Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I think I'll stick with Mr. Scissorman's titles. I can't think up a good one for this post anyway. I was never like the Skeptic. Or Jack, I guess I should just call him Jack.

He's dead, by the way.

Guess I should explain what happened. Well, as you can probably guess from when our friend from the Panopticon went insane, the Slender Man showed up. Everyone went pretty much crazy and started to run -- except for me, Tom, and Jack, who were tied down and couldn't move a goddamn muscle.

And then our pal from the Panopticon decided to switch sides and join with Slendy. Went up to the Slender Man, his head all bowed, and declared his allegiance.

The Slender Man cut his throat and then proceeded to carve him up like a turkey. I guess he doesn't like it when someone says that he doesn't exist.

And then Jack's chair broke. I know what you are thinking: what a deus ex machina. But stupid Scissorman tied us to Jack's own chairs, so apparently Jack knew exactly where to apply pressure in order to break it. Talk about crazy prepared.

Anyway, Jack crawled over to us and started to untie our ropes. Slendy was busy pulling out Scissorman's insides, so it seemed if we rushed, we could possibly leave without getting the same fate.

Except Jack couldn't walk. He told us that Sam -- the Scissorman -- had shot him in the legs. No more running for him.

"I'll just slow you down," he said like this was some sort of stupid action movie.

"Tom can carry you," I said. "Let's just go!"

"No," he said. "I have to face him. I have to face my fate."

I may have punched him when he said that. But he wanted to stay. "Go," he said, "I have an impossible promise to try and keep." He took my hand and slipped something into it.

So we left. We ran and ran and ran and when I finally looked back, there was nothing following us.

Tom's gone somewhere else now. He just slipped away, the way he usually does.

I'm all alone again.

I looked in my hand and found the note he put there.

This is one of those emergency ‘If you're reading this, then I am dead' notes. I'm sitting on bed now, recovering from whatever illness I had, knowing I won't have the courage to give it to you. 
There are so many things I have not said. But this was the hardest: I know why you run. I know when you were younger, your twin sister was taken from you. Kidnapped by the Slender Man. She was one of the children I tried to find. She was one of the faces I saw on the trees.
I have never seen any faces afterwards. None except yours. 
This was why I chose you. Because your face reminded me of all the faces I could not see. Without you around, I would have been surrounded by faceless people, a world of Slender Men and Women, and I could not stand that. You gave me a face to hold on to. 
And so I'm sorry I have to leave. But it's a choice and, even if it might be the wrong one, it's the one I'm making. We all need to make our own choices. 
I know, by the time you read this, that I will probably be dead by the hand of the Slender Man or the Plague Doctor or some other entity that exists. But I want you to know this: there are many regrets I have in my life. 
Meeting you is not one of them. 
Have a good life, Peri.

- Jack

I have many regrets, too, Jack. More than I can count. But knowing you isn't one of them either.

I don't think I can write any longer. Not here anyway.

Goodnight all.


 - Peri

(Brain Damage)

i pledge allegiance to

the slender man

of the united states of slenderica

and to the monster for which we stand

one purpose under god


for liberty

and justice

for all

(Any Colour You Like)

mr nothing is here. i can see him. can i?

No he's not real. He's just an idea. Get it right.

of course hes real. hes mr nothing. hes made of nothing. nothing at all.

No, he's a meme-complex. He's not there. Look, I can try to touch him and my hand

My hand

my hand

myhandcanfeelsomething oh god

see hes real hes mr nothing cant you see?

my mind is screaming why am i still typing why don’t I run or get out of here please let me out let me out

hes mr nothing. hes nothing at all.

What are the others doing? Are they leaving? Don’t leave me! Don’t go! Goddamn you! I’ll kill you all!

run rabbit run run from mr nothing

What are you? Why are you typing?

i'm the scissorman. dont you remember?

Yes, I remember. We saw him and we


we became the Scissorman.

the door flew open and in he ran





slender man

(Us and Them)

We arrived and took them by surprise. It wasn't that hard. And now here they all are. All tied up and helpless.

A steady supply of curses flowed out of Peri's mouth. I'll admit, it's impressive. She has the vocabulary of a stevedore. Tom, on the other hand, hasn't said a word. He's as quiet as a mouse -- a mouse that has a perpetual grin on his face. It's kind of creepy. But whatever. I've faced worse.

"Now that we're all together," I said, "it's time to finish this thing. Jack, you're coming back to work for us. You can even have Peri and Tom here as your assistants."

Peri responded to this suggested with a glob of spit that I just barely avoided. Girl has the aim of a sniper. I think I'm in love.

"No," Jack said, "we can't work for you if we don't believe in your counter-meme. Otherwise, what's the point, right? You're going to make us believe first, aren't you?"

"You know me so well," I said. I walked around them. "You see, I'm going to do when Jack here did for us. I'm going to give you a reason."

"I already have a reason, jackass," Peri said.

"Survival isn't a reason," I said. "It's a response. It's an instinct. You can't live on instinct alone. You need something to live for. A purpose. Jack here gave us our purpose. And I bet he tried giving you one as well. 'The invincible summer.' Has a nice ring to it, but I prefer 'This is the best of all possible worlds.' Sounds much better." I walked around them in a semi-circle. "Now, some of our methods may seem barbaric, but it really is for the best. You'll thank us after this is all over, I guarantee."

"Fuck you," Peri said.

"Stop this," Jack said.

"Forth from my sad and darksome cell," Tom said. "From the deep abyss of Hell, Mad Tom is come to view the world again to see if he can ease his distemper'd brain.."

I looked at him. "What's his deal? Why did you bring him on board again?"

"He's..." Jack paused and looked at Tom. "...unpredictable."

"Nonsense," I said. "Everyone's predictable. He just shouts nonsense. I bet you like that, Jack, with all your quotes."

"Fear and despair pursue my soul," Tom said. "Hark! how the angry Furies howl!"

"Yeah yeah," I said. "I'm writing this all down, you know. It's so very amusing."

"Pluto laughs, and Proserpine is glad," Tom said, "to see poor naked Tom of Bedlam mad.

"Sam," Jack said, using my real name. "Get out of here. Get out now. Something's coming. Tom can feel it."

"Yes, I'm sure," I said. "Poor Tom is crazy and you know it. Nothing is

Nothing is


no thing

what is that

thats not real its not real not real not real not real

nothing is here nothing is here nothing is here




with his pale face and dark suit

mr nothing is here


Now, you might be wondering why Peri and Tom O'Bedlam were still at Jack's house. You may not know this, but when you go on the run from an imaginary monster, you may not have that much money, so you there are not a whole lot of places to stay.

