Kindness and a warning saved my father.
The entry was short and sweet.
‘I came upon the house early this morning,’ my father wrote. ‘I could smell bacon and eggs frying, and the odors reminded my stomach of what we had been lacking of late.
‘The man sat outside his house in his chair, his eyes fixed upon me as I approached him. When I was a fair distance still, I stopped and asked if he would mind sharing his bread with me.
‘Without hesitation at all, the man told me he would not mind at all and invited me forward. Within a few minutes, we were eating together, and he watched me with mild curiosity. Finally, when we had finished, and he set coffee to boil, he asked, “What manner of creature are you?”
‘The question was an interesting one. I told him I was a man and that I was from Cross. He had heard of men before but not of Cross. When I inquired as to what he considered himself, as he looked the part of a man to me, the stranger chuckled. “I’m a werewolf, Man, and while there’ve been stories of your kind before, I’ve never met one.”
‘I told him I’d not met a werewolf in my own world, though I had heard whispers of them.
‘He laughed and shook his head. “Friend, I’ll do more than whisper tonight when I change. ‘Tis a full moon, and I’ll be hunting. The deer are rutting and foolish in their ways. Eat your fill, Man, and then it would be best for you to be on your way. I’d hate to kill you after having such a pleasant conversation.”
‘I agreed that it would be a shame. As I finished eating, he packed me smoked meats and fresh water. “Head west,” he told me. “The deer are off to the east, so that’s where I’ll be hunting. You’ve a few hours to go until dark. P’rhaps the Hollow will shift you somewhere else before then, but I wouldn’t count on it.”
‘With the man’s warning in my ear and his gifts of food in my haversack, I went on my way. The Hollow did not shift, I am sorry to say, but neither did the man come across my scent.
‘I was lucky,’ my father concluded, ‘and some days, that is all I can hope for.’