Saturday, December 25, 2010


Right. Sorry about last night's post, but between calling Violet and my family wanting to be all mushy and together (for once), I didn't have much down time.

Now that it's Christmas and all the gift-giving is over (full account of the awesome stuff I got later), I have a few minutes to get this down.

My brother and his family came up to my mother's place in the city to visit for Christmas (every year, we have Christmas Eve-as-Christmas down there, and then real Christmas at my dad's). As well as them, my mom's friend Donnie came over with his dog, Ziggy, who is totally in love with my mom's dog, Phoenix. It was pretty joyous, albeit cramped with all those people and the dogs in the little rowhouse. Around the middle of the day, we decided to take the dogs and bundle up the kids and go down to the park near Donnie's house to play.

We weren't the only ones with the idea; there were a couple of other families there, and we shared holiday pleasantries and the kids played together while we ate the bit of transportable food we brought with us. I'd already asked Desmond about Kayleigh, and he said that he hadn't noticed anything suspicious, but I still managed to ask her about it, in a roundabout way -- asking whether she'd made any new friends, been drawing any different pictures, that sort of thing -- and, thank God, she came up clear.

I almost had my guard down when that feeling crept back up on me.

"What's wrong, Aunt Celie?" I heard vaguely from one of the kids -- was it Ashton? -- as I stumbled back a little.

"I'm fine, sweetheart," I managed to choke out.

I looked around, trying to spot him. I did -- he was under a tree in the middle of the park, near a fence containing a small baseball diamond. At first, I nearly panicked, thinking he was after one of Des's kids, but then I realized that he had his eye -- you know, metaphorically speaking -- on one of the others there, a little boy about ten. I saw the kid see him, and start walking over. He was a fish on the line.

I told the family I'd be right back, and then started walking over as well. No way was I just going to let this slide like before, when I was at work; had I forfeited the kids in the SUV to him? I couldn't let the question rise with this one.

Neither kid nor Man noticed me at first. I had to do something, but what? The little boy was getting closer...I didn't have much time --


I didn't even think about it, didn't even know which one it was directed to, but in a way, it worked. He looked at me, breaking his concentration on the boy. The kid blinked a few times, screamed, and ran back to his parents. As for him -- he just looked at me.

For a good long while, we stood like that. He was angry -- I could feel it in the air, a sudden tensing that made it hard to move or even breathe. Even though he was standing still, he looked like he was moving; he looked amorphous, as though the surface of him itself were a live thing. For a minute, I felt the mix of comfort and terror that the boy had just known.

I'm not afraid of you, I forced myself to think. It wasn't true. But hey, fake it till you make it, right? So I repeated it in my head, directed right toward him. I'm not afraid of you. I'm not afraid of you.

He was gone before I realized what had happened, disappeared in the same way he'd done before, in that same manner that made me unsure whether or not he was even there in the first place.

"Celie?" my mother called. I walked back to them. I looked at the family of the boy; he was still crying, and they were packing up to leave.

The rest of the day passed slowly. I tried my best to act as though nothing had happened, but I think they sensed something was wrong.

Desmond and the family accompanied us back up to our dad's, since my mom didn't have space for all of them.

This raises questions, and only answers some of them. Did Zero's plan work? Not completely. But I think it did enough. I think he may be weaker; how else could I be able to fend him off of that boy?

Or maybe it's not because of them at all. I'm starting to think that maybe I am the Witness. I'm still not convinced, but I was thinking about what you said, Baibre -- and then that made me think of the day we found Mary-Ann Compton in the woods. I caught her as she fell (I still have scars on my arm), I was an active participant, but I still had to fill out a witness report. A witness is not necessarily passive. It makes me feel a little more confident about the whole thing. But like I said, I'm still unsure.

Either way, the fact that he's weakened is a very good thing. It could be that the very thing that's strengthened him -- the information age -- is the very same thing that could kill him. The more people who know about him, the more people can fight him. If he is alive, he can die. Good on you, Zero and Nightcrawler. You guys broke the seal. Now we're gonna break the door wide open.

Merry Christmas, guys. I think it's gonna be a hell of a New Year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Something's happened. Something big. Baibre, I think you were right.

And I think Zero's plan worked -- not fully, but enough.

I'll be back on later or tomorrow to post what happened, but first, I'm calling Violet. I can't risk telling anyone before her, not after last time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


You know what tomorrow/today is, internet? My birthday. As of a half an hour ago, I'm nineteen.

And you know what my first present has been?

Violet and I haven't seen him even once over the weekend, and we spent most of our time together. She's laughing again. She said that she and Riley made up, for the most part.

At the risk of jinxing it...well, I just have a good feeling. Like something big is going to happen. Not bad big, but good big. Maybe now that Violet and I (after a bit of celebrating -- it is Christmas and my birthday this week, after all) are getting down to business, we'll start getting more pieces of the puzzle.

I'll discuss comments on my last post at a later time. For now...well, I think I speak for both Violet and myself when I say: We're enjoying the little things. Like peach schnapps, clove cigarettes and turning nineteen.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

End of Semester

Today, we had our first big snow. Naturally, I had to be out on assignment when it got into full swing, so I got to navigate my poor Jeep through idiots in traffic and up my unplowed road and driveway (I hate living in the middle of nowhere. So much, and in so many ways.).

But that's not the real news. The real news is that the semester at MICA ends tomorrow, and Violet is coming home. I guess that's when we'll find out her choice as to whether to leave or not, although she has promised me that she'll stay at least until Christmas either way. I'm reasonably assured that she's staying; if she wasn't, she would've told Riley, and he would've told me. I think. I hope.

And I haven't seen him since my last post. I just thought I'd let inquiring minds know, I suppose.

In other news, it's happened again that a few comments caught my eye this time around, and I'd like to give my input.

First things first: Anon suggested that I may have become perceptive enough to see him without him being after me. Then Baibre said that I could be the Witness that was referenced in Rose's ramblings and her note. The second Anon seemed also willing to support this theory.

The idea that I'm the Witness...well, honestly, it seems like a plausible theory, but I'm not going to buy into it just yet. It's fully possible that there's a side of this we're not seeing yet. I may be a journalist, but I hate the idea that I have to watch from the outside and I'm helpless to do anything. But...well, as you'll see below, it's a lot easier to swallow than the alternative.

Zeke...I know, I know, I know exactly how abnormal this is for him. I've read your experience, I've read half a dozen others. I've never read a single thing about him ever just leaving someone alone when that someone could see him. I don't understand. I hate it. There is no definitive reference; there are only accounts of what's happened to people, and everybody has a different story. Every time somebody thinks they've scored a goal, he changes the game. Maybe this is just another trick he's always had up his sleeve.

Which brings me to Neena and Kite. Like you said, maybe he is just toying with me. It wouldn't be the first time he's played mind games.

As for what you two suggest about working for Just no. I refuse to consider it. I can't. I just...I wouldn't be able to handle it. I'll keep it as an explanation of last resort, but...Yeah, no.

So, readers, there you are. Today's post was short, and I apologize, but odds are that with Violet here, longer posts are bound to show up. Tomorrow I'm going Christmas shopping with Nikki and Milo; hopefully, it'll be almost normal.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Have I got News for You Guys.

I saw him. Today.

Before you panic and reach for the nearest weapon (looking at you, Zeke), let me explain. You guys will shit when you hear this.

He wasn't looking at me.

I was working at Wawa today (gotta make money for Christmas shopping, which, despite my normal dislike of it, is proving to be a comfortingly normal experience) when it happened. Around noon, I started feeling it again -- the same feeling I described to you guys before, the one from my dreams. The feeling like things had just plummeted right into the Uncanny Valley. I looked around the store, and then out at the fuel court.

He was standing just off the parking lot on the right hand side of the property, on the grass next to a tree. I saw him at a sort of three-quarter view, which is how I knew he wasn't focused on me. He was looking at a dark green SUV parked at pump four. My heart started to race. Squinting a little, I could make out the silhouettes of two kids in the backseat, play-fighting with each other. I felt like I was going to be sick.

I didn't know what to do. Should I help them? Even if I tried, could I? I was thirty seconds into weighing my options when he vanished. He disappeared, just like he did that fateful night.

The feeling stopped, but the nausea and the feeling like I was on the verge of bursting into tears certainly stuck around. I made an excuse to my manager ("I think I'm getting a cold, I probably shouldn't be up at register, I'll freak out the customers") and had him move me to coffee, all the way at the back of the store. Before I went back, I turned to Jordan, one of the girls who works with me.

"Did you see that?" I asked her.

"See what?" she said. "You staring like a loony and ignoring the lady at your register? Yeah."

She laughed. I didn't.

"No, you didn't see over there?" I pointed at the place he'd been standing.

"I see a tree over there." She shrugged and laughed again. I think she was humoring me.

I think I speak for all parties involved when I say:

What the royal fuck is going on with me?

