Six word stories

Just an activity we did in English class…

Bird’s flown and won’t return.

People are like glass; they shatter.

Men are kind until they aren’t.

I protect others; not myself.

I’m small but strong of heart.

One word will change the world.


A thick fog drifted across the shadowy street. Its tendrils, twisting eerily around lampposts, eclipsing the golden light they shed. The only souls left lingering on the abandoned street were the lost and forgotten cadavers of days past.

Tristan Alister river drum

Just trying to build some character. Be warned. There are many spoilers on the journey before you.


Sapphire could feel the pain the moment the arrow struck her, though, one moment she was fine, the next, pain was blossoming from a point in her calf, pain that made her want to curl up and sob, that made her question her decision to help this stranger she’d met only a few days ago. She didn’t stop though, relying on the adrenaline rushing through her body to push her forward, to keep her upright.

Pain was horrible. That’s what Tristan thought. Pain had never been a part of his life. Yet somehow it was now. He felt as if the world was shattering around him, the ground crumbling beneath his feet to reveal nothing but a dark abyss. Who killed his brother? Who betrayed them? And why did it feel like a knife slowly shredding his heart into small irreplaceable scraps? Surely that would hurt less than what he was feeling now.


I was going to kill those birds. Those infernal creatures that people associated with joy and peace. I was ready to rip their stupid little beaks right off their stupid little faces. Maisie loved the birds. Maybe that was one of the reasons I hated them so much.

“Melaine!” Maisie exclaimed from her seat at the table. “Wipe that scowl off your face. It’s a lovely day!” I turn and glare at her instead of the birds, feeling the addicting rush of darkness pulsing through me. She just laughs and tosses her dark hair over her shoulder. “I’m not a bird Melaine. You can’t use your power to silence my singing.” I glance down at my clenched fist. Sure enough, the birds had stopped their singing. They’d probably fallen from their perches, dead. Like things typically do when the abomination inside me awakens.

I close my eyes, and a shiver of pleasure surges through me as the darkness’s familiar fingers stroke my skin. And for a moment, the feelings of hate that lay rotting inside of me were forgotten.

“Why do you always have to sulk like that? It wouldn’t kill you to smile.” Maisie’s voice cut through my reverie destroying the moment.


The cavern was damp, and the stone beneath Fiestere’s feet was cool. Outside though, the sun beat fiercely upon the rocky terrain of the Romada Desert. The red sand burned brightly beneath the midday sun.

Fiestere continued on slowly, the leather of her armor creaking softly with each step she took.  Though scouting for the dens of Manù lizard wasn’t exactly fun, she’d much rather be doing that than polishing armor in Domana’s stuffy leather shop.

Trekking onward, Fiestere began to hear the unmistakable echoes of dripping water. But something else as well.

Fiestere paused, listening to the grinding scritch, scratch, click of claws against stone. Crouching behind a large rock formation, she crept forward, inching toward the sound.


My LARP character

The sun beat fiercely upon the dunes of red sand. Raisa Fireblade paused at the top of the tallest. And, for the first time in days, looked toward the horizon behind her. It was as if the numb stupor she’d been trapped in for days dissipated and drifted away on the coarse, hot wind. Everything Raisa had locked inside of herself flew to the surface, and hit her like a blow to the chest. Crushing sorrow, for the opportunities she’d lost and the loved ones she was forced to leave behind. Burning anger towards herself and the people of the clan. But the emotion that hit her hardest was shame. Realizing the nature of what she had done, Raisa very nearly crumpled to the ground. The feeling in her fingers gone with the coming of her despair, she dropped her sacks of supplies, and turned fully to look at the setting sun. Back at the clan, the paltry, makeshift village, would be bathed in the blood red light. Before, she had never appreciated how beautiful those small moments could be. Eyes prickling, but refusing to cry, Raisa scooped up her bags, and continued her long trek eastward, toward the coast and the worlds beyond.

