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Full Circle



Estimated reading time — 20 minutes

This is the sixth and final part of the By the Fire’s Light series.

Names we give have power
As we discovered too late
For we have named the nameless one
And thus have sealed our fate.

Our time has come full circle,
And now we have the end
Of lives or story who can say
As we turn the final bend.

Oh Wanderer of Blazes,
Will you please pass me by?
I am not worth your interest
So leave me here to die.

As the flames close in and curl
Around this frigid winter night,
I pray I will not see you coming
By the fire’s light.

Rourke lay in the early morning twilight, unable to sleep, staring at the green canvas above him and listening to the twittering of birds. He heard Mira typing quietly on her laptop on the other side of the tent. They had bought an external battery that held a decent amount of charge to keep it and their phones running out in the wilderness. The battery was running low though. They’d have to go to a town somewhere to charge it up.

Mira stopped typing and Rourke heard her close the laptop. “It’s finished,” she said to herself.

Rourke pushed himself up on his elbow. “You’re done?’

Mira looked over to him, eyes red from lack of sleep and nodded. “It’s done. I’ll still have to look over the proofs when they send them to me. But the story is finished. I am ready to send it in.”

Rourke scooted out of his sleeping bag. He zipped it up and began to roll it tight. “Well, good timing. We needed to go into civilization to charge the battery anyway.”

“We’ll need to hit a place with free wi-fi,” Mira said. She was sliding her laptop in her duffle bag and packing in other small items, like her notepad. “And coffee. Good coffee.”

Rourke laughed. “What, you don’t like percolated coffee?”

“Not when you make it weaker then water,” she said, unzipping the flap at the front of the tent. Sunlight streamed in and Mira blinked against the sudden onslaught. She poked her head outside slowly, looking left and right. “No signs of tall people in business suits,” she said pulling back into the tent.

“That’s good,” Rourke said, hefting his duffle bag up. “You have everything?”

“Yeah,” Mira said, hefting her own duffle bag. “Let’s pull the tent down and get out of here.”

Mira and Rourke ducked down and walked out of the tent. It was a decent sized tent, meant to house a family. It was camouflage colored and blended in with the foliage around it. For the past two months, Rourke and Mira had moved from campsite to campsite and state park to state park, and, occasionally, private property (which was when the camouflage came in extra handy). It was somewhat ironic, hiding from the Slender Man in the woods, but as long as they stayed near a water source like a lake or river or even a stream, they didn’t seem to have too much trouble.

As long as they didn’t stay anywhere too long that is. As they walked, Mira remembered back to the end of their first week of camping. They were at a state park site, camped near a decent sized lake. It had been three in the morning and Rourke had been sound asleep. Mira, however, had had trouble sleeping ever since her encounter with the Slender Man at the hotel that ended with the entire hotel in flames. She was determined to finish her story and bring it to publication, to try and put some dent in the path of destruction this thing was weaving.

As she had been typing, Mira had noticed a long thin creeping shadow in the pool of light made by her screen. With a gasp she had turned around to find a tall slender shadow just outside the tent. She had leapt forward on Rourke, shaking him awake. Which turned out to be a good thing when a tendril ripped through the tent fabric and struck where she had been sitting, splitting her laptop in two.

Rourke had grabbed a knife he used for paring down sticks for the fires he made sometimes and used it to slash a hole in the other side of the tent. Pushing out, they had run through the woods to the lake, crashing into the frigid water. The thing had stood on the shore watching them until the sun came up.

They had both staggered to shore, shivering, with blue lips and numb fingers and toes. Luckily, they had been able to get back to their camp and gather their things, only pausing to change into dry clothes. Even though it was the middle of summer they had cranked up the heat in Rourke’s car as they drove away from the state park. They had had to buy a new laptop for Mira and another tent. Since then they hadn’t stayed at a single site for more than three days.

Mira snapped back to the present as they came up to Rourke’s cars. As they loaded their things in the back, she frowned and turned to Rourke. “Hey, Rourke,” she said.

“What’s up?”he said as he shifted their duffle bags to the floor so he could squeeze the rolled up tent in.

“You remember our first collective encounter with the Slender Man? When we dove in the lake behind my house?”

“Yeah, it’s when I told you about how we needed to modify its story instead of negating,” Rourke said, shutting the door. “Because it’s easier.”

“Well, yeah,” Mira said, opening the passenger door. She climbed in and belted herself in and waited for Rourke to do the same on the passenger side. She turned towards Rourke as he started the car. “But there was something else you said. About us not being enough.”

Rourke revved the car and then let it idle as he sat back. He closed his eyes, thinking. “Yeah,” he said. “It was something Connor told me in the dream that prompted me to come check you. He said that one would not be enough. Or two.”

Mira’s eyebrows knit. “I don’t understand then.”

Rourke cocked his head. “Don’t understand what?”

“Why water has been so affective against it,” Mira said. “I mean there is some speculation in the Slender Man mythos that it is weak to water, especially in the Marble Hornets series, but nothing definite. Nothing concrete. So how can just the two of us believing it be enough to keep it at bay?”

Rourke stared ahead out the windshield for a few moments, watching the trees wave in the wind. He shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe Connor was wrong? Or maybe that speculation combined with our belief is strong enough?”

“Maybe,” Mira said, sounding unconvinced. She shook her head. “I can’t think without coffee. Let’s make our brief trip into civilization before we rough it again.”

“Sounds good to me,” Rourke said. He reached forward to turn on the radio.

–tenth disappearance in the area.– the disembodied voice said. –When questioned, authorities would only say they were investigating all possible leads. When questioned as to whether the disappearance of the children in the area was connected to the sudden spike in child abductions nationwide, authorities had no comment.

Mira and Rourke stared at the radio and Rourke shook his head. “You can’t get that story in soon enough,” he said to Mira, shifting the car into gear.

