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Dear Leader, For You've Been Here The Longest

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The Universe seemed to hate Dwight Fairfield, and Dwight started to hate it right back.

 

 

Dwight's life had been relatively boring before getting sucked into The Entity. He worked a slow job at the local newspaper, where he edited stories that most likely got pushed to the back of the paper where nobody read his work, and as a pizza delivery service as a late-night driver. He made ends meet, living in a small one-room apartment where his dirty laundry and water bottles littered his furniture. It wasn't that Dwight enjoyed living in squalor, but working two jobs tirelessly made it difficult for him to find the energy or willpower to keep his home clean. Not that he had anybody to impress with it anyway, he hadn't had any romantic partner in god knows how long now. 

 

 

When he went out with his boss and some co-workers from his day job, he could feel something wasn't right. It felt like someone was looking into the back of his head, but when he turned around, he was only met with the cold and dark outlines of the trees in the surrounding forest. He would claim his unease was due to the moonshine they were all having. Too bad Dwight wasn't much of a drinker. 

 

 

One by one his co-workers started to leave the gathering and head up to the clearing where their cars were parked. Dwight was one of the last ones to leave but seemed to have gotten lost on his trip up to his car. The trees all looked the same to him, but he could've sworn they came from this direction. And that feeling. That gruesome, horrid feeling of eyes digging into every inch of his skin only got worse the further he walked the trail. But soon the walking turned into running as he swatted his way through thick branches and leaves, and the running turned into a full-blown sprint towards the supposed direction of his car, but instead of finding his old beat-up car, he slipped on the mud beneath his feet and collided with the ground below him. Well, there goes his nice white shirt. As he pushed himself off the ground to begin his sprint once more, he found himself shielding his eyes from a bright light. At first, he thought it was the headlights to his car, and he had finally gotten out of woods. Instead, as his eyes adjusted to the light, he realized he wasn't faced with the front of his car, but instead of the crackling of a campfire. There were some logs scattered around, probably there from others who used the spot. But as Dwight yelled into the darkness of the forest surrounding him, he realized that there was nobody around to tend to the fire. It was just him, alone with his thoughts. 

 

 

Dwight had tried many times to escape the foggy depths of the forest, but no matter which direction he ran in, no matter what time (though his passage of time was warped as soon as he was dragged into The Entity) he was always swallowed back into The Entity and spit back out at the campsite. After a few... was it days? Weeks? He couldn't tell, but after a while, he eventually gave up and resigned himself to sitting on one of the wooden logs and listen to the never-ending roar of the fire. 

 

 

He was only the first to be dragged into The Entity. He knew more about it than anyone, and while he was still alone, he spent every waking moment he had studying it, how it behaved, how far he could push it. But eventually, he was no longer alone, as a young girl came jogging towards the camp.  

 

 

Meg was the second survivor to join him at the campsite, and he told her everything he knew about where they were and why they were there. The more people that came along, the less alone and terrified he felt. That was until the trials started, of course. 

 

 

Trials, like the one he was in now. Nea had just been hooked by the bulky man they all called The Trapper. The guy was huge, most definitely a foot taller than Dwight and much wider, though Dwight knew the taller man was much more muscle while Dwight was... not as fortunate. Dwight was crouched behind a tree with Feng beside him, while Bill was opening the exit gate behind them. They needed to at least try and save Nea, but they both knew that traps were hidden in the tall grass and in front of the pallets that normally provided a sanctuary for the survivors at The MacMillian Estate. Feng gave Dwight a look he had been given far too many times, but once again nodded in agreement. He would be the bait.

 

 

Dwight ran in the general direction of Nea on the hook, who was shouting at him to be mindful of the traps leading up to her hanging body. Dwight was all too aware, and when he saw the glistening of the metal bear trap just a short distance away from her hook, he didn't take a second to hesitate as he put his full body weight inside the bear trap, causing it to snap over his thin leg. Dwight yelled in agony- no matter how many times he had been in this situation, with a bear trap destroying his leg, it still hurt just as bad as the first time. The Trapper had shifted his attention to the trapped Dwight, who was curled in a ball, trying to pry the trap away from his leg, though he knew it was no use. While the burly killer was distracted, Feng gently pulled Nea off the hook and the two ran to the now opened Exit Gates. The three survivors shared a sad glance with the ensnared man, but he gave them a wave, putting a weak smile on his face despite the roaring pain in his leg. The three knew better than to save him, not while every pallet and patch of grass had a trap with their names on it. They took one more moment to look at the soon-to-be hooked survivor before turning and running out the door, leaving him behind once again. It no longer surprised him anymore, he had grown accustomed to the left for dead treatment, as he was the oldest there and knew these killers better than anyone.

 

 

Speaking of killers. The Trapper tilted his head at the trapped Dwight, and while the man couldn't exactly tell what the killer was feeling, the head tilt and lack of enthusiasm to pick him up made Dwight think the killer was confused. Confused on why he was left behind? That much was obvious- he wanted to save his friends. If any killer knew that, it would be The Trapper. The two had been there longer than anyone else. The others joked about how there was always a standoff between Dwight and The Trapper whenever they were in the same trial, and it was moments like now where Dwight understood where they were coming from. This time, he just happened to lose. He'd accepted his fate as a dead man on a hook, yet again sacrificed to the hungry entity. Or maybe the masked killer wanted to kill him personally? Either way, he knew he was doomed, and just braced himself for it. 

