Tag Archives: Writing

Raison d’être

This is a response to The Daily Post’s weekly Discover challenge Raison d’être. And my partner asked me; why I choose to spend my time creating/writing and, since she’s doing a post on it here, I decided to write one myself. So why do I write, in my diary, on my book projects, on the blog series? What is my raison d’être? I don’t make a living out of it (yet), so it’s not about that. It took me a while to pin it down, as there isn’t a singular reason to my writing, but a multitude of interconnected and complicated reasons, many of which have only emerged over time, and through much deliberation. So let’s boil it down to five themes.

Building worlds and telling stories – I write stories. I like telling them. Whether it’s epic action sequences in aliens worlds, or three people chatting about the latest in-world politics, I love the creativity involved. Planning out the text, choosing what to embellish and what to cast aside, picking a viewpoint, tweaking it so it’s just perfect, etc. Whether it’s a short story challenge, a piece of nano fiction, working on my blog series, or my continual attempts at long-form writing, it’s all part of the course.

Dealing with life – Life can be grim. Disease, death, sexual abuse, etc. all exist and whether you like it or not, you will probably have to deal with it. I started using writing for dealing trauma initially when my parents divorced, then dealing with the loss of a family member, and later when I was a victim of abuse and violence. By writing it down I externalise it, then analyse the motivations to try and find out what went right or wrong (which is very much a stream of consciousness kind of thing), which has helped me cope with these experiences.

Thinking through a problem – Taking notes started as an attempt to distil the essence of an argument or a problem and then source verifiable data to prove or disprove it. I spent hours at university doing deep dives on various topics mostly for classes, but essentially for anything that tickled my fancy. This allowed me to form a defensible position on any subject. Too often people pick and choose their opinions without giving it sufficient thought. Part of my writing is figuring out what my position is and whether I can/want/choose to defend it.

Playing with words – This is often a matter of personal pride and satisfaction. Wordplay, puns, obscure references allows me to take delight in seeing a reader having ‘aha’ moments, a quiet snicker at something I created with my brain. That’s something powerful, something great, and should be appreciated.

Clearing my mind – Some people use yoga, others use mind-altering substances or use music to soothe their inner turmoil. I write. I write about my thoughts and ideas, I write stories and shorts, I write silly jokes and I write and I write and I write, and at some point my head goes quiet enough that my metaphorical demons can’t find me. And then I feel ok and can deal with the rest of my existence.

Or, if I have to put it succinctly: I write because I cannot not write.

Why do you choose write or paint or sculpt or whatever is your thing? Why do you choose to create rather than not create? Let me know.

Archi’s Diary – Episode 17

Welcome to the next episode of Archi’s Diary, a weekly entry in my favorite amnesiac’s journal as he tries to adjust to a world he doesn’t remember.

Episode 17 – May  2016ARCHISDIARY_CoverArtBlog_ByPatrickCrooker

After my recent experiences I started thinking. How much trauma can a person endure? How much can the psyche take before you snap and lash out at someone unsuspecting, like Steve did? These last couple of months have been eventful to say the least, and I’ve had my fair share of big-time emotional traumas. Considering the circumstances I think I’m dealing with it in a constructive manner. But what about other little pains? The small everyday pinpricks of annoyance and discomfort, the tiny traumas in disguise? Stress in all its little facets, from your credit card being declined at the shop, or the barista getting your latte wrong, to someone honking at you crossing the road, for being slower than they expect. You should try and mitigate the damage, right? So you work on suppressing it a little bit every day, just to feel every new strain becoming a little more painful than the previous one. And there it is, the most painful hellhole on Earth… the airport.

This was my first encounter with airports and air travel in general and, as if the stress of navigating through the crowd and getting through security with all your limbs intact wouldn’t be enough, it’s made worse by screaming infants and people seemingly oblivious to the existence of showers. I was not entirely comfortable with the idea of getting into a large metal tube in the first place, but the whole experience now makes my eye twitch. Security appeared to be designed to get the worst out of people, passengers and security personnel alike. The queues were very long, I was subjected to inane and arbitrary rules, and they treated me like I was a criminal (technically I am, but let’s not get into that now). The guy in front of me was told to take out his tablet for inspection and then to put it away, because (and I quote) “it’s just a mini”. That doesn’t make any sense, I mean a tablet, phablet or phone all have the same capabilities from a security standpoint. Another man was yelled at for not taking his shoes off, despite the fact that another security person (do you call them guards? whatever!) told him beforehand that he doesn’t have to.

