J̫̲͎͍̬͕̋̋̅ͫ̏e̴̺͚̣̺͐̐ͥ̇͌͝r̼̟̈́͆ͤ͑ͣ̓̓̆͟ȩͭͥͪ͑̈̂̔͊͏̡̗̳̪̺͚̖̟ḿ̵̻̦̀͐̔̾̾̚̕y̷̗͙͎̞̪̬̔ͮͫ̚͞ͅ ̛͖̹̪̪͚͙̻̯ͮ̉ͅẖ̢̤̳͕̑̉ͪ́̎͡e͉̝̟͓͊̅̒͌ͦ͞a͊͛ͦ̐̽̈̋̓҉̠̦̫̱̩̩̬͡r̉̍̋ͩ̚͏̯̳͍̦͙ͅd̴͇͔̥͈̯̙͉͕ͮ͆̊

H̸͓͓̗̘͒̍ͫ̐̾͐̕a̴̛͓̝͕̜̫͍̤͇̿ͣ̑ͦͣp̸͇̭̲̅p̈̒͛͒̿͝͏̴͙ẏ̘̙̯̜̳̭̟̼ͦͯ̆͒͒̚̕ ̵͔̺̺̲̺̣̰͊̽ͨ̄̐̀̚H͕̤̖ͨ̐̈́͛ͣ̽͒̅̍͞ã̡̰̣̬̰̳̮̳̜ͣ͒͞͡l̵̖͌̄̐ͫ͒́͡l̳̏͋̅ͩͫ̔͜͠o̸̩͉̣͋̑ͯ̐ͫw̸̨̩͎̥̥̜͉̱̒ͪ̂̈̀ͥ͛ͪḛ̵̽̓́ę̥̰̩͓̬̍̀̇͒ͤͦ̓ͫ̀ͅn̶̻̣͓͚͇̼̣͎ͥ͗ͥ́̓̀ͬ̉̔…

308

🎶 hEY ho, diddle, diddle do, my bag is filled with children’s tiny fingers, hey, diddle, diddle i sucked their bone marrow dry and nuzzled on the squishy meat hey ho, diddle do! 🎶

Jeremy heard the coming of the monster. He and his gun peeked out from behind the thickest tree growing in the swamp and observed the sluggish approach of the creature. It hesitated outside of the bungalow, whistling, fumbling in its sagging dirty trousers for the keys. The brown bad swung over one bulky shoulder slipped and fell on the wooden platform with a nasty plop! The monster threw some obscenities towards the accident and went on its knees and started picking handfuls of slimy, slippery innards stuffing them back in the bag.  Jeremy held tight on the shotgun with his one good hand, taking extra care to keep his remaining finger on the trigger.

The monster went inside and turned the lights on.

🎶 The fingers are the tastiest, the marrow is the healthiest, hey diddle, diddle, I’ll cook their fat and make a soup and then do it in a loop hey, diddle, diddle, children are the tastiest. 🎶

Jeremy went knee deep inside the muddy deep green swamp. He held the gun above his head chewing the inside of his cheek. From inside the house came many crunches. They may have sounded like twigs snapping in the night forest or fire crackling in a welcoming fireplace. But Jeremy heard different. His ear was attuned to the sound of breaking bones, the brief but everlastingly painful snap of joints, the tugging dislocation of bone from bone, the prickling sensation of the skin tearing and departing the rest of the body in a spray of blood. His ghost limb itched, the invisible fingers flexing in his mind.

Jeremy crossed the swamp and stood by the gas lamp peeking through the window. He could feel the sweat pressing his clothes to his burning skin. The fever was in its high, the fever of revenge. He went to the door and knocked with the butt of the gun. Jeremy heard the coming footsteps.

When the door swung open Jeremy stared at the mismatched yellow eyes remembering them staring at him from under the bed where he’d stuck his hand to retrieve his plush toy. The monster had stuffed his little hand in its mouth and had sucked it clean off his body. He had done much the same with most of his other fingers. Jeremy fired a round and it bounced back the troll throwing him against the kitchen table, knocking down the cutting board and the bag of limbs.

“8,” Jeremy counted. He fired again before the wailing monster could get up, slipping on its oozing green blood.

“7,” he went on as the other bullet struck its large belly.

“6,” Jeremy mumbled and knocked again this time hitting it in the jaw. He caught a clearer glimpse of its teeth, two rows of rotten, jagged teeth. The creature cried tears its long nailed hands searching its face for the missing part.

“5,” he counted louder invigorated by the sight. The new bullet struck the shoulder. Jeremy heard the bone crack.

“4.” He was closer now he could see how the green blood glistened almost magical.

“3.” He went for the knee caps.

“2.” The creature raised its hand to shield itself from the looming figure. The bullet took a piece of its palm and two fingers clean off.

“1,” Jeremy whispered as he stood above the screeching troll. He aimed at the center of its gargantuan bolding head and fired.

When the body slumped and remained motionless Jeremy went outside. He picked the gas lamp from its hook and brought it back inside. The glass smacked easily and the flame licked the wooden floor with no hesitation. Jeremy closed the door behind him and sat on the mossy ground. He heard the faint buzz of the dragonflies above the murky swamp.

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