They huddled behind the tree. Rumor had it that the old man that lived in the creepy house in the woods would take children, skin them, and eat them. Supposedly, he stay up all hours of the night writing down ideas of who to take next and where he should hunt for his next victims. Betsy and Samuel didn’t want to take the chance of being seen and being his next victims. They didn’t know if he had security cameras around his property.
Watching the light in the window, they couldn’t see any sort of movement. Wouldn’t he have to move around and then shadows would move and make the light seem like it was moving? Betsy held onto Samuel’s jacket. Samuel heard a stick crack a few feet from where they were crouching.
“Bets, did you hear that?”
“That twig snap. About ten feet away from my left shoulder.”
Mickey hated liars. He couldn’t stand the thought of anyone else coming and sitting beneath his limbs, pledging their love to another, only to never see them again. He had seen and heard it all for so many years. He couldn’t even say how many years, since he didn’t know how to count his own rings.
Today was different. They came from the city he believed, based on their fashionable attire and sporty car. They laid out a blanket below his lowest limb and took a basket out of the car. They sat closely, talking so quietly that Mickey almost couldn’t hear them nor what they were talking about.
The man leaned past the woman he was sitting with and grabbed the basket handles. He placed the basket in front of his own legs and prepared to open the latch. Mickey could hear the anticipation in the woman’s voice and surely he was curious too. The man slowly opened the latch and lifted the lid.
Mickey couldn’t believe what he was seeing! This wasn’t love! This wasn’t a date! This was a horrific animal let loose to cause damage to others.
The man laid out the contents, rolled up a paper and lit a match. He knew the kindling he brought would make a beautiful fire.
When we stepped through the thick branches we saw it, the bridge to the sacred forest. It was over 1,000 feet off the ground and the wood slats were weathered. Dave and I looked at each other. Who would cross first? I knew that if I was to cross this bridge with the cocky attitude only acceptable for amatuer I would fair quite well.