I got really stressed very quickly by all the rules, the amount of people, all the questions (which felt more like interrogation to me). At one point they took me aside (I immediately thought I was going to get arrested again), but all they wanted was to have me me walk through a body scanner (which malfunctioned spectacularly for some reason). They also asked me questions about my passport, which was held up in front of me, with the information clearly visible. They didn’t even try to hide it or anything, I could read the answers straight off the page. In a similar nonchalant attitude they asked me about my religious orientation. Not that I have any, but what’s that got to do with anything? Is religious orientation part of some profiling effort? Does it actually matter what I answer? I could just… you know, lie. Shocking, I know. Anyway, I finally got away from the smell of burning electronics and got to “pleasantly” wait for my flight..

Maybe it’s different in other airports considering I have nothing to compare this encounter to. In any case, security seems inconsistent and ineffective, more like a farce really. A theatre o,f security? Maybe it’s all designed to make people feel scrutinised, so nobody openly challenges the rules. But inspecting me in a way that borders on harassment, then tell me it’s for my own safety, seems a bit of a contradiction to me. It sure as hell didn’t make me feel safer. More annoyed? Definitely. Anyway…  As I am writing this, I’m finally out of the airport, cruising safely towards Mexico, and this part is really nice. I was hoping to get a flight out before May 1st, but anything we found was too expensive on such short notice. Kerstin finally found a late cancellation, that’s how I got on this one. I just realised it now, how much I’m going to miss her.

Not much happened in the days leading up to my departure. No dark sedans following me around, no shadowy figures lurking in corners and no breakthroughs in my research. I had a few nice conversations with my friends and a few shifts at the cafe, met a very nice puppy, a golden retriever with a splash of black across its snout, named Spot. Not that I wanted a big farewell party, but my leaving feels anticlimactic after all that’s been happening. Might even call it a bit boring. I considered going back to my (Anthony’s) house for another rummage through the place, but I didn’t want to tempt fate, just in case the place is being watched. I’m leaving the keys for that house behind, along with any stuff I won’t need on the trip; hopefully I’ll be back for it someday.

I’ll be signing off now. Turns out the plane has a somewhat stable internet connection, so I’m going to spend some time looking up local news regarding Chichen Itza. Looks like some kind of incident is happening or has taken place there. Found some footage from a few days ago, showing government troops closing down the site, and turning away tourists and news reports saying that the area will remain closed for foreseeable future. If this has anything to do with Project Dee, I might already be too late. I’ll be landing in 6 hours time, hopefully I’ll have something more concrete by then. I also need to get some sleep, glorious sleep!

End of episode 17.

Some incidents reference to in this episode are based on actual experiences I’ve had in airports around the world. Fun times all around. Sadly, no exploding body scanner though.

If you like what I do and know others that would love to get a weekly dose of Archi’s Diary and the occasional post on reading, writing and life in general, then like, share and subscribe to follow. Stay tuned!

Archi’s Diary – Episode 16

Welcome to a new episode of Archi’s Diary, a weekly entry in my favorite amnesiac’s journal as he tries to adjust to a world he doesn’t remember.

Episode 16 – April  2016ARCHISDIARY_CoverArtBlog

Well, I didn’t make it back to the house in time to close the laptop, remove my research, or intercept the letter left by the authorities. So I took Kerstin and James on a picnic in the forest today to try and explain why their living room looks like Sherlock Holmes’s thinking room, why the police came to visit, and why I have weird videos of myself on my laptop.

I told them the truth. Sort of… since you don’t want to tell people, genuinely interested in your well-being and happiness, that you had to kill a human being to escape, I left out the whole Steve incident. But I dished everything else that happened up until today, including my waking up at Koldberg with an amnesia, my experiences with Willy, my escape with only a few things in my possession, the cache of files on the drive I subsequently lost, and finding the empty house with my passport in it. Naturally they had many many questions, most of which are still unanswered, as the answers are a mystery to me also.

