A/N – Nobody writes for the Slenderman.
What I mean about that isn't that people don't write stories about it; they do. They write stories, draw pictures, and make web series and blogs about it. They alone grew a set of creepy images originating from an Internet forum into a full-fledged mythos. They alone turned what was only supposed to be a harmless forum competition making fun of people who believe that absolutely any fuzzy image just has to have a ghost in it, into the birthplace of a terrifying entity that stalks and kidnaps children… and whomever else has seen it. It was through sheer human fear and fascination that the Slenderman even has a Mythos at all, instead of being just a set of eerie faked images languishing on SomethingAwful's forums somewhere.
What I mean by my previous statement is that, although there's an awful lot of stories out there about human interaction with this Creepypasta beastie, there's just not much out there that speaks from its POV. That is arguably a good thing – you're not supposed to know anything about this entity because it embodies the fear of the unknown. And inevitably, whenever anyone tries, the result is a fic that is less about a dark, scary, inhuman stalker and more about a creature that is actually not that bad of a guy. For a good chunk of the fandom, this is the entirely incorrect interpretation, at least within the world of Slenderblogging and vlogging, where Slendy can be a very malevolent being, but here's the thing: the Mythos itself, as a whole, never gives it a set motive, and only some bloggers and vloggers consistently use the purely malevolent characterization for the primary antagonist. Even then, some still make its actions menacing or ambiguous, or have it be an ominous omen of things to come in the future, rather than an outright evil entity. For every other Slenderfan out there, it's just kind of assumed that Slendy's supposed to be malevolent and I think that's what puts a split between bloggers/vloggers and Creepypasta fans in general. Now, I count myself as a Slenderfan and am proud to be one, but while I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a "good-oriented" Slenderman, I do think that it could possibly be neutral or even partially misunderstood as being worse than it really is, precisely because it's something we don't, can't, and aren't supposed to be able to comprehend. Without a face, we can't gauge whether or not the being means us ill… or is merely curious, playful, or simply unaware that its actions are seen as malevolent. We can't even know if it's a sentient being or not, although the general consensus seems to be that yes, Slendy is intelligent, at least enough to know how best to capture humans… and it's patient enough to wait as long as it has to in order to get at a human being.
This story is an attempt to write from Slenderman's POV and do something new with the being as a result. I love seeing humans fight against Slendy as much as the next Slenderfan, but too much of the same type of apocalyptic log where we know the human's eventually going to die/go missing/become a Proxy/etc. gets boring after a while. We need to have open minds and add new things to the Mythos to better grow and work with the character, because it's unfortunate to take something that originally was so open to interpretation and turn it into something too formulaic. In this fic, Slendy's sentient… and actually introspective. It's both quite alien and yet, somehow almost human in how curious it is. It's simultaneously quite dangerous and deadly scary, but like most creatures, it's by no stretch of the imagination a purely evil being out to destroy everything, and is even sometimes intentionally or unintentionally helpful. In other words, it's trying to make its way in this world, just as everyone and everything ultimately is. In this tale, I attempt to explain just a bit more of what Slendy might be. Because it's a collectively imagined idea, willed together through fascination with and fear of it, the concept of what it is can change from person to person. This is one possible take of mine on what it could be, just a story based on a theory, a likely futile attempt to explain what nobody ever truly can. If the idea of trying to make Slendy slightly more of an interesting character is something you really are against, then this story is probably not for you and I have a little fic called The Hunted that you'll probably enjoy reading much more. But if you're open to a different take to everyone's favorite forest-dwelling Humanoid Abomination and to a slightly different type of Slenderstory, then by all means stay and enjoy. I hope you like what you read.
It is eerily quiet tonight in my forest. Quiet, and almost still. Dark and moonless.
All around me, the trees, thick as crowds, stand silent. Their branches scrape the starry night sky with gentle fingers; their leaves rustle softly. Dry twigs crackle as shadow-shrouded animals wander over them, dead leaves shuffle parchment-like, and the wind ripples gently, coolly through the dark forest. Crickets chirp a soothing song; tree branches dance with the breeze. I prefer such nights. It is far easier to think without interruption then. Far easier to hide… and to seek.
And I? I am the single exception to all of the motion. I remain still, uncannily still, I suppose you might say. Provided you could see me at all, I would appear almost statue-like, or else as a strange shadow, no more than a mere shade of a distant pine. A hallucination. A figment of your fevered mind.
Perhaps it is better I am left that way. It is far safer for you, at the least. Whatever it is that allows me to exist here without human interruption is best left alone by the both of us. I do not question why I am here. I never have.
