(Note: don’t take any of this stuff too seriously. I’m just working out ideas.)
The young monk sat alone on the veranda facing the dark chaos.
His body was covered in scars, healed slashes across his arms, back and legs which he would carry the rest of his days. Memories of how he had gotten here, to what was called the Monastery, but was really a fancy, fortified outpost on the edge of reality.
Many of the people here had some bizarre story of how they got here, or how their ancestor had gotten here. How the predator in Jordan’s case had pierced the bubble was just a guess, but based on all Jordan had learned in his time at the Monastery, his best guess is it was some recursive digital image that unwittingly opened a hall way to the other side of the bubble where they prowl and crawl the walls of the world looking for slits and gashes in. People and their insipid obsession with snapping pictures of every single damn moment of the their life. Sooner or later you were bound to create a recursive snag and then you were screwed. Might as well just stand in between two mirrors and wait for one of the Things to come slithing down the recursive hallway. At least that way is faster and you’re less likely to cause collateral damage.
The predator responsible for Jordan’s scars hadn’t been one of the mindless things or the simple hunters, it was an actual Slenderman. They had not just intelligence, but purpose. Even though they developed twisted, lovestruck, sadomasochistic obsessions with their tasked prey as they slowly watched and wriggled their way into reality, they never lost control of themselves. They always fulfilled their duty.
Jordan didn’t like to discuss exactly what had happened, how the Encounter went down and he certainly wasn’t proud of how he handled it, but even with a body full of scars and no hope of ever seeing home again, he was still alive.
Monastery life was pleasant enough. He had never been particularly religious, and was a little shocked to learn the truth about the Gnosis. Life was ordered here. There was a job to do and everyone had their duties. The building was grand and lavish, like some estate of old Europe, and the monks of all genders went about their days with pleasant focus. There was no rule against sex, indeed offspring were needed to replenish their numbers, as long as focus on the Great Task never strayed.
Jordan had solid writing abilities, would have perhaps tried to be an author had his initial life been allowed to take its course. So it was clear where his talents lay here. He was immediately enrolled in the Languages Program, studying languages, phonics, syntax and Prayer Creation. His eventual specialty would be working with Germanic root languages. One day, when he had mastered the art and apprenticed long enough, he would create prayers to be snuck back into the world, tailored for various denominations and nationalities. .
It wasn’t enough.
Yes, it was important. He understood the why’s. But… it wasn’t enough. Why spend all this time and all these lives trying to just hang on to the old, original solution? If one solution had been found, and under far worse circumstance, wasn’t it long past time to enact another? Something with a bit more… balls.
He tried to keep his angry countenance in check. But he despised being a victim. Suggesting anyone should be a victim or find any sort of contentment in it.
The nightmare of your nightmare… should be you.
One day, it would. It most certainly would.
He liked to come out to the veranda and watch the dark chaos. It was… comforting. Like something terrible he remembered almost fondly. He envied the Wanderers for their excursions into it, despite the high mortality and insanity rate. Standing here made him feel less trapped. Made him feel relief that he had a choice. That he would be content if needed, to one day leap across the edge into the dark chaos and ride it to the other side, where the wretched things perhaps came from, to a terrible, terrible land that he never the less almost felt was like home.