So today, I decided to bring in a pinch hitter, and have my post guest written. By a fictional character. That's a sane person thing to do, right? Either way, here we go.
#ThinkKit Day 11 Prompt:
Hi, I'm ______
Nametags and punchbowls aren't necessary (but we're okay with that!) – who did you meet this year? Was it awkward? Enlightening? Was your first impression correct? Was it accidental & meant to be, pre-arranged, or somewhere in-between? Whether you found a soulmate, held a new baby, or finally trusted someone to style your hair just so, write about a new person (or people) in your life.
So I met this guy yesterday. I was on my way to visit my grandma, and it takes forever to get there because I have to walk the whole way. I want to point out up front that I don't usually talk to strange guys, unless they're really cute. But I was so bored. I mean, you can only look at trees and birds and stuff for so long before your brain goes numb.
I was already annoyed because my mom was making me visit Grams and take her a batch of crappy food when I'd wanted to go out to a party with my friends. So, yeah, I was probably not quite in my right mind when this older, almost attractive, yet really hairy, guy started talking to me on the trail.
He seemed nice enough at first (don't they always?). He said he was traveling a couple towns over from where I was going, and he offered to walk with me to make sure I was safe. He said he had a daughter a few years younger than me so he was always a little concerned about ladies traveling on their own. Maybe I'm naive, but I believed him.
He told me stories about the places he'd traveled, and said he thought I was pretty, that I'd be gorgeous when I hit 20. He even complemented my red cape - you know, the one with the hood - which I love even though mom says it makes me look like a harlot. Mainly though, he just asked me about myself and it was so nice to have someone paying attention to me for a change. He asked me about school, about my friends, my family, about how my grandma was doing, and if she had anyone with her to help take care of her.
I did notice that he seemed a little skittish, jumping any time we heard noises. A couple times we heard gunshots way off in the distance, and he seemed ready to bolt every time one would ring out. But it's hunting season, so as long as we didn't get too far off the path, we would be ok.
A couple times he suggested that we take shortcuts - he said he'd traveled this way so many times that we could shave a whole hour off the trip if we took one. Now look, I may be cute, but I'm not totally dumb, and I'm not following some guy I just met into the woods unless he's Channing Tatum.
Anyway, when we got about an hour away from Gram's house, he said he had to go another way and I'd have to walk the rest on my own. I thought it was strange, since the path would have taken him pretty close to where he said he was going, but he swore he had a shortcut and that he was running late. He gave me a hug before he left, which I really wasn't all about - he was super hairy, and it was itchy when he hugged me. As he walked away, I noticed something bulky in the back of his pants. Weird, but I didn't give it a whole lot of thought.
By the time I finally got to Gram's it was getting dark, and she didn't have any lights on inside. Great, I thought, all this was and she's already asleep. What an awesome Friday night.
When I opened the door I could see a little candle burning next to the bed. I rolled my eyes - not that she could see me - she could totally burn down her little house falling asleep with that thing burning. But she was cheap - I mean thrifty - and she hated having to spend money on firewood from the woodsman when she could climb under all her blankets to keep warm instead. She must have put on all the blankets at once because she lay in an enormous fabric lump.
I started unloading all the parcels mom had sent me with: bread, cheese, sauerkraut (ew), when I heard her stir behind me.
"Sorry, Gramma, I didn't mean to wake you up."
"It's ok sweetie," she said, but her voice sounded like gravel.
"Whoa, Gram, you sound like you need a lozenge."
"Yes, I'm feeling a little under the weather. Could you make me some herbal tea?"
Great, I thought, she's going to make me sick. But I'm a good granddaughter, so I made her some tea. As I took it over to her, I noticed she had the covers pulled all the way up past her nose. In the flickering candlelight, I couldn't see much, but something looked... off... about her eyes.
"Gramma, what big eyes..." I started to say, when she flung off the covers. "Oh crap!" I yelled. It was the guy from the woods, laying there in Gram's bed, wearing her nightgown and the cap she wears to keep her roller set hair in place at night. I had just a moment to notice his distended belly before he lunged out at me and... everything went black.
When I came to, everything was pitch black, warm, and wet. I started to panic and thrash around until I heard a familiar voice say, "Calm down, child."
"Grandma?" I asked. "Where are we?"
"Best I can tell, we're in the belly of a wolf."
"Oh." I paused. "What happened?"
"Well, you know I don't usually let strangers in my house after dark, but this fella here said he was a friend of yours. He knew a lot about you."
I hissed in my breath. "Oh. Oh no."
"I think you need some better friends," she said flatly. I'd long ago learned it was better not to argue with Grams, or to try and explain. Instead I simply said "Yes, ma'am".
We sat there silently for awhile. I tried to squirm around but there wasn't much room. I could hear the wolf snoring. It's a weird thing to hear snores from inside someone.
"What are we going to do?"
"I've been trying to figure that out, dear. I can't say I've ever been in a situation like this one before. Not even during the war." The last thing I wanted to do was to get her started on one of her war stories.
"Wait, Shh! Do you hear that?" We'd been pretty still, so I knew our captor must be asleep. And I thought... yes, I could hear someone's voice in the distance!
"Who is that, grams?" I whispered, careful now not to wake up the wolf.
"Oh, yes! I nearly forgot. The woodsman was supposed to drop off another cord of wood on his way home tonight."
"Well if we can get his attention, maybe we have a chance!"
We came up with a plan, or as much of a plan as you can pull together in 30 seconds in the belly of a wolf. We had to move fast before the woodsman left. I could feel a burning sensation on my skin, which I suspected was me beginning to be digested. I could hear some sounds that I assumed were him unloading the lumber. Grams said that he would probably stop in for payment afterward, and that would be our chance.
"Did you lock the door behind you?" she asked me.
"Um... no, I forgot." I could almost hear her frown.
"Well, at least it works for us this time."
A few moments later, I heard a knock on the door. Unfortunately, so did the wolf. He sat straight up in the bed, sending me and grams colliding together. If I could have seen anything, I probably would have seen stars. As the door creaked open (and thank god for the rusty hinges) the wolf leapt to his feet. I don't know exactly what happened then, other than there was a terrible fight that gave me such motion sickness I nearly puked. And this was our time - in a moment of relative quiet, Grams whispered "Go" and we both screamed, as loud and as long as we could, and started kicking at the wolf, trying to keep him distracted and off balance. Then we were thrown backward, hard, hitting the floor of the house.
This was it - we would survive, or get an axe through us. I squeezed my eyes shut, terrified. And then... I heard a ripping sound and felt air against my face. I looked up, covered in guts and gore, and saw the face of the woodsman, a knife in one hand, holding back the wolf's sliced belly in the other.
And you know what? He was totally cute.