I almost didn’t believe it when I saw the lobby. We’d been rushing through mazelike office floors for what must have been days, without any end in sight. And then, suddenly, we were there. The door out was right in front of us.
The room still had the remains of the massacre that had occurred in it, with mutilated, rotting bodies all over the floor. Through the glass doors we could see the swamp. Part of me had been secretly hoping that those doors would lead back home, but it looked like we’d have longer to go before we reached that.
After waiting to see if anything in the lobby was going to try killing us, Arkady began searching the bodies. He got several knives for himself (of course,) but then handed Sky and me pistols.
A: “Just in case. Try not to accidentally shoot someone in the face.”
D: “Why aren’t you taking one?”
A: “Experience has shown that I have a difficult time hitting targets right in front of me. We don’t know how good you two will be, so you at least have the potential of being slightly competent compared to me.”
I can’t say I liked the feeling of that gun in my hand. I’ve done a lot to avoid having to get involved in a fight. I don’t know if I could kill someone, even if I had to.
Arkady paused at the front doors and peered outside.
A: “Sky, what can we expect out there?”
S: “I don’t know. I don’t feel any pressure or headaches….”
A: “Which could mean that it’s completely safe out there. But somehow I doubt that.” *He double checked the knife he had drawn.* “I’ll go first. Stick close to me.”
He carefully pushed the door open, and stepped out. Sky and I followed just a moment later. Based on what I’d seen through the glass, we should have stepped into a pool of dark water, surrounded by dead black trees. Instead, all around us was nothing. We were standing in a white void. Even the building we’d come out of was gone.
Scenery started appearing like it was being drawn on a blank paper. First the outlines appeared, and then color was slowly added in. Instead of a swamp, we were standing on a beach shore. The sand was bleached white, and made a sickly crunching sound when we walked through it. The ocean’s water was a deep shade of black, and the waves made no sound as they rolled onto the beach. A light fog hung over the water, making it impossible to see what was beyond. It was raining here as well, with fat black drops falling onto our faces, but there was no lightning. When I looked at the beach more closely, it became clear that it wasn’t made of sand. A human skull was partially buried by my foot, and part of a ribcage wasn’t far from that. It was a beach made of powdered bones.
A short distance away from us was a gray wooden pier, with a small rowboat tied to it. It looked like the only way to keep going forward, so we started walking toward it. Halfway there, a wall of fire appeared in front of us. And behind us, Slender Man appeared. The fire spread around us, trapping us in a circle with the Slender Man.
Sky pulled her gun and fired at him. The recoil nearly made her drop the gun, and I doubt the bullet hit. Even if it had, it didn’t seem to have any effect. Slender Man’s head twitched, and her gun vanished. She looked like she was about to try running at him, so I grabbed her shoulder before I could. Arkady seemed to have the same thought, because he grabbed her other shoulder at the same time. He’d also taken the time to pick up one of the skulls in the beach, and held it up.
A: “To be, or not to be….” *He crushed the skull between his fingers, and let the pieces fall back into the sand.* “Not to be.” *He pushed the two of us back.* “I suggest you both use this as an opportunity to make a daring escape.”
D: “Escape? There’s fire all around us!”
A: “Yeah that sounds like your problem, not mine. I’m about to go charging into glorious battle.”
S: “What? You can’t do that! You’ll die!”
A: “Oh, most probably!” *He was grinning like a maniac.* “But that’s what makes it so exciting! Death will always come; no need to waste time fearing it. Glory lies over the corpse of your enemy! Never shrink from any attack or tactic that may harm them, no matter the cost! Either utterly destroy them, or die spitting in their eye!” *He patted Sky on the head, and then looked at me.* “Do at least make an attempt to get away; I’d hate to let something as stupid as what I’m about to do go to waste. If I somehow come back from this as well, I will be sorely disappointed if I find out that both of you just stood here the entire time without doing anything.”
He gave us a lazy salute, and then started walking toward Slender Man. It started growing more tentacles from its back as he got closer, but that didn’t seem to daunt him.
A: “Hey, Slendy! You know how long I’ve been waiting for this? You and me, one on one, winner take all! The day I finally get to cut off your head and make an umbrella out of your skin! You’d better make peace with your death pretty quick, because soon you’ll be nothing but a black smear on the ground!” *The flames roared even higher, with enough heat that it felt like I was being cooked in there. Arkady didn’t flinch; he looked right in his element, surrounded by that fire.* “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!” *He stopped, and threw out his arms.* “Behold! Look upon the face of your enemy, Slender Man! I am lightning! I am chaos!”
