*So... you found this. I hope you like it. Enjoy!*
My name is Chloe. Whenever somebody tried to hurt me, they would disappear the same day. Then, the next day, I would see him. The tall, slender being with no face, the internet sensation called Slenderman. Nobody else ever sees him, besides the ones he kills for me. It honestly has started to become unnerving when I see him. At first, as a child, I thought of him as a savior, but now? I'm really not so sure anymore. He has begun taking my sleeping mind into nightmares, showing me the dead bodies of those he has killed for me.
It nearly made me throw up in my sleep each time.
So the next time I saw him, I approached him, nervous but determined. I saw his cheekbones rise at me walking toward him, but I was sure he became unhappy or confused when he saw the anger I possessed. I heard a buzzing noise the closer I got to him. I leaned against the metal fence, sitting against it, making it look like I wanted to be alone. I murmured quietly to him.
"Why did you do all that for me?" No response. I sighed, continuing to ask questions. "I appreciate it but I can't help feeling like you have some sort of other motive. You don't do this for other women, do you?"
I looked up to see he was sitting on the ground on the other side of the fence, his head tilted as if he was studying me. I jumped, moving away a little. Why had he moved so close? The buzzing had stopped, thankfully, but he had been inspecting me a little too much.
"Okay... why aren't you saying anything?"
He straightened up, and stood, rising to his full height. He climbed over the fence in a snake-like way, and held his large hand out to me, the fingers abnormally long and slender, with sharp nails at the fingertips. I carefully drew away, afraid.
"This is normally how you abduct children, isn't it?"
The buzzing returned loudly for a moment, then quieted down to a low frequency. I held my head in pain, thankful nobody was around, not even cars were driving by. I guess that sound was his way of communicating. I tried listening to it, but all I heard was the low hum. It skipped out for a moment, growing a little stronger, the skipping becoming for frequent as I listened more. Finally, some words managed to find their way through.
"I will protect you from hurters."
"Do you mean criminals?"
His white head bobbed in a nod.
"It is my assignment."
"Oh... well... thanks even though you were told to."
"Protecting is not usually for me."
I frowned. "Well when does your assignment end?"
His buzzing stopped. I saw him reach into his pocket, and pull out a piece of paper. Weird, I knew he had his own video game that supposedly told stories, but why would he have —
It wasn't ordinary paper. It was a photograph. He held it out to me, and I looked at it, not touching it, seeing me, my mother, father, and...
"Why are you in this picture?"
"It is my assignment," he replied firmly. "I must protect you."
"Obviously you haven't talked for a while… your voice kinda sounds funny."
"No... I had no need."
"Who gave you the assignment?"
He paused again. Then suddenly, he was gone, vanished into thin air. Confused, I waited for a few minutes, then when I figured he wasn't returning, I went home. When I got there, I went straight to my bedroom, and what do you know! He was in my room. He held a new picture, one of me from when I was a child. He spoke again.
"I saw you as a child. I saw you were not like… the other humans. I gave myself this assignment."
"Yes. I feel you are my child. My daughter, somewhat."
"Well, maybe you'd be more like a stepfather, since you're not my biological father."
"So you see me, as a guardian?"
"Kinda like a guardian demon. I just don't really like the dreams… you can always just tell me that you killed a criminal for me."
"I wish to be around you more often. May I… appear to you more often?"
I smiled, pulling him down so he was on one knee. I embraced him, feeling him stiffen, before returning the hug. I felt incredibly safe in his arms.
"Does this answer your question," I asked quietly.
"Yes. I believe you wish to see me more often."
"For sure. I want you around as much as possible."
I rested my forehead on his shoulder, but decided on putting my chin there instead. I looked down, remembering all the stories of him having tentacles in his back. Slowly, I began to pull away, careful not to upset him. He seemed to understand the hug was over, and released me from his arms.
"I uh… do you have those… tentacles? That come from your back?"
"I do not usually use them, for fear of scaring away the children I mean to save."
"You can let them out when you're around me."
I saw the inky appendages extend from behind him, something of a growl coming from him, and his head bent to one side for a moment. It seemed like his eyes would be closed right now, if he had visible ones.
"It has been a long time since I have used these… it feels wonderful to use them."
I felt his gaze land on me, and one of the tentacles moved forward slowly, wrapping around my hand and pulling it up. He rested my hand in his larger one, and his hand closed around mine, his hold gentle.
"I wish to take you to a safer place. Please, let me take you to where there will be no more pain, suffering, or worry for you. I know your parents beat you every day, but I am trying to protect you from those on the streets."
I smiled. "They won't know I'm gone until they 'need' more alcohol. And I just went out two days ago. They won't need more until three days from now. So yes, bring me wherever you like."
He pulled me against him, and I felt cold for a split second, then found myself in a rose garden. It was incredible for the size, it seemed to stretch for miles. There were roses everywhere. There were white, blue, red, orange, black, yellow, purple and green flowers. There were gorgeous blooms of every color, and I turned back to my savior. He was next to me on one knee again.
"I have saved you… this is where I take all the children that have disappeared until I believe their souls are ready to move on."
"But I don't want to leave, ever."
"I will not make you leave, then. If you ever wish to move on, let me know."
"No way will I ever want to move on."
"I must leave at some time to bring others here, too. Are you alright with that?"
"I'm good with kids. I'll be okay while I'm here, right?"
"Of course. While you are here you will never become hungry or thirsty, and you will not age at all anymore, unless you wish to."
"Well… I'd like to look like I'm eighteen forever. I'm just a few days away from my birthday."
"Very well. Your aging process will stop at eighteen. I must leave now."
"Thank you, Slenderman."
"You're quite welcome."
And he was gone, off to take other children here. I looked around, seeing shadows flit around. The rose garden was brightly lit. I supposed the shadows were harmless. After all, this was Slenderman's garden, and he was the master of shadows. I heard a sharp intake of air, and looked over to see another girl, much younger than me, standing right where I had arrived. I smiled, and saw Slenderman look over his shoulder at me, then back to the girl. She thanked him, and when she saw me, she ran over, looking up at me.
"Will you play with me?"
"Of course, but I'm sure Slenderman will have other kids soon enough to play with you."
"Indeed, little one," he said, kneeling to be closer to her height. "I will bring even more playmates."
"Okay!" She turned back to me. "What's your name?"
"Oh. I'm Chloe."
"Come on, Chloe, let's play tag!"
The little girl pulled me to my feet. I went and began playing with her, until there were at least twenty children all playing tag together. I sat with Slenderman on one of the many benches while they had their fun.
"Thank you for bringing me here."
"I often ask those who are older before I bring them to my garden. The shadows are usually scary for the younger children, but I am far scarier to those of your age."
"You sure were before, but I remember seeing you when I was little, like these other kids. Why didn't you save me then?"
"I do not know. Perhaps it was your… difference, from others."
"So what does this mean?"
"It means you are special. I do not think it is love, but perhaps like you said, I am more of a guardian demon to you. One that you have known was always there." I felt him hug me closer. "One that will always protect you."
"Yeah. I know you'll keep me safe."
I knew this was the beginning of a long, wonderful life. The garden was huge, and there plenty of kids for the other ones to play with. I saw many come and go, but there were always new ones to greet.
Here, in his garden. His garden of roses, and shadows.