Saturday, 16 July 2011

eternal sunshine of a spotless mind

i always find jim carey's forays into serious acting to be very entertaining. like robin williams at around the same time, his landmark performance and subsequent outrageous oscar snub in the truman show served as a reminder that comedic actors don't neccesarily have to only be court jesters. here again, he takes up a more serious script, alongside staple dramatic actors such as kate winslet, and flourishes.

the film itself, a career high point for many involved, including director michel gondry and screenwriter charlie kaufman, essentially revolves around the question "is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?" set in a world where targeted memory loss is a commercial service used to get rid of the memories of old exes, it follows carey's joel through this experience, erasing his memories of winslet's clementine.

the dynamics of this technology within society is also explored, as this internal storyline is combined with the external plot involving kirsten dunst, mark ruffalo, elijah wood and tom wilkinson. indeed, this larger view of the concept as a whole serves to beautifully compliment the much more intimate a-story.

i really should have reviewed this along with (500) days of summer. it covers similar ground, deconstructing the manic pixie dream girl trope (interestingly, this film plays the characters out as though the leads switched roles, with winslet playing up her energy and vitality, and carey almost unrecognisably understated) and providing a non-linear meditation on a relationship. here, unlike in (500) days of summer, however, the more serious treatment is helped along by a tangible threat, both in the frankly terrifying concept of memory loss and in the constantly pressing erasure of clementine as a person in joel's life. that this takes place in joel's mind allows the fear to be given shape in a huge number of gondry's visual setpieces. as the end looms, objects disappear, dimensions shift, and there even appears a faceless man, threatening to take away his loved one forever, who provides joel with an enemy to fight, even if it ultimately ends in his defeat. my only criticism is in how unrealistically this is portrayed - there is no stalkingburningcrushingtearingrippingkillingdyingmutilatinggaspingbludgeoningswallowinghatingfearingdisembowelingchokingscreamingbeggingrunninghidinghurtingbleeding



Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Slender Man

I've found it.

The way out, I mean.

It's consumed me. Obsessive. Clawing through Kari's blog, the other blogs, whatever information I could get my hands on. Moving constantly. I can't see him, but I'm constantly shouldering the weight of his presence. He's here, and he's close. But I think I know a way out.

Think about how He spread for a moment. An initial exposure. It was picked up by others, and quickly, more information was generated by these others. This was released, where it was picked up again. There are three steps here:

Infection - the initial exposure to Him, or information about him
Replication - sightings, experiences - more material is created, more information.
Dissemination - the replicated agents are spread to new people to be exposed.

What with the otherworldly wraith stalking us, it's understandable that people wouldn't pay attention to the coughs and colds we have a tendency to get. The coughing. The aches.

It's the "slendersickness". He's a virus.

A memetic virus, to be exact, rather than an actual physical viron. But the idea of the Slender Man follows this exactly. It's how he spreads.

It also explains the changes and differences between accounts: they're mutated strains of the virus, changing to get around immunities and truly infest new prey, or just because of a poor efficiency in copying information.

 The theory holds. It fits.

Of course, Kari gets every sickness that comes near her.

And Kari was taking antiviral medication. Introducing the idea - or the meme - of immunity. She got the symptoms - the sightings, the "sick" symptoms, even the disappearence - but she survived. She fought it off somehow.

So I've been back to her house - her back door is never locked - and I've got her medication. I've taken it. He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me He can't hurt me

After all these months, all this pain and heartache, all this death and horror, I've won.

He's right there, but all He can do is look on.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Search

I'm back out in the wide open world. I hate to leave Kari behind, but I've learned not to stay in one place.

She found something. Some way out.

I just need to find out what.

Anyway, I'm off now, it's raining hard right now, and I don't want my phone to get wet.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Kari II

Kari's alive! I'm in her hospital room now. Her mother hasn't stopped crying since she arrived, she's so overwhelmed. Kari herself is awake, and while she's confined to her bed until further notice, she says she feels up to walking or running - or whatever else. They found her unconscious by the roadside near Motcombe School. She was rushed into hospital, but aside from minor burns and a severe case of dehydration, she's fine.

I've been thinking all afternoon about how I'm going to write about this, how I'm going to describe how this feels. 

It feels like, after everything that has been taken from me, something is being given back. Relief. Astonishment. Love, more love than I can say. I love her so much, and I was so sure I'd never see her again, alive at least, and every fear and doubt and dread lurking in the back of my mind that she was dead is gone. It's all gone. She's alive. 

How is she alive?

Kari's alive.

On the bus on the way to the hospital. They found Kari. She's alive, stable and aside from dehydration, alright.

I can barely type right now. My hands are shaking so much. Predictive text is a lifesaver.

I'll update you all soon, but you'll understand I'm gonna be a little preoccupied.

Friday, 1 July 2011

An Excerpt.

"I cannot forget...where the shadows of men's thoughts lengthen in the afternoon...and my mind will bear for ever the memory of the Pallid Mask. I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with this beautiful, stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth--a world which now trembles before the King in Yellow. 

When the French Government seized the translated copies which had just arrived in Paris, London, of course, became eager to read it. It is well known how the book spread like an infectious disease, from city to city, from continent to continent...all felt that human nature could not bear the strain, nor thrive on words in which the essence of purest poison lurked. The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterward with more awful effect."

 - Robert W. Chambers, The King In Yellow

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Park Base - I'm giving up.

Fuck it. I'm out of here. He's here, I know it. The bushes are too constricting. There are too few points of exit, and the fact that I have to walk forward from my position to get to the nearest exit makes them inconvenient in the extreme. And He's been here. And not as in "when he killed Joey" or "When Kari had that fucking dream about him" but as in He's been here not long ago. As in, He's probably here now.

Oh how quickly this new shelter became just like everywhere else. I'm forced out, like I was forced out of my home before. Like Ms. Fisher, scared of her own apartment. The whole point of a home is that it's a sanctuary. Safe as houses and all. But it's just a societal construct. Like the right to life, the right to freedom from persecution and torment. Little structures we set up to grant ourselves a better hand that what the universe has dealt. Ultimately meaningless to anyone who decides to ignore them. Meaningless to the very people they're meant to protect us from.

Our conceits of safety don't matter at all.

They are nothing to him. The little safeties we have invented for ourselves, as a species, are nothing to him, and our dependence on them is the trap we fall into time and time again. I see why so many in my position do what I did and uproot themselves.

This place was comfortable, strategically advantageous. Now it's a deathtrap. I can't be here any more. It's like serving myself up to him on a fucking dinnerplate.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Park Base: Night 3

I think I saw him last night. My maglite's beam caught some dark, silent shape drifting from the stone table into the undergrowth opposite. I wasn't sure enough to leave - I've put a lot of faith into this camping spot. But I sat awake the whole night. Of course, my biggest concern is hallucination. I'm entirely sleep-deprived right now. Only a few nights from the last month have had proper night's sleep. My mental state is fragmented and weak. On the edge of sleep, it could have been anything, and my fear over it all just deprives me of more sleep. I don't know what I'm seeing, or whether or not is really there.

EDIT: What happened to Night 2?

EDIT 2: Okay, I know, I don't know why I'm asking you guys that. There was a Night 2 entry, and now it's gone. I can't find any trace of it. Did any of my subscribers have it come up on their reading list?

Monday, 27 June 2011

Park base: Night 1.

It was pretty good. I slept on the floor, and the circular bench and bushes blocked out the wind. The mat I sleep on stops the worse effects of sleeping on stone, and my sleeping bag is really warm - it's an expensive one.

But make no mistake - comfort was not a luxury I had. sitting on the bench, sleeping bag still packed, ready to run. Just staring down the path towards that table, waiting. It's a bizarre feeling. I'm not looking for Him any more. I'm expecting him.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

I ended up sleeping in the park last night. On that round stone bench, right near where Joey died. They've opened it back up. You can see splotches of blood in the earth. They tried to overturn as much as possible of the ground, but it didn't help.

Now that there's no police around - for a while it was the hot-place to be, every ambitious young gumshoe trying to find the clue that would make his name - it seems like a good place to stay, albeit morbid. You can get in 24/7 if you are willing to climb over the gate, and if you do that late enough, no-one'll see you. The tall bushes restrict entry points. I appreciate that it isn't the place least associated with Daddy, but hell, I'll get an undisturbed night's sleep every so often if I'm lucky.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Got back into my house this afternoon. The window was boarded up since last time. Shower. Change of clothes. I feel a little less disgusting. Packed my rucksack full of food from the fridge, spare clothes, and a powerful Maglite we keep under the stairs.. Grabbed a sleeping bag from the loft, and a thick synthetic mat made for camping to go underneath it. Anything else I thought might be useful.

Now I'm back on the street. Feeling better. The sleeping arrangement is infinitely more comfortable, but all that facilitates is my ability to lie here, heart racing at every errant sound around me. I'm back on the "days-without-sleep" counter. Anyone who could sleep with Him after them deserves every second and more.

