Friday, November 29, 2013

To Split Rock Lighthouse-09

(From an entry dated March 4th, 2013)

The problem with being the only man on a boat is that you have to sleep some time, and I’m not that good at doing this boat stuff. I didn’t want someone climbing aboard and eating me, so I stayed way offshore and used the anchor to keep the boat in place, after I found the owner’s manual—I did not expect to find it, but there it was so I read it—and carefully read up on how to do it right. I ate, I drank, I slept and woke up not eaten by a grue so I figured that I did something right.

I also woke up to see Ken waiting for me in the galley. This didn’t set right with me, so I walked in warily. He put down a bowl full of corn flakes, and that was enough for me to stick around. He told me of his encounter with Yuki.

She’s dead. Let’s get that out of the way. All of the endless winter stuff will soon abate and the natural cycle will reassert itself, I assume. Ken told me that he surprised Yuki, making her think that he was me just long enough to get the deciding blow: a knife in the throat. That didn’t stop Yuki from a long fight in an attempt to take him with her. Even with a blade stuck in her neck, and her powers over weather nullified, the full physical prowess she displayed—which I already saw glimpses of before I fled—made her out to be truly monstrous. Ken walked away bleeding and injured, but Yuki died.

Ken said nothing about the child, other than Yuki didn’t have it when he made his move, so I don’t live with any concern over the slaughter of a pregnant woman, however inhuman she was. No, what hurt was what he said next. “Yuki Onna? Yuki no Onna, the Snow Maiden? You had a bona-fide Japanese monster in your bed and you couldn’t figure it out?” He didn’t let up. “No wonder she flipped out over the zombies and me running around out there. She planned on setting herself up here, Queen of an Eternal Winter Wonderland, with you as her captive man-candy and eventually extort survivors for relief from the ice and cold- just enough to stay alive and pay her tribute.”

Sucker. He called me a sucker, and he was right. Played on my sympathy, timed things to make her move most effective, quickly turned on me and pulled classic abusive girlfriend maneuvers on me to mess with my head. Sneaking out, quite frankly, was the smartest move I did in this whole affair. But I’m not sure that it’s quite over yet. Ken’s sticking around me, and he’s not the idle type; I have every reason to believe that something yet unfinished is coming for me as a loose end, and Ken is using me as bait to get at it- and both of us know it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

To Split Rock Lighthouse-08

(From an entry dated March 31st, 2013)

I might as well not exist. Yuki’s gone all super-villainess on me. She Witch-Queen Yuki, flying out there regularly—despite being obviously pregnant now—and freezing zombie herds solid before shattering them with hail storms. Spring doesn’t exist anymore either; Yuki, I swear, single-handedly fixed the weather to be in a permanent Winter and whether it’s idyllic or horrific depends entirely on her mood. It’s late March, and the snow is as thick now as it was in January. I just hide in the house or in the tower now, listening to the radio, and stay out of Yuki’s way; nothing I can say or do can sway her now and I want to stay alive.

In part the radio chatter, such as it is, is what keeps me going. I hear more and more chatter about the zombie-eating man. Writing this journal is the other thing, documenting just how everything is completely upside down now after the disaster. Either way, this is utterly insane; I’m keeping it together entirely through these tenuous ties to the outside world, such as they are. The plan remains the same, however, and that plan is to bug out as soon as I can; overland routes are not an option now, unfortunately, so I’ve been making a rope long enough to scale the cliff face and strong enough to hold me, my gear and maybe a canoe. It’s gotta work.

(From an entry dated April 3rd, 2013)

I’m out. It took a lot of hiding, facilitated by Yuki being obsessed with keeping the undead away, but I did manage to get out. I did not get out without help, however. As I sneaked out I found him, the zombie-eating man, sneaking in. I got to say that he’s as scary-looking as the reports say: skin white as snow, eyes a sickly yellow in blackened sockets, totally hairless and a lean and athletic build showing him to be an experienced and skilled tracker and killer. He came for Yuki. He found me, and—much to my amazement—he decided to hold off on Yuki and help me escape instead.

