Well, I got digging around the dusty old cellar today and I came across a whole heap of old leather bound books with each and every page blank. So I thought to myself that I might as well put one of them to good use. I guess I got myself a new diary to use.
It is quite remarkable how good the condition the books are in considering how old they look. It continually surprises me the amount of handy items I find in this place. I know this place has been under the care of my relatives for over a hundred years, but you would think that in that time, someone would have taken the time to go through all the old crap from the previous occupants of this place.
In any case, the unpacking process is almost complete. It seems a little weird that my wife, kids and I are now living in old Uncle Charlie's ranch. It's been years since I've last set foot in this place before he passed on. Charlie and I never really got on so well - so it was certainly a surprise to find out that he left his place to me in his will.
I wonder what he meant by, "Only you can understand the ranch – and if you can’t at first, you will learn to.” …Certainly seems like a last cryptic jab at me from beyond the grave.
Anna is settling in okay. I had to do a hell of a lot of talking her around into moving away from the city. She wasn’t going to go without a fight – but I think she’s finally happy that she broke away from her dead-end job and is kind of looking forward to the simpler life out here in the sticks.
The kids are always keen for a chance, so it didn’t take much coercion to make them see this as a fresh new start. I think the thought of having horses, cows and chickens to look after made them forget that they will be rooming together for the first few weeks until I can get the rooms at the end of the hall emptied out, cleaned and converted to top quality livin’ quarters.
Well – I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me in the next few months. But I feel good. This was a good choice. A welcome change. I just hope Anna relaxes into her new home.
I got a fair amount of work done today. I finally finished the fencing around the southern field - but the oddest thing happened as I was finishing up. I had a strange compulsion to look back at the house and I could have sworn I saw someone watching me from behind the window in the room at the end of the hall.
Anna and the kids were out running some errands, so that is why I make note of this as being odd. I just put it down as my eyes playing tricks on me. A full day of hard work under the hot sun can play tricks with your mind!
Anna still seems a little stand offish about the move. She is still not 100% convinced that we are making the right move here. I told her to give it some time and that it will grow on her. Still - her stressful attitude is rubbing off on me.
I snapped at Zoe today which is very unlike me. She ran off to her room crying and I went up to apologize and explain that daddy is a bit stressed with the move. She really didn't warrant my anger, and I felt bad about it for a while. She was all smiles after our little talk.
The 6-year-old's mind is an enigma to me sometimes.
3rd FebruaryEditIt's been a strange few days. We had an old picture of a man and a girl hanging up near the front door. I don't know who they are or what purpose Uncle Charlie had with such an old portrait in the house lobby, but I felt it was time for something a little more modern.
I took down the portrait and mounted the family photo we had taken this past Christmas. I threw that old portrait in the cellar with all the other old junk I need to sort through and turned in for the night.
I got up in the morning to walk to the kitchen and found that old portrait hanging up in the exact same spot which I had removed it from. But no sign of the family photo I had replaced it with. I did a bit of searching around the place without any luck, so I asked Anna and the kids about it and they claimed they knew nothing about it.
But what really angered me out was that when I went down into the cellar, I found the photo with its frame all smashed up on the floor. I immediately brought it to everyone's attention but still no one admitted to the deed.
I must admit that I flew off the handle a bit and once again Zoe and Daniel both ran sobbing to their rooms again. Such disregard for my authority in my house will not be tolerated, I shouted at them as their little legs bolted up the stairs. Claire just sat in the living room glued to the damn idiot box TV.
I replaced the frame for the Christmas photo and remounted it on the wall in the lobby, once again discarding the old portrait to the cellar - but this time I had locked the damn door and strung the key around my neck for safe keeping.It's the darndest thing - the next morning I got up to find the old portrait back on the wall and once again the Christmas photo was back in the cellar all smashed up. How is that possible? There are no extra keys cut for that door, and there sure as heck ain't a skeleton key for this place that I know of.
I don't have any remaining spare frames, so I guess the old portrait stays where it is for now.
I swear, sometimes I think that I'm losing my mind.
The local Sheriff dropped by today. Asking questions about if we had seen anything unusual and if we had seen any suspicious looking people out of character for the area.
I told him we hadn't.
When I asked him what was wrong, he let slip that in a neighboring settlement a whole bunch of people were found dead. "Ripped to shreds by some frenzied assailants" were his exact words.
Aw fuck - I moved my family out here to get away from that kind of shit.
