(NOTE: This is a collaborative fanfiction. It is told in first person, and every time there is a space in between the paragraphs, the point of view switches. I hope its not too confusing. Please, before reading the story, read the info below. It will explain a bit more about the characters, setting, etc.)
I’m on Cleverbot, chatting with random people. Hardly anyone understands that they are talking to me and not some AI. The few that realize who I am are divided between people who are freaking out, people who won’t stop going on about how awesome I am, and BENxJeff shippers who keep asking me about my “lover” (as if that pale freak would even have a chance with me).
“Man,” I think to myself. “Why can’t anyone not completely dull or insane log on?”
I'm bored. It's been a calm day for once, and since I have nothing else to do, I decide to get on the Internet. I don't find anything interesting on Youtube or Deviantart (The only really human things I enjoy doing), so I go on a website I haven't been on in awhile, Cleverbot.
'Hi,' I type.
Wow, I haven't been on the Internet in awhile... I hope there people who are actually Interesting this time...
Bored with the rabid fangirl I'm currently chatting with, I switch her back over to the bot and randomly go for a different IP address. Someone has obviously just logged in and typed a single word: "Hi"
‘Hello there, human,’ I type.
If this one asks me about Jeff I'm gonna jump out of the computer and strangle her... or him; I guess it could be a guy. What am I doing with my life?
Human? Not anymore. I let out a sigh as the thought runs through my head. Bad memories.
'Who says I'm human?' I type, knowing that Cleverbot will probably give a strange response.
Great. Another one trying to confuse the bot by saying that they are the bot, and I am the human. Seen it before kid. I roll my eyes. This happens way too often, and gets sooooo boring…
‘Well,’ I type, ‘if you're a dog, your owner must be the best trainer in the world if you can use the computer and understand and type perfect English. *yawn* But, in all seriousness, let me guess: your name is Cleverbot, and I'm the human speaking to you, yadda, yadda, yadda...’
Oh, assumptions, I think to myself.
'No, I am not a dog, and I prefer not to be talked to in a smart-ass manner. My name is Lynn. And I did not say I didn't believe you aren't human. There are things that aren't human out there. I am one of them.' I finish typing and send it confidently, smirking to myself.
Hmm, maybe this "Lynn" isn't as stupid as the rest of these asshats.
I go over her words a few times, trying to decide if she's just completely playing me. Maybe she's sincere, or maybe she has created a backstory for some sort of role paly. Either way, she doesn't seem to be one to take any crap, and that's more than I can say for the others I've been chatting with. Who knows, it might be fun. I begin to wonder if she's read any of those "Creepypastas", and try to clue her in as to my identity, admittedly a bit amused as I type. I get this feeling from her that she won't go all fangirl on me if she has read any.
‘Oh, and what's your story? I bet you've met with a terrible fate... haven't you?’
I grin, recognizing the phrase quickly. "Well well well... genuine Creepypasta..."
'Hello there, BEN. And I have met a bit of a terrible fate, depending on how you look at it.'
I smile widely. "Perfect," I say to myself.
‘Ah,’ I type. ‘So you aren't as dumb as these other internet dweebs. And how do you look at it? I know as well as anyone that a terrible fate can be made into something wonderful if only you embrace it.’
'I do not believe so... my fate could have been much worse. But now, I am something better than a human... much better.'
I finish typing and think for a minute. Yes, my fate could have been much worse. But I already have something to remind of how bad it almost was. Or still could be... the scar around my eye has a small burst of pain thinking about it, but it quickly disappears. Sometimes, I truly do hate my life though...
I find myself smiling again. Whether true or not, I have a feeling this girl's story will be interesting. I’d love to hear it.
‘Then you and I have something in common,’ I type eagerly. ‘You obviously know my story, but I know nothing of yours. I would listen if you wish to tell. Make it as brief or as long as you wish; I've got nowhere to be, and I could use a good story.’
I give a small sigh. My story... not one I tell to people very often. It’s depressing, and not very good. And I have a feeling my story doesn't end very happily, especially with the road I'm on now.
'It’s a long story... and not a very happy one at that. Most people choose not to believe it. Would you be prepared to hear it?'
I pause for a moment. I’m very used to unhappy stories… Finally I type again.
‘After everything I've been through, I think I'm prepared to hear almost anything. Lay it on me.’
Well, here goes nothing...
