Nigel and Enid sat on a dock in the Lake District in Northern England. The sky was a fuchsia pink with wisps of gold and lilac, and the water reflected the sun's golden rays like a mirror. Resting after a long day
throwing rocks at fish in the lake and killing little animals, they stared aimlessly into the depths of the dark calm water.
"Hmm, I wonder" Enid pondered, "if there really are monsters in the lake. D'ye think there are?"
"Oh I don't just wonder, Enid. I bloody well know there be monsters in that lake."
"You sure, Nigel?"
"Positive. Phillip Flemington reckons his uncle got eaten in this very lake about twenty times." Nigel threw a rock at the glassy water.
"Hmm.. It'd be gettin' rather late… d'ye think mum is worryin'?"
"Yes, we'd better go. You know what comes out in the night…"
"What?" Enid said, her eyes widening. "What comes out in the night?"
"Oh, you know," Nigel said, swinging his legs over the water watching his reflection. He looked up at Enid, a sinister smile was on his face. "Monsters… zombies… all them."
"You're well jokin'!" Enid said.
"Oh, no I'm not! You ask mum!"
"Fine!" Enid said, defeated. She looked around a little weary. What if Nigel was right?
Nigel and Enid got up and wandered home. The sky was darkening and the woods became rather eerie; each tree stared at them with twisted claws, becoming monsters of their own. They seemed to be
watching the children as they walked down the dark path, eyes staring at them from within the trees. Nigel and Enid both felt their hearts pounding in their chest, fear creeping through each limb on their bodies
and they hurried home without a sound.
"Oh my what is the rush?" Their mum said from the kitchen as they ran through the door and slammed it. Sarcasm dripped from her words.
"Nothin' mum." Enid said. She sat at the table and stared at the lake through the window.
"Mum?" She asked.
"Um… I was just wonderin'…" She hesitated as she pushed her rat and kidney pie around her dinner plate. "If there really be monsters and zombies in the night?"
"Oh, don't be silly!" The mother said, "of course there be not! What makes you think such things?"
"Nigel told me so." Enid said.
"Yes, mum. He reckons Phillip's uncle got eaten in the lake twenty times."
"It's true! Phillip never tells a lie!" Nigel added.
"Oh dear, that's not good." The mother said as she rolled her eyes. It was obvious she didn't care much about what the children were saying. It was all nonsense to her.
Enid looked at Nigel. They both new their mum was clueless.
"Well, I got a phone call from Grandma." The mother began.
"Yes, what about Grandma?" Nigel said.
"She says she's really out of it right now. Would do'r well if you two would give'r some company for the week'nd."
"Ahh mum, I don't wanna go to Grandma's." Enid moaned.
"Oh you bloody well are whether you like it or not!" The mother said.
The door opened and fell off the hinges as their father dragged himself into the tiny house. His left arm was broken in eight different spots and his right leg was severed just below the knee.
"Oh hello Paul. How was your day, dear?" The mother said.
"Horrible." He said as he sat down, killing the cat. "Where's me pie, Judy?"
"Right here, darling." Judy said as she placed the rat and kidney pie in front of him. He tasted it, then his face looked disgusted.
"Can I have the one with less rat in it?"
"That is the one with less rat in it."
"I want the one with the least bit of rat in it."
"There is only one piece with the least rat in it and you got it!" She shrieked as she tried to smash a paper plate, with little success. Frustrated, she picked it up and tore it in half. "Now, eat! Or go hungry, this
might be the last ye get for a while now!"
The family continued eating, and the mother sat down with her slice of rat kidney pie.
"Anyway, as I was telling the children," Judy began, "Grandma really needs some company. There be a basket of goods for her by the door. Now, I don't want you to be cold goin' over there this evenin' so make
sure ye dress warmly."
"Yes, me and y'r mum have some stuff we need to sort out. It'd be good if you could help grandma out instead." The father added with a mouth full of rat, winking at Judy.
Nigel moaned. "I don't want to go to grandma's! She smells strongly of 40 year old scotch and horse sh--!"
"I mean it, Nigel!" The father snapped. "If y'r gonna be there by eight, you should be on y'r way in five minutes. It's already six-thirty!"
Nigel and Enid grabbed their coats and the basket for their grandmother.
"Now children," The mother said, "Don't be wanderin' off into the woods, stay on the path, alright? And don't eat any of grandma's special cakes… and do not smoke any of her special green tea."
Smoking tea? That was a little odd to Enid and Nigel. But they shrugged it off.
"Don't worry mummy, I'll take good care of Enid and Grandma!" Nigel said, emphasizing the last word sarcastically.
And the children were off. Enid wandered for five minutes, then realized Nigel wasn't there. Terrified, her heart began to race, her breathing became rapid and the hair raised on the back of her neck.
