Zero of A hint of serendipity has named tonight as the night that the Slender Man is damaged. He's asked everyone to write a story about how it happened. And so, because it's late and because it feels good to get a sort of fake revenge on the fake thing that ruined my friend's real life, I'm doing it. I'm keeping it purposely vague because...well, because I put far too much thought into this and I feel like myths work best when anyone can step into the hero's role. And...I don't know, maybe this is stupid, but I feel like this is a good idea. I heard a quote once that fairy tales don't exist to tell us there are monsters, but rather to tell us that monsters can be defeated. I think it's important for every monster to have a weakness, or, if not a weakness, some kind of safeguard so that the monster doesn't get you. And maybe if Jill could have done something to reassure her that the Slender Man wouldn't get her...well, I don't know.
So this doesn't mean I'm playing the game, and it doesn't mean I believe any of this. It just means this is a weird sort of therapy, and it doesn't hurt. It feels good to write a revenge story.
They came out of the night like leaves blown on a cold wind. From all points of America, across snow and desert, through forests and plains, called together by the loss and fear they'd suffered. By the determination to end that fear.
The Hero was among them, or perhaps they were all the Hero. None could deny the cold grip of fear around their hearts, but even with that fear tugging at their veins, they knew that they coudn't turn back now. And they only had to look to the side to see that they were not alone.
They had weapons- guns and swords and baseball bats, makeshift clubs and talismans. They did not stride across a field of battle in a blaze of glory, but they did not quail. They crept forward, hearts beating out of their chests, some holding hands tightly, some crying, but all moving forward together. And they stopped.
One spoke- "We know you're watching. Come out, you skinny fuck."
There was low, nervous laughter from somewhere in the group. And then silence. They waited.
Amd then they heard the low rustle of branches behind them, and all of them turned, knowing exactly what was waiting for them. The Monster, a patch of darkness in the night, featureless head rising like the moon, tentacles waving like branches in the wind. They shuddered under its faceless gaze, but they did not run. They raised their weapons high.
"On three." said someone. And they counted up to three, steeling themselves, ignoring every nerve in their body that screamed run, run, run.
And they charged the Monster.
It was confusion, a blind, inelegant battle, all flailing tentacles and wild swings. The air echoed with gunshots. They were lucky not to be murdered by their comerades. And then the confusion stopped dead. There was a terrible inhuman screech of rage and pain, and a rain of black-green fluid that burned like acid as it fell on their skin. They drew back from the Monster as one, and saw it standing in the returning moonlight as the eclipse passed.
One of them had hit the Monster.
It swirled around them, losing its form. On the ground at its feet lay a twitching patch of darkness- one of the creature's tentacles, severed by a knife, or sword, or bullet. Those who dared to take their eyes from the creature saw that it was dissolving into the earth. And when they looked up, the Monster had vanished again, before they could strike the final blow. But it had been hurt. It was vulnerable.
And because it could be defeated, it had lost its power. There would be rules, now, to bind it, ways for children to pull the covers over their heads and deny it entry, safety measures and barriers and weapons that would work against it. It would never hold the same blind fear again. And so the Hero, or Heroes, had their victory.