Coming Clean

 

I’ve been putting this off, but I can’t do so forever.  It’s time to talk.  No advice, no musings…just me and whoever’s reading this.

Let me introduce myself.  Hi.  I’m Henry.

I’m sure you’ve got a few questions, and I can guess at them some.  First question you probably have: Who are you, and why are you posting on this blog?

Well, there’s a pretty simple answer to that.  It’s my blog.

And now that raises another question: Why are you spitting on the memory of this dead guy by rewriting his blog?

I’m not.  See, that was me, too.  Henry’s my name.  Not my handle.  Not my persona.  Not my mask.  If you look for it, you can see that I’m the same guy, down to the quirks no one notices.  My manually naming untitled posts “Untitled” because leaving the title space blank annoys me.  The extra space I put between the title and the body text, just because I think the spacing looks better.  If you look for it, you’ll see that I’m telling the truth.  Either that, or I’m just an obsessive fan, and—let’s be honest here—no one would obsess over me.

There are questions I’m sure you have that I won’t answer yet.  Things I’m not ready to say.  How am I talking to you?  Wasn’t I supposed to be dead?  What’s going on?  Where am I?  When am I?  I think I can answer these.  I’m not sure, though, and even if I was, I wouldn’t be ready to.  See, this is…an unusual situation, and one that’s a bit hard to explain.

Some of you might still be in the dark.  Well, there was this blog.  A blog called Now I Shall Know You Again.  If you haven’t read it, you should, since it’ll help you understand this better.  But if you don’t have the time, let me provide a very quick summary: a young man trying to provide advice to keep other people alive ends up dealing with a split persona and turns to despair when a particularly close friend of his gets involved and ultimately killed—a death he feels responsible for.

Don’t see where I’m going?  Well, let me explain.  If I had to choose my favorite game, it’d probably be The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.  It’s such an interesting concept, and it can really only be told through a video game.  Our protagonist, Link, finds himself thrust into a strange, new world called Termina, completely unprepared, and finds that he has to stop the moon from crashing into the land and destroying it entirely.  On top of that, the moon’s descent will be complete in only three days.  Fortunately, Link is able to recover the Ocarina of Time, a flute-like instrument that allows him to turn back time and restart those three days—but every time he does, all he’s done in Termina is undone.

Majora’s Mask runs on what’s called a Groundhog Day Loop.  It’s named for the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day, where he relives the titular day over and over, until he’s finally able to do things right.  He can’t die, he can’t change anything but himself, and by the end of the movie, he’s been around long enough to master certain skills (like playing the piano) and memorize the events of the day.  Of course, in Groundhog Day, all you see is glimpses.  In Majora’s Mask, you’re actually able to spend three days following someone around.  You can see what they do, where they go, what their schedules are like.  You live those three days over and over until you’re able to beat the game, slowly gathering the equipment to do so.

Why am I going into this?  Because Majora’s Mask was all about the sidequests, and the sidequests were all about helping people.  One thing I loved doing was making sure I did all the sidequests on the last day before beating the final boss, even if I had gotten the reward for the sidequest already, just so I could say that, this time, it was permanent.  This time, the changes wouldn’t be undone by resetting time.  In the game, you had the feeling you could make a difference.  You wanted to help these people with everything from saving a marriage to saving a farm to saving the mayor from an unpleasant argument.

Well, I want to help people.  And I fucked it up.  And then, I was given my own Groundhog Day.  My own Song of Time.  And this time, I was going to make the most of it.  Get my thoughts together.  Get Hyde under control so I could be more reliable.  Drive people further away in case I wasn’t.

But most importantly, I was going to save Girl this time.  No, not Girl.  It’s kind of rude to call her that.  Erin.  I was going to make sure Erin got out of this okay.

Well…it isn’t working.  She knows.  She knows about him.  The Slender Man.  Even though I thought I did things right, she still knows about him and still asked me about him.  She’s already started writing in a notebook like she had before.  I almost think it might be worse this time.  And I don’t know if I can save her.