I mean, some of the runners we saw we found were sleeping in their cars and if they couldn’t afford a car, they were sleeping on the streets. Alleyways, parking garages, public restrooms. They suffered from malnutrition and very poor health. I mean, most of the "killings" of runners that are attributed to the Slender Man are just due to living on the streets. I mean, do you know how many homeless people die every year?

So when you come across a rent-free house, you tend to stay there, no matter if the owner is on the run himself. I don't blame them. Perhaps they even tried to carry on his work -- though without all that pretentious twaddle he was spouting, I hope. 

"We can give them a better life," I said to Jack on the way over. "We can give them new lives."

"Like the new life you gave to Adam Krug?" he asked.

"He was an experiment," I said. "You can’t make an omelette without, you know, killing a few people."

He was quiet all the rest of the way over. I guess he doesn't like omelettes.

 -- The Scissorman

(The Great Gig in the Sky)

"Time to get a move on," I said.

"Where are we going?" Jack asked.

"Home, Jack," I said. "Where else?"

"...home? My home?" He laughed. "And what do you expect to find there?"

I gave him a big ol’ shit-eating grin. "Why, your little buddies, of course. Peri and that crazy old coot."

The smile was wiped off of his face. "Leave them alone," he said. "They are not a part of this. This is just us."

"But there is no justice," I said, "if you’ll pardon the pun. And we need them to persuade you."

"Harming them will not persuade me to do anything," Jack said.

"Who said anything about harming them?" I said raising my arms innocently. "We just want to bring you all together for a nice reunion. After all, you did have that whole plan to war against the Slender Man, didn’t you? If we bring you to them, you can have your chance. You might even escape. You never know."

Jack gritted his teeth. "You’re not going to give this up, are you?"

"You taught us well, Jack," I said. "Time to go."

We loaded him up on our helicopter -- did I mention that we have a helicopter? It’s nice to have boatloads of money sometimes -- and took off. The sky was nice and blue. From here to Jack’s house it’s just a two-hour flight.

Here we go.

 -- The Scissorman


We stopped his bleeding, of course. We wanted to keep him alive. For now, at least.

But why? I hear you ask. Why not just shoot him? Well, he was one of the smartest members of the Panopticon, way back when. We could still use his skills. All we have to do is...persuade him to work for us.

We both want to same goal, after all: the eradication of the Slender Man meme. Only he doesn't believe that it's a meme at all, he believes it's an actual monster. Silly. The only monsters here are us, Jack.

"He'll show up," Jack said. "He'll come to kill me. Him or one of the others. Then you'll see."

"Shush, Jack," I said. "You're just being silly, now. No one's coming for you. It's all in your head. I mean, you told us yourself that it was a meme."

"I was trying to keep you from going crazy!" he shouted. "It obviously didn't work."

"Now, now," I said, "no need for insults. All we want you to do is join us again. Remember working together on those campaigns? All those political ads we did? Come on, it'll just be like that, but this time we'll be helping people."

Jack took a deep breath and then winced in pain. We had all the bullets removed from his legs and even gave him some pain pills, but not that much. "You're not helping people," he said. "You're hurting them. You're trying to make them ignore reality."

"Reality is pain," I said, "you know that. Isn't it better to ignore the pain? Pretend like it's not there?"

"But it is there!" Jack said. "You can't ignore it. You have to fight it!"

"Tisk tisk," I said. "You can't fight pain. It's all in your head, remember?"

"It's a stupid metaphor!" Jack shouted. "He's real! You can't pretend he's not! Doing that will get people killed!"

"Good old Jack," I patted him on the back. "Always getting worked up over the little things. Don't worry, you'll come around. We have all the time in the world."

Time, Jack. Time is all anyone needs to change people's minds.

 -- The Scissorman

(On the Run)

He ran and we followed. Of course we did. He was our creator, the Frankenstein to our monster. He gave us purpose. He showed us the way. And then rejected us for following it to its logical conclusion.

So he ran and we followed. Two months of running and we found him in a motel. With the monster we had created. With Adam Krug.

Poor Adam was tied to a chair and there was Jack the Skeptic trying to deprogram him. "You know who you are," Jack said. "You know what you saw. Ignore everything else, just focus on what you remember. What do you remember?"

"I remember," Adam said, "I remember...I remember a man...a man without a face..."

Jack let out a breath. "I know it's hard," he said as he patted Adam on the shoulder, "but we must never forget the truth of what happened or else we will lose ourselves."

"I remember," Adam said again. "I'm sorry. I’m sorry I att-attacked you. I just...I just wanted to make everything go away so badly."

"That’s alright," Jack said. "As long as you can remember who you are. They can never take that piece of you away."

Oh, Jack. Poor Jack. Wrong again.

The door flew open and in I ran. The great, tall, red-legged Scissorman. Only I wasn’t carrying scissors. I was carrying guns. Bang bang bang.

Poor Adam Krug died in that chair. Poor Jack tried to run, but a couple of well-placed bullets hit him in the legs.

And now poor Jack can't run anymore.

Oh, joyous day. This is the best of all possible worlds.

-- The Scissorman

Friday, April 20, 2012



Shit shit shit.

Shit shit fucking shit fuck.

You think I care, Skeptic? I think I care about you? You called me, remember? You said, "Hey, I have this great idea: let's go to war!" And I didn't fucking want to do it. But you convinced me. And now you bailed.

I understand why. I do. But you couldn't tell it to my face? You had to sneak out in the middle of the fucking night?

Fuck that shit. When it's my turn, when it's my time, I'm not going to go out to the desert someplace and go quietly. I'm going to the tallest building I can find and when he comes for me, I will run him straight off the roof.

That's how I'm going to die. How are you?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Skeptic-On-Duty of a Decaying World

Man starts over again everyday, in spite of all he knows, against all he knows.

It's time. It's time to tell the truth.

Peri has fallen asleep on the couch. She's been watching over me like a mother hen these past few weeks. I didn't realize just how much she cared about others until she cared about me. She cares more than she realizes. And yet, I write this in secret. Tom O'Bedlam is sitting in the corner, grinning at me like some sort of ghastly specter, but I know he will not wake her. Not when I leave.

So much has happened this past week. This past month. So many have died. And past villains seem to have returned. The pendulum of life has tipped and we seem to be entering a time when everything goes wrong. When we are powerless and trapped.

And I am not blameless. My hands are not bloodless.

