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Hitler Youth vs Slenderman

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NuclearCorpus

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« on: 08:18:38 PM 01/14/18 »
Why do some creatures hide in the woods? Do they have something to hide from or are they simply wounded, seeking shelter? That may be the case for many creatures but it was not the case for this one. This one was there for a reason and it was no simple wounded animal, it was almost the devil incarnate. There was nothing to it but the hatred that it had behind its own face.

However, I get ahead of myself. I am Hans and as you can guess, I am old. Because I am old, people like to try and avoid the years I have lived and try to beat around the bush when the war comes up but I will tell you that I never joined the army but I saw Berlin fall. I was more of a boy scout, I was a member of the Hitler Youth. I think I was one of the first thousand members but I couldn’t really tell you if I was, I just remember my mum always loving that Hitler fellow and thought I was going to make her proud by joining his little club for young kids. I was right. She basically praised me for being so interested in Germany.

The Hitler Youth wasn’t like the boy scouts of America. Compared to them, we were basically warriors. We were given daggers - not tools but daggers and we were told to use them if we needed to. This meant if we were to catch an animal at camp or have to cut up some wood, there was a number of reasons for why we had the knives on us but the greatest reason was when we camped out in the woods.

It was a cold winter in 1938 and I should remember, I can still feel the chill on my fingers if I really think about it. Our entire group was going on a camping trip out into the black forest to see if we had actually learned anything throughout our training and if we would make good soldiers. The only boy I remember was Gunther, a large boy that more resembled a pig if you dressed it in burlap. He had been making jokes about my mother for the entire walk to the woods. They weren’t good jokes, they were the ones you hear off of boys in high school nowadays but they don’t give boys knives anymore. So, when I was sure our leader wasn’t looking, I pulled out my knife and held it up to him. I do mean up, he was about twice the size of me and had the muscles of a well-fed gorilla. I told him to cut it out before I cut him before sliding my knife back into its scabbard. You know what that gorilla did? He waited until I was turned around and then, like a coward, clobbered me in the back of the head with his meaty fist.

I staggered forward but quickly whipped out my knife again and without thinking, slashed towards him like I was cutting a swordsman. Looking up at his face, I saw a slit in his cheek that dripped blood like a nicked hose. He glared at me. I glared back. A silent agreement was taken between the both of us and we kept walking, catching up with the group and we walked in silence for the rest of the trip.

We reached base camp quickly and, from there, we set up everything we needed. Everyone got their own jobs; skinny kids set up tents, fat kids set up food, bullies got to do supervisor work, and some kids were forced to make perimeters even if they didn’t want to. We were just like a real army. I was one of the kids left on doing a perimeter. All it really was was making sure that there were no animal nests near the camp, so they didn’t distract us or come get us. There had always been newspaper clippings of Youth members finding people hiding in the woods. Luckily, I found nothing but I did feel something.

It wasn’t like I could feel something lurking in the woods. My chest was tight, my breathing was short, I could feel my eyes twitching, and my hands shaking. I couldn’t stop myself. I knew nothing was wrong, I knew at that moment that I had not seen anything to make me feel like that but my body was reacting as if an ax-wielding maniac was in my face, the ax head tapping my forehead. It stopped. Just as soon as it came, it stopped and I quickly started to suck in air as fast as I possibly could, filling my lungs properly. I slowly started to walk away from the forest line, fearing that it was doing something to my mind. Imagine going to a room in your house and suddenly feeling a weight on your chest and as if your shoulders were slowly filling with sand, that is what this felt like. I was going to stay away from every single tree in that place until we went back home.

When we had all finished our jobs, we were able to sit in front of the campfire and relax for a moment. I rested on a log and stared at a large boy slowly shoveling a strudel in his mouth, wiping his face with the paper bag his mother must have wrapped it in.

Despite the many tales of campfire stories, we were never told stories like that. We never had our murderer in the woods or our monsters that lurked behind the great oak tree, we were always told how to be good citizens and great Germans, those were all the horror stories we needed. Just the simple idea of not being a good German was enough to sink us down into blubbering children, so we were always on our best behaviour, especially around our parents and our leaders. However, at this camp, there was nothing about being a good German. The leader simply asked us how we were feeling, what our parents were up to, and how school was going. It took me many years to realize why he was so friendly. He was scared of the war, scared we would lose, and he didn't want to seem like a bad German, didn't want us to rat him out to the authorities so, he was nice to us for that one single night. Despite what happened that night, his sad smile and him asking us how we were, our grades; just a scared adult among happy children.

After that, we were sent to eat and it was a hearty meal. One of the larger boys had brought along almost a suitcase of food, which was rather shocking to most of us. However after the shock wore off, we ate like kings on fire-cooked sausages, steaks, and even a cold apple pie. It was a wonderful taste, my taste buds had not been against these kinds of foods for a while and it was like an explosion of flavour. All of my family's money went to German clothes, German toys, German posters, every single thing that was German except food. We were like skeletons with clothes wrapped over, so the heavy thud of food felt amazing. I felt drowsy immediately after swallowing down the food, so I slinked away to my tent and laid down, my eyelids drifting shut.

