Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I made a detour

I was going to go straight for Fracture's loop. Pick up Em, see my boyfriend, have a serious conversation with a pre teen psychopath. But I found myself in Ohio.

I grew up there.

Not that I knew it was Ohio at the time. I didn't get out much. Which in this context means 'I was locked in a basement'. But every once in a while, that basement calls me home.

I can't tell you why I do this. I went through so much pain when I was there. But part of it will always be, I don't know. Home I guess.

Except I noticed something this time. On the top floors and at the basement entrance there are markings. They are faint, hard to spot. I only noticed at all because I had been staring at the door for a very long time (please don't ask).

I don't know if I'm being paranoid, but I think I'm going to look into them.

I had always thought that Dubois was just a nutcase. But maybe there was something else going on.

I don't know if that would make it better or worse.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Elephant in the room

Has anyone ever wondered how that phrase started?

Did someone actually put an elephant in a room or something? I admit, I'd pay to see that.

But I mentioned that I have left Em and Ryan and started traveling on my own. No one's asked about it, in which I'm grateful. But I imagine some of you have been wondering why. And while I have contemplated whether or not I wanted to tell anyone, I have decided to come out with it.

I'm being haunted.

All right, so that's a fairly melodramatic way of putting it. But it's sort of what's going on. A few days after Ryan was once again Lost, I woke up to see a familiar figure in my bed. I figured it was just one of those trick dreams. The kind where you think you're awake even though you're not. But I didn't wake up again, and the figure spoke.

"Hello Darling. Did you miss me?"

Nightscream stood there, the bladed gauntlet on his hand making tapping noises against a nearby nightstand. He looked just like I remembered him. Well, how I remembered him before Redlight got inside his head and brought low the strongest of all of us.

No one is immune to this world.

At this point, I really did think I was dreaming. I told the figure of Nightscream as much, and proceeded to try and ignore him until I would finally snap out of it. But everything felt too real. Dreams never get sensations quite right. It always feels like an approximation of a sense. But I could hear the wind blow through the flimsy window. I had to squint my eyes due to the low light. And when Nightscream used his gauntlet to raise my chin and lock our eyes I could feel the cold hard steel just as well as everything else.

Nightscream did have the courtesy to explain it to me. He wasn't a dream. More like a hallucination. A "gift" from the Slender Man. Although as time has dragged on, a hallucination is perhaps not the right word for it. He is in my head, and only I can see, hear, feel him.

But he is not Nightscream as only I would see him. He has not been drawn merely from my own head but from so many sources that it is almost a perfect copy. He is Nightscream. And he is alive.

I have spent... months. With him by my side. It is terrifying how much I long for good conversation and the simple warmth of being near another human being.

That is what I am being offered. An eternal companion. Someone who cannot die, who will not leave. A challenge and an equal and a chance to make right one of my greatest mistakes.

All I had to do was come back. Stop running and serve Him once more.

I have yet to make a decision. Even now Nightscream sits by my side, chiding me gently. Trying to hide his fear.

Believe me, as nontraditional as it may be, this Nightscream is alive. And if I refuse this offer... I will once again be responsible for his death.

You know, when I first left the Slender Man, I had always intended on coming back. I just needed to figure out who I was. Find a new reason to serve.

But I still haven't found it. Often I find reasons to oppose him, even when he offers such tempting rewards with such devastating consequences of refusal.

But I can't stay in limbo any more. As pleasant as it is.

I'm sorry Nightscream.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Some of you may have noticed

That I've been dating someone.

Fracture, specifically.

Our history has been long and complicated, and included several death threats on my part and a fairly impressive bounty demanding that I only be brought in dead on his.

Not that any of that was really personal. When we first met, we were enemies and he was after my granddaughter. Even then, I'd like to think there was some professional respect on both sides.

Of course then he started yelling at me and dredging up vey personal things and naming me a sage.

and.... that made me like him more?

I suppose I understand why some people consider me confusing.

Despite all this he understands me more than anyone else living. And I'm happier than I have been since my husband died.

So I suppose that's worth something.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ryan isn't like me

He's a good guy. And I respect that. I don't really know when morality became something I considered anything other than a weakness, but here I am.

