I’ll never forget that night. The rain was pouring down so hard it sounded as though pebbles were hitting the roof. As I lay in my bed, trying to steel my nerve to go out in that rain and concede the fight with my bladder I tried to take some small comfort in how relaxing it would be to come back and drift off to sleep to that wonderful sound. There was little so soothing as hard rain coming down on the cabin roof. Eventually the urge became too great and I headed out into the night.
The lamp I carried with me cast eerie shadows around the clearing as I made my way to the outhouse. If I had not been so familiar with the place it would have been more than a little scary, but the camp was like home; I was not afraid. As I stepped into the middle of the clearing I saw that the old maple stump was not the right size and shape, and then as the light played across it I realised that a squat figure was crouched on the top of it. I suppose I should have known that something was wrong at that point, but I was half awake. The small figure was hooded, and as it sensed the lamp’s passing, it turned towards me and all I could see was the light reflected in a wide and toothy grin that snapped me back into the moment; I had never seen such sharp and bright teeth.
“Good evening, Thomasss. I wonder if I can interessst you in a little proposssition?”
Its sibilant tongue played across the daggers of his teeth, and though my mind was screaming that what was most likely some kind of woodland spirit was talking to me in the dead of night, and all was not well with the world, I found myself nodding and then heard my self saying “Yes?”, my stunned gaze held by the almond shaped, yellow eyes that flashed above that mouth full of blades.
“Take a ssseat.”
He motioned behind me and a seat made of living wood erupted from the clearing floor. I staggered back onto it, left only with my fear, and started to wonder what I had stumbled into and how I could escape.
“My name isss Robin, and I need your help which, if rendered willingly, I will repay with a handsome gift.”
His voice was compelling and dripping with unspoken threats. I nodded, free will having quit the transom of my mind, chased away by a cold, primal fear that I could not withstand.
“I need one of your eyesss, and three drops of your blood. Shall I give you the knife, or do I need to take thessse things for myssself?”
I looked down at my hand. There was a small silver knife in my palm, its curved silver blade leaving no doubt as to its sharpness, the light glinting off the edge like ice on fire.