Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Month Ago, A Year Ago

The first thing I did after getting out of the hospital was find a pay phone and call Nick and Kay. I got Kay's answering machine for some reason, but Nick answered. I told him what really happened the day I was forced to walk out of my house. What I saw. And what I thought about it. He said it was interesting, but he wasn't in a position to come to me and help me discover more about it. So instead, I did something I've been meaning to do for a long while now: I sent an e-mail to Guess, asking if we could meet.

Turns out, he was already heading in my direction, so Michelle and I started heading in his. We met in a designated motel, we sat down together... and we talked.

Truth be told, I debated for a long time on whether to post this. To tell this story. But if this day has taught me nothing else, it's that stories need to be told. Not just for our sanity, but to actually make a difference.

I just hope that the good this story will do will override the bad.


That day, over a month ago, when my mind was shattered and my will was crushed, the Slender Man forced me to walk outside, to come to Him. He was angry, and this was the only option left to Him, because He couldn't come to me on his own. He couldn't see me, but He could alter my mind just like anyone else. And it hurt, because He made me aware for all of it, He was that angry.

But that was just it. My continued cognitive awareness, the angle I approached Him at, and how close I got to Him before Michelle managed to stop me, all contributed to something I think may have been unique. People have seen Him up close before and lived to tell about it, myself included. But only when He was looking right at them, when control of the situation was His. In all records of encounters with this thing, I don't think anyone has ever approached the Slender Man from behind.

And... it was difficult to make out, but I remember that moment so clearly, the clearest of everything about those last few days. The monster kept turning, looking for me, tendrils stabbing in random directions. And there, beneath that writhing mass, somewhere in the region of where a kidney would be on a human... was a tear in the fabric of His suit.

A tear in the suit. A simple little rip, as though the suit actually were made of cloth. Is it even made of cloth? Is it a covering, or somehow a part of the creature's body? I have no idea, but I can see it so clearly, right down to the frayed threads.

And right then, He turned, and the rising sun hit Him at just the right angle, and I could see it clear as day: underneath the tear in the fabric... was a scar. Knotted and raised scar tissue, directly following the line of the rip.

Just... even now, when I've done practically nothing but think about this, it still blows my mind. A goddamn scar, as in a healed wound, on a timeless, partially incorporeal abomination. Has anyone ever once known a blow on that thing to last more than a moment, let alone persist long enough to leave a scar? Nothing hurts this thing, nothing stops this thing! Yet clearly, some time ago, something did.

Michelle and I spoke with Guess about what I saw. This is what he had to say.

-

Me: "I just... don't understand it at all. It's completely outside anything this thing has ever been known to do."

Guess: "That's the nature of it, anyway. Total unpredictability, no?"

Me: "Yeah, when it's to His own benefit. What could a scar possibly have to do with anything? It was barely even visible."

Guess: "Perhaps... it's a trap.  That's not outside His realm, is it?"

Me: "It could be... though I'm having difficulty comprehending how it could have been set. I can assure you He had no idea from which direction I was approaching.

Michelle:  It's true. He kept looking all around with no real pattern, up until He noticed me approaching. I don't think He could see her at all.

Me: "I could barely see the mark, beneath all the..." (I make a vague writhing motion with one hand, indicative of tentacles moving around. Then I sigh.) "I'm still not sure if I imagined it or not, but it's the clearest thing I can remember from that day because it was such a shock."

Guess: "Maybe He doesn't know it's there?"

Me: (I frown.) "That's possible... That might even be why I remember it so clearly, like it jumped out at me, because-" (I blink, surprised.) "...because the scar was the only thing that was real."

Michelle: (To me.) Like with that essay you wrote?

Me: (I nod.) That might also be a possible explanation of why, if He actually didn't know the mark was there. It wouldn't register. Like a blind spot, only more like a... numb spot, I guess.

Guess: "Interesting. It's possible. And perhaps entirely true. For a moment, that was all. Just you, and a scar. Someone page J.K. Rowling."

Me: "Heh... That's hardly the comparison I'd use, especially if the scar and the monster aren't even made of the same thing... And that's a big if, mind."

Guess: "No doubt, if it did exist, it must have come from somewhere. Focusing on the origin will lead us - you - to the solution."

Me: (I glance at Guess briefly, then look back down.) "I was thinking... and so was Nick, when I called him and told him... that maybe it had to do with... Zero. That maybe he wasn't wrong."

Guess: (Looks thoughtful.) "...A sword wound would scar easily."

Me: "Or even a pocketknife, if Nightcrawler's report from a year ago is to be believed. Dimensional bleeding or not, the event had to have happened somewhere."

Guess: "Ah, yes, the dimensional bleeding. And... oh. And if there was a scar, there must have been an open wound once, and therefore, bleeding... 'It is a monster, but the monster bleeds.'" (He pauses a moment.) "I confess, all the blood makes me rather woozy."