Tristan Alister 2016

Tristan Alister could feel the adrenaline rush through his body as he picked up speed.  He leaned forward, urging his mare on.  Quickly he readied his crossbow, and, aiming carefully he braced himself for the shot, his finger tightening slightly on the trigger. But the boar jerked and fell to the ground with a piercing, final squeal. It shuddered violently and lay still. Disappointed, Tristan tugged on his reins, slowing his mare and circling the dead creature. A few seconds later the rest of the party joined him.

A lone rider leapt off his horse, and, placing a booted foot on the beast’s side, yanked the bolt out of the dead creature.

“Somebody fetch the servants!” he shouted.  “I’ve got another one!” The riders stopped circling, and one or two groaned at his remark.  Tristan unloaded his crossbow and stroked his mare’s neck.

“How many does that make Tristan?  I’ve lost count.” Dimitri said, sauntering up to Tristan’s side. Tristan rolled his eyes, glancing down at his cousin from his seat atop his horse.

“Alright, you win. I get it.” Tristan gestured at the other riders.  “Everybody gets it.”

“What’s that you said Tristan?  Oh, you’re right, I have made eight kills this week!  What’s your total again? I remember; three.”

“Shut up Dimitri.” Tristan turned away, pretending to adjust one of his saddlebags.

“What’s going on Tristan? Are the beasts giving you a hard time?”  Tristan suppressed another groan.

“I don’t expect them to hand themselves over on a silver platter Dimitri.” He replied irritably.

“Well of course not.  After all, they’re only pigs.” Tristan continued to fumble with his saddlebag, and after a moment, Dimitri gave up on waiting for an answer and left to gloat to one of his other cousins.

“Your Highness?” a timid voice found its way to Tristan’s ears.

“Yes?”  Tristan unfolded himself, and twisted toward the voice’s source.   A small girl, possibly of twelve or thirteen years; three or four years younger than Tristan himself stood a safe distance behind his horse.

“Would you like me to help you with your saddlebags?” the girl glanced at the ground often as if she were unable to look at him for more than a few seconds at a time.

“Excuse me?” the girl blushed for no reason Tristan could understand, and began playing with the corner of her dress.

“It’s just- it looked like you were having trouble with the latch.”

“No I’m fine.  I don’t need actually need anything from it.” The girl’s cheeks turned an even deeper shade of red, and the tips of her ears reddened as well.

“I apologize your Highness.  I hope I have not offended you.”

“No of course not.” Tristan said, realizing he must have looked like a fool. He looked around, unsure of what to say next, and the servant just stood there, peering up at him through wide brown eyes.

Many of the riders around Tristan vaulted themselves into their saddles and, chatting idly, began to head in the direction of the palace they all called home.

“I ought to go.” Tristan said to the lingering servant girl as he fidgeted in his seat. “You’re dismissed.”

“Yes of course.” The girl blushed again and hurried off to help her companions haul Dimitri’s hog.  Spurring his horse forward, Tristan joined the group of young nobles heading home.  Unfortunately, Dimitri joined as well.

“Did you make a friend Tristan?” Dimitri leaned over and pinched Tristan’s cheek.  “I’m so proud of you!”

“Stop that.”  Tristan said batting Dimitri’s hand away.

“Quite a long conversation you had there.”

“It’s not my fault, she just stood there.”  A cool spring breeze rustled the newly green leaves. Tristan breathed deep, finding solace in the peace linked to the forest around him

“Well, I think someone oughta put these servants in their place.  They’re all getting too bold.” Dimitri said, shattering the calm.  “Just look at them!  They’ll spoil the meat before we get it to the butcher!”  The servants were chatting with each other, but they weren’t harming anyone, let alone the dead boar. But Tristan said nothing, and instead rolled his eyes the moment Dimitri looked away.

After a few moments, the group broke through the trees and the city lay in from of them. Quickly, the leaves beneath the horses hooves turned to cobblestones and shops sprang up on either side of them.  People milled in the street but quickly leapt out of the way of the second prince’s horse.

