Creepypasta: A Different Sort of Cage
You probably shouldn’t have strayed this far from the path. It’s almost dusk now and you’re nowhere near any familiar landmarks that were close to your old campsite. The others are probably getting worried now, assuming they didn’t all get drunk and fall asleep early like last night. You make a mental note to get some better friends if you ever go camping in a group again. The entire reason you took this walk was to get away from those guffawing morons.
“Whatever…just whatever…” you sigh heavily as you lean against a pine tree’s low-hanging branch for support. You’re getting tired now, and you should probably find a place you can rest for a few minutes.
As you come to a clearing, you think it will be as good a place as any to stop and recuperate when you see something odd. In the low dip in the earth that lies in the clearing’s central vicinity is a man with a strange mask, although his clothes and skin tone seem normal enough. He is hunched over, staring at a furry blob in a small iron cage. As you get closer (against your better judgement, for sure) you note that what at first appeared to be an amorphous brown thing in the cage is actually a fox.
“Hello, Human” the man speaks without looking up.
The words bother you for some reason, but not as much as how he said it. He enunciated the words in a very strange manner, as though he struggles to pronounce common English. His own ethnicity is unclear, as his skin is pale but more plain white than a Caucasian’s soft brownish-pink. You note that his pale blue mask has three eye holes, a feature which you’d rather not dwell on.
“What are you doing out here? And uh, who are you exactly?” you ask the man. You aren’t one to get tongue-tied just that easily.
“I’m here to bask in my own superiority. And-“
“What, to this fox? That’s pretty sad” you snicker.
“No” he says, clearly annoyed that you cut him off. “To all of Humankind. And my name is The Triptych, since you asked that too.”
“Dramatic much?” you ask. This goofball can’t be for real.
“This is why I don’t like dealing with Humans” he sighs. “Go figure the Old Ones task me with you things so often.”
“Uh-huh. So tell me how observing a caged fox reminds you of your superiority to us humans?” you ask.
“Tell me, have you ever heard of the concept of ley lines?” he asks, clearly pleased that you are interested.
“It sounds familiar, but I don’t remember exactly” you say to him.
“If you were to use a map, or even just Google Earth, you’d notice that famous supernatural locations such as UFO sightings or haunted areas always, always, always group together in straight lines. Where these lines connect and intersect you find ancient monuments like Stonehenge or the earliest of the pyramids,” he explains. “Do you know why that is?”
You can swear he is grinning under that mask.
“Coincidence?” you hesitantly ask, to which he scoffs in response.
“Far from it. The Old Ones who cast the dice that determine the fate of your race don’t want you to leave the universe you are shackled to. Ley lines are cosmic energy in their most undiluted, and they are anathema to an ugly, skeptical, race like your own that only believes in what they can see at any given moment. These ley lines have a side effect of keeping you from wandering outside your world by triggering conflict, tragedy, and plague whenever you come close to catching a glimpse of the planes of existence outside your own. Whenever you start to think of things you have no business with they ensnare your people like a spider’s web. They wrap around your planet, entangle it, bind it in place.” Scratch that, you’re positive he’s grinning at this point.
“So why are you looking at this fox in a cage in the middle of some random clearing again?” you ask.
“First off, I lied. This is more than a fox. This is a relic of a bygone age, when myths walked alongside your race and Humans widely accepted the plausibility of a reality outside their own. You were coming dangerously close to realizing the paper-thin nature of your own universe. I like coming to this cage with the Kitsune in it to remind myself of just how unobservant your race really is now. Like you, the Kitsune sees the clearing around it and thinks she can someday go there. And like you, she will never leave the place she is trapped in. Your kind may visit other planets, other galaxies, even discover other races not unlike your own. But ultimately you will never break free of your cage, Human.”
You open your mouth only to close it again after a few seconds, not sure what to say.
“By the way” The Triptych says. “Your campsite is just over the ridge to the northeast. I could barely concentrate here, those idiots have been making an insufferable din since they broke out the Captain Morgan.”