14th FebruaryEditI found a clipping in the local paper about the murders in San Raimi. 28 people dead. That's virtually the whole town. And Demons from Hell? What the fuck? They're either smoking some good crack over there or the local god-fearing community has an overactive imagination.
I finally got the energy and time to clear out the old desk and books from the room at the end of the hall. But I just couldn't get the door to budge open. The handle would turn but no matter how hard I pushed at it, it just wouldn't work.
I got tired of fighting a losing battle, so I put off the clean out of the room until later.
I did manage to get the other room cleaned out and kitted up with Claire's bed and furniture. So she'll be spending the night in her own room for the first time in this house tonight.
Daniel and Zoe are still sharing the same bed. But hell - at 6 and 8 years old, it's not like there's not going to be enough room on the same mattress for them.
And in another for firsts in this house, Anna and I made love this morning. I think she is finally coming around about the move. Although I do think that the murders in San Raimi have left her shaken a little. Too close to home, I think. And the thought of men, women and children being mutilated like that chills me to the bone.
People can be fucking animals sometimes.
I woke up last night with a fright. Standing over Anna and I in our bedroom was Claire. She said that she couldn't sleep. That a man kept sitting on the end of her bed looking out the window.
I told her that she was just dreaming. Damn it - She's 11 years old and should be able to differentiate between fantasy and reality by now. I walked her back to bed, tucked her in and sang her to sleep.
I was still half asleep at the time, but I could have sworn that the stuck door at the end of the wall was open just a crack on the way to Claire's room. It didn't occur to me at the time to check on it again. All I wanted to do was to go back to bed.
More murders. Local news broadcasts mentioned that more people were mysteriously killed. Now a town further away has been hit and virtually wiped out just as San Raimi had. What is going on in this world for shit like this to happen? Out here in all places!
I didn't mention anything to Anna about the new lot of murders. There's no use in making her any jitterier than she already is. Besides, she's now finally relaxed a little and we are getting some semblance of normality back into our sex lives. If anything, she's become a little more energetic and enthusiastic than she has ever been when it comes to that.
Claire is still having problems sleeping. She keeps talking of a man sitting on her bed and looking out back through her window. Anna and I are taking turns at babying her back to sleep each night. Anna is sure that with time she'll get used to her room and it won't be an issue for much longer.
I certainly hope she's right - I could do with an uninterrupted sleep for the first time in a while. Especially with the amount of work I am doing during the day on the ranch. I need as much sleep as I can get to save my energy for dealing with the damn horses. They seem very spooked of late - a pattern of stubbornness that I can do without.
The sunset was amazing today. It was the most beautiful pinkish-red sky that I have ever seen. Anna and I sat on the front door step and toasted it with a couple glasses of Chardonnay.
That damn door just won't move. I've tried oiling it, removing the latching, chiseling the frame and even kicking the fucking thing down. I'm getting over it very quickly. I'm this close to scaling the outside wall to break a window to climb in.
Claire has taken a turn for the worse. Even though she is not complaining about her mysterious man on the bed, she has basically shut down. The most conversation that I can get out of her is an occasional grunt, and she spends most of the day sitting in front of the television when she is not in school.
She always looks so tired and unwell. If this continues for much longer, I'm going to have to take her to see a doctor.
26th FebruaryEditNew Hunter - 500 dead! This is very concerning. These murders are not slowing up - if anything, they are increasing at an exponential rate. Police have no further information other than the assailants possibly being some sort of satanic cult. It all sounds rather vague to me.
I know it's selfish of me, but the only positive thing to come from this is that the spree of murders seems to be moving away from us here. But I know that doesn't make us safe.
I cut the clipping out of the newspaper and put it with the other I had from the original San Raimi killings. I don't know why I have this morbid fascination with these recent events. Maybe because it's so close to home.
Something else that I have noticed of recently is that the daytime sky isn't as blue as it used to be. Almost purple in appearance at times. The sunsets of late are amazing, though. But I am starting to miss the familiar blue hue of the daytime sky.
I spoke to Claire today and got a semi-coherent response from her. It's the first sustainable conversation that I've had with her in quite a while. Anna noticed that her bed seemed quite undisturbed last night - almost as if she didn't sleep in it.
Anna convinced me to buy a gun today. I am definitely not a gun person, which seems odd considering that I am running a virtual farm here - but for the protection of my family against these marauding killers, it seemed the only sane thing to do.
