First of all, I apologize for the prolonged silence. It’s probably been like two weeks since I last posted or some such, and in all honesty most of it was spent in a drug-induced haze. It’s not something I’m especially proud of, but between that and some other shit that’s been going down I’ve not had much time to deal with blogger. Because seriously, it’s a fucking blog. In the greater scheme of things, it’s really not all that important beyond recording my story for the sake of posterity. Anyways, I’m here now so I guess I’ll wrap up the op Arkady and I did to save Babs.
When I last left off, Arkady and I had received a message from Javert telling us where he’d taken Babs. We checked the place out before hand. It was a fancy North Austin lake home in a gated community and everything. Place looked pretty boring on the outside. No armed proxies or anything like that. Javert seemed to be acting alone. Of course, if there’s anything I’ve learned during this bizarre fairytale of a life I’ve been leading, it’s never to trust appearances. Always be open to new, unpleasant possibilities.
The night before I charged a small ritual dagger of mine and brought a couple spell components with me. Nothing too big or fancy, as it all had to fit in my coat pockets. We decided that I would be the one to meet up with Javert while Arkady went after Babs and rescued her. I’ve never actually met Javert in person before, not really. This one-on-one would be a first, and I was curious. I’d love to meet the man who’d fucked over one of the few people I’d permitted myself to still care about.
We made it there pretty fast. I got out of the car and walked up to the wooden door. Arkady’s half of the op was up to him, so I had no idea what he was going to do. The front door to the big-ass house was cracked open, so I stepped inside. The place was barely decorated. Plain beige walls, with no paintings or accessories. I half-expected those fake suits of armor lining the hallways and red velvet carpet neatly laid down on the floor. No such luck.
The hallway I’d stepped into had rooms lined up on the left and right with no doors whatsoever. The end of the hallway opened up into what I guessed was a living room. The setup was great for an ambush I suppose, but I had a strange feeling there wasn’t one. Historically Javert waited for Arkady so they could have some dramatic and pretentious dialogue, so odds were good he hadn't set any traps.
The last door on the right had a staircase that led up to the second floor of the house. I heard a piano playing at the top, something fancy like Mozart or Brahms. Three guesses as to who that is, kids. And the first two don’t count. I checked my jacket for my dagger, quartz crystal, and vial of absinthe before making my way up the stairs. And no, the last one isn’t for comfort. Wormwood is used a lot in traditional witchcraft, and that happens to be the chief ingredient of that sweet, delicious nectar. I felt sad at having to use it in such a manner, but Babs’ life was on the line.
The stairs led up to a landing on the second floor. It was every bit as dull as the first, except for one noticeable exception. The rooms were laid out with that painter plastic stuff on the floor. Proxies aren’t renowned for their painting skills, so that probably meant this was an entire floor of Dexter-esque kill rooms. Lovely. I made a mental note to burn this place to the fucking ground once I was done here, but given Arkady and I’s record with Javert encounters that was almost a given. I followed the sound of music, which was gradually getting louder and louder as I navigated through the rooms and hallways.
So after a couple of minutes of walking I found myself standing quietly outside the room where the music was coming from. It was sort of nerve-wracking. I’m no good at physical combat, and I wasn’t sure how Javert would react. He was almost certainly expecting Arkady. Would he flip a shit when a surly, 115 pound Goth kid strode arrogantly through the door instead of his boytoy bibliophile? Would he be amused?
I stood there for a good five minutes running stupid questions through my head before deciding was thinking too much. I checked the watch. It was two minutes after the time written on the note. I couldn’t wait any longer. I reached into my jacket pocket for my quartz crystal and focused on the image of my Heavenly Guardian Angel. I needed strength. Closing my eyes and imagining the blue-skinned creature with glowing wings filled me with a sense of warmth and certainty about what I was doing. I put the crystal back in my pocket, exhaled slowly, and stepped into the room.
The room here was also bare. There was a raised landing where Javert sat at a large piano, playing slowly. I won’t lie, I half expected a small table with dinner for two and some romantic candle lighting. I was beginning to think these Slenderfucks blew their budget on the location and the grand piano without realizing they had nothing left for basic furniture. Javert looked up at me and actually raised an eyebrow in genuine surprise.
Javert: “Setoth? What an interesting turn of events.”
Me: “Yeah, sorry Arkady won’t be here to engage with you in intellectual masturbation. You’ll have to settle with me.”
Javert smiled weakly. I don’t think he enjoyed hearing his favorite pastime described with vulgar sexual overtones. He and Arkady did have a disturbing amount of things in common.
Javert: “Oh, I think I can make some accommodations.”
