Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Last year in the U.S. alone, more than nine hundred thousand people were reported missing and not found... That's out of three hundred million, total. That breaks down to about one person in three hundred twenty-five vanishing. Every year... Maybe it's a coincidence, but it's almost the same loss ratio experienced by herd animals on the African savannah to large predators."

              --Jim Bucher, Dead Beat

Sounds about right.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Historical Hypothesis

"Once, I thought I could make God a bribe,
So I said I was in his lost tribe,
Getting handouts can be so frustrating.
'Get in line son, there’s five million waiting.'”

It may surprise you to know that two of my great-aunts are nuns. They're both my maternal grandfather's sisters, and they both live at the same convent. It's been over a decade since I've been here. It's prettier than I remembered it. There are high stone walls and corridors with narrow castle windows, crowded gardens, and the property is surrounded by trees. The overall atmosphere lends itself well to a haunting, but I've not seen hide nor hair of the Slender Man in over a week.

First time I haven't gone looking for It, I suppose. Or maybe Kay was more right than she knew about religious belief providing a defense, regardless of what religion you choose.

Hmm... Keiken is dead by now, is he not? That's... saddening. A boy of such faith, and unfalteringly supportive of people he didn't even know... people who ignored or disliked him, even. Just one of the many people I wish I had gotten to know better. And also one of the many people I just... didn't bother with much.

It's an old flaw of mine.

I've really been digging into the research, this past week. More people than Keiken are gone. I stopped counting after a while, but the number of accounts and records who had suddenly ceased has gone up into the hundreds. And while this may seem like terrible news... I have also observed that more people are dying than are being infected.

I could be wrong. It could be that people simply aren't documenting their experiences anymore, there could be far more new haunted out there than I'm aware of. But the overall number appears to be going down.

It reminds me of a thought I had a long time ago, about the Slender Man being a predator similar to a giant serpent. Anacondas hunger, always, but they go for months at a time not bothering to hunt for anything, merely sleeping. Tracing the path of Our Mutual Friend, it is also clear that It hunts in clusters - arising first in upper Africa, then in continental Europe several thousand years later... and now us, less than a thousand years after that.

And there's another pattern too. Michelle brought up Ava's research on more than one occasion - she was certain that the being known to the Egyptians as Hershef was worshiped, and perhaps paid tribute to with an offering of a child now and again. Like, once a year, was her guess. This lasted a long time, at least as long as Egypt had a stable monarchy.

Thousands of years later, in the German wilds, folklore sprang up around just such an ancient, unsolved mystery. Instead of a single tree growing in a sacred pool of water, the monster elected to hide amongst its kind, haunting the forests and snagging small children who wandered too close. Many more children than previously, it would seem, although given the poor investigation system in those times (read: nigh-nonexistent), anything is possible. But at the same time, records also indicate that the stories didn't go on for nearly as long. only 1 or 2 hundred years, hardly the many centuries of its predecessor.

If I had some hard numbers, I could probably pull some statistics out of my ass about the difference between Egypt and Germany... about the increase in the number of victims over a smaller time period. But the thing is, until now, we didn't have any hard numbers, just vague time periods and Year Of Our Lords, written in a time when the calender itself kept shifting around (assuming they were written down at all), so that only a trained historian could trace it with any amount of accuracy. I am not a historian. I am a psychologist.

Which brings me to today. An age in which global communication is paramount and effortless; even the cheapest cell phones have a camera attached nowadays, and the internet can be reached practically anywhere. And the monster is literally a pandemic. It's not localized to one area, or even one continent. It's everywhere, and people are dropping by their hundreds in record-shattering time. And we know this because of the internet - timestamps and social networking. I've said it before: one way or another, we've all had the urge to start recording the events that have been happening to us.

Makes me wonder why I've been increasingly having the urge to stop.

I can't say for certain, but there's no denying the pattern that emerges. Disappearances are slowing down, and they have been for the past 6 months or more. The end of this age is upon us. But the next age will be soon. Too soon. Within-our-lifetime soon. And it will be so explosive and destructive that it will be impossible to hide.

A plagal cadence.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ashes, Ashes

"I was nurtured. I was sheltered.
I was curious and young.
I was searching for that something;
Trying to find it on the run..."

