I would like to start this by saying that before these events I had never encountered the Slenderman in many stories. Just two or three. The Rake, however, is a different matter entirely. This started in December 2010. I had just discovered creepypasta style stories through a friend of mine. She refused to let me give her name, so in true internet fashion I will refer to her as Herp.
Herp showed me the classic Rake video where he ran through the bushes for a split second. I loved that video. I watched it several more times before a comment linked me to 4Chan. Now I knew of this site before, but I never knew of /x/. This is what led to me finding all sorts of creepypastas.
Now after about a month of this I got tired of /x/. One thread had an anchored text reading simply "The Rake". I clicked it and it brought me to Youtube. The Rake first sighting video. But this was by a different user. The user had only videos about The Rake. It had Vicious516's video and Mr.CreepyPasta's videos. I loved it.
After spending more of my life watching all these Rake videos I found myself obsessed. I wanted to know if he was REAL. If The Rake actually existed. So I did as any teenager does when they want to know something. I google'd it. Lo' and behold I found account after account of The Rake. Now, I'm not stupid. Well that's debatable, but I'm not easily fooled.
I knew most of these were bogus. But on all the ones with comments attached I saw a recurring commenter. A guy by the name of "Stiffer Man". Always that name no matter what website it was. He would correct people. Actually tell people the details that were wrong. Things like "Nice story, but He can't go that fast," or "I love it! A word of advice though, His claws are a foot long, not 11 inches".
This guy... This guy seemed for real. So I looked for him. It was hard as his name was the same as a troll pasta. Rule 34 Slender Man. Some weird shit for sure. But I finally found a blog by a guy of the same name. He had been posting about The Rake for a while. And I noticed something. Nothing was? very realistic, at least not by what we say is real, but it sure as hell was believable. I sent him a few emails about The Rake. Emphasis on few -? it took him a while before he responded. All his email said was...
"He is legit".
I assumed He was The Rake. I told Herp and she just said that it was just some crazy guy. Someone more obsessed than me. Herp always looked down on my love for The Rake. She thought I should let sleeping dogs lie, but dumb ol' me wanted to poke 'em with a stick. I wanted to know if The Rake was real. Just that.
I sent out an email back to Stiffer Man asking if he had proof. If there was any cold evidence that The Rake was real. A picture or a video or something. It was a few long months before I got a response. This time it was an address. I knew the location, a coffee shop that was very popular in my town. My initial thought was now how the fuck did he know I live here? But I wanted to go. And I brought Herp with me.
We showed up the next day around noon, when traffic started to pick up. I remember Herp saying it was so rude of him to not even leave a time for us to show up. We had no idea how we would know who was Stiffer Man, much less if he was even there. It's not like in the movies. I can't just walk up to the counter and ask if there was reservations under the name "Stiffer Man". Aside from being completely weird, it would also be illogical. There were no reservations at a freaking coffee shop!
We did, however, know when Stiffer Man walked through the door. He looked about 20 years old and was wearing a Mr.CreepyPasta Story Time tee-shirt. Me and Herp approached him and asked if he was in fact Stiffer Man. He confirmed it and handed me a disposable camera. I was excited, needless to say, and so was Herp. That surprised me. I asked her later about this and she just said it was like being spies or something. I looked away from the camera to thank Stiffer Man, but he was gone. Not like the eerie "HE DISSAPERED, ZOMG!" No. He was just not there. Walked away.
Herp and I went to a Walgreens to develop the photos at one of those 1 Hour Photo places. While we waited, we discussed The Rake. How could Stiffer Man get photos of him? If The Rake was a ghost or a demon or something. And most important; if he was real, then what other Creepypastas were?
The talking kept us occupied for the 30 minutes it took for them to develop the images. The man behind the counter handed over the pictures with a piece of paper on the top. I asked what it was and he said it was wrapped around the film. The paper was a note written in black sharpie.
These are photos of Him as you requested. I took them knowing it would cost me my safety. He does not like to be photographed. And He will also come after you if He finds out you have these. Do Not Publish These Images.
The pictures were, as promised, pictures of The Rake. Herp was uneased by the letter, and begged me to burn the pictures. To just end it.? Being? me, however,? well I was not going to do that. The world HAD to know. It HAD TO. Everyone needed to know. So, I posted one of the pictures all over the internet. On /x/, on Deviant art, on reddit, and of course on Imgur. Herp, at this point, was paranoid of The Rake. The pictures were real, so how did we know the warning was not real? I was willing to risk my life to let people know about this.
