A long time ago, a young girl was playing in the woods. Her dress was white, her hair wild, knees dirty, like any other child.

When the sun began to set, she knew she had to go home. However, intrigued by the absence of light, she sat under the trees, waiting for what was to come next.

At midnight, all the monsters came out to play in the moonlight. She watched them closely behind some bushes, wondering why she had never seen before, during the day. When a monster noticed her and approached her, she was calm, and felt no anxiety.

'You're a curious thing', it said. 'Are you not afraid of us?'

She looked at the monster's face. She saw wounds and tentacles and rough skin and fur. Altogether, most people would probably have called it a terrifying thing to be behold.

'I don't fear the unknown,' she answered. 
'Have your parents not told you about us then? What we do to little humans?'
'They have, but grown-ups say a lot of things. That the tooth-fairy collects my teeth for example, and that if I lose an eyelash and blow it away, I can make a wish. Neither are true now, are they?'
'Do you think that because none of your wishes have ever come true?' it asked.
'Yes. I've made a fair few, and no luck.'
'Well, in that case, let me grant you one wish. I promise you, it will come true. If not, you can take this knife,' it said, while holding the tool in the air, 'and stab it in my heart.'

The blade glimmered, and while the girl thought long and deep, the monster whistled softly.

'I know what I want. I want to be meaningful. I want to have a purpose, if only just for once.'

The monster smiled. 'Then I shall give you just that.'

It bowed, took the knife, and put it in her rib case. She let out an 'oh!', and while her eyes widened, her soul said goodbye to her body, and the light in her eyes faded out.

'You're meaningful, the monster mumbled, while stroking her pale face.
'For tonight, my children and I will feast on you.'

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Harold's Castle

Harold's Castle