I can't do anything without it being overshadowed by Him. So this is how my life is going to be.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Losing faith in my dismissal of the Tulpa Theory. Losing faith in all my theories.

We know nothing. There are no loose ends to unravel. Nothing I can work with.

I'm dangling, hopeless, over the abyss.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Nothing. No headaches, no panic, no paranoia.

It's odd. Not quite serenity. More like an absence.

It's been over a month since she was taken now.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

At this point, the dissenting conjecture is the biggest problem...

Unless the hypothesis... seems like several assumptions are flawed. Back to the drawing board.

Monday, 20 June 2011

The technician found me. I was walking down towards the seafront when I saw him. I tried to hide, but he spotted me. Shrieking, he dashed towards me. I turned on my heel and ran around a corner. A slight glimpse of a suit and an indistinct white face as I turned.

The shrieking stopped. He never rounded the corner. Knife in hand, I moved around the corner. No-one was there. He'd disappeared.

He was there, and then he was gone.

As bad as the fear of psychotic whispering was, the total silence is worse. Like static in the air, tingling, wound tight. I feel impotent against the weight of it.

It's swallowing me.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

I thought I heard muttering. It might have been the wind. I'm currently crouched in a dark area of one of the massive front gardens of Meads, the rich part of Eastbourne. Scared to move, to give myself away. Waiting.

The glint of whatever weapon he may now have.

A savage gaze beneath a makeshift cloth mask.

Telltale whispers in the night air.
Trying to come up with an explanation. A solution. It's impossible.

Nothing fits.

There must something, but I'm not seeing it.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Been on the move constantly. Restless in more ways than one. Listening constantly for crazed mutterings on the wind, or the sight of an obscured face approaching. I feel sicker and sicker as the day goes on, but it doesn't matter. The threat has become more and more immediate.

It's been almost a month.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

He attacked me! The lab technician, the crazy one? I have know idea how he found me, but he attacked me.

I decided I'd had enough of sneaking around in old, muddy clothes, so, guessing that my family would be out of the house, I used my key to get in. I showered and changed. After over a week of not even having changed clothes, hot water against my skin and a fresh pair of jeans was heaven. I found myself waiting around for the rain to stop, drifting off in front of the television, sinking into the warm, comfortable sofa.

The next thing I knew, it was 22:20. I'd drifted off. No-one was home yet. Odd.

Figuring I should take advantage of this, I went into the kitchen to get something to eat. A window smashed in the lounge, right where I just was. HE doesn't do that. I grabbed a knife and, holding it behind my back, and I crept back down the hallway. Hopefully the sudden appearance of a guy with a knife will frighten off the intruder - I had no desire to get in a fight.

A man came out of the doorway. He had cloth taped with parcel tape around his head, covering his face. He was holding a knife as well, the store tag still on the handle. It was him. Armed. Dangerous.

"...where's the bitch's squeeze, cut him good, give him right to him, spare me, save me from him..."

He jerked his head around and stared right at me. He smacked his lips and brought his knife around in front of him. I did the same. Undeterred, he lunged clumsily at me. I leapt backwards and ran to the downstairs bathroom, slamming the door and locking it tight. Slams against the other side. It wouldn't hold for long. I grabbed the heaviest thing in the room; the heavy ceramic lid of the toilet cistern. Standing beside the door, I raised it over my head. The door fell with a crash as he smashed into it, shoulder first, knife arm behind him. I brought it down on his head.

There was a loud, dull thud and he fell, the weight of the lid having come down entirely on the top of his head. Writhing on the ground, his lips moved faster.

"...he's seen him, he knows him, he wants him, spare me, he'll spare me, oh what a gift..."

He reaches for the knife. Kicking it out of the way, I pulled at the cloth wrapped crudely around his head. He screamed and shoved my hand away, crawling out of the door.

"...not my face not my face not my face..."

He was in a bad way. The cloth was rapidly turning red from where he was hit, and as he crawled he started to cough violently. Picking up his knife and grabbing mine from the sink, I proceeded to jump over him and run downstairs. I grabbed my bag and ran outside into the dark street.

A presence. He was there and He was close.

I ran.

I've moved into the Meads area. Knife under my t-shirt, tucked into my jeans. It isn't comforting me.

He's close. Even now.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The Slender Man - The Tulpa Theory

So, by far the most prevalent theory about the Slender Man's nature is that, at some point, be it after the original SomethingAwful thread, or long before, enough people thought of the Slender Man that He came into existence, bearing the properties we imbued Him with. Our being scared of Him, in short, made Him. Hell, perhaps he's some archetype of fear, dreamt up millenia ago, being thought and re-thought into existence throughout the ages, and Victor Surge's photos struck close enough to home to recreate him. The tupla theory explains a lot. The ability for Him to come to those who know about Him seems to gel with the idea that He was created by people having a defined enough idea of Him.

But it doesn't fit.

Firstly, we may be giving ourselves a little too much credit here, guys. It makes sense to some that Slender Man is made up of a number of primordial fears, and that when stuck together by Victor Surge, or whoever else back in history, they were strong enough to form Him. It makes much more sense to me - though this may be my perspective is coloured by Bleakley's theorizing - that those fears are there because humanity has had the Slender Man creeping around the edges all along, and evolution simply got rid of those who didn't know to run in the opposite direction. Tulpa theory points to us pre-dating him, but the ubiquity of entities throughout history sharing traits suggests that he goes back much further.

But secondly, this is the third of these theory sections, and the only thing we've found for sure is that no-one actually knows anything about Him. The Slender Man varies so much across different accounts that it is simply impossible that He was formed this way. You see, if thoughtforms or tulpas worked, they would be as a result of emergence - the process by which communication and feedback between small, simple agents, obeying simple, synchronised local rules, creates results beyond the capabilities of any one of those agents. Think termite nests. There simply was never sufficient communication and feedback, and never enough consistency. That variation in amost everything about him happened way too soon, and too widely, for any emergent result to occur. Simply put, the properties of the Slender Man are far too widely varying for them to also be solidified enough to have a real entity emerge from it, except for the barest agreed elements, and the remaining traits couldn't just be filled in by whoever was nearest. If the Slender Man was a tulpa, there would be one Slender Man, consistent in His manner. We have the opposite opposing us today.

I can't see the Slender Man being a tulpa. I mean, the ultimate proof would have been Robert's Core Theory working, kind of like how the A-Bomb proved the theory of special relativity - if it wasn't real, it wouldn't have worked. Except Core Theory DIDN'T work. I can see why it would be comforting to have Him be a creation of ours - if we brought Him into this world, it seems more achievable to take Him out of it again - but it simply doesn't fit.


The sickness hasn't gone away.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

So, I don't know if anyone knows this, but right now there's a pretty major tennis tourney going on in Eastbourne. It's generally considered a step on the way to Wimbledon. And I know this because I'm currently walking through town, covered in mud from sleeping on the wet ground last night, still in the clothes I left in the fucking Saturday before last, and the town centre is fucking packed with people who'd consider themselves my betters on the best of days. Now I get why homeless people generally don't have top-flight self esteem.

I don't like being in a place this crowded. Too much commotion. Too much to see makes it harder to know what I'm not seeing.
Ugh. It might be the lack of sleep but I feel like crap. My throat is dry and irritated, and I feel weak - almost feverish. This must be that sickness people talk about.

Also, I slept last night. In the park, lying on the ground because it was softer than the benches. Cold and wet. I'm still feeling the effects of sleep deprivation though.

The Slender Man - Appearance, nature and abilities.

Really, the only one of these criteria which anyone can agree on is His appearance, and even then there's variation. The only consistent details are as follows:

Very tall.
Very thin.
White skin.
Bald, with a blank face
In a business suit (contemporary) or other authoritarian dress (historical).
A lot of the time, He is described as having disproportionately long limbs. Some accounts even talk about Him having tentacles, but that seems...a little preposterous to me.

Other than that, some describe Him having the indents of a face, others having the front of His head be perfectly smooth. Height differs anywhere between six and ten feet. Thinness differs from thin human to impossibly emaciated.

As for powers, these differ wildly. Firestarting, out-of-sight teleportation, time/space manipulation, hypnotism and mind control, amnesia induction, and more. Any one account could attribute The Slender Man with any, all, or none of these powers. More universal ones are an effect on electrical objects, particularly video cameras. Video cameras distort in His presence - some subtly, some wildly. Note that still cameras do not - perhaps either His movement, or more than an instant's perception, causes this effect. He also seems to possess the ability to zone in on people who know about Him - the more, the better.

As for His nature, it is this which changes the most. He has been interpreted as a wild, instinctual creature, a coldly sapient puppetmaster, a frenzied killer, even a minor God. He has been interpreted as working alone or as a puppet of a greater force. He has been both capable and incapable of communicating with humans. He has been ascribed hominid motivations, or simply stated to have motivations beyond the comprehension of humans. He clings to his stealthy, stalking demeanour with wildly varying degrees of tenacity.

