Almost at once, I could feel a huge wave of cold fright wash over me and chill me to the bone. My torch quivered in my hand for a few seconds before everything turned normal again. I looked around me, shining the torch all about as I walked along. The treetops appeared far away, and while everything seemed malevolent in the thick dark of night, I had seen it also in the bright light of day and it had looked beautiful and harmless; I couldn’t understand why this place wasn’t some sort of outdoor adventure complex. I would certainly come here, whether I had a wife and kids or not.
As I kept walking a fog slowly began curling around my feet and legs, as if it was trying to trip me over. I shone my torch around at a pair of abandoned vehicles with missing tyres and shattered windows and that chill shook my spine again. Something was wrong in here. I wanted to get out, to run home again but I dismissed the feeling. I wouldn’t let myself be fazed by stupid thoughts like that. I walked around the vehicles slowly. There was rust almost completely coating their bodywork and practically none of the original paintjob remained.
As I walked around them something crunched lightly under my foot. I looked down to see a creased piece of paper on the ground, dusted with soil. I reached down and picked it up, holding the torch at the writing scrawled on the page: DON’T LOOK, OR IT TAKES YOU. Moments later, my torch started to flicker, then suddenly went out completely. I swore under my breath and started hitting the torch in an attempt to get it working again, a fierce chill creeping up my spine once more and curling around my ribs. When I did get the torch working again, I was staring into a frightening sight.
In front of me was a tall figure of a man in a black business suit, too tall and pale-skinned to be human. I looked up into its face...at least, into the space where his face was meant to be. There was nothing there, just a blank white canvas. I screamed and turned to run but the figure was on me in a second, pinning me in place. My ears screamed with white noise and television static filled my vision...and then I was gone. The slender man had taken me.