Scrawny orphaned street urchins stared at the boar longingly, but most everyone else went back to their business, occasionally glancing warily at the king’s son out of the corner of their eyes.

Without warning Dimitri reined in his horse, stopping in front of a shop Tristan had never been into before.

“What are you doing?” Tristan asked, stopping as well.  “If we wait too long the meat will spoil, and the blame will be on you.”

“Use your eyes idiot.” Dimitri slid off his horse, and many of the nobles in the party exchanged glances.  Nobody really understood why Dimitri was allowed to talk to the prince the way he did.  It may have had something to do with the fact that Dimitri talked to everybody that way.

Tristan slid off his horse as well and followed Dimitri into the shop, the servants close behind him.  The moment he stepped through the door, the air noticeably chilled and goosebumps pebbled Tristan’s arms.

“This is a butcher’s shop.” Tristan stated, looking at the meat hanging around him.

Ignoring Tristan’s question, Dimitri rapped his knuckles on the counter.

“We have a butcher at the palace. You know that.”

“I do know that.” Dimitri replied nonchalantly. He glanced at the door behind the counter as if it irritated him. Soon enough though, the door opened and a short plump man materialized on the threshold.

“What can I do ya for?” he asked cheerfully, wiping fat pink hand on his bloodstained apron.

Dimitri snapped his fingers, and the servants stepped forward, the boar swinging by it’s legs between two. The rest of the servants clustered behind them.

“Do what you will with this; and have it done by tomorrow.” Dimitri didn’t even look at the man.

“Yes sir.” said the butcher. Turning toward the servants he continued. “Take it on back and leave it on the table.” To Tristan, this man seemed awfully cheerful for someone who slaughtered and skinned small animals for a living.

“I’ll send someone to pick it up at noon. What do I owe you?” Dimitri said, reaching into his pocket.

“Fifteen gold pieces.” Tristan gawked. Fifteen gold pieces! That boar wasn’t worth ten gold pieces! Certainly not fifteen. Tristan stared at Dimitri incredulously, but his expression didn’t change.

“Just let me find my purse now.” Dimitri said, searching his pockets. Soon though, his brow furrowed and his expression fell into one of confusion.

“Well. May a dragon devour me,” he said patting his pockets. “I must have left it in my chambers. Tristan,” Dimitri turned toward him. “Would you mind getting this one for me?” Tristan continued to stare.

“Ah good man you are Tristan.” Dimitri said clapping Tristan on the shoulder. “I’ll be outside if there’s any problem.” Tristan glared at Dimitri’s retreating back as he strode out the door.

“Fifteen you said?” Tristan turned back to the butcher, untying his purse. He quickly counted out the coins and slid them across the counter.

“I’ll have that done for ya by noon tomorrow.” The butcher said, dumping the coins in his apron pocket.

“Wonderful.” Tristan grumbled, silently cursing Dimitri. Pushing through the door, he paused, eyes closed, soaking in the warmth of the day.

“Filthy rat.” Dimitri’s unpleasant snarl rang out across the street, once again destroying the peace Tristan had found. He sighed wearily and opened his eyes to find Dimitri already astride his horse, snapping at a baseborn girl around Tristan’s age. Dimitri gripped the front of the girl’s tunic in his right fist, his eyes blazing with unchecked fury. Though her feet dangled above the ground, the streetrat glared directly into his eyes defiantly.

“Dimitri, what’s going on?” Tristan asked, taking in the scene. Dimitri glanced at him, annoyance flashing across his face. But the moment passed as quickly as it began, and Dimitri reverted back to his usual condescending self.

“This putrescene guttersnipe tried to make off with my purse.” he said cooly, dumping the girl on the ground.

“Did she?” Tristan raised an eyebrow skeptically.

“I say we throw her into gaol; that’s where criminals ought-”

“You mean the purse you; and I quote, “left in your chambers”? Dimitri blinked at him, momentarily confused.

“Yes that purse.” he said dumbfounded. “What other purse could I possibly be talking about?”

