A stroll through the local park. A greyish day in November over 15 years ago. Why are there green plants? It is winter in Germany. Are these plants genetically modified, radioactive or have they mutated. And what lurks in the middle. Wooden monsters who come alive as soon as there are no kids around. They seem innocuous, almost cute and pretty much not alive. But it is an illusion. Only children with their laughter and happiness keep those monsters in their wooden form. Stuck on the playground.
But as soon as the children are gone they come alive. Their eyes are the first things to betray their true nature. Curious and hungry they scan the playground and lawn beyond. They dare not move in daylight but come nightfall they start prowling the park. Hiding between the bushes and trees (they do look like wood remember?) they lay in wait for unsuspecting runners or people taking a shortcut after an evening out in one of the many bars and restaurants nearby.
Over the years police have found only two mangled corpses. Most people simply vanish never to be seen. Devoured with all their bones and clothes. Sometimes a “lucky” park visitor will find a seemingly lost phone or wallet always with any kind of ID missing. These are smart creatures and nobody will suspect anything when someone goes missing in a metropolis like Berlin. Luckily most people get away with a bite or scratch as these monster are not very agile. People always blame stray dogs but locals know the rumors.
I hid behind some bushes and a bench and because it was daylight they did not move. But they did stare at me. They knew I was watching and they were watching me. Making very clear to be careful next time I am alone in the park after sunset. I have survived till now. Next time I bring my daughter. Her laughter will keep them stiff as wood and glued to the ground.