Oh hello! You look like quite a tired traveler. Do you need a place to stay? Oh, come in, come in. The name's Khan, by the way. I'll take your things, you go sit and warm yourself by the fire, you must be completely exhausted. Ah, I'll sit down too, I guess. Do you want to hear a story? Sit back and relax while I tell you a tale.****
Once when I was just a little boy, I wandered off into the thick woods while my father was cutting up wood. I wandered around aimlessly, watching squirrels digging for nuts and birds building nests. I ate the bun my father had given me. After a while, I realized nothing looked familiar anymore. Panicking, I rushed around, trying to find my father. I broke into a run, sprinting to where I thought I started from.
Suddenly, I noticed I was in, well, a strange part of the woods. I couldn't hear the wind rustling through the birch trees, and I couldn't hear birds twittering and squirrels scuffling. Everything was still and eerily silent. My spine felt like icy fingers were traveling down it. I sat down in deep despair. The sun was sinking down low in the sky, so it was getting darker. Then I felt a freezing breeze, turning my bones to ice. This was extremely unusual, considering the fact it was early summer.
I curled up in a ball and looked around, feeling a tadpole of fear swimming around in my stomach. I heard stories from the older village boys of creatures that live deep in the woods that are pure evil, and that they gather in the woods at summer time to hunt for food.
I see your eyes widening. You've heard of them before, have you not? Well what I saw that day was a whole different creature and all the more horrifying.
Sitting on a slightly damp log, I distinctly felt someone watching me. I stumbled up and peered around, looking in all directions with my heart pounding in my ears. In the corner of my eye, I saw a shadow lingering, hanging close by a tree. I froze, unable to move. I was telling myself to move, to run, but my brain couldn't carry out the order.
The shadow began to shuffle towards me as if it were crippled. My heart was thumping at at least 40 miles per hour and I remember thinking I was going to pass out from fear. I heard ragged breathing coming from the... the... thing as it limped closer, and then it stepped in a shaft of light. My heart nearly stopped from fear. The creature had black eyes, like pools of midnight. It was wearing a ripped and torn dress and its skin was rotten. Its hair was caked with dirt and was a matted mess. The worst feature of all though was its smile. Yes, its smile. Its teeth were razor sharp and triangular, like a sharks. Its mouth was twisted into a evil grin, a face I'll never forget. And as I stared, it started to speak.
"My, I just might take pity on a tiny thing like you", the thing coughed out. Its voice was ragged and sickly sweet.
"Please, I'll do anything, just let me go!" I cried, surprising myself.
"Harrumph." she muttered. She tapped her finger on her cheek, and I shivered. She let out a malicious laugh. I began to wonder if this was it, and if life was really over for me.
"I'll tell you what," she drawled. "I'll lead you back to your father and you'll help me get my food." she giggled. I trembled violently. I knew what this thing ate and I wasn't very happy about it. But what choice did I have?
I agreed to her deal and she pointed the way to go and told me to go straight ahead. So she had been watching me the whole time? I trembled. My father was overjoyed when I came back and I apologized for wandering away. My mother and father were so relieved, that I did not even get in any trouble at all.****
But what of the thing, you ask? Her first meal was the schoolhouse bully. She cornered him at the berry fields, and he never beat up or stole from anyone again. Ah, I see your trembling. Your fear only makes the creature stronger, you know. You already know don't you? I built this house on busy traveling trails, so travelers always stop. The thing hides in the cellar and waits.
Hey! No! Stop! I thought I locked the door!
Oh, there you are. You crept out of the basement, huh? I'm sorry dear, he managed to get away. Hm? Oh, don't worry, no one will believe him. They will think he is insane. What? Another is heading this way? Quick go in the cellar and remember your cue! I'll remember to lock the back and front door this time. Ha Ha Ha. Quick go, I hear the person now.
Oh, hello. You look like quite a tired traveler. You need a place to stay? Oh, come in, come in, warm yourself by the fire. Maybe in a minute, I'll tell you a little tale. Ha ha, yes, a little tale indeed.