Monday, September 13, 2010


  I need to go into hiding. Well, more into hiding.

  The last time was too close. Voss and Wolfcatcher won't stop. They can't stop. It's not in their nature.

  So this means I have to go underground even more. No more hotel rooms. No more fake aliases based on Rudyard Kipling.

  No more writing. Not until the chase stops.

  Which means not until Voss and Wolfcatcher are dead. Which will probably not be for a long time.

  So this is goodbye for now.


Thursday, September 2, 2010


   They almost caught me. Voss and Wolfcatcher. I don't know how they found me. I thought I was being careful after last time.

   I was lucky to see them before they arrived. I managed to slip out the bathroom window before they shotgunned the down - no more messing around, no more taking me alive.

   I ran. They followed.
   (You know when you watch those horror movies where the young, blonde victim is running and the killer is doing a slow walk, yet always seems to catch up to her? It felt like that. It felt like I was running so fast, but they could follow me anywhere with a slowly, steady walk.)

   I found a movie theater and decided to hide in dark anonymity. One ticket for whatever.

   Still, they followed. They swept from row to row, looking for me in the dark, only illuminated by the screen. When the screen went bright, I could see their faces: Voss, with his double chin, and Wolfcatcher, with his eerie grin.

   I slipped away and hid in the bathroom. They strolled in two minutes later.

   "Do you ever get that feeling, Mr. Wolfcatcher?" Voss asked.

   "What feeling, Mr. Voss?" Wolfcatcher said.

   "That feeling of singing, Mr. Wolfcatcher?"

   "Can't say that I have. Can't hold a tune worth a damn, you know."

   "Ah, well, I love me a good song. 'Tis sweet to roam when morning's light resounds across the deep. And the crystal song of the woodbine bright hushes the rocks to sleep." As he sang, they opened all the stalls one by one, taking their time, looking around. "And the blood-red moon in the blaze of noon is bathed in a crumbling dew..." They were getting closer and closer. "And the wolf rings out with a glittering snout..." They reached the last stall and carefully pulled out daggers from their jackets. ", to-whit, to-whoo!"

   As they stared in the stall that only contained my jacket, I slipped out of the utility closet and ran as fast as I could.

Monday, August 23, 2010


   I know who they will send after me. I met them once, in the year I helped the Gentlemen. The year of regrets and mistakes.

   We thought we found a Door. It was cold and raining and we were having trouble locating it. They said they were bringing in "experts" to help. They said that the experts could persuade locals into helping us. "They are well known for their persuasive ability," they said. They didn't lie.

   Imagine Laurel and Hardy. Now imagine Laurel and Hardy in the real world - the world away from the television, the world that can knock you down at a moment's notice. One was tall and thin, the other short and chubby. They wore suits like the other Gentlemen, but on them it The short one grinned too much. The tall one looked at his fingernails.

   Their names were Mr. Voss and Mr. Wolfcatcher. They didn't give us first names (none of the Gentlemen liked using their first names either, but I have the distinct impression that Voss and Wolfcatcher didn't have first names). Voss was the thin one, Wolfcatcher the short one.

   They were independant trackers. Persuaders. And, as I found out very soon, unrepentant killers.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


   My left hand is pretty much useless. The doctor said it would take months before I could use my fingers again.

   I am forced to admit that I am a runner. I run.

   A while ago, I met another runner, running from something else. He told me about it -- this creature he called the Slender Man -- and how it had no face and couldn't be killed. "We made it," he said, in a slightly crazed voice. "We made it with our minds."

   I don't agree with him. (For one, I have no idea if this Slender Man exists or not - I saw no proof, but then again, I have seen stranger things.) I don't think human minds could come up with such incomprehensible things.

  We seek order from chaos. We hope to comprehend. We are doomed to failure.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


  They broke my fingers. Four fingers on my left hand are broken. They broke them without asking questions. They broke them just for fun.

