Friday, 18 May 2012

We're starting again on a new blog

This...isn't us anymore. This was for the seven of us.

We're starting over. If you're in, come follow us again:

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Truth

I remember the masks most vividly.

We got into the town centre at about 7:15pm. The streets were fuller than I've ever seen them. Packed. "The Better Angels Of Our Nature" has been at knocking around the Times Bestsellers' list for months now. Marcus Stonehall has been on a whole bunch of tv shows. And this event had been VERY well-publicised, in spite - or perhaps even because - of Stonehall decrying the event as glamourising a murderous religious cult who killed his cousin. There were estimates of about fifteen hundred people there from out of town, and the locals had stepped up to the challenge. Every shop and restaurant was packed, every hotel book up months in advance. Our hotel is suddenly full, after two months of being "busy...for Kansas City".

I was walking around with Peter. If it went well, it was a date. If not, it was just going in with a friend. For a while, it was going well. We hung out, we even went around with

I keep needing to tell myself to keep going. Keep going. Keep going.

with Rachel and her girlfriend Fiona at one point, before Fiona's shift started.

And then, at 11:00pm, the parade began.

And all that discomfort I'd had around those masks since the beginning all welled up and overcame me as the masks and the lights came on and I felt sick, sick to my stomace. Post-traumatic stress disorder, I thought. I'm amazed we don't all have it. Like masked heads being cracked apart by heavy lead pipes, or stomped to mush. The next thing I knew Peter was supporting me, pulling me into a side road. "Christ, you're in a bad way," he murmured, as he placed me on a bench and sat down beside me. "I felt it too." I leaned over and rested my head on his shoulder. We sat there for a while, him stroking my hair, me just staring off into nothing, trying to block out the panic. The music was loud and we could see the lights and the crowds from here.

By the time we got up, the parade had gone, moved up the road to a clearing outside of the town where there'd be some gift-shop-pagan bonfire, up by some big old dead tree. We couldn't see them from where we were, so we walked up to where they were. It was a little past midnight, and the festivities had already started. The crowd was huge, and it took me a while to spot, on my left, Rachel, looking small without Fiona. They'd grown close quickly, and she was happier than I'd seen hers since - well, ever since I wasn't around for her anymore. On my right, Roland and Shannon...arm in arm. Huh. Really should have picked up on that happening.

In front of the roaring fire, on a high wooden stage, the Mayor was decked out in lavish robes as he intoned a speech about the history of the town, and of the Church of Faceless Angels. It was melodramatic and overwrought and the crowd ate it up. They gasped and laughed at all the right times, and a strange sense of vague, unseated discomfort settled. The mayor, for what it's worth, was an exceptional public speaker - he really sold it.

And then people in the crowd started pointing.

Behind the stage, around the old, dead tree, people in their medication hoods started to gather.

More and more.

Surrounding the entire crowd.

And suddenly I felt sick, even sicker than I had before. My eyes scanned around and took in every detail faster than I could process the whole thing and suddenly, forcefully, I realised that, clad in these "meditation hoods", I was staring at

Keep going. Keep going.

These masks were proxy masks.

And we realised that, in the light of the bonfire, that we're surrounded by proxies.

And, standing in the shadow of the tree, a tall, pale, bald figure in a suit, his arms open wide, as if to embrace us.

White-hot pain coursed through my head.

The next thing I knew, I'd grabbed Peter's hand and was pushing through the crowd to where Roland and Shannon were standing. They were much deeper into the crowd, but the tourists were confused by the display and didn't fight us.

A shot rang out.

Screaming from the crowd.

Roland's hand grasping my arm , pulling me towards him.

The next thing I know, more gunshots. Roland and Shannon had pulled their guns from their waistbands and fired. I momentarily go deaf, sound blocked out by the KRAK of gunfire.
Two proxies go down. More draw knives and crude weapons. Some even draw guns and return fire, their bullets lost somewhere in the mass of tourists.

Rachel's next to me. More proxies fall. We still have the advantage of human shields. Suddenly a gap forms.

We run. Months of running have made our muscles taut and powerful, and we're out of there, back in the deserted park before we even know it.

He was there.

Suddenly, at the end of the road, a woman. Probably in her mid twenties. Blue patterns on her mask, in the shape of flowers. A proxy. Roland raises his gun.

A scream of "NO!"

He hesitates.

There's a KRAK and Rachel goes limp next to me. Roland fires back and the figure is gone. More appear, firing. Shannon grabs Rachel. We run. Gunshots echo around us. They're civilians, not crack shots, but they're entirely willing to kill. We round a corner and Roland fires back. He IS a crack shot. He's willing to kill.