Without looking down the keys, he started playing Toccata in Fugue [link]. How amicable of him. In fact, it would have come off as rather kind of him had it not been for that whole “kidnapping-my-sex-buddy-with-intent-to-murder-her” thing.
Javert: “Well, that’s quite enough of that.”
Javert got up from the piano and stepped down from the landing.
Javert: “In a way, Setoth, I’m glad you’re here. It gives us a chance to talk.”
I kept my eye on him wearily, but my hands were at my sides. The last thing I wanted was him knowing about my dagger.
Javert: “I enjoy my time with Arkady. He is unique and interesting, but blind to His Light. This story of ours will end with his death because he is stubborn and refuses to see. But you…you, Setoth, have potential.”
Me: “Lemme guess. You’re going to give me the choice you never had,” I shot back.
Javert: “You’ve wasted your life in the pursuit of physical joy and debauchery. You’ve been chasing your own tail and for what? Another night, another drug, another nameless boy or girl to share your bed with. And when you die, what will they write on your tombstone? Here lies Damien, a loving and well-endowed whore?”
Me: “God I hope someone writes that on my tombstone.”
Javert: “Hide behind your derisive sarcasm all you like, but the truth is there even if you do not face it. You were drawn to him. Now, deep down inside, your very soul aches for him. I can see it in your eyes. You slave over your books and write your sigils, you study him and think about him, his nature, his work. It consumes you. You can pretend that your interest in him is one born of survival, but we both know better than that. Your death will mark the end of a meaningless life whose accomplishments will amount to naught, to fade away in the passage of time. Or you can accept His Light and join--”
He didn’t get to finish. Outside we heard the screeching of tires on asphalt, and then a loud crash against the building’s walls. The floor shook and trembled from the force of Arkady’s assault.
Me: “Sorry, you were saying?”
Javert looked at me. It was interesting, his face barely changed and yet his expression was completely different, slightly indignant like some form of misguided pity. He shook his head.
Javert: “So you are as hopeless as that slut you want to save?”
Me: “I suppose that’s a question of perspective. You seem to be under the misguided impression that dying destroys everything I’ve accomplished. But death is just putting the bow on a pretty package. Kill me now or kill me later, everything I’ve done has happened and cannot be erased. You can’t undo my past. Every second I live, every second I make something new or experience a new sensation, I have another accomplishment to add to a fulfilling life. And what do you two have? You kill people? Everyone dies. You’ve done nothing, added nothing. The infinite potential of the Slenderman, and it’s wasted on accomplishing the inevitable without building anything new. That’s cowardice, fear of failure. Fear that what you build may one day crumble. I pity you and your God.”
I didn’t bother really looking back on him after I said my piece. I ran. Back through the doorway and into the hallway where, as I more or less expected, I saw the proxies running towards me. Two of them in cheap dime store masks. I appreciated the Bill Clinton mask, and the other was a tacky drama mask. I didn’t pay too much attention to detail on anything else, just skidded to a halt. My cellphone fell out of my pocket, but had no time to pick it up. Instead I took maybe two steps back to the nearest door and slammed it shut. As soon as I locked it I felt a heavy weight smash into the door and bounce back. They were trying to break the damn door down.
With every subsequent hit, the door gave way just a little bit more. I had to think fast. The room I was in was a bathroom, kinda cramped which would have made any fight a close-quarters one. I’m not good at fighting, especially not close-quarters. But thankfully it seems the mirrors in the bathrooms came preinstalled. I did have one option. I could turn that into a Black Mirror.
I pulled out the dagger and the absinthe. I dipped the dagger into the greenish liquid and applied it to the tip and sharp end of the knife. The nice thing about the absinthe was that it was 140 proof, so the alcohol would treat the wound while the wormwood mixed with my blood. It would be a potent enough combo to make up for the lack of…well…everything else you need to normally do this rite. It was a temporary fix, but I only needed the enchantment up for a couple of minutes. Seconds, even.
I ran the dagger across my left palm. The blood started to flow freely and mingle with the deep green of the absinthe. I traced Astaroth’s Goetic Sigil as best as I could on such short notice sans the dots on each point, but that was all the time I had. The door smashed down and both the proxy goons stumbled in. They looked up at me, at the Sigil written in blood on the window, and then back at each other before taking a cautionary step back.
“Sorry fuckers. No dice.”
I drove the dagger into the heart of the sigil. Only instead of shattering, the whole blade up to the hilt just sort of went into the mirror, as if the glass was the surface of some body of water. The whole thing went black. I chanted out the Key to the Abyss and activated the Black Mirror.
