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(continued)

Banks, OR

April 21st, 2020

I can feel their eyes on me, looking at me as though they can’t figure out why they can see me now. In all the times before now that I’ve seen them only a few have ever seemed as though they knew I was here. Now I can feel their stares, their bewilderment. I don’t know why, and I’m sure I don’t want to know, but now that they’re coming so frequently I have to wonder if I’m going to be the next victim of a ripple effect. My mind won’t stop churning out one scenario after another, imagining various ways in which I might die. The old man I saw right before his death recognized me, that point still keeps drumming into my head like a blunt spike trying to dig at a memory that I should be able to access but can’t seem to at this moment.

He recognized me right before he became road pizza, and he might have been about to speak. But the ripple effect created something that seemingly came out of nowhere, and it was simply too late for anything other than a brief look. But I saw recognition there, I know it. And for some reason, Banks seems to be where things are the busiest right now in terms of the others. Forest Grove has them, so does Beaverton, Hillsboro, Cornelius, and everywhere else I’ve been in the past few months. In fact everywhere I’ve gone I’ve seen at least a couple, so it’s not an isolated incident.

But I can’t figure out why I’m becoming such an interest here. This isn’t my second or even third time to Banks, I’ve walked through the town plenty just in my own aimless way. But those several times it was never like this. Could my continued presence be drawing them? I don’t want to think that’s possible or even feasible since it would mean that it’s essentially them against me, and there’s a lot more of them than me. But it’s also a grandiose thought that’s more than a little egocentric, and that’s just not me.

They’re getting closer. I can see a few ripples going off in different directions, but not far enough away to ease my mind. I’m staying to sidewalk, minding my own business, not even looking at them, and still they seem to be drawing closer, as though trying to make it seem that they’re just going about their business. I know better, I’ve seen them and they know it, and now I’ve got hell to pay, or something, I don’t know.

God I sound like one of those paranoid schizo’s from TV or the movies right now, but I can’t help it. Why in the hell did I ever sign up for that experiment? Project Optimal Vision they called it, a stupid name for a stupid company that didn’t even know who their technology was being subbed out to. The thought of extra-dimensional shit and the like creeps me out whenever I read it now, because it strikes a nerve that’s too close to home. I still wonder how many others like me saw….

Oh no, oh hell no.  Just down the street now I can see what looks like a black sedan followed by two dark SUV’s, each one of them parked on opposite sides of the road. I know that people around these parts drive just about anything they can afford, but these rigs stand out like a sore thumb, and even from here I can see the plates are government-issue. You spend enough time on the run and staying low and you get to notice a few things through experience and research. But how in the hell did they find me?

The others are getting closer, and even now I can see people getting out of the cars. Yet my feet keep me moving forward, and there’s no telling which fate I’m more terrified of right now.

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