But not in the physical sense. Not yet, anyhow. I suppose I should start with something of a summary of events. Last you all knew we were in Shreveport - now we're in Austin, Texas. We met up with Damien and Arkady (who was somewhat less than pleased at the presence of two children, something about them slowing him down) and we all decided that we may as well merge into one big happy family. It's been an interesting time, the last however many days - Arkady presents himself to be every ounce as pretentious in person as he is in his writing (for instance, he refuses to be called anything other than his pseudonym), but at least he has the intelligence to back it up. Damien is much more pleasant to be around, though I suppose it helps that he and Kal were already good friends.
Anyhow. In an effort to simplify things, we've all decided to merge our blogs. The new one is called Operation Wintergreen. It sounds almost cool at first until you realize it doesn't quite. You can thank Kal for that.
This will be the last you hear from us on this site.
This is Operation Wintergreen.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
It was JD’s agonizing screams that dragged me back to reality, the accompanying image of Thomas driven through again and again that cemented my resolve. There was probably some rage in the passenger’s seat as well when I started Henry’s car. I looked all around and saw Henry just standing there, unaware of the scene directly before of him, his face souring at the sound. JD had dropped to his knees unable to do anything but whimper and moan… all life must have left him with the wail he released for his brother’s crumbling form. And Thomas… poor Thomas, I watched him speared twice more before black arms returned to their vile owner and rose up for further strikes. Thomas was dead before turned; I choose not to watch the rest of the monster’s grisly display.
I sprinted to the nearest car. It didn’t matter which, we’d taken to leaving the keys inside in case the occasion came to turn tail and flee once again. Henry’s was closest… something he’s still a mite unhappy about, fond memories I suppose. I don’t remember reaching the car or jumping into the driver’s seat. I can only recall the engine’s roar as I pressed pedal to steel and aimed the two ton bullet towards the lawn. It happened so slow… the shadow turned to look at me, it raised black limbs high… and then a burst of glass as the windshield shattered into my face. The car stopped suddenly, metal creaking as it folded around our target and then blackness descended over the wreckage. Little tails wormed their way in through the doors and the sunroof, crawling out for me…
Monday, June 6, 2011
The last few days have been nervous. With still no word or sign from Babs, all of us had been a little on edge at the lake house. Don't get me wrong, I still stand by what I've said about the break being a godsend, but we'd all become accustomed to being on the move for so long that sitting in one place for as long as we've been here in Georgia... Well, it was a little unnerving. Then everything just went horribly wrong and now we're on the move again. To add to that, I have no idea where Charlie and Alexis have gone to and Thomas... Fuck, Thomas...
The first sign I had that something was wrong was when I saw Sara twitch. I've been spending most of my time caring for her and keeping her company for whatever that's worth. This was the first time I've seen her move on her own since getting to this place. I still didn't know if my idea about her connection to our Stalker was right but to be safe I went and found Kal and talked about it with him, asking if he thought we should get out of Dodge. He didn't have much of chance to answer before I heard JD shouting from the other side of the house, and that pretty much decided that. I ran to Sara and gathered her and our things (at this point, it all fits easily into two bags), then went back to where Kal had been. He wasn't there anymore, so I gathered Sara into my arms and made my way into the main room of the house. When my eyes fell on the Thief standing there, I felt Sara's head move to face it.
My legs felt almost frozen like they did the first time I saw it, but at the moment it's attention was on JD, who was being dragged through the back door by Thomas against his will. I think JD meant to fight the damn thing and he was cussing up a storm. It wasn't until the Thief's arms began grow and it began to move toward the back door - not walk, mind you, but move in that same stuttering manner I saw that first time - that I felt the paralysis leave my legs but I still couldn't bring myself to actually move. Charlie had just dashed through it and Alexis was close behind him - then Kal's voice came to me from the front door and I snapped my head around to see Kal beckoning me outside. As I jogged to him, I felt the attention of that abomination fall on me and Sara. Even from over ten feet away I could feel something like rage - a cold, calculated feeling. I hurried through the door, behind Kal as he ran around the side of the house to find the others, and the feel of its gaze left me. Looking through a window as I followed Kal, I saw that it had disappeared. And then the rain started.
