So as I told you, I had come through the fog, up the mountain, into the clearing populated by a grove of gargoyles, posing as if so many dozen trees had bared their bottoms in a manner both threatening and somehow playful and liberating.
As I might have confessed, I was tempted to run straightway back into the shelter of the woods and take the shortest path home–if indeed I could even find that path again.
But as I turned to leave, there at the edge of the forest behind me appeared a crude shed nestled back into the hillside. I had not expected or wanted to find any evidence of recent habitation there, and from the strangeness of the place, if anything lived here, I was not certain it would not be elf, fairy or troll.
I approached the odd structure, and half-hoping I would hear no reply, I called out. To my relief, no one answered back.
Through the doorway, and with as little knowledge of my purpose or with any greater caution than I had possessed when I set off up the hill a few hours earlier, I found myself drawn inside.
If my apprehension in the grove had been high, imagine my uneasiness in this odd wizard’s workshop. I did not stay but most a minute, though I managed to take a few pictures of items that held me rapt before I could stand the tension no longer and took flight.
As to the meaning of these shapes and creatures and phantasms, I offer no explanation. The one you see here may confirm that there exists after all in this remote part of the Blue Ridge Mountains the grotesque gollum-like homunculus.