I’m scared guys.  I’ll flat-out admit it.  I am fucking scared.  I think I did this wrong.  I don’t know if I’ll have to do it again.  I don’t know if I can handle it another time.  All the people I knew back then?  The few people I could almost consider friends, or at least acquaintances?  Slice, Andrew, Ava, Aimee, Ali…even Frap?  They’re all gone.  Dead.  All the people I know now?  They’re all dying, too.  Zeke and M are the only constants.  I can’t stand meeting new people again.  I can’t seeing new faces and getting invested in them and then watching them die.  It doesn’t matter if they take my advice or not.  If they don’t and they die, I couldn’t help them.  If they do and they die, that’s almost worse, because I tried to help them, but I failed.

I can’t go through that again, guys.  I can’t be some constant, watching new faces come and go just as quickly, powerless to do anything.  And above all, I can’t let Erin die again.  I can’t stand to watch her die over and over.  I don’t even have that stupid crush on her anymore holding me back.  I hope that she and her boyfriend are happy.  I just want to to be her friend, and I just want to be able to help her.

But I don’t know if I can.

I’m open to advice, but I can’t accept help.  Where I am, you can’t go.  I have to do this on my own.  But please, I know…I know that there’s almost no one out there, but that doesn’t mean that I want to do it alone.

Please?

-H

Untitled 2

 

No.

No.  This can’t be happening.  This can’t be fucking happening.

It wasn’t supposed to happen this time.  I had it under control.  I gave Hyde a new purpose.  I avoided the fucking labyrinth.  I avoided her the entire time I was in Chicago.  Things weren’t supposed to go this way.

What the fuck do you want from me?  What was I supposed to do?  What did I do wrong this time?  There is no fucking reason that things should be happening the same way.

What do I have to do?  What do I have to fucking do to stop this?  She’s not supposed to talk to me about Marble Hornets.  She’s not supposed to get wrapped up in all this.  Why is she involved in all this again?

It’s crashing down around me.  Everything I’ve done this time is coming crashing down and there’s not a damn thing I can do to stop it.

If I couldn’t save her last time, what am I supposed to do this time?

…This isn’t how things are supposed to be.

-Jekyll

Jekyll’s Advice 6: Masks

 

We all wear masks, don’t we?

Sometimes they’re literal.  Sometimes they’re metaphorical.  But every single one of us is wearing a mask at this moment.  Hell, I’m a mask myself.  That’s not a typo, either.  I’m not wearing a mask.  What I mean is that I, Jekyll, am a mask.

Confused?  Let me explain.

Pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but Jekyll is just a persona, as is Hyde.  There’s a guy behind the personas, who will remain nameless because a mask is useless when it’s not being worn.  Personas are basically just invisible masks that we wear over our entire selves instead of our faces.  Ever try to behave in a certain way to impress a girl (or guy)?  That’s a persona.  Ever find yourself projecting a certain image online?  Again, a persona.  We all use personas without even trying to.  It’s just human nature to behave differently around different people.

So what do masks and personas have to do with the Slender Man?  Quite a bit.  After all, I’m not the first person to talk about the concept of masks.  M and Maduin have both mentioned masks, the former believing that they act as an eye to keep the Slender Man rooted to this plane, and the latter believing that they allow you to “take on a role” more easily.

While I don’t exactly trust M’s advice on this particular matter, it’s one that has merit, at least in theory.  As a result, I tend to carry a mask around with me at all times, stowed away in a backpack.  In practice, though, it can become a problem.  It’s much easier to go unnoticed than to go noticed, and if I’m going to go faceless, I’d prefer doing it by blending into a crowd instead of hiding my face behind something else.  Put on a mask in public, and people are just going to stand and stare.  But again, M’s theory does hold some weight, so it’s at very least worth trying out, though I’m not about to go out of my way to run any sort of tests.

As for Maduin’s masks, I think that they’re a great idea.  Again, I’d recommend not trying it out if it gets you weird looks, but it sounds like it works well for steeling your mind, and it’s something you can do privately.  When you put on a mask, you become an actor.  When you become an actor, you take on a persona.  When you take on a persona, even if it’s just another aspect of yourself, you become more focused, because you’re thinking about the persona and not just you in general.  A human is a vast concept.  A jumble of thoughts.  A miserable pile of secrets.  A soul endlessly seeking to understand.  Hell, I know myself better than anyone in the world, and even I barely know myself.  A persona, on the other hand, is much more defined.  It is, essentially, a mask in personality form.  When you’re in a particular persona, you’re much more focused.  So I’d highly recommend associating a mask with a persona, and then becoming the mask every time you put it on.