Twenty miles down the road they found a small town with a coffee shop that advertised free wi-fi in the windows. Mira had ordered the largest black coffee should could and a bagel. Taking her laptop, she settled in a corner by an electrical outlet and plugged her laptop in, letting it charge. Rourke sat down across from her and surreptitiously plugged in the battery they were using to charge their equipment.

“So,” Rourke said, settling down with his own coffee. “What’s your story called anyway? Did you finally decide on a name?”

Mira took a long swallow of coffee, appreciating its nearly scalding heat as it slid down her throat. “Oh, so good,” she said, putting the coffee down. She was definitely going back for a refill.

Rourke eyed her with amusement. “I take it that’s not the title.”

Mira rolled her eyes. “No,” she said, attaching her story to an e-mail she was sending to her agent Maureen. “I called it ,The Wanderer of Blazes.

“Catchy,” Rourke said. He swirled his coffee around. “So, how will this stop that thing?”

“Well, first we have to hope we can reach a fairly wide audience. If it bombs we’re back at square one,” Mira said. She lifted her cup for another gulp and drained it.

“It won’t,” Rourke said, trying to sound encouraging.

Mira stood up to get a refill. She patted Rourke on the shoulder as she passed. “That’s nice of you, but even great stories have bombed in their time. And I don’t think I’ve written a great story. Maybe a good one though.”

Rourke settled back in his chair as Mira went for her refill. The past couple months had been harder on him they he cared to admit. He had resigned from the force when he had gone underground with Mira. He really didn’t have any other options if he wanted to disappear without a thousand following hounds. Not that his employers weren’t curious to his reasons or wouldn’t investigate. But, there had been nothing to tie him to the hotel that had gone up in flames (more like exploded really…) since Mira had made all the reservations. Aside from being available for questioning in the disappearance of Jared Holloway from his prison (and he remembered his gun in Jared’s hand as Jared turned it on himself…) he had nothing to tie him down.

Mira sat back down with a new cup of coffee and checked her screen. “Good, it sent,” she said, taking a sip. “We should probably check in to civilization every couple days so I can get the proofs.”

“You still haven’t told me how this story is going to help us,” Rourke said, leaning forward.

Mira shut her laptop lid and set her elbows lightly on top of the shiny dark blue surface. “A few things,” she said. “One,” said, ticking the point off on her fingers, “we really establish water as a weakness in this story. Make it something that can seep into the mythos. Two, I wrote about a way in the story to pull people from whatever horrid place that thing takes them to.” She took a breath. “And three is tied to two. When we pull the people out, we force a large de-power in the thing. Since it runs on belief, once we steal the belief batteries its been running on we cut its power down to manageable levels.”

“Huh,” Rourke said. He finally took a drink of his coffee as he
contemplated this. “But doesn’t it run on the belief of people who aren’t
currently spending eternity with it?”

“Well, since I’m guessing that’s how it first came to exists, yes,” Mira
said. She shrugged. “We’re not going to destroy it in one sitting though.
If the book sells well, I can write another hey, maybe even get in a trilogy
that ends with this thing’s permanent defeat!”

“That’d be nice,” Rourke said, leaning back in his seat. “It’d be nice to
get back to life again.”

Mira reached across the table and grabbed his hand. “I’m sorry,” she said.
“You’ve had to give up a little more than me. I can still do my work while
we’re running.”

“Yeah, well, just do a good job so I can go back to mine,” Rourke said
gruffly, looking away from her, a thin shiny film on his eyes.

Mira opened her laptop again and became engrossed in it until Rourke turned
back towards her. He glanced down at the battery. “Battery’s charged,” he
said, reaching down to unplug it. “We should hit a grocery store before we
pick our next campsite.”

The rest of the day passed quietly after he and Mira had set up camp again.
A strong stream wound by the tent, rushing on its way to who knew where.
Mira sat with a book in the grass by the stream, head bent over the pages.
She looked up as Rourke walked restlessly out of the tent.

“Would you like to read it?” she asked.

“Read what?” Rourke asked, walking over to her. “That?” he said, pointing
at the book in her hands.

“No, my book,” Mira said, closing the one she was reading. “You’ve read
bits and piece, but never the whole thing.”

“I–” Rourke said. He stared at the stream for a moment and then shook his
head. “No. I don’t want to know more about this thing than I have to.”

Mira shrugged. “Fair enough.”

“Do you have anything else?”

Mira reached next to her and held up a small paperback. A dark haired
mysterious man had one hand waving a gun and his arm around a blond woman
with breasts so large Rourke wondered how they stayed in her half buttoned
shirt. “Cheap thriller I picked up at the grocery store,” Mira said.

Rourke laughed. “I’ll take it.”

The proofs had finally showed up in Mira’s inbox a week and a half later.
Mira spent the next couple of days glued to her laptop as she poured over
her pages, looking at the marks the editors had made. “And done,” she
finally announced at the end of the second day. She glanced towards the
setting sun. “You wanna go in now or wait until tomorrow?”

Rourke looked from the sun to Mira. He wanted this story off as quickly as
possible. But he didn’t like being out at night. It wasn’t that this thing
could only attack during the night, but it seemed to prefer to. And he
would rather not be around other people if it decided to make an appearance.
The burnt down hotel with dozens and dozens dead had taught him that lesson.
“Let’s wait until tomorrow,” Rourke said.

That night Mira slept well, with an actual smile on her lips. Rourke
guessed it was because she had finally finished her story. She had been
stressed out over it, working almost non-stop, typing, revising, and then
typing again. At times he had wondered if he was going to have to start
making her take tranquilizers to get at least some sleep.

Rourke, however, did not sleep. A slow creeping sensation of doom had been
building in him ever since Mira had finished her story. He didn’t
understand it and he couldn’t shake it. All he could do was lie awake and
watch and listen for anything unusual. The night crawled by slowly, each
cicada buzz, each small gust of wind, setting his already frayed nerves on
edge. It was with relief he saw the light of the sun start to creep into
the tent. It was only then he allowed his eyes to close and he dozed for a
couple hours.

