There is a cave on the edge of town that no one enters.
Many have tried at least once. They enter the cave, climbing under the dripping teeth of overhanging stone, and disappear into the earth.
And they return, all of them, with no memory of what had happened in the depths, but each and every one carrying an unspeakable terror of what lies beneath.
One day, a small boy wanders into the cave. A precocious child, he escapes the boundaries of his yard and finds his way through the trees, under the fence, to the gaping cavern mouth. Curious, he crawls deeper and deeper, through the rocks and mud, looking for pretend monsters in the dark with a plastic toy light.
At the end of the cave, he finds one.
Far from sunlight, the boy is drawn into an off-shooting cavern by a splotch of color amid the grey of stone. As he turns a corner of jagged rocks, the dim light picks out the edges of a great face in the dark - pink fur and glinting eyes and massive drooping ears. The boy takes another step and the rest of the form rises out of the blackness before him. Opening it’s jaws to show rows of creamy teeth, it bellows at the boy - a cry with enough strength and ferocity to shock the memory right from a human’s feeble mind, leaving only unexplainable terror and the desire to never return.
But the boy only giggles and screams right back in the face of the creature.
Startled, the monster rears back.
No one had ever answered his hello before.