Kal and I met up with the other four behind the house, where our cars were and where the dock began. The van was on and open and Alexis was speaking rapidly to Charlie and Thomas, who was still restraining JD to an extent, and looked as if she were about to say something to Kal when the back door suddenly exploded outward. The door itself remained intact and caught Thomas full in the back, sending both he and JD to the ground. About a foot out from the door in each direction, the wood and other materials were just... gone. No splinters, just gone. But the Thief was there in full rage. From his back came four or maybe six fluid-seeming appendages (I hesitate to say tentacles) and the cold anger I had felt just moments ago was back in full force. As Kal struggled to get the solid wood door away from Thomas and JD, Charlie grabbed Alexis by the arm and led her down to dock to where a fishing boat was parked. Unwilling to let Sara out of my grasp and have her stolen from me too, I used my feet to help Kal move the door and then motioned toward dock. I could hear Alexis shouting for us to hurry up. Thomas was limping, but he was still concious and JD seemed angry more than anything else. As we turned toward the dock, the Thief appeared in front of us, blocking our way. Charlie said something that could have been "fuck" but the boat roared to lifeanyway as he shook his head at Alexis. I heard her shouting about the rest of us and pointing in our direction. I could just make out Charlie's lips moving and that stopped her in her tracks. She turned and gave us one last, mournful look, mouthing "Sorry" before Charlie steered the boat away into the darkness of the night and the storm.
I felt as though I were targetted, though I have no doubt Sara's presence in my arms had much to do with that, so I backed up toward the house. I felt Kal tug at my arm to get me moving faster when I saw one of the tentacles lash out in my direction. Flinching, I closed my eyes, waiting for the blackness to come, dreading the blank nothing that I had watched fall over Ronnie's face and that I had witnessed in Sara's face everyday... But nothing happened. I opened my eyes when I heard JD screaming. Not in rage, as I was used to when the Thief was involved, but pure loss. Thomas had jumped or moved in front of me and now there was a black tentacle through where one of his kidney's would be. After a moment of stillness, though I could hear Kal moving behind me, more holes were punched in Thomas. One where a lung should be, now through his thigh, now through an arm... And then blackness swallowed him completely - there was a sickening crunch and then the blackness fell away, leaving only the blood that had dripped down Thomas's body as he was stabbed by the Thief. But his body was gone. Just one more object stolen. JD had fallen to his knees, but now I could see him begin to rise. Behind me I heard a car door open and slam shut - then the familiar sound of my car's engine came to me and I turned to see Kal behind the steering wheel, a wild look on his face. Urged on by Kal, the engine roared as the car charged forward toward the Thief. The son of a bitch was going to hit the thing with my car. That got me moving as I could only see that tactic ending in disaster. I ran to the van as quick as I could and left Sara with the bags in the front seat. As I turned to get JD, I watched as my car slammed into the Thief at maybe 25 mph. I watched as the front of the car crumpled even through the engine block. I watched as our Stalker didn't so much as flinch, watched as Kal was jostled around inside the pancaking car but that thing... The wreck didn't even phaze it. It snaked its tentacles around the car as the driver door opened and Kal flopped out. He had blood streaming from his forehead and was trying to crawl toward me. I called to JD to help me and, given a purpose after having seen such a spectacle, he seemed to forget his grief and responded immediately. As my car was crushed in the embrace of the Thief, I saw JD and Kal safely into the back of the van. I got into the driver's seat and put it into gear. As the lake house faded out of sight down its long driveway, I heard a thundering boom - the same as when the door had exploded, but much, much louder.
That was two nights ago. We're now in Shreveport, Louisianna, just outside of Texas. I wasn't sure where else to head for that night, so I set my phone to take me to Austin, Texas. Kal's cut was nothing serious, but it looks like it might scar. JD hasn't said much. None of us have said much. And always in the rear view is our Stalker, taking everything away from us.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Bab's still hasn't shown up. She said she'd be here on Tuesday (or May 24th) but we've still yet to see any sign of her. Or here from her. I've tried calling, Kal tried calling, but all calls just rang and rang and rang... No voicemail, no ending. I left my phone on speaker for half an hour the last time I called just listening to that ring, haunting and repetitive. Kal's conversation with Damien about it didn't last long. I think Damien hung up on him.