Once again, all these show us is that, for all that has been written, we know so little about the Slender Man that it's laughable. Daddy, as I know Him, could be assigned some of these traits, fits within certain parameters, and ignores others. Much has been written - an enemy we know things about is an enemy we can defeat, so said Robert - but almost all of these seem to have been vain attempts to rationalise a phenomena the writer had no real comprehension of. As with many topics - natural selection springs to mind - everyone thinks they understand the Slender Man, but their observations are generally lacklustre at best.

Let's hope mine are not in that category.


About halfway through writing this, the words felt like they stopped meaning anything. Meaningless symbols in an arbitrary order. This whole time, I've been looking for a way out. For Kari. Nothing's been found, but she's dead. There's no reason she'd be alive when the others died. And the part of my brain telling me this hates the modicum of hope which still remains. I wish I could say "Nothing's worse than not knowing," but that would be lying.

Since I met her, I've never gone this long without seeing her, talking to her. Seeing her smile. Telling her I love her.

We hit it off basically the day we met. We've never not been in love.

And now she's gone, and what was her is now a hunk of meat, rotting by a roadside somewhere. The eyes I could stare into for hours, the body I felt press against me when we were alone. The lips. The mind. The soul. The voice. It's all gone. And I'll never make peace with that fact.

And of course, He's pretty hard on my tail right now. Fucking with my mind. Perhaps rather callously, I'm basing the time I have left who knew about Him before me. That list of human shields is becoming shorter and shorter. Assuming I last that long. I'm feeling myself slipping. The lack of sleep. I'm imagining things again. That whole Steven Taynor thing.

If Kari and I had never met, this would never have happened. If Kari hadn't been assigned Joey's class, this would never have happened. If Joey hadn't found out about Daddy, this would never have happened. If the two people who would go on to become my parents had, just by chance, never met, or Kari's, or Joey's, this would never have happened. And yet, through a series of random events, this whole thing came together, leaving me typing on my phone about being stalked by a supernatural hunter-killer after days upon days of no sleep.

Victims of chaos.

I've found myself thinking of that damn dog.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

I don't know what I'm doing. Delaying the inevitable.

She is never coming back.
The thing I wrote on Thursday? About DCI Duncan and the lab tech? I just went onto the newspaper website. The article's not there. There's no mention of DCI Duncan. The lab tech? The name I wrote, Steve Taynor? That's not even his name. That's not a name of anyone connected to this whole thing. It might not even be anyone's name.

I read that. I'm sure of it.

I rang up Ben. He told me that no-one's found Duncan or the lab tech.

I wasn't even that tired at the time.

I still haven't slept.

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Slender Man - Overview of origins

Two years, guys. Two years ago is when Slender Man accounts started showing up on the internet. So I figure now is the most obvious time to start talking about my notes so far.

There are two widely discussed origins of the Slender Man. The first is that He originated  on today's special day, on the original post on the SomethingAwful thread. If ever there's a reason I still cling to a little bit of skepticism, it's that this source of origins appear to be fictional. The user Victor Surge doesn't seem to have posted what he thought was a real thing. If he did, his motives are unknown. If this is genuinely His origin, it would seem that the "tulpa" theory, which I will be discussing later, is the most obvious candidate. Another option is that Surge, like many before him, based his creation on an existing being, knowingly or unknowingly (Perhaps something archetypal? Think The Gentlemen from Buffy, the Tall Man from the Chzo mythos, or the historical accounts) and this will also be explored at a later date.

The other is that He's much older than that. Many accounts of stalkings, including The Walking Willow, but also those which mention germanic origins or even further back, give credance to this idea. Genuine accounts older than 2009 are rare, but reference to them is comparatively common. In addition, He fits the description of any number of boogeymen from around the world; the fair folk, the noppera-bo, and so forth. This isn't as widely discussed these days, but was a frequent hypothesis early on.

Note that these are not mutually exclusive hypotheses. Note also that this, essentially, is a way of saying either "the SomethingAwful thread" or "anywhere else, at all."


I haven't slept in days. I don't want to let my guard down. I also have come to realise, looking at all the photos I took during the black-out period, that I was taking photographs around corners.

Speaking of days, it's three weeks to the day since she was taken. She hasn't shown up. Or hasn't been found.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Christ, I'm in the library, on the internet, and I'm so concerned with what's going on in a bunch of kids' blogs half a world away that I didn't even think to check the local newspaper's website. DCI. Duncan was found. Dead, of of course, same as the others. He was found in the alleyway I left my bag in. A whole bunch of people saw the lab tech - a Steven Taynor - walking down the main street in town covered in blood, talking to himself loudly. To say he attracted attention would, obviously, be an understatement. He had a bloody knife on him, and was unresponsive to anyone calling to him. The police tackled him and forced cuffs on him, but he still acted like he didn't even know anyone was there.

Forty minutes later, the police found Duncan's body. It was round the other side of the bin. Right where He saw me lying.

So they've pinned the disappearances and murders on Steven Taynor. Anything for a rational answer. A suit and some tights over his head for a mask. Of course, they're wrong, but it's the only explanation they have. They've lost too many people now. The police, the people who live here, they all want this ordeal over. I want it over as well, but I'm not about to allow myself the luxury of self-deception.

My only explanation for the blood is that he found a dead body and, being a mental, he took a few slashes, played with the corpse a bit. Hopefully the blood involved in this debacle's all been accounted for.

I mean, it's another murder, fitting the same MO. Taynor might be crazy, but he's not strong enough to do any of the things that were done to these people. Though Daddy simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time a whole lot would rather make me laugh.
Back in the library. Reading voraciously. I need to find a definitive answer to what happened when I was unconscious. No luck from the blogs - too much variation in description, when it isn't all just innuendo and speculation.

I've noticed some things as well - during this period I damn near filled up what remained of my 16GB MicroSD card on my phone with photos. Streets in town, rooftops, alleyways. Closed storefronts. A few into houses' windows - that rather worries me.

The question is, "What was I trying to take a picture of?"

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I just woke up. I have my rucksack, and everything in it.

I don't remember going to get it at all. I'm not where I went to sleep last night. I don't remember what happened. Almost 24 hours of blank.

What the fuck is going on?
Sleeping rough for another night. He was in the alleyway. A way off, near the building. I saw him. I ran my ass off. Didn't stop until lactic acid near-choked me with its taste. At this point, I realised I had left my rucksack full of all my possessions - wallet, keys, most of my research notes. I was sleeping around a large bin, to shelter me on as many sides as possible, so there's a chance my things are still there. In the meantime, I have my phone, which I'm writing this on, and which won't last long without the mini-USB/charger; it's an HTC Desire HD, a phone with a pretty poor active battery life.

If I can't get my charger back, I might be going silent for a bit.

If I can't get my wallet back, I won't be eating.

If I can't get my keys back, then someone else has my house keys, which potentially puts my family in danger.

If I can't get my research notes back, then I'll probably be torn apart by Daddy.

Ahhh, the fucked up priorities of a Runner, eh?

I guess I'm one of you now.

It's been 18 days. It still aches, you know.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

All the other blogs seem to have been aware of the Slender Man before they knew he was real. Had kind of a head-start there, guys. A shame, I imagine this whole thing would be darkly entertaining, if watching the suffering of tormented souls hunted by a malevolent, omnipresent abomination is what gets you off.
It's all over the news. The lab technician - the one who murdered his wife - broke out last night. He jumped an orderly and bludgeoned him unconscious, and escaped. The police are out and about, looking for him. He's considered dangerous, and by now will have armed himself with something. I mean, you can get axes at B&Q. You can get knives...just about anywhere.

This guy only looked at a picture of Daddy. Makes me wonder how I lasted this long. He's been in my room. I'd guess that some people are less stable than others, but it was only a few days ago that my grip on sanity was increasingly tenuous.

In other news, I'm still rocking it nomadic-style. Slept last night, in an alleyway next to a shop in town. Almost five hours. I'm thinking of paying a few friends a visit to use a shower. I have a couple of people I can count on, but I can't sleep over. They'll be asking questions, relaying information to my family. Aside from the risk of exposing them to Daddy, they, in turn, will have me sent for a psych evaluation. That's the last thing I need. Although I could probably use it. If this ever ends, I'll need it. But I'm stable enough now.

At least, I think.

The mad one's always the last to know, right?

Monday, 6 June 2011

I have a plan of action.

I haven't slept in two days. I've mostly been on my feet, moving about the town as much as possible. I spent about nine hours in the library yesterday using their computers. Reading blogs as quickly as possible. Trying to amass as much knowledge as I can. All I can say is, "Thanks, Chase."

Many are unreadable. Many more are coherent, but almost certainly fictitious. Doesn't matter. I read them anyway, and take note of what they say. Because I have a plan of action.