“Dimitri, if your purse is in your chambers, this girl couldn’t possibly steal it.” Dimitri rolled his eyes, and made a small sound of annoyance.

“Tristan,” he said, mimicking his tone. “I understand that. What you don’t understand is that you are helping to prove my point.”

“And what exactly would your point be?” the girl snarled, pushing herself to her feet.

“That filth like you are no better than disgusting animals.” he sneered back.

“What’s disgusting is the thought of you sitting on your ass all day, treating people like swine.” Dimitri’s expression darkened again and his hand hovered above the hilt of the hunting knife at his belt.

“You’re not worthy of being called swine.”

“Dimitri!” Tristan said, exasperated. “Do you or do you not have your purse on you?”

“I do not.” he answered through clenched teeth.

“I’m going to say this one more time. How could this girl steal your purse if you don’t even have it on you?”

“Oh gods.” Dimitri muttered, looking up at the sky which usually meant he was fighting the urge to punch Tristan. “I said she tried to steal it, not that I had it.”

“I didn’t try to steal anything!” the girl exclaimed angrily.

“Then what exactly were you doing?” Tristan said, still trying to make sense of the situation.

The girl whirled on Tristan, and for the first time, he was able to see more than just her profile. He blinked.

“Who do you think you are?” She demanded, advancing on him. Tristan blinked again. She was completely ordinary. She had a plain face, nondescript blond hair tied back by a dirty handkerchief at the nape of her neck. She was shorter than Tristan, though her rage made her seem larger. But her eyes. Her eyes blazed vivid sapphire purple. That was not an ordinary color.

“I-” Tristan began, confused.

“I suggest you stay out of this, and worry about your petty little problems later.”

“You’re not going to let this vagrant push you around are you Tristan?” Dimitri growled from his seat on his horse.

“As this girl doesn’t have your purse, I think we should be on our way.” he said, mounting his horse in reply. Eager to escape the awkward situation, Tristan spurred his horse forward, knowing the consequences of his actions would accompany him back to the castle, and most definitely stick with him for the next week or so.

– •◊• –

Dimitri was silent the rest of the way to the castle. It was a very loud silence, occupied mainly by glowering and scowls aimed at Tristan. The rest of the party, however, was not so silent. Riding in clumps – and blocking as much of the road as possible – they held muted conversations. Though he couldn’t hear them, Tristan had a pretty good idea about the topic of their discussions. He kept his discomfort to himself. It’s not like they held any respect for him in the first place.

 As they neared the castle gates, not for the first time, Tristan thought the foreboding stone wall made the castle it protected seem small and weak. Soon, the gates loomed high above them, and upon seeing Dimitri’s thunderous expression, scrambled to raise the portcullis. The party glided though, and were met by servants waiting to return their horses to the stables.

The metallic clang of metal on metal assaulted Tristan’s ears, drifting over form the training arena. He glanced over in time to see golden sand spray into the air as Eloy forced a full armored guard to the ground.

Tristan wandered over to the viewing area, hoping to escape the gossip lords and ladies were undoubtedly already spreading. As he leaned against the railing to watch, Eloy glanced up. A smile spread across his face, and he waved cheerfully across the arena. Tristan lifted a hand in reply, and Eloy turned back to his sparring partner, disarming him with a flick of his wrist. The guard surrendered, and Eloy jogged over to Tristan. Tristan handed him a towel, ad he dabbed at the sweat on his brow before letting it rest across his broad shoulders.

“Who died?” he joked, laughing at Tristan’s glum expression. Tristan turned his back, and leaned on the railing again, placing his chin in his hands.

“Only the scraps of dignity I had left.” he mumbled miserably.

A Sneak Peek at one of the stories I am currently working on! 2016



In the beginning it was almost peaceful. The gentle white surrounding me was actually quite soothing. At the very first, I had been exhausted, worn out, drained; but that soon left me. Then as the time wore on , the incessant quiet began to grate on my nerves. The dead silence was unnerving. I couldn’t even hear the beating of my own heart. It was as if nothing existed. There was only me and the infernal prison I was forced into unwillingly.

