An old woman, alone on a farm, is woken in the middle of the night by a sound..
She reached for the oil lantern beneath the bed. Her grey hair dangled to the floor. She struck a match. The flame, a dim flicker, barely bright enough to illuminate the walls of her cabin. She heard it again. The sound of dirt crunching beneath heavy steps. She shone the light towards the window while grabbing the shotgun leaning against her nightstand. But, the footsteps grew faint. In the distance, the metal latch on the barn door screeched open. She ran to the front door without hesitation.
No one could steal Maisy! Cow’s milk was all she had to survive the coming winter. She slipped on her boots with no time to tie them. She pulled on her coat with no time to button up.
The lantern’s light barely punctured the darkness. Something stirred within the barn, she ran while juggling the shotgun and lantern in her hands. When she reached the barn door, she was out of breath and blinded by darkness. Her body shivered from the cold as she stepped further into the barn. She was expecting to find someone, but there was only Maisy with doe eyes staring blankly at her. But, something grazed her cheek.
She whipped around so quickly she dropped the lantern. With both hands on her shotgun and her heart pounding, she prepared to fire, but there was only darkness.
A fire had started where the lantern had fallen. Flames consumed the walls and empty stables. She quickly led Maisy to safety. In minutes, the barn blackened and crackled beneath the starry night. That’s when she noticed it.
In the distance, just beyond the wood fence, a figure as tall as trees stood there watching her.