It was just going to be a simple prank. Something just to get the a******s to leave us alone! But he… he murdered them in cold blood! Without hesitation! My best friend, the person I told everything to, and we held no secrets from one another… The only person that never made fun of me for my size and never asked me to change. It was us against the world, he had my back, and I had his… I even had a crush on him…
My name’s Serena, and my best friend name’s Oliver. I’m the fat girl, and Oliver’s the emo guy, so we both stick out like sore thumbs. We became friends when my mom, my aunt, and I went into his parents’ a store. Oliver was putting up new masks that his dad made. Yeah, never tell your mom or aunt you think the new guy that just moved into your town is cute. They’ll make a big deal out of it, but anyways.
My aunt fell in love with the place, and she was in heaven when she learned it was an all year round Halloween store. Soon after, she got a job there. My aunt started having Oliver’s family come over for cookouts and other fun functions. They became great family friends.
Oliver was following in his dad’s footsteps of making masks. He loved drawing out designs for a new mask he was going to work on. His masks were like his children. They even had names, had stories of why they were created, and why they look the way they looked. There was one he was really fond of, the first mask he ever created when he was back in elementary school.
There was nothing spectacular or anything remarkable about it. The mask was all white and had a stitch going across the bottom of the face. The left eye was black with a green scar going through it, the right eye with just a black spiraling circle.
“His name is Freak Show. The same name the kids gave me,” Oliver explains as he closed his sketchbook. We sat under the old abandoned bridge, a place we called our Hideaway. “He’s badass. Screw everyone. They don’t know that there were some pretty cool people in freak shows!” I cheered, picking up my can of tea. Oliver looked at me with a smirk. “You know, that’s going to be my new nickname for now on. Freak Show.” He picked up his can of Monster. “And I’ll be Fat Panda.” I laughed. Oliver gave me a dirty look.
“No,” he said sharply and coldly.
“Come on! Pandas are freaking cute!” I snapped. Oliver rolled his eyes and leaned back on the stone wall. “I’ll call you Panda, just not the fat part. The a******s at that hell hole do it enough already. You don’t need to do it to yourself.” As he took a sip of his drink, I sighed and stared at the small river that ran under the bridge. “I been thinking, we should get back at them,” Oliver said. I looked back at him. He was grinning, “a prank. Since Halloween’s next month, I think it’s time we get a little payback!”
A little payback…
All of September, we planned and planned. Everything was a go. We got Halloween props from his family store. His dad and mom didn’t know that we took them. They were the ones his dad was going to throw away anyway because they were broken or ruin. It wasn’t hard to come up with a plan of how we were going to get the a******s to the bridge. Every Halloween, one of them has a small party outside the little abandon church. It’s their stupid tradition or something. Oliver was going to egg them, piss them off. Hoping they’ll chase him, and he’ll lead them to the bridge where we’ll scare the s**t out of them!
Now it was time to dress up under the bridge! We did find some pretty cool broken props, like a dead girl that was broken in half. I told Oliver we could have it look like she’s crawling out of the water. After school, we would go under the bridge and set things up.
As the days went on, the butterflies in my stomach were getting more restless, but I noticed Oliver was acting strangely. He started to look more tired. When in class, he would be staring outside at the tree line. When asked what he was looking at, he would shrug and say it’s nothing. It was usual for him to be drawing at random times, but instead of a mask, it’s been a man without a face.
“What’s its name?” I asked. Oliver dropped down from the rafters after hanging up cobwebs. It was the day of Halloween, and we were getting the last few spooky touches done. “What?” he asked, not looking at me, picking up a zombie doll that was ripping at the neck. I started to feel like we were being watched. Looking around, however, there was no one. The feeling didn’t go away, unsettlingly. “The person you’ve been drawing in your sketchbook. You have names for all your masks, so what’s its name?”
Oliver looked at me. “His name is SlenderMan. He’s not a mask… Just someone that has been in my dreams lately.” He didn’t say anything for a while then spoke. “Hey, you’re not going to be happy about this suggestion. But you should stay home tonight.”
I blink at him. “Why?” I asked, putting the doll down. He rubbed his hair, mixing the green highlights with his black hair. I remember how much it was a pain in the a*s to dye it. Still cool how it turned out, so it was worth it. “I don’t want you to get hurt, and if they don’t get scared, they’ll probably get pissed and kick our asses. I would rather them kick mine than yours,” he said.
With a sigh, I admired the work we got done, but it was kind of a stupid plan in the first place, and it wasn’t like they would leave us alone. They’ll probably make our lives more of a living hell after this. “If… That’s what you want… But be careful, please,” I finally answered. Oliver smiled, putting a hand on my shoulder. I laughed a little.
