My Narrative for the Book

Melancholy; noun

‘a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.’[1]

Displayed below are the writings taken from Caam. N. Wauler’s diary. Caam was born in Kent, England in 1996. The places she ventures to and describes are all situated in the town where she grew up. [2]

 Each step I take; I lose a part of myself but if I stop they will find me, they will catch me. Out in the wilderness I can breathe afresh, I had never thought of living a life like this and now I have no choice but to. The aching in my feet has stopped now or perhaps I have just become immune to the pain. It has been a few weeks now since the last sighting, it gets lonelier every day but I know what fate awaits me if I turn back. It is extremely tedious and repetitive this life style but what else can I do? Danger can lurk around any corner or bend; I chose my path carefully.

 Blade after blade, the green turns to grey.

 I have never had time before to sit and ponder, but now with all the time in the world I think why is it that something has to happen, why does there need to be a decisive moment[3][4] in a story book, or in a person’s life? Can’t they go on living their routine lives? Day in, day out, the same old thing and then it can end, nothing extreme caused its ending, it was just the inevitable. Why can’t it start, have a middle and then it can just stop? It’s boring that’s why. I wouldn’t choose a book like that, where the writing on each page just blurs into a slur of mundaneness. There needs to be a loud bang! Or multiple bangs if you would prefer more drama. Nothing happens here, it is all ‘has happened’. Everyone knows it too because it happened all over the globe, just like we read in the comics, watched on television and saw in the movies. This time however it was all over the news.

 For all to see and hear.[5]

 On this patch of grass I sit,[6] and watch a spider crawl. It walks in panicked circles stumbling on each blade. I feel a leaf under my palm, and place it in the spider’s tracks. It stops and turns back and tries to approach anti clockwise but again when it gets to the leaf it stops and turns back. No matter which way he tries he gets caught by the leaf, but I can move the leaf and yet he still runs into it.[7] It seems deranged the way it circles round as if he doesn’t know where to go. Round and round it goes. I use a stone instead.

 Poor little thing.

 When I was little I would play here, I would run and feel the fresh air on my face and have no care in the world, look at me now. I would trip and fall and laugh so loud, if I was to make such a mistake now, I would surely die. They are close on my tail. I had such a wild imagination when I was younger but society killed that for me. I could sit and stare at a wall, and see shapes in the shadows of the net curtain, I could see a friendly beast, locked behind the lace.[8] All that is left of my life before is pieces of broken memories[9]. Now all I have is what is in front of me, no more fairies, dragons or young princes. No more ghosts, ghouls or m… let’s not speak of them. I am not safe to stay in one spot for long. It is time to make tracks.

 On the run, I walk alone.

 Running in constant circles[10] to avoid towns and housing estates, the last thing I need is come face to face with a giant horde. I stick to where I know, I am sure I do not need to bore you with my precise location. Besides I haven’t even begun to tell you about the cold air that the wind brings in and how it pierces my skin. The fine mist that falls almost every day and dampens my hair and how after this it is near on impossible to dry. Sleep is non-existent.[11] No matter how much I wish it wasn’t.

 For in dreams I reach cloud nine.

 As the dark closes in around me I settle under a bridge for shelter, it does not stop the cold, but blocks some of the howling wind because the shirt on my back doesn’t keep out the chill[12]. The silence that night time brings strengthens each sensation[13], a leaf that crunches or is it thunder? A drop of rain or waterfall? There is no wood nearby to start a fire tonight, this is sometimes for the best as then the light cannot attract any unwanted visitors in the night. However, I find the dying embers a sight to behold, they are so soft, so withering. Unlike the beasts that roam the night. I feel my heart beat quicken.

 I hear their footsteps above me.

 I did not move an inch last night, if I had breathed any heavier or twitched a muscle they might have found me. ‘They’ meaning the monsters that I did not speak of earlier. They walk by dragging their feet along, slowly and they stumble and groan and they are constantly on the hunt for fresh meat. The blood, guts and more importantly brain of any living human, but I think they have caught the scent of me, which is why they are now always hot on my heels. I won’t bore you with the event that caused it all as unfortunately we all had to live it.

 The disaster.

 I will however tell you about what it brought out in each of us. There were the fans, usually teens, normally boys. They were the naïve over-confident zombie fans, who were so excited about it all. It is safe to say that they did not survive for long. The elderly and sick, who sadly gave in, they stayed in their bungalows and drank their soup. They were wiped out as quickly as the fan boys. Grown men disserted their families, children wandered, pets were set free. Suicides rocketed. Some survived, I am not the strongest or bravest, so there must be people out there. There must be. It is heart breaking to think what happened to my world.