I have to say, they took it all in strides. They had no real problem accepting my story, including my amnesia, they even insisted it might not be permanent, and I must have family and friends that miss me. A nice thought, but if the house is any indication of my prior circumstances, whatever those were, I probably wasn’t the most popular man. We even discussed the video with no real conclusion. My portal idea was dismissed outright as a special effect or some weird rendering artifact, which I couldn’t argue with. I don’t even know how it came about, so their guess is as good as mine. It raises the question though: why would someone create a false video record, what purpose would it serve?

What gave them trouble was accepting the fact that I lied to them from the start. I’m not sure what I could have said that wouldn’t have made me sound like a crazy person. I never intended to lie, and it never felt right, but after I initially placated Kerstin, the whole thing got a life on its own. Not that it matters anymore. They trusted me, and I violated that trust, so they asked me to leave as soon as I felt ready. I’m an unknown quantity, and I can’t blame them really. I can only be grateful for all they’ve done for me so far.

So I’ve decided to leave as soon as I can. Not exactly how I imagined our parting ways, but probably for the best, considering the police, or someone worse might come looking for me. Getting arrested probably didn’t go unnoticed, something must have registered somewhere, and if anyone is looking for me… I don’t know. Maybe it’s just paranoia, but ever since the arrest, I’ve been looking over my shoulder, as if Koldberg would knock on the door the next second. So far nothing happened, but that doesn’t mean they’re not out there. James told me everyone feels that way, just like everyone feels a sense of existential dread or hunger from time to time. Not sure if he was serious. The point is, I don’t want to involve Kerstin and her friends any longer, they’ve risked enough as it is. They gave me a chance to get a break, which I’ll never forget, but I was deluding myself thinking I can hide here for long. I really should take some time to get my shit together. With some money in my pocket, it also feels like I finally have a fighting chance.

The files I was studying (the recurring event described in Project Dee) gave me an idea where to go next. So I’m going to take a chance at Chichen Itza. The event always happened on May 1st, so if I can get there ahead of time, I might be able to see what this event really is. Getting on a plane with my own passport is risky, but since the police didn’t arrest me for murder, I trust I’ll be able to get out of the country. Kerstin promised to help me buy a ticket today so I can fly out as soon as possible. If I’m being honest, considering other expenses, I only have enough for an outbound ticket, but I don’t really feel the need to return here anytime soon. After Chichen Itza, depending on what happens, I might spend some time exploring the Yucatan. Get some thinking done, work more with these files, get my head straight.

Side note: I might send Willy a postcard from the Yucatan. I miss him a lot. All those good nights under the moon… I feel sort of a kinship with him, like he knew me and my pain, or at least understood me better than most people I’ve encountered.

Anyway… Tonight’s to-do:

  • Get ticket
  • Pack for the trip
  • Set goals

Later I’ll have a little going away party with James and Kerstin. Hopefully we’ll meet again when I managed to sort things out.

End of episode 16. Share, like and follow for weekly updates. Stay tuned!

Archi’s Diary – Episode 15

Welcome to the latest episode of Archi’s Diary, a weekly entry in my favorite amnesiac’s journal as he tries to adjust to a world he doesn’t remember.

Episode 15 – April  2016ARCHISDIARY_CoverArtBlog

This week I got arrested. The whole handcuffed, placed in a police car, and taken into custody, arrested.. And this is a good thing! I never thought I’d say this, but this is the best thing that could have happened to me! 

When I accidentally locked myself out on Tuesday, I climbed over the back fence to get back inside. I landed heavily on my tent, which collapsed loudly and spectacularly, and went in through the back-door. Apparently a neighbour thought I was breaking and called the police. Ten mins later they knocked on the door and promptly arrested me. Since I couldn’t prove that I lived there, and I had no way of getting into contact with Kerstin or James, that was pretty much it. How is that a good thing, you ask?

They took me in and fingerprinted me. I thought I was finished, done, game over. I was convinced I would be formally charged with murder and fleeing the scene, put in jail and left to rot for the rest of my life. In a way it was kind of liberating to know I don’t have to run any more. Except what actually happened was that Chief Constable Jensen (I think his name was) came in, greeted me as Mr Ames, and quizzed me on why I was breaking into Kerstin’s house, when I have a perfectly good home in Canterbury.

