Jenny and Ryan turned a second later. Jenny screamed. Ryan was visibly shaking, but he still took a swift step in front of Jenny and struck a defensive stance.
He stood there, black suit, red tie, long gangly arms and legs, blank face, standing about eight feet tall. He slowly started to step forward, and two more arms started growing out from his shoulders. Then four more arms grew from all eight elbows, all held out at different angles to keep him balanced, like a branching tree.
It’d been so long since I’d seen him. I had forgotten how absolutely terrifying the experience was. Seeing him and not knowing what’s going through his mind, not being able to read an expression on his face, not knowing whether it’s smarter to bolt or to keep him in your sight. I think it’s probably the worst thing one can experience.
“Go,” I said, though it was barely a whisper. I tried again when I was able to find my voice. “Go! Guys, go! Get out of here!” We turned as one to run. We only got a few feet before the proxies who had cut us off before—or at least six of them—showed up.
They looked as surprised as we did, and that surprise only grew when Dumas and Bob entered the lot from a different side. Dumas was clutching his shoulder, and I could see blood coming from between his fingers.
“I don’t understand,” he said. “We…we got away. We went a different direction, and....” He looked around, asking the proxies as well as us. “How did we all end up here?”
I pointed, and everyone’s eyes turned to the Slender Man. I looked again and he was…different. Instead of the splitting branchy arms, he had fluidly flowing tentacles. His tie color had changed from black to red. “Ryan?” I said so that only he could here. “Did you notice that? How he changed?”
“No,” he whispered.
We all froze, staring at the Slender Man. We made no move to run. The proxies made no move to attack.
Then we heard a laugh. A deep, strong laugh that echoed through the lot. Everyone present turned to look at the source.
Silent Bob. Normally, he has this glazed-over look in his eyes. Always staring into space like he’s not quite there. More animal than human. But now, he looked…like an actual person again. There was life in his body. Instead of staring through everything, he was staring at someone. The Slender Man.
And he was laughing.