i can see it all
i dont want to see it but i cant stop my head is on fire and the world is melting around me
the piper tore down the walls around my mind and the music is flooding in and there are new walls now, walls of noise all around the things i shouldnt think and new hallways leading to places that i really dont think should be there
i can see how to get to the city but we cant go we have to leave her there the piper is waiting for us
theyre building the wall again theyre putting her in perfect isolation because they know what shell do to get out
i have to focus
Yes. My name is James. I'm in this hospital bed. I can see the keyboard. I can form coherent thoughts if I try.
It's slow. Every word is like swimming through molasses. The thermometer says my temperature is 106.5. I should probably be dead. There are ice packs all over me.
Painkillers. Ibuprofen. Don't know how long it's been since my last. Taking them anyway. Back in half an hour.
This is what it's like to be Thaddeus. To be me, now, I guess. Oh god please don't let this be permanent. I can't stand it. Seeing everything like this. Seeing everyone. Everything. All the Fears. All they do. Why they do it. Everywhere I look, they're looking back at me. The Angel, in that plague-doctor mask. It's everywhere in here. It's everywhere everywhere. It's a place and it's a law and it's almost human and it's a disease swimming in my veins and it's the knowledge eating through my brain and everything I see now I see through it.
LB and Phil are gone. Christie's gone. The Angel has her. But it's not the same way it's got me. Or Thaddeus. It's holding her. Keeping her there while The Cold Boy and The Wooden Girl have their fun. Because it knows what I'm willing to do to get her back.
Thaddeus did the same thing, after all. That's why LB is the only one. Because he did what he had to do to get the person he cared about back. I can't even hate him for it. How can you hate somebody who loved another person as much as he did? To be willing to do that? He's not... I can't hate him. I pity him. I'm disgusted by him. By what he did. Selling out... everybody. To the Angel. By bringing it the kid. All because he knew what it was doing to the person he cared about most. He knew the price. And he accepted it. And he paid it. He's still paying it.
Oh god I'm scared. I don't want that to be me. But I can't leave her there. I can't. Even if it means I have to do... that. I can't.
I think you knew I was going to say that, didn't you? That's why you're here. Perched on the end of my bed like you have been every night since Thaddeus stabbed me. Hiding in the spaces nobody else can see, because they don't have the Angel swimming in their veins. Waiting for me to tell you what Thaddeus told you. Whispering your little words of encouragement. Scratching messages on the mirrors. Telling Thaddeus where to find us. Keeping him breathing and healing his wounds when he should have stopped moving years ago. Because you know the price I'm willing to pay to free her.
Would you like to see Christie Waterman free again, my friends? All you have to do is follow The Worm.
Good evening, Rake, Your Honor.