There are times when you have to seize the initiative in an opportune moment of courage, before excessive contemplation of the circumstances forces you to change your mind.
Without further comment, I ran in the direction of the gate, and tried my utmost to ignore the sounds of the crackling branches, and the blood-chilling groans of the massive pin oak.
It wasn't a long run; my sprint carried me to the gate in a matter of seconds.
I stood before the gate, and the big oak tree. I could feel the earth beneath my feet vibrating now: The tree’s roots were pulsating in the loam and clay underneath the lawn.
I knew it would be better to ignore the tree and focus only on the gate, but I couldn't resist. I gazed up at the trunk of the tree. About fifteen feet up, near the lowest of the oak’s branches, I saw the impossible.
In the middle of the trunk, the gash of a large grimace proved for once and for all that this was no ordinary oak tree. I could see teeth inside that mouth—in the darkness they appeared to be the same color as the bark, but they were long and serrated.
I also saw two eyes—these were only slightly lighter than the bark, but clearly distinguishable. The eyes rolled downward to look at me.
Another reverberating, furious sound issued from deep within the trunk of the pin oak. The bark began to crack; the pin oak seemed to sense what I was about to do, and it wanted to stop me....