It was the beginning of fall and I was walking in a forest preserve about ten blocks away from my house. Almost all the colored leaves were on the ground and most of the animals were hibernating, or had flown south for the winter. The sound of the wind whistling through the branches of the tall trees soothed my depression. About 30 minutes ago, I found out that my friend, George Maxwell, died in a car accident. We used to walk in this same forest preserve for hours, just talking and playing ganes. As I walked I heard the leaves and twigs crunch beneath my feet. I look up at the sky and all I see is gray clouds, they remind me of my grief, I put my head down and continue to walk. I eventually walk up to a pond. The same pond that George and I would skip rocks on. I looked and there was a school of bluegill fish about five feet away from me; they always used to be the only thing I would be able to catch when George and I fished. Then I look down and see a perfectly flat rock about the size of my palm, I pick it up then skip it across the water. One, two, three, four times it bounced against the light, smooth, cold waves of the pond. I look where my rock had landed and I see a reflection of a man in a black suit in the other side of the pond. I don't bother looking up at the person in the reflection due to me being afraid that he would be mad at me for disturbing the fish or something so I just turn around and walk back into the forest.

As I walked down the trail that led out of the forest and into the field, it sounded like there was an extra set of foot steps behind me. I tried looking behind me, my hood blocked me from seeing out the corner of my eye and I got scared so I started walking faster. After five minutes of more walking I was sure there was someone at least seven feet away from me because I heard a foot step in between mine. At this point I started walking even faster and taking longer steps, but the steps still followed me, so I started running, so fast that my hood flew off my head. I finally got to the field and continued running until I got to the middle of the field just outside the forest. I look behind me to see if the person was still following me, nothing was there. I thought I was going crazy but then I saw a black sleeve move behind a tree at the edge of the forest. I turned around and walked home, constantly looking behind me every minute. I got back home I slipped off my hoodie and carelessly threw it on the floor. My grandmother then called me from her room and asked how my walk was. I walk into her room and she is laying down watching her soap opera on her small television. I give her a kiss on the forehead and tell her it was fine. Moaning comes from the television and I turn to see a man on top of a half-naked woman, kissing her. "Why can't you be a normal grandma? You know, knitting things and listening to old records?" I ask her in a jokingly way as I gesture to the television.

"Because I'm an awesome grandma and if I did that I would be boring!" she says as she giggles and kisses my cheek.

"That's true."

I get up and walk to my room, on the way I see a picture of my mother, ever since she went to the hospital for hallucinations of a "Tree Man" life has never been the same. I remember the day they took her away, I was seven years old and she tried killing me because she "didn't want the Tree Man to take me and make me one of his puppets." But my grandmother stopped her and she was taken away. After that my grandma took me to the park to play with all of my childhood friends, including George. That's all that I remember of that day. After that my grandmother took custody of me and I lived with her ever since. It was late in the evening and I had told my friend on Xbox about the man at the forest. He told me not to worry about it, that it was just some guy that happened to be walking the same way I was walking. My dog interrupted my conversation with my friend by barking at the door. I got up and pulled the curtain that was covering the window of my room door which is the side door of my house. Nobody was there, although the sensor porch lights were on and I could have sworn I heard someone's footsteps on the front porch before my dog started to bark. I shrugged, made sure all the doors were locked, and continued playing Halo with my Xbox friend.

After I was done playing Halo I lied in my bed watching a movie on Netflix. My grandmother was in her room and was sound asleep, the only way I could wake her up at this point was to start shaking her arm and yelling her name. My video then froze for a second and it brought me to a page saying that I was disconnected from Xbox live. I tried everything I could to get reconnected but it wouldn't work. I went to my computer to check and see if there was something wrong with the servers but it wouldn't take me to the Xbox live website. Instead it took me to a page saying there was something wrong with the internet. I tried restarting the modem about five times and it wouldn't work. I picked up my house phone and there was no dial tone. I looked at the back of the modem for the number and picked up my cellphone. I started dialing the number and I looked at the top right corner of my cellphone, there was no signal. My phone usually has all five bars in my room - at least four. I walked all around my room but I couldn't even get a spike. I turned off my cell phone and turned it back on, nothing happened, I started to panic. I can't be without noise or I start hearing and seeing things. I turned on all my lights. I tried to go down the hallway to grab a DVD to play in the Xbox. I looked down the hallway and started freaking out. All the lights were off and I can't stand the dark. The feeling of not seeing anything just makes me think of what or who could possibly be in there with me. I turned around and went on to my computer; luckily I downloaded a few good movies before tonight. I started playing one, lied down in my bed with my dog lying next to me, and started to relax.

