Friday, January 6, 2012

The Creature of the Road

There was once a very small, quiet rural village. It was so small there was only one main road leading out of it, along which visitors often travelled to and from the village. However, there was one important rule the townsfolk held about this road: never go it alone.

This was strictly enforced by the villagers, but one curious young boy from the village decided to break this rule; he set out one day, when no one else was round, to explore the road alone.

As he approached the trail for the first time, he realized there was something very odd about it. Although he knew there were always people coming into town, the road itself looked like it had hardly been used.

Grass and weeds had grown across the whole path, and it was so poorly maintained that they reached all the way up to his waist, making it difficult to walk quickly. However, this did not deter the boy.

Determined to make his trip worthwhile, he pushed on into the overgrowth, looking back over his shoulder occasionally to make sure no one was watching. He moved quickly, hoping to get out of sight by any passers-by.

However, the boy's pace was cut suddenly short by the sound of something moving in the grass next to him. The boy's heart skipped a beat as he stopped in his tracks, looking and listening for the source of the disturbance.

The overgrowth was so thick he couldn't see anything, but he could hear the sound of something crawling in the grass near his feet. He could tell it wasn't very big, but something about it gave him a horrible feeling...the feeling of being hunted.

The boy was overcome by a growing sense of hopelessness as he realized he had travelled too far down the road to make it back before the creature reached him, and the grass made it hard for him to move quickly.

Suddenly, the boy sensed he was being watched. The creature had spotted him. From the corner of his eye he could make out a wide pair of eyes and long, sharp fangs fixated on him. The boy's heart was pounding as he turned to face it.

Suddenly, a hand gripped his arm. The boy jerked and looked, only to see the face of one of the elders of the village. "You fool! Don't you know better than to come here alone?" The man grabbed the boy and ran with him back to the village.

The boy's heart raced as he sensed the creature following him, but it never overtook them. They ran, gasping for breath, until they had escaped back into town.

After they caught their breath, the old man scolded the boy for ignoring the villagers' warnings. When he was done, he looked up and sighed. "I guess you're old enough. You deserve to know."

The man led the boy to his house. It was a very big house and, as they entered, the boy saw massive shelves filled with books about creatures he had only heard of in myths.

Mysterious men in lab coats sat around, studying them. The old man led the boy to a back room. He faced away, saying, "I'm going to tell you the truth about what you saw today..."

All of a sudden, the man turned to the boy, glaring at him, his piercing gaze freezing him in place. "But first, I'm going to ask you one question..."