Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Running. Always running. I've driven for days. They're chasing. Always chasing. They don't stop. Hardly slept. Just a few hours. Always running. Must keep running.

Running for Caleb. Running for Pete. Running for Frank. Running for Rob. Running for Janelle. Running for Dale. Running for Annabel Lee.

I keep them alive. I run for them. I'm alive. They're dead. Or...

I'm alive. I'm still running.

I don't blame Annabel. It's her. I checked her blog. I know it's her. She's human. She fell. She can get back up. I want to help her.

The proxies won't let me. The husks won't let me. Forcing me west. Wrong way. I want to help her. I can't get to her.

I hate them. I hate him. We were normal once. We were human. Now we're dead. And we're alive. We're in nothingness. It's all on him. He's a monster made real. A story come to life. And he's destroying us.

I hate Arnold. Annabel is his fault. He left her. He forced her. If only I could hurt him, I would make him pay for what he did to her and what she's become because he didn't value any life other than his own. But I'm a pacifist. I do nothing.

I just run. I just keep moving.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

16 (Poe)

Last night, the proxies pulled yet another little prank on the community who opposes them. This time, they dragged an innocent name through the muck that they revel in. It shouldn't surprise me. These are killers. These are evil people, willing to sell others out for their own lives. It shouldn't surprise me that they'd use Annabel's legacy to try and strike at the runners who knew her.

My first reaction was to comment. I was angry, confused, lashing out. I still am all those things, but I've actually collected my thoughts. Everything I said last night? I stand by it. Annabel is much too purehearted to become one of them.

You could hear it her voice every time you spoke to her. It was in her smile that shined so brightly each day you spent beside her. Annabel was a beacon of light to anyone who knew her. She gave me hope. She made me look forward to another day. For them to use her like this is just another act of violence, just another assault on the innocent.

The Messenger claims that this must be a different Annabel. Bullshit. How many Annabel Lees are out there in this world? How many are involved in this twisted tale? How many were ensnared by a sick attempt at humor? It's too perfect. I don't know exactly what game these proxies are playing at by claiming Annabel to be one of their own, but it's what they're doing.

It's the only thing that makes sense.

After all, I got another phone call from Pete's old cell number this morning. I heard that heavy breathing. I heard the whispering voice. "In a kingdom by the sea, a maiden there lived whom you may know, by the name of Annabel Lee."

They're using her as a weapon. They're using the purest person I've ever met as a tool to further their villainous agenda. It's sick.

Dia claimed that maybe this is a good thing. Either I'm right and Annabel is still out there, in which case I should let this go, or I'm wrong and this means she can still be saved. It's not that simple. It's never that simple. If I'm right, I've already said what this means and how cruel this is to myself and the others who knew Annabel.

If I'm wrong I'm not wrong.

There's no way I'm wrong.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

16 (Annabel)

As I said before, The Mad Ventriloquist spent a lot of our time together impressing on me the importance of stories. We also spent a lot of time drinking. I don't believe I've drank so much since just after Caleb died. Still, my point is that TMV talked a lot about stories and, when I could understand his slurred words through my foggy mind, a lot of what he said made sense.

Those of us with voices must speak for those without. Stories give hope. Stories humanize. Stories help us to remember those who came before. We are the stories our lives, and so many lives have been cut short due to the events happening around us every day. The least we can do is help the dead live on in the memories of others.

I've been thinking a lot about a runner I used to know. I don't know if she's alive or dead. I haven't heard from her in months, but that's through my own fault. I lost her number. It sounds stupid, but it's true. I lost the phone I had at the time and all of its contacts and I hadn't thought to write them down. Over twenty runners, a full network, gone in a heartbeat. If I'd just thought ahead, just made a note on a simple piece of paper, I'd still be in touch with Annabel, Steven, Julia, Mike... All of them. Instead, they're just memories who's names I must live up to.

I met Annabel in Chicago a few months after I started running. I spotted her pretty easily out of the crowd. A girl around my age wearing a hoodie with an operator's symbol taped on the back? Not exactly subtle.

I struck up a conversation there in the line at the sandwich shop we were at. With the way she was worried about prices, I could tell she wasn't particularly well off, so I paid for her turkey sandwich. I don't know why I remember that so clearly - She liked turkey.

