Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Characters: Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Xander Harris, Rupert Giles
Setting: Buffy AU (starting after the S3 finale)
Disclaimer: BtVS, its concepts, and its characters © Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy Productions
Warnings: Implied character deaths. Lots and lots of paranoia fuel. I suggest you not read this in the dark. Seriously, after I finished writing it, and I had to go listen to some aggresively cheerful music for a few hours.
Notes: I’ve never done the ‘diary’ format before. Personally, I don’t think Giles’ voice is quite right (not enough big words, for one), but I rather like how it turned out anyway.
Summary: The file is labeled ‘CONFISCATED’ and it contains twenty excerpts from the Official Watcher Diaries of ex-Watcher Rupert Giles. The file is also labeled ‘DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES READ THIS,’ but you never cared for the rules, did you?
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 1
June 19th, 1999
Following the events of my removal from the Council, I have since stopped keeping official chronicles of the Slayer’s activities, preferring to document the latest news in my personal records. However, the events of today have persuaded me to return to recording everything in the Watcher’s Diaries.
Noticed something was amiss was when the Slayer entered flat this morning, looking extremely unnerved. Asked her what was wrong immediately, and she replied that she thought she’d seen something today and it had, for no particular reason, rather spooked her. Slayer soon made excuses and left when I attempted to press for details. All very odd. Must investigate further.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 2
June 22nd, 1999
Slayer returned to my flat today, looking considerably more uneasy than she had three days earlier. I once again asked her what was wrong.
“You know that thing I told you about? That thing that I thought I saw and that it really, really scared me for some reason but I wouldn’t tell you what it was?”
Informed Slayer that I, indeed, remembered.
“I saw it again.”
When asked once again for details, Slayer appeared reluctant and hastily made excuses. Left soon after. Beginning to get worried.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 3
June 23rd, 1999
Slayer visited flat for the third time, apparently upon the insistence of Willow. While not expecting any real answers, I again asked her what was wrong and, if possible, if she could tell me what she had seen.
“It’s probably nothing. Just something I keep seeing. Except last night I woke up and looked out the window and I saw it again.”
Asked her what was it she saw. Slayer looked reluctant, but continued.
Asked her to elaborate.
“A tall man. Really, really tall. Like nine feet tall, tall. He was really pale, too.”
Slayer looked embarrassed, then added: “He was wearing a suit.”
A suit, I repeated, desperately trying to keep the skepticism from my voice.
Slayer looked offended, as though I were insulting her, and promptly left.
Curious. I will consult my books tonight, though the scant amount of description means that there will be a lot to narrow down before I can investigate further.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 4
June 25th, 1999
Fully anticipated Slayer’s return this morning, though I was sufficiently surprised to see Willow enter my flat instead.
“I’m worried about Buffy.”
Has she told you what she’s been seeing?
“Yeah.” Pause. Continued. “She’s really been freaking out lately, too. She keeps looking out the windows, glancing around her, stuff like that. And yesterday she asked me if there was something behind her, because she said she didn’t want to turn around and check for herself.”
Frowned at this. Slayer has never acted like that before, not even during the events including and following Angel’s transformation back into Angelus (see Watcher Diaries entry – January 21st, 1998) the previous year. Informed Willow that this was not like Buffy at all.
“It’s really not,” Willow agreed. “I’m worried, Giles. She doesn’t want to tell anyone what’s made her like this, either.”
Informed Willow about the incident two days ago. Told her of Buffy’s description.
“A tall man in a suit? That’s what’s freaking her out?”
Told Willow I was just as confused as she was.
“Yeah, that is weird.” Pause. Then, “I should go. I stayed at her house last night, and Buffy doesn’t know I left.”
Asked her why.
“Well, this morning she...she asked me not to leave. She said he couldn’t get her if there was someone with her.”
Asked for elaboration. Specifically, who ‘he’ was.
“Didn’t say. Or...wouldn’t. I’m not really sure which. I really should be getting back to her.”
Agreed with above statement, and Willow left. Starting to grow more worried.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 5
June 26th, 1999
No luck with research. Description is simply too broad. Discovered literally thousands of paranormal entities described as tall, thin men wearing black, some dating as far back as 9000 BC and others being as recent as 1987.
No news from Buffy or Willow. Continuing to get worried.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 6
June 29th, 1999
Ran into Slayer today. Entirely unexpected.