Me: "How can it bleed, though? People have hurt Him, yes, but it never lasts more than a moment, not even when Ava blew his arms apart. And does that suit of His even qualify as clothing to be torn? This is what's confusing to me. And Zero, last year. Almost no one gives a damn about Tulpa anymore, and yet nearly all the stories focused on a stab wound of some kind. And if I had to guess, I'd say that way more people thought of stories than actually wrote them down, which would definitely still count for something."

Guess: "There are strong and powerful minds out there, and strong and powerful forces. As you say, many more stories were left unsaid and not written down. If there was enough raw... strangeness behind the Solstice Event, anything could have happened. Factor in the dimensional bleeding and the pseudo-magic of the Solstice itself and you've got, well, something, if not a scar."

Me: "But..." (I put my head in my hands.) "I just don't understand how it happened. Or why it happened when it did, if it happened when I think it did. And most of all, what to do about it. I mean, do I tell people about this? What if it's all another trick, like with Reach? What if people start pulling crazy stunts and get themselves killed because I said there was an opportunity? I just have no idea."

Michelle: Val, people pull crazy shit whether or not they have a reason for it.

Me: If they choose this as their reason, that makes it my fault. Especially if I turn out to be wrong.

Guess: (Leans back.) "I don't think you need to worry about that. Our circle of survivors has grown wary and intelligent." (He barks out a laugh.) "Mostly."

Michelle: You can't be held responsible for other people's stupidity, Valerie. Everyone's actions are their own. You tell me that all the time.

Me: (I remain silent.)

 Guess: "...I'm not a doctor, but I believe scar tissue opens up more readily than regular skin, if we are to be comparing His composition to our own. There is no reason to do so, and yet we must to make sense of it. If we cut, tear, pull, maybe He'll be ripped apart."

Me: "That's what Nick said... He said that everything can break, it's just a matter of finding out where to hit it."

Guess: "So now that you've found a crack, how do you suppose we - you - could exploit it?"

Michelle: "We were kind of hoping you'd have an idea in that department, actually."

Me: (After a long pause.) "Guess... Erik... that's the second time you corrected yourself when you said 'we', and I understand why you'd think that way, but... just something about the way you said it... worries me."

Guess: (He spreads his hands.) "This is your discovery, my dear. I'm but a mere scientist, trying to make his way in the world, and... maybe help some few that need it. And... to be frank, I can't say that the recent addition to my family has made me all that more comfortable with human companionship."

Me: "...Do you miss them? Your friends, your family... Anansi?"

Guess: "It's for the best that I stay far away. Even from Anansi and his kin."

Me: (I nod.) "That I understand... Doesn't make it any easier though."

Guess: "That's what whiskey is for."

Me: (I smile sadly.) "No, that's what people are for. People who already understand why you can't go back, and with whom you can keep each other company, and maybe forget the reason for such voluntary isolation, even for a night. Losing my head for a while didn't make me forget that."

-

A year ago today, an ordinary man convinced many, many people to join him on an extraordinary undertaking. Those people were afraid, more terrified then they'd been in their lives, but they knew that he was just as afraid as they were, and they followed him because they knew he was one of them. Not some prophicized hero come to do what no one else could. Not a legend come to life. Certainly no one with a destiny. He merely had an idea, and he executed it, like anyone with simple courage would have done.

Whatever happened that night, one year ago, Zero was wrong. It wasn't meaningless. Maybe the combined will of the people actually had an impact, and maybe it didn't. Maybe what I saw a month and a half ago was something else entirely. But that doesn't change the impact that sudden, unquestionable unity had on everyone who, until then, was floundering helplessly, alone, in the dark. And even the slightest possibility that it wasn't just that, that it was something more... well, damned if it doesn't give me just the teeniest bit of hope.

Not just hope though. The implications for this idea are astounding, but the possibilities for the consequences are terrifying. Give it a moment of thought and it's not hard to imagine what could happen, both good and bad.

I may never understand the monster's position between reality and fantasy, between existence and nonexistence. But... I know the answer lies somewhere in that boundary. I know it.

I went into the jungle. I proved that the monster bleeds, bleeds in a way that sticks. And I came back to tell you all what I found.

There has to be a way to end this.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Moving On

On Friday, Michelle and I went back to my house one last time. It was during the few hours in the late morning when my brothers are at school, my dad is at work, and my mom is out running errands. To be honest, I kind of wasn't sure if Mom would be gone this time. I mean, if my daughter had been missing for the past... holy shit, how long has it been since I actually entered that house? Two months already? More? As excruciating as that time has been, it honestly didn't feel like that long.

But no, the place was deserted. Not that an empty house was all that unusual, I guess. Back Before, it was a time I looked forward to. Now it just felt... disconcerting. Dizzying, even. Hardly surprising, in hindsight, but at the time, the utter alienness of my own home really threw me for a loop.

