Sunday, April 21, 2013
Last's plan might be crazy. Last might be crazy. But he's right on this. A life of aimless wandering isn't a life worth living. I'm joining him because it's not much, but it's a chance.
I'm going to be leaving this blog behind. It's just a record of a scared kid bouncing from place to place, just trying to survive whatever life threw at him. It's the story of a kid with no fight. With no hope. Last, Crimson, and Maggie suggested a new blog. That it would commemorate me ending one chapter of my life and starting a new one. And I suppose they're right. I'm not wandering from death anymore. Now I'll be facing my fears. Keep an eye on me there. I'll have plenty to say.
I'll probably be quiet for a few days, though. I'll be working with ten people I've just met, and I want to get to know them a little better before we start making any moves.
And so this is the end of this blog. Hard to think that it's been over a year since I've started it. And at the same time, it's hard to think that it's only been a year. I've been through a lot. Been a lot of places. Done a lot of wandering. But I"m not wandering anymore. I'm still traveling, but now I have a destination. An end to my journey. And maybe, just maybe, with Last's help, with the Ten Masks' help, with your help...I'll make it.
This is not goodbye. This is not the end. This is a rebirth.
I'll see you all soon.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
“What exactly do you mean, ‘kill the Slender Man?’” I asked.
“Exactly what I said,” Last replied. “We’re going to kill the Slender Man.”
“I was under the impression that he couldn’t be killed.” He just grinned at me. “What?”
“It can, and it has.” He stared at me and watched as what he said sunk in.
“Wait…has? Like…he’s been killed before? You’re going to have to explain this a bit more.”
“Of course, of course. This is probably going to be pretty confusing and might go over your head, but I’ll try to explain the best I can. Um…okay, you’ve noticed a few…strange things going on, right? Like when Canis couldn’t see Raggedyman’s blog? Or why the Fears aren’t public knowledge even though there are so many blogs about them? Why Shadow says there are about twenty people at his estate—I mean, do you even know of twenty runners? Or, hey, even better. You know how you saw the Slender Man change? From the arm things to the tentacles?”
“Yeah. And after I said something about that, I started noticing that there were suddenly people talking about him having tentacles. You know why that is?”
He nodded. “That would be because…well, Raggedy? Those proxies from Picking at Ruins and…you know, the kids they were after? They…don’t exist. Not in this dimension. But they exist in other dimensions.”
“I don’t follow.”
“Have you ever heard of dimensional bleeding?”
“Okay, I’ll explain, then. Imagine that there are an infinite amount of universes, right? You’ve heard of the Many Worlds theory, right? You can at least imagine that?” I nodded. “Okay. The Slender Man will kind of…cause these rifts between these universes to blend. Distorts space and time. Allows interaction. Now, imagine that every universe consists of a cup filled with a different type of liquid. When these dimensions interact, it’s like pouring one cup into another and mixing it together. These universes start to blend. Not perfectly. They’ll eventually start to separate again because they’re different densities. But you’ve…still been impacted by it…?” He rubbed the back of his neck. “It’s not a great metaphor and parts of it kind of fall apart. But that’s…sort of it. People only see what they want to see. Some things might not make much sense to them, but they’ll still accept it. Some things might be irreconcilable with what they know, and they won’t be able to perceive them. There are tons of different dimensions with different incarnations of the Slender Man. Is it really that big of a surprise that someone has managed to find a way kill him before?”
“How do you know about this?”
“Well…because I was involved. You’ve heard of Core Theory, right? With the assigning of the archetypal roles to people? Well, there are a lot of different incarnations of it. I was seriously really stunned when I saw just how many different dimensions, or…clusters of dimensions, I guess, there’s a lot of overlap, had some sort of it. I think there were about ten. Well, I was part of one of those. I wasn’t the hero or anything. I think I was closest to what you’d know as the ‘hermit.’ So I was there when we killed him. And things were good. For a bit. Then someone came up with the Fears. And once we had created them…they had suddenly always been there. Without the Slender Man, things were out of balance. We couldn’t do anything to keep them in check. Things went wrong, and long story short, they…kind of ended up destroying the universe.”
“The universe.” I was at a loss for words.
“Yeah. Maybe even more than one. I’m really not sure; like I said, there’s a lot of that dimensional bleeding stuff going on and it’s still difficult even for me to understand. I think that dimensional bleeding ended up dooming a lot of people, but…I think it also saved me. I saw that things were going to hell, and I ran. I got as far away from it as I could. Blocked out any thoughts of it. Eventually ended up in this dimension.” He gave me a sort of wry smile. “If there was only one thing I was good at, it was running away. Ditching all my friends like a coward to save my own skin. I barely remember their names anymore. I tried blocking them out just so I wouldn’t somehow end up back in my own dimension. And now…well, I’m all there is left of them. I’m the last of the last.”
