Thursday, March 15, 2012

Give Me A Reason

Real fucking smooth, Michelle.

So I went outside for a while. So what? It's not like I have much to worry about besides a proxy who's probably half dead with asphyxiation by now anyway (I should know). And it's not like the Man Himself can get me, right? We've proven that beyond a shadow of a fucking doubt, haven't we?!

I've said it a thousand times: My one and only goal in making my presence known was and has always been to help as many people as I can before I die.

Before I die.

No one noticed. I was so sure I had slipped up somewhere, so sure that someone would say something. Ask me what the hell I was thinking, coming in here.

Because ask yourself - why would anyone voluntarily put themselves into this situation?

Why would anyone


put themselves in this situation if they had reasonable surety that they would not be pursued?

A deathwish is the only reason I can think of.

But apparently I'm better at hiding things than I thought.

(I think Rachel got it. Early on, back when we first started talking. Rachel understood.

And she probably knew better than to ask.)

Every night, so many images flash behind my eyes. It's been so, so long since I've been able to listen to the silence in my mind without pain. Longer than you think.

In just a few short months, it will officially be three years since the day I should have died. Three years of stolen time. Time I stole from three-year-old kids.

Does that mean my time is almost up?




All three of them were reported missing, and no bodies were ever found, but I saw. I watched. I stood there and watched as

Brian was always big for his age, and generally played by himself. I never payed much attention to him because he was so quiet, but there was no denying his artwork was impressive, as was his intelligence. I remember he always brought books with him to nap time, because he never seemed to sleep peacefully and wanted something to occupy the down time.

Tamarr, in comparison, was one of the loudest children I've ever known. During role call, he would shout his name at the top of his lungs, daily announcing himself to the world, demanding all that it has to offer, as though he was constantly terrified he would be ignored if he didn't. He was always getting into trouble, that Tamarr. And yet, when he slept, his entire face changed, from something fiercely determined to something... so much more peaceful.

McKenzie... was mine. All the employees in my program were assigned one or two children that were their distinct responsibility. A big brother system. She often drew pictures as well, not because she particularly enjoyed it, but because she liked needed the praise it brought her. Her parents were always too busy with her rambunctious baby brother, and that fact made her constantly angry at... everything. And I couldn't believe it. Only 4 years old and angry at the world. How is something like that even possible?

When Brian started drawing pictures of a man in a suit, a man I was certain couldn't be his father, who wore overalls every day I saw him, I only asked a little bit about it.

"Who's that?"

"The man."

"What man?"

"The man."

"He's an interesting looking man... Are you going to give him a face?"

"He doesn't have a face."

"Really? Why not?"

"Well, he has a face, but he doesn't like you to look at it."

"Hmm... His arms are interesting too. Really super long. I like them."

"He likes them too."

"Do you like them?"

Brian simply shrugged, and I didn't ask any more about it. Imaginary friends are, after all, to be expected in children his age.

But, I hear you cry, Ryuu, this could not possibly have been your fault! And you're right. New victims are marked all the time, and, in a place like Camden, children go missing every day. Certainly those three fit the bill for Our Mutual Friend's usual prey.

What was my fault... was what happened months and months later. Nearly half a year of steadily increasing anti-social behavior from all three of them, but especially Brian. Half a year of tantrums and time-outs and refusing to eat or sleep.

Half a year of no one doing anything about this.

Brian had gone missing. No one knew how, but he wasn't there when we counted heads after recess. The teachers looked all over the building, and when that failed to yield results, police officers were summoned.

While the teachers were busy with that, I and my coworkers were given charge of the students. I had McKenzie and Tamarr with me, and we were reading a book in a shady corner of the school yard. After a while, I noticed that they had suddenly gotten unusually quiet. They weren't looking at me anymore. they were looking behind me.

I turned around, and there was Brian, walking down the middle of the street.

I called his name, but he didn't seem to hear me. He just kept walking.