Awakening from a long sleep is like climbing out of a steep ravine is like reaching for the highest star is like falling into the deepest ocean is like awakening from a long sleep is like climbing out of a steep ravine is like reaching for the highest star is like falling into the deepest ocean is like awakening from a long sleep is like climbing out of a steep ravine is like reaching for the highest star is like falling into the deepest ocean is like awakening from a long sleep is

the music is real the music is Real.

he can't have it

I got into a small car crash.

Yeah, no joke, sadly. I spent last thursday night in a hospital for a mild concussion - which thankfully also gave me an excuse to not write my information, so yay. And then I just walked right out like I usually do. It's so easy to just be completely unseen nowadays.

My car still runs just fine, but it looks like shit and will likely draw a lot of attention, and I'm not really sure what to do about that.

I'm okay too. Just as physically and mentally fit as I ever was. Heh.

Researching and trying to sort out proxy activity from regular crimes is hard. And time-consuming. Most of the time I wind up having to leave a tip for the normal authorities and hope for the best. It's not as much as I wanted to do involving the police (which I still haven't entirely ruled out yet), but hopefully this is something acceptable.

Two supply houses went down this week. One was filled mostly with food and known to supply to proxies and other organized crime, and the other was a completely harmless building used for storing packing equipment, like cardboard boxes, and I think a few mattresses as well. The only reason the second one went down was because the part of the first warehouse that wasn't filled with various types of food was filled with gunpowder and several explosive weapons. But hey, at least I learned a lesson. Also, thank god for fire alarms. Nobody needs to get hurt.

(I sort of hope no one gets punished for not being more vigilant when there's a known firebug running around. Then again, I more than sort of hope they don't get any more vigilant than they already are.

          just move on to the next part of the plan at that point, right?


I'm not actually certain whether or not the car accident was actually an accident, so I'm going to a place where I'm certain I'll be safe for a while. To gather supplies. And plan.

Meanwhile, I need information. So I'm asking now: Who's left? I'm barely keeping track anymore, and to be honest I lost count a while even before things got really bad. Basically, I want to make a sort of map in my head - not of locations, but of connections between people.

Even more basically, play the Kevin Bacon game with me, guys. XD  

 No amount of information is too trivial. I don't need to know about abilities or positions or anything of that sort. I just need to know who knows whom.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


"I'm a wreck, and I know it,
And I tend to show it every chance that I get.
Butterflies in the skies,
They just fly on by. Yeah, they're making me sick.
They don't flutter about;
I'd do without.
All they do is kick."

I remember standing very still, in a shaft of sunlight that pierced down through the tree branches that netted together above me. The sunlight was the safe spot, the one place where there was silence - the right sort of silence, the kind that didn't smother, but cradled. When I pressed my hand against the edge of the shaft, where light met shadow, there was a moment's resistance, the slightest amount of force that pressed back, and

there was a small tune on the wind, like the tinkling of bells.

All I've done since is follow the sound.

I'm able to follow the sound.

In all the stories, there's been a pattern. Victims come and go, but their actions, their reactions, are so similar as to be circumstantially simultaneous. Everyone does the same thing when placed into this situation because there's only one thing we can do that makes sense.

"Are you seeing what I'm seeing?"

You tell someone about it. Whether it's someone you know or a total stranger, or even just a page in a diary, when what's real becomes undefined, you need to solidify something.

However, there are different types of people in the world, who all have quite different reactions to your reaction, usually varyingly informed about the subject.

There are people out there who know about this, yet do nothing.

There are people out there who know nothing at all, yet feel compelled to help anyway.

There are people who will do their research before they dive in.

There are people who know nothing and assume it's all lies, and wouldn't be much inclined to help anyway.

And... I can't help but wonder about that last group. The parents who assume that their children just have vivid (and curiously identical) imaginations. The psychologists who put down their patients' fears to paranoia and schizophrenia. The investigators who can find no proof of anything but suicide, and do not pursue the matter further.

Especially the investigators, the police officers, the whole law-enforcement institution.

And in all the stories, there's been a pattern.

This whole mess has been left a secret for so long. A shamefully obvious, poorly guarded, yet nigh-unanimously agreed upon secret. We fear infection, imprisonment, or an even shorter version of our already drastically shortened lifespans.