I've read accounts of Slender Man. I researched this like only journalists know how to research. I've gotten as much information as I can stand. He watches his victims for weeks -- possibly months. He goes after kids. He shows up on camera, but other than that, he's invisible to normals.

Let me say that again, a little clearer: only his victims should be able to see him.

Does that mean he's coming after me? Does it mean I need to start watching my every move more closely? I'm hypervigilant as is -- I've caught myself checking for exits whenever I enter a room. When I got home today, I closed my curtains, curled up under my bed, and clutched my rosary. I stayed like that for hours.

Even if he will eventually come after me, should I have seen him going after somebody else? Violet hadn't seen him before he took Rose. If I just knew what this meant, I wouldn't be so freaked out. I'm calling Violet.

And I'll be keeping my eye out from now on.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Comments & Mushy Stuff

It's been over a week since I last posted, and that's pretty much my fault. Sometimes it gets really hard for me to even convince myself to get up and do stuff anymore. But enough about my wangst.

My last post got a bunch of comments, and some of them were making suggestions and saying other fun and exciting things. I didn't want to make a huge comment in response (Don't comments have character limits? Oh, who cares?), so I figured I'd dedicate some of this post to going down the list.

Zeke Strahm said...
I'd recommend some music for you, but I never really broke out of that So-Cal punk faze...I still stand by what I always told Lizzie, that that was the only music category that still put out some halfway decent music.

Nightmares...just another thing you live with in this line of existance. Bad part about it is, you get used to them. Good part is they eventually get less painful over time because of it.

I've never really been into the So-Cal stuff, myself. But the nightmares are more troubling. I'm already used to normal ones, but it's the fact that this feeling keeps cropping up randomly, in places it shouldn't be.
Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and I have a few theories.

Granted my experience is with a different paranormal stalker I tend to call "Big Bad" but I think it works the same as SM.

The only resource you have to your disposal is the notebook. I would suggest starting there. It could hold invaluable information and clues.

A good protection spell I've learned to fight BB is to visualize yourself in a bubble. It sounds dumb but it's kept BB just out of reaching me more times than not.

Another way is to find a silver trinket, something that calls to you. Soak it in salt water, during a full moon would be best. Though you might have access to real holy water and that would work better than the salt water. Keep it on your person and it will protect you.

The key is that you need to believe for this to work to it's fullest.

Protect yourself and read the notebook.

Anon 1, you bring up some interesting ideas. I'm sorry to hear about your "Big Bad" (Way to be a dedicated troper, by the way. High five.); it looks like I'm finding more and more people in the same boat as I am, and I don't know about you, but it makes me feel a little warm-fuzzier to know that Vi and I aren't alone.

I know that the notebook is important somehow. I can feel it. But you guys have to understand...every time I even get close to that thing, every alarm in my head starts blaring. I feel that wrong feeling again, and I think about Logan Renault and what could happen if I saw the evidence of my best friend slowly losing a battle with our friend the Operator. Maybe I am supposed to look in it -- but I can't. Not yet, anyway. You guys have been so amazing...I just need you to be patient with this one.

I won't lie to you, Anon 1 -- Allie and I had a good giggle over your Bubble Method, and if Vi had been speaking to me at the time, I'm sure she would have as well. Be that as it may, it does sound promising. I'll share it with Vi and make sure she applies it as well as her Constant (yes, despite some evidence against it she's still carrying around that pen. She's made it into a necklace, actually).

I don't know about silver, but the rosary that Father Kelly gave me certainly calls to me at this point. Ever since I decided that it would be my Constant in the event that I suddenly find my world even more Slender than it is now, I've been keeping it on me, and I've gotten into the habit of sometimes playing with it when I'm bored or alone. As for soaking it in anything, I don't know about that, since it would probably weaken the string holding the beads together. Besides, it's a fucking rosary -- a saint medal and a crucifix and prayer beads. I don't think it's gonna get much holier, bro.

UlrycZ said...

I offer not words of comfort, as I have none that I can offer at the moment. However, I do offer a.. a shoulder to cry on, I suppose. An ear to listen to you talk... That sort of thing.

Also, I agree with the person who does not reveal his identity. There might be something important in that notebook, though it might be wise to settle down some, as you well know that things have been stressful.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for what you have to go through. None of us can know what you are going through. I won't lie and say I know how you feel. But I can say that I'm here. I know I'm just a random stranger on the internet, but you can always unload on us.


Averyel said...

I'm here for you. I haven't lost anyone yet, and I might be soon losing myself, but I'd like to help as best I can.

I think of it as having cancer- you'd didn't ask for it, it's incredibly difficult to get rid of, and it's usually terminal.

Just keep fighting.

Anonymous said...

I can’t begin to imagine how it feels to loose someone to an evil entity, I know your mind is probably not in its healthiest state right now, but please try not to become swallowed in misery.

If I could be any help to you at all don’t hesitate to ask, I am always here for you to confide in.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, a million times each and a million times over. I'll be the first to admit that this week was hard -- harder than it has been yet. Every day, especially on those days when I felt like I couldn't bear it one second longer, I'd read the comments on the previous post, and I'd feel monumentally better. It's one thing for Father Kelly or Detective Goldman to give me comfort or support -- it's kind of their job, and it's not like they can get away from me (that sounds bad, but you know what I mean. They're kind of obligated). But you guys don't have to be here. This is the internet. You don't have to listen to me bitch and whine. But you do, and then you tell me you're still here for me. That is amazing. That is simply fucking astounding to me. You guys are my angels. Don't ever doubt you are.

And if any of you need support from me, I'm happy to give whatever I can. I'm not sure whether my email is anywhere around here -- it's celeste.mclachlan at gmail. Thanks, guys.

Kite said...

Have you tried listening to Vampire Weekend? I'm personally a fan, and their energetic music keeps spirits up.Or maybe you'd like some anarcho Folk Punk. Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains, and Wingnut Dishwasher's union are good bands too.

I haven't heard of any of those, but I'll give them a try. The name Vampire Weekend doesn't bring up the idea of fun, energetic music, but at this point, there are more important things not making sense. Thanks for the suggestions.
It's December 8th. Are you still there, Celie? Are you still with us?

Monday, November 29, 2010


You know what, internet? I'm starting to get really tired of this.

It's been seventy days since the Slender Man took my best friend and dropped an A-bomb on my pathetic teenage life. Since then, my other best friend has been stalked. And people have been hurt. People have died, and I've been helpless to stop it.

Everything reminds me of him. Of it. I look out of my window at the woods that surrounds our house and think about the old stories of him in Germany. I see a businessman and have to blink a few times to see his face properly. And music -- God, to think that I used to enjoy music! I do try. I try to listen to my iPod in the car on my way to work. I put it on "Shuffle" and I hit Play.

There's a place in the dark where the animals go
You can take off your skin in the cannibal glow --

I hit the "next" button.

There is someone
Walking behind you
Turn around, look at me --


Falling apart and all that I question,
Is this a dream, or is this my lesson?
Oh, he's under my skin
Just give me something to get rid of him --

There's a man goin' round takin' names
And he decides who to free and who to blame
Everybody won't be treated all the same --


I saw the sign
And it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign --


Just tell me how I got this far.
Just tell me why you're here and who you are
'Cause every time I look, you're never there
And every time I see, you're always there,
'Cause you're everywhere to me
And when I close my eyes, it's you I see
You're everything I know that makes me believe
I'm not alone, whoa,
I'm not alone --

Next, next, fucking next.

I've learned to drive in silence now.

And then there are the dreams. Here's the thing: I've had nightmares since I was a kid. I suffer from false awakenings -- that is, vivid dreams wherein I experience waking up, getting dressed, going about my day, etc...Only everything feels inherently, inexplicably wrong. People morph into strange things, like they just crawled out of the uncanny valley. These dreams have been with me since I even knew how to dream. Of course, recently they've been replaced with others. I've dreamt of the night he stood outside Rose's window more times than I can count. Even more recently, I've dreamt of the bodies in the woods. But I still felt that feeling of wrongness that was always with my false awakenings.

It wasn't until a few days ago that I realized that -- at least on the night I saw him -- I really did feel those feelings, awake and in real time. I didn't connect them to my dreams until that much longer afterward. I felt so stupid, but the dreams are such a part of me that it didn't even phase me. The more I think about it, the more certain I am that it was the exact feeling as in my dreams. But why?

It raises more questions than it could've possibly answered. I get exactly why the Slender Man feels wrong. It's because that's what he is to me -- he is wrong, the very concept of wrongness, personified; something so foreign to nature and morals and the laws of physics that no other word can describe him. My subconscious mind must have realized that before I did.

And speaking of dreams...last night, I had a dream that Rose and I were together again. I drove over to her house and had a nice dinner with her family. We talked about college, her in practice and me in theory. We discussed boys and she playfully scolded me for not flirting shamelessly with Detective Goldman; I told her I wasn't at the top of my game because I had stuff on my mind, and he probably thinks he's too old for me anyway so why bother. I told her about Angel's latest tirade. We went and saw the latest Harry Potter movie and made geeky references for the rest of the night. We did normal things, like we used to do, and -- God! -- weren't we just so fucking happy back then?