I was flabbergasted. He said Mr Ames. I hadn’t provided them with any name, so they must have identified me by my fingerprints. I couldn’t believe it. As the conversation went on, it became more and more clear that I, as Anthony Ames, am not a wanted man. At least not for murder. Apparently I came across as a confused man, who should be home resting (to get rid of my assumed nasty hangover), instead of trying to break into other people’s houses, but not someone wanted for murder. My story must have been convincing enough to explain why I was trying to get inside the house and the neighbours apparently verified that they saw me coming and going recently, so they gave me a pass and drove me home. And when I say home, I mean my registered address. And here I am, right now, inside the house. The door wasn’t locked, and the uniforms promptly waited at the door until I got inside. I’m pretty sure they thought I was a drunk. Doesn’t matter now. I am inside Anthony Ames’s house now. 

I have no intention to stay here though. This little detour couldn’t have come at a better time, but I don’t want to wait for the police to come back, in case they suddenly realise I’m wanted murderer, and come back with sirens, carrying guns and a warrant for my arrest. I also don’t want Inger or someone else to show up at the door, in case the police notified Koldberg. Besides, this place is creepy. The house itself is… spartan, to say the least. Lots of warm earth colors, wear patterns on the carpets, not much in the area of decorations though. Lots of books and research papers on shelves in the living room, which is the only room with furniture, consisting of an antique style work desk, and an army cot (honest to god). And that’s it. The other rooms are almost completely empty and there’s a basement I couldn’t get into. It’s sealed by a heavy steel door and, except for the keypad with a card slot, it looks like a shelter or panic room door from the 1950s. Who knows what more secrets it holds… But everything else is just… empty. The whole place feels like a gutted family house that was left on a whim.

That said, I still looted the place. Well, not really looted it, just packed some clothes I liked and fitted me well, took a stash of cash I found (probably intended for emergencies, but  if my life doesn’t qualify as one, I don’t know what does). More importantly, I managed to find his passport. My passport.

I have to head back to Kerstin’s place as soon as possible. I managed to decipher some more files before I was interrupted by the police, but I couldn’t even close the laptop or put away the map before they took me away. I don’t really feel like explaining to Kerstin why I’m featured in scary surveillance footage, and have dozens of pages detailing a Project Dee, that seems more and more supernatural (or at least more than physical) in nature. If it comes to that I was thinking of pretending that it’s all notes for a book. Writers do that, right?

Time to go. I also took a spare set of keys I found with the passport. Might need to come back some day.

And I actually feel OK right now.

End of episode 15. Share, like and follow for weekly updates. Stay tuned!

Archi’s Diary – Episode 14

Welcome to the next episode of Archi’s Diary, a weekly entry in my favorite amnesiac’s journal as he tries to adjust to a world he doesn’t remember. Now with a proper cover by Patrick Crooker. Go visit his website at  www.crooksandcrafts.com.

Episode 14 – April  2016ARCHISDIARY_CoverArtBlog

How do you keep a secret? Should you even try and keep a secret? But I’m jumping ahead of myself…

This past week has been great. Kerstin and her friends have helped me more than I could have ever expected. I have a kitchen job now (ironically, at the same cafe where I recently liberated some wallets), a safe place to stay and rest for a while. (I need lots of proper rest. Steve visited me once again this week, but it was a more amicable experience than usual. Only gave me slight night terrors and had me waking up choking on fear. No big deal, really…)

I feel ashamed that I’m keeping secrets from these wonderful people. I feel I should share what happened to me, just to tell someone… just to show them I reciprocate their trust. But how do I tell them the truth, or my version of the truth about me? Everything that happened since I left the institute sounds insane, even to me, they would probably think I lost my mind. I’m actively debating showing them the videos, but I don’t know how to introduce the whole thing… What should I say about their origin? If I lie, that’s probably worse than keeping it a secret. Besides, how do I explain my presence in the footage? And what do I tell them about the actual event? I don’t have answers, so how could I explain any of it? Besides, how do you tell someone you’ve killed? I can’t admit to murder, even if it was self-defence. Sigh…

Coming clean will have to wait in any case, as I haven’t seen Kerstin and the others since Monday. They went for a conference in Germany and then plan to travel around for a while. So they basically left me, a complete stranger, alone in their house. Fascinating and generous people, giving me this level of trust. So I decided to take care of the house as if it was my own. Pack the fridge, cook, clean and all that jazz.

