Aku's

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Recluse

There was three of them and they made noises like kids at a beach. They had heard tales and myths about a recluse or a troll living on a mountain. Or what ever people wanted to call it. No one couldn't be sure if the tales or myths were true or not. No one had seen the creature.

They said playfully that they will prove the claims either true or false. No one of them didn't want to admit to be serious. Every time they talked about it they turned it more or less into a joke.

The trio had known each other for a decade. They considered themself as a tripod. If one of them was gone the rest would just fall down or lay on the ground. They had all three to be there so the thing would work.

They had only one big backpack. A tent was in it for a night. They had intented to be only one night in the tent somewhere on a grassy flat spot. Two of them had smaller backpacks.

The sun was shining directly into their eyes so they couldn't see properly. An uphill was hard and ponderous to walk. Without their water bottles they would've most probable turned around.

Their travelling was slow and they had to have breaks every now and then. In the afternoon they were so tired that they just couldn't go on any further. They hadn't made any noises anymore for a while.

Finally, they came onto a small grassy flat spot which was sloped a little towards rocks. This didn't bother the tired trio. So, the place was fine for them.

They set up the tent surprisingly fast considering how tired they were. All the sleeping bags was also quickly on the floor of the tent. They didn't talk much and soon they were already sleeping.

They woke up at the same time in the morning. Despite of a small stupor in the morning they felt themselves fresh and well slept.
- Can't we go a bit further before going back? Jake asked breaking a long silence.
- I guess we could...
- Going back downhill is much easier and faster. He tried to argue.

They decided to go further for a few hours and then just turn back.

The sun hadn't risen yet. So, they could see better than yesterday.

William walked as last of them and tried to peek around like hoping to see a glance of the troll. Mason walked in front of him. Mason thought he saw something like some movement behind some trees in the uphill above them.

Suddenly, he stopped and William almost hit him. Jake looked back when he heard William's weird sound. Soon he too tried to see what's behind the trees.
- There's nothing! Jake tried to lighten the situation. No one replied to him since they were staring the trees without making any move.

- Oh fuck, I think that tree is swaying more than the others. William wondered.
- It seems like it's going to fall... Jake cut the sentence. A moment later they all ran down to escape the falling tree.

They headed aside of a way of the tree and threw themselves into a soft heathland.
- What the fuck is going on here? Mason shouted. But no one replied. They just amazed quietly the situation without a word. Their usual noisiness was gone.

After a while they stood up and check the place where the tree had been growing. It was clearly sawn. Stump was still there on the ground. The tree wasn't so big but it could've leave nasty consequences on them.

- What are we going to do now? William wondered out loud. At the very moment Jake noticed a small hill far away from them on the downhill like a mossy roof of a small cottage. He poked at William and pointed at the cottage with his finger.

They approached the small hill and it started to more and more look like somebody really lived there.

I saw them from a window well in advance before they first saw my cottage. I wiped some sweat off my forehead and took some quick steps to a front door. I stepped outside and left there to wait for them on a small porch in my rocking chair.

The trio approached the cottage and when they saw me they stopped. They seemed to have some kind of a discussion. They leaned against each other and formed kind of a tripod. Then they started to approach me again.

- Howdy! I started when they were still far from me.
- Well, howdy! We didn't know someone is living here.
- I've lived here for my whole life. And I'm never gonna move away. I sweared. They asked me weird things about a troll or some sort of a creature living on the mountain. I didn't quite understand all their questions. No one else lived here except me. But I still smiled to them whilst answering to their questions.

Obviously, I succeeded to convince them that there wasn't any trolls neither any other mythical creatures on the mountain. They laughed and left thanking me for my stories. They started they noises again. This time it sounded more happier.

I looked at them going away from a window of my cottage. And stared a while after they were gone. Then I hid my saw and went back to bed with peace in my mind again.

Aku

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