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The Hands of the Snow

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Following are the entries of a journal found in an abandoned cabin in the mountains of the Himalayas.

Entry One: I have decided to keep a personal journal along with my research to portray any emotional changes I go through during my outing. I have traveled to the Himalayas in search of a legend that has emerged from the mountains. I am not talking about the Yeti. Those do not exist. This might exist. I am, of course, speaking of the entity or entities that is or are referred to as “Himapāta kā hātha”, or “The Hands of the Snow”. Supposedly these entities manifest themselves to people living alone and torment them. As this legend had not been believed widely until now, I figured it would be worth checking out. I have isolated myself in a cabin in the mountains, and have decided I would try to live here for a full month. If the Hands do not reveal themselves to me, I will leave, and this experiment will be a failure. If they do reveal themselves to me…I’m not quite sure yet, but I could be a very rich man at the end of this expedition.

Entry Two: Nothing yet. I thought I saw something this morning, but it must have been a bear or a musk ox. I have taken readings today, and I will every day, both on the snow and air. Nothing conclusive, nothing different, nothing unexpected. If the entire expedition goes this way, this journal will be empty after this note.

Entry Two: I think I saw something, or some things. It has been a week since the last entry and since then a thick fog has rolled in. I’ve been seeing shapes in the mist, vaguely humanoid shapes. They’re always alone, but I’ve seen quite a few of them, so they must have some sort of pack together. To think that I could be the first cryptozoologist who wouldn’t be considered a joke. If only Hennesey and his stupid mermaid project could see me now.

Entry Three: I believe that the Hands of the Snow have revealed themselves to me. I can’t get a clear view of them, but I can very clearly see shapes in the mist resembling human forms. They’ve taken to standing just far away enough I can’t make out any details, but close enough so that I know they’re there. A few of them have begun holding hands. This is the first social interaction I’ve seen from them. Perhaps this is some sort of mating ritual? If it is, then why are they not mating? I could swear all they do is stare at me. I haven’t seen them forage for food once.

Entry Four: Good fucking christ I’m surrounded. I thought they were trying to interact with each other by holding hands. I was wrong. They’ve made a circle around me. They’re swaying back and forth now. Maybe I’m not the first cryptozoologist to discover something. I just hope I’m the first to survive doing so.

Entry Five: They’re singing now. I’m convinced it’s not a mating call, or a call to signify territory, they’re fucking singing. The sound of it is indescribable. It sounds like a freight ship trying to explain what humming sounds like. It sounds like whale song if all the whales in the world were dead. It’s driving me insane. Along with their singing has come snow, a great blizzard that has already laid down a few centimetres since I’ve started writing this. I’ve taken analysis of it, and the results are as strange as the conditions the tests were taken in. The “snow” appears to be made up of different elements that would be found in blood. The strangest thing is, although iron oxide is a component of the snow, the snow still retains the texture and appearance of regular snow. This is literally scientifically impossible and if I don’t find an answer to this I’m probably going to shoot myself with my flare gun.

Entry Six: The snow has intensified, and so has the volume of the singing. It’s gone from a low grumbling murmur to the volume one would expect a choir to sing at. It’s somewhat muffled by the cabin walls and windows, but I can make out Hindi words, Urdu words, and something in between. I’ve never heard anything quite like this before. It’d be rather exciting if I wasn’t worried for my life. More snow. I had to shovel it out of the way of the door so that I could get out if I needed to. The Hands of the Snow did not make any move towards me as they saw me, but something strange happened. A few of them broke the circle and walked away. I thought I might be able to escape through the gaps in the circle, but they immediately grasped the closest Hand to them and the circle was complete again. This is when I realised something. They aren’t leaving for the sake of leaving. They’re tightening their circle.

Entry Seven: It’s only been a few days since entry four but it feels like an eternity. I’ve looked at my calendar. All of the pages are inexplicably blank. I looked at the clock. It’s absolutely worthless, as the minutes on the digital display now run up to ninety-nine. It’s four seventy-two A.M. right now. More singing, more snow, and they’re still tightening their circle. I can hear their song clearly now. It almost makes me wish I knew Hindi or Urdu or whatever these vile things are speaking, but I’m afraid it’d be worse if I did know than it would if I didn’t.

Entry Eight: The ones that left have come back. They’re digging the snow out from my front door. Their circle is now so close to me I can see their faces. They are not wild apes like I had previously thought. They have the faces of humans, dead humans. Some of them are fairly recent, and some of them have been so destroyed by decay I could barely tell what they are. Some of them are actual skeletons, picked to the bone. I have given up science. This has stopped becoming a world where tests and research can explain everything. Speaking of tests and research, I’ve taken another snow sample. It has all the characteristics of decomposing flesh. I’ve tasted the snow and it just tastes like snow. I give up.

Entry Nine: They’ve pressed themselves against my windows. I understand their song now. It’s almost reassuring to me, what they’re saying. I won’t tell you what they’ve said. You don’t deserve to know. You haven’t gone through what I have. I go now to join humanity’s walking destiny.

This journal was found in a cabin that had been rented by one David Herschel Greene. It would have been immediately discarded and and regarded as fiction if the cabin was not surrounded for several metres by footprints of varying sizes.

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