Little Brother

It killed my little brother right in front of me, you know. Right in front of me. I watched its sick tentacles creep into our room and pick him up after my little brother opened the window.

But that’s not how it started. No. This story began two weeks before the slender man took my brother into the woods. Two weeks before I followed them there.

It all started with the scraping at our windows.

My little brother idolized me. I’m not trying to be a braggart here, but it’s true. My brother loved everything I did. When I got into baseball, he asked to be signed up the next day. When I started hitting homeruns, he started swinging for the fences too. Our parents were so proud of us, too. They got us matching bats. The same ones used by Grady Sizemore, our favorite player. We kept those bats by our beds. We never fought, he and I. Ever. We usually just played catch together in our big yard. Tossing the ball back and forth, exchanging compliments and criticisms on our pitches. I miss that.

Then one night, I woke up to see my brother standing by the window. He was talking. I didn’t know to whom at the time. He was laughing. He looked excited. I told him to go back to bed. He looked to me and said…

“No! Jimmy, there’s someone here! He’s really cool! I think you’ll like him!”

I got up, wiping the sleep from my eyes, and as I was walking towards my brother, he looked back to the window and a look of disappointment crept across his face.

“You scared him away, Jimmy.”

I looked out the window and no one was there.

The next five days passed normally. My brother and I woke up. We ate breakfast. We went to school. We ate lunch together. We came home. We played catch. We did our homework. We ate dinner. We slept. Life was good.

On the fifth night, I woke up at around the same time my brother did four nights earlier. I don’t know why. Out of curiosity, I walked to our bedroom window, maybe to see what my brother was seeing. I didn’t see anything. It dawned on me that night that I’d soon have a lot more than a lack of imaginary friends between me and my brother. I was going to high school next year. Made me a little sad to know I wouldn’t be eating lunch with him anymore pretty soon.

Then something caught my eye. At the edge of my yard, where the grass meets the forest, something small. Almost like the tail of an animal slithered into the shadows of the trees. It was black and oily looking. It spooked me. I tried not to think of it when I went to bed. Just as I was pulling up the covers, Jimmy spoke.

“I don’t think he wants to talk to you, Jimmy. I think he likes me best.”

I didn’t speak. I just tried to sleep.

The next morning, my brother got up before me. He finished breakfast before me. He didn’t speak at all to me during lunch. Or dinner. And he didn’t want to play catch, either.

When we went to bed that night, my brother said…

“Don’t talk to him, Jimmy. He’s my friend.”

Who is?

“The Slender Man. He’s my friend and you can’t have him.”

What are you talking about?

“Don’t be stupid. I know you tried to talk to him. He’s my friend. He doesn’t want you. He wants me to be his friend. So just go to sleep, stupid.”

I think that was first time my brother had ever seriously insulted me. That bothered me, but I was tired and didn’t want to make a big deal of it. I just figured he knew as well as I did that we wouldn’t be seeing as much of each other as we were used to. Two hours later he was up talking again. But this time I heard something talk back.

It was faint. So faint. I could barely hear it. His voice sounded almost pleasant. Like an mall Santa almost. Jolly. Understanding. And I kept hearing him ask the same thing.

“Would you like to come out and play?”

My brother would say no and make up some excuse. But I knew why he said no. He was deathly afraid of the dark. Eventually, the man at the window said goodbye and my brother slept.

I did not.

The next morning, I told my parents. They just laughed. Told me my imagination was something else. I told them to ask my brother. They did.

“I don’t know what he’s talking about, mommy. Jimmy’s been acting really silly lately.”

I wanted to scream at him. I wanted him to tell the truth. But then it occurred to me that I didn’t really know what the truth was myself. So I decided I would get my little brother to introduce me to the slender man. And I tried to get him to do it that very night.

When we went to bed that night, I asked him if he would.


Why not, I asked.

“I told you, Jimmy, he’s my friend, not yours. Now go to sleep before he gets here.”

Please, I asked. I just wanna make sure he’s a good guy, I said. He didn’t respond for a second.

"Fine. But you don’t talk to him too much, you just ask him if he’s okay and then you go to sleep, okay?”

Fine, I replied.

The time passed rather quickly. My heart was beating in my ears. I was sweating all over. I thought I was pretty stupid. I didn’t even know what I was afraid of. Then came the scratching at the window. My brother shot out of bed.

“He’s here!”

He ran up to the window.