They had managed to creep their way across the state over the past couple
weeks with their constant changing of campsites. They were in the southern
tip of it now and they ended up in a small town that sat right on the
border. They walked into a McDonald’s to take advantage of the free wi-fi
and to get some breakfast. Rourke felt unfriendly eyes on his and Mira’s
back as they walked in. He looked around curiously as they got in line
behind a woman and her small boy. The woman glanced over her shoulder and
almost casually reached over and pulled her boy closer.

“What is everyone’s problem?” Rourke muttered as he and Mira stepped forward
to order.

“Oh, don’t mind them,” the young girl manning the register said, brown curls
bouncing as she shook her head. “It’s just, five kids have gone missing in
the past couple weeks. It’s a small town, the kind where everyone knows one
another, so they’ve been eyeing daggers at any strangers passing through.”

“Here too,” Mira said softly.

“Well, the cops said it’s not related to the national spike, but,” the girl
leaned in conspiratorially, ” I think they’re lying. I saw some guys in
suits in government type cars at the station earlier. Looked like the FBI.”

“Wow,” Mira breathed. Rourke and she took their order to go and set up at
one of the table on the patio outside.

“Glad the wi-fi reaches,” Mira said, opening her internet browser on her
laptop. She looked to Rourke. “Should we try to tell someone?” she asked.

Rourke looked up from his biscuit. “Tell them what?”

“About all this,” Mira said waving her hands in vague circles.

Rourke raised an eyebrow. “Tell them a faceless tentacled abomination is stealing these children and setting fires? With no proof, no evidence, and photos?” He shook his head. “Only if you want to spend the next couple years in jail or a psychiatric hospital.”

“I just,” Mira said, typing as she spoke, “I want to protect these kids somehow.”

“That’s what you’re doing by sending in that story,” Rourke said, pointing at the laptop. But even as he said it, he felt a feeling of doom rise in his chest.

“Am I?” Mira asked, as if she could feel it too. She sighed. “You’re right there. Who would believe us?” She shook her head. “Nobody else has. Even people who saw it, who you tried to warn.”

“Yeah,” Rourke said, folding up the rest of his sandwich and putting it back in the bag. He wasn’t feeling very hungry anymore.

“Let’s start making our way to the coast,” Mira said suddenly.

“Um, okay. But why?” Rourke asked, getting up. He tossed his bag into a nearby trash can.

“If the story does well, we’re going to need to be near a lot of water,” Mira said. “And if it doesn’t,” she looked around her, “I just don’t want to be here anymore.”

“Well, east, west, or south?” Rourke asked. “Unless you felt like heading to Canada?”

Mira smiled. “No. Let’s go south. But let’s take our time. It’s going to be a couple months before the book is published.”

The next two months were almost pleasant for Mira and Rourke. With the story out and awaiting publication, there was nothing to do but wait. Well, that, and keep moving so that the thing didn’t catch up with them.

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The Slender Man showed neither tendril nor tie the entire two months, and it bothered Rourke horribly. It made him feel worse than if it had shown up everyday. His feeling of doom grew worse as each day passed and slipped through his hands like so much sand.

After two months of meandering travel, Rourke and Mira had finally ended up in Florida. Mira had taken to wandering back into civilization daily once her book hit publication.

“It might not do as well as it could,” Mira said to Rourke as she sat in a donut shop with him. “Since we’ve been on the move, I wasn’t able to help promote it.” She bit her nails.

“Well, it certainly would have made an impression if the Slender Man had showed up during an interview,” Rourke joked.

Mira looked up from her screen with something close to relief on her face. “Well, early review are mostly positive. Good but not great. A good way to while away an afternoon. Stuff like that.” She clicked some more. “And it’s starting to show up on a lot of blogs dedicated to Slender Man stuff.” She held her hands together. “This just might work,” she squeaked excitedly.

“So,” Rourke asked, “does this mean we need to be near a lot of water?”

Mira closed her laptop. She took a breath. “Maybe. Ask me again in a week. And let’s keep going south, all the way down to the tip.”

They rolled south, stopping at beach campgrounds as they went. It was getting to be the tail end of summer. Rourke would have thought that the campgrounds would be full, but they weren’t. He learned from a local at one of the shops they stopped at for Mira’s daily book check that the campgrounds were scarcely inhabited in the hotter months. “Just as well,” Rourke had said to himself.

At the end of the week Mira had looked up from her laptop in the coffee shop they were in with a mix of determination and pride. “Look,” she said, turning the laptop to face Rourke. It was the New York Times bestsellers list. And there was The Wanderer of Blazes at number 11.

Rourke felt himself smile. “That’s great, Mira!” he said and he meant it.

“I think it’s time I told you how to pull the people out,” Mira said, slowly closing the laptop. She looked around the shop full of laughing teens and college aged peoples, with beads of all colors hanging in strings from the ceiling. “But not here.”

“We should go set up camp anyway,” Rourke said, getting up to join her.

They drove to the beach campground located the furthest south and found an isolated spot to pitch their tent. It was heading towards noon when they were finished, so they had both crawled inside with bottled water and a small fan to escape the heat.

“Well,” Rourke said, fanning himself with the copy of the cheap thriller Mira had picked up a couple months ago, “what’s the plan.”

Mira took in a deep slow breath and then let it out. “You aren’t going to like it.”

Rourke sighed and leaned forward, still fanning himself. “Please don’t dance around the issue. How can it be any worse than what we’ve already been through.”

“Well, you see,” Mira said tentatively, “you know how it was sort of able to weaken the barriers between our reality and its that time at the hotel?”

“When it set everything on fire? Yeah, I remember,” Rourke said. He frowned. “I’m really not going to like this, am I?”

Mira shook her head. “Well, I sort of made it that if it decided to try and pull that trick when near water, that the weakening would twofold. It could pull things in, but the those trapped with it could push back and out. Wake up out of whatever state it has them in.”

