Written from Elle Holloway's point of view, these diary entries serve to flesh out Elle's character by detailing a few of her activities prior to Homecoming. It looks into her relationships with various characters, such as her attitude regarding her mother, her closeness to Alex Shepherd and her camaraderie with Deputy Wheeler.
I’m just going to start writing and see what happens here. I apologize in advance if I come off whiny, bitchy, stupid, lame, annoying, weird, creepy, or a drama queen.
Another great day in my house! Mom barely spoke a word to me, which is about five words more than usual. Dad locked himself in the bedroom all day. He’s found the best way to deal with life is just to pull the covers over your eyes and pretend no one can see you. I wish it were that easy.
But for me, something actually happened. I managed to get one of the old computers in the library to work! See, typing works!!!! I CAN TYPE IN CAPS TOO!!!
For anyone reading this (not sure why), then you might be asking yourself “just who is this girl and why do I care?” Well, for one, yes I’m a girl (note to creepy stalkers: stay away, I’ve got enough weirdoes around me). My name is Elle. I live in the smallest place in the world, Shepherd's Glen.
Haven’t heard of it? Big surprise.
If you got in your car, drove to the most unused road near your house, then took it for 100 miles, then turned off on a dirt road with no name, drove on THAT for a whole day, you would still never get here.
So what’s the big deal with the computer in the library? (Yes, I’m still excited about that!) Well, everything around here is either broken or from before I was born. So finding a computer that actually makes the letters appear on the screen when I type is a miracle of modern science.
Okay. Rambling. (I should have added that to the list above.) I could go on for about a thousand hours, but then I wouldn’t have anything to write about next time.
And then what would you do with yourself?
Don’t all applaud at once.
I’m not sure why I’m back. The last time I was just testing to see if the computer actually worked, but it does. And it’s still here waiting for me. This computer is officially my new best friend!
If someone told you they had a computer for a best friend, would you think they were crazy? I would. But then again, good friends are hard to come by.
So who wants to read about another exciting day from the pages of my life?
Okay, I woke up. No one was home. Looked outside and it was another beautiful foggy day. I opened the fridge and there was about half a glass of old apple juice and a jar of mustard. Seriously, THAT’S WHAT WAS IN THE FRIDGE. I wrote a note to Mom on the door. It said, “Hey! Can we PLEASE buy some food? There are humans in need of nourishment still living in this house!” Think she’ll get the message?
I went down to Solar (best chili fries). Luckily, they’re still open. Jeanine (who owns it) took mercy on my starving self and fed me. But she seemed all weirded out the rest of the time, which in turn weirded me out. She kept asking me all these questions about my mom and what she was up to. As if I’ve seen her in days. I stuffed my face as fast as I could.
And then I dragged my bloated ass over to the library to write this.
And THAT is what my day consisted of. Hopefully yours was a little bit more fulfilling. Do tell.
You know what I found taped to my door this morning? That note that I left on the fridge for my mom with a twenty dollar bill taped to it!
Talk about lazy. At least she’s paying attention.
I got an idea a few days ago. I thought that from now on, I would try to run at least twenty minutes every morning. I’ve been pretty lazy, just sitting around waiting for something to happen (and to be honest, chili fries five days a week are taking their toll).
So, today I got up really early and ran. And I saw the funniest thing. I saw the mayor, the actual mayor of Shepherd’s Glen passed out in front of his mansion. No one was around! I thought about taking a picture, but that would be too mean, don’t you think? I went up there to make sure he was okay. He was really out of it and smelled like a case of wine. I found a stick and poked him to make sure he was still alive. He was. I felt bad for the guy. I’ve never been THAT messed up.
But seriously, no wonder everything has gone to hell around here. The freaking mayor is sleeping on his own front lawn like he’s some high school freshman who didn’t make it home from a party. How embarrassing.
Alex would have found that funny. Too bad he’s not around.
Weird thing today - my mom actually stopped by my room, woke me up and asked me how I was feeling this morning.
Huh, what, huh? This woman hasn’t spoken a word to me in months and now she’s taking an interest in my feelings?
I said to her, “and you are?”
She didn’t think that was funny. She rarely finds the things I do or say funny. She used to.
I’m not sure what has happened, but my mom and I used to be friends. Not like hang out at the mall friends, but at least she acted like a mom who had a daughter.
I’m so bored. I went down to Solar today and tried to spice things up and NOT order the same thing. Woo hoo!
