It had been a month or so since my encounter with the Rake when I moved to Georgia. I was uprooted from my hometown forced to leave my friends behind. Herp, however... she didn't make it. She died a few weeks after our encounter and that was the primary reason my parents wanted to move. The police would have suspected me of cutting her up if it wasn't for the fact that I blamed it on a seriel killer. It all fit very well. The killer I blammed it on broke into people's houses and stabbed and cut them. A lot. He was still wanted for nine other murders in the area, so I figured what's the harm in blaming it on him. He deserved to be arrested and I had done nothing to directly kill her.
But I still felt guilty. I should, right? If it wasn't for me none of this would have happened. Her blood is on my hands, but I'm not going to jail for it. Herp would want me to go on and enjoy life. For both of us.
I didn't see Slender Man much after that night. Or the Rake. I figured Slender Man was just keeping me safe from the Rake. Maybe Slender Man scared the Rake? Well, whatever the reason, I still felt like he was around and nothing bad had happened. At least not yet.
In my new neighborhood, there wasn't too much going on. We had moved into a house built on old farm grounds. The locals told us all these ghost stories about various myths on the farm. A train that took people to hell, a thing taking the residents hostage and not allowing anyone in or out. After my experience, these stories were nothing.
The locals were nice though. They gave us some home made cakes as a welcoming gift. A boy my age invited me to a late-night camp fire some of the other kids my age were setting up. I figured it would be a good way to make new friends. To get my mind off Herp. It started at nine o'clock at night and would go on to three in the morning. I was told I should prepare a ghost story because, as I quickly found out, these people love ghost stories. And I had a monster of one.
When the night came I told my parents I'd be back after midnight, so they shouldn't wait up. They, reluctantly, agreed. Under normal circumstances they would have probably never even let me go. They knew how much I was hurting thought, so they allowed it. I walked to a house a few blocks away and knocked on the door. I was greeted by the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. She had long black hair, the perfect curvy body and the deepest set of chocolate brown eyes I had ever seen.
"Hey, you're the new kid, right? Party's 'round back."
She motioned with her hand to follow her as she stepped outside and led me to the back yard of the house. I figured she meant it was just in the back yard, but no. It couldn't be there. It had to be in the woods on the edge of the back yard. She led me back and we chatted.
"My names Jess. What 'bout you, city boy?"
"Jonah. And I'm not from the city. I'm from a suburb in New England."
"Suburb, city. It's all the same ta us."
I could tell she was going to call me a "city boy" as long as I lived near her. Somehow, I didn't mind. We stopped at a small clearing where a fire pit had been made and lit. There was four other boys, all looking about my age, and two girls. One looked around my age as well, and the other seemed to be in her early twenties. The boy that invited me, Josh, introduced me to everyone. I spent most my time online back home, so I promptly forgot every name I had herd that night. Except for Jess, of course.
We talked, we joked and we over all enjoyed ourselves. It was starting to get really lively when 1 AM rolled around. That died quickly once it hit 1:30. Josh stood and announced we'd start the ghost stories. We all went in a circle, starting with Josh and going counter clock wise. They told local legends and various stories I'd herd, but they changed setting and names to suit Georgia. My turn came last, right around 2:50. I started to recount my story of the Rake and Slenderman. I told them everything. Stiffer Man, the pictures and even Herp's death. Everyone was silent for a long time after that. Finally a boy to my right spoke.
"I think Jonah wins scariest story."
"Yeah," Josh agreed.
"Hey, it might've been scary, but that Rake fella ain't from here. He's up in New England, right?" said the younger girl.
"Wrong," I said, "The Rake has been spotted anywhere from Spain to California. He moves around. But I'm not scared of him."
"Why?" Josh asked, "Is it cause 'a that Slender guy?" I simply nodded and stood up. I just wanted to leave now. To go back home. I was lying about not being scared. I was terrified. The Rake could follow me, and I had lost that feeling of Slender Man's presence when I moved. I began walking out of the woods. I herd footsteps of someone pursuing me. I didn't stop. I didn't care who it was. Or I thought I didn't.
"Hey, City Boy, where are you headin'?"
"Well then," Jess said with a sly voice, "Let me walk ya there. Don't want the Rake creepin' in on ya, now do we?"