Yet... from an objective standpoint, the first fear seems fundamentally untrue. True, the number of victims is growing, but compared to the tens of thousands of people who know about the Slender Man and remain uninfected, I can't help but wonder how much of it is really due to simple exposure and how much is due to some intrinsic quality about the stalked themselves - especially when it's a documented fact that the beast deliberately hunts down adults who somehow got away as children. Are we marked from birth? Would things have been different if we never clicked that link, never met that person, never opened that window on that one dark night? We can't know.

The other two are common fears of anyone on the run from virtually anything. And this is because there are other forces, human forces, who oppose us. People in the government, who want to keep this quiet. Yet where does our knowledge of these people and organizations come from? From people whose word is not exactly gold.

I'm not saying the reports are false, oh no. I believe there are powerful people in the world who conspire to keep things out of the news and under the rug, either for the benefit of many or for the benefit of a few. My point, rather, is that such people are always in positions of authority. Pretty high up on the food chain, if you will. Never the people at the bottom, never the ones who actually investigate the matter when disappearances pile up on their desks. They are the ones who interact with the hunted, but know nothing about any of this, and they are the ones who assume imagination, insanity, and suicide. They are the ones who let the matter rest, when it seems like it has come to an end.

But what if this were not the case? What if these people, these bottom-rung civil servants, actually recognized the signs when they saw them? Not in the sense that they knew everything, but that they simply... recognized something. The words SEES ME. A tensor symbol. Drawings of trees. Something to make them just the slightest bit hesitant to make that final call to close the case.

Maybe a random coworker left a picture of a tree with eyes on his desk one morning. As a joke. No one thinks anything of it, no one pursues it. But it is now a thing that exists, for him. And the ability to inspire recall is a powerful thing.

True change never starts at the top.

I can't be the first person to have thought of this. Operator symbols wouldn't have spread as far as they have if I was.

I know I'm not the first person to have thought of this. It's been on my mind since a lawyer named Adam showed up on the blogs, just over a year ago, and reminded me that government assistance is not a one-way street.

Michelle's brother Steven pretty much solidified the idea for me. He wouldn't have vanished so abruptly if he wasn't onto something.

Now, admittedly, my head has not been in the best shape lately, so I'd like some opinions on this matter. Naturally, this will not be a strictly democratic decision, because there are some of you out there whose judgement I trust even less than my own at the moment, so the overall decision will still be left up to me. Nevertheless, however, outside input is valued. This isn't a move to be taken lightly and I know this. Don't think I don't know the risks.

Regardless, there's no reason to waste time, at least for now. So I'm going photo-hunting tonight.

Hey. Wanna know how to not be accused of doctoring photos?

Use a polaroid instant film camera.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


"What was left when the fire was gone?  
I thought it felt right, but the right was wrong.
All caught up in the eye of the storm,
And trying to figure out what it's like moving on.

"And I don't even know what kinds of things I've said.
My mouth kept moving and my mind went dead.
So I'm picking up the pieces. Now, where to begin?  
The hardest part of ending is starting again..."

I think I'm ready now.

After so much, I just fled. After so long, I hid.

I actually kept myself pretty busy while I was gone, at least initially. Paid some debts. Kept some promises. For a while I thought I could be of more help from a distance, except I had no idea what that could even entail.

But then, no matter where I went, things always got worse after I left, right after I left. Elaine died. Gargoyle lost it. Kay is... gone. I don't know where, the new owner of her house didn't know anything and more or less slammed the door on my filthy, homeless-looking face. I can't say with a whole lot of certainty, but it seemed like everywhere I went, I was followed by fire and darkness, death and despair. And when you're followed by despair, it isn't long before it catches up to you.

I stopped.

For a long while, I stagnated.

...Anniversary's coming up again soon. The day that McKenzie, Tamarr, and Brian were all killed.

The first time it came around, I was in such heavy denial that I managed to get past it without incident.

The second time, I couldn't ignore it anymore, and I couldn't handle what I had done. I actively avoided feeling anything by knocking myself out at my earliest opportunity.

Now... Now I'm angry. I'm weak and I'm angry that I'm weak and I'm furious that my first impulse is always to hide from the world. To bury my head in the sand, to dive behind the walls I've so carefully built up and pretend it'll all be okay if I just wish hard enough.

When's it supposed to stop?

Michelle... Michelle didn't die doing what's right. Nothing so grandiose as that. She simply lived it. She lived so that she could do the right thing; even when she had no idea what that was, it was what she wanted, and she fought for it. She fought tooth and nail, mind and body, and never let up even when she had all but snapped in half. She was a good person, probably the best I know, simply because she fought to be good against her own nature. Not a lot of people saw that in her.