Rachel's bleeding. She's bleeding too much.

She murmurs "Fiona..." and then she's silent.

There's a splintering sound behind me as Roland breaks a door down. We move inside. Shannon settles Rachel in a corner, and rifles through her bag for her first aid kit. She's sobbing. I'm sobbing. We're all sobbing, we're aching

Keep going. Keep going.

Rachel was already lost. I reach into Peter's bag and pull out our guns. My hands are shaking so much that I almost can't hold the zipper. Roland pokes his head out of the doorway. No gunshots.
He steps outside. "They're...they're walking. They're all walking into the town hall."

And the next thing I know, he and Shannon are walking outside. Peter too. They ignore me as I ask where they're going. They don't even look at Rachel.

I see what they mean. A crowd of people, numbering in the hundreds all in those masks, are filing into the town hall. Townsfolk and tourists alike. We follow them, but they don't even notice us. That, or don't care that we're there. Eventually the stream of people thins.

Suddenly we see a glimpse of a skinny young man in a mask. A familiar young man, in familiar clothes, and a mask. He's too skinny. No muscle on him. No stamina.


Roland charges for him. Shannon screams for him to wait, but he doesn't listen. How is he even here, from England? He just disappeared. I'm reminded of something Stephen mentioned once, that Proxies have a special way to get from place to place

Roland sprints through the door, Shannon and Peter after them. I'm where I was crouching before still, watching them disappear into the distance.

No. I can't leave them. I run up to the door.

I didn't see the smoke until I was through the door.

The proxies are writing in great piles of bodies, still living, as the room begins to catch light. They are muttering and singing and praising the "Faceless one".

We wondered why this place was safe from the Slender Man. It never was. This was simply a settlement at such an advanced stage of Slender Man establishment we didn't know what we were looking at.

Suddenly, in a room to my left, screaming. I burst through the doors. Instantly, pain. Enough to almost bring me to my knees. He's there, and so is Stephen. Peter is on the floor, doubled over, at His feet. Peter's arm is...warped. It's long, too long, and limp, a mass of muscle and blood and torn skin and jutting bone. The others we've seen him do this too have been clean, but for Peter, he's really being cruel. I raise my gun and fire, without thinking.

The proxy that I'm sure is Stephen falls. I feel His gaze shift to me. I sprint forward and grab Peter around his waist, before pulling him towards the door I came from. The pain in my head is so harsh I want to scream or cry but I don't have time. Peter isn't moving.

When the pain in my head clears, we're in Roland's car. Peter had the key. He murmured that Roland gave it to him before he lost consciousness.


So that's it, folks. We've been driving and we've been surviving. Our friends are dead. We're shaken and wounded and terrified. We've been driven from anything we could call a home, and we're not headed anywhere in particular. New refuges, new places. Anything that keeps us alive.

Because we didn't escape. Not really. We got out of the town, and the sun rose, and nothing's happened since. But there's always another nightfall coming. And you need to be ready, because otherwise, that sun's never coming up again.

Natalie out.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Peter's breathing has stabilised. I've been disinfecting his wounds as much as possible. Hoping he'll stay stable

We're in Roland's car. He's laid out in the back, his midsection covered in bandages and his arm...

...I have no idea what I'm going to do with his arm. He needs a doctor, but we're never staying still enough to risk another hospital scene again.

I'm never saying still again.

I'm never trusting anywhere again.

We spent our Christmas driving. He hasn't woken up.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Still collecting my thoughts. Every fiber of my being wants me to not relive what happened that night.

Here's what the radio said about it, just to prepare you:

"... In other news, we are getting reports of a massive fire in Avondale, Missouri. It seems that most of the city has been destroyed in the middle of a major parade. No word yet on the origins of the explosion or explosions..."

"...more now on the fire in Avondale, we can confirm that the fire is currently being fought, and rescue teams are at the scene from Kansas City, but have been unable to locate any survivors...I'm sorry, that's any bodies...what? David, can be get a check on that?..."

"...More information from the Avondale fire, it seems that, in spite of most of the town centre being in flames, including the floats and props for the parade, there's no-one in the town. No bodies, no survivors. If any survivors are listening, please contact emergency services to let us know that you're safe. The number is..."

"And once again, more reports of the Avondale fire, and you're going to want to send the children out of the room for this one. After fighting the blaze engulfing the city hall, firefighters have foung the entire building piled high with what looks like the bodies of the townsfolk. Estimates are counting in the hundreds. And...(oh my god) appears that their limbs have all been massively stretched. Every single one of them. More details as it unfolds."

