Why One Ought to Go Into the Wood to Find a Monster

 George went into the wood and shivered. It was the dead of winter, and everything looked just that: dead. Only, that wasn't quite true: the evergreen trees had their needles, though given the circumstances George found their dark green color menacing. Dark green, George was beginning to feel as he crept further into the wood, was a kind of color that could hide things. In particular, it could hide monsters.

    Although, that was exactly what George intended to find: a monster.

    George had heard about the monster at school. Rumors swirled from the kids of the timber-fellers that something large, hairy and with very sharp teeth had been seen lurking in exactly the part of the wood where George now stood. And something in George had wanted to see for himself.

    There was a large dead stick on the ground in front of him as George inched further into the wood. He picked it up, tapping it against the palm of one hand. What he was going to do with the stick, he didn't know. But it seemed a good idea all the same. 

    As George was tapping the stick and wondering if a monster's teeth would crunch through a stick as easily as bone, the monster appeared.

    It was a shaggy creature, definitively laden with razor sharp teeth and expansive taloned claws on each hand and each foot. 

    George began to quake with fear.

    'You're lonely, too?' the monster spoke.

    George startled. He looked closely at the monster who asked such a peculiar question upon seeing a person. That was when he noticed the thing. The curious thing. The curious thing in the monster's eyes. The twinkle.

    George had a decision to make then and there. He could run away screaming — for that is what he understood was one option when coming across a monster — or he could tell the honest truth and hope that it meant something. And the honest truth was that it was only loneliness that could make a kid go alone into a dead wood and try and find a monster.

    George nodded. He hoped it meant something.

    The monster put a hand on George's shoulder in a comforting kind of way.

    And so the monster and George sat down together on a dead log, and forgot all about being lonely, together.

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