It was cold in the woods, the frost had only just started to thaw in the late morning sun as it shone into the clearing, the fallen trunks of Oak trees lay haphazardly around a fire. They had clearly succumb to the same disease that now drained the vitality from the surrounding still standing trees, a blood disease spread by the Wildborn and their misguided journey into things that should not be contemplated… but despite that proper manners said it was time for tea.
This was exactly what NAME was going to do and as she did every day, but today it was especially so as she had a guest. She and her family had been so lucky to find Jack lost in the heavy fog that hung like a dank blanket most nights in this area of her territory. She was certain that her incantations had nothing to do with the fog, but it was an excellent side effect to protect her family and that was all she was trying to do after all!
He wasn’t the most chatty of people but that was OK as SISTER was more than capable of filling a silence with her beautiful sing-song voice, how often NAME had thought that she would be a rare talent for any theatre even those at the distant Broadway. Admittedly the occasional bloody phelm projectile that would gargle up and out of her mouth may upset some but they are always those that don’t appreciate real art.
‘please SISTER we have guests wipe your mouth’
‘Now Jack you must tell us how you came to be in this area?’
‘really well it was lucky we came across, there are some scary and bizarre things in this wood’
‘I totally agree, although may I ask you not to be so forward with my sister please. It isn’t me I long to see her happy but GOAT and SNAKE are very protective you see’
At the mention of their names both GOAT and SNAKE entered the clearing and settled between Jack and SISTER as to reinforce the point.
‘Now you two behave, Jack is our guest and no harm was meant. Am I right Jack?’
‘ you see now no more nonsense it is time for tea!’
‘Loren dear please pass out the finger food we have, I most apologise Jack we can’t find decent plates out here,
As Loren steps forward and offered up rather gruesome selection of small bloodied appetisers to the assembled party.
‘Are you sure jack? I admit I should watch my figure as well but I can’t help myself these are so delicious.’
As NAME devoured the morsal and the slight warmth as it trickled down her throat, nearby on a small fire a cast iron kettle began to whistle.
‘what perfect timing please GOAT if you would’
with surprising dexterity for a massive creature GOAT added the stewing liquor to the vessel held by NAME.
‘mmmh I do love Earl Grey it just reminds me so much of home, wouldn’t you agree SISTER’
Garbled noises of agreement rose from the ruined throat of SISTER
‘Shall I be mother?, excellent ‘
‘Loren how many sugars was it again?”
Clip Clop Clip
‘ah yes 3 sugars, you teeth won’t last long if you keep that up’
Loren shifted uncomfortably without making eye contact with NAME.
‘I am afraid we only have the one cup you don’t mind sharing do you jack?’
‘thank you so generous, well this has been most enjoyable we must do this again Jack’
‘you tease, till next time’
6 days later
The search party can across the clearing in the afternoon, all hope was lost days ago but it was the priority to ensure Daniel wasn’t used for something else. What the party found was something no-one could believe.
Next to a burnt out fire was the headless corpse of Daniel it was also missing all his fingers, however some where found close by on a piece of bark…..some had animal teeth marks and looked half eaten…
However what was most bizarre was the head found at the far end of the clearing, it had been hollowed out and left.
What was bizarre was the tea leaves at the bottom…