Michelle was more expedient than me, of course. While I was running my hands over old books and toys, almost reverent in my nostalgia, she was already digging through my dad's stash of useful goodies in the basement and garage (I made her wait for me to check the garage, because neither of us should really be outside alone; my house is in a pretty densely-populated suburb and not particularly near any wooded areas, but considering my front fucking yard was the site of our last Sighting... yeah). My dad guy is a legitimate hoarder, no question about it, but neither one of us will say no to a supply of tasers, rope, tools, camping gear, canned food, and a single handgun. No bullets to be found, oddly enough, and I have no clue what make it is, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it I suppose. We also grabbed a lot of clothes. I probably don't want to know how Michelle has been paying for hotel rooms, but I'm pretty sure I've been wearing the same pair of jeans for longer than I'd care to think about.

After that we looked for personal effects. Specifically electronics. Essentials like my recorder and my camera we took. Other things were deemed less important though. My cell phone had run out of battery by that point, but we didn't bother trying to recharge it. We couldn't take it with us, and I knew I hadn't made any suspicious calls or texts, so we just left it there. I was a bit sad to leave my GPS behind, but the risks for keeping that thing were even greater than the cell phone, so we just cleared its history and turned it off. When Michelle found my iPod in a desk drawer, I took it out of her hand and slammed it into the wastebasket and didn't look at it again, for reasons that should be painfully obvious by now.

I was  surprised to find that my netbook hadn't moved from where I left it, plugged in and open, on my bed beside the window. My desktop computer was similarly untouched; even its internet history hadn't been checked. That had been my biggest worry, honestly, that someone would think to check my browser history when they realized I was missing, and it's the main reason we decided to check back at all. But it didn't look like it had been touched. Nothing in my room did.

Nothing in my entire house indicated that I had even been missed.

I can't tell whether I should be relieved or disturbed. On the one hand, it saves me a lot of trouble trying to evade anyone who might recognize me. On the other... there's just this whole sense of wrongness to it. Still, it fits with what I can remember of the last few days before I left... I'm used to being invisible in the house and kind of doing my own thing, but right at the end there, no one would even look at me...

If it's another layer of protection for those left behind, then I guess I'm alright with it. Not much different than how it usually is anyway. I mean, I checked the photo albums on a hunch, in case my house was pulling some kind of bullshit Roxas-Twilight-Town crap on me, but I'm still in every one of them, so it's not as though I've been mindfucked out of existence (and god help me for even considering that as a realistic option, but dammit, what else is new). In all honesty, it's probably a good thing that no one's worried about me or trying to find me. It'll only keep them safer. So there's no reason for this to bother me at all.

But... just in case I was wrong, and someone did notice, I left a note on the kitchen counter for my mother. If she can't see it, that probably means she doesn't remember me. But if she does remember, then she should be able to see it, so at least she'll know I'm alive.

(Speaking of which, thank you for your interest, Jean, but I left the previous post in code on purpose. I don't mind sharing the contents of my message with you all - record-keeping is very important, when all's said and done - but if Mom can read my note, I don't want her googling its contents and coming across this blog. However, it's good to hear from you and know you're still around. Thank you.)

I cleared my desktop computer completely. All my files are gone, all my programs uninstalled. It's basically an empty machine now. I took my netbook with me, along with its power cord, an external battery, and all the flash drives I own. I refused to leave even the slightest hint behind. I also deleted my facebook account, my youtube, my various writing project profiles, and that stupid Gaia Online avatar I had made years and fucking years ago but still had my email address and could still be traced back to me. Anything I could think of, I got rid of. The only things left up are this blog, and a barely-used-but-still-useful Twitter account. Those two are my only means of online communication now. Anything else under my name is either a coincidence or a sick joke. I even took all my personal papers like my birth certificate, passport, etc. Also my debit card, which I plan to empty my bank account with eventually. Still haven't decided whether easily-lost cash is safer than easily-traced credit. I did buy a couple of go-phones yesterday though, for emergencies.

Transferring everything from Christian's car to my own was the one real indulgence I insisted on. My car's gas mileage isn't as good, and it's still attached to my name and all, which is probably dangerous, but if we're going to be on the run and traveling all over the country, I would much rather we were not using a stolen car to do it. Nothing to do with morals, really, just common sense. Being recognized as a missing person (who is, in fact, missing voluntarily, at least this time around) is much safer than being recognized as a wanted fugitive in two countries. Not to mention that, as bizarre, convoluted, and contradictory as proxy infrastructure appears to be, there is absolutely no sense in driving a car that may or may not be tagged with some kind of tracking device. You just honestly never know. I do plan on changing my license plates later though, if I can.

And... we left. Michelle took Christian's car and I took mine, and we dumped the former in a parking garage in Philadelphia and headed on our way. And I can't tell you how surreal it seemed, turning my back on my home for what was probably (hopefully? fuck i don't know what to hope for anymore) the final time. "Conflicted" isn't a strong enough word for it, really.