I also continued working on the files from last week. I’ve managed to decipher what appears to be several independent projects that the institute is working on. I’ve also decided to refer to them as Koldberg from now on, it’s the official name after all, and it makes them more personal. It’s a way of identifying the ‘enemy’. I never thought it would come this far. I’m not even sure, if they are an enemy, although many things seem to indicate that. Let’s just say they’re people I need to learn more about. I decided to start mapping everything I discovered. Since I’m by myself, I’ve set up a little research area in the common room. The room has a large couch (don’t tell anyone that I prefer sleeping there as opposed to the tent), a TV connected to a gaming console, and a large dining table that now serves as my desk. All basic and functional.

On the wall I’ve hung a large world map I got from the bookstore, along with a bunch of post-its and markers to make notes. Some of the entries include timestamps with numbers that I believe are coordinates. So far I’ve added all those to the map and highlighted clusters of interest based on the project titles, along with any information I could easily discern. Besides Project Dee, which seems to cluster around Middle and South America, I found references to:

  • Project Clarke – clustered around the UK, and certain area in the US, such as Silicon Valley, plus some areas in China. Might be some kind to technology they’re developing or testing. One incident is marked right on top of Koldberg.
  • Project Jones – prevalent in Africa and the Middle East, but also to various places in Russia, Scandinavia and China. No other information on this one, could mean anything
  • Project Brehm – seems to focus on areas with a lot of nature (e.g. rainforests or remote tundra). References to flora and fauna are abundant.

I tried googling some of the names like Dee and Brehm with little success. Nothing really jumped out at me. There was a John Dee, advisor to the queen, and an Alfred Brehm, a German Zoologist, but does that mean anything? Historical and literary figures aside, I still have no idea what to look for without additional information. For all I know, they could be surnames of Project Managers, scientists at Koldberg, or picked at random from a book. Also, the file seems to have dependent files with more information, but I haven’t identified those yet. Not even sure if I have them. I’ll do a deeper dive into the files over the weekend.

I should also figure out a way to add the map and all my conclusions to my diary when I’m done, which might be a bit challenging since it is now literally covered in notes and scribbles. And I mean covered. The world is 70 percent water and if you use my map as a reference you would swear that water is yellow.

The timeline is also interesting. I don’t know what the individual events represent, the references to casualties are unnerving to say the least, but some seem to repeat themselves. It took me a day to realise that at least four events are recurring. Like the Machu Picchu incident, the first entry I found, has repeated itself seven times. Its anniversary is coming up in 6 weeks time. Maybe I should go and have a look for myself. Figure out what it is and what these people are up to. I only need to figure out how to travel halfway around the world without a passport, knowledge of the local language or any money to speak of, in less than five weeks. Sigh…

At least I’ll earn a little something tonight; I got another shift in the kitchen at the cafe. My third this week. I’m told Fridays can be really busy, but the barista promised me that when they have time, they will teach me some of the tricks of the trade, like how to make proper milk foam and draw shapes using the foam, a spoon and powdered cocoa. Can’t hurt to build my skillset a bit. 🙂

I still don’t know what to do about myself, but I’ve decided that I’m done being afraid. I need answers. And I’m going to get them somehow. Did I mention I found a few folders named Tools, which seem to contain web tools of some kind? So I’ll continue the research and play with the tools after my shift when I’m buzzing on caffeine.

Questions, questions, and more questions! At least I am making some kind of progress, I just don’t know what it’s towards.

End of episode 14. Share, like and follow for weekly updates. Stay tuned!

Archi’s Diary – Episode 13

Welcome to the next episode of Archi’s Diary, a weekly entry in my favorite amnesiac’s journal as he tries to adjust to a world he doesn’t remember. Now with a proper cover by Patrick Crooker. Go visit his website at  www.crooksandcrafts.com.

Episode 13 – April  2016ARCHISDIARY_CoverArtBlog

My sleep hasn’t improved this week, but at least Undead Steve and the sphere have stopped visiting me in my dreams. And I do feel a lot more positive. Kerstin, Queen of the Forest and apparent good samaritan, invited me to stay at their place today. Well… More that I could pitch my tent in her garden, use their facilities, and have permanent access to Wi-Fi. I’m still afraid to let anyone get close to me, but considering I’m also out of money and food, I’m running out of options. I would prefer not to starve AND have to hunt for a public restroom, so I decided to accept.

The offer came after I managed to run into her not once or twice, but three times this week. Must be kismet. Or I just happened to be camped next to her usual running route and I haven’t been hiding that well. We’ve talked extensively about my supposed trip, which she clearly thought was a veiled way of saying “homeless”. Technically that’s not far from the truth, so I didn’t correct her, just let her make her own conclusions.

