It's Finally Over
Being blind has its advantages: you can hear and smell more things because you are focusing more on those senses than on mere sight. Trevor could hear the killer's rugged breathing and smell human sweat through the flames and the burning forest. He knew it was not Harry or Ricky, because neither one would breathe or smell like that, and he screamed for them to get down. Hearing the killer emerge from the left side, he shoved his friends forward and to the right - but he lost his balance and fell. Instead of landing on flat ground, he tumbled down, down, down the slope and lost his walking stick in the process.
Trevor groaned, trying to push himself up with his good arm, since his other arm still hurt from being shot at the mine. He heard the killer growling - the monster was getting closer. His heart raced as he struggled to get to his feet and run away - but he barely stood up when the killer snatched his injured arm and yanked it behind his back, making the boy cry out.
"Don't even bother trying to escape, Blind Boy," the killer sneered. "I will use you as bait to draw the Slender Man out, then I will kill you both." Trevor then felt something thin, cold, and sharp touch his throat, sending chills throughout his body.
"You won't get away with this," he rasped.
They both then heard James calling out for Trevor. "I think I will," the killer said coolly.
No, this could not be the end. It just could not be. Trevor smelled pine, and though he was in a burning forest with pine trees, he knew that James just showed up. "James, don't!" he screamed, hoping this would keep his friend from coming closer.
Now, the killer tightens his hold on Trevor. "One more step, Slender Man," the killer shouts, "and I'll cut his throat!"
"Don't!" James pleads. "Just let him go! This is between the two of us, it doesn't involve him!"
"So then you wouldn't mind if I killed him right now?" The psychopath pressed the blade into Trevor's skin.
"NO!" James screams.
Trevor hears a swoosh come from the side. He does not think the other two heard it, but to distract himself from the terror and pain, he listens closely to it. Wait, what is that scent? It smells familiar somehow. He blocks out some of the conversation between good guy and bad guy as he takes a slow, deep whiff. It smells...smoky, but not like the fiery smoke surrounding them. It reminds him of shadows. The first time he smelled this was in the mine, and the second time was at the hospital. Both those times, it was -
The blade barely presses deeper, but it is enough to jar Trevor from his thoughts. He hisses and tenses up. "Make your choice now, Slender Man," the killer says, "your life, or the boy's."
"My life," James answers right away. "But let Trevor go now, or the deal's off."
Trevor feels himself thrown to the ground, his cheek scraping against the dirt group, making him cry out and cough a few times. His heart pounds as he first instinctively puts a hand to his throat, feeling the shallow cut; then he slowly crawls away. If he can only find his walking stick, he can use it to hit the killer. That should be enough to stop him long enough for James and Trevor to escape. He hears the killer chuckle lowly, darkly, heading in the direction where James must be. No, no, no! This cannot be it! Come on, Trevor, he mentally tells himself. You can do it. Just go faster. Grunts and groaning, he makes himself crawl faster with his one good arm.
Sniff. The shadowy smoke is closer. Do the others smell it, too?
James cries out at the same time there is a punching sound. Something lands on the ground. Oh, no.
"Die well, Slender Man," the killer growls.
"Or you can," spits Victor.
Trevor hears several punches and thinks, Yay! Score one for the good guys! A smile flickers on his face.
"Victor!" James says. "Was that you in the shadows I saw?"
"I told you," Victor says, "my clan's special power is shadows. But we've gotta hurry now. The others are waiting for us at the radio tower."
A few limbs wrap around Trevor and lift him up. "I have you and your stick," James says. Trevor feels himself being carried through the flames, and he folds his arms into his chest as best he can without wincing. "Where is the radio tower?" James asks as they hurry, beads of sweat forming on their heads and dripping down.
"It's right there up ahead. See that big, dark thing right there?"
A moment's pause. "Yes! I see it!"
"We need to teleport-"
"No," James interrupts. "You need to. With Trevor." The blind boy feels himself being transferred over to Victor.
Victor tries to give Trevor back to James. "No! I did not sneak over and rescue you just to let you die!"
Feeling all those limbs as he is passed back and forth between the two Slenders is so weird, and Trevor feels his flesh crawl.
"Margareta, Harry, Ricky, and the human adults are still out there!" James says. "Besides, I promised my life for Trevor's!"
"NO!" Trevor screams, snatching the air frantically. He finally catches James' tentacle and holds on to it tight. "James, don't go back! You can't die! You just can't!"
He feels a hand cover his. "Trevor, listen to me: you need to go back to the radio tower-"
Trevor shakes his head. "No!"
"-and stay with your friends."
The Slender man shakes his head, but then remembers Trevor is blind. "You're all going back home together." James' voice sounds heavy. "Victor and the others will take care of you."
All Trevor can do is shake his head and bite his lip, keeping the tears at bay.
