First Day (Given the events, a change in numbering is in order as I am no longer certain of the proper date)
Today has been a very odd day.
Perhaps I should back up and explain that I've decided to use my journal for something other than chronicling current events for the sake of historians yet to come. Rather, given the extremely bizarre situation I find myself in, I've decided that I should write it down from the very beginning.
So, as I was saying, today has been a very odd day. It started normally enough—I woke up, and preceded about my usual library day schedule. From here it might not be entirely accurate, as according to the (apparently) only nurse in the city, I've suffered a minor concussion. From what I know (or at least, what I can remember) of the symptoms, this seems to be a reasonable diagnosis in what is turning out to be an increasingly unreasonable world.
Anyway, from what I remember, my day proceeded as planned: I went to the library, dropped off certain books, and over the course of the day selected the next set of books to take home (as seen in the previous entry). I was reading The Life of Caesar, an interesting biography of Julius Caesar that takes into account new details that were uncovered by archaeologists working in Anzio, or at least I assume I was reading it, as it was the largest book I had chosen, and also the most riveting; I also found it underneath me later on which suggests it had been in my hands when I tripped.
Normally, this wouldn't have been a problem as I've made the trip home so many times while reading it's been ingrained into muscle memory. However, at some point I managed to wander into, of all things, an incredibly vast forest of a type that didn't quite coincide with any habitat I've ever read about, instead having bits and pieces of all sorts of different forests all mixed together into something utterly unique and nonsensical. Based on the circumstantial evidence, I then tripped on something, hit my head on a tree, and promptly lost consciousness, which explains the concussion (though getting something like a concussion from hitting my head on a tree is kind of embarrassing).
I suppose I could've been assaulted and then dragged to the odd forest, but if I was, whomever did it was very good at leaving no sign of their attack: no signs of struggle on my body, no missing items, and everything consistent with my having tripped: bruised forehead, scattered books, etc.
My memory of when I woke up is better, but still a bit hazy as I was just recovering from my concussion-induced loss of consciousness. The first thing I can remember noticing was that my glasses were dirty, so I cleaned them. Then I noticed the trees, but I assume I was still too woozy to realize that I live in the middle of a city and have never walked to a forest, much less woken up in the middle of one. To my left, I noticed my things strewn about on the forest floor; below me, I recall seeing The Life of Caesar, as well as something else that my mind wasn't at liberty to fully process until a few seconds later. This was because I realized that my wrist was a bit sore, and upon closer inspection, now had an odd-looking watch-like device strapped to it. It was (and is) a bit bulkier than I'd prefer, but as it is my favorite colors, I was willing to overlook it for the time being (though, more on this later).
Then I realized that, on top of my newly-acquired The Life of Caesar book, was something that, from a biological standpoint, does not make any fucking sense whatsoever.
It was a pretty small something, maybe about two-thirds the size of my head. It was pretty much an orb without any noticeable limbs that could be used for locomotion, only a leaf-like tail(?) and a number of dangerous-looking spikes. Its green color and aforementioned leaf-like appendage would suggest a plant of some sort, but it had a fucking face like a goddamn human. At least, it had two eyes and a mouth with teeth, but no nose or ears that I could see. That would still suggest an animal were it not for the proportions: it would make more sense as a head of a larger creature, but trying to fit every organ that an animal needs to live in a body that is half face, has no means of efficient locomotion (unless it rolls, which I now know it doesn't), possibly (probably?) has multiple venom glands to fit with those thorns, even taking into account the possibility of a diet partially based on photosynthesis, it just has no biological precedent.
I couldn't take my eyes off of it, and it must've noticed, because then it started talking. I have no idea what it was saying, though, as I was trying to figure out how the fucking hell it had room for the lungs and voicebox which, in addition to the mouth I could see, would allow for complex sound, and even more importantly, a brain large enough for language to be possible, much less the English that it apparently knows how to speak, which is another load of unanswered questions. As I noted previously, it doesn't make any sense. The thing was some kind of Lovecraftian horror, if Lovecraft wrote children's books (I will admit, now that I've had time to think it through, it is kind of cute, in an odd sort of way).
It was around then that I realized that I was on my knees in the middle of a strange forest, staring at an eldritch abomination. As I have a firm desire to keep both my life and my sanity, I packed up my books as quickly as possible and set off to attempt to find my way back to civilization.
Oh, was I in for a surprise.