Weeks went by with no change. Herp was on edge in school and, more so, after school. She started seeing things. Like she said she saw shadows moving at night. And she said she saw lots of dead animals around the neighborhood. So I offered her to stay at my house. My parents knew me and Herp had been friends since we were kids and they loved having her over. So she stayed the night. It was Friday and we stayed up late. Every thing seemed fine. But then, right around 9 PM, Herp said something strange.
"Did you hear that? Like scratching along the window?"
I looked at the window. "No. And I don't see anything but that stupid tree. Maybe it rubbed on the window."
"We aren't safe. We will never be safe. You shouldn't have put those pictures online."
"What makes you say that?"
"Think. Think really hard about why you said there was a scratch."
"It's just the tree and the wind!"
"Jonah! You don't have a tree in your front yard."
I got scared. Herp was right, I didn't have a tree there. Slowly, I stood and walked over to the window. I put my hand on the glass and looked out. There was a shadow on the ground. A shadow of something on four legs that looked very much like a human. And he had claws.
The Rake looked back at me. I whispered to Herp that I mistook the claws as a branch. But I was wrong, yet again. The Rake dashed off and I was scared to the bone. We didn't sleep. That might not have to be said. We stayed away all night with my air rifles loaded with copper BBs. The Rake never showed up.
Fast forward to the next night. We couldn't stay awake another night in a row. As 16-year-olds it was not physically possible without some energy drinks, something my mom swears will kill your liver because of all the nasty toxic stuff in them. We crashed at about 8 o'clock. It was the best damn 4 hours I ever slept. I dreamed about when I was a kid playing on the playground without my parents. I was just a rebel like that as a kid.
I say four hours because I woke up to the sound of scratching. On my window.
"It's outside!" I whispered to Herp.
"No," She mouthed.
I glanced at my window without moving. My window sits opposite my bed so it was a bit of a strain. There, right the fuck there, was The Rake, running his claws agenst my windows from the inside. I screamed. What else could I do? The Rake pounced. Jumped at me and reared back his claw. I thought I was dead. But he was stopped. Some impossibly black force had hit The Rake smack in the face before he got me and sent him sprawling to the floor.
I had no fucking clue what that force was. Now I know. Those branches were fingers. The tree I never had was a body. The Rake hadn't opened the window. He'd just smash it. Something else wanted to be in my room. When I looked up, I knew who it was. I read a story about this figure. The figure that was tall, and had no face. The Slender Man.
The Rake was quick to recover. He hoisted himself up and lunged back at Slender Man. A black tendril slammed into The Rake's ribs and made a loud crack. The Rake hit the floor on his back and rolled to his feet. He was cautious now, and like a lion he began walking slowly in an arch around Slender Man. Herp inched out of bed and tried to run. I hadn't noticed until I herd that scream. The blood-curtling shriek of my best friend getting attacked by a monster. The Rake got a few good swipes at her, but Slender Man, for whatever reason, wanted her to not die and pulled The Rake off. I remember reading about him being ruthless and eating children. He never protected them.
The Rake gave a swipe at Slender Man's arm and it looked as if it simply fell through him. Slender Man started pulling at The Rake's arm while he held his body. It was like he was pulling apart a doll. After the first pop I snapped out of my awe. The Rake, despite being a monster, was something I was deeply attached to. I couldn't let Slender Man kill him.
"Stop! Don't do it!"
Slender Man looked at me. Well, he pointed his head at me.
"You can't rip his arms off! Or Kill him!"
To this, Slender Man's head cocked a bit in confusion.
"Okay, I thank you for helping me, but I just. I can't let you kill the thing I spent so long chasing. I wanted him to be real, and now that I know he is you can't just take Him!"
There was a long silence. Slender Man dropped The Rake and turned to me. He moved slowly and reached out his left arm. I was horrified. His fingers wrapped around my face and then... black.
I awoke the next morning in a hospital room. Not for me, it was for Herp. She was badly hurt with multiple cuts along her face and chest. I was upset about my friend being hurt, but I would be lying if I said I was upset about the events that night. I not only got paid off for a long period of work, but I also saw proof that Creepypasta aren't based off fiction.
Slender Man and The Rake are real. I haven't seen Slender Man since. I saw evidence of him everywhere. That tree that isn't suppose to be there. The dreams of a suited man on a playground. I even see him in old photos of me.
Slender Man must have been following me for years. When I asked my mom about the shadows that appeared ONLY in pictures of me she just smiled and said, "Me and your dad used to call that your Angel. It only ever appeared in pictures of you. Funny, but I hadn't thought of that in years."
As for The Rake. I haven't seen Him for a long time. I kind of miss the thrill of chasing Him. I miss knowing He was out there without proof.
Maybe He will come back.