Part 9: NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED
PART 9: NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED
I woke up with a headache so severe I immediately puked over the side of the bed.
My head rang like a bell and my sight was blurry as if I had been on the bender from hell. I could only remember fragments of last night but I remembered enough to know what I had read.
The other residents had suddenly broken into my house.
They somehow knew I had the documents. They dragged me from the house, a makeshift grave already dug for me, where they buried me up to my waist and set to beating me with their hooves and claws.
I thought this would be the end. Eventually I blacked out.
Now I was back in my bed. I was really having trouble focusing my vision and it was making me nauseous. I went to rub my eyes when I felt the patch. They had beaten me pretty bad and then bandaged me up. They didn't want to kill me; they just wanted to break me. The entire side of my head was numb with pain.
Somehow my thoughts flew back to Penny. If they could do this to me just for reading something I shouldn't have, what would they do to her? Was she dead? It was almost too much to bear. I had to know, I had to find out if she was ok.
I managed to hobble onto my feet and head downstairs.
I suppose I wasn't surprised to find out they had taken everything I had made or owned. The house was utterly empty except for the gyroids. Goddamned monstrosities.
Nothing had changed. The residents acted as though nothing had happened, they openly mocked me, as if we had all shared a wonderful spot of tea and biscuits last night.
In my mind, I imagined a knife plunging into their horrid faces over and over. A horse-shaped resident walked by awkwardly. He looked at me oddly, with more sympathy than I had ever seen from anyone besides K.K.
He nervously approached and whispered:
I felt like shit, but I don't think he was apologizing for a beating. What did he mean about Nook being obsessed with "that kind of thing"? Did he mean the part where Nook fucking EATS you?! Suddenly a new kind of numbness started to set in and I realized it wasn't just emotional. I couldn't feel my left eye. I poked my patch and it depressed. Too much. They took my eye.
THEY TOOK MY FUCKING EYE.
A month ago, I would have cried until I was spent. I would have run to my bed and pulled the covers over my head and prayed for a quick death. This was just Nook's way of saying I had seen too much. But I was beyond afraid. I felt nothing.
A dozen sea-shell letters were sent over the wall in the next few days where they must have started to pile up. There wasn't much else I could do. I had fallen into a terrible state of antipathy. Nothing mattered, my existence was pointless. I would never escape and one day my ambitions would be nothing more than being shat out of Tom Nook's ass. The only thing that kept me going was the hope that Penny was still alive.
I would spend all my time staring east in a catatonic state, as if Penny were going about her daily business, preparing a balloon with a smile on her face, anxiously awaiting a reply. I knew that wasn't the reality of it. At the very least she would be locked up and under constant supervision. But a glimmer of hope crossed my mind- maybe it's too important to Nook that we cross over. Maybe he won't kill his victims because he needs us more than we need him. Even at the darkest times, hope springs eternal. I knew that I wouldn't give up until I rescued Penny.
She would do the same for me.
A week passed and my depression and physical pain had started to wane but I was beginning to have vivid nightmares. I wouldn't go for more than a few hours without screaming myself awake. I guess it wasn't surprising; my whole life had become one big nightmare. One morning was especially bad. I didn't know what Penny looked like but I could imagine her shrieking in terrible pain. As I woke up in a panic that morning, the voice faded off into the morning light and I knew I couldn't wait any longer. I unexpectedly remembered something that had been kicked out of me a few nights before. I knew what I was going to do.
I remembered the axe I had bought from Nook. I had hidden it away under my bed for an emergency like this and I prayed they hadn't found it. They hadn't. I was going to chop down some trees, make a raft and float around the rocky outer shore to Penny's camp where I'd bust into her cabin and save her and we'd float off into the sunset. I knew it seemed stupid and impossible but I was tired of complicated plans and tired of failing. I was finally prepared to take action. I dared anyone to get in my way, almost wished they would.
With the sun high in the sky I headed to the water and started hacking at the closest tree.
Not only did it not attract the attention I thought it might, I hadn't seen any residents at all that day. It was a little eerie, to be honest, but I wouldn't be distracted. If they were off at a security meeting or some other bullshit, all the better.
All my bravado vanished with a flicker on the horizon.
A BALLOON. It seemed completely impossible but there it was, hanging heavily in the sky. I had lost my slingshot and my depth perception was terribly poor, but I was prepared to fling all the stones on the island to get that balloon to drop. It didn't take long before the package came down with a damp thud.
I tore away the wrapping paper to find the usual battered envelope. She had always written to me with a particular flowery stationary. This wasn't it.
What… the fuck? My hands went instinctively to the box where I began to tug at the lid. I stopped. Something was wrong with this box. It had slumped to the side and the wrapping paper on the bottom half looked moist like a fast food bag holding a greasy hamburger.
My gut screamed full force to leave the package where it lay. Walk away. In my head I shrieked "DON'T OPEN IT. DON'T OPEN IT," and it clawed at my brain like fingernails on a chalkboard. I saw my hand reach towards the lid as though I had no control over my muscles. The lid fell to the side.