A childhood terror, you ask?
Well. I don’t know about terror. But I have this memory that doesn’t quite line up with… reality?
I was probably seven or eight at the time. I was with my family on vacation at some camp ground. And this was in the nineties, so kids wandered off on their own all the time. That wasn’t the weird part. I pretty much only had supervision when we went to the pool
Anyway. I was just walking around and looking at all the RV’s and whatnot and I wanted to see how far back the lots went. As a kid, I would say it went on for-ever! But obviously it wasn’t anything crazy like that. But the path kept on going and the RV’s were a little less frequent and then they stopped, but the path continued so I kept on walking.
But then the path lead into some trees. I looked back and could see straight down the lane to the front of the place, so I figured no harm would come of a little extra exploring. Of course I walked into the trees. I was on an adventure now.
Once I was off the path and into the trees… it got a lot darker. Kid me thought it was creepy of course, but adult me sees now it was just the trees blocking out the sun. But still, creepy, right?
Anyway, I’m walking and walking and after a time, I realize I’m lost. I can’t tell which way I came from and I’m not sure which way the sun is going and this is the time before kids with cell phones so…. I panicked a little. Okay, a lot. I spun in a circle and couldn’t figure out which way to go, but it all looked the same. I sat down on a fallen tree and cried awhile.
After I’d cried it out, someone put a hand on my shoulder. Scared the bejeezus out of me too. But I looked up, and I saw a girl about my age. Her hair was like a golden-brown color and hung in waves over her shoulders. Her eyes were the same color, and they glittered. She smiled at me and I remember her teeth being… sharp. But her smile was kind, and she asked me why I was crying.
I told her I was lost, and she took my hand and lead me back to the path. She said nothing else. But I remember her hand was cold in mine and that she was barefoot. I wanted to ask her where her parents were and if she wanted to go to the pool with me later, but I didn’t. She made me feel shy.
But yeah. Then I walked back down the path to my parent’s RV and my mom came running out, tears and snot runnin’ down her face. Turns out I’d been gone for like… four hours. And I didn’t tell anyone where I’d gone, of course. There was a whole search party and everything.
As a kid, it hadn’t seemed strange. But yeah… now that you mention it. It’s kinda weird. What do ya think she was? Fae? Pixie? Somethin like that anyway. She coulda ate me, right? Or whatever they do to lost children.
But that’s my childhood terror, I guess.