Monday, February 24th
I sat staring at the monitor. Log 1, Log 2, Log 3, Log 4, Log 5, Log 6, Log 7. All of them were there.
Had I really finished them? Had I actually survived?
I lowered my head before letting out a sigh.
It certainly didn’t feel like it. Some part of me felt like it had died the moment Log Seven was over but what part? I didn’t know.
I looked back at the page.
The Sender hadn’t contacted me since finishing Log Seven. I found that strange, considering his cocky nature to gloat about each visitor I had to deal with. Not to mention, judging by what I’d pieced together so far, I was the first to ever finish something like this alive. I was sure he would have popped up and said something along the lines of, ‘congrats’ or ‘well done’, but no. He went quiet.
I leaned back in my chair and glanced at the clock. 7:30 am. Class would start soon. I needed to get ready.
I shut down the computer and pushed away from the desk. I rubbed my eyes for a minute then rose to my feet to get ready for college.
I pulled on some jeans, my dark tennis shoes, and a gray T-shirt. I went to grab my hoodie hanging on my closet door but at the last second, I paused. My hand hovered over it as I stared at it. It still amazed me that even after the past seven days of hell it’d gone through, my clothing hadn’t picked up a single scar–no nicks, no tears, no wear, no blood, nothing that hinted to its tormented past. I lowered my head and took in a deep breath. I wish it could’ve been the same for me. The things I’d seen would always be with me.
I grabbed the hoodie and slid it on before emptying my bag. Over the past week it had been filled with items needed for my survival. Now it would get to carry what it had been originally made for: school work.
After everything was packed and ready, I opened the door to leave, but stopped.
I turned and looked back at my computer one last time, half-expecting the monitor to beep, notifying me that a text-box had opened. None came.
“Well,” I said, “it’s over now Sender. Goodbye.”
I stepped out and closed the door behind me.
I had a lot to think about on my way to the campus. Many unanswered questions lingered at the back of my mind. The Sender was one of them. Who or what was he exactly? He’d already admitted to me he wasn’t human, but when I saw him for the first time, he’d looked like a regular guy–granted he’d sounded demented, but still…
I thought back to the night the Rake had attacked me. The Sender had showed up right at the end wearing a dark hoodie, dark pants, and dark shoes and had looked surprisingly like a teenager or someone in their early twenties.
And that smile... I shuddered.
It scared the living crap out of me. But, then again, just about all of the visitors had scared the crap out of me.
I shook off the memory and continued driving.
But then, there was that question about Kayla. That question, more than anything, had been tearing at my soul. Just what had happened to her? What had The Sender or Slenderman done to her? I remembered how she’d first appeared with an easy embarrassed face, with her brown classic leather jacket, looking just as lost and alone as myself.
I shook my head. She’d been a regular person like me, a writer, and that’s what she becomes? The image of Kayla after her transformation came back to me–the leather jacket turned bloody, the twisted grin and giggle. And her eyes… I grunted. I’d almost forgotten about that. During our entire fight, I’d been so focused on surviving that not once did I ever note the change in them. They’d been brown like when I first met her only I’d seen something else within them. A fog or mist of some sort moving and shifting within their pupils.
I wondered what would’ve happened to me if I had-No!
I shook my head. Don’t think about it. You didn’t fail, you lived. Don’t dwell on what could’ve been.
Easier said than done.
Through the windshield, I saw the road to the campus pass me.
Wait, pass me!? “Oh, crap!” I yelped as I slammed on the brakes. I heard several cars honk at me along with several curses.
“Hey! Watch what you’re doing, moron!” some yelled as he passed me.
“Sorry!” I yelled back, as I turned down the road.
Jeez, it’d be a shame if I get killed from a car accident right after going through all of that.
I pulled into the parking lot and parked in my usual spot before turning off the ignition. But I didn’t get out, I remained in my seat. I watched the building as professors and students came in and out of its swinging glass doors, so full of life.
I knew things wouldn’t be the same for me now, nothing ever would.
“Well J.T.,” I said to myself, “time to start day one of ‘Resuming a Normal Life’.
The first couple of classes went by without incident. I tried my hardest to pay attention to the lectures, but my past wouldn’t let me. Memories of each of the days kept pushing my mind off course and bringing me back to their hellish experiences. It made it near impossible for me to catch a single word of lecture. I just couldn’t seem to get it out of my head!
I mean every time a professor or a student would say or ask me something, ‘How are you today?’ or ‘Did you do reading?’, I’d just stare off into space, still lost in that godforsaken woods with either Teri or Toby on my tail.
“Hey J.T.!” Brando’s voice rang, bringing me to the present.
“Huh-what!?” I brought my head up.
We were in the lounge at the center of the campus, waiting until it was time for Brando’s next class to start. I was done for the day.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
Brando, wearing his usual attire–a black shirt with jeans, sat across from me on the other side of the table with an annoyed frown. “I said: What did you think of Ghosts?” he asked.
Ghosts? “Uh, that they’re spooky?”
Brando rolled his eyes. “No, J.T.” he said with a sigh, “Call of Duty!”
“Oh, right!” I said, and clenched my eyes shut. He’s talking about the video game, you idiot! I wanted to slap myself. “I’m not sure yet,” I said, trying my best to sound like I was interested (which I wasn’t). “I haven’t gotten the time to get it yet.”
“Well you totally need to get it, man. It’s great! The new multiplayer system is awesome and-” At that point I stopped listening to how wonderful Brando thought the game was. My thoughts were still on The Sender. Something just wasn’t right about what had happened. I kept feeling like there was something else I’d missed, something I hadn’t taken into account. But what?
“J.T.?” Brando’s voice brought be back to the present, again. “You still with me?”
I was not.
“Uh, y-yeah! Of course, I am. I mean…” I trailed off then lowered my head with a sigh. “No,” I said, “I’m sorry.”
Brando let out an exasperated sigh, shaking his head. “Man,” he began, “you’ve been out of it all day. What’s wrong?”
That’s the problem, there shouldn’t be anything wrong. Yet, that’s how I felt.
“It’s-it’s complicated,” I said, trying wave it off. “I just, uh-I just-I just have a lot on my mind right now.”
Brando leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms. “Really?” he said, sounding concerned. “What’s wrong, man?”
