It wasn't that unusual for the pair of us to believe in things with little to no real proof. I remember from the first time we hung out after meeting our freshman year, we had been on a quest to make contact with the dead and prove - at least to ourselves - that there were other beings out there, such as aliens. Or, in this case, Slenderman. We had conducted many unsuccessful ghost hunts, although we still swear to this day, that the things we experienced when staying at her house were real. I always attributed the odd happenings to be the result of Renee's Ouija board experiments before we met. And that was one thing that I refused to participate in. We dabbled a bit in witchcraft, now and then, but I figured that was pretty harmless.
In all honesty, I never understood why we did what we did. We were the biggest chickens on earth, yet somehow we always managed to top our last adventures. I guess we just liked the rush of adrenaline and fear. Renee and I were afraid of our own shadows half the time, but here we were, standing on the edge of the woods in the dark.
Renee quickly gave me the scoop on this Slenderman guy. I remember soaking it all with butterflies of anticipation in my stomach. Basically, he was a stylish, really tall dude, with no face, with weird "tendril" things that came out of his back, and he apparently had some sort of "tree-form." Oh, and he stalks you, makes you crazy, and eventually kills you. This guy had more rules and facts that we were used to. I mean, aliens were green, had big heads, and abducted people, right? Or was that just the stereotype? I preferred ghosts because they could pretty much do and be whatever. And no, they didn't wear sheets over their heads.
"Awesome," I said, once I got the gist, "let's go!"
It never occurred to me that Renee and I were such weirdos. Yeah, I guess it was because we were both outcasts, in our own ways. I thought my life was kind of strict but normal. I was quiet except when I was around family and friends, but the fact was that I had few friends, so hardly anybody got to see me come out of my shell. So Renee was correct when she said that she was all that I had. She, on the other hand, had many more friends which I could hardly keep track of. Who was she mad at? Wait, she hung out with her? I thought they were fighting? What boy was she going on about last week? Did I remember this one? I don't know how she kept track of it herself. But all of them were outcasts. I guess they all kind of banded together. That would explain me, except I wasn't cool in any way and didn't hang out with her people. Oh well. I didn't really dwell on this then; I was excited about the prospect of our new monster.
Renee and I had barely set foot in the woods, when we heard a branch crack to our left. Immediately, we wordlessly linked arms. Yeah, we were wusses. But, there was no one out here to see us, and I knew neither of us would ever bring it up to anybody, not even amongst ourselves. We knew we were scared in that moment, but it was also thrilling. I guess there wasn't much to do in a small town on a June night.
We walked pretty deep into the woods on the trail that the local kids (the normal ones) rode their dirt bikes on and stuff. The woods themselves didn't scare us; Renee and I had often gone out here at night, following odd lights and looking for aliens or just to walk around and chat. What made us nervous were the things in the forest. We were afraid of being startled, the most. Whether it be a deer or rabbit or Slenderman himself. We hated jump-scares, like those videos on Youtube where you are concentrating on a picture and the girl from the Exorcist or something pops out. They always got us, every time.
But nothing could prepare us for the chain of events that were about to occur…