Aug 24, 2012

Do not toy with fire 
Unless you know that you are learning
Because the only true way forwards
Is when your world is burning

Aug 22, 2012


The first thing I noticed... when he threw open the door... apart from the cloud of exhaust spewing from the nozzle of his fire extinguisher... was that it looked like he had just been in a fight with a roll of duct tape. I'd have counted it as amusing if it wasn't so sad. Nonetheless, this grayscale mummy made his way out the door with little effort. He That Is was seemingly repelled by the blast. I'm not sure why. There was no indication to suggest the substance was in any way harmful to it. Rather, it moved away as if by surprise. Or as if he were simply trying not to get his suit dirty. Regardless, it evaded the initial spray of foam, leaving an opening through which The Gargoyle was able to make his escape.

He darted past the monster, hopping through the brush with a seemingly practiced ease. Stilts and bears, if I recall... I paced myself accordingly, using the monster's method to silence my movement. I tried to get a better look at him as he bodily parted the woodland overgrowth, tearing through thorns and prickle bushes with complete disregard for safety. I noted the device haphazardly strapped to the side of his head. The noise drew me to it, I suppose. His jammer, I suspect... intended to keep the path ahead clear of loops and illusion. Perhaps it was working... or perhaps He That Is had simply chosen to utilize alternative means of capture. What need was there to confuse the mind of someone who was already determined to run directly to their own demise?

There was a clearing ahead... not quite clear... still trees... plenty of trees, but the brush had died out in the area. Perhaps trampled or devoured by local fauna. Or perhaps nature had simply failed to expand into the area. In any event, it was "more clear" than the areas previously traversed. It was here that he stopped, not out of need to catch his breath or to fish out some secret weapon, but simply because the monster had chosen that very spot to appear before him again. One second there had been nothing, the next, black leaves and a tall faceless businessman. He tried the extinguisher once more. His aim was true, but He That Is did not remain stationary long enough for the burst to meet its mark. It appeared again to one side and lashed out. The Gargoyle dodged, rolling across the ground and backing swiftly into a tree. Held his back to it as he scrawled something in marker across the side of the emergency instructions label, then cast the container aside.

He tries to make another break for it, darting to one side. In a blink, the monster adjusts. He skids to a halt and moves back in the other direction. The same result. He stops. I have enough of an angle of vision to see him grin. Confidence? Or delusion? Hard to say... though I lean towards the latter. He throws his arms to his sides, "This is what you want, right? So come on! Take it! I fucking DARE YOU!!"

I suspect the invitation was unnecessary, but He That Is obliged. In mere seconds the tendrils were upon him and he was yanked from his footing and into the air. I had seen it all before, many a time. He would be ripped apart in an instant. I expected the screaming to begin at any moment... instead, I heard something unusual... something unfamiliar to this scene...


I could see the black whips entangling his body, pulling in opposing directions... The Gargoyle's limbs were clearly under heavy tension, but what little I could see of his face did not seem to reflect the agony I imagine he was in. The sound of laughter grew louder. I watched him struggle to pull his left arm towards his chest, clutching at something there. "Do you understand yet? Have you figured it out?!" His voice was strained. Presumably from pain and exertion. "I already beat you. I won this fight a Loooong time ago! This soul isn't yours to take! This time you don't win! Do you hear me, you son of a bitch?!"


He tore his hand away from his chest. I could tell he was holding something... In an instant it hit me. A heart monitor... all that duct tape was holding... Lying Son of a Bitch

I dove to the ground. I could have transported away, but there wasn't enough time to think about it. An explosion rocked the forest before I ever hit the ground. Wooden shrapnel and debris clattered down all around me. I scrambled back to my feet the moment I heard the scream... or perhaps rather "the noise." I could just make out the framework of He That Is thrashing about within the light plume of smoke left behind by The Gargoyle's grand exit. It wasn't damaged... no simple explosive device of that nature could have possibly harmed it... But It Was Angry

I chose not to stay long enough to see how the spectacle would end. The monster was tearing the surrounding woodland apart, as if searching for any remnant of the victim that had just been forcibly ripped away from him. Like a child throwing a tantrum... His game ruined in the final moments... before he could claim his prize...

