Day 154: Is this even real?

Day 154:

Some days I don’t believe any of this. I don’t believe the stone under my feet, the wood wearing at the palms of my hands, or the ache of my back.

This is unreal. If these hallucinations are to be believed, I’ve been here over 150 days. That’s… well, it’s probably deep winter back home on Earth. It’s contract renewal season on the ship.

I don’t believe I’m here. I’m not here. I’m actually unconscious, in a coma from a rock fall during our last mission, on my bed, being carried home to my family.

Or maybe I never joined The Company. Maybe I’m actually at home, running a fever, with my family around me, like that old Wizard of Oz movie.

This is just too weird.

line sketch of the author's concept of someone lying in a hospital bed with an iv pole and a lamp above their head probably looks like.
this is probably me

Day 153: Death is permanent

Day 153:

I’m still trying to reach the bottom of the chasm I’m in, safely. I figure if I  can get to the lowest level of this chasm, I can follow it to wherever it goes and then dig up to the surface and see what I find. There are still a lot of monsters down here but I think a reasonable number of walls or hills should protect me.

Plus, everyone knows the good ores are always at the deepest parts of the mines. If this world wants to help me out by providing a highway at the bottom of the crust, who am I to argue?

The challenge is getting there safely because, well, there are monsters and they will kill me…. plus there are a heck of a lot of cliffs to fall off of.

Watercolor of a red tulip bud
Here’s a sketch of one of the red flowers from the fields because drawing death is a bummer

Day 152: The chasms have chasms

Day 152:

How I got to where I was: I followed a chasm down from the area where I’d been digging. It emptied into a bigger chasm.

I wish I could tell you that I was surprised to find, at the edge of that, an even deeper chasm. But I’m starting to believe the old saw about digging through the center of the earth.

Like sketch indicating that the author built steps in the smallest chasm, then large rooms in the bigger chasm she found before, only to dig into another even bigger chasm. A tiny stick figure stares into the abyss and asks, Seriously?!

Day 151: Rivers of stone

Day 151:

There’s  a chasm that empties into the chasm I’m working in, so now I’m trying to dig up and down, east and west, all at one time.

I’m mostly deciding where to dig based on which direction is safest, because there’s certainly plenty of rock in every direction.

But since these chasms are big and stretch a long distance, I’m also fighting off a lot of monsters.

I’m building walls just to protect myself. Which is what walls do, admittedly, but it’s a lot to deal with.

I’m spending enough time at the east end that I’m sleeping there most nights. I’m starting another ducken skin mattress and hanging the skins in my living quarters.

Watercolor of a cross-section of the earth. Top, sky. Then, grass and some dirt. Then a mishmash of different colors of stone: grey, tan, red, and white. Flecks of black and gold and red and blue can be seen throughout the mishmash.
A little bit of what I’m dealing with.

Day 150: Guh.

Day 150:

One hundred and fifty days on this rock and I’ve actually got quite a bit to show for it. I’ve got crates and crates of valuable stone and ore waiting to be carted off-planet. I’ve got literally hundreds of white duckens that follow me wherever they see me. I’ve got a herd of cows that love me.

I’ve got scars all over my body, bruises in places I didn’t know bruise, and a severe dislike of anything that comes in the color “camouflage”.

And with no way to get off this rock, it doesn’t matter how much stone I have because I can’t spend it if I can’t get out of here.

I’ve had better vacations, is what I’m saying.

Line sketch of the author's log book with this entry written on the lefthand page.