What is this? Our Arkady Svidrigailov is starting his post with a link to a classical composition? What is he, some manner of pretentious, elitist, intellectual snob?
To which I answer, yes, I am indeed all of the above. I do not merely accept the title of an elitist; I wave it high above my head as a battle standard. It is a fact of the world that some people are simply better than others; they are more intelligent, more athletic, or have greater strength of will. There is no reason to be ashamed of such superiority, and allow oneself to wallow with the peasantry in the name of ridiculous “equality”. Am I arrogant in this claim? Certainly I am. Is my feeling of superiority over the majority of mankind unmerited? Most likely. Do I care? Of course not.
And look at that; I’ve already gone horribly off topic. Wunderbar. I highly doubt all two page views I get a day are for the purpose of reading me lecture about my outdated beliefs. No, you’re here for the tall one, not me. My existence in this tale is just part of the unfortunate necessity for a narrator to be present. No doubt you would all have been happier to just watch a montage of Slender Man mutilating a series of attractive college aged humans in unique and interesting ways. I expect such a montage would sell extremely well at every theater across the country.
Now that the familial gatherings associated with these recent holidays have concluded, yesterday I returned to my university apartment so I could resume the arduous quest of acquiring a piece of paper which will inform the world of how educated I am. Since the time of my previous post, I had not made any further encounters with the Man who is most Slender; thus the days had returned to the boredom that is associated with normalcy. His absence terribly insulted me; I had been saving him some of the leftover cranberry sauce and stuffing. After all, he certainly needs to put some meat on his bones.
It was because of this that I returned to the old bricked building which I call home not expecting anything of interest to occur, apart from perhaps a rushed attempt later that night to write a paper explaining the supposed immorality of cloning (a note to all the millions of you who are no doubt reading this: if you have at any point in your life identified yourself as a moral nihilist, taking a course on morality and ethics may not prove to be your most intelligent decision). Upon opening the old and squeaky door which provides the entrance to my apartment, instead of being greeted by the familiar sight of my roommate hunched over an old discarded pizza box, committing xenocide via his Xbox, my eyes found themselves to be level with a tie.
This was the first time I had ever been this close to the Slender Man. I had rehearsed this moment in my mind dozens of times per day; once the opportunity presented itself, I would strike at him with all my strength, attacking this monster with vim and vigor. In every imagining of the encounter, I saw myself as the victor, standing above the creature’s broken body. Of course I would win where all others had failed; after all, I am the great, the magnificent, the only Arkady Svidrigailov.
But when I stood only inches away from him, not in my imagination but within the realm of reality, I learned that all my rehearsals had contained a terrible flaw. In each and every one, I had seen myself as some grand, story tale conqueror, who laughs at the beast that stands in his way. I did not plan for the fear.
Yes, I was afraid. I am not embarrassed to admit it. Anyone who claims to not feel fear on their first close encounter with this creature is either lying or has a willpower greater than a human should be able to hold. The second I saw that ivory head of his lowering down to my level, until I was looking straight at the places where eyes should have been, I knew with absolute certainty that there was nothing I could do against him. All my bravado was useless against this thing. I stood there, absolutely paralyzed. Legs were locked in place, arms dangled uselessly at my sides, and even breathing was difficult. Rationality never played any part in the terror. Even as I told myself that He would not kill me then, for He likes to play with his prey first, my body refused to hear these cries of logic.
For hundreds of millennia we stood in that doorframe. I got my first real good look at Slender Man. Trust me, all the hundreds of pictures which you have seen of him absolutely fail to him do any justice. They do not communicate the absolute sense of wrongness which permeates the air around him. Even if I had not once heard a story of him slaughtering people, had never watched Marble Hornets, had never read a single blog relating to him, I would have still found myself struck with fear greater than anything any mundane thing could create.
He left me there, in that paralyzed state. Without warning, he moved his head away from my face, standing fully upright, and then slowly walked past me. When I at last regained the ability to turn around, he had vanished. My heart didn’t stop beating until I walked into my room and hid under my bed’s covers for at least an hour.
Never before have I experienced such a devastating blow to my confidence. Just a few days before, I had been talking about attacking this thing like it would be the easiest task in the world. And now, when the perfect opportunity presented itself, I cowered like an animal. Like a regular person.
Several hours of self loathing and trembling hands later, I was able to look back with a more objective eye on what had occurred. While I had stood paralyzed there, I had been wishing to be anywhere apart from in front of Slender Man. But when I tried to recapture that sense of complete terror…. I think it was the best I’ve felt in a long while. Compared to the monotony of the time without Slender Man, or the annoyance of the days where he would just stand back and observe…. All of that is just a mind numbing morass compared to the adrenaline fueled elation of my close encounter. It has been a long time since I felt so alive; I was aware of everything around me. The slow whisper of the wind, the blood pumping through my ears, the taste of my sweat dripping down to my lips, the curve of Slender Man’s face…. I experienced all of those with more clarity than anything else in my life. As though my mind, aware that death could be looming towards me at any moment, was trying to pack as much life as possible into the last few moments it had. There is nothing, nothing at all, quite like that amazing sense of fear.
I think I might try to see if I can experience it again.