Once upon a time there was a boy named Thomas. He lived near the woods and his mum always said to him, ‘Don’t go into the woods alone, Thomas, the beast will get you!’
And until Thomas was eight he always went together with his mum.
He didn’t understand why the beast didn’t show when he was with her. And at last he just stopped believing the story. On his ninth birthday, Thomas thought himself old enough to go into the woods alone.
He just wanted to go walking, maybe find a nice bouquet of flowers for his mum, to calm his nerves about the big day. It was still a little dark when Thomas walked past the big trees and into the dark of the woods. Soon the sun would rise.
Everywhere were shadows. Animals moved in the bushes. An owl shrieked up ahead. Thomas’ heartbeat quickened. He looked about him and started walking faster. It seemed like the sounds were following him!
‘Don’t give up, Thomas,’ he said to himself. ‘You’re here now. You’re nine years old and you’ve been here many times before. Now search for those flowers, don’t chicken out!’
So Thomas kept on walking. Searching for a bouquet to take home to his, very likely, disgruntled mum. He got deeper and deeper into the woods and when he thought he really had to get back, he finally found a small clearing with flowers.
With a big smile, Thomas went to his knees and picked flowers. There were red ones, and pink and purple and yellows. But the one he thought most beautiful, was the white one in the middle of the clearing.
After he plucked his mum a lovely bouquet, he stuck out his hand and wrapped his fingers about the stem of the white flower. He pulled. When the stem came loose, there was an electric shock and Thomas cried out. He jerked upright but brave little Thomas still had the bouquet of flowers in his left hand, and the beautiful white flower in his right.
It was like the white petals glowed and Thomas’ fingers around the stem tingled. His heart bounced in his chest and with a start he pivoted and speedwalked back into the woods. Back to the cabin where his mum would likely cuff him upside the back of his head for going into the woods alone.
Although Thomas was sure the sun was up already, it was very dark. Again he heard little noises. A mouse beeped and he thought he heard some bats flap their wings. Yet the sounds that scared him most, came a little bit later. Around him was nothing but high tree-trunks and darkness, and the sounds of footsteps behind him!
Every now and then some twigs cut and some leaves ruffled. Was it a person? Was it an animal? Was it the beast? Thomas felt scared and started running. First, he only heard his heartbeat, his breathing. Then there was the sound of heavy footsteps picking up speed! The one following him was closing in and scared little Thomas tried running faster and faster.
Straight ahead he saw daylight; the end of the woods! Behind him, he felt the warmth of the creature. His breath moved the hair on top of Thomas’ head! Would he make it? Thomas hoped he would, and he promised, he would never éver go into the woods alone!
A hand dropped on his shoulder. Thomas dropped under it’s weight and started rolling. This would be the end of his life. Thomas of the woods, only nine years old. He couldn’t even give his mum the beautiful flowers he picked for her!
Thomas came to a stop and kept his eyes closed. The creature was near; he didn’t want to see. His heart was still racing and his fingers were tightly wrapped around the bouquet he still held in his hand. Then again a hand dropped on his shoulder.
And it shook him.
‘Eh boy! What’re ye doing runnin’ from yer old man, didn’t ye hear me hollo? And why did ye smother those lovely flowers, lad? C’mon now, open yer eyes.’
Thomas obeyed and saw his father. The breath he didn’t know he was holding pushed out with a sigh, and to his utter shame he started crying. ‘I thou-thought y-you were the mon-monster mum a-always told me abou-out!’ Thomas explained.
His big dad started laughing uncontrollably. After, he wiped the tears from his cheeks and then Thomas’ and said, ‘Aye lad, ye better never go alone in those woods again! Well, maybe till yer like all big and bad boy.’ His dad helped Thomas upright and hugged him. ‘Yer mum and I were worried, son. Shall we go surprise her with those beautiful flowers ye picked?’
And with that, the little hand crept into the big one and they walked together towards the sunrise and the woman they both loved. When Thomas looked over his shoulder, he was just in time to see a shadow move away from the edge of the woods.
Ter invulling van schrijfuitdaging #5, met themawoord Sprookje. (Verhaal al eerder geschreven.)