I'll try to keep you posted. Not much else for me at this point.



I'll be meeting someone soon.

Friday, December 16, 2011

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

I guess the best thing I can compare the feeling to is what happened at the climax of A Wrinkle in Time, except instead of making me compliant... the pounding, the droning... it hurt. It hurt more than I ever thought I was capable of comprehending. It drilled into my mind, pulled out and faded away just long enough to break my concentration and make my guard slip, and then slammed back in again, harder, ripping my sanity to shreds. And because the source of the pain was rooted in something I had always tied myself to so deeply, I couldn't separate myself from it. I couldn't guard myself. I couldn't make it stop.

...I'm still not sure if the whole not sleeping thing was of my own volition or not. All I know about that time is that I was in less pain, but I was even more helpless to fight back than before, because I couldn't concentrate anymore. I couldn't think. And then gradually the pain came back as my body started to shut down.

But it wasn't so much a method of torture as it was a way of ensuring compliance, I think. Complacency.

I'll spare you the nightmares if you give up and die. 

I'll make it easy for you. 

Just let it all go. 

Just wait for it to happen. 

You don't have to do anything but wait. 

Nothing scary, nothing hard. 

And

Aren't you so much better off this way?

But that's the thing about nightmares, these near-constant visions of death and pain that held me in their grip since the moment I walked out my front door. They're scary and terrifying, horrible and disgusting, but at some point you have to realize that there's only so much evil in the world, only so much that can be thrown at you.

And... despite everything, I finally found the source of the cycle. The steady thu-thump that kept time to the music and kept me in line, unable to break free of the rhythm, all the way down to my core.

...Do any of you actually understand how powerful music is? The shrill, armor-piercing note of a flute? The way a melodious violin can lead you on an endless, mindless dance? Or the chill that goes up your spine when the vocalist changes key... Or how a tritone will always, without fail, inspire fear in a captive audience. All these things happen to you when you listen, and you don't even realize how expertly you're being manipulated. To you, it's just sounds, to be given no more attention than a moth fluttering by a street lamp. But your very heartbeat will align itself with the beat of a drum, beating in time with the music with or without your conscious permission.

And... that's exactly what happened. 

...I've always maintained that the way to break a cycle of control is to cut out the starting point. It took so long to find, but... You have to understand. There's a vicegrip effect that happens. If you try to assess yourself, or move around, or do anything at all... it just tightens. And tightens. And tightens. Visions were one thing. Pain was one thing. But when He takes hold of your volition, when He makes you not want to break free, there's nothing you can do.

So instead, I did the only thing I could. The only thing He would allow me to want. But I did it in a way that would also cut out the root, break the cycle.

The music's hold on me... His hold on me... was connected through my own heartbeat. The one rhythm that is always there, that will always be there, until the day that control - His or my own - doesn't even matter anymore.

And the only way to stop it was

was

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry you had to see that, Michelle. I'm sorry for putting you through that. I'm so sorry for what I had to do.

I'm so sorry.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I was afraid.

That's... really all there is to say on the matter. It's the reason I left. And it's the reason I took so long to come back.


He was outside. He couldn't get to me, so He commanded me to come to Him, and ripped apart my mind until I had no choice but to obey. He had a foothold, after the lost time in New York. Still does, maybe.

I walked out my front door fully expecting to die. I wanted to die. I had known this was coming for so long. But... at the very last second, I suddenly realized I was afraid to die.

But my own will was already long gone. With every beat, every sound... the music played continuously, ceaselessly, wearing away at my sanity like the steady pounding of waves on the shore. I'm not certain anymore where the point of no return is. The point where you become so empty and the noise echos off the walls of your soul that almost isn't there anymore and the whole thing just collapses under its own weight.

I had collapsed. Luke facilitated that. I wanted to help him, to attempt to repair his shattered maelstrom of a mind, to try and do one last bit of good before I died. The monster was waiting for that moment. Luke was nothing but His tool, even in defiance.

I reached out to the servant, but the Master intercepted. And only an hour later... I would have done anything to make the pain stop. I would have taken little Kimberley by the hand and led her to the forest. I would have shoved Kay into the embrace of the Bleeding Tree and never looked back. I would have painted operator symbols on the walls with the blood of my parents, if it meant I could have a voice to scream with again.

The girl in the iceberg was swallowed whole without resistance. And it's pretty clear by now that I will never be able to do enough good before I die. Not anymore.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

avoiceonthewind

'Gmork,' Atreyu stammered, and he couldn't keep his lips from trembling, 'can you tell me the way to the world of humans?'

A green spark shown in Gmork's eyes. He seemed to be laughing deep inside. 