“I’m sorry.” We were quiet for a while as he reminisced and I tried to process what he had told me. “So I see these arm branch things, and a lot of other people see tentacles. What was he like for you?”
“Spider,” he said. “Grew a bunch of arms out of his back, really long arms, liked to go…I’m not sure what the term would be, but not bipedal. He’d sometimes go down on four or more arms or legs when coming after us.”
“And you have a plan for this? I mean, besides just trying to turn me into some sort of pretend hero, throwing me up against the Slender Man, and hoping I come out alive.”
“Of course I have a plan. I’m no mastermind by any stretch, but I’ve got ideas, the time to refine those ideas, and the resources and contacts to pull it off. The whole thing’s already been in motion for quite some time now.”
“So what is the plan, then?”
“We’ll get to that when we get to that. First we have to execute the first step…which is killing off all the other Fears. That’s what the Masks are helping me do.”
“See, that’s one thing I don’t get, yet. You guys are working to kill the Slender Man, right? Then why are you working for him? Is that a front?”
“Not at all. I am truly, one hundred percent supporting the Slender Man.”
“So you’re a bad guy, then?”
He shook his head. “It’s not that simple, Kenny. It is really not that simple. You can’t divide the world into good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains, black and white. You know that already. Everyone knows that. There are a lot of shades of grey in between. Probably about fifty. And everyone keeps trying to look at the world in this monochrome spectrum. ‘He’s a bad person but he’s bad for good reasons. He’s got a noble goal but his methods are extreme. He only cares about himself and falls squarely in the middle.’ It’s all about fitting people into that axis somewhere between good and evil, between black and white. Me? I see the world in color.”
“So what’s your game, then?”
“Okay. I serve the Slender Man, yes. I have to admit, I’ve had to order a few runners killed, though I managed to work my way into a position where I’m pretty much solely targeting the people who serve other Fears. You see, you need the power of a god to kill a god. And these Fears? They’ve got the power of gods. I honestly have no clue how kill most of them, but the beauty of this is that we don’t have to. The Fears aren’t some big happy family. They hate each other. All we have to do is get them to kill each other. And because I think we can beat the Slender Man, we actually want him to win. It’s an interesting dichotomy where our greatest enemy is actually our strongest ally.”
“So you’ve been planning this for a while.”
“Then where do I fit in in all this? I’m just some pawn you need?”
He grew incredibly serious. “Kenny, the point of pawns is that they’re expendable. Nobody truly cares about them. If you were a pawn, Edwin Canis wouldn’t be stalking you across the states. If you were a pawn, Fracture wouldn’t have had his men kidnap you. If you were a pawn, the Cold Boy and Wooden Girl wouldn’t be teaming up in an attempt to kill or control you. Everyone wants you, Kenny. Everyone sees your potential. Maybe it inspires them. Maybe it confuses them. Maybe it scares them. But for whatever reason, you’re a wild card that everyone wants. Never refer to yourself as a pawn.”
I shook my head. “I think you’re probably exaggerating to flatter me. I think you’re crazy.”
“I know. Wonderful, isn’t it?” He grinned.
“No, I mean legitimately insane. Psychotic. Delusional. I’m not sure I want to go along with this.”
His demeanor changed immediately, his grin instantly turning into a scowl as he brought a hand across my face in a slap. “Of course I’m insane,” he snapped. “I’m a guy from a dimension that doesn’t exist anymore. Everyone I knew and loved is dead, and I didn’t even try to save them because I was too much of a coward. I’m working for a boogeyman that I’m trying to kill and trying to manipulate said boogeyman into a battle royale with a bunch of other Lovecraft rejects. So yeah, big surprise. I’m probably fucking insane. I’m sorry. I thought I was offering you a chance to take control of your destiny instead of darting off from place to place like a scared bunny. I’m not asking you if you think I’m sane or even if you think my crazy shot-in-the-dark plan is going to work. I’m asking you whether you’re going to try to take control of your destiny instead of trying to prolong the miserable remnants of a life we both know isn’t going to be long anyway. How long are you planning on doing this, Kenny? How long are you aimlessly going to keep wandering from death like this? I’m giving you the chance to make a stand and to do something with your life. So are you in or out?”
I thought. In a lot of ways—he was right. I’ve been running for over two years now, and I’m not any closer to the end than I was when I started. I’m sick of it. After Lily died, I went on the run. Not just from the Slender Man, but from my life in general. I didn’t want to face the mistakes I had made. I was in denial, as if I could keep Lily alive by trying to ignore the life back in my hometown that we had shared. That it was just that life that was dead and Lily and I had somehow managed to escape it. When Jenny, Ryan, and Dumas died, I went through a really dark time for about a week. I realized that running wouldn’t help. It didn’t help them. It won’t help me. It was going to catch up to me eventually. I really, truly wanted to die at that point, not because of some sort of self-loathing, but because of apathy. Dying was easier than living at that point.