I have never revealed where the name of "Skeptic" came from. It was a nickname, given to me by the Panopticon. Back when they were just a think tank. Back when I worked for them.

I was there, when we were hired to study the runners and the proxies. The others, upon hearing about the Slender Man, scoffed in disbelief. I, on the other hand, knew the truth. I tried to convince them of it, but they called me "Skeptic," a reversal of my role.

And then they saw him and they despaired. And I did something foolish. I did something stupid. I proposed the idea of a counter-meme.

They took to it instantly. How else to fight a meme-complex but with a counter-meme? I knew the truth, but I wanted to keep them sane. I didn't realize how bad I was making things. Memes were proposed and discarded. I tried to minimize the damage, but already it was spinning out of my control.

My last proposal was an attempt to get them to fight the Slender Man. To get them to war with him.

The invincible summer. That was my counter-meme. That was my idea.

They rejected it and replaced it with their own. With the "best of all possible worlds." With Brazil and Brave New World and 1984.

I am sorry, Adam Krug. I am sorry, Proxiehunter. I am sorry for all future victims of my mistakes.

And now? Now I have somehow attracted the attention of the Plague Doctor. The Beak Doctor, the spreader of disease, and his servants are after me. And if I stay here, I know Peri will continue to care and protect me. And for that, she will suffer at his hands. And I cannot abide that.

So I am running. I'm running away and leaving this blog for Peri and Tom to continue. I'm going to go where the damage from my death will be minimal. Where the Slender Man or the Plague Doctor can take me without anyone else dying by my side. Because I am going to die. The only questions are where and when.

I am leaving the war for you to fight. Even if it is futile, you must not give up. You must push the rock up the hill, even knowing that it will fall. When we push the rock, knowing that it is futile and still pushing, that is when we know we are human.

There is no fate that can not be surmounted by scorn. 
If the descent is thus sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy. This word is not too much. Again I fancy Sisyphus returning toward his rock, and the sorrow was in the beginning.

Signing out for the last time,

Jack "The Skeptic" Castel

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So yeah.

He's doing better. More lucid now. His wound is at least healing fine. He's going to have a heck of a scar, but don't we all?

So, yeah, about the Plague Doctor. Don't get me wrong, the thing we're running from, the thing we're fighting against is the Slender Man. But you can't help but notice other things while running. It doesn't take a genius to realize that if the Slender Man exists, then other things could exist, too.

Of course, it helps when they all have servants and things with symbols and whatnot. This is the Plague Doctor's symbol - aptly named "the Stick and the Serpent." His servants are Oathbreakers. Like their boss, they spread corruption and disease and what the fuck they would want with Skeptic, I have no idea.

Just another mystery, I guess.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Out of the hospital

We've left the hospital. It wasn't safe there.

Skeptic hadn't really been lucid since he woke up. The doctors kept mentioning "possible" brain damage. Except he was stabbed, not hit on the head. But I wasn't sure. I mean, he could have fallen down and hit his head before we got there. I didn't want to take him out of the hospital before he was healed just because I was paranoid.

But yesterday, he looked more lucid, so I gave him the laptop to see what he would write. He opened up a notepad and started writing:
oak beater 
oak beaker 
oat beater 
oat beaker

I thought he was back to gibberish, but then I looked again and saw it. I saw what he was trying to tell me:

Oath breaker.

He must have seen the Stick and the Serpent on one of the doctors or nurses. I don't know what the fuck the Plague Doctor wants with him, but I got him out of there as fast as I could.

I let Tom O'Bedlam handle all the paperwork.

Friday, April 6, 2012

He was on the roof.

The fucking roof.

Here, let me just lay out what happened: Skeptic, a thirty-year-old man with a chest wound that was still healing, got out of his hospital bed and walked up five flights of stairs to the roof. Nobody saw him do this. None of the nurses or orderlies I talked to saw him leave or walking up the stairs. He shouldn't even have been able to walk up those stairs -- the doctor says he should barely be able to stand.

And yet I found him on the roof looking over the side. For a moment, I was scared that he was going to jump. Then he turned and looked at me and said, "Sum." I rushed over and pulled him away from the edge, all the while he was saying, "Sum. Mer. Sum. Mer."

By the time I had gotten him back to bed (and yelled out the nurses and orderlies for letting him leave), he was chanting, "In. Vince. Able. Sum. Mer."

Someone, this phrase has gotten stuck on a loop in his mind. It's from a quote by Albert Camus - you can read the whole thing here. Needless to say, he loves the quote for some stupid reason. But I have no idea why it's looping through his head.

I'm just glad he's back in bed.

(Except how did he leave without anyone seeing? Fuck.)

He's gone.

I went into his hospital room and he wasn't there. Just a bed of crumpled sheets. Fuck.

Nobody saw him leave. Nobody.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I'm sorry about that last post. Skeptic woke up, but he wasn't talking, so I thought maybe he could write. But I guess he's still not coherent.

Or maybe he is coherent and he's just describing dreams of the past. Fuck if I know.

I need another cigarette.
find the children find them find the ghost of man find his slender fingers beckoning me inviting me to go for a walk in the woods a nice walk in the woods at night and what could go wrong and follow the man without a face and find the children and see their faces

oh GOD their FACES i can SEE their FACES


the BRANCHES going through their EYES

why WHY why WHY did he do that



just RUN


Monday, April 2, 2012


They wouldn't allow me to smoke indoors, so I'm sitting outside on one of those crappy plastic tables, typing with one hand and smoking with the other.

Skeptic's been sleeping this past weekend. He woke up briefly yesterday - I thought he was going to shout "April Fools!" at us - but then fell back asleep again. That's the only reason I know he isn't in a coma. They said he was lucky that the blade was so short - and even now, he still has to stay in the hospital for the next I-don't-know-how-long.

Also, in other "I-don't-know-how-long" news, I don't know how long I can keep this ruse of being his sister up. They've already asked for his insurance, but so far I've stalled them. Sure, I can tell them we don't have any insurance, but I don't know if they'll just turf him to the curb when he wakes up. If he wakes up.

Shit, Tom O'Bedlam is climbing a fucking tree. I better get him down before he breaks his fucking neck and we have another person in the hospital.

Friday, March 30, 2012

He's Still Alive

For now. He has a collapsed lung. He was in surgery for a while, then was out of it, but now they are prepping him again.

They asked me what his name was. I don't fucking know, so I made something up. I said I was his sister.

Fuck. I don't even know if he has a sister. He never told me anything about himself.

