by R.T. Allenson

— 01/23/1990 —

He’s dead. I can’t believe it.

My father is dead. They said he died in his sleep of a heart attack and then they buried him at the family grave without even a small ceremony.

I didn’t even get to say goodbye.

Father, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I yelled at you the last time I saw you. You died while I was mad at you for not being here with us all the time. It must have taken a toll on you. I’m so stupid.

They said they’re going to take me away to the south. I’m not going with them. I want to honor my father’s memory and stay here in this house he built. I was born here and I will remain here until I die.

This is for you, father. My penance for my sins.

— 03/12/1990 —

It’s been a month since father died.  I’ve been living alone in ever since Jameson left the guard house yesterday to god knows where. He was a nice man. I’d invite him inside sometimes, for company, but I suppose living out here – far from the main town isn’t exactly his thing.

I left my job a few weeks ago. I don’t know if it’s either the stress or the fact that it reminds me of how far the distance was between me and father. Either way, it’s all done and gone but I’m almost out of money.

Sarah visited me the other day though, it was nice seeing her again. She gave me some of her home cooked meals she used to share at work and gave me some money. Okay, so I asked her for some money but she’s okay with lending me some until I find another job.

Keeping the house clean is hard work. Wish it paid me at least.

— 03/20/1990 —

Failed another job interview. They’re all unfair. I spend what’s little of my money to haul my ass to their office and they fail me right on the spot cause my clothes are a bit dirty. Do they know how hard it is to wash, dry and iron clothes? Bastards.

There isn’t much left in my bank account; barely two days worth of food and water and a trip to the main town. Fuck, why does the house have to be this far anyways?

And it’s been raining for quite some time now and everything’s leaking – the roof, the walls; I’ve always wondered where the water stains came from. Never realized how real the idea of drowning in your sleep can be. Heh, I’ll have to think of a way to prevent that from happening.

— 03/21/1990 —

Managed to get myself injured inside my own house. How stupid can I get? Didn’t really notice the pool of rain water as I ran downstairs to answer the door. Sarah came by and brought some more food. Asked her for some money too, she didn’t even care that I still owed 300 or so. I think she likes me, a lot. I would return her feelings but I don’t like her that way, or any woman for that matter. I have to keep up the ruse though, so long as she’s giving me food and money.

She also helped me out with most of the cleaning today. Rain water was literally everywhere and the old wooden floor is really taking a beating. In particular, the floor in father’s room creaks loudly and there’s a noticeable depression where the rain settled the night before. Got to fix that somehow but maybe after I get a job.

— 04/20/1990 —

Still no job. The house smells like a dirty canal. Fuck my life. What did I do wrong, father? Is this your punishment? I can’t take it anymore.

Father’s room is a mess. The floor literally gave way when I stepped on it. Not much I can do. I’ll clean up tomorrow, maybe. I don’t know.

Too weak to do anything. I just sleep it off. Where the hell is Sarah anyways? I need some money or food. I’m tired of eating oregano from the spice rack. My skin itches. Dirt, dust everywhere. Skin itches.

— 04/22/1990 —

Stumbled upon something while cleaning father’s room. The hole on the floor lead to a narrow passage that seemed to tunnel beneath the house and at the end of it, a door. What the hell. Too bad the door’s locked. There must be money inside, there’s gotta be otherwise old father wouldn’t have made such a hassle creating such a kooky hideaway.

There’s got to be a key for this thing.

— 05/01/1990 —

Sarah came by again. I didn’t tell her of the room I found but she nearly found out about it after she started cleaning father’s room. Had to shoo her away; said some stuff I’ll probably regret. I’m not eating tonight that’s for sure, heh.

— 05/03/1990 —

I managed to open the damn door. Key was hanging around my neck the whole time! I was probably too hungry to see that the door looked exactly like the door to my room. So hungry.

There’s a painting of a man inside the room. I don’t know who it is. Doesn’t look like my father but, fuck, it gives me the creeps. Or is that the hunger? I don’t know, I don’t care.

There’s nothing else aside from the creepy painting and a small, ornate table with a stupid looking book. The room itself looks worse than the rest of the house. Full of stains and torn bed covers. What the hell was dad doing here anyways?

— 05/10/1990 —

Aunt Karen came by to visit today. Told me many things. Told me to wash myself and told me a secret.

She said father didn’t die of a heart attack. Blood loss. He had been skinning himself for some reason. Was the reason why they buried him without me. His face was skinned beyond recognition. There were pictures. Made me sick.

So hungry I killed and ate a rat scurrying about the hidden room. I didn’t even bother cooking it this time. I’ve been visiting this room for days now. Sometimes I hear someone ringing the doorbell but I don’t really care anymore.

I read the book yesterday. No words, no pictures. Nothing. The pages of the book feel funny to the touch.

— 05/23/1990 —

The book tells me all.

The secrets of the world. Names, so many names. I reread the same pages, hoping to know the meaning of the names. Ring, ring, ring. Who is ringing the doorbell. No time notime notime. Must. Read.

Aunt saw me. Why are you inside the house? Notyourhousesgetout.

I forgot her name. So sorry. So hungry. She’s dead. So sorry.

— 05/24/1990 —

Pages missing. Book incomplete. Skin of aunt perfect for pages. Family heirloom. Dad’s skin was the last few pages. Secrets. So many secrets. Read.

The book tells me many things. Many. Faceless. They stare at me through the walls and when I walk through the empty rooms and corridors. Faceless. Why. whywhywhy. Sounds. Noise. Ringing. Banging. Doors and walls. The walls stare back. Faceless. They stare. Faceless.

Sarah came by. So hungry. Dragged her to secret room to read the book. Her pages are not worthy but she makes a fine meal. Read. The book tells me all. Names. So many names. namesnamesnamesnamesneams.

— 06/01/1990 —

book needs skin. myskinMYSKINPERFecTFORBOOK. SECRETSteLLMEAll.

i know the man in the wall. ORAB ORAB

SECreTSTellmeaLL. painbloodpainbloodskinforbook. skin for book for the man in the wall.