Grasshopper and the Caretaker
The red hollows held Grasshopper in place, right the moment Brass Eagle was thinking about them. The Caretaker spoke, less than a whisper on the wind and yet the loudest sound Grasshopper had ever heard. “I told you to hop to me,” he said. His form of speaking was emotionless, yet full of malice and ferocity. “And you did. You hopped to me because I told you to, Grasshopper.”
Grasshopper did not know this terrifying man (if that was what this thing was) and his seemingly idiotic words, and yet they were the most petrifying things he had ever heard.
Grasshopper could not speak, but he had a sliver of thought.
“Surely you have guessed who I am by now,” the man said, nowhere and everywhere at once. “I am the Caretaker. I have taken care of you. I will take care of you. Come with me, and I will take care of you.”
The briefest balloon of thought popped into Grasshopper’s mind at the mention of the name, but he soon forgot it.
The Caretaker vanished into the forest, and Grasshopper followed.