Skeptic, if you die, I will fucking kill you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


That. That didn't work out as I had hoped.

I found him. We spent the past week tracking Panopticon movements. Looking for him. Looking for Adam Krug.

We found him.

There was a facility. An abandoned theater. I went by myself. I found him. Duct taped to a chair.

I cut the tape holding him. I said I was there to help him. To help against the Panopticon. To help against the Slender Man.

I was too late. Always too late.

He grabbed my knife and

he stabbed and stabbed and

and said he knew the truth

and then he ran off.

I think I'm dying.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Exigui numero, sed bello vivida virtus.

The time is approaching when further talk will be useless.

I am going to try setting up a War Station. A group of runners to gather intelligence, to prepare and learn and fight.

Station 00//The Fool.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Du musst amboss oder hammer sein.

Number Two: You are too strong. We'll see. "Du musst amboss oder hammer sein." 
Number Six: "You must be anvil or hammer." 
Number Two: I see you know your Goethe. 
Number Six: And you see me as the anvil? 
Number Two: Precisely. I am going to hammer you.

We are small compared to our enemy. We are weak. We are human and we face an inhuman monster. And more than that, we face an inhuman monster that is shrouded in secrecy, that is hidden from the many. Tell a person you have seen the Slender Man and their first thought is that you are crazy. How can we fight a war when we fight against not only our enemy, but also our society? A society that cannot see the Slender Man, but can see us?

The Panopticon continues to try and force their will upon Adam Krug. They are trying to break him, trying to make him see five fingers instead of four. And yet, somehow, I can understand why. They are afraid. They don't want to fight against the monster; they want to deny it even exists. But that cannot. To say it doesn't exist is to let it win.

The quote at the top comes from The Prisoner where Number Two continually tried to break Number Six and get him to reveal his secrets, but it never happened. Even in that quote, Number Two makes an error: the hammer never breaks the anvil. George Orwell wrote: "In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about."

Fate shall yield 
To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife.

If there is anything that the Gargoyle's experiments have shown, it is that the Slender Man is unpredictable. So, if we are to beat an unpredictable enemy, we should be unpredictable ourselves. We should not always take the quickest way or the easiest way, for that is where most traps lay. We should not run headlong into danger or death -- and yet sometimes, this is the best way to become unpredictable.

In Hamlet, Prince Hamlet pretends to be mad, but there is a method to it. Perhaps we should do that, go a little mad, become chaotic, be unpredictable.

By doing this, perhaps we can avoid Hamlet's fate and forge a better one.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vos lenger a blinder lebt, alts mer zet er.

Experience. The wisdom that enables us to recognise in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.

We have something in common, you and I. We have both experienced loss.

What kind of loss? The loss of innocence. The innocence that comes with believing the world is good or fair, that the world has a sense of justice or kindness. Perhaps you see the world as cruel now, to have allowed such a thing as the Slender Man to live and operate. Or perhaps, like me, you see the world as meaningless, a blank slate that we can mold to be whatever we wish.

But in the end, we have still lost something. Perhaps you lost in long ago, perhaps it was only yesterday.

We should mourn our innocence. Because it is dead and shall never return to us.

But we have something to replace it: experience. The experience that tells us when to run, when to fight, when to sleep, and when to stay awake. Sometimes our experience is incomplete, sometimes we make mistakes, but this only gives us more experience to use.

Each title of my post is in a foreign language. I hope you look them up, for they all say something different. Today's is Yiddish for "The longer a blind man lives, the more he sees."

We were all blind once. Now, we have eyes open to the world around us.

There's none so blind as they that won't see.

The Panopticon would have us blind again. They would blindfold us with lies about happiness and safety. Already, they are telling lies to Mr. Krug in an attempt to make him disbelieve in the Slender Man. And why? So that they might regain their innocence, so they may see the world again as good and fair?

It is a terrible thought, but understandable. Yet, we cannot go backwards, back towards that state of innocence.

Because our innocence is dead and we have killed it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

L'espoir ne fait pas de poussière.

The miserable have no other medicine 
But only hope.

Today I talk of hope. Hope: the best and worst thing that we may have. We may hope for a better tomorrow and it may never come. We may hope for so many things and know none of them shall come to pass. And yet we still hope.

It has been speculated that the word "hope" is derived from "hop" - "leaping in expectation." When we hope, we are making a leap, jumping down into the hole. And sometimes it rewards us and sometimes it suffocates us. Sometimes we drown in hope. Sometimes hope kills us.

I was seventeen. I had gotten use to the headaches and not seeing faces. And then I saw him walking down the street. I've already said that I noticed his unusual gait, his long arms, his pale skin. I noticed him, I noticed that he looked off, but I did nothing. Because I hoped I was wrong.

The disappearances started soon after. Children snatched from the playground. Their friends could only say that they "went into the woods" even though there were no woods nearby. Some children claimed to have seen "the woodsman" leading the missing children into the woods, but they could not describe him. Only that he "came from the woods."

I fancied myself an amateur detective. After my accident, I noticed people's body language more. I became better at seeing if someone was lying, if someone was nervous, if someone was guilty of something. It was my goal to someday work for the FBI. So I set my sights on finding out who had taken the children. I hoped I would find him.

Oh what a sorry fool I was, staking out playgrounds and elementary schools. If the police had not already known me (and discarded me as a suspect), then I am sure I would have been arrested. Still, I did not have much luck. My disability gave me an advantage at times, but it was still a disability: I recognized no one, saw no faces in the crowd.

Until one night. I had packed up my equipment and was preparing to leave. The local playground was empty - parents had rightly refused to allow their children to play here at night, even with supervision - and the only movement was an empty swing set that I had pushed in boredom.

And then, there he was. He was standing on the edge of the playground. He was tall and lean and he wore a suit. He looked, to me, like a funeral director. I called out to say hello and ask him why he was here, but my voice caught in my throat as I recognized him. The gait, the pale skin, the general sense of wrongness. This was the man I had seen before. And in my heart, I knew he was the man who had taken the children.

He turned and started to walk away and I, foolishly, began to follow. He passed trees that had not been there before and I did not notice. Soon, we were inside a forest that had not just appeared, but seemed to have always been there - just out of sight. It was like there was a space that I had just never seen, an area that I had never looked at. And it all felt wrong.

And yet still I followed him. He led me through the forest, past trees with leaves the color of the night sky. He led me to an area of the forest where I saw the children. All the children he had taken. What was left of them.