Kari's been gone for two weeks now. She hasn't turned up dead, or at least, we haven't found her. And, to national outrage, the police have all but given up. Everyone in involved departments has resigned. People are moving out of Eastbourne in droves. There's nothing anyone's doing, because no-one understands The Slender Man.

And that's where I come in.

There are a lot of theories, a lot of cryptic clues thrown about. It makes it harder to do. Understanding Daddy, that is. Which is, of course, the key to getting out of this. I mean, I had theories before, but they were wild speculation - stabs in the dark, appropriately - but now, under all the pressure of survival, I understand that this is my only chance. I'm no fighter. I'm no runner. I'm no survivalist. But I am a thinker.

So, my mission statement?

Saturday, 4 June 2011

This was uploaded straight from my webcam to Youtube. I have no idea where the errors and artefacts came from. 

I don't know what to do now.

Please, help me.
"And if you lose yourself at least take solace in the absolute certainty that you will perish."
 - House of Leaves.

I'm starting to feel like the progression of the mania which has rather overwhelmed me isn't simply grief. Not anymore. It's the fear. It's the paranoia. The idea of Daddy killing me, killing everyone, it feels like an immediate threat, and one with a horrible feeling of inevitability. As time passes, Bleakley's threats don't feel more and more empty, but are instead becoming very tangible. I've only caught glimpses of Him. But the's been overwhelming me as of late, and I'm powerless in the face of it.

Friday, 3 June 2011

"The truth of the matter, I sometimes thought, was not so much that I wanted to die, as that I no longer wanted to go on living in my present manner." - Alberto Monrovia, Boredom

She wrote this.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

"The attacks persist. Mostly now when I’m sleeping. I suddenly jerk awake, unable to breathe, bound in ribbons of darkness, drenched in sweat, my heart dying to top two hundred. I’ve no recollection what vision has made me so apoplectic, but it feels like the hinges must have finally failed, whatever was trying to get in, at last succeeding, instantly tearing into me, and though I’m still conscious, slashing my throat with those long fingers and ripping my ribs out one by one with its brutal jaws."
 - House of Leaves.

Back in my room. Door locked. I don't know if He's outside. I don't know if He's trapped in here with me. Staring at the screen. Reading all the other blogs I can, looking for a way out of this.

I remember reading the excerpts that I uploaded earlier, but they're not there now. Of course they're not there. The book only has 189 pages. But I didn't know those things before, and looking them up, they're all true.

I remember reading them.
pg. 110889:

"On May 29th, 1913, The Rite Of Spring premiered. A groundbreaking ballet, it used polyrhythms, dissonance and violent anti-ballet to portray the story of a young girl dancing herself to death as part of a pagan human sacrifice. It is now considered a groundbreaking achievement, but on that day, May 29th 1913, it was so alien, so beyond what anyone had seen before, that its audience fell apart at the sight of it. Boos and jeers became fistfights and torrents of shouting. The crowd was reduced to chaos. While the music remains, the dance was never recorded - or rather, no records survive. One must wonder if this is accidental.

In 1923, a performance of the piece Hyperprism prompted half of the audience to flee.

In 1973, a performance of the minimalist work Four Organs caused, amongst other disorders, a woman to wander up to the stage and bang her head repeatedly on it, screaming "Stop, Stop, I confess."

The human mind is capable of reacting only on a cosmically small scale. And the cosmos is by no means cosmically small. Against the forces of stimuli beyond human expectation, the mind buckles and breaks, like a dry twig.

We are weak in the face of the forces, both large and small, which control the universe. Ultimately, when faced with something entirely comprehensible, the thin veneer of order snaps to reveal a universe which seems purely, vastly chaotic."
pg. 3334:

"If 1/3 =0.333... and 3/3=1 and 0.333..x3 = 0.999... then 0.999...=1. The infinite and the defined are the same. The Walking Willow is the infinite. Older than we know. Larger and more twisted than we can comprehend. Infinite. Yet we perceive Him as a constant. Our minds hurt with the strain, but we do it. The mathematics make no sense in a practical sense, yet they are true, and The Walking Willow is the proof."
Hey everyone, it's Ben here. Simon left himself logged on, so I think I should fill you in on what's happened. Simon turned up on my doorstep at about 10:30 this morning, sweating and panting heavily. I suspect he ran all the way from his house - a thirty-minute walk, and not all on flat land. He looked like he hadn't slept or showered in days. His hair was greasy and his clothes were messy and stained here and there. He walked straight past me, wouldn't tell me what happened. I had to look on his blog just to find out what he was doing here. He went straight up to my room, sat at my computer and logged straight onto blogger, started poring over other blogs with a startling veracity. He claimed they had "Daddy" in them as well. When I asked if this was about Halderman and Duncan, he shot me a look of complete bemusement. He had no idea what had happened - the other people involved in the "Daddy" case being picked off one by one. It's been in the papers non-stop for days. How could he honestly not have heard about it? He's been on the internet the whole time, from the sounds of things. I directed him towards the Eastbourne Gazette website. He quickly read the articles and started to giggle under his breath.

For the first time, I felt unsafe around Simon.

I mean, if you knew him, you'd...he's the best guy I know. He has a rather gloomy outlook on life - I never got how him and Kari, eternally optimistic as she is, got on so well - but he's dependable and level headed, not to mention caring, compassionate and strong. He's broken.

It's bizarre, to see someone you know so well in such a state of...degradation.

He wrote up a blog post and then sat at the computer, perusing blogs again. Every so often, he'd look out the window, write a one-word blog post, and then continue reading. At about quarter to seven, he stood up, and quickly as he arrived, he strode down the hallway and back down the stairs, before running out the door. I looked at the computer screen. He's written four words.

"I forgot the book."

He trusted that I'd post it, I guess. So there it is.

 - Ben.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

I'm at a friend's house right now. He's trying to talk me around to calling to the police, but I have no reason to believe that a detective down the station has even the faintest idea how to deal with Daddy right now. At least, I think that's what he's saying, I'm not listening at all.

They're all disappearing. Dropping like flies. Halderman, he was found in an alleyway, limbs stretched out, innards torn up, two nights ago. DCI. Duncan is gone. No-one knows where. A lab tech at the police station has recently been committed to a mental asylum after stabbing his wife. He said he wanted to "save her from him." Everything's going to shit, and I'm next on the shit-list.

I keep looking out the window, searching. Nothing.
Someone's in my house. I'm going to run for it.

I guess it's begun.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Forming some theories. Give me time.

I'll post more details tomorrow.
So I've finished the book. Reading all the blogs I can. Trying to find out what to do if the Slender Man is coming for me, as Bleakley assures me he is. The paranoia is getting worse and worse. My curtains remain drawn. If you're in more danger the more you know, then one thing that won't help is me getting a good look at Him again.

Oh look, now Bleakley's got me doing it too.

I'm working against the clock now, and I don't even know what I'm working towards. A way out, a way to stop him, maybe even a way to get Kari back. But the alternative is terror and death.
pg. 181:
"The Willow's age is, unfortunately indeterminable, but throughout human history, as you have seen in this section, there is evidence of His contact with the world's civilisations. The spate of recurring incidences within the East Sussex area, however, is a problem which has baffled parapsychologists and cryptozoologists for years. Poultergeist-botherers and the desperately gullible, however, are laughably ill-equipped to deal with an existential horror whose presence almost predates written word. Thus, it is left to me to make my own, decidedly better-informed speculation, based on my years of research.

I believe that He comes after people who know too much. East Sussex was the site of one of the more well-publicised early sightings following the development of national communication, and thus, every so often, one happens upon too much information, learns too much, and another spree commences. This damned group includes me, and now includes you, dear reader. I can only hope that in delivering you to Him, I can drive Him away from me, as even now, as I write these words, I can see Him, out of the window in my office. He's perfectly still, His featureless face staring up at me. I've grown calloused to the ache, over the years since that one night, and I write this hoping that He comes after you, neglecting to take my life. My sanity is slipping, and soon it will leave me, but the sorrow of years has dulled the sting of this trauma. I welcome it, and merely wish for the nightmare to end.

I am sorry, and hope that in trapping you I have given you the tools to defeat Him."

That bastard.

Monday, 30 May 2011

"I don’t know what I need but for no apparent reason I’m going terribly south. Nothing has happened, absolutely nothing, but I’m still having problems breathing."
 - House of Leaves

In the days since I started reading this book - though in actual fact before then, since Kari was taken - I've changed a lot. I've not left my house in three days. Not gone to work, not seen any friends - they all stopped coming. My floor is covered in rubbish, empty drink bottles, anything I could eat or drink without having to cook it. I don't like being out of the little sanctuary I've set up for myself. I'm under no illusions; I'm not safe anywhere, and if Daddy wants to kill me, he'll do so, and me being in my bedroom won't stop him. But it's comforting.

