It is night. Micah and Liril are sleeping. Tainted John is laying down.
There is a rustling.
Micah is instantly awake.
There is a further rustling. Something is scurrying and slithering in the pine needles. It is evil.
Micah is on his feet. He is looking towards it.
It is great and serpentine and slithery. It is pale moonlight colors, blue and cold. It has a terrible maw. It has black feathers on its head and raven eyes. It is just the sort of thing that one finds making rustling noises in the forest.
“Once upon a time,” the creature whispers, and its voice is moon and stars and wind, “a runaway child broke his leg here. So he died. And I grew inside him. And then I came out. And now I must kill runaway children to lay my eggs in them.”
Micah looks at Tainted John. Tainted John does not seem to have noticed the rustling or the creature’s speech.
The creature’s head sways back and forth in the air. Then it arcs viciously towards Micah. Micah moves to meet it, then stops, his hands splayed in the air, as if against an invisible wall. The creature stops too.
“There’s a glass door,” Micah bluffs. “Bump! If you attack, you’ll hit your head on it!”
The creature hesitates. “Open it,” it says.
“There’s no handle!”
The creature eyes him narrowly. It has bumped into glass doors before. They are one of its natural enemies. But the air is undisturbed.
“I do not believe you,” it whispers.
“I wouldn’t let her sleep out here defenseless,” Micah bluffs.
And if this works, we cannot know.