Log from November 25th:
I'm deeply sorry for not giving regular progress reports. I've been so busy Running that it's difficult to snatch a moment to myself, and it's been difficult enough diverting suspicion within the group.
Before I get much further ahead of myself, I'll give a progress report on what I've been doing, all month...
Since I took off in October, I've been infrequently stumbling on bouquets, seeing grey and hearing these occasional piercing shrieks that leave me deaf for days afterwards, sensing things in the shadows watching, waking up with a pressure on my chest just in time to watch something dart away...and I'm always cold - colder than I ought to be, even in winter. That last one, though...despite that my hands are always numb, I don't feel like it's a danger. Sometimes, I see black-eyed children peering at me from around corners, only for them to dart away giggling. Also - the nightmares are horrific.Terrifyingly nauseating images, things I can't even describe. There are nights where I don't sleep at all, now.
Sometimes I would cut my arms open and bleed on the ground, hoping my Mistress will be drawn to me. She never appears. Worse, it seemed my tribute goes to another Vessel - they seem to be everywhere, lately, and avoiding Ruby Tuesday was probably the most difficult thing I've ever had to do.
Then, recently, I found myself in the company of two others - also Runners. Neither of them were particularly talkative, and highly untrustworthy, but something about my frantic state must have earned their sympathy. We all met in this hostel, one that offers discounted board for people on the run from Fears. I, personally, found it welcoming; I could sense a presence like my Mistress's, there, and I can only guess that was why I wasn't turned away in suspicion. Before we left, two more joined us, and we were back on the road heading South. I think they plan on jumping the border into Mexico...there's something funny about that.
We all pointedly refuse to get to know each other, but I feel almost bonded to them. There's a kind of...trust, without trusting. We all know we can depend on one another to watch, and to fight.
I think I've hidden what I am well enough. At the very least, no one has accused me of being a proxy. I suspect they think I'm being hounded by the Black Dog, and truthfully, I wonder that myself. I've glimpsed my Mistress's dog every so often, tailing me, dragging that bag of flesh.
I can't imagine what they'll do to me if they find out I'm not only Marked, but a Vessel, too.