As Willi creeps back up the stairs, she peeks down the hall, checking for any weird flesh or missing doors.
Fortunately, the hallway looks normal enough. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean the trouble ended there.
While there’s no strange flesh, there are other creatures rushing around the hall. Dog-like creatures and a scarecrow thing and something that looks like a chicken mixed with a cat. They’re rushing all around, this way and that, as they are being chased by Hungry Grandma.
Hungry Grandma doesn’t look as kind as she did before. Her eyes are glowing, her teeth are bared, her nails are sharpened, all as she grabs for the nearest creature
and tears into its flesh.
Willi gasps, though a part of her isn’t shocked. She’s in a place where there are all sorts of strange monsters and creatures. It was only a matter of time before something got eaten by another thing.
She just hopes that she doesn’t end up that something.
Hungry Grandma finishes eating quickly and is already reaching, tearing, chewing into another one. Watching her reminds Willi of the time when she was on the computer, she came across a video of a deer eating the dead body of a bird. Seeing a bear or lion eating meat is one thing—that’s expected. But seeing a deer, something graceful and calm, something that’s considered an herbivore, rip apart a bird’s flesh with its flat teeth, having to bite and chew harder than those with sharp teeth and ultimately succeeding…
This is worse than that.
But Hungry Grandma had said earlier that she doesn’t eat babies, right? And she considers Willi a baby (even though Willi is most definitely not a baby, but she’ll let it slide if it means she doesn’t get eaten). So if Willi were to walk down the hall to get to the attic, she should be fine, right?
Logic tells her this is true, but logic has failed her again and again since coming here.
Hungry Grandma corners the scarecrow creature and digs in, tearing into it’s flimsy body. Willi winces, but only for a second. Right now, Hungry Grandma’s back is to her. She can try to pass, quickly and quietly.
Willi darts out, stepping on her tiptoes. With her tights on the wood floor, she’s able to slip by Hungry Grandma easily and considers dashing for the ladder to the attic
when she trips.
She doesn’t fall completely—she’s able to wave her arms around to at least keep that from happening. However, the sudden force on her toes shock her and she ends up letting out a squeal.
Willi winces when she hears a snort behind her.
“Little human, you’ve returned.”
Willi sighs and turns around. Hungry Grandma is looking at her, the scarecrow meal forgotten. The scarecrow scurries away, one arm forever lost. It doesn’t bleed—it’s not human, after all. Instead, it leaves a trail of straw and stuffing and feathers.
“Yes,” Willi answers, turning her attention back to the Hungry Grandma. She should be watching her carefully, in case she has to run. “I have to speak to The Attic Antiquarian.”
Hungry Grandma’s face scrunches up. “Who is that? Does he taste good?”
“No, I don’t imagine so,” Willi answers truthfully. “And even if they did, they’ve been very kind to me and are helping me get home. So I would appreciate it if you didn’t eat them.”
“I can’t promise that. And besides, Goo, or—what did you call him?—House Thief will be able to help you better. But I suppose I should stay quiet before you throw another tantrum.”
Willi balls her fists and releases them again. She thinks she likes Hungry Grandma the least. Perhaps she is too human—too reminiscent of so many other unbearable adults in her life.
“Ah,” Hungry Grandma mutters as she looks around the hall. “Everyone’s run away now. I’m hungry. So, soooo hungry.”
Willi opens her mouth, but then stops herself, in case it’s not a good idea. However, the worst idea would be to have a hungry human monster here when she returns.
“There’s…a strange cook in the kitchen,” Willi says slowly. “Not to eat! But they make a lot of other foods. Odd dishes. Surely, they’ll be able to feed you.”
Hungry Grandma raises an eyebrow, a sly smile on her face.
“A cook? Yes…a cook…excellent.”
“Not to eat!” Willi repeats.
“Yes, yes,” Hungry Grandma waves her off as she turns and starts moving for the stairs. “A cook, a cook.”
Willi watches as Hungry Grandma goes down the steps, her heart racing a touch faster. She hopes she did not just deem Strange Cook as grandma food—or Little Mushroom Man, for that matter! They both have been kind enough and, thus, are very dear to her.
However, Willi is a touch more dear to herself than anything else.
It’s finally getting properly warm where I am! I don’t need jackets quite so often, which equals a good day in my book ouo)b
It’s also supposed to get SUPER stormy though—supposedly the worst storms my state has had for the last 10 years. My rational hope is that my family and I stay safe. My irrational hope is that this doesn’t interfere with my schedule at all. I’ve been doing well keeping up with it!
Thank you for reading, not just the chapter, but also me rambling about weather. Hope it’s also your preferred weather type where you are!