Robert (Guardian) seems to have made his last post on White Elephants. For once, we seem to have a blog end on a positive note. Go ahead, read it. Listen to this while you do so. It’s inspiring. Almost makes me wish I had Slendy following me so I could take a few swings at him.
This end means we now have a (Guardian). If Robert (Guardian)’s theory holds true, all we now need is a (Warrior) and a (Hero), for the story to be completed and for Slender Man to be killed once and for all. There are a few people who might fall into either of those roles, but I’ll need to keep observing them before I make a conclusion.
It also means that the three (Sages) are now most likely gone as well. I only say likely, since Shaun’s status is currently unknown; he may still be alive and well, just unable to contact anyone. Robert (Guardian) said that three more (Sages) would rise to replace them. I’m following some possible candidate, but I really hope this doesn’t devolve into people arguing with each other about who is the real successor to the title of (Sage).
I’ve gotten a request to post the story I wrote about Slender Man, so here it is. Let’s see how Blogger handles the glitches I’ve encountered on other computers (After having looked at it in the preview, it seems to work fine. So I've replaced it with Zalgo font, as it's the closest thing I could find to representing what the glitches looked like). And yes, all the characters are named after people from finished/incomplete Slender Man ARGs.
I’m the only one left.
I need to collect my thoughts. It started two months ago. At least, I think it was two months. It’s been so long since I last slept, I can scarcely remember time anymore. Instead of clocks, my brain is filled with madness.
There had been six of us at first; all friends from childhood. It was the first time I’d seen most of them since I’d left for medical school. The picnic was supposed to have been a bit of a reunion, a chance for us all to reconnect after so many years apart. I’ll admit I felt a bit odd, a respected man of my position going to a park with five other grown adults for a picnic. Of course it had all been June’s idea; she was the sort of person who would laugh at anyone telling her to act her age.
Awkward as I felt in the situation, it was still good to see everyone again. Billy and Christina looked happy together; it was nice to see they’d gotten out of their “Can’t spit it out” stage while I was gone. Christina was two months pregnant then, so of course June and Liz were fawning over her. Liz was in a similar situation to mine, in that this was her first time seeing everyone again. She’d gotten a degree in marine biology, and had spent most of the past years on a boat. With the girls all around Christina, I was stuck with the other two guys. It was shocking to see how much I’d missed; Billy had put his partying and wildness behind him, in favor of settling down with Christina. Alex was still obsessed with his cameras, except now he was spending more time selling them than taking pictures with them. And then there was me, still the serious and quiet one. I have tried to perfectly capture every moment of that picnic in my memory. It is the last time I can recall feeling a sense of happiness.
There was a forest bordering our picnicking site, and soon June came up with the plan of exploring the trails in it. Alex leaped at the opportunity; no doubt he wanted to photograph the scenery. I wasn’t certain about that plan, as fog had risen from the river to shroud the paths. I didn’t want to fall flat onto my face because I tripped over some stone I couldn’t see. But those two were good at pleading, and soon we had all agreed to go with them.
I wish I could point out the exact moment when the change occurred, but it was subtle; it’s only looking back on that time that I realize it happened at all. As we continued along the trails of the forest, Billy started acting strangely nervous, constantly glancing over his shoulder into the trees. Whenever someone asked him what was wrong, he would seem confused, asking us what we were talking about. Perhaps we should have tried harder to figure out what was causing him to act that way, but to be honest, none of us were feeling that comfortable on the paths. Only Alex, so obsessed with his photos, seemed immune. How he managed to photograph anything in that thick fog, I cannot understand.
In spite of all promises to remain in touch, I didn’t hear from any of the five for a week after the reunion. When I did, it wasn’t how I’d have liked. Billy and Christina had made front page news, in an article concerning a vicious murder. Neighbors reporting sounds of struggle from their house led to the police investigating, whereupon they found Christina…. She had been… God, I’d hoped that I was desensitized to this now…. She had been killed, in a very violent method. The police had to use dental records to identify her. That’s…. That’s all I’m going to say about it. They found Billy in his room, nearly catatonic. He kept repeating the phrase “Sees me,” over and over. The police took him in as their primary suspect, but I couldn’t believe Billy would kill Christina. Even if we had been out of touch for years, I knew Billy well enough to understand he wasn’t the type of person to do something like that. This was a man who practically cried when he ran over a squirrel his first day driving; I couldn’t imagine him harming anyone, let alone Christina.
Liz had been staying in a hotel not far from where Billy and Christina lived, so I called her first. The news seemed to have left her in shock; she had been just as surprised as I had by it. We decided to try and get everyone together, so we could find out what had happened. June agreed to meet us, but Alex said he had other things he needed to take care of.
