„I still think this is stupid idea," said Judith, girl with short, brown hair and grass green eyes, as she was driving her small Volkwagen Buba from seventies towards the woods. Her two companions, Leo and Mark rolled their eyes.
„You know what that old lady said. And you know that police won't trust us if we say that our siblings were kidnapped by a monster from a myth," said Leo, guy so tall he had to bend in her car. His long, blonde hair was tied in a ponytail.
„I don't believe it, why should they?"
„Then why are you coming with us?" asked Mark. He was not as tall as Mark, but had stronger complexion, and his hair was short and black.
„You paid me twenty bucks to give you a ride."
„Liar. You want to investigate the place your brother disappeared in."
„No, not at all. I mean, police made such marvellous job, why should I be checking again?"
„You're being sarcastic again, Judith." Judith sighed. She wasn't always easily annoyed like this. Ever since her older brother Luke disappeared with Amy and Sam in these same woods, she baceme arrogant and mean towards everyone. „Just let me drive, okay?" said Judith.
They came up with this investigation about a month ago. She was just minding her own business, when all of the sudden, two familiar twenty-year-old guys knocked on her door, asking her to help them find thair siblings, Sam, Luke and Amy. Mark was Amy's older brother, and Leo was Sam's. And they wouldn't leave her alone, until she agreed to go with them. She doubted they will find anything, when all of a sudden, there was this crazy woman, saying how a boy, obviously Sam, was killed and devoured by faceless creature from the woods in font of her very eyes. Judith didn't believe the story, but Mark and Leo did. Not to mention Mark said he knows of the creature, as Amy had nightmares about him when she was little and drew pictures of him. He showed them the pictures, and even took them with himself. They wre quite disturbing.
Judith turned off the road, carefully approaching the dead level where she parked the car. „Okay, this is the place. What now?" asked Judith.
„We split up and look for clues," said Leo.
„Leo, you're a dumbass." Judith smirked as Mark and Leo started insulting each other.
„Guys, let's just get out of here."
„Don't worry, we'll just look around. We'll go back home before the nightfall."
„We know you don't want to be here, but hey, Mark and I are two young strong guys. We will protect innocent maiden like yourself."
„Ha-ha. I hope Slender Man eats you." Judith locked the car and put the keys in her pocket.
They wandered through the woods a bit. Judith was lost in thought, looking at the drawings that Mark brought with him. 'She was one neurotic kid,' thought Judith, and remembered her little nephew. 'I don't think Lucy would ever do that.'
It took Judith a while until she noticed that background noise of Mark and Leo chatting was gone. 'Oh, come on!' Judith looked around, while putrid autumn leaves were rustling under her feet. „Guys? Where are you?" There was no answer. „Okay, stop it. This is not funny." Ina distance, she noticed a tall, slim figure, standing between the trees. It was quite hard to notice him. „Leo! Come on, let's go home!" Figure moved away, and was soon gone out of her sight. Judith sighed, thinking that tall, slim guys like Leo could easily dress up as trees for a Halloween. Now that she thinks about it, Leo was a tree, back then when they were just little kids.
She heard quiet rustling, but ignored it. She decided to go back to the car and wait for the guys to come back. Nervous and angry, she went back, but something in the corner of her eye cought her attention. It was a small note, pasted with a duct tape on the crust of the tree. It showed a man in the woods, obviously a drawing of neurotic ten-year-old. Same as the note that Judith had. As she took the note, someone grabbed her from behind, putting his hand on her mouth. In panic, Judith hit the attacker with her elbow in the stomack, and he let her go, sighing painfully. „Jesus, Judith! It was just a joke!" said Mark, bending over and covering his stomack, while Leo was laughing next to him.
„Very funny! Nice story you made up to make me go all the way to middle of nowhere just to scare me!" Judith threw notes at guys, angrily turning away.
„Wait, Judith, what are you talking about?" Leo grabbed her hand. „We didn't made all this up. These really are the drawings and we didn't make that old lady prank you, she told us what she really saw. We hid only because you were daydreaming and we wanted to scare you a bit."
