Day 23 - Monday
So, I went to the party. And I had fun. I mean, there were still the worried looks at first, and I never stopped looking over my shoulder, but after a couple drinks it was almost like everything was back to normal. I had friends again. I was laughing again. God, I forgot what it felt like – to actually enjoy myself. These people have no idea who Slender Man is. If they have trouble sleeping at night it’s because they’re getting audited, or their job is in trouble. These people don’t stay awake waiting for the door to open.
I don’t even know how it happened. I was in the middle of pretending I had still been keeping up with the current sports news when Alex bumped into me. She smiled at me and, taking my hand, dragged me off while telling me how nice it was to see me out, having a good time. We ended up in one of the back rooms of the house, and there were only a few other people talking and laughing quietly in a corner. She turned to me and her eyes locked mine, smile gone.
“What are you so afraid of?”
I felt a bit like a dying fish, shocked, my mouth gaping open and then closed without making a sound. She told me she had been watching me at the office, how I was barely getting any work done anymore, how I always looked like hell and was constantly glancing over my shoulder. She said that the others were worried it might be drugs, but she said she knew me better than that. Alex. I didn’t say anything. There was nothing I could have said, anyway. It’s not like I could have told her that there was some supernatural, omnipresent being watching me at all times, intent on slowly driving me mad.
All the good feelings of the past couple hours were gone. I stared out the window, but it was impossible to see anything outside. He could be right there. He was right there, obviously. Alex followed my gaze with a puzzled expression but didn’t say anything for several moments.
“What do you see?”
It’s what I don’t see, I almost said. I realized that all traces of my smile had left, and my face had regained its former, anxious cast. I just shook my head and drained the last of the drink in my hand. I told her I needed to leave, but she stopped me just outside the front door. She told me she wasn’t going to let me spend the night alone; she wouldn’t be dissuaded no matter how much I told her it was dangerous, whether I asked, pleaded, or demanded. I was scared, a little drunk, and, when she gave me a quick kiss on the cheek, in no condition to continue arguing when I wanted nothing more than to agree with her.
She followed me home in her car, both of us giddy and nervous when we got there. I wordlessly unlocked the door and followed her into the brightly lit living room. She smiled at me, and kissed me lightly once more. I took her by the hand and silently led her to my bedroom.
She sat on the bed and I told her to wait while I went to the bathroom. I shut the door and stared at myself in the mirror. The eyes staring back looked wrong, empty, like they weren’t mine. I hadn’t been human in weeks, and I knew I couldn’t go through with it, and I had to send her home, where she’d be safe. I left the bathroom and found her leaning against the bedroom door, smiling coyly. She asked me what took so long. Then she turned out the light.
I shouted, and heard a thud behind me. I moved toward Alex as quickly as I could, but something was wrong. I could hear her coughing just a few feet away from me, but I could never seem to get any closer. I groped around in the dark for what seemed like minutes. I could hear her calling out to me, and I could hear sticky wet noises just over my shoulder. Something cold and oily ran across my neck, then started down the back of my shirt. I lurched away, and suddenly it was gone. After another step I felt the door, and found Alex sobbing on the ground in front of it. I fumbled for a second, an eternity, before I finally found the light switch.
Alex screamed as something that looked like a tentacle quickly pulled itself back into the bathroom. I hauled her up from the floor and drew her out into the hallway as fast as I could. I just wanted to get her away as quickly as possible. We half-ran, half-stumbled down the hall and turned the corner towards the front door.
He was standing next to the front door, facing away from us, head turned almost perpendicular to avoid hitting the ceiling. We froze, and Alex stifled another scream into a quiet sob. He seemed to be looking out the window, oblivious to us, and was holding the curtains aside with one of his hands. His tentacles coiled and spasmed, but other than that he was perfectly still. We waited, Alex shaking with tears, too terrified to move and draw attention to ourselves, and he just kept staring out into the night.
There was a loud crunch as I could just make out a large black bird slamming into the window in front of him. Alex jumped and shouted in surprise, and he immediately turned and started taking measured, jerky steps towards us. His tentacles thrashed against the wall, leaving black scars in the drywall. I was paralyzed as Alex slumped to the ground, shouting about his face. Each silent, fitful step he took made my heart beat painful and cold in my chest. He seemed to lengthen with every step, and when he was within reach his arms and tentacles spread out as if to encircle us both.
After that, I don’t remember anything until I woke up in my back yard, hands and knees cut and bleeding as if I had fallen down while running several times. My clothes were stained with mud and grass, and there was no sign of Alex anywhere. Her car was gone, as was the bird on my front porch, though it had left several blood stains behind. I tried calling Alex but she didn’t pick up. She didn’t show up at work, and no one had heard from her since the party. The strange looks are back. I think they suspect me of something.
I stopped by her house after work. Her car wasn’t there, her lights were off, the mail hadn’t been checked, and there was a newspaper sitting on her front step. It didn’t look like anyone had been there in at least a day. I walked around to her back door to be sure, and found a rabbit arranged exactly like the one that had been on my porch.