Hello Fellow Runners,
Seeing as we’re all in the same boat, I think that its only appropriate that you know a little about me. Alright, I lived alone in my Maternal Grandparents’ house, which I inherited because I already lived nearby when they passed on. Hey, other than my mother who I was still living with at the time, I was the nearest living relative who didn’t already have a life at least one whole state away, so I was literally the only choice outside of completely uprooting one of their children or other grandkids if the old place was going to continue to belong to the family. This house I was in got my Materal Great-Grandparents and their sons, grandpa Dave and Great-Uncle George through the Great Depression because it was already old enough to be completely paid off and couldn’t be taken from them at the time. So you get an idea of just how long this abode has been with us and what it means to my family to keep it that way. Okay, done with the boring history lesson.
This is why I said it pained me to finally have to give up the home that has housed five generations of my bloodline on mom’s side to Run. My future bride Maddie was going to move in, I was going to make sweet love to her in that big bed upstairs. There were going to be little Drew and Maddie juniors crowding around the TV arguing over whether to watch Avatar The Last Airbender or Spongebob. Well, no more. Maddie’s fine, because she’s not a target and I got the hell out of dodge before she could become one. Damn… Shaun, if you’re reading this. I know how you feel, since you also left your girl behind. It sucks even more when she’s said yes to you popping the big question, though. Ron’s even worse off. He was already married, but was the only target in his household for some reason. What scares the hell out of both of us is that our respect girls are probably looking for us right now despite the warnings we left them.
Anyway, the house is out in the Illinois countryside near Nauvoo, the city Joseph Smith founded for the Mormons. It’s on a bug bluff overlooking a highway. Across the way from the road is a corn field, and beyond…the woods. The house is three stories tall (four including the basement), and I own seven acres of land, also inherited. On that land, there were bunches of cats, three horses, and the only one which I count as my pet because I brought her here myself: my dog, Lucy, a half-Rottweiler mutt, who thankfully did not get too much the look of a vicious dog passed onto her, but she certainly had the spirit.
Well, every horse, cat, and dog that lived there is gone now. I honestly don’t get what could appeal to it about killing animals. I mean, I know I was sad when I found my poor Lucy ripped to shreds, but it’s not something I can’t handle. Anyway…
The Hauntings and My Social Circle:
First things first, this is the list of people who became haunted amongst my friends who I introduced to Marble Hornets. Sam, Jared, Ron, myself, Stephanie, Elijah, and Josh. The ones who aren't as far as I know are a few.
Alright, the next person to become h(a)unted was Jared, who took off and Ran before we did. He hasn’t made a blog or kept in contact so I’m hoping to God that he hasn’t fallen prey to NightCrawler. Though just being killed is still the lesser of two evils. it or being gunned down. Pick your pison.
Jared became infected with it in early Febuary. Now, Jared, is a calm, calculating individual who does handle stress and confrontations well, unlike Sam. Love Sam as I did, loving someone also comes with admitting their faults. Sam didn’t handle pressure well at all. Ever. And being stalked by a vile creature he didn’t understand is the very definition of stress.
Anyway, Jared didn’t tell us that he was being followed and kept up a façade of normalcy which he only dropped once Ron and I were in the same boat.
That said, he left us when he Ran in May. Yes, Jared survived three months of being stalked in his own home. He is a very stubborn individual who apply just as much pressure to any force that tries to push him. However, he’s also very smart and, well…he's a skinny, 5’10” little guy who picked up whatever sword techniques he has by watching anime. …So yeah. Long story short, we did notice some strange alterations in his behavior in the time when he was being hunted while not Running. For example, he moved his sleeping quarters to the attic which was on the third floor of his house. My guess was that he experimenting to see if it would be able to perceive him by all the way up there.
That, and he did start using the (X) sign. Hell, he actually had a few T-shirts made. You know, not just spray-painting it on, but he had a professional T-shirt designer make a few (X) designed shirts. The effect was that he was able to wear them and walk out in public without too many people glancing his way because to anyone not in the know, it looked like a shirt with an odd logo on it. I think that was a smart move on his part, instead of markering/paitning/spray-painting it on like I believe Shaun did.
