In Wisconsin, two young girls stabbed
a friend repeatedly
The story made headlines,
beyond the horror,
because the girls claimed to have done it
to appease an urban legend
Slenderman has been around for only
a few years, an internet ghost
He’s a figure appearing in the backgrounds
of photographs, the edges of the scene, a little
too tall and a little too thin, as if his image
has been stretched, pulled like warm taffy
People say that if Slenderman appears
behind someone then the person will die
These kinds of rules have been around
as long as story,
like frames around photos
what you can’t see won’t hurt you
not like girls, leading their friend
into the woods, dark and cold and green
with life, and slamming a knife
into her body, over and over, until
they thought she should be dead
In the papers, of the girls
stare straight ahead into the camera
lens, unafraid
of seeing themselves in pictures


Chloe N. Clark's work appears in Bombay Gin, Booth, Sleet, Wyvern, and more. She writes about magicians, ghosts, and doughnuts in equal proportions. Follow her @PintsNCupcakes