j.T.

***

For the next few hours, or at least I think was hours (there was no clear way to tell), we searched for a way out of the forest. However, no matter how far we walked, it never seemed to end. It was always the same–trees, brush, fog, repeat.

It wasn’t until a good while later, after Kayla (still carrying her “Charitable” opinion about the woods) asked for a rest.

“I don’t think resting here is a good idea,” I whispered. The feeling of being watched had gotten stronger and to make things worse, it was colder than ever.

Kayla plopped down by the closest tree.

“Hey,” she said in a regular voice, “I was trying to find my way out of here long before you showed up. I need a break.” She looked up at me with an annoyed glare.

I sighed. Ugh! I wanted to groan. Why couldn’t The Sender have just dropped me off in the visitor’s lap? I found myself asking. Why stick me with a girl who has nnnnooooo sense of stealth (and who complains about everything)?

For a moment I was tempted to shout aloud and say. ‘Hey freak! We’re over here. Come on and get us so we can get this over with.’ I chose not to, instead I decided to lean against a tree and wait. If she’s going to rest, I thought, I might as well do the same.

I closed my eyes, and tried to ease my troubled mind by remembering some of the good times before all of this started.

“How many days did he give you?” Kayla’s voice pitched in, interrupting my thoughts.

With my eyes still closed, I answered, “He gave me a week. Today’s my last day.”

“Huh, lucky.”

I snorted. “Heh! ‘Lucky?’ I wouldn’t consider any of this lucky. If I was, I would have written on my first day, ‘Log 1, February 17th: I killed The Sender. The End.’ But no, instead I get killed!”

“You got killed?” I heard her say surprised. “Wow, that…that must’ve sucked.”

“Heh, like you haven’t?”

“No.”

My eyes snapped open in surprise, then flew to her. “Wait, really?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said with a shrug, like it was no big deal.

But it was a big deal. “What?” I nearly choked over my own question. “But how-…could...did-you? Ugh!” I clenched my eyes shut, shaking my head. Just what I needed to hear! I thought. The annoying loudmouth-prep has never been killed through the four days of this. I feel fan-friken-tastic.

“Oh, and it’s April, not February,” Kayla added out of the blue.

What? I open my eyes and looked over to her. “Huh? It’s not April,” I said.

She shook her head. “No, it’s April.”

“No it’s not.” I shook my head, with a small laugh. “What do you think today’s date is?”

“April 25th,” she answered, eyeing me like I was a toddler asking a dumb question.

Allow me to add more to the girl’s description: Annoying, loudmouth, ungrateful and now stupid. How could she possibly not know what the date was? The Creepypasta articles had it printed above each log. I mean you would have to be stupid to miss-! Wait a minute...

“What’s the year?” I asked.

Kayla still giving me a ‘you’re-so-stupid’ look answered, “2009.”

I stood up.

“Kayla,” I said in a slow, worried voice. “Today’s February 23rd, 2014.”

Kayla began to laugh but stopped short when she noticed my blank stare.

She began to shake her head; her voice began to sound nervous. “No it’s not,” she said. “Stop playing around.”

I didn’t stop staring.

“You are kidding? Right?”

I wish I was. I shook my head. “No, Kayla,” I said. “I’m not.”

Kayla’s face became an expressionless mask as she processed those words. Her mouth opened and closed a few times before saying in a shaky voice, “But how?”

I remained silent.

She rose to her feet, in panic. “How can that be? It can’t be 2014!”

I didn’t have an answer; I was just as clueless as she was. How could she be in a log set five years ago? I mean every time one of my logs had started or ended, it was always back on the same date (or next morning) it occurred. So why hadn’t it been the same for her?

There had to be more to this.

Kayla began to hyperventilate; the news she’d learned was too much.

“Hey,” I said trying to bring her back to reality and calm her down. “What do you remember before this log started?”

She gulped several more, heavy breaths. “I…I…” She paused. It looked like she was struggling to find the right answer. “I don’t-I don’t know. I can’t remember.”

I tried my best to not look skeptical as I shook my head. How could she not remember getting there?

“Kayla-” I began then stopped. The same chill I felt just before blacking out at the start of this madness came over me.

“Yes?” Kayla said, waiting for me to say something. I ignored her. I swept my gaze around and saw our surroundings begin to change. The fog churned, becoming thicker, the wind started to increase in strength and nip at me with its ice cold touch, and the sky…was it just me or had it just gotten darker?

Thunder rumbled.

NOT GOOD!

I spun back to Kayla. “We need to move now!”

“What? Why? What’s wrong?” she asked, her eyes widened at my sudden shift of attitude.

The visitor was there, that’s what was wrong!

I went to grab her. “No time! Let’s get-”

My hand never reached her.