Left flat earlier in the day to head to the magic shop, in hopes of finding some source materials that would narrow down my search for more answers regarding the tall man in the suit Slayer keeps seeing. Nearly passed her at the Espresso Pump, but noticed her at one of the smaller tables. Approached her. Asked if she was doing all right.
“Giles!” Slayer jumped, apparently caught unawares.
Slayer has never been caught unaware before, much less by her own Watcher, who she has repeatedly (and rather smugly) told that she can always hear me whenever I approach her. But now Slayer is visibly shaken, and tries to hide a trembling hand beneath table.
Asked Slayer how she was.
“Fine.” Slayer nods a little too emphatically. “Fine, been doing fine, you know? Just fine.”
Informed her of my failed research regarding the suited man. Slayer looked incredibly nervous at the mention of him.
“You’ve been researching him?” Slayer sounded worried now. Whispered: “Giles, please just drop it. It’s not an issue anymore. I just had one too many sugary mochas that day.”
Asked Slayer why she insisted upon having Willow with her at all times. Slayer looked puzzled until I revealed Willow’s visit and subsequent sharing of information.
“Will told you?” Sigh. Pause. “Look, I don’t know what got into me those past few days. It’s nothing, though, honestly.”
Asked her why she was shaking, then.
Nervous pause. Then, “Caffeine. Like I said, one too many sugary mochas!” Finished with a rather neurotic-sounding laugh that was altogether too loud and too long to be genuine. “But seriously, Giles – don’t research him. He’s just a silly hallucination thingy.”
Agreed not to research him. Visit ended abruptly as Slayer stood and told me she had to go. Left hastily.
Decided against dropping the subject. Continued on to the magic shop, but found no helpful materials there. Returned to flat soon afterwards and began searching resource texts at hand for more detailed descriptions.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 7
July 2nd, 1999
Made important headway in research today. Got an idea from (oddly enough) Xander.
The boy entered flat yesterday and informed me that he, too, was worried about Buffy.
“She hasn’t been returning any of my calls. I talked to Will, and she’s been saying the same thing. It’s like she’s cut herself off. Not like the Buffster at all.”
Agreed with Xander, both verbally and internally. Asked him what he knew.
“She’s been really schizo lately. Asking me if there was something behind her, stuff like that. It’s not like her to be scared of anything. We’re worried about her.”
Asked him if he knew anything about what she was talking about.
“Yeah, kept telling us he was following her. No idea who or what he is, though. She just said it was a tall guy in a suit, like some sort of Slender Man.”
Confused by use of the term ‘Slender Man.’ Asked Xander about it. The boy laughed.
“Oh, c’mon, G-man. Don’t tell me you’ve never even heard of the Slender Man.”
Asked him never to call me that again, then requested elaboration upon the subject.
“He’s just some urban legend. Pretty standard gruesome fairy tale stuff – tall weirdo in a suit, doesn’t have a face, follows people around and drives them off their rocker.”
Entreated him for further clarification.
“He’s been around for a while. People have always told stories about how they sometimes see a real tall guy in a suit from a distance. Sometimes he has grabby tentacle things. But it’s just an urban myth, G-man, really. A fairy tale parents tell their kids. A ‘be good or the boogedy-boogedy Slender Man will come into your room and kidnap you’ type thing.”
Thanked Xander for the information. Have since been researching and only had time to write about the encounter this morning.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 8
July 3rd, 1999
Willow and Xander visisted flat again today (Personal note: remember to lock door; no one ever knocks anymore) and asked about research. Informed them that the myth regarding the Slender Man could have relevance to Buffy’s curious behavior and requested that they help me with research. Accepted additional help gladly.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 9
July 3rd, 1999
Findings have been staggering. So-called Slender Man appears to be the product of several notable demonic figures in the past.
Have not slept since yesterday. Xander and Willow have long since left. No further news from or pertaining to Buffy.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 10
July 4th, 1999
Relevant Past Legends and Characters:
Unnamed figure – found painted on caves in Brazil, paintings dating back to 9000 BC. Figure is tall, thin, and has a child in tow
Thief of the Gods – lower Egypt, hieroglyphic references point to a Trickster-like character with several additional, oddly elongated upper arms, recorded in 3100 BC
Der Ritter (The Knight) – 16th century German myth regarding a skeleton-like creature snatching children from their beds or from parents’ arms
Der Großmann (The Tall Man) – 1702 record of unnaturally slender child-killer, a fairy in the Black Forest; chased children who entered his woods until they died of exhaustion or he caught and disemboweled them
The Tall Man – Romanian legend of unknown time period, regarding a tall, many-limbed man in black who stood and watched a woman slaughter her husband and child
Important Consistent Characteristics
-Subject is unnaturally thin and tall, perhaps seven or eight feet in height
-Subject usually described in having multiple limbs, shaped like black tentacles
-Subject often wears black (in modern days, a suit?)