I also learned a bit about her; she’s a college student and lives with three others (Dennis, James and Christina) in a shared house near the center of Folkestone. Apparently all 4 of them are also volunteers in the same worldwide student organisation, and thought living and working together was the best of both worlds. I’m not entirely sure what they do. Kerstin spoke so fast and with so much enthusiasm, interspersing her sentences with so many acronyms that I almost thought it was a different language. I think the organisation is called AISEK? Seems an important project for them.

I still can’t believe how incredibly generous they are. Sure, it’s just a tent in a garden but it’s also a break from my usual routine: finding public toilets, hoping my camp didn’t get ransacked, and begging/stealing to get something to eat. Had to steal again this week, which I always consider an unnecessary risk (although my technique has improved). I can’t afford to get caught, the unwanted attention could prove detrimental. So all things considered, Kerstin and her friends are providing me with some much needed leeway, which I deeply appreciate, as it’s also giving me time to think. I need to make long term plans, such as where to go, how to build a base of operations, what to do, etc.

When I was still living in the woods (and I wasn’t stealing for food) I spent a lot of time thinking about the videos. I came to a tentative conclusion on what happened, except it’s insane and scary and clearly not normal. I could also be wrong… The sphere in the video is a portal of some kind and either the sphere itself, or whatever came through it affected my brain. Maybe opening the portal disrupted or altered my brain patterns and shut me down temporarily, which would explain the amnesia. It could also account for the difference in my and Anthony’s behaviour, which is why I make everyone who knew him so sad. Or maybe what affected me was an agent of some kind (like a gas) that doesn’t appear on the video. I mean, the sphere thing is clearly there. Slightly distorted, but otherwise clear as day.

Not that this speculation is anything useful right now. It’s still just a theory, yet questions and theories keep piling up with little to no resolution. Is it really a portal? If so, where would a portal like this go to or come from? Is the Institute playing with portals? Did they actually make it or are they studying it? They deal in advanced technology, so it’s not that big of a stretch to think they’re directly involved. But to what end?

I also found a folder filled with some kind of incident reports. Except they use a ton of codewords and acronyms (more acronyms, bah!). I copied one instance.

Project: Dee

QEL: 20.684104, -88.567311

Date/time: UTC-03:44, May 1st, 2015

Type: Unknown

Casualties: 5

Notes: Arrived late. No apparent artefacts. No temporal fluctuations. Event appears to be seasonal. Other party not identifiable.

What is this project Dee? And what does all this mean? There are several similar projects, I have no idea what they mean. What the hell is the Institute into?

I don’t understand any of this, not really. And does it really matter? What if I’m I’m 100% right and the Institute is behind the sphere, whatever happened to me and who knows how many freaky experiments? I mean, what the hell can I do about it? I can’t just infiltrate the Koldberg Institute to get my answers. I’m only one man, and I don’t know anything about the place. All I’ve seen is the front door, some corridors and the kitchen, but that’s it. God, I am so confused all the time. At this point I’m not even sure I want to know what happened. I just want to be left alone. Maybe I should just drop this whole idea, be focused on getting out of here and never consider going back.

On a brighter note, I’m really looking forward to tonight, which is pizza night. Kerstin told me I need to gain some weight. I’m too skinny, which according to her makes me look unhealthy. So the pizza is her treat, which makes me feel a little bit better. Finding Kerstin does seem like a very fortuitous coincidence, but I do think this sense of joy is temporary. I can’t rely on her indefinitely, I need to learn to look after myself and get myself ready for a future. And as that future potentially includes a lot of running and hiding, I should probably take up some kind of exercise. Since my encounter with Steve I felt extremely weak and vulnerable, but I’ve also read up on the health benefits of exercise. Maybe I’ll try running or yoga. Kerstin even offered to take me on a run with her.  

My to-do for the next weeks:

  • Find a way to save money
  • Find a way to make money to save
  • Find a way to get out of here (should have another look at the options getting out of the country. Is the eurotunnel an option?)
  • Find a way to decipher those net logs
  • Find a way to set up goals for the future besides being nice and generous to my new friends
  • Find a way to not use the phrase “Find a way”

Phew… I think the pizza just arrived. This feels like my first real break. Going to enjoy it.

