She had to stop the creature from stealing Alice. She approached the river’s coast. It was surrounded by a thin fence. The child had told her that she was plunged into water every time she met her friend. How? She wondered. She noticed suddenly a small whole in the fence, perhaps she could enlarge it. She stuck her hand through it and was plunged into cold water.
She appeared surprisingly dry, in a barely lit room. There wasn’t any furniture around, just a coffee table with a small lamp. In the shadows she saw the shape of a man.
“Can I help you?” His voice was soft and sultry, and disturbingly enough, it was vaguely familiar.
“I’ve come to plead for you not to take the girl, sir,” she said in a whisper.
“It is not my intention. I am no thief, nor a monster.”
“Yes, but the girl insists on coming with you.”
“She is still young and does not know what she wants, much like you at her age, Mary.”
Mary took a step back startled at hearing her name.
“Do I know you?” she asked softly, peering into the shadows.
“You did once,” the man replied, taking a step forward. He was tall, his hair black as coal hung in waves slightly below his shoulder, and his eyes were a deep green. He gazed at her in silence.
“David,” she gasped.
“At least, you remember me,” he tried to smile, but his eyes did not respond. The only emotion visible was grief.
“Oh David.” She took a step toward him and saw it. Staring bleakly back at her, the large V which had been burnt into his bare chest was now an ugly scar. Before she could help herself she reached out and touched it.
David flinched and took a step back. Immediately she removed her hand.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
“Please don’t be,” he said as he softly grabbed her hand and placed it once more on his chest. “I haven’t been touched by anyone in so long...” he left the sentence incomplete.
“David,” she whispered again as she traced the letter across his bare chest. She noticed his cold hand touching her face, removing the silent tears which she had not realized she had been dropping.
“It was a long time ago Mary.” She nodded dumbly. Before she could react he pulled her to him and they embraced. Her sobs the only audible sound in the gloomy room.