-Subject is incredibly pale, to the point of being mistaken for a grotesquely disfigured skeleton
-Subject has no face to speak of
-Subject enjoys following and watching (and perhaps kidnapping) children
-Subject appears to induce incredible paranoia
-Subject appears to select a specific target and pursue it relentlessly
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 11
July 6th, 1999
Left flat in search for more recent findings on the so-called Der Großmann. Ran into Slayer once again. (Personal Note: Buffy looks incredibly tired – has she not been sleeping? Have thoughts of some phantom stalker kept her awake at night?)
Buffy appeared to be in a quiet daze, simply standing by the Espresso Pump and looking rather disconnected. Approached her and tapped her on the shoulder.
Slayer punched me in the face.
“Giles! Oh, I’m so sorry!”
Ignored throbbing cheekbone and demanded why the bloody hell she had hit me.
“You just...just scared me, that’s all. I thought you were someone else.”
Asked her if she thought I was the Slender Man. Buffy froze.
The Slender Man, I repeated.
“How did you know?”
Reluctantly told her of my research.
“Giles, I told you to drop it! Now he’ll be looking for you too!”
At this point, Buffy grew incredibly still and panic flooded her face. Asked her what was wrong.
“He’s...” Shaky breath. “He’s behind you.”
Started to turn, upon which Buffy seized my shoulders and pulled me forcefully back around to face her again.
“No!” she hissed. “Don’t look. Don’t look at him. If you see him, he’ll follow you too.”
I hesitated, unwilling to provoke her into a further panic. I then asked her to describe him.
“Tall,” Buffy whispered, voice low and trembling. “Tall, and wearing a suit. He’s got these...tentacle things coming out of his back, and they’re just sort of draped next to him. I...he...he’s staring at me.”
Does he have a face, then?
“Well, no, but if he did, I think he’d be staring at me. He’s just...he’s just standing there, Giles, like he just wants to see what I’ll do next.”
I turned to look again in spite of myself. Buffy jerked me back to face her in response.
“No! Didn’t you hear me? You can’t see him, you shouldn’t see him! You can’t ever look at him!”
I asked if anyone else could see him.
“No. No, I think it’s just me.” Looked me in the eyes. “I’m the only one looking for him.” Pause, then a whisper: “Giles, I’m scared.”
I tried telling her it would be all right, but she would hear none of it.
“It’s not. It’s not anymore.” Slayer shook head sadly. “Giles, you looked for him. You looked for information about him. Now he’ll come for you, too.”
I was just about to ask her to expand on this when Buffy grabbed me again, this time by the arm, and led me down the street.
“Giles, listen,” she muttered as she pulled me down the street, apparently leading me back to my flat. “You can’t keep looking into him. That’s how he finds you. That’s how he knows about me.”
I grew confused at that point, and informed her so.
“I heard about this guy, okay? I heard about some sort of serial killer-type guy who liked kidnapping kids, and when Willow wasn't around, I tried looking him up on her laptop. I read stuff about him, Giles, and now he won’t stop following me.”
What happens when he catches you?
No reply. Then, “Go home, Giles. Go home and get rid of any information you’ve got on him. If you don’t he’ll...” Pause and another tremulous sigh. “He’ll come after you. He’ll keep following you and you’ll see him everywhere. Please, Giles, just leave it.”
I have never seen Buffy be more scared of anything in my life. I now realize that whatever this thing is, I will do my utmost to protect her from it, even if it means endangering myself.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 12
July 10th, 1999
It’s been days since the second incident by the Espresso Pump. I have thus far seen no evidence that the Slender Man actually exists, though Buffy continues to be plagued by nightmares and possible hallucinations of him.
Of course, it is entirely possible that he does exist, and only his chosen targets are able to see him.
Willow told me about some web pages containing information on this Slender Man.
