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The Slender Man

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Salem, a girl living out her normal Average-Joe life, is suddenly thrown into a terrifying situation. One of her best friends goes missing, and it isn't long afterward that she realizes the same creature she thinks took her friend, has now set its sights on her, stalking her in the shadows. Drawn into the forest by an unknown lure, she goes trekking through the woods, desperate to find her friend. Little does she know her decisions aren't entirely her own. She finds herself falling into the hands of the most elite stalkers and killers she can think of. Does she make it out alive? Even if she does, is she actually surviving, or just acting out the motions in a world that suddenly doesn't seem to fit her? Who can say? A/N: IMPORTANT! This story is under heavy construction, so probably everything about it will change, including the summary and MC's name, so don't get too attached to the story line.

Horror / Adventure
Age Rating:

Life as I know it

So, you know how in movies and stories, the hero usually has some destiny they aren’t aware of? There’s this whole academic theory about it. It’s called The Hero’s Journey. People who go from small lives to some great, grand thing, where they become part of something bigger and more important than they ever could have imagined.

I guess it’s why those stories work so well. Because everyone wants to believe they’re more important than they really are. That any moment now some incredible thing is going to happen that turns everything upside down and they’ll breathe a massive sigh of relief because they always knew they were special. Deep down they always knew it, and all this disappointment and bullshit and trudging through dead-end days will have been worthwhile.

But then there’s me. And I know for a certainty is that what I just explained isn’t my story. I know I’m destined to be a lawyer and nothing else, whether I have a say or not. I know, world-changing. I just can’t wait to start such a big, glamorous part of my life. If only you could hear my eyes roll.

I explained this to my therapist during one of our first sessions, while we were still in the get-to-know-you stage of the process. She told me I was wrong, that I can do anything with my life that I put my mind to, but all that did was prove something I already knew. That a person can be really intelligent and really stupid at the same time.

Of course, I can technically do whatever I want with my life. America is still a free country, and I’m a -mostly- straight white female. My parents are wealthy and I go to a private school. I have about as many advantages as it’s possible to have. But my options -- like everyone else’s -- are limited to the stuff people don’t like to talk about because it doesn’t fit with the all-American ideal of a meritocracy: that the only thing standing in between you and your wildest dreams is hard work and a good attitude. Frankly, that’s an absolute crock of shit.

My dad is a lawyer. His brother, father, grandfather, even great-grandfather were all lawyers. My mother? She’s on the boards of about two dozen charities and nonprofits. Her sister’s a lawyer, though. It’s in our blood. I barely see either of my parents and a lot of the time it seems like she works longer hours than he does.

I doubt dad would try telling me what major I’ll pick for college next fall because it doesn’t affect the path he’s laid out for his only child. A path that’s been set in stone since I was still swimming around in his balls. But if I tell him I don’t want to go to law school after I graduate? That’s going to be a really awkward conversation.

I have to see Dr. Jones once a week on Wednesday evenings after school. My parents make me, of course. I’ve been having nightmares for a while now, and they say I’ve been crying out in my sleep. Although, part of me thinks they just got tired of being one of the only couples they know who doesn’t have at least one child in therapy.

But if they’re so worried about me sleeping properly, why didn’t they just get me referred to an actual sleep therapist? When I asked, Mom told me that she thinks, “It’s always better to get to the root of what’s going on. It never hurts to give yourself an emotional road-worthiness test.” What does she expect me to say to that? What even can you say?

Speaking of my parents, Dr. Jones likes to talk about them. Loves talking about them might be more accurate now that I think about it. Though, I’m over here still scratching my head to understand how whether or not I think my mother loves me relates to a bad dream every other night.

I mean, I suppose I could lie and say that they neglect me, or beat me, or that dad sexually abused me when I was little, but Dr. Jones has met them. I don’t think there’s any way she would buy it. They’re just too boring to have that kind of darkness inside of them, even hidden away deep down where nobody else can see it. The - equally if not more boring - truth is that mom and dad are kind, decent, upstanding members of the community.

They probably both work more than is totally healthy, and there are times when it doesn’t exactly feel like they’re very interested in me. But find me a teenager in America that doesn’t feel like that some of the time. If you can, they’re probably parentless, which is something else entirely I don’t want to get into.

My best friend, Juliette, tells me I’m lucky my parents are so busy and hands-off. Hers are always at home and she’s always complaining to me about how she feels like she’s being smothered.

Julie and I hang out most of the time. Not all the time, because nobody ever really does that. There are times where we barely see each other for weeks. But we’re really close, pretty much siblings, actually.

We forward each other every dumb thing we find on the internet. She spams me with her obsessions with the Weeb realm, I spam her with my obsession with Creepypasta, gore, nosleep, pretty much anything and everything in that corner of the web.

We swap comics, manga, and records, and we gossip about things that happen to us sometimes barely minutes earlier. Because things happening isn’t enough on their own, no, the most important part is hyper-analyzing them afterward. Obviously.

However, hardly anyone knows that we’re friends. I’m not sure most people at school even know we know each other, and I think the weird part is that we both sort of come to enjoy that fact.