 It was a dismal affair.

 Today I took a longer trek than normal because of last nights’ disturbance. It did not make a difference on how my feet felt, still numb. I walked all day today, only taking small breaks when I hurt too much to continue on my journey.  A journey is an act of travelling from A to B, I don’t know if I can call what I am doing a journey as such, more of an act of survival. I have reached an old petrol station, the road was hardly in use even before the disaster, it’s even quieter now. I shall stop here for the night. I can see asbestos in a lot of the rooms.

 Home sweet home.[14]

 As the dark creeps in I consider going to collect wood for a fire… luckily my brain kicks in and I decide it’s probably for the best that I don’t light a fire at a petrol station. It’s not worth the risk, or maybe I should end it all?[15] It is going to be another cold and long night. I wasn’t much of a sleeper before this, I struggled to settle. I never felt safe enough to drift off and trust my surroundings. I have always been tired but never sleepy[16].  I suppose the situation that I am in now didn’t come as a shock to my body clock. The endless nights and constant fidgeting. Days and nights all blur into one, my mind never rests but at least my feet do.

 They are always there.

Watching.

Waiting.

They are after me.[17]

 I hope for a nicer day each morning. I am not asking for a miracle just a sun beam to burst through the thick clouds. I imagine to feel that warmth on my face would be like bliss. I wonder if I will be in luck today.

 The lake here glistens in the light. The wind is strong, and forces the water to move aggressively.

 I think the spider died. Or lived, survived, saved? Did I hurt it? No. Did I?[18]

 Footsteps…

 Closer and closer.

 More and[19]

 Again? They were so close this time. I was almost a goner. I could hear them; I think they spotted me. I am nimble and quick.[20] If you ever have the misfortune to be in a situation where you are up close and personal with one, then you will notice blood dripping from their jagged teeth, burst veins in their eyes and the flakes of white skin covering their entire bodies. They are cruel. They have hurt people, damaged people. They are damaging me, but I will not return to them.[21]

 The evil that walks the earth.

 I blow on a dandelion and my thoughts begin to wander again. Why do we tell ourselves to make a wish when we blow out a candle, or when it is eleven minutes past eleven o’clock? Or wish when we blow on a dandelion or when we throw a penny into a fountain or well? And what do I wish for? I fear that what I desire can never come true. Instead I waste it on a simple and drifting thought, I wish there was a daisy nearby for me to pick. The soft petals would fall to the floor.

 He loves me, he loves me not.

 Day dreams are a good substitute for the real thing, I can control in my mind exactly where I am, what I am doing and who I am with. I can fly if I want to, I visualise myself asleep in a cosy bed, the radiators are on and not a fire in sight, no damp air, no wind, no more pain. No more fear. Beside me stands a knight with a shield but no sword. He is there to protect me from my nightmares which is all they have become, a figment of my imagination, they cannot hurt me. They are not real any more.

 My fairy tale life.

 Darkness falls across the land[22] once more. My home tonight is an old warehouse; it is no warmer inside than it is out. It is silent, no murmurs of zombies. Sadness falls over my body once more[23], as I struggle to rest and fight with my mind. When I have ceased running in circles all day[24], my mind continues instead, round and round it goes. Green to grey[25], I see, I hear, I am the poor little thing, I run, I walk alone, can I reach cloud 9? Footsteps above me, DISASTER, dismal affairs,[26]

 With the sudden ending of her diary entries you would assume that it was because she got caught by a zombie. You are half right to come to this conclusion depending on your definition of a zombie. She was indeed caught, but the zombies she speaks of were in fact the police.

 Caam. N. Wauler[27] escaped from the Trevor Gibbens Unit, a Psychiatric Hospital in Maidstone on the 20th of September 2016.[28] Caam suffers with chronic insomnia, paranoia and schizophrenia. She was admitted into the hospital a year earlier after a major breakdown caused by high levels of stress, family trauma and the length of time she had gone without sleep.

 She didn’t show any signs of aggression, and got along with the doctors and staff in the hospital well. When she was in isolation she spent a lot of her time singing[29] or mumbling to herself. When she was in a good state, which wasn’t often but even so she seemed content. When she was younger, and attending school she showed a fondness for photography and art. A lot of the time she could use these to control and work through her symptoms.