Hahaha! He has no idea. I didn’t know whether to tell him about the Logs or to just pass it off with some lame B.S. excuse. A lie would’ve probably been best, but he was still my best friend, and, while he didn’t remember it, he’d saved my life the previous week. Granted though, I did lose it right after that. But, he had still earned the right to know.
Taking in a breath, I said, “Where to begin? Hmm, well remember last week how I called you that one morning right before school started?”
Brando narrowed his eyes. “You mean the morning you called me at FIVE A.M.?” he said. “Yeah. I remember.”
I winced. I should’ve realized he wasn’t happy about that.
“Yeah, that morning,” I said with a nervous grin, rubbing the back of my head. “Anyway, I called you because something had been going on for the past few days before, all the way up till yesterday in fact. And… well, it was,” I tried to come up with the right word. “Disturbing.”
Brando straightened up, interested. “Keep going, man,” he said.
“Okay,” I began, “remember how I wanted to write my own Creepypasta story? And how I couldn’t-”
I was interrupted by the intercom. “J.T. Please, come to the dean’s office. J.T. Please, come to the dean’s office.”
Brando glanced up at the speaker, surprised. “They have an intercom here? Huh. Didn’t know that.” He looked back at me. “What did you do?”
I shrugged. “I dunno,” I said. “But I guess this will have to wait till later.”
Brando nodded. “Alright, man,” he said. “Take care-Oh! And tell me what they wanted.” He jabbed a thumb at the speaker as I rose from my seat.
I slung on my backpack and started walking towards the building’s exit. “Sure thing, buddy!” I called back.
What did I do now to get the dean’s attention? I didn’t know, but I guessed it really didn’t matter.
I reached the intersection with the hallway that led to the front and was about to turn left but paused and looked at the exit in front of me. School was already over for me anyway and my car was just outside. I figured I could probably go ahead and put my book bag in it for now. I was still tired from what I’d gone through anyway and I didn’t need the extra weight.
I pushed through the swinging glass doors, but stopped cold.
“Oh, no,” I whispered as I went slack jaw.
The parking lot that was always filled with both cars and students was gone. Now there was only emptiness and shadow.
Thunder rumbled, bringing my eyes to its sky. Instead of the nice sunny blue sky that I was so used to seeing every morning, there was now a dark, cloudy night in its place. The only sources of light came from the few dim streetlamps alongside the parking lot.
You have got to be kidding me. This couldn’t be happening. I’d finished the logs, I was done, wasn’t I? What the hell was going on!?
I frantically swept my eyes around looking for a monster or anything that might want to kill me. Luckily, there wasn’t.
I need to get out of here!
I turned to where my car was usually situated at, but, again, stopped short. My parking space was empty. No car meant no ride home. I was stranded there.
No, no, no, no, no! Where’s my car!? Crap! What do I do!?
Behind me, the campus’s intercom came crackling to life, “Oh, JaaaayyyyyyyTeeeeee! Please report, to the dean’s office. Please report, to the dean’s office.” The intercom cut off with a giggle.
I felt the blood drain from my face. “Oh, God, please help me,” I whispered, knowing all too well whose voice that belonged to.
“Kayla?” I said, almost not believing it.
She’s here? Forget going to the front office! I’m getting out of here! I’ll walk home if I have to!
I took a step forward onto the parking lot, but suddenly leapt back in pain as my shoe began to smoke.
“What the hell!?” I yelped.
I crouched down and looked closer at the parking lot. “What in the…” I trailed off. A large dark mass that I’d taken for a cloud’s shadow spanned the entire parking lot. It was moving.
Parts of it would shift in and out of place as if waves were running across it, while in other places it would rise and twist before falling back in place. What was this?
I extended a hand to prod it, but then drew it back. I had a better idea. I slid off my backpack and tossed it into the parking lot. There was loud hiss as it landed. Smoke began biller and rise from it as the shadows began to convulse all around it. Fascinated, yet horrified, I watched the bag begin to disintegrate. The black straps turned ashen gray, spreading throughout the back until it collapsed on itself, leaving nothing but ash.
“Hole. Lee. Crap,” the words fell from my mouth.
So if anything touches the shadow, it burns? That meant I was trapped! As far as I could see, the shadow seemed to go around the entire campus, covering it like a storm with the campus in its eye. Or like a cage.
Damn it! What should I do then? Wait here?
As if in answer, the shadow slowly began to move. Towards me.
“Uh-oh!” I yelped. I took a few hesitant steps back, not believing my eyes, as I watched this unnatural darkness begin to fill in the circle, snuffing out all light, enclosing me, corralling me back into the one place I didn’t want to go: The campus.
Damn! These freaks don’t ever make it easy! Do they?
Knowing I had no other choice, I spun and ran back into the building. I watched through the glass doors, as the shadow completed its slow crawl, stopping less than a foot from the entrance.
I sagged and banged my head against the glass as I realized I would have to follow Kayla’s sick, mocking instructions: Go to the dean’s office.
That should’ve been simple, since, after all, I came here almost every day and knew the layout. But as with every single previous Log, nothing was ever simple.
This was no longer my campus.
I turned to see the white tiled floors of the halls, which usually buzzed of both professors and students, now vacant and dark. Only silence occupied these halls now, or, at least, I wished it’d only been silence.
Out of nowhere, a shrill scream echoed from down the hall to my left while abrupt laughter erupted from the hall ahead of me. A tired, painful whimpering came from the hall to my right.
I couldn’t see anyone or anything in any of these halls, even after waiting for my eyes to adjust to the dark. But that wasn’t what scared me.
What really frightened me was the fact that these halls were even here. There should’ve been only two. The one directly in front of me, which led back to the lounge, and the one that went to my right.
So wait, if the layout’s changed, does that mean the dean’s office has changed too?
I prayed it hadn’t.
On the wall adjacent to where I stood, I saw the campus map. At least that’s still here, sigh with some relief. However, it did last.
“What the heck?” I murmured as I approached the map. It was the same map that I was used to seeing but it’d now been modified by what I hoped was a red sharpie.
I pulled out my cellphone and shone its light.
A sharpie? Who am I kidding?
It was blood.
The names of several rooms had been scratched out and written over. The halls that shouldn’t exist were there as well, as to where they led though…
I shook my head in disgust.
