Tuesday, 16 August 2011

-Doc- Meanwhile, Away from the Ranch...

I’d like to start off by saying thank you, August, for saving my life. I feel lucky that you found me so quickly and were prepared to give me first aid. I don't think I can take up many first aid duties with my shoulder like this. Frankly, I won’t be moving much for a while in general, but I much prefer that to being dead. I apologize for the mess as well, though I don't remember making it.

A lot’s transpired in the past week. I’d say that this is an unusual delivery, but no delivery seems to go well. So truthfully, I’d say that it’s a perfectly ordinary delivery with a set of perfectly ordinary events at the house to accompany it.

Firstly: the room full of animals. Boss cornered me this morning and demanded an explanation (“If this isn’t due to your ‘Nam flashbacks, Doc, you got a lot of explaining to do”), but surprisingly, I do have one. I’ve been finding a lot of dead animals around this place. Not too unusual, especially considering that I live in a rat-infested basement. However, about a year and a half ago, I noticed a dead rat with some unusual features: unnatural bulges and some stitching as if it had been cut open, modified, and put back together. I assembled some dissection gear and got to work. I quickly found that the rat had been killed and mutilated: some of its organs were detached and in the wrong places, and many of its bones had been gashed with some sort of blade. I was disturbed, but sewed it back up and kept it in a jar of formalin in case I needed to compare it to more I might find. Soon, I started finding them everywhere, every sort of creature from mice to raccoons to a coyote and even a deer on one occasion. I have mostly found mammalian specimens so far, save for a lizard missing all its limbs and all but a tiny nub of its tail. Most were in the basement, some just near the house, but it didn’t matter. I’ve documented and preserved every specimen I’ve found to date, or at least saved some parts of larger specimens. I continue to go out every morning to see if there are more waiting for me. Larger specimens have odd lettering carved into the bones (especially the scapula, ilium, skull, femur, and sometimes humerus - any bone with enough surface area to legibly carve on), though it’s in no language that I’ve been able to find during my research. A few of the bones have, ah, familiar symbols in them, but I believe that simply points to their origin. I wanted to tell someone about it sooner, but I haven’t been able to decrypt anything useful or relevant. I’ll spend entire nights hunched over these things, trying to find out what He is trying to say to me. What messages is He sending me in these bones? Why does He leave them everywhere? I don’t know. They always hang in the back of my mind. I even dream about them, vivid nightmares of bones half-covered in decayed flesh whispering in a language that the world has forgotten or never even knew.

…the delivery. Right, then. I set off on that day, noon sharp, though I’m not sure where to. I deleted the initial email I received, and my memory is…well, it’s hazy, I’ll explain more about that in a moment. But I do remember cities, crop fields, that sort of thing. Nothing disturbed me as I drove down those roads. I didn’t dare stop at a motel on the way: instead, I pulled my car to the side of the road, slept for half an hour, maybe an hour or two if I needed it badly, and continued on my way. I eventually reached my destination, exhausted out of my mind. It was a fairly nice house, though it looked poorly kept up and was out in the sticks. I clearly remember almost everything that occurred in that damn place.

I slammed the car door. I didn’t even bother locking it as I rushed up to the house, my med bag slung around my shoulder. I beat on the door for a moment. The knocks resounded with a dull echo, followed by dead silence. My eyes darted about, and I cast a quick glance over my shoulder. Nothing but stillness. I was just about to leave as the door flung open. I couldn’t believe who was standing there before me, though he was almost unrecognizable. His once beautiful blue eyes were worn and bloodshot, his now unkempt black hair was falling over his shoulders and shining with grease. There he was, standing in all his squalor, the man who helped me survive before he abandoned me to my fate.

“Marcus?” I said, blinking.

His eyes widened and a slight smile crept up his face. “Yes, Lorelei,” he said as the smile slowly grew and his eyes seemed to soften, “It’s me.”

I shifted uncomfortably. “Where’s this sick kid I’ve heard so much about?”

“What are you talking…oh, that. There’s no girl here.”

“So, the email. That was all bullshit, then.”

“Mostly. I knew that if I said anything, you wouldn’t-“

“Unbelievable. Do you know how much I had to drive just to get out here? What the fuck are you doing?”

“Hiding. Just like you are.”

“Since when?“

“Once I left you after…all that…He targeted me. I don’t know if it was a week, a month after I told you we were through, but it wasn’t long. I started seeing Him. The one you told me about.”

“The Slender Man.”

“Yes, the Slender Man.” He sighed and looked up. “I…I wanted to apologize for not believing you.”

Rage boiled in my chest. “After all these years, now you want to fucking apologize? Oh, sorry, honey! Sorry I left you to rot in an institution! Sorry I blew off our engagement because I couldn’t handle you babbling about the tall guy in a suit! How goddamn sincere of you! I’m touched, truly!”

He frowned deeply. “It was tough to find you. You went into hiding, I couldn’t find you until that blog-“

“No. That’s not a fucking excuse, Marcus. If you’d wanted to find me, you could have done it years ago. Now listen: either I’m going to give some sort of medical care, take my fee, and go, or I’m going to turn and walk back to my car right now.”

Before I could do that, he blurted, “Wait! I said the email was mostly bullshit, not total bullshit. There’s something I need you to do, and I’ll pay you,” he replied as he pulled back his shirtsleeve. I saw the beginning of a gash, and for the first time, I noticed the smell. Rotten eggs with a hint of death: a clear sign of a serious infection. “Please,” he whimpered, “I’ll give you everything I have. Just…look at it for me.”

