Place: Deep in the ’Glades
Time: Roughly contemporary with Chapters 6 and 7
While out hunting one day, Jim hears a pair of fan-boats patrolling the ’Glades near the entrance to his Hollow. Jim watches from a distance for a long time, and determines that the men are members of the Miccosukee tribe. Jim is on polite if not friendly terms with both the Seminoles and the Miccosukees, who respect him for his hunting and survival abilities, even if he is “a crazy ghost-face sumbitch”.
It turns out they’re a delegation from the Miccosukee tribe, and they’re looking to Jim for help. A gang of masked hoodlums, likely bored teens from the Seminole reservation, have been vandalizing the Miccosukee Resort and Casino with strange markings. They’ve never been caught, and the Miccosukees don’t want to use their own security to capture the kids: relations between the two tribes are already strained. If they capture the kids by force, it will push things past the boiling point. They want Jim, a neutral third party who is respected by both tribes, to step in and expose the kids in the act, forcing their elders to take responsibility for their kids’ actions. Feeling generous that day, Jim agrees to help them.
Jim waits outside the parking-lot of the Resort and Casino until well after dark, when he hears the unmistakable sound of a dugout canoe scraping against the shallows. A group of four teenage boys, all wearing distinctive white masks, climb out of the canoe, and make their way to the casino, bags clanking with the sound of spray-paint cans. They paint strange sigils on the walls of the casino, making sure to stay away from or disable the cameras, and then head back to their boat. Jim follows them at a healthy distance.
Up ahead, Jim hears frantic, whispered arguing. The kids can’t find their dugout canoe in the dark, and won’t risk turning on their flashlights to look for it. Jim notices that their canoe hasn’t gone very far; it’s in a tree, thirty feet above their heads. Figuring that they’re already more than a little spooked, Jim chooses this moment to step out of the brush and rumbles “Going somewhere, boys?”
The boys turn their eyes upwards to Jim’s face in fright, but their eyes keep moving upwards and upwards, well past even Jim’s seven feet of height. Jim spins around, and is confronted with the sight of the Slender Man towering above him in the darkness, his many tentacled limbs already writhing towards him. Screaming for the boys to get behind him, Jim draws his cold iron knife and charges the monster.
After a brief-but-fierce battle, the Slender Man succumbs to Jim’s knife and withdraws, leaving the ogre alone in the night with four shell-shocked teenagers and a tree-bound dugout canoe. Jim tells them to follow him back to the casino, and they comply without protest.