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I'm not one for making blogs. If the guys in my department found out that ole' Zeke Strahm was pouring his heart out on a freaking online journal, then any credibility I've ever had to being a male goes right out the window. Ironically, it was my partner- who happens to be female- that suggest I keep this up. You see some cruel things being a detective; keeping a journal of any kind was cheaper than seeing a shrink for your feelings. I'll do it, but I don't expect to be all emo or whiny on here.
So, Zeke Strahm. As the Pothole indicates, this guy's a police officer; he isn't the kind of guy to keep his blog. But his partner, Lizzie, is encouraging him to do it, so he does; he's recently been assigned to a case involving a young girl going missing, with his partner accompanying him. It's possibly a kidnapping, but there's nothing big about it--her mother's an alcoholic, the girl's probably run away from him for a bit, she'll come back.
But then her mother starts talking about a notebook; the girl's really attached to it. Zeke ignores it, waving it off as something that young artists do. Then the mother's hangover kicks in, and Zeke goes upstairs with Lizzie behind him. And the girl's been drawing on the walls. Drawing pictures of someone very familiar...
A side-story from The Slender Man Mythos, detailing the story of Zeke Strahm, a detective in New England and his grapples with the many-armed man of terror. Something of a fan favorite, despite its short? lifespan. It all starts here.
This series contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Lizzie had at least one.
- All Myths Are True: Nigh-on all of the Slender-blogs are said to be real.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Status Report adds a ton of it for Zeke Strahm.
- In-universe example: Zeke himself offers several different interpretations of Slender Man. Also, the commenting fandom are decidedly split over how the FBI handled Zeke's actions after Evening The Score.
- Furthermore, Zeke invokes this in-universe for Albert Conaghan in one of the earlier blog posts about him, in that he's likely seen as a saviour in the third-world nations his company brings valuable resources to, whereas at home in the US, he's an untouchable rapist and murderer.
- Theorized by Dr. Cairo here that Fisk may be the one running the show from Status Report on and that the real Zeke Strahm is either insane, dead, or locked up.
- Apocalyptic Log: Subverted. While in the vein and format of other Slenderblogs in that it employs this trope, Zeke seemingly avoids much of the same breakdown other blog protagonists go through and is
strongly impliedundeniably confirmed to be alive and kicking after the events of Status Report. He's been posting comments on other blogs; they vary between eerily cryptic and fairly coherent, so he might have a screw or two loose.
- As the Good Book Says...: Quite a bit of it. A few characters taunt Zeke by bringing up text from the "Ezekiel" section.
- Badass: Zeke Strahm, all over.
- Badass Normal: See above. The unique feature of this blog is that the protagonist takes it upon himself to try and kill a horrifically powerful extradimensional entity/spirit/tulpa/god, as opposed to going batshit and letting him get you.
- Beam Me Up, Scotty: It's "home blend," not "home brew."
- The Blank: Slender Man, of course.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: Slendy walks straight into Zeke's house, taking a shotgun pellet to the stomach.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Zeke can be quite foul-mouthed, what with him being a Cowboy Cop. There's even one post that consists exclusively of this trope.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Albert Conaghan is a businessman who runs a small yet lucrative import/export firm, owns several warehouses, and can afford good enough lawyers to fend off various charges of rape and murder.
- Cowboy Cop: Zeke Strahm, once again. His interview with Albert Conaghan makes this obvious.
- Defective Detective: A talented police detective who's good at his job, but is antisocial to the point of having little to no relation with any of his work colleagues apart from his partner? Hello, Mr. Strahm.
- Admittedly, he isn't that defective. Though this changes once Slendy gets involved.
- Determinator: Zeke is definitely one, emotionally and psychologically if not having the chance to prove himself phyiscally. Your suspect is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who's escaped punishment for every crime he's commited so far by bending the legal system with the weight of his wallet? Zeke says, so fucking what? One of your only friends/acquaintances is kidnapped by Slender Man? Try and rescue him! Slender Man kills your girlfriend? Try and kill him! Are we seeing a pattern here? Zeke is the sort of character who just headbutts your insurmountable odds.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Evening The Score.
- Embarrassing First Name: Zeke's full name is Ezekiel Strahm. He got bullied in school for it, despite insisting that everyone should call him Zeke.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Zeke mentions one at the beginning of his second blog post.
- Fan Nickname: In-universe example; Zeke refers to the Slender Man by a lot of synonyms.
- Fan-Preferred Couple: Since Zeke's return in The Mystic, he's shown a particular correspondence with Celeste McLachlan of Make It Count. Zeke/Celeste has become something between a real ship and a running joke since she put a lampshade on it in her blog. The authors have claimed it to be open to interpretation.
- On the other hand, the authors ARE seeing each other in Real Life. Make of that as you will.
- Friends with Benefits: Zeke and Lizzie, natch.
- Genre Savvy: Zeke's seen Marble Hornets, he's read Just Another Fool. He's sure that Slender Man's just a story. And how wrong he is.
- Fortunately, when he realizes the error of his ways, he has his readers provide links to every single Slender Man-related blog they can find just to invoke this trope to the greatest possible extent.
- Good Cop, Bad Cop: Lizzie, a friendly, intelligent, level-headed woman in her early thirties, is partnered with the antisocial, temperamental and violent Zeke.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Alternate Character Interpretation from Status Report (definitely the one favoured by the blog-commenting fandom) pushes Zeke into this territory. See also Villain with Good Publicity, below - it's really vague.
- Implacable Man: Slender Man. He's implied to take a shotgun shot to the chest and it doesn't even slow him down. Earlier, Zeke shoots at him with a handgun; this also does nothing.