Shop class had now been rewritten as, “The Happy Room” with a wicked smiley face drawn beneath it. Human anatomy had turned into, “Dissection 101”, (yeah, definitely wasn’t going there) while several other rooms had names that I’m not going to even think about writing here, (trust me, I found the first two names to be much more appealing than the others).
However, my focus was on one particular room: the dean’s office.
Or as the horrendous map labeled it: “My office”.
“Ooohhh, goody,” I murmured. “Oh-who I wonder could have ever written that?
The office, which I could’ve sworn was just at the end of the hallway I was standing next to, was on the other side of the campus.
“Ohhhhhh, JaaaaaaaaaayyyyyTeeeeeeee,” Kayla’s giddy voice came through the intercom. I looked up at the speaker, groaning. Not again.
“I’m so glad you chose to come inside!” she said, like it was one of the best things in the world.
I froze. How did she know I was even in there?
“Ohh, don’t look all surprised,” her voice came through again, as if she’d read my thoughts. “It’s ME we’re talking about here, J.T. I know where you are, at all times. Heheheh.”
My eyes shifted to the security camera above the door. Oh, right.
“Yeeeaahhh. Sure you do, Kayla,” I said, glaring at the camera’s lens. “Now you mind telling me, why the hell I am hearing your sorry voice again? No! Scratch that. Why am I still having crap happen?”
With her voice coming through the intercom, it sounded like her giggling came from everywhere inside the building. “Oh, come on J.,” she said after she composed herself. “Did you really think it would just end like that? Just write, ‘Oh, it’s over. The End’ at the end of the Log and everything would go all righty-tighty with your life?” She giggled. “Oh, how cute!”
I wanted to throttle her. How could someone, like Kayla, become something like this?
“You want the honest truth?” I asked staring at the camera. “I kinda hoped it would’ve. The Sender said I had seven logs to fill–seven days to complete and that’s just what I did. I finished all seven logs, aaaannnddddd survived. Not that I can say the same for you, Kayla. Also, The Sender never struck me as a liar. Sadistic? Yeah, but a liar? No. So I never expected this to happen.”
I crossed my arms as I finished saying that. I could handle this now. I’d already been through seven days of this, what more could they possibly do to frighten me?
“Oh-ho J.T.,” she said, barely able to contain her amusement, “that’s where you’re wrong.”
“Oh? How so?”
I could hear the smile as she spoke the next few words. “The Sender,” she began, “did say he’d give you seven logs, but he didn’t say that there wouldn’t be another one. And FOR YOUR INFORMATION, I did SURVIVE. How else would you be hearing my wonderful, soothing, enchanting voice if I hadn’t? Hmm?”
Ohhhhh, give me two minutes and a shotgun alone with you. I feel I owe you a debt.
Barely keeping the anger out of my voice, I said, “You didn’t survive, Kayla. You lost at Log Four. I didn’t. I don’t know what exactly happened to you during that time, nor do I want to know. Hell, I don’t even care anymore! I played by all the rules, I survived by all the rules, and I finished by all the rules. So why don’t you explain to me: WHY THE HELL THIS IS HAPPENING!?”
“Aww,” her pouty voice came through the speakers. “Is the poor lil’ boy upset ’cause he didn’t get what he wanted? Oh, TOO BAD! And for the record, J.T., what happened to me,” she paused, giggling. “Oh, how wonderful it was... you’re gonna find out. And if things go the way I think they will, which they probably will, you’ll get to see it and experience it firsthand.”
What. Does. That. Mean?
“Oh, your face!” her voice cut in. “How priceless! Oh, but I think I’ve taken enough time away from you. It’s time for you to go ahead and get moving.”
Still puzzling over what she meant earlier, I stayed in place.
“What are you waiting for?” she demanded. “Shoo, get moving! And pleeeeaaaase-please-please, don’t keep me waiting. I really, really, REALLY, want to see you.”
A loud, sudden screeching noise brought my attention to the hall that shouldn’t exist.
I hugged the wall and peeked around its corner. I saw someone masked by the shadows scratching words into the wall with a large knife. I recognized the white hood and long messy hair protruding from beneath it immediately.
Oh, no. I wanted to groan. It was Jeff.
Jeff finished scratching and took a step back, admiring his work.
I had to squint to make it out.
“I can see you,” it read.
He turned his head and smiled.
“Oh, damn it,” I stepped back, cursing my luck.
“Nice to see you again,” he said, inspecting the knife.
Whoa, did he just-? Did he just say something to me?
“Um, I wish I could say the same,” I said, trying my best to not sound nervous.
His eyes flicked from the knife to me then let out a small disturbing chuckle.
“Remember this?” he asked, holding the knife up and moving closer.
I started backing away. “Yeah,” I said, the memory of him stabbing me several times came back, “I remember it all right. My chest remembers what it feels like too.”
He grinned wider. “I’m going to enjoy this. I’ve never gotten to kill someone twice before.” He stepped closer.
Hopefully he wouldn’t. “Well that’s… nice to hear,” I lied.
He pointed the knife at my chest. “By the way,” he said, “did you like how your family looked, after I visited? Weren’t they beautiful?”
Images of my mother, father, sister, and brother’s mutilated bodies ran past my mind’s eye. It made my blood boil and my stomach churn. My initial fear began to dissolve into hatred.
Trying to keep my breathing level, I said, “It was,” I searched for right phrase, “heart-stopping, the way they looked.”
He was five feet away now. I needed to move, but where? The hallway behind me would lead me to a literal dead end if I ran that way.
“It was that amazing, was it?” he asked.
“As I said, it was heart-stopping.”
He stopped, letting out a satisfied chuckle. “Well, I’m glad you liked it then. I’ll tell you what,” he took a step back and gestured with the knife towards the hallway that led toward the office, “I’ll give you a ten second head start on running. Unless of course,” he leaned forward getting ready to pounce, “you’d like to try killing me again?”
A choice: fight or flight? Well, I think we all remember what happened after the first time I charged this guy without a weapon. I wasn’t making the same mistake twice.
Without hesitation I sprinted right past him down the hall I’d heard laughter from.
“One…two…three,” Jeff’s voice carried from behind me. I kept running. If I was lucky I could make it to the next intersection of hallways. I was already halfway there.
“Four…five-six-seven-eight…nine…ten,” I heard Jeff finish before he took off after me.
