You watch as the light pulses again, receding further into the forest. Whatever it is, you're sure Samantha will get to the bottom of it and tell you all about it. One more flash, and then nothing. Well, you're friend was right... there are strange things in the Faybrook Woods. But whatever the mystery of the forest is, you're not up for investigating right now. You turn your attention back to the inviting stream before you. You sit on the mossy ground and pull your shoes and socks off, leaving them at the head of the deer trail to mark your way back. You test the water with your hand and find it refreshingly cool. You glance at your shoes, and then at the gurgling water before you, and then lastly down at your stifling school uniform. After a moment of hesitation, you remove the rest of your clothes and fold them neatly on top of your shoes. Goosebumps prickle your skin as you wade out into the thigh-deep water, stark naked beneath the emerald canopy above. A goofy grin spreads across your face as you wade upstream. It's almost as if by shedding your school clothes, you've liberated yourself from the stress of the academy. And something about the vulnerability of being naked in the forest seems oddly exciting to you. If something were to happen to you, all anyone would find would be a pile of abandoned clothes. You flush red, confused by your feelings... this is the kind of thing that got you into the trouble with Hannah in the first place. But then again, no one's around to judge you this time.
Your heart sinks as a guttural laugh echoes through the forest. You spin around wildly, looking for this mocking intruder, but all you can do is gape once you set eyes upon the source of the taunting laughter. On the stream bank above you sits an enormous, green, grinning-- no, this can't be right-- but it's as if it walked straight out of the pages of a fairy tale illustration-- yes-- a troll. The troll towers above you, ten feet tall at your best guess, grinning wolfishly at your naked body and chuckling to itself. It's voice sounds like grinding stones at it speaks to you.
"Well, well... what do we have here? A human alone in the Fairy Brook Woods? You should be more careful. Don't you know there are monsters in this forest? Har, har, har!"
"You... you're... a... a... you're a--"
"Troll. What gave me away? Was it the green skin? The pointy ears? Or maybe it's my height. Har, har!!!" The troll leans back against a tree trunk and idly picks his large, flat teeth with one of his pointed fingernails. "Now, I think it's safe to assume that I'm the first troll you've ever met." You stand perfectly still in the water, every muscle in your body tensed as you gaze up at the monster before you. Beads of sweat form on your brow as your head spins with disbelief.
"N-no... I've never met any trolls before." The troll grins at you in a way that makes you uncomfortably aware of your nakedness.
"Just like I thought. You're one of the students from up the hill." You nod, suddenly aware that you're within reach of this creature's unnaturally long arms. Your heart pounds wildly in your chest as you fight to keep yourself still... maybe the troll is friendly. He gives you an unsettling wink and stands up to his full height, his massive form looming over you. "Name's Gorlak. Gorlak Bonegrinder." He roars with laughter at your terrified expression. "Now, now... don't let the name fool you. Troll names are all for show." As Gorlak steps to the edge of the riverbank, sunlight glints off of his green skin. You're still a good six feet from the troll, but his smell envelops you... not a stench, but not entirely pleasant either. The troll smells strongly of sweat and something else that you can't quite place... some kind of pungent animal smell. Definitely not human. With Gorlak now in full sunlight, you can see his monstrous form clearly for the first time. His heavily muscled body is completely hairless, which comes as a surprise as you always imagined trolls as having at least some hair (which in and of itself makes you question your sanity, as you tell yourself yet again that trolls are not and cannot be real). As you gaze in disbelief at the bright emerald tone of his skin, you find yourself gawking, suddenly realizing that like yourself, Gorlak is completely naked. You try not to look, but you find your gaze magnetically drawn downward. Just as you expect, trolls are frighteningly well endowed; the green organ that hangs between Gorlak's legs is close to the length of your entire arm. You gulp nervously and decide to make your exit.
"Well, Gorlak... it was nice to meet you, but they'll be expecting me back at the dining hall soon. Dinner time and all that. Take care!" The troll shifts his weight slightly, clearly prepared to spring on you should he need.
"Now what kind of troll would I be if I didn't show a tasty young boy like yourself the finest hospitality that the Fairy Brook Woods has to offer? No, you won't be going back to the school on the hill tonight. I insist that you join me for dinner." Gorlak licks his lips ominously, none too subtle in his meaning. Your heart is in your throat, your vision blurring with mounting panic. And yet you find yourself oddly excited by your situation... naked and alone in the woods with a ravenous beast. No one would ever find out what happened to you if you stayed for dinner. The troll's gaze settles on your unconcealed erection and his face brightens with cruel delight. "Har, har, har! If I didn't know better, I'd say you're pretty excited to find out what's on tonight's menu! Har, har!!!" A rational part of your mind cuts in and desperately searches for the best way out of this situation. As far as you can tell, you have two option. You can either try to outrun a troll, or play along and hope to trick him into letting you go. You better decide fast! Gorlak's starting to look rather hungry!