The fog instantly, impossibly, thickened, shrouding everything around me, including Kayla.

“What the-!?” I jumped back, shocked. How-?

Kayla’s loud scream pierced the air.

Oh, no.

“KAYLA!” I shouted, as I raced forward to help her, only to encounter nothing. She was no longer there.

“Huh!?” I grounded to a halt. Where’d she go? I swept my gaze from to left to right searching for her. She’d been here a moment ago.

“KAYLA!!” I shouted her name, hoping to hear her call back.

Thunder rumbled.

“KAYLA!!!” I shouted again.

Rain began to pour.

“CRAP!” I cried out, before glaring at the sky. “What was the point of that, Sender!?” I shouted, not at all caring if the visitor had heard me. “Huh? What was the fricking point!!?”

Why make me meet someone going through the same craziness that I had, then make them disappear? There was no logic to that!

I began to grind my teeth. “You know what Sender?” I began. “You’re a–” I was cut short.

The wind suddenly blew in, thinning the fog for a moment, giving me full view of someone standing just ten feet away. At first, I thought that it was a statue or a mannequin because of how still it stood, but that thought vanished within seconds.

The figure was wearing a dark business-like suit with a black tie. His skin was pale, and he couldn’t’ve been more than seven feet tall. Fear, followed by that strange deafening buzz I heard at the beginning filled my mind as I saw the figure’s face–or to be more precise, his absence of a face.

“Oh, crap.” I knew who this was–hell–anyone who’s ever read Creepypasta knew who this was.

“Slen-slend-” my mouth stumbled over the word. “Slenderman?”

The buzz intensified.

“Oh…” in my head I threw every curse, insult, and damning thing I knew The Sender’s way. Out of all people and creatures in the world of Creepypasta I could’ve encountered next, why this one?

The fog shifted back into place, erasing the view of my final visitor.

“What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?” I kept whispering to myself.

I didn’t want to run, in fear that as soon as I did, I might literally run into him. But I sure as heck didn’t want to stay in one place either.

So what could I do?

The buzzing began to grow louder within my head. I instinctively placed a hand on its side.

I can’t stay here, I can’t run. Crap!

Walk.

That was my only option (besides giving up).

I chose the nearest path and set down it with a fast pace. I knew that walking away from a monster, in efforts to escape it, wasn’t exactly logical, but then again neither was a tall, faceless freak, that could teleport from place to place, and grow appendages logical.

I kept my eyes forward at all times, never once checking to look behind me. I knew of too many stories about this guy to know, looking at him wasn’t a good idea (nor was running).

“Just keep walking. Just. Keep. Walking.” That’s all I could say. That’s all I could do.

The buzzing, the fog, the rain, the chilling air, only grew worse.

At least… now I know… what’s causing… all of this. My thoughts we’re beginning to become disjointed, and disjointed, and disjointed, and disjointed. Until there was nothing left but the fear, the buzzing, and two words:

Keep.

Walking.

Keep.

Walking.

Keep.

Something cold, foreboding, touched my shoulder.

I already knew what it was.

I ran.

All thoughts of Kayla, The Sender, my family, everything was gone now. Only the primeval instinct to flee and escape remained.

So I ran as fast as I could.

Through the rain, the fog, the cold, the fear.

I couldn’t see anything in front of me, besides the void color of the fog. I could only hope I didn’t run into anything. But if there was one thing I should have known by now, it was that hope had abandoned me long ago.

I saw him, but it was too late.

I crashed right into his chilling embrace before I could stop. I could only see the unending darkness of his clothing, feel the icy, leathery touch of his grasp, and sense the one emotion he seemed to wreak in all of us: The fear.

I struggled with all my strength, and willpower to escape his grasp, but his hands, his appendages (or tentacles. Or whatever the heck you wanna call them) drained all of it out of me.

Till I finally looked up to see what every victim always remembered: that blank, pale, face.

The buzz drowned everything within, blinding me with a brilliant white light that burned into my retinas.

***

I fell screaming as my face made contact with the ground.

“Ow,” I groaned. That was painful.

Dazed, forced my aching body to sit up. When I did, I froze, realizing something.

I’m alive?

I looked over myself to be sure. I was all there.

“I’m alive? I’m alive. I’M ALIVE!!!” I jumped up with glee. “YES!!!”

I laughed. I just finished Log Seven? Man, YES!!!

“Thank you, God!” I shouted. “Now all I have to do is get on my computer and-wait.” I went quiet.

I looked around for the first time.

I was in the woods.

Alone.

 “CCCCCCCCCCCCCRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, towards the sky.

Why the heck was I back in the woods? Why wasn’t I at home? Log Seven was over!!! What the heck, man!!!??

I told myself to calm down and get my bearings.