"Nigel?" she yelled.
"Yes, Enid? Don't worry, I'm just dropping bits of crumbs on the path so if we get lost we can find our way back."
"Oh." Enid sighed in relief. "Well, come on, we have to get to…. Grandma's."
They wandered deeper into the woods. The night had now become pitch black; only a siluette of the pointy treetops could be seen against the silver moon.
"D'ye think there be monsters in these woods?" Enid pondered, a little uneasy.
"Perhaps." Nigel said, confidently.
"D'ye think they'd… eat us?"
"No, I could fight'm off." Nigel said.
"I don't think so, Nigel."
"I bet I could!"
Suddenly, they heard a cracking noise in the trees off the path. In reaction to this, they clung to each other.
"Oh my! What could that be!?" Enid whispered.
"Just a bird," Nigel said, unconfidently.
They continued walking again. A few minutes passed when Nigel abruptly stopped.
"Shh!" He said. "I think I heard footsteps."
"Monsters?!" Enid shrieked under her breath.
"Dunno. Just listen."
The two children listened carefully. There was no sound for quite some time.
"Nigel, I reckon you were just hearing things…" Enid began, she was tired of waiting.
"No, shh! Just wait."
Enid rolled her eyes at Nigel, though he could barely see her do so anyway.
Suddenly, another twig cracked in the forest, but it was closer now. The children jumped and clung to each other yet again.
"I bet they've surrounded us!" Enid said to Nigel quietly.
"I don't know. If we move they'll know we're here!" Nigel was unsure of what he had just said.
The children stood in the middle of the path as they heard the cracking footsteps approaching. Each time the sound inched closer, their hearts beat faster. Suddenly they saw a tall, dark, lean shape against the
blackness of the deep forest and they were petrified.
"Uhhh… hello there." A man's lispy voice said.
"Are you…." Nigel hesitated, "a… a… monster?"
"Uhhh…." The voice pondered. "Maybe."
The children felt their stomachs knot and their chests go stiff.
"I'm just kidding." Laughed the voice.
Nigel felt a large cold hand on his shoulder. It was definitely human; he let a sigh of relief, yet still felt slightly cautious.
"Where you kids off to?" The voice said in a friendly manner.
"Uh… my grandma's?" Enid said, a little confused at the kindness of this unknown person.
"Oh." The voice said. "Well I'll show you to her house; I'm a good friend of hers."
"No. I promised me mum that I should take me sister there m'self." Nigel said.
"Oh, don't be silly! In the dark?" The voice said. They heard the ruffling of a coat and suddenly a light turned on. "I'll show you a shortcut, if you would like."
"Not until I see you are not a monster." Nigel said.
The man shone the light onto his face. His light blue eyes lit up, he had a sly smile, a long pointy nose and deep cheekbones. His eyebrows protruded far from his face, which was shaped by his long dark hair. The
way the light shone from below gave him a very sinister look. But then, he raised his eyebrows and laughed and his face transformed from ominous to extremely pleasant.
"See? Human." The man said merrily. He then flipped his hair, like a woman on a beach would.
"What's your name?" Enid said.
"Tom." The man said, smiling widely, "Tom Withers. And what might your names be, little ones?"
"I'm Nigel, and this is me sis', Enid."
"Jolly good, nice to meet you. Follow me?" The man said, and skipped down into the woods.
Without question, the children followed Tom into the darkness.
After an hour of listening to Tom bragging narcissistically about his superiority and greatness, Tom suddenly broke the subject.
"Oh my," Tom said. "Must be late. You know what? How about you stay at my house for the night. Get to your grandma's tomorrow morning when the sun is shining. It's safer that way." The children were unable
to see the malevolence in his face as he said it.
"Umm.. I guess you're right. I am rather exhausted." Enid said. Nigel nudged her.
"Are you sure he's not lying?" Nigel whispered.
"Of course not! He seems nice."
"Alright." Nigel looked at Tom.
"Coming?" Tom asked the children, laughing gaily.
"Yes," Nigel said, a little anxiously. He grabbed his sister's hand tightly and they followed Tom.
After five minutes they approached a small cottage. It smelled strongly of lye-treated cod.
"This is my home!" Tom giggled, patting Nigel on the back in a friendly way.
"A little smelly…" Enid said.
"Oh well that was from dinner. Never mind that. Now, come in."
Tom welcomed the children into his putrid-smelling home and took their coats, basket and their possessions into another room. Then, he came out and smiled at the children.
"Oh, you children must be so tired. Here, you can sleep, uh… here. In this room. Nobody uses it." Tom opened the door to a room with two little beds. Each bed had three blankets, fluffy pillows---it looked so cozy.
"Where'd ye put our things?" Nigel asked Tom, suspiciously.