This is why you want to choose a name and an avatar carefully, as the image you choose for yourself is the one others will perceive you as.  Who am I to you?  Nothing but a name and two masks.  How would you recognize me if I walked down the street?  You wouldn’t.  But you’d recognize my persona instantly if I posted on your blog, just because you’d recognize the name, the image, and the writing style.  An avatar and a username is how you present yourself, and they become your mask, whether you intend for them to or not.  Make sure you make it a mask you like.

Finally, I’m sure you’ve noticed that these “proxies” are the ones who use masks the most.  My theory is that this is a defense mechanism.  Either establishing a more concrete (albeit narrower) personality allows them to hold a greater sense of self, or pretending to be someone else helps them live with themselves after doing the unspeakable.  Either way, it’s a defense mechanism.  Just an interesting thing to note, although I’m starting to slip more into Hyde with this philosophizing.

Well, that should do it for what I wanted to say.  Remember, stay safe, and stay sane.

-Jekyll

Untitled 1

 

So what’s up, everyone?  How are you all doing?  Don’t answer that, because I don’t fucking care.

So, the percentage of you that should probably be way higher who follow me religiously may have noticed that I haven’t said anything for a while.  You may be wondering if something’s happened, or if I’m okay.  You’re probably not because chances are you just don’t give a damn or are assuming everything’s fine.  Which it is.  For the most part.

Basically, I just don’t feel the need to keep everyone constantly updated.  After all, what’s the point?  The more time I spend blogging, the more I think about the Slender Man, and the greater the chance that draws him to me.  As long as I’m okay, I don’t need to share every single minor encounter with him I have, and certainly not any other boring daily stuff.  No one cares how often I shudder under the blankets listening to happy music and trying to ignore the fact that he’s outside my window, let alone caring about what I ate for breakfast.

But I’m going to ramble about personal things for a bit.  With some purpose.

While it’s good to try to keep others uninvolved, it’s also not good to be alone.  I covered this in much greater detail here.  Basically, I’ve been inviting a few friends over and keeping my dorm room door open to keep things a bit more public.  I’ve had a girl (let’s call her Girl—a bit unimaginative, but in my defense, fuck you) over a few times to play Risk with me, my roommate (who we’ll call Roommate) and Guy Across the Hall (or maybe Gath—which actually sounds a bit like a legitimate fantasy name).  It’s uplifting.  Just a small group of people, laughing and joking around.  Works wonders.  In fact, I usually turn to one of them whenever I can’t shake the thoughts of him or the feeling I get when he’s around.  When I watch a movie alone, I find it a bit hard to keep my thoughts focused entirely on what’s happening on the screen.  Gath and I are both the type of person who can’t help providing our own commentary as we watch, which is much more distracting.  Roommate’s usually up for some gaming, which is always better when there’s actually someone in the room with you, and Girl’s just really easy to chat with for some reason.  Female perspective, I guess?

So yeah, don’t worry about me.  I’m doing fine.  The further I can stay away from the blogs and vlogs, the better.  Truth be told, they’re kind of addicting.  I think they’re an obsession for a lot of people (Hyde’s probably going to be covering obsessions, as well as origins later on—making a little note here so we don’t forget), and they usually tend to depress me.

Well, anyway, I guess Hyde or I will talk to you all later.  I’m going to skim a few blogs and then take off for a while again.

-Jekyll

Jekyll’s Advice 5: Cameras, Technology, and Sleep

 

Cameras.  When you think about the Slender Man, you tend to think about them as well.  After all, filming seems to be a form of compulsion (Hyde’s going to be posting about compulsions later, so be looking forward to that).

And the fact that it’s a compulsion is exactly why you shouldn’t film yourself.  If that’s not reason enough for you, consider this: the Slender Man is often believed to be something of a cam whore, trying to appear in as many photos or videos as possible, presumably so he can post them to MySpace where people can tell him how sexy that photoshopped body looks on him.  Only instead of photoshop he uses video and audio distortion and instead of being a fifteen-year-old girl he’s a Lovecraftian eldritch demon or something.

