My eyes sprang open as I heard my alarm blaring in my ear and I quickly rolled over with a groan, slapping my hand down on the snooze button. Thankfully, the noise had finally ended its tirade stopped, allowing me to sigh heavily and let me flop my head down onto my pillow.
" I. Hate. Mondays..." I whined like a little kid as I got up off of my bed with my long, wavy blonde hair spilling gracefully around my shoulders. Stretching while I made a small squeak from tensing my muscles, I relaxed again, letting one arm fall to my side while the other ruffled my non-existent bedhead. I walked over to my dresser and stared into my mirror, greeted by a pair of hazel orbs that seemed to glow back at me, as if there was someone else standing there, waiting for something. Sighing at my reflection, I quickly grabbed a pair of dark, faded blue skinny jeans, and lacy white undershirt, and black shirt with a silvery rose design out of the drawers; then made my way over to my closet, pulling out my favorite pair of shoes—my checkered Air-Walkers, changing into them and running downstairs into the kitchen.
I grabbed a couple slices of bread and stuck them in the toaster, patiently waiting for them to bake, jumping as the now toasted bread popped from the toaster quite loudly, scaring the crap out of me. Taking the toast and spread some butter on them, I started walking out of the kitchen only to be stopped abruptly when someone grabbed one of my slices of toast out of my hand.
" Hey!" I protested as my older brother, Dylan, took a huge bite out of my toast, slowly munching on the morsels.
" What?" He asked with a mouth full and I grimaced at the scene. Does this guy even own manners? I wondered to myself as I shook my head.
" Didn't mom teach you manners?" I inquired as I took a bite out of my other piece of toast, since the other one was stolen and defiled. Buttery flavor erupted on my taste buds and I almost moaned at the taste when Dylan swallowed and shrugged.
" I think I had some… but you know, had this party one time, got drunk as hell..." He replied, trailing off, as he finished and walked out. I just rolled my eyes at his statement, quickly finishing my own slice and heading over to the bus stop to start the long and torturous school day.
I slumped tiredly in my seat on the bus while listening to my best friend, Miranda, drone on about some manga she found online. Being an otaku, she was always blabbing about anime and manga none stop, so I learned to block it out and that’s just what I did as I began spacing off at the seat in front of me.
" So, it's really cool and I think you'd like it." Miranda concluded as I was snapped back into the conversation. Dangit, I was having some pretty cool thoughts about adventuring too…
" We'll see." I mumbled and shrugged as I began to stare out the window. I noticed that we started to pass by the outskirts of town and the local forest began to come into view, my eyes jumping from tree to tree as they were unable to keep focus for very long; that is until something caught my eye, hidden cleverly in the trees. Me, being the curious sixteen year old I was, began to narrow my eyes to focus on it better only to have my eyes widen in surprise and maybe a little bit of shock. The thing I saw was abnormally tall with milky white skin, contrasting with the pitch black suit it wore with a red tie. Ooh, and the best part?
There was no face.
I swallowed, seeing its hands were clasped together like it were waiting for something or someone while it watched the bus pass by, slowly turning its head to follow the yellow automobile. I blinked a few times, trying to shake off my wild imagination, only to realized that it was really standing there as it watched us.
" Hello…? Bailey? You there?" Miranda asked, tilting her head as her very dark brown—almost black—hair fell by her shoulders and waving her arm in front of my face. I tore my gaze from the figure and looked at her, blinking with furrowed brows before glancing back out the window.
The figure was gone.
" I think you're seeing things." Miranda stated right off the bat as she took a bite of her pizza. It was lunch, the school day was halfway over, but I still couldn't get the image of the tall, faceless figure out of my head. After telling Miranda about it, she obviously brushed it off as a mere ‘trick of the eye’. I thought otherwise.
" Yeah, but it looked so real..." I muttered as I munched on a carrot thoughtfully. I’ve been seeing stuff all my life, like the shadows in the dark, people that looked like they were staring at you, but as soon as you look at them, they were gone. It was hard for me to decipher what was imaginary and what was reality.
