Chapter 24: The Crimson Castle
by Deke Bishop
Well, I know now that I'm never going to make it back home. I can't really say what the last week of my life has been like... well, actually, I rightly don't know how much time has passed since I left Arizona. But being in that place left me different somehow. At this point, I don't even know if I'm still alive, but I never figured I'd end up in Heaven and if this is Hell, then it's a weird place to be, so I can only assume I'm not dead yet. Don't get me wrong, that place was a nightmare and while I was there, I wanted nothing more than to be rid of it. But at the same time, my past feels like it's a million miles away right now. I even felt like my mind was sharper in that place; I don't know how else I was able to answer those damn puzzles.
But I did, and I'm free now. I can't believe what I found there. I've only seen a rifle like this once in my life, some German mercenary that came through town had one. It fires faster than anything I've ever seen or shot. I wish I had one of these back with the old gang, I don't think anyone could have ever gotten the better of us. Even more strange is that I found a blunderbuss that was just like the prototype I've been tinkering with for the last few years, except it's been finished. I don't know how this is possible, but I'm grateful to have it and to be able to keep working with it. So far I've devised a few different types of shot for it, I think I can come up with more as time goes on. It sure as hell packs a wallop, though.
I'm still not sure what to make of all of that. When I went down to see what was around me, it was nothing but space. I couldn't even see Earth, I don't know where we were. But seeing Elise tied up was a shock, she's easily the most dangerous person I've ever met, and I wasn't sure there was anything that could actually get the better of her. I thought the people I was with were crazy powerful, but seems like we barely made it out of there alive, and I don't know if we'd actually have done it if Caleb hadn't turned into some sort of weird rock thing.
I can't believe I just wrote that or that I saw it, everything still sounds so crazy. And I'm not sure where I'm going to end up next or where I'm going to. But for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can get away from the man I used to be and start fresh. God or whatever is out there actually might still have a plan for me yet, and I intend to keep going until I find out what it might be.