 

 

The Trapper seemed to have no trouble hauling Dwight over his shoulder and carrying him across the map. Dwight found no use in struggling, there were several hooks the killer could have made it to before he would have the slightest chance of wiggling out of his arms. He was small, almost petite, and fragile in The Trapper's strong arms. Not fragile enough, he was afraid, as he was dragged to another hook. Another loss. Another shoulder wound for Claudette to heal. But Dwight quickly snapped his head up as he noticed they walked right past a hook. And then another. Was the man intentionally avoiding the hooks? Maybe he wanted a basement hook to appease The Entity. But the basement was in the killer's shack, and they had passed that long before starting this little journey. Where were they headed?

 

 

It never crossed Dwight's mind that The Trapper may be trying to spare him until he heard the familiar hum of the hatch in the distance. The noise turned into a wail, a cry for the lone survivor to find it and escape. Dwight still didn't bother to struggle when he saw it, and he was rewarded by The Trapper gently setting him on the ground next to the hatch. As if he were delicate enough to break if he had tossed him on the ground. As if the bear trap earlier didn't leave his leg in shambles. Not that he was paying attention to that now, all of his focus was shifted to the taller man who loomed above him. Dwight struggled to catch his breath, let alone speak. It took him a moment. 

 

 

"You're... Y-You, want... me, to... to escape..?" His words came out choked and blood dribbled down the corner of his mouth, staining his normally soft lips a cherry red. The Trapper said nothing in reply, only nodding and gesturing towards the hatch. His brain finally caught up to the situation.

 

 

The Trapper was showing him mercy.

 

 

In all of Dwight's time in The Entity, never did a killer let one of their victims go free. All of their escapes were earned, never handed to them on a silver platter like this. But Dwight noticed the way The Trapper held him so carefully in his large arms, and how he gently set him down as to not agitate his leg further. How his little head tilts and twitches of his fingers held no malicious intent anymore as he studied Dwight, still sprawled on the ground where the man had left him. Maybe, deep down, there was a human inside that killer. But Dwight didn't want to stick around long to find out.

 

 

Mustering all the strength he could find, he crawled over to the opened door of the hatch. Its sweet lullaby drew him in, but he knew he couldn't just end the encounter like that. Before he let his body slip into the darkness, he turned his head towards the killer, who was still analyzing him from a few feet away.

 

 

"Thank you." It came out a hoarse whimper rather than loud, coherent words, but given the way The Trapper's head nodded ever so slightly told Dwight, he heard him loud and clear. Without hesitation, he allowed himself to slip into the hatch. He felt his body fall, turning in the abyss that was the hatch delivering him back to his home. Eventually, his feet hit solid ground, and he was able to approach the campfire, where his former teammates had gathered to discuss the match. Their faces were sympathetic when they saw Dwight but slowly turned into those of confusion as they noticed he hadn't been hooked. Feng was the one to speak first.

 

 

"What happened? I'm sorry we had to leave you..." Dwight knew everyone disliked leaving a teammate behind, and Dwight was usually that teammate. He shrugged and sat down next to the warm fire. 

 

 

"Not that he had much trouble without us, clearly." Bill huffed from where he was seated, a cigarette lodged in the corner of his mouth. While his tone was gruff, almost angry, Dwight knew he was only teasing.

 

 

"...he wanted to hook me in the basement, I think." Dwight lied. He never lied when it came to discussing the previous trial, but he knew he could never tell the others about the little interaction he had with the killer. Not that they'd believe him. "I managed to wiggle out and get to the hatch before he could grab me again."

 

 

While he and every survivor sitting at the campsite knew that wasn't The Trapper's MO, Dwight didn't know what else to say. And they were all inclined to believe him, given that he would never lie about the events in a trial, and... well, the fact he survived the trail was evidence enough to them. When Dwight thought of 'greedy' killers, he thought of Michael, The Legion, The Clown. But rarely would he think of The Trapper. That was why he did so well in trials- the masked killer knew his limits and knew just what those traps were capable of. He never pushed his luck and often killed all of them. But not today, he supposed. The others all gave little hums of acknowledgment but said nothing else about the subject just yet. Dwight didn't really want to have that conversation yet.

 

 

"Well, I'm gonna go lie down. You guys stay safe out here."

 

 

Dwight waved to his friends who said goodnight to him, though they had no idea what time it technically was. He approached the little wooden hut he'd made when he first arrived. He was tired of getting rained on, and while the fire lasted forever, the dryness of his clothes did not. His little hut was nothing serious, in the basic shape of a teepee with leaves, torn papers, plastic, and ruined clothing acting as a roof and walls, while a zipper connected to the remains of a jacket was his front door, almost like the entrance to a trampoline. It was nothing special, but most survivors settled for sleeping on the ground, so at least it was better than that. Dwight gently set his glasses on the ground next to all the other collectibles he'd gathered throughout the course of the trials. He was lucky and managed to snag a blanket from Haddonfield which served as his source of warmth in the little hut. He tried to sleep, but his mind kept wandering to the events of the trial. He couldn't stop thinking about how gentle he was, and how his little mannerisms would be downright adorable had they not been the mannerisms of a deranged killer that had been hunting him the longest.

 

 

He sighed and put his hands over his face. There was no way he would be sleeping tonight.