasing to me. My muscles worked as they were accustomed to do, at this late date, and in less than a day I had descended to my optimal depth. That is to say, the depth to which I wish to undertake an unreasonable ambition, lacking anything else to fill my days besides wandering and surviving nightly assaults.

I should state here that I have decided my primary goal is to return to Massachusetts, to the Earth I know. But as there is no obvious or deducible means by which to attain this goal, I have formed an alternative plan after some consideration. Briefly: if I may only exit this intellectually antagonistic world through fantastic means (and again, I haven't the slightest indication what these may look like), it stands to reason I will require an exceptional hoard of materials to work toward it. These resources will fall into two camps: those with which I am already familiar—foodstuffs, iron and gold, diamonds and emeralds, redstone, coal, &c.—and those I have not encountered. The way to attain these latter is simply to continue wandering, to see what this world has to offer.

New mine shaft, right next to a burbling pool of lava.
Otherwise, to consolidate all the resources I amass, I will undertake to construct an extensive underground railway system. Every settlement I have created will represent a depot, and all depots will shuttle their riches to my point of origin at Bartram island: this is based upon the supposition that if there is a portal that shunted me from my planet to this realm, it seems likeliest I may exit by it as well. Therefore, the original Yankee dwelling-house at Bartram Island shall house a library of all my learning and a treasury of all the resources I may conceivably need. It is my dearest hope that at some point in my travels I can make the connection among all random, floating elements within my experience and riddle out a possible escape.

This is the best I can do for now. I don't know how or why I am here, nor do I know how I can leave. But there is nothing else to do with my time but assemble material components and search the continent for clues, if not answers. It's either that, or fish and sleep into the interminable future.

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