Saturday, 27 August 2011
... Thanks, Elliott.
And so the bearer of bad news is me once again.
As my musically-inclined classmate stated earlier, something happened in the forest today.
A few days ago you'll recall Suze and I found Jennifer and Joshua hanged hand in hand in a clearing not far from camp. Suicide, we ruled. Joined suicide. By the time we had gotten Lyle awake and functioning and returned their bodies had vanished, which lead to many a suspicious glance and paranoid assumption. We could only guess at what had happened to the corpses, though none of us really wanted to.
But I digress.
There were five of us out today - me, Lyle, Suze, Elliott and Richard - compass and map in hand, trying to find our way back to the campsite and trailer park a few kilometers south of where we had set up our own camp. None of us were particularly optimistic as all our previous attempts had landed us back on square one after several hours of wandering in circles, but hey it was worth a shot.
It wasn't like we had anything better to do with our time.
So imagine our surprise when we stumble upon a path that leads us to an area of the forest nobody had seen before. Hope began to spark somewhere inside all of us and we pushed further along, suddenly much faster and with new vigor.
We turned a corner through a thick bit of undergrowth and maybe fifty feet away we saw two figures, backs turned.
A few things happened next.
First, it takes us a few seconds to let this sink in. There are maybe thirty of us still around and everybody else was back at camp and we've been around each other enough to figure out who is who in a dark room based on the sounds of their footsteps.
These two people looked nothing like students from Class 123.
Second, Lyle and Richard kick into high alert. They shift their weight and are ready to deal with whoever or whatever these two people are.
Third, Suze shouts.
It's at this point that I have no idea what she was thinking (or if she was thinking at all) but she makes a break for the two people standing in the distance.
She didn't see the black tendrils that held them flies in a spider's nest.
Fourth, the figures move in a way that isn't natural at all. Their bodies go limp and the black web withdraws, but the bodies stay standing and their heads just ... fall to one side like the necks has been snapped in half. They pitch backwards and then forwards and their legs kick out from under them and they walk in jerky strides, heads bobbing back and fourth ninety degrees one way then ninety degrees the other. From behind them suddenly appear Tall, Dark and Slender himself and the path goes dark because those tentacles of his are above us, below us, around us, circling us like a cage and this buzzing, this horrible buzzing overtakes my mind and I can scarcely see through the stars that are clouding my vision.
And she screams.
Suze never screams. Not when Zach died. Not when she watched Nick slice Bryan's throat from ear to ear. Not when she saw Slender for the first time less than a meter away. So close she could almost reach up and touch him.
She screams now.
The two figures are Jennifer and Joshua.
She screams and Slender is on her, grabbing her with whatever those black things are composed of, grabbing her and pulling her in opposite directions - not enough to pull her apart, but enough to pop both arms out their sockets and pull a shriek so shrill and so full of pain that I can still hear it in the back of my mind.
She falls to the ground and goes absolutely limp, still screaming and now sobbing and what's left of Jenn and Josh are on her, clawing, pulling, tearing and cutting. Her arms are useless and we can only stand there in horror and watch our classmate and friend be literally picked apart before our eyes.
There's a flash and a cry and Richard yanks one of the two off of Suze, butterfly knife drawn and slices Slender's holds clean off of her. The body falls and blood oozes from her eyes, ears, nose and mouth until the forest ground is coated red and warm and sticky to the touch.
Joshua is a little more difficult. Lyle flies into a rage and he's on him, but Josh is much stronger and doesn't seem to know anything of pain anymore. It takes me, Lyle and Elliott to get Josh (or what's left of him) off of Suze, who is long unconscious and pale from blood loss and pain. Her blood mingles with Jenn's until the entire scene is red, red, red.
Josh goes the same route as his beloved and we find ourselves alone, out of breath, exhausted and one of us heavily injured if not already dead against Tall, Dark and Slender himself.
And what does he do?
He just vanishes and the two bodies vanish and Suze is collapsed and bleeding and pale, my god she's so pale and her face is covered in blood and her nose is bent the wrong way and her eyes are shut and swelling, swelling and her arms are bent completely the wrong way and nothing about her looks right and the only thing in all our of minds is god, please be alive, please be alive...
We're back at camp in a blur.
Everybody is crowded around us and wants to know what happened. Elliott has to explain because Lyle is still shaking, Richard is high off of the adrenaline surge and I'm tending to Suze.
It's just after nightfall now and there's life in her, at least. Her face is swollen and her nose is broken but at least we've managed to pop both arms back into place. It'll be a long time before she wakes up and everyone is taking shifts making sure she doesn't die on us.
Nobody wants to see another classmate slip away.
Especially when we can maybe save that classmate.
She's in for one hell of a time when she wakes up, that's for sure.