Then, suddenly, it was time for me to leave. She reached forward and hugged me. No sooner had she touched me than that feeling hit me full force. Wrong. Something -- or perhaps everything -- was horribly wrong. I awoke crying again.

Violet knows about the search party, and the bodies in the woods. She called me up yesterday and tore me a new one.

"MY LIFE!" she screamed. "My decision! Did you think I wouldn't find out?! Did you think I wouldn't get around to reading your fucking blog? Or that Riley wouldn't crack the minute I hinted that I knew?! Did you?!"

I didn't know what to say to that. I told her I was only thinking of her. She said I was only thinking of how I could best make it serve my own needs -- that is, getting her to stay. I suppose she's right.

We managed to work out getting Riley on the three-way and she bitched him out just as well, although she already had before she called me. After a long while, we were able to talk her down. We calmly put forth our reasoning. She eventually agreed to stick around, for now, although she made it perfectly clear that she was still royally pissed off at both of us.

I don't know what to do, guys. Sometimes I feel so goddamn wretched, it's like it hurts to breathe. The other day at Wawa, my manager told me to keep an eye on the fuel court (where we keep all the gas pumps) for any kind of suspicious activity. Instead of looking at the actual people, every hour or so I'd scan the horizon. Was I looking for him? It certainly feels like it. Whenever I walk into a room now, I check the windows. When I walk outside, I do a quick check to make sure I'm not being watched. And now Violet won't speak to me.

I know you told me not to lose hope, guys, and Detective Goldman and Father Kelly have said the same thing, and I'm trying -- you don't know how much your support means to me -- but it's so hard to see any turn at this crossroads that doesn't lead us right to him.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Search, Day 3 & Aftermath

I'm sorry I didn't post yesterday, although I said I would. Things have been utterly insane. I've been on the phone, working, giving statements, talking to all sorts of people all day. Everyone seems to think that nothing could possibly happen the way it really happen. But it did. I was there.

We found the bodies.

We found. The. Bodies.

I've come to hate the phrase.

Yesterday morning, I found out that shortly after Allie and I had left the police station, Mary-Ann Compton had been rushed to the hospital, suffering from hypothermia. What made this especially odd was that when we'd gotten her out of the woods, the paramedics had declared her (for lack of a better phrase) very cold, but able to be taken straight to the station. She'd kept getting colder, even in the warm station. Then, at the hospital, she kept getting colder. They were able to get her temperature up, and she's fine now, but for a while they weren't sure whether she'd survive.

This time, we set off at dawn -- others had to go to church or do other things with their families, so there were only about twenty of us -- and all made a beeline for the eastern edge of the forest just off Grier Nursery Road. We didn't have to look long. Once we got to the place where we'd found Mary-Ann Compton, we spread out, all keeping sight of each other, in a line, like a comb.

Before long, I realized that the leaves beneath my feet were crunching way too loudly. I looked down, and found that they looked blackened and brittle.

"Look at the trees," I heard Allie say beside me. "They look like something's singed them."

I looked up; they most certainly did. Black marks streaked them in some places, although none of them looked outwardly burned. Yet.

By the time they did, no one cared about how the trees looked anymore.

They were blackened and burned, the few remaining leaves stripped away. There was a thin layer of ash on the ground. It looked like a perfect circle where they'd been set on fire. Like someone needed to make their own clearing. The sunlight touched the ground through the bare, thinned branches for the first time in who knows how long.

The bodies, however, weren't burned. They didn't look like fire had touched them. Fire would've been too merciful a death. I heard Allie scream. Someone shouted, "Oh, my god!"

They were above us, far above us, in the trees. One of them, I saw, had branches impaling her arms and one of her legs -- they looked like they'd grown straight through her. The others, the four men, looked like they were somehow resting in the tree in such a way that they wouldn't fall.

All of them were cut open at the chest. Not torn, but cut in such a precise way, and then closed back up, although not tied with anything. Someone around us threw up. Someone else fainted. I couldn't do anything.

Most people left on their own with their respective chaperones. Detective Goldman came over and told us it was okay, the police have it under control now, and we can go, and he was sorry that we had to see this. Allie didn't have to be told twice; she started walking back with another Officer, automatically assuming that I'd follow. And I would have, if I'd been able to move. Detective Goldman touched my shoulder. Slowly, I was able to turn my head away from the bodies. Later, he told me that the look on my face scared him more than the crime scene. He helped me back to the car. Allie drove us down to the sheriff's office, where we and the others in the search party filled out witness statements.

It was textbook, readers -- fucking textbook, right down to the bags the examiners found their organs in when they took them down later in the day.

Today, Detective Goldman called me to see how I was doing. I told him I was fine -- as fine as I can be -- and he filled me in on some of the things they found, particularly about the fire. They have no idea what started it (a bolt of lightning is, so far, the logical prime suspect), but it looks like things happened like this:

Around the Tuesday before they were reported missing, the group of vengeful parents were somehow caught on the recieving end of a brush fire. Trapped, they climbed up into the trees (for some damn reason) and died of smoke inhalation (there is no evidence to support that as the cause of death, by the way). Mary-Ann somehow survived the fire, even after it caught on the trees and the surrounding brush. This is where things get a little more concrete, since from what tiny amount of information they've been able to get from (still catatonic) Mary-Ann, they know that she remained in that spot, probably in severe shock, for several days. With the bodies.

I don't think I can keep this from Violet much longer. She's been swamped with projects lately, and unable to read the blog, but she's bound to find out. My brain is just numb -- I can barely think of anything right now. We're going to lose. I can't even comprehend how we can end this in our favor. I just can't.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Search, Day 2

Okay. Day Two. I wish I could say it was as uneventful as yesterday.

Long story short, we found one. Alive.

Short story long:

We set out a half an hour earlier than we did yesterday, since we didn't have to listen to the whole rules speech again. This time, our group took the central eastern area. In a simply wonderful coincidence, that happens to be the area that I was talking about before -- you know, where the sunlight can't get through. We had the intersection of Rocks Chrome Hill all the way over to Grier Nursery Rd, although the area near
Grier Nursery is by far the worst.

I may not have been a hundred percent clear before when I said that we were going into Rocks. You see, Rocks State Park is actually pretty small (Maryland isn't exactly the biggest state ever). We bum locals use the word "Rocks" to refer to the area in and around the actual park. If it's adjacent to the Park and it looks exactly the same as it did when you were in the Park, odds are that we include it in the term "Rocks." I mention this because the area we were searching isn't technically inside the Park. Now that we've gotten that out of the way...

Our groups all remained the same, and after about two in the afternoon, ours split up just like it did yesterday, although we still remained in sight of each other. Detective Goldman was a bit more open than he was yesterday -- I have the feeling he's sort of shy, and he has a rather wry sense of humor -- and Allie was more than willing to chat with him and the others, so things weren't all doom and gloom.

Until five o'clock or so rolled around. Or maybe it was later -- twilight was gaining on us, and Detective Goldman was just saying that we should be heading back. I've always had pretty good night vision -- that is, when I'm wearing my glasses or have my contacts in, like I did today.

I saw her a few seconds before they did, and that was a few seconds before she saw us. She stood, shoulders hunched, hands twisted at odd angles like she couldn't relax them, about thirty yards from us. We stared at each other for a moment. She looked like she was trying desperately to say something that terror or some other horrid thing was holding in her.

Then she screamed. It was the second most godawful sound I've ever heard a human being make. I couldn't believe it came from such a small woman.

It snapped us out of it, for sure, and I immediately ran over to her, calling for Sheriff Thomson as I did (as if I thought he hadn't heard). I was the first to her. She collapsed as I came up to her, and I was barely able to catch her, although she was too heavy for me and I ended up sinking to my knees. She was crying. Her face was buried in my shoulder. Her hands were freezing and clawed as she clung to me.

It wasn't until Sheriff Thomson helped her up and started asking her if she knew where the others were that I recognized Mary-Ann Compton.

She couldn't say anything to any use in finding the others, so we headed back to the ranger's station as fast as we were able. She looked weak, like she hadn't eaten or slept in days. As soon as we got her back, she was wrapped in a blanket and given some hot tea to sip at. Detective Goldman took her back to the sheriff's office in town, and Sheriff Thomson stayed behind to do the head count. Everyone accounted for, we all departed.

Allie and I asked if we could go with the sheriff back to the office. He said that it was fine, but that we shouldn't expect to find out anything new, since she was so shaken. He was right; by the time we'd gotten there, Detective Goldman said she'd stopped crying, but was now completely catatonic. The sheriff went in to talk to her, but Allie and I were told to wait.

Neither of us could bring ourselves to go in and try to talk to her any more. We thanked them for letting us come, and then left. Like last night, we ended up at Allie's place, talking it over. Eventually, I came home. I took a long shower.