Though I suspect that explanation is oversimplifying things within a human perspective... Unfortunately, I've no other means of adequately describing the scene I so swiftly left behind. I returned several hours later to inspect the site once more... Apart from the expansive collection of blood spanning the area, very little of what remained of The Gargoyle was left to be found. He was quite.... thorough... in his method of self-disposal.

Curiosity drew me to his discarded fire extinguisher, half buried beneath cleanly severed fallen trees... There were two notes of interest written upon it. Etched into one side of the canister, with what I assume to have been a knife, the words "Hope Rides Alone." And across the label, barely legible in black marker, the word "Plausible."

With nothing else to collect at the scene and having no desire to remain in such a recently haunted location, I returned to the bunker to remove his laptop and journal from the premises before they could be discovered by any clean-up squads that were surely on their way. The rest remains as he left it, to be discovered by whatever fools wish to seek the place out.

I've destroyed the two articles I recovered from the bunker as per The Gargoyle's request. The extinguisher shall remain with me as a reminder of my complete and utter failure... as a person... and as a friend...

This blog has reached its logical conclusion. There shall be no further correspondence to be found here. My obligations have been fulfilled. Expect nothing more from me.

I'm sorry.

The Third

Aug 21, 2012

Well then...

If you're reading this, then I'm probably dead. That or I'm going to have a reeeeeally fucking embarrassing moment about 2-3 hours from now when I pull a Konaa. But speaking realistically, I'll definitely be dead by the time you're reading this. I'm not exactly going to be running out that door with the expectations that I'm going to live. In a way, that's my entire purpose for going out the door in the first place and not sitting here screaming and begging the internets for help. To call my own bluff and admit Nightscream right, AGAIN... fucking bitch and her being intelligent and able to read people, I swear to god... AHEM, but I've more or less been "Living for the chance to die" since this all began I suppose. And while I still don't feel I'm necessarily being completely suicidal, the fact remains that living became too much of a chore a long ass time ago. And there is realistically nothing left for me to do here anymore. I've played my part. So it's time to go out with a bang and stick it to this mother fucker one last time before I'm outsies.

Time to face my Fear and all that jazz. No more running, no more hiding. It ends today.

So I figure I just wanted to take one last moment or two to say goodbye and all that fun shit. Because he's starting to beat on the door with those tentacle things and the noise is pissing me off so I feel like making him wait even longer. Because fuck him. He's just being a damned tease anyways. You and I all know damned well that there was nothing stopping him from tearing that door off its hinges five hours ago. He's playing his game and I'm ignoring him. Mostly... the noise is kind of distracting... luckily I already know most of what I wanted to say, so I just have to keep typing and stop flying off onto tangents.

So, all you guys out there in the Proxy structure... Nightscream, Morningstar, Swan, Ember, Wolf, Joseph, all you other fuckers that are too numerous to name... I feel like I should be giving you all proper farewells, you seem to have been my most active readers. Sadly your "boss" is calling me, so I'll have to skip most of the pleasantries here. Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice and the taunting and everything else I had to put up with from you guys. It was interesting... to say the least.

Ah! Here, but I'll leave you with this. It feels appropriate somehow.
Keep Smiling... Right? Nightscream is still Best Proxy

For the runners, ahhh... fuck, who do I even know anymore? It's always the same dying or mia scenario with you people, ALL THE TIME. Meh, I can't think of anything specific to say to anybody in particular anyways... My "readership" fluctuates too often for me to keep up with you all anyways. Oh well. I love you all! It was nice getting to know you! Try not to die, you'll live longer! How bout that? Good? Okay then. I'm gonna go outside and fight this monster now. I expect the rest of you to buck up and do the same one day. This is never going to end so long as we keep running away from it. No scars on the back! Face life head on. You're gonna carry that weight. Metaphor. Snappy quip. Obscure quote.

