Alright, may as well finish this up and get it out of the way...
Where was I then? The E-mail? Okay...
The day I got it, I was a bit in shock. Onewinged had been missing for weeks. He was the last person I expected to be contacted by, given the situation. I expected to open it up and find a plea for help or something, but the contents were much more frightening than that. The message was very straight forward...
“I know this is going to sound strange, but you HAV3 to Trust Me. This is of the absolute greatest importance. Your LIF3 depends upon it.
The attached documentation is VITAL to your Survival.
DO NOT OP3N IT UNL3SS YOU AR3 INSID3 TH3 BUNK3R!!
DO NOT!! Open it at Home and you are D3AD!!
Must Believe Me. No Place 3lse Secure.
Not Much Time. Hur”
...I’m not going to lie. I kind of sat there laughing at this for a while. It was ridiculous. I mean seriously? Seriously? What kind of joke--
But I couldn’t bring myself to open the attachment.
I hovered over it for a while, thinking it over. Something had happened to Onewinged. And he seemed to have gone to a lot of trouble to send an awfully big attachment to me in such a cryptic manner. It was hard to ignore the warning. Eventually, fear gave way to panic. I grabbed up some gear of mine, personal affects, and stuffed them all in a backpack with my laptop and took off running.
Looking back on it today, I’m glad I didn’t know what I was running from at the time.
So I made it to the bunker, locked myself in, set up my laptop, and logged back into my e-mail. For the second time, I sat in silence hovering over that attachment. Part of me didn’t want to know. This was... really weird... and I didn’t know what to expect. But I finally worked up the courage to look inside.
And... okay, yeah... I totally started laughing again.
Can you blame me? This is the stuff of fantasy. Things like the “Slender Man” just don’t exist in real life. You’d have to be a special kind of crazy not to be skeptical of such a thing. I mean sure, all of my theories up until that point of him being involved the Mafia or some such were pretty crazy too, but this was outright SciFi-Horror genre stuff. My fantastical assumptions seemed rather sane by comparison.
But the more I read... the more it started to sink in...
It had to be real.
I mean, who was I kidding? Onewinged? A drug addict? He was the cleanest kid I’ve ever fucking known. He tried smoking all of once. For all of ten seconds. He acted like he was gonna fucking die from the first half-puff and then refused to ever touch the things again. The guy was scared to death of needles too. Would rather spend three weeks feeling like shit than suffer through five seconds of a flu shot. So heroin and anything else like that is out of the question.
And if just seemed too sincere to be some elaborate joke. Onewinged was never much of a prankster. The few jokes he ever did try pulling were so blatantly obvious you could see them coming a mile away. This? This was just too much. He was always a dreamer, with big crazy ideas... but this?
I sat there for hours pouring over notes and journals. It started out so innocent. It was just another game that he was playing along with. He had all these wacky theories and ideas, stories he planned on writing about. Talk of authors he hoped to join and get to know some day. And then everything just sort of... shifts.
There are a good six or seven “journals” that I could only describe as having been written by a mad man. None of it makes sense. It is nothing but piles upon piles of gibberish and code and shit that just looks like he must have been slamming his face against the gods damned keyboard. Scanned in images of drawings that I recognized as his hand. Crazy shit that didn’t fit his usual art style at all. I’d post some examples but, let’s face it, you’ve all seen this stuff before. And then it just stops. And it’s almost like he’s back to normal. Like he just had one big fit and then snapped out of it just as quickly as it had come upon him.
There was something distinctly different in how he was writing from that point on though. It was like he was no longer just talking to himself. Leaving himself little notes and reminders. It was like he was talking to someone else...
He was talking to Me.
He must have known. He must have known as soon as he saw it that it was all over. That he was going to die. And he must have known that the people he knew would likely be targeted next. That we’d start investigating. That we’d find out the truth. Then we’d be right in the same situation that he found himself in. Alone and unprepared. So he guided me back here. To this place. Where I could hide. Where I’d stand a chance. Safe and protected from his sight, and armed to the teeth with knowledge. Here, I could stand a fighting chance against the monster. A chance to survive, where he could not.
Of course, I’m saying all that like it’s an assumption I’m making. But I’m really just sort of... paraphrasing. Because it’s all here. All typed up plain and simple in front of my face. His words. His last words.
The last entry...
He says he knew it would be back for him soon. Like he could feel it in the wind. Like a cold chill eating away at his very soul. He said he wasn’t strong enough to fight. That even if he was, he couldn’t win. He said he wasn’t strong enough to run. That he couldn’t be like That Man. His only hope was in his theories. His counter-arguments to the established Rules. But they were no good to him. He was already marked. It would find him no matter where he went. And he just wasn’t strong enough to keep running. Not like that. He wasn’t strong enough to take his own life. To just end it all and be done. Not strong enough. Not strong enough. He just kept repeating it over and over until... He says he has one last thing to do. He has to make sure someone knows the truth. And that they’d be ready. Like he couldn’t be. And then... when the monster appears again. He was just going to walk outside, take its hand, and go along with it into the darkness. Because there was nothing else he could do. Maybe he’d get lucky. Maybe the agents were right. Maybe It would take him to paradise...
Wishful thinking. I guess.