Damien, if she doesn't show up.. I'm sorry, man. At the very least, we're perfectly set to wait here longer for her to show up. The rest is a godsend, but I think the best part of it all here is the showers. That out of everything has helped the most to lift the fugue off of our group here. Some of it at any rate.
I still can't help but feel that everything is falling apart. There's a deep, hollow ache inside me, patiently waiting to devour everything I know.
It's Ronnie. Or rather, her absence. I haven't had time to really get through all that happened on the day she was taken from me. But now, with all this time, with nowhere to go, with no abomination in sight, she is always in my thoughts. And with Babs being gone now too...
Our Stalker is a cruel thing. Loveless and cruel.
Monday, May 23, 2011
We made it to Georgia. You may have seen in Arkady's most recent post (as of now at any rate) that Setoth's Babs was headed there. After all the things that have been going on in Roanoke, especially our Stalker becoming a growing presence, Kal and I were able to persuade the others into coming with us. Even Charlie begrudgingly agreed to leave without too much coercion - and given the expression on his face as we packed up our things to set off, it seemed he was going to miss Virginia.
We're at a lake house that belongs to Babs's family, waiting for her to show up. When we talked on the phone yesterday, she said she'd be here sometime tomorrow and clued us in about where to find the spare key. It's nice here, if secluded. Thankfully whoever tends to the place keeps it well stocked. I guess people must drop by here out of the blue often enough for the family to pay for that kind of maintenance, but either way I'm certainly not going to question what little cause for celebration we may have thrown our way now and again.
Right now everyone is kind of just relaxing - though with what's hunting us everyone is still a little on edge. Even Charlie and Alexis seemed to share a moment of real intimacy for what must be the first time in months. I think we're all just glad to be out of our damned cars. We finally have room to stretch and lay down and just close our eyes. For now anyway. JD is looking better, which has let Thomas relax and open up more; he and Kal seem to be getting on well.
But not everything is good news. I mentioned in an earlier post that I saw Sara move on her own. I don't feel so great about it now as I did then. With the frequent encounters of the Slender kind, I began to notice a trend. I don't know how long this has been going on or when it started (or if it was always there and I just didn't notice), but I think Sara reacts physically to the Thief's presence. As if his energy or what-have-you holds some kind of sway over and, despite being completely blanked mentally, she still has some instinct regarding him. It makes me nervous, but perhaps it can be used to some kind of advantage... Possibly as a way to forewarn ourselves. I don't want to rely too much on this theory though. I fear that just like everything else I've come to rely on over the course of being hunted, it too will disappear and break beneath me. I don't think I can take many more falls.
I do have one last piece of nervous news. Like I said, we're secluded out here. And if what little research I've begun to do and what the rest of our little group of survivor's has said is true, all these fucking trees are bad news.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I had a dream. I was beneath the waves, rolling gently, dark and blue. Above me, a storm was brewing, the clouds growing black and angry, aggressively striving against the last rays of a setting sun. The wind was picking up and howling, foreshadowing the terror the waves would become. But deep below, in my santcuary, in this water, I was serene. I was calm. I was smiling. Nothing could touch me.
When I woke up, it was there. Not close, but there. Watching. Waiting to steal again. But it didn't matter. The weight of the dream still sat on my shoulders and nothing mattered. A flutter of movement jerked my gaze away from the Thief, and I saw Sara's arm settling back into place. I went to look back at our stalker but then... Holy shit, Sara moved. She moved on her own. She's always needed someone to guide her: into walking, eating, drinking, changing... everything. I've never seen her twitch. I looked into her eyes, hoping to see something there. But her face was still blank, empty of everything, her eyes dull and lifeless. I turned back to where I'd seen the Thief but nothing was there any longer.
JD is lucky. Charlie was able to get in touch with a friend of his - a doctor or a nurse or something - who was able to patch JD up well enough to keep him alive without us actually getting to a hospital. Beyond that though, Charlie has been showing even less warmth toward the group than usual. Ever since the attack, our follower has been with us, sometimes far off, sometimes close enough to throw a rock at. We've been on the move constantly. We're driving as I write this, Alexis and her crew leading the way simply because they've been in the area longer, but none of us really know where we're going. Kal is lost in his head, Thomas is worrying over JD who is growing angrier by the day and I've already talked about Charlie.
But Sara moved. I don't why, but maybe it's a sign that we're doing something right.
