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Gathering his wits about him, Alastor climbed down the tree and darted to the dead molly. Catching sight of the animal’s dull eyes, he mouthed a quick regret before grabbing the fallen bags. These contained provisions to see him through the night: clothes, food and wine. He hurried back up the tree.

As the sun set, boredom moved him to eat an early dinner. The wine lightened his mood and provided some welcomed warmth. To prevent slipping off the branch, he pulled out the broad himation from his bag and tied himself to the branch.

After which, he wrapped a woollen cape around his shoulders and settled back to endure a sleepless and bone numbing night.

The moon was wholesome but the thick forest canopy allowed only dull light through to the ground. Before long, a hazy black blanketed the forest. A mossy cloud of fireflies danced and darted, dying in the moonlight and coming alive in the dark.

No howls shattered the silent buzz of the forest and the incessant chittering of insects lulled him into a false sense of safety. And as the night matured, he dozed off and snapped awake in gentle dips and sharp snatches.

He snorted and woke! Within an intake of a breath, his senses pricked sharp.

What was that?

Context: Electrical power had rendered our nights bright but during ancient times, man relied on moonlight. Torches had limited effect.

Note: I shall borrow a word, phrase or the theme from your comment—a maximum of five primary comments or until the next post, whichever the sooner—and develop this story via my replies. Thank you for your assistance.

*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018 ***