I wasn’t sure what to do. He was sickly and emaciated, and with that wound, I knew that he wouldn’t last long. Even with what little care I could offer, who knows how long that gash had been there, and how advanced the infection was? And even so, I couldn’t bear to think of helping him after all he had put me through. The botched engagement, the yelling and the accusations: the memories flooded back. During the first and only year of my residency, the stalking grew worse, and so did Marcus’s behavior once I told him what was happening. He was angry, dismissive, and abusive, but I told myself it was just because he was worried. I was kicked out of my residency due to a…particular incident, shall we say, and he put in his word against me to have me committed. In private, he insisted that it would be better than prison, and that it might help “chase away the tall businessman.” He stopped visiting after the first few weeks, before returning a few months later to tell me that he’d found someone else. To put things simply: the Tall Guy ripped my life apart, and Marcus was there to steal away the scraps like a damn vulture.

But, first and foremost, I am a medic, so I obliged. He stepped aside and let me in, closing the door and enveloping us in near pitch darkness. All we had to see by was faint moonlight and a few scented candles. Rose, I believe. He led me into the kitchen and sat at the table as he took his shirt off. I set the med bag on the floor and pulled out a flashlight. Flicking the switch revealed an abscess that extended from his upper arm to his back. Its edges were smooth, almost looking as if someone (I’d guess a proxy) had cut him with a knife or a sword. Those smooth edges were bright red and mottled purple, and they lined a white trail of scab and pus. I moved to see the rest of the wound, which had been secreting shiny red and white ooze down his back the entire time we had been talking. The smell had grown even more horrifying, and I knew it would only get worse as I worked. I sighed and pulled a few supplies my bag, then started to lance the wound. A few moments in, Marcus groaned painfully and I stopped.

“Are you okay? Would you like me to numb it?” I asked, reaching for the bag again in anticipation of the inevitable yes. But it never arrived. He sat before me motionless with his back turned, and a moment later, he whirled around. I jumped back and my scalpel and flashlight clattered to the floor. The flashlight flew apart, spitting its batteries across the room, plunging us into near total darkness. I took another step back, and Marcus advanced. He walked towards me, his heavy footfalls echoing through the kitchen. His expression was completely blank, even as I spoke his name and shouted at him to sit back down.

Suddenly, he pulled a dagger from his belt and lunged for me, the blade gouging into my shoulder. Blood gushed from the wound and I screamed, but I wasn’t about to go down. I struck his face, and he removed the dagger from my shoulder, going for another stab. I threw myself against him and we fell to the floor, the weapon flying from his hand. In a flash, I found myself kneeling on his chest and gripping his throat in my hands. My left shoulder was in agony, but the flaming pillar of pain searing through my nerves only tightened my grip. Marcus struggled beneath me, gasping but finding no air, kicking and flailing wildly, heart racing, eyes wide and terrified. I could see nothing but that panicked face, but I knew He was watching me. The din of the man struggling beneath my grasp and my own rushing thoughts was overwhelming, but I still heard His wordless whisper in my ear, I felt His presence as He stared through the kitchen window at that murder. The world around me began spinning as Marcus’s face turned blue and his eyes rolled. I could feel his heartbeat slow, his body give up. After another moment, I felt nothing more from him but fading warmth. I was dazed: unsure of what day it was, where I was, why I was kneeling on this dead man’s torso.

I looked to the window. He stood there facing me, but was He looking at me? Or was He looking at what I had just done? I stared back into the white void of His face as His tentacles waved rhythmically behind him, but He did not move any closer. He stood outside the window, and I kneeled there before Him, sitting on Marcus’s still chest. More wordless whispers. His silent voice touched my mind. I don’t remember what He said, but I could hear Him clearly. I felt a familiar haziness begin to wrap around my brain as I stared into His face ever longer, unable to move, unwilling to look away. I blinked, and suddenly, I saw August standing above me as he tended to my wounded shoulder. All I could do is lay on the table groggily as he worked. A few minutes later, Todd started screaming and August bolted like a bat out of hell. I gazed at the ceiling through half-open eyes, still not quite aware of where I was, calmly listening to voices yell and doors slam. I didn't care about any of it at that moment, either: I was exhausted enough to willingly succumb to the fuzzy darkness edging into my vision.

Truth be told, I’m frightened. I don’t know what happened after I lapsed into that trance, but days must have passed. To me, it was just…one moment, I was there, another moment and I was here. The car’s back, so I can only assume that I patched myself up enough to drive home while under His influence. I feel relatively normal right now, considering that I’m in a great deal of pain and should probably consider taking more painkillers soon. I went without for a few hours so I could be lucid enough to write this post, and it's not easy. As for everyone else's safety, I don’t feel anything urging or compelling me, and I think I’ll be a bit better once my shoulder heals up.

It's good to be home. Now if you'll excuse me, there's a syringe of morphine calling my name.


  1. Les différences chronologiques s'effacent dans la mémoire des morts.
    In the memory of the dead all chronological differences are effaced.

  2. Glad to see you're up and posting, Doc; especially after what happened on the delivery.

    Let me know if you need anything, alright? I should be somewhere on the first floor, cleaning up after last night.

  3. Have you considered the language might be cuneiform? Divination by reading the scapula (among other things) was popular in the Middle East and Greece.

  4. No cuneiform that was on e of the first things I loojed into way bajk wehn

    sorry lotso f morphine ism my system gshould sleep soon. Thank you for the idea

  5. Wow. I'm glad you're going to be alright, Doc. I'm so sorry.