Okay. Okay. So maybe it’s not over. But I’m still here, so that’s good right? Just breathe. Just breathe. 

I leveled out my breathing.

Now, look around, and solve this.

I studied my surroundings. I was still in the woods, but it was different now. It was no longer foggy, the sky was clear minus a few small clouds here and there, and the sun was just beginning to sink in the horizon.

Well, it wasn’t rainy or stormy so that was a plus, at least. But that still didn’t make any sense. The Slenderman had just caught me, right? So assuming Log Seven wasn’t over, why was I still there?

I took another long look around to make sure I didn’t miss anything. My gaze finally stopped and rested on a small path just a few feet from where I stood.

“Huh,” I grunted. That was convenient. I looked down the path in both directions, trying to see where each one led. On the south end of it (I knew which direction it was, thanks to the sunset) there appeared to be something large and white, but as to what it was, I couldn’t tell, while the other end of the path seemed to travel deeper into the heart of the woods (assuming I wasn’t already in the heart of it).

So north or south?

I didn’t want to stay in the woods any longer than I had to, so I set off down the south path with the hope that the white thing in the distance was either a sign or something that hinted of civilization (I would’ve been happy to see a trashcan at this point).

As I traveled, I replayed the scene of Kayla just before she disappeared.

She’d thought it was 2009. That was five years ago, why would she think that? Did she start this log back in 2009, and if so, why would I be here then?

But as with the other thousands of questions I had about all of this, I didn’t have an answer.

After another fifteen minutes of walking (and no surprises, thankfully) I discovered what laid at the end of the path.

“A house?” I said in surprise. The house was modern, two storied, well kept, and looked nice. The white I’d seen from the path earlier had been its white vinyl covering.

“Why is there a house in the middle of the woods?” I couldn’t help but ask aloud.

I didn’t expect to get an answer, so I shrugged it off and added it to my list ‘Of things that don’t make sense’. Besides, it didn’t matter why it was there, what matter was that it was there. I walked around to the front of it to see a parked white truck and a dirt road. I blinked. Who the hell lived alone this deep in the woods? A hillbilly?

My eyes went back to the truck. Salvation? Maybe.

I walked over, grabbed the handle and pulled.

Locked.

Dang it. I frowned then looked back at the house.

If anything, the keys to the truck had to be in there, I was sure of it.

Having no better ideas, I transcended the steps of the front porch (20 dollars says this is Ticci Toby’s summer home).

I extended my hand, but hesitated as I debated on whether it was better to knock.

Ah, what the heck? I knocked. If someone bad lives here, so be it. At least, the occupant will know I died with manners.

I waited for an answer half-hoping someone like Connie from the last log would open the door. But it remained closed.

I knocked a few more times to make sure.

No one answered.

Alrighty then. I tested the door handle, it was unlocked. Here goes nothing.

I stepped inside.

The front door connected to the house’s living room. It was nice, spacey, and had the usual assortments, like any average living room: a TV, a couch, a few pictures hanging on the walls, that sort of thing. Near the left of the entrance was a stairwell that went to the second floor.

I made a mental note to go up there if I didn’t find the keys down there first.

I began scouring the first floor for the car keys: the kitchen, an unused bedroom, and a few other rooms down there. No keys. I ended up returning to the living room to give it another good look over before I’d decide to venture up the stairs. I didn’t want stay there any longer than I had too, and the house seemed empty so far (I sure as heck didn’t want to be there if the owner of the house showed).

I was sweeping through a few bookshelves near the TV when I caught sight of a family photo. I froze when I recognized who was in it.

“No way,” I gasped, before snatching the photo to have a better look. In it was a girl and, I assumed, her mother.

I knew the girl.

Shoulder length dark brown hair, brown eyes, easy complexion. Crap, Kayla?

I shook my head, not believing what I was seeing. This is Kayla. Which means this is…

I looked around the room as realization sank in. This is her house.

Not knowing what to do with this new information, I placed the photo back and headed to the stairs. I could piece things together later, I needed to get out of there first.

I ended up making my way to the foot of the stairs, only to stop and stare at it.

I could just see the beginnings of a hallway up top. The lights were off, and (to be honest) it looked creepy. I didn’t want to go up, but I didn’t really have much of a choice.

So with a nervous sigh, I put one step forward then the other, and made my way up.

Each step I took creaked and the lighting from the downstairs windows diminished.

When I reached the final step, I was in absolute darkness. I couldn’t see anything besides the light from the way I came and a small sliver shining through the cracks of a door at the end of the hallway.

 That’s the one, I thought, the moment my eyes laid upon it.

I approached the door, ignoring all other doors I passed.

Call it having watched too many horror movies, read too many horror books, but I knew that was the one the keys were in. That was Kayla’s room.