The truth is, this sort of life warps you. Good takes on an entirely different meaning to the point that even those that go against great evil are only 'good enough'. It is a way to drain Light, I suppose. Create decisions in which there are no clean answers. Watch your enemies damn themselves with their own choices.

It has gotten to the point that I don't even know how to relate to decent people.

I should have seen it coming. Ryan was lucid, and stayed such after we got Em away from Jess. But there was a look in his eye, something just beneath the surface that told me he was thinking of something.

He finally did tell me. He objected to my behavior in rescuing Em. He objected to my use of Maggot as a distraction. He objected to my association with Jess in the first place, and what I did to her bodyguard.

There was a lot of objecting is what I'm getting at.

After a long and arduous conversation, he looked up at me with these big hopeless eyes.

"You're not a good person are you?"

"No. But I'm trying. Doesn't that count for something?"

"Not as much as you'd think."

He stood up then, and grabbed his suitcase. We move so often I didn't even find it strange he had it with him.

He had barely made it out the door before he collapsed.

I went to check on him, and he was gone again. Mind blank, barely breathing.

I guess someone didn't want him to leave.

Monday, January 19, 2015

It's been a while

And too much has happened to include in one post.

I am on my own again, for the moment. Em is safe. Being cared for by people she trusts. Ryan is with them. I do plan on returning, but there are some issues I have to figure out first.

I shall tell you all what has happened. But spending more than an hour at a time stationary in a place with public wifi can be dangerous. So this will be spread over more than one post. I do not know what is in store for me right now. So when these come out is not something I can say. But I will do my best.

I figure the best place to start is Em.

Em is stable, and she's adjusting to life in a wheelchair very well. Physically at least. Emotionally, she is beginning to go down a road that is very familiar to me. One I don't want her to go down.

There are few things more dangerous than someone who feels helpless. They will do almost anything to get their power back.

I've been confiscating her guns, talking to her, doing what I can. But... I'm kind of shitty at this. And I don't know how to help her.

It's difficult. Watching her light drain. Protecting it is supposed to be my job.

I'm shitty at a lot of things.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I hate hospitals

I always have.

I don't suppose I had any particular reason for it, at least at the beginning. Childhood fears, I suppose. Later it did start to make more sense, when going to the hospital would essentially mean going to jail.

That, I had a very good reason to dislike.

But, when Em was injured, I knew I had to take her there. I had avoided the hospital once before, and it was the worst decision I have ever made. So, to the hospital we went. Which meant that I got to stand around an ugly lobby being asked about insurance cards and the reason for the gunshot while my granddaughter's life wavered.

I did not handle it well.

I... may have threatened a doctor. If you could call him a doctor. I saw the stick and the serpent on his robes and naturally prevented him from taking care of my daughter by pinning him against the wall.

The guy was rather sarcastic for someone I was very close to killing.

I know, that would have been an overreaction. But I don't like doctors. Oathbreakers even less. But I didn't kill him! The sassy bastard is alive and well.

He is how I got out of there with Em. Given some circumstances I would appreciate not going into, I had come into possession of one favor from the Oathbreakers. I used it in order to leave without incident.

This is the second time I have taken someone to a hospital and left with them in a wheelchair.

History needs to stop repeating.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My side of the story