Soon, it became more than just unnerving. It became maddening. Being confined only to your own head is a nightmare you don’t even consider a nightmare until it has happened.

Floating in the seemingly never-ending nothingness, suicidal thoughts develop in your head. I had imagined so many ways I could die, and wished for them to happen. When you can’t even follow through with your desperately hatched plans, you feel yourself teeter on the edge of sanity. I was standing on the brink of this cliff when the cursed prism that had held me prisoner for so long-


The Barbed Wyvern 2016

Note: This story still requires a lot of editing and revising.

Faintly, I hear the large clock in the center of the square chime seven o’ clock. Outside, the sun is barely peeking over the rooftops of the city. I groan inwardly as I make my way over to the bar. Pushing the wooden swinging door open I trudge over to the back room, and hang my apron on one of the pegs. Stepping out of the back room, I gaze out across the nearly empty tavern. Reluctantly, I tear my gaze away and grab one of the large mugs from the cupboard; reaching under the counter to fill it up with beer. I pull the mug away, foam spilling over the edges.

“Heading in yet Ivori?” someone from behind me says. I’m too tired to even jump. Turning around, I see Jarrod, the owner of the Barbed Wyvern tavern.

“Yes,” I sigh. “I’m going to try and get some shut eye.” I doubt that will happen though.

“That un’s larger than usual. “Jarrod notes, rubbing his carelessly trimmed beard.

“He complained an awful lot about the size of the one I brought up yesterday.” I push away the memories of last night, trying  to ignore the aching bruises hiding under my sleeves.

“I won’t hold ya any longer then. You look like you could use that shut eye.” Jarrod says, shooing me out from behind the counter. Slowly, I make my way across the room.

“Why don’t you come keep me company maidy?” one of the drunkards left over from last night calls. Ignoring him, I keep walking. He reaches out and grabs my writs. Clenching my teeth against the pain, I whirl on him.

“Let go of me.”  I growl. I am in no mood to play games.

“Don’t bite my head off.” the man chuckles, releasing my wrist. I move on, pretending nothing happened. I’m good at that.

Carefully, I climb the stairs to the apartment above the tavern, pausing on the landing at the top. My hand hovers above the doorknob. I turn around and hurry down the stairs. I peek out across the room, stalling.

“Need anything?” Jarrod calls from across the room. I shake my head.

“Just making sure I didn’t forget anything.” he nods and chuckles softly to himself. It’s a stupid excuse considering I live just upstairs. I turn back to the dark hallway and climb the stairs. Again, I pause at the door.

Finally, I push open the heavy wooden door as silently as possible. Holding my breath I peek around the apartment. Chasin sleeps soundly on the sofa and I exhale in relief. He‘s not up yet. I tiptoe to the table next to his door, and carefully set the mug of beer down. As I tiptoe back towards the sofa, I snag one of the jackets from off the hooks. I creep up beside the sofa, and look at Chasin’s sleeping face. Finally, I settle down on the floor next to my eight year old brother; curling up and using the weathered jacket asa blanket. Shivering, I close my eyes and wait for sleep to come. I tug my sleeve back, looking at the fresh bruises. As usual, I try not to think about how I got them. Thinking about it will only bring worse memories to the surface. It will bring them out of the locked chest hidden in he depths of my mind; the chest I vowed never to open again. Eventually I fall asleep.

I jolt awake as his foot slams into stomach.

“Where is it?” he growls, kicking me again.

“I left it on the table, like usual.” I gasp, curling up in a ball. My father lumbers over, takes a big swig, and disappears into his “study”. Uncurling, I glance over at Chasin. The rise and fall of his chest is still slow and steady. Gingerly, I stand up using the arm of the couch to support me. Creeping over to the window, I peek out into the square at the large four-sided clock. The clock reads 7:47 and the square is empty except for a few stragglers heading home either from the night shifts, or a night of drinking.

As I watch, the clock changes to 7:48.

