When I took a new job in the Pacific Northwest, I didn’t accept the offer lightly. I knew that by relocating our family from eastern Massachusetts, I’d be disrupting not only the life of my wife Heather and I, but that of our 10-year-old daughter Brynn as well. The move itself was relatively painless, but even all these months later though, my daughter is still having a hard time making new friends to kill for Slender Man.
The friendships we make as children are critical to our emotional development, and I worry that by removing my very creative daughter from her social circle at such a tender age, we’ve denied Brynn the chance to make the the kind of close, trusted friends she can invite to sleepovers, share secrets with, and inevitably lead out into the woods under cover of night to stab over and over again with knife as sacrifice to the tall, faceless man she’s read so much about on the internet.
The walls of her room are now a shrine to Slender Man, crude drawings of the monster papering all. Her every piece of creative writing is a prayer to his insatiable hunger. In my attempts to build a better life for her, have I inadvertently denied a little girl her only dream — to be embraced in his inky, oily arms, after proving her worthiness to him by slaughtering an age-mate? I want her only to be happy, but struggling to make friends as she is, how shall little Brynn win his favor?
Does Brynn ever think of slitting her parents’ throats in their sleep as meager offering to her dark master? “Of course not,” I tell myself. “Slender Man thirsts only for innocent blood, and you’re no innocent.” Only a child could sate him, and only a child shall he corrupt. It is not these thoughts that keep me up at night, but rather the fear that by failing to serve him, my daughter shall incur his wrath — or worse yet, be made sacrifice by a child more wise and manipulative that she, one she foolishly mistook for a friend.
Adolescence isn’t easy for anybody, and I wish my daughter could have grown up in simpler times. When I was a kid, we weren’t constantly looking over our shoulders in fear that our friends would sink a literal knife into our flesh, delivering our souls to unspeakable evil so that they may live forever. Whatever happened to the days of good old fashioned child abductions? Now THAT was a threat to our kids that parents could actually take on, hunting down the abductor, burning him alive, and waiting for him to come for our kids in their dreams.
I hope my daughter makes a friend soon!