I've heard numerous rumors about the killings that have been happening. People eviscerated and ripped limb from limb in their own house, out on the street, in backyards, wherever they happened to be when attacked. I even heard that the attack that left Palo Alto completely depopulated had the town literally painted in blood.
I can not even begin to imagine how this could happen, and I am even more surprised from the apparent complete lack of federal government response. No one can go within 10 miles of New Hunter without getting turned away by local law enforcement, so there is definitely some sort of investigation happening.
I woke up very early this morning because I thought I heard a noise coming from the end of the hall. I picked up the gun and cautiously stalked to from room to room checking on everyone. Daniel and Zoe were fast asleep but imagine my surprise when I got to Claire's room. She wasn't asleep in her bed - in fact, she was wide awake sitting on the corner of her bed just looking out of the window to the back field.
I approached her and put my hand on her head which was soaked with an ice cold sweat. She jumped and startled with my presence and let out a shrill high-pitched scream unlike anything I had ever heard before. All she could do was cowl away from me against the wall and scream as loud as a banshee!
The commotion woke everyone up and soon I had Anna sprinting to my side in a fazed and frightened state.
I took about 15 minutes to snap Claire out of whatever episode she had been having and return her to her normal state. There was a startling moment when I could have sworn that I saw a reflection in the glass of her window of someone moving behind me in the shadows.
There just isn't something right about that room. We hustled Claire into Daniel and Zoe's room where she spent the rest of the morning sleeping. Anna and I both decided that we would move Claire's belongings out of that room and let her sleep with her siblings indefinitely. It would be tight and stuffy for them, but Claire seemed more than happy to hear the news of the move.
11th MarchEditThe news has just come in. Los Angeles and San Francisco are under siege from these marauding killers. I am speechless as I write this. Everyone has been huddled around the TV downstairs for hours watching report after report of the events. It is being reported that there are thousands of people dead in just a space of a few hours.
Anna has been trying to call her family in LA with no success. All lines of communication in the city seem to be down. I pray to God that they are okay. Information on their well-being is scarce. So all we have to go on at the moment is what we see on TV.
The broadcasts are apparently under restrictions as to the content they could show due to the graphic nature of the images and the government stepping in and blocking certain footage. But the descriptions of some of these 'creatures' is more than frightening. They are not human, we are being told.
I went down to the local mall and bought a cork board which I have set up in Claire's old bedroom. I've started clipping articles and pinning them up there - I still remain morbidly fascinated by these events. More frightened than fascinated, I suppose, but to know thy enemy is the first step to defeating thy enemy - well, that's what I've been saying to Anna to justify my new 'hobby'.
LA is a graveyard and San Francisco isn't much better off at the moment. Millions of lives lost. The President made a statement today, but it was all rhetoric about defending our way of life and making sure justice would be served. Just another way of saying that they are as scared and clueless on a course of action as we are.
The military has been engaging these creatures for most of the day. From reports I've seen, we aren't fairing so well. The casualty rate is ridiculously high but all military press conferences I've seen have been of a positive nature. Hopefully this isn't the war propaganda machine turning.
Anna received word that her brother Joe got out alive, but it doesn't look good for the rest of her family. Her parents were smack-bang in the middle of LA, so even if they managed to start the exodus of the city, these creatures would have been on them in no time.
This is insane.
Am I dreaming?
We nuked them. I can't fucking believe it. We actually dropped a nuke on them - on our own soil over residential land on the upper Pacific coast. After only one day of engaging the enemy!
It's too early to know if it was effective, but the realization of how completely worst case scenario that this must be for this sort of action to be taken - well, it just boggles the mind.
Anna's brother Joe is driving here. He's going to stay with us for a while. I'm going to set him up in Claire's old room. Hopefully he won't suffer the same adverse effects that she bore from that strange feeling room. But at this stage, considering what is happening, that room is the least of our worries.
17th MarchEditWell, we've just been advised that the Nuke has not stemmed the flow of violence. In fact, I think the words that were used were "completely ineffectual." We're being told that these things (which are being referred to as "Exmortis") have virtually wiped out most of our towns, villages and cities along the Pacific Coast and are hearing north up into Canada and back east to our other coast.
We have been lucky in that these killings started off in this area somewhere. People have been saying that Exmortis numbers when they initially hit San Raimi were minute compared to the millions they now consist of. We were spared, but it won't be long before we see them coming back this way again.
Oh Lord, please let us find a way of stopping these things before it comes to that.