Basically, he seems to be drawn by cameras.  Not other technology, really.  Just cameras.  Whether he has any other effect on technology seems to vary from person to person.  He’s never fucked up my iPod—although that may have something to do with the fact that I don’t have an iPod because fuck Apple.  I just used “iPod” because you’d all recognize it easily, and I’m sure that your mp3 player or other technological device of choice can easily be put where “iPod” is in that sentence.  Or maybe not.  Maybe there’s just something about iPods that turns them into pieces of shit whenever the Slender Man comes knocking.  But anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent.  Basically, keep an iPod or something on you in case it does create a nifty little Slender Man burglar alarm, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t work.  And if he does mess it up, be aware that it just might be what’s drawing him in the first place.

But why use cameras in the first place, apart from compulsion?  After all, it doesn’t start as a compulsion.  Probably to make sure nothing goes wrong when you’re sleeping.  But guess what’s much more reliable than using a camera to keep an eye on you while you sleep?  That’s right, not using a camera to keep an eye on you while you sleep!  Well, assuming that cameras draw him, at least.  If you have to keep an eye on yourself, find someone to watch you while you sleep.  Nap during the day.  Make sure you sleep somewhere near a light sleeper so that they wake up if you suddenly decide to get yourself a midnight snack.

Really, sleeping is when you’re most vulnerable, and what’s worse, it’s unavoidable.  You will have to sleep sooner or later, and the deeper you sleep, chances of something going wrong are (probably) higher.  If you sleep normally, you risk the Slender Man…doing whatever it is he does when you’re asleep.  If you don’t sleep at night, other people will get suspicious and you risk getting them involved.  If you’re worried about sleepwalking, you can handcuff yourself to your bed—but then what happens if you need to run?  With sleep, you’re kinda boned.  There are a few different approaches you can take, but in reality, they’ll only maybe work.  You just have to figure out what works best.

-Jekyll

Jekyll’s Lessons 4: Trust

 

I’m not going to sugar-coat this: a lot of you are fucking morons.  Some of the moves you make look Jay looks smart.  And this is the guy who decides to go visit abandoned houses at night.

And you know why I say you’re all so stupid and genre blind?  Because you go around automatically assuming that everyone out there wants to help you.  That nothing could possibly go wrong.

I’m not going to make many friends by doing this, but then again, I’m not one for making friends in the first place.  But let’s begin, shall we?

I’ve seen a trend lately of bloggers coming across another blog, going “hey, you seem pretty cool—let’s get in contact!” and then deciding to meet up.  Like, in person.  With someone on the internet that you don’t know.

Now, I don’t know about your parents, but my mommy always told me not to give out my personal information to strangers, because you never know who exactly is going to toss you into their van.  And Chris Hanson told me that there are plenty of people on the internet who need a good dose of having a seat over there.  And while you eventually catch on that not everyone is out to kill, rape and, or kidnap you and realize that it’s okay to talk to strangers, by that time you should (hopefully) be equipped to tell who’s a predator and who’s the person who’s more or less just like you (note: if you are, in fact, a predator, I apologize for the redundancy of that sentence).

But here’s the thing: in the scenario we’re in right now, there is, in fact, a good chance, that everyone is trying to kill you.  People are not as trustworthy as they seem.  Let me give you some examples.

We all remember Robert Sagel.  The man responsible for Core Theory.  A man who started to emerge as a leader.  And what happened?  He went insane.  He claimed that he had a pocket knife that could kill the Slender Man.  A pocket knife.  The man that everyone put so much faith in, the man who would lead us to victory—and he’s now so distrusted that people are more willing to think he’s dead, even when he himself is telling people that he’s alive.

Or Maduin, the Jester.  The badass in the bunny mask who had the balls to prank the Slender Man itself.  And now, after we’ve been trusting him for nearly a full year, we’re being given hints that the Jester may not be who we think he is.  That he’s less trustworthy than we first assumed.

