December 17, 2018

From the Journals of Elwood Finch

February 18, 1894

Huff has supplied me with a house to use during my time here, and I have converted it into a headquarters of sorts. I hardly remember the last time I was here. Long before the war. Hunters come and go freely, staying for several days or sometimes weeks, as they heal and regroup. Though those who have survived to make hunting their career often seem to find themselves becoming quite wealthy, it appears that many are transients with no home or family to speak of or return to. They spend their gold on things that ease the pain of the present—tobacco, whiskey, well you can imagine. They are a rough and rowdy bunch, nihilists most. Some grudges from the hunting grounds carry over, not all survive their stay here.

Must remember to purchase eggs and flour tomorrow. Huff has secured my line of credit at the local grocer.

February 21, 1895

I can think only of Elisa. I would do better to forget her entirely. Yet here I am, writing in my journal when I should be asleep. I had hoped to stop myself from replaying her final moments, hearing an echo of the horrible sound of cracking bone, and dwelling on my own guilt. Yet here I sit, writing of her. No more! Tomorrow I will throw myself further into my work. That I may yet make a difference is my only solace.

March 31, 1895

Each day I send more of them to their deaths. I should feel ambivalent about this fact, but after so many years they are all starting to look the same to my eyes. Long coats, dusty hats, and that grim, haunted look in their eyes. I set them their tasks, as I always have, and they bring me their dead. My rewards are more appealing than those many of the others offer.

They have killed hundreds and hundreds of the creatures, just in the past year. Yet it does not appear that their infernal numbers wane. There are ever more, a flood of destruction that does not appear to abate. I am lucky to find so many recruits to fight them, and fighting I must keep them, at least slowing the flood, if not stopping it, while I continue to investigate the source.

April 3, 1895

So many have tried and failed. What fool I am to think I would be the one.

April 14, 1895

Huff is pulling the strings again; we have concluded that my skills could be helpful at the asylum, and he will introduce me to the staff as a visiting doctor, there to work with specially selected patients for a few hours each week. I will continue my other work. I remain wary and watchful, but must get closer to know for sure if my theory is correct. I feel myself falling prey to thoughts of futility, but I must persist. What way forward is there but is made by hundreds of individual steps?

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