Rourke stared at her. “Are you saying that to save these people, we have to purposely call the Slender Man to us and purposely piss it off enough to try and breach worlds again?”

“Yeah, basically!” Mira said, cheerfully smiling wide. Her smiled faded quickly.

“Oy,” Rourke said, putting his book down and rubbing his eyes. “The more water the better I take it?”

“Yep,” Mira said. “That’s why we’re here. I think I can handle calling it to us and pissing it off pretty easily, though.”

“Do tell,” Rourke said, looking back up even though he still felt a dull throbbing behind his eyes.

“I will start writing my second story. And I will plain old try to write it out of existence. It’s why it came after me the first time. It’s has to be the main reason it’s afraid of people who know it’s ‘really real’ as Jared told you. When it comes, we’ll go in the ocean where it can’t reach us.”

“And if it decides to just stand on shore and watch us like it has before?” Rourke asked, picking his book back up to fan himself.

“I thought I’d, y’know, taunt it and stuff,” Mira said.

Rourke laughed. “You’re going to taunt the eldritch abomination. That’s great.” He laughed again. “But I don’t have a better plan. When did you want to try?”

Mira folded her hands. “I wanted to wait here a couple nights. Give it some time to catch up with us.”

Rourke nodded slowly. “Okay, Mira. I trust you. I’ll do this with you.”

Mira looked away. “Don’t say that. Don’t say you trust me.”

“Why?” Rourke asked, genuinely surprised.

Mira looked back and there were tears in her eyes. “If– if you get hurt, if it hurts you, I don’t want to think it was because you trusted me.”

Rourke smiled softly. “Mira, I think it’s out to hurt me whether I trust you or not. And you for that matter.” He became serious. “Be careful. I feel like we’re reaching the end somehow.”

Two nights later, Mira and Rourke sat on the most deserted beach they could find. It was rocky and the waves were choppy and was entirely unpopular, which was perfect for their purpose.

“Here goes,” Mira said, beginning to scribble on her notepad. A portable lamp sat next to her giving her enough light to write by. She had opted to not use her laptop so the saltwater wouldn’t ruin it. “Keep an eye out.”

Rourke merely nodded and stood up and walked a slow perimeter around where Mira sat. Ten minutes passed. Half an hour. Two hours.

Mira’s lamp started to dim and she looked up from her notepad to Rourke. “Anything?” she asked.

Rourke shook his head. The feeling of doom and dread were larger in him than they had ever been but there had been nothing. Not even a stray shadow.

Mira sighed, looking disappointed. “I had hoped… well I didn’t relish it coming but–”

“I know,” Rourke said walking back to her. He picked up the lamp as Mira stood up. “What now?”

Mira looked around her. “We could just wait until it shows up. It always has eventually.”

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“We could,” Rourke said. “We can decide in the morning.” The only sounds their feet crunching in the sand and stones, they headed back to their camp.

Rourke lay quietly in the tent listening to Mira’s slow rhythmic breathing. Everything was off. They hadn’t seen the thing in over two months. Mira had purposely invoked its personal berserk button and nothing had happened. Only, something was happening, Rourke could feel it hanging over him. He just didn’t know what. He turned restlessly over and saw the sun’s light beginning to peak through the tent.

He abruptly sat up. That light was too orange and wavery to be the light of the sun. In the space of a couple of seconds he was out of the tent and looking towards the horizon inland. He stood stock still even as he heard Mira calling him and crawling out after him.

She stood next to him as still as he. “What on God’s green earth?” she asked.

Flames reaching so high they looked like they licked the sky were before them. Not near them. Not in their campsite. No, the flames were coming from what Rourke knew was the nearest town. The whole sky was orange with their light, like an aurora borealis of one color. They were moving steadily south, towards them.

Rourke staggered over to his car and Mira followed. He turned it on and fired up the radio. Maybe a local news station could tell him what was going on. A loud screeching met his ears and he jumped back it was so loud. “Ah!” he said as he hit his head on the door. “What is it?”

Mira had her hands over her ears, eyes wide. “I think it’s the emergency broadcast system!” she said. Her gaze kept flicking back to the flames that were marching ever closer.

This is not a test — the voice said — this is not a test. This is the National Emergency Broadcast System. A large scale terrorist attack has set massive fires in the major metropolitan cities of the continental United States. All people living in or near such areas need to evacuate immediately. Further instructions will follow later. This is not a test– the voice began again.

Mira backed away from the car, eyes wide. “No, no, no,” she was saying over and over again. “You don’t think, oh, God, Rourke, you don’t think?”

It was then Rourke noticed the air around them was starting to shimmer. Just like it had at the hotel. “Later!” Rourke said, grabbing Mira’s arm and dragging her after him towards the ocean. She found her footing quickly and he let her go as they kicked off their shoes and waded in.

“Out further,” he urged. “Beyond the pull.”

Mira coughed out a mouthful of seawater, but kept swimming.

About thirty feet from shore, Rourke felt they were far enough from the shimmer to be safe. He turned with Mira, expecting to see the whole shoreline in flames with the Slender Man dead center.

He blinked. While the Slender Man was indeed standing on the shore, tendril floating above it and waving in the breeze, there were no flames. Rourke squinted. There weren’t flames, but there were impressions in air, indents, almost as if the air had become a liquid curtain that people were pushing against.

Rourke and Mira gasped as people began to spill out of nowhere onto the beach. Hundreds of people, most of them children, now filled the deserted beach. But the Slender Man did not move, merely stood unmoving and turned towards Mira and Rourke.

For a moment those who had appeared from nowhere were still and silent on the beach. Then, they began to stir, almost as one, and moved for the water. The adults were urging the kids into the water, helping carry the ones too small to understand what was going on.

“Yes!” Mira shouted, waving towards them, bobbing in the water. “We got them out! We can stop it!”

