For the last few minutes, Steve doesn’t feel like he’s sleeping in a castle. He feels very tired despite the terrible-feeling whatever-it-is that he’s sleeping on, and his stomach won’t stop growling, as if it is trying to urge Steve to wake up and find something to eat, like that one time he had to go without food for two days. A harsh gust of wind blows upon Steve and he’s once again bothered by his starving self.
“Fine, I’ll get up.” Steve moans. After carelessly opening an eye, Steve looks down and screams in horror, for he’s no longer Steven Tallman, the first human to thrive in a post-apocalyptic world. Instead, Steve is a disgusting scaly creature with awkward pole-shaped legs ending in claws and a leather skin-covered sunken gut leaning against a tree. Steve assures himself that some prankster (probably Mark and his jerkface friends) had somehow stuffed him into a creeper costume and dumped him in a forest in the middle of the night.
But still, whatever costume it is, it looks realistic.
“Ewww…” Steve whimpers as he tries to find an opening or fastener somewhere in this ugly skin. Imagine the look on his face as he realizes that every time he thinks he’s shifting an arm inside a creeper skin, tendons and muscles cause one of his front legs to move. After around ten minutes of trying to find a zipper or any seam, Steve learns it’s no use: he’s a creeper.
As Steve watches the sun set over the forested horizon, Steve is terrified about all the rumors he heard about this monster and it’s possibly evil or maniacal initiative. He’s scared of finding himself acting like a terrorist, he’s scared of getting some crazy withdrawal feeling and start chasing down innocent people for whatever a normal creeper might be addicted to, and he’s scared of blowing up or getting brutally mangled by a fellow human, but before he could focus on how to control himself in such a situation or find a way to turn back into a human, he immediately begins to think of food.
Luckily for Steve, a wolf had recently killed a sheep and left behind plenty of mutton. Desperate, Steve lopes over to the meat and starts tearing at it with his surprisingly sharp teeth. Within minutes, most of the meat was gone. Steve snorts through a cold doggish nose he never knew he has and licks tusks he used to be ignorant about as well. Steven grows curious and walks over to a nearby pond to see what his new face looks like and almost startles himself into falling into the pond, for it turns out creepers don’t really frown; they have a black-skinned crushed in snout with big black canines to go with it. Weird, Steve thinks, forgetting for a moment that he can’t touch his face with his claws. He even notices more of the weird traits he has. For one, creeper torsos look nothing like human torsos. Dude, where are my shoulders? Steve wonders for a moment, but then he lifts a front leg and sees a hard shape jut out. Oh, I guess they’re next to my hip. Steve looks over himself all over and finds out that in anatomy, creepers and humans don’t have much in common. From this body lacking abs, pecs, and a butt, I don’t think I’ll do well as a mannequin. Steve jokes. After finishing establishing what his worst enemy really looks like, Steve realizes the forest is eerily quiet. The silence begins to frighten him.
“Hello,” Steve says, “Is anyone here?”
He then hopes that he can find someone who can change him back to a human around here when he sees something speed by a few trees.
Steve yells, “All right, who’s there?”
Within a split second, a green face comes out of nowhere, making Steve shriek. Steve realizes it’s another creeper and he almost forgot he’s one of them now, since he’s still yelling and swinging a nonexistent sword. The creeper looks stressed and exhausted and Steve senses it’s a male. The creeper glares at him and tells him in a country accent to pipe down.
“I mean what are you, new?”
Steve just stares, not too sure on how to respond.
The creeper starts laughing and says, “Oh, I get it! You’re one of those first-borns, ain’t you?”
Steve asks the creeper on what he’s talking about. The creeper shakes his head and moans,
“Poor kid. He’s going to find out about everything the hard way,”
Directed to Steve he says, “Come on, you’re coming with me, but you have to be quiet.”
Steve doesn’t know what this could mean, but he decides to follow this creature. Steven notices the way the creeper warily creeps through bushes and avoid certain areas. Whoever this guy is, he won’t stop sneaking around, but then again... Steve can’t help but feel sorry for the guy, for after seeing some people torture the iconic creature in many now unnecessary ways, Steve guesses this chap has a right to act worried.
Thirty minutes of careful roaming later, the forest suddenly ends in a mountain with a small opening. The elder creeper, as Steve now calls him, turns to his new companion and tells him,
“Now I see that you’ve eaten plenty already, so this may be a tight squeeze, but I’d rather not have those dark ones come in easily.”
Steve feels a little unnerved about that ‘dark ones’ phrase and wonders if creepers have more enemies than humans and cats while he gets into the cave, squeezing his way through and nearly falls flat on his face. Steve always thought creeper caves were either like bars or treasure hordes, but once again, that’s another myth busted. Steve’s new eyes help him to see what’s inside his host’s dim cave, and it was … strange for him to gaze upon.
Blocks of wool, slabs of oiled wood covered with tiny glyphs and engraved pictures, leather carpets and blankets, chests loaded with wood and food, and cave paintings decorating the walls. To the left of one mural on the back wall of the cave there’s a small opening that leads to another cave. Steve never guessed that a creeper would be capable of this stuff. Steve turns to see the older creeper push through the cave entrance.
The creeper beams with a toothy smile, “I don’t get much visitors nowadays, so make yourself at home.”
Steve grows curious and points at a board asking,
“So what’s with the wood?”
