It's not random.


You have been here before, you think. The towering trees aren't the same as you left them, if you ever left them at all. The swift breeze carries a scent that is as novel as it is familiar. You make your way to the cabin. Here, you know, you will be able to weather the elements. When your hand touches the worn brass of the door handle, you feel a sudden trepidation. You know what's on the other side of that door. Nothing is going to hurt you. And yet...

You turn on your heel and head back towards the tree line.

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Golden streams of light pour through the great conifers above, heralds of the approaching sun. Dew sticks to your sandaled feet. The prospect of wading through the tall grass might trouble you, under different circumstances. Any manner of insect could hide themselves on your body, biding their time until you're most comfortable. But it doesn't even cross your mind. A part of you knows it isn't anything to worry about. Not here.

Your aimless expedition can't last forever. You're all too aware of your responsibilities. What if you were caught wandering carelessly, like you weren't burdened by a grave duty? What would they think of you? Nothing good, certainly. Perhaps a coincidence, perhaps summoned by your fretting, you notice a flash of movement out of the corner of your eye. What a start! You quickly orient yourself towards the cabin. Admit it or not, you're walking faster than before. Wrestling your mind away from the apparition, you try your absolute hardest not to think about it. You think about it.

The march home always feels longer than the journey there. But it's different this time. It is impossible no to notice them, even as you fix your eyes forward. There is a brief reprieve, and you wryly ponder the ideal number of appendages for a creature to have. You settle of four. You're torn away from your transient comfort - a sound to your right. They are getting bolder. You don't know what they want, but anything benign seems beyond reason.

The Cabin is in sight. You weren't lost, but it's always good to know where you are. You're starting to notice more and more of them. Your heart is pounding as you careen up the wooden stairs to the Cabin. Your trembling hand rests on the door handle for a split second. But the calculus is clear: Better in there, than in here. You turn the handle.