My parents and grandmother found me in the morning, still chained to the pole. When the blindfold was removed, I saw what remained of the people I once lived with.
There was very little blood, and no bodies at all. Indentations showed where people were dragged, or tried to crawl but besides a few shoes, there was nothing to show a human had existed at all.
Trying to wrap my head around it, I could only cry as the fear, anger, and hatred burned through me all at once. Those who had hated me were gone, but once more I had been spared.
Why? I would not learn the truth for several more months.
We left Galvisberg,
headed north to the mountains and tried to resettle and escape the stigma of the town but the legend of the deserted village spread faster than we could travel and it was waiting for us when
we arrived. The people were friendly enough but they too had stories of animals in the woods and people disappearing.
A hunting party had been dispatched to kill the creatures once and for all,
they disappeared and that night their loved ones claimed to hear their voices calling out to them by name and begging them to come into the woods.
Thankfully this place was smarter than the one I grew up in because no one listened when the voices came.
In time I grew older, my grandmother passing on and my parents and I settled in. Until one night my father went into the woods to cut firewood.
It had been bitterly cold and we had used the wood faster than intended.
I heard him calling me later, and I was tempted to ignore but I could see him at the edge of the forest so I knew he was actually calling me.
I also noticed he wasn't wearing his coat and thus I grabbed my favorite red cloak, some food, and a mug of warm ale and ran to him,
thinking he was cold and needed something to warm himself as he worked. He waited patiently for me, my steps quick but unhurried as I did not want to spill the ale.
I handed them to him and was preparing to hand him his spare cloak when he spoke, "Thank you".
I dropped the cloak and looked up, my father's face staring back at me, but that was not his voice and those were not his eyes.
It mimicked my father well, but it's eyes were a bright yellow and reflected like a cat's in the dark.
I turned, intending to run, but the snow was deep and the creature did not sink as I did, so it caught me.
I screamed for my mother as the creature dragged me through the snow and into the darkness.
Even as it pulled, I could hear it's voice changing, shifting with every scream as it practiced how to imitate my voice.
I knew then it would use my voice to lure my mother, possibly even my younger sister and then they too would be eaten or whatever it is the creature did to those it took.
I sought anything I could to defend myself but rocks seemed to have hidden themselves from me and every stick my fingers clasped was lost from my grip as the creature dragged me across
the snow by my ankles. Apparently my struggles were irritating because it lifted me up, carrying me like a sack of potatoes.
I beat it's back as best I could but it was like punching a stone wall for all the good it did and eventually my hands hurt too much to continue.
I was dropped into the snow in a circle of trees, my body rattled but my mind telling me to move before it tried to grab me again.
I didn't make it more than a few steps before I was brought down to the ground and felt sharp teeth in my flesh. I screamed...it screamed, mocking me as it drained my blood.
I saw the world grow dark and felt my body growing colder by the second.
Before everything went dark I asked a simple question, "Why?
" The creature stopped, seemingly amused by my question and apparently felt enough pity to answer my question before it finished me off.
"You weren't old enough. Not enough of a meal..."
I felt my heart skip and stop and in the split second I had before death I screamed inside, praying my family would not follow my voice tomorrow night but knowing already that they would...