(being a chapter further down the road from The Road. Hope Mr McCarthy don’t mind)
So he went further down the road. Without me. And with me. I talk to him like I promised I would. And he talks to me.
I prefer being here. It’s not cold here. There’s no endless journeying from nowhere to elsewhere here. But the dreams are real. The monsters don’t lope away into the shadows. They sit with me. They try to talk to me too.
I don’t wake from dreams. Dreams awaken from me. I can’t describe time as morning and night. I know that the boy does when he talks to me. After he told me it was morning and he’d just woken, the creature raised its head from the pool and regarded me with those dead eyes. It crouched for a beat and then stood and lurched towards me on a path that wasn’t straight.
Nothing it can do to hurt me so I just waited and it came and squatted by me. Nothing I could do to hurt it. Nothing to say I thought. And nothing was said. Nothing to hear I gathered. But then it spoke. Something like speech. But not.
Told me God breathed through all creatures and since they were gone, God was short of wood for the fire. Told me to keep the fire up in the boy.
I said that that’s what I told him already. A light flared in the distance. Warmth in a place where warm and cold had never been.
I don’t know how you’re getting this. There are mysterious ways and there are impossible things. There is the flow of time that seems to go in one way only. When you get to me, you’re gone. When you get to the boy, I’m gone. When the creature talks, there’s nobody to listen. But you got this book that I’ve written. And the words came from nowhere sane.
Sometimes I seem a little lost within myself and I find words and I bring them back and I write them down and they serve. Sometimes I wake from a dream and something comes back with me and I have to get it down quick or it fades. Sometimes I find words in the shower and I say I can never forget them and I hold them delicately while I turn off the water and dry my hands and then I see the sun coming in through the blinds and hear the garbage truck arriving and then I find paper to find that I have nothing.
But here’s something.
He moves down the road. Further away by each hour.
He moves down the road. Closer to us by the minute.
Choose your path well.