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When I was a child, we lived on a farm. It was right at the place where this area called The Suburbs -- a real shit-hole back Before, left off and you had small towns and farms and woods an' stuff. People lived in the city still -- consuming the waste left by the people from Before. So every month or two, there was a reason to go into The City -- trade mostly, sometimes fun. I've seen old maps now and I know it must have had a name, but hell if I know what it was. The people there were strange. Much stranger than the people in The Country. And one time, there were fifteen of them hanging from ropes thrown over a sign that straddled the road. I thought they were doing something strange but then Mother hid my face from them. They were hanged by the neck. Maybe horse-thieves according to this one book -- but there weren't horses in The City. The strangest thing about The City were the enormous buildings -- not like anything you've ever seen. They were built up to the sky. And when I was five, I discovered that if I climbed out the window of my bedroom and into the tree, and all the way to the top -- where I'd wobble to'n'fro 'cause the bough was as thin as my arm, I could see those buildings. Going there an' seeing them up close was scary. Seein' them from my tree was like magic.Holy Hell! What's he got to do with all this -- I ain't thought of him in twenty years, I bet. It's Doctor Seuss. When I was a young man, I took up with this other fella had no parents -- it was even more common back then than it is now. We lived together, scavenging and farming. We were lovers. It's good to have someone to work beside; to share with; to care about. Someone to care back atcha! One autumn, he took a load of squash that we'd grown into the nearby hold to trade for whatever; honey, ammunition, new clothes -- you know! There was a ruckus -- shooting and an explosion. Lots of folks at market died. Doctor Seuss was one got blown up. Why would I be seeing him mixed up in all this trouble? Makes no sense!
Spector craves forgiveness from the dead. From those he's killed -- starting with his parents and so many more since then, most immediately Matilda and even Unnamed Thug. He's not really meant for this world and the dog-eat-dog nature wears on him even as, like Gritch himself, he continues to do whatever it takes to survive. Maybe that's why he's always molly-coddling the spookies instead of crushing them.When Gritch is inside Spector, he smells the flora. It's obvious that's what it is, but there are more smells than he's ever noticed before. Even just wet leaves have hundreds of different smells if you bother to catalog them. There's more in there, but his time is short and he's concentrating on a question.
I'll leave the front door so that it'll pull over some bottles if someone opens it
Lars, this morning finds me in an altogether unhappy situation. A ruffian and a hostage appeared at my place, claiming to be siblings, but clearly not. They were carrying a sick man on a litter. As it became clear that the ruffian is one of those who intends harm to all forms of order and beauty, I opted to take his life and rescue his hostage. As these things do sometimes, it went poorly. In our altercation, I killed the innocent and the ruffian fled. At least I took his pistol. I brought the bleeding victim, a girl named Matilda whom I believe was from Backwater and the unconscious man about whom I know nothing, to The Chateau. The girl died en route and I've left the diseased fellow in the care of your man Crutch.I hope that you will have the resources to devote attention to three things. First, the ruffian who fled my place is out and about, and likely to cause trouble for others -- and quite possibly, for me. I would rest easier knowing that one of your patrols had dispatched him. I am hoping that the ill man in the care of Crutch does not represent a new disease in our area. Some of these are quite damaging. It might be especially bad were he to find his way into the local food supply. Third, and I'll understand if it seems to be least important; if Backwater falls under your umbrella of governance, you may want to investigate whatever unrest or famine might be taking place that sent these kids wandering from their home to mine. And perhaps take the time to alert their kin that the two young, copper-haired travelers have met their end.On an unrelated note, Marlene and I have discussed mounting a salvage expedition to the old military hospital. I don't know the way, but she does. It appears, however, that there is a security issue and people who go there either never come back or when they do, are not quite right in the head. I like to imagine that there is equipment and supplies there that we -- as a greater community, might quite benefit from if we were able to bring it back. Is this something that you would be interested in sponsoring? A small security and labor detail would be quite welcome.I hope that this letter finds your day better than mine.Sincerely,Spector
"Look, if I pull one of these confused souls out of a child and into a little doll, don't you think the child deserves a little something as a souvenir? And that way, the soul gets to stay closer to whereitwanted too. It's a win-win."
The world was different. There was more crap going down every day -- large gangs; armies really, acid rain, plague, brother killing brother -- shit, you name it. Things have settled down as we're getting use to the world the way it is. But we also had more stuff left from Before. Average folks had treasure troves by our modern standards. I was seven maybe. My folks were born Before and ran a farm -- tractors and everything, like in the little golden books. But after the shit, they were barely making it. The world was upside down and whole crops would die and a couple years earlier, we ate nothing but grasshoppers because that's all we had. Like I said, I was just little. We were sitting on a sack of beans -- waiting for sommut I suppose, they never explained it. I was little, but grew up on a farm during hard times and I knew how to work. I planted that entire sack of beans. We were hungry and my folks weren't planting and I didn't know why. Not sure why I didn't just ask -- kids are stupid that way. But I planted the beans back behind our garden so it could be my secret. I was weeding them and carrying water up from the crick twice a day. I woke up one morning and they were all gone. some damned mold got them -- leaves all dusty white until they disappeared. That was everything we had left. Father went to find work but never came back. Mother starved by giving me all the food she had.I killed my parents when I was just little.I don't ever think about it like that -- not so directly. Hurts too much. But I do take care of orphans and feed all the locals.Oh, sure. I love that girl. It's not like story-book love, but I'd sure kill or die to keep her safe. But I love easy. She's not the only one. Just the only one who maybe loves me back just now. She was a wispy little girl. That's when I fell in love with her. She was living in the bunkhouse with three other little ones 'had parents killed in local skirmishes. She genuinely liked the work we did. She was passionate about breeding rabbits and helping out in the lab. Even when she was too young to really know what we were doing. There's magic in creating seeds and then watching them grow and then eating the produce and she recognized it. She couldn't have been more than ten years old when she remade a flower that used to grow in these part back Before. Peonies, the records said. They weren't quite right -- didn't make seeds of their own, but they were amazing. That was when I fell in love with her. It's weird -- usually you're fucking someone for a while before you fall in love, but I with Pamming it was years before we started that up. She's been a peach her whole life.
Posted By: Christopher WeeksI've never eaten people-meat. Not so far as I know. Things were really tight after Father went away and I was just little. I don't really know what mama fed me, but y'know, there were never any signs that it might be people-meat. And I'd rather not. Tell the truth, I'm a little wary about eating meat in general. I mean, we don't live in such luxury that we can be picky -- and if a goat gets old or a horse has to be put down, it doesn't go to waste, but I'd rather eat taters and berries and such.
Posted By: Michael LoySo, basically, Spector could go and chat with other psychic dudes all up the coast, up into the mountains, wherever he likes. Maybe all telepathic, maybe more out-of-body, near-death-experience, maybe some kind of astral projection thing. I don't know, whatever.