You guys like music too right? Here. Here have some music, actually semi-serious this time.
I'm gonna blare it at full blast right as I head out the door. Personal anthem/favorite. Loved the original version to death since the moment I first heard it. Always felt like, so long as it was playing in my ears, I was invincible. Guess that buys me about 2-3 minutes...

God I feel so depressing right now. Too much death talk. Lets talk about living then huh? Some of you still have a lot to live for, right? Well, let me wrap up the experiment for you then. Get Down Low is pretty much a failure. If we're connecting back to "The Rules" then there's one fatal flaw. It limits your movement. You can't stay in one place. Not when you're marked. It took all of two and a half weeks since I got here (and Third's protection charms apparently wore off) for him to find me this time. That's still maybe two weeks of Construct free relaxation, but it doesn't last forever. You can't stay still if you're gonna keep running from it. It WILL find you. The same applies to Get Up High. The only reason it works, when it works at all, is because you keep changing location. Never stick around in one location long enough for it to get a bead on you and you're pretty much golden provided you don't do anything stupid.

To this end, "Things I've Failed to Mention Number-- ahh... fuck it, 34." Plan B had a much larger scope than originally suggested when I finally announced what it was. I didn't just locate and supply this one bunker. I located and supplied SEVERAL. They're scattered across North America. With food, supplies, and other basic amenities... They're temporary shelters. For use when you need some time to gather yourself without having to worry about tall men and proxies breathing down your neck. Just remember... two weeks. That's the most you should ever stay in one for. Be they mine or one you've set up yourself. Don't let all these proxies in their group love dens fool you into thinking you can shack up in one place forever. XP They're in another world from you (For now at least). Take care of your business and then get the fuck out.

I'm sending, or rather, have sent, the coordinates of the bunkers to a few trustworthy individuals. If you're in any way familiar with the Runner group structure, then you can guess who has the list. Give them a shout, they can help you out better than I ever could.

So, that's about everything now, isn't it? God, feels like there are so many loose ends... Ugh, whatever. Got my fire extinguisher at the ready, because fuck it, why the hell not? Nobody's tried that one in a while now... LETS BE CRAZY.

In the end, I only regret taking this long to come to terms with my own mortality... not getting to have any of those beers people kept offering me... and failing to weaponize Pinkie Pie. Otherwise... it's been fun. Not very pleasant. But definitely fun.

See you on the other side.

Earn Your Happy Ending...

I've been sitting around here for a while now trying to come up with something to post about. Some nugget of wisdom I could share or theory to lay out on the table. But nothing has really been coming up. Not sure if I got all jaded and burned myself out or... if there's just nothing left to talk about. So I guess I just figured I'd shut up and spare you all the trouble of reading my bullshit for a while. But I guess I'm finally feeling inspired or something at the moment. Funny how some things time themselves...

Anyways, my title topic here is pretty self explanatory... but not all that easy to pull off. A few have managed it though. Most died in the process, but they felt justified or fulfilled in the end, so it was all worth it, right? A few made it out alive though... a few.

Michael Henry Abner got out. Saved a scared little girl in the process too. But he also lost everything he knew and every friend he had. Hell of a sacrifice...

Sufjan McBride escaped the tall man’s wrath. He’s living the good life, free of its grasp now. Granted, he’s now also part of a crazy evil religious cult (not a Slender one) that brainwashed him, but... hey, at least he’s happy and unstalked. Count your blessings right?

Celeste McLachlan made it out... not sure how she really managed it. But maybe Zeke can actually lay claim to at least one lasting victory in all of this for it. Assuming she doesn't do anything to screw it up anyhow. Maybe Mary really made it out too, once it was over.

The Delmontes found their way out as well. Took em a while... and they didn’t escape without casualties. But Cynthia and Tony are somewhere far away from this now. Heh… even got new friends and family with them. Who’d have thunk it?

Leon Steel... if he’s to be believed and I’m not misreading, took his bow off the stage. The tall man has no control over him now, assuming it ever did to begin with. But he left quite the pile of dead loved ones in his wake. Maybe someone will bring some closure to Spencer’s mess for him one day...

