It was a narrow escape.
Class ran late. It was dark when I got out. I hadn't planned for that. Foolish, very foolish. Now is not the time to make rookie mistakes. It is a big city, no trees for miles. People move on the streets as blood struggling through a clogged artery. Such a setting seemed…safer…to traverse.
I felt it important to be around others instead of sequestering myself in my dorm and planning my eventual departure. I've been reading the blogs of others stalked by the creature, and believe it might be possible to outrun him. It's not possible to run forever, but I recognize those around me will be in danger were I to stay. I don’t know if I somehow involved Delia from next door or if she was already being watched. It’s still a possibility that I read too much into her demeanor, but I will not allow myself that petty hope.
There was another reason for leaving the dorm. On the way to class, I stopped off at the local art supply store, and a place called ABC Ice House. I purchased a bottle of turpentine, some dry ice, a pair of pliers, and some bottled water from a vending machine. I had an idea for a possible defense maneuver, see. As I was paying for my things the oddest sensation overcame me, like pins and needles followed by a wave of chill. He was at the big glass shop window. No one else seemed to notice him, but a few seemed uneasy. The credit card reader malfunctioned, probably his doing, and I had to wait for a tekkie to come and fix it. While I waited, there was an almost irresistible urge to look back out at him. I resisted; ‘The Abyss gazes back’ and all that. I ended up paying in cash, not wanting to stall any longer. When I looked up next, he was gone.
I made it safely to school. A word about my school; it has no formal campus and is comprised of bought buildings and homes around the city. The class I had today was in the basement of an old office building. The basement itself is well-furnished, but the sub-basement below it is full of pipes and rust and tetanus. There wasn't room in one elevator for all of my classmates, so I got on the next elevator heading upwards alone. The lights flickered, and the elevator began to descend. Aghast, I pressed the button for my floor again and again. As expected, the elevator stayed its course. I didn't quite dare press the Stop button and strand myself between floors.
The doors opened on the sub-basement. I pressed the close-door button a few times, but to no avail. Before me was a corridor perpendicular to the way I was facing. The walls were stained with water, and a scant few fluorescents intermittently lit the way. There was a familiar figure down the hall to my right.
He was walking towards me.
The lights were going out the closer he got.
Old trick, Slendy, but effective; my heart was instantly in my throat. I pressed for the elevator once more, then gathered my courage. There was a staircase ten feet to my right. He was about 25 feet away and moving slowly. I began to walk. Three feet; As lights shut off, I tried to fight the image of a wave of Dark. Five feet; all I can make out is his head and hands, the rest camouflage. Ten feet; he is five feet away and the doorknob slips in my hands. I make it inside. I lost my nerve and ran. He was behind me of course, what is a door to one who can bend space. A flight of steps, and I can feel him closing the gap. I am cold. Fear will do no good here and I channel it into adrenaline. I reached the door to the basement. No time to try for the lobby. For a horrible moment, the knob doesn’t turn. I imagine his hands inches from my neck. The knob turns.
He is outside the door. Of course.
It is a long moment. Below, I hear a man whistling as he walks down the corridor I’ve just fled. It is the loneliest sound I have ever heard. Slender Man bends over at the waist, head turned to the side at a near 90-degree angle. Regarding me? My fear was a low hum, like a telephone wire. I don’t know why I decided to try what I did next. Blame it on being cornered. I backed towards the concrete lip of the stairwell, and jumped over the edge. My right foot song when I landed on it. It may be fractured. As soon as I landed, I got my water bottle and the dry ice and shut the door. Most of the ice did not make it into the water and I almost lost the cap. It was a small bottle, so the dry ice bomb readied quickly. I hadn’t figured on it working; it was a last-ditch survival effort. My only explanation for its mild success is that I caught him in between dimensions as he teleported. It exploded as he appeared at the door, and he fell back into the stair room. I observed his “skin” blacken slightly as he did. I ran for the elevator.
The man who had been whistling held the door for me. I collapsed onto the back wall, my poor foot throbbing. The man—I assume he was maintenance—regarded me skeptically.
“What’s that noise about?” he inquired.
“I think a pipe burst,” was the best I could come up with.