The copy of House of Leaves that Kari cried all over has become something of an obsession, as you may have noticed from the last few posts. That and the Zampano-esque tone of writing Bleakley adopts - a little too self satisfied, and ultimately wrong on many counts. Everything that's left of her is in those little watermarks. I've never been so scared of losing something as I was in those few days before she was taken and now I have, and all that fear isn't just anticipation. I've lost her. I find myself having to face the yawning chasm of her absence, confronted with a sense of tearless, voiceless loss. Abstract, nameless loss.

She's gone, and the enormity of that truth is enough to swallow me whole.

So I keep reading my book, and slowly forming my theories, hoping that maybe, just maybe, understanding will make things better. I'm still too scared to open my curtains.
pg. 151:

"And the black-clad ones could hover, in vision, but not registering in the slightest, until one thought to look for them. While this lead to common depiction of ninja, it also could be an influence from the Walking Willow. A more concrete one within Japanese culture, of course, is the Noppera-bō, or faceless ghost.

(Picture in page, same one taken here from Wikipedia - Simon.)

A faceless being, depicted here in fine clothing. The similarity should be obvious, and even to this day, sightings persist. The Japanese concept of the ghosts of people enacting their grudges on the living seems to be a rather close fit for the Willow.
He has been here a very long time. And I fear that He will be here for a very long time to come."
pg. 148

"Of course, His preference for children is the most obvious, and perhaps the most worrying of all His traits. When adults are attacked, it is usually because they saw something, they heard something. But the children are attacked, and slain, with no apparent pattern. It would appear that He prefers children.

Michael Pulman, aged 9, was taken on the 12 July 1994, having walked into his parents room to tell them that the tree outside his room was not right, that he'd looked for a good long time even though his eyes hurt, and that he thought that the "tree has too many branches."

And even though he was scared his parents told him to go back to his room. He just wanted to crawl into bed with them, and feel safe. Why, oh, why did they not understand that there was a man in the tree outside his room, and that the man's arms looked almost like branches?

And so Michael was sent back to his room. And his parents have had to live with that for every waking moment of our lives, and it tears them apart even now. His mother, of course, was taken later, but his father was not. Whether or not he is the lucky one is debatable."

It stops there for three pages before talking about the dress of stage hands in kabuki theatre. How this book ever got past an editor is beyond me.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Pg. 127:

"And if he lacks eyes, oh, how does his gaze weigh down on us so?

For our gaze upon him does us greater harm still."

You see what I mean about over-erudite crap?

I'm finding it harder and harder to buy that Bleakley even thought that what he was writing about is real. The whole thing is a little too Navidson Record-ish, and, like The Navidson Record, I'm worried that the joke's on me for trying to make sense of this dreck.

"Nor have contemporart (sic) sources failed to provide incidence of the Walking Willow. Jay Smith, a security company call centre worker, provides the following testimony:

"I read and listen to a bunch of alarms every night. A large majority of them are false alarms. A small handful of those false alarms are just the ones that get me thinking. These small handful of alarms are ones when people either press their panic button or call to complain that their alarm hadn't sounded.
In the first instance, we get a lot of "A man standing at our door, not responding to us."
"A tall man at our window."
"There's a man wearing black in our yard. Just standing there."
And in the second instance, it's a case where a person is either coming home and sees someone in their home, or worse..."

(Mr. Smith coughs throatily, and when he starts again, his voice is cracked and hoarse.)

"...or worse, they wake up and see someone in the hallway..."

(The audio clip reveals a loud, wavering inhale from Mr. Smith)

"...someone in the hallway, always just standing...while their system is...armed.
And in at least three instances, there have been actual alarms where the police reported to us that they saw an individual in a home. A tall, white male in a suit."

Police have chalked this up to thieves wearing suits because appearing middle-class and employed makes them look less suspicious while casing or robbing a building."

And yes, I've changed the layout. For reasons which should be obvious. This is no longer Old Celluloid.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

"Corners, however, only reveal more corners, and Jed’s light only targets ashen walls, though soon enough they all begin to detect that inimitable growl, like calving glaciers, far off in the distance, which at least in the mind’s eye, inhabits a thin line between where rooms and passageways must finally concede to become a horizon."
 - House of Leaves

So between reading the book and reading various blogs, I've noticed a few rather odd differences between "Daddy" and the Slender Man as the rest of you know him. The foremost is the lack of what many blogs refer to as Proxies, or Revenants. Many other encounters seem to have had human...servants? Worshipers? Puppets? working on behalf of the Slender Man, something which I've seen no evidence of with the Slender Man, or with any of the case studies in The Walking Willow. Perhaps as a related point, "Daddy" seems much more aggressive than other incidences of The Slender Man. Some "Runners" have been staving off death for months, even years. Whereas Kari

The differences are troubling. They reduce the degree to which we can predict what'll happen next.

That's all for today. I'm gonna attempt to sleep. I make no guarantee. Still hoping that HE hasn't caught onto me yet.
Pg. 106:

"It helps not to think of Him as a physical entity, but rather as a quantum occurrence. Many cases of His malevolence have occurred near-simultaneously on opposite ends of the world, yet to suggest that there is more than one seems gauche. It seems instead that He defies the temporal and spacial planes we inhabit in some way. Of course, this draws a contradiction; His interaction with the world is physical, yet His nature is not. The dividing line for this appears to be observation. When He is observed, He is anchored to the physical world; when He is not, He may defy whatever rules he pleases. The act of observing an action alters the result. Quantum mechanics states that this is so*."

* This is actually untrue on anything other than an atomic level. This is something people assume from the Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment, which many theoretical physicists have refuted entirely. Similarly, people tend to misunderstand Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle to mean this, but that states that it is impossible to accurately measure two dependent statistics - that the closer you observe one, the less possible it becomes to accurately observe the other. Again, misunderstanding of the Double-Slit experiment gives a similar conclusion. Bleakley's knowledge of physics best, fuzzy.
Pg. 104:

"The isolation is not physical, not always, but rather, existential. Once He has laid His gaze upon you, you are alone. No-one can help you, no-one can save you. All efforts to do anything other than submit are in vain. Surround yourself with police. Lock yourself in the most secure place possible. It will do you no good. The world may as well be empty, save for you and Him.

You are alone. The only thing that matters is you and Him and the ache."

Friday, 27 May 2011

"ſtairs! We have found ſtairs!"
- House Of Leaves.

I've found myself clinging to the book like a life preserver. It makes me feel like I'm doing SOMETHING, even if all I'm doing is reading a book, which, frankly, I'm amazed got published. While the sources purport to be factual, the author has chosen to arrange them, not in chronological order, as would have probably been an actually good idea, but instead in some bizarre order known only to Bleakley himself. It's also loaded with fanciful conjecture, bizarre imagery and, at times, a jarringly antiquated vocabulary. There's clearly no desire to present facts objectively, with Bleakley instead choosing to let his sense of theatricality run amok. It's a difficult read, much denser than it needs to be. But one thing is easy to ascertain; This Walking Willow is Daddy.

I can't believe I'm saying this crap.

The Walking Willow is Daddy, and I'm almost certain that they're both now better known as the Slender Man. Though, with that last link, there are a few rather jarring differences. I'll go into further detail once I've read further into the book. I might also re-read Kari's blog, if I can face it.

But this goes back a long way, longer than I think any of us have given it credit for. Daddy has been doing these things for a long, long time.
pg. 99:

"Only one factor of His appearance changes throughout the time He has been stalking this earth. His clothes, though always black, have not stayed the same over the centuries. His attire has, however, always been similar to that associated with groups and professions holding influence and power over the people of the time. Men of war. Men of religion. Men of business. Is it any wonder that, in many cultures, Death Himself is a skeletal man dressed in black monk's robes?

This does, however, raise a troubling question - how old is the Walking Willow, to have potentially influenced humanity, not just in the periods documented here, but further back into the base of human history? Is He a man? A lineage of men, stretching back centuries, in a secret order of murderers? Or is he something else? Something, not just older, but Old, like a hand reaching out from antiquity to claw at the throats of the living?"

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Just came across a picture of a nineteen year old girl who was killed the Walking Willow, by Daddy, by the Slender Man, by whatever. She's lying against the wall of an alleyway in Brighton in the 1920s. Her arms are grey from the bruises caused when her arms were...stretched, I guess. Her legs are the same. There's a huge, gaping hole in her stomach, revealing the back of her ribcage. The skin on her torso is sunken into the skeletal structure. Her organs are arranged around her.

I think of Kari. She's Kari's age. She even looks a little like her.

I feel sick.
From pg. 35:

"During this period, the Walking Willow would find many victims falling under His gaze. In 1806, a Mr Simon Gladwell wrote a letter to an old university friend of an experience he had had while wandering through what would later become Gilderage Park, Eastbourne with his brother. His brother, who had developed neurosyphyllis (sic) and had consequently had his mental health deteriorate rapidly, was largely hidden from public view at the time; the Gladwells were a reputable, well-to-do family who had grown rich off of the Industrial boom. However, Simon Gladwell's father was dead, and his stern reign over, and he felt his brother should be treated with some dignity. He writes:

"I had never seen Peter so lucid. The colours of the flowers seemed to stimulate his mind in ways which I had not seen in the many months since his illness began. I felt good, I must confess, about permitting him to experience what he had not for a very long time.