I don’t know. It’s never easy. It’s a blood stained path of psychological trauma. Nobody gets out clean. Maybe the dead ones are the real lucky ones? But one thing is for certain, if you want to leave this world with a smile on your face... then you’ve got to work for it. You’ve got to face your fears. There is no running away. Not in the end.

I... I spent a lot of time... standing on the ledge of rooftops... just staring down and screaming at myself in my head... “Jump. Jump!” But I could never do it. Told myself it was him. He wouldn’t let me kill myself. It wasn’t time yet. He would stop me. I had no control.

...but that was a coward talking.

That was me lying to myself because I was too afraid to take the plunge. Too afraid of dying. In spite of all the times I told myself I wasn’t. It was just easier to blame something else. But the fact of the matter, is that I was always in control. I chose not to jump. I chose not to face that fear. And I kept running.

Well I’m not running anymore. It’s time to face it. I may still be afraid... but I know I’m the one in control. And I can fight it.

I never told anyone... but that day long ago... out in the park with the stupid water gun. When he “hit” me. There was this huge gash in my shirt... ripped clean through... and burned around the edges. Sliced as cleanly as the gun had been. But there wasn’t a damned scratch on me. Barely even a bruise, if that.

Since the first bunker, when I started preparing myself for the outside. For the conflict. I held on to one simple notion. “You. Can’t. Hurt. Me.” And applied it via my theory of Perception is Key. Just one belief. Focused on it. Built up all my defenses around it. No other influences or add-ons. Start small. Put every effort into it. Truly believe in it. Reject any other notion to the contrary.

And so far I’ve been right. It’s like I said a few weeks back. Every injury I’ve sustained has been dealt by my own hand. The only time he ever really got inside my head was when I lowered my defenses on purpose... to prove a point, in some stupid fit of depression. It can’t really hurt me. I won’t let it.

It's all psychological. Perception is still Key. Perception is ALWAYS Key.

So enough beating around the bush with this “final lesson” bullshit... He’s here. He’s been standing outside the door for the last three hours straight. And he can keep waiting. Cause I’ve still got shit to take care of over here. We’re working off my schedule now you skinny bitch. Get used to it.

Aug 2, 2012

Systems Restored

Problem I guess with telling people you're "going home" is that it's very difficult to do so when you don't have a "home" to go back to. The apartment I was renting has no doubt been sold to someone else by now... all my stuff probably auctioned off to pay my tabs. And my parents? I don't even know who they are anymore. I thought I was just estranged from them but now... heh... guess that was another of Onewinged's lies, so... for all I know they're really dead and the house is burned down. Guess I could ask Third, but fuck that guy. Seriously.

So, Plan B it is.

You guys... you're about to really start groaning at me or something when I tell you this. But I guess there's no avoiding that so... fuck it... like I even care anymore.

Presently, I'm sitting alone by myself in a sealed underground bunker at an undisclosed location in the middle of fuck nowhere with about half a year's worth of general supplies... Again. Looks like we're right back where we started, huh? Well, maybe not exactly, all things considered but... close enough as far as you people are concerned. I am right?

So what am I doing down here? Well, s'not like I had anyplace better to go. May as well "finish the experiment" before I kick the bucket, right? I've had this place in the works since I was in the first one and realized I wouldn't be able to stay there forever. Basically a backup, for when, not "if", things went bad. I guess my intention was to see if it would take him as long to find me here as it took the last time.... would it be longer or shorter or... what? Not sure I really care anymore though. I'm just sorta here now because I don't have anyplace else to go.

Besides, it's comfortable. The air's not very fresh, but you get used to it. It's cool by comparison to outside and I don't need to worry about the weather. Plus I have a little fan. There's a power outlet and accessible wifi, so my laptop is back to 24/7 operation and I can just sit here and play Fallout or watch Power Rangers on Netflix until the Construct decides to show up and kill me.