I’m never lucky. Never trust a serial killer to count fairly.
I reached the corner and immediately ran right. I remembered there being a science lab down this hall.
“I’m almost there,” I heard Jeff laugh behind me.
I threw a quick look over my shoulder and grimaced. He was already six feet behind me! I SWEAR! HE CHEATS!!!
I scanned the tags of door I passed until my eyes fell on the one leading to the science lab. I grinned. If there was one place I knew a weapon could be found, it’d was in there.
I reached out for the handle of the door, but Jeff reached me first. I felt a tug on my hood. “Oh, no,” I managed to yelp. “Not again!” And for the second time in a week, I was thrown back by my hoodie.
I fell backwards while Jeff hovered over me with the knife, clicking his tongue in disappointment. “Too slow,” He said, grinning.
He slammed the knife down, but after going through a week of freaks trying to impale and or/eat me, I saw it coming.
I reached up with my right hand and grabbed his arm as the knife plunged down, and instead of trying and failing to stop it or slow it down, like I’d seen so many other people do in horror movies, I yanked it towards me while rolling to my right at the same time. The knife came down slashing my arm, and into the tiled floor. This unexpected jolt took Jeff by surprise and loosened his grip, allowing me to twist it free.
Before Jeff could react, I slammed my head into his. He stumbled back away from me, and I hopped to my feet.
He recovered from his daze to see me glaring at him in pure hatred.
I raised my hand to show what I had now.
“This yours?” I asked, gripping the now bloodied knife.
Jeff glanced at the knife then back at me. His smile had faded. “Heh,” was all he said.
“Thank you,” I said, smiling. “Now come on.” But as it turned out, I wasn’t the only one who’d do the unexpected that night.
Instead of rushing me, Jeff flashed me a quick grin then bolted back the way he’d came.
I blinked in surprise as he vanished around the hall’s corner.
Did he-did he just run away?
I made my way to the corner and peeked down the hall. Jeff was gone.
“I don’t believe it,” I let out. Jeff the Killer, ran away? That didn’t make any sense. I’d read his story, I’d seen how he acted before, and this was not like him.
I scanned around me to make sure I was truly alone and that this wasn’t some sort of trick.
The two new hallways were dark and creepy, but still empty.
Ooookkkkaaaayyyy. I don’t know what that was all about, but I guess I should go ahead and make my way to the dean’s office. No need to turn away good fortune.
I went to leave, but my arm started to sting. Huh? I looked down to see gash left by Jeff’s knife, dripping blood. I’d almost forgotten Jeff had still nicked me. But it wasn’t too serious, I’d had worse (hence the first seven days).
Ignoring the pain, I set back down the hall. I glanced at the door to the Science Lab as I passed it. It looked like I wouldn’t need to go in there after all.
“Zzzzzzzzzzttt!!!” my pocket began to vibrate.
“Huh?” I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone.
“Caller Unknown,” was written across the screen. “Oh, how classic,” I mumbled before answering it. “Hello?”
“Well done,” A young man’s voice said.
My posture straightened as I realized who it was. “The Sender?” I whispered.
“Yes,” the voice confirmed. “I am more than happy to see you finish that little demonstration of strength.”
Strength? What on earth was he talking about? That was pure luck and experience that had gotten me through that.
“Kayla and I were both very impressed,” The Sender continued to say with indifference.
My hand tightened around the phone. “Uh-huh?” I grunted. “You think so? Why don’t you come on over here and I’ll give you another demonstration firsthand?”
He chuckled. “Oh, how I would love to, but you are heading to where I am. So why should I bother walking down there when you can come to me?”
I started moving down the hall. “Because you lied,” I said. “You said I had only seven logs to go through and yet I’m going through another one right now.”
“That was not what I-”
“Don’t try to B.S. me with technicalities! You lied, you cheated, and you know it.” I reached the hallway door and pushed through it.
“J.T. I am not a liar,” said The Sender, still as calm and relaxed as ever. “Not once have I ever done so, and, while you may not want to hear me say it, it was not a ‘Technicality’ as you called it. Everything I said was the truth. This is not a log, but if you wish to call it one, do so. However, I like to view it as more of an epilogue.”
I reached another hall intersection and paused. With a sigh, I said, “Okay then, fine! It’s an epilogue. So tell me, why the hell are you giving me one? The seven logs were just fine enough. What more do you want to give me? Huh? What. Is. The POINT!?”
There was a long pause from The Sender’s end of the line before he answered. I heard him take in a calms breath, then say, “All will be revealed in time, but the only way for you to gain these answers is to finish this tale. Your ending will come when you find me. And we both know where I am.”
The line went dead.
Resisting to see how far down the hall I could fling the thing, I lowered the phone, glaring at it.
Oh, I’ll find you alright.
“Just wait, man. Just wait,” I said under my breath. I slid the phone back in my pocket then looked at the closet map to make sure I was headed the right way.
I placed a finger on the spot marked ‘You are here’ and tried to tune out the creepy noises echoing from the halls as I traced a path to the dean’s office. I was two buildings over. The exit to my current one was nearby–I had about seven more hallways to go.
I memorized the path, repeating the steps in my head as I turned back to the intersection: Left, two hall lengths down, right, two halls down, then left.
Determined to finish this, I resumed my journey.
Everything went alright until I made to the doors leading to the courtyard. I’d just reached to push them open when I felt something. The hair on my arms stood up and a small chill seeped into my core. I paused to take a peek over my shoulder to make sure I was alone. The hallway remained like the many others I’d traveled through so far, dark and empty, but the air’s sudden chill and the eerie noises, that I’d finally grown accustomed to, stopped. I couldn’t help but feel that someone, other than The Sender, was watching me now. But I was already at the building’s exit, so, after taking another deep breath, I pushed through the doors.
The courtyard. Potted plants, benches, grass, and trees. This place had always been bright, warm, and calming–a place where students could take sanctuary from their work and enjoy their lives. But that was all before The Sender.
Now it was the last place anyone wanted to be. It was dead, lifeless. A strange mist rose from the ground at a slow, steady pace, covering all before me. The sun no longer owned this place. It belonged to the darkness. It belonged to The Sender. The only sources of light came from the few florescent lights along the courtyard’s walls, but even then, they only casted a dim glow through the mist. Nothing could be seen clearly.
