For the last few minutes, Steven doesn’t feel like he’s sleeping in a castle. He feels very tired and he feels like his bed is nothing more than a log covered with bark that feels like bumpy marble stone. Steven's stomach won’t stop growling, as if it is trying to urge Steven 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 Steven and he’s once again bothered by his starving self.
“Fine, I’ll get up.” Steven moans. After carelessly opening an eye, Steven looks down and screams in horror, for he’s no longer Steven Tallman, the first human to thrive in a post-apocalyptic world. Instead, Steven is a disgusting scaly creature whose body can be compared to a totempole covered with scales that resembled an assortment of leaves. This ridiculous body ends with awkward pole-shaped legs which also end in claws which resembled thorns colored fir tree green, this pathetic joke of an animal propped against a tree. Steven assures himself that perhaps the notorious griefer Mark Ackermann and his gang of jerks 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…” Steven 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, Steven learns it’s no use: he’s a creeper.
As Steven watches the sun set over the forested horizon, Steven doesn't know what to do, and the rumors and theories that try to explain the average creeper's behavior swarm his mind. 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 Steven, a wolf had recently killed a sheep and left behind plenty of mutton. Desperate, Steven lopes over to the meat and starts tearing at it with his surprisingly sharp teeth. Within minutes, most of the meat was gone. Steven grunts and licks his teeth, two of which feel very big, like sabers. 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 crushed-in snout with big black canines to go with it. To the creeper, his face resembles the face of a prehistoric pug, but without so many wrinkles. Steven begins to remember the few times he has killed the iconic vermin, and he finds it odd he never paid attention to what they look like. For one, Steve learns that creeper torsos look nothing like human torsos. Steven wonders where his shoulders are for a moment, but then he lifts a front leg and sees a hard shape jut out near his hip. Next, the goofball finds out that creepers don't have reversed feet like the creepers in cartoons do. Steven looks over himself all over and finds out that in anatomy, creepers and humans don’t have much in common. After finishing establishing what his worst enemy really looks like, Steven realizes the forest is eerily quiet. The silence begins to frighten him.
“Hello,” Steven 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.
Steven looks about, and tries to sound angry instead of scared, “All right, who’s there?”
Within a split second, a green face comes out of nowhere, making Steven shriek. Steven 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 glares at him and tells him in a country accent to pipe down, “I mean what are ya, new?”
Steven just stares, not too sure on how to respond. Steven sees that the plantimal in front of him is covered with scales paled by their many scratches, and that in some areas, the sea of scales is broken up by scars. The creeper's eyes have a paranoid look to them, with the irises (pupils?) being small red dots in the middle of the nervous dark spots that are supposed to be his eyes. This guy even has a grizzled muzzle.
The creeper starts laughing, “Oh, I get it! You’re one of them first-borns, ain’t you?”
Steven asks the creeper what he’s talking about. The creeper stops laughing and gives Steven a serious look, “Come on. You’re comin' with me, but ya have to be quiet.”
Steven doesn’t know what this could mean, but he decides to follow this creature. Steven notices the way the creeper sneaks through bushes and avoid certain areas. Whoever this guy is, he won’t stop sneaking around, but then again... Steven can’t help but feel sorry for the guy, now that he's remembering all the people he had seen torturing creepers in ways that Steven now sees as horrific. Steven guesses this chap has a right to act worried.
After thirty minutes of careful roaming later, the forest suddenly ends in a mountain with a small opening. The elder creeper, as Steven 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.”
Steven 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. Steven always thought creeper caves were either like bars or treasure hordes, but once again, that’s another myth busted. Steven’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, 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. Steven never guessed that a creeper would be capable of this stuff. Steven turns to see the older creeper push through the cave entrance. That's when he sees how bony his host is.
The creeper beams a toothy smile, “I don’t get much visitors nowadays, so make yourself at home.”
Steven grows curious and points at a board, “So what’s with the wood?”
The creeper wanders over to one of the wood tablets, “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 had to come up with an elaborate plan to escape his family, but in order to work on the plan without his family knowing about it, he had to invent a new language..."
Steven 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 Steven 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 feelin' a bi'ing 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. Steven 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 wears a black wide-brimmed hat and a black robe and it’s making a wheezing sound like it’s hurt.
Steven feels a twinge of pity, “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 Steven, obviously terrified, “Now run.”
Steven 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, “Get out! You ain't welcome here!”
The monster makes a deep snort and gazes at everything in the cave, “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 glares at the intruder in the eye, “If you’re going on another pointless spree tonight, take me instead!”
Steven begins to wonder just what's about to happen.
The monster points a claw at Steven, “You have no idea who he really is.”
The country creeper stands his ground, not wanting to go down without a fight, “I DON’T CAYRE! 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 Steven. 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. Steven immediately knew his defender needs help, but he fears what will happen if he approaches, so he 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, Steven 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. Steven hears his friend’s voice more clearly, "I can't help you now, little 'un. Probably not ever again."
A more evil voice commands as a twisted paw grabs at the white essence, "Shut it, slave!" And the eyes fade back to black.
Steven croaks, “No.”
Then, to Steven’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 Steven. Making no sound, it pushes itself through the cave’s narrow entrance. Steven immediately decides to try and stop him before he gets hurt, starting with following the body. Through the forest the two go, with Steven trailing behind and running through bushes hitting him with their twings and papery leaves, since the possessor saw Steven 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 Steven’s following leaps over a few bushes, and gallops toward a house just up ahead. Steven 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 Steven 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, Steven ends up seeing a white glowing figure instead. Again, it’s his friend’s soul. The soul says to Steven, "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, “NOOOOOOOOO!”
In a split second, a panicked Steven Tallman finds himself on a bed in the middle of a stone-brick room. He then wonders if that was only a dream. Once Steven begins to muse about his dream, a sentry bursts into the room and tells him that a skulk of creepers are at the gate. Steven remembers his nightmare, “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.