I could hear him in the hallway, humming his tune.
“Hey there little red riding hood,” I whisper sung it as I tiptoed to the cupboard, pushed the door so it was almost closed then raced back to the bed and slid underneath.
The humming got louder, then stopped as I lay there waiting. The door creaked open, light falling across the floor as he called my name softly.
“Where are you pumpkin?” he crooned when I didn’t answer.
I wanted to answer, to let him find me, but that wasn’t how this game went. So I stayed silent and watched his legs, so long and strong to chase me with, move into the room. I could picture him looking around, those hypnotic eyes searching the shadows. Then he spotted the cupboard door not quite closed and I heard him huff out a little laugh.
“Come out, come out,” he called softly and walked slowly across the room.
I had to wait, had to wait, for just the right moment. That door creaked like you wouldn’t believe, and as he pulled it open and peered inside I made my move. I’d practised it a hundred times, sliding out from under the bed, arrowing for the open doorway. I was quick and quiet but he had those ears to hear me with and he turned as I cleared the doorway.
Our eyes locked for a moment and a grin spread across his face, those teeth making me weak. I had to run I remembered, that was the game, so I jumped to my feet and ran. I had to hide again, but not too well or he’d mope all night. I didn’t look back but I heard him coming after me, humming that tune.
I whisper sung as I ran, “I don’t think little big girls should, go walking in these spooky old woods alone.”
Behind me he howled.