I felt the beginnings of a sigh build within me. Even at college, he can still get me into a forest. Even if it isn’t supposed to be one…
I knew I’d have to make my way through the fog to get to the next building (I just didn’t want to).
After offering up a quick prayer for safety (which I doubted I’d get) and using the smooth concrete path underfoot as a guide, I entered the mist. I took my time, waling at a calm, quiet pace. I gripped the knife in my hand, ready for anything.
Slow and steady J.T. Just slow and steady, I told myself.
I’d gone about fifteen paces when I heard it then, the first of my little setbacks–the sound of metal striking rock and soil in a continuous rhythmic pattern. I froze the moment I heard it.
Is someone digging? I stared into the fog, trying to pinpoint the source of the sound.
“Row, row, row your boat…” sung a feminine voice above the digging.
“Aw, crap,” I cursed under my breath. I knew all too well who that was–Teri.
I did not want to deal with her again. Not after what she’d made me go through the last time I’d met her.
“Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily…” she continued to sing.
It didn’t sound like she’d seen me, so maybe I could sneak past her.
Crouching, I began to inch down the path, keeping both my eyes and ears in, what I assumed was, the direction of her singing.
One small step forward, and then another. Another small step forward, and then another.
The singing grew louder. A silhouette of a small girl digging a grave came into view through the mist just ahead of me to my left.
I crouched even lower.
“Life is but a dream,” she chirped happily.
I tried my best to blot out those words–my life was a nightmare.
Okay, you can do this, just move quietly.
I took another tentative step forward. She didn’t react.
I took another. Still nothing.
Huh, I might just make it through this.
A hiss so horrid that it could shatter glass suddenly pierced the night.
I went rigid when I saw a familiar shape appear within the mist, something on all fours, deformed, dog-like yet human–The Rake.
I could swear my heart stopped as I watched it crawl by me no less than a yard away. When it was just to left of me, it stopped and turned its head in the direction of Teri. It let out another hiss.
I heard Teri pause from her digging, and though I couldn’t see her, imagined her peering over shoulder and nodding at the Rake before she resumed with her singing.
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star...” she began.
I closed my eyes shut. Oh, please Lord, not that song.
The Rake made another snarling hiss at Teri, then moved on, passing me by.
The moment its silhouette vanished, I started crawling again, much faster this time.
One step, two steps, three steps, four steps, my heart beat with each.
I risked a glance back, as I moved. Teri was still absorbed in her digging and singing.
Okay, so I was doing fine. The door less three yards away from me. I could make it.
“ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzztttt!!!” my pocket vibrated.
I stiffened, my eyes growing wide. Uh, oh.
The sound of digging stopped.
Crap! I shoved my hand into my pocket, slamming my thumb over the end button over and over.
The phone grew still, and everything was quiet.
“Oh, helllllooooo?” Teri’s cheerful voice came out of the mist. “Is there anyone there?”
Forgetting all sense of stealth, I rose and sprinted for the door.
The sound of Teri’s laughter and echoing footsteps followed.
I didn’t dare look back.
“Oh, come on back! I just wanna play,” she said, do doubt with a grin.
“HELL NO!” I shouted.
The doors were now a yard away, the light reflecting off the glass, plain as day.
“Going somewhere?” said a sick and sudden whisper. The Rake’s hunched shape rose from the ground, less than five feet from the door. The fear I had felt the day he killed me gripped my heart. But I refused to stop. I’d learned by then that movement was life.
“Don’t stop moving!” I screamed to myself, while sliding both the knife and phone into my pocket and increasing my speed.
The Rake raced forward and swiped its talons just as I reached him.
Again, after all the crap I’d previously endured, I was ready. I’d hoped he might do this.
With a little bit of luck and timing, I dived over his lunge and crashed into him. The Rake fell upon its back, winded. Before he could recover, I scrambled off him and rushed for the door.
Luckily, I knew this door swung inward, so punched through it with my shoulder and burst through. Then, I spun around and slammed it shut. I saw Tiny Teri reach the door just as it closed with a loud bang. The door began to buckle and shake as Teri tried to get through. I kept my back against it, knowing that I didn’t have much time. I looked for something I could barricade the door with. My eyes fell on a good-sized metal bench just beside me. With my back still against the door, I stuck my foot out, wrapped it around one of its legs and dragged it towards me. Its metal legs screeched, and echoed as it scraped the across the tile floor.
Just as within a foot of arm’s length, the door slammed forward, almost making me topple forward. I manage to save myself and keep my weight against it. I heard snarling come from the other side of it and realized that The Rake had joined in with Teri’s effort. I didn’t have long at all.
Finally, I managed to pull the bench close enough to grab it with both hands.
With adrenaline rushing through me I pulled it in place. I then stepped back from the door and watched it open a few inches, but thanks to the bench, no further.
I’d done it.
I turned around and, placing my hands on my knees, leaned down in exhaustion. The adrenaline I’d felt was beginning to fade, leaving me breathless.
More of The Rake’s snarls and Teri’s cries of anguish carried through, but I ignored them.
“Get used to disappointment,” I muttered toward them.
“ZZZZZZzzzzzzztttttt!” my phone vibrated.
I groaned. Not again.
Trying my best to not scream, I answered the phone. “Hello?” I managed in a tired, yet sarcastic, voice.
Giggling came from its end. “Nnnnniiiicccceeee!” Kayla’s said pleased. “I didn’t think you could handle two at once!”
The phone shook in my hand as I began to clutch it.
“Kayla, I swear-” I started to say.
“Oh, stop that! I can see ya, you know?”
My eyes rose to the ceiling where another camera was perched. Right.
“And I was complimenting you!” she said in a hurt voice.
No, I wanted to say, you’re goading me.
I straightened up and move to the wall where I saw another map. “Uh-huh?” I murmured back, not caring. My eyes were tracing the route I needed to take as Kayla said more, but I hadn’t the faintest idea what. My attention was on the map. Alright, here I am. My finger rested the set of doors that led to the courtyard. I wasn’t too far from the dean’s office. It was just another building over. And, hooray for me, the one I was in now wasn’t that big. I just had to go down one very long hallway, straight to the building’s exit. Easy.
I looked down the hall I stood in. Just need to make it through here and then it’s on to The Sender, I smiled to myself.
The phone went quiet, replaced by the sound of breathing.
