I almost didn't get to write this between work and the holidays. Things are crazy now. I 'will' keep the story going. And I will get to all the art that I've been promising. But, things went so awesome with the 'opportunity' I mentioned that I hardly have time to think about anything else but my career. And guess what! I met Roberta Williams the other day! Holy shit!
Little Ashley Davis, a girl no more than seven years old, walked into the forest looking for Lenigod – her pet puppy dog. She was normally afraid of the forest at night, so it was a good thing it was a nice sunny day. Ashley skipped through the woods. Finding her dog was more like playing to her.
The forest spirit watched her from far away. He hid in a tree. Often people running through the forest don’t look up. So he spied on her. Her puppy was safely in the middle of the forest chewing on an old deer bone. It would take a while for her to find her pet. He waited.
“Such a cute girl.” Stevil thought. “Hope she doesn’t get lost.”
“Leeeeeenniiiiiiiii!!!” Ashley screeched.
Ashley was heading in the complete wrong direction. She walked the more tangled areas of the forest with little to no real path stepping over sticker bushes. But, she kept calling to her dog. Lenigod’s ears perked up and he came running to her. His animal senses picked out her direction expertly.
“Humans are so worthless out in the wild.” Stevil said to himself.
Stevil floated to the ground and stepped lightly across the forest. With every step he floated, covering a long distance with every step. He could move quickly and quietly even when stepping on the sticks and stones of the forests. Soon he would find her there in the sticker bushes.
Something made her cringe. Her ears burned and perked up as if there was a loud sound, but she could not hear it. Behind her she looked to see the forest spirit standing there, large and furry with a big wide smile full of teeth. She yelped and jumped back a bit struggling to get free of the blackberry bushes. Lenigod snapped at the forest spirit and barked at him.
“Shhhh….” Stevil held a finger up to his mouth.
Stevil grabbed a hold of her shoulders and picked her up. He stepped lightly on the thorns of the bushes. Not a sound was made while he glided over the bushes, and his furry feet were not punctured. When he landed on safe ground he put Ashley down.
“Little girl. Are you lost?” Stevil said. “It is dangerous out here in the forest. Why are you out here?”
“I was finding my dog Leni.” Ashley looked up at him. “I didn’t want him to get lost. But now I’m lost.”
“Don’t worry little girl, I will bring you home.” Stevil said. “Will you allow me to carry you there? It will be much faster. Oh, and look here. I have a piece of candy. Do you like candy?”
“I love candy!” Ashley jumped. “Gimme gimme!”
Stevil gave her a lollipop and she squirmed with joy, ripping off the wrapper and sticking it in her smiling mouth. She twirled around and seemed to glow with happiness. Stevil growled at them a friendly growl. She thanked him and threw her hands up at him, gesturing Stevil to pick her up. He picked her up and threw her on his shoulders. Then he skipped through the forest.
“Aren’t your parents worried about you?” Stevil sailed through the air.
“My parents are DEAD. Heh heh…” Ashley said, laughing.
“Oh, uh… hm…” Stevil said. “I’m sorry. Where’s your house?”
“That way!” Ashley yelled.
They approached the house. It was covered in nature. Ivy crawled up the walls. Bushes were overgrown and entangled in the brick. Branches of the trees were growing into broken windows. Ashley strolled into the front door and motioned Stevil inside. He bounced in and step around. There were pictures on the wall. She had drawn cartoons, all over the wall.
“Will you stay here,” Ashley said. “And play with me?”
“No, I…” Stevil backed up. “I think I should go. I mean, there might be other people in the forest - lost. Like you were.”
A picture of her puppy was on the wall. Lenigod was less cartoony – more realistic. Stevil noticed now that there was something strange about the puppy. The puppy was also realistic, but it was realistic like the drawing. Lenigod was animated with lines here and there that looked like brush strokes. He was a living drawing.
“My dog is my best drawing.” Ashley said. “He’s the only one that stays around when I’m asleep.”
“I have to go.” Stevil said awkwardly. “Be safe…”
He raced out the door. As if in a nightmare, he fled. Some of the drawings on the wall horrified him. If she could animate the dog he could only imagine the limits of her power. All he wanted was to get away from it – that house and that girl.
While he travelled he saw a man in the distance running towards him. Stevil realized that he had been out in plain sight for too long. It was time to get back to the forest. Stevil turned to meet the man, curious about what he wanted. Maybe he needed help. He wore a tattered corduroy suit and was in quite a hurry.
It was too late when Stevil noticed he carried a large bo staff. Corduroy Turtle swung around a slapped Stevil in the ribs with it. The shock of the blow came quicker than Stevil thought possible from a wooden stick. Stevil dropped to his knees and was then hit in the back with the staff. Now, on both his hands and knees he knew that the staff had a sort of energy to it that extended beyond the weapon itself.
Stevil took off his forest spirit head piece before he coughed up blood onto the grass. He crawled away, numbed by pain. Corduroy was able to push him over easily. Stevil rolled around on his back and waited for death.
“So, you’re just a man, are you?” Corduroy Turtle said.
“I just… *cough* want to help Ravensdale, Silent Hill, Greenvale…” Stevil said. “There is someone out there trying to kill us all!”
“Yes there is. And he wanted me to send you a message.” Corduroy Turtle said.
“Oh…” Stevil closed his eyes.
Corduroy Turtle smashed Stevil’s skull into pieces. Stevil’s body froze and his eyes bled. Corduroy picked up his body and threw it into a ditch. It was time for the Turtle to race home now.
“Hey mister, why did you hit that man in the furry suit?” Ashley said.
“He was a very evil forest spirit. I smashed him like a bug.” Turtle said.
“No no, he was a nice man.” Ashley said.
“What is your name little girl?” Turtle asked.
“Ashley…” She said. “Ashley Davis… I’m not really seven years old. I’m supposed to be older.”
“Do you know the masked man Ashley?” Corduroy Turtle suspected she was a victim of his powers.
“Yes.” She said. “I know him.”
“Then I will take you to him.” Corduroy grinned. “I would much like to see what he thinks of you.”
Lenigod’s tail wagged and nuzzled her hand. Corduroy Turtle took her other hand slowly, and they left to contact the masked man once again. She felt a tingling sensation around Corduroy Turtle, like he had an aura of energy. The faster they moved, the more his shell of energy reacted.
They travelled to Greenvale on their way to Silent Hill.