The Slender Man

The Slender Man


“Oh, should I travel through the woods,
Or should I not, wishing I would?
For above me lurks within the trees.
No one could hear my deathly screams.
The palest man, the blackest suit.
Bigger than the tallest brute.
Six black arms will grab you up,
Or, stalk you till you just give up.
Fear the man, the slender man.
For he can do, what no one can.”
-Unknown


I shiver, wrapping my thin hoodie around me more. Beside me, Dena studies the map she had found. “Tell me again why we’re here?” “Cause that guy gave me this map for a reason, Cait. Guys with weird tattoos don’t just walk up to you and hand you a map because they’re bored!” I sigh. “I told you to throw that thing out. It’s probably nothing. He’s probably sitting over there,” I gesture out into the millions of trees, “Watching us with a pair of binoculars and laughing his ass off.” She laughs, adjusting her glasses. “Yeah, okay. You worry way too much.” When she sees my annoyed look, she laughs more, kissing my cheek. “I think I found what we’re supposed to be looking for.” Pointing to a small gray square on the map, she continues, “This is a building of some sort, way out in the middle of the woods. It should only be a few miles from here. Let’s go check it out.” I take the map from her and fold it up, shoving it in my pocket. “Fine, let’s just satisfy your curiosity so we can go home. It’s already getting dark out.” We both turn to look behind us at the setting sun. Dena slips her hand into mine, squeezing lightly. “Like I said, you worry too much. It’s just a few miles out. I promise we’ll be back before dark.”

We walk in silence for a while, looking for any signs of the man who had given Dena the map just three days ago. Finding nothing, the sun getting lower, I adjust my backpack, its weight heavy on my shoulders. I sneak a sideways glance at Dena. She’s always been the more adventurous one, wanting to try new things and explore the world. Personally, I prefer to stay at home, curled up under a blanket and watching Netflix.

Suddenly, her grip on my hand tightens considerably. Thinking she’s trying to get my attention, I look at her, but she’s looking straight ahead, eyes wide. “Dena…?” I follow her eyes. What can only be described as a tall man, as thin as any of the branches on the thousands of trees. His arms are long, his hands not visible at the end of the sleeves of his suit. He looks completely normal, albeit a little on the tall side and extremely overdressed for hiking. Then I take a look at his face, gasping. Where his face should be, there is nothing, only white, smooth skin. He has no hair to speak of, no eyes, mouth, nothing. But, even without a face, he seems to be looking at us, studying us with his head tilted to one side. Looking at where his face should be makes me dizzy, but I can’t seem to look away. Dena manages to, however, tugging my hand. “Cait. Caitlin. C’mon. We have to go, NOW!” This breaks my staring contest with the slender man. I look at her, my green eyes meeting her blue eyes. Her eyes are wide with fear. “Are you okay?” She asks, full of concern. “Yeah.” I nod, looking back at where the man was standing. He’s gone, not a trace of him in any direction. “Let’s just get going. We’re losing daylight.”

Although neither of us want to, we continue in the direction we had been going, towards where we had seen the slender man. We talk about him for a while, trying to come up with a rational theory for why he would have been there. Finding nothing, and losing daylight quickly, we stick together. Our hands are slightly damp from gripping each other’s tight. “We’re lost, Dena. We’re definitely lost. This has got to be the stupidest idea we’ve ever had.” “C’mon, Cait. Stay positive. We’re not lost. Look, there’s the building.” Sure enough, about 20 feet in front of us, there’s a building, almost like a bathroom. “We came all the way out here for this?” I say, in disbelief. “C’mon, let’s just go check it out. I’m sure there’s a light in there somewhere so we can take another look at the map.” Dena says, tugging me along the path.

We make our way inside. Dilapidated tiles are everywhere, littering the floor of the hallway. The flashlight I’m holding can’t even show us the end of the hallway. We enter an empty room, completely bare, sitting carefully on the floor. I lean against the wall, Dena right next to me. My arm wraps around her shoulder, keeping her close. “Let’s look at that bloody map.” I take it out, unfolding it carefully. Simultaneously, we let out a gasp of shock. The map, once showing the woods, is now completely empty except for three words. “He’s always watching.” We say out loud. A symbol, matching the tattoo of the man who gave us the map, is below it, a circle with an x through it. “This is a joke.” I say, forcing a laugh. “This has got to be a joke.” “I don’t think so…” Dena says, standing up. “Let’s just get out of here. We’ll go home, get some ice cream, watch some Angry Beavers, and forget this ever happened, okay? I’m sorry I brought you all the way out here, Caitlin. Like, really sorry…” She starts walking out of the room. I shiver, a sudden chill overtaking me. “Dena, wait!” I stand, but I can’t see her. I quickly head into the hall, looking both ways. “Dena!” I yell her name, but no reply. I look again towards the pitch black end of the hall, knowing where she must have gone. I make up my mind quickly and follow her, and possibly the slender man, into the dark.





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