I looked back at it. Huh? Is she done?
“Oh, J.T?” she whispered.
The intercom turned on, “LISTEN!”
I jumped, almost dropping the phone.
“Good,” she said with a snigger. “I have your attention again.”
I could only glare at the camera.
“Heheheheh! Doesn’t feel good, does it? Having someone scream in your face to get your attention. Oh-my, oh-my. Why does that seem sssssooooo familiar?” she asked.
I almost gagged when I realized what she referring to. Is she still upset over what I said to her in the woods? Pfft.
“Shut up Kayla,” I told her. “Taunt all you want. It ain’t going to get me down. I’m still coming after both you and The Sender.” I put the phone back in my pocket and started walking down the hallway.
“Me? Get you down?” she asked with mock surprise. “Nnnnnoooooooo. I’m trying to encourage ya! I mean, I can only imagine what’s going through that tired, scared, tiny little head of yours.”
I grinded my teeth. Oh, she had no idea.
Her voice lowered, and took on a sinister tone, “But I do know what’s going on through his head.”
His? I paused and looked up at the camera. “Whose head?” I asked.
A small ominous hiss came from behind me. Uh-oh. I froze, then slowly, turn around.
A tall, armless, deformed freak stood ten feet away. Saliva dripped down his sharp teeth as his eyes bored into me with hunger.
“Oh, great,” I moaned, stepping back.
Kayla giggled then said, “Lunch.”
Bob’s teeth twisted into a snarling grin.
I hate my life.
RUN!!! I spun around before Bob could lunge and bolted.
“Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap!” I cried over and over to myself as I ran.
I could hear Kayla’s laughter through the intercom, echoing throughout the entire building as she watched my helpless display with glee. That fricken sadistic little-!
Another roar, then pain flared from my back, cutting off my thoughts.
“Agh!” I yelped, but didn’t dare look back. I only ran faster.
I kept my eyes ahead, scanning for the exit and praying I could make it to the doors in time. I remembered seeing three places on the map where the hallways intersected to this one, just before the exit. I’d passed two already. The last and final one was just up ahead.
When I was about six yards away, I saw something standing just in front of the doors.
Black clothing, blue mask with empty sockets– Eyeless Jack.
He stood in front of the exit with his arms crossed, observing, waiting as patient as ever.
“DAMN IT!” I cursed. There had to be another way!
I reached the last intersection and, after making a snap decision, rounded its corner. There was bound to be another exit somewhere.
Bob, roared again from behind, closer now.
I saw light stream from around a corner not too far ahead of me. Another intersection. An exit.
I grinned, I was going to make it!
A figure with two glaring hatchets stepped into view. Light reflected off his orange goggles, giving him a demonic appearance.
My smile melted. Ticci Toby!?
CRRRAAAAAPPPP!!! Okay then, PLAN C!
I grounded to a halt and jumped through the nearest door before slamming it shut and locking it. It shook just as the turned the switch to lock it. Bob’s angry roar bled through as the door began to shake even more.
Damn it. This was starting to become way too familiar.
I scanned around. I was in a regular lecture room. That wasn’t good. That meant the only things that could be used for anything were: the desks, the markers and the erasers. In other words: Nothing!
“Aghh!” I kicked the nearest desk in frustration.
How the heck do I beat them!? Crap, I’m dead. I’m dead. I have no weapon and my little knife ain’t gonna-
“No. Wait,” I cut myself off. I was going about this wrong. “I don’t need to fight them. I just need to get away.” I looked for an exit.
My eyes went to the set of windows on the back wall. The outside street lamps’ light pouring through and with it, the sight of the next building.
My way out.
Just then, a hatchet splintered through the wooden door. Uh, oh. Toby had arrived, and I had no doubt Jack wasn’t too far behind.
I hadn’t a moment to lose.
Running forward, I grabbed a small desk with my uninjured arm, then, just before reaching the window, spun in a circle, lifting it off the ground, and, using its own momentum, threw it into the window.
Glass shattered just as the door fell off its hinges. I didn’t even pause to look.
I continued running and practically superman jumped out of the now-shattered window. Broken glass stung my knees as I landed, but I ignored it and scrambled back up running.
My eyes locked onto the entrance doors to the main building.
Screw them all.
I ran forward and threw them open before sprinting on inside.
No longer caring which way the office was, I started zigzagging my way through the halls.
Left, right, left, left, right, right, left, right, left. I continued running on like this for God knows how long.
Finally, after a good while of running, my adrenaline began to wear off. I rounded one last hallway corner before slowing down into a weary walk. I spotted a small bench alongside one of the walls. I hobbled over to it then sank into it.
Exhausted from the chase, I leaned back, drinking in breaths.
Had I lost them? I turned my weak head back the way I came. The hall was quiet and empty, thank God.
I was fine. I just needed to sit back and catch my breath. I closed my eyes.
Just breathe, man. Just breathe.
When my breathing leveled out, I got back up and looked around. I was scanning the walls for another map when I saw it–a label next to the door across from me.
“Dean’s Office,” it read.
“No, way,” the words fell out of my mouth. I’d made it?
I let out a small laugh. Sender here I come.
I reached for the door’s handle. My hand met the smooth, cold, white painted wall.
“What the-?” I snatched my hand back. I blinked a few times in disbelief. The door was gone. Where’d the door go!?
I looked left then right for the door. A sense of dread filled me as I saw smooth brickwork line each wall, peppered with only a few educational posters and college advertisements. This was no longer the same hall.
Oh! YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
Where the heck was I?
Static crackled through the intercom before hearing Kayla’s happy, sadistic voice come through. “Aww, jeez, J.” she began. “Do you have any sense of fun? No fighting Bob? No fighting Jack? Or Toby? Just running? Really?” She clicked her tongue in disappointment.
I didn’t respond. I was still trying to get over the door’s disappearance.
Kayla didn’t seem to notice. “But then again,” she said, “there were three of them this time. So I guess I can understand why you chose to run. I’d probably get miffed too if I had three of them attack me at once. But, oh well. We can get to the reeeeaaaaally fun part now!” She finished with glee.
My anger finally caught up with me. “Fun?” I said, grounding my teeth. “None of this is fun! Nor will it ever be!”
“Oh, J. Stop being so sour. You’re making me feel bad. Hahaha.”
