“If you wanted to know something about me,” the faceless man leans in close and whispers into your ear, “you should have just asked.” Feeling the murderer so close to your face makes you want to scream, but you fail to conjure up the sound. Completely paralyzed by fear, your body goes numb. However, after a moment’s silence, you gather up enough courage to speak.
“I-I,” you stutter. “W-what the hell… are y-you doing here?”
“Well, since you were so avidly researching me, I assumed that learning from the actual being would provide more accurate information.”
Your eyes flash back to the computer screen. You have five tabs open, each one a different site discussing Slenderman.
“Shit!” you curse. You hurry to close down the proof of your interest, your cheeks turning a light pink. A faint static fills your head, disabling you momentarily.
Suddenly, Slenderman turns the chair around, forcing you to face him. He lightly draws his hand across your collarbone as he switches his hand to your other shoulder, being careful to never release your skin. His action causes your breath to hitch, and a chill races down your spine.
“You mentioned not wanting to be alone earlier, and I honored your wishes. So, now that you got what you wanted, I suggest you give me what I want: your attention.”
“But I-I didn’t want you to come. I- I said leave me alone,” you mutter.
“Yes, you did. But is that really what you want? Won’t that just make you even more lonely?” he questions softly. You try to make a retort, but he cuts you off. “I don’t want you to be lonely, ______.”
Your eyes widen at his confession, and then you rush out the words, “What do you mean by-”
He interjects again. “Tell me, when was the last time you and your family did anything together? How many weeks do you go without so much as a word from your parents? When was the last time either of them told you that they love you?”
“Shut up!” you screech. You jolt up from the chair, pushing it into Slenderman as you bolt for the door. To your dismay, the door was locked. Tentacles wrap around your slim form and pull you away from the door. Infuriated that your chance at escape had been stolen from you, you violently thrash in his grip.
You close your eyes, refusing to give him the attention he desires so much. Static penetrates your mind with a much greater frequency than before. Keeping your eyes closed, you ignore his obvious warning.
“________, don’t shut me out,” Slenderman says. His tone is firm, but it is also laced with a small amount of desperation.
He lowers you down to your bed, forcing you to sit, so that you would eventually have to look at him. You realize that you cannot protest for much longer, despite your stubbornness. After several moments, you reluctantly surrender by slowly opening your eyes. You look up to find Slenderman looming over you.
“Why me?” you inquire.
He lets out an exasperated sigh.
“What?” You ask, annoyed by his response. He didn’t appear as if he was going to give you a better response, so you decide to ask another question. “Even if I am left alone all the time—which I’m not, by the way—why do you even care?”
“Because you’re in denial. I have been watching you for a while now. You are a strong girl, _________,but you are also a fool. You cannot deny the fact that you have been neglected for years.”
“I’m not denying anything! I am not neglected! My mother and father love me very much and we spend a lot of time together!” you angrily shriek at him.
“If you are not neglected, then answer these questions: How many times have you held an actual conversation with your mother since you have been home?How many times have you seen your father this year? How many nights have you spent all alone?”
You try to come up with answers:
Slenderman’s intrusive questions paralyze your thoughts. You stumble around within your memories, searching for the truth. How many times had you talked to your mother since camp? How many times had you seen your father this year? How many nights could you remember your parents actually in the house with you?
You know that they must care about you to some extent, considering that they give you a monthly food budget and check up on you when they are gone for extensive amounts of time. However, they are rarely present in your life.
Your father leaves for months at a time for work, and when he comes home, you hardly even acknowledge each other. You do not even know what he does for a living! Your mother, a photographer, has plenty of opportunities to be home and talk to you. However, she chooses to leave you alone for days at a time. When your mother is home, she is always busy talking to her customers, so she does not wish to be disturbed. Then, when they are both home, they go out of town and spend time together, leaving you alone once more. Living like this has become the norm for you.
“Maybe I am lonely,” you ponder, “but I am not going to sit here and let him get to me.”
“Well?” Slenderman presses.
“So what if I don’t have the greatest parents in the world? It has nothing do with you anyways. How I live my life is my choice. So just butt out and leave me alone!” you screech.
“If that is what you truly desire, then I shall take my leave.” Suddenly, a car alarm alerts you to your parents’ return, stealing your attention away. Slenderman grabs your chin and forces you to gaze at him once more.
“However, should you ever desire any company, seek me out within the Evergreen Forest.”He releases you, turning around just before vanishing. You sit perfectly still on the bed, your wish having been granted. However, in the end, you almost would have prefered it if he had stayed. Almost.