Friday, 23 December 2011

It's Natalie.

Everything's gone to shit.

I've got Peter with me. I don't know whether he's dead or alive. He could have died since I got him in the car.

Update coming soon.

Thursday, 22 December 2011


The parade's tonight! It all kicks off at midnight. One big public event, all based around an insane murderous cult and the spiritualist crap that's been tied into it. It's bought in plenty of tourists, with tourist money, to the town. The local shopkeepers are salivating. Rachel's...she's her girlfriend, it's pretty going to be working pretty much all evening, in that pretty blue-flowered mask that she's been working on. Poor girl.

I'm going with Natalie. She insisted that I take her, and I wasn't exactly unwilling. In my old life, a girl like her would never even look at me, but she...I dunno, sometimes, I feel like she genuinely likes me. It feels good. Accepting. And I'm hoping I'm past the whole "liking the idea of her, not her" part in that I've seen her covered in blood, we've travelled with one another for months, we've had a fistfight twice, and I'm pretty sure she's seen me pooping. I've always been terrible at telling whether someone likes me - to be honest, for a long time, I had the social ability of a sponge - but she's been fawned over by the prettiest preppy/jock types semi-urban Missouri has to offer, and she still gives me a hell of a vibe.

I read once that attraction is about demonstration of value. I hope it's not true - it certainly takes the sweetness out of the whole thing - but she's seen me fight for my life and not come out the loser, she's seen me trek all day without having to take a break, and, while I'm still kinda awkward, I'm more confident, assertive...I'm not such a bad specimen. How many Hollister model quarterbacks can run across entire countries in fear for months on end, and survive to tell the tale? I mean, I am entirely aware that this is probably wishful thinking. But maybe, just maybe, this is somewhere I can live. A nice town, an amazing, fun, intelligent, gorgeous girlfriend, maybe some pocket money from Roland until I can get a job...

Is it possible to have the Slender Man come after you and still, one day, have it all? After running for so long, facing death and terror so many times? Can we still come off okay?

That was a rhetorical question. PLEASE don't feel the need to answer it.

Monday, 19 December 2011


Rachel here.

I had two really weird conversations today. I appreciate that this used to be a fairly standard slenderblog, but that chapter of my life is over, and so fuck it, this is a personal blog now.

The first one was with Natalie. We were wandering down the main road, where they're setting up for the parade - it's in a few days, on the evening of the 22nd, for the winter solstice. There's banners between the buildings, shops taking in stock. It's a good few days away, but already the hotels are pretty full. Fiona's having to serve to people she doesn't already know for the first time in her life - she gets incredibly nervous. On the night, she'll be working in her mask - she's decorated it by embroidering blue flowers onto it. Maybe it'll help, hiding behind something. She told me she thought so.

Even without the very good reason to stay here that the five of us have

Christ, I almost wrote seven there.

Even without it, I'd stay for Fiona. She looks so incredibly cute when she laughs, and she holds my hand, and it feels so good when she does. Having someone in my life who isn't tied to me by a certain long-limbed necessity for the first time in a while is weird. I told her about the Slender Man incident, but only like some scary story, like an urban legend passed around bonfires deep in the woods. Since then, I've even had a few others try and tell me the story again, and I know Simon and Natalie have too. Word gets around fast here.

So Natalie and I are walking down the road, looking at the store owners festooning their shops with decorations, and Natalie says "If you could have anywhere else be the one place we're safe, for whatever reason, where would it be?"

I thought about home. I thought about my family, who I know are still scared for me at home, and about my friends, and I thought about Nona, and whether I could live with being fine while she had died, at home surrounded by my loved ones while hers still mourned. I don't think I could. Here's the only place I've been to in months that has had anything for me. I shook my head, and Natalie smiled.

"My brother was killed by the Slender Man. My mother started drinking, and hasn't stopped. I don't want to go back there."

The second was with Shannon. We were talking about the citizenship - Roland's been talking with his guys - and I made a joke about how she was basically the mum of the group. She fell very quiet.

I asked what was wrong.

It was never Richard and her who were the original targets.

A long hospital corridor, and at one side, through a door, a tall, misshapen man standing over a crib, looking down at a new born baby, sound asleep.

One of the few memories she has of her child. Too much exposure to the Slender Man has damaged her mind enough to get rid of most of them. I've only seen her with the headaches once, but they were worse than any I've ever seen. She's been doing this too long. She's lost more than any of us.

Still, the festivities are coming up, and we're hoping to get out and about for them.