Rourke was looking at the thing though, standing on the beach, a backdrop of flames that were steadily moving forward behind it. It didn’t look very defeated. “Mira,” he began. Mira grabbed his arm and nearly dragged him under, though, as he spoke.

“Rourke!” she screeched. “Look!” She pointed away from her with a trembling hand.

Rourke followed where her hand was pointing. He watched, dumbfounded, as the people, the adults and children, on the beach began to deliberately walked into water over their heads. They were not resurfacing.

“No, stop!” Mira cried, striking out towards them. “You’re out! We can stop it!” A wave pushed her under and she came up again sputtering.

Rourke swam after, always with an eye on the thing on the beach. He saw a young man detach himself from a young woman and a few children and swim towards him and Mira. Rourke squinted. “God in heaven,” he said, as the man came abreast them. “Kurt Kent.”

Mira looked at the young man. “Kurt Kent? Connor’s friend?”

Kurt nodded looking from Mira to Rourke solemnly. “I just wanted to thank you for letting us get out and giving us a chance to get away before the end.”

Mira stared at him open-mouthed. “The end? What do you mean?”

“The end,” he said again, simply. He pointed to the sky above him. Mira and Rourke looked up. Rourke sucked in his breath. The sky looked like it was literally pulling apart at the seams. There was a gigantic rip in the dark blue above them and behind it was a deep burgundy red. What looked liked slime was dripping from it and then a thousand mouths full of sharp teeth opened and roared. Long black tendrils slipped in from the rip and began to dangle down.

“How,” Mira said helplessly, only paddling enough to keep afloat.

“I’m afraid it’s your fault a little bit,” Kurt said, apologetically. Mira stared at him. “Oh, this would have happened eventually I think. You just gave it a little boost.”

“How did I give it a boost?” Mira screamed. She looked towards the thing on shore. Standing. Unmoving. Waiting.

“You made us more important,” Kurt said, eyes boring into Mira’s. “You called us its belief batteries. Before we just gave it the belief of a regular person, albeit boosted a little because we though of nothing but it. You must important, though. Special. You amped up its power through us. And well–” He shrugged. “It doesn’t need us anymore.”

“Kurt!” the young woman he had left behind called to him urgently.

“Coming, Ellen!” he called backed. He turned to Rourke and Mira. “You should go too. You don’t want to be here when its done.” He swam away without looking back.

Rourke put an arm around Mira and looked up at the sky. The rip was widening and quickly. The water pulled him backwards oddly and he looked behind him. The water was angling up and back into a looming darkness that was blacker than black, a black so deep his eyes could not process it. A black that hurt to look at. And the blackness was moving forward, sweeping towards them. He looked forward again. Flames and the thing waiting on the beach.

“Mira,” he said, quietly. “There’s only one way out. Really out. And we need to take it quickly if you want.” He squeezed his arm around her. “I said I was with you until the end though, and I meant it.”

Mira stared steadily at the Slender Man on the beach. Her eyes narrowed. “You’d like that wouldn’t you,” she hissed at it. “Well I’m not afraid of this story and where it’s taking me!” she screamed at it. It cocked its head but made no move. Mira looked up to Rourke. “This is our world,” she said. “And I will not surrender it to that thing.”

“Okay,” Rourke said, holding her close, bobbing in the water.

Mira wrapped her arms around him and squeezed tight. “It was a corner of darkness in our reality. Maybe we can be a corner of light in its.”

They held each other fast as the blackness approached and the sky spilled open above them. The held each other not like lovers, or even like friends, but as a child holds its bear, a last shield against the darkness.

“To the end,” Rourke breathed.

“To the end,” Mira echoed back.

Then the blackness engulfed them. The world around them fell away and they said no more.

Credit To – Star Kindler

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50 thoughts on “Full Circle”

  1. Azathoth\'s Breath

    I loved the series…pretty much up until the last like, 3 paragraphs.
    Slenderman ends the world? That…just seems out of character. I don’t know, but the world-ending pastas never did it for me…they are always so impersonal and obviously without realism…

    That’s what makes a pasta scary. The idea it MIGHT be real…someone might have done it. Slendy as a tulpa is a scary thought. I half imagined that the book they wrote was only gonna bring a second Slenderman into existence, or a dozen because people interpret things differently…

    I enjoyed the story as a whole, but the ending was a bit of a let down. 8.5/10 spoops.

  2. Omg i loved this. I normally hate slender stories but this was amazing!!! I loved it and i hope you continue writing! 100/10 lol good job.

  3. MalevolentTheDragon

    I have never, ever read a story quite like this, at least not a free source one. The dialogue matches each character almost perfectly, and the personalities are so solid that I can’t believe this story was rushed, even a little. There were a few typos, but seriously, I had to read over the manuscripts twice to detect them, being wrapped up in the tale so much. I sincerely hope star kindler will either post or publish another series of fantasy; I’ll be sure to read it either way!

  4. This could use some editing. Nested flashbacks, some strange choices of verb tense (though at least consistent), and some spelling goofs make it a bit hard to get into.

  5. Hey, i just came across with this… and it’s freaking AMAZING…I know you would be doing all of us a favor if you make a sequel…or a prequel (doesn’t matter I would like both… both is more than great… maybe a DLC or something like that stuff… just amazing)… absolutely loved it… my favorite: Entry 4 and the epic ending… ahhhh AWESOME… you will make us a Great, GREAT!! favor if you write more… (I think I need to know more abut them…please?). Thank you for this absolutely MASTER PIECE and I really, really hope to see you in the next time. : )

  6. wow an amazing story i really enjoyed the end and how they stayed together really different from other slendy stories

  7. This series was absolutely amazing – on the whole, one of the best creepypastas I’ve ever come across. I was pleasantly surprised by how frightening you managed to make Slenderman, as he usually doesn’t do much for me. One thing I really enjoyed is the way you mentioned real people and media relating to Slenderman – Victor Surge and Marble Hornets, for example. The fact that our own Slenderman legend existed in this universe prior to the events of the story made it much more genuine. I mean, normally when someone writes a story about Slenderman the characters are completely unfamiliar with him. That was a nice touch.