My featureless head turns eastward, up from thought. I shall leave now, I think, unclasping my long, pallid fingers from behind my back and bringing my black-clad arms back to my side. I tire of this thicket, and there is so much more in this forest to observe.
I glide forth softly, absurd limbs finding their place soundlessly upon the soft leaf litter, arms dutifully at my sides. At my current height, my suit-clad frame would easily be mistaken for one of the nearby trees. I believe your human word for the particular tree I see now is "maple", isn't it? For as long as my legs are, I still move with alarming speed as I walk, my silent stride nearly twice as long as my slender form.
… Yes, I do suppose that is a good human name for me, isn't it?
You may call me that if you wish. I have been called many names by humans. I must have as many as humans have tongues. I have existed nearly as long as you have. Your kind have… changed much. I find it all very fascinating to observe how your species differs, even from individual to individual. You all fear me so very much, and in so very many different ways. At first… at first, it was only the dark you feared. Then the forest, and finally me. Your children still do.
Clever creatures, human children.
But for a time, you ignored me so much that I became a distant memory. For a time I was mere fokelore to you, and I grew very weakened. Then for a very long time, I had no name. As if I had never existed to you in the first place. You had forgotten all about me. But I had not, and never will. And so I observe, allowing some of your kind glimpses of me from behind trees, and remind you of my presence so you cannot possibly convince yourself that I do not exist.
I do not like being… forgotten.
Humans are clever inventors, though. They have found ways to preserve me. They have found ways to keep images of me, and capture me in motion, and keep me ever-present in their minds. I owe these humans much. Thanks to them, I will never grow weak, and will never be forgotten again.
But even with all of the records of me by now, there are some of you that still forget. But that does not matter, because there are so many others, all so enraptured with me that you cannot forget. That every tiny thing brings me to mind. And every single terrified thought from every single one of those humans echoes to me, and draws me to them. And still they fear me more and more, so much so they lose their minds from it when I appear too often.
I have never understood why you humans so easily lose your senses around me. Perhaps it is because you know what others of your kind have done to this earth. Perhaps it is because you do not understand, and cannot hope to. Perhaps it is because you believe me a monster, hell-bent on destroying you all.
Now, is that any way to repay your debts to me, humans? After all the time I spent choosing a form that your underdeveloped senses can comprehend? You offend me by trespassing here and taking ever more of my home to make yours, and then you expect me to be gracious about it?
And I am the monster. I am the monster for it. I am mute, but I am not mindless. I comprehend your words when you speak, humans, and it both amuses and angers me. I am no mere monster.
The real monsters are afraid of what might happen if they so much as discuss me.
So then, if I am not a monster, what am I, you may ask?
Very simple, human.
I do not recall how I first became aware of myself, but when I did know what I was, I knew of only a single task, a single goal, a mission I must eternally continue.
I do not know who entrusted me with such a task, and I have naught else but this beyond it. I was given naught else at all. And so, eons have escaped me in mere seconds, and I remain here, in this forest and every forest, as much a part of it as your primal dread of it, an eternal observer. A watcher.
I do not understand why you must make such awful screeching noises when you notice my presence. I perhaps never will. But I do know that this is the sound of your terror, and that alone is enough.
It would be false to say it does not amuse me.
I pause in my stride, sensing something amiss and unknown in my forest. Something at my feet. I turn my invisible gaze downward, seeing the object clearly despite lacking the strange sensory organs humans call eyes. A small, soft-looking object lies limply amidst the leaves, forgotten.
I tilt my head curiously and extend a tendril from my back to retrieve the object. Bending down at my current height would have been difficult at the present, and kneeling down would have caused me to lose my balance.
I place the item in my hands, staring down at it in intrigue. The item is soft and cloth-like. It is formed into the shape of a human being's upper torso, complete with limbs and a soft hood-like covering for the head, but it is clearly not human, and doesn't move like one. It moves too limply as my hands manipulate it to be a human torso, and it doesn't feel anything like human skin. If anything, it feels more like the soft, cloth-like material that covers human skin, so unlike my own second, suit-like skin.
I soon realize it is a piece of clothing, dropped by a human intruder. And it still feels warm, meaning it was dropped very recently.
Immediately, all of my tendrils extend, sensing the cool night air for any human activity. There is a human being intruding in my forest. They have lost something, and must still be nearby. And they will not escape my watch for long.