„And so you pasted that stupid note on the tree."
„What note?" Judith didn't feel like explaining it. She was tired, and she just wanted to go home.
„You mean, this note?" Mark asked and showed Judith the note she picked up.
„It's exactly the same!" said Leo.
„Oh, like you don't know that. Come on, this is pointless, let's go back." It was at this time that Judith realised she didn't know where she is. Swearing to herself about all the same scenery, she started walking in totally random direction, acting like she knows where she's going. She could hear Leo and Mark laughing behind her, making her even more angry. 'If Luke was here, he would beat the living crap out of them,' thought Judith, getting more and more desperate.
„Judith? Are you okay?" asked Leo, aiming towards her, but she pushed him away.
„Leave me alone!" she yelled, almost sounding desperate.
„Gee, sorry I worry. Why are you always so annoyed."
„Because you guys are just two annoying assholes who don't care about how..." realising she snapped, Judith stopped in the middle of her sentence, covering her mouth. She could feel tears coming up her eyes and she ran away, afraid they might see them. She ignored their calls. When she was sure they couldn't see her anymore, she sat down and started to cry. The pain was overwhelming, and these two jerks just made fun of it.
„Hey there, little lady," she heard the voice behind her. She stood up immediately, wiping her tears away. „Why are you crying?" aksed the tall, old man. He was pale and bold, and really, really old.
„Crying? I-I'm not crying."
„Is little lamb lost?" Judith didn't really trust the stranger, but heck, she might ask this nice man for help.
„Kind of, yes. I was here with two companions, but we separated."
„Oh, I suppose you were in that old car that is parked alongside the road, am I right?"
„Yes. Can you take me to it?"
„No, but I can show you the way. There is a road up ahead that will lead you straight to your car. You may not noticed it at first, but it is marked. Now, I will leave you with your journey. I am quite busy. I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpfull."
„Oh, no sir, you helped a lot. Thank you." Judith smiled, and he grinned back, turning away. She found a road that the man was talking about, but as she took her first step, her head started to ache and her vision became blurry. And for some reason, everything went dark.
Judith... Judith... „Judith! Wake up!" Judith came to her senses, and opened her eyes. Firstly, she noticed that it was almost dark, and then realised that Leo is holding her in his arms. 'Awkward...' Judith stood up.
„Are you okay? Can you walk?"
„What happened? We found you laying unconcious on the ground," asked Mark, concerned. Judith acted like she tried to recall what happened. She didn't really want to tell them. „I can't remember."
„Doesn't matter. Let's go back."
„Judith, we're really sorry for scaring you. We didn't think it would have such impact on you."
„Don't talk as if you know me, Leo." Judith noticed a look that Mark gave him, full of condolence, but she ignored it. She just wanted to go home.
They walked in awkward silence. Even Leo and Mark didn't comment every single of their surroundings. However, Mark disrupted the silence. „Hey, what's that?" They saw a house – pretty big actually, covering the whole opening of the woods. Well, not whole, there was some free space back, with old, rusty tanks. The first reaction was: „Hey, let's investigate!"
„Guys, this is wrong decision in every single horror movie."
„We're not in a horror movie," said Leo.
„Slendy Boy won't come to get us, don't you worry."
„Yes, we'll protect you!" Leo and Marked started to laugh. Judith rolled her eyes. 'Yes, I've seen how much protection you offer. You should be bodyguards.'
They've entered a rather creepy house. It had no windows, the floor and the walls were paved with white, cold tiles. „Hey, Mark, you coming?" asked Leo. Mark, who was spacing out on the entrance, hurried and cought up with them. „Sorry. I thought I saw something."
„Probably just an animal."
„Hey, guys, look!" Leo yelled from the back of the building. „There's another note!" Leo showed them the note. It was a drawing of a man standing next to a tree, with word 'follows' written next to them.
„That's creepy," said Mark. He took the notes out of his pocket, comparing them. „They're exactly the same."
„What?" asked Leo.
„Yes, they're exactly the same!"
„You're messing with us."
„No, I'm not! See for yourself." Mark showed them these two exactly the same notes.