'A long time ago, when I was human, I suffered an attack from a being called The Slenderman. I'm sure you have heard of him, being Creepypasta as well. As it would turn out, we were friends when I was much younger, so he decided not to kill me, and I ended up in the hospital from my injuries. Having no idea what had happened, I tried to find out. I found clues to what he was, and he ended up kidnapping me. He told me the truth, that he had wiped my memories of him when I was twelve, after he accidentally killed my best friend. We made peace and became friends, until I found a place where he kept records of all his victims. To make a long story short, while I was there, I gained abilities and a changed appearance... I came back to him and the proxies when they weren't getting along, so I ran away. I had run into the forest, and at the time he was out... hunting... I saw him go into a rage and kill a small child. He almost killed one of his proxies, but I ran over and stopped him before he could. He didn't kill me, but I gained a terrible scar on my eye and friendship with the two proxies I saved. I ended up abandoning my life as a human and staying with them. I am not the same person anymore... In fact, I have some pretty insane memories... and sometimes they make me do terrible things...'
I hate thinking about this... brings back horrible memories...
My eyes darken a bit, and I turn away from the laptop for a moment, waiting for a response.
I stay silent for a moment, drinking in her words. The mention of Slenderman made me shudder a bit, but I quickly shook it off, not wanting to think about him too much. Her story, though brief as it was - as it had to be - had struck me.
‘I believe you, you know. After living mostly inside a computer all these years I've gotten very good at telling when people are lying over the internet. And you're right; I have heard of Slenderman - more than just heard of him actually, but that's... well, let's just say you're not the only one he's scarred.’
Though at this moment I am technically just a collection of data, I get the illusion of pain on a spot on my left calf. I wince, and rub it soothingly, trying to fight this weird ache in my chest. Lynn's story is bringing up things I'd rather forget, and I feel an inexplicable urge to look into her eyes; to see her scar, the burden we both carry... but I hold back asking just yet and wait for her to type something else.
'And I'm so sorry to the ones he has scarred... I will never be the same. Enduring the pain is a lasting experience... If I may ask, have you ever come into contact with Him?'
I have a terrible feeling in my gut that he did, and it didn't end well. Hopefully he isn't like me though...
Part of me is glad that she asked, even though the thoughts it brings forward to the front of my memory make my leg hurt even more. I don't care, though; she's been honest with me, and I feel I owe her the same, so I grit my teeth and continue.*
‘Yes. And I never want to see that tall bastard again... I can't tell the whole story right now, but the short of it is he had me strung up by the ankles and he marked my leg. I... still can't remember how I got away. You have my understanding... and my sympathy, Lynn.’
I have to stop; my calf is nearly aflame now. Inspecting it, I find that the Operator symbol that desecrates my flesh is burning bright red: Slendy's little parting gift for me. I don't know if that happens to everyone he scars, or if my case is special, but there are times when it's more than just annoying. It can be downright debilitating if I dwell on it too much.
Oh my God... I hope he's not like me...
'I'm so, so sorry BEN. And I don't mean to intrude, but are you okay... mentally? He disturbs certain people...
Maybe there is some sort of way to take him down...'
I sit back in my chair. It’s terrible to even think about what that monster does to people. I lost a lot to Slenderman, and now I'm messed up... in more ways than one.
I shake my head. Oh, Lynn... she actually thinks that... that thing can actually be stopped.
‘I'm fine, it's just... the scar still hurts sometimes, physically. But only if I think about it too much. I don't know if Slenderman can be taken down, he's more powerful than most can even imagine...’
I pause as another wave of pain hits my calf. "Damn it!" I mutter under my breath before continuing to type.
‘... Perhaps we should talk about something else.’
There is a short pause, and this response comes back a bit slower than the last few have.
Crap... I probably just made his pain worse. Great job, Lynn.
'I'm really sorry if I hurt you... should we have a different topic?'
‘Yes, I think we should...’
I pause and summon my courage.
‘...I hope it wouldn't be too forward in asking...’ I type, ‘but I have the capability of leaving the virtual world for the real... and I was wondering if maybe you'd let me come out. You know, so we can talk face-to-face... if you're comfortable that is. I understand if you're not; most people aren't around me.’
As I press enter and the words appear on the screen I think to myself, Idiot! She's probably going to just turn her computer off and never get back on Cleverbot again. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I pound my fists on the sides of my head.
My eyes widen a bit as I see the next message. He actually wants to talk to me? Wow... I haven't had a conversation with someone in months.
'Can I do that?' I type. 'I would love to talk to someone who understands... how would I let you out?'
It will be incredible to talk to someone who understands... who knows how I feel... the kind of suffering caused by Slenderman. Somebody who won't be afraid of me. Well, hopefully.
My heart leaps. Wow! She actually wants to talk to me! Ok, BEN, calm yourself. My hands are nearly shaking as I respond.
‘Just stand back and give me plenty of room, I'll do the rest. Fair warning, this is going to be a bit weird if you've never seen someone come out of a computer screen before. Tell me when you're ready.’
I grin. I'm actually excited. "I get to talk to someone... Wow..."
'Well, only in horror movies,' I type. I pause for a moment, before adding, 'And just to give you a fair warning, I look... odd, to say in the least.'
