The Vampyre of Time and Memory
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This is an incomplete excerpt from the life of the author of this tale series. All of the following has been pulled from her diary, and edited and kept to relevant excerpts for readability and entertainment purposes. We'll call her Sunset.

Hello!

By all accounts, writing this story was nothing less than a miracle.





November 23, 2017


American Thanksgiving. At least no one is talking politics. The nieces are loud and bubbly, the food is pretty good (her oldest niece, 12, ended up making the best dish anyway), and because it was at her Vovó1's apartment, it was a good way to get away from home. The less loneliness, the better.

"All done." Sunset clapped her hands together. "Can I go to the bathroom?" Although Vovó was busy talking with her daughter and other granddaughters, she smiled and nodded at Sunset.

The bathroom in the community dining hall was locked for minor renovations, so a trip had to be made to Vovó's place. It wouldn't be long anyway; about a minute to and back, with about 30 seconds to wash her hands. Still, even a 20-second delay was enough to get consumed in her own thoughts and worries.

As she continued walking into the atmosphere, thoughts came to a head. A decision had to be made sooner or later. Whether to continue forcing on at Thanksgiving, or run away, or lie down and accept fate, or try and pretend those shapes are more than just aggravating squares and circles and rectangles, or retreat in the corner and poke away at the phone, or…

Or…

Hmm.

Sunset washed her hands, recognizing the lady in the mirror as someone else from this time, a being unfortunate enough to have to return to her family. Not her though. She is well-off, able to make choices, while her choices are… hmm. Train of thought?

As she dragged herself towards somewhere, she passed by her grandparents' room, where she saw it. An axe murderer standing on the other side of the bed, no face visible. She tilted her head to the side. No response.

She waved.

It waved back.

She shrugged and left. And before she knew it —

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!"

Down Sunset came immediately. Her hand was on the exit of the complex. This was no time for whatever she was doing right then and there, she had to check on her nieces because it sounded like them, like they were in trouble. Off she ran and went back to the dining hall.

They were just chasing each other. Ah, youth.


Later that night, she called her grandparents to see if they were okay. They were.





November 24, 2017


psulpsul had gotten back to Sunset about critique for the first tale. Now she could be able to use it for a future one. At least everything was going smoothly as far as the series was concerned.

I still felt weird about it though. "Hey, how can I specifically tailor my work to best suit your specific tastes and needs?" was a thing I almost literally sent. I had to couch it instead. As if it was no biggie.

"i post new tales in the series every monday and thursday, hopefully the others are more suited to your personal inclinations!"

It didn't even occur to me otherwise; why write if no one likes it? I mean, so what if this was my saving grace and my own personal Hail Mary; watering it down isn't that big of a deal right? So I waited, anxious to hear back. What else is self-worth but based on the esteem of others?

I remember at some point passing out at the computer and waking up to a new Wikidot message from him.

"No need to hope for that! Much better to have them suited to *your* inclinations and your purpose, rather than worrying about what one person on the internet thinks."

Admittedly pretty simple advice, but simple advice is enough in this kind of time.





November 25, 2017


homeiswherethehauntis.png

Sanctuary is just outside the home.

Sunset went outside to smoke cigarettes and contemplate her next moves in the windy, nighttime weather of New England. It was pretty recent that she finally ran out of the weed she had been saving, and with no real date to get some next2, she felt like she had to smoke something. It's been years since she had a cigarette, it couldn't have been as gross and garbage as she remembered, right?

After frustration and no cooperation from the wind, she finally got light up the cig and take a drag on —

cough cough

"FUCK, this sucks." It was exactly as bad as she remembered. So much for that plan. "Whatever. Let's see." She took out a notepad she had with her, listing the details of all the money she had recently, and locations with which to move to. There wasn't any real hope; lots of guessing and Maybes, plenty of chances for 'No, sorry'. Oh, how that story and song always went.

Every day, the list of places shrank hopelessly shorter and shorter, and the number of people that can be reached out to feels like it slips away even faster. She started biting





November 26, 2017


into her fingernails, then her fingers, and there she went.

The next thing she remembered was lying on her bed. Well, it was her, but she saw herself do so. Oh, how she wished she could reach out and touch her arm, tell her "It'll be okay, please persevere."

"It'll be fine. Please calm down!" The stuffed animal to the right of her, the pink-and-white dog, laid a paw on her and nodded. "Just get yourself through the night. It's okay."

