There are children playing in a park. One of them, a soldier, shoots! Another, a spy, his shoelace untied, dodges the bullet by diving behind a bush! He rolls down a bank and under an old wooden bridge. The soldier calls for help and approaches the bridge cautiously, he knows how sneaky this particular spy can be. Fingers pointed like weapons tremble as he gets closer, until finally, right beside the bridge, there’s nothing but darkness.
“If you want to find your frrriend,” a voice in the deep shadows tells him, “he is in here.”
The soldier sees a growing light coming from a growing gap in the bricks. From inside, a deep monster growl.
“Who are you?” the soldier asks. He forms his guns tightly.
“I live here, the question is, why are you… little people… disturrrrbing me?”
The voice is dripping, hot. Old. And foul.
The soldier cringes, but holds his ground. “I was looking for the spy.”
“The spy! I see! Well, your spy is apprehended. He will be no furrrther trouble.”
The soldier eyes the cave suspiciously, unsure whether it hides an ally or an enemy. He wonders where his help is.
“You’re welcome to come inside and check for yourself, but I assurrre you, no little people have ever escaped from herrre. I think you’ll find we’re both mutually satisfied, hm?”
The soldier lowers his guns. “Okay, but if I ever see him, I’ll be back.”
Somewhere in the darkness, a grin.
“Of courrrse. Well, if you have any other spies, send them my way, hm?”
The soldiers nods, and runs back to the picnic table. There, or maybe in the darkness, the sound of watermelon being cut. Teeth wet and dripping. And between a gap in the bricks, the shortest end of a shoelace sticks out.