He was greener than the Green Slime I threw in my kid sister’s hair the day before. His bony fingers, outstretched, beckoning me to follow him out the bedroom window, leaving my snoring sister snug in her bed. I’ll just call him Verdure – I learned that in Mrs. Johnson’s art class. He was all green skin and bones, with a bald head and slant eyes, black pupils staring straight through me. I looked down at the rock garden beneath my window, at his feet that had no shoes or toes. He had no clothes or maybe he was wearing a bodysuit because I couldn’t tell what his sex was. I wasn’t afraid. In fact, I was intrigued.
I seemed to know his thoughts or good intentions even though he didn’t speak to me. I did ask his name before I decided to call him Verdure but got no answer. He took my slender brown hand into his green, clammy, bony one as we started to walk towards the thicket just past my house. Although it was a cold night and I was only wearing a flannel nightgown, I was warm after taking Verdure’s hand. My sister and I had been warned not to go into the thicket at night; you never knew who or what could be in there. Still, I followed, comforted by Verdure’s presence as he led me deeper into the thicket.
Before I heard it, Verdure looked at me as if asking a question. Then I heard hooting. I responded to his unspoken words, “That’s an owl.” There, on his face where his mouth should have been was a thin line that appeared to have a slight smile. I liked it. We walked deeper into the thicket until we reached a fallen tree. Verdure tilted his head, gesturing me to take a seat. Still holding my hand, he sat beside me. Again, the questioning look; then a rabbit scurried past. Knowing what he wanted, I told Verdure it was a rabbit. He smiled. This went on as the creatures of the thicket either ran or flew by, the largest a deer that stopped for just a moment and then hurried on.
The sun was beginning to peak over the hills in the distance, filtering through the trees. My green, slime-coloured friend stood, still holding my hand, causing me to rise too. He led me back through the thicket to my house and the open bedroom window. My sister was still sound asleep as I climbed in, no longer feeling the bones of Verdure’s warm hand. I turned and he was gone. The coldness of the morning air engulfed me, causing me to run and jump into my empty bed. I pulled the covers tight around me. A flash of bright light passed by the open window followed by a whirling sound that faded into the distance. I wondered if I would tell my bratty sister what I did that night while she was asleep. After some thought, I decided against it. This would be my secret.
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