    Character actions and reactions were appropriate, the dialogue flowed well, each person had a distinct personality, there were a good number of unexpected twists and turns, the grammar was superb, and best of all – I actually liked and cared about the characters. Each part was terrific in its own way, but one of my favourites was entry four. I can see why people might think it’s unnecessary, but I loved hearing things from Jared’s point of view, and I felt true pity and sympathy for him. Apparently he was a good guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I very much hope to see this published someday. Though I’ve already read the entire series, I’d still buy the book. I think you deserve the cash. Thanks for a fantastic read.

  8. Just finished this series. Awesome story altho I thought part 6 was a little cheesey but the 1st 5 parts were a must read.I think my brain is turning into pasta now.

  9. Sunlight streamed in and Mira blinked against the sudden onslaught. She poked her head outside slowly, looking left and right. “No signs of tall people in business suits,” she said pulling back into the tent.

    I liked that par. Anyways, nice story and I rate this 7/10!

    Sincerely,
    Grim Gamer

  10. This was by far, the best story i’ve read about The Slenderman. It did send shivers down my spine, however I found it to be more of a sad, and uplifting story than a scary one… I know it doesn’t make much sense, but that’s just how I feel about it. Good job.

  11. Well, I just finished reading your entire series. Dude, great work. Loved it. As others have stated, this would be a great story to put in novel format. Sure, it doesn’t have the happiest ending, but that’s not the important thing. It’s a horror story about an entity that no one has defeated. Jay, Alex, Tim, the EverymanHybrid Crew, Noah from Tribe Twelve… no one has figured out a way to actually defeat the Slender Man (or at least I don’t think so… I haven’t checked up on EMH or TT in a while. Kept up with Marble Hornets, though).

    Anyway, as I said, you did great. I would gladly dish out the money to buy this if it became a published work of art. And, just because I like visual elements, I would not complain in the slightest if it was made into a movie… as long as you had a major hand in making sure it was done right. If the Marble Hornets movie that’s coming out soon does well, I’m sure people would be scrambling for another Slender Man movie, and from all the Slender Man stories I’ve read and/or seen, this is the best.

  12. Star Kindler, I have spent the past two days reading this series, and although I have not read many pastas, I think it’s safe to say that this is among the best. You did a perfect job of establishing the relation of evil with Slender Man and the power of faith. As well you gave us some amazing lines that will always ring through my mind, such as: it’s easier to change the story than to negate it. I think you have the potential to make many more great stories and or novels. I find this saga better than a lot of published books. And finally i love how you kept the macobre to Slender Man giving us a evil ending rather than giving us a cheery one that would have ruin the series. But you are amazing and I hope to read more from you (maybe a Rake series?).

  13. I love this soooooo much. I need to read the other ones. Pls make a version that can have them try to stop Slendy while he is basically the predominant ruler,

  14. The Old King Critic

    Solid writing I have wasted a week worth of study hall reading your series and it did not disappoint though it wasn’t exactly scary for me it was extremely entertaining.

  15. It’s been quite a while since I was last able to get on Creepypasta.com. I believe that the last time I was on, This series’ second installment had just been added to the site. I remember starting this series and thinking that I couldn’t wait for the next part to come out, and was quite pleased to see when I came back that not just one installment, but the rest of the series had been published during my absence. Now that I have finally gotten the chance to finish reading this wonderfully thought out story, I feel that the wait was well worth it. I would like to thank you, Star Kindler, not only for bringing back, but renewing and revitalizing an old friend that we here on Creepypasta.com have come to love and admire (in a fashion) over the years. It’s refreshing to see Slenderman return to his roots in a story that doesn’t make it’s readers cringe with thoughts of the words “over-used”, or “fan fiction”. You have shown us that Slendy still has a few tricks worth writing about hidden up his dressy sleeves. So again, thank you for you contribution to Slenderman and his fans. I wish you the best of luck with your future writing endeavors. :)

  16. Wow. One of my favorites besides the Jeff series (forgot what they called it). I loved the whole series to the end. Like said before, it just seems like something is.. missing. But by far, amazing work. I love creepypastas that I can just get lost in, and this is definitely one of them. Good job. <3

  17. oh and hope you have lots of luck on making more of those my eyes were full of tears after reading that so please make more , angel beats ,

  18. wow i loved it you should make more like a book of those its sad that they died and the last thing they did was huge and say there finnal words before they died thats sad ;C

  19. Overall,10/10

    A part of me,feels very sad that this story ended (and it’s rated like 7.6,both of those new parts),and how it ended..I was expecting a better (you know? not a sad,but a happy ending,like Rourke killing Slender Man and Mira and Rourke actually having some sexual relations,I had developed a feeling of familiarity with those characters…)

    Another noticeable thing is,in mythos,how Slender Man is almost nothing more than a slender stick that stalks you and ‘kills’ you after he reaches you. But in this story,he was a destroyer of worlds (Krators,lul) just cause of the book of Mira (poor her man…I do feel guilty for both of the main characters,wish there was a happy-ending).

    Besides,I do want more of this series…Well Star Kindler,I hope your torn-up muscle gets well…– A part of me dies knowing that this is the end. Wish you could make a novel,I’m barely able to buy it,since I’ve many health issues (and am depressed cause of personal reasons that I’d not like to share). But I’d love to buy it

    Who thought that s/he could take that lame Slendy that stalks you & ‘kills’ you after he reaches to you (what a lame ‘monster’) to a blaze-throwing beast that is able to track you down and he feeds into beliefs. Well,all I wanted is a happy ending to the protagonists (Mira & Rourke).