"isitreally" she mumbled into her chewed nails.

"You can only do so much. Why try to take on more than you can handle, you silly thing?"

"i guess"

She curled inwards and closed her eyes.

“Do you want anything to eat? Any water?”

“no imgood”

Sleep arrived surprisingly easy.


Afternoon came. It was at the moment where Sunset stumbled out of bed, trawling the refrigerator for lunch leftovers, that she came to a decision; these excerpts from the diary of hers would be the part you are reading right now.

I guess it's important to note that by this point, 95% of my free time was now being spent working on this series. What defines free time? An excellent question, reader.

Several of the things I do are… well, hobbies, but I hone my craft on them to try and make myself able to use said craft for cash. A lot of my time is spent doing that, if I'm not actually too depressed by my situation, that is. Aside from that, I try to fill out at least one to two job applications a week for various places to take me on. It’ll have been almost three years since I’ve done this process, but hey, something’s gotta give eventually.

5% of my free time is spent playing video games and watching various shows and movies that seem the least bit interesting. Entertainment is important, after all. All work and no play, etc.

As for the rest, it’s a constant stream of writing and editing. Agonizing over whether the story is too personal, not personal enough, too surreal, not surreal enough, if the meanings of all the bits and pieces stuck in there make sense and if the purposefully nonsensical is just fine enough flavor otherwise. I hear it’s a tough job to edit stories.

Refresh.

Refresh.

Refresh.

Refresh?

Well, someone’s surely gotta read it at some point.





November 28, 2017


On IRC, friends were discussing producing art and content. Sunset didn't remember much about it (I think I zoned out a lot), but someone3 brought up how they felt that maybe the suffering would be worth the art being put out.

I didn't know how to tell them otherwise. But I'm sure they already knew that.





November 29, 2017


A funny thing about passport changes; if you want to change your name and gender on it, the process absolutely feels a lot more involved and a burden than just changing the name, or even just renewing it. Her mom had to help her out through the process, and yet it would still involve weeks waiting for a new passport to come so Sunset could finally feel like a real person in the eyes of the government again. At least being gay and trans in her part of the United States wasn't as bad as other parts; just only moderately unbearable.





November 30, 2017


Sunset and her therapist got to talk about a number of subjects in only an hour, a rare accomplishment. Her past relationships, future relationship prospects, mental health, suicidal ideation, manga, the works of Hirohiko Araki, and new possible new medicine. There's only so much you can cover in an hour, but there was something that stuck out most to her. It was hard to keep track of the dialogue exactly as it happened, but it echoed previous sessions.

"Do you believe you feel justified in your paranoia all the time?"

It was tricky. Intellectually, paranoia isn't always or even most often justified. People can believe so just because of past betrayals, or delusions, etc.. But then again… isn't it better to trust your instincts? What if you're wrong to not trust in it, and the one time you don't, you really will get murdered? The government really will try to silence you in the mid of night.

Sunset didn't know how to respond, so it was something to sit on for the next week or two and see if there was a way to answer.

"But try to answer honestly, or else you'll just be feeding into the same feedback cycle." Her therapist didn't say that, but it was certainly implied.

On the way back home, she revised a scene from the tale to be posted that night. After Draven got the manila envelope from his father's desk, he would have then gone to call Dr. Simon Glass, asked if he thought Talloran would be okay. He'd then call Hikari Yamada to have her promise him that Talloran would be taken care of if he wasn't around.

But it felt condescending; it echoed doubts and feelings of previous friendships and relationships, the distrust of friends and partners, the paranoia of what will happen to you and your loved one… it just wasn't fair to write something so happy and nice in that moment as something to be filled with doubt and sadness, as all gay relationships are inevitably supposed to be in the eyes of media. Why can't they just be happy? Even with the oxymoron of a series of Talloran facing the worst and [REDACTED]4, it was still possible for them to be content with Draven and in love.

So the scene was changed. Draven would just simply climb back into bed with Talloran and fall asleep with them, feeling nice and content. At the very least, safe in that moment. To trust and to feel safe in the arms of someone you care of, in any sense, is perhaps one of the best feelings in the world. This would do.


Dinner was Mac and Cheese. Gross. It'd do.


The word processing program was open, and Sunset stared at it for a couple hours, watching the cursor blink in and out. Some voice nagged in her head, and she only became aware of it after it continued to nag and nag. Ah well. Sleeping might be more productive.





