Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Last year in the U.S. alone, more than nine hundred thousand people were reported missing and not found... That's out of three hundred million, total. That breaks down to about one person in three hundred twenty-five vanishing. Every year... Maybe it's a coincidence, but it's almost the same loss ratio experienced by herd animals on the African savannah to large predators."

              --Jim Bucher, Dead Beat

Sounds about right.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Historical Hypothesis

"Once, I thought I could make God a bribe,
So I said I was in his lost tribe,
Getting handouts can be so frustrating.
'Get in line son, there’s five million waiting.'”

It may surprise you to know that two of my great-aunts are nuns. They're both my maternal grandfather's sisters, and they both live at the same convent. It's been over a decade since I've been here. It's prettier than I remembered it. There are high stone walls and corridors with narrow castle windows, crowded gardens, and the property is surrounded by trees. The overall atmosphere lends itself well to a haunting, but I've not seen hide nor hair of the Slender Man in over a week.

First time I haven't gone looking for It, I suppose. Or maybe Kay was more right than she knew about religious belief providing a defense, regardless of what religion you choose.

Hmm... Keiken is dead by now, is he not? That's... saddening. A boy of such faith, and unfalteringly supportive of people he didn't even know... people who ignored or disliked him, even. Just one of the many people I wish I had gotten to know better. And also one of the many people I just... didn't bother with much.

It's an old flaw of mine.

I've really been digging into the research, this past week. More people than Keiken are gone. I stopped counting after a while, but the number of accounts and records who had suddenly ceased has gone up into the hundreds. And while this may seem like terrible news... I have also observed that more people are dying than are being infected.

I could be wrong. It could be that people simply aren't documenting their experiences anymore, there could be far more new haunted out there than I'm aware of. But the overall number appears to be going down.

It reminds me of a thought I had a long time ago, about the Slender Man being a predator similar to a giant serpent. Anacondas hunger, always, but they go for months at a time not bothering to hunt for anything, merely sleeping. Tracing the path of Our Mutual Friend, it is also clear that It hunts in clusters - arising first in upper Africa, then in continental Europe several thousand years later... and now us, less than a thousand years after that.

And there's another pattern too. Michelle brought up Ava's research on more than one occasion - she was certain that the being known to the Egyptians as Hershef was worshiped, and perhaps paid tribute to with an offering of a child now and again. Like, once a year, was her guess. This lasted a long time, at least as long as Egypt had a stable monarchy.

Thousands of years later, in the German wilds, folklore sprang up around just such an ancient, unsolved mystery. Instead of a single tree growing in a sacred pool of water, the monster elected to hide amongst its kind, haunting the forests and snagging small children who wandered too close. Many more children than previously, it would seem, although given the poor investigation system in those times (read: nigh-nonexistent), anything is possible. But at the same time, records also indicate that the stories didn't go on for nearly as long. only 1 or 2 hundred years, hardly the many centuries of its predecessor.

If I had some hard numbers, I could probably pull some statistics out of my ass about the difference between Egypt and Germany... about the increase in the number of victims over a smaller time period. But the thing is, until now, we didn't have any hard numbers, just vague time periods and Year Of Our Lords, written in a time when the calender itself kept shifting around (assuming they were written down at all), so that only a trained historian could trace it with any amount of accuracy. I am not a historian. I am a psychologist.

Which brings me to today. An age in which global communication is paramount and effortless; even the cheapest cell phones have a camera attached nowadays, and the internet can be reached practically anywhere. And the monster is literally a pandemic. It's not localized to one area, or even one continent. It's everywhere, and people are dropping by their hundreds in record-shattering time. And we know this because of the internet - timestamps and social networking. I've said it before: one way or another, we've all had the urge to start recording the events that have been happening to us.

Makes me wonder why I've been increasingly having the urge to stop.

I can't say for certain, but there's no denying the pattern that emerges. Disappearances are slowing down, and they have been for the past 6 months or more. The end of this age is upon us. But the next age will be soon. Too soon. Within-our-lifetime soon. And it will be so explosive and destructive that it will be impossible to hide.

A plagal cadence.