At this point, I'd like to note that I surprisingly hadn't come to the conclusion that this was a dream, nor have I come to that conclusion since then. I am fairly certain that the elements found in dreams are drawn from the dreamer's experiences, and I've honestly never experienced anything like that. Additionally, it was unlike any other dream I've ever had, and didn't feel like it was a dream.
Of course, what happened next was certainly surreal enough to be a dream. I was walking through the forest, away from that thing, when I heard a laugh coming from one of the trees. I looked around, hoping to find another human, but what I was found was...even more of an abomination than the other thing. This one took the form of a human girl, or at least it tried; it seemed to be, I don't know, blurry? Like it's edges weren't properly defined, if that makes any sense. Then again, not much makes sense in this world. Even weirder? The decidedly fake 'girl' seemed to be warping reality around her, causing the branch she was on to turn into some sort of slide, and the trees started to fucking wave at her as if they were old friends, and she fucking waved back! Even as she spoke, she was still...I don't know how to put it. Having difficulties holding the form? She didn't exactly seem stable, and I'm pretty sure her eyes changed colors at least once.
Also, I saw the fucking leaves turn into fucking buttercups when they hit the ground. Though that may have been a concussion-induced hallucination? I've never had one, I think, so I don't know.
The other thing caught up to me, and started talking to the fake 'girl'. I think it introduced itself, but I was too caught up in the fucking weirdness to really follow their conversation; when the goddamn branches above me started turning into nets, I decided it was time to get the fuck out of there, and figure out how to get home.
It was about then that the ground opened up. There wasn't a shred of warning; one moment I'm backing away on solid forest soil, the next minute I'm scrambling up the edge of rapidly-expanding sinkhole. The 'girl', I think, was standing at the center of it (and probably caused it, if she really does have reality-warping powers) and went down first, then me, and for some reason the plant-face thing jumped after me.
We landed in what I would eventually determine was an impossible mixture of bubblegum and cotton candy, rather than the solid rock I was expecting; though as impossibly bizarre as the rest of the day, I suppose I should be grateful for that. Fake girl didn't like being stuck, and whatever she is, she has some pretty powerful lungs. I almost forgot she wasn't human, until she fucking turned to dust and reformed off the goop. Just as some other beast appeared, probably attracted by her scream (and the fall, and probably our collective scent).
Did I mention that I was panicking? Because I sure as hell was. The plant-face thing took notice, and actually tried to console me! Said it was going to 'protect' me or something, which obviously I didn't buy, for two reasons: first, it was a goddamn eldritch abomination, and second, it was a tiny eldritch abomination.
The new beast that I felt quite certain was going to kill me was, just my luck, another impossible creature. It was bigger than plant-face, maybe as tall as a small child but with a pretty bulky build. It had sort of a dull white skin, with some bizarre tattoo or something on its chest. It had a thick tail, presumably used for balance (it walked upright!), and a long horn sticking out from the middle of its forehead, like a unicorn. It seemed to be wearing the pelt from another monster like a cape and cowl. It did not appear friendly in the least.
It fucking breathed fire at us. That was pretty goddamn unexpected; I had figured my death would be by claws and teeth rather than immolation. Seriously, who the hell expects some with long claws and teeth to shoot fire? Then again, I need to keep reminding myself that this world does not make any fucking sense.
Sidenote: As I have already stated, I was pretty certain, even then, that this was not a dream, and it sure as hell wasn't possible on Earth. Even though it was completely fucking insane, the only explanation I can come up with was that I wasn't on Earth anymore, which scares me as much as every other monster I met that day.
So there I was, stuck in some fucking gum in the middle of a cavern, awaiting fiery death. Then face-plant kindly reminded me that I apparently haven't seen anything close to the maximum level of weirdness that this place had to offer.
He jumped in front of the jet of flame, but rather than dying as any rational person would expect, he started glowing. The light, strangely enough, didn't seem quite bright enough to force me to shield my eyes, and within it I could make out plant-face...changing. Metamorphosing into something different, something bigger. When the light disappeared, I saw that it had turned into some kind of giant caterpillar, just sitting right there on my chest (it was considerably heavier than plant-face was). On one hand, I really wanted to know what the hell just happened. On the other hand, big-bug was much more threatening to the prone and stuck me than plant-face was. It looked(?) at me, then scuttled off towards the horned thing with ease.
