It spooks me out, to be honest. What's it supposed to signify? Why me? Why my chest? Why the number one? Why did The Slender Man throw us into the light in the first place? What does he want?
All questions. That's all I ever find, is more damn questions. When am I going to get a break and actually find out something new about my enemies?
There is some good news to report, I guess. We, The 757, have all met our personalized Lonely Hearts Agents now. Provided by TOM (The Old Man). He drove us to the meeting place, actually.
He somehow managed to get the entire 757, excepting Luca and Mason (Mason was busy), to meet at his house. In the living room, the Lonely Hearts Agents waited.
Sitting on the couch, were two of the agents. Tom introduced the pair as Holly and Dan.
Holly was a blonde, young adult; at least twenty two or so. She was very attractive, and had a soft, cute look in her eyes. She looked as if she was a caring individual. She gave us a terse "How do you do?", and then looked beside her, to Dan.
Dan looked a bit older than Holly. He had a rough look on his face, and looked very tough as well. His eyes had a piercing gaze, which almost felt threatening. Despite the look, he had his left arm around Holly, and appeared quite comfortable. He mouthed "Sup", and then quickly looked away.
Uneasy, I tried avoiding eye contact with him, and looked upon the next agent.
Agent Vera: Beautiful, foreign redhead. She did not state where she was from anytime during the visit, but it was fairly obvious, because of the heavy Irish accent. She had an investigative look in her eyes. She almost seemed to be one of those "No fun and games" types. She wasn't exactly that though. She smirked a little approving when I looked at her, almost flirtatiously, even. She introduced herself, and even shook my hand.
On the wall next to the two couches, were 2 agents. The first one was some guy by the name Sane or something. I dunno, he didn't really talk to us much. He looked a bit nervous, and kept glancing at his phone every few seconds. He didn't want to be here.
And then,...Agent Lucas. The hipster of the group. He wore a purple scarf, brownish thickrimmed glasses, some ironic T-Shirt, and a plaid, unzipped hoodie. He was listening to some loud, obscure music on his clunky headphones, and pretty much hardly noticed us standing there. By the time he finally noticed us there, TOM had already moved on and started talking to us.
"My real name is Norman Rivers. I am a distant relative of Peter Rivers, though we do not share the same blood, nor am I particularly close to him anyway. I am sorry for going so long without revealing my actual identity to any of you children, but you have got to understand that I was under orders. I have been stationed here since the late Seventies, when The Dying Man first started appearing on our grids."
He just let that sink in. He was going to start speaking again, but Markus interrupted him.
"So wait...Grey really isn't the only thing you have to deal with? There really are other things out there..?"
He shook his head.
"No. Grey, however, is the first prominent personality we've ever had to deal with. He seems to be...well, I'll have to explain first. Do you know that old rhyme...Humpty Dumpty? Where the egg falls to the ground, and the townspeople have to put him back together again? Imagine that The Dying Man used to be the egg, but has now broken into tiny pieces. He's still The Dying Man, but he's been ultimately separated, and-"
"-and we're the King's Horses, and the King's men?" Andrew said.
"...Yes...you're Andrew, right?" Norman asked.
"Ummm...no reason...just wanted to become familiar with faces....and names..." Norman replied.
I noticed a mysterious look in Norman's face....
I decided I had to ask him later if he was the man in the old documents I acquired a bit in Notes 3 (Part 2).
"I'm saying that Grey is more powerful piece...a stronger collective of pieces that we thought were destroyed a hundred years ago. But he's back, due to a certain boy's interference..."
Everyone looked at me...
"What?" I said.
"This is all your fault, Owen. Not trying to make you feel bad, but that's the truth. Go on, tell everyone how you really found the pocketwatch...."
I realized then that he knew.
I stole that fucking watch.
One day, while walking near Scotts Creek in March, which is a body of water a block away from my old house, I spotted a car the sixth time that week. It had been abandoned, and seemed to be completely empty. I had the sudden urge to look inside of it, so I did, and saw the pocketwatch on the dashboard.
I snatched it up, and left.
"Owen, if the pocketwatch had never made contact with your skin, Grey wouldn't have ever reawakened inside of your blood, inside of your body."
I fucked up bad, apparently.
All of my friends just looked upon me with scorn, except Steven. Steven had already known about this.
"Don't feel too bad about it now, though, Owen. It's too late for that now. We just have to focus on cleaning this mess up. Besides, Grey would have awakened again eventually. I'm just glad it's now, when I'm alive. Now, boys, we have to start planning an assualt on Grey. I am wishing for it to happen in a month, but I need your help. Grey's hold on specific areas is still strong. What I need you to do, is for you to just go explore anywhere and everywhere you can throughout the city."