Miranda looked at me with that 'are you stupid' look as I narrowed my eyes to glared at her and we both sat for a few more seconds, glaring each other down in some kind of glare war until Miranda sighed and leaned back in her chair.
" Come on Bailey, really? The Slenderman?" Miranda said with a mocking tone, wiggling her fingers as if it made her sentence more spooky before rolling her eyes. " What's next, Jeff the killer?" I began laughing at this point for the fact that Jeff’s face was literally the worst thing on the planet to me.
" I would be more scared of Jeff than Slendy any day!" I chuckled and Miranda began laughing with me.
" Does he look that bad?" She asked as I nodded vigorously.
" He looks like a messed up version of the Joker." I explained with a snicker, causing us both laughed at my statement which earned a few glances from the other kids at their tables, looking at us like we were crazy or just plain annoying.
Like we cared.
Once we finished our lunch, we threw our trash away and headed for our usual hangout, which just happened to be the library.
I slumped in my seat once again and prepared for the trip home. School sucked as usual and was boring as hell, especially when Miranda and her twin, Rachel, got a ride home with their brother and left me to ride this crazy bus all by myself. I watched silently as the kids threw various items at each other, yelled and threaten one another, and the bus drive was completely oblivious to it all. He looked like he had earbuds in and was listening to some country music, considering it was so loud that we could hear it in the back. A paper ball flew past my head and hit the girl in front of me, causing her to make a shrill cry and throw it back. Dumb kids. I thought as I turned my attention to the forest once again, recalling old Slendy this morning as my thoughts wandered when I began to wonder if I would see the Slenderman again. I laughed internally. Come on Bailey. Get a hold of yourself. I scolded myself, shaking my head before looking back out the window, only to gasp.
The Slenderman stood in the forest, watching the bus like he did this morning.
" What the...?" I questioned out loud, pushing up against the glass in surprise, shock, and slight fear. He’d returned in the blink of an eye, right when I was thinking about him.
" What?" The girl in front of me asked, her dark blues looking at me curiously. I blinked again and the Slender man disappeared, much to my disappointment and I frowned, slumping back down in my seat and staring forward with slight irritation. The kid just ruined my chance to… To what? Stare at Slendy’s faceless face? I sighed in defeat.
" Nothing..." I replied to the girl, causing her to scrunch up her face in distain as she sat back in her seat. I glared at the back of her head as she did so, wondering how some kids could be so stuck up.
" Mom!" I called, walking into the living room and dropping my backpack on the ground lazily. Smooth. " I'm home!
" Bailey! Come here for a moment!" My mom called from the kitchen. I stiffened and groaned internally, trudging over to her and dreading what she wanted. She might want me to do the dishes or take out the disgusting garbage or something else like that. All sorts of chores wander into my mind as I walked into the kitchen, ready to start whining about how it was Dylan’s turn to do the dishes, when I froze. In an instant, happiness washed over me as I squealed with childish delight.
" Grandma!" I exclaimed, rushing over to the old woman sitting at the dining table and nearly tackling her to the ground in one of the biggest bear hugs I could muster.
" Bailey! I haven't seen you since you were little.” My grandmother gushed, pulling back as she looked at me with a bright smile, holding my face in her hands and looking me over. “ Look how much you've grown!" I laughed, pushing away the slight embarrassment I felt begin to burn in my cheeks.
My grandmother is one of the most important and loved person in my family and I adored her with every fiber of my being. I remember when I was little, I would always go to her house and help her bake and cook. She was a kind woman, but she was also a force to be reckoned with if you got on her bad side.
My grandma and I sat at the kitchen table, and talked about how my life was since we last met. I told her how school was, about Miranda and Rachel, Dylan being the big brother that he was, basically about everything she had missed since I was little. We laughed and giggle about the stories I told of school days when there was something going on, like a party or a fight.