If Victor had eyes, he would be fighting back a tear, too. He clears his throat and swallows. "James, I know you promised the killer, but-"
"No buts." James grabs the two of them, and in one-and-a-half seconds, he teleports all of them inside the radio tower, lets go, and returns to his original spot in the forest. He yelps and ducks a falling branch, swatting a baby flame off his jacket.
He whirls around and sees the killer a few yards away, a scary smirk on his face. "So," he says slowly, coolly, "your friends are in the radio tower. It would be a shame if it were to fall down with everyone inside it."
James pales (which is eerie, since he is already white). "Don't-"
He does not get to finish as the killer charges at him with a dagger.
Margareta and Harry teleport the adults and Ricky to the radio tower. Everyone turns away from Trevor and Victor to stare at the new arrivals. Lily, Tommy, and Peter embrace their families, and Harry sets Ricky down, who runs straight to his big brother and hugs his leg. "Where's Mom?" Lily asks, searching among the adults.
The parents exchange mournful expressions. "Lily, honey," her father says, grabbing and rubbing her upper arms, "your mother is dead."
Her mouth hangs open.
"It's true," Tommy's mother says. "I'm sorry."
"We all are," Peter's mother adds.
Lily's face cracks, and she breaks away from her father, hugging herself and hanging her head. She sniffles and utters a whimper. "First my sister, and now my mom?" The kids surround her in a group hug and share their condolences. Her father sniffs and quickly dabs at his eye, and the other parents and Harry tend to him.
Margareta hurries over to Victor. "Where's James?" she asks.
Victor tilts his head as if looking away. "He chose to stay behind."
"No," she whispers, bringing a hand up to her face.
"He was pretty beat up when I saved him from the killer, but he..." He does not finish, seeing Margareta hanging her head in her hands. "I'm so sorry." He reaches a hand out to her, but she jerks away.
"This can't be happening," she moans, her voice cracking.
Silence hangs in the air, each person feeling miserable.
"Don't worry, Margareta," Lily says. She breaks from the group hug and stepping forward, sniffing and wiping her eye one last time. "We're not gonna let anyone else die."
CR, who has kept to himself during this time, clears his throat to get everyone's attention. Everyone stares at him. "I, um, think I have a-"
"Dude, speak up!" Trevor snaps at the ceiling. "I can hear better than anyone else in this room, and I can't even hear you!"
"I-I-I think I know how to stop him. The killer, I mean," he quickly adds.
"Don't worry, guys," Birdie says, seeing the unsure looks on the others' faces. "You can trust him."
The three Slenders jerk. "Uh oh," they all say at the same time.
"What's wrong?" Charlie asks, tensing up.
"The killer's here, isn't he?" Trevor deadpans.
"How do you know that?" Lily's father asks, all the humans making various surprised or scared faces.
The Slenders quickly explain about their sixth sense. Harry jumps and startles CR, who is right behind him. "The killer's getting closer! You wouldn't happen to have some candy with you, do you?" he asks Peter's mom, inches away from her face. She nervously backs away.
Everyone jumps and clings to each other as the tower shakes. "What's happening, Mommy?" Ricky asks, staring up at his mom with his innocent blue eyes.
"I don't know," she says.
The tower trembles again. "It's the killer!" Harry cries. He throws his arms around the nearest person, who happens to be Charlie. The human boy tenses up and makes an awkward face as the Slender starts trembling and whimpering, his eyes wide and teeth chattering.
Victor shouts, "Okay, everyone, listen up! James said he wanted all us Slenders to take care of you humans, and that's what we're going to do."
After straightening, Victor continues, "We need to bring you to a safe place. Any ideas?" The humans stare at each other, not sure where they should go.
Harry whines and hugs Charlie tighter. The boy's eyes widen and he grimaces, struggling a bit against the Slender. "Will you just chill, man?" he says.
"How about my house?" Trevor offers. "My family's probably wondering why I'm not in the hospital anymore, having a bunch of strangers show up to the house uninvited with a killer still on the loose would make them forget all that."
"You think?" Jenna rolls her eyes.
Kevin says, "How are we gonna explain the Slenders?"
"We don't have to," Trevor says. "Just hide in the backyard. There are plenty of trees there."
People gasp as the tower starts tilting. "Good enough for now," Victor says, stretching his arms around Trevor, Kevin, Jenna, Lily, and her father. "Everyone, let's go now!"
Margareta and Harry stretch their limbs around the other humans, and in a blink they land on a blanket of grass, see a couple trees in the fenced area and more beyond. Trevor's backyard. Everyone sighs and relaxes. "Finally," Tommy says, plopping backwards onto the grass. "We're safe."
"Yeah," Peter sighs. "But now it's all behind us, right coz? Birdie?"
The humans sit up, and Harry and Victor stare at each other: Margareta, Birdie, CR, and Charlie are not with them.
The tower shakes again and is now at a 45-degree angle, but that is not what surprises Margareta. Her long arms stretch around everyone as they start sliding down the sloping floor and teleports them all outside. Everyone collapses behind some bushes, which thankfully are not on fire yet. Birdie, the first one to recover, pushes herself up into a sitting position and shouts, "Why didn't you leave with the others?"
