It's been almost three days since my last post, and almost two since I thought my next one was going to be. I apologize for not signing in sooner, but I was kind of stranded in the middle of the desert.
More on this in a bit.
I left the house early to avoid traffic (9 by my estimate). If I was going all the way up to LA, at least I was going to make a day of it. Well, traffic was surprisingly sparse, and it only took me an hour or so to get into the downtown area. Got some hotdogs at a place that sells authentic Detroit Coneys, took some pictures of the Walk of Fame, gawked at some of the few impressive buildings in the city, you know, typical touristy stuff. LA is near enough that anything but driving is impractical, but far enough away that makes driving there kind of a big deal.
Five o'clock came, and I decided to hurry up and get "the exposition" over with.
It was a hot Thursday, and everyone, it seems, was out enjoying the park, probably reading their atrophied walking muscles for this weekend. My first thought was "Chances are, I won't get mugged by someone or hassled by any insanity inducing horrors from beyond space. There's so many people here that either would have no where to hide." My second thought, however was, "There's so many people here that any potential mugger or eldritch horrorbeast would actually have a pretty easy time hiding."
In the middle of the park, there's a fountain. It was also the most crowded spot, as it makes quite the good landmark and gathering point. From the Google Maps picture, it also looks a bit like a compass rose. The closer I got to the fountain, the denser the crowd became, most of them were busy chattering about the new dinosaur exhibit at the natural history museum. Gradually the conversations tended to shit towards the subject of "The crazy dude in the horse mask handing out fliers."
And sure enough, sitting on the fountain edge was someone wearing a bedsheet, a sandwich board, and one of those latex horse masks that are so popular as of late.
It was the stack of fliers he was handing out that interested me most. Yes, it had the same picture as the ones I had previously received. The Hermit, lantern raised to illuminate a great big IX floating just inches in front of him. On the sandwich board was not any of the typical "The end is Nigh" or any sort of biblical doom verses, but simply.
If you're reading this, I'll trust that you've seen Marble Hornets, or that you know who M is. If you have even a modicum of knowledge about the "the Slender Man," I am going to assume that you've seen this symbol before. A circumscribed X. As ubiquitous in this community as the crescent is in Mecca. And yet, until that moment, it was nothing more than a vaguely mysterious symbol posted on blogs and forums, and not a concrete drawing looking through its cross shaped pupil right at me. I wanted to turn around and pretend I didn't see it, but I knew I couldn't. They'd find me anyway. I was going down, I wasn't going to go down with a bullet in my back.
I walked over and grabbed a leaflet from the possibly comatose prophet of doom. He didn't respond, and only his raspy breathing alerted me to the fact that there was a living being under the latex and cotton.
On the back of the flier, instead of the short, handwritten messages was a fully typed (from a typewriter by the looks of it) message. I don't have access to a scanner right now, but here it is, typos and all.
To Babylon he came.
For our children to Paradice
Clense this IMPURE with holy flame
(the next couple of lines were too blurred to read due to the fact that the paper was soaked and the ink was starting to run.)
And it's whispered that soon, if we all call a tune, then THE PIPER will lead us to reason.
And a new day will don for those who stand long, and the forsest will echo with laughter.
I read it probably about five times before I finally asked the equine masqued gentleman what the fuck this was all about.
His response: "He comes"
"Oh, I guessed as much, but what is 'He'"
"And who is this nine guy."
At this point, I felt something hard pressed against my back and a muffly echoed voice that smelled strongly of latex and halitosis whispered in my ear, "Your car. Now."
I've lived in the suburbs my whole life. There's not a safer place on the planet outside a bubblewrap factory. I've never had, what I had assumed was a gun, pointed at me. I've never even seen a real gun before. Now, seeing as I am typing this right now, you know I get out of this fine. And I certainly know now that thing's were going to be fine, but if I went back in time and said to myself, "hey, don't worry." I definitely would not have believed me. And generally, the most advice anyone can even think about giving you for these kinds of situations is "cooperate. At least you get a 50% chance." And so, I walked him to my car, trying as hard as I could not to look like I was being held at gunpoint, trying as hard as I could not to shake or to start hyperventilating, not daring to turn around and look at who this guy was.
When we got there, he handed me a brown paper bag."You got this until we get you a real one. Now, put it on your head, hand me the keys, get in the passenger's seat, and shut up."
Well, so much for not getting a bullet in the back.
The next few hours, we drove. No words, just driving. I did not ask him if he was going to pay for my window, let alone my gas. I just hoped that when we stopped, I wasn't going to have to get out, and dig a ditch, and wait until he made pico de gallo with the back of my head. Utter silence, until. "You've got it on backwards, dumbass." It took me a second for me to realize he was talking about the bag. I turned it around, and found that it had a pair of holes cut for eyes. My hostage taker was a tall, almost emaciate thin guy in a black, Metallica hoodie and a V mask.
Now, I know Anonymous has been pulling some extreme stunts as of late, but this was getting ridiculous. Also, when I noticed that his gun was actually a clear, plastic airsoft gun, I figured if it was safe to ask him if I could check in with my parents.
"Yeah, sure. Just don't say you've been kidnapped." I told them I was probably going to spend the night at a friend's house.
It had been dark for sometime by the time we stopped. I had no idea where we were, but at least I didn't think I was going to get executed in cold blood anymore.