When he awoke, he did nothing for awhile but look at the bright yellow light streaming inside from the two bare windows on the far wall. It caught on the dancing dust particles and set a dreamy atmosphere against the floral the floral patterns, which helped him settle down after the shock and initial panic that this really had happened and it wasn't a dream. He really was lost. He, actually, was being held captive by a green monster. Anything, now, from before getting into a car wreck seemed so far away and so long ago; almost as if it had never happened. It had all just been a dream; he had never written a book and his aunt had never really been diagnosed with breast cancer. All that was just a dream.

He remembered long ago, early in the dream, that day that James had first gone camping. Three people his age had gone with him and his father. The first that he had invited was his best friend Dale, and then he had gone up to Adam, who had eagerly assented. James's father had invited a boy a year old than the others named Stan. Dale and Adam weren't particularly fond of him, and James was even a tad scared of the boy, though a budding relationship between both of their mothers had ignored this fact.

After the first night, the four boys had spent most of their time hiking through the woods, pretending to look for logs to use for the fire. During one of these hikes, Stan began to tell stories, possibly only to scare them and gain at least some form of entertainment. One was about the frenzied werewolf who stalked little boys and turned them into its own kind. "Remember last night?" Stan would say. "Did you notice the full moon?" He would say, watching the others' faces turn up into the sky. Suddenly the air was still.

Another one of Stan's tales was about a monster with three horns that he called the 'Thrid.' Supposedly, this Thrid had serially attacked a castle during the Middle Ages again and again, but it would never succeed. The guards atop the castle would always see the green skinned Thrid before it even reached the castle, and would pelt it with arrows from their sturdy longbows, and it would retreat.

But one day, in the freezing winter, the starving Thrid made one last attempt at the seizure of the castle. There was a horrendous blizzard the night it decided on, so the guards over the wall could not see anything but falling whiteness and their breath in front of their noses. The Thrid made its way to the thick oak door and called inside in the inhabitants' language that he was a lost traveler and that he needed sanctuary and a place, at least, out of the cold and the snow to stay. The soldiers, defenders and guards who had been suspecting that the Thrid would attack on this blind night decided to end this once and for all. So the castle's best men stood by the door, waiting, licking their cold lips and waiting for the door to open as their wives gathered upstairs with their children.

When the door was opened, the Thrid charged inside, and almost instantly, the guards were petrified at seeing such a horrible beast up close, and they were caught off guard. There was a full-fledged slaughter in that castle that snowy night; nobody survived. The Thrid had enough to eat for a long, long time, and he had finally gotten what he had always needed: sanctuary and a place, at least, out of the cold and the snow. He had gotten everything that he wanted, except that one of his three horns had been sawed off during the massacre. "Today," Stan would finish, offsetting the eerie silence, "he roams around in a terrible rage and ready to tear the head off of any trespasser." He would look hard in each of his companions' wide eyes and say seriously, "All this happened in this very forest."

These stories had not only scared them, but they had also fascinated them. James remembered this morbid story for the rest of his life for its sheer grisliness. And now, as James store at the dust particles floating around the room, he reflected on how alike his captor's appearance was to how he had imagined the Thrid to look like in Stan's story.

"So I really am being held captive by the Thrid," James whispered. "I wonder if—" He closed his eyes and chuckled. "No, the others' couldn't possibly true. Complete rubbish."

Next, he needed to think about what kind of story he should tell the Thrid. "What…on earth…is a story suitable to tell a monster? Surely a tale very exciting…about a beast or monster fighting humans, and winning…Yes," James said. "I must remember to let the beast triumph in the end." Maybe he could tell the Thrid about the werewolf of the creamy moon, or the blood bubbling vampire on a cold night or the clever, enigmatic plans of Satan.

Finally, he struggled out of his reverie and looked at his watch. It seemed to have stopped during the night; the second hand was not moving. It would be one o'clock for the rest of eternity. An ache rose from his stomach and once again, he yearned for food; just anything to fill the empty space in the pit of his belly.

Rolling out of bed, James stood and stretched, feeling his streak of open flesh on the right arm burn without commitment. Touching the wound on his cheek, he realized that it really wasn't bad at all; just a bloody bruise that hurt not near as much as his right arm. He walked over to the window he had thought of jumping out of the day before and looked out into the forest. It seemed to go on forever and ever on all sides of the castle and the pond. He was two stories up, and through the fog he still could not see the pond's surface. Crazily, he thought about what that mist must be hiding in that pond.

So all day, James stood, or sat, pr slept, waiting for the Thrid to call on him. He let hunger gnaw away in his stomach because there was nothing to do that would quench it. The contents of the room were scarce even though it was such a large room. There were two king-sized beds, both covered with that same repetitious floral pattern that he had been too acquainted with, on the same side of the room. There was a massive dark brown wardrobe in between them, and it was flanked by two of the four torches. It was carpeted a royal pink, and James wondered why there were no accesses to spurts of ladylike vanity; for there were no brushes or combs or sinks or mirrors or perfumes. There was one door, at the back of the room, and two windows at the head. Soon the day had ended, and though still exhausted, he felt wild and contained, for this boring day was wholly without measure to the day before. There was no darkness; no dead squirrels or ghoulish soldiers' skulls and no green monsters with two horns and one missing. Though he did begin to wonder if he had imagined the Thrid yesterday, James stayed away from the door and did not dare venture across its threshold. There still was fear there.

As he stood, watching the clouds overhead turn purple and then red and then orange, he yawned. "Should I sleep?" He asked himself, pulling his hair back and trying to part it, which did not work. He had fully given up hope on his moustache, so he didn't even bother. "Should I yell for the Thrid? Should I jump out the window and possibly escape?" Even if he did die, it would be a noble death. Although, what if, when he fell, he broke his back, rendering him unable to move and in the grip of fierce, unrelenting pain? What would he do then?

"Wait," James said, letting his yes drop to the stone wall underneath the window, "all I need do is wait." Yawning again, he looked at the flickering orange light and went to back to bed.