I awoke in the middle of the night. My eyelids simply flickered open and I could see one of the campers standing by staring up at the stars. I blinked a few times, trying to understand what he was looking at but there was darkness where he was standing. For a moment, I could see the space between the trees make the shape of a giant man, its body skinny and his arms reaching down to his ankles. The shape suddenly disappeared as I blinked again and so did the camper. I blinked again. The camper was still gone.

I called out for the camper by name. I know I did, I know I said his name but I can't remember it. I called again louder, then louder still but no one called back. I got out of my tent, pulling my dagger from my trousers and holding it like I was about to cut someone's guts out. So, I continued to call out the camper's name but holding a dagger towards the extinguished fireplace, thinking that whatever creature had snatched him was still there in the shadows.

The other campers started to groggily get up, rustling in their tents and moaning about what was going on. Gunther was the first to get close to me. He grabbed my shoulder and whispered, asking what had happened. I quickly explained to him and before I could finish, he too held his dagger in his hand. Gunther called out to the others, describing in simple words what was happening and suddenly, everyone was on high alert. They were fanned out like a military unit and poised to strike as they circled around the campfire, leaving the one side open to whatever creature once stood there. The camp leader came out with matches and fuel, running towards the campfire. He shouted about trying to see the beast, so he squirted the liquid onto the fire and threw a match, letting a high flame shoot up into the sky like a firework. The human outline was back in the trees but it flickered in and out of the firelight. A split second it was a man, the next it was simply trees.

The leader's back opened like a cannonball was shot through it, blood spewed from his back and quickly matted his dirt-brown clothes into a chunky red mess of torn fabric. The blood sprayed forward, coating something in front of it. The dark blood coated a strange tendril that was pierced through his back. The tendril waited. Every one of us were frozen like stones. The tendril slipped out of his back with a wet slide, it was like hearing a snake move through water. It slipped out of him and he dropped to the floor, landing on top of the box of matches. His body landed perfectly, the matches were at the center of it. Behind the fire, there was no longer an outline. It was a man. It couldn't have been a man but it was. His - its body was destroyed like its insides had been shrunk down but its skeleton was the size of a small building. Its body looked completely destroyed, a husk of a human being but that he was still standing tall. I was looking at the impossible.

One of the campers broke formation, charging towards it like a Viking of old. He was close to it, near enough to almost touch it, and then I blinked. The camper was suddenly on the campfire. All our heads moved towards the campfire as he started to scream, his skin quickly roasting and turning from a peach to a red and then a charred black. Two others snapped out of it and ran towards him, grabbing his arms and trying to pull him out of the fire. His arms simply peeled away from his body, leaving the rest of him in the fire. The smell... if I told you the smell, you would vomit when you smelled burnt bacon in the morning. One of them held his arm outstretched, unable to drop it out of fear, and the other grabbed him by his leg and pulled him out, dropping him onto the dirt floor. He still screamed, screamed like every fiber of his being was being roasted like Sunday dinner. The camper carrying his leg disappeared as we all stared at the screaming form on the bed. He was there and then he was gone, simply disappeared into nothing. I wish I could remember them, I would remember them forever.

There was only a few of us left now. There was only four of us; two I do not remember, me, and Gunther. I don't know how they were all gone. We came there with hundreds, now there was only four of us. The creature had taken some in our sleep and none of us had noticed, they had disappeared in the night like they were shadows at noon. I blinked and the lifeless, burned body was taken away. He simply disappeared while we were staring at him. I could feel the smell suddenly disappear from my nostrils, that smell of pork suddenly turned to the smell of the forest and the vision of himself suddenly in the version of the dirt ground below him. I wanted it to face us but it simply made them disappear into the trees like they were nothing. The only corpse that remained was the leader, his blood swelling the cardboard of the matchbox. The pale creature stared at the four of us from the fire and tilted its head slightly, not curiously but as if it was trying to smile but didn't know how. It disappeared without a trace, the flames flickering as the creature changed back into the trees. No longer a man, it was only trees.

I wanted to cry just there, I wanted to just let my emotions slip out and to wet the fire with my tears until I couldn't cry. I wanted to scream, I wanted to shout, I wanted to scream for my mother to hug me and protect me, to tuck me in and tell me that the monster wasn't real and it was just in my head and that Father Christmas would be there soon to bring my presents. That didn't happen, it happened and it would take the other two before I even finished trying not to cry. The only people who remained were Gunther and me.

The creature let us carry the leader out of the woods, watching us the entire time we slowly walked along with him. I grasped both of his still wrists with my hands, his pulse not beating along my fingertips, and walked along the path towards the exit. The creature left us before we reached the end and our town was over the hill, we were so close to home. We carried that dead man all the way home, dropping him in front of the town doctor’s door, and we sat on the steps beside that corpse, staring into the dark pavement below. We did not cry, we simply screamed internally, and stared at the ground until our mothers uprooted us from our spots from the steps. We went home and never told anyone, we said we didn’t remember what happened to anyone. The newspaper spun it as an evil person living in the woods and telling people to watch out for a large nose and clawed hands. He didn’t have a nose, he didn’t have clawed hands, he was the trees.

He was the trees and he took my friends.