“Ivori?” says a sleepy voice behind me. I turn around and see Chasin’s sleepy eyes peering at me over the arm of the couch. “Was Papa in here?” He asks sitting up and rubbing his eyes.

“Yes, but not anymore. He went back into his room.” I walk behind the couch and climb over, settling down beside Chasin.

“Can I go back to sleep?” he asks, pulling his blanket tighter around his shoulders.

“I’m pretty sure you know the answer to that.” I say standing up and ruffling his blond hair. “Come on.” I hang my jacket/blanket on the hooks by the door, tossing Chasin his jacket. “Get up. We’ve got to go.”


The Legendary Cave Monster 2015

BEFOREHAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I would like you to know that my sister Audrey came up with the idea of a cave monster and much of the first of the story . I just wrote it down, added ideas and details, and made it a story.

I’m eating dinner when Briana comes over.

“Kimberly!” she cries. “I went into town today,and you’ll never believe what I heard!”

“What; if you drink the nectar of a water lily you’ll become more beautiful?” I tease. Every time Briana goes to town, she comes back with some bizarre story.

“No, nothing like that.” she mopes. “Those girls were only playing a trick on me. This time though, they weren’t talking to me directly. They were huddled in a group.”

“What did they say this time?” I lean back in my char. I’m ready for whatever she throws my way.

“Well, you know those strange sound I hear at night? They kind of sound like roaring?” Briana’s pretty sure there’s something out there: even though I don’t hear anything except the usual sounds, and none of those sound like roaring. She’s positive it’s a dragon.

“Briana, we’ve been over this. It’s just the wind.” I say blowing in her face. “No, no. It’s not.” she says shaking her head so violently, that her dark hair whips her in the face. “I know what it is now.”

“Really?” I raise an eyebrow at her skeptically.

“It’s a…” her eyes flicker towards the door as if something is about to burst in at any second. Then, she leans in close and whispers.”cave monster.” Poor naive Briana. Poor, poor Briana.

“Briana,” I say sternly, looking into her eyes. ” I know this; you know this, and everyone else knows this; there is no such thing as a cave monster.”

“Oh but there is.” she says wide-eyed. “He roams around, looking for people to eat.”

“And how come I’ve never seen this so-called “cave monster”?” I ask.

“Because it only comes out at night.” she nods to herself.

“Briana, I think you’ve had a little too much sunlight today. You should go home and get some rest.”

“But it’s getting dark out. He’ll be out real soon.”

“Briana,” I sigh. “We live in a cave, it’s always dark out.” At first it seems astonishing to find out that we live in a cave. It’s not all that bad. It’s not a small cave, it’s actually a very large one. We call it the Cave Canyons because it’s just like a canyon, except it’s inside a mountain. It’s not only Briana and I if that’s what you’re thinking. There’s an entire village in the Cave Canyons. We all have our own little huts. Fortunately, Briana and my huts are closest to the entrance of the cave.

Outside the cave, there is a small waterfall with a pond at the end. It’s all surrounded by trees. Our main water source is the pond, but there are a few freshwater springs scattered throughout the Canyons. Most of the villagers farm, and sell their wares in town, but not everyone. Briana makes jewelry out of the gems you can find throughout the canyons.

“I know it’s always dark,  but it’s getting darker.” Briana says in a pouty voice.

“Come on Briana, I’ll walk you home.” I stand up and walk out the door. I hear her jump up and scurry after me. We walk around a bend and we’re practically there.

“Remember,” I call over my shoulder to where I left Briana on her doorstep.”there’s no such thing as cave monsters.”

“I’m still locking my door.” she calls after me. Once back at my hut, I decide to hit the sack early. If I’m going to go into town, I’m going to have leave earlier than usual.

I fall asleep quickly quickly and I’m soon dreaming about my neighbor Harry’s pet rat, Jonny Bobo. One moment  Jonny Bobo is eating cheese. The next, a cave monster is carrying me out of my house. Oh, I suddenly realize. This must be one of those dreams that you’re dreaming inside a dream once you realize you’re dreaming. Too confusing? Sorry.

