She peeked over the edge, hoping to count the rings in the stump and figure out how old the tree had been. She never expected a goblin to be staring back at her. With a shriek, she ran and hid behind the nearest tree.

“Wait! I’m sorry! I know I’m spooky-looking, but I never meant to scare you!”

The girl poked her head out from the tree, taking another look from her safer distance. The monster’s mouth opened into a terrible, splitting gash, but she supposed it wasn’t his fault. “Have you ever lived under a bed?”

“No, just this old stump.”

“Do you know the boogeyman?”

“Never heard of him.”

She took a step towards him. “Promise you won’t eat me?”

“I promise.”

“Okay, then.” She hopped over and grinned into his horrible face. “I’m Paige.”


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