Nym came over. She an’ Wren were gonna work on making costumes for the Littles, somethin’ simple just so they could have fun during Halloween an’ pretend they were someone different. She brought over the computer for ideas. When they were done checking pictures an stuff, I snagged it. Remember how Vale set up a vid to keep an eye on the monster once it was caged? I hadn’t had a chance to check on it. I kinda felt bad, worried that maybe it’d died or somethin’, especially if the witch hadn’t gone to take care of it. Not too bad, though. I mean, it was terrorizing us an everything.
I went to the website where the video streamed and entered a login and passcode. It was like top secret stuff, really cool. When the stream loaded, all I saw was a cage. An empty cage. The lid was open.
I took a deep breath. That didn’t mean nothin’. Probably the witch’d come and taken care of the monster and banished it to whatever realm it came from. But I hadda be sure. I poked around on the website til I found copies of the older streams. I rewound ’em to the beginning and watched.
It all started ok. There was the monster, caged an contained and not hurting nobody.
It was there for a long time, days an’ nights an’ days an’ nights. Long enough so I started to fast forward a bit through the streams, just so I wouldn’t be sittin’ there all night, waiting for somethin’ to happen. Long enough so I really started to feel sorry for it. I mean, monsters gotta eat too, right? An’ I’d put it there. But I hadn’t checked to make sure the witch took care of what she promised or nothin’. Maybe the monster died an’ someone found it an’ they went ahead and dragged its dead body outta the cage an’…
But the witch did finally show up in the vids one night, so I slowed it back down and watched some more. There wasn’t any sound, so I couldn’t hear what she was sayin’, but she approached the cage and watched the monster for a bit. Her mouth was movin’, so I think she was maybe talking to it some?
The vids weren’t real good. They were all grainy an’ dark an’ stuff. But then I saw the witch raise her hands, like she was casting a spell. An’ sure, I’d never seen her cast a spell before, but why else would a witch raise up her hands an’ look like she was sayin’ stuff?
Finally, I thought, she was sending it back! Only then there was like this sudden flash of light, an’ I could see the witch clear as day on the vid, an’ she was starin’ straight at the camera like she knew we was gonna be checkin’ on it an’ watchin’ what she was doing. I mean, really creepy-like!
It gave me shivers, straight down my spine. I was kinda sorry that I’d taken the computer away an’ checked on the vid feeds on my own. I didn’t wanna be the only one cursed by a spell through a vid feed, an’ I didn’t know how long it’d take Wren to find my body. Maybe it’d be like a virus or somethin’. Or maybe it’d be more permanent, like bein’ turned to stone or killed or… I almost snapped the computer shut, but I stopped myself. I was brave. Someone would fix me. I kept watching.
Then I leaned in close, cuz I wasn’t sure I was seeing right. Was the cage lid really…lifting?
I rubbed my eyes. The witch had told me she would send the monster back to its realm. She promised. Didn’t she? Why wasn’t the monster disappearing in a cloud of whatever monsters disappear in when they go back to their home realms? No. It wasn’t going back. It was climbing out of the cage. The witch was helping it to escape.
I had a teeny tiny bit of hope that maybe–maybe–this was all parta how the witch was gonna banish it. But I watched her walk away with the monster. An’ then all I saw was an empty cage in the clearing. An’ I knew for sure that she hadn’t made it go away. The monster was loose somewhere.
Oh my gumdrops. I’ve gotta go talk to that witch.