I run as fast as my small legs can carry me. Leaves and branches whip at my face and arms. Loud shouts and cries follow me through the trees. Dark shapes move between the dense foliage. I leap over a fallen log as a spear whistles past. Several arrows follow and I dart to the left, attempting to confuse my pursuers. A faint trickling noise reaches my ears and I break through a wall of bushes and skid to a halt. There is a rushing, wide river. The current is flowing fast and I groan loudly, looking for another route. I notice a long vine hanging from a tree, jutting over the water. Apprehension swirls in my gut as I judge its distance from the land. An arrow grazes my thigh and I leap from the bank, my heart in my throat. Miraculously I make it and swing over the river and land in a half roll on the other side. My head spins but I force myself onto my feet and carry on. Hastily, I sprint madly forwards and run straight into a low hanging branch.
My eyelids slowly flicker open and I glance around groggily. My surroundings are a blur. I blink rapidly and the blurry veil lessens. Something sharp jabs in my side and I look down. A small creature with a large layer of moss covering its head peers up at me, holding a tiny spear in one hand. Several other of these peculiar creatures stand behind the mossy haired one, whispering quietly to one another. I go to move and discover that I have been tied up against a tree. I wriggle and squirm but the long vines wrapped around me are tight and refuse to budge. The mossy creature makes a weird nose, displaying two rows of large, crooked teeth. I carry on thrashing nevertheless. The creature frowns, his large, single bushy monobrow hiding his eyes and jabs me in the side again, harder this time. I cry out and both the mossy leader and the accompanying crowd jump back startled.
‘Richard, time for tea.’
I look up surprised. My mother stands in front me, her arms folded across her chest.
‘What are you up to?’ She asks, masking her amusement.
‘I’ve just been captured by the little people.’
‘Well they will have to wait a while i’m afraid.’ She says, leaning forwards and tugging the vine around my waist.
It comes away easily and as she pulls it from around me the vine transforms into a garden hose. I climb to my feet and step out of the tangled pile.
‘Come on, you can clean this up after tea.’ She instructs, leading me towards the house.
I follow her obediently, knocking over the mossy haired creature on my way. As it falls to the ground it turns into a small, troll doll. I manage to avoid the other six dolls that have been arranged in a circle on the ground. The low hanging vine morphs into a tire swing as I approach. It sways lazily in the wind, dangling from a large pear tree. The log I previously jumped over has vanished and in its place is a large sand pit. I make an action style leap over the side and land in the pile of sand. My mum shakes her head disapprovingly. At the porch door I pause and take one more glance behind me. The sand pit is a log once again, the tire swing has returned back to vine and the little people peer at me from behind the tree. I smile and close the door behind me.
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