And then he ran forward. Slender Man’s tentacles lashed forward, and it was clear that Arkady had no way to avoid them. So he didn’t even try to. The tentacles struck him, knocking him down. But he got back up, and began running again, shouting a joyous battle cry. A tentacle impaled him through his side, and another hit his arm so hard I heard the bone snap, but he kept going. When one of his legs was torn off, he continued by crawling, laughing as he bled on the sand. A foot away from Slender Man, a tentacle wrapped around his neck and lifted him up. His laughs became gasps for air as it slowly crushed him. Slender Man spread open its arms and began to pull Arkady towards it, as if preparing to embrace him. As he came close, Arkady lunged forward with his knife, right at Slender Man’s chest.
All the fires went out. Everyone, even Arkady, was frozen as we looked at the blade stabbed into Slender Man’s suit. There was no blood or visible wound, but the knife had unmistakably found its mark.
A: “Ha….” *His voice was so soft I barely heard it.* “Some ‘Invincible God’ you turned out to be….”
Those were his last words before the tentacle around his neck tore his head off. Slender Man threw the body onto the ground, and more tentacles began ripping it to pieces. Sky screamed and began to run at them, but I grabbed her arm and pulled her toward the boat. We had the chance to escape, and we had to take it.
I’ll never know if we would have been able to make it, because Sky grabbed my gun and pulled out of my grip. She had a wild look in her eyes, with a smile that was disturbingly similar to the one Arkady had right before he was decapitated.
D: “Come on! We just need to make it to the boat!”
S: “No. No, that won’t work. He’ll follow me anyways. He’ll always follow me. He never will let me go.” *She laughed, and looked at the pistol cradled in her hands.* “If I’m such an important treasure to him, how badly would it hurt him if his treasure was destroyed?”
*It took a moment, but then I realized what Sky was planning to do.*
D: “No. Sky, please, no. We can escape. We can go on the run. You don’t have to do this.”
*I took a few steps towards her, but stopped when she pointed the gun at her head. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Slender Man had stopped mutilating Arkady, and was slowly walking toward us.*
S: “I can hurt him. After everything he’s done to me, I can hurt him back.”
D: “So? We have a chance to live! We can stay on the run! I’ll never let Slender Man catch you!”
S: “You’ve seen Runners. That’s not living. Just let me do this. It’s the only thing I can do.”
D: “I’m not leaving without you!”
*Suddenly Slender Man appeared right behind Sky. The smile vanished from her face, and tears appeared in her eyes.*
S: “Please go.” *She whispered.* “I don’t want him to take you too…”
There’s no point in writing what I said next. I kept pleading with Sky, begging her to drop the gun and run. Nothing I said worked. She turned around to face Slender Man, keeping the gun aimed at her head. Slender Man watched her, his head tilted slightly to the side.
S: “H-h-hey, Slendy….” *Her voice was weak at first, but grew stronger.* “Fuck… Fuck you!”
Then she pulled trigger.
I’ve never felt as helpless as the moment I saw her lifeless body falling onto the sand. I couldn’t believe she was gone. Some part of me kept saying that it had to be another illusion, even if I knew that wasn’t true.
For a while, Slender Man didn’t do anything but stare at her body, as if waiting for something. Two of his tentacles wrapped around her and pulled her upright. When they let go, she predictably fell back to the ground. He tried that three more times, like he somehow thought the result would change. He nudged her body, but it still just laid there.
The rain began to pour down even harder, and thunder roared as lightning flashed all around. The black sea became vicious, and the waves slammed into the shore hard enough to send bones flying. Slender Man lifted a tentacle into the air, and then slammed it into the ground. He did that over and over, as his whole body twisted and writhed. Other tentacles lashed all around at random, until one hit me, knocking me into the water. I tried swimming up, but the sea had grown too chaotic, and I was pulled further down.
The next thing I remember, I was waking up in an emergency room with nurses around me. They were talking to each other, but I couldn’t understand anything they said. It took a few moments of confusion before someone started speaking to me in English. I’d been found nearly drowned in the Elbe River, near Dresden. Somehow, I’d wound up in Germany. According to the date on the calendars here, it’s been about eight months since I went inside that skyscraper. To me, it only felt like two, maybe three weeks, at most.
Thankfully my bag was still with me, and I think my laptop’s got enough for one last post before all that water damage i’s taken blows it. I expect they’re planning to release me soon, but I don’t think that’s really going to matter. Since the moment I woke up, I’ve been seeing the Slender Man. He was far down a hallway outside the door at first, but he’s steadily been getting closer every time I look away or blink. I don’t think he’s happy about how things turned out, and I’m the only survivor left for him to take out his anger on.
I’m not like Arkady or Sky. I don’t have it in me for any final acts of defiance. All I can do is lie here and wait for it all to end.
This is going to be my last post. I don’t want to end this with me crying for help. I’ll leave with at least some composure left. Well, goodbye everyone. I just wish things could have turned out differently.