I can't get over the way she looked -- her clothes were torn, and her was like they were hooked into claws and she couldn't relax them. I have marks on my arm where she scratched it, trying to hold onto me as Sheriff Thomson helped her up...I'm trying not to look at them, but I keep running my hand over them when I'm not thinking about it.

Day Three tomorrow, and we're concentrating all our efforts on that dark corner near Grier Nursery. God help us...although, if Mary-Ann Compton's state is any indicator, they may need His help a lot more than we do.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Search, Day 1

Today was Day One with the search parties in Rocks State Park. In our group was Sheriff Thomson, Detective Michael Goldman, Craig, Lindsay and Kenny (two other freelancers), Allie, and myself. We all met at the ranger station at around 7:30 this morning, as the sun was coming up, and we spent the first half hour or so listening to Sheriff Thomson go over the rules. They were basic stuff: no wandering off alone, no heroics, and no staying out after dark. The plan was to all meet back at the ranger station at nightfall.

Honestly, I don't really have anything to report for today. We trudged around Rocks for the entire day in our groups. Eventually our group split into two again (although we were always within sight of each other), with Detective Goldman, Allie, and myself in one group and Sheriff Thomson, Craig, Kenny and Lindsay in the other.

I'd never really spoken to Detective Goldman before today, although I'd seen him around the station a lot. As it turns out, he was very nice, and infinitely patient with Allie and me whenever we tripped or had to slow down because of uneven footing. He had no problem with the terrain; he was a volunteer park ranger in his youth (although "youth" is a relative term, since he can't be more than twenty-six or twenty-seven), and he rock-climbs as a hobby. Most of this was learned through small talk either while we were out walking or later on.

Like I said, nothing was found today -- at least, nothing of consequence. At twilight, everyone met back at the ranger station for a head count, and after everyone was accounted for, we all left. Our group decided to stop at Lucia's, the restaurant down the road from me, for some coffee and something hot to eat -- today may have been clear, but it was bitter cold. After we finished up there, Allie and I went back to her place and talked for a while.

As I think I said once, Allie is one of those amazing friends that I don't really mention because I'm a bad person. In fact, she's one of the few outside friends who actually reads this blog (hi sweetie, by the way). She knows all about what's going on, what happened. We didn't mention it when we were out today; how could we? We'd be committed, or called liars.

We'll be going out again tomorrow. I'll be sure to keep alert, and try to keep myself and everybody else safe. It was good to read the comments on the last post; I don't think you guys even know how much your support means.

I'll be giving another full report tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Missing Persons

First, rant on.

I get that Craig feels slightly guilty for giving me the missing kids story which factored into Rose's disappearance. I get that he may think I'm still a little...delicate, despite the time that's passed. And I get that it happened while Vi was still in the hospital. But where in the fuck does he get the stones not to even tell me about this? Not to even hint that anything was wrong? When I could help, no less?!

Okay, rant off. Now for the facts.

Last Friday -- the day after Vi went into the hospital -- a missing persons report was filed with the police. Four men and two women (the wives of two of the men) went missing in Rocks State Park. Word has it that they geared up, headed out, and just never came back. Here's the kicker, internet: they were all parents of missing kids. All of them.

And nobody bothered to give me a heads-up.

As far as we can deduce, these parents (one of them is the same woman whom I encountered in the police station that day two months ago) came across some kind of lead that whoever kidnapped their children preferred to set up shop in deeply wooded areas or forests. They decided that Rocks was the most likely place for the sick bastard to hide out, and went on their own private search party. The report was filed by the wives of the two other men and the other couple, all of whom opted out of going.

I live next to Rocks State Park, internet. I have to drive either through or around it every day to get to work or go into town. How in God's name could I have missed this?

It's been nearly a week since the report was filed. A search party full of police and Rocks locals has been gathered and is heading out tomorrow. So far they have about ten groups, each with about five volunteers and a couple of chaperones from the sheriff's department or Bel Air PD. I've convinced (although "guilted" is a better word) Craig and a couple of the other freelancers to join a group with me; Sheriff Thomson and two detectives will be our chaperones. Depending on what we find, the search could take all weekend.

I'm a little scared, though. The thing about Rocks is that it's a total dead zone -- cell phones just don't work there. We'll be coordinating via walkie-talkies for the most part. But if somebody gets lost and doesn't have a walkie...I guess that's why they're asking for people who know the park. There are places in there where the canopy is so thick that sunlight can't get through; it'd be easy for somebody from outside the area to panic if they got cut off from the group. Especially if they think some child molester is creeping around.

I'm in limbo as to whether to tell Violet about this. On one hand, it could throw her into panic and steel her resolve to leave...but on the other, it could be just the wake-up call she needs to realize that this is serious and she can't just go playing around with it on her own, miles and miles away from support. Riley and I have been talking to her about it. We think we're nearing a breakthrough. We still have a couple of weeks till her finals. We may yet be able to convince her to stay.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It was still raining and foggy as hell when the hospital released Violet at around ten this morning. She sat in silence the entire way back to MICA (I drove). I could tell she was trying to keep a stoic, brave face, and she would have succeeded, had not the occasional little cough given her away.

She said she's done some thinking, and then warned me in advance that I wouldn't like what she was going to say.

She was right.

Violet explained to me that while she was in the hospital, at first she felt rather helpless, being confined to a bed as she was. Eventually, she realized that she'd been feeling that way ever since her ordeal started. She said that her parents, aging hippies they are, wouldn't have a problem with her borrowing the car and some money from her savings for a few weeks, maybe months. Lots of art students take time off, and she'd be leaving after finals.

She was halfway through saying it would only be for a semester when I realized that she was talking about going on the run. I started to argue, and naturally she argued back, saying that I objected only because I didn't want her so far away. And that's true, but there are so many more reasons that she needs to stick around.

Like the fact that her boyfriend can barely stand being an hour's drive away. Or the fact that if she gets stuck in a bad area, it won't be the Slender Man she'll have to worry about; it'll be rapists, drug dealers, and gangs. Or the question of how she'll explain this to her parents and all of our friends who are already worried sick about her. Vi's never been off the east coast -- what will she say? That her artistic tendencies forbid her from staying in her home state? That her near-death experience gave her a sudden craving to see the Pacific? She says that the plains are a better place because he likes forests (and in Maryland, it's nothing but forests). Okay, but what about the three hundred miles or so of pure Appalachian woodland before you even get to the Mississippi?

She accused me of being selfish and just wanting her here so that I can keep her on a tight leash. I'm selfish, I'll give her that. One look at this blog and anyone can see that I've been busy bitching and whining when it's my friends who are suffering.

But I don't care about me right now. I care about Violet. No amount of rhetoric or accusation can change the fact that this is a bad fucking idea.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Maybe I should start from the beginning.

The day before yesterday, I got a phone call from my little niece, Kayleigh. She wanted to check in, and said her daddy even had her call the operator to reach me so that she'd know how (Poor Des still thinks that's useful information). I told her that was great, and now that she had my number, she could call me anytime. Then Desmond got on the phone and we talked for a while and everything was rather nice. I told him how everybody was up here, and then he said that Kayleigh just remembered something she'd wanted to say.

"Aunt Celie, it's stormy where we live," she said.

"It's raining up here, too. We're not so far apart, see?" I said.

"Yeah, " she said. "I feel sad sometimes when it rains. But you shouldn't feel sad, Aunt Celie. The rain just means he's close by."

A jolt shot through my heart. She couldn't...he didn't...

"Who's close by, sweetie?"

"The Operator. He told me to tell you that when he helped me call you," she said. "He said he just wanted to be your friend, and didn't want to you feel sad. I said he should tell you himself, but he's shy."

"Oh." That was all I could say. My vocal chords were paralyzed.

"Are you there?"

"Yeah, honey, I'm here. I'm gonna let you go. Give the phone back to your dad for a few, okay? I love you."

"I love you, too, Aunt Celie. Bye."

The Desmond got back on the phone. I told him to talk to Kayleigh about talking to strangers.

Now, to the real matter at hand.

Yesterday, I'd been at work for about two hours when Riley rushed in. He came straight around, told me I had to come with him. I contested, and said I was working, and asked him whose blood he had on his shirt as I started to realize, with dread, that something horrible had happened. He said Violet was in the hospital. My manager was standing right there listening. He told me to go.

I came home just long enough to pick up a few things and write that last blog post, although I forgot my computer (sorry, guys). We made it down to the hospital in record time and went to see her, but the doctors said she couldn't take any visitors who weren't family just yet. Riley got upset, but I managed to calm him down. We waited for a long time.

Riley told me there that he'd been with her the night before. She'd been angry about something -- he noted she'd been moody since they'd fought last week -- when suddenly she looked past him out the window. Out of nowhere (that was his exact expression) she pulled a .22-caliber pistol, told him to get down, and fired. The window shattered, and she stood for a second before she screamed, bent over, and started coughing. Then came the blood. She kept coughing up huge amount of blood, all the way to the hospital. Riley told them he didn't know what was wrong -- which was more or less the truth.

