Sitting among multiple anticipating little eyes has to be one of the most anxiety-freaking things in the world. You could be judged carelessly by their words or their look if they aren’t so fascinated.
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I looked from Noah who was sitting a few miles away from the kids to Donna and the rest of them before resting my forehead on the tip of my palm.

The full moon had almost consumed the darkness that surrounded us and the chilly breeze encouraged their request.

“Stories of slash foot! Stories of slash foot! Stories of slash foot!!” they all clamored.

“Alright, alright!! But before I start…Noah, can you come closer?” I could see his anticipation to hear the story as well as the hesitation to move closer. “I’m not starting the story unless you come closer,”

“Noah!!” one of the kids called. He wouldn’t move so three of the kids stood up and dragged him to the formed circle.

“Fine. Now, I shall start!”

“In Australia, it is called yowie. Apelike beast, standing tall like a human with hair all over and a face like an Orangutan. They are bloodsucking creatures that would feast on your flesh and wine on your blood. The Aboriginals are scared of them. Their main meal is forage…they hunt. They would stalk you and follow you through the thick bush, leaving a wide footprint as they move fast, plunging over you when you least expected it and feeding on you. The drop bears drop from high trees while you walk. They pounce on you, slitting your throat open with their sharp little teeth and gulping down your cascading downpour of blood. Do not walk alone in the dark and not in the bush. You have no idea what lies therein. You have not the slightest idea what follows you. Look behind you…” They all looked over their shoulders, frightened.

“The apelike beast has several names, could be called hairy man or drop bear or the Whistler. It all depends on which poison it chooses to serve. It could crawl quietly up your skin, whispering death words to your ears, fanning your nape with its hot breath, and while your heartbeat speeds and your balance is off, it would move in front of you, staring at your scared face, deeply into your eyes and boom…” they all flinched out of fear.

“Enough!!” I heard Carol yelled as she walked to our gathering, staring down at me. Carol was like the town’s mother. She had no children but she harbored everyone’s children in her home and I would come around a few times to entertain the children at night.

Carol has no husband nor children and the story behind that remains a mystery to everyone in the town. She is a well respected person and as such, we have decided to leave the mystery as it is.

“How could you share such gory stories with the kids?!” Carol inquired with anger subtly evident in her tone but she managed to suppress it.

“They are all having fun, aren’t you all?” I looked over at the kids, the look on their faces said otherwise.

“The kids wanted the stories of the slash foot so badly,” Noah interceded out of nowhere. He was known to always be quiet.

“Noah, how could you say that?” Carol cautioned.

“Okay, fine. I would change the context of the stories. After all, there are several slash foot stories,”

Carol looked at me with a skeptical expression on her face for a swift second before walking to a chair and sitting on it. I looked over at her but she had her gaze fixed somewhere else.

I looked back at the kids who had fear written all over their faces and then smiled at them.

“Slash foot could be dangerous and could be helpful,”

“How?” Levi, one of the children asked, adjusting his glasses.

“There are several stories of slash foot. This one might fascinate you. Slash Foot could be a black she-cat with ice-blue eyes with a scar on her left eye which blinds her. She has a scar on her foot which makes her being called slash foot. She would walk through the woods, find out about the danger zones where humans shouldn’t be. With her enormous feet, she would mark the danger zones with her footprint which means wherever slash footprints are is a dangerous place. This was unknown to humans, so regardless of the marked places, humans would go there and get killed. They blamed the death on slash foot and aimed for her death. She meows a melodious tone at the place of her death and to this day, the tone remains,”

“Why would the humans do that even though she was trying to save them?”

“Ignorance and just being mere human!”

I watched as they murmured, trying to figure one or two out. I enjoyed their fascination and fear and slowly, my eyes moved over to Carol.

She had a creased brow that made her curiosity obvious. I could also tell she was grateful for the switch up in the story but her lips spelled out no words of gratitude.

This is my submission to the Inleo prompt suggestion for June. The topic is " poetry, storytelling.....". You can join here. This is the calendar

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