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It was Spring. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping. I was spending some time with my older brother, Damon, in the back yard near the woods. Mom was somewhere in the house and Dad was on duty as a policeman.

Damon and I would usually play in the woods, nothing bad had ever happened to any of us there. We would usually climb up into the tree house Dad had built for us when we were younger, and just spend time up there. I'd always look out for animals, and unusual things in the woods.

There was this one time I had found a shoe just sitting out there. It was bright red, laces slightly beaten up, and a bit of dried mud encrusted around the bottom. I was so excited about finding that shoe, I went over to it, picked it up, and took it in the tree house. I treated that shoe as though it was a prize.

Damon on the other hand would just sit up there with his sketchbook and pencil, and sketch for a good length of time. Most of his sketches consisted of birds and the once in a while fox. He was good. Every now and again, we’d get in little debates, generally about nothing. Even though our thoughts were sometimes very different, we were best of friends. I could trust him with anything.

One night, Dad came home a little late. He hung up his jacket and walked into the living room with us.

"We got a call about a missing woman and her daughter from up at the North Station. Both blonde, the daughter has hazel eyes, the mother has green."

"How long have they been missing?" asked Mom.

"About three days," he said.

"Her husband called and said they were coming back from a visit into town. None of her usual contacts have heard from either of them."

He walked over to the love seat and tried to relax a little bit from all the stress.

"The squad and I are going back out again tomorrow to see if we can find them. He told us to keep an eye out for a white Chevy Spark in the northern woods area."

After that, he tried to spend the rest of the time just trying to relieve some stress that was going through his mind. Mom was wanting to ask questions about it, but she managed to keep quiet as she could see, he was very tired after hours of searching and winding up with nothing to show for evidence. Dad was always determined to do anything he could when it came to missing person cases.

Later on that night, Damon and I went to our room upstairs and got ready for bed. I climbed up into my bunk and tried to get some sleep. I slept for a couple hours only to be waken up by a loud sound.

I sat up in bed and looked at the clock. It was 1:34 a.m. I tried to focus what I was hearing and to me it sounded like a dragging of some kind with twigs snapping as if there where something or someone walking back in the woods.

I tried to shake the sound and tried to reassure myself that it was just a wolf dragging a fawn in the woods. Something was off, wolves don’t make sounds that loud. After a few minutes the dragging sound faded off in the distance, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't go back to sleep.

Morning had rolled around and I still didn't get any sleep from what I heard from earlier. It was a good thing it was a four-day weekend. When Damon woke up, I asked him if he had heard the noise last night. He looked over at me and asked,

"What noise?"

"You mean, you didn't hear it?"

"I guess not," he shrugged and got ready for the day. As soon as both of us were dressed, we went downstairs to see Dad getting ready to head out the door. He grabbed his set of keys, and his jacket from the wall hooks. Before he left the house he gave both Damon and I hugs and gave a kiss to Mom.

"I'll likely be late coming home, but I will be back. I promise," and with that he got in the car and headed up to the north station.

Damon and I stayed in the house for about an hour or two watching reruns of old Nickelodeon cartoons. After that, Damon headed up to the bedroom and came back with his sketchbook.

"I'm going to the tree house, do you want to come with?" I thought about it for a moment and said,

"Yeah," I was feeling a little hesitant about going out there, with all those sounds that kept me awake but decided to go out anyway.

When we got out there, he headed right up into the tree house. I decided to stay down for a minute. He popped his head out the window and said,

“Are you coming or what?”

“I’ll be up in a little bit,” I said.

I wanted to go farther into the woods to see if anything had changed.

“I want to take a look around.”

“Alright just don’t get hurt,” he said, and began sketching. I walked around a bit more cautiously because of those sounds when it was still dark out. I went off in a direction that had a bit of a clearing not too far from the tree house. There was a fallen tree that had been there since long before we moved in this house, it was covered in moss and a couple vines.

Damon could usually sit on this log and he could get closer to the birds he saw, sometimes even close enough that he could touch them. I was looking a little bit deeper, past the clearing, when I saw something odd. I jumped down a short ledge and went over to get a better look at it.

It was a scrap of cloth, light blue but dark red on part of it. I wanted to keep it secret but knew I should probably tell Dad about it. Who knows how late it’ll be before he gets home? I knew it would be a long time. I looked around it to see if there was any sign of a trail near that scrap of cloth, but I didn’t see anything. Everything looked as though nothing had disturbed it, other than that cloth.

I went back to the tree house and just sat up there starring out the window. Damon turned to me and asked if I was alright. I said I was fine but he could always tell when there was something troubling me. I tried to shake the thought from my mind, but it never happened. I wanted to tell him about it, but something in my head told me not to. After a while, I started to pass out from exhaustion.

When I woke up, I rubbed my eyes and looked over at Damon. He was still up here with me. I asked Damon,

“Hey, what time is it?” He looked over to me and said,

“It’s around three. Are you sure you’re alright?”

“Yeah, I’m just tired from last night.”

“Come on,” he said and headed out of the tree house.