The doctors gave us the scoop a few excrutiating hours later.

"She's stable," said the kind-faced woman in her forties who came to talk to us. "Are you sure you don't know what happened?"

We both said we didn't. What else could we say?

She proceeded to tell us that it was as though Violet's lung had been hit by something hard. Not her chest -- her lung. Left lung, to be precise. There was no outer bruising, no cracked, broken, or bruised ribs. It baffled them. From the outside, you would never have guessed anything was wrong. But she was bleeding inside her lung, and if it had been anywhere less noticable, she probably would have died, because no one would have seen enough to do anything.

We eventually got back to see her. She looked terrible. Skinnier than usual, with her big, brown eyes, and her hair coming back into brown because she hasn't bothered with dying it. She looked like a little doll in the hospital gown. Once her parents decided to give us a minute, we talked about what happened. She didn't have the energy to say much.

"Is it still raining?" she asked, her voice ragged and harsh.

I told her it was.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Violet is in the hospital. Details to come.

I don't think things are going as well as I thought they were going.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Simple Report #2 & a Few More Observations

Today, I thought I was doing so well. As always, I couldn't go an hour without thinking about Rose, but I managed to get through the first half of work without dwelling on Slender shit or Violet's situation. Then, during my smoke break, I caught myself drawing an Operator symbol with the ashes of my cigarette.

Two steps forward, one step back. Seems to be a recurring theme these days.

Violet and Riley had a fight yesterday. He's been pestering her day and night to make sure she's safe, checking in on what she's doing and where she's going. She says that at first it made her feel better, but now it makes her feel like he's less her boyfriend than her parole officer. I spoke to her today on the phone. I can't say how it's affecting her pen theory, but I can say that she had a wicked cough. I encouraged her to see things from his perspective, that he was only acting this way because he cared so much. Hopefully they'll be all good by the weekend.

Father Kelly called me today. I haven't really mentioned it, but since that night at the church, he's been a huge help to me. I've started going to church again, though I must admit that it's more out of a sense of reciprocity than anything; he's been such a comfort that I'm kind of obliged to go, even on the days when I'm not feeling very believery. Then again, I was always reluctant to believe anyway.

Which leads me to a rather crucial point (okay, not really, but I'm going there anyway; forced segue, for the win!). Father Kelly doesn't know all the details about what's going on; he'd probably have me committed if I told him about it, so I've stuck to making veiled metaphors like "personal demons" and other sorts of things. He pointed out to me that I've been referring to this "personal demon" so much that it sounds almost like I've forgotten there's a good side (that is, God, and other...stuff. He can be maddeningly vague sometimes.) to counter it.

And he's right. Sometimes it does get extremely difficult to remember that there's any good left in the world at all.

Maybe that could be a key step in fighting him -- Violet's Constant Theory may be an unwitting branch of a larger concept. The part that really makes her pen effective (at least, as far as she is concerned; perception is still an issue here) is that she recognizes that for all the evil that the Slender Man represents, perhaps the ultimate evil, is countered by her own personal ultimate good, Riley. The fact that she's fighting with Riley right now -- and the implications of her cough getting worse -- could be seen as proof of that theory.

And while we're doing all this theorizing, I keep waiting to see him around every corner. I've even started thinking about what I'll do if it happens. Father Kelly gave me a rosary a couple of days after that night at the church. He told me that the next time I felt lost, to think of it like a compass. I've chosen that as my Constant, should the need for it arise.

I figure it's probably a good idea to put my faith in God rather than in a guy, no matter what my doubts have been. After all, a man can fail. I can become disenchanted or disappointed with a man. Or he can die. God can be an ideal, and ideals tend not to lose their luster over time. At least, let's hope not.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Simple Report #1

I know I said on the Twitter that I'd post either Friday or Saturday, but stuff came up and I had to work. Also, there's the matter of editing up the video I took.

When I say editing the video, I don't mean I'm doctoring up everything to look like a tech-savvy douchebag. See, when I made a bit of an introduction on my little Flip camera, the batteries died in the middle of it. Then we went over to Violet's friend's dorm, and we ended up having a really long talk about how we're coping. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, since most of the other stuff is really boring), when I set my camera down on the table, my hand hit the little button. With the fresh batteries I'd just put in, my trusty handicam recorded over twenty minutes of us just talking before Vi noticed the light was on. Some of the stuff on there is really too personal to just post for all to see, but some of it is okay to show so I'm just cutting out bits that Vi would kill me for posting.

She's doing so well with this. Really, I'm pretty sure I'd be an utter trainwreck if it weren't for the fact that she has such a brave face. Also, the fact that we're able to make jokes about it is really helping both of us. Riley is worrying himself to death, of course -- Vi even says in the video that she has to call him every night or else -- but I don't blame him one bit, because I'm worried too. I'm so scared for her.

In the meantime...I don't even know how I feel. The other day after work, I sat in the Wawa parking lot for an hour and a half, smoking "just one more post-shift cigarette" after another, and another. At the time, I thought I was just being lazy and not wanting to make the forty-minute drive back home, but now I'm not so sure.

Was I waiting for him to show up? It certainly feels like it now.

Craig has taken me off the missing kids story because it's been two weeks without a single update, which means I'm back on the journalism scene again. He was scared to give me anything else because of what I'd been through, but didn't want to take me off the story, I think because he thought it'd be awkward or something. In his defense, I probably would've taken offense and ranted about how I could do my job professionally...a rant which would have undoubtedly proven my unprofessionalism.

Anyway, now he's made a habit of giving me only fluffy stories about breast cancer walks and Halloween attractions. Well, I guess it's better than nothing.

That video should be up within the week if I figure out how to use my stupid editing software. In the meantime, I'll try to keep you guys updated as best as I can, although I might not have too much to say. I'll title these little updatey posts with "Simple Report" so you know nothing bad has happened.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Concerning Creepers & the Art and Zen of Improvisation

I promised you guys I would try to make more posts about my life outside all this weird shit, and today, I have the perfect news to tell you in that regard.

Because today, dear readers, I lied. Yes, that's right. I used my superior acting skills to lie right out of my ass. Before you get preachy, hear me out -- this story is way too good for me to even try to make up.

Early this afternoon, after picking up my paycheck from work, I stopped in at Barnes & Noble (I go there often, mostly because they know me there and there's a Starbucks attached to it -- whoever realized the magnificent connection between books and coffee deserves a medal). Their sci-fi/fantasy section, where I spent most of my time, is right next to the magazines, and I had just sat down on one of the benches there to flip through a bit of the next Ursula LeGuin I had on my list when I suddenly felt that very distinctive feeling of the muscles behind my ears tensing. I've always thought that that was the animal in a person, trying to prick its ears up, although typically, I simply refer to it as "that creepy feeling you feel when you know you're being creeped on."

For one terrifying moment, I thought it was -- you know -- him. But when I looked up, I discovered something less scary, but with the potential to be much creepier.

He was tall and broad, and from the way he was standing, I knew that he had no business being in a bookstore, because this man was a hillbilly. Before you ask: no, I am not shitting you. We're close enough to the Appalachians here to have a few of our very own cowboy-hat-wearing, banjo-playing, huge-belt-buckle-having, stereotype-defining hyuh-hyuh-hyillbillies.

And this one was standing about four feet away from me, eyeing me very intently.

I waited a full three seconds of silence before I said, "Yes?"

He looked rather startled. "Excuse me, ma'am," he said.

There were three things wrong with that sentence. One: "Excuse me" is something you say to someone who hasn't noticed you yet. Two: I'm not a "ma'am," I'm a "miss." And third, I detected that he had a certain subtle twang that one could only ever achieve this far north by having a country music IV since birth.

"I was just wonderin' if maybe I could get your phone number," he asked, quite shyly, as I stifled my horror.

"I'm very flattered," I said, using my usual sweet decline, "but I just don't think so."

"Well, why not?" he said.

This comment began an exchange that lasted about five minutes wherein I discovered that the creepily persistent guy is not just a myth after all. The more I politely tried to get him to get the hell away from me, the less polite he became. He went from "It's just a cup of coffee" to "It's just drinks" to "It's just lunch" to "It's just a movie" to "It's just dinner." He used all fucking five, as though I'd accept one where I'd declined the other. What was my thought process supposed to be there? "Well, I wouldn't get drinks with you, but in a movie I don't have to see your face, so yeah, I guess so?"

In situations like these, I typically go with one of two solutions: either I have a boyfriend (I don't), or I'm a lesbian (I'm not). Today, I didn't really look like a lesbian (and with hillbillies, you kind of have to look the part, as they're not reknowned as an especially quick bunch), so I went with the former.

"I'm sure you're a really nice guy," I said, "but I just don't know how my boyfriend would feel about that."

"Well, why didn't you mention this boyfriend before?" he asked.

"You didn't ask."

He looked at me in contemplation for a moment. "You know, darlin', I'm not quite sure I believe you. What's this boyfriend's name?"