And then there are the things that absolutely stun me.  Robert and Maduin at least worked to gain trust before it was lost.  They were actually doing something other than running around aimlessly.  But some of you ass-backwards idiots?  You don’t seem to notice that all these other bloggers are unreliable chucklefucks.  Even if you’re completely convinced that the person you’re talking to doesn’t secretly mean you harm (doesn’t matter whether they’re running or working for the Slender Man, considering how sociopathic some of these people are), what’s to say that they won’t just lose their Marble Hornets at any time?  What’s to say they won’t betray you to save their own life?  And what makes you think that you’ll be safer in a group in the first place?  Fish in the ocean are a lot harder to shoot than ones in a barrel.

Let me tell you about the pinnacle of stupidity that I’ve seen.  A blogger (or rather, a friend of a blogger who sometimes posts on the blog) gets married.  He decides “hey, let’s invite all these people on the internet that I’ve never met who are all being stalked by the Slender Man and gather them all in one convenient place!  And let’s maybe even invite a few of the people working for the Slender Man because, hey, even though they work for the thing that’s probably trying to kill us, they seem like okay people!”

Really.

It’s worth noting that everyone at said wedding was attacked and that said blogger getting married ended up being killed shortly after (although I’m not certain how related that death was to the wedding incident.  Maybe karma realized that he was breaking Darwin’s Law and the universe decided to correct itself).  None of the bloggers died, which I can only attribute to either the best luck ever or the providence of some retarded higher power (because I don’t know what other sort of higher power wouldn’t just roll its eyes and let the gene pool take care of itself).

Put simply, you people are all too fucking trusting.  You’ll rather have the company of self-admitted murderers and even people working for the Slender Man over your own common sense.  I’m not saying cut yourself off from everyone entirely.  I’m just saying that, if you’re to the point where you’re considering these unstable people you know from the internet who may turn on you at any time your best friends…well, it’s either time to cut ties or to consult someone about your gambling addiction.  Because even the highest rollers don’t bet their lives like this.

And to be brutally honest, if you die or even just get yourself hurt because you trusted the wrong person…well, no offense, but you probably deserved it.

-Jekyll

Jekyll’s Lessons 3: Crowds

 

Well guys, we’re on our third bit of advice, so I guess that you could say that three’s a crowd.

Lame jokes aside, let’s get into the lesson for today.

While you may think it’s a good idea to run away to protect everyone you know, you can do it just as well (and expose yourself a little less) by just keeping your mouth shut.  Sure, there are some risks, but running isn’t going to draw him away from your family or friends.  If he wants to kill them, he can still do it, whether you run or not.

But no matter whether you want to run or not, it’s a good idea not to play lone wolf.  Ever.  See, staying in crowds, or in large groups (of the blind, of course—that they’re blind is absolutely essential) can, apart from keeping your mind off of the Slender Man (covered in a later post), keep you physically safe as well.  Let me explain.

People who don’t know about him usually can’t see him.  In a large crowd, chances are that not many people are going to know about him.  He doesn’t often seem fond of revealing his presence to the blind, preferring more subtle approaches.  This is just a guess and just my own personal appearance, but he doesn’t like to go after more than just a small group at once.  When was the last time you heard of him spontaneously appearing to a huge group?  You’d think that’d be on the news, wouldn’t it?  He tends to stay invisible to the blind.

And if he does show up?  Most people aren’t going to see, notice, or recognize him without prior knowledge.  And why would he draw attention to himself?  Again, he’d reveal himself a bit too much by disemboweling someone in the middle of a crowd.  Crowds, for whatever reason, tend to keep him away.

And if they do see him, well, that’s maybe M’s third rule (the one I trust most, though it’s probably not completely reliable) at work—keep your eyes open.  If he’s locked into this plane by people constantly looking at him and keeping him from planeshifting or slenderwalking or whatever you kids these days call it.  Maybe even if they can’t see him, that still works.  I don’t really know.  All I know is that, for me, it works.

Oh, and if you’re in a crowd and he’s nearby?  DON’T RUN.  That’s exactly what he wants you to do.  He wants to get you alone.  Isolated.  Away from the crowds where no one will notice you screaming.  Instead, stay calm.  Keep a level head.  That’s the most important thing.  Stay with a group.  Convince them to come home or let you spend the night if you have to (although that’s a bit riskier and might put them in danger…you’ll just have to gamble).

Whatever you do, DON’T PANIC.

It’s the worst possible thing you can do.

-Jekyll

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