Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Slender Man

I sat at the ancient wooden desk, hunched over and staring uselessly at the opened books before me. Running a stressed hand through my long black tangles I sighed. Nothing was making sense to me. Once again I found myself momentarily distracted as I studied the artistic curves and carvings of the table where I sat. Intricate and masterful the handiwork spoke of skill that long has been forgotten.

It was a marvel to me that a public library had acquired such pieces for itself but perhaps not surprising. Everywhere I looked I could see that beauty and comfort was what this library was going for. Situated in a large bustling city of wealthy business people and artists alike, it was like a palace for all. Its domed roofs could sparkle in the sun beckoning everyone near and far to come in and take a look at its treasures. Enormous grand windows in the luxurious style of old Europe graced the exterior made up of stone and granite. Set higher in the building then a taller man, the windows provided privacy as well as an abundance of natural sunlight. From the inside, if one cared to, they could sit at one of the window seats and read. Polished wood gleamed elegantly throughout bringing a touch of warmth and old world for a fast paced modern city.

I always felt safe as I sat in one of the cozy armchairs that were situated around the elaborate study desks. It felt like a place where I could dream and those dreams could come true. How I longed for it to be one of those days. Instead I sat and tried to study facts that seemed beyond my grasp.  It had grown late, well into the evening.  More and more people had left and soon I was the only one there. Outside the window closest to me I could see as the streetlights turned on, their glow eliminating the dark.  It was beyond the light that held my interest though. A summer storm was brewing. Sitting up slightly I strained my ears for the first sounds of thunder. Lightning was flaring up in the distance setting the sky briefly on fire. It was a powerful display that never failed to thrill me.

Smiling slightly I turned back to the books in front of me. It was time to pack up and leave. The library would be closing in half an hour and I didn’t want to keep Mrs. Regan, the Librarian waiting or to be caught up in the storm when it hit.

It took me a while before I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. With a start I realized it had been going on for a few minutes just outside the window closest to me. Curious I turned my head to get a better look. There, just barely peeking over the edge of the window was the white top part of a head and it had stopped moving the moment I looked at it. For a moment nothing happened. Whoever it was just stayed perfectly centered underneath the window. Than with growing horror I saw it had turned its smooth head and now was looking straight at me. When had it moved? Gasping, I backed away in terror, suddenly feeling as if nothing was in between us.

A wall of books kept me from backing away any further. Just feeling something solid brought a certain amount of reality back to me. Taking deep breaths I talked myself down. There was no need to feel so jumpy. Closing my eyes I continued to calm myself, dispelling all my unreasonable fears. Must be the storm, I mused silently. Opening my eyes I glanced tentatively back to the window. The tall man was gone! A shriek echoed eerily throughout the library and then was abruptly cut off!

“Mrs. Reagan?” I called out bravely, hating the way my voice sounded so weak and pathetic.

There was no answer. All was still.  Feeling the fine hair from my neck stand up again I decided not to wait around. Feeling exposed I grabbed what I had in my bag and took off towards where I knew the restrooms were. My feet made the only sound as I swept past empty tables and more rows of books.  Rounding a corner, I stopped fast. The room I was in opened onto the main entrance hall which was where Mrs. Reagan was situated. Normally it was lit up brighter than a Christmas tree. Now it was dark.

Thunder burst out suddenly causing me to jump. It has sounded like a thousand cannons going off at once. Turning I fled from the hall. There was something that repelled me going any further into the main entrance hall. Cold sweat beaded on my forehead and the back of my neck as I could not shake the feeling I was being stalked.  With relief I arrived at the entrance of the bathrooms. Taking one more look around before entering, my gaze was pulled to the far corner of the room where some lamps where still turned on.  One look showed me nothing was there. Then I did a double take, my eyes zeroed in on the corner just beyond the lamps. It took a moment but then my eyes focused and I could make out a skinny shape of a person there; a ridiculously tall person. It was undoubtedly the same person I had seen outside the window. But….was it a person? Everything about it was wrong. A strange and unsettling darkness was around it, I could not quite make it out. Whatever it was, it was unnaturally still. Nothing made sense to my eyes. One thing I knew and that was to get out of there. The very sight of it repelled me and made me feel as if I had lost control over reality.

Tearing into the girl’s bathroom I turned and locked the door then backed away, holding onto a hope that this would protect me. For a while nothing seemed to happen but I could still not shake that heavy feeling of dread. Something was wrong.

To my horror, fog began rippling in through the bottom crack of the door. How could this be? This could not be happening to me. I was meant to be safe! But I had never felt so far from safe as I did in that moment. Sliding my back down the wall, I collapsed on the ground, my legs having given out to all out fear. Yet I could not even manage a scream. I could feel it there stuck in my throat.  But I knew any sound at all would draw attention to me and where I was.

Minutes passed as I kept a wary fearful eye on the fog. It seemed to be only a little that had seeped in. Perhaps I had overreacted. Trying hard to steady y breathing I nodded my head. Just to feel that bit of movement reminded me I was still alive. Whatever force was out there that was seeking my life, perhaps it was gone now. Perhaps someone would still come and help me and all would be ok. Almost I believed this. Then my head, heavy from stress and fear, tilted back against the wall. My eyes unwittingly rose upwards and it was then I screamed. A face was staring at me! Its blank face peered through the top of the old fashioned glass paned window of the wall above the door! It had been there this whole time! A memory came to me of a tale I had heard not long ago. It told of a creature just like this one. Could it be that I was to be a victim of the Slender Man?

All my energy, the last of it went into the screams. My voice echoed and the darkness coming from the being staring though the window seemed to swallow it up.This is it, Kallista, I thought to myself as the glass of the window shattered into a million tiny shards. Each one seemed to break apart in slow motion and my last thought was to stare at the glass and not at the multiple thin arms of black that stretched towards me. At last, even my voice failed me as I felt myself lifted up having been entwined in black. Silent and still I just hung there as I drifted off into unconsciousness. My final moment came when all at once the many hands of the slender man shot into me and through me. Pain, then madness, then nothing. I was gone.