I think it tried reasoning with the horned thing, but I was too busy trying to break free to really notice what they were doing. It didn't end up so well for big-bug, though, as he had been set aflame again by the time I'd gotten my upper body free and was trying to free the disaster that was my hair. I just managed to yank the rest of myself free and roll off the gum-goop to see that not only had big-bug survived the fire, but it had also managed to turn the tables on the horned thing. As much as a part of me wanted to just run, my legs weren't moving; I guess it was sort of like watching a car crash: I just couldn't look away from the two monsters. Then, big-bug thrust his large stinger at the horned thing's chest, and the latter monster died.
And by 'died', I mean 'dissolve into fucking dust'. It reminded me so much of the fake girl (who had left once the horned thing had shown up) that I actually expected the monster to just reform a few feet away, but apparently that wasn't the case.
And then, naturally ANOTHER thing popped up, this time from under the ground where the last monster had disappeared (been killed?). It almost reminded me of the pictures I've seen of an armadillo, but its legs and claws were too long, the snout too short, and like every other thing I'd seen, it could talk. It apparently didn't like the fact that big-bug's stinger was right above it, but big-bug actually managed to talk to it.
Also, yeah, apparently I'm big-bug's “partner”, which really weirded me out at the time. I DO know more about what's going on, of course, but I want to do this in order.
Anyway, fakedillo agrees to escort us out of the cavern, and says that apparently some 'ripple' thing came through some time ago and turned some of the local 'digimon' (more on that later) violent, meaning, I guess, that they normally don't go around trying to kill everyone. Fakedillo also mentions something about a city that we should go to...I didn't recognize the name, which is more (unnecessary) evidence for the 'not on earth' hypothesis.
Now, like any sane person that had just been through what I'd been through, I was a little hesitant about following a giant talking caterpillar monster and a slightly larger talking armored mammal-like monster through what would have otherwise been a lovely, and uninteresting, cavern. Big-bug, despite lacking any noticeable eyes (or reason to have empathy for non-insectoid-abominations), realized this, and said that apparently there are other humans in the city, and that I'd be safe there.
Considering that the only other 'human' I'd seen was clearly something else, and big-bug didn't seem to have realized, I was understandably reluctant to trust him. Still, I was probably screwed regardless, so I decided to follow them.
So, as we walk, big-bug and fakedillo start talking about the 'ripple' and how it apparently gives the local monsters something similar to rabies, but 'weirder' – some of the affected just got weaker, others just shrugged it off. Which, really, is what you'd see in most diseases, right? Some immune systems are genetically predisposed to handle them better.
Also, apparently the 'ripple' or 'wave' or whatever made some tyrant bitch calling herself 'Insomnia' (which is both lame and pretentious at the same time) disappear (big-bug took a while to figure what fakedillo meant, as apparently he's less than a day old, meaning that insectoid horrors have pretty odd life cycles), along with her bodyguard. She was apparently human, too, which is odd because you'd think that, in a world of monsters, one of them would be the dictator. Still, definitely something I need to read up on – how many people can say they've seen the fall of a ruthless dictator in their lifetime?
Around then we emerged back into the strange forest, fakedillo recommending we take something called a 'trailmon' into the city before digging straight into the ground like it was nothing. Big-bug says that a trailmon is a fucking living train (also, he called fakedillo an 'armadimon'), and that even though he's never ridden one (and is only a few hours old!) he's sure they're free to ride. He says that I'm safe with him, but I really doubt it.
In all honesty, the 'trailmon' station did remind me of an old-fashioned train station. And, of course, 'trailmon' are in fact living trains. Just let that sink in. Honestly, I don't really know [/i]why[/i] I decided to follow big-bug into what I assumed was the thing's stomach, but I did, and (obviously) I didn't ends up dying at all! It seemed like a fairly run-of-the-mill train, which begs the question of how and why do living trains even exist?
I feel like my life has become one long string of unanswerable questions.
I accidentally brushed up against big-bug as we sat down, and it was pretty creepy – its exoskeleton was stiff and smooth, and yet alive. It (he?) finally introduced himself as Jules (which I'm taking as meaning that he's male or equivalent), and 'explained' that he was my partner, that we were somewhere called the 'digital world' (I'll tackle the implications of that on a later date), and that he was a 'digital monster', 'digimon' for short, one of the original inhabitants of this world before humans came along. He implied (but didn't outright state) that the other monsters from earlier were digimon as well, and said that the thing on my wrist (a 'digivice') had more information about them. He then said that digimon apparently grow and change over time in that rapid metamorphosis I saw earlier, which he called 'evolution' (as well as 'digivolution', though both terms are rather stupid). Apparently, the standard digimon life cycle has six stages: baby 1, baby 2, child, adult, perfect, and ultimate. He was in his child stage, called 'dokunemon', having evolved from plant-face baby 2 'budmon' and baby 1 'botamon' sometime while I was unconscious, which seems to mean that the first two stages are passed through rather quickly.