I might as well tell him. My appearance is a bit of a shocker.
You can't look much more odd than a pixelated elf with black-and-red eyes... I think. Maybe I should tone down on the scary; I'm not trying to make her wet herself... unlike most people I encounter.
I turn my eyes to Link's normal bright blue and take a calming breath.
‘All right, I'll see you in a minute, Lynn.’
"Here goes nothing." I breathe in slowly once more for good measure, and begin to manipulate my virtual world. The screen begins to shimmer and ripple almost like liquid as I work my head through, then my shoulders. Before I know it, I'm all the way out, and lying on the floor, flipped onto my back. I raise myself on my elbow, and looking up I see Lynn. All I can do is stare into her colorful eyes, one marked over by the Operator symbol. I suddenly become painfully aware of my own matching mark, which is exposed to her on my bare leg; she'd be able to see it plainly if she'd move her gaze there.
"Hi," I manage to say.
When was the last time I actually talked to someone? The last time I had a real conversation? Years ago...
I look down at BEN, who is now lying on the floor. I brush my long, dark hair out of my eyes. I hope he won't be afraid of my scar, or the tendrils coming out of my back.
"H-Hello..." I speak quietly, due to not using my voice in years. I put out a hand, which is midnight black compared to my pale skin, as an offering to help him up from the ground.
I accept her hand graciously and she pulls me to my feet. I really can't take my eyes off of hers - they're just so beautifully colorful - but I don't want to seem as if I'm staring at her scar, so I look sheepishly down at my boots, then glance about at the room.
"Thank you," I say, a bit awkwardly. It's not every day I truly have normal conversations with people, so I'm almost at a loss for words. "It's been a while since I've left the internet. I needed the fresh air."
As I say those words, their full truth hits me straight in the face. Yes, I still feel when I'm stuck in Computerland, but it's much different than the feeling of the real world. You don't feel solid ground beneath your feet, or the subtle draft of wind getting in from the outside lightly brush your cheek; things you never truly take notice of when you experience them every day, things you only miss when they're taken away from you.
"It’s been years since I've talked to anyone..." I smile lightly and look down, brushing my hair out of my face with a tendril. "I needed a real conversation..."
I look around at the room, where the walls have been painted with freaky paintings and words all over, and a dark chandelier hangs from the ceiling. The only other things in the room are a bed and a few sketch pads. Crap.
"S-Sorry about the room... Not exactly inviting." I blush a little bit, embarrassed.
The tendrils on her back, so eerily similar to Slenderman's, threw me a bit, but it didn't bother me. I hadn't truly noticed my surroundings when I glanced around before. The sight is rather strange, now that she mentions it, but I could hardly care less.
"Don't worry about it; I've got no room to be picky. I'm just glad to be out again, even if I am in a rather strange room... and stuck looking like a nerdy cosplayer."
I blush and look down again, very self-conscious about my appearance for the first time in years. Normally, I wouldn't care what anyone thought about me, but this situation isn't exactly 'normal'
"So, you... live here... and you're safe from him?" I ask.
I look out the window and stare at the sky, which is stuck with never-ending gray clouds in a storm. I wonder what I look like... I must seem pretty creepy...
"Honestly, I don't think it’s safe... Nowhere seems to be safe anymore. I worry every day that he'll come back, and something terrible will happen... I live here in constant fear. I can’t exactly escape though... people are afraid when they look at me..."
I look at my feet, embarrassed. He must think I'm crazy... but everyone else does too, it wouldn't be much of a change.
It suddenly hits me how scared she must be. At least when I'm in the internet I don't have to worry about Slenderman; getting in there is one thing he still hasn't figured out. I tentatively lay my hand on her shoulder, trying to provide any comfort I can. Poor girl.
"I'm not afraid of you. You seem nice, and you... I mean... it's not your fault..." I trail off. The words just won't really come to me, so I glance to the side and keep my hand on her shoulder, hoping she doesn't think I'm a complete dope.
"Thank you..." I whisper quietly. "It’s nice to have somebody who understands..."
I suddenly begin to think: What will happen if he does come back? I'm dead if he finds me. After last time... why didn't I think about this earlier?
My eyes darken a bit and lose their color, and I look down at the ground. I see the bloodstains on the ground from the last time I was here. I don't know why I came back here... I mean, Slenderman found me here the first time... but I didn't think he would suspect I'd come back. But he can read minds and teleports... All I can do is camouflage myself.
I look over to BEN. He must think I'm a complete idiot. The first person I meet in years, and a nice one too, and I'm screwing up everything. Great job, Lynn.
"I'm so sorry... I was lost in thought... I have a lot on my mind..."
"I - I want to help you if I can," I say, nearly choking up.
I want to say more, but instead I just find myself moving closer, almost ready to wrap her in a comforting hug, but my awkwardness makes me pause, my eyes fixed on some point off in the distance.
