November 16, 1995
The woods are dense and teeming with life, birds chirp from the branches of lush green trees. A light mist hangs in the air and lends a feeling of expectation, of mystery and intrigue, to this otherwise normal woodland.
Proceeding along the path you come to a fork, off to the right a straight gravel path cuts through the forest in unending precision. To your left a winding packed dirt path wends its way through the mist enshrouded greenery. Your curiosity propels you towards the mysterious winding path to the left.
Rounding the first bend you observe a rough earthenware cup lying on the trail. It is crudely decorated with paintings of flowers and trees. Thinking it may be useful you pick it up as you head off down the path once more.
Coming around the next bend you almost stumble across a large old fashioned silver key. On closer examination you observe that it is approximately a handspan in length and covered with gold etched runes. It looks like it has been lying here sometime, yet it is untarnished by the elements. Admiring its beauty you pocket it and continue down the trail.
Sometime later you emerge from the woods to feast your eyes upon the sparkling blue, crystal clear lake that dominates this clearing. As you tear your sight away from the water you notice that the trail continues down to a dock on the edge of the lake. Moored to the dock is a small neatly constructed rowboat, proceeding down the path and onto the dock you step into the boat. You cast off the lines and start to row towards the middle of the lake.
Looking over your shoulder you realize that you are heading toward a dock on the other side of the lake twin to the one you just left. You row up to the dock and lash of the mooring lines tightly and then proceed along the dock to the shore. Stepping off the dock you follow a brick paved path into the woods once more.
Following the path you come to a small castle that has been enveloped by the surrounding greenery. The front of the castle is dominated by a large ironbound wooden door with a silver padlock securing it. You insert the silver key and turn it and in a bright flash the lock and key disappear and the doors begin to swing inwards.
As you walk inside a large bear comes swinging down from the rafters. You try to dive to the side but the bear collides with you and drives you to the ground beneath it. After several moments of you beating the stuffing out of it with the cup you pause for thought.
“Stuffing?” You think to yourself. Upon closer examination you realize that your assailant is a now limp teddy bear.
You stand up and push the off to the side, dusting yourself off you examine the room. The walls are covered with tapestries depicting armor clad Teddy Bears fighting heroic battles against drooling humanoid giants crawling on all fours. Turning around to leave you notice that the door you came in has closed and now appears to be a part of the wall, pounding against it your fists strike unyielding stone.
Tapping your feet together you think “there’s no place like home,” suddenly a swirling vortex of blackness opens up beneath your feet and swallows you. Tumbling through a tunnel of blackness you streak towards the red glowing eyes of a giant Teddy Bear!
You start awake lying on the floor of your room tangled in your sheets next to your bed, staring into the eyes of your Teddy Bear. For a minute you think its eyes are still glowing red, but when you blink they look normal. Convincing yourself that it was only a dream, you start to extract yourself from the sheets to turn the light on. A growl from behind causes you to spin around and confront the fiery red eyes of your Teddy Bear.
“Are you afraid?” It snarls in your face as its fangs go for your neck. Darkness enfolds you in its terrifying warmth, and slowly, ever so slowly smothers you.