Oh, hell. Oh, hell. It took everything I had not to panic.

What I pulled off next was possibly the best, most comprehensive girl-lie I've ever achieved. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a display of H.P. Lovecraft works. My brain went from Lovecraft to Miskatonic U immediately, and besides that really old professor who led me through their open house that one time last year, the only person I've heard of lately that goes to Miskatonic is --

"His name is Dav. Dav Flamerock," I said. "He goes to school up in Massachusetts. It's kind of a long-distance thing, but we make it work." At the end here I shrugged a shoulder and smiled, the perfect picture of a girl completely in love with her (falsified and nonexistent) man.

"You know, I think you may be just humorin' me," he said.

I decided to take even more risk than I already did. Go big or go home with Cowboy Creeper under a tarp in his four-by-four, right? So I pulled out my phone.

"I could call him if you want me to. I don't think he has a class right now, so he's probably free to answer his phone," I said, flipping my phone open.

Now, I've never spoken to Dav Flamerock in my life, although I hear he was a great help in the Selby-Renault case. Obviously, I don't have his phone number just chilling in my contacts list. So I went with the next best thing -- I made the sentence above as long and rambling as I could to give myself time to change the name of my best gay friend Sebastien to "Dav," and hoped like hell that Seb could understand whatever cryptic code I could come up with for "I'm being creeped on! Help me!"

Luckily, it was at this point that Cowboy Creeper decided to back down. "No, no, that's all right," he said, looking downtrod.

Then he said, "I just wanted to really try my hardest to get to know you, 'cause you're kind of a heavy-set, thicker woman, and I like that in a woman."

And I closed my book.

The thing about me which I'm actually not so bummed about is that when I'm just chilling around, I tend to favor the "that thing thingy" sort of Buffy-speak, but when I'm angry, I'm damned eloquent. I quite enjoy that about myself. It makes up for my stupid-looking, tiny hands.

And I said:

"Listen. I get the feeling that you weren't burdened with an overabundance of education, but I'll give you a little tip: the next time you want to get to know a 'heavy-set, thicker woman,' make sure you don't refer to her as heavy-set or thicker. Now go purchase whatever right-wing propaganda you came in here for, drive away in the beaten pickup truck that is invariably parked outside, and -- this most importantly -- get the hell out of my sci-fi/fantasy section!"

And he walked away! I don't think I've ever felt quite so awesome in my life. The green-haired chick behind me gave me a slow clap.

Sometimes, I'm really thankful that the drama department at school had constant practice with imrov. I really am.

Later, I told Seb, and he marvelled that I could talk my way out of it. In a weird twist, he also got creeped on today by a guy at a single's mixer who kept pestering him about "having some fun." Brr. I get that I'm not the most attractive of the female species, but come on. Why is it that the only guys who ever ask me out are creepers? Not that I need a boyfriend now, mind you -- in fact, it's kind of the last thing on my mind, what with all this shit going on -- but still, in general it's rather annoying.

In other news, I haven't seen Violet yet to get a video of both of us, but I think it's a good idea so I may do one of just me to hold over until I see her in the next week or two. For now, I'm thinking it's off to bed.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

On Levity & the Nature of Coping Mechanisms

Okay, first let me just say that after reading the comments on my last post, I've come to the conclusion that even though Zeke didn't phrase it this way exactly, "in the name of Slender Man's wanking arm" is the best "in the name of" phrase I've discovered since "in the name of David Bowie's sainted left testicle."

I suppose that's inappropriate, though. I've been making jokes like that a lot lately -- just offhand remarks, black humor, poking light fun at our situation. I usually do it by myself or with Violet (who's been doing it just as much as I have), because when I do it around people, it gets pretty awkward. Last Monday and Tuesday, Vi and I were going at it like pros, like it wasn't even happening to us. We actually laughed at our own misfortune. Neither of us really knew why.

I've been thinking about it. Levity isn't exactly an admirable trait, and I'm much more serious here than I am elsewhere, but I can't help that when I'm uncomfortable, I try to make a joke. Laughter breaks tension, and sometimes, it even makes it hurt just a little bit less. Maybe I'm still hoping that Rose will turn up, that she'll have just run off somewhere and all the loose ends will be tied and we'll laugh looking back at it. Maybe I'm an idiot.

As far as serious situations go, this is probably somewhere near the "Awful Shit" end of the scale. But whether or not I cry myself to sleep evey night is nobody's business, because nobody sees that. But I can't very well cry everywhere I go, can I? How would I ever manage to type?

And I suppose there is a bigger reason why I try to laugh things off. I've always been of the belief that there are some things in this world so bad, so depressing, or so flat-out evil that they are prepared for and can take any amount of negative emotion one can throw at them. He's used to fear, to anger, to hatred, and to sorrow. We can't change that. And when you come across something like that, sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh at it. At the very least, you'll surprise it a little.

So maybe it's my subconscious weapon. Maybe it's my daft hope. Maybe Vi and I really do laugh to keep from crying. In any case, it works. I am feeling better than I was two weeks ago, although that's not saying a whole lot.

I'm going to try to make this blog a little lighter-hearted, because honestly, it's such a downer I shocked that you guys would even read it. I can't guarantee that it'll be any less depressing in the future because I (obviously) don't know what's going to happen, but I'm going to try. Some of my future posts will probably be forced attempts at discussing the non-Slender aspects of my life, which will undoubtedly be less depressing by sheer fact that they don't have him in them, but I think that's healthy.

I've also been thinking about taking some video of myself and Violet (and maybe our friend Allie; you know, the amazing one I haven't told you much about? Maybe I'll do a post about her.) and posting it here, somehow. I have one of those stupid little Flip cameras, and I haven't really gotten to use it much. I'm not sure whether this thing has a video function, or whether I'll have to go through the YouTube. What do you think, semi-nonexistent readers? Would you like to see some lovely faces, and my face too?

I feel okay today. I think I'm going to call Vi and see if I can't make her smile, too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I know I'm starting to get redundant with this, but sorry about not posting the last few days. In fact, to prevent further redundancy, let's just say that my posts may be farther spread out than they were before. So there, that's settled.

Having said that, I need to put forth some questions and observations. Good science is good observation, and good journalism is good questioning, and it's time to employ both. I'll list them first, and then explain each in turn.

First, a question: He hasn't been following me. Why?

Second, an observation: It is raining. Again.

Third, an observation: Despite what she may say, Violet appears to be using her Twitter account (@ViggityViolet, for those keeping up) to do little more than post her art and chat with me in a new, fun way, rather than actually update on what she's doing on an everyday basis. This annoys me.

Fourth, both an observation and a question: During our time together Monday and Tuesday, Vi described to me some of the "experimentation" that she and Riley have been trying. My question: is experimenting with something of this scope really a wise idea? Which raises the counter-question: when nothing else works, what the hell else can we do?

Fifth, another question: Is it possible that he could have a weakness if we believe he does?

Now for the explanations.

First. It's been two and a half weeks, and I haven't seen hide nor hair of him. I saw him that night -- so why am I not feeling any urges to write cryptic messages or draw stick figures? Why is my voice clear as a bell, without a trace of that distinctive cough? Violet says that it's for sure now, he's around, although he seems less aggressive than he was with Rose (although, given Rose's penchant for hiding her problems, he could've been around far longer than we knew he was). I'm still a little skeptical of the idea that he's following Vi at all, but rest assured I've learned my lesson and so we're erring on the side of caution. However, Violet says that he isn't always around, and when I talked to her, she was surprised to hear that I hadn't been seeing him as well, since she assumed that when he was gone, he was terrorizing me instead of her. But nothing has happened to me. So where is he going? And why hasn't he come after me?

Second: We're getting record rainfall all down the east coast for the past week and a half. This happened right after that freak fog I wrote about in a previous post. It's raining as I type this right now. Is it because he's around? Some of the legends say he's connected with floods, what with that "Can You See the Words" chick and the Biblical connotations of "totheark," the YouTube user who was screwing with Jay Whatshisface.

Third: We got the stupid Twitter accounts so that we could keep track of each other. Granted, I haven't been keeping up to date with mine as much as I'd like either, but I'm not the one with a fucking humanoid eldritch beastie following me, am I? So Vi, if you're reading this -- and I know you are -- you've got me (and Allie, and Brooks, and Ryan, and every goddamn body else) worried sick. Keep up with the damned Tweety.

Fourth: Naturally, when I was down with Vi, we talked a lot about what we're going to do now. Violet told me that she and Riley have been trying out some methods to keep themselves safe. The first she told me about was putting hidden Operator symbols in all the recent drawings that she's done. They're mostly invisible to anyone but her -- she showed me some, and it's serious Da Vinci Code-grade stuff we're talking here -- but she said that because she knows they're there, it gives her comfort (needless to say, Vi is a subscriber to the idea that because of the symbol's resemblance to an eye, it tricks him into thinking he's being watched, like a moth's false eyes; more on that in a moment). The second, I think, holds a little more water: Violet showed me a little trinket she had. It was a small pen, the kind that artists dip into ink to draw with; it was obviously very well-used and she even told me that it was all bent out of shape from all the things she'd drawn with it. She said it protected her.