I hesitated when I placed my hand on the doorknob. I didn’t know what I’d find in there. For all I knew, Slenderman or even The Sender himself could be waiting. But what choice did I have?

With a deep breath, I turned the knob and pushed.

No one was inside, thank God, but it still left me surprised.

The room was small. A bed rested on the wall to my right, a wooden shelf at its rear beneath a window, and to my left was a computer desk. The floor was littered with dirty clothes and a few crumbled up papers.

I snickered. Heh, and here I thought girls weren’t messy.

I shut the door behind me and, on a hunch, decided to search the computer desk first. I moved several papers, books, and a wide assortment of crap out of the way but found everything except the keys.

“Hmm,” I murmured putting down a booklet I just looked underneath. “Where could she have put it? Wait,” my eyes caught sight of the computer screen. A textbox was opened with a message.

“I hope you enjoy this next one,” it read. “He is relatively new to this site, but I have a good feeling about him. I think he will serve as an excellent visitor for you.”

The Sender. I’d recognize his polite, yet sadistic manner of speaking anywhere now. I sat down at the desk.

“Uh, yeah he is scary,” I said. “but he isn’t new, Sender. Where’ve you been?”
I waited for the box to empty, expecting it to fill up with insults or the usual garbage The Sender spat. But to my surprise, nothing happened. The words remained.

“Hello? You there? Sender?”

The text did not change. “Hmm,” I clicked out of the box and noticed several different programs running on the taskbar. The first being the internet browser.

Curious, I opened it up. Several pages of Creepypasta were open: The Rake, BEN Drowned, and a few other stories. So Kayla was reading the classics of the site, interesting. I wondered what the last one she’d read was. I clicked the history tab of the browser and at the top lay none other than the link to the Creepypasta page for Slenderman.

Ahh, figures. This was the last thing she read, this was Kayla’s last visitor.

I clicked the next program that was open–Microsoft Word 2007.

Oh goody, I get to read one of her logs. I opened her latest one.

“Log Three, April 24th,” I read aloud.

Wait, April 24th? That can’t be right. I looked at the screen’s corner to check the date. It was correct, but her Logs weren’t. Weird.

I looked through her files and checked last date it was opened: April 24th, 2009.

“Huh?” Five years ago? That’s when this was last used? That doesn’t make any sense.

I clicked the other files and checked their dates. They all ranged from the year 2009 and back. This couldn’t be right.

Or could it?

I reopened the textbox. Slowly, the dots began to connect.

The Sender had written this for Kayla, “I hope you enjoy this next one.” Her next log was Slenderman. “He is relatively new to this site.” The site was Creepypasta. Slenderman had been originally written in 2009.

Oh, oooohhhhh.

I stood up, as realization dawned on me.

I recalled something The Sender had once said to me about the other people he done this to in the past, “The furthest I have seen one go was to her Fourth Log.” Kayla was on her fourth log.

Could not handle what she had already read,” The last story she read was Slenderman.

She was to say in the least an utter disappointment.” Kayla couldn’t seem to remember how long she’d been in the woods when I’d first met her. She couldn’t recall how she’d gotten there either.

“Kayla was the last one he tried this on,” I whispered. “She didn’t make it.” As I said those words, I knew they were true. I knew why I’d been taken there, I knew why Slenderman had been my last log.

There wasn’t a single story where someone was able to escape from him, ever. The Sender brought me there to show that. He wanted to see if I could make it, or at least make it to the end with my sanity still intact. Furthermore, he wanted me to see what had happened to Kayla.

The loud slamming of a door brought me back to the present. My head snapped towards the door leading to the hallway. It’d come from downstairs.

My breathing slowed when the sound of someone climbing the steps reached my ears. I stepped towards the door and flicked the light switch off, before peering through the door’s cracks. The hallway was dark, the sun that had illuminated the downstairs had set, leaving nothing but darkness.

I can’t see anything. Damn it! The light I’d turned off blazed back to life.

“What the-?” I looked up to see it start flickering on and off. On and back off. On again. Off. On.

“What’s going on with this-” I started just as the bulb exploded, peppering me with glass shards.

“Ack!” I raised my arms to cover my face. Uncool!

The computer beside me winked off before turning back on again, showing a large photo–the same photo I’d just seen downstairs of Kayla and her mother. This time there was something different about it. A large red X covered Kayla’s face. 

What is this? What’s going on?

A small, girlish, giggle came from the end of the hall.

My body stiffened at the sound. What was that?

I turned and opened the door, just wide enough to see the entire hall.

One by one, lights blazed to life behind each door lining the hallway, casting small patches of light; giving the hall an eerie glow.  

At the hallway’s end, I stiffened at the sight.

Log 7 (Part D)

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