" So, what have you been up to?" I asked as I concluded one of my most recent tales. She looked up at me, as if she was contemplating to tell me something, but decided to discard the idea and glanced at the ceiling.
" I've been quite busy these past few years actually." She sighed in an almost tired-like tone, looking back at me. " But what I do is hard to explain."
" Oh," I muttered in slight disappointment as I began to ponder what my grandmother had been busy doing. Was she a spy? A secret agent? Maybe she was the presidents secret service guard… person… whatever they’re called! What if she’s a mafia boss?
My mind wandered to that thought as I pictured my grandmother in a business like attire with big, bulky guards glaring down at anyone who could’ve opposed her.
" How about I show you what I've been doing?" She asked, a smile playing on her lips as she caught me in my wonderings. I snapped my eyes up at her as they twinkled with excitement, imagining of all the things that my grandma could possibly have been doing, and I quickly nodded.
" Alright then, follow me." She said as she got up and walked out of the kitchen, beckoning me to follow her up the stairs. I tilted my head in confusion, yet I trusted my grandma and followed her anyway.
We stopped in front of the hallway closet, one that we used to keep spare towels, blankets, sheets, and tidbit things in for when we were cleaning or when guest came over and needed something. I looked at my grandma, pondering what she could be doing, then at the closet, then back at my grandma with confusion and disappointment.
" It's a closet." I stated blandly as Grandma nodded as she took out a pair of skeleton keys from her pocket and the deep blue, almost like a dark sapphire color, shimmered in the faint light, which struck me odd as they seemed like they were looking at me. My grandmother then grabbed the key and held the doorknob like she was going to unlock the door.
Grandma,” I laughed quietly, shaking my head as she leaned the key forward. “ …that
door doesn't have a-" I was cut off when the key slide perfectly into the
knob. “—key hole.”
I blinked, catching the smirk my grandma gave as she turned the key and an audible click sounded. But… there’s no keyhole! My mind shouted in protest as it was still trying to wrap around the idea that it actually clicked like the door unlocked. Grandma opened the door widely, causing my jaw to drop in pure shock at what had lay behind the closet door.
A darkened forest appeared on the other side, grey trees winding up into the sky, the gnarled branches shutting out any source of light. It was absolutely unbelievable as I stared in complete awe and disbelief; that was before I grabbed the edge of the door and slammed it shut, causing my grandma to jump from the unexpected action.
" Bailey!" She shouted in irritation, getting ready to lecture me but I ignored her and jerked the keys out of the knob, opening the door to see if this was a trick or not. There were towels and a few extra blankets stacked neatly on nice, cream colored shelves.
I swear my eye had twitched.
Slamming the door shut again, hearing my mom downstairs yelling at me, I shoved the key back in the knob and turned it quickly, hearing the click once again and ripping the door open once more. The trees and darkened atmosphere returned and I swallowed the lump in my throat. How was any of this possible? Why is there a forest in my closet!? Before I could ask myself another question, I felt a shove as I stumbled through the door and into the forest, swiftly turning to face my grandmother. She had pushed me forward and shut the door, placing the keys back into her pocket.
" Wait-What-I mean…What?" I babbled in shock as I looked around, whatever intellect I had left me.
" I'm sorry, but if you slammed the door anymore, I might’ve had a heart attack." Grandma sighed, rubbing her temple with her forefinger
" Where are we?" I asked, looking up at the sky and spinning in a small circle. " Some dark, twisted Narnia?" Grandma only laughed.
" No," She chuckled, her laughter calming down. " I just call it the 'Dark Forest'."
" Dark Forest?" I mumbled, still staring off. It certainly was very fitting for the place. My grandma began walking down a dirt path that lead deeper into the forest, causing me to snap out of my stupor and chase after her.
" Come on, Bailey. I'll explain when we get there.” She beckoned and I quickly followed her lead.