"Uh… well… in the kitchen! I'll give them back in the morning." Tom sounded devious. "Anyway, go to bed. I'll bring you lovely children some tea in the morning. Good night. And for your information, there is no
such thing as monsters… especially in this forest." He smiled, then hugged Nigel tightly. He went over to Enid and smiled at her. Tom flicked the light off, walked out, shut the door, then locked it.
"That man is a bit strange." Nigel said, climbing into the warm bed.
"Why d'y think that? He's rather nice, I thought." Enid said.
"Just the way he touches me. It seems peculiar."
"He doesn't touch me. Maybe you're feeling things." Enid said.
"I think not!" Nigel said. "I want to go home…"
Enid quickly fell asleep. However, Nigel felt an extreme sense of uneasiness about the place. He lied there, staring at the ceiling. He listened.
"They've quieted down now." Nigel heard Tom say, quietly.
"Have they?" Another man's voice said. This voice was much deeper.
"Yes." Tom giggled. "And guess what? There's a little boy. He seems perfect."
"Good." The voice said. "What about the girl?"
"She seems clueless… she has no idea. Completely oblivious." Tom said. "She thinks the boy is making things up."
"Exactly what we want."
Nigel could barely make out what they were saying anymore. He lay there, completely startled. Perfect? What for? He felt beads of sweat run down his face. He knew there was something fishy going on.
But then suddenly Nigel felt a wave of exhaustion come about him. He could no longer fight with his desire for sleep, and silently fell into a dream.
The morning came, and Enid woke him up.
"Come on, Nigel. We'd better be off to grandma's!" She said.
Nigel forced his eyes open and sat up.
"Oh, Enid. I have something to tell you." He became alert.
"What, Nigel?" Enid said.
"Y'know last night, when y'were asleep?" Nigel said in a secretive manner.
"What about it?"
"I heard 'em talkin'."
"There's more than just Tom. Another man. Anyway, I heard 'em talkin', and I reckon, they might…"
"Might what?" Enid was anxious.
"Want to…eat us." Nigel said.
"That's silly!" Enid said. "Tom seems so nice!"
"Well, that's what I reckon!"
"I don't believe you." Enid said.
Nigel felt anger burning inside his heart. How could she not realize? Nigel wanted to go home, right this instant. No more Tom and no more Grandma, just home.
Tom walked in the door.
"Good Morning!" He greeted them with a sun-filled smile. " Are you children…hungry?"
"Yes!" Enid got up.
"No." Nigel responded. "I don't fancy nothin'."
"I'm sure you must be a little hungry." Tom insisted.
"No, not a bit." Nigel lied.
"Come on, just a lit--" Suddenly there was chaos heard outside.
"Kristian!" Tom yelled.
"Yes, what darling?" The creepy grumbling voice fit a face as a creepy diseased-looking man with a goatee that made him look like a goat.
"I think I heard the collapse of Roman Imperialism!"
"Really? That's rather strange. What on the children?"
"Supper can wait. I think we rather should spend more time concerning ourselves." Tom replied.
"Yes, let us check outside-- I thought I heard cavalry."
Tom and Kristian ventured outside, where they were brutally butchered; Tom was skewered to a tree with fourteen-and-a-half spears, and Kristian was decapitated twice. There lay other bodies, like the corpse
of Dr. F. Smith torn in half, and Grandma's severed head stuck onto a stake in the ground. Enid and Nigel were amazed.
"Wow, so an entire empire drenched in the obsession of power eventually fell by it's own hand." Said Enid.
"Indeed," replied Nigel, "but I must say; it's not the first time an empire has fallen."
"Nope! Not at all!"
Nigel took his sister's hand and requested that they should go home now, since the fall of an empire meant there was no need to go to grandma's anymore. As they came to their town in the Lake District, Enid
noticed a young blonde man standing at the road, blocking the way into the field.
"Hello," Enid said politely as her mother had taught her, "an' what may yer name be?"
"Ik zal je vermoorden voor uw prijswinnende kool." He replied.
From the little Dutch she knew, all she could pick up was "prizewinning" and "cabbage".
"Are you lost?" Enid noticed the man had an army of one-thousand strong, but pretended not to notice.
"Enid," Nigel said with concern, "he has an army."
"Does he?" Enid was pretending to be surprised. They decided to leave into the town.
"Bye my good friend!" she said to the Dutchman.
As they entered the town, they realized all hell had broken loose, and all their friends and family had been brutally butchered.
"Oh dear," said Nigel, "Look at Kipper the dog."
"Poor Kipper," Enid said, petting the half-shredded corpse of the dog.
As the army advanced once again towards the screaming civilians, Nigel and Enid hopped gaily over the dead corpses. They noticed a grenade fell in front of them, then they both laughed.
"Well," said Enid, "This is a day!"