I'm really sorry for the late update. I've been having writer's block for the past week and haven't gotten the spark to write. And just a little newsflash to all Slenderman lovers, there's now an indie game out called "Slender" that you can download for free at

Special thanks to Cretha Loesing for helping me on the storyline.

Chapter 3: Run-In

Theme: "I'm Awake Now" by Goo Goo Dolls

I'm awoken from my sleep by a thumping on the floor above. I bolt up in bed, the sheet wrapped around me like a cocoon. I stared up at the ceiling before relaxing and falling back against the pillows. This usually happens a lot, me freaking out over footsteps. Ever since I've had that dream about the tunnel, I've been a bit paranoid whenever I hear someone walking in a quiet place. It takes me a few seconds to remember that we're on the first floor, so there's going to be others above us.

I wiped the sweat off my brow and looked over at Lizzie. She was out of it, snoring and facing away from me, rolled over on her side. I smiled and looked at the clock. 3:30 in the morning. That's fucking perfect. I don't get enough sleep as it is, and once I wake up, I can hardly get back to sleep. But that's not the only reason. I hate waking up before sunrise. I always get scared of what's lurking in the closet or underneath the bed, and I feel like the sunlight is the only thing that can calm me down. And even then, the Sun's not enough to protect me.

Blowing out a sigh, I untangled myself from the sheets and pulled them back up to my shoulders, rolling onto my side and laying my head on one of my ears, closing my eyes and hoping for a bit of shut-eye before we have to leave. I got grateful when I felt myself drifting into Dreamland.

But of course, it's ruined.

An ear shattering scream worked its way through the walls. It was so loud I nearly hopped into the air and grabbed onto the ceiling like a cartoon cat. Luckily, I don't. But that didn't stop me shooting upright and looking around the room in terror. Whoever screamed is loud, because I can see Lizzie lifting herself by the elbows and glancing around at me, and Lizzie sleeps like the dead. "Wha, who, where's the fire?" she asked in panic, and I could tell she was still partly asleep. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and grabbed her by the elbow. Snatching up the key, I led her to the room next to us, which was the one Axel and Jasmin were sharing.

"What happened?" a voice asked from behind. Lizzie and I turned our heads to see that Jason and Paige were coming from their room. Paige's hair was tangled and her eyes were only partly open, making her look like the walking dead. Jason's eyes were closed and his hands were tugging at the hem of his shirt, making it look like he had just put it on. "Probable nightmare," I answered as I banged on the door.

I could hear Axel talking to Jasmin on the other end, but the door muffled the sounds, so I could only make out "Be right back" "Looking through the keyhole" and "Don't worry". The door opened to reveal Axel, bare chested and in sleep pants, the tribal tattoo on his right shoulder spilling onto the edge of his collarbone. "Another nightmare?" Lizzie asked as we stepped in. I glanced at the bed to see that Jasmin was sitting at the edge, her head in her hands and sobs coming from her. "Yep," Axel replied.

We made our way and sat around Jasmin. "What happened?" I asked Jasmin, sitting beside her. Jasmin took her hands away briefly to look at me. Her eyes were swollen and bloodshot. "I...I was back home, with...my family...and, and we were having dinner. But, all of a sudden, the lights went out," Jasmin explained, her voice threatening to crack with every word, "I called out to them, but...they didn't say anything. I-I tried reaching out to Dan, but..but when I did, h-he wasn't t-there. The lights came on, and...they were gone. T-the only thing left was...was..."

We all leaned in, though I think we all knew what she was going to say next. "There was only...blood. And I ran and tried to get out of the house, but it was like, there was no knob. And, when I turned around...he was..there." Axel knelt in front of her and placed his hands on her knees. "Jazz, look at me." Reluctantly, Jasmin raised her head and they made eye contact. "It wasn't real, Jasmin. You're not at home, and He's not here. We're here, and you're not alone. Okay?" Jasmin looked hesitant at first, but then slowly nodded.

Classic Axel. First glance, he may seem like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, but once you get to know him, you discover he's a big sweetie. Jasmin continued nodding, though you could tell she was about to burst out crying at any second. Surprisingly, Paige got up and sat on the other side, throwing an arm around her and pushing Jasmin's head toward her shoulder. She didn't say anything and looked straight ahead the whole time. That's the thing with our group. As different as we are, we always have each other's backs.

"Well, I don't know about you guys, but I think we all just need another dose of good night's sleep," Jason interrupted clapping his hands together and stretching as he stood up. We all nodded and made our way back. Even though it was bad for me, since that mean another four hours of laying awake, frozen in paranoia.


