The first time I saw him, I didn’t pay that much attention. I was on my balcony watering the potted plants out there, a hot summer’s day in June. My balcony has a great view of the plain in between the buildings housing students here at my college, and people were out, playing with Frisbees and having a good time in general. Nobody would have noticed anything. I did, however, out of the corner of my eye, notice something peculiar when I bent over to attend to my sunflowers. They weren’t that tall, the climate here not suitable for growing them on a balcony, but hey! I made an effort.
What I saw was, as said, peculiar, but I guess I just popped it into the back of my head. At the far end of the plain the trees bordered the grassy plain from the main road going through the college grounds. I saw a man standing there. Just a man, but a rather strange man. He was dressed formally, black suit and a dark, perhaps red, tie, rather odd for a warm day such as it was. He was unusually tall and thin, slender, and perhaps he was too far away, but his face seemed to lack the usual features such as mouth and eyes. Normally I’d be able to see this on people standing by the trees, but now, however, I could not.
I got dizzy, probably from the heat and went inside to have some water and lay down for a bit. I forgot about the man for a while.
But then it happened again, and this time not just in the distance. I was leaving a grocery store, fiddling with my wallet which I dropped, clumsy as I am. I squatted down to take it, steadying the overfilled bags in my arms. Again, at the corner of my eye, I saw a shape similar to the man I’d beheld just a week previous to this, across the street in the opening into an alley. I rose from my position, fumbling again with the wallet, trying to hold my gaze towards the man long enough to make out whether he was the same or just another guy. Chills ran down my spine when I noticed that his face was turned completely towards me but there appeared to be, still, no eyes, or at least very undistinguished ones that I couldn’t make out. The cold washing over me paralyzed me completely, and I stood still, transfixed on this man on the other side of the road. Something beckoned me to cross the street and go up to him; it was an urge so inexplicable that it scared me and my heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t even call out for him. But that would have been unnecessary as well, seeing that he apparently was interested in me already.
Another customer bumped into me from behind, apologizing and went on her business. I was thrown out of the trance and scuttled to the side, successfully dropping my wallet once more. I bent down to pick it up and when I looked back, the man had disappeared. A soothing feeling floated through me for a brief instant but was replaced by an eerie chill making the hairs on my arms stand. Only now did I remember that I’d seen the guy before and had not paid attention. Had he been stalking me? Hadn’t I noticed earlier?
The creepy sensation wouldn’t go away while I drove back to my college and prepare dinner for me and a few friends who were visiting from Germany. I kept glancing out of the window in my living room, towards the spot where I’d seen the man earlier. Some of the younger students were fooling around by the trees. He was not there. When my friends came over, I didn’t mention the man at all though I kept glancing nervously out of the window. Gradually, as we poured a few glasses of wine, the feeling subsided and I forgot my worries.
My actual reason for sharing this with you, because this may look like just another tale of the guy they all call Slender Man, is that it happened again, and this was no coincidence. It was in my dream. My own dream. It’s an invading feeling, but maybe it’s just my subconscious digesting the shock of a possible stalker, but I saw him. And then again, the setting I was in in my dream, was a place my friends from Germany had just been talking about the other night when they came over. This large forest where medieval legends have sprung alive.
I was walking across the plain here at my college, towards the trees where I’d seen him the first time. It was twilight or so, perhaps even darker, a mist covered the grass and I could barely see my own feet. As I went into the small forest I was instantly in another place. I don’t know what it’s called, I think something along the lines of Black Forest, in German “Schwartzwald”. It was far from civilization, or else it was just another time when the nighttime sky wasn’t illuminated by city lights.
I stopped in my tracks and enjoyed the silence, the leaves rustling in a faint breeze, the cold air on my arms and legs. Apparently I was naked, reborn or something, and walking around in this strange forest. At some point I saw him ahead of me and I tried to get closer. The urge to approach him was there again, this strange longing to just fall into the embrace of those long, slender arms, forgetting everything, leaving all worries behind. I began running, but he kept his distance, like he was luring me to some place where we could finally be together.
The sweat hailed from me when I woke up. It was not one of the pleasant waking-ups; it was the theatrical bolt-from-the-mattress-waking-up, and I panted, regaining my breath. My head spun, blood pumping in my temples and it took a while for me to focus back on the world and my quiet chamber. I sat on the bed for a while before I got up and walked to the window to look outside. It was 2.30 am in the morning, the sky was clear and dotted with stars, slightly pale in the horizon where the sun would be rising in a few hours. I looked towards the trees, those ominous trees in the distance, trying to make out any shapes or figures standing there. But there were none. Of course. It was just a bad dream.
I went back to bed and almost forgot about the dream until next morning when I woke up. I didn’t remember any other dreams than just the one, and I decided that I’ll now keep track of this man and look up stuff on him. If he has any records, if anyone knows anything about him that I don’t. I’m afraid of sleeping tonight, afraid I might see him again. But then the soothing feeling washes over me and I remember the thought of just standing there up against him, invited, welcome and unafraid of everything and everyone. The feeling is so perfect, so redeeming. How can you not want to disappear?