Day 2: Friday 31st October 1926, Senegal’s warehouse, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
We elect to stay in the warehouse overnight. The guards conducted us to another room. Henry suggests that the Sharp Stone should be separated from Tobias, perhaps to slow down the reaction, but Tobias is reluctant to let it out of his sight. He does consent to Henry examining the Stone, however.
With extremely delicate care, and wearing thick leather gloves, Henry turns over the Stone in its case. Despite all his precautions, and with no evidence of fumbling involved, the Stone cuts him on the thumb, drawing blood. Henry reports feeling powerful and as Tobias puts the Stone away he feels the same reluctance to part with it. However, he determines that he does not want it near him, the lure is too reminiscent of some powerful drug. Henry is clearly disturbed by his injury and is constantly worrying it to cause it to bleed out the poison inside (if there is such a thing).
Otto and I settle down to catch some sleep. Jonah agrees to take the first watch while Tobias and Henry try to stay awake. Jonah discovers that the door to this room is barred. Immediately, he becomes agitated and resolves to work on unbarring the door which is bolted from the outside.
After a couple of hours of painstaking work the door is opened from outside. Senegal and his guards want to speak to us to impart some important information. Jonah wakes Henry and I.
Senegal starts by saying that Tobias is sick and not well. We know this, of course. He continues to explain that there is something about Miguel’s story that he had not told us. He had not mentioned that when he saw Miguel in his black scaly form with a third eye, that eye was Miguel and the other two were yellow and pupil-less. Somehow he knew that his brother was still there, as if the eye was part of the past. Even after he had killed the thing in its stomach and the creature that was Miguel lay dead, Senegal still sensed something alive in that eye, a presence as of his brother. But when he returned for the remains later, the presence was gone.
Tobias asks if Senegal had witnessed his brother’s transition from man to beast, but he did not see it. Senegal leaves us, grudgingly allowing the door to remain ajar (for Jonah’s sake). One of his men will take us to the Start Pools tomorrow. At this point it is worth mentioning that the black scaliness on Tobias’ arm has spread and Henry’s wound has blackened in a similar fashion, causing him much consternation.
In the morning we retrieve our car (careful to ensure we are not followed) and set out to follow the car of Senegal’s guard, who does not speak English. We drive for a few hours along a hilly dirt road filled with potholes. At one point, despite careful driving, Tobias hits a particularly nasty pothole and we burst a tyre. Jonah and I replace the tyre as quickly as we can. The car in front eventually stops at the base of a hill and the guard indicates that we should continue on foot. Henry notices there are black scales around his wound and underneath these his skin is blackened. It is early afternoon.
We hike for three hours through cypress groves along a small trail. The guard then stops in front of us at the top of a hill. We become aware that the normal jungle noises have ceased. We can see at the bottom of the hill is a wooded valley. The guard points to the wooded area, turns around and leaves. He looked concerned and will take us no further.
At the edge of the woods we stop, trying to decide which direction to follow. Skeins of memory surface and I begin to think I have been here before. I point in a particular direction, saying that I think we should go there to find answers. The others disagree, saying their memories indicate different directions. All except Otto, who has no such urgings. With no agreed direction in our memories, we ask Otto to chose one, as we are unsure if we should trust in our sketchy memories. As we enter the jungle, it is still quiet.
Day 3: Saturday 1st November 1926, in the jungle on the way to the Star Pools, Haiti
The direction we are heading appears to loosely correspond with Jonar’s memories, and Jonah believes that if we go there he will remember something important. After a brief discussion we agree to follow his lead. As we near the place Jonah remembers, we smell decay. Immediately Jonah stops and becomes wary. He does not want to lead us forward, suddenly convinced he might see something terrible, such as his own corpse. Henry hangs back, cocking his shotgun, the rest of us press forward.
There is a large area of trampled undergrowth as if something very large and heavy has compressed it. The sudden clearing is also full of blood. We see one left boot with foot still inside and one dismembered arm in the trees. I examine the boot more closely. It is Jonah’s boot, with presumably his foot still inside. Suddenly, we realise that Jonah has disappeared. Henry waves his shotgun around in an arc, but encounters nothing. It is as if he has just vanished. Is this some premonitory dream or hallucination of Jonah’s demise? Where has he gone? Is is some voodoo magic? Perhaps we are not really here and are having one of our unconscious episodes? Perhaps Jonah will re-appear in the hospital when we wake up? Or are we dead, are we ghosts? And what manner of beast could have caused such a terrible scene?
Needing answers, we decide to follow Tobias’s memory, but this time we hold hands, convinced that touch will keep us safe. We reach another clearing. There is a skinless and burned body with no features. The body is covered in welts and sores and appears to have been thrashing. Tobias disappears. One moment I had been holding his hand, the next empty air. We can only presume this terrible vision depicted Tobias’s gruesome death and that he is now in the same place as Jonah. What had (or will) happened here? Unnerved, but with no other real option, we decide to follow Henry’s memory.
Another clearing, another body. This time it is clearly Henry’s body and he has clearly turned a gun on himself. A .45 revolver lies near the body. Henry has disappeared, leaving Otto and I alone. Otto takes the gun, discovering that all the bullets have been used. Otto believes we should follow my memories next. I am reluctant to do so, knowing in my heart that I will witness a scene of my death. But it may be the only way to find out what happened to the others. Despite my misgivings (Otto did not share his thoughts on what he really thought was going on) I allow Otto to convince me and we head off in the final direction.
My memory is an unpleasant scene. I see with disbelief and dread my body torn to shreds, ripped apart by some terrible force. I disappear, leaving Otto alone in the jungle.