"Something wrong?" Lizzie asked me. I snapped out of my trance and looked away from the window, turning me head towards her direction. She had a concerned look on her face, her fingers wrapped around her coffee. Her eyebrows were raised, those familiar pale green wolf eyes feeling like they were looking into my soul. "Yeah," I answered as I looked around the cafe, "Just a bit...out of it." It was late into the evening, but the Starbucks we were in was still pretty packed. Lizzie and I were sitting right by the window. Axel and Jason were chatting a bit away. Jasmin was using the bathroom, and Paige was in line buying a sandwich.

It was true I was a bit off my rocker. But that was just because we were on a pretty creepy looking part of town. The sun had set, and the only thing lighting up the streets were the dark yellow streetlights, which only made them look more like drug dealer and hooker territory. I've never been one going out at night, and this certainly wasn't going to change it.

Minutes later, we were exiting the shop, walking back towards the motel with our drinks. We were checking out tonight, and we were going to get as much caffeine as we could into our systems to stay up for the drive to wherever.

The whole time we were walking, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. The streetlights made the sky look pitch black, with no stars to calm it whatsoever. It was deathly quiet, and I swear to God the shadows were mocking me. It was one of those moments where you can't shake the feeling something's going to go wrong.

"Well, hello there, sexy."

Yep, I knew it. Something's gonna go wrong. I stopped right in my tracks and turned around. The others had their heads turned too. Standing behind us was a group of five girls. Two girls, three guys. The one who had made the comment had one of his hands in his way-too baggy black jeans, a white shirt hanging off of him with a grey undershirt. A gold chain glittered in the streetlight. "What do you want?" Jason snarled, and I could see he was holding tightly onto Paige's hand.

The guy looked at the others and they all laughed. I narrowed my eyes. I've seen plenty of shows. They want to start something, I know it. Gold Chain crossed his arms and shot a smug smirk at Axel. "Well, I couldn't help but notice I ain't never seen you guys around these parts before, and considering you're in a group, I couldn't help but think: You runaways too?" I have to say, I was shocked. And a bit scared. You can never trust whether or not someone's a squealer.

"What's it to you?" Axel asked, his tone cold and non trusting. The group laughed again and Gold Chain wiped his mouth. "Well, I don't know if you know the rules of the 'Hood or not, but this is our territory. And to get by our territory, we need to bargain." He rubbed his hands together and I noticed he was staring at Jasmin. More specifically, her chest.

Shit.

It was clear what he wanted. Gold Chain stepped up and went to make a move on Jasmin, though luckily, Axel grabbed her and pushed her behind him. "No."

Now, just to make things clear, Axel's a pretty tall guy. At six feet, Gold Chain looked like a hobbit. However, this didn't seem to intimidate Gold Chain. Instead, he looked up at Axel with that grin again, and instead of saying anything, a girl stepped up next to him.

She was around my age, possibly only a bit older than Jasmin. She had straight auburn hair that was tied at the bottom with a scarf and large blue eyes. She was wearing a pink tank top that was ripped, exposing her white bra. She was wearing cut off shorts and white sneakers, along with a gold heart-shaped necklace and a bellybutton ring. She looked up at Axel with her hands behind her back, making her chest heave out a bit.

Is it bad the first thing that went through my mind was Slut?

"We don't want any trouble," she told Axel, "Only a little deal. I'll make it worthwhile." Yep, I was right. Slut. She was telling Axel this in a seductive voice...or what she tried to pass as a seductive voice. I could hear Lizzie breath heavily, and when I looked at her, her teeth were clenched.

Though she tries to deny it, Lizzie's got to the hots for Axel. And like any other teenage girl, she'll protect what she wants.

"Like I said: no," Axel repeated, not fazed by Skanky's attempts, no matter how much hunger shone in her eyes. I could see her narrow her eyes, showing she was angry he wasn't fazed by her body. A boy grabbed Gold Chain by the shoulder and whispered something into his ears. Gold Chain looked at Lizzie before he smiled like the Chesire Cat and nodded at the other dude. This guy had blonde hair, brown eyes, and the largest buck teeth I've ever seen.

"Okay. Bad choice. How about her in exchange for Kelly?" Buck Tooth tried to persuade, pointing at Lizzie before waving his hand back to another girl, who was African American with brown hair in dreads and startling hazel eyes. Like Skanky, "Kelly" was dressed in provocative clothing. I narrowed my eyes and clenched my fists. The nerve of these guys.

"Hell no," Axel said.

"Fuck you," Lizzie followed.

Paige, although clearly irritated, raised her hands and looked between our two groups. "Look, we don't want any trouble-"

"Oh, but you don't understand, Hot Tits, we're not asking," Gold Chain darkly chuckled, "We're telling."

He reached into the back pocket of his jeans and took out something, pressing on it until it extended. My eyes widened and I was instantly scared.

It was a switchblade.