She wouldn't allow people to see it in her.

I've... I've never been a strong person, okay?

A lot of people seem to think I am, and I don't know what the hell you're all smoking, because I'm not. My entire life, I've been dependent on others. Bashawn, Michelle, Nick, and dozens of others before them. I make them think I'm worth protecting, I wind up dragging them down with me, and still they find it in them to twist around as we fall and cushion my impact with their own bodies. The one time - one time - I tried to protect someone else... they died. Three children died and then everyone else died and then  Having my music taken from me was the least punishment I could have earned, but that's not going to stop me anymore.

I'm going to take back what was stolen from me.

Nothing can bring my kids back. I know that. But that doesn't mean there's nothing I can do.

The first step was taking back my own mind. The second step... was making a statement.

Michelle left a lot of things behind when she died. The important things she kept on her person in her jacket were all gone, of course, but there were records. Addresses. Documents she used to track me down when Nightscream kidnapped me that she never bothered to get rid of.

The location, of course, was still there, still in proxy control.

I went to a surprising amount of trouble to figure out what else was there, actually. Who owned it. It was some ammunition, but primarily it was storage for valuables and legal documents. All those things that make a proxy's life easy, makes it so easy for them to coast above the law. And, of course, instruments of torture. Those weren't on record, but I had seen them myself, both with Nightscream, and when I went there again a few nights ago.

Apparently a few people are angry about what I did, but it's hardly my fault if a certain cockroach has gotten predictable in his old age.

Though, really, I wasn't expecting to see him there. The place was empty when I did my preliminary check. But I made sure to leave an escape path open anyway. Playing with fire isn't hard if you put enough research into it.

God knows I've seen enough fire to last a lifetime.

I don't know how long this will last. This mood I'm in, this state. This willingness to do something crazy in the name of actual justice. But I may as well use the opportunity. Something that I should have been doing since... no, even before that. I came here with the objective of doing something stupid and crazy long before someone told me I had a responsibility to be stupid and crazy so that others wouldn't have to. I just never had the guts to actually do it.

But this isn't a one-off event, oh no. I'm just getting started.

And to the monster and anyone who follows Him...

I'm going to make your lives very difficult indeed.

Friday, April 13, 2012


When Gmork spoke, his voice was like the jangling of chains.

'Have you seen the Nothing, sonny?'

'Yes, many times.'

'What does it look like?'

'As if one were blind.' 

'That's right - and when you get to the human world, the Nothing will cling to you. You'll be like a contagious disease that makes humans blind, so they can no longer distinguish between reality and illusion. Do you know what you and your kind are called there?'

'No,' Atreyu whispered.

'Lies!' Gmork barked.

Atreyu shook his head. All the blood had gone from his lips.

'How can that be?'

'You asked me what you will be there. But what are you here? What are you creatures of Fantastica? Dreams, poetic inventions, characters in a neverending story. Do you think you're real? Well yes, here in your world you are. But when you've been through the Nothing, you won't be real anymore. You'll be unrecognizable. And you will be in another world. In that world, you Fantasticans won't be anything like yourselves. You will bring delusion and madness into the human world. Tell me, sonny, what do you suppose will become of all the Spook City folk who have jumped into the Nothing?'

'I don't know,' Atreyu stammered.

'They will become delusions in the minds of human beings, fears where there is nothing to fear, desires for vain, hurtful things, despairing thoughts where there is no reason to despair.'

'All of us?' Atreyu asked in horror.

'No,' said Gmork, 'there are many kinds of delusion. According to what you are here, ugly or beautiful, stupid or clever, you will become ugly or beautiful, stupid or clever lies.'

'What about me?' Atreyu asked. 'What will I be?'

Gmork grinned.

'I won't tell you that. You'll see. Or rather, you won't see, because you won't be yourself anymore.'

Atreyu stared at the werewolf with wide-open eyes. 

Gmork went on:

'That's why humans hate Fantastica and everything that comes from here. They want to destroy it. And they don't realize that by trying to destroy it they multiply the lies that keep flooding into the human world. For these lies are nothing other than creatures of Fantastica who have ceased to be themselves and survive only as living corpses, poisoning the souls of men with their fetid smell. But humans don't know it. Isn't that a good joke?'