Since this is just a dream, I don’t feel the need to struggle. The cave monster blindfolds me, and I slip back into my dream about Jonny Bobo.

“Wake up. Wake up.” a voice says gently, shaking me awake.

When I open my eyes, the first thing I see is the cave monster. I stare at him. Just stare. Maybe I’m still dreaming. I think, just to reassure myself.

“Hi you!” he says cheerfully. I  open my mouth and scream and scream, and scream until he claps a hairy purple hand with blue spots, on my mouth.”Don’t do that.” he grumbles. “It hurts my ears, plus it’s very impolite.”

I scramble backwards away from him, and fall of the bed I’m laying on. Thee cave monster grabs my leg and dangles me, upside down in front of his face. I’m glad I don’t wear dresses like Briana, but at the same time the cave monster is scaring the pants off me.*—*I hope you do realize, my pants are still on, it’s just a figure of speech.

“You know what?” I shake my head. When he picked me up, he clasped his hand over my mouth again. “I’d love to have you for dinner.” he says “in fact, I’d love to have you for breakfast too. I’ll save room.” I scream, but my voice is muffled by his hand. I thrash around until he drops me on the bed. He drops down through a trapdoor. I run over, and pull on the door, but he’s locked it.

I run around the room banging on walls, screaming to be let out. Eventually, I sit down on the bed, exhausted.

“There’s no point.” I say to myself. “The walls are made of solid rock.” before I can stop myself, I fall asleep. I must have been screaming for hours.

“Wake up.” the cave monster already has his hand over my mouth just in case I scream.

“Follow me.” he climbs downs a ladder that is placed underneath the trapdoor. Somewhat shocked, I  follow after him. Once we’re downstairs (if you can even call it that), he leads me to a table. “Stay here.” he says. He hurries over to a small stove in the corner, grabs a pot and brings it  back to hte table I am seated at. He also brings a tray laden with food.

“Here you go.”he says, dishing out some hashbrowns onto a plate with ham and eggs.

“Oh,oh!” he exclaims.”I almost forgot the mashed strawberry drink and the tiny tangerine!” he hurries off and comes back with a pink-red drink and a small orange.

“Uh.” I’m at a loss for words. The cave monster just nods at me, encouraging me to take some food. I reach for the tangerine, but I quickly draw my hand back.”I know what your doing!” He looks puzzled.”You’re trying to fatten me up so you can eat me! That’s why you kidnapped me!”

“Kidnap? OH, no, no. I would never kidnap anybody.You just looked like a nice person, and i wanted you to  come over for breakfast and dinner. I was never going to eat you. I only wanted to eat with you.” He shakes his head at me.” Why would I want to eat you? I’m a vegan.”

“You’re a vegan!” I ask disbelieving.

“Yes a vegan. You do know what a vegan is right?”

“Yes, I know what a vegan is.”

“Oh!” exclaims the cave monster, changing the subject.”I don’t know your name! WE still need to introduce ourselves. Ok, I’ll go first.” he rubs his hands together before beginning.

“My name is Halae. That’s Hu-lae.” he says,pronouncing it really slowly.” If I had any friends, other than my chickens I mean, they would call me Hal. You can call me Hal by the way.”

Ok, nice to meet you Hal: I guess.” This is so much weirder than I expected. I think to myself.

“Now, tell me your name.” Hal points a t me. He folds his large hairy hands in his lap, then looks at me expectantly.

“Oh, um, Kimberly, I’m; Kimberly.” I say, fidgeting a bit.

“Well nice to meet you Kimberly!” he says enthusiastically.

“Um, hi. Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask you something.” my eyes flicker to the door and back a couple times. He obviously doesn’t get the hint.

“Really, what is it?” he spoons more eggs onto my plate, even though I haven’t eaten anything.

“So, if you’re not going to eat me, when can I go home?” Whenever you feel like it. Would you like to go now?”

“Sort of, yeah.”