Of course, we knew that the three of us weren’t going to unravel any mysteries. That was the job of the police; we just wanted to understand how something like this could happen. Liz had been the most in contact with Billy and Christina since the picnic, so she understood the situation better than June or I. According to her, Billy had been acting stressed since the picnic, and when Liz had come over to the house for a visit, Billy had spent most of the time glancing out windows. The behavior had been strange, but not violent. When he took his eyes off the windows, Billy had been his usual, friendly self.
We decided that we needed to see if we could talk to Billy. None of us had been in such a situation before, so we weren’t sure if the police would allow us an opportunity to speak with him, but we felt that it was necessary to try. June decided that we should all meet again tomorrow, and attempt to question Billy about the situation.
The next day’s morning paper ended those plans. During the night, Billy had disappeared from his cell. The guards had reported that the door hadn’t been unlocked, or even open. He had just vanished. Three hours later, Billy’s body was found tangled in a tree’s branches. According to his autopsy, his organs had been systematically removed and then placed at random back into his body.
Hearing that news seemed to destroy any curiosity I’d had for the reason behind Christina’s, and now Billy’s, deaths. I was horrified, and frightened; it seemed impossible that something like that could happen to people I knew. Liz wanted to investigate more, and find out what had been the cause of all of it, but I was content to just leave such mysteries in the hands of the police. June agreed with me; I think she blamed herself for all of this, as she had been the one who organized the picnic. The three of us agreed to stay in touch, but June and I made it clear to Liz that we didn’t want any part in her investigation.
The rest of the month passed without further incident. I tried, and failed, to push my friends’ deaths out of my mind. I remained in touch with the others; I even called Alex a few times, but he always said he couldn’t talk for long, due to his busy schedule. My life appeared to be resuming normalcy, as I kept my mind on my work and my patients.
Thankfully, Liz had agreed to not say anything about her investigation to me. Thus far, all communication between us had carefully danced around the issue, never mentioning Billy or Christina. Then one day, I received an email from her:
i Hope this mEssage finds you weLl. i will be leaving this Place for soMe time. pleasE do not worry about me.
It wasn’t the most well hidden message I’d seen, and I didn’t understand the symbol at the end, but the intent was obvious. I tried calling Liz’s phone, but no response came. My next move was to call June; she told me that she had also received a similar email from Liz, and had also failed at reaching her. June was almost panicking at this point, and it took several minutes to get her to calm down. I told her to meet me at Liz’s apartment.
The door to the apartment was unlocked when we arrived. All the lights were dark when we went inside, and the switches failed to illuminate them. Our sources of light came from the open door behind us, and the windows on the walls, leaving parts of the apartment hidden by a shroud. There was some horrible feeling there, similar to that sense of foreboding from the forest, only far worse. As I walked inside, I felt as though something was watching me, but when I glanced behind, all I saw was June, also looking around with similar fear. Silence filled the air, with not even a squeak from the floor under our feet. Some part of my mind, an old, instinctual part, screamed at me to leave. This place was a tomb, and I was not meant to walk in it. But against this fear’s advice, I continued searching. But even if I ignored the advice of my fears, I still found myself not stepping out of the windows’ lights.
Everything in the apartment was perfectly organized and untouched. There were no signs of any struggle or violence. The bed had been meticulously made, the trash taken out, and the refrigerator emptied. It resembled a section of a model home more than a place someone should have been living in. There was even a small layer of dust over the furniture, like it hadn’t been touched in days.
We looked through that place so many times, trying to find some kind of clue, anything that could tell us what happened to Liz. All we found was an empty silence, which seemed to mock our belief that someone could have once lived here. As the fruitlessness of our efforts became more apparent, I considered waiting to see if Liz might return home later. But as the sun fell lower in the sky, the dominating sense of unease grew stronger. I still could not bring myself to leave the safety of the lights, and I did not desire to remain there when all the lights were gone.
It was decided that June and I would meet again tomorrow, in the vain hope that one of us would magically gain knowledge of Liz’s whereabouts during the night. As I left the apartment, the dark feeling from inside followed me home. I felt watched, as though unseen eyes were observing my every action. Even when I entered my home, with the doors locked and the blinds closed, something watched me. I did not get much sleep that night, for every small noise or creak seemed amplified a hundredfold. Whenever it seemed sleep finally would come to me, I would jump awake at the sound of a tree tapping against my window. It was only when the sun rose, and the terrors of night lessened, did I realize that I have no trees by my bedroom window. I have not had a tree by my bedroom since I was a child.
The next day brought no news concerning Liz. A missing persons notice was filed to the police, but I felt they would be no help. It was as though she had simply been plucked from the Earth, leaving not a single trace of her existence behind.
