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Day One

I guess every story has to have a beginning, I just don't know exactly how to start mine. I guess it's because I'm still kind of in denial, or maybe the right word would be disbelief. Either way, it doesn't matter anymore. I have to get the story out and I have to figure out what happened in that house. I barely remember anything anymore, and what I do remember doesn't seem real. I guess I should start from where things got weird.

I grew up in a small town on Long Island in New York. I didn't have a lot of friends, and I was alone a lot of the time. So, what else is there for a kid to do than to explore, right? I was around eight years old at the time, and it had to be around mid-September. Up the road from my house was the railroad tracks, and with the tracks was the woods. I don't really know how far exactly these woods extended, but I know that they went far enough to hit the next town's train station, and to my old middle school as well, which is a pretty huge distance. Anyway, I decided it'd be fun to go explore the woods, even though I knew my mother would be worried.

I was playing around when I first encountered Matthew. Tall, dark, thick, strong, fast. These are the first memories of the thing that still horrifies me today. Even thinking about it now is making me uncomfortable, my eyes shifting back and forth in my room. I don't know why it has this power over me, but it does. I wish I could tell you what he was, it was, I don't know. It looked like a shadow, one of the things you see in horror movies or nightmares. And honestly, after experiencing what I have, I think nightmares are real. For a while, he stood there. Being a child, my curiosity quickly turned into pure fear. Here I was, a young girl staring into what I assumed was the face that belonged to the thing that would kill me. I guess I was half right. It killed the innocence that I once held.

Just like that, it charged. It sprinted through the trees so quickly I for a second thought that it was actually sprinting through the trees. Looking back, I think it was. I know it was. It had to be in order to catch up with me that quickly. Frozen in fear, I didn't know what to do, but finally snapped out of my daze and ran as fast as I could towards the road. I kept hearing the mysterious shadow behind me, racing to catch me, flying through the woods as if nothing was in its way, as if it were unstoppable. When I reached the road and was in the sight of cars passing by and no longer in the woods, I looked back reluctantly. Gone. Where. How. Was that real? What the hell just happened? Where did it go? What was that? These were the questions I wondered that day.

For a long time I forgot about Matthew. I guess when something traumatic happens to you, you tend to file it in a place in your brain that you put things that are too stressful to deal with. I wish I could put all of this back in that little spot in my mind. I wish I could do that and burn that damn spot. Things would be okay if I could.

I was around twelve when I encountered him again. My friend and I decided to go back to the woods and build a fort. Forgetting all about Matthew from years prior, we went. We couldn't have been there more than an hour when we heard some rustling. Then it happened. I don't know if I can finish this, I don't know if I'm ready to put everything down in a journal. I have to. Crunch....crunch...crunch...crunch. Crunch. CRUNCH.

Leaves and sticks and branches and dirt and feet. He came sprinting. Heading straight for us. All I could do was run with my friend as fast as we could. That scream. That fucking shriek will never leave my memory. The burning sensation as I felt its claw, hand, whatever the hell it was dig into my side and take me down. The blackness I saw and couldn't escape as I was on the ground. Screams. Who were they coming from, that thing? No. I heard the screams coming from my friend as she tried to get away. Crash.

That was the last thing I remember of that day. The cops told everyone that what we saw wasn't there, and that I caused her death. They told everyone that we were just being kids playing a joke on each other, and by telling her a scary ghost story and scaring her, it caused her to run into the car that killed her. And for a long time I thought that maybe they were right and maybe I was crazy and maybe I really did kill my best friend. I know now that that's a complete god damn lie.

This brings us to why I'm really writing this. I want to prove that I didn't kill her, that I didn't fake a stupid kid's story and kill my best friend. I am not a killer.

May 21st, 2014

I want to apologize to all of you for my lack of posting. A lot has been happening in my life and I had to handle it all. I'm a college student who dorms, so it was the time of year to move out of my room. I started packing the night before my mom would be there, since she has a bad back. When we started loading the stuff, I noticed some photos at the bottom of my underwear drawer. Normally people would find this not to be a big deal, but I never put anything in my drawers that don't belong - I'm crazy with OCD. I waited until my mom left the room, not knowing what pictures these even could be.

When I looked down, I nearly dropped them. They were old photos of my best friend and I together at random places of our childhood. Some of us at the park up the road, some of us in the shopping center, others of us in a town we used to hang out in. The only thing standing out in the back of the photo was him. The thing that killed her was there right in the background of every single photo that was in my hand. Hidden, in my drawer, never seen before. How would I have gotten these? When did I ever have them? Who took these? Who took these? That is what I couldn't figure out. No one we had ever known together owned a camera that took those vintage style Kodak photos that printed right out of the camera. And it would have to be someone we knew well if they were with us at every location we frequented. How could I logically explain this to myself is what I wanted to figure out. I didn't want to imagine what we're all thinking. It followed us everywhere.

I stuffed the photos in my bag so that my mom wouldn't question them or see them. I didn't want to startle her or have her find out what happened back then, I haven't really told anyone. I wish I could say the strange events have stopped, but the night my mom left it was my last night in my dorm until I completely moved out. Normally I do something stupid like every other twenty-year-old like watching scary movies alone or reading some good Creepypastas, but that night I was just reading a book. My room was vaguely empty, only a blanket, pillow, and laptop. It must have been around one in the morning, and I decided to sleep since I had to catch an early train the next morning. I must've fallen asleep with my lights on as I normally do, and woke up around three in the morning. At first, I was a little out of it, but then I noticed something. My lights were off; even my desk light had turned off. It was raining, so I assumed a power outage. I looked down to grab my phone to check the time, and instead found something disturbing. One missed call showed on my phone from a number that I knew very well; the number was my own. I thought maybe it was a glitch in my phone, and decided to play the voicemail left at 3am on the dot. Silence for the longest time. I went to press delete, then I heard the slightest quietest voice whispering, almost sounding like a chant. It seemed to slowly get louder and louder so I just stopped it, creeped out. Then I noticed my phone was still charging. Confused, I looked at my laptop and noticed it was still charging too. I thought maybe the power outage was over, even though my campus survived Hurricane Sandy and never had a power outage. The lights wouldn't go on. The lights in my entire apartment wouldn't go on. But things were charring, microwave working. I decided to ignore it and go back to sleep now that I was scared shitless. I fell asleep for around ten minutes and when I woke up, I felt as if something had woken me, but no one was there. I then heard a loud growl coming from my window and the lights immediately all went on by themselves one by one. I had to force myself to sleep after that. Now thinking back to it, I always felt uncomfortable in that apartment. I always felt as if something was watching me as I turned a corner or went to leave. It was a heavy feeling on my body and mind whenever I came home. Was it him? Who called me? I need to find out the answers but I don't know how. I don't think anyone knows how, really. I need to figure it out.

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