God damn it Henry how did you get me typing this up? I don’t want to fucking talk about this, it’s the very reason I haven’t been. I don’t care if you think I need to get it off my chest, I don’t care if you think the world wants to hear it. News flash Henry, nobody gives a damn about us. Nobody in the world cares about what happens to you and me and all the others except us. I can guarantee that nobody out there wants to hear me mope and whine about ending a man’s life. I sure as hell don’t want to anymore.
They don’t want to hear me lament the loss of my innocence or cry about how I went from pacifist to killer in a matter of seconds. They don’t want to hear me go into gory detail about the way I felt the crack of his skull reverberate up that stick of wood or describe the way the tiny bit of life he still possessed drained from his eyes as looked up at me. Nobody out there wants to hear my fucking sob story. Nobody except you. I know you’re trying to help but just let it go, I didn’t pester you to deal with your loss over the internet’s open forum. Please just let go. I’m so fucking tired of all of this.
I’ll be fine. I don’t regret it; I did what was necessary to keep JD alive. I just wish that fucker hadn’t died, that he possessed the same ungodly endurance that our dear Arkady goes on and on and on about. But you know? Despite everything, the sick feeling I wake up to every morning and this warm sting of panic that keeps invading my chest, despite it all I don’t regret it. If it was needed I’d kill him all over.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
It never stops. If I didn't think we were cursed already, I'd start thinking it now. I don't know how it all happened, I don't know how we were found, but we were and... I'd better start from the beginning on this one. The seven of us, Alexis and her group and then us, were just sitting in a parking structure, a different one than Kal talked about (we have to move about now and then to keep the police from ticketing or arresting us). I was finally starting to relax. I haven't seen that thing, the Thief, Slender Man, whatever you want call it, since we met up with Alexis. We've all been paranoid about it, that's another reason we're on the move so often, but none of us had seen him. Hell, even Charlie began to calm down; not that you'd notice if you'd never met him at all.
All good things come to an end though. Charlie and Alexis were talking in whispers - I think Kal called it pretty well on their relationship - Kal was talking with Thomas, JD was staring off into the streets below us and I was watching everyone with Sara next to me. Then we heard the footsteps. Running. More than one person. I didn't think too much of it except maybe some people in a hurry until I sawAlexis glance at Thomas and spring into action, inspiring Thomas to do so as well, Thomas getting JD into the van and Alexis starting the engine. I must have looked confused as Hell because Charlie, who was shaking his head at the whole affair while walking slowly to the car, spoke up:
"They're coming. I'd get in your car if I were you." The sneer on his face seemed to live in his very voice; his words dripped with contempt.
I looked at Kal who only shrugged, but headed for our car, so I got Sara in as well. With the engine started, we waited for Alexis to back out so we could follow her. Right as her reverse lights came on, I saw JD run from around the van, an angry look on his face, as if his entire body was full of hate for whatever was coming toward us. He carried a crude makeshift spear in his hands and seemed to be trembling - with anger, yes, but I think there was some hint of fear, lonliness, desperation in his young eyes... Thomas appeared behind the boy and picked him up bodily, wrapping him up in his arms as one might a younger child, protectively, and carried him back to the van. When Alexis finally was able to get moving, we heard the screech of tires. In the parking garage, it was impossible to tell what direction it was coming from through all the echoes. Soon enough though, the car appeared coming from the bottom floor - from the exit - moving quickly and blocking the road.. I saw the van swerve in front of us and heard the squeal of its brakes, soon joined by the screech of our tires as Kal slammed his foot down hard. The van slammed into the other car regardless though and landed on its side, falling back toward Kal and I. For a moment, everything was silent except for the purr of engines and the light creak of metal. Then the footsteps came back and a small group of people began to swarm the van. There must have only been five of them at most, but it seemed a whole crowd with as sudden and quick as they moved. While I was watching, I heard Kal taking off his seatbelt and opening his door. I only registered what he was doing when I saw him running out in front of the car with a wooden stick in hand.
After a moment I decided to follow him, grabbing my knife from the glove compartment, before remembering Sara. I let Kal go to the van on his own while I stayed near the car - I couldn't leave her alone, no matter how the struggle sounded. I'd never been in a fight before and this thought flashed through my mind over and over as I looked nervously around the car until, suddenly, a fist caught me in the stomach and I went down, rolling a little away - we were on an incline. From the floor I watched Kal swing his stick at someone and I heard the flat sounds of fists and wood slamming into bodies, of shouts and grunts of pain and effort. I heard noise near me and saw one of the attackers, probably the one that punched me, clawing at the back door of my car. Sara.
