Patterin rain. Bitin cold. Splittin headache. Where am I this time?Memory floods back: abandoned shack. Mysterious stranger. Old, bearded, drunkard. Shared a bottle. Well, maybe more than one. But now I’m alone. Again.A book… musta left it behind whenever he wandered off. Strange symbols, stranger diagrams. Strangest sense of deja vu.But the text ain’t sittin still – it’s alive – it moves. And it says:Hello, Caleb.I scream. And then the whisperin starts.Hoarse, raspin, rattlin, gurglin, like a man shot in the lungs. Many men. Surroundin me. On all sides. Gettin louder. Gettin closer. I’m trapped.Then they appear. Just like that. Like they’d always been there. Materializin outta thin air. Starin at me with holes for eyes. Too many holes. Gaunt, pale, twisted. Somethin red drippin outta their jaws. It’s… oh god.Oh god.I guess he ain’t wandered off after all.Fuck.I’ve had me some benders, but I ain’t never woken up to nothin like this.They hiss. I cower. Corner of my eye: text blinks.Say this word. Now.Beneath it, nothin I can read. But I say it anyway. Or somebody says it, with my mouth.Shadowy figures appear, man-shaped black dust, one for each of the fuckers, and snap their necks in unison. They fall in heaps.Then the shadows just stand there, starin at me, like I’m their king or some shit.Guess I ain’t alone no more.