They will surely be looking for their missing jacket. Perhaps I should… return it to them. After all, I have no use for it, and besides, I am becoming hungry. I have not seen a human in these woods for quite some time now, save for a few foolish young ones. Surely they come because of the legends about me, the legends they created and spread. Because of their belief, or perhaps because of their skepticism that I truly exist, they come. Because they fear me, and out of that fear, ever more legends grow and spread.
Yes, humans. Continue to spread legends, to shudder when you peer into the tree line nearby, and to dread my appearance to you. I owe you much for continuing such stories. It is because of the fear they inspire that I continue to feed well. There are many flavors of human fear, all of them so savory to devour. Paranoia. Horror. Dread. Anxiety. Terror. The more I inspire, the more I have to feed upon, and the stronger I become.
Most escape before I have had my fill. Most, but not all. It is such a pity that once they cannot escape, once I have them physically, they are fated to die, their bodies unable to sustain the amount of fear I need to survive. I do not… intend them such grievous harm. I do not truthfully wish death upon any one of them. But I must eat, or I will starve… and their fear, their collective horror, calls to me so strongly I cannot ignore it. I consume only the fear, only the most primal emotions, and perhaps the body as well if it is left over and I am very hungry. It must horrify you. But I do not consume the soul, and I kill my prey quickly. I am not a sadist.
I am not a monster.
All the same, it would be a lie to say that it does not amuse me to watch you run, especially when you know I will find you eventually. I can always find you. Humans are fun to chase, and it provides me a good meal as well.
But children… I do not chase children, merely observe them. I find no pleasure in taking a child as food in such a fashion. It is not that their fear, when expressed, is not delicious, for it is as sweet to me as honey. No, it is that they are not yet capable of the same evils that some grown humans are. Not yet aware of what fear truly is. They are… innocent, and such innocence fascinates me. Perhaps it is because I cannot recall a time when I ever experienced such a thing. I do not allow them to suffer the same fate as my other meals. I send them to sleep first, sending their minds elsewhere, somewhere they do not need to dread anything ever again. Where they cannot die the horrid death of the soul that turns so many of your kind into dull creatures. And so, they silently disappear, one by one, and all traces of where they were burn to the ground from my influence. No trace is left, none suffer.
I believe this is what your kind would consider… kindness.
The human girl is clearly distraught as she wanders through the trees, her flashlight a dim circle of light that exposes only small pieces of the surrounding forest to her. This much I can easily tell as I draw ever closer, watching her wary motions from the tree line. I can already taste her anxiety, hovering enticingly about her in a thick haze. She does not notice my approach. No human ever does, for my footfalls make no noise as I move, and my stiff, rangy motions could easily appear as no more than tree branches swaying in the cool night breeze.
I come to rest behind a large oak tree, and observe the human silently. My thin frame is easily hidden by the tree's girth as I peer from behind it curiously, the lost jacket in one hand and my other grasping the tree for support. She is… slightly older than I had anticipated. No matter – she is intruding in my forest. I do not like intruders.
And I hunger.
I sense light flash across the ground at the tree's base, and then darkness, likely the flashlight she carries. Her steps are slow and tenuous, belying unfamiliarity with her surroundings and uncertainty in her desire to continue. She does not know what it is she dreads, or where she has gotten lost. But I know this forest well, and she stands little chance of escape.
She walks further down the path, and I take the opportunity to hang the jacket I have found on a low-hanging tree branch. The human is not very tall, and is clearly searching for something, likely the lost jacket. She will stay still for a moment should she find it, giving me all the time I need…
I melt back into the tree line, observing her actions. When she approaches within my range, she will sense me and become even more frightened. All humans do upon sensing my sightless gaze upon them. Even more so if I actually allow them to see me.
The human wanders close, jumping at shadows I can clearly see are grass. The thin circle of light from the flashlight in her hands swings upward, highlighting the artifact in the tree, and her fear begins to subside.
The emotion humans call frustration sets in. I am still hungry… and I do not like my meals being taking from me so soon…
She retrieves the jacket and begins to pull it on, over her head. She is moving quickly in her nervousness, but I am far quicker, and am easily within mere feet of her before the jacket is fully on. I edge forward into her line of sight, so that when she turns, she will clearly notice me, and wait. There is no possible way she couldn't sense me now; I am very close to her. Besides, I find it amusing to watch my prey panic.
She pulls the jacket's hood down so it no longer covers her head. Her flashlight swings nervously around the tree line, glancing across bark and leaf. And then, seeing no cause for her uneasy dread, she turns around.
And sees me.
She yelps and freezes where she stands, trembling in shock as she slowly realizes what she is looking at. The shock slowly gives way to deliciously building horror, and her voice escapes as a frightened whisper.
