(This is a story that I wrote in Croatian when I was younger,so I present you-with a few corrections and a translation- Mr.Twig)
It all started on the day when it snowed.
It was sunday.
The day before,my mother got a call from her old school friend that she has not seen in a while. Apparently she moved into a neighbouring town and my mother was excited to see her.
„And she’s got a lovely little daughter to keep you company, Cass.“- she exclaimed happily when discussing the plans over breakfast this morning. I really disliked children. Noisy, and rude, touching everything with their sticky fingers,jumping on the furniture, turning things over…
Anyway, we planned a visit to mother’s friend in the late afternoon. I had to wear a burgundy corduroy dress and put my hair up in a neat bun. We drove for almost two hours because of the storm. By the time we arrived, the whole ground was covered with a thick layer of pure white snow.
Their house was slightly larger than ours, with big windows facing the road.
The woman who opened the door yelled happily when she saw my mother and father, convincing them that they haven’t aged a bit. She shook my hand and embraced me tightly with excessive use of the word „darling“.
As we entered, I noticed that everything in the house was either white,pink or red. And that it was very warm.
We met her husband and some other guests that have also been invited for the late afternoon tea.
They sat us at the round table near one of the windows overlooking the yard behind the house. It looked quite dreary in comparison with the house.
I got more bored by the minute as the adults started to talk about work and family, wanting to catch up with each other.
„Oh Cassandra dear, this is Nelly“- mother’s friend pulled me by my elbow suddenly , to introduce me to her daughter. She wore a very pink dress and had her hair styled in tight neat curls that framed her round face. She shook my hand but did not say a word.
„Oh,she’s a little shy, you see. She is in that age when all she does is play with her toys and makes some silly stories…Anyway,you can join her, I am sure you are not too big to play yet.“ – she smiled and left me with her daughter staring at her toys.
„Ahm… Do you want me to play with you? We could build a castle with your blocks.“
She lifted her golden head and shook it.
„Ookay then.“- I said and got up to fetch some magazines from the coffee table near by.
„ … will play with me.“- Nelly said very quietly
„What did you say?- I asked,as I did not hear the name
I shrugged and went to get some sandwiches from the table where adults were talking very animatedly.
„Oh,Nelly would not play with you? „- her mother asked when she saw me
„Well… She mentioned some mister Tee to-„
„Oh,that’s Mr.Twig. Her imaginary friend. Don’t worry,I am sure she will grow fond of you eventually.“- she interrupted me
I shrugged and put a few sandwiches on pink dotted napkin, turned around to go and offer Nelly some. She talked happily as though playing with someone while putting her colourful blocks one atop the other.
As I walked closer and closer I noticed something unusual. I could not see „who“ Nelly was talking to (I thought it was just her imagination) because of the sofa but now that I got closer, I could definitely see some messy brown hair peeking below the edge of the sofa.
„Oh,you came to play with Nelly t-„- I froze.
The thing Nelly was talking to wasn’t human.
It had a man’s face,but it was horribly contorted. The face was very elongated with bloodshot eyes and droopy long nose. Its skin was grey and sickly looking. But the most disturbing thing was a thin line it had for a mouth. It looked like it was carved in its face and was curved upwards in a weird smile that reached its small stunted ears. The humanoid creature’s head was attached to a long greyish neck and a small body from which protruded the limbs. The limbs were very thin and five times the length of normal human limbs. They appeared to have only one joint in which they were bent so that the „elbows“ were sticking into the air as it sat on the floor next to Nelly.
I couldn’t speak. The creature looked at Nelly as she laughed and played with her toys.
I clutched the napkin firmly in my hand and went to sit at the table with the adults. I could not force myself to look at where Nelly was sitting so I stared fixedly in a clock in front of me.
I felt a tug on my dress and I instinctively turned to see Nelly. She held the hem of my dress in her small hand and smiled broadly. „Mr.Twig wants to play with you too.“- she said
„Aww,see Cass? She likes you. Go and play with her“- my mother gave me a significant look
The creature was standing behind Nelly,still looking at her.
It was hard for me to get out of the chair,my legs felt like noodles and my fingers were shaking violently.
Apparently,no adult could see it. Or so I concluded.
When I sat on the rug , I felt a cold,rotten breath on my right cheek. I clenched my teeth tightly to stop myself from vomiting. I could not bear to look at it,so I played with Nelly’s blocks for the rest of the afternoon until her mother called her to go to bed.
I was still too petrified to look and got up only when my parents decided it was quite late and that we should head home.
I slept in my parents room that night.
The next day I went to school as usual. I still could not shake the feeling of fear but I felt a lot better surrounded with my friends and concentrating on my school work.
I had completely forgot about it all till the end of the day as I happily walked home.
My mother was on the phone again and she waved to me signalling that lunch was on the table.
As I put a lot of mash potatoes and meat on my plate,my mother came and sat next to me. „Nelly stopped by with her mother this morning.“
„Oh?“- I said,not really paying any attention to what she was saying
„She’s such a sweet child and it seems that she likes you very much. She left you a drawing and some of her blocks so you could play with them“- my mother laughed
I put the fork down.
„Where is it?“- I asked seriously
„Oh,I put it in your bedroom. It’s on your desk. But eat now.“
I ignored her and got up and rushed up the stairs to my bedroom.
On my desk there were some colourful blocks and a drawing.