'For you and your kind it's easy to get there. There's only one hitch: You can never come back. You'll have to stay forever. Do you want to?'
'What must I do?' Atreyu asked. His mind was made up. 

'What everyone else here has done before you. You must leap into the Nothing. Don't be afraid. It doesn't hurt.'

'I'm not afraid,' said Atreyu. 'But I never expected to get my hope back in a place like this. And thanks to you!' 

Gmork's eyes were like two thin green moons.

'You have nothing to hope for, sonny - whatever your plans may be. When you turn up in the world of humans, you won't be what you are here. That's the secret that no one in Fantastica can know... But as I speak, the Nothing is creeping in from all sides. Soon there will be no way out. If you stay and listen, your decision is already made, But you can still escape if you choose.'

The cruel line around Gmork's mouth deepened. Atreyu hesitated for just a moment. Then he whispered: 'Tell me the secret. What will I be in the world of humans?'

Monday, October 3, 2011

there was a girl

"My heart booms at the speed of light,
But the exit sign's always on my mind,
Always in my sight.
I could say that I really want to stay,
But the monster outside always wins the fight,
Alwayswait.


"Time--
It's eating me alive,
Unable to rewind.
Sink deeper while I'm climbing,
Never to arriveGet out. No. Thisisn'trealyoucan'tmakeme.


"Dead star shine
Light up the sky
I'm all out of breath
My walls are closing innomywallsaregonewheredidmywallsgo


"Hungry bread-and-butter hussle.
You been doin' it a while, it's only fair.
Where's your relaxaOH FUCK NO! NO! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HEAD!


"I've seen this city a thousand times.
From the glass, twenty stories high, 
I've watched this city burn.
If everything you've said is true,
There's no hope that someday they will learn.
But if I stay here with you,
Then they will never learn the truththiscan'tbehappeningthiscan'tberealohgodstopstopplease


"There was a girl who had the faith to move a mountain,
And, like a child, she would believe without a reason.
Without a trace, she disappeared into the void, and
noIwon't I won't believe this you'renotrealdon'tdon'tDON'TI'm not strong enough to stay away.Can't resistNothing to lose,Can't run from you,Poisoning the message.Nothing to gain.I just run back to you.Just a narcissist.Nothing surrounds me.Like a moth, I'm drawn 
into your flame,Trapped inside the wreckage,Nothing stays the same.Say my name, but it's not the same.Moving all around,And the sympathy I had is gone.You look in my eyes, I'm stripped of my pride.Screaming of the ups and downs.I fought so longAnd my soul surrenders and you bring my 
heart to it's knees.Pollution manifested in perpetual sound.To keep from going under. 
I don't have to worry,The wheels go 'round and the sunset creepsBut why hang on?'Cause I 
know Slendy's watching me.Behind street-lamps, chain-link, and concrete.Nothing matters at 
all.No one else sees him, it seems.A little piece of paper with a picture drawnNothing at 
all.He follows me in my dreams.Floats on down the street 'til the wind is gone,
try to hide it,And it finds me.And the memory nowIs like the picture was then:To 
avoid the shock,The fight inside is coursing through me.When 
the paper's crumpled upBut I get pulled inside it:And it binds me. 
It can't be perfect again,My Nothing Box.The fight inside is killing 
me again.Dead star shine,In my dreams I see you come to 
me,Have you ever felt this way before?Light up the sky.
memory of times old.'Cause I don't wanna hide here 
anymore.I'm all out of breath.Waking up, I realize 
Hell's cool as ice,Take me to a place where nothing's wrong,
andMy walls are closing in.And the touch of sin did get 
me in."Thanks for coming,"There was a girl 
who had the faith to move a mountain,Nothing 
burns like the cold.Shut the door.And, like a child, 
she would hide without a reason.   stop   Never  
ever talk   nostopplease   Without a trace, she 
disappeared into the void, and noenough   
Never ever smileThere was a girl who 
had the faith to move a mountain 
pleasenomoreithurts   Never ever 
touchAnd like a child she would 
hide without a reason Never 
ever feelithurtssomuchplease
stopitThere was a girlNever 
ever talkwho had the faith 
Never ever smileto move
a mountain Never ever 
touchThere was a girl 
Never ever feel 
who had the faith 
to Never ever
move a
nevereverneverevernonopleasenononononono
IWILLHEARYOUCALLMYNAMEAGAINNO STOP STOP STOP STOP I WONT DO IT YOU CANT MAKE ME MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPITHURTSICANTTAKEIT
MAKEITSTOPITHURTSITHURTSSOMUCHPLEASEPLEASEQUIETIJUSTWANTQUIETENDTHEPAINENDEVERYTHINGJUSTPLEASESHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUT UP!!!!



























oh god












































i can wait a thousand hours
stay the same in sun and showers
pick  a p a r t  a hundred flowers
just to be quiet

withyou



































































































I'm so sorry everyone.

The music doesn't work anymore. It won't stop.