“Alright, Jimmy, ask him and then go to bed, okay?”

I got up slowly and I kept my eyes on my brother. When I got to the window, I saw him, but I couldn’t look at him for too long. It almost hurt. Dull white skin. A strange, greasy looking black suit that almost seemed to dance on him. And his eyes, they were… not there.

And then I heard him speak. His voice was soft and low and pleasant. He asked me how I was. He asked me if I too wanted to go out and play.

“What do you want?”

He cocked his head suddenly. He said he wanted to play with us. Then my brother started shoving me.

“He’s my friend, Jimmy! Go away! You asked your question, now go away!”

I shoved my brother back into his bed. Go away, I told it. It nodded its head and seemed to almost float back into the forest. I turned to my brother and yelled at him. Don’t talk to that thing. He doesn’t seem right!

“You can’t make me!”

I’ll tell mom and dad on you!

“They won’t believe you anyway! The slender man told me so!”

Please, don’t talk to him!

“I will if I want! In fact the next time he comes, I’m gonna go play with him!”

I froze. My breath caught in my chest. I didn’t know what to do. I went back to my bed. But I didn’t sleep.

For six days.

My school work plummeted. My parents were getting calls about me falling asleep in class. They even grounded me. I didn’t care. I had to watch my brother. I didn’t know what that thing was, but I would die before I’d let it take my brother. Everyday, my brother looked at me. His eyes seemed to say “You’ll have to sleep sometime, Jimmy.”

And on the seventh night of the second week, I did. I was exhausted. I couldn’t do anything. My eyes were hot and my body felt like an overused elastic. I lay on my side looking at my brother, trying to keep my eyelids from falling. It was almost like in the movies. My eyes would close, I’d snap them open. They’d close again, and they’d open again, but not quite as fast this time. Then, my eyes closed and they didn’t open back up.

I don’t know how long I slept, but I know what I woke up to. The voice of a strange man saying “It’s time to play.”

My eyes snapped open and I saw my brother standing by the window. He was opening it. A black tentacle snaked in, coiled around him and jerked him out in one sinuous motion. I screamed. I threw the sheets off my bed and ran to the window. The moon was shining brightly that night and I could see clearly as the slender man dragged my brother into the woods. My brother didn’t make a single sound. The light from the moon shined into my room. It cast a ray on the corner of my bed. And leaning on the corner was my Grady Sizemore Louisville Slugger. I took it firmly in my hand. I twisted my grip and felt the wood and tape burn my skin from the friction. I hopped out of my window and chased after them. I would save my brother, I thought. I had to. I was his big brother, and this is what big brothers are made for.

The wet grass beneath my feet quickly turned into mulch and roots as I ran after them. I heard my brother laughing in the distance. The moonlight made it easy for me to see in the forest. And finally I came upon them in a clearing. My brother was looking up at the slender man, smiling. That was the last time I saw my brother do that. If I had blinked I would have missed what happened next. From another tentacle shot out of his greasy black suit and wrapped around my brother’s throat. He didn’t struggle. He just stood there, still smiling, his face turning blue. Eventually he went limp.

I screamed and charged the slender man. I ran faster than I had ever run before. I felt like I was flying, I ran so fast. And when I got to within hitting distance, I swung for the fences.

And I hit him.

The tentacle around my brother’s neck loosened and he fell to the ground. Strange black bits of ooze flew off of him and crawled into the shadows. I swung again and again and again and again. I could feel him reeling through my bat. I could hear him screaming. And all he said was ‘Why!’.

Eventually, I missed. He slunk around. I swung wildly, but he was too quick. I chased him about, tears in my eyes, my teeth grinding in my mouth. He got to my brother and snatched him up and slunk into the shadows. I chased him. Or I thought I was. I ran around that forest until the sun came up.

I went home. When I got to my yard, I just collapsed and started crying. I couldn’t save him. I couldn’t fucking SAVE HIM.

My parents came out. The asked me what was wrong.

I told them “Chris is gone. He took him.”

I’m sure you know the song and dance. Missing child. News reports. Pictures on milk boxes. Search and rescue. So on and so forth. A couple months went by and nothing turned up. A few more and we tried to get on with our lives. My parents, for what it’s worth, are actually kind of okay. I wish I could say the same. I know he’s still out there.

I know because some nights, I hear a scratching on the window. And some mornings, I find a piece of my brother on the window sill.

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