Had I a mouth, I would have smirked. She is near speechless. Nearly bolted to the ground by her fear. I will have a very easy time of taking her if she remains this afraid of me.
I incline my head to the side ever so slightly in interest, saying nothing. I cannot speak, for I've no tongue and no lips – and even if I could, my thoughts given voice would likely be too much for her human mind to bear.
What dreadfully fragile beings humans are.
"Y-you… N-no… n-not you…" her whispered words rise to a panicked squeak, then a full shriek. "Y-you don't exist. Y-you're not real! You can't kill me if I don't believe in you!"
I am amused. Does she believe yelling at me will help her now? Does she believe that if she does not think me real, then I cannot chase her?
How very quaint.
Her terror is too strong for her to ignore now, and she slowly begins to back away, still denying what she sees. She is giving me all the nourishment and strength I could possibly need now. And despite how loudly she screams, no human ears will ever hear her voice.
I reach my arms forward to grab her, but my hands grasp nothing. Her footsteps, frantic and fast, are already fading from the forest's soundscape, and soon I cannot sense her at all. She has run away.
Clever human. Smart human. She did not look at me long enough for me to ensnare her mind.
No matter. The more she runs, the more her fear feeds and attracts me. And I am far quicker than she could ever hope to be. She already has caught my rapt attention. She cannot escape that easily, not even if she should run to her human home to hide. No human can hide from me once I have tasted their terror. Not a single one.
I can always, always find her again. And I will.
The sunlight is strong today, filtering through the canopy of trees above me in soft fingers of light. It is warm and pleasant. So many humans come to the forest at this time of year, bring so many new potential meals with them. So many of them scare each other so I don't have to, telling tales and legends around fires. All I must do is feed upon it. Few are bold enough to venture too far into the forest, but that matters not. There are enough around that even the smallest group of nervous humans affords me plenty of nourishment.
The group of humans I am watching now is small, a child and her parents. The child has strayed far from her parents' campsite, but still within view of both the mother and the father. They cannot see me from my position well within the thick pines. But they can sense my presence. It is why such an uneasy nervousness clings so fiercely to them now, and why, every so often, they glance away from their conversation just long enough to ensure their child's safety.
The child, however, remains oblivious, happily wandering around the tree line looking for butterflies to catch. She does not even realize how close I am to her until I edge closer, allowing the insect she chases to land delicately on a single, spidery finger.
Her parents may not be able to see me. But the child surely does. I sense curiosity about her as she searches the tree line for both the butterfly and that fleeting glimpse she suddenly saw of me. The young ones amongst your kind fill me with the greatest sense of curiosity and amusement.
I edge closer still. Come to me, child. I shall not harm you. My wrath is reserved for those foolish enough to intrude, but you are welcome here.
Yes, closer still, child. I shall keep you amused for a time. I shall show you safe places to explore. You deserve not to suffer the ills humans do.
The child stumbles through the thick foliage, and suddenly collides with my legs. I tilt my head in amusement and peer curiously down at this far smaller being. Her gaze stares upward at me in astonishment and nervousness. Perhaps she is alarmed by my height, perhaps at my lack of a face.
"H-hi," she says meekly, her voice shy and nervous. "W-who're you?"
Nothing, child. I am nothing at all.
An awkward pause from the child. Her gaze remains fixed on me, still trying to make sense of the figure in front of her.
"You're really tall," she finally states. "How come you don't have a face, Mister? Are you magic?"
I would have laughed had I the ability to do so. So many questions young humans have! And still the child continues to stare, unsure what to make of my continued silence.
"Why don't you say anything?" she asks, young mind still not comprehending what her eyes tell her. "Can't you talk at all?"
I shake my head no. I have learned this is a human gesture for disagreement or for an inability to answer.
"Oh," she says, looking down at the ground and smoothing out her overalls. "How come you don't come out here with me? Are you shy?"
I sense an aura of familiarity around her.
"I'm shy too…" she says, kicking the dirt nervously. "You must be really lonely if you're so shy. Don't you have any friends, Mister?"
Again, I shake my head. I am a lone being. Never in any of my wanderings have I encountered another of my own kind. Only humans. So very many humans. But prey is no substitute for companionship, even if I have never felt any desire for companions.
It puzzles me why you humans constantly do.
"Well I'll be your friend," the child says cheerfully. "You wanna play tag? I'm really good at it."