Sickened, I turned and ran. I did not look where I was going; I did not care. What he had done to the children was unspeakable. Even now, I cannot think about it without becoming sick. Their faces, their eyes...please excuse me for not delving into details. I do not think I can adequately describe the scene or the revulsion I felt.

And so I became lost in the forest. I ran and ran until I could not tell which way was north. The moss did not seem to grow on any side of these trees. When I placed my hand on one of them, they pulsed with warmness and sap oozed from them. I quickly pulled my hand away and never touched another tree.

Finally, I became so disoriented that I fell to the ground. The ground itself seemed strange, as if it wanted to suck me in, wanted to reach out and smother me. I was tired, so tired, and I had almost given up hope of ever reaching the end of this nightmare place. And then the Slender Man stepped forward. He loomed over me like a black and white monolith and he reached down with one long, spindly hand and I closed my eyes tightly and I felt him touch my chest.

And I opened my eyes to blinding sunlight. When I got up, I realized I was back in the playground, back where I had started.

I had solved the mystery. I knew who had taken the children. My hopes had been fulfilled.

What stupid hopes they were.

It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.

The Panopticon have again left a message for us to read. They claim that they will show us the truth, but I fear their "truth" is merely some sort of brainwashing that they wish to impose on Mr. Krug. If I had some way of finding him, of knowing where they were, then I would act on it, but unfortunately, I do not.

Right now, I find myself with very little I can do about anything. So I shall do what I can.

Be wary, be cautious, and be careful. Try to travel in a group or with a companion. Try not to travel alone, if possible.

And hope for a better future. For the time may come when the despair of tomorrow is changed and our hopes are finally vindicated.

Or so I hope.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A machja, ochji un ha ma ochji teni.

This is not good.

And something else. I was sent this video via email:

I do not know what they are doing to Mr. Krug, but let us hope that they do not harm him.

Riso raknar, rann álfraudull, nordr at niflheim nióla sótti

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.

There has been a cold snap here. After a week of warm weather, suddenly it began to rain. And now, even though the rain has stopped where I am, the cold has crept in and decided to stay.

The conditions of war will not be good. Even the best of battles will be the worst of times. And the worst of battles shall seem like hell itself. But we must persevere. Hell, like tyranny, is not easily conquered.

And being hunted by the Slender Man is hell. I do know this. Not a day goes by that I do not wish I had no noticed him, had not noticed the way he walked, his strange gait, his pale complexion, his long arms. For when you notice him, he notices you. I would compare it to a person examining a bug through a magnifying glass, but it is worse than that. Some people might feel a degree of pity for the bug. Perhaps a better analogy would be a person examining a germ through a microscope? Does one feel anything at all for a germ?

And yet, germs can hurt a person. Germs, working together, can kill a full grown man.

"How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four." 
"Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane."

I have seen more of the posters. I am getting worried. The walls are covered sometimes with "BE HAPPY. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG." Or "DON'T WORRY. EVERYONE IS FINE." And always ending with that discordant note of "THIS IS THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS."

And worse: like Mr. Krug and Proxiehunter, I have begun to see white vans around town. The vans all proclaim to be owned by different companies, but they are the same pattern as the others have seen - they say "Count Zero Carpet Cleaning" and "Virtual Light Exterminators."

How bold they become now. I fear what they will attempt to do next.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I had a dream where I was just a character in a book. I was waiting to be read, sitting on a chair, when a woman walked up to me and asked me the time. I was surprised because I could see her face and then I noticed that I could see everyone's faces. The woman told me that my condition wasn't real, it was all fictional. I went to look in a mirror so I could see my own face, so I could see what I looked like after so many years.

The woman told me that I couldn't do that. "We don't have reflections," she said, "because we don't have souls. We aren't real, you and I. They just made us up to appease some part of themselves. And they read us over and over again and make us relive their nightmares, so they can sleep better."

I didn't believe her, though, and went to look for a mirror. I found myself in a ramshackle house, where the windows and doors were boarded up, harsh rays of sunlight flowing through the cracks. A house out of a horror movie. I slowly climbed the stairs of the house until I got to the top and found the woman. She was holding out a book and asked me to read it. "Read it and believe," she said. I opened the book, but I couldn't read a word. I told the woman this and she grew angry. Clutching the book, she pushed me down the stairs.

And as I fell, I realized I was dreaming and woke up.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Stulte, quid est somnus, gelidæ nisi mortis imago?

Over the edge of the purple down, 
Where the single lamplight gleams, 
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town 
That is hard by the Sea of Dreams— 
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away, 
And the sick may forget to weep?
But we—pity us! Oh pity us! 
We wakeful; Ah, pity us!—

I am tired, so tired. The headaches were especially painful today. Which brings us to what I'm going to write about: pain and sleep.

It is something I have seen before: a runner, tired but refusing to fall asleep, in pain but refusing to go to the hospital. So watchful, so paranoid that they will not even allow themselves a moment's rest.

This will only lead to bad things. No one can survive long without sleep. It resets our body, it gives us the energy to go on. And pain? Pain is an indicator that part of our body is not working. Pain can kill you. Even if going to a hospital would mean alerting proxies where you were, it is preferable than dying from going untreated. You could always escape a hospital room. You cannot escape death.

What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations.

This also applies to armies. Going a long time without rest or sleep will sap an army's strength. This is why sieges are not good. Those who are inside the building being seized can more easily defend it against attackers. They have the shelter to rest, while the attacking army is in open ground. So in battles, victory must be quick or there is a chance of shattering your army.

It's the difference between winning and losing. The quick and the dead.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


You wonder why we are doing this. Why we make slogans so obviously wrong that they will inevitably fail. Why we choose to ignore misery and pain and suffering and proclaim that this is the best of all possible worlds.

The name I had once no longer applies. Exposure to the meme-complex known as the "Slender Man" has forced me to adopt a new name. And so I have chosen: the Scissorman. As in "the door flew open and in he ran." It has a nice ring to it.

I am a part of the Panopticon. Before, when we were just a think tank, we laughed at the name. It meant a prison where an observer could see all the prisoners without them knowing they were being watched. The "prison" was the world to us and we were staged in the center. Knowledge is power and who was more knowledgeable than us?

And then we were hired to research into a growing phenomenon, individuals collectively known as "runners" and an organization of (seemingly) killers known as "proxies." And what were the runners running from and who did the proxies work for? All we had was a description, not even a name: just "the slender man."

And so we searched. We were given access to traffic cameras and security cameras and we installed our own cameras, too, just so we could get every angle. And we saw things. We saw tragedy and horror. We saw death.