We talked. That's all we did that first day. We just talked about what we were going through. Annabel hadn't met many runners before. Despite bumping into a few, none of them had bothered to talk to her. She'd made her way to Chicago to try and find M. I think I openly scoffed when she mentioned his name.

I did what I could to explain to her that M's rules don't work. The look on her face when I described what happened to Frank just a month before when we tried to get up high... I think I shattered what little security she had left. The way Annabel tore off the operator's symbol from the back of her hoodie later that evening felt like a person losing their religion.

She stayed with me for an entire week. It was probably one of the best weeks I've had since all of this started. Annabel always found the right thing to make me smile. It reminded me of back when Samantha and I first met, before I got her pregnant, put the ring on her finger, and everything went to hell. Still, I was a married, if separated, man, and I believed in karma then as I do now.

And then, one day, I lost her. We were getting ready to leave the city, and we needed supplies. We were trying to move fast, so Annabel stayed in the hotel room while I ran down to the nearest market to buy food. The husks were waiting for me. Three of them, two dressed like they were homeless and the third wearing an expensive suit, blindsided me as I walked by an alleyway. I was texting Annabel that I was on my way back. My phone shattered when it hit the ground as the husks attacked. I did what I could to fight them off and took off running.

I started going towards the hotel, and nearly got inside when the bellhop attacked me as well. He spoke calmly and rationally about how his Father was very displeased with me. The knife in his hand scared me far more than his words. I dodged, and started running again in the opposite direction. I think I ran all day and all night trying to lose them. Finally, I found myself at my car. The back window was shattered and my things were gone, but I had transportation.

I spent the next two weeks staying in Chicago, trying to find Annabel again. She was nowhere to be found. I don't know if his servants attacked her too, or if she sat up there in our hotel room, thinking I abandoned her. What I do know is that I've never seen or spoken to her since. Of all those I lost, she left the greatest void. You don't find many people who make you feel normal after this madness starts.

If anyone of you out there has met Annabel or someone like her, please let me know. I'm not getting my hopes up. I didn't realize until I started writing this how much I need the closure. So, please, if you know her or what happened, just leave a comment. That's all I need.

Monday, August 8, 2011


It's been awhile. A lot has happened in the past month. A lot of things have changed. People have died. People have been reborn. People have been good, and they've been bad. And here this blog sat, not being updated, out of fear.

It started with a comment from Maurice that made me me look back at what I had been doing for the past several weeks. I was putting people in danger. I was risking lives. Still, I considered it a proxy trick. I needed a much more jarring wake-up call. Unfortunately, I received that call and it cost me the life of a good friend.

I was sitting with The Mad Ventriloquist, a bit buzzed on beer, about to write a post here when it happened. My phone rang. It was Pete's number. I picked up the phone, expecting another one of our assorted talks only to hear whimpering on the line... I flinched. I knew what was about to happen next. There was only one thing that could happen. I heard a voice in the background, and then Pete gasping out about how it was my fault that he found me, and that he was coming for me next. And then nothing but a gurgle and the silence again.

I didn't tell TMV what happened. I just drank more. I just drank more and more to forget yet another friend who died. I drank to forget that his blood was on my hands because I wrote this accursed blog and let everyone know exactly where he was.

I've lost friends before. I've lost them to Slender Man, to his proxies and husks, to other runners, and to accidents. I've even lost them because I decided to throw my phone at a husk because it was the only thing I had to slow her down. I'd still be in touch with so many more people if I hadn't done that. I've lost many. But Pete cut the closest, because he'd most likely be alive if I'd kept my mouth shut.

So I stopped updating this blog. It seemed like the only option at the time. Then again, I was drunk. It was towards the end of my stay with The Mad Ventriloquist (just before I spilled my story to him) that my host noticed I wasn't updating this site at all. I told him why, and he told me that I had to keep talking. He told me that I had to keep telling my story, that I couldn't just let my voice go silent. I'd joined a community and disappearing helped no one. TMV is a wise man. He's eccentric, but he gives great advice. I thought about what he said, and I've decided to take it to heart. Now that I have this laptop, I can really start writing properly.

From now on, the only person's who's life is on the line here is my own. Any names are changed. Locations are changed. If you need to know a runner's movements, you contact me through e-mail and you prove that you need this information. No one else dies because of me.

Rest in peace, Pete. May you find in death what we all lost in life.