I nod, a human gesture I have learned indicates agreement, and offer her a spidery hand. The child takes it, and I walk deeper with her into the woods. Her parents do not notice her absence, not yet. But soon they will, and they will search for her in my forest and panic, providing me with more than a full meal for two of your human nights. I can already begin to sense their alarm growing. As for the child, she will never need worry again.
It was not long before the sun began to set over the trees, and the child began to tire of walking.
"Mister, my feet hurt," she whined. "Can we rest please?"
I tilt my head in faint amusement at her request. So frail humans are that they ever need to rest, or even sleep. I do not understand such a concept as the need to sleep, for I never tire so long as I have fear to feed upon. I gently pick the child up and, carefully, wrap my tendrils about her, cradling her close. She is alarmed at first, and curious, but not fearful. Not yet.
"Oh, are you a octopus?" she asks, still unsure of what just happened.
I give no response and continue walking. I am not familiar with that particular human word, but whatever such a being is, I am not one of its species. I would surely know if I were.
It is close to twilight now, and I have come to a small clearing. I set the child down as gently as possible, and she eagerly pulls herself to her feet, already reenergized from being carried here.
"Okay, I guess we can play tag here," she says, surveying the area. "I'm it first though! Now you run and I'll get you!"
She runs off behind a bush, presumably to give me a fair shot. Amusing. She believes I need a head start when I far outclass her in both speed and agility. I am gone before she knows it, far quicker than her mind could possibly imagine. Far faster than she could possibly comprehend. She searches and searches, yet still cannot find me.
"Hey, where'd you go?" she whines, pouting as she comes back to the clearing several minutes later. "No fair, you're too fast! That's cheating!"
She sits on the grass, arms crossed defiantly. "You're a cheater, Mister! I don't wanna play with you anymore!"
As you wish, child.
Within seconds I arrive being her, no more difficult a task than walking through a door. She notices only when she turns around to glance nervously at the shadows that herald night's approach. The child startles when she sees me, jumping to her feet with a yelp and backing away slowly.
"D-don't scare me like that!" she whines, sniffling. "I-I wanna go home right now. It's getting dark, Mister… I-I don't like the dark, th-there's monsters in the dark… A-and I don't wanna play tag with you anymore… I wanna go home…"
I watch her curiously a moment. Why is it she so fears what she cannot see? There is no need to fear nothingness…
I reach for her, her weight no heavier than a feather to me. Do not fear, child. You will have nothing to fear soon.
No, child. Screaming and crying will not help you now. Nor will struggling, I am far stronger than you are. Do you feel how close my tendrils hold you, binding you so well you cannot even move? Come morning, you will have forgotten all about your world and all its horrors. You will finally be content. And I shall feed on what your parents most dread has happened.
Now come, child; come with me – sleep in my many arms, and cry no more…
It is chilly this morning, and the sky hangs grey and low. The mist in my forest is thick today, cloaking all in a soft, hazy blanket as grey and nebulous as the rainclouds above. It is good to have such fog in my woods. It makes it all the easier to hide myself as I move through the thicket it shrouds. In it, I would appear much more treelike, much more a part of the scenery. Potential prey, be it a haphazard deer or human being, would never notice my approach. Not until I was close. Not until it was far too late for them to run.
I turn from my position, leaning against a particularly large, barren tree. I have sensed two human beings trespassing in my forest, and they have piqued my interest. One of them is very frightened, so much so I could have detected her terror from miles away.
But I am not the one causing her fear.
This is surely something I must observe for myself.
Four long, branch-like black tendrils extend from my back, supporting my otherwise nearly weightless form and expediting my movement. They make good camouflage as well, as humans do not expect a tree to steadily move closer to them, and I do not wish to be seen by either of them just yet. I creep silently and spider-like towards the intruders, but they hear nothing more than the soft rustling of the trees around me as I approach.
I can sense them much better now. I can even see them from where I am. But they cannot see me. Good. It will be much faster this way.
The frightened human appears to be female, and she is backing away from the other interloper, a male. They are arguing. The male is very upset, enraged. I remain hidden, observing and listening.
"You stop that, girl. You stop yer running right fucking now or so help me I will fucking shoot you! Dead!"
The female quietly whimpers and stands still. Her terror is palpable, and enticing… she fears so much for her life. And that is the strongest and most delicious fear of all.
"Guess yer not such a dumb bitch after all, huh?" the man sneers. "Whacha think yer doin' comin' out in the woods dressed like that fer? Ain't gonna find nobody willin' to pay you out here, ya dumb whore."
The female begins to cry, sobbing.