Canis talked me through that. Kept me locked up in the hotel room away from any sharp objects or pills or the like, just to make suicide too much effort to actually go through with. Your comments encouraged me to keep going. Eventually, I forced myself out of it. Decided I wanted to live. To pick myself up off of the ground, pretend to be strong even when I wasn’t, and keep doing what I had been doing.
I see now that my decisions were contradictions. I couldn’t say that I wanted to live and then go right back to what I had been doing. What I was doing wasn’t living.
“Do I have to become a proxy or join the Ten Masks?” I asked.
“Not if you don’t want to. You’ll just be a runner whose goals happen to coincide with our own.”
I held my hand out, and he shook it. “In that case,” I told him, “I’m in.”
Friday, April 19, 2013
Last grinned at me. “Surprised?”
“Honestly? Not really. You have a lot of contacts that a runner wouldn’t, so I had kind of guessed you’re a proxy. Not too much of a stretch to think that the ‘boss’ these guys have been talking about is you.”
“Well, good intuition then. I’m sure you have a lot of questions. You guys mind if I borrow him for a second?”
Benjamin shrugged, Maggie crossed her arms, and Jerry gave me a slap on the shoulder. “Sure thing! We’ll see you guys later.”
“So,” Last said as the other three slipped out of the room, “that thing you and Rogue Shadow tried working out to convince me to compensate him? Well…I’d like to welcome you to the official founding of…the California safe house. I really haven’t come up with a name for it yet. It’s part of the…well, Rogue Shadow calls it the Resistance, but I personally prefer the Runners’ Foundation. I dunno, maybe someone will come up with a better name. Right now, there are only three of these places: this one, one in Kansas, and Shadow’s place in Florida. But the plan is to start with these three and slowly start developing a bigger web of these places all across the country. Maybe eventually spread into Canada and Mexico. Oversea branches don’t sound like a possibility quite yet, just due to funds. The plan, I think, is to try to pull in donations from runners to try to get it funded best we can. Every little bit helps, am I right?”
“You think it’ll work?”
“I don’t know. It’s a pretty good idea, though. The two of you should be commended for coming up with it.”
“First question, though: aren’t you a proxy?”
“Well…yeah. But it’s complicated. I’ll explain later. Ask me something else first.”
“Okay, what was with the wild goose chase? What exactly are you guys up to?”
He sat down on the couch and gestured for me to join him. “I’ve been trying to…teach you. In a way. What I want to teach you isn’t really something that can be taught. You had to learn it on your own. All I could really do is put you in situations where you could learn it. You met Raggedyman. That was good. He helped you train. But you needed to put that into practice, so we tested you. You needed to meet other runners. You needed to learn from them. You needed to meet proxies and realize that some proxies aren’t so bad, and some runners aren’t so great. You needed to learn to discern which is which. With Ryan and Jenny, you needed to take what you learned and figure out how to pass it on. And again, I am so sorry for how that backfired. If I had known—”
“It’s in the past. Let’s not bring it up. So why were you teaching me all this?”
His weasel-like face lit up. “Ah. Yes. Well, simply put, you have…potential. You fit a sort of certain character archetype, and I know it’s weird hearing me talk like this is just some sort of story, but I really thing that character archetypes are what we need to pull of what we’re going to be doing. See, you have a lot of potential to develop. And you’ve done so! You’ve developed a lot, and I wasn’t even trying to guide you for most of it. It just happened naturally. You’re growing, Kenny. You’re coming out of your shell and starting to grow as a person. You’re not that scared little kid you used to be. You’ve got determination. Compassion. Some leadership skills. What I’m saying is that I think you have the potential to become someone heroic. Someone who can inspire others.”
“And what does this have to do with anything? What purpose does that serve? I mean, you guys are proxies. Why are you trying to make some sort of…of ‘hero’ if we’re not on the same side?”
He was grinning really wide at this point, and I could tell that he was excited to deliver his punchline. “Right, right, you’d think that would be the case. But in this case, we’ve got the same goal. ‘I’m on your side,’ remember? You see, we’re doing all this because…okay, you’re listening, right?”
“Get on with it, Last.”
“Okay, okay, sorry. We’re doing this—we are trying to help you unlock your potential as a hero—because you, Kenny, are going to help us kill the Slender Man.”
Thursday, April 18, 2013
The Ten Masks, surprisingly, were stationed in an ordinary-looking house, if not a fairly sizeable one. The first thing I noticed when I entered was a guy in cutoff jeans and a t-shirt whose sleeves had been ripped off, sitting at the table near the door, working on some sort of mechanical contraption.
“Who’s this dude?” he asked.
