I'll see you, Hope.

- Slender Man

Hope was officially terrified. She walked backwards to her window and shut the blinds. She didn't want to chance seeing it again. Maybe it couldn't see in the dark? She'd only seen it in the daytime. What did the crossed-out 'o's mean? It didn't like the letter 'o'? She calmly walked downstairs and got on the computer. It was working, now. She opened a search and tried anything she could think of. 'slender man imaginary' 'tall slender man no face' 'slender man tentacles'. Reading feverishly, Hope found out that it lived in forests and mainly went after young children and those who knew too much about it. Did she know too much about it? It seemed so. It was targeting her, if the coded note had anything to say about it. She did not consciously capitalize that. She could've sworn she wrote in proper grammar, if not all lowercase. She cleared her throat of a tickle, but was soon caught in a coughing fit with her mom looking on nervously. When it subsided, she drank some water and went up to her room. The blinds were still shut. She half expected them to be open, and Slender Man to be peering in her window. She shivered.

"Hope!" She shrieked and spun around, but it was just her mom calling her to dinner.

"I'm not hungry, I had a snack just a little while ago."

"You really should know better by now."

"Yeah, but I slept through lunch." She heard her mom sigh in exasperation. She sat on her bed. She was too nauseous to eat. She stumbled to the upstairs bathroom and splashed her face with cold water. "It's just make-believe." She whispered to the dripping face in the mirror. "It's not real, it's impossible." She dried her face with a soft towel and went back to her room to fall on her bed. She plugged into her iPod and tried to forget. She was imagining Billie Joe Armstrong onstage. He was jumping off the amps in his black converse, his signature red tie flapping freely, screaming into the mic, his jet black hair falling in his guy-lined eyes. A soft tapping interrupted her dream. Was something wrong with her iPod? She looked at it, checked all the settings. She powered it down to restart, just in case. What was that tapping? Her iPod was off. "Sarah?" She asked. "Sarah, is that you?" She opened her door. Her little sister was nowhere to be found, and still that tapping! Her eyes widened and she spun around. Was something moving outside her window? "It isn't real, it isn't real, it isn't real, it isn't real, it isn't real…" She threw a spare blanket over the bar to hang drapes from. "It isn't real, it isn't real, it isn't real, it isn't real…" She dashed downstairs. She'd only seen the thing while she was alone. Maybe if she was around other people… Granted, she'd thought the same way about seeing it during the daytime. She couldn't think about this. She had to think of something different. According to the internet, it only existed if you thought of it. She popped a bag of popcorn and sat down calmly on the couch. In her head, her brain was feverishly trying to calm itself down, repeating 'it isn't real' like a mantra at around 100 RPM.