"P-please," she whines in discomfort and fear. "P-please, I was only trying to get b-back to my c-campsite… I-I swear I d-didn't know that was your p-property; I-I just saw this weird symbol on y-your hunting blind and I thought –"
"You thought?" he scoffs, clearly intolerant of the idea. "Yer a dumb fucking bitch, y'know that? You got no idea what that symbol even means. You got no idea what's out here. Best be glad you didn't meet him or that pretty little body of yers would be stuck through a tree branch by now. Dumb bitches like you ain't no good fer thinkin'. Yer good fer somethin' else though. C'mere…"
The man reaches for her, and the woman screams, trying to fight back. I sense a struggle occurring, and her fear rising in a fever pitch. I do not know the female human. But the male… yes… I seem to recall seeing the male before. An arrogant, slovenly man who continues to foolishly believe that his actions go unwatched. I have appeared to him before, just briefly enough to pique his interest and put the fear of myself in him. Just long enough to taste his dread. I had planned to stalk him from a distance only, but still he continues to taunt me, calling to me with the Symbol in a foolish belief it will protect him from me.
I do not like being taunted by my prey.
The man has no warning as I approach so silently, at first a distant shadow in the fog, but then ever closer, so much closer... He is not even aware that I stand directly behind him, at least twice his height as I leer down at this tiny, pitiful creature.
The fog begins to dissipate slightly, perhaps agitated from my many writhing tendrils, and I sense the woman's terror turn to crippling horror. Her confused and disbelieving eyes travel up my frame, finally settling on my own hidden stare.
And she wails.
"Shut yer damn whore mouth, woman!" the man chides, still oblivious to the woman's panic. "I ain't even halfway through undressin' you yet!"
He suddenly seems to realize the woman's focus is not on him, and an aura of confusion surrounds him.
"What the Hell're you starin' at anyway?"
"A-ah… ah…" is all the woman can say as she backs towards the tree behind her, pointing shakily and clutching her stomach in illness, and the man turns in confusion, looking for what her attention was focused on.
He finds it.
The man has no time to run. My tendrils shoot into his chest, winding around his ribs and sternum unshakably, and the man shrieks in pain and terror. I easily lift him from the ground, drawing his struggling body into the misty air around us. His terror is so very deep and strong, so fearful for his life is he. I find it incredibly satisfying.
The woman behind him screams again in horror, frozen where she stands and unable to look away from either the man or me. I can feel her quivering, sending little vibrations through the mist for each tendril to sense.
I glance towards her a moment, observing and feeding, then return my attention to the man I hold now. I bring him still closer to me, so close now he cannot possibly look away. And he panics.
Yes, human. Now you have finally seen me up close, haven't you? Now you see me very clearly, and cannot escape no matter how hard you try. Now your curiosity about me is satisfied. You finally know what it is I am now. What it is I want. And it terrifies you. So much so that you can do nothing but tremble in my grasp in fear and agony. So much so that you cannot and do not dare look away from me, despite the horrible dread you feel, lest something far worse than what I am about to do happen.
The woman suddenly becomes violently ill, and collapses to her knees in weakness, retching and coughing. I am not surprised. Any human that comes this close to me for too long begins to show signs of the Sickness. Always. It is not usually intentional, but it does make catching my prey that much easier and is a good weapon regardless.
The man quakes terribly in my grasp, whimpering and squirming. He is only weakening himself, and making it all the easier for me to keep him pinned.
Some of you humans really are disgusting creatures, are you aware of that, I wonder? Perhaps I shall put this one out of his misery.
Apparently, he senses my motives, for his terror spikes to a panic, and his futile writhing increases.
"Oh God! God no, please!"
I tilt my head in fascination and amusement, intrigued by his futile pleas, and raise my hand to his neck. A single spidery, clawed finger slides easily across the paper-thin skin of his tiny throat, and a thick, slick liquid begins to spew from the wound as he gurgles in pain. The fluid covers me, pouring onto my body and splattering across my blank features.
A pity I have made such a mess. It is no easy task to get all of it off later.
With a powerful yank from each tendril that holds him, the human is torn in two, leaving me with two halves to pin onto a nearby tree branch. The sticky fluid coats my tendrils as I do so, trickling across their slick surface to drip to the ground below.
The woman vomits, both from the Sickness and from horror, and I turn my head to her curiously to watch her behavior. She whimpers under my watch, curling up under the tree's branches. She is no doubt terrified that I will savage her the same way as I did the other human.
Her unfounded fears amuse and nourish me, and my invisible gaze never leaves her. No, human, you I will spare. For now.
I of course cannot tell her as much. But I can affect her thoughts.