    Another thing I’ve noticed is grammar,how she (note : from now,I’ll call the author ‘she’ cause of their first name,Angela,if it isn’t their sex,I’m sorry,author) never made a mistake in first four parts,but since they (last two parts) were posted in the same day,they were a bit hurried & rushed. The grammar could’ve been better,however,it didn’t bother me much as I love to read Uncyclopedia,Encyclopedia Dramatica etc. and Horrible Troll Pasta,so still,this grammar was 9.8 for me)

    10/10 for me,kinda sucks that Creepypasta no longer accepts fan-made sequals to Slenderman,Jeff The Killer etc…10/10
    Can you make more stories like By The FIre’s Light,emotional,touching & and similar to this?

    Plus (sorry if this review is too long) as Sepia said,it lacked a bit of climax.but still,I loved this series,Sepia didn’t like it much as me,though.

  20. I am sad and somehow relieved that it’s over! What a fantastic story. I do feel that the last entry was a little rushed, but still effective.

    Sequels? Please?

  21. Wow. That’s all I can say after reading this. This was absolutely a wonderful series. I’m a little sad that its over though. Continue writing! Please! Your absolutely wonderful.

  22. So it all comes to an end. This entry clearly set the stage for an explosive conclusion: the characters are desperately running while Slenderman remains hot on their heels, leaving a wake of charred bodies and fallen friends. Ultimately this finale delivered, but it wavered and dawdled wanly before moving in for the bittersweet kill.

    Slendy’s achilles heel was the undeniably the focus of this entry. I liked how it was fleshed out and seamed into the Mythos, teasing the possibility of killing Slenderman before blowing up spectacularly into the character’s faces. The plot even managed a few meta overtones, keeping the lines between fiction and reality blurred. Belief ultimately took no sides.

    Like a swelling leitmotif, the background became bolder and bolder as the plot progressed. This piece was, IMO, a road-story; I liked how the quiet details (kidnapped children) kept up with the protagonists, playing an insistent tone of dread before crashing into the fore. The background was integrated well into the plot.

    However, the plot’s singleminded focus was its most glaring flaw; it zoomed too much on the in-story book at the expense of suspense.

    While I loved how the mechanic to defeat Slendy was drip-fed, there was a glaring absence of Slenderman itself. Given the long timeframe of the narrative, it was doubly surprising that the plot featured so little in the way of overshadowing or even a tangible threat, besides an early cameo. As a result, the piece sometimes came off as a long, rather mundane trip to the coast.

    It wasn’t for lack of opportunity: the characterization could’ve been sharper. Rourke’s constantly mentioned foreboding could’ve slipped into full-blown paranoia, him seeing Slenderman everywhere. Mira could’ve felt the emotional fallout of seeing a hotel and its inhabitants burn because of her. There was great, unplumbed potential for pitched character tension.

    This lack of actual tension IMO made the climax feel a bit disconnected, because while the stage was set, the main show wavered. That said, the conclusion was suitably shocking and bittersweet- the last note of hope especially- and was overall well-executed.

    All in all, a satisfying conclusion to an excellent saga, but an entry that dithered before finishing. 8.0/10

  23. And at last the epic Slenderman sext-tology has come to a… well, full circle, I suppose is the pun. Naturally I equate this as the Slenderman equivalent of the “Do You Harm” series, where it is not so much a redefining of the character as a return to form, backtracking to the entity’s roots by re-capturing the original source material; also, somewhat making it it’s mission to defy the clichés these characters have infamously become associated with. However, unlike the Do You Harm series, this accomplished it’s goals somewhat more successfully, though unfortunately in a far greater span of time.

    After being fortunate enough to read the first entry the day it was published, I was completely unaware it would morph into a six-part series. This is owing to the fact that the first entry was fantastic in its own right- having an individual prologue, setup, independent story, exposition, and standalone ending. Quite frankly, I would’ve been satisfied with the first story alone, without delving into a much deeper apocalyptic tale with Slendy as some form of demigod, or destroyer of worlds. Not to say the entire series was also excellent, but the first entry is the only one that could stand on its own, and thus superior (and somewhat out of place) compared to the other entries.

    While the second part was somewhat dull- with the generic skeptic not believing in monster until it’s too late- your quasi main protagonist, Rourke, worked well relative to the story’s theme whilst surviving enough to become interesting, as none of the other main characters at that point lived beyond their entry. To that end, when each character was “finished” with their cut of the exposition, they were quite cheaply killed off, which- while it worked relative to the story- seemed a tad bit too archetypal and predictable. Aside from Rourke, the other two surviving characters- Mia and Jared- weren’t nearly as well fleshed out. Mia’s characterization was completely unbalanced, going from a gloomy and traumatized victim in the third entry to a cheery, sarcastic, jovial, almost child-like personality for the remainder; whilst Jared was awkwardly forced into an arch of becoming Slenderman’s minion with literally almost no transitioning. By the way, his entry (particularly his recounting of the incident with Kurt and Connor) was completely unnecessary.

    Also, every major moment of exposition was completely forced, whether a straight-up speech by a dead character or unlikely realizations from completely random things. This is all tied together with the theme of dreams and fire; the dream segments were personally my favorite moments of the series, tapping in to each character’s insecurities, fears, doubts, and more often than not realizations. While also somewhat cliché, the dream segments opted for major development that simply couldn’t be accomplished with Slendy alone, and some were legitimately frightening. Fire, and in extent water, also came into play, but seemed more like simplistic plot devices that neatly tied together the murders, but also opted for a cheap way out of avoiding Slenderman (jumping into a pool?), and eventually the eerie and frightening assaults by Slenderman early in the series became predictable, routine, and dragged out later on.

    Speaking of dragged out, the final two parts in many ways represented the writing shortcomings of the series. While not the worst entries (second and fourth), they became- like Slenderman’s role- predictable, routine, and dragged out, looking more like the casual life of two disappointingly platonic characters as they spend boring romance-less months writing, eating, going online, and swimming. This is only accentuated by lazy transitioning (“We’ll wait a week” … one week later/ “It’ll take a few months” … a few months later). Also punctuated is Rourke and Mia’s complete lack of communication, withholding from eachother vital and useful information- such as how Rourke pins everything on the book Mia is writing, and only when she is done writing it (after many many dangerous paranoid death-at-any-corner months) does he question how it will be useful, and not attempting a plan on his own. While fortunately not straightforward stupidity, there is a clear lack of logic in the mindsets of these people that is only justified by vague mentions of “If I know more I’ll be in more danger (somehow).”