Also, this chair is not a hard park bench or uncomfortable roofing. Small luxuries. Enjoy them.

Anyways... I'm here if you need me. And if you don't, then... well, I guess I'm here anyways.

Jul 27, 2012

Existance Denied

So I've been sitting here with my head leaned back against this wall for the last several hours now just trying to figure out where I went wrong. What? What the fuck did I do? What did any of use do? To deserve this shit?

I've lived in solitary squander for months, subjected myself to elements I was damned sure humanity had conquered shortly after the invention of roofing and air conditioning, been led to perform unsavory acts I've never wanted to have to do, I've had more blunt head injuries than I can fucking count anymore, been beat up, slapped around, and forced to sit through visions of more blood and gore than Hollywood horror movies have produced over the course of their entire history. And for what? Its fucking amusement? Is it really that simple??

I don't understand it. I've been researching this for months and I just don't understand it. It's not fair. None of it is fucking fair. What the FUCK does it even want?? What?? Are we being punished for something? Is this Nature getting back at us for ruining the planet? Or for just being bad people in general? Is this some divine reckoning for our "sins"? Whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean?? What? WHAT?? Is it because I say "Fuck" too often? Is that it?? That's it isn't it! I let slip an F-bomb one too many times over the course of my life and now I get the tentacles. Is that how this works??

I can remember sitting around thinking when this first started how... how it didn't matter what he wants or why he wants it. All that matters is that you're stalked now, fucking deal with it. But now I'm sitting here and I'm facing down death and every little mistake I've made and stupid thing I've ever done is all flying through my head and I just want to know why. Why me? What did I do? WHY ME?? What's so fucking special about me? What sets me apart? Why am I stalked and that happy smiling loser over there playing games on his iPhone while he waits for the bus is allowed to just live his life Construct free? Explain it to me. Make this easier to accept. Give me SOMETHING.

...but that's the thing isn't it? I'm not special. You're not special. There is no pattern to be discerned here. In a matter of speaking, I just got "lucky". I was just in the right place at the wrong time. Won the fucking Slender-Lottery.

It's just human nature. We gotta explain every damned little thing. Makes us more comfortable, thinking we understand everything. S'why we made up a whole pantheon of Greek Gods just to explain away stuff we were too stupid to understand at the time. And it's really no different now. Why does he do this to us? We don't fucking know. We've made up a bunch of excuses for it, cause that's what we do. Oh, he feeds off our fear! Or, he exists to cause chaos! Or, it's all part of some elaborate "Game" being played out among gods! Are we seeing the Greek gods parallel again yet?

Face it. We don't understand. We've been trying to figure this thing out for decades and no one is any closer to scratching the surface now than they were when we started. Maybe there is no reason. Maybe it just does this shit because it does this shit and that's just what it does. It exists to watch and torment and kill. It has no reason for doing so. It isn't fun. He doesn't need to do it. He isn't power tripping. He just IS.

We're not dealing with some supernatural force of extreme intelligence going about some otherworldly plot to kill off all the world's preppy film majors with masked lunatics. Just because we don't understand something doesn't mean it's smarter than us, it just means we don't understand it. And look... Look at me! Look at all this shit I've been doing to myself! What has it gained me? Nothing! I could have stayed at home, laid out on my couch, and worked it to Sailor Moon. And nothing would have been any different. Tall guy standing in the corner watching my every move and waiting to kill me. Big fucking deal, least I'm comfortable and not recklessly injuring myself. He didn't make me do all this shit. I did it to myself.



....There's no point. There is no fighting it. There is nothing to fight. If it is going to get you. Then it is going to get you. And if it's not? Then it's not. Deal with it.

I'm going home.

Jul 24, 2012

Getting Out

"Don't get your panties in a wad. I'm only doing this one."

That was my reply to Third when he walked in on me writing on my shoulder with a sharpie. He just stood there and glared at me for a while until I had finished.

"It'll have to come off you know..." he finally said, while I was blowing on it to make it dry faster.

"No. It won't." I replied firmly, standing up and pulling on my shirt. "Because fuck you, that's why."