 The hospital underwent a huge change in management in the middle of August 2016, many Doctors were sent to other hospitals in the region, whilst the majority chose to leave. Patients however didn’t have a choice. After Caams arrest it was rumoured that she spoke of not being cared for any more, and that the new staff caused her harm. However, because of her mental state her claims were deemed as unreliable.

 It is certain that it was the change of management and staff was what provoked her to escape. She was always well behaved in the hospital and responded well to treatment, because of this she was eligible to join the day release scheme. She thoroughly enjoyed the freedom, as it meant she could take her camera out with her. It was whilst she was on a trip to the park with a newly trained activities supervisor that she escaped. The supervisor on duty who wishes to remain anonymous explained that Caam hid behind a nearby tree and then jumped on her, and pushed her to the ground and repeatedly hit her head on the concrete until she became unconscious.

 Caam went on a five-hour long trek to return to her childhood neighbourhood, no one would suspect a thing, she was dressed in casual clothes and avoided busy roads and city centres. She did well to look after herself for that long.

 She remains in the Trevor Gibbens Unit till this day. This case has been tightly under wraps, until a retired nurse who worked closely with Caam returned to the institute and acquired Caam’s diary and photographs.

Footnotes:

[1] Dictionary definition reflects the feeling of the text.

[2] Italic used to show contrast between texts and the different writers.

[3] Henri Cartier Bresson’s decisive moment is when the photographer decides when the right time is to take the photo, when the composition is at its strongest.

[4] Cardinal De Retz quote, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.”

[5] Use of paragraph and one liner throughout to represent the repetitive nature of her diary entries and how she spends her time.

[6] Misuse of comma used to set the pace of the sentence.

[7] Use of foreshadowing inspired from John Steinbeck’s, Of Mice and Men (pages 50-55) When Carlson persuades Candy to shoot his old dog, which unknown to the readers was a foretelling of what was to come, they kill the dog to put it out of its misery, just like George has to do to Lennie.

[8] Real memory of mine, also links extremely well with Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper (1935) and how she describes that when she was little she would get more fun out of a plain white wall than a child at a toy shop.

[9] The first song lyric that I wrote, I didn’t force it, it came out naturally, it is from the song This is Gospel by Panic at the Disco.

[10] Reference to the deranged spider previously running in circles.

[11] First hint of insomnia.

[12] Song lyric insert from the musical, Les Miserablés, song titled at the end of the day. I used song lyrics to get the reader to think and question that something doesn’t seem right, it is not immediately obvious of what I have done.

[13] This line is inspired from the lyrics from the musical, The Phantom of the Opera, song titled Music of the night. I have done this so if people do recognise it they begin to question the text.

[14] Use of sarcasm to mock her current situation.

[15] Signs of depression and suicidal thoughts.

[16] Another reference to insomnia.

[17] Four-line stanza to break the repetitive use of paragraph and one-line text to represent her paranoia.

[18] Use of doubt, and text that doesn’t quite make sense and her questioning herself to represent her mental state deteriorating.

[19] Un-finished sentence to show that she had to stop writing immediately because of on-coming danger.

[20] Reference to the nursery rhyme ‘Jack be Nimble’ to show fleeting memories that come back to her.

[21] First mistake she makes in her diary where things don’t quite add up. (what does she mean by return to them?) sense that the author isn’t telling all that needs to be told.

[22] Song lyric insert, the prologue from Michael Jacksons, Thriller, music video including zombies.

[23] Reference to the title, the reader thinks they know the reason for her sadness.

[24] Reference to the spider circling again and its impending doom of the leaf, or more likely now stone.

[25] List of the one liners used throughout the text, the reader has read them before so assumes they know what is coming. The fast paced list reflects her mental state is on the incline faster and faster.

[26] Un-finished sentence used before in the text to show she had to stop writing because of danger, this time she doesn’t come back in the form of another diary entry.

[27] Anagram of Laura McEwan, inspired from conceptual artist Jamie Shovlin’s work, Naomi. V. Jelish which is a collection of drawings, newspaper articles and photos all from a girl’s life, but in the end you find out that Naomi wasn’t real, and he had made everything including an anagram of his name.

[28] Change of tone, more factual to represent a different speaker (no longer a diary entry).

[29] Explanation of the use of song lyrics in her diary entries.

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