Joe arrived today. All he had was the clothes on his back and the car he came in. The stories he had to tell us were just dreadful. Even he only just managed to escape the maelstrom. Apparently he got a frantic garbled phone call from his and Anna's father telling him to get out of the city immediately with no questions asked. He did exactly that, but he never heard from his parents again.
All he could say was that his father sounded more scared than he ever heard. He could hear his mother sobbing and praying in the background all through the call.
Joe must have choked out the words through the tears at least a dozen times: "At least they were together in the end."
Anna has taken this all remarkably well.
She was shuffling around the cellar this morning and emerged with an old bible. She's never really been a big religious nut, but when I caught her sneaking it into the bedside table drawer, she told me that having it close makes her feel better.
I love her so much.
Something has Joe scared more than he was when arrived. He won't talk about it, but he's adamant that he doesn't want to sleep in Claire's old room again. I have noticed that he's sporting some pretty vicious bruises on his face, arms and ribs which weren't there yesterday. When I asked him about them, he'd either change the subject, ignore the line of questioning or just pretend he didn't hear and go off on tangents.
We've relocated him to the living room as a temporary arrangement for now.
It's official. Washington has fallen, and Air Force One failed to make it off the tarmac before it was set upon. What hope is there left for us? Our military is all but wiped out. Everything we've thrown at them has failed. And now reports of Japan and China are coming under siege.
The mood here in the house is quite melancholy. It's almost like we've given up any hope of avoiding the apparently inevitable fate set before us.
We've been told at the current rate of advancement and if the Exmortis follow an assumed course sweeping down the East Coast and then back across west towards here, we only have another three weeks - tops.
Where are these things coming from? How did they grow in such mammoth numbers in such a short time?
But the million dollar "what-the-fuck" questions are who are they and why are they doing this?
I'm afraid we won't live long enough to find the answers.
New York has fallen. Millions upon millions more dead. The front on the East Coast seems to be following the expected pattern at the moment heading south down the coast whilst spreading the umbrella further west every day.
I try to continue collecting as many news articles as possible. Press productions are particularly hard to come by at the moment. But we have a steady trickle of information coming in even if nearly all avenues of delivering it are stemmed.
TV is down to only a couple of local channels. Suffice to say, the word "programming" doesn't exist anymore. It's just a constant barrage of news and images of the rampages across the world.
I still keep track of what's happening in other countries as much as possible, but as I have mentioned previously, information is getting much harder to come by as more and more countries are overrun.
I've heard that we have earned some sort of a reprieve here. Apparently a major majority of the Exmortis have broken off and are headed south to swarm over the Southern American countries. As much as that takes some of the pressure off us here, there is still a smaller surge of creatures doubling back this way - probably to finish off the smaller communities.
We remain on high alert, staying within close proximity to each other at all times.
Anna is the last remaining optimist among us. I would have lost my mind a few weeks ago if it wasn't for her positive influence. With every day that passes, they get closer and I can feel my sanity slipping just a bit more.
Electricity went out today. At least we had the forethought to stock up on batteries for the few essential items like flashlights.
Anna spent most of today clearing out a lot of junk from the cellar to try and make it into a make-shift bomb shelter. A few creatures have been spotted in dashing across the open country only 50 miles from here, so while we are now in harm's way, the Exmortis must have been spread pretty thin in our locality.
Anna is of the opinion that if they aren't in such great numbers around here, we might stand a chance if we hole up in the cellar. I am not so sure myself, but it is definitely a better option than just standing out in the open waiting to be slaughtered.Most of the local properties have purchased portable CB Radios and air horns to alert neighbors of incursions.
People are getting jitterier by the day, it seems. There was a false alarm today at the Jackson house. As soon as we heard the air horn we frantically rounded up the kids and huddled into the cellar only to hear Bob's sheepish apology radioed across the CB.
"Dog. It was just a dog."
I haven't laughed that hard in ages. In fact, I haven't laughed at all in ages. Poor old Bob Jackson was probably getting an ear-full from his wife. I'd hate to have been in his shoes today!
The Colbys are dead. They didn't even have time to get to their shelter. After a few hours of waiting anxiously in our cellar after the alarm, we broke radio silence to check on everyone's welfare. The Colbys were the only ones that didn't answer.
Joe, Bob and I geared up and drove up to the Colby house, and nothing could have prepared me for what we saw. Greg, Karen and his kids were just torn to shreds. Karen's torso was strung up from the tree out back and her legs were just a mutilated mess at the foot of the stump.
