The Visitor by Maryann Miller

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A retelling of the classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears in modern day. A camping trip becomes most interesting when a stranger shows up and the Cantrell family has to find out who has been sneaking into their cabin. A short story.


Curtis pulled deeper into the shadows of the trees and cursed his bad luck. He’d never imagined it was going to be this hard when he’d decided he could take care of himself better than his zoned-out mother. And it had been easier the first few days when he still had the food he’d packed and a sense of adventure about the whole thing. If he was tough enough to survive on some of the roughest streets in Denver, the wilderness would be no great challenge.

Now Curtis didn’t feel so tough. The food had run out two days ago and hunger pains twisted his stomach. The discomfort was increased by having been so close to getting some real food. If only those people hadn’t come back so soon. If only he’d gotten to the cabin earlier. If only…

He could play that game forever, but it still wouldn’t fill his stomach.

Should he just go knock on the door? Make up some story about why he was here and why he’d eaten out of that pan of food? Yeah, right. Like that’s some brilliant idea. They’ll take one look at you and call the cops. Or the Rangers. Or whatever the hell they have up here. Then you’ll be back with the bitch.

A soft rustle in the leaves interrupted his musing, and Curtis turned to see the face of a young boy staring at him in wide-eyed wonder. “Shit!”

The kid started to back away, his mouth opening for a scream.

“No, Kid. Don’t do that.” Curtis reached a hand out to stall the boy. “I won’t hurt—”


The shrill sound reverberated through the woods, pushing Curtis out of his hiding place and propelling him through the brush. He didn’t know where he was going, but he sure as hell wasn’t hanging around until Mommy showed up.

  • Published by: Maryann Miller

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