„This is giving me the creeps. We should get out of here," finally said Leo, after a long, creepy silence. Mark gave notes to Judith. He was very disturbed. 'If these two didn't put these notes here, who did?' They got out of the house, but Mark became more nervous. „Guys, I think something's watching us."
„Then let it watch us. It won't approach, it's just a wild animal," said Leo, but Judith was sure he didn't trust himself. Hovewer, Judith wasn't scared. There was no Slender Man, there are no boogymen anywhere in this world, just stories to scare little children.
„Guys, I'm really seeing something," said Mark. 'Is he really so persistant on bullying us?' thought Judith, but Mark started breathing heavily. He started sweating a lot.
„Where do you see it?" asked Leo.
„There, right over there!" said Mark, showing somewhere between the trees. Leo concentrated, and suddenly recoiled. „Did you see that?" he whispered.
„Yes," whispered Mark back.
„What?" asked Judith, and both Leo and Mark grabbed her hands and started running. „Stop! Hey, stop!" yelled Judith. She couldn't keep up with them, and her hands and legs hurt from all that pulling. She wrested her hands and stopped. „What's gotten into you? Are you aware of how you're acting?"
„Judith, it's here! That thing is in that forest!" yelled Mark in her face.
„No, it's not, you just made it up!"
„Both of you, calm down. Judith, you really can't see it?"
„No, no I can't."
„Well, she doesn't believe in it. That might be the reason," said Mark.
„And you do?"
„Yes. And I'm afraid of it." Judith rolled with her eyes. „Okay, let's just get out of here. I told you this is a bad idea! I won't take care of you if you lose your minds just because you're afraid of the dark!"
„It's still twilight. And I have a flashlight," said Leo, pulling the flashlight out of his pocket.
„I don't think we will be able to find our way."
„Okay... You guys haven't happened to bring mobile phones, right?"
„Umm... I left mine at the car."
„And I lost mine when you've beat me up," said Mark. Judith rolled her eyes again, searching her pockets. She pulled out a small cellphone and looked at it. „Great. No signal." As she looked up, she saw something in the distance. Something rather big. It turned out to be a copper pillar. They approached it and looked around it, finding their third note. 'Don't look, or it takes you.' It was all written in a hurry, and it looked exactly like the note they had. „You trust us now?" asked Leo.
„I don't know." Judith started to get nervous herself. They couldn't be this sadistic, could they? They are not such good actors, and she remembers how Marks' hand was sweaty. He couldn't have faked that, could he? It certainly can't be that Slender, or whatever. It could be Leo, though. He always liked to play around with other people.
They continued to walk in silence. The night veil has already covered the sky, and it was quite hard to see in the dark. Mark would look back every few seconds. Leo was nervous himself, but he was more concentrated on leading the small group. „Hey, is that a van?" asked Leo. Judith stopped daydreaming and looked forward. „Yes, certainly seems like it."
„Could it be we're not the only Slender Man's victims?" sked Mark.
„Shut up, damn it!" But as they came close, they figured that the blue van had no tires and no motor. Moreover, on the backside, there was yet another sinister note. A stickam with six no-es written on each side „Desperate," said Mark.
„This goes for you, Mark. You keep looking back, evil monster will eat you," said Judith, mocking him.
„Fuck you, Judith," replied Mark. „If you want to know, these notes are all the same." He gave them to Judith, and she put them in the back pocket of her jeans. „I bet there's more where that has come from."
„These are like wierd marks for stops, or something like that," commented Leo.
'The road to your car is marked...' flashed in Judith's head. She covered her mouth, trying to stop her heavy breathing. Chills ran up her spine and it suddenly became colder. „What?"
„It must be that guy!"
„What guy?" Judith bit her lip and told guys how she met the man who told her the directions towards her car.
„Why didn't you told us this before?"
„It was my sort of punishment for you."
„That guy could've been the one who is at fault for these disappearences!" said Leo. Suddenly, Judith felt something. Something little, that started growing rapidly inside of her chest. It was fear. She wasn't afraid of some mythical monster. But this... This man is from flesh and bone and he could harm them a lot. He must've been a killer!