/Run,/ I tell her, my thoughts echoing so deeply within her mind that they seem like her own. /Run and forget all that you have seen here. Run./
The woman stumbles to her feet fearfully, now energized by my suggestion, and backs away from both the tree and myself by several steps. Then she turns.
And she runs.
She will collapse into sleep once she is far enough away from my territory, only to awaken later. But she will recall neither me nor the foolish human's actions. All of it will seem as a nightmare to her, a dream she had once and then forgot. At least, until I come for her again, to taste her dread and feed on her paranoia. And then, then she will remember me, and the forest, and the man. And she will panic.
But for now, it is far better for her to forget than to remember.
I watch as she runs, disappearing into the thick fog around me, and that is when I realize she is running in the wrong direction. She is headed deeper into my forest, not away from it.
I must remedy this. It would be unfortunate for her to go in the wrong direction and further intrude.
I appear before her instantly, directly before her terrified eyes, and she shrieks shrilly, turning tail and bolting the other way. I do not follow.
It is just as well. Had she continued forward, she would have stumbled into a gorge far deeper than even I am tall. The fall would have killed her instantly.
As for the foolish human's remains, that is no concern of mine. I will leave them as a warning for others who dare trespass here. Besides, there are other beings in this forest, beings that will take care of the mess for me.
I am far from the strangest thing that dwells amongst these trees.
I do not understand.
Why are your kind so drawn to danger as if it brings you pleasure?
Why, when given repeated warnings, such as those whispered by my prey to others, do you continue to seek me anyway? Why do you continue to call to me with your fearful thoughts, knowing that I can hear your hushed and trembling whispers and that I can see you no matter where you hide?
I am intrigued so much by your kind. Humans certainly are curious and sometimes foolhardy creatures. I find it all very fascinating to watch your spiral into paranoia after I show myself to you, for once you see me, I am always visible to the strange organs you call eyes. Always.
And still you continue to seek me out. You would be far better off ignoring me, forgetting I exist. But you cannot, thanks to your curious nature and ability to drown yourself in your own terror. I am most appreciative of your behavior. Thanks to it, I will never be forgotten by any of you. Never.
Yes, humans are strange creatures. Both destructive and constructive, both innocent and so guilty; always seeking to understand the truth, yet so fragile of body and mind that they often cannot handle it. You fascinate me as much as you sustain and nourish me. It is no wonder you find me so frightening, then. You find anything you cannot comprehend terrifying.
Yet you still continue to seek me and speak of me, to spread legends and tales of me far and wide amongst yourselves. You continue to do so even if you know the danger it may pose to others, and to yourself. Quite foolish of you. But very helpful to me nonetheless.
Take the human girl I met wandering my woods several nights back, the girl with the jacket, now fearfully huddling in her dwelling and sneaking nervous glances out her window. She looks for me. She seeks me because she knows I am there, and she wishes to confirm her fears rather than dwell in the terrible state of not knowing where I am. She looks because she knows that I have been watching her for some time now, drawn here to her home by her terror to feed upon the anxiety she exudes. I have often sensed subtle vibrations from within the house, the soft sensation of a pen scratching paper, the clicking of keys on the human object called a computer. I have heard her frightened, shaking breath. And I know why it is she shows such dread.
She has drawn the Symbol. They always inevitably do, creating a beacon that guides me to them. I find it all very amusing that such an old trick as that still works on your kind, and that you have adopted the Symbol so readily to represent me. It makes finding those of you that run so much easier.
A sudden increase in her fear strikes me, and I turn my head towards it expectantly.
She has seen me.
There are vibrations from within the house, vibrations that feel like running and assorted commotion. I feel the subtle click of locks sliding into place all over her dwelling. She has locked herself inside, each door and window, believing it will protect her from me.
How droll an idea.
She might as well have walked outside and handed herself over to me. Your human locks are nothing, scarcely an obstacle to my approach, so long as I can find the door.
I extend several tendrils to walk upon, and in this manner, I proceed to quickly move around the dwelling, examining its perimeter. My long, clawed fingers edge over the building's smooth walls, feeling for even a tiny flaw or difference that could mean an entrance.
I soon find one, made of a slick, smooth material. I quickly identify it as glass, a strange human creation to be sure. So easily broken, yet so ubiquitous. There is a small latch mechanism attached to the glass door, and on it is a tiny hole that, I presume, is some sort of method to trip the lock should the home's owner become locked outside.
Miniscule though the hole is, it is not too small for me to squeeze a tendril tip through in order to manipulate the lock. After a bit of maneuvering, I feel it trip, and let go of it. Simple enough a human mechanism.
