So, we meet again. This one will likely be a long one, because holy shit do I have things to say. We made it to the promised land, for one, and were not the only ones to do so. There were people already there waiting and more of us came out of the woods every hour or so. There’s like 200 of us already, and I’m not sure when exactly it’ll stop. We’ve already way expanded past the number I guessed in the clearing. The promised land itself turned out to be a rather large shrine/temple thing. Some animal statues out in front of it, a few to the sides, and a lot more in a large gated courtyard behind the structure. Some people have tents set up already, like colorful eat-me signs perched next to highly visible landmarks. The hell did they get those from?
I will admit to being bitter about not having a tent of my (our? Quiet hasn’t let go of me since I threw up) own, but is there some reason you can’t put these pretty, pretty targets indoors where the walls are? Are there even more people inside the buildings? There’s barely enough space for us (the people who just came in from the forest) in the courtyard as is. I’ll laugh if the tent people have to share, and then Quiet and I will go inside where the bait isn’t. Their screaming will buy Quiet and I time to escape should the worst happen and the statues start claiming their bounties.
I’m reclassifying the groups to try and make sense of people and because my original selections all reorganized themselves when we met the others. Feel free to be offended (you’re a book; I’d like to see you try) at my choices. In reverse order, we have group seven, which are singletons and pairs (such as Quiet and I) who are not otherwise collected in a blob. Outsiders, shy people, people who don’t trust others (Look! Look! It’s me!) or whom others don’t trust. Eyeball says twenty-six, gut says more, especially if they hightailed it or otherwise refused to follow the convoy of lemmings.
Group six is my previous attempt at group one, a collective of women (and only women) whom I shall label (tentatively, you understand) as The Feminists. Group’s gotten a bit larger but no less insular. They’ve huddled up, but I can see some members peel off, move through the crowd, and return with mothers and children, or empty handed. Children are bi-sex, though, so I wonder if that discounts my labeling as “all-women.” Maybe forty of them? Their numbers keep changing, members going in and out.
Group five, the next band of idiots. They have no women that I can see, so they get The Meninists. Do keep in mind, diary, I have no idea what their creed is (or anybody else’s, although there was that lady who tried to pull Quiet and I in with the line “Men can’t be trusted in an emergency,” back in the forest). I just see them, see group six, put two and two together to get a number. Could be 22, could be 4, could be 0. They’re also pulling people in (dudes this time, obviously), and some guys with kids. Also bi-sex. Also 40, increasing in fits and starts. Best case scenario (one that avoids activity that gets people killed) is that groups five and six are together and just collecting same-sex people in some weird efficiency gambit. Fingers crossed.
Group four is led by a pastor. They’re off in a corner, circled up. All dressed in formal attire, fifty (exactly fifty, plus one) young adults (estimate 12-19 years? Pastor 30-40) chanting. Feels like some Sunday School got picked up and dropped. We’ll see how they interact with people, but I do not appreciate being converted or preached at.
Groups three, two, and one are all the same in the sense they’re all different. Boring, I know, but stay with me. Group seven are the non-groups. Six and five are kids collected by women or men. Four is a baby cult (assumptions! They’re everywhere). Three, two, and one are the rest of the world’s population. Businessmen/women, drivers, clerks, plumbers, cops, one or two politicians, some various religious priests/rabbi/general holy orders.
Exercising my pathetic attempts at discrimination even further, I’d guess you could split them into continental ethnicities. Three has an asian core (the schoolkids from before I threw up got folded in here), two is European (mostly, although they’re led by some dude in a white toga-thing who looks like Ghandi) and one is definitely Latin/South American in majority. Most of our forest party appended themselves to group two, but Baldie somehow kept at it and landed a leadership in one. I think. Gonna have to wait on more data there. 60-70 people average on groups three, two, one. Total estimate 370 plus? Holy shit.
If I'm making it sound like everybody's segregating themselves by race that's a blatant lie because I suck ass at descriptions. I'm trying to describe people filtering into a massive crowd when they don't know shit about what's going on, your narrator is spooked, and aggressively sarcastic, borderline racist-sexist (is it sexist if I'm a woman against a man? Pretty sure five says yes) observations about these group formations help keep me focused. Not like anyone'll be reading this anyway. I'll burn you to ash before I open that door up.
Once everybody’s good and settled in and people slowly stop trickling in from Lorax Forest, a dozen or so people (Baldie, surprisingly, in fourth) walk up the steps to the courtyard entrance of the shrine, stopping about a third of the way up on the first landing. This gives them about a foot-and-a-half on the rest of us as they begin their speeches, which I shall ignore and mock them for. I have more important things to write in here anyway, like how there are definitely hundreds of us and the courtyard doesn’t seem to have any less open space in it than when Quiet and I first showed up. I’m getting butterflies in my stomach again, but I don’t think they’re self-igniting this time.
Right, shit. Forgot to tell you I threw up earlier. I mean it was implied, but here’s the actual fun version: It sucked. It burned coming up, and it burned a lot more on its way out. I horked up a good bit of stuff while I leaned against a tree (direct contact between my skin and the purple moss-fur), it collected, steamed, smelled vile, and then burst into flames before leaving a black char on the ground. Some of it got on a bush-thing right next to the tree, and what happened to that was impressively surreal. So, when you put an ice cube in a hot glass, you can actually watch the ice melt in real time. Or butter on a hot pan. Yeah, butter on a hot pan. Butter melts, sometimes makes sizzly noises when you dump your sausage or whatever in it and toss it around. Barf on a bush-thing doesn’t do that. Barf on a bush-thing means the bush disintegrates into a fucking ice-cold ash skeleton before the wind blows it into your face. You think I’m kidding, don’t you. I’d post a picture to prove it, but you’re a dumb book that can’t connect to my smartphone, which I don’t have since it’s in my purse which is in my room that I’ll never see again.
Shit. I should have visited mom.
You know what? Fuck it. No group names, no group numbers. Too aggressive, too assumptuous (I swear that's not a real word), and honestly just too depressing. I don't know why I'm here. I doubt any of us do. I'd like us all to make it out of here alive, but if we're fracturing already then we're fucked. We're one union here. At the very least, I need to help Quiet make it. I can worry about mom when we get back.
This fucking sucks, did you know that? It really does.