“This is Kenny,” said Crimson. Mantis followed us in and gave the three of us a quick nod to excuse himself.
“Huh,” said the man. He looked back at the pieces scattered all across the table and resumed work. “Doesn’t look like much.”
“Kenny, this is Boston Black.”
I held out my hand. “Nice to meet you.”
He didn’t look up. “Can’t say the same. Beat it before I beat you.”
Crimson put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me past him. “He’s more than a little upset that he didn’t get to fight you. I think he’s still looking for a reason to, truth be told.”
“So…Boston Black. Is that…the Black Dog?”
“Nope. Empty City, actually. He’s sort of our technician. Bit of a gearhead.”
“I noticed.” I gently pushed his hand off my shoulder and he let it drop.
“But no, the Black Dog would be Fang. And you already know me, Magpie, Gabe, Phones, and Reaper—Red Cap, Convocation, Archangel, Choir, and Dying Man. And I’m guessing you’ve probably figured Mantis out.”
He pointed a finger at me and winked. “Got it in one.”
“So that’s you, Magpie, Phones, Gabe, Reaper, Mantis, Boston Black, and…Fang, you said?” I counted off on my fingers as I listed them. “So that’s eight. Two more?”
He stopped by a door and knocked on it. “Well, one’s the boss. Last one’s Wraith. He’s around here somewhere.”
The door opened. “Kenny!” An arm reached out and rustled my hair. “I’ve missed you!”
“Hey, Mags. Thought you’d be happy to see him again.”
“So who else knows he’s here?”
“Well, I came with Mantis, and Boston’s working on one of his projects near the back door, so we ran into him.”
“What, so I’m fourth to greet him?”
Crimson shrugged. “That’s just how it happened. You can take over if you want. Anyone else around?”
She thought for a bit. “Well, Wraith’s not in right now. Of course, if he was, you’d already know. Morty—” she gave me a glance, realizing I wouldn’t recognize the name “—er, Reaper’s not doing so hot so it’d be best not to disturb him, and Phones is still locked in his room. I’m sure he’ll meet at least Wraith and Phones at dinner. Jerry and Ben—that’s Gabe and Fang—are both downstairs, I think. And, you know, the boss is there too, obviously.”
“Great. You take it from here.”
She put an arm around my shoulder, much in the same way Crimson had, and led me down the stairs to the basement. “Glad you could join us,” she said. “It’s good to see you again.”
“I…guess it’s good to see you guys too. As long as you’re not trying to kill me.” She gave that shrill cackle.
“Kenny’s here!” she said as she approached two guys watching TV. Gabe I recognized immediately. “Kenny!” he said. He stood up and crushed me in a bear hug. “Sorry about trying to kill you before!”
“It’s…okay, I guess?” I looked at the couch, and the other guy looked at me. He was a thing boy, probably about my age, dressed in tight jeans and a black long-sleeved T-shirt. Shaggy black hair hung into his eyes. He gave his head a slight toss to get it out of the way, and that’s when I recognized him.
“Hey…I know you, don’t I? Benjamin, right?”
He nodded, then tossed his head again. “Yeah,” he said. Quiet, soft voice—not timid, just soft. “Met when you got off the bus in Arizona. Gave you that address.”
“But you said…you said you were a friend of Last’s.”
“Yeah,” he said again, just as matter-of-fact as the first time.
“He’s here?” came a voice from down the hall.
“Yeah, boss!” Gabe called. Thumping of footsteps on the carpet, then Last of the Last popped his head into the room.
“Hey, Kenny! Glad you made it.”
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I’ve been trying to head out again. Canis hasn’t been making it easy. He’s wanting to keep an eye on me. He knows I’m looking for a chance to sneak away.
Yesterday, as we were walking through the city, a man clapped his hand down on Canis’s shoulder. I turned as Canis put a hand on my shoulder to keep from walking off. The man who stopped him was a fairly small Asian man. Canis looked at him for a few seconds, then his eyes widened, then narrowed. He moved his hand to his holster, but the Asian man swept the arm away and struck a quick jab into that shoulder. The movement was incredibly quick and fast, and I don’t think anyone else ever noticed it.
“No,” was all he said through a thick accent.
Canis grimaced. “I see,” he said. “Well, Kenny…I hate to say it, but I think this is goodbye for now.”
The man looked at me. “Uh…Mantis,” he said, gesturing to himself. “Please, come.” His speech was slow, and he thought a bit before he spoke, trying to find the words. When he did speak, he gave each word a deliberate emphasis. He obviously didn’t speak much English. “Ah…I am on your side.”
“Another one of the Ten Masks?” I asked.
“Ah…yes.” He nodded. “Mask.” He gestured for me to follow him. “Please.”