We went inside and sat on the couch. Most of the time, I was tired and was starting to nod off once again. I remember having a nightmare of a very tall, and very thin figure. It was only a silhouette but it was moving closer and closer with very flowing movements, like a ribbon dancing in the breeze.

I woke up again to find Damon wasn’t there. I searched the house and found him up in the tree house. He was sketching again, but this time he was kind of in a dazed trance. I looked at what he was drawing and this time they were different. There were no birds, and no animals of any kind.

All of the pictures were of a man in a suit, tall, and thin, but the odd thing was, he had no face. On the backs of most of them, there were circles with and x mark through them. I asked Damon who it was supposed to be, and he snapped out of his trance-like state. He simply said

“I-I don’t know.” He looked around a bit confused.

“How long have you been up here?”

“Maybe a couple hours judging by the sun.”

We went back inside to find dad just getting home. Dad said,

“We found the car the husband told us about, unfortunately we found that neither the woman or the child were in the car. There was a great deal of damage done to the car. Windows were smashed, a huge dent to the nose of the thing, and...”

Dad took a deep breath, “a good deal of blood.” Dad looked very tired but I managed to talk to him.

“Dad, I found something in the woods today.”

“Did you now?” he said with a gentle tone and smiled at me.

“Yeah, it was blue with a red side.” Dad looked at me thinking it was a joke at first but his smile and gentle tone faded.

He asked “What kind of red was it?”

“A dark red,” I said.

Dad’s expression was one of determination now. He told me to show him where I found it, so I lead him to it. He found the cloth I was talking about and examined the aria. He only found that scrap of cloth as maybe a clue.

Night had rolled around once again. I was trying to get some sleep and this time there was a tapping on the window. Once again, I looked over to the clock that read 1:27 a.m. I then looked over to the window and saw an elongated hand. The very thin, long fingers were tapping at the window. I got out of bed and tried to wake up Damon, but he was sound asleep. So I went over and looked out and saw a tall, thin man in a black suit and tie, but I couldn’t see his face. His arm was stretched out and moved very flowing-like. I soon blacked out.

When I came to, I heard something. I opened my eyes and tried to look around. I could tell I was in the woods, though it was still dark. I started to panic just a little bit, and out of nowhere (as far as I could see) I felt a hand place itself over my face and came a whispering, male voice that said,

“Don’t move.” My heart was pounding,

“If you move, you’re going to get hurt. Now listen to me.” He started whispering words that I couldn’t understand.

As he was talking, I felt something strange happening. Something was being scratched into my chest. It felt like it was burning into my flesh, layer by layer. I could not tell what it was at the time but as it was happening, I saw all these memories going through my mind. Memories of all of us as a family, but as I looked back on these, I saw him. The tall man. He was in all of them. Among the trees.

I don’t know why I didn’t see him before, I mean since we had almost always been near the forest. He cast an image through my mind of a mask with black paint on lips and around the eye holes, then he spoke,

“This is a gift from me to you. You are the only person who has seen this. Keep it hidden, keep it safe. Wear it when you see me.”

He handed over the mask and placed it within my hands.

“Your life will depend on it.” He raised his hand from my face and looked at me.

My eyes had just got accustomed to the darkness and everything surrounding me. I looked up at him and much to my fear, he had no face. No eyes, no nose, no mouth. I was a bit awestruck and held the mask a bit tighter. I started looking around at my surroundings and noticed shapes within the trees.

Toys. Dolls, teddy bears, a couple marionettes, they were scattered and placed within the trees. I could see two figures, hanging from some of the higher branches, one tall one and a shorter one, both female judging by the shape of their silhouette. He walked back over to me with one of his arms out stretched, and said


The next morning, I woke up in my bunk. Damon was looking at me with a mix of fear and confusion.

“What?” I asked. He didn’t say anything for a second or two, and said,

“Y-you didn’t see it? But you were wide awake! You were walking with it!”

“Walking with what?” He grabbed his sketchbook and flipped through the pages to one of the figures without a face.

“This! I saw you last night walking with this, thing, coming out of the woods. What is it?” He sounded very scared. All I could think to say at the time was

“Slender Man.”

I got ready for the day and saw the mark Slender Man had carved into my chest. It was the circle with the x through the center. The same one that I had seen on the back of those drawings Damon made.

The cuts were deep but it didn’t bleed. I could still feel the pain from when he did this. I covered up the marks so no one could see them, I tried to disregard everything that happened last night and just have a normal day. I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

Today was Mom’s working day, and I guess Dad was on duty again inspecting what had happened to those two. Hours went by, and Damon continued to question me about the Slender Man. Like if he really had no face, and all that. I tried to explain what happened but my memory was still fuzzy.

After a few hours, the police showed up at the house. It was one of Dad’s friends, Rolland. Damon and I knew something was wrong. Rolland hardly ever came by without his wife and that was usually for the once in a while game night that they would have where we all would split into teams and play games, but I knew he wasn’t here for that.

He walked up to the front door and knocked. Damon went over first and answered the door.