And we saw the Slender Man. At first, we couldn't even get a glimpse of him, he was just some shadowy figure in the background. Whenever he came close, the cameras would fritz out or shut down. Until one day, one camera caught him for one frame. Just one frame. That's all it took to shake our worldview.

Imagine you are a fish. The world you live in is the water of the lake. Until a man pulls you out of the lake and you gasp, drowning in air and sunlight. We were the fish and the Slender Man had pulled us away from the water. We saw his face and suffocated.

How could such a thing exist? We despaired. After seeing him once, we began to see him everywhere. Out of the corner of our eye, in every alleyway, through broken windows, in empty buildings. How could he exist?

And then it came to us: he didn't. Everything that he was could be explained away. The sickness, the devotion, the running, the hallucinations. He was nothing but a thought. An idea that got trapped in our heads. And the idea said: what if. What if he existed. And you all extrapolated from that. Some of you became followers, started a religion with him at the head, like some sort of Slender God. Some of you became exiles, running from whatever horrors were within your own head, those horrors made manifest in the form of a pale businessman without a face.

But how to combat this idea virus? How do you fight something that does not exist?

You don't. You change the game. You make a new idea.

Ideas are a dime a dozen, but finding the right one, that was the key. The idea had to be one already used and discarded. One that could fit in with today's cynical world. One that people could understand easily. One that people would follow or fight.

Follow or fight. You think we want you all to follow us? You think we want you to conform? That would have been of no use to us. We are not dictators, seeking to rule the world. That is silly.

All we wanted was to put the idea in your head.

This is the best of all possible worlds.

 -- The Scissorman.

Justa bella quibus necessaria.

Let us learn our lessons. … Never believe any war will be smooth and easy or that anyone who embarks on that strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events… incompetent or arrogant commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant fortune, ugly surprise, awful miscalculations.

The Art of War tells us that the army that makes no mistakes will be the one to win. But we will make mistakes. It is inevitable. I have never been in an army before - have you? I have never fought against an army, only single enemies, one at a time.

Strategy. That is what the war will come down to. Who can outmaneuver whom. Positioning yourself so that you have the best chance to win - being on the battlefield first, fighting on home turf, outnumbering the enemy, all these are good strategies. But we will lose battles. This is also inevitable. It is not a war without casualties.

And then there is the Slender Man. All our enemies are human, except for the Slender Man. We can predict human behavior, for we are human ourselves. But we cannot predict the Slender Man. Even those scientists who test out theories -- right now, chief among them Gargoyle -- cannot predict how he will act in any given circumstance. He is the X in the equation.

So we plan for X. We plan for chaos, for failure. And in that way, we overcome it.

I tell you Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the party holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.

I found more of the flyers outside, stapled to telephone poles and taped onto walls. Some said TRUST IN US, WE KNOW WHAT IS BEST. Some said EVERYONE IS FREE TO ENJOY THEIR FREEDOM. Some even said HAPPINESS ABOVE ALL THINGS.

Happiness above all things? Do they really think that this will make us forget about the Slender Man? They aren't just targeting runners and proxies. They are targeting everyone in the street with their message, their counter-meme. They are trying to create something new.

And it may be working. I saw some people reading the flyers. They looked confused, but one or two seemed to nod their heads, to approve of these slogans.

I gathered up as many of the flyers as I could find and threw them away.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Skenet bedrar.

As I left my apartment this evening, I found this taped to the door, blocking the peephole.

Looks like our friends the Panopticon are leaving flyers now. They've never done this before. Perhaps this is part of their plan to reintroduce the counter-meme. But it, well, it seems too Orwellian. Maybe they are not as harmless as I thought.

Hazor'im bedim'a - berina yiqtsoro

If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.

There is another problem we must overcome: money. The cost of living, of running, is different than the cost of waging war. It is easier to run than it is to fight, monetarily. To wage a war, we must need weapons, we must need training. This requires money.

It is money, unfortunately, that we do not have. It would be nice if we had some unseen benefactor, but we do not. Most of us live day-to-day, with some money saved, but only enough to live on. Some of us take menial jobs for money under the table, some of us scam or outright steal. To live off the grid is to find alternate sources of money.

So this is just another complication we must overcome.

And, to bring us around again to The Art of War, there are five essentials for victory:
  1. When to fight and when not to fight.
  2. How to handle both superior and inferior forces.
  3. Having an army "animated with the same spirit."
  4. Taking the enemy unprepared.
  5. Not to be interfered with by the sovereign.
Of those, the fifth is the easiest to check mark off, since we have no sovereign. But we must learn the others, especially ways we can take the enemy unprepared.

And every eye 
Gaz'd as before some brother of the sky.

I know they are watching me. The Panopticon. They have cameras hidden all over the country; tiny cameras, easily hidden, and spread throughout major cities. The government agency rejected their solution -- apparently, even they didn't believe it -- but in the process of observing runners and proxies, they got a glimpse of the Slender Man (or "were exposed to the Slender Man meme-complex," as they put it) and so refused to give up on their "counter-meme" idea.

I think they went insane. I think, looking through all that footage, thousands of hours of footage of runners being stalked, haunted by the distortion of the Slender Man, made them quite mad. But even so, they do not appear to want to harm anyone; instead, they only wish to brainwash us into believing the Slender Man does not exist.

But that, too, is a story we should not tell ourselves. No matter how hard it gets, we should not retreat into fantasy and tell ourselves its real.

Si c’est ici le meilleur des mondes possibles, que sont donc les autres?

"Optimism," said Cacambo, "what is that?"
"Alas!" replied Candide, "it is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst."

You may have noticed that last post wasn't by me. It was not, in fact, proxies either. I am fortunate enough not to have received their attention yet.

"The Panopticon," as they call themselves, are something else entirely. A third party. Let me explain:

Almost a year ago, I was contacted to help research for a think tank. This think tank, usually hired by corporations to study the best way to improve their revenue streams, had now been hired by a government agency in order to research and find the best way to deal with the increasing number of runners and proxies and the "urban legend" known as the Slender Man.

After months and months of research and observation (and I later learned that the Panopticon had observed quite a lot of runners, as well as studying the patterns of proxies), I was allowed to view a copy of the report they were to give the government agency. It stated that the Slender Man did not actually exist, but was in fact "a self-perpetuating and evolving auto- and exo-toxic meme-complex." (If you don't understand those words, don't worry, neither did I until I read this.)