I followed him a few blocks to where a car was idling along the sidewalk. He opened the passenger’s door for me and the backseat for himself. The driver smiled at me as I got in.
“Hey, Kenny,” Crimson said. “It’s been a while.”
“So I’m being kidnapped again?”
“I’m pretty sure that Mantis asked nicely if you’d come. You asked nicely, didn’t you Mantis?”
Mantis nodded. “Please.”
“Well there you go. It’s probably a good thing you didn’t try fighting Mantis, since I’m pretty sure he would have beaten you.”
Mantis nodded, smiled, and held his arms up. Like a Praying Mantis, I realized. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of mantis style martial art. “Very strong,” he said.
“And besides, I’m pretty sure that the last time we ‘kidnapped’ you, we saved your life, celebrated Christmas with you, and then let you go unharmed.”
“Fair enough. So where are we going?”
“Oh? And what’s in California?”
“That’s where we’re currently stationed. It’s time, Kenny. No more games. No more playing around. No more pointless fights. You’re finally going to get some of the answers you’re looking for. It’s time for you to meet our boss.”
Saturday, April 13, 2013
It’s been a week since they’ve died. I’ve mourned enough. I need to get moving now.
Canis has sort of…nursed me back to health, we could say. Emotional health. I’m grateful for that, but at the same time I want to get away as quickly as possible. It seems like he’s a friend, but I’m not sure I trust him. I know he’s reading this. I just hope he understands what I mean. But I don’t feel like I can fully trust him, and the last time I hung around someone I wasn’t sure I could fully trust…well, it’s too recent a memory to want to revisit. That, and I think I’d like some space to be alone. To think.
I spent a lot of the week trying to read up. I have to say, I’m surprised at how many of us there are now. Back when I first started blogging, there weren’t many of us online. No one was there for me. And now, I’m seeing more and more new faces springing up. People running from the Slender Man. People fighting him. People who refuse to give up, roll over, and die. And it’s not a good thing that there are so many of us. But it’s good that we have each other.
So I’ve been reading up and trying to reach out. As much as it might hurt in the end, I refuse to cut myself off from people, because to be perfectly honest—I’m weak. I can’t do this on my own. Finding the strength to go on living is really, really hard. I need support from someone if I’m going to make it through all this. But I don’t imagine I’m the only person who feels this way. I don’t want to see any of you die. I know I can’t do much, but I will do anything within my power to see you live and to give you some measure of comfort. If you ever want to talk about anything at all, send me an e-mail. email@example.com. Pretty easy to remember. I would love to talk to you.
I’ve been doing nothing, and it’s been getting me nowhere but deeper and deeper into depression. But now? Maybe now I can find the strength to climb out of it. To try to actually do something with what little life I have left.
Monday, April 8, 2013
I spent almost all day in a motel bed. I couldn’t bring myself to leave it. I cried myself to sleep. Woke up when I had a dream reliving the events of that night. I didn’t try to sleep again after that. Couldn’t cry anymore after I woke up. Couldn’t eat.
I’m just feeling…empty.
I checked Diana’s blog. And now I’ve got confirmation. Jenny is dead. Ryan is dead. Even Dumas is dead.
I don’t know who—or what—that Silent Bob guy is. I’m not sure I want to know. It really doesn’t matter in the long run. The Picking at Ruins people are after him, and he’s their problem now. As long as he’s not going to be bothering me again, why should I care? Knowing who he is isn’t going to bring them back. Jenny, the cheerful girl who managed to bring life to our group. Ryan, the boy who would do anything to protect his friends. Dumas, the man who gave up his life and turned against a giant organization to try to save two kids.
They’re all dead because of me. Because I took a gamble and thought that we could control Silent Bob. Incredibly stupid looking back at it, but you know what they say about hindsight being 20/20.
So now three people are dead, and it’s entirely on my head. Throw in Lily, my parents, and her parents, and that brings the total to eight.
Eight deaths on my head. Eight people I’ve killed. Eight people more deserving than me.
I still don’t understand what happened with the Slender Man. Why his arms suddenly turned to tentacles and why his tie went from red to black. All these small details shifting. I’ve gotten comments. People saying that everyone sees the tentacles. And I don’t understand. It’s never been like that for me. I’ve never read about him looking like that before. But I looked through some old blogs again and…they were different. Details like that suddenly appeared. They mention tentacles. They mention black ties. Some mention red ties. Some mention multiple arms. There’s…discrepancy. It was never there before. And I can’t help but wonder if he did something to me when I saw him again after so long.
Canis wasn’t happy. I’d cut off contact from him after I got suspicious of him. He managed to track me down in Phoenix after Jenny let our location slip. “Why would you even do something that stupid?” he asked.
“Why do you care?” I asked. “What’s so important about me?”
I rolled over. “That doesn’t make sense.”
“Of course it doesn’t. Not now. Not yet.”