  They broke into my hotel room (yeah, I didn't go back to my apartment - I'm crazy, not stupid) and grabbed me. I fought back hard - I'm pretty sure I busted one of their noses - but they clamped a chloroform rag over my mouth.

  Them that ask no questions isn't told a lie. They asked no questions. After they broke my fingers, one of them started tugging at my fingernail. And singing.

  "What is a woman that you forsake her,
   And the hearth-fire and the home-acre,
   To go with the old grey Widow-maker?"

  One fingernail gone and one verse done. He started on the next one.

   "She has no house to lay a guest in,
   But one chill bed for all to rest in,
   That the pale suns and the stray bergs nest in."

  I cried out for him to stop. My pants were soaked with urine. My fingers were a bloody mess. I swore I would tell them everything, every detail of what I knew. I could bring them to another Door, take them into the City itself. They could raze it to the ground for all I cared.

  The man started on the third fingernail.

  "She has no strong white arms to fold you,
   But the ten-times-fingering weed to hold you,
   Out on the rocks where the tide has rolled you."

There was a bright light and a Door was there. I had never seen a Door just appear before (and hadn't now, since my eyes had been closed) and this wasn't like any Door I had seen. It was tall and majestic and golden. All of the Gentlemen stared at it with awe and rapture in their eyes.

  It swung open and a great darkness consumed them. It pulled them in and shut the Door behind it.

  I sat alone and breathed and cried as the Door softly vanished away.

Friday, July 2, 2010


   They found my apartment. Broke down the door and left me a note. They still think that shit like that scares me.

  I made the mistake once of helping them. I won't do it again.

  There are different Doors. Or maybe the Doors react differently to different people.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


  A week after my wife and son entered the City they found me. The Gentlemen of the Dark. They dressed like businessmen and handed me a business card that said they were from the lawfirm of Ashland & Thorn. They represented someone who was interested in my story.

  I am not stupid. When the police questioned me, I said nothing about the Door or the City. What would I have said? No. Sometimes a lie is easier.

  But they found me anyway. I must have told someone. I could have muttered it in my sleep.

  They said if they could find another Door, they could help bring my wife and son back. (Sometimes a lie is easier.) "Those who see a Door and don't go through sometimes can find more Doors," they told me. I made a mistake. I helped them.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


  I'm going to break the rule. I'm going to talk about the Gentlemen of the Dark.

  They will try to find me. They will try to break me. I do not care.

  They track the Doors. They have people everywhere looking for them. Wondering alleyways, the symbols of the Door tattooed to their arms for quick reference, so they know if they've found one. Why look? Why the search? Why the secrecy? They answer all questions the same:

  Them that ask no questions isn't told a lie.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


   There are those who claim that the City is by a sea or body of water. "Water changes," they say. "Water is change. It never takes the same form twice, just like the City."

  They are right and wrong. The City is like the sea. Constantly shifting. But it is not controlled by the moon, it has no tides, no ways to predict where it will land. There is no shore for the City.

  But we have fed the City and the sea for a thousand years and she calls us still, unfed.

Friday, April 9, 2010


   Sometimes I imagine them. Imagine what they are doing right now. Chasing each other through the winding streets, the twisting lanes that change as soon as you walk past them. They are running, laughing, never growing old. There is no time there.

  Sometimes there are traces. Fragments of a life consumed by the City. I still have their pictures in my breast pocket, close to my heart. And I've found others. A boy in Washington who was sent to his room by his parents and never came out. An group of illegal immigrants, lured by the promise of America, packed into the cramped cargo hold of a boat, all of them suddenly vanishing.

  I can see it now. They are sleepless, whispering to each other, wondering about when they will arrive, when they see a Door. A Door to the ultimate freedom, the endless labyrinth of the City.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


  A few years ago, I met a man who claimed to have seen through one of the Doors to within the City. He said he saw a beautiful garden filled with tall statues reaching to the heavens. He said that he believed these statues were of the builders of the City.

