A bizarre amount of time to be gone, a month. Especially this month. It seems like no time at all passed when I was gone, and yet to the people I love, this month has been life-changing, or life-ruining. Simon just left. He's lost his way. Exhausted, nearly to the point of delerium. He's a mess. This Daddy issue was damn near the death of me, and yet while I've returned without a scratch, his experience has left him with a hollow, wild desperation about him. I've caught up on his blog. It's an odd feeling; an insight into a mind I don't feel like I recognise, horrible as I no doubt am for saying that, he's changed almost beyond recognition. His hair is greasy and wild in its natural tight curls. His eyes are near-dwarfed by the yawning shadows underneath, swollen from lack of sleep. He's even neglected to shave, though his thin, light adornment could only charitably be called a beard. It must be odd for him to see me, nearly exactly as I was the day he last saw me, when he has been forced from his home and his family, and lives in terror.
And then we have Daddy. I don't know how to feel. On one hand, I've seen glimpses of him (or Him, as Simon has ended up writing it - I'd be very interested to read that book of his) but on the other, I honestly can't tell if I'm in danger. I was returned unharmed. He had me, and yet I'm still alive. Everything about Daddy - or the Slender Man, as it were - is one big question mark.
Whenever I wonder about this, Ms. Fisher's corpse fills my mind. Jagged ribs jutting from her chest like teeth, the hollow cavity like a maw. Her arms blue with the bruises of burst blood vessels, stretched obscenely. Her terrified face. To have endured that and still have room left for terror. The last thing she saw must have been beyond imagining. Like what Gladwell's brother saw. Gladwell's name was Simon too.
But I think of Daddy and I don't see what Simon sees - my Simon, that is. It seems odd that he criticised me for granting Daddy supernatural status, and he has since ascribed him the properties of the vicious, uncaring void of the universe. He's always been rather nihilistic, and I never bought into it.
After all, the void got me. Sucked in by the darkness. And I've returned.