I bought these few pages at a local trader’s tent for the equivalent of $.25 USD. It was the only thing there written in English. I don’t know what any of it means, but the fact it names the missing explorers and ruined village is troubling.
June 29th, 2016
Let this be a journal of our last moments. I know we won’t make it out.
June 30th, 2016
They took Jane last night. This morning, the trees have her eyes. All the trees; every knot hole, every space, every interstice, is stuffed with her eyes. Two eyes copied into thousands. I don’t know how. Nothing makes sense. But they’re staring at us. We’re being watched. They follow every one of our movements, as if they didn’t already know what was going to happen.
July 1st, 2016
The plants are choking us. Each step is harder and we’re stopping every 15 minutes to rest. Art’s leg injury is worse. I won’t even attempt to remove the fused plastic and metal of the phone from his hip and thigh. We can smell the wound putrefying. There’s no disputing he’ll die if we don’t get him medical attention soon.
That’s a laughable fantasy at this point, though. We’re countless miles away from anyone. No villages, no doctors, no anyone. Just unforgiving jungle. I can hear Art weeping as we walk.
July 2nd, 2016
I saw one of them in the river. It didn’t notice us. It was gulping down thousands upon thousands of gallons of water. Where it kept it inside its skinny body was beyond me. All of this is beyond me.
I’m covered in bites from mosquitos and spiders. I have a pressure wound beginning to form on my shoulder from propping up Art as we walk. Animals are starting to get his scent, and I’ve shooed away carrion birds who land while he tries to sleep. I was lucky enough to kill one this morning. We can eat.
July 3rd, 2016
We can’t go anywhere today. Art is immobile. I see something wriggling under the skin of his wound. I think it may be a botfly larva, but I’m not sure. It’s something. The remains of the phone are beginning to fall off as infected skin sloughs away. It’s clear the burns are down to his hip and femur. He mutters as he sits there. I don’t know if he can see me.
July 4th, 2016
I woke up to the sight of one of them near Art. I didn’t move. I couldn’t even if I’d wanted to. As I watched, it traced its flaccid fingertips over Art’s legs. They fell onto the leaves. I gasped, and it turned around to face me. We stared at each other for a little while, then it turned back to my friend. It picked the legs up and held them under its arm, near the leg stalks, and walked away.
Art was crying. There was no blood coming from the wounds. I could see the muscle and tendons and cross section of his femur, along with the pink marrow inside. The part with the melted phone was yellow and green with a reservoir of fluid beneath. Nothing dripped out. The wounds had been invisibly cauterized.
He is still dying.
July 5th, 2016
They took Art last night. His brown eyes have joined Jane’s blue ones in the trees. All the trees, now. They all watch.
July 6th, 2016
There were six of them in the widest part of the river I passed, gorging themselves with water. The area of the river behind them had slowed to a trickle. I’m not worried about them seeing me anymore. They know I’m here.
I saw the first village since the three of us departed. It’s amazing to think just a week ago we were three. The village was transformed. Stone huts were covered in living, moving tissue. Muscle, from the look of it. Muscle and veins. The sound of something being inflated was filling the air as I went by. I didn’t spend the time to look. From the remainder of the map I have, it looks like I’m still a couple days from the nearest trading post.
July 7th, 2016
All eyes, no trees. Trunks of eyes, branches of eyes, leaves of eyes. Nothing but eyes. Dry rivers.