I got to my feet quickly and charged. As I got close he turned toward me. He looked completely normal: brown hair, pale skin, jeans and a t-shirt except.. his eyes. They were sunken, haunted, as if he hadn't slept in far, far too long. And he was expressionless. Devoid of life. Just like Ronnie, the last time I saw her... An animal growl shocked me from my memories and he came toward me, recklessly. Not knowing quite what to do, I stabbed at him. I must have only nicked him as he howled but didn't seem incapacitated at all. He swung a punch and I caught it on my arm, near the shoulder - the arm went numb. Swearing and frightened, I threw myself into him. We went down together in a tangle of struggling limbs. I stabbed at him again and this time I felt the blade stick. I pushed it in to the hilt - six inches. In return, I caught an elbow to the face and he rolled away from me, taking the knife. I saw it, attached to his side like some failed extra limb - it must have been in an organ, a kidney or maybe the stomach. He didn't seem to mind and, leaking crimson, he came back at me. I scrambled to get to my feet, but he closed the gap between us too quickly and threw himself onto me, pinning me to the concrete. If we hadn't been on a slope like we were, he may have had me, but I was able to use the angle and gravity against him to push him off me, sending him rolling down to the van.
I got up and ran to the car - Sara was okay. God how horrible is it to think that her vegetable state is even close to okay.. I looked back down to where everyone else was. The sounds of fighting were dying down and I could hear someone wailing. It was painful to listen to. I caught sight of my attacker get to his feet - how he had the strength to rise I don't know. I shouted in warning and saw Thomas come from behind the overturned van with what looked like a butcher knife. Taking the man by surprise, Thomas punched him his cheek and then chopped into his neck until he fell to the floor, twitching. He then looked up at me, nodded grimly and disappeared back behind the van. I hurried to find Kal and saw maybe three people run off into the darkness. The car that had wrecked the van was gone too. I'm not sure when they left. Then I heard a shout, a quick scuffle followed by grunts and the clattering of wood on concrete. Finally Thomas, clearly: crying.
When I turned to look at him, he was bent over JD's shaking body. In one of the kid's hands was a crude spear, the tip covered in blood. About 10 feet away was a body, pooling blood, with Charlie rummaging through its clothing, muttering to himself. Alexis went to Thomas and pulled him to his feet, trying to calm him down while getting to him to move JD into the van. While they did, I saw a dark splotch on the front of JD's shirt. He wasn't dead, but... Kal's shirt was spattered with red, but he seemed fine, if winded. But the way he stared at the dead man, the one who'd attacked JD, it was like nothing else existed for him in that moment. Yet more blood dripped from one end of his stick. The bruises I'd gotten began to make themselves known as I heard Thomas's sobs begin to settle into a quiet rhythm of mourning over his bleeding brother, backed up by Alexis's gentle words.
That was earlier tonight. Somehow we got the van back onto its tires and the bodies inside it. All of us are bruised. All of us are exhausted. JD seems to have stabilized, for now. Charlie, angry as he is about breaking M's rules, at least let Alexis talk him into helping. The bleeding has stopped, but now Thomas and Charlie are having it out over whether or not to go to a hospital. I can sense things falling apart here.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
There are four of them; Alexis, Charlie, and the Brothers. I don’t really know all that much about them besides the fact they’re what you’d call runners, and that now it seems we are too. We’ve only known them for a few days... we met Alexis first. Encountered her in the restaurant where we were celebrating, see we’d just finally arrived. We’d driven on out to Roanoke because, well if we do end up disappearing from the face of the Earth I figure Roanoke is a pretty fitting place for it. Anyhow, it was the end of our big long and basically pointless journey and we’d squandered a lot of cash on hotels and gasoline along the way, had to pick up a bunch of other random shit like extra changes of clothes too. I didn’t really think about what I was grabbing when we rushed from the apartment and as a result we didn’t have much besides a small pile of dirty clothes and various electronics that are all but useless when you’re on a cross country trip with no real concrete destination. Celebrating probably wasn’t our best idea, but it felt damn well deserved after so much driving.