We found bits of Greg scattered around his back porch and the kids. Oh god. The kids. The suffering they would have been subjected to. I am dry retching as I write this. No one deserves to go through that.
Is this what we can expect? Will my own children - my own flesh and blood - end up the same way as the Colbys did? What kind of fate is that?
Seeing this level of inhumanity first hand has affected me more than anyone will ever know.
Since the Colbys, things have been pretty quiet. Our provisions have started to get fairly scarce these last few days - I don't know how much longer we are going to be able to hold out for.
As much as I hated doing it for so many reasons, Joe and I had to return to the Colby house to raid their supplies. We managed to scavenge enough provisions to keep us going for another few weeks at least, but beyond that I am unsure what we will do.
It's been almost a month since the last alarm was sounded. But Joe claims to have heard some rather worrying news. This could all be hearsay, but he was told that this is purely the calm before the storm.
Joe was told that further inland a rather large horde of creatures has been slowly heading westwards. Over the past few nights I have noticed a distant buildup of strange clouds hanging onto the edge of the horizon.
I fear that we don't have much time left.
Nowhere to run and hide this time. The clouds on the eastern horizon have been getting larger since my last entry. The buildup of creatures around that direction must have been massive. The distant sound of thunder now permanently hangs in the air.
I don't think hiding in the cellar is going to work this time around. The Exmortis are in a final sweep and I don't think they will leave any stone unturned.
No time left. No hope.
I can't stop thinking about the Colby family. Their faces twisted in painful screams as they were ripped to shreds.
To make matters worse, our food supplies have just run out. Joe has offered to make a mad overnight dash to the old town center to raid some of the shops. I told him it was pointless. At the rate those clouds were approaching, they will be on us before he can get back in time. Food means nothing if you're not alive to enjoy it.
But he went anyway.
Joe, you fool. You will never get back in time.
It is done. God may not exist, and if he does, he's turned his back on my family. Left us to an unimaginable fate. But I have cheated him. I did what had to be done - to save my family from the same fate as the Colbys, and no doubt the Jacksons.
The Exmortis may have claimed everyone around us, but I have spared my family the terror and terrible pain.
I had been up most of the night. After making love to Anna for the last time, I left her sleeping in bed so I could stand watch at the window eying the approaching clouds.
I knew they were coming for us. The distant sound of panicked air horns filled the night sky. It wasn't going to be long before they would be on our front door step.
I decided then and there. The first sign of light, I would take my beautiful wife and our three children's life before they could.
At 5:30am, I kissed Anna for the final time. She awoke with a smile, but when she spied the gun in my hands she stood bolt upright, but she was too late.I moved to the kid's bedroom only to find Daniel still asleep. I ran my fingers through his soft brown hair before shooting him once in the head.
I moved towards the end of the room before I spotted Claire standing in the window - in some kind of trance watching the clouds. I took aim and before she could even react, I sprayed her blood on her old bedroom wall.Zoe - my little Zoe. It pained me the most to do this to her. I found her cowered in a corner of the bathroom crying her little blue eyes out. I swung open the door and when she saw me, she lit up like a Christmas tree. She cried and flung her arms around my legs asking what was happening. She had thought the Exmortis had finally come for her. I told her not to worry and that she should wash her hands.
When she turned back for the sink, that is when I shot her. She slumped to the ground, but she was still breathing. No! I couldn't let her suffer! I dragged her to the bathtub and shot her again and again. My poor little Zoe let out her last breath and her last tear.
I slumped into the corner and wept. I have lost everything and though I did what was necessary, I am surely damned for eternity - four innocents dead by my gun.
I moved Zoe and Claire in with their brother and covered them with a sheet. I couldn't bear to see them like that anymore.
I sit here now in the kitchen writing my last entry. This is it. I hear air horns blazing all around me now. The clouds are right on top of my house. I can hear screams echoing across the land...not all of them are human. I never dreamed the end would come like this.
I can see a car moving over a hill in the distance. My God! It's Joe! He's still alive! But it makes no difference. Something has just battered open my front door. I can hear them coming for me. I have no time left.
I've just barricaded the kitchen door. It should buy me enough time to take the final step.
I'm sorry, Joe. If you read this and happen to survive this day, please understand what I have done. The rest of this diary sits in the cupboard next to my bed. I hope you can forgive me, for it is now my time to embrace oblivion.
I love you Anna, Zoe, Daniel and Claire.