"I'm a wreck, and I know it,
And I tend to show it every chance that I get.
Butterflies in the skies,
They just fly on by. Yeah, they're making me sick.
They don't flutter about;
I'd do without.
All they do is kick."
I remember standing very still, in a shaft of sunlight that pierced down through the tree branches that netted together above me. The sunlight was the safe spot, the one place where there was silence - the right sort of silence, the kind that didn't smother, but cradled. When I pressed my hand against the edge of the shaft, where light met shadow, there was a moment's resistance, the slightest amount of force that pressed back, and
there was a small tune on the wind, like the tinkling of bells.
All I've done since is follow the sound.
I'm able to follow the sound.
In all the stories, there's been a pattern. Victims come and go, but their actions, their reactions, are so similar as to be circumstantially simultaneous. Everyone does the same thing when placed into this situation because there's only one thing we can do that makes sense.
"Are you seeing what I'm seeing?"
You tell someone about it. Whether it's someone you know or a total stranger, or even just a page in a diary, when what's real becomes undefined, you need to solidify something.
However, there are different types of people in the world, who all have quite different reactions to your reaction, usually varyingly informed about the subject.
There are people out there who know about this, yet do nothing.
There are people out there who know nothing at all, yet feel compelled to help anyway.
There are people who will do their research before they dive in.
There are people who know nothing and assume it's all lies, and wouldn't be much inclined to help anyway.
And... I can't help but wonder about that last group. The parents who assume that their children just have vivid (and curiously identical) imaginations. The psychologists who put down their patients' fears to paranoia and schizophrenia. The investigators who can find no proof of anything but suicide, and do not pursue the matter further.
Especially the investigators, the police officers, the whole law-enforcement institution.
And in all the stories, there's been a pattern.
This whole mess has been left a secret for so long. A shamefully obvious, poorly guarded, yet nigh-unanimously agreed upon secret. We fear infection, imprisonment, or an even shorter version of our already drastically shortened lifespans.
Yet... from an objective standpoint, the first fear seems fundamentally untrue. True, the number of victims is growing, but compared to the tens of thousands of people who know about the Slender Man and remain uninfected, I can't help but wonder how much of it is really due to simple exposure and how much is due to some intrinsic quality about the stalked themselves - especially when it's a documented fact that the beast deliberately hunts down adults who somehow got away as children. Are we marked from birth? Would things have been different if we never clicked that link, never met that person, never opened that window on that one dark night? We can't know.
The other two are common fears of anyone on the run from virtually anything. And this is because there are other forces, human forces, who oppose us. People in the government, who want to keep this quiet. Yet where does our knowledge of these people and organizations come from? From people whose word is not exactly gold.
I'm not saying the reports are false, oh no. I believe there are powerful people in the world who conspire to keep things out of the news and under the rug, either for the benefit of many or for the benefit of a few. My point, rather, is that such people are always in positions of authority. Pretty high up on the food chain, if you will. Never the people at the bottom, never the ones who actually investigate the matter when disappearances pile up on their desks. They are the ones who interact with the hunted, but know nothing about any of this, and they are the ones who assume imagination, insanity, and suicide. They are the ones who let the matter rest, when it seems like it has come to an end.
But what if this were not the case? What if these people, these bottom-rung civil servants, actually recognized the signs when they saw them? Not in the sense that they knew everything, but that they simply... recognized something. The words SEES ME. A tensor symbol. Drawings of trees. Something to make them just the slightest bit hesitant to make that final call to close the case.
Maybe a random coworker left a picture of a tree with eyes on his desk one morning. As a joke. No one thinks anything of it, no one pursues it. But it is now a thing that exists, for him. And the ability to inspire recall is a powerful thing.
True change never starts at the top.
I can't be the first person to have thought of this. Operator symbols wouldn't have spread as far as they have if I was.
I know I'm not the first person to have thought of this. It's been on my mind since a lawyer named Adam showed up on the blogs, just over a year ago, and reminded me that government assistance is not a one-way street.
Michelle's brother Steven pretty much solidified the idea for me. He wouldn't have vanished so abruptly if he wasn't onto something.
Now, admittedly, my head has not been in the best shape lately, so I'd like some opinions on this matter. Naturally, this will not be a strictly democratic decision, because there are some of you out there whose judgement I trust even less than my own at the moment, so the overall decision will still be left up to me. Nevertheless, however, outside input is valued. This isn't a move to be taken lightly and I know this. Don't think I don't know the risks.
Regardless, there's no reason to waste time, at least for now. So I'm going photo-hunting tonight.
Hey. Wanna know how to not be accused of doctoring photos?
Use a polaroid instant film camera.