The pain in my leg is back, but dull this time, and I barely notice it. I only notice it enough to put my mind back on Lynn's own scar. I've finally found someone who shares my burden. It pains me to think she's so vulnerable to that monster; my heart is burning with rage, but I don't let it show.
A sudden flash of lightning, dangerously close, and the roll of thunder that shakes the walls almost immediately after breaks me from my musings and makes me give a quick sharp yell. The next thing I know I'm clinging pitifully to Lynn like a frightened child. It had been so long since I'd experienced a real-life storm, I forgot what it was like. I can feel my face growing redder by the second, but I'm shaking so badly and I can't bring myself to let go of her.
"S-sorry," I manage to squeak out, trying to chuckle lightly, but failing miserably at it.
Really, BEN? Idiot.
I stand there, trying to be brave, but I'm almost screaming. A few tears fall from my scarred eye, and it stings painfully. I wipe them away quickly, ashamed to have BEN see me cry.
"W-We should get out of here... the storm usually mean horrible things..."
As I say this, a horrible memory comes to mind. I have a flashback of last time.
It was pouring at the time. I had grabbed my few possessions and was running down the street as quickly as I could. My life depended on it.
But I was already too late. The thundering footsteps were already after me. He grabbed me with his tendrils and pulled me in the air. He gives me a horrible grin.
I camouflaged myself and slipped out of his grasp. He chases me as I run towards the nearest car, which luckily was left with the keys in. I sped off on the road, headed anywhere.
By now, I think he must have stopped following me, so I quickly turn around for a second and look back. He's gone. I'm filled with relief for a second, and I turn back around. But he's right there, standing in front of the car. I swerve off the road, surprised, and he dissapears. The vehicle crashes into a tree, and is smashed everywhere. I sit there for a second, too stunned and injured to move
Dizzy and vision fading, I watch as he walks closer, and closer-
The vision ends abruptly, and I stand there, shaking. By now, tears stream down my face, and I make no effort to stop them.
"BEN... I think he might have found me..."
Her words make me shiver even more. No sooner had she said them than my keen elven ears catch the sound of light footsteps over the storm outside. I gasp. My mind is racing, and in seconds I've already come up with an escape plan if it is indeed him, but I need her to confirm that it's him before I can ask her to let me set my plan into action. I look up into her eyes. There's clear panic in my voice; hard as I'm trying to stay calm for her I just can't hide my utter terror at that monster.
"Lynn," I whisper. "Please tell me you were expecting company."
"No... It’s Him."
I don’t even want to say his name, and I hope BEN will understand what I mean by "Him."
My rainbow eyes turn black and I turn to BEN, as afraid as any person can be. I need to get out of here. We need to get out of here.
"BEN... we have to get out of here. Now."
My mind races and my tendrils fly everywhere. I run to the door and smash it down. My heart pounds nervously.
She's given me all the reason I need. My fear dissolves into steely determination. That bastard isn't going to get to Lynn if I have anything to say about it. I quickly move toward her and grasp her hand firmly, looking straight into her eyes.
"I can save us," I say. "I know a place where he can't get to us. But you have to trust me. And whatever happens, no matter frightening it might seem - and it will be scary at first - don't let go of me for anything."
I wait for her response, my eyes still locked onto hers, hoping desperately that she understands.
My eyes fade back to rainbow, and I hold on to his hand tightly, scared out of my wits. But I believe him. And if that faceless monster does anything to us, I'm going to kill him. But I'm more afraid than I've ever been... Last time he tried to murder me...
"I trust you." I try to give a smile, but it’s full of fear and worry. But I do trust him. He believes me. And I understand him.
I nod. "Good," I say. "Follow me." Still gripping her hand, I lead her back over to the computer. I've only taken one other being into the virtual world with me before, and it was for the purpose of torturing him. This time I'm nervous; Lynn's life depends on me getting her in without screwing up. It's the first time I've ever been responsible for keeping someone alive. I know I can bring someone in, but what if something goes horribly wrong?
Oh, god, BEN, don't kill her. Please let this work.
Taking one last look at her, I can see on her face that she understands what I'm about to do. I still see her fear, and I don't know if it's of Slenderman or what's about to happen or a little of both.
"Hold on tight," I remind her. Then, with a deep breath, her hand still in mine, I climb back in, pulling her awkwardly behind. My entire body begins to tingle, my flesh crawling as I'm converted back into my virtual form. I remember how creepy it felt the first time, and hope it isn't scaring Lynn too much. The screen begins to flicker just as we're all the way in; He must've entered the room at that moment. Surrounded by black, our bodies are now nothing more than collections of data floating in a vacuum. I turn to look at her and breathe a sigh of relief. She's still alive.
"Are you all right?"