He said that his name was Ken, that the whole world is overrun by the undead, and that Yuki is not the first supernatural thing other than a zombie that he’s come across. He climbed up the cliff face from below, having stolen an abandoned boat to get here, and he helped me back down and into the boat. Then we talked a bit as he warmed me up, and I told him everything about Yuki. He told me to go after he began climbing back up to the lighthouse, to leave Yuki to him, and not to go to Duluth or Two Harbors, but instead head for the old Canadian border.

I don’t know why, but I trusted him and I did as he asked. Once out of sight, I kept along the coast and wondered “What now?”

Friday, November 15, 2013

To Split Rock Lighthouse-07

(From an entry dated March 15th)

Yuki’s got to have some weather control powers. This winter weather just won’t quit. The snows have yet to melt, the blizzards around us have been even worse than would expect out of the end-of-season storms, and it’s like all those stories of an endless winter after a nuclear war I heard about as a kid. Her behavior is increasingly manic, switching from being a pixie dream girl to a mad goddess. I’ve not been able to do much at all in terms of scouting out an exit route, nevermind any other preparations, and I think she’s using her powers to confine me to the grounds. I get out during the day to do work around the grounds or listen to the radio, but it’s always as if severe weather goes all around us. I have doubts now that Spring will come here.

Over the radio, someone broke in over the FEMA band. They’re claiming that the world’s overrun by zombies, ones run by a hive mind, ones with clear leadership and all the stuff that Dave told us before Yuki killed him. That’s not the most worrisome part. The guy making this broadcast said he’s alive only because someone killed the zombies about to get to him, someone completely hairless and with skill white like snow, someone that started to eat those dead (again?) zombies while he gathered up his stuff to bug out. Yuki, for the first time, stopped what she did when she heard this; she froze in place, her eyes went wide and she gasped- she clearly showed fear.

Since then I’ve listened for more reports. This man—this snow-white, hairless man that ate zombies—increased in appearances by individuals breaking into the FEMA band to report movements and other news. Yuki’s fear grew with each one. I don’t bother talking to her about these things any more, but just knowing that there’s something out there—close enough to scare her—gives me hope that I can get out from under this thing’s thumb.

(From an entry dated March 30th)

They’ve come. The zombies are here. Yuki let up—I think—enough for me to range well outside the compound, hoping for some late-season game. While out scouting and ranging, I found the first of them—hunters dead of exposure—who’ve wandered our way. I quickly took them out with well-placed shots, but soon more came. Yuki noticed when I came back without meat and out of ammo; I had to tell her what happened, and she flew into a rage- fortunately not at me.

I’ve seen Yuki do her thing now, and she’s terrifying. She flies, using winds as both weapons and locomotion. She’s flash-frozen and shattered groups, then hordes, of them all at once. I stopped with the kill count—as it were—after the first few hundred shambled our way. I don’t go with her anymore; I’m just a liability compared to her way of fighting. Instead, I stay locked in and on the radio; FEMA said they’re coming, but they keep running into freakish winter weather.

Zombie-eater man, I need you now.

Friday, November 8, 2013

To Split Rock Lighthouse-06

(From an entry dated February 24th)

Someone broke in from Two Harbors today. The man called himself “Dave”, and he was not at all calm or collected. Yuki and I listened to him for the whole of the morning. The man rambled on for much of this time about zombies, straight out of Romero moves or that TV show I never watched. (Yuki mentioned the many videogames, but I didn’t play them either.) According to Yuki, Dave described the bog-standard zombie initially until the last hour or so when he started talking about mutant zombies of a sort that mimic the living. They talked, ran, and were superhuman in ability; Yuki speculated that this is due to their lack of a need to pace themselves.

Someone broke in from Two Harbors today. The man called himself “Dave”, and he was not at all calm or collected. Yuki and I listened to him for the whole of the morning. The man rambled on for much of this time about zombies, straight out of Romero moves or that TV show I never watched. (Yuki mentioned the many videogames, but I didn’t play them either.) According to Yuki, Dave described the bog-standard zombie initially until the last hour or so when he started talking about mutant zombies of a sort that mimic the living. They talked, ran, and were superhuman in ability; Yuki speculated that this is due to their lack of a need to pace themselves.