“G’day boys,” he said.

Rolland has an Australian accent.

“Good morning,” we both said back.

“Have either of you seen your dad today?”

“No, we thought he was up at the north station with you,” replied Damon.

“Nope, he didn’t check in. We thought he might have been home sick and forgot to call. This isn’t like him.”

Our faces must have turned to shock.

“Do you want me to stay with you two?” he asked with a tone of comfort.

“No, I think we can manage ourselves until they come home.” Damon said.

He knelt down to us, smiled, and said,

“Alright, but if you need anything, just give me a call up at the station.” He then stood up, walked to his car, and drove back up towards the station.

It was starting to get dark, and still no sign of them. Damon and I were getting nervous. I headed up stairs while he was trying to relax on the couch. I looked out the window and saw Slender Man wasn’t there.

I climbed up into my bunk to try and clear my mind a bit, and as I moved my hand across the covers, I felt something. There it was, the mask he had given to me. I picked it up and held onto it tightly, just to feel some kind of comfort. I started to get very tired and slept for a little bit.

I was woken up by tapping on the window. It was the Slender Man, once again tapping. I looked over to the clock 1:31 a.m. I grabbed the mask and climbed down. Damon wasn’t in his bunk, I figured he must have been downstairs crashed on the couch.

I put on the mask and a jacket that was hanging in the closet, and headed downstairs. As I looked over to the couch, he wasn’t there. I felt abandoned, I was all alone. Mom and Dad still haven’t come back. I was thinking to go with Slender Man because he was the only one I had left.

I went outside and he motioned for me. He bent down, picked me up, and placed me on his back. I know you can hear me and I need you to do something. Listening to my instincts, I obliged.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we are connected by thought, so we can communicate better. I thought this was a rather strange thing, since the last time we spoke, we actually spoke. Yes, it may seem a bit strange now. Trust me, everything will be alright. Long, black, tendrils protruded from his back and lifted us both a good five or six feet above the ground, possibly even higher.

We’d gone back into the woods. I couldn’t really see where he was taking me but there was no doubt in my mind that he was taking me back to the place from before. On the way there I had used telepathic communication and asked him about the dragging the other night. He didn’t answer that question. In fact, he hardly ever said anything back.

After a while we came up to a small clearing in the woods, it was were I had been before, exactly the same, well other than two more figures up in the trees and this time I wasn’t laying down. He set me down on the ground as well as himself, and using one of his tendrils, reached up to the trees and brought down one of the figures.

It was a woman. She had long blond hair, a light blue jacket that had been torn and stained with a few spots of blood. I was stunned, I asked

“I-is she... Dead?”

He looked at me and replied "No, she is in a sleep state."

He then once again picked me up and put me on his back. Another one of his tendrils reached up to the figures, and pulled down a girl. She looked to be about eight or nine years old, like me.

We headed a bit farther into the woods and came across a building. It kind of looked like an old hospital or an institution of some kind. He opened the doors and brought all of us inside. There was another kid in the hall, wearing a yellow hoodie with a black mask over the opening for the face. Eye holes were cut into it so they could see.

He set me down once again, and I walked over to the kid. He looked at me, then to the Sender Man. The Slender Man spoke once again,

“Consider this training for both of you.”

We both looked at each other with a bit of confusion. He walked down the hall way to two separate rooms and put the woman and the young girl inside them. He handed us a couple of knives. They looked very sharp and could be easily hidden. The kid in the hoodie took one and folded it into his front pocket. I did the same.

Slender Man looked over to us both and told us, They will wake soon, let me take you over. The hoodie kid nodded and looked over to me. I nodded to Slender Man and we split up into the rooms. He took the one with the woman, I took the one with the girl. I crouched down in the corner by the door, waiting for her to wake up. A few moments later, she did wake.

She rubbed her eyes, and looked around. She then started to panic. Then, she saw me. Slender Man had gotten through to me and said, Jump. I did and some how, I had managed to scale partially up the corner with my hands and feet propped against the walls keeping me up. He had told me, Take out the knife. I did.

Things got fuzzy for a while, and I couldn’t control myself. The last thing I saw, was her hazel eyes, once open in pure terror, now closed. Gashes from the knife, lots of blood loss. I remember seeing me grasping the knife as it was lodged into her heart. Slowly I gained back control of myself. I felt for this girl enough that I picked her up and lied her back where she was originally, and as this happened, not a single tear left my eye.

I walked back out into the hallway and saw both, Slender Man and the kid in the hoodie, waiting for me.

Well done. Very good for your first try. We’ll do this again tomorrow night. There was something going through my mind, I just couldn’t shake. Why aren’t I sad? Then as I pondered more and more, I realized, this is what I enjoy. Come, it’s time to leave this place for now.

Once again, tendrils came out of his back, lifted us both, and took us out of the woods. We had all gotten back to the house about an hour before sunrise. He left us both back at my home. Slender Man moved back into the woods and made haste. As for the hoodie kid and I, there was a bit of silence between us until he took off his hood. It was Damon.