I dug my fingernails into my palms as I clenched my fists, seething.
“Don’t get all upset,” she said, “deep down you know you’re enjoying this. I certainly am.”
“Kayla, I’m gonna-”
“By the way, you’ll have to excuse the next guy for putting you here. He didn’t want you to see The Sender yet before he got a chance to say hi to ya.”
“What are you talking about? Who wants to say hi?”
“Oh, come on J.T. Who is it that you haven’t seen tonight, yet? Hmm?”
“Uh, let me think. The Sender, you, and-” My mouth slammed shut. My eyes widened in as I realized who–Slenderman.
“Have fun!” she giggled. The intercom clicked off.
Save for the sound of my labored breathing, the hall was silent. The temperature began to plummet, and a chilling breeze came from its darkest end. I shivered as I felt both the cold and fear seep in. My breath came in visible, shaky, puffs.
I zipped my hoodie up and pulled on the hood for warmth. This was not going to be good.
The remaining lights in the hallway flickered then cut off one by one until only one remained–the one above me.
I stopped breathing when I heard it–footsteps. Slow, casual footsteps, coming from the end of the hall. Getting louder and louder as the sound drew near.
The fear began to grow within me as I felt his bedeviling gaze pierce the dark into me.
A buzz began to grow within my mind.
I didn’t even hesitate. I turned back and ran into the darkness.
I only had one hope of getting away from this guy and that was finding the office door.
I ran on blind with my hands outstretched in front of me to feel for anything ahead. I kept running and running.
The buzzing grew louder with each step. The cold bit at me with each breath. The fear grew with each whisper that crept.
My heart began pounding faster than ever as my eyes never seemed to adjust to the darkness. It was unnatural.
And this hall, where was its end!?
Lord, please. Let this end!
I gasped as the hand grabbed my throat. I’d ran into his open, wanting grasp.
I struggled for air as I felt myself being lifted up from the floor.
A single light came to life, flickering above us.
The sight was one never to forget.
His pale, blank, empty face leaning down to look at me with its nonexistent eyes.
His black suit, composed of the same darkness that shrouded the hall.
He held me at an angle where I was level with his chest and the light above of us was behind his head.
He leaned closer.
All thought, all sanity, left me. Only fear remained.
I clenched my eyes shut just as I saw both his appendages rush forward and the light flicker off. I waited for the pain, the flash of light, or whatever was supposed to happen when you die. But strangely enough, nothing came.
After a moment’s hesitation, I cracked one eyelid open then the other. Huh?
I was back where I started. The bench was back, the few dim lights were back and, more importantly, the door to the dean’s office was back.
I stood there, blinking at the door, numb to the fact that I was still alive.
“Zzzzzzzzttt!” the phone vibrated in my pocket, shaking me out of my stupor.
I gently slid it out of my pocket to see a text message from an unknown number waiting for me.
“Enter,” was all it read.
I looked back at the door to see it slowly creak open.
The Sender was waiting.
I closed the door behind me with one hand while the other clenched the knife I’d taken from Jeff.
The office wasn’t necessarily big, but it was spacious. Several shelves full of books lined against the back wall. The only sources of light came from the two large windows above the shelves. In the room’s center was the dean’s desk with several papers scattered across its surface. At the top of each sheet was titled one of the Logs. Behind all of it sat its now current occupant–a figure wearing nothing but a dark gray hoodie with dark pants. He sat, leaning back in his chair. The top half of his face was shaded by his hood while the bottom half bore a devilish smile.
Standing directly beside him was Kayla, still looking as horrid as the day before with her torn up bloodied-brown classic leather jacket and her blood speckled jeans. Her eyes still contained that strange fog I’d seen along with crazed sadism, and intelligence. Her dark brown hair was matted with blood. The only difference now was her expression. She wasn’t wearing that ‘charming’ smile I’d last seen her with, nor was she bothering to look at me. Instead, she stared at the desk with a blank expression; not once looking up.
“You made it,” The Sender said with a smile as he clapped his hands. His voice sounded like that of a young man, maybe in his twenties and given his appearance, looked like it too. But I knew looks were deceiving and what sat before me was not a man at all, but a freak, a monster.
I remained silent, giving the two of them a blank stare, yet feeling confused. I’d come in there to kill the two of them, yet I didn’t want to. No, wait-that’s not right.
“I honestly did not think you would make it,” The Sender lowered his hands and leaned forward. “I had expected you to fail at Log Seven, with the Slenderman, much like how Kayla had.”
I saw Kayla’s eyes flicker towards The Sender with annoyance before returning back to the desk.
“But yet,” he continued, “you prevailed, just as you prevailed the six other times before.”
My grip on the knife tightened. “You mean,” I said, “how I got hunted, tortured, and killed the six other times before.”
The Sender’s smile never faltered as he spoke, “Yet, here you are. Still alive. Still with sanity.”
I laughed. “Sanity?” I echoed, thinking he was nuts. “I’m a fricking nervous train-wreck right now! Because of you! You made me endure hell for over seven days!” I pointed the knife at him. “And just when I think it’s over, I’m thrust right back into it to see your sorry, sickening, face.”
I stepped forward with the knife ready, but stopped just in front of the desk. This is it now. Stab him!
The knife remained by my side. But why?
“True,” The Sender said, ignoring my bafflement, “you are not the same person as you once were, nor will you ever be. As is the result with every writer who has taken up my offer.”
What on earth was he talking about? I hadn’t taken up his offer! HE’D FORCED ME! I wanted to stab him right then and there, but I was conflicted. I wanted to and then I did not want to. What the heck was going on? Why couldn’t I stab him!?
“I would say you are better this way too,” he said, his voice as smooth as ever.
I narrowed my eyes and in a low voice asked, “How is being a nervous wreck, better?”
“Are you nervous now?” The Sender threw the question.
I blinked. “What?”
“Are. You. Nervous now?”
I remained quiet, not knowing what to say. I knew how I felt, it’s just that, I shouldn’t have been feeling that way. “No,” I answered. “I’m not.”
The Sender nodded his head. “I thought so.”
I didn’t. I didn’t know what to think. Everything, was becoming strange, confusing.
“But now,” The Sender said, “let us get to why you are here. You have earned answers now, and I am willing to give them.”