The creeper wanders over to one of the wood tablets and answers,
“Our language, written records of history. Unlike the humans who copied our glyph system so long ago, we add illustrations to our scripts. Long ago, there lived a spirit named Rongo, and he looked pretty similar to us, who wanted to find a way to separate himself from his uncivilized family, and so, he gone and invented a written language..."
Steve never guessed creepers have a long history, or at least have a talent for storytelling. Some of the stories of long ago tell of monsters the Minecraft creepers are descended from. Some are scary, others are whimsical, and most of them are downright strange, but there’s just one thing Steve doesn’t like about them: in one way or another they make humans like him look bad.
“...The next thing Hoxxeo knew, the drunken modernmen forced him to consume the beer. Those pigs poisoned him. He felt terrible pressure all over his body and blacked out before feeling a terrible biting sensation all over. The next morning, the poor fellow found out he perished the night before and became a hideous ghost, and he sought out for revenge…”
There are stories featuring humans as the good guys, but they are few. Steve plans to ask the elder creeper what’s up with all the misanthropy when he spots a freakish face peeping into the entrance. This creeper has a slimy-looking body, disgusting eyes, and a mangled face. The creature also wore a black wide-brimmed hat and a black robe and it’s making a wheezing sound like it’s hurt.
Steve exclaims “We gotta help that guy! He’s badly injured!”
The creeper stops talking and turns toward the door. His eyes grow big in horror.
“I hate to tell you this kid, but if help ever came for this one, they were too late.”
The monster lays a twisted mole-like paw on the side of the entrance and utters an eerie moan. The creeper turns to Steve, obviously terrified.
Steve hides in the hole, watching the horrible event in curiosity and worry. The “guest” in the robe is a frightening sight to behold, for it’s much bigger than the creeper it’s about to torture. Its claws are a terrible sight, they’re around nine inches long, and its teeth glisten menacingly in the dark of the shadow cast by its hat. What’s even more appalling is that the monster is floating a considerable distance from the floor and that its presence expelled a cold and eerie atmosphere.
The creeper tries to stand up to this intruder, and yells, “Get out! You are not welcome here!”
The monster makes a deep snort and grunts, “So thissss is where you’ve been hiding all these years. And I see you brought me a new victim. Yessss, a fresh soul.”
The angry homeowner boldly says, “If you’re going on another pointless spree tonight, take me instead!”
Steve thinks, Wait--
The monster points a claw at Steven and snarls, “You have no idea who he really is.”
The country creeper growls, “I DON’T CARE! I KNOW YOU’RE--”
Before the creature could finish his sentence, the robed spectre pounces and lands into his victim. The creeper screams as black smoke swirls around him and a blast of cold hits Steve. The screaming then stops, and moments later, all the smoke is gone and the temperature in the cave is back to normal. All that’s left is a body lying on the ground. Steve immediately knew his defender needs help, but he fears what will happen if he approaches, so he cautiously sneaks over, and panics at the sight of black soulless eyes, the creepy pits that had nearly cost him his life so many times. For a moment, Steve thinks he hears the rustic voice of the probably dead creeper, and sees a reflection in those eyes. They show a white essence with the face of a creeper wrapped in dark chains. He shows signs of fear and despair and behind him is the evil spirit that took him. Steve hears his friend’s voice more clearly and it says,
I can’t help you now young one, and probably not ever again.
A more evil voice commands, Shut it, slave! And the eyes fade back to black.
Steven croaks, “No.”
Then, to Steve’s horror, the now possessed body suddenly sits up and manages to get itself back on its feet. The zombified creature walks stiffly in a slow and predatory manner that’s all too familiar to Steve. Making no sound, it pushes itself through the cave’s narrow entrance. Steve immediately decides to try and stop him before he gets hurt, starting with following the body. Through the forest the two go, with Steve trailing behind since the possessor saw Steve and is making the stolen body run for it. Even as a nocturnal...uh, plantimal, Steven’s still scared of forests at night, but this time, it’s not the other mobs causing it. Instead, ghosts and spirits he never saw before plague the woods, and many of them are near their hosts (many creepers and some of the undead). The zombified creeper Steve’s following leaps over a few bushes, and gallops toward a house just up ahead. Steve hears a human voice up ahead and realizes Mark (a jerkface griefer) is nearby.
Mark sees the possessed creeper and immediately starts a cussing fit. Mark draws out a diamond sword, the creeper starts to hiss. A ghostly wail shoots through Steven’s ears and Steve knows where it’s coming from. The victim of a cruel ghost knows his end is near. Time seems to slow down, Mark’s sword slows in the middle of a swing, and while the creeper swells up, Steve ends up seeing a white glowing figure instead. Again, it’s his friend’s soul. The soul says to Steve,
Goodbye, young one. It’s a shame our friendship lasted for a night, but at last I’ll finally escape from this wicked world.
Time goes back to normal and the creeper explodes.
In a split second, a panicked Steve finds himself on a bed in the middle of a stone-brick room. He then wonders if that was only a dream. Once Steve begins to muse about his dream, a sentry bursts into the room and tells him that a skulk of creepers are at the gate. Steve remembers his nightmare and tells the sentry,
“Aw just leave the little guys alone. Nobody’s going out today and we don’t need any gunpowder and creeper skins for the next month.”
The sentry (more like watchful friend) gives Steven Tallman a confused look and exits the room.
“Normally he wishes for the filthy abominations to be torn to bits.” the sentry mutters.
1: Modernmen are the humans that are different from the villagers.
2: Griefer is a slang term describing a prankster in game communities.
3: 'Skulk' is a name for a group of Minecraft creepers.