Between our tired and wore appearances, Henry’s jumpiness, and Sara’s peculiar state I’m not amazed we drew her attention. It’s actually pretty funny looking back; we were so surprised to have this cute blond girl make her way to our table from her nearby barstool. And then when she started to ask us questions and tell us about her own experience, when we saw an all too familiar symbol stitched into her sleeve… well what the hell were the chances of that?
We were cautious, skeptical even, but eventually decided to meet them. Henry and I just can’t do this alone… I mean he’s still not quite stable and taking care of a basically comatose 7 year old girl would be hard enough without having to protect her too. You know on our way down here I woke up one morning to long black vines trying to worm their way in through the car’s doors and windshield? Hell of a thing to wake up to, that. Threw the car in reverse and sped off as quick as I could. There have been other instances like that too, so yeah we went and met them.
She led us out of the restaurant and into a parking structure a few blocks away to meet the others. We found them two levels down and tucked into a corner, a pair of boys sitting in the back of a dirty minivan. They were the brothers, Thomas and JD. Thomas, the older brother sat with the tailgate open and his legs hanging over the side. From one ear dangled a pair of headphones which seemed to occupy him at least slightly, but you could tell from his posture that he was on guard for something. He noticed us quickly and stood up from the open lift gate making his way to greet us. In the vehicle still was his younger brother JD, staring intently at his PSP with an aluminum bat close by his side. JD looked much younger than his brother, and was much less interested in our intrusion into their little lair. Thomas was nice enough, he got up and introduced himself, but all the while something felt off. This wasn’t just a friendly meeting, he was definitely scoping us out… it was his eyes, they were suspicious even if his tone welcoming. But all the same we stood and talked while Alexis went up to find Charlie, the last member of their little gang.
Charlie was… well the idea of adding more people to their group didn’t sit well with him. Charlie is easily not the most social individual I’ve ever met, nor is he the most understanding. He seems to have a concept of how things should go and when things don’t go that way he doesn’t respond well. And this, so far as I can tell, is why he tends to spend his time up on the third level and higher. Why his and to some degree Alexis’ clothes are adorned with operator signs, and why he was apparently already unhappy with the size of their group before the three us showed up. He idolizes M, takes his every word as fact and ignores any evidence contrary to what he’s read. The only person who can reason with him seems to be Alexis. Unlike the others I don’t know much of his story besides the fact that he knew Alexis before all this. The way they interact I’d have to guess they dated before or maybe still are, but whatever the extent of their relationship was, it’s now very obviously strained.
Alexis herself is much more pleasant to be around, though a lot of the time she’ll be trying to get Charlie to socialize with everyone and so we don’t see that much of her. She’s always trying to bring him down from the 3rd level where he compulsively resides, doesn’t like him there all alone. She’s approachable and seems to enjoy talking, and is a nice girl if a little blunt. I talk with her about old tv shows on occasion but uhh… well when she’s not off dealing with Charlie she’ll be off finding a drink somewhere so our conversations are rather infrequent.
And then there are the brothers Thomas and JD who I mentioned before. Thomas is a nice kid, he’s only 17 despite all appearances, and his brother’s 12, but… but I can relate to him. He just wants to keep his brother safe. I’ve been talking with him a lot since Henry and I fell in with their little group, we generally talk about just how fucked up all this is, about how we all got involved in this, why we’re running, what we’ve seen done and experienced. They lost their mom to this shit, happened right in front of JD, left him pretty fucked up for a while. But now… well Thomas is just concerned for his brother and that’s something I can easily understand. He’s got fucking awful taste in music though.
As for JD, well he’s hard to approach. He doesn’t want to be around all these people, just plays his PSP and ignores you if you try to talk with him. I’ve tried engaging about games and books and television and just about anything else but no dice. Whatever, maybe he’ll be more communicative in time, or maybe not, either way he’s still less hostile then Charlie.
Oh and more good news. As you’ve no doubt noticed Damien and Arkady are both alive and well. I can really honestly say that that’s one weight on my conscience I’m glad to be rid of.
Hopefully distancing myself from them will help them stay safe.
Friday, April 15, 2011
The history won’t be erased
As long as I’m inside this place;
It’s finally time for me to face
The hole inside, that gaping space.