I slide the door open gently, and proceed inside on silent feet. I can sense her fear already. She knows I am here, and it frightens her. Her terror is both palpable and savory, its enticing rhythm clearly showing her hiding place to me. Now she has nowhere left to run, and nowhere to hide…
I sense something in my path as I drift slowly towards her, a smooth, short obstacle. Likely a table of some sort. Beyond that, there is a large plush chair, leaning against the corner of the wall and leaving a large enough space for a human to hide. And beyond the chair, I can sense the most wonderful outpouring of sheer dread, shrouding a multitude of panicked thoughts. Human thoughts.
… Oh God no please no what is that thing what does it want why is it following me and watching always watching don't look at it don't come back here don't don't please please PLEASE!
I tilt my head in interest, carefully reading these whisperings and extracting the terror from each.
This pleases me. I shall allow her fear to build before I strike, building so much that it overwhelms her. Humans have a remarkable capacity to cause their own dread without any outside help, let alone mine.
I wait patiently, absorbing scraps of her fear, my attention focused solely on her hiding place. My invisible gaze never once leaves her. Never flinching. Never moving. Never.
No no no don't look at me stop looking at me please stop watching me oh God so tall too tall no eyes no face what is that awful fucking thing?!
I become annoyed. I am not an awful thing.
I warp myself closer, easily close enough now to peer curiously over the edge of the chair. She sees only my shadow first. Then my long, slender fingers, curling around the top of the chair. Then she sees me, staring down at her as she stares upward in utmost dread. She is curled in the corner, shivering between the chair and the wall. Utterly trapped.
She is making the most pitiful whimpering noises as she stares at me in terror, shaking her head in slow, horrified disbelief. Her terror rises to a crescendo. She is paralyzed with it.
Nonononononononononono go away leave me alone please I don't want to die!
Had I a voice, I would have sighed in irritation. Why is it that you humans always think I want to kill you?
I wrap my tendrils around the chair and easily pull it aside. Such flimsy hiding places you humans choose!
My prey bolts, now energized by her own panic.
No matter. She will not get very far.
/Do not run. You cannot./
The thought echoes through her mind irresistibly, and she stumbles into a collapse mere feet from me. It is all the time I need to catch up to her. I am already behind her now, a task that takes only a few of your human seconds, and still she kneels, coughing and shivering from fear and the nausea brought on by the Sickness.
Even still, she can sense me. She knows I am near, and she attempts so futilely to crawl away.
/No. You will stay./
She stops moving, unaware that I ever suggested it to her, and slowly brings herself to her feet again. Her breath hitches in fear; her hands shake terribly, but still she cannot run. I will not let her, and even if she did, I could easily grab her before she could take a single step.
I tilt my head down towards her to sense her better, to see the terror on her face. To see how she quivers before me with her horrified, wide-eyed expression. It is so delicious.
I extend my long, branchlike arms in an embrace, welcoming her.
/Come to me./
The human walks ever closer, her thoughts expressing confusion and terror. But she cannot escape me now. I already have her mind enthralled, and she must obey my suggestions. She is already close enough now to reach out and touch me if she so wished, though her fear will not allow her to.
I wrap a single tendril around her, slowly drawing her close to me. She shrieks, the terror quickly becoming far too much for her. Too much for her mind and body to handle. I absorb it as quickly as she can scream it out, and she shakes horribly, almost seizing, before finally collapsing into a dead faint.
She will not wake again.
Her body slowly dissipates into mist in my grasp, far too exhausted from terror and trying to escape me to continue living. I sense her presence lingering only momentarily, and soon she is gone from this reality.
… I am truly sorry, human. But I could not allow your escape while you still drew breath, and I was so very hungry…
I glide upon my tendril limbs, arms solemnly still at my sides, and begin my trek back into the forest I call home. She is not the first to fall to my hunger, and she will not be the last. I find all those who run eventually. It is inevitable. Some will become objects of observation only. Some will die for their destructive sins. Still others will become my sustenance, continuing the legends and spreading the fear for all to know and remember. And some, though very few, will follow me to the forest, gathering around me and abandoning their identities in honor of my lack of one. As used to happen in the past. As always will.
And you? What of you, human? What I shall do when you meet me some night is your decision. You are the one who decides your fate, not I. Shall you run from me, or embrace me? Shall you seek me, or leave me? Will you recognize what it is I am, or will you scorn me as a mindless, cruel monster?
I will wait and see, human. You will not know that I am watching, that I am waiting for your arrival, but I am.
I, the eternal.
I, the Slenderman.