“Follow me, I’ll show you the way out.” he walks toward the entrance of his cave, and stops.”Come visit me soon.” he says. “Oh! I almost forgot! Next time you come, bring your favorite food, and I’ll make mine! It will be great!”

“Ok, I will.” I say uncertainly, definitely not intending to keep my promise. I doubt, no I hope I’ll never have to come back here.

“Now to get out,” he explains.”You just go down this tunnel, and, at the end you turn right. Just climb up the ladder.”

“Ok, thanks.” I slowly being waling down the tunnel, speeding up after the first few steps. When I’m halfway down the tunnel, he calls to me.

“Goodbye! Make sure you come visit me! And bring your favorite food!”

“Ok! I will.” I step out of the cave, and I’m standing on a rocky outcropping. There are sharp rocks, far below me, at Hal said, a small rope ladder is to my right.I climb for what feels like hours, even though it’s probably only a few minutes. When I reach the top, I can clearly see a waterfall. It’s the waterfall that’s right next to the Caves!

I run straight into the pond and take a deep breath. Then, I dive to the bottom, feeling the cold mud between my fingers. Something slimy brushes against my foot. Quickly, I quick it away, and head back toward the surface.

When I resurface, I gasp for air.

“So it wasn’t a dream after all.” I whisper. “The cave monster is real” realization hits me like an arrow to my chest.”The cave monster is real!” I say slosh to the shore, as quickly as I can, which isn’t very fast because my clothes are heavy with water.

“The cave monster is real!” I shout over and over again as I run towards Briana’s house. I burst through the door and Briana shoots up like a newly blooming sprout, in her bed. Her hair is a mess, sticking out all over the place.

“Who’s there!” She shouts, brushing her hair out of her eyes.”Oh, it’s just you Kimberly.” she says, propping herself back on her elbows.”What brings you here so early?”

“It’s real.” I whisper.

“Speak up! I can’t ever hear you! You mumble all the time!”

“The cave monster is real.” I say slightly louder.

“Oh.” She looks concerned.”Have you been near the orange crystal mines lately? You know those toxic snails reside there, and their fumes really do bad things to you brain and lungs.”

I walk over, and sit on the end of her bed.”I saw him.”

“Oh Kimberly!” Briana exclaims. “You’re soaking wet!” she places her hand on my forehead.”You’re burning up! You must have touch one of those poisonous frogs in the pond! We’ve gotta get you home.” Briana’s face keeps swimming in and out of focus. She takes my hand and leads me towards the door, still in her nightgown.

“You’ve gotta believe me.” my whisper is barely audible, even to my own ears.

“Hush, hush.” she slips he arm under mine, drags me a few steps, and suddenly, everything goes black.

I spend the next few days in pain, slipping in and out of a deep sleep. I vaguely remember an old man hovering over my bedside, speaking with Briana, the first day. I recall hearing him say something about “dying”. But I can’t be sure because the blackness came back.

I wake up, and, by fumbling around with the things on my bedside table, I manage to burn myself on a candle. Now, as fully awake as I’ll ever be for the next few hours, I crawl out of bed, and unknowingly stumble through the caves, through the forest, and down to the entrance of Hal, the  cave monster’s cave home.

“Hal,” I croak, before the darkness overcomes me.

When i open my eyes, I find myself staring at a rocky ceiling.

I try to stand up, but end up sprawled on the floor. I crawl over to the trapdoor, and pop my head down.


“No, no, no.” says Hal sternly, clucking his tongue like an old nursemaid. He looks up at me, hanging out the trapdoor.Hal climbs up the ladder, and picks me up. Awkwardly cradling me like  a baby, he carries me over to the bed. He pulls the blankets up to my chin, and tucks them under me.

“Now, stay there.” He disappears down through the trapdoor, leaving me to think about the foul taste in my mouth. A minute later, he pops back up, carrying a pot in one arm, while climbing with the other.

He carefully pours an orange colored liquid from the pot, into a glass that is sitting on the bedside table.