- Then again, the shotgun apparently killed some other random person. Not that Slendy is any less implacable.
- Debatable. The shotgun was set up to shoot anyone breaking in his backdoor. The person, if not Slender Man, was likely a robber, or worse one of Slendy's puppets.
- Then again, the shotgun apparently killed some other random person. Not that Slendy is any less implacable.
- Intercontinuity Crossover On The Mystic, Zeke is currently investigating the fate of Dreams In Darkness's Damien O'Connor
- And boy, the things he discovers. Not only does Zeke find hieroglyphics that may give clues to Slender Man's past, but his interactions with Kiera reveal that the entire town is full of cult members, the real Rick O'Connor disappeared a week before Damien did, someone else posted the ending to Damien's story in the comments of the last post, and, most importantly of all, seems to hint at the possibility that Damien may still be alive...
- Ironic Echo: "Cold-hearted fucking bitch".
- It's Personal: Conaghan is revealed to have abudcted, raped and murdered Zeke's date when he was in high school, which only fuels Zeke's determination to catch him. After Lizzie dies, Zeke takes this attitude against Slender Man himself.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Frustrated with the lack of progress, Zeke eventually breaks open a can of this on Conaghan during his interrogation.
- Lampshade Hanging: Done extensively to the whole mythos; one of the reasons it's liked so much in the fandom.
- The Law of Conservation of Detail: Messed with: sometimes, completely random things (e.g. Zeke's lifestyle) are given long blog posts; invoked by the fans when Zeke mentions a door which he can't open in Inside the Labyrinth, everyone began yelling at him to go back and break the door down. Why? Just look at the blog's URL; "Open the Door and You Will Find Me" indeed!
- Lovecraft Country
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Conaghan has been doing evil in a fancy suit since before he became devoted to Slendy.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: M of The Tutorial has posted several comments. Also, a slightly screwloose Zeke has started commenting on other Slender-blogs, e.g. Dreams in Darkness.
- Not to mention his references to Everyman HYBRID he's posted lately. He seems to be following them closely.
- Mind Screw: Status Report makes this retroactive.
- Morality Pet: Zeke is a self-confessed asshole to everyone except his partner, Lizzie, who encourages him to be more open about himself. It's in his interactions with her that some of the blog's more touching moments are found, and his level of care for her is our tenuous proof that Zeke is a good person.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Zeke issues one of these to both Conaghan and Lizzie's dad, both of whom are reprehensible, vile people and are much older and less physically capable than him. One of whom seems completely unwilling to defend himself, too.
- Off the Wagon: Played with. In one post, Zeke gets totally smashed after encountering Slendy and makes a drunken blog post... but he even types drunk. Not with typos like one would expect, but actually slurring "s"s into "sh"s and the like as if he were speaking aloud.
- Oh Crap: When Zeke comes face-to-face with the Slender Man. "Oh, fuck me."
- Old Friend: Recently, Zeke has encountered a character named Wren, a character with whom he seems to share some history with. Wren treats him as though they were old friends.
- Zeke's responses to audience questions seem to imply there is bitter history, however...
- One-Scene Wonder: Zeke's recent encounter with Kiera from Dreams in Darkness. She not only berates one of the biggest badasses in the Slenderverse "onscreen" for being an idiot, but it is pretty clearly implied that she singlehandedly saved Zeke from Slender Man himself
- Rabid Cop: Zeke borders on this during his interrogation of Conaghan.
- Real After All: As mentioned under Genre Savvy, Zeke thinks Slendy is an urban myth. He's wrong.
- Room Full of Crazy: The room of the first victim is covered in drawings of Slendy. Lizzie starts doing likewise as she looks into the urban legends.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Zeke lives firmly on the cynical end of this scale, and the blog is very dark in tone through his perspective. However, it does turn out to be one of the more idealistic Slenderblogs, considering it's the one that raises the possibility that Slendy could be killed for good.
- Shout-Out: Zeke acknowledges the existence of various other facets of the Slender Man Mythos in his blogs.
- Also, Zeke's surname, Strahm, and the blog's URL, are very likely references to a Saw movie, in which a Special Agent Strahm is involved and the URL is quoted word-for-word. He even references the film series in one blog entry.
- Possible one to TV Tropes in the second blog post. He refers to some of the more spider-like Slendy drawings as Demonic Spiders, with both words capitalized just like that.
- Temporal Sickness: Zeke speculates that the Slender Man travels through subspace or alternate universes as a shortcut; noticing that his targets usually end up with weird symptoms, Zeke addends that he probably drags people around with him, which probably wears them out and adds to the already terrible paranoia.
- Unreliable Narrator: Zeke, possibbly, given Alternate Character Interpretation and Mind Screw presented by Status Report.
- It's revealed in the Mary interviews that the shotgun trap he rigged up was set off by his neighbor, not Slender Man.
- Villain Protagonist: Alternative Character Interpretation from Status Report causes Zeke to step into this territory.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Via Alternative Character Interpretation created by Status Report, Zeke, even out-of-universe. Look at all the viewers who are on his side, when he may have killed at least one innocent man, using the Slender Man as an excuse to do so.
- What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Lampshaded. Conaghan keeps calling Slendy "The Angel of Death"; Zeke points out that people will attach symbolism to anything.
- Wham! Episode: Inside the Labyrinth.
- Wife-Basher Basher: Zeke toward both Lizzie's dad and Conaghan.
- Willing Suspension of Disbelief: The first part of the blog is based around a police detective dumping sensitive case information onto the internet for all to see. C'mon.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: As noted under Genre Savvy, Zeke does not believe in Slendy due to exposure to Just Another Fool and Marble Hornets. He gets better at it, though.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle