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Der Ritter

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Der Ritter

The car sputtered to a halt. Now sitting in a lifeless metal frame with four rubber wheels and an engine that created more smoke than the factory he worked at connected to that frame with rusty rods and pins, Andrew wondered what to do. He opened his creaky door, stepped out into a black puddle of rain water, and took in his surroundings. He slammed his door in anger and jumped as the sound echoed off the rock walls that surrounded him, making it sound like a gunshot more than anything else. He walked up to the mouth of the tunnel to see if he could find someone or something, anything. His eyes caught a faint light in the distance. He couldn’t tell who or what it was. “Probably a candle,” he thought to himself. Andrew began debating whether he should stay where he was with his car, or to take a chance and investigate the light. He heard a whisper, but from where it came from he didn’t know. It was faint, just like the light. “Take the risk,” it whispered in his ear. “I’m willing to take the risk,” Andrew thought in response to the mystery voice he heard. “Take it,” it whispered. “I’m going to the light!” Andrew said with a growing confidence.
He ran out into the pouring rain towards the light. His shoes squelched with every step he took. “The light,” the voice whispered, “Go to the light.” The voice began to send shivers down Andrew’s already shivering spine. He began to doubt his idea, but the voice was so convincing and mesmerizing, he couldn’t resist it. Andrew had forgotten to leave his laptop bag in his car, so it was bouncing off of his right side of his waist. “My waist will probably be bruised in the morning,” he thought to himself, “I hope my laptop isn’t ruined.” His suit embraced him in a soaking hug, squealing every time he moved his arm or leg. As he got closer to the light, he noticed it was on a windowsill of an old building. “My hunch was confirmed,” Andrew said to himself as he stared at the candle. A large thick forest with a couple deer trails winding through it was behind the building. A sign on the door was hanging by a single nail in the door. A title was painted onto the wooden plank in almost illegible handwriting. “S.M. Bed ‘n’ Breakfast” it read. Andrew wondered how that person who wrote that sign ever passed handwriting class in grade school. Along the sides of the building were purple and pink tulips. “What a beautiful flower garden,” Andrew said to himself. As he walked up the four stairs up to the front door, Andrew thought he saw a black, snakelike thing reach towards the candle and extinguish the flame. “Probably just the wind,” Andrew said to reassure himself more than anything else.
Feeling nervous, Andrew’s fist was suspended in midair a couple inches from the door. “Knock on the door,” the whisper returned. Andrew did his best to resist the voice’s command, but it was so calm and convincing he couldn’t put much of a fight up against it. He put his fist to the door. Before he could knock a second time, the door creaked open. Andrew walked in and took in his surroundings for the second time that night. A couple arm chairs were pressed against the wall to his right, a small side table in between the two chairs. A single lamp was the only thing that lit the foyer was one the table. To his left was a desk with a small cabinet behind it. A bell was on the desk. “Hello?” Andrew asked to the darkness as he rang the bell. He walked down the hall and looked through the doorway to his left. Through it he saw a table with some chairs around it. “Must be the kitchen,” he told himself. The wooden stairs were old and warped.
Andrew turned around and just about fainted. Behind the desk was a tall man wearing a black suit like the one Andrew was wearing. The man was tall, very tall. He was bald, and very pale. A name plate was on the front of the desk. It read “Kellan Adams”. His back was to Andrew, so Andrew couldn’t see the man’s face. He walked up to the desk. “How did you get here so quietly?” he asked the man before he even asked for a room, “I didn’t even hear you.” “I don’t get many guests,” Kellan said avoiding Andrew’s question, “It’s good to have some company once in a while.” He had a very heavy German accent. The voice sounded so familiar to Andrew, but he couldn’t figure out who it was. “Kellan isn’t a German name,” Andrew told the man behind the desk. “I changed it when my… umm… family… uhh… moved… no immigrated, we immigrated here.” Andrew began to draw some suspicions about this Kellan Adams. “How much for a room?” Andrew asked. “Go up the stairs, second room on your left,” Kellan said as he handed a key behind his back to Andrew. Kellan’s arms were longer than any other arms Andrew had seen. Andrew assumed this was because of the man’s height. Andrew turned around and started up the stairs.
He turned to look at Kellan one more time before he got up to his room. What he saw startled him. Kellan had turned around and was facing Andrew, staring at him. But he had no eyes. Come to think of it, he had no mouth, nose, ears, or eyes. It was like he was still looking at the back of the man’s head, but he wasn’t. Suddenly, Andrew’s vision blurred. His eyes focused on Kellan’s face, or at least where his face should have been. Andrew closed and rubbed his eyes, believing his vision had blurred because of the rainwater in them. But when he opened his eyes to double check, Kellan had disappeared again. Andrew had never been this scared in his life. Without even thinking about it, Andrew sprinted to his room, and locked the door behind him.
Andrew turned around and looked at the digital clock on the bedside table. It read 2:17 A.M. “Two fifteen!” Andrew exclaimed to himself. There was no way he was going to fall asleep with the scare he just had. He grabbed the extra pair of clothes he grabbed from his suitcase before he ran out into the storm, and changed out of his soaked suit. He couldn’t think of anything else to do, so he took his laptop out of his bag. Surprisingly, it was dry on the inside. Andrew pressed to power button of his Apple MacBook Pro. He double tapped on his Google Chrome icon, and searched for a website that could tell him how to fix his now broken car. The buffering icon ran for about ten minutes before Andrew was about ready to chuck the computer against the wall. “What the heck!” he said through clenched teeth, “I have all bars for my connection! This internet is a bunch of junk!”
Then the icon disappeared, and a list of websites pooped up. Andrew clicked on the first one. The computer showed a dark blue screen. “Sorry,” it read, “Cannot connect to internet. Please reload page or check your connection.” “AUGH!” Andrew shouted. He smashed the left mouse button as he clicked to reload icon. Suddenly, his computer screen waivered, showed a broken image, and shut down. Andrew all but gentle placed the MacBook on the bedside table next to the clock, not closing the top. He crawled under the covers, and a sudden wave of sleepiness washed over him. Within five minutes, Andrew was snoring.
Andrew dreamed. He had a nightmare. It was about his daughter, his missing daughter. She was only eight years old when she disappeared. She went out one day to play with her neighborhood friends, and they disappeared too. The police never found them, they never would. That was 14 years ago. Andrew never wished to bring this subject up again, but his subconscious was under the control of some mysterious force. The dream then shifted to Andrew’s childhood. He was sitting at the kitchen table, eating a snack. His mother was reading the Sunday paper across the table from him. Andrew read the title of the article on the back of the newspaper. “More victims of the unknown kidnapper: 5 kids disappear!” it read. His older brother sitting next to him noticed that Andrew saw the article. “It’s the Slender Man,” his brother said, “He kidnaps children and kills them in the forest.” Andrew’s eyes went wide. Their mother lowered the newspaper to look at her two sons. “It’s not the Slender Man, Andrew. The Slender Man is just a legend. He isn’t real,” she told Andrew. She looked at his older brother, “Don’t try to scare your brother like that,” she told him. “That’s bogus mom,” he told her as he got out of his seat, “The Slender Man is real, but I know how to escape him if I ever see him. It would be good for you to learn too,” he said to Andrew. The very next day, Andrew’s brother went missing.
Andrew bolted upright in his bed, sweating like he just ran a marathon. He looked out to his left. The sun was shining, the sky was cloudless. “Where am I?” he asked himself, “Why am I here?” Andrew couldn’t remember anything. He turned to his right to see what time it was. The clock as blank, showing a black face, no time was given. His sleepy eyes followed the cord to the wall plug in. It wasn’t plugged in. Andrew noticed that his bed had become lumpy over the night. He placed his hand down to push himself up. His hand sunk into his blanket and became soaked. He looked down at his hand. He was in a puddle of mud, blankets soaked and brown with dried mud. He stood up and looked around. His bedside table was to his left, the lamp, the clock, and his computer were on it, just like he left it the night before. The area was set up exactly like the room was before he was outside.
Andrew noticed that he was off of a trail. He jogged to the trail, freaked out. He couldn’t remember anything but the last half hour or so the night before. He was disoriented and confused. He remembered that he walked into the bed and breakfast and reserved a room, but he couldn’t remember why he went there or for how long he reserved his room. He remembered that his computer hadn’t worked, but he didn’t know why. He jogged back to the bedside table and grabbed his computer. He went back to the trail and looked to his right. He immediately saw the roof of the bed and breakfast. He was scared, but he couldn’t pinpoint why. He ran to the building, not bothering to look behind him. If he was as observant as he was last night, he would have looked behind him, and would have freaked out even more. But he didn’t.
He ran to the back door, and surprisingly it was unlocked. He opened it cautiously. He peeked around, saw nothing, and then bolted for his room. His door was ajar when he got to it. He tiptoed up to it and peeked in through the crack. He saw nothing. He opened the door, slammed it, and then locked it, just like the night before. He turned around, shrieked, and dropped his computer. Kellan was standing in front of him looking down on Andrew. “What the heck are you doing in my room?! Where did you come from?! You weren’t here five seconds ago!” “I…um…” Kellan hesitated, “I noticed you had left your room. There were no blankets on your bed so I thought I could get you some new ones.” Andrew looked around Kellan towards his bed. His room looked exactly as it was the night before.
Andrew bolted to the door, unlocked it, and ran back out to the area he woke up in that morning. Nothing was there. It was an empty space with a couple mud puddles. He couldn’t even find his hand print in the ground. He ran back to the building, failing once again to notice the scene behind him. When he opened the back door, Kellan was standing there. Before Andrew could react, Kellan placed his hands on Andrew’s shoulder. As if he could read Andrew’s mind, Kellan said “It’s okay. You’re not going crazy. How about I fix you some breakfast? You just go up to your room and relax in your bed. I’ll bring up the breakfast once it is ready.” A strange feeling of calmness flowed through Andrew.
So Andrew went up to his bedroom and found a clean set of clothes lying on the bed. There was a note pinned to the shirt. It read: “I noticed both of your sets of clothes were wet this morning, so here is a set for today.” Andrew was hesitant, but he had a new found trust in this Kellan, so he changed into the dry clothes. Kellan brought in a tray with some boiled eggs, two pieces of toast, grape jelly, and a glass of milk. Andrew took the tray from Kellan, who then promptly left the room. After Andrew finished his breakfast, he sat down in his bed and turned on his computer, desperately trying one more time to get it to work. He suddenly felt tired, despite the fact that the clock only read 9:54 A.M. Still, Andrew placed his computer on the bedside table and closed his eyes just for a moment. The computer came to life, as if a ghost was tampering with it. An image popped up onto the screen.
He dreamed. He dreamed nightmares, again. He was standing out in front of his broken down car. An enormous forest stood in front of him. He walked into the forest, for a reason he couldn’t find. He wandered through the tall natives of the land. They were looking around him, laughing silently at him. He wandered for what felt like hours, but he wasn’t sure. He stopped and sat on a boulder for a moment’s rest. He felt something like a snake crawl across his foot. He kicked his foot out and knocked it off. Oh what he would have done for a flash light. He felt another one of the slithering creatures crawl up his back. He jumped off the rock and began running. He ran, and ran, and ran. He stopped to sit down on another rock. It was slightly warm, like an animal had just gotten off of it, a hint of their body heat still inside the stone. He felt yet another snake, but this one was crawling up his arm towards his head. Then he realized he was on the exact same rock as before. He yelled, but the trees only echoed his words. He tried to shake the snake off his arm, but it had a tight grip this time on his arm. He reached down to pull it off. What he felt wasn’t like a snake. It was smooth and soft. He looked at the head. There was none. He yet out another scream, only to be repeated again by the trees. He noticed that it was rooted somewhere behind him. He turned around.
Andrew bolted upright, drenched in sweat once he saw what was behind him in his nightmare. It was dark outside; he had slept the day away. He looked around and his eyes suddenly glued to the computer’s screen. He let out a scream, for real this time, as he clutched the computer and chucked it through the window. A sound of tinkling glass and the smash of the expensive device silenced Andrew. A sudden silence, followed by a strange light came from the ground below his now shattered window. He inched his was towards the window, being careful of the glass on the carpet beneath him. He peered over the edge. Another scream filled the building as he saw what he did. Kellan was standing there, computer in hands with the exact replica of his face, or lack thereof, on the screen. Andrew ducked down. “Wait,” he said. He turned around and took the smallest glance back at the ground. Nothing was there. “He had tentacles, I’m sure of it!” he told the trees. “Oh gosh! I need to make a run for it!” And so he did.
Andrew ran down the stairs, more of jumped them by threes or fours. He grabbed the banister and swung himself around and launched himself towards the back door. He heard a slight breathing, to calm to be his own, followed by a gurgle. He hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, but he knew too much already to know that the gurgle was his stomach. He dared not look back, for he knew exactly what he would see. He ran around the flower bed to the front of the building, past the flower bed, past the “S.M. Bed ‘n’ Breakfast” sign on the front door. He backtracked to the tulips on the side of the building. They were arranged in the shape of a circle with an “X” through it. “How could I be so stupid!” he shouted into the air, echoed only by the trees. He had finally realized who Kellan really was. He saw the rock tunnel in the distance, and remembered that it was under that tunnel that his car had broken down. As he ran he began to get his hopes up. “Maybe it was just the rain that got into the engine. It should be dry now, so it should start.”
He got into the tunnel and looked at where his car was. “Oh my gosh! Where the heck did my car go!?” Andrew shouted into the night. He looked around franticly, but was unsuccessful in his search. He turned around to get out of the tunnel and into the night. “AUGH! No, no, no, NO!” he screamed as Kellan stood there at the mouth of the tunnel. He snapped his head away and resisted the hypnotic feeling he felt when he saw the dark figure. He sprinted towards the other opening of the tunnel, trying to get distance between him and the ominous figure. He ran to the opening and turned the left to go around the rock wall. “What the heck! I thought you were following me!” Andrew yelled at Kellan as he saw the creature only about 15 feet away from him. He snapped about face and looked at the huge rock wall in front of him. 25 feet of sheer natural mineral looked down on him. “Well,” Andrew said with a disappointed tone, “It’s death via falling 20 feet, or via this horrible creature.” The answer was apparent to Andrew, and he began to scale the wall.
Andrew looked behind him again, for no reason in particular. “NO!” he yelled, “Where did you go!?” Kellan was no longer following Andrew; the darkness had swallowed the monster. He continued to climb up the wall. A loose rock slipped from out under his foot. With this sudden loss of balance, Andrew let out a yell of worry and slight fright. He regained his footing, and climbed the last three feet. He popped his head above the ledge. “Hello Andrew,” someone from the dark said in a heavy German accent, “Glad you could join me for my favorite activity.” Two tentacles grabbed Andrew around his shoulders. Andrew gripped the tentacles and pulled them off of his quivering body. Without realizing what he just did, Andrew fell backwards and saw the ground rushing at him. He didn’t scream or yell, for he was terrorized beyond screaming for help. The last thing he heard, other than the whistling wind racing past his ears, was a gravelly cackle. Then the world went dark.
His eyes fluttered open. What time was it? Where was he? Andrew looked around. “Why is Heaven so dark?” he asked the darkness. He had a skull-splitting headache. He stood up, but collapsed to the ground. He landed on his right arm. A burning pain flooded his arm. He screamed and rolled over, clutching his arm. He cut his finger on something sharp. It was bright, shiny, and covered in blood. With his left arm, Andrew grabbed the object and yanked. Yet another scream of pain filled the night air. Andrew used his good arm to pull himself up. He leaned on a tree, attempting to regain his composition, whatever was left of it. He looked down at his right arm in disbelief. “Why!?” he half roared. The only response was the echo of his words throughout the trees. He stumbled towards a large rock, and sat down on it.
The night was silent. Andrew looked around, but it was too dark for him to see much. He felt a snake slither across his feet. He froze; not daring to move for fear its bite was poisonous. The snake continued up his leg. Now there were two snakes, the first on one his leg, the new one going up his back now. The feeling felt so familiar. “My dream,” Andrew thought. Andrew turned around. He saw what he had expected to see, but the scariness of it was no less than it was in his nightmare. He jumped of the rock and sprinted, where exactly, Andrew didn’t know anymore. He remembered all the stories his older brother had told him about this Slender Man as a kid, and it almost scared him to death. But as he grew older, that fear subsided, all the way to forgetting even the legend’s name. But it all came back; the coals never lost their heat. The fire was ablaze again, bigger than it had ever been. It took over everything of himself, emotions, actions, thoughts, everything.