End of episode 13. Share, like and follow for weekly updates. Thank you for reading. In the coming weeks I will be uploading a few extra posts. Stay tuned!

Archi’s Diary – Episode 12

Welcome to the next episode of Archi’s Diary, a weekly entry in my favorite amnesiac’s journal as he tries to adjust to a world he doesn’t remember. Now with a proper cover by Patrick Crooker. Go visit his website at  www.crooksandcrafts.com.

Episode 12 – April  2016ARCHISDIARY_CoverArtBlog

Hiding it is!

At least for now. This week was quite uneventful. In fact, it’s been a bit lonely and a bit weird.

On Saturday I had to re-raise my tent in the middle of the night, after it almost got blown away by a storm. I went and obtained some effective means to avoid having to chase down a tent cover at night again. Those rocks now hold down part of it. The only other thing I did was watching the video files over and over again until the battery ran out on the laptop.

That sphere that appeared in the lab is very intriguing. I have a few theories about it, except none of them explain the memory loss, which only make me feel more unhinged:

  • It could be a physical anomaly in space generated by something at the Institute. A type of matter or area of space that is out of sync with the rest of reality. How and why would it cause memory loss? No idea.
  • It could be a portal to another place, that looks exactly like here. Yeah, that also seems off. Unless it’s a time portal and not a space portal, and I’m an earlier/later version of myself. Still doesn’t explain the memory loss.
  • The portal is the result of me sneezing so hard, that it warped the perception of light and there is no actual sphere. Nah…

The next morning I went to the village to see if I could meet some people, but it was almost empty. I just realised it then that it was Sunday. So I spent my day drinking coffee and researching the area on the web while the laptop was charging. I didn’t do much else that day, just returned to the camp afterwards. I had simply too much to deal with. Being alone is difficult, yet sometimes it’s even harder to be around others; I find myself avoiding people lately. Maybe to protect them… from the Institute and from me. I still miss company though, especially Willy’s. Hope this feeling will go away and I won’t feel so lost, once I figured things out. I’m having trouble rationalising all that’s happened. I know I killed in self-defence, it still doesn’t help with the guilt. It feels like I’m both the perpetrator and the victim. Like I deserved it for stepping out of line. I cry a lot these days.

On Monday I ran out of money. I still have a bit of food left, but I need to get a revenue stream going. I could beg for money, but even the local homeless seem unsuccessful at that. Plus, I don’t want to brand myself as a beggar, since it might make it more difficult to find work in the area.

Also Undead Steve visited me in my dreams that night. It was quite vexing. He came out that sphere for a change, as if it was portal from another world or reality, and tried to pull me in with him. First from emptiness, now from the sphere. Please don’t come through the tent door next…

After recovering from that little mind fuck, on Tuesday I decided to stake out the ferry port and spent some time by the ocean. I’ve concluded that the ferry is out of the question. The passport check can’t be bypassed, sneaking in either by car or ninja-style is way too risky. I don’t know anything about their procedures, the layout or even how to get onto ferry itself, so it’s definitely not wise to risk it. Also, who knows what awaits on the other side.

I managed to charge the laptop at a cafe though. I need to explore the files more in-depth later this week and get some freelance work online. I’ll have to worry about the payment methods later. Also, I’m getting very hungry…. Hardly ate anything today. Just a cheap scone (possibly the driest scone ever) with some tea.

On Wednesday I thought someone had found me, but it turned out to be a jogger taking the dog for a walk. Cute little pup. Sniffed my hand, then scrambled to catch up with his owner. Also, and I’m not proud of this, I stole some guy’s wallet at the cafe. He left it on his table after ordering, so as he started rummaging through his bag on the floor, I pocketed it as I left. I shopped for groceries using his card to pay for some minor stuff. I’ll save the cash for later. Might be risky if he blocks the card, but for now it worked.

The next day I decided to stay away from the town. I admit I also didn’t want to show my face at the cafe again, in case someone saw me steal. So I read a bit. Not every day has to have a purpose.

Which brings us to Friday, when I met Kerstin, queen of the forest, out on her morning run. No, she isn’t a queen of any kind, but that’s how she announced her presence when she found my camp and I asked why she was there. She told me it was an ‘April’s Fool’ joke. I’m not sure what that means. Turns out it was her dog I met on Wednesday. She seemed mighty suspicious about me at first, but relaxed when I told her that I was hiking the English coast as a travel project. Then I had to make up a complicated story to make that little white lie believable, since she wouldn’t let up with the questions. It was nice to talk to someone outside the usual customer setting at the cafe. She stayed for a two hours before resuming her run. I hope to see her again.