About twenty minutes into the movie. My power went out. I immediately went for my cell phone to use as a flash light. I pressed the lock screen button and it wasn't doing anything, my phone was dead. My phone had a full battery before I started watching the movie and the battery usually lasts about ten hours before it dies, how is this even possible? I grabbed my flashlight and shined it on the ceiling to brighten up the whole room and then my dog started barking. He ran down the hall and he started to growl. Then he yelped and there was nothing but silence for what felt like forever. I heard footsteps going down the hall towards my grandmother's room. Then I heard my grandmother's room door open. I heard a quick yelp and then nothing but silence. Then I finally remembered; I had forgotten to check if my back door was locked! Quickly I ran to my door with only the flashlight. I struggled to unlock the door. I put the flashlight in my armpit and continued to try to unlock the door. It felt as though I couldn't breathe and my heart felt like it was about to break out of my chest. I finally got the door open and ran as fast as I could outside. I ran to the next block on my street and went to someone's front door. I knocked and rang the doorbell, nobody answered. I started yelling and crying, banging on the door as hard as I could and still no answer.

I tried almost every house on that street and nobody would answer. Then I found a car in the middle of the street, just sitting there, the engine was running and the door was open. Nobody was in it or near it and there was long skid marks behind it, I don't know how I didn't see it before. I jumped in, slammed the door and sped off and headed to the police station. On the way, there were more cars just like how I found this one. Empty, running and doors open. What the fuck is going on I thought. Then, I felt myself hit something. I slammed on the brakes and looked in the mirror. Lying on the ground was a very tall, bald man in a business suit. He started to get up and I drove away, I had no time to deal with this guy. I looked in the mirror to see if he was okay and he was gone. I got to the police station and I heard gun fire inside. I jumped out of the car and ran in to see what was going on. Nobody was inside, all that was there were guns and bullet shells.

My legs went limp and I held to the wall, trying my best to hold myself up. Then, everything started to fade into darkness and I fell to the ground. As everything went black I saw a black shoe step around the corner with a black pant leg. When I woke up, I saw the night sky surrounded by trees and I moved my fingers over the cold dirt beneath me. I felt cold metal, it was my flashlight. I slowly got up, turned on the flashlight and looked around. I recognized the area right away; I was in the forest preserve. I wobbled around trying to regain my strength. My flashlight only shined on one tree at a time and flickered sometimes. Then after walking around for what felt like hours, one tree my light passed over didn't look right. My arm trembled as I started to move my flickering flashlight back ever so slowly. Then I saw it, the black suit. I looked up and I saw his face, or rather, lack of. No ears, no hair, no eyes, nothing. He was about nine feet tall and his arms reached to the middle of his shins. He walked toward me and I tried to move, whether it is one step backwards or running a mile, but I couldn't. Fear filled my body with every step he took toward me. Eventually he was five inches away from me. He bent over and made his face right in front of mine. Then his jaw started to drop, his skin tearing from the top half of his head more and more, it started to look as though he was forcefully making a mouth. A little bit of skin here and there was still connected and some hung loose. Then, black tentacles came out of his mouth and back, slithering out like snakes. The ones from his back grabbed me and lifted me above him and he stood up. He looked up and the tentacles from his mouth started to pet my face leaving a trail of almost burning saliva. He unhinged his jaw like a snake and he pulled me in to the black abyss that is his mouth, head first.

I had then woken up in my bed, my grandmother stood beside me handing me a plate of scrambled eggs with hot sauce. I took a bite in confusion; she smiled, and walked out of my room. I looked outside and there where children walking to their bus stops and cars pulling out of neighbors' driveways. I then hear my dog panting behind me on my bed; I go over to him and purposely drop some eggs on the floor for him to eat. I then look over at my nightstand and on it is an invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell to attend a meeting with the officer in charge of the investigation of George's death, my flashlight, a dead leaf, and a perfectly flat rock, about the size of my palm.