Far away, over hill and stream, there is a cave at the heart of a mountain.
The cave has never seen the light of sun. It is filled with a dank and dismal lake, in which swim hideous eyeless fish, wriggling through the slimy water. The only sound is the occasional drip, drip, drip of water falling from above. The floor of the cave is covered in broken stone and spiky protrusions.
At the center of the lake is an island, only a dozen or so yards across. On that island is a ramshackle hut, made of whatever detritus has washed into this cave through the centuries.
In that hut lives a hideous, wretched creature. He is old. He is small. He is hairless and wears nothing but a greasy loincloth. His maniacal laughter echoes in the cavern. When the mood strikes him, he airs his thoughts aloud, holding conversation with himself in his own pathetic corner of the world. When he is hungry, he goes out on a small raft. He waits patiently, and when he hears movement, he strikes, pulling a fish out of the lake with his gnarled claw of a hand. He grabs the fish firmly as it tries to escape and tears it apart with his teeth.
One day, or perhaps night (the difference is meaningless in that buried cave), a man arrived in that forsaken place. He seemed slightly confused as to how he came to be there, and was illuminated only by the flickering light of the torch he carried with him. The light of the torch danced on his bright red attire, and his mustache glistened in the darkness.
The creature in the dark heard him enter, and called out from his island. “Who are you? And what brings you to this place?” His voice was slimy and hoarse, and his words came out slow, like he had to think for a moment to remember each of them.
The man looked around, taking in the bits of the cave he could see in the light of his torch. He called back, his voice firm but soft, “I am Ken Bone, undecided voter. I have a question I would like to ask about environmental policy.”
With a soft splash, the creature climbed into his raft and began rowing over to the newcomer. After a minute or two, the creature’s boat entered the ring of light coming from Ken’s torch. The creature hopped from the boat and waded the rest of the way. “Undecided? I never thought to see such a thing again.”
Though the meaning of the words was benign, a glint of hunger appeared in the creature’s eyes, and Ken backed away slightly.
After a moment, Ken regained his composure. Straightening his back, he said, “Yes. I am an undecided voter, and I want to learn more. Perhaps you know who could help me?”
The creature smiled menacingly at Ken. “Yes… I think I do. Wait here.”
The creature climbed back on his raft and began to row back to the island. As he did so, he began talking to himself:
“An undecided voter? How precious. We will help him, yes. He will learn something.”
“An undecided voter. So plump and tender. Yes, we will help.”
“Perhaps in our home we will find a map he could use.”
“Yes, perhaps. Make sure to grab the knife while we are there, though.”
“What do we need the knife for?”
“He may need it. A creature as tasty as him, many things will be out for him.”
“Oh, of course.”
“Mmm… so delicious. I remember when we saw others like him all the time.”
“Yes, I remember it too.”
“They tasted so wonderful. It’s a shame there weren’t more of them to go around.”
“Yes… they were good, weren’t they?”
At this point, Ken had begun to look around to see where he could go, but he couldn’t see anything. He began to pick his way along the edge of the lake, looking for another way out.
“Oh no, Ken. We are here to help you. Stay right where you are. We are so hungry. Come… let us have a meal together.”