Lexi had no idea how long she had stood staring at this head, this body. She had entered a trance-like state of disgust, confusion, and fear. When she woke, she was once again scared out of her mind. Just out of the corner of her eye, she could see a person. It wasn’t close enough to harm her but she feared for her life anyways. This thing that she was now looking at looked about 7 feet tall. It had huge arms and legs, like tree trunks. These alone should have been enough to have Lexi running and screaming, but she couldn’t get past this thing’s outfit. There was a giggle building inside her that she knew she wouldn’t be able to contain for very long.
Before her, this tree trunk of a creature stood garbed in a horizontally striped sweater that alternated green and orange stripes. The sweater was tucked into a pair of long shorts that had suspenders. Lexi knew there was a name for this contraption and she took a moment to think of it. (She couldn’t stand not knowing the names of things.) LEDERHOSEN! That’s what it was. It also wore some sort of boots and an odd little hat cocked to the side of its lumpy head.
It was a standoff of creature and child. Neither moved, waiting for the other to make the first move. Lexi, being the stubborn little girl that she was, was militant in her desire to protect her little area of the woods and therefore refused to move. Somehow, she just knew that this thing wasn’t what caused the death and destruction that she had witnessed. Lexi once again glanced over at the macabre display and caught a whiff of what she thought was lilac. Confused by the smell of flowers when previously all she smelled was death and evil, Lexi chanced another glance over at the thing, but to her dismay, it was gone. She turned around to look for it and walked directly into it. It had moved so quickly and silently that she hadn’t noticed.
The scream that pierced the silence of the woods sent birds flying and small animals scurrying. No matter how tough Lexi thought she was, she was now scared beyond words. Frozen in her tracks, all she could do was stare at this monster. To the best of her knowledge, Lexi could only figure that she was seen as a disport to the monster as what could best be described as a slow grin spread across the creature’s face.
A gnarled hand reached out to Lexi. As Lexi hoped her life would be spared, the hand opened to show her a small flower. Surprised as she was, Lexi managed to reach her tiny hand out to the creature and make a gesture of acceptance. She was careful not to get too close, but before she knew it, the monster’s paw had encased her hand. Another scream was rapidly rising in Lexi’s throat, but it had to battle the bile that was also rising there. Neither managed to escape. The monster could see the fear and disgust in Lexi’s eyes and on her face and immediately released its grip.
Free from this ogre, Lexi took a couple steps back. She kept her eyes on its face and what she saw made her rethink things. Oddly enough, it looked as though the thing was sad. She had always had a special connection with animals that her family couldn’t seem to understand. Whatever ran that connection chose this moment to show up. Lexi knew that this thing meant her no harm now. The thoughts of a conflagration to erase everything she had seen, heard and felt up until now were erased. She extended her hand to the monster, palms up to show she meant no harm and waited for the thing to once again connect with her.