When I asked what she meant, she said that it was a gift from Riley from forever ago when they'd first started dating. She said that she always kept it with her, and whenever she felt like she was being watched, or whenever she could see that telltale business suit around, she took it from her pocket and held it in a certain way, or just generally held it out if she was feeling that way. She put all her effort into the belief that this pen, which she made in her mind into a symbol of the love and protection of her boyfriend, shielded her, and kept it that way until he went away, or until she stopped feeling watched. She said it was hard to do it when she first started it about a week before because it felt like a bluff, but gradually she's been buying into it by repeating it to herself and having Riley repeat it to her. She said that she didn't know for sure, but it seemed to her that she didn't feel watched quite as much, but she thinks that's because she's still not a hundred percent convinced of it yet. Being a LOST fanatic, Violet called this concept her "Constant," a Slender fail-safe.

This brings up another question: is her belief in the Constant (that is, the pen) really keeping him away, or is it just that she percieves it that way? This entire business is mired in the dreaded fog of human perception. There's no way to measure whether certain actions keep him away or certain actions draw him in. Even the legends seem to contradict themselves: he sets fires, but is also connected with floods. Does the Operator symbol mark you as prey, or trick him into thinking you're a predator? They say the more you know about him, the easier it is for him to get you; so why are all the Slender experts -- the lifegospels, the Khaoses, the Dav Flamerocks -- still alive and unharmed (as far as I know)? Is it like Violet told me the other day when I asked her, that they know, but choose not to believe? Can this entire thing be fixed if we all just stop believing? Is it even possible to choose not to believe?

Which brings me to my fifth and final point. No one that I've read about has ever postulated that the Slender Man has a weakness. Does this mean he doesn't? From what information I'm collating, it could. Conversely, that could mean that if we believe that he does have a weakness, one could manifest. Of course, this is keeping in mind that all this depends on one big-ass "if:" that is, whether or not his existence depends upon our perception of him.

While it would explain the contradictions, it also brings up questions of its own. Why does he show up on camera, if he's all in our collective heads? The only explanation I can come up with is that those who see him have a sort of (for lack of a better word) aura around them that can, in a way, reflect him onto the camera; that is, their raw energy (again, lacking better terms) gives him reality that can be detected by technology.

Or, if they're close enough and intense enough -- say, held tight and terrified -- then is it possible that this energy -- this fear, this belief -- can be reflected onto another human being? It would explain why I saw him that night and haven't seen him since. Of course, it's also complete speculation on my part. Who knows? The Slender Bastard could just have bigger fish to fry. He could be biding his time with me. Hell, he could just be screwing with me. But will he only come for me if I think he will, like I do? If I change my thought pattern, try to convince myself that he won't come for me, will that repel him like Violet thinks her Constant does?

Could I have saved Rose if I had just believed in her and started asking the right questions sooner?

My head hurts; methinks this is enough metacognition for one night.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I'm really sorry about yesterday's post. I wanted to give you guys an update, but I was still very upset.

Search parties found Rose's car in a ditch near Rt. 165. It was empty, but it was also completely torn apart. The mirrors were shattered, the airbags deployed and ripped open, the seats cut to hell and back. The lining hung from the ceiling in tatters. But Rose was nowhere to be found.

The thing that really stumped the officials was that there was no evidence that the car crashed there. For all the damage, the body of the vehicle itself was fine, and there weren't even any tracks leading to the place it came to rest. It just appeared there.

I drove there after work (Rose's mother, who sounded just as torn up as the car, called me) and tried to get a closer look, but the police wouldn't let me. Evidence and all that.

So, at the end of the day, I ended up just like I was before -- only this time it was with the knowledge that she's really gone, and I was completely helpless to do anything. I called Violet, and then Allie (one of the fanstastic friends I mentioned in a previous post) saw my last blog post and came over. She was able to talk me down a little.

After Allie left, I went for a long drive. I thought about going to a lot of places -- it wasn't late yet -- but I found myself instead at St. Ignatius Church. I suppose I'm just like my mom: a reluctant Catholic. I went inside the chapel, found a likely pew, and sat for a long while, staring up at the Virgin Mary and wondering what happened to the other three lost souls who were in there at the same time I was on a Saturday night. I whispered a Hail Mary under my breath. Then another. And another.

Eventually the others left, and it was just me. One of the priests, Father Kelly, was doing something or other at the altar when he saw me, and he came over and sat down next to me. He's younger than your average preacher, and handsome enough to have probably had a dozen girls on his tail before taking the cloth. He came to our church just before I had my Confirmation.

We sat for a long while in silence. That's the thing about priests: outside of confession, they'll never ask you what's wrong. But you tell them anyway because they're there. I wondered if he even remembered me, the little girl who came around four years ago and then disappeared from church to handle her rebellious phase. I wondered what he thought I was here for. My hair was tangled, my eyes red and puffy. I probably looked like a drug addict.

"We haven't seen you here in some time," he said. So he did remember me.Oh, Catholic guilt, how nice to see you. It's been so long.

"Yeah," was all I could say.

There was more silence. He said, "You're always welcome in the House of God, Celeste. But are you going to tell me why you've come?"

"It's because..." I began. My voice trailed off.

What was I doing here? Did I think Mary was going to come down from Heaven and tell me what to do next? Did I think Sancuary would save me, that prayer would save my friends from a thing that had no use for a God? Or did I think it would save me from my own shame?

But I knew exactly why I was there.

"Father...I'm so lost even God can't find me."

My throat suddenly felt that familiar burn. I forced it back; the last thing I needed to do right now was cry in my self-pity. I'll allow myself to cry for Rose...but I won't cry for me. I have better things to do.

"I wouldn't say that's true," he said. "For the faithful, God is always close by."

"I don't know if I have any faith left."

He smiled. "Of all the places you could go tonight, you came here. Why?"

It was a rhetorical question, and it achieved its desired effect; I did feel a little better as I thanked him for his advice and left the church.

When I got home, I called Violet again, and we talked for a good long while. I didn't think I'd get any sleep, but I did. I'm actually feeling a lot better today, and I'm more focused than I was yesterday. All my energy is going toward helping Violet. I haven't seen him once since the incident; this isn't about me.

Today, I've been thinking more about this than ever. Violet says she and Riley have been experimenting with techniques to fend him off, but she didn't go into any detail. I'm off work tomorrow and Tuesday, so I'll be driving down to see her and talking to her about it then.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


They found Rose's car in a ditch off 165. It

I can't even do this right now.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Other News, Part II

Well, that was a fun and exciting eight hours spent at a hospital, and an especially interesting hour-long drive home in the rain. I know I already said it was raining today, but seriously...I've never seen it this bad. They closed down schools in the area because of the flooding.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. Fuck Angel.

So we got home Sunday to find out from Angel's sons that she'd moved back in. We were suitably confused, but whatever.We were a bit peeved at not being told, but decided to roll with it for the time being.

On Wednesday that week (what is now known in the rest of the family as "Fuck You Wednesday"), I had plans to go to a new Indian restaurant in town with Rose and a couple of our other friends, including the sweetest girl I've ever known, Bree. As I was heading in to get my purse to leave (with my friends standing in the driveway, no less), my father looked at me and said, "Oh, you know how we were planning on getting married? Well, I shouldn't ask you that. We got married."

It was around this point that my friends tried to seem occupied to offset the awkwardness. It didn't help. I stepped inside, and he and Angel followed. I told them no, I hadn't known that, and how could I? And get this, six discernable readers -- he was offended. Like I should've known about it. I diffused the situation by saying we'd talk about it later and got the hell out of there.

Apparently, this is what happened: on Tuesday, Angel left; Wednesday, my father said that they'd be taking a long break because he respected his children enough to give their wishes a chance. I don't know what the fuck happened Wednesday night, but Thursday after we left, they started planning the wedding which took place on Saturday. Her best friend was the ordained minister, and they had my grandmother and another person as their witnesses.

Now, they're planning a second ceremony. Originally, it was just for family, but now it's been extended to include friends. I have yet to tell them I won't be in attendance.

It's not because I want to see my father hurt. It's because firstly, I will not be sorted into the category of "friends" for my father's wedding and more importantly, my attendance will signify approval. I do not approve of this marriage. Forget my own qualms with Angel; I know a couple who's toxic to each other when I see one. When everyone around you seems to have a problem with you, maybe the problem is you.

Changing subject for the safety of my keyboard.

For those two of you who are actually following my Twitter, I'll try to harass Violet into making her account tonight so you can follow her should you choose. I know that my own tweets have been kind of nonexistent, but it's only because I really don't know what to say.

Huh, I made it the whole day. I'm kind of proud.

In Other News

Today, I vow to not talk about anything Slender-related. I need to start the process of moving on, and I can't do that if I'm still dwelling on unsolvable mysteries. If I don't keep a stiff upper lip, how can Violet be expected to?