“And. You’re a faster runner than me anyways! My fat a*s doesn’t run!” I joked. Oliver pushed me. “Serena!” he snapped, I kept laughing. “Not taking back what is true!” He sighed and glared at me, “you’re such an a*****e to yourself. You know that!”
“Hey, it ruins the fun for the people that laugh at me.” I shrug, sitting down. Oliver sat beside me. “After tonight, we won’t have to worry about those people anymore.” He yawns while observing the prop that was coming out of the water. I looked at him then asked what he meant by that, but he just smirked. “Don’t worry about it. Just stay home tonight, okay?”
Tossing and turning in my bed, I rolled over, picking my cellphone up ‘9:19 PM’ still no text from Oliver. “Please be okay. Please!” I whispered. I closed my eyes and fell asleep only to be shaken awake. “Honey, I’m sorry to wake you, but Oliver’s mom called me. He hasn’t come home yet, and she’s worried. Do you know where he is?” my mom asked as she sits on the side of the bed. Being both groggy and drowsy I sat up a little.
“What time is it?” I sleepily asked. “It’s close to three. So, would you know where he is?” my mom responded. Oh god… I shake my head. Mom sighed and stood up. “I’ll let Tanya know… Go back to sleep.” Once she was gone, I got out of bed and got dressed. Climbing out of my window then I jogged down the road towards the bridge.
When I got there, it was eerie and ominously quiet. The air was heavy and had the disgusting smell of iron. Taking the stones steps that lead down to the river and under the bridge, someone was already there. Their back was to me, but even in the dark, I knew who it was. I couldn’t help but smile! I was relieved to know he was alright. “Dude! Your mom is freaking out! Are you…” I started to walk slower before stopping. There were a few new props that I don’t remember setting up.
My heart dropped into my stomach as Oliver turned to face me. He was wearing black jeans with a ripped up black hoodie with a few red patches sewn on it. The hood pulled over his head. Taking a step back, he took a step towards me out from under the bridge and into the moonlight to reveal he was wearing his Freak Show mask… He held an ax in his left hand. Both the mask and ax were covered in blood.
When I looked at the ground, large pools of dark liquid stained the ground. A girl’s body was half on the ground, and the other half was in the river, it wasn’t the prop… Her dead eyes stared at me with blood coming out of her mouth. A hand was sticking out from under the bridge that was covered in blood with two missing fingers.
“Oliver…” I whimpered, looking back at him as he held the ax up and put it to the side of my throat. My eyes started to water as his hand began to shake. “I told you NOT to come!” he yelled, “why did you come!?” As the luke-warm blood ran down my skin, a tear escaped my left eye. “You’re my friend! I thought you were hurt. That’s why I came!” I yelled back.
He took a step back, then slowly lowered the ax. “Go home, Serena. Go to bed. And this will be just a nightmare.” Before I could even say a word, he took the mask off and stared at me with sadness in his eyes, “you’ll never see me again. So, just go home.”
I walked up the steps Oliver followed behind, hitting the ax on every step. I felt sick and dizzy from the sound. Whenever I would try to peek back, he would block the view. Once we were at the top, we stopped at the end of the bridge. He couldn’t look at me, and I couldn’t look at him. We both looked up when something large fell into the river.
At the other end of the bridge, someone tall stood watching us. The person had no facial features and wore a business suit with a red tie. With both arms behind their back, they nodded at us. Oliver looked back at me.
“I… need to go. I’m sorry. I didn’t want you to see, you know,” he points downwards. I bit my bottom lip, trying not to cry. “Serena?” I slowly looked up at him when I did his lips were on mine. When he pulled away, he smirked. “Hope you don’t see me around.” He pulled his mask down, laughing evilly.
He was no longer my friend Oliver. He was now Freak Show…
He put his right hand in his hoodie pocket and put the ax over his shoulder. Freak Show started to walk down the bridge towards that thing, which slightly cocked their head to the side at me. I swallowed and walked the other way, still feeling its eyeless gaze on me.
When I got back home, I got a shower to get the blood off my neck… When my head hit the pillow, I was out. Hoping what just happened was a nightmare.
The following day Oliver was labeled as missing until they found the dead kids then he wanted for murder. The police talked to me a few times, but I couldn’t rat him out… Not like they were going to believe me. I still can’t believe it myself.
The pictures of us making dumb faces, the stories of us doing stupid things. Just us being weird together. No one saw him becoming a serial killer…!
It was that thing! It corrupted his mind and changed him!
After high school and the murders, I lost weight and got out that town and straight into a college out of state. Also, in college, a friend got me into MMA classes.
‘Hope you don’t see me around.’ Well, Oliver, I will see you again. I’ll make sure of it! You protected me so many times, so it’s my turn to do the same! I’ll save you from that thing even if it kills me! But I’m not going down without a fight!