The hole inside, that gaping space.
It aches for filling, screams for substance –
But substance is something that I have lost
Here in the frost of this forest
In which I am tortured.
The snow is melting now,
Though the rays of sun still refuse to show
And the drip-drop patters of lazy melt
Soak into my clothing – so I’ve been dealt.
Bruised and cracked and cast aside,
Content enough to keep awake
But hardly conscious of the constant
Whip-smacks so acclimated have I been made,
The humid heat of the dripping sunless night
Intrudes upon my realization,
My renewed sensation in hands, in feet, in face, in toes.
Smearing sweat across my brow,
I stand and stare into the sky,
See the stars run away to hide
From my self-righteous reawake’ning:
I assure you, I’m not faking!
I will leave the planet quaking!
And then, docile once again,
I just sit back and think to then,
Shaking in my sallow skin,
Afraid to wake, afraid to move.
She's gone. And I.. I didn't do anything. I just let her leave into the arms of that fucking thing and now she is gone. I killed her. I killed Ronnie. This last week or so has been one long roller coaster of ever-shifting emotion, now angry, now depressed, now scared. Angry at the abomination who stole Ronnie from me, angry at my own incompetence. Depressed, saddled with this emptiness, hopelessness. Scared of every shadow, every flap or flutter of darkness. My dreams are haunted by her face, dead and soulless, grey with the apathy of lifelessness. Her mouth opens, face still slack, body wrapped in the arms of that thief, and she forms the word "traitor" over and over until it becomes written across my vision in her crimson blood. A few times I thought I'd maybe crawled out of this delirium only to fall back into mindless haunting, consumed by paranoia, consumed by myself. I woke up today.
I'm not entirely sure where we are. I can't say that I mind that too much - the last place I want to be is back anywhere near that apartment... Kal is asleep on a bed not too far from me. The girl is lying on the other bed in the room. I guess a hotel room. From what Kal written, we've come far. I don't remember most of it. There are flashes of memory - Kal, angry at the absence of Damien; leaving Austin; the girl, Sara, staring into me with her vacant eyes - but the last thing I remember with any clarity is Ronnie, the moment she died. That image is carved into my eyelids. I cannot escape it.
But Sara is still with us, vegetative as she is. Sara is our symbol of defiance against this bastard thing, this monster and accident of horror. If we can keep her safe... If I can keep her safe... Then maybe I can be forgiven.
I think it's my turn to drive next.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Ugg. I’m exhausted.
Driving long distances isn’t fun. Driving long distances in a strange car occupied by a newly paranoid friend and a nearly comatose kidnapped girl, avoiding an otherworldly monster that can appear wherever the fuck it wants and coping with the fact that you may well have killed your best friend is somewhat worse.
Jesus, what was that? Like a week ago?
Damien and his buddy, that Arkady fellow, called us up during that whole… that whole Ars Goetia fiasco. They said something about a plan, that they were going to go and do Damien’s dumbfuck summoning bullshit again, that they were going to pull it away from us. Well, actually Damien said this while Arkady seemed to throw a goddam party in the background. I told him no, that he’d done enough helping me get Sara back, that we could get out of this ourselves, that Henry had enough in him for the one last push we needed. It seems though that they were already moving.
It just vanished.
I fucking cursed him. He always had to go and do things his way, never listened. We took advantage of the opportunity of course, no sense not to. I ran into our rooms, threw some shit into a bag, grabbed Hank’s keys and pulled both him and Sara out the door. Raced down to the parking garage, got into the car, ignored Henry’s half hearted protests and just started driving.
We didn’t have a destination besides as far away from the room as possible. I just drove furiously dialing Damien’s number over and over. I got a hold of him eventually; right cursed the bastard out too. I calmed down though, told him what all had happened, how it just sorta vanished from us, thanked him, and threatened to kill him myself if he ever tried to pull that shit again for me.
And then we just kept driving. I looked over and Henry was passed out, he slept for like an entire day, by the time he woke up we were nearly out of Illinois. And I was fucking exhausted, Henry had no clue where we were or what was going on, and I was too damn tired to bother explaining. I pulled into a hotel and paid for a room. And then I just slept.