"If you plan on-

"Well I don't plan on jack shit so you can just drop it right there." I think that's the first time I've actually interrupted him. Didn't wait for him to finish talking, didn't give him any warning, didn't throw anything, just butted right in and didn't give a shit. Then I shoved my way past him and back into what presently qualified as 'my room.'

"What do you think you're doing?"

"I'm leaving. You want to help me pack? I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it."

"Then you're rejecting my offer?"

I stopped and looked back at him. "I'm kicking your offer in the face."

That confused him. Good.

"You know I thought you were coming around... What set you back?" He asked as he watched me stuffing junk into my backpack.

"Nothing set me back." I replied, dropping my bag for a moment and walking straight up to him to address him face to face. "In fact, if you want the honest truth, I think you're right. I think I'm a fucking idiot. I think that not a god damned thing I've done, am doing, or will do is ever going to change the life of a single person. Especially not mine. I've been living a delusional fantasy from the start and lying to myself to make everything feel better. Well nothing's really getting any better is it? And I'm tired of moping around over every stupid little thing. I have no control. I never did. And nothing you think you can offer me is going to change that.

"Even assuming you're honest. Even assuming your little injection wouldn't just kill me outright or something. It wouldn't stop the- That Fucking THING. And if you honestly believe that it would, then YOU are the delusional one. I don't know what kind of deal you've really got going up here and I don't know how long it's gonna last, but mark my words you're going to fall just like every other smart-mouthed know-it-all that's come before you. I'm not your little lab rat anymore and I'm not your fucking bloodhound either! You want your fucking book, you find it your damned self! I don't care anymore!"

There was silence for a while and we just stared at each other. He didn't seem particularly upset or angry. I guess he was thinking. Finally he just gave me a "If that's your decision." and walked out the door.

I finished packing and went back out to meet him in the hallways. Seemed there were a few more loose ends to tie up before he'd let me leave. "What will you do now then?" he asked me, almost sounding concerned.

"Does it matter?"

"It does."

"Then I'll try not to die, how's that sound?" I'm making a lot of fancy arm motions as I'm talking during all of this. I wish I could describe it to you better. I dunno... imagine Lewis Black having a seizure. "Not that it'll help any, but hey, points for trying right?"

"I mean more in regards to what you've learned here."

"And what have I learned Third?? That you're a jackass? That I suck at life? What? You act like you've got some big secret operation going on up here, but you know what I see? NOTHING!! This whole little set up of yours is a sham! I'm not going to go around spilling all of your little secrets because you don't have any to begin with!"

A smile. "Maybe that's what I want you to believe."

"And maybe you're full of shit."

"The name then." He points to my shoulder. "Why did you put it back?"

"It's a reminder."

"I thought we-

"Not of a PERSON." I interrupted again, this time angrier than before. "But of an IDEAL. A person may be lost to the fabric of time, but you cannot destroy an idea. A Symbol. This is my reminder to fight it to the last breath, regardless of all the odds stacked against me, regardless of who I am, what I was, or what I'm going to be. I may go, but I'm not going quietly. It's not going to control me anymore. I'm going back out there and I'm going to do whatever the fuck I want. And not you or IT or anyone the fuck else is going to stop me, do you understand?!"

He stared at me a while longer and just sighed. "Very well. Then this will likely be the last you here from me. Farewell."

He took a few steps towards me. We never made contact. It almost seemed like he walked right through me. And then he was gone. And I was back in that fucking parking lot where we first met...

And it was fucking raining. Great. Now all my nice freshly cleaned shit was going to get wet, dirty, or ruined... It's always something.

Well... I guess if you've got time to worry... Then Run.

Jul 20, 2012

Confronting Third

It's really weird to be just sitting around watching television with someone you absolutely hate. Which is even weirder for me because I have this 'defect' or whatever where I can't seem to hold a grudge against anyone for any prolonged length of time. (Like, seriously, some two weeks ago I'd have stabbed WhiteCrow on sight. Today, I barely even care. I might even buy him a drink if he asked nice.) Yet since the moment I met this fucker I have hated him with a passion and it just seems like it's growing and I'm not even sure why anymore. Obviously he's a dick, but I know plenty of those and that doesn't stop me from cooling my jets after a while. So just what have I forgotten that's really crawling up under my skin about this guy?

