I was wrong. There's no other way to say this. I was wrong in the worst way possible. Applying logic and reason to this was a mistake. I know that now. I know why Sam was so afraid, and why he was torn apart and why that girl was insane and why all those people were so scared.
I found the answer online, but I didn't want to believe it. I'm still not completely convinced I haven't just gone insane, or been drugged or something. But it all fits. I don't feel mad, it's all so rational, if you can ignore the monster aspect.
Ⓧ is the sign of the Slender Man. Sam had been running from him for... a while. He was a blogger-I'm discovering that there are many blogs written by those chased by or working for him. I knew he had a blog, but this explains why he didn't want me to see it. Apparently the easiest way to draw the monster's attention is to learn about him. Even knowing his title is dangerous. Or, in my case, knowing his symbol and getting too close to someone who knew more.
Sam was always so scared of telling me even the slightest bit of his recent past, moreso than seemed reasonable to be scared of an organization. He always said it was too dangerous for me to know. Now I know why.
His death, as well, fits perfectly. The stories say that the Slender Man likes to tear people apart and leave the remains in trash bags. Normally those bags end up in trees, but I guess here in the City there's a bit of a shortage of trees isolated enough for that purpose.
From what I've read, the Slender Man uses people he's driven mad to torment those he's stalking. Which would explain my stalker and the woman in the mask.
And the reason I'm so sure of all of this? I saw him.
I saw the monster late last night, on a train.
I was on a flatbed for the night, huddled up among some boxes for warmth. I thought I'd fallen asleep at first, because seeing him I knew that he didn't quite belong in this world. There's an off quality about him that is hard to describe.
The first thing I realized was that I'd seen him before. A 'tall guy in a suit', I believe I've described him in the past. The night I got mugged, he was there. And in the warehouse where Sam died. Both times I was out of it enough to be able to convince myself that I'd imagined how unsettling he was. After all, a man in a suit is nothing unusual in the City.
But this time I couldn't delude myself into disbelieving. He was a little bit too tall, and his arms were too long. I couldn't see his hands at all, and as much as I wanted to believe it was just the dark night and his dark skin, I couldn't see his face because he didn't have one.
He stood there watching me for few nerve wracking minutes where I didn't dare look away or try to move for fear of what he'd do. Rightly so, as it turns out, because when I did glance away to try to find an escape route, he appeared right in front of me, with too many arms all reaching out to grab me.
His touch hurt so badly I passed out, and then I woke up in some random town, with burns on my arms where he touched me and with no idea where I was or how I'd gotten there. There is no train yard here, so I'm going to have to walk down a highway and hope I can find a town with more prospects. I've been getting too many weird looks here in this tiny little lily white town.