I see Light in so many people now, but my mind is plagued by the Slender Man. I keep seeing him, or I think I do – I’m not sure. I see him outside on my runs with Jack, in Threadstone manor as I walk down the hallway, and every time I turn to inspect he’s gone. And I was able to learn so little about him – even with Adianni’s help – that the anxiety was keeping me awake at night. How do I guard us from something like this? The Threads available met and discussed what we learned, as well as our options.
Wanderer, Freya, Adianni, and The Last Messiah all shared times they had seen – or so they think – the Slender Man. I shared my experiences as well. Freya told us the Slender Man is a being created through belief called a Goetia. Jack is a Spirit of Protection, which is similar but different. I’d have to ask Advokat for more details. But one of the puzzle pieces fell into place; the more we think about the Slender Man, the more power he has and the more present he will be. Goetia normally exist in the Astral Plane, but Freya said Willworkers who have mastered Mind magic can bring Goetia onto our plane. The mages feed on hope and fear to make it possible, which is both encouraging and terrifying. If Voland had been available, I think it would have helped us narrow down our options.
Instead we started talking about visiting the Astral Plane, which made me very uncomfortable. Leaving our plane to go to a foreign one just seemed like a bad idea, though several of the Threads had visited before without harm. Eventually, we arrived at a simple but important decision. We did not intend on destroying it – if such a thing is even possible – but we did want to send it back to the Astral Plane. To do that, we needed to learn how. Without Advokat, who would be perfectly suited to answer at least some of our questions, we contacted Xavier from the werewolf clan. We setup a place and time to meet and got in my car.
On the way down the driveway, I noticed lights in the distance dimming supernaturally. Very quickly none of us could see beyond a strange wall of darkness. Even with my magic – even with my new abilities – I could not see through it. I headed back up the driveway so we could exit the car and take a look around. A few moments later I could see a vague shape at the edge of the darkness, so I held it in place. It was small and did not resist, and as I approached I saw it was a child. I did not feel great about imposing my will on a Sleeper, especially a child, but at least he couldn’t harm himself or anyone else. The other Threads noticed other children all around the yard, even on the house. And then they started orating a disturbing poem about the Slender Man. They said it so many times I was able to memorize it, and I’m sure it won’t help me keep the Slender Man out of my mind.
The boy I held telekinetically did not speak, since his mouth was held closed, so I took a moment to study his Soul. It was bright, but with darkness all around it. His eyes were dark orbs, empty of life. “The children have souls and are not to be harmed,” I said to make sure no one harmed them. The Last Messiah is trigger happy and my words made him holster his weapon. The others worked various magics to search for answers. Wanderer scryed on the houses down the street from us to see how far the darkness spread. Then someone quieted the children by lowering the sound around them. Then I tried curing the boy before me, but it was not a disease that ailed him. It was the Abyss.
I suggested Adianni dispel the effect on the children, which several of the Threads saw with their Sight. But all the powerful magic being cast eventually ended in paradox, which made the darkness close farther in. I had to choose to let the boy be enveloped in the darkness, or shield him from it. I’m ashamed to say I even considered the former. I stepped forward and held onto him muttering that he would be okay. And then there was only the void – emptiness stabbing at my Soul like a pack of hungry predators feasting on living prey. When I eventually escaped the Abyss (and I have no doubt that’s where the darkness was from), I still held the boy in my arms. He didn’t seem to be harmed, but I could feel the lingering wound the Abyss had on my Soul.
Eventually, Adianni was able to dispel the effect on each of the children, and the void slithered away back to the Abyss. The children were out of it, so Freya put them in her car (Jack accompanying her) and drove them to the police station to get them home. Xavier and the wolves eventually reached our home from the beach, announcing themselves with howls as they approached in various forms. They could tell something was off when the darkness was surrounding us, but had no way of pinpointing the cause.
So that’s what we have to do next. It seems very unlikely to me the children were controlled by the Slender Man. I expect it to be the group of hooded figures we saw on the cliff a few weeks ago during one of Wanderer’s scrying spells. But I don’t know.
I don’t know and I keep seeing him…
Watch over us, love.