I was quiet for probably a minute before I forced myself into a sitting position and looked at him. “Are you a real cop?”
A pause. “I was. Not anymore. Not since meeting you. I quit the force. Keeping tabs on you was more important. I suppose it’d be best to drop the act now. Being an authority figure isn’t going to make an impact on whether or not you trust me at this point. The only thing posing as an officer could accomplish at this point is getting me in a lot of trouble.”
“Are you one of the Ten Masks, then?”
“I am not.”
“Your last name means wolf. You’re being followed by the Black Dog. And you’re interested in me for some reason. Who are you?”
“Like you said, I’m being followed by the Black Dog.” He gave me a friendly smile. “Are you really that surprised that I have a few secrets?”
He wants me to stay with him a while longer. I don’t know if it’s a smart move. Really, I don’t care at this point. He can keep his secrets for all I care. He’s helping me and that’s all I care about. I don’t know what’s good or bad anymore. Canis and Last are both helping me, but they both keep secrets and they’re hard to trust. Bob “made the Slender Man lose,” but killed his allies without a second thought. There’s Fracture, a proxy who sent people to kidnap me, and Moth, a proxy who rescued me from them. There’s the Ten Masks, who alternate between trying to kill me and trying to save my life.
I’m confused and I’m depressed and I hate myself and I just don’t want to deal with this anymore. I want to just wake up and find out that this is all some sort of nightmare. But life doesn’t work like that. There’s only one way out of all this. The way that Jenny and Ryan and Dumas and Lily took. To tell you the truth, I want to die. I just want it all to end before things get any worse. Before I see more people die.
But I can’t. I don’t want to live right now, but what good does that do? As much as I hate all this, as much as I know it’ll get worse, as much as I want it all to end, it’d be more futile than living.
One of the things I did today was watch this video:
I watched it because I knew that I needed to remember that, no matter how bad things are, no matter how much I hate myself and blame myself for what happened to Jenny and Ryan and Dumas, there are people there who don’t want me to die. Look to the right. You see that little “Followers” widget off to the side? I can’t say everyone because I know that some of those people want me dead, and some are already dead themselves, but most of those little squares represents one person who wants to see me live. One person who genuinely cares about me. One person who would miss me when I’m gone.
So I’m going to live. Not because I want to, but for you. I can’t die for you, so I’m going to live for you. If I go down, I will go down fighting on behalf of every single person who wants to see me live. I will fight to my last breath.
Everyone reading this? I’m living for you. So live for me. Don’t give up. Don’t resign yourself to your fate, because you’re the one who decides it.
So come on, everyone. Say those words that we may not want to say. Say those words that we need to. Say them for me, but not just for me. Say them for you. All together now.
I want to live!
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Dumas put a hand on his shoulder to stop him. Bob gave him a glare—not one of his manic animalistic ones, but a sort of “you really don’t want to do that” one, grabbed his hand, and squeezed. I heard a crunch, and Dumas screamed.
One of the proxies fired a shot, but missed. Bob instantly changed course and ran, leaping forward, grabbing the proxy by the face, and slamming the back of his head into the ground as hard as he could. He picked up the gun and emptied the clip into the other proxy who held a gun. One proxy with a knife and one who was unarmed charged him. He grabbed the one with the knife by the arm and twisted it so that the other ran into the blade, then wrenched the knife from is hand and drove it into his throat.
The night filled with screams as the men died.
I glanced back to the Slender Man. He was gone. He had disappeared in the confusion, for some reason.
He started walking towards the building, where the Slender Man had been. The two remaining proxies were hanging back. One had grabbed one of the guns, but it was shaking as he held it.
“Bob!” Jenny screamed. “Bob, stop it!”
She ran forward and started pounding her fists against him. “Stop that!” she sobbed. “You’re being really, really scary!”
He stopped laughing as he listened. Looked down at her and gave her a sort of amused smile.
Wrapped his arms around her head and snapped her neck.
It was too quick for her to even react. There was just a sharp breaking sound, and then she was lying on the ground, dead. Ryan charged him at that. I yelled at him to stop, but if he heard he didn’t care. Bob sidestepped him easily, grabbed his head, and slammed it against he wall.
Dumas dragged himself over to me. “Get out of here,” he said. “Jenny is…she’s gone.” He choked on the words a bit. “But Ryan might still be alive. Go. Get him to a hospital.”
“What about you?”
He let out a short laugh. “Well my right hand is broken in several places, and I’ve lost enough blood in my entire left arm that I don’t think I can feel it anymore. I’m dead if I don’t get medical attention, but I can’t go back and they’ll track me down at the hospital, so unless you know some good back alley doctor, I’m gone either way.”
“And Ryan isn’t?”