    What the series really did have going for it was A) Slenderman’s true to form malice that was somehow sucked away from him in later iterations and B) a truly engaging plot. Going from a simple murder turned detective case turned whodunit turned quest to stop the ending of time and space! The epic scale of this story only made us care more about their fates, as opposed to just a single person trying to escape Slendy for his own sake, and made even more epic by how Slenderman wasn’t completely invincible. Tension was always evident, even when it became somewhat generic, and true fear was instilled by the main characters’ own doubts over whether what they are doing is in vain, with discouragements from some and subtle clues from others. And the epic finale, while somewhat sterile, was bittersweet and rather touching, ending on both a dark but hopeful note. To say the least, predictable is what this series absolutely is not, a bona fide miracle considering this is all in all a story about Slenderman.

    All pieced together this series successfully captured a tale of ordinary people thrust into a hopeless situation working against all odds to save the world. While there were missteps along the way, broken characterization, and a general feeling it lost some steam; nevertheless this series should absolutely be counted in the archive of Creepypasta greats, creating a haunting, thought-provoking, dark, epic, true to form tale in the Slenderman mythos. I apologize for such a long review, but for how much effort you’ve put into this series, I should at least put a fraction of that into how I rate it.
    I don’t normally give things a numbered rating, but like the Do You Harm series I’ll make an exception for this: 8.5 out of 10.

  24. ThatCoolKidKyle

    It’s funny how something as trivial as a young man being killed in the woods led to the end of times.

    1. I knOw right! The story was good, but who wOuld have thought Mira and Rourke would indirectly destroy the world with a book!

  25. Wow, I wasn’t expecting this series to end like this. I guess that’s a good thing though. The writing a grammatical errors suggest that this installment was probably a bit rushed, being that near perfect grammar was used in the other parts of the series. Regardless, I loved this series, and I hope we’ll see more from Star Kindler.

  26. Wow… Holy fucking shit this was an amazing series, all throughout it was just great! The ending was so good, i just really wish there was more. I feel like something is missing I don’t know what though but overall absolutely amazing I would love if this was made into a book 10/10

  27. I just want to say: Thank you. To everyone who has read this, I truly appreciate it. You have helped remind me why I love to write. And a special thank you to the amazingly awesome admin derpbutt, who keeps this site ticking and helps keep our pasta hunger filled.

    I never expected to write so much about Slendy And now I am half-tempted to turn this into a novel. But not right this second, my brain needs a break from The Wanderer of Blazes. :) (and my right arm has a muscle torn which makes typing hard…)

    1. You did a great job with this series! I hope you someday have the inspiration to turn it into a novel or begin a new series!

    2. eye of the tiger

      I love your stories they are amazing you have major talent you should be an author. When I am looking for good stories to read this is the kind of stuff I look for. By the way I hope you don’t mind I liked your story so much that I copied and pasted it to Microsoft word and edited it but I won’t publish it I promise its only for me I printed it out to read to my friends and I left the credit to Star Kindler at the end.I just think everyone should know about it.

        1. Sue me. That’s it I hate myself and whoever reads this will too. I’m sorry but I didn’t enjoy this last entry as much as say, the second one (my favorite). But! that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. But, I feel that Slender man went from the, threatening essence of Malice and Fire, to, well, I’m not sure. I loved the series as a whole, and especially loved the psychiatrists point of view as well as Jared’s. I really like the way the story unfolds and especially how, the characters interact with each other. But, the ending just leaves to much up to debate for me to enjoy. I enjoy the whole mystery ending, but I CANNOT enjoy this ending all that much. Sorry. I loved the ending of the 2nd one though. just loved it. Thanks for posting this, and PLEASE, write more!

        2. No need for apologies, DarkDivine. I would never hate anyone for having a legitimate opinion, and I always find it interesting to find out which story people liked best in this six story arc.

          It might interest you to know when writing this, I came up with three different endings initially. The first one was much happier then the current one. However, it felt false and untrue to the story I had told. I could see a happy ending to this series, but Mira and Rourke would have had to have done several things very differently for it to happen.

          The second ending I came up with is almost the same as this one, except it had an epilogue that made things not quite as dark. I went back and forth on it but ultimately decided the story was better off without it.

          The third ending is the one I went with, much to the consternation of a few people ;) However, I take most of said consternation as a compliment, because people were unhappy that I had not given Mira and Rourke a happy ending. That means somewhere along the line people started to care about them, which is just about the nicest thing ever that could happen to a writer.

          While I know what happened and what Slendy’s goals and arc were, I am hesitant to explicitly put down what I think happened. I don’t want people to think there is “one true interpretation” to this story, because there isn’t. The ending is clear enough in its way (it was decidedly not happy!) and I am unlikely to explicate it further, at least not here in the comments. I want people to be able to draw their own conclusions. I would be happy to answer any questions people had through Twitter though! (My name links to my account.)

    3. I have absolutely fallen for this series, I really have. The writing is lovely, with a few spelling and grammar mistakes, but those had no overall effect on the story. The build up was slow and steady, which I loved, but I feel as though the ending was a bit rushed. It was an amazing ending, though I wish there was more to it. Regardless, you did astoundingly well in writing this series, and I love you for that. I hope you continue writing more stories. You’ll make for an amazing author if you keep this up.

    4. AnimeAndCreepypastaLover

      Ha ha i once found a good jeff the killer series and now i found a great slenderman series! I really loved this! Great job by the way but….could you explain the ending a bit? No matter how i read the part when they talked with kurt i just couldnt get it.Please?

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