Well, at the very least, I know why I'm upset with him right now. So lets break the silence already... "I'm not stupid you know."

"Is that so?" He changes the channel, barely even looks at me.

I just scowled at him, "I can piece two and two together, jackass. It was obvious you wanted something from me from the start, it was just a matter of figuring out what. I may not remember you, but I still KNOW you, and even if I didn't, you've made it pretty clear that you don't really want a damn thing to do with me. So why put up with me at all unless you had some ulterior motive? This is all just for show. You never had anything to prove to me, you're just trying to keep me safe and under watch until I remember what you're after."

He mutes the channel, setting the remote down, then crosses his fingers as he lays his hands upon his lap, never once looking at me. "Go on."

I growled at that. I didn't even need to explain, he knew where I was going. But I felt like wasting my breath. "I've kept some things to myself until I could come to grips with them, but I think the picture's pretty clear by now. The way you talked about me in my visions, the things I've seen myself doing in them, the kind of people I have no problems speaking to today... You think I haven't figured it out? You think I don't know??"

There's this smile creeping along his face, but he doesn't say a word, so I just keep talking. "So if I look at it that way... if I make the right comparisons... then it doesn't take much digging does it? I can damn near pinpoint the moment you took interest in me again. Three different people told me it was important and I didn't listen to them, but sure enough it came back to bite me in the ass. It's that damned Book, isn't it?! That whole stupid dream and everything in it was real! And you know I'm the only one who knows where the book is now!"

There's this moment of silence during which his smile reaches its peak and he startings slowly clapping. "Bravo, bravo, you've figured it out." He pushes himself out of his chair and begins walking towards a window. "But only so much, correct? You still don't know what the book is or why it's important, do you?"

My eyes are following him around the room, but I keep my seat. Can't freak out, not yet. "I've got some theories, but no facts. So just spill it. What's the deal with this stupid dream book?"

His tone changed a bit, but I could still tell he was smiling, even if I couldn't see his face. "It's complicated," he explained, "but if you'd like the cliff notes version, it's an ancient compendium of collected knowledge regarding our mutual tall friend. An 'Encyclopedia Slenderia' if you will."

"That's a stupid name."

"Now now, you'll hurt people's feelings saying things like that. Besides, it's not the name of the book that's important, it's what's inside. Knowledge. Vital information that could lead us to the downfall of He That Is. We need only harness it."

"So why didn't we? I found it, I must have brought it back."


After a while, Third glanced back and me, pointing a finger in my direction. "You remember the end of the dream? You said you couldn't use the book after you had obtained it, but you didn't know why. The knowledge was locked away from you somehow."

"I vaguely recall something like this..." Obviously I've looked it up again since this conversation, so... yeah, I said that, but I was kind of scratching my head at the time of question. I don't normally read my own blog. "So what was the deal then?"

"Nothing supernatural, if that's what you were expecting... but simply put, the entirety of the book was written by hand, in German. That's why you couldn't read it. I was at a similar loss, though I suspect Redlight could have deciphered it given enough time... Unfortunately, he had more pressing matters to attend to, this was our puzzle to solve. And that's where your friend [Onewinged] came into the picture. Having been born and initially raised in Germany, he was familiar enough with the language to begin translating it for us. It was a slow process but-

"Whoa whoa, wait. [Onewinged] was German??"

He gave me the oddest look at that. Head tilted, eyebrow raised, the works. "I'm not sure whether I should be attributing that one to memory loss or to you being hopelessly oblivious... his parents were in the military, remember? They traveled for a while on assignment. He was still basically- You've launched me completely off topic. Where the hell was I?"

"Fine, sorry. Something about the book being translated. So then what? Did we find a way to kill the Slender Man?"

