I had decided to make use of the local library; after all, knowledge is power. Furthermore, I like the atmosphere of libraries; a resting place of information and knowledge. Stolidly silent, somewhat simple. It allows me to unwind and think; to recollect and reconnect.
So, I went. They allowed me in with no issue, despite being new to the area (I'd left my suitcase in the hotel), and I soon lost myself in the aisles of books. The words pressed together in such confined spaces; 'and's hugging 'why's, as my finger passed over the covers. Getting so lost in my childlike innocence was probably my first mistake.
I exited an aisle when I know I shouldn't have. The temperature had plummeted; silence had overtaken the library, and had they taken the people, too? For the library was now deserted. Before, sunlight had filtered in through the windows; now, it took on a grey-ish tinge. The shelves were now caked with dust, and spiders scurried across the floor. My every step was muffled by the dust; I punched a hole through the highest layer, exposing only lower strata of thin, grey particles. The lights on the ceiling were now extinguished; the only light was that of the twisted, grey sun. It felt like I had stumbled into a tomb; into dead space, where no life had ever existed.
Two quick steps; I looked sharply from left to right. There were a handful of possibilities open to me: that I had delved into greater insanity. That I was hallucinating. Or, perhaps, that an Aspect was nearby. Instantly, my hand dropped to my waist pocket, where I had stored the gun. If an Aspect was nearby, I could not take any chances. If they can bleed, I'll make 'em bleed. All else failed, there was always running; I can't purchase bullets anywhere, so it's best to try and be conservative.
In any case, I kept moving. Where I could, I kept my back to a wall -- I could see cleanly from side-to-side, but not behind. Of course, the largest issue weighing on my mind was the mask, or the lack of it. That didn't matter; the mask is for the benefit of humans. It's nice to imagine that I was, however.
I saw a movement in my eye's corner, I turned to face it. Just a spider. Nothing but a spider.
I'd like to say that I turned and there he was. That's how it happens in films. No; I turned, and took a step. Then turned again; and that was where he was. A dirty brown long-coat, dragging across the floor. A hunched back; clothes which were more dirt then true clothes. Grey hair, which fell in a way that looked too deliberate. And then, there was his face.
His lips were cracked; they looked almost the same as his skin, except for the firm line between them. A small nose. His skin was drawn tight, and yet loose; quite indescribable. And then there were his eyes, or lack thereof; two dark holes from which no light escaped. Like drilled holes in wood, these two inhuman 'eyes' simply bored into that hideous face. No eyes could ever have graced such a monstrosity. I looked into them, and felt myself staring into an abyss which stared back into me.
My memory returned. This was the being I had met -- this was Memoria. I knew exactly what it was, so I took my gun, readied and aimed. Bang, bang. Two, right between the twin black holes. That's what I remember. Then I blinked.
My gun was not in my hand. I don't recall having moved at all, but my weapon was at Memoria's feet. I looked from the gun to his face; no holes. But then I looked into the mouth. The rotting, yellow, decayed teeth -- that twisted, distorted face, contorting into a smug grin.
That... bastard. My memory had been instantly muddled; I got my bearings and looked at his hands. Almost leathery, reptilian; in one, a book. In another, a pen, poised to write. I took a knife from my coat, and made a step forward.
I woke up in this hotel. Or, at least, that's what I remember. Memoria displayed obvious ability to manipulate my memory; that is why I dubbed it Memoria. Above, I said "my memory returned"? I know it did, but I have no idea what I remembered. He erased the memories once more, but not the knowledge that I recovered them. I'm checked into his hotel before my 'awakening'; it's the same day, yes, but I know there was a three-hour gap. I honestly have no idea what I did in that time.
It is my intent to solve this. To work it out. I am going to have a nap (I'm as tired as sin), but I need to know. I know that my actions would not be things I wouldn't do, but...