Another week passed, filled with sleepless nights and quick glances over my shoulder. I could never discern what the source of my dread was; every time I felt something watching my back, I would turn and see nothing.
When the stress was reaching a point beyond containment, I received a call from June. She had planned a meeting with Alex, to see if he had any knowledge pertaining to Liz, but he had never arrived at the Starbucks she had specified for their meeting. She had attempted to call him, but that endeavor resulted in only silence. Now with fear gripping her, she wanted me to accompany her to Alex’s shop of cameras. I suppose both of us were hoping for the relief of safety in numbers.
When we met, June’s appearance came as a shock. Whatever sinister presence hovered over me, it followed her even more. Dark bags of exhaustion hung under her constantly shifting eyes. We must have appeared an odd pair as we walked down the street, neither able to go a full minute without a quick glance back in search of our invisible watcher.
June had occasionally spoken with Alex since Liz’s disappearance. Their conversations had always been short, before Alex cut off with the excuse that he had more important matters needing his attention. According to June, every time they’d spoken, he had been even more hostile and short tempered, until they’re last conversation. Alex had practically begged June to meet with him then, which only made his absence more disturbing.
Inside the store, the employee manning the desk informed us that Alex had been locking himself in his back office for the past few days, only rarely coming out into the store proper. After convincing him that we were Alex’s friends, he gave us the key to the office.
I’m not sure what we were expecting to find in there, but what we saw wasn’t it. There was no Alex in the lightless office, only walls covered in papers and pictures. All the pictures were photographs he had taken during our walk through the forest so long ago. Not one photo had come out right; each one was grainy, distorted, or blemished by some technical malfunction which ruined the image. More disturbing were the papers which covered the walls. They were covered in Alex’s writing, repeating the phrases “Sees Me” and “Don’t Look Back”. There were also several papers with only a single symbol on them, a large circle with an X through it. It reminded me of the (X) symbol which Liz had put at the end of her email to me, in a strangely frightening way.
Amidst the chaos of photos and papers, June found one which had the address and time of their planned meeting written on it. Underneath this, in shaky handwriting, was written,
“it’s here i need to escape i will run and i will run and i will run and run and run and run and run and run and it will find me and find me and find me”
The writing stopped there. We searched through the office more, but found nothing else. According to the employee, Alex had walked into the office earlier that morning, and since then hadn’t walked out. He was just gone, like Liz.
There was nothing left for us to find there, so we left. Once we stepped outside, the feeling of being watched increased tremendously. This feeling of being under the microscope, of something just staring down on you, looking through you…. I wanted to scream, but at the same time, could not bring my voice to work. June had frozen in place, looking down the silent road. There was nothing on the road, no cars, or people, or even animals, but the face she held as she looked down its path was one of complete horror. She said something about having to leave, and then ran to her car. Perhaps I should have acted in some way, maybe gone with her. But my legs were as stone, stuck to the cement beneath them. Only after June had driven out of sight did the horrible feeling go away.
That night, June called me. She was sobbing, barely able to get her words out coherently. “It’s watching me. It’s right outside my window.” Was all I could understand in between her panicked gasps. I tried to talk to her, but couldn’t understand the wild ravings coming from her. When I asked what it was that was watching her, the only response I heard was her breaking down in tears. After the tears passed, she suddenly became very calm.
“I…. I can hear laughter….
It’s here now. Goodbye, Jay.”
I drove as fast as my car would allow to June’s home. When I got there, the fire department was around it, trying to control the vicious fire which consumed the home. In spite of their efforts, the entire structure was destroyed. There was no sign of June, and the firemen never found any human remains inside the ruins.
Now there’s only me. The last left.
I can feel it watching. Watching me all the time now. I can’t get away from it. It followed me all the way back from June’s house. Every time I looked in my rearview mirror, it was behind me, no matter how fast I drove. It brought the fog with it, surrounding my home in a thick cloudy moat. It’s outside my house right now, watching me. I can hear it tapping on the windows. Tap, tap, tap tap taptaptaptaptaptapTAPTAPTAPTAPTAPTAPTAP
I can’t run. It will just find me.
No matter how far, I cannot escape it.
There’s never any escape.
It will find anyone it hunts.
It’s here. I can feel it. It’s standing right behind me. I can’t turn around. I can feel it staring directly at the back of my neck, only inches away. I just have to keep looking at the screen here. I can’t take my eyes of this page, off the safe glow of the monitor, the comforting shapes of the letters making up these sentences. This is safe. What’s behind me isn’t.
01001111 01101000 00100000 01100111 01101111 01100100 00101110
I can hear the laughter. It’s such a beautiful sound.
The mgiilsn esrte hety hgual
The fog is inside my home now. It fills every corner of my existence.
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