I went by school today. The place was empty but the door to the gym was unlocked. I snuck inside. It’s amazing how creepy the place is when no one is around. I stopped by Alex’s locker. He used to have all these stickers, but they must have scraped them off. It’s like he was never there. I was hoping there would be something left of his I could have kept.
Then it started to get pretty scary being there alone and I thought I heard some people talking from the classrooms upstairs, so I ran out of there pretty quick. I never saw anyone.
My boredom is going to get me into trouble one of these days.
So about that Alex guy I just happened to mention last time. I know you're all dying inside for some juicy gossip on my personal life.
Okay, twist my arm.
Alex was a guy from my school (obviously). First he totally ignored me when we got into high school, which was really annoying since I've known him forever and he acted like he had never seen me before. But then we started hanging out again. He was over at my house a lot during the last couple of years because his dad was always working and his mom pretty much didn't care less where he was. Funny thing is that my mom, of all people, actually talked to him like she cared. That was a pretty great time for all of us. Alex and I hung out every day and during our summer vacation after graduation, he would stay over at our house when he got off from work. I don't think his mom ever called or came over to find out where he was, which was fine with us because everyone just left us alone.
I'm not sure I want to talk about all of this right now. I promise I will - just not today.
Okay, I wanted to organize all the thoughts I had about the day things changed for me, so I went back and put it all in order so I wouldn't just ramble on and on (like I normally do, yes I KNOW!).
Right, so Alex and I were having a great time that summer, blah, blah, blah. After the summer, our town had this big anniversary party. There was something actually FUN happening where we lived! Everyone was there. My mom and I worked a dunk tank together, and Alex did safety guard for the petting zoo - you know, making sure the animals didn't attack the children!
And then, that whole week, Alex didn't come by and he didn't call me. It was weird, so I went over to his house. No one answered the door. I could hear Alex's mom crying. I banged and banged forever. I thought something bad had happened. His dad came out and told me that Alex had left. HE LEFT? I was like, where did he go? I could tell that his dad was angry. I asked if Alex was okay and he said he was fine. He just shut the door on me. I didn't know what was going on. I banged on the door again, but Alex's dad just told me to go away and leave them alone.
I went home to tell my mom, but she was gone and so was my dad and my sister. I just went up to my room and fell asleep hoping that I would wake up and it would be back to normal.
That was a few years ago and I still haven't forgiven Alex for just leaving like that without even calling me. That's when everything in my life started to suck. I can't talk to anyone around here like I could with him. No one here has any perspective. Alex and I could talk for hours about whatever.
At least I have you to talk to. Are you listening?
I'm not sure how long it's been since my last post. Feels like it's been a while, but it could just be that the clock in my head is all screwed up. Maybe I need to start crossing off days in a calendar, like someone shipwrecked on a deserted island.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's give a big hello to Elle, the drama queen!
So, something pretty crappy happened today. I went down to Solar for my usual fix and it was closed! No sign of Jeanine either.
I'm going to go back there now and see if she showed up. What the hell are people supposed to eat around here?
Okay, this is starting to freak me out. Yesterday, I saw Jeanine and she was just wandering around Main Street. She wasn't going anywhere, she just stood there in front of her store. I went up to talk to her, but I might as well have been invisible. She just stared at me. I asked her if she was okay. She asked me if I had seen her husband. She started getting really weird about it and kept asking me over and over again.
I didn't really know what to do, so I just went to the other side of the street and made sure she didn't do anything stupid like walk in front of a truck or something.
After about an hour, she went inside the café, closed the door and disappeared into the back. I went over there and knocked on the door, but she never came out. I thought I heard some yelling inside, but then it just stopped.
I took off and went straight home, up to my room and closed the door. I didn't know where my mom was, so I just stayed in my room the rest of the day. I was scared to even come to the library to write this, but I knew you would find it all very thrilling! I do this for you.
Maybe tomorrow, aliens will land in front of the town hall and take me on board. Doubt it. That would almost be a relief.
I was trying to figure out a way I could get the computer out of the library and bring it home, so I wouldn't have to leave my house.
Yes, it's gotten that creepy around here. Today, the streets were really empty and the fog didn't lift the whole day. Even Mr. Rooney, the guy who runs the tourist place, is usually around (not sure why, we haven't had an actual tourist in months). But he was gone, his little stand was all closed up.
I'm not sure how safe it is for me to come here anymore, but I'll try again soon. Now, I'm going to go find my mom.
So, this morning my mom was cooking breakfast. Yes, you read that right, she was actually cooking breakfast: eggs, bacon, the works! I was really excited!
