Saturday, August 27, 2016

Slender Man: An Excerpt From An Old Work

One of my favorite activities is participating in a tuckerization of my fiction, using real people as characters in my work. I want to thank Juan for allowing me to make him a character in one of the few actual horror stories I've ever written.

What follows is the prologue of a work that I have yet to complete, but I did enjoy writing it. The delightful challenge of writing about Slender Man was dampened when mentally ill children started committing crimes to appease this made up character. Also, the character of Slender Man, originally in the public domain, is now held in copyright by an unknown third party. I'm not going to invest time in a story I cannot publish for profit.

I shall probably rewrite the story, cleansing it of all Slender Man references and making up my own little beastie. Here is the opening prologue. Enjoy.

Slender Man
by Alan Loewen


“Subject: Juan Claude SimeoƱ. Madison College isolation tank research, number 22. Mark time. Juan, how are you doing?”

Juan floated gently in the heavy, warm Epsom salt solution, his ear plugs making Gerald’s voice sound far away instead of coming from a tiny speaker just three inches above his head. “Doing okay,” he replied. He opened his eyes for a moment to the pitch blackness inside the chamber and then closed them again.

“Everything is working fine out here," Juan heard Gerald say. "Are you feeling the effects of the compound yet?”

Juan let out a breath. “No, not yet. I only took it twenty-five minutes ago. Let’s give it another five to kick in.”

“It’s your experiment. I’m switching my mike off. I’ve got a good level on yours.”

“Good.” Juan concentrated on his relaxation technique, deliberately relaxing the muscles in his feet and working up his body. Floating in the solution that had been warmed to body temperature, Juan enjoyed the sensation of floating. Though the tank was just big enough to hold him, in the blackness he felt like more like a mote floating in the center of an infinite universe.

“Mark time,” he said. “My skin is itching again.” He allowed himself to flow with the unpleasant sensation, a side-effect of his mind freeing itself from the world of the senses. “I suspect I’m a good ten to fifteen minutes away from theta brainwave conversion.”

He took a deep breath and slowly let it out, willing himself into a greater degree of relaxation. “I feel the new compound kicking in. A great calm. Itchiness is gone. Mark time. Here’s a new sensation. I’m gently falling.” Juan allowed the sensation to take him. “I’m seeing phosphenes now. Brilliant. More brilliant than I’ve ever experienced before, the most common being a shade of purple with flashes of red and green.”

He felt himself floating, falling between the cascading colors. “Pretty. They’re starting to take shape. Mark time. I suspect the compound is doing this. We might have finally reached the perfect mix.”

The colors swirled and congealed into a madman’s color palette. “Interesting. Mark time. I think I’m hallucinating. Maybe we increased the compound too much? These colors look solid. Weird angles. Reminds me of some of Lovecraft’s stories. What did he say? ‘Complex angles leading through invisible walls to other regions of Time-Space.’ I have to stop reading nonsense like that.”

Juan floated among the odd geometric shapes. “Wow. I never knew my mind could come up with what I’m seeing. Gerald, I hope you’re getting all this. I really don’t know if I’m talking out loud so my mike can pick it up.”

Gerald rolled his eyes as Juan continued his observations. As long as he got his weekly check, Gerald didn’t care what the psychology majors did with his time. He made a quick scan of the controls. The solution in which Juan floated kept its temperature constant and the chronometer marked off the minutes as they passed.

Stifling a yawn, he leaned back in his chair and rubbed his eyes. Listening to some psych major ramble on about his hallucinations did not improve his already unpleasant mood.

“Mark time,” he heard through the speaker. Gerald leaned forward and pushed a button that would independently time stamp the recording.

Clean the tank. Punch buttons. Listen to some guy hallucinate. This is what a college degree did for him.

“Gerald? I really hope you can hear me. I … I can’t help but feel I’m not alone in here. Something out of the corner of my eye. I guess I should more accurately say ‘my field of vision.’”

The speaker stayed silent for a minute. “Mark time!” the speaker squawked, more urgently this time. “I saw something. The experience feels real. Something behind the weird angles.”

Gerald punched the time button again.

“Maybe if I look before my peripheral vision detects it. Hold on a minute.”

Suddenly, a scream burst out of the speaker, distorted by the volume of Juan’s terror. “No! Gerald! Get me out of here! No! Stay back! Get away from me!”

With an oath, Gerald jumped to his feet and reached for the hatch to the small isolation chamber.

It did not respond to his pull.

Juan’s screams continued as Gerald struggled with the door. Lacking any type of latch, it should have opened with little difficulty, but now Gerald felt as if he fought against all the weight of the world.

With a sudden pop, the hatch slammed open on its hinges and Gerald screamed.

Expecting to see Juan floating in a solution of brine, the interior of the small chamber opened up unexpectedly into a vast infinity of insane angles and odd geometries. His eyes and mind ached as he tried to take it in. He stumbled back, whimpering.

A shape emerged from the hatch. Impossibly thin and composed of a darkness that spoke more of a void than lack of color. Thin lines of darkness that hinted of obscenely long and thin arms reached for him.

Frozen in shock and terror, Gerald looked up at the ceiling where the head of the figure should have been.The last thing he ever saw as tendrils wrapped themselves around his neck was a featureless face that radiated a palpable evil.

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