In 2014, a monster from internet folklore, Slender Man, inspired two teenage girls in Wisconsin to stab and nearly kill their friend. It was the survivor's story that drove Colorado author Carter Wilson to write his latest novel, a thriller called "Mister Tender's Girl." But in Wilson's novel, the stabbing victim is all grown up and is being stalked by a fictional character known as Mister Tender. Wilson talked to Colorado Matters about his fascination with pop-culture obsession turning into real-life violence.
Read An Excerpt From "Mister Tender's Girl"
There is a haunting nostalgia here, a childhood familiarity layered with seconds of sheer terror. I used to play in this park. I nearly died in this park. I chased young boys in this park. Over three pints of my blood spilled in this park.
Ahead are the trees I remember so well. They had been planted in such a way that the park seems to turn into a dense forest without warning. Thomas and I used to call this section Hundred Acre Wood, and I would always play Christopher Robin. Thomas would always be Tigger, bounding and bounding about, both reckless and delighted with himself. Sometimes a whole day would pass here, though we’d hardly be aware of more than a few minutes going by. I suppose that’s really the definition of childhood. As you age, the day eventually seems as long as it actually is, and, towards the end of one’s life, I imagine a single day can feel like a lifetime.
I enter Hundred Acre Wood and am immediately swallowed inside. The trees loom over me, like a million predators frozen in mid-pounce. Streetlights shine small pools of light on the ground, and it’s all I can do to convince myself to make it to the next one.
There. Up ahead. That’s where it happened.
A small wooden pedestrian bridge crosses the creek, park benches book-ending each side. In the fall, we would drop leaves off the bridge and watch them softly float away. Sometimes we’d follow them all the way to the edge of the park, where they would bunch against a grated culvert. I always wondered what was inside of that culvert, where it led, and what sorts of things might call that dark, wet place home.