But after a while, he stopped, his eyes finding something beyond the horizon. He stood, fixated for a while, before shrieking and cowering in fear. Thinking he had had some kind of episode, I rushed over to my brother's side. He grasped at my coat and started telling me that he had seen a creature on the horizon. While his words were drowned beneath sobs and moans, the occasional word or phrase was audible - things like "thousands of eyes" and "writhing limbs". Clearly, this was a symptom of his mind's disease, but what was alarming was his ludicity. This was not one of his wanton ramblings from back in his room, I am quite sure of it.

Looking up to where his eyes had rested, I saw no monster, no entity which matched his wild gibbering. My second glance, however, revealed to me that, quite some way away, a man stood, almost at the edge of the tree line of the forest. He was tall, taller than any man I've seen outside a circus. Thin, and bald, and pale, with ill-defined features - in fact, were you to ask, I could not tell you what his face looked like at all. I appear to be rather drawing a blank. His clothes were alarming as well; he was wearing fine, fashionable clothes which betrayed a background of wealth and importance. I must have looked directly at him for a good thirty seconds, his origins or his identity quite unclear to me. Suddenly, I noticed a sharp stabbing pain behind my eyes, a most awful headache. Wincing, I looked down to my brother. Whatever had terrified him had done it's job; he had seemingly retreated back into madness, away from the fear which had hurt him so. He simply lay there, face down, drooling onto the wet earth, and breathing deeply. I looked up again, only to find that the man had gone, disappearing into the woodland."
"Come morning I found the day as I have found every other day — without relief or explanation."
 - House of Leaves

I've got the book in my hands. I've not given it a proper reading, but it's largely a compilation of primary sources commenting on the Walking Willow, as Bealkley calls it. They date back centuries, all the way back to the 1600s in and around East Sussex, with a few from other areas which date back even further, though the book is more tentative about these sources. They all describe, and I'm quoting here, "A tall, shadowy figure, pale, bald and faceless, wreathed in shadow. He at first appears to be a large, emaciated figure, finely clothed and with an indistinct face. But as his contact with his victims progresses, he reveals himself to be a far more terrifying figure, throughout the area's history, and beyond that, the world." Sounds familiar.

This just raises more questions.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

"It’s a nice idea but it reeks of hope. False hope. Not all complex problems have easy solutions; so says Science."
- House of Leaves

This Slender Man thing is looking to be a dead end. I've been reading all day, and it's going to be very difficult finding any accounts of the Slender Man which are real. Some are so fantastical that, to be honest, it's drawing doubt onto the more convincing ones just by their being there. I don't know. It seems to fit but until I've figured out some kind of Litmus test, I'm putting the Slender Man theory on hold.

In the meantime, I've got another lead. I've been reading up on the "crackpot book" the article in the paper mentioned. Informed with the supernatural element, it seems more up the right alley. It's called "The Walking Willow; A Legacy of Murder Throughout the Ages" and was written by a H.R. Bleakley. It was apparently called this because of an old British folk tale that willows were sinister beings, that they would stalk travellers. It's supposedly about a long spate of murders spanning four hundred years around this area. And, interestingly, only forty copies were ever made. It was going to be properly published, but the publishing house withdrew after a spate guessed it, headaches. They immediately sent round a message to other publishing houses that the book was "cursed". As a result, the author had to have it self-published, sinking every penny he could spare into getting those forty books published. Before he could order another printing, Bleakley disappeared, the "curse" having gotten to him. This...was in 1999. That should give you an idea of just how weird this case was. A "curse" in that well-known time of enlightenment, the Nineties?

I'm going to get the book rented tomorrow. They have a few copies in the library, apparently after feeling sorry for the author, not least for having the name Bleakley in this day and age.

That's all for now.
"Keener intellects, however, now regard scientific conjecture concerning the house as just another dead end. It would seem the language of objectivity can never adequately address the reality of that place on Ash Tree Lane."
- House of Leaves

Days of fear and sadness have gutted me, made me feel empty. I continue to do nothing as the girl I love has been abducted by a murderer whose capabilities confound any measures to stop him. Lay in bed. Lights off. My friends have been round to visit as though I were in hospital. They're aloof, awkward. Dealing with their own emotional messes over this. Anyone with a basic sense of pattern recognition would assume that...well, optimism is hard to come by. And so I'm lying in my bed with the curtains drawn and the lights off and I'm remembering the cute little smile that would always break across her face when she got embarrassed, and her big blue eyes, and the softness of her lips and how when we held hands, I could always feel her heartbeat. How she was always so strong, always such a strong young woman, even though her body was frail. I remember parties where we just hung out together, being far too boring for the other guests, and the first time we slept together, and the first few conversations where I realised just how much smarter than me she was, and the last kind words we said to one another. And how much I love that girl, how much I always loved her, and love her even now, even though she's gone, maybe forever. How I never got the chance to tell her that anything like as many times as she deserved.

And I remembered, there is something I can do. She's smarter than me, she was always smarter than me, and that's quite something, and she had felt that she was forced to come to the conclusion that Daddy wasn't human, wasn't...something we, as a species, understand. And I tried to rationalise this, I tried to explain it away, but rationality led me nowhere Trying to be rational was useless, because whatever it is that Daddy is defies rationality. Kari knew that that Daddy was something else, but didn't know what. The effect on video cameras. The fact that Kari seemed to have a dream predicting a little too much about Joey's death for comfort. The fact that he could get past any obstacle in his way. The ache. The ache that seemed to be there whenever anyone got a good look at him.

So I've been doing some digging.

And the first conclusion I've come to is that this "Akinil" guy who kept commenting on our blogs is a dick.

Somehow, he knew exactly what Daddy was. I don't know how, but he hit the nail right on the fucking head, and he just came by at the wrong time. He told us what it was, and sounded like a conspiracy nut doing so, and so we wrote him off.

So sorry, Akinil. You were right. I guess sorry for the "dick" comment above too, though I'm just about to justify that. You could at least have linked us to some information, you know. We would have read it, and maybe understood. Instead, you...well, you ranted about things over 8 feet tall confusing him. It's hard to tell the difference between people who sound like madmen and actual madmen, you know. But the...

Right, to explain, does anyone know what happens when you type "tall suit thin long arms no face" into Google?

A whole load of fashion advice, and a whole load of stuff about an entity called the Slender Man. Tall. Thin. Suited. No face. Kidnaps children. Goes after witnesses. Arson. Murder. Paranoia. Stalking.

But the thing is the wealth of information on him. If you dig even slightly you find hundreds of cases on Slender Man incidence. It's hard to know where to start. Most are probably fictional, some may well just be the rantings of madmen. But I'm going to see what I can find. Get through as many of these accounts as possible. See if there's a way to maybe, just maybe, get Kari back.

That's all for now, folks. Feel free to call me crazy in the comments.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

It's been over two and a half days since she was taken. Over 61 hours have passed. She was there, and then she wasn't. It's still weighing on me. I know she's not confirmed dead. I know I should maybe hold out hope. I know. I know. I know. I know.

Kari's family is back in Eastbourne. The police figure that, now Kari's gone, they're probably safer. I went over to check up on them earlier - they always liked me. I almost expected them to be glad to see me. They weren't...displeased. They barely registered I was there. Fear and sorrow so dense as to have weight, like old clothes soaked through. A tearless, weak-voiced sorrow.

They had her stuff with her. Her suitcase. My copy of House of Leaves. There was a little bit on one of the pages where small circles were ruffled, watermarks. Her tears.

It's not getting any better.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Kari's disappeared.

At about 03:00 yesterday, cameras around the perimeter of the house started malfunctioning. Some gave off intense static, some just shut off, although the only ones which malfunctioned were within a dozen feet of one another, granting a short pathway through the camera perimeter. Shortly thereafter a fire started in the house she and her family were holed up in, near the room Kari slept in. The guards safely managed to get everyone but Kari out of the house. At some point between her and her sister being woken up and being led out of the building, she vanished. No-one's even sure precisely when she was there and when she wasn't. When the fire brigade got there, they immediately sent people in, but could not find here. The blaze had spread abnormally fast, and they could only check so many places. When it was extinguished, however, they searched again, and couldn't find a body. They searched and searched. In the meantime, during the evacuation, perimeter cameras started malfunctioning in a straight line again, this time in an order moving back out.

Daddy: 4, us: 0.

Kari's parents were distraught. In their sorrow, they lashed out at the police, calling local and national news outlets to let them know that the police in charge of this now-famous case had failed. That was how I found out, at about 10:45. Do you know how it feels to find out, to be glibly informed by arranged dots on a screen, that the girl you love has been kidnapped by a killer?

