Once upon a time, there was a girl named (Name). She was a peculiar one. She had bright (e/c) eyes and lovely (h/l) (h/c) locks. She was usually a lonely child. Not that it bothered her.
When (Name) was about five years old, she made her very first friend.
He was a strange tall man with no face, and he never told her his name. But that didn't bother her. They had been friends for four and a half years. Every night, just after the stroke of midnight, (Name) would sneak from the house, run across the soft grass of her back yard, and meet the tall man who always stood just outside the gate, waiting in the woods. Of course, (Name) was never allowed to go past the confines of the yard, only to the very edge. She would sit on the damp grass with her face pressed against the cold metal, just talking away with the faceless man. And he was always interested, tilting his head to the side to indicate to the small girl that he was listening to her. Every now and again, she would fall asleep against the gate, and the pale man would slide his hand through the bars to run his long fingers through her hair.
Whenever (Name) would finally go inside, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, the man would just stand there and watch, wishing he had the confidence to follow the little girl. Of course, he had never had this problem before; He always followed his victims inside. It made his job easier.
But... Was she just another one of his victims?
He had asked himself that countless times. He couldn't explain it. He didn't want to see her afraid, or hear her screams, or even feel the warmth of her blood. He couldn't bare the thought of it. All he really wanted was to have her with him, to protect her from harm's way. But what if she became afraid of him? Once she lost that childhood innocence... Would her fear take over? Would he kill her then?
These thoughts ran through his head as he waited for (Name) to come out of her house. He watched for the door to slowly open, and for her little form to dash across the yard, like she always did. (Name) finally showed her pretty face, covered in a smile. Oh, how he wished he could smile back at her and not terrify her! She pranced over to him, carrying something in her arms. Upon closer inspection, he noticed it was a notebook. Now, why would (Name) bring him a notebook, he wondered.
"Hey!" (Name) greeted cheerfully. It was a bitter night, so she was covered from head to toe in clothing, making her hobble slightly. "Guess what?" she inquired, her smile growing bigger.
The pale man only tilted his head to the side, almost as if he was asking 'What?'.
She giggled and pushed the notebook through the bars, along with an ink pen. "I got you this from my father's study today. You can write, can't you?"
He resisted to roll his eyes, which wouldn't have made much since, because he had none. Of course I can write. I'm over 400 years old. he thought, but settled for just nodding his head.
(Name)'s face brightened up with glee. "That's wonderful! Now, you can talk to me! Well, write... But you get the idea!" she said happily before plopping on the ground. She pressed her little face up to the bars, like she always did, and smiled up at him. "Would you answer some questions for me?"
He slowly lowered himself to the ground as well, facing her, but sitting about a foot away from the gate, and nodded. He quietly opened the notebook to the first page and readied the ink pen in his hand.
(Name) thought for a moment, poking her lower lip out slightly. "Aha! I want to know what your name is!"
The man jerked his head back slightly, as if he was shocked she would ask that. His name? Well, he had many of those... Without thinking too hard, he simply wrote down the one he was most widely known for. He turned the page so (Name) could read it.
On the page, in scratchy irregular lines, was the name 'SLENDERMAN'.
"Slenderman, huh? Well... Can I call you Slendy instead?" she asked, looking back up at him.
Slenderman nodded, quite enjoying the nickname.
"Good! Now, where do you live?" she questioned.
Slenderman decided instead of writing it out, he would sketch it instead. After a minute or two, he showed the page to (Name). She giggled at the drawing of somewhat of a stick figure of Slenderman with a few sketches of trees surrounding him.
"You live in the woods?"
"But... Doesn't it get lonely out there?"
Slender quickly wrote a reply in his book. 'Yes, but I always look forward to when you visit me.' it read.
After (Name) read that, she got a sad look in her eyes. "But... But don't you get cold?"
'Yes. But I hardly feel it anymore.' he answered truthfully.
Without a second thought, (Name) unraveled the scarf she had tied tightly around her neck. "Come closer." she quietly demanded. Curious, Slender did as the child told him to, and merely leaned forward. (Name) smiled and wrapped the scarf around his neck in an attempt to keep him warm.
Slender sat frozen for a moment, unsure of how to accept the gesture. He looked up into the eyes of the little girl, who looked incredibly pleased with herself. "There! Now you'll be warm, right?"
He quickly scribbled in his notebook. 'Yes, thank you very much, (Name).'
(Name) plopped back down on the grass, thinking of her next question.
And on and on she asked, question after question.
"How long have you lived in the woods?"
'For a very long time.'
"Do you have a family?"
'I think I used to.'
"Do you always wear that suit?"
"Have you ever had a pet?"
'When I was younger, I think so.'
"How dark does it get in the woods?"
"Have you ever met anyone else besides me?"
He hesitated to answer this one, so settled with 'I've met many people over the years.'
"Can I hug you?"
Slender looked taken aback at this sudden question. Once he regained his composure, he quickly scribbled down 'Why?'
"Because I want to." (Name) replied stubbornly.
Before Slender could write anything else, (Name) dashed off into the darkness. Moments later, he heard the creaking of the back gate being opened. Little footsteps padded against the soft ground as (Name)'s small body tackled his sitting form. The notebook and ink pen fell from his grasp as the little girl locked her arms around his thin neck and mushed her pink face into his broad chest. It took him a moment to process this, but he slowly draped his lanky arms around her as well, returning the embrace.
They sat there like that for quite some time, and Slender began to wonder if (Name) had fallen asleep. After a few more moments of the sweet silence, he peered down at her and noticed that she had indeed fallen asleep. She began to slightly shiver, huddling closer to Slender for warmth.
This is so... Odd... Slender thought to himself. My heart... Though it shouldn't... It feels all warm inside. This girl... He ran his bony fingers through her soft hair, causing her to smile sweetly in her slumber. She's so different. No one has ever acted this way towards me before... Not in all my life...
(Name) shivered again and Slender rose to his feet, clutching the child close to his body. He couldn't have her getting sick, right? He followed the fence around until he found the gate (Name) had swung open. He quietly made his way to the back door, twisting the knob and crouching down to get inside. He had always watched her after their little meetings, and somewhat memorized where her bedroom was. As he went up the vast staircase he made sure to make no sound whatsoever. After moving down a hallway and taking a right, he found her room, door ajar. Holding back a triumphant smile, he ducked under her doorway and moved to her bed.
He rested (Name)'s head on her pillow and tucked her in, smiling slightly as she snuggled into her soft bed. His bony fingers ran over the soft fabric of the scarf she gave him, and he slowly made his way back out of her room, closing her door softly.
Slender continued solemnly from the house, through the gate, and back to where he belonged. He grabbed the ink pen and the notebook, gave one last look to the dark house, and faded away into the woods.
And in that moment, the simple love of a child cured ages of heartache and loneliness in the creature, and each day was a little bit brighter for the two.