There once was a boy called Joe who lived in the suburbs with his mother, father, older sister and their dog. His was the typical life of a ten year old kid and he didn't have much to worry about.

That was to change, however, when Joe's father decided to build him a treehouse, using an old tree that had sat in the garden ever since the family had moved in. No one was really sure how old the tree was, but judging by its size, it may have been there longer than the house itself.

Joe was excited at first at getting a treehouse and helped his father build it. The process couldn't be rushed and took quite a while, but eventually Joe and his father had succeeded in building a stable treehouse.

Joe was quick to make use of the treehouse and spent many hours a day inside, usually during the weekends when he didn't have school to worry about. He was never allowed to spend the night in the treehouse, however, despite his continued requests, until after a couple of months his mother finally decided to allow him to do so.

It was the school holidays and Joe had more spare time than usual. He was never the most popular kid and had few friends, so his mother decided he may as well have his wish; after all, he was still in easy reach should anything happen, and both she and her husband took turns watching every now and then.

Joe was quite oblivious to this as he spent the day in the treehouse - only coming down for lunch and dinner. He then went back to the treehouse and prepared for the night ahead.

It was pretty late before Joe finally went to sleep. That was when things began to change for the worse...

Joe's sleep was abruptly interrupted as he heard something climbing into the treehouse. He reached for his flashlight and let out a small cry but the figure quickly grabbed him and lifted him up; Joe struggled and cried out more. The figure was incredibly strong, and even though Joe was kicking and screaming, the figure didn't let go.

Joe was carried out of the treehouse and down into the garden. He saw the lights in his home turn on and his father rushed out, yet the figure continued to carry Joe along the garden as he called out for his father.

Joe's father ran and tackled the figure, causing Joe to tumble onto the grass as he watched his father struggle to try and keep the figure pinned, only to be tossed aside, the figure making its way towards Joe, who cried out more.

Joe's father leapt at the figure again and the two began their struggle anew, Joe crying as his mother rushed over and hurried him inside, his father telling her to call the police as the large figure kept silent.

Joe's mind was still full of terror as his mother picked him up and held him close, rushing into the house as she put him down and began to dial the police, Joe's sister standing in the hall and panicking as she screamed for her father.

Joe was next to scream as the front door suddenly burst open and the large figure charged in, now visible - a bearded man with a wild look in his eyes and dressed in rags. He made a bee-line for Joe again, only for Joe's mother to intervene.

Joe could only watch as the bearded man shoved his mother to one side and made another grab for him. Luckily for Joe, the family dog soon leapt at the intruder and bit down hard on his arm, the large figure recoiling in a mix of pain and rage as he tossed the dog to one side and exited the house, clutching a wound on his arm.

By the time the police arrived, Joe was being comforted by his sister as his mother and father recovered from their injuries, the family dog also injured but standing guard, the mysterious figure having long since vanished.

A search was made in the area for the figure, but he was never found. Joe and his family soon moved home and tried to leave the experience behind them, though Joe would experience recurring nightmares for years to come and his parents were understandably paranoid about letting him or his sister out of their sight.

As for the treehouse where it all began, as far as anyone knows, it is still around, though it is doubtful anyone will be wishing to spend the night in it again...