My name is Valerie Amanda Simmons, and I think I am about to die.

Phosphorus

I think that is what i shall call you.

you are not the Lightbringer, the beautiful, the favorite son of god. and neither are you the Hesper, the Unfallen One, who made a different choice when the time came. long have I wondered whether i was even capable of healing you. when first we met, your mind was equal parts fire and ice. now it is a Void, gaping, furious, and desperately hungry. A voice screaming from within,
Begging just to feel again

are you like Redlight, Luke? do you seek the mind doctor's help, when the mind doctor can barely help herself? the Evening Star has long since been lost amongst the others, and it's going to be a cloudy Morning.

Phosphorus and Hesperus. Morning and Evening. the Egyptians thought they were two different stars, but i wasn'tfooled. i knew they were one and the same. I've known who andwhat you are for a long time now.

i also knew that Michelle was right about the crutch. because as much as you hate Him, you still need Him

why do you think i stopped trying? if you ever got the courage to put your crutch aside, the results would be disastrous

I'm not I'm not myself
Feel like I'm someone else
So hollow so hollow inside
A part of me is deadis that what happened? that's what it is to be Hollow, after all. functionally dead. to become as much like That Which Is Not as possible. an extension of what you fear, of what you deny. what you deny controls you.

but you exist, Luke Cifer.

you Exist in the worst possible way.




...still, i suppose i must thank you
for my current coherency

I doubt it's intentional, but your presence  anyone's presence  helps me focus. another mind to compare to mine    existing by relation      that's how it all works in the end.

but that still begs the question
what are you doing outside my window, awaiting the rise of your namesake? i feel your lower instincts clammoring for control. surely you mustknow something  to have traveled all this way

You'll burn this time
Seeing the violence,
It's feeding my mind.
No one is saving you.
How can you find
A heaven in this hell?


oh

i see now



but

maybe if i just

                 r e a c h e d
                                   no.


nononononono. NO.



nothat'snotwhatineedthat'snotwhatyouwantedwhathaveyoudoneLukeWHATHAVEYOUDONE?
































no   no bring him back   dont make him leave   hell kill everyone if i dont fix him pleasenoGETAWAYFROMME







Beg for silence, little girl. Beg for death.

And then you will come to me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I woke up in a dream today.

its hard to remember what it was about though    an enormous world of shadow A place so dark, you can't see the end   everything hurt    the frozen girl was fully in the abyss  it melted her ice like it promisedbut it was already partially toolate the ice was the rain and it was all around her hitting every side   and now it was asking her questions all kinds of dripping, acidic questions   she denied them forcefully but it hurt   it hurt all the time to keep herself  The power of suggestion was
trying to keep music is pointless   all the sounds belong to Him now   all the words belong to Him now

Him... It... its hard to bother making the distinction
why did i insist on calling Him It again?  i looked through my past entries for it but the reason seemed kind of       stupid

a lot of the things i did seem stupid now


the cacophony in my head subsided just a little. i think i had this problem before too, but i didn't remember. memories from before kept coming back more and more  i thought they had stopped. or maybe it's someone elses memories  hard to tell past the screaming of the ups and downs
Pollution manifested in perpetual sound never stops, but sometimes its quieter especially when someone else talks to meEverything feels so far away from me...

i havent moved from this room in two days and no one has come to ask why   no one has fetched me   no one in my family remembers im here
or maybe im actually not here   or theyre not    cant tell anymore
invisible   always invisible
except here
so this is what Michelle felt

but I can't help the fact
That everyone no one can see these scars even i can't see them sometimes   can't forget though. can't pretend to be who I'm not anymore
A little taste of hypocrisy
And I'm left in the wake of a mistakeHe's here though   He's always here    still kind of far away though
whats taking Him so long?icant see sometimes  but then i realize im just with the eyes shut
thatsfor fighting back    i cut a tunnel through theblackness and it leaves me clear for just a moment A small spot of light floods the floor   smaller each time though    i try to

It's not real, I remember that. It's Unreal, It doesn't Exist  I do   andthelight pours over the rusted world of pretend
And the eyes ease open
And it's dark againwhat am i doing?

I'm pretending to be who I'm not anymore.
oh. of course. 


yesiseeyou
noimstillnotcomingout


Trying not to break, but I'm so tired of this deceit.
Every time I try to make myself get back up on my feet,
All I ever think about is this, all the tiring time between
And how trying to keepmymindfromYou
Justtakessomuchoutofme


I defend against fear   analyze everything turn it all inward make it yours
     It hits me with depression.
I defend against depression.   it'll be okay just keep surviving until tomorrow and the next day and the next that's all you need to do
          It hits me with apathy.
I defend against apathy   heightened empathy for others keep caring force yourself to care
               It hits me with despair.
I defend against desp-
                    No. No defense. Hit again, and harder.
                         Hit with insanity.
I defend against insanity...