I have been here for a week now, nobody seems to be looking for me in or around Folkestone (not that I’ve noticed anyway), I have no way of leaving, very little cash to my name and a new friend who might be crazy but seems harmless enough. Tentatively crossing my fingers that I’m free, starving alone and confused, but free. Really need a plan!

End of episode 12. Share, like and follow for weekly updates. Thank you for reading. In the coming weeks I will be uploading a few extra posts. Stay tuned!

Archi’s Diary – Episode 11

Welcome to the next episode of Archi’s Diary, a weekly entry in my favorite amnesiac’s journal as he tries to adjust to a world he doesn’t remember. Now with a proper cover by Patrick Crooker. Go visit his website at  www.crooksandcrafts.com.

Episode 11 – March 2016ARCHISDIARY_CoverArtBlog

Nothing happened. Last week I killed a man, left a bloody mess behind, travelled across the country by public transportation for three days and nothing happened. No police, no men in dark suits, no foreboding drones circling above, nothing. Nobody even spoke or acknowledged my existence when I broke down crying at one point (not the first time it happened).

I’m trying to focus on getting out and getting my head straight, but it’s hard. I keep seeing blood on my hands and face, even though I washed and checked myself multiple times. I get flashes of Steve’s face at times, and I see Steve screaming, fighting, bleeding and not-moving in my sleep. I see him as a gory corpse. Or as a furious undead. I no longer have that fear inducing emptiness… I see Steve. Last night, undead-nightmare-Steve came out of the emptiness and tried to pull me in. I woke up screaming and must have terrified quite a few nocturnal beasties. When I stopped, the forest was awash with fleeing animals.

4 days ago I made it to Folkestone, a small coastal town with a ferry service to France, and I’ve been camping here ever since. I found a small wooded area North of the town and made a temporary home there since I can’t leave the country. I spent most of my resources on getting a decent tent and a few supplies from a local outdoor store, so at least I don’t have to gamble on the weather or sleep on benches anymore. Also getting here cost me a lot of money, especially because I tried to be as unobtrusive and anonymous I can be. I even got lost once or twice which cost me a heavy fine from a particularly nasty conductress. I will have to make a note of that.

Most days I go into town to leach off a local cafe’s Wi-Fi and find a place to wash up. I have very little left in the way of money or clean clothes, but I’ll have to make due. I can’t afford to look homeless if I want to be taken seriously in any potential job situations. I set up a freelancing profile and a few payment options online, so I can do the majority of my work there, but I don’t really know if I have any bankable skills. And I need a bank account for this to work, which is cumbersome without an ID and a permanent address. I tried to befriend a few baristas locally, which might be of help further down the line, but I’m also afraid to drag anyone else into this mess.

Anyway, 7 days travelling and establishing a camp has made it clear that I need a options and have to plan ahead. If I boil it down to basics, I really only have three options

Turn myself in – I’m still considering this option. I killed a man. In self defence, but still… yet the lack of a manhunt intrigues me. Gruesome murders usually get into the national news or at least the local papers. What if the Institute has covered it up? What if there’s no body, no evidence and that’s why it hasn’t been reported?

Hide – Possible, but I still have no ID, no place to call home and no network to rely on. Even if, and that’s a big if, I manage to land regular work and maintain some kind of existence here, I would be fully dependent on either deceiving the system or on other people for money, and cross my fingers really hard that nobody comes looking for me.

Leave the country – Unlikely, unless I’m smuggled out by unsavory individuals. I would have to either sneak aboard a ferry and not get caught, charter a boat (which might get intercepted or caught on arrival), or maybe swim it, which is a very big NOPE. I’m not swimming across 40 miles of heavily trafficked ocean. Might as well flee via the Eurotunnel on foot. I passed a service facility when I arrived.

I think tonight’s the night to reexamine the files. I need more information on everything. Where the memory stick came from (do I have an ally?), information about Folkestone and what my options are, how to get an ID and most importantly;

I need to decide if I’m going to turn myself in.

End of episode 11. Share, like and follow for weekly updates. Thank you for reading.