Not much changed about his behavior in that time. He still went work, DMed our Dungeons and Dragons sessions, and hung out with us. Never at any point did he act like he wasn’t getting sleep or was afraid. Why, because that’s just how Jared is. The man has balls of steel, and he’ll be damned in some abomination born from our imaginations and fears was going to get him riled.
Then Ron and I saw him on the same night. It was mid-March. Ron and I were playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl on my Wii when suddenly, the TV and the console started acting up. Now, the Wii is located right beside the TV on my entertainment center, which is next to a window I kept open (at the time). You can already probably guess what I beheld when I happened to glance out into the yard. Now, it wasn’t standing right there next to the window, but I see it standing on the gravel of my driveway, perfectly still. I cried in surprise and jumped back. Ron shot up from his seat and ran over to the window to see what surprised me. He saw it and opened the front door and called out asking what the stranger wanted.
Now, the “visiter” was still shrouded in darkness as it was still beyond my front porch light and all we could see was his form in the darkness. Then he stepped into said light and we both saw quite plainly that it was impossibly tall, skinny, and had no face. Its arms. Oh gosh…its arms. No, I don’t know what I was staring at. I might have thought it was a prank…at first, but then its arms transformed into its tentacles right in front of us and more protruded from its back. Has it ever made such a display of its shape-changing abilities to anyone else so quickly? Alright, first of all, it worked Sam over real fast. So you think that maybe Robert(Guardian), Zeke(Mystic), Shaun(Guide), and the election of the new Sages (Maduin, zero, and Amalia) was making it want a quick bite to eat in order to gather its strength? Is it possible that it was preparing for the coming Nov 23rd (as I believe the date was) by grabbing some quick snacks? I’ve never heard of a scenario where the damn thing seemed to do whatever the hell it wants to us right then and there at the beginning. Isn’t it always later that the tentacles come out, and not right at the beginning? Of course, it did let us drive off. Of course, car chasing isn’t exactly one of the things I’ve heard of it doing…
I have never been so scared in my entire life. Ron acted fast by slamming the door, locking it, and dragging me to the garage. We entered my Blazer and drove off with the damn thing tilting its head at us as it shrunk into the distance.
I drove us into town where Ron demanded to be let off at his own house. I, meanwhile, went to Jared’s. I had seen the blogs, watched Marble Hornets. That Jared was actively using the symbol meant that he was also being hunted. So, I ended up at his home where I confronted him about it. He fessed up the instant I made him aware that the infection had gotten to me as well.
As if right on cue, I noticed it looking in one of Jared’s windows. I started to freak out, but my friend shook me and told me to sit down and that’s we play some cards. So we did, Magic the Gathering, to be exact. Before long, I calmed down and my right mind returned. Jared told me not to let it get to me or it was all over, like it was Sam.
After some time chatting, we went on up the attic where I prepared a spare cot for myself. We decided that since there were two of us, we’d take turns sleeping. I took the first watch after a coin flip turned up tails. Obviously, I called heads. There were no windows to speak of in Jared’s attic, and it never came up the stairs to. So I guess that the ‘above second story’ rule was working…for the moment.
The following day, things returned to normal. I went to work, got into my obligatory argument with m boss who wanted me to do things her way, instead of following company policy. I didn’t see it all day. However, when I got back to my own home that night, I pulled the curtains to all my windows shut, and put the (X) signs everywhere. Then I hopped online and made my own order of (X) marked clothes.
Then I took a sleeping bag and headed up the attic and where I slept fairly peacefully, until the nightmare.
I don’t know what to make of my nightmare, really. It seemed to be memory of childhood. One day, bunch of my schoolmates and myself were playing in the woods of a park. Hide and seek to be exact. Anyway, it started to get really foggy after a short time while I was trying to find a hiding spot. While running through the woods, I came across two rows of trees lining the perimeter of a ditch. Plastic bags filled with something bloody hung from most of the branches. From those bags, I heard the voices of children crying for their mothers from those trees. I turned to run only to come face to face with…it. It already had a crying child in its arms/tentacles/things as it stared down at me. We had our staring match a few seconds before this man suddenly erupted from the woods. He carried a piece of wood he had bent into a circle that had two crossing sticks in the middle. The two sticks crossed where covered in some blackish substance. He rum rushed it, wooden operator symbol first, and pressed the symbol to its body before it had a chance to retreat. It let out the most horrible banshee-like shrieking sound before vanishing. The man turned to the kid it was holding and myself, took us by our hands, and led us back to the moms.
