Stress was a thing amongst all living creatures, and that was a well-known fact. Even monsters, of the most horrifying caliber, were not exempt from it. Or one should say, monsters that were formerly horrifying, which was such a case for he who blended in with the trees.
The Slender Man, is what he was called by those who knew of his infamy. But amongst his own kind and allies, he was constantly hounded and hissed at, being recently called a disgrace that needed to retire. All because of incidents on the outside, and a film, leading to fear diminishing even further than it already had.
The situation escalated when the emperor, ruler, boss, whatever you wanted to call him…
Well, he had a few things to say to Slender Man. And this was quite a problem, since the majority of them were aware of the normal world, which was outside, that they could not interact with. They always knew what went on, being fueled by nightmares, and speech passed along. But the speeches heard as of recent, got attention for a different reason.
He wore a cloak of enigmatic proportions and design, masking his appearance, as he sat in his throne. His eyes were large and circular, nothing but black pits beneath the magenta shapes. And as he stirred in his seat, his glare became more stern.
This entity, his name was Polybius, the current man in charge of the realm. Tucked away into a tiny corner of hell in another world, dropped into this one for his manipulation and urban legend, so that he would never be forgotten. Slender Man was going to be in charge himself, but wasn't sure of his responsibility, so Polybius took the stand with his experience.
It was a good decision in hindsight, especially considering now, with the fumble of Slender Man's film. "You know why you're here, I don't have to explain it. Slender Man, are you asking to have yourself removed from this world? We had just hired Momo for help, and this blunder happens."
"It is out of my control, sir." Slender Man tried to explain himself. Even though his face as blank as always, one could see he was tired and stressed out.
"Out of your control," Polybius then rose from his seat, staring down at Slender Man. "Did you think the same of the other beings here that had been dropped out of existence?" Deeply sighing, Polybius grumbled to himself before speaking again. "I'll give you that, your origin is still regarded even now, unlike many who had left this world. But continuing this could lead to you being dropped, we are already in a desperate time right now. Do you understand what I mean?"
Slender Man knew all too well. All the competition, attention and fear being shifted away from them, no one being afraid any longer of small internet legends. Video games, other horror creations…
"You need to find a solution to this."
"Beg your pardon?"
"You caused this dry spell when Momo could have solved it for a short while, now you need to fix it." Polybius explained. "Either a new proxy that is actually frightening, a hidden gem, you have to think of something. Creations in this realm get destroyed if they aren't quickly given life. Now go, come up with a plan, ask others for help if you're really that clueless. Not that you should be at your age."
He didn't want to grumble about it, not in front of Polybius, and not that he would anyway. It was out of Slender Man's character to complain about anything. He had to accept this, even if he didn't really agree with it. One would think that Slender Man would have the power to fight Polybius back, considering his great amount of strength, but he was only second in the command line for a reason. No one could top Polybius, he was a master at invoking insanity and control, he was the only reason none of these monsters were tearing themselves to shreds… for the most part.
Some who were unlucky would immediately get themselves killed if they weren't strong enough to survive against stronger, more frightening beings. They say that the Skin-Taker's cape becomes longer each time someone does not survive, or that Sen would gain some newly corrupted residents. Slender was not weak, and he would make certain to not be heckled by anyone.
Well, that said, when he left the rather stern meeting, he was immediately greeted by a tall woman standing behind him, nearly his own height. She wore a large white hat and a white dress to match, greeting Slender Man with a strange noise that sounded almost masculine.
"Hello to you too, cousin," Slender Man said.
Hachishakusama, sometimes called just Hasshaku-sama to most, Tall Lady to others, or just Eight-Feet-Tall. Whatever you called her, she was a distant, Japanese relative to Slender Man in a way. No was certain if they were related by blood, but most certainly by occupation and appearance, most would assume that they were. They were both pale, tall, stalked children and kidnapped them to unknown fates.
The main difference was the fashion sense, the fact that Hasshaku-sama had a face and hair, and she preferred to stalk around roads or tall hedges rather than forests. The only real question was whether Slender Man called her "cousin" out of respect for the fellow kidnapper, or because Hasshaku-sama was so snide when it came to joking about it, that he ended up playing along.
"In trouble for that film, were we?" She continued laughing, with that deep "popopo" sound that would give most monsters a run for their money in terms of masculinity. "It's okay, it will blow over in about a month, and everyone will forget about you too I'm sure."
"I'm being nice really, the others right now, they're being much more cruel when it comes to speaking of you. They all know that you probably want to hide from them." Slender Man winced again, since avoiding confrontation was exactly as he had planned. How irritating for his cousin to read him so easily. "You could say they're out for your blood right now, is there anything more embarrassing than that film?"
"You have no position to mock me with the adult films and comics based around you, which led to humans no longer being as afraid."
Recoiling, Hasshaku-sama glared at Slender Man. "Don't bring that up again, as much as I'm making fun of you, I'm actually on your side. Don't make me regret sympathizing with you."
She was right, that was too far. "Right, sorry. I've been stressed out, you can understand why I'm sure. Not really in any particular mood to chat right now either." Rubbing his forehead with tendrils, Slender Man made his way into the deep woods. "I have to fix this for Polybius— no, this whole realm. So please, I would rather be left alone."
With that, he took his leave. Hasshaku-sama took a hint and drifted back to the others, who were still chatting like crazy, nonstop.
Normally, blending in with dead trees with long branches would be a relaxing way to pass time, to wait for whatever unsuspecting victim came by, but right now that wasn't the case for Slender Man. This was a time for thinking, and being alone, getting away from it all so he could figure out how to fix this mess. If he didn't, that could mark the end of this realm.
If only there were a way to extend the sources of fear, surely Polybius could do something about his old home that could help them. Hopefully an idea could come to him that was physically possible, and no one would call out for him while he was trying to get some silence.
There had to be a solution, something out there had to help, but what were the chances of it? Was an answer just going to appear in a little rift before him? A connection that could solve everything?
He really had to think about it, Slender Man was not a creature to rely on luck, even if luck happened to appear out of nowhere.