by Joseph Mallord William Turner
Like a wave frozen in an instant the rocks ahead tell me the journey will be more comfortable than I know it will be. I could jump from here and float to the end of the valley. But I must climb. I must tread over every craggy precipice and leap over every crack. Those waves are not moving. They will not carry me.
This valley seems endless. My companion and I entered it three days ago. Three full days of walking and the end is still out of sight. Some conversation might alleviate the tedium, but he doesn’t talk. At all.
He will start making his noise soon. It’s not talking, this noise he makes. It’s a kind of grinding that seems to come from his chest. I have yet to determine its source. It may be a device he keeps in a pocket on his front. Or, it may be something stored inside his monstrous body. What little I have seen of him suggests the latter speculation to be the more likely.
The two times I have seen my companion:
1. Our first contact revealed a bit of his arm, as chronicled earlier.
2. He was climbing a crag in front of me. The sleeve of his pants lifted as he planted his foot. The split-second image of his ankle is seared in my mind. There was no flesh. Though I do not imagine what I saw was merely a fleshless leg. I have since felt my own ankle to compare. The inner workings of my foot and its hinge have nothing like what my companion accidentally displayed. It was like a stick. That is the best way I can describe it. His pants lifted and his leg was like a stick, but of smooth rock.