Sarah turned and ran back into her bedroom, stumbling and banging into the wall. Simultaneously, the odd green man ran the other way into her bathroom. Doors slammed shut on both sides of the hall.
Sinking onto the toilet seat the green man, or Barbatos, as most people called him, held one hand at his heart and sighed. Frantic noises and a raised voice from the nearby room worried him.
"That could have gone better," he muttered to himself. He had never really got the hang of humans. Or even the other myth people, when it came right down to it.
Feeling vaguely stupid, Barbatos gazed down at his feet and noticed they'd regressed again. And, as usual, his large cloven hooves were leaving mud on the tiled floor. He frowned in annoyance and shook his head, dislodging some leaves. The hooves slowly changed into feet that wore old, tattered trainers.
Closing his tired eyes, Barbatos sighed and pondered his existence. Many beings told him that he was the oddest myth in the whole world.
He tended to agree. Looking back, he remembered the beginning of his existence as an angel.
The forests and wild places he'd seen being created had captivated him, and he loved tending the creatures and animals of Earth. So much so, that he'd been the only denizen of heaven to completely miss the war of the angels. Bird song and animal calls were far more alluring to the angel Barbatos than any vision in heaven.
He had fallen in love with the creations of his Creator.
One day, as he stopped to gaze at some pond life, he had glimpsed his reflection in the waters. It was a strange sight. Antlers had grown on his head, the graceful antlers of the deer. Barbatos had fallen from heaven's grace and hadn't even noticed. And although people might call him a demon, he knew inside that he wasn't; he was one of the myths now. He could still feel his Maker's love through the creations He had crafted.
Roaming the hills and dales, then later on the new jungles built by humans, he gathered new names to himself. Barbatos became 'Robin in the Wood' and 'Jack in the Green', to name a couple. He helped and understood the lost and hurt animals, knew where the hidden riches in the world lay, saw the past and the future, and helped friends reconcile their differences.
In the end, he reflected, he had become genuinely happy with his fate.
Suddenly, he tilted his head, listening. There was a key turning in Sarah's front door and a creak of wooden floorboards. There were quick steps along the hallway and the sounds of doors opening and closing briskly. Eventually a woman popped her head round the door of the bathroom. She looked fierce and was holding a cross in front of her. Dark eyes met his.
"You! I promised I would introduce you both."