"What good would that do? Just walking randomly to places? The fuck?" Markus commented.
"Yeah, I agree. There's no way I'm walking my lazyass around places for no reasons." Keil added, in his usual smartass tone.
"Rest in peace, friends, it works. Trust me. Just have faith in me. I cannot tell you why, or how, it works, but trust me when I say that it works, because it works. Now, Owen; have you taught everyone here the art of meditation, correct?"
"No, sir. I haven't perfected it yet, either. I haven't tried it since what happened last time, actually." I said.
"Ahhh, I see. Well. I want you to start practicing again, ASAP. And teach them too. This is important. Now, you've all got a month or so left until we make our final move against Grey. Be ready. Start training. I know that most of you don't really have any obligation to be here, to help, and maybe you are considering leaving this...but you can't. You know it. You're all tied together now, for better or for worse. You can either all stick together and fight, or run away and perish silently. I suggest you choose the former."
Norman stole a look at Andrew, and then left for some room elsewhere in the house.
With his departure, we awkwardly conversed with our respective bodyguards.
My specified bodyguard would be Vera (yayyyy <___<). Markus and Patrick would have Dan covering for them, while Steven and Mason got Sane. Keil and Holly were paired up and Lucas was with Andrew.
Not all of us got along with our partners. Markus and Patrick seemed to be pretty chill with Dan, and Keil and Holly were okay, but Andrew and Steven didn't really connect very well with their respective partners. Lucas barely paid Andrew any mind, and Andrew barely spoke to Lucas anyways. Sane was too aloof for Steven, and Steven was too shy to prolong any conversation with him.
I got along very well with Vera. Conversation didn't feel forced at all. I think she's a pretty cool lady. And a cool pretty lady. <__< What, don't blame me. Blame hormones....she's quite the looker, if you ask me.
But she can be pretty hard to understand at times, I have to admit. Still, the accent is nice.
About half an hour later, Norman returns, with Luca's sister Katie by his side. Norman says Katie wants to say hello to all the "big kids" really quick. She runs over and jumps into the conversations. The room had a tiny amount of awkwardness in the conversation before, but that was all erased with her appearance. She was just such a funny, cute girl. I didn't get to see much of her, though.
Grey interfered with that. I asked for the bathroom, someone pointed it out, and I ran in, and almost vomited all over the floor. I clutched at the toilet seat as I heaved seemingly my entire gut out. Grey fucked with my head, and made it seem like I was vomiting up blood, ash, magma, and fire.
It was only some grey liquid, which scared me more than the things he was making me see.
I was vomiting up ectoplasm, the material that supposedly shows up when a spirit is materializing nearby.
Grey was outside of the house. He could not enter it, and no one was in any danger at this point, but goddamn, just knowing that he was there...
I wasn't scared. But I tried to act like it. I just wanted to be scared, so badly. I should have been scared. But Sowing Season has fucked up everything. I felt so numb. I looked into the mirror, and Grey made my face look as if it was falling apart. I didn't scream, and I didn't cry.
I started to pick at my face, so that in the mirror it looked as if I was pulling my own face apart.
The illusion stopped at that point, and the feelings of pseudo peril ceased.
I had left the bathroom door ajar, and Norman was there, back facing me.
"Owen, was that another attack from Grey?"
"Okay. Remember, you need to tell me whenever you have one of those. Those are important indicators in tracking down Grey...is he outside of the house right now?"
"Yes, though I think he's leaving now. Are you going to send the Agents after him...?"
"No. Too risky. He's probably entered the forest out back. No...I wouldn't want to send them into that. He'd pick them off, one by one."
I stumble out of the bathroom, and almost fall, but the hallway's wall catches me. Norman offers me a hand, and I take it.
"You okay? Holly's a nurse, if you want, she ca-"
"No, no, it's fine. I'm fine..."
"Alright. By the way, Owen, I know about Luca joining The 757."
I freeze up. Is he mad?
"I am fine with it. He can't fight destiny. I don't really approve it, but I'm not going to stop it either. If I had a choice, though, he would not be allowed anywhere near you or your friends. No offense. Just be sure to take care of him. That child is my life. I trust you and Steven will do that too; you two are strong.
The meeting ended at around 6, I believe. I'm home now. Tried meditating...couldn't do it. I know I need to. I promise, I'll try to. It's vital to Grey's defeat.