The solution for the increasing number of runners and proxies the paper provided was to introduce a separate meme-complex (presumably one that had previously been established) to counteract the "Slender Man memeplex."

The Panopticon's alternate meme-complex was this: this was the best of all possible worlds.

You can see the problem here. The best trick the Devil pulled was convincing people he didn't exist.

(Speak to Me)

This is the best of all possible worlds.
This is the best of all possible worlds.
This is the best of all possible worlds.
This is the best of all possible worlds.
This is the best of all possible worlds.
This is the best of all possible worlds.
This is the best of all possible worlds.
This is the best of all possible worlds.
This is the best of all possible worlds.
Believe in us. We have your best interest at heart.
 - The Panopticon

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pólemos pánton mèn pater esti

It is the rule in war, if ten times the enemy's strength, surround them; if five times, attack them; if double, be able to divide them; if equal, engage them; if fewer, be able to evade them; if weaker, be able to avoid them.

We are weaker than our enemy. I refer not to the proxies, the servants, but to the Slender Man himself. We are weaker than him. He can kill us with ease. Presumably, he does not kill us all because of some unknown and esoteric reason.

And so, with an opponent stronger than us, we must evade him. We run. We are runners.

And yet, at some point, we must stop running. We cannot run our entire lives. To do so would be folly.

So what do we do when we stop running? We prepare. We prepare to find against a godlike foe, to pierce his Achilles heel, to weaken and kill him. We must prepare for war.

The Art of War tells of five fundamental factors in planning for war:

  1. The Moral Law: "the people [must] be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger. "
  2. Heaven: "night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons."
  3. Earth: "distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death."
  4. Leadership: "the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness."
  5. Management and Discipline: "the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure."
Just looking at the first factor presents a problem: we have no leader, no elected or unelected ruler of the runners. If we had, I'm pretty sure it would have been Ezekiel Strahm, but unfortunately that is no longer an option. Instead, we must fight leaderless.

This will be both problematic (who will have the last word?), but it might turn out to be fortunate for us: there would be no head to cut off in our army. No assassination could deprive us of a leader, since we would have no leader in the first place.

Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

In war, it may be necessary to dehumanize the enemy. In this case, that would be simple, since the main enemy is, quite assuredly, inhuman. And yet, those who serve him are human. Can we make them into monsters to kill? Can we ease our consciences when they die?

No. No, we must not tell ourselves stories like "They deserved to die." No one deserves death. If I could find a way to move the Slender Man into a world that was empty, void of all people, and trap him there without killing him, I would. But I can't.

Death is inevitable. Killing is a necessity in war. And yet, I can't bring myself to dehumanize even those who would serve him willingly. Even those sociopaths with knives in their hands, eager to do his bidding; even they, baseless and evil, are human.

Let us war, but let us not lie to ourselves.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nihil inimicius quam sibi ipse.

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

I wish things were different. It should not be Us vs. Them. It should be Humanity vs. the Slender Man. All of humanity against an enemy so inhuman, it causes us to be sick in its very presence. And yet, there are those who serve it, willingly and unwillingly. And so we must turn this war into Us vs. Them.

And the first lesson of every war is this: know thy enemy and know thyself.

The enemy knows many things about us, for it has an advantage: what we write. We write what happens to us, where we go, what we do. We record for them to read. And, if you believe in the Compulsion, we have no choice in this matter. We record our lives because it is what we do.

Most of Them do not do so. Yes, there are some, scattered here and there, recording their daily kills and keeping scorecards of death. But we vastly outnumber the proxies who blog, don't we? And yet, there must be many more proxies who do not blog, whom we know nothing about.

As for the main enemy, the Last Enemy, the Slender Man, well, what we know can be held in a thimble. There have been experiments (lately with the interesting and amusing experiments by the Gargoyle) and yet true answers have never shown themselves. Where did he come from? Why is he here? These answers still (and probably will continue to) remain a mystery.

And so we come to knowing ourselves.

A face that had a story to tell. How different faces are in this particular! Some of them speak not. They are books in which not a line is written, save perhaps a date.

Here, I have a confession to make. In the interest of full disclosure, of knowing myself, I tell you the truth:

I have an unfortunate disorder due to a particular damage I sustained in childhood. When I was fifteen, there was an incident where, to make a long story short, a nail was pushed into the back of my head.

It hurt. It hurt like nothing I had ever experienced before. I would get help for the hurt and, eventually, the nail would be removed, but it resulted in two unfortunate side effects:

  1. I get occasional headaches. Sometimes they are mild; other times, they are grand affairs, where I clutch my head in pain and anguish.
  2. After the incident, I found I had a peculiar disorder called prosopagnosia. I am unable to recognize faces. Every face is a blank canvas. Including my own.
Needless to say, with such a disorder, my first sighting of the Slender Man was not of the norm. I thought him merely a pale businessman. His facelessness went completely unnoticed by me for the longest time, since, to me, everyone is faceless.

And yet, even without that to clue me in, I could see something was off. Other people had certain gaits, certain ways of swinging their arms, certain ways of talking or muttering to themselves. The Slender Man had none of that. It was as if the world moved around him, but he was not a part of it. He was behind the curtain of the world, able to peek in and snatch up whatever he wanted whenever he wanted.

But that story is for another time.

Now we must learn more about our enemies and ourselves.

Anguis sub viridi herba.

Time flies, Death urges, knells call, Heaven invites, 
Hell threatens.

It has occurred to me that if an army of runners did gather, they would be more vulnerable to attack from proxies. If I was a servant to the Slender Man, I might even try to gather together runners for just this purpose. The disparate and haphazard way that runners are spread throughout the world is a disadvantage, yes, but it is also an advantage: if one of you dies, there are still many others out there.

I wonder if I am doing right. Should I try to make an army? Can we war without a full force at our side?

Time will tell.

There is purpose in pain, 
Otherwise it were devilish.

The headaches are back.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.

It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

A good point was brought up with my last post: "What do you think people have been trying to do for the past couple of years? Do you think runners just sit around scratching their butts 24/7?"

No, I do not think that. I believe that the runners have been running and fighting against the Slender Man and his servants. But there is a different between running and fighting and war. We must wage war in order to win.

What does this mean? This means we must become organized. We must not be a disparate horde of runners, spread across nations and continents, knowing of each other only through a line of blogs. We must become like our enemy, like the proxies and servants of the Slender Man, the ones who have a bureaucracy, an order to themselves. We must make ourselves into an army in order to defeat an enemy that overpowers us.