I awoke with a start after that dream. I was still in the attic, I was well-rested, and no…it, in sight. I didn’t know what to make of what I just saw in my sleeping mind, but I had to know. So I called my mother, having decided to ask about any odd instances in which a weird man dressed in all skins and a raccoon skin hat (a regular Davey Crocket) guided another kid and myself out of the forest. Well, I got my answer in the form of the operator saying the number has been disconnected followed by a call from the police that my mother’s house had burned to the ground with her inside.
There was no body to identify, so I chose to think that she burned up the fire. Don’t tell me otherwise. I know. After surveying the burned home of my mother, I immediately went to the school I was attending at the time and age I would have been in the dream (in the dream, I was wearing a leather vest my mother bought, which I outgrew by age ten, so I know I had to be nine or under in the dream). I talked to the principal. I asked him about the incident and he directed me to the teacher I had at the time. She was able to confirm that a man who looked like something straight out of a Davey Crocket episode rescued another kid named Danny and myself after we ‘got lost’ in the woods. She gave me the location of the park and I was off again.
Alright, so what we have here is a mysterious man who dresses like an old time American frontier explorer who wielded a wooden (X) sign that both drove it off and made it surrender a hostage.
Well, I didn’t make it to the park before funeral responsibilities called off my attempts to investigate and avenge. A week later we had the funeral. Family members from all around came and paid my mother her respects. Sam, missing. Mother, gone. I’ve never felt so alone and empty.
Seriously, what the hell? Why her? She never watched or read any of this stuff. This thing needs to die.
Before long, I reconvened with Ron and Jared and I discussed the dream and the confirmed reality of it with them. The first thing we did was try to contact Danny. He was already missing for about a week when we figured out where and how to contact him. Alright, so the only two other people who it had access to before I could get to them were out of the picture. I have a feeling I was only able to get ahold of that teacher because it was both in the middle of the day and she was in a public facility. But it was enough. The disappearance of Danny, the death of my mother, and the confirmation from that teacher were enough to show that my dream was onto something.
We entered the park and it was almost exactly the same as it was my dream other than a few changes. One of the changes was a plaque in remembrance of the children that disappeared here during the 1990s, the timeframe in which I encountered it. Yeah, it was pretty much a sure thing that my dream was actually a repressed memory. That said, I had other odd dreams, but none of them led any. Only thus first one I had. So I led the way into what had to be the most suicidally stupid thing any of us had ever done: enter the woods while being stalked by it. Hey, we didn’t have any other leads and by the time we got around to doing this, it was already mid April and it had already figured its way past our little trick of sleeping in the attic. Found the damn thing standing over me when I happened to wake shortly before this.
Now, I don’t know why I had this dream. Perhaps it was just a repressed memory coming to the surface. Perhaps God was throwing me a bone and He freed for the memory for me. I hope for the latter. I led the best I could through the woods until we reached the ditch surrounded by trees. The bags were gone, and another plaque stood nearby where a trail had been forged to that spot in more recent times. I don’t even want to know what had to be going through the minds of the cops and CSInvestators who opened those bags after claiming them from the trees. I spotted the underbrush the man who burst through in my dream and we went through it, not really knowing where we were going. Its good thing Jared came with us, because he’s also a nature freak. He spotted an animal trail and led us to the pond next to a huge bluff. The forest was too dense to walk through outside of the trail and the bluff, so we opted to go upwards. After a bit, Jared found us another anima trail, this one eventually leading to a more woods. It was getting late, and we were not willing to be in those woods at night. Fortunately, Ron was writing down everywhere we went and we were to just turn tail and leave before it got too dark. For the next weeks, we could continue to try to track down whoever it was that I saw in my dream.
At the time I remember thinking that even if we did find him, would he really be able to help us?
Come April… Time after next, I’ll post what we were up to in llate April and May when Jared finally hit the road. Next post will actually be whatever I found in Sam’s notebooks.