I turned and called for a teacher, but none were in sight, and my coworkers couldn't seem to hear me either. They suddenly seemed unimaginably far away, as though through the wrong end of a telescope.

I didn't want to lose sight of Brian, but I knew I couldn't just leave Tamarr and McKenzie unsupervised... So I took their hands, one in each of mine, and brought them with me.

Brian wasn't more than 15 feet away from us. Barely yet around the corner into the alley way where the school dumpsters are kept. It should have been fine.

Surprise surprise... it wasn't.

When we turned the corner to catch up to Brian... He was there.

It was the first time I had seen Him. The first time I felt that hand reaching right down inside of me and ripping my chest open. Everything inside me turning numb and cold, like ice. Freezing me from the inside out. I couldn't move. I couldn't think. Everything about Him tore at me... it was the first time in my life that I'd felt that degree of pain. To live a life of taking in the feelings of others... and then take in His presence alone...

I don't know how long we stood like that for. All I know is that, at some point, I looked down at McKenzie, and she opened her mouth without speaking, and said in a voice that wasn't hers,

"Let go of my hand, Miss Valerie. I want to play with the Man."

I let go of her hand like it was suddenly white-hot.

She and Tamarr both stepped forward to join Brian. But Tamarr... god I remember this so vividly... as he was walking, he looked back at me. There were tears streaming down his face, he looked terrified, and his eyes were begging, pleading with me to please, please, do something! Help me! And at the same time, every experience I'd ever had, every feeling both my own and every emotion I've felt for someone else... it swelled up. Flooding over me until it felt like I was drowning in this enormous wave that was about to


I didn't think, I only reacted. I squeezed my eyes shut and clapped my hands over my ears. But right at that moment, it was like my eyes and ears had opened up for the first time in my life, and I saw what was truly happening. Too many arms with too many segments, and a gaping, grinning opening that cut itself across the white like a freshly-opened wound. Tendrils of darkness pulling them closer as they struggled, screamed, cried for their mommies and daddies to save them, for me to stop this--

they trusted me

It was only for a second, because I instantly uncovered my ears, and that action cut off their pleas for help like the strike of a guillotine.

I opened my eyes, and I was alone in the alleyway. All three of my children were gone.

I let them go. I left them there. And ever since, I've become increasingly aware that that is what I do.

I am much more calculating than I pretend to be. I keep secrets if I think it is in my best interest. All I ever do is take advantage of others.

I deliberately keep my best friend Michelle dependent on me so that I may continue to be protected by her.
I am a hopeless coward who needs protection to survive.

I have started to resent Nick for being gone for so long.

I haven't spoken to Kay in months and months because I can't stand knowing that she resents me.

My name is Valerie Simmons, and I kind of hate myself.

My name is Valerie Simmons, and I am responsible, both indirectly and directly, for 51 dead children and at least 6 dead adults, to this day. Possibly more.

I write shitty advice posts to pretend I actually give something back, and let me live with myself for one more day.

I seek out more and more stories of people trapped by this thing in an attempt to find people who need something from me, because I selfishly think that's enough. But I also don't follow up on the situations of the people I try to help because deep down, I don't even want to.

And worst of all, I don't even have the guts to allow myself the punishment I deserve.

Against all odds, against all sense... I am still afraid to die.

...I've never even had a particular fondness for children. I wanted to be a clinical therapist specializing in personality disorders. I only took the job at the school because it was convenient, it paid work study and gave me credit hours, and because Bashawn convinced me to do it. He was the one who actually cared about the kids. Not me.

And now, here I am, sitting here under the protection of my best friend, who by all rights should hate me for using her like this. She's the only reason I'm alive today, and I can't talk to her, I can't even look at her.

So I'll ask again:

What kind of person deliberately makes herself known to a creature she could have easily stayed invisible to for the rest of her life?

Well... what kind of person brings a loaded gun with a single shot to a deserted island?

I am running out of reasons to be useful.

I am running out of people to care about.

Worse of all, I am running out of fear.