Henry just thought he saw something. He’s a fucking wreck. Jumping at shadows, at everything really, he’s imagining our shadow everywhere… he can feel its nonexistent eyes on him. Night, day, doesn’t matter, if something moves in his peripheral vision or there happens to be a figure some distance off I can guarantee to you he’s going to flip out one way or the other. Hell, it would be kinda funny if you know… if it wasn’t so fucking terribly unfunny.
Anyhow, back to what I was saying.
We settled into the room, I took a well deserved sleep and woke up to Henry yelling about Arkady.
You all know what’s going on with Arkady better than I do; hell even now I don’t know much about this Labyrinth or whatever the hell it is. But Henry, during my slumber, got the internet in our room set up and started looking at the blogs and so I was awoken by news of what had befallen my friend’s bloodthirsty associate. And then news that Damien hadn’t posted anything all.
Tried calling him, tried Facebook, Skype, no new comments on this blog or any of the others he follows, nothing on his or any of his friends’ walls. Nothing. He was just gone. Is gone.
I gathered up all our stuff, threw it back in the car, and then we set off for Texas. If he was in trouble, in trouble for helping me… well I couldn’t just sit around. We stopped at a gas station to refuel and buy a US mapbook, and then… well then I started our journey to St. Edwards. It was a long trip, took a day and a half; we didn’t stay at a hotel again, instead we spent the night in the car. The trip was peaceful though thankfully, free from Slenderattacks and the meddling of masked strangers.
We tried his apartment first of course; it is where he’s been living after all, went right up to his door and knocked, though maybe it wasn’t the best idea. No answer. Then we tried the offices where he works at the school; he hadn’t shown up for a couple weeks. I tried his parent’s house… nothing. He’d completely disappeared.
I went back to his place and threw a fucking brick through his window.
I climbed inside and looked around. Place was a goddamn mess. There were sigils tacked all over the walls, there were papers thrown everywhere, and now thanks to me there was glass strewn across the carpet. The papers, they were covered in scribblings; symbols, glyphs, research, random notes on behavior and analyses of what we all had experienced. In the corner was a stained mattress and bundle of sheets along with a laptop and busted up sword, almost certainly Arkady's accomadations. It was weird to see the place such a mess, though not nearly as weird as seeing Damien's alcohol just sitting out.
I leafed through the papers, looking for really anything that he may have left behind, a note, a plan, anything really. Grabbed their computers to look through them as well; Damien’s wasn’t protected, though Arkady’s was. I looked through his history, read all the most recent posts of the other blogs he follows, really just looking for anything that might tell me where he vanished to. I looked through Word documents, really just anything that had recently been written, read, or used. I looked at his blog one last time as precaution, just to make sure you know? Nothing. I pushed his computer to the side and grabbed Arkady’s. If I knew anything about Russian literature I probably would have actually made an attempt or two at cracking his password, but sadly I don’t. Instead I booted it up in safe mode… luckily, just like everyone else on the planet; Arkady didn’t bother to password his Administrator account. I looked through his history too, and his documents and everything else. He didn’t have anything of interest either, though it seems that his most recent post wasn’t written from his laptop unless he went and deleted his history for some reason.
Then I realized that between busting up the window and asking around about Damien that the police would probably show up around here at some point. I’ve killed so many people already; I wasn’t going be responsible for getting anyone else involved in this shit.
I mean what am I at now? That one kid’s dead, so is Ronnie and probably Damien, Henry is infected along with god know who else. I wasn’t going to let my actions maybe lead so poor unfortunate police officer and his friends and family into this shit too. I don’t know when Arkady’s coming back if he or if he ever is, and even if he does… well I doubt he gives a damn about what happens to anyone but himself. So yeah.
I pulled out the laptops again, deleted their histories, unbookmarked anything I saw that was related to this whole mess, gathered up all the stray papers and headed back to the car. Hopefully I didn’t miss anything.
Anyhow that was a few days ago. I’m sorta just driving at random now, we’re in Georgia at the moment but I think I’m gonna head up towards Virginia. I was born there so it should be at least somewhat nostalgic, on top of that I don’t know a damn soul for close to 600 miles from it so it should be a decent place to hide out while keeping family and friends save.
If we can get there it’s one less thing to worry about. I’ll only have to concern myself with helping Henry adjust, figuring out what to do with Sara, managing our small supply of money, and of course dodging our constant shadow.