This will not be easy. It will, in fact, be incredibly difficult. But it must be done if the Slender Man is to die.

All warfare is based on deception. 
Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

The waging of war, especially against an enemy as powerful as the Slender Man, is not a simple task. We should all read The Art of War and prepare ourselves for the task at hand. We must fight not individual battles, but with an army at our side.

We must be smart and clever and quick.

It is our war to fight, but named for our enemy:

The Slender War.

Unz um rjúfask regin

Brothers will fight 
and kill each other, 
sisters' children 
will defile kinship. 
It is harsh in the world, 
whoredom rife 
—an axe age, a sword age 
—shields are riven— 
a wind age, a wolf age— 
before the world goes headlong. 
No man will have 
mercy on another.

I first learned about Ragnarök in the fifth grade. We had just finished learning about the Greek gods, with their soap opera lives and parricidal tendencies. Right after that, there was a short section on the Norse gods, which ended with a small paragraph describing "Ragnarok or the Twilight of the Gods." (Though a more accurate translation, I would later learn, would be "final destiny of the gods.")

I was struck by the description of all the gods dying. And not only dying, but knowing they were going to die and  willingly going to the final battle, knowing that they would not survive. I quickly learned more about Norse mythology and Ragnarök.

I know the Norse gods were not real. If I believe in the Tulpa theory, perhaps I could believe that the Norse belief system made them real and then killed them, but I don't. So how can I possibly believe in a Ragnarök for the Slender Man?

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

If Ragnarök does not exist, we must invent it. We must make our own Ragnarök for the Slender Man. We must make a final battle in which he dies, even at the cost of our own lives.

Before Ragnarök comes the fimbulwinter. And after comes the invincible summer.

Let's do it. Let's kill a god.

L'Être et le néant

I am responsible for everything...except for my very responsibility, for I am not the foundation of my being. Therefore everything takes place as if I were compelled to be responsible. I am abandoned in the world...in the sense that I find myself suddenly alone and without help, engaged in a world for which I bear the whole responsibility without being able, whatever I do, to tear myself away from this responsibility for an instant.

I am an existentialist. Some of you may not know what this means. It means that I believe the world, the universe, all of creation itself, has no meaning except that which we impose on it. Some may see this as silly, considering I believe in a tall, slender being with godlike abilities. But the Slender Man is not God, merely godlike. Some believe that he is a Tulpa -- created using our very own thoughts, the ultimate reflection of an existential world -- but I do not believe that. If he was created with our thoughts, he would have been easier to comprehend, but he is not.

It does not matter what he is or where he came from, he is here now. And everyone who sees him assigns their own meaning to him. Perhaps this is why there are so many different versions of him -- because different people see him in different ways. For some people, he is a ghost-like being, haunting the very corners of their eyes; for others, he is a rampaging monster, a minotaur in the center of a labyrinth. For some, he has no servants; for others, he has cults; and for others still, he has a whole bureaucracy attached to him, a ladder of servants assigned to his every whim.

These details are irrelevant. The only detail that matters is that he exists. Existence precedes essence. And since he exists, it is our responsibility to get rid of him.

With despair, true optimism begins: the optimism of the man who expects nothing, who knows he has no rights and nothing coming to him, who rejoices in counting on himself alone and in acting alone for the good of all.

So, we come to this: we must end the Slender Man. Because the world has no meaning except that which we impose on it, so we must not let the Slender Man impose its own incomprehensible meaning. We must impose the meaning that is best, that is good. We must be good ourselves and face our fates with eyes open. We must make this into a world that is, if not good, than better than it was.

We must because we can.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Swa scriþende gesceapum hweorfað

With ignorance and arrogance, success is assured.

A "beot" is a boast, a promise to do something outrageous, something impossible. Beowulf vows to fight Grendel without weapons or armor. That is a beot.

A beot consists of three parts:

  1. Pledge: an individual makes a vow, usually for a specific challenge, one that everyone assumes is impossible.
  2. Speculation of outcomes: there are only two outcomes, success or failure. Come back with your shield or on it.
  3. Commissioning to a higher power: in old poems, they would declare that the outcome was due to a higher power (God or fate). We will skip this one, since I do not believe God and fate is a fickle thing.

"I'm just one hundred and one, five months and a day." 
"I can't believe that!" said Alice. 
"Can't you?" the Queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes." 
Alice laughed. "There's not use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things." 
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Make an impossible promise. Vow to do something so outlandish, no one will believe you. It doesn't matter if you succeed. Failure is always an option. Just proclaim the fact that you will do something that is so crazy, so out there, people will assume you are joking. But you are not.

I am going to make a beot now. An impossible promise:

Within a year, the Slender Man will be dead.

Trust me. It's almost time for summer.

The invincible summer.

Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel!

So close to death, Maman must have felt free then and ready to live it all again. Nobody, nobody had the right to cry over her. And I felt ready to live it all again too. As if the blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.

The world is indifferent to your struggles. It will neither impede nor improve upon your life. If you struggle, it is up to you and you alone to overcome your obstacles.

Get ready. It is almost time. Time for the invincible summer. The winter came and went, the Ghost of Man terrorized us with tentacles and tree branches and the sheer incomprehensibility of itself. But it will be summer soon.

Our wills and fates do so contrary run 
That our devices still are overthrown; 
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.

Get ready. It's almost time to dree your weird.

Make a beot. Create an impossible promise. Get ready.

Wyrd bið ful aræd

Though he possess sweet babes and loving wife, 
   A home of peace by loyal friendships cheered, 
And love them more than death or happy life,    
   They shall avail not; he must dree his weird; 
Renounce all blessings for that imprecation,    
   Steal forth and haunt that builded desolation, 
Of woe and terrors and thick darkness reared.

To "dree one's weird" means to face one's fate. To confront the doom that has followed you since birth. It does not mean to submit to destiny, but rather to stop running from it. Turn and face it.

The curtain of the universe is moth-eaten, and through its holes we see nothing now but mask and ghost.

We have seen beyond the moth-eaten curtain. We have seen the mask and the ghost. The ghost of unreality. The mask of the world. We have seen it and we have run from it.

And we have told ourselves stories. Stories about surviving on the run. About making friends and making plans, about heroic sacrifices and villainous dealings. Stories, one and all.

And it's time to stop.

It's time to dree one's weird.

Get ready.
Don't let them tell us stories. Don't let them say of the man sentenced to death "He is going to pay his debt to society," but: "They are going to cut off his head." It looks like nothing. But it does make a little difference. And then there are people who prefer to look their fate in the eye.