It was a gloomy day. Two strangers sat down at a roadside tavern and helped themselves to some morsels of food. Sebotino was heavy-built and moved about steadily, carrying with him an aura of seriousness. Baloda, on the other hand, appeared nervous and restless, and kept looking around him for unseen danger.
Sebotino had walked a long way and yearned for companionship. He didn't think Baloda would be a likely friend - they seemed too different. "Well, at least he looks like an unlikely foe," he though wryly to himself, recalling the nightmare that he had just escaped from.
Startled from his thoughts, Sebotino looked up and found himself staring into a pair of shifty eyes. It was Baloda.
"You, you are not from around here," Baloda said cautiously.
Sebotino nodded wearily, "That's right. I just came from the Blue Isle."
"The Blue Isle? My people have lived here in the Marble Plains for more than a hundred generations but I have never heard of the Blue Isle."
"Oh, it was a wonderful place, bright and sunny in the day, and quiet and peaceful at night. There was no need for my people to venture here. We had a good life there, we did..."
A couple just arrived and sat near the unlikely friends. Sebotino noticed their shifty eyes and figured that he was in a strange land of strange suspicious people.
"But you are here," Baloda was now looking more curious than uneasy, if that was actually possible.
Sebotino leaned forward a little and paused. He was not sure if he could confide in this stranger but he decided that the truth must be told.
"Disaster struck the Blue Isle yesterday. I believe I am the only survivor of my kind. There was no sight of my people after the disaster."
Baloda turned pale. The big guy didn't look like he was lying.
"What could it be that wiped out an entire population?"
"It was a monster! An atrocious witch she was! If I hadn't hid under a drain, she would have found me and killed me like she did the rest! I saw her do it - with poison! So many of them, all dead on the streets!" The terror of the recollection was showing in Sebotino's eyes and reflected in Baloda's.
"I was trying to run home to safety and just as I was reaching, I saw her killing more of my people right outside my door. I had to wait until nightfall before I could reach home. But the door was locked and I couldn't pry it open. No one came to my help - I supposed they were all dead."
Baloda gave Sebotino a shaky pat. "You are a very lucky man to have escaped alive," he said, and after a pause, "If you do not mind, I can introduce you to my people, find you a home."
Sebotino was surprised at this offer. He did not expect this kindness coming from a shifty little fellow. As he stretched out his hands to thank Baloda, he saw Baloda's eyes widening in fear. Suddenly, a great shadow fell over them.
"The, the witch..?" Baloda could barely whisper now. Sebotino turned around...
His scream trailed off as the witch flattened him with a piece of tissue paper. Baloda and the couple, always on their feet, had taken the chance to run away.
The legend of the witch would continue among the people of the Marble Plains...
PS: Yesterday, I found ants crawling in and out of a hole in the bathroom wall, and Baygon-ed them all. This morning, I sealed the damn hole. Stupid ants were still crawling about the sealed hole looking for a way in after that. I picked them up and flushed them away. I hope all these ants have vacated the Blue Isle. My Blue Isle :p