THE LANTERN MAN

He put his forehead on the window pane, the whole room behind him vast and full of turmoil. He looked down and there was a man running down the path beside the barn. Running. He had left the house, slamming the door behind him. He had been inside. Downstairs.

The moonlight suddenly etched him against the ground. Clear in silhouette, indistinct in feature. Yet there was a familiarity there that he could not name.

He was wearing some kind of hat or helmet. He had a rifle slung over his shoulder, bumping him as he ran. And in his left hand he had a big candle lantern, the sort that had a single window that shone a pale beam forward. And that paleness made Adrian shiver and the fear clutched at him.

Why? Why should a soldier running from the house towards the camp where there were so many soldiers make him afraid? But it did.

Because he knew…

The figure ran out of sight, into the maw of the ground. Clouds swept across the moon, light came and went, but the man was gone. Nothing to see. No light moved down in the camp. The Lantern Man had never arrived. The path had taken him.

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