I wasn't sure I was going to write this at all. I was kidnapped, you all know it, I don't really want to talk about it. I haven't even talked to Grandpa about it, really. I haven't really talked at all since Grandpa rescued me, except to answer the medically relevant questions of the doctors. And to quietly request that I be tested for any and all blood borne diseases. You can't be too careful in the aftermath of all of this.
For a while after the kidnapping, things were alright. She'd come in and threaten and act crazy at me, then she'd leave and Mr. Flint would clean up and talk to me for a while. Frustrating, yes, but not the horror I was expecting. That last week, though... it was bad. I think maybe she was getting impatient and the boredom made things worse? I'm not sure, I'm not an expert in criminal psychology. In any event, she started ranting and raging and hitting a lot more than before. Then she took a bite out of my cheek. I'll probably have a scar forever, it's a nasty wound.
After that... She made me lick up some of her blood (Which is where the concern about disease came from). She made me 'help' her tear one of her own people apart, then made me eat his heart. She came very, disturbingly close, to taking off a few fingers to 'sweeten her stew pot'. She wouldn't leave me alone. Every time I thought it couldn't get worse, it did. Until Grandpa showed up. You've already gotten the details of the rescue, I won't bore you with them again. I was a bit distracted for most of it, because Andre shot me pretty early on.
Getting shot is way worse than getting stabbed. Or maybe it's just that he hit my spine. The pain wasn't so bad, I've dealt with worse. But the weight of it, the entire lower half of my body immediately turning into so much dead weight. One minute I was running, the next moment I'll never run again. The pain from the shot wasn't as bad as I would have expected. The bone fragments that had just recently been my lower spine, though... Those hurt worse. Especially when Maggot had to move me out of harm's way. It's strong, and managed it without much trouble, but every tiny move hurt so badly I half hoped it would kill me.
For the first time in my life, I couldn't think. I couldn't focus, I couldn't speak except to scream in pain and fear. Some distant part of my brain noticed that my legs were numb and knew that was bad, but I didn't know why. I couldn't register what was wrong. Just that everything was, my whole body felt focused on the bursts of pain in my abdomen. I tried to curl up, but only my torso complied, my legs stubbornly refusing to bend up to protect my chest. It was only when I noticed that that my brain started back up. Legs not moving was bad. The shock that was creeping up was even worse. Grandpa was busy, I didn't know how long he would be and I couldn't risk the shock killing me before he could get me to a hospital.
 Not that there was much I could really do to prevent shock, but I was hoping if I could keep my brain moving, keep the thoughts coming, that I could stave it off. I don't know if it worked, but I didn't die so I'm counting it a victory. I don't really remember the ambulance ride or most of my hospital stay after that. They saved my life but couldn't save my legs. I counted myself mostly lucky to not lose Grandpa in the bargain. I'm still not sure why the hospital didn't ask more questions about an eight year old getting shot.
It's only once I got out of there that the reality of the situation sank in. Half of my body no longer provides any useful function. My legs might as well have been cut off. They're just useless hunks of meat now. Weighing me down, getting in the way instead of helping me move. Just meat. Like Jessica thought of me. She always called me veal, said I'd make an excellent stew.
Do you know what makes veal? It's not just young cows, though that is a big part of it. Veal comes from calves who are kept in the dark and coddled all their short lives. Often, veal cows weren't even allowed to move, but were kept bound or suspended or merely locked in small pens, unable to do much other than eat sweet feed until they died. They were are kept perfect, fat, and tender, defenseless and sweet. That's what makes the meat such a delicacy.
I am not veal. I have been all over. I have stretched my mental and physical muscles. I have eaten awful things, starved a few times, and running keeps me lean and limber. Most of all, I am not defenseless. Grandpa, Ben, Mama, and a few others have all made sure I know how to fight back.
But in a world of fighters, of fast, strong, violent people like Jessica and Grandpa and my Mama, Sanna and Annalee and all the proxies floating around, I might as well be. Grandpa wanted to protect me, to let me grow up, to try to let me be a 'normal kid'. Whatever that means. I made a fuss and fought him on random bits, but overall I let him. I had learned to fight, but I hid behind him instead. Because I'm just a kid, and I'm not as good and I'm not as strong. I couldn't stand up to someone like them and I knew it, but instead of trying I hid and I read and I tried to make myself out to be some big damn grownup while hiding under the metaphorical covers.
I'm not going to do that anymore. Grandpa's probably not going to like it. He'll probably try to insist I  go back to what I was doing. But this whole ordeal has shown me that no matter how much I want to, no matter how much I want to, I cannot depend on anyone else to protect me. It's not that Grandpa can't, because he can. It's not that I don't want him to, because I do. But no one can be there every minute of every day, not even David Banks. And I don't want him to have to be. I'm going to start spending as much time working on my shooting as learning new languages or whatever. Just because I can't walk doesn't mean I can't fight-I don't need to stand up to shoot well and I was always a better shot than anything else anyway.
I've used my gun to defend myself before. I've even learned to kill with it if I have to. It's time to stop pretending I have the luxury of expecting anyone else to protect me.