Yuki took him to get him clean and fed. This meant going outside again, and that was when I saw Yuki freeze Dave solid and shatter his frozen form. She came back inside, and she snapped me out of my shock. She said that Dave was himself a zombie, one of those mutants, and a degenerating one at that. She claimed that he would have degenerated into your usual shambling flesh-eater within hours, and then come for us once he turned, so she killed him to protect us- all three of us.

I am no longer certain that I am sane. I witnessed the impossible, the literally impossible, and yet this woman who calls herself Yuki Onna tells me that she did it to protect me and our child. She said this as if freezing people to death was no different than shooting them in the head. Did she freeze that group of college kids in the car? This must be how Odysseus felt while with Circe, because I’m certainly afraid of this superwoman now, and yet the world beyond this lighthouse is probably no better overall- and likely to be much worse.

As for that child, if Yuki is real—and this is real—then her being with child is also real and that child is not human even if I am its—yes, “it”—father. I cannot delude myself into thinking that staying here is an option, not if she’s at all capable of turning that power on me. Now all of the oddities make sense, and once more I can hear the geeks and nerds back on campus laughing at me; I’ve become one big punch line to them, but for me this is becoming the protagonist of a horror story.

I just need to hold out until the season changes. Once the snow melts and the ice fades, I can make a run for it. If I can keep Yuki happy until then, I can escape from this place. As much I don’t like abandoning this lighthouse, I don’t think I have a choice anymore. In the meantime, I need to do what I can to keep others away; I can use that time to scout my way out of here when the time comes for me.

Friday, November 1, 2013

To Split Rock Lighthouse-05

(From an entry dated February 21st.)

I’ve taken to doing my radio contact from the top of the lighthouse during the day, looking out over Lake Superior towards Duluth. Yuki joins me, keeping a vigil for the promised FEMA rescue group. I’m told by the FEMA man on the radio that the disaster somehow the use of a heretofore unknown, but often theorized, bio-weapon and because of its effects FEMA has to shift away from its known disaster plans for the population to an entirely different plan- one that, fortunately, they were prepared to execute. Because of this need to shift plans, their response to holdouts like us is much delayed.

Yuki listens in utter silence when the FEMA man is on the air. She’s still not in favor of us going with them, but this is something else. When he pauses, she whispers into my ear, and she says that this man sounds like he’s affected by something. So, to nip this in the bud, I recorded the radio broadcasts and ran them through the editing suite on my laptop to show Yuki that she’s hearing things. Once I show her that he, at worst, is letting his fatigue interfere with his speaking then I thought that Yuki would back down and then I’d have the chance to convince her to go my way on this.

Well, that was the plan. It turns out that the voice patterns betray the man, albeit in ways that are subtle to ears not accustomed to searching for this difference. Long story short, Yuki’s right to be concerned. I don’t agree that he sounds like a dead man faking at being alive, but Yuki insists that we’re listening to a dead man and I’m just not familiar with the difference. “Not all of us didn’t listen to the old stories,” eh?

The world has suffered a global disaster, there’s a bio-weapon running around, and I’m trapped in a lighthouse with a Japanese girl who’s pregnant with my child and dancing around claiming that she can see spirits and dead people. The geeks in the anime club, if they could see this, would swear that I am now living out some hack comic writer’s fantasies in a multi-genre mashup that would only get on the stands or on the air in Japan. (No one in Hollywood would ever catch this pitch. That’s for sure.) I’m not sure which is worse: the possibility of this being a zombie apocalypse, or the possibility that my “wife” is insane.

At least Winter is on its way out. Soon February will be done, and the transition out of this and into Spring will begin. I think that getting Yuki to focus on this seasonal transition will be good enough to keep her mind in the real world and not off in Crazytown. Whatever’s holding up FEMA will certainly clear up once the snow and ice melt away. I have no reason to believe that rescue will be later than the end of next month.