Everything on here is purely symbolic and nothing more.

The Farmhouse

I pumped my arms and ran as fast as I could to the farmhouse. The creature stayed in his tree. Still, I felt I needed to put as much space between us as possible. I was gasping as I reached the front porch. A man opened the door and watched me.

"Ran from the creature, didn't you?" he observed. I nodded. He opened the door and said, "Come in."

He had me sit down on an old worn couch and called out to his wife. She brought me a tall glass of lemonade and pulled a chair over close to me to sit in.

"There, there," she said. "You're safe now. He can't get you here. He's afraid of Josh."

"Well," I admitted, "he really didn't cause me any harm. He just scared me."

The woman shook her head. "You can never really be sure about the creature. He's a clever one. He will do almost anything to get what he wants."

"And what does he want?"

She didn't answer. Instead she glanced at the tree and stood up.

"It's almost evening," she said. "I better fix us dinner. You're probably famished."

I watched as she left the room and then turned to look back out the window, wondering what the creature fed on if he never left the tree. A very unpleasant idea occurred to me and I turned away, sickened. The man came back in with my pack in his hand.

"Excuse me," I said, "but does the creature eat his victims?"

Josh gave me a serious look.

"Some of them, but not the ones like you."

"What would he had done to me?"

"Probably try to make you into one of his kind. He is very lonely, but he wants more than just company."

"Oh," I said.

"We should go into the kitchen now. Mabel will have dinner ready soon."

Dinner was good, but I had trouble enjoying it with the tree still in sight. Later on, I was led to the guestroom to sleep for the night. As I snuggled into the covers, Mabel assured me that, though the creature did occasionally leave the tree at night, he would never come to the farm. I feel asleep to the sound of crickets.

A few hours later, I was awakened by the sound of a window being opened. Looking up, I saw that the creature was trying to get in. With a screech, I jumped out of the bed and ran for the door. Josh and Mabel met me there. Josh went to get his pitchfork. Several minutes later, he came back.

"Well, I chased him back to his tree," he said. "I don't think he'll bother us anymore tonight."

They went back to their room. I sat in the guestroom and watched the window. When the first rays of sunlight peeked across the horizon, I got dressed and went to the kitchen. I left Mabel a very nice note and retrieved my pack. Quietly, I snuck out of the house and continued my eastward journey.

The River

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