Actions never occur in a vacuum. There’s always someone watching, someone perceiving. Someone they impact on. Otherwise, can we really call them actions? I suppose a way to explain it is through the old “If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around, does it make a sound” question.
What I’m trying to say is…someone heard. And someone told the world.
”’Police Appreciation Slender With Church Children Massacre’, by Lance Franklin. What do you think, Doc? Too subtle?”
Fucking journalists. I’d just got back from four hours with the bereaved families (which will not be discussed), and that prick springs this shit on me. I…snapped a little.
“Look, buddy, I’m not sure how things work back in motherfucking Britain, but here, we have a sense of goddamn propriety and sensitivity when it comes to tragedies like this. Your little pun is cute, but for fuck’s sake, do you get off on shit like this? Does seeing a maniac jump around disembowling people make you hard? And did you really think that making a sweet little joke about dead children is going to get you a page that someone will actually read? The fact that you’re standing here, hoping, waiting for someone else to get hurt, sickens me. You plain fucking disgust me. And I’d appreciate it if you’d get out of my face.”
His smile didn’t even waver. “I’m actually Australian.”
I tried to push past him, but he stood firm, his face taking on an oddly curious look. “You’re certainly experiencing a veritable flood of emotion right now, aren’t you, Matt? I…am sorry we got off on the wrong foot, and I’m sorry for you, because we actually have something to talk about. You and I are the only ones who know what is truly going on here. That this killer is clearly basing his work off an original. Forget what those other papers are calling it. ‘The Fishmonger’. ‘The Mad Surgeon’. You and I both know that we are looking at ‘The Slender Man’.”
I nodded, too drained to even make an attempt to walk away. Lance Franklin was a charismatic kind of guy, even though I found him absolutely distasteful. “Sure, yes. That is what a lot of my research is about; using the Slender Man Mythos to provide some form of warning as to what we will have to deal with.” I sighed, making no attempts to move.
“A noble cause. And what do the police think of your theory?”
”That it has merit, but that traditional police techniques will be necessary as well.”
”Do you have any suspects?”
”Yes, I do.”
”…But you’re not going to tell me them.”
”Of course not, you’re a journalist.”
”I know. I’ve got to fly, Mr. Rivers, but I have some research into the Mythos of my own that I’ve been doing, so would I be able to contact you further down the line to compile? I won’t even mention it in the context of this case, we’re talking pure literature appreciation here.”
”Why not? Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go sit down.”
And I did. I sat, and I watched the police mill by. And thought about all the people we’ve lost, and how little progress all my 'literature appreciation’ had made towards catching the criminal. I wasn’t in the best of headspaces at the time, due to the lack of reward for the work I’d been doing. All I’d received in thanks was a concussion and sleepless nights.
Little did I know at the time, my work was about to pay off.