And it comes to my realization now that most of you probably don’t know what a Black Mirror is. The name is a bit ominous, but it is actually nowhere near as scary as it sounds. All it does is allow a regular mirror to reflect what is present in the Astral Plane. Auras will show up, space and time will be distorted, and all manner of bizarre effects show up and are reflected on the surface of said mirror.
Course, I took it one step further. Astaroth’s invocation along with a Black Mirror doesn’t just reflect what’s happening, it actually causes the astral plane to completely reveal itself over the span of a good 30 feet. The two planes appear to overlap to any viewers within this area. And to two proxies who have never stepped foot into the plane, that’s gotta be one terrifying spectacle. But there were other changes I hadn’t counted upon either. As the astral plane bled over with our own I saw what affect Slenderman’s minions (or maybe the beast itself) had wrought on this domain.
Eyes. Fucking. Everywhere.
The walls were a disgusting, putrescent, glimmering black and spotted over with enormous eyes, each perhaps 3 feet wide, with gigantic black pupils and nothing more. The unblinking orbs gazed down at us from above and around us. The proxies stared up dumbfounded and trembling. The room had become elongated and twisted up like a Hellish kaleidoscope. I ran up the incline back into the hallway, which was stretched thin. The whole thing looked four times as long but perhaps two feet wide at the most, which put me far too disgustingly close to those fucking eyes. There I stood as every pupil in the hallway turned to stare at me. Shaking, I took a few nervous steps down the hallway towards where I figured I had dropped my cellphone.
Remember how I said my invocation was sloppy and quickly done, and that the Black Mirror probably wouldn’t last? Thank the Gods it didn’t.
From the bathroom I heard a loud explosion, like glass shattering. Suddenly the floor shifted and changed as space and time reasserted itself against the magick of Astaroth’s invocation. The hallway became linear once more and the dreaded eyes sunk slowly into the black filth that had coated the walls. As they did, the blackness started to recede. It gradually merged back into the walls with a sickeningly organic sound, like flesh being pushed through steel grating.
For a moment, everything was peaceful. I picked up my cellphone. The cover was flipped open, so someone had to have used it. I checked the phone logs. The caller had dialed Babs phone, which had been repurposed for Arkady. Yeah, sounds like it was Javert. I hit redial.
Everything got staticky. I was pretty sure it wasn’t the Black Mirror. The spell should have mostly worn off. But I could barely hear Arkady.
Me: “YOU THERE? ARKADY, IT’S ME SETOTH!”
Arkady: “Yeah [static]…here.
Me: “Where the fuck are you?”
Arkady: “Not far……run……Slender……”
Me: “Shit! Is Babs alright?
Arkady: “She’s fine now……Slendy……finished killing me……”
Me: “God dammit! Get the fuck out of there!”
Arkady: “Leave? ……miss fun? Not a chance!”
Me: “You fucking idiot! You will not jeopardize this mission for your massive ego!” I screamed at him. That stupid fuck. But I knew yelling wasn’t going to change a fucking thing. I had to think fast.
Me: “Arkady, if you die now, how will you kill Javert?”
There was a pause on the other side. Maybe he hadn’t heard me. Maybe he had already stupidly charged to his death. But if he had heard me, there was no way he’d pass off this chance. Especially if I was the last person to talk to Javert. There was one last detail before I’d cut off the cell.
Me: “Don’t you fucking dare use Babs as bait so you can escape!”
I shut off the cellphone. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. I had to figure out where the fuck they were. But before I could reorient myself to figure out how to leave this fucking house, I watched as one of the two proxies stumbled out of the bathroom. The one who had the Clinton mask on looked like the exploding mirror had sent shards flying into him. Pieces of jagged glass had impaled him across different parts of his body. Blood was pouring out of his wounds, leaving a gory trail behind him. He turned to look at me, then down at himself and started laughing like a goddamn lunatic.
“Ooooh, a half-dead psychopath. How original,” I taunted. Because seriously, on the list of my problems that’s gotten about as nerve-wracking as finding time to do my laundry. But of course, there was a catch.
There’s always a catch.
The proxy raised a weak hand and gripped the collar of his shirt. I pulled out my dagger, ready to plunge the damn thing into his chest and rid myself of another fucking menace. His other hand gripped another fold and tore upward, ripping the shirt in two. Amidst the streams of crimson streaking down his chest, I saw black bruises form and reform under his skin. The purple and black traveled upward and across his chest, settling for his below his left collarbone. And then the skin split open, revealing one of those sickening white eyes with oversized pupils.
What. The. Fuck.
