You said writing stuff down makes things less scary. Well it’s weird writing in this crusty old book you found, so I’ll pretend I’m writing to you, Poppy.
I wish you were still here.
I ain’t got much food or water left. I can’t stop thinking of that time you came back with that crazy good scrounge—dried noodles, salted rat, and actual for-real canned pears! You said you found ‘em in that old house outside the city, right, Poppy? I sure hope so ‘cause that’s where I’m going.
I found the house, Poppy, but... well, the way you talked, I thought it’d be friendlier. It’s got like a thousand windows looking at me, watching, and there’s... something else... behind ‘em. I only saw it from the corner of my eye. Just for a second... maybe I imagined it.
Is this really where you got the food, Poppy? I don’t...
I’m scared, Poppy. I can’t hardly breathe. Something moved behind those metal things outside the house—cars, yeah? And I saw a leg, but it weren’t human. So I ran just like you taught me.
But I had to get in that house! I gotta see if there are more pears to scrounge! And I figure it’s safer inside, with the thing I ain’t sure I saw, than outside with the thing I know I did.
I crawled into the building next door and made a bridge to the other house with some wood I found. I was halfway over when I saw it—one of the monsters—down below.
They’re scarier than you said, Poppy, all twisted claws and teeth and skin like a creepy old willow. Don’t know what it was doing, just sniffing around, probably looking to tear me apart. I froze for I don’t know how long, didn’t even breathe. It must not’ve seen me though, ‘cause after a while, it went away.
You said it’s okay to be scared but you gotta keep moving, so that’s what I did. Sun’s down now. I ain’t found no food yet, but I don’t wanna scrounge in the dark. I pulled in my bridge and shoved some big furniture in front of the door and window. I hope that’s safe enough.
I’m so hungry, Poppy. My food’s gone now, and I got only half a bottle of water left. But this is the house, right? The one you told me about?
I don’t know what I’ll do if it ain’t.