Mosquito bites caused Denver to stir in his sleep. He felt itching and crawling all over his body and sat up. What he saw when he opened his eyes made him wake Holly in a state of hysteria. The twins were sleeping on the shrubby floor of the forest. The foliage of tall trees surrounding them rustled in the wind, and they could hear the sound of water churning nearby. They heard the scuttling and climbing of animals in the trees, both near and in the distance. The moon was bright that night, but the thick trees prevented it from being any help. All the moonlight did was cast scary shadows of branches. Of course, the twins’ immediate thoughts were questions of how they arrived in the forest. It seemed like they were deep inside, and it was so eerie in the dark. Little did they know, they were actually very close to home and not too far away from a part of the river they were familiar with. They even made a basen there a few days before.
They decided on trying to walk around to decipher where they were when a figure stepped out from the other side of a big tree trunk they were approaching. Denver and Holly both screamed and stepped back in fear and recognition. Whatever it was, was wearing black and was holding a pitchfork. “Where you think y’all going” the voice grumbled from under the black hood. “It’s Christmas Eve and you two have been very rude, disobedient and naughty all year,” he continued, “I keeping you in the forest tonight, in fact I may keep you here many nights… alone!” the twins trembled at the thought of having to stay in the scary forest at night. “Now, I have to deal with other naughty children tonight, just try to escape, I go find out. Merry Christmas Eve, Denver and Holly.” He cackled and disappeared behind the tree.
The twins were unable to speak for a while, they were in complete shock from the short speech they just received and completely terrified that Papa Djab was actually real. He had tiny horns and all.
After a few minutes the fear wore off Denver. “Mate lie if he think we staying here all night” he said. Holly’s courage boosted a little when she heard him “Let’s go”. They got up to walk once more, took up sticks, and began running towards the river. “Look our basen!” Holly shouted when she noticed it. Denver and Holly knew which way headed to home now. They began running again, Holly was trailing behind Denver, when she heard the thumping of someone else running behind her. Before she could turn to see, her feet lifted from the ground and she started screaming while dangling in Papa Djab’s grip. With his pitch fork in the other hand, Papa Djab reached for the back of Denver’s shirt pulling him backwards.
“I tell ya’ll don’t try to escape you know.” Papa Djab grumbled as he carried them deeper and deeper into the forest, Denver and Holly wiggling with all their might had grown tired of screaming. Papa Djab dropped them in a small clearing where a fire was crackling and a wooden cage not too far away. Papa Djab lunched them through the open door of the cage and they toppled inside. “You cah escape now! If you try I’ll cook you in that fire.” he growled from under his black hood. If they were not terrified before they definitely were now. Papa Djab walked away and left them alone in the cage, this time they were frozen with fear.
Finally Denver spoke, making his way to sit closer to Holly, “It’s because of Mama’s necklace. We know we not suppose to be in her room,” he said. Holly answered, “Yeah, I know, but we are really sorry. Mama was so sad.” She was very lonely and scared in the forest without Mama Rose, so was Denver. Sounds of crickets, flapping of bats’ wings, and moving shadows kept startling them. The twins both contemplated what Papa Djab had told them and they discussed how they could behave better if he let them go. “I don’t want to stay here, and I won’t be troublesome ever again” whined Holly. “We have to be good because I too scared of the Devil now” replied Denver. They promised to not use mean words, and to try to get along so Mama Rose would not get frustrated. Then Holly began to cry and Denver comforted her until they fell into a very deep sleep, for they were now exhausted.