He let out a loud scream, and more purple splotches of tissue erupted like a growing cancer in his insides. Each one settled across his skin and turned into a sore that opened into yet another eye. The mirror pieces in his flesh were alternating between colorless and that same black hue from the Black Mirror invocation. The proxy stumbled forward a bit, then stopped and straightened himself up. I was expecting him to lunge at me, but instead he put his hand on the wall with his palm flat against its surface. He then gradually sank into the wall like the black substance from the astral plane had when the mirror shattered. There was that same organic sound as he fused with the wall and disappeared.
I sat there for a moment struggling to find some understanding of what the fuck happened and where it had gone. I took a few cautionary steps backwards and turned behind me, but the hallway was empty. After a few more seconds of standing there, I figured just sitting around was gonna do no good. This was a problem that was going to have to wait.
At the opposite end of the hallway was the stairs I’d used to get up here. I started running towards them as fast as I could until the wall to my right exploded out towards me in a fleshy pillar of purple. The front end of the pillar formed into a vaguely humanoid shape, an upper torso with an arm that clawed its way out of the organic tip. The appendage grabbed my left arm and pinned me against the wall. A head gradually formed into the shape of what I assumed was the proxy’s unmasked face. It was a face that was plane and unassuming, a John Doe you could find on any street corner that would be totally unmemorable were it not attached to an unholy abomination of flesh.
The skin on the head of this…thing…that was one a proxy split down the middle of its face and receded on either side, exposing the muscle tissue as it peeled off and revealing a mixture of its ivory skull and that same black substance coated in unblinking eyes, all staring straight at me. A second humanoid arm exploded out of the wall behind me and wrapped itself around my neck, strangling me. The creature laughed in my face. It was a disgusting, wet laugh filled with bile and phlegm.
And you know what’s truly fucking sick? If it hadn’t been choking me I woulda laughed at that point in time. The black stuff in the astral plane coating the walls was using the remaining magick in the mirror’s invocation to possess the proxy.
That’s right kids. The fucking house was trying to kill me. And the way I see it, there is no sane response to that. So you might as well laugh.
Thankfully my right arm was still free, so I dug into my jacket pocket and clawed at its inside trying to find the dagger. The limb around my neck released and reached for my arm in my jacket pocket. It dug its bony fingers into my flesh and tried to pull my hand out. I could feel the blood drip down into my coat. But my hand wrapped around the cold hilt of the dagger. I pushed out my hand quickly in the same direction the creature was pulling and drove the dagger into the back of its neck. It screamed out in that same sickly voice. But I guess the slash freed the structure from the confines of its flesh. I heard a wet ripping sound and the vertebrae extended out of the torso a good eight inches. The teeth of the skull bit into the side of my neck just below my ear as I craned my head to avoid it’s lunge. The bite hurt and I yelled out in agony, but managed to spit out the remainder of the invocation I had charged into the dagger.
The back of its…flesh…thing lit ablaze as I finished the last syllable. The creature let go of me and twisted it’s spine a full 180 degrees to look at itself. Grabbing the quartz crystal from my jacket pocket I quickly drew the Binding Hexagram in mid air. If I could hold it in place long enough I could possibly get the fire to spread onto the building. The Hexagram shimmered between us thanks to the Black Mirror shard’s effects. With both dimensions bleeding together by the House’s will and the Mirror’s enchantment, my ward could hold this fucked up behemoth in place in both planes.
The fire gradually spread from the beast onto the wall, as I’d hoped. Pieces of burning chea wall plaster dropped down to the ground and hit the carpet, spreading fire very slowly. The Hexagram started to crack under the strain of the house’s influence, but I figured I’d already done enough damage. I had to make my escape. I turned towards the stairs and ran. I don’t think I’ve ever climbed down a set of stairs that quickly before. Getting out was easy as I ran through the gigantic hole Arkady had made in the building with his car.
Making it back to the apartment took for-fucking-ever. With no cash, having most of my limbs full of pain, no transportation…most of it was unpleasant. Eventually I was able to convince a kind lady at some fast food chain (too exhausted and traumatized to give a fuck where it was) to let me make a phone call. I got a friend to take me back. Arkady was already there, as was Babs.
The two of us had a sit down and decided Babs needed to get the Hell out of Austin. It wasn’t safe. I asked her if she had any place to stay. She mentioned a summer shack in Georgia her family had. She still had the keys. That got me thinking, and I contacted Kal and Henry. They were in Virginia, which wasn’t too terribly far, and they needed a place to stay. Seemed like the ideal situation would be to get Babs with the rest of the group and have everyone settle down there for a bit, at least get some real rest and a shower. Given the conditions she’d faced here, it didn’t take too much convincing. We said our last goodbyes and she headed off for Georgia.
So now you know why I’ve basically destroyed my consciousness with drugs over the past few days. Hope you don’t mind, and if you do then go fuck yourself.
Love Under Will