Saturday, May 22, 2010

Episode #5: The Gnasher House

Ziggy crossed through the door and waited no time at all before finding himself plunged into a dry, hostile forest. Daring to climb none of the trees he merely picked a path around their sour roots, avoiding any line with the oldest and, he imagined, most contemptuous ones among them. Their ragged trunks, he imagined, permitted him passage only begrudgingly. He felt himself pushing deeper into the wood, ignoring the air around him as he made his way to thinner and thinner areas. Until finally he found it - an island in the trees, devoid of foliage and housing only a single ramshackle cabin.

Ziggy took his bearings, accustomed himself to the relief of having escaped the venomous regard of the woods and began to pace the ominous shack. No light shone inside and the door, wide open, bore the peculiar look of a bait or point of ambush. As he rounded the corner of the porch, avoiding the probing look of the dark interior, he saw a peculiarly wizened man sitting, bowlegged and contemplative, on the hard soil.

There was something about the house, much bigger and wiser than itself, but mad and energetic. Ziggy opened his mouth to speak, but the Guru's knowing grin struck him as he spoke first:

"You won't find anything of import in there, traveler. To be a trespasser in that home is to find yourself marked for death, and to be invited in isn't much better. The House guards its company jealously and will hold you inside."

Ziggy felt sick to his stomach as he turned back to find the trail that had brought him here, but the man spoke again:

"Nevertheless, it so happens you've been invited. Do you think the path you took here still exists, or that the woods would permit you passage again? No - best go inside, boy. I'd say not to keep the House waiting, but he's far more patient than I, isn't he?"

Ziggy blinked once, tiredly, before turning about and approaching the beckoning porch. The energy inside was palpable and frightening, and as he went inside he thought he heard the man's sad, quiet laughter behind him.

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