Let's Get It Strahded
Rose and Thorn
The gravel road leads to a village, its tall houses dark as tombstones. Nestled among these solemn dwellings are a handful of closed-up shops. Even the tavern is shut tight.
A soft whimpering draws your eye toward a pair of children standing in the middle of an otherwise lifeless street.
The children are ten-year-old Rosavalda (“Rose”) and her seven-year-old brother, Thornboldt (“Thorn”). Thorn is weeping and clutching a stuffed doll. Rose is trying to hush the boy. After shushing the boy, the girl turns to you and says, “There’s a monster in our house!” She then points to a tall brick row house that has seen better days. Its windows are dark. It has a gated portico on the ground floor, and the rusty gate is slightly ajar. The houses on either side are abandoned, their windows and doors boarded up.
Rose and Thorn say that they won’t go back in the house until they know the monster is gone.
The children died of starvation centuries ago after their insane parents locked them in the attic and forgot about them. They were too young and innocent to understand that their parents were guilty of heinous crimes. Their parents told them stories about a monster in the basement to keep the children from going down to the dungeon level. The “terrible howls” they heard were actually the screams of the cult’s victims.