„W... We have to get out of here," said Judith.
„Oh, now, you're starting to get scared," said Mark.
„Well, to be honest, I'm relieved. There is no monster, but just a man." They approached a concrete tunnel built in a giant rock. It looked like the darkness was swallowing anything that wend inside. And because there was no way around, it was even scarier. „I'm not going here."
„It's the only way."
„What if that guy is in there?"
„He won't hurt you. I promise."
„Love birds, there is something behind us, and I don't think it's friendly."
„Okay, okay," said Judith, hastingly going in, and practicly bumping into yet another note. „Oh, come on!" said Judith.
„What does it say?" asked Mark. Judith didn't bother to read. She gave them the note.
„Always wathces, no eyes..." mumbled Leo.
„Is that Slender Mans' face? That circle with crosses?" asked Mark. Suddenly, there was a quick movement behind Marks' back. Judith blinked few times, but it turned out it was just imagination. „Let's go," said Judith, taking the note and putting it in her pocket. She didn't bother to compare the notes. She knew they were all the same.
'How does that man know about Slender Man. Even worse, how does he know about these drawings? He certainly knows Amy, then. It's like some wierd obsession. Could she still be alive? Or did he kill her? Did he also kill Sam and Luke?' Her mind couldn't stay quiet. She had so many questions... And she was so scared. 'We are in his territory. Shit, this is all my fault. What if he's tracking us now?'
„Judith? We're out," said Leo and took Judith's hand. „You're shivering."
„I can't believe you are hitting on her in this kind of situation," said Mark contemptuously. Judith laughed, even though it wasn't funny. She just couldn't stay alone with her thoughts.
They soon got to the sinister tree, all alone in a small opening in the woods. It was undoubtable. There was yet another note there. Two stickmen, one standing and one laying down, with hastily written letters: 'Leave me alone.' Judith started breathing heavily, and she could feel cold sweat coming down her back. „Holy Jesus. Shit! Shit!" yelled Leo. Mark turned around and screamed. Leo grabbed Judith's hand before she could see anything and ran, pulling her. „Leo! Leo! Calm the fuck down, god damn it! Where's Mark?"
„He's dead!" said Leo.
„What are you talking about?
„You didn't see it?"
„Slender Man! It devoured him! His skin tore appart showing mouth, and he swallowed him whole!"
„What the fuck? Leo, I'm scared as it is, you don't have to prank me again!"
„You... You really didn't see it?"
„No! I already said that." Leo stared at her. Something was wrong. He never looked at her in that way. It was as if... As if... 'I can't describe it,' she thought. But she could feel that danger was approaching.
„No, it's impossible! You saw it, and you know it! You're just working with him, so he can kill us all!"
„What are you talking about?"
„Yeah... That's it... That is the solution!"
„Leo, you've gone crazy!"
„I must kill you! Then I'll be able to get out of here!"
„What?" Leo tried to grab her, but she ran away. She could hear him yelling on her and running after her. For some reason, she was faster. She saw a pile of few big rocks, and she jumped there, hiding. Her heart punded so hard, she could feel it in every part of her body. She tried to calm her breathing, as she heard someone walking around the rocks. She covered her face and layed on the ground. She knew that if she can't see him, that he will be able to see her, but she didn't want to see him. She was too scared. She didn't know what to do anymore. All of her thoughts stopped, and she concentrated on the steps. However, steps were getting more quiet, and Judith couldn't hear them anymore. 'He must've left,' thought Judith, trying to prevent her crying. She didn't dare to make a sound. 'Where is Mark? What happened to Leo? He was sane just a moment ago!' thought Judith. Shivering, she stood up, and as she leaned towards the rock to find her balance, she felt yet another note. She took her mobile phone out of her pocket and read it. It was a picture of a stickman, and on both sides there were written letters 'no' six times. 'Funny. I feel like that right now.'
She took few shaky steps. She didn't feel comfortable on her feet and she was still shocked. However, every single cell in her body yelled 'Move. Find a car and go home.'
