by Trilby Plants
Hey, mister, whatcha doing?
I can see that. What’re you whittling?
No need to be snippy, Missy.
Don’t judge me, mister, I’m having a terrible day. I walked a half a mile in these shoes. What are you making?
A little figger.
A bitty person.
Nope. A little person.
Passes the time. Ya lookin fer somethin, Missy?
My car is up the road with two flats. Some idiot lost a bunch of nails and didn’t bother to pick them up. There’s no cell service, but I thought I could use your phone—
Got no phone. None of them fancy carry-round phones, neither. Folks here don’t take to all that useless stuff.
Do you even have electricity?
Snippy again. Some of us got lectric. I don’t need none.
You don’t have electricity or a phone?
How in God’s name do you communicate with the world?
Got no need to.
Could you take me into town?
Got no ve-hicle.
You don’t have a car? Or a truck?
I should have bought a GPS.
Global—it’s a gizmo that runs off satellites and tells you where you are and how to get where you’re going.
Oh, never mind. How far is it down the mountain to that little town?
Bout three mile.
I have to walk three miles?
Yup. But ya don’t wanna do that.
Sun’s almost down. Mountain road’s dangerous at night. They’s things ‘at go bump in the dark.
I saw a big dog along the road, slinking through the trees, like it was following me.
Might be a wolf.
Oh my God. A wolf? Aren’t they dangerous?
Depends on how hungry he is.
Look, I don’t mean to be rude, but you have no right to criticize me.
Not criticizin. Just no need fer a pretty girl like you t’be cursin.
Oh, for God’s sake….If I’d stayed on the main road and not followed that stupid sign, I’d be there now.
Where ya goin?
My boyfriend rented a cabin on Summer Lake.
Boyfriend? Yer not married?
No—what difference does that make? The sign said this road was a shortcut.
Sign’s wrong, Missy.
Oh, for—if people know the sign’s wrong, why don’t they fix it?
Things take time. Maybe some signs are wrong for a reason.
I don’t have time for this. It’s almost dark and I should be there by now and there’s no way to let Brent know where I am so he could come and get me and shit—
You shouldn’t use that filthy language.
I don’t give a shit what you think. And since you can’t help me, I’m going back to my car and hope somebody comes along who can.
Nobody much comes up the road, Missy.
I’ll just wait till morning and hike into town. Somebody there’ll have a phone, or I’ll have cell service.
It is a little person.
But the face is odd. Looks like a dog….I have to get going—ouch. What was that for?
Just a couple a hairs. See, ya tie it around here like yer scarf, and it kinda looks like ya, huh?
Okay, it’s interesting. But making it look like me is creepy. I’m out of here.
Where ya think yer goin, Missy?
Back to my car….
You ain’t goin nowhere.
Too late, Missy. Lookit what happens when I pinch the little person’s leg a mite.
Ow, that hurts. What are you doing—?
See, Missy, with yer hair, it’s just like ya. What happens to the carvin, happens to you.
See what happens when I twist the neck a tad? Not so snippy now, are ya, Missy? What’s wrong? Cat got yer tongue? Can’t feel that when I pinch ya, can ya? But you can see, cantcha? No point tryin to get up. Nothin works. Yer neck’s bout broken. My boy’s out there just waitin fer the sun to go down. And he’s got a hunger. Any second now. There he is. C’mon, boy. Dinner.
Trilby Plants wrote her first story when she was ten. It won a blue ribbon at the Montana State Fair. She’s been writing stories ever since. Besides children’s books, Plants writes dark fantasy about giant spiders. Why spiders? Because she loves Magic, and spiders are her worst nightmare. She is the co-author of Double Danger, a romantic suspense. A proud member of the South Carolina Writers’ Association, Plants lives in Murrells Inlet, SC, where she writes, knits and creates video book trailers for authors.