December 1, 2017


Tomorrow's a brand new day, after all.


There's no good way to end this story. No matter which excerpt I end with, how long I go (even up to today), there's nothing satisfying. Of course there isn't; life doesn't have story arcs that end on a satisfying note. This won't end on a satisfying note. But if my life feels enough like fiction, I may as well give the illusion of something, right?

(And as for whether or not this is an intentional allusion/mirror of the note at the end of 3999? Yes. Thank you.)

One of the discussions I had with people before about storytelling and presenting narratives led me to be cautious of how much you can bare your heart. I always write from the heart. It's a weakness of mine. For me, it's incredibly difficult to write a story from something with which I have no personal experience because I feel there's nothing for me to put my own personal stake in, nothing to draw inspiration from. And if the writing doesn't contain any semblance of my own emotion and underlying expression, then who am I writing for? A distilled, focus-tested audience, certainly.

When I first started this series, it was completely on a whim. The day I posted the first tale, I could not sleep. Bad memories, bad thoughts, and bad trauma plagued my head, and I was convinced I was being watched purely for amusement. Camera in the carpets, sensors on the walls, all showing exactly how miserable I felt. Unable to sleep, not even for me to be able to slip into nightmares. If you've read between the lines in this series and understand its relation to the metaphors and personal expression brought forth, then I don't need to go further. You already get it.

Luckily, I had some semblance of self left to exert will over, with what little energy I had as I laid on the floor in a daze. What was I going to do? I was lost and confused. I needed some way to express how I felt. So I went to my computer and wrote. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote, spewing out the story beats that came to my head, and realized Talloran spoke through me. It's my belief that characters aren't something authors write; they already exist, and we just bring them out through writing and through creative endeavors. So when I wrote, Talloran told me their story. And then I realized there was more to the story than I could tell in that moment. So I quickly edited previous details, and slapped navigation links in the bottom, not knowing what would come next.

I had to keep writing, after all. There had to be something to work towards, or else I'd keep feeling lost and directionless, and Talloran's story wouldn't have been able to be fully told to its completion. I sat on it for a day, not knowing what to do next. And during a nap that day, in my dream, Talloran came to me and I heard it all. Every single story detail that I could remember after waking up, I sat down to write and I planned ahead. Oh, there was so much to learn how to do.

I experienced Wikidot coding. I learned how playwriting worked. I hungered for the science behind dreams. I browsed through Wikipedia articles on heart conditions. I endeavored to better myself by absorbing literature and understanding how others wrote. I practiced. I verb. I verb. I verb.

I.

There were two things I did not know how to approach. It was impossible to tell what would have happened to Talloran in the fifth part of the story, for them to become stuck in an endless falling void. And I didn't know what to do for the sixth part. My original idea was more flashbacks, but flashbacks can only tell so much and advance the story in so many ways before they become trite, just like how you can only suffer so much before it becomes one more thing to suffer through. I thought through a lot of this, after all. I verb.

Eventually, this was settled on, after another IRC discussion about being emotional and barehearted in stories. And even writing this went through about twenty revisions. SCP-3999 has impacted the site and chat in so many ways, many of them positive. A lot of people have connected with it, but it's more than a story about LordStonefishLordStonefish and Researcher James Talloran5. It's about… well. I can't tell you what it's about for you. All that matters is what it means for me. Really, if this wasn't about me in some sense, why even bother? Writing should be for the self, and my writing is for me alone. I just share this privilege with others when I feel proud of myself for it.

Detractors could make a case for this being a call for help, but it's not. Right now, I feel pretty stabilized and okay with my current psyche. Or that I'm doing this for attention. Well yeah. If I wasn't writing for attention, I wouldn't be posting it on the site. Maybe I'm too emotional. Sure. Or being too personal.

You thought a sidebar in an SCP about the author was too meta? I'm smashing the walls between the author and reader, because when it comes to form, sometimes you have to test how far you can break lines before progress can be made. So I'm paving the way for myself, because that's all that matters; my progress. Here's a whole tale about me, because you can't understand Talloran (in this setting anyway) without understanding the author, and you can't understand the narrative without understanding the influence behind it. It's the only correct way to do it, and I don't half-ass anything I put my heart into.

I guess so, anyway.





December 6, 2017


She feels like she can pull through.


Now that we're all caught up on the important and relevant information, why don't we check in on Researcher Talloran and see how they're doing. I think we've earned some reprieve from ourselves for now, don't you?




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