Though the masks are still creeping me out. Old habits die hard, I guess.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sanctuary of a different sort

So we hit up the local baptist church last night. It was the former Church of the Faceless Angels/Derosier residence, although we had to check in books at the library, because no-one seems to remember where it was. Not even people who were members for 20 years. (It's a pattern we've noticed. They remember the church, but they can't relate it to the town as it currently is. We try not to press them on this, for obvious reasons)

Now, the church is fully operational and regularly used. The Derosier residence is pretty much boarded up. No-one's been in there since Caleb Derosier, the last head of the curch, was arrested back in 1987, following the slenderization of his wife and daughter.

This said, we read an interesting tidbit in an old journal - that even before that, they'd already boarded up the basement, supposedly where the old, mad Lucas Derosier was locked away.

Oh come on. We couldn't not break in.

So we broke in.

At 3:30, we crept over. It was the night before church, so everyone was in bed early to be up for service. The church is pretty well away from the residential part of town, so we didn't disturb anyone as we went. Most of the old boards had rotted away from the nails holding them in place and we just lifted them off. Just enough to be able to crawl in. We'd pulled out the old maglites for the first time in a couple of months, and they lit up the inside of the old house like floodlights. As Natalie, Shannon, Rachel and I all got through, we looked around. The room still had the family's mess out after almost twenty-five years, like ruins preserved under a magma flow. Old magazines and books, a sturdy mahogany dinner table, a sizable kitchen. This would have been a nice house, at the time, but now everything was grimy and covered in dust. It smelt wet and dank, like old sodden rot. The larder in that kitchen was probably full of the results of twenty five years of decomposition. The family died here. This isn't a home, I told myself.

My torch found the stairs - one going to the first floor, one going down to the basement. We moved over to it quickly and headed down the stairs, but as I headed down I thought I caught a glimpse of crusted-over brown crimson on the floorboards, illuminated in the torchlight.

I flash back to that night in the hospital, and all the blood and sickness and horror and death and

I feel sick to my stomach.

There's two doors in the basement. One is open, and appears to be a boiler room. The other has great thick planks of wood across the door frame, that once would have barred entry. But, like the boards outside, they had decomposed to the point where they could be pulled off very easily.

Just a bedroom. Almost entirely bare. An empty wardrobe and chest of drawers. A bed frame with no mattress. The book made him seem like some mad prophet, some wizard. I half expected some massive charm to be scratched out on the floor, but nothing.

Another dead end.

What is it that makes this town so different?

Thursday, 8 December 2011


So we've decided we're going to try and work out what they did here, in Avondale, that makes it safe. I'll be honest, we want you guys to stay away, as we don't want to fuck with this effect, but think about it. We may be able to find a way to make places safe from him. Plus, we're curious.

You're welcome.

Back to the library, I guess. If Buffy taught us one thing, it's that libraries are how you deal with any supernatural threats.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

From refugees to asylum seekers

A lot happened today.

We're making decisions about staying here. The simple fact is, as long as we're here, we're safe. Anywhere else leads to us being hunted down by proxies or worse. We need to live here, or we'll die.

For that, we need permanent residence. Our Visas have a good few months on them, but we're all prepared to over-stay if need be. And need will almost certainly be. Permanent Residence takes an incredibly long time to go through by normal channels. Fortunately, we're hoping it'll be quicker for us. You see, the USA accepts 80,000 people a year in the Employment-Based categories 1 and 2. Both place high priority on people who are high up in the business world or have advanced degrees. Shannon has a Master's Degree in mathematics - something we didn't know - and Roland?

Well, we knew he had a military background, possibly even special forces, and that whatever he did, it paid very well. What we didn't know was exactly what. He can fight, he can survive on the run, and despite being more than twice my age, is a hundred times fitter than me. It turns out that he was one of the senior executives in a fairly major private military company. His job was "a desk job, but well paid. I was pushed into it when word was going around that I could be eligible to get moved up into the corporation that owns the company." And while he's on extended grief leave following the death of his wife and son, he's still very much employed there, in a very high-ranking position. And this PMC is currently in a million-dollar contract with the US Government to aid the reconstruction in Iraq.

Will they let five normal people take refuge in their great country? Maybe, maybe not. 

Will they let a high-ranking executive in a corporation working for the US Government and his partner and adopted children stay, bringing all their British-earned money with them? Here's hoping.

So Roland's calling in all his favours, he's having people talk to people (Immigration is amalgamated into Homeland Security, and Homeland Security has a pretty high opinion of this PMC), and - hopefully - this can be taken care of pretty soon.

Then we can live here, safe and secure from a danger that's been plaguing us for longer than we can remember.