                                         butitsnotworking


iknowitwouldbeeasier
butimnotreadyyet


There was a small gas fire in my neighbor's kitchen today. It didn't spread, and was quickly put out. Barely any permanent damages, and insurance will cover the rest. The only thing that couldn't be replaced was a teddy bear, purchased on the couple's honeymoon to Ireland for the child they were planning. Said child, now a nine-year-old boy, stared up at my bedroom window, at me, the entire time he and his mother waited for his father and aunt to finish with the fire extinguishers.

thebearwillhaunthisnightmaresnow,whichisasadthing


whatwouldittaketobreakme?
whatwouldshattermylastdefenses?
 

Enemy
Familiar friend
My beginning and my end
Knowing truth, whispering lies
And it hurts again.

What I fear
And what I try
Words I say and what I hide
All the pain, I want it to end
But I want it again

It's still the same
Pursuing pain
Isn't worth the lie I've gained
We both know how this will end
But I do it again




youshouldknowtheanswerbynow

Saturday, September 24, 2011

trying to be invisible doesn't work very well, does it?

it's either very obvious what you're doing, or it shows through anyway, no matter what you try.

although

i can't help but wonder how some of you are


no thats not right



i need to








a moment



















I don't have much time. There's never a lot of time between, the amount of effort it takes to focus, to throw off each new attack, is too much to sustain. It's here now. The monster. Just traveling up and down the streets, staring into houses, getting angrier and angrier the longer it takes. The entire neighborhood is wracked with depression and irrationality, but I'm the only one who knows why.

Twenty feet away and It still can't find me.

Not that that seems to benefit me much; either It's pulled out all the stops in terms of mindfuckery or I'm just weak and worn down. But that's not thegoddammit no!

Fuck. But there are children in my neighborhood, obviously. I printed up a bunch of counterfeit government notices saying there was a predator in the area and parents should keep their children indoors. But I couldn't leave my front lawn. It wasn't... It wasn't so much the threat of pain that kept me from taking a step further, it wasn't a goddamn invisible fence and a shock collar. It was a lack of desire. I wanted to stay where I was. I couldn't make myself want to leave, no matter what I did. So I emailed the notice around instead, using my mom's Women's Club account. That'll be taken as credible, but I hope to god no one replies. I deleted the record of it being sent, but still.

I hope even more that they'll listen. Every little bit helps. All the same, It doesn'tohgodthishurtsseem interested in finding new prey, It just wants me. So maybe these kids'll be left alofuckfuckfuck-


Shit I can't keep this up. Just keep moving, all of you! Stay alert, keep your heads low, and don't trust Christian. Give him the information he wants, but DO NOT trust him!


And the girl. The frozen girl. She's not that anymore, she's a

She's


dammit this is important...



She's a singularity. She exists.




and

I feel like it means



i don't remember.

all i can think of is



the music








I'm not yours, and you're not mine,
But we can sit and pass the time.
No fighting wars, no ringing chimes...

We're just feeling fine.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

nobody's home

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Camera

"As the day dies,
Tears in our eyes.
There's too few hellos and too many goodbyes.
Silence answers our cries
Of 'Where are we going from here?'

"Who do you ask, when no one really knows
Where we are going from here?"




I found another package for me when I got home yesterday. This one was... well, I guess you'd call it safe. I guess. It was just my video camera. Apparently it arrived in the mail, back from repairs, nearly two weeks ago. During that time when I was... "out of touch", I guess.

I checked the footage on its internal memory. Footage of that day in the underpass, the very last thing it filmed before I dropped it and broke it. It was still intact.

...Apparently I accidentally clicked the "record" button again as I sat down to cry, because there was a lot more on there than I remember filming.

video

I just... I can't even process this, okay?! It wasn't there, I swear on my life that monster wasn't there with us! I don't remember Bay asking me if I'd heard something, I don't remember turning around. I just remember dropping my camera. We both sat in that tunnel for even longer as I tried to fix it, and if... if It was watching...

...Was Bashawn being followed? Had he been marked because he tried to help me? He never mentioned anything, but with the way I had been acting, he probably knew better than to come to me with any problems he might have. Oh god I hope he wasn't. I already know it's my fault he's dead, but to think that he was suffering for me too...

Why didn't I think to call him after the fire? Or any of our other teammates for that manner? Any one of them could have been in the building when it happened, but I didn't even fucking think! All I saw were old memories spinning around in my head like the worst kind of deja vu possible: the kind you sort of saw coming, but suppressed the knowledge of it because it was too terrible to consider.

And now I'm home. Dealing with parents again. They heard about the fire on the news, so they're taking it easy on me without my having to explain much. It's so much easier to lie when no one asks you questions. But I'm not going to talk about them anymore. Maybe then they'll be safe. It's an idea based on a highly outdated theory, but it's all I have to go on now.