After informing me of my apparent concussion, he said that he'd take me to a clinic in the city we were going to. Unfortunately, he didn't know the way (having never been to the city in his life) and so we ended up wandering around for nearly an hour. There is an incredible level of diversity among the digimon population – size, shape, coloration, etc. - but what surprised me the most was that the occasional human that we passed seemed to be, well, human. Dressed a bit oddly, I suppose, but clearly not reality-warping abominations like that 'girl' from the forest. Nearly all of them had a digimon with them, some with more than one, and absolutely none of them seemed at all bothered by the fact that they were walking in a city of biology-defying monsters. I can't help but wonder if there will come a day when I end up like that...
Anyway, eventually one of the other humans – a tall, young, axe-carrying man with an eye patch who was accompanied by some kind of dog, and bird in a poncho, and a fucking candle – ended up pointing us to the clinic, which just so happened to be the building he'd just come out of.
The nurse was, fortunately enough, another human. She began what I assume was the standard examination for suspected concussions.
I'm...I'm honestly kind of...glad that Jules told her that I don't talk. I...honestly don't want to think of what kind of embarrassing thing would have come out of my mouth...fortunately, like I said, Jules said I didn't talk, and the nurse was able to finish the exam. She confirmed that I had a concussion, and suggested that I relax (how?) for a few days so I can heal properly. She also looked over Jules' burns from that fight earlier, and rubbed in some kind of ointment to treat them, also saying that he should take it easy for a little while.
She produced a tin of suckers, and I guess I was so relieved by the normalcy of it that I just sort of took one without thinking. I guess I was a bit hungry, having been through so much and having gone so long without eating, so whatever.
Another bout of wandering later, we stumbled across what looked like an apartment building, which Jules had apparently been looking for. I didn't recognize the style of architecture of any of the nearby buildings, they almost seemed to be a mish-mash of different styles (sort of like the forest earlier had been a mix of different earth-based ecosystems). Anyway, according to Jules this place was where we'd have to live 'for the duration of my stay in the digital world', which hopefully means that I'll be able to get back home sooner rather than later. Despite the fact that I probably didn't have any official records or proof of identity (I did learn that I had currency of a sort, though), we managed to get a permanent room (seriously, who the hell makes their official policy 'first come, first serve, just stake your claim and don't pay a thing' their policy? This world doesn't make any sense.
The apartment was shockingly normal, and as soon as I saw that the freezer was stocked with frozen foods (how the hell? They weren't even old!) I looked around for something I could use to remove the gum from my hair (a bottle of olive oil).
The shower that followed (the apartment has one bedroom with two beds, which don't look like they'd be able to accommodate all the various digimon, and one bathroom) wasn't nearly as relaxing as it ought to have been, even accounting for the need to thoroughly clean my hair.
Anyway, after that, I went back out into the kitchen to get something more substantial than a sucker to eat. It was there that I found Jules gnawing on some can of spaghetti (with those little bits of hot dog mixed in). I assumed he was hungry, so after a bit of rummaging I managed to find a can opener. It actually smelled pretty terrible, and I wasn't certain how to cook it (the worm's gnawing had done away with a good part of the cooking instructions on the label), but Jules didn't seem to care.
Just thinking about him eating a bowl of bad-smelling cold pasta still makes me a bit nauseous, and I'm ashamed to say that seeing (and hearing!) it the first time, right when I was recovering from both a concussion and a bit of trauma, made be throw up a bit (I managed to get back to the toilet in time).
I honestly don't know if I should keep that detail in there, but it's worth saying that Jules is a horribly disgusting eater. And, actually, pretty disgusting (or maybe horrifying) in general.
So, I opted to delay food for a few hours, and after returning the olive oil I retrieved my bag and books from the chair I'd thrown it on an retreated into the bedroom, which brings this journal more-or-less up to the present time, minus a bit of book-reading before I decided to write about my day.
That's it for now, oh future historian, and I hope your life hasn't turned as fucking weird as mine.
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The Journal of Molly Schneider
- Joined: Sep 25 2006, 06:23 PM