We just sat there and ate, like two pigs. We talked about all sorts of things. I brought up Alex and how I missed him, she understood and told me she missed him too and wished he was here with me so I wouldn't get so lonely. She knows that most of my friends have gone off to college and many of the people around town have just packed up. I could tell she was worried about what was happening, with everyone closing up the stores, but she told me not to worry about it. I said I was a bit scared to go outside. She told me to be careful. She walked me down to the library today to make sure I was okay.
Still, I think she's pretending not to be scared for my sake. I guess that's what makes her a parent.
I think my mom might be in denial. It's pretty obvious that people aren't just leaving town. They're missing. Like, "no one knows what happened to them" missing.
Remember when I told you about Jeanine looking for her husband? Today, I saw her again and she had a stack of flyers with her husband's picture on it. Before, I just thought he left her (for another woman or something, she can be pretty annoying), but she really doesn't know where he is! She hasn't heard from him or seen him. It's not like he drove out of town. His car is still here.
I felt really bad for her, so I grabbed a stack of flyers and put them up for her. Maybe we need to start making more flyers.
My mom saw me putting up more flyers today. She was heading to her office but grabbed a bunch and told me she would put some up near work.
Some other people I don't really know stopped by and brought their own flyers. This guy Clint who used to work at the library came by and printed up a bunch more for some other people. I realized that this was getting out of hand, so we went down the sheriff's station. The deputy was there by himself. For someone who is supposed to be protecting the town, this deputy acted like he just wanted us to leave. We showed him all the flyers and he said he would "get on it". Sure.
The fog rolling in from the lake this morning made the place really gloomy, so Clint walked me to the library. I'm really going to make the effort to post this blog as much as I can, in case something bad happens.
Clint hung out with me today while we printed up more flyers. We dropped by our favorite deputy, who seems really annoyed by how many times we've come by his office this past week. What the hell does he think we should be doing? What the hell is HE doing about this? I would dial 911 if it wasn't him at the other end of the phone. Maybe I should call the Army. But what the hell would I tell them?
I could really use Alex right now. Sometimes I have the tendency to freak out really easily and Alex is one of the calmest people I know. I think I'm trying to block out the idea that he might be missing as well because I just can't deal with the idea of anyone else in my life disappearing.
Clint is gone.
He didn't show up at the library this morning. I went by his apartment. It was unlocked. I didn't want to go in, but I had to. No sign of him. Nothing left behind either - his place was totally untouched. I knocked on some of the other doors, but I couldn't find any help. Maybe he just packed up and left. It got me thinking - maybe we should get out of here too.
I ran home and my mom was there. I told her about Clint and said we should go, like get out of town. She said that this was our home and where were we supposed to go? We argued about it, but there was no convincing her. I would have left by myself, but I can't leave her behind. I came back to the library to see if Clint might be hiding out, but he's not here either.
I know the deputy is still here. Tomorrow, I'm going there, and this time he better help me.
Okay. Good news. Deputy Wheeler is more on the ball than I thought.
I went down to the station today and we had a good long talk. Turns out, he has more information about what's going on than I do. He showed me a stack of missing person reports and said he was going to do his best to check out each and every one. According to him, all these people have one thing in common - they vanished without any reason or warning.
I told him that Clint was missing, and we added him to the list. Wheeler told me I shouldn't be wandering around town alone anymore, but he figured I would anyway so he gave me one of his cop walkie-talkies. It's pretty cool. I make sure to check in with him every few hours and report anything weird.
Unfortunately, everything around here is weird! I'm going to stop by Alex's parents' house to make sure his mom is okay.
I saw Mrs. Shepherd today. I don't think I've seen her since the day Alex left. I'm pretty sure she hasn't left the house lately. There wasn't much to eat, so I went down to the grocery store. They shut down almost a year ago, but I figured they must have some canned stuff in there.
Now, I know stealing is wrong, but this is a crisis, wouldn't you say? I broke in. Don't tell my mom, I don't need her throwing the book at me.
The place stank! But I found a bunch of good stuff. I wish I had thought of this earlier. I grabbed as much as I could and got out of there. I'm going to hoard a few things here in the library so I know they'll always be here.
I told Alex's mom I would come once a week or so in the afternoon to check on her. She just nodded. I wanted to ask her about Alex and that whole situation, but I think everything that's been going on has been taking a toll on her mind. I don't even know if she cares (or knows) I'm here, but I think it's good that I do stop by even if it's just for a minute to make sure she's ok.
Wheeler and I went through another stack of missing person reports. I copied a bunch and replaced the old ones out at the board. I don't know if anyone's reading them, but I'll keep putting them up.