Powerless. Shocked. Appalled. Sick, to the very bottom of your stomach. Scared. Confused. Alone.

I broke down in the middle of the college library, sobbing away in front of a computer. Weeks and weeks of fears confirmed. It was five minutes before anyone came to check what was wrong. I cried myself to sleep, and I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed until late this afternoon. I feel...empty, like if I engage my feelings at all I'll be overwhelmed again. Operating on the shallowest possible level.

Kari's gone.

Well, she'd been gone for weeks, but not like this, not so totally, utterly. Gone. Absent. She's left us, whisked away by a tall dark stranger, and the last time I saw her, she was kicking me out of her house after noticing that video was up. She was furious, cursing. I was failing utterly to explain my actions. The last time I heard her voice, it was over the phone, trauma and exhaustion stripping her voice of emotion. Relaying the specifics of her day. Sidestepping my questioning of how're you doing? The last thing she ever said to me - I think she was describing Him. Her Abductor. Daddy. And now she's missing. Gone. Totally. Utterly. And if I ever see her again, it'll probably be her corpse.

I just want her back.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Kari sent me a text message in the night, at about 3:05. It just reads:
"He moves oddly. That's the worst part. His limbs judder back and forth like he's seizing, but he moves fluidly, like a tiger stalking its prey."

I've spent the past hour trying to call her. But she's not picking up. She's not picking up. She's not picking up. She's not picking up.

I spent some of that hour being sick.

Waiting for more news.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

In other news, Kari isn't answering her phone.

I'm scared.

Summer Wars

I'm not sure if you'll be aware of this - I certainly wasn't, not having been a fan since I was nine - but the Digimon tv show has had some absurdly good staff involved. For instance, the guy who wrote a recent series, Digimon Tamers, was also responsible for the landmark cyberpunk anime Serial Experiements Lain, a rather creepy, mind-screwy show, which may explain why the big bad of Digimon Tamers was essentially Cthulhu. Seriously - sleeping god who may wake at any time and destroy the world in doing so. That's the plot.

Another example is Mamoru Hosoda. The director of the first and second Digimon movies (released over here as parts one and two of The Digimon Movie, if memory serves), he would later go on to direct a very different anime movie, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. A gorgeous art anime, it details perhaps the smallest, pettiest, most human use of time travel ever committed to film, as a teenage girl both uses her newfound time-travelling ability and learns to live with the consequences. The film drips with a serene nostalgia which Japanese coming-of-age media seems incredibly adept at invoking (What Scott McCloud called "Aspect-to-aspect" shots are probably what does this) - think Haruhi Suzumiya, or the more tranquil moments of  Evangelion or (whips out geek-cred) the original visual novel of Tsukihime. It's also tightly plotted, smart, well characterised an absolutely worth your time, and it won a huge amount of acclaim in film critic circles. For his next movie however, Hosoda took his career backwards. His latest film, Summer Wars, is basically a deeper, artier version of the second Digimon movie.

Here's my point: Summer Wars is the story of a world in which all of humanity's efforts in AI, computing and social networking have been funnelled into one great big online society, OZ. Everything from online games, to shopping, to government infrastructure. Seemingly most modern human communication goes through OZ. Eventually, however, it's taken over by a malevolent AI set on destroying OZ and reducing the world to digital ruin. In the meantime, our heroes have to restore the system from the inside, battling the AI. In the meantime, a satellite falling to earth provides the ticking clock. Digimon: Our War Game...does all those things. Even the art style is the same - the digital world is stark white and everything has a red outline. Yet Summer Wars appears to be something else - a cool idea that Hosoda was unwilling to let be wasted on a Digimon movie.

First off, to get it out of the way, the art here is amazing. Madhouse always was one of the best animation houses, maybe after UFOTable and Ghibli, and while this movie's cartoonier and less extravagant than those two, its simplicity gives it a strange resonance which also showed in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. The animation is bizarrely fluid in a rather surreal way, like bodies are a little more formless than in real life, but it still looks good. On top of this, the OZ scenes are gorgeous - bright colours, an excellent aesthetic and deft use of CGI.

The plot and characterisation is also very strong. The main character, Kenji, plays the typical unassuming hero, but this is thrown through some interesting twists and turns, and LOVE MACHINE, the enemy AI, presents an interesting antagonist. Ultimately, this film also includes resonant themes which concern it as a film which is essentially about social networking - about communication, and about what happens when it is cut off. The chaos in both the real world personal lives of the characters and the OZ-based melodrama all comes from isolation of people in an age of digital communication - relying on the internet to connetct them. In the end, however, it is this connection which proves a source of power (Again, EXACTLY like in the old Digimon cartoon), making this a less cynical take than, say, The Social Network. The whole thing comes off as a celebration of the connectedness that internet communication has brought us overall.

As The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was before it, Summer Wars is a great addition to the anime canon. I cannot wait for Hosoda's next film.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


It's easier judge Thor than it may at first seem: one movie having to act as its own movie, as a prequel to the imminent Avengers supercrossover and as an Origin story introducing not just a new Superhero, but it turns out, a highly unfamiliar mythology to a crowd of viewers who don't know what they're getting themselves in for. Fortunately for us all, us reviewers especially, it manages to succeed in all these fields.

First off though, let's get my only real problem with Thor out of the way. Thor tells the story of the titular Norse god, whose hot temper ends up reviving the Norse Pantheon's war with the Frost Giants, prompting his banishment. Now, if you spat whatever beverage was nearby onto your computer screen, I'm going to assume that you're aware of even the very first thing about Norse religious beliefs, because yes, they butcher it; once again, they make an entire ancient mythology analogous for Christianity. Asgard is Heaven, Odin is God, Thor is Jesus (Spoilers: complete with getting sent back to earth to sacrifice himself, when he is revived as a God) Loki is Lucifer and the Frost Giants are, I dunno, Hell's forces (which is almost clever - Hel, as it was known, was an icy wasteland). Also, banished for inciting war? Viking heaven WAS a constant war - they'd fight all day and feat all night. War was their heaven. And Thor having to grow out of his hotheadedness? I know it's a stock plot, but the real Thor was the original berzerker - his crazed violence was a virtue! If you have even a brief knowledge of world mythology (how I spent my primary school years), then the MST3K mantra will do you well here, as well as the knowledge that this was all Marvel's fault, not the filmmakers'. Plus, it has some fun additions; Gungnir and Sleipnir make an appearence with Odin, which is something.

Anyway, this has ended up as one impressive film. Shakespeare specialist and supposed actual Thor geek Kenneth Branagh takes on directing duties, and his theater chops really lend the Asgard-based side of the story bombast and style. Let's just say that the scened involving most of the Asgardians aren't exactly part of a kosher diet. But it's pulled off with real mythic gravitas, making the Earth scenes seem small and dainty by comparison. Indeed, if there was an actual substantial criticism of the film, it's that the Earth-based side of the story is that oldest of the stock plots, the fall from grace and quest for redemption, and without the sumptuous theater stylings of the Asgard side, we simply don't have anything to distract us from the derivative storyline. It's predictable every moment we're on Earth, and only when we're in Asgard is it trutly its own story. And unlike Iron Man or The Hulk, there's not much in the way of secondary subtext. This isn't a movie about the destructive nature of power or anger issues, it's just about a Magic Viking, and while this isn't a bad thing, it's that much less in terms of actual human drama to distract from the tried-and-tested main plot.

However, while the story has been told a thousand times, it's the telling of it here which is exemplary. The lead performers flourish with their roles - Anthony Hopkins as Odin is awesome, and on a less ironic level than the rumoured Brian Blessed casting. The relative newcomer Chris Hemsworth makes a convincing action lead and makes some very good dramatic turns, plus his neck is thicker than his head, which reminded me of George Fisher and made me happy. The real dramatic heavy lifting falls to Tom Hiddleston as conflicted antagonist (and first Avengers villain, hint hint) Loki, who is the only one in the cast who can get across his character's conflicted emotional state without bellowing, so kudos for that. Natalie Portman is always welcome on screen, of course, here playing The Love Interest, though Black Swan may have spoilt us in the categories of both "Natalie Portman as an actor who can take on big roles" and "Natalie Portman as an actor who is willing to make out with other girls on camera" and both are absent here. And I know that this has been discussed endlessly, but Crowning Moment of Awesome to Kenneth Branagh to casting Idris Elba as "the whitest of the gods" Heimdallr. I'm always game for pissing off some white supremacists, especially the unfortunate failed abortions who take a Germanic bent to it.

Aside from the performances, the visuals excell as well. The realisation of Bifrost, Asgard, and Yggrasil's place in the Marvel Multiverse are all stunningly realised, with every bit of Thor's $150m budget on show. The set and costume design is gorgeous, and is another example of Marvel's total lack of shame over the charming goofiness of superhero outfits (see also: Yellow costumes in X-Men again!). Every costume here is a perfect simulacrum of the comic's equivalent, and they all look spectacular. The action scenes are well shot and choreographed, though they do occasionally delve into special effects clusterfuck, especially when Thor's carde are fighing the Frost Giants near the beginning (de-powered Thor's fight scene near the middle more than makes up for this).