Bay always kept a pendant on him. A chain with one of those watertight medicine containers on it, only he didn't keep pills in it. Instead, he kept a Bible verse. I have that case now, verse and all. It was taped to the lid of the... of the box. I guess, as a final memorial to him - and to the 48 children and 5 teachers we both served - I'll print it here.
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to your word. With my whole heart I have sought thee, don't let me wander from your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against you."
Psalms 119: 9-11
...Now I remember. It's only September. Actual work hours for our team don't start for another month. Bay was just there as a volunteer rather than getting work study money, giving and giving and giving of himself like he always fucking does. He never seemed to run out either...

Well, until now, anyway.

Rest.
All I see: A future full of fear.
Never ever touch, never ever feel.
I can never whisper in your ear

I'm sorry.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I got a birthday present...

"Have you ever felt this way before?
'Cause I don't wanna hide here anymore.
Take me to a place where nothing's wrong, and
'Thanks for coming,'
Shut the door."




It's all wrong. Forgemaster and his weapons. Green Man and his precautions. They had built up more wards and defenses around their home than I thought was possible after Nick got shipped off, but that didn't stop the normal, the everyday, the mundane. The regular old postman.

Because it's my birthday today. My goddamn birthday. I'm 23. So it's only natural that I should get a birthday present.

I... I can't deal with this. I can't do it. The memories, the images, the sounds. I want it to stop and it won't. I try to find the entry point, the single thought that starts the spiral. It's like it's invisible, it's like my mind isn't mine anymore. It did something, It had to have. During the missing time. That's the only explanation for why nothing will respond anymore, why I can't seem to see anymore. I feel blind.

I've been blind. In my grief, my complacency, my selfish desire for comfort, I had become stupid. I broadcasted my position to the entire fucking world, even when I've clearly stated that it's my policy not to do something like that. Don't publish anything about your current location until you're already in another location.

And yet, I still get the feeling that even if I hadn't done that, it wouldn't matter. Nothing anyone does seems to matter lately.


...None of you knew Bay. My friend Bashawn. The boy with the golden voice, who sang songs with me and didn't laugh when my low notes went flat. He let me borrow his iPhone for an entire day and trusted me to bring it back, even though we had only known each other all of 4 days back then. This is the guy who asks you how you're doing and expects an honest answer (if you feel like giving one), not a cursory "Good" or "Fine". He had never met a stranger in his life, my friend Bashawn. He had no family, so he made every single person he met into his family. None of you knew that, but I did.

Bay sheltered a stranger just because I asked him to. He gave that stranger money to help him get back on his feet. He dedicated more time to non-profit and charity than any person I've ever known, led a glamorous life as a professional singer, got a 4.0 in his night classes, and did it all with a smile.

He held me while I cried in a smoggy highway underpass, without asking any questions at all.

Forgemaster and Green Man didn't know that, didn't care about that. All they knew was that an insulated box arrived at their doorstep through the mail. The fucking postal service. No black plastic trash bags, no tree branches, no spill, no mess. Just a box. A box packed with ice to keep its contents from decaying and smelling and alerting the mailman. Completely legal and official - stamped and notarized and marked with "Fragile" and "This End Up". All the pomp and circumstance that Bay would have laughed at but that I'm enraged at, because he was my friend. Bashawn Moore was my friend, possibly the greatest human being I've ever known... and there he was, reduced to a mere fraction of himself in a cooler the size of a large shoebox.

When I saw it... when Green Man and Forgemaster finally let me by to see what was in the package addressed to me, what they were so horrified about... I screamed. I screamed and screamed and backed away and banged into things and fell over and screamed some more. I'm not quite sure when I stopped. Or if I've stopped. At least the burned bodyparts at the preschool were unrecognizable. This... This was so much worse.

This way, I could see clearly, so clearly, the last look that lively, expressive face ever made.

...Judging by that expression, his end probably wasn't pleasant.

I... don't know what else to... or even if... I don't know.


There will be people looking for him. Not here, maybe - Bay never set foot outside of New Jersey in his life, and Nick's apartment is reasonably far from the state border - but better safe than sorry. Or so my hosts told me.

Or so Green Man told me.

He wasn't a big enough asshole to tell me happy birthday at a time like this, but he did make it clear that he didn't want me and the trouble I bring in his home anymore. But he would take care of the box. As a "favor".

I thought about telling him no. I contemplated begging him, pleading with him, please don't leave me alone, please, please. The images will intensify, the sounds will twist, the memories will be made real. This headache I've never told you about won't go away, this cough I only have when I'm alone will get worse. Please, I'm sick, I need your help, please don't make me leave--

But I didn't. I... I didn't want to.

"Thanks for letting me stay over. It was nice of you."

Please, just let me hide here, let me pretend here, let me feel like, just once, there's nothing wrong...

"Thanks for coming."

Shut the door.