  When I asked if he had seen these statues' faces, he grew quiet, then said, "They had no faces. Their faces had been carved off, leaving only jagged forms." I said that perhaps these statues were not of the builders, but rather of those who tried to claim the City for themselves and that the statues were reminders to any who wished to do as they did.

  I later learned that this man was a consummate liar.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


  It's time to talk about networks.

  The Doors form a network. You can walk through one Door and emerge out of another. How do I know this?

  I am driving through the rain when I see it. There's a metal staircase beside a building that leads to a door...and another Door. I remember the markings. I can see it, practically taste the other side. I hurriedly park the car, slam the door shut, not even bothering to lock it, and rush up their steps. I take the door handle, fervently wishing that it won't be locked, and am surprised and relieved when it isn't.

  I turn the handle and walk through. On the other end is a sandy beach, the night sky overhead. The Door shuts behind me before I can stop it.

  It's three hours before I find out that I'm on the Ivory Coast.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


                                           Where would you go? Where would you go within its empty streets, its silent alleyways, its quiet corridors, where would you walk, your footsteps echoing where there were no footsteps before you? Answer these before you walk through the door. There is no map to the City, the City of Emptiness, the City Without Shadows, the Constantly Shifting City, where the buildings are never in the same place twice.

      You think you know what it is. You've seen the SuddenlY Appearing Door. The Door has always been there The Doors only Appear when you are not looking. There are several types of Doors:

             1. Doors to the City
             2. Doors to Someplace else
             3. Doors to Sometime else
             4. Doors to the Outside

      All Doors are dangerous. When a Door reveals itself Appears, all Shadows move away from it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


It was golden and splendid,
  That City of light;
A vision suspended
  In deeps of the night;
A region of wonder and glory, whose temples were marble and white.

I remember the season
  It dawn'd on my gaze;
The mad time of unreason,
  The brain-numbing days
When Winter, white-sheeted and ghastly, stalks onward to torture and craze.

More lovely than Zion
  It shone in the sky
When the beams of Orion
  Beclouded my eye,
Bringing sleep that was filled with dim mem'ries of moments obscure and gone by.

Its mansions were stately,
  With carvings made fair,
Each rising sedately
  On terraces rare,
And the gardens were fragrant and bright with strange miracles blossoming there.

The avenues lur'd me
  With vistas sublime;
Tall arches assur'd me
  That once on a time
I had wander'd in rapture beneath them, and bask'd in the Halcyon clime.

On the plazas were standing
  A sculptur'd array;
Long bearded, commanding,
  rave men in their day--
But one stood dismantled and broken, its bearded face battered away.

In that city effulgent
  No mortal I saw,
But my fancy, indulgent
  To memory's law,
Linger'd long on the forms in the plazas, and eyed their stone features with awe.

I fann'd the faint ember
  That glow'd in my mind,
And strove to remember
  The aeons behind;
To rove thro' infinity freely, and visit the past unconfin'd.

Then the horrible warning
  Upon my soul sped
Like the ominous morning
  That rises in red,
And in panic I flew from the knowledge of terrors forgotten and dead.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


We found it together. Me, Carrie, and our son John. John was the one who opened it and rushed forward into the City, delighted at such wonders. Carrie followed him, if only to make sure he was safe.

And the Door shut softly behind them.

I had not entered. I had stood there, in a state of shock. Frozen solid in my belief that what was before me was not real. Reality, as I was quick to learn, was malleable.

When I tried opening the Door again, there was nothing behind it. Let me rephrase that: there was Nothing behind it. Black and vast, Nothingness stretched out from the Doorway to infinity.

I shut it quickly and closed my eyes. When I opened them, the Door was no longer there.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


   I am the Empty Ekistician.

   I am the man searching for Doorways. Searching for the City. Searching for a place without Shadows.

   There are records of it (most are false). There are people who have claimed to have seen it (most are liars). There are those obsessed with it (most are like me) and those who wish to exploit it (most are never going to find it).

  I've found a total of six Doors. Only the first one has led to the City.