"I had a feeling," Margareta replies, as straight-backed and tall as ever.
"I have a feeling, too," Charlie says, rubbing and rotating his shoulder. "It's called panic. Let's get out of here!"
"No, we can't leave yet," she says, turning to the boy. "Not without James."
The humans stare at her as if she just sprouted a beard. "B-But he's dead!" CR says. "Victor said he stayed behind."
"I'm not sure how either, but I have this tingly feeling, much like I felt when James appeared with you-" she waves a hand towards Charlie, "-Kevin and Trevor in front of the mine."
Charlie remembers that well. James said he sensed something before teleporting into the forest. "Is it a way of sensing other Slenders?"
Margareta shakes her head, but the rest of her remains eerily still. "Not unless they're from the same clan as one. Since James and I are from the same clan, we can sense each other's presence very strongly." She jumps, startling the others, and whips her head around, stretching her torso to see better over Birdie's head. "We must run now!"
No one needs to ask why when they hear a loud, long creak and see the tower coming towards them. They scramble to their feet and run away, barely missing getting squashed. CR glances over his shoulder at the felled building - he spots a dark shape approaching them quickly, and he turns back around and picks up his speed. "It's the killer!" he screams.
The other three also look behind them and see the killer, his red eyes glaring, his mouth sneering, his cape billowing out behind him like a Grim Reaper figure as he chases them. They bite back their screams and save their breath for running away. But thanks to the fire, there are very few places for them to go. Soon, they see the trench of dead bodies in front of them, and they screech to a halt just before the edge - except for CR. He cries out as he falls into the ditch. There is too much haze in the air to see all the bodies distinctly; they just become one dull blob. Margareta peers over the ditch, but there is too much fire on the other side to risk teleporting over there. She glances up, but too much smoke clouds above them to tell if there are any safe branches left.
"Finally," a low, breathless voice snarls behind them. Margareta slowly turns around, she and the humans facing the killer. He heaves deeply, his fingers curled around the hilt of a dagger with a bloody blade. "I can finish this mess."
"You'll never be finished," Charlie says, stepping forward. "You're a serial killer, you're never happy with just one more murder. You have to keep killing, keep scaring people. And you're never gonna leave the Slenders alone - not when you're so scared of them."
The killer's eyes remain narrowed, but his mouth curls up in a sneer. "Clever boy. You should have accepted my offer to join the Black Circle. At least I wouldn't have to kill you."
"Liar!" Birdie says, glaring at him. "You'd kill him anyways! You'd kill everyone in the cult anyways!"
"Smart girl." He slowly steps towards them, relishing the impending demise. "But at least, I would be more merciful in killing them. I wouldn't let them suffer long."
Margareta would retort, but right then she has another tingle course through her body. Is James nearby? She feels a strong temptation to look away from the killer and scan the area - but he would probably take that opportunity to attack. Instead, she furls and unfurls her fingers.
"Now," he says, pointing his dagger at the group, "who will die first?"
CR drops onto the killer, sending the dagger flying out of his hand. A pale hand stretches in front of the group, snatches the dagger, and flings it behind CR. Everyone follows the hand to a black-sleeved arm, which is attached to -
"James!" Margareta cries, her heart pounding
James pants and grunts as he steps out of the ditch, his torso shrinking back to normal. His suit is torn and bloody, three tentacles look badly injured, and there is a gash where his face should be. Blood slowly drips from a slash on his chest, right where his heart should be. "CR," he says as if through gritted teeth.
The ex-cult member stops punching the killer, glancing back at the famous Slender man. With a nod from James, CR reaches behind his back, grabs the dagger, and lifts it above the killer's head, giving a bloodcurling cry. Right as CR brings the dagger down, James stretches his arms around the others with a groan and teleports them right at the base of the radio tower, which is one of the last fire-free spots left in the forest. He breathes more slowly, hissing a couple times in pain. "James!" Margareta says, placing a hand on either side of his head and turning him as if to look at her. "James, can you hear me?"
"M-Mar...Margareta," he breathes, raising a blood-stained hand to her face.
"Watch out!" Birdie says, holding out a hand protectively as she stares at a dark figure coming towards them.
But it is only CR. "It's over," he pants, showing them the scarlet dagger. "He's dead."
"Then, let's go," James moans, stretching his arm to pull CR into the group. "Where are we going?"
Margareta hugs him tight to her. "Let me." In a blink, they appear in Trevor's backyard.
James stumbles to the ground, the noises around him slurring together. His head feels light as his vision darkens. He rolls onto his back, and he can see more colors. White, gray, brown, honey-blonde. "James!" a female voice echoes. "James!" Does he know that voice? He cannot tell where it's coming from, as his vision goes black.
He is so tired. He just wants...to sleep...
Maybe...when he wakes up...he could...could...