Andrew tripped over quite a large tree limb. He was cautious to not land on his broken arm. He heard the limb snap. He looked at it. A corpse lay on the ground. Its eye sockets were dark pit, what once filled those two pits had been plucked out by crows. Its clothes were tattered dirtied with both mud and its own blood. What remained of the flesh was a sickly, dark brown, with green spots like chickenpox covering the flesh. Andrew had snapped his, or hers, leg. Andrew got up and looked around him. The ground was stained red, despite the torrential rainfall they just had. Andrew wished not to find out how many bodies it took to make the ground a permanent red. He wished no to contribute to the issue too.
He forced his gaze up of the ground and at the trees around him. Corpses, some just bones, and others quite fresh, hung from every tree. There were adults, some of them officers, but the majority of them were children. The flies were thick around the fresher ones, which gave a constant background sound of buzzing. Other various bodies were strewn across the landscape with sharpened logs impaled into their bodies. One corpse in particular caught his eye. He tiptoed over towards it. When he got close enough to recognize it, he began to sob. Andrew fell to his knees in the blood soaked ground and looked up to the corpse of his missing daughter. It had been years since her disappearance, but the birds and bugs had left enough for Andrew to recognize her. Not much flesh was left after 14 years of rotting, but the clothes were still in one piece. They had a lack of color due to the sunlight that had caused the color to die out. Her turquoise skirt was sun bleached, and her Mickey Mouse shirt was dyed red from her own blood. Her white slouch socks and white Keds had a combination of brown from the mud and dirt, and red from her own dripping blood. If she had more flesh on her bones, she would look exactly like she was when she disappeared 14 years ago. Andrew noticed a slit going up her stomach. Curious, Andrew reached through the blockade of flies to touch the slit. He peeled a corner of the skin away. Her liver, stomach, and heart fell out onto his lap. The bags which contained them burst open in a splash of blood. The half rotten organs lay in a heap at his feet. Andrew wiped the blood off of his face and began to cry again.
Suddenly a dark force lifted him up off the ground. He began to flail his legs, but to no avail. The tentacles turned him around to face the body to which they were attached to. Andrew’s vision blurred and an anesthesia-like feeling flooded his body. He felt tired and couldn’t turn his eyes away from the creature. “You would like to be with your daughter wouldn’t you?” the creature asked. Inside his brain, Andrew screamed “NO! Put me down,” but his mouth said “That would be really nice.” With that, the Slender Man thrust Andrew into the tree, next to his daughter. The hypnotic feeling was gone in and instant and Andrew could see clearly again. He felt weird around his abdomen, like there was a hole in it. He reached his left hand up to feel the hole. He felt a large, sharpened tree limb piercing his body. The blood began dripping down his legs onto the ground below him. He didn’t feel pain yet because of the shock. He watched as the Slender Man pulled out a shard object in one of his hands. He walked towards the dying Andrew.
Andrew kicked the creature in the head, causing him to stumble backward a couple steps. He prepared for the next kick, but the monster knew, and two tentacles wrapped around his ankles and pressed his legs back. The Slender Man continued his approach and sunk the large knife into Andrew’s torso. Andrew yelled and flailed about as the knife ripped through his flesh. The shock was gone now and Andrew felt everything again. The Slender Man pulled the knife out of his body, wiped it on his suit, and put it in an inside pocket. He then reached into Andrew’s body with his other four tentacles and began ripping out Andrew’s innards.
Andrew screamed in pain. He saw a long strand of pink, noodle like stuff coming out of the opening in his abdomen. The Slender Man pulled the knife out again with one of his hands, and cut the intestines away from the stomach. He slung the intestines over his shoulder and wrapped them around his body like an ammo belt. The stomach flopped out from under his ribs and bounced like on a bungee cord. He felt a tugging in his throat, letting out a guttural screech each time the organ bounced. Two tentacles wrapped around the now dangling organ and yanked. Andrew’s esophagus shredded and his mouth filled with blood. He began barfing out blood in massive torrents onto the ground. Now that the stomach was gone, the liver, gallbladder, and everything else, except his heart and lungs, slopped out onto the ground. Andrew began to feel very cold, and his vision darkened. Andrew thought of the phrase “heart beating out of my chest” then. He never thought he would see that literally happen. The last thing he saw was the creature holding the majority of his guts in his arms. Andrew grabbed his dead daughter’s cold hand, and watched as the Slender Man reached in for the last time. Andrew’s eyes grew wide, and his head slumped to his chest as the monster pulled the last of his organs out.



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