I gave a light laugh. We walked to my house together. Alone. She really was a beautiful girl. Tanned and flawless skin. Long legs. I'd never really found any girl I'd met attractive, but Jess made me think models I'd seen online were average looking. We chatted idly about nothing in particular. We managed to keep a conversation about nothing going for a good few minutes. My house shouldn't take so long to get to, but we walked slowly.
When we had turned onto my street, I pointed out my house. Jess told me she knew which one was mine, it was the only house that had been bought recently. As we stepped under a street light, I froze.
"What's a matter, City Boy?" Jess teased, "You see the Rake?"
I nodded as I extended a shaking finger and pointed at the creature standing just ten feet away, right infront of my house. She turned and fell silent. The sound of metal scraping rock echoed through the otherwise silent street as He began to approach us. I saw a glimmer of joy in his dark eyes. A slight smirk tugged at his lips. For a monster, He seemed very human.
Jess let out a shriek and the Rake took off at full speed, running on all fours and leaping into the air. He made a swipe at Jess. There was no time to think. It happened so fast. A scream. Stars in the sky. Warmth on my chest and the back of my head. Cold everywhere else. The world was spinning. I started to realize what was happening. I dived, without thinking, infront of Jess and took the Rake's long metallic claws to the chest. It didn't hurt, it just felt warm. Jess was gone. I turned my head to see her running away.
"J-Jess..." I weakly murmured. I turned my head to see the Rake. His long claws grabbed my neck and his face pushed close to mine. He had leathery pale brown skin and the most sadistic smile I'd ever seen. He hissed and growled for a long while. Was he trying to talk? It didn't matter, I accepted my fate. I was alone and ready to die.
"Just like Herp."
That thought shocked me out of whatever hole made me think I could just give up. I couldn't take the easy out. I puched at him and he, caught of guard, fell to the side. I scrambled to my feet and began to run to my house. As fast as possible, which wasn't very fast with the cuts along my chest. I felt the Rake behind me. His claws touched the back of my neck. Then a loud bang. I stopped and turned. The Rake had run head first into a street light.
But it wasn't a street light. It was too dark to by the silver pole. And there was no light coming from it. I looked up to see him. My guardian angel. The Slender Man. He didn't leave me after all.
The Rake hissed and backed away. He started to run away, scared of Slender Man. Slender Man wasn't moving though. He wasn't doing anything.
"What the hell? You're letting him go?"
Slender Man looked at me. Well, pointed his head at me.
"You remember how I said don't kill him? Well I was wrong. You go kill that bastard! Make him suffer!"
Slender Man didn't need anymore than that. Large black tendrils burst from his back and flew towards the Rake. They wrapped around him and pulled the him, no, pulled it, close. The Rake took a swipe at Slender Man. Long fingers wrapped around his claws and tensed, bending the monster's metal claws in ways they weren't meant to. The Rake swung his other claws and got Slenderman in the head, leaving three long red cuts.
There was red. Red everywhere. The Rake had been impaled by Slender Man's left hand.
Clean through. I thought for sure the Rake would pass out from losing that much blood. But he didn't. He had the most disturbing smile I'd seen. The only way he'd look more sadistic would be with a white hoodie. The Rake did the most unexpected thing. He bit Slender Man's face, or at least the front of his head. His small razor teeth sunk into Slender Man's head. The Rake held on until his black eyes rolled back. His teeth let go and he feel to the ground. Both of the Rake's arms had been torn off, and his torso was missing a large chunk of chest. Slender Man's large foot pushed against the Rake's head until...
I didn't want to look at the scene. The Rake was gone, that's all that mattered. Slender Man began to walk away, but I still wanted to ask so much.
"Slender Man!" I called.
He stopped and turned.
"Why are you protecting me? All the stories say you're evil."
"You believe that Slender Man refers to one," his voice was a low whisper and his jaw moved as if he had a mouth, "We are many."
"What... what does that mean?" I asked in confusion.
Slender Man produced a piece of paper from his suit jacket and handed it to me. I read the few familiar words on it.
The White King
The Faceless Hitchhiker
And then, a line that was completely new to me...
When I looked up he was gone. I might never see him again. I pray to God I never meet the others.