What would you have me do?


  1. Live.
    Not out of a fear to die, or a need to make yourself useful. Live for yourself, and for others. Your best friend needs you around- not simply because of a dependency, but because you're /best friends/; what do you think she would do without your company and guidance?
    Or if you need a less corny reason, I prefer spite. Living sounds a lot better than dying for Our Mutual Tallish Friend's enjoyment, honestly.
    And the answer to that riddle is love. "On my head be it."

  2. If you truly seek to die, there are easier ways to do it. You could stick your head in an oven or overdose on pills or any number of other ways to commit suicide. To commit an act of despair.

    The fact that you don't means that some part of you has not yet given up. Hold onto that part. Because if we give up, we are not just giving up on ourselves, we are giving up on everyone around us, on the world that depends on us.

    It does not matter what came in the past, only what the future holds. Make your own future. If you wish your life to end, end your life and make a new one. Make a better one. Face your fate and look it in the eyes.

    Go and dree your weird, Hakurei Ryuu.

  3. Ryuu! Listen, you can't give up!

    Your advice has helped me. You've made an impact on me. And if you've made an impact on just one person, you've done much more than some people managed to do.

    You've given me hope. I'm sure you've given other people hope. That alone should be enough to prove that you're helping, right?

  4. What is this? the second sage's fall era?
    At least you are not responsable of the death of your OWN brothers and sisters.
    I dont really like you, but this is quite sad coming from you. Is neither when or by who we die, but how. So dont die like the coward "you think" you are, alright?

  5. God damnit.
    God damnit.
    God DAMNIT.

    Why. Why did I even bother writing it?
    I knew. I fucking KNEW I'd be wasting my time.
    What. The. FUCK. Is with you people?

    Is this just how it goes Hakurei? Is this the legacy of Sage? Are you all the same then? Is that why Maduin chose you? Did he know? Did he know you were just as delusional as Robert? That you would lead us around just like he would and then abandon us within a crumbling fortress built upon lies? Was that the joke? Was that his final prank on all of us?

    You stupid, worthless cunt. What the hell was it all for?!? I believed in you! HE BELIEVED IN YOU!! People fucking believed in you! And now you want to tell us that it was nothing but a lie from the start? How fucking could you?? I do not even fucking believe this shit.

    I guess that's it then, isn't it? That's why it didn't bother me when I heard Nightscream had you. Somehow, in the back of my mind, I knew. It didn't matter. You're a lost cause. Why didn't you just fucking drown yourself back there when you had the chance? Why are you still clinging to life Valerie Simmons? WHY!?

    1. Someone who just put a post called "Operation Brony Phase Two" calls someone else delusional and tells someone who wants to kill themselves that they should.

      And the Worst Person of the Year Award 2012 (General Douchecanoe Category) goes to...

  6. If you must die at least don't make it a coward's death, a gun to one's own head is so pointless and boring. At least make for final act something meaningful. Or even dramatic, I would settle for that, you know.

    See you around

  7. People are dying for pointless reasons, and you want to give it up? What a selfish bitch. What some people wouldn't give to trade lives with you.

  8. Dear Gargoyle,

    Burn and die in a fire you half-cocked self-righteous douchemonkey. Did you even read her post before you started tearing her down? Looks to me like you just wanted an excuse to tear at SOMEBODY. You should be ashamed. You are a bad person, and you should feel bad.

    And Ryuu: choosing to take a stand when you could walk away just fine is a sign of integrity and character. I'll call you later.

    1. "You are a bad person, and you should feel bad."

      This pretty much sums it up. Apparently Blogger ate my comment from before, so..

      Has anyone been paying attention to Val's tags lately?

  9. ... we're very much alike, aren't we?

  10. What is it that the Doctor heals?

    Wounds of the Body? Wounds of the Mind? Yet wounds of the Heart seem so trivial in comparison.

    So many exist without a Heart. Like your little friend.

    But is a false heart any better?

    Why don't we let your audience decide?