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.