1953, Henderson Horse Farm Incident
Ted Henderson, a man with no history of violence, apparently killed his own wife. His daughter had disappeared. After being subjected to a mental institution, Ted told his doctors of an apparition of a “skinny man” in a suit who apparently seized his daughter and provoked his wife to beg Ted to shoot her and “save her” from the “skinny man.” Not long afterwards, Ted chewed into his own wrist and bled himself to death.
1986, the Stirling City Incident
June 1st, 1986, fourteen children disappeared from a playground, located in Stirling City in California, following the Stirling City Library fire. Several of the children’s bodies were actually recovered, but nearly all were either buried or disemboweled. Several dogs and cats disappeared as well, whose bodies were also found in a similar state of mutilation.
1987, Stirling City (cont’d)
Also in Stirling City, a child named Katrina Elkins apparently vanished, last seen “hugging” a tall man (as testified by her sister, Alice). Alice claimed that this “tall man” had come to their window several times to tap on the glass and beckon for the girls to come out. Alice disappeared soon afterward.
Needless to say, I find these reports extremely disturbing. If my earlier notes are anything to go off of, this Slender Man apparition has been around for an extremely long time.
Is he really a hallucination, created by the paranoid mind, or is he, in fact, a supernatural creature who may predate humanity itself? How long has he been around?
Is the Slender Man real?
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 13
July 13th, 1999
I fear that my incredibly detailed research into this phenomena has made me paranoid as well. I’ve started glimpsing the tall, suited man in my peripheral vision, but when I turn for a better look, these phantoms vanish. I attribute this to far too many days of research without adequate rest.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 14
July 15th, 1999
I am currently in my sitting room as I write this. I just awoke from a particularly unpleasant dream regarding the Slender Man (no doubt a product of my overtired mind), when I was convinced I could see him standing just outside my window, staring at me. Looking back at my earlier entries, I now recall what she said about how he managed to stare without a face. Indeed, I’m beginning to see where that sentiment comes from. However, I must remember that this is merely a product of my imagination, born from too many late nights spent researching this rather fearsome creature.
I’m just tired, that’s all.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 15
July 16th, 1999
Buffy has vanished.
Joyce Summers called today to tell me that Buffy was not in her room this morning and there was no indication that she had planned to leave – no packed bags, no missing clothes, no sign of a struggle, and no note. She wanted to know if I knew anything about where she’d gone. I immediately drove over to speak with her. Joyce apparently noticed Buffy's change in behavior, including her increased paranoia and reluctance to be left alone, but Buffy evidently refused to tell her what was bothering her.
What’s more, I saw him again. He was standing just next to Buffy’s house. I glimpsed him as I left, but when I turned to look again, he was gone.
Buffy’s disappearance has apparently driven me to hallucinating as well. I must find her.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 16
July 17th, 1999
No news from Willow or Xander. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard from them for a while. Can’t think of where they’ve gone. I would visit, but I think it would be safer to stay in my flat for the time being.
I must keep myself safe from this thing preying on my mind. Except that it’s not real. It’s not. It can’t be. It may have taken Buffy, and I just need to find it and kill it.
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 17
July 20th, 1999
It’s not real. It’s not real. It’s not real it’s not real it’s not real its not real its not real itsnot real its not real itsnotreal its not real itsnot
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 18
No date given
I’m sorry Buffy. I didn’t keep you safe. I can’t keep myself safe.
He’s after me too. I can see him no matter where I look watching me like hes expecting me to do something but I dont know what he wants what does he want?
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 19
No date given
He must have taken xander and willow too. Its the only explanation. Im the last one left and now hes coming after me too he wants me to pay for finding out about him he wants me to die because I know what he is and what he does and
hes standing right behind me
hes behind me I know he is
I cant look. I cant turn around because then hell know I can see him I cant look he knows he knows I know but I cant look or hell take me
The Watcher Diaries – Excerpt 20
No date given
BURN THESE JOURNALS
THEY ARE NOT SAFE
THEY ARE EVIDENCE
THEY ARE INFORMATION ON THE PALE MAN
AND HE KILLS EVERYONE WHO KNOWS ABOUT HIM
IF YOU HAVE
READ THESE HE IS
SEE HIM MORE
BEFORE HE TAKES YOU –
HE NEVER FINDS
I found all information regarding the Slender Man and the past records of him at: http://slenderman.wikidot.com/slender-ma