His expression pretty much goes back to normal/annoyed now. "Is the Slender Man dead?"


"Well there you go then." And back to smug. Awesome.

"So did we find Anything??" I'm so close to just yelling at him at this point, I'm sick of talking in circles.

"Yes and no. Much of what we translated simply related tales of the monster's exploits over the course of recorded history, but filtered among them were guidelines for dealing with him in various situations. Solutions for evading similar fates and methods of counteraction. You'll be amused to learn how correct M was in regards to certain details... even back then. Still, is wasn't much to go by. Little by little we seemed to be getting close to something substantial, but each time I felt we were on to something, the translations would fall apart. I eventually came to realize that [Onewinged] was intentionally sabotaging his work in order to hide information from me, fearing, I suspect, that it would fall into the hands of Redlight and be used against Runners. I knew the two of you didn't trust me given my allegiances, but this manner of betrayal was truly disheartening. Such a cruel way to treat a friend, is it not?"

"I can't help but feel like you probably deserved it, but... yeah, maybe a dick move. Should I apologize?"

"I wouldn't. You'll just take it back when I tell you that I resolved the matter by stealing the book for myself."

"Yeah... that would do it."

"You can't really blame me, you left me no choice. If [Onewinged] refused to cooperate, then I needed to find someone else to perform the translation. I'd simply wait for Redlight to return to me, then we could locate a more willing accomplice. Unfortunately, you managed to catch me in the act. I believe that's about the point where your little vision posts pick up."

"Right, you were tied up. So I guess that means I took the book back and hid it from you?"


"Then you got loose and wiped my memory... but then you couldn't find the book." Now it was my turn to put on the smug grin. "Well, that certainly worked out for you, now didn't it?"

"A... minor... miscalculation on my part..." He was still smiling but I caught the brief flicker of irritation that swept over his face when I said that. "but to err is human. I never said I was perfect. Regardless, I was able to press on and continue my studies without the aide of the book even after you two left me for dead. The loss merely slowed me down."

"But you could still use the book to further your studies... and when I showed up on the radar again and started spouting some nonsense about a book... well, that caught your interest, now didn't it? Then my memory started coming back and you figured it was only a matter of time before I connected the dots back to it. So now you're just waiting for me to remember where I hid it so I can tell you where it is?"

He nodded, "Correct again."

"Well then you may as well kick me out the door right now. Because even if I did remember where it was, I would never tell you."

He began walking back towards me, "Is that so? I thought you might say something like that. So I'm prepared to offer you a Deal..."

It felt like the air had changed. Just the mention of that word, in that way, and suddenly it felt like I was being smothered by it. "What kind of deal?"

He removed something from his pocket and laid in on a table next to my chair. A syringe, sickly fluids tossing about within it. "A New Deal, Same as the Old Deal." He began circling me as he explained. For once my eyes didn't follow him, they were transfixed on the object in front of me. "What you're looking at is a perfected modification of the original 'Cure' serum. Just one dose and all of this goes away. You climb back out of the rabbit hole with no memory of your experience. The nightmares, the visions, the horrors, all of it gone. The tall man will lose his grip on you completely, you'll be free of him for good. I'll have my contacts relocate you, give you a new life someplace quiet. Maybe even get you a military contract or something to work on robots or whatever... something to keep you busy and entertained. All your previous associations and activities will be covered up. Your blog will be wiped, the works. None of this will have ever happened."

He snapped his fingers, grabbed my attention back to his stupid smiling face leaned down to meet mine. "All you have to do... is get me The Book."

He picked up the syringe once more. I could have taken it then, but I didn't. I let him take it away... I hesitated too long. It was too good an offer. I knew there had to be a catch but then... there didn't have to be at all. He wanted nothing to do with me. This would get me out of his hair permanently and he wouldn't have to get his precious fingers dirty to do it. It was an offer I couldn't refuse and he knew it. He fucking knew it. So I just sat there... dumbfounded. Like an idiot. And watched him exit the room.

"I'll give you some time to think about it."