Answers? Do I still want those? No, I do…don’t…What the heck!? It took all of my willpower to put my thoughts back in place. I chose the first important question I could think of.
“W-why?” I sputtered. “Why did you do this to me? No, scratch that.” I already knew what B.S. answer he’d give me if I’d asked that one. “What do you get out of all this?”
He smiled even wider and look to Kayla. “You see?” he asked her. “Change. A prime example of it there.” He gestured a hand at me then turned back to face me. “‘What do I get out of all of this’, you ask?” he echoed, lowering his hand. “I would say at the top of my list, it would be pure, simple, enjoyment. Watching your story unfold was a wonderful experience. Every twist, every turn. Every scream.”
I shook my head. “That’s not why you did it,” I said in a firm voice. “I know that’s not.”
“More proof of change,” he again, said to Kayla. I didn’t know what this “change” he was talking about was, nor did I care. Yet, it unnerved me. He turned back to me. “You are right,” he said, nodding. “That is not the only reason. What I really get out of all this is a secret.”
“Can you not answer anything straight!? You piece of-”
“You do not need to know, J.T. You are a writer. By now you should know that in a good story, especially a good horror, the protagonist does not need to know why this is happening, only know that he needs to continue and survive. Besides,” he grinned, “it is the unsolved mystery that stays with both the reader and the protagonist the longest, even after the story is over.”
I tried with every ounce of my being to raise the knife and plunge into his sickening smile, but my hand refused.
“And then,” The Sender added, “there is the last reason. You.”
I blinked. “Me?”
“Yes, you or, to be more specific, people who are like you. I give certain writers, certain candidates, the stories they need when they ask for it, but I look for a pattern in each one. A certain aspect of their character that I can take and possibly mold into something special. Something that I can use. However, most tend to fail and go insane. But there are a few who do make it.” He looked at Kayla and added, “And then there are the ones who did not necessarily make it, but proved that they were deserving enough to be used.”
Something, was not right about this. I sure as heck didn’t like what I was hearing, “What-what do you mean?” I stuttered.
“I have already said it twice now, J.T.” he replied, looking back at me. “Change.”
“Change? Change into what? I’m still the same. I haven’t changed. Much.”
The Sender only smirked.
I shook my head. “You know what? Screw you. I don’t care what you’re looking for. I don’t care at all. I beat your little game. I made it, I’m alive.” I said, pointing the knife at them to emphasize my point. “Despite your expectations. You both thought I’d lose. But I didn’t.”
I glanced at Kayla, and with my eyes narrowed at her, said, “Things didn’t go the way you wanted them to. Right, Kayla?”
The Sender gave me a bemused expression before he leaned back in his seat, chuckling.
My narrowed eyes went to him. “What’s so funny?” I demanded.
He glanced at Kayla then back to me. “Well, you see,” he said, “you are wrong. I did not think you would make it. I thought you would lose after having to face all of them in one night. However...”
Kayla slowly raised her head, a chilling smile that I didn’t like in the slightest, crept onto her face.
“They did go the way I wanted them to,” she said.
My heart froze. “What are you talking about?” I asked, already knowing and dreading the answer.
The Sender lifted his head, giving me full view of his face.
“Holy-” I couldn’t get rest out. I stepped back, stunned. His face… I can’t–I can’t tell you. As much as I want to, I can’t. He won’t let me tell you. All I can tell you is that it confirmed what I thought: he was a monster. A demon perhaps, I’m not entirely sure.
The Sender continued speaking, “Kayla thought you would make it. Despite what you were led to believe when she first spoke to you through the intercom.”
Kayla walked around the desk towards me. “And,” she began, trailing her finger across my shoulders as she rounded me, “I said you would get to see firsthand, what exactly happened to me.” She stopped just in front of me.
Oh, no. I tried to strike out with the knife, but instead I simply raised it, offering it.
What the hell!?
She smiled, then said, “Oh, thank you.” She took it and prodded its point with her fingertips.
“What did you do to me? Why can’t I move?!” I yelled.
The Sender said nothing. Kayla, on the other hand, spoke as if she hadn’t heard.
“I also said, if things went the way I thought they would, which they did,” she bared her white teeth into a grin, “it would happen to you too. Change.”
The Sender leaned forward in his chair, saying the words that damned me. “You see J.T.,” he said, “I did not bring you here just to give you answers. This is a welcoming.”
My head started spinning and my heart beat against my chest. My emotions began to conflict with each other. They weren’t the same as they once had been. They were changing.
I needed to get away, NOW!
I spun and reached for the door, but was too late. Kayla reacted faster than I thought possible, stabbing me in the back, just as I turned. I fell forward onto my stomach, gasping.
“Uh-uh, Jaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy,” she cooed and knelt beside me. “You’re not leaving, not yet.” Her grin grew wider than ever.
I started crawling forward to the door.
I heard The Sender stand up and then walk into view, blocking me from my escape.
“Even when he loses, he still tries to win,” The Sender said, leaning down. “Another reason why I chose him.”
Now you know. You know what I’ve become. Changed. Changed into a puppet like Kayla, only she liked it, but it may be only a matter of time before I become like her, losing all sense of sanity, morality and becoming a freak like her.
I was done the moment I wrote my name down. I became a character to be used by The Sender the moment I put myself into a story. Changed. Changed into a character. But I’m still me. For however long that will last. Even now, I can still feel the old me slipping away. I’m slipping away. I’m beginning to like...no…I’m not…I’m not liking it…but I will.
I’m struggling to type this, much like the first day I typed Log One. My hands shake with each key I press. I don’t know what will be written next. It’s not me who’s typing anymore. It’s a freak, a monster it’s-Me.
It was always me.
I still have some time left, though. I was still given time to go back to my old life, if only for a short while. To see my family again. To experience life as it should be one last time. I’m a character in my own sick story now. My own horror story. My own Creepypasta.
Stories, that’s what The Sender uses, that’s what he controls.
Now I’m a freak, once a human. A freak who still wears his dark blue hoodie, now bloodied and torn in certain patches. A freak who now carries a wicked knife in his pocket forced to carry out his will. A freak who prays to God that maybe someday I might escape, but probably won’t. A freak who was once a writer that accepted an offer that turned him into what I am now. An offer that I will extend to you. I end this now, much the same way as it began. I ask you this:
Do you wish for a story?