“They want him alive yet. They…they might take him. But he’ll be alive. Isn’t that better?” I couldn’t disagree. “Now go. I’ll hold him off for a bit. Goodbye, Kenny. And good luck. I’m, um…I’m sorry for everything.”
I started creeping around to where Ryan lay. I saw Dumas have a short, quick conversation with the proxy with the gun, at which point he handed it to him.
“Hey! Bob!” He held up the gun as Silent Bob looked at him. “Count the shells, suck-a-duck!” He fired with his broken hand and winced and swore at the kickback. Predictably, he missed, but he used that opportunity to take off. Bob took off after him. The two remaining proxies followed.
I reached Ryan and checked for a pulse. It was faint, but I could feel one. There was a pool of blood forming around his head, and I pulled off Jenny’s hoodie (and vomited as I did so) to try to stop the bleeding somehow. Lifted him onto my shoulders, sobbing and dry heaving, and trudged off under his weight.
I don’t know how far I made it. I tripped and collapsed at one point. I was feeling nauseous. Dizzy. Tried to lift Ryan back up but couldn’t.
A police car pulled up, its lights illuminating us and blinding me. The officer stepped out and I started babbling to him, thanking him for stopping, telling him that Ryan had been hurt and needed and ambulance and to get to a hospital as quickly as possible. I dropped to my hands and knees and threw up again off to the side as the officer knelt down by Ryan’s body.
“He’s dead, Kenny.”
I looked up as I heard my name and finally got a good look at the officer for the first time. Thin, tall man, sharp features. Of course. Edwin Canis.
“No. He…he can’t be dead.”
“He’s got no pulse, Kenny.”
I scrambled over and started checking for a pulse. “No! He’s…he’s not…” I put my hands on his chest. “We can defibrillate him, can’t we? To get the pulse going again? Where do I push?”
“It won’t work!” he snapped. “He’s dead. They’re not going to be able to save him at this point. Now, tracking you back down was hell and I’m not leaving without you. Let’s go.”
“We still have to get him to a hospital or…or somewhere.”
“No. What we need to do is get out of here, now. That guy you call Silent Bob is still on the loose, and it’s not safe to be here. Just leave him. Someone will find him.”
“I can’t!” I sobbed. “It’s…it’s not right!”
He didn’t answer. He just hauled me to my feet and shoved me into the passenger seat of the police cruiser. Drove off.
I didn’t resist. What would the point have been?
He stood there, black suit, red tie, long gangly arms and legs, blank face, standing about eight feet tall. He slowly started to step forward, and two more arms started growing out from his shoulders. Then four more arms grew from all eight elbows, all held out at different angles to keep him balanced, like a branching tree.
It’d been so long since I’d seen him. I had forgotten how absolutely terrifying the experience was. Seeing him and not knowing what’s going through his mind, not being able to read an expression on his face, not knowing whether it’s smarter to bolt or to keep him in your sight. I think it’s probably the worst thing one can experience.
“Go,” I said, though it was barely a whisper. I tried again when I was able to find my voice. “Go! Guys, go! Get out of here!” We turned as one to run. We only got a few feet before the proxies who had cut us off before—or at least six of them—showed up.
They looked as surprised as we did, and that surprise only grew when Dumas and Bob entered the lot from a different side. Dumas was clutching his shoulder, and I could see blood coming from between his fingers.
“I don’t understand,” he said. “We…we got away. We went a different direction, and....” He looked around, asking the proxies as well as us. “How did we all end up here?”
I pointed, and everyone’s eyes turned to the Slender Man. I looked again and he was…different. Instead of the splitting branchy arms, he had fluidly flowing tentacles. His tie color had changed from black to red. “Ryan?” I said so that only he could here. “Did you notice that? How he changed?”
“No,” he whispered.
We all froze, staring at the Slender Man. We made no move to run. The proxies made no move to attack.
Then we heard a laugh. A deep, strong laugh that echoed through the lot. Everyone present turned to look at the source.
Silent Bob. Normally, he has this glazed-over look in his eyes. Always staring into space like he’s not quite there. More animal than human. But now, he looked…like an actual person again. There was life in his body. Instead of staring through everything, he was staring at someone. The Slender Man.
And he was laughing.
Dumas shook us all awake in the middle of the night.
“We’ve gotta go,” he hissed. “They’re coming.”
I blinked, still half asleep. “I thought you were on their side.”
“I am. Was. Look, do you want to argue this, or do you want to keep these kids safe?”
We roused Ryan and Jenny. Dumas wanted to leave Silent Bob, but I refused to go without him. “If you’re going against these people,” I told him, “you’re going to want his help.”
He conceded that point, agreeing that we needed his help to at least get away. “We should ditch him as soon as possible,” he said. “I think he’s dangerous.” I was the one to agree at that point. Like Last had said, he was a time bomb ready to go off.