Wheeler has some "interesting" ideas as to what is going on. He told me he had posted them online. I don't know how much of his ideas are actually possible, but it's definitely worthwhile reading material.
As for me, I'm just trying to keep out of trouble. My mom is down at her office most days. I think she's got her own problems.
I've stopped going home.
This morning I could have sworn there was someone in my house. I didn't know where but I know I'm not crazy. I grabbed as much of my stuff as I could and got out of there. I left a note for my mom telling her I would find her.
Maybe I'm in over my head with this whole thing. I told Wheeler I was going to wait out the rest of this at the library and he could find me there. I'm going to lay low for a while. I don't think I can stop by Mrs. Shepherd's today, I'm just too scared to go outside. The fog seems to always be around and it's hard to see ten feet in front of my own face.
I quietly snuck down to my mom's office at the town hall. I found her sorting through a pile of papers. She looked very concerned and asked me to come back home. It's pretty obvious I'm afraid of something, but I don't want her to think I can't handle what's going on. I played it cool and told her I would be home tonight.
For a town that barely has a pulse, I was busy today.
First I stopped by Wheeler's office. I can tell the guy might be going a bit looney in there all by himself with just his thoughts. I think he's glad I'm actually still here with my eyes wide open (although I don't know how much longer that will last).
He said he's been sitting on the roof at night and seeing strange things. There was a lot of fear in his voice. He didn't really tell me what he saw, just said a lot of animals moving in the shadows. Great. What the hell does that mean? I made him some lunch, hung out for a while and listened to more of his theories. He has this crazy idea about how cell phones are always on and someone might be listening to your conversations. Okay...
Finally, I went home and saw Mom just as she was leaving. She was heading over to talk to Dr. Fitch. I guess he's not feeling too well and she's worried about him. I begged her to be careful... it was already dark and I told her about the animals in the night that Wheeler had been seeing. She told me she would be back soon. I don't think she took what Wheeler said seriously.
I hope she'll be okay.
When I woke up this morning, I realized I hadn't heard my mom come home last night. She was back over at the doctor's house. I burst out of my room and ran into hers, but there she was with my dad, sound asleep. It was the first time in a long while I felt okay.
That lasted for about a minute. When I looked outside, everything was covered in haze. Not like the usual morning fog... this was different. The entire town was painted in a murky gray cloud.
I radioed Wheeler and he ordered me to stay inside today. He said not to come down to the station.
"There's something bad out there" were his exact words.
But as you can see, I didn't stay inside. I walked around to see if I could find anyone who needed my help. If Wheeler was scared of what was out here, then maybe someone needed a safe place to go. I called out. No one answered. I went down to the flyer board and made sure they were still up... just in case.
On my way back to the library, I heard voices again, coming out of the fog. I ran. I ran as fast as I could to the library. I locked the door tight and blocked the door. I couldn't see anyone following me, but the fog is freaking thick, they could have been right behind me and I never would have known.
Whoever said that curiosity killed the cat might have been right. But cats have nine lives. I'm pretty sure I only get one.
I slept in the library. Wheeler radioed me early this morning. He sounds desperate. He's boarded himself up into the sheriff's station. The only guy in town who can help me and I have no way of getting to him now. He asked me if I had seen anyone. I told him the last person I saw was my mother, who was going over to Dr. Fitch's Office. And that was it.
I don't know what to do now. Stay here? At least I can get the word out about what's happening and hope someone's reading.
But maybe someone out there needs my help. Last night I could hear all sorts of strange noises. I don't know. Maybe this is all in my head and I'm asleep somewhere dreaming this whole thing.
Why can't I dream about nice things?
I don't know how much longer I'll be able to post. The computer was shut off when I woke up today (stayed another few nights here... I need a shower...). I freaked out that it was broken, but it fired up about ten minutes of me turning it on and off. Only the screen is really messed up and flickering. I even tried to switch monitors, but something is wrong with the actual computer. I'm typing very slowly to make sure the words come out okay.
I don't think staying in the library is safe anymore. Last night, the noises outside were unbearably loud, like something was trying to get in. Today when I checked around to make sure nothing had broken in, I found something that scared the living shit out of me... Clint's glasses were folded neatly on one of the tables. I'm POSITIVE they weren't there before. I have no idea what the hell that means, but I don't want to stick around here anymore.
For anyone who is reading this, if you can get to Shepherd's Glen, I'll be at the sheriff's station on Main. If I'm not there, the only man who can help you find me is Deputy Wheeler.
If you can't find him, then get the hell out of here.