I managed to sleep last night. I dreamt about Bob. This dream was clearer than the last, though what I saw made little sense. I could only see Bob's face. Everywhere else I looked was white. Bob told me the balance had shifted again. Congratulated me for winning the last challenge. Told me I had to win both that remained or all was lost. He said that if I win the next challenge, the final challenge will be the hardest of all. I asked him what it would be. What any of them had been. He told me that I thought time and causality were linked, that effect followed cause followed effect followed cause. Because of that, he said, I couldn't understand, couldn't grasp, the nature of the interaction that was taking place. He said that the dreams, the challenges, even my own actions were merely my primitive brain struggling to process input it had no capacity to understand.
I woke up. Melanie was lying on her side, her left arm pinned to the ground by her body, her right hand clutching a stick and using it to draw patterns in the dirt. She was muttering to herself quietly, pulling faces as she spoke. I decided we wouldn't go on. I didn't have the energy to rouse her and drag her anywhere. My head felt clearer than it had in days, though.
Tomorrow, I'll force Melanie to get up, and we'll go back. And if she won't come, I'll leave her.