One last note - they've taken a hell of a risk with the after-credits section here. The film gets by largely with only a few nods to the shared universe - aside, obviously, from the increasingly visible S.H.I.E.L.D - but the relative obscurity of the big reveal at the end left, I think, everyone in the cinema except me stumped. But let me just say - AWESOME. (And I love the new name too. The old one was a little lame. Also, maths references ftw!)

So yeah. Another great win for Marvel Studios, count me in for Captain America, Looking forward to the Avengers. Thor is totally worth your time, especially if you have kids or are a kid at heart yourself.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Kari just posted on her blog (, saying that she has reason to suspect that Daddy is some kind of alien or something. I appreciate that she is terrified and sleep-deprived, and I'd just like to let you all know that she's really not herself right now. Of course, it seems logical to ascribe monstrous qualities to someone like Daddy, especially when, against all odds, he's found you in witness protection in a matter of days. He would be, to a tired and scared mind, something monsterous. Monsters, after all, are defeated by a big, strong hero at the end of the story. Happily ever after and all that. But the Kari I knew, before all this crap, would never search for answers in the supernatural. She's a science geek, after all. She looks for rational answers. It's scary to see just how far she's fallen, that she's resorting to making him some fantastical boogeyman.

EDIT: It seems she's not the only person looking outside the realms of rationality. There's an article in the local paper today about similar murders that happened throughout Eastbourne's history, based on some crackpot book the article's writer found in the library. A steady stream of them from the 1600s to the 1910s, with spates in the 60s and 90s. If anything sounded like it was made up to sell copies, it's 400 years of  murders. The things people will make up to cash in on tragedy.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Ledge: Or, Why Hollywould should never be allowed to make a movie about atheism vs theism

Maybe I'm just in a pissy mood right now but the trailer for upcoming thriller "The Ledge" which I just saw over on MovieBob's blog really got on my nerves.

I'm used to the atheist being wrong in movies. I'm used to people with paper-thin reasons for not being religious being instantly converted, with no-one in movies ever having their atheism come as a result of their own reasoning. I'm used to religious people claiming the moral high ground in every fucking situation because they have "moral authority", despite their censored version of biblical morality generally being reduced to "human decency" at best, a faculty which all film atheists are basically without.

But from the looks of the trailer, the whole thing is just going to be a "affair-revenge flick" with religion as its contrived way to give itself an edge. The whole religious aspect is entirely anciliary to the central point of the crazy religious guy just being a pissed off husband, and the cheating protagonist being an atheist is equally so. That's just cheap. This could have been interesting! You could strip all this crap out and still have a well-crafted, B-list-acted take on this subgenre of the thriller. And I only hope that this doesn't end like Frailty, with - SPOILERS
The bad guy having had God on his side all along
or I will lose my fucking wig.

Yes, I'm venting from a certain other issue that's rather upset me. So?

Friday, 6 May 2011

Personal Post II: The Postening

So yeah. That's happened. We're "on a break". I'm guessing this'll be a Friends-type break, where if I sleep with someone else, I'm the bad guy, and if she sleeps with someone else, I'm the bad guy. So essentially what this means is that she's mad and either wants to let me know just how close to a breakup we came, or break up with me in the most drawn-out way possible.

Anyway, fuck it. This is now a film blog again. All this "Daddy" shit is out of my hair now.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Kari's gone. She was whisked away in the wee hours by the police to be rushed into witness protection along with the rest of her family. She rang me at 4:30 in the morning to tell me she was going. Told me not to call her. Didn't tell me her new name or where she'll be, "because you'll just put it on your fucking blog". I'm not sure that her leaving'll help. Daddy's gotten round everything the police have put inbetween him and his prey before. Who's to say he won't do it again? All this means is that she's alone, and away from the people who'll protect her.

Of course, my biggest fear is that, for all I know, she could be dead right now. And I was here, doing nothing.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Kari's best friend, Laura, is coming down from Uni for a few days. She's been panicking as of late. Only being able to talk to her over the phone while all this crap has been going on. We used to joke that Laura loved her more than I did. Either way, they were closer than most sisters I know, and she feel like crap that she hasn't been there for her. We'll all be meeting up tomorrow, at Kari's (not at mine for...obvious reasons), along with another mutual friend. Try and cheer her up, get her out of quite such a morose mood. I know that things are hard, but she's withering away up there in her room. And I feel like I should be doing something.

Personal Post

So he knows where I live. Christ.

Kari's been talking to the police. She'll get back to me soon.

Saturday, 30 April 2011


I feel slightly weird, as a pretentious film geek, to admit that I am also a major horror nerd. Be it the junky exploitation-type movies or...errrr...the arty exploitation-type movies, I have always loved horror. I don't know how to explain it - I enjoy them all differently, be it the stunningly crafted, yet visceral Inside (A L'interieur), The trashy, yet ultimately goods-delivering Hostel films, or the warped and troubling Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Horror is largely ignored as part of the "speculative horror ghetto" by old-school film critics, and I, along with others (Heyyyyy Moviebob) feel a little obligated to give these genres a little more respect. And I'm going to start here.

Phantasm, a movie released around the same time as Halloween, is another in the canon of at-the-time shocking pre-slasher movies. Directed by Don Coscarelli, who'd go on to direct The Beastmaster and Bubba Ho-Tep, and who is currently working on an adaptation of John Dies At The End (Mental note: AWESOME), it told the story of the citizens of a small town who come under attack by The Tall Man, a malevolent alien disguised as an undertaker. While simple in narrative structure, it does create some pretty good characters, and you care about a lot of these people throughout the film. In particular, the little brother character is one of the few kid characters in horror to this day who wasn't so annoying you wish death upon him.

The film-making is pretty unremarkable here. The photography is perfectly serviceable, the effects are...surprisingly solid, given both the budget and the period. Fortunately, whether it's just a product of the progress that's been made or just how it turned out, this is one of those horror movies which pulls of hilariously cheesy without being so-bad-it's-good; it's not a bad enough movie. The sheer fucking lunacy of this film vastly overshoots its more serial-killerish contemporaries. This movie contains, and I'm not kidding here, flying death-spheres which harvest people's brains to make zombie midgets. That's just a taste of the almost cartoonish madness that this film has up its sleeve.

So, if you're looking for a horror movie you can enjoy both ironically and sincerely (and you've already seen the sublime Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon) Phantasm is definitely worth a watch.

P.S. Over the last few days, I've gotten A LOT of traffic from America, among other places. Kari's too. Was I linked on another film blog or something? 


P.P.S. I just found a recipe for BeaverTails. One of the many things I miss about Canada.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Personal Post: Buuuuuugh

Do y'know what's fun? Being asked every five fuck-mothering seconds what's happening with the Fisher investigation. Fine times. Why they don't just go onto Kari's blog and read it there is beyond me; she's basically put up details about an ongoing investigation on her blog for all the world to see, which is of course the sensible option. AND she has eighteen more views than me, so whatever she's doing, it's working.



Anyway, while Kari's just glad that the rape guy is locked up, I'm just concerned about Joey. I bumped into his older sister, Natalie, earlier today. Her friends were in the park with her, evidently trying to cheer her up, maybe take her mind off of her abducted brother. They've certainly set themselves a lofty goal. I was walking through on my way into town when she spotted me, got up and ran over. Entertainingly, as she ran, all the guys in the park's heads turned. She's rather pretty, especially in a tank top and short shorts (I'd be more worried about writing this if Kari didn't also agree that she's hot as all hell). Anyway, she came jogging over to me, all rich, dark hair, long tanned legs and bouncing, barely-contained....ARGH! Okay, so she ran over and asked "Hey, Simon...I was wondering if you knew anything I maybe didn't about my little brother."
This is awkward for me. Any other person asks me that - and they have been - and I can just turn around and say "Listen, you'll know when the papers know." But there's Natalie, standing there with her head lowered, her eyes full of hope and of hopelessness, and I couldn't just send her away.
"The guy they arrested? He doesn't really have an alibi. The police are still searching around for things they can use to convict, but the case is looking pretty sewn up. In the meantime, he's still protesting his innocence, saying he doesn't know where your brother is. Still, if he is alright, that means that right now there's no-one out there to hurt him."
Natalie looked up at me quickly, met my eyes, looked down again, and started crying. She latched onto me and wept onto my shoulder. I hugged her back and tried to whisper reassuring nothings into her ear, but it all felt like platitudes. She's sobbing away because her little brother could be dead, or have had terrible things done to him, and all I can do is tell her there's a chance the police have the guy who did it and hug her awkwardly. Her friends came over, concerned, and she let go of me, pulling away to go rejoin them. Taken aback, I walked back into town. Kari's forgetting that this thing's not over yet.