I locked the gate from the inside. I can't tell you how the devil got in.
I was on night duty. I have trouble staying awake, so I invited Miranda Darling to keep me company, or rather; she asked if she could visit me on my watch and I said yes.
I'm not guilty of letting the thing in, but we did leave the grounds.
Miranda liked to visit the stream that runs along the border of the village. I followed her there. If you look at my hands, I'm scratched from the brambles. She found her way easily, though. I swear she was glowing like the face of the moon. I swear she was.
She lifted her skirt and went wading into the water, glowing as she undid the laces that ran up her bust. Her skin was so pale, it hurt my eyes to look at her.
"Come in," she laughed.
"I have to go back," I said, but I didn't know the way.
I stepped in to the cool water. That was when I became aware of the devil. It was on us suddenly, bristling and snarling. I slung Miss Miranda over my shoulders in a fine spray of water droplets, and I ran blind, into the trees.
I could feel its eyes on my back, on Miranda's exposed legs and breasts, how her hair was loose around her shoulders in the moonlight. She curled up against me like a child. I held her like a baby, her laces trailing behind us, rustling sweetly in the grass. "You're so strong and fast," she whispered.
As we reached the gate, a cold, dead feeling crept up my arm. I was too late. I threw Miranda onto the ground inside the safety of the walls. She cried out for me. I turned to face the beast, and there was nothing but the trees waving in the wind.
I didn't leave the gate unlatched. I didn't let him in.
I took a break from writing letters so that I could participate in this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. My prompt was to write a story in 33-333 words, somehow involving the Lewis Carroll quote, "What I tell you three times is true." I didn't let him in, I swear.