Chapter: Finding the Path

Entry: Jul 9, 2007

January 23, 1946

What the hell is going on here? I dreamed I wandered around some ruins with Jason Manny, then we got lost in a sewer full of Satan or something. I think I had another dream after that, where I watched some girl hang herself. I gotta lay off the midnight snacks.

At least I had fun exploring Old Town. Found an old sign just like the one for Tammond Dale... not sure what to make of that. Then this weird diary was just sitting on a teacher's desk in the junked schoolhouse. It looked kinda familiar... hell, the whole town did. Something about the swing really creeped me out, too. I think I remember this place from those scary dreams I've been having. Great, this place is so boring, it's giving me nightmares about stuff I ain't even seen yet.

Dr. Z'll wanna see the diary, though. Poor Arin... family killed in a fire and she offs herself. I bet that ain't in Dr. Z's books! I can't wait to give him this thing! Maybe he'll even give me extra credit.

He said something really weird about Adriana though... don't go in her house? What was that all about? Don't go out after 10:00pm? This town has a curfew? It was weird, but I'm gonna go with it, he's the most easygoing teach in that dump.

Speaking of school, Spizer went ballastic today! He's nuts! Crazy, bonkers, a fruitcake factory. Says I gotta write a paper, or teach Adriana History. Ain't that his job? Fuckin' rube.

Kyle stared with a cockeyed glare. That's what happened today. Easy enough to fix; he flipped the page backwards to read yesterday's entry. Same date? He must have hastily jotted the wrong day on accident; he'd remember to correct it later.

January 23, 1946

I think the boredom is finally gettin' to me. I had a dream last night a swing-set chased me into a cathedral or something, and a rodent skeleton jumped at me. If I was awake, I woulda wet myself. Since when are dead rabbits menacing? I've been attacked by less frightening dobermans. God damn.

But Old Town was pretty sweet. The playground was still standing, too! The swing didn't look too inviting, so I skipped it. Jason and I wandered around for a while, and he got the bright idea of fuckin' around in the basement of a collapsed school, which was probably minutes away from fallin' on him. I read a diary I found, waiting for him to yell for help after bein' pinned under something. He found some stone eyes, which were extremely odd, but we both got tired a pokin' 'em, so we came back.

Dr. Z will kill for this diary, though. He seemed convinced I'd find something historical, and here it is. Poor girl... her whole family... I mean, I want to come back and explore with a camera, and maybe get extra-credit for this, but I'm not so comfortable there anymore. So far, it's just an ugly, dead ruin full of bad memories.

He seems to think I need friends. It's funny, 'cause I got no problems with that, but hey, he's the one guy there I can truly respect. I think he might be losin' it though... said something about Adriana's house and being out late while I was leaving. I didn't catch everything, but it scared and confused me a little. It's almost like I was dreaming.

And Spizer! Jesus Tapdancing Christ, that guy's a mean old fuck. Write a retarded paper on Easter or fail? Asshole! I'm not a teacher, and I barely pull B's and C's myself. How can I teach Adriana anything but how to goof off and wander around town? Shit!

Kyle's mouth went dry, as if he'd just sucked on a pound of sawdust spiked with vodka. As he scanned each word, a sickening sense of dread spread through his body, souring his stomach and numbing his fingers. The journal slid through his fingers and thumped onto the floor, accumulating more abuse to accompany the scratches and dents earned from being stuffed into bags and crammed into tight confines away from prying eyes.

He didn't care, didn't even acknowledge the sound with a blink. That happened today. Except the dream was different, and Jason didn't go to Old Town. But that was today, it had to be!

Kyle suddenly felt the butt of some cleverly orchestrated and ultimately cruel hoax. But that's my handwriting. Even the parts I can barely read, written in a hurry and twice as terse. Everyone experiences déjà vu on occasion, often claimed as proof of past lives, or written off as a memory transcription error, having been there before was at least accepted as relatively normal—even from perfectly sane people. But this? Two essentially identical entries in his journal, something he couldn't dismiss as momentary confusion or mixed memories, but solid evidence of repetition?

Or maybe not so solid. His dreams were increasingly convoluted and inspired recently, and he barely considered what he wrote while flooding the page with his every thought, afraid to miss a detail. Maybe he'd actually recorded his dreams, and it wasn't so strange when two or more shared a common thread. It was rare, sure, but rare didn't mean impossible, not here or anywhere else.

That was the only explanation.

Just to be sure, he checked the previous entry. It was mostly the same again, except there was no described dream fragment, and he'd made a special note about Spizer's outburst concerning Japan's surrender. He remembered that, of course. The man was incensed, truly livid—ready to tear out his throat—like his methods were being questioned. But that was no surprise. Some suggested dreams could be prophetic. Kyle felt special, really, to prove that observation more than myth.

He was a rarity, alright. A bona-fide freakshow. Maybe he should start learning tarot and astrology, and prepare for a future of palm-reading and mysticism. Yeah. Why not?

There was, of course, a chance he was wrong, a fool chasing shadows, fearful of implications that stood in stark contrast with reality. There was a chance, however slim, that the same day repeated itself infinitely, and his journal mindlessly recorded everything as he wrote, somehow unaffected by the daily reset. So only one option remained: an experiment.

His memories were suspect, and his dreams were far too vivid. His journal would be his new guide. He placed it carefully atop his desk, and grabbed a loose sheaf of paper, along with the widest, darkest marker within his reach. On that paper, he wrote, in large, bold letters, "Read every morning!" It was a memento, a clue to himself. If writing survived the shift of time, and everything happened as described, he'd have his answer.

What to do after that, no matter the outcome, was a fool's gambit.

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