Our parents are friends, and so we’ve been super close since before either of us can even remember. But we went to different middle schools, and at our private school, Trinity, we live in separate worlds. At school, we barely acknowledge each other. But honestly, I'm fine with that, and I think she is, too. It's just. . . Easier in a way.

She’s super popular and likable with everyone, the boys are always trailing behind her like lost dogs. I’m pretty much her complete opposite. I'm the weird goth kid that doesn't talk to anyone and somehow always gets out of gym class. I’m basically invisible to the school and don’t have many friends, but I'm pretty fine with that, too.

The only boy I ever really interact with is this kid named Logan. He and I are pretty close, too, and our friendship is public. Of course, he knows about Juliette and me, in fact it isn't uncommon for the three of us to hang out together. We do a lot of the same stuff, but I can be more game-savy with Logan than with Julie. It's often that we're about to geek out, while Julie would have no idea what I'm talking about. But I can’t send him any of my “horrendous gore photos I always find weirdly hilarious” - as Julie puts it - without him squirming. Though, I think I freak him out enough on a normal basis.

“El, how come you and Juliette don’t talk at school?” Logan asked me once.

I flipped a strand of long dark brown hair over my shoulder and looked up at him over my laptop. “Because, Logan, Trinity is a judgemental cesspit. And that’s putting it mildly. Sure, it’s mostly the same drama that happens at every damn school, the who-fucked-who, who-said-what, who-did-what, stuff that seems so unbelievably important for about five minutes.

“Then, Trinity being Trinity, there are times when the shit hits the fan from a slightly different direction. That’s what we’re looking to avoid. Because, as cliche as it may be to say, nobody knows what the future holds. It’s the truth, Logan. Nobody has a fucking clue.”

On our way home from school today, Logan talks about how Sam Anderson has been talking major shit about Juliette to anyone who will listen since she dumped him while apparently texting her about a hundred times a day asking her to take him back. Of course, I know more about it than he does, so I fill him in on the details.

Like most of the boys at Trinity, I’m almost 70% sure Logan is even just a little in love with Julie, and I can’t blame them. Even if I were 100% straight, I’d still tap that. Just saying. I mean, she’s pretty and funny and smart and popular, sure. That’s not everything I see, though. I see inside what she puts on the outside. I’ve seen her dirty pics for crying out loud. That girl’s got it good. She doesn’t need any piss poor excuse for a boy named Sam Anderson in her life.

Plus, to top it all off, she’s never sent a folder of herself in nothing but bikinis to half the senior class and claimed it was an accident like Linda did last year, so she’s got that going for her, too.

Juliette’s father is . . . charming, but he’s also funny if nothing else. He once told me he’s seen more supermodel vagina than Leonardo DiCaprio. Julie almost literally dies from embarrassment, while I almost fell on the floor laughing. Though, now I don’t know whether I want to laugh some more, or puke from how gross I know he really can be. Julie’s mom pretends not to know what’s going on, but Julie and I both know where all the wine’s going.

This morning, I walked to school with her as usual and we got breakfast at the cafe near Central Park. As usual, it’s a great start to my day, making pretty much the rest of it easier to cope with. But this morning, I was even happier to see my best friends because I was previously in a shitty mood.

I had told Mom that I wanted to stop seeing Dr. Jones, that it was making me feel awkward, and that I clearly wasn’t getting anything out of it because I’d had a nightmare the night before. But she wasn’t having it.

She loves to really lean into that parental hypocrisy of telling me I’m an adult when she wants me to take more responsibility or stop doing something she doesn’t like, yet refuses to actually let me make anything resembling an important decision for myself. She said the same thing she always says:

“When you’re eighteen -- a legal, court-authorized adult -- you can do whatever you want.”

Which includes refusing to see Dr. Jones, apparently. So, I basically have to eat shit and smile about it until my birthday in a few months.

I told her “thanks very much,” knowing I threw enough sarcasm behind it by that glint in her eyes and her slacked jaw. But she pretended not to notice, nodding and telling me to have a good day as I stalked out of the apartment.

In fairness, however, it actually was a pretty good day, but there’s no way in Hell I’m going to tell her that. When I get home she gets her usual noncommittal grunt and then I slam my door behind me, playing with my theatrics just a tad more than usual. Two can play at being unreasonable if that’s the game she insists on playing. Fine by me.

With a heavy sigh, I sit at my desk and get right to work on the story I’ve been writing. It’s still not quite working how I want it to, and I’m still not sure how to fix it. But hey, I wrote a few paragraphs I’m pretty pleased with.

After a while, I mindlessly wipe the blood from my nose and shift my attention to my long-awaited video games, letting my brian relax as my muscle memory takes over. I’m not really tired. Not the kind of tired where you know you’re going to feel great if you give yourself an extra hour or two of sleep, but that kind of deep tiredness that makes it feel like your bones are made of lead, as if someone’s turned the dials down to zero and locked them.

This is exactly what Dr. Jones is supposed to be helping me with. She’s clearly doing such an amazing job. I’ll admit that actually going to sleep before one-thirty in the morning would probably not be the worst idea in the world. But fuck it. I know I’m my own worst enemy.

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