So today, I will be happier than a pigeon with a French fry, or so help me, I might explode.

You might be asking yourself, "Why is Celie awake and blogging at ass o'clock in the morning on this, one of her days off this week?" The answer to that, my six discernable readers (I've counted), is that even on my days off, I have shit to do. First, I had to take my brother to school, since his current football injury prevents him from riding the bus. I don't really mind that, being that the school is only about five minutes away, but it can be a bit of a nuisance on days like this when it is seriously pissing rain. In fact, it's been raining pretty frequently for the last week or so.

Anyway, I've gotten back from that. In about half an hour, I'll be taking my grandmother down into town for surgery. It's nothing too serious; they're replacing a dialysis contraption that keeps getting blocked. She's had to get dialysis for a few months now, but she doesn't seem in a rush to get new kidneys. She says it's because she knows that by the time she finds one, she'll be in her eighties. I don't see what's so bad about that, being that she's seventy-nine now.

In other other news, fuck Angel. That's right, my friends. Time for some Angelventing. Those of you who'd rather not listen to me bitch about my real-life evil stepmother can skip this part; I promise I won't be offended.

Did I ever tell you how she managed to become our real-life evil stepmother? No? Well, now I'll educate you.

You see, on August the 17th of this year, Angel went off the deep end. I mean, she really dropped her fucking basket and just started bitching out each of us in turn as she saw us around the house. She caught me as she was coming downstairs in the morning; she immediately started freaking out, taking glasses from the dishwasher and chucking them into the sink for no damn reason at all. Then she yelled at me because (wait for it) the night before, I left a cracker wrapper on the coffee table in the living room. Obviously, this warranted a major freakout.

She accosted my sister while I was out getting our grandmother's mail, and when I came back, Nikki told me she'd never been spoken to so rudely or so unkindly in her life. The thing about Angel is that when she's angry, she'll say fucking anything to get you angry too. If Nikki didn't work with preschoolers and wasn't used to tantrums, she would've fought back, but to her credit, she stayed reasonably calm and just told Angel to please go away, because Nikki had nothing nice to say.

The thing is, Angel was saying things that she had every right to say. She just said them like a fucking child who's been told no, and my father was scratching his head as to why we all didn't like her.

When Nikki and I got back from running some errands that day, our father came up and talked to us. He took her side, said that we needed to learn to do things properly, and that Angel was the one in the right. Naturally, that's when all hell really broke loose. I managed to escape with my friend, Moses, and when I came back in the morning, all was quiet. Angel had moved out.

That day was the first time in a long time we actually had a discussion as a family, and the only time since. My father said that he and Angel were taking a break from living together; they'd still be seeing each other, but not under the same roof. He said that the only way she would be getting back into the house was if they got married. Nikki, Milo, and I took a collective breath of free air.

He told us that Wednesday. We left Thursday to go to our mother's to get ready for our cousin's wedding (my sister and I were bridesmaids). When we got back Sunday, we found out from her two sons (not from them, mind you) that Angel had moved back in.

I'll continue this when I next have a free minute. You'll love the rest. For now, I need to leave to take Nana down to the hospital.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Notebook as It Is.

Before you get excited or worried, let me just go ahead and say that I'm not opening the notebook. I might yet, but as of right now...yeah, that's not happening.

However, I decided to give you guys a very plain view of the notebook (more of a journal, actually), along with the note that Rose (presumably) left me.

One thing I didn't mention last week is that the note also had a message on the back of it. I hadn't lifted it from under the magnetic clasp, so I hadn't known then either.

Let's start with the journal as I found it, with Rose's note on top of it, under the magnetic clasp.

Now, like I said before, the thing that bothers me most about the note is that it isn't in Rose's handwriting -- it's in mine. This brings up about a metric ton of questions, as I sure as hell didn't write it.

The back is also in my handwriting:

It says:

"And I will show you something different from either your shadow at morning striding bhind you or your shadow at evening rising to meet you. I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

I recognize this one -- it's another Eliot, although this one is from The Wasteland rather than Practical Cats.

Finally, a photo of the notebook itself:

It's pretty standard Barnes & Noble stuff. The clasp is some sort of fake jewel arrangement and it's held to the cover by a magnet (actually a pretty strong one at that).

So there you have it. Also, now there is a record of it as I first got it, which is always a good thing. I guess time will tell when or if I open it and see what's inside.

On a completely different note, I've been following the story of those guys over in Jersey, the EverymanHYBRID boys. They're a damned inspiration these days. Just like Zeke Strahm said, if anybody's got a chance in hell of taking the Slender Bastard down, it's them, even if it's just because they've got the common sense and the sheer balls to do it. Hell, if there were an army against him, they'd be a few of the generals. Along with a select few I've got entertainment for a little while imagining ranks and cute Jersey boys in uniform of some Anti-Slender Army (would that make it the Fat Army? I'd imagine we'd prefer the term Voluptuous Army...). :P

And while I'm on Zeke Strahm (not like that, you perverts)...Zeke, I'm sorry for freaking out at you earlier today. You're still a crazy bastard, but you know a lot more about this than I do and I know you're just trying to help.

You know, I'm feeling okay tonight. Almost normal. It's nice.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Violet's Feelings

Right, then. Seven-hour shift today, and an hour's drive home in rain so wretched I swore I was going to crash three different times. So, you know, great day.

To more relevent matters, I was at my mother's place in Baltimore this weekend and while I was in town I decided to swing by the MICA dorms and see how Violet was doing. Unsurprisingly, Vi is being a total trooper. Especially considering the fact that she thinks she's next.

You heard me right. Violet Marshall, the ridiculously talented (think savant-level, people. The girl's a prodigy) art student who is actually smarter than most people I know, thinks she's next because her artistic mind linked together random letters in Rose's crazy-person messages (I've decided that Rose wrote them, as the alternative is much, much less pleasant).

Vi thinks that because the word "FLOWER" is capitalized in the freak post, and because she and Rose are both (obviously) named after flowers (or colors, if you look at it that way, which I did--I always thought of my two besties as the Crayola twins), obviously it must mean that she's next.

Now that she's convince herself of that, she's been seeing things. Shadows in weird places, glimpses in mirrors. She says she's suddenly gotten the urge to start using ash as an artistic medium. But Violet has an active imagination anyway, and she's never done looking for new and exciting things to replace paint and charcoal in her art.

She says I'm being naiive -- actually, she got really angry yesterday and told me that I'd already seen him, and it wasn't like I could pretend he just wasn't real. And she's right -- it's not like I can pretend he doesn't exist.

But, honestly...I'm just not ready to believe her. It's been all of a week since the incident. I've had nightmares every night, hearing Rose's godawful screaming in my head, the familiar horrid sound from the familiar beautiful voice. She used to sing, you know...but that's not the point. The point is that I'm just starting to get my footing back after having my legs knocked out from under me. The point is that I'm actually starting to formulate a plan, visualize my next few moves.

And the point is that I can't lose Violet, too. Because I'm selfish, and I need her.

I won't survive it if he takes her, too.


I just now realized that the above statement is the first time I've actually admitted that he took her. And I know, deep down to my soul, that he did. He took my Rose. Took her just after I watched her drive off. Like a secret lover meeting up to steal her away.

I need a goddamn drink.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm Alive, Guys.

First of all, I’m really sorry that I haven’t been around lately. I’ve just been trying to figure this stuff out. I’ve been kind of throwing myself into both my jobs in order to keep my mind off it, but…I can’t help being confused.

Yesterday, when I was heading to work, there was a huge, thick fog from my place at least all the way down into town. It sounds inconsequential—I mean, it’s just early-morning mist—but I’ve never seen anything as bad as this fog. Was it just odd Maryland weather, or was it him?

And that mysterious post on this very blog. Did Rose manage to sneak away when I managed to get a wink of sleep that night? I recognize the actual phrasing itself; it’s a T.S. Eliot quote. Specifically, it’s from “Grizabella,” a poem that he deemed too sad to go into Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, but that made it into Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical based on the book, Cats. I’m a theatre geek, and Rose loves music; Cats was one of our favorite movies to watch together. Is this significant? Is Rose trying to tell me something? Or was it Rose at all?

Is it possible that the bastard was able to get to my blog and post that? Can he even use a computer? And if he did, how did he manage to know something so personal to Rose and me?

Questions like these have been plaguing me since that night. Oh, and here’s another: I haven’t seen him since Rose’s bedroom. Why? They say he only shows up to people he wants. Why hasn’t he started following me yet?

Does it have something to do with Rose’s journal? I don’t know. I haven’t so much as opened the thing yet. Every time I get close to it, some voice in my head screams at me not to do it, not to be another Logan Renault. I’ve read Logan Renault’s blog—that happened only last year.

Maybe there are answers in the notebook. Does that mean I want to dive right in? Hell no.

I’m calling Vi today to talk to her; we’ve only really texted since Monday. I hope she’s doing better with this than I am.