An example of what my subconscious is giving me this evening:

(We are working in an alternate universe, so to speak, here.)

"Walk," the Hound growled, and started forward. "If you try to run, I will shoot you."

"W-Walk?" Arlen stuttered. "W-Where?"

"To the castle, of course," the Hound said impatiently. "I believe you humans called it Darkbrook?"

Arlen stopped so quickly that he almost collided with the horse. "Inside?" He spoke without thinking. "But--
monsters live inside of Darkbrook!"

The Hound bowed, sardonically. "So they say."

Arlen stared at the Hound for a moment, panic casting out any remnants of sense. He fell to his knees. "Please--Please don't eat me!"

The Hound snorted. "Don't be silly," he said. "Despite the stories you may have heard, we
don't eat children."

Arlen staggered to his feet. "You don't?"

"Never once," the Hound said, and tugged on the horse's reins. "Are you very fond of this horse?"

"What?" Arlen took a step backwards, closer to Darkbrook and his doom.

"The horse. Are you fond of the horse?"

"It's--It's my father's horse--"

The Hound nodded. "Good."

This time, when the Hound started forward, Arlen managed to stay on his feet. "Good?" His voice barely quivered.

"We may not eat children, but we
do have to eat," the Hound said, and motioned with his weapon. "Now. Walk."



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