The five of us took off for the outskirts of Phoenix. Dumas knew that he’d have to go on the run after this. Once we ditched Silent Bob, the four of us would be traveling together for at least a bit more, maybe even making the arrangement permanent, or at least as permanent as we could.
Things went pretty well for a bit. Of course, it didn’t go well for long. As we were on the move, eight proxies stepped out of the shadows and assembled ahead of us. Some had pistols, the rest had knives. We slowed, and I glanced at Bob. His eyes had widened and he looked like he was about to charge them.
“Don’t,” I said. “You can’t take them all at once.”
“You guys need to run,” Dumas said quietly. “I’ll try to talk to them. Come up with some excuse about why I bolted and how it’s for the mission. It probably won’t work too well, but it’ll give you a head start. Just…get them away from Silent Bob, in case anything happens.”
I nodded and grabbed Jenny and Ryan and took off. We had been moving at a fairly brisk pace before, but now we were flat-out sprinting. We went maybe a mile before we finally slowed to catch our breaths. We were in an empty lot behind a fairly big store. No one around. We were alone and helpless, and by the time I noticed it, it was already too late.
I felt a wind behind me, similar to the one I felt when I had fought Reaper and he opened the Path of Black Leaves. I turned around to see what had happened.
There, standing less than 50 feet away, was the Slender Man.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
I relieved Ryan from the watch late last night. I have to say, I'm really impressed with his dedication. When I told him I'd take over, he shook his head and told me he was all right. I had to insist to get him to fall asleep.
It's kind of sad in some ways. He always takes himself so seriously and tries to be so mature. It's by necessity, I guess. He's only fourteen, but he's looking out for Jenny (who's so scatterminded) and Bob (who's practically catatonic) as well as himself. I have no doubt that he'd be better off without them, but at the same time, I can tell that it would kill him to leave them.
I guess he kind of reminds me of myself in a few ways.
Anyway, a bit after I took over on watch, Last showed up.
"I'm going to make this quick," he said as soon as he appeared. "Kenny, listen. You have to get out of here."
"We're trying," I told him. "There's a proxy with us that we can't ditch, though."
"No, not you as in all of you. You as in just you. You need to get out of here, now."
He put his hand up to his face in exasperation. "Have you not seen Diane's latest post? Sky stated pretty clearly that this 'Silent Bob' guy is dangerous."
"I saw that she said he 'made the Slender Man lose.' Isn't that a good thing? Besides, you're the one who told me to pair up with these three in the first place."
"Okay, yes, that's a good thing. I'm all for making the Slender Man lose. And yes, okay, I hooked you up with these guys, but that's because I didn't know who exactly Silent Bob was. I'm still not sure, but I think I have an idea of what he is, and...listen, Kenny. He's dangerous."
"Yes, but he's on our side. He's dangerous to them, not us."
"So if you're carrying around a bomb too use on someone else, does that mean that it's not dangerous to you? Because that's what he is, Kenny. He's a bomb waiting to go off, and if you're anywhere near him when whatever detonates him is set off...."
Bob stirred a bit and Last flinched. "I should go," he said. "I don't want to be around when he wakes up."
"I...don't think he would get along with me."
"Wait, what's that supposed to mean? Are you--"
"It's complicated, Kenny. I'm just going to need you to trust me. Get out of here."
"I can't just leave them."
He sighed. "No, of course not," he said. "It wouldn't be that easy for you. All right, then. Stick with them. Just know that you're playing Russian Roulette with a loaded gun."
"I thought he was a bomb."
"He is," he snapped. "The bullet is a bomb, okay? If consistent metaphors are your biggest concern, then the bullet can be a bomb that's being fired out of a bigger bomb for all I care. Priorities, Kenny. Jesus. Goodnight."
He walked off after that. And now I'm left with a problem.
Do I stay with our potentially dangerous friend? Or do I take off? If I take off, do I take Jenny and Ryan with me?
I actually talked to Dumas about it. He said that for now, it's probably best to wait. He can't say when anything is going to happen (I don't even know if he knows), but he thinks that we have at least a bit of time. That's at least a bit of time that I have to make an important decision like this.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Kenny’s being a really stupid jerk about his blog now. He didn’t used to let me read his blog, but now he won’t even let me read the comments on my own posts, because he says its too dangerous! Stupid jerkface! >:(
But there’s good stuff to talk about too! We’ve got someone new with us! Dumas is really cool and nice, not like that mopey meanie Kenny. :P Dumas says he’s only been running from Slender Man for a month, which makes me the senior runner to him. And I will use the power of seniority to rule with an iron fist, and make him carry all the heavy stuff and take my watch shift so I can sleep! >:) But don’t fear, because I will be a kind ruler, and teach him the many things I know about running!~
It’s going to be soooo cool with five of us now!