Don't Shoot The Messenger

Don't Shoot The Messenger

Sat, 4/23: The Man Who Brings Tidings of Sorrow

Well. How the hell am I supposed to begin this story?

I don’t even know why I’m writing this, to be honest. I guess I’m mostly writing it for my own sake, but I feel like I want someone, anyone to read it. I just don’t know how anyone would get their hands on it or why they would even believe this bullshit. If you fall into one or both categories, I should probably thank you. So…thanks, I guess.

These words are…some weird combo of a diary, memoir, and will, I suppose. See, I’ve recently started a rather stressful job. Tedious work, bad pay, emotionally and psychologically draining…not exactly what I was looking at using my degree for. I’ve got my reasons for working here, but it’s probably going to be a bit before I’m ready to put them down on paper. For now, though, let’s just say I’m the new IT guy for a cult serving some Cthulhu type motherfucker.

Yeah, apparently cults have IT guys now. Underground psycho religions for the 21st century, everybody.

I’m the Messenger, by the way. Hi. It’s not my real name, obviously, but I think I’m not supposed to use that right now. Anyway, the reason I’m writing this in the first place is because my roommate died earlier this week. He went off on an assignment and just…didn’t come back. I didn’t even know until I got the paperwork. Designation: Hyde. Identification number: NYTE-138H. Given name: Henry Davidson. I only learned the poor kid’s real name after he had died.

I called my boss—a teenage girl, by the way—about what had happened, and she gave me a vague comment about how he had been killed in action. I asked what we were going to do. If there would be some sort of funeral, or at least a memorial service. She had scoffed at that. “We don’t do that here,” she said.

I was shocked. This guy who died—he was just a kid. He had been a college student a bit earlier, but I don’t know if he was even old enough to drink. And from what I gathered, he wasn’t in contact with his family. Maybe he was estranged. Maybe they thought he was dead. Maybe they’re all dead themselves. The details don’t matter. All that matters is that these cultists were the only people who really even knew of his existence, and they didn’t even care. A boy died. No one mourned him.

He must have hated himself. Henry, I mean. He called himself “Hyde,” of all things. You don’t name yourself after an archetypal evil personality if you’re proud of what you do. Maybe he thought there was still good in him, or that this person he was wasn’t really him. Maybe he was “hyding” from what he had become (sorry, that wasn’t funny or appropriate). Then again, maybe he just thought “Hyde” sounded cool. Pretentious bullshit names almost seem like a job requirement here.

The point is, Henry obviously had some sort of story. Now he’s dead, and that story is gone. I barely knew Hyde, and I didn’t know Henry at all. He had to have been someone before he dropped out of school and joined a cult. He had a life before he cut ties and changed his name. But no one will ever know now. I don’t want the same thing to happen to me. I don’t want the old me to be lost. I don’t want to just be The Messenger. I don’t want to just be NYTE-141X.

So that’s why I’m writing this. Because I don’t know what my shelf time is anymore. This is something to leave behind for whoever comes after, because I want someone to remember me.

I’m sorry, I’m just waxing philosophical about my own mortality now. I should maybe explain what exactly I do. Like I said, I’m the IT guy. The cult seems to own this apartment building, and I’m in charge of keeping its network running smoothly. I’m also here to take care of people’s computer issues. I have to admit, I’m not exactly stoked to go through their browser histories to find out what sort of shady sites they’re getting viruses from.

In addition, I’m in charge of…paperwork would be the best word for it, I suppose. I’m not in charge of finances or executive decisions or anything of that sort, but there’s some information I’m supposed to enter into a database. Keeping track of people, mostly. There’s us, and there’s them. The people that we don’t like because for some strange reason, they’ve decided to run away from our eldritch boss instead of either letting themselves get killed by him or drinking our particular flavor of Kool-aid. So I’m in charge of keeping track of who’s who, who’s where, who’s dead, and who’s alive. That’s my job. I’m a messenger of death. Fear my keystrokes.

I’m sorry; I realize how stupid this sounds. My thoughts are still everywhere and I’m just vomiting them onto the page hoping that it will somehow help me adjust. Maybe soon I’ll be able to pretend this is all normal. For now, though, I’ve run out of things to say, so I guess I’ll just sign off. Until later,

-The Messenger-

Andrew Koerner

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