The teakettler

The thing continued to switch between looking at Anna, and trying to get a look at the stump that lay behind her.

"You're not good at subtle clues are ya?" It looked her in the eyes for a few more moments, "You're in my way."

Anna had been standing, mouth agape ever since the creature had started to talk. She was so taken aback by the circumstances that she did the only thing that seemed logical at the time.

"I'm... I'm so sorry," she apologized, stepping off to the side of the path and clearing the way.

The creature nodded to itself satisfied. It titled its head down towards the ground and the whistling sound began to build again. Steam flowed from its mouth, down to the ground and wrapped wispy trails around its paws. When a nice blanked of vapour had covered its feet, it turned around again and began backing towards the stump.

Anna had only stopped it a few feet away from the stump. It took only a few moments of travel before its rump rested against bark and it stopped once again, the whistle fading and the mist dissipating.

A toothy smile passed over the things face when it made contact with its destination. 

"Home," it sighed. "Nothing like it."

It yawned and stretched its body out on the ground, closing its eyes, apparently ready for a nice nap.

"Excuse me?" Anna reached out a hand toward the thing. She had finally found the courage to talk.

A single blackish eye opened and gazed at Anna. "You're still here?"

"Yes, I'd rather not be if I could help it. You see, I've tried to leave this area before, but I ended up back here again."

Two eyes open now, the thing lifted its head a little. "I see, well that might be a problem then. What's your name girl?"

"Anna, Anna McKay."

"Blasted fairies and their dirty tricks," mumbled the creature. It stood and walked towards Anna. "I'm Teak."

"Fairies..." Anna whispered. "And what are you?"

Teak looked at Anna with an shocked look on his face. "You mean you haven't heard of a teakettler?" Teak looked solemn, "No I suppose not, we don't mess with the humans like the fairies do. We might approach a woodsman and steal an snack but that's about it. The fairies," shuddered Teak, "Take people."

Anna shivered. Her Grandmother had told her of the fairies when she was a small child. Tiny bearded folk, they would often pick on a lone traveler, whisking them away into their realm. Some would never be seen again, while others would reappear days, even weeks later and could never recall what happened to them.

"I've been taken?"

Teak shook his head. "Almost. The fairies probably scattered when I showed up. You are a very lucky girl."

Anna looked back and forth the path, she noticed that the forest was becoming much darker. It was getting very late.

"So, can I just go home?"

The teakettler looked up at Anna with its large back eyes.

"It's not that simple."

The End

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