'I don't want to be alone,' thought Judith and nearly cried. She took a deep breath to calm down
Judith didn't realise how far she went. She just kept walking, her mind and instincts blank. She couldn't hear. She couldn't feel. She couldn't see. She only walked, but soon she stumbled on something and fell down. Breathing heavily, scared and on the verge of tears, she stood up, realising she has something in her hands. Yet another note. Her hands shivering, she took out the mobile phone and slowly turned it on, flashing the paper. „Help me..." she read out loud, wishing it for herself. Someone grabbed her from behind. Judith fought back, but the person grabbing her was stronger. „Sorry, Judith. I thought there could be something between us."
„Why are you doing this? I am not working with him!"
„I know. I met him and he confirmed that. However, he said that if I wanted to live, I must kill you."
„You're crazy!" Judith tried to fight back, as she felt Leo is trying to strangle her. She didn't know how she managed it, but he took his flashlight and hit him with it, and pushed him away. He fell, and as Judith turned to run away, she heard horrible sound. She froze. „L...Leo?" she asked. „Leo?" Slowly and carefully, she approached him and flashed on him with flashlight. His head was in terribly unnatural position, as he was laying down on the rock covered in blood. „Oh God! What have I done?"
„Judith..." she heard whisper. Automaticly, she turned around and saw Mark.
„Mark! Oh my God, Mark, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to..." Suddenly, Mark started stretching, making horrible sound. His limbs were longer, he got taller. His skin began to get paler, and his face was slowly disappearing, and hairlocks fell down. 'I am no Mark, my dear,' she heard in her head. It was no voice, but... She could hear it. And she knew it was from this creature standing in front of her. „You... You're... You're real..." she said, shivering, frozen on the spot. As four tentacles got out of her back, her whole body screamed, and she turned away and ran. She ran, and ran, and ran as fast as she could. She fell down again, and as she stood up, she heard someone crying. For a second, she had second thoughts, but rejected them all, runing towards the person who cried. 'I must help that person.' Soon, she saw a girl in white dress, sitting under a tree. Her hair hid her face, but her whole body was shivering in fear. Judith ran towards the girl and had shaken her. „Calm down! It's dangerous here, you must run away!" The girl looked towards her. She had no face. She could hear laughter in her head, as the girl streched in the very same way Mark did. One of the tentacles grabbed Judith, but she screamend and shook it off, running away again. She ran uphill, aware he was right behind her, feeling his cold touch on her spine. She ran out on the road. Two lights hit her in full speed, and scared, and in pain, everything went black faster than a second.
Her vision was blurry at the first. Soon, as her eyes sharpened, she could see the white cieling. Annoying beep was getting louder and louder, she could barely take it. With pain in her head, she looked around. She was in the hospital, and her mother was sleeping next to her bed in the chair. Judith tried to reach her, but she had no control over her body. She felt numb, everywhere but in her head, she felt like she is out of her own skin. Suddeny, her mother woke up. „Judith? Judith honey, are you awake?"
„Y...Y...Yeess..." barely said Judith.
„Oh God, honey, I was so afraid! You were hit by a truck and ended up in coma."
„M... Mar...k a..a..."
„Mark and Leo? They have gone missing."
Judith spent almost a whole month in the hospital. Since her leg was crushed, there was no way to save it – whole leg was amputated. The policemen came over to ask her about Mark and Leo, but Judith couldn't recall anything. Everything was deleted, even the memory of them going on some kind of a picnic. Her car was found in a woods close to the place where she was hit by a car, but tires and motor were missing.
After almost month and a half of being hispitalized, she was finally let out of the hospital. Her mother helped her while getting to the car, since she still couldn't get used to not having a leg. She looked of in a distance, and between the trees, she thought she saw something, and that something was watching her. However, it soon disappeared. 'It was just my imagination,' thought Judith, as she got into the car. However, every night, she would dream same nightmare. She was chased